The Only Way To Live – October 20, 2019 (Full-Length Version)

– Hello, Alex Sasser here
hosting another episode of “Touching Lives”
with Dr. James Merritt. We are so glad
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mailbox each month. Go to our website at to register today. Thank you again for joining us and now here is today’s
sermon from Dr. James Merritt. – If you’re a guest of ours
we’re in a series in Galatians we’re calling Free at Last. Because the vast majority
of people that live, will live and will die in
slavery and in bondage. There are people
listening to me right now, you’re watching by television, you’re watching on
a computer screen and you think you’re
free but you’re not. You’re in bondage. You’re in bondage to lust. You’re in bondage
to materialism. You’re in bondage to money. You’re in bondage to luxury. You’re in bondage to greed. You’re in bondage to jealousy. You’re in bondage to bitterness. You’re in bondage to pride. You’re in bondage to arrogance. You’re in bondage to anger. And there was a man who
lived 2,000 years ago, his name was Paul. And he wrote this letter
to a church in Galatia and it was all about how
to shake off our chains and how to live free. How to live a life
that’s free from sin and free from shame and
free from selfishness and free from self. See the reason that
most people die without ever truly living
and the reason most people experience death without
every experiencing real life is because of something
that Jesus himself said. Jesus said this, He
said, “I have come “that they may have life
and have it to the full.” Now if what Jesus said is true, that means until you know Jesus, until you have Jesus,
until you experience Jesus, until you truly love Jesus, you
really don’t ever have life. Because he’s the only one that can give you a
life worth living. So that raises a big question, what is the life worth living? The only life worth living? And, of course, I believe
as a pastor and a Christian I believe it is
the Christian life. But that really doesn’t
answer the question. Because then the question comes, well what do you mean
by the Christian life? If you say the Christian
life is the only way to live, what does that mean? What does that life look like and why is that the
only way to live? Well, Paul answers
that question. We’ve been giving out
these little books and I hope you won’t throw
these away and keep them. We’re gonna use them for awhile and so if you’d like to
look on today on Page Six you’re gonna see the
scripture passage we’re gonna be
referring to today. It’s Galatians, Chapter Two and I’ll give you the
verse in a minute. Before I do that,
let me set this up. When I began to read
my Bible as a boy, my mom ingrained that to
me the day I got saved, she ingrained it in me I
should read my Bible every day. I thank God that I had a godly
mother that taught me that. One of the first verses
I ever memorized as a boy was this verse. And the reason why I
memorized this verse is the first time
I read this verse I didn’t totally understand
it, as some of you won’t today. I didn’t totally grasp
in all of its fullness. But the first time I read
it two things hit me. Number one, I need
to learn this verse. I need to memorize this verse and number two, this
verse if it’s true, is the only way to live. And it may be the
most comprehensive, compact complete description
of what the Christian life is all about in the
entire New Testament. Now, it’s a very short verse
but it’s not a shallow verse. I want you to listen. It is a deep, deep verse. Paul said, “I have been
crucified with Christ “and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me. “And the life I now
live in the body, “I live by faith
in the Son of God, “who loved me and
gave Himself for me.” Now, that’s a deep verse
and we’re gonna unwrap it and we’re gonna unpack it. It’s gonna take a
little bit to do and lots of effort. But I’m gonna kind of boil
it down to you in a sentence. Paul said the only
way to live is to die, but when you die
you really live. The only way to live is to die, but when you die
you really live. So what we’re gonna
do is learn today three things in this verse. But before I tell
you what those are let me make
something very plain. If you don’t do the next
thing I’m going to tell you you’re about to waste the
next 30 minutes of your life and my time. ‘Cause this message
will do you no good. This message will have
no affect on your life. You will walk out that door
the same way you walked in unless you do the following. You have got to
number one believe what this verse tells you and then number two
you’ve got to start acting like you believe it. You gotta believe what
this verse tells you. Then you’ve gotta
start acting like and living like you really
believe what this verse says. Because belief always
determines behavior. Behavior does not
