Shalem India Pentecostal church, New Jersey.

Message: March 2011

September 04. 2011

 Scripture: 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -13

Theme: A Life and Service that demands holiness

 A.    Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about Christians’ life and service in Chapters. 2 -9.

·         What kind of a life we as believers are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         Paul taught us that:

·         We have a victorious life and service.

·         Ours is a sincere life and service.

·         We have a result-oriented life and service.

·         We have a competent life and service.

·         Ours is a glorious life and service.

·         We carry out a powerful life and ministry.

·         We lead a life and service of faith.

·         We live out a hopeful life and ministry.

·         Then Paul said that ours is a life and ministry of reconciliation.

·         He further said that ours is a well-balanced life and ministry.

·         Last time we talked about an uncompromising life and service.

·         In our text today, Paul says that ours is a life and service that demands holiness.

 B.     Background

·         Today’s text belongs to both chapter 6 and 7.

·         The first verse of chapter seven more appropriately belongs to chapter six.

·         I feel along with many others that those who divided the books of the Bible into chapters and verses made a mistake in their chapter separations.

·         Originally, when Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians, it was just a letter that they were to read straight through.

·         In about the year 1300 a scholar decided to divide the Bible into chapters.

·         This is mainly to help a person, really, in looking up a scripture.

·         Then in the 1600s, they came along and they divided the chapters into verses.

·         It is much easier to look up a particular passage of scripture.

·          But this was done by man, nothing about divine inspiration as far as the chapter divisions.

·         And so, though they overall did a very excellent job, in a few places I feel that they did make a mistake.

·         That’s why as we begin chapter seven, we have a reference back to chapter six as he refers to the promises that he had just quoted.

 C.    Paul quotes from the Old Testament

·         Ch. 6:17 is a quotation from Is. 52:11.

·         V.18 is quoted from 2 Samuel 7:14.

·         Paul put together a collection of scriptures from the Old Testament, none of them quoted exactly.

·         Remember Paul did not have chapters and verses, and so he is quoting from memory, which they so often did.

·         Because of the chapter and verse and also new translations, we are bound to the exact wording of a scripture.

·         The Holy Spirit is not really called the Spirit of Chapter and Verse.

·          He's called the Spirit of Truth.

·         Now, it is more important that you grab the truth out of the verse than the exact wording.

·         The truth that is there is what will set us free.

·         So Paul is free quoting, free translating as he brings the essence of truth that was expressed through the word.

·         It is great when we have the truth in our hearts and we can express the truth and we don't have to worry about getting the exact quotation.

·         A lot of people are so bound to exact quoting and even some translations.

·         New translations, especially the Living Letters, Amplified and so forth, do help free us from that sort of bondage almost that we had to the "get the word just exactly right."

·         Get the truth right, that's what's important. 

 D.    A call for separation

·         Here we see God's call for His people to separation.

·         You and I are to be different from the world.

·         Otherwise we’re trying to join together the life of the flesh with the life of the Spirit.

·         They cannot co-mingle.

·         It's an unequal yoke.

·         You and I are expected to live differently - Living by different standards, living for different purposes.

·         God's call for us is to come apart.

·         "Be separate, says the Lord. Don't touch the unclean thing. And God said, I will be a Father, and ye will be my sons and daughters."

·         It’s really something that's very meaningful to me that God would say, "I would be a Father unto you," because it implies to me the love, the devotion, the attention, the provisions, the concern--all that my dad was to me.

·         2 Cor. 6:18 says, "And you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

·         Glorious promises we have in Christ Jesus!

 E.     God demands holiness

·         Since we have these promises that He would receive us, that we would be His sons and daughters, He would be our Father, “let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

·         So the call was to, "come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.”

·         Our God is a holy God and He cannot tolerate anything that is unholy.

·         And He demands that our character should be the same.

·         That’s why it is written in 1 Peter 1:16:  "Be holy, because I am holy.

·         God demands holiness in three areas:

·         Our body, Spirit and service.

·         Our body relates to this earth.

·         So we must keep our body from defilement.

·         Our spirit relates to eternity.

·         We must keep our spirit clear and pure since we have to give an account for everything that we do while living in the body.

·         If we keep our body and spirit pure, then our service will also be wholesome.

·         Peter cautions us in 1 Pet 1:15 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”

 Conclusion

·         We are chosen to be a holy nation.

·         We worship a holy God.

·         So must be careful to live a life of holiness keeping both our body and spirit clean.

·         May the Lord help us to be holy in all we do for people and God!

Mathewphilip©2011

 

August 14, 2011

 Scripture: 2 Cor. 6:11-16

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -12

Theme: Uncompromising Life and Service.

 Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about Christians’ life and service in Chapters. 2 -9.

·         What kind of a life we as believers are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         Paul taught us that:

·         We have a victorious life and service.

·         Ours is a sincere life and service.

·         We have a result-oriented life and service.

·         We have a competent life and service.

·         Ours is a glorious life and service.

·         We carry out a powerful life and ministry.

·         We lead a life and service of faith.

·         Then Paul said we live out a hopeful life and ministry.

·         He further said that ours is a life and ministry of reconciliation.

·         Last time we talked about a well-balanced life and ministry.

·         In our text today, Paul says that our life and service is uncompromising one.

 A.    Paul cautions the Corinthians against mingling with unbelievers.

·         Paul is a making a plain talk over the issue of believers mingling with unbelievers.

·         That’s why he says in v.11 that, “"I'm expressing myself to you. My heart is just enlarged for your sakes."

·         He asked them to open wide their hearts also so that they would be able to think about some common issues in life in the light of God’s Word.

·         It is wrong for good people to join in affinity with the wicked and irreligious people.

·         Sometimes we may have our own justification that the good will benefit the bad.

·         But there is more danger that the bad will damage the good than hoping that the good will benefit the bad.

·         As believers we have to be careful in many areas of life:

1.      In Marriage Relationship

·         Many young people come in and say that they are so in love. Oh, he's the man of their dreams.

·         There's only one thing wrong: he isn't a Christian. "But I know that as I live the life of Christ before him and I walk in love and in meekness and all, I know he'll come to Jesus."

·         What the Bible says is this: 'Be not unequally yoked with an unbeliever.'"

·         They would say, "Oh, but you know, we love each other. And I know he's going to change."

·         Finally they are determined to marry in spite of the counsel of the word of God otherwise.

·         After one or two years, in many cases, we see the same young lady who is completely torn up. "Oh, I wish I had listened to the counsel. I'm living in a hell. I don't think I ever really loved him. Oh, this is horrible. Do I have to stay in this state?"

·         And their lives messed up because they thought that they could go against God's command and win and come out ahead.

·         "Be not unequally yoked together with an unbeliever."

·         Now, this does not and is not limited to just marriage.

·         This goes to many different types of yokes where we are brought together with an unbeliever, and we are always in an unequal situation.

2.      In Common Conversation

·         We should not yoke ourselves in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers.

·         Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing, and hearing, and working with such people, yet we should never choose them for our close friends.

3.      In Business Relationship

·         Believers in business face the same problem.

·         It is that their partner wants to do that which is illegal.

