The Great Divide | TBN

The Great Divide

Watch The Great Divide
February 7, 2021
27:29

Dr. Jack Graham's mission is to glorify God by introducing Jesus Christ to as Lord to all people.

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The Great Divide

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  • [Music]
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  • Hebrews chapter 4,verses 14-16. Three of the most
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  • important verses in all of theBible! This is the core of the
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  • Christian faith! The message iscalled "The Great Divide". We
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  • know in our nation there is apolitical divide, economic
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  • divide. So much divisions thatcreate so much chaos and
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  • separation, hate in our land.And, of course, that divide
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  • reaches to the ends of theearth. Division between nations.
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  • There's great division in ournation. But having said that,
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  • the greatest divide is not apolitical divide or
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  • socio-economic divide, or even aracial divide. But the greatest
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  • divide is the divide betweenholy God and sinful humanity,
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  • the separation that existsbetween God and man. What are we
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  • to do about this seeminglyimpossible situation: that God
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  • who is great and holy and mightyand powerful could somehow
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  • connect with us; that we couldsomehow relate to Him? Verse 14:
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  • 14) Since then we have a greathigh priest who has passed
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  • through the heavens, Jesus, theSon of God, let us hold fast our
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  • confession. 15) For we do nothave a high priest who is unable
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  • to sympathize with ourweaknesses, but one who in every
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  • respect has been tempted as weare, yet without sin. 16) Let us
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  • then with confidence draw nearto the throne of grace, that we
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  • may receive mercy and find graceto help in time of need. The
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  • great divide between God andman. Hebrews, of course, is all
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  • about how God solved thisproblem, and how God has come to
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  • us in the person of Jesus Christwho is our superior and
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  • superlative Savior, ourSovereign Lord, and given us
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  • access to Him. He is describedhere in this passage as "the
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  • great high priest". Now most ofus don't relate to this passage
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  • of Scripture, as important as itmay be, because we don't have
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  • maybe a basic understanding ofthe role and the function of the
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  • priest in the Old Testament. Weknow a priest in our generation,
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  • in our day in various churches.But this priest... this high and
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  • Holy Priest, Our Lord JesusChrist, is reflective of the
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  • priests of the Old Testament andthe role of the priest, of
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  • course, is to represent God toman and to represent man to God.
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  • That's what a priest does. InLatin the word for priest is
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  • pontifex which actually meansbridge builder; a builder of
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  • bridges- pontifex. This is therole and the responsibility of
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  • the priest who helped connectGod and man. That was the role
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  • of the Old Testament priest, asthe priest would go in to the
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  • Holy Place... the holiest placeof all, the inner sanctum, and
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  • there on one day of the year,praying that he would not die in
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  • that he was in the presence ofholy God, would make sacrifices
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  • for sin. He would never sit inthat place but would walk in
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  • that place with holy fear,knowing that he was representing
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  • man and sinful humanity there inthe holy presence of God. So the
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  • priest in effect is a mediator.The priest is an intercessor, a
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  • powerful presence in God's holyplace. That's the role of the
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  • priest. And here we are toldthat Jesus is the perfect
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  • priest. He is the Great High andHoly Priest. And with that said,
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  • He does two things primarily: Heintercedes for us. That is, He
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  • prays with us and for us, and Heinvites us into His presence.
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  • That's the take-away. Our GreatHigh Priest intercedes for us
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  • and He invites us into the verypresence of God. He is the
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  • ultimate prayer warrior. He isyour ultimate prayer partner.
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  • This passage tells us that Jesusascended into the heavens;
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  • passed our atmosphere, throughstellar space and into the
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  • heaven of heaven; into the veryholy place, the throne of God,
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  • the presence of God Almighty.That "He ever lives (according
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  • to the Scripture) to makeintercession for the saints!" He
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  • lives today to pray for you.This intercession that takes
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  • place... this intersectionbetween holy God and sinful
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  • man... Jesus built a bridge. Heis our Priest; He is our
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  • Pontifex. [1 Timothy 2:5] "Thereis one Mediator," Paul said to
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  • Timothy, "between God and man,the Man Christ Jesus." And could
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  • I just say, as I noted earlierin Hebrews, that He is the Man
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  • Christ Jesus... our Man inheaven. He still bears His
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  • scars. He still bears, though ina glorified body... a risen
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  • body... He is still Man! He isthe one who came to earth and is
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  • now in heaven, and that's veryimportant because if you want to
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  • identify with God, for God tobring... bridge the great
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  • divide, that takes not only theSon of God, but the Son of Man,
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  • the Lord Jesus Christ! And whathappened in Christ is God has
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  • taken... He took the hand ofHoly God with one hand, and the
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  • hand of sinful humanity... menand women... and He brought us
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  • together! In Christ at thecross! That's the act of
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  • reconciliation: when the greatdivide... the big gap between
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  • God and mankind was covered bythe grace of God. That's
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  • salvation. That's what happened.We cannot approach or come into
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  • the presence of a Holy Godwithout Jesus. There is no way
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  • without [John 14:6] "the way,and truth and life"
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  • who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
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  • And you may recallwhen Jesus died on the cross
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  • there were miracles that tookplace surrounding the darkness
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  • of that hour, but miracles thattook place in Jerusalem,
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  • including the ripping of thethick veil of the temple into
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  • the holy place of God from topto bottom. Not from bottom to
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  • top as though man had done it!But from top to bottom! The
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  • writer of Hebrews talks about"He went inside the veil... what
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  • veil? The veil that separatedman from God. As our High
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  • Priest, He ripped down thecurtain that separated us! He
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  • tore the temple veil in two notto let God out, but to let us
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  • in! And therefore, as our PriestHe made it possible. This is the
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  • faith that I'm talking about,that the writer's talking about.
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  • "Hold on to this faith!" Hecalls it "the confession" or the
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  • profession of faith. He said...(see it there?) He says, "Hold
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  • fast to your confession." Noticewhat he did not say. He did not
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  • say, hold on or hold firm toyour salvation", because if it's
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  • up to me to hold on to mysalvation, at some point I could
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  • let go... I could turn loose. Ifit's up to me holding firm to
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  • the end... holding out faithfulto the end, just trying to hang
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  • on to get to heaven, That is afail! So he's not saying, Hold
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  • on to your salvation! We aresecure in His great grip! First
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  • Peter, chapter 1, verse 4 tellsus that we have this amazing
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  • conversion and imperishable,unfading salvation "kept in
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  • heaven for you." It goes on tosay, "by the hand of God, by the
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  • power of God." We as believersare secure in the omnipotent
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  • powerful grip of God! It's notme holding onto Him for
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  • salvation; He's holding onto me!Jesus said this as well in John
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  • chapter 10. He said [John 10:28]"I give to them eternal life,
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  • and they will (what? Read that)never perish, and know one will
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  • snatch them from My Father'shand." So God is not telling us
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  • here: "I want you to hold on tosalvation." He's holding on to
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  • you; He's holding on to yoursalvation. That belongs to Him.
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  • You're in His grip! But we arethen to confess our faith. To
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  • hold on to the confession of ourfaith. He's talking about our
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  • testimony. We are to continue totestify... to confess... to
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  • profess that we are believers inChrist. And we're to hold fast
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  • and firm to this! Another timein Scripture the Apostle Paul
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  • put it like this, he said: [1Timothy 6:12] "Lay hold of
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  • eternal life." That is, reachforward. He said,[Philippians
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  • 3:13-14] "I leave the pastbehind and I press on to the
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  • mark for the prize of the highcalling of God in Jesus Christ."
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  • We're running a race and we'reseizing a prize so the idea of
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  • holding firm is stretching outthere in our faith and trusting
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  • God and strengthening our faithin Him. "Lay hold of eternal
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  • life." Pursue Him, press on! Andthe way that we do that in great
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  • part is by publicly professingour faith, by continually
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  • confessing Jesus Christ. This isyour testimony. Hold fast your
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  • confession... I wish I had timeto say more about that. There is
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  • a promise here. Verse 15. Lookat it again. "For we do not have
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  • a high priest who is unable tosympathize with our weaknesses,
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  • but one who in every respect hasbeen tempted as we are, yet
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  • without sin." Though our Priestis pure and a perfect Priest, He
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  • identifies with us in that Hesympathizes and suffers with us.
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  • A man of sorrows, acquaintedwith grief. Here we're told that
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  • He was actually tempted in allpoints, just as we are tempted,
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  • though He never sinned. Werethese temptations real? Of
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  • course, they were real. He wastempted physically, emotionally,
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  • psychologically, spiritually!All sin could come under the
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  • cover as described in theScripture as [1 John 2:16] "the
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  • lust of the flesh, the lust ofthe eye and the pride of life...
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  • the lust of the flesh, the lustof the ey and the pride of
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  • life." Even when Jesus wastempted in the wilderness, those
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  • three came into play in this bigcage-fight in the wilderness
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  • with the devil. The lust of theflesh-[Matthew 4:3] "turn the
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  • stones into bread"; the lust ofthe eye-[Matthew 4:9] "bow down
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  • and I'll give you all thekingdoms of this world"; the
  • 00:14:06.068 --> 00:14:11.507
  • pride of life-"Circumvent thecross, follow me". These were
  • 00:14:11.507 --> 00:14:17.546
  • the temptations of Christ in thewilderness. And He was tempted,
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  • therefore, like we are tempted.There is no test, no temptation
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  • that we experience but thatJesus knew in His humanity! You
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  • say, "Well, okay, but He was theSon of God and He was God and He
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  • was pure and He was perfect andI'm not! I'm sinful and
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  • temptation is more powerful tome than it was to Jesus!"
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  • Nah-uh-uh! Let me quote fromC.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.
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  • He writes: "A silly idea iscurrent good people do not know
  • 00:14:53.349 --> 00:14:59.455
  • what temptation is. This is anobvious lie. Only those who try
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  • to resist temptation know howstrong it is. After all, you
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  • find out the strength of aGerman army by fighting against
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  • it, not by giving in. You findout the strength of the wind by
  • 00:15:15.838 --> 00:15:20.042
  • trying to walk against it, notby lying down. A man who gives
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  • in to temptation after fiveminutes simply does not know
  • 00:15:24.613 --> 00:15:28.517
  • what it would have been like anhour later. That is why bad
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  • people in one sense know verylittle about badness. They have
  • 00:15:32.788 --> 00:15:37.292
  • lived a sheltered life. How? Bygiving in! Giving into
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  • temptation. You see that?Christ, because He was the only
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  • Man who never yielded totemptation is also the only Man
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  • who knows to the full whattemptation means!" That's
  • 00:15:51.774 --> 00:15:58.580
  • powerful! It is only someonelike Jesus who has never been
  • 00:15:58.580 --> 00:16:06.055
  • tempted could feel the fullforce of the power [strike] of
  • 00:16:06.055 --> 00:16:12.861
  • Satan [strike] and temptation.So don't say, "Oh, Jesus was God
  • 00:16:12.861 --> 00:16:15.764
  • and His temptations weren't allthat real or all that powerful."
  • 00:16:15.764 --> 00:16:22.304
  • He was tempted more than you aretempted! And yet... and yet
  • 00:16:22.304 --> 00:16:31.613
  • without sin! His temptation wasgreater than yours. Have you
  • 00:16:31.613 --> 00:16:43.192
  • ever noticed that when you yieldto temptation and you... You
  • 00:16:43.192 --> 00:16:46.195
  • see, temptation is not a sin. Ifso, Jesus would have been a
  • 00:16:46.195 --> 00:16:51.533
  • sinner. Temptation is not a sin.But it is saying "yes" to
  • 00:16:51.533 --> 00:16:58.574
  • temptation as to when thetemptation becomes sinful
  • 00:16:58.574 --> 00:17:05.614
  • behavior or a sinful action. Andso here you have someone saying
  • 00:17:05.614 --> 00:17:11.920
  • "yes" to sin. Have you evernoticed when you start saying
  • 00:17:11.920 --> 00:17:14.223
  • yes, it becomes easier to sayyes? And the temptation really
  • 00:17:14.223 --> 00:17:18.327
  • isn't that strong. No realtemptation. Once you start
  • 00:17:18.327 --> 00:17:22.364
  • saying yes and yes and yes andyes to sin, it's easy to sin.
  • 00:17:22.364 --> 00:17:30.139
  • Temptation isn't all that big topeople who yield to it
  • 00:17:30.139 --> 00:17:37.146
  • constantly. And yet thiswonderful promise is that Jesus
  • 00:17:37.146 --> 00:17:42.184
  • conquered sin and Satan. So...you say, "What does that mean?"
