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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24
Things I Must Have to Follow Truth
1. Godís truth is practical and life changing, Heb. 4:12 (Eph. 4:17-24).
2. Forming Christ within us is the essence of discipleship, Gal. 4:19 (3:27; Col. 1:27).
3. This necessarily means living by Godís word, Matt. 4:4; Jno. 14:21-23.
4. Our challenge: How do I turn what Scripture says into the way I live?
a. How do I make my heart like Christ's heart? (Col. 3:12-15; Phil. 2:5)
b. How do I become a submissive wife? A loving husband? An obedient child? An honest employee? A just employer? (Col. 3:18-4:1)
c. How do I grow to perfection? (2 Pet. 3:18)
5. To succeed in any task we must have proper tools, and we must have the ability to use them. We must actually use them.
6. Tools we need to apply Godís truth to our lives.
I. I MUST HAVE A GOOD HEART, Lk. 8:15.
A. A Heart that is Open and Willing to Hear the Scriptures and Hold them Fast, Lk. 8:15; cf. Acts 17:11.
1. First, cleanse our heart of sin, Matt. 23:25-26.
2. A good heart submits to the indictments, corrections and regulation of life contained in the Bible, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
3. Clings to truth, whatever the cost, Lk. 8:15 (ďhold it fast,Ē ASV).
4. Bears fruit: Product corresponds to the seed Ė Christ is formed in us, Lk. 8:15.
5. Clean heart / willing spirit secures Godís blessings, Psa. 51:10-13.
II. I MUST HAVE AN OBEDIENT FAITH, Heb. 11:6. (Responsive, 1 Sam. 3:10)
A. Trust What God Says Will Work in Your Life (it is best for you).
1. Noah (11:7); Sarah (11:11-12); Moses crossing Red Sea (11:29).
2. Successful because they trusted Godís way to work (the best).
3. Show compassion, etc.; Trusting that relationships will improve, Col. 3:12-15.
4. Wife: Trust that submission brings satisfaction. Husband: Trust that genuine love is worth the sacrifice (Eph. 5:22-30).
5. Trust that labor is not vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).
6. Faith in the word of God (that His truth works), 1 Jno. 5:4.
III. I MUST HAVE COMPLETE COMMITMENT, Matt. 6:19-24; Rom. 12:11 (purpose of heart, devotion, Acts 11:23).
A. We Pursue what is Valuable to Us, 6:19-21.
1. How we have zeal, diligence and devotion to spiritual living, 6:21.
2. Problem: We have double vision, 6:22-24. One eye is on earthly things and one eye is on heaven. (Jas. 1:7-8)
B. Zealous Christians Constantly Uses Godís Word, Heb. 5:13-14.
1. Milk: No progress beyond learning the basics.
2. Meat: Uses, exercises, discerns good and evil in life.
3. Maturity demands persistent use of Godís word, Heb. 6:1-3.
IV. I MUST HAVE SERIOUS BIBLE STUDY, 2 Tim. 2:15.
A. Bible Must be Our Final Authority (guide), Jno. 6:63, 68.
1. Life is found in the words of Christ. Our life must be Bible-based.
2. Consult scripture often to direct your decisions in life.
a. Serious student doesnít wait until Sun / Wed to study Bible.
b. Lay it up in your heart to avoid sin, Psa. 119:11.
B. Study with the Goal to Know and Obey Godís Truth, 2 Tim. 2:15 (Jno. 7:17).
1. Workman labors to conform himself to truth (not vice versa).
2. Forming Christ in us, Gal. 4:19 (cf. 5:16, 25).
V. I MUST HAVE SELF-EXAMINATION AND SELF-CORRECTION USING GODíS WORD, Jas. 1:22-25.
A. Donít Waste Time Comparing Your Life to Wrong Things:
1. Others (2 Cor. 10:12); Worldly wisdom (Col. 2:8); Opinions of men (Prov. 14:12); Your own feelings (Jer. 10:23)Ö
2. Person who examines himself with truth improves himself by repenting of sins and bearing righteous fruit Ė Forms Christ within.
1. We can do nothing without Christ in us, Jno. 15:4-5.
2. Use the tools we have to form Christ within us, so He will be seen through us and honored by us, Eph. 3:17, 20-21.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: October 31, 2018