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September 17, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Alan Benson continues “Divine Design,” a series about Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled divine design which is a study of Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood.
Today's message will be the second sermon on singleness and will be preached by VP for student development and discipleship. Dr. Alan Benson take your Bibles and turn to first trillion 16. Those of you who are anticipating the preaching on marriage today. I'm sorry we will do that later, I asked him going to finish the message I started last week on singleness, and last week we actually started into the topic and if you will kinda delve a little bit more with the philosophy understanding of singleness and this week I want to really get nuts and bolts that I believe will help you and again realize that we have dealt with universal nature of singleness and in that light. I want to be very helpful to you as a student body and saw that afraid some things that are directed at you now as singles and realizing that some of you will be single longer than other some of you maybe it's a gift of singleness for all of your life and seller try and address all of us as I address some things with regard to nuts and bolts, so we talked about that the usefulness of singleness or if you will. How can I be useful while single and and what can I do to make sure that as long as I'm single God is at work in my life and God is working through my life because I think we determined this that God has a plan for me that is explicit to me that my identity is in him and if we think back about the creation of Adam will realize that even as we contemplate that that God made Adam first, without leave that that God had a relationship with Adam before Eve that Adam had tasks to do in naming the animals before Eve and that tells us this that God has relationship with, and God has a purpose for us in singleness. That purpose may be adjusted. It may be carried out through a different gift of God gives us the gift of marriage, but it doesn't change the fact that we as individuals have relationships with God and that that God's purpose for us in singleness is not some form of a secondary or second-rate purpose.
Should I not get married.
God has a plan, even in this dispensation for singles to faithfully serve him in and through his church in ways that are unique and with capacities that are unique and so we talked a little bit about singleness clarification. I did get a question this week and it was this that I'm talking about singleness in my talking about the time when you're not married for my talking about the time when you're not dating we're talking about the time when you're not married that's the singleness were talking about. I know sometimes we use that phraseology not dating anybody right now so I'm single or actually not talking about that in this capacity.
That time of dating is actually part of singleness in singleness is not being married just for clarification.
So we talked some about the issue of maturity and I really want to come back to that because I want to give you some nuts and bolts with regard to maturity and why it's an issue and what I want you to see is that where talk about maturity or talk about identity and rent talk about purity and I want you to see that it's necessary that that the tower that you build with those three is built on a platform and that platform has to be that you start with maturity in these days of singleness and for as long as these days of singleness should last. God has a plan that you would intentionally as an individual grow in Christ. There is nothing to the full expression of Christ likeness in your life that isn't possible simply because you don't get married and I think sometimes within the church is one of the things that we struggle with weak set tables at banquets at churches and we typically set them with even numbers of chairs and soaps, singles feel like I don't belong, or I'm somehow outside the bubble of regular church life and nothing could be further from the truth. That's our fault if we do things that make those who are single feel awkward or out of place because there is nothing about you as an individual in your walk with God that cannot and should not be fully blown in its maturity in your life as a single and in fact I would encourage you that should not have for you at some point the gift of marriage as the pathway for you to live for him that you focus now in these days on rightly pursuing maturity so that you're actually prepared for marriage when it comes there are too many that are thinking I will come later or I'll grow up. When I get married. Believe me guys your wife to be, does not want the task of growing you up before she grows her children up my life. His job and now married for 25 1/2 years and she's beautiful by the way, I still look at her in the mornings and think how in the world I ever get you to marry me. That is my coup d'état.
I pulled it off. I still don't know how she's smarter than me. She's better looking than me channels money better than me and I got her to marry me. It's it's my coup d'état. But anyway I look at her and say you know what babe I'm probably gonna die early. And if I die early that there's going to be a line up at the door waiting to marry you and she said not a chance.
I am not going to raise another husband soaps. I I feel that III live that so I understand.
So listen to me guys that thought of.
Well, the responsibility comes then I'll get mature. The problem with that is it doesn't happen and carrying out your responsibilities falls apart. These are the days to focus on maturity and soaps as we do. I want to see.
We talked about maturity is a values proposition.
That means I move from living with a cost basis on life. I stop thinking about what I do that. What will it cost me or if I do that.
What will it gain me.
I move beyond that to thinking about what matters to me what is really important in life and I should be willing even at times.
If there is a cost to make a sacrifice for that which matters most to me that means moving beyond that, the things of like should I suite or should I not because the tickets not that expensive and there's likely not any cops anyway to thinking about you know what I've got friends in this car and I value them is thinking about what I do with social media because realizing that I'm leaving it's permanent footprint and at some point. I value my 4 foot future. So I'm going to be careful about the things that I expose myself to and then expose about me with social media. This is maturity. It is a values proposition. But then it's also vehicle for producing community. As I mature I begin to think about others around me. I begin to think about how what I do impacts them.
I begin to think about how valuable they are in my life and how valuable God intends for me to be in their life and so I begin to function with the internal accountability of the one another's as we see in the Scripture. I think more about what can I get out of this relationship.
I think more about what can I give how should I love one another. What should my role be in exhorting one another, how should I be edifying one another. How should I work on not defrauding one another and it it actually creates community that begins to reflect the glory of God's. And thirdly, I want you to see that maturity has characteristics and that's why wanted to go in first Corinthians chapter 16 verse 13 I believe in this passage of Scripture. Paul actually is going to capture and five short phrases. The whole of the instruction that is been giving to the church at Corinth throughout the book I will take time to elaborate on that but you want to go back and check to see the things he says here in the short phrases surrounding an interesting phrase he made in the middle of first print in 1613 and 14. We find this phrase in the King James quit. He like men that some people's life. Verse I'm never gonna grow up real men quit. That's my life verse that's not what it's saying. Next is a call to act like men not to act like children. So Paul writes this watt she stand fast in the faith quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity and I believe he surrounds this phrase of which a like manner grow up which we touched on last week's with four modifying phrases, and I believe that those things are characteristics of maturity.
Here is how I should rightly act to.
I am in Christ. This is the way that I actually should display that I am maturing and so he actually says several things I want us to see what those things are, he says. First of all, watch Eeyore be sober.
The Greek word that he uses means to be alerted to be awake, to be conceived of as staying awake and it actually is a phrase that is use this phrase be sober in several places in the book of first Corinthians, and it actually has his calling of of being aware and has a positive impact and a negative impact prescriptive 1534.
Awake to righteousness and do not send for some do not have the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame. There's a sense of being aware of righteousness or right doing or right standing and really this phrase be sober is a call I'm going to mature to understand my value to understand my beliefs to understand what I really believe and why. I really believe it. It's something I ought to pursue aggressively. Paul challenged Timothy in first Timothy 47 to exercise himself toward godliness. He said to the court, Corinthians this in first Corinthians 9 and every one who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we are in him perishable crown.
Therefore I run thus not with uncertainty. Thus, I fight, not as one who beats the air but I discipline my body and bring it into subjection blessed when I preach to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Notice he says I'm not running with uncertainty I'm coming to the place where I know what I believe where I know what matters and where I live, pursuing that with all of my heart if I'm going to mature, no matter how long I am single one of the things I must do is come to grips with what really matters to me. What do I believe. So I ask you, what do you believe do you know what you believe. Do you know why you believe it, and do you really believe that what you believe is really real.
Never forget back in my college days I went down on extension to Atlanta was handing out tracts in downtown Atlanta and I hand the track to a group of people that were also handing out literature and when I did that the man that I handed it to looked at me change this whole tone of voice and almost wonderful preaching mode.
I had a track to a group of what were known at that time as black American Muslims. It was at a denominational movement here in United States and they were out there promoting that form of of Islamic faith immediately began to preach by preaching at me when I turned around there was about 150 people gathered behind me, between me and this guy and then the crowd got bigger and bigger and bigger horn started to beat the crowd completely closed off the street and I'm still standing while the skies now preaching to a crowd so I did know what to do. I turned around and started handing out my tract in the middle of the crowd. I was on track so I made my way through the crowd got to the back of the crowd, and as I got to the back of the crowd there is this guy. He was huge, big, tall, stately guy and he looked at me and he said I know who you are, your Satan, and I'm not fool.
Well, I didn't know much back then, but I did know that I wasn't Satan. I was pretty sure on that. But I found myself in a scenario where now I was in I have to defend my faith. Young people do you know what you believe because this world. Whether it's something like that, or whether it's another encounter is going to call upon you to defend what you believe. It's not enough that you have your parents faith. It's not enough that you have your parents convictions see as a parent I do not want my children to have my convictions. I want my children to have their own convictions and I want their convictions look just like mine. But there's a huge difference in those two things if they simply hold to my convictions even with strong will, sooner or later, that will fail. Your convictions must be your convictions and that's a dynamic of maturity that you ought to be building a matter how long God leaves you be sober know what you value within. There's a negative and it is this understand your vulnerability. Peter wrote this in first Peter 58 be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
You have an adversary who is hell-bent on destroying you and hear me if he can do it in these days of early singleness and impair you in ways that you think you're useless to God for the rest of your life. That's what he's after Guild put you in situations that impair you and then you preach the message of destruction to you to keep you from ever serving God. Yet we live in these days as though these are the days of our invincibility wake up.
Be sober, be vigilant, realizing that there is one who is looking for every possible way to find you when you're distracted and defined you when you're weak. Those are the two types of prey that lions prey upon.
They don't like to waste energy they don't chase down their prey like cheetahs. They don't stock like tigers.
They actually look for the distracted solar easy prey and they look for those that that are vulnerable because of weakness and he's looking any hunting for you and maturity stop and think I am vulnerable, what must I do to guard my heart.
Maturity looks like. Being sober maturity looks secondly likes being stable uses the words here to stand the hold one's ground and literally here it is to stand firm in the faith. 26 times you'll find the word faith preceded by the definite article by faith, and when you find that New Testament every time it is talking not about your beliefs is talking about a body of truth by faith is the word of God in their challenge. The Corinthians were challenged to stand firm in the faith young people. I challenge you in days of singleness as you procure as you pursue maturity know the word. Your word in Mike's treasured up in my heart that I might not sin against the where was also young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to thy loss, but this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth without shalt meditate therein day and night for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Young people, it's not enough for you to rest in the a lot of verses that you memorized years ago. It's not even enough for you and rote memory to memorize verses because your Bible doctrines or biblical themes take the word of God and for yourself in a knowing and understanding it so that you might apply it to your life.
Come to the Scriptures and interrogate them, who wrote this Cody writer to what you write to them what is that mean to them know what is that mean to me and take God's word and apply it to your life.
Give unique opportunities to do that in single the dynamic of maturing in your faith is that you will stand firm in the faith than he gives them another phrase and he says that they should be strong and what is interesting about this word here. Be strong as actually it is an imperative verb and occurs in the passive, it's almost the idea of realizing your weakness so that you can allow yourself to be made strong realize that that you need to be growing. It's a submission of heart more than a strengthening of body. It is an idea that says you know what I am not all that I should be by the grace of God I can be all that he intends for me to be. So I am going to pursue from my weakness, allowing God through the means of grace to strengthen me in my walk with him.
This is a mindset that says the word of God is the authority in my life. I'm not strong. I don't have it all figured out. But God has all of the answers and I will allow God to strengthen me in my faith be strong, and then finally an interesting one. He says let everything you do be done with charity or with love.
He says be self be selfless. Maturity looks like becoming more and more and more self, less it looks like intentionally pursuing ways to give of myself. It's setting aside an attitude of selfishness. One of the characteristics of immaturity is one who is not just self oriented and self focused, but one who is self-serving as I mature I come to the place where life is not all about me that you hear why in these days of singleness maturity is so important. These four characteristics of maturity are absolutely nonnegotiable.
If you ever hope to have a successful marriage that you find a way to know what you will even realize that you are vulnerable you come to the place where you realize I have to be strengthened through God's word that you come to the place that you realize that there needs to be a stability in your life, and an understanding that that you're not all that yet and then you begin to live with a mindset that is selfless, rather than all of life being self.
One of the ways that you can find usefulness in mature in in your singleness is through pursuing maturity than secondly I want to move to the issue of identity and this is one of the areas where and singleness people really struggle with struggle with. If I'm not married. Who am I where do I fit can I serve as not have a place for me. Why did God love me enough to give me a spouse and all of these thoughts that go through our mind, and I want you to realize today that nothing could be further from the truth in pursuing a right identity I must come to grips with whose I am whose I am who do I belong to God made us individually. He made Adam and Eve, individually and as individuals.
He made them with purpose and with plan and God may each of us individually. God saves each of us individually, God gifts, each of us individually and so in answering whose I am, I ought to find there a sense of security that I have one who will be greater than my husband could ever be to make an impact. If I try to find my identity and my husband.
I will actually hurt our marriage because my husband cannot be God to me. God intends for him to be God to you and I can settle that issue in my singleness, no matter how long the.
That might be.
I can settle that in my singleness even if I find myself there after my spouse dies that I belong to God. I find their sense of security, Paul could say I know whom I have believed an intimate term of relationship. Psalm 100 and verse three says no you that the Lord he is God. It is he that is made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. As I pursue identity I must come to grips with the fact that my identity is not in what I have but a consumerist a culture that is what is being pushed upon us all the time.
Your identity is, and what you have is in the labels that you have is an assemblage on your car fits in the type of things that you're able to show young people. This world will destroy you if you start finding your security and identity and what you have is not in what you have accomplished your identity is not in what you have accomplished. It's not in a position that you attain. It is not in what you have earned or deserved.
And it's not enough in any human relationship. Your identity is found in Christ. That is why Paul could say that with godliness, and godliness. There is great gain when it comes with contentment. Find your security in your relationship with Christ. That is something that will not change whether God's has the gift of singleness for your future or the gift of marriage. Settle your identity. Knowing that you have security in Christ within. Secondly, not just security but authority a proper sense of authority. Whenever I realize whose I am.
I come to grips with the fact that there is someone that I answer to.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians in first Corinthians 6 what know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, what you have of God and you are not your own, for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God in what you do and in what you think and what how you act and in what you believe, glorify God in their nets to you as an individual and as I live. I am to live unto the Lord, that I had identity because I am his and he is mine.
I am loved with an everlasting love and that means I find my security in him and it means I live under his authority than secondly, not just whose I am but who I am who I am.
Singleness is a time for me to discover who God intends for me to be, so I must have a proper understanding of my stewardship and I encourage you sometime to go read and read all of Romans 12 because there Romans 12 we have details of how God gifts people Paul talked about in first Corinthians as well that were gifted individually. Young people in your singleness. One of the things that you ought to be doing is looking at what it is that God has given you to serve him. What gifts do you have what abilities do you have a safe and I don't even know how to do that. I do some kind gifts inventory. You know, I encourage you to do serve in serving. Listen. Listen to what people say are you being a blessing to them is not using you to impact their life are they being encouraged in their walk with God, and there you will find that you are probably starting to use the giftedness that God is given you couple that then with joy. I really enjoy doing that I enjoy finding ways to help in that way and begin to ascertain what your giftedness is and realize that that's part of what your identity is in Christ and you will find the greatest satisfaction in life when you actually live doing that which God has equipped you to do the avenue through which you use those gifts may change if God has marriage for you, but your usefulness and your effectiveness and your ability to serve God doesn't change if you don't get married. These are the days to discover your giftedness to come to grips with who you are and the stewardship of that gift and then looking at how can I use it where ways that I should take this giftedness and use it.
It's not all for me. It's not just about a career. In fact, you will find that there is greater satisfaction for a believer serving God with his giftedness in the pathways of service in life that are better and more satisfaction satisfying than just your career. God intends for you to use your giftedness to serve him to reach the world through the church and that is his intention. Whether you're single or whether your Mary in these days of singleness or days to discover those gifts and discover how best to use them, and should God bring you in a relationship with another person.
You'll find ways together to use those gifts, but whether or not that is true you find ways to serve God through his church last when I close with this is purity. I want to challenge you go read first Thessalonians chapter 4 versus one chapter 4 verses one through eight, and the reason I build to this is young people you are living in a sensuality soaked society and this is a culture that is telling singles every day that your value is found in your sexual prowess and young people are destroying their lives because they do not recognize that God's will for them prefers hustling.
Chapter 4 is even your sanctification, your value is not in being a sex symbol. Your value is not somehow in and somehow being engaged physically with others to find some sense of security and fulfillment.
Your effectiveness will actually be found in submitting your sexuality to Christ, and that is true in marriage as well is in singleness, but if you're going to pursue effectiveness usable nests usefulness in singleness. It starts with saying you know what this is time for me to grow to mature and in doing that to rightly understand my identity and how I should live for God and to guard my usefulness by making sure I guard my heart and stay pure young people don't waste these days of singleness, no matter how long they last.
Let's pray father, help us to hide your word in our hearts.
Help us to value singleness to matter how long that gift lasts because you have purpose and transform us. Help us to grow help us to become secure in Christ and help us to stay pure for your glory in Jesus name, amen. You would listing to a sermon preached by Dr. Alan Benson, which is part of the study series about Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood entitled divine design.
Join us again tomorrow as we continue the series here on The Daily Platform