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A Call to Persevere!

Key Scripture: Jude 1:3-8(KJV) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

SUMMARY

The most blessed hope written and dispatched in the Holy-Writ to humanity is that our Lord Jesus is coming back very soon! We as His church have a responsibility, accountability and work to do. Without being responsible and fighting a good fight of faith we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, let us experience the joy of salvation and perceive unto our faith until the second coming of Christ!

SERMON POINTS

The Joy of Salvation:

There is joy in the presence of the Lord. Many of us today don’t give weight-age to the day that we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; the first joy that needs to come out from the heart of every Christian. If only we acknowledge the importance of being saved we will forever be joyful in the Lord. The joy of salvation should be daily because we are being washed by the blood of the Lamb every day. Therefore, let us stir ourselves with the joy of the Lord and He will take care of us!

One important aspect of being a child of God is to underlie our problem, trails and difficulties and still be able to testify the goodness of God. However, the bitter truth these days is we forget Him as our priority and expect the coming of the Lord to be delayed. Let us understand that the second coming of the Lord will not only be a spiritual experience but also a physical experience; He will sit on the throne and judge the whole world. Until then the church has been called and given some tasks. Therefore, let us assimilate His calling in our lives and abide by it!

How Do We Persevere to Our Calling?

1) Fight for the Faith.

Jude 1:3-4Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

As St. Paul says that he has fought a good fight of faith and the crown of glory awaits him in heaven in a similar manner we are called by God to fight a good fight of faith. Saying we don’t have opportunities or responsibilities in the church would be wrong because we are commissioned to pray and be prayer warriors. Prayer is a high calling and nobody is unemployed in the kingdom of God, but if we become like the one talent man in the bible who was lazy and buried his talent we will also be considered worthless and will be casted into the outer darkness like the servant man.

Therefore, let’s us take a share of our responsibility in the church, seek the Lord and ask how we can be usable vessels for the kingdom of the Lord. St. Paul asked his calling the moment when he received the light of the Lord and he was used mightily by Him. Like the old phrase says, “It never too late to right a wrong.” Hence, if we have the zeal and passion for Him its never too late. So what is our ask today?

2) Believe the Lord

Jude 1:5 (KJV) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

In Jude we read that the Egyptians were destroyed because they didn’t believe. Though it is a wonderful feeling to be saved yet if we don’t continue in faith to believe and trust in the Lord, we greatly displease Him. The Israelite’s wavered in their faith. One day they worshiped the idols and the other day they came back repenting to God. Finally, a day came when they didn’t believe the Lord wholeheartedly, though the Lord had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey yet they erred and chose to believe the lie of the enemy. Similarly, today as Christians we pray to God halfheartedly, believe in the lies of the enemy and make our hearts troubled with fear and anxiety nonetheless committing a great sin against the Lord.

Remember God is a faithful God and He will give us things at the right appointed time. The world may receive it a natural way but we will get in a super natural way by a super natural power. Believe today that God has a definite work through the Pastors into our lives!

3) Protect our Calling

 Are Jude 1:6-8 (KJV) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

God has given as an estate a high calling. We read in the bible that the angels were given very high place in heaven to keep safe the great estate and possession. However, the angels defiled the flesh with the filth of sin. Therefore, God destroyed the whole earth except Noah and His family. Also in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah they did the same thing, they sinned against God. Hence, the angels failed in the great calling of God and they will be judged. God has placed us with a high calling, greater compared to the calling of angels but if we don’t protect our calling in purity, mix with the world and do the unwanted things of the world we might as well fall into the judgement of God.

If the Angels who were given high estates were judged how much more are we prone to the judgement of God? Therefore, let us be careful with our estate and if God has blessed us let us keep it pure and holy. Let’s us be vessels of honor to the Lord for we share the inheritance of Jesus, introspect our lives and impatiently await the Lord’s Coming.

John 1:12 (KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

We share the same inheritance of Jesus of calling God, “Abba Father” which is the highest inheritance we can have on earth. Therefore, as we have become His sons, let us protect our highest estate that God has entrusted upon us.

