This a sermon transcript preached by Timothy Williams. These were preached many years back, some decades ago. Preacher Timothy Williams is not associated with any church, denomination, or ministry. Blessed are those who love the honey of God’s Word!

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103)

This sermons transcript is located at www.luke1425.org


Sermon Area Basic Introduction

Not Even Death

Not even death can keep a preacher from preaching. A godly preachers words come from fire in the bones. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)



On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.

Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12)

The sermons normally lasted 45 to 60 but do not grumble that my sermons were long. True by today’s milk toast entertain me Christian standards they are lengthy. But not long when one considers the days are evil and that ignorance floods the church. …making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)


Preach The Word
www.luke1425.org


I never preached about the Word of God. Rather I was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word.

What I Mean By Sound Doctrine

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;
correct, rebuke and encourage
with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:2)

Audio Sermon Files


 

Dying To Sin, Part 1

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Peter is going to discuss the fact that he is soon going to die and he wants to remind everyone of what the gospel is about. In this refreshment series we’re going to examine dying to sin. I’m not talking about just being convicted of sin or seeing some sins but being dead to sin in our lives. This is exactly what Peter reminds them of.

2 Peter 1:5-8 – For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am talking about making every effort to put sin to death. Again I’m going to repeat it over and over again that I’m not going to talk about being convicted of sin, but being dead to our very selves.

1 Corinthians 1:17 – For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospelnot with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

There is a lot of discussion today about the cross of Jesus Christ. There’s even a lot of prayer, discussion, and preaching about being dead to sin and being righteous but it comes from words of worldly wisdom. How do we know that it comes from worldly wisdom? The sin that remains in the church proves it is being preached with worldly wisdom. No one is suffering, dying, or hurting over their sin and no one is really putting it to death. Instead, there’s a lot of talk about holiness but not the holiness that comes from God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Everything that we look at in this series will be completely foolish to those who are perishing and going to hell. If you listen to this series and decide that this stuff is false or doesn’t apply, then you know exactly where you are going to go when you die. You will go to hell. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it the power of God. This series will follow Jesus (that’s a novel thought, isn’t it) as he goes to be crucified. It begins at the last supper and ends at the resurrection. It compares his life to how we die to sin in our own lives. In other words, this is how God deals with sin and how God expects us to make every effort in the Lord to be dead to sin. Now if we really want to be truthful with ourselves, all we are really doing as God’s people most of the time is just dealing with sin, we’re not dead to it. Usually when someone first comes to the Lord, they can point to things and say, “I died to that sin or I’ve overcome this one.” But give them a year or so in the Lord and they’re pretty much stuck in the same place they were when they first became a Christian. You don’t find much death or much growth at all. Oh you find them preaching more, serving more, doing more activities in the church, but not dead to self and dead to sin. This series looks at the process of dying to sin. To one degree or another you will experience all of these things as God puts to death the sins in your life.

Let’s take a quick overview for a minute and look at the things that Jesus went through. I will summarize it very quickly and then back up and go over this in more detail. What is important is not that we go over these fifteen things to change or just gain some outline or study guide. What is important is gaining the crucifixion that only the Holy Spirit can bring.

Romans 8:12-14 – Therefore, brothers, we have an obligationbut it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Nobody can commit suicide by crucifixion. I once read the story of a man who literally tried to do that. He tried to put a nail in one but it was his other hand that he couldn’t finish up. He did manage though to put a nail though his feet and his hand and hung himself out a window but of course he could never finish this particular deed because you cannot kill yourself in this way. In the same way we are a people who cannot deal with our own sins and yet that is exactly what goes on in the church. The reason this happens is people don’t want to give up their sin. They don’t want to let God really crucify it so they say, “OK, God. I’ll deal with this aspect over here.” So in all our self-effort and self-righteousness we set out to deal with the sin in our life. Basically everyone wants to clean up their life but no one wants to give up their life.

Romans 8:13-14 – For if you live according to the sinful nature you will die but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Those who have learned how to cry, “Abba, Father” are putting to death the misdeeds of their bodies. So often as God tries to crucify individuals, they never die to sin so they never feel the fellowship that comes from the Holy Spirit. They run to false churches and false preachers that tell them just to say “Abba, Father” or just have faith because they are a child of God. So they feel okay. But those who honestly allow the Holy Spirit to come into their lives and deal with sin as the Holy Spirit deems fit have the freedom, joy and power to cry “Abba” or “Dadda.” These people really have God as their father in truth and Spirit. As we look at what Jesus went through and compare his life to our own there is one thing we need to understand. We have to understand clearly that the first thing God will teach is that it is only by his power and by his Spirit as we follow him that sin can be dealt with. We have seen over many years individuals who try to deal with sin on their own, not because of ignorance, but because they don’t want to give up their sin. They never die to it and become a new creation. They do all kinds of outward things. They’ll change their wording and the way they say things. They’ll try to pray and serve more. They do all these outward things but sin is never put to death. Self actually never dies. Paul addressed this whole issue. As he watched the Galatians, he noticed how in all of their human effort, wisdom, and design they tried to be righteous and live the Christian life.

Galatians 6:15 – Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

What is missing so often in the church today is really having the new creation. Men still use human design and effort, not necessarily under the old law as people accused Paul. But human effort is simply human effort. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Ten Commandments or new outlines and guidelines designed by men. What we are talking about is the new creation which is something totally different each and every day.

Again these are the steps that Jesus went through to be crucified, and you should compare this to allowing the Holy Spirit to crucify your sinful nature. Let me give you a quick overview. Of course, the first thing is Jesus warns you to pray about sin at the last supper. Jesus also warns you to pray about sin while you are in the garden. Then the mob (or sin) rushes in to take hold of you and beats you up. You then deny Jesus in the garden while Jesus is being mocked, spit on, and beaten and likewise sin knocks you silly. You try your worldly justifications in going to Pilate, who is of the world. You then try your religious Bible study—you go to Herod and that doesn’t help. Then you go back to the world—that is back to Pilate. You’re offered a way out by choosing either Barabbas or the cross. The majority of individuals at this point choose to be a Barabbas and to be set free. They don’t want to be sent to the cross and die.

You’re then flogged and awakened to your sin if you decide to submit to God. Then your self-righteous glory is seen for what it is and you receive a crown of thorns. You’re made to carry a cross and then walk down in the public square in front of everyone. Everyone knows the sin you’re being dealt with, it’s called walking in the light. Someone else is even there to help you carry the cross and point you in that direction. The nails are then put in your hands and your feet so that you cannot continue to sin. The world takes all of your protection, all your clothing. You’re mocked and even someone on the cross next to you will tell you to save yourself and to save him. The world and the worldly one want anything but the cross of Jesus Christ.

