Rewired by Christ

Letting Go  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:52:32
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Scripture Reading by Lady Pepper (Show Slide)

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Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
A New Song Buffer Video
Title of the message this Morning

Rewired by Christ

Sermon 2
Main idea:
Three times Jesus was tempted by the devil and three times Jesus came out on top.
Overcoming temptation and hardships is possible in our lives because Jesus rewires our core and makes us new.
Our lives become distinctive and intriguing as we overcome common hardships and temptations in a way that gives hope to others.
“Lord, thank you that you lead us out of temptation and that you deliver us from evil.
We need you. We need your strength and your love to overcome the tests, temptations, and challenges that we face today and everyday.
Thank you that you are freely willing to give. Amen.”
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11, John 3:17


Hello church! Welcome back, and for those of you who missed us this past week, we’ve started a new 7-part series during the season of Lent called Letting Go.
Today we are going to see that overcoming temptation is possible in our lives.
but sometimes we feel our hardwiring is a little messed up.
Sometimes we asked the question “after all this time, why am I still struggling?
Did God make me this way on purpose?
Because I still struggle, and worry.
I try to change , and get better but sometimes I get so frustrated at my lack of progress.
I even ask myself, what is wrong with me?
Let’s remember something important:
John 3:17 NKJV
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
If you’re like some people, sometimes you feel a little messed up, God does not condemn you.
He actually came to save you! He sees your mess and it doesn’t scare Him.
He understands, and he enters into our lives to save us, not condemn us.
That’s an important reminder.
There’s a word I want to introduce today that describes our potentially messed up, internal hardwiring.
The word is called “habitus.” That’s the word. Habitus.
It sounds a lot like “habits” but it’s not the same thing, even though they’re related.
Habits are what we do, our habitus is who we are.
It comes from a French sociologist named Pierre Bourdieu.(bardoe)
Basically it means our internal, habitual, reflexive behavior.
When we automatically react to something, we are acting out of our habitus.
Our habitus is the combination of our beliefs, our understanding, our personality, and our habits — everything.
It’s the core of who we are and why we do what we do.
To be blunt, our habitus can be good or bad.
It can be courageous or it can be fearful.
It can be selfish or it can be generous.
It can be sinister or it can be Christlike.
It will choose to love or it will choose to hate.
It all depends on what we believe and how we put into action what we believe over a long period of time.
Alan Kreider writes about the early church:
The early Christians rarely grew in number because they won arguments;
instead they grew because their habitual behavior was distinctive and intriguing.
Their habitus enabled them to address the common and terrible problems that ordinary people faced in ways that offered hope.
When challenged about their ideas, Christians pointed to their actions.
They believed that their habitus, their embodied behavior, was eloquent.
Their behavior said what they believed.
And the sources indicate that it was their habitus more than their ideas that appealed to the majority of the non-Christians who came to join them.[1]
The early church was full of people whose internal core had been completely rewired into something hopeful, optimistic, patient, and joyful.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
They lived, loved, and reacted differently, “in ways that offered hope,” to the terrible problems life brings all of us.
They lived with incredible love and self-control that non-Christians were strongly attracted to.
I wonder: is my habitual behavior “distinctive and intriguing?”
Do I “face common and terrible problems in ways that offer hope?”
Are my actions reflective of what I believe?
What about you? How would you answer those questions?

Main Teaching

Today we’re going to look at a passage of scripture that demonstrates Jesus’ habitus.
This passage is called the testing of Jesus because after Jesus fasted 40 days he was tested by the devil.
The way Jesus responds gives us a good look at his habitus.
Read Matthew 4:1-11

