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WHY CHRIST IS REJECTED

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (JOH 1:10-11)

It seems such a mystery how Jesus was not known nor accepted by His very own people, the children of Israel, who had waited so many generations for His coming. Throughout the entire Old Testament they lived in expectation of the coming of the Messiah. How is it possible that they did not know Him? How is it possible He came unto them, and they refused to accept Him as the Messiah?

In GEN 49:10, Jacob, our dying patriarch, spoke of Judah with such an expectation of the coming Messiah. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."

He prophesied that the gathering of the people would be unto Shiloh, the coming Messiah. They died expecting the coming Messiah.

See with what expectation this Messiah was awaited by those who loved the Lord. In LUK 2:25-30, there we read about old Simeon, and how he waited in the temple for the coming of the Messiah. "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him." The consolation of Israel rested in that promise of the coming of the Messiah. How is it possible that when He came, they didn’t know Him and refused to accept Him?

"And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation." (LUK 2:26-30)

The coming of the Messiah was the consolation and expectation of the children of God. Yet our text says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (JOH 1:10-11)

He came unto the Jews, the children of Israel. Unto those who were practicing the burnt offerings, and putting the lamb on the altar. A type and shadow of the sacrifice that He came to make, to those very people.

How could this be? The answer becomes so obvious after serious consideration of the True Light, which lighteth the world. The problem lays in a presumption of what they thought constituted salvation, of what they thought the Messiah should be.

A parallel of this is in 2 KIN 5:10-11. Naaman, who is struck with leprosy, is coming to the prophet of Israel, to be healed. "And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper." Elisha told him where the cure lay, but Naaman was wroth and had his own preconceived notion of how he was to be cured.

Naaman thought he could remain in his proud state of rebellion without repentance. He never understood that he must give up his pride, and his presumption. He must come in and mark "death" upon self, by bowing down and washing seven times in Jordan. (Jordan is the symbol of death, that means to write "death" on self, and everything of the world. "Death" on all my presumptuous and preconceived notions of what I think constitutes salvation. I’ve got to write "death" on it all.) This is what put him in a rage; he thought he had it all figured out.

Do you know why the Lord Jesus was not accepted? Because, in His time, the Scribes, the Pharisees, the children of Israel, had it all figured out. They knew just how it was going to be. They were going to have a king, sitting on the throne, who would deliver them from the Romans. He was going to have an earthly kingdom, and their pride and glory were going to be exalted, not humbled.

This word received, as it is used in JOH 1:11, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not," is taken from the Greek word, Paralambano (par-al-am-ban-o), which means "to associate with oneself in an intimate relationship." The generation that was on this earth at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came had no intimate relationship with Him. 

They had no love for Him. It means "to accept or delight in," or "to receive." They "received him not." They had no love for Him or any intimate relationship with Him. What this receiving constitutes, is that bride-bridegroom relationship. It is speaking of that marriage union that takes place between Christ and His church.

In EPH 5:25-27 we read, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." This intimate relationship is what was missing.

Now we can see where their problem was. They were not able to dip themselves into Jordan seven times. They were not able to write "death" on self and sin. They were not able to write "death" on all their vain imaginations of what constituted salvation.

Do you think that was a problem with that generation only? No. That problem prevails today. People have preconceived notions, "Well, you have to experience this or that, and I can’t find it within the pages of Holy Writ, but that’s the way I’ve been brought up, that’s the way I’ve been taught; that’s what I believe." Therefore, what the Word of God says is not their authority.

Do you know why? Many people today do not love the True Light. That’s where all the problems lay. They were not willing to be sanctified and cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. They had no love. There was no intimate relationship between their soul and the true work of sanctification, the true work of grace.

It says in EPH 5:27, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

When the Lord Jesus Christ takes His bride unto Him, He wants rebellion broken and pride put down. He wants you and I to be able to walk in humility, writing "death" on pride and all things of the world. We’ve got to be able to wash in Jordan and be able to come out clean before we can enter into an intimate relationship with Christ. We cannot serve Christ and the flesh at the same time.

That’s where the problem lay. There was no repenting or turning from self and sin. There was no turning unto the Lord. There was no unconditional surrender to the will of the King of Kings. Those for whom the Father reserved this intimate relationship must come into conformity with that blessed image of Christ.

See this in ROM 8:29, "For whom he did foreknow, [Do you know what that word "foreknow" means? That means an intimate relationship. For those whom He had an intimate relationship.] he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Jesus did not come in all the earthly pomp as they had expected. He did not come to take the Roman seat and to become the ruler of a natural and earthly kingdom. He was not giving them a kingdom in this world. That is why they did not know Him and why they rejected Him.

