Joseph Prince Sermon Notes – Jesus the End of Your Struggles

February 12, 2012 Service,
“Jesus the End of Your Struggles”

Romans 7, and Romans 8:1 are used to show that there is a struggle we experience as believers against the flesh. The key to victory over the flesh is not a formula, but a Person, Jesus Christ, depending on Him wholly and on none of our self. Key is that we take on the identity of Christ.
Key Points of the Sermon:

  • The law helps us see our need of Jesus.
  • We have become dead to the law (Romans 7:4). We no longer are bound to it. We have become a new creation through Christ to bear fruit to God.
  • The Holy Spirit dwells in us once we are saved but there is also the flesh. What is flesh? It is the part that wants to do wrong, the self-life.
  • We are not just dead to the ceremonial law; we are dead to the whole of the law.
  • Sin uses the law to kill you. The moment that you know you have done wrong, guilt comes in. Guilt is a killer.
  • What is the answer that Paul found? How do we do good instead of evil? The answer is who, not what formula we can adopt or fasting method, who, Jesus Christ. What he (Paul) found was through Jesus (Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus).
  • This struggling self is not your true self; we died at the cross and are now in Christ! You are the Man sitting at God’s right hand.
  • Jesus did not just die for us, He died as us.
  • Whatever your problem or struggle it is Christ facing that problem for you. Look away from yourself and look to Christ.
  • When God wants to look at you, He looks at Jesus Christ, because Jesus is the new you.
  • Our identity today is in Christ Jesus that means He represents us.
  • He did not die as God, but He died, rose and sat down as man. Heaven finally has found a perfect man, and that man is you. Can that man be condemned? Never.
  • God is looking at Jesus as the basis to bless you, and as who you are, treating you like Him.
  • There is nothing to do with self. We are no more in ourselves. We have been crucified and we have died.
  • Accept Christ as your true self before God.
  • Self-confidence is the root of all failure. Self-confidence is the root of all committed sin.
  • Our sins are not remembered in Heaven

Romans 7:1-8:1 (NASB)

Believers United to Christ
7 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her [a]husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law [b]concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in [c]the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the [d]Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except [e]through the Law; for I would not have known about [f]coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT [g]COVET.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me [h]coveting of every kind; for apart [i]from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart [j]from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was [k]to result in life, proved [l]to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

The Conflict of Two Natures
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold [m]into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the [n]principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God [o]in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in [p]the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner [q]of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Deliverance from Bondage
8 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Sermon
The woman is you and I the bride of Christ. We were once bound and married to Mr Law. Law manifest first to Israel and than grace came in Jesus Christ.
If God brought Jesus first (without bringing the law) many people would not see their need for Jesus. People would say I’m not prostitute, murderer or gangster, I do not need saving.

The more that someone tries to keep the law the worst they become. Like what Apostle Paul said (Romans 7:7 KJV): “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” The more I tried not to lust, the more I lusted.

The law helps us see our need of Jesus.

All of us broke the Ten Commandments; because sin is not just outward it is also in our thoughts. We were all great sinners when Jesus saved us; therefore our love for Him is great (Luke 7:47)!

The law is so demanding yet we are not able to meet the demands. As an example it is like a woman that is married to a perfect man but the woman is not perfect. The man wants things done by the woman in a perfect way, but the woman constantly falls short of perfection. Because the law demands (man in example) perfection the woman is always being cursed and rebuked. Than along comes a handsome young man (Lord Jesus Christ) who’s moral demands are above the law, because He is the lawgiver. But he expects nothing from the woman because whatever He demands He does it for the woman. Who would you want to be married to?

How can the woman marry the Lord Jesus when she is married to the law? That is why many of the Jewish faith cannot convert to Christianity. They feel like to convert is to betray their family. The Lord even provided the death of the woman at the cross, since the law cannot die the woman had to.

Romans 7:4 (KJV)
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

We are now on the other side of resurrection where the law cannot follow, where death cannot follow, you are married to the resurrected one, the purpose so that we can bear fruit to God. This chapter has nothing to do salvation it is about bearing fruit. Salvation and peace with God was all covered in earlier chapters.

Paul is saying now that you are saved here is how you get the power to do good. To not be bound by addictions. We are all addicted to something. If you are always depressed, always look on the dark side of something, always negative. The root of all these things is flesh.

The Holy Spirit dwells in us once we are saved but there is also the flesh. What is flesh? The flesh is not in our body but abides in the body. It is the part that wants to do wrong, the self-life. The part of us that is given to depression, self-pity, and self-occupation, the selfish, part of us that does not want to forgive. The part of us that is lazy that does wrong and has all sorts of sinful thoughts. We are not flesh if we are a believer. We have the flesh but we are not the flesh because we are in the spirit. As an example if we have a splinter in our body, we feel the effects and the pain, but we do not become a splinter. Just having flesh in our body does not make us flesh, but we do have the flesh.

What activates the flesh? The law Paul says (Romans 7:6). Some Christians still feel they need to follow the law. But the more we try to keep the law the more we sin. This is what Paul is talking about in Romans 7. How sin has no power over us any longer once we are under grace (Romans 6:14 {NKJV} – 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.). Romans 7 expounds on Romans 6:14. This is all about the Christian life after one is saved practical Christian life, practical holiness, and bearing fruit to God, serving in newness of the Spirit.

We are not just dead to the ceremonial law; we are dead to the whole of the law. “…Apart from the law sin was dead.” (Romans 7:7-8). Explanation, Israelites went from Egypt to Sinai. Did they have sin when they came out of Egypt? Of course they did. Even before the Ten Commandments everyone had sin, but the sin was not manifest. At Mt. Sinai they boasted, they said “All that God commands we will do!” Man presumes on his own strength, the law makes you occupied with self. God needed to demonstrate to the Isralites that they could not, so God gave them the Ten Commandments.

The moment the law was given sin came out as transgression. Sin means missing the mark. (Example given) Let’s say I am driving down a road at 110 mph. There was a sign that I passed but I did not see it, did I miss the mark, yes, but I do not know I missed the mark. Now let’s say I see a sign that say 90 mph and I am driving 80 mph. I see the sign and want to go even faster than 90 mph that is called sin. Sin came out in full force when the law came.

Romans 7:9-13 (NIV), 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.  13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

Sin uses the law to kill you. The moment that you know you have done wrong, guilt comes in. Guilt is a killer. Some people think that you should make people guilty to do the right thing, this is wrong thinking. Not guilt, but the love of Christ constrains us (2 Corinthians 5:14). Don’t miss understand. The law is holy, righteous and good. The problem is we are not. The law cannot bend for us. Some Christians would never dream of sinning but they hear preaching over and over on the Ten Commandments and end up sinning.

(Romans 7:14-20 NKJV), 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

If you are bound by any problem here is the way out. In his flesh dwells no good thing not in his body. Because in his body dwells the Holy Spirit.

(Romans 7:24-25 NKJV), 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
It is who, not what formula can I learn, what techniques can I apply, or what can I do! It is a person, Jesus Christ!

There is an interesting law in the Old Testament, the law of leprosy. When there is an outbreak on the head or on the body the person must be brought to the Priest to be examined. If it is real leprosy the man is quarantined. However, if the leprosy covers him completely he is clean.

Leviticus 13:12-13New King James Version (NKJV)
12 “And if leprosy breaks out all over the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of the one who has the sore, from his head to his foot, wherever the priest looks, 13 then the priest shall consider; and indeed if the leprosy has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean who has the sore. It has all turned white. He is clean.

If you think you are 70% good, just 30% temper problem, you are unclean. Then you say I have a problem with lust, but I am 60% good, you are still unclean. But if someone comes to Jesus and says I am 100% unclean, you cannot expect anything from me, I cannot trust myself. When we have this attitude Jesus turns around and says you are clean. Problem with us is we still expect some good, we condemn the bad flesh but accept the good flesh, but it is still flesh. If you are 70% good and 30% bad, than Jesus is only effective for you 30%, because Jesus is a Savior of sinners. God will allow us to go through struggles until we come to the end of ourselves.

The Apostle Peter had a problem long before he denied Jesus with cursing and swearing he had a problem. On the Passover night, Jesus prayed for Peter. (Luke 22:31-34) 31 And the Lord said,[a] “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Satan has found something in Peter. There is something in Peter that is giving ground to the devil. Notice the devil must ask permission. Also notice that Jesus did not pray that Peter would not fail, but that his faith would not fail. In other words Jesus allowed the test to show Peter, Peter. How many understand that. Many of us do not realize that there is nothing we can produce; only in the end to realize that it is all of Jesus and none of self.

Now what is faith? Some say that faith is the substance of things hoped for, faith is confidence of God, faith is believing God, faith is knowing what to do before you do it, all of these definitions are fine. But simply put, even a child can understand, when I look at the gospels, everyone who dares to comes to Jesus, despite of their sin, as they are He turns to them and says “your faith.” In other words when you fail, don’t stop coming to me! Don’t feel there is a distance that I am far away, I am still with you, I will never leave you nor forsake you, that’s faith! The reason that the Pharisees cannot accept Jesus Christ is because He made God so near. Those who are sick can be healed those who are demon possessed can be set free. But the Pharisees wanted God kept in the Holy of Holies. Only one that could go in was the High Priest. Here Jesus made God accessible. Peter when you fail don’t run from me, come to me. The Devil wants Peter to think he is cut-off from God. There are people who teach that sin is separation from God, I would like to ask them if you are separated from God, what can you do to get back to God. Can you do anything or even see that you have sinned? Outside of God’s presence how can you see your way back home? The truth is that when you sin, God never leaves you. You are not separated from Him.

Jesus washed feet of disciples, Peter refused. We think that sounds so nice but it is actually a religious spirit speaking. Jesus says you have no part with me. This “with me” is ministerial not salvation. Jesus said something in John 13:10-11 – 10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”

Once you are bathed (born again) in the blood of Jesus you only need to wash your feet. Having your feet washed is coming under the water of God’s word. Jesus does the washing.

What is the answer? Should we continue to not be able to do good, doing the evil we do not want to do? The answer is who, not what formula we can adopt or fasting method, who, Jesus Christ. What he (Paul) found was through Jesus.

(Romans 7:24-25 NKJV), 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

What is it that Paul found through Jesus? What Paul found is not salvation. He was already saved when he had this struggle.

“So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

When Paul discovered this, his mind was still for God’s law. Next verse is Romans 8:1 (NASB). We use NASB since the NKJV and the KJV has something interpolated into it.

NKJV – “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

NASB – “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Bible scholars have discovered that “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” is not suppose to be there. That is why the newer versions do not have it like the NIV or NASB. Some translator in the past cannot handle this verse. Let’s not argue from this one verse. Look at the earlier chapters. Chapter 3, 4, 5, it tells us that once we believe in Christ none of our walk is involved. None of your effort is involved. When you believe in Christ you pass from death to life, you have peace with God; you are now justified by faith. If that is not enough look at the end of Chapter 8 (Romans 8:33) – 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. This has nothing to do with us, nothing to do with our walk. The scholars are right, NASB – “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

What does in Christ Jesus mean? Want to know the secret of holiness? How were we saved? Was it by trusting in our effort? Was it any of our efforts? It was none of our efforts; it was completely the Lord Jesus. In the area of holiness the same thing applies, we are in Christ Jesus. The way we accept Christ as our salvation and forgiveness for sins, we now accept Jesus who is at God’s right hand as our true self. Our true self is the man at God’s right hand. Our identity before God’s eyes has changed. God does not even look at your struggles since we are in Christ Jesus. As far as God is concerned our true self died with Christ at the cross. When Jesus was at the cross God took all of us and put us in Christ. He didn’t just die for us He died as us. As far as God is concerned we are no more alive. The “I” who likes to do wrong is no longer alive. I live yet not I but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). It is a mystery. Tomorrow when you face prospects, the future or your problems, know this it is not you going but Christ facing that problem for you. God is saying look away from your self, your shortcomings, and your sins. Stop being introspective and see the man at God’s right hand, He is you, when God wants to look at you, when he wants to assess you, judge you He sees Christ. Jesus is at the right hand of God not as God. Jesus is 100% man, 100% God. But Jesus died as man not as God. God cannot die. Finally God’s heart can rest in joy in the perfect man. That man is you as far as God is concerned. Can that man be condemned? No, never, because Jesus cannot be condemned. God is looking at Jesus as you. God is looking at the perfection of Jesus. What about when I have bad thoughts? God is not looking at your thoughts He is looking at Jesus as you and Jesus has perfect thoughts. That is why you are confused because God is looking at Jesus as you and you are treating yourself like garbage. We do not realize that the deliverance is out of self in another person, Christ Himself. How does that help with temptation? Every time you are tempted remember that it has nothing to do with self. In and of myself I can murder, but we are no longer ourselves we have been crucified, we have died. Our identity before God is Christ Himself. (1 John 4:17) – 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. This is not a game, this is not something we hope for. This is a declaration of divine fact. That is why we can never be condemned, because Jesus cannot be condemned. God’s eye cannot see one speck of sin on Jesus neither can He see it on you. Just as you accepted Christ as your substitute for salvation, you must accept Christ as your true self.