While you’re on the cross you continue to offer comfort and life to other people because you know how to endure God’s discipline. Finally, while on the cross as your strength is drained out, and you begin to rely more and more upon God and your submission increases, you submit your spirit to God and wait upon the Lord. You die to sin and you wait in the tomb for however long it takes for Jesus to get to you. Just like Lazarus who had to wait upon the Lord for four days until the Lord showed up to raise him up from the dead, we too wait in total helplessness in a dark place without any power of our own in order for Jesus to come and resurrect us. Then you can talk about the resurrected life. Again all of these things to one degree or another will be ours as we deal with a large sin or a small sin. This is how sin is put to death. This is how the Holy Spirit comes to each of us to put sin to death. The question is: Are we willing for this to happen?

All right, let’s begin now to look at this in more detail. Let’s assume, first of all that you have a sin in your life but really what we’re talking about is self in general not just one specific sin. Jesus did not say to deny one or two aspects of your self. Jesus said to deny self. So the first thing you have to do is to admit that you are totally wicked. You are totally in self and self has to be crucified. The Holy Spirit has to come along and lead you in such a way that the flesh and self is put to death. This is a daily thing.

2 Corinthians 4:10 – We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Every day in one way or another you will always carry around the death of Jesus so that you might have the resurrected life also. Those who refuse the death of Jesus Christ are not experiencing the resurrected life. We might be hyper and all excited about Jesus Christ, but it’s not the new life. Now remember, crucifixion is a slow process. This is not death by firing squad, therapy lessons, or changing a few outward things. It’s God coming to us and taking all of self and putting it on the cross. We then die to certain aspects of self as all of self is dying. Everybody wants to change certain things in their lives. Even the world does that. For instance, someone in the world may want to give up smoking. So they will go through all the steps of denying themselves in order to no longer crave smoking. Jesus Christ wants to come along and crucify our desires to smoke so that it is no longer there.

Another example is lust. So many people deal with lust. You can pretty much walk into any church and ask, “How many people deal with lust?” About everybody will raise their hands. If you then ask, “How many people are dead to lust?” very few hands will go up. This is the kind of power the Holy Spirit wants to bring so that lust does not consume us but each day we die more and more to that particular part of self that enjoys lust. Let us begin now to totally throw out the excuse that says, “I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ for many years. I know that I am saved and I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Peter had that kind of relationship. He began with humility and brokenness but he needed to learn the depth of what humility and brokenness are all about. In the same way, we come to God humbly and receive his grace and mercy. But it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we begin to taste what true humility and brokenness are.

Luke 5:7-10 – So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”

This is the beginning of Peter’s walk and it’s the beginning of many an individual’s walk with Jesus Christ. They begin with humility, confession, and dealing with sin. But then when the Lord tries to come along to put sin to death in them, they begin to reject it. Many fall away before they get to the point of sin really being dealt with. Yet when you talk to them about their hardness of heart, they point back to the past. “I received the Lord back then and you don’t know how much I’ve prayed and served.” So in the same way, Peter followed Jesus Christ for three years and preached the good news to other people. Peter prayed, raised the dead, healed the sick, and was with Jesus Christ. He heard some grand sermons, he took notes in his little notebook, he had everything outlined and highlighted. He was fully prepared because he had humbled himself and followed Jesus Christ for three years. He thought he was ready for work. He was communing with Jesus Christ. In the same way, we pride ourselves with the fact that we’ve been in Jesus Christ for so many years, we go to church, and we might even be elders, deacons or even a preacher. We might be of great value to the church but not be dead to sin or allowing Jesus Christ to crucify it.

Let’s jump three and a half years in the future and go to Luke 22:20-26. We are going to look at the last supper. Remember Peter had been fellowshipping with the Lord just as you have been. He had been taking notes, underlining the Bible, listening, working, giving, and sacrificing. He had been with the Lord for some time. In short, he was communing with the Lord.

Luke 22:20 – In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Jesus begins to talk of the good news. He begins to share with them his blood that will cleanse them and deliver them from sin. Everyone wants to hear that message. Everyone is excited about the message of receiving the blood of Jesus Christ. Indeed when you begin to talk to other individuals about sins in their life and what they need to die to they often respond, “I am covered by the blood of the lamb.” Basically, “Leave me alone and let me whitewash my sin.” But Jesus Christ is talking about the blood that would forgive them and the fact that Peter is going to have to die to some sin. In the same way, you might be hearing Jesus whisper to you, “you are covered by my blood,” but you still have to go die to sin. You are still not dead to it but are still alive in your flesh.

Luke 22:21-24 – “But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

Here they are after communing with the Lord after three and a half years. Jesus is talking about his death and suffering, but all they are concerned about is themselves. We see this same thing in the church today. You can be talking about the most noble things in Jesus Christ, his power, his glory, his promises, his new life for us, his joy that can be ours, and what everyone does is take that in for themselves. They are only concerned about their relationship with Jesus Christ. Even as they reach out to other individuals to help them in their relationship, all they are really concerned about is being puffed up. They want someone to pat them on the back and say, “Oh, my, what a servant you are.” So self is very sinister and it is hard to be put to death. Indeed, it’s so hard to put to death that the Holy Spirit has to do it. They are arguing about who is the greatest. If they would at this point judge themselves, they wouldn’t fall under all the other judgments that are going to take place here.

1 Corinthians 11:31 – But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.

Because we will not judge ourselves and jump to the cross and allow the process to take place on a daily basis, we have this large sin called self that we will not allow God to deal with. What happens is we are constantly struggling but never finding the resurrected life. Because we won’t judge ourselves quickly and on a daily basis, we won’t let the cross crucify us on the small things so the large things continue to grow. Or the small things become large.

1 Corinthians 11:32 – When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.

So we fall under judgment and become a people who are disciplined because we would not judge ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to put to death the sins that we see.

James 4:8-9 – Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

Ninety-nine percent of people in most churches are just way too happy. They think they are moving along in Jesus Christ and they will talk about the fact, “I commune with the Lord. We fellowship together. I go walking out in the woods and pray to the Lord. He speaks back to my heart and we are really in love with one another.” But just like the disciples who were communing with Jesus at the Last Supper, all they could do was feed themselves and talk about themselves to other people. They wanted to know who was the greatest and what their standing was in Jesus Christ. They wanted to know how close each one was to the Lord. James says that behavior is double minded. Jesus Christ is talking about the fact that you need to have sin put to death in your life, yet all you can do is talk about yourself. You sap from the Lord everything for yourself. That’s why he says you are double minded. Your heart is not pure and in everything you do you have a selfish motive hoping that God will agree with you.

