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People Pleasing and the Fear of Man - Ask Pastor Tim

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    Question.
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    "Can you explore this
    topic of fear of men?"
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    So that's the topic: fear of men.
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    "Now, if a believer
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    is free from sin,
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    how can one feel so dominated
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    by this particular gripping sin?"
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    Now, he writes more,
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    but I'm going to stop right there.
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    I often get questions
    that are worded like this.
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    You say, like what?
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    I often get somebody that says to me,
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    "I know I'm a Christian.
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    Please explain to me
    how I can be living in sin."
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    That approach is common.
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    I know I've been regenerated.
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    I know I believed.
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    I know I'm a Christian.
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    And yet, would you please explain to me
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    how it is that I can be controlled
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    by this un-Christian conduct?
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    Those are the kind of questions
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    oftentimes that you get.
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    And it's like, ok, there's a fatal flaw
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    in logic there.
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    One of the things is this:
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    We don't want to just
    assume we're Christians
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    and then ask the question -
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    it's like, I know I'm a Christian,
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    even though when I look at the Bible,
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    the things that the Bible says
    are true about Christians,
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    I don't see are true in my life.
    So would you please explain to me?
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    I know I'm a Christian,
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    but how is it that my life can be
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    characterized by un-Christian conduct
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    when I know I'm a Christian?
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    (Incomplete thought)
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    And I would like to turn it around
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    and say I'd rather you explain to me
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    how you can be a Christian
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    when your life is full of
    un-Christian conduct.
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    I can't explain that to you,
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    because I think what's happening is
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    is you are basically starting out
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    by a faulty assertion.
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    You've got a faulty presupposition here
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    that is making your logic bad
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    all the way through.
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    You want to turn the thing around.
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    What you really want to do is say,
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    the Bible says that true and legitimate
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    Christianity looks like this;
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    ok, now I'm going to examine my own life
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    in light of what the Bible says
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    true Christianity looks like.
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    If I measure up to the standard,
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    that's a positive thing.
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    If I don't measure up to the standard,
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    that may mean I'm in trouble.
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    That's how you want to reason.
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    But anyway, we'll go on.
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    "As with matters of the soul,
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    a short question is hard
    to compress everything.
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    I would like to ask you about
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    this deplorable sin of
    fear of man in general.
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    It takes on many words today,
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    i.e. social anxiety, man-pleasing,
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    seeking glory in this world, etc.,
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    but strangely is not
    something talked about
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    much in church.
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    Some personal context:
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    I recently discovered that my struggle
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    to communicate freely with people
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    without fear for many years
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    is directly proportionate to my desire
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    to seek God above all things.
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    (And that would make sense.)
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    I hate this sin,
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    yet in my pleading with
    God for repentance..."
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    Can we just stop right there?
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    God never tells us to
    plead for repentance.
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    God tells us to repent.
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    "I hate this sin, yet in my pleading
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    with God for repentance
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    and looking to Christ, it seems
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    I am only seeking to be
    cured from such sin -
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    the burden of anxiety, without wanting
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    more of God.
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    How can this be?"
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    Again, he's asking me questions
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    about how can this be.
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    "I struggle in wondering how can such
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    an odious sin be present
    in a believer's life."
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    You see, there's that bad logic again.
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    "How is it true repentance
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    if every day is just a repetitive struggle
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    to turn away from this?"
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    Well, it's not.
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    (incomplete thought)
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    He's asking how can it be true repentance
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    as though the first assumption is
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    it is true repentance.
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    Well, the reality is
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    he's describing that which is not
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    characteristic of true repentance.
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    "In conclusion, it really is exhausting.
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    Never have I felt so
    dominated and controlled
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    by any sin as this.
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    It pains me that this is bigger than
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    the God I profess to believe in.
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    Never also have I felt so helpless,
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    like one who does not know Christ.
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    Yes, it makes me question
    assurance deeply."
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    And it should.
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    And so in the end, it sounds like
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    his thinking is somewhat
    on the right track.
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    "But in all this, thank you and James
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    for reading this."
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    (incomplete thought)
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    So the end is thankfulness.
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    But let's talk about this.
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    Aside from his making certain assumptions
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    which are backwards,
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    (incomplete thought).
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    Let's do a bit of a theology
    of the fear of God.
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    Anybody think of any texts
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    that deal with the fear of God?
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    Or, being a man-pleaser?
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    Or, anything of that sort?
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    (from the room) Matthew 10:28
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    Tim: Matthew 10:28
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    Do you have it right there?
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    "And do not fear those who kill the body,
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    but cannot kill the soul.
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    Rather fear Him who can destroy
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    both soul and body in hell."
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    Then He goes on to say,
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    "Fear not, therefore, you are
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    of more value than many sparrows."
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    Tim: Anybody think of any others?
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    (from the room)
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    The beginning of wisdom.
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    Proverbs 1:7?
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    "The fear of the Lord is the
    beginning of knowledge."
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    Tim: We're talking about the fear of man.
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    (from the room)
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    "Whoever confesses Me before men..."
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    Tim: "Whoever confesses Me before men..."
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    That's an interesting one.
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    Proverbs 29:25
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    That's a big one.
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    Why don't you quote that?
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    "The fear of man lays a snare,
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    but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe."
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    Tim: The fear of man lays a snare.
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    (incomplete thought)
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    I often think of a text
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    very close to the beginning of Isaiah.
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    It's in Isaiah 2 that has to do with this.
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    Anybody know the text I'm talking about?
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    (from the room) Verse 22,
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    "Stop regarding man
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    in whose nostrils is breath,
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    for what account is he..."
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    Tim: I remember Paul Washer
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    preaching on that text.
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    Stop regarding man.
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    Another one that jumps to my mind
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    is this one:
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    It's found in John 5.
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    And this is very helpful.
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    Because what Jesus says is,
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    He looks at the leaders there.
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    You remember, He's been seeking
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    to make the case for
    Himself being the Christ,
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    and He's putting all this proof;
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    all these witnesses before the people.
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    And He says, "I say these things so that
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    you might be saved."
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    But as He's getting toward
    the end of the chapter there,
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    He says this:
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    "How can you believe..." who do what?
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    Seek the glory of men.
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    Receive honor from one another
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    and not the glory or the honor
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    that comes from God.
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    Here's the thing,
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    how can you believe...?
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    you know what?
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    It is an issue of faith.
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    It is an issue of believing,
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    if you really think about the fear of man.
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    How do we overcome the fear of man?
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    Faith.
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    What is it that you believe?
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    (from the room)
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    That you are of more
    value than the sparrows.
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    Tim: Well, if you think about Jesus' words
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    that you ought not to fear those
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    who can kill the body only
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    and then there's nothing
    more they can do to you,
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    but fear Him who can what?
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    The idea is you're
    comparing God and people.
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    Even when you think about Peter
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    before the Sanhedrin.
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    We ought to obey God rather than man.
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    Now man will put pressure
    on you to obey him.
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    The issue is this,
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    that you fear him most
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    whose approval you seek most.
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    That's a reality.
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    If you seek the glory of man,
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    then you fear man's disapproval
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    more than anything else.
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    And that's a real issue.
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    And see, what Jesus is doing is
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    He's confronting us with the truth.
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    It really has to come down
    with what you believe.
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    You know, I remember situations
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    when I worked as an engineer.
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    I remember having meetings
    with my department.
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    I remember being in a meeting
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    and I remember guys telling
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    some bad joke or something,
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    and I remember being in that situation.
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    And right there, it's:
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    Am I going to honor God or am
    I going to laugh at these guys?
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    Am I going to make these
    guys feel uncomfortable
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    by the way I respond right now,
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    or am I going to seek God's approval?
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    Is it their approval or God's approval?
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    And what happens is the scales come out.
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    Instantaneously, they come out.
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    Whose approval do I seek most?
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    Now a lot of that has to do with
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    do you really believe God is right here?
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    Do you believe He's right with you?
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    Do you believe He's watching?
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    Do you believe that there's an accounting?
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    Do you believe that there's an approval?
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    Do you believe that you can grieve Him?
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    Do you believe that if
    you seek man's approval,
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    you're going to grieve the Spirit?
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    (incomplete thought)
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    Do you really believe those things?
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    That doesn't mean there isn't fear.
