Practicing Our Acts of Righteousness
I Cor 12:1-11
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
What should you do to work out your salvation? What should you do to add the acts of righteousness to your faith as mentioned by Peter in I Peter.
There are various factors that make God’s prescription for your growth individual.
- The Importance of Being Different
- God’s plan
It’s not difference for difference sake. (Because of insecurity)
It’s following God’s plan for your life! Purposeful difference is God’s ideal.
It is possible to embrace and celebrate differences!
- Do not compare specifics
Be a servant (general), don’t compare service
Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade in his later years would fast for up to 20 days at a time.
E.M. Bounds has written many books on prayer.
David Brainerd prayed in the snow and it melted all the snow around him.
John Calvin was super organized and brilliant.
CS Lewis was especially insightful for this generation.
- Do learn how to know God
Hear God speak to you. Is the Bible God’s Word? Start there. Spiritual authority.
God speaking vs. Bible understanding
Instruction and correction. Affirmation and direction. Love and rebuke.
The language of the Holy Spirit is REDEMPTIVE!!
Satan wants you to believe you are broken, worthless and beyond use!
You will never lose your worth. You will never be useless, but you do need change! You could be more useful. We need a hopeful outlook! Spiritual warfare is often just about this!
So, don’t expect that just because something doesn’t work for someone else that it won’t work for you and vis versa.
- The Importance of Personal Discipline
- Different needs!
gifts, personalities, jobs, strengths and weaknesses mean that we will have different disciplines necessary!
A point guard needs different skills from a center.
A wide receiver needs different skills from a linebacker.
Someone working with small children needs different skills from a marriage counselor.
And this applies to us as we divide ourselves as well.
So the question becomes: Where do we need to grow?
In hearing God or confidence in God?
In loving others?
In serving others?
In mercy? In justice?
In an aspect of the fruit of the spirit? Gentleness, Kindness, Patience, Joy
- The Bible and wisdom will direct us
What is wisdom? Knowing what to do. Skillful living.
James 1 if you lack wisdom, if you are not sure what to do, ask God who gives wisdom to all men without reproach. But you have to be in a mode of obedience. If you are moving, you will be led!
- joy from thanksgiving
- contentment from thanksgiving
- self control issues and abstinence
- The busier we are, the greater need for solitude and silence
- giving for greed, service for pride, abstinence for lusts
- Leave space for growth
- a long term commitment to growth
- sanctification is a process, not an event
you are perfect forever, you are being made holy.
You are working out your salvation with fear and trembling!
- The ultimate growth is in knowing God personally
III. The Disciplines
- A quiet time
Solitude, silence, prayer, Bible study, Journaling, Memorization, meditation, worship, thanksgiving, celebration
A friend of God:
James 4: 4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]?
- Willful decisions to participate in service
Simplicity, service to others, secret service, giving (not just money!) Sacrifice: give the thing that holds you away.
Where will we serve?
Think about family.
Think about the church.
Think about the community.
- Willful decisions to not participate
Physical Intimacy: I Cor 7 for a time, by mutual consent so that you might be given to prayer.
We empty ourselves to be filled by something else. We give our hearts to other things. It is not emptiness for emptiness sake.
Next week is Scouting Sunday, so I am not sure that I will have much more to say concerning disciplines to pursue. So, let me close with this exhortation:
Phil 2: continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Now, we can highlight the fear and trembling part of this verse if we want, but I want you to look at the last part. It is God who works in you both to what?
- Will: He changes our want to
- Do: He empowers our acts of love and obedience
HIS GOOD PURPOSE!
God votes for His will to be done in your life. In the process of us pursuing Him, we discover Him.
Like a River Glorious
Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
When we practice a discipline we create a trial in our lives.
I pray for you along with the Apostle Paul:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.