A Holy people/an instrument of change
Presented at Grand Anse Baptist Church/23rd August 2007(Thursday)/Tone: Challenge
1 Peter 2:1/9
Introduction-Quote by Dr. Francis Schaeffer
"The greatest creativity ever given is the ability of men, by their choices, to change the course of history." God gave man that creativity. That is the great dignity of humanity. The power to change the world -- that is what the church is here for” Said, Dr. Francis Schaeffer. (1981)
As our theme says a holy people an instrument of change, let us examine the word ‘instrument.’
According to the Webnet dictionary, it defines as:
A device that requires skill for proper use
a person used by another to gain an end
the means whereby some act is accomplished
We are the church of the living God
Friends this evening I want to reaffirm us that the church of Jesus Christ is the ordained instrument of change for any society. The church as we know it is the body of believers. You and I must believe that we are the church-in other words God lives in us. (Hebrews 3:6b). Therefore we as believers are the true dwelling place of God. (We must act like this also)
- 1 Peter 2:5 ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ
-I Pet. 2, 9-10: "You, however, are ’a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own to proclaim the glorious works’ of the One who called you from darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people, but now you are God’s people.”
- I Tim 3, 14-15: "I am writing you about these matters so that if I should be delayed you will know what kind of conduct befits a member of God’s household, the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth.” ]
God has called us and he foreknew us-our calling is not an accident
God has called us and He knows us.-Jeremiah 1:5/Romans 8:29/30
He extended forgiveness to us- *Isaiah 1:18-20 /Roman 5:8 God commended His love…
[‘Scarlet’ or ‘Crimson’, was the colour of a deep red permanent dye. It stain was virtually impossible to remove from clothing. The stain of sin seems to equally permanent, but God can remove sin’s stain from our lives as He promised to do for the Israelites.] We don’t have to go through life permanently soiled. God word assures us that if we are willing an obedient; Christ will forgive and remove our most indelible stains (Psalms-51-1-7) a psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery---1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous (just, reliable) to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. NASB: KJV: GWT
The Holy Calling
Church this evening I want to remind each of us who are born again, that God has called us to be a holy people- "And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it ... but the redeemed shall walk there." Isaiah 35:8-9
God is too pure to behold sin (Habakkuk 1:13).
Without holiness, no man can see God (Hebrews 12:14).
In other words no man gets the things of God that He will give to those who have that relationship with Him—(Sin or ungodliness defiles this relationship) VJ. (Hebrews 12:14)
God will use Holy people and therefore holy people are instrument of change. He told us in
2 Timothy 14-21: If a man cleanse himself, (from dishonor) he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified, and useful for the Master (God) prepared for good works
God is calling us follow after holiness, to "follow after” holiness, to "continue in” and yield to the work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit in our lives.
It remains our part (These are all active verbs; the effect is conditional upon our own will.)
Romans 6:19 "... even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness."
Romans 12:1 " ... present your bodies ... holy ..."
II Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
II Corinthians 7:1 "... let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness ..."
Colossians 1:22-23 "... to present you holy ... if ye continue in the faith ... and be not moved away ..."
I Thessalonians 4:3/4 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable”
II Timothy 2:21 "If a man therefore purges himself from these, he shall be ... sanctified ..."
Hebrews 12:14 "Follow ... holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
The Calling is unto good works
Ephesians 2:10-For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walked in them. (Created for ministry)
Whenever God calls someone is not just for the building up of the church, but for a specific task.
Friend tonight I want to affirm us that when ever God called a man or a woman –boy or a girl ,into His holy service-what God is saying is that I am calling you to change something-a situation that’s happening-a circumstance that border some or a sin that is polluting the atmosphere or a new thing He want done. What is more-you and I –we are anointed in our own right to do a task. Pastor Isaac would not get the desired result if he takes on a call that God has anointed Bro Christ to do-neither will Bro Kenny if he takes on a calling that God has anointed Sister Charles to do. And so the Bible tells us in. Ephesians 4:11/12 that the Holy Spirit gifted us differently-some Apostles, prophets; Evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:
-Every Christian is given at least one Spiritual gift-1 Corinthian 12:7a, 11
-The Spiritual gifts are given for at least three (3) purposes
a) Equipping Believers to share the good news-Matthew 10:19/20 Luke 4:18 / I Corinthians 2:13
b) Authenticating or proving the gospel message-Hebrews 2:3/4
c) Equipping Believers to serve other Believers 1 Corinthians 12:7/ 14:26
We are therefore each ordained to be instrument of change-this change must begin with us. But it is time we deal wholehearted with sin: anything that violates God’s moral law.
-Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given and determined by the Holy Spirit -1 Corinthians 12:11
These are such sins as both destroy charity (love) and hinder the (efficacy)*[The capacity or power to produce a desired effect;] of the word, and consequently they prevent our regeneration. Therefore as instruments of change we must submit to the authority of Christ in our lives.
I. His advice is to lay aside or put off what is evil, as one would do an old rotten garment: “Cast it away with indignation, never put it on more.”
1. The sins to be put off, or thrown aside, are:
(1.) Malice, which may be taken more generally for all sorts of wickedness, as Jam_1:21; 1Co_5:8. But, in a more confined sense, malice is anger resting in the bosom of fools, settled overgrown anger, retained till it inflames a man to design mischief, to do mischief, or delight in any mischief that befalls another.
(2.) Guile, or deceit in words. So it comprehends flattery, falsehood, and delusion, which is a crafty imposing upon another’s ignorance or weakness, to his damage.
(3.) Hypocrisies. The word being plural comprehends all sorts of hypocrisies. In matters of religion hypocrisy is counterfeit piety. In civil conversation hypocrisy is counterfeit friendship, which is much practised by those who give high compliments, which they do not believe, make promises which they never intend to perform, or pretend friendship when mischief lies in their hearts.
(4.) All envies; every thing that may be called envy, which is a grieving at the good and welfare of another, at their abilities, prosperity, fame, or successful labours.
(5.) Evil speaking, which is detraction, speaking against another, or defaming him; it is rendered backbiting, 2Co_12:20; Rom_1:30.
2. Hence learn:
(1.) The best Christians have need to be cautioned and warned against the worst sins, such as malice, hypocrisy, envy. They are but sanctified in part, and are still liable to temptations.
(2.) Our best services towards God will neither please him nor profit us if we be not conscientious in our duties to men. These must be laid aside, or else we cannot receive the word of God as we ought to do.
(3.) Whereas it is said all malice, all guile, learn, that one sin, not laid aside, will hinder our spiritual profit and everlasting welfare.
(4.) Malice, envy, hatred, hypocrisy, and evil-speaking, generally go together. Evil-speaking is a sign that malice and guile lie in the heart; and all of them combine to hinder our profiting by the word of God.
Instruments of change in the Old Testament & New Testament
Abraham-left his father land-become the father of many nation –Genesis 12:1-20
Joseph-did not fall prey to potiphar’s wife –he became the ruler over a nation-Genesis 41:37
Noah-Builds an ark (ship) and saves his family from the great flood built an act-started a whole new generation- Gen_6:7/8; Mat_24:38; Luk_17:27; Heb_11:7; 1Pe_3:20;
Elijah-did not bow to the prophet Baal-1 Kings 16:25-26
Moses-called by God-lead the people out of Egypt –challenge the most powerful pharaoh 1:1-2:25-Exodus 13:17-21
Joshua- also called Jehoshua, and Jehoshuah, and Oshea-Son of Nun Num_13:8; 1Ch_7:27; dealt with Achan’s sin -the result- the army started to win war again. Joshua 7:10-15/ Joshua 8
Gideon - from hiding in the winepress to be deliverer of Israel- Judges 6:11-40
Daniel- A Jewish captive, also called BELTESHAZZAR-Educated at king’s court Dan1:8-16; did not eat the kings meat-whole nation turn to God-king decree Daniel 6:25/26
Friends, this evening God is calling us to be a holy people. Specifically He wants us to put away negative thoughts and speaking.
He wants us to be a Holy people/an instrument of change. Please answer His voice
Make a step of faith this evening. Let us pray.