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    The thing about fearing God more than
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    fearing man doesn't mean
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    that the fear of man goes away,
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    but it means that when
    you're confronted by it,
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    God gives you a courage
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    to do the right thing
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    and to believe the right thing
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    and to believe that He is worth
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    having the approval of more than man is.
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    But it really comes down to
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    you have to be convinced;
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    you have to believe that reality
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    when you're confronted with it.
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    Look, I don't know anybody -
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    maybe some of you can raise your
    hand and say you know what,
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    I really don't care what any man
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    or any woman or any child thinks of me
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    in any scenario at all.
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    I care not at all.
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    I doubt there's any like that.
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    Why?
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    We're social creatures.
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    We do like the approval of man.
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    You know what the thing is?
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    We like to be liked.
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    And that's one thing that makes it hard
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    about becoming a Christian,
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    because you're thrown into a situation -
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    I'll tell you, this is one
    of the tell-tale signs
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    of true Christianity -
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    is when men and women
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    claim they've been saved
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    and you throw them (incomplete thought).
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    This tends to be such a hallmark
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    of the hypocrite.
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    They're man-pleasers.
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    The hypocrite is a man-pleaser.
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    He appears holy in certain situations,
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    because you're watching him.
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    And he wants to appease you.
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    But I'll tell you, you take him
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    and you throw him on a bar stool,
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    and he'll appease the people there.
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    You throw him in the workplace,
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    and you have a guy
    tell a dirty joke at work,
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    he'll appease.
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    I remember Craig telling the story
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    about checking out a piece of machinery
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    from a tool crib - a tool of some kind
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    he was checking out.
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    And the guy there used
    the Lord's name in vain,
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    and Craig said something to him
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    about not using the name
    of the Lord thy God in vain,
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    and the guy went off on him.
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    Craig was shocked how badly the guy
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    went off on him.
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    And that's the thing.
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    Sometimes people will go off on you.
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    Or sometimes you'll just be shunned.
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    Sometimes you'll be the outcast.
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    Sometimes it's just the
    smirk on people's faces.
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    Sometimes it's just not
    being included anymore.
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    See, it all comes down to,
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    you know what?
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    I want the approval of my Lord
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    more than I want their approval.
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    And that's really the issue.
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    It tests - to the hilt -
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    it tests what we believe.
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    It's powerful.
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    And there in John 5, that's the issue.
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    Jesus said I don't seek the glory of man.
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    And that really needs to be the place
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    we as Christians are.
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    Yes, there's a place to seek approval
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    in the sense that
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    you know, you want to be
    a good worker at work.
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    But you know what, when your boss
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    wants you to do something wrong?
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    My brother-in-law Rick,
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    his boss wanted him to cheat
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    on the item list/inventory
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    on these shipments that come in
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    on these pallets,
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    and he resigned.
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    I'm not doing it.
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    His boss told him,
    "you are going to do it."
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    There was a time they
    had to take inventory
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    on something and his boss had been
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    wrongly inventorying
    things for a long time,
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    and he told Rick, you are going to do it.
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    And Rick said I'm not going to do it.
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    This is where we get put to it.
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    How can you believe?
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    See, that's the thing.
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    What's Jesus saying there?
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    Think about those words.
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    How can you believe
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    when you seek the glory of man?
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    (unintelligible)
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    It's like loving God and money.
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    They're conflicting loves.
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    They're conflicting interests.
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    (Incomplete thought)
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    It's like, ok, I'm there in
    the engineering meeting,
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    and a guy says something that's wicked,
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    and everybody else is laughing.
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    How am I going to respond?
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    (incomplete thought)
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    Where's my love?
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    What is it that I desire most here?
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    And Jesus talked about it.
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    Eric brought up the text.
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    Before men - what we do before men.
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    How we proclaim Christ.
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    How we testify to Him.
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    How we stand for Him before men.
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    That's a real issue.
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    And it comes down to the truth.
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    It comes down to what you believe.
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    That's really the issue.
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    (from the room)
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    I also think it comes back
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    to the validity of the walk.
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    I was talking about earlier today
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    Luke 22
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    and how Christ commanded Peter to pray,
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    and he slept instead,
  • 16:36 - 16:39
    which led him to follow at a distance,
  • 16:39 - 16:41
    and following after that,
  • 16:41 - 16:45
    he denied the Lord before a servant.
  • 16:45 - 16:47
    And I think it just goes back to
  • 16:47 - 16:49
    our personal walk with the Lord
  • 16:49 - 16:51
    on a daily basis.
  • 16:51 - 16:53
    If we don't have that intact,
  • 16:53 - 16:56
    there's no power going forth
  • 16:56 - 16:58
    in the workplace or at school
  • 16:58 - 17:01
    or at Walmart or wherever we're at.
  • 17:01 - 17:04
    I mean, I've seen significant difference
  • 17:04 - 17:06
    in my own walk when there's days
  • 17:06 - 17:08
    where I've spent little time in the Word,
  • 17:08 - 17:10
    and I go to work
  • 17:10 - 17:12
    and face the same situation
  • 17:12 - 17:17
    where I'm denying the
    Lord in a certain way.
  • 17:17 - 17:18
    Versus on another day when I spent
  • 17:18 - 17:20
    quality time with Christ,
  • 17:20 - 17:21
    and then go to work,
  • 17:21 - 17:23
    face the same trials and
    the same temptations,
  • 17:23 - 17:25
    but I overcome it.
  • 17:25 - 17:28
    So I think it just comes back to
  • 17:28 - 17:30
    your daily walk with the Lord.
  • 17:30 - 17:31
    Tim: Well, if we think about this
  • 17:31 - 17:33
    being a matter of faith -
  • 17:33 - 17:37
    faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ.
  • 17:37 - 17:40
    There's a reality that when a person
  • 17:40 - 17:43
    is prayerfully in the Word
  • 17:43 - 17:46
    and then he goes off into this world,
  • 17:46 - 17:50
    the Spirit grips people's
    minds with truth.
  • 17:50 - 17:52
    That truth is prevalent.
  • 17:52 - 17:53
    It's before your eyes.
  • 17:53 - 17:55
    It's there. It's fresh.
  • 17:55 - 17:57
    The Spirit makes it so.
  • 17:57 - 17:59
    And it tends to be powerful.
  • 17:59 - 18:03
    And it's not like
    Christians don't hesitate,
  • 18:03 - 18:06
    but you know, when the Word is fresh
  • 18:06 - 18:08
    and it's there and it's vivid,
  • 18:08 - 18:13
    it's constraining - it's compelling.
  • 18:13 - 18:16
    Yeah, you're not going to do well
  • 18:16 - 18:18
    in this battle if you're not in the Word
  • 18:18 - 18:21
    and your faith isn't being constantly
  • 18:21 - 18:24
    stirred by the Word, by the Spirit of God
  • 18:24 - 18:28
    using the Word in your life.
  • 18:28 - 18:30
    One more before we end.
  • 18:30 - 18:31
    (from the room)
  • 18:31 - 18:33
    (unintelligible) make a distinction
  • 18:33 - 18:35
    for, say a new convert may
    get confused on this,
  • 18:35 - 18:38
    but like in Galatians 1:10 it says,
  • 18:38 - 18:40
    if I'm still trying to please man,
  • 18:40 - 18:42
    I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • 18:42 - 18:44
    But then in 1 Corinthians 10,
  • 18:44 - 18:46
    Paul says I try to please everyone
  • 18:46 - 18:48
    in everything I do.
  • 18:48 - 18:50
    Now, he says not seeking my own advantage,
  • 18:50 - 18:53
    but some new Christian,
    they read 1 Corinthians 10,
  • 18:53 - 18:55
    and it says I try to please everyone.
  • 18:55 - 18:57
    And then in Galatians 1:10,
  • 18:57 - 18:59
    it says if I'm trying to please man,
  • 18:59 - 19:00
    I'm not a servant of Christ.
  • 19:00 - 19:02
    I think you kind of already hit on this,
  • 19:02 - 19:04
    but what's the big difference there
  • 19:04 - 19:05
    between both of those verses
  • 19:05 - 19:07
    in what Paul's saying?
  • 19:07 - 19:09
    Tim: Well, obviously, there's a time
  • 19:09 - 19:12
    to please God when it offends men.
