Follow Me!

by LA UBF   11/02/2003     0 reads


2003 Fall Bible Conference

2003 Fall Bible Conference

Bible Study #1


Matthew 9:1-17

Key Verse 9:9

1. Read vs. 1-2a. Put yourself in the position of the paralytic lying on a mat. What do you think it was like? Yet what did "some men" do for him? What can we learn from these men?

2. Read v. 2b. What do the following words teach us in coping with spiritual "paralysis" built inside of men: 1) "When Jesus saw their faith"; 2) "he said to the paralytic"; 3) "son"; 4) "take heart"; and 5) "your sins are forgiven"? 

3. Read vs. 3-8. How were the teachers of the law different from "some men" who brought the paralytic to Jesus? Yet what did Jesus do for the teachers of the law? What does the crowd's response to this miracle show us about Jesus?

4. Read v. 9 and put yourself in the position of Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth. What do you think it was like? Why do you think no one brought him to Jesus? Yet what did Jesus do for him? 

5. Read v. 9 again. To the paralytic Jesus said, "Get up, take your mat and go home." But to Matthew Jesus said, "Follow me!" Why? Think about the way Matthew responded to Jesus' call. What does this tell us about Matthew?

6. Read vs. 9-13. Why did Jesus "eat" with tax collectors and sinners? What can we learn from Jesus (1Jo 1:1-11)?

7. Read vs. 14-17. There are three analogies: 1) the bridegroom; 2) the unshrunk cloth; and 3) new wine. How are they each related to one another? What do they refer to? What do they indicate about the purpose of Jesus' calling? What do they teach us about the obstacles we need to overcome in following Jesus? 







Matthew 9:1-17

Key Verse: 9:9

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” 

What is the most significant day of your life? It might be the day you graduated from high school, the day your first child was born or the day of some life-changing tragedy. In today’s passage, we witness the most significant day in the lives of a paralyzed man and a tax collector: the day they met Jesus personally and decided to follow him. 

I. Jesus helped a helpless paralytic (1-8)

Look at verse 1. Jesus spent so much time in Capernaum that Matthew referred to it as his “own town” (cf. Mk 2:1). One day, when Jesus had finished his work on the other side of the lake, he stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town (1). What happened next?

First, a helpless paralytic. Look at verse 2. As soon as Jesus returned to Capernaum, some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat (2). We don’t know how this man became a paralytic, but paralysis became the defining tragedy of his life. Human beings are created in the image of God to conquer and rule over themselves and God’s Creation. This man, however, could not even go to the bathroom without help. He couldn’t get a job. He couldn’t get married or have kids. The more he depended on others, the more he complained about them. It seemed that it would have been better for everyone if he had never been born.

Second, “Take heart” (2). Look at verse 2. “Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat....” These men loved their friend and they were ready to do anything to help him, but what could they do? They carried him from one doctor to another, but the doctors couldn’t help him. They carried him to specialists, psychologists hypnotists, and acupuncturists, but no one could help him. One day, they heard about Jesus. They were sure that Jesus would help their friend. Since he couldn’t go by himself, they picked him up and brought him to Jesus. Verse 2 says that Jesus saw their faith. The faith of the paralytic’s friends was essential in bringing him to Jesus. When they believed that Jesus would help their friend they overcame all kinds of obstacles and brought him to Jesus. 

Look at verse 2 again. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Proverbs 4:23 says that the heart is the wellspring of life. According to this biblical truth, the paralytic’s most crippling problem was not his paralysis, but his hopeless heart. When he was younger, he must have dreamt in his sleep that he could walk, run and jump. When he woke up he tried to jump out of bed, but he was still paralyzed. When he was younger, he must have planned to do something great with his life. He could go to college and become a professor. There were, however, too many difficulties: he had no money; his friends couldn’t take him to class every day; and he never learned how to write. Eventually, he gave up hope and resigned himself to a helpless, useless life. Jesus exhorted him, “Take heart!” meaning, “Don’t give up! I have great hope for you!” As soon as he heard life-giving Jesus’ word, his spirit revived and his hope was reborn.

