It’s time to revisit the ‘damage-control’ sermon Brian Houston preached after the 2014 Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse where he misrepresented the true gospel message of Christ and Him crucified. His deceptive and unbiblical presentation appears to encourage his listeners to shun critics who may speak directly to their ‘defence’ of Brian, Frank Houston, his father, and Hillsong.
This sermon was entitled, “My Salvation – My Freedom from Shame.” The full sermon and transcript are below.
FAILING CHRISTIANITY 101… TO DELIBERATELY DECEIVE PEOPLE.
Was Brian Houston’s message intentionally designed to manipulate his listening audiences into remaining loyal to his movement at the expense of having them feel any sense of accountability, responsibility or shame towards Hillsong leadership covering up Frank Houston’s crimes and his sexually abused victims?
God uses shame to convict the immoral and biblically ignorant. In fact, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 reformed the Corinthian church back to the essential doctrines of Christ and His gospel – ending with a rebuke to shame the church back to truth and morality:
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:33–34
And he said this to the Corinthian church earlier about their corrupt and incompetent leadership:
“I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers…” 1 Corinthians 6:5
But according to Brian, the ‘god’ of Hillsong will only bless you if you shake off any form of shame:
“So if you’re letting shame be put on you, if you carry shame, then you are not carrying what comes with the blessing of God. With the blessing of God, it’s everything that’s in His name – there is no other name – that’s what God puts on you.“
Brian would have been fully aware that Church Watch Central and many other Christian groups were publicly calling out Hillsong leaders for their corrupt leadership surrounding Frank Houston’s crimes, and Hillsong members for exhibiting the lack of Christ-like compassion towards Frank Houston’s victims.
The following sermon appears to be Brian Houston’s attempt to condition his members into feeling no responsibility for themselves or a need to hold their Hillsong leadership accountable… and it worked.
Coming to the conclusion of sermon, he framed his 2003 media experience with this ‘mephistophelian’ advice:
“Don’t let anyone put shame on you. Way back in 2002, this building where I’m standing right now was brand new…”
To give the impression that he (and Hillsong) was shamed only for being the ‘big church’ on the block? This could not be further from the truth.
MORAL PERSPECTIVE: MAJOR LIES IN SERMON.
The message was so deceitful and manipulative, Church Watch Central exposed a large portion of it in two separate articles. In spite of these, we still have not done justice to how disgraceful the sermon was:
While the above article only exposed Brian Houston lying about his family’s history, our second article exposed Brian Houston for deliberately covering up the real reason why he disliked the media reporting on his church back in 2003.
A reminder, Brian Houston gives instructions in his sermon before telling the final story, “Don’t let anyone put shame on you. Way back in 2002, this building where I’m standing right now was brand new…”
Because of the new building, Brian claimed that this was the reason why the reporter, Greg Bearup, came after him? However, Greg Bearup was the first known journalist in the Australian media who actually exposed Frank’s paedophilia – and he was the first reporter to get answers from Brian Houston directly.
In fact, this report captured Brian Houston lying to the Australian public about Frank and how he and Hillsong/AOG/ACC leadership managed Frank’s victims:
“Finding out his father had abused a child back in New Zealand was, Houston tells me, “like the jets flying into the twin towers of my soul”. It was, understandably, one of the hardest issues he has ever had to deal with. “Basically I received a complaint, so I confronted my father and he admitted it.” Houston removed his father from all roles in the church, but did not contact police in New Zealand because the victim was old enough to do that himself. He said that he was candid with his congregation, although he has been criticised for not acting quickly enough.”
Brian mislead the reporter 3 times in that statement alone:
1. He mislead the reporter into thinking “his father had abused a child back in New Zealand” while covering up Sengstock’s case. However, Brian alluded to Sengstock’s case (“Basically I received a complaint, so I confronted my father and he admitted it.”)