determine belief, belief determines behavior. So here is what Paul is
saying if you wanna understand how to live the only
life worth living and what that looks like,
you’ve got to believe and live as if three
things are true. Number one, I have
died to a sinful past. I have died to a sinful past. Now, the verse begins
by saying this, Paul says, “I have been
crucified with Christ.” Now, obviously he
wasn’t referring to
physical crucifixion or he wouldn’t be
writing these words. What Paul was referring to
was what happened to him the moment he received Christ
as his Lord and as his Savior. He said the moment
I met the risen Lord on that Damascus road and I gave my life to Jesus
at that exact moment I died. If you are an unbeliever, but you’d like to
become a believer. If you’re not a
follower of Jesus but you would like to
become a follower of Jesus, two funerals have to take place. Number one Jesus
had to die for you and then number two
you have to die to you. And that happens when you
surrender your life to Christ. We have a mission statement. You’ve heard it before. Our mission statement is
to point people to Jesus and inspire them to live
the cross-shaped life. What Galatians 2:20 is that’s
where we got this whole idea. That is the cross-shaped life. It is a crucified life. So here’s what Paul is saying. Go back to that moment
or go to that moment when you either have or
you will accept Jesus who physically died for you. He said at the
moment that happens you will spiritually die to you. When you accept the fact
he physically died for you, you will spiritually
die with him to you. Here’s what that means. That means everything you were,
everything you used to be, everything in your past,
every sin, every failure, every mistake, every regret
dies with Jesus on the cross. You say, how does that happen? The reason why all
of your past dies is because the old you dies. – [Man] Right. – He died for you,
you die to you. Take you back to grammar. Some of you may remember your grammar lessons
early in school. There was first, second,
third person singular. First, second and third
person plural, right? I, you, right? I, you, me, we, you, they. Everybody remember that, right. I, you, me, we, you, they. Well, it hit me one day there’s
one pronoun in that list that’s very dangerous. As a matter of fact, it is the most dangerous
pronoun of the six. And it’s that little word I. Because the greatest
enemy you will always face in living the life
that you ought to live and living the only way
you should live is you. So Paul says in affect, I will
kill me unless I die to me. I will kill me
unless I die to me. But he says the good news is the moment you come
to Christ you die. So listen if you’re a believer, if you’re a true
follower of Christ, every morning when you get
up you can look in the mirror and the first thing you
can say is I am dead. And for some of you
that will be very easy ’cause that’s exactly
the way you feel when you first get up, okay. I am dead. So spiritually speaking
if you wanna know what a Christian is he
is a walking dead person. He’s a walking dead person. We are dead to sin. Everything we’ve ever
done wrong wiped clean. We are dead to self. I never has to
control me anymore. Did you hear that? I never have to
control me anymore. Now, this is gonna
sound very paradoxical, but here’s what I’m
trying to tell you. Living is all about dying. That’s what living is all about. Now in case you
didn’t know this, let me just kind of remind you, nobody ever got out
of crucifixion alive. One out of one people
crucified died. It’s 100% success rate. So, there were no exceptions. There were no exclusions. Even Jesus didn’t get
out of crucifixion alive. So what Paul is saying is
when you allow yourself and you picture yourself
being crucified with Christ you became dead to you. And by the way, the
word there crucified, I’ve been crucified with Christ, is very interesting in
the tense of the verb. Now in English tenses are
not a big deal to us, right. Past, present, future
about all we got. Greek has a lot of tenses. And there’s one tense
in the Greek language that is very, very powerful. It’s called the perfect tense. Let me tell you what
the perfect tense means. When you use the perfect tense, you say something that
sounds like you’re talking about something that happened
in the past and it did, but the affects of what
happened in the past continue into the present
and into the future, forever and ever and ever. That’s the term
that Paul uses here. Paul says, okay, I have
been crucified with Christ. That happened when I
gave my life to Jesus; however, the effects of that and the results of that are
still ongoing even right now. So once you die with Christ everything in your
past dies with you. That means no more
skeletons in the closet. No more papers in a
file cabinet stuck away that somebody can
bring up against you. Every record erased. Every slate clean. Furthermore, the old you dies. That means your anger dies. Your bitterness dies. Your jealousy dies. Your profanity dies. It all dies. When you’re born in America
one thing will happen to you. You’ll be assigned a
social security number. The day you’re born you get
a social security number. Everybody gets a
social security number. Have you ever thought about what happens to that social
security number when you die? It dies with you. I have a social security number. Nobody will ever have my
social security number. It will never be reassigned. It won’t be recycled. It won’t be given
to anyone else. When I die, you know what the Social Security
Administration says? You’re not the only one that
died, your number just died. Nobody will ever, ever
have that number again. It is as if to the Social
Security Administration your number never even existed. It is completely, it is
totally, it is permanently gone. And what Paul is saying is when you’re crucified
with Christ, that means you are dead
to all of your past and all of your
past is dead to you. You don’t ever have
to carry the ball and chain of something
you did way in the past that you’ve regretted
all of your life. You still feel guilty about. You still have shame about it. Paul says that’s all gone. I have died to a sinful past. Now, I think some
of you would agree, wow, if that’s true that’s
the only way to live. I agree. But then Paul says but
it gets better than that. I just took care of the past,
but what about the present? What about today? Paul says, well, you know what when you give your life to
Jesus not only does it mean that I have died
to a sinful past, it also means I walk in
the strongest presence. I walk in the
strongest presence. Now, you may be saying or
asking a question right now hey, wait a minute. You keep telling me I’m
dead, but I’m still alive. I mean how in the world can
I be dead and still alive? Well, let’s keep reading. Paul said, “I no longer live.” That’s true you’re
dead, I get it. Then he says this, “But
Christ lives in me.” So here’s what that means. You give your life to Christ immediately the old
you is crucified. Immediately the old you is dead. But there’s a new
you that lives. And what makes the new you
live is Jesus living in you. See, I’ve met so many
Christians and, of course, about every non-Christian,
that don’t understand what the Christian life is. So let me just kinda make
sure you understand this, if you’re not a Christian I
want you to really listen. And if you are a Christian or
you think you’re a Christian or you say you’re a Christian I want you to
listen even harder. The Christian life is
not you living for Jesus. The Christian life is
Jesus living in you. – [Man] Amen. – And a lot of
people don’t get it. And that’s why a lot
of people struggle. It has to be that way. See if the new you
is going to live, the old you must die. Well, why must the old you die? Because there’s not enough
room in you for two yous. You can only be one you. So either the old
you is living in you or the new you is living in you. Your house is only big
enough for one person. So you can’t live in your house and Jesus live in your
house at the same time. By the way, Jesus
doesn’t share a house. ‘Cause let me tell
you why some of you struggle in your Christian walk. Can I just be
honest and tell you? Here’s the way you operate. You come to church and you let
Jesus take your house over. So he’s right here. And you sing the songs
and you take the notes and you open the Bible
and you nod your head. And so you’re kinda in the
flow of the Christian life. You got Jesus in here. But can I tell you
what a lot of you do? As you walk out the door you
got a little imaginary hook and you hang Jesus
up on the hook. And then you go out there and live just like
everybody else lives. And talk like everybody talks and walk like
everybody else walks and act like
everybody else acts. So what you did, you said,
okay Jesus, you move out, I’ll see you next week. Now I’m taking over. No, it doesn’t work that way. Jesus says no, I don’t
share my house with anybody. And as hard as this
is to understand, if you are a follower
of Jesus you are dead and alive at exactly
the same time. Every time I meet someone, particularly when I find out
that they’re not a believer, I imagine a sign on them that
says wanted dead and alive. ‘Cause that’s the
way God wants you. Not dead or alive,
dead and alive. God wants you to die to you, so Jesus can live in you. Now, if that sounds confusing and you say like I’m
still trying to get there but I just can’t
quite get there. I’m gonna really boil this down and make it as easy as I can. I want you to imagine that an
unbeliever comes up to you. You’re a believer. This person’s not a believer. You’re a follower of Jesus,
he’s not a follower of Jesus. She’s not a follower of Jesus. She comes up to