You go into the prayer closet and lay your requests before the Lord. You don’t go into the prayer closet to die to all of your requests and ask the Lord, “Lord, only let me pray the things that are your will and let me be dead to everything that I will or desire.” Instead people go into the prayer closet and say, “Bless me in my job. Give me a home. My kid wants to go to college here. Save this person.” It’s constantly me and what I want. We do not say, “Thy will be done.” Go into the prayer closet and wait on the Lord for what you are supposed to pray. Ask the Lord to crucify every desire and wish that you have. Ask him to put to death every joy, every sadness, and everything about self. Ask him for all of self to be crucified and pray only for the Lord’s will. You may want to order the publication “Thy Will be Done” for more details about doing God’s will. Right now we are just refreshing our minds and hearts about how sin is put to death in our lives. We are, of course, talking about working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 – Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed―not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence―continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

When we are sitting at the table communing with the Lord and he begins to tell us that we have sin in our life, we need to stop the discussion about ourselves. We need to sit down, listen and say, “Yes, Lord.” If we would learn this we could just get past all the humiliation and shame that Peter went through, and get on to being crucified with Jesus Christ. The crucifixion process may not take quite as long. Peter, of course, is going to deny the fact that he has a problem. Peter is going to say, “Self isn’t my master. I love you, Lord,” and because of that he will deny Jesus Christ. How few people there are who will listen to the Holy Spirit when he gently and quietly comes and says, “This is sin in your life.” It’s easy to tell these individuals because when God sends you by the power of the Holy Spirit to point sin out in someone’s life and they reject it, there’s no way they can listen to the Lord.

Luke 22:28 – You are those who have stood by me in my trials.

He offered them a compliment. I am sure they are all puffed up in it and thinking, “See how close I am to the Lord. See how much I give and pray. Look at the years I have walked with him and the sermons I have listened to. I have the truth.” All of these things are being said in their hearts because they are discussing who is the greatest. So when Jesus came along and say they were the ones who stood by him in his trails, it no doubt puffs them up tremendously. They are thinking, “Jesus finally realizes how much I love him. My relationship with him is secure. I am really a child of the King.”

Luke 22:29 – And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,

Now they are really getting excited. So, too, pastors stand up and preach to their congregation and talk about how the congregation serves Jesus Christ. They talk about all the things that are theirs in Jesus Christ. They boast that they have the kingdom, power, and glory because of Jesus. They always talk about this aspect of Jesus Christ because they don’t understand what it is to die to sin. They don’t want the cross. Jesus Christ knows they are going to go to the cross. They have no choice. The problem today, of course, is that pastors and fellow Christians will not show other people the way to the cross.

Luke 22:30 – …so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

There is no doubt that the disciples are blessed men in God, but they are heading for serious trouble. They are blessed but they are headed for a cleansing which they truly need. Three and one-half years of preaching has not cleansed them, but the cross will cleanse them. In the same way, Three and one-half years of preaching may not cleanse you. You might listen to this whole tape series and not be cleansed. You might be headed for trouble. You may not be seeing the self that needs to be crucified. You may not understand what it is on a daily basis to feel the power of the cross crucifying sin in your life. You are blessed, no doubt, but you are headed for serious, serious trouble. Let us listen to the Lord so that self can be put to death, and you can learn both the glory and the suffering of the cross. Those who learn this secret can go on to grow in the Lord. They can add to their faith, goodness and can mature in the Lord because they have tasted of the power of the cross that puts self to death. So every hour of every day they see new things that need to be put to death, and they know where the Holy Spirit is going to lead them. They know how to rejoice in it and submit to the cross. They do not have to go back to this continual major brokenness over and over again. Things do not have to be explained to them about the gospel and the message of the cross over and over again. They have tasted of its joy and power. So they understand it and can run to it. They submit to it and keep serving the Lord even though they die and suffer daily.

Jesus goes on now to warn Peter about what is going to take place.

Luke 22:31 – Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

How much more serious can Jesus be? He is trying to get Peter’s attention. He calls him by name twice. You can hear the love, compassion and pleading by Jesus to get Peter’s attention. “Simon, Simon, listen to me. Pay attention.” Even Peter had been with Jesus when he was transfigured and what did God say to those that were up on the mountain while the transfiguration was going on? “This is my son whom I love. Listen to Him.” Listen to Him! Peter hadn’t learned the lesson even though he heard the words from God himself. How much more of a soft heart do we need to get when we read the word and hear what God has to say. Yet we don’t repent and we don’t really listen. We mock the words back to God. We go to somebody and say, “This really needs to be dealt with. You need to go to the cross and die.” They may respond, “Yes, I need to go to the cross and die. That was sin,” but they are just mocking the words back. There is no death. They didn’t hear a word you said even though they can repeat it back, write it on a piece of paper or even preach about it. They did not hear it by the power of Jesus. They were deaf to the Spirit. Just as Peter up on the transfigured mountain could not hear what God had to say.

Luke 22:31 – Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

This sin is so serious that God is going to have to let Satan do the work. Oh, that Peter would have had a soft heart. That we would have soft hearts so Satan would not have to sift us. Oh that God would not have to unleash the power of hell for us to see sin. How stubborn we are! We won’t let God deal with us in a gentle way so he has to send demons against us. I know a lot of individuals for whom that doesn’t even work. They just lose their salvation. Are you listening to the gentle, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit or is God preparing to unleash a demon in your life in order for sin to be dealt with?

Luke 22:32 – But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Peter can’t hear a word that is being said, neither of the promises nor the danger that awaits him. When people do not understand what it is to be crucified to sin, they cannot understand what you are saying to them. Indeed they think they live it, they think their church preaches it, they think they are doing the best they can. They cannot hear the promise where Jesus says, “I prayed for you. You will return and be strengthened.” He can’t hear the promises, nor can he hear the warning. How sad it is when we have a hard heart. We cannot hear the glory of Jesus Christ, we cannot understand the resurrected life, nor will we submit to the crucifixion by the power of the cross. In fact, Peter calls Jesus a liar.

Luke 22:33 – But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

He turns to Jesus Christ, looks him straight in the eye and calls him a liar. Him whom Peter declared to be Lord and Master, whom he had come to understand as being God knowing all things, yet he called Jesus a liar. How many times does God send certain individuals or situations in our lives and God is trying to tell us about a sin that needs to be put to death. If we refuse to listen Satan will have to come and sift us. We either call him a liar or deal with the sin in such a light manner that essentially we still call him a liar. We don’t deal with it as it is it really is, something very, very serious.

Luke 22:34 – Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Do you see how he denies the fact? “Lord, I am ready to go to prison and to death!” Peter thinks he’s ready to die for Jesus but not until self is dead will he be able to do that. You might pride yourself in the fact, “Oh, I would die for Jesus. I love Jesus,” but if self is still alive, you will deny Jesus.