Look again at Jesus’ words to the paralytic: “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Jesus had never met this man, but he loved him as a son and proclaimed forgiveness for all his sins.” What sins could a paralyzed man commit? There are many. He probably was a very self-centered person. He couldn’t think about other people, because he was too busy thinking about his own problems and needs. He could have been a blessing to others by reading the Bible to children or to the blind. He could have used his voice to sing hymns of praise to God, rather than complaining. He didn’t, however, do any of these things— not because he was paralyzed— but because he never even thought of them. He was just too self-centered. 

This man’s root problem was not paralysis, but sin. Sin kept him from living a useful life. Sin cut him off from God and made him miserable. Sin made him a burden to others. He didn’t physical healing: He needed the forgiveness of sins to heal his crippled soul.

Third, Jesus’ authority to forgive sins (3-8). Look at verses 3-5. When the teachers of the law heard Jesus proclaim the forgiveness of sins to the paralyzed man, some of them said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus rebuked them: “Why do you entertain such evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” It seems easy to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” since no one can refute the statement. On the other hand, if we say, “Get up and walk,” we have to back up our words with action. In reality, it was relatively easy for Jesus to heal this man’s legs by his divine power. To forgive his sins, however, Jesus had to suffer God’s terrible wrath and die in his place. Even so, Jesus was happy to heal the man’s paralysis in order to demonstrate his authority to forgive sins. Read verse 6. “‘But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....’ Then he said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, take your mat and go home.’”

Look at verse 7. “And the man got up and went home.” What ordinary language for such an extraordinary miracle! As amazing it was to behold this miracle, the crowd was even more amazed at its spiritual significance. Read verse 8. “When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.” Their joy and awe were not because they had seen another miracle, but because through this miracle they came to know that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins. In the past, they had watched Jesus as spectators, “Wow!” “Cool!” “That’s tight!” This time, however, Jesus’ message touched them personally: he had the authority to forgive their sins.

Many people are spiritually paralyzed. They don’t seem to be able to anything for themselves. We want them to get up and do something useful. We try to help them with our advice, but it doesn’t work. They need to come Jesus, receive the forgiveness of sins and be healed. It took four people to bring this man to Jesus. Likewise, it takes a great labor of love to bring one spiritually-paralyzed person to Jesus. Even so, we have to do it. Jesus is the only one who can help them. Jesus is the only one who can cleanse them from their sins and set them free from shame and guilt. Jesus is the only one who can set them free from the bondage of sin, so that they can live noble and glorious lives in him.

II. Jesus called a selfish sinner (9-13)

As Jesus went on his way, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. What kind of a man was Matthew, and why did Jesus approach him?

First, a man named Matthew (9). We don’t know how Matthew became a tax collector. Perhaps he wanted to escape the humiliation of poverty. Maybe he desired the status, security or comforts that money could buy. One thing we know: he believed that money was the key to his happiness, so became a tax collector. The Jewish people despised tax collectors as traitors as thieves. They were excluded from the synagogue worship and cut off from Jewish society. Matthew, however, didn’t care about any of these things— as long as he could make lots of money. Matthew was shrewd: he decided what he wanted and did whatever it took to achieve his goal, letting nothing get in his way. He denied himself, worked hard and accomplished his dream. He became a tax collector and made buckets of money. There was, however, one problem: money didn’t make him happy.

Living in Capernaum, Matthew probably had seen Jesus and his disciples many times. Outwardly, he mocked their simple faith and tattered clothes. Inwardly, however, he envied their joyful fellowship with Jesus. He yearned to join them, but he didn’t think Jesus would ever accept a wretched sinner like him. So he told himself, “I don’t need Jesus,” and he went home to count his money.

One day, however, he heard something amazing: Jesus had declared that he had the authority to forgive sins. Then he proved that his statement was true by healing a paralyzed man! “Is it possible,” Matthew wondered, “that Jesus could forgive even my sins?” As he was pondering these thoughts Jesus came right up to his tax collector’s booth and invited him: “Follow me.” Matthew didn’t need to be asked twice! He pushed aside his stacks of money, jumped over the counter, and began a new life as a disciple of Jesus.

Matthew gave up a lot to follow Jesus, but he never regretted his decision. No matter what he lost, Jesus always gave him so much more in return! He gave up wealth and privilege, but he received inexpressible joy in fellowship with Jesus (1Pe 1:8). He gave up a steady job, but he received the peace of God that transcends understanding (Php 4:7). He gave up his identity as a rich and powerful man, but he found a noble and  glorious identity as a disciple of Jesus. Later Matthew would record the parable of The Pearl of Great Value: “...the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Mt 13:45‑46). Matthew still valued his money, his house and his job, but he considered them rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus. Matthew gave up everything he’d worked his whole life to achieve, but he gained everything he’d ever wanted in return. He wasn’t crazy and he wasn’t foolish: he was very shrewd. He found everything he wanted in Jesus.

Second, God’s desire (10-13). Read verse 10. “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and ‘sinners’ came and ate with him and his disciples.” What a beautiful scene it must have been! The “old Matthew” was selfish. When he was dining in a restaurant, he would always go to the restroom when the check arrived, so that someone else would have to pay. After he received Jesus’ grace, however, he opened his wallet and threw a big party in Jesus’ honor. He wanted to thank Jesus for giving him a new life and to introduce Jesus to his fellow tax collectors. Many notorious sinners who came didn’t understand why they were so happy to be there.

Some people at the banquet, however, were not happy. Look at verse 11. “When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and “sinners”?’” The Pharisees thought that they could dedicate themselves to God by separating themselves from “common sinners”. So they criticized Jesus for eating with such “dirty people”. Jesus, however, exposed the flaw in their logic. Read verses 12-13. “On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

The Pharisees were highly-trained Bible scholars, but they were ignorant of God: they didn’t understand God’s deep desire to forgive sinners. When the people of Israel sinned against him, God disciplined them so that they would repent and be restored. Spiritual people are not those who separate themselves from others like monks or who condemn others like judges. Truly spiritual people are like doctors, who help sinners to be healed in Jesus (Cf. Gal 6:1).

Jesus told the paralytic to “Get up, take your mat and go home.” This man’s mission as a disciple of Jesus began by showing his family and friends how much the Lord had done for him (Cf. Mk 5:19). Those who had known him and taken care of him could best see the clear evidence of Jesus’ life-changing power in him. Matthew, however, had no friends. His family probably had disowned him when he became a tax collector. So Jesus invited Matthew to join him as a disciple and share his life. 

Can you imagine how difficult it was to live with such a proud, selfish sinner? No one wanted to sit next to Matthew: he was too selfish! Eventually, however, Matthew was thoroughly changed and became a source of blessing to countless generations. Matthew became a visible demonstration of Jesus’ sin-forgiving love. People loved to hear his life testimony: “Tell us what a terrible sinner you were!” they demanded, and Matthew gladly complied. “I was soooo selfish that I would steal my neighbor’s newspaper and eat my roommate’s food!” When people heard about Jesus’ love and grace for Matthew, they took heart. They began to hope that Jesus would forgive their sins and call them to fulfill God’s glorious mission for their lives.

The United States is full of many people like Matthew, who are shrewd and selfish. There are many helpless people like the paralytic. Jesus wants us to give our lives to serve them until they can be completely healed in him and fulfill his glorious purpose for their lives.

III. New life in Jesus (14-17)

Look at verse 14. “Then John’s disciples came and asked him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’” John’s disciples were contaminated by the yeast of the Pharisees: they thought that their fasting made them holier than Jesus’ disciples. Jesus expected his disciples to fast in the future (Cf. 6:16-18), but there was no reason for them to fast while he was with them. Read verse 15. “Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.’” Biblically-speaking, people fast in order to humble themselves before God and seek his mercy. There was no reason for Jesus’ disciples to fast while he was with them. Instead of criticizing them, John’s disciples should have believed in Jesus and joined their joyful fellowship!

Read verses 16-17. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” In these parables, the old garment and old wineskins represent our old lives. Jesus is not a “patch” we can use to fix up our old lives. If we try to “add” Jesus to our old lives, everything will be ruined. On the other hand if, like Matthew, we give up our old lives in order to follow Jesus, we will never regret the decision!

As a young man I was selfish and ambitious, like Matthew. In my own mind, I had rehearsed my inauguration speech as the President of the United States many times. I worked hard in high school and college and seemed to be on the “fast track” to success. There was, however, one problem: my worldly success didn’t make me happy. One day, Jesus came to me when two servants of God asked, “Do you want to study the Bible?” Without knowing why, I agreed. Eventually, my spiritual eyes were opened to see that Jesus had suffered and died to bear the full penalty for my sins. I found true joy and the meaning of life in Jesus, and I resolved to serve him for the rest of my life.

A short time later, I entered graduate school. When I tried to succeed by my own strength, however, I failed. I didn’t finish my thesis, and God’s ministry didn’t prosper as I had expected. I became frustrated and spiritually paralyzed by bitterness, hopelessness and fear. Some days it seemed that all I could do was to watch TV, sigh and take a nap. If I didn’t have to prepare the Sunday message every week, I probably would have lain on my paralytic’s mat for weeks, months or years. By God’s grace, I had to repent each week in order to receive the word of God for the Sunday message. Eventually, Jesus’ words penetrated my heart and restored my hope to be a fruitful servant of God. Praise Jesus for his wonderful, healing grace to this sinner! 

Some of us might feel helpless and useless, like a paralytic. We don’t, however, have to stay that way! Some of us might have done many selfish and shameful things like Matthew, but we don’t have to live like that anymore. Jesus has the authority to forgive all our sins and to enable us to live a new life. He gives hope to the hopeless, strength to the helpless and redemption to all kinds of sinners. No matter what we have done or failed to do, Jesus calls us and empowers us to do something great in his name. May God bless you to make a personal decision to leave behind your old life and start a new life following Jesus. May God bless you to grow in Jesus’ image and to be truly great.





Follow Me!PRIVATE 

Matthew 9:1-17

Key Verse 9:9

"As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth.’Follow me,' he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him."

In this passage we want to think about the joy of following Jesus, and what obstacles we need to overcome in order to secure this joy.

1. Read vs. 1-2a. Put yourself in the position of the paralytic lying on a mat. What do you think it was like? Yet what did "some men" do for him? What can we learn from these men?

** His life was unfulfilling in that he was living contrary to the way he was created to live, that is, to rule over and conquer himself and the world (cf. Gen. 1:28). But he could not conquer himself or his environment, for he was paralyzed.

In order for us to have a sense of fulfillment, we must be able to fully utilize all the talents the Lord has given us. This is akin to what happens to a fancy sports car, with all sorts of neat gadgets and gizmos, which has never been used: it will inevitably rust and deteriorate, and eventually become thoroughly useless. 

In other words, there may have been a spiritual giant and champion inside of the paralytic, but because his body did not work, the real man inside remained totally frustrated. This is why he complained to many around him. 

** They brought him to Jesus, the divine fixer of all "broken" people. Jesus is the only spiritual mechanic, able to fix any and all people. 

** They showed true friendship to the paralytic by helping their "friend in need" and thus proving themselves "friends indeed." 

2. Read v. 2b. What do the following words teach us about coping with the spiritual paralysis built inside each of us: 1) "When Jesus saw their faith"; 2) "he said to the paralytic"; 3) "son"; 4) "take heart"; and 5) "your sins are forgiven"? 

** The first thing we need in order to fight against and overcome either physical or spiritual paralysis is to have absolute faith in the Lord. In addition, when one man's faith can't quite cut it, then two, three, or even four men's faith will certainly cut it, judging by how Jesus responded in this passage. 

** The second thing that is needed is to listen to Jesus' words. With this faith we need to bring our problems (again, be they physical or spiritual paralysis problems) to Jesus so that he would address our problem(s) through the power of his word.

** The third thing we need to do is to deeply accept his love, that is, the love by which he calls each of us his "son" or his "daughter." Think about the unimaginably glorious blessing of being called a son or a daughter of the Creator God, the Father himself. No son or daughter of God is weak. After all, like Father, like son (of course the same applies to daughters as well)!

** The fourth thing we need to secure is to "take heart." This father-son relationship is too glorious to even think about, that we end up losing heart rather than simply "going for it." But we should not lose heart. Rather, we must take heart. "Take heart" means "take courage" or "to be courageous in going for what Jesus came to bestow upon us." The heart is the center of our being. Proverb 4:23 says that heart is the "wellspring of life." When the heart is wrong, the entire person is likewise wrong. When this heart is clouded with and even dominated by a sense of despair and fatalism, our entire person will remain paralyzed. So we need to rid ourselves of every hint of despair and fatalism by taking heart and going for what Jesus has already given us, that is, a relationship with our Heavenly Father. 

** Lastly, we need to have a firm conviction of Jesus' sin-forgiving love. Before he sinned, Adam was perfect in every sense of the word "perfect." Imagine yourself being like the unfallen, perfect Adam! When Jesus said, "your sins are forgiven" Jesus meant what he said. In other words, in Jesus' eyes this man was as unfallen and as perfect as was Adam. And what difference should there be between the unfallen, perfect Adam and the paralytic whose sins were now declared totally forgiven! Unlike many, Jesus always means what he says and says what he means, nothing more or less! The very second the words "your sins are forgiven" fell from Jesus' lips, an entirely brand new man was created. This is what Jesus saw and did to this man. This is why it is so important for one to bring all broken men to Jesus by "this" kind of faith!

3. Read vs. 3-8. How were the teachers of the law different from "some men" who brought the paralytic to Jesus? Yet what did Jesus do for the teachers of the law? What does the crowd's response to the miracle show us about Jesus?

** They did not come to Jesus because of their faith in the Lord, but with a critical mind that tried to find fault with Jesus. Plus, they did not love a man like the paralytic. Rather, they loved themselves more than poor sheep like the paralytic. Thus, in their selfishness, instead of helping poor sheep to receive God's healing, they made their sheep go from bad to worse.

** Jesus helped them to open their eyes about who he was, that is, the Messiah sent by God. 

** Their faith fell short as far as knowing who Jesus really was. They thought that Jesus was a mere man who happened to have God's authority to heal the sick, such as the paralytic. But one thing is clear: however they chose to interpret it, they nevertheless saw God working in and through Jesus!

In addition, the word "men" (as in "such authority to men") further supports Jesus' humanity. He wore a body like all of us; like all of us he was flesh so that God in Jesus could have genuine fellowship with us.

4. Read v. 9 and put yourself in the position of Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth. What do you think it was like? Why do you think no one brought him to Jesus? Yet what did Jesus do for him? 

** Two things come to mind: a man with the "wrong purpose" stuck in the "wrong place." God created him to be truly great and to do that which was great, even as great as all the great men of God in God's redemptive history like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many more. But this great man who was cut out to do that which was great was instead doing something which was far less than that and in fact inferior to the greatness of the purpose for which he was originally created by God to serve. 

Further, the job description "tax collector" indicated that he was living for "money," which goes against what Matthew 6:33 teaches, that is, to seek God's righteousness and God's kingdom first. The tax collector's "booth" indicated that he was stuck in a place of shame and dishonor. This is like a man cut out to be a great missionary instead living as a pimp, sitting in the sleazy corner of an alley in the red light district of a metropolitan city. 

** People did not like him. After all, he was a selfish person. Fallen men are selfish. See, those who are selfish do not like those who are selfish. So they hated themselves as well as those who were like them.