you and she says, you know I hear so
much about Christianity and I hear so much
about Christians and can you just tell me what does it mean
to be a Christian? Can you tell me, I hear this
story about the Christian life. You ought to live
the Christian life. Can you just kind of tell me what does it mean to
live the Christian life? Now, let’s just all be honest. A lot of us would say, boy
that’s kind of a hard question. I mean that’s kind of
a, it’s a long question. It’s an involved question. It’s a very detailed. And we’d probably all maybe
give a different answer. Okay, so I wanna help
you with something. I gonna make it so easy. The next time or if there
is a time when someone comes up to you and says to you, can you tell me what it
means to be a Christian? Can you tell me what
the Christian life is? Can you tell me why
your life as a Christian is so different from my life? Okay, I want you to
remember four words and you just answered
their question. The four words are
Christ lives in me. – [Man] Amen. – Now, let’s say
that together, ready. – [Everyone] Christ lives in me. – Say it one more time. – [Everyone] Christ lives in me. – The only difference
between a Christian and a non-Christian is
this He lives in one, He doesn’t live in the other. That’s the only difference. What makes the Christian
life the Christian life is not that you’re
trying to hit a standard that person can’t hit. You’re trying to jump a hoop
that person can’t get over. You’re trying to cross a bridge
they can’t make it across. That is not what
makes it different. The only difference is
that Jesus lives in you. Think about that word Christian. It’s just a combination
of two words right. Christ plus in. That’s it. A Christian is someone
in whom Christ lives. That’s why it’s so
frustrating to me when I share the
gospel with someone and I talk to them about
giving their life to Christ and being born again. You know asking Jesus
to become their Lord, giving their life to Christ. They’ll get to the end
of the conversation, they’ll turn me down. They’ll say, no. And here’s what they’ll tell me. That sounds great and
I know that I need it but I just can’t live up to it. And it’s so frustrating. ‘Cause here’s what I always say. Number one, you’re
exactly right, you can’t. Number two, have I asked
you to live up to anything? You go through this entire book. God never asked you one
time to live up to anything. You know why? ‘Cause you can’t do it. He never asked you to. He never commands you to. Because He knows you can’t. The Christian life is not
your living for Jesus. The Christian life is
Jesus living in you. The great reformer,
Martin Luther, once said when someone knocks on
the door of my heart, I open it and they
say, “Who lives here?” I answer, “Jesus
Christ lives here.” Inevitably they will say, “I thought Martin
Luther lived here.” To which I reply, “Martin
Luther used to live here “but he died, Jesus
lives here now.” And that is exactly what
the Christian life is. Let me tell you how
this relates to you in a very practical way. And I’ve done this so
don’t look too holy, ’cause you’ve done it, too. How many times have you ever
tried to justify your behavior. A bad temper or some
kind of a bad habit that you just practice
over the years. It’s just kind of
ingrained in you. And you’ll do it, somebody
will call you on it and you’ll say
something like this, well, that’s just
the way I was raised. We’ve all heard it right. Well, you know that’s
just the way I grew up. That’s just kind of the
crowd that I run with. Well, let me tell you
what Paul is saying. Jesus died for you and
was raised to live in you, so you no longer have to
live the way you were raised. Or put it another
way, Jesus was raised so you don’t have to live
the way you were raised. So the truth of the matter
is you can break this, well, my dad did it. His granddad did it, his
great-grandad did it. It doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing
as a generational curse that you can’t break. There’s no such thing as saying, you know what, I don’t
have to do this anymore. I am a new me. I used to serve on staff,
great, great Christian, great friend of mine, his
name’s Ashley Clayton. His son goes to our church. Goes to Mill Creek campus. And Charlton if you’re watching, hey, Charlton, how are you? So Charlton goes, he’s
one of our deacons. Great, great family. Ashley, I served
with him for years and whenever he would pray he would always
end his statement, his prayer with
the same statement and it got ingrained in me. And it didn’t matter
what he was praying for. If he was praying for the food, he’d end it with this statement. If he was praying for revival, he’d end it with this statement. If he was praying for
somebody to be healed, he would close with
this statement. If he was praying for
Georgia to beat Florida, he would close with
this statement, always. Whenever he got to
the end of his prayer, here’s what he would say. He’d say, “And if there’s
anything good about me “it’s that Jesus lives in me.” If there’s anything
good about me it’s that Jesus lives in me. So let me just kind of
burst a little bubble today. You’re sitting here today
and you’re listening and you think you know,
I hate to say this but I think I’m a
pretty good person. I think people should be
thankful they know me. It’s hard for me not to
stand in front of the mirror and sing “How Great Thou Art”. It’s just hard
for me to do that. Can I just tell you
a little something? If there is anything
good about you it’s that Jesus lives in you. – [Man] Come on now. – Because if Jesus doesn’t
live in you, with all respect, there is nothing good about you. The only thing good
about your pastor, if there’s anything good in me
it’s that Jesus lives in me. Now just think about this. The only way to live
right, this makes sense, the only way to live right is
to have the one who is right to live in you. That’s the only
way to live right. I need someone who is
right to live in me. How does that happen? Well, first of all
I’ve gotta believe I’m dead to a sinful past. I’ve been crucified with Christ. I gotta believe I walk in
the strongest presence. Jesus is in me. He never checks out
at 12 o’clock noon. He never takes a break. He never goes on vacation. He never takes a sabbatical. He is always in me
everywhere I go. That means I never
face life alone and I never fight battles alone. He’s always in me. – [Man] Amen. – But then Paul said but it
gets even better than that. Because when you give
your life to Jesus not only does it mean I
died to a sinful past. It not only means I walk
in the strongest presence. It means I live in
the securest position. I live in the securest position. Now, how do you live this life? You say, you may be
sitting here right now and you be saying I am in. Tell me how to get in on this
thing you’re talking about. This is the greatest thing
I’ve heard since ice cream. Let me know how you do it. How do you live this life? Well, it’s gonna stagger you
and amaze you how you do it but it’s why anybody can. You ready? Paul said, “The life I
now live in the body.” This body, “I live by
faith in the Son of God, “who loved me and
gave Himself for me.” What Paul is simply saying is, okay this is the crucified life. This is the cross-shaped life. So, let me give you
some bad news, okay. I wanna go back to something
I said a moment ago. Remember the person that said, I’ll tell you why I’m not
gonna become a Christian because I just
can’t live up to it. I could never do that. Okay, so again, I want
you to hear this clearly. You can’t live the
Christian life on your own. It is an impossibility. So I wanna use some bad grammar, but it is fantastic theology. You ain’t going to get
to God on your own. It ain’t going to happen. Now you grammarians
out there they’ll say, I can’t believe you
used the word ain’t. Well as one great
philosopher said, a lot of people that won’t
say ain’t, ain’t eating. Okay, so I’m not
worried about it. You are not going to get
to God trying your best, doing your hardest. Do it yourself project,
the Home Depot way. I fix it myself. You can’t do it and listen it’s
an impossibility. Let me tell you why. Paul says it all begins by
being crucified with Christ. Now why did Paul
use that analogy? He could have used any analogy. He said I’ve been
crucified with Christ. Why did he say that? Simply put, because you
can’t crucify yourself. Let’s just say,
totally hypothetical, you’re thinking about
killing yourself. Well, there’s a lot of
ways you can do it, right. You can shoot yourself. You can hang yourself. You can stab yourself. You can drown yourself. I’m sorry, you can’t
crucify yourself. Absolutely, impossible. Someone has to crucify
the old you for you and Paul says that can
only happen by faith. You’ve got to believe that
the moment you come to Christ, God will crucify the old you, put his resurrected Son in you so He will live His
life through you. Now here’s our problem. You say, well why do
we still struggle? ‘Cause Paul said we
still live in this body. That’s the problem and the Greek word there
is actually the word flesh. In other words, there’s
one thing we have in common with unbelievers, they
live in the flesh, we live in the flesh. They sleep in the flesh,
we sleep in the flesh. They walk in the flesh,
we walk in the flesh. Here’s the
difference, you ready? We live in the flesh, but
we don’t live by the flesh. We live in the flesh, but
we don’t live for the flesh. We live by faith. And by the way, we
have no other choice. ‘Cause this is what
some people can’t really get their hands around. The entire Christian
life is lived by faith. You get into the
Christian life by faith. You stay in the
Christian life by faith. You die in the
