You Must Be Born Again

Spring Communion 2019 - Part 4

March 2, 2019


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] John chapter 3 we read the verses 5 to 7 Jesus answered truly, truly I say to you unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

[0:15] That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again.

[0:26] Even the righteous religion of Nicodemus cannot of itself discover these truths. Clearly Nicodemus himself doesn't get it.

[0:37] He doesn't understand what Jesus is getting at and yet he is clearly a genuine seeking follower of the Lord Jesus. Right at the end as we know in John's account of the Gospel in chapter 19 we read these verses 38 and 39 after these things.

[0:54] Joseph of Arimathea who was a disciple of Jesus but secretly for fear of the Jews asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also who earlier had come to Jesus by night came bringing a mixture of myrrh and allos about 75 pounds in weight.

[1:17] That's a huge amount of spices and ointments and all the sweet smelling anointing oils that they would bring. It's a huge amount. It must have been massively expensive but this he is seeking to confer or to bestow upon what he perceives as simply now the dead body of one to whom perhaps he wished he had been more devoutly attached in his life.

[1:45] But clearly he was seeking, clearly he was sincere and Nicodemus is absolutely genuine in his seeking after Jesus. He's not one of the other kinds of Pharisees who are seeking in a public display to try and make a clever question that will catch Jesus out.

[2:02] And then of course ends up looking foolish afterwards. He's trying to be discreet, he's trying to be sincere, he's trying to find out the truth about the kingdom of God. But sincerity alone does not reveal these things nor cause them to be understood or discerned.

[2:21] In 1st Corinthians Paul writes, chapter 2 verse 14, the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

[2:36] So Jesus tells him, as we read there in verse 7, do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. Now it's not just a case that we can't understand what the Spirit says unless the Lord gives us a spirit because it's not even like it's a different language.

[2:55] I mean if somebody was speaking Gaelic for example and I don't have Gaelic, I wouldn't understand what they were saying because I can only speak English. But I might recognise that it was Gaelic and I might pick up a wee word here or there, I might be able to ask somebody else or I might be able to discern little bits of it.

[3:13] But it's not even like it's simply a different language that somebody of the same species is speaking. When Jesus is talking about that which is born of the Spirit, the Spirit and that which is of the flesh is flesh.

[3:28] Verse 5 there, verse 6 of the Bible, that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. It means that no matter what we do we cannot produce that Spirit.

[3:41] If you reduce it to the animal kingdom, a cat may be expecting. But what it is expecting and what it will bring forth is kittens.

[3:52] It's only going to be kittens. It's never going to be puppies. It doesn't matter how many times the cat may fall pregnant, how many times, how many litters it may have. You can wait and hope and watch and desperately hope that this time it's going to be puppies.

[4:07] But it's never going to be puppies. It's only ever going to be kittens. Because the one cannot produce the other. One kind of species cannot reproduce that which is of a different kind of species.

[4:22] If a hamster is expecting it can only bring forth baby hamsters, it's not going to bring forth goldfish. And it doesn't matter how many times it may try, it's never going to be goldfish.

[4:34] So likewise we who are mere flesh, no matter how hard we may try, we are not going to be able to produce the Spirit in our lives.

[4:46] Just by our own efforts. No matter how many times you try, no matter how hard you try. And Nicodemus would be doing a good job. You know he was a diligent devout fantasy, a master in Israel.

[4:58] Just as Paul was before his conversion, doing his best, blameless according to the law. But it doesn't matter how hard you try or how many times you try, it's a different species.

[5:09] That which is of the flesh, compared to that which is of the Spirit. Only Spirit can bring forth Spirit. Only God, who is the Holy Spirit, can bring forth spiritual children in this world.

[5:25] And have them with them in the next. But of course it's worse than simply the fact that we're of a different species. It's worse than simply we only reproduce flesh.

[5:38] Why must we be born again? Because the state into which we are born the first time in the flesh is a state of sin and of enmity against God.

[5:50] Psalm 51 at verse 5. Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and incended my mother conceit me. Romans chapter 8 verse 7. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God.

[6:04] For it does not submit to God's law. Indeed it cannot. Or as the old Bible put it, because the carnal mind is enmity against God.

[6:15] If there is one myth that has been to the ruination of countless souls down the centuries, it is the myth that there can be any such thing as neutrality where God is concerned.

[6:32] I'll say that again. The myth that there can be any such thing as neutrality where God is concerned. God does not admit of such a thing, nor does his word give a shred of evidence for it.

[6:48] The myth of divine neutrality is an invention of the evil one. Now that might sound a bit strong, but if you think about it, it is actually the case.

[7:00] It is intended to anesthetize its needy souls against the pain of separation from a holy God and the eternal punishment that falls inevitably upon the sin of unbelief.

[7:17] In Mark chapter 16 at verse 16 we read, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

[7:31] So we saw at the end of the chapter we read there, verse 36 in John chapter 3, Whoever believes and the Son has eternal life, and whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

[7:48] There is a distinction there between believe and obey, well no, because we are commanded to believe, commanded to obey, and that lack of willingness to obey is what causes us to persist in unbelief.

[8:02] But why wrath? Why does the wrath of God remain? I'm sure that's a bit strong. We are good, we're trying to be good, we're trying to do our best. We saw there in verses 19 and 20, this is the judgment.

[8:15] Light has come into the world and people love the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his work should be exposed.

[8:30] We can carry on with the thinking that we are good or at least we're not too bad, just as long as we stay in the dark.

[8:41] We can look good in the dark, we can fool anyone in the dark, even ourselves, but if that is what we desire to do, then Jesus' words are bad news for us.

[8:55] John 8 verse 12, we read again, Jesus spoke to them saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

[9:06] If we're going to follow Jesus, we can't stay in the darkness. But surely the Lord will say that, you know, I am good, I'm trying to do my best, I've done my best all my life, you have to go back to an analogy.

[9:20] You can be a kitten trying really hard to have a puppy, it's not going to happen. You can be a fleshly person trying really hard to be godly and spiritual, it's not going to happen in your own strength and under your own stain.

[9:35] It's what Jesus says about being the light of the world. That's bad news for us. Surely the Lord can say I'm good, I've done my best, I'm trying hard.

[9:46] Jesus says in John 6 verses 63 to 65, it is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you, they are Spirit and they are life, but there are some of you who do not believe, who Jesus knew from the beginning, who those were who did not believe and who it was who would betray him.

[10:07] And he said, this is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father. Is that really bad news for you?

[10:18] I would suggest you know it is not bad news for you. It may be bad news for our pride, but then pride has always been a sin. But it is good news for our salvation.

[10:32] It brings us all down to the same level playing field. Because now we can let go of the stifling and false legalism of our own righteousness and the myth of neutrality.

[10:50] Because really deep down what we're thinking is not simply, oh well I'm really not too bad, but we like to think God is reasonably neutral. And if I'm not too bad and God is reasonably neutral, then he's going to take a reasonable view of me doing my best and stumbling along.

[11:06] No, we cannot of ourselves be good. We cannot produce a bit of species and God is not neutral. Against sin he has only wrath, not against people, but people who will insist on clinging to sin will go down with it.

[11:24] You know, if you're on a shipwreck and somebody throws you a lump of lead or a great big stone and you are determined to cling on to it, you will go down with it. It will not boil you up just because you're clinging to it hard.

[11:37] It will drag you down and the same is true with sin. God doesn't hate you and me, but he does hate sin. And his wrath is against sin. And if we cannot be separated from our sin, then we will go down with it.

[11:52] And God's wrath will be against it and upon everything that clings to it for all eternity. But the only difficulty is we can't be separate from our sin by ourselves.

[12:03] It's in us, it's all of us. That's what we read in Psalm 51, you know. I was brought forth in iniquity and sinned that my mother conceived me. It is the spirit that brings life.

[12:14] The flesh is no help at all. This isn't bad news for us, but it's bad news for our pride. It is good news for our salvation because we can let go now of having to try ourselves.

[12:30] Now we can let go of the myth of neutrality. God is against sin, but we don't want to be stuck in that sin. We can breathe again and know that it will not be the death of our soul, nor the death of our salvation.

[12:47] For the good news is that God, who alone, through his beloved Son, through his Spirit, can bring our salvation to pass. This God desires the salvation of sinners.

[13:01] And when it said chapter 3 verse 16, God's soul loved the world. He gave his only begotten Son. And whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world.

[13:14] But the world through whom might be saved. That's how much God loves sinners. That's how much he loves the world that he is made in. You and I were in the world. We can't say, oh, it doesn't apply to me. Because I'm not a believer. I don't go to church.

[13:26] I don't really have much time for God. God's love doesn't apply to me. Yes, it does because you're in the world. And God loves the world and he desires the salvation of sinners in it. Ezekiel 33 verse 11 demonstrates that this has been the case with God.

[13:40] Not only mysteriously suddenly the New Testament began to be written. It's always been the case from way back in the Old Testament. Here in the prophets, Ezekiel 33 verse 11 says to them, As I live, declares the Lord God.

[13:53] I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. But that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways. For why will you die, O house of Israel?

[14:08] All everything and anything that you and I could do would never be enough. But God has done all that is needful.

[14:21] And as we are reminded on every occasion when we come to this table, He has a burning desire for the salvation of sinners. And He has Himself done all that justice and salvation requires.

[14:37] 2 Corinthians 5 19. That is that in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. And entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

[14:52] In Christ your sins won't count against you. They'll somehow be separated out from you. How? Because they've been taken away from you and placed on someone else.

[15:03] Placed on the only person who's able to bear them without being damned. And that is Christ. And even in the case of Christ, we read He descended into hell.

[15:14] He experienced what separation from His Father was like. He didn't get destroyed by it. He overcame it. He triumphed over it. But He experienced it.

[15:25] Oh, the agony on the cross. I'm not diminishing that at all. But the agony on the cross insofar as its physical pain was concerned, it's only a fraction of what Christ would have experienced during that time on the cross.

[15:40] The spiritual weight of being almost as it were, crushed by the price of sin for all His people there upon the cross.

[15:51] All His people in every age must have been unimaginable. Now, just maybe mention things like this in the past, I don't know. But I mean, if you think in terms of, if something is telescoped, if the same amount of something is focused into a narrow amount, if you think of, say, water in a syringe, if you've got water in a syringe and you just open the syringe and pour it out, well, it just glugs out. That's just normal.

[16:17] But if you squish it through the tiny we hold at the end, then because it's only coming out a tiny we hold, it's an intense jet of great strength, something that is telescoped and forced into a tiny little space, then it's far more intense for that moment.

[16:34] Now, you think in terms of one person's sin. Let's say that person lives for 75 years, reasonable amount of time. 75 years, let's say, you've got 75 years worth of sin.

[16:47] And you concentrate that into how long was Jesus on the cross? Six hours? Six hours. 75 years telescoped into six hours. How much more intense is the weight and the pain and the intensity of that sin going to be in six hours as opposed to spread over 75 years?

[17:08] That is what is being born for one person. Now, consider the number of the elect, which is unknown to us, but it's going to be in the millions at the very least.

[17:20] Millions and millions of souls. The lifetime of their sin telescoped into that six hours and put upon this one individual.

[17:33] Yes, a divine individual, no question, but the weight and intensity of sin and the price and the suffering of it. Remember that for an ordinary soul, unsaved, unredeemed, let's say those 75 years of sin, that's an eternity in her for a lifetime of sin.

[17:54] So an eternity's worth multiplied by the number of saved people from all the ages in all the countries and all the centuries of the world, telescoped into six hours.

[18:07] You just can't begin to imagine it. You just can't take it in. That's the depth. That's the intensity of the hell that Christ would have experienced on the cross.

[18:19] I'm not diminishing the physical sufferings. I'm only saying that's only a fraction of it. That's just the outside. That's not the intensity of what he would have experienced.

[18:30] But this is what he has done for all who will trust and believe in him. And because that price is so intense, because the cost is so great and so deep and in one sense, so utterly horrific, and being born by one who is himself God the Son.

[18:54] This that is being paid for by the most precious individual in the sight of the Father who has ever been from all eternity, this what he is paying, you know, it's like a multi-billionaire giving all of their wealth.

[19:10] And I say, I'll add a wee bit. Here's my coppers. You know, here's the few that I've got. I'll throw in my wee bit of change. It's almost an insult. The idea that we can somehow add anything to what Christ the Royal Son has already paid and endured, you can't even bother trying.

[19:28] It's what he has done. But because he has done that for sinners, he has done it for every soul who will trust and believe in him and the invitation is open.

[19:39] That, friends, is good news for sinners like us. As I live, declares the Lord God way back in the Old Testament. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his evil way and live.

[19:57] Turn back, turn back from your evil ways for why will you die, O house of Israel? That which Christ has done for us, he has committed to us to spread the word of reconciliation.

[20:12] That this good news is there for everyone who will have it, if they will receive it. And the reconciliation that God has purchased on the cross for sinners is not apathetic. It's not just indifferent. It's absolute.

[20:25] It is not trifling, but total. It is not partial, so you have to do a wee bit to top it up. It is perfect.

[20:36] God has given his whole self totally, absolutely, perfectly. And the response of our lives now must be our whole life, our total life and a perfect life, or at least since that description will cause us naturally to balk and to recoil, and think, oh, well, that's, that lets me off, then I can't possibly give a perfect life.

[21:02] Let us put it differently and say, a life naturally imperfect but given perfectly to Christ from start to finish.

[21:13] You know, the widows might, the two copper, the two little coins that together make up a father. Nobody's suggesting that's all she ever had in all of her lifetime, but it's all she had then. Her entire living went into the treasury there, that made up a fathering. It was next to nothing, but she was giving all that she had.

[21:31] Everything from start to finish were to give to Christ. Ah, yes, but you don't understand, you see, because it's too late for me to give my life from start to finish. You don't realise you have already lived so long and I have not been converted and I haven't given so much so far, so, you know, I can't do it.

[21:49] I'm lost the fact of the, you've got to give a whole life, you've got to give a perfect life. I can't do anything about that because of how much is already, how much water has flowed under the bridge. Do you think that is a problem for God? You think that is a difficulty for God?

[22:06] You know, Jesus says the words that he speaks, they are spirit and they are life. It is the spirit that quickens, it brings alive. The flesh is no help at all. The flesh is profit of nothing.

[22:19] The years, the years that have gone about which you are so concerned, you know, the years that the locust is eating, they are but the years of flesh. They would profit you nothing anyway.

[22:35] They wouldn't be any good even if you'd saved them all up and given them all. They are just the years of flesh. They will not profit you anyway, anything.

[22:46] They would profit nobody. The Lord by his spirit and power is able to make your life begin afresh, to start anew.

[23:00] Do you not think that this is one reason why it is called being born again? Now I don't know whether it is a sad truth or a wonderful truth. It is certainly an amazing thing, but all of your life without Christ wasn't really life at all.

[23:21] It wasn't really living. It was existing. It was going through the motions of what flesh creatures do and the animal kingdom does and what created manor does.

[23:34] But it wasn't living. It wasn't life in its fullness. Jesus said, I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly life in all its fullness, in all its abundance.

[23:46] And that really only begins with the Lord. Jesus answered, truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

[24:03] That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again.

[24:15] Now, we've just been saying, but I can't meet myself, be born again. I'm flesh. I can't produce spirit. The kitten cannot have puppies. The hamster cannot have goldfish and the flesh cannot produce spirit just by itself.

[24:29] So what can I do? I can't do anything about it. If you say to me, be born again, that's no use. That's no help. Because I can't make it happen. No, but there is somebody who can. There is somebody who can, who you need only ask.

[24:44] They go, well, how can I ask to be born? Well, if you think about in the flesh, you didn't ask your mum and dad to be the instruments under the Lord's hand. That's all they were, they were instruments. They didn't cause you to be conceived God, cause you to be conceived.

[24:59] They just created the conditions in which it might happen. But it is the Lord who gives life. You didn't ask your mum and dad about that. You'd say, oh, that'd be nice. I was born in about, you know, 10 months, 9 months time. So please, if you could just sort of help along. We didn't ask. We didn't get a choice.

[25:14] We didn't have an opportunity to ask. But here now, as an immortal soul, with a spiritual father who says ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, not going to be opened unto you, you can ask.

[25:29] And Jesus says, he that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth to him at knocketh, it will be opened. He also said in Luke chapter 11, you know, whoever asks the spirit of him, he will give the spirit to them.

[25:43] You may not be able to produce the spirit because you're flesh, nor can I because I'm flesh, unless God gives it. But he said ask and it will be given. If you, which are fathers or mothers in the world, if your child asks, bread, you're not going to give him a stone. If he asks for a fish, you're not going to give him a circle.

[26:01] If he asks for an egg, you're not going to give him a scorpion. So your heavenly Father, who is good, not like us, we're full of sin, he doesn't have any sin. You ask the spirit of him and he says he will give it to you.

[26:13] I know that's quite a heavy chance to make genius standing up and saying, if I ask, I'll get it. So supposing I ask him tonight, didn't happen, oh well, the minister was wrong. The minister may frequently be wrong, but God is not wrong.

