Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Edification - Edifying Your Family

Edification comes from the Greek words meaning - a home and to build - literally: to build a house.
A. the building process - Matt. 7:24 - verb
B. the structure built - Matt. 24:1 - noun

Figuratively: of building/building up
A. the church (the body of Christ) - 1 Cor. 14:3-5 1 Cor. 14:12
B. fellow believers 1 Thess. 5:11 - do for one another
C. The Kingdom (generally) Rom. 15:20

Edification is a simple concept. (We use it in everyday speech)

BUT: it is a very important concept. ie: we as Christians are to be intentional about "building up" others.
As Christians, we are to:
Encourage one another
Be devoted to OA
Bear with OA
Serve OA
Honor OA
Admonish OA
Be patient with OA
Pray for OA
Forgive OA
Be kind and compassionate to OA
Bear OA's burdens
Spur OA on to good works
Stop judging OA
Accept OA
Agree with OA
Offer hospitality to OA
Instruct OA
Submit to OA

John 13:34-35 inclusive/umbrella vs: Love OA
Rom. 16:16 (a) - "greet OA with a holy kiss"

Point #1 - As a Christian, you have a God-given responsibility to edify others Rom. 14:19

Point #2 - If this is true of our brothers and sisters in Christ, how much more true of our immediate family???

"How To Edify Your Family?"

Specific answer is not hard to come by. The problem is that the specific answers are so many, so varied, and depend on the situation.

Examples: prayer, instruction, exposure to the Word, wise use of your words, loving discipline, loving touch, understanding needs, meeting those needs, time, attention, building relationships

The List of specifics is long and varied. Therefore, we will focus on important generalities. Generalities are the structure that underlies the specifics.

#1. Recognize Your Responsibility.

#2. Recognize your Ability. Called to perform means you are entrusted with the ability to get the job done. However, you can't do this without the help of the Holy Spirit.

#3. Know what you're trying to achieve (accomplish)
This is not about building a doctor, lawyer, senator, athlete, scholar. It is NOT about your vision for them. It is about GOD'S vision for them.

#4. (as always) Decide. There are three kinds of people - well poisoners, lawn mowers, and life enhancers. Life enhancers must be focused and intentional.

#5. Re-decide. If you are building great edifice, you must develop your skills..... architect, engineer, corporate, etc.

#7. Work at it. Rom. 14:19 It takes "effort"

#8. Remember your partner in the process. (the Holy Spirit) Work with the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 14:1

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sanctification and the Family

Lots of good materials out there regarding family, family relationships, etc.
However, these family materials must first be built on a solid foundation of Christian truths.

I. Definition of Sanctification.
1. to set apart-
passive, positional, belong to Him therefore you become a "saint".
2, to progress toward - growth, development, maturing, becoming. It's active, individual, practical, gradual. The process by which we become what God called us to be.

II. The means .... how is sanctification achieved??
#1. The work of God (saved which means set apart) 1 Cor. 6:11 You can't be sanctified apart from God.
#2. The work of the believer (choice, action, progress, etc.) 1 Cor. 6:11 - implies - "act like it!"
Compare 2 Tim. 2:20-21 and 2 Cor. 7:1 We have a choice as to what we can and will be used for.

Point = sanctification is a combination of: 1. what God's done
2. what God's doing (Holy Spirit)
3. what you're doing with what God's given you.
1 Cor. 1:2 Eph. 5:8

III. The practical, working benefits (how this works out in family unit)
1. Sanctification leads to New birth leads to new person leads to new .... heart, mind, awareness, nature, affections, desires, etc.

2. Sanctification is a continuous effort, process of becoming....
A. what God created you to be, and become
B. what your family needs from you to thrive

3. Sanctification has the continual presence of the Holy Spirit to help you achieve and accomplish those things.

IV. The course of the journey (what it looks like) (the Christian walk is upward from the new birth, then a series of ups and downs throughout life until the ultimate "up" at death. However, even with the ups and downs there should be a ever-higher climb happening.

