Temple Baptist Church - 1-29-2012
1 John 1:5-7
A. The past few weeks, I have been preaching on the importance and enemies of fellowship within the local church. One last time, I cannot over emphasis the importance of having a right relationship with each other. The one thing that our Lord said would bring the house down is division from within. I gave us three “L’s” to remember. We must walk in love, light, and without lust.
B. These three are equally essential to unity. If we do not walk in love, we will have schisms within the church; if we do not walk in light, we will allow our sinfulness to divide the purity of the church,; this morning, if we walk in lust, our priorities will be wrong and wrong priorities deter the church’s purposes.
C. I want us to look at several portions of scripture to explain what the Bible means when it uses the term “lust.” In our day, it normally gives a sexual connotation and that can be one of the various uses but “lust” can deal with a number of areas in the life of the believer.
D. James 4:1-3 says it all concerning lust and division:
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (2) Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (Wars and fightings among us come from lusts that war in our members. I find two wars in these verses: 1) Lust warring in our members and 2) Wars and fighting’s among each other.)
E. If my interpretation is right and I believe that it is, the first war is from within and, if this war is lost, then wars break out in the church. Thus, if we want to have peace and unity within the church body, we must have personal victory within ourselves.
F. There are three general areas of lust which can be broken down into a myriad of areas of lust in particular.
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (To define these three areas of lust would be somewhat like this: 1) The lust of the flesh would be our natural fleshly desires: our flesh is not saved and is sensual in nature: it too often desires that which is unlawful; 2) the lust of the eye would be a consuming desire for things that God has not given to us or are not God’s will for us: these things may or may not be sinful but can become weights that hinder our lives for Christ; 3) the pride of life could be called ambition for recognition of honor: a desire to “be someone.”)
G. How do we win the war within so that we do not have to fight the wars in the church? I believe that the answer is biblically simple though spiritually difficult. I am going to give us verses that we are familiar with and yet these verses are areas of frequent failure in all of us.
1. We must keep our Priority right. Luke 9:59-62 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. (60) Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (61) And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. (62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (First is to be Christ! Allow me to put something before you, Lord? Not just putting something first but asking God’s permission.)
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (The Lord asked Peter, “Lovest thou me more than these?”
2. We must keep our Purpose right. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (Our main purpose in life is to bring honor and glory to the One who saved us: being careful to maintain good works so as to never bring shame to Christ.)
Philippians 1:20-21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
3. We must keep our Prize in sight. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. ("He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." [Jim Elliot] We are here for a short span of time and then our eternity begins so we should keep the eternal before our eyes instead of the temporal.)
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (14) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.