** Jesus did three things for this man: 1) Although no one visited him at his place, Jesus visited him at his place.

2) Although no one invited him to Jesus, Jesus invited him to himself. 

3) This shows us that Jesus is truly our best friend, for Jesus became a friend to the friendless. In a sense, Levi was more miserable than the paralytic in that, while the paralytic had one, two, three, and even four friends, Levi did not even have one. Later, Levi was changed, and invited many tax collectors and sinners, and he thus made many friends. But I do not think he had many friends before he met Jesus.

5. Read v. 9 again. To the paralytic Jesus said, "Get up, take your mat and go home." But to Matthew Jesus said, "Follow me!" Why? Think about the way Matthew responded to Jesus' call. What does this tell us about him?

** This is not because Jesus did not want to ask the paralytic to follow him, but because Jesus wanted to teach the paralytic a lesson that he had not yet learned. That is, Jesus wanted to teach the paralytic the blessedness of taking up the cross of going back home and serving those who had long suffered for him, and then, after this was all done, the paralytic could follow Jesus. However, for Levi, Jesus did not see this as necessary. Why not? Perhaps at his home, Levi was not a burden to anyone. Most likely, he might even have bought a lot of good stuff like Mercedes Benz's for all of his siblings. It is entirely possible that he even paid all of his brothers' and sisters' school expenses. So all he needed to do was to stop chasing after money, or his selfish dreams, and instead start chasing after Jesus, the sum total of all the noble themes of life!

** He was sick and tired of living his life for money. He probably did not even like what he was doing. But he was doing what he was doing because, in his fallen thinking, he thought that there were no other alternatives!

6. Read vs. 9-13. Why did Jesus "eat" with tax collectors and sinners? What can we learn from Jesus (1Jo 1:1-11)?

** In order to give them the opportunity to overcome their sense of guilt, their lowly character, to instead learn of Jesus, be inspired by his nobility, and grow up to his level. It is like when the sun comes out and shines upon some plants so that, by being exposed to the sun's rays, the plants would have the opportunity to grow strong, become greener and greener, and eventually bear good fruit!

7. Read vs. 14-17. There are three analogies: 1) the bridegroom; 2) the unshrunk cloth; and 3) new wine. How are they related to one another? What do they refer to? What do they indicate about the purpose of Jesus' calling? What do they teach us about the obstacles we need to overcome in order to follow Jesus? 

** The bridegroom refers to a man's relationship(s), the cloth refers to what goes on a man's body, and the wine refers to the spiritual component of a man. So three things are seen: relationship, body, and soul/spirit.

** Ultimately they all refer to Jesus himself. 

** The bridegroom indicates that Jesus came to make us fruitful, i.e., to live a life that bears good fruit that lasts forever.

The unshrunk cloth refers to the resurrection of our mortal bodies. Jesus came to give us a new body in the new order. 

The new wine refers to the new spirit Jesus came to bestow upon us. 

Overall, these three talk about the purpose of Jesus' calling, that is, to get us into a relationship with him so that we would be a new creation with a new spirit, and have the vision to have resurrected bodies!

** The obstacles include: 

1) Any relationship(s) that is inconsistent and incompatible to our relationship (as a bride) with Jesus Christ, our bridegroom. Jesus is called our bridegroom for his name is love. In love he even came to give his life as a ransom for many. Paul says that we must love others as Jesus does us, that is, by giving his life for us. Many hurt others with their words and/or point their fingers at others in blame. But Jesus is different. We sinned, but he took our sins, and took the punishment for our sins upon himself, in order to set us free from the coming judgment and beautify us as his bride. 

2) We need to take off our "old clothes" like our old ways of thinking, habits, lifestyle, preoccupations, etc. and so forth, and put on Jesus, our new clothing. 

Galatians 3:27 "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

Romans 13:11-14, "And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

3) We need to ask God to fill us with his Holy Spirit. 

Ezekiel 11:19 "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh."

Ephesians 5:18 "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

The end. 



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