Summary: To rid ourselves of idols in the church our character must be Godly!
Date Written: June 22, 2006
Date Preached: June 25, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (AM)
Series Title: Idolatry in the Church
Sermon Title: Character DOES Matter!
Sermon Text: 2 Tim 2:20-26 don’t read until after intro…
Over the past few weeks we have been camped out in 2 Timothy and we have been looking at how we have fell into bowing to idols here in our fellowship…idols that come from this world and what it deems to be right and good.
This morning I want us to continue to look at idolatry in the church and how we can overcome it in Christ and how we as a fellowship can be the LIGHT we are called to be… in this world of darkness!
Have you ever heard, “…it doesn’t matter WHO you are as long as you can get the job done…”? Many in our world today hold this statement as absolute truth. This is called pragmatism.
Many of us remember the presidential races of ‘92 and ‘96 and how ‘character’ was brought into play in the political battleground.
Now regardless of whom you voted for then, some very important issues were brought up… and even today these issues are still with us…The main issue I am speaking about is that Character DOES matter.
I can remember those who said that character should NOT be a deciding factor in electing a leader… because regardless of character it was the political leadership that matters the most.
The other side argued that the political leadership could not lead us where we needed to go… if the character of the person was faulty…
Still today there are those who believe that as long as you can get the job done… it really doesn’t matter what kind of character you have…
But I want to make it clear that this issue is not just in the political arena… it actually is embedded all throughout our society, in fact just recently I read a quote by a newspaper columnist…
QUOTE: Sydney J. Harris of the Chicago Sun Times said, “…since most of us would rather be admired for WHAT WE DO rather than WHO WE ARE, we are normally willing to sacrifice character for conduct and integrity for achievement…”
And for the most part… throughout our society… and sadly enough even in our churches… we truly believe that if the job can get done… what does it matter what kind of person we are…
And in truth this is nothing more than the sin of pride and self-edification! We want people to SEE what we have done… we want approval for our accomplishment. Our good works then become a self-centered, selfish, lust for self-glory!
And I have to say that in our country we find this to be the case time after time… outside the church, but sadly inside the church as well… We are bowing to the idol of self centered immorality and indifference to God’s way.
And I really find that quite confusing because our Founding Fathers believed in God’s way… and they based our country and system of Government on God, His laws and His character…
Why do you think that the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights have survived for so long? Why do you think theyhave influenced the world as they have? It is because God was the foundation of these documents! And with God as a foundation we cannot be wrong!
I want to make this point very clear… God’s Word tells us that CHARACTER DOES MATTER… And when we serve God, it is NOT enough to get the job done, but we must get the job done as God desires us to get it done… in His plan… in His way… according to His guidance and His character!
What we do is very important, but we must understand that WHO we are is so much MORE important. There are words that describe what a person of good moral character are…
• Person of honesty
• Person who tells the truth
• Person with honor
• Person on whom you can rely
• Person who is real and authentic
• Person with a good reputation
In our passage this morning we find Paul relating to Timothy how important character and morality is in his work and in his walk with Christ… it is not enough to DO the work of Christ but we must also LIVE the life of Christ in our hearts and actions…
For us to live the life of character that reflects Christ, we must have a heart of character that is filled with Christ… in other words, who we are on the inside is vital to what we do on the outside…
God uses honorable vessels for honorable purposes… and in our passage this morning this is what Paul is instructing Timothy about… on how to become an instrument for honorable and noble purposes within the kingdom… or in other words how to become an honorable vessel for Christ!