If we still think that we can overcome this or that by our own efforts we will be caught in Romans 7 always on a merry-go-around, always being disappointed. The way out is to know that we have died. Because when Christ died, we died. When He was raised, we were raised. When He sat down, we sat down.

The Bible says we are transformed by beholding the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). Whenever you behold Jesus at the Fathers right hand the Holy Spirit goes to work. If there is any problem any struggle, our struggle is not overcome by willpower. What is the solution? Just behold Jesus and the Holy Spirit works to transform us from glory to glory. Even disease, many people don’t understand divine health, they understand laying on of hands on the sick but not divine health. Right now Jesus has no disease. If we have a condition in our body what we need to do every day is look up to heaven and say Lord Jesus as you are right now free from this disease, name your disease so am I in this world. It is not your part to make it happen, remember when you look at Jesus who goes to work? The Holy Spirit, He transforms you from glory to glory. It is all about Jesus. The more you see Jesus the more you become like him. When you see how beautiful He is the Holy Spirit transforms you from glory to glory.

The problem with Peter and Paul in chapter 7 and all of us is self-confidence. We are still hankering after self. Self-confidence is the root of all failure. Self-confidence is the root of all committed sin. Long before there was a golden calf, Israel became self-confident “all that God commands us we will do.” Jesus realized that Peter was unaware that this root was in him. Don’t say Peter reminds you of your best friend or father-in-law or someone else. Peter is a picture of you and I in our natural self. Just to prove that Peter did not understand what Jesus was saying.

Luke 22:31-32
31 And the Lord said,[a] “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Jesus not only prophesied that Peter would fail, but that when he failed he would return to the Lord and be strengthened and then strengthen the brethren. Then to show that Peter didn’t understand he said this:

Luke 22:33-34
33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

You will never here this in any self-motivation seminar; you will always hear you need more self-confidence. Don’t think we are advocating low self-esteem or low self-confidence, because when Jesus is your identity what worth it gives to you. Christ is my identity. I use to be very shy, today I am bold, not because of me but because Christ is my identity. John’s account is even more beautiful.

John 13:38-14:1
38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (Stop at 49:34)

Many do not read the portion from 14:1, why because it is in the next Chapter. But you must realize that the Chapters in the bible are man-made. Now let’s go back to Peter’s story.

The first time Peter met Jesus it was through his brother Andrew. Jesus looked at Simon and said you will be called Cephas, which means stone or solid rock (John 1:42). The second time he met Jesus he spent the whole night fishing and caught nothing. He and his partners were washing nets. Jesus was preaching to a crowd the crowd was swelling, Jesus went backwards and looked behind and saw Peter’s boat. He stepped into Peter’s boat. After He finished preaching He said to Peter launch out into the deep and let down your nets, plural for a catch (Luke 5:4). God always asks you to do big things. Faith is never too bold to please God. You can ask God for big things and God says I love it. Don’t ask for a job but ask for a position.

Peter said Lord we have worked all night and caught nothing, but because you say so, I will let down the net (one net) (Luke 5:5). And guess what? All the fishes of the sea went to the master, because the master was in the boat. Whenever Jesus is in your life everything comes in your favor. Even when He was born, gold, frankincense and myrrh came from long distances. When Jesus is in your life blessings from afar will come.

Now they can’t take the fish in and the net broke (Luke 5:6). Of course the blessing is always greater than your faith. He had to call for help and they finally got fish in the boat and the boat began to sink (Luke 5:7). And Peter got down on his knees and said Lord, depart from me I am a sinful man (Luke 5:8). This is the first time Peter called Jesus Lord. I always challenge people, which came first the blessing or the repentance? The blessing came first! It is always the goodness of God that leads people to repentance! God is good and sent His son to die for our sins (the sum of all theology).

Next time we see Peter is at Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27). Jesus said who do men say that I am? Some say John the Baptist; other Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets (Mark 8:28). Then Jesus said who do you say I am? Peter answered, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Jesus was impressed. He said, “…Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). You didn’t get this on your own. What happens just the next few verses down?

Matthew 16:21-22
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

There was no other way for God to make sinners righteous. A man presuming to bring the Lord aside and rebuke the Lord! When you are self-confident praises elate you and criticism crushes you. He is rebuking Jesus. What does Jesus say?

Matthew 16:23
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Let me give you another gospel, Mark, this is beautiful.

Mark 8:32-33 New International Version (NIV)
32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Let me explain what is happening here. Peter doesn’t know that he is speaking for Satan. Satan put the thought in his mind. His self-confidence just blinds him. Many of us in our self-confidence think we know better than God. That is why we don’t read the bible; because we have human philosophy, human ideas, human methods, human teaching, human sayings, so who needs the bible. Many times we think we can correct God. When Jesus looked at the disciples He looked at them as if to say, if I do not go, what is going to happen to them? He was a shepherd turning to His flock.

After Matthew 16, Jesus brought Peter, James and John up to the mountain where He was transfigured.

Matthew 17:2-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us[a] make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Jesus face was shinning his clothes were dazzling white the Father was talking to Him, Moses and Elijah appeared and Peter answered. I do not recollect anyone asking him a question. Let us make three tabernacles one for you, Moses and Elijah. He is talking nonsense. There is no way he can build this real fast. People who are self-confident end uttering the most stupid statements even at the wrong time. Let’s see who corrected him, in the next verse.

Matthew 17:5
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

God the Father rebuked Peter. You must understand the Jewish people in the Old Testament when God’s cloud comes on you after you do wrong, you better watch out. This happened to Miriam, who murmured against God’s leader. Miriam was Moses Sister. The bright cloud came on her and when it left she became a leper.

Matthew 17:6-7
6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Why do not be afraid? Because there can be no judgment when grace and truth are there. The Father said listen to my son and what are the first words of the son? “Do not be afraid!” There is no one like Jesus. No wonder I love Jesus. There is no one like Jesus. You cannot trust on anyone in this world because they all have clay feet, but you can trust in Jesus. There is one, every which way you turn He is beautiful. When He is firm He doesn’t hurt, when He is kind, He’s not soft, He is all together lovely. The King of Kings the Lord of Lords. He spoke two words, “follow me” and the fishermen left everything and followed Him; strong tough men. There is no way they would follow a man who is soft or a weakling. He’s a “mans man”.

When they came to arrest Him in the garden, He said you have found me let the rest go. They asked, “who are you looking for” they said we are looking for Jesus of Nazareth. He spoke God’s eternal name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. They all fell down. Soldiers with swords all fell down and the captive waited for them to get up. No one can take His life. He laid down His life (John 18:1-11). Tattered and bleeding, many people died from the scourging, He carried His cross and stayed alive to die on the cross and cried “It is finished” not with a soft voice, but a loud voice (John 19:17-30).

Matthew 17:8
8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

They only saw Jesus! That is where God wants to bring all of us! No more my self, my worries, my addictions, my bad habits, but Jesus only.

Peter next denied Jesus with cursing and swearing. The first was to a servant girl! Then the third time:

Luke 22:59-62 New King James Version (NKJV)
59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster[a] crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows,[b] you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Mocked and Beaten
63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him,[c] saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?”

The moment the rooster crowed Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Jesus was being tried and yet He thought of Peter. One of the last people Jesus saw before He couldn’t see was Peter. Jesus loves you. He loves you very much. He knows your failures before you commit them.

Jesus was crucified and arose after three days. Then something happened at the empty tomb:

Mark 16:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

The angels and all heavenly beings are young. How many know that in Heaven everyone is young!

The angel said “go tell the disciples and Peter!” It is almost like the sin never happened. Let me tell you something, do you know what Jesus said, whoever denies me before men I will deny you before my father which is in heaven (Matthew 10:33)? Some people show me all the biblical passages in the gospels before Jesus died and said what about this one what about that one? Everything must be interpreted through the lens of the cross. Peter denied with cursing and swearing that he knew Jesus. But did Jesus deny him? No, and why? Because Jesus shed His blood for Peter, sins are not remembered in heaven. Look at the spiritual hall of faith in Hebrews 11, every one of the heroes of faith sinned, but none of their sins are recorded. Heaven does not record failures. Don’t worry, I know that some of you have read that pamphlet, “This is your life”, where it says when you go to heaven God has a big screen and from the day you are born everything you do wrong will be seen. They all see what you did behind closed doors, what goes through your mind. That is simply not true, there is no record. Why, because of Jesus blood deleted the tape. That is why there are only achievements in Hebrews 11. Go to the Old Testament and read the accounts even Abraham lied, it is not recorded in Hebrews 11.

