Principle Method for Success in the Christian’s Life
22 June, 2003 PM
PLACE: BBC Blarney
Introduction (Eph 4:17-20)
A. God did not create losers – defeated, discouraged, quitters
B. He created conquerors, soldiers, kings, priests, saints, and servants when He made us His children by our faith in Jesus Christ!
C. Basically, God made mankind to be successful – God made Adam and Eve to be in control of this world – to dominate it
D. What happened? Man believed a lie
1. His spirit died.
2. His soul became lost.
3. His mind became darkened!
4. His body decayed until death!
E. God immediately took two lambs, and right before Adam and Eve’s eyes, He slew those two lambs, and let their blood pour out onto the ground. He then took the coats of skin and handed them to Adam and Eve to cover themselves – replace the fig leave fashion, for imputed righteousness.
F. Those lambs were the price of sin – they paid, so Adam and Eve would not have to pay
G. That sacrifice, when accepted by two condemned sinners, it restored the relationship between them and God
H. It was their faith that re-generated, made alive again, their spirit inside them
I. But now that they were restored to God, they were forced to start all over – they were like children now needing to grow, and grow right
J. That’s where our success as Christians begins – in going back to the basics, and doing things right from the start, in the simple things
K. One of the most important things for a Christian to maintain is their mind (Rom 12:1,2) – everything in your life is connected with how you think, and what you believe!
L. So, What does it mean, “Renewing of your mind?”
1. Recharging, Re-aligning, Restoring, Refreshing
2. Our mind is under the hardest of attacks of all time:
a. Visuals like MTV
b. Everything spoken has at least two meanings – one superficial, the other sexual
c. Newspapers are filled not with truth, but filth
d. Churches are all a pipe-dream, of fairy-tales
3. Jesus did not come and WOW everybody. He took the time, to speak in human language, and teach, and show, and explain, and reason with us
M. Renewing your mind is more important than eating – I will show you
N. Four Steps to Renewing of your mind
4. And Meditation
O. It HAS to be made mandatory, and daily – no exceptions! Your mind desperately needs this! The world desperately needs Christians who in mind are sane, and stable, and strong – not ill-prepared in the battle of souls!
A. Evaluation – Compare what you are on the inside with what Jesus was like on the inside – that is our only basis for comparison – not each other, or religions
1. Take inventory of your spiritual condition
2. Focus your attention on your spirit – that part of you that relates to God
a. Not your outer-man, or your physical life
1) People have been deceived into looking at PICTURES of Jesus – the outer imaginary ideas of what people think He looked like
2) And they have missed His Inner Man – His spirit as shown in the Scriptures
b. You need to ignore also the emotional aspects of your life as well
c. They are all interrelated, but the inner-most part of you is the spirit
d. It is the foundation, or the centre-piece of your life
1) Your spirit is what holds you up – source of your attitude (Pr 18:14)
a) Good or bad attitude
b) Full of joy, or full of sorrow
c) Full of God, or full of sin
d) It is all because of the condition of your “spirit”
2) Your spirit is what you really are like (Pr 20:27; 1Cor 2:11)
e. It is in your spirit that you see whether there is emptiness or not – you may have all the money, all the girls, all the praise, all the potential – and yet be absolutely empty
1) If there is no Holy Spirit, or even the fullness of the Spirit
2) Only religious activity, and busyness to cover emptiness
3) No personal relationship with a spiritual Being in heaven!
f. It is in your “spirit” that you really worship God (Jn 4:24)
1) Your emotions don’t matter to your worship – praise God anyway, rejoice in the Lord ALWAY
2) Your wages don’t matter – poorest man alive, yet happiest
3) Your “lot” in life doesn’t matter – have a home in heaven!
4) Your loneliness doesn’t matter – Christ in you, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world
5) Your losses don’t matter (Philp 3) – just so that you can get to know Jesus more!
6) You may be in prison, and on death row, and yet you sing, and praise God, and preach and win souls, and live above the world (Act 16)
7) All because, IN YOUR SPIRIT is success, you have arrived already to God’s place of blessing – in your inner man!
g. If your “worship” is dry and empty, you need your mind renewed
h. As a matter of fact, if you have not had your mind renewed on a daily basis, you are in deep need for renewing! The worse we are getting, the longer we go without it!
3. Now, How do we take this first step – Evaluation?
a. List out your spiritual needs as of this moment
b. Prioritise them in an order of importance
1) Maybe it is to get born again – quit putting it off – highest spiritual need of all mankind – the reason why Jesus came!
2) How about Rest from worry and anxiety, “fretting”, and fear?
