top of page
  • Writer's pictureericleerisner


Rhythms Sermon Recap from 4.29.18

"A State of Surveillance"

TEXT: Mal. 2; Gal. 5:19-24; 1 Pet. 3:7



1. When the NT mentions our prayers being hindered, it is connected to Malachi 2. We can understand the truths being revealed to communicate that 'heaven is watching'. The Trinity, the powers of spiritual wickedness, and angels are all paying attention to our lives and how they unfold. And there are actions and attitudes that can prevent the Lord from being able to move upon our prayers like He desires to. God sees all, but His eyes are on His covenant people.

2. Every human is born with, into, and impacted by sin. The specific brokenness of our physical families, the general fallenness of our world, and possessing a sinful heart that is “attracted” to sin all immediately and intensely impact each human life. We are born “wearing” sinfulness.

3. How can we take off the ‘garment’ of sinfulness? Can we exchange it for a new garment? ‘Self-righteousness’ is the term used to describe humanity’s attempt to answer the former questions. It is tempting to assume that we (humanity) can figure out the answer to our sin problem, simply look around the world and see what else we (humanity) have figured out. It is tempting to think that the ‘good works’ we commit ourselves to can be trusted to endear us to our Creator and cause Him to accept us. But such ideas are simply untrue. The Lord sees the sinful potential of every human heart, meaning that no person stands before God capable of trusting in their visible good works. God can see beyond the visible and uncovers the hidden wickedness in our hearts. Any attempt to use visible works of obedience to 'tip the scales of justice' in our direction, in place of trusting the gospel, is a sin that the Bible recognizes as the “worst.”

4. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, teaches us all that sin begins in the heart (think of His words regarding lust and adultery for an example).

5. How do we exchange our garment of sinfulness for the new life that Jesus promises He can give us? Jesus alone can provide that righteousness, and He is able to do that for every person because He has risen from the dead and is alive. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and His rising for our salvation, is the only thing that enables us to have access to the presence of God. Through receiving the gospel and repenting of sin we are given the opportunity to exchange the garment of sin for the garment of righteousness.

6. Once believers are saved, they must be sanctified. Meaning, committing to follow Christ doesn’t ‘magically’ take away our struggle with sin. All believers must wrestle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. And depending on the amount of sin you opened your life up to prior to becoming a child of God, we will all have to personally wrestle—to varying degrees—with the negative impact that all three (world, flesh, and devil) desire to make in our lives.

7. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is poured out on God’s children so that we can minister, in power, without having been completely and perfectly sanctified yet. This baptism is not primarily about our sanctification, but instead deals with believers being used in ministry.

8. Marriage, to a large degree, is part of God’s plan to help His children learn how to lovingly communicate. We can often be the most sharp-tongued and divisive when communicating with our spouses. God desires that we learn how to put unwholesome, divisive, and anger-fueled speech to death. And the number one place to practice speaking in a loving manner is in our marriages.



1. How should God's close attention to our lives impact our thoughts and actions?

2. How could someone discern if they are trusting in their own righteousness (in the context of their personal salvation)? What are some characteristics of self-righteous behavior? Why is Jesus so intense about this specific sin?

3. Why doesn't Jesus perfectly sanctify upon our salvation? What could He be trying to communicate to humanity and, more specifically, His children?

4. Why is it so important for God's people to "intertwine" the baptism of the Spirit with biblical ministry? In other words, why doesn't God want us primarily connecting this baptism with our sanctification?



Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:

  • For our church to understand and grow in the New Covenant (the gospel)

  • Freedom and victory in our spiritual warfare (world, flesh, and devil)


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page