The Word of God tells us in COL 1:21, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." Until our will comes into total, unconditional surrender to the will of God, we are at enmity in our mind by wicked works. 

This is what was lacking. They were not willing to submit to His golden scepter. They were not willing to repent, to come to a change of mind, and to come under His kingship. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (MAT 4:17) They excluded themselves.

Those who walk under the power of darkness cannot associate, accept, nor delight in an intimate relationship with the True Light. To receive Christ means to enter into that intimate relationship with Him. Their state of mind made it impossible for them to enter into a true, intimate relationship with the True Light.

Do you know why? Look at JOH 3:19-20, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (JOH 3:19)

What does the light do? What happens when that True Light shines in the soul? It starts to reveal our sin, our pride, and our selfishness. It reveals that need of marking "death" upon self, upon the world, upon everything of the flesh. That is what they find to be their condemnation, "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." (JOH 3:20)

Now we can begin to understand why He was not accepted and why He was not known by the world. They were finding Him to be their condemnation as the light sprang up into their heart. When the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery to Jesus. They wanted Him to condemn her. Jesus said in JOH 8:7, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." When the light shone in their hearts, what did they do? 

JOH 8:9 says, "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." That light becomes their condemnation. What is the result? They hate the light, and this enmity, in the mind, is revealed by their wicked works. He was not accepted.

Jesus said in JOH 8:12, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness…" When you walk where the light shines in your heart, it will reveal every wrong attitude, every wrong thought, and every wrong action. The Lord Jesus Christ is that Light. The result is that you are not going to walk in darkness and have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The light will shine into your heart and you will see every wrong attitude, and it will condemn you. It brings you to the Light because you love the truth. Why? Because you want to have every wrong attitude revealed. Why? So you can repent of it and change that wrong attitude and start walking under the law of love.

JOH 3:21 says they that love truth will come to the Light, "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." If we love the truth, and the Lord Jesus Christ is that Light and Truth, then those that love truth will come to the Light, that their deeds might be made manifest. Jesus told His brethren that hated Him, "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." (JOH 7:7)

This True Light was the source of man's alienation and the enmity of their minds. This is why He was not accepted.

Do you see why the world knew Him not? The world, those who have not had the divine influence of the Holy Spirit work grace upon their heart and attitude, have not the new desire, to come to the light, that their deeds might be made manifest. They hate the light, the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? "…because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." (JOH 7:7)

When we see what the spiritual condition was at the time of Jesus' coming, and how He began His ministry, then we begin to understand why Israel, as a nation, would not associate themselves with the True Light in an intimate relationship, nor would they accept or delight in Him.

MAT 4:16 says where the gospel began, "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." The Light is the condemnation. Their condemnation sprung up and their evil deeds were made manifest. He told the Scribes and Pharisees that they were like whited sepulchres full of dead men’s bones, and they were hypocrites. They didn’t like Him. They couldn’t find an intimate relationship with the Truth.

"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent…." (MAT 4:17) Come to a change of mind, attitude, and your walk of life. Come and serve in the kingdom, under my scepter, and come under the kingship of Christ.

Do you see why they hated Him? Do you see why the Lord Jesus says, "…Because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." (JOH 7:7) They were in darkness, and they loved the darkness, and the light was their condemnation. Why? They were void of the grace of God. Outside of the divine influence upon the heart, which can be seen in the life, there is no intimate relationship between True Light and the works of darkness.

The calling that the Apostle Paul was given by the Lord Jesus Christ, which he testified to in ACT 26:18 was, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." The calling of the gospel is "to open their eyes." 

To show them where the True Light is and where sin lays. If they are come from under the power of Satan unto God, then they will receive their forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith. Faith sanctifies and sets us apart from the world. Saving faith turns our heart from serving the flesh to serving the Living God. If we’re void of that faith, we’re void of saving faith.

You might have faith enough to remove mountains, and a terrific power of the mind, but if you don’t understand what it is to have that inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith, that is in the Lord Jesus Christ, you don’t have salvation.

Therefore, it is only by grace that the prayer of David is ever implanted in our hearts. In PSA 119:34-35 we see the fruits and the evidences of saving faith by a man who says, "Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight."

See the intimate relationship, how the heart is in tune; there is harmony. He can sing in the choirs of heaven because his heart is in tune with the Lord.

David said, "For therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way." (PSA 119:35b-37) When the light sprang up in his soul, his heart came in tune with the will of God. You see the perfect harmony, and the total contrast between such a response and that of the Pharisees.

This internal call of repentance is wherein the True Light of Christ is distinguished from the gospel of Satan, an angel of light, which is rampant in our day.

Jesus spoke of this in MAT 11:25, "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." That’s the distinction between the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Satan. The distinction is that these things: the need of a new heart, and the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit, a repenting spirit, and a change of mind, have been hidden from the wise and prudent. 

Read that in its context and see that Jesus was pleading with them about repenting. Then He says, "I thank thee…[that] thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes." (MAT 11:25)

The distinguishing grace of the Holy Spirit divides those who have associated themselves in an intimate relationship with the True Light (those who accept and delight in His service), and those who want to serve self, the world, and sin.

Take the context in which the Lord Jesus spoke of those unto whom His heavenly Father was pleased to reveal the True Light. In MAT 11:28-30 He says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

I want you to take the very letter of the Word, just the way it’s written, and see what is a prerequisite to finding rest for your soul. It is in verse 29, "Take my yoke upon you [bow under my service; bow those stiff knees and that rebellious heart] and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly…"

What did He do? He humbled Himself and became obedient. That’s the hard thing for our natural mind to humble ourselves and become obedient. Look in PHI 2:8, "…he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Unless you and I take up our cross and follow Him, we are none of His, unless we humble ourselves and become obedient unto death, i. e., to write "death" upon self, our old opinions, our old pride, and what we believe, and upon all the preconceived notions that we have of salvation. We must humble ourselves, obey Jesus, and take His "yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly."

We learn from what it is that is so pleasing to the Father by His example and from what He has taught. What is that? Humble obedience pleases the Father. Humble yourself and become obedient unto death, write "death" upon everything of nature. He says, "for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (MAT 11:29)

Look at the intimate relationship: "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (MAT 12:30) His yoke easy because it becomes our greatest delight to do what is pleasing in His eyes. PSA 112:1 says, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments." These are the things which are hidden from the wise and the prudent. These are the things that are hidden from the carnal mind that cannot fathom these things.

ROM 8:6-7 says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: [There is no intimate relationship between the carnal mind, that mind is at enmity with God] for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." This word carnal, is taken from the Greek word sarx, which means, "unregenerate, pertaining to the flesh, the symbol of what is external, human nature with all its frailties and passions, the human being as such - carnally minded or fleshly.

Why? These things are hidden from them. These are the things that are hidden from the wise and prudent, and are revealed unto those babes in Christ. The intimate relationship, which comes by taking His yoke upon yourself and learning of Him, and humbling yourself unto death, even the death of the cross; you humble yourself and become obedient.

There are many that preach a carnal Christendom, that you can be a carnal Christian. You can accept Jesus and you’re saved, eternally secure, but you’re just not going to enjoy the presence of the Lord, because you’re carnal. Such doctrines come right out of the pit of hell. This is the very reason why they were not willing to accept Jesus. This is the very reason the world knew Him not. 

They had a preconceived notion of some type of a broad-road Christendom whereby they could take every pleasure of the world, of self, and all their pride with it, and yet they could have the Lord Jesus put on just a little extra blood to wash it all away. They could go to heaven, forgetting that as the tree falls, so it’ll lay, forgetting that they have never come into an intimate relationship with Christ. 

They are forgetting that they have never learned to know Him, yet they’re going to spend eternity with Him. Why? Not because they love Christ, but because they want to use Him for a fire escape. That’s all it’s for.

To be carnally minded, that is, spiritually dead, is the portion of all mankind until they are quickened by the Spirit's work of regeneration. In EPH 2:1 it says, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." You and I by nature are dead in trespasses and sins, and are carnal. There’s only one group of people that are ever going to come into the intimate relationship with Christ, and that is those who are quickened.

So now we can examine our own hearts. Do we live in enmity or do we love to come under His yoke? Is it our greatest pleasure to serve Him? Is it because we want to walk in His ways, and that is our desire? Is it our heart’s desire and prayer? If it is, that is one of our best evidences of having the quickening grace of the Holy Spirit. This condition is universal. Every human being, by nature, is born spiritually dead until God’s work of grace comes into the heart.