Matthew 26:33-35 – Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

How many congregations there are like this where everybody says, “No, I won’t deny the Lord. I love the Lord. Who are you to judge me with this message. I know what it is to be crucified with Jesus Christ. I am covered by the blood of the lamb. I belong to Jesus Christ. I pray and serve and listen to sermons. Our pastor preaches Sound Doctrine.” But I want you to notice that when Jesus Christ comes to Peter and tells him he’s going to sin, he’s very specific about the sin.

Matthew 26:34 – Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Jesus is so specific, he’s down to the barnyard animals. If Jesus is this specific in dealing with sin in our life, why is our confession so generalized? What Peter would say today if he followed the example of the church is, “Congregation, I need to tell you that I felt some conviction from the Lord. There’s some self in me that needs to die.” Everybody would go, “Oh, what a humble man. Oh how he’s confessing. Look how he serves God.” But there’s nothing specific said. Peter wouldn’t say, “Jesus Christ told me that this night I am going to sin and disown him three times.” Jesus told him the exact number of times, but Peter wouldn’t come out with specific confessions any more than you do. “Not only that, he told me that the rooster is going to crow.” If Jesus is so specific about our sin, why is our confession of the sin so generalized? I also want you to notice how Jesus warns Peter ahead of time.

How many of you have been warned ahead of time of the sins you are going to commit? Goodness, you haven’t even confessed and dealt with the sins that you see and have done in the past, let alone to hear from Jesus and repent of the things that are in the future. A man who is mature in the Lord, who is grown up and understands what it means to be crucified with Jesus Christ, see sin ahead of time and puts it to death. Most of you walk along because you don’t want to give up self and you think, “OK, I am going to be clean and righteous today. I am going to be zealous for the Lord today. I am going to pray, give and serve. I am going to do all these things for Jesus Christ today.” That’s what you tell yourself and other people and so you find it offensive when Jesus comes to you by the power of the word and says, “In three days you are going to sin in this way.”

Goodness we think we are so righteous, and so proper that we cannot even see the sins we commit right now, today, this hour, this minute, let alone to hear from the Spirit to see sins we might commit in the future. But that’s where the joy is! If I carry around in my body the death of Jesus Christ on a daily basis, I get to hear from the Lord that I am going to sin before I commit the sin, which means I get to repent before I commit the sin. I get to let the Holy Spirit put to death that part of myself so that I don’t commit the sin. This is the grand life. Not running around on eggshells saying, “Did I get caught in sin? Is this sin over here going to be revealed? I will do the best I can today.” Blessed is the man who can hear the Holy Spirit warn him not only about sins that he currently commits or that he did in the past, but the ones he’s going to commit in the future and repent of all three of those at one time. There is rich life in that.

Mark 14:31 – But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

I repeat it because it is repeated in scripture. I repeat it because you repeat your same justifications over and over again. If I, as a pastor, get weary of the same justifications, the same excuses and the same questions, how much more do you think God gets weary of hearing your same reasons and excuses over and over again in your heart. What comes out of your mouth is already in your heart to a much larger degree. I am just a simple man, and what I hear and see by the power of the Spirit is nothing compared to what God sees in your heart that has to change.

John 13:38 – Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”

What sin are you getting ready to commit because you will not listen to the Lord? Remember what Romans says, those who are led by the Spirit and who put to death the misdeeds of the body by the power of the Spirit are sons of God. What are you getting ready to fall into? What aspects of self are going to burst forth on the scene all because you will not allow Jesus Christ to crucify self. I know you read scripture and pray. I know you do all those things and try to listen to the Holy Spirit. But you don’t seek God with all your heart. Scripture says “You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.” You can seek God with 99%, but until you finally surrender everything, you will not know the power of the resurrected life nor the power of being crucified with Jesus Christ. You are still looking at scripture through worldly eyes. You think you already understand what the cross is about. You think you understand humility and walking the narrow road. You are still justified in your eyes and in your friends’ eyes.

Luke 22:35 – Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

Now here Jesus Christ is giving them another sermon and quoting scripture to them, just as scripture is quoted to you and you receive new sermons. But their understanding of it is all worldly and fleshly because they will not allow the cross of Jesus to crucify their flesh. So in all of their wisdom and spirit-filled glory they say this in verse 38.

Luke 22:38 – The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied.

Of course, Jesus kind of mocks them in his reply. I can just see it now. He’s laying out this wonderful sermon and talking about his death. Jesus is preaching by the power of the Spirit and they say, “Here we go. Here are the swords. We are going to live it!” I can just see Jesus drop his hands down, drop his head and say, “Alright guys, that’s enough. Like that’s going to solve your problem. You haven’t listened or understood anything I have told you. In the same way, there are millions of people who claim to be Christians, who read the scriptures and yet still see it from a worldly point of view. So we share all this about the cross and letting the Holy Spirit crucify the sinful nature. If you can work past all the rebellion in the first place, they will say, “Oh, I understand it. Here’s my cross. Here’s how the Spirit crucifies sin in my own life. Oh, yes, I agree with what you are saying.” Here the disciples agree with what Jesus is saying but they do not have a clue as to what he means. So someone you know is filled with the Spirit and understands the cross and he explains to you what it is and you say, “Oh, yes, I understand that. I see what you are saying.” But you haven’t gone to the cross and died. Until you get to the cross and have self put to death, you will not understand the ways of the Lord. You will not have the truth or the resurrected life. You will not have every grand thing that is hidden in Jesus Christ.

Jesus has just told you what is in your heart. He has come to you to say, “This sin is here. It has to be dealt with and you’ve denied it. You have been refusing the cross for a long time.” You have been going to churches that are worthless and listening to pastors that don’t understand what it is to be crucified in such a way that sin is actually put to death. Oh, you agree quickly enough with the message of the cross but you are running from it. So Jesus goes into the garden and you go in with all of your sinful glory, and all of your flesh to pray with him.

Luke 22:39-40 – Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

What is Jesus concerned with? He’s concerned with them. He is getting ready to go and die on the cross and yet because he has carried his cross and denied himself daily he is able to turn to them and say, “Guys, you have a problem. Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Jesus comes to us and pleads with us, “Pray that you will not commit future sins.” Again, we are right back to the issue of future sins. Most of you have all kinds of sins you have to repent of in the past that you haven’t even confessed. You are still offering justifications and rationalizations for why you did what you did. In fact, you think that a lot of the things you did were righteous and holy, but they were nothing but total sin. You were like the disciples who said, “Here are some swords,” and Jesus says, “That’s enough.” So Jesus Christ comes to us and says, “You’re going to fall into temptation and sin,” and we respond, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I am covered by the blood.” How sad it is when we mock the words of the Lord back to him. Think of the stupidity of that.

