THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN #5

THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN #5
A New Quality of Conduct: The Christian’s Way of Life

INTRODUCTION
A. The Christian is a “new creation” for whom “all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
B. A part of what this newness means is that the Christian lives in “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
C. Let us look at the new and better “lifestyle” of the Christian as a positive benefit.
DISCUSSION
A. THE QUEST FOR QUALITY LIVING
1. The search for the “good life” is a universal human concern
a. Ecclesiastes 1:3; 6:12
b. “An honorable death is preferable to a degraded life” (Tacitus).
c. “Wisdom consists in the choice of the best ends, and in the use of the most appropriate means to accomplish those ends” (Charles Finney).
d. But, proper spiritual wisdom is tainted by Humanism
2. Humanism, the prevailing philosophy of our time, asserts that “the chief end of human life is to work for the happiness of man upon this earth and within the confines of the Nature that is his home” (The Philosophy of Humanism, Corliss Lamont, p.3).
a. Humanism says that life is to be considered with nothing more than mere “Nature,” however, man has always been driven to cry: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2).
b. Ecclesiastes 2:11
c. Ironically, “humanism” de-humanizes man by denying him the fulfillment of his basic nature
1) Genesis 1:27
2) Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
3) Materialism, hedonism, etc. are constricting outlooks that diminish what life is really about
4) Luke 12:23
3. Christianity, in contrast, emphasizes the need for God’s wisdom to illuminate the good life
a. Proverbs 14:12
b. Jeremiah 10:23
4. God’s revealed intention for man involves not only his eternal happiness, but also his earthly happiness
a. God wills for man to have the benefit of a quality life
1) Psalm 84:11
2) Proverbs 3:7-8
b. Even God’’ law, i.e. His restraints upon man’s conduct are for the preservation and enhancement of man’s life
1) Genesis 2:16-17
2) Deuteronomy 4:5-8
c. Christ’s death enabled man to be “redeemed” from his “vain manner of life” (1 Pt. 1:18) ["aimless conduct" NKJ, or "futile ways" RSV]
1) Acts 14:15
2) Ephesians 4:22
d. The New Testament epistles were customarily begun: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:7; 1 The. 1:1; etc.).
1) “Grace” (charis) – God’s favor, gracious care.
2) “Peace” (eirene) – “peace” in the Hebrew sense of welfare, health, well-being.
5. The Christian has discovered a paradox: the ultimate in this life is enjoyed only when one ceases to make this life his ultimate concern!
a. Life is “found” in the “losing” of it
1) Matthew 16:25-26
2) Matthew 6:33
b. “Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it…Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in” (C. S. Lewis).
B. THE CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE: QUALITY GAINED THROUGH CHARACTER
1. Character is the key to Christian conduct.
a. Character has to do with one’s true qualities and values
b. “Character is what you are in the dark”
c. A quality life is impossible without a quality character
1) Luke 6:43-45
2) Galatians 6:7-8
3) “You make a living by what you get, and a life by what you give”
4) “Our greatest need is to BE, not simply to do or to have”
d. The Christian’s way of life is a triumph of Christ-like character over circumstance
1) Romans 12:1-2
2) 1 Peter 1:15-16
2. Christian conduct is a positive good.
a. The quality life is positively good, not merely the negative absence of sin
1) James 1:27
2) The Christian’s freedom is freedom for, as well as freedom from
3) “Freedom is the opportunity to make decisions. Character is the ability to make right decisions.”
b. The Christian “gives up” lesser things in order to “gain” greater things
1) Ephesians 4:17-24
2) “Serving God requires nothing but that which will elevate you, and forbids nothing except that which will debase you” (I. B. Grubbs).
3) The requirements of the God-pleasing life are not “burdensome” (1 Jn. 5:3).
c. The Christian deliberately adopts sound values, principles, and priorities, and fits his life to the ideal, rather than finding an “ideal” to fit his life.
3. Christian conduct is an “excellent” lifestyle… Philippians 3:8
a. “Excellent attributes” describe the Christian’s life:
1) Blessed – Psa. 1:1-6
2) Satisfying – Mt. 5:6
3) Tranquil – Phil. 4:7
4) Stable – Heb. 6:19
5) Dynamic – Phil. 2:13
6) Realistic – Lk. 12:23
7) Practical – 1 Tim. 4:8
8) These all come from choosing the Christian lifestyle
b. “Excellent responsibilities” are involved in the Christian’s life:
1) It is imperative that the Christian increase the excellence of his lifestyle
a) Ephesians 4:15
b) 2 Peter 3:18
2) The Christian must not only learn, he must live.
a) “Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade, they never learn the trade.”
b) Colossians 1:9-10
3) The Christian must recommend his lifestyle
a) Matthew 5:13-16 … are we setting a good example so as to draw others to Christ?
b) Acts 26:28-29 … Paul says I wish you were like me, a Christians
CONCLUSION
A. “If there is anything that will make a man great, surely it is placing himself unreservedly at the disposal of God and seeking not only to do nothing but God’s will, but to do all God’s will” (B. B. Warfield).
1. The thing that makes life good is “prosperity” of the soul – all other considerations are secondary
2. 3 John 2-4
B. Are you walking in the truth?

