Tag Archives: personal faith
PAYING ATTENTION TO THE WARNING SIGNS THAT GOD GIVES
Intro.1. Our daily purpose is to grow to spiritual maturity in Christ, 2 Pet. 3:18 (Heb. 6:1). 2. Our adversary works to prevent this and devour us, 1 Pet. 5:8. 3. Personal faith and spiritual strength combines with the presence and power of God in Christ to protect us from falling away. a. God’s protection, Eph. 6:10-13 (Heb. 4:15-16; 13:5). b. Our faith, 2 Pet. 1:5-10; Eph. 6:13-18; Gal. 6:9. 4. We are in danger of falling if we do not examine our spiritual strength (faith) and devote ourselves to growth! 2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Cor. 10:12-13 5. Danger signs of falling away from God. I. ISOLATION. (“I don’t need/want anybody’s help.”) A. God’s Word Says this is Selfishness, Prov. 18:1. 1. The separatist follows his own desire, will and pleasure: foolish! Prov. 14:12; 28:26 2. He separates himself from the congregation where strength, encouragement, comfort, guidance and protection are found. a. From fellow Christians, Eccl. 4:9-12 (Gal. 6:2). b. From the guidance of God’s truth (Bible). 3. Easy pickings for the devil! Deut. 25:17-18 B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: Where are you now? (Isolated or Involved) 2. Resolve (action): Connect with right people. How? Rom. 12:9-16 II. WORLDLY COUNSELORS. A. The Counselors We Turn to Says a Good Deal about Us (who we are, what we value and where we are going in life). 1. Foolish (evil) counselors, Prov. 1:10-19. a. Rehoboam, 1 Kgs. 12:6-8, 12-14 (appealed to his pride). b. Ahaziah, 2 Chrn. 22:2-4 (exploited by evil). c. False doctrine, 1 Tim. 4:1-2. 2. Wise counselors, Prov. 11:14 (15:22; 24:5-6). a. The counsel of God’s word, Psa. 119:24 (17-24). b. Fellow Christians (elders, etc.). B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: Where are you now? Psa. 1:1-2 2. Resolve (action): Seek out and follow godly counsel, Prov. 3:1-4. III. FRIENDSHIPS. A. Our Friends Will Either Hurt Us or Help Us. -Companions affect character! 1 Cor. 15:33 1. Superficial and worldly? a. Fair-weathered and self-serving, Prov. 19:6. b. Birds of a feather flock together (Matt. 5:46-47). c. Entice you to sin? Prov. 1:10 2. Genuine and godly? a. Do you share a common faith, values and goals? Titus 1:4 b. Tells you what you need to hear! Prov. 27:6, 9 c. You become better and stronger spiritually because of them, Prov. 17:17. B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: Are my friends hindering or helping me grow in Christ? 2. Resolve (action): Be Christ’s friend and choose your friends wisely! Jno. 15:14 IV. FAILURE TO PRAY. Lk. 18:1, 8 A. Prayer Suggests a Healthy Relationship with God, Heb. 4:16. -Of course, people pray who have no relationship with God, Lk. 18:11 1. Christian: Did you think to pray? Lk. 11:1-4; 1 Ths. 5:17 2. Christian: Have you stopped praying? a. Not depending on God. b. Not being thankful to God. c. Not trusting in God. d. You are exposed to the devil, sin and death! B. Review and Resolve (2 Cor. 13:5): 1. Review: What place does prayer have in your life? 2. Resolve (action): Repent and start praying, Mk. 1:35-37. a. Give prayer priority and consistency (Lk. 5:16). b. Pray for others (not just yourself), and be thankful, Phil. 4:6.
Conclusion1. We must see the danger signs that warn of spiritual catastrophe! 2. Be steadfast by abounding in the work of the Lord, 1 Cor. 15:58.
“WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TEACH ABOUT OUR BOLDNESS”
1. One of the temptations we face & must overcome is the fear & shame of being a Christian, Mk. 8:38; Rom. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:8.
2. Christians are to live in confident hope and assurance in Christ, Heb. 3:6 (10:19, 35; Eph. 3:12).
3. God’s people need boldness! But, what is boldness? And, in what areas of our lives must we be bold?
I. DEFINING BOLDNESS.
A. It is Courage and Confident Assurance.
1. Phil. 1:20 (parrhesia): Contrasted with shame; Freedom, unreserved; Courage to live and die for Christ.
2. Phil. 1:14 (tolmao): “To dare to do” – Action that proceeds from being confident (here, speaking the word of God without fear); cf. Mk. 15:43, to “take courage” / to act without fear.
B. It is to Act with Plainness, Frankness, and Openness.
1. Without ambiguity, Mk. 8:31-32 (parrhesia).
-cf. Jno. 7:13 (openly) with Jno. 7:26 (also in Jno. 10:24).
2. Not concealed or secret, Jno. 18:20 (cf. 2 Cor. 3:12-13).
C. It is to Act without Hesitation or Reservation.
1. Speak freely in face of opposition & conflict, Acts 4:29, 31 (parrhesia).
2. Without hesitation (because we have a great high priest, Heb. 4:16 (14-15).
D. Boldness is Not…
1. Rude toward others (considerate).
2. Bullying another person (kind).
3. Arrogant toward others (humble).
* Summary: “A courageous confidence that causes one to speak and act openly, without hesitation or reservation.”
II. CHRISTIANS NEED BOLDNESS:
A. In our Personal Faith.
1. 2 Tim. 1:7-8, 12: Disposition of courage to believe & to live openly for Jesus (must know Him).
2. 2 Pet. 1:5: Moral courage to live our faith.
3. Prov. 28:1: Righteousness stirs up boldness due to our faith, cf. Phil. 1:27-30.
4. Our faith must be courageous, open & unhesitatingly committed to obeying Christ.
B. In our Homes.
1. Confidence to arrange our homes after God’s design (marriage, headship, parental responsibilities, obedient children – cf. Gen. 18:19).
2. In the face of the world’s opposition & immoral agendas for family:
a. Marriage “out-dated” / Same-sex marriage / Headship is chauvinistic / Parents must not spank children / Children given the run of the house.
b. Humanism has devoured the family in America.
3. Christians need to boldly oppose such destructive changes, as well as boldly stand up for God’s design of the home, Eph. 5:22, 25; 6:1, 4.
a. Plainness: Standards must be sent and obeyed.
b. Without hesitation: Assured that God’s arrangement of the home is right.
C. In the Local Church (2 Cor. 7:4).
1. Courage to participate & serve (1 Tim. 3:13: Deacons who serve well gain a good standing & great boldness in the faith).
a. Serve where & when you can without hesitation.
b. Have courage to encourage others, to teach, exhort, warn, to grow.
2. Openness needed to strengthen brotherly relationships in Christ, Heb. 2:11. Christ is not ashamed of us – some act like they are ashamed to call others (or be called) their brethren!
3. Without hesitation we must work toward the growth & strengthening of the church (Eph. 4:16).
D. In Teaching and Defending the Word of God, Acts 4:29, 31; 9:29.
1. Speak the gospel with confidence & openness, Eph. 6:19-20.
2. Speak the gospel without fear or shame, Phil. 1:14 (Rom. 15:15).
3. Clearly, openly (Jesus, Jno. 18:20).
4. We need clear Bible teaching that exposes sin & commands obedience (like Jesus and the apostles preached).
5. Courage to oppose error, Acts 13:44-46.
a. Easy to cave in when opposition occurs, Acts 9:29; 19:8.
b. Must preach w/ courage even in conflict, 1 Ths. 2:2 (Gal. 2:11, 14).
