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Developing Godly Character in the Royal Priesthood: God Is Preparing a Royal Priesthood for the Millennium

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Developing Godly Character in the Royal Priesthood

God is Preparing a Royal Priesthood for the Millennium

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Developing Godly Character in the Royal Priesthood: God Is Preparing a Royal Priesthood for the Millennium

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God is preparing a royal priesthood for the Millennium to assist in teaching God's holy law that is based on love for God and love for others that results in peace in relationships with others and with God. How do we develop the godly character that is required of a royal priest?

Sermon Notes

TITLE:   DEVELOPING GODLY CHARACTER IN THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

 

INTRODUCTION: (slide 1 – Title Slide)

 

At Ambassador College, there was a question we seemed to be asked on tests that I can still vividly remember.

 

  1. I believe the question came up many times but I remember it specifically in what was called the Fundamentals of Theology class. 

 

  1. The Question went something like this…

 

  1. What is the one thing that God cannot instantly create?  (slide 2)

 

  1. God can create the universe, light, oceans, heavens, and animals.

 

  1. We know that scripture says that Word made all things (John 1:3 John 1:3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    American King James Version×
    )

 

  1. God can heal in an instant a physical ailment and raise the dead to physical life.

 

  1. Jesus through the power of God brought Lazarus back from the dead and Peter through the power of God raised Tabitha from the dead. 

 

  1. God has almighty power….

 

  1. But what is it that God isn’t able to create by fiat?

 

  1. God…. Is not able by fiat or command…able to create Godly Character in a human being. (slide 2- build)

 

  1. Godly Righteous Character that chooses to follow God’s law’s and way.

 

This is an interesting thought.   Maybe it is something we haven’t considered or pondered lately?

 

  1. God is calling Sons and Daughters in this age who are developing His Character for a purpose.

 

  1. I was sharing this with my son… and asking him what is the one thing that God is not able to create?

 

  1. He said Godly Character.

 

  1. As parents, we can understand this concept.  We cannot snap our fingers and make our kids make the right choices.  We have to teach them and help them develop character to make the right choices when we as parents are not around.

 

  1. There is free will of choice that comes from the spirit in man that as parents we work with to help our child grow to maturity

 

  1. And it takes time….

 

  1. God created Adam and Eve and put them into a Garden of Eden which God created for them to live.  A wonderful environment that God made just for them.

 

  1. But God allowed them to make a choice.…. He didn’t take choice away….  (slide 3 – The Choice)

 

  1. Adam and Eve chose to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

 

  1. Eve had a conversation with the cunning Serpent who presented a different option a different path than what God was teaching Adam and Eve.

 

  1. The Tree of Life was also in the Garden and that represented choosing to go God’s way …... a different choice that would have opened up the ability to have a spiritual plane relationship with God and to have access to the Holy Spirit to complete the relationship.  

 

  1. If Chosen the Tree of Life would have meant God’s spirit would have been given to Adam and Eve and they would have been on a path of eternal LIFE.

 

  1. Adam and Eve had a choice and they chose deciding for themselves what was right and wrong and their own path.

 

  • The Tree of Life was cut off from mankind…mankind went down their own path eating of the tree of good and evil.

 

God and the Word the Logos…did not walk away from mankind.  The purpose of building a Godly Family was not going to fail.

 

  1. I likened it to how we would likely feel if in some terrible and unfortunate set of circumstances as parents of a new baby that in the first weeks or months some very bad individual or gang took the young child and raised the child and trained the child to grow up learning criminal behavior.

 

  1. As parents, we would never ever stop wanting to have that child back…. The Love towards that child wouldn’t disappear…. but if reunited with the child we would desire a relationship based on our values not the criminal values the child has learned.

 

  1. In this scenario, how well would it work if we received our child back after 10 years and the child continued on in his criminal behavior.  The child would be inclined to steal from you. It would be a very difficult way to have a relationship if the child kept going back to being a criminal and you had to put out paper plates instead of the nice china because the plates might be stolen.

 

  1. God and the Word from the foundation of the world had a plan to redeem mankind back that would allow the non-Godly characteristics to be forgiven and to begin to be replaced with Godly righteous character.

 

  1. The Word came to live in the flesh.

 

  1. John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    American King James Version×
    says the Word became flesh and dwelt as in a tent among us or to tabernacle with us… He was one of us and lived a perfect life which allowed him to be the perfect sacrifice for Sin for all mankind.    

 

  1. The Lamb of God.

 

  1. By this sacrifice mankind has an avenue back….

 

  1. Each human has a path back to having a relationship with God

 

  1. Upon repentance and the giving of the Holy Spirit we begin our path back and developing Godly nature and having a relationship with God and Christ and to have LIFE.  Acts 11:18 Acts 11:18When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance to life.
    American King James Version×
    calls it being granted repentance to Life.  Paul states it this way.   In Adam all die but in Christ all shall be made alive.

 

  1. When fully understood what God and the Word did… those who are called would never doubt the love of God as well as the extent in which God and Christ will go to bring their creation back to the original intent. 

 

  • As the Bible says so many times in scripture…. To be their God and to dwell amongst them.  (Slide 4 – My dwelling place…)

 

  1. That is what God’s vision is ….to be their God and to dwell among them.

 

  1. My wife has a vision of the future….she has expressed many times to my son starting many years ago that when he is older and when he marries a GODLY, GODLY beautiful woman and they will live next door and she will come over and bring snacks over for his kids…that would be her ideal scenario of the future.

 

  1. Maybe you can see the similarity in that my wife has within her the same vision…as a parent of a son we love….this vision would be a great future.  It makes sense that God the Father….our creator feels the same way towards us…A vision of being with his children.

 

 

Every human is given a choice or will be given a choice.

 

  1. Those who are called now have made a choice and with that choice comes a responsibility to change and to develop the character of God, the mind of Christ.

 

  1. This comes with the giving of the Holy Spirit by God to us.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit is given upon repentance of sins and accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit then begins to work in us to understand the Godly Spiritual Way of Life found in the Word of God.

 

  1. We begin to change… to be transformed…..but how does that happen?

 

  1. How do we develop the mind of Christ? 

 

  1. How do we change? 

 

  1. How do we develop Godly Character the type of Character that God is creating in the Kingdom of Priests that can teach God’s law?

 

  1. God is building in this present Age… a royal priesthood with the type of Character that Christ the King of Kings in the age to come can use to help fulfill Isaiah 2 by having the law go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem .... judging nations and settling disputes. (slide 5 – kingdom of priests)

 

 

  1. In Exodus 19:5 Exodus 19:5Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
    American King James Version×
    just before God gave Israel the law on Mt Sinai God and before the covenant with Israel God said to the Israelites… 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation

 

  1. In the new covenant God is writing the laws on our heart… but the same concept applies …God will have a kingdom of priests a holy people that can teach God’s law to settle disputes for many peoples.  God’s law leads to peace!

 

  1. There is a special purpose for the Ecclesia of God in the age to come.  It is not just salvation.

 

  1. God is establishing His Character now in those who will be part of the Kingdom of Priests

 

Before answering the questions of how we change and how Godly Character is formed in us let’s look at some individuals who were given God’s Spirit but didn’t seem to change didn’t fully develop… Godly Righteous Character.  Let’s turn to Matthew 25:1-13 Matthew 25:1-13 [1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. [3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. [5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. [11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not. [13] Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
American King James Version×
(slide 6)

 

  • Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’13 

 

This is quite sobering and a message to each us.

 

  1. We see 10 Virgins

 

  1. This indicates that these 10 are those who have been called and have made a choice to follow God and have been given God’s Spirit

 

  1. God’s Spirit is represented by the oil in the lamps.

 

  1. The 5 foolish said to the 5 wise… give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out….

 

  1. The 5 wise said that they could not give their oil to the foolish and said rather go to those who sell and buy for yourselves.

 

  1. The lesson… we are in the body of Christ but each of us is responsible for our own supply of oil

 

  1. My Dad can’t give some to me

 

  1. Your friend can’t give it to you

 

 

  1. Your spouse can’t even give you some

 

  1. Then it says go and buy from those who sell?

 

  1. Where do we receive the Holy Spirit?

 

  1. It comes from God… you have to go to God

 

  1. Does God fill up your lamp all at one time.

 

  1. No ….it takes time to fill up the lamp.

 

  1. On the day of our baptism… hands were laid on us …. was our lamp filled up or did God grant us some portion of His Holy Spirit in some measure.

 

  1. It is up for us to then to buy and sell for ourselves… a process…of filling up our lamps with oil.

 

We have this process of buying and selling for ourselves represented in the very next parable.