CONCLUSION.

The biggest possession we have in our Christian life is faith.  We are all employers in the Kingdom of Heaven to fulfill His calling in our life. We fight the faith, we believe in the Lord and we also protect our calling. Remember Jesus is coming very soon and we have a lot of work in hand; let every seed that we sow fall on the fertile soil, so that it will yield and produce double fold the good work of God’s that He has assigned us. Believe in Him and He shall direct our paths! 

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Victory over Sin and Addictions-Part-2

Key Scripture:

1 John 5:18 (KJV)  We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

SUMMARY

We can learn from this sermon the struggle we have with sin and the ways to overcome it especially from the First Epistle of John. Sin is our greatest enemy and it is a real battle everyday to keep away from it. This sermon highlights 5 ways we can overcome this enemy from God’s Word. Let us be equipped with the Sword of the Spirit and fight the wicked one who tries to entangle us with sin and addictions.

SERMON POINTS

 Struggle with sin.

 Hebrews 12:1 (KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Sin is something that easily entangles us and disturbs our communion with the Lord. It separates us from the presence of God and we fall into the snare of the devil.  The Bible tells us it follows us, almost pursuing you, crouching at our doors waiting to take us prey.

Often Sin is regarded harmless and ignored with a false notion that every sin under the heavens have been forgiven and that all has been set right. If Sin had been done away with, these epistles would not have been written at the first place.

Adam the first human fell into sin because of the devil and he has passed it down onto us, and that seed of sin dwells in us, making us incapable to do any good.

Sin is dangerous; destroying every bit of holiness that we would have ever worked towards.Anything that takes us away from the presence of God is sin be it our cellphones, Television shows,even certain lifestyle choices leave an open door for sin and sinning repeatedly is an addiction.

The good news is that Jesus Christ came so that we can be free from this magnetic horror called sin that follows us every moment and we can only be cleansed from it by His precious Blood.

Ways we can be victorious over sin?

As adhesive as sin can be the Bible shows us steps in which we can keep away sin from our lives. There is sin that follows us even after the completed work of Christ on the cross and that is why St. John makes 27 references to sin in 1 John in the New Testament which helps us get into a habit of being conscious of our lives being in line with the Holy One.

  1. Confession of sins:

 1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

In the presence of God, we should take time to introspect our lives in the light of His holiness. We deceive ourselves when we say we haven’t sinned. If we confess our sins then the Lord is faithful to forgive us. With peer pressure, sin is always at our necks. It is so important to introspect whether we have offended God in any way or not.

1 John 1:3 (KJV)  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

 Being associated with darkness can only lead to a sinful life but fellowship with God through prayer, worship and the ministry of God’s word can help us overcome sin. There is no deliverance without confession. Let us get into the habit of putting ourselves before the presence of God as an open book each day and evaluate our spiritual lives.

  1. Commitment to do His Word:

 1 John 2:1-6 (KJV) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

 There is a constant urge to sin within us. The commitment to keep God’s word is what helps us overcome that urge. The Bible tells us that the Law of the Lord is by which we are warned and by keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19) We also find the Lord Jesus telling us that if we love Him we must obey His commandments. By doing so, the love of God is perfected in us, especially when we walk as our Lord Jesus walked.  When we are committed to keep His commandments , we enter into the blessed realm of communing with Him. His commandments reveal who He is and we should be passionate in obeying those.

  

  1. Communion of the Holy Spirit:

 1 John 2:15-17 (KJV)  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 We are not to love the world. The glory and medals of this world are vain. All we have is supposed to be for the Kingdom of God be it our homes, families, material possessions, even our influence.

1 John 2:27 (KJV)  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him

 The Bible tells us that the anointing of the Holy Spirit abides in us and He is the one who teaches us the way in which we are to walk. When He is in you and you have a constant communion with Him you can hear Him teach you the right thing. The world will allure us to itself, but when we have the communion of the Holy Spirit inside of us we would escape from every dart of the evil one.