E. In the Day of Judgment, 1 Jno. 2:28 (confidence, parrhesia).
1. By abiding in Christ (obeying His truth), 1 Jno. 2:24-25.
2. By living in love, there is no fear…no punishment, 1 Jno. 4:16-19 (cf. Rev. 21:8).
1. Do not fear man – be confident to live in Christ & be a faithful Christian, Matt. 10:28.
2. The Lord’s presence, His power & the promise of His word gives us boldness to live by faith, Heb. 13:5-6
“A BIBLICAL LOOK AT OUR SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES”
1. Sacrifice (thusia): “The act of offering; then, objectively, that which is offered” (Vine). Used of idolatrous, Acts 7:41; of animals offered under the Law, Heb 10:1; of Christ, Eph 5:2.
2. 1 Pet 2:5: Sacrifices have certain characteristics to be acceptable to God:
a. Presentation (Lev 1:3-5; Rom 12:1).
b. Personal (Lev 1:2; Rom 12:1).
c. Value, 2 Sam 24:18, 21-25.
d. Conform to God’s prescribed manner, Lev 9:15-16.
3. “Nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” (2 Sam 24:24)
4. cf. The cost of our sacrifices… (God…Jesus; Abraham…Isaac) Rom 5:8; Heb 11:17-19.
I. THE SACRIFICE OF YOUR FAITH, Phil 2:17.
A. We Present our Faith to God, Heb 11:6 (cf. Abel, 11:4).
B. The Sacrifice of Faith is the Christian’s Life and Conduct is the Expression of Personal Faith, Phil 2:17.
1. The fruits of righteousness (love, spiritual discernment), 1:9-11.
2. Unity of faith; Opposition to Satan, 1:27.
3. Suffering for Christ, 1:29-30 (1 Pet 4:16).
4. Working out your salvation (bring it to completion), 2:12-13.
5. Without murmuring, hold forth word of life, 2:14-16.
-Does the faith we present to God please Him? Jas 2:14, 24, 26
II. THE SACRIFICE OF OUR BODY (LIVING), Rom 12:1.
A. Present our Bodies to God to Fulfill His Will in Our Lives.
1. Body is to be a living, active instrument in God’s service.
2. Body is for the Lord, 1 Cor 6:13.
3. Present (yield) our body to God to practice righteousness – not to lust practice uncleanness, Rom 6:12-14; (cf. 1 Jno 2:29).
4. We must abstain from sexual sins and the defilement of the flesh, 1 Ths 4:1-8 (Rom 13:13-14).
a. Abstain from sinful uses of body: Drinking, dancing, fornication, lewdness, immodesty, 1 Pet 4:3-4.
b. Practice service, love, speech and obedience to God.
5. Cleanse our heart so the use our body will be clean, Mk 7:20-23.
III. THE SACRIFICE OF MATERIAL GOODS TO HELP OTHERS, Phil 4:18.
A. Helping those in Need, Gal 6:10; 1 Tim 6:17-19; 2 Cor 9:7, 12-15; 1 Jno 3:16-17. -As individuals (all) and as a church (needy saints).
B. Supporting Preachers in their Work, Phil 4:15-16; Gal 6:6 (share, partner). -As a church and as individuals.
C. God is Pleased with these Sacrifices, Heb 13:16 (Matt 25:34-40).
IV. THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE, Heb 13:15.
A. God is Praised when We Confess His Name in our Lives, Matt 10:32-33 (Rev 2:13).
B. Our Assembled Worship Provides this Opportunity, Heb 10:24-25.
1. Neglect of worship is a refusal to offer God the sacrifice of praise, cf. Psa 42:4.
2. Worship involves seeking God’s favor as we give Him homage, cf. 2 Sam 24:25 (Zech 8:20-23).
1 Pet 2:5: For the Christian, every act of faith, every word of praise, every pure thought, every service rendered, every obedient act, is a spiritual sacrifice made to God (Rom 12:1).