Tag Archives: obedient faith
TAKE HEED LEST YOU FALL
Intro.1. Possibility of falling away is a real threat to every child of God. 2. To think otherwise is a great danger! – 1 Cor. 10:12 3. Israel is a warning to Christians to remain faithful & true. I. ISRAEL: OUR EXAMPLE – 1 Cor. 10:1-10. A. Of Relationship With God – 1 Cor. 10:2; Gal. 3:27. -Baptized into relationship with God’s prophet / Relationship with God’s Son. B. As God’s Chosen People – Exo. 19:5-6; Psa. 135:4; 1 Pet. 2:9-10. C. Israel’s Unbelief – Heb. 3:15-19. 1. Eyes fixed on Egypt instead of God & land of promise – Num. 11:4-6. 2. Fell in the wilderness due to their sinful & disobedient unbelief. 3. Our warning: 1 Cor. 10:6-10. -Confidence of salvation must rest upon obedient faith, not wishful thinking! D. Therefore, Take Heed Lest You Fall! – 10:12 -Look carefully & discern the warning that is given to us. 1. Israel thought she stood with God (chosen, saved, protected). Cf. Matt. 3:8-9 – Thinking we stand w/ God not same as actually standing with Him! 2. Israel did not take heed to herself. Mixed & mingled with worldly idolaters while complaining against God’s care & provisions – 1 Cor. 10:6-10; Psa. 106:13-15, 19-22, 24-25. 3. Israel fell. Consumed in wilderness – Psa. 106:26-27; Num. 14:26-35. -What About Us?!- II. WE MUST EXAMINE OUR FAITH & TAKE HEED LEST WE FALL. A. Discern the Signs of a Faltering Faith – Heb. 3:12-13; 2 Cor. 13:5. 1. Use God’s word – Heb. 4:12-13; Jas. 1:25. 2. Apply God’s remedy for every sin we find – Acts 8:20-24; 26:20. III. SIGNS OF A FALTERING FAITH WHICH IS READY TO FALL – Gal. 6:3. -We can Deceive Ourselves that our Faith is Stronger than it is By… A. Equating Men’s Estimation of our Faithfulness with God’s Approval of Us – cf. Lk. 6:26. 1. Reputation of faithfulness is not equivalent to proof of it! – Rev. 3:1 2. Instead of trusting what others say about your faithfulness – trust what God says about it! (2 Cor. 13:5) 3. Take heed: It is God’s evaluation that matters! B. Minimizing the Corrupting Effect of Evil Companions – 1 Cor. 15:33. 1. Evidently Israel did this – Exo. 23:2; Num. 25:1-2; 31:16. 2. 1 Pet. 4:1-2 (1 Jno. 2:15-16) – Don’t be deceived! (At work, tempted to steal, Tit. 2:10; At school, tempted to cheat, Eph. 4:25; at home, media bombards our senses with sensuality, Col. 3:5). 3. In the world but not of it (sanctified) – 1 Cor. 5:9-10; Jno. 17:15-17. 4. Take heed: If you befriend the world you are God’s enemy! (Jas. 4:4) C. Becoming Spiritually Complacent, Neglectful, Apathetic – Rev. 3:17. 1. Lukewarm Christian rarely acknowledges their real condition! 2. Take heed: Avoid downward spiral of apathy. Rom. 12:11 (Jas. 4:17) D. Thinking We Are Above Temptation & Sin – Jas. 1:12-16. 1. By not recognizing the dangers of sin &/or temptation – 1:16. 2. Exactly where Satan wants you to be! – 1 Pet. 5:8 3. Take heed: Pride goes before a fall – Prov. 16:18. E. Relying on our Past Faithfulness. 1. As long as we are alive we have a battle before us! – 1 Tim. 6:12 (Eph. 6:10-13). 2. Only when near death did Paul say he had “fought” the good fight (2 Tim. 4:7). a. Just a few years earlier Paul had not yet attained or been perfected – He was pressing onward & upward! – Phil. 3:12-14 b. Imitate his forward-pressing faithfulness (Phil. 3:17). 3. Take heed: We cannot rest on past victories when present battles & opportunities exist! (Gal. 6:10; Jno. 4:35) F. Equating Believing with Obeying – Lk. 6:46. 1. Faith without obedience: Incomplete, profitless, dead, unseen, demonic & barren (Jas. 2:14-20). 2. Only “faith working through love” has the power to produce a genuine hope of righteousness – Gal. 5:5-6. 3. Take heed: Affirming your faith but not obeying Christ is not real faith!
