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IN THE LORD'S COURT (CC)

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SERMON TEXT: MICAH 6:1-8 [TEXT TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, USED BY PERMISSION OF ZONDERVAN BIBLE PUBLISHING] GUEST MINISTER: REV. H. CURTIS LYON AND WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD. [MICAH 6:8] GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE BE MULTIPLIED UNTO YOU THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. AMEN. THE WORD OF GOD AS HEARD IN OUR TEXT TODAY IS THE OLD TESTAMENT READING YOU HEARD READ PREVIOUSLY FROM THE 6TH CHAPTER OF THE PROPHET MICAH, THE FIRST 8 VERSES. WE PRAY: LORD, SANCITIFY US THROUGH YOUR TRUTH. YOUR WORD IS TRUTH. AMEN. IN CHRIST JESUS, DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS: THERE ARE NINE ALCOVES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. IN THE EIGHTH ALCOVE OF RELIGION AND SCIENCE THERE IS A BEAUTIFUL STAINED GLASS WINDOW. AND ON THE RIGHT SIDE, ENGRAVED IN STONE ARE THE WORDS: THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE FIRMAMENT SHOWS HIS HANDIWORK. THE FIRST WORDS, A PSALM BY THE KING. ON THE LEFT SIDE, ARE THE WORDS OF THE 8TH VERSE OF THIS TEXT. THE WORDS OF MICAH THERE, HEARING KING JAMES ENGLISH HERE: WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD. IT'S INTERESTING THAT THOSE SHOULD BE THE WORDS THAT ARE PERMANENTLY ENGRAVED IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WHEN CONGRESS SEEMS TO BE DOING EVERYTHING THAT THEY CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS NOTHING OF THE BIBLE ANYWHERE IN PUBLIC VIEW. BUT IT'S HARD TO ERASE CONCRETE ... AND STONE. AND SO MAYBE THE WHOLE POINT IS THAT WHETHER PEOPLE LIKE IT OR NOT, THE WORD OF GOD STANDS. YOU KNOW THAT IS REALLY THE POINT THAT MICAH WAS MAKING TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. ACTUALLY TO THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, THE SOUTHERN TRIBE OF ISRAEL. THEY HAD WATCHED THE NORTHERN TRIBE ... THE TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL ... DRIFT FARTHER AND FARTHER AWAY FROM GOD TO THE POINT THAT THEY COULDN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND THE HEATHEN NATIONS AROUND THEM. AND, SADLY, THE SOUTHERN TRIBE OF JUDAH WASN'T THAT FAR BEHIND. SO WHEN MICAH WROTE TO THESE PEOPLE, THE WORDS HE SPOKE TO THEM WERE WORDS OF PEOPLE, TO PEOPLE WHO WERE DRIFTING FARTHER AND FARTHER AWAY FROM WHAT GOD HAD CALLED THEM TO BE. HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE. CHOSEN FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF BRINGING THE SAVIOR INTO THE WORLD. THE SAVIOR FOR ALL MANKIND. THEY HAD ALL BUT FORGOTTEN THAT. IN A WAY, KIND OF LIKE THINGS IN THE UNITED STATES THESE DAYS. WE'D LIKE TO PRETEND THAT GOD'S WORD IS JUST ... SOMEBODY'S IDEA OF WHAT GOD IS. THE WHOLE IDEA OF STANDING BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY GOD FOR JUDGMENT IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WOULD PREFER NOT TO THINK AS A REALITY. WE KNOW THAT IT "IS" TRUE. IT IS A REALITY. AND WE KNOW THAT THAT'S WHERE WE STAND AND WE KNOW THAT WE NEED TO BE READY FOR IT WHENEVER GOD DECIDES FOR US THE TIME IS RIGHT. SO IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR US TO GO WITH THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH LISTENING, IF THEY BOTHERED TO LISTEN, TO MICAH, AS HE BROUGHT A CHARGE AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL ON BEHALF OF GOD. HIS WORDS TO JUDAH IS ESSENTIALLY IN THE LORD'S COURT. THAT'S WHERE WE WANT TO GO BECAUSE IN THE LORD'S COURT, THE LORD PRESENTS HIS CASE AGAINST US AND OUR RESPONSE MIGHT FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF JUDAH AND BE AN IMAGINARY PENALTY FOR THE SINS WE'VE COMMITTED. BUT ULTIMATELY WE WANT TO SEE THE GRACIOUS SENTENCE THAT GOD PRONOUNCES. THE LORD'S CASE AGAINST US IN THE LORD'S COURT. LISTEN TO WHAT THE LORD SAYS: "STAND UP, PLEAD MY CASE BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS; LET YOUR HILLS HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. HEAR, O MOUNTAINS, THE LORD'S ACCUSATION; LISTEN, YOU EVERLASTING FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH. FOR THE LORD HAS A CASE AGAINST HIS PEOPLE.; HE IS LODGING A CHARGE AGAINST ISRAEL. "MY PEOPLE, WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU? HOW HAVE I BURDENED YOU? ANSWER ME. I BROUGHT YOU UP OUT OF EGYPT AND REDEEMED YOU FROM THE LAND OF SLAVERY. I SENT MOSES TO LEAD YOU, ALSO AARON AND MIRIAM. MY PEOPLE, REMEMBER WHAT BALAK KING OF MOAB COUNSELED AND WHAT BALAAM SON OF BEOR ANSWERED. REMEMBER YOUR JOURNEY FROM SHITTIM TO GILGAL, THAT YOU MAY KNOW THE RIGHTEOUS ACTS OF THE LORD." [MICAH 6:1-5] IF YOU'RE GOING TO PARAPHRASE THE FIRST WORDS OF GOD'S MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH, YOU MIGHT SAY: WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I JUST DO TO DESERVE THIS KIND OF TREATMENT FROM YOU? AND THEN HE GOES ON ... HE SAYS: ARE THESE THE THINGS THAT I'VE DONE THAT MAKE YOU ACT AS IF I DON'T DESERVE ANY RESPECT? DON'T DESERVE YOUR WORSHIP? DON'T EVEN DESERVE TO BE CALLED YOUR GOD. I, HE SAYS, BROUGHT YOU OUT OF THE LAND OF SLAVERY ... BROUGHT YOU OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT. I CHOSE MOSES MIRIAM, AND AARON TO BE YOUR LEADER, YOUR PROPHETESS, YOUR HIGH PRIEST TO BRING YOU OUT OF 430 YEARS OF SLAVERY. ULTIMATELY THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO PLACE THEIR FEET IN THE LAND I PROMISED TO THEIR FOREFATHER ABRAHAM SOME 2000 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST WAS BORN. IS THAT WHAT I DID TO YOU? WHEN YOU WERE OUT THERE IN THE WILDERNESS: DID YOU FORGET ALL OF THE MIRACLES? DID YOU FORGET ALL OF THE ENEMIES? DID YOU FORGET THE FACT THAT KING OF MOAB, BALAK, HIRED A PROPHET TO COME AND SPEAK A CURSE AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL? AND FOUR TIMES HE ENDED UP SPEAKING A BLESSING INSTEAD! I, EVEN USED HIS DONKEY TO SPEAK MY MESSAGE WHEN HE DIDN'T WANT TO SPEAK IT HIMSELF. OR HOW ABOUT THERE ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE JORDAN RIVER? DON'T YOU REMEMBER SHITTIM AND GILGAL THERE WHERE AFTER 39 AND A HALF YEARS OF PUTTING UP WITH YOUR UNFAITHFULNESS YOU FINALLY STOOD ON THE BRINK OF THE PROMISED LAND. THAT ALMOST 40 YEARS BEFORE TEN SPIES HAD BEEN TOO AFRAID TO GO INTO THE LAND YOU'D LEAD THEM, IGNORED THE PEOPLE THAT I WANTED TO LEAD YOU INTO THAT LAND ... JOSHUA AND CALEB ... AND LISTENED TO THOSE TEN INSTEAD. NOW, AFTER ALL THAT TIME, JOSHUA AND CALEB ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE GOING TO ENTER THAT LAND. DID YOU FORGET ALL THAT? HOW ABOUT US? HOW MUCH DIFFERENT ARE WE FROM THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH, THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL? YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT THAT EASY TO BE A CHRISTIAN THESE DAYS. TRUE, IN OUR COUNTRY, PEOPLE ARE NOT TRYING TO KILL CHRISTIANS LIKE THEY ARE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. BUT ... IT SEEMS LIKE WE THINK THAT THE PERSECUTION THAT WE FACE IS ALMOST AS BAD BECAUSE PEOPLE LAUGH AT CHRISTIANITY. PEOPLE DON'T THINK THE WORD OF GOD IS ANY MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OTHER BOOK. PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO GIVE RESPECT TO ALLAH THAN THE TRIUNE GOD. WHY IS IT SO EASY FOR US TO FOLLOW THAT KIND OF A MISGUIDED, MISS-STEPPING MISFORTUNE. COULD IT BE BECAUSE THE SAME THINKING THAT WAS AT WORK AT THE TIME OF MICAH IS STILL AT WORK TODAY? COULD IT BE THAT IT'S THOSE QUESTIONS THAT SATAN LOVES TO ASK US STARTING WITH THINGS LIKE: DID GOD REALLY SAY? NOW COMING OUT IN FORMS LIKE: DOES GOD REALLY SPEAK? IS THIS REALLY GOD'S WORD? DOES IT REALLY HAVE A PLACE IN A STATE? OR SHOULD IT BECOME SEPARATE? IT GOES ON AND ON LIKE THAT WE KNOW. AND WE'VE ALL FACED IT. WE'VE ALL SEEN THE MOCKERY, THE RIDICULE AND SO FORTH. AND THE PROBLEM IS NOT THAT PEOPLE DO IT. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE GET SO EASILY INTIMIDATED BY IT. THE LORD HAS A CASE AGAINST US. A CASE THAT SAYS: I ... AM ... GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE TO BE TREATED LIKE ANYTHING LESS? THINK ABOUT WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE. THINK ABOUT HOW, AS WE HEARD PREVIOUSLY, THE LORD WITH TOTAL ONE-SIDED GRACE, SHOWS YOU AND ME TO BE HIS PEOPLE AND THE PRICE WAS NOT TOO HIGH FOR HIM TO BE WILLING TO PAY. THE PRICE, THE LIFE-BLOOD OF HIS OWN SON WITH HIS PERFECT LIFE, HIS INNOCENT DEATH, AND HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION VICTORY THAT IS OUR GUARANTEE THAT OUR SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN AND THAT WE HAVE A PLACE IN GOD'S FAMILY. HOW COULD WE POSSIBLY BE ASHAMED OR AFRAID TO BE PART OF THE FAMILY? WHAT MICAH SAYS IS A WARNING FOR US BUT, AS HE GOES ON, HE GIVES US EXAMPLES OF SOME IMAGINARY PENALTIES THAT WE MIGHT COME UP WITH. OKAY, WE KNOW THAT WE'RE SINNERS. WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE DISOBEYED GOD'S LAW. WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF WHAT GOD WANTS, SO WHAT DO WE DO TO MAKE UP FOR IT? HE GIVES US SOME EXAMPLES THAT THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH MIGHT HAVE FOLLOWED. HE SAYS: WITH WHAT SHALL I COME BEFORE THE LORD AND BOW DOWN BEFORE THE EXALTED GOD? SHALL I COME BEFORE HIM WITH BURNT OFFERINGS, WITH CALVES A YEAR OLD? WILL THE LORD BE PLEASED WITH THOUSANDS OF RAMS, WITH TEN THOUSAND RIVERS OF OIL? THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT WERE COMMANDED BY GOD IN HIS CEREMONIAL LAW TO HIS OLD TESTAMENT PEOPLE. ALL KINDS OF SACRIFICES. MAYBE HE WANTS MORE OF THEM. LET'S GIVE HIM MORE. LET'S GIVE HIM THOUSANDS OF RIVERS OF OLIVE OIL OR MAYBE WE COULD EVEN DO WHAT ONE HORRIBLE KING OF ISRAEL DID AS HE FOLLOWED THE HEATHEN NATIONS AROUND HIM AND SACRIFICED HUMAN SACRIFICES; OFFERING NEWBORNS ON THE ALTAR OF BAAL. IS THAT WHAT GOD WANTS? ALL OF THOSE THINGS, WHETHER THEY WERE COMMANDED BY GOD OR FORBIDDEN BY GOD, HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON. THEY ARE ALL EXAMPLES OF WHAT THE RELIGION OF MAN LOOKS LIKE WHEN PEOPLE DECIDE TO INVENT THOSE RELIGIONS THEMSELVES. THEY'RE ALL EXAMPLES OF HOW "I" NEED TO DO SOMETHING IN ORDER TO SATISFY GOD. AND IF I HAVEN'T DONE ENOUGH YET, MAYBE I NEED TO DO MORE. NOWADAYS IT'S NOT A MATTER OF SACRIFICING MULES, CALVES, OR RAMS. IT'S NOT FALLING INTO THAT TRAP OF SATAN THAT HUMAN SACRIFICE IS SOMETHING THAT WOULD ACTUALLY PLEASE GOD WHEN GOD IS THE ONE WHO GIVES LIFE NOT THE ONE WHO GIVES US THE RIGHT TO TAKE IT. HOW ABOUT --- MAYBE GOD GAVE ME A GOOD START AND ALL I NEED TO DO IS DECIDE THAT THAT I WOULD PREFER TO CHOOSE GOD RATHER THAN AN ETERNITY IN HELL. MAYBE WHAT I NEED TO DO IS TO PRESENT TO GOD THE INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SUFFERING THAT I HAVE GONE THROUGH JUST TO BE ONE OF HIS PEOPLE. HOW I'VE BEEN SO MUCH LIKE THOSE PEOPLE THAT JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT IN THE BEATITUDES BEFORE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. HOW ABOUT IF I REALIZE THAT I'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG AND I'VE COME UP WITH SOME SORT OF A REALLY NICE THING TO DO TO MAKE UP FOR THAT SO THOSE SCALES WOULD BALANCE A LITTLE BETTER. THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME THING IN MIND. THAT IS: I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO GET INTO GOD'S FAMILY. BUT IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY. BECAUSE AS WE HEARD BEFORE, GRACE IS ONE-SIDED! IT'S ALL ABOUT WHAT GOD DOES FOR ME AND ANYTIME THAT I COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT I'M GOING TO DO FOR GOD, IT'S WRONG. AND IT TURNS US AWAY FROM THE TRUTH. SO THEN WE COME TO THAT PASSAGE THAT'S WRITTEN ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ALCOVE OF RELIGION AND SCIENCE IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS THAT TELLS US WHAT GOD REALLY WANTS. "WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD." [MICAH 6:8] THAT'S WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES. IF YOU LISTEN TO THAT ONCE AGAIN: "WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD." VERY CLOSE TO A PARAPHRASE OF WHAT THE LORD JESUS SAID WHEN SOMEBODY CAME TO HIM AND SAID: WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? AND HE SAID: YOU KNOW THE COMMANDMENTS. LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH AND WITH ALL MIND AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. [MATT. 22:37] THAT'S THE LESSON, THE SUMMARY OF WHAT MICAH IS SAYING, TOO. THERE'S ONLY ONE PROBLEM HERE. AND THAT IS: THAT PEOPLE SO OFTEN FORGET THE ESSENTIAL POINT OF WHAT MICAH IS SAYING HERE. AND WHAT JESUS WAS SAYING THERE. THE PERSON WHO ASKED JESUS WHAT HE HAD TO DO TO BE SAVED WAS TOLD THE FIRST AND THE SECOND TABLE OF THE LAW. AND HE DID NOT GO AWAY AT PEACE WITH GOD. BECAUSE THE LAW IS NOT A STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN; IT IS A REMINDER OF THE FACT THAT YOU AND I STAND BEFORE A HOLY GOD COMPLETELY HELPLESS AND HOPELESS. WHAT THE LAW DOES WHEN WE LOVE THE LORD OUR GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS, OUR STRENGTH AND MIND, WHEN WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES, IT IS THAT WE HAVE TO PLEAD, GOD, BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER BECAUSE THAT'S NOT WHAT I HAVE DONE. AS MUCH AS I'VE WANTED TO. AS MUCH AS I'VE TRIED, IT'S NOT WHAT I HAVE DONE. AS MUCH AS I HAVE WORKED TO SATISFY THE DEMANDS OF YOUR HOLY LAW, I STILL FALL SHORT LIKE AN ARROW THAT'S JUST TOO SHORT OF THE TARGET. AND THAT'S WHERE THE GOOD NEWS IN THE LAW COMES. IN REALITY THERE IS NO GOOD NEWS IN THE LAW. BUT THE GOOD NEWS COMES WHEN THE LAW TELLS US YOU ARE A SINNER THAT IS HOPELESSLY LOST AND CONDEMNED AND THE GOSPEL COMES TO THAT CULTIVATED GROUND OF OUR HEARTS AND SAYS: YOU REMEMBER WHAT I DID FOR YOU. DO YOU REMEMBER HOW YOUR LIFE WASN'T PERFECT AND I LIVED PERFECTLY SO THAT YOU COULD HAVE A RECORD THAT WOULD STAND UP IN THE LORD'S COURT! YOU KNOW THAT RECORD OF SIN THAT IS BLOTTED WITH MILLIONS, IF NOT MORE. SINS ... THAT WE MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN BUT GOD DIDN'T. AND WE CAN THANK GOD THAT HE DIDN'T BECAUSE THERE'S NOT ONE OF THOSE SINS THAT GOD DID NOT PLACE ON YOUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST WHEN HE PAID FOR THEM IN FULL AT THE COST OF HIS OWN LIFE ON THE CROSS. FULLY ... FREELY PAID FOR. AND THEN ... THE PROOF THAT JESUS WHO IS SO MUCH MORE THAN ANYTHING ANYBODY COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE MADE THE MARCH THROUGH HELL ITSELF TO PROVE THAT SATAN WAS NOTHING BUT A LOSER. AND THEN ROSE FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY TO REMIND US THAT OUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN AND TO SHOW US THAT WE HAVE A NEW LIFE. AND WE CAN LOOK AT WHAT MICAH SAYS HERE ... WE CAN LOOK AT THE WORDS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THAT ALCOVE AND WE CAN SAY: WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD. AND SAY, NOT HOW I HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF THIS BUT HOW THIS IS THE VERY THING THAT I WANT MY LIFE TO BE. I WANT TO DO THE THINGS THAT PLEASE GOD. TO ACT JUSTLY. TO LOVE MERCY. TO WALK HUMBLY THAT IS TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON MY GOD. THEN, WE KNOW THAT THERE IS PEACE IN THE LORD'S COURT. THERE IS A VERDICT, PRONOUNCEMENT OF "NOT GUILTY" BECAUSE OF WHAT YOUR SAVIOR AND MINE DID THERE WHEN HE LIVED, AND DIED, AND ROSE AGAIN. THE LORD HAS A CASE AGAINST US ... WITH GOOD REASON. AND, WE DO NOT WANT TO BE FOOLED BY A LOT OF IMAGINARY PENALTIES. BUT THANK GOD WE KNOW THE GRACIOUS SENTENCE. AMEN.

Video Details

Duration: 22 minutes and 7 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 50
Posted by: hischild on Feb 5, 2014

Rev. H. Curtis Lyon, author of "Counseling at the Cross", delivers this enlightening sermon today. The text is Micah 6:1-8 as revealed in God's Word.

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