Taking A Stand On the Truth of God

The Blessing of Standing for the Truth

Book of Ephesians 6:10-24

We are advised many times in the Scriptures to be strong. As Christians our character must have two sides.

We must cease to do evil and have a hatred of all evil while not hating those who do that evil.
We must also learn to do good in full view of all those that hate us.

As we struggle daily between these two things we will realize that the Christian life is a battlefield.

As Christians we will realize we are in a constant struggle in this evil world!
As long as we are in our flesh we will also be in a constant battle with our flesh!

It takes a brave Christian to always do right in every situation.

What is the one thing we must understand? We have a Father that this world can never overcome!

*****Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

We think of the Apostle Paul as the greatest of all Christian missionaries but when he says brethren he comes down to our level!

The Apostle Paul became a very humble man once he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.

We should also understand that as believers, we become Christian soldiers. There are foes outside the church that will seek to cause us harm but there are also foes within the Church who seek to destroy it.

We are at peace with God and we have the peace of God, knowing what lies in our future, but day to day we are in a war with evil!

It is the brethren who make up the army of God!

We can be strong because our Lord is strong!
We can be strong because of the power of His might!

Deu 20:4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

If we become weak Christians, we will perish in this war! When our strength lies in the Lord, we are never alone at any time and we can never perish because He will never forsake us!

We must overcome the battle we have with our flesh, while we battle with the evils of this world.

In our studies in the Book of Ephesians we have seen that we must be mature Christians.
We must have a renewed mind.
We must have a changed behavior.
We must understand God’s will for us.
We must understand our relationship with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We have now been prepared and it is time we get into this battle! We must stand for the truth!

We are on the road to Heaven, Satan will try to stop us, but our power comes from on High and our Lord witnessed the time when Satan was tossed out of Heaven.

Luk_10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Satan is on the losing side, but we must still dress right, we must wear the armor of God!

*****Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

As I was taught in the military, we must know the strengths of our enemy and prepare to counter act his strengths.

Without the armor of God, we will not be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. This is a simple enough reason to be obedient to the entire Word of God!

God has prepared us armor for every part of our bodies except the back, we are to always face our enemy because to turn and run from the devil means, he has won you as his servant.

There are many times in the Scriptures where we are told to wait on the Lord but even while we are waiting on a specific answer from God, we are still to be moving forward in this war with our flesh and this war with the devil.

We already know this armor has been tested and proven because it is the devil who must flee from the Christian who stands on the truth.

Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The armor of God is another gift of God’s “Grace” because there is no weapon of our own that can defend us!

This may seem to be a form of works to those on the outside, but it is only living the life of the Christian.

The Christian armor is not designed for show but to be put in use for our own safety and God says to take the whole armor which means, we are not safe when we just wear the part of the armor that we choose to wear!

Satan does not possess the strength to take on the Lord for he would surely loose and he has already lost every battle, but we do not have the strength to face Satan alone without the armor of God.

Why do we need God’s armor? God also gives us this answer. It is because our war is not really with any human being, even those that are enemies to the Church.

*****Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

If we cannot obey the Lord in this thing, we will never conquer the greatest enemies of our life!

We must understand we are in a spiritual battle!

To wrestle is to struggle, to strive, to contend and we can add to resist.

As we know Paul has used athletic forms many times and to wrestle is a contest between two people, one trying to overcome and pin the other to the ground. We are never to allow Satan or those who possess supernatural powers to pin us down!

What is it that each of us who believe must wrestle and win?

Principalities, the power of that Satan uses to control those that reject the Lord.

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

As we war with the darkness of this world, we must not get entangled with the affairs of this life.

2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

As Christian soldiers we must always listen to our God, our Father in Heaven.

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

We should understand, it is not any man who teaches the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ, it is Christ Himself through the Holy Spirit!

As we look at our world we can see that the forces of evil are very powerful.

The forces of evil are very numerous.

The evil in our world is organized!

These forces of evil are also those who rule the darkness in our world!

Those in the Light of Jesus go to Heaven.

Those who are in the darkness of this world go to Hell, and then on to the Burning Lake of Fire.

Those who are in darkness do not know this or they are willingly ignorant of these things!

There are also those who do not know where they are, but they refuse to believe that there are spiritual forces behind the evil in this world!

Most of these are to so-called intellectuals who highly educated and are willing contributers to the evil of this world.

It is these that say that Christians live in the “Dark Ages”.

Satan can only be in one place at a time, but he is constantly moving about in this world.

Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

We must understand that God, just because He is God, must always tell the truth!

God would not say there was an evil force in this world, if it was not true!

God would not say that this evil force has access to the spirit of mankind, if it were not true!

It is Satan that rules over this evil force and his followers.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Satan rules all those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ, but he cannot touch the child of God without God’s permission and God will allow this from time to time, but Satan cannot take away the salvation of any child of God at any time!

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

God knows what He is doing!

God provides the necessary armament for each of His children and this armament comes with instructions!

*****Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The war that we face as Christians is a spiritual warfare, but God will equip us even for this war.

Holy Spirit by the hands of Paul has given us the material we need to remain strong in this war.

We need the armor designed by God, no other armor will keep us safe!

In all the great armies of this world, there were deserters and they received heavy punishment in most all cases.

In all great armies of the world, there was a time of retirement.

We must clearly understand that in the Army of God there is no retirement date! Every soldier in God’s Army is to stand upon His truth!

It is our duty as God’s children to put on the armor of God every day. We must withstand this day of evil!

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The phrase “having done all” refers the armor of God.

*****Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

We could say we must where the belt of truth! We do not wear the belt of truth unless we understand that it is “all” the Word of God that is relevant and not in bits and pieces.

2Ti 3:16 “All scripture” is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The belt is used to hold the soldiers clothing close to his body just as we are to hold the truth of God close to us!
The truth of God must be so solid in our inward parts that it shows in our outward parts!

How is our Lord described?

Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Luk 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

We must also wear the breastplate of righteousness.

The righteousness of God is the perfection of His nature.

Psa 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

By ourselves we will never be perfect, but we have the perfect Holy Trinity living within us, if we belong to the Lord.

Righteousness is doing things right and all the right things are listed for us in the truth of the Word of God.

But we must also protect our feet!

We must trust in “Gospel” enough that the “Gospel” will direct our every step which is needed considering the journey we have to go and this race that God has given us to run.

When we stand on these things, that time we walk in the valleys will be short and we can spend more time on the mountain top!

The breast plate of righteousness is designed to protect our heart, which holds to the truth of the Lord.

2Co_3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Above all these other things we have the shield of “faith”.

It is our “faith” which will quench the fiery darts of Satan.
It is our “faith” that will cause us to avoid temptations.
It is our “faith” that will give us the strength to just tell the devil to go back where he came from!

When know the truth of God we will never question our salvation.
We will never question the call of the Holy Spirit.
We will never doubt God’s ability to save.
We will never become defeated Christians, because we are on the winning side!

We must also realize that our head is that part which must carefully needs to be defended!

One heavy stroke to our head can be fatal.

Our thinking ability is our greatest tool to claim victory and reject defeat!

We must have so much confidence in the promises of God that they become a reality within us!

These all the things that we need to defend against the attack of the devil, but God also equips us to go on offence.

The sword of the Spirit

Satan may know some of the Word of God having been around for so long. He may be even able to quote part of the Scriptures, but the truth is Satan cannot withstand a continuous assault of the Word of God.

When take our shield which covers us head to toe and our sword, the Word of God, Satan will go a running.

It is true that we must defend ourselves against Satan, but we must also attack Satan and hit him where it hurts with the Word of God.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We attack Satan, when we stand on the Word of God and do not compromise with the ways of the world.
We attack Satan, when we battle our flesh and win every day.

The Word of God is our greatest weapon, our “Faith” is our greatest defense but our prayer to our Holy Father is our greatest tool and will lead to our greatest resource.

It is just a great honor and privilege to step right in to the throne room of our Holy, All Powerful God!

*****Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The Lord, by the Holy Spirit, has just described to us in words that are easy to understand saying that as Christians and the Saints of God, we had better wake up to the fact that we are in a war with the evil in this world.

Our war is not with the flesh of those who partake of this evil.

We first must overcome the evil in our own lives and we do this by giving our complete self over to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we grow in the “grace” of God and face the battles ahead, we are to tell the story of Jesus to all whom we contact, while defending ourselves against the evil in this world.

We can have no strength without the Holy Spirit, we cannot have the Holy Spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ, we cannot have the Lord Jesus Christ without acknowledging the plan of salvation from our Father in Heaven.

Every child of God is equipped for this war, but the question remains, will you get into this battle.

These things start with prayer and it will be prayer that will carry us through to victory!

We must pray and then we must pray and then we must pray again, and this prayer must be in the Spirit!

Remember prayer is not always about asking, in most cases we just need assurance. Many times, we just need to talk but every time we need to take the time to listen.

We must realize there is nothing we can say to God that He does not already know. The Lord just wants us to be sure about what we are asking Him to do. and how it is going to affect others.

An answered prayer carries the force of the Almighty God!

Take a look at Paul’s request.

Paul said “put me on your prayer list, because we must always pray for one another.

We must always pray that the Word of God will reach all this world.

We must pray that the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ reaches all those who are lost so they will get the opportunity to make a choice about accepting the “Gospel” as the truth that it is.

We must pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ who are all in the same battle with evil that we are!

Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Luk 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

What exactly is our job as Christians? “To boldly make known the mystery of the “Gospel”. The same job that Paul had!

The same job the other Apostles had!

The same job our own Pastor has!

Even while Paul was chained to Roman soldiers, he professed the “Gospel”.

Even while Paul was locked up in jail, he professed the “Gospel”

Even throughout all the sufferings of the Apostle Paul, he never once stopped professing the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Even Paul could not go himself with his “good news” he sent others that he trusted to proclaim the “Gospel”.

