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C H O I C E

(Acrostic, anangram, puzzle, jigsaw)

 

JOSHUA 24:15

AAs for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.@

 

AWe will@ that is futuristic! Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, into the 21st Century and beyond.......

 

 

C   OURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT

 

Do you have the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?

 

Different? Different from what? 

Different from the murderers of this world?

Different from the hard core criminals in our cities?

Different from the prostitutes and the drug addicts?

Different from the people who live according to the standards of this world?

Different from those you work with?

Different from your parents, brothers, sisters?

Different from the non-Christians.

Different from the person setting next to you?

 

Do you have the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?

 

Independent

Irregular

 

Or are you one of those conformers (accommodator, adjusters, modifiers, fitters)  that goes along with the crowd?

Do you have the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?        

Individual

Conflicting

Opposite

 

Hebrews 11:24©26  By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (NIV)

Moses had the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?           

Unique

Unusual

Weird

Do you have the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?


 

            Peter & John had the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?                                                                                  

Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (NIV)

The priests and elders marveled (wondered) when they saw the boldness (freedom of speech) (backbone, bravery, daring, grit, gumption, guts, heart, nerve, boldness) of Peter and John, especially since they perceived they were unlearned (uneducated in the sense of not having attended a rabbinic school or having sat under a great rabbi like Gamaliel) and ignorant men (unprofessional men, laymen.) This does not mean they were totally unschooled. They had gone to the synagogue schools in their hometowns, but they were not professional teachers or trained speakers like the rabbis, scribes, and lawyers. Ordinary men did not speak with such authority.  It must have been hard for Peter and John to face such snobbishness.  But the key to their boldness and freedom in speaking was, of course the new fresh filling with the Spirit.

 

They had the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT!

 

The Holy Spirit gave them the words to speak.  Then something else struck them Athey were astonished and they took note....@

            (Joshua & Caleb) Numbers 14:6©9 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." (NIV)

 

Joshua & Caleb had the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT!

Hebrews 4:14©16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV)

 

Because the Son knows the power of sin and the means of success over temptation, believers can come to Him in prayer with confidence in His wisdom and ability to help them when they are confronted with temptation.

 

The readers of this epistle were facing the temptation to abandon their profession of faith in the face of ridicule and persecution.   Most assuredly , the Son, who was abandoned by His disciples and forsaken by the Father while on the cross, understands the needs of those who are tempted to forsake Him in the hour of trial.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ had the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT! Do You?

 


 

The word Acourage@ conveys a sense of openness, freedom, and confidence. 

 

When Christians come to God in prayer through the Son, they receive not justice, but God=s grace and mercy.  This is available because of Jesus Christ=s sacrifice on the cross.  The help that is available through such prayer is timely, that is, it exactly fits the need at the right moment.

Hebrews 10:35©36 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (NIV)

 

In order for believers to be certain about receiving this Agreat recompense of reward.@ one thing is needed: PATIENCE.  Hupomones describes one particular aspect of patience, the quality of endurance. 

 

It speaks about enduring the afflictions and trials until those troubles are ended.

 

Patient endurance to the end will receive the reward.

 

As believers you must respond to the current crisis in your lives in the same way you reacted when you first professed your faith in the Son of God.  With the eyes of faith, you must look beyond your present circumstances to the glory of your future inheritance.

 

Just as Jesus came to do the Father=s will and knew it would involve Him in suffering and death, so believers discover that for them God=s will also involves suffering.

 

When you have Adone the will of God,@ however, you will actually go beyond your knowledge of God=s promises and receive it for yourselves in your personal experience.

 

Do You Have the COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT?

 

Hold On!  Don=t give in.  Jesus Christ has provided (them) you with Acourage, confidence, boldness,@ they were admonished not to throw it away because it had the prospect , not of fiery judgment, but of great reward.

 

Those who trust in the Son will enter into eternal rest as recipients of God=s eternal salvation.  Such an inheritance should not be abandoned. Nothing should be done to jeopardize it.

 

It takes the courage to be different.

 

If You Want the Courage to Be Different Come Forward as a Sign of Your Desire to Have Greater Abundance of Courage to Be Different.

 

 

 


C   OURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT

 

The word Acourage@ conveys a sense of openness, freedom, and confidence.

 

Hebrews 10:35©36 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (NIV)

 

Hebrews 11:24©26  By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (NIV)

 

Those who trust in the Son will enter into eternal rest as recipients of God=s eternal salvation.  Such an inheritance should not be abandoned. Nothing should be done to jeopardize it.

 

It takes the courage to be different.


OLINESS LIVING       (Standards Change)

 

1 Corinthians 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness..." (NIV)

 

Since so much emphasis must be placed on God, then man must take his proper place.  To believe oneself to be wise is really dangerous self-deception.  A man cannot be wise in both the Aworld@(v. 19) and the Church.  The world thinks Christian thinking and wisdom is foolish, and there is much that the world considers acceptable which is not acceptable to the Church. 

At the heart of wisdom is the Cross.  Either a person will despise it or cling to it.  If he holds to it, he will gain much.  If he despises it, he will lose everything.

 

As God looks at man=s wisdom from the viewpoint of its inability to discover and obtain salvation, He considers it utter nonsense.  It has no value.

 

Verse 19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; (NIV)

 

God considers the wisdom of the world to be Afoolishness.@  More than that, God proves it is foolish.  He intervenes and brings it to nothing.  How is this proved?  Look at Scriptures.  Paul quoted first from Job 5:13

 

AHe catches the wise in their craftiness.... (NIV)

God catches the crafty and exposes them. They are brought face-to-face with the fact that His wisdom totally surpasses theirs.  He can so expose the faulty roots of a persons thinking that it is seen to be deceit and trickery.

 

Paul also quoted from Psalm 94:11 with minor changes. But the though is clear.

Psalm 94:11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.

 

1 Corinthians 3:20 "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." (NIV)

 

The idea is of total knowledge. No thought, not even the most secret, is hidden from God.  This is part of the reason the Lord can intervene in the plans of men.  He knows their thoughts from the very beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

11 And that is what some of you were. But you

 

were washed,

1) of any kind of separation of one thing from another by  which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed

 

you were sanctified (holiness),

AV - sanctify 26, hallow 2, be holy 1; 29

1) to separate from profane things and dedicate to God

2) consecrate things to God (children, marriage, home)

3) to purify

   3a) to cleanse externally

   3b) to purify by redemption: free from the guilt of sin

   3c) to purify internally by renewing of the mind (Rom 12:2)

 

you were justified

AV - righteous 41, just 33, right 5, meet 2; 81

1) in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God

2) used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no correction in the heart or life

 

in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (NIV)


2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (NIV)

 

On the basis of these promises Paul had a new appeal for the converts at Corinth.  It concerned the doctrine of sanctification.  When you, as a new believer, accept what Christ did for you, you are immediately sanctified (1 Cor. 6:11).  However, you have a continuous duty of perfecting (maintaining, completing) holiness in your life.  You are under obligation to do so in the fear of God, with appropriate awe and respect for Him.

 

HOLINESS  1) undefiled by sin, free from wickedness, religiously observing every moral obligation, pure holy, pious = (God-fearing, believing, dedicated, devout, doctrinal, ethical, faithful, godly, holy, honorable, saintly, spiritual, worshipful).

 

Eph 4:20-24 Holy Unto the Lord

Ephesians 4:20-24 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (NIV)

 

This word Aholiness@ is found only two times in the New Testament.  In Luke 1:75 Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, is filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesies (verse 67) that God would allow His people to serve Him Ain holiness and righteousness@ means living as one who belongs to God should, instead of serving God in fear (cf. verse 74).

 

In Ephesians 4:24 Paul urged believers to Aput on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.@  Again Arighteousness@ is linked with holiness, which in this context (verse 25) speaks of the holy life which is so devoted in piety to God that it refrains from the sinful deeds and habits of the former life.

