The Power of Influence
Intro.1. To have an effect on something; power to sway (Encarta Dictionary); “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command; the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways” (Merriam-Webster). Illus. the opposite poles of magnets 2. The Bible has much to say on the subject of influence, yet the word itself is not in the English Bible (NKJV) 3. Influence can be the force and power of godly deeds and the examples they set, 1 Tim 4:12; Titus 2:7. a. Of young people upon believers, 1 Tim 4:12. b. Of young men upon opponents, Titus 2:6-8. c. Of a godly spouse upon her/his partner, 1 Pet 3:1-7. d. Of a Christian upon the ungodly, 1 Pet 2:11-12. I. THE POWER OF EVIL INFLUENCES, Prov 22:24-25; 1 Kgs 11:1-4. A. The Corrupting Influence of Evil and Error, 1 Cor 5:6-8. 1. Leaven: “Substance that causes fermentation of dough in bread making. A leaven acts by causing the formation of carbon dioxide gas, which bubbles through and lightens and expands the batter or dough while it is baking.” (Yeast, baking powder) howstuffworks.com 2. Through the persuasion of false teachers, Gal 5:7-9 (teaching, Matt 16:6, 12); 2 Tim 2:14. 3. Through the deception of lust, Prov 6:25-29; cf. Heb 3:13. B. The Corrupting Influence of Unfaithful Christians, 1 Cor 5:6; 8:10-13; 2 Tim 2:16-18. 1. Our sin can influence other Christians to join us in sin, Gal 2:11-13. 2. Our sin can influence unbelievers to reject God, Rom 2:24; 1 Tim 6:1; Tit 2:5. C. The Corrupting Influence of the Ungodly, Mk 15:11. 1. The influence of evil associations results in: a. Misery, Num 33:55. b. Parental shame, Prov 28:7. c. Moral defilement, 1 Cor 15:33. d. Denial of Christ, Jno 18:18, 25. e. Apostasy, 1 Kgs 11:2. f. Divine wrath, 2 Chrn 19:2; Prov 13:20. 2. The influence of the gospel, Rom 1:16; Col 1:3-6. a. Power to change the mind, Eph 4:20-23. b. Power to change our conduct, Eph 4:24; 5:8-10. c. Power to change spiritual condition (death to life), 2 Tim 1:10. d. Power to turn darkness into light (Candle), 2 Cor 4:4. II. THE POWER OF GODLY INFLUENCES. A. The Flavoring and Preserving Power of a Godly Influence, Matt 5:13; Mk 9:50. 1. Flavor your environment with goodness, Col 4:6 (Prov 15:1). 2. Preserve godliness in a world of sin and wrath, Ezek 22:30. B. The Saving Power of a Godly Influence, 1 Pet 3:1-2; 2:11-12. -Turn the attention of the lost to the saving gospel of Christ. C. The Encouraging Power of a Godly Influence, 2 Cor 9:1-2. -Your zeal to be faithful will stir up others, Heb 10:24-25. D. The Evangelizing Power of a Godly Influence, 1 Ths 1:8-10. -The news of the Thessalonians’ conversion spread, influencing many others to greater faith. E. The Posthumous Power of a Godly Influence, Heb 11:4. -Your influence will live on after you are gone.
Conclusion1. No one dare say, “I have no influence”! As surely as the sun influences the earth, your life influences many people in unseen ways. 2. No one dare say, “I am not influenced by others”! As surely as the moon influences the tides, you are influenced by the people around you and the values they hold. 3. Pursue the influence of godliness and flee the influence of the world, 1 Tim 6:11. 4. Overcome evil with good, Rom 12:21.