Made Alive

Ephesians 2:1-6

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Jesus Christ’s work on the cross has made us alive.  Now we no longer walk in the culture and thinking of the world.  Now, unlike before, we walk in obedience to God’s Word.

  • Obedience is required:  

Psalm 66:18 – If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.

 But obedience according to whose standards:  Not by man-made rules and regulations.

  • Obedience to God’s standards.  

James 1:22 – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” 

James 4:17 – “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

  • How do we know God’s standards?

Through His Word.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

John 8:31-32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

2 Timothy 3:15-16 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Through fellowship with other believers.

Hebrews 10:25 – not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Colossians 3:16 – Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Ephesians 4:11-13 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Through seeking God in prayer for guidance in your personal life.

James 1:5 — If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.

Proverbs 3:6 – In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Light Bearers

Philippians 2:12-16

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Paul has reminded the Philippians of the example of Jesus Christ, how he was obedient and willingly sacrificed Himself for the entire world.  Paul is not teaching salvation by works, but he is showing the church at Philippi that if they really understand and believe what Jesus Christ did for them, their salvation will express itself in progressive Christian living and upright character.  This spiritual growth and character will happen on an individual basis.  However, true obedience will lead the individual to participate in God’s corporate call to a local body of believers.

WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION

  • Work out in the Greek means to bring to completion, to accomplish.  In other words, do not walk half-way with God.  Do not be satisfied with a little of God.   No one else can do it for you.  It is your salvation.  We are to do it with “fear and trembling.”  We need to take this effort seriously.  We will stand before God some day and give an account of our lives.  We need to not be complacent or half-hearted in our walk with God. 

Matthew 10:28 – “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” 

Titus 2:11-12 – “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly (in a responsible manner, sensibly, being in self-control and in full possession of intellectual and emotional faculties), righteously, and godly in the present age.” 

WORK AT OBEYING GOD

  • Works here means to energize.  It speaks of the active operation or working of power and its effectual results.  God is working in us, stirring our hearts, trying to obtain our attention.  We are to recognize these “workings” of God in our hearts, and respond so that we can be obedient to Him.

John 5:21 – “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” 

John 6:63 – “It is the Spirit that gives life . . . the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” 

WORK AT NOT COMPLAINING OR ARGUING

  • Murmurings or complaining means to grumble, complain, be critical, find fault and gossipDisputing means to question, express doubt.  We are to work together in the church without divisions, complaining, being critical of our leaders or of one another. 

1 Corinthians 10:10 – “Nor complain, as some of them also complained and were destroyed by the destroyer.”

Numbers 20:2-3 – Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!

21:4-5 – Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”

WORK AT BEING A LIGHT BEARER

  • We are to shine in the moral darkness around us – show forth the light of Christ.  We are to do this by being blameless (free from fault and censure) and harmless (innocent, unadulterated). 

Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glory your Father in heaven.” 

WORK AT BEING WITNESSES

  • We are to share the good news of Jesus everywhere we can, whenever we can. 

Mark 16:15 – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in your, with meekness and fear.”

WORK AT LIVING A SACRIFICIAL LIFE FOR GOD

  • We have the example of Jesus, we have the example of Paul, and we have the example of many in the Bible and in our own lives. 

Luke 9;23 – “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” 

Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice….”

Counted Worthy

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What do others expect of you as a parent, a grandparent, student, employee, friend, and neighbor?

  • Take a moment and jot down what others may expect of you and whether or not you are fulfilling those expectations.  Ask yourself whether others might come up with the same list that you did.  Take a big breath and honestly begin making a list about what Christ expects of you.  Ask yourself whether or not you are fulfilling those expectations.  WOW, SOS, OH ME!!!  
  • If we all honestly take the time to make these lists of friend’s and God’s expectations of us, we would probably find out that we come up way short. 
  • The whole reason for the exercise that we have honestly and sincerely completed is to be counted worthy.  Not worthy in our eyes, but in our friend’s eyes, and more importantly in God’s eyes.

Phil 2:12-  “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

  • Christ must be first and foremost in our lives.

Colossians 1:9-14 –  “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Ephesians 4:1-3 –  “Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

When we talk about God’s expectations and being worthy, there is the danger that we begin to think we can somehow earn God’s love and mercy.  The Bible is clear that we are made worthy only by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

  • Worthy…not by our deeds but by His grace.
  • Worthy…by His labor of love on the cross, not by our labors.
  • Worthy… through His grace…only His grace.
  • Worthy…through placing our trust in Him.
  • Worthy…through walking in obedience to His Word.

But there is a danger of taking God’s mercy for granted.  While salvation is free, it is not without cost.  It cost Jesus his very life.

So – to think about God’s expectations of us is not to put us on a guilt trip or start down the road of trying to be good enough.

But it is rather to realize what a great gift God has given us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that should lead us to want to walk in a way that will bring glory and honor to Him. 

If we call our self a Christian let us walk in a way that honors the family name.

That Big Word “If”

1 John 1:6

IF we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

  • “If” is a little word with a big meaning.  “If” requires actions on our part.  God has already done His part by sending His son as the redeemer for all mankind “if” we believe. 

1 John 2:3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:19 – They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:13 – Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.

  • Our relationship with God does not depend on what other do or do not do.  “If” our heart is true, He receives us. 

1 John 3:20 – For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

1 John 3:21 – Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

  • Our hearts must be in tune with Him and His will.

1 John 4:9 – God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

1 John 4:11-12 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

1 John 4:20 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

  • We must love for He has loved us.  No debate, no waffling – we must.

1 John 5:9 – If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

  • Confidence in Him who brought us into new life will be the witness within that in all things His plans/design will be made known.

1 John 5:14-16 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.

Remember Who You Are

1 Peter 1:13-21

So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.  [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].  But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.  For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.  And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].  You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, but [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.  It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you.  Through Him you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God. (The Amplified Bible)

Let’s take a look at this passage verse by verse.

  • Verse 13 – So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

The word “brace” in this passage indicates that we should have support.  The church and the people that are a part of it is your support.  Just as a church has a Pastor, it also has a support staff, other people to fill other positions: trustees, treasurer, Sunday School teachers, musicians, people who pray, make calls, visit, etc.  Our minds and heart as well needs to be supported in a spiritual fashion through study, prayer, church attendance, Christian fellowship.  The word “sober” in this passage has nothing to do with drinking of alcohol.  It simply means that we must be morally alert and watchful in our daily walk.  We need to set our hope wholly, not partially, and unchangeably on Christ.  There is no turning back from the grace that He bestowed on us in salvation and is coming in its fullness when Christ returns.

  • Verse 14 – [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].

We are to be obedient to God.  At the same time we are to live life, enjoying what God has blessed us with and also being a blessing.  We are to behave as Christians, not like we used to be before we came to know Him as Savior and Lord.  Our lives must be a testimony of His great work in our lives when He poured out His Spirit upon us and bought us and brought us into this marvelous life.

  • Verse 15 – But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.  

Down thru the years Christianity has changed.  The verse says “holy in all your conduct and manner of living.”  ALL!   ALL!   Do I need to say it again?  In some ways those changes are for the good and in some ways for the bad.  But the Christian walk (or life) has not changed.  For the most part, the change that has occurred, is our reinterpretation of certain dogmas (beliefs) of our faith.  I remember the time when no one calling themselves Christian would ever come to church unless they were fully clothed.  In some churches “casual” has become “almost naked”.   I’m glad we don’t have a dress code anymore but at the same time some have gone too far.  I believe holy living demands that we keep our body covered, and not just in church.  It is not appropriate for the men and women to flaunt their sexuality publically.  There are some clothes we need to wear at home only.   

Verse 16 – For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.

Holiness is not restricted to dress.  It includes the TV programs we watch, the books we read, the thoughts we think, the jokes we listen to and then possibly repeat, the friends we associate with, the places we go and much, much more.  Holiness is a lifestyle.

  • Verse 17 – And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].

Reverence, now there is a word we really don’t understand.  You should live your life to glorify God.  I could probably conjure up several examples here.  But, simply speaking, glorify God in your thoughts, words and actions.

  • Verses 18-19 – You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] fore-fathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, but you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.

You are redeemed, ransomed, born again, changed by the precious blood of Jesus….So talk like it, act like it, live like it!

1 Peter 2:11 – Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles (in this world) to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul. (The Amplified Bible)

This world is not my home, I’m just a passisng through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me, from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

  • Verse 12 – Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that, although they may slander you as evildoers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God in the day of inspection [when God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd looks over his flock].

By your actions and by your words and lifestyle how do you measure up!  If He calls your name right now and you have no more breath left in you, what is going to be your new address?  If you do right and talk right and behave right and live right you may not be the most popular person around but ultimately, is that what you really want? When it comes to eternity, do you really care what Joe Smoe or Sally Smuck really thinks?  Or would you rather hear from God what He thinks?  One of two choices:  Well done or depart from Me!

Remember who you are!   Our conduct should cause others to glorify Christ.

Have you ever felt like your life wasn’t really important in the grand scheme of things?  Have you ever wondered if it was possible to make a difference in the world around you?  First, think about who you are.  Christians need to be different than those who do not know the Lord.  Your godly lifestyle, priorities, and outlook should set you apart from nonbelievers.

Are you making a difference?  We are not to isolate ourselves from the world.  God has placed us in this world so that our lives can have an impact on the people with whom we come into contact.  Our Christian character and lifestyle will expose those who are living an ungodly life and confront them with the life-changing message of the gospel.

