Hearing and Doing

Maintaining the LINK between Devotion to Jesus and Kingdom Service

Daily Spirit & Word: 816: Maintaining The LINKS of LOVE.

Hearing the WORD and Doing the Word.

Maintaining the LINK: between:

  • Internal Spiritual Development (Spiritual Growth) = (POWER). Intimacy with God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
  • External Practical / Ministry Development = (IMPACT). Obediently Serving the Lord in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

(True Discipleship is always BOTH: Hearing and Doing: Power and Impact. Comes from Intimacy and Service).

God wants you to be Spiritually Fruitful.

Good morning my friends, How’s your GOOD WORKS going?

I was challenged the other day by a Bible verse about not just knowing Jesus and learning all about His commands and teachings, but putting them into practice in my daily life. You see I love nothing more than getting into deep Bible study, but actually going out and serving and being humble and gentle and loving and kind in the world, that’s difficult bit. But I’ve also come to realise that if I’m not doing what I’m learning, then I’ll lack the impact in this world for Jesus.

The Wise and Foolish Builders: Hearing & Doing God’s Word.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The Apostle James said something similar to His Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:19-27. Perhaps after years of being a Disciple of the LORD he’d learned the hard way to put into practice the teachings of Jesus. (See James quote at bottom of page).

GETTING IT WRONG:

And one of the most common Christian discipleship problems today is related to the splitting-up of these two areas of development: Spiritual Growth and Ministry Growth.

Many churches are very good at hear-the-word discipleship, which they quite rightly consider to be very important, but they neglect the kind of do-the-word discipleship that God intends to flow from or follow on from our hearing the Word, E.G. They might consider feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners or sheltering the homeless to be less important than one’s fellowship group, discipleship class, church attendance, or prayer life and personal daily devotions.

What happens when we do this? When all we focus on is internal spiritual development but we fail to do external ministry? The results will be that We lack impact.  Christ wants us to impact the world for Jesus and His Kingdom, because He wants His Kingdom to grow, but when we separate (BREAK THE LINK) both the hearing and the doing of the Word, we can’t make the IMPACT Jesus wants for us.

We can’t just swing the other way, either.  If all we focus on is external ministry and forget about our spiritual development, we are going to lack the power of Heaven. To get that POWER we need to maintain intimacy with Jesus first.

I’ve seen that happen to very sincere Christian organisations; they start out with a Word from the Lord to help the poor or those in need, but very soon forget all about the spiritual aspects. Prayer, Bible reading and devotion get pushed out because of busy activity, and the focus shifts almost entirely upon serving others. They soon lack the Spiritual POWER and the desire to save souls for Jesus Kingdom. In fact they begin to look down upon those who are engaged in evangelism and the sharing the Word of God, believing that ministry and service is much more important. It gets to be like sticking a plaster over a festering wound and the rot soon sets in.

So it’s always got to be both: Hearing and Doing. Learning from Jesus and putting what we’re learning it into practice.

After every sermon, Bible class or fellowship group, we should be asking the LORD: “OK I understand Your Word Lord, Now, what do you want me to do about this great teaching Lord?”

JOINED-UP WRITING: 

My granddaughter Aminata was overjoyed when she learned to join her letters together. It’s amazing when children learn to join their letters. She said, “Look Papa, I can do joined up writing”… I said, “That’s fantastic Ami”…

Hearing and Doing the WORD of God is like Joined-Up Discipleship.

We must never separate the two or we’ll fall into these two traps: Legalism (Just being religious and learning as much as we can. With the primary focus on Knowledge and Knowing stuff) or LICENCE (Just running around doing good works, and getting judgemental like Martha, about those who don’t do as much as you. You’ll begin to think that you can earn your place in Heaven by your good works)…

 

Joined-Up Discipleship is learning to keep both: Hearning & Doing inseparably linked together. (And the two shall become ONE)…

This HEARING & DOING: It’s all summed up in Jesus’ teaching of the Pharisees when they came to test Him.  LOVE God and LOVE Neighbour. (The Greatest Commandment). Matthew 7:15-23.

