Outlines and Articles
Title: Are we living up to the name?
Preached on June 30, 2008
Intro: One of the things a person wants to leave is a legacy. A legacy is something that you want others to remember you by. It may be an inheritance for your children, an endowment to some charity or perhaps even some property for future generations in your family. One of the great legacies you hear of people leaving behind is something even a pauper can have. That would be his name. You hear of people speaking about some who have great riches and wealth but, they have a sorry name. Yet others who have nothing monetarily leave behind a great testimony of integrity, kindness, and love!!!!!
So let us consider this legacy when it comes to the name that is conferred all too commonly today and that is the name Christian.
I. The origins of the name Christian.
A. This is a word used three times in the NT.
B. Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
1) This is the first place the word Christians is used in the Word of God.
2) This was not a term that was given as a compliment.
a. Remember at this time Christianity was mocked and hated by the masses.
b. Stephen was stoned to death because of his following Christ.
C. Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
1) Can you hear the mocking of Agrippa?
D. 1 Pet 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1) The only time this word is used positively is in the event of suffering.
E. The word literally translated means “follower of Christ”
II. Making application to the name today.
A. Many have the idea that being saved makes you a Christian.
B. You can be saved and not be a Christian.
C. If you are not living a life of obedience to God’s Commands you are not a Christian.
D. If you are living a life of selfishness you are not a Christian.
E. If you never concern yourself if something is God’s will or not then you are not a Christian!!!!!!
TITLE: THE NEED OF HUMILITY
He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (John 4:20)
Humility in Relationships
One of the greatest attributes that is needed today in God’s people and in the Lord’s NT Churches is that of humility. For this is one way we show that we are his disciples. Now maybe you are thinking “I thought love was the way you show you are a disciple?” That would be true but, you must understand that true humility and love go hand in hand. This is how we display our love for one another and for our Saviour. What a solemn thought, that our love to God will be measured by our everyday interaction with men and the love it displays; I am afraid that most of us will find that many times our professed love for God will be illuminated in our lack of humility for what it really is and that is a false piety. It is even so with our humility. Do we really think we are humbling ourselves before God if we can’t do so with our spouse or people in Church and everyday dealings. Humility is manifested by our actions to others. Can we prove that we are truly Christ like because we have made ourselves of no reputation. One of the problems I see is we have too many people , making a reputation for themselves and not seeking to exalt the reputation of Christ. If I have to hear another singer on the radio brag about how many people come to hear them or a preacher talking about what I have done or what I don’t do I will get sick. The fact of the matter is whatever is accomplished in our ministries or Churches truly has not been accomplished by anything that we have done but, it was (in the past), is (the present) and will be (in the future) God doing every bit of it. What arrogance to actually think that we can do anything to please or benefit God in anyway at all. Let us remember that when in the presence of God lowliness of heart has become, not a posture we assume for a time, when we think of Him, or pray to Him, but the very spirit of our life, it will manifest itself in all our bearing towards our brethren and also in our thoughts towards ourselves.
The lesson is one of great importance: the only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignificances of daily life are the importance’s and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us. It is in our most unguarded moments that we really show and see what we are. To know the humble man, to know how the humble man behaves, you must follow him in the mundane occurrences of everyday life.
Is not this what Jesus taught? It was when the disciples disputed who should be greatest; when He saw how the Pharisees loved the chief place at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues; when He had given them the example of washing their feet—that He taught His lessons of humility. Humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men.
I believe the Scriptures bears record that Paul was a man of great humility. To the Romans he writes: “In honor preferring one another”; “Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to those that are lowly”; “Be not wise in your own conceit.” To the Corinthians: “Love,” and there is no love without humility as its root, “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, seeketh not its own, is not provoked.” To the Galatians: “Through love be servants one of another. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another.” To the Ephesians, immediately after the three wonderful chapters on the heavenly life: “Therefore, walk with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love”; “Giving thanks always, subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.” To the Philippians: “Doing nothing through faction or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind, each counting others better than himself. Have the mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and humbled Himself.” And to the Colossians: “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, even as the Lord forgave you.” Certainly Paul gives us much to consider about humility.