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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ARE YOU READING THE CONTRACT?

The WASHINGTON POST reports on a recent study of how flippantly people regard the terms and conditions of even the most basic of contracts:

“In an experiment sponsored by security firm F-Secure, an open Wi-Fi network was set up in a busy public area. When people connected, they were presented with lengthy terms and conditions.

But to see just how little attention we pay when checking that agreement box, F-Secure included a ‘Herod clause’ – one that offered up free Wi-Fi in exchange for the company’s permanent ownership of the user’s firstborn child.

A company would probably have trouble getting you to hand over your pride and joy (even if you were technically contractually obligated), so don’t panic. But this hapless agreement to terms is pretty common: A 2011 survey found that 58 percent of adults would rather read an instruction manual … than go through online terms and conditions. Even the phone book was a more palatable read for 12 percent of those surveyed…”

This new study isn’t the first of its kind: On April Fool’s Day in 2010, a host of U.K. shoppers were tricked into signing away their immortal souls.

Did you know that the term The New Testament can be translated as The New Covenant? (or, a will, or a contract). That being said, how much attention have you given to the terms and conditions of God’s covenant with you?

When it comes to a relationship with God, far too many would rather read the phone book than read the Bible. Many think they can come to God on their own terms. We must come to God on His terms: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). Sadly, many only read portions of the contract.

Ignore these terms and conditions and you will end up signing away your immortal soul.

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN # 4

THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN # 4
A New Freedom: Victory Over Sin

INTRODUCTION
A. “It is a tormenting thing to fear what one cannot overcome.”
B. Without Christ, man would be fearfully and helplessly in the bondage of sin… Romans 7:24
C. In Christ, however, the child of God is freed from the dominion of sin – both the guilt of sin in the past and the tyranny of sin in the present
1. Colossians 1:13
2. Romans 6:1-2
3. Romans 6:17-18
D. In this study, we will examine the nature and value of freedom from sin as one of the benefits of becoming a Christian.
DISCUSSION
A. THE GOSPEL – A GOSPEL OF FREEDOM
1. The gospel of Christ is “good news” for the very reason that it is a message of liberation
a. Isaiah 61:1-3
b. Compare Luke 4:16-21 with Isaiah’s prophecy
c. Notice what is associated with this liberation… James 1:25
2. God is the God of deliverance (Exo. 20:2)
a. Sin, like slavery, oppresses and degrades man… John 8:34
b. But God loves the oppressed and comes to their rescue
1) Ezra 9:8-9
2) Romans 5:6-8
3. God, through Jesus Christ, provides freedom for the Christian
a. Freedom = absence of unjust restraint.
1) The freedom offered by Christ was not of the type expected by many of the Jews… Acts 1:6
2) Freedom in Christ pertains to the inner man – and it may be enjoyed even under conditions of external restraint
a) Acts 16:23-25
b) 1 Corinthians 7:22
c) 2 Timothy 2:9
b. Christ offers freedom from:
1) The tyranny of Satan… 1 John 2:13-14
2) Guilt of past sins
a) Acts 2:38
b) 1 John 1:7-9
3) Temptation… 1 Corinthians 10:13
c. The Christian enjoys a “servanthood” which, in contrast to Satan’s, is loving, beneficial, and pleasant
1) Matthew 11:28-30
2) 1 John 5:3
d. The contrast between the joys of serving Christ and the agonies of serving Satan is stark and real… Romans 8:15
4. In view of the beauty of freedom in Christ, it is amazing (and ironic) that anyone would reject Christianity because it is too “confining”
B. FREEDOM IN CHRIST – A DISCIPLINED FREEDOM
1. Freedom is not the same as license, libertinism, autonomy, antinomianism, or anarchy.
a. True freedom never confers the unlimited power to do with oneself whatever one wants.
1) Galatians 5:13
2) 1 Peter 2:16
3) 2 Peter 2:18-19
b. “Do your own thing” is the most vulgar phrase of our century. Permissiveness always destroys excellence
c. Freedom and law are not contradictory, but complementary.
2. The blessings of freedom in Christ involve:
a. The necessity of guidance. We are not “our own master” … Psalm 119:9-16
b. The goodness of divine revelation
1) Deuteronomy 8:3
2) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
c. The benefit of conscience… 1 Timothy 1:5-6
1) “Personal liberty does not mean that every man is cut loose to do whatever he chooses, but that every man is free so that he may choose to do what he ought” (William Banowsky).
2) “Liberty, in the sense of absence of external coercion, does not imply liberty from conscientious obligation” (Richard Whately).
3) “The man is deserving of praise who considers not what he may do, but what it is becoming him to do” (Seneca).
4) Christianity makes a man “free to do right”
d. The advantage of control.
1) The Christian is under the beneficial “control” of Christ
2) 2 Corinthians 5:14
e. The value of discipline… 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
1) “Freedom is moving easy in harness” (Robert Frost).
2) “Following the path of least resistance is what makes people and rivers crooked.”
3) “Don’t let the good things of life rob you of the best things” (B. Rothman).
f. The importance of correction
1) Proverbs 3:11-12
2) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
C. THE GIFT OF FREEDOM – A TREASURE TO PRESERVE
1. Like any freedom, spiritual freedom must be cherished and protected
a. We must be “strong” in the Lord and resist Satan’s encroachments on us
1) 2 Corinthians 2:11
2) 1 Peter 5:8
b. We must guard our freedom against false teachers
1) Titus 1:10-14
2) 1 John 4:1
2. Our freedom calls for gratitude and godly living, including:
a. Growth in the ability to live above sin
1) Ephesians 4:20-24
2) Romans 6:2
b. Sympathy and concern for those still bound by sin… Romans 9:1-3
CONCLUSION
A. The Christian’s freedom from sin is reason to rejoice.
1. Not only are we free from sin, but we also are free for service:
a. To God… 1 Thessalonians 1:9.
b. To righteousness… Romans 6:18.
c. To our fellow man… 1 Corinthians 9:19
2. We are privileged in Christ to share in His victory over evil.
a. John 16:33
b. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
c. 1 John 5:4-5
3. We can be confident of the eternal outcome of our freedom from sin.
a. John 10:28-29
b. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
B. The Christian’s new freedom imparts courage and peace
1. 2 Timothy 1:7
2. Philippians 4:7
C. We have a new freedom as a Christian: Victory Over Sin