  • 19:12 - 19:14
    And then there's a time
  • 19:14 - 19:20
    to make sacrifices for the sake of
  • 19:20 - 19:25
    proclaiming the Gospel which pleases God
  • 19:25 - 19:28
    and pleases the men
    that you're preaching to.
  • 19:28 - 19:30
    For instance, when you think of Paul
  • 19:30 - 19:32
    addressing the Corinthians,
  • 19:32 - 19:37
    he did things like not accept money
  • 19:37 - 19:39
    to please men -
  • 19:39 - 19:40
    to put men in a place where
  • 19:40 - 19:43
    he wasn't creating a stumbling block.
  • 19:43 - 19:45
    Basically, when he's talking about
  • 19:45 - 19:48
    pleasing man in that case,
  • 19:48 - 19:50
    he's not talking about pleasing them
  • 19:50 - 19:52
    while he's disobeying God.
  • 19:52 - 19:55
    He's talking about pleasing them in a way
  • 19:55 - 19:57
    that pleases God, because it promotes
  • 19:57 - 19:59
    the Gospel.
  • 19:59 - 20:01
    And basically, are we not told
  • 20:01 - 20:03
    that as much as possible we should
  • 20:03 - 20:05
    live at peace with all men?
  • 20:05 - 20:08
    That is a way that God is pleased with
  • 20:08 - 20:11
    as we're seeking to live with man in peace
  • 20:11 - 20:13
    as much as possible.
  • 20:13 - 20:15
    But what happens is we get confronted
  • 20:15 - 20:19
    by situations where the
    two are in conflict -
  • 20:19 - 20:22
    pleasing God or pleasing man.
  • 20:22 - 20:24
    They're not consistent.
  • 20:24 - 20:27
    And when they butt heads -
  • 20:27 - 20:30
    when it's pleasing God or pleasing man
  • 20:30 - 20:33
    and you can't do both,
  • 20:33 - 20:36
    that's where Jesus is saying
  • 20:36 - 20:39
    that you need to testify
    of Him before men,
  • 20:39 - 20:42
    and you need to proclaim Him before men.
  • 20:42 - 20:44
    You need to stand for
    what's right before men.
  • 20:44 - 20:46
    And you need to not fear man.
  • 20:46 - 20:48
    The issue is this:
  • 20:48 - 20:51
    when pleasing God brings
    the scowl of a man,
  • 20:51 - 20:53
    or even brings the sword,
  • 20:53 - 20:55
    where they can kill your body.
  • 20:55 - 20:59
    (incomplete thought)
  • 20:59 - 21:01
    You know, in all of it,
  • 21:01 - 21:03
    you want your eyes on the Lord.
  • 21:03 - 21:04
    Ok, what pleases You?
  • 21:04 - 21:07
    Does pleasing You please my parents?
  • 21:07 - 21:10
    I mean, pleasing You is pleasing
    my parents right now, Lord?
  • 21:10 - 21:12
    Yes. Ok, I'm going to please my parents.
  • 21:12 - 21:13
    My parents are happy.
  • 21:13 - 21:16
    (incomplete thought)
  • 21:16 - 21:17
    What it means to be a Christian
  • 21:17 - 21:20
    and to obey the Lord is
    making my parents happy.
  • 21:20 - 21:22
    But He also said He's bringing a sword.
  • 21:22 - 21:25
    There's times I look to Him and He
    says you need to go to the left.
  • 21:25 - 21:26
    And it's like, ok, I look at my parents
  • 21:26 - 21:27
    and they're scowling
    because they don't want me
  • 21:27 - 21:29
    to go to the left, but I look at the Lord
  • 21:29 - 21:30
    and He's saying go left.
  • 21:30 - 21:31
    Ok, I go left.
  • 21:31 - 21:33
    Now the sword comes in the family
  • 21:33 - 21:34
    and there's division.
  • 21:34 - 21:37
    But see, all the time
    my eyes are on the Lord.
  • 21:37 - 21:38
    That's what Paul's talking about.
