By Jessica Wang
13 May 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: Put on New Self||video||audio||doc|
|Worship song: I Give You My Heart||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Power of Your Love||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: We Know That All Things||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: You Are Beautiful||video||audio||lyric|
Worship song: I Give You My Heart
|Verse||This is my desire to honor You !
Lord, with all my heart I worship You !
All I have within me
I give You praise
All that I adore is in You
|Chorus||Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul
I live for You alone
Every breath that I take
Every moment I’m awake
Lord, have Your way in me
|Verse CN||这是我心愿 来荣耀你
Zhe shi wo xin yuan, lai rong yao ni
Zhu wo yao jin xin lai jing bai ni
Yong wo di shen xin ling lai zan mei ni
Wo quan xin ai mu shi ni, zhu
|Chorus CN||主，我 献 上 我 心
zhu, wo xian shang wo xin
我 献 上 我 灵
wo xian shang wo ling
我 单 单 为 你 活
wo dan dan wei ni huo
我 的 每 个 气 息
wo di mei ge qi xi
每 个 警 醒 时 刻
mei ge jing xing shi ke
主，你 来 掌 管 我
zhu, ni lai zhang guan wo
Worship song: Power of Your love
|Verse 1||Lord, I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace That I found in You
Lord, I've come to know,
The weaknesses I see in me,
Will be stripped away,
By the power of Your love
|Verse 2||Lord, unveil my eyes,
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love, As You live in me
Lord, renew my mind,
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day,
By the power of Your Love
|Chorus||Hold me close, Let Your love surround me
Bring me near, Draw me to Your side
And as I wait, I'll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You,
Your Spirit leads me on in the power of Your Love
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Good morning, my dear brothers and sisters, before we share God's word, let us bow down and pray together.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for your love so that we can stand in front of you. Dear lord, thank you so much for salvation to rescue us from death, from the darkness. But Lord, today we pray that you will please continue to work in our hearts, Holy Spirit, work in our hearts and speak to us. Let us realize that even when we become Christians, we are not perfect. And we need to be renewed by you day by day and we need to live how Jesus lived. Lord, today I want to lift all my brothers and sisters in your hands, please speak to us and touch our hearts, and give us strength so that we can be renewed by you. And also I lift myself in your hands. Be with me and send your words to me. May I myself and the words in my mouth be pleasing to you. I pray in Jesus name. Amen!
Dear brothers and sisters, today is mother's day. It reminds me to think of my mom, and also my mom's mom, my grandma. So at the beginning I want to share a story, which my grandma told me.
When I was very young, my grandma told me a story. One day the angel told one of the extremely evil tigers that "if you meet a Christian next time, do not kill them." The tiger replied, "how can I recognize who is a Christian?" The angel said, "Christian has a sweet fragrance of Christ." The tiger said, "Oh yes. I know" A few days later, the angel asked the tiger to come again, and asked him "There was someone who told me that you have killed a Christian and ate a Christian. But didn't I tell you do not eat Christians?" The tiger said, "Yes, but I didn't eat his mouth, because only his mouth has the fragrance of Christ."
We know that it is not a real story. But my grandma wanted to teach me that if you become a Christian, you must be as a Christian in your whole body, not only your mouth. So today I want to use this story to teach us that it's very important to not only speak as a Christian, but to live out a Christian life with our whole being. So I want all of us to think about "Do we live a Christian life with our whole being?"
Today I am going to share with you "Put on the new self".
We are going to continue study Ephesians, Chapter 4 verse 17-24. It’s telling us not to live as a gentile does, but as a Christian of light be putting off our old self and putting on our new self.
I'm going to share you in three parts. The first part is talking about what does the old self look like? The second part is how can we put off our old self and put on our new self? The third, how can we apply in our daily life?
Let us look at the first part. It is talked about through Chapter 4 verse 17-19. This part is sharing about what does the old self look like.
Dear brothers and sisters, we know as we stay in
One day when you bought milk, and you found out there is something wrong with the milk, and you can't drink it. What is your reaction to it? And we found out the whole society was deeply concerned about the issues of milk. And milk problems scared people in
But today's purpose is not to criticize the other people, the non-believers, and the people who did the bad thing. But today's purpose is that I ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us and let us realize what myself’s old self looks like.
The other day I got to know there is a person who came to church but he didn't worship God as we did. He stole money and bags when we close our eyes and pray, especially happened in this church. We are very angry about the things he had done. It’s not good, it’s not right. But I use this example with two purposes. One purpose is to let every one of us realize that not every person coming to our church is to praise our God. Maybe that person is still here. But I want to let us take care of your belongings. And the other thing I want to say is to not let us to criticize the other people, but to use this example to let the Holy Spirit renew us, let us know what my weakness is.
