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OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARD THE TRUTH

 

Living the Truth

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    In our last lesson in this series, we learned that we are to obey the truth.

 

B.      This responsibility is closely connected to the responsibility that we will discuss this morning:  Our lesson is:  “Living the Truth.”

 

C.     Some might wonder what distinction there is between obeying the truth and living the truth.

1.      In reality, there should be no difference.

2.      Here is how we see the distinction.

a.      Obeying God’s word can be surface.  Living permeates our being.

b.      Obeying is often part-time.  Living the truth is full-time.

c.       Obeying is part of who I am.  Living the truth is who I am.

d.      Obedience can be a struggle.  Living the truth is a lifestyle.

e.       Obedience feels like submission.  Living the truth is becoming like Jesus.

 

I.                   TWO FOUNDATIONAL VERSES

 

A.    Matthew 4:4

 

But he answered and said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

B.      Philippians 1:27a

 

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…

 

1.      The word “only” involves focus.  At this point in time, this is the single most important thing upon which to concentrate.

2.      Let your conversation: 

a.      It involves the manner of life the Christian is to live. 

b.      It comes from a word meaning “citizenship.”  Thus, Paul is talking about how we live as citizens of the kingdom of God.

3.      Be as it becometh

a.      Strong (516):  appropriately

b.      Thayer:  suitably, worthily, in a manner worthy of

c.       Vine:  of the Christian walk as it should be

d.      In III John 6, the word is translated “after a godly sort.”

4.      The gospel:  the Word of God, our standard of Christian conduct

 

II.                A PICTURE:  TWO RIVERS CONVERGING

 

A.    God has created each of us as living human beings distinct from the rest of creation and unique from one another.

1.      Genesis 2:7

 

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

2.      Acts 17:28

 

For in him we live, and move, and have our being…

 

B.      God designed the gospel and revealed it to the world (Matt. 24:14).

 

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come.

 

C.     God intended for every man’s life to converge with the gospel of Christ just as two rivers come together.

1.      Picture:  The Ohio River and the Mississippi River coming together at Cairo, IL.

 

Image result for two rivers converge

 

2.      Mark 16:15

 

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 

D.    When the gospel and our lives converge, the gospel is supposed to permeate, invade, take over, enslave, and direct our lives.

 

E.      There is not one aspect of our lives that is to be exempt from the rule and authority of the gospel of Christ.

 

III.             LIVING THE TRUTH

 

A.    We THINK the gospel.

1.      God knew that the mind of man is his control center (Prov. 4:23; 23:7).

2.      He designed the gospel to enter into the mind of man and give him direction for living.

a.      Romans 12:2

 

…but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…

 

b.      Philippians 2:5

 

Let this mind be in your, which was also in Christ Jesus.

 

c.       Colossians 3:10

 

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

 

3.      This is where we often fail when it comes to living the gospel.

a.      We think our own thoughts and opinions and feelings about things.

b.      We need to listen to the wise Solomon (Prov. 3:5, 7; 23:4; 28:26).

 

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:  but whoso walketh wisely, she shall be delivered.

 

B.      We CONSULT the Word of God before we do anything.

1.      Drive (GPS), soldier (orders), and a builder (architectural plans)

2.      God’s Word is our only guide.  As human beings, we are ignorant of the way.

3.      Thus, we must consult the “map” of God’s Word in order to go in the proper direction.

4.      Isaiah 30:1

 

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me…

 

5.      Warning:  Be careful when you consult God’s Word that you do not say:

a.      “Well, I see that is what it says, but that is not what it means.”

b.      “Yes, that is what is says, but that is not how I feel about it.”

 

C.     The gospel must be APPLIED to our lives.

1.      Everything that we do has a scriptural basis for it.

2.      We can turn to a verse and show why we are doing what we are doing.

a.      Doing our best in school, at work, or a sports team, on a project, and in our Christian lives (Col. 3:23).

 

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

 

b.      Driving the speed limit (I Pet. 2:13)

 

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man of man for the Lord’s sake…

 

c.       Being careful as to which movies, TV shows, games, and websites that we want (Phil. 4:8).

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

d.      Not engaging in sex before marriage (II Tim. 2:22; Heb. 13:4).

 

Keep thyself pure….Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:  but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

 

e.       Reporting all of our income on our tax returns (Rom. 12:17b).

 

…provide things honest in the sight of all men.

 

f.        Being careful about having too many tattoos and piercings (I Tim. 2:9).

 

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.

 

g.      Being careful about the manner in which we dress (I Tim. 2:9)

1)      Modest apparel

2)      Shamefacedness

3)      Sobriety

3.      If we are applying the Scriptures

a.      We are devoted to constant improvement.

b.      We inject more of God’s Word into our lives.

c.       We seek to find more ways to apply God’s Word to our lives.

d.      We do as Peter instructed, and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18).

e.       The Bible is the instruction book and our lives are the illustration.

f.        The gospel becomes who we are.

 

IV.             WHEN WE LIVE THE TRUTH

 

A.    We become Jesus to those who do not know Him (Phil. 1:21).

 

For to me to live is Christ…

 

B.      We become a light to those in darkness (Eph. 5:8).

 

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:  walk as children of light.

 

C.     We become an example for others to follow (I Tim. 4:12).

 

…but be thou an example of the believers…

 

D.    We become a servant to those in need (Gal. 5:13).

 

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

 

E.      We become the message of salvation to the lost (I Pet. 3:1).

 

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of their wives.

 

F.      We become a rebuke to those who despise the word (Heb. 11:7).

 

…by the which he condemned the world…

 

G.     Other things we become:

1.      Holiness to those in sin

2.      Joy to those in sorrow

3.      Wisdom to those without knowledge

4.      Hope to those who have given up

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    God intended for the gospel to actively work in the lives of all those who believe (I Thess. 2:13).

 

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth the word of God, which effectually worketh in you that believe.

 

B.      When the gospel truly lives and breathes in our lives

1.      The world will hate us.

2.      Some will criticize us.

3.      Others will persecute us.

4.      A few will follow us.

5.      And, God will love and delight in us.