Philippians 2:14 …Do all things without murmurings and questionings: 15 that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, 16 holding forth the word of life; that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain neither labor in vain.
A. Attitude -"A state of mind, behavior or conduct regarding some matter, as indicating opinion or purpose."
B. Our feelings toward others will reflect our ATTITUDES!
a. Our life must be filled
with concern about the welfare of others.
Philippians 2:1 …If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, 2 make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3 doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; 4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.
b. True love has genuine objectivity!
Romans 12:9 …Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another;
I John 3:18 …My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth.
I. Our Attitude And Conduct Can Often Hinder Or Prevent Our Own Attainment Of Spiritual Maturity And Our Usefulness In The Lives Of Others!
A. High estimate of our self -- SELFISHNESS!
a. EGO - We are sometimes guilty of thinking too highly of self...
Galatians 6:3 …For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his glorying in regard of himself alone, and not of his neighbor.
Romans 12:3 …For I
say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not
to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think
soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.
Note: One who is said to be a “Legend in his own mind....”
b. Desire to receive special
recognition or exaltation...
Matthew 23:5 …But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi.
Note: smallest package in all the world is one who is said to be “all wrapped up in himself”
c. Are we "receivers"
more than "givers"?
Philippians 2:2 …make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3 doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; 4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.
B. There is always a tremendous danger of letting jealousy, faction,
ill-will, or malice control our attitudes toward others!
a. Do we bite and devour others?
Galatians 5:14 …For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another....19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, 21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
James 3:2 …For in
many things we all stumble. If any stumbleth not in word, the same is a perfect
man, able to bridle the whole body also. 3 Now if we put the horses' bridles
into their mouths that they may obey us, we turn about their whole body also.
4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by rough winds,
are yet turned about by a very small rudder, whither the impulse of the steersman
willeth. 5 So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things.
Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire! 6 And the tongue is a
fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth
the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire
by hell. 7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things
in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind 8 But the tongue can no
man tame; it Is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless
we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness
of God: 10 out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren,
these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth the fountain send forth from the same
opening sweet water and bitter? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives,
or a vine figs? Neither can salt water yield sweet.
b. Jealousy and faction is at the center of confusion and vile deeds...
James 3:13 …Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.
Ephesians 4:31 …Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.
c. Danger of showing respect of persons...
James 2:1 …My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing; 3 and ye have regard to him that weareth the fine clothing, and say, Sit thou here in a good place; and ye say to the poor man, Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool; 4 Do ye not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? ....8 Howbeit if ye fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: 9 but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.
d. We must absolutely avoid
having malice and hate in our hearts.
I Corinthians 14:20 …Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men.
Titus 3:1 …Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready unto every good work, 2 to speak evil of no man, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all meekness toward all men. 3 For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior, and his love toward man, appeared, 5 not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
C. Hypocrisy In Living By A Double Standard!
a. A Christian cannot live two lives that are totally inconsistent...
Romans 2:17 …But if thou bearest the name of a Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest in God, 18 and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them that are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth; 21 thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou rob temples? 23 thou who gloriest in the law, through thy transgression of the law dishonorest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even as it is written.
II Peter 2:1 …But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of.
b. We are seen for what we really are...
Matthew 23:27 …Woe
unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres,
which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones,
and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men,
but inwardly ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
c. Warning about being a partaker in darkness...
Ephesians 5:6 …Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them; 8 For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord; 11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them; 12 for the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of.
D. Indifference To Spiritual
Note: Danger that our religion has very little priority in our lives...
a. Dangers of failing to act on our knowledge...
James 4:17 …To him
therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Note: "Seek first...."
b. Ignorance is not a way
Hebrews 5:11 …Of whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. 12 For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. 13 For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for full-grown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
Note: Have we lost interest in worship, Bible study, lost the joy of preaching? – fields which are white?
A. Spiritual usefulness
can only be attained when we are willing to make an honest and objective evaluation
II Corinthians 10:12, 18 …For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with certain of them that commend themselves: but they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding....18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
B. Respect for the Word Of God must be our priority!
James 1:21 …Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. 23 For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.
John 8:31 …Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
John 12:48 …He that
rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word
that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.
By Ron Lehde
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