So I will give you one second and you may think it very seriously that "what is my weakness and how can we overcome that".
Are our hearts closed toward God?
Have our hearts become hardened towards God's words?
Do we tell lies?
Do we get angry and stay angry?
Do we steal?
Do we swear and speak bad language?
Have we become bitter?
Do we Gossip, tell bad or false stories about others?
Do we fight with others, hate others?
Dear brothers and sisters, I'm sure we are not that safe. But I'm also sure in some way, somehow, and somewhere we still have our own weakness in life. And I myself have one of the weaknesses, especially when I drive in
So dear brothers and sisters, I want all of us to use today's time and think about what is your own weakness. Not only think about this, but also find a way how we can overcome it, how can we put off our old self and put on our new self.
The second part is how can we put off our old self and put on our new self?
I know all of us are struggling with sin, but also with our desire to do good for God. Like Paul described in Romans 7:18-20, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Because of sinful nature, we are struggling with sinful things and struggle with the right thing. There is a fight with each other in our inside. Two selves: one self wants to do the bad thing, the other self wants to do the good thing. Paul described it very well, he said that if I want to do good things but don’t, if I don’t want to do the bad things but I did it, it’s not me, it’s the sin living in me, because the sinful nature.
So dear brothers and sisters, we feel so bad about this, we know we can’t conquer this and we can’t overcome it. But how should we do it if we become a Christian, we must put off our old self and put on our new self? How can we deal with this struggle? Paul also told us that it’s only through Jesus Christ that we can be rescued; it’s only through Jesus Christ that we can be set free. So “what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25. From the scripture, it told us that we couldn’t overcome our short coming, and we couldn’t do the good things by ourselves, relying on ourselves. But only relying on Jesus Christ, only through Him, we can be set free. We know this, but how can we rely on Jesus? There are at least several steps in Ephesians 4, it told us how can we put off our old self and put on new self through Jesus Christ.
Step 1 is to know Him and truth. “You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” Ephesians 4:20-21. This part of scripture told us that the people who have already become a Christian, and heard from Him, and got to know truth through Jesus Christ in Him, we shouldn’t live like the Gentiles do. We find out the way is that to know Him and truth, but how can we know Him and truth? There are several ways, first we can read the Bible daily. Bible is our daily bread, when we read Bible, we will know the truth, know what is right and what is wrong. When we read Bible, we’ll know that Holy Sprite will help us, guild us, lead us and give us the power to do the will of God’s will. Also, attend the Sunday service and small groups regularly, like today. Maybe people think that I just read Bible by myself in my family, it’s enough. But, I say that that’s not enough. Please don’t stop going to the Sunday service and please attend the Sunday service. You are lucky now in this church, because we don’t have enough small groups, this is one of the prayer requirements I want you pray that we can have enough small groups. So I will encourage you to attend the Sunday service, if you have small group, to attend the small group as well. Because during the Sunday service, you will see how powerful and great our God is, you will see how God changes other people in their life. You will communicate with each other. Also reading Christian books and having fellowship with brothers and sisters. Share with each other, build with each other and communicate with each other. So, this is the way that I want to show you very practically that to know Him, hear Him, Jesus Christ is our Lord, and also to know the truth.
Step 2, taking actions to put off your old self. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;” Ephesians 4:22. This part of scripture tells us, as a Christian, regarding your formal way of life, we should put off our old self. We should take actions to put off our old self, not just in our mind. For example, today we share this scripture, you said “O Lord, I want to live for you, I want to give my life to you.” But right after you left the church, you forgot about that. That’s not right. So the second step is taking actions in putting off your old self.
I will show you one story. This is very new, I just heard this morning. Actually I prepared another one, but I want to change to this one. This morning, I went to one of the Sunday school classroom, and I just heard a conversation with one of the kids, his mother and Sunday school teacher. They were talking about how God changed this little boy. I think he is maybe 9 or 10 years’ old. I don’t know what they talked about before, but when I arrived in that room, they were talking about a story that how this child changed the other children in his class. Because this kid goes to Sunday school regularly, so he knows about the truth, knows about God, knows that we can’t waste food. One day, one of his classmates brought a very big apple, but he didn’t want to eat it and threw it. This boy said that, because his classmate’s family has a lot of money, so he doesn’t care about one small apple (actually it’s a big apple). So when this boy saw this, he felt it’s not good. So he said to his classmate, “Please don’t throw that apple, because you are wasting food.”
