You smell like Jesus and you can’t help it.
OCTOBER 20, 2021
You smell like Jesus and you can’t help it. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under, do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the last part of the sixth chapter of Acts and that’s connected to the seventh and the beginning of the eighth chapter, as we look at one of my close friends, Stephen, the deacon. And, he’s an amazing man. And we’re going to see that as we go along. We’ve seen that he did great miracles and there was great spiritual power in him. And we saw the first thing you ought to note about him is that he knew that his gifts came from God and not himself, Acts 6:8. He is a turtle sitting on a gate post who knew he didn’t get there by himself. And then secondly, we noted and talked about it yesterday that his arguments, his witness, his sermons left people speechless, Acts 6:10. They couldn’t withstand the power of it. And then third, he was a follower of Jesus and you could smell it everywhere, Acts 6:15.
And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw his face. It was like the face of an angel.
That is a wonderful verse. You know what Luke’s saying? Luke’s saying, even when his enemies who were disturbed by what he was saying, who didn’t like, what he was saying. Even his enemies, when they looked at him, they knew. Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary. And if you know much about what happened to that wonderful folk trio, Puff the Magic Dragon and a bunch of others, Paul Stookey was, and is a Christian and he moved to Maine and he set up a recording studio and did a lot of work for public broadcasting in Maine. He said that the studio was out in back of his place and it was an old chicken coop. And he said they worked on it, they sanded it and they painted it and they fixed it up. And then he laughed and he said, but when it rained, you could tell. Well, when it rains, you can tell a Christian because they smell like Jesus and they can’t help it. That’s what Paul says in Galatians, he said.
I’m crucified with Christ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
That is not a command by the way. Paul is not saying work at it, read the Bible and pray and be religious and then Jesus will shine through you. He’s talking about a present, observable fact in the life of every believer who is listening to the sound of my voice right now, you smell like Jesus and you can’t help it. So, what do you do? Nothing. You just do what you do, you show, and when you show, and this has nothing to do with your goodness. It has nothing to do with how smart you are or how good looking you are. If you show, and that’s why it’s important that we be leaven in the loaf, not just a pile of leaven. We’ve got a show for meetings, for political institutions and political conferences and religious conferences, but we got to show up sometimes in bars, we got to show up sometimes in pagan institutions, we got to show up sometimes in entertainment places among unbelievers. And you know why? Because like Stephen, you smell like Jesus. The metaphor is the face of an angel. Well, I never much thought I had much of a face of an angel. It’s too old and it’s too wrinkled. Doesn’t even have hair anymore, but I do smell like Jesus and you just can’t help it. You ever, you ever had somebody say about a lady in trying to describe them. A friend of mine did this with another friend of mine recently, and he said, have you met, Sarah? Not her name. And I said, yes I have. And then he smiled and said, she glows, she glows. Well, you do too, if you’re a Christian. So, all you gotta do is show. And that’s what Stephen did. He was scared. It wasn’t a very pleasant place, he’d been arrested and he knew that he could lose his life. But with all that being said and all of the fear and all of the wonder, his face looked like an angel. I think that’s cool. It was clear that Stephen belonged to Jesus and he was following Jesus. Now, let me show you something else. If I can get my notes open here. Fourthly, I found them, I want you to notice that Stephen was literally immersed in scripture, Acts 7:1-50. In those verses, and that’s the sermon of Stephen that we’re going to look at when we get to it. In those verses there are at least 69, count them, references to the Scripture. That says something about him, doesn’t it? That he’s immersed where? He’s immersed in the revelation of God that has been graciously given to his people. I’ve been teaching the Bible so long that I can hardly think a thought without thinking of a text. That’s why we study the Bible. Not that we’ll be more religious, but so we’ll learn as Christians to think God’s thoughts after him. You think about that. Amen.
It’s Wednesday and sometimes on Wednesday when I have some time. Spend some time answering some of the questions that you send us. And we love your questions and we take them very seriously. As you know, Pete comes in on Fridays and we spend the entire broadcast answering questions. We’re not always right, but we’re always honest. And, so send your question. And we’ll do our best. You can do that in a lot of ways. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, record your question. And sometimes we put them on the air. You can, send your question to
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Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected]. And by the way, if you can help us financially, you can use those touch places. In fact that you can do that with your phone. You can text Key Life at 28950 and follow the instructions. And if you can help us financially, I will rise up and call you blessed. If you can’t, I’ll understand. Okay. Say a prayer for this ministry, and I promise that we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in giving it. Alright, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. This is an e-mail. Over the years, I’ve heard you say I’m not antinomian. If one is in Christ, we account to a higher calling. Love God with all your heart, your mind, and your soul. And practical applications, Christians do follow laws, but is there a spiritual fine line? What do you mean by antinomian? Are there Scriptures that point to the necessity of following the law? Well, yes, there are. But you got to look at the whole council of God in order to understand the reason for the law. The law is not so you can be a good person, although it can be helpful in that area. The law is given to you, so you’ll understand that you’re not. And what does antinomian mean? Well it’s from two words and it was coined by Martin Luther. It means anti, against, nomian, against the law. And, John Murray said in his commentary on Romans, that if what preachers preach doesn’t sound a little bit like antinomianism, then you’re not preaching the gospel. Well, I don’t have that problem. I get accused of that all the time. And you’ve heard me say a thousand times that you’ve never met anybody who wants to please God, more than I do. That’s a gift, that was given to me when I came to Christ or when he came to me. When he came to me, he gave me his Spirit and my spirit makes me want to please God, to do what he says the way he says to do it, when he says to do it. But I don’t. And I’m in good company. If you read the seventh chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul says this.
The good I want to do
in other words, Paul could have said, you’ve never met anybody who wants to please God, more than I do
is not what I do, but the evil that I don’t want to do, that’s what I do. O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death.
And that’s the gospel. As you move into the eighth chapter of Romans.
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
And so, do I say throw the law out? Oh no. So, I’m not antinomian. Do I say that the law is not true and right and wise? Of course not. The Psalmist says the law is perfect. Do I say you ought to ignore the law and do whatever you want? Of course not. Anybody who teaches or believes that is probably not a Christian. But I do say let the law do its work in you. Don’t wince or run from it. Let it measure who you are and how you’re doing. And when it does, when it shows you because it’s a perfect mirror of what you will be and what you ought to be. And when you don’t live up to it, run to Jesus. That’s the purpose. And it’s a good purpose. Hey, it’s time for me to get outta here. But one thing more before I go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.