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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NEGLIGENCE

I looked upon a farm one day
That once I used to own;
The barn had fallen to the ground.
The fields were overgrown.

The house in which my children grew
Where we had lived for years -
I turned to see it broken down
And brushed aside my tears.

I looked upon my soul one day
To find it had not grown
With thorns and nettles everywhere
The seeds neglected had sown

The years had passed while I had cared
For things of lesser worth:
The things of Heaven I let go
When minding things of Earth.

To Christ I turned with bitter tears
And cried, “O, Lord forgive!
I haven’t much time left for thee
Not many years to live.”

The wasted years forever gone
The days I can’t recall;
If I could live those days again
I’d make Him Lord of all. [author unknown]

“My sons, be not now negligenT…” (2 Chr. 29:11), for remember, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7-8).

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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The Clarion Voices of God

Tune in tonight (and each Monday) at 7:00 pm CST to the Harris and Moore Expedition Through the Bible at http://www.thegospelradionetwork.org as we discuss The Clarion Voices of God.

This is a live call-in program discussing important moral issues and Bible topics that our world needs to hear. Podcasts are also available at http://www.harrisandmoore.org.

You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible has to say.

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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WHAT IS LIFE?

Life is a challenge, choose it;
Life is a chance, take it;
Life is an opportunity, seize it;
Life is a battle, wage it;
Life is a song, sing it;
Life is a joy-bell, ring it;
Life is a promise, test it;
Life is a drama, act it;
Life is an adventure, risk it;
Life is a race, run it;
Life is a contest, win it;
Life is a duty, dare it. [author unknown]

Remember the word of the apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens m”” (Phil. 4:13). And remember, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4).

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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BACK TO THE BIBLE LECTURES

You are invited to attend the
BACK TO THE BIBLE LECTURES
at the Park Heights Church of Christ
1300 East Boynton St.
Hamilton, Texas 76531

October 18-19

Moral Issues Facing Our Nation and the Lord’s Church

Saturday, October 18
2:00pm … Pornography (Tim Ayers)
3:00pm … Abortion (Michael Light)
4:00pm … Modesty (Jason Rollo)
5:00pm … Homosexuality (Terry Jackson)
6:00pm … Sandwich Supper

Sunday, October 19
9:30am … Misusing the Social Media (Rick Popejoy)
10:30am … The Silencing of God (Tom Moore)
11:30am … Pot Luck Lunch
1:00pm … Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Joshua Moore)

CDs and DVDs will be recorded by Tullstar. (www.tullstar.org)

For more information contact us at dspoppy@yahoo.com

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