[26:25] That's the only reason I have the authority to say that because that is what Jesus says. That is what God in his word says, who does not lie. It doesn't necessarily mean that the first time you think it or utter it, it's going to suddenly come down miraculously from heaven.

[26:41] Remember in Luke 18 about the important widow. She asked the unjust judge and she asked and she asked and she asked and she asked until eventually he said, I don't give up what she wants, she's not going to leave me alone.

[26:53] I want to make her go away. So I'll give up what she asks and Jesus says here would the unjust judge say. If he who doesn't fear God or man is going to do the right thing just to make her go away.

[27:04] And how much more is God who loves you, who loves the world and everything he has created, who so loved the world he gave his own, maybe God and the Son. He's going to give what you ask if you're asking in truth.

[27:17] If you're asking for his glory and for your salvation, he's not going to deny you. Jesus never denied anyone who asked his help. The only occasion when Jesus ever said no to somebody was when they asked him about a worldly thing.

[27:36] The two brothers and one brother who said, you know, cause my brother to divide the inheritance with me. You know, sort out the money and property. Now you and I know that if there is anything that is going to make the dearest friends and the closest relatives fall out.

[27:51] It's money and property. And they're wanting Jesus to sort out for us. Give us the money and the property so I've got an equal share. Jesus wouldn't get involved. So I'm not going to judge him that matter.

[28:03] And he turns his hearer's attention back to the things of the Spirit, back to the things of the Lord. Because these things by which we are so easily sidetracked will not save, will not satisfy, will not redeem.

[28:17] What should look proper a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Never mind the family property or the house of the fortune. You get that. It's not going to redeem you. You get the whole world. It's not going to save you.

[28:28] Only the God's Spirit can save you. Only his salvation can save you. So ask. You couldn't ask your mum and dad for the first time you were born in the flesh. But you can ask your father now that you'd be born again of his Spirit.

[28:41] Ask and it shall be given. Jesus says, seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. I realise it's a big promise and I wouldn't have the authority to make it.

[28:54] And I wouldn't stand here and say it because I think, oh, James, somebody might ask and God might not do it. I better not say it just in case it doesn't happen. But I have to say it because Jesus says it and Jesus does not lie.

[29:06] I would hope I don't lie either, but I make mistakes. Jesus doesn't make any mistakes. And when he promises that, you ask and he will give. Now sometimes perhaps you say, oh, well, I'll ask quickly and maybe it won't happen.

[29:19] Oh, good, it didn't happen. I can go back to my life of flesh and the world and so on. And there's always part of us that is being dragged back to the world. But if we are to be given completely to Christ, it must be completely, wholly, absolutely, perfectly.

[29:34] Because that's what he did for us. Be born again and if you are not, ask that you may be, that you may live again, that you may love again with a love that will outlast all of this life and cause all other loves to pale into insignificance.

[29:57] And we might think in terms of, well, look, I really want that. I mean, whatever, you know, my children or my wife or my husband or my father or my mother or my friend. I mean, I love them and awful lot of. But if you really want that to pale into insignificance, well, it doesn't mean that love goes away.

[30:10] It just means that it is surpassed by an infinitely greater, more bright and lasting and divine love so that all these other loves, good as they are, they begin to look lesser and lackluster and pale and of the world.

[30:30] In comparison to what the old Bible calls you, the glory that excelleth. This worldly glory, this worldly love, which we build up, yes, rightly enough, and commitment and faith and even a measure of romance, it can all be good and wholesome and sanctified of God, but it is as nothing compared to the love of the Lord for sinners, which outlasts all these other things.

[30:56] However much, if you're married, you might love your husband or wife, no marriage in heaven. Jesus tells us that. The love that is there is greater than any earthly marriage. It all pales away into insignificance. If you're not married here, well, it means that your relationship with the Lord, it's just as good and then even better.

[31:12] It becomes in glory. And neither marry nor are given in marriage in glory because, no, we lose our husband or wife. Oh, we don't have them there. If they are saved and you are saved, they'll be there with you, but they'll be there as a brother or sister in Christ.

[31:28] Not as your spouse. They'll be that which maybe they once were at one time here on earth. Just as when they're Jews or Gentiles in heaven, the Jew cannot say, ah, I'm better than the Gentiles up here in glory because I have the covenants of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and we, if we're obese or like of God, we are grafted into that.