I. Some Observations

So let’s start by making a few observations. J
Jesus had just finished 40 days of fasting and then was tempted by the devil.
First, the devil tempted him to turn stones into bread;
then the devil tempted him to throw himself off the temple;
then the devil tempted Jesus to worship him
and in return receive all the kingdoms of this world as his own.
A. Did you notice how the devil barked at Jesus? “Say this!” “Do this!” “Do that!”
The devil is demanding, bossy, manipulative, and hurried.
Jesus is never like that. If you ever feel God is speaking to you like that —
in a demanding, bossy, manipulative, hurried way
realize that’s not your Father, it’s your accuser.
The devil talked to Jesus as if the devil was in charge.
But notice this: the devil barked three commands at Jesus to no effect. None!
Jesus spoke one command to the devil and the devil immediately obeyed!
Jesus has all authority over demonic powers, including the devil. And guess what? You have all of Jesus.
Colossians 2:9–10 NIV
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
B. Another quick observation is what the devil used to tempt Jesus with.
What were the best tools the devil could find in his toolbox to give him the best shot at derailing the Son of God?
The devil tempted Jesus with lots of food. “Turn these stones into bread” (4:3).
The devil tempted Jesus with safety and security. “Throw yourself down…and you will not strike your foot against a stone”(4:6).
The devil tempted Jesus with wealth and power. “All this I will give you…” (4:9).
The best tools the devil came up with were comfort, security, wealth, and power.
Jesus rejects them all. Now what does that tell us about the priorities of God?
Comfort, security, wealth and power are the exact same temptations the devil uses to derail us!
They can easily become idols in our life, but not because our desires are too strong, but because they are too weak.
God has much greater things in store for us than mere comfort, security, wealth, and power.
Those are things of this world that will fade away. We are people who want more:
we long for love, justice, peace, purpose, and joy. Those are the better things.
C.S. Lewis said, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition [comfort, security, wealth, and power] when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the beach. We are far too easily pleased.

II. How Jesus Responded

The devil tempted Jesus three times with the most powerful ammo he had at his disposal,
and each time Jesus held strong and overcame the challenge.
Let’s look at Jesus’ habitus, his internal reflexive behavior.
Jesus responded each time with scripture, with relational trust in the Father, and with self-control.
These three qualities are part of the internal wiring of Jesus
(the human part— we do recognize he is fully human and fully God)
that can also become part of our internal wiring as well.
A. Jesus responded with scripture
Three times the devil tempted Jesus and three times Jesus responded with scripture.
Jesus didn’t have a pocket Bible or an iPhone, so these verses were planted deeply in his heart and mind.
• Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”(Matt. 4:4, Deut. 8:3).
• It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matt. 4:7, Deut. 6:16).
• For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matt. 4:10, Deut. 6:13).
When we routinely read and reflect on scripture, it becomes part of who we are.
And here’s the neat thing: when we suddenly find ourselves in a tempting situation, the Holy Spirit brings important verses to our minds in order to strengthen us and encourage us.
Scripture gives a voice to the Holy Spirit in our heart and mind.
Pastor: Here's a spot for you to share how scripture reading and reflection is a part of your life.
WhoWillB. Jesus responded out of relational trust in the Father
This takes the scripture response one layer deeper.
Jesus responded with scripture, but beneath those verses was a relational trust in the Father the scriptures point to.
Jesus did not have a relationship with the Bible, he had a relationship with the God of the Bible.
The Bible exists to point us to a living God, a loving Father.
Relational trust is different from mere belief in doctrine. Doctrine is very important! But it is secondary to a relationship with God.
Many people have correct doctrine and yet know nothing of a walking fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Others have questionable doctrine but have a relationship with God.
These people eventually get their doctrine straightened out because it is God himself — a loving Father and living God — who is leading and helping them.
Relational trust is faith in the Person of God, trust in his character.
It is an awareness of his abiding presence in our lives, that he never leaves us alone.
Relational trust is walking with God through the ups and the downs of life, receiving love and life from him in all circumstances.
Relational trust knows that God is always present, is always loving, is always helping.
Even in the midst of terrible circumstances. It doesn’t matter what happens to me, it matters Who is abiding in me.
This relational trust was deeply ingrained in Jesus’ habitus.
It can be deeply ingrained in us also.
C. Jesus responded with self-control
Jesus’ habitus, his reflexive response to the devil, was also one of self-control.
Now most of us feel we lack self-control, or at least we lack a large amount of self-control, but I want you to know that self-control is something we can all grow in. It can be part of our core response.
Here are two practical things you can do to practice self-control. Both of these ideas come from an outstanding book called The Science of Self-Discipline by Peter Hollins.
The next time you’re tempted by something, whether it’s to cheat on your diet,
to look at something online you shouldn’t look at,
to spend money on something you don’t need,
or to burst out in anger at someone,
don’t resist the urge. Yes, I said that correctly.
Don’t resist the urge. Because anytime you try to resist the urge,
more often than not the urge overpowers you and you will fail.
Stay with me here.
Instead of resisting the urge, surf the urge.
This is a different approach that will help you overcome like Jesus overcame. Surf the urge.
Our impulses, desires, and urges (i.e. our temptations) are like waves in the ocean.
They start small, they grow, they grow even more, and then finally, they crash and go away.
Urge-surfing means you do not deny that you are facing a temptation.
It means you admit to yourself you want to do something you shouldn’t do.
But instead of resisting the urge, you surf it.
You ride it like a wave, knowing that if you surf it long enough, it will crash and go away.
Our urges are like that.
They do not grow exponentially forever. They start, they grow, they grow stronger, and then they crash and go away.
Every one of them. Every time.
That is, if we give them the space to do so.
The difference is in the mindset: when we try to resist, the urges get stronger and our minds tell us they will keep getting stronger until we give in.
We tell ourselves we cannot fight this urge because it will be too strong.
That’s a lie. That’s a lie from the devil! The urge will grow, grow stronger, and then crash and go away. We just have to surf it until it crashes.
Adopting this mindset will help you grow in self-control.
You’ll find that the urges and compulsions you struggle with aren’t as invincible as they appear.
They are actually weak but YOU AND GOD ARE STRONG TOGETHER.
You make a great team!
The 10-10-10 Rule
A second idea to help you grow in self-control is to try the 10-10-10 Rule when you’re facing a test or temptation.
The 10-10-10 Rule is when you ask yourself,
“If I do this thing, how will I feel about it 10 minutes later?
How will I feel about it in 10 hours?
How will I feel about it in 10 days?
If I cheat on my diet, how will I feel about it in 10 minutes? 10 hours? 10 days?
If I look at something inappropriate on the internet, how will I feel about it 10 minutes later? 10 hours later? 10 days later?
If I spend money on this thing, how will I feel about it 10 minutes later? 10 hours later? 10 days later?
If I lash out in anger, how will I feel about it in 10 minutes? 10 hours? 10 days?
This approach helps you see your future self (10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days from now) and how you will feel about your decisions in this moment.
This is a powerfully effective way to overcome temptations and struggles.
You can also use the 10-10-10 Rule to the positive:
if I exercise now, how will I feel in 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days?
If I shut down the computer and walk away, how will I feel in 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days?
If I put down the junk food and instead eat something healthy, how will I feel in 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days? (Probably PRETTY GOOD!).

III. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit

One final thought on self-control.
It is a fruit of the Spirit.
This means as we walk with Christ
In fact, I want you to know that you have access to a ridiculous amount of self-control!
God is infinite in his love and goodness, and he will give you good gifts!
We can’t say to ourselves, “Well, I’m not like other people, I wasn’t born with a lot of self-control.”
No one was born with “a lot of self-control” because it develops over time.
Have you ever seen a toddler with a ridiculous amount of self-control? Neither have I.
You have direct access to every bit of self-control that you need.
And, God is so good and loving that he wants to develop it in relationship with us.
That means we get to work it out together as we live in relational trust with him and practice self-control.
Urge-surfing and the 10-10-10 Rule are just two practical ways to get started.


Here’s the GOOD NEWS: when you are facing temptation or hardships, you can respond with scripture, relational trust, and self-control!
It is possible that your internal, reflexive response to temptation and hardships will become so strong that you can withstand anything and everything the evil one throws at you.
Deep change will happen in our lives. Transformation can happen through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Renewal is possible for all who follow and believe.
Jesus can and will rewire our core as we wash our minds with scripture, live in relational trust with the Father, urge-surf our urges to grow in self-control.
Our lives will be distinctive and intriguing as we overcome common hardships and temptations in a way that gives hope to others.
Choose one or two of the practices we went over today and try to implement them in your life this week.
Who knows, maybe over the next 40 days you’ll develop some life long, life giving habits.
Let’s pray together.


The Word of God says in:
John 3:16 NKJV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you’d would like to receive Jesus today, please pray this prayer with all of us:
Lord I believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that He died On the cross for my sins and His resurrection from the dead gives me eternal life. I ask forgiveness of my sins, and I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Amen.
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And I will send you a Bible & a Free Book on how to begin your first 21 steps with Jesus (show the book)
(Show Slide)
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This is Doc & Pepper with:
Faith Vision Christian Ministries
Romans 15:13 NKJV
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Have a Great Week! GOODBYE !
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