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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THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN # 3

THE BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN # 3
A NEW FELLOWSHIP: COMMUNION WITH GOD AND HIS PEOPLE

INTRODUCTION
A. Man is a “personal” being, and he thrives in the enjoyment of relationships with “persons” which correspond to him.
1. Man is a personal being because he is created in the image of God, who Himself is a personal Being… Genesis 1:26-27
2. The creation of a companion to whom Adam could relate followed God’s judgment that it was “not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18-22).
B. The sin which alienated man from His Creator also produced enmity among men themselves, and it soon bore terrible fruit: frustration, violence, fear, despair, and anguish.
1. By Noah’s day, the divisive results of sin entering the world had reached such an extent that even God could not tolerate it – He would destroy mankind (Gen. 6:11-13).
2. Many of the sins described by Paul as resulting from man’s rejection of God involve discord and enmity… Ephesians 4:17-19
C. The gospel of Christ addresses this problem of sin which breaks up the personal relationships that we need
D. Let us contemplate the importance and joy of various aspects of the fellowship and communion which are possible through Jesus Christ, and through Him alone.
DISCUSSION
A. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
1. When we enjoy fellowship with God we have Peace with God.
a. It has been said that sin is a refusal to accept God’s love
b. Man’s sin prevents God from extending Himself to man in the relationship He originally intended
1) This is seen in the Garden of Eden and in Noah’s day
2) Isaiah 59:1-2
3) Romans 1:18
c. In sin, man declares himself the “enemy” of God, and fear displaces love
1) Genesis 3:8-10
2) Romans 8:7
d. Through the forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ, the cause of mans alienation from God is done away
1) Romans 5:1-2, 10-11
2) 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
2. When we enjoy fellowship with God we have access to God
a. Hebrews 10:19-22
b. Ephesians 2:18
3. When we enjoy fellowship with God we have continued forgiveness by God… 1 John 1:7-2:1
4. When we enjoy fellowship with God we have knowledge of God
a. The Christian enjoys a living, personal relationship with God
1) “He knows” God
a) Jeremiah 9:23-24
b) Philippians 3:8-10
2) Knowing God (not just knowing about God) involves study, prayer, worship, and meditation – all aimed at the cultivation of genuine love for God… Matthew 22:37
3) What glorious eternal fellowship awaits those who have come to know the Lord, and who are unashamed of their acquaintance with Him
4) On the other hand, what an eternal tragedy not to know Him or be known by Him… 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
b. We need to be careful not to neglect or undervalue the personal nature of our relationship to God
1) Spiritual life involves personal fellowship with God
a) John 17:3
b) 2 John 9
2) “Morality is conformity to an abstract law of right, while religion is essentially a relation to a person, from whom the soul receives blessing and to whom it surrenders itself in love and obedience…Religion in its essential idea is a life in God, a life lived in recognition of God, and under control of God” (A. H. Strong).
3) The “nearness” of God to us is one of our most precious spiritual blessings in Christ
a) Matthew 28:20
b) Hebrews 13:5
4) Our songs rightly emphasize our need for a vibrant personal fellowship with God.
a) My God and I: “This earth will pass, and with it common trifles, but God and I will go unendingly”
b) Be With Me, Lord: “No other gift or blessing thou couldst bestow could with this one compare – a constant sense of Thy abiding presence, where’er I am, to feel that Thou art near”
5) The invitation of Christ is an invitation to fellowship with God… Revelation 3:20
B. FELLOWSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD
1. Peace with God makes possible true fellowship with others… 1 John 1:3
a. God’s people in Christ enjoy a unique relationship as:
1) God’s “own special people” … 1 Peter 2:9-10
2) The “family” of God … Galatians 3:26-29
3) The “body” of Christ … Romans 12:4-5
b. This unique relationship binds together those who otherwise would be alienated (Gal. 3:26-29)
c. This relationship entails unique responsibilities … John 13:34-35
2. Christians’ common relationship to God is the basis of a common life together
a. Acts 2:42-47
b. Our spiritual “kinship” transcends physical ties… Mark 3:31-35
c. The mutual benefits and values of the relationship are important… Romans 1:12
1) Friendship, companionship, help, encouragement
2) Knowledge, correction, comfort, prayers
c. We need to recover a sense of the “community” aspect of Christianity… Romans 12:5
d. Nothing in this life surpasses the joy of Christians together worshiping, praying, studying, helping, teaching, and enjoying one another’s company
e. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above”
f. Those of “like precious faith” (2 Pt. 1:1) are our “glory and joy” (1 The. 2:19-20).
CONCLUSION
A. Each of us is bound for one of two destinies:
1. Eternal fellowship with God (Phil. 1:23; 1 The. 4:16-18).
2. Eternal alienation from God (Lk. 16:19-31; 2 The. 1:8-10)
B. The choice is ours to make, while opportunity lasts
1. Hebrews 5:9
2. Revelation 22:17
C. There is even now no treasure we ought to cherish more dearly or guard more carefully than our fellowship with God and His people – it is the missing dimension we need so desperately.
1. It is in the gospel that God has purposed to “gather together in one all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10; kjv) … Colossians 1:19-23.
2. To “taste” what it means to have fellowship with God and with others is a powerful experience.
D. Can we imagine life without God and His people? Dare we “take one step alone”?

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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NO LEFT TURNS

UPS drivers only make right turns – fact of fiction? Fact; that is, mostly.

The truth is, in 2004 UPS enacted a policy for their drivers to avoid ALL left hand turns whenever possible and practicable. The result is that UPS drivers make right hand turns more than 90% of the time, turning left only in sparsely populated residential neighborhoods or when right turns are otherwise unavailable or impractical. UPS explains the strategy: Years ago … UPS engineers began to devise route-optimization plans to increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and get drivers back to their centers earlier. They came up with a simple rule. Minimize – or sometimes, eliminate – left-hand turns. It’s simple but effective. Since 2004 UPS has saved an estimated 10 million gallons of gas. Carbon emissions were reduced by 100,000 metric tons – the equivalent of 5,300 cars off the road for an entire year. Even if this meant traveling a greater distance, results showed that more packages could be delivered in less time with reduced emissions by driving in a series of right-hand loops. It helped the bottom line, met consumer demands and increased safety.

The Washington Post reported that “Left turns are unsafe for everyone.” Federal data have shown that 53.1 percent of crossing-path crashes involve left turns, but only 5.7 percent involve right turns. That’s almost 10 times as many crashes involving left turns as right. A study by New York City’s transportation planners concluded that left-hand turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash involving a pedestrian as right-hand turns. And 36 percent of fatal accidents involving a motorcycle involve a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. “Left turns create some concerns when it comes to generating potential for congestion, back-up traffic flow, safety, accident situations,” said Phil Caruso, the deputy executive director for technical programs at the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Let’s make a spiritual application. Choosing to only make right turns is a bit like choosing to only do the right thing. Sure, there are plenty of left turns that would get you where you “think” you want to go, but at what cost? Following God’s way – the right way – will certainly take you on a more circuitous route (it might seem), but you can be sure that you will avoid a lot of unnecessary troubles along the way. “The way of the just is uprightness: thou that art upright dost direct the path of the just” (Isa. 26:7). “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro. 14:12). My friends, always do the “right” thing.

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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