I used to know an old time Pastor who preached against sin---not the big S kind of sin, but the real nitty gritty kind. Sometimes in his message he would stop and joke and say, "Ahhh, yes, I know, now I'm meddling. But God sent me to do that". He was talking about the attitude of some congregation members toward sermons addressing "sin" and just what exactly it is. They didn't want to hear about gossipping, drinking, running around and 'loose living'. When he mentioned those things in a sermon they considered it meddling in their private lives. Some things, they thought, were nobody's business but theirs. And especially not the pastor's! But keep in mind that Paul called the Corinthians epistles, "known and read of all men" I Corinthians 3:2. As Children of God our lives are to be open books, witness to what God can do for men and women today. If we are a child of God, how we conduct our life is everybody's business.
So many 'Christians' today want to get involved in Witnessing. They go out of their way to find foolish, awkward, little hooks to get in two words about 'accepting Christ' or 'being born again'. They become irritating to sinners and other Christians alike. Why? Because they aren't "walking worthy". Their lifestyle is not bearing out the witness that their words are trying to portray. I have been irritated by individuals who used a lame excuse to bring up the subject of religion. I say 'religion' because their witness was only about 'religion'--- not about true salvation.
First Peter (3:15) tells us "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: " If you notice here, the person being witnessed to has already asked for the reason of the saint's hope. If you read the two or three verses before, we can see that the "asking" on the part of the unbeliever followed some action on the part of the believer. The believer was "walking worthy" and that worthy walk prompted some curiousity on the part of the unbeliever. When the questions come because of our righteous walk, then the doors are open wide for an effective witness. Otherwise we are as one "who beateth the air". (I Cor. 9:26) Our witnessing is ineffectual without the worthy walk accompanying it.
In I Timothy 2, the young worker is being admonished to "walk worthy" Look at the things Paul is encouraging him to do in his life "Study to shew thyself approved, shun profane and vain babblings, depart from iniquity, flee also youthful lusts, purge himself from these," That creates "a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."
Let us "study to shew [ourselves] approved " (II Timothy 2 :15). Because in the scripures we find all that is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". Not that we apply these things to others, but that we apply them to ourselves. Righteousness, like sin, is not something that floats through the air and settles over us like a blanket. It comes from within in us. We demonstrate it daily in our lives as we walk worthy of His Kingdom and Glory!
God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: "Be not afraid of their faces for I am with thee to delver thee". The true man of God will not avoid the concept of sin but will speak boldly on the things God calls sin. 12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13, Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Heb. 4:12-13
Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (King James Version) 14, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15, But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16, For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
. . . . .Provide things honest in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17
Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14, But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20, These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
II Corinthains 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
21, And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
The Divine Rule Of Life
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our Lord's exhortation in these verses is...for us to be generous in our behaviour to all men. In our spiritual life, we must beware of walking according to natural likings. Everyone has natural likings; some people we like, and others we don't like. We must never let those likes and dislikes rule in our Christian life. "If we walk in the light as God is in the light," God will give us communion with people for whom we have no natural liking.
The Example Our Lord gives us, is not that of a good man, or even of a good Christian, but of God Himself. "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect," show to the other man what God has shown to us; and God will give us ample opportunities in actual life to prove whether we're perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. To be a disciple means that we deliberately identify ourselves with God's interests in other people. "That ye love one another; as I have loved you . . ."
The expression of Christian character isn't "good doing", but God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed us within, we'll exhibit Divine characteristics in our life, not good human characteristics. God's life in us expresses itself as God's life, not as human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian is, that the supernatural is made natural in him by the grace of God, and the experience of this, works out in the practical details of life, not in times of communion with God. When we come in contact with things that create a buzz, we find to our amazement that we have power to keep wonderfully poised in the center of it all.
It shouldn't surprise us that Hebrews 12:22-24, written to believing Jews, says, "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
If these Jews to whom this was written were "come" to mount Sion (from the Greek spelling of "Zion"), then they weren't there to begin with! Prophetically, "Zion" has nothing to do with natural Jews, but rather refers to what Christ has established (typified by David's fortress), a spiritual stronghold, a refuge for sinners, a kingdom that will never pass away. He captured it once and for all at the cross. It's a fortress that Satan will never conquer!
Its citizens are the "firstborn" ones, "which are written in heaven." Even as a firstborn in biblical times was his father's heir, so are God's firstborn ones His heirs, "joint-heirs with Christ"! Rom. 8:17.
Although "the daughter of Zion" was once "as a besieged city" (Isaiah 1:8), the Redeemer has come to Zion (Isaiah 59:20). He reigns there today, finishing the work his Father has given him to do.
Jesus Is Calling His People
(by D.O. Teasley)
Jesus is calling his people again
Back to the glorified heavenly plain,
Home to the city of purity bright,
Out from sin Babel's confusion and night.
Jesus is calling the holy to war,
See them now coming from near and from far;
Hear on the mountain their song of delight,
See their white raiment and armor of light.
Jesus is calling the chosen and few,
Now in Mount Zion they're building anew,
Building the walls of the city of God,
While his high praises they're sounding aloud.
Jesus is calling the faithful and true,
Calling, my brother and sister, for you;
For in Jerusalem city today
Thousands are gathering, do not delay.
Glory to God! We'll sing it again!
Glory to God! We'll shout the refrain!
Praise to Jehovah our tongues shall employ,
Home to Mount Zion we're coming with joy.