The Whole Armor of God – Belt of Truth

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

John 1:14 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 17:17 – “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Ephesians 5:26-27 – “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

  • TRUTH:  Over one hundred years ago a French atheist stated that in 100 years no one would read the Bible and it would only be found in museums.  Today Voltaire is wrong – the Bible is and has been the best selling book in the entire world, printed in practically every language of the world and preached and quoted more than all the other philosophies combined.
  • TRUTH:   The Russian Revolution in 1917 was to be the beginning of a world-wide cause that would stamp out religion (the opiate of the masses) around the world.  Khrushchev stated on a visit to the United States when Nixon was President, “We will bury you.”  He was talking about the United States while banging his shoe on the desk.  Today, where is the Russian Federation called the USSR?  Disbanded…we now have military bases in some of those countries.
  • TRUTH:  We now have missionaries and churches and Bible Schools of various denominations in some of those countries.  Romania alone has a much larger Christian population in some denominations than does the US.  Indonesia, the most populated Moslem country in the world has two of the three largest Christian Churches in the world.  One of these churches has over 50,000 members and another has over 80,000 members.
  • QUESTION:    Why should we read and study or listen and hear the Word of God?  I’ll answer that question with another question.  What else are you going to read and study or listen to and hear that will do for you what the Word of God does for you?

Psalm 119:11 – The Psalmist David said “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

John 14:6 – Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.”

John 8:32 – Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

  • TRUTH:  God’s Word will stand the test of time.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will set you free.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will deliver you from all kinds of bondage.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your stay in time of trouble
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will do for you when all else fails.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will do when you are dying.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your comfort in the storm.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your strength in times of stress.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your hope when all else is hopeless.
  • TRUTH:  The Word of God will be your help when all seems helpless.
  • TRUTH:  The truth is God’s Word.

When the Baptist and the Methodist disagree, when the Catholic and the Lutherans disagree, when the Pentecostals and the Nazarenes disagree, we need not look at their various denominational rule books but look at the Word of God.

God’s Word will stand the test of time.  God’s Word is the final authority. 

  • The truth is not what you think.
  • The truth is not what you believe.
  • The truth is not what you have been told.
  • The truth is not what you have heard.
  • The truth is what “Thus says the Lord.”  That truth you will find in the pages of His Word.

God’s Word is our only source.  It will keep you on track.  It will keep you from straying.  It will keep you from guessing.  It will keep you from questioning.

Hide the Word of God in your heart.  Make it your guide.  Make it your source book.  Let the Word of God dwell in you richly.

  • Truth does several things for the Christian solder.
  • Keeps him from being deceived by false teaching
  • Helps him grow up in Christ

Ephesians 4:14-15 – “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love may grow up into Him who is the head – Christ.”

Ø  Gives him freedom

John 8:32 – “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Ø  Sanctifies him

John 17:17 – “Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your Word is truth.”

Ø  Helps him truly worship God as God requires

John 4:24 – “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Ø  Is his protection

Psalm 91:4 – “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;  His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD IS THE ANSWER!

I Have A Destiny

Ephesians 2:10-22

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

YOU ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD – YOU ARE A CITIZEN OF HEAVEN, OF ANOTHER KINGDOM

1 John 3:2-3 – “Beloved, now we are 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. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 

Luke 20:38 – “For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” 

Romans 6:8-14 – “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.   Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” 

            Verse 11 – dead to sin – alive to righteousness

            Verse 12 – sin no longer in control if you are alive in Christ

1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 6:13-20 – “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?  Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 

ONE SPIRIT – THE HOLY SPIRIT

  • If you are in Christ the Spirit of Christ lives in you
  • You are united in thought, action, and purpose with God!  You are the righteousness of Christ.
  • You are bought with a price

“Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption.” 

  • I am redeemed, but not with silver
  • I am bought, but not with gold
  • I’m bought with the price – the blood of Jesus.
  • Oh precious price of love untold!

WALK IN THE SPIRIT, WALK IN THE TRUTH OF GOD

Galatians 5:16-17 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

WALK IN THE WORD OF GOD

Matthew 4:1-4 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple …

  • Know where the different books of the Bible are located
  • Know where the Beatitudes are located – and become familiar with them
  • Know the gifts of the Spirit
  • The Love chapter
  • The faith chapter

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.

IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO TURN AWAY FROM SIN, BUT YOU MUST TURN TO GOD

  • No reservations
  • No regrets
  • No retreats

In Matthew 12 Jesus told the story of a man who was set free from demons.  However, he did nothing to fill his heart with good things and the demon returned bringing more with him.

