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Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-16
The Christian's Influence
1. To be a Christian implies 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 without rebuke (without blemish):
a. Blameless (free of censure) in God’s sight and man’s, 2:15 (cf. 2 Pet 3:14).
b. Harmless (innocent), Rom 16:19.
c. Without fault: Without blemish, blame; No reprimand needed.
4. Children of God are to be “without fault” (“rebuke”, kjv; “blemish”, asv, esv) in sight of God and men, Phil 2:15:
a. Enables us to have a good influence, 1 Pet 2:12.
b. If we are to influence people our conduct must gain their respect. [Influence can be rehabilitated, cf. Paul, Peter.]
c. Otherwise, we hinder the truth (2:14, 16).
5. Things that build an influence that cannot be rebuked.
I. BE HONEST IN CHARACTER.
A. Honesty is a Principle, not merely a "Policy", Phil 4:8 (A matter of your honor).
1. Our honest affects our influence, 2 Cor 8:18-21.
a. Honest reputation strengthens your influence and our effectiveness, Acts 6:3.
b. Honesty influences, lying and deceit destroys credibility (obvious), 1 Pet 2:11-12.
2. Business, congregations, homes, etc.; Impacts relationships.
B. Always be Truthful, Eph 4:25; Prov 6:16-19.
-Speaking truth is the outgrowth of being honest of the heart, Matt 12:34-35.
II. BE PURE IN SPEECH, 1 Pet 3:10.
A. We must Abandon Vulgar Hearts and Language, Eph 4:29; 5:4; Col 4:6.
1. Vulgar speech influences vulgar people; it does not draw people to Christ!
2. Uncontrolled tongue does much damage to the cause of Christ, Jas 3:5.
3. Sound speech which cannot be condemned! Titus 2:7-8
III. BE PURE IN LIVING.
A. We Must Maintain the Purity of the Church for which Christ Died, Eph. 5:25-27.
1. Conduct to be “becoming”, Phil 1:27.
a. The present world needs the influence of purity! Titus 2:11-12
b. Our responsibility and capability, 1 Tim 5:22.
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 its Members, 1 Cor 5:1-2, 13; Gal 6:1; 2 Ths 3:6, 14-15.
1. Goal is to bring to repentance and reformation.
2. Influence and health of the church is at stake, 1 Cor 5:7. cf. Acts 5:11, 13-14
IV. BE KIND AND 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 and seeks proper remedy, Gal 4:16 (cf. Jesus).
2. Do not be harsh, bitter or belittling when trying to help someone, 2 Tim 2:24-26.
V. BE UNCOMPROMISING WITH THE TRUTH.
A. Good Influence Occurs when We Live our Convictions.
1. Whether others have Bible convictions or not.
a. Blessed, Dan 1:8-9, 14-16, 17-20.
b. Apostles, Acts 4:17-21; 5:29, 26.
2. People have little (if any) respect for one who consistently violates his stated convictions (hypocrisy).
a. Must stand unyieldingly on the truth and not compromise, 2 Tim 4:2.
b. God is for you; don’t let men persuade you to compromise and be defeated, Rom 8:31, 35-37.
1. These things help us have an influence that does not need to be rebuked (blameless, harmless, without fault).
2. Give ourselves fully to such a lifestyle, Phil 2:14-16.