BE NOT CONFORMED TO THE WORLD DOING THE WORKS OF CHRIST: LIFE IN THE SPIRIT v. WORLDLINESS. When we soak up real love & get into the groove, we find we feel invincible. When we know we are doing something excellently & we know we are doing what we should, then we feel wonderful. This message reminds us of the heart & soul of life in the Spirit. This message is to inspire us not to settle for stale spirituality & a shriveled spiritual life. Life should be more than a paycheck. (I know my soul is not for sale.) So Christ advised us to labor for the food that endures to the end, rather than that which perishes.(A) “…Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”(B)
ARE YOU LIKE CHRIST??? And a typical answer is, “Well ahhh, naa, but no one is!” Peter, under inspiration wrote: “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…”(C) John, under inspiration wrote: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he [Christ] walked.”(D) And Paul under inspiration wrote: “Be ye therefore followers of God…walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us…””Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”(E) TO BE LIKE CHRIST IS OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE. Question, do we take Christ’s Sermon on the Mount to heart??
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT- REMINDING OURSELVES OF THE BASICS OF CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY. Christ told Nicodemus if he wanted a spiritual life, he needed a spiritual birth…from the Spirit of God. He said you could not see the Spirit, only the works of the Spirit, just as we can’t see the wind, only its effects. The life of Christ is Christian spirituality. When we use the Spirit as our Guide, we live in Christ. Christian spirituality is not an academic or social experience, but rather it is getting into the current… joining the flow of the Spirit…right down the line. Christ & his Spirit, He is the only Way, Truth & Life for those of us who want to have Christian spirituality. Christ also taught us, “Your [Heavenly Father’s] Word is truth.” So the Word of God, inspired by the Spirit, is also a textbook for those seeking Christian spirituality. Most of the churches today have compromised with the World. Many teachings of the Word of God are being neglected by the mainstream Worldly churches. It is rare that they preach against worldliness. The Word of God warns that if we are a friend of the World (System), we set ourselves up as enemies of God.(F) Christ got in the World’s face & testified that its works are evil, and then pointed out to his disciples that is why the World hates him.(G) Later, it was explained that the World won’t treat his disciples any better. With this in mind, we happily sing, “The World behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back!”
TODAY’S WORLD, groping in the dark vs. THE FAITHFUL, hoping in this dark age. These end days are described as being like the days of Noah. One aspect of those days was that Noah was a lone dissenter, a prophetic voice in the wilderness (so to speak), who was considered to be like kook carrying a sign “the end of the world is coming”. The people had a false sense of security. A similar evil time was during Ahab & Jezebel’s reign, when 400 “mainstream church” prophets said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear, which was that everything was going to be great. Only one prophet took the attitude, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that will I speak.”(H) For thousands of years the majority of the religious leaders & people had consistently rejected the truth from God’s prophets; so Stephen asked the religious leaders of his day, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?(I)
Today we have nominal Christians with a superficial spirituality who hide behind false labels, slogans, pat formulas, and a complacency from a false peace. They chase the popular winds of doctrines that are Christian fads planted by the enemy. Those who have a genuine trust in their heavenly Father need to realize that like Christ experienced, there is often a death of the vision God gives you. A similar phenomena for us true believers is to find that what we know fails, this is so that only that which is taught by faith is seen. Likewise, when the vision God has given us is allowed to fail, God later miraculously can resurrect it in such a way that it is clearly seen to be only His work. These phenomena are discussed here, because for a season, the false believers can seem to have more success–but if we wait on the Lord, continue to love Him, and live like Christ in the Spirit, then we will be rewarded like Noah. God’s truth will prevail. The Worldly churches’ fads will pass as wasted energy, and “old time religion” will continue to be preserved by Almighty God. Hold fast to the truth dear believer, and don’t agree with the brain-washed, bought off, collectivized compromised false ministers of the World’s churches. ” What concord hath Christ & Belial??(J)
BE NOT CONFORMED TO THE WORLD(K). If you are on the path of truth, don’t be surprised if you are outnumbered 400 to 1 by those worldly Christians who refuse to say anything about the upcoming dangers that the world faces. You will hear them say, “Our government would never lie, 9-11 happened exactly like they say.” You may hear them say, “As long as someone believes something and it works for him, that is o.k.” Hmm. You mean to tell me that if some ISIS fighter chops off the head of some young girl or mutilates her clitoris, that’s o.k. because he believes he is doing right?? The Word of God makes more sense than such confusing nonsense!
FINAL THOUGHT. Many of us faithful believers who trust our good & almighty God may find ourselves thinking something similar to the Psalmist: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” PS 73:25 May God bless you my friend, and give you the strength to hold fast to the truth.
(A) JN 6:7 (B) COL 3:23-24 (C) 1 PTR 2:21 (D) 1 JN 2:6 (E) EPH 5:1-2; PHIL 2:5 (F) JN 10:27 (G) JN 7:7 (H) 1 KGS 22:14 (I) ACTS 7:52 (J) 2 COR 6:15 (K) ROM 12:2