Romans 7:8-7:25. The Christian today has become a people without a vision. The Lord has said that, with out a vision my people perish.
We work and cannot obtain, we save and spend more, we fight and loose ground, we obtain and have less, we learn and understand little, we pray and little is accomplished.
I wish to share with you a letter some friends of mine sent to me from India.
"Dear Reverend Smith. I can't forget the story I heard a few months ago from one of our missionaries serving the Lord in North India. With scars on his face and back, his body literally bore the marks of persecution. "They asked me to deny Christ," he told me. "They said they would kill me and cut my tongue out if I didn't deny Him." "Stop preaching the Gospel," they demanded, "or we will take away your bicycle and burn you alive."
This sermon is offered as a lesson to all of us in Humility.
Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his saviour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. [Ref, Isa_29:14]
1Co 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Contrary to popular belief, a Christian's duty is not to become involved in politics nor the rhetoric that comes with it, for as I have said before, The Powers that be are ordained by God. Politics has no business in the House of God. A Christian's duty is to,
1. Love God.
2. Seek out the Lost.
3. Preach the Gospel, to be instant in season and out of Season.
Lets look at, 1 Corinthians 1:19 for a moment.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
"I will destroy" Who will destroy? [God]
What will He do? [Destroy,] What will He Destroy? [The wisdom of the wise]
Why will He destroy? [Men's words and actions and wisdom are foolish]
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
[Destroy,] In general, to put an end to; to annihilate a thing or the form in which it exists. To ruin; to bring to naught; to annihilate; as, to destroy a theory or scheme; to destroy a government; to destroy influence.
Man has disputed with God from the beginning and will continue to do so until the end. Wisdom only comes from God. The lost or sinners are always looking at the Christian to see if we are who we say we are and anything that they find wrong is always at the top of their conversation. Paul warns us about this very fact in, 2Co 6:3 Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.
Article after article have come forth from many of the news papers, condemning the Christian faith because of politics, because of Christian remarks and even condemning the Scripture itself for giving the Christian his belief. The damage has been done but the question is now, "How do we repair the damage and return to the service that we were commissioned for, the preaching of the acceptable year of the Lord?"
My answer, As Paul stated in 2Co 6:3, Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: by putting the blame where it belongs, with us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is pure and without error. Assuring the lost that the Gospel had no part in the past mistakes of man. Letting them know what was said in, Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his saviour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
"My little children" We are little Children of the Father and we tend to make mistakes. We will not sin willfully, for it is no longer in our nature to sin. For we are of the seed of our Father in Heaven. But we, as Paul stated, still flawed by the very fact that we are still in the flesh and the flesh is weak. I feel in my spirit that I must include the following verses. Rom 7:8-25 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Many a Christian around the world, are being persecuted for their belief in Jesus Christ. We must renew ourselves in the Spirit and be ready to suffer with those who suffer, as we are, One in the Body with Christ. We as Christians are not an island unto ourselves but we are a guiding light to the world, we are in the world but not of the world. In the world to guide the world to Christ the Righteous. Remember what I stated at the beginning of this sermon? Lets look again. We work and cannot obtain, we save and spend more, we fight and loose ground, we obtain and have less, we learn and understand little, we pray and little is accomplished.
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Tit 3:1 put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
1Ti 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, where-unto thou hast attained.
I pray that this sermon has helped all of us understand our mission for Christ. Ars.
Temple of Spirit & Truth Ministries
A.R.Smith Sermons International