  1. Conviction to be righteous

 1 John 3:9-10 (KJV)  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

 There are two groups of people in the world- children of God and children of the devil. When we are the children of God, we have His seed in us. His righteousness and grace is in us. When His seed is in us, the power of sin is rendered powerless.We are saved from addictions because His seed is there in us. Not only following righteousness but even loving your brother determines whether we are of God or not. To what extent would you love?

1 John 3:16-18 (KJV)   Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Laying down our lives for one another should be our standard in love. Without love towards those around us, we cannot say the love of God dwells within us. Let us not only speak of loving but also show it in our actions.

  1. Confidence in God:

1 John 5:18-19 (KJV)  We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

 Last but definitely in no way the least is, having the confidence in God  Whosoever has been of God cannot sin. Our Lord Jesus who is the begotten of God keeps us in His love. This is the confidence we have in God, that He is able to keep us from sin even when the whole wold is filled with wickedness. The wicked one will not be able to touch us as long as we are kept by the Lord Jesus.

CONCLUSION.

People say there is no more sin in the world because Jesus Christ washed them all away. They disregard the existence of sin and thereby deceive themselves. Sin will eventually catch up with us. Denial of sin cannot be the solution to overcome sin.Today, whatever maybe that sin or addiction that is holding you back from God, get into His word, let it convict you to confess your sins and lead you to the precious cleansing power of His Blood. We have victory over sin and addictions by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. Above all as we are committed for this warfare, He will keep us from all the evil attacks when we live in the light of His presence.

Victory over Sin and Addictions-Part 1

Key Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:57,58 (KJV)  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

SUMMARY

This sermon brings out the basics of what the Law of God requires of His people. It has been widely propagated that we live in a ‘Grace-Period’ and that the Law doesn’t hold good anymore. However without understanding of God’s Law revealed in His Word, no one can have a knowledge of Sin and the need of a Savior. Our Lord Jesus amplified the law of Moses and didn’t simplify it. Our Lord Jesus came to fulfil the law and give us His righteousness. We are called to walk in fellowship with Him waging a war on Sin. Thanks be to God because we have victory in and through Him.

SERMON POINTS

Victory over sin through Jesus Christ.

 1 John 3:4 (KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The Bible tells us that anyone who transgresseth /breaks the Law, sins.

We also come to know from God’s word that there are 3 different Laws that are conflicting within us. There is no good thing that dwells in our flesh. (Romans 7:18,19)

St. Paul gives us an overview of the 3 different laws that work in us in Romans 7:24-8:3;

Romans 7:24, 25 (KJV) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

We are wretched people because of our inability to lead a pure life. Sin tries to capitalize on our weaknesses and if we deny sin, we deceive ourselves . We should live in the light of our Lord Jesus everyday and follow the Spirit and not the flesh. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Though the law of God is in our minds and we want to obey it, the Law of sin is ruling the members of our body making us do the same sin that we don’t want to do!

St. Paul languishes as to who could ever save us from the law of sin and death. The answer he offers in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ our Lord is the only one who delivers us from the law of sin that rules the members of the body.

Romans 8:1,2 (KJV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

When Jesus Christ comes into your heart, through Him you receive the Law of Spirit of Life which sets you free from the law of sin and death which works in our flesh. The Holy Spirit is able to help us keep away from wicked deeds and thoughts and because He sets us free, we have no condemnation as all the sinful passions which were once active before are rendered dead.

What is Sin?

The general belief is that the Law given by God to Moses, is only for the Old Testament believers. Any sin in the New Testament is covered by grace, is what most preachers preach and many believe.

Without the Law of God we could never know what is sin. The Bible calls lawlessness as sin. (1 John 3:4). The 10 commandments are a summary of what the entire Law asked of the people to follow. The New Testament has an amplified version of the Old Testament’s commandments. The Lord’s standard of holiness is explained clearly in the New Testament. Let’s do a comparison of the law of God in the Old Testament and the law explained by the Lord Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.

