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Hebrews 9:14




Sunday Morning Sermon

Fair Avenue Baptist Church

March 29, 1998




The past week or so we have been talking about Revival.  Tomorrow night we begin our Revival. 


Letters have been sent.

Reminders were mailed.

Guides were published.

Fliers were passed out - over 3,000 were passed out in the last ten days.

The Wednesday night prayer meetings in March were dedicated to Revival.

Messages have been preached.

Questions have been asked.

Are we ready for Revival?

Have we prepared our hearts?



I believe at least five letters were sent to most of our members.


A two week Spiritual Preparation Guide was printed and distributed to help us focus more on Revival.  Table top reminders were included twice.


3,000 plus fliers were printed, with over 2,500 handed out yesterday.


My heart goes out to those who spent the better part of four hours yesterday battling the wind and sun to pass out Revival fliers.


Look around for the sunburned and chapped faces and you’ll know you helped yesterday.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!


By tomorrow night we will have had six special times of prayer asking God to move in our lives.


The messages over the past week or so have been geared toward revival and have asked some direct questions.


Are we ready for Revival?


In the Book of Hebrews we find another interesting question which demands more questions concerning our Christian lives?


Our text reads, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)


The title of my message this morning is “Repentance From Dead Works.”


Notice the phrase, “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”


Are there some dead works in our life that we need to repent of in order to be able to serve our God?


This is a message for the child of God.  The Book of Hebrews is written to the child of God.  And it the child of God that must repent from dead works before God can do anything.


There are several questions this morning I believe we need to ask ourselves.


1.      Is my profession of faith a dead work that needs to be repented of?  Was my acceptance of Christ an empty formality rather than a yielding to His Lordship in genuine faith?


I am convinced it is time for people today to reexamine their salvation.


People who claim to be saved are doing some really strange things today.


I am convinced that a large majority of people sitting in church pews who think they are on their way to heaven are sadly mistaken.


Their so-called profession of faith was nothing more than a dead work.


Are you 100% of your salvation?


If you died this morning, are you 100% sure that you would go to heaven?


If you are only 95% or 90% sure, you need to hit this altar this morning and get it right.


2.      Is my worship a dead work that to be repented of?  When I sit in services, or listen to the preaching of God’s Word, do I allow my mind to wander to off and think about things that have absolutely nothing to do with eternity?


Where has your mind been this morning?  What has been foremost in your mind since you arrived this morning?


Is our worship dead and lifeless?


Are we merely going through the motions?


The people who have worked hard this past week to make today a great day are excited about being here.


The people who haven’t done a single solitary thing to put someone in the pew,


who haven’t done a single solitary thing to see someone saved or baptized,


didn’t make one visit or contact for the Lord this week,


those are the people who are dozing off or balancing their checkbooks.


The worship life of the average Christian is nothing more than a dead work.


3.      Is my giving a dead work to be repented of?  Do I ever give because I feel obligated to do so, or in order to be noticed or appreciated by others?


II Cor. 9:7 talks about “a cheerful giver.”


Are you a cheerful giver?


Forget that, are you a giver?


Dr. Bob Gray says it is better to give grudgingly than to rob God cheerfully.


4.      Are my prayers a dead work to be repented of?  Do I use the same phrases, the same wording, without thinking about what I am saying?  When I pray in public, am I more conscious of the people around me than of God in Heaven?  Do my public prayers cover up an essentially prayerless lifestyle?


Do you have a prayer time this morning?


Did you pray for the services this morning?


Did you pray for this preacher this morning?  I prayed for you.


Is our prayer life a dead work?


5.      Is my singing of hymns a dead work to be repented of?  Do I sing words that in fact I do not really believe or practice?  Do I join in singing as a matter of habit, rather than a matter of wholehearted worship?


Why don’t you sing?


How can we sing, “There’s within my heart a melody,” when there really isn’t?


How can we sing, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey,” when we don’t care if we obey or not?


6.      Are my acts of kindness a dead work to be repented of?  Do I expect or seek recognition for my “sacrificial” labors and efforts?  Do I get offended when others are praised for their efforts and mine are overlooked.


Why do you do what you do?


Do you need a certificate or award to keep you going?


7.      Is my service for God a dead work to be repented of? 


Do I expect God to bless me because of all the work I do for Him?


Do I serve God because that is what is expected of me, rather than out of a heart overflowing with love and gratitude?


Is my service a matter of mere human effort, rather than being empowered by the Spirit of  God?


Those are some tough questions.  Ouch!


Hey, bus worker, why are you working a bus route?


Hey, Sunday School teacher, why are you teaching a class?


Why do we serve Him?  Duty or love?  That’s a good question.


8.      Am I harboring secret sins that render my efforts powerless?


Do I ever give or pray while refusing to forgive another or failing to deal with an unresolved conflict?


Do I encourage others to “walk with God,” while my own daily walk is dry, barren and unfruitful?


Am I guilty of putting on a smiling appearance, while masking an empty, self-righteous, critical, and angry spirit?


More hard questions.


But each of these questions demands an answer.


Do we need to purge our conscience from dead works?


Are we serving the Lord to the best of our ability?


Are we walking with God to the best of our ability?


Do we need to repent of some dead works in our lives?


(Sermons 1998 I / Deadwk)

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