Christian by faith. How are we saved, by faith. How do we stay in the faith? We stand by faith. How do we obey God? We serve by faith. How do we even
understand this book? We see by faith. It’s all by faith. Now, admittedly
everybody lives by faith. So I’m just gonna
make something plain. Faith by itself won’t make
any difference in your life. It may help you function but it won’t make any
difference in your life. I mean, but again,
everybody has faith. I got on an airplane Friday
morning in Panama City, Panama. I’m flying back home. People get on that plane,
they were just like me. I got on, I had
faith in the plane that the plane would work and I had faith in the pilot that he knew how
to fly the plane. So I went to the
drugstore yesterday. People there lined
up just like me. They had faith that the medicine
that the doctor called in is the medicine
they’re going to get. And if you’ve ever seen the
writing that a pharmacist or a doctor does you
gotta do it by faith. You sure can’t read it. It’s all hieroglyphics. You just are believing I think this is the medicine
the doc called in. I think this is the medicine
that you’re giving me and all kinds of religious
people all around the world exercise faith every single day. But Paul said but
there’s something unique and there’s something different about the faith of a Christian. There’s something different
and there’s something unique about the faith of
a follower of Jesus. You say, okay, what
is the difference? Watch this, he said, “Our
faith is in the Son of God “who loved us and
gave himself for us.” This is the difference. So you’re a Muslim. You can’t place your faith
in a Muhammad that loved you and gave himself for you. You are a Hindu. Well, you can’t give your faith and place your faith in
an idol who loved you and gave himself for you. You’re a Buddhist. You can’t place your faith
in a Buddha who loved you and gave himself for you. But every single day of
my life I place my faith in the Son of God who loved
me and gave Himself for me. That is the difference. And listen, if that’s true,
in what better position could I be in my life
than to know that the one who lives in me has
already proven He will be all He needs to be to
me because He loved me and gave Himself for me. So someone beautifully
put it this way. “The life that Jesus lived
qualified Him for the death “that He died and the death
that He died qualifies us “for the life that He lived.” So if you’re trying to really
get your hands around it and say, okay, can you just
tell me in one single sentence what the Christian
life is all about and what Paul was really saying? This one you might
wanna write down. I’ll leave I up
here for a moment. Jesus gave His life for me in
order to take my life from me, so He could live His life in me. That’s the Christian life. That is the only way to live. Jesus gave His life for me in
order to take my life from me, so that He could
live His life in me. One of the movies that,
by the way this one will never make the top 10
best films, and it shouldn’t. But it’s definitely worth seeing and I’d like to know
how many of you saw it. How many of you saw the
movie, “Madagascar”? How many of you saw that movie? Okay, if you’ve got
kids you saw the movie. Okay, and by the way,
if you haven’t seen it, you don’t know what it’s about
just ask one of my grandkids. Okay, I mean they’ll
drive you crazy. They can quote every line of it. They know everything about it. And if you’re
familiar with it fine. If you’re not I’ll kinda
tell you what it’s about. It’s an animated film and it starts out with
a bunch of animals. They’re supposed
to be wild, right. But they live in a zoo. And so everybody who comes
to see these animals, they’re just in awe of these
powerful, exotic beings. Well, everybody’s
favorite is the lion. And every time the lion roars
the children just go nuts. And for the most part the
animals love their life. I mean they’re well cared for, trainers wait on
them hand and foot. They’ve got everything
that they need. And even though their habitats
are designed like jungles, it kinda makes it look
like they live in the wild, they really don’t. I mean they’re safe. They’re comfortable. They’re well fed. They get to sleep fine at night. Everything’s good. But then there is this zebra. And this zebra
keeps dreaming about what the real wild
would look like. And somehow this zebra
has figured out deep down, I was not made to
live in this zoo. I was not made to
live in a cage. I was made to roam
free out in the wild. I was made to live
free in the open air. And he begins to get restless. And that restless spirit
becomes contagious and so some of the other
animals they get restless, too. And finally several
of them escape the zoo and they find themselves
stranded in a jungle and the jungle’s
called Madagascar. That’s where the
movie gets it’s title. Well, that’s when the
