Monthly Archives: May 2015

How To Walk Worthy of Your Calling


Walk Worthy.001

In our series on Discovering the Church we have looked at four pictures of the church. We have seen the church as a family and the goal is maturity.  We also saw the church as a field – the goal being the quantity of our fruitfulness. We have seen the church as a building the temple in which God dwells and the goal here is quality! Last week we saw the church as a body and the goal is unity.

The church is a called out assembly (ecclessia) of people who share one thing in common – faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls. Those of us who are in the church are there because God sought us and called us out! So how do we live up to our calling as the body of Christ and walk in unity?  This brings us to our text for today, Ephesians 4:16:

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

  • The Person – I. He is the founder of the church
  • The Promise – Will
  • The Process – Build
  • The Possession – My. Jesus is the owner of the church, he is the Head of the Church.
  • The Product – Church
  • The Power – the gates of hell will not overcome the church!

The book of Ephesians is about what the Father is doing: In the Heavenlies – Through the Church – In Christ – By His Spirit – For His glory – forever (3.21)

What He is doing through the church is calling and redeeming a group of people and:
• Forming them into a Body for His Son to lead (1.22-23)
• Building them into a Temple for Himself (2.21-22)

So that by the Church which is His body and temple, He can:

• Display His grace, kindness, power and wisdom
• Dwell in her fully in such a way that all of this results in the praise of His glory!

In Chapters 1-3 Paul explains what we must “know” about what God is doing in through the church. Now in Chapters 4-6 he explains what we must do based upon what we know!

In Chapter 4.1 Paul beseeches us to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.”

  • Walk – speaks of our way of life, conduct. A constant and consistent manner of living
  • Worthy – corresponding to. This word is used of the balance beam on a scale. Put something on one side, put something on the other side that will equal or balance it.

Let me be abundantly clear at this point: Conduct does not precede conversion!

Phil. 1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

This morning we want to consider how we can walk worthy of our calling in the church. The main thought of this section is found in v1 & 3:

“Walk worthy of the calling (1.1,3-6,11,2.5-6) with which you were called… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

A walk worthy of our calling in the church is one that maintains the unity of the Spirit. In our text Paul gives three ways to walk worthy of our calling in unity in the church.

YOU WALK WORTHY WHEN YOU REFLECT THE CHARACTER OF GOD IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE. (2)

Forbearance

To endure, to kindly tolerate. William Barclay describes this attitude as what you would see in an old dog being pestered by a smaller, younger puppy.

Romans 2:4  Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

We express this when we are wronged, when others have an unreasonable complaint or grievance or quarrel with us:

  • We are to put up with those who complain against us
  • We are to put up with those who irritate us
  • We are to put up with those who argue against us.
  • We are to put up with those who sometimes attack us.
  • We do all this because God has rooted and grounded us in love! (3.17)
  • We will have to love one another enough to put up with each other when we are irritated by someone else in the body!

Long-suffering

Long-suffering means to bear under for a long time, to delay wrath, to not break forth with angry words or violent deeds.

1 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

We are to patiently endure these difficult people in the way God patiently and graciously endures wicked rebellious men over a long period of time. (Ga5:22)

We must respond to those who irritate us with long-suffering, we do not respond with resentment or retaliation.

Gentleness

Reluctance to avenge wrongs. To suffer long will require that we develop a gentle and controlled response at all times toward others.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Lowliness

This gentleness requires that we think biblically about ourselves this is the essence of humility.  Lowliness was a degrading term in Greek culture used to refer to a groveling servant.  This term was taken by Christians to represent a distinctly Christian virtue.

Two examples:

  • Jesus – I did not come to be served but to serve…
  • Paul – “a bondslave of Jesus Christ…

To rightly esteem other people in the body and their opinions and ideas as more important than your own.  All this because we love them!

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

YOU WALK WORTHY WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE (4-6)

This “one body” – the visible church (1.23) has a theological foundation. It is founded upon spiritual truth – doctrine!

One Spirit (4)

It is the Holy Spirit that gives life to the body. That Spirit is the soul of the body without Whom the body cannot exist.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

The Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance (1.14)

One Lord (5)

One Jesus Christ – to whom all true Christians owe allegiance.  There is one faith in one Lord unites all believers. There is one baptism by water is the external seal of incorporation into Christ’s body

This includes all people of every race, color, language, background, both Jew and Gentile.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

One Father (6)

There are not many gods but one true God and Father of all – all speaking of His paternal relationship through creation (1Co.8:5-6).

  • Above all – He reigns over all
  • Through all – In His creative activity
  •  In you all – He is everywhere present. Specifically he dwells in those who have trusted Him through His Spirit.

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

YOU WALK WORTHY WHEN YOU ARE DOING THE WORK OF MINISTRY (7-16)

People – Equipping by gifted men (7-12a)

  • Apostles and prophets – laid the foundation of the church (2.20).  A foundation is laid only one time.  Jesus is the cornerstone for that foundation.
  • Evangelists are the missionaries who pioneer outreach in areas where the gospel has not yet been proclaimed.
  • Pastor-Teachers are the shepherds of the flock, teachers of the Word. Speaks of local church ministry.

Process (12)

Pastors perfect > Saints serve > Body builds

Product (12c-16)

Equipping results in spiritual maturity (12c-13,15)

The body of Christ is built up (12c). Each one comes to the Unity of the faith – This is a goal to be reached

The depth of a church is determined by the quality of worship and instruction. The breadth of a church is determined by its commitment to fellowship and evangelism.

This unity will come with an increasing knowledge of Christ. In this way the church comes to maturity. Individualism is seen as a mark of immaturity. “Perfect man” – manhood.  To the full measure of perfection found in Christ. When a baby is born the head is unusually large in comparison to the rest of the body, as it develops the body grows in due proportion to the head.

