Temple Baptist Church - 7-4-2012
A. Paul has spent a lot of time emphasizing our relationship with each other and also with the world. It is so important for us who name the name of Christ to live our lives in the light of our profession. Once we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are now the face of Christianity in the present, evil world.
B. Paul gives us our example in Christ. He gave up His life because of the importance of the lives of others. He could have stayed in heaven and let us die without hope but He gave up heaven that we might one day live with Him.
C. We found that, at the moment of salvation, God placed something in us that needs to be nurtured. As we grow in the Lord, that “seed” that remains in us is germinated, grows, is to be worked out, and bear fruit. You and I are God’s epistles, written of God and read of men! We are the only Bible that most read and we are the face of Christianity that we either draw them to Christ or drive them away.
D. In our text, Paul sets forth two common things found in the church that deters the work of the church and destroys the testimony of it.
a) Murmuring because of wrong priorities
b) Murmuring because of selfishness
c) Murmuring because of dissatisfaction
a) Personality conflicts
b) Hurt feelings
E. In verse 15, we find the importance of being “well adjusted” spiritually and coming to church for the right reasons. So many believers come to church not looking for biblical preaching because it demands decisions to be made in their lives. It is so much easier just to “go with the flow” and live their lives for the gratification of the flesh. Others are seeking some form of entertainment. Entertainment can come in the form of singing and emotion. People will get excited when someone sings and sit bored when the preacher preachers. Entertainment can also be found in the personality and style of the preacher. It is not the style that gets the job done; it is the quality of the message delivered. It is God’s word that works effectually in us and brings about the desired results.
F. Here are the desired results of spiritual maturity:
1. Blamelessness – “blameless” - 2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (We are not sinless. Even our acquaintances know that we are human but blamelessness is a different thing. To blame is to bring reproach. How many times have we heard the lost say, “A Christian should not do that?” My neighbors know that I am both a Christian and a preacher.)
2. Harmlessness – “harmless” - Philippians 1:10-11 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (So many have brought reproach to the name of Christ and have done irreversible damage to the cause.)
3. Conformity – “the sons of God” - 2 Corinthians 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. (Believers are in a constant process of change through the guidance of the Holy Ghost and revelation of His Word. Romans 12 says that transformation comes through the renewing of our minds.)
1 Peter 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.
4. Visibility – “in the midst … ye shine as lights” – John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (As long as Jesus Christ walked this earth, He was the Light of the world. After His ascension, we became His light!)
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.