movie really gets funny. Because you’re watching
these domesticated animals who grew up in the zoo and they’re trying to survive
in the wild in the jungle even though they were
born to live free. They weren’t born to
live in a cage in bondage and in slavery, but to be free, to be the animals that
God created them to be. Yet, the zoo and the
environment has ruined them. It’s made them tame. And it’s made them
useless to live the way they were meant to live. They know the way they
were meant to live, but they can’t pull it off because the zoo has
totally ruined them. It’s such a powerful,
powerful message. Because likewise,
we were never meant to live in the cages of sin
and shame and selfishness. We were never
meant to be chained to the balls of
pornography and bitterness and anger and
materialism and greed and lust and jealousy
and arrogance and envy. That’s not what
we were made for. We were meant to
live in the freedom that only faith in
the one who loved us and gave Himself
for us can bring. So let me just talk to
two groups of people one more minute
and we’re finished. You’re not a believer. You’re not a follower of Jesus. I got a simple question. Are you tired of
living in bondage? Are you sick of waking
up every morning and thinking these
bitter thoughts about the husband that
left you with those kids? Or that relative that
sexually abused you? Or that business partner that
cheated you out of your money? Are you kinda sick and tired
of getting up every day it’s the same old trap of
pornography or drugs or alcohol? Are you kinda sick of waking
up to that self-made prison that you built to
try to get to the top and get there before
everybody else? To make sure since you live
in a kind of dog-eat-dog, everybody slits
their throat world, you slit theirs
before they slit yours and you get yours
before they get theirs. You kinda tired of that? Are kinda tired of thinking, well I’m just doomed to repeat the mistakes of the
generation of the family that came before you? ‘Cause you know what I’m
already telling you is true, that’s just no way to live. And that’s not the
way you were created and that’s not why you
were put on this Earth. And let me tell you this,
in the name of Jesus, you don’t have to live that way. – [Audience Members] Amen. – You don’t have
to live that way. Jesus came to set you free. – [Man] Amen. – And when you know the
truth you are free indeed. – [Man] Exactly. – Oh, but it’s bigger,
’cause this is why I really came to
preach this message. You’re a believer. You’re a follower of Jesus,
at least you claim to be. I’m gonna ask some of you
today to stop doing something that you may not even
realize is happened to you, but it happens
every single Sunday. You have let these four walls
become a zoo in your life. You walk in here
on Sunday morning and you get domesticated
and you get tamed. Because this is
kinda where you come to, you know, live
the Christian life. So I want you to
hear me clearly. I won’t say anything ever
more important to this church than I’m gonna say today. Matter of fact, if I knew this
was gonna be my last sermon, I’d say that’s what
I wanna tell them. You do not come here to
live the Christian life. You come here to celebrate
the Christian life. – [Man] Amen. – You go out there to
live the Christian life. This is where we celebrate
the Christian life. But it’s in our homes,
in our neighborhoods and our schools and
the place where we work and the people that
we interact with. It’s at the Starbucks. That’s where we demonstrate
the Christian life. – [Man] Amen. – So I ask us today, don’t
hang Jesus up on the wall today when you walk out of here. Don’t put your Christian
life aside today when you walk out of here. Let’s go out of here
demonstrating to an
unbelieving world that through the resurrected
Jesus we can show people how is the only way to live. – We are so glad
you tuned in here on the “Touching
Lives” digital channel. And we hope you enjoyed
the sermon today. Be sure to click
and follow this page and feel free to leave
any comments below. We would love to hear your
thoughts from today’s message. And before I go, let me share with you an exciting
announcement about the upcoming Journeys
of the Apostle Paul tour with James and Teresa Merritt. This 10 day tour includes
stops in several of the cities where Paul preached during
his missionary journeys, including Athens, Philippi,
Berea and Thessalonica. Learn more at or email us at [email protected]
to request a free brochure. Thank you so much
for watching today. I’ll see you right here next
time for another episode of “Touching Lives”
with Dr. James Merritt. – [Announcer] “Touching Lives”
teaching people everywhere who Jesus is and
why they need him. This program is sponsored
by Touching Lives Ministries and is made possible
by the grace of God and your faithful
prayers and gifts.

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