Billy Graham on Vinyl, Part 5: “David and Goliath”

July 2, 2014

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In honor of Billy Graham, a hero of mine, I’m digitizing some of his sermons from long out-of-print records and making them available as MP3s. This sermon is found in a 4-record box set called A Billy Graham Crusade from 1962 (RCA Victor Custom Record Dept. BG4314).

Billy Graham, himself a Southern Baptist and America’s most famous evangelical Christian, has a famously ecumenical spirit. In an earlier sermon in this series, he said that everything he preaches could be found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. (True, although one wonders if the Episcopalians in his audience were surprised by that!) If he were still preaching, he would eschew, I’m sure, taking sides in the recently resurgent debate between Calvinist and Arminian Christians, seeing it as a distraction from preaching Christ crucified.

That being said, his words below capture perfectly the synergistic understanding of us Wesleyan-Arminians when it comes to repentance. As Wesley said, when you experience new birth by the Holy Spirit, “sin remains but no longer reigns.” We receive new power from on high to overcome sin in our lives. Or as Graham puts it:

Now when you give your life to Jesus Christ, sin comes off the throne of your life. No longer does sin rule and control! Christ is asked to come and sit in the throne room of you life and sit on the throne. He now rules and reigns. And sin is under control! It doesn’t mean that you don’t make mistakes, and you don’t sometimes fall in sin, but immediately you get up and you… God says if you confess, he forgives. But he gives you a new strength, a new dimension for living. A new power is yours in Jesus Christ when you come to him.

Now what do you have to do? You have to be willing to confess that you’re a sinner, give up your sins… I said willing—notice I said “willing.” You can’t do it by yourself. You’re involved in certain things in your life that you know are wrong, but you can’t give them up. You’ve tried! You failed! All right, just be willing. Are you willing? All right, if you’re willing, God will help you! Because, you see, even your repentance, God has to help you to do it. You can’t repent by yourself. There’s not a person that can repent by himself: God has to help you to repent.

And if you’re willing, he’ll help you to repent, and when you face that thing tomorrow that’s holding you back—the sin in your life—God will be there to help you slay the giant!

This sermon was part of “Youth Night” during his crusade. He aims the sermon at young people. To his credit, he doesn’t talk down to them.

To listen to sermon, click on play button above, or right-click here to download as a separate .mp3 file.

Click here for Part 1.

Click here for Part 2.

Click here for Part 3.

Click here for Part 4.

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