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WHAT ARE OUR PUPOSES?

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     We have recently celebrated Memorial Day weekend.

1.      During this weekend, we should each take time to remember our military men and women who died while serving the United States.

2.      Both the fallen and the living are very important to us.

3.      There are many things that I respect in these individuals:

a.      Their love of country

b.      Their dedication

c.      Their courage

d.      Their sacrifices

e.      Their being men and women of purpose

 

B.     There are so many ways that we, as soldiers in the Lord’s army, mimic those who serve in our military.

1.      One of these will be the focus of this lesson.  It involves the fact that our military personnel serve their country with various purposes in mind.

2.      We, too, are to serve with a purpose.

 

C.     Purpose

1.      The reason for which something exists

2.      An intended or desired result

 

D.     The title of our lesson is:  “What Are Our Purposes?”

 

I.                 TO EXALT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

 

A.     The word “exalt” comes from a Latin term meaning “to lift up.”

 

B.     When we became Christians, we died.

1.      Three verses:

a.      Paul said it this way:  I am crucified with Christ… (Gal. 2:20).

b.      Colossians 3:3

 

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

 

c.      II Corinthians 5:15

 

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died, and rose again.

 

1)      NOTE:  We do not live unto ourselves.

2)      We are to live unto him which died for us (See Gal. 1:15-16).

 

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me…

 

3)      Philippians 1:21

 

For to me to live is Christ…

 

2.      How can you and exalt the Christ?

a.      Obey His word

b.      Follow His example

c.      Teach Him to others

d.      Be willing to die for Him if we must

 

II.               HONOR GOD’S WORD

 

A.     The Word of God is the only standard, constitution, law, and guide book that we have.

1.      We do not have creeds, disciplines, and manuals.

2.      We do not have a priest, a “father,”, or an apostle who continues to receive divine instruction and pass it on to us.

3.      We do not have a legislative body that issues decrees to all the churches.

4.      We only have the Bible.  We like the psalmist say:  Thy word is a light unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105).

 

B.     How do we honor the Word of God?

1.      Read it (I Tim. 4:13)

2.      Study it (II Tim. 2:15)

3.      Believe it (Acts 26:27)

4.      Obey it (James 1:22-25)

5.      Spread it (Mark 16:15)

6.      Defend it (Phil. 1:17)

 

C.     This point is closely tied to the previous point.

1.      If we honor the Word, we exalt the Christ.

2.      If we despise the Word, we despise the Christ.

a.      Luke 10:16

 

He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

 

b.      I Thessalonians 4:7-8

 

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

 

III.              SEEK THE LOST

 

A.     Jesus said:  For the Son of man is come to seek, and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).

1.      Lost (622)

a.      Those who will be destroyed.

b.      Those who will be given over to eternal misery in hell.

2.      Seek (2212)

a.      To seek in order to find

b.      To seek in order to demand something

3.      Save (4982)

a.      To rescue from danger or destruction

b.      To deliver from the penalties of Messianic judgment

 

B.     The lost fall into two categories:

1.      Those who have never been saved.  They have never obeyed the gospel of Christ (II Thess. 1:7-9).

2.      Those who have erred from the truth (James 5:19-20).

 

C.     The New Testament is filled with interesting accounts of salvation.

1.      Jesus in the house of a tax-collector (Luke 19:1-10).

2.      Jesus teaching a woman at a well in Samaria (John 4).

3.      Philip teaching a eunuch returning to his chariot (Acts 8:26-40).

4.      Paul finding a group of Jewish women worshipping by a river (Acts 16:12-15).

5.      Paul teaching a Roman soldier after having been beaten a few hours before (Acts 16:19-40).

 

D.     This is how the church grows, by adding obedient men and women to the body of Christ (Acts 5:14).

 

And the believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.

 

IV.             PROMOTE LOVE AMONG BRETHREN

 

A.     Hebrews 10:24

 

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works.

 

B.     Love is the crown of all human virtues.

1.      Colossians 3:14

 

And above all things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

 

2.      I Peter 4:8

 

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.

 

C.     Charity or love has two sides.

1.      The giving up of self

a.      Our will is sacrificed for the will of another.

b.      We see this in the giving of Jesus on the cross (Gal. 2:20).

 

…who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

2.      The giving of self

a.      Love is expressed in action, that is, sacrificial service on behalf of another.

b.      Galatians 5:13

 

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not your liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

 

3.      This is where the struggle begins.

a.      We say we love our brethren.  We want to think that we love them.

b.      But, we live in a selfish society.

1)      What have I given up for my brethren?

2)      What do I give to my brethren?

 

D.     John 13:34-35

 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

V.               PREPARE FOR THE LORD’S RETURN

 

A.     The Lord’s coming is not something we can predict.  It will come like a thief in the night or like the birth of a child (I Thess. 5:1-3).

 

But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

 

B.     Thus, it behooves us to be prepared for the Lord’s return (I Thess. 5:6).

 

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch and be sober.

 

1.      If we are not growing, we are not watching and being sober.

2.      If we do not attend the worship services, we are not watching and being sober.

3.      If we are engaging in willful sin, we are not watching and being sober.

4.      If we are not using our talents, we are not watching and being sober.

5.      If we are embracing a false doctrine, we are not watching and being sober.

 

C.     The Lord has not come in 2000 years.  He didn’t come last year, last month, or yesterday.  We could get lulled into thinking that He is not coming, especially today.  Not so!

1.      But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night… (II Pet. 3:10).

2.      II Peter 3:11

 

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     We have looked at five of our purposes this morning.

 

B.     A failure to fulfill any of them will have devastating effects on our soul’s salvation.

1.      Exalting Christ (I Cor. 16:20)

 

If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be, Anathema, Maran atha.

 

2.      Honoring the Word of God (Prov. 19:16)

 

He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.

 

3.      Seeking the lost (Ezek 33:8)

 

When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, Thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

 

4.      Love of brethren (I John 4:8)

 

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

 

5.      Failing to prepare (Matt. 25:11-12)

 

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.