Freedom in Christ


the Holy Spirit one God amen good
afternoon everyone if you were here
expecting to see a blue Nepal my
apologies unfortunately you guys got
stuck with me today but i'll try to do
the best that i can so i have to admit
last week when i was asked to give light
and life i was a little bit nervous and
I was especially nervous because I
didn't have a topic you know they said
speak about whatever you want and as the
speaker that's kind of the worst thing
sometimes somebody says speak whatever
you want because you know I didn't
really have anything on my mind so I was
really really struggling to find a topic
and I was texting people saying what
should I talk about you know what's
going on and I was just really really
struggling to the topic and then we had
a friend come over to our house for
dinner and as every conversation seems
to end these days we started talking
about the whole gay marriage thing and
America and where's America going and
and I made a statement something along
lines of that I feel like America is
going down the tubes and there's no hope
for the future okay and I started to
think about it and I said is that really
true is there no hope for us here in
America I feel like things are just
going getting worse and worse and worse
and then I started you know check in the
news and then I started think to myself
no I really do not have hope for the
future okay because this doesn't exactly
give me any hope and as I was trying to
find a topic i started browsing around i
started searching some websites and it's
funny i went to an orthodox website that
i usually go to to read articles and i
said let me just look around and see if
anything catches my eye and i saw a very
interesting sermon that was posted and
ironically it wasn't from an orthodox
speaker and orthodox pastor it was from
a non-orthodox pastor and was called st.
Paul's letter to the Americans and I
thought to myself for a second as far as
I can recall I do not recall st. Paul
writing a letter to the Church of
America so I was intrigued by it so I
started reading it and what happened was
it was actually a very famous pastor in
America from the 1950s and 60s wrote
this imaginary letter he thought to
himself if st. Paul was to write it a
letter to the Church of America what
would it sound like so he came up with
this imaginary letter and it's actually
a very famous pastor America
and he gave this sermon or he read this
letter to his church in 1956 1956 and
when I read it I said wow so if you'll
give me just bear with me for a few
minutes i'm going to read parts of the
letter to you i took a few parts out I
took the parts that I thought were most
relevant to us and it may take a few
minutes but I think it's really
important so please bear with me while I
read to you again this is an imaginary
letter think about st. Paul if you were
to write to the Church of America it
starts off I an apostle of Jesus Christ
by the will of God to you who are in
America grace be unto you and peace from
God our Father through our lord and
savior jesus christ for many years I
have longed to be able to come to see
you I have heard so much of what you and
of what you are doing I have heard of
the fascinating and astounding advances
that you've made in the scientific realm
I've heard of your dashing subways and
flashing airplanes I have also heard of
your skyscraping buildings with their
prodigious tower steeping heavenward
I've heard of your great medical
advances which have resulted in the
curing of many dreaded plagues and
diseases and thereby I prolonged your
lives and made for greater security and
physical well-being you have made
tremendous strides in the area of
scientific and technological development
but America as I look at you from afar I
wonder whether your moral and spiritual
progress has been commensurate with your
scientific progress it seems to me that
your moral progress lags behind your
scientific progress you have allowed the
material means by which you live to
outdistance the spiritual ends for which
you live you've allowed your mentality
to outrun your morality through your
scientific genius you have made of the
world a neighborhood but through your
moral and spiritual genius you have
failed to make of it a brotherhood isn't
the world the neighborhood now with all
the social media aren't we all connected
together but you have failed to make of
it a brotherhood so America I would urge
you to keep your morale advances abreast
with your scientific advances I'm
impelled to write you concerning the
responsibilities laid upon you to live
as Christians in the midst of an
unchristian world that is what I had to
do that's st. Paul this is what every
Christian has to do but I understand
that there are many
Christians in America who give their
ultimate allegiance to man-made systems
and customs they are afraid to be
different they're great concern is to be
accepted socially they live by some such
some principle as everybody is doing it
so it must be all right for so many of
you morality is merely group consensus
you have unconsciously come to believe
that right is discovered by taking a
sort of Gallup poll of the majority
opinion but American Christians I must
say to you as I said to the Roman
Christians years ago do not be conformed
to this world but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind or as i said to
