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Guarding Our Witness (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2019 6:00 am

Guarding Our Witness (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 16, 2019 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the 1st letter of Peter 2:11-17

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We are encouraged to move forward. Nonetheless, to come to church to get that much better at being a Christian that we claim to be so I want to be above unholiness. I want to be above my own loss but another part of me does not. The sinful nature that will be with me till I leave this life will not leave me alone. It must be dealt with.

Straight on this is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of first Peter, please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, and now here's Pastor Rick in first Peter chapter 2 as he begins a brand-new message called regarding our witness verse 11 first Peter chapter 2 beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they observe glorify God in the day of visitation.

Therefore, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king, as supreme or to governors as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good with this is the will of God, that by doing good. You may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bond servants of God honor all people love the brotherhood, fear God. Honor the king. Well, I've entitled this morning's consideration regarding our witness. But as I was reading it thought Coming to my mind submission, I'll stick with my plan, but I'll sneak in the other one. Well Moby sneak smoking now but I'll get it in there because it it belongs to the text and is necessary for us. Many in the days that Peter is writing this letter, disliked Christians work for a number of reasons, none of them. Of course the Christians were very good reasons. Some of them. For example, were because the Christians were not engaging in immorality like they were in fact the Christians were were pointing out that their behavior was immoral, that it was harmful that it was not good for them or anyone else. Then there were the idolatrous practices that the Christian stood against just by being Christian. That did not go over well either. So Peter takes opportunity with this letter in the midst of persecution to encourage the believers to live as believers in the face of persecution which which you can understand would be there would be a temptation to retaliate. Do not adhere to the tenants of our faith is handed to us by Jesus Christ.

And so he says of them guard guard your witness for Christ that is your your weapon to come against the work of Satan to reach lost souls guard your witness. Do not allow your lower nature to defeat your higher nature. That is, of course, the new man the new person in Christ. He says abide by the law.

Otherwise we we have lawlessness and you will play into the hands of your accusers and they will buy their own civil laws persecute persecute you even further and so the hand as he hands them just because to reject the temptations of the devil and cling to the beauty of the faith.

Peter, as discussed already separation earlier in this letter by being again or born from above born-again again begotten separation by birth separation by belief.

The things that we believe and then of course separation by behavior believers of the truth are supposed to do something with the truth. Surprise is not just the philosophy I agree with God's 10 Commandments. I just not interested in doing any of them going to claim truth truth of Jesus Christ and the life was going to take it all is got to set its sale in that direction. Verse 11. Now he read he says.

Beloved, I beg you a sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lust which war against the soul. Beloved term of endearment. Beloved, I beseech you unfortunate I think the new chant new King James translators should've used the word beseech rather than bag because to us, beg as other meanings also.

But it did. The Greek word in the proper application of this English word means to two encouraged to it to beseech them to push them forward.

John Wesley that powerhouse of Christianity from the 18th-century and he and his brother Charles Wesley, John Wesley said this of the members of one of the earliest Methodists, societies that he doubted that they had been made perfect in love. Because, listen to this. They came to church to enjoy religion instead of to learn how they could become holy.

Not powerful and it is not to move the mind when you hear that the why do I come to church to check a box, forced to, or whatever.

Or is it because I want to obey God and and in so doing, I draw closer to him, in spite of my failures and struggles and repeated events in life that are very unpleasant and very unholy. We are encouraged to move forward.

Nonetheless, to come to church to get that much better at being Christian that we claim to be so I want to be above unholiness. I want to be above my own lust, but another part of me does not.

The sinful nature that will be with me till I leave this life will not leave me alone. It must be dealt with. Straight on all agrees with Peter, Paul wrote, I beseech and see their translators use the word I think they should refused, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God which is your reasonable service you been a Christian for decades. You know that while the Christian life does not get easier you get better at it. But still, it is us. It is a struggle all the way through, and cannot tell yourself. I paid my dues and identified so hard anymore. No, we have to remain fresh as though we were just coming to Christ again that's going to take work at some point in your walk even if there's nothing challenging you. The flesh is as such that it will not cooperate. Any chance it gets to disturb the peace it will take it. So the ever present difficulty of melding the holy with the unholy holy word of God with that nature of mine that is not holy, so he says, beloved, I beseech you, beloved, I beg you not Peter is an apostle has more authority than Moses had in this sense he commands authority of Gentiles as well as Jews who believe in Christ.

It's a broader authority and as much authority as he has.

He does not attempt to command them. He encourages them, I beseech you, I beseech you to obey the Lord, why not command them when I say I command you to follow Christian principles. The Christian life. The commandments of Jesus Christ well because certain moral acts cannot be achieved through commandment has to be voluntary comes over time struggle. He is fully aware of this, some some other Christian commandments can be commanded church can say we commanded you to interfere with the service. For example, that is not too much to ask of someone. There are those things that we can be told to do and we can abstain from them.

Then there are those other ones that give us a difficult time and so certain acts must be voluntary. They must be voluntarily obeyed and he is sensitive to this, God does not trample free will, but he does he does hold accountable and thus the mercy of God where we are not strong enough to obey God.

God has made this mercy that defends us from our own sinful nature. He says a sojourners and pilgrims test this a heartfelt pleading that is if he says I'm I'm encouraging you is people that are traveling through this world is that his heart is in this reminder that were passing through this life is Abraham passed through Canaan. No permanency here first. He says this in verse 17 in the first chapter he says. And if you call on the father, who, without partiality, judges according to each one's work, conduct yourself throughout the time of your stay here in fear and so there he says if you're Christian then your time. The time of your stay in this life there's a conduct that you're supposed to adhere to that the world is not in some areas they do.

But overall they do not and interesting. I referenced Abraham. The Hebrew Hebrew essentially means a stranger. That's what Abraham was, that's what we are supposed to be pilgrims, not profiteers.

Those who are traveling through and we are on our way to a specific destination for purpose. Hebrews 1113 the writer of Hebrews refers to the Christians who daughter who had died. He says all these died in faith, not having received the promises having seen them afar off were assured of them, embrace them and confess them that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They embraced it they took hold of the product close to their heart to their bosom to the chest that they were not part of this world, but did not give them license to act as though they were Martians or someone that just out of their mind. Not at all.

Quite the opposite.

Strangers passing through. Belonging to a different place that has different ways or customs about it. Different rules in a different ruler. And that's what makes all the difference for us because hell has is a different place different ways going to be there different rules going to be there, but the ruler that will rule over us in heaven he will not be there as he will be with us and in paradise. Hebrews 1314 for here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. If we lose sight of heaven. It diminishes our service is good that the thought of there we going to catch something at the end of this is not wrong in and of itself is not abused course I want to go to heaven in this life we have pictured for us from the Scripture what the world is all about. By the way, the nations of the world the nations without Yahweh how they how they functioned Egypt, for example, Babylon and Assyria you look at the history and the character of those lost empires and you discover there's a pattern that shows up Egypt sets before us the remarkable wisdom of the world me for how long. Admin looked at the pyramids as they have and they do that with the agent told that they had. It is the home of the world's culture in that regard. Babylon, that is, the seat of the cradle of the occult and Colts. The religions of wickedness of the world are represented by Babylon. Alexander Hislop's book 2 Babylon's traces that he documents it goes all the way back as far as you could go through various writings, pointing to the origins of Colts in the occult in this world coming out of ancient Babylon.

And then there is Assyria.

You know the history of the Assyrian Empire in the days the kings of Israel. You know they were of vicious bunch. They would skin alive. Those who they caught and draped there there skin over the wall of all the walls are out in front with the enemy could see so they could terrorize them. They did many such cruel things superior represents the merciless nests of warfare in this world.

It is a model of cruelty from the Scripture. Peter is saying you look at that you look at Egypt and her culture Babylon in her false religions.

The Assyrians in their cruelty and you Christian must say I am not a citizen of that that is not where I'm going. That is not what I'm about. I am in the midst of these things preaching light and love salt of the world, the light of the salt of the earth light of world be a lot of salt. Salt the world, the ocean is tried it and just can't pull it off or cleaned up that mistake that you listen to fundamental rules make the other guy thing like it's their fault, he says, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. The body becomes a hiding place for evil passions evil means harmful. That's why it's evil is not just well God singly and I just put in that category, as you put your plants in certain categories.

You know this one is an evergreen in this way that's not what evil is bad stuff because it hurts people when it is not put in its place takes sometimes a while before generation realizes how wicked it is in this.

This would account for cycles in human history combating evil and so he says, abstain from these things. Why should a preacher pass over such a sentence from God's mouth to man abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul because we know how hard the fight is in each one of us has to go through it cannot skip over such words must not this is the battleground for us. This is where the fight remains is why Paul said all wretched man that I am will deliver me from this body of death. How do I get out of this body of flesh.

The lower self and he defaulted to Christ. Thank God for Jesus Christ brings mercy goodness and grace. It adds up. Does matter because all you have to do is find a Christian who gives up intensive would do that. I do not want to give up. I rather take my hips and struggle through it than to give up shot in the back and become a has-been of the faith because I quit.

I know what that I am afraid of that. I think every sensible soul would be and so this is not the whole story of the believer abstaining from fleshly lusts.

That's not the whole story concerning us where vessels of honor also. There are things about us that are honorable. Many Christians are good people. Unfortunately, I cannot say all of them there in a good position positionally the right with God. Many Christians is a W Treas. said act as though they been baptized in lemon juice. I don't to be that one I will and takes effort is worth it is honorable to stand against the wind. My best used to always say dead any dead fish can float downstream takes a live fish to go against the current. That is true we are mocked because we want to be more holy than unholy because we want truth and fact concerning eternity and not just anybody's guess.

We are mocked and persecuted for this. Well, that's just the way it is fleshly lusts natural appetites that have been ruined by sin and they plant their seeds in our minds and in our bodies.

Sin is essentially the abuse of a good thing enemies. Anything you name is a sin is abuse of something that is originally was not a problem. But now is a big problem is natural appetites that would steal our innocence from us become the enemies of our souls, and so war against them.

He says war against them.

The difference between Warner battle really is this time battle is for the moment war goes on hit calls on and we we know we look to heaven. We look to the kingdom to come.

But for right now it is in the strength of that kingdom sustained military campaign against us and us against it. Okay the flesh is declared war against me becoming a Christian. I declare war against you all flesh against my own sinful ways.

These are fixed laws of life. The higher fighting the lower way it is. We have to accept that there are no exceptions is no way to get away from this don't need to be a scientist to prove this need to be a human being.

You discover this every believer sees combat in the soul.

Every one of us self versus self say one of the hardest games known to man is golf because you're really playing against yourself.

How many shots will it take you to get to the 18th hole. How few can you take to get to that last holding really complained the other guy really doesn't influence you my getting getting your head or something. But that's what you club your clubs right is messing with you club him anyway. First Peter again.

Chapter 1 verse nine receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your soul sees that the prize that's the finish line. That's Woodward going for verse 12 he says having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they observe glorify God in the day of visitation shall behavior ever be dishonorable never. It should never be dishonorable, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble that normal means honorable higher than the flash that is supposed to be the Christian, whatever things are true, honorable, because of their fault for not honorable, and then he goes on to say just and pure and lovely good report, meditate, concentrate, focus on those things. So why should Christians then defend dishonorable behavior and loved ones or anyone else you know the ones going to be an advocate of the troublemaker's not honorable if the wrong the wrong way. Take steps to correct yes but don't don't pretend that something evil is somehow to be acceptable. I know it's a high standard. Christianity and God never apologizes. He doesn't say I'm sorry for asking not to kill each other. I'm sorry I asked you not to steal alive to each other. Thank God he doesn't do that. He tells you right now don't kill, don't lie. Don't steal. Don't commit adultery don't bear false witness without apology. So we come to the honorable things if we are guilty we all know guilt is called repentance and that changes everything.

When you get someone it's done wrong to say I'm wrong that shut that takes everything a different direction.

Discipline now pulls back, sometimes you still may have to positions of authority, even in the whole you use scale back the intensity once the repentance is clear. I am amazed at how many parents are strict with the children want their children to obey on first command and even if you know other kids that want them to obey what they themselves don't obey when they're in a position of submission is now getting that submission. Bart was talking about. As we all needed does not come natural to the to the flesh to submit. Who cares if you submit when everything goes your way is that submission is riding along submission become submission when you don't like it then that would wrestling teaches us when someone pins you your phone like that. We have a choice is done. This belongs to Christianity and when we begin to get our heads around this. We get stronger, not weaker. Matthew chapter 10 Jesus said do not think that I came to bring peace on earth that covers the planet. Incidentally, I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father daughter against his mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and goes on.

Of course, and is saying the dishonorable is separated from the honorable and the two do not using this word again meld together your distinct someone behaves dishonorably and demands that they be treated honorably. We have a problem.

We are so glad you tuned in today to study the book of first Peter on cross reference radio cross reference radio is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and we are blessed to bring you God's word with each broadcast. If you'd like more information about this program or want to listen to additional teachings from Pastor Rick please visit our website cross reference We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast so you'll never have to miss a program.

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