Summary: Ed Howe said, “The average man’s judgment is so poor, he runs a risk every time he uses it.” Tainted by a sin nature, our judgments can often by skewed in a direction favoring ourselves, and detrimental or vindictive of others. Paul, in this passage re
AVOIDING THE BANDWAGON
INTRODUCTION: Ed Howe said, “The average man’s judgment is so poor, he runs a risk every time he uses it.” Tainted by a sin nature, our judgments can often by skewed in a direction favoring ourselves, and detrimental or vindictive of others. Paul, in this passage recounts a way to avoid jumping on the bandwagon of judgment
I BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE – 4:1-2
A Who we really are – ministers and servants
1 Need to understand that everyone of us is a minister
2 J. Vernon McGee put it this way, “We are all preachers … we preach some message by our lives.”
3 The focus is not on us – Christ is the only one who deserves the focus
4 To be a servant of Christ is to be an under-rower
a Job of the rower is to work with other rowers
b Job of the rower is to row in the same direction
c Job of the rower is to get the ship where it needs to go
5 To be a servant of Christ is to be an overseer
a Bible is very specific of what we are to oversee
1) Overseers are subject to the master
2) Overseers were in charge of the estate of the master
b We are to oversee the “secret things of God
1) A secret is something that was hidden
2) A secret is not necessarily difficult to understand
3) The secret Paul talks about is the gospel
Ephes. 5:32 This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.
4) A mystery revealed to church leaders
1 Tim. 3:9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
5) A mystery given to the church – all of us
Col. 1:26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.
6 To be a servant requires us to be faithful
a Faithful in sharing what we are stewards of
b Faithful in not changing the message
c Faithful in not mixing the message
B What we really have
1 We have a responsibility to be faithful to Christ
2 We have a responsibility to be found faithful to others
a This means faith enough that it is seen by others
3 We have a responsibility to do it now
a Verse 2 says, “now” – present tense, meaning on earth
C What we really do – communicate message of Christ
1 By our relationship with each other
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
2 By our relationship with the world
2 Cor. 1:12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace.
3 By our Relationship with Christ
Romans 8:7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
II WATCH YOUR PERSONAL ETHICS
A Understanding the conscience
1 Conscience was given by God to warn us of activities not befitting a believer.
2 Conscience does a fairly good job – but not a good of a job as it is suppose to
3 Like everything else, sin affected my conscience
Acts 26:9 "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Titus 1:5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
1 Tim. 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
B Understanding the nature of sin
1 Sin affects our conscience
2 Conscience can tell us that we are right when we are wrong
3 Need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, God’s will and standard
III DON’T JUMP THE GUN
A The difference between judgment and criticism.
1 Judgment is to be avoided
Mark 9:38-41 "Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." 39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.