Spiritual Maturity produces spiritual stability (14-15)

We are to abandon childish attitudes. We are to grow out of childish instability in what we believe. We no longer are tossed around by every wind and wave of doctrine. We are no longer susceptible to the deceit and craftiness of false prophets. We understand there is no unity in compromise, there is no unity in false teaching. The church cannot allow falsehood to go uncorrected yet the truth is vindicated in accents of love (15)

Spiritual stability results in spiritual service (16,12b)

The aim of these ministries is the equipping of all God’s people for service. (12b) Christ is the One out of whom all Christians grow. As each part works properly the whole body is supported in the way it needs. We must be what we are in the body, not for ourselves but for the benefit of the other members of the body.

“Half-hearted Christians are the most miserable people of all. They know enough about God to feel guilty, but they haven’t gone far enough with Christ to be happy.” – Ortland

It is time to grow to maturity!

Each of us would do us well to place ourselves on God’s scale to see if we are walking worthy of our calling. May we “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This means we must collectively work hard and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Do you need to commit to growing up spiritually – to maturing in the body of Christ so that you do your part in supporting the other members of the body.

Download the mp3 audio for this message here.

Download the .pdf notes for Walk Worthy Of Your Calling

The Church is a Body – the Goal is Unity in Service


bodyofChrist4

Series:  Pictures of the Church

“The Church is a Body:  The Goal is Unity in Service”

1 Corinthians 12: 12-26; Colossians 1:18-19; 2:19

May 17, 2015  Kitwe Church

Today we will finish our series entitled “The Pictures of The Church.”  Where we have sought to answer the question “What is a church?” So far we have seen that “The Church is a Family – the goal is maturity.”  Next we saw that “The Church is a Field – the goal is fruitfulness.” Two weeks ago we say that “The Church is a building – the goal is quality.” Today we will study 1 Corinthians 12 where we will see that the church is a body and the goal is unity in service. 

1 Cor. 12:12-26 says, 1For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

In 2011 my family and I attended a 5-week training program for missionaries where we met another family that became dear friends.  Their oldest daughter had just finished secondary school and was going to go experience life on the mission field for their first year of service.   She raised her own missionary support as an independent adult so she could join the rest of the family in their first year of ministry and she could stay connected and know what they were experiencing.  After that year she went back to America to attend college.  In 2013 she was in a very bad car accident and she lost her left arm at the shoulder.  You can imagine the impact that this would have on a young woman in that stage of life when appearance is so important.  Yet, more than that she had to learn how to do so many things with just one arm that had once been easy when she had two. Think of the normally simple tasks that would become quite difficult:  tying shoes, getting dressed, taking the lid off of a jar, typing on the computer. Was she still a lovely woman?  Of course.  Was she still able to function?  Absolutely, in fact, just a couple of weeks ago she got married.  Losing her arm was certainly not the end of the world for her, but it did make things more challenging.  She now had a greater appreciation for the missing arm that, like all of us, she had taken for granted for so long.

That is a fitting illustration for what we just read in 1 Corinthians 12.

Today, as we conclude our series on “Pictures of the Church” what we see is a very vivid picture of what a church should be.  It is something we all are well acquainted with, something we go to great lengths to take great care of, something we spend a small fortune on to make sure it works properly and is physically appealing.  Just look in the mirror.  When you think of your identity it is closely associated with your body.

So, the church is the body of Christ.  What a powerful picture. As we turn our attention back to the text of 1 Corinthians 12 we will see that we are jumping into the middle of the chapter.  We are jumping into a picture that Paul is using to illustrate another truth he is teaching.  The overall context of Chapter 12 is the role of spiritual gifts in the lives of individual Christians and in the life of the Church as a whole.

This topic of spiritual gifts is an important one that deserves attention, but it will not be the subject of today’s message.  We will come back to this and do a series on it in the future.  For now, all we need to know is that a spirit of pride and competition has crept into the church based on who had the most attention getting spiritual gifts.  This had caused division in the church because people started assuming that those with certain sensational or spectacular spiritual gifts were more important than others with less public and less flamboyant spiritual gifts. Paul writes to correct this attitude, which had deeply hurt those who did not have the flashy gifts.  After all, they didn’t get to choose their gifts.  God chose them and distributed them as he deemed fit. These people needed validation as important parts of the body.  The body needed healing so all the parts could work in cooperation again.His encouragement to this church is the same encouragement I offer to you today on the authority of God’s Word.

We, as the church, are a body.  We must work together in unity!  As we explore this idea, the first thing we see is that….

1. A Body Requires Many Inter-dependent parts to work together.  V. 12-14

There is an important truth we must notice in verse 13.  Not every human being is part of the body.  This metaphor, this picture only applies to those who have been baptized into one body.

Last week Phil spoke on the ordinance of believer’s baptism, where someone who has professed faith in Christ makes a public profession of that faith by being immersed in water.  The Baptism ceremony is a physical picture of the spiritual truth spoken of here.  The Baptism being spoken of here is “Spirit Baptism” which God the Holy Spirit does to every believer at the moment they are born again.  At the very moment that a person admits their sinfulness to a holy God, turns from that sin in repentance, and comes to Jesus Christ to place saving faith in Him that person is baptized into the body of Christ.  He unites them to the larger body of believers.

Water baptism is an outward symbol of this reality. So, if you are sitting here today and you can think back to that moment in time when you repented of your sin and put faith in Jesus Christ for the removal of that sin so you could have a right relationship with God.  Then you have been baptized into the body of Christ even if you have not yet experienced the outward symbol of this truth in water baptism. I do not know all of your experiences in the past. I do not know who has been born again and who has not, but you know in your heart if you have.  Now, imagine if each of us sitting here have already become genuine Christians.  Look around you.  What would you be looking at when you see each other?  You would see the church – the body of Christ. What else do we see from these verses? It says that the body is not one member, but many.

Some churches are dominated by the personality of one leader.  The church is a one-man show.  That is not how it should be.  The Pastor is not the church. He is one member with a specific purpose for building up the body. The elders and deacons are not the church.  They are all members with specific purposes to benefit the entire body.  Every member is an important part of the body.  We have a job to do and for it to be accomplished we have to work together in cooperation rather than competition.  We have to see the importance of our place in the body.  No one is insignificant or unimportant. V. 17-20 To further illustrate his point, the Apostle Paul now lists of several senses that are important to the overall function of the body to help us see that although we are all different we are all important.  No two of us are the same.  Although there will be overlap in our gifts and abilities, none of us will have the exact same function in the body.

When we look at each other we are looking at the hands, feet, heart, arms, legs, nose, eyes, mouth, and ears of the body of Christ.  If one of these is missing it affects the others. On the screen you see a picture of me with my Father.  What is the first thing you notice?  That’s right.  He was missing most of his nose.  It was amputated during one of the many surgeries he underwent in his numerous battles against cancer.  It happened long before I was alive.  I never knew my father to look any other way.  I would introduce him to friends and they would usually have a startled look on their face.  Then I would realize I had forgotten to warn them about his missing nose. Captiva with Parents_2 It affected many other things about his body.  At times it affected his self-esteem.  He couldn’t help but know that his appearance made him stand out.  Sometimes it frightened people.

One day as we were at a store and he was wearing a black leather jacket the woman at the cash register asked, with a wavering voice, if he was in a motorcycle gang and if he had recently been in a bar fight.  At first you could sense his embarrassment, but he had a great sense of humor and before telling her the truth that it was due to a cancer surgery he joked with her that yes he was a biker and you should have seen the other guy. The loss of his nose also affected other things.  Obviously he couldn’t smell anything.  He couldn’t swim underwater because he would drown.  It affected his ability to taste food because the sense of smell and taste are intertwined.  Also, in the same series of surgeries when trying to get the cancer out of the lymph nodes they nicked his vocal chords so he spoke with a raspy voice.  His tear ducts didn’t work right so he couldn’t really cry.  It affected a lot of things.

Now, with that illustration in mind, let us read verses 17-20 again and let’s think of the church.  If we all try to be the same.  If we all want to be the same body part with the same responsibility do you see how badly it would affect the body as a whole?  We would be missing so many senses.  It would affect how the world sees us.  We would stand out in a way that could affect our self-image, which would affect our boldness in serving as a light to the world to shine the Gospel.  As it is, there are many parts, yet one body and that is exactly how it should be! So, what we have seen that a body requites many inter-dependent parts to work together.  What impact should this have in our thinking?  That question is answered by our second point.

2. Do not devalue your contribution to the body v. 15-16

Devaluing your own contribution is one way that the body gets maimed and stops functioning right.  Sadly, so many churches are missing body parts.  It affects their appearance. It affects their ability to function as God designed it to. From our passage today we will see several reasons of how a church body can get to that point of missing a limb.  Our purpose in studying this is to make sure it doesn’t happen to Kitwe Church.  We are still in the forming stages as a church.  We have not yet become an official, organized church.  It is as if this body is still being formed in the womb and we are rapidly heading to the moment of birth.

So, let’s make sure we know how to care for this body so we do not become dismembered and less effective as we move into childhood, adolescence, and adulthood as the local body of Christ known as Kitwe Church. What do these two verses tell us about our contribution?  We are important to the overall function.  Do not look at others and say, “They are superior.  They do what I wish I could do.  Since I can’t do it then I must be worthless.  No! Are you different? Yes!  Are you worthless? No!  Recognize the differences.  Admire the strengths of others since they are intended to benefit the entire body, including you.  But, do not let the difference make you feel inferior, unimportant, or like an outcast.  Recognize that you have something to offer to the others.

Perhaps you say, I honestly don’t see what good I have to offer.  I don’t even know what body part I am here at Kitwe Church.  Don’t worry.  Chances are that the rest of us see what you are and how important you are to the body even if you don’t.  It will come to you in time.  That is the beautiful thing about the process of discipleship.  You will become more self-aware with time and over time God will even develop more skills in you that you might not yet even know are there. So, we have addressed danger number one. Do not devalue your contribution to the body.  Now, we must see the third point from our text.

3. Do not devalue the contribution of other members of the body v. 21-25a

Some of us know exactly what body part we are and we are proud of it.  We see ourselves as absolutely crucial to the church, but our pride has blinded us to just how much we need the rest of the body.  When I think of proud parts of the body I picture a body builder with large biceps.  I think we would all agree that arms are very important and arms like these are quite impressive.  They look amazing and the weight they can lift is breath taking.  The work they can accomplish is inspiring.  Yet, take that arm away from the body and what can it do?

What good is it then?  It needs the rest of the body! When we think of the senses that we use most I doubt any of them are quite is influential as the power of sight.  An eye is an incredible body part that’s very design is proof that we are the product of an intelligent designer.  The human eye is far too complex to have ever been the product of random chance, as the theory of evolution would have us believe.  Perhaps you are the eye of Kitwe Church.  Awesome!  Glad to have you!  But don’t you dare look down upon those who are the hand.  You need that hand.  What is the first thing you do when you get something stuck in your eye and you are in incredible pain?  You raise your hand to come to the aid of the injured eye. There is a stern warning in these verses.  We better never be so lifted up with pride over our own place in the body that we consider other members as expendable.  No, we must value them.  We must never use our actions, attitudes, or words to devalue other members of the church that God has placed in our local body of Kitwe Church.  This takes us to point four.

4. Each member should care for the others v. 25b-26

These verses tell us we must truly, genuinely care for one another. This has three specific applications. First, we must care for each other physically.  Just as the hand and eye work together to clean the wound of the injured knee.  So, church members should work together to provide the care needed when we see one of our members injured or in need.  When someone is in the hospital, do you go visit them?  If they are in need of some physical resource do you who have it come to their aid?

Second, we must care for each other emotionally.  When someone is down, discouraged, or depressed are you willing to take the time to be a listening ear?  Are you willing to cry with them? Pray with them? Counsel them?  Encourage them? That is what we must do to care for each other emotionally.

Third, we must care for each other spiritually.  When you know someone is struggling with a temptation over a specific sin do you leave them to fight that battle alone or do you lovingly encourage them to spur them on to do the right thing?  When you know someone is stuck in sin do you pretend to not know or do you who are spiritual go to such a one to restore them by lovingly confronting them as we are told to do in Galatians 6:1?

Here is what a church should do.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.  That seems so opposite to human nature doesn’t it?  Our natural tendency is to compete, but as members of the body of Christ we are supposed to cooperate with and compliment each other.

How is that accomplished?  The answer to that is found in point five.

5. Each member must be controlled by Jesus Christ, the head of the body, in order to serve in unity.

Colossians 1:18-19; 2:19 In our own strength, of our own will power, of our own nature we would never serve in unity.  It would be impossible.  Both our culture and our base innate character tell us to look out for “Number 1.”  To exalt ourselves. To compete for prominent positions and the prestige of fame.  There is only one way for all of us to care for one another and work in unity.  We all have to be controlled by the same source.  We all have to follow the impulse being sent to us from the brain!  Who is it that has that position in the body?  None other than Jesus Christ. He is the head of the body, the church.

Colossians 1:18-19 says, “18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.”

Colossians 2:19 says we “must hold fast to the head – Jesus Christ, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”

Jesus is the head.  He commands our actions and our attitudes by His Word, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit.  Just like the brain sends signals to the limbs through the nerves in the spinal cord, so Jesus guides our actions and reactions through the Holy Spirit.  There is one way and one way only that we will be the body working together in unity.  That is to submit to the authority of Jesus, the head.  We must know his commands by studying the Bible and walk in the Spirit.

Will you do that?  That is the only way Kitwe Church will be able to thrive as a body without maimed limbs.

Conclusion: 

The brilliance of this picture of the church as a body is that we are effective and powerful because of our diversity.  If we were all the same we would accomplish very little.  It is precisely because we are so different that we have the capacity to fulfill our mission on earth of evangelizing the lost and training disciples of Jesus Christ from every family, language, nation, and ethnic background.  That is our mission!  We have that capacity IF we will allow Jesus Christ, the head to control each of us so that our diversity can work in unity.

As we close, we must not let ourselves go out these doors without evaluating our lives in light of what we have heard.

First, we must begin by asking.  Am I a member of this body?  Only those who have been born again by repenting of sin and putting faith in Jesus Christ for their acceptability in God’s sight are able to be true members of Christ’s body, the Church.  Have you done that?  I know some of you have been wrestling with that decision for weeks or even months.  Is today the day you will humbly bow before the God you have offended with your sin, but who lovingly died the death you should have died so that you can be forgiven, freed from the power of sin in this life and the penalty of sin in the life to come.  Is today the day to be adopted into the family of God?

Second, for those of you who have been born again, has God’s word convicted you about your attitude about yourself or others?  Have you been devaluing yourself making it so that you are robbing the church of the services and senses that God appointed for you to provide?  Have you been devaluing others making it so that you are crippling them from being able to do their part in serving the Lord and serving you?  Perhaps there are some attitudes that need to change today.

If so, let’s get that sorted out today.

BIBLICAL BAPTISM – AN ORDINANCE OF THE LOCAL CHURCH


Biblical Baptism.jpg.001I have entitled this study: “Biblical Baptism – an ordinance of the local church” (listen or download) because my intent this morning is to appeal directly to Scripture to get a clear understanding of this important and often misunderstood subject.

An ordinance – authoritative order, a religious decree. There are two ordinances given by Christ to the Church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

There is much confusion about what baptism represents and what baptism does. Today we are not appealing to traditions or opinions we want to go directly to Scripture with a heart that is open to God showing us His truth.

John 7:17 says “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.”

Just to be clear about what I am referring to when I use the term: baptized or baptism. The word Baptism or Baptized in the New Testament means to place a person under water.

Baptism has beautiful spiritual significance as we will see in our study.

In order to discover what Scripture teaches about baptism let’s answer a series of six questions:

What Is Biblical Baptism? (Romans 6:1-8)

Baptism is a picture of the DEATH, BURIAL, & RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 15:1-4)

The Holy Spirit baptized each of us into Jesus Christ when we were saved. (Gal. 3:27)

Baptism is the believer’s confession and identification with the Lord Jesus Christ. ILL. Wedding Ring

Biblical Baptism is the believer’s statement of faith that in Christ they are “dead to sin” and intend to “walk in newness of life.” (Ro. 6:4)

Baptism is an act of obedience on the part of the believer. (Mt. 28:19)

Baptism is also an expression of the believer’s love for God. (Jn. 14:15)

Who Should Be Baptized? (Acts 2:41)

Those who are saved by believing in Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:25-33).

What is Biblical Salvation? (John 3:14-18,36 with Numbers 21:9, Romans 10:9-11,13)

You can be saved and not Scripturally baptized (thief on the cross), but you can not be scripturally baptized and not saved. (Luke 23:39-43)

This is Believer’s Baptism. In the Bible, water baptism always follows salvation.

  • Cornelius – Acts 10:47-48
  • Ethiopian Eunuch – Acts 8:35-38

How Should One Be Baptized?

Understanding the terms: In the Greek language the language most of the New Testament was written in, there are three different words used:

  • “Echeo” – pouring water
  • “Rantizo” – sprinkling water
  • “Baptizo” – to dip under the water, to immerse.

In the New Testament, the only word ever used for baptism is “baptizo” – meaning to immerse, dip under the water.

  • Jesus was baptized by immersion. (Matthew 3:16)
  • John the Baptist baptized by immersion. (John 3:23)
  • Philip baptized the Ethiopian by immersion. (Acts 8:38)

Baptism is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and can only be pictured by immersion. (Romans 6:3-6)

Comments on baptism:

Martin Luther (Lutheran) – “Baptizo is a Greek work and may be translated immerse. I would have those who are to be baptized to be altogether immersed.”

