Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

 

Proverbs 7:4-5 & 26-27 ”Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”

Exercising wisdom in defense of purity and Biblical dating standards is critical for today’s Christian. The average person is bombarded with temptation from all areas, billboards, magazine covers, television, movies, music, internet and many other areas. It is simply too easy to become impure or succumb to the impure thoughts and temptations in society today. This is why we need to be vigilant in anchoring our dating relationships in God.

Many strong men have been slain by her.” – lust, impurity, sexual temptation have been the ruin of many great men, men who at one time may have been looked to as heroes, men that were well respected, highly thought of, that were good examples, have been brought down by either not having proper standards of purity and separation or simply letting themselves become too weak to want to resist temptation when it came their way. Solomon himself, as well as Samson, became examples of the “strong men” here mentioned, who were ruined by wrong moral choices.

Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.Psalm 27:14 – “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Song of Solomon 2:16 “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 2:1 “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Husbands are the ones who give flowers to their wives, and single men or young men may give them to the lady they are interested in. The Bible says we that are saved are part of the bride of Christ and Jesus is the groom of the church. When a Husband gives flowers to his wife it is a sign of his love. God loved us all so much, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

The Bible says in II Corinthians 11:2b – “for I have espoused you (the church) to one husband (Jesus), that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” This is a wonderful picture of a personal relationship between the church and God’s Son, Jesus. How can we get to the point where we can say “My beloved is mine, and I am his”? We must understand what love is, and what love is not. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Another word for love is charity. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” I Corinthians 13:2. As we learn about pure, Biblical, Godly, God given love, keep in mind that it is very important for us to remain pure for God and our future happiness. We should want to dedicate ourselves to living a pure life for the Lord. Learning about pure, Biblical, Godly love should inspire and encourage us to stand fast in our decision and obedience to the Lord in this crucial matter of purity. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19-20

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“FILTHY COMMUNICATION”

(Colossians 3:1-8)

Colossians 3:8 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

But now ye also put off all theseDr. Hammond Burkitt said this concerning this phrase “But now that you are Christians, ye are obliged to put off all, not only these forenamed, but of the other sort of affections; all sudden inflammations of anger, all rising of it to any height, all continuance of it upon you, until it be increased into malice; and for the tongue, let not that be guilty of any reproachful, unclean, or false discourse.”

filthy communication-The context also favors the thought “abusive language, or disrespectful language” in addition to impure conversation. Any type of communication that would be considered “filthy” to God needs to be stopped and avoided.

INTRODUCTION: “The gospel religion introduces a change of the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the dominion of right reason and conscience over appetite and passion.” – Matthew Henry. We need to cut off the “filthy communication” of a quick, rash, flippant, and disrespectful comment as well as the “filthy communication” of sinful words and ideas. Both are just as bad and sinful in the eyes of God and in Colossians 3:8 both are implied and we are told to put both of these out of our life. Neither of these types of “filthy communication” should be in the life of a Christian. “Filthy communication out of your mouth” – obscene discourse, dishonest talk, malicious talk, or disrespectfulness should not come into the Christian’s mouth and be directed at others, especially to other Christians.  (Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.)

PUT OFF Put off all these” – Paul is talking to people here who used to be pagans who used to live in a state of sin and who used to be servants to sin. Now they are saved, now they are living as Christians and there behavior should be dramatically different than that of the world around them. They were more strongly obliged to lay aside those inordinate affections which were more spiritual in nature. (Ephesians  4:22-23 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;) Some of what they were to lay aside was anger, having a vindictive spirit, and the wrong kind of attitude, which was leading them to unjustly hurt, and disrespect others around them. (Ephesians 4:29 –  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.)

WRATHWrath” – Romans 2:8 “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath”.  Wrath is a sudden, hasty, and vehement reaction of the offended mind, perceiving an injury, when it shows itself in the countenance, or written or verbal expression, in a manner and measure unbecoming a Christian. (Ephesians 4:31 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:)

MALICEMalice” – connoting both the evil habit and the vicious act: now though this word is used often more generally, for those mischievous thoughts which run through all the passions of the soul, reaching to all sins. Here, in Colossians 3:8-9, it seems to be taken more specifically, for a secret malignity of rooted anger and continued wrath, remembering injuries, meditating on revenge, and watching for an occasion to vent it, to express it, to demonstrate our displeasure to the person or persons we hold the “malice” to, whether that be by deed or by “filthy communication” of all varieties, but most usually the disrespectful and intentionally insultful varieties.

This “malice” according to the original word usage and definition could take the form of intentionally hurting the good name and reputation of someone, which when it is in connotation to God we do more strictly call blasphemy. When it respects our neighbor, our associate, or our fellow Christian, God forbid, it is more largely considered to be defamation (Romans 3:8; 1Corinthians 4:13; Titus 3:2) yet if this “malice” is taken out in a secretive manner or behind someone’s back it is considered backbiting, reviling or slandering. Matthew 15:19-20For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”, Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” and  I Timothy 6:4-5He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

PAUL TELLS US HERE IN COLOSSIANS 3:8 TO STOP OUR “FILTHY COMMUNICATION Stop the lewd comments. Stop the alternate implied meanings to what you say. Stop the dirty jokes. Stop the vile words. Stop the disrespectfulness directed at others. WRONG COMMUNICATION AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD (I John 1:5-6 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:)

  • Our fellowship with God is maintained as we walk in light. How can we have a proper relationship with God if our communication is perverse, dark and sinful?
  • God is light” this is describing an attribute of God. Light is purity, it brings clearness, it shows beauty. As light is necessary for life, our communication needs to reflect God’s light instead of reflecting the perverse darkness of the Devil.
  • Especially watch for “filthy communication” in your texts, on facebook and in all types of electronic communication. Just because you don’t actually say it, it is still “filthy communication” if you type or text it.
  • Music is included in this communication too. How are you musical choices? Do they blaspheme God and the teachings of God in His word? Do your musical choices violate other Scriptures?
  • If we walk in obedience to our Lords commands concerning our communication, we will be able to have great fellowship with Him. (I Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…) – How is your relationship with God?

THE POWER OF THE TONGUE Solomon wrote about the power of the tongue in Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

  • The power of the tongue” to do Good.
  • The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.)
  • The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.)
  • The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.)
  • Using your words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)
  • “The power of the tongue” to do Evil.
  • In the list of 7 abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; He mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin. (Colossians 3:9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;)
  • A person who does not control his tongue or his typing in social media or texting will bring destruction to himself. (Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth verswide his lips shall have destruction.)
  • A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
  • Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.)
  • A lying tongue hates and afflicts people, and flattering lips cause ruin. (Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.)
  • Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue or typed out words to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people. If you cause discord or issues and problems among Christians the Bible tells us this is an abomination.
  • Your tongue has a lot of potential. Potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?

WHEN WE SPEAK BE TACTFUL NOT JUST TRUTHFUL (Proverbs 15:4 – A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.)

What is tact?

  • Tact is the ability to make a point without making an enemy.
  • Tact is when you tell someone to go jump off a cliff in a way that makes them look forward to the journey.
  • Tact is treating everybody as if they knew what they were talking about.
  • Tact is the art of telling someone he’s open minded when he’s really just got a hole in his head.
  1. The primary way we show respect is with our words.
  2. ‘Wholesome‘ carries with it the idea of healing or curative.
  3. This verse reminds us that we need to give attention to how we speak. Paul admonished us to ‘Speak the truth in love’
  4. The way we say something will go a long way in determining how well it’s going to be received. Learning how to be truthful and tactful at the same time is an absolute essential of being respectful.
  5. People with tact often have a lot less to retract. We don’t have to eat our words as often if we say them in a kind way.
  6. Many people today don’t understand this; they often confuse rudeness with frankness. “I just tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may!” That’s not being frank; that’s being mean and disrespectful to people.

ANOTHER TYPE OF “FILTHY COMMUNICATION” IS “MURMERINGS AND DISPUTINGS” (Philippians 2:14– Do all things without murmurings and disputings:) – We need to not have murmurings and disputing toward things we do for God and our Church or for things we do at our secular jobs. (I Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.) I am going to talk about 3 areas where we need to watch our attitudes or our “murmurings and disputing”.

Secular Job

  • We need to maintain a testimony where we work. Especially since we are Christians and hopefully those you work with know you are a Christian.
  • We need to maintain a good testimony of having a good attitude and not complaining about everything at work, because we represent Christ. If people we work with see a negative complaining, insubordinate attitude from us, they are not going to want anything we have. We will turn them off to Christ and that may end up sending them to a Christ-less eternity.

Church life

  • We need to have a good, a non complaining attitude in things we do for Christ and in our church life. Constantly complaining about things is a sin. A very discouraging sin to the leader that has to hear it all the time.
  • We need to support and enthusiastically follow leadership. God put men in the leadership position in our church “for such a time as this”.
  • Of course if the leadership of the church is leading in an unbiblical path we are not obligated to follow it in those circumstances nor should we. We should follow the biblical guidelines given in those circumstances as found in Matthew 18:15-17. Our ultimate allegiance should be to God and His word.

To the brethren

  • The Bible warns us over and over again about causing problems among the brethren. Of the seven things listed as what the Lord hates in Proverbs chapter 6:16-19 the last one mentioned and considered an “abomination” is “he that soweth discord among the brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16, 19 – These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:, vs.19 – A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.)
  • Don’t be guilty of what the Lord considers an abomination!
  • How do you sow discord among the brethren? – With murmurings and disputings. With a complaining attitude. With an attitude of seeing just how much you can get away with or trying to get special treatment for yourself.
  • Don’t be guilty of this sin, the Lord says is an abomination. We are commanded in the Word of God to mark those which cause division among fellow Christians and to avoid them. (Romans 16:17 – Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.) – Don’t make fellow Christians have to avoid you.

CONCLUSION: Fires don’t start out big and destructive. Fires start out small, but have tremendous potential for destruction. So too are the words we say with our tongues. The tongue is a small part of our body but it can cause tremendous havoc and problems for us and for the innocent people around us. (James 3:5-6 – Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.)

We need to “Know what is acceptable.” Are we speaking what is acceptable? Are we messaging, or texting, or Facebooking what is good or what it is evil? We learned that “filthy communication” will affect our relationship with God. We cannot be living in the darkness of “filthy communication” and be having fellowship with God at the same time.

We need to learn to control our reactions to false accusations and sinful hurtful communications. We need to follow our Lords example and to go by His words he gave us in Matthew 5:39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

We have a responsibility to represent Christ in this world. One important value that we must build our lives upon is proper and Godly communication. We need to show respect for ourselves, we need to show respect to our family, we need to show respect to our church family and we need to show respect to the world at large.

Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will affect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of hurting someone, especially a fellow brother or sister in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will affect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.

Everyone has a “right” to an opinion as long as it lines up with God’s opinion on the subject. Everyone has a “right” be treated with dignity and respect. But remember if Jesus had demanded “his rights” He would not have died on the cross for you and I and we would be condemned to an eternity in Hell. So be careful with this. What you say might be “right”, but the wrong attitude and wrong spirit will make it wrong.

Make your attitude and your responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)

We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. The Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, church leadership and fellow Christians. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection on your true heart condition to God. How about you? What could people glean from how respectful or disrespectful you are to others in your life? Would they determine that you have a good heart relationship with the Lord or a bad heart relationship with the Lord? (Mark 7:6 – He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.)

