Monday, May 28, 2012


This message was originally preached in September 2005.

Some people think that doctrine is not important or necessary.  On the other hand, some people think that fellowship is based on doctrine.  Fellowship must be established on a true experience of salvation.  It is sectish and an unrighteous cause of division to exclude a person from fellowship who has repented of his sins and is living a holy life according to all the understanding which the Holy Spirit has revealed to him. 

The word “doctrine” simply means “instruction.”  God has given us righteous instructions by the Holy Spirit and by the Holy Scriptures.  As these instructions are formulated into concise statements of faith, we call these statements of faith doctrine. 

No man has the privilege or authority to establish any doctrine which is not set forth in the Holy Scriptures. 

John 7:16
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

How is it that Jesus could say that “My doctrine” is not mine.
Because He received it from someone other than Himself.
He received it from His Father.  This scripture testifies to the truth of the Trinity. 

Likewise, I can say that “My doctrine is not mine.”
I don’t own it.  I didn’t make it.   I didn’t originate or author it.
We have limited rights to the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Your life is like the parsonage I live in.  It is mine but it isn’t mine. 
It is mine to use and enjoy; but, I can’t sell it or give it to someone.
This message is not mine.  This body is not mine.  This congregation is not mine.
All things are given to us to use temporarily.  We are mere stewards of the things which belong to God.  We do not own anything. 

1 Cor 6:19-20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

God has entrusted you with the care of your body.  You are charged with taking care of it for the glory of God.  You are responsible for using your energy and abilities for the glory of God. 

When I say “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” whose doctrine am I teaching?
That is not a “seventh day Adventist” doctrine, although they may pervert it and use it to their own detriment.  That is a doctrine of God. 

When the devil puts an evil and unrighteous spin on a particular scripture, he has changed the doctrine and it is not the same as what God has spoken.  Satan will often times take a Holy Scripture and twist it for his own purpose. 

James 4:3
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

We are instructed not to “consume” our lives for our own pleasure. 
The word “consume” in this verse means: to waste or spend. 
We must manage and use our mind and body for the glory of God.
That doctrine is not mine.  It is the doctrine of God.

John 7:17,18
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

If you love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you will know the doctrines of God.
The Holy Spirit will come to you and instruct you in the ways of righteousness. 
If you are directing your own steps and forming your own doctrines, then you are seeking your own glory and not the glory of God who called you to serve Him. 
If you speak your own thoughts and your own ideas and opinions, then you seek your own glory.
If you speak of yourself, then you exalt yourself and not God. 
We must make sure that our doctrines are the doctrines of God and not of our own making. 

I challenge you to study the word of God and prove whether my doctrine is mine or God’s. 
The doctrines of God will contain a holy and divine principle.  They will not be fleshly or worldly.
The doctrines of God will always be supported by the Word of God.

1 Tim 1:3-13
3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

There are sound doctrines and there are false doctrines.
It is your responsibility to study the scriptures and listen to the Holy Spirit so that you can discern the difference between right and wrong. 
When we judge a matter, whether it be small or great, we must be sure that we are guided by sound doctrine.  Are we following a righteous and just principle? 
Is our spirit and attitude in agreement with the sound doctrines which Jesus has set before us?

Acts 2:42
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The doctrine of the Apostles, which was not their own doctrine, but the doctrine of Jesus Christ, will always produce a unity of fellowship.  When will doctrine produce fellowship?  When it is administered by the Holy Spirit and the saints manifest the grace of the fruit of the Spirit.  When doctrine is set forth in “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” it will always produce a divine fellowship.  When doctrine is set forth with strife, envy and a preeminent spirit, it will always cause division. 

My doctrines must be the same as the doctrines of Christ. 
Your doctrines must be the same as the doctrines of Christ. 
There are many deceivers who have gone about preaching and teaching their own doctrine. 

2 Tim 3:10-17
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

If you are not careful, Satan will have you thinking and talking things which are not profitable.  Faultfinding, disrespect, usurping authority, false accusations, gossiping and such like will tear down the righteous doctrines of the church of God. 

 2 John 6-10
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

We have been rooted and grounded in the pure doctrines of Jesus Christ. 
We must not turn and begin to establish ourselves in some other doctrine. 
Every aspect of our conduct and speech must line up and agree with the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
If any part of our conduct and speech is contrary to holiness and the doctrines of Jesus Christ then we need to adjust our own selves.  We need to modify, change, conform and bring ourselves and our doctrines into agreement with the truth as presented by the Word and the Spirit. 

Mark 9:41
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

You belong to Christ.
This is an emphatic statement that: you exist for Christ.
You were created for His glory and to serve Him.
You have no right or privilege to do anything but to serve Jesus Christ.

Rev 4:10-11
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Why are you in this world?  Why are you living in this life?
Your purpose for being here is to serve and glorify God. 
Jesus Christ came and gave us His doctrine to teach us how to serve and glorify God. 

Gal 1:6-12
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The gospel and doctrines of Jesus Christ will exalt Him and His Father.
Other creeds and doctrines will exalt the person promoting it.  Who are we promoting? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Divine Inspiration

There are two thoughts I want to present to your mind.  First, I want you to realize that you need the Holy Spirit to give you divine inspiration every day for every conversation and event you are involved with.  Secondly, I want you to believe that God wants to give you His Holy Spirit to give you divine inspiration every day for every conversation and event you are involved with. 

Job 32:8
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

I know that it was the young and arrogant Elihu the Buzite who spoke these words; however, I believe that this part of what he said is true.  I do believe that “there is a spirit in man.”  And, I also believe that it is “the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”  When the Holy Spirit moves upon your thoughts to guide them in a certain direction: that is inspiration.  It is divine inspiration.  You and I need this divine inspiration every day for every conversation and event we are involved with.  AMEN!

Acts 2:16-18
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy , and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy :

This scripture is undoubtedly referring to the gift of God which enables a person to preach the gospel in the sense of ministering, preaching and teaching.  But let every one of us also consider that we are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ by the way that we live.  If you claim to be a born-again, spirit filled, child of God; then, you are prophesying to your children, family, friends and every one you meet.  I want you to realize that you need God to divinely inspire the words which you speak.  If you do not realize this, you will not pray for it.  You need to ask God for divine inspiration. 

1 Corinthians 14:29-32
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

When you stand up and testify or sing and speak in the congregation of the righteous, you are prophesying, or you should be prophesying.  Don’t you believe that we ought to have God’s permission, approval and assistance to stand up and speak in the worship service of the saints of God?

Matthew 10:17-20
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak : for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak .
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Mark 13:11
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak , neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak , but the Holy Ghost.

When you are being persecuted, you need divine inspiration to help you respond.  When you talk to your enemies, you need divine inspiration to speak with wisdom and grace.  When you are in a difficult situation, you need the Holy Ghost to impress upon your mind the appropriate words which you should speak. 

Acts 4:29-33
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

We read that the saints prayed that they would be blessed with divine inspiration.  Their desire was “that with all boldness they may speak THY word.”  Not their words, but the words of God’s choosing. 

1 Corinthians 2:12-14
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak , not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

As we “receive” the right words from God, that is the “which things also we speak.”

1 Peter 4:7-11
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.”
The oracles of God are those which speak the truth about the one true living God. 
They speak for God.  They speak for His glory.  They speak His truth and His doctrines.
If we would discipline ourselves to speak only as would be appropriate for the Ambassadors of Christ, then we would no doubt speak as Christ would speak. 
This should be our burden, our goal and a point of earnest prayer. 

Proverbs 25:8-15
8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

The Holy Spirit has spoken to the wise King Solomon and Solomon wrote these words for our instruction.  Let us consider what he has said:
V8:  Many problems have been caused by people who not sought the inspiration of God before they go forth to strive with another person. 
V9:  Too often a person will complain and gossip to the wrong person instead of going to his neighbor with whom he disagrees.  If you have something negative to say about a matter, go to the one who has the responsibility to make the correction or amendment. 
V10:  If you talk to the wrong person, it will result in your shame.
V11:  The Holy Spirit can give you the right words to say in every situation and your words will have great value if they come from God. 
V12:  Gold is a precious metal and very useful; so are the words of the person who can give a wise reproof.
V13:  In ancient Israel, they packed snow in a cave during winter so that they could have a cold drink in the time of harvest. 
V14:  To boast of a gift you do not have is as empty of refreshment as a summer cloud. 
V15:  A soft tongue breaketh the bone.  How powerful are words fitly spoken.  How needful are words which are divinely inspired.  We need Spirit filled preachers and teachers.  We need Spirit filled parents and rulers. 

King David said in Psalms 85:8, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:”

Jesus said in John 8:25-26
25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

If Jesus spoke only those things which He had heard of His Father, how much more do we need to be careful to speak only those things which we hear of the Holy Spirit. 

Proverbs 3:5-7
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes:

Jeremiah 10:23
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

We need the divine inspiration of God.  We can not glorify Jesus Christ unless we speak wholesome words. 

Matthew 12:36-37
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

When you stand before the Great Judgment Throne of God, what will your record say about the words you have spoken? 

Will you be justified by your words; or, will you be condemned by your own words?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Receive Correction, With Thankfulness

People do not like to feel bad. 

They don’t want to hear words which make them feel bad.

The desire for good feelings is a hindrance to correction.

Satan has caused the world to believe that feeling bad for sin is destructive. 

Satan says you should not feel bad about the sins you have done, just tell yourself you can do better and believe in your own power to choose a better life by having positive thoughts and affirming your own power to overcome everything negative. 

But what does God say? 

Hebrews 12:11-14

11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

The desire for good feelings will cause people to stay away from good judgment preaching.  I know that correction is not joyous, but grievous.  But we must recognize that this grievous correction is necessary to help us bring forth the fruit of righteousness. 

I have told my teachers to correct me if they see me doing something wrong.  I don’t want to be ignorant of the right way to do something.  It may embarrass me.  I may turn red in the face; but I want to know the truth.  I want to know the right way. 

Don’t be discouraged by the truth.  Rejoice in the correction which comes from the Lord and the Holy Ghost.  Don’t resist the correction of the Holy Ghost. 

Acts 7:51-60

51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Why did the Jews kill Stephen?  Because he caused them to feel bad for their sins.  He preached the truth to them.  The Holy Ghost pricked their conscience and they resisted the Holy Ghost.  They could not touch the Holy Ghost, so they killed the messenger.  Please don’t kill the messenger of truth whom the Lord sends to correct you. 

2 Corinthians 7:5-11

5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

Note:  Why was Paul comforted?  Because Titus had told him of their repentance.  He heard that they of Corinth had submitted to the Holy Ghost with a broken and contrite heart.  They had allowed the correction of God, which made them feel bad, to cause them to repent which made them feel good. 

7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

Note:  Paul rejoiced in their MOURNING.  Why?  Because their mourning brought them to repentance and obedience. 

8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.

9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

Note:  You must be willing to go through the valley of sorrow before you can experience the mountain of rejoicing. 

10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Godly sorrow is of great value.  Don’t resist it.  Godly sorrow comes from the faithfulness of the Holy Ghost to show where you have done the wrong thing.  Don’t resist the Holy Ghost.  Receive correction with humility and submission. 

Psalms 51:15-17

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

God does not ask for sacrifices from the person who is disobedient to his righteous commandments.  You can make many sacrifices, but if your heart is not right with God, He will not receive your sacrifice or hear your prayers. God wants repentance and obedience first, then he will accept your sacrifices. 

Satan has deceived many people with the lie that mourning and godly sorrow are unhealthy and destructive.  Satan has told people that you should get every negative thought out of your mind and don’t listen to people who cause you to have negative thoughts.  Satan’s has convinced people that feeling bad about what you have done will cause all kinds of health problems.  Satan says, you must believe in yourself and think positive thoughts of being able to achieve whatever goal you set for yourself. 

Here is a recent quote from one of these positive thinking gurus:


Nearly everyone I've ever come across in my adult life has heard of the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Each has had a fairly good understanding of the theory of positive thinking, most giving favorable thoughts and merit to the concept.. Many motivational Gurus have regurgitated this philosophy as their own and repackaged it as the latest "wealth building" system and made a fortune doing so. "The Secret" is the latest program to do so.

Actually, "The Secret" has put a unique and powerful twist on the philosophy of positive thinking and affirmations, which is why I believe it has become so popular.

The Law of Attraction plays the lead role in this new way of thinking and I believe finally someone has hit the nail on the head and delivered a very usable idea that actually works.


A few days ago, I was invited to watch the motivational video titled “The Secret.”  The video presented the un-Christian philosophy of positive thinking and affirmation under the heading of “The Law of Attraction.”  This video and this teaching does not bring a person to the knowledge of truth.  Rather, it compounds the lie of Satan that his way is more successful than the way of godly sorrow. 

The true “Secret” of happiness and success is found in Jesus Christ and His gospel.  “The Secret” does not teach a person to repent of their sins and believe God; but rather, it teaches people to believe in themselves and their power over their own lives to the exclusion of God’s way.  Oh yes, I know that “The Secret” mentions a “Higher Power” but it does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Truth, the Light and the Way to peace, happiness, success and Heaven.  “The Secret” promotes a way of life that is very compatible with Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern Religions. 

Proverbs 3:11-12

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Proverbs 15:10

Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

Jeremiah 5:3

O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Don’t be fooled by the philosophies of men.  The happiest and most successful life you can ever have is to submit to the judgments of Jesus Christ and walk in the light of His gospel. 

Don’t be offended by correction. 

Be thankful for the faithful teacher who guides you in the path or righteousness and truth. 

If you in are need of repentance because of the sins in your life, let the Holy Spirit break your stubborn and rebellious heart and make you tender and submissive to the will of God. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Salvation By Obedience

Do you really believe that obedience is necessary to be saved?

Do you really believe that you must obey every commandment, of which you have knowledge and understanding, in order to go to heaven?   It seems to me that many people have come to believe that they can knowingly disobey certain laws and rules which are clearly set forth in the scriptures; and regardless of this disobedience, they think that they are still a child of God having assurance of salvation and heaven. 

Do you excuse some forms of disobedience?
Whose rules must a person obey to be saved?
Can you disagree with the clear and explicit commandments of God’s word and still be saved?
What if you don’t like a particular commandment?
What if it has become very unpopular to keep a particular commandment? 

Do you understand the difference between a spiritual weakness and disobedience?  A spiritual weakness which does not separate you from the fellowship of God, is an area where you have a measure of knowledge and understanding of the perfect will of God, but you are unsure of how exactly to perform the thing of which you have knowledge.  This is an area where Satan and his agents, the accusers of the brethren, will come against you and condemn you; however, the Holy Ghost does not condemn you.  The Holy Ghost will endeavor to teach you to know and understand the perfect will of God.  He will give you wisdom and grace to maintain your obedience and salvation.

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

The Apostle Paul set an example for us to follow.  He had the mind of Christ.  He has a burden for the souls of men and his desire was to teach them truth.  When people did not understand the right doctrine, because they had not been instructed properly, he did not dis-fellowship them.  He taught them the right way.  Evidently, the saints in Thessalonica were lacking or weak in some areas of their faith and Christian growth.  Paul’s attitude was not one of condemnation but of love and a desire to teach them the right way. 

My experience with some people is that they are not willing to be longsuffering and patient with a person whose knowledge and understanding is different from their own.  They are lacking in mercy.  They have judgment and mercy out of balance and therefore do not produce righteousness.  I remember one minister making the statement, “Fellowship is based on doctrine.”  His administration of this belief caused him to dis-fellowship certain people with whom he disagreed with.  Since the Bible says “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:” his position was that if you did not submit to him and the other ministers who were like-minded, they you were not saved.   It is true, fellowship is based on doctrine.  However, doctrine is only one leg of the chair of fellowship.  The other legs are mercy, judgment and righteousness. 

Hebrews 13:17
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is

To whom does this command apply: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves?”

The word “obey” as used in this verse means to “assent, agree and submit to another’s authority.” 
The word “rule” means “official authority.” 
Do pastors have “official authority” to rule over a congregation?  Yes.
Do parents have “official authority” to rule over their children?  Yes.
Do husbands have “official authority” to rule over their wife?  Yes.

Whenever the Word of God dictates that a certain position of authority exists; people must submit to that authority.  The only exception is when the person in authority is not properly submitted to his authority and consequently uses his authority contrary to the laws of Him under whom his authority is subject.  It is very obvious that we live in a nation and a world where people have a problem with submitting to and obeying “official authority.”

Official authority is made “official” by the authority of God’s Word.  Authority must be exercised in accordance with the righteous rules of God or else it has not authority.  All authority must be in proper alignment with the righteous principles of God. 

Hebrews 5:8-9
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Salvation is all about obeying God and the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Bible has much to say about godly rules, godly authority and righteous commandments.  However, on the opposite side there is the balance which states that ministers and pastors are not to exercise forceful authority as is noted in the world.  The authority in the church of God and in the Christian home has specific boundaries as set forth in the Word of God.  Jesus set an example for us to follow.  He was obedient to the will of His Father.  He came to do His Father’s will.  He suffered physical abuse in order to obey His Father’s will.  

Acts 5:29-32
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Our obedience to men is regulated by our obedience to God.  If the rules of men are contrary to the rules of God, then we must not obey men, and we must obey God. 

Colossians 3:16-23
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Ephesians 5:17-6:10
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Chapter 6
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Salvation is all about obedience.  You can not have salvation without obedience to the laws and rules of God.  There is salvation is none other name except the name of Jesus Christ and His gospel. 

The New Testament is the final authority.  We must all give account for how we have handled the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you have disobeyed Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, our spiritual Husband, you will not enter into that eternal place called heaven. 

1 John 1:5-7
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Are you walking in obedience to all the light which the Holy Spirit has taught you?
Your obedience to the Holy Spirit is the assurance of your salvation. 
Disobedience will defile your conscience and deceive your mind and heart.

Matthew 7:22-24
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Be wise.  Obey the Words of our Lord so that you may have salvation and eternal life.
Do not be hearers only, but doers of the Word.  

The Need For Wisdom

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.

Often time people have knowledge but do not have the understanding on how to use it to accomplish a righteous objective.  Sometime they have no clear understanding of an objective.  They may just begin to talk about what they know to the wrong person and have no conscious objective in mind.

We must have the assistance of the Holy Spirit to handle knowledge with wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to handle a situation, a problem or any good work in the right way to achieve God’s favor and pleasure. 

Wisdom will cause you to think before you speak.  It will cause you to consider before you act.  Wisdom will prepare your mind to do the right thing, in both a stressful environment and a relaxed environment.

Some people have so much knowledge about salvation that they think that they are saved.  Knowledge is not equal to salvation.  Obedience is equal to salvation.  If you disobey the truth that you know, then you are not saved.

Romans 1:18-22
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 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:
21 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.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

I know some people, and perhaps you also know people, who have a lot of knowledge of the word of God and the laws of God.  When you talk to them, they speak as if they have much wisdom but they are fools because they do not obey the truth.  They have formed their own religious ideas and they have deceived themselves.  These people are usually easily offended if you disagree with them.  They do not like to be corrected. 

Putting these thoughts together, we can see that wisdom is the combination of knowledge, understanding and the ability to make practical application of righteous principles. 
One of my favorite verses on this subject is in James chapter 3 verse 13.

James 3:13       Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?  Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Oh what a challenge: to be able to hold a good conversation with any and every person with the meekness of wisdom.  Wisdom is never arrogant.  Wisdom is not the tool of a tyrant.  Wisdom is always manifested with meekness and in love.  I did not say permissive and ecumenical, but with meekness and in love.

Proverbs 1:20-25
20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

The Holy Spirit is faithful to cry out to every person to give them wisdom.  But wisdom comes with correction and many do not want correction.  The self-righteous person will not turn at the reproof of wisdom. 

Proverbs 4:7    Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Knowledge is not the principal thing.  Wisdom is the principal thing.  The wise person not only knows the truth, he understands the truth and is obedient to the truth. 

Ecclesiastes 9:16         Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

It is human nature to suppose that every poor person is also a person without any wisdom.  It is also human nature to think that every rich person is a wise person.  Wealth is not a good indication of wisdom.  You should be careful about being influenced by someone just because they are wealthy.  A wealthy person may be wise, but he may also be a fool.  A poor person may be wise, and he also may be a fool. 

Ecclesiastes 9:18         Wisdom is better than weapons of war

America has great military might; but our nation is no longer a nation of wise people.  America has forsaken and forgotten God.  They have established their own laws and religion.  

Isaiah 50:4-5
4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

What is the proof of wisdom?  It is in this statement:  “I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.”

James 1:5         If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Your asking must be accompanied with a consecration to obey. 

Satan will tempt you to believe that if you will live like he tells you to live, you will be wise.  He is a liar.

Genesis 3:1-5
3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

James 3:13-18
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Who is a wise man?  Are you a wise man or a wise woman? 

Do you fit the description of a wise person as defined here in James the third chapter?

If you are not obeying the knowledge which the Holy Spirit has allowed you to have, you need to repent of your disobedience as ask God to help you obey the truth.