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Pick a side

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Pick a side

In life you have many opportunities to pick a side.
Slide 1: Don’t pick a side, pick a seat.
Slide 2: Captain America vs. Iron (Civil War)
Slide 3: Right Twix or Left Twix
Slide 4: Left lane or Right lane
I really don't think I’m getting my point across maybe this slide will make it clear.
Slide 5: Bulldogs or Yellow Jackets
There's a fictional story of the soldier in the American Civil War who did not want to fight with anyone. In an attempt to remain NEUTRAL, he dressed in Union pants and a Confederate jacket. Unfortunately BOTH SIDES shot at him.
Remaining neutral is never a good thing and one issue that God covers well in His Word.
1 Thessalonians 2:13–16 NKJV
13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

A. We pick a side by a Biblical Process. Sanctification

Look a the progress as it takes place

1. First you Hear the Word of God.

The very first action is to hear the word of God!
Romans 10:17 NKJV
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
So how do we reconcile living a Christian witness as opposed to verbally sharing our faith!
Need an illustration here!

2. Second you Receive (Accepted) the Word of God.

This isn’t a casual statement that they were tolerating a person while they spouted off some nonsense.
This isn’t like receiving a gift at Christmas that’s going to pushed to the back of a closet to eventually be sold in a yard sale.

“Ye accepted it, not (as) the word of men (which it might have been supposed to be), but (as) the word of God, even as it really is.”

Can you as a believer speak with enough authority and knowledge that people see it is God’s Word that is being spoken and not your own.

3. Third you Welcome the Word of God.

There was a place made for it in your life.
It still never gets tiring for me to hear first time parents comment about the love they have for their newborn child. “I never knew I could go from not knowing someone to having a total all consuming sacrificial love for another human being”

4. Lastly it shows in your activities.

James 1:22 NKJV
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Philippians 2:12 NKJV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Phil 12:2
Phil 12:2
Henry Drummond in his Christian Classic “Natural Law in the Spiritual World” Says this
hENT
“Whatever rest is provided by Christianity for the children of God, it is certainly never contemplated that it should supersede personal effort. And any rest which ministers to indifference is immoral and unreal—it makes parasites and not men. Just because God worketh in him, as the evidence and triumph of it, the true child of God works out his own salvation—works it out having really received it—not as a light thing, a superfluous labor, but with fear and trembling as a reasonable and indispensable service” (Drummond,Natural Law in the Spiritual World,” p. 335)[1]

“Whatever rest is provided by Christianity for the children of God, it is certainly never contemplated that it should supersede personal effort. And any rest which ministers to indifference is immoral and unreal—it makes parasites and not men. Just because God worketh in him, as the evidence and triumph of it, the true child of God works out his own salvation—works it out having really received it—not as a light thing, a superfluous labor, but with fear and trembling as a reasonable and indispensable service” (Drummond, “Natural Law in the Spiritual World,” p. 335)

[1] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 3, p. 437). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Galatians 5:6 NIV
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Gal 5:6
Martin Luther
Faith must of course be sincere. It must be a faith that performs good works through love. If faith lacks love it is not true faith. Thus the Apostle bars the way of hypocrites to the kingdom of Christ on all sides. He declares on the one hand, "In Christ Jesus circumcision availeth nothing," i.e., works avail nothing, but faith alone, and that without any merit whatever, avails before God. On the other hand, the Apostle declares that without fruits faith serves no purpose. To think, "If faith justifies without works, let us work nothing," is to despise the grace of God. Idle faith is not justifying faith. In this terse manner Paul presents the whole life of a Christian. Inwardly it consists in faith towards God, outwardly in love towards our fellow-men.
Verse 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. Faith must of course be sincere. It must be a faith that performs good works through love. If faith lacks love it is not true faith. Thus the Apostle bars the way of hypocrites to the kingdom of Christ on all sides. He declares on the one hand, "In Christ Jesus circumcision availeth nothing," i.e., works avail nothing, but faith alone, and that without any merit whatever, avails before God. On the other hand, the Apostle declares that without fruits faith serves no purpose. To think, "If faith justifies without works, let us work nothing," is to despise the grace of God. Idle faith is not justifying faith. In this terse manner Paul presents the whole life of a Christian. Inwardly it consists in faith towards God, outwardly in love towards our fellow-men.
And Paul makes it clear that Actions, Activities, Works are all natural outpourings from the Life of a Christian.
Paul even declares this in his final writing to Paul.
2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
These are not statements to Paul's Salvation, These are statements to Paul’s dedication to working out His own salvation.
Some might say this is only speaking to the inner work of change and how true that may be except that Paul moves on to the next thought which makes it clear it has to do outward actions… the visible expression of your Faith.

B. We pick a side when we exhibit a lifestyle contrary to the world and reflective of Christ.

Remember a few weeks ago I told you about the difference between Model or Duplicate.
We as believers are to Duplicate but to what end?
Look what verse 14 tells us its not to uniformity...

1. The actions of a believer may be slightly different but the opposition will be the same.

Look what verse 14 says… Paul is addressing these new believers.
1 Thessalonians 2:14 NKJV
14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans,
1 Thess
The ongoing attempt by liberal Christian proponents is to water down the Scripture in an attempt not to offend those that would be offended. THAT NEVER WORKS.

2. The actions will separate you from others with no regard to family, race, culture or nationality.

Why: We are in Christ Jesus

Why: Their aim was never to please God

Hi

C. We pick a side because it has eternal ramifications.

The word here to consider is uttermost
1 Thessalonians 2:16 NKJV
16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
This word speaks more to the power of deciding than to a length of time or ability to hold for a future date.

1.In this verse it should be understood that God will place His wrath on them according to His authority.

However another scripture uses the same word in a much more enjoyable way.
Hebrews 7:25 NKJV
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

2. In this verse God declares His authority to save.

He sent a spotless sacrifice
That sacrifice was offered
That sacrifice rose again
His authority will rule the day! Which side of that Authority will you be on!!
God made the rules, He followed the Rules and He will enforce the rules.
Choose the Right Side
C. S. Lewis
When the author walks onto the stage, the play is over. God is going to invade, all right; but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else comes crashing in? This time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. That will not be the time for choosing; It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.
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