Rejoicing in God Resolves Confusion
3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
- Paying Attention to People Can Be Confusing
- Dogs: Hiding and snapping up what they can
II Tim 4: 4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
The problem with this is that people will always apply this to others. I would apply it to everyone. Are we faithful to Jesus’ teaching? Are we committed to the big picture Biblical ideas or are we staking out territory where we have special knowledge? Think about the Catholic Church before the Reformation. Relics, Selling Indulgences, Telling people that when they gave money to the church their loved ones were released from purgatory. What resolves this?
- Some preach from selfish motives
Tongues and the Holy Spirit. Let’s talk about it.
The previous section talked about no one like Timothy
If God waited for people to be perfect in order to use them then He would be out of luck.
Look at the Bareans. Acts 17:
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds.
- Trusting in man
The flesh vs. The spirit
It’s extremely easy to just copy people around you and do what you see them do that produces the results that you want. The American philosophy is that of pragmatism. What works? This is not God’s way.
II Tim 3:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Apart from God we are left with what man can do. It’s not hard to find people today that say that everything is done by man. After all, God is working through people. But people are a secondary cause in God’s approach to things. And man is extremely important.
- Our Foundation is to Rejoice in the LORD
Focus exclusively on God! Be faithful to God! End of Ecclesiastes.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
(There will always be different opinions…) A worldview that does not start with God will never come to the proper way to live. People are still created in the image of God so they can discover truth, but you will never come to the end of all the books and ideas generated by man. This is true even in Christian circles. LOTS OF BOOKS.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
- No trouble for me and safe for you
This is in contrast with looking at other issues and responding emotionally to them. You are called to be faithful to God. That is it. If you have kids that are not following Jesus what should you do? You should be faithful to God. Rejoice in the LORD. Does God have kids that are not faithful to Him? Does He beat Himself up over it? Does He stop loving those people? Does He change His standards so that they can do whatever and not get into trouble?
- God has His time
We believe God is at work. We do not see God working. How can we be sure that God is working? The Book of Revelation is for you! This calls for patient endurance of the Saints. Why? Because of the next thing.
- We choose to trust God to work
King Saul as a bad example
Job as a good example:
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.
16 This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him.
III. People On the True Path
- Glory in Jesus It is easy to glory in what we see!
Not in big churches
Not in big budgets
Not in popular ministries
Glory in the grace of God in you.
Be surprised by the Spirit.
Be grateful for every ounce of grace and energy that God gives.
Rejoice in the fact that God is with us. Or else we will wander from Him.
- Worship by the Spirit of God
Our relating to God properly is worship. We demonstrate our value for Him, our recognition of His greatness, His holiness, His unique goodness. We worship, not in ritual and order and in sacrifice and in manipulation. We worship in mystery, in pursuit of personal contact, we worship believing that the Holy Spirit will meet with us.
We are not guaranteed any one thing in worship, and what we need most is not a thing, but a relationship with the God of the universe. And what I believe we need to know more than any other thing is that He loves us and He is with us! The Holy Spirit is God with us!
- Put no confidence in human effort
I Cor 15:
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
And this is the message!
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,