Episode 5: Jesus Redefined Sin

 

Anchor Lady: Good day, everyone. How is weekend? I hope your weekend was not like ours because, ours was very very stressful. So we welcome you to another episode of Exposé 247 where we’ll turn the light on Christ. So, today I’m going to be the Anchor Lady … feeding all the questions and to…and this is…

Peter: My name is Peter. Welcome to Exposé. For those have been with us for the past few weeks and for those who are joining us for today erm…we will welcome you to another great edition of this platform.

Anchor Lady: Yes, for the past few weeks if you’ve been following, we’ve been on this the Prodigal Father and it’s really taking forever. As much as we do not want to belabour the point, we still don’t want to gloss over details because we know there are so many things to learn from this story. Last week, I remember we stopped at the legitimacy of our desire saying all desires are valid that we should express them that we should not supress them. That the Lord gave the desire so…but, I want to bring the attention and the attention of our audience to this Bible verse. In Matthew 16 verse 24 something like about we should deny our desires. So, we are finding out that some desires…from that scripture was saying we should deny…we should not express it. So what do you think about that scripture? Would you want to go through that scripture and shed some light on that?

Peter: Yeah, I think erm…yeah for those who have just…I mean, who have been with us, you’ll understand that we talked about the younger brother and we need to say that the younger brother actually decided to follow a path of self-discovery, deciding to look out for what really works out for him and that led him out of the father’s presence and then we knew how it ended up and he began to eat with the pigs and the Bible says, nobody gave him anything and he began to be in want. And one thing we’ve been establishing for the past few weeks is to simply say that there is nothing wrong with trying to give expression to our God-given desires and expressions to be the best that we should be. And then the question that Anchor Lady has actually asked today is to simply say, what about what the Bible talks about we should deny ourselves and this is the more reason why some Christians believe that if any Christian has a desire to become this…to become that er…it’s wrong because the Bible says we should simply deny ourselves. And we’re gonna have a look at that today erm…to see…does Jesus…I mean we…last week, if you were with us, we did say that Jesus didn’t say anything against the disciples when they were talking about who’ll be the greatest…all Jesus said was, they were going about it the wrong way so he didn’t go against that. So let’s talk about this, denying…what does the Bible mean to deny ourselves, does it mean we shut down every God given desires? Let’s find out…

Now I want you to have a look at something before we go into that…yeah. That same Prodigal Father in Luke chapter 15, there’s something we need to have a look at…er…Luke chapter 15…this was…now Luke chapter 15 if you have a look at verse 15…Luke chapter 15, verse 15 …it says “and he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country and he sent him into the field to feed swine” this is the younger brother…verse 16 says “and he would have filled his belly with the husk and the swine did eat and no man gave unto him”. Look at verse 17, I want you to look critically at verse 17…verse 17 says “and when he came to himself…” that’s the keyword…’himself’…his personality, who he really is…his person, his identity! Now, this is the whole point, the story of the Prodigal Father, Jesus completely redefined what sin is, he redefined who the Father is and he redefined what humanity is. See what Bible says about it, he came to what…himself. Don’t forget that we are talking about the fact that the Bible says denying yourself

Anchor Lady: I can’t see the correlation at the moment…

Peter: Thank you…he came to himself, it means the major thing about this younger brother wasn’t about the fact that he went on a journey of individualism. The major thing wasn’t about the fact that he went on a journey of self-discovery, it was about…there was something about his journey that has to do with himself so he came to realisation about the fact that come on…

Anchor Lady: …I’m beyond this

Peter: This is about…this is about…this is…see…all through the time he was just living…there was a facade…there was a covering…he came to his true self…identity. See, this is the problem of sin. That’s why…see the way we define sin is not the way God sees sin. God sees the concept of sin as an issue of identity…about what we use things to cover up who we really are…we try to feed our identity from things we engage in every day. So the Bible says for the very…n0w, the Bible says in Luke chapter 15…look at that again from verse 17, “he came to what himself” all this while he had not come to himself. All this while, there were layers, there were things that were covering up who he really is. And the Bible says for the very first time, this younger brother came to what, realise himself. So, the point is from the very…the beginning of the parable up to this moment, he has used all his adventure as a means of covering up his identity. Trying to feed our identity. The Matthew that you quoted…

Anchor Lady: I’m really waiting for that Matthew 26…

Peter: The Matthew 26 talks about the fact that we must deny ourselves. We shouldn’t use things…things around us, activities, things to cover up…to feed our identity. The Bible says in Colossians 3 that Christ is what…our life. Humanity has become a specialist in using everything around him to cover himself up…to feed that identity. Now, it doesn’t matter whether people use erm…drunkenness, it doesn’t matter whether you use money, it doesn’t matter whether they use knowledge or they use food. It doesn’t matter whether they use relationship, it doesn’t matter whether they use family, it doesn’t matter whether they use friends…

Anchor Lady: …xxx or whatever

Peter: …people can use anything to feed their identity. So, when you ask him, who are you? They can define themselves by those very things. So, the younger brother was on a journey to define himself that’s why the Bible says he finally came to what himself. He couldn’t come to himself because things covered up…things…himself was covered with things…

Anchor Lady: …so he was covered up with his pursuit, his adventure…

Peter: …he covered up himself…himself was like invisible to him. That is why the Bible tells us that if you want to follow Jesus, you have to deny yourself. To deny yourself means, don’t allow yourself to feed on things that will define him except Christ being the definition of who we are.

Anchor Lady: So, we should…all those things that we could have laid back on…

Peter: See, it’s not about those things, it’s not about those things…it’s about using those things to feed ourselves to define who we are. That is where the problem is and for example, if you think this is a matter of sin or something…this is more than that. For example, even when it comes to ministry, some Pastors…some people who…who are actually ministers of God, the very activity they engage in…they use it to feed…

Anchor Lady: …has become another identity for them…

Peter: …to feed their self. You can use even good things to feed yourself…

Anchor Lady: …charitable works…

Peter: …good things that you do, you can use that to feed your identity. So, what the Bible is simply saying is, deny yourself from those things that supplies value to you except…or outside of Christ.

Anchor Lady: That is, anything that is giving us any identity outside Christ because Christ is our life in the shorter form…

Peter: …Colossians 3…

Anchor Lady: …Christ is our life, so Christ is our identity…so whatsoever that is coming away giving us a false…a fake identity…coming in the way…

Peter: …so, if they ask people who are and you say this is who I am, if that thing is not Christ…

Anchor Lady: …be it intellect, be it inheritance, be it anything, personality, fame, whatever we are doing or whatever we are good at, whatsoever is noble…whatever it is…as long as it comes out…becomes another second nature to us, that is what we should deny.

Peter: That is the definition of sin. That’s why we said, the story of the Prodigal Father, Jesus redefines what is sin. We can have a very funny concept about sin…we think sin is when you do something evil but Jesus simply says, any time something is used to define you and that thing doesn’t make you see the need of Christ to be your definition, that is sin.

Anchor Lady: So, even forgetting about the identity of who he really was…that he was a son…

Peter: …and he was trying to use that pursuit (adventure) to cover up himself. That’s why the Bible used that word in Luke 15:17, ‘he came to himself’. I mean, those things began to move out and he said, oh this is who I really am. He couldn’t find out that because other things covered him up.

Anchor Lady: For those who have get up from last message and feeling like, oh we can fully express ourselves, express desires, you are getting the caution in this…yes, as you go to express the desire…our fame…whatever you go out for…your heart yearns for…it must not come in the way of our identity which is Christ. So, as it comes…if it’s any of those things coming in…in form…giving us a false identity, we need to deny it as in Mathew 26…so, we need to come to ourselves just like this younger brother and know that Christ is our life so we will not take up any false identity, no matter how good, how noble…or cause worthy that thing is. Christ must remain our identity so whatsoever that is coming in that way must be denied, must be repressed…be it…might just be genuine or not…it must be repressed.

Peter: Now, there is something I want us to look at in the Book of 1st Corinthians chapter 7 and I want us to have look at that…1st Corinthians chapter 7 so we can see what this simply says. Now, I’ll read from verse 29…1st Corinthians 7:29. Now listen to this, it’s an apostolic instruction…it says, “but this I say, brethren, the time is short, it remains that both they that have wives be as though they have none” can you see that? It said, those that have wives should be as though they have no wives. Now, how do you do that, it means you live life as if you have a wife and you don’t have one. That’s kind of dichotomy…it means, you have it but it doesn’t define you! Look at the next verse, it says, “they that weep as though they weep not”, it means…it’s saying that even if you are in sorrow, sorrow shouldn’t define you. Now, look at the next verse, it says, “they that rejoice as though they don’t rejoice”. So now, you see…people think this issue about being rich or not being rich…

