Title: Your Confirmation Call
Theme: Confirmation, A Key to Finding God's Will
Series: Three Foundational Truths to Grasping Gods Will
Introduction: Healthy spiritual life must exist if the child of God is going to understand God's will for him. When a baby is born it is vital the child breaths, walks, learns to communicate, and matures in all area of life that effects his well being. Anyone wanting to grow spiritually must first be born again, learn to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, learn to spiritually communicate with God and must mature in spiritual truths which affect his or hers calling.
The Bible says, "His Divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who calls us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:3-11)
Proposition: I would propose to you Biblical confirmation is a key to unlocking your understanding of God perfect will for you. It requires a great deal of diligence and labor to make sure our God callings and election is clear. If the child of God wants the peace of knowing that he is walking in the center of the Lord's will for him. He must examine himself. Do a very narrow search to see if he is truly a child of God, having his mind enlightened, and his will renewed.
The Bible says, "Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive ways in me and lead me in the everlasting." (Psalm) "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children..." (Romans 8:16) "[a man's] work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
Interrogative Sentence: Considering those Biblical truths, we Christians should be awakened to ask. Just how do I Biblically find confirmation on what I believe is God's will for me?
Transitional Sentence: The first confirmation a person needs if he wants to be in the center of God's will is to ask: Does the Holy Spirit of Christ really reside in me? The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth ask this question, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and the God's Spirit lives in you." (1 Corinthians 3:16) "...if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you." (Romans 8:11) The writer of the book of Romans writes, "you... are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you." (Romans 8:9)
We have just heard one the clearest passages of Scripture that tells us that Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ lives in and can empower a man to live according to God's perfect will for him. However, it must be understood, just because the Holy Spirit indwells a person, each person must realize that his mind is often attacked by the influence of the devil and the lures of this world. That is why Paul writes to the Corinthians and says, "We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) Notice, Paul said, obedient to Christ.
There is a decisively indicative test, called the litmus test. Merriam-Webster has this definition, "a test in which a single factor (as an attitude, event, or fact) is decisive." Another definition of litmus test is "something (such as an opinion about a political or moral issue) that is used to make a judgment about weather someone or something is acceptable." (Leaner's Dictionary)
God has a litmus test. The test begins with what a person believes about the Bible. According to the written Word, all Scripture is God-breathed, thus the sword of the Holy Spirit is the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 6:17) The most significant passages of Scripture to me - in regard to being hungry to walk in God's will is, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." (John 1:1-2) "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
Four times we read the Word, (logos - ëüãïò) which can be used in connection with the phrase, "the word of the Lord." - "the revealed will of God." (Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 2, p. 683). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.) Jesus said, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." (John15: 10-11) "Commandments" (ἔíôïëÞ entolḗ ) meaning the precept and teachings of Jesus or the precepts and teachings of God" (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.)
A litmus test which indicates we are a born again child of God with the indwelling Holy Spirit of Jesus is: Is there a hunger and thirst for knowledge of the things of God? Is there a rejoicing over the truths of Scripture? Do we seek the deep truths of the Lord's directing in the affairs of our lives through the whole counsel of God's Word?
Lessons from the horse business:
When I was young, all I could do is think about horses, wanted to ride horses, I especially wanted to be seen as a horseman. Nothing else was ahead of horses. After graduating from Farrier's College, I had the privilege making a living at it for many years. Whenever old classmates heard what I was doing for a living many would say, "That does not surprise me."
In order to enjoy that privilege, one of the key things I had to learn was - develop a desire to joyfully seek out material to study, written by people who was successful in the Farrier trade. For the most part the Farrier trade is a hands on learning experience, but time has proven true - the men and woman who went the farthest, were the ones who sought material to read so they might understand the dynamics of being a master farrier. Reading just somehow lays a foundation that enables farriers to grasp the trade. Hard to explain, but a truth excepted by all who worked in the Farrier Trade for 15+ years. Weather a farrier was a great reader or not, the litmus test of a Master Farrier is they seek to be taught, they are listeners.
