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How Shall We Then Think -21

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
August 28, 2022 7:00 pm

How Shall We Then Think -21

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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August 28, 2022 7:00 pm

Spiritual battles are won or lost by the activity of the mind. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his exposition in Philippians.

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Well, I know you've heard people say that the battle is in the mind. That is, that most of the things that we face in this life are not so much a matter of activity as it is a matter of proper thinking. And it is equally true that not only is the battle in the mind, but the battle is for the mind.

And that second statement follows from the first. Because what we think about is so vitally important for what happens in our lives, then there is a battle to lay hold of our minds and to cause us to think either the right kind of thoughts or the wrong kind of thoughts, for our adversary, the devil, is busy trying to divert us from truth and from righteousness. And so our spiritual battles are won or lost according to the way we think.

Not just what we might call spiritual battles, really most of life falls into that category. But for our purposes today, particularly those things that pertain to our honoring the Lord with our lives, those things are determined by thoughts that are either correct or incorrect. And therefore, it's no wonder that our adversary focuses upon our thoughts as he attacks us with his devices. He endeavors to seduce us to believe lies so that we will be drawn into wrong thinking, wrong conclusions.

He even endeavors to disable our ability to think logically at all. We see, I think, a great deal of success in that arena in the world in which we live. And therefore, it's so important that we learn to think properly. If we make decisions based upon false information, we lose. If we make decisions based primarily upon emotions, we lose.

If we make decisions which are more to cater to the people we know and whose opinion we want to think highly of us, then we lose. But if we make our decisions based upon truth, based upon the Word of God, based upon God's revelation to us, then we win. And so what's the solution for the right kind of thinking in today's text? In Philippians 4, verses 8 and 9, will point us in the proper direction. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things, the things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

What do we see in these two verses? Number one, how we ought to think. Number two, how we ought to behave. And number three, what the result will be. Number one, how we ought to think.

What we should think about in order to be able to make right decisions. And we see that this is the culmination of the instructions that Paul has given in this four-chapter book of Philippians written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome to the church at Philippi that he had established on his first foray into European soil. And we realize that this is a culmination, finally, brethren, or various ways to translate that, as for the rest, brethren, or for the remainder, brethren. And what this points us to is to the conclusion of the instruction section of this epistle, which is most of it. There is going to be a rather lengthy section, which will be his thanks to them for their gifts to him, verses 10 through 20, before the final greetings and benediction, which closes out the epistle.

But verses 8 and 9 bring us to the end of those instructions which Paul is directing to these Christians. It is a culmination of what he has said. It is a collection of interesting words and phrases.

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report. It is an intriguing statement. It has impressive rhythm and repetition and makes us wonder, where did this come from? Of course, we know it came from the pen of the apostle Paul, is guided by the Holy Spirit, but is this something that he picked up out of secular literature?

Is this a poem that was written by some Greek poet or someone else, or at least something in that form that he changed and utilized for the interests of Christ's kingdom? And that remains in the realm of speculation because we really don't know. But I can tell you that as far as I know, nothing has been found that would present itself as an obvious choice for something that Paul had copied. We just can't find that. Was Paul a poet?

He may have been. This is certainly a beautiful poem, a collection of beautiful words and phrases that he has put together in such a memorable way. It has, as I've said, intriguing rhythm and repetition, and that repetition is number one for pointed emphasis. Paul could have just said, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and good report. But he repeated for emphasis, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, and so forth.

There is this pointed emphasis. We need to look at every one of these carefully. Don't zip through the list too quickly. Slow down.

Pay attention to each one. Whatever things are true, think about that for a while. Whatever things are noble, think about that for a while. And furthermore, though we can't see this in the English, this repetition of whatever or whatsoever, however it may be translated, is actually in the plural, which indicates that there are a lot of items under each of these categories. Whatever things, you see that in the word thing, which is plural, whatever things are true. So there's a whole vast array of things to consider under that heading.

Whatever things are noble, once again, there's a whole vast array of things under that category. It truly would be possible to take each one of these and I think to formulate a profitable sermon out of each one. Six sermons at least in verse eight. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to go through the list in its entirety today.

But I think that would be profitable and I think that would be justified by the language that is used. It is an exalted list of six items. Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.