the Philippian Christians for our
citizenship is in heaven this means that
although you live in the colony of time
your ultimate allegiance is to the
Empire of eternity the Christian owes
his ultimate allegiance to God and if
any earthly institution conflicts with
God's will it is your Christian duty to
take a stand against it this letter was
written in 1956 isn't it seemed like it
was just written yesterday don't when we
sit around a conversation feel like
America used to be a Christian country
what's going on this was 1956 ok and by
the way if you're curious that pastors
name was dr. Martin Luther King the
famous civil rights activist right after
i read that i came across another quote
it says how needful the human being is
of service of the spirit in an age where
materialism atheism apostasy and deviant
intellectual trends prevail how needful
people are to see Christ in our lives
and to smell his sweet fragrance in us
there is upon the church a critical duty
at this juncture through which the world
is passing today it is upon her to
advocate faith and hearts to spread
virtue to bring peace and serenity into
every weary soul so that tranquility
might abound and well-being might be
plentiful this message was said by Pope
Corliss the 6th in 1959 and he's talking
about materialism atheism apostasy and
deviant intellectual trends okay so 1956
in 1959 and how much these words apply
to us today and then I started to think
to myself wait a second I
realize something every Christian
generation has it struggles it doesn't
matter when it was I know a lot of times
we say that we live in an evil
generation and I think we do live in an
evil generation but every generation of
Christians had to deal with something I
know that recently the persecution of
Christians has been on our minds I know
for many of us for me in my entire life
I can't remember anything like this
except for a couple years ago anybody
else I don't remember anything like this
okay an Isis has made us realize things
this this picture unfortunately become
way too familiar right but is this any
different than when Christians were
being thrown to the Lions under the
Roman Empire is this any different than
the book of Acts is it any different
than the history of the church is it any
different than in the 20th century where
you have the genocide of one and a half
million Armenian Christians know every
generation has to witness to Christ in
its own way and every generation has its
own struggles you heard the words from
two very well respected people from the
50s okay but in America we may not have
direct physical persecution okay but the
persecution of Christians is coming in a
very different way okay we live in a
society where people are celebrating the
destruction of the family unit people
are proud of that we live in a world
where someone changes their sexual
identity and becomes a hero okay
someone's given Awards and made a hero
we live in a world where some people are
more upset over the killing of one lion
vs. the killing of thousands and
thousands of people every single day so
make no mistake about it okay our
witness has to be different okay we live
in a different world we live in a
different society and our witness won't
be the same as others but here's the
thing that that makes me worry is that i
feel like the spirit of the world has
crept into the into the church okay it's
become our spirit as christians
unfortunately and as with every problem
there's a root
to everything right there's always a
root cause and I tried to think about
the root cause and I feel like it's
something that is in the lifeblood of
America you know what that root cause is
it's something called freedom believe it
or not this country takes pride on being
a free country right we are the land of
the free and the home of the brave and
everything in America is about freedom
if it feels right it must be right I've
had these feelings all my life so they
can't be wrong and the entire world is
chasing its desires okay there is no
freedom okay that's actually not called
freedom you know what that's called it's
called slavery because we have zero
control over ourselves when the prodigal
son wanted to be free when you wanted to
be free from his father's house what
happened to him he ended up lower than
the pates he became a slave to the pigs
even the pigs wouldn't feed him right so
with freedom there's actually a cost
associated with it okay freedom comes
with a price freedom comes with
accountability and responsibility when
God created Adam and Eve in the garden
he created them to live freely and he
created them with free will right but he
laid before them a law a rule a
consequence he said you can eat all the
trees in the garden except for this one
if you choose to eat of this tree there
will be a consequence there will be a
consequence and you shall surely die and
man according to his own free will chose
to disobey and there was a consequence
to that and believe me all of the
so-called freedom in the world okay has
its consequence and we are all bearing
the consequences of it so in order for
us to witness to Christ in this age
there has to be something different okay
I believe one thing is needed one major
thing is needed and you may look at it
it may sound simple okay it sounds
simple but it's actually very hard and
you may say it's a cop-out but this is
what I believe is needed to witness to