  • 21:38 - 21:41
    Paul's talking about, ok,
    his eyes are on the Lord,
  • 21:41 - 21:43
    when it has to do with
    what's being encountered
  • 21:43 - 21:45
    over there in the Galatian churches,
  • 21:45 - 21:48
    you've got Judaizers who are in opposition
  • 21:48 - 21:50
    to the truth of God and the Gospel of God,
  • 21:50 - 21:52
    and he's going to stand for the Gospel
  • 21:52 - 21:55
    even though it offends
    all these other people.
  • 21:55 - 21:57
    Now in another case, with the Corinthians,
  • 21:57 - 22:00
    it's a matter of - to
    not make any obstacle
  • 22:00 - 22:03
    for the Gospel, I'm not
    going to take any money
  • 22:03 - 22:04
    when I preach the Gospel.
  • 22:04 - 22:06
    And God's pleased with that too.
  • 22:06 - 22:07
    My eyes are on the Lord.
  • 22:07 - 22:09
    And so, when following the Lord
  • 22:09 - 22:11
    is going to put me
    in opposition to men,
  • 22:11 - 22:12
    so be it.
  • 22:12 - 22:14
    When following the Lord is going to
    put me at peace with all men,
  • 22:14 - 22:15
    so be it.
  • 22:15 - 22:17
    Some seasons are going to be one.
  • 22:17 - 22:19
    There are times He will make our enemies
  • 22:19 - 22:21
    to be at peace with us.
  • 22:21 - 22:22
    And there are other times that
  • 22:22 - 22:25
    even the closest people
    will be at war with us.
  • 22:25 - 22:27
    And we just have to keep our
    eyes on the Lord all the time.
  • 22:27 - 22:29
    That's another reason we
    need to be in His Word.
  • 22:29 - 22:30
    We need that Word.
  • 22:30 - 22:32
    We need to be renewing our minds
  • 22:32 - 22:34
    with that Word all the time.
  • 22:34 - 22:35
    All the time.
  • 22:35 - 22:37
    Because everything about this world -
  • 22:37 - 22:41
    this world is given to man-pleasing.
  • 22:41 - 22:43
    And if you're not
    constantly in the Scriptures;
  • 22:43 - 22:45
    constantly in the Word;
  • 22:45 - 22:47
    constantly renewing your mind,
  • 22:47 - 22:48
    you just end up thinking worldly.
  • 22:48 - 22:50
    And the worldly way is to please.
  • 22:50 - 22:52
    It's to dress to please.
  • 22:52 - 22:53
    It's to act to please.
  • 22:53 - 22:56
    It's to put on a show to please.
  • 22:56 - 22:57
    It's to get the applause.
  • 22:57 - 22:59
    It's to get the smile.
  • 22:59 - 23:01
    It's to get the approbation of mankind.
  • 23:01 - 23:05
    That's what the world does.
  • 23:05 - 23:10
    And even more, it's to get the jealousy
  • 23:10 - 23:12
    of other people.
  • 23:12 - 23:14
    It's to get the envy of other people.
  • 23:14 - 23:16
    It's to outdo other people
  • 23:16 - 23:18
    so that they admire you
  • 23:18 - 23:19
    and they want what you have
  • 23:19 - 23:20
    and they covet what you have
  • 23:20 - 23:22
    and they covet your spouse
  • 23:22 - 23:23
    and they covet your house
  • 23:23 - 23:25
    and they covet your vehicle.
  • 23:25 - 23:27
    It's just living with this
    mindset all the time
  • 23:27 - 23:31
    of other people, other
    people, other people.
  • 23:31 - 23:33
    I mean, even as a preacher,
  • 23:33 - 23:37
    it's like, ok, this thing can hit you
  • 23:37 - 23:38
    at any level.
  • 23:38 - 23:40
    You're going into the pulpit.
  • 23:40 - 23:44
    Is my primary objective:
    I want to please the Lord?
  • 23:44 - 23:45
    You look at men.
  • 23:45 - 23:47
    There's lots of preachers that preach
  • 23:47 - 23:49
    the way they do because
  • 23:49 - 23:51
    that guy might not give as much.
  • 23:51 - 23:54
    They might leave the church.
  • 23:54 - 23:58
    At every level, we're confronted by this.
Title:
People Pleasing and the Fear of Man - Ask Pastor Tim
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Video Language:
English
Duration:
24:00

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