Summary: Good works for the right reasons, overcoming evil and five results or evidence of spiritual authority.
Sunday January 19th, 2003
Series: Spiritual Authority Part Three
Sermon: The Marks of a Powerful Christian
Scripture: I Thessalonians 5:15-24
Romans 12:21 — We overcome evil with good.
What are we supposed to give to evil.
At first we have our responsibility and duty to give to the body of Christ and then extend beyond that to everybody.
Amplified says aim and seek...not wait until you feel good or have some supernatural experience.
We are to aim for it, intend to do it, to walk in love on purpose, not because I feel like it. It’s our goal.
True Spiritual authority can be found in these five things:
1) Everywhere you go lives will change
2) Your prayers will be answered
3) You won’t be dominated by the devil
4) You will have the ability to walk in the fruit of Spirit no matter what is going on in your own life.
5) You will gladly be a servant to everyone with no ulterior motive but out of a pure heart
If you want a real reward from heaven, what you do must be done from the heart. Laws are laws, but real heavenly reward comes from giving and doing that was motivated from a pure heart. The right motivation is just because you love God and people. Loving God enables you to do what is good.
There is a difference from true-righteous service and self-righteous service. There is Agape love and worldly love. True service is good works with right motives.
Self service is so you can be seen, things are planned.
The bigger the better, you feel good basking in the remembrance and you want people to know about it. It needs the applause of men. Someone who serves for a couple of months and no one says much, that person ends up quitting.
A true servant is content to do large or small tasks and are happy to remain hidden. How many times did Jesus say don’t tell? But us, we want it in the bulletin. We need a plaque.
You know why Jesus could do that? He wasn’t trying to become famous. He already was doing what God wanted. He already made Himself of no reputation. God isn’t impressed by my position or yours. God is not impressed with the things people are impressed with.
God is impressed with obedience. God is impressed when I do good and love my brothers and sisters. The devil, he is impressed by your obedience—when you obey God the devil can’t handle you. James 4:7 does not just say resist the devil and he will flee….it also says submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee.
If your going to walk in known disobedience and try to resist the devil you are wasting your energy.
This isn’t about trying to hide what you do, it’s about your motivation behind what you do. It’s the why behind the why, it’s what motivates you to pray, to do good, to study.
Richard Foster—Author of, Celebration of Discipline said: “Self-righteous service puts others in it’s debt and becomes one of the most subtle and destructive forms of manipulation known to man.”
Self righteous service—things we do for people with wrong motives, like putting people in your debt by doing good things for them, where you can say, “after all the things I’ve done for you”—in other words you didn’t do it as unto the Lord.