“The Christian‘s Influence”
1. To be a Christian implies a conversion has occurred in one’s life, Rom 6:3-4; 2 Cor 5:17; Col 3:1-3, 8-10. 2. Baptism just beginning, not end of conversion, cf. Phil 2:12-13. 3. One area of growth is our influence, Phil 2:14-16. Be children of God who are without rebuke (without blemish): a. Blameless (free of censure) in God’s sight and man’s, 2:15 (cf. 2 Pet 3:14). b. Harmless (innocent), Rom 16:19. c. Without fault: Without blemish, blame; No reprimand needed. 4. Children of God are to be “without fault” (“rebuke”, kjv; “blemish”, asv, esv) in sight of God and men, Phil 2:15: a. Enables us to have a good influence, 1 Pet 2:12. b. If we are to influence people our conduct must gain their respect. [Influence can be rehabilitated, cf. Paul, Peter.] c. Otherwise, we hinder the truth (2:14, 16). 5. Things that build an influence that cannot be rebuked. I. BE HONEST IN CHARACTER. A. Honesty is a Principle, not merely a “Policy”, Phil 4:8 (A matter of your honor). 1. Our honest affects our influence, 2 Cor 8:18-21. a. Honest reputation strengthens your influence and our effectiveness, Acts 6:3. b. Honesty influences, lying and deceit destroys credibility (obvious), 1 Pet 2:11-12. 2. Business, congregations, homes, etc.; Impacts relationships. B. Always be Truthful, Eph 4:25; Prov 6:16-19. -Speaking truth is the outgrowth of being honest of the heart, Matt 12:34-35. II. BE PURE IN SPEECH, 1 Pet 3:10. A. We must Abandon Vulgar Hearts and Language, Eph 4:29; 5:4; Col 4:6. 1. Vulgar speech influences vulgar people; it does not draw people to Christ! 2. Uncontrolled tongue does much damage to the cause of Christ, Jas 3:5. 3. Sound speech which cannot be condemned! Titus 2:7-8 III. BE PURE IN LIVING. A. We Must Maintain the Purity of the Church for which Christ Died, Eph. 5:25-27. 1. Conduct to be “becoming”, Phil 1:27. a. The present world needs the influence of purity! Titus 2:11-12 b. Our responsibility and capability, 1 Tim 5:22. 2. No double standards: a. One for men, another for women. b. One for preacher, another for rest. c. All, Rom 12:1-2; Gal 2:20. B. Church must not Condone Sin in its Members, 1 Cor 5:1-2, 13; Gal 6:1; 2 Ths 3:6, 14-15. 1. Goal is to bring to repentance and reformation. 2. Influence and health of the church is at stake, 1 Cor 5:7. cf. Acts 5:11, 13-14 IV. BE KIND AND CONSIDERATE, Eph 4:32; 1 Cor 13:4. A. Kindness Shows Sincerity towards Others, 1 Pet 1:22; Rom 12:9. 1. Such will not condone sin – Straightforwardly rebukes sin and seeks proper remedy, Gal 4:16 (cf. Jesus). 2. Do not be harsh, bitter or belittling when trying to help someone, 2 Tim 2:24-26. V. BE UNCOMPROMISING WITH THE TRUTH. A. Good Influence Occurs when We Live our Convictions. 1. Whether others have Bible convictions or not. a. Blessed, Dan 1:8-9, 14-16, 17-20. b. Apostles, Acts 4:17-21; 5:29, 26. 2. People have little (if any) respect for one who consistently violates his stated convictions (hypocrisy). a. Must stand unyieldingly on the truth and not compromise, 2 Tim 4:2. b. God is for you; don’t let men persuade you to compromise and be defeated, Rom 8:31, 35-37.
Conclusion1. These things help us have an influence that does not need to be rebuked (blameless, harmless, without fault). 2. Give ourselves fully to such a lifestyle, Phil 2:14-16