DRESSING FOR CHURCH MATTERS

(Exodus 28:1-5, & 39-43)

 Exodus 28:3 – “And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”

 INTRODUCTION: The Bible establishes guidelines and principals for us to live by when it comes to how we are to dress. There are different circumstances and different styles of appropriate dress for each occasion. While the Bible may not give certain specifics about dress standards for some things, it does give us clear standards and instruction in the area of how we should dress so that we “may minister unto” the Lord. It also gives us clear instruction in the matter of modesty and purity in our standards of dress.

STANDARDS OF APPEARANCE FOR GOD’S HOUSE. (Exodus 27:16-19 – And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four. All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass. The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service hereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.)

  • As you can see by these verses, God sets a high standard for the appearance of His house. We should be very concerned with the appearance and upkeep of our church building. God wants our church building to look the best it can look. We honor the Lord by keeping our church building as beautiful as we have the means to make it.
  • God wanted His Tabernacle to look beautiful because this is where his people would come to worship Him. This is where the priests would come to “minister unto me” as the Lord said.
  • God wanted His Temple to look the best it could look because people knew this is where His Holy Spirit would dwell. It was literally the Temple of the Holy Ghost.
  • What does the Bible say is the Temple of the Holy Spirit now? – We are. We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19-20 -What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.)
  • Our bodies are that temple if we are saved. Shouldn’t we put as much effort into the appearance of our Temple that was put into the appearance of the Temple of God back then when we are serving and worshipping God? Yes, we should.
  • We should strive to look the best and dress the best we have the ability to for the Lord especially when we are doing service for God in this Temple, our body.
  • Like the Bible says in Exodus 28:1 – “that he may minister unto me in the priests office”. Minister means to serve. When we are ministering unto God the Bible demonstrates unto us this principle we should want to look the best we can for the Lord because we are His Temple. When we are serving the Lord we should want to be dressed in the best that we have for our service to Him.

STANDARD OF DRESS FOR THE PRIEST THAT MINISTERED UNTO GOD. (Exodus 28:1-5 – And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him,that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.)

  • The Bible tells us 3 times in these 5 verses why the garments of the priests were to be the best they could make them. Why? – “that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office” – The priests’ garments were to be the best they could make them because they were ministering or serving God while they had them on.
  • They were to honor God with the best garments they had while they were serving Him. The Bible does not say they had to dress like this all the time, only when they were serving the Lord, because it was a special and holy privilege to serve the Living God.
  • They could dress down, they could dress in a relaxed manner; but this Biblical principle in these verses clearly demonstrates when it comes time to serve the Lord we should be trying to dress up to honor Him as we serve Him.
  • So how do guidelines about how a priest in the Old Testament was to dress as he served the Lord apply to me? – Good question. The answer is found in I Peter 2:5-9 – “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
  • These verses describe to you the principle of the priesthood of the believer; which essentially means we all as believers can offer spiritual sacrifices or service to the Lord, and we can get access straight to God through our great High Priest. As we are serving the Lord this way, we should follow the Biblical example of the Old Testament priests, and where practical and possible represent our Savior the best we can.
  • So who is the great High Priest in New Testament times? – The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:14 – “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
  • The Bible gives us the example here of dressing up to serve the Lord, dressing up when we go to church to hear His word preached and taught, dressing up while we minister to others, dressing up while we go out to visit and witness to the lost.

STANDARD OF DRESS TO HONOR GOD (Genesis 35:1-3 – And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.)

  • God told Jacob to go to Bethel and build an altar to honor Him there; that is where God had appeared to Him. So Jacob then spoke to his family and told all that were with him to get ready to go to where God had visited Him and helped him in his time of trouble. He said he was to build an altar there to honor God.
  • Jacob began this faith journey with recognition of how much God had done for him, and how much he needed God in his life. He wanted to get himself ready and his household ready to experience God too.
  • Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean” – this signifies the need for repentance and coming clean to God about our sins. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)
  • change your garments” – this implies a change of our hearts toward sin. Our outside should be a reflection of our inside, our outside appearance when we journey to the physical place of worship of God should, to the best of our ability, reflect the holiness and pureness of God.
  • God looks at our heart; however, what we wear to worship our holy and pure God may be an indication of our heart condition. Getting dressed in our best helps prepare our hearts and minds to the worship of God.
  • There can be many legitimate exceptions to this. Those coming straight from work may not be dressed in their best but did not want to miss the church service, those who do not have the physical ability to dress as sharply as others, and those whom to the average person may not look like they are dressed in their best but they really are. It is not up to us to judge those who come to church, however they are dressed for the service. It is up to us though to teach the whole council of God, and God’s Word clearly teaches the principle of dressing up in our best for God when we come together in corporate worship. (Matthew 7:1 – Judge not, that ye be not judged.)

IN CONCLUSION: How we dress for church and for the corporate worship of God at the physical location of our church does matter. It matters because the Bible teaches us that we are to present the temple of the Holy Spirit as best as we can when it is involved in the worship of God. The Bible teaches us that we are priests, and as priests, we should dress up in our best to honor God as we worship Him. Jacob set an example with his family and household in that when it was time to go up to Bethel to build an altar of worship and thanksgiving to God, he had them get clean and change into nicer clothes to get ready for what was to come. The Bible gives us several clear principles about dressing in our best when it comes to going to church to worship and hear from the Lord, and we need to be following those principles in our life.

***Yes… It Does Matter – the preceding post is chapter 10 in the book – Yes… It Does Matter***

That they may go forwardExodus 14:15  Or Contrasting living by sight vs. living by faith

(Exodus 14:10-15)

Introduction: The setting of this text is when the Israelite’s led by Moses have finally left Egypt and are being chased by Pharaoh. They are on the edge of the Red Sea and the Egyptians are at their back  and the Red Sea is in front of them.

“Lifted up their eyes”  – LIVING BY SIGHT – verse 10. The Israelite’s were living by site and not by faith here. II Corinthians 5:7 tells us “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF LIVING BY SIGHT & NOT BY FAITH?

  • They were sore afraid” vs. 10 – FEAR – is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • The Bible tells us a spirit of fear does not come from God! – II Timothy 1:17For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  • If you have a problem with fear and worry, take it to the Lord he will help you overcome it. – Psalm 34:4 – I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
  • Children of Israel cried out” vs.10 – COMPLAINING – having a complaining spirit is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • Having a complaining spirit displeases the Lord. – Numbers 11:1 – And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
  • And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?vs. 11 – DOUBTING GODLY LEADERSHIP – is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • People who have a doubting spirit are unstable the Bible tells us and easily led astrayJames 1:6 – But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
  • “Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” – 12 – THINKING YOUR WISDOM IS BETTER THAN GOD’S WISDOM – is a result of living by sight and not by faith.
  • We need to learn to trust in God’s wisdom and quit thinking we know better. If God is leading us in a certain direction don’t think you thought of something that He didn’t think ofProverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
  • And Isaiah 55:8-9 tells usFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

NOW LETS LOOK AT LIVING BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT. Remember what II Corinthians 5:7 says “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

SO WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF LIVING BY FAITH & NOT BY SIGHT?

  • “Fear ye not” vs. 13 – LACK OF FEAR – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • If we are God’s children we can place our trust in Him and not fear what lies ahead of us.Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
  • Stand still” vs. 13 – CONFIDENCE IN YOUR POSITION – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • If we are His children we have nothing to fear. We can have confidence in our position with Him. John 10:28-29 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
  • See the salvation of the Lord” vs.13 – SEEING THE HAND OF THE LORD WORKING IN YOUR LIFE – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • Philippians 2:13 – For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.God’s hand is at work in your life – have faith and trust His sovereignty over you life.
  • the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” 13 – THE LORD MEETING YOUR NEEDS – is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • He is our Heavenly Father “Stand still” and have confidence in His ability to do anything or meet any need that might arise. Philippians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • “The Lord shall fight for you” 14 THE LORD WILL FIGHT OUR BATTLES FOR US – is as result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • The Lord will be with you in the heat of the battle. He will fight for you in the battles of life on your behalf. Deuteronomy 20:4 – For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
  • “Hold your peace” – 14 – PEACEFULNESS – a sense of peace that passes all understanding is a result of living by faith and not by sight.
  • Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – If you are living a life of faith the Lord can give you a sense of peace in the midst of your trials.

“That they go forward” – vs. 15 – The end result of living a life by faith and not by sight is MOVING FORWARD for the Lord.

  • The Lord wants us to be constantly moving forward for Him.
  • He does not want us to rest and be content where we are at in our walk with Him.
  • We should be constantly striving to conquer new challenges and take new ground for His Kingdom.
  • We should never think we have arrived or our church has arrived – the minute we do that we are no longer living a faith life.

In Conclusion: We should always keep in our thinking that the Lord is in control of our life. He sometimes brings circumstances about or trials in our life for a purpose for a reason. He controls a chain of events from start to finish with the goal in mind to help His children to be constantly doing one thing for Him, He will bring about events so “That they go forward” like it says in the last part of verse 15.

Remember we said a living a life by sight results in:

FEARThey were sore afraid” it says in vs. 10

 COMPLAININGChildren of Israel cried out” vs.10

 DOUBTING GODLY LEADERSHIP And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?” vs. 11

THINKING YOUR WISDOM IS BETTER THAN GOD’S WISDOM vs. 12

And we said living a life by faith on not by sight results in:

LACK OF FEARFear ye not” vs. 13

CONFIDENCE IN YOUR POSITIONStand still” vs. 13

SEEING THE HAND OF THE LORD WORKING IN YOUR LIFESee the salvation of the Lord” vs.13

THE LORD MEETING YOUR NEEDS “the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”  Vs. 13

THE LORD WILL FIGHT OUR BATTLES FOR US“The Lord shall fight for you” vs. 14  

PEACEFULNESS“Hold your peace” – vs. 14  

Moving forward – “That they go forward” – vs. 15 – The end result of living a life by faith and not by sight is MOVING FORWARD for the Lord. – trusting the Lord with the next step not just being content where you are at.

SHOWING RESPECT

(I Peter 2:13-23)

INTRODUCTION: We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. It seems that respect for people is at an all time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm — put down humor. Whether it is one of the many late night comedians who many tune in and listen to, to hear them put down society. Their favorite targets are those in authority, those in leadership; those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position.

I Peter 2:17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

But the Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. Make your attitude and your responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)

In this 2 part series we are considering the why and how of showing respect. In part #1 of this 2 part series we examined  the “why” and in part #2 we will examine the “how”.

5 PRACTICAL WAYS TO SHOW RESPECT – In a world that’s full of rudeness and disrespect, how can we show respect to others in a practical way?

When We Speak, Be Tactful, Not Just Truthful. Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

What is tact?

  • Tact is the ability to make a point without making an enemy.
  • Tact is when you tell someone to go jump off a cliff in a way that makes them look forward to the journey.
  • Tact is treating everybody as if they knew what they were talking about.
  • Tact is the art of telling someone he’s open minded when he’s really just got a hole in his head.

The primary way we show respect is with our words.

  • ‘Wholesome‘ carries with it the idea of healing or curative.
  • This verse reminds us that we need to give attention to how we speak. Paul admonished us to ‘Speak the truth in love’
  • The way we say something will go a long way in determining how well it’s going to be received. Learning how to be truthful and tactful at the same time is an absolute essential of being respectful.
  • People with tact often have a lot less to retract. We don’t have to eat our words as often if we say them in a kind way.
  • Many people today don’t understand this; they often confuse rudeness with frankness. “I just tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may!” That’s not being frank; that’s being mean and disrespectful to people.

The Power of the tongueSolomon wrote about the power of the tongue in (Proverbs 18:21 –  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.)

“The power of the tongue” to do Good.

  • The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.)
  • The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.)
  • The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.)
  • Using your words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)

The power of the tongue” to do Evil.

  • In the list of 7 abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; He mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin. (Colossians 3:9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;)
  • A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
  • Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.)
  • Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people.
  • Your tongue has a lot of potential, potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?

When We Are Served, Be Understanding Not Demanding. Luke 6:31And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

  • One of the greatest tests of our character is how we treat people when they serve us. Waitress, waiters, clerks, employees, even family!
  • When people are doing something for us, are we understanding or are we demanding?
  • It takes no intelligence at all to be rude. But it takes great character and great maturity to be understanding, and not demanding, of people. The best place to practice this is at home.
  • I know people who treat their families in ways they would never consider treating a stranger. They say hurtful things to their families or people they know that they would never consider saying to someone they didn’t know. That’s not right. God says even in our families we need to be understanding, not demanding.

When We Disagree, Be Gentle Not Judgmental. Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”  This verse reminds us that ultimately we will all give an accounting before the Lord.

  • I am going to give an account to God for myself and everyone else will give an     account for themselves.
  • Judgment belongs to God, not me.
  • I can disagree with you on any number of issues, without becoming disagreeable or judgmental.
  • Remember, telling the truth is not being judgmental.
  • But if I use the truth to attack and beat people down, then I am wrong. (Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.)
  • Paul reminded us that if we don’t have love, then people won’t hear the message of truth that we want to proclaim. (I Corinthians 13:1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.)
  • We can be right on an issue but if we’re rude about it, we’re wrong!

When We Share Our Faith, Be Respecting Not Rejecting. I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

  • We cannot argue people into heaven.
  • We won’t see them come to Christ if our attitude is wrong when we are talking to them about God or the Bible.
  • When we share our faith we must do so with gentleness and respect.

When People Are Rude, Respond Politely. Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Don’t retaliate by being rude back.  That only makes things worse. A good rule of communication is “Act, don’t react.” God expects us to react to every situation, every individual, in manner that is biblical. (Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.)

IN CONCLUSION: We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. The Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, and church leadership. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection on your true heart condition to God. How about you? What could people glean from how respectful or disrespectful you are to others in your life? Would they determine that you have a good heart relationship with the Lord or a bad heart relationship with the Lord? (Mark 7:6 – He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.)

SHOWING RESPECT #1

(I Peter 2:13-23)

I Peter 2:15-17 “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

Adam Clarke said this about this passage “God, as their supreme governor, shows them that it is His will that they should act uprightly and obediently at all times, and thus confound the ignorance of foolish men.”

The word “silence” in verse 15 signifies to muzzle, i.e., stop their mouths, leave them nothing to say; let them assert, but ever be unable to bring proof to support it.

The word “honour” in verse 17 means to fix a high value on, to revere to value with respect. We are to honor and revere and show respect to fellow Christians.

The word “love” in verse 17 is translated from the Greek word “agapao”. We are to love the brethren with a perfect love in a social and moral sense.

INTRODUCTION: We live in a very rude world. And unfortunately, people are becoming ruder by the minute. Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. It seems that respect for people is at an all time low. Our favorite kind of humor today is sarcasm — put down humor. Whether it is one of the many late night comedians who many tune in and listen to, to hear them put down society. Their favorite targets are those in authority, those in leadership; those who should be respected if for no other reason than because of their position.

But the Bible makes it very clear that respect is one of those values that is necessary for life. The Bible is very specific about this. We find that we are to respect parents, people in authority, and church leadership. The Scriptures go on to instruct wives to respect and reverence their husbands and husbands are to respect and reverence their wives. And if we think that someone doesn’t fit the above categories, the Lord tells us that we should respect and honor all men.

I Peter 2:17Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

We all want to be respected. We want other people to treat us with dignity. So we are going to begin to look at this missing characteristic. We will consider the why and how of showing respect. In part #1 of this 2 part series we will examine  the “why” and in part #2 the “how”.

4 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD RESPECT – Let’s begin by looking at four reasons why we should respect everybody regardless of their lifestyle, regardless of their decisions, regardless of their behavior or beliefs. The Bible says every person should be treated with respect.

Because God Made Everybody. Psalms 8:4-5 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”

  • Everybody is created by God; and God doesn’t make mistakes or make things we can be flippant with or disrespectful with.
  • There are no worthless people. There are people who do worthless things. There are people who do wrong things, but they are all created by and loved by God.
  • Even the most unlovable person is loved by God.
  • Honor and respect doesn’t mean we embrace or endorse what they do or even what they believe, but we respect the individual as a creation of God.
  • God isn’t finished with any of us, is He? (Philippians 3:13-14Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)
  • We are all a work in progress.
  • So let’s not forget where we came from…let’s remember that we are all made of the same stuff…we are all flesh.

Because Jesus Died For Everyone. I Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

  • We may not think much about somebody, but God does.
  • In fact, He says they are worth dying for. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)
  • The cross shows how much people matter to God.
  • Jesus died for all… people who don’t believe in Him; people who reject Him; people who choose to disobey Him! (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  • Jesus died for me, but He also died for the world. (John 3:17 – For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.)