Christ in this generation okay sorry I'm
going to get to this in a second
okay one thing is needed okay and that
thing is called personal repentance okay
personal repentance I know that word has
kind of a Sunday School connotation to
it okay and I know we've heard it many
many times in sermons but to be honest I
think we have no idea what repentance
means and if we understand what
repentance means then you will see that
our witness will be stronger than
anything else we can do in this world
now let's go back to the beginning again
okay in the beginning God created man in
His image okay so all of man's thoughts
were rational thoughts okay they had
been illuminated by the grace of God but
when man sinned and chose to separate
himself from God automatically man's
personality was immediately destroyed
and his simplicity became complexity
okay and his rational behavior became
irrational behavior and that irrational
behavior is something with the father's
called the passions okay and that's a
lot what we're going to talk about today
is the passions we want to understand
what the passions are and how to fight
against them irrational thoughts and
deeds are called passions why because
they don't operate in accordance with
the rational laws and needs they operate
in accordance with unnatural urges and
desires which end up leading to sin and
the evil that we find in the world the
passions basically are an expression of
our self-centeredness and our own ego
they're basically looking for a way to
satisfy our spiritual desire with carnal
means okay and that's what we're going
to talk about today I mean think about
it as soon as man fell look what
happened with Cain and Abel didn't take
very long did it right for evil to creep
into the world and for man's urges to
become irrational okay you are jealously
your brother so you killed him these are
the passions and that's why what that's
why st. Paul reminds us that those who
are Christ's have crucified the flesh
with its
and desires ok now the Fathers of the
Church kind of put the passions of the
soul they kind of put them in three big
categories okay love of pleasure love of
money and love of glory and under these
three big headings we can find kind of
the roots of many many sins so at love a
pleasure for example under that we find
sexual desire gluttony laziness and
slothful knows okay this bite by no
means is like a comprehensive list okay
but these are the major things all right
so let's take a look at the passions
here sexual desire okay sexual desire
was put in us for a natural purpose
right it was given given to us to be
used within the context of one man and
one woman inside of marriage for a
healthy way both for procreation and for
pleasure right but when the the rational
use becomes irrational and distorted
what happens then we go into sexual
immorality we find lust we find all the
things creeping in and that's why the
world is going crazy right because now
what was natural is becoming unnatural
irrational okay same thing with all of
these what is gluttony it's an abnormal
use of food right it's an unnatural
connection with food food we all love
food i'm the first one here okay i love
to eat like anybody else i love junk
food i love everything that everybody
else loves right but this is an
unnatural use food was given to us to
sustain us to keep our bodies going but
not to be used for like gluttony and so
many things and actually you know the
church fathers say you know the number
one thing leading to sexual desire in
this world it's actually gluttony why
because you are feeding your flesh more
and more and more and the lion the flesh
that is within you the passions becomes
bigger and bigger and bigger okay so you
can see here how all these things here
all these things called the passions can
grow and they were put inside of us for
a reason but for a natural purpose not
an unnatural purpose like they've become
these days okay
saying justin the martyr says to yield
and give way to our passions is the
lowest slavery even as to rule over them
is the only liberty let me ask you a
question who doesn't struggle with any
one of these things here right who
doesn't struggle to any one of them we
have to ask ourselves a very simple
question okay if I want to identify the
passions within me and things that are
becoming unnatural within me what is it
that pushes my buttons what are the
things that annoy me what are the things
that make me angry what are the things
that motivate me this is how I start to
assess myself and see what it is that's
that's pushing my buttons that's driving
me so on and so I'll give you an example
preparing for this talk today I was
actually kind of stressed out okay and
if i evaluate the stress that i called
myself cause myself this week you know
what I bring it back to very simple
right here my own pride you know why
because I don't want anybody to say wow
that talk today light and life was
horrible okay or I want people to say
wow that talk was amazing I mean George
changed my life and I repented and I'm
like you know on cloud nine right at the
end of the day whatever stressed I calls
myself and preparing if I'm honest with
myself is related to what my own ego
right and we have to ask ourselves
what's the stress in your life related
to is it your work maybe it's related to
a performance evaluation coming up right
maybe it's that I'm so into my job I
want to be the best maybe it's
covetousness maybe I want to get a big
raise whatever it is that's pushing our
buttons we have to look at it and say
you know what this is a sin being
stressed out this week / preparing a
talk this is actually a sin that I need
to repent for okay because it's
something inside of me that is causing
problems and affects me in many
different ways whether it's your kids
your spouse whatever it is that pushes
your buttons you got to look at and say
what's the problem is it my ego is it my
maybe I'm getting a little bit greedy
maybe I'm covetous my envy jealousy so
on and so forth I'm telling you if we
evaluated ourselves honestly every
single day we would find thousands of
things that we need to correct and we
need to we need to fix saying isaac the
syrian says it is a greater miracle that
a man can see his true self than the
raising of the debt so here's the big
million-dollar question right how can i
be free how can I experience true
freedom and not the freedom of what the
world says is true freedom which is
actually slavery you know the lower
talked a lot about denying yourself he
talked a lot about carrying your cross
and he spoke about the narrow gate okay
and I know we don't like to hear any of
that stuff but if we water down the
gospel like many churches do many people
do we will never ever have victory and
true freedom as God wants us to have the
Lord said the Kingdom of Heaven suffers
violence and the violent take it by
force to be honest with you it takes
some warfare okay it's going to take
some warfare on our part if we want to
begin to overcome these struggles in the
Orthodox Church we don't have something
we have something called synergy okay
synergy which is basically cooperation
with God yes I have to struggle and do
my part but God will also do his part
okay the Lord said behold I stand the
door knock if anyone hears my voice and
opens the door I will come in the Lord
knocks but we have to open the door
right as Saint John Chrysostom says he
says God never draws anyone to himself
by force and violence he wishes all men
to be saved but forces no one so we must
fight against the passions okay we have
to fight and what's our main tool to
fight it's actually something called
asceticism and I know this is not
something we like to hear because we
think this is the ascetic life okay it
means i have to be a monk living in the
wilderness living in the desert and i
have to do all these monastic things but
i'm telling you every single Christian
has to live an ascetic life okay there
has to be some form of asceticism in our
lives to understand and to cleanse and
to heal the demons that are inside okay
there has to be a form and what I'm
going to try to do a little bit is to
explain the healthy understanding of
asceticism because I know as soon as we
we see this or we think about the
monastic life we think about long
prayers and long hours of fasting and my
Tanya's and seclusion and all these
things but I want to explain to you why
monks go to this level and how every
single lay person here has a
responsibility to do the exact same
thing okay now obviously there are
degrees right a person who's married
with children who's working living in
the world has different degrees
different their asceticism may take a
different form but nevertheless we all
have to fight and we all have to
struggle so I know asceticism has a
negative connotation okay it usually
means we always look at the cutting out
things okay but the word asceticism
actually means to exercise okay it's
actually a positive work and most of the
times we only see the negative aspects
okay let me give you an example let's
say I have weeds in my garden okay and I
pull out the weeds right I pulled them
out from the root and everything what's
left a hole if I don't fill the hole
what's going to happen the weeds are
just going to come back again so true
asceticism is removing the evil okay the
bad things inside but replacing them
with the good things inside okay it's
not just a matter of doing all the
negative things okay many Eastern
religions have aesthetics okay they
don't eat they don't sleep they do all
these things but as st. Anthony the
great said some have afflicted their
bodies by status ISM but they lack
discernment and so they are far from God
again there's a cooperation a synergy
okay so my aesthetic strivings without
the spirit of god without guidance
without a spiritual rule a spiritual
father a spiritual guide
we'll bring no benefit and input these
verses on the the slide but the Lord
said when an unclean spirit goes out of
a man he goes through Dry places seeking
rest and finding none he says I will
return to my house from which I came and
when he comes he finds it swept and put
an order that's exactly like taking the
weed out right there's a nice hole that
swept and cleaned put in order then he
goes and takes with him seven other
spirits more wicked than himself and
they enter and dwell there and the last
state of that man is worse than the
first okay so without the proper
understanding we may see ourselves in a
worse state than we started with and I
see we see this with many people right
many people are offended at the church
right they tried to come to church they
tried to do the right things but they
were offended by somebody you know why a
lot of times because they tried without
discernment maybe they did think they
tried fasting and they found it
miserable because they didn't just maybe
change their diet without adding the
healthy piece replacing the old man with
the new man so when we take fasting for
example right many of us despise fasting
and we make fun of fasting but fasting
done in the right way has two wings okay
it has charity or giving and it has
prayer many of us will want to add the
fasting piece without adding the prayer
or the the giving piece right this is
basically the Constitution of our
Christianity fasting prayer and
almsgiving like we always practice
during Lent right this is the Sermon on
the Mount if you had to sum it up in
three things the Lord said be fasting
prayer and giving of alms or charity but
many times we're only looking at the
negative aspect without replacing with
the positive aspect so asceticism is a
gradual death with Christ okay I can't
be resurrected with him unless I first
die with him so through the incarnation
of Christ's humanity took a special
grace when Christ took the form of man
okay we all took because we were in him
when you were baptized you're baptized
into him so when he sanctified humanity
he gave us the grace to overcome and to
receive the new nature
when you're baptized you receive the new
nature but what happened unfortunately
is after our baptism we didn't keep okay
it's the responsibility of every parent
to preserve the baptism of their
children correct if you remember the
oaths that you took on the baptism day
of your child for those who are parents
and those who OV parents you have a
responsibility to keep to protect to
tend the garden when God put Adam and
Eve in the garden you know he told him
he said just tended just keep it okay
I've already given you everything just
keep and maintain isn't much easier to
maintain a garden than to let your
backyard go crazy like I do I let my
yard go for like a month or two months
and then I find the weirdest things
growing in there and god knows what but
if I was normal I would just cut my
grass on a weekly basis and save myself
the headache okay but many of us have
the spiritual weeds that are growing out
of control and we don't even know what
they are weeds popping up and you say
what is this weird thing I have no idea
what it is okay so we have to we have to
be careful of that okay there's a quote
from st. Cyril of Jerusalem that said it
is for God to grant his grace and your
task to accept that grace and to guard
it okay and st. Cyril Jerusalem is very
famous for his catechetical lectures
those who are studying Christianity st.
Cyril has like a very famous series of
lectures where he gave advice to those
Christians who wanted to become and he
said it is for God to grant his grace in
your task to accept that grace and to
guard it so we always have to be on
guard okay so there are some things to
keep in mind when we're struggling
against the passion okay number one is
that we have to be aware okay sometimes
they're so subtle we consider them so
natural they don't even mean anything to
us so let me give you an example that
would probably offend most of the people
in this room okay it's a very simple
example but let's be honest okay our
good friend here mr. coffee okay and God
blessed the coffee ministry the line
here was like amazing we haven't seen a
line this long and
how long okay we know that everybody
loves their morning cup of coffee right
who here knows somebody that if they
don't have the morning cup of coffee
they can't function maybe some of you
are those people okay so you don't have
to raise your hand but some people if
you don't want to talk to them they have
a headache they're grumpy they're
miserable without the morning cup of
coffee right and we laugh and we joke
but this is a serious problem right
because who has become your master now a
coffee cup it determines what time you
wake up probably it determines your
activity level in the morning it
determines how grumpy you are your mood
and all from a harmless cute little cup
with whipped cream on top right a subtle
passion that actually has big
implications in our life okay believe me
I'm not much of a coffee drinker but I
found myself becoming a coffee drinker
and i'm tryin by all means to avoid
coffee so I don't turn into mr. grumpy
in the morning okay but I'm not saying
that because I'm trying to be better
than anybody i have my own struggles but
i want us to be aware of this is a
passion okay this is something inside of
me that needs to be healed believe it or
not okay I remember asking somebody we
were it was like last Lent and they had
never fasted before meaning to abstain
from food for a time so I was trying to
encourage them saying you know why don't
you fast for a time she said okay but I
have to have my morning cup of coffee so
I asked a simple question I said what
liturgy do you go so she said I go to
the second literature I said what time
is communion she said 1130 ish and I
said you drink coffee before you go to
communion on Sundays she said no I said
did you survive she said yes said whoa
wait a second so you can go three four
hours from waking up in the morning
without a coffee on sunday but monday
through saturday you're going to die if
you don't have a cup of coffee why
because we have been trained okay you
have trained your body that on Sunday
mornings there's no coffee okay but we
