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MY CHRISTIAN LIFE IS MY CHOICE

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     The Christian life involves a new life.

1.      Romans 6:4

 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should rise in newness of life.

 

2.      II Corinthians 5:17

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.

 

3.      Ephesians 4:24

 

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and holiness.

 

B.     In the pages of the New Testament, God tells us what this new life involves, what it requires, and what it looks like.

 

C.     However, our Christian life involves each person’s individual choice.  Let’s look at some of the choices that we have to make with regard to the Christian life.

 

I.            A HAVE TO OR A WANT TO

 

A.     Our Christian life originates from deep within our hearts. 

1.      Proverbs 23:7; 4:23

2.      The heart of man contains his motivations.

3.      There are two things that drive our actions.

a.      Have to – doing things out of a sense of obligation or duty

b.      Want to – doing things out of a sense of desire created by such things as love, the grace of God, and thanksgiving for God’s blessings

 

B.     Two verses:

1.      II Corinthians 5:14a

 

For the love of Christ constaineth us…

 

2.      I Corinthians 15:10

 

But by the grace of God I am what I am:  and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all:  yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 

C.     Some evidences:

1.      Have to                                           2.         Desire

a.      Commands are grievous                          a.          Commands are for my good

b.      Grudging obedience                                b.         Joyful obedience

c.      Laborious practice                                  c.          Easy practice

d.      Excuses not to                                       d.         No excuses

e.      Less is better                                          e.          Abundance is better

f.       Religious is a detriment                           f.          Religion is an asset

 

 

 

II.          MEDIOCRE OR EXCELLENT

 

A.     Two words defined:

a.      Mediocre:  barely adequate, not satisfactory, poor, inferior

b.      Excellent:  possessing outstanding quality, superior merit; remarkably good

 

B.     Numerous examples from the Bible:

1.      The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:3-4)

 

They that were foolish took them lamps, and took no oil with them:  but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

 

2.      The Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30)

a.      The two and five talent men used their talents

b.      The one talent man hid his talent

3.      Servants (Col. 3:22-23)

 

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart fearing God:  and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.

 

4.      Laodiceans (Rev. 3:15-16)

 

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:  I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm; and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.

 

C.     Question:  Do any of us like to have someone do mediocre work for us?

1.      Car wash, yard work, painting the house, a student’s homework

2.      Do we honestly think the Lord is well-pleased when we offer Him a mediocre Christian life?

 

III.        LITTLE FAITH OR GREAT FAITH

 

A.     The Bible gives us examples of those with little faith and with great faith.

1.      The centurion

a.      Faith manifested (Matt. 8:8)

 

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof:  but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

 

b.      Faith commended (Matt. 8:10)

 

When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said unto them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

 

2.      The disciples

a.      Lack of faith (Matt. 8:25)

 

And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us:  we perish.

 

b.      Faith rebuked (Matt. 8:26)

 

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith…

 

B.     Our faith is demonstrated and tested in many ways.

1.      Trusting in God’s power

2.      Trusting in God’s provision

3.      Trusting in God’s promises

4.      Trusting in God’s precepts

C.     Israel of the wilderness wanderings is a prime example.

1.      Their lack of faith (Heb. 3:18-19)

 

And to whom swear he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not.  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

 

2.      The warning to us (Heb. 3:12)

 

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

 

IV.         A BAD EXAMPLE OR A GOOD EXAMPLE

 

A.     Our Christian life is supposed to be a pattern for others to follow (I Tim. 4:12).

 

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

 

B.     It is possible, however, for my example to be negative, that is, an example of what NOT to do.

1.      The Pharisees (Matt. 23:2-3)

 

Saying, the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:  all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works:  for they say, and do not.

 

2.      The Jews in the wilderness

a.      Twice they are called examples (I Cor. 10:6, 11)

 

Now these things were our examples…Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples.

 

3.      They did things they, nor we, are supposed to do.

a.      Do not lust after evil things (v. 6).

b.      Do not be idolaters (v. 7).

c.      Do not commit fornication (v. 8).

d.      Do not tempt Christ (v. 9)

e.      Do not murmur (v. 10)

 

C.     If we would have to say to someone:  “Don’t be like me in this or that,” we need to seriously re-evaluate that area of our lives.

 

V.           LOSS OF APPETITE OR HUNGER FOR GOD’S WORD

 

A.     As Christians, we have a spiritual man that is supposed to have an insatiable appetite for the Word of God (I Pet. 2:2).

 

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the world, that ye may grow thereby.

 

B.     Our appetites manifest themselves by how much we feed on the Word of God.

1.      It should be feasted upon during Bible classes offered by the church.

2.      It should be eaten daily in our personal Bible study.

 

C.     Loss of appetite is often expressed in excuses.

1.      I don’t have time.

2.      I just don’t have the mind I used to.

3.      I just get lost when I study.

 

 

 

 

D.    Knowledge and growth go hand in hand (II Pet. 3:18).

 

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen.

 

VI.         THE PRACTICE OF SIN OR SANCTIFICATION

 

A.     Not one Christian can be sinlessly perfect, but we can live lives of holiness versus the habitual practice of sin.

 

B.     To practice sin involves a choice.

1.      Sins of the tongue:  cursing, gossiping, evil speaking

2.      Sins of addictions:  drinking, gambling, pornography

3.      Sins of immorality:  fornication, adultery

4.      Sins of disrespect:  taking God’s name in vain, idolatry, dishonor parents

5.      Sins of omission:  basic Christian duties

6.      Sins of negativity:  worry, defeatism

7.      Sins of mammon:  covetousness, extortion, bribery, greed

8.      Sins of emotions:  anger, jealousy, envy, hatred

 

C.     NOTE:  We do not have to be involved in all of these sins.  Just one or two can plague our lives.

1.      I Thessalonians 4:3

 

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…

 

2.      I Thessalonians 4:4

 

That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.

 

3.      I Thessalonians 4:7

 

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     How we choose to live our Christian lives is our own personal choice.

 

B.     Paul made his choice (Phil. 1:21). 

 

For to me to live is Christ…

 

C.     What choices have you been making?