Requirements of the Christian

1 Timothy 1:3-4

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

  • Know what you believe

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  • Be a person of prayer

1 Timothy 2:1 – Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.

  • Be an example

1 Timothy 4:12 – Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity

  • In speech – in all you say, be godly
  • In conduct – in all you do, be godly
  • In love – in the way you love, be godly
  • In spirit – in attitude and behavior – be as God would be
  • In faith – always trusting and believing in God’s Word
  • In purity – in all areas of life be pure and innocent
  • Exhibit positive qualities

1 Timothy 6:11 – But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

  • Pursue righteousness – right standing before God
  • Pursue godliness – walk according to the Word
  • Pursue faith – continue to trust in the things of God
  • Pursue love – strongly desire to love as God loves
  • Pursue perseverance – be obedient to what is right
  • Pursue gentleness – be calm and peaceful toward others
  • Continue onward

1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

  • Fight the good fight of faith
  • Grasp firmly, lay hold, do not let eternal life slip away
  • Maintain your confession of faith, do not give in to sin
  • Continue to be a witness of God’s grace

Toward The Goal

Philippians 3:12-16

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PERFECTION

  • Paul did not count himself as having yet attained; he was not perfect.  We are not perfect and our righteousness is lacking in many different areas of our lives.  We are continually striving toward perfection and toward living a righteous and holy life.  For many perfection is hopeless; righteousness is hopeless.  Holiness is just not going to happen.  That is because those individuals are relying on their own ability and strength to be perfect and righteous before Christ and it is definitely not going to happen.  If we could be perfect and righteous on our own merits, Christ would not have had to go to the cross. 
  • No person ever achieves perfection on this earth.  That fact is so obvious to the thinking of a honest man that it is actually ridiculous to even think about being perfect.  But, at the same time, too many are so closed minded in their thinking that they seldom grasp what perfection really is.
  • Consider the brain and the mind.  It has been estimated that man only uses one-tenth of one percent of his mental capacity.  Imagine how far short this is of perfection.
  • Consider the body.  What would a perfect body be like?  A body that never desired, thought, or did wrong; that never came up short; that never aged, deteriorated, died or decayed?
  • The examples could go on and on.  But, in the beginning, the creation stage of this earth, we find that man and woman were created in the image of God.  He and she had the perfect body and mind because God created perfection.  It was mankind’s desire to be wise as God that brought about the imperfection that we have in our lives and in our world.  Look at the creation story in Genesis.  Every time God created something, it states over and over “And God saw that all was good.”   

Romans 7:18-20 – “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.  I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it.  (I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.) For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do are what I am (ever) doing. Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it (it is not myself that acts), but the sin          (principle) which dwells within me (fixed and operating in my soul).  The Amplified Version

2 Corinthians 3:5 – “Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.  The Amplified Version

PAUL’S EXAMPLE FOR US TO FOLLOW

  • Paul followed after perfection.  When Paul was saved on the Damascus Road that was just the beginning.  He had been saved to live for Christ and to serve Christ.   He was saved to follow to pursue, like a runner in a race, that perfection that Christ desires in all of us.  Paul was going to do all he could to help the Lord in the Lord’s great task of perfecting him.  Paul was going to do all he could to lay hold of perfection – the perfection for which the Lord had laid hold of him. 
  • There is no such thing as a genuine believer sitting still after he has been saved.  The believer must not become comfortable, complacent, lethargic, or lazy.  The believer should neither waste time nor opportunity.  He should not begin to think he is safe and secure forever.  The believer can not begin to do what he wants to do and give in to his own desires.  The believer must follow, run, and press after perfection – the perfection for which Christ has saved him.  The believer must be active in living for Christ.
  • START WHERE YOU ARE
  • USE WHAT YOU HAVE!
  • DO ALL YOU CAN!

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but (only) one receives the prize?  So run (your race) that you may lay hold (of the prize) and make it yours.  Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things.  They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we (do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness) that cannot wither.  Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim).  I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.  But (like a boxer) I buffet my body (handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships) and subdue it for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit (not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit).”   The Amplified Version

Galatians 5:7 – “You were running the race nobly.  Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the truth?   The Amplified Version

2 Corinthians 4:7-8 – “However, we possess this precious treasurer (the divine Light of the Gospel) in (frail, human) vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.  We are hedged in (pressed) on every side (troubled and oppressed in every way), but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair.”  The Amplified Version

Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (who have borne testimony to the Truth), let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, Who is the Leader and Source of our faith (giving the first incentive for our belief) and is also its Finisher (bringing it to maturity and perfection).  He, for the joy (of obtaining the prize) that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  The Amplified Version.

WHAT MUST WE DO?

  • Paul worked at forgetting the past.  If we are going to have a good future, we must now, in the present, forget the past.  We must burn bridges if necessary.  We must sever relationships if necessary.  We must change jobs if necessary.  For us to live like Christ intended for us to live, holy and righteous and striving toward perfection, we have to make a change.  The first change must be to bury the past.  Leave the stinking, rotten actions and memories of the sin of your past and never resurrect it again.  If Christ forgave you of wrong doing and does not hold it against you anymore; then who do you think you are resurrecting something that has been forgiven?  It’s over.  It took you down the wrong path the times you were involved in it, and it will again if you resurrect it.  The one thing we must do is forgive ourselves and go on and live our life in Christ to the fullest. 

1 John 3:2 – “Beloved, we are (even here and) now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be (hereafter), but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall (as God’s children) resemble and be like Him just as He (really) is.”  The Amplified Version

Characteristics of a Dynamic, Alive Church

Philippians 1:1-11

Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.  And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Dynamic – (Energetic, Powerful, Active, Influential)

A DYNAMIC CHURCH DISCIPLES YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Paul and Timothy – Father and son in the faith
  • Servants together

2 Timothy 2:2 – “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples . . . teaching them….”

A DYNAMIC CHURCH SERVICES CHRIST

Word “servant” was doulos in Greek and literally meant “bond-slave.”

  • Slave is owned by his master.
  • Slave exists for his master.
  • Slave was at his master’s disposal 24 hours a day.
  • Slave must obey totally without question.
  • Slave for Christ is the highest title of honor.
  • Moses was the slave of God (Dt. 34:5; Ps. 105:26)
  • Joshua was the slave of God (Josh. 24:9)
  • David was the slave of God (2 Sam. 3:18; Ps. 78:70)
  • Paul was the slave of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1)
  • James was the slave of God (James 1:1)
  • Jude was the slave of God (Jude 1)
  • The prophets were the slaves of God (Amos 3:7; Jer. 7:25)

John 12:26- “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Colossians 3:23-24 – “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Hebrews 12:28 – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

Psalm 2:11 – “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”

Psalm 100:2 – “Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.”

A DYNAMIC CHURCH IS FULL OF TRUE SAINTS

The word saint means to be set apart.  It refers toevery believer who has trusted in Jesus Christ for his salvation. 

  • Initial or positional sanctification – When a person believes in Christ, he is immediately set apart for God. 

Hebrews 10:9-10 – “then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’  He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

  • Progressive sanctification – As a person walks with the Lord he allows the Spirit of God to make him more and more like the image of Christ. 

2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

  • Eternal sanctification – On the day when we stand in heaven we will achieve perfection and our sanctification will be complete.

1 John 3:2 – “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 

A DYNAMIC CHURCH HAS LEADERS WHO LEAD BY EXAMPLE

  • Bishops – Ministers – Pastors – Elders – These are men/women who are to oversee, look after and be responsible for the spiritual well-being of the church.
  • Deacons – These are men/women who are to take care of the administrative matters of the church so that the bishop/pastor/elder can concentrate on the spiritual care of the church.

Mark 10:43-44 – “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.”

Luke 12:48 – “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

 John 13:14 – “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

John 21:16 – “He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me’  He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’  He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’”

Galatians 6:10 – “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

A DYNAMIC CHURCH IS A PRAYING CHURCH

  • Prayers of thankfulness
  • Prayers for other believers
  • Prayers of joy
  • Prayers for more love and knowledge
  • Prayers for pure lives
  • Prayers for the fullness of God’s righteousness

A DYNAMIC CHURCH IS A CHURCH OF FELLOWSHIP

Fellowship means sharing in common, partnership.

Acts 2:24 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship….”

A DYNAMIC CHURCH IS A CHURCH OF LOVE

  • Love in knowledge – We need to grow in our knowledge of Christ; we need to grow in our knowledge of one another.
  • Love in judgment – We need to grow in our discernment of what is right and wrong so that we may not offend or cause others to stumble. 

A DYNAMIC CHURCH IS A CHURCH FILLED WITH THE RIGHEOUSNESS OF GOD

  • By the power of Jesus Christ
  • To the glory and praise of God.

Justification by Faith

Galatians 3:1-9

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

A BELIEVER CORRECTS ERROR

Galatians 4:16 – Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? 

  • Error causes misunderstanding and thoughtlessness
  • Error deceives
  • Error either leads to disobedience or comes about because of disobedience

A BELIEVER RECEIVES THE HOLY SPIRIT BY FAITH

  • First the message must be heard.

Romans 10:14-15a, 17 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent?….So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

  • The Holy Spirit is a gift of God.

John 14:16 – And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Helper…

A BELIEVER IS A SPIRITUAL SON OF ABRAHAM

  • Abraham was counted righteous because he believed God’s promises.

Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:4-6 – But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out ‘abba, Father!

  • Abraham had done no works at the time he believed
  • Abraham’s faith led him to do what God has instructed him.
  • His faith preceded his obedience
  • It is not obedience = faith and repentance = our righteousness
  • It is faith and repentance = righteousness of God = obedience

Your Character

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him. (Amplified Version – all Scripture is from Amplified Version)

With all your might

  • In other words – you cannot be snappy with your fellow Christian if you do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • You cannot be unkind if you do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • You cannot be argumentative if you do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • You cannot be complaining if you do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • You cannot be unmerciful or impatient if you do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • In other words….you must be like Christ.
  • As a child of God, born again, redeemed, forgiven, whatever term you want to use that describes an encounter with the risen Lord.  An encounter that turns your life around and gives you purpose all performed by the precious blood that flowed from His body on the cross.  You have been pulled free from the miry clay of sin, set firm on the solid rock Christ Jesus.  You have got to be different because there has been a change in you. You are no longer what you were.  You have been changed

I’m free, so free; I’ve life in the Spirit and His spirit in me.  I’m rejoicing because, I am not what I was, Thanks to Calvary, I’m free.

IF?  THEN SEEK…

Colossians 3:1 – IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

ARE YOU SEEKING THINGS ABOVE

Matthew 6:33 – But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

  • What things?  Things you have need of….not necessarily things you want…things you have need of….your priorities will line up with God’s word if you have truly been changed

Colossians 3:2 – And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

  • Set your mind on things above…be who God called you to be

Romans 12:1-2 – I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

  • Our minds must be renewed to please God…
    • You cannot be thinking unkind, unholy thoughts and please God at the same time.
    • You cannot be trying to get even with someone and please God at the same time
    • You cannot be worshipping God in the service while you are still angry at your wife or husband.
    • You cannot be serving God in newness of life when things are not settled between you and your son…your daughter…your boss….your neighbor
  • You have to have a renewing ….a changed mind. 
  • A changed mind only happens when you have had a changed heart.
  • A changed mind only happens when sin departs and Jesus abides.
  • A changed mind only happens when you surrender your will to His will.
  • A changed mind only happens when you let go of your own selfish desires and let God take control.
  • A changed mind only happens when you realize your only hope is Christ

BE WHO GOD CALLED YOU TO BE

Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy].

  • Sin SHALL NOT have dominion over you…
  • SHALL NOT
  • MUST NOT
  • CANNOT
  • WILL NOT BE ABLE
  • The word “shall” shows determination
    • Shall – permissive = allows – ok
  • The words  “shall not” shows the exact opposite of shall
    • Shall not – does not permit, does not allow, is not ok
  • Sin shall not have…right now, currently…Sin shall not have dominion (force, strength, might, power …manifested power, perfect and complete, shall not) have dominion over you.

BE WHO GOD CALLED YOU TO BE

  • Only when you give in to Satan’s power temptation does sin have power over you.
  •  In other words… you do what you want to do…

I Pet 4:11 – Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

Jude 24-25 – Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).

James 1:22 – But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].

 BE WHO GOD CALLED YOU TO BE

  • Ask yourself…would Jesus go here, say this, read this, watch this, laugh at this joke, listen to this music, wear these clothes, treat his neighbor this way, do his job this way, go to church this often, spend his money this way?
  • Let the presence of Jesus saturate, overflow your life.
  • In all you do …be who God called you to be.
  • In all you say…be who God called you to be.
  • In all you think…be who God called you to be.
  • In all that you are…be who God called you to be.