  • We show that we love God by HEARING His Word (POWER).
  • We show that we love our Neighbours by DOING His Word (IMPACT).

Quote: “A lot of people mean well, but their meanness is often greater than their wellness.”

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

When we’re close to Jesus, learning His teachings, and being submitted enough to actually put those teachings into practice, we’re going to get closer to our neighbours as well, because we’ll want to be doing the good that Jesus has been teaching us.

But there’s more: Praise the LORD: When we put what we know into practice, we’re going to get an even greater insight into all the good things that we have in our relationship with Jesus.

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV)
4  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Can you see the LINK? In Philemon we see the link so clearly, Paul heard about Philemon’s love and faith in the Lord Jesus, and it was evident, he made an IMPACT by his love for all the saints (his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus).

Jesus said, “It’s by your love for one another that people will know you are my disciples”… There’s the LINK: Hearing and Doing… Spiritual Development & Ministry Development.

CONCLUSION:

May you experience Jesus promises of blessings today, that no matter what STORM may come against your HOUSE, (wind and rain: Trials, Temptations, Troubles and Tribulations) you’ll be able to STAND. Because you are being obedient to what you’ve learned in Jesus presence, and you are putting it into practice in your daily life. Amen!

Maintain the LINK between: Hearing & Doing.

Don.

JAMES HEARING & DOING

James 1:19-27 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20  for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Is James also talking about bearing fruits? “By their fruits you will recognise false converts” “False professors of faith”… Matthew 7:15-23. (True and False Converts).

What’s Jesus saying to me today? Think about Mary and Martha: (Luke 10:38-42)  They are both SERVING the LORD:

Mary = Getting close to Jesus

Martha = Practical Ministry…

Which one was doing the right thing? Answer = BOTH of them, so don’t look down on the Mary or the Martha.

Jesus is saying to me, “BE a Mary and a Martha”: Hear the WORD of The LORD and SERVE The LORD by Practical Ministry of Serving Others.

The LORD said, “Mary has chosen what is best”… i.e. Getting close to Jesus and listening to his every word. That’s getting the POWER… However, Martha showed the servant’s heart, by opening up her home to Jesus and serving Him and the Disciples. That’s making an IMPACT. It’s got to be BOTH: inseparably linked, joined-up discipleship, hearing and doing. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I can see that the Christian Life that You have called me to has got to be balanced between being with You in worship, praise and adoration, in learning and knowing Your will, Your Commands, Your Teachings, then moving out into this world in Devoted and Committed Kingdom Service. Please Lord, give me the deep desire to learn and serve You with joy and gladness. Help me to Love You and Love others and always maintain those links. I know I need the POWER of Heaven in order to be able to SERVE You in this way, so please send the Holy Spirit afresh into my heart, mind and soul to give me the strength to serve You and build your Kingdom. Amen!

 

Winning In Your Walk With Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 667: Winning In Your Walk With Jesus.

Philippians 2:12-15 (NIV)
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13  for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14  Do everything without complaining or arguing,
15  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
Good morning my friends, are there times when you struggle to be good? Times when it’s hard to be the person God has called you to be? We all know times of weakness and failure, however it is possible to win in your battle against; the world, the flesh and the devil: We must realise that it’s “NOT ALL ABOUT YOU” But it’s God who works in you to will and to act.
Will & Act: How According to His good pleasure.
When you avail yourself of God the Holy Spirit, submit to His divine authority in your life, then the way that you think, your desires, your will will be His will, then you will act righteously. Praise the LORD!
What an awesome verse from God’s Word today.
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose”..
That’s a massive relief: God WORKS IN ME to will and to act…
Rest assured that when God gets you into His family, He intends to keep you and transform you.
Be bless with the fullness today.
Don.

