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The Believer's Conduct

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 19, 2022 12:00 am

The Believer's Conduct

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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July 19, 2022 12:00 am

Walk with the Lord daily so you can overcome adversity.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, July 19th. What does it mean to fear the Lord? If you aren't sure, stay with us for a lesson on the believer's conduct as the study of First Peter continues.

Once in a while, somebody will say it's difficult in heartache that builds character into our life, and that is true, but also it's difficult in heartache that reveals the character we already have. And when Peter was writing to these believers who were undergoing persecution and hardship, he laid down the foundation of their salvation, and all through this book he's giving admonitions as to how they are to conduct themselves on the basis that they are believers. Now, they were undergoing persecution, but what is true of their response is true of our response, whether we're undergoing persecution or just going through some trying time in their life. And so beginning in verse 17, he says of chapter 1, And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth, knowing that you are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless the blood of Christ.

For he was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Now, what I want us to talk about for a little while is the believer's conduct, and that is the believer's conduct as you and I are going through difficulty in heartache, trials and tribulations. And I want you to notice a little word here that you find oftentimes in the Bible, and oftentimes you'll find the word if. Now, in the Greek, that's a little word spelled ei, and it can either be translated accurately either if or since.

So sometimes the better translation is the word since. And one good example of that is in Colossians chapter 3, when Paul says, having laid the foundation, he says, if then you have been raised up with Christ. Well, it's not a matter of if, it's rather since you have been, then he says, keep seeking those things which are above. And in this verse, it is the same better translation. Verse 17, and since you, speaking to believers now, address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each man's work, since you do that, he says, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth. So what I want us to look at in these few verses is, first of all, the manner on which you and I should conduct ourselves, and the motivation for that. And he says, while we are in this life and on this earth, you notice he says, during the time of your stay upon earth, and you recall in the first chapter that he addressed them as aliens scattered throughout those particular parts of Asia.

They are a people under persecution scattered all over that part of the world. He refers to them again here now as those who are during their time of stay, pilgrims passing through. He says, since you address as Father the one who impartially judges, that is, one who knows you perfectly, he says, according to each man's work, therefore, he says, conduct yourselves in fear. Now, what does he mean by fear? It does not mean that you're not to be scared of God. But he says, since we call him our Father, and since we have a relationship to him, that we're to live our lives and conduct our lives, whether things are going our way or whether they're not, in the spirit of fear, which means really in the spirit of reverence for God.

It is the fear of God, the reverence for God, the awareness of the awesomeness of God, the majesty of God, the greatness of God, the power of God, the omniscience, the omnipotence, the omnipresence of God, all the attributes that make up God. It is the fact that you and I are aware of who he is that will govern our conduct. Now, the one who knows little about God will live a rebellious life, indifferent life, independent life, but those of us who know him, knowing him motivates us to want to live a godly, obedient, submissive type of life. So he says, their conduct in this world in which you and I are passing through as strangers, as aliens, as pilgrims, he says, during the time of your stay upon this earth, he says, we're to conduct ourselves. That is, our conduct, our behavior, our performance is to be in the spirit of reverence for God. That is, in my relationship to someone else, in my relationship to other people, in my relationship to my vocation, in my relationship to whatever my responsibility is, whatever is required of us, we are to conduct ourselves as those who live in fear of the Lord. Not afraid of him, but in an awesome sense of reverence and devotion of him. That is, we acknowledge his right to be Lord and master over our life. So let me ask you a question. Do you really and truly fear God the next time you attempted to sin against the Lord?

Ask yourself this question. Do I fear God? You may be surprised how little fear you have of God. You see, it's easy for us to say, well, God knows everybody makes mistakes.

Nobody can be perfect. All that rationalization is an indication we have little or no fear of God. Now, God has already told us that there are consequences with sin.

He says, whatever we sow, we're going to reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow. So the fear of God means that I not only acknowledge and reverence him as a person, but I also yield and acknowledge and wisely respond to life circumstances on the basis of the principles and the laws of God, because if I violate his law, I'm going to suffer the consequence and to acknowledge that, and to back off sin as an indication of my reverence and fear of God, and to plunge right into the sin that says I have no fear of God whatsoever. So ask yourself the question, do you really have a wholesome fear of God? Well, the second thing I want you to notice in this passage is the motivation for a holy living. Now, he says our conduct is to be as those who walk with a wholesome, healthy, balanced fear of God, recognizing that we are subject to him, that he is the Lord of life, that we will stand before him and be judged for the life that we've lived. We are accountable to him.

He's the God of grace and love and goodness and mercy, but also we're accountable to him. Now, am I to be motivated to live a sinful, independent, spirited life because I know that I'm eternally secure in a God who's given me his grace? Or does this gracious, loving Father and his grace and goodness and kindness toward me, in understanding what he's done for me, does that motivate me to sin or does that motivate me for holy, righteous living? And Peter is saying in this passage, listen, as you strangers face persecution and hardship, your lifestyle and conduct is to be that of one who reverences God, remembering, thinking about, listen, knowing that you are not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold or from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless the blood of Christ.

There is nothing you have ever done. There's nothing that you could ever possibly do to purchase your salvation. Silver and gold did not purchase your forgiveness before God. It was the shedding of blood, which of the Lord Jesus Christ, which was the full fulfillment of every, listen, of all the pictures and all the foreshadowing of the entire Old Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ and his death was the summation of it all. Remember what John the Baptist said?

He said, Behold, not here comes the Son of God. Behold, the Lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world. The only reason you have any assurance of anything tonight is that Jesus Christ shed his blood at Calvary for your sins and my sins. And sometimes I think we sing these songs, these old songs, these old hymns, and we just sort of rattle them out of our mouth and they don't come out of our heart. What can wash away my sin?

Listen, if there's any song we ought to sing with conviction, that's it. What can wash away my sin? Nothing underlined, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again? Nothing underlined but the blood of Jesus. It is the blood of the Son of God. He says, listen, why does he say, but with the precious blood?

Why is it precious? First of all, because there isn't anything in the world, you think about this, there is not one thing in all of this world that God himself ever created, nothing that God himself ever created that has the power to effect what the blood of Jesus Christ can effect. It can take a man who is an absolutely sudden drunk, anybody on drugs no matter how deep into it they are, no matter how immoral they may be, no matter how far down the road they've spent and wasted their life, the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse them from every single solitary sin with no exception whatsoever. There isn't anything God ever created that has the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. The second reason he says it is the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is because, listen, think about this, that blood was the blood of God himself. He said, I thought God was the spirit.

He is. But his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came and took upon himself the form of human flesh, but he never ceased to be God. So when the blood began to run, it was the blood of God that ran. He says the blood of the spotless lamb, the Son of God who died was God in the flesh, shedding God's divine blood for your sin and my sin. So therefore he says, listen, he says what should motivate us in our life of reverence and holiness before God is the fact that we have been redeemed, not with perishable things from our futile way of life, but with the precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Jesus Christ.

Now, notice what he says. He says for he that is Christ, this redemptive plan didn't just start when you and I sinned, but he says for he that is Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world. That is, God's redemptive plan was established in the mind of God before he ever created the world.

So you see what happened in the Garden of Eden, God wasn't up there wringing his hands and saying, oh my goodness, they've blown it in the garden, what am I going to do? Before God ever created Adam and Eve, he had already designed the plan to redeem fallen mankind. So he says that before the world was ever created, God foreknew it, God chose ahead of time to redeem you and me by the grace of God, which brought to us the redemption through his blood, the Lord Jesus Christ blood, the blood of God. He says before the world was ever established, God had it all planned. So listen, God is never wringing his hands, he's never worried, he's never reacting to anything.

But what is he doing? He's always moving this world toward his great plan. And his plan for world redemption was a plan that absolutely wipes out the intellectual man's mind and heart, that God the Father saw fit to nail his only begotten Son to the cross and let him bleed the blood of God in order that your sin and my sin may be forgiven. He says he planned that before the foundation of the world, for he was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in God. He says, now listen, he says the reason he did this, he said, is for your sake that the Lord Jesus Christ has been revealed, speaking of the times in which they were living and before when the Lord Jesus came. He says he came and appeared in these times for your sake.

That what? That ultimately that you and I may have faith and hope in God. Your faith and my faith and your hope and my hope in God rest upon what? Rest upon our confidence in the sacrificial, all-sufficient, substitutionary, atoning death of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sin. That is the only reason you and I have hope in God. If there is no forgiveness through his Son, then why would God accept us? If there is no death of Christ at Calvary, if there's no forgiveness of sin through his blood, upon what basis do you and I come to God the Father and expect him to accept us? The only other thing you and I have to base that on is our good works and our good conduct.

Well, first of all, our works won't work, and secondly, our conduct's not good enough. Jesus came walking in human flesh on our level, in human skin, in the flesh of humanity so that you and I could understand what he was saying and understand the nature of the God whom he came to reveal. The only people in the world who know God the Father are those who first of all know his Son, Jesus Christ.

So these folks who say, oh, yes, I know God, I've read the Bible. If you don't know Christ, you don't know him. The foundation of all the doctrines of the Christian faith rests in the redemption that is brought about, that is the salvation, the forgiveness that is brought about by the shedding of the blood of Jesus.

If there is no shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness, no forgiveness, no relationship, no relationship, no hope, and life is one more long, futile, empty, meaningless existence. And Jesus said he came in order that that would not happen to us. He says he's appeared now in these last times for the sake of you who, through him, through Christ, are believers in God. We're believers in God through him, that is, God who raised him from the dead, and that just upped our faith and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in God. And if you'll think about what he did, not only did he send him to the cross to die for our sins, but what did God do?

And he could have done this a lot of other ways. Not only did he atone on the cross for your sin in mind, but then God so arranged his death and resurrection so that you and I would believe everything that Jesus said because the acid test was when he said, I'm going to die, but on the third day I'm going to rise. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that absolutely solidifies and binds once and for all our hope and our trust in God, the God who sent his only begotten Son who died on the cross. This same God has promised to forgive us of our sins through his blood. This same God validated every testimony, every word, every proclamation, every sermon Jesus ever taught. He validated every bit of it when Jesus Christ came out of the grave and revealed himself to humanity. Your hope and my hope in God is based upon the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and all the assurance we have is based on the fact that he rose from the grave, and therefore we know that everything he taught and everything he said was true.

Now, you see, if you and I understand the truth of the Word of God, we can face just about anything that Satan throws our way or that God allows or sends our way. So all through this little epistle of 1 Peter, what is he doing? He's just building them up in their faith. He's bringing them back to the realization of who they are in Christ Jesus and that, listen, that their redemption is through the blood of Jesus Christ. And listen, this God who chose them before the foundation of the world, chapter 1, this God who brought about the new birth experience in their life, this God who is protecting them is the same God who has loved them so much, he chose to die at Calvary in their behalf. Now, I believe there are many times when you and I face difficulty if we would just stop and concentrate, listen, on the basic, great, marvelous, incomparable truths of God. It is amazing what that, it's like jerking us out of our situation. It is like catapulting us out of our despair and our depression and beginning to rejoice in the Lord because we understand who we are and who has filled us and where we're going.

You know what we want to do? We want somebody to give us a little spoon-fed devotion. Man, get in the book where God talks about great truths. Listen, why did he give these great truths to these folks here in 1 Peter?

In order to establish them and build them with confidence and assurance that their God would see them through based on the marvelous truths that they were chosen before the foundation of the world by one whose designed redemptive plan was set before the foundation of the world. Our problem is we're just downright ignorant. That's our problem. And we wanted spoon-fed. I want to tell you, listen, that book is full of great, marvelous, rich truths.

If you'll just take a big bite, no spoon-fed business, a big bite, a big chunk, it is amazing how your circumstances change. Man, you begin to think about God. What do you think Paul said? Set your mind, set your affections on the things above where Christ is seated at the Father's right hand where all the major decisions are being made.

And you know, we probably don't like to think about it, but sometime we act like children. We're to be stalwart giants of God. Listen, you can be 21 and be a giant for God.

You don't have to be 60. It isn't just what we know, but it's also what we do with what we know. Are you satisfied just reading a couple of verses to get you on your way in the morning? Are you satisfied just listening to sermons?

Do they tickle your ears and make you feel good? Do they solve your conscience? Oh, my friend, are you serious about living this Christian life? Peter said, motivated by the fact that you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Live your life holy before God, reverencing Him, honoring Him as the Lord of your life. Thank you for listening to the Believer's Conduct. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 17:41:06 / 2023-03-22 17:48:53 / 8

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