Luke 22:40-42 – On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Jesus Christ communes with the Father and begins with, “Father, if you are willing.” We should go into the prayer closet and ask, “Lord, what are you willing for me to pray? This aspect is what I want to pray, but not my will but yours be done.” Then honestly begin to pray for his will.

Luke 22:43-46 – An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

When most people pray, all they care about is their quiet time and getting enough peace so they can make it through the day. They want to feel the presence of the Lord and be blessed in all that they do. But when Jesus Christ goes into pray he gets more of the cross and self-denial. For him, that is the blessing. When Jesus Christ goes into pray his sweat is like blood and it drops off him during the wrestling and surrendering process. The answered prayer that is given to Jesus Christ is more denial of self. Jesus finds that to be his joy. So we too, those of us who know the power of the cross, find this to be the joy of our quiet time. Do you know what a good quiet time is to someone who understands the power of the cross? A good quiet time is when there’s less of you after you have come out of the prayer closet than when you went in. You come out ready to deny self more. In fact, more of self has been denied so less of self comes out of the prayer closet.

Because Jesus Christ led this kind of selfless life, he didn’t care whether he had a good quiet time. He didn’t care if he was blessed in the quiet time. He didn’t come out and say, “Hey, guys! Guess what, I’m strengthened. I’m ready to go and die on the cross for you. I’m filled with God’s glory. I’m so pumped up I feel so great. I can’t wait till this whole thing takes place.” He was unconcerned with his emotional state or his blessings in God. He has come to die and lay down his life for others. Only those who go into the prayer closet, wrestle in the garden with Jesus, listen to what he has to say, and pray ahead of time that they don’t fall into temptation will come out ready to give to other people. He comes out exhausted because he was praying in such a way that he expended all kinds of energy. He told the disciples, “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” I want you to notice that people count on the fact that Jesus Christ gives them the power, glory, and forgiveness, yet he’s the one telling you to pray so that you will not fall into temptation.

How we have been sold a bill of goods within the church. How little you hear prayer within the church that says, “I pray that I don’t fall into temptation.” Instead the church today tells us, “Never mind about those sins. God will forgive you. He will overlook them. You’re a child and you belong to God. Don’t listen to people who bring a condemning message.” When is the last time you saw a whole group of people walking forward in the church as you listen to their prayers they were saying, “Lord, don’t let me fall into this sin. Lord keep the church from this specific sin over here. Don’t let this happen to us. Oh, Lord, let us be delivered from self before we ever commit the sin.”

Again most people are so busy confessing the current sins and the past sins that they don’t even want to worry or face the fact that they could commit sins in the future. They are asleep in their sin and weary of the cross. This denial of self that Jesus had directed wore them out. The denial of self that Jesus practiced gave him new life. They are asleep from self pity, sorrow, and worries. They’ve had to search their hearts and look for sins in their lives. Jesus has rebuked them and they are just all worn out and sleeping when they should be praying. How many people we have seen fall away because over a period of time God has brought them things that need to be dealt with. God showed them sins that they knew were there and they just got tired of it. They just went to sleep. The temptation is coming to seize them. Sin is going to give birth. They are too busy with their concerns to pray about the sins that Jesus gold them to pray about. He prays with drops of blood while they drop off to sleep. Yet, the victory is ours, but we have to be awake in the light. We have to be listening to Jesus. If by the power of the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Ephesians 5:13-14 – But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

When Jesus Christ wakes you up and says, “You have this sin in your life. Pray that you will not tall into temptation. Let Me deal with it. Let us put it to death today.” We need to say, “Yes, Lord, I will pray and I will wrestle. I will let you do the work. I will submit to your discipline unto death.” Please take note, the disciples are being convicted all the way through Christ’s ministry on earth. Being convicted of sin means absolutely nothing unless it leads to the death of that sin. This aspect of walking in the light where sins are exposed and future sins are prayed about so people don’t fall into them is unknown in the church today. 1 John 1:6-9 it talks about walking in the light. The church mocks the words but they do not understand it.

1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

As we walk in the light with one another by the power of the Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus Christ begins to cleanse us of sin. Isn’t that what’s going on in the garden? Jesus Christ was saying, “You have this sin. Pray that you do not fall into temptation. This specifically needs to be dealt with,” and we are asleep. We won’t come into the light. We love the darkness. If we would come into the light, sins would be revealed to us on a daily basis. We would be given the power to overcome and be forgiven before it even comes our way. We would be fully prepared as a people marching forward. We would understand what it is to suffer daily with Jesus Christ that we might have the resurrection of Jesus also. Of course, when you find a people asleep like this, they deny that they commit the sins.

1 John 1:8 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

The Holy Spirit comes along as he did to the disciples and says, “This sin is in your life and we say, ‘Oh, no it’s not.’” Now I know some of you are smart enough to say, “I know that I have sin.” Everybody will admit they have sins, faults, and problems. We are talking about when Jesus Christ comes to us and says, “Look, self has to go. This specific sin needs to be dealt with.” We deny we have the problem or offer an excuse. Maybe we’ve even learned to play the game of saying, “Yes, you’re right.” We don’t offer reasons or excuses. We have learned to immediately say, “Yes, I have the sin,” but we don’t go on to die. We think that it was just enough to admit that we have the sin.

1 John 1:8 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Even if we admit that we have the sin, but we don’t go onto die, then we are really not admitting that we have the sin. A man who sees that he has a sin, (at least who truly loves God), wants to go on to see that the sin is put to death so it’s not alive in him.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If you want to be able to overcome sin and have self put to death, to wake up one day and say, “Hey, I didn’t even think about sinning this way today,” then begin to confess your sins as the Holy Spirit shows it to you. Find other people who know what it is to walk in the light and begin to give yourself to that light. It’s going to hurt at first. Crucifixion is not a soft, gentle process. It’s nails in the hands and feet, it’s floggings and beatings, it’s embarrassment, but there’s also the resurrection and the joy set before us. Scripture says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.”

James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Everyone talks about the power of prayer. You can buy books on the subject, but nobody confesses their sins with the same power. Nobody gets specific about it. Goodness to even receive Jesus Christ today means you just bow your head, put your arms up, and say, “OK, Lord, I accept you in my heart.” It’s a very secretive, private kind of thing done in the darkness.

James 5:16-17 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

We have already talked about how Jesus comes to us with specific sins, down to the timing of the barnyard animals. In other words, we need to confess sins specifically, not generically. Not just self in general, not just sins we have committed in the past but ones we might in the future.

