AN INFLUENCE WITHOUT BLEMISH
1. To be a Christian implies that a conversion has occurred in one's life - Rom. 6:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:1-3, 8-10.
2. Baptism just beginning - not end of conversion - cf. Phil. 2:12-13.
3. One area of growth is our influence -- Phil. 2:14-16 -- Be children of God who are w/o rebuke (w/o blemish):
a. v. 15 - cf. 2 Pet. 3:14 - Blameless in God's sight & man's.
b. No fault needing a reprimand; w/o blame.
c. Unfortunately, some Christians need rebuking - 2 Tim. 4:2 (intended to save).
4. Children of God are to be "w/o rebuke" in sight of God & in the sight of men:
a. v. 15-16 - Enables a good influence.
b. Our conduct must gain the respect of people around us if we are to influence them. [Influence can be re-established, Paul, Peter.]
c. Otherwise, we hinder the truth (2:14, 16).
5. Things enabling unrebukeable influence.
I. BE HONEST IN CHARACTER.
A. Honesty Is A Principle, Not Just A Policy - Phil. 4:8 (A matter of honor).
1. 2 Cor. 8:18-21 - Affects our influence.
a. Acts 6:3 - Honest report strengthens your influence & effectiveness.
b. 1 Pet. 2:11-12 - Honesty influences, lying & deceit destroys credibility.
2. Business, congregations, homes, etc.
B. Be Truthful - Eph. 4:25; Prov. 6:16-19.
-Speaking truth is the outgrowth of having the principle of honesty in the heart - Matt. 12:34-35.
II. BE PURE IN SPEECH - 1 Pet. 3:10.
A. We Must Abandon Vulgar Hearts & Speech - Eph. 4:29; 5:4; Col. 4:6.
1. Vulgar speech influences vulgar people - It does not draw people to Christ!
2. Jas. 3:5 - Uncontrolled tongue does much damage to the cause of Christ!
3. Tit. 2:7-8 - Sound speech which cannot be condemned!
III. BE PURE IN LIVING.
A. We Must Maintain The Purity Of The Church For Which Christ Died - Eph. 5:25-27.
1. Phil. 1:27 - Conduct to be "becoming."
a. Tit. 2:11-12 - The present world needs the influence of purity!
b. 1 Tim. 5:22 - Our responsibility & capability.
2. No double standards:
a. One for men, another for women.
b. One for preacher, another for rest.
c. All - Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 2:20.
B. Church Must Not Condone Sin In Members - 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 13; Gal. 6:1; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15.
1. Bring to repentance/reformation.
2. Influence & health of the church is at stake - 1 Cor. 5:7; cf. Acts 5:11, 13-14.
IV. BE KIND & CONSIDERATE - Eph. 4:32; 1 Cor. 13:4 .
A. Kindness Shows Sincerity Towards Others - 1 Pet. 1:22; Rom. 12:9.
1. Such will not condone sin - Straightforwardly rebukes sin & seeks proper remedy - Gal. 4:16 (cf. Jesus).
2. Eliminate harshness/bitterness as we endeavor to help others - 2 Tim. 2:24-26.
V. BE UNCOMPROMISING OF THE TRUTH .
A. Good Influence Occurs When One Lives His Convictions.
1. Whether others accept your convictions as their own, or not!
2. Dan. 1:8-9, 14-16, 17-20 - Blessed.
3. Acts 4:17-21; 5:29, 26 - Apostles.
4. People have little (if any) respect for one who consistently violates his convictions.
a. Must stand unyieldingly upon truth, not compromise - 2 Tim. 4:2.
b. Rom. 8:31, 35-37 - God is for you, don't let men persuade
compromise & defeat!
1. These things enable us to have an influence which do not need to be rebuked!
2. Give ourselves fully to such a lifestyle - Phil. 2:14-16.