 

Let’s review the parable of the 10 talents in Matthew 25:14 Matthew 25:14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.
American King James Version×
-26 (slide 7)

 

  • : 14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

 

  1. We just read the parable of the ten Virgins

 

  1. 5 didn’t have enough oil

 

  1. We see from this parable that God does give to each person a measure of holy spirit. 

 

  1. Each person may be granted different amounts but the expectation is the same…to increase….to grow…produce fruit.

 

  1. Now those with 5 and 2 talents went and increased what they were given.

 

  1. Do you think they went to the roulette table and put it all on black and with one lucky spin they doubled their amount?

 

  1. No…this increase took time … the increase happened by careful and studious work to increase what they had.

 

  1. They each made the right investments and bit by bit it grew to where the talents had doubled

 

  1. This took time...what does it say…after a long time the Lord of those servants returned….so we are talking about time needed to double their talents.

 

  1. The one servant is called lazy…

 

  1. Back to the 5 unwise virgins

 

  1. The 5 didn’t have time to buy what they needed to have the oil they needed

 

  1. It takes time to get the lamp full of oil

 

This is a warning and a parable for us….. we have been given a choice as a part the first fruits…

 

  1. Not everyone at this time has been given that choice and few make that choice.

 

  1. The parables don’t indicate that a second chance is given.

 

The lesson to us is we have to be filling our lamp and increasing our talents right now….if we hear the Bridegroom is returning tomorrow how many of us would be a bit panicked…yet that will be possibly the case for some.

 

  1. Our time to grow with God’s spirit and to develop Godly Righteous character that God knows will never change is…RIGHT NOW!

 

  1. Now is the time … not a time for excuses…

 

  1. Let’s look at how God looks at excuses by reviewing Luke 14:15 Luke 14:15And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said to him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
    American King James Version×
    .  (slide 8 – Supper invitation)

 

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 14:15  15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. (skip to verse 24) 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”

 

  1. We can’t make excuses….

 

  1. Our time is now!  We made a decision to respond to our calling at baptism and to begin the journey to the Kingdom of God and along that path is the journey of building Godly Character and changing with God’s Holy Spirit working in us… and increasing. 

 

  1. No Excuses.

 

  1. It is serious because we know Judgement is to begin at the house of God….1 Peter 4:17 1 Peter 4:17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
    American King James Version×

 

  1. Our choices, the changes, the growth, our development of character is right now….so let’s talk about how we change, how we develop character because our Eternal Life depends on it.

 

How do We Change? How do We Develop Godly Righteous Character?  What is required to have our Lamps full when Christ Returns.  Let’s look at what it takes to develop Godly Character.  (slide 9)

 

  1. God’s Holy Spirit
  2. Word of God
  3. Prayer
  4. Fasting

 

TITLE:  DEVELOPING GODLY RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER IN THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.

 

Let’s look at this process by starting with the Holy Spirit. (Slide 10 –HS)

 

  1. Holy Spirit

 

  1. God’s Holy Spirit is given to us at Baptism with repentance and the accepting Christ as our personal savior

 

  1. Right after coming up from being fully emerged in the water the minster lays hand on your head and asks God for the Holy Spirit to be given.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to begin to understand the things of God.

 

  1. We have a small part of God’s spirit given to us so we can have a spiritual connection to God.

 

  1. To God’s way of thinking…to His understanding.  If used a power to begin to change our nature, our mindset and think more like God and less like our natural mind or as we sometimes say our carnal mindset.

 

  1. Let’s turn to Romans 8 to understand this better.

 

Scripture Romans 8:5-17 Romans 8:5-17 [5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [10] And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. [12] Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. [13] For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
American King James Version×
-  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

 

  1. God’s Spirit in us helps us to begin to be able to truly have a different orientation.  

 

  1. God’s laws are spiritual (rom 7:14) and we understand the spiritual principles with God’s spirit that leads to Life and Peace.  A different way of thinking….

 

  1. Sit down in a room with those who are not called and start talking about God’s laws and way of life… many will argue or they will tune out…or maybe at best comment that it is interesting but not really buy into what you are talking about.

 

  1. God’s spirit gives us the ability to begin to see things from a spiritual point of view.

 

  1. Paul describes this process in 1 Corinthians 2

 

 

Scripture: 1. Corinthians 2:9-16 -  But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”  But we have the mind of Christ.

