Summary of sermon by Arno Stegen, 31 May 2015
Jer 31:31 – 33
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father
God gave His people the best constitution one can have to live by. But He saw how man struggles to keep His laws. So when the time had fully come, God put His plan into action. That which is better than what anyone can plan or imagine, God wrote His laws into our hearts. The Lord Jesus was born, came into this world, as the Saviour. The one who will save us from our sin. That our sins might be forgiven and that we are saved from the power of sin. That we’re no longer slaves of sin.
These last few months we’ve celebrated His birth, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Pentecost. God exalted Him to His own right hand on the throne. That is a challenge to us that God had put Him on the throne in Heaven. Have you done it in your own life?
2Cor 6:16 – 18
16 I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
“Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.
“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Can we grasp the depth of what we’ve just read! If one thinks that these words are spoken by the Lord Almighty. This is not an earthly king, or president or another leader, but God Himself, the Almighty. He who created the Heavens and the earth. Just look at the stars, and to think that the God who created all this, speaks these words to us!
Consider God’s holiness; who God is. One cannot imagine that He has such thoughts about us. If you would get a call from an earthly king to become part of his close family, how would you react and live? Now here, the King of kings is speaking, and we have an invitation from Him, “I want you to be My people, My sons and daughters”. Maybe you’ve never had earthly parents that care for you and had your best interests at heart. Or perhaps you did have such parents who love and cared for you, but you rejected their love and care and disappointed them and broken their heart. But here God invites you to become part of His royal family!
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
We desperately need God to lead us in His truth. There’s so much confusion these days what truth is. It’s even worse than in Pilate’s time, who asked “what is truth?”
It’s sad when a leader doesn’t know and cannot discern the truth. How can he lead others when he doesn’t know where to go? But it’s even worse today. Everywhere you go people are claiming to know the truth, with their new ideas. Across the world governments are changing laws and claiming that they’ve now discovered the right way. Just recently they’ve had a referendum in Ireland that homosexuality is acceptable. Here in South Africa it’s been accepted long ago already. People now claim to know the truth, but they don’t know the truth. There is one truth and that is what God’s Word teaches us. And we need God’s Spirit to teach us the truth. Without His Spirit leading us in the truth we will go lost. If we don’t follow God’s truth we follow our own mind and will be led astray.
It’s so easy to be just next to the truth. It sounds so logical. It sounds so right. But it’s not the truth according to God’s Word. We need God’s Spirit to guide us into all the truth. And He promised that the Helper, the Holy Spirit won’t speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak. Do we know that fellowship with God that we only speak what is on God’s mind and not our own things? We speak on our own authority, because we think we know what is right. We feel that our opinion is so important, and we speak of that. But the Holy Spirit speaks what God the Father speaks, and that He imparts to us if we walk with Him and He indwells us.
Even you fathers, when you speak to your children, on whose authority do you speak? You will find that if you speak on your own authority it won’t be Godly authority.
14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”
If you are a child of God then live as a child of God. Live a life according to your calling. Be in step with God’s Spirit, in what you do, say, or think. Do you know that life? God has made it possible by sending His Spirit to dwell in us. We must be in step with Him, as the Spirit is in step with the Father and the Lord Jesus. And as the Lord Jesus is in step with the Father, where He said that He only spoke what the Father said.
That you only speak what you hear Him speak, and your sole aim is to bring glory to God’s Name in everything you do and say. Then we will truly live as sons and daughters of God. That we won’t bring shame on His Name.
May we not be children that are unruly that brings dishonor to our parents. But rather that one can see by your conduct that you belong to God. Because the sons of God are different to others. Even in Matthew we read that “blessed are the peacemakers. They shall be called the sons of God”. When God’s children comes into a situation that’s full of turmoil and disunity, when they come the situation changes. Are you peacemakers? Or are you of those that disturb the peace?
God wants to dwell in you and me. He says He wants to walk among us, and have sweet fellowship with us. And He says that He wants to be our God. Is that true with you? Are you really His son or daughter? Have you allowed Him? He says that if you want that, then come out from among the unbelievers, those who don’t follow the Lord with a perfect heart. You cannot be one with someone who is not one with God. Today so often you find that people call themselves Christians, but they are one with those who have other interests and are not of one heart and soul with God. But God says that if you want to be part of God’s people then you need to come out and be separate, different, from the world. You cannot be one with the world and think that you can be one with Him, because the world hates God and are His enemy.
He also says that if you want to be His son and daughter then you must not touch that which is unclean. Have you touched what is unclean through what you’ve done or looked at? You cannot be His son and daughter if you have part of the world, which defiles you.
We weren’t just born into God’s family. We were sinners, separate from God. Then God put this plan in action that He will adopt us! As one of His children. What a privilege! What a God we serve! Have you responded to this unbelievable invitation?
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
Have you experienced that that you know God has adopted you and cried out “Abba Father”. Have you made God to be your God and Father? Do you honour Him as God and Father in your life? How it won’t change your life? That you’re not just part of a royal family but part of God’s family. That we would never disappoint our heavenly Father, but live as true sons and daughters of Him.
An apology by Alpheus Mdlalose and Stella Hlongwane