Sunday, December 15, 2013

To Judge Ourselves Part 16 – Strengthen What Remains

To Judge Ourselves
Part 16 – Strengthen What Remains
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We spent the last year looking at what the Book of Acts had to say about the founding, operation and behavior that the Lord expects from us as individuals, and as a church, or congregation of believers.

We then spent a few weeks looking at the letters that Jesus sent to the seven churches in Revelation, telling them where they were going right, and wrong, as well as what the punishments and rewards would be.

A few weeks ago, I took all of those letters, and compiled them into one letter from the Lord, to us.

Our new series will take a look at each of the points Jesus made in that letter, and we will not only examine our church as a whole, but ourselves as individuals.

2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

2 Peter 2:4-10 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;[c] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge[e] in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."

We have already looked at Jesus speaking to us about hard work, not tolerating wicked people in the church, and testing those who claim to be apostles, but are nothing more than false prophets, and last week we spoke on perseverance, and enduring hardships for His name, Spiritually Rich during times of affliction and poverty, Slander, Not Being Afraid, Where Satan Rules, Faithfulness, Deeds, The Open Door, First Love, Repentance and Salvation, False Doctrine, Jezebel.

Last week we looked at Wake Up.

This week we will look at the warning to Strengthen What Remains.

Revelation 3:2-3 (Literal Translation)
become watching, and strengthen the rest of the things that are about to die, for I have not found your works fulfilled before God.
`Remember, then, how you have received, and heard, and be keeping, and reform: if, then, you do not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon thee.

I.                   BECOME WATCHING
a.      Become watching
                                                             i.      The Lord calls us to look into our REAL condition
                                                          ii.      not what others say about us
                                                       iii.      not what we "think" about ourselves
                                                         iv.      but what our REAL condition is

b.     Strengthen what is about to die
                                                             i.      We need to return to Christ and His doctrines, or risk losing our way
                                                          ii.      Where we are weakest, we must work to strengthen
                                                       iii.      We cannot become stronger, if we never examine our weakness
                                                         iv.      Examine yourself!

c.      I have not found your works fulfilled before God
                                                             i.      Their works were based on dead faith, which always produces dead works
                                                          ii.      They were working for the praise of men, rather than service to God
                                                       iii.      Therefore, dead faith=dead works
                                                         iv.      They received the praise of men, which in turn, was their only reward.

Matthew 6:1-4 "6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. (INTENTION) If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

II.               REMEMBER
a.      Remember how you have received
                                                             i.      How have they received forgiveness and salvation?
1.      Not by works
2.      By Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross to pay our sin-debt!
3.      Cannot be worked for, or earned by deeds.

Ephesians 2:1-9 "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

b.     Keep that! (doctrine)
                                                             i.      Don't follow other teachings
1.      saved by works
2.      earn salvation
3.      earn a place in heaven
4.      work for forgiveness
5.      etc... these are "false doctrines"

                                                          ii.      Keep what Christ taught
1.      Sin described by Commandments
2.      Debt due for sin, spiritual death
3.      Debt for sin paid for by perfect sacrifice, Jesus
4.      Forgiveness for sin found in Him Alone!
5.      Confess and repent, and you will have forgiveness
6.      Salvation through this "New Covenant" is not actually "new", rather the completion of God's plan from the beginning of time.

c.      and "reform" (change)
                                                             i.      Christ calls us to "change" from our former selves.
1.      Ephesians 2 - you were dead in your sins when you lived in the world.

2.      You have accepted Christ and the new covenant?  Good, now let the Holy Spirit begin a work in you!
a.      Philippians 1:6 "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

3.      Renew your heart!
a.      Ezekiel 36:26-27A new heart also will I give you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.”

b.     Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

4.      Renew your mind!
a.      Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” 

b.     Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

c.      Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."

5.      Renew your body!
a.      1 Corinthians 6:20 "For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

6.      Renew your soul!
a.      Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

b.     1 Corinthians 3:16 "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"

a.      I (Jesus), will come upon you as a thief
                                                             i.      2 Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed."
1.      Judgment Day

                                                          ii.      Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”
1.      Those who are saved are covered by the white garment of Christ.

b.     You will not know what hour I come

                                                             i.      v5 He who is "overcoming" (staying awake, watching, examining himself)
1.      Shall be arrayed in white garments
2.      I will not blot his name from the book of life
3.      I will confess his name before my Father
4.      and before His messengers (heavenly angels)

We must be watchful, examine ourselves and our motivations, remembering that FORGIVENESS and SALVATION does NOT come from what we DO, but WHY WE DO.

We must remember to confess and repent, and we will be forgiven, thus keeping the WHITE GARMENT of Christ, which covers us, making us PURE and HOLY before God on Judgment Day.

Allow God's Holy Spirit to do a work in you, renewing your heart, mind, body and soul.

Allowing God to do this work in you, is the action of LOVE. Jesus said, if you love me, you will obey what I have commanded.

Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:37, "..Love the Lord your God with all your heart. Love him with all your soul, and love him with all your mind."

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

No comments: