Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                          Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Feb 26, 2012:                            "Tiptoe through the Tulips? Part 2" 
Sun AM Worship                        

Text: 2 Tim 3:12- 4:8 (King James Version)       

  "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

                                       The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"

 

 God did not call us to tiptoe through the tulips He called us to FIGHT the GOOD FIGHT of FAITH!

 

Intro: In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn't. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.

"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."

"Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?"

 

2 Timothy 3:12   Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:13   But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

2 Timothy 3:14   But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2 Timothy 3:15   And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16   All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Timothy 3:17   That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 4:1   I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Timothy 4:2   Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:3   For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2 Timothy 4:4   And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Timothy 4:5   But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

2 Timothy 4:6   For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

2 Timothy 4:7   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2 Timothy 4:8   Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

 

Let's pray. Father,  Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

1 Timothy 6:12   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:13   I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

1 Timothy 6:14   That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Timothy 6:15   Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

1 Timothy 6:16   Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

 

Matthew 11:12   And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

 

1 Corinthians 15:26   The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:27   For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

1 Corinthians 15:28   And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

1 Corinthians 15:29   Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:30   And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

1 Corinthians 15:31   I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

1 Corinthians 15:32   If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

1 Corinthians 15:33   Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

1 Corinthians 15:34   Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

1 Corinthians 15:35   But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

1 Corinthians 15:36   Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

 

If there was ever a time in history the Body needs to come together in Unity it is NOW!  As one body many members in absolute unity if we are going to stand against what is on the horizon from the enemy.

 

 Unity is brought about by the working of God's vision, mission, and plan for us by the Holy Spirits working in us. A Spiritual Gift is the Holy Spirits visible activity in our lives.

There can be union without unity - You may tie the tails of a cat and a dog together by a rope and have union, but you surely don't have unity!

1 Corinthians 9:24   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

1 Corinthians 9:25   And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

1 Corinthians 9:26   I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

1 Corinthians 9:27   But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

 

Ephesians 6:10   Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Ephesians 6:11   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:13   Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:14   Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Ephesians 6:15   And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:16   Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:17   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ephesians 6:18   Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

Galatians 2:20   I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

John 12:24   Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

John 12:25   He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

John 12:26   If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

 

Galatians 6:17   From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

 

1 Corinthians 13:3   And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.


Jesus prayed that we would be one as He the Father and Spirit are one. The gifts are given to encourage this unity in the bond of peace.

The first purpose of the Spiritual gifts is to give Glory to God the second purpose is to bind us together as one body to produce a complete picture of Jesus Christ. We are called the body of Christ by Paul because it takes every single part of that body to give an accurate picture of Jesus.

I. The gifts are supposed to build unity (2 Corinthians 12:25-26)

The spiritual gifts are designed and distributed to the body of Christ so that we can work together. I am going to say something hard. If you are not promoting unity you are probably grieving the Spirit of God.

Warren Wiersbe said the secret of our joy in spite of circumstances is maintaining a single mind and the secret of joy in spite of people is maintaining a submissive mind.

 

Chapter 1of Philippians we fin Christ first, in chapter 2 we find others next, and then lastly yourself. It is a good order to maintain but a tall order to be consistent on. The secret is found in Philippians 4.13 Jesus is your strength for Joy.


Selfish ambition pursues personal goals; empty conceit seeks personal glory and acclaim. The ambition deals with personal accomplishments; the conceit deals with an over inflated self-image. Ambition and conceit are the opposite of humility and concern. Understandably, a person with such conceit considers himself always to be right and expects others to agree with him. The only unity he seeks or values is centered on himself.

So with all that said where does this unity come from? It comes from a true desire to decrease so that Jesus can increase and concern for others overrides our own selfish desires, dreams, and decisions. When the Spirit is working in you as God has gifted you a great concern for others is birthed and grows and unity is the desire of you heart.

II. The gifts are supposed to build maturity

Ephesians 4.12

A) Unity of the faith

The unity of the faith here is the shared understandings of the great truths of the Bible. The context here of "the faith" is what is believed not the act of believing. The definite article "the" points to the body of truth revealed in scripture especially the complete content of the gospel.

