Sunday, February 17, 2019

Spiritual Maturity: The Key To True Christianity

Temple Baptist Church - 2-17-2019
Romans 12:9-18


A.  Tonight, we will have to look at these verses as parts of a whole.  What is “true Christianity?”  It is when this world looks at us and, as they did in Antioch, calls us Christians.  Those who are like Christ.

B.  Within the context, we find three attributes of the mature believer: Verses 1-2, Personal Sanctification; Verse 3, Spiritual Humility; Verses 4-8, Unwavering Faithfulness.  These three things are what the world sees in us.

C.  Verses 89-18 show us the marks of spiritual maturity.  The acrostic of the word “JOY” says it all.

1.  J – Jesus first.

2.  O – Others second.

3.  Y – You last.

D.  Marks of Spiritual Maturity:

1.  Verse 9 – Let love be without dissimulation. Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:  (Dissimulation – to pretend, hypocrisy, insincere.  Don’t tell me that you love me, show me that you love me.)

2.  Verse 9 – Abhor that which is evil.  Psalms 101:3  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Abhor – utterly detest.  I fear that we do not hate evil as much as we want to think.)

3.  Verse 9 – Cleave to that which is good.  Genesis 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  (Cleave – to join, to become one. L Depart from evil and stay with good.)

4.  Verse 10 – Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love. Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  (Affectioned – cherishing one’s kindred.) 

5.  Verse 10 – In honour preferring one another.  Philippians 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  (Having a right perception of self and kindness to others.)

6.  Verse 11 - Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit.  1 Thessalonians 4:11  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;  (Hard working, dependable people.)

7.  Verse 11 - Serving the Lord.  1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.  (Time for family, time for work, time for faithfulness to the Lord.)

8.  Verse 12 – Rejoicing in hope.  Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  (Facing adversity with the joy of the Lord and the peace of God.  People watch us when we suffer adversity.)

10.  Verse 12 – Patient in tribulation.  Romans 5:3-5  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (4)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (5)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  (Someone once said that the measure of a man is not what he accomplishes in life but what it takes to stop him.)

11.  Verse 12 – Continuing instant in prayer.  1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.  (Instant is an attitude of prayer whereby we always commune with the Lord, in every situation.)

12.  Verse 13 – Distributing to the necessity of saints.  1 John 3:17  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  (The key is need, not want.  The Bible teaches contentment with food and raiment.  If a brother is hungry, naked, out in the cold, and willing to work—it it is our responsibility to help.)

13.  Verse 13 – Given to hospitality.  Hebrews 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  (You all are always welcome at our home!)

14.  Verse 14 – Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.  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;  (Love, bless, do good to them, and pray for them.)

15.  Verse 15 – Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  Hebrews 13:3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.  (Put yourself in their place: be happy for them when they are happy and suffer with them when they suffer.)

16.  Verse 16 – Be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.  1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  (Condescend-to yield or to come down to.  Unity is the key to a successful Christian life.  Learn to get along and, if you do not get your way, smile!)

17.  Verse 17 – Recompense to no man evil for evil.  Matthew 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  (The Golden Rule.  Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.  Be kind one to another.)

18.  Verse 17 - Provide things honest in the sight of all men.    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.  (Honesty is not the best policy, it is the only policy.)

19.  Verse 18 – If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Hebrews 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  (If … as much.  Sometimes peace is not an option.  Ecclesiastes – time to kill, time to hate and a time of war.)

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