·         Their common complaint is this: "They don't want to report all of the profits. They want to keep a double set of books. What shall I do?"

·         They've entered into an unequal yoke. "What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness?"

4.      In Religious Worship

·         We should also be careful in joining with them in religious practices.

·         We must not join with them in their idolatrous services, nor be together with them in their false worship, nor any abominations.

·         We must not confound together the table of the Lord and the table of devils, the house of God and the temple of idols.

·         If you are in a situation where you are caught up and cannot avoid them, we can be there as an observant, but not as a participant.

B.     What does it mean to be an uncompromising life and service?

·         It is a life that cannot compromise with the standard of this world.

·         A service that cannot be done according to the standard of this world.

·         We are not against culture.

·         We are supposed to know the customs and norms of our society, but we cannot copy everything that is there in the culture.

·         When we live in a given culture, we must know three things about it:

·         There are negotiable things – Cultural elements that can be negotiated. For example, dress – we can make it modest; food – We can make it our own way; dialects and slangs- give new meaning into it; Festivals & carnivals – understand its cultural significance and remove evil elements; music-remove the evil elements.

·         There are non-negotiable things: Things we cannot accept in the light of the gospel. For example, sexual laxity and moral depravity in the society; culturally accepted practices that are against Biblical teachings; etc.

·         There are neutral things – Cultural elements that are neither bad nor good. For example, arts, sports, games, music, educational system, etc.

 Conclusion

·         Watch it, dear people of God. We are always in an unequal situation if we are yoked with an unbeliever.

·         We are trying to bring together unequal things. The results are always disastrous.

·         You see, they don't follow the same rules that we follow.

·         They don't live by the same ethic that we live by.

·         They have opposite interests and designs, so that it is impossible there should be any concord or agreement between them.

·         And to lie won't bother them. To cheat won't bother them. To fudge won't bother them; but it will bother us.

·         Paul concludes this session by saying, “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

·         May the Lord help us to continue to walk with Him and avoid anything that contaminates our life and service!

·         Remember, we have an uncompromising life and ministry.

Mathewphilip©2011

March 06 (Youth Sunday)

Scripture        : 1 Timothy 4:12-16

Subject           : Youthfulness

Theme            : Let no one despise your youth!

Introduction

  • Is it possible for us as young people to live a holy and exemplary life in this post-modern age where we see a lot of moral degradation, crime, corruption, injustice and violence? 
  • We live now in a period of godless and wicked generation. 
  • Disorder in Government, Corruption in politics and chaos in the lives of people are seen all over. 
  • The scientists and top statesmen talk openly about the death of civilization, the energy crisis, population explosion and the threat of a nuclear holocaust.
  • Today religious fanaticism is intensifying, terrorism is getting higher, cyber crimes are increasing, moral standard is declining, and we have come to a point where human life has no value.
  • In the words of Apostle Paul ‘a crooked and perverse generation’ (Philippians 2:15) is on the rise. 
  • What should be our response to this as Christian young people? 
  • I am convinced that our response to this is to live a corporate and individual life that is acceptable to God as well as our fellow beings.
  • Show the whole world through our lives that there is a group of young people who live and work for peace, justice, truth, love and harmony. 
  • Rather than conforming to the pattern of this world, let us be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).
  • We must continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
  • God wants us to live a blameless and pure life without fault (Philippians 2:15). 
  • How is it possible? 
  • Apostle Paul was very sure that it would be possible when he wrote to young Timothy about it (1 Timothy 4:12-16). 
  • Timothy was probably in his mid-30s or younger, when he took up leadership in the church. 
  • Such an influential position was not usually held by a man so young.
  • So his leadership might have been questioned by others.
  • He admonished Timothy that he should not allow anyone to look down on him because he was young. 
  • We give an occasion for people to despise our youth if we indulge ourselves in youthful vanities and follies. 
  • How to live a young life that will not give any occasion for others to despise us? 
  • What should we do that others may not look down on our youthfulness? 

 

1. We must set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity (v. 12).

 

A. Our speech must be edifying.

  • Our words must be seasoned with salt and full of grace.
  • As young people, we must be careful to use certain words and prases and vocabularies that are used by frineds in schools and collages.
  • We must remember that God has called us to bless others, I mean, to encourage and build up one another.

 

B. Our love must be expressed in charity.

  • We may not be able to help everyone around us, but wherever it is possible we should not be hesistant to extend our helping hand.
  • Doing good to others is an expression of our love toward our fellow being.

 

C. Our faith must be in action.

  • Faith is knowing what God says, putting our confidence upon what he says, and acting up on what he says.
  • Then only our faith will become complete.
  • Illustration of Abraham (Genesis 22:1-14): He acted up on what God said when he was about to sacrifice his Son.
  • James 2:17 says that a faith that is not accompanied by action is dead.

 

D. Our purity must be according to the standard of God’s holiness.

  • As young people we must avoid youthful lusts.
  • One must be aware of carnal pleasures which are sins of the youth, such as, pride, ambition and lust for power, position and popularity as we get opportunity to serve.
  • Today people want to lead a holy life according to their convenience and standards. 
  • They also want to impose it up on their followers.
  • Our holiness must be on the basis of God’s standard of holiness which we read and understand from the holy Scripture.
  • Then no one will despise our youth.

 

2. We must devote ourselves in public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching (v. 13).

  • We must read God’s Word and mediatate upon it daily.
  • We should be able to expound it by teaching others both what to do and what to believe. 
  • We must come to a position where we teach others about God’s will for them. Then others will respect us for what we are.
  • We should not hide the truth that has been entrusted to us. 
  • We must entrust this to reliable men and women who will be qualified to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).

 

3. we should not neglect our gift (v. 14). 

  • If we ignore and do not use the gifts of God, they will become weak and we will lose them at the end, which will cause others to despise us.
  • As young people, we must use the gifts and talents that we receive from the Lord for his glory and for the benefit of others. 
  • Illustration of talents (Matthew 25:14-30): Three people received talents according to each one’s ability. One got five, the other got two and another got one.  First two people put their money to work and gained the double of what they received. The third man did not use his money.  What happened? First two people received good commendation from their master: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The third man received condemnation: “You wicked and lazy servant.”  The master took his talent and gave to the one who has the ten talents.
  • Paul writes to Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God (2 Timothy 1:6).
  • Gifts are not given in full measure.  They are to be developed and used.
  • If we do not neglect his or her gift, no one will look down on us.

 

4. We should work hard and give ourselves completely to the things of God so that everyone may see our progress (v. 15). 

  • Others must see that we as young people are serious in the work of God.
  • They must observe that we work hard and thus progress well in life, love, faith, and holiness, which bring benefits to them also.
  • We must busy people. A lazy youth is devil’s masterpiece!
  • As young people, if we work hard and are zealous in the job that is assigned to us, there is no chance for others to despise our youthfulness.

 

5. We must watch our life and doctrine closely and persevere in them (v. 16). 

  • We are engaged in saving work. 
  • It means that our main responsibility is to snatch many out of fire whether in our schools, colleges, neighborhood, or public places. 
  • So we must give heed to ourselves first to practice what we preach.
  • That is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Be careful that you don’t fall.”
  • This talks about the care that we must take regarding our moral and spiritual life in this world.
  • If we persist in watching our life and doctrine closely, no one will despise such a life.