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  • As our Priest, He understandsus. He was wholly separate from
  • 00:17:49.191 --> 00:17:58.767
  • sin and yet He knows the thrustof temptation, and He
  • 00:17:58.767 --> 00:18:04.873
  • understands it. He knows whatyou're going through. He knows
  • 00:18:04.873 --> 00:18:09.978
  • how difficult it is. And if youwill come to Him for strength He
  • 00:18:09.978 --> 00:18:15.584
  • will empower you once again toovercome sin in your life.
  • 00:18:15.584 --> 00:18:21.657
  • [Music]
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  • [Dr. Graham] Thanksagain for tuning into PowerPoint
  • 00:18:29.698 --> 00:18:31.200
  • today and we just want to take alittle break because we want you
  • 00:18:31.200 --> 00:18:35.204
  • to have something veryimportant. At PowerPoint we like
  • 00:18:35.204 --> 00:18:38.540
  • to put resources in people'shands that encourage you to know
  • 00:18:38.540 --> 00:18:41.677
  • Christ and to know him more andmore in your life and of course
  • 00:18:41.677 --> 00:18:44.780
  • that's always God's word, thescripture and my friend O.S.
  • 00:18:44.780 --> 00:18:49.618
  • Hawkins, Dr. O.S. Hawkins haswritten a devotional book that
  • 00:18:49.618 --> 00:18:53.021
  • we are offering, in fact, thisis one of many devotional books
  • 00:18:53.021 --> 00:18:55.657
  • that Dr. Hawkins has written,there are over 2 million in
  • 00:18:55.657 --> 00:18:59.328
  • print and sold and more to comebut this one is called THE JESUS
  • 00:18:59.328 --> 00:19:03.665
  • CODE and it is a companion toyour personal Bible study and
  • 00:19:03.665 --> 00:19:08.670
  • for your gift of any amount wewant you to have it. But, O.S.
  • 00:19:08.670 --> 00:19:11.740
  • is here with me in the studiotoday, tell us, O.S. what THE
  • 00:19:11.740 --> 00:19:15.344
  • JESUS CODE is all about. [Dr.Hawkins] Well, it's just a
  • 00:19:15.344 --> 00:19:17.813
  • devotional book, Jack, that...reading devotionally through the
  • 00:19:17.813 --> 00:19:22.117
  • New Testament some years ago Iwas astounded at how many times
  • 00:19:22.117 --> 00:19:26.255
  • Jesus asked questions in theBible. He was always asking
  • 00:19:26.255 --> 00:19:30.492
  • questions, 150 of them escapedhis lips that are recorded in
  • 00:19:30.492 --> 00:19:35.130
  • John and we know the Bible saysat the end of the Book of John
  • 00:19:35.130 --> 00:19:38.033
  • that if everything Jesus saidand did had been recorded all
  • 00:19:38.033 --> 00:19:41.036
  • the books couldn't contain thembut we have 150. So, I picked 52
  • 00:19:41.036 --> 00:19:44.840
  • questions, one per week ofdevotional throughout the year.
  • 00:19:44.840 --> 00:19:48.744
  • 52 questions that I think everybeliever ought to be able to
  • 00:19:48.744 --> 00:19:53.849
  • answer before they get toheaven, for example Job asks if
  • 00:19:53.849 --> 00:19:58.353
  • a man dies will he live again.In the Gospel of Matthew, who do
  • 00:19:58.353 --> 00:20:04.660
  • you say that I am? There arejust 52 questions that all of us
  • 00:20:04.660 --> 00:20:09.264
  • should be able to answer beforewe get to heaven. [Dr. Graham]
  • 00:20:09.264 --> 00:20:11.566
  • Yeah, questions like what areyou doing here to Elijah? And,
  • 00:20:11.566 --> 00:20:14.603
  • in the beginning in Genesis, hasGod said? And on and on, so many
  • 00:20:14.603 --> 00:20:20.075
  • questions that people have areanswered in the Bible, in fact,
  • 00:20:20.075 --> 00:20:23.245
  • all of our questions areanswered in God's word, that's
  • 00:20:23.245 --> 00:20:26.415
  • what this book is about, rightout of scripture, it's full of
  • 00:20:26.415 --> 00:20:29.551
  • God's word, it's not just nicethoughts or good ideas, this is
  • 00:20:29.551 --> 00:20:33.288
  • God's word, the questions of theBible, for a gift of any amount
  • 00:20:33.288 --> 00:20:37.059
  • we will send you right away THEJESUS CODE 52 scripture
  • 00:20:37.059 --> 00:20:41.296
  • questions every believer shouldanswer.