Let's take them all one by one. Whatever things are true, that means pretty much exactly what we would expect it to mean. Whatever things are true, that is truthful.

Whatever things are the opposite of falsehood, the opposite of lies, the opposite of unreliable statements of various kinds. Don't spend your time and attention dealing with things that are not true or are of questionable truth. There's an awful lot of that in this world.

I don't need to tell you that. It comes from every source. It comes from our news sources. It comes from governmental sources. It comes from religious sources. It comes from educational sources.

It comes from everywhere. Things that are not reliable, things that are not true, things that are certifiably false and yet they are declared as if they are true. And if you spend a lot of time thinking about those things, you are going to be misled. So you're going to have to exercise some judgment here. Think about those things that are true.

Well, how can I know what they are? I remember a younger Christian saying something to me a good while ago, a couple of years ago now, maybe three or four years ago, about how frustrated that person was because it was so difficult to discern. I listen to news reports, but I don't know what's true and what's false. I listen to other statements and I don't know what's true and what's false. It's so difficult. It's virtually impossible to figure out. And that actually is one of the great frustrations of our age.

It's one of the great characteristics of our age. But shouldn't we be surprised? Who is the God of this world? Satan. What is Satan as Christ described and identified him? The father of lies. Should we be surprised if he is very adept at spinning lies more quickly than we can track them down, spinning lies so rapidly that we can't even keep up with them? Should that surprise us?

No, it shouldn't. But if we're wise, we're going to push those things aside and concentrate on things that are true. You say, where can I find things that I know to be true?

Well, I'll tell you a good place to start. Jesus told us where truth, reliable truth can be found. When in John 17 and his high priestly prayer, he said to the father, sanctify them, my disciples through thy truth. Thy word is truth. The word of God that has been given to us, the revelation of God that has come to us through his appointed spokesman, prophets and inspired writers. The book we call the Bible is truth. And so whatever is true, focus on that. And of course there are other things that you can discern with some careful attention are in fact true. It's not that the Bible is the only thing that contains truth.

There are other things that contain truth, but be sure that the things you're spending your time thinking about and analyzing and meditating on and evaluating are things that are true. Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, honorable in some translations, that simply means worthy of respect. Again, it's obvious that there are an awful lot of things in this world that aren't worthy of respect. We know that we, we don't respect them. Nobody respects them. It seems like, like respect for anything is becoming less and less obvious.

It's being diminished all the time. There seems to be so little in our world that is truly noble, that is high, that is elevated, that is worthy of respect. But there are things that fit into that category and the things that do, that's what we should be focusing on. Whatever things are noble, things that are honorable, things that are worthy of respect. Number three, whatever things are just.

Some translations say whatever things are right, R-I-G-H-T, or whatever things are righteous. And again, we're back in the realm of truth. What is true? What is false? What is right?

What is wrong? What is righteous? What is unrighteous? And we who are Christians know the answer to that question. God himself defines what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what is righteous, what is unrighteous. And so whatever things are right, whatever things are just, as defined by God, we should focus on those things, fill our mind with those things. Number four, whatever things are pure. That's a word that most of the time is used in the realm of sexual activity. Whatever things are pure, that is, whatever things are chaste would be a synonym. Whatever things are godly, whatever things are morally upright in the area of sexual activity.

Whatever things are untainted by evil. You can hardly even listen to a comedian today without hearing tainted, dirty jokes and innuendos. I just don't even try anymore to find, to even pay any attention to comedians when I find them on television. What's a matter with our world that you can't even have humor unless it's tainted with evil and immorality? But again, should we be surprised?

Knowing the sinful heart of man and knowing the God of this world and knowing what Satan is trying to achieve in this world? Well, that being true, we need to stay away from that. We better not fill our minds with things that are impure, unchaste, immoral, sexually degrading, sexually suggestive.

Christians don't make jokes about sexual immorality. The world is filled with that. You're going to hear it at work. You're going to hear it on television.

You're going to hear it nearly every place you go in the world in which we live. But Christians are going to need to push those things back and shut those things out and think about those things that are pure. And number five, lovely. Actually, number five lovely and number six good report go very closely together, but we'll take them one by one. Whatever things are lovely. That has the idea of whatever things we admire, whatever things we consider lovable.