have to take that training something
smaller coffee and apply it to the rest
of our lives
another example okay our good friend
this guy here okay this thing if we
think about it has basically destroyed
our lives okay I know it's great I know
it comes in handy but if I can't stop at
a stop light without looking at my phone
if i'm texting and driving if I can't
eat I see old people now that can't sit
in the doctor's office about checking
their Facebook okay they're like 70 and
they're on their Facebook okay this has
destroyed our attention span okay it's a
sword mind for sure okay I go to read a
spiritual book now and I first few pages
I'm done that's it okay I need short
things I need 140 characters and I'm
done that's it okay but this is
something that's not healthy for us okay
no wonder we can't pray for a long time
no wonder we can't sit still and listen
to a lecture for a long time no wonder
we can't read the Bible for a long time
no wonder I can't finish a book cover to
cover I haven't finished the book cover
to cover in years okay and when i trace
it back my attention span shot I can I
can't focus on more than one thing for
more than five minutes okay so they're
subtle and sometimes they're easy to
miss okay but these small things okay
are just the elementary level okay how
can we move to the greater Commandments
if I can't even overcome a cup of coffee
how can I love my neighbor as myself how
can I love my enemy how can i give my
food to feed the poor how can i wash the
feet of others how can I lame i lay my
life down for others how if I don't
first overcome these small things okay a
lot of times the passions are coming
from repeated sins or sins that I
haven't repented from okay so if there's
something deep down in there it becomes
habitual okay it's like I don't even
notice it anymore it becomes part of me
and another thing to keep in mind is
that the passions need healing okay they
need healing look at it like a
restoration okay a restoration process
have you ever seen or ever heard of like
these old chapels where they're trying
to restore the original artwork
sometimes the artwork has been you know
covered over with other paintings or
other things and they will take you know
hours and days
just to work on one small square inch
right why because they don't want to
destroy the original it needs certain
care okay you are an original okay and
we all need to be restored to the
original image but it may take time and
it may take care and it needs some
guidance and needs a specialist right it
needs a spiritual guide it needs a
spiritual doctor to help us but over
time there is a restoration process and
a healing process so we have to be
patient again we have no patient these
days no patients right we're not patient
everything is fast microwave anything
any question I have I can search on my
phone right if I need to to find
something just search on my phone if I
have a question search on my phone if I
need to get somewhere I don't call
somebody and ask you get directions look
at a map hop on the GPS right so this
has destroyed many things inside of us
that prevent us from receiving this
healing right God doesn't work that way
God doesn't change he's not moody like
we are okay God needs time and we need
to be honest with ourselves okay so God
gave us these passions for a certain
reason okay God gave us these passions
for a holy purpose okay if he put anger
inside of us the emotion of anger its
anger for what should be directed at the
injustice of this world and the sin that
is in me okay when the Lord overthrew
the temple he was angry correct but even
in sin and the psalm says be angry but
do not sin right so God put these things
inside of us for a certain reason okay
maybe there's a little bit of envy
inside of us so that we can emulate the
virtues of the Saints right and we have
certain desires that we may thirst after
God not after the pleasures of this
world so our passions need to be
consecrated they need to be baptized
they need to be made holy okay as I said
the passions are not really eradicated
but they're transformed okay they are
healed so that we can use them for a
positive purpose now back to our concept
of freedom that I spoke about in the
beginning to have true
medium is to have victory over sin and
my personal repentance begins when I
fight against these passions and for
everyone is different okay I'm just in
this time just trying to bring it spark
some thoughts into your mind hey what
are my struggles and let me assess and
look at what are the roots of the
problem and over time we need to replace
the old with the new okay but it's a
slow and steady process as I said and as
I become sanctified okay as I began to
get rid of these passions and I began to
implant them with virtues I'd become
enlightened okay there's a term called
enlightenment that the church fathers
use all the time okay there's many
different levels of the spiritual life
okay but many of us are in the
elementary level okay we didn't overcome
the simple things of this world to reach
the very high levels that we see about
and we hear about but if I'm full of
darkness and not full of light how can I
be a witness to Christ in this
generation if I'm just like everybody
else in this world how can I be light if
Christ asks us to be a light to the
world I have to be enlightened I have to
be full of light full of the Holy Spirit
and I can't be in darkness like the
world is all these passions all these
things of the soul simply bring darkness
into our lives okay darkness brings
confusion it brings frustration it
brings a lack of clarity there's no
guidance I don't know where I'm going
I'm frustrated I'm spinning my wheels
all these things because our souls and
spirits have become darkened then and
only then ovb will we be true witnesses
to Christ okay as I said this generation
needs something different okay people
don't need sermons you can get any
sermon you want on the web okay people
need to see changed lives and they need
to see us as Christians showing them how
to overcome the struggles how to
overcome the desires as one preacher
said we are scared of offending everyone
in this politically correct age except
for God we're scared to offend everyone
except for God but I promise you if we
do these things and if we overcome
evil inside us and we become truly
enlightened persons living in the spirit
and not the flesh we will witness to
this world like no other okay I know we
don't believe that but that's true you
know why because our spirit knows no
bounds okay and when we're living in the
flesh then we're constrained by the
flesh okay the flesh says that hey I
can't change anybody's mind right but
the Spirit has no balance let me give
you an example in the book of Acts when
Philip overtook the Ethiopian eunuch how
did he get there the spirit carried him
right he was somewhere many many miles
away but the Spirit carried him right
the spirit knows no bounds Philip didn't
need to get on a train or get on
something and go ride to him and take
several days but the spirit is not bound
okay we are not bound but because we are
living in the flesh our spirits are
constrained okay someone like Pope
Carlos the sixth how does he know when
someone comes to him what their problem
is how can he do that how can heal
people because he was a man living in
the spirit and not in the flesh so I
promise you if you want to be a witness
to Christ and we all asked him the same
question right what are we going to do
in this evil generation all the time I'm
fighting with myself saying what am I
going to do with my kids my kids have to
grow up now in this era where they're
going to be seeing people who are one
identity one day and another identity
another and the homosexual marriage and
all these things I promise you if we
live our Christian lives the way we're
supposed to it would be the greatest
witness ever the only thing in this
world that is absolutely free is God
okay and unless you are united to him
you will be in bondage all the days of
your life okay therefore if the son
makes you free you shall be free indeed
okay in order for us to be free we have
to be united to the one that is free we
are born into bondage and slavery okay
and when you are baptized you join the
family you become United to the Holy One
who is able to set you free okay but
many of us like the Israelites did we
want to go back to Egypt okay and we're
in the slavery of Egypt whatever form it
takes could be the love of pleasure love
of money the love of glory whatever it
is but we each have to look at ourselves
how is it possible that the Lord said
greater things than these you will do
greater things than will do greater
things than Christ did not possible how
has to be in the spirit I don't know how
to be honest this verse the mystery to
me I don't know how we do things greater
than raising the dead and healing the
sick and all the miracles I have no idea
but God promised us that we have to take
that promise so in light of all this
let's read the words of Pope Corliss 26
again and I'll conclude with this how
needful the human being is of service of
the spirit in an age or materialism
atheism apostasy and deviant
intellectual trends prevail how needful
people are to see Christ in our lives
and to smell his sweet fragrance in us
there is upon the church a critical duty
at this juncture this was in 1959
through which the world is passing today
it is upon her to advocate faith in the
hearts to spread virtue that's the
asceticism out with the old in with the
new to bring peace and serenity into
every weary soul so that tranquility
might abound and well-being might be
plentiful okay now hopefully these words
have a little deeper meaning okay we can
understand what it means that we are in
need to live in the spirit in this evil
age and by that we will bring peace and
serenity to every weary soul these are
not my words these are the words of a
very enlightened holy man okay who knows
100 billion times better than me or than
any one of us okay so hopefully we can
take that and we can begin right away
don't wait till tomorrow don't wait
until the next day but let's begin now
okay let's see what it is that needs to
go and what needs to come okay but don't
get rid of anything without replacing it
with something else if you're going to
get rid of the TV get rid of the TV but
replace it with something else in other
words if you're going to if you have to
watch tv watch something that's going to
edify you it's going to build you up
listen to a sermon if you're going to
cut out the internet start reading
things that are you know more beneficial
to you right we don't have to stop
everything but we have to replace and we
have to build okay and glory be to god
forever amen let's stand up for prayer