2. Then Brian Houston lied again about Sengstock by conflating Sengstock with the NZ victim (“I did not contact police in New Zealand because the victim was old enough to do that himself.”) It was Brian’s specific argument at the Royal Commission and in the media, that Sengstock at that time was old enough to go to the police.
3. And finally, Brian Houston blatantly lied about how candid he was, “candid with his congregation”.
Read the full article here:
In covering up the crimes of his father, denying the victims justice and lying to the media and then being exposed – this sermon revealed the real sin problem here. Brian Houston hates being held accountable because he hates feeling proper, biblical shame for his sins. And rather than deal with sin and shame properly, he invited his congregation to collectively take part in his ‘shame’ with the flock being none the wiser of his crimes.
This was exactly the type of immoral behaviour and theological ignorance the Apostle Paul was dealing with, in the church at Corinth.
THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE: BRIAN NEVER TAKING HIS OWN SERMON ADVICE.
Note: No one believes Brian shares the sins/guilt of his father. He is being investigated for his wrong handling of the case when presented to him, i.e. the cover up.
But here in this sermon he is deflecting it. What this sermon does is make his audience empathise with Brian, while at the same time, critics get a good insight into Brian’s unbiblical expertise on spiritual matters. Furthermore, in this sermon, he is wanting people to identify with his shame and appears to encourage people to deal with their shame – by giving them the impression he has dealt with his own sin and shame properly. But what was the ultimate solution to his sin and shame in his Bondi story?
Orange juice. Well-garnished orange juice.
Not Calvary. Not Jesus’ death and resurrection. Just a well-garnished perishable.
And what gospel did he present to his flock? The Word of Faith gospel. Calvary does nothing in Hillsong. Brian made it very clear by the end of the sermon who does the freeing.
THEOLOGICAL THREATS: BETTER NOT LEAVE OR QUESTION, GOD WON’T BLESS YOU
It is also worth noting the typical cultic verse Brian uses to condition people stay ‘planted’ in his church (Psalm 92). It’s a fear verse that suggest that if followers leave Hillsong and move churches, God will not make them flourish. Hillsong calls their own that do this ‘flower pot’ Christianity. The allegory is that if a plant is stuck in a pot, it’s roots cannot go deep so it can grow and flourish.
And yes – those that are faithful to Hillsong wield their spiritual supremacy over those that cannot be ‘planted’. So all the cultic leadership qualities are coming out in this sermon. Combine that with the idea that if you do not leave but question how Brian Houston handled his father, you are nothing more than a,
“Pharisees- the religious people – pompous, opinionated, judgemental finger pointers.”
The height of spiritual manipulation against his own flock after the Royal Commission, highlights not just how insecure Brian Houston is but also how fearful and guilty he feels about his own flock knowing the truth about him.
He is in survival mode and is theological threatening, intimidating and labeling his own IF they question him or leave his movement. In saying that, it would be fascinating for someone to present a proper psycho-analysis of this sermon.
THEOLOGICAL EXISTENTIAL NONSENSE: BRIAN WILL SAVE HIMSELF
No matter how much he throws Jesus in as an afterthought, Brian concludes that it is our words that set us free. It is you that breaks guilt, shame, sin and condemnation, through your words.
“Can you say this, ‘My sin and shame don’t count anymore, Calvary covers it all’. Let’s break the power of guilt. Let’s break the power of shame. Let’s break the power of sin. Let’s break the power of condemnation. Let’s understand that for those who believe in Jesus Christ, there is no shame.”
Let’s. Let’s. Let’s. Works. Works. Works.
This is a false gospel that allows the spittle of our vain words to fall as pure insult on Christ, our perfect, spotless sacrificial lamb. If we are speaking, declaring and breaking things together in Jesus name, then we are not listening and seeing what Jesus actually did at Calvary. Calvary cannot ‘cover it all’ if Brian Houston thinks he can deal with guilt, shame and sin all by himself. He can have juice and drink it too.