3) Victory of temptation’s power over your life
4) Ability to lead a soul to Christ – that is only a spiritual ability
a) Courage to witness
b) Ability to Draw the net – not just ramble on
5) Having a VIBRANT relationship with God Almighty
c. Alright, have you got a list?
B. Elimination – Purge out (1Cor 5:7; 2Cor 10:4,5)
1. Remember the parable of the sower and the soil
a. All four soils had good seed – can’t complain, or should stop complaining about the kind of seed God uses – the word of God
b. But all four spoils were not prepared, or ready for the seed, only 1
c. The best soil was
3) AND cleared – purged from stones and other things that would interfere with the growth of the plant
d. Every heart and spirit must be prepared for the soil to take root, and to bear fruit – this is where the work begins! The first step is faith. The second step is work!
2. We live in such an age that we think it strange to be commanded to “do without” things – but it is so that we can RECEIVE some things!
a. God asks us to fast on occasion – do without food, and pray
b. And to separate ourselves from things that should not be in a Christian’s life – period (2Cor 6) so that we can shine as lights
3. Part of our evaluation therefore has to be to see what is in our life that is blocking the Lord’s working in His Vineyard (which is US)
4. We have to be able to
a. Burn the things that are demonic – Oui-Ja boards, Tarot cards, etc
b. Break the hold of this world on our hearts and minds – like MTV, love of money, family control, and specific sins that enslave us
1. Start with single verse of Scripture that answers you spiritual need
a. Salvation – 1 John 5:12; Rom 6:23; Acts 16:31
b. Sorrow – 1 John 1:4; John 15:11
c. Temptations – 1Cor 10:13
d. Tiredness – Pr 19:15
e. Worry – John 14:1
2. No easy way – just go over and over verses of Scripture, reading them, and trying to retain them in our dim brains!
3. Expand it to larger portions of Scripture – don’t be satisfied with just a few Scriptures
a. Psalm 91
b. Psalm 19
c. Psalm 23
d. James 1
4. Why is this important?
a. It is by means of the Scriptures, saturating your mind and heart and spirit with them that your mind and heart and spirit are CLEANSED (Jn 15:3)
b. The Scriptures, and only the Scriptures build your faith, one line at a time (Rom 10:17)
D. Meditation (Josh 1:8; Ps 1:3) – This is where we want to get
1. There is no short-cut
2. You have to first: Evaluate, then Eliminate, Memorize
3. THEN, you can Meditate – think, ponder, muse, contemplate, study, chew on, discover the strength, and spiritual resources that are in the eternal word of the Almighty God (Job 23:12)
4. Wrong Concept about Meditation
a. Turning OFF your mind – always calling it RESTING
b. What is meant is that you yield your mind to something called “nothingness”
c. The problem is, when you give up control of your mind and spirit, to anything but the Lord Jesus Christ, you are inviting demons and powers in to TAKE control – nature abhors a vacuum
5. The Right Way of Meditation (Gen 24:63)
a. First, Minimize – minimize all the distractions of life for a while
1) Take a portion of Scripture
2) Get alone – no TV, radio, kids, family, work, phones, etc
3) Relax – at the end of a day (Ps 63:6)
4) Walk slowly, or sit with a good outdoors view
b. Then, Begin to Visualize
1) Picture the Scriptures (Ps 51). See the agony, the remorse, the cleansing of confession of sin to God
2) Put yourself into the shoes of the one speaking, or the one hearing God speak
3) Ask yourself questions (Ps 23)
a) Is Jesus MY Shepherd?
b) Why is it that I always seem to lack or want?
c) When the Lord tries to get me to lie down, do I yield?
4) Fill your choices with the right choices as presented in Scripture (John 6:66-69)
c. Then Personalize - Make the Scriptures speak to YOU (Ps 91:14-16)
1) Make the Bible written just for you!
2) Learn to trust the Author of the Bible
3) If the Bible is a study book, a textbook, a catechism, or a religious exercise, then it is a millstone around your neck
4) It HAS to be something that is alive, and part of you, because you have lived in it, and it lives in you!
6. It is at this point, that all that you do, will be a success – not always monetarily, but spiritually!
A. God was not going to allow the devil to destroy what God had started. So He provided a substitute for sin – first lambs, then His very own Son – THE Lamb
B. THAT one event bruised Satan’s head
C. But Satan is not dead yet – he is not be able to hurt your soul, but he can hurt your mind, and drag you and me down – most effectively by dulling people’s spiritual awareness – making them think they are ok when they need to be born again, or making Christians they can get on without renewing their mind
Bible Baptist Church
Blarney, Co. Cork
Mallow, Co. Cork
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