[SW200] 09/04/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015
“Becoming the Proof”
I could tell you the truth about humanity’s condition and their need for a Savior, and with great passion, I could show you why it is true, but it will have no power to change hearts if I myself am not the living proof of it.
I could reason with you, I could show that there is archeological evidence that the Bible is true, I could argue with you endlessly about such things.
But I become living proof when God so changes me inwardly that it is impossible to deny the truth. That’s when the church becomes the church, beloved. When Christians claim the Bible is true but do not live out what it says, the world laughs.
If I am not like Jesus, I can tell you about Him all day long, and you will look at how I live, and scoff at me.
That’s why Jesus told His disciples to wait in the city to be clothed with power from on high. They already had authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons, and they had done so.
But this is a different kind of power. It is the power to live as Christ lived when He was on the earth. It is the power of the Holy Spirit, no longer beside them but IN them. He makes us new on the inside, giving us a new heart, a new nature, and the fruit of Him — His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, and His Spirit controlling us.
It is the power to be His witnesses here, to be people who actually have Jesus inside of them, living through them, showing Himself to the world here and now.
When you are His witness (the original Greek word is the source of our word, “martyr”) because you have died and He lives in you, people will sense Him in you.
It isn’t that you do the Law, dotting i’s and crossing t’s to be sure you act right, but it’s being made right by God dwelling in you.
Then you don’t have to prove anything. He is obviously in you. So when you speak, your hearers know it is God and they either receive or reject Him and His Christ.
You see, Ephesians 5:8-10 means much more than trying and failing and trying and failing to do what pleases God. When you are filled with God’s Spirit, you BECOME that which pleases God — obedient, and filled with His power and love.
It is great news, but millions in the church have not heard of it. We are happy to be saved, and rightly believe it is instantly done when we repent and believe. But we have a hard time believing that God can change our hearts permanently and totally, in an instant.
There’s plenty of evidence against it — all you have to do is look at how many of us live.
Our actions belie our claim that we are full of God. We act no different than we did before. We still sin, we still willfully disobey God, we still lust, we still covet, we are yet hypocrites.
And so we conclude that it is impossible to do what Christ clearly teaches. We see no evidence of it. There are no witnesses, we say, so it must not be true.
But there are witnesses! Some have offered the Lord their hearts in flames of holy love!
Some have testified, “Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast-bound in sin and nature’s night. Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee!” That was John and Charles Wesley’s testimony, and they were His witnesses.
And even today, some of us have totally abandoned ourselves to God, have received the fullness of His wonderful Spirit, and we are no longer slaves to sin! The chains have fallen off! And we rise and are able to follow, to obey, to live like Christ in this world. Our faces shine with His presence, and we leap and shout and praise His holy name!
We were beggars at Gate Beautiful who had never walked as God walks. We were born lame. And now we can walk!
Now, He works His wonders among us and through us, just as He did when He was on the earth. And just like He promises, we do greater, because now that His Spirit is poured out, those who are filled with Him can be used to fill others!
Will you believe it? If you know you are not living like Jesus, then I am here to tell you that even today, God is still ready and waiting to fill you with His Spirit and change you so profoundly that people will know God is real and He is in you!
Jesus says that he who rejects Him, rejects the One who sent Him. Jesus was rejected by many who wanted to retain their traditions and political power. He came against all of it, simply by speaking the truth and being the Truth.
And it is the same today. We expect the world to reject Him. But it grieves God that much of the church of today rejects His Spirit and His truth. It is not unexpected, for Paul spoke of it in 2Timothy 3, writing that in the last days, all the lawlessness we see today would come, and that many would have a form of religion while denying its power. That means its power to change human hearts.
God and God alone profoundly changes human hearts. He is still at work. Jesus has not changed. God’s promises are still offered to you. Believe and receive.