Conclusion1. Israel’s fall is our warning: We can also fall! 2. Constantly check your faith in the light of divine truth & walk by faith – 2 Cor. 5:7-9…this will please God!
FRIEND LET ME TELL YOU; “WHY IT MATTERS”Intro. 1. Col. 3:17: We are asked why following the Bible (God’s word) in all things matters: a. “Everyone interprets the Bible differently” – why does it matter what we believe? Jno. 8:31-32; Eph. 5:17 b. “God loves everyone regardless of what they believe/practice” – why does it matter as long as you are sincere? Matt. 7:21-23 c. “We all believe in the resurrection of Christ” – why does it matter if we have a holy day to celebrate it? 1 Cor. 4:6; Matt. 15:8-9 d. “We are all in the church of Christ” – why does it matter whether we are in fellowship on everything? 1 Cor. 1:10 2. Book of Acts: Points of controversy, why it mattered – and still does! I. THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD. A. Because the Fulfillment of God’s Promise Matters, Acts 2:36-41 (39). 1. Promise to Abraham, Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8-9, 14, 22, 26-29. 2. Promise to David (Jesus the Savior), Acts 13:23-41 (38-39). B. Because Salvation from Sin Matters, Acts 2:36-41 (47). 1. God calls sinners to salvation by Christ’s gospel, 2:39. 2. Sinners call on God for salvation by obedient faith, 2:21, 37-38, 41. C. Because the Authority of Christ to Save Sinners Matters, Acts 3:6, 11-17; 4:7-12, 13-20. II. WHEN CHRISTIANS SIN. A. Because Sin is Known and Punished by God, Acts 5:1-11. B. Because Sin in a New Christian is not Overlooked, Acts 8:14-24. III. WHEN FALSE TEACHERS COME WITH THEIR FALSE TEACHINGS. A. Because Error must be Identified, Resisted and not Given Fellowship, Acts 15:1-5. 1. Because souls are at stack when error is accepted and advanced, Gal. 2:1-5. To save souls! a. Accommodation would result in fellowship w/ sin, 2 Jno. 9-11. b. Accommodation would invite souls to believe/practice error to the loss of their souls! 2. Truth was discussed, studied and explained, Acts 15:6-21. 3. Truth was taught everywhere without fear or favor, Acts 15:22-29, 30-32; 16:4. B. Because Faithful Ones Must be Warned of Potential and Future Error, Acts 20:17, 20, 26-32. 1. Elders must diligently feed/oversee the flock of God, 20:28. 2. Elders are warned of dangers from without and among themselves, 20:29-32 – watch and feed the word of His grace! 3. No one is immune from sin’s temptation and error’s appeal! IV. WHEN CHRISTIANS ARE PERSECUTED FOR THE SAKE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. A. Because We Must Obey God Rather than Men, Acts 5:27-32, 40-42. 1. God’s will must come first in our lives, regardless of the sacrifice, regardless of the ramifications, Lk. 9:23. 2. To live the devotion we profess, cf. Acts 26:9-11. B. Because We Must Share in the Suffering of Christ, 1 Pet. 4:12-14. 1. Willing to suffer for name of Christ, Acts 9:16; 20:23; 21:10-14. 2. Such sacrifice shows the value one puts on Christ’s blessings of glory, Phil. 3:7-11. Conclusion 1. It matters what you believe, practice, teach, have fellowship with and live to the point of persecution. 2. It matters because God matters, Christ matters, truth matters, the church matters and your soul matters!