His classmate said, “It’s none of your business, just take care of yourself.”
The little boy said, “I have already taken care of myself, I listen to the teacher very carefully, I finish my homework on time, I love my mom and I don’t waste food.”
His classmate then didn’t say anything at first, but then replied, “It’s my mom who bought this apple, it’s none of your business.”
The little boy didn’t say anything, just cut his apple into two parts, and gave one part to the other boy. The other boy said, “I don’t want to eat your apple, it doesn’t look good.”
The little boy said, “I know your mom bought the apple for you, I know my apple is not as good as yours. But you know, this apple takes all the farmers’ hard work, you have to eat it, you have to respect the others’ hard work.”
That other boy said nothing, but ate the apple.
So this story told us that, take actions to put off your old self, and also bring a good influence to the others. By attending Sunday school, this little boy was changed, also he brought a good example to his classmates. I’m not sure if he is here or not, but I want to give thanks to our God and his mom, because his mom takes her child to our church, also thank God that He changed the mother’s heart and child’s heart. So dear brothers and sisters, I want to encourage you to take actions to put off your old self. You will be changed, also, step-by-step, day by day; this society will be changed by God’s work, by the truth.
Step 3, renew your minds and put on your new self. “To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24. Sometimes we found that, we can do good things, but maybe our motivation, our attitude is not right. So here, Ephesians told us that not only put off your old self, but renew your minds and put on your new self. “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24. It’s much more difficult than doing things. God cares about our hearts. So how can we do that? We found out in Galatians 5:25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” This scripture told us that only by helping through the Holy Spirit, our mind can be renewed. So we can’t renew our mind [by ourselves]. Maybe we can pretend to be friendly to other people, but we couldn’t change our mind, our attitude and our motivation. But here, the Bible told us that “to be made new in attitude of your minds.” So dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit will help us to evaluate what we have done, and give us the motivation. Also, the Holy Spirit will guide us to make the right decision when we face our own struggles.
I want to share another story with you which happened in my life. Several weeks ago, one of the brothers from Chinese fellowship asked my husband Li to take them to Retreat in our mini bus. But the same day, we needed someone to check out the accommodation for the English Fellowship Retreat. One the same day, I have to preach and attend one of the weddings. So in my mind, I didn’t want him to help them, because I want him to help the English Fellowship to check out. However, in the end, he decided to help them. At 8:00pm, the night before the Retreat, the mini bus broke down. It was also raining outside. Because it was too late for the mini bus to be repaired, I was glad, because now he can help me to do what I wanted him to do in the English Fellowship. I thought this is God’s plan too. But Li decided to repair the mini bus by himself in the heavy rain, and I have to hold umbrella an for him. After one hour, he was very wet and couldn’t repair the bus. I told him to call them and say that we tried our best but we couldn’t help them. Just let them know. But he didn’t do that and kept trying to repair it. He said, “I will try again.” Another hour flew away. Do you know what happened? It worked, it’s a miracle. Actually this mini bus broke down several days later, but on that day it worked. He is not a repair man. But after this, the Holy Spirit let me realize that I was wrong. Because I can find someone to do the English Fellowship check out, but that Fellowship couldn’t find someone to bring them to go on the retreat. Then, God taught me that I had been selfish. Then I held my husband’s hands, and pray and said to God, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, and please protect my husband and people who are in the car.” So dear brothers and sisters, I want to share my weakness to you, and let you know that even I stand here, I say loudly “please put off your old self and put on your new self,” also in myself, I still have weakness, I need to keep putting off my old self and putting on my new self. May God bless all of us, and may God let us know how we can put off our old self and put on our new self in our daily life. Ephesians 4:23-32 is talking about how we can put off our old self and put on our new self—basically and practically.
Because of the time limit, I will give you one little home work, please read this part of Bible, and put off your old self and put on your new self.
Let’s pray, “Heavenly father, I thank you so much for today you teaching us and guild us, and you let us know the truth, which Jesus Christ told us. God please let us realize that we are so weak, but the Holy Spirit will help us. We can’t rely on ourselves, but we can rely on you. We can rely on you to do anything you want us to do. Let us put off our old self and put on our new self in our daily life. Let us keep our hearts and minds completely open to God, guide our hearts, always speak truthfully. In our anger do not sin, do not let the sun go down while we are still angry. Deal with the anger before sleep. Do not steal, but work hard. Share with others, let us be helpful, encouraging to others and help them. Let us be kind, let us be full of compassion. Let us always forgive one another. Let us love one another, build each other. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!”