V. Quick review of the means of achieving this.......
1. Past, completed - God does it (when saved and separated)
2. Present, passive - Holy Spirit continues to do it Phil. 1:6
3. Present active - you must do your part - Phil. 2:12-13

VI. Application: Your part: what to do?? - if you want to be what God wants you to be for your sake, family's sake, friends' sake, relatives' sake, etc.

#1. Accept Christ (get separated - positional = "saint"

#2. Make Him Lord - 1 Pet. 3:15 (a) (enthrone Him, and repeat this over and over)

#3. Submit to His leadership - Luke 6:46

#4. Ask (and allow) the Holy Spirit to work on you. ie: your mind, heart, thinking, affections, emotions, responses.
REMEMBER: No sanctification and growth is achieved without Him!!! - regardless of your best efforts!!

#5. Learn what's right. - what's: A. expected by God B. needed by family.
Matt. 11:29 Psalm 119:9 John 17:17

#6. Do what's right - regardless of feelings, sense of Holy Spirit's presence, etc. 2 Pet. 1:5

#7. Address your sins. This is more that just submitting to right. It is rejecting what's wrong. Rom. 6:11-14

#8. Learn to balance submission and self-discipline. ie: passive and active - God's part and your part. Rom. 6:11-14

Sanctification for the sake of your family!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Christian Doctrine of Sin

As far as the Christian family goes, the primary problem, from a Biblical perspective is: SIN

Definition of sin: anything contrary to God's will for your life.
A. Actions, attitudes, outside His will. = sins of commission.
B. Actions, attitudes omitted from His will. = sins of omission.

Sin is:
A. A moral choice. It is more than a mistake such as 2 x 2 = 5 That is a mistake, not a sin!
It is contrary to God's moral law - good and evil come in to play here. Therefore, sin is evil.

Sin is:
B. Destructive - All sin = some consequence. Even though some are "tornado" sins, and some are "termite" sins, all will have consequences. In the long run, there is greater damage done by "termite" sins than by tornado sins.

Sin is:
3. Irrational. If you know it's gonna hurt, but you do it anyway. That is illogical - stupid!!!

Sin is:
4. Universal - Rom. 3:23

And, Sin is:
5. Deeply ingrained (in our moral being) - Rom. 7:15-24

NOTE: Some things that would diminish and/or disappear if we could control sin within the family unit:
fights, quarrels, selfish fits, temper tantrums, cold shoulder, gruff attitude, charged atmosphere, lying, deceit mistrust which leads to feeling betrayed and trapped
harsh words, hurt feelings leading to a broken heart, a crushed spirit, an empty soul
anger, bitterness, resentment unforgiveness
harsh discipline, lax discipline
abuse - physical, emotional, sexual - feeling used, cheap, dirty, worthless, unworthy, unwanted, unappreciated which leads to retaliation
laziness, laxity, jealousy, sibling rivalry, in-law issues
adultery, fornication, unfaithfulness, separation, abandonment, divorce, multiple marriages

All which lead to family disfunction, breakdown, destruction, etc.

Above are the effects of sin

SO...... How to deal with it????


Dealing with SIN (the principle) - concept of sin
Dealing with SINS (individual acts)

Dealing with Sin (the principle)
1. recognize and admit the problem - example: AA - Step #1
2. recognize and admit the solution (Christ and crossing the bridge)
1 Pet. 3:18 (a) Rom. 10:9-10

Dealing with Sins (the individual acts)
1. awareness/recognition of concept of individual acts
a. consider the possibility
b. be open to the Spirit

2. admission (AA step #1) - I have a problem with sin.

3. contrition (sorrow, mourning) - grieving/being sorry for sins Psalm 51:17 Isa. 66:2 (b)

4. confession - saying the same thing that God says, agreeing with

5. repentance - Luke 5:31-32 - turning away and going the other direction "about face"

6. determination - because it's hard work!

7. perseverance - because it's continual work!


The family matters. Therefore, SIN matters. Mal. 4:5-6

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Church Persecuted

We've explored the Passion, the Cross, the Resurrection, Pentecost, the church as is should be.
Today, the church persecuted. Acts 7:54 - 8:4 - Stephen - the first martyr

After that, the next 60 years, persecution was a reoccurring theme in the New Testament, and
it was the primary theme in Revelation.

After Stephen, 10 of the 12 Apostles plus Matthias (took Judas' place) plus Paul and Mark and Luke were also martyred.

During the next 300 years, persecution was a reoccurring theme in early church history. Roman emperors all in various degrees persecuted Christians. One exception was Hadrian

UNTIL, 313 AD - the Edict of Milan under Constantine - gave Christians equal status and actually, preferred status.

BUT, persecution didn't end there ... it continued on and off in various places, times, degrees of intensity for a variety of reasons. It is estimated that 75 million Christians have died for the faith in 2000 years.

AND - the Persecution continues today. There are more than 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries who are denied fundamental human rights because of their faith in Christ.
On one hand, it is impossible to know the exact number. But estimates are that an average of 175,000 Christians die for their faith each year.
It is also estimated that more Christians have died for the faith in the last 110 years than in the previous 1900 years together!

Granted, 1. not just Christians are persecuted. (Jews, Exodus, Holocaust)
2. often Christians are the persecutors. (Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Colonial era)
3. often Christians are persecuting Christians - (church in England - Catholics, Puritans) in the New World - Puritans persecuted Catholics and Quakers.

BUT, the focus this AM -Persecution of Christians and the Christian faith.
(lessons and application FOR us - from scripture and history.

#1. Persecution goes hand in hand with Christian faith.
1 Thess. 3:2-4 John 15:20 2 Tim. 3:12

Why??? early Christians + Jews = the Law, path to right, God, Deity of Christ.
Pagans = insult (idols), bucked with tradition, economic issues ( Acts 19 )
Rome - considered Christians "impious and atheistic" therefore they brought judgment on society because they would not bow down to the plethora of Roman gods and goddesses and they wouldn't support Caesar and the Empire 1st.

BUT.... why today?? in America??? - because Biblical Christianity is:
1. Exclusive - about our God, Scripture, right and wrong
2. Dogmatic (there is truth) about Christ, Scripture, right an wrong
3. Offensive - "ugly pill gospel": I have great news - there is a pill that cures ugly. The bad news is - you need this pill.
4. Evangelistic - by command (the Great Commission) and by nature
5. Condemning - John 3:16-18

For us, persecution is minimal (school prayer, 10 commandments, salute, cross on the war memorial), but, it's real and present - (compare a head cold to leukemia. Both are sicknesses, just to different degrees.)
And, it is to be expected.

NOTE: don't confuse persecution for faith with persecution for stupidity, because the gospel is offensive, BUT you don't have to be. 1 Pet. 4:12-16
AND, don't get caught in the persecution conspiracy. (Everything that goes wrong is the result of Christian persecution.)

#2. Persecution is not a sign of God's impotency, disinterest or disfavor. "Why???" Rev. 6:9-11
A. Persecution is one means of promoting the gospel Luke 21:12-13
B. Persecution is one means of strengthening the church. 1 Pet. 1:6-7

#3. It is a sign of Satan's rage. Rev. 12:17 Eph. 6:12

#4. We are expected to persevere. 1 Cor. 4:12 2 Tim. 2:3 Heb. 12:7 Rev. 13:9-10
early church plus "lapsed Christians":?? Ultimately, it's a spiritual battle.

#5. Persecution has never stooped the church (or the spread of the gospel)
It may stop individuals but not the institution!!
Tertullian said in 197 A.D. - "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."

#6. Persecution never will stop the church (or the spread of the gospel)
(See church growth stats from previous sermon) Matt. 16:18

APPLICATION - what should we do---
1. Thank God for the USA (Christian nation, free to worship, etc.)
2. Support persecuted brothers and sisters - prayer, finances, encouragement, VOM
3. Educate upcoming generations - teach them church history, persecution situations, US as privileged.
4. Pre-determine to take your stand for Christ. - decide in advance what you'll do
5. Stand - Jer. 12:5