Temple Baptist Church - 3-1-2015
A. Have you noticed how frequently the Holy Spirit reminds us of who we are and where we came from. It is not a thing of self-worth or pride that causes He does this. It is to remind us of who we were, what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us, who we now are, and how that we are to behave in this world.
B. Sometimes, we children of God become proud of who we are and this causes us to:
1. Think more highly of our selves than we should. Romans 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.
2. Compare ourselves with other who are less spiritually fortunate. Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
3. Send a wrong signal to this lost world causing them to turn away from Christ instead of to Him. 2 Samuel 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
C. In light of the times in which we live, we find several applications in these verses.
1. Be ready to every good work. Vs 1 Matthew 5:13-14 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (14) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Be subject, obedient, and ready to make a difference!
a. We are the salt of the earth. Salt gives flavor. We are to leave a “good taste” in the mouths of men. Too many times, we have allowed our lifestyle to be evil spoken of and justly so.
b. We are the light of the world. We need to allow our life and direction in life make a clear biblical path for the world to follow. Religion, in our day, sends mixed signals as too many so-called believer have become politically correct. We are to lovingly stand firmly on the bible! We have no right to compromise what God has said.
2. Live in a godly, loving manner before the world. Vs 2 Matthew 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;
a. I have often said that we need to be “straight,” not “hard.” The bible is a perfect standard and mankind is sinful flesh so the bible cuts to the dividing asunder in all of our lives. Let the bible speak for itself. There are times when we just need to quote it and then let it do the work.
b. We are to love our enemies; pray for those who despitefully use us; be kind to the unkind; and when reviled, revile not again.
3. Remember where we were when the Lord saved us. Vs 3 Ephesians 5:11-12 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (12) For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
a. I think it not wise to spend time telling people what we were and what we did before coming to know the LORD. I have heard so many preachers telling how bad they were and almost bragging on the sin that they once lived in. We are not to even speak of those things done in darkness and this is not speaking of day and night. It is speaking of the darkness of our lost condition when we were without God and His word.
b. When seeing people who are captive to their sin, our thought should be, “But for the grace of God go I!” The Lord was a friend of sinners! Love the sinner and hate the sin that brings them to destruction while realizing that we could be the one in that condition.
4. Realize that what we are is because of God’s amazing grace, not our goodness. Vs 4-7 1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
a. Who we are is because of the amazing grace of God! Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” If you got saved later in life, give God thanks for the change of life that was wrought when He saved our souls from hell! If you got saved at a young age, thank God that you have been spared from living a life of sin. In either case, the greatness of our witness is found in the grace of God. To witness is to tell of what you have observed and we know the change that God made.
b. Not by works of righteousness which we have done. We are to live in the light as He is in the light before the lost. Not proud of self but pride in our Lord Jesus Christ who can do the same for any and all who will come to Him in faith.