“Last week I spoke on my forgiveness. My forgiveness, my freedom. I’m speaking of freedom of condemnation. And this morning I want to speak again on my salvation, my freedom. But I want to talk about shame. Freedom from shame.
So many people carry shame, and sadly maybe don’t even understand the power of shame and what it’s doing to them and the prison it’s keeping them in and I believe that through salvation there is freedom from shame.
Everyone has a past. Everyone has a past. You’re not on your own with that. Everyone perhaps has things they want to live down, things they want to leave behind. Everyone’s got a past, and ahh so often we allow our past to define our frame of mind. The way we feel. The way we think. Maybe your past was a recent as last night.
But there’s power over sin. There’s power over the things that hold us. Sin has a wage. You know Romans 5:23 speaks about the wages of sin and its death. Whereas grace grants a gift, it’s the gift of righteousness, a beautiful and a powerful gift.
In Romans chapter 5:17, it talks about that gift. It says by one mans offence death reigned through the one, much more those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.
Will reign in life. Are you ruling and reigning in life? Are you living in dominion? Listen to it again, the scripture says ‘the gift of righteousness will cause you to reign in life through Jesus Christ’. You are called to flourish in life.
Psalm 92:12-13. Listen to it! It says the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. It goes on. It says he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
If you’re living under the weight of guilt, of shame, of condemnation, you’re not flourishing. You’re not ruling and reigning. The scripture says of the righteous you can reign in life. That you can rule and have dominion. But if you’re living in shame, you’re being ruled. And instead of having dominion, you’re being dominated.
Dominated by things that have no power of any value in your life whatsoever. You can live your life thinking you owe it to yourself to feel bad about things that have gone before. I’m not saying we should never take things lightly. What I am saying is there’s hope in Jesus, that our focus should be on Jesus. And if we turn our past into shame, then it’s a bondage. It’s a prison in your life.
When I was 13, I remember one time my mum talking to me and my siblings in our lounge room and telling us that we are going to be looking after a baby for awhile. I mean I was surprised I was told it was someone’s baby and we were going to look after it, and so sure enough that’s what happened for I don’t know how long, maybe a year we looked after this baby in our house.
At the time my older sister was in Melbourne. What I didn’t know was that she had been secretly sent off to Melbourne, because she was pregnant. And then without anyone knowing she was brought back to New Zealand, and then across the mountain range. Close to where we lived was a little town and quietly, on her own, she had a baby there. And ahh in that era, in that landscape – there was so much shame attached to it.
So much shame was put on her, that it affected her for many, many years. And a lot of people, they allow things to become shame and then it rules you, it robs you. You see, one of my favourite verses is Proverbs 15:24, it says ‘the way of life winds upwards for the wise’.
Sadly instead of winding upwards, some people want a steep decline downwards, a spiral downwards. Because this is what happens, sin leads to guilt, then guilt leads to shame and ultimately, shame leads to condemnation and condemnation is death.
If a building is condemned, it means it’s unfit for use. It’s disqualified. It’s only good for being pulled down. And see that’s how a lot of people live their life, they live their life feeling condemned. Like they are unfit when it comes to serving God, perhaps when it comes to being in the house of God, when it comes to worship, when it comes to the grace of God, even perhaps when it comes to being happy.
Do you know that there are people who are saved but are not free? They do not believe they deserve to be happy. They feel like they are disqualified. They’re unfit for happiness and it’s the devils lies.
We need to understand [what] the full power of Jesus Christ has done for us. We need to understand the power of the song Ruben Morgan has written, ‘Calvary covers it all’. Listen to it, ‘my sin and shame, don’t count anymore, Calvary covers it all’.
Sin becomes guilt. Guilt is something we feel. I guess it becomes an emotion. But shame is something that you carry. “Shame on you!” People try to put it on you ‘shame on you’.
Have you ever had shame put on you? Because while sin is something that we do, emotions are something that we feel. Shame – it’s a different level. It’s something that you carry. You walk down the street with it.
I mean even guilt can be like that, you talk about a ‘guilt trip’. Sometimes we look after our guilt so well we take it away with us. We take it everywhere we go. We take it on our trip, you know, and that’s a sad thing. But people allow shame to be put on them and ultimately it’s exact opposite to the blessing of God.
I preached earlier this year about burying or carrying God’s name. And Numbers chapter 6 says it so beautiful. It’s a blessing. And listen again to what these verses say.
Verse 22 says, ‘The Lord spoke to Moses, saying speak to Aaron’. Now Aaron was the High Priest, he represented God and His sons saying ‘this is the way you should bless the children of Israel, say to them ‘the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance (that His smile, His favour upon you) and give you peace so they will put my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them’.
It’s called ‘The blessing of the lifted palms’. And the reason is, the High Priest who represented God on behalf of the people and represented the people on behalf of God, literally paints a picture of him, the High Priest, lifting his palms and putting on people the blessing. I will put my name on people and bless them.
So if you’re letting shame be put on you, if you carry shame, then you are not carrying what comes with the blessing of God. With the blessing of God, it’s everything that’s in His name – there is no other name – that’s what God puts on you. And if you allow other things to be put on you, if you allow other things to rob you and rule you and keep you bound, then unfortunately you are living far short for what God has planned for you.
What sin does is it belittles you. Romans 3:23. You know the verse, ‘for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’.
Belshazzar in the Old Testament was weighed in the balance and was he was found too light. In other words he fell short. So if you think about that, you fall short of the glory of God. It means sin makes you smaller. It actually belittles you.
It diminishes you and that’s what sin does do. It diminishes your potential. It diminishes your relationship with God. It diminishes your confidence. You can’t walk around with a boldness and a confidence if you’re walking around hanging your head in shame. And so you are diminished. You are belittled by sin and that’s a tragedy.
It diminishes your creditability ultimately. It diminishes your innocence, your clear conscience. So it has a toxic affect in people’s lives when they are living their lives ruled by shame. Ultimately, it does become condemnation.
And it’s so sad to me, a lot of people they’re forgiven but they don’t feel free. They feel condemned. The Message Bible describes condemnation as a ‘black cloud’. I talked about that last week and a lot of people, they carry around that black cloud.
In John 3:16 ‘for God so loved the world’, but in John 3:17, ‘God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved’, I love that verse. Notice the Opposite World Translation, it says, ‘God did not send His Son into the world to save the world but the world through Him might be condemned’.
NOT! It’s not what the Bible says. If God wanted you to live condemned, he would have sent a condemner, but He didn’t, He wanted you to live saved so He sent a saviour, in Jesus name, Amen.
To Mary the angel said, ‘I will give you a son and His name shall be called Jesus’. And Jesus does not mean condemner. Jesus means saviour.
So we’ve got to learn how to live our lives saved.
That means freedom from sin. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from shame. Freedom from condemnation. Because while sin is something you do, guilt is something you feel. Shame is something you carry and condemnation ultimately counts you out. It disqualifies you.
It makes you unfit for use. It’s not the will of God for you at all. Don’t let anyone put shame on you.
Way back in 2002, this building where I’m standing right now was brand new. And there’s something about us getting a stake in the ground to put Hillsong above the radar. We were known because of our worship all around the world. But in secular Australia we were well and truly under the surface. My next door neighbors probably didn’t know we existed.
And then suddenly we came up above the surface [but he is lying – it wasn’t about Hillsong’s success but Hillsong’s sins and financial msgs] and I’ll never forget it because at that time what was the largest read publication in Australia was the magazine in the middle of the newspaper. And one particular Saturday that magazine came out and the whole front cover was a full length picture of Bobbie and I, and it said ‘The Lord’s profits’. But it wasn’t spelt P-R-O-P-H-E-T-S, they kinda got the spelling wrong.
And I remember feeling so ashamed, so embarrassed because we were in Bondi that Saturday morning, if you know anything about Bondi it’s the beach, cafes, everyone’s out, alfresco dinning on the pavements and so on and everyone reads the Saturday paper.
A long slow Saturday morning and everyone’s reading the Saturday paper and everywhere I went I was thinking. I could see us there [points]. I could see us there [points]. I could see us there [points]. And I remember walking along feeling so humiliated [Because the article was right or because it was wrong Brian?], so embarrassed [Conclusion: Brian is now disqualified as a Christian minister because he is shamed his words)], the article was several pages.
It was a misrepresentation. It was a nasty article.
Completely misrepresented our motives and so on. I just remember, I’ll never forget that feeling. And so ultimately though, we went into a cafe for ourselves to get breakfast and we’ve been in there lots of times and the waiter- I asked for an orange juice and he comes out and brings me this orange juice like you’ve never seen.
Instead of just a normal juice, he had all this garnishing, decoration on the top and all these beautiful things on it. Different fruit around and all these other things and I’ll never forget it. He just looked at me and said, “you’re a good guy” and just spoke into my soul. It’s amazing what God can do, everyone else around the place was reading their papers going [Brian pretends to read and point].
I was back in Bondi yesterday. I refused to allow shame to rule me. I refused to allow shame to be put on me
I walked down the street. Walked along the beach. I was meditating on my message today and that’s where I love to do that. So I just walked along looking straight ahead, not feeling arrogant but refusing to allow someone else’s sin to become my shame.
Exodus chapter 18:20, listen to it, Ezekiel, excuse me, 18:20 it says, ‘the soul who sins shall die, the son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself’, the bible says.
I’m not my father.
I am accountable for the way I respond.
But I’m not my father.
And if you in your family have skeletons in your past, in the cupboard, if you in your family have got things to live down, things that are shameful, things that perhaps happened to you yourself; you can’t let that shame rule you.
You’ve got to understand the victory God gives you over shame.
I believe you’ve got to learn how to walk tall.
And the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ gives you every reason to hold your head up and walk tall and refuse to allow shame to be put on you. Don’t let it happen to yourself.
Live free. Listen to these verses. You know Romans 8:1 ‘there is no condemnation’.
There is now therefore no condemnation, to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk anymore according to the flesh, according to sin, according to your old lusts and so on, but according to the spirit. There is now therefore now no condemnation.
It doesn’t mean you still won’t have some temptation. It doesn’t mean at times things won’t try to rear their ugly head. It’s just that you refuse condemnation. You don’t let shame- condemnation be put on you.
Romans 8:3, it’s talking about condemnation and in the message, in the last part of the verse, it says, ‘…the law code weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done what Jesus has done, the law always ended up being used as a bandaid on sin instead of a deep healing of it’.
You can’t heal sin, guilt, shame, condemnation with a bandaid approach by trying to do it in your own strength, in your own righteousness, in your self-righteousness because you can never ever get past it being a bandaid and unfortunately nothing gets healed.
It’s the will of God for you to know deep healing. To live in freedom. To live in forgiveness. To live in the grace of God. To be able to lift holy hands in church. To feel like you are redeemed to know that you are free. To decide I am living with shame no more, shame no more.
So last week I was talking about the woman who committed adultery. That’s where the message end. And so the Pharisees- the religious people – pompous, opinionated, judgemental finger pointers. I liked that! That just flowed out of me! [Laughs] The Pharisees were pointing the finger at this woman, saying to Jesus ‘We caught her in the act, we were there’. That’s interesting in itself! ‘We caught her in the very act of adultery’.
They said, ‘the law says she should be stoned’ and they came along loaded with their stones, ready to kill her and ahh. You know there’s always going to be voices. Accusers who are ready to kill you. To do what they can to put shame on you. That’s exactly what this woman was facing. Jesus, He said ‘whichever one of you has never sinned, you cast the first stone’, the scripture says one by one they left. I love it.
And then it literally says, until Jesus was alone it’s John 8:9 and it says, ‘Those who heard Jesus being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one beginning with the eldest even to the last and Jesus was left alone with the woman in His mist’.
So now, it’s just her and Jesus and listen to what Jesus says to her. It says, ‘When Jesus raised himself up, saw no one but the woman. He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accuses of yours, has no one condemned you?’. She says, ‘No one Lord’. Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more’.
The power of sinning no more. Breaking the power of repetitive sin is to break the hold of condemnation. It was when she was free from condemnation that she was free from sin.
So many people are afraid because they live under the law, that if you say to people, ‘your free, your forgiven, you’ve got God’s grace, you’ve got Gods favour’- as soon as you say you can live in the freedom and blessing of God, it’s amazing how people, who are law orientated, will think of sin more. But Jesus says get rid of condemnation and you sin no more.
It’s exactly the opposite; the law holds you in sin. I believe through Jesus Christ you can walk free and you can move on in all the power and all the promise of God.
So Jesus says ‘Where are your accusers?’
Where are your accusers? I mean there’s external accusers. They’re the ones to point the finger and are quick to say, quick to judge but they’re not the most toxic. The most toxic are the internal accusers. Internal accusers. Things inside of you that keep on coming up and reminding you. Reminding you, remind you of your failure of your past.
And of course the internal accusers. That’s where shame is formed right there and I believe that God wants to break the power of shame over people’s lives. He wants to break shame over your life.
We can believe that maybe, well Jesus doesn’t condemn us, he’s forgiven us. Maybe you could even believe that even other people don’t condemn you, they’ve forgiven you.
What about you, are you still condemning you? Can you forgive you?
Because that’s where shame is. Shame’s a very real thing. Unfortunately, it does get put on you, the devil loves to put it on you and ultimately you end up carrying it and it just locks you out of the flourishing life God called you to.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree the bible says, shall flourish shall like a palm tree, the scripture talks about righteousness as a gift, amen a free gift. Which tells us that living in righteousness, living in that free gift; we live in life not death.
Listen to Romans 1:16-17, it says ‘for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, it’s the power of God to salvation’. I am not ashamed, that’s the result of the good news, the gospel. Aren’t you glad its good news? If it was all about condemnation it wouldn’t mean good news, gospel means ‘good news’, it would mean ‘bad news’.
And Paul, he had every reason, naturally speaking to be ashamed because he was, without wanting to over state it, he was something like the ‘Osama Bin Laden’ of his generation. He was so anti-Christian that he would go around breathing threats and slaughter, wanting to see Christians put in jail or killed for their faith.
He had every reason to live in shame, but he said ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ’, he said ‘I know it’s the power of God unto salvation’. Your salvation is your freedom from shame.
He goes on in verse 17, he says ‘in it, the gospel, the good news the righteousness is revealed from faith to faith as it is written the just shall live by faith’.
Faith, faith, faith, three times it talks about faith and the truth is the gospel, amen. The gospel is filled with faith, and by faith you do not have to live your life ashamed.
I am not ashamed.
Don’t ever underestimate the impact that shame is having on you, what it’s robbing you of, what it’s trying to do to destroy you and it’s sad, it’s sad.
Listen to this. Psychologists describe shame as the swamp land of the soul. This is secular psychologists. The swamp land of the soul. The soul. It’s your emotions.
It’s your thinking. It’s your will. And shame is described as a swamp land, a mire, a swamp land – and you know something? Your greatest battles are fought in your soul and your greatest victories are won in your soul.
You know this. 1John 3.2 ‘Beloved, I wish above all else that you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers’. That’s the point, you cannot have a prosperous soul, a blessed soul if you are living according to the power of shame, if you’re living according to the power of condemnation. So you are in prison on the inside and that’s where your greatest battles are fought and where your greatest victories are won, in your soul.
The dictionary describes shame. It says it’s ‘a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the conciseness of wrong or foolish behaviour’. It also describes shame as being ‘a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, one that brings dishonour, disgrace or condemnation’.
There’s a book called ‘The Psychology of Shame’, and in that book it says that ‘shame is the most disturbing experience individuals ever have about themselves. No other emotion feels more deeply disturbing because in the moment of shame the self or the soul feels wounded from within’.
You see that’s the thing. Shame is a feeling. But we are not called to live by feelings, we are called to live by faith, the power of the ‘good news’, the power of the gospel is faith, amen, faith to not live your life ashamed, I am not ashamed by faith.
I love Romans 10:11 simply because it’s very blunt. It’s very powerful. Have a look at it. Romans 10:11. The scripture says, ‘Who ever believes on Him will not be put to shame’. If you believe in Christ, shame has no place in your life. Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. That means shame no more.
What are you doing walking around in shame when Jesus Christ wants to put God’s blessing on you?
God’s promise on you: He wants you to flourish. He wants you to flourish. He wants you to live your life joyful and free and be able to move into a God given future.
And your future will never ever become your reality, that is the future God intends for you, if you are allowing shame to dominate you.
Because that shame will define you. It will define your psyche, your way of thinking, your choices. Ultimately, it will define your future. Shame no more.
Instead of shame and dishonour, listen to this verse. It’s unbelievable.
Isaiah 61:7, ‘Instead of shame and dishonour you’ll enjoy a double portion of blessings’- you’re not allowed to use that other word [audience laughs]- ‘you will possess a double portion of blessing, prosperity in your land, it’s the word of God, and everlasting joy will be yours’.
Listen to it one more time, you can replace shame.
Instead of shame and dishonour, you will enjoy a double share of honour, you will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land and everlasting joy will be yours.
Instead of shame and dishonour you will enjoy a double share of honour, listen to it, you will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land and everlasting joy will be yours.
Many years ago, over the years I’ve had many people in my office over failings and things that now frame their lives.
Never forget many years ago a friend of mine, sitting in my office having confessed immorality, I’m talking about sexual immorality; he was just so filled with shame. I will never forget it. He literally could not sit up straight. Physically could not sit up straight. He was just dumpling over. It was that feeling of remorse and shame, thinking about the consequences of his sin. The devastation he had caused people around him and it cost him everything.
Literally, it didn’t only cost him his ministry, it cost him his marriage, it cost him his home. He lost his home. It cost him everything. The only thing he had was loyal friends and perhaps that’s the greatest thing we can have anyway, is loyal friends.
And there were people who stuck with him, people who I know here in our congregation who stuck with him. I was talking with him yesterday on the phone, actually text messages. Same thing these days, and ahhh he was telling me that after years of rebuilding his life, just constantly rebuilding his life that the house he lost that his sin, his shame had cost him, he is on the edge of perhaps buying back.
Now think about that instead of your shame and dishonour you will enjoy a double share of honour you will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, everlasting joy will be yours.I’m thinking what restoration is that! Literally restoring what the devil had taken. What his own sin and shame had taken. And his family loved that house. His adult girls, they’ve got great memories of that home and ahhh his little daughter loves that home and so, I don’t think they’ve done it yet. It’s not over the line but it looks like, you’re talking about restoration. The home that his sin and his shame cost him is coming back into his life and other things that were robbed from him are being added back into his life.
After many, many years something like twelve years – and I think what an amazing story. And that is the grace of God. And we are a grace church and we will always believe that your accusers, one by one they need to leave, whether they are external or internal. So it’s you and Jesus alone. Because untimely the only victory you have over shame and guilt and condemnation is in Jesus Christ. And if you get rid of all the noise, all the other voices, all the finger pointing and just spend time with you and Jesus, that’s where my friend your victory will be won.
Instead of shame and dishonour you will enjoy a double share of honour. You will- ohhh I love it [Claps hands] – possess a double portion of prosperity in your land and everlasting joy will be yours. How great! How wonderful!