Anchor Lady: …which ever situation we find ourselves…

Peter: …how can you use weeping and joyfulness in the same verse? And it says, if you’re weeping…don’t let…it’s one thing to weep…

Anchor Lady: …swallow you up…

Peter: …it’s a whole different thing for you to be consumed by weeping. It’s one thing to rejoice, it’s a whole different for you to be consumed by rejoicing. It’s one thing for you to have money, it’s a whole different thing for money to have you. So, you see, the story of the Prodigal Father is Jesus redefining the concept of sin…a sinner is not just a sinner because he did evil or did wrong or did the right thing or wrong thing…that’s not the point. Do we define ourselves by something else except Christ?

Anchor Lady: Oh, now that you are talking about those definitions, I just quickly remember the stories of when Jesus was illustrating the…using the poor, the rich and you know…he was defined by the rich man…the rich man…the rich man, unlike the other younger…

Peter: Now, she’s made a very good point, you remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus? The rich man has no name…have you noticed? The rich man and Lazarus in Jesus’ parable, we know Lazarus had a name…Lazarus…the rich man was nameless…

Anchor Lady: …why…

Peter: …have you ever wondered why? The rich man had no name, that is his identity!

Anchor Lady: …the wealth has become his identity…

Peter: …that is who is he is. Rich. Now, again I say, don’t get this twisted, it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or you are poor. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in sorrow or you’re rejoicing. It doesn’t matter whether you have or you don’t have. That’s not what Jesus is saying…if you think this is about being rich or not being rich. If you check this 1st Corinthians 7 verse 30, it talks about if you’re weeping as if you don’t weep…if you’re rejoicing as if you’re not rejoicing. Those are two opposite human experiences but he said, it doesn’t matter whether you’re weeping…it doesn’t matter whether you’re rejoicing…the key thing is whatever you engage in must not define who you are.

Anchor Lady: So, I think we should go to the bible verse here, “those who buy things should live as they own nothing…those who use the things of this world, should live as if those things are not important to them”

Peter: Can you see that? It said, if you use anything of this world, as if it’s not important. See, the whole point of the Prodigal Father story…about the younger brother is…is not that he went on a journey of self-discovery that was the problem. It was about the fact that the self-discovery journey was having him and that’s why the Bible says, he came to himself at some point. Identity…

Anchor Lady: So, it’s not bad to desire leadership just like you…last week…it’s not bad…

Peter: …it’s not even bad. I remember something…you know people erm…some years ago, there was some Christians who were arguing about what Jesus did say that on the last day, some people will say that we’ve cast out demons in your name, we prophesied in your name and then Jesus said, I will say to them, I don’t know you. And then, some Christians try to interpret that scripture by simply saying, you know what, it means that you can prophesy and cast out demons and if you live in sin erm…Jesus wouldn’t know you. Well, I don’t know how they interpreted that because there was nothing about committing sin in that scripture. There was nothing about living unholy lives…I’m not saying you have to live a life of sin, that’s not the point…I’m just saying we cannot read our human reasoning to the scripture. There was nothing about the committed sin. Now, what was the problem, the scripture explains itself. They came to Jesus and they said, we cast out demons in your name. This is, we are demon-casters, that’s who we are. And they said again, we prophesied…we’re prophet! That’s our identity because they came to Jesus and told Jesus who they think they really are.

Anchor Lady: oh yeah…that thing has had them…prophecy has had them…

Peter: …casting out demons and prophesying had them, that is who they defined themselves as and Jesus said well, if that’s your identity…

Anchor Lady: …I don’t know that…

Peter: …I’m not your life. I, Christ, I’m not your life! I don’t know who you are. See, we are simply saying to the … world that Jesus redefined what sin is. And you see, there’s one thing about human nature, human nature will always try to use something to cover up. And that explains Adam and Eve when they fell…before God came back into the garden, they already had to cover up. That’s one thing…we always need to use everything…we use money, we use even intellect. We use er…I mean, family, we use relationships…romance, we use everything we can find to cover up who we really are. That’s just the human tendency.