John Wesley (Methodist) – “Buried with Him in baptism – alluding to the ancient manner of baptism by immersion.”

John Calvin (Presbyterian) – “The word baptism signifies immersion. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the early church.”

For the first 250 years, the early New Testament church always baptized by immersion. Scholars of all denominations admit that in the original meaning and in the New Testament use, baptism meant immersion.

It was not until AD 1311 that the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Ravenna made sprinkling or immersion allowable.

It was not until 1644 that the Church of England adopted sprinkling by a vote of Parliament.

When Should One Be Baptized?

As soon as you can after you are saved. (Acts 2:41; 16:31-33; 10:44-48)

Where Should One Be Baptized?

In the local church. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion) are the two ordinances of the local church. There are no private baptisms in the Bible, with the exception of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8.

Why Should One Be Baptized?

Jesus has commanded you to. (Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 10:48)

  • Command given by Jesus.
  • Command relates to all nations.
  • Command is given to the local church.

Jesus did as an example to us. (Matthew 3:16)

The early New Testament Church did. (Acts 2:41)

REVIEW:

Believer’s baptism:

  • Baptism by immersion is ESSENTIAL not to salvation, but to obedience. (Jn. 15:4)
  • Baptism by immersion is IMPERATIVE – it is not optional (Acts. 2:38).
  • Baptism by immersion is a BLESSING to be enjoyed not a burden to be endured. (Acts 8:39; 22:16)

BAPTISM BY IMMERSION!

Here is the pdf download Biblical Baptism

The Church is a Building – the Goal is Quality!


Unknown

1 Corinthians 3: 9b-17

Today we will resume a series that Phil and I have started long ago, before Easter. The subject of this series is “The Pictures of The Church.” The question we are seeking to answer is, “What is a church?” So far in this series we have seen that “The Church is a Family – the goal is maturity.” Next we saw that “The Church is a Field – the goal is fruitfulness.” Today we continue this series and we will pick up where we left off in 1 Corinthians 3. As a result of today’s message we will see that the church is a building and the goal is quality. Now, let me make something clear. We are speaking metaphorically here. We all know that when we speak of the church we are speaking of people, not bricks and mortar. The church is not a literal building, but rather the gathering of believers meeting inside that building. Yet, in today’s text we will see that Paul uses the picture of a building to teach some important truths about the Church. Read 1 Cor. 3:9-17

9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.16 Do you not know that you[a] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

For us to be the building that God intends, a building fulfills the purpose for which he is constructing us, we must look at his architectural blueprints. We must first know what a church is and how it should be built. This last week I read an article from back in America that deeply saddened me. There was a club for immoral sexual activity that had purchased a building next to a school so that they could engage in their immoral activities there. This is illegal because America has strict laws about how close such a club can be to places like schools. Well, once the clubs activities were discovered, the owners of the club knew it would be shut down. So, guess what they decided to do? They decided to register themselves as a church. If you are like me you might be wondering why did they choose to register as a church? After all, what they were doing is not godly or even spiritual. Their answer was simple… “We’ve now gotten a permit to meet as a church, and a church is something that cannot be defined under the U.S. Constitution,” said Larry Roberts, the attorney for the club-turned-church.

The dance floor has become the sanctuary. Two rooms labeled “dungeon” are now “choir” and “handbells.” Forty-nine small, private rooms remain, but most of them have become prayer rooms. The signs have changed, but the activities have not. If you went there you would not find people worshipping the Lord. Rather, you would find them engaged in worshipping the idol of lust.How sad!

It may be true that the U.S. Constitution does not define a church, but the U.S. Constitution is not the authority in such matters. God is, and the Bible certainly defines what a church is and it does not match what this group of people is trying to do.

Ephesians 5:25-27 paints a totally different picture. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without sport or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Although this illustration from America is an extreme one and the people who called their club a church were intentionally manipulating and abusing the title of church, it is an indication of a more common problem. People don’t know what a church is supposed to be! Too often, Christians end up engaging in wrong practices and believing wrong doctrines because they do not really know what a church is. If you do not know what it is, then you won’t know accurately what it is supposed to do. So, many churches are filled with people who decide what they think a church should be and what it should do. But, what sources of information do they use to define their church? Often it is tradition, desires, or what they have observed. They forget an important truth, that this church is not theirs. It is Jesus’ church. We don’t have the right to define what a church is, Jesus does and He has clearly told us what a church is and what it should do in His Holy Word, the Bible. That is why we are taking the time to do this series. As Kitwe Church grows and takes steps to become an official church then we must make sure that we are following God’s plan – His Blueprints for what a church should be. So let’s now think of today’s big idea again. As a result of today’s message we will see the picture that the church is a building and the goal is quality. As we explore this idea, the first thing we see is that….

1. We, as the Church are God’s Building v. 9b

He is the head of the Church. He is the owner. Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25 make this absolutely clear. As the owner, He has the right to set up His church in whatever way he sees fit. It is not up to the laborers doing the building to change His plans. He is the designer of His Church. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, he will build His church. He already has the plan laid out.

When we lived in the bush outside of Choma we built buildings for our ministry. One of those buildings served as the house where we would live. It was really more of a shelter with a kitchen area and toilets. Our house was a safari tent that hung from the rafters of this building. To make sure everything fit I drew up detailed plans in Tonga so that workers could continue building even when we were not there. Some followed my instructions and things went well. Others, decided the instructions weren’t that important and would take the easy way. The problem was that that man’s disregard for my instructions meant we had to tear out what they had done to match the plans so everything fit properly. Sadly, too many churches have that same experience because they forget that we, as the Church, are God’s building and He made a plan for us to follow.

2. We, as the Church have the responsibility of Continued Construction v. 10- 11

This passage teaches us three important things regarding our responsibilities in building.

A. The Leaders Must Be Wise Master Builders v. 10 a

Speaking of his own ministry in Corinth Paul said that through the Grace of God, he laid the foundation as a wise master builder. This is important. If you get the foundation wrong, you will have problems everywhere else. If it is not level then the building won’t be level. If it is not square, then the building will not be square. If it is weak and cracks then the entire building can fall. If there is no foundation and the walls were erected on topsoil then the walls will fall within the first rainy season. We will talk more about the important of the foundation in a few minutes, but for now our focus is on the fact that leaders must be wise master builders. They don’t have to be architects or designers. They have to know how to read the plans, follow the plans, and communicate with the architect to clarify the plans. They have to know how to use the tools necessary for building. They have to know the right materials to use. They have to know how to train and lead the other construction workers on their crew. Well, the pastors of the church must be wise master builders. As you know, at Kitwe Church there are three pastors/elders at this point in time. We want you to know that we take the responsibility very seriously. We know we must be master builders. We must know how to study God’s Word where we find the building plans for His church. We must follow His plan rather than trying to make our own plans or improve on God’s plans. We must be in regular communication with Jesus, the Architect, through constant prayer. We must know how to use the tools for building the church (Bible Study resources, evangelism, counseling, doctrinal statements, constitution, fellowship activities, etc.) We must know how to recruit more church members into service, train them for ministry, and lead them in serving the Lord as we work together to build the church under the headship of Jesus Christ. Many of you have been coming regularly to Kitwe Church for quite a while. You have seen that Phil has been working hard since February 2014 to lay the foundation. You have seen Nathan join him in July 2014 to keep laying the foundation. You have seen me join in January 2015 and now the foundation is nearing completion. We want to see Kitwe church take the next step toward being a mature New Testament Church. We want to lead you into these next steps if you are willing to join the labor force. That brings us to the next concept.

B. Church Members Have a Responsibility to Continue Building v. 10b

Paul said that others were building on the foundation that he laid. From this we see that church members should not be spectators; but co-laborers with the pastors. The Pastors are not the hired workers. They are not elite exhibitionists showing off their talents to impress the crowds. They are team captains encouraging their fellow teammates to do their very best. Every church member is a builder…or should be, but for that to happen they must first be true church members and there is only one way to become a church member. Verse 11 uses the picture of a foundation for a building to clearly state what that one way to become a church member is.

C. All construction must be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ v. 11

This verse illustrates 1 possible danger that must be avoided, but often people fall right into this pit. For a person to join the building team of the church they must become a genuine Christian and that can only happen if they have put their faith in Christ as their personal Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of past sin and to be saved from the power of sin as we continue on in this sinful world. This is a pre-requisite for being a church member. That is the foundational truth of Christianity. That is the foundation that the wise master builders – the pastors – are carefully laying. We are making sure that the common ground that we stand on together is faith in Jesus Christ. Have you joined the team? Has there been a moment in time when you were born again by putting your faith in Jesus Christ? Many times the people want to build their own church, rather than building on God’s foundation of His Son Jesus Christ. You may ask, “What does this look like?” Well, many times people reject Jesus as the Foundation or basis for their acceptance in God’s sight. They build their own foundation on their morality – avoiding the socially bad things such as bad language, pornography, or adultery; but this is not a level foundation. It is crooked, no matter how moral they may be. Abstaining from “really bad sins” doesn’t make you acceptable in God’s sight. There is still sin there and your morality can’t remove it. Only the blood of Jesus being applied for the forgiveness of your sin can remove your sin. Others build their own foundation on their good deeds. They may have horrible morals, but they think they can make up for that by going to church, helping out with repairs to local community schools and orphanages, or volunteering for various charity events. However, this too is a poor substitute for the foundation of Jesus. This foundation is out of square. It won’t make you acceptable in God’s sight. Still others build their own foundation on money. They think they can buy their way into heaven by giving to the church-offering box or to local charities. Others make fellowship, friendship, and acceptance with the group their foundation. This is a flimsy, weak foundation. It is not that these things are bad things, they are good things, but they are not suitable foundations. All of these false foundations will crumble. None of them make you acceptable in God’s sight. None of them get you to heaven. None of them make you a Christian. Only faith in Christ makes you a Christian. The bottom line is this: A building can’t be built based on your personal beliefs. In the physical world there are scientific laws that govern the building. If you violate the scientific laws then the building will collapse and many will die. Well, for the church there are spiritual laws that govern how we build and the most important one is that faith in Jesus is the only suitable foundation for the church. Now, in v. 12-15 Paul turns his attention to how each Christian should build on that foundation once they have received Christ as their savior. Notice, the one comes before the other. Faith in Jesus is the cause, the good works of Christianity are the effect. It can’t be the other way around.

3. Each of us, as builders, must choose the building materials wisely v. 12-15

These verses illustrates a second possible danger that must be avoided, but sadly is too common. This danger using poor quality materials to build on a strong foundation. We must be very particular in what materials we use in building the church. Notice that Christ has already set the example here. You might ask, “What do you mean that Christ set the example?” Just this, that when Christ was building His Church He chose you as the material He would use. When you become a Christian you are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. To be a Christian is to be part of the church. Remember what the word church means. It comes from the Greek word, “Ekklesia” – which means called out ones. The church is not a structural building, it is a group of people that God has called out of the darkness of this sinful world to be separated for His special use. If you have turned to Jesus Christ in repentance of sin and faith in His work on the cross then you are part of the church. You are the material He chose (Romans 8:29-30 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom He called he also justified, and those whom he justified also glorified.” As a member of His Church you are = HAND-PICKED. CHOSEN. CALLED OUT. Like a builder going to hardware store to select wood etc. Some supplies are bought early on and some chosen later because of the timing in the process of building. Some of you are already Christians who have been baptized into the body of Christ. You are already part of the Church. Some of you have not yet received Christ, but 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is not willing that any would perish but that all would come to repentance. In Matthew 16:18 we saw that He wants to build His church. He is not finished yet, and the fact that you are here with a desire to know this God makes me believe that He is calling you – choosing you to be the next materials used in the building. Your part in that is to be willing to become His!

For those of you who have already made that choice; who belong to Jesus as part of His church, you must now choose wisely how you use your life to build up His Church. Every decision you make is an investment for eternity. You can choose to do things the easy way to just get by with the bare minimum in the Christian life. You can choose to live by the motto, “How close to sin can I get without falling over the edge?” But, when you live this way you are building your life with the cheap materials pictured in this passage as wood, hay, and stubble. It is easy, but it is not strong. It is cheap, but it will not last.

On the other hand you can choose to invest in eternity in things that will last. In this passage those things are described as gold, silver, and precious stones. That is what this building in India was made of. It is called “The Golden Temple,” but it’s actual name is Haminda Sahibe which literally translates as “The Abode of God.” This is what your life should look like because you have made every choice in life as an investment into God’s Kingdom. Your overall concern was to please God. The question you ask yourself with each question is, “What would Jesus want me to do in this situation.” You will live by the motto, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” Life won’t be easy, but it will be fulfilling. What you invest in will be costly, but they will last.

You might ask, what does this look like. Well, this picture is painted for us in 2 Peter 1:3-8. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence,[b] 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[c] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[d] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These are the traits that must be in each of our lives. If we choose these materials to build our lives and our ministries then we will see results that last. We will have invested in gold, silver, and precious stones in our spiritual lives.

Now, what you do in your life impacts all the rest of us in the Church. How you build your life contributes to the building that is the Church. This church will only be as strong as it’s weakest link. What we build our lives with will be revealed. On the Day of Judgment God will be examining both our actions and our attitudes. Will what you have built in your life and in this church be strong and valuable like the materials used to build the Harminda Sahib Temple? Or will it be like a thatch building out in the bush? I can tell you from experience out in the bush, that when you build with wood, hay, and stubble nothing lasts when the fire comes. You can escape with your life, but not much else. I don’t know about you, but as for me, I want to have something to present to the Lord on Judgment Day. I want my life to have produced eternal rewards. I want to hear my Savior say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Every church member must pay careful attention to how they build on the foundation. After the foundation of faith in Christ has been firmly set and solidified in your heart then you must join the work of building God’s church, but this is a serious task. You must be careful about how you build on it. You must be just as committed as the Pastors are to knowing God’s Word so you can know His plan, following His plan rather than setting out on your own plan, communicating to the architect in prayer, using the tools of ministry (evangelism, teaching, counseling), and helping to train other new builders as well. Every Christian is supposed to multiply themselves by training others. Why is that? Verse 16-17 tells us the answer.

4. Our Purpose, as the Church, is to be the dwelling place of God v.16-17

The purpose of a building is provide shelter. It is a place to host visitors and build relationships. That is what the Church is supposed to be. It is a house – God’s House. Every house has a kitchen where food is prepared and a dining room where meals are eaten. God’s house is the place where we gather to receive the spiritual food of God’s Word. Every house has a bathing room to clean clothing and body. God’s House is where we come to receive the cleansing of God’s Word to purify us after our work in this sin cursed world where we still pick up the stains of sin from day to day. Every house has a sitting room where people gather to rest and be refreshed by fellowship with one another. God’s House is where we gather for spiritual rest and refreshment. So, we have seen the purpose of a building. It is a dwelling place. A place to host visitors and build relationships. But an architect always builds his own house in such a way that it fulfills those basic functions that a house must fulfill, but it also reflects His character, personality, and skill. When we lived n America, we found a house in Parkersburg, WV that was built by an architect to showcase his ability. This house was made not only to be a dwelling place – it was intended to display his wisdom and skill as an architect. It was meant to display his glory! It was amazing. We couldn’t help but be drawn to it.

Christians, we are the church. We are the temple and He dwells in us! What a privilege! We have a practical purpose, but we also also have glorious purpose. We are intended to display His wisdom and skill as the architect of His church. We are to draw all men to Him by lifting Him high in our personal lives and our church worship services. We are to build His church by ushering new believers into His Church, making them feel welcome, and practically helping them grow by being spiritually fed, cleansed, rested, and refreshed.

Conclusion:

So, we have seen today yet another picture of the church. In this picture, the church is a building and the goal in quality! We, as the Church, are God’s building. We, as the Church, are responsible for continued construction. Each of us, as builders, must choose the building materials wisely. All because our purpose, as the church is to be the dwelling place of God. Are we ready for the task? 1. Some of you may need to stop being spectators and actually join the team, but putting faith in Christ today. You might say, but for as long back as I can remember, I have believed that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I believe that the Father raised him from the dead to prove that he really is the Savior and Lord of the universe. But the question is, have you personally received Jesus Christ into your heart to save you? It is not enough to just believe these things about Christ in your head. We must consciously, intentionally choose to receive Christ into our hearts by faith. To receive Christ we have to admit we are sinners, that we’ve fallen short of God’s perfect standard. And we have to ask Christ to forgive us and adopt us into his family. Have you ever done that? If not, I hope you will today! 2. Some of you may need to give up the wood, hay, and stubble you have been using to build your life and instead start investing in gold, silver, and precious stones.

 

Understanding The Solution To Pressure & Strain


Solution Pressures.001

 2 Co 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  • A mind renewed by the Spirit of God with the truth of God is the only antidote for guilt, anxiety, anger, and despair. It is the only cure for a noisy soul.
  • Pressure = those things that weigh on us
  • Strain = the effect of the weight

Understanding Pressure and Strain

Pressure is first evaluated by the mind. The weight is determined by the mind.

When you get your school bill, it is first evaluated by the mind. If you have the money in your account, you withdraw and pay the bill and there is no pressure. If you don’t have money, your mind tells you that you have a real problem and you feel the strain.

Notice that the pressure is the same in both situations.

  • If the mind cannot deal with the pressure, it causes physical problems.
  • Our minds must evaluate the situation with the truth or we will have problems. If our problems are bigger than our God, we will struggle.

Persistent anxiety has negative effects (strain) on the body.

When we are mentally pressured, our body begins to feel it. The weight of the first beam when it cannot hold, is transferred to the second beam. Headaches, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, heart beats changing, stomach issues (can be caused by other issues too) all are made worse by our thoughts. It can lead to depression, boredom, listlessness, lack of interest, irritability, touchiness, fears, panic attacks.

A disciplined mind and body have greater ability to withstand pressure with fewer debilitating effects on either the mind or the body.

  • If there is some discipline, we can stand more pressure. If there is no mental discipline, some people just give up and quit.
  • A disciplined body can take more pressure as well.
    • We must have enough sleep.
    • We must have the right nutrition.
    • We must get enough exercise.

God, however, never intended for man to be able to handle the pressures of life on his own

  • This is true even if his mind and body are disciplined to the highest level. (Matt. 4:4; John 15:4-5; II Cor. 3:5, 4:7, etc.) Discipline of mind and body alone are very helpful, but never enough. God intended life to be lived in dependence on Him.
  • Most people only strengthen their lives in areas that they like. They leave things out. (fig. 3). No one gets just one pressure at a time. We have multiple boxes at the same time. The things we like, we manage ok. It is the other things.

Handling Pressure Biblically

Eliminate the pressures God does not intend for you to bear.

  • Eliminate sin and its results (Heb. 12:1; I Jn. 1:9; Eph. 4:22) – sin is supposed to pressure us.
  • Eliminate responsibilities you have assumed outside the will of God. Motivation for good activities can come from sinful lusts  (I Jn. 2:16).
  • God does not give grace for what God does not ask you to do. Saying “no” might be the most spiritual answer when someone asks you to minister in yet one more way.

Reinforce your mind so that it will withstand the weight of the pressures you bear in the will of God.

  • A disciplined body is helpful: adequate rest, nutritious diet, regular exercise
  • A renewed mind is essential.

The Result—A Different Way of Looking at Life and Its Pressures

      • A renewed mind possesses a Bible-taught and Spirit-illuminated belief that God is more than enough for me. See Figure 3.
      • A renewed mind possess a Bible-taught and Spirit illuminated belief that God is more than enough for me.
      • Pressure is all about evaluating the pressure against my belief in God’s goodness.
      • This takes much time. You have to know what God says. Saturation in the Word begins with an intentional plan.
      • It ends with what you believe about God.

Conclusion: You must spend much time beholding God if you are to have a renewed mind—and, thus, a quiet soul.

Download the pdf version The Solution here.

Thanks to Dr. Jim Berg for allowing us to use his material. Berg, Jim. (2005). Quieting a Noisy Soul. Greenville, SC: BJU Press

The Root Of Our Problems


Breaking Through Noise.001

Today we want to discover how to unmask the source of your noise.  Our text is found in II Peter 1:2–3.

2 Pe 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Let’s break down the parts of this verse to be sure we understand what Peter is saying:

  • Grace and Peace are multiplied to us. Why do we struggle so much to find it?
  • Knowledge of God – this is the only way to get the peace God gives. This is a 
relational knowledge of God, not a factual knowledge.
  • All things – God left nothing out
  • Life and godliness – the chance to have eternal life and the ability to live godly all 
come from the same Source with the same power.  If we trust God totally for salvation, why can’t we trust Him totally for the power to live a godly life?

Someone going through this material recently told me that it is not logical to drop our focus on Scripture to fix our problems and pick up a focus on Scripture to know God. Yet this is exactly what II Peter 1:2-3 is telling us. Godliness comes from knowing Him!

The Nature of Truth

There are things that all people understand to be true through creation and through their own conscience (Romans 1:18–21, 25, 28, 32).

KJV Ro 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Note that the invisible things are clearly seen: His eternal power and Godhead

Ro 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The natural bent of the unsaved heart is idolatry (anything that comes before God often revealed by where we spend out time). This tendency is not completely removed for the believer, we still have a deceitful heart (Jer. 17:9).

Definition: Truth = reality.

The Danger of Unbelief

A belief is what you accept to be true.

This can be things that are real or things that are fantasy. What we believe or don’t believe does not change the truth. Reality does not change. This is the way it is. There is never a situation where the facts on this side are not true.

Our situations do not change who God is. He is always good and always in control.

Unbelief is rejecting what God says is true.

You must labor to find out what is true according to God, resolutely 
reject any deviation from it, and cling to the things that are true about God no matter what is happening to you.

So how much do you want the peace? Are you ready to rearrange significant portions of your life to be able to have the time to “labor” to find the truth?

The Glory of God

Unbelief robs God of His glory (Romans 1:21).

His unique excellence is tarnished in our view. He becomes in our mind no better than the creatures He made—weak, untrustworthy, unloving, unkind, and unwise.

The temptation of the sinful heart is to “[exchange] the truth of God [for] a lie” (Romans 1:25).

Stabilizing Truths for Noisy Souls: The Knowledge of God

We encourage you to print a copy of “The Stabilizing Truths for Noisy Souls.” You can download it at this link. http:// www.QuietingANoisySoul.com/downloads/memory-cards.pdf.

Labor, labor, labor to know these truths—look up the above verses and find other verses that teach these truths.

  • Memorize these truths and verses that support them (Psalm 119:9–11).
  • Meditate upon these truths (I Timothy 4:15– 16).
  • Fellowship with others about these truths (I John 1:3).
  • Test every stray thought of your heart by these truths (II Corinthians 10:3–5).
  • Don’t despise preaching about these truths (II Timothy 4:2–4). THIS IS THE “LABOR.”

To reject truth is to believe a lie. THIS IS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE!

So here we conclude for today: Unbelief is the primary cause of the noise in your soul. You do not yet see that God Himself is more than enough for you.

Thanks to Dr. Jim Berg for allowing us to use his material.
Berg, Jim. (2005). Quieting a Noisy Soul. Greenville, SC: BJU Press