Matthew 12:43-45 – “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Get full of God/stay full of God.  Get so full of God there is NO ROOM for the devil.  You don’t have to worry about falling into sin when you are full of God. 

Romans 6:14 – “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” 

Sin shall have NO dominion over you.

Say NO to sin and YES to God!

Living Holy

Jude1:20-25

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen.

Jude 1:1-3 – Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:  Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.  Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

  • We who have been called by God, sanctified in holiness, must continually fight the fight of faith.  We must preserve lest we fall away from the truth into apostasy.  We have been given armor from God for this fight.

Ephesians 6:10-20 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • We must be careful to never alter the message of Christ’s redemption, changing the Word of God to fit into our own desires.  We must be on guard against false teachers who might lead us astray.

Jude 1:4 – For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:24 – For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

  • We must be careful that we do not allow the desires of our flesh to lead us astray.  Obey those who have taught you the truth and do not mistake their love for you when they preach correctness and godly purpose in your life. 

Jude 1:8 – Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.

  • We must be careful not to constantly be a critic of those who are trying to show us the way to really live.  We are not the sole authority on God’s Word.  We need to listen to what we are being taught from teachers who are teaching the truth. 

Jude 1:9-10 – Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”  But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

  • We must not be divisive, pitting one of our fellow Christians against another.  We must avoid those who cause divisions and make sure that we are seeking and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Jude 1:19 – how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.  These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Walk in Truth and Love

2 John 1:4-6

I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.  And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.  This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

  • Walk in love

1 John 4:7-11 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

  • Walk in truth

2 John 1:7-11 – For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.  Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

1 John 5:20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

  • Walk according to His commandments

1 John 2:7 – Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.

1 John 2:24 – Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

Warnings to Christians

2 Peter 1:16-21

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.  And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

In today’s culture there is so much false teaching, so many claiming to be speaking for God. Be careful! We were warned by the writers of the Gospel false teachers would come. Everything we hear must be held to the standard of God’s Word.

2 Peter 2:1-6 – But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.  For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

1 John 2:18-23 – Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.  But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  (New Living Translation)

1 John 4:1-6 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.  You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

1 John 5:19 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

2 John 1:7-9 – I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. (New Living Translation)

Jude 1:5-16 – So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great Day of Judgment. And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.  In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.  When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.  Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy onesto execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”  These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.

Are There False Teachers Among You?

2 Peter 2:1-3

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Simply speaking, there are false teachers among us today.  Some hold high positions within the organized church and many are independent “prophets”.  So what do we do?

If we cannot reasonably and peacefully persuade them of the truth in God’s Word we have alternatives.

First, we pray.  Prayer can and does change things.  Before we can confront these false teachings, we must first know the truth ourselves.  That is why it is so important that we always search the scriptures as we listen to Bible teachers.

Acts 17:10-11 – Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

We can then go to our church leaders and express our concerns.

False teaching must never contradict the Word of God.  A false teacher is not someone who has a different or opposing opinion than yourself.  False teachers are those who deny the cardinal beliefs of the Word.  The basic ones are:

  • The infallible truth of the Word
  • The virgin birth
  • The forgiveness of sin by way of repentance as a result of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In any attempt to counteract the false teacher you must not be the one who argues or attempts to bring judgment on them.  God will do that.

A true teacher will live a life of excellent morality, self-control, godliness, brotherly kindness and selfless love.  The life of a teacher must always back up the teaching of the Word.

Many times the false teacher meets his/her doom because they fall into some sort of immortality or greed.

Bottom line, while we should study God’s Word and be aware of the possibility of false teaching, God is in control.  His truth will prevail.

Just remember:  “Beware of half-truths, you may have heard the wrong half”

Obstacles and Hindrances

Galatians 5:7-9

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

HINDER, HINDERING – verb

  • To make slow or difficult, the progress of…
  • To hold back, to delay, impede,
  • To prevent, to block
  • To interfere with the activity or progress
  • To make forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering or fettering, to prevent, to block, to obstruct passage or progress
  • To interfere with something in motion or in progress by the intentional placing of obstacles in the way

OBSTACLE – Noun

  • To stand in front of something that impedes progress or achievement

OBSTACLE COURSE – Noun

  • Hurdles, ditches, fences, walls, and much more that must be negotiated

You fell by the way, you missed the mark, you failed, you slipped, you sinned!

Galatians 5:7 – You ran well.  Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 – This persuasion does not come from Him who called you.

  • Make no mistake about it, our environment, upbringing, and situations all affect our lives, but bottom line we are held responsible by God for our own lives and the way we conduct our life.
  • Sin and your desire to give in to its temptation is the hindrance or obstacle.  It is not about your upbringing, your circumstances of life, your past failures, your friends, and parents, or anything else in life.  You sinned, you failed.  Face it, it is your fault. 
  • Your biggest challenge in life is taking responsibility for your own failures, your mistakes, your lack of accomplishment, your problems, and your sin. 
  • Sin is a failure, a hindrance, an obstacle to your living a life wholly pleasing to God; but it is your sin that caused the failure, hindrance, obstacle.  It is not my sin, not someone else’s sin that caused the problems in your life; it is yours and yours alone.       
  • II Samuel 11 & 12 tells the story of David and Uriah.  Uriah was a hindrance to David hiding his sin.  His sin was disobedience to God’s law.  In the story Nathan stated to David, “You are the man!”  II Samuel 12:7.
  • Joshua 7:20 tells the story of Achan.   Achan’s sin was a hindrance to Israel winning the battle of Ai.  It ultimately proved to be a hindrance to Achan’s family living.  Sin steals, kills, destroys and can be avoided.  God said that He would give us a way of escape.  Achan confessed the truth but it was too late.  Coveting and then stealing, but above all disobedience was his sin.  All he did was take a wedge of gold, 200 shekels of silver and a Babylonian garment.  Then he hid them. Talk about irrational thinking, this was the number one on the hit parade of that day.   Where in the camp of Israel did he think he was going to spend the gold and silver or wear the garment from Babylon?  Sometimes the gains or habits of sin cannot be displayed openly or they will become a dead give away as to who you really are.

DO NOT LET AN OBSTACLE INTERFERE WITH SERVING JESUS.  YOUR ETERNAL LIFE DEPENDS UPON IT

  • A box, table, or anything in front of the door or window could prove to be an obstacle or hindrance in the event of your needing to get out of your house because of a fire.  That obstacle or hindrance was a FIRE HAZARD.  You may have walked around that hindrance, looked at it and perhaps even intended to do something about that hindrance.  However it did not seem to be a pressing issue at that moment.
  • Sin left unattended in your life even if you have the best intentions in the world to rid your life of that sin is a hindrance.  You may wonder about that sin, toy with that sin, play with that sin, indulge in that sin, and agonize over that sin, even loose sleep over that sin.  BUT WATCH OUT….IT COULD BE A FIRE HAZARD.
  • Move it out of your life, get it out of the way, confess it to Jesus, repent.  It is a FIRE HAZARD.

Matthew 18:8-9 – If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.  It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you.      

Did Jesus really mean to tell us that we are to actually physically mutilate our own body?  No.  He was trying to emphasize the terribleness of hell.  The unspeakable horror to mutilate our body by cutting off a limb or plucking out an eye only emphasizes the dread of that terrible, terrible place called hell.

 Secondly, to mutilate our body is a thought that is absolutely foreign to our thinking.  It is barbaric and that is exactly what He was trying to tell us.  Sin in your life is barbaric, alien and it is like a foreign body or a terrible infection in your eye or elsewhere in your body.  Verse 9 in our text states “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”   That foreign body or infection must be dealt with or it will eventually become so severe that it will cause greater harm to the body.  Infection left untreated will spread throughout the entire body, ending eventually in physical death.  Sin left untreated will infect your entire life and must be dealt with now (stat) or the prognosis will cause ultimate death.    

Spiritual death will follow if we allow sin in our life untreated.  God’s Word says, “Behold NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW  is the day of salvation!”  2 Corinthians 6:2

One Gospel

Galatians 1:6-10

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

THE GOSPEL – WHAT IS IT?

  • The Bible, God’s Word and His message is not “a gospel,” and not “one of many gospels.”  It is THE GOSPEL!
  • Old adage:  “If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it must be a duck.”  Just because it looks like the truth, sounds like the truth, and is dressed up in religious garb doesn’t mean it is the truth.  
  • It is NOT TRUE that it really doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.  IT DOES MATTER: 

Revelations 22:18-19 – For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Deuteronomy 4:2 – You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to them, I am the way the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.

Ephesians 4:4-6 –  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

John 10:16 – And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

OTHER SO CALLED GOSPELS:

  • Moslem – The Moslems have a book called the Koran.  Their founder was Mohammed and they call their God Allah.  Allah and our Heavenly Father, the First Person of the Blessed Trinity, are not one and the same.  Allah, according to the Bible definition, is an idol god.  They have a collection of writings, or a holy book to the followers of that faith, it is called the Koran; but IT IS NOT THE GOSPEL!
  • Buddhist – Buddhism has a book of the writings of Buddha (not a brother of Jesus Christ as some would suppose).  Their book is called the Bhagavad Ghita.  IT IS NOT THE GOSPEL.
  • Jehovah’s Witness – The father of the Watchtower Society, or Jehovah’s Witness as we know them, devised a book much like the King James Version of the Bible.  It is not an accurate translation, nor is it a version of the Bible that we can base our lives on for it is in great error.  Its errors are there deliberately to defend and promote the thinking of the warped mind that fashioned it.  Without careful scrutiny it appears to be just like the King James Version but certain scriptural passages are changed to promote the false doctrine that it is.  IT IS NOT THE GOSPEL.
  • LDS – The LDS, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormons, have a book called The Book of Mormon.  They also have other writings with various names including The Pearl of Great Price and they refer to The Book of Mormon as another Gospel.  It is in error based on the writings of one man Joseph Smith who was a bigamist with over 30 wives and is supposedly based on information provided by the Angel Moroni.  No proof of which has ever been substantiated.  It is not the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • In the 2008 Presidential primary of the Republican Party, Mr. Huckabee stated “The Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers.”  Of course, it caused uproar from many, especially the Romney supporters.  It backfired on Mr. Huckabee so he made an apology to smooth ruffled feathers because of “political incorrect statements.”  Only one minor problem.  Mormons do believe and teach Jesus and Satan are brothers.  Are you surprised that a politician would do something like “the truth is not really the truth even though it is the truth?”  No wonder we are all fed up with politicians.

Galatians 1:8-9 – But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

  • Christian Science teaches that you do not get sick…it’s all in your mind…  I suppose that Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this organization must only think she got sick and died.  I do not know about you but when the Word of God declares “I am the Lord Thy God which healeth thee.” must be some kind of indicator that we get sick from time to time.  Otherwise, why the need of a Healer?
  • The Gospel of Self Sufficiency – My Gospel – It’s all about my interpretation and my thinking.  This kind of thinking is flawed.  Most of the time this kind of thinking is based on someone’s own justification for sinful acts or sinful lifestyle.  It’s based on the attitude “If it feels good – do it.”
  • Solomon and all his riches stated in Ecclesiastes 2:10-22 – “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; then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.  There was no profit under the sun.” 

It is not your own private understanding of the Word of God for in II Peter 1:20 it states that “Knowing this first that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation.” 

  • IT IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK.  IT IS NOT WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN.  IT IS NOT WHAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED…IT IS WHAT THUS SAITH THE LORD! 
  • REMEMBER THIS:  One ounce of arsenic in your thanksgiving turkey will kill you.  Following another gospel will separate you from a loving God for all eternity.  REMEMBER JIM JONES!

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

  • There is only one Gospel message where by men must be saved.  There is only one doctrine, one Lord, one Savior – Jesus Christ.
  • Hosea 13:4 – I am the Lord your God…and you shall know no God but Me; for there is no Savior besides Me.
  • Jesus Christ’s words and the Gospel He taught is the one and only Gospel.  It is the Gospel of Good News.  The gospel is this:
  • Jesus Christ left the splendor of heaven.  
  • Jesus Christ came in the form of sinful man, yet without sin.
  • Jesus Christ came as a servant.
  • Jesus Christ hung on the cross.
  • Jesus Christ gave His life for you and for me.
  • Jesus Christ defeated death.
  • Jesus Christ rose again from the grave.
  • Jesus Christ was victorious over death.

Jesus Christ’s message was the Gospel, the truth, the only Gospel.  It is our only hope.

Because He was victorious over death we have forgiveness of sin. 

Because He was victorious over death we have the hope of heaven. 

Because He was victorious over death we are victorious in life. 

Because He lives I live also. 

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus is the only Gospel

  • This Gospel is true.
  • This Gospel will stand the test of time.
  • This Gospel will never change.
  • This Gospel will never pass away.
  • This Gospel will never pass away.
  • This Gospel will guide my every step.
  • This Gospel is my rule for living.
  • This Gospel is my daily comfort.
  • This Gospel is my only hope.
  • This Gospel is the sum total of God’s love for all mankind and for all time.

This Gospel is summed up in one verse that most church going folks have learned at an early age:  

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.