Anchor Lady: …ministry, charity work…

Peter: …even ministry, church ministry! We can use church ministry to cover up who we really are and it’s just a human tendency. And what Jesus is simply saying is…you see, if you stick with us on this Exposé, we will carry on in the next few weeks to the elder brother and you will find out that it doesn’t make any difference whether you do “the right thing”

Anchor Lady: …or you do the wrong thing…

Peter: …or you do “the wrong thing”, the question is, do those things define your identity? Is your life in Christ…Colossians 3 says, when Christ who is our life shall appear then we shall appear with him in glory. Christ who is our life, that’s the keyword…who is my lifeif I’m stripped down to nothing, am I left with Christ or have I covered up my identity with everything around me. This is what salvation is all about, this is what redemption is all about and this is where the younger brother had a problem. So, it’s not about the fact that this younger brother wanted to find out…it wasn’t about self-discovery that was the key thing, it was about the self-discovery is to him…a means of identity. So, Luke 15:17 says, ‘he came to himself’. So, this is all about himself…this is all about his identity and that is all about it. So, please out there, don’t let anybody tell you that oh, as a Christian, you shouldn’t erm…you know…go to this level of significance…you shouldn’t go that far or if you possess that…

Anchor Lady:or ambition

Peter:or if you go find ambition, this is not…all those thingsthat’s not the problem. The problem is whatever things you do in this world; you can go as far as you want to. But, according to 1st Corinthians 7 from verse 30 to 32, it says as if you don’t have those things…

Anchor Lady: …yes, and it covers all possibilities…

Peter: …in fact, it covers every grounds. It goes as far as family. It says, if you have a wife, you live like you don’t have a wife…if you have a child, can you live like you don’t have a child? If you have family, can you live like you have no family.

Anchor Lady: …if you’re joyful…you have a lot to be happy for…

Peter: …if you’re joyful…so many things to be happy about, can you live like those things are not there? Now, how do you…

Anchor Lady: …if you’re sad…

Peter: …as if you’re not there. You see, this is why Christianity is not Buddhism. You know, in Buddhism, or some other religion, they’ll tell you, you know what, you want to be…you want to attain a level of spirituality…

Anchor Lady: …strip yourself…

Peter:you have to strip yourself off of all these enjoyments. You have to strip yourself off of being happy and rejoicing…no…

Anchor Lady: …strip yourself off your possession…strip yourself from family

Peter: … strip yourself from family…live in a monastery…

Anchor Lady: …abandon commitments…

Peter: The more you want to enjoy this world, the more your spirituality level comes down. Well, that’s not what…Jesus never taught anything like that. In fact, the Bible says, rejoice…rejoice…but can you rejoice and still live like you’re not rejoicing. Can you have millions…and billions in your account and still live like you don’t have. The only way to have those things and live like you don’t have them…the only way is if Christ defines who you are.

Anchor Lady: Christ becomes your life.

Peter: That is the only way…there’s no other way, that’s why no religion…

Anchor Lady: …I mean, Philippians was saying put on the Lord Jesus Christ …

Peter: …put on Christ! No religion…

Anchor Lady: …make no provision for the flesh…make no provision for anything to express…for any other identity…put it on…let it be your identity.

Peter: …that’s it. That is it! You see, humanity will always give you advice…it’s this way or that way. They say, oh well you know, you have to have enough or you don’t need to have enough to be generous or whatever; they always give advice on the left or the right. But, Christ, gives no such advice. Christ never says, I don’t care what you have or what you don’t have. If you look at Jesus’ erm…disciples, if you look at them, people tend to use erm…Peter as an example…when they were going to the gate…you know…Beautiful. When Peter said, silver and gold I have none and that which I have I give unto you, when he told that man that was lame. And people say, can you see that there…you cannot have enough money and say you are a disciple of Christ. They use that as an example…you tell people, that’s not true. Why, look at an example, Joseph Arimathea… Joseph Arimathea, the Bible says he was a rich disciple of Jesus…

Anchor Lady: …he was the one that was…

Peter: …now, mind you, Joseph Arimathea was not a rich donor to Jesus’ ministry. That was not the word, the Bible says…because I know in churches you can have some that have money…they are not committed to Christ, they just give money to church…the Bible says, Joseph Arimathea was a rich disciple (mark the word ‘disciple’) and yet he was rich!