And this one and the next one branch out to even include unconverted people. There are things in the world that are considered admirable. There are things in the world that are considered lovable and lovely, beautiful. There aren't too many people that would listen to the strains of a Beethoven symphony and say, that's not beautiful. Now it may not be your kind of music, but it's unmistakably beautiful just of itself. There aren't many people that would look at an excellent piece of art.

And again, it may not be your thing to go to art galleries and sit there and stare at the art. But when you see a piece of beautiful artwork, you recognize that as beautiful. You recognize it as lovely. You recognize it as something to be admired. You recognize it as something that is good and noble and wholesome and upright in this world in which we live.

And things that are in that category that are lovely are things that we should be thinking about and of good report, similar idea, things that are well spoken of generally. It's hard to find people who don't speak well of people who demonstrate patience in their life. You don't have to be a Christian to admire that and appreciate that. It's not difficult to find people who will speak well of those who have a reputation for honesty. They pay their bills. They do what's right. The world recognizes that as being good.

That's of a good report. There are things that are generally considered to be good even in a fallen and evil world. These are reminders of the truth and godliness that God created in this world that still remain even after sin has damaged the world in such a great way. So whatever things fall into that category are the things that we are to think about.

And there's an instruction here. If there is any virtue, that is excellence, if there is any praise, that is anything that is praiseworthy, think on these things or meditate on these things. Ponder these things. Evaluate these things. Spend your time thinking about, analyzing, giving great attention to things like these instead of the many degrading things or unhelpful things that we tend to fill our mind and attention with in our day. Think on these things. Meditate on these things.

I'm afraid that meditation is one of those things that has been crowded out of the lives of most people. We can attribute that to the electronic advances of our day, the technology, the media. Our great grandparents didn't have televisions. And when they were at work, they probably didn't have a radio. Whatever radio they had was a very primitive one that they might be able to listen to at home for a little while.

They couldn't go about their work with their earbuds on and listening to something all the time. You say, what in the world did they do? They must have gone stark, crazing, mad. What did they do? They meditated. They thought. I think one of the greatest values of my years as a paperboy delivering early morning newspapers when I was quite young on bicycle and later in an automobile, but most of the time I had a car where the radio didn't work, old cars. And so what did I do? I thought, thought about the day ahead, thought about the day behind, thought about things from the Word of God, thought about life, thought about relationships, just gave a lot of thought to what was going on in my life for a couple, three hours every day.

I didn't realize at the time how monumental that was, but that really is very, very monumental. Most people don't even have five or ten minutes in a day when they do something like that. Always something on. I heard about somebody recently who, and there may be some, some, somebodies, maybe several somebodies here in this category, but I heard about somebody recently who can't go to sleep at night unless the television's running.

Is it gotten that bad? You've got to listen to something in all your waking hours, and you can't even go to sleep unless something's going on in the background, and if you happen to wake up, there it is, going on all the time. How are you going to think? How are you going to meditate? How are you going to ponder? How are you going to evaluate anything in life if your whole life is filled up with other messages, other voices, other things, always, always, always bombarding your mind so that you virtually never actually think about anything.

You just go through life on autopilot. That's not very conducive to spiritual growth and health. If there's any excellence, if there's anything praiseworthy, you're going to have to discipline yourself to think on, meditate on, ponder over, evaluate these kinds of things. That's going to take some time. That's going to take some time alone.

That's going to take some time in solitude. That's going to take some time away from all the other distractions with which our world is filled, and giving our minds to these things will over time enable us to think like God thinks. You've heard the phrase that what we are to be doing is learning to think God's thoughts after Him. Where does that come from?

Here it is. Whatever is true and noble and just and pure and lovely and good report, think on those things because those things are things that God has given. Those things are reflections of the very character of God Himself, and as you learn to think on those things, you will be learning to think like God thinks, and you will be thinking God's thoughts. So, how we ought to think, verse 8. How we ought to behave, verse 9. The things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, says the Apostle Paul. How we ought to behave.