Do you remember the two disciples on the road to Emmaus? After He broke the bread they knew who He was, and He disappeared. What did they say when they returned to Jerusalem? When they reached the upper room they said this:

Luke 24:34New King James Version (NKJV)
34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

Many of us don’t realize. We know He appeared to Mary Magdalene, but we don’t know He appeared to Peter. It was a private meeting. No one knows since there is no account of the meeting in the bible. This is the first day of the resurrection and He has already appeared to Peter.

Before God restores your outside, your ministry, He restores your conscience first. A bad conscience is like walking with a small grain of sand in your shoe, you don’t feel comfortable. You need your conscience cleared; you need to know that the blood of Jesus has forgiven you. This is because from your conscience comes peace. After your conscience is cleared there is peace and the next thing God restores is your heart. Because from the Heart comes joy. Now we watch how Jesus restored Peter openly, in front of everyone else. The rest all knew he denied knowing Jesus. There is a private and now a public restoration. It is one week after the resurrection and Jesus walked by the Lake of Galilee. Peter and his friends the disciples were all fishing with John as well. Jesus called to them, children do you have any food? They said nothing we have toiled all night. Jesus said throw your net on the right side. They did it and they caught so many fish and this time the nets did not break. They dragged the net to the shore.

John 21:9New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

Fire of coals, why a fire of coals? Now you will see Jesus heal Peter’s mind. When you do wrong you know God has forgiven you. But sometimes the memory of it still hurts you. The only other place in the bible where coals of fire appear is when Peter denied Christ. Peter smelled the coals of fire and it triggers his memory. Peter already knows he has been forgiven but now Jesus is going to restore his heart and his ministry. From now on every time he smells coals of fire the thought that he denied Christ will no longer haunt him.

John 21:10-11New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”
11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

No insignificant detail in the bible. Why 153 fish? Why are 153 significant? Because every number has a letter in Hebrew, like Hey = 5, Yod=10, Aleph=1. Look at this when Jesus says I am God, this is how He says it:

GematriaI am God. You look at the numerical value of each letter. You add them all together and it is 153. It was a hidden message to all of them. When they caught 153 fishes Jesus was saying I am God. I command the market to come to you. You are in this world but you are not of this world. Jesus can command the fishes to come into your business. But don’t put your eye on the fishes, put your eye on Jesus.

Then Jesus sat them all down and Jesus said:

John 21:15New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Restores Peter
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love (agapao) Me more than these?”

For love, Jesus used the highest form of love, which is agapao. Jesus is saying do you love me with the highest form of self-sacrificial love more than all of these. Peter has been humbled. His self-confidence has now been dealt with. How do we know this? By Peter’s response:

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.”

Phileo means I like you, I am fond of you as a friend. At that level Jesus said:
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

Jesus then asked him a second time:

John 21:16New King James Version (NKJV)
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love (agapao) Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.”

Peter answers again, you know I only like you. Peter has been humbled, Jesus says it was never your love it was always my love:

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

The third time He asks:

John 21:17New King James Version (NKJV)
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love (phileo) Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

Why three times? Because with his mouth he denied Jesus three times, it was early in the morning when this happened. It was early in the morning when Peter denied Jesus. A cock was crowing somewhere. Jesus is restoring him so every time he hears a rooster crowing, early in the morning, or when he sees coals of fire he will not remember his denial of Jesus but will remember to take care of Jesus sheep. He also wants Peter to know it is not Peters love for the Lord but the Lords love for Peter.

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileo) You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
He was restored in front of everyone. Nobody can remind him again, now everything that triggered off his failure now triggers off Jesus love. So whatever bad memory you may have in your past see Jesus in that situation, see him holding you. Maybe you feel that you lack a Fathers or Mothers love, let Jesus love you.
Don’t live life concerned with self anymore, because Jesus is watching over you. God has found a perfect man who represents you and I He is they’re as your true self. Look away from your self and look to Jesus.

 

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