*****Eph 6:21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
Eph 6:22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

When we face the war with our own flesh every day we occasionally need some encouragement

Notice that Tychicus was a beloved brother.
Notice that Tychicus was a faithful minister.

This is all the information that this church needed if they truly trusted the Apostle Paul.

To this day not much more is known about this godly man. In fact, what else does anyone need to know about any of us other than we are brothers or sisters in Christ and faithful ministers of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

What else needs to be known of any of us?

Even God has chosen not to remember our past. It is the New Man Tychicus that these Ephesians will get to meet.

Tychicus would inform these Ephesians about the Apostle Paul for sure but he would also know if this church was true to the “Gospel” and take that information back to the Apostle Paul.

If we are not faithful to the Word of God, it will show when we have those who come to visit our places of worship.

We can always learn many things from Paul as he closes his epistles.

*****Eph 6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Paul is a spiritual brother to every believer and Paul gave no consideration of himself, but he would always give consideration to all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Paul loved the Church and it showed!

The Apostle Paul was a prayer warrior for the Church.

Paul prayed for the peace of the brethren in this church and we should also do this.

Paul prayed for all to now the love of Jesus Christ.

Paul prayed that love for Christ would come because of their faith in His promises.

Paul prayed that each one of them knew the “Grace” of God that could come only by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you know the “Grace” that comes by Jesus Christ?

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Building Christian Relationships

The Blessings of Christian Relationships

Book of Ephesians 6:1-9

The world may offer many different solutions to have the right relationships but only Jehovah God has the right answers!

Remember that Paul is writing to the Church!

It is hard to have good relationships outside the family until we have the right relationships within the family.

One of the greatest problems we have in America today is with those that are called the millennials.

Those supposedly of higher learning have placed this label upon “our young adult generation”.

Who are the Millennials? (The world describes them as) The millennial generation is the generation of children born between 1982 and 2002, some 81 million children who have taken over K-12, have already entered college and the workforce.

Notice in this definition that they are still considered to be “children” rather than “young adults”.

This is the beginning of the problem with dealing with this age group!

It reminds me of “DACA” where these people are still called children when the average age of them is 40 years who never made an attempt to become a U.S. citizen. Just like those Millennials they think the world owes them everything.

The millennials are those who have reached adulthood at the beginning of the 21st Century who have not yet grown up or at least the majority of them have not.

This problem came about because the Word of God is no longer in the government. It is rejected!

This problem came about because the Word of God is no longer in the schools. It is forbidden!

This problem came about because the Word of God is longer in the homes. This is the place where the problems with our younger generation could have been corrected!

The greatest problem is, we have allowed the government to dictate the needs of our children and not the parents.

Our generation can be described as the age of problem children and those evil adults who prey on their young minds!

Our generation can be best described as the age of improper parenthood!

We know we live in a less than perfect world and many things may have to just play out, but as Christian parents and grandparents we must do our very best to obey the Word of God in this world and especially in our homes.

Obedience in the home is the place where we can do the most good!

Ephesians chapter 6 verse 1 says

*****Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

All children everywhere are to obey the just commands of their parents!

But we see the root of the problem right here in this Scripture, most parents are “not in the Lord”.

That word “obey” means to “submit to”.

If we have not submitted to the Lord, how can we expect our children to submit to us!

These Scriptures are written to the Christian family, so as parents, the greatest example we can be to our children and our grandchildren, is submit to the Lord and follow in the ways of the Lord.

If we as parents or even grandparents are not obedient to the Lord, then why should we demand that respect from our children?

We must correct our children, but this does not mean physical abuse!

Small children may require a spanking but there are many forms of discipline for the older children, but none include physical abuse!

Pro_22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Pro_23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

Pro_29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

That word “rod” in these Scriptures means “a method of correction” because what works for one child may not work for another child.

If our “words” do not work, then some other method will be required.

We must understand that most all children will hold onto their wrong doing with great tenacity! They are born with the same sin nature that we have.

The key to discipline is to be sure that the child is aware of why he or she is punished!

The parent must be aware that the real reason for any punishment, is to prevent the destruction of that child by this evil world we live in.

One of the greatest problems with our children is that they are left alone much too often while both parents or even a single parent tries to provide for them.

We must also remember our children are never to obey the parents in anything that goes against the Word of God.

This is another Scripture that says, God will hold the parent accountable for that child if we go against the Word of God!

The child has every right to get away from the ungodly home!

Remember the Lord Jesus Christ came to this world to free us from ungodly abuse and the Lord is very serious about these things!

Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

God will not tolerate the abuse of any child!

If those parents are godly parents, then that child is to obey them!

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

As godly children, they also need to be familiar with the Word of God and be taught the Ten Commandments, so they will begin to have an understanding of what God considers to be sin.

Those commandments were given to this world, to see how we measure up to the sinless Son of God, who had no sin in His life!

*****Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Eph 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

To honor our parents is to realize the great value of having Christian parents!

We also see in this passage that God makes very real promises to those children who honor their Christian parents.

We must know that when the Lord makes a promise it is a binding declaration!

When we toss out the promises of God, then how can we say we have “faith”!

To honor our parents is just the beginning of realizing of a long life that could lead to an eternal life if they also give their hearts to the Lord!

Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: “that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee”.

There is a second promise here.

God says, things will go well for the children who honor their parents!

This means that the Lord will help those children to live a victorious life again, if they give their heart to Jesus!

It is the godly family at home that will also realize the importance of the Church, where all the family of God will gather together.

To honor means that those parents or grandparents must be very precious to each of us!

To honor our Lord Jesus Christ, is to know that He is very precious in this life and holds the gift of eternal life, because He is life!

Jas_1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, “which the Lord hath promised to them that love him”.

When we honor someone, we will do the things that make them happy!

We should also realize that when this passage talks of children, it does not refer to any age group because even as we age, we are to honor our Christian parents as long as they live!

A child who honors their parents and grandparents will not do any wrong!

God also has many other promises.

Deu 27:16 “Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother”. And all the people shall say, Amen.

The parents also have obligations!

*****Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”.

As parents we have this great responsibility!

Children are a blessing given to us from God Himself!

Gen 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, “The children which God hath graciously given thy servant”.

As Christian parents, we are to love our children and remember, love is an action word and not just words that come out of our mouths.

Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, “to love their children”,

As Christian parents, we are to lead our children to the Lord no matter their age!

Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

We are to do for our children, just as the Lord does for each of His children!

Isa 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: “the father to the children shall make known thy truth”.

We must realize that family life has its origin in Heaven!

Each family is to be little world reflection of the family of God!

Each family is to be a little world reflection of God’s church!

God will punish His own children who show open defiance of His Word and as parents we must punish our own child who show open defiance to our words, but our words must be according to the Word of God!

We must not over control any child. Remember God gives each of us the freedom of choice, but He also cautions us to know that choices also bring consequences that we will have to endure. This is a great lesson for the child to learn early in his or her days! Choices bring consequences!

There should be a balance between home life and life outside the doors of that home.

We are to train up that child in a godly manner and pray that they will use that training in every decision that they make when they are out in the world!

If we are over protective of our children, they will become discouraged and through this discouragement make bad choices.

The other side of this this is, if we to over control our children they will take advantage of us!

This is the biggest problem in the family today. We pamper our children. We try to give them anything they want. We give in to their desires without questioning them.

It is also true that the parent needs some free time but never at the expense of losing that child to the world!

We must live our lives according to the Word of God if we expect our children to live by our words!

When we tell a child not to do something and then we turn around and do those things in their sight, we will certainly cause problems with that child and in that home!

Jer 9:14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, “which their fathers taught them”:

We are to raise our children according to our own thought and ways, we are to raise our children according to the Word of God!

The Word of God is to be the guide for the entire family and not just the children!

If we have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, then our children will realize that this is the way they should be.

And if our children have given themselves to the Lord, then we need to disciple them as well as being taught ourselves.

Life is full of pitfalls and temptations which can destroy the family, and this must be the thing that we try to avoid the most!

Lam 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: “lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street”.

As Christians we must pray that our children will be hungry for the Word of God just as we must also be.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

God wrote these words not just for the adult but also for the children.

All these things should follow us in every facet of our lives!

*****Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

We must clearly understand that the problem with this world we live in is not an economic problem, but it is a spiritual problem and it begins in each home.

There were millions of slaves in the Roman Empire in the days of the Apostle Paul. It is said, that the number could be as high as 60 million slaves.

This leaves us no doubt that many of these slaves became Christians and the Holy Spirit caused Paul to address these things.

Most all the things we learn here in these Scriptures we can carry over into the work place of today!

The Lord did not allow the Jews to have slaves and we can understand that this is still the same for all Christians today, but it cannot be denied that slavery was a large part of the world of that day and slavery is much more widespread today than is covered by any news source, or reported by any governments, including the United Nations!

The New Testament has a lot to say about slavery!

As we go through these things lets also consider that slaves of that day had no rights at all, they were considered nothing more than a piece of merchandise!

It is not proper to change anything in the Bible but let’s just think of the word “employee” in the place of the word “servants” as we look at this passage.

As employees, we are to follow the instructions of our employer.

“According to the flesh” means that these employers are to be obeyed in the workplace.

The phrase with “fear and trembling” does not mean to work with the fear of men but to work with the “fear of God” which really means to understand what God is teaching in this passage.

As Christians, no matter our positions in the workplace or any other place, we are never to bring reproach upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in the things that we do!

Psa 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them “that trust in thee before the sons of men”!

No matter who we are or what we do, when we undertake to serve individuals or even the public for any sort wage or payment, we must do so according to the will of God in our lives!

As Christians, if we receive a payment for some service we are providing, then we are to work with singleness of heart as if we are providing that service for Jesus Christ.

We must be devoted to our work and not just pretending to be a good workman!

1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We do not quit being owned of God no matter what we do! We are bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ!

We are never to do anything to please men, all our work is to please God!

Whether our boss is looking at us or not looking at us while we work, we should accomplish our work as if the Lord is watching “because He is”.

We are to work from our heart that has been changed by the Lord, no matter what we do or who we do it for!

Exo 23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

We must realize that it is an honor and a privilege to serve the Lord even while we are serving others!

We must realize that the “Grace” of God makes us servants of God even while we are servants of men!

Grace enables us to do the business of Heaven, while we are attending to the business of earth.

This may sound funny, but we are to come out from the evils of this world, even while we are still among them!

No matter where we are, or what we are doing, as long as it is not immoral or unjust labor, we are to work diligently as if we were working for the Lord!

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, “forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”.

The result of such a diligent work habit will reflect on an equal reward from the Lord!

We will always receive our rewards based upon effort no matter who we are, because God is no respecter of persons.

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

We must also remember, God is not going to hold these things over our head, God is truly wanting to bless each and every one of us, but He does expect us to do right after He has given us the gift of His “Grace” which came by our “faith”.

*****Eph 6:8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

It does not matter if we are a slave or a CEO of some large company, we are to be diligent in our workplace!

No matter how hard our job, no matter how difficult our job, God rewards us for the effort in doing that job right!

Jesus Christ gave of Himself in everything He did, even giving His life for all of us!

We must also remember craving recognition for our service, can become a disease.

Isa 3:11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

Even today, there are many Christians who cannot do anything unless the world knows about it. They will then have lost any reward they could have had!

Pro 11:18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

We should remember the slave, who would work in hope of a future day of freedom and release from that bondage.

It should be the same for the Christian, we should work for the future, that day of perfection when we will meet the Lord in the air.

Nothing upon this earth has the importance of that day!

It is the day the Lord gathers His redeemed! After all, as Christians we know that this is the next thing on God’s agenda.

1Co 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

The Lord has given the workman many things that become the Christian service, even at his workplace and to those who serve, and even to those who are the slaves in this modern-day world, but the Lord also has instructions for those who are masters.

*****Eph 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

Notice the master is to do all the same things as the worker, or the slave!

The master is to treat the workman in the same way as they are to treat him!

These masters, or foremen, or supervisors, and all such people, are to follow the same principles of God as the worker!

We are all humans created by the Jehovah God, through Jesus Christ!

We all have the same Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits on the throne in Heaven, taking account of all things upon this earth.

To the Lord, the master on earth and the slave (the worker) are one and the same, when they belong to Him.

Col 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
The Lord will reward, or He will punish according to the character we have shown here on earth no matter who we are or what place in society we are a part of!

As Christians we must be loyal to all our responsibilities until the Lord takes us home. This includes the family, including our Christian family, the workplace, the community and especially the Church where God has placed us.

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

There is to no one and in no place, are we to be in a threatening manner. We are all accountable to the Lord for every action we take!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Christian Home

The Blessing of a Christian Home

Book of Ephesians 5:22-33

Before there was sin in the world God had already established the family.

Before there was a Church in the world, Satan had already made plans to destroy each and every family.

One of the greatest truths in all the Scripture was the passage we ended with last week.

Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

In this passage the word “fear” is just like we understand it. We can expect to see the wrath of God if we ignore His commandments!

Fear is the passion of our nature which causes us to try to provide for our own security, expecting some evil to come.

It is the very next passage that we will see the first example of submitting to one another and it is the marriage.

The Bible is specific, a legal marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.

Note: This does not include those who claim an opposite gender. We are the gender we were born with!

God does not make mistakes!

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

The marriage is to be the greatest example of the marriage of the Church to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Rev 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Many of us have failed while we were out in the world but knowing the Lord we should not allow this to happen again.

The Lord Jesus said we were ignorant of the truth of God and God is willing to forgive even this sin if we ask, but we will still endure the hardships of this broken relationship.

Thank goodness for the “Grace” of God that began with His “love” then His “mercy”.

When we submit to one another, we are surrendering to the power, to the will, and to the authority of another!

It should be obvious that these Scriptures describe the perfect marriage and the perfect family, but these must still be our goals.

*****Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

We must consider that “submission” is in fact the will of God and submission begins as we submit to the Lord.

We must always remember, God is a God of order!

We should remember what happened after Adam was disobedient to God being influenced by Eve. Adam allowed the love for his wife to come between him and the love for his Heavenly Father. This is the first step to a broken marriage!

Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

The wife is to be in submission to their “own” husband, unless where God forbids. They are never to be in submission to anyone else as they submit to their own husband.

The obedience of the wife is at the same time the obedience paid to Jesus Christ!

Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, “as it is fit in the Lord”.

No one, wife or husband, is to come between us and Christ!

Which means only Christ the Lord is to come between husband and wife!

In case you are not listening, these are the commandments of God and not suggestions!

If we are walking according to our Christian walk, as we have been learning throughout this great book of the Bible, “we will be walking down the path the Lord has chosen for us”. It is only then we will know to take on a wife or a husband. It is only then that we can experience a loving and peaceful relationship under the watchful eyes of the Lord and be a benefit and blessing to Him!

Only after we have experienced the love of the Lord will we be capable to show that love to another human being!

Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

As the woman loves the Lord, she can please the Lord if she submits herself to her husband!

In other words, God instructs all wives to walk in the “spirit” of submission with their husbands!

We are all to please the Lord so, the Christian wives are to set their lives upon pleasing the Lord and then pleasing their husbands.

We should understand the Christian marriage is a partnership of two, one man and one woman, in the service of the Lord!

1Co 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
1Co 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Each Christian family is to be the beginnings of a godly society!

We must also completely understand that God sees both the man and the woman as equals!

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

This marriage of this man and this woman is to be God’s example of His relationship to the Church!

*****Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, “so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”.

As God is speaking of the man being the head of the woman, God is speaking of function and order within the organization of the Church.

Every working organization will have a head and Jesus Christ is the Head of the church just as He is to be the Head of each family!

Just as Jesus Christ is the Savior of every believer, He is also the Savior of the Church!

The husband and wife relationship will work when they both desire “to please” rather than a desire “to be pleased”!

The true husband will govern his own household in the image of Jesus Christ who governs the Church!

The husband and wife relationship that is not working well, will also restrict their prayer life.

1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

The Christian husband and Christian wife relationship that is going sour, can also ruin the testimony of the Christian family.

Tit 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, “that the word of God be not blasphemed”.

We must completely understand, that none of these things show that God says the woman is inferior to the man. These things all mean that God is a God of order and discipline.

In fact, the true family will rest upon that godly wife!

Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Pro 31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
Pro 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

There can never be two heads in any organization for that organization to work properly, and the family will not work without order and neither will the Church that the Lord built with His own blood!

*****Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

How does God love each of us? God has a selfless and unselfish love for each of us.

A giving love!

A sacrificial love.

A love of the mind as well as a love from the heart.

A love of commitment.

God’s love, is a love that commits itself to the will of each believer.

This is the same love that the husband is to have for the wife!

This is also the love the Lord has for the true church, which is the object of our Savior’s love!

The true church is made up of those who “were” defiled until they realized they needed a Savior!

By nature, the church is useless but, by God’s “grace” and the Holy Spirit, the church is a major force against the evils and the immorality of this world. “All because of the Father’s love for His Dear Son, and the Son’s love for us all”.

Joh 3:16 For God “so loved” the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus Christ loves His church!

The same standard of the husbands love for his wife is the love Jesus Christ has for His church!

We must remember the order of creation. The woman was made from man, after man, and for the man.

It is the duty of each man to love his own wife as Jesus Christ loves His Church.

***Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The husband’s love must be set apart and cleansed, just as the church.

To sanctify means to be set apart.

1) When a man has asked a woman for her hand in marriage, “then he must set himself apart” for her and her alone!

This means making an unbroken commitment to the wife he has chosen!

When the wife accepts her husband then she must also set herself apart, only for him.

Those that refuse to do so are already in a defiled marriage!

Just as the love the Lord has for the Bride of Christ, the husbands love, must be a sacrificial love!

2) Again, just as the Lord, the Lamb of God, the husband must remain without spot or wrinkle.

Spots would be abuse and mistreatment, loose behavior, immorality and other such things.

Wrinkles would be temper and reaction to temper, broken promises, neglect, selfishness, and rejection.

It is obvious that most every marriage is dependent on the love of the husband!

Very few wives would reject such love as a love that was like that of Christ for His church!

Again, what was the prayer of Jesus Christ?

Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

A marriage that is washed in the truth of the Word of God has the best chance of being a lasting marriage!

Therefore, God is so critical of divorce in such a marriage as two Christians in a marriage!

The Lord Jesus Christ will one day soon present a perfect church to His Father in Heaven as His bride and as Christians we will one day have reach this perfection.

This must be the goal of marriage, that the husband can present himself with that perfect everlasting partner in life!

Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Those who cannot love themselves have no business claiming to love someone else!

*****Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

We should see that the word “So” refers to the previous verse.

If that wife has not become a living breathing part of that husband, then to say he does not love her is to say that he does not love himself.

So, becomes the sin of that man!

This of course means that he is to love and cherish and provide for his wife, just as much as he loves and cherishes and provides for himself!

It is obvious that a marriage is a big step to take for every couple and these things should be taken into consideration.

It is also just as obvious that a marriage that is washed in the Word of God is a precious and wonderful partnership!

That word “nourish” means to feed, clothe, nurture, and look after that wife until she is the perfect wife.

That word “cherish” means to hold her ever so dear within his heart, to always be warm toward her with tenderness and care, affection and appreciation.

These words mean that it is a great obligation for a man to take a wife!

We could wonder then how can there be so many divorces in the Christian community?

It makes it easier to understand these words of the Apostle Paul:

1Co 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman”.
1Co 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

1Co 7:7 “For I would that all men were even as I myself”. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
1Co 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, “It is good for them if they abide even as I”.

That wife must be treated as a special gift of God!

What did Jesus say about divorce?

Mat 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mat 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

The marriage must be a sacred bond between one man and one woman, who have already given themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ or there will be too many paths to failure!

*****Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, “and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh”.

What is the perfect marriage? The husband has become “one” with his wife and the wife has become “one” with her husband!

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, “and called their name Adam”, in the day when they were created.

This is the marriage that God first created by Jesus Christ! The very first marriage were one man and one woman who were one!

To be joined, is to be glued together with the substance of God’s Word that cannot be broken!

This should be our goal today!

This man and this woman should be so close together in their relationship, that those that see them see only one!

This union is to be much more than just living together and sharing each other’s body!

The physical union of a marriage cannot reach its ultimate fulness without knowing the mercy and the love of God, as we see in these Scriptures.

This is a union that will share life with each other and then eternal life in God’s Heaven, even though there is no marriage in Heaven we will know as we were known.

Mar_12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

The angels do not marry. In Heaven we will not be angels but there are no marriages in Heaven because we will be joined to the Lord, a much higher union than even the perfect marriage.

This does not mean we will not know each other!

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: “now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”.

You see the spiritual union of those in a godly marriage will always remain, at least this is what I believe. This is the thing that can only be done by those wonderful hands of God.

The greatest thing in the world is to know the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and our God and know that we will have life abundantly here and in Heaven with Him!

Then these two, who are joined in marriage, cannot know true life without the Lord, here and in Heaven!

They will submit themselves together in the fear of the Lord vs21!

Day by day they will set out to nourish each other vs29!

They will work together to become a living part of each other vs30!

If the Lord so compares the godly marriage to the marriage of the church to Himself, how can these things not be true.

The Lord says, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

If the Lord deliberately shares spiritual things with us all and truly molds one man to one woman into one flesh spiritually, then this to is one of the greatest gifts of God.

All these things are to teach us just how much Jesus Christ loves His Church!

Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

*****Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The true church, where the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head, is in an intimate union with Christ Himself!

The seat of worship is the heart of the believer!

Mar_12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

The union of the Lord Jesus with His church began when He took on the human nature and made it His own!

The Lord became flesh and dwelt among us and this has continued, with His union with the church!

The trouble in the marriage and the trouble in the church begins when either spouse becomes unwilling to be bound together by the Holy Spirit.

1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

It is this same Spirit that this man and this woman is to be joined in a fruitful marriage!

But nevertheless.

*****Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The true marriage is a spiritual union that can only come by the hands of God!

Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mat 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

More than two people just agreeing to live with each other as we see so much of today.

More than a natural affection or infatuation.

More than a piece of paper or a legal contract.

Marriage comes first from a commitment to the Lord in a union unlike any other union on the face of this earth!

Marriage is to be an example of the tender, sacrificial love that the Lord has for each of those who call upon His name!

The Christian home is to have an atmosphere of the Lord.
The Christian home is to be managed by the Lord.
The Christian home is not a partnership of two but of three, the husband, the wife, and Jesus Christ!

Amen

Understanding the Will of God

The Blessing of Understanding God’s Will

Book of Ephesians 5:3-21

Maybe the one most important thing we need to know about God is that He does as He pleases, and it pleases God to gather a people who love Him to be with Him forever.

This not a fantasy it is a fact!

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will”:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

“God made this plan to save those who would come to Him before He laid the foundation of this earth we live upon”.

God’s plan from start to finish will be according to His will and not ours.

God does not make changes to His plan according to what is happening on this world because God controls what happens upon this world good or bad.

BUT, God does not cause bad things to come upon anyone, but He could stop those things if He so chose to do so!

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

When God created humanity, He established that each of us would be responsible for our own actions!

There is the directive will of God!

There is the permissive will of God!

We must also understand that the creation of this world we live in, was designed to reveal the Glory and the Power of God!

Psa 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Even though God has decreed all things, we are still responsible for our own actions!

The Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as a babe, but it was predetermined by a Holy God that He came to die!

Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Why are people lost? People are lost not because God did not intend for them to be saved but because they have refused to believe the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We should stand in awe of our great God!
We can entrust our lives to our Almighty God!
We should rejoice in the wonder of our salvation!
We should be at peace in this world, as the plan of God unfolds before our eyes!

Problems exist because of our pride and we feel the need to run our own lives and ignore God!

To follow in the ways of God we must be morally pure and bodily clean.

Let’s continue with Chapter 5 verse 3

*****Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

God says let not these things be named among you.
We are not to even talk about committing these things.

Notice this is a command.

We all know what fornication is? it is any sexual contact by unmarried persons.
It also means “forsaking God”!

Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
Jer 3:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

I believe God hates this sin more than any other.

The human body is the greatest of all the creations of God!

Psa_139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

The human body was made in the image of God.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God is Spirit, so this has nothing to do with our looks but only our being.

Covetousness is a very strong desire for worldly things.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

As Christians we must hate sin but never hate the sinner.

As Christians we would certainly be very ashamed of many of the thoughts that go through our head and we must certainly never act on them.

We must realize that when we are alone, the All-Knowing God and even the angels witness everything we do. This alone should keep us straight.

God does not keep such a close eye on us to deny us His benefits, He watches over us as our Father, waiting to bless us if we do not fail, or fall into Satan’s traps.

How important is our body to Jehovah God?

God the Father created our body in honor.
God the Son, whose members we are in the body of Christ.
God the Holy Ghost, of whom our body is the Temple.

God does not tolerate filth and we should not either!

We should never be around foolish talkers or filthy jokes, or filthy speech of any kind.

We must have a clean mouth that houses a clean tongue with a clean conscience.

Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

All these things are part of our repentance.

Pro 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Pro 10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

As believers if we have no words to say, then speak the Word of God which is always pure, when it is rightly divided.

Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

God promises us that there will be none of these things in Heaven.

My question is how are these Words of God rejected by those of the so-called church that allow such filth?

*****Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

God forgives all our sin if we claim the Lord Jesus Christ, God will forgive all our sin until He takes us home, but this does not include those who remain in their sinful ways and make a feeble attempt to claim Jesus without faith!

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

God simply will not accept filthiness nor uncleanness, God will have no part of it!

These that do these things, may have many worldly things, but they will not have one scrap of anything in Heaven.

We should believe that which we trust the most is our god.
That which we love we worship and have made it our god.
If we fear the things of this world more than the Lord, then your god is of this world.
That thing we place the our most hope in is our god.
So, what or who is your god? I choose Jesus Christ, the only God!

The right to the privileges of God’s Kingdom come only by inheritance.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We must never allow anyone to deceive us about the things of God!

*****Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Notice it is all these that refuse to accept the truth of God, that will see His wrath!

Many of the old faithful denominations are being deceived by those who lead them now, they need to go back to their roots!

When we can live securely and undisturbed in our sin, then we do not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

AND, if we reject the wrath of God, then we must reject the goodness of God!

Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

We live in a world that does not believe that God will call them to account for the way they lived.

There are just as many that believe God will be merciful to them, even though they lived a life of sin.

The wrath of God is a decisive anger, a determined anger, a deliberate anger, that rises from God’s nature of holiness!

We must do more than to just know God’s name, we must repent!

Do not be deceived by those who say different, because the Word of God is specific, and moderation is not even mentioned in the Scriptures!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Many forget that righteousness means doing right by the Word 0f God.

1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Those that say they are justified so they can continue in sin, are just fools.

Justification is a gift given through the “grace” of God, to those who have been washed in the blood of Jesus and then meet the standard of Jesus Christ!

God’s “grace” must involve the Word of God as our standard of living. To be justified, is to leave the world behind and live in our new nature, which is a hatred for sin.

*****Eph 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

We cannot be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ until we have separated ourselves from the world!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

A Christian will walk in the light of the Lord!

*****Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Notice that before we came to know our Savior, we not only lived in darkness, we were darkness.

Darkness is a symbol of misery!

Psa 107:10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Psa 107:11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

Darkness is a state of wretchedness resulting from ignorance to God.

Remember what Jesus said while He hung on that cross?

“Father forgive them for they not what they do”.

They do not know where they came from. To those who reject the Lord Jesus, everything is just a result of the human nature.

Note: In a family of non-believers, as they begin to die off, they feel that they all alone in this world, because they have never known God.

This is a sad situation, but a reality. They do not know where they came from and they do not know where they are going!

They do not know if there is really a God or not.

Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

This is being in darkness!

The answer of course is the Light of the Lord.

Mat_4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

The “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the truth of God and it is a glorious truth!

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

We should know that if we truly have “faith” in the “Light of this world”, we will no longer walk in darkness because we will be filled with the Holy Spirit!

*****Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

As sinners we had no goodness.
We did not know how to do things the right way.
We did not know the truth!
We lived in the world with a false security!

As sinners, we have lived to fulfill our own desires at the expense of others?

As Christians, we live to fulfill the desires of God through the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit!

As Christians, we know we have no righteousness ourselves, our righteousness comes by the Lord Jesus Christ.

The test we must pass to be saved is, are we acceptable to the Lord? We must prove that we are!

It is the truth of God that sets us free from the bondage of judgment and Hell!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God provides us His truth, to prove we are acceptable to God we must believe Him!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It is only the Light, Jesus Christ Himself who teaches us what is acceptable to Jehovah!

Truly God does not ask very much of us.

Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

What does this mean?

*****Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

These things are not confusing, we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness whatsoever!

Remember darkness leaves us stumbling about and groping about in the world, being lost and not knowing where we are going and what to do when death overcomes us.

We are to have no fellowship with the lost but if we truly trust in the Lord we will be so bright that darkness will not even approach us, so we must go to those who live in darkness with the Light of Jesus, not in fellowship but carrying the truth of God to them as God’s messengers.

We must understand that sin is never to be taken lightly, it is a shame even to speak of those things of darkness nor share a conversation with the dark works of this world.

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

What are some of those things done in secret?

Job 24:14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.
Job 24:15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.
Job 24:16 In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.

In some cases, these that do these things get away with them, but the Lord knows everything and there are no secret sins that the Light of the Lord cannot expose.

*****Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

There is no sin that will go unnoticed by the Light of the Lord!

All sin is exposed to the Lord and He will drag all sin into His Light to show its true colors!

In simpler terms, nothing can be hidden from the Lord.

When the “Gospel”, The Light of Jesus Christ, touches the life of those in darkness, that life is changed.

Whether they welcome the Lord or not, their sin has been exposed by the Light of the Lord.

Joh_15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

As Christians, we now share the Light of the Lord, by sharing the “Gospel” and we are to use our own light upon the evil darkness of this world.

What did the Lord say?

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

In fact, we are known by “the brightness” of our own light!

In the past few weeks, in the news, we have seen many well-known men face the fact that they led an immoral life with inappropriate sexual conduct.

What does God say?

Num_32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and “be sure your sin will find you out”.

There is no sin God will not eventually expose!

There is no sin that the Lord will not shine His Light upon!

Most of this world is sleeping when it comes to knowing the Lord, they are “therefore dead”, because the wages of sin is death.

The Light of Jesus will shine upon them through some Saint of the Lord and they can be awakened and be “born again”.

We know that this passage was written to the church, so we know that there are in the church those who have a dim light.

1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: “I speak this to your shame”.

The Church that is not busy making true disciples of the Lord, is failing in its mission and failing the Lord!

All those who do not know the Lord as their personal Savior are already dead in the eyes of God. I was once dead myself but now I am alive to the “Gospel”!

Joh_3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ provides the simplest solution!

“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”.

Being “Born Again” awakes us from being Spiritually dead!

When you refuse to see yourself as a sinner, you are in a state of slumber.

An immoral lifestyle is a dead lifestyle!

In fact, most of this world are asleep when it comes to walking in the ways of the Lord!

The world just does not care how much more sinful this world has become but provides for it in abundance.

There is so many riches that can be gained by sinful lifestyles this world will never change!

In fact, look at cancer for an example. There is so much money made off the treatments for cancer, a permanent solution will never be allowed.

But God will judge the Church first and there are just too many professing to know the Lord, who are just passing through this life as unbelievers. They simply lack “faith” that God will do as He says He will do or they simply have that go to Hell attitude, “I’m saved to Hell with you”.

Those that fellowship or participate in the works of darkness, are still living in the darkness of spiritual sleep and spiritual death, but they refuse to admit it.

They have rejected the promises of God by rejecting the Word of God!

They refuse to believe we are in the last days of the “Church Age”.

Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The ONLY SOURCE to awake from Spiritual darkness and death, is the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone!

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

*****Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

An example of walking “circumspectly” is as someone standing at the edge of a cliff or working on the roof of a house, where one misstep could cause a fall which could be fatal.

Life is a walk that we take one step at a time and we must be careful with each and every step because it could lead to our death!

There is the fool who take careless steps, so full of pride, refusing to believe he can fail or fall, this person is worldly minded.

The unwise person will walk in places that he has no business being there not even considering his danger!

God expects just the opposite. God expects us to take each step with care and with a sure-foot, we must walk carefully in this life.

Making mistakes is just a part of every life. The fool makes a mistake and it does not matter to him or even if it endangered others.

The wise child of God will learn from every mistake and grow from them!

The fool is not concerned about being alert to temptation and does not see these things as the pitfalls that they are.

The true child of God is on God’s mission and understands they live in a dangerous world and mistakes matter to him!

Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Isa 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
Isa 33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

Time brings opportunities! We must make the most of every opportunity that we encounter in a godly way.

Time is a precious gift of God and in this life, we actually have very little time to do the work of the Lord. If you wait as I did until you begin in your latter years, there is even less time to do so!

Just like any other thing this is a choice we must make!

God presents to us choices and opportunities, but God will train us, so we will know what to do when these things come before us!

We are to redeem every moment of time in our life because we live in an evil hazardous world!

There is so much evil in this world we live, that confronts us every day of our walk with the Lord, that we must be very alert to keep us from failing or falling.

What should we do? We must certainly take a moment and think about all the places where we waste so much time and CORRECT IT!

Not many realize that to tithe is to give a tenth of our first fruits, but this also includes a tenth of our time to the Lord in preparing us for this world.

After this we are to walk daily just as this passage describes. We cannot be part time Christians! To be a Christian is to give all our life to the Lord Jesus Christ for His personal use.

Isaiah said, “Here I am Lord, use me”.

Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

*****Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Where do we fail the most? Not understanding what the will of the Lord is for our lives!

It is only the wise who understand what the Lord has for them!

If we never understand the will of God for our lives, we will never conquer the evil we confront as we walk.

God’s will, begins with Jesus Christ:
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

We must next be sensitive to the Holy Spirit:
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Notice the Holy Spirit will always lead us to the things that Jesus said and in His ways.

All the New Testament will lead us to the things Jesus said!

All the Old Testament will lead us to the coming of Jesus and to the promises He has said!

In short, it is the will of God to do what Jesus said to do!

There is no other rule to walk by except to walk in the will of the Lord Jesus Christ!

When we walk according to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we will resemble God and come to know His perfections that are required in the world that is to come!

And next we see another Scripture where God tells the Christian to avoid alcoholic beverages.

*****Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Even the wisest of men becomes a fool when they are drunk!

Yes, drunkenness is intoxication with drink or with drugs or with any mind-altering substances!

This Scripture is not speaking of moderation because it would not have mentioned being filled with the Holy Spirit, which is just what it says being filled and not in moderation!

Drunkenness is a work of the flesh and it will certainly lead to other sins of the flesh!

First: it is a wasting away of the body and mind.
Second: it leads to uncontrolled behavior.
Third: it leads to rioting, uncontrolled outrageous behavior.

What else does the Bible say about drunkenness?

How about keeping you out of Heaven:

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Drunkenness leads to bad behavior:

Luk 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

God says to not even look upon alcoholic beverages:

Pro 23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
Pro 23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
Pro 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Pro 23:31 “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright”.
Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

If God says not to look at it then surely, we should not drink such things!

According to our passage, it is impossible to redeem the time, if are drunk.

But our Scripture also says it is impossible to redeem the time if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit!

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, there are some things that are certain!

*****Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

With all the things that the Holy Spirit does to lead us to Christ we can truthfully say that the Holy Spirit is a very special manifestation of Jesus Christ who lives within each and every saint of God!

There are those that always ask, just what kind of music does God expect in the church?

Well it seems to be psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

A spiritual song to me is a song where the song-writer was led by the Holy Spirit.

It is sure these should be songs that make melody in our heart toward Jehovah God!

A melody is as song of the land and for we Christians our land is Heaven!

In the heart of the saint of God, the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed, His person, His nature, and His goodness and it is these things that we are to reveal to this lost world!

1Co 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

Many of us cannot carry a tune but even these can be heard in the shower singing with joy. Singing is no less natural to each of us than speaking. I can just imagine that there will be much singing in Heaven!

The Lord Jesus Christ will place a song in the heart of the believer!

The Spirit filled child of God is certainly thankful for the things God has done in their lives.

The Spirit filled child of God will certainly know that our lives are held safely in the loving hands of God.

The Spirit filled child of God is that person who has submitted to the will of God and led by His Spirit!

The Spirit filled child of God will submit and form the true church, the church that is the “Body of Christ”!

These are the same ones who go out of their way to submit to one another in the unity of the Holy Spirit!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

A Changed Behavior

The Blessing of a Changed Behavior

Book of Ephesians 4:25-5:2

As Christians we must have a complete understanding of “sin”.

**Sin is any transgression of the Word of God. In other words, if God said don’t do it, then don’t do it!

Joh 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

God gave the world the Mosaic Laws, so all humans could begin to understand “Sin”!

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

In America it is popular now to remove the Ten Commandments of God!

We live in a nation where half of the citizens do not want laws and do not want law enforcers and much of the world is the same.

**Sin is a failure to conform to the standard of God!

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

This involves the sins of commission but also the sins of omission.

Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Jas_4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

**Sin is a principle within us all!

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

**Sin is rebellion against Jehovah God!

1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

As sin has grown significantly, it is also one of the signs that we are in the last days!

Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

There may not be another Scripture that describes this world we live now, than this one!

**Sin is the wrongful act against God but also against mankind.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Exo 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.
Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

****Sin is the thing that God simply will not tolerate!

*****Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

We ended last week’s lesson we ended with Verse 24, but this is to be the dress code for all those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior!

If we are not dressed right, we certainly cannot do right!

Lying is untruthfulness, deception, and yes, even exaggeration is lying.

Why must we always speak the truth, because as believers, we are a member of the Body of Christ, God’s building material He uses to build His church.

We are members one of another and “all deception hinders the work of the church”!
Lying can become a habit because lying is the sin of the Devil.

Lying defiles, us:

Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

We should understand that God hates the liar and the worst of lies are those that are confirmed by an oath!

Those that lie are saying they are in the family of Satan!

2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

We could say that lying is spiritual suicide, because we are denying the new creation God has given to us!

*****Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

Unjustified anger is clearly wrong and clearly sin!

There may be times when anger is justified but when that time comes we must still avoid sin!

Justified anger is never selfish, nor does it seek destruction, justified anger will seek a remedy.

Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Anger can cause us to lash out at others to cause them harm and it is sin.

Anger that broods and harbors malice, will not forget, and seeks revenge, is sinful.

Anger that holds contempt and exalts your own pride, is sinful!

Pro 21:24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

Anger that seeks to destroy another person in any way, is sin.

Anger that curses, is sin.

Anger can cause hurt feelings between those we are the closest to. Such as husband and wife, or brother and sister, or our best friends. Those hurt feelings can linger for a great amount of time and even damage what was once a very good relationship.

Those that are the strongest in their relationships can rule their spirit!

Pro 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

It is foolish to hold onto our anger at any time.

Ecc 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

And God says: “let not the sun go down upon your wrath”.

Angry passion, is a fire that will burn down deep into the soul, if it is not soon quenched.

The longer anger simmers and stews in your heart the angrier you will become!

We will certainly be much better off if when we are already angry to not confront someone else who is angry!

We are fools if we do not know that Satan is doing his best to be the master of all mankind!

He studies our character. When we least expect it, he will try to interfere in our Christian lives. Anger is a place he can slip in unnoticed!

We must continuously resist the Devil and never let our guard down, even when we are angry.

Pro 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

It is always better to get over our anger and move on!

In fact, if we want to be angry then let’s get angry at sin and do our best to lead every sinner outside the church to the Lord!

*****Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

That word “steal” means not only to take and carry away the things of others, but it means to cheat people wrongfully, legally or illegally.

Pro 20:14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

Pro 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
Pro 21:7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.

Those who commit theft directly.
Those who cheat in measures, weight, “quality” and “value” of goods and services.
Those who gain by unjust lawsuits, including unjust judges.
Those who contract debt and those who declare to be bankrupt dishonestly.
Those who charge illegal interest on items or loans.

What about those workers who take pay with doing any work.
What about those who allow damage that could have been stopped.
What about those beggars on the side of the road who are not what they appear to be.

There are many others who take from others in various ways!

The Bible teaches that any of these actions are sin not only against those people but most importantly, against God.

But there are also those who steal from God in various ways and one is in tithes and offerings.

Mal_3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

We also rob God when we do not worship Him in spirit and in truth! This is a commandment!

Joh_4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh_4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him “must” worship him in spirit and in truth.

We can call these things whatever we wish but God calls it stealing and all stealing is sin!

Fact: God has put within this earth enough resources to meet the needs of His people!

Fact: God has given mankind the ability to have dominion over this earth!

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Fact: Those who sincerely want a job can find a job!

Fact: God has given mankind the ability to develop the technology to control nature enough to explore this universe. Not searching for Aliens or other life but to improve things upon this earth!

Fact: mankind could feed, clothe, and house everyone upon this earth and it would be possible, if certain ones did not hoard the riches of this earth!

What’s God answer? Those that stole, steal no more!

It is just that simple! If the theft of the riches of this world would stop. If those who had riches would give to those who are in need this world would be a much better place. If this world would then acknowledge the Word of God as the truth, it would be as if the curse has been lifted.

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

God intends for those who have, to help those who have not, and God intends for His message to be broadcast throughout this world!

We live in a selfish world and this must end!

1Jn 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

Fact: we still do not know how to communicate properly!

*****Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

That word corrupt means, rotten, foul, and polluting in fact worthless may be the best description.

Psa 52:2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
Psa 52:3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
Psa 52:4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.

We could take most of the words used today as used in a worthless manner!

Psa 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

We can also add cursing and unholy talk, as a worthless use of words.

Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Words are used as an act or to forward a cause and if that cause is useless then, those words should not have been said.

Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

We should be careful that the words we say make a productive message to those who are listening!

God’s answer is to speak those things that are good, those things that build up each other and especially the Christian, those thing that minister “Grace” to one another. Those words that prove we have been influenced from a power on high and above all this world.

Jesus Christ is still our example even in this. Remember the Lord Jesus never had even one sin!

Isa 50:4 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
Isa 50:5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

We already know that as Christians we have the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives within us and if we go against any part of the Word of God we will certainly “grieve” the Holy Spirit.

Being a part in any of these things mentioned in this passage, will cause “grief” to the Holy Spirit.

*****Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

This passage is a very clear proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit of God. He can be “grieved”!

This passage is also clear proof that the Holy Spirit is truly connected to each believer!

The Holy Spirit has the same character of God because He is God!

We should understand the pre-flood days, where God used these words.

Gen 6:3 “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man”, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

We should understand the time of the Jews 40-year journey.

Psa 78:40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
Psa 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

It should be very clear that when we “grieve” the Holy Spirit we certainly limit the blessings of God!

As Christians, we certainly grieve the Holy Spirit when we participate in anything contrary to His divine nature!

We have another very real reason we should not grieve the Holy Spirit because, He has sealed us unto the day of “redemption”!

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

These are valuable lessons for us all to learn.

*****Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

We are to be in total control of our temper.

We are to forever cherish each other as God’s creatures having the same purpose, to acknowledge our Creator.

Those that do not, are not all our enemies! They are of that group of people we are seek out to tell them about a loving God who cares for them also!

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

No doubt there are many who will show themselves to be the enemies of God, but God still loves them and if it be possible to reach them with the “Gospel” we owe them that opportunity!

Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The word “kindness” comes from the word kinned which means one of the same, reminding us of the fact that we are all brethren in the sense of all being God’s creation!

To be tenderhearted, is to show compassion, mercy, and understanding.

To be forgiving, means to show the same “grace” to them as the “grace” God has shown to you.

Being able to pardon them for anything they have done!

Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

When we refuse to do these things, we are showing God that we are still disobedient children!

*****Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

What must be our goal? To imitate the characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible.

To be truly at peace with God we must strive to be like Him!

The Lord Jesus Christ was always giving of Himself even unto His death and He was always forgiving of others.

To follow God, we must attach ourselves to Him and never let go!

We must surrender and devote our life to God just as He devoted Himself to all believers.

Jesus Christ said: Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Jesus Christ said:

Luk 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

John wrote: 1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

God demanded: Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

Paul declared: 2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Peter wrote: 1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

These things leave us no doubt what the Lord is asking of us, in fact demanding of all those who are His children.

We must forgive and forget!
We must have that loving spirit and it show!
In fact, we must show all the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

We must walk in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ! We see very little love for humanity in our world today!

The Lord Jesus Christ did not just die for us, the Lord Jesus Christ took our place on that cross, He was our substitute!

There is no one else that exist who could have done this thing for us!

Notice here, that love is something we must wear as a garment, but we must also be clothed in humility to be a true child of God!

Love is also a pathway; the walk of love, will lead us directly to our Savior!

What is the greatest problem with this world ? The world says love, but that love must flow from our loving God or it is not true love!

Love must be a genuine product from a genuine God, only then will love take on it’s true meaning!

1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

The Christian life depends on love for one another with the same love that comes from God!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Renewed Mind

The Blessing of the Renewed Mind

Book of Ephesians 4:14-24

 

Last week we learned that God’s plan is that all the Church join in “Unity” according to the Word of God and the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not only God’s plan but God’s commandment.

So, let’s all denominations lay aside the petty differences that have nothing to do with salvation and cling to a literal translation of the Word of God and go to war against evil in these last days!

If we have been “Born Again” into the family of God, we all have this in common.

Let’s lay foolishness aside and become mature Christians.

After all we all have a renewed mind that we are not using very well!

*****Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

When we are babes in Christ, we can be easily swayed by those who teach a false doctrine, but we must not remain babes. We must begin a growth into mature Christians!

The Word of God must be our compass in this life, for only the Word of God will lead us in the direction God has chosen for us!

There so many places of so-called worship today who deliberately will lead those astray who sit before them, by compromising the Word of God.

The means to defend ourselves from this is to study the Scriptures ourselves and we can defend ourselves against false doctrine.

1) It’s sad but there is still such a thing as “sleight of men”. These are deceivers, cheaters in the faith, men and women who will cheat us out of the truth of God.

2) There are still those who use cunning craftiness. These are also deceivers who act cleverly and have great sounding new ideas that are treated as the truth, but these things are only deceptions of the truth of God.

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

We must obtain ourselves a sound doctrinal knowledge of the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must be established in the truth!

We must see that our hearts are conformed to the truth!

We must walk in the truth!

It is Jesus Christ that is the head of the Church, which means that He is the only Head of true “believers”!

As we observe this world we see great evidence of those who deny the Lord Jesus and His truth!

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

If you have kicked Jesus Christ out the doors of the church by ignoring what He has said, then you are no longer a church and cannot be part of the “Body of Christ”!

We must follow the Lord by “faith” in His promises, not the promises of some deceiver that teaches a false doctrine!

There are even those who say that the Messiah has not yet come. Yes, such fools still exist!

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

There is more evidence of the first coming of the Messiah than you own birth!

We can see that we have been warned and we see these things today just as the Scriptures say.

We must grow up in the Lord.

Our Pastors must proclaim the truth.
Our Teachers must proclaim the truth.
We as believers must proclaim the truth and reject all those who compromise the Word of God!

Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

We can only be sanctified by the truth!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Our souls cannot be purified without the truth.

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

The church cannot be in unity, until we know and claim the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our God!

If Jesus Christ is not your God, then you serve a false god!

We already know that God deals with us individually so as individuals it is our job to press for unity in the church.

There is only one Church!
There is only one Word of God!
There can only be one “Faith”!

We must speak the truth of God with love because it is the love of God that came to us in the form of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah.

And make a note, The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back, and it may not be very long.

We should never forget this truth!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that (insert your own name) whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The promise of His return:

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you (insert your own name), I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and this can never be changed!

*****Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

We must understand the Church as a united body and if your place of worship is not, then this must be the first goal of your place of worship.

An actual body of Christ.

The church is not to be some material or tangible body, but the actual Body of Christ, with Jesus Christ the Head!

The Holy Ghost, Christ filled Church is a Spiritual power upon this earth that will soon return to Heaven, it’s home.

The Church is alive with the Head, Jesus Christ supplying, the nourishment to each and every part of its body.