 

1 Thess 4:1-12 Holy Living

1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.

11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (NIV)

 

(Music Team)

 


We are all at different levels of spiritual growth. Different not only from each other but different from where we were last year this time.  We have grown. Thank you Jesus!

Holiness is living a moral life.

Holiness is right thinking.

Holiness is controlling ourselves.

Holiness is stopping our tongue from wagging.

Holiness is loving our brother or sister when we feel we have a right to not like them.

Holiness is minding your own business.

Holiness is hearing God call us back to himself when we have wronged him..

Holiness is feeling those sparks of tingling in our bodies as we ponder His forgiveness.

Holiness is being freed from some unimaginable curse because we have received Him.

Holiness is being perfected because he is perfect.

Holiness is being able to recognize your own salvation and rejoice in it.

Holiness is entering into His presence in prayer and feeling him there.

Holiness is expressing your love to him in worship and feeling His presence in your body.

Holiness is your ability to experience His gift of the Holy Spirit.

Holiness is being one with God the Father thru Jesus Christ the Son, in the Holy Spirit.

 


O  NE PURPOSE - For Christ

 

AC@ We have learned that it takes the courage to be different.

AH@ Holiness is being able to recognize your own salvation and rejoice in it.

AO@ One Purpose - For Christ.

                                                                             

Romans 7:21-25 Thanks be to God  through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (NIV)

 

Paul=s answer is clear.  Deliverance must come through Christ and, in turn, through yielding to the Holy Spirit, whose work is to produce the Christ life in those who receive Him. The chasm has been spanned.  There is deliverance from the penalty of sin in the past as we believe and from the power of sin in the present as we walk by the law of the Spirit. Sin and Satan are conquered foes and the self-nature can also be brought into subjection.

 

AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

It takes courage to follow Jesus.  When we hear him say to those who sat scattered along the hillside,

 

Matthew 4:23 - 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. (NIV)

Followers of Christ!                                 

Matt 4:23-25  Decapolis = "ten cities" 1) a track of land so called from the ten cities that were in it 1a) according to Pliny, these cities were: Damascus (82), Opoton, Philadelphia(84), Raphana, Scythopolis, Gadara, Hippondion, Pella (43), Galasa, and Canatha (Gill) Jerusalem (80) Bersheba (116)

we knew that it took courage.

 

When we read that as they followed him they were afraid, we know that it took courage, for fear is the inseparable reverse of courage. Jesus tells us over and over AFEAR NOT.@ ABE NOT AFRAID@ ADO NOT BE AFRAID@

 

EXAMPLE OF US FOLLOWING HIM!

 

As we have tried to walk in his footsteps we personally know what courage it takes when some fear grips our hearts, when we sense how far the road with him can lead, how high the Christian adventure can lift us, how much acceptance and how much surrender it may mean.

 

AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There is an incident in the New Testament which turns our thinking clear around.  It is full of human emotion which sooner or later touches all of us.

 

Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. (KJV)

 

A brokenhearted father had come to tell Jesus about the death of his daughter, and having told him, turned straight toward his home.  Then Jesus followed. 

 

We need no interpreter to tell us the deeper meaning of this small-town-drama.  All the history and the magnificence of our souls are in it.  What happened so long ago has happened to every one of us.

 

AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

There have been times, have there not, when we poured out our hearts, said all there was to say, and went our way.  Then suddenly we sensed that we were not alone. He followed us. 

 

MY PRAYER

 

Dear God I need your grace.  Please help me find your place.  Your love is my mystery please open my eyes.  Your answers are not here, or clear, or I fear near.  Grant me peace!  Shattered and broken I bring myself to the point of asking for love from you God.  How can I feel it, and know it, and relish it, with joy that grace brings. Here at a place of declaration, and confession, and decision to put all my faith in you Lord, please answer this prayer.  Grant me peace life is unbearable without true love, forgive my weakness for I am lost and need to be found.  Energy, direction, compassion, forgiveness, are the gifts that I need, please grant that these things and more bring life into focus with you at the lead.

