OceanSide church of Christ
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THEY THAT TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
TEXT: And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:3).
THESIS: To encourage all to shine as the wise turning many to righteousness.
1. There is at least one preacher, elder , deacon, or member of the Lord’s church in the audience that has had some rough times, some difficult times, times when you were not quite sure if you were going to make it through, maybe even thought of quitting the church or at the very least quitting preaching?
2. We should ask ourselves, “In the face of adversity, what will we do?” “Will we continue to preach, to work, and to elders will you continue to oversee?”
3. In both good times and the bad, the children of Israel were admonished by the prophecy of Daniel to remain faithful…to shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever.
4. Through their actions: namely, teaching the word of God to the generations to come, to tell of the mighty works that God has done & to now live faithful lives to God, influencing those around them as a light shining in darkness.
5. Today, in the church of our Lord, we are “spiritual Israel” – the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29), and there is great application for us today.
6. Consider Paul’s words to the church at Philippi:
Php 2:12-16 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (14) Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (16) Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
L/S: Shining as lights today…
I. ELDERS WHO TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
A. The work of elders.
1. George Bailey said, “Elders provide the direction and distance of the church.”
a. How do they do this?
b. Wise elders work!
2. The work of elders is leading.
a. Elder or Presbyter is the one is older (wiser) in contrast to the younger and inexperienced; a leader; one who is spiritually mature.
b. They give the direction and it’s easy to see, b/c they are leading.
c. They can help go the distance, b/c they are going.
3. The work of elders is overseeing.
a. Bishop or overseer according to Thayer: “a man charged with duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, like a curator.”
b. The idea: one literally “watching over” the work entrusted to him by God.
4. The work of elders is watching for the souls of men.
a. Pastor or Shepherd is the one who is giving care as a shepherd would do to the flock.
b. Jesus is referred to as the “good shepherd” (John 10:1-14).
5. We can see various uses of the words in Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1; 1 Pet. 5:3-4.
B. The POINT: The elders that work are wise.
1. These are men qualified to serve in this capacity according to 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9.
2. As children of God, the elders are to continue their work of turning many to righteousness in a world of darkness and despair, shining forth as the sun itself.
3. We need elders today who will stand in the gap, make up the hedge and do their work of leading the church.
L/S: Shining as lights today…
II. PREACHERS WHO TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
A. The work of preachers.
1. Brother Tom Holland made the following points in his book, The Work of The Preacher is Working:
a. Since the work of the preacher is working, it is important for God’s preachers to know various aspects of the work they are expected and exhorted to do. God’s preachers are to:
a. 1) do the work of the Lord,
b. 2) work with the Lord,
c. 3) work for the Lord,
d. 4) be the workman of whom the Lord is not ashamed.
b. I appreciate what is and has been said concerning the preparation of a man who is going to preach the Gospel. He has to become acquainted with every aspect of the work of a preacher and prepare himself for the task at hand.
c. Implied in the word “work” is the meaning of “activity, labor expended, lit. “to effect by toil.”
2. Paul charged Timothy with his parting words, inspired by God: These are the words that we need to heed, preachers! “Do the work of an evangelist!”
a. (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) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (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; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Tim 4:1-5).
b. To Titus, Paul would say, “in all things showing thyself an example of good works” (Titus 2:7).
B. The POINT: The preachers that work are wise.
1. Brethren, of course it goes without saying that there is “office work” which has to be done, but our computers do not have a soul!
2. We must understand the value of the soul—that is where our work is.
3. There is both office work, but the real work (where it’s all put to the test) is in the field itself.
a. John 4:35 [ASV] say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white already unto harvest.
b. Remember the Great Commission!
4. We need preachers today who will do the Lord’s work, teaching, evangelizing and proclaiming, as we go, shining forth the light of God’s Word.
L/S: Shining as lights today…
III. MEMBERS WHO TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
A. The work of members.
1. The beautiful thing about the church of our Lord is that there is enough work for all; thereby implying that all have work to do.
a. Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
b. Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
c. 1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
2. Verses like these teach us that every member has work to do in the Lord’s church.
3. For the congregations to succeed, there must be those who have turned to righteousness to help in turning others to righteousness—it only seems logical to me that this is how the work of the Lord continues on through the age til the Lord returns.
4. Paul reminded the brethren at Corinth to “be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
B. The POINT: The members that work are wise.
1. Understanding, of course, that every member of the Lord’s church has different abilities, talents, specialties, etc.
2. Some are in the process of training to better themselves at teaching others (FOM)
3. Some are able to preach; some do not have that talent, yet are very involved in the work of preaching the gospel, by their support (prayerfully, financially, etc.) making themselves available for whatever might be accomplished in the Lord.
4. Paul thanked the church at Philippi.
a. Php 1:5-6 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; (6) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
b. Paul called this the work of God.
5. We need members who are serious about doing the Lord’s work, as they go about their daily tasks shining even as the stars of heaven.
1. We have made the point that those that work for the Lord are wise.
2. What is wisdom?
A. Ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight; the quality of being prudent and sensible.
B. Simply put: Taking that which we know to be true and practicing it.
C. Let us take what we have learned through this lesson this morning; if we have a problem being motivated to work in God’s kingdom, then we have a serious problem.
3. We have a heart condition (it involves sin)
4. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Dan. 12:3).