Col_2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

The Church is best described as the “Body of Christ”!

1Co_12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

As we learned from other lessons, each member of the Body of Christ is to be specifically placed by the Lord.

Each member must have the proper work assigned to him or her.

Each member is to perform that work according to the measure of faith that God has supplied to them.

Each member is to be coupled together so that everyone plays their own part without causing harm to the whole unit.

Each member is to be governed by one Will and one Intelligence which is from Heaven and is the Lord!

Each member is indebted to the Head and the Head lives for the body!

The Church is to work in harmony as the voice of God by using the Words that He has already given to us.

God’s Word will never change, and neither should anyone try to change it!

Isa_55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The best example of the church is the human body that cannot function properly without each part doing what is was intended to do.

1Th 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

If we know all these things, then we also know that we are not to walk like we are part of this world!

This is where we fail the most today!

*****Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

When we were lost we walked in this world searching for anything and everything that would satisfy our desires. Some may disagree, but this is the truth.

You can ask those you meet today who do not know the Lord, especially our young people and you will find that the majority will say this today.

They are all searching for things that satisfies their own desires. Much of this is immoral. Much of this is depraved. All of it is foolish!

When we walk like those out in the world we are walking against the Word of God!

We will lose contact with our Father in Heaven if we walk like the world walks!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

A new creature of God the Father, will not be out in the world!

When we push God out of our minds, our mind become empty and void of the truth and be easily filled again with the evils of this world.

These will seek worldly pleasures, worldly possessions, worldly religion, and worldly gods.

Psa 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

As Christians we must never be afraid of being singular in this world!

We must understand that where there is ignorance of the truth, there will be no life, their understanding will be darkened.

To understand this is to begin to grasp hold of the truth.

A darkened mind is blind and unable to see God!

The darkened mind will give itself over to the world!

As Christians we are only better than those who are lost by the “Grace” of God.

As Christians we must still live our lives above those out in the world.

This is not thinking we are better than but just avoiding those pitfalls of sin that we have left behind for the Lord.

The unbeliever is spiritual dead and then doomed to eternal death, cut off eternally from God.

The unbeliever will always have hostile feelings toward the believer, no matter who they are!

It is not God that causes this, it is their own ignorance of the truth!

Remember what Jesus said just before He gave up His life:

Luk_23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

They have chosen to be ignorant of the things of God.
They have chosen to harden their heart against the truth.
They will be responsible for their own eternal death!

God has provided, through His Son and the power of the Holy Spirit, the only means of eternal life!

Those that depart from the truth of God will only grow worse.

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

*****Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Without God the more callous they will become!

They will no longer live by God’s standards of morality.

Lasciviousness is shameless conduct of any kind, wantonness, in most cases being completely vulgar, as far from “Grace” as possible.

In another place Paul wrote:

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

They no longer feel the pain of their sin and consider it just another acceptable way of life. What a travesty.

We see this all over America today.

We know that sin is contagious, but it also multiplies. The more we walk in sin, even more will we walk in sin!

Lasciviousness also brings “greed”.

A craving, a desiring to have more and more, hoarding all they can get and still craving more.

I believe this is what rules our world today.

But they are in fact in bondage to the things of this world, this has become their god!

2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

Enough of the unbeliever, we know a lot about them because we were once a part of them.

*****Eph 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, “as the truth is in Jesus”:

What do we do as Christians after we have accepted Christ?

1) We repent; we renounce our previous lifestyle. This not partial but complete. We cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in Christ.

This is to be a complete moral revolution that can only happen by the Holy Spirit and our “Faith”.

To be honest, we need to daily examine ourselves to see if we are complying with the Word of God and the Commandments of Jesus Christ.

From time to time, we need to look in the mirror and see what we look like.

2) Self-discipline. To be a Christian is not always easy, it takes a personal effort but more important we must rely on the “Grace” of God.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We must realize that we are renewed every day by the Holy Spirit and it is by the Holy Spirit that our mind is restored, and our vision cleared to see our Savior for who He is! The Greatest gift God could send to us!

3) We must wear the robe of righteousness of our Lord! It is very important that we know all we can about Jesus Christ, but it is even more important that we learn all we can from Him!

We must strive for that personal relationship with our Savior. He wants this relationship much more than we do so, our part is very easy.

The Lord Jesus is truly waiting with open arms to receive us!

We are to literally walk in Christ and not as men walk!

We must have a living spiritual union with the Lord Jesus Christ!

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

We are to put off the old man and put on the new man!

*****Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

That old man is that person we were before we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.

In this sense, our old man has already been put to death and we are made alive by Christ Jesus.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
You see to put on Christ means that our Father in Heaven counts us buried with Jesus Christ and united with Him in the likeness of His death.

This is the true meaning behind baptism!

The deeds of the old man are put off.

Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

The power that evil had over our body of flesh is gone and we are no longer in bondage.

And notice it is our job to put off the old man, we are to exercise our own will because we have realized the truth.

God says the old man is dead, so we must also count our old man as being dead.

Rom_8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

It is now our job to reject temptation just as the Lord did when He walked upon this earth to become the perfect new man!

Even our mind will be made new and we will no longer have a reprobate mind.

We live in a world full of reprobate minds.

We are governed by many who have reprobate minds.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

It is only by the presence of Jesus Christ that our mind can be renewed. There is no other way!

When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our life, we receive His mind also. We truly have the power to reject temptation!

We truly have the power to focus on God and His Word.

We truly have the power to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us to make us a new creation of God!

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The new man has been regenerated, renewed, “Born Again” when we become Spiritually minded!

We will be in fellowship with God through His Son.
We will be obedient to God’s will because we will realize the safest place for us to be is in the will of God.
We will be devoted to God’s service and work within the calling we will receive from God!

None of these things can happen without the power of God in our lives by the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the children of God, we can stand before God in the righteousness and the holiness of His Dear Son, Jesus Christ.

To put things as plain as we can, we can say we are now alive to God when we were once dead to God!

Amen

Growing in Christ

The Blessing of Spiritual Maturity

Book of Ephesians 4:1-13

That word maturity means being in a complete state.

An example would be that an apple is not mature until it has completed the ripening process.

We must work toward becoming “mature Christians”.

Today in our lesson we could say that Paul was not only imprisoned for his own sake, but he was imprisoned for our sakes.

If Paul had not been imprisoned, he would have never taken the time to write all these epistles to the Church.

We may also think that it was just by accident that we have the job we have but this is not true.

After our salvation our own home will be our first missionary field and our job the next place to share the Word of God.

In our lessons so far, the Apostle Paul has laid out the Doctrine of Salvation. This doctrine is our only means of being in harmony with God.

The Word of God is never complete in our lives, no matter how much we learn, until we have made application of it to our daily walk!

The lessons we have learned so far have been:

The eternal plan of God for Christian believers.
The great blessings of God.
The work of God’s mercy and the gift of God’s “Grace”.
Our reconciliation and peace becoming a child of God.
The true Church, the Body of Christ, our Heavenly Citizenship.

Note: none of these things have been given to us as theories but as actual fact!

Now we can take what we have learned and make application to our lives to grow in God’s “grace”.

The bottom line, we owe God much more than we could ever pay and He would chastise us if we tried to work toward trying to pay Him for what He has already done.

There are no works to be saved and there are no works to keep us saved.

A true gift is never to be repaid!

God works according to His great love and it is in this same manner He expects us to live and work!

So, let’s begin.

*****Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

We must understand that the Apostle Paul was not imprisoned to perform some great act in Rome, or to Caesar, or even to the Roman people.

The Apostle Paul was imprisoned for his sake, and our sake, and for the sake of the “Gospel”!

We know that we are all to be witnesses, (missionaries) once we become a child of God.

We should also understand that God will have some specific calling just for each of us and He will equip us for that calling!

God has already honored us as much as we can be honored. One day soon we will actually get to sit at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven.

There are many promises of God, that we have not seen yet but we know we will get to see them.

The Lord Jesus is right now building a perfect world that we will be a part of. throughout eternity.

We have nothing else to do until He gets ready but one thing and that is to walk worthy of the calling of God!

We are in an honored position and we need to be walking according to the honor God has given us!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When we join the ranks of men such as the Apostle Paul we must remember, the message of Jesus Christ and the “gospel” are the only hope for all humanity!

This is Holy stuff!
This is Heavenly stuff!
This is Serious stuff!
Jesus Christ is the only hope for all humanity for eternal life.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

No matter our calling we are all to carry the same message!

So how are we to walk?

*****Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

The most important characteristic of all God’s children is “Faith”. “Faith” in the salvation message and “faith” in the One who gave us this message!

“Faith” in the truth!

When we begin our walk for the Lord we must remember a child taking their first steps and know that we cannot walk with the Lord without holding on to His hand.

Before our walk begins, we must decide then, that our walk will please the Lord.

After “faith” we must be free of pride. As one preacher use to say, we need to get out of God’s way. We cannot exalt ourselves and please God!

We can be sure where there is “lowliness” (a lack of pride), there will also be “meekness”.

Meekness is humility, submitting to the Divine will of God. We could also say, gentleness.

Next, we see that word “patience” that drives so many crazy, but we must be patient in love toward one another and patient with that one we are trying to lead to the Lord.

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

So, we have “faith”, loss of pride, humility, and patience so far.

What can be next?

*****Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

It is because every Christian is endowed with the Holy Spirit that we can, and we should be in unity, all having the same mind of Christ.

This is a far reach from what the church is today but, this is because the Church has forgotten how to walk worthy of the Lord.

This passage says, we must endeavor to keep unity of the Spirit and we fail miserably in this trait of how to walk worthy of the Lord!

We must know that each person is precious in the sight of God.

If even one soul goes to Hell, then God has lost a very valuable and precious soul.

Why will God judge the Church first? It will be because there is no unity in the church, which means there is no peace in the church, even though we all carry the same Holy Spirit!

This is not a problem with the Holy Spirit, this is a problem that is in that gap between our ears and a cold, cold heart!

To endeavor, is to do our best to walk in the ways of Jesus.

There is no One else in the Scriptures that has the words of life! There is no other means of salvation period!

The modern-day church is trying its best to remove the Lord Jesus who is the corner stone, the foundation of the Church.

What are they thinking?

What did Jesus pray to His Father?

Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

It is the Holy Spirit that unites us to Jesus Christ and when we go against the Words of Christ, we will quench the Holy Spirit!

1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

To be saved is to show that first sign of faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and this faith must remain with us all our days asking God to grow our faith!

*****Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

There are many so-called denominations !”But only those who have named the Lord Jesus Christ as their very personal Savior” comprise the true Church!

***There is only “One Body” of Christ!

When any person in any denomination, places his or her trust in Jesus Christ, God does certain things.

**First there is a new birth, they are “Born Again”.

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

This takes place by the Holy Spirit.

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

In many places it seems that there must be some sign that the Holy Spirit lives within the believer but there is truly only one way to tell.

Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

1Pe_2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

As believers we must do the works that Jesus gave us to do! This is the only way the world will know that we belong to Christ Jesus and full of the Holy Spirit.

**God makes a new creature, we become something brand new.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

**God places His Divine nature inside the believer.

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

**God places His Holy Spirit in of us that have “faith”.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

**God then causes each of us to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

**God places us in His Church.

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

There is only “One” body “the Body of Christ”.

The body of believers that understand these things of God, will be in unity!

***There is only “One” Spirit.

The “Body of Christ” will all have the same Holy Spirit(Holy Ghost).

The Spirit of God will separate us from the world and place us in the family of God!

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

It is God’s Holy Spirit that decides where we will be placed in the “Body of Christ”.
It is the Holy Spirit that calls us out of this lost world.
It is the Holy Spirit that gives the gifts to us to be able to do the work, the Lord has given to the Church.

1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

***There is only One Hope for each of us that believe.

Every Christian has the same hope, which is the day the Lord Jesus comes to redeem His purchased possession.

We do not live a life of uncertainty, once we are saved.

In Heaven we will live a life of love, and peace, and joy!

We will live a life of perfection, because each one of us will then be perfect.

It will be a perfect love, a perfect peace, and a perfect joy and this will last throughout a perfect eternity!

We are at peace because we know that this “One” Hope is a reality!

We will all live in harmony with the Lord!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

***There is only “One Lord”!

Just so we all know; the true Church consist of only those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in “faith”!

Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God is very serious about this thing:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The will of our Father is for every human being to steer away from sin and steer toward God and His Words.

Mat 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
Mat 21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
Mat 21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
Mat 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

This is one of the best descriptions of repentance in the Bible!

***There is only “One Faith”

This one truly breaks the world up! There is only “one faith”, not two faiths, not many faiths, that leads to God’s presence and it is the faith we have in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

All those who place their trust in false religion need to give the Lord the chance to show them the truth!

***There is only “One Baptism”.

It is true that all believers have given public witness to their faith by submitting to water Baptism as commanded by the Lord.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Water Baptism means we are identifying ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, in His death, His burial, and His resurrection and His Church.

Even the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, to be our example!

Water baptism is to be an outward sign of an inward change!

Note: Water baptism does not produce a spiritual change!

Water baptism is not a method of salvation!

**Then there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many

This baptism of the Holy Spirit will come only in the “Church Age” and He the power behind the local church and the universal church!

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit unites us with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

We should note that this work of the Holy Spirit takes place at the very moment of salvation, but it is a continuous work until God calls us home!

1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

All these things are true because there is only One God, who is the Father of us all!

***One God, who is our Father if we trust in His promises.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

God is the Father who presides over all His child by the Lord Jesus Christ and indwelled by the Holy Spirit!

These things being true (and they are) then all those who worship some other being are not following the “Only God”!

We could also say our Father is the giver of gifts!

*****Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us “is given grace” according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Big faith, much “grace”, Little faith, little “grace” and the same goes for blessings!

When you become a Christian (like Christ) you have already received so many gifts from our Father that we are truly blessed even if He did nothing else for us.

If He was just God like so many say, He would not care for what happens on this world but to the Christian, He is our Father!

Gal_4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

These gifts of the Spirit do not mean a natural ability or a talent that you are born with but even these will be increased if they are used to promote the “Gospel”!

These are gifts that build up each of us that are Christian. We all have received a very personal gift by the Holy Spirit, to carry out the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ!

It should be obvious the Lord Jesus Christ provides us the “grace” to use gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This “grace” means the strength, the motivation, the concern, the love, and the power to use these gifts.

There is not one Christian that God finds not to be useful!

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

We must understand that the Lord Jesus had to ascend back to the right hand of God for the Church to move forward!

Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

*****Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Eph 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

When the Lord ascended back to Heaven, witnessed by at least 120 people, it was Christ’s declaration that even the grave could not hold Him!

We, who were once enslaved by Satan, are set free only because Our Lord triumphed over all His enemies, (Satan, sin, death)!

In these times of the Lord, a conquering king would lead those he conquered out of that city chained one to another.

These slaves, along with the riches of that nation, would be given to other high-ranking citizens, at their return from victory.

Psa 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
Psa 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

As believers who once were in bondage to Satan, we are now owned by the Lord Jesus Christ but as belonging to the Lord, He provides wonderful gifts for every one of us!

One of our greatest gifts is, freedom!

Joh_8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Notice not set free as releasing on the side of the road and could be captured again but “made” free never to be in bondage again!

The Lord has given to us, along with our freedom, a great future, a purpose for our life.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the giver of “life”!

This life can only come if we are willing to face death!

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Before the Lord ascended, He had to go to that grave.

Psa 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Psa 63:9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

All the riches and the power of the God in Heaven or earth could not pay our sin debt, the Lord Jesus had to die to pay that debt that we could not pay!

He had to first be declared dead and buried in that borrowed tomb before He could show the power of God at His resurrection!

He had to fill all things!

Which means that Christ’s descent into the lower parts of the earth might mean more than just descending into Abrahams bosom!

The truth is the Lord Jesus Christ had to die and having gathered all the sin of this world past, present, and future, had to take that sin and also experience our hell that we could be saved!

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

And of all those that believe these things, Jesus has given us a new purpose!

*****Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

For there to be a church, then there must be those who would begin the church.

We know the Holy Spirit gives great and wonderful gifts and these gifts will blend with those whom Christ Jesus has chosen!

There were only 12 Apostles that were specifically chosen by the Lord. The word “apostle” means “to send out”.

The qualifications to be an Apostle were such that they had to die out.
They had to have seen the Lord Jesus Christ.
For this reason, there can never be any more apostles.

There some who were Prophets, and these too had to die out because we now have the complete Word of God and there is no need for “Prophets”.

The Lord Jesus has specifically chosen every evangelist, and pastor and teacher since that time, so these must remain Divine appointments!

Just as prophets testifies of things to come, the evangelist testifies of things from the past and therefore they spread the “Gospel”.

In many ways the evangelist is like the missionary.

Act 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

We also see here that Philip had been one the first deacons as one of the seven.

Normally the Pastor was the shepherd of one flock and the teacher would help with this one flock.

The Pastor is to be pastor and teacher.
The teacher is not the same as the pastor.

What had Jesus told Peter and made sure he understood.

Joh 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Joh 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

We can notice how Peter passed this information on, in the places where he had begun a church.

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

To be the shepherd of a local flock, is a special calling of God which will bring a specific reward.

1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Note the shepherd of the church was to feed his sheep even if he had to pick them up and carry them, if he tried to be like Christ.

Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Always understanding that he was not the Chief Shepherd!

Psa 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The shepherd is to seek and save:

Mat 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

To be a shepherd over a flock of God’s sheep is a very special calling!

It is the teachers job to instruct the believers in the Word of God!

It can be said that the teacher bears one of the largest responsibilities given by God and will have to give a strict account to God for his faithfulness to the Word of God!

Jas 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

In this passage a master is a teacher!

God commands the teacher to study the Word of God, be not ashamed of the Word of God and, rightly divide the Word of God.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In the end all these positions in the church have only one job.

*****Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

We can see that accepting the gift of the Holy Spirit in any of these 5 gifts, had a threefold purpose.

For perfecting that body of Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.

It is the job of the church to make disciples who will also go out and make disciples.

Not everyone, does God call for any one of these 5 positions, but the truth is:

Every child of God is to do the work of the apostle using the gifts God has given to them.
Every child of God is to do the work of the prophet daily proclaiming the Word of God.
Every child of God is to do the work of the evangelist in reaching out to the lost.
Every child of God is to do the work of the Pastor, caring for that flock that God has given to them.
Every child of God is to do the work of the teacher, teaching the truth of the Word of God to all those he knows.

This is the invisible power of God of God, at work in this world!

Isa_55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

If every house of God practiced these things the Church would be in unity of the faith.

If you want to measure the growth of the church, it is not in numbers but how these sheep are equipped to be local missionaries!

Spiritual growth is gradual, and some will grow at a faster pace than others and though this growth is silent, it is still the most effective force in this world when properly applied!

We live in a world where some think there should be a variety in the Church and some seek that variety, but the absolute truth is there is only one message from God, and only one Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The Church is the hospital for lost and broken souls, while also being the school for Heaven!

The Holy Spirit is the school bus, but sometimes He must be the emergency vehicle.

We should understand that the Apostle John said Jesus Christ was the Word of God.

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The closer we get to the Word of God the closer we get to perfection and the more we will resemble the Lord Jesus Christ who is already Perfect!

Jesus Christ is still our only model for the Christian life, though far too many have rejected this!

Amen

Let’s Pray!