B) Knowledge of the son of God

It is the truth found in the scriptures and gospel that point us to the person of Jesus. This is not speaking of simply salvation knowledge. It is speaking of a deeper more personal intimate knowledge. It is the working of the Holy Spirit in your life with the truths of the scripture and trust of Jesus that will mature you. Don't ever get discouraged in your desire to grow in a deeper knowledge of Jesus it is a lifelong journey and process. The process of being made in the image of Christ is not a destination in this life as much as a direction.

C) Marker of maturity

The Holy Spirit of God desires to work in you to make you a crucial piece of the glorious picture of Jesus on earth. Jesus doesn't want us to be church workers He first wants us to be image bearers. Howard Hendricks once said that "The Bible was not written to satisfy your curiosity, but to make you conform to Christ's image. Not to make you a smarter sinner, but to make you like the Saviour. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts, but to transform your life." Paul tells us what the markers of maturity are in Philippians 2.3.

But with humility of mind Now Paul proceeds to give the Scriptural "antidote" for selfish ambition and the pursuit of empty glory. We are to view others as being "held above" and thereby to hold ourselves as lower than them, which is exactly the opposite of what our flesh nature desires.

Humility is not thinking less of ourselves but is really not thinking of ourselves at all.

Humility is not a weak man's surrender instead it is a strong man's rejection of the selfish and self-centered nature in order to accept Jesus' compassion and concern for all people. Again I must tell you this includes those that aggravate, annoy, hurt, wound, and otherwise impact your life.

Paul desires for the saints at Philippi to manifest unity, but to do that these believers must put off the "dirty" old garment of selfishness, personal vanity, haughtiness and self-interest. Paul knows that a preoccupation with one's self is a sin which will destroy the unity of the body. The paradox is that when Christ is Lord, self is dead and we are set free to be His bondslaves.
Henry Morris has a powerful comment writing that...
A modern psychological ploy is to attribute many personal and social problems to individual lack of self-esteem. The Scriptures, however, urge each of us to have other-esteem, not self-esteem. Our real problem is self-centeredness and too much self-esteem. However, Paul urges us to be lowly-minded, not high-minded, seeking the good of others, not concerned with ourselves.
Humility is the minds set of Christ that nothing is beneath us and we are above no one.
III. The gifts are supposed to build a body that ministers
A) Internally


Ephesians 4.3 "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
The Greek word Paul uses here conveys the idea of urgency and intense effort and motivation. It also carries the element of haste and a sense of crisis. Unity does not just happen any more than maturity just happens. Whatever we are doing as individuals will be compounded as it is brought in to the body as a whole.

A university professor yearly would conduct an experiment for his class which is a wonderful illustration of the unity of the Spirit...
On an oak table was placed a pile of horseshoe nails. In one corner of the room was a powerful dynamo. When the electric current was turned on and the poles of the battery were brought up under the table, although they did not touch the nails themselves, immediately there was constituted around them a field of magnetic force. So long as this field of force was maintained the loose horseshoe nails could be built up in various forms, such as a cube, a sphere, or an arch. So long as the current was on, the nails would stay in exactly the form placed, as if they had been soldered together. But the second the current was cut off, the nails would fall into a shapeless mass. What that field of magnetic force was to those nails, the Holy Spirit is to all believers. By His power we are held together in a bond of love, a bond that is broken when we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by our self-willed actions. Let us endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

So the Spirit works in our life to gift us to die to self so the body can grow and thrive.
The present tense of the verb means it is an ongoing effort to maintain unity. The active voice indicates that the action is volitional or a choice of the will of the believers.

B) Externally

Our first priority as the body of Christ is to grow into the image of Jesus Christ. Simply put to learn to love each other in spite of the times we mess up and hurt each other. Our second priority is to love those outside our fellowship so that the Holy Spirit can reveal Christ through Immanuel.

What do we need to do to make this happen?

1) A desire to pursue Christ with abandon
2) A desire to place others above yourself
3) A desire to promote the kingdom of God over our own ideas, reputation, recognition
4) A design given by God to produce disciples and promote unity

Cultivating live in common and developing fully devoted followers of Christ

Conclusion: We accomplish both by allows the Holy Spirit to make us less and operate our Spiritual gifting for the Glory of God and the good of others.