God Wants What He Paid For
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
New Hope Baptist Church
1 Cor. 6: 19, 20
Romans 12: 1, 2
2 John 1:6
Actions speak louder than words. Our behavior is eloquent testimony to who we are and what we think. As a man thinketh, so is he or so he does. Holy thought and corrupt behavior cannon coexist. It is a lie to say you follow Christ if you are disregarding His Word and ignoring Him.
It is also surprising and disappointing when we hear people give a clear Christian testimony and yet see that they have a questionable lifestyle. The Bible calls us to holy living. We are to make every effort to live according to its guidelines. Why?
1. We really are new creatures in Christ (2 Corin. 5:17)
2. God’s Holy Spirit is living within us, helping us want to do right.
3. Godly living is an example to unbelieving friends, neighbors and coworkers that we are different.
4. Godly living is a confirmation that you are, in fact, living for God and not yourself. It is a barometer of your relationship with him.
5. Godly living means that you are emulating Christ, our ultimate example of how to live.
1. The Product (what God paid for) & (what we gained)
a. Slaves from an auction
b. Penalty of sin
c. Our own desires
d. Our very bodies – (spirit/soul/mind/flesh)
e. Ownership of self (will)
f. A new life; new nature; new freedom
God bought the product, free and clear. The problem comes when we, who say that we recognize Him as owner, refuse to allow Him to move in and begin renovations. Have you ever experienced or heard of someone who experienced buying a new home, only to find that the old owners would not move out. Many times, the new owner ends up renting to the old owner, forfeiting their dreams of living in their new home.
2. The Price (what it cost Him) God held back nothing in restoring us to himself.
i. He paid a “High Price” & gave his very best
ii. Christ Jesus left heaven – came to sinful earth
iii. Christ Jesus willingly laid down His life
iv. Christ endured the shame of the cross (cursed is any man that hangs on a tree)
v. He shed His blood and sacrificed His life for us
3. The Profit (what God wants)
Even though God made the purchase, we also benefited from his ownership. We realized our benefits as soon as we acknowledged his ownership.
a. From Him, we also gained:
i. We were in ruin but God came to the rescue
ii. We were dead in sin but now we have righteousness
iii. We were facing death but we now have eternal life
iv. We were separated from God but now we have relationship with God --
v. We were disobedient without choice but now we can be obedient to God with the aid of the Holy Spirit -
vi. We were facing judgment but now we have been delivered –
vii. We were bound by the law that we could not keep but now we are saved by grace.
viii. We were under God’s anger but now have been shown His mercy
ix. We were God’s enemies but now we are His children
x. We were enslaved to Satan but now we are free in Christ
Although we benefit from our relationship with God, God too, is in the profit building business. Not profit sharing for He said that He will share His glory with no one. (Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matt. 5:16)
b. God wants your faith to express itself in its actions so that he can realize his profit.
i. Let your endurance develop to develop character
ii. Watch your anger so others won’t have to
iii. Be merciful to others
iv. Be a peacemaker not a peace breaker
v. Seek unity instead of promoting disunity
vi. Lay aside your own desires
c. Stop your body and behavior from conforming to the world
i. Do not copy their customs (way of acting that is common to many; ordinary; habitual practice)
ii. Give your bodies (spirit/soul/mind/flesh) to God - let him control
iii. Surrender them to God. He holds the title deed
d. Allow the Holy Spirit to change the way you act and think
i. Metamorphosis– Change (change into another substance) correct, transform, make over
ii. Think ( to consider with mental faculties; employ reason) - Per the world, reason is to think logically and with good sense; to use intelligence, logic, wisdom and brains. God does not always make sense - In God’s economy we are to think on His Word; and believe it.
e. Know and obey God’s truth and commands
i. Love one another
ii. Not by emotions or feelings but doing what God has commanded – Obedience; helping; giving; meeting needs of others
God commands us to love one another. Not just on Sundays. Not just when new persons join the church. Not just the lovely. Not just those we know personally. Not just the popular. We are to love one another. “One” means that we are to love on an individual basis; “Another” means that we are to love some one other than ourselves and those that belong to us. It also carries the connotation of something new. We are to love a new person, in a new way; without expecting a pay-back.
We are to love one another because God is love and as His children, we must reflect his character. It’s time to be true to the new natures for which God paid such a high price.
I am reminded of a nursery rhyme as recounted by Dr. Tony Evans. The nursery rhyme goes:
Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussycat, pussycat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair.
The question is begged, “Cat, why go all the way to London to scare a mouse when you can do that anywhere? Why waste a trip to London by scaring a mouse when you had Westminster Abbey and Big Ben and all of that to see? Why waste your time with a mouse when you were in the queen’s palace and could have enjoyed the environment of royalty?
The answer to those questions is simple. The cat did that because it’s a cat. It thinks like a cat and reacts like a cat -- and cats are into mice. That’s the nature of a cat.
Unless we let the Word and the Holy Spirit of God change us, we can become satisfied with chasing mice, even though we’re in the presence of royalty. God has made us kingdom people to reign with Him, but unless we’re careful we can find ourselves playing with mice under the throne.
It is possible for Christians to talk like people whose tongues have not been transformed by the grace of God. It’s possible for Christians to speak like the most insensitive unbeliever and have little or no compassion for the needy. And it’s possible for Christians to become so stained by the world that the spots seem impossible to get out.
The challenge for us is to have a genuine faith and love as exampled by the Lord Jesus Christ.
God will receive glory as we practice this love. One day your love might lead someone to experience and reflect upon the old hymn:
I was sinking deep in sin, Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, - Sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea - Heard my despairing cry
From the waters lifted me – Now safe am I.
All my heart to Him I give, - Ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, Ever His praises sing.
Love so mighty and so true – Merits my soul’s best songs;
Faithful, loving service too – To Him belongs.
Love lifted me, Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me; Love lifted me.