WESTSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH
PASTOR: TERRY VAUGHAN
SERMON TITLE: THE DIVINE NATURE
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
TEXT VERSE: 2 Timothy 2:6 “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”
I want to preach to you tonight about being partakers of the fruit. There is a lot of different fruits in the Bible and a lot of them most people aren’t aware of. Just because I’m a Pastor or a Preacher doesn’t mean that I don’t have room to grow. The Bible says we all sin and come short of the glory of God. I need to be fed just like you do. I want to be a Christian 7 days a week and not just on Sundays and I know you do too. Paul was saying here that the husbandman must be first partakers of the fruit. I want to try and share an illustration that will help bring this out in the open a little more. If you wanted to be a good harvester of corn, you’d have to know a lot about how to grow it. If you want to be a good Christian you need some knowledge about what being a good Christian is. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom according to his word. I think of a verse in Colossians 1:10 that says “That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
There are three things in that verse that I want to point out. Number one being that you might walk worthy of the Lord. We often overlook what we do during the week but God always knows what we do. Number two is being fruitful in every good work. If you study out fruit in the Bible you’ll see that back during Adam and Eve’s time, God said to be fruitful and multiply. That’s what we need as Christians; we need to have a little fruit. The third thing is we need to please God in every thing that we do. We read a scripture in the Bible where Paul said he wasn’t here to please man but was here to please God. If you’re pleasing God then men will automatically be pleased with the kind of Christian that you are. We read in Matthew 7:18-20 where Jesus said , “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” I remember the scripture where Paul said that if a man doesn’t know how to take care of his own house, how can he take care of the house of God? We’ve got to be able to accept what God has in store for us.
1 Peter 4:13 the Bible talks about how we’re partakers of his sufferings. Jesus said because I suffer, ye shall suffer also. Remembering in the book of Acts where the Apostles were beaten with and stoned and cast out of the city for standing up and proclaiming Jesus as King of Kings. When they left they bowed down on their knees and thanked God that they were worthy to suffer shame for His name. The Bible says if you suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye. I wonder are you suffering for the gospel tonight? I wonder are you suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ?
In Ephesians 3:6 it says we are partakers of his promise. Thank God what he promises, he’s also able to perform. In Hebrews 12:10 it says we’re partakers of his Holiness. The Bible said without Holiness no man shall see God. Jesus said to be ye Holy for he is Holy. We’re supposed to be Holy.
2 Peter 1:4 says we’re partakers of the divine nature. There’s something different about Christians. We’re supposed to walk different and act different and look different. We’re partakers of the divine nature. Jesus said I am from above and you are from beneath. He said I am not of this world and you are of this world. Thank God Paul said that we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were to dissolve, we have a building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. He said not to lay up for yourself treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break through it but lay up for yourselves rather treasures in heaven. We’re partakers of the divine nature. What is the divine nature?
I know who my mom and dad are. J W and Ruth Vaughan and I’m proud to be their son. I’m proud to be the son of good Christian parents who raised me up in church. But I’m more proud to be a child of God. I’m not ashamed to tell somebody. Paul said I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God and the Salvation for whosoever will believe.
Colossians 1:12 says that we are partakers of His inheritance. We’re going to get everything that God gave to His Son Jesus. He laid down his life for us on the Cross of Calvary. The Bible says that though He was rich, yet for our sake he became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. Every once in a while Joyce and I sing a song that Gerald Sweatman wrote that says I went down a beggar but I came up a millionaire. I’m the richest man that ever walked on the face of this earth. Not because I have a lot of money but because I have Jesus. I’ve got the divine nature right down out of heaven. We got it all when we got saved.
So we’re partakers of a lot of things but Paul tells us to be partakers of the fruit.
NUMBER ONE: Is the fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 5:9-10 “For the fruit of the spirit is all goodness and righteousness and truth; (10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
We have to be partakers of the fruit. I believe that represents our anointing. A lot of Baptist don’t use that word anymore. You hear it more in Pentacostal churches or Holiness churches. They talk about the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It’s in the Bible. When you got saved by the grace of God you were anointed with his Holy Spirit and I believe we need to be partakers of the fruit. The Spirit can lead us, guide us, comfort us, be a friend to us. Jesus said if I go away I’ll send you another comforter. He said it would be the Holy Spirit. He said the world wouldn’t know him but we would because he would dwell on the inside of us. I was thinking about this check that this couple wrote to our church. You know why it means so much to me? I wouldn’t care if it were ten dollars. I just prayed the other day and I don’t pray this very often. I asked God to bless our church and our people but I told God that our church needed some financial help. He sent $650.00. I’m glad I’m serving a God that I know hears me even before I pray and I only had to ask him one time. That blesses my soul and that’s an anointing of the Holy Spirit. You get closer to God and you’ll get more blessings. If you’re living down in Florida and God lives in Maine and you had to go to Maine to see him: you wouldn’t have very good communication. But thank God he’s every where and if you’ll just get close to him and get in his word, you’ll get blessed. One time in the Bible he said you have not because you ask not. Then he said you ask and have not because you ask amiss. How can you ask amiss? Because you don’t mean it from your heart. If you’re not close to the Lord and you’re praying out of your lust; you’re not going to get anything. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. It’s in James 1:7. A double minded man will not receive anything. You’re either for him or you’re against him. Be consistent. We went on vacation this past week. God and my Bible went on vacation with us. I wasn’t in church but I had church with me. If I weren’t Pastoring today, I would still be reading and studying God’s word. It helps me in my family life. So I believe the fruit of the Spirit represents our anointing.
NUMBER TWO: Is the fruit of righteousness. James 3:18 “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
I believe the fruit of righteousness represents our ability. How good of a Christian are you? Let me tell you what Jesus said in the beatitudes in Matthew 5: Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God. When there’s war and strife and chaos and the old devil is around; you know what will stop it quicker than anything? Some old saint of God who is close to God that knows how to bring peace. Jesus was out there on the sea with the disciples and the ship was being tossed with waves and the disciples didn’t know what to do and they saw Jesus walking on the water and they said Jesus, carest thou not that we perish? Sounds a lot like some Baptist folks. They start getting into trouble and they say, Oh God I’m going down hill. I just can’t handle this. Jesus spoke to the water and the water stopped when he said “Peace be still.” We need to take the ability that God gives us and bring peace in our lives and others.
You get hold of some family...I’ve seen some pass through this church. A man and woman with kids and they have all kinds of troubles and trials and tribulations. Drugs, alcohol and kids with hardly no clothes to wear and family with no food. That’s confusion and the work of the devil. God doesn’t want those people to be like that. It’s our job as Christians to bring that spiritual gift into that family and impart to them our ability of getting them close to God so He can give them what they stand in need of. Paul said, “my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory.”
NUMBER THREE: Is the fruit of our Labor. Philippians 1:22 “But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not.” See, the fruit of our labor is not supposed to be after the outward man. It’s supposed to be after the inward man or woman. One place in the Bible it says, let it not be the outward adorning of the hair, putting on of the gold or of wearing of apparel but let it be the hidden man of the heart in which there is no corruptness. Don’t try to be somebody on the outside but rather be somebody on the inside. If you get what God wants you to be on the inside, you’ll automatically be a good person on the outside. Quit trying to dress up from the outside in but dress up from the inside out. I believe the fruit of our labor is our accomplishments. I can look over the course of years and I’ve been with Cobb County Water System for 18 years and it seems like it’s only been four or five. But 18 years is a long time and I can’t remember everything I’ve done but I remember the important things. My bosses remember the important things too because every few years they advance me to a higher position. That’s what Christ can do for you. The Bible says our labor is not in vain in the Lord. We need to realize that we’re not working for Westside Baptist Church. We’re working for the Lord. Whatsoever you do, do it heartidly as unto the Lord and not unto men. Do it for the honor and the glorification of him. You think these people gave this check to make me look good or to make me happy? No! They gave it to him. It just has Westside Baptist Churches name on it. You know what? He’s going to bless them because they followed the Lord. We can’t do anything except send them a thank you card. But God can triple what they gave and I hope he does.
Look back over your life and ask yourself what you’ve done for the Lord. How many souls have you won into the body of Christ? How many times do I partake in the church needs and church functions that aren’t on Sundays? A lot of people are confused. What you do for the Lord here on Sunday or Wednesday is not your service to the Lord. Some people think they can get up and sing a song or testify and they even think that can be part of their tithing and I can tell you this...you haven’t studied your Bible. Nothing can replace your tithing and your offerings. But if you give it, God will give it back to you ten fold. That represents our accomplishments. What you do on Sundays for God is not your labor. The Sabbath day is a day of rest. That’s what we’re doing on Sunday when we sing and praise God and listen to the word. We’re resting in the Lord. If we stayed in the world every day we’d really go down hill. It makes me sick to hear these Christians and most of them that say it are backslid....They say, You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. To me it’s an excuse. Sure you can stay home and listen to Billy Graham but you can’t do that and be partakers of the fruit. I love Billy Graham but God may not intend for Billy Graham to be your Pastor. We all need each other. When you get home you’re going to know what all you’ve done. I believe you’ll also know what you haven’t done. What seems little to us is very big to God.
NUMBER FOUR: Is the fruit of our lips. Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
I believe that represents our acknowledgements. The Bible said he healed ten lepers one time and only one came back to thank him. The fruit of our lips represents our acknowledgements of what God has done for us. The Lord said, “We’re there not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” There’s always people wanting this and that from God but how many times do we kneel and just say, thank you God for saving my soul. Thank you for recording my name in the blessed book of life. Thank you God for letting me witness to a lost soul. Thank you God for letting me bring my family to church? I remember years ago I prayed, even before I was married. It was about right after I was called to preach. I asked the Lord to give me a family that I could carry to church with me. Let me have kids that will give in church. I was at the piano earlier and the Lord brought it back to my mind. I have a family that has been saved. My wife sings, my daughters sing and my son plays the drums here in church. That’s an answered prayer. Isn’t that a blessing. You stick with God and he’ll stick with you. He’ll never leave you. There’s really only one thing that causes Christians to pause and more so lost people and that’s death. It causes us to pause because we’ve never been through it. It’s not like we can go through it and say, hey, let me tell you about it. We can’t tell people about deaths door but we can tell people about how we went through Salvations door.
If you know you’re standing on the promises of God then death is not a stopping place...it’s a starting place. It’s not the ending place but the beginning place. That’s the way I try to look at it. So we need to be sure we have the fruit of our lips and thank him for all he’s done for us.
Hebrews 3:14 “We have been made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”
I wonder tonight are you really partakers of the fruit? Do you know that you have the anointing? The ability? The accomplishments? The acknowledgements? of what God has done for you. If you don’t you need to come and pray.
LET US PRAY: Father, thank you for tonight’s message. I just want to thank you for saving my soul. Often times I forget to do that and down deep I am more grateful for that than even I can comprehend. I am so unworthy of your love and your blessing and your grace. I pray Lord that I would apply more of the fruits to my life that I might be a blessing to others as well as to you. I pray that my life would be an example for others that they might want what you have given you. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen