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Jul 10, 2022

Will the real "You" please stand up?

Passage: James 1:22

Preacher: Jess Achenbach

Series: 1 Thessalonians

Category: Christian Walk

Keywords: prayer, fellowship, fasting, bible study, lying, abuse, bodily holiness


How lying affects all aspects of our lives particularly our bodily holiness.



  1. Will the real XXXXX please stand up?
  2. The truth is: We are all liars!   
  3. Lying and pride when it comes to bodily holiness?
  4. Time to make a change and how to do it. CHRISTIAN LIFE APPLICATION:
    1. Be in the Word
    2. Be in Prayer
    3. Be in Fellowship

Will the real YOU Please stand up.

This title has been used for so many kinds of things over the years.  Whether a song, a show or book title, they all have a similar meaning or intention.  The earliest use of this phrase that I could find was from a game show in 1956 hosted by Bud Collyer called truth or consequences. There is even a city in New Mexico named Truth or consequences after the show.

In the show you would have three contestants and they would try and mislead the panel about who they really were.  At the end the host would say would the Jesse Achenbach please stand up.

The intention was to pass off yourself as either the real McCoy (if you weren’t the real person) or deceive the panel to think that you were someone other than the person they were looking for (if you were the person). 

So I thought that we could try this out, I have three volunteers and we are looking for the Christian today, so I am going to take three questions and see where it goes.

GAME SHOW: John, Bob and Andrew

Here we have three Christians, but one that seems to be honestly seeking a life that serves others.  The question I am going to ask you today is when will the real YOU please stand up.  When are you going to be honest with yourself about the circumstances you are in and the behaviors you have.

Today I want to talk about lying, and bodily holiness.  These might not seem to be two categories that go together.  Like water and cereal, but I hope that today you will see the connection and we are going to look at living an authentic life, and how to apply the basic Christian fundamentals in order to do that more effectively.

First of all, sinful human nature is to deceive, and this comes from the great deceiver himself the devil.  Lying is his native language, it says in John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. 

This isn’t a trait that we have to teach to our kids, they come by it naturally, and left unchecked it is devastating to your life. 

There have been times in my life where I have been in relationship with people, and they are compulsive liars.  They tell outrageous stories that are so unbelievable that you are a little shocked to see that they really expect you to believe them.  I guess I have become such a cynic over the years that I don’t often take at face value what strangers tell me anymore.

The problem that each of these people that were addicted to lying is that they were so used to lying that they could convince themselves that their own lie was true.  Or perhaps they had such an aversion to being wrong that they couldn’t bring themselves to admit the truth whence they were confronted.  In each case they would go to battle to defend the lie.

This is where each of us is guilty.  I am talking about lying, of course all of us are liars.  The Yiddish proverb states:“A half-truth is a whole lie”.  First John 1:8 says “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” Perhaps you don’t count yourself a liar but all of us sway the truth to reflect ourselves in the best light, and so like the perpetual liars I mentioned before, we begin to believe the lies or half truths we tell about ourselves. 

This video clip is from Jordan Peterson, who is not a Christian, but he understands the dangers of lying:

[End at 1.39 “…and psychological issues can be of the same significance”.]

He really outlines the dangers of not being honest.  There is short term peace for long term pain, and yet if we do the best thing, there is short term pain vs. long term peace.

As a child my parents would spank us as punishments and as we got older they would occasionally give us an opportunity to pick our punishment.  Would you like to have a spanking or would you like have a privilege taken away.  As a young kid, I would always avoid pain opt for the loss of privilege.  As I got older, I began to recognize that a short term pain was way better than long term pain, so I would always opt for spanking.  My parents, wanting the most impact then phased out the spankings altogether as it had lost it’s motivation.

But in many ways we seem to act like children when it comes to lying. How much easier is it to keep on telling ourselves the lies that we believe about ourselves even though we know deep down inside that these lies are exactly that?  And why do we do it?  PRIDE!! 

If we are thinking about the behavior of our advisory the devil, it is that his pride caused him to rebel against God and was cast out of heaven.  What are we willing to do to keep from facing reality?  What lies are you telling yourself to keep from doing what God has called you to do?

While today I am going to be focusing on bodily holiness this lesson can be applied to so many aspects of our lives, not just our bodies.  However, our bodies is where it all begins.

In Genesis 1:26-27 – “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”   Psalm 139:14 – “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” 

The human body is truly amazing.  Our bodies contain trillions of bacteria which help to regulate inflammation and disease.  The human eye is the fastest muscle and can blink as fast as 150th of a millisecond.  Our blood vessels stretch over 100,000 miles long, while our ears and nose continue to grow our whole lives, our eyes stay basically the same size.  Every second our bodies produce more than 24 million cells, we favor a nostril when we breathe, we are taller in the morning after a night’s sleep and we still don’t know why we yawn.  While many people are born with different syndroms, deformities and illnesses, even in spite of these our bodies are incredible machines, with attributes that God gave us modelled after Himself, we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.

