Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Christian Journey - The Walk

This Series = "The Christian Journey" - focus = from spiritual birth to physical death.

Last week = the Call - (the Divine summons)
Today = The Christian Walk

 "Walk" used figuratively of actions, lifestyle, behavior

Eph. 4:1 - in various versions.  Amplified Bible = "I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the divine calling to which you have been called - with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God's service."
This is a hinge verse in the book of Ephesians.  Hinges the theological with the practical.
Note:  He calls us by name!  This is AWESOME!!

Gen. 17:1 (to Abraham) - "before" = in my Presence, in my View  - I'm watching.

Deut. 5:32-33 - "walk" and "way" = companion words.  way - this path.

1 Kings 9:4 (to Solomon) - walk = much more than actions; includes heart, attitude.  God is concerned about the inside as well as the outside.

Jer. 6:16 - "consider, decide, act"

Hosea 14:9  (closing words) - righteous find good solid pavement.  The fool stumbles on the same pavement.

The usage was so common and lead to the early church being called "THE WAY".  Acts 9:1-2
This is the path, this is how we walk, the way we walk.

Col. 3:7-8 = new, different, definitive, visible (observable) - supposed to change paths and the change should be visible.

1 John 2:6 - " as Jesus walked" - whoever claims this must walk as Jesus walked.

Obviously too much material for 1 sermon, so


#1.  Your Walk is incredibly important.  The bulk of scripture = A) exhorting us to walk well, and B) instructing 'how to walk'
Example:  "HOW TO WALK" LIST - not at all a complete list of some Biblical descriptions
a) faithfully
b) honestly
c) uprightly
d) steadfastly
e) in obedience
f) circumspectly
g) in the Name of the Lord
h) in the fear of the Lord
i) according to His Word (s)

#2.  Your profession bears little weight without a corresponding walk.  James 2:14-18
What we believe should have an effect on our life.  Not believable without deeds, actions, obedience.

#3.  The Christian Walk is practical, practice-able.
Example:  John the Baptist - Luke 3:12-14 - should be something we can do.

#4.  (obviously All Christians will have a similar walk  - but - Specific Walks  will Vary.
Examples:  "Lord, how am I to walk as a teacher? logger? chicken farmer? executive? plumber?, etc.'
Psalm 25:12

#5.  Your WALK (Journey) consists of daily walks!  on one hand, keep the whole journey in view, however, focus on today's walk!!  - day to day journey.

#6.  Companions matter!!  (M.A.D. - make a difference) - this walk is no lone thing.  friends? spouse? teachers? children? - Prov. 27:17, 13:20 - this doesn't mean can't work with or associate with unsaved people on occasion, but be careful of daily, long term associations.

And, while on the one hand "companions matter", on the other hand,

#7.  The Christian walk is designed to be self-correcting.  - example:  a self-guided missile.  may get off course many times as it heads to the target, but when locked in, it will correct course repeatedly until the target is engaged.
You will deviate, you will wander, but you have the Word to correct yourself.

We close where we started:  Eph. 4:1 - It is every Christian's decision to repeatedly correct and get back in the path.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Christian Journey - The Calling

Christian Journey definition:  starting point = spiritual birth - journey continues until physical death.
The Christian journey  = a) journey continues after death, ie:  Christian hope  b)  (in a sense) precedes spiritual birth.

The Christian Journey begins with a Calling
Word 'calling' comes from Greek word - verb kaléō = to call, invite, summon.  Very common word, very common usage - Matt. 20:8, 25:14

but in the New Testament it's often used of A DIVINE SUMMONS   Eph. 1:18, 1 Cor. 1:9, 1 Thess. 2:11-12

noun form = A CALLING - Heb. 3:1, 2 Thess. 1:11

adjective form = A CALLED PERSON, A CALLED GROUP (people) - Jude 1, Rom. 8:28, Rev. 17:14 - His called,  His chosen

Therefore, ekklēsía (from ek, "out from and to" and kaléō, "to call")  ekklésia - the called out ones - "the church".

Can see why such a common word became an integral part of the Christian life.

I.  WHO CALLS?  God - Acts 2:39 - (Father?  Son?  Holy Spirit?  the drawing is attributed to all 3)

Generally through a combination of:  1)  external, Word - verbal or printed form
                                                        2)  internal, Holy Spirit - speaking to heart, mind, conscience
Therefore:  often/commonly through PREACHING - Example:  the sermon @ Pentecost - preaching + Word + Holy Spirit - Rom. 10:13-14
Your calling will be:  1)  DIVINE - when God truly speaks to your heart
                               2)  Personal
          (somewhat)   3) Unique - not necessarily different from anybody else's call but uniquely personal for a particular person.

Repent?  Salvation?  reconciliation?  discipleship?  service?  task?  office?

Yes ... BUT  #1.  to Himself - most important one
                    #2.  to His Son - Rom. 1:6 - this is a Christian call
                    #3 - to a Christian lifestyle - Rom. 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:2, 2 Tim. 1:9 - called to a holy life
Calling = out of worldly lifestyle that is opposed to Scripture, into one that is according to Scripture.
(These three = UMBRELLA under which all callings fit.)

1)  He loves us, He values us - John 3:16 - we are precious to God
And because 2) redemption, reconciliation are found only in Him - no other way.
3)  through us He glorifies Himself and draws other men to Him.  Eph. 3:10 - shows His character, attributes through us.
Your calling is not just about you!!!  He calls for the sake of others.

V.  WHO DOES HE CALL?  (all?  the elect? - the debate can distract from the point - ie:  Your Call!!)

a)  a few may not have yet received the call (little ones)
b)  a few may be denying, ignoring the call
c)  most know you've been called
d) some of your know you are being called

 #1.  the Calling of God is:  more than a request, but less than a demand
it = an urgent request, a passionate appeal - but He will not force you.
It = an incredible privilege - Heb. 9:15

#2. the call does not cease at Salvation (continues throughout life) - will be multiple calls

#3.  the call needn't always be felt - with maturity comes knowledge
I (now) know to what I'm called, I don't need His Voice!!  Already know what to do, give up, etc.

Invitation = Respond to Him & His call to you.... to come.  Rev. 22:17

Monday, August 15, 2016

Judging Others - A View From Scripture - Part 5

John 7:24 - on one hand "do", on the other hand, "don't"


What to do, how to respond when others judge you!!  (one thing when they judge your actions, but go further and judge your motive (heart)

All scriptures in Proverbs - because condensed, practical, and simple.

#1.  Get used to it - you are going to be judged in this world - we live with 7 billion fellow residents!
each with - personal opinions and preferences
each with - an inherent sense that their view = correct!

#2.  Listen - Prov. 12:15, 13:1 - a fool has no room for other people's opinions, ideas, etc.

#3.  Bite your tongue - Prov. 10:19, 18:13

#4.  Control your temper - Prov. 14:29, 29:11 - shows, manifests
James 1:19-20 - speak or respond - typically the angry response is not the righteous response.  Once words are said, can't be taken back, and can do great damage.

#5.  Consider the Criticism
On one hand, don't let man decide your course, however, recognize God often speaks through his people - could even speak through non-believers.
Example:  Paul - 1 Cor. 4:3-4   Col. 2:16 contrast Gal. 2:2 - all need correction from time to time.

Paraphrase:  "I should consider man's opinion because it could e that God would speak to me through them."

This does not mean give equal consideration of all criticism.  It means reasonable consideration of reasonable criticism.
So, consider  (a) in light of God's Word  (b) in a spirit of humility and prayer  (c) with the counsel of wise Christian friends.  Prov. 26:12


#1.  Give a controlled response - Prov. 15:1, 21:23 - with spirit of humility and prayer

#2.  Let it go - Prov. 12:16, 19:11 - stewing inwardly is better than outwardly, but stewing silently IS NOT letting go!

#3.  Continue to be open - don't become calloused, unreceptive.  Remember - you could still be wrong!!

IF THE JUDGMENT IS VALID or partly valid -

#1.  Admit it.  - Greek:  "homologeo" - to speak the same thing.  Point is NOT agree with your critic, but agree with God.  Prov. 17:10

#2.  Make appropriate response, change, amends.  - Prov. 14:9

#3.  Learn from your mistakes - Prov. 26:11

#4.  Grow - Prov. 15:31-32

Man man judge with mixed motives, BUT God's judgments are never designed to hurt you, but to correct, instruct, grow, mature you.  Therefore: Prov. 12:1

If God has laid this before you, it's your choice to receive it or ignore it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Judging Others - A View from Scripture - Part 4

On one hand we have scriptural admonition - "don't judge',
however, also have scriptural admonition - "do judge"!

 The answer found in John 7:24 = summary sentence

Last week = when it is right to judge another (others?)
Examples:  choosing church leadership, national leadership, matters of money and giving of that money, when faced with blatant sin.

TODAY = when is it wrong to judge another?  when is it sinful?
START with a classic passage:  Matt. 7:1-5


#1.  WHEN EXERCISING A FAULT-FINDING SPIRIT   ie:  hypercritical - "speck"

a couple non-scriptural quotes:  "any fool can criticize and condemn and most fools do";  "some Christians are born again.  Others seem born against."

This = faultfinding TO NO POSITIVE END/PURPOSE - no correction, no instruction or restoration, no real purpose.   (except personal satisfaction!! - I enjoy criticizing and condemning!!!

Contrast:  Slander = false charge, misrepresentation - Ex. 20:16 - making statements that NOT true
               Gossip may be true!! - BUT sharing it is neither necessary or beneficial!!!
Serves NO purpose, not helpful in any way.

Is gossip a big deal?   Rom. 1:28-31, 1 Tim. 5:13 (gossips & busybodies), Matt. 12:34-37
On one hand, this = Jesus speaking to the detractors, opposition.  However, it illustrates the weight of the WORDS we speak!!!!

How to determine?  Are we sharing valuable information?  or gossip?

Ask yourself - is sharing this necessary?  Is sharing this beneficial?  - Eph. 4:29

A prayer - Psm. 141:3-4 - gossip = evil, sinful
advice - Prov. 20:19 - (apply to Facebook?) 

So, it is wrong to judge another 1) when exercising a faultfinding spirit.
                                              2)  when the judgment is gossip

Matt. 7:3, 4 - not paying attention, owning own problem
Example:  Jesus' 7 woes to the Pharisees - Matt. 23:25-28 - look beyond the exterior
               Gal. 6:1, 1 Cor. 11:31

Things not a part of fundamental orthodox Christianity - not critical issues
Problem = ongoing debate of "what's clear" vs. what's questionable"
Nevertheless, this Rule merits serious consideration, examination

Example:  Church splits - are rarely, if ever, the result of clear doctrine.
                                    most often come because of personal preferences, questionable issues!!!

1)  a judgmental attitude goes beyond verbal.  (can "look down" on people in silence, disdain within - God knows our heart.
2)  most (all?) of us have this tendency, problem
3)  First need = "judging self"!!!

Then - 4) (when necessary) con judge others - "PROPERLY"  balancing the A) words of Christ and B) the Spirit of Christ. 

Bottom line = is Jesus my Lord If He says you have a problem in this area, are you willing to fix it???