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Dr. O. Talmadge Spence

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The Natural Christian

Founder of Foundations Bible College
Date: Dec 14, 1990
Service Type: Closing Sermon to the Schools
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Summary

Natural can be one of the most misunderstood words in the Bible because of the variety of contexts in which it is found. This message deals with seven areas the Christian needs to be natural in, with an emphasis on the process in the Christian life.

Sermon Notes

Excerpts from the message:

“I think we are watching the violation of everything now. How much have we said in 1990 about the home, the unnatural home, where mother is head and father is following.”

“There is a wholesale destruction going on about natural things. We are witnessing the dismantling of civilization and art, the demolition of order, the destruction of morality.”

“I believe that one of the greatest destructions is the destruction of that which is natural, natural in the good sense."

“If I were to speak of something that I have genuinely wanted to be, was to be natural. I have said so many times in so many ways through correspondence privately, in individual conversations, in preaching, above all the things in this life, I do not want to be a phony, a hypocrite. I believe I could take being a drunk easier than I could take being a phony in the light of the age. I`m not going to get drunk, but there are a lot of things worse than smoking, and a lot of things worse than the things that we think of as unclean. I think a bad heart and spirit is the worse thing that there could exist on the face of this earth. And we clothe ourselves with such a fine face as we go around so phony.”

“We do things by process. Nobody is fully grown yet. Nobody has fully enjoyed all that salvation affords yet—none of us. The only reason why this platform is elevated from the pew floor is because there is a book on it and not the man. To the degree that you realize there`s need of more process, to the degree you will be more natural.”

“God does the revolutionary part. He regenerates me. He saves me. He crucifies me. But I am a very slow, progressing, processing person. I am born to the long pull of life. That`s the way it is. So no one can really present themselves, can afford to present themselves, much further than they are, or they could be false. When we pretend and play unnaturally about ourselves, we are thinking we have evolved further than we did.”

“O that we should naturally see that it is natural to grow, and not always present ourselves, ‘I`m grown. I`m grown. Can you not see me? I`m grown. I`m perfect.’ It`s not true. I wish I could see somebody vomit now and then. I wish I could see somebody truly say I`m sick. I wish I could see some saints repent. I wish I could see signs of process, natural process in our lives together.”

“It takes a lot of time to unfold and evolve our weaknesses, and then it takes a lot of time to acknowledge it, and then it takes a lot of time to repair it. We are born to the long pull. It`s natural. Why do we try to say in an unnatural tone, ‘I don`t need to progress.’ I wish I could hear one girl tell me one time, ‘I`ve been bitter.’ I wish I could hear it. I believe it would start a shout among the saints of God, ‘Hallelujah, we`re getting somewhere.’ But we`re not prone to progress, to have process. We believe fiat, instantly that I know it all, instantly I`m perfect—instantly, instantly, instantly.”

“I want to see a raise of your hand this morning that you know that you know this year you made a mistake. Will you raise your hand? You know it! No doubt in your mind now. Alright, are you ready for the second question? When you made a mistake, did you repent and quit? Don`t raise your hand. Then you didn`t make any progress by knowing it. It`s natural to grow.”

“Whenever we just present ourselves as the epitome of perfection without the acknowledgement of our ruined condition and our ongoing progress, we are presenting an influence of a dwarf.”

“If your definition of perfection is sinlessness, it is not possible. I like the word blameless. I believe you can live blameless with grace and Christ, which means you can live without censure. You can live with God`s communion and fellowship without censure; without condemnation, without ‘You`re wrong,’ without ‘You lied,’ without ‘You hated me,’ God saying. To be blameless is to walk without censure. Now let me please be careful....You must say you sinned if you did, because if you don`t, you`re with censure. He can censure you for that. You must know if you failed. You must really know if you failed to live without censure. To be blameless does not mean you cannot fail. It means if you do, ‘I`m squaring it up.’ I am going to be without censure in that which I have failed. And that is where the coverup, that is where it is unnatural: ‘I don`t want to do that, because if I do that, they won`t think I`m spiritual. If I do that, they won`t think I`m saved.’”