 

I ask humbly for your grace Lord that, I might love, and feel loved, by others in turn, the fullness of life in not easy to earn. 

 

I don=t know what to ask for, but your answers and love.

 

Dear God I need your grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The soul knows it crisis, when our world falls apart and every certainty seems to vanish.  There are no words in such moments.  Prayers are stifled. Fortunate are those who know that in that hour they need not walk alone.

 

After all, Christianity is a faith for crisis.  It does not matter whether it is a crisis of joy or a crisis of sorrow.

 

AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

I. So let us ask ourselves some questions which reach deep. 

 

Have we the courage to ask Jesus to follow us to the place where we live?

 

   a.  Our home is our world. It is the only world we really know. Everything we are is reflected there: our integrity, our vulgarity, the shadowy nature of our weaknesses, the multicolored light of our morality, under our breath murmurings. 

 

Now have we the courage to leave the door ajar, so that he many enter, too?

 

Would we dare to ask him to be near during those moments of confidential relationships when we say things that people must never hear or know?

 

Would we wish him to follow our thoughts, no matter where they lead? 

Our dreams, no matter with what they play?

Our hopes, no matter what they encircle?

Now will you have the courage to let faith in Christ mean something to you?

 

II.  Let us ask another question.  Have we the courage to ask Jesus to follow us to the moment in which we are tested?

 

   a.  There are times when we are like people sinking into quicksand.  We do not want to yield to our weakness; we do not want to be what we are not; but we feel ourselves alone and helpless. 

 

We are in the grip of something not ourselves.

 

The heart is divided; the mind is dazed.  In that one moment, sometimes blazing with the fury of greed, sometimes burning in the heat of passion, sometimes focused on things of the world way, we see the Christian standards by which we were nourished grow hazy.

 

We begin to rationalize.  We justify our action;

we seek to persuade ourselves that we have found a better wisdom and a new morality;

we live as though there were no future,

as though there were nothing but this one throbbing sound and pull of the world=s ways

 

What poor, foolish gambler we are!  If only then we could remember that there is a tomorrow, and tomorrow it will be remorse and loneliness and guilt.

 

 

 

 


   b.  There are other times of testing when we must follow our course, when we must stand against our own kind, when we must set ourselves against our own families and follow a voice that cannot be silenced.  The voice of God.

 

We cannot be deaf to that voice; we cannot turn from that sense of duty in ourselves.  There is only one road, and we must walk on that road. 

 

But there is that other voice that is not God=s whispering of the price we shall have to pay, telling of the cross we shall have to bear, filling our minds with lies.  If in that moment we waver, we will never be ourselves, and we will never build or experience a better world.

 

(MUSIC)                   AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

III.  Let us ask one more question of ourselves.  Have we the courage to ask him to follow us to the place of our fears?

 

   a.  There are those bitter days when our minds are torn by conflict. 

We are afraid.  Fear dominates everything we do. 

We do not trust ourselves, for we know we shall fail. 

We do not trust our friends, for we are persuaded that they cannot help us. 

We fear tomorrow, fear it may overwhelm us.  Truly our souls are sick. 

Panic takes hold upon us, and we run from door to door, from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, Pastor to Pastor, Christian to Christian, friend to friend seeking relief. 

 

Have we then the courage to ask Jesus to follow us to the place of our need?

 

   b.   What is it we do when the mind is troubled? 

We ask, but there is no answer. 

We hope, but the winds of chance carry our dreams away. 

We look for fulfillment, but there is never any end, and we must walk on and on, plodding along the way.

We grow bitter about life.

 

But it might have been different had we but asked Jesus to follow us. 

How many answers we would have found, how many dreams might have come true, and how much fulfillment we might have seen!

 

  c.  If only we had the courage to ask him to follow us, what faith could do then!  How faith would become definite; how it would meet every problem with which the mind and heart are burdened. 

 

With that assurance we would meet our difficulties.  With what peace of mind we could speak to ourselves, and with what respectability we could hear our troubles.