Anchor Lady: …and if not for his wealth…

Peter: …so forget about whether…Jesus had people who followed who didn’t have any money and Jesus had people who followed him like Joseph Arimathea who had enough money. In fact, the reason why they gave Jesus’ body to the disciples…

Anchor Lady: …to Joseph…

Peter: …was because of Joseph Arimathea. Read the Bible…because he has so much financial influence that Jews had to give the body of Jesus to him because he had that…so, Jesus had disciples of varied circumstances…of varied situations (classes) or classes, that’s not the problem. See, the problem of Christianity is trying to define ourselves with one or that…forget…that’s not the point. The question is, who is your life? Does Christ define us? Do we know the Bible says we are bought with a price of the blood of Jesus? You are as valuable as the blood. That’s the prize that Christ placed on us. The question is, you only buy things based on what you think they are worth. You only pay for things in the market, if you think it’s worth that thing. The Bible says, when Jesus will redeem us, he paid for us with the price of his blood.

Anchor Lady: 1st Peter will say, we are redeemed with non-perishable things…

Peter: …1st Peter 1:18, 19 says, “for you are born again not of the corruptible seeds but of the incorruptible seeds of the word which lives and abides forever”. It means, that’s your value, the blood! The seed of the word…Jesus placed that value on us.

Anchor Lady: no matter your certificate, your ivy league school…your pedestal

Peter: …you’re rich…poor…tall…you’re short, you’re weeping…you’re rejoicing

Anchor Lady: …you have much; you have none…

Peter: …you have wives; you don’t have wives…you’re a bachelor…you’re married. Jesus is saying, don’t ever fall into the deception of defining yourself by those things. And I think…you see…if you follow church history, the church has always swapped in-between at some point in time…it was very…very…erm…fashionable to be poor. In fact, when you are poor and you don’t have nothing, they say, oh yeah, that’s the true minister of God and later it switched. It switched, later, it was a matter of saying if you have enough faith to have enough money…you’re a true disciple. The church keeps …we keep moving in those cycles and it’s all wrong. The question is, do we see our values as the price of the blood that he placed on us…if you have that…

Anchor Lady: it doesn’t matter whether we have much or not…

Peter: …your circumstances will never determine who you are. In fact, there was a place where the Apostle Paul said something, Philippians 4…here’s what he said, I have learnt both to abase and to abound, I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me…what that scripture simply means is…it says whether I’m abase or I’m abounding, I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. That’s who I am in Christ! Satan would want us to define ourselves by our circumstances…somebody’s rich, Satan wants him to think oh yeah you’re alive…somebody’s poor, Satan wants you think, yeah, you know one thing, you’re miserable, you’re noting. And this is what the problem of the younger brother is. The Bible says, ‘he came to himself’. You see, it as a thing about identity, it was an identity issue.

Anchor Lady: Yes, if anybody is going to take anything away from today’s episode, it’s just to know that we must come to ourselves today…so that the younger brother came to himself. We need to come to ourselves and our real self is Christ which is our life. So, whatsoever that’s blocking, whatsoever that has become the pseudo life that we have… so, inside the society expectations and societal pedestal where we are been placed or responsibilities…maybe we are responsible for this and responsible for…or we have these titles and we have all this working for us, we must know that Christ is our life.

Peter: We…in fact, I want to say this is the time for us to go back to the scriptures in the place of prayer and look at the purchase process; how Christ bought us over…

Anchor Lady: …hmmmm

Peter: …. and look at what it took for him to redeem us…meditate

Anchor Lady: …went through our adoption process…

Peter: …meditate…meditate prayerfully, let it sink in…

Anchor Lady: …so let’s come to ourselves…

Peter: …let’s stop acting and as it sinks in…you…that’s the way, let it sink in. In fact, the more it sinks in, the more nothing else defines us anymore and we would then begin to live in reality…in 1st Corinthians 7 from 30 to 31 because sad to say, so many Christians don’t live in that verse.

Anchor Lady: So, the final word, we are just telling you…we are sending you all to go and rediscover who you really are and know that you, you have Christ life…those who have Christ life are

Peter: ….so nobody will be able to push you around or try to er…you know, box you around because of your circumstances.

Anchor Lady: And that covers all situations, possibilities, and probabilities, high and low…happy… whatsoever happening around you, Christ is your life. That is the constant factor…that’s the constant factor in this equation, Christ is our life and we must come to that understanding. We must come to ourselves…we must come to ourselves. And that’s going to be my own final word, do you have any final word for our viewers?

Peter: No, well viewers, we just erm…like you to join us and continue with us in this journey er…as we go further on from next episode and I believe today you’ve been blessed and erm…we would hope to see you erm…next time.

Anchor Lady: So, till next time, we’ll see again…go and discover who you are…Christ is your life.

Peter: Christ is your life…God bless you!

Anchor Lady: Bye…

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