 Matthew 6:24 (KJV)   No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Our Lord Jesus stated the amplified version of the first commandment-You cannot serve God and Money

What you serve is what controls you. Our Lord categorically states that we cannot serve God and Money. It is not that God is against money. When all our choices are dependent on the Money factor, we make money as our God which is against the Law of God. The Pharisees could not understand the standard God expected when they projected their righteousness. As our Lord went on with the beatitudes, man’s self righteousness started breaking down.

  1. Do not make any Idols

 Ezekiel 14:3,4 (KJV) “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry.

 Idols are what we make. The Lord commanded that we are not to make any idols.

In the book of Ezekiel God expects us to get rid of the idols set up in the heart. The idols can be i love and reverence for material things, gadgets, children, career, etc. so much so that we tend to prioritise them over God Himself. Let such idols be removed from our hearts because as long as it is there, sin is manifest.

  1. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain

 Matthew 12:36,37 (KJV)  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

The third commandment says that we are not to take the name of the Lord our God in vain. (Exodus 20:7). Lord Jesus said in the New Testament that we must give account for every vain or idle word we speak. We are justified by the words we speak and we are condemned by the same yardstick

  1. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

 Hebrews 10:24,25 (KJV)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching

 In the Old Testament, the Jews were to remember and keep the Sabbath day holy. (Exodus 20:8) The Bible in the New Testament commands us to consider one another and not forsake the assembling of together for any church fellowship and meetings to prepare ourselves for the Second-coming of Christ and to spur one another for good works. The early church believers gathered daily in one accord. (Acts 2:46) By keeping away from church gatherings and fellowship, we tend to live in isolation and we can be so self centered and live in sin.

  1. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you

 Romans 12:10 (KJV)  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

 In Exodus 20:12, the Lord commands His people to honour their parents so that they may live long in the land. And for many of us this is doable and we keep the commandment. But in the New Testament, we are to love everyone with brotherly love and esteem one another above ourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 (KJV)   And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

This honor must  also be towards those who labour in the Lord for us, admonishing us with His word, namely, the pastors and spiritual leaders whom the Lord has placed over our lives .

  1. Thou shalt not kill.

 Matthew 5:21,22 (KJV)  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 The above verse gives us a perfect explanation of how being angry without a cause is equivalent to murder. Next time when anger without a cause comes up in your heart remember, in the eyes of God it means to kill that person. When we read and understand the righteous standards of God we should move more closer to God and rely on Him.

  1. ´Thou shalt not commit adultery.

 Matthew 5:27,28 (KJV)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart

 In the Old Testament being involved physically in the act of adultery was sin. Jesus Christ in His sermon on the Mount says that if you look at a man/woman with lust, you have already sinned with him/her. The rate of those succumbing to internet pornography is appalling and very sad, children being the majority among the those. Let us put an end to sin that starts with our eyes.

  1. Thou shalt not steal.

 Stealing is a sin and so is lying. The Bible has not changed that for New Testament believers. It is no compromise to put up with even though God is gracious, He is holy and doesn’t tolerate sin. Don’t give any place for these in your deeds or words. The last six commandments deal with others and we usually violate it because of sin. The New Testaments raises our awareness of sin and stresses the need for a Savior.

 

Victory over sin through Jesus Christ.

 Romans 8:1,2 (KJV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

 The New Testament in no way or form has either deleted or simplified the Law of God or the severity of its consequences for disobedience. Instead, what we read in the New Testament is an amplified version of the same Laws of God. It exhibits the sin in us and our inability to fulfil the righteousness of God. Lord Jesus told the Pharisees that even their righteousness fell short of the standard of God.

1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

This is true for us as well and the only way we can be cleansed is by the Blood that Jesus shed on the cross for our sins and the only way we are free from condemnation is when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of life, helps us in keeping the perfect Law of God and setting us free from the Law of sin and death that has been ruling our bodies.

 

CONCLUSION.

St. Paul has perfectly described, how wretched we are because of the law of sin that works in our flesh, making us do the evil things that we don’t want to do. But ST. Paul also has made it clear that we all need a saviour who introduced Himself to us; if not for Him, nothing could ever save us from eternal death. Let us today, run to the Master and ask for His righteousness and His Holy Spirit to guide us to live a holy life.