[31:47] Nobody's better than anybody else there in that state by then. We are redeemed and we are rejuvenated and we are restored by that love which causes all earthly loves to pale into insignificance.

[32:03] So when being born again, you live again, you love again with a love that will outlast all of this life and will cause all other loves to pale into insignificance.

[32:16] They are not diminished. They are surpassed. They are made to look less simply because of that brand new, infinitely greater divine love, a glory that surpasses all these other things.

[32:33] Let nothing then now be half-hearted for Christ. Not your love, not your hopes, not your life. Let it be full and let it be fully and wholly for the Lord, for Christ.

[32:50] Because God so loved the world that he gave this only begotten Son. He gave his Son knowing that he wouldn't just have the happy little occasion of the baby in Bethlehem being laid in the manger.

[33:02] He just had the comparatively happy childhood in Nazareth and the glory days of being welcomed into Jerusalem and all the palm branches going down and everybody shouting, Oh Zannah, that day was there but that day passed and the crowds that all hailed him as the Messiah, they melted away as all earthly celebrity does. He knew he had to come to die. He knew he was born to die. He knew that what awaited him was the cross with that intensity of suffering which we cannot begin to enter into.

[33:39] So this is such a love that God has. This is the nature of God's desire to save sinners like me and like you. This is God's will. This is God's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.

[34:00] And friend if you will not have him for your Savior through all the years of grace and through all the offers of the gospel, if you will not despite all his sacrifice and all his efforts, if you will still not have him as your Savior, then in all reverence we may say God knows that it will not be God's fault. Let us pray.

[34:29] Almighty and most loving Father help us this night as we are reminded again of our own helplessness, of our own weakness and of our own inability to bring forth anything that is good, anything that is spiritual.

[34:47] Help us to see Lord that of ourselves we are flesh and of the dust and if we are already born again in Christ, help us to see and know that although the old flesh is still there, warring against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, in and of ourselves we would be all flesh and all dead. But it is the life that is in Christ that gives us life, that causes us to grow day by day in grace and in sanctification we pray.

[35:16] Help us then to become more and more like Jesus. Help us so Lord to desire to begin. If we are to live, we must first be born. If we are to live again in Christ, we must first be born again of the spirit.

[35:37] And although we cannot make that happen ourselves, we can ask and we can trust and we can believe. Lord we know that so often so many hold back, not because they fear to begin but because they fear to fail along the way.

[35:55] They fear to stumble and fall and to end up losing everything while Lord help us to see that even if we do lose everything along the way which of course we won't if they are with us, then we are no worse off than we are now if we don't even begin.

[36:12] Help us then to seek to begin, to seek to start and however much has gone before all the years that the locusts have eaten, now are able to restore and to give again and to bless.

[36:25] So we commit our ways to thee tonight. We pray for all who are here Lord and those who would want to be with us but who can't because of illness or infirmity or confinement. We pray for any who are wrestling with the things of the spirit tonight. We pray for those who may still be tender in the faith and young in the Lord that they may be strengthened and go on with thee.

[36:46] Help us then this night to be profiting from thy presence and thy spirit. Help us to be better prepared for the Lord's day if we be spared to see it.

[36:57] And Lord if we are not spared to see the Lord's day then we know that we will very quickly behold the day of the Lord and we shall see thee as the Lord. And we pray that that might be Lord for blessing and salvation. So help us tonight and forgive our sins for Jesus' sake. Amen.

[37:16] We close our worship this evening singing to the Lord's praise in sing Psalms number 56. Sing Psalms 56 of which we will sing the verses 9 to 13. That's the last four stanzas.

[37:29] Sing Psalms number 56 at verse 9 when I call on you to help me then my foes will turn aside. This is how I will be certain that my God is on my side. And so on to the end for you kept my feet from stumbling and from death you set me free so that I may walk before you and the light of life may see.

[37:47] Sing Psalms 56 the last four stanzas to God's praise. When I call on you to help me then my foes will turn aside. This is how I will be certain that my God is on my side.

[38:20] In the Lord's word I honor. In my God I praise His word. I will trust and not be fearful. What can man do to be hard?

[38:49] I have taken vows before you too. I call, I will be true. Sacrifices of thanksgiving. I will gladly give to you.

[39:17] For you kept my feet from stumbling and from death you set me free so that I may walk before you and the light of life may see.

[39:46] Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God our Heavenly Father and the communion of God the Holy Ghost rest upon you and remain with you each one this night and forevermore. Amen.