3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish,
disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our
Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing
of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus
Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be
made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Firstly, as we've recently celebrated Christmas let's look at the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into this world.
It is heartbreaking if we consider the lives our ancestors lived
and many live to this day. If Jesus hadn't come all of us would still be immersed in
heathendom. Great is the work done by the Lord Jesus!
The reason we are saved today is because Jesus Christ had been
revealed to us.
Jesus came for all people, not just for the whites or blacks - He
came for all.
When Jesus was born the angelic host came down rejoicing at His
birth. They directed the shepherds to the Lord Jesus. Not long after those from the east
were also led to Him by the star. They just went astray when they took their eyes off the
star and started to use their own intellect, thinking He must be born in Jerusalem, the
royal city. When Herod heard it he gathered together all the scribes and pharisees and
enquired where the Christ was to be born. They told him the truth, in Bethlehem.
The wise men left and were led by to Bethlehem to the place where
The pharisees, scribes and leaders of the Jews knew that the
Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but not one of them went. They knew the truth but it
didn't change their lives.
Today there are many Christians just like that. They know the
truth but it doesn't change their lives. They are simply like road signs who direct others
but don't go themselves. Are there any such in our midst? Then you're spiritually dead.
But when the shepherds and the wise men from the East heard the
truth they immediately took steps to go and see the One born for the salvation of the
When the wise men from the east found the Christ child they bowed
down and worshipped Him and took out their presents, gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold
signifying He is king, frankincense the royal incense and myrrh His death on the cross.
It's heartbreaking regarding the Jews that, "He came unto His
own but His own received Him not". The Bible says that Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
will sit at the tables of heaven and they will come from the east and west to sit with
them whereas the children of the kingdom will be cast out!
Be very careful that you who consider yourself a Christian be not
one of those cast out!
Jesus Christ appeared from heaven and revealed Himself to those
who are Jews and those who are not Jews. When Christ came to this world God made it clear
to the whole world that He came for all. Woe to you if you reject that and say I'm going
to carry on in my own tradition and way.
Secondly, we don't find Jesus by our intellect or our great
wisdom. As the English saying goes, "salvation doesn't come by education but by
revelation". Education won't help you anything unless Jesus has been revealed to you.
It will only make you a clever devil.
Saul, who became Paul, was trained in the Jews' religion and
excelled. But he said, "... when it pleased God, who separated me from my
mothers womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might
preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood"
The difference is this, the Jews from Jerusalem knew the truth but
didn't go whereas the shepherds and the wise men from the east actually went to Him and
brought Him gifts.
The wise men from the east were directed to the Lord Jesus by the
scribes and pharisees, who didn't go themselves. There are still people like that today.
Louis Harms' father told each of his children what they should
become. He had to become a minister and he submitted and went to a theological seminary.
But after awhile he went back to his father and said to his father that he's stopping his
studies since the university professors only dished up hay. His dad was extremely angry
and would have none of it and sent him back to complete his studies and he submitted. But
he was tired of the intellectual hay the professors gave them. He therefore regularly went
to the library to do his own studies and read the Bible for himself. Once as he was
studying the Bible God revealed Himself to him and he was soundly converted. Once his
studies were completed he started the mission that sent out the missionaries to Africa.
When he preached he also didn't mince his words but preached the word of God in truth.
Africa was full of cannibalism, even the zulu name for South Africa means, "there
where there are many cannibals". But when the Gospel came all these evil practises
came to an end. The Gospel brings about progress and changes lives. Wherever the Gospel
goes deep in a nation that nation goes forward and makes progress.
You might say those were terrible people and you never did those
things. But the Bible says that there are no one without sin. As the saying goes,
"you are not what you think you are but you are what you think".
Jesus said that, "you have heard it being said that you
should not commit adultery, but I say to you that if you so much as look at a woman with
lust you have already committed adultery in your heart".
Your education could even be a hindrance to you. You might say all
the things you do and how you pray and read your Bible, but you cannot be saved through
your works. Jesus must be revealed to you.
Luther tried to earn his salvation by works and punished himself
but failed. But one day as he was doing his daily works, like a bolt of lightning it came
to him that you are not justified by the works of the law but by faith in the Lord Jesus
Christ - and that is how you are justified. You need to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let's look again at our text. "3 For we
ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and
pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that
the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,"
These people just lived as they liked in their foolishness, they
were disobedient, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, living in hate and
malice and envy, just as we see on TV and magazines today.
Are these things found in your life, even though you've never
Maybe you are full of envy because another is lifted up and not
you? You must repent of that. So too if you hate another.
Examine your life what you are like. Do you find any of these in
your life? Then repent of it today!
The family if a certain man wanted to bring him to KwaSizabantu,
but he didn't want to come because there's no booze here. They bought him two bottles of
booze and brought him, but as they turned in at the gate the bottles rolled against each
other and both broke and the alcohol was spilt. His eyes were opened that Jesus is alive
and he came and related the story and was soundly converted.
Jesus is alive. Would you come to Him today?