If It Wasn't for God....

18/03/2018 13:08

LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE

Date: 6 March, 2018
Text: Textual phrase "But God"
Title: "If It Wasn't for God...."
 
Introduction:
 
Reading US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas' biography.
 
His father abandoned the family.
 
He broke the only promise he ever gave to his boys.
 
He lived in a shanty - one light - no water - collected rain water and carried water - outhouse. The shanty burned down and they moved to a filthy tenament.
 
He lived in the days of segregation in the United States. (black and whites didn't mix and the KKK was very active.) Martin Luther King was alive but died when he was in college. He had a tough life!
 
His book is called, "By Grandfather's Son." It is because his grandparents raised he and his brother. He tells you in the book that he is what he is only because of his grandpa.
 
He could say it this way, "It was hopeless but grandad.... If it wasn't for him....."
 
My message this morning is, "If it wasn't for God." THERE ARE MANY STATEMENTS OF HOPELESSNESS WE COULD MAKE THIS MORNING THAT WOULD BE FOLLOWED BY THE WORDS, "BUT GOD!" 
 
That wee phrase, "But God...." is what makes it possible for you and I to succeed in life and eternity! (If you are without God this morning - it is hopeless you will never succeed in life and definitely not in eternity.) BUT WITH GOD 
Matthew 19:26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
 
I. I can get away with sin, but God....
exp. Aren't you thankful this morning that God doesn't let mankind get away with sin.
 ill. I speak with unbelievers who say, "If there is a God why doesn't he defend the innocent?" The answer is, "He does."
Although mankind has the ability to exercise their wicked will in rebellion against mankind and
although he is not the author of evil - 
yet he will hold every  man accountable for every wicked deed which he will pay for accordingly.
note: Mankind think that they are getting away with their sin BUT GOD!
Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
Pro 21:12  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
Psa 64:7  (the workers of iniquity) But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
Psa 68:21  But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
question: Why would man think they are getting away with their sin when the Word of God clearly tells us they will not?
Ecc 8:11  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
ill. Death Penalty information centre - sad list of men's names facing execution some scheduled as far out as 2022. Just because they have not be executed yet - THEY ARE SENTENCED and unless the judge mercifully commutes their sentence they will be killed.
 app. Do you think you are getting away with your sin? You could....BUT GOD will not let man get away with breaking His law! (We need another but God - to save us from our sin!)
 
II. No one can love and forgive a sinner like me, but God.....
ill. As I look at the list of men's names to be executed I see people who have parents, siblings, friends who love them and individuals - I don't see number. It is sickening to read the names of those who will justly lose their life because of their wicked crime against mankind.
 exp. I believe that we often look at Hell and see numbers not faces and names. They will justly cast into the lake of fire for their sin - but they are people with names and faces!
ill. War Monuments reminds us that it wasn't numbers that died for our freedom - IT WAS INDIVIDUALS. 
ill. There is another individual of whom I preached last Sunday. His heart broke more than any man's heart for those on Hell's death row. Their cause was hopeless! WHO WOULD LOVE AND CARE FOR A SINNER?
Romans 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 Ill. On that list of men is Thomas Whitaker to be killed it says on 22 February - but there beside his name it says Sentence Commuted. The judge did that because of a loving father who pleaded for his son's life (although he had been shot, his wife and son shot and killed) by this son who was seeking his inheritance. HE FORGAVE THE PERPETRATOR BEFORE FINDING OUT IT WAS HIS OTHER SON! With the governor's consent they gave him life in prison instead! ONLY GREAT LOVE CAN LOVE AND FORGIVE SINNERS!
App. Here me this morning - you are either on Hell's death row or you have been! If you are there - no matter how much you hate God and oppose Him with your wicked life - He loves you and he will forgive you! No one could love and forgive you BUT GOD!
 
III. My sinful life can not change, but God....
exp. Thomas Wittaker has a little more time to repent and be saved. But his wicked heart devoid of familial love and murderously lusting for money COULD NEVER CHANGE without God!
 question: Do you see a moral world around you? Do you see morality in you? Sin is universal!
Ephesians 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
ill. Last SS we looked at the prodigal son - He was starving eating the filth of pig food. He had no shoes on his feet, no rings on his fingers, he had wasted his living with harlots! But when he went to His father he was clothed, cleansed and fed by the Father. 
 exp. Do you think you need to change to come to Jesus? The prodigal didn't - he just came and WAS CHANGED BY THE GRACIOUS FATHER! The only reason my life is different from an unbelievers life is because of that phrase, "BUT GOD WHO IS RICH IN HIS MERCY!"
 app. Are you sick of your sin! It is hopeless! BUT GOD! - CAN SAVE YOU, CLEANSE YOU AND CLOTHE YOU IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!
 
IV. I can not understand the hope that I have, but God....
ill. I just booked flights for my family to go to Germany in July (Mon - Fri). I took German for 2 years in University. I loved it. I endured and was able to pass my classes - but languages aren't my gift. I'm not going to be able to understand german because it is a foreign language.
 exp. Someone could rightly say to you and I as we try to tell them about our Jesus - you're speaking a foreign language. I'm not interested. I don't care. Even if I did care, I can't understand it! AND THEY WOULD BE RIGHT - IF IT WASN'T FOR BUT GOD!
I Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Exp. When a man obeys the Gospel and get's saved - God gives him the ability to understand His Word by giving Him the Holy Ghost who can help Him understand.
 ill. Reading at night - realizing that after reading for a while it takes my eyes a while to refocus on things that are distant. I got online and it said, "The older you get the harder it is for your eyes to focus and that is why many people in their 40's get reading glasses."
 exp. An unbeliever spiritual eyes are not unfocused - THEY ARE BLIND - until they are opened by God's Spirit. 1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
app. Has God begun to reveal to you the precious truth of His Word? If you find yourself saying, "I can't understand - you are right - your only hope is BUT GOD and that takes place at salvation as he begins to reveal everything that you have in Him!
 
V. I can not live in victory over sin, but God....
 exp. The tendency to sin doesn't just vanish when someone get's saved. Heb. 12:1 'let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us." There is a battle that we must face if we would live in victory AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT GOD.
1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
question: Have you noticed that every time you mess up you have a reason? 
You take a test and you get an answer wrong and you know why you missed it. 
You have a car accident but it was because of....
You don't fulfil and obligation but if it wasn't for.... you would have.
 exp. What is another word for "reasons." EXCUSES - it really isn't my fault because....
AND SO MAN COULD SAY ABOUT SIN....
1) But you really don't understand my environment.
2.) But nobody else has faced this level of tempation.
3.) I can't get victory over this so I have to yield!
 app. And God's Word says, "BUT GOD!" It is unbelief to yield WHEN GOD IS TRUE AND YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF IF YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE! Believer you can live in victory over sin, because of that phrase, "But God!"
 
VI. I'm not qualified to do the Lord's work, but God....
exp. Anyone who has tried to do anything for God has felt at times there inadequacy and inability.
 ill. Moses - Exo 4:10  And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
ill. Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:6  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
 exp. The only thing that has helped man do what God has called them to do is that phrase, "But God!"
1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.
ill. Moses - Exodus 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
 ill. Jeremiah - Jeremiah 1:7  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
app. Do you have great self confidence? Get rid of it! Do you lack confidence - GET IT FROM GOD. The only thing that will help you do what you can not do in working for the Lord is that phrase, "BUT GOD!"
 
VII. I would be proud about my accomplishments, but God....
exp. When we do anything for Jesus and it is a success - why is it a success? ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD.
 Ill. Clarence Thomas' grandad took them out to the only family property one Christmas day and said, "We're going to build a house and a farm." They had the 4 bedroom home built by that Spring. He didn't tell them but he built that farm to get them away from the bad area of Savanah during the idle months of the summer. His grandad paid to put him through seminary (trained to be a priest). He later became a supreme court justice but he would never have IF IT WASN'T FOR HIS GRANDAD.
exp. That is probably a poor illustration but if God had not saved us, given us our natural abilities and enabled us by His spirit - WHAT COULD WE HAVE POSSIBLY ACCOMPLISHED FOR HIM?
1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
App. Your life would be fruitless today if it wasn't for God. And if your life is bearing fruit for Jesus  it is only because of that phrase, "BUT GOD." Can you be proud of WHAT GOD HAS DONE without giving Him all the glory for doing it?
 
VIII. I will stay in the grave, but God....
 exp. Have you ever noticed that death is final.
ill. Garth's email asking for prayer as he preached his 98 year old father's funeral on Thursday. My heart was touched by his request because he is saying goodbye on earth to his dad. Garth is a godly man but he can't bring his dad back to life - BUT GOD will!
Psa 49:15  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.
exp. No matter who you are today inside these walls or outside of them - YOU WILL BE RESURRECTED. 
Joh 5:29  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
 exp. Unbeliever you are not just going 6 feet under! Believer - you aren't either! Praise God in both cases. The wicked will be judged and the righteous will be rewarded.
app. We would just cease to exist - BUT GOD! 
 
 conclusion: Justice Clarence Thomas is a great man - he would never have been such a great man, he would say, "But grandad....."
 
I'm so glad that phrase, "But God" is in God's Word! Without it - we would never be able to succeed in life or in eternity.
 
I. I can get away with sin, but God....
II. No one can love and forgive a sinner like me, but God.....
III. My sinful life can not change, but God....
IV. I can not understand the hope that I have, but God....
V. I can not live in victory over sin, but God....
VI. I'm not qualified to do the Lord's work, but God....
VII. I would be proud about my accomplishments, but God....

Date: 6 March, 2018

Text: Textual phrase "But God"

Title: "If It Wasn't for God...."

 

Introduction:

 

Reading US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas' biography.

 

His father abandoned the family.

 

He broke the only promise he ever gave to his boys.

 

He lived in a shanty - one light - no water - collected rain water and carried water - outhouse. The shanty burned down and they moved to a filthy tenament.

 

He lived in the days of segregation in the United States. (black and whites didn't mix and the KKK was very active.) Martin Luther King was alive but died when he was in college. He had a tough life!

 

His book is called, "By Grandfather's Son." It is because his grandparents raised he and his brother. He tells you in the book that he is what he is only because of his grandpa.

 

He could say it this way, "It was hopeless but grandad.... If it wasn't for him....."

 

My message this morning is, "If it wasn't for God." THERE ARE MANY STATEMENTS OF HOPELESSNESS WE COULD MAKE THIS MORNING THAT WOULD BE FOLLOWED BY THE WORDS, "BUT GOD!" 

 

That wee phrase, "But God...." is what makes it possible for you and I to succeed in life and eternity! (If you are without God this morning - it is hopeless you will never succeed in life and definitely not in eternity.) BUT WITH GOD 

Matthew 19:26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

 

I. I can get away with sin, but God....

exp. Aren't you thankful this morning that God doesn't let mankind get away with sin.

 ill. I speak with unbelievers who say, "If there is a God why doesn't he defend the innocent?" The answer is, "He does."

Although mankind has the ability to exercise their wicked will in rebellion against mankind and

although he is not the author of evil - 

yet he will hold every  man accountable for every wicked deed which he will pay for accordingly.

note: Mankind think that they are getting away with their sin BUT GOD!

Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Pro 21:12  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

Psa 64:7  (the workers of iniquity) But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

Psa 68:21  But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

question: Why would man think they are getting away with their sin when the Word of God clearly tells us they will not?

Ecc 8:11  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

ill. Death Penalty information centre - sad list of men's names facing execution some scheduled as far out as 2022. Just because they have not be executed yet - THEY ARE SENTENCED and unless the judge mercifully commutes their sentence they will be killed.

 app. Do you think you are getting away with your sin? You could....BUT GOD will not let man get away with breaking His law! (We need another but God - to save us from our sin!)

 

II. No one can love and forgive a sinner like me, but God.....

ill. As I look at the list of men's names to be executed I see people who have parents, siblings, friends who love them and individuals - I don't see number. It is sickening to read the names of those who will justly lose their life because of their wicked crime against mankind.

 exp. I believe that we often look at Hell and see numbers not faces and names. They will justly cast into the lake of fire for their sin - but they are people with names and faces!

ill. War Monuments reminds us that it wasn't numbers that died for our freedom - IT WAS INDIVIDUALS. 

ill. There is another individual of whom I preached last Sunday. His heart broke more than any man's heart for those on Hell's death row. Their cause was hopeless! WHO WOULD LOVE AND CARE FOR A SINNER?

