03 September 2012

THE FOUNDATIONS OF A CHRISTIANS LIFE PART 2



 James 1:22-25

When you think of the game “Simon says” what comes to mind? Maybe it's playing in the playground during lunch hour at school when you were a little girl or boy.  Maybe it was at a birthday party or a group of friends over for a sleep over. Maybe an activity at a summer camp. Let me ask you! What was the premise of that game? Whatever Simon said? You did it, right? If Simon said pat your head in a circle you did it otherwise your....out of the game!  If Simon said jump up and down you didn't do follow his instruction your out of the game.  The game would go until there was? The last person standing, because that person obeyed Simon’s commands. Now flip this same principle to the Christian life! Does God say the same thing? He tells us to…….
  •          Pick up our cross
  •          Deny ourselves
  •          Sell everything we have
  •          Give to the poor
  •          Proclaim the good news of the gospel
  •          Flee from all forms of evil
  •          Walk in holiness
  •          Walk in serving others and especially the church

But do we really obey Him as you did when you played Simon says as a child? We may study it, memorize it, work it out in our heads, and maybe even learn it in the Greek. The sad reality is that we have a tendency to never really apply His truth to our lives. Why? Maybe because He’s too demanding.....It requires me to change too much in my lifestyle to fit His demands. John MacArthur says "obedience to the Word is the most basic spiritual requirement and is the common denominator for all true believers. The bottom line of true spiritual life is not a momentary feeling of compliance or commitment but long-term obedience to Scripture. Listen to what Jesus says about the privilege and importance of His word! John 8:31-32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Last week we saw that….. The word of God is a privilege that requires submission, to put of all filthiness and wickedness. The word of God is a privilege that requires meekness (humility), which is able to save your soul
  
Now James is about to give us some more clear instruction or a proper foundation about what we are to do with this truth that is a privilege. This truth that we hold so dearly in our hearts because it brought us to the cross, it sanctifies my soul and will always faithfully lead me home to Jesus. Look what James writes in (v22) We are to be "doers of the word” which means: a person's life who is dedicated not only to learning God's Word but also to be faithful and continual obedience to it. Someone who has received it with joy and has the desire to do what the Lord commands from His children. Someone who spiritually understand it; gladly receive it; and from the heart obeys it. Someone who make a sincere and honest profession of it. Someone who submits to the rules it directs to. Someone who keeps them as they have been delivered; and live them, and walk by them. This is the foundation we have as Christians in Col 3:16-17 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  To put your life into Action, we must be doers of the word. Everything we do must be done in the name of our Lord Jesus, let your words be right, and your actions upright. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF BEING A DOER OF THE WORD:

1. Noah did what the Lord commanded him to do when it came to building the Ark

Gen 6:22 “thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did”

2. Josiah when he became king at such a young age.

2 Kings 22:2 “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem…....And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.”

3. Joseph after finding out about future bride Mary.

Matt 1:21-24 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:  "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,”

Another great example:

Two men John & David, who sold themselves into slavery. These men were not going on a nice short term mission to the Caribbean, or even Africa or China but they sold themselves into slavery to answer the call ‘come and minister the gospel to us’. They became slaves in order to have the opportunity to reach the slaves of the West Indies for their Lord. Their life’s purpose was to follow the Lamb who had given His life for them and for all the souls of the world. Their mission statement was “Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow Him.” One of the men left his wife and children begging on the wharf for him to reconsider and stay. But the call and heart of God for these slaves in the West Indies was even greater than the pull of home. As the ship pulled away from the docks the men lifted a cry, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering” which became the echoing heartbeat of the Moravian Missions movement. 

Listen to what being doers of the word brings….."blessings from the Lord" (v26) Jesus said in Rev 22:7 "And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." These are the blessings that flow when we are to be doers of the word! Without excuse or questioning His authority over our lives. James calls all professing believers to be doers rather than: simply keep it to yourself! James calls this deceiving yourself “Deceiving” (v22) means:  to reckon wrong, miscount, to cheat by false reckoning, to deceive by false reasoning,  to deceive, delude, circumvent, to misreckon, beguile which means: to seduce or to lure away. In Rom 2:12-13 “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” This regards the inward as well as the outward man, it requires internal holiness, as well as external obedience; and the apostle is speaking of justification before God, our God who sees the heart, Is it of obedience or is it someone who is fooling themselves by not putting the word of God to practice, thinking they have favor with God. Do not be a person who is an observer and deceives himself, for they do not have the liberty in Christ Jesus our Lord......Jesus said in Matt 7:26-27 “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." The floods are wearing away there sandy foundation, soon one tremendous storm shall beat upon them and their hopes shall fall, forever fall out of Christ. Perhaps having "heard" His words from very childhood; or grew up in a Christian home. Perhaps having taught them to others in the Sunday school; from the pulpit. There end results in a great storm that leads to eternal destruction, without a proper foundation because they either refused or denied the truth that was before them. A person who pretend to make their peace with God by their own works; a person who hope for pardon on the foot of the mercy of God, by their own repentance; seeking  for justification by their own, not the righteousness of Christ; they look for acceptance with God, for the sake of their own worthiness; this person expects salvation in any other way, other than by Christ: This goes for the same person that James is speaking of! This same person who looks in mirror and forgets what they see! Even the prophets said this was going to be a problem. In Eze 33:31-32 “And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.  And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it.”  This is like a person who sees his sin portrayed for the horrible evil that it is and does nothing or cares about it. He also sees God's gracious provision in Christ for a remedy yet this person goes on his or her merry way as if they were never exposed to those realitiesIf you do not apply the truths of scripture to your life…… you are like a person who looks at himself in the mirror walks away and forgets what he was looking at. James has called us clearly to be doers of the word! We have been called to bear fruit and display the glories of His grace.  We have been called to grow and mature though the all sufficient word of God.  We have been called to an active faith which responds to the written word. We have been called to be doers! Not hearers only. As the Moravian missionaries said “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering” The greatest reward we can do for our King is to obey His every word and be doers of that word. The fruit of my life should always display the glorious truth of the gospel at all times, because He is worth my devotion for the Gospel saved my wretched soul.  May the word of God mirror my life as He grows me into His Son’s likeness. BE A DOER OF THE WORD.....Why? Because Jesus said so!

No comments: