Preached by Apostle Aje Pelser
Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town, April 2019
Part of the New Covenant miracle of the new creation in Christ, is a return to innocence. When someone Apostle Paul speaks of his former life he actually says: “I have harmed no one nor coveted anyone’s goods.” Has he forgotten his persecution of the Christians and the stoning of Stephen the first Christian Martyr where he stood looking after the clothes of those hurling rocks?
It is an amazing quality of the blood of Jesus that presses a refresh button that resets our inner DNA to be born again into a new being that is aware of the past life, but not defined by it.
With that in mind let us uncover some footsteps to return to innocence.
Step 1: Put your faith in Jesus’ ability
While we are still trying to do it all by ourselves Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He wants to come in feast with you and share His overcoming power with you. He is not ashamed to call you His brother. The world proclaims the ability to be a self-made success – did you make yourself? Really? You just thought and then you existed? You just worked by yourself and no one ever gave you advice? People never gave you a chance and some favour for you to succeed? No one can claim to be self-made, it is the height of pride that comes before the fall.
Jesus’ ability is beyond this realm of existence and you tap into his resources. The manifold wisdom of God is made available through the church of Jesus Christ. No one can reach the entire world by themselves without support and coherence of vision. As a church we have reached close to 150 nations, 123 physically, the rest through live streaming. It takes a combine harvester machine to bring in the harvest. One person sickling a harvest will take forever. Jesus needs to return, but first we need a return to innocence that draws from Him as a source to bring about the finish.
Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Whatever we do without faith is actually sin.
Rom 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Rom 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
Faith in His name brings miracles. When Peter and John healed the lame man in Jesus’ they immediately attributed the power to: ‘faith in His name.’
Act 3:16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Step 2: Become like a child to inherit the kingdom
Kids felt comfortable with Jesus. Do you think that they felt comfortable with the Pharisees? The Saducees? Even Jesus’ disciples needed a return to innocence in their thinking about what the kingdom of God really was in their time. Unless you become comfortable in Jesus’ presence like a little child, you will not inherit the kingdom of heaven in your present reality. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. His peace that passes your understanding that guards your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus – being anxious for nothing, but through prayers and supplications making your requests known to Him with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6-8
Mat 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Mat 18:2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
Mat 18:3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Mat 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mar 10:13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Mar 10:15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Mar 10:16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
Step 3: Operate in Simplicity
Act_2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
2Co_1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
2Co_11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Step 4: Be excellent in what is good and innocent of evil
Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
Rom 16:18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Rom 16:19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.
Rom 16:20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Step 5: Purify your heart and conscience from dead works
Repentance from dead works is a foundation stone of our faith.
Heb_6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
The reformation that Jesus brought about with his pure and innocent blood cleanses our conscience of sin and makes us innocent again.
Heb_9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The pure in heart will see God. Matthew 5:8
The Greek word for Pure: Pure G2513 katharos
(Thisis also the root for the Name Catherine. St. Catherine of Alexander was a Christian Martyr in the 4th century AD>)
1) clean, pure
1a1) purified by fire
1a2) in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit
1b) in a levitical sense
1b1) clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness
1c1) free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt
1c2) free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine
1c3) blameless, innocent
1c4) unstained with the guilt of anything
Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann