Summary: This is the fourth in a series focusing on the need for God’s people to learn the importance of bearing up under opposition and trials so that God’s Kingdom might be established in us and in the world.
How To Run The Race (Pt. IV)
Sermon – August 14th 2005
We have been talking about perseverance for the last three weeks.
The book of Romans speaks of perseverance building character…
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Perseverance really does have a character building effect on us which I will discuss more next week. But perseverance builds in us constancy, trust…
(Brief review 0f Pt. 3)
I) Endurance –
4 through endurance…we might have hope.
5 May the God who gives endurance…give you a spirit of unity….
II) Encouragement –
…so that through…the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
5 May the God who gives…encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus…
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1. Watch Your Days –
16 Watch your life… closely.
We must watch our lives closely – this speaks of our purity, our speech and our love.
We must watch our lives CLOSELY
Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
We need to have times when we meditate on our lives, our purity, our speech our love.
We need to take time to consider how our lives line up with God’s Word in these areas.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
This passage mentions just some of the ways in which the devil is seeking to bring destruction into our lives.
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
We need to remain strong in the Lord and alert to the schemes of the enemy and we must die to the desires of our flesh.
3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies.
2. Watch Your Doctrine –
16 Watch your…doctrine closely.
This is an area where we must watch ourselves very closely, many of God’s sheep are being led astray in false doctrine.
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
There have been over 1,100 religious leaders in different parts of the world in the last fifty years who have claimed to be Christ and the Savior of the world. Most of these false christs have risen in Africa, in India or in the Orient and have spread into the West.
Jesus prophesied that in the last days there would be false Christs that would arise.
Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.