Catch the truth, a litmus test to gaining and understanding God's will, is determined by our desire to seek out and be taught of the Lord. The Psalmist wrote, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)
The Bible says we are living letters, know and read by everyone. (1 Corinthians 3:2) Is our letter of living a conformation of being a child of the Lord, feeding upon the written Word of God, day and night?
Transitional Sentence: With the litmus test confirming that we are a people of the Word of God, we can now confirm our calling with the whole counsel of God's Word. The Psalmist tells us that the person who finds his delight in the law of the Lord is, "...like a tree planted by the water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers." (Psalm 1:3)
The habitual life that is birthed from God's Word, substantiated by God's Word and sustained by God's Word finds strength, stability and spontaneity in their work of the Lord. The people the Lord uses most in His work are those who can point hungry Christians to His counsel.
For example: There are at least twenty-one gifts of the Holy Spirit given for the common good of all of mankind. We know the gifts are not just to be administered in the local church Sunday morning setting, because the Lords wants everyone to be ministered to, so they may know about Him, Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The people of God prepared for works of service can give you a list of those gifts - so you can seek the Lord to reveal those gifts to you through the Holy Spirit:
A comprehensive list goes as follows:
1.) Service Gifts: administration, leading, encouragement, faith, giving, helps (or serving), and showing mercy;
2.) Sign Gifts: distinguishing between spirits, gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues and miraculous powers;
3.) Support gifts: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and prophecy. These gifts are most often, but not always, exercised through men and women who have been appointed by Christ to be prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors and teachers.
There is a guide wise Christians go by to confirm their calling:
1.) Get Biblical Confirmation: When you have someone share the Biblical label of your gift, and then Biblically shows you how to grow that gift, mature that gift and exercise that gift, you are like that tree planted by the water. You have strength, stability and spontaneity
2.) Study and administer your gift in away that shows you are approved. The Bible says do your best to present yourself to God, as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed... (2 Timothy 2:15) God does not expect you to be an expert, but He desires you to mature in every way in the ministering of your gifts.
3.) Exercise your gift in a way that people can see your progress. Timothy was told, "Do not neglect [his] gift... give himself wholly,.. so.. everyone may see [his] progress." (1 Timothy 4:15) The birth place of my work for the Lord began with writing down what I learnt so I could remember and find what I discovered. Then I wrote out notes to hand out, then I wrote for the local paper, then national websites and now local radio station - whatever, your gift do it a way people can confirm your progression in maturity in the Lord.
4.) Gifts must be administered through sacrificial love. (1 Corinthians 13) Exercised in a way to help others achieve their high calling from the Lord.
5.) Disciple others how to do what God has called you to do - The Great Commission is more than baptizing in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It includes teaching them to obey everything... (Matthew 28:20) However, this must be done in a way that allows them to be who they are in the Lord. Mentoring is teaching what God has taught you, and enabling others to exercise in a way that shows God is working through them. Great mentors show others how God has them do their work - then, they give people freedom to develop their own style.
In closing: In this series, Three Foundational Truths To Grasping God's Will we have Biblically determined, 1.) God Does Not Contradict His Word, 2.) Biblically Seek Confirmation with the next message theme, 3.) Fully Trust in God.
Confirming your call involves constantly applying the truths in this message - these are not a one time application, and your set
Like keeping our clothes washed - you get them all clean, wear them, they need to be cleaned again to have them in good order for the next time. If you are disciplined in staying on top of them - your always well dressed and ready to go - even in a crises.
My wife makes sure I have clothes to were, to work, church, going out. She is diligent, if she can not have all the laundry completed - she makes sure - there is enough - so we are properly dressed. Not long ago, we just decided to work together and get all the laundry done. A health crises hit our family which required us to pack quickly and go! Because our laundry was in good order, my wife, had us packed and ready to go in no time - without the frustration of worrying about what are we going to wear, finding clothes that are clean.
Biblically establishing the foundational truths to determining God's will always has you properly dressed for service to the Lord, so you can know and walk confidently in His will.
Let us pray!