 

  1. Not only is the natural mind without God’s spirit hostile to God’s law it is viewed as foolishness. 

 

  • Loving your neighbor as yourself

 

  • Esteeming others better than yourself

 

  • Laying down your life for others

 

  • Not repaying evil with evil 1. Pet 3:9

 

  • Yielding to others

 

  • Forgiving others

 

  1. This is all Foolishness to the natural man without God’s spirit….

 

  1. With God’s spirit… the things of God can be known and we can be taught with God’s Spirit in us the spiritual things of God … the mind of Christ …

 

  1. Now the Spirit to grow in us requires us to be active…we have to keep growing otherwise we stall out or even go backwards…The old man as Paul calls it just doesn’t just disappear.

 

  1. We have to keep growing with more of God’s spirit in us to be transformed to the mind of Christ.   Our mindset has to keep changing…and that takes time and ACTION on our part.

 

  1. Paul tells Timothy what in 2 Timothy 1:6 2 Timothy 1:6Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.
    American King James Version×
    ?  To Stir up the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Let me read it to you..

 

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:6 2 Timothy 1:6Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.
American King James Version×
–6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

 

  1. Stir up -  Stir up the fire…fan the flame

 

  1. Refers to embers in a fire…in the morning they need to be stirred up…get those sparks going… get the fire going…otherwise those embers eventually cool down and go out.

 

  1. What do we need to do to stir up the Holy Spirit to continue to have the mind of Christ to continue to build up our oil lamps to be spiritually minded on the things above…..to continue to remove traces of the old man. (slide 11 – Word of God)

 

  1. We have to be eating a full feast of Word of God.  We can’t skip meals of the Word of God but we go to the buffet of the Word of God and fill up our plates….Go back for seconds and thirds….Go back for desert…an after dinner cheese tray…wake up and start eat some more.

 

  1. THE WORD OF GOD

 

Scripture Ephesians 5:25-27 Ephesians 5:25-27 [25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
American King James Version×
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

 

  1. Washing of water by the Word

 

  1. We have blemishes and wrinkles…and spots…but the Word is like water…able to remove those spots... and wrinkles.  We want to be immersed in the Word of God.

 

Scripture – Psalms 119:9 Psalms 119:9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to your word.
American King James Version×
  How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.

 

Scripture 2 Peter 3:1-2 2 Peter 3:1-2 [1] This second letter, beloved, I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: [2] That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior:
American King James Version×
– Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,

 

  • Stir Up – means wake out of sleep.

 

  • Be Mindful of the words which were spoken by the Prophets and the commandments that came from them.  As Apostles, they preached the word of God. 

 

  • The Word of God is given to us in his Holy Scriptures.   Jesus Christ the Word or Logos and His words are recorded in the Gospels.   The Apostles taught what they learned from Jesus Christ.  Christ is called the Word of God (Revelation 19:23 Revelation 19:23
    American King James Version×
    )

 

  • In the first Epistle of Peter …Peter quotes the Prophet Isaiah and reminds us that flesh is like grass and soon withers but the Word of Lord Endures forever.  (1 Petr 1:25)

 

  • The Word of the Lord… the Holy Scriptures are very much part of Spiritual growth. 

 

  • Let’s go to 1 Peter 1:24 1 Peter 1:24For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass wither, and the flower thereof falls away:
    American King James Version×
    and read more.

 

Scripture 1 Peter 1:24 1 Peter 1:24For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass wither, and the flower thereof falls away:
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-25 / 2:1-2
“All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious

 

  1. The Word of the Lord is likened to milk that helps a newborn grow.

 

  1. A newborn doesn’t go very long before it starts to cry if not given milk.

 

  1. The milk of the word for a sprit born child of God likewise needs the Word to grow

 

  1. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (NIV)

 

  1. The word of the Lord is needed to grow up in your salvation... filling up the lamp… developing Godly character

 

Scripture Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
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- 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

  1. The word of God is like sword… discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart

 

  1. When we read the word of God…it shows us the deep things that are in our hearts.

 

  1. What does the word of God shine light on?
  2. Where malice may still linger
  3. Deceit still lies…some times hard to discern but it is there in recesses of our heart and mind.
  4. Hypocrisy is remains.
  5. Envy lurking deep down
  6. Evil speaking …which reflects spiritual problems that need to be addressed.

 

  1. The Word of the Lord helps us grow… like a young babe who every 2 or so hours craves milk so they can grow… the body needs it to grow.

 

  1. We need the word of the Lord to grow and to become washed with the word removing the spots and wrinkles that still exist…sometimes deep within…and word of the Lord shines light on those areas so like a sword those ungodly areas of our life can be removed out.

 

Scripture – Titus 1:8 Titus 1:8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
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– Holding Fast the faithful word

 

Scripture – 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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–rightfully dividing the word of Truth

 

 

Scripture – 2 Timothy 3:15 2 Timothy 3:15And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
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-16
–  15and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

  1. The word of God…the scriptures help us grow up to salvation and also wise for salvation. 

 

  1. The word of God reveals Doctrine.. .or God’s teaching

 

  1. Helps us see where we need correction

 

  1. Helps us understand God’s righteousness and instruction in God’s way. 

 

  1. For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (prov. 2:6)

 

  1. Psalms 119:11 Psalms 119:11Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
    American King James Version×

    11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
    That I might not sin against You

 

  1. Jesus said “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  (matt 4:4)

 

  1. That means a full smorgasbord or buffet…all in front of us …we just have to eat…and go back for seconds….

 

  1. The Word of God is very important to our spiritual growth as we have just read.  The Holy Spirit allows us to have that spiritual understanding.  We grow in spiritual depth through the word of God.

 

  1. So how do we fit as a priority the word of God into our life

 

  1. I read recently that only 13% of church goers read their Bible every day

 

  1. What is the percentage for us?  Hopefully it is much higher.

 

  1. However you may have trouble fitting in reading the Bible

 

  1. Let me offer up some solutions to busy people

 

  1. Reading the Bible instead of watching TV or doing social media

 

  1. Listening to the Bible!

 

  1. Iphone and play it in the car while driving

 

  1. Lunch breaks are great time to fit in 15 -30 minutes

 

Let’s now go to the next area of building Godly Righteous Character

 

  1. PRAYER  (slide 12)

 

  1. The Bible says a lot about prayer. 

 

  1. Prayer is our communication to God. 

 

  1. It is how we express ourselves to God.

 

  1. Prayer, like the Holy Spirit, the Word of God contributes to our spiritual growth and building spiritual character.

 

  1. Let’s look at several scriptures that shows us the importance of praying to stay close to God.

 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 1 Thessalonians 5:17Pray without ceasing.
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– Pray without ceasing

 

Scripture: Ephesians 6:18 Ephesians 6:18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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- 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

 

Scripture – Romans 12:12 Romans 12:12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
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– continuing steadfastly in Prayer

 

Scripture Colossians 4:2 Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
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– Devote yourself to Prayer

 

  1. The Bible is clear on the making prayer a constant part of our day. 

 

  1. Prayer indicates our reliance our dependence and reliance on God.

 

  1. Prayer indicates our need for God to guide our path and that without God we soon can find ourselves trying to deal with the difficult situations and spiritual battles on our own.

 

  1. That is a very tough place to be.

 

  1. I just quoted Ephesians 6:18 Ephesians 6:18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
    American King James Version×
    about praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit…but a few verses earlier in verse 12 it says that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age…..

 

  1. Prayer keeps us close to God and in his protection…

 

 

  • Like finding time to read and listen to the word of God we also have to find time to pray.

 

  1. In the mornings at noon at night… find time to pray. (slide 13)

 

  1. Scripture of Mark 1:35 Mark 1:35And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
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    Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there he prayed….

 

  1. Jesus got up early

 

  1. Solitary place
    1. Jesus said don’t pray to be seen.

 

  1. Act 12 they were all praying for Peter.
  2. Sometime there are appropriate times to all pray as we pray at the beginning and end of each service

 

  1. But the guidance is us to pray to God in private and develop that relationship with GOD

 

  1. Another aspect is learning to pray

 

  1. The model prayer gives us a framework

 

  1. Matthew 6:9 Matthew 6:9After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
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    -13
    Our Father in heaven,
    Hallowed be Your name.

 

We begin our prayers with a focus on who God is and that He is Holy…sitting on a majestic throne..


10 Your kingdom come.

 

We are thankful that there is something more than this physical life but a Kingdom based on righteousness …it is a re-focus that this is our Primary goal…the Kingdom


Your will be done

On earth as in heaven.

 

Just like Jesus we give our selves to God’s will and not our own… and we let him direct our paths and we ask for and develop faith to trust God that His Will works out for a better purpose…even if we can’t see it.

 


11 Give us this day our daily bread.

 

We thank God and acknowledge his blessings.


12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

 

We recognize our own shortcomings and ask for forgivness …. We pray for others who may have wronged us and ask for a mind that can forgive and want the best for those who may do us wrong.


13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

 

We recognize that we don’t currently live in Godly society and that there is still a ruler of this world … a lion…a cunning serpent and we need God’s help… we don’t wretle against flesh and blood but the rulers of darkness…and God’s power is greater and we request to GO to us under that protection and power….


For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

 

A recognition that GOD IS THE SUPREME Loving Being of all and he will make all right and we glorify him and give him Praise.

 

Matthew 6:9-13 Matthew 6:9-13 [9] After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. [10] Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. [11] Give us this day our daily bread. [12] And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
American King James Version×
is model…a framework…we fill build our prayers our on this …We don’t just repeat thissimple verse but we use it as guide on what to pray about…. We can keep going back to God on specific issues…just like the widow who kept going back to the Judge…we can do that in our prayers but we build out our prayers on the model Jesus gave.

 

  1. If you are having difficulty praying…the Bible has many prayers recorded.

 

  1. Psalms gives guidance on how David Prayed to God.
  2. Daniel 9 :3 – Is a great prayer of Daniel to God
  3. Jonah 2: - Prayer of Jonah when he realized he messed up ….
  4. Prayers of Jesus are recorded
  5. Many examples of how others prayed in the Bible…to give us instruction.

 

  1. Praying is a vital part of us growing and developing Character.   Let’s now look at Fasting

 

 

4. Fasting  (slide 14)

 

Scripture Mark 9:25 Mark 9:25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying to him, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
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-29 2
5 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.

 

In Matthew 17…it says..

    

 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

 

Fasting is part of the equation for growing and being close to God and developing Godly character

 

  1. Matthew 9:15 Matthew 9:15And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridal chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
    American King James Version×
    – Jesus said when the Bridgroom…talking about himself will be taken away…his disciples will be fasting.

 

  1. Luke 2:37 Luke 2:37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
    American King James Version×
    – Anna who served God with fasting and prayers day and night…

 

  1. Nehemiah 1:4 Nehemiah 1:4And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
    American King James Version×
    – Nehemiah learns of the problems at Jerusalem and prays and fasts….His prayer is there a wonderful example of Prayer.

 

  1. Ezra 8:21 Ezra 8:21Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
    American King James Version×
    - Humbled themselves and fasted for God’s protection as they traveled back to Jerusalem…

 

  1. 2 Chronicles 20:1 2 Chronicles 20:1It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
    American King James Version×
    - Jehoshaphat’s prayer and Fast!

 

There are just some results or outcomes that just don’t come without fasting.

 

  1. When we look at ourselves… maybe it is a tendency we fall back to under stress…

 

  1. What was the list
    1. Deceit
    2. Malace
    3. Hyporcrisy
    4. Bitterness
    5. Anger
    6. Evil Speaking

 

  1. There are things in our depths we just need Help from God to remove from our lives and fasting is often required.

 

  1. When we look deep in our heart… what do we see….Most likely something that still lurks

 

  1. How do we overcome or remove these type of things…the things that maybe others don’t see but you and God both know are there.

 

  1. Removing every blemish and wrinkle is real action

 

  1. Fasting and asking for God to help us remove or deal with the hard to overcome areas in our life is necessary if we are going be transformed and grow up to salvation

 

  1. Fasting along with Prayer is how we can stir up the Spirit to develop Godly Character

 

Brethren Fasting is how we break through areas in our life that we may be struggling with.  

 

  • Make a plan to Fast ....

 

  • We can’t put a plan in place when we think Christ is about to return…that is a bit too late…

 

  1. The buying and selling needs to start way earlier…

 

  1. Fasting isn’t a Once a Year at Atonement event

 

  1. Jesus said when you fast… and my disciples will fast

 

Fasting for God’s guidance, God’s direction, God’s mindset on issues and to remove those things that just don’t go out but by fasting and prayer is very important.

 

I can’t stress this enough in staying close to God and being able to deal with the hard to resolve areas in our character that need to be addressed.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

We are being called now.   We are one of the virgins…. We have been given talents to increase.

 

  1. God is calling the first fruits.

 

  1. In book of Hebrews it is called the Church of the firstborn

 

  1. With this special calling we grow over time in Godly Character….we do this with continuing to grow in Spiritual understanding by the Holy Spirit,  We eat abundantly from the Word of God,  We build our relationship with meaningful deep prayer and we draw closer to God through Fasting …. And with time and the tests of life we also grow and develop Godly Character.

 

  1. This is our calling… Let’s do these things …Let’s make our election sure…we live in interesting times… and our time is now…let’s keep moving forward…. building Godly Righteous Character of a Royal Priest and hear the words of God … (slide 15)

 

Well Done good and faithful servant… you have been faithful over a few things…..I will make you a ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord.