Sunday, August 7, 2011

To Build Up or Tear Down - Part 4: The Choice

To Build Up or Tear Down
Part 4 – The Choice
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Some teach that there is no “free will.” I think that the scriptures are quite clear on this matter, showing that we do have free will, and that if we do not chose the way which is correct, that we will suffer loss.

We see that God has given us free will, listen to this Old Testament scripture.

Deuteronomy 30:15-16  15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.”

In the garden, Adam and Eve were punished for their sin, or disobedience to the Word of God.  A choice that they made.  If they did not choose to sin, why were they punished?

Hebrews 12:6-7the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?”

Punishment, or chastisement, is a Father's correction to His child to direct a wrong choice or path.  God's discipline is not simply to “pay back” for disobedience, but to “correct” a child's direction.

Jesus said;
John 7:17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”

We must choose to do the will of God.

If we choose otherwise;
James 4:4b anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

We have the choice to make...are you choosing Christ?

1 Peter 4:1-9
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.


We are instructed to arm ourselves with the same attitude Christ had when He went to the cross.  Although our battles appear to be in this world, they are truly spiritual, and we must fight them in the spirit.  {Ephesians 6}

Jesus suffered in the flesh, so that we may have victory over our flesh.  All because of the cross.

1.      He who has suffered in his body, is done with sin
1.      This is the battle which takes place between our flesh and our spirit.

2.      Our flesh suffers when we choose the spirit of God over its evil desires.

3.      The believer must stop any dependency on self-effort, and depend totally on the Holy Spirit, who demands that our faith be in the sacrifice of Christ. {Romans 8:1-2}

2.      As a result, he does not live life for evil human desires
1.      Rather, for the will of God

1.      Since you are saved, the sin nature no longer rules over you.

2.      You have the power through the Holy Spirit to choose the path of the Spirit as opposed to the path of the flesh.  But you must depend totally on Christ.

3.      You have spent enough time doing what the pagan's choose to do
1.      living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, detestable idolatry

1.      Our life before coming to Christ.

2.      These are the works of the flesh, as described in Galatians 5:19-21. 

4.      They think it strange you don't plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation

The unsaved cannot understand the reason why the believer left the old life.

1.      so they heap abuse on you.
1.      One of the ways one can know that they are living for God, as hurtful as it may be, is the abuse they will receive from friends, loved ones and family members, because they chose to live the will of god, rather than serve the sinful desires of their flesh.

2.      But they will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

1.      The Great White Throne Judgment where all unbelievers will appear.

2.      Right now, Christ is the Savior, then, He will be the judge.

1.      Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled

This statement paints all of the scripture in the light of eternity. Whatever our days on earth, it is nothing more or less by comparison to eternity. We must always keep this in our minds.

1.      so that you can pray.
1.      Without prayer, there cannot be proper relationship with the Lord.

2.      Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins
1.      We all sin...even if we do not realize we are.

2.      BUT, if we love others deeply, putting others before ourselves, living I Corinthians 13, that life of love we live, will override any sins which will occur in our everyday life that we may not even know we committed.

3.      Love overrides sin...God is love, and if we live in love, we live in God, and He in us. I John 4:12

3.      Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1.      God hates grumbling.

2.      If you do something that is supposedly for God, but grumble...your not doing it out of love for others, or love for God.

3.      We must do things with a joyfulness to serve others and God, doing things out of love, not because we feel we must.

Some say; “John 15:16 states, He chose us, we did not chose Him.”
This is true, He did chose us.  He chose to lift us up, and give us the opportunity to follow Him.

BUT, we must make the choice to accept His offer, to accept His conditions, to accept Him.

He chose us, and laid before us life, and death.  Which will you chose?