Now the reality of the sin we are going to commit is getting a little closer. Judas now comes into the garden and we begin to wake up. Only it’s getting too late now and our sin is going to run over us.

Luke 22:47 – While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,

Most individuals are just Judases. They do not want Jesus Christ to go to the cross. They hate the message of the cross and though they come with a kiss, though they come with all kinds of kindness and support and say, “I respect you. I love you and I know some of the things you say are true but you just go to the extreme a little bit.” If you begin to live this message, you will start hearing all the excuses also. But they come with a kiss. When they don’t get what they want from that, they will turn you over to the mob to kill you and silence you because they hate the message of the cross.

Luke 22:48-51 – …but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

The disciples are still oblivious to their sin and what’s going to take place. Peter doesn’t have a clue that he might really commit the sin that Jesus warned him about. He had been convicted enough but he denied the conviction. He wouldn’t listen to the conviction that was in his heart, so he stands up to defend his Jesus. In all of his self-effort and self-righteous justification he stands up and swings his sword to protect his little Jesus. In the same way, God comes to you with conviction about sin, he brings to you those who know what it is to walk to crucified life, and they begin to reveal to you things you need to die to. You stand up with your sword, your word of God, your power and begin to slash at them and say, “No, I’m going to protect this Jesus.” Your actions are totally sin. You are protecting the wrong thing. Peter was protecting the wrong Jesus. Had he understood Jesus he would have helped him go to the cross and die.

God tries to come along by the power of the Holy Spirit to crucify your sin and there are other Christians who stand in your way and they begin to strike at Jesus. They try to protect your Jesus and will not let you go to the cross and die. I promise you that if you give yourself over to the Holy Spirit to be crucified to sin, there will be people who stand up with their sword to keep it from happening. Think about it, all the Bible studies Peter had gone to, all the sermons he had listened to are going to utterly fail him. They are of no value to him because self had not been put death. How many, many people (for that matter preachers at the pulpit) have heard all the sermons, and gone through all the studies but self is still alive. May they come to a place where all those things utterly fail them. Of course, now the darkness is going to come in over the land and clobber them. Their sin is just going to overwhelm them. If they would have repented and prayed not to fall into temptation how things would have been different. But they wouldn’t pay attention to the words of Jesus Christ. No doubt if this would happen today where Jesus warns, “Pray that you don’t fall into temptation,” Peter would think to himself, “I wonder what the Greek and Hebrew say in this matter. I wonder if this is a cultural command. Did this just apply way back when? Jesus, that sounds awfully legalistic and judgmental.” You know the usual things that you hear today in the church. We’ve prevailed against the Lord even as we have said, “Amen,” and the now the darkness comes in.

Luke 22:52-53 – Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour―when darkness reigns.”

How sad it is that the disciples hear Jesus saying these words and they’re not prepared for it. How sad it is when we are defeated in our Christian walks because Jesus Christ has warned us ahead of time about the darkness, yet we do not know how to overcome because we have not allowed the cross to crucify our flesh. We’ve said amen to everything Jesus has preached but we did not let self be crucified. Now the sin that Jesus warned us about is going to be ours. Remember, we’re comparing how Jesus Christ was crucified to how we too will be crucified with Christ. The comparison of Jesus taking on our sin is the same process we have to go through in order to get the resurrected life. Now at this point, of course, everyone is lost and scattered.

First, we had the course at the Lord’s Supper where we denied we had the sin. Jesus continues to convict us and pleads with us to pray so that we don’t fall into temptation, but we ignored him on those points. We decided those were cultural or we didn’t know what the Greek or Hebrew said. We listened to our pastor’s interpretation. We don’t obey what the Holy Spirit has to say, we obey what our church preaches. We go through all this denial and self-justification. Then the mob comes in, sin comes in and we stand up in all our power and glory, pull out our sword and begin to slaughter. We do exactly what Jesus Christ does not want done. The sin continues to overwhelm us because that is not how Jesus gives us the victory and then we’re scattered. We are lost. We’re a little depressed at this point. There’s a cloud hanging over us and we don’t why. So, of course, we go to pastors that will pump us up and make us feel good. Pastors who will blow away the cloud or say “That’s just Satan.” What’s so ironic about this is that it really is Satan. Satan had asked to sift Peter. The reason Satan was in Peter’s life was he had some aspect of self that he wouldn’t give up. So the next time your pastor tells you that your sin is from Satan you might ask, “Yes, but why is Satan is able to get to me in this area. What aspect of my sin or my self is there that wasn’t listening to Jesus Christ?”

So again, they’re scattered, they can’t hear God’s voice, and they’re not sure what’s wrong. Jesus is hiding himself, and they can’t go to him anymore. He’s been taken from the garden of prayers, from the aspect of communion. You were in the garden with Jesus Christ and kind of waking up and going back to sleep and saying, “Jesus is praying that’s nice. He loves me. He’s praying for me. That’s nice too.” You wake up a little more and you think, “He’s going to die on the cross for me. That’s really great,” and you go back to sleep. You’re just comfortable and everything’s fine. In the meantime, while you’re sleeping, sin is beginning to overtake you.

Mark 14:50 – Then everyone deserted him and fled.

Sin burst forth on the scene. It’s amazing how short that sentence is. Then everyone deserted him and fled. The truth has finally come to light. It’s finally exposed. Not only were the words true and the sin committed but it was really committed.

Mark 14:51-52 – A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

 

You know how it is when sin comes in on you. It just overwhelms you and strips you until you’re naked. You’ll do anything to have that sin. In the same way at this point in time, the sin comes in, strips us naked, beats us up and takes advantage of us because we would not listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and pray about future temptations. It has its way with us and we flee naked. We’ll do anything but run to the cross to die. We’ll do anything but run to Jesus Christ. In fact, even at this point if we wanted to run to Jesus Christ to find him, we couldn’t. He’s been taken away. He’s hidden. He’s been taken to trial. There’s a lot of times in the Christian walk when God is going to allow Jesus Christ to be hidden from you because you were so stubborn in the beginning and would not listen to his voice. So when the time comes that you do need his help and do want to cry out to him, he’s hidden. You can’t find him, and you’re lost. That’s why Jesus had to pray that Peter’s faith would not fail him because you’re not going to find Jesus at this point. In fact, at this point, you’re just going to sin more and more.

