On Sunday, September 18th, 2016, I preached a rather evangelistic message to highlight “Back to Church Sunday” at The Blue Point Bible Church. Much of my sermon was given to the goal of highlighting the importance of assembling with a local church. You can listen to that sermon at the following link, http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/422662-beingchristian-national-back-to-church-sunday-in-house-discipleship-part-3
Continuing with our “In-House Discipleship”, I highlighted the following “consistency principles” in regards to us “Christians being Christian”:
Diligence & Discernment, Righteous Living, and Wholesome Communication.
In this blog, I will detail those principles and offer some exhortation regarding our walking in line with these “consistency principles”.
– Do you have “eyes to see and ears to hear” the Word of God? We see this expression used throughout the Scriptures often to refer to whether or not people are driven to, and open to, hearing and knowing the truth of God. This requires DILIGENCE & DISCERNMENT.
Where do you know about God and His Will for the world, humanity, and the future? Where do you get your information from? Is it true?
These are all aspects of exercising diligence and discernment in our walk – not something we can either have or not have. As we see in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28, specifically verses 4-5, the Christians are called to be “Children of the Light” not walking about in darkness or confusion – instead knowing the time, redeeming the time (Proverbs 20:12).
“Our contemporaries suffer the same misguided hope of those in the first century. They don’t have “eyes to see”, lacking Spiritual discernment”. – Pastor David Boone
“The majority of humanity was unaware of the magnitude of what was taking place during the first century, even as a majority today remains in a darkness of their own design”. – Larry Siegle
Many have come to see that we are in dire need of reformation and revival in the Body of Christ, and this will come by diligence and discernment. As some have said, “Reformation must precede revival”.
(Are you studying and rightly interpreting God’s Word in accordance with 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17? What study habits can you work on or studies can you attend? Are you exercising discernment not to lean upon your own misunderstandings or the “doctrines of men”? Are you aware of God’s will for humanity, the world, and the future? Are you living in line with it?)
As we become more diligent and discerning regarding the Will of God, we will see this “renewing of the mind” (cf. Romans 12:1-2) seeps into our lives. Christ came to bring “life to the full” and the only way we find that is by knowing and living in line with God’s Kingdom. We see the Apostle Paul exhorting the Believers at Ephesus in these regards – RIGHTEOUS LIVING (see, Ephesians 4:20-5:2; 5:3-20).
Our righteousness is not our own, we do not seek that, however as we come to live as the “righteousness of God” through Jesus Christ, all that He consummated for us in regards to our “covenant relationship” becomes our “life”. This was best explained by John Walton, –
“The Old Testament shows us that life is manifested through God’s entering into covenant relationship with His people….The righteous can only have life by holding fast to the God of salvation who is the God of Life. Life is understood as a gift”.
The more we grow in the grace and knowledge of God, our minds are renewed, and our lives are changed.
(In what areas is God renewing your mind and your life? What characteristics of the “old self” to do see all too often and need to “lay aside”? How are you doing in areas such as speaking truth to others (remembering as Christians we are members of one another)? Do you let go of anger and forbid opportunity for it to fester? Do you work hard to benefit others?)
The change is our life will manifest not only in our hearts, we also see a change in our communication. As Jesus Christ said, “The mouth speaks what the heart stores”. As we become a people of faith – our words will manifest our faith, as we grow in truth, forgiveness, gracefulness, love, joy, peace, and righteousness – we will see our communication will revolve around those things as well. The Apostle Peter details this a bit in his epistle in 1 Peter 3:8-12. The Apostle Paul details how we should speak to each other in songs, hymns, and praises – noting the encouraging and edifying tone we are called to have (cf. Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:19)- WHOLESOME COMMUNICATION.
(When you communicate with others are they edified? How can you grow in this regard? Are you kind in speech or interruptive? Are you encouraging or seemingly lacking faith? Are you a blessing to speak to? How can you become more wholesome in your communication in an effort to “seek peace and pursue it”?)
Ultimately, I pray that I made it clear that the best place to grow in these details, to better walk consistent in regards to worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth and being consistent in our lives, is a local Christian church. As one writer noted, “Never under-estimate the power and role of a Christian gathering”.
“For the follower of Christ, Church isn’t an option. It is quite literally who we are”. – Mark Cornelison
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano
Blue Point Bible Church