What do you think about when you think of a righteous person? If you think of it in terms of someone’s own righteousness, their self righteousness like, like I described.
Self righteousness and pompous. It’s sort of on the nose. It tends to be opinionated. Tends to be self-justifying. It tends to point the finger and be judgmental. But you know the righteousness of Christ is so different than that. So different it’s liberating. It’s freeing. The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. Will flourish like the cedars of Lebanon. They are huge, great cedar trees.
Those who are planted in God’s house, those who are serving the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. You know you should never under estimate the power of righteousness, it’s nothing you do, your made righteous, imagine if I could make the blue seats red, I mean it’s as crazy as that.
Suddenly you are a sinner and then saved by grace you are righteous. The Bible describes it as a gift, the gift of righteousness. There’s only one way to have a gift and that’s to receive it, if your shame won’t let you receive the gift.
It’s His righteousness, it’s all about Him, it’s His rightness, it’s not about your wrongness don’t try to fool anybody, we know there is some, it’s not about your wrongness, it’s about His rightness.
If we start living our lives according to everything that’s wrong with us, of course we’ll be wrecked with guilt, of course we will be carrying shame, of course we will feel disqualified, unfit to worship God, unfit for the purpose of God, unfit for the God given destiny He has for you and that is why we’ve got to receive the gift.
The wages of sin is death but thank God he has given us victory over sin and so we don’t have to take sin’s wages, wages give you what you deserve; you’re paid what you deserve. A gift is all about what is undeserved; it’s all about what Christ has done, who Christ is, Calvary covers it all, your sin and shame ha your sin and shame they have no power any longer, there gone, there gone, they don’t count any more.
I want to encourage everybody here to make a decision that you are going to walk according to the righteousness of Christ and you’re not going to live according to the wrongness of your life, your past, your actions, shame no more, condemnation no more, guilt no more and ultimately lets believe sin no more.
Who has condemned you? No one Lord! Neither do I condemn you, go your way and sin no more, sin no more. That’s the powerful word of God.
We are going to stand and we are going to sing ‘Calvary covers it all’ I want you all away across the church, I know we are linked to all our campuses, all our extension services everywhere, I want you to stand to your feet, I want us to being to sing this song ‘Calvary covers it all’ when we get to the line that says ‘sin and shame don’t count anymore’, hold onto it.
Please don’t leave us just for a moment, our church is great for staying till the last cause they know the importance of not disturbing other people at this time in the service and you add very much to the spirit of faith in the room when you know the importance of just staying with us for this minute and you can underestimate the um the impact to break the power, you know the precents of God when you start moving, I know some people have emergencies and stuff but if it’s possible just stay a couple of minutes, I want us to sing this song together, I want to believe God to do some great things, come on lets sing it together, amen.
[All sing song]
I wonder if you would feel comfortable to just lift your hands like this [Brian lifts hands], just lift your hands if you’re not comfortable its fine.
Can you say this, ‘my sin and shame don’t count anymore, Calvary covers it all’. Let’s break the power of guilt, let’s break the power of shame, let’s break the power of sin, let’s break the power of condemnation, lets understand that for those who believe in Jesus Christ, there is no shame and instead of just living in the absence of shame. Live your life with a double portion. Amen! The double portion. The double honour the Word of God speaks about.
I don’t believe God wants to just restore to you what you once had, I believe He wants to restore so much more. He wants to give you that God given future. That God given hope-
And Lord I speak that future. I speak that hope into people. We thank you for the power of the cross. We thank you for Calvary. We thank you for the price you paid. We thank you for everything you’ve won on our behalf. Lord help us not to live our lives, living or forgetting or ignoring the power of the cross. Lord I pray in Jesus name that literally the weight of sin, the weight of guilt, the weight of shame will be lifted off people and they can live in the gift of righteousness and they can live Father flourishing like the Word of God declares. For those who are in your kingdom in Jesus name, amen.”
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“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16