Temple Baptist Church - 3-10-2010
A. In these verses, we find the price paid by the Apostle Paul for his stand for the gospel.
2 Corinthians 11:22-28 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. (23) Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. (24) Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. (25) Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (26) In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; (27) In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (28) Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. (Paul paid a great price for his unwillingness to compromise the doctrines of the faith. He was most certainly a contender!)
B. Through the ages, God’s people have paid a price for their testimony. It is estimated that over 50,000,000 died in the Dark Ages alone at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. History is being re-written to cover such atrocities including the annihilation of over 6,000,000 million Jews in Nazi Germany.
C. Even in our day, there are Christians in other countries that are being persecuted. Our Lord said that they would hate us because they hated Him first.
D. We, as United States citizens, have been blessed! We may be slandered and sometimes snubbed, but there is little to no actual physical persecution in America. We are a marked people though. The true Christian stands out in the crowd because he or she is in the world but not of the world.
E. Though we are not marked physically, we are marked by our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to look at several of those marks tonight. I will only mention a few as the list and message would be much more than could be preached in one service.
1. There Are Inward Marks
a. The Witness Of The Spirit - 1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
b. A Work Of Peace - Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
c. A Love And Desire For God’s Word - Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
d. A Love And Desire For God’s House - Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
2. There Are Upward Marks
a. A Father-Son Relationship - Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
b. Access And Boldness In Prayer - Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
c. Chastisement When In A Sinful Condition - Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
d. Obedience To The Word Of God - 1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
3. There Are Outward Marks
a. A Changed Life That Is Separated Unto The Saviour - Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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.
b. A Compassionate Heart Towards The Lost - Jude 22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
c. A Brotherly Love That Is Evident - 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Conclusion: How could a person be saved and not know it? I thank God tonight for the wonderful changes that He made in my heart, mind, and life when He saved me!