By THEIR Fruits You Shall Know THEM. By YOUR Fruit We Shall Know YOU.
(Preached at Community Bible Chapel-Hico Texas)
Two weeks ago I spoke of the Christian Standing and the Christian State. I spoke of how YOU can be PERSONALLY assured of your salvation, and how Satan tries to get you to doubt your salvation to take glory away from God.
This week I'm gonna talk about how it is GOOD and FROFITABLE to the believer and others in the church to occasionally QUESTION your salvation, to prove your own selves.
NOTHING in this life is more important than the matter of Eternal salvation. I don't want ANYONE to THINK they are saved. I want to speak sermons occasionally to move the believer to cause him to EXAMINE HIMSELF.
I NEVER preach ANYTHING that I MYSELF do not practice
Now-on with the sermon.
Eccl 12:12-13 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: (be warned-be cautioned) of making many books (be occupied with) there is no end; and much study (of books) is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Professing Christians will read MANY religious books but very few will study God's Word, the Bible. Much study OF BOOKS is a weariness of the flesh.
THIS is WHAT and WHY you should study.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
You are to study the WORD OF TRUTH (Bible)
You are to study so God will APPROVE of you and to know TRUTH from ERROR.
What is your WHOLE DUTY?
Fear God-Obey God.
You were BOUGHT with a price you know.
1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Cor 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
You were PURCHASED you know.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
If you are God's children, you were created IN CHRIST for good works.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Can the world see evidence of your good works. Can other Christians see evidence of your good works? NO, I don't think you're not gonna answer this question. You're probable gonna forget all about what I talk about here as soon as CHURCH IS OVER. The sermon will not be discussed when CHURCH IS OVER. The words of caution will not be contemplated, or carefully though about as soon as CHURCH IS OVER.
It is traditional to listen to the preacher DURING CHURCH SERVICES, but as soon as CHURCH IS OVER, most people will forget about what he says.
Let me make clear the duties of the pastors, leading elders, or bishop as they are called in the New Testament. These are ALL one and the same.
These men are the shepherds of the flock, which is the assemble of believers. They are the overseers. They have the oversight, the care, control, supervision, management and guidance over the local assembly of believers, NOT ONLY on Sunday mornings, but in their daily Christian walk.
A Christian is not just a Christian during public assembling. He is a Christian ALWAYS, if he indeed be a Christian. The leader is a spiritual leader ALWAYS, to AID and LEAD the member of the local assembly in his STUDY and his choice of companions and his manner of behavior and all that is commanded of God to the believer in his DAILY Christian walk.
A teacher does not JUST teach the pupil during school hours. The teacher sends homework to work on AT HOME. The teacher is preparing the pupil in preparation for life in this world.
The spiritual teacher/leader is preparing the disciple for a life IN THIS WORLD so as the LIGHT OF CHRIST may CLEARLY shine, through that disciple, so that the lost may see the glory of God through that light.
The spiritual leader also works to bring understanding of God's Word and obedience to God, the believers Savior.
BUT--people think that the pastor has the OVERSIGHT over CHURCH MEMBERS only during CHRUCH SERVICES and after CHURCH IS OVER-- They are on their own
They conform to pastoral leadership during CHURCH SERVICES, but who will lead them the other 98% of the time? You know, the substance of that preached on Sunday morning goes for the Christian LIFE, not just for an hour or two on Sunday morning.
Are you so spiritual that you ONLY need God and HIS WORD on SUNDAY MORNING? Are you SO SPIRITUALLY STRONG that you can make it ON YOUR OWN for 166 hours of a 168-hour week. If you are that strong, why do you need to go to church at all? If the truth be known, some of you would go the WHOLE WEEK without God and HIS WORD and some of you do.
Are you that independent that you don't need God? If you are that strong, why then do you need salvation? If you are strong enough to GO THROUGH LIFE without God and HIS WORD maybe you don't need Jesus Christ.
If you need JESUS CHRIST then you most certainly need a steady dose of GOD'S WORD. This is not opinion--this is biblical fact.
For MOST people, the only Word of God they obtain is AT CHURCH on Sunday morning. If a Christian would have prayer time AT HOME regularly and study God's Word AT HOME regularly, so much emphasis on COME TO CHURCH would not be necessary.
I do not preach, "come to church every time the doors are open", although that would be beneficial to the believer. I preach the study of God's Word and obedience to God.
You know, I can't MAKE YOU obey God and study His Word, I can only warn you and admonish you and rebuke you, but I can't SAVE you.
You say you are a branch of the TRUE VINE. WHERE IS YOUR FRUIT?
The Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell believers, and creates in them a DESIRE to hear God's Word. He creates a LOVE for God's Word in the believer. Where is the FRUIT OF THAT SPIRIT?
I understand what John the Baptist was talking about in Matt chapter three.
Matt 3:7-10 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
He told the Pharisees and Sadducees not to depend on their forefathers for salvation. THAT dependence did not produce works or evidence of repentance.
Be careful you don't rely on your CONVICTIONS for salvation if it doesn't produce evidence of repentance and good works.
You may say what you will about me and my preaching, but salvation will be make evident by repentance and good works. A LOVE FOR GOD and the THINGS OF GOD will be evident in the life of a TRUE BELIEVER.
There are many moral, honest and upstanding people gonna burn in hell.
Where is the OUTWARD EVIDENCE of your good works and your repentance. Where is the OUTWARD EVIDENCE of your love for God and His Word.
I join in with the Apostle Paul in saying.
2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.
He is saying, "are you in the faith"? Do you really belong to the "household of faith"? Is Jesus Christ REALLY in you? If He isn't you are reprobates and lost in your sins.
The letter to the Romans was sort of like my sermon today. Paul didn't just TAKE FOR GRANTED that everyone he spoke to and wrote to in the local church was of the household of faith.
Rom 8:9-11 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
I've said this before and I'll say it again.
The individual who is born again will hunger after the Bible. It is God's voice, and the regenerated man loves God's voice. It is God's law, and the regenerated man has God's law written upon his heart. A person's attitude toward the Bible is a strong indication of his spiritual condition.
What indication of YOUR spiritual condition are YOU giving to the world and to others in the church. If you do not give a proof positive manifestation, then don't blame another for sometimes bringing your standing before God into question.
YOU can KNOW if you have eternal life if you REALLY and THROUGHLY examine yourself. The Apostle John says so in I John 5:13
OTHERS can also know if you have eternal life if you SHOW EVIDENCE of it.
2 Tim 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Are you hiding the EVIDENCE of your salvation and getting upset when someone questions your salvation? Don't be a hypocrite. Act like what you are. BY THEIR FRUITS YOU SHALL KNOW THEM. AMEN???
I want to ask you to do something. Write out a Testimony of your salvation and bring it to church next time you come.
This is not an unusual request and it shouldn't bother you that I ask for it. I VOLUNTEER my testimony.
ALL saved people have a SALVATION TESTIMONY. A Christian should be willing to PROUDLY give his testimony to others.
Jesus said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven". (Matt 5:16
This will be a great opportunity to do just that.
If you are offended by what I ask, then I have to ask another question. WHY?
Ask yourself that question.
The next time you come to assemble here on College Street I hope to see that testimony so that ALL may see. AMEN!