Introduction: We Live In A World Of Compromise—in a society that has abandoned /moral standards/ and /Christian principles/.
Tolerance Is The Operative Ideology In Our Society.
The Church Adopts A Similar Perspective To Reach The Unsaved.
a. /Many churches now look for ways to give the Gospel to people without offending them/.
Yet the very nature of the Gospel is offensive because it confronts sinners with their sin.
Ignoring that, many churches willingly compromise God’s Word instead of “standing firm” on the Gospel, and they give the world a watered-down version that can’t effect any change.
The Spirit Of Compromise Hits Closer To Home In Our Personal Interactions.
a. /We may have had opportunities to proclaim Christ to unbelievers/, yet out of /intimidation/ or /lack of confidence/, we have kept silent.
b. /Perhaps we’ve found ourselves compromising God’s Word /on some ethical issue at work or in our neighborhood and convinced ourselves that such compromise was necessary to maintain our credibility as an employee or neighbor.
/c. //Yet our Christian testimony is predicated on our:/
1. Complete devotion to God’s Word as the highest authority—no matter what the consequences may be.
/d. //God draws sinners into the kingdom through Christians who prove to be:/
1. Different from the world—who reveal their true allegiance by their commitment and obedience to God’s standards.
Our Difficulty In Living Like That Is The Opposition We Encounter From The World.
R.C. Sproul, in his book /Pleasing God/, describes the pull the world has on us:
The world is a seducer.
It seeks to attract our attention and our devotion.
It remains so close at hand, so visible, so enticing.
It eclipses our view of heaven.
What is seen contends for our attention.
It entices our eyes lest we look up for a better country whose builder and maker is God.
It pleases us—much of the time, anyway—and, alas, we often live our lives to please it.
And that is where conflict arises, for pleasing the world so seldom overlaps with pleasing God… The divine call we receive is this: “Do not be conformed to this world” (Rom.
But the world wants us to be partners with it.
We are urged to participate in the fullness of it.
It presses upon us with the ultimate peer pressure.
([Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1988], 59)
Paul’s Prayer In Philippians 1:9–10 Outlines The Path To Spiritual Integrity.
a. /It begins with “love” that abounds with “knowledge and all discernment” /(v.
9) and progresses to the pursuit of excellence (v.
b. /The result is sincerity and blamelessness/—two characteristics of godly integrity.
The Greek word translated “sincere” in verse 10 speaks of genuineness and authenticity.
1. Literally , “sun tested”; “without wax.”
Some Pots would crack in the fire.
2. Remember, God is the potter and we are the clay.
When He allows us to be put through the fire, will we stand the test or will we “crack” in the fire?
3. ILLUSTRATION OF LUCY AND THE FLOWER CONTEST
Biblical Integrity Requires That You Be Without Wax, having no hypocrisy or secret sins that show up when you’re under pressure or facing temptation.
a. “Blameless” or “without offense” speaks of consistency in living a life that doesn’t lead others into error or sin.
Your standard is to be the same away from church as it is at church.
b. Being blameless isn’t easy in a world that unashamedly flaunts its sinful practices.
We must guard against losing our sensitivity to sin and become
2. Desensitized and begin to tolerate or even accept the sin that once shocked us.
That’s when you lose integrity and begin to cause others to stumble.
*/For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles.
I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin.
The Lord rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight./"
(Psalm 18:22-24, NLT) *
God’s Word Develops Integrity Instead of Compromise.
a. /The American Heritage Dictionary/ (Houghton Mifflin, 1992) defines integrity as “steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code,” “the state of being unimpaired; soundness,” or “the quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.”
It comes from the word /integer/, which means “whole” or “complete.”
b. /Integrity essentially means being true to one’s ethical standards/.
In our case, God’s standards.
Its synonyms are honesty, sincerity, incorruptibility.
It describes someone without hypocrisy or duplicity—someone who is completely consistent with his or her stated convictions.
To The Man Or Woman Of Integrity, God Promises Blessing (1 Kings 9:3-5)
/a. //When Solomon finished building the house of the Lord, the Lord appeared to him and said:/
/In this chapter we spend a day in the life of the Prime Minister of the Medo-Persian Empire—Daniel.
Daniel Is Not A Teenager In This Chapter; He Is A Man In His Eighties.
a. Age is no barrier to serving Christ, nor is it any protection against temptation and testing.
Because Daniel started young as a man of faith and prayer, he was faithful to the Lord even in his old age because, Daniel Maintained His Daily Walk With God!
This Chapter Emphasizes Satanic Hated And Persecution.
The Holy Scriptures declare *"/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./"
(Ephesians 6:12, NKJV) *
You And I Live In A Lion’s Cage, The World.
And there is a roaring lion prowling up and down the cage.
/And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”"
/(Job 1:7, NKJV)
* *Peter Calls Him Our Adversary, The Devil *"/Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour./"
(1 Peter 5:8, NKJV) *
Standing Firm In Promotion (Daniel 6:1-9)
/a) //I pleased Darius to set over the kingdom… Three governors, of whom Daniel was one (v.1-2)/
1) God Had Honored Daniel For His Faithfulness… He Became the Second Ruler In the Land.
(a) /There Were Actually 124 Persons Involved In The Leadership Of The Land/:
1. Darius the king, the three presidents (with Daniel as #1), and 120 princes.
2. Darius was so impressed with Daniel, he was planning to make him second ruler.
2) Daniel’s Promotions In Babylon Are Proof That God Is The One Who Promotes Not Man.
/"For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south.
But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another."
/(Psalm 75:6-7 cf.
*"/The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man/ /and his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand./"
(Genesis 39:2-3) *
*"/So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him.
Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority./"
(Genesis 39:4, NKJV) *
*/The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field./"
(Genesis 39:5, NKJV) *
*"/But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison./"
(Genesis 39:21, NKJV) *
*"/The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper./"
(Genesis 39:23, NKJV) *
(a) /A Believer Does Not Have To Compromise To Succeed: //"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."/ (Matthew 6:33)
/b) //Daniel Distinguished Himself (v.3)/
1) He Proved Himself To Be More Capable Than Others… Marked By A Good Reputation