  • 00:20:41.296 --> 00:20:49.905
  • One final thing, He
  • 00:20:49.905 --> 00:20:51.173
  • says, "Dare to draw near." Doyou see that there in the last
  • 00:20:51.173 --> 00:20:54.109
  • sentence of verse 16: "Let usthen..." Who? Let us. There are
  • 00:20:54.109 --> 00:21:02.317
  • some questions I'm going toanswer real quickly for you. Ask
  • 00:21:02.317 --> 00:21:04.786
  • yourself who? "Let us..."because we are believers and
  • 00:21:04.786 --> 00:21:10.092
  • followers of Jesus Christ... Letus who know Him, who believe and
  • 00:21:10.092 --> 00:21:18.033
  • have received Him, "Let us withconfidence..." How are we to
  • 00:21:18.033 --> 00:21:26.241
  • approach God's throne of grace?How are we to connect with God?
  • 00:21:26.241 --> 00:21:30.178
  • "With confidence!" The wordthere means openness. It's even
  • 00:21:30.178 --> 00:21:36.184
  • translated boldness. Notbrashness, not irreverence, but
  • 00:21:36.184 --> 00:21:43.692
  • with confidence and assurancethose of us who are believers
  • 00:21:43.692 --> 00:21:49.831
  • and followers of Jesus... we canconfidently, fearlessly come
  • 00:21:49.831 --> 00:21:55.237
  • into the presence of AlmightyGod! We are invited there! And
  • 00:21:55.237 --> 00:22:06.014
  • that is a confidence that beatsany so-called self-esteem that
  • 00:22:06.014 --> 00:22:11.019
  • is so often promoted today. Youknow everybody wants to talk
  • 00:22:11.019 --> 00:22:14.689
  • about self-esteem. I esteemmyself... blah, blah, blah,
  • 00:22:14.689 --> 00:22:23.532
  • blah. [laughter] We're not toldin the Bible to esteem
  • 00:22:23.532 --> 00:22:28.804
  • ourselves! You say, "Well I wentto a counselor; I was having
  • 00:22:28.804 --> 00:22:34.776
  • some problems, and the counselortold me that I hated myself and
  • 00:22:34.776 --> 00:22:39.714
  • I need to start loving myself!"Well now you got more problems
  • 00:22:39.714 --> 00:22:46.388
  • because that's 100 percentwrong! You say, "Well, what
  • 00:22:46.388 --> 00:22:50.492
  • about that verse: [Luke 10:27]"Love the Lord your God with all
  • 00:22:50.492 --> 00:22:54.229
  • your heart." And then it says"and love your neighbor as you
  • 00:22:54.229 --> 00:22:57.299
  • love yourself." There it is!That does not mean you are to
  • 00:22:57.299 --> 00:23:01.236
  • love yourself. You're not tohate yourself but you're not to
  • 00:23:01.236 --> 00:23:06.174
  • love yourself! You're not toesteem yourself at all! I am
  • 00:23:06.174 --> 00:23:14.683
  • what I am not because of me, butbecause of the grace of God that
  • 00:23:14.683 --> 00:23:19.488
  • is in me! [1 Corinthians 15:10]"I am what I am," the Apostle
  • 00:23:19.488 --> 00:23:22.290
  • Paul said, "by the grace ofGod!" I know that I am loved and
  • 00:23:22.290 --> 00:23:26.862
  • I am confident, not because Isay I love myself but because I
  • 00:23:26.862 --> 00:23:30.398
  • know God said, "I love you!" Itis not my self-love that makes
  • 00:23:30.398 --> 00:23:37.339
  • me feel better about myself! Itis God's love! It is the love of
  • 00:23:37.339 --> 00:23:43.712
  • Jesus Christ! So quit runningaround trying to love yourself
  • 00:23:43.712 --> 00:23:49.117
  • or self-esteem! You say, "Well,my kids... they need
  • 00:23:49.117 --> 00:23:52.654
  • self-esteem." Your kids need toknow Jesus and they'll have the
  • 00:23:52.654 --> 00:23:56.691
  • confidence that they need tolive life and to... What could
  • 00:23:56.691 --> 00:24:01.296
  • be more confident than invitedinto the presence of God any
  • 00:24:01.296 --> 00:24:05.901
  • hour, any day? Our identity inChrist is our reality. Well,
  • 00:24:05.901 --> 00:24:16.244
  • that was a rant. [laughter] Butseriously, I get so tired of
  • 00:24:16.244 --> 00:24:21.883
  • this. It's what's wrong with ourculture and our society. People
  • 00:24:21.883 --> 00:24:26.888
  • running around talking about howthey're esteeming themselves!
  • 00:24:26.888 --> 00:24:33.361
  • "Oh, I believe in myself." Youbetter believe in God! You
  • 00:24:33.361 --> 00:24:36.097
  • better believe in Christ! Again,to quote C.S. Lewis, he said,
  • 00:24:36.097 --> 00:24:41.436
  • "Humility is not thinking lowlyof yourself; it is not thinking
  • 00:24:41.436 --> 00:24:45.340
  • of yourself." What did Jesussay? "Lose yourself and you will
  • 00:24:45.340 --> 00:24:53.415
  • gain everything. So ouraffirmation... our acceptance,
  • 00:24:53.415 --> 00:25:01.222
  • our approval is in the fact thatwe can draw near with confidence
  • 00:25:01.222 --> 00:25:08.430
  • into the throne room of God.You're a VIP. You've been given
  • 00:25:08.430 --> 00:25:14.069
  • a pass written in the blood ofJesus Christ.
  • 00:25:14.069 --> 00:25:17.906
  • We come to the
  • 00:25:17.906 --> 00:25:19.407
  • throne of grace in our hour ofneed, and there we receive... at
  • 00:25:19.407 --> 00:25:26.481
  • the throne of grace what? Mercyand grace... mercy and grace.
  • 00:25:26.481 --> 00:25:30.418
  • Now I need to get there everyday because every day I need
  • 00:25:30.418 --> 00:25:33.788
  • mercy, and so do you. Mercy iswhen God doesn't give us what we
  • 00:25:33.788 --> 00:25:42.964
  • deserve. We deserve judgment butHe gives us mercy at His throne
  • 00:25:42.964 --> 00:25:50.772
  • of grace. It's no longer thethrone of judgment for the
  • 00:25:50.772 --> 00:25:53.908
  • believer; it's the throne ofgrace. "Mercy there was great
  • 00:25:53.908 --> 00:25:59.347
  • and grace was free." Sometimeswhen people are going
  • 00:25:59.347 --> 00:26:03.351
  • through such tough battles intheir lives, when we don't know
  • 00:26:03.351 --> 00:26:07.288
  • how to pray for people and wecertainly don't understand what
  • 00:26:07.288 --> 00:26:09.658
  • their going through, one of thebest things you can say, and
  • 00:26:09.658 --> 00:26:13.328
  • pray for that person, "God, givemercy. God, we need Your mercy."
  • 00:26:13.328 --> 00:26:24.739
  • And the mercy of God shows theheart of God. At the throne of
  • 00:26:24.739 --> 00:26:31.579
  • grace we see God's heart withmercy. The grace of God shows us
  • 00:26:31.579 --> 00:26:38.019
  • the hand of God that gives useverything that we need. Gives
  • 00:26:38.019 --> 00:26:42.590
  • us what we do not deserve. Sowho can come there? Believers in
  • 00:26:42.590 --> 00:26:47.028
  • Christ. How are we to go there?With boldness and confidence.
  • 00:26:47.028 --> 00:26:55.036
  • And what do we receive there?Mercy and grace. I don't know
  • 00:26:55.036 --> 00:27:03.945
  • about you, but I need to getthere as often as possible. What
  • 00:27:03.945 --> 00:27:09.084
  • a promise for prayer! What aprivilege to be in His presence,
  • 00:27:09.084 --> 00:27:16.891
  • Jesus, our great High Priest.
  • 00:27:16.891 --> 00:27:16.891