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Tuesday, September 26 2017 @ 11:28 AM CDT

God's Measure of a Strong Christian (Part 1)

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Radio transcript for the week of February 07, 2016

Todd Clippard preaches on "God's Measure of a Strong Christian" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

Click here to listen to this sermon.

In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel has been sent to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king over Israel to replace Saul. Samuel, as many of us, tried to judge based on appearance as opposed to character. His measuring stick was not the same as God’s.

In similar fashion, we might as the question, “What is the measure of a strong Christian?” Often, our measuring sticks are not the same as those that God would use. Our study today will look at a few of man’s measuring sticks with a comparison to those used by God.

  1. Man's "Measuring Sticks" of Faithfulness:
    1. Attendance Record: "He’s there every time the doors are open; he must be a faithful member."
    2. Participation in Church-Related Activities: Visitation program, fellowship activities, work days, etc.
    3. Leadership Qualities: Do people respect them?
      1. Men: Lead singing, prayer, wait on table, teach class, etc.
      2. Women: Teach class, Carry food to the sick, Clean bldg, etc.
    4. Likability: We tend to overlook or make excuse for the faults or sins of those whom we like.
    5. The problems with this measuring stick:
      1. It measures the outside of a man w/o considering the inside.
        1. Can a man attend all the services and still be unfaithful?
        2. Can a person attend all the church-related functions and still be unfaithful?
        3. Can a man teach class and / or take a public leadership role and still be unfaithful?
        4. Can a woman teach class, help with tasks around the building, etc, and still be unfaithful?
      2. It neglects the many-faceted nature of the body of Christ:
        1. It emphasizes / Exalts one function over another:
          1. Tongues over prophecy - 1 Corinthians 14
          2. Teaching over service - Romans 12:3-8
          3. "Honorable" over "Dishonorable" - 1 Cor 12:14-23
      3. It has man setting men in the church as it pleases him and not as God would have it - 1 Corinthians 12:18, James 4:10-11; 1 Peter 5:6

  2. God's Measure of a Strong Christian:
    1. The Fruit One Bars in his Life:
      1. John 15:1-8
      2. Galatians 5:22-23
      3. The parable of the sower - Matthew 13; Mark 4; Luke 8
      4. Matthew 7:15-20
      5. James 1:26-27
      6. James 3:8-13
    2. What’s been put Off and what’s been put On:
      1. Ephesians 4:20-32
      2. Colossians 3:12-15
      3. Romans 6:1-13 (Galatians 3:26-27)
    3. The Challenges of God’s Measuring Stick:
      1. It emphasizes an Inward transformation - Romans 12:1-2
        1. Transformation is more difficult than Conformation
          1. Transformation requires Time - 2 Corinthians 4:16
          2. Transformation requires Effort - Galatians 6:9
          3. Transformation requires Diligence - 1 Peter 5:8-9
          4. Conversely, conformation only takes pressure.
        2. The results, at least initially, are often seen only by God:
          1. Matthew 6:1-6
          2. Colossians 3:22-24

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Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me "Lord, Lord" and do not do the things I say?" Hebrews 5:9 says Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Jesus said we must be born again if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3). To be born again, one must be born of water and spirit (John 3:5)

We are born again though belief in and obedience to the gospel. He who believes the gospel and is baptized shall be saved - Mark 16:15-16. We obey the gospel by:

  1. Believing in Jesus' Deity, his death for our sins and his resurrection (John 8:24; 1 Cor 15:1-4)
  2. Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30)
  3. Confessing Christ as the Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
  4. Being baptized, that is immersed, in water to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
  5. Living faithful to the Lord until the end (Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:10)

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