Are You a Faithful Christian?
1. To hear most people talk, everyone who have some belief system about Jesus is a “Christian” (regardless of what they believe!).
2. Little regard for diligent, honest assessments of oneself in the light of plain Bible truth to find out if such is really the case (2 Cor. 13:5).
3. Bible speaks of being “full of faith” (Acts 6:5; 11:24); Are we?
4. Investigate some of the most frequently heard reasons why one believes he is a Christian, and test them from the Bible (1 Ths. 5:21-22).
I. ONE IS NOT A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN MERELY BECAUSE:
A. He Believes Something about Jesus, Jno. 12:42-43; Jas. 2:19.
1. cf. “That He lived / Good teachings / Contributed to humanity….”
2. cf. Jehovah’s Witnesses, LDS, Oneness Pentecostals, etc.
3. Must believe the truth about Jesus, Heb. 11:6; Jno. 1:1-3; Matt. 16:13-16 (1 Jno. 2:22-23; 4:2-3).
4. Then, one must have an obedient faith, Acts 6:7; Matt. 7:21.
B. He is Religious (pious), Acts 8:26-39.
1. But, so are Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus & Jews; yet worship in ignorance, cf. Acts 17:22-23.
2. “Go to church,” Pay my “tithe,” etc. (Lk. 18:9-12)
3. Christians are religious, Acts 2:42.
4. Object of our religion must be God, not self! Matt. 6:1; Jas. 1:26-27.
C. He is Moral, Acts 10:1-2, 22.
1. Are there not moral Hindus? Buddhists?
2. False standard upon which to base salvation, Acts 11:14.
3. Christian will live morally, Phil. 4:8.
D. He is Sincere, Acts 26:9-11; Phil. 3:4-6.
1. Satan’s lie: “Just be sincere!”
2. Cannot be a Christian without it, 1 Pet. 2:1.
3. But, sincerity doesn’t wash away sins. We can sin, sincerely believing we are doing the right thing!
E. He has been Baptized, Acts 19:1-5.
1. John’s baptism: Had no promise of HS / Of repentance / Believe on the one to come / Not in name of the Lord Jesus, 19:2, 4, 5.
2. Proper method? Rom. 6:4 (immersion)
3. Proper purpose? Mk. 16:16 (1 Pet. 3:21); Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:27
-To be saved, to wash away sins, to get into/put on Christ.
4. Proper result? Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor. 12:13
-To be added to Christ’s church, not the churches of men!
5. Have you been scripturally baptized? If not, you’re not a Christian.
F. He is a Member of a Church, Eph. 4:4.
1. “Church of your choice” is not in Bible!
2. “Church is not important,” Eph. 3:10-11; Acts 20:28 – Eternal purpose, Died for it.
3. Christians are not added to the churches of men; the churches of men are not composed of Christians.
4. Obeying truth puts you into Christ’s church, Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13.
G. He Attends all the Worship Services, cf. Isa. 1:11; Amos 5:21-24.
1. It is vital that we worship God in spirit & in truth, Jno. 4:23-24.
2. It is vital that we do not forsake our assembling, Heb. 10:24-25.
3. But, we can be present & be spiritually dead, 1 Cor. 11:30.
II. ONE IS A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN BECAUSE:
A. First he is Saved from his Past Sins, Eph. 1:7.
1. Obeyed Christ’s plan of salvation (Hear, believe, repent, confess, baptized), Acts 2:40-41; 10:34-35.
2. Are you a Christian?
B. He Lives Faithfully in the Present, Titus 2:11-12; Rom. 6:4; Lk. 6:46.
1. Disciples, Acts 11:26.
2. Full of faith, Acts 6:5; 11:24.
a. Will be religious, moral, sincere, and active in the church, etc.
b. Will be obedient & walk in good works, Eph. 2:10; Heb. 5:9.
c. Are you a faithful Christian? Really?