Conclusion

  • Friends, it is possible for ordinary people like us to live a holy life in the midst of an unholy generation. 
  • It is possible to walk with God like Enoch walked with God.
  • We have many heroes of faith who had gone before us as examples.
  • Do you still have doubt? 
  • Look back to the lives of our forefathers who left everything for the sake of Christ to stand firm in the faith that they professed in Christ Jesus. 
  • The Lord will help us to walk in constant and unbroken fellowship with Him even in hostile environment!
  • If we set an exemplary life, devoting ourselves to the study of God’s Word, not neglecting our gift, working hard and giving completely to the things of God, and watching our life and doctrine closely, no one will look down on us as young people.
  • May the Lord help us that no one despises our youth!

 

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for the gift of life and we commit our lives before you.  Help us to live a life that others will not look down on us, but bring glory and honor to your holy name. Pray for our youngsters that will enough courage and strength to live a godly life in the midst of an ungodly generation. Pray that many may come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through our lives. We pray this in Jesus’ name!

Mathewp©2011

March 13

 

Scripture: 2 Cor. 2:14-16

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -1

Theme: A Victorious life and Service.

 

Introduction

·         Paul talks about motives of Christian life and service in 2 Cor 1:1-2:13 from his own life experience.

·         Now he turns to the nature of his ministry and talks to us about the characteristics of Christian life and service in ch. 2:14-7:16.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of service we do?

·         All of us are called by God to live in this world and do various things in this life.

·         We are all involved in different types of activities.

·         What is the nature of life and service we do here on earth?

 

A. A victorious Life

·         Paul says in our text today that our life and service is a victorious one.

·         Paul gives thanks to God who causes us to always triumph.

·         The imagery is that of a Roman triumph in which the victorious general would lead his soldiers and captives throughout the streets when people watched and applauded and the air was filled with the sweet smell released by the burning of spices in the street.

·         The life the Lord has given to us to live in Christ is a victorious life.

·         It is because Jesus Christ is victorious for us.

·         He has won the victory for us on the Cross when he defeated our enemy.

·         So we are standing on victory side.

 

·         In our battle today, we are fighting the enemy not for a position of victory, but from a position of victory.

·         We are in a spiritual warfare.

·         We encounter our enemy in every area of our life and service.

·         We are sometimes attacked, tempted, inflicted, discouraged and disappointed.

·         We face opposition from within or without.

·         Satan has his own ways to attack us.

·         All our battles are different sometimes.

·         As apostle Paul says, we are not unaware of his schemes.

·         But one thing is sure – In all these, we are triumphantly led by God in Christ Jesus.

·         Final victory is ours.

 

B. A Victorious life has a responsible task

·         What Paul says here is that such a victorious life has a responsible task.

·         God has made us responsible to be his representatives, to bring a message to people.

·         It is through each of us in Christ Jesus that God spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ.

·         The gospel aroma is released in the world through you and me.

·         Gospel is always sweet smelling.

·         It is good news to the poor.

·         Strength to the week.

·         Salvation to the perishing

·         Healing to the sick.

·         Encouragement to the discouraged.

·         Life to the dying.

·         You and I are a part of this great task of making Christ’s name known to the people around.

 

C. Two Categories of people

·         The gospel message is received by people differently.

·         Mainly two categories of people are there in the world.

  1. Those who are saved
  2. Those who are perishing

·         The gospel is a fragrance of life to those who are saved.

·         The gospel is death-smelling to those who are perishing.

·         To the saved it is a message of eternal life

·         To those who reject and who refuse, it's a message of death, a message of judgment.

 

D. A Victorious Service

·         We bear God's word.

·         To believe and to receive means life; to reject means death.

·         To bear that kind of message, a message of life and death, is a heavy responsibility.

·         The message that I bring, the teaching of God's word that I bring, a person's eternal life hangs in their believing that message.

·         That is why it is so important that I teach the message clearly, that I teach it plainly, and that my life backs up what I say.

·         Because it's a person's eternal life that's at stake.

·         And if I get too much of my personality into it and they find my personality unbearable and they go away from the message because of the way I have presented it, it was offensive or intolerable to them, then it was a savor of death unto death. That is tragic!

·         So, it is a heavy responsibility that we have in bearing this message, because it is life or death.

·         And that is why Paul said, "Who is sufficient for these things? I mean, hey, I can't handle that, that I am responsible of bearing a message that can mean life or death.

 

·         That's eternal life or death. Who is sufficient for these things?"

·         He says, "For our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but of Christ"(2 Cor 3:5).

 

Conclusion

·         Whether people accept or reject, we spread the sweet smelling of the gospel to the people through our life and service.

·         God is the one who makes us sufficient for this.

·         He is the one who gives us the victory.

·         May the Lord help us to live a life that is victorious and serve Him successfully!

Mathewp©2011

March 20,2011

 

Scripture: 2 Cor. 2:17

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -2

Theme: A Sincere life and Service.

 

Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about characteristics of Christian life and service in ch. 2:14-7:16.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of service we do?

·         Last week we were able to see that ours is a victorious life and service.

·         In our text today, Paul says that ours is a sincere life and service.

·         Sincerity is the characteristics of Christian life and ministry

·         It simply means that our life and service must be sincere.

 

A. Those who corrupt the Word of God

 

·         Paul says, “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.” (v.27a)

·         Paul in this verse talks about people who peddle the Word of God.

·         Paul refers to the false teachers who had intruded into the Corinthian church.

·         They were insincere, selfish, self-sufficient, and boastful people.

·         There are people today who are guilty of corrupting the Word of God, twisting the scriptures to their own ends, in order that they might gather a following after themselves.

·         People who are always looking for some secret meaning within the scripture, making it mean something other than what it says.

·          "Now, that's not really what God meant. What God meant was..."

·         And then they go off on their own interpretation.

·         "I'll tell you what God really meant to say. I know He said that, but that's not what He meant. Let me tell you what God really meant."

·         This is what the Lord asked me to tell you. This is my experience. This is what the Lord wants you to do.”

·         That is the way they try to deceive people or use people for their benefit.

·         What happens here? Oh! I become God's interpreter. Dangerous place to be, a place I don't want to be.

·         I personally feel that God meant what He said.

·         And if God didn't mean what He said, I don't know why He didn't say what He meant.

·         But I do believe God meant what He said, and thus, I believe that always the plain and obvious meaning of the scripture is the correct interpretation.

·         I believe that God meant what He said, and I believe that any of you can go home and take your Bible, and read it, and understand it, and know what God said, and know what God meant to say.

·         You see, people always say, "Well, there are so many religions and there are so many churches, and they say different things, so I'm confused.

·         I don't know who to believe, so I don't go to any church."

·         Agreed. A lot of churches are saying a lot of different things.

·         And they are all saying they are right.

·         Then how do I know?

·         Just read the Book.

·         You see, we don't have any other books to pedal.

·         I tell you, "Just read the Book."

·         I'm not afraid of anything that you will come to believe by just reading this Book.

·         I have such confidence in this Book and in the Holy Spirit to guide you in your understanding of this Book, that I don't have any worries or fears about what you're going to come to believe by reading this Book.

·         Let God speak to us right out of His word.

·         You're not going to come up with any strange doctrines or be lead astray.

·         The Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of truth, will lead us into all truth if we'll read the Book.

·         They insist that there must be interpreters to understand the Scripture.

·         It is because they want to corrupt the Word God.

·         Why do they want to corrupt God’s Word?

·         They have hidden agendas.

·         They preach the gospel for profit and for their own ends.

·         They preach the gospel for monetary gain.

·         In Paul’s day, there were travelling sorcerers who made money.

·         Paul did not want to be classified among them.

·         Paul was very particular that he should not give an impression that he was preaching God’s Word for financial gain.

·         Paul was very careful not to be a financial burden to the Corinthian church.

·         So Christian ministers should never preach and teach God’s Word for monetary gain or to make a living out of it.

·         They must do it sincerely as if they are doing it for the Lord

 

B. How should be our life and service?

·         Paul says, “On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” (v.27b)

·         We must be careful in three things:

·         We must be sincere in our life, attitude and method.

·         A sincere life is a life that has no wrong motive behind it.

·         We must do everything as if we are doing it for the Lord.

·         It is not to please men, but God.

·         A life that will not expect any appreciation for the things we do.

·         Even if no one appreciates, I will keep on doing what I am supposed to do.

·         It is a life that has no motive of financial gain.

·         A sincere attitude is an attitude that is sympathetic to the needs of others.

·         When I help someone I do not seek a reward.

·         It is because we know that our reward is great in heaven.

·         An attitude of thinking positive about others and finding potentials in others and helping others to grow and develop.

·         A sincere method is the right ways and means we choose to achieve the end.

·         As believers we should use the wrong means to achieve the right end.

·         We should be careful to choose the shortcuts.

·         We must always choose the right methods to accomplish things in life.

·         Never compromise on Biblical principles.

 

Conclusion

·         Paul talks about his own life and service.

·         He never corrupted the Word of God.

·         He never preached the gospel for monetary gain.

·         He was sincere in his life, attitude and his method.

·         He spoke before God with sincerity, like man sent from God

·         What Paul teaches us that the life and the ministry that God has given to us is to be kept sincere.

·         Christ’s church is not supposed to be institutionalized.

·         It is to be kept pure and sincere.

·         We should not talk about business here.

·         Our aim in life is not to collect big amount of tithe and to be known as a church that has a big budget and a strong structure.

·         We must talk about how as a group of people we can sincerely live and serve our God and community.

·         May the Lord help us as individuals, families, and a church to be known for our sincerity in life and service.

Mathewp©2011

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April 03

Scripture: 2 Cor. 3:5-6

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -4

Theme: A Competent life and Service.

 

Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about characteristics of Christian life and service in Chs. 2:14-9:15.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         First, we were able to see that ours is a victorious life and service.

·         Secondly ours is a sincere life and service.

·         We do not want to corrupt the Word of God for monetary gain, but to be sincere in our life, attitude and method of service.

·         Last week, we found that our life a result-oriented life and serve.

·         It produces converts.

·         It produces the fruit of the Spirit.

·         The result is not money, power, politics, influence, property or followers.

·         The result of our life and service must be transformed lives.

·         Today in our text, Paul says that our life is a competent life and service.

 

A. Background

·         Paul now answers his own question he asked in ch.2:16: “Who is sufficient for these things?"

·         There have been so many times when I have faced the issues of life and ministry and I said, "Oh, Lord, who is sufficient for these things? Who's able to do this?"

·          

 

·         I believe that God deliberately allows us to come to the end of our own capacities and abilities in order that we might learn to trust in Him.

·         In order that we might draw from that all-sufficiency from Him.

·         God revealed Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai, which means the all-sufficient One.

·         And it's always good to know the all-sufficient God.

·         It is always good to rely upon the all-sufficient One to fill up that which I am lacking when I come to the end of my own resources.

·         How many times we are driven to draw from that sufficiency that God has provided for us through Jesus Christ.

·         And Paul said He is the One who makes us competent.

 

B. Our competency comes from God

·         We are not competent in ourselves.

·         That does not mean that we don’t need education, skills or training.

·         We should not claim all these things for ourselves.

·         It is God’s provisions and enablement.

·         Whatever talents and gifts we have is from God.

·         Our God is the one who helps us to be competent in our workplace.

·         That’s why you and I are a wonder to people in the place we work.

·         It is God who helps us to excel in our job, studies, business, in our family life, in ministry and so on.

·         So we cannot boast in our accomplishments and blessings.

·         Our effectiveness and efficiency come from God.

  

C. Why we are competent?

·         It is because we are the people of a new covenant.

·         We are no more under the old covenant.

·         That is why Paul says in v.6: “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

·         We are no more people of the letter, but of the Spirit.

·         It simply means we are not under the Law, but we are guided by the Spirit of God.

·         The letter that kills is the letter of the law.

·         If we want to be righteous before God by the keeping of the law, then it's too late.

·         The letter of the law kills.

·         The law condemns every one of us to death.

·         And it is the letter of the old covenant of the law that condemns us to death.

·         It was very difficult for people to follow the law.

·         Acts 15:10 says, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?”

·         For example, we have to jump a 3 meter pit and reach the other side. What will happen if one jumps 2.9 meter? He will fall into the pit.

·         Old Testament Law was like the same. 

·         James says in 2:10, "If you keep the whole law, and yet you violate in one point, you're guilty of all."

·         But it is the Spirit in the new covenant that brings us life, spiritual life.

·         Under this new covenant we do not have many laws, but only one law, that is, to love.

·         Love your God and love your neighbor.

·         If we love our God, we will not go to worship idols.

 

·         If we love our neighbor, we will not covet any of his things.

·         The whole law is summed up in one requirement – love.

 

Conclusion

·         Paul tells us that we have a competent life and service.

·         Our competency comes from the Lord.

·         So we have nothing to boast, but only in Christ Jesus.

·         We are no more under the old covenant, but we are under the new covenant.

·         God has given us a new life and new perspective of ministry under this new covenant.

·         Let us have our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.

·         May the Lord help us to lead a competent life and service!

Mathewphilip©2011

 

March 27

 

Scripture: 2 Cor. 3:1-3

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -3

Theme: A Result-oriented life and Service.

 

Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about characteristics of Christian life and service in chs. 2:14-9:15.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         First, we were able to see that ours is a victorious life and service.

·         Last week, we learned that ours is a sincere life and service.

·         We do not want to corrupt the Word of God for monetary gain, but to be sincere in our life, attitude and method of service.

·         In our text today, we find that Paul’s was a result-oriented life and ministry.

 

A. Background

 

·         There were some people in Corinth who criticized Paul’s life and ministry.

·         They followed him around seeking to discredit him.

·         There are always those who are ready to work another man’s foundation and to reap the benefits of another man's labor.

·         They aren't really willing to go out and to break fresh ground themselves.

·         They like to live on the body of Christ, rather than really developing the body of Christ.

·         It seems Paul is defending himself against those critics.

 

 

 

B. Paul’s commendation

·         Paul’s critics used to present their letters of authority, which were many times falsified.