 

AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

  IV.  Yes, it=s all for one purpose!  Christ!  It is a heroic struggle in us which makes us say, Awhere he leads me, I will follow.@ 

 

But it takes more courage to ask him to follow us.  The road before us may be long - the night may fall upon our way - we may be afraid.  Then we hear footsteps. We look back and see the shadow of his figure following after us.

 

Now it is as though there were a lantern in our hands.  We know that all will be well, for he will be with us wherever our need is.  And who indeed can ask more of his Lord than that?

 

It=s your CHOICE Awhere he leads me, I will follow@ or it=s Awhere I go, he may follow!@

 

AND IT=S ALL FOR ONE PURPOSE!  CHRIST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                             


NTEGRITY TO AYOUR@ SALVATION

 

AC@ We have learned that it takes the courage to be different.

AH@ Holiness is being able to recognize your own salvation and rejoice in it.

AO@ One Purpose - For Christ.

AI@   Integrity to AYour@ Salvation

 

Webster describes integrity as: AStrict personal honesty and independence; completeness, unity.@

 

Other meanings:  Credibility, fidelity, honor, innocence, nobility, honesty, morality, principle

 

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed -- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence -- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. (NIV)

Verse 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed -- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence -- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

 The apostle carefully informed the Philipians that they were responsible before God for their own salvation. 

 

Responsible for their own salvation? What does that mean?

 

Oh no! Another CHOICE you have to make.

 

They could not lean upon him, so his absence should not make a difference in whether or not they were faithful to God.

 

Have you ever gotten the feeling that you were close to violating your self?

Possibly to the point of putting your self in spiritual danger?

Have you ever felt that you could have done a better job of taking care of your self spiritually?

 

You know children will act out when you are not looking. Examples

How about adults?  Do they act out and just are polished at hiding it?

 

AWork out@

1) to perform, accomplish, achieve

2) to work out i.e. to do that from which something results

 

Glen Onorato  - Roy Lucas   Body building Work out in the gym,

Martin Jimenez  - Singers Work out on Amusic practice - singing@

Work out in the garden


Work out in the lawn

Work out a problem

Work out a bug in my computer

Work out a solution

AWork Out@

 

contains the idea of carrying out to an ultimate conclusion.

 

 Verse 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose

 

In this process, which obviously is a reference to the work of sanctification (grace, blessing, thanksgiving), the attitude must be one of serious caution.  God of course, not only gives us the will to please Him, but also the ability

 

So, verse 12 describes human responsibility and verse 13 divine responsibility. 

It is never Aeither/or.@  The scriptural approach is not Alet go and Let God,@ but Aget in there with God.@

 

In a sense you Christians:

 

Awere saved@ the moment you believed;

you Aare being saved@ as the Holy Spirit applies sanctification process in your lives;

and you Awill be saved@ at the resurrection.

 

Look at verse 14 ADo everything without complaining or arguing, A

 

After carefully instructing the Philippians about the necessity of allowing the sanctification (grace) process to work, Paul added that they should do so without Acomplaining@ and Aarguing.@  Complaining is an onomatopoetic word (gongusmon), a word in which the sound resembles its meaning.  It refers to undertone complaining and is constantly used in the Septuagint for the abundant complaining of the Israelites in the wilderness when they journeyed from Egypt to Canaan.

 

Have you ever eaten to much of anything? Pineapple in Dominican Republic in 1964.

 

Manna pancakes in the morning.

Manna bar for energy during the hard days journey.

Manna burger for lunch.

Manna - cotti for supper.

Manna split for dessert.

Manna in the morning , Manna at the noontime, manna as the sun goes down.

Manna, manna, manna!

 

AComplaining@ goggusmos {gong©goos©mos'}from 1111; TDNT - 1:735,125; n m

AV - murmuring 3, grudging 1; 4

1) a murmur, murmuring, muttering

   1a) a secret debate

   1b) a secret displeasure not openly avowed

                                                                             

 

AArguing@ relates to ill-natured controversies.


1261 dialogismos {dee©al©og©is©mos'} from 1260; TDNT - 2:96,155; n mAV - thought 9, reasoning 1, imagination 1, doubtful 1, disputing 1, doubting

1) the thinking of a man deliberating with himself

   1a) a thought, inward reasoning

 

Instead of complaining and arguing about the process through which the Holy Spirit takes us, Christians should become Ablameless and pure.@

 

Verse 15 Aso that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe@

 

 ABecome@ shows the progressive nature of the experience .  ABlameless@ literally means Afree from defect,@ and Apure@ has the sense of Auncontaminated.@

 

All this beautiful process takes place in a Acrooked@ or Adepraved@ generation.  Christians live in a real world rather than growing in a Agreenhouse@ setting.

 

Verses 16 Aas you hold out the word of life in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.  (NIV)

LIFE: life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

 

 

 

 

Titus 3:3-8   3 At one time we too were foolish (foolish literally means ASenseless, without spiritual understanding), disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.(NIV)

 

 


C  OVENANT FROM GOD THE FATHER

AC@ We have learned that it takes the courage to be different.

AH@ Holiness is being able to recognize your own salvation and rejoice in it.

AO@ One Purpose - For Christ.

AI@   Integrity to AYour@ Salvation

AC@  Covenant from God the Father

Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance -- now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (NIV)

1242 diatheke {dee©ath©ay'©kay} from 1303; TDNT - 2:106,157; n f AV - covenant 20, testament 13; 33 1) a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will  2) a compact, a covenant, a testament  2a) God's covenant with Noah, etc.

What a remarkable, essential book is Hebrews. More than any other in Scripture, it repeatedly affirms and underscores the superiority of Christ.  It continually brings us back to the solid meat of Christianity, refusing to let us stay in the shadows looking for fulfillment in externals.

Not even the Law represents God=s major message to humanity, as helpful and important as it may have once been.  The Law brings to us the awareness of our need, but it does nothing to solve our deepest and most dreaded disease: sin. 

That takes blood...a certain kind of blood.  And, as we will see in this message, along with the blood comes an entirely new arrangement (called covenant in Hebrews) between God and humanity.

This new arrangement is far superior to the rituals, regulations, and commandments of the Law.  It is a Agrace connection@: signed, sealed, and delivered in blood.

I.  Some Reminders about Hebrews.

As we proceed, let=s keep in mind three things about the book of Hebrews. These will help us maintain a proper perspective.

A.  Its theme is the superiority of Jesus Christ.

B.  Its concern is that we rely on Christ=s finished work.

C.  Its emphasis is that we operate under a new arrangement.

II.  The Essential Issue: Blood (Heb. 9:15-28).

Offensive as it may sound to some, this is a blood-related subject.  Look at what the writer mentions back in verses 13 and 14.

Hebrews 9:13©14 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (NIV)


Under the Mosaic system, people had to return time and again to be washed of their sins.  The blood of animals, spilled on the altar, had only a brief cleansing effect.  The writer says, however, that the internal cleansing effect of the blood of Christ has the capacity to wash even the conscience from dead works so that the recipient of the cleansing can serve the living God.

Thus, in the days of the old arrangement (the old covenant), animal blood was the essential ingredient; but in these days of the new arrangement, Christ=s blood shed once for all is the exclusive cleansing agent. 

The blood relates to three things:

 the covenant,

forgiveness,

and salvation.

We will consider each.

A.  As It Relates to the Covenant. (Vv. 15-21).  We read

Hebrews 9:15©21

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance -- now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. 16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. (NIV)

The term covenant is used in some instances it conveys the idea of Aarrangement@; in other instances it connotes Awill,@as in Alast will and testament.@  Under the terms of God=s plan, this will or new arrangement was signed, sealed, and delivered in blood.   Leviticus 17:11 relating to old covenant times, says; 

Leviticus 17:11 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. (NIV)

The old arrangement was preempted by something similar, but permanent: Christ=s blood and covenant.

