Temple Baptist Church 4-20-2008Proverbs 23:7a
A. In Paul’s description of the last day professing believers, the Holy Spirit used the words “having a form of godliness.” I have found over the years that the church has some of the most wonderful people in the world sitting on its pews. These believers consistently love God and live for Him through the years. These believers, like all people, have problems but are not problematic! They sometimes need direction and pastoring but remain faithful to and useful in the Lord’s service.
B. There are also believers, and I believe them to be so, who drift from the Lord and get into sin in spite of all that we try to do for them. They are chastened of God in this world which is a sign of being born again. To remain in sin without chastisement shows a lack of the New Birth. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
C. There are some who sit on church pews lost and, eventually, will expose themselves because of the wicked condition of their hearts.
2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
The dog truly returns to its vomit and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he!” Sheep may fall into a mud hole but to the sow, it is a way of life. (Lost professors change for a while but eventually return to their old way of life.)
D. There are many who have never had a real heart change and their lives reflect their lost condition.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators (unlawful sex among singles), nor idolaters (worships the things of this world), nor adulterers (unlawful sexual relations of married people with others), nor effeminate (soft-sissies-men with characteristics of women), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (sodomites), 10 Nor thieves (to steal or take be fraud), nor covetous (insatiable, greedy of worldly gain, bent upon increasing their substance at any rate), nor drunkards (habitually giving themselves to strong drink), nor revilers (tale bearing, whispering, and backbiting, or by raising and spreading scandalous reports), nor extortioners (to plunder or extort for unlawful gain), shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
E. Then, there are those who do not control their thought life and their flesh acts out their fantasies. What is in the heart will eventually manifest itself in outward actions because what is in the heart is what we are.
1. Our Thoughts Are Known
a. Our Thoughts Are Known By God - 1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.
Psalms 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
b. Our Thoughts Are Know By Self - Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart [is] not with thee.
c. Our Thoughts Well Soon Be Known By Others - Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
2. Our Thoughts Must Be Controlled
a. Our Thoughts Are Controlled By Girding - 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (Gird up is the opposite of loose. To bridle or to control.)
b. Our Thoughts Are Controlled By Renewing - Romans 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.
Hebrews 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. (As we are constantly bombarded by the world we are to renovate our thinking with the Word of God.)
c. Our Thoughts Are Controlled By Meditating - Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
3. Our Imaginations Must Be Captured
a. We Either Destroy Them - 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations (framework or to build), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (MARTIN LUTHER was credited with saying, "You can't keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” “Casting down” means to throw down with force.)
1) Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say: “Behind every human tragedy there is a slow process of evil, wicked thinking.”
2) Sinfulness is a process of evil thinking! No one ever falls into sin. They have been falling a long time. We only saw them when they landed. It began in their thoughts.
3) Sir Francis Bacon was asked what he thought the outlook was for the next generation. He declared, “Tell me what the young people are thinking and I’ll tell you.”
b. Or They Will Destroy Us - Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. (THOUGHTS produce ACTIONS; ACTIONS produce HABITS; and HABITS produce LIFE-STYLES!)
Conclusion: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he!”
Romans 8:12-13 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 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.