A short (34 min) sermon from Pastor David Platt of Oak Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Why are we sometimes stuck in a pattern of sinfulness? Because, only after we repent of our sin, does God relent and empower us to defeat it. Meanwhile, living in our sin separates us from the very presence of God. And, the essence of Salvation (the reason Jesus came to die for our sins) is to reconcile us to the presence of God. How can you persist in sin if you have the Spirit of God dwelling in you?
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Notes from David Platt’s sermon below:
Remember in Genesis 3, when sin entered the world? What was the immediate and disastrous effect of sin? Separation from the presence of God. What man once enjoyed unhindered in beauty and communion with God was ripped apart by sin and everything we’ve read since then (throughout the Bible) is all the effect of sin, and, men and women being separated from the presence of God until we get to the end of the Bible where God will have the new heaven and the new earth, and sin will be gone.
What is Redemption? It is about being reconciled to the presence of God.
What is Salvation? It is about being brought into the presence of God.
Now, that is not the way Salvation is sold in our day
Among the Church, Salvation is sold as :
“Come to God to get ‘stuff”. Come to God to get forgiveness, come to God to get heaven… to get your best life, prosperity and success. Come to God to get abundance and health and wealth. Come to God to get all these things.”
We do not come to God to get stuff!. We come to God to GET GOD! He is the one we need. And, He’s the one we want and you can’t have your best life without God. You can’t have anything good without God. Everything flows from God. He is the fountain from which life and everything flows and so we want Him.
When we fast we are saying, “We want you God! Aside from you we can do nothing. We are putting aside our daily necessities of food and say , “More than our bodies are sustained by food; our souls are sustained by You!’”
And what separates us from experiencing the satisfaction of the presence of God?
SIN! So, repent.
Get rid of sin. Repent of sin, not because you got caught and not because it hurts you this way or that in your life. Repent and weep and grieve over it because it keeps you from God and from the beauty and the joy and the delight and the wonder and the satisfaction that are found in God. That’s what leads to Godly sorrow and weeping over sin.
God says, “When you repent, I will be with you.”
The whole Old Testament Book of Joel is a call to repentance. The way that God calls people to repentance through the prophet Joel is through a fast. On the call for a day of fasting in the book of Joel, the difference between us and them is that the people of Joel’s time are old covenant people. But, the principles, practices and truths are very applicable when it comes to fasting. All throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, fasting is an external expression among the people of God, of an internal reality. Fasting is abstaining from physical food for a spiritual purpose.
More than we need our meal, we need God’s Mercy. Our souls long for the presence of God.
Joel talks about the Day of the Lord, which also comes in the future. There will come a day of destruction for the resistant, who resist God’s mercy and holiness and remain in sin. For them, it will be a day of utter and eternal destruction. But, it will also be a day of salvation for he repentant, who repent of sin, turn to God and He will be a refuge to them.
What does repentance involve? (Read Joel 2:12-14)
- Confession – Acknowledgement to God about sin and agreement with God where we acknowledge specifically about sin. To see our sin, not as the culture (sees it), not as compared to others, but, to see our sin as God sees our sin. Now, it is no longer small or big, but, everything is as infinite offense before Him.
- Contrition – To have brokenness before God over our sin. A sorrow and fasting with weeping over our sin. How long has it been since we, as a people, wept over our sins?
- Conversion – Turning to God from sin- a change of direction, a transformation of lives. Repentance involves all of these things.
- God rescues us - As we repent, God relents. He doesn’t leave us to our sin to wander in it. What does it mean for God to relent? That means he rescues us from our sin.(Joel 2:18-20). Ultimately, God rescues us from Himself; from the judgement He is pouring out for sin. We need to be rescued from the payment of our sin.
- God restores us
- God resides with us
How will God reside with us?
This is the essence of Salvation – to be reconciled to the presence of God.
He will come to us
- in His Son (Romans 10:12-13)
- through His Spirit (Acts 2:17-21) as He did at Pentecost.
Every man and woman today, who has trusted in Christ for their Salvation, the very present of God lives in you. His Spirit dwells in you. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6, “Flee, run from sin,…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. How can you be comfortable with sin when the Spirit of God is within you? Run from it! You have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in you. Weep over anything that will rob you over the joy that is found in God dwelling in you.
Ultimately, in the end, He will forever protect us in His stronghold. (Joel 3:16). There is coming a day when you will be free from sin and experience His presence in all of its fullness. So, weep and mourn and wail and grieve over and repent of sin in anticipation of that day.