Turn to EPH 2:2-3, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation [notice the Apostle Paul made no exceptions. He did not exclude himself, he did not exclude any one of us. Among whom…we all had our conversation…] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

In verse 2 we see the distinction between God’s people and the wicked. The wicked are the children of disobedience; they are not willing to humble themselves and become obedient. "…according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." (EPH 2:2)

Now I want you to see where God’s grace intervenes. It says, we are all "by nature…children of wrath, even as others. But God, [Not what I did, not what I thought. But God…] who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)." (EPH 2:3b-5) What does that mean, "by grace ye are saved?" The word grace means the divine influence upon the heart which is now seen in the life. By grace there is a change of attitude and lifestyle that comes by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

The effect of this grace in the sinner’s life can be seen by others, but the greatest affect is seen in Verse 6, when the saved person comes into an intimate fellowship with Christ. "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (EPH 2:6)

Christ is universally rejected by mankind in an unregenerate state because they see no beauty in Him. ISA 53:1-3 says, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

Do you see now why He was in the world and the world never knew Him? He came to His own, and His own received Him not. He didn’t come in the pomp and in the glory that they had expected. He had not filled their expectation of what they were going to see in the Messiah.

One time the Lord laid on my heart, "And thou shalt see the King in His beauty;" ISA 33:17a. My first reaction was that the Lord would give me to see Him in His exalted state. Do you know where the Lord gave me to see "the King in His beauty?" It was in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is where the Lord gave me to see Him. How He was sweating His own blood because it was my sin that was laid on His account. 

That is when I began to understand, and to see, the beauty that there was in the blessed King, "the King in His beauty." This knowledge was withheld from their eyes. "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." (MAT 11:25)

The great majority of people had despised Him and it was prophesied that they would esteem Him not. Why? He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. In the depth of His grief, is where we’ll learn to see the beauty that there is in Christ, if the True Light has ever shined in our souls, and if we have ever seen sin in its true nature.

The gospel of Christ is distinguished from Satan's gospel by the nature of the light that it reflects. Satan's gospel reflects a light, too, but it is the nature of the light that it reflects that distinguishes between the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of Satan. Satan’s ministers pretend to be ministers of righteousness.

In 2 CO 11:13-14 it says, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." (2 CO 11:13) They preach the Lord Jesus Christ, Him crucified, and His blood, they transform themselves into the angels of light. Scripture says, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; [they’re teaching love, lots of it, and righteousness, but it says] whose end shall be according to their works." (2 CO 11:14-15)

They’re ministers of righteousness with no repentance. Verse 15 says, "whose end shall be according to their works." So were the Scribes and Pharisees. Do you know what they would do? They would take one portion of the law, and when they were done interpreting it, there were 635 commandments! All was pertaining to one law of the Sabbath. Oh, they were ministers of righteousness, i.e., self-righteousness, they had enough do’s and don’ts to choke a camel. Do you know what their problem was?

Look in MAT 5:20, "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." They transformed themselves into the ministers of righteousness, but except your righteousness exceeds theirs, you’ll never enter the kingdom.

The True Light, that is, the Word of God, shines much deeper than the surface. This is where the distinction is between the two lights. The one light goes to a legal religion, and the other one goes to the Spirit of the law. The Light, the Word of God, goes far beyond the surface. The gospel of Christ goes to the spirit of the entire law.

See what HEB 4:12-13 says about the Word of God and the True Light. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (HEB 4:12)

That’s where our righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and the Pharisees. They taught the letter of the law. They could hate a brother with the passions of their heart as long as they didn’t literally kill him. The Lord Jesus said we are to "love one another, [even] as I have loved you." (JOH 15:12) That’s the commandment of love. The solemn truth the Lord Jesus gives us is summed up in two verses. In verse 14 He says, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (JOH 15:14) What was that commandment? "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (JOH 15:12)

Do you see the difference now? There’s a difference between a legal religion and a spirit of the law. The Word is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart. HEB 4:13 says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

When you start to understand the spirit of the law, then you understand how transparent you are before the Lord. Then you understand that every secret thought of the heart becomes sin before the Lord if it is not motivated by love. Now, there’s the great distinction between the True Light, and the angel of light.

Jesus taught those six contrasts in MAT 5, between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law of the Scribes and Pharisees. He clearly taught a heart religion, which is hidden from the wise and the prudent.

See MAT 5:43-45, just as one illustration. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, [that’s the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, that’s their interpretation of the law] Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, [See the righteousness that exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees] Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: [Why should we love those that hate us? Why should we pray for those who persecute us? That we may be the children of our Father which is in heaven!] for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

You’re not going to look and say, "I see his crop is drying up and mine is growing, so I’m righteous and he isn’t." No. The Lord gives His common grace to all men. But, to become the children of your Father which is in heaven, you’re going to obey the law of love. That is where you sort out and distinguish between the gospel of the True Light and the gospel of Satan, the angel of light.

These Scribes and Pharisees, together with their blind Chief Priests, are the ones spoken of in our text. These blind Pharisees, who said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy," they’re the ones that we read, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [They didn’t know the law of love.] He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (JOH 1:10-11)

Why? He taught the True Light. He was not allowing that self-righteousness, which is taught by the Scribes and Pharisees, to be the righteousness of God.

The blind Chief Priests, who offered the sacrifices, were the ones who made the atonement. They were the ones who put the lamb on the altar, which is to signify the sacrifice of Christ. They didn’t recognize the very Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. We read in JOH 1:29 where John the Baptist says, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." They were so blinded by their own false teaching, and their vain expectations, that they never understood the prophesies concerning Jesus.

Look at ISA 53:4-6 and see how clearly the sacrifice of Christ was prophesied. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. [It was prophesied that they would not understand. They esteemed him smitten of God and afflicted. They didn’t understand that He came there to bear our griefs and carry our sorrows.] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

They never understood that prophecy. Therefore, they didn’t accept Him. Receiving Christ as our personal Saviour is one of the most important experiences of our life. Satan would have us to be deceived into either rejecting Him through unbelief, in obstinate rebellion and refusing to bow to His golden scepter, or he would like to have us make a false claim of having received Him outside of God's ordained way. 

Satan isn’t particular which side of the road we are on as long as we are not on the road. Satan strives to get us in the trap of believing some fanatical religion’s belief, that we have salvation when we don’t, or that we can continue living with a heart filled with hatred for our brother, and keep living as a Pharisee with a lot of legalistic do’s and don’ts, but never understand the spirit of the law. As long as he can keep us off the straight and narrow, he is just as content as if he can get us to where we rebel and disregard all religion. The one is just as fatal as the other is.

If Satan can keep us outside of God’s ordained way, then we have never received Christ. Receiving Christ means having come into that intimate marriage-union relationship with Him, where we can learn from Him who is meek and lowly, and take His yoke upon us. That we bow under His kingship, repent of our sins and iniquities. Enter His kingship by coming and serving Him under the law of love. That is the ordained way. That is the one that the Bible teaches, the one that Christ taught, and the one that the Old Testament taught.

The scribes and Pharisees did not receive Him because they were still unregenerate. They still had this enmity in their minds and had not come to that change of attitude, that unconditional surrender to the will of God. The carnal mind cannot receive the True Light, because when the True Light shines into the carnal mind, it is condemnation. Immediately, there is the condemnation of wrong attitudes, selfishness, and a wrong spirit. Then the heart generates enmity where there has not been the divine influence of the Holy Spirit.

It is only by grace, by the divine influence of the Holy Spirit, that when your sin is identified, it humbles you and brings you to where you want to part with your sin, and come into the service of the Lord. That is grace.

1 CO 2:14-15 says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."

See the distinction of how you pass judgment on the things that are spiritual. It is a self-judgment. What is your judgment of your own self-righteousness? What is your judgment of your own rebellious heart? Does it bring you to repent, to beg for the Lord to renew your heart? Or does it harden you to turn and defend yourself, to justify what your attitude is?

If you can defend yourself arguing, "Well, but you know what he said to me…and you know what he…and he…" you have not seen yourself in the mirror of God’s Holy Law from His Word. It is a futile attempt; we are to become humble and accept the yoke Jesus assures us is an easy one. "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, [How do we judge them? In the light of the Word of God.] yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 CO 2:15-16) 

Do you see where we pass judgment? It is the mind of Christ. Do you know what that is? He took all the railing, all the stripes, all the crucifying, and He passed no railing judgment back on any person. He committed all judgment unto His Father.

In 1 PET 2:20-23 we see that, "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."

According to 1 CO 2:16b we are to, "…have the mind of Christ." Except we have the mind of, or the Spirit of Christ, we are none of His. How are we going to analyze our heart? How are we going to find the assurance of the work of grace in our souls? Do we have the mind of Christ? Have we got that attitude, that mental disposition of Christ? "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (ROM 8:8-9)

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (ROM 8:11) See what the evidence is and where the fruit lays. See who it is that accepts or receives Christ and who it is that comes into that intimate relationship with Christ. "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (ROM 8:12-13)

Is our walk of life irrelevant? Can we confess that we are carnal Christians, we’ve accepted Jesus, we’re saved, we’re eternally secure, but we live in the flesh? Such doctrines are the gospel of Satan. If you have the mind of Christ, you will not live after the flesh, but if "through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (ROM 8:13)

What is salvation? Salvation is to be delivered from sin. Amen.


These on-line sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a  daily devotion. See also our sermon notes.

We pray this sermon has been a blessing to those who read it. If you share this sermon with a friend, please let us know. Thank you.

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