·         Paul said, "Look, do I need to have letters of commendation when I come to you, or do I need to seek letters of commendation from you when I go elsewhere?"

·         "Your faith in Jesus Christ, your existence as a church is all of the recommendation that I need. You are proof of my apostleship. You are proof of the validity of my ministry. The very fact of your existence is all that is necessary to prove the authenticity of my calling."

·         People who do not have that kind of proof need all kinds of false documents to tell how great they are.

·         What Paul says here is this: our life and service itself bears witness to our calling.

·         So Paul said, "You are my letters of commendation. The fact that you exist, that's all that's necessary. That's all the proof I need of my calling of God."

·         The Corinthians themselves were his real commendation, and a good testimonial for him, for the very fact that he was sent by God.

·         This was the testimonial he most delighted in, and what was most dear to him-they were written in his heart.

 

C. Epistle of Christ

·         The apostle is careful not to assume too much to himself, but to ascribe all the praise to God.

·         Therefore, he says they were the epistle of Christ.

·         The apostle and others were only instruments in God’s hand.

·         Christ was the author of all the good that was in them.

·         The law of Christ was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shed abroad in their hearts.

 

·         This epistle was not written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.

·         If it was written with ink, it will fade away or it can be wiped out.

·         Today the result of many preachers’ life and ministry is only epistles written in ink.

·         It is because they are not Scripture oriented and not based on the word of God, but emotion oriented.

·         But we need epistles written by the Spirit of God.

·         It was not written in tables of stone, as the law of God given to Moses, but on the heart.

·         And that heart is not a stony one, but a heart of flesh, upon hearts that are softened and renewed by divine grace.

·         That was the promise of God in the Old Testament: “ I will take away the stony heart, and I will give you a heart of flesh...” (Ezek 36:26).

·         If it is written on stone, it will be broken.

·         If it is written on human hearts, they can never be broken.

·         This was the good hope the apostle had concerning these Corinthians that their hearts were like the Ark of the Covenant, containing the tables of the law and the gospel, written with the finger, that is, by the Spirit, of the living God.

 

D. A Result oriented Life and Service

·         Paul’s life and service were always result-oriented one.

·         The result was the believers in Corinth.

·         Paul’s life and ministry was one of life-changing.

·         The power of the gospel he preached was demonstrated by their transformed lives.

·         Ink fades and easily be deleted, but the spirit of the living God is himself life and therefore life-giving.

·         And the life he gives is eternal and without defect.

 

Conclusion

·         Paul talks to us from his own experience.

·         We must constantly examine our own life and service.

·         Do our lives produce the fruit of the Spirit?

·         Do our services produce results?

·         Results of people getting saved… result of people being encouraged…result of people being developed…

·         The result is not money, power, politics, influence, property or followers.

·         The result of our life and service must be transformed lives.

·         May the dear Lord help us to lead a result-oriented life and service!

Mathewp©2011

April 17 (Youth Sunday)

 

Scripture: 1 Tim 1:1-7

Subject: True Love

Theme: What is true love?

 

Introduction

·  I want to concentrate on v. 5 in our text today.

·  It says, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

·  Paul talks about a love that comes from:

1. A pure heart

2. A good conscience

3. A sincere faith.

·  That is the true love Paul talks about.

 

Background

·  Timothy was a young man of Jewish and Gentile descent.

·  His father was a Greek and his mother was a Jewish Christian.

·  He was a native of Lystra (in modern Turkey).

·  From childhood he had been taught the Old Testament.

·  Paul led him to Christ during his visit to Lystra in his first missionary Journey.

·  It is thought that Paul perhaps stayed in the house of Timothy on his first missionary journey.

·  He knew his mother and grandmother.

·  He mentions Eunice and Lois.

·  He commended about their sincere faith.

·  He knew how they had instructed Timothy in the word.

·  Timothy was just a very young boy in Paul's first journey to Lystra, but evidently at that time made a commitment of his life to Jesus Christ and always held Paul as sort of a hero.

·  Fascinated by this man, he looked up to Paul.

 

·  Paul took Timothy along with him on his second missionary journey.

·  From then on he was Paul’s constant companion.

·  And so he is listed in many of Paul's writings.

·  And so now Paul is writing to him and he addresses him as his son in the faith.

·  He writes, "To Timothy my true son in the faith."

·  And so there was this special relationship that existed between Paul and Timothy, like that of a father and son.

·  I believe that Paul saw in Timothy a tremendous potential for one to carry on the ministry once Paul was taken.

·  Therefore he poured his life into Timothy and he discipled Timothy.

 

Body

·  The purpose of writing this letter was twofold:

1. To command certain men not to teach false doctrines.

2. To command them not to give attention to myths and endless genealogies.

·  This may be mythical stories built on genealogies that later developed into Gnostic philosophical system.

·  The central teaching of Gnosticism was that Spirit is entirely good and body is evil.

·  Problem with this are many.

·  I will just tell you two things:

1. Salvation is the escape from the body, achieved by special knowledge (gnosis) and not by faith.

2. Since body is evil, you can do anything with this body, but your soul will be holy.

 ·  But Paul says in 1 Cor 6:19, “Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.”

·  The whole pupose of his instruction was love.

·  The love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.

 

1. Our love becomes true only when it comes from a pure heart.

·  What do we mean by a pure heart?

·  -A clean heart- a righteous heart- A heart in which there is nothing against anybody.

·  Practically speaking, when we say or do something, do we do it with good intention?

·  It talks about our relationship to others, our attitude  in our service.

·  Just like mind is the thinking factor, and body is the doing factor, the heart is the deciding factor.

·  Mat 15:19 says, Out of the heart comes evil thoughts.”

·  We read in Ps. 14:, “The fool says in his heart, there is not God.”

·  The heart can be hardened – We have the example of Pharaoh’s heart that was hardened against the people of Israel.

·  One can hate the other in the heart.

·  Heart can be full of evil.

·  Heart can turn away from God.

·  We can loose our heart on account of negative criticism and discouragement.

·  We can close our heart toward God.

·  We can also be callous in our hearts.

·  Finally we can be heartless too!

·  Lam 4:3 says, “My people have become heartless.”

 

·  David prayed once: “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.”

·  That’s why Paul instructs Timothy that the love must generate from a pure heart.

·  if we want to sum up all of the commandments, it's summed up in that; loving, loving God and loving one another.

·  That's what it's all about.

·  That's what God desires of us - Loving with a pure heart.

 

2. Our love becomes genuine if it comes from a good conscience.

·  In 2 Cor 1:12, we read that our conscience testifies our behavior.

·  It is our relationship to ourselves – Are we aware of ourselves?

·  Who are we?

·  What are we?

·  Are we doing the right thing?

·  Are we doing right thing?

·  The Bible says that our conscience can be weak.

·  It can be defiled.

·  It can be guilty.

·  It can be corrupted.

·  That is why Paul instructs Timothy that love must from a good conscience.

·  The love that comes from a corrupted conscience will corrupt everybody.

·  Paul says in Acts 24:16, “I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and men.”

·  In Heb 9:14 we read that the blood of Christ will cleanse our conscience from acts that leads to death.