Romans 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 Ill. On that list of men is Thomas Whitaker to be killed it says on 22 February - but there beside his name it says Sentence Commuted. The judge did that because of a loving father who pleaded for his son's life (although he had been shot, his wife and son shot and killed) by this son who was seeking his inheritance. HE FORGAVE THE PERPETRATOR BEFORE FINDING OUT IT WAS HIS OTHER SON! With the governor's consent they gave him life in prison instead! ONLY GREAT LOVE CAN LOVE AND FORGIVE SINNERS!

App. Here me this morning - you are either on Hell's death row or you have been! If you are there - no matter how much you hate God and oppose Him with your wicked life - He loves you and he will forgive you! No one could love and forgive you BUT GOD!

 

III. My sinful life can not change, but God....

exp. Thomas Wittaker has a little more time to repent and be saved. But his wicked heart devoid of familial love and murderously lusting for money COULD NEVER CHANGE without God!

 question: Do you see a moral world around you? Do you see morality in you? Sin is universal!

Ephesians 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

ill. Last SS we looked at the prodigal son - He was starving eating the filth of pig food. He had no shoes on his feet, no rings on his fingers, he had wasted his living with harlots! But when he went to His father he was clothed, cleansed and fed by the Father. 

 exp. Do you think you need to change to come to Jesus? The prodigal didn't - he just came and WAS CHANGED BY THE GRACIOUS FATHER! The only reason my life is different from an unbelievers life is because of that phrase, "BUT GOD WHO IS RICH IN HIS MERCY!"

 app. Are you sick of your sin! It is hopeless! BUT GOD! - CAN SAVE YOU, CLEANSE YOU AND CLOTHE YOU IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!

 

IV. I can not understand the hope that I have, but God....

ill. I just booked flights for my family to go to Germany in July (Mon - Fri). I took German for 2 years in University. I loved it. I endured and was able to pass my classes - but languages aren't my gift. I'm not going to be able to understand german because it is a foreign language.

 exp. Someone could rightly say to you and I as we try to tell them about our Jesus - you're speaking a foreign language. I'm not interested. I don't care. Even if I did care, I can't understand it! AND THEY WOULD BE RIGHT - IF IT WASN'T FOR BUT GOD!

I Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Exp. When a man obeys the Gospel and get's saved - God gives him the ability to understand His Word by giving Him the Holy Ghost who can help Him understand.

 ill. Reading at night - realizing that after reading for a while it takes my eyes a while to refocus on things that are distant. I got online and it said, "The older you get the harder it is for your eyes to focus and that is why many people in their 40's get reading glasses."

 exp. An unbeliever spiritual eyes are not unfocused - THEY ARE BLIND - until they are opened by God's Spirit. 1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

app. Has God begun to reveal to you the precious truth of His Word? If you find yourself saying, "I can't understand - you are right - your only hope is BUT GOD and that takes place at salvation as he begins to reveal everything that you have in Him!

 

V. I can not live in victory over sin, but God....

 exp. The tendency to sin doesn't just vanish when someone get's saved. Heb. 12:1 'let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us." There is a battle that we must face if we would live in victory AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT GOD.

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

question: Have you noticed that every time you mess up you have a reason? 

You take a test and you get an answer wrong and you know why you missed it. 

You have a car accident but it was because of....

You don't fulfil and obligation but if it wasn't for.... you would have.

 exp. What is another word for "reasons." EXCUSES - it really isn't my fault because....

AND SO MAN COULD SAY ABOUT SIN....

1) But you really don't understand my environment.

2.) But nobody else has faced this level of tempation.

3.) I can't get victory over this so I have to yield!

 app. And God's Word says, "BUT GOD!" It is unbelief to yield WHEN GOD IS TRUE AND YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF IF YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE! Believer you can live in victory over sin, because of that phrase, "But God!"

 

VI. I'm not qualified to do the Lord's work, but God....

exp. Anyone who has tried to do anything for God has felt at times there inadequacy and inability.

 ill. Moses - Exo 4:10  And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

ill. Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:6  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

 exp. The only thing that has helped man do what God has called them to do is that phrase, "But God!"

1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

ill. Moses - Exodus 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

 ill. Jeremiah - Jeremiah 1:7  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

8  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

app. Do you have great self confidence? Get rid of it! Do you lack confidence - GET IT FROM GOD. The only thing that will help you do what you can not do in working for the Lord is that phrase, "BUT GOD!"

 

VII. I would be proud about my accomplishments, but God....

exp. When we do anything for Jesus and it is a success - why is it a success? ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD.

 Ill. Clarence Thomas' grandad took them out to the only family property one Christmas day and said, "We're going to build a house and a farm." They had the 4 bedroom home built by that Spring. He didn't tell them but he built that farm to get them away from the bad area of Savanah during the idle months of the summer. His grandad paid to put him through seminary (trained to be a priest). He later became a supreme court justice but he would never have IF IT WASN'T FOR HIS GRANDAD.

exp. That is probably a poor illustration but if God had not saved us, given us our natural abilities and enabled us by His spirit - WHAT COULD WE HAVE POSSIBLY ACCOMPLISHED FOR HIM?

1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1Co 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

App. Your life would be fruitless today if it wasn't for God. And if your life is bearing fruit for Jesus  it is only because of that phrase, "BUT GOD." Can you be proud of WHAT GOD HAS DONE without giving Him all the glory for doing it?

 

VIII. I will stay in the grave, but God....

 exp. Have you ever noticed that death is final.

ill. Garth's email asking for prayer as he preached his 98 year old father's funeral on Thursday. My heart was touched by his request because he is saying goodbye on earth to his dad. Garth is a godly man but he can't bring his dad back to life - BUT GOD will!

Psa 49:15  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.

exp. No matter who you are today inside these walls or outside of them - YOU WILL BE RESURRECTED. 

Joh 5:29  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

 exp. Unbeliever you are not just going 6 feet under! Believer - you aren't either! Praise God in both cases. The wicked will be judged and the righteous will be rewarded.

app. We would just cease to exist - BUT GOD! 

 

 conclusion: Justice Clarence Thomas is a great man - he would never have been such a great man, he would say, "But grandad....."

 

I'm so glad that phrase, "But God" is in God's Word! Without it - we would never be able to succeed in life or in eternity.

 

I. I can get away with sin, but God....

II. No one can love and forgive a sinner like me, but God.....

III. My sinful life can not change, but God....

IV. I can not understand the hope that I have, but God....

V. I can not live in victory over sin, but God....

VI. I'm not qualified to do the Lord's work, but God....

VII. I would be proud about my accomplishments, but God....

 

VIII. I will stay in the grave, but God....

VIII. I will stay in the grave, but God.... Date: 6 March, 2018
Text: Textual phrase "But God"
Title: "If It Wasn't for God...."
 
Introduction:
 
Reading US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas' biography.
 
His father abandoned the family.
 
He broke the only promise he ever gave to his boys.
 
He lived in a shanty - one light - no water - collected rain water and carried water - outhouse. The shanty burned down and they moved to a filthy tenament.
 
He lived in the days of segregation in the United States. (black and whites didn't mix and the KKK was very active.) Martin Luther King was alive but died when he was in college. He had a tough life!
 
His book is called, "By Grandfather's Son." It is because his grandparents raised he and his brother. He tells you in the book that he is what he is only because of his grandpa.
 
He could say it this way, "It was hopeless but grandad.... If it wasn't for him....."
 
My message this morning is, "If it wasn't for God." THERE ARE MANY STATEMENTS OF HOPELESSNESS WE COULD MAKE THIS MORNING THAT WOULD BE FOLLOWED BY THE WORDS, "BUT GOD!" 
 
That wee phrase, "But God...." is what makes it possible for you and I to succeed in life and eternity! (If you are without God this morning - it is hopeless you will never succeed in life and definitely not in eternity.) BUT WITH GOD 
Matthew 19:26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
 
I. I can get away with sin, but God....
exp. Aren't you thankful this morning that God doesn't let mankind get away with sin.
 ill. I speak with unbelievers who say, "If there is a God why doesn't he defend the innocent?" The answer is, "He does."
Although mankind has the ability to exercise their wicked will in rebellion against mankind and
although he is not the author of evil - 
yet he will hold every  man accountable for every wicked deed which he will pay for accordingly.
note: Mankind think that they are getting away with their sin BUT GOD!
Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
Pro 21:12  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
Psa 64:7  (the workers of iniquity) But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
Psa 68:21  But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
question: Why would man think they are getting away with their sin when the Word of God clearly tells us they will not?
Ecc 8:11  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
ill. Death Penalty information centre - sad list of men's names facing execution some scheduled as far out as 2022. Just because they have not be executed yet - THEY ARE SENTENCED and unless the judge mercifully commutes their sentence they will be killed.
 app. Do you think you are getting away with your sin? You could....BUT GOD will not let man get away with breaking His law! (We need another but God - to save us from our sin!)
 
II. No one can love and forgive a sinner like me, but God.....
ill. As I look at the list of men's names to be executed I see people who have parents, siblings, friends who love them and individuals - I don't see number. It is sickening to read the names of those who will justly lose their life because of their wicked crime against mankind.
 exp. I believe that we often look at Hell and see numbers not faces and names. They will justly cast into the lake of fire for their sin - but they are people with names and faces!
ill. War Monuments reminds us that it wasn't numbers that died for our freedom - IT WAS INDIVIDUALS. 
ill. There is another individual of whom I preached last Sunday. His heart broke more than any man's heart for those on Hell's death row. Their cause was hopeless! WHO WOULD LOVE AND CARE FOR A SINNER?
Romans 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 Ill. On that list of men is Thomas Whitaker to be killed it says on 22 February - but there beside his name it says Sentence Commuted. The judge did that because of a loving father who pleaded for his son's life (although he had been shot, his wife and son shot and killed) by this son who was seeking his inheritance. HE FORGAVE THE PERPETRATOR BEFORE FINDING OUT IT WAS HIS OTHER SON! With the governor's consent they gave him life in prison instead! ONLY GREAT LOVE CAN LOVE AND FORGIVE SINNERS!
App. Here me this morning - you are either on Hell's death row or you have been! If you are there - no matter how much you hate God and oppose Him with your wicked life - He loves you and he will forgive you! No one could love and forgive you BUT GOD!
 
III. My sinful life can not change, but God....
exp. Thomas Wittaker has a little more time to repent and be saved. But his wicked heart devoid of familial love and murderously lusting for money COULD NEVER CHANGE without God!
 question: Do you see a moral world around you? Do you see morality in you? Sin is universal!
Ephesians 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
ill. Last SS we looked at the prodigal son - He was starving eating the filth of pig food. He had no shoes on his feet, no rings on his fingers, he had wasted his living with harlots! But when he went to His father he was clothed, cleansed and fed by the Father. 
 exp. Do you think you need to change to come to Jesus? The prodigal didn't - he just came and WAS CHANGED BY THE GRACIOUS FATHER! The only reason my life is different from an unbelievers life is because of that phrase, "BUT GOD WHO IS RICH IN HIS MERCY!"
 app. Are you sick of your sin! It is hopeless! BUT GOD! - CAN SAVE YOU, CLEANSE YOU AND CLOTHE YOU IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!
 
IV. I can not understand the hope that I have, but God....
ill. I just booked flights for my family to go to Germany in July (Mon - Fri). I took German for 2 years in University. I loved it. I endured and was able to pass my classes - but languages aren't my gift. I'm not going to be able to understand german because it is a foreign language.
 exp. Someone could rightly say to you and I as we try to tell them about our Jesus - you're speaking a foreign language. I'm not interested. I don't care. Even if I did care, I can't understand it! AND THEY WOULD BE RIGHT - IF IT WASN'T FOR BUT GOD!
I Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Exp. When a man obeys the Gospel and get's saved - God gives him the ability to understand His Word by giving Him the Holy Ghost who can help Him understand.
 ill. Reading at night - realizing that after reading for a while it takes my eyes a while to refocus on things that are distant. I got online and it said, "The older you get the harder it is for your eyes to focus and that is why many people in their 40's get reading glasses."
 exp. An unbeliever spiritual eyes are not unfocused - THEY ARE BLIND - until they are opened by God's Spirit. 1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
app. Has God begun to reveal to you the precious truth of His Word? If you find yourself saying, "I can't understand - you are right - your only hope is BUT GOD and that takes place at salvation as he begins to reveal everything that you have in Him!
 
V. I can not live in victory over sin, but God....
 exp. The tendency to sin doesn't just vanish when someone get's saved. Heb. 12:1 'let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us." There is a battle that we must face if we would live in victory AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT GOD.
1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
question: Have you noticed that every time you mess up you have a reason? 
You take a test and you get an answer wrong and you know why you missed it. 
You have a car accident but it was because of....
You don't fulfil and obligation but if it wasn't for.... you would have.
 exp. What is another word for "reasons." EXCUSES - it really isn't my fault because....
AND SO MAN COULD SAY ABOUT SIN....
1) But you really don't understand my environment.
2.) But nobody else has faced this level of tempation.
3.) I can't get victory over this so I have to yield!
 app. And God's Word says, "BUT GOD!" It is unbelief to yield WHEN GOD IS TRUE AND YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF IF YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE! Believer you can live in victory over sin, because of that phrase, "But God!"
 
VI. I'm not qualified to do the Lord's work, but God....
exp. Anyone who has tried to do anything for God has felt at times there inadequacy and inability.
 ill. Moses - Exo 4:10  And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
ill. Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:6  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
 exp. The only thing that has helped man do what God has called them to do is that phrase, "But God!"
1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.
ill. Moses - Exodus 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
 ill. Jeremiah - Jeremiah 1:7  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
app. Do you have great self confidence? Get rid of it! Do you lack confidence - GET IT FROM GOD. The only thing that will help you do what you can not do in working for the Lord is that phrase, "BUT GOD!"
 
VII. I would be proud about my accomplishments, but God....
exp. When we do anything for Jesus and it is a success - why is it a success? ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD.
 Ill. Clarence Thomas' grandad took them out to the only family property one Christmas day and said, "We're going to build a house and a farm." They had the 4 bedroom home built by that Spring. He didn't tell them but he built that farm to get them away from the bad area of Savanah during the idle months of the summer. His grandad paid to put him through seminary (trained to be a priest). He later became a supreme court justice but he would never have IF IT WASN'T FOR HIS GRANDAD.
exp. That is probably a poor illustration but if God had not saved us, given us our natural abilities and enabled us by His spirit - WHAT COULD WE HAVE POSSIBLY ACCOMPLISHED FOR HIM?
1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
App. Your life would be fruitless today if it wasn't for God. And if your life is bearing fruit for Jesus  it is only because of that phrase, "BUT GOD." Can you be proud of WHAT GOD HAS DONE without giving Him all the glory for doing it?
 
VIII. I will stay in the grave, but God....
 exp. Have you ever noticed that death is final.
ill. Garth's email asking for prayer as he preached his 98 year old father's funeral on Thursday. My heart was touched by his request because he is saying goodbye on earth to his dad. Garth is a godly man but he can't bring his dad back to life - BUT GOD will!
Psa 49:15  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.
exp. No matter who you are today inside these walls or outside of them - YOU WILL BE RESURRECTED. 
Joh 5:29  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
 exp. Unbeliever you are not just going 6 feet under! Believer - you aren't either! Praise God in both cases. The wicked will be judged and the righteous will be rewarded.
app. We would just cease to exist - BUT GOD! 
 
 conclusion: Justice Clarence Thomas is a great man - he would never have been such a great man, he would say, "But grandad....."
 
I'm so glad that phrase, "But God" is in God's Word! Without it - we would never be able to succeed in life or in eternity.
 
I. I can get away with sin, but God....
II. No one can love and forgive a sinner like me, but God.....
III. My sinful life can not change, but God....
IV. I can not understand the hope that I have, but God....
V. I can not live in victory over sin, but God....
VI. I'm not qualified to do the Lord's work, but God....
VII. I would be proud about my accomplishments, but God....
VIII. I will stay in the grave, but God....