Jusus IS; The LORD of the Sabbath

Cornfield Jesus woman

Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few mouthfuls of porridge can produce so much energy.

On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.

Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24  The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25  He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26  In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:

Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.

As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.

The Pharisees Notice: 

As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.

The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.

Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?

Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:

Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
8  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?

The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:

They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.

For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing wool
  • Washing wool
  • Beating wool
  • Dyeing wool
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying
  • Untying
  • Sewing stitches
  • Tearing
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Flaying
  • Tanning
  • Scraping hide
  • Marking hides
  • Cutting hide to shape
  • Writing two or more letters
  • Erasing two or more letters
  • Building
  • Demolishing
  • Extinguishing a fire
  • Kindling a fire
  • Putting the finishing touch on an object
  • Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.

The Letter of the Law Kills.

The Spirit gives it life.

NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.

Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.

Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:

The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.

Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.

Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.

However, this leaves us with a Question: 

Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?

Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.

David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were ritually clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)

1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread. 
3  Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4  But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5  David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

To discover more about the Shawbread: Read:  Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5  “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6  Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7  Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8  This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9  It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”

This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.

The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.

Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”

Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.

He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.

Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.

It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.

When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater perspective on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.

But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.

They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.

Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What did Jesus mean?

It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.

We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.

Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.

 

An Injured Pigeon:

After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.

One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a pigeon tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.

Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.

Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.

Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.

Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.

Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:

The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.

NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.

NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.

Our God IS and AWESOME God.

He reigns in Heaven and Earth.

He’s the CREATOR of ALL.

He gives us LIFE and Breath.

Praise HIM every DAY.

Amen!

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.

Bible References To The Sabbath Day:

Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles  23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11

 

Are You Living Like A Christian?

moral filthiness, getting rid

Daily Spirit & Word; 650:

Does Your Conversion Affect Your Conduct?

Are You Living Like A Christian?

Good morning my friends, we’re all getting ready for Christmas. I’ve got many different things to do, it’s busy, but I love this time of the year. Thinking about the birth of my Lord Jesus. However, you are, like me, going to be inundated with invitations from the world and the flesh, how are you going to respond?

What a brilliant evening we had with a brother who was struggling to make certain his calling in Christ. Last night as we were doing some training for Street Evangelism, we were joined by a brother who was struggling with fears of all kinds. So we stopped what we were doing and spent some time going over the GOSPEL and the call of the Gospel. He had difficulty knowing how to respond.

However, what became clear was, that though he had previously made “A Profession of Faith”, from his own lips he declared, “Nothing has happened”, “I’m just the same”. What he went onto clarify was that he was still struggling with the same old things, and he didn’t know if he’d really come and trusted Christ. He tried attending worship (sporadically) and praying and reading his Bible, but there was no inward inclination to change his attitude or habits.

Was he saved? Was he a Christian who’d been filled with God’s Spirit? It soon became clear he wasn’t, but last night he finally trusted in Jesus death upon the Cross for his sins and received Him as Lord. Having grasped the full meaning of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Does Your Conversion Affect Your Conduct?

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

What promises is the verse referring to?

We must remember that when Paul originally wrote 2nd Corinthians it didn’t have chapter or verse divisions, it was a letter. So looking back in the letter we’ll see “these promises” he’s referring to.

He is of course referring to;  2 Corinthians 6:16-18

16  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
17  “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
18  “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: We are born of the Spirit, he takes up residence within our bodies and we become the Temple of the Living God. He’s in us, we are Holy. Verse 18 reveals God’s promise to “be a Father to you”. We are God’s children, His sons and daughters, when we receive Jesus Christ. That’s God’s awesome promise. Also declared in John 1:12-13.

So with these great promises in place in your heart, God is encouraging you to live a moral life: “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

How can you cleanse yourself? How can we ‘perfect’ holiness?

Christians are often attacked in the media and everyday-life as hypocrites: i.e. “their conduct doesn’t match their profession” and “They say they are ‘Christians’, but they don’t live like Christians should.” No doubt we ALL fail to fully live up to the high calling of purity and holiness of life, but the failure is not CHRISTIANITY or our LORD Jesus Christ, but the fault is with us. It’s because we’re not making use of everything the Lord has provided for our moral conduct in the world: His power and His presence that will enable us to overcome the flesh, the world and the devil.

To cleanse ourselves and to perfect holiness, we need a healthy fear God’s holiness. We don’t fear His person, because He is our Father and we are joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s children we too are dearly loved, but God is still completely holy and cannot tolerate sin. Our fellowship with Him is broken when we are contaminated and still living in sin (1 John 1:5-10).

I really love the old KJV of the Bible, because it doesn’t mince it’s word choice here, it calls our deliberate dabbling and playing with the disgusting things of this world; “filthiness“.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV) “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

The things the people of the world accept as OK are filthy in God’s eyes:

Think about movies, videos, games, adverts on TV, game-shows, TV soaps, magazines and newspapers etc, they are all filled with filthy rubbish that will contaminate the pure mind of the follower of Jesus. Their pages and programs are choc-a-block with sexual scenes, filthy language and blasphemy. Every night on TV you’ll hear people taking the Lord Jesus holy name and using it as a swear word or an expletive. They use Jesus glorious Name as a profane or obscene expression, usually of surprise or anger. We watched a police enforcement program the other day. People caught by the Police were rude, very rude, disgusting use of language to a person in authority. On the News last night, the Police were trying to control the crowds of shoppers in Oxford Street, their language and conduct was appalling towards each other and to the Police. Pushing, shoving, shouting, swearing and queue jumping. Some poor old lady was in tears because she just couldn’t get on a bus, because young people kept jumping in front of her. They’d all been Christmas Shopping.

God wants His children to be pure and holy like He is, because He’s living in us.

That is why God doesn’t want you to defile the Temple of the Living God: your body.

Flesh & Spirit:

How can we ‘purify’ ourselves.

The truth is we can’t, we can’t because only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin. However, we can enlist His Holy help. Jesus Christ is in you, the Holy Spirit is in you, God the Father is in you. Your body is God’s dwelling place, so LIVE as Jesus would. Live as Jesus did, a pure and holy life.

When you fail, you’ll know it.

Your Spirit within you will not be at ease with SIN or moral filthiness.

If you ever get to the point in your ‘Christian’ walk, where you can sin and it doesn’t bother you, you are either UNSAVED in the first place or you’ve been given over to your heart’s desires. You’ll need to REPENT and trust Jesus Christ and receive His Holy Spirit. Confess your weaknesses: to Jesus, to each other. Tell the Lord about how you’ve grown to love sin, how you’ve become enamoured and longing for the dog’s vomit again. How you’ve become like a pig, wallowing in the filthy mud and muck of the world. Ask Him to take away the LOVE of sinning. Pray that He’ll really become for you, the Alpha and the Omega of your daily walk, the first and last of your affections.

Question: Does your conversion match your conduct? Are you a professing Christian who’s living a double life? Publicly attending worship, but secretly thoroughly embedded in the world?

In truth, we’ve all got a tendency towards the flesh and gratifying it’s desires. It’s a daily battle and with the LORD’S help, presence and power you are going to win. You will need to remain connected: with Jesus, with fellowship with brothers and sisters in the faith. You’ll need to keep being filled afresh with God the Holy Spirit. You’ll need to constantly confess and repent and return; sometimes many times a day. However, be assured that it will become a JOY to be Holy as Jesus is Holy. He’ll give you new desires in your heart. You’ll be loving, joyful, kind, gentle, patient, goodness will be evident to all, you’ll be faithful and self-controlled. Get filled-up with God’s Spirit right now.

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

  • Your body is a Temple of God’s presence.
  • You are a child of God, He is your Father.
  • He’s with you forever.

BE STILL: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:1-11).

Have an AWESOME DAY of Holiness with Jesus.

Don.