 

·  So we must examine ourselves whether there is any act that may lead to our spiritual death.

·  We must possess aa conscience void of offence towards God and men.

 

3. Our Love becomes true only when it comes from a sincere faith.

·  It talks about our relationship to God.

·  Bible says that

·  We can break faith with God.

·  We can become weak in our faith.

·  We can be very little in our faith.

·  We can have lack of faith.

·  We can become doubtful in faith.

·  We can become unsound in faith.

·  We can even renounce our faith in God

·  That is why Paul instructs Timothy that the true love must come from a sincere faith.

·  Paul says that some have turned away from this genuine love.

 

Conclusion

·  Paul teaches Timothy in his very young age that his love must come from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.

·  That’s what the Lord wants us to have in our lives too.

·  Such a love will always build up and encourage others and enhance the work of God.

·  May the Lord help to be people of true love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith!

Mathewphilip©2011

 

April 10

 

Scripture: 2 Cor. 3:5-6

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -4

Theme: A Competent life and Service.

 

Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about characteristics of Christian life and service in Chs. 2:14-9:15.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         First, we were able to see that ours is a victorious life and service.

·         Secondly ours is a sincere life and service.

·         We do not want to corrupt the Word of God for monetary gain, but to be sincere in our life, attitude and method of service.

·         Last week, we found that our life a result-oriented life and serve.

·         It produces converts.

·         It produces the fruit of the Spirit.

·         The result is not money, power, politics, influence, property or followers.

·         The result of our life and service must be transformed lives.

·         Today in our text, Paul says that our life is a competent life and service.

 

A. Background

·         Paul now answers his own question he asked in ch.2:16: “Who is sufficient for these things?"

·         There have been so many times when I have faced the issues of life and ministry and I said, "Oh, Lord, who is sufficient for these things? Who's able to do this?"

·       I believe that God deliberately allows us to come to the end of our own capacities and abilities in order that we might learn to trust in Him.

·         In order that we might draw from that all-sufficiency from Him.

·         God revealed Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai, which means the all-sufficient One.

·         And it's always good to know the all-sufficient God.

·         It is always good to rely upon the all-sufficient One to fill up that which I am lacking when I come to the end of my own resources.

·         How many times we are driven to draw from that sufficiency that God has provided for us through Jesus Christ.

·         And Paul said He is the One who makes us competent.

 

B. Our competency comes from God

·         We are not competent in ourselves.

·         That does not mean that we don’t need education, skills or training.

·         We should not claim all these things for ourselves.

·         It is God’s provisions and enablement.

·         Whatever talents and gifts we have is from God.

·         Our God is the one who helps us to be competent in our workplace.

·         That’s why you and I are a wonder to people in the place we work.

·         It is God who helps us to excel in our job, studies, business, in our family life, in ministry and so on.

·         So we cannot boast in our accomplishments and blessings.

·         Our effectiveness and efficiency come from God.

 

 C. Why we are competent?

·         It is because we are the people of a new covenant.

·         We are no more under the old covenant.

·         That is why Paul says in v.6: “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

·         We are no more people of the letter, but of the Spirit.

·         It simply means we are not under the Law, but we are guided by the Spirit of God.

·         The letter that kills is the letter of the law.

·         If we want to be righteous before God by the keeping of the law, then it's too late.

·         The letter of the law kills.

·         The law condemns every one of us to death.

·         And it is the letter of the old covenant of the law that condemns us to death.

·         It was very difficult for people to follow the law.

·         Acts 15:10 says, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?”

·         For example, we have to jump a 3 meter pit and reach the other side. What will happen if one jumps 2.9 meter? He will fall into the pit.

·         Old Testament Law was like the same. 

·         James says in 2:10, "If you keep the whole law, and yet you violate in one point, you're guilty of all."

·         But it is the Spirit in the new covenant that brings us life, spiritual life.

·         Under this new covenant we do not have many laws, but only one law, that is, to love.

·         Love your God and love your neighbor.

·         If we love our God, we will not go to worship idols.

 

·         If we love our neighbor, we will not covet any of his things.

·         The whole law is summed up in one requirement – love.

 

Conclusion

·         Paul tells us that we have a competent life and service.

·         Our competency comes from the Lord.

·         So we have nothing to boast, but only in Christ Jesus.

·         We are no more under the old covenant, but we are under the new covenant.

·         God has given us a new life and new perspective of ministry under this new covenant.

·         Let us have our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.

·         May the Lord help us to lead a competent life and service!

Mathewphilip©2011

 

May 08, 2011

Scripture: 2 Cor. 3:6-18

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -5

Theme: A Glorious life and Service.

 Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about the characteristics of Christian life and service in Chs. 2:14-9:15.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         First, our is a victorious life and service. It is because Jesus is victorious.

·         Secondly we have to live and serve sincerely. We do not want to corrupt the Word of God for monetary gain, but to be sincere in our life, attitude and method of service.

·         Then our life a result-oriented life and serve which produces the fruit of the Spirit.

·         The result is not money, power, politics, influence, property or followers.

·         The result of our life and service must be transformed lives.

·         Last week we learned that ours is a competent life and service. We know that our competency comes from God.

·         In our text today Paul talks about a life and service that is glorious.

 A. Background

·         Paul said in the last section that it is the letter of the old covenant of the law that condemns us to death.

·         And it is the Spirit in the new covenant that brings us life, spiritual life.

·         Moses met God there on the mount when he received the Law.

·         And it was so glorious that Moses' face shone for days after he came down from the mount with the tables of law for the people.

·         But he put a veil over his face, not because they couldn't look at the glory on the face, but because the glow was beginning to fade, they didn't want them to see this thing fading out.

·         This ministration of the law was glorious so that they could not steadfastly look at the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance which was fading away.

 B. Glory of the New Covenant.

·         If the old covenant which condemn man to death was so glorious and given in such a glorious way, how much more this new covenant of life through Jesus Christ is glorious to those who have received it?

·         In other words, there is really no way to compare the glory of the old covenant with the exceeding glory of the new covenant.

·         That new relationship that we have to God through Jesus Christ excels in glory. And brings us into such glory.

·         You see, the old covenant was based upon man's faithfulness and man's obedience.

·         The purpose of the covenant is always to bring people into a relationship with God.

·         The old covenant failed. Not because it wasn't good, but because man was weak and man failed.

·         Now, this new covenant cannot fail, because it is based upon God's faithfulness to His word.

·         A covenant based upon my faithfulness to the word of God failed; I couldn't be faithful.

·         But we know that God is faithful to His word, and thus, this new covenant whereby we stand today is certain, is sure.

·         That's why we can say with such assurance, "I know in Whom I have believed, and I'm persuaded that He is able to keep that which I committed" (2 Tim 1:12)

·          I've committed my life and my future to Him, and I'm confident that He shall bring me into the fullness of His glory, because He is faithful to His word.

·         His word cannot fail. He will not fail.

·         So, the new covenant that is the Gospel excels in glory, because it is based upon God and His faithfulness.

C. Comparison of the Old and New Convenant.

·         Paul is comparing the old covenant and the new covenant.

·         Old was engraved in letters on stone, but the New is written on people’s heart.

·         The Law condemned people to death, but the Gospel brings life to people.

·         The Old was the ministry of the letters, but the New is the ministry of the Spirit.

·         The New brought condemnation up on people, but the New brings righteousness.

·         The Old was more binding, but the New is with freedom.

·         The Old was glorious, but the New is with surpassing glory.

·         The Old was with a glory that was fading away, but the New is with a glory that will last forever!

·         What a glorious life and service that has been entrusted to us as God’s people!

·         Now we all are with open face or unveiled faces.

·         The children of Israel have a veil.

·         Every time they read Moses, a veil is over their heart and their eyes are blinded.

·         "But we, with open faces as we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord."

·         As I am looking in the mirror, seeing my reflection, I can see the work of God that is taking place in my life as the Spirit of God is changing me and bringing me into the image of Jesus Christ.

·         How beautiful it is to look at God's work in our own life, and just to marvel at what God has done for us!

·     Do you know the result of this glorious ministry?

·         V. 18 says that we will be transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.

Conclusion

·         Dear people of God, you and I are the people of this new Covenant which is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

·         When we know the glory that is inherent in this ministry, we cannot do the work of God with laziness.

·         When we think about the importance and glory of this ministry, all other things will be secondary to us.

·         We must be serious about our life and work.

·         God has given us a glorious life and service.

·         What do we have our eyes on?

·         The temporal passing things?

·         Where do we place our values?

·         In the temporal passing things?

·         May God help us that we might begin to look at the     eternal and place our value in the eternal things!

·         He is faithful to bring us unto that eternal glory.

Mathewphilip©2011

May 29, 2011

Scripture: 2 Cor. 4:7-12

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -7

Theme: A powerful life and Service.

 Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about the characteristics of Christian life and service in Chapters. 2 -9.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         In our text today Paul teaches that our life and service is the one that has all surpassing power.

·         It is a powerful life and ministry.

 A. the most glorious treasure

·         Our life and service is different from other people who have no God in their lives

·         Our life is a powerful life because we serve an omnipotent God- all powerful God.

·         Our ministry has got all surpassing power because of the message we carry.

·         Our message is a person, that is, Jesus Christ.

·         The light of the knowledge and the understanding of Jesus Christ is the most glorious treasure any of us could ever have.

·         Because that's eternal life. That's the treasure of eternal life.

·         The most valuable thing that any man can possess is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

·         You and I carry that knowledge of the Son of the living God.

·         "We have this glorious treasure in earthen vessels," or in clay pots, our bodies, this old earthen vessel.

·         This old clay pot becomes the dwelling place of the eternal God.

·         We read “That Christ might dwell in your hearts.”

·         God takes the most valuable thing and puts it in the cheapest thing, a clay pot.

·         Isn't it stupid for man to glory in himself?

·         To glory in the clay pot rather than in the contents?

·         Our highest capacity may be that of being a vessel containing God.

·         But there is something more higher capacity of man.

·         And that is the capacity of being a channel through which God will flow to a world around you and me.

·         One thing to contain God.

·         But there is one step further: when God, through me, pours forth His love to the world around me, and this glorious treasure that I have is shared with others.

·         There's no value in the earthen vessel at all.

·         The value is in the contents being held by the vessel.

·         And as I pour forth the contents, I must be careful that the contents do not taste of me.

·         That I don't get a lot of my personality into the teaching, into the contents that come forth.

·         I must bring forth the contents as it is without manipulating it.

·         So, as Paul declared, "We preach not ourselves, but Christ."

 B. Advantages of this treasure

·         Because we contain this treasure that has all surpassing power, we are not broken in the midst of troubles.

·         Paul says, “We are troubled on every side.”

·         God doesn't promise us immunity from trouble.

·         In fact, He sort of promises us trouble:

·         "In this world you're going to have tribulation" (John 16:33).

·         "They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Timothy 3:12).

·         You see, as a servant of God, as a child of God, we can be facing, and we will face a lot of trouble, but we should never be distressed.

·         That is the advantage of having this treasure:

·         We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;

·         We are perplexed, but not in despair.

·         We are persecuted, but not abandoned.

·         We are struck down, but not destroyed.

·         Paul speaks about bearing about in his body the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ.

·         That is the suffering that he had experienced for the cause of Christ.

·         He suffered persecutions, the beatings, the stoning, and the hate.

·         He speaks of his sufferings as a counterpart of the sufferings of Christ.

·         Though he suffered, he says that he did it for the sake of people that they may have life through Jesus.

Application

·         We may be sometimes forsaken of our friends and relatives.

·         We may be persecuted by our enemies; but God will never leave us nor forsake us.

·         We may be entrusted to death, but it may bring life of Jesus to others.

·         That is the all surpassing power of the gospel.

 Conclusion

·         The Knowledge and the understanding of Jesus Christ is the most glorious treasure we have in our earthen vessels.

·         Let us be a channel through which God will flow to a world around you and me.

·         A powerful life and service will always produce powerful lives and ministries around us.

Mathewphilip©2011

May 22, 2011

 Scripture: 2 Cor. 4:1-6

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -6

Theme: A Truthful life and Service.

 Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about the characteristics of Christian life and service in Chapters. 2 -9.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         In our text today Paul teaches that our life and service is the one that sets forth the truth plainly.

·         It is a life and ministry of plain truth.

 

A. A life and service that is pointing people to Jesus Christ

·         Paul said that he never lost his heart because he knew that the very life he lives and the ministry he does is through the mercy of God.

·         He lived a life and did a ministry that revealed only truth.

·         What kind of a life and ministry Paul did?

·         Paul said, "Look, I am not seeking to be crafty.”

·         I never tried to get people all hyped up emotionally and all. Handling the word of God in a crafty manner or deceitfully.”

·         “I didn't try and use the word of God deceitfully. I renounced those hidden things of dishonesty. I didn't walk in craftiness."

·         And believe me, there's a lot of crafty fellows out there.

·         They've existed from the time of the beginning of the church and, unfortunately, they still exist today.

·         Such people have no shame to use craftiness, to say plain lies and to bring any kind of propaganda to make money and more followers.

·         They will use every kind of gimmick one could ever think of.

·         Rather, Paul said, “I was straightforward with you.”

·         He lived a life by setting forth the truth plainly.

·         He lived a truthful life first in the presence of God and then commendable to everyone’s conscience.

 B. Why many do not accept the Truth?

·         Now, there were those who were saying that Paul was preaching mysteries that you could not understand.

·         The gospel that Paul preached is hid. And so Paul answered them in a very clever way.

·         There was nothing that is hidden from people as far as his life and ministry was concerned.

·         If at all someone feels that the Good News he preached is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.

·         Why the unbelievers do not see the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ?

·         It is mainly the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers.

·         So they either do not see or unwilling to accept Jesus who is the very image of God.

·         We know that we have been created in the image of God, and one of God's characteristics is that He is self-determinate.

·         That means He has the capacity to exercise His will.

·         That is the power of choice.

·         And God created us in His image and gave us the power of self-determination so that we can determine our own destiny.

·         And we do determine our own destiny!

·         Having given us the power of choice, it was necessary that God then respect the choices that we make.

·         The moment God would no longer respect my choice but force me to do something against my will, then I am not really a self-determinate creature.

·         But Satan is not like that. He never respects our choice.

·         He forces us to do things even we do not want to do. That’s why we later regret about something foolishly we did.

·         Why is it that majority of people don't believe in Jesus Christ?

·         It is because their minds have been blinded by Satan to the truth.

·         Satan is holding them in a spell.

·         And he will fill their minds with poison and prejudice against God and the things of God and make it impossible for them to think rationally about their relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

·         Have you ever noticed how some people are so gracious and gentle and they can talk to you rationally on any subject in the world, except that of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

·         Talk to them about politics. Oh, they can go on for hours.

·         Talk to them about fishing in Alaska.

·         Talk to them about the Hawaiian Islands.

·         Talk to them about the space shuttle.

·         Name your subject, oh; they're so gracious and prolific.

·         They can go on and on.

·         Bring up the subject of Jesus Christ, and they become totally irrational.

·         "I don't like to talk about that subject. I don't think people ought to discuss things like that." Totally irrational!

·         Why? Because Satan has put such a hold upon their lives.

·         So our prayer for the unbelievers is not “Lord save them, bless them.”

·         It should be that God will bind Satan's work in their life that have prejudiced and poisoned their minds against the Gospel, so that they may be able to consider the truth of God without this ungodly pressure from Satan.

·         For any man who will rationally look at the offer that God has made in Jesus Christ is a fool if he doesn't accept it.

·         But the reason why they don't accept it is they can't accept it, because of Satan's power that is holding them into captivity of the enemy.

·         And so we, through prayer, can set them free from Satan's power.

·         Once set free from this blinding influence of Satan upon their minds, I don't know of anybody who just doesn't accept this gracious offer that God has made to us through Jesus Christ.

·         So we can't just say, "O Lord, save him."

·         God will not save them against their will.

·         There has to come the change of will and that desire in their heart and that asking of God for salvation.

·         And ""All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37).

·         So, our prayers are to set them free so that they can come to Jesus.

 C. Preach Christ who is the knowledge of the glory of God

·         Paul says that he never preached about himself, but Jesus Christ as Lord.

·         He preached about them as servants for Jesus' sake.

·         It is God who said let there be light out of darkness.

·         It is the same God who made his light shine in his heart.

·         That is why he is able to give this light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ to people around.

·         The light of the knowledge and the understanding of Jesus Christ is the most glorious treasure any of us could ever have.

·         Because that's eternal life. That's the treasure of eternal life.

·         The most valuable thing that any man can possess, that is, eternal life through Jesus Christ.

·         We were once blinded by Satan.

·         Hearts that were in darkness, alienated from God, but now the God who called the light to shine out of darkness has shined in our hearts.

·         It is our responsibility to reveal this truth to the people around in and through our lives.

 Application

·         God has given to each of us a life and ministry to live in this world.

·         We don’t need to be afraid since we are here because of God’s mercy and not at the mercy of anyone.

·         We don’t need to be ashamed of the gospel because the gospel brings light to this dark world.

·         We have not received a life and ministry of darkness, but of light.

·         We don’t need to seek for secret and shameful ways.

·         We don’t need to use any kind of deception as we see around.

·         We don’t need to distort the word of God and use any kind of gimmick to attract people.

·         Rather we must live a life that is straight forward.

·         A life and service that reveals the plain truth.

·         Out life must pour forth the knowledge of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

·         People around must know this truth and the truth shall set them free.

Mathewphilip©2011

Scripture: 2 Cor. 6:1-10

Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -11

Theme: A Well-balanced Life and Service.

 Introduction

·         Apostle Paul talks about the characteristics of Christian life and service in Chapters. 2 -9.

·         What kind of a life we are supposed to live?

·         What is the nature of the service we do?

·         Paul taught us that:

·         We have a victorious life and service.

·         We have a sincere life and service.

·         We have a result-oriented life and service.

·         We have a competent life and service.

·         Ours is a glorious life and service.

·         We carry out a powerful life and ministry.

·         We lead a life and service of faith.

·         Then Paul said we live out a hopeful life and ministry.

·         He further said that ours is a life and ministry of reconciliation.

·         In our text today, Paul says that we have a well-balanced life and ministry.

 What does it mean to be a well-balanced life and service?

 1.      Fellow Workers with Christ

·         Paul says that we are workers with God.

·         We must work for God and his glory.

 ·         We are workers with God, yet under him, as instruments only.

·         If we are faithful, we will find God working with us, and our labor will be effective.

·         We live in Christ and work with Christ; and that is the beauty of Christian life.

·         A well-balanced life is a Christ centered life.

·         A well-balanced service is that we work together with Christ.

 2.      Don’t turn aside God's grace

·         Paul urges the Corinthians not to receive God's grace in vain.

·         Two things are there in relation to this:

·         First one is about our salvation

·         The present time is the only proper season for people to accept the grace of God that is offered to them.

·         Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.

·         Because, tomorrow is not ours: we don’t know what will happen to us or where we shall be tomorrow.

·         Secondly, no one should make the grace of God a ground for continuance in sin.

·         Jude warns us about godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality.

·         A well-balanced life is the one that uses the grace of God for further improvement and spiritual development.

 3.      Giving no offence in any thing

·         Paul said, "I seek not to bring any offense to man in anything, because I don't want the ministry to be blamed."

·         There were in Corinth those who sought occasion to blame Paul and his ministry.

·         Therefore he was very cautious not to offend the Jews by his unnecessary zeal against the law.

·         He also did not want to offend the Gentiles by unnecessary agreement with the law.

·         He was careful, in all his words and actions, not to give offence, or occasion of guilt or grief.

·         So we must lead a life that will not bring blame on our life and ministry.

 4.      Interesting contrasts that take place in life and service.

·         We should look upon ourselves as God’s servants, and act in everything suitably to that character.

·         On one side he had,

·         Troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments and riots; hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger.

·         On the other side he showed,

·         Patience, kindness, purity, understanding, sincere love, and truthful speech.

·         Then he went through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as fake; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

·         Though they were always sighing and mourning, yet they were always rejoicing in God, and had the greatest reason to rejoice always.

·         They were despised as poor, upon the account of their poverty in this world; and yet they made many rich, by preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ.

·         They were thought to have nothing, and silver and gold they had none, houses and lands they had none; yet they possessed all things: they had nothing in this world, but they had a treasure in heaven.

·         They had nothing in themselves, but possessed all things in Christ.

·         Such a paradox is a Christian’s life, and through such a variety of conditions and reports lies our way to heaven.

·         And we should be careful in all these things to approve ourselves to God.

 Conclusion

·         Our life is also not too different from Paul’s life in this world.

·         What a contrast in life! This is what I meant a well-balanced life and service.

·         If life is full of sorrows or only joy, it will not be a balanced life.

·         In Christian life we have these both equally.

·         Whenever we fail in life and service we should not be discouraged. We must trust God for his help.

·         Whenever there is success in life and service, we should not be conceited. We must humbly give glory to God.

·         May the good Lord help us to lead a well-balanced life and service as we live in this world as God’s people!

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