When we consider the lack of humility in our lives is it any wonder that so many lost people despise God and the things of God because they see the hypocrisy of so called Christians with their bitter spirit and terrible attitudes. Is it any wonder children that were reared in sound Churches will not have anything to do with worship of the most high because they have seen the arrogance and lack of humility amongst their own families.It is not supposed to be about us and how smart we are or how wonderful we think we are. Rather, it is supposed to be about the love and power of the most high and his mercy toward us. Our prayer should be God give me the mind of a Child, the heart of a servant and the humility of Christ. If this was so our world would be greatly impacted for Christ.
It is in our relationships to one another, in our treatment of one another, that the true lowliness of mind and the heart of humility are to be seen. Our humility before God has no value, but as it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellow-men. Let us study humility in daily life in the light of these words.
The humble man seeks at all times to act up to the rule, “In honor preferring one another; Servants one of another; Each counting others better than himself; Subjecting yourselves one to another.” The question is often asked, how we can count others better than ourselves, when we see that they are far below us in wisdom and in holiness, in natural gifts, or in grace received. The question proves at once how little we understand what real lowliness of mind is. True humility comes when, in the light of God, we have seen ourselves to be nothing, have consented to part with and cast away self, to let God be all.
The soul that has done this, and can say, So have I lost myself in finding Thee, no longer compares itself with others. It has given up forever every thought of self in God’s presence; it meets its fellow-men as one who is nothing, and seeks nothing for itself; who is a servant of God, and for His sake a servant of all. A faithful servant may be wiser than the master, and yet retain the true spirit and posture of the servant. The humble man looks upon every, the feeblest and unworthiest, child of God, and honors him and prefers him in honor as the son of a king. The spirit of Him who washed the disciples’ feet, makes it a joy to us to be indeed the least, to be servants one of another.
TITLE: WHY EVEN BOTHER?
II CORINTHIANS 2:15-16
2 Cor 2:15-16 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
Intro: Sometimes we wonder why God places us where he does. It seems that we preach the gospel and we are faithful in it and we see very little visible fruits of success. We knock on doors, talk to people in restaurants and stores. We talk to family members and co-workers but, we don’t see much. Sometimes in the flesh that gets discouraging but, when I read God’s Word I find in the Scripture that there is no wasted effort in the preaching of God’s Word and I am reminded that God has a purpose for everything and that what we are doing is not in vain. So this morning I want us to look at God’s Word and see what he teaches us about serving Him with all of our heart and the purpose he has for us in preaching His Word.
I. God’s purpose is accomplished in His Word. Paul understood that God had a purpose in him preaching the Gospel in Troas. What was the purpose of the ministry of the Gospel? Here Paul gives a good explanation.
A. It is a ministry of condemnation to some.
Unto some it is a savour of death unto death. The word for Savour in this verse is different than the word in the next verse. 3744 ὀσμή [osme /os•may/] n f. From 3605; TDNT 5:493; TDNTA 735; GK 4011; Six occurrences; AV translates as “savour” four times, and “odour” twice. 1 a smell, odour. Those who are willingly ignorant, and hate the gospel, are made ill with an unpleasant smell. They reject the gospel, to their ruin, even to spiritual and eternal death. How many run from the gospel like a skunk was coming their way? How many even this morning are running from the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon? To the Child of God it is sweetest of perfumes but, to the lost it is the stench of the garbage pit of Gehenna.
“B. It is a ministry of salvation to others. Unto saved the gospel is a savour of life unto life.It is translated as sweet smelling” once, and “sweet smell” once and sweet savour. 1 a sweet smell, fragrance. 2 a fragrant or sweet smelling thing, incense, on odour or something sweet smelling. 2A an odour of acquiescence, satisfaction. 2B a sweet odour, spoken of the smell of sacrifices and obligations, agreeably to the ancient notion that God smells and is pleased with the odour of sacrifices. 3 metaphor. a thing well pleasing to God. Notice the difference in the two words. This Word is certainly more descriptive and positive in its usage. This ought to drive home the point God is pleased with using his Word for His glory and that it is pleasing to Him. To the child of God the preaching and teaching of God’s precious word is a delight and most useful. As it is sweeter than the finest of candies to the taste and it is more satisfying to God’s people and those newly converted than the most precious of ointments and perfumes.
C. Who is worthy to be used in such an important work?
Who is sufficient for these things? v. 16. Tis hikanos—who is worthy to be employed in a work of such importance that has such great ramifications? Who is able to perform such a difficult work that requires so much skill and industry? The work that God has called us to weak in and of ourselves.It is certainly true that within our strength we are unable to do anything all our sufficiency is of God. If men did seriously consider what great things depend upon the preaching of the gospel, and how difficult the work of the ministry is, they would be very cautious how they entered into it and equally as careful to perform it as it should be.
3. The comfort which the apostle had under this serious consideration, (1.) Because faithful ministers shall be accepted of God, whatever their success be: We are, if faithful, unto God a sweet savour of Christ.
II. God’s Word will always accomplish its intended purpose.
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
7387 רֵיקָם [reyqam /ray•kawm/] adv. From 7386; TWOT 2161c; GK 8200; 16 occurrences; AV translates as “empty” 12 times, “without cause” twice, “void” once, and “vain” once. 1 vainly, emptily. 1A in empty condition, empty, emptily. 1B in vain, without effect, vainly.
A. Why is it a sure thing that God’s Word will accomplish its intended purpose?
1) Because God’s Word is an extension or a reflection of God and being God is holy, perfect and righteous then certainly His Word is too. God did not create the heavens and the earth half way and he does not save halfway so why we would he accomplish his purpose through the Word half way? It is the divine origin (or character) of God’s word, and not some magical power, which causes it to accomplish the purpose for which it is sent (cf. Heb. 4:12).
2) Ultimately, the purpose of God in bringing men to salvation is accomplished by the preaching of His word. The Word of God is that which proceeds from His mouth. The Word of God is not sent forth in vanity; but rather, it accomplishes the purposes to which God sent it in announcing His salvation to all mankind. Those who believe and receive His message shall experience joy and peace. Those who reject the soul saving message of the Gospel shall experience misery and condemnation in the eternal fires of hell.
III. Sow and Water
1 Cor 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase
Watered 4222 ποτίζω 4222. ποτίζω pŏtizō, pot-id´-zo; from a der. of the alt. of 4095; to furnish drink, irrigate:— give (make) to drink, feed, water
Planted 5452. φυτεύω phutĕuō, foot-yoo´-o; from a der. of 5453; to set out in the earth, i.e. implant; fig. to instil doctrine:— plant.
A. Paul here is talking about the cooperation in the work of the ministry and how the Word preached by different men is blessed and proves to us that we again in and of ourselves are worthless and unable to do anything. Notice the Emphasis. Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered but, God gives the increase.” He has done what he is supposed to do. He has been faithful in the propagation of the gospel. Paul had planted and Apollos had watered, v. 6. Both men had a purpose and were useful for that purpose. God makes different men into different instruments for the purpose he has for them. Just as a Garden Rake and a Lawn rake are good for their specific design but, out of its realm of design it is not much good. Paul was made for planting work, and Apollos for watering work, but in the end it was neither Paul nor Apollos that was the reason for a harvest it was God!!!! God gave the increase then and it is still God that gives the increase now. The success of the ministry must be given from the divine God of Heaven with his manifold blessings: Neither he that planteth is any thing, nor he that watereth, but God who giveth the increase, v. 7. Even those that were of Apostolic ministry knew they were nothing of themselves, and that they could do nothing with any kind of success unless God gaves the increase. One thing you will find throughout God’s Word and even in Church History is that all who have been used the most see themselves to be the least. They know how insufficient they are and have a great desire that God should have all the glory of their success.
B. The KJV Bible Commentary says it like this.
These ministers were also united in sowing (vss. 6–8). I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave (Greek imperfect tense, “was giving”) the increase. Men are used to accomplish specific tasks in the economy of God, but in the process, God is giving the increase. While men can be used to plant and cultivate things, only God can make things grow.
7. Neither is he that planteth any thing. The point is that men are unimportant when compared to God who makes our efforts effectual.
C. With the Word Bible Commentary “Harvesting (5–9). Everybody has a place in the Lord’s harvest, and all are doing His work (John 4:34–38). There must be no competing or comparing, for the Lord alone recognizes the work and gives the reward. It makes no difference who the servant is so long as Jesus Christ is Lord of the harvest.”
Title: ARE YOU DIFFERENT?
II CORINTHIANS 5:17
II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” In this book of the Bible we find Paul addressing the Church at Corinth. Now Paul had written one letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit rebuking the Church for various sins; adultery, division in the church over personality issues, partaking in the Lord’s supper unworthily, incest, divorce, disorder of proper roles of men and women in the church and home and the abuse of Spiritual gifts to just name a few. In II Corinthians Paul writes the Church and tells them how glad he was to hear of their repentance and how they are now on the right track. This brings us to Chapter five and verse seventeen.
In this verse we find that Paul is telling us that when we have a personal encounter with Christ things are different and there is to be a change in our actions and attitudes. This flies directly in the face of modern day religion. People have been told for years that when you’re saved, Christ is a fire escape for your soul but, nothing different should be expected of you. Does that sound like what Paul is saying here? Remember Paul said if any man (person) is in Christ (saved) he is a new creature (new creation); old things are passed away (this indicates the decisive change that has been brought about); behold (look) all things are become new (not the same). In other words WE ARE DIFFERENT!!!!!!
Paul knew from experience that when you have been Born from above (John 3:3-8), that when the Spirit of God has convicted you of sin, righteousness and Judgment to come (John 16:8-11). When you have turned from sin and self and have turned to God trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ that he died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose again the third day (I Corinthians 15:1-3) you will be different. Think about Paul’s experience, here was a man that had religion. He was a Pharisee and part of the Sanhedrin. He hated Christianity and thought he was doing God a service by consenting to the death of Stephen (Acts 7:54-8:1), and by persecuting men and women who loved the Lord (Acts 8:3).Then we find in Acts chapter nine verses three though eight Paul had an encounter with Christ that day on the road to Damascus. That day God did a marvelous work in his heart and he was never the same again. We can see other examples as well in the New Testament. What about Mark Chapter five when Christ comes into contact with a demon possessed man that lived in the tombs, who cut himself with rocks, screamed night and day, and was running around with no clothes on? When he came face to face with Christ, there was a drastic change in his life. When the people from town heard what happened they came to see for themselves and they found the man who was once possessed sitting, clothed and in his right mind. Notice the change, something happened to this man.
Before we continue stop for a second. Now if you profess to be saved I want you to think back to when you professed Christ. Are you different from what you were before you professed to be saved? Do you still talk the same? Are you still a drunkard, whoremonger, or harlot? Are you faithful to a sound NT Church like the one Christ started while here on Earth? Each and every person that has ever made a profession of faith ought to consider what I am asking today. Our eternal destiny is too important to casually throw these thoughts aside. Jesus tells us that there will be many when they stand before God that will tell him what wonderful things they did in his name. Some I am sure will sound like this, “I gave hundreds of thousands to the building fund.” Others will proclaim all they did for the Lord from cleaning toilets to teaching Sunday school and the answer given to them will be the one found in Matthew 7:20-24. Christ in his reply tells them “I NEVER knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Notice Christ did not say I knew you for a while but not now. He said I never knew you. There will be many whose names are on the Church rolls but, their names will not be in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Why all the confusion on this matter of being different? I believe there are many reasons why this is so. However, I will be very brief. First, many of the so called preachers themselves are products of this kind of religion. What has happened in their life does not harmonize with the Scriptures. So instead of looking at themselves and considering that something does not add up they ignore the plain teaching of God’s Word. They are religious, but they do not know Christ and have not been washed in His blood. Second, churches take money to operate especially if you want the pie in the sky facilities and the big salaries. You need all the nickels you can get and people will not give when they don’t like the preaching. Third, since you need money to have the facilities and salary you need to have noses. You got to have people filling those pews and dropping those nickels in the offering plate. So instead of preaching the truth without compromise you just compromise the truth and water it down just enough where it will be palatable for the carnal church member to digest. You tell the Church as long as they show up on Sunday and give their tithe and offering all is okay and that they are the most wonderful people in the world in spite of the open lifestyle of sin they are living in.
So this brings us back to the question…..ARE YOU DIFFERENT? If you are PRAISE GOD!!!! You’re not different because of what you have done it is because of what Christ has done on your behalf. Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by Grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” If you’re answer is in the negative then consider this. You need Christ!!!! Don’t trust your religion. Look to Jesus Christ and live. If you know you are a sinner, turn from your sin and self and turn to Christ, trusting him and him alone for the salvation of your soul.