Because It Shows We Know God. Being respectful and courteous to people is one of the great evidences that you know God. How you treat people and the amount of respect you show to those in leadership positions over you is a good reflection of your true heart condition toward God.  I John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

  • The Bible says that God is love and if I know God then I’m going to fill my life with love.
  • Love always treats people with respect.
  • If you look at the life of Jesus Christ, He treated everyone with respect; the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, Nicodemus, even Judas and Peter.
  • If I am a believer, a Christian, then I’m going to treat other people the way Jesus did.
  • I’m going to treat them with value and with dignity. (I Corinthians 13:5 – [Love] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;)
  • That verse says that love is not rude and selfish.
  • When I’m rude I’m basically saying, “I’m the only one that matters.” So if I treat you with disgust or disrespect – I treat you rudely.

Because of the Law of the Harvest. Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

  • Whatever goes around comes around. Whatever you give out, you’re going to get back. (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.)
  • It never pays to be rude. Treat others how you wish to be treated, treat others with respect. The way you treat others, according to God’s Word, will eventually circle back around to you. (Proverbs 11:17 – The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.)

IN CONCLUSION: There is no excuse for rude and disrespectful behavior in the life of a believer. We have a responsibility to represent Christ in this world. One important value that we must build our lives upon is the value of showing respect. We need to show respect for ourselves, we need to show respect to our family, we need to show respect to our church family and we need to show respect to the world at large.

Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will affect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of being disrespectful to someone, especially a fellow brother or sister in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will affect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.

Strong’s definition of fool: a stupid, wicked, foolish and vile person.

  1. Calling someone a fool – Psalm 14:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” – The Bible here tells us that a fool has denied God in their heart, that they are corrupt to the core, that they do “adominable works” – which means they do utterly detestable works, and that no fools do any good works or good acts. When you call someone a fool or you are inferring in someway that they are a fool, be mindful of what you have done. It is a very degrading and extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool when they are not. Jesus could refer to people as fools because He has perfect knowledge of their hearts, we as sinners do not have this perfect knowledge, that is why Jesus Himself warns us against this action, Jesus warns us against calling someone a fool in no uncertain terms. Calling someone a fool, when they are not, is in itself, a very foolish thing to do.
  2. Do not call someone a fool  – Matthew 5:21-22 – “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” – Keep in mind that when God expressed His contempt for someone by calling him a fool, He did it with complete, accurate knowledge that the one to whom He attributed foolishness was, in reality, a fool. Accusations made by God (through the Bible writers) are not born of unrighteous anger, but of intellectual knowledge, divine consideration, and a desire for fools to turn from their foolish ways (II Peter 3:9). We, however, must restrain ourselves when, in frustration or anger, we consider calling someone a fool. The Bible is crystal clear in that warning of restraint. We should keep the teaching of Christ in our minds and take careful consideration of labeling someone a fool who is not. “but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” – this is a pretty strong  and clear warning given by Christ about this subject.
  3. The disrespect that is given – it is an extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool, especially to call or insinuate this to another Christian. We should, as Christians, have more respect, or at least more respectful use of language and God’s Word then to use it to refer to other brethren as “fools”. As you can see as found in Proverbs 14:1 a fool has denied God, so a fellow Christian according to Proverbs 14:1 would not fit that definition. It is also a great, appalling and disrespectful thing to do to a fellow laborer in Christ to insinuate in someway that they are a fool. Christ makes the seriousness of that accusation crystal clear in Matthew 5:21-22.
  4. Setting things right – Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will effect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of labeling someone a fool, especially a fellow brethren in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will effect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.

SOMETHING TO STOP

(Colossians Chapter 3:1-9)

Colossians 3:8-9 – “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”

INTRODUCTION:If ye then be risen with Christ”, if we are saved, we should be living like it. We have been made free from the penalty of sin. Because of this, shouldn’t we walk as closely to God as we can? We must have a heavenly mindset. We need to change our way of thinking to a Godly frame of mind. Christ sits at the right hand of God. He has secured our eternal happiness in Him. We need to believe the Lord has something better planned for our lives than we do. We need to be seeking out what God has for our lives. We need to “seek those things which are above.” Do not dwell on your present state in your life. Get your eyes off of self and start seeking out the things of God. In the seeking, the Lord gives us some things to stop.

SOMETHING TO STOP (Colossians 3:8 – But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.) Stop the wrong that you are doing. Listen to the Holy Spirit as He draws things to mind for you to stop doing. The Bible lists some specific sins for us to stop doing. Paul says here for us to “put off all these; anger, wrath”. We need to learn to control our anger. Pray to the Lord about this. He will help you overcome this sin.

  • Jesus gives us four ways to help us resolve our anger in Luke 6:27 -28 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
  1. Love your enemies – Following this command of our Lord can be challenging sometimes, but it is the right thing to do and the thing that will help us not to harbor anger and let it turn into bitterness.
  2. Do good to them which hate you” – again, also another commandment from our Lord which could be challenging to implement. Our old sin nature just wants to get even with those we are angry at but Jesus tells us to “do good to them”. (Romans 12:20 – Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.)
  3. Bless them which curse you” – we are to bless them which curse us. Is that a natural reaction to bless someone who curses you? – No, it is not. We have to suppress our old sin nature to do this.
  4. Pray for them which despitefully use you” – Have you ever been used by someone? Or at least felt like you were used? Did you pray for that person afterwards? We are told by Christ we are supposed to pray for them.
  • Forgiveness is how we get rid of the anger. Forgiveness is to occur every time an offense happens. (Luke 17:3-4 – Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.)
  • As a Christian you must forgive because you have been forgiven. (Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.)
  • God will forgive Christians as we forgive others. (Mathew 6:14-15For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.)
  • Someone once said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • How can I learn to control my anger? (Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.)
  • Everyone has a “right” to an opinion as long as it lines up with God’s opinion on the subject. Everyone has a “right” be treated with dignity and respect. But remember if Jesus had demanded “his rights” He would not have died on the cross for you and I and we would be condemned to an eternity in Hell. So be careful with this. What you say may be “right”, but the attitude and spirit of anger will make it wrong.
  • Do not interpret everything as a personal offense. Because it in all likelihood is not. It might not even be directed at you. So slow up your responses and control the speed at which you get angry. (Proverbs 14:17 – He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.)
  • Make your attitude and your responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)

REALIZE CHRISTIANS MUST COPE WITH TWO NATURES – We must learn the “Put off – Put on” principle found in Ephesians 4:22-24 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  • Put off” – your old self, your old reactions to situations, your old attitude, your old angry spirit, your old desires for revenge, put off the bitterness toward others. (Jude 16 – These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; )

&

  • Put on” – the new self. We were created in the image of God. We are in the family of God. Let’s act like His children. Put on forgiveness, put on patience, put on respect for others, put on respect for those in authority over us, put on love for the brethren. (Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.)
  • The Apostle Paul tells us here to stop our blasphemy. Stop twisting the Lords words. Stop using His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.)

THE POWER OF THE TONGUE” – Solomon wrote about the power of the tongue in Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

  • “The power of the tongue” to do Good.
  • The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.)
  • The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.)
  • The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.)
  • Using your words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)
  • “The power of the tongue” to do Evil.
  • In the list of 7 abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; he mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin. (Colossians 3:9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;)
  • A person who does not control his tongue will bring destruction to himself. (Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth verswide his lips shall have destruction.)
  • A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
  • Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.)
  • A lying tongue hates and afflicts people, and flattering lips cause ruin. (Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.)
  • Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people.
  • Your tongue has a lot of potential. Potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?

WRONG COMMUNICATION AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD (I John 1:5-6 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:)

  • Our fellowship with God is maintained as we walk in light. How can we have a proper relationship with God if our communication is perverse, dark and sinful?
  • God is light” this is describing an attribute of God. Light is purity, it brings clearness, it shows beauty. As light is necessary for life, our communication needs to reflect God’s light instead of reflecting the perverse darkness of the Devil.
  • If we walk in obedience to our Lords commands concerning our communication, we will be able to have great fellowship with Him. (I Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…)

CONCLUSION: Fires don’t start out big and destructive. Fires start out small, but have tremendous potential for destruction. So too are the words we say with our tongues. The tongue is a small part of our body but it can cause tremendous havoc and problems for us and for the innocent people around us. (James 3:5-6 – Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.)

We need to “Know what is acceptable.” Are we speaking what is acceptable? Are we messaging, or texting, or Facebooking what is good or what it is evil? We learned that our “corrupt communication” will affect our relationship with God. Because we cannot be living in the darkness of “corrupt communication” and having fellowship with God at the same time.

We need to learn to control our reactions to false accusations and sinful hurtful communications. We need to follow our Lords example and to go by His words he gave us in Matthew 5:39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

LEARN TO LOOK FOR A BIBLICAL VIEW ON ISSUES – AND NOT JUST A TRADITIONAL VIEW

Titus 1:9 says “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Notice the verse says “by sound doctrinenot by tradition of men but by well thought out, researched, studied and reasoned teaching based on God’s Word and God’s Word alone.

We always need to be thinking toward a Biblical view and not just a traditional view. (Mark 7:8a & 13) To get a proper view on any subject we must take into account both God’s terrible holiness, and His gracious forgiveness in view of the sinfulness of man.   To find the Biblical position on issues, we must:

  • Approach the Scriptures open-mindedly. We all have the tendency to believe what we’ve always been taught, without looking at our views critically to see if they are consistent with Scripture. The person who desires to know God’s mind must always come to the Word with a pure heart and an open mind, leaving prejudices and preconceived ideas behind. What is most important is that we find out what God’s Word says not what our traditions or culture say.
  • Look at all of Scripture as a whole on a subject. We cannot just rely on those verses which support our cherished positions.  That is how we so often argue Scripture.  For a view to be Biblical, it must fit every Scriptural text into the view without denying or doing interpretive violence to any position.
  •  Look at each Scripture in its context. The context of a passage will never change the meaning of a verse, but it will clarify the meaning. Each text must be studied on its own, faithfully understanding it in context.  Then, we seek to put all the verses together into a unified and consistent whole.  If the Bible is God’s Word, then every verse’s clear meaning will fit just like a puzzle piece perfectly in the whole of His Word.
  • Dr. C.I. Scofield had a great thought on the proper interpretation of scripture ““Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one and never use an if to contradict a verily.”

Seek Biblical answers not traditional answers, not good sounding answers, not even at first glance what would appear to be “Biblical” answers, but seek to actually examine the Scriptures for what they truly and actually say. Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and remember and keep at the forefront of your mind that our Lord strongly condemns placing mans traditions above His Word. Learn to always make sure the position you are taking or the stand you are making on an issue is based on God’s Word and not just mans tradition. (Mark 7:6-8a & 13 – He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.)

“MURMURINGS & DISPUTINGS”

(Philippians 2:12-18)

Philippians 2:14-16 – Do all things without murmurings and disputings:That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

INTRODUCTION: The Bible tells us in verse 14 to do all things without murmurings and disputing. This means we are to do all things without a complaining and confrontational spirit. We are to do all things with a good attitude. We are to work willingly, happily and with a servants heart for our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:7 – With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:) When we work for someone or serve in the church, do it as if you are reporting directly to Christ himself, because in a way, you really are.

Let’s look at the definitions of these words:

Murmurings – comes from the Greek word “gong-goos-mos” which means to grudgingly grumble about something.

Disputings – comes from the Greek word “dee-al-og-is-mos” which means a doubtful discussion, consideration or debate about the purpose, reasoning or thought.

So you could say the verse this way – “Do all things without grudgingly grumbling about it and without doubtfully considering or debating the purpose or reasoning behind your instruction to do it.”

I would say it this way “Follow the leadership you are under whether that be Christ or your boss or your Pastor. Without having an attitude about what you are told or asked to do, without constantly complaining about everything and without doubting and debating the request or command.”

Have a servant’s heart like the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGSWe need to not have murmurings and disputing toward things we do for God and our Church or for things we do at our secular jobs. (I Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.)

I am going to talk about 3 areas where we need to watch our attitudes or our “murmurings and disputing”.

Secular Job

  • We need to maintain a testimony where we work. Especially since we are Christians and hopefully those you work with know you are a Christian.
  • We need to maintain a good testimony of having a good attitude and not complaining about everything at work, because we represent Christ. If people we work with see a negative complaining, insubordinate attitude from us, they are not going to want anything we have. We will turn them off to Christ and that may end up sending them to a Christless eternity.

Church life

  • We need to have a good, a non complaining attitude in things we do for Christ and in our church life. Constantly complaining about things is a sin. A very discouraging sin to the leader that has to hear it all the time.
  • We need to support and enthusiastically follow the leadership of our Pastor. God put him in the leadership position in our church “for such a time as this”. God gives him the vision and we need to follow and support the vision God has given him.
  • Of course if the leadership of the church is leading in an unbiblical path we are not obligated to follow it in those circumstances nor should we. We should follow the biblical guidelines given in those circumstances as found in Matthew 18:15-17. Our ultimate allegiance should be to God and His word.

To the brethren

  • The Bible warns us over and over again about causing problems among the brethren. Of the seven things listed as what the Lord hates in Proverbs chapter 6:16-19 the last one mentioned and considered an “abomination” is that “he that soweth discord among the brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16, 19 – These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:, vs.19 – A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.)
  • Don’t be guilty of what the Lord considers an abomination!
  • How do you sow discord among the brethren? – With murmurings and disputings. With a complaining attitude. With an attitude of seeing just how much you can get away with or trying to get special treatment for yourself. With a critical spirit. With an aggressively disrespectful spirit. Complaining about others without full knowledge of situations or reasoning. By complaining about church functions instead of supporting church functions.
  • Don’t be guilty of this sin, the Lord says is an abomination. We are commanded in the Word of God to mark those which cause division among fellow Christians and to avoid them. (Romans 16:17 – Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.) – Don’t make fellow Christians have to avoid you.

WHY SHOULD WE NOT BE GUILTY OF MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGS? HOW DOES NOT COMPLAINING BENEFIT US? (Philippians 2:15a That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,)

4 Specific Benefits are listed in the first part of verse 15:

  • “Blameless”So we will not have any guilt, or be the one to blame because of problems within the church or in the world. Make sure you are never the source of “discord among the brethren”, but the solution to that discord.
  • harmless” Never be the one guilty of causing harm or hurt feelings to other Christians or other people in general. Strive to live a life that does not cause harm to others. The Bible tells us to cut out the murmurings, disputing and the gossiping in order to cut out the harming of others.
  • “sons of God” – We are Christians, if we are saved we are the “sons of God”. We should want to act like our Heavenly Father and live and set a good example and not act like the father of this world the devil.
  • “without rebuke” – If we don’t let ourselves murmur, dispute or gossip about things we will have no rebuke coming to us.

WHY SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT BEING BLAMELESS, HARMLESS, SONS OF GOD AND WITHOUT REBUKE? – THAT IS ANSWERED IN THE NEXT PART OF THE VERSE – BECAUSE WE LIVE– in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” VERSE 15B.

  • We are to be a light to the world that we live in. How can we be that light if we are complaining, gossiping, murmuring and disputing? We need to be the lights we are commanded to be. (Matthew 5:15-16 – 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. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.)
  • The world we live in needs our witness. Paul says we live in the “midst of a crooked and perverse nation”I think that accurately describes our nation today. So because of that, more than ever, we need to be living right as Christians and not murmuring or disputing. We need to be setting the example on how to live right not being an example of how to live wrong and sinfully.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO BECAUSE WE ARE A LIGHT IN THE WORLD? – VERSE 16a TELLS US WE SHOULD BE – “Holding forth the word of life”

What is the “word of life”? – The Gospel is called the “word of life” because it reveals to us eternal life and shows us how to have eternal life. It is called the “word of life” because it has the answers to all of life’s issues and problems. If you can’t find the answer keep looking. Sometimes the answers come as a result of the hours you spend in study and prayer in the looking for them.

  • Holding forth the word of life” – are you holding forth the Word of God? Are you doing as we all are commanded to do in Acts 1:7-8 – “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
  • Are you “Holding forth the word of life” by obeying what the Lord commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
  • Are you “Holding forth the word of life” by obeying what the Lord said in Luke 14:23 – “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

IN CONCLUSION : Why should we not be murmuring, complaining and disputing? – because of the benefits God’s Word tells us we will receive in verse 15  to be “blameless, harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke”

We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing because we live in a “crooked and perverse nation” that needs a light, a light of hope, a light of love and light of victory through the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing because we are commanded to hold “forth the word of life” the gospel to the world.

We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing so we can say as Paul did in the last part of verse 16 “that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” So we can have joy at His appearing and know we have not lived in vain and to know that are labor has counted for Him and for eternity.