In many ways, the holiest moment of a church service is when God’s people go out the doors of the church and into the world.  That is when your godly living will cause people to ask, “What makes you different?”  Some people may criticize, ridicule, or persecute you for living a godly life.  Others, however, may come to know Jesus as a result of your faithful obedience to God’s Word.  If they do, they will glorify God for your testimony and their newfound salvation.

Go and be a living epistle read by all you come into contact with.

 

 

 

Where is the Harvest?

Galatians 6:6-10

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  • We must not grow weary in discharging our responsibility and in obedience to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 – But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good

1 Corinthians 4:1 – Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

  • Blessings if we do not lose heart.

Matthew 24:12-13 – And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Peter 1:10-11 – Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

James 5:7-8 – Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Rev 2:7 – He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

Rev 2:11 – He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.

Rev 2:17 – To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

Rev 3:5 – He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Rev 3:12 – He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

Rev 3:21 – To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

  • In due season

We do not know when the Lord will return or when we will go to be with the Lord by our death.  But we do know that He has promised to return.  In the parable He told about the faithful and unfaithful servants – we must be found sowing the seeds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said our prayer should be for reapers because the harvest is ripe. 

Matthew 9:37-38 – Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

You cannot reap the harvest if the seed corn is still in the barn.  Go and make disciples. 

Living in the Spirit

Galatians 5:19-25

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES

  • Good Desires (verses 22-25)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

  • Desire the House of the Lord

Psalm 27:4 – One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

Hebrews 10:23-25 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

  • Desire to see and hear of the things of God 

Luke 10:24 – for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.

  • Desire the Word of God

Psalm 119: 11 – Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.

Acts 17:11 – Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

  • Desire to work for God

1 Timothy 3:1 – This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

Colossians 3:17 –  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

  • Sinful Desires (verses 19-21)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Tree looked good

Genesis 3:6 – So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

  • Whatever we see and want

Ecclesiastes 2:10 – Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.  I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor.

James 1:14-15 – But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

  • Deny Christ

2 Peter 2:1 – But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

John 12:48 – He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day

  • Lust for other goods

James 4:2 – You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

REAPING THE HARVEST OF THE SPIRIT (verses 22-23)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

CRUCIFY THE SINFUL NATURE (verse 24)

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

  • Lay it aside/turn and walk away/JUST SAY NO TO SIN AND YES TO GOD. 
  • Realize:  Eternity is too long to be wrong. 
  • Do right; live right; be right and you will turn out alright.
  • The way you purpose in your heart will determine your final destination.
  • Remember Daniel.  “He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.”  (Daniel 1:8)

OBEY THE HOLY SPIRIT (verse 25)

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” 

  • Our efforts at goodness without relying on God, no matter how sincere or valiant our efforts may be, can only be a poor copy of the virtues produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.
  • As we yield our lives to the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the result of God’s power will become evident when it is manifested in our lives. 
  • To be victorious in living a Christian life, we must keep our eyes fixed on the cross and the work Christ did for us and be constantly submitted to his will, not our will.  That is dying to self.
  • Our initial decision to trust in Christ for salvation must be reaffirmed daily.
  • This requires us to make ongoing decisions by which we continually crucify the sin nature again and again and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit as he guides us day by day.

What Kind of Person Are You?

2 Peter 3:1-13

Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

  • What kind of man/woman are you?

Many things we read in the newspaper, magazines, see on television and hear people or even churches say about the end times are not accurate.  Many of them said nothing about Christ’s return for the church.  The people who are living for Christ, who have confessed their sins and are doing the best they can to walk, talk, act, and be what Jesus wants them to be.  These people will not have to worry about a lot of the calamities that are going to come upon the earth.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

  • So this Day should not overtake you

What day?  The Day of the Lord.  The catching away of the church to heaven.  Then comes the tribulation, the period of Revelation and all of its trouble, all of its times of difficulty.

  • What kind of man/woman are you?

If you are ready when the Lord comes, you do not have to worry about all these things

  • What kind of man/woman are you?
  • God’s Word is true
    • If God’s Word says it is going to take place, it will.
    • First thing on the agenda, regardless of when these things will begin, be ready.  Confess your sins. 
    • Live right
  • According to the Word
    • Not what seems okay
    • Not what is convenient
    • Live right to the Word of God
  • Then, when Christ comes as a thief in the night, you do not have to worry.
  • What kind of man/woman are you?

You are taking a math class.  You know the test is coming.  You skip most of the classes.  When you do attend, you do not listen to the teacher.  You do not do any of the assignments.  Are you going to pass the test?

You skip going to church.  When you are there, you do not listen to the preacher.  You do not do any of the assignments (read, pray, confess your sins, live right).  Are you going to be with Christ?

  • What kind of man/woman are you?

When your kids do not do their homework, you encourage them, you discipline them, and you may even raise your voice. 

“I’m telling you NOW – get right with God!”

Matthew 24:36-44 – But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

  • What kind of man/woman are you?