Well, how we behave, first of all, begins in believing what is true, so we can't behave properly unless we think properly. That's why the thinking comes first in verse 8, followed by the behavior in verse 9. And Paul says, the things that you have learned and received from me, apostolic teaching, apostolic instruction, the things that you have learned from me and received, and that word actually has the idea of apostolic tradition. Those things that were given to the Apostle Paul by Christ, which he has passed down to the people that he has taught, who have a responsibility and a privilege of passing that down to the people that we teach and to the next generation. Apostolic tradition, that's not a bad word.

Some people think that tradition is a bad thing. Biblical tradition, apostolic tradition, proper tradition, is a good thing. And Paul says, the things that you have learned from me, the things that you have received from me, the things that are handed down from me, those are the things that you must know in order to behave properly. I would say that a regular intake of solid exposition is vitally important to our being able to behave properly in this world.

An informed mind enables us to think aright. One reason why even among Christians today there's so much fuzzy thinking, so much ignorance is because, unfortunately, in many churches today there's not much being taught. It seems like in many churches the main goal is to create some kind of a religious feeling, a religious experience, which varies from congregation to congregation as to what they think that experience ought to be. For some people it may be a very high cultural experience with beautiful organ music and beautiful liturgy, but many times not much of God's word is taught for other people.

It's more of a popular experience with a lot of drumbeat and loud music and the emotional things going on. But whatever it is, it seems like for many people the idea is to go to church and experience something that makes me feel good, makes me feel religious, and I go out with this religious high to face the world to come. But I don't know anything more about God and His word than I did when I came. And when I come back next week, I'm not going to learn anything more either.

I keep going through the same cycle of not learning anything. And if we're going to think upon these things, the things that are true and the other things in that category, we're going to have to have a steady diet of the Bible, the truth of God's word instilled in us. We can read God's word for ourselves and should. We can study God's word for ourselves and should. But we have all learned, I think, from experience that when we sit under solid exposition, we see and learn more things from God's word than we ever would come up with on our own.

And that's good. That gives us a whole lot more of more truth to think about. How many times people have told me, wow, I can't believe what you showed us in that passage today.

I never saw that, never would have seen that. But now that it's there, I see it and I'm thinking about it. Well, what's that doing? It's helping us to do exactly what this is telling us to do. Think on these things, the things that you have learned and received from me, you need to put into practice. And then he goes on and gives two other words, the things which you have learned and received.

And then he goes on to say and heard and saw. And this has to do with Paul's personal conversations and Paul's personal conduct. The things that you've heard me talk about when I was with you, the things that you have observed in my life when I was with you, those are the things that you are to put into practice. The things that you have learned and received, the things you've been taught, the things that you have heard and saw, the things that you observed, these do put them into practice. We learn what is true from sound instruction plus personal example, good personal example. And Paul has set the example and he's told us that this is true. And therefore we must believe what is true and we are responsible to practice what we have learned. It's not enough to hear good things, interesting things and say, well, that was sure interesting.

I'll enjoy thinking about that for a while. Yes, but what does it call upon you to do? Well, I'm not prepared to change anything, then you aren't where you ought to be.

You aren't where you need to be. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me do practice, act upon. We must practice what we have learned.

We must apply what we have been taught. We must apply what we have seen exemplified in the life of the apostle Paul and other godly people. And when we do, there's a wonderful result that comes from that in the last part of verse nine. The things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do and the God of peace will be with you. The God of peace will be with you. And in that phrase, I see a similarity and I see an advancement.

The similarity is that this is obviously very parallel, very closely parallel to what we saw in verses four through seven. Last Sunday, rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Let your requests be made known unto God.

And what's the result? The peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. So there's a similarity of phraseology here. You do these things and you will receive the peace of God. Choose to rejoice, cultivate gentleness, refuse to worry. We don't have time to go back over all that again.

I hope you were here last Sunday. And the result will be the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds. But here's something similar in verse nine but it's not only a similarity but it's also an advancement because now if you think on these things and put into practice what you have learned, not only does the peace of God guard your heart but the God of peace comes to you in a special way. It's the presence of God, the special presence of God. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do.

And what is the result? The God of peace will be with you. Well now, isn't God with all his children?