After we are born there is a plan Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

This Summer we are doing more topical sermons and not sticking with a particular book of the Bible that we are going through, but you might remember about six or eight weeks ago when we were going through the book of Thessalonians, pastor John took two weeks to go through the topic of bodily holiness and what that means regarding sexuality.  While that was the theme of the section, I really had to process that as I was in the middle of going through a diet.

I started this diet on April 2nd and there was a specific intention for why I wanted to lose some weight.  You see, Candice and I had done the pre-marital counseling for an amazing young couple that was getting married on June 3rd.  Jaedon and Ashley Tesarick, you might remember them from the graduation recognition we had here mid-June.

This diet was mainly to make sure I could fit into my suit in order to do the wedding, I didn’t want to have to buy a new one, and so while it was initially financially motivated, as I began to discipline myself by fasting, healthy eating and exercise, I was convicted even more that I needed to be doing it for another reason altogether, and that is when my conscience kicked in.  I had been selfishly living for my own pleasure by eating whatever I wanted for the sake of my stomach. 

Philippians 3:17-19 “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”

The thing is, it isn’t like I am starving to death, I wasn’t exactly doing the eating for the need, but for the pleasure I received by eating it.  Then, I began to realize that it wasn’t just for the eating, but for the preparation and the anticipation of the food.  The French have a saying that you eat with your eyes first, and this leads to the true nature of my sin nature.  I was falling into this worship of the whole food experience as something to bring pleasure to me instead of making allowing my sense of peace and wholeness to be provided by God. 

1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life— is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever.…

So what started out as a financial motivation ended up being one that led by my desire to follow what is truly best for my life.  My relationship with the Creator that wants me to be healthy and holy for His sake, not just for my own.

This understanding of what it means to live my life in Christ became the pivotal point of this whole journey.  How can I have bodily holiness when it comes to eating, sexuality, exercise, etc?  My human nature is to seek self-satisfaction, and yet we are told that it is when we serve others and not ourselves that we receive the most pleasure.  Don’t misunderstand me, it isn’t wrong to enjoy food, or sex, or exercise or all sort of activities.  Where it becomes detrimental is when it becomes the main thing. And we need to keep the main thing the main thing.


As a child the entire Christmas experience was based on what I was going to get for my presents.  My parents were not wealthy and so while I did get gifts, it was always less than I hoped for.  The phrase it is better to give that to receive didn’t really ring true to me until I was living my life in Christ, when I was putting into practice what is taught through scripture and what I had experienced in life.  When I am serving others, either through my talents, treasure or my time, it really is the best way to find fulfillment and satisfaction in life.

Recently the bible study that is over in the HUB on Thursdays we are going through the book of Philippians and in chapter 2 is says this:

 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus (God) was the greatest servant, by dying for us, even though he was perfect he served us like no one else could.  He became the greatest servant and then was made the highest, exalted above everything else.

This idea that when we serve, we are lowly, yes, but no!  My best friends are the ones that I look up to because they are so humble.  They are who I want to be like when I grow up.  I don’t look down on them because they serve and don’t call attention to themselves but rather because they could and don’t, it gives them a likeability and attractiveness that I want to be around.

Seeking to please myself became a weight around my neck, literally!  At 275 lbs I knew I had to have a change, I felt horrible, and I knew that it wasn’t good for my health either.  One thing stuck with me as I came out of a doctor’s appointment.  When you are overweight, you are at 20 percent higher risk for cancer than someone of the same age.  Having had cancer, and not wanting to get it again – this gets your attention.  This doesn’t include all the other risks, heart disease, stroke, diabetes etc.  Also, joint pain.  For every pound of weight, it is equivalent to 4 pounds per square inch on your knees.  Not to mention how it affects every other part of your life, like stretching etc.

 Some of my kids and I are doing Taekwondo, and this is where I really came face to face with the reality of how my weight affects my life.  I was surrounded by all these kids that can move in ways that I used to, but now can’t.  Some of these are just a part of getting old, but one of the reasons I can’t stretch as far as I could is because my stomach is literally in the way.

While this is my own struggle to get through, some of you may be having the same trouble, but others of you are surely fighting a different fight.  I know many that have a negative body image and go the other way, they are unhealthy by not eating enough, and ultimately it comes down to who are you trying to serve.

Am I going to lose weight because I want to be more fit and healthy, or because I care about what others think about me?  Everything is based on our heart condition, and I am not talking about physical things, but spiritual things.  If I overeat because I am pleasing myself, or I lose weight to be vain both can distract me from my real purpose.  We need to have healthy bodies and minds so that we can be servants for the kingdom of God.

Examining our heart condition is what needs to be applied to every situation.  Our true motivation when it comes to behavior is what is important if we are being honest with ourselves.  My question to you is this:  when do you take time to evaluate your behavior and the motivation that drives that behavior?  Are your motives self-seeking or are you following the example of Christ being the greatest servant?