C. He is Sacrificial and Lives for the Future, Lk. 9:23; 14:33; Phil. 3:7-16, 20.
1. Christ & truth is first in his life; He sacrifices all to put Jesus first.
2. Are you a faithful Christian? Really?
1. This is who is really a Christian! Rom. 8:14 (statement); Gal. 3:26-27 (2:20).
2. Will you be a faithful Christian? Matt. 7:21-23
OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH HAPPENS WHEN WE DO CERTAIN THINGS; “MAKE EVERY EFFORT”
1. Spiritual maturity is desired by all conscientious Christians, Matt. 5:48; Phil. 3:12; Eph. 4:13.
2. “Spiritual maturity” has taken on some unscriptural definitions:
a. “Open-mindedness” (i.e., tolerance/ compromise), 1 Tim. 6:20-21.
b. Always questioning but never being definite, 2 Tim. 3:7.
c. Free-thinking (atheists / agnostics), Rom. 1:21-22.
d. Emotionalism (regardless of revealed truth), Jer. 10:23.
e. Bible knowledge (worthless without obedient faith), 2 Pet. 3:18.
3. teleios: “brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue; of men — full grown, adult, of full age, mature” (Online Bible, #5046).
4. The preaching of the gospel is intended to perfect us in Christ, Col. 1:28. How do we reach and secure our own spiritual maturity?
I. BY PUTTING AWAY CARNAL THINGS.
A. Put Away Sin, 1 Cor. 3:1-3 (Col. 3:5-9).
1. Immaturity / undeveloped spirituality (3:1) will soon give way to anti-spiritual conduct (3:3). Flesh controls rather than the spirit.
2. This causes contentions, strife and sin in our lives (cf. 1:11).
3. With these present we are not maturing; not spiritual mature.
II. BY CULTIVATING YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF TRUTH, 1 Cor. 14:20; Eph. 5:17; Jno. 8:31-32.
A. Word of Christ must be in Our Heart, Col. 3:16; Jas. 1:21.
1. The instrument of our obedience, Jas. 1:22-25 (3:2).
2. Able to answer others, 1 Pet. 3:15.
B. The Mature Wisely Use their Understanding, Jas. 3:13-18.
III. BY BEING MORE AND MORE LIKE CHRIST, Eph. 4:13, 15.
A. The Maturing Christian Measures Himself by Christ.
1. By the stature of His character and conduct, 1 Jno. 2:5-6 (1 Pet. 2:21).
a. Is faith in Christ present? Jno. 8:24
b. Does the humble mind of Christ define you? Phil. 2:5
B. Christ must be Formed in You, Gal. 4.19 (2:20).
IV. BY PROGRESSING BEYOND FIRST PRINCIPLES, Heb 5:12- 6:1 (press beyond first principles to fully develop, 6:1-3).
A. In Your Understanding and Use of God’s Word, 5:11, 13.
-The mature devote themselves to comprehending and using truth.
B. In Your Willingness and Ability to Teach the Truth, 5:12.
-The mature devote themselves to teaching what they have learned.
C. In Your Ability to Discern Right and Wrong, Truth and Error, 5:14; Phil. 1:9-11 (Lk. 12:57; Jno. 7:24).
-The mature are able and willing to discern (judge, separate) sin and error from righteousness and truth.
V. BY OVERCOMING TEMPTATION, 1 Jno. 2:14 (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
A. The Word of God Abides in the Strong, Psa. 119:11.
-This is not merely quoting scripture — It is walking in the truth.
B. By Diligently Increasing in every Fruit of Righteousness, 2 Pet. 1:5-11.
-You can do it! (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12-13)
1. You have a mandate to mature (2 Pet. 3:18).
2. How are you doing?
By the Grace of God!!
1. Grace and works of salvation (designed to merit/earn salvation) do not coexist, Rom. 11:5-6.
2. But, grace and works of faith do coexist, Tit. 2:11-12; Gal. 5:6 (4).
3. False doctrines about grace give comfort to and cover for sin, Jude 4.
Example: You can never be good enough to earn yourself a home in heaven, therefore, sin no longer affects your eternal life. Grace becomes cover for the sins that are committed (“nobody’s perfect” and “everybody does it”). Rom. 6:21-23
4. These false doctrines include:
a. Saved by “grace alone” (irresistible grace), Josh. 24:15; Matt. 11:28.
b. “Cannot fall from grace”, Gal. 5:4.
c. “Continual cleansing”, Rom. 6:1-2; 1 Jno. 1:9. (Imputation of the righteousness of Christ so that God does not see your sin.)
5. Christians stand in and rejoice in “the true grace of God” as we follow the gospel, which commands obedient faith from us in order to be blessed by God in Christ, Lk. 17:9-10.
I. BY THE GRACE OF GOD…
A. Sinners are Saved, Eph. 2:1, 4-7, 8-9.
1. By grace: the source, the gift of mercy and love.
2. Through faith: the sinner’s faith, produced by the gospel.
3. Not of yourselves; Salvation is God’s gift (charis, cf. 1 Cor. 16:3).
B. We are Justified, Rom. 3:24 (Tit. 3:7).
1. Condition: Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
2. Access into grace through faith (not the law of Moses), Rom. 5:1.
C. We are Accepted in the Beloved, Eph. 1:6.
1. Only in Christ is grace bestowed; by grace we are made gracious!
a. charitoo: To make graceful; to honor with blessings.
b. By means of Christ (grace) we are encompassed with favor (1:3).
2. Saved freely by His grace, Rom. 3:24.
3. Only when baptized into Christ, Gal. 3:26-27 (action of faith).
4. Grace is applied and blessings are bestowed when the sinner is baptized, cf. Tit. 3:4-5, 7.
D. I Am What I Am, 1 Cor. 15:10.
1. Paul was appointed to be an apostle (gift, Eph. 4:7, 11).
2. Note: grace labors (works)!
3. Abundant grace saves the lost, 1 Tim. 1:12-16; Eph. 1:7.
II. NOT BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
A. Grace does not make it Impossible for Christians to Sin and Fall Away (to be lost), Gal. 5:3-7; 1:6-9.
1. Grace is greater than sin, but it does not prevent Christians from choosing to sin and losing our souls! Jas. 5:19-20
2. Trusting in God’s grace means keeping oneself from sin.
3. Trusting God’s grace is not ignoring sin as if it has no power to cause you to be lost! 1 Cor. 10:11-13
B. Grace does not Turn Sin into Righteousness, Rom. 6:1-2.
1. Trusting in God’s grace means you make a choice that sin will not reign over you! Rom. 6:11-14; Gal. 2:18
2. Grace does not…
a. Turn vain worship into true worship (as if how we worship does not matter), cf. Lev. 10:1-2 (Jno. 4:24).
b. Turn immorality into purity (as long as we are sincere), cf. unscriptural divorce and remarriage without repentance and ceasing the sins, Rev. 9:20-21.
c. Turn error into truth (word of His grace is true, Acts 20:32); Gal. 2:20-21.
C. Grace does not Sanction Fellowship with Sin or with those who Condone the Practitioners of Sin.
1. The heart is established (founded upon) grace; not upon false doctrines that bind where the Lord has not bound, Heb. 13:9.
2. Nor is grace extended to those who loose where the Lord has not loosed (going beyond the doctrine of Christ forfeits God’s grace), 2 Jno. 9.
3. Those who stand in the grace of God will not have fellowship with those who go beyond the doctrine of Christ, 2 Jno. 10-11.
1. God’s grace does not and will not save you in spite of your sins.
2. God’s grace has appeared and offers salvation to every sinner.
3. The gospel of the grace of God calls the lost to salvation by grace through faith, commanding a willing faith that obeys the Master, Heb. 5:8-9.