ATTITUDES AND INFORMATION.
1. In the past, I have spoken on our attitude toward truth, authority, and one another, now I want to consider our attitude coupled with information.
2. In order to please God it is essential that we have the right attitude toward Him and His word as well as the proper information.
3. Israel was taken into captivity because they reached the point of ignorance of God's will.
A. "Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge." Isa. 5:13.
4. They had arrived at this point because they had developed the wrong attitude toward God and his word. Read Hos. 4:6-10; Jer. 8:12.
5. Jesus taught the same principle about acceptable worship and showed that it must be rendered in spirit (with the right motive or attitude) and in truth (having the right information). Jno. 4:23,24.
6. Paul showed that the possession of spiritual gifts, exercised without love (having the right spirit or attitude), was not profitable. 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
7. Paul said, that in the gospel age, that which avails is faith (based on the right information) which works by love (with the right attitude). Gal. 5:6.
8. Again, he said, "speaking the truth (the right information) in love" (the right motive or attitude). Eph. 4:15.
9. While attitudes are so important, we must not minimize the fact that we must have the truth.
10. No amount of sincerity and uprightness of purpose can compensate for a lack of truth.
11. In consideration of Attitudes and Information, there are four possibilities. We want to take note of them one by one:
I. ONE MAY HAVE THE WRONG ATTITUDE AND THE WRONG INFORMATION ALSO.
A. There are many people in error because they do not want the truth.
B. There are those who have voluntarily closed their eyes and stopped their ears. Matt. 13:14,15; Jno. 7:17; 3:20; Eph. 4:17-19.
1. No one is so blind as those who WILL NOT see.
2. Those in this category rejoice in error and not in the truth. 1 Cor. 13:6.
C. There are some who are not only ignorant of the truth but who are arrogantly proud of that ignorance. Such as this, cannot be saved.
II. ONE MAY HAVE THE WRONG ATTITUDE BUT AT THE SAME TIME HAVE THE RIGHT INFORMATION.
A. Every case in the New Testament where the truth was preached, but rejected by those who heard, was of this kind.
1. For instance, the rich young ruler learned the right information but his attitude toward the truth was of such nature that he prized his riches before truth. Matt. 19:16-22.
2. In Acts 7, we have the case of Stephen telling his audience the truth but instead of accepting it, they killed the preacher. Their attitude was wrong. Gal. 4:16.
B. Many in the church today are in this category.
1. They know where and what their duties are, but their attitude toward truth is wrong.
a. "They know to do good, but do it not." Jas. 4:17.
2. Felix heard the truth but his attitude was wrong. Acts 24:25.
C. This attitude may apply in several areas:
1. Attending services: -- Heb. 10:25.
2. Giving as we have prospered: -- 1 Cor. 16:1,2.
3. Doing personaly work: -- Acts 20:20,21.
4. Living godly lives: -- Titus 2:11-14.
5. Issues and problems that arise in the church.
D. For example, when elders say such things as:
1. "I know what you say is the truth but you can't preach it here." Such have the wrong attitude.
E. In teaching the alien sinner we must impart the right information but it must be done in the right attitude or spirit.
F. The same thing applies in trying to reclaim a wayward child of God. Gal. 6:1.
1. We must teach the truth about his true condition before God, but this must be done in the "spirit of meekness."
G. When the wrong attitude is manifested toward the right information, you have a case of prejudice.
1. Prejudice is said to be, "Down on what you are not up on."
2. Or, "Like good concrete, thoroughly mixed up and well set."
3. Or, "I know what I believe, don't bother me with the facts."
III. THEN THERE ARE THOSE THAT HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE BUT THE WRONG INFORMATION.
A. Seemingly, every case of conversion in the Bible falls into this category.
1. Here were people who wanted to do right but who simply did not have a knowledge of the truth.
2. But when they learned the truth they readily accepted it, without qualm or quibble, because their hearts or attitudes were right.
3. Saul of Tarsus, stood ready to do whatsoever the Lord wanted him to do. Acts 23:1.
4. Cornelius wanted to "hear all things commanded thee of God." Acts 10;33.
5. The jailor was baptized "the same hour of the night" when the gospel was preached to him. Acts 16:33.
B. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all people everywhere, whenever they hear the truth preached, would have the same willing attitude toward truth manifested by these examples?
IV. THANKS BE TO GOD WE HAVE THOSE THAT HAVE BOTH THE RIGHT ATTITUDES AND THE RIGHT INFORMATION.
A. The Thessalonian brethren were like this: Read: 1 Thes. 2:13-16.
B. Also the brethren of Berea were noble to this extent. Acts 17:11.
1. If we stand before God in judgment, having either the wrong attitude or the wrong information, we will be lost.
2. Let each of us examine our hearts to determine our attitudes, and then keep our minds open and receptive to the truth, the right information.
By Jim Sasser
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