B.  As It Relates to Forgiveness (v.22).

Hebrews 9:22 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (NIV)

That is the key statement. If you meditate on this verse for a few moments, you will come to at least two conclusions.  First, you will conclude that sin is a terrible offense. It is so offensive that it has blocked man from God; no one can mane any other aspect of life that leads to such seperation.  Your  second conclusion will be that forgiveness is a costly commodity.  The proof of the awfulness of sin is God=s requirement that blood be shed for its cleansing .  No blood, no forgiveness!  There is no way to get around it.


C.  As It Relates to Salvation. (Vv. 23-28).

The first three words in this passage is the beautiful connection  AIt was necessary@ (therefore).  Up until now, the writer has had us in a history lesson on blood, as well as giving us interesting contrasts between old and new covenants.  To this point we have only been observing, but now we become personally involved.  The writer=s thinking concludesA

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (NIV)

This refers to the Christian=s hope for Christ=s return.  But what the author states before verse 28 must not be overlooked. 

He presents two strong contrasts between the old days and the new days. 

First, Christ didn=t enter a holy place made with hands (i.e., the tabernacle), but rather entered heaven itself (v.24). 

Second, Christ did not offer Himself often (as the priests frequently offered animal lives), but rather, offered Himself once (v.25).

In verse 27 and 28, in light of all he has presented, the writer offers a word of warning and a word of encouragement.  The Greeks of the ancient world said, AEat, drink, and be merry: for tomorrow you die.@  Marcus Aurelius, a Roman, taught, A When one dies, his spark goes back and all that is left is dust, ashes, bones, and stench.@  The writer of Hebrews says,

A...Hebrews 9:27©28 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...@,

MUSIC TEAM

His word or warning is severe. God doesn=t care how religious or energetic we may be, how kind or good we are in attitude or action: He=s concerned that our hearts are washed in the blood of His Son. 

The reality of judgment awaits the person without Christ.  In contrast, a word of encouragement is offered to the one who has become personally related to Christ.  His judgment is behind him and his Asalvation@ (v28) awaits him. He can therefore live and walk without fear.

28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (NIV)

III. Two Truths That Abide.

  A.  Today=s sin is forgiveable.

  B.  Tomorrow=s judgment is escapable.

Let=s spend some time talking with God.  Our agenda before the Father will be unique.  You may spend time in praise and thanks for the hope of forgiveness.  Or, you may pray in confession and repentance.  Whatever, use this as an occasion to come boldly before God=s gracious throne.

 


                                                                             


NDURANCE TO THE END!    ETERNITY!!

 

John 1:12-13 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God  13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (NIV)

 

Spiritual Food:

 

Revelation 2:7 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (NIV)

 

A New Name:

 

Revelation 2:17 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (NIV)

 

Authority:

 

Revelation 2:26 26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations -- (NIV)

 

Robes of Righteousness:

 

Revelation 3:5 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (NIV)

 

A Memorial Pillar:

 

Revelation 3:12 12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. (NIV)

 

 Enthronement:

 

Revelation 3:21 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (NIV)

 

An Eternal Inheritance:

 

Revelation 21:7 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (NIV)

 


Revelation 21:1©8 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (NIV)

 

2 Chronicles 20:1©12 1After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar" (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said: "O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 `If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.' 10 "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." (NIV)


Luke 21:2©3 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. (NIV)

 

Jesus put the matter of giving in right perspective.  It is not the amount one gives to the work of God, it is the spirit in which the gift is given.

 

Jesus said in essence that it is not equal giving that counts but what it cost the giver.  The rich  were able to put in out of their surplus.  The gave knowing all their needs were provided for.  Even though their gifts were large, it did not affect their lifestyle.  The widow on the other hand made herself vulnerable.  She gave all she had to live on.  She gave out of her need for the daily provisions of life.  She alone gave in a way that made her trust God completely for the rest of her needs.  We are reminded of the widow who gave to God=s prophet, Elijah, out of her need and poverty.  After giving all in an act of faith, God was then able to provide further to her and her son (1 Kings 17:1-16). Both widows speak to us of what real giving is all about.

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