Yes. So evidently, though God's with all his children, evidently he is with some of his children in a greater way than others. He's with some of his children in a greater manifestation of himself than others. He's with some of his children in greater power and greater fellowship and greater joy and greater fullness than with others. And how do you get this close fellowship, this close presence, this close manifestation of God in your life?

He tells us how. The things that you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do. Be obedient to what you have learned and the result is the God of peace will be with you and I will add in a special way. Which means that God's peace is a mark of his presence with the people of God who fill their minds with truth and who obey what they have learned.

So in a sense we're back to at least part of where we were last Sunday. Do you have worry and anxiety and fear and difficulty having a heart free from turmoil? Then no doubt you're not meditating on these things as you should. No doubt you're not learning the things that God wants you to learn or you're not putting them into practice in your life because if you do the God of peace will be with you and the peace in your heart is the evidence that he is with you.

That's the mark. The peace that you have come to experience is the presence of the God of peace in your life. There are some in the world that teach that the way to have freedom from anxiety is by emptying your mind. Try to get it as empty as possible. The Bible says the way to experience peace is to fill your mind, not empty it, fill it, but fill it with truth, fill it with purity, fill it with things that are lovely and are of a good report, things that are just, that are righteous, that are honest.

Fill your mind with those things and you will banish anxiety from your mind. Now I have a whole lot of lessons I'd love to deal with from this passage and I left myself some time to do that. So first of all let's talk about the battle for purity. It is a battle. There's probably never been a time in this world when there has been more access to immorality than there is today. It's just a click away as everyone knows.

Temptations abound. And we also know that traditional sexual morality is being challenged and changed in the world in which we live with such speed that we are almost left breathless wondering how did it happen so quickly. Some of us, some of you, can remember when the President of the United States before Donald Trump, a Democrat who served two terms, went into office opposed to gay marriage. That hasn't been all that long ago. Of course he flipped.

But how quickly? Things have changed. Traditional sexual morality is being challenged and changed on every side in society but unfortunately also among Christians and in churches.

Pastor Latour gave me an article that he downloaded from the internet this week that was talking about an article that had been written for Christianity Today. Now that's considered to be the leading conservative evangelical magazine. It was for many years. I think it held that title. I don't know that it would still hold that title today or not.

I really don't know. I've never spent much time reading Christianity Today. The only time I read anything from Christianity Today is when I run across articles like this on the internet that are cross referenced by something else.

But here was an article written in Christianity Today by a single young lady in her early 20s who came to be a Christian and the whole point of the article was to say the church is going to have to stop being negative toward singles who live together unmarried. That's passé. That's in the past. We can't be against that anymore.

We've got to accept that and favor that and be fine with that. In a conservative evangelical magazine that went out to who knows how many hundreds of thousands or millions of people. It hasn't been that long ago that we were seeing articles similar to that by people who claim to be Christians who also identified themselves as gay and they were attempting to demonstrate from the Bible according to their way of analysis which was obviously a twisted way of dealing with scripture but trying to support from the Bible that God doesn't disapprove of homosexual conduct.

It's okay. And I can be a Christian and be a homosexual, an active practicing homosexual. And of course we have I don't know how many major denominations that have agreed with that and have not only agreed to embrace people like that into their membership without any sanction whatsoever. You're free to come in and to practice that. We are inclusive.

We embrace everyone. And even to have clergy people in that category will ordain them to teach us God's word even if they are living in a homosexual relationship. You say how is that possible? How did that go about so quickly in the last 10 or 15 years?

I'll tell you one way. I can't answer that question fully but I'll tell you one way because Christians have been fudging on biblical morality for decades. We just haven't up until recently haven't publicized that we've changed our position but just quietly ignored members of our church unmarried living together. Just wink and nod and go on and say nothing about it. Ignoring members of our church, having affairs with other members of the church, being unfaithful to their spouse and having this going on in the congregation. Nothing said, nothing sanctioned.

Just wink and look the other way. So is it any wonder that the time has come? Now what we have for a long time tacitly allowed, tacitly endorsed, we are now publicly promoting.

And if that's going on, and it is, if you weren't aware of that, then please become aware of it. If that's going on in so-called evangelical Bible believing conservative churches, probably the majority of them, if that's what's going on, then how, where do we stand in any position to tell the world that gay marriage is wrong? Where do we get the moral authority to say anything like that? If we're not willing to live by what the Bible teaches, we pick and choose.

And that's what's going on. So the battle for purity is a battle for either believing and practicing what the Bible says or not. And we have to come to the conclusion that what God has written is unchanging truth. It's the same for every generation. It doesn't change according to circumstances. It doesn't change according to shifting opinions.

And what is this? It's a battle for the mind. We've got, it's how we think. What do we think about these things?

Because what we think about these things eventually is how we act about these things and how we relate to these things. It's a battle for the mind. Are we going to commit ourselves to truth? Whatever things are true, true as defined by God, are we going to hold to those things or are we not the battle for purity? How about the battle for political influence?

I didn't, I thought about whether I should get into this or not. It's a tough one, but let me plunge in where angels fear to tread. People in the political realm, people who are interested in politics, which is most everybody, generally line up on one side of the other, left or right, and are, are, are absolutely convinced that the other side is always telling lies and believes and tells them. But not my side. Not my side. It's the other side.

Really? If you got your eyes closed, can't you think? Can't you see?

Can't you analyze? Because if you think that, then you're guilty of believing lies. It's very obvious that there are tons of lies told on the right and tons of lies that are told on the left. You say, well, the ones on the other side are worse than the ones on my side.

Maybe, maybe. But how about let's deal with the ones that we identify with first? Are you guilty of ignoring lies if they appear to benefit your favorite position?

Shame on you. In other words, are you endorsing untruth? It might have been excusable.

I'll just throw out an example here. It might have been excusable at the beginning to believe that the last presidential election had been stolen. But as charge after charge after charge was examined and found to be false, eventually you should come to the conclusion there is no, there is no proof. There is no substance. There is no reality.

And yet I know a lot of Christians who still believe that. Now, I'm not here to say that there hasn't been one irregularity anywhere, but if you still believe that the last election was stolen, you are, listen to me now, you are believing a lie. There's no evidence. And it has been, it has been tested and examined again and again and again and again and again.

And the charges keep coming up empty. So why would you believe that? Because I want to believe that. Why would you believe that?

Because I don't like it that my guy lost. Why do you, why do you believe that? Because I, I, I, we're supposed to be people of truth and integrity. And if we can't, if we can't acknowledge lies on our side as much as on the other side, then we're not in a position to have any real meaningful influence in the political realm. We've got to be people of integrity, people of truth.

Christians are people of truth above everything else. Certainly we can have political positions. Certainly we can have political principles. We should. But certainly we ought to be people of truth who do not justify lies, do not accept lies, do not propagate lies when we have been given a mind by God to be able to analyze and realize that certain things are lies. And if our guy is telling lies, then let's say so.

That's not true. Because whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. Well, one more lesson.

I had more, but I'll just deal with one more. Because this is surprising. I think what I've already said doesn't surprise you, but this one may. This text talks about the beauty that remains in a fallen world. Those last two in particular, things of good report, things are lovely, that as I pointed out have to do with even as how the world evaluates things. And that's telling us that there are things that are good and beautiful in a fallen world. All of the things that are good and beautiful aren't found in the church, all the things that are good and beautiful aren't found only in the Bible, all the things that are good and beautiful aren't found only among Christians, there are things that are good and beautiful out there among unbelievers in the world. And the Bible makes that clear, and we should acknowledge it and look for and encourage it when we find it. And we should recognize the source. Where does that come from?

It comes from God because he created the world. And yes, it is marred, it is fallen, it is condemned, but the traces of God haven't been entirely erased. Mankind was created in the image of God.

And though that image has been greatly marred, it's not entirely erased. Men and women still bear the image of Almighty God and this world still manifests the beauty of God who created it. And when we realize that, we can utilize that truth for the gospel and for the sake of others. And I will say in closing, a fulfilled life requires the new birth. You can't really sort these things out until you have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, except a man be born again. He cannot see the kingdom of God.

He can't really see those things that are true and just, but come to Christ in repentant faith and you will. Let's pray. Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for its guidance. Help us, O Lord, to receive it and to obey it, to honor you with our loving devotion and obedience as we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 22:07:18 / 2023-03-04 22:23:04 / 16

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