Summary: There are some things the believer must do as we live for Christ. First, we must guard ourselves in several ways and that’s what I want to look at today. Parts are adapted from the "Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible
This chapter is one that needs to be studied over and over. It includes the personal testimony and ambition of Paul. It also gives us some of the great principles that governed Paul's life.
There are some things the believer must do as we live for Christ. First, we must guard ourselves in several ways and that’s what I want to look at today.
1. Look at verse 1 Paul tells us to guard ourselves by rejoicing in the Lord.
If we are constantly rejoicing in the Lord it becomes awful hard to wander off.
As you walk through life, two things are always confronting you:
1. Circumstances and 2. False teaching.
No matter where you go, the trials of life, both minor and major will confront you. We have to stand face to face with the trials of life, some of which might be... temptations – financial stress - divisions -lust of the eyes – inhumane behavior - lust of the flesh - criminal acts - greed - death - selfishness - arguments… The list could go on and on. Not one of us is capable of escaping the trials of life
There is another very important fact as well. No matter where you walk, you will be confronted by the false teachers of this world. You will always be confronted with different ideas about how to handle life and the trials we face.
There is the teaching that says, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
In other words ignore the trials and problems of life. Life is to be enjoyed by those who have the health and money to enjoy it, so go for the gusto and do your own thing."
There is the teaching that says, "Discipline and control yourself. Take care of your body and mind.
Don't give in to the lusts and passions of this life.
The abuse of a mind and body is a waste. Live as long and contribute as much as you can by living a disciplined and controlled life."
There is the teaching that says, "Don't go overboard. Enjoy life, do what you want; but do it within reason. Don't overly abuse your mind and body. It's all right to indulge occasionally; just don't do it too often and hurt yourself."
There is the teaching that says religion is the answer to both life and death, "Join a religious group and follow its rituals, adopt its beliefs, and live the best you can. This will give you a strong self-image and the confidence that God will accept you.
Just be as good as you can and God will accept you, based on the goodness you build up."
The point is this: the believer is bombarded by both trials and false teachings every day of his/her life.
If you walk throughout the day rejoicing in the Lord, your mind will be focused on the Lord.
You might say: “Preacher, I don’t have a lot to rejoice over.”
You can rejoice over what Christ has done for you-- rejoice because the Lord has justified you…because He has secured righteousness for you… adopted you… He was willing to die for you… willing to bear your condemnation and judgment…He rose from the dead for you, giving you a new life…giving victory over sin and eternal hope and the confidence of eternal life.