Today we are living in the
dispensation of grace in the church
July 16th, 2000, Sunday Morning
"Crucified with Christ"
The cure for what's wrong with the church today
OPENING: Galatians 2:20, KJV
- The dispensation back in Old Testament times (when there was no bible and
Jesus had no come yet thus salvation was only for Jews), people believed that there was
a savior, that he had yet to come, and die, and come again.
- The Holy Spirit moved "in and out" of certain people. I.e., the legendary
story of Samson and his superhuman strength was a result of the Holy Spirit being within
him and when Samson's hair was cut, the Holy Spirit left him thus Samson lost his
- But today, due to the dispensation of (now) Grace, Jesus Christ lives within
all of us and will never leave. He will never flow in and out. He is within us always.
Revelation 3:14-22: Here we see the failure of what we
are living in as the final stage of the church age (right before rapture); the failure
of the church to speak God's Word--the church's ultimate duty!
- We find today that Jesus Christ is placed outside the church.
- In verses 15-16, "thou" is the church. It says the church is yielding
to the wickedness and beliefs of the world ("...that thou art neither cold nor hot ...
thou art lukewarm...")
- Verse 17 implies that the church is saying, "Hey! We have all the riches,
power, and information right here! We don't need God anymore. We can make do with
our own power and working ability." Churches today are self-reliant and self-righteous.
They have no needs to bring to God. They rely on their own programs to be successful.
- Verse 18: refer to "eyesalve" as the Word of God.
SO WHAT CAUSED THE FAILURE OF THE CHURCH?
- Ephesians 5:17-18 then Galatians 5:16-17,19-21: Indulging in that
which promotes defiling of the body and yields to the rest of what is considered "the
lusts of the flesh."
WHAT IS THE FAILURE OF THE CHURCH?
- The church is failing because Jesus Christ has been placed "outside" the church.
- We're failing the spreading of the gospel. Consider: as a whole, people are not
being threatened with jail or being fed to hungry Lions for speaking God's Word. So what's
the problem? The problem is the message and the messenger.
- MESSAGE: Churches today tailor the Word of God to suit their needs and feelings.
The next time you go to church, see if you're being read to from the authentic King James
- MESSENGER: Some television evangelists call being "filled with the spirit"
some guy crying with tears running down his eyes and his arms outstretched and with a
wave of his hand, a group of people fall before him. You see a woman shaking uncontrollably,
foaming at the mouth, undergarment exposed... and the preacher claims sin is leaving them.
Something may be leaving them but it's not sin because sin doesn't come in a liquid form.
- Everybody on earth battles with their flesh every day even if they don't
acknowledge it. The reason we do what we're not supposed to is because we're battling
with our flesh and our flesh is winning.
THE CURE FOR THE CHURCH:
- Galatians 2:20: Paul says the cure is to be crucified with
Christ (not in the literal sense). Paul's saying we, as saved Christians, must die daily
for Christ. But how is this possible?
- Romans 7:13-25: Explains how sin and carnal lust is such a powerful
bondage that NO MAN (OR WOMAN) can resist. To rectify ourselves, we must crucify ourselves
from the world.
- Galatians 6:14: We must be "crucified from the world" because
the world doesn't care or abide by the Christian directives from God.
- The world mentality today: "I work five days a week and I'm declaring the
entire weekend Miller Time! I put in my 40 hours and I deserve a break! I'm taking the
whole weekend for me. Nah--I don't need church"
- Some services are performed early in the morning so people can "get it out of
- 1 Corinthians 1:20: People think they're so smart. The theory
of evolution is based on scientists who say how the world started and what people thought
and did back in the beginning... "I wasn't there but I know!" mentality.
- James 4:4: Christians, instead of drawing away from the world
draw to the world. Even David of Israel in the Old Testament was weak.
- 1 John 2:15-17: To be "crucified in Christ," we need to "not love" the
things of this world. You don't love THINGS you love PEOPLE. If you're devoted to
anything more than God then you do not love God.
- Romans 8:36: Being one of God's means you do not belong to the world;
If you are not of the world, then you will be hated by the world. Be happy because of that.
- Ephesians 2:2,4-6: In the beginning we were all apart from Christ
and practiced wickedness and lusts of the flesh. This is because we see the nature of this
world. The world's course is death, destruction, and hell. But Jesus says, "Hey! Eternal
life is this way! Through me!"
- It is a good idea to separate yourself from your friends who are bad influences.
How often do you let your friends drag you through the mud (sin) when you put on a fresh
tuxedo (sin forgiveness)?
- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: The cares of this world will draw you away
from Jesus Christ; we've become to materialistic. While we should be looking for Jesus
Christ's return, we end up looking how we can please ourselves tomorrow. We're supposed
to live our life for the One who died for us; not for ourselves
WHO IS TO BE "CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST"?
- Galatians 5:24: Those
saved in Christ. Only those born again.
HOW TO BE "CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST"?
- Romans 8:8: Per the verse, we cannot please God with our evil flesh.
- Galatians 5:24-26: We "crucify" our flesh by depriving it of
- #1: Fast from the world
- Just like if you don't eat, you become weak. Therefore, if you discipline
yourself from yielding to temptation, the need for the evil desires weakens. (Just like
when you don't go to church to get the Word, you eventually get spiritually weak...
- Put someone to the "$1000 Test": Would someone who is physically ill go to
church on Sunday? That person would say, "*cough, cough* I feel too sick to go to church."
What if they could go to church, get $1000 out of it, and leave?
That person would say, "*cough, cough* Let me get my coat."
- For those who despise church so much they wouldn't travel 10-13 miles
for $1000: would you prefer to drive 28-40 miles roundtrip to make $8.50/hr a day?
Because that's what you're getting out of your employment (for those of you in that
- Fasting will result in a spiritual awakening. If you restrain yourself from
food for one or two days, you will begin to think spiritually and your next meal will
help you appreciate how the Lord puts food on your table.
- #2: No television for 24 hours.
- #3: Faith - taking God at His Word
God wants us to submit to Him through:
- Giving (cheerfully)
- Showing love toward one another
Some say the church is failing because its members are not witnessing.
The church's members are not witnessing because the church is not being fed properly.