In the same way, you will not listen to the warnings and conviction that God came to bring. So Jesus Christ is now hidden from you and you now realize that you’re in danger. Maybe you have somewhat of a soft heart at this point and you start to cry out to the Lord. You ask, “What’s going on?” You’re confused and you can’t find out what the problem is, but now you can’t find Jesus. The reason God does this is out of love. God knows that if he shows you his forgiveness right away, if you feel his peace, you won’t let the sin be crucified. So He let’s sin have its way with us so that we might go back and say “OK, Lord. Now I see you smiling at me again. Crucify me so that it doesn’t happen all over again.” Then we can begin to have a fear and trembling as Philippians talks about so that the sin does not happen again in our life. We don’t let it come alive. We let God complete the crucifixion process. We are willing to go through the pain and the turmoil in order that sin may be put to death. Are you willing for that to happen? Are you excited about that? Do you understand that when God hides His face from you and you can’t find him it is for your own good. Most people won’t submit to it and they leave Jesus Christ. They no longer follow him and find a false church or a church who will preach the “same” thing by human wisdom and there is no power.

Luke 22:54-56 – Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

Sin has come in. We are now depressed and confused because we can’t find the Lord. So we decide to “follow” the Lord. What a mistake it was for Peter to “follow” the Lord at this point. Peter is following the Lord into the light of the world.

Luke 22:55 – But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.

In one of the other gospels it says Peter went in to warm himself by the fire. He sits down with the world. He likes the warmth and the light of the world a little bit. He’s not yet willing for the flesh to be crucified and put to death. So it is with you. You still have those areas of comfort that your flesh likes. You still like some of the fun aspects of the world. For instance, someone in the church loves money. They deny that fact. But Jesus Christ says that any true Christian has to hate and despise money. Unless you have learned by the power of the Holy Spirit how to hate and despise money, you love money. In the same way, there is some aspect of the world that you like and are not willing to surrender to the Lord.

Peter goes into the courtyard where the world is, right in the middle of everyone and sits down with them. Of course he’s at the temple’s courtyard. He’s at church. If we were to compare this church to today’s church it would not appear worldly. They talk about the cross, holiness, read from the scriptures. All the religious things are there but it’s not right. It’s all sin and self. But you would say, no I feel the light and the warmth. I feel the Spirit. Peter could have said the same thing, “I feel the light, warmth, and the Spirit,” yet in reality he was in the middle of a sin. Oh, that he would have run from there and gone out to the garden to pray. If he had awakened at that point and realized he was about ready to deny the Lord, he could have prayed that he wouldn’t fall into temptation. Of course, by this time self is so strong since he has not crucified self up to this point, he can’t. He’s trapped. A lot of you are going to commit a lot of sins that you should never commit, because you have been warned about them. It goes on to say that the girl looked closely at Peter and said, “This man was with him.”

Luke 22:56-57 – A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

We begin to deny Jesus Christ. We begin to deny that we have a problem with a sin. Peter is beginning to say that he doesn’t have a problem. I don’t know how he rationalized it but supposed we had stopped at this point and asked, “Peter, why did you do that?” “Oh, well, I wasn’t really denying him, I was just saying that I wasn’t with him at 3:00 on Thursday morning on the 15th. It’s really not my fault, she put me on the spot. I was caught by surprise. I was by the fire and some soot got in my eye. I didn’t know what I was saying.” In the same way, we offer all kinds of excuses.

Luke 22:56-58 – A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

Now Peter might have been feeling a little guilty. The tinges of guilt might have started welling up in him, I don’t know. Scripture doesn’t give us the emotion. We can only base it on the fact of what we see around us from people who do not repent.

Luke 22:59 – About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Why would scripture bother to tell us it was an hour later? To show us that Peter had a chance to stop. The first time it says, “some time later.” You would think the conviction would have caused him to go and repent, but it doesn’t because self has not been put to death. Peter will not admit that he has a problem. He might say it with his lips just like people do in the church, but they really don’t believe it in their hearts. Had he really believed it in his heart and been indignant with the sin and self that was in him, he would have run out after the first denial to pray that he wouldn’t fall into temptation. God is trying to show Peter how utterly sinful he is, and how he must allow God to crucify self on a daily basis.

Luke 22:59-60 – About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.

Another gospel says Peter called down curses on himself. That’s how much he was willing to defend himself. Some of you are going to have to go all the way to the bottom of self before you are going to let God take hold of you. Many more of you are not going to allow it and will fall away. You will be like Judas and kiss Jesus while you hand him over to die. Oh that Peter would have run out during that hour to go pray! He never would have returned to the situation. He would have found the victory. Had he always been carrying around the death of Jesus in his life, he would have heard from the Holy Spirit what the danger was and would have gotten out or he would have been given the victory to overcome it. “Just as he was speaking the rooster crowed.” Jesus knows our sins. He warns us and pleads with us to pray about the temptation we are about ready to fall under. He comes to us in specific ways, “…the rooster crowed.”

Luke 22:61 – The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Now Jesus doesn’t have to say a word. How important is that? It’s crucial. Jesus had tried to warn Peter with many words. You too, have been warned with many words. It’s been discussed with you over and over again about the sin that’s in your life. You have read scriptures over and over again but you have a deaf ear toward those scriptures. You have been warned about self and you have heard it over and over again. All the talking and all the discussion has not caused you to surrender your heart so that Jesus Christ can crucify the self that is in you. But now all Jesus has to do is turn and look. Everything floods in.

Luke 22:61 – The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

Had Peter honestly forgotten what Jesus said? It must be so because scripture says it’s so. “Then Peter remembered.” How many of you are going to wake up when it’s so late and so much damage is done and you will remember. “Oh, yeah, that’s what scripture said. That’s what he meant by that in that sermon. It is true.” How many of you have already gone through this but have not repented. How many of you have heard the rebukes and even committed sin and then remember the Holy Spirit convicted you about a sin but you never went on to die. You are in greater danger. Peter didn’t have to go into this situation over and over again. He didn’t have to fall into this weekly, monthly, year after year in order to learn his lesson. He learned his lesson here. Then he went on to allow God to crucify his sinful nature and put it to death. He finally surrendered everything and stopped playing word games.

Luke 22:61 – The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

How many of you say, “I don’t remember saying that. I don’t remember you telling me that. I don’t remember being warned about that.” You are always saying you don’t remember. Peter didn’t remember either. It’s because we walk in the darkness. We are asleep in the light. We call Jesus a liar and will not let him crucify us on a daily basis, so we disown him. So many of you will not go on to die and someday he’s going to disown you.

Luke 22:62 – And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Finally, Peter goes out and weeps bitterly. This is what he should have done hours before he ever committed the sin. How many of you have sins to weep over now that you are going to commit in the future. You’ve been warned about them but you refuse to hurt and labor against your sins. You won’t work out your salvation with fear and trembling. You won’t let the Holy Spirit come to you and crucify your sin. You won’t let God put sin to death in small, everyday things that happen in your life so you are about ready to fall into major sin. Again, it has to be emphasized that Peter didn’t go through this 50 times over. He followed Jesus Christ for three and a half years and now all the sermons came to life. Then Peter got on with the new life. He went on to Pentecost. He learned that he always had to carry the death of Jesus with him everyday so he could have his resurrection. Peter fell in love with being convicted because that meant he could go to the cross and die. Hearing Jesus say, “Peter you are about ready to do this. This flesh has to be dealt with,” he could respond, “Yes, Lord.” He could walk in the light and confess his sins. He could fall to the ground and die.

John 12:24 – I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

A lot of you are falling. You are falling into self and sin. A lot of you even fall and hit the ground but you don’t die to the sin. You think conviction is life. You think admitting the sin is all there is to it. You think just relying on the blood of Jesus Christ is enough yet it’s the blood that is telling you to pray about the temptation to die to it. You have to become dead to it. You have to add to your faith goodness and to your goodness knowledge. You have to be increasing. He who stops will not make it to the kingdom. Sometime read about the parable of different seed that falls on different ground. Only one seed, the seed that falls to the ground and dies, perseveres and bears a crop goes to heaven.

John 12:24 – I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Are you falling to the ground and dying to your life? Do you even understand what that means? Are you dead to TV shows, sports, and money? Do none of those things matter? Do you find no enjoyment in those things? Are you dead to your marriage? Are you dead to your own life, your job, career, education, and everything involved in a man’s life? Do you hate it? “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Do you know what it is to hate your life? Only those who have allowed the Holy Spirit to crucify the sinful nature and put it to death will understand this. But most of you deny Jesus Christ. It’s easy to see just by your life.

Titus 1:16 – They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Like Peter you have a choice. You can either deny the Lord or deny self. Are you going to allow the Lord to crucify you in such a way that you are dead to sin and have a new creation? The Lord is weary with all of our circumcision and our uncircumcision, our outlines, and our guidelines. How few books would be in our Christian bookstores if we would allow the Holy Spirit to come along to put us to death. How people would come to the Lord and see that there really is power in following God because they would see a totally new person on a daily basis. We should be ever increasing in glory. Of course, Peter and the other disciples are completely dizzy at this point. They are turned around because of their sin and are all over the place. They do not know where they are going. Sin, others, and the world are just beating up on them. That’s what they did to Jesus Christ when he took on our sins.

Luke 22:63-64 – The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?”

So sin beats up on us and mocks us. It says, “Who hit you? What’s going on now? Where’s your life?” Satan has a heyday with us. He begins to confuse us and torment us. Sin has its way and begins to torment us also. It blindfolds us and then demands, “Who hit you? OK, let’s see you quote a promise to me now. Overcome.” We are so distraught and worn out at this point we cannot gain the victory at all because sin is having its way. Not only can we not find the Lord and are a little bit confused, not only is the cloud hanging over us, but now sin is hitting us, spitting on us, and mocking us. It is demanding that we prophesy and talk about the Lord. Those in this miserable condition are not able to be victorious in the Lord. They do not understand what the resurrected life is. How we could escape this situation or pass through it with joy, clarity of mind and peace if we would submit to the Lord and let him crucify us on a daily basis. Again, with any sin that’s dealt with we go through each of these “steps” (I am putting this in worldly terms). It just depends how we pass through. How did Jesus pass through? With peace, faith and trusting God. Yes, it hurts. Being crucified hurts. There are plenty of times in my life when I wonder, “Where is the Lord, and what is going on? I am confused.” Even Paul said, “I am perplexed but not in despair.” We don’t know what’s going on, but we do have enough peace and faith to go through it. We are not just totally overcome by the sin. But how many people are lost in this condition?

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 – We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

So we can pass through this period when we are being mocked and spit on and God is dealing with our life, but we can do it in such a way that we rejoice in it. We understand what God is working. We can say with Paul, “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises from the dead.” This is a good thing. Blessed is the man who allows God to crucify his sinful nature, and can say, “This is a good thing that happened. It brings me life.”

2 Corinthians 1:9 – Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

Paul is following the Holy Spirit who leads him to the Province of Asia. The Holy Spirit is dealing with the self and flesh that is there but Paul says, “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” He finds this to be a joyful experience. Again, it was far, far greater pressure than he could endure. He was under great pressure, “Far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.” Paul was being crucified with Christ. He was carrying around the death of Jesus so he might have life. But he also had the joy. He said even though he was under pressure and despaired of life it happened that he might rely on God. Do you want to learn to rely on God? Then you have to go through this to one degree or another. When self is dealt with everyone will feel the sentence of death to rely on God’s grace, mercy and the power of the blood to deliver them from sin. Yet how we like our false teachers and preachers that reassure us that in our sin we can still claim the blood. Jesus Christ came to put you to death and unless you allow this to happen, you have no life in you.

Psalms 43:2-4 – You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

David went through this. He experienced sin honestly being dealt with and essentially he was out in the temple courtyard, they were beating him, mocking him, spitting on him, blindfolding him and he felt lost. He couldn’t find God so he cries out, “God where are you? Send forth your light and your truth. Let them guide me. I don’t know where I am at.” In order to have sin dealt with, we must allow God to take us through these steps. Yet when God comes along to deal with us, we immediately begin to blame Satan. We begin to find false prophets and teachers or we listen to our own flesh that says, “Everything is fine, you’re ok. You’re not in any sin.” Even in the middle of being beaten up by our sin, we deny the fact that we have a problem. How many people are being beaten up and can’t figure out what’s going on in their life yet they are not going to ask. They do not hunger and thirst for righteousness. They’re going to find help themselves. They go to the Bible and just seek answers out themselves. They don’t even cry out to God. Oh, they go through the words but when God doesn’t answer right away and they’re being beaten up by their sin, they just claim a promise, outline the Bible, or apply this scripture as they see fit. They react as the church does today. They go up to the altar praising God but they don’t allow God to deal with self so their praising is a lie.

Psalms 43:2-4 – You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

He says, “Then will I go. Only when you send forth your light, only when you send forth your truth, only when you deliver me from your enemies, will I go about your altar and praise you.” Only those who allow God to deliver them from the enemy of their sin, who deliver them through this mocking, beating, prophesying, and spitting on them will let the Holy Spirit crucify sin. Only those who allow God to hide his face from them and still remain with the Lord are able to go to the altar to praise God because they will know his power. Again being hidden and beaten up is conviction, but there is no life in that. We have to get all the way to the cross and this is just the start. This is just the beginning. Most of you experience this and say, “Man, I’m really dealing with sin today! I’m really feeling the weight of conviction today. I don’t know what I’m going to do. This is strong stuff. Boy, that sermon was convicting.” You hear all those things, but you don’t allow God to put you to death.

End of Part 1

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.


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