Summary: If we are to have a positive influence upon others which will draw them to Christ, as believers we must live holy, consistent, Spirit-filled, and hospitable lives.
Having Power with Men
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “For we are unto God a sweet savor or the fragrance of Christ) among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.”
Last week we looked at Genesis 32:28 where Jacob, the supplanter, was renamed Israel and was declared to have power with God and with man. We discussed that for us to have power with God we need to exhibit humility, have a deep seated faith, to persevere, and to be holy. Today we look at what it takes to have power with men. If we are to have a positive influence upon others which will draw them to Christ, as believers we must live holy, consistent, Spirit-filled, and hospitable lives.
Transition: Just as having a relationship with God requires us to be holy, having a contagious life that impacts others necessitates...
I. Living a Holy Life
A. Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
B. Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”
C. Philippians 2:15 “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”
D. Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
E. 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
F. Do you have a desire to live a holy life? Or do you say, “I can’t be like that.” Is that the case: or is it “I don’t want to be like that”?
G. The results of living a holy life are:
1. God word is honored (Titus 2:5) - The credibility of the Christian gospel is inseparably linked to the integrity of the lives of those who proclaim it.
2. Opposition is silenced – (Titus 2:8) Don’t you think some of the unbelievers in your sphere of influence would love to see you fail significantly so they can justify their unbelief?
3. The Gospel is made attractive – (Titus 2:10) To convince a man God can save, I need to show him a man He saved. To convince a man that God can give hope, I need to show him a man with hope. To convince a man that God can give peace, joy, and love, I need to show him a man with peace, joy, and love. To convince a man that God can give complete, total, and utter satisfaction, I need to show him a satisfied man. When the world sees people who are holy, righteous, peaceful, joyful, and fulfilled, they see the evidence of God’s transforming power. – adapted from John MacArthur, The Power of a Holy Life, © 2012 Grace to You.
II. Living a Consistent Life
A. “A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech. When men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as dollars and his words as pennies. If his life and doctrine disagree, the mass of onlookers accept his practice and reject his preaching.” (C.H. Spurgeon).
B. One of the most difficult problems a church faces is a testimony damaged by the inconsistent living of careless church members.
C. Genesis 19:14 “And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” (ESV - he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.)
D. Daniel 6:4-5 “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, ‘We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.’”
E. The consistent life, the holy conversation, the unswerving integrity, the active, benevolent spirit, the godly example,—these are the mediums through which light is conveyed to the world. - copied
F. Inconsistent living and un-confessed sin in the life of the believer will become a basket-like covering which hides the light of God
G. One should practice what he preaches; not living contrary to what one professes to believe. We should not one bring offense to the testimony of Christ by inconsistent living.