So how are you lying to yourself when it comes to bodily holiness? Are you allowing yourself to be in a place where you will be tempted. 

 Whether food – too much or too little, exercise, illicit drugs and alcohol in excess etc.  I would even say when it comes to mental health as well.  Are we wallowing in our own existence or are we doing the counselling and taking our recommended medications? 

James 1:13-18 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”



The reason I am asking this is that there plenty of opportunities to hear about what we should be doing, but the application of what we should do gets lost at the door when we head out of church.  Recently, because of a conversation at our bible study next door at the HUB again, it was brought up how sometimes there isn’t a clear application on how we are to apply the truths that we hear about in church or at some other function, so I wanted to talk just a little about that.

The pastoral staff and any other leader that is doing a bible study or whatever, their goal isn’t to outline every detail of what you are supposed to do when it comes to the truths we uncover in a talk.  Rather the goal is to equip you with the tools that you have been given so that you can put into practice how it applies to your life.  We all struggle with this idea of bodily holiness, but the root cause is finding pleasure in the behaviors vs. finding satisfaction in a life well lived in obedience to God.

The only one that knows you better than you is God, and you can’t lie to him.  Like the frog in the water that slowly begins to boil, we lie to everyone and to ourselves sometimes, and on occasion it is important to stop and take stock of your situation.  Are you in hot water and ignoring the symptoms, are you headed in a wrong direction?  Like the skit at the beginning there are three Christians, one of which was authentic in his position.  The other two may or may not have ever really experienced a true life change as far as becoming a disciple of Jesus.  While it isn’t our job to judge others salvation, we are fruit inspectors, and we start by inspecting our own “Fruit”.  Like the three contestants, one seemed to be authentic, and the others were “Christian” for whatever reason, maybe they were raised going to church, perhaps they look up to someone, or maybe there is even a feeling like they can earn their way to heaven by good behavior or buy it by giving money.  Living in a garage doesn’t make you a car and going to church doesn’t even make you a good person, much less a disciple of Jesus. 

Matthew 7:14 says “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it.” 

Rarely do we stop and take an honest look at who we are and what we stand for.  Are you willing to do that right now?  I would like to take just a minute for each of us to stop and contemplate what in my life needs to change.  Am I a true disciple of Jesus, or have I been living a fake life, maybe you have never made a decision to do that, what is holding you back?

Secondly, as a disciple of Jesus, are you serving yourself or are there areas of your life that needs to change when it comes to bodily holiness.  How are we dishonoring God with our bodies, and are you ready to change?  I know there are lots of areas that I need work in and I am actively trying to do that.  If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol abuse, we have a specific service that is dedicated to helping and that is the Saturday night service.  I think we still need to develop mental health counselling and an exercise/food group in order to help keep each other accountable.


The Chinese have a saying that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago but the second-best time is today.  Don’t wait, let’s take stock and evaluate where we need to change and start the process of doing that.

You might ask, well what are the tools that we have to help us in (not just this endeavor, but) applying all of the truths that we learn?


We are going to go through at breakneck speed here and the reason is because I think we are going to cover each of these fundamentals in a miniseries at some point, but here they are:


  1. Prayer: spending time talking and listening to God. When we pray for things it changes us.  When I pray for someone that bothers me, my attitude changes. 
  2. Being in the word, making time to read and study the bible. Notice that I gave two different aspects here not JUST reading but also taking the time to understand it and find application.  James 1: 22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
  3. Fellowship: This is where we get to help each other. This isn’t the poor man’s country club where we only come to network.  This is where we challenge each other and lift each other up.  Are there hypocrites at church?  What better place for us to be?  All of us are a hypocrite in some area, as we continue to lie to others and ourselves.  However, if we are seeking to live a life that benefits and serves others, our families and honors God, then being in fellowship helps us to do that better.  Even for practical purposes.  When we share our struggles with each other we get to help keep accountable and this is a huge help.  When I was talking in Jadeon and Ashley’s wedding, I mentioned this:  In the state of Washington there are only two parts of the ceremony that I have to do by law, they are both verbal, one is the statement of intents – the vows and also the pronouncement.  By sharing our goals out loud it makes a difference, so much so that even the state makes it a requirement of the ceremony.  I experience this during this past Spring when I preached once about how my bathroom remodel has taken me so long.  Since then I have had so many of you (At least once a week) come and ask me: “how has that remodel gone, are you done yet?” helping to keep me accountable. But more than that I received offers of help, and advice on how to do some of the trickier parts.  All practical reasons why fellowship is so important to the life of a Christian.


That is all I have for you today, but I am excited to see how many of you are ready to make some changes, whether your body or your behavior, and if you are interested in a healthy eating group or exercise group, perhaps you need to be a part of a small group of folks that are struggling with some of your issues.  If you are ready for the real YOU to please stand up, I would encourage you to come talk to one of the pastors, or come up to the front for prayer, we have prayer counsellors here after each service.  May God’s peace and joy fill your life as you seek to follow Him this week.