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Consistent Christian Life



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well as I said we've been the last

couple of weeks looking through the

series that Idol title Christians in the

crosshairs and we've been thinking about

the challenge that we face many times

today with animosity that is directed at

us as a result of our faith in Christ as

we started the series two weeks ago we

talked about the fact that animosity

toward those that follow Christ is

something that is to be expected the

Bible in many places tells us that Jesus

himself said to his disciples if they

hate me that going to hate you because

the servant is not greater than his

master and so Jesus was very clear with

his disciples and saying that you're

going to face animosity you're going to

face persecution we talked as well about

the fact that the reason that is is

because a righteous life really condemns

those around it that aren't living

righteously not necessarily by our words

although at times that is a case but by

our lifestyle and any of you that have

had a a dramatic change in your life

from before you were a Christian to

after knowing Christ we've seen that it

experience that some of your friends or

families and what what's going on why

have you changed you think you're now

better than we are the change in your

life brings conviction it brings

challenge and a ten times that leads to

animosity toward us it is we live out

our Christian lives last week we thought

thought about their talked about the

fact that God is in control and we said

that one of the things

we have to grab ahold of those

Christians if we are going to continue

to live in Christian life in a world

that is filled with animosity we have to

grab ahold of the fact that God is in

control and as we talked about that last

week we went through the Book of Daniel

very quickly actually we went through

the Book of Daniel twice last week first

of all we saw that the culture of

Babylon was very anti God it was it was

very accepting of all kinds of gods but

it was very anti the God of Israel it

was very anti the true God and then we

went through it again we saw through

Daniel and through his friends and

through some of the leaders in Babylon

that God was in charge God was in

control and Daniel and his friends and

some of the others were able to take a

stand because they knew regardless of

what happened that God was still in

control and so that's where we've been

so far in our study I want you to think

about something looking back if you were

here to last week in the Book of Daniel

and if you weren't here I'm sure you're

familiar with Daniel and so in your mind

you can go back and think about this but

did you notice something as we went

through the Book of Daniel last week did

you notice the consistency and Daniels

life as he served his God did you notice

the

didn't see in Daniels life in an annual

walk of faith daniels nathan life was

insane whether he was a new captive in a

foreign land or whether he was second in

command under King Darius Daniel faith

and life was exactly the same he

followed the same God he lived the same

way and he demonstrated his faith in God

we also noticed that Daniels faith in

life was the same whether he was being

rewarded for helping the King or whether

he was thrown into the Lions Den

Daniel's Nathan God was exactly the same

it didn't change we also saw that you

know when those that were looking at

Daniel's life toward the end of the book

they were jealous of Daniel and they

were looking at his life and they were

looking at his life trying to find

something that they could use against

him and you remember what they said when

they examined Daniels life I can't find

anything to use against me if we're

going to do something to get Daniel in

trouble the only thing that we can use

is his faith in God and this consistent

faith Daniel ax live a very consistent

life as he lived out his faith in God

the question I want each of us to

consider for ourselves is what is this

how consistent is

my Christian life I want each of us to

just look for a minute into our own

parties and whole lives and answer that

question do I live a consistent

Christian life is my wife as a Christian

consistent is my life the same at church

it as it is at work or at school you

know am I the same Christian here at

church is I haven't work on Monday

morning am I the same Christian you're a

church as I am in school on Monday

morning it is my life consistent is my

life the same at home when no one is

looking as it is in the community what

everybody's looking when everybody's

watching am i living the same way am i

living by Christian belief in my

Christian principles if someone was

looking into your life or two by trying

to find something that they could use it

against me would they have to look long

and hard or with alien we pick something

up just like that and say well I can use

that against it because then wife isn't

consistent they say one thing and they

do another is my life consistent am I

consistently adhering to and following

the Christian principles that are set

apart for us in the Word of God now we

might be asking this this morning what

does that have to do with Christians in

the process what does that have to do

with our series of animosity toward

Christians I'm glad you asked it's a

good question here here's my thinking if

there is animosity toward us as

Christians we need to make sure that

that animosity is because of our faith

and

and not a result of hypocrisy that comes

from an inconsistent bridge in life in

other words if you are suffering

animosity for your faith are you

suffering because of your faith or are

you experiencing animosity because

you're not living a consistent Christian

I hadn't thought of it until I stood up

here this morning that here's an example

for my own life and it was it was a

while ago but it was embarrassing and it

really brought a point home I remember

in high school I was in the locker room

and a lot of good things happen in

locker room I don't remember exactly

what was going on in the locker room but

I remember taking part in activities

that I knew were not Christian at the

time because I wanted to fit in little

buddy l surrounding I wanted to be a

part of what was going on and i'll never

forget one of my non-christian friends

looked at me and he said the words that

still make me emotional the words that

I'll never forget he said is that what

they teach you in church and he might

ought to slap me right across the class

because I realized at that moment that I

was not living in consistent Christian

life that I was one way in church and

another way at all did something

completely dinner to school

and I don't know if it was animosity but

what what that friend of mine was

feeling toward me and nothing to do with

my Christian faith it had everything to

do with the inconsistencies of it and

there are times that I fear that his

Christians that we we pull apart our

soap box or we get on our high horse and

we preach morality to our world and then

we don't live by that morality and then

people point the finger at it today they

said what are you doing you know they

they're they're critical and they're

filled with animosity and it's not

against our Christian faith it's against

our inconsistent life and so I think

that is we are thinking about animosity

toward those that are Christians we need

to make sure that we stop and consider

why that animosity is data and if it's

there because we're not consistent and

we're living as hypocrites then the

problem isn't the world the problem is

us and we need to examine our hearts and

our lives and see whether that is

suitable we read this morning first

Peter chapter 3 I could get that passage

out of my head this week because Peter

and in that passage lists a number of

characteristics that generally speaking

are part of a consistent Christian life

he lists things like unity and sympathy

and brotherly love having a tender heart

and being humble lacking a desire to

seek revenge he touched about keeping

our tongue from evil talks about turning

to do good and turning away from me

it talks about seeking peace and as he

shares all of those things he says

something that that I thought was

interesting he then says it's hard to

believe that we would suffer for doing

those righteous things and I don't

believe that Peter is contradicting what

Jesus said or what Paul said about

suffering as a christian but i believe

the Peters expressing what we all think

when we live a Christian life he's

saying why would anybody why would

anybody persecute you for showing love

and kindness and unity and seeking peace

he says that given ly speaking that

doesn't make any sense but then he goes

on and he says but and the idea here is

you will suffer for that type of

righteous living and he says if you

suffer for righteous living make sure

that you're suffering for doing the

right things and not doing evil things

he says that in verse 17 make sure that

if you're suffering you're suffering

because you're demonstrating love and

sympathy and peace and ability and all

of those other things make sure that the

reason you're suffering is we're living

in outer life make sure that you're not

suffering for doing evil things or

sinful things make sure that you're not

suffering because of hypocrisy if we

experience animosity toward our

Christian faith that's one thing but if

we suffer because we're living as

hypocrites we're getting exactly what we

deserve we're getting exactly what we

deserve because of our way of life and

so Peter is saying make sure you're

suffering for the right thing is I

thought about that this weekend

some of you brought this out at our

Bible study last week what made you

think about it I bet you know I need to

say this I'm not talking about trying to

live up to the standards that the world

often puts on Christians because you

know as well as I do that if you are

trying to live your Christian faith

those that are outside of the Christian

faith are going to be saying you well as

a Christian this is how you need to live

and how you need to act and I don't know

how to be honest without being blunt

those outside of Christ have no business

w aside live the Christian life and I'm

not saying that we need to live up to

the standards that are non Christian

that they set up and many times what

they expect of Christians is wrong and

it's not correct it's not right and we

need to be careful that we're not simply

just trying to live up to the standards

that the world clips on Christians but I

am talking about consistently living out

our faith in Christ living out my

relationship with Jesus Christ following

the the leading and the nudging and the

prodding of the Holy Spirit of my life

that will enable me and helping to know

what a consistent Christian life is a

Christian life also a consistent

Christian life does not equal perfection

it is interesting because the first

thing that comes up when you talk about

living in consistent Christian life is I

can because I have not

in a consistent Christian life at least

what I'm talking about this morning is

not a perfect Christian life if I was

going to preach this morning on the need

that we have to look a perfect Christian

life my mind so calls my Bible or go

home because we're not going to live in

perfect Christian life there's none of

us here it's not going to happen and

it's interesting to me because John says

in the book of 1st John who he's writing

to Christians if you say that we or

without seeing your life and the truth

isn't any and so we can't live a perfect

Christian life but a consistent

Christian life is what can be handling

because as we consistently live the

Christian life there are times that

we're going to fail sometimes that we're

going to fall well a consistent

Christian life recognizes those times

that we fall admits our founder li rete

ends of that failure does it make

excuses for that failure but but admits

it to God repents of it turns away from

it and comes back to where it needs to

be and it is walking with Christ and so

a consistent Christian life is not

perfection it's not striving to be

perfect because we can but it is

consistently following the values that

God sets forth for us in his word I was

using a dictionary again as week to look

up the word consistency and the

dictionary says that the word

consistency is this there means this to

constantly adhere to the same principles

to constantly adhere and to follow the

same principles and certainly the

principles that we here

as Christians principles in God's Word

we grab ahold of the principles in God's

Word and as we hold on to those

principles by the power and guiding and

the strength and the Holy Spirit brings

into our lives we strive to be obedient

to those things we strive to follow

those things and again if we fall short

or i should say when we fall short of

those things a Christian life or a

consistent Christian readily admits

their failure without making excuses

repents of their failure and accepts

God's forgiveness and most forward and

that's all part of a consistent

Christian as I was thinking about where

I wanted to go with this message this

morning I thought you know probably what

we really need to do is is set up these

talk about what is it consistent person

life and how do I live there how do I

live a consistent Christian life well

the easiest thing for me to do this

morning would be to give up and we've

talked about this many times so you know

where I'm going with this but the

easiest thing for me to do would be to

give you a whole list of do's and don'ts

they don't put it right up on this room

you know on one side we got all the

things that we must do as a Christian

and on the other side all of the things

that we dare not do as a Christian and

the easiest thing would be to say okay

look at the do list and if you're doing

more on to do list and adult list and

you must be living in consistent

Christian life that would be the easiest

thing but that's not what the bible does

and so it's not what i'm going to do

what the bible does what it talks about

living the Christian life is it gives us

some principles to follow principles

that are not always specific about what

you can do

you can't do this but principles that

will guide us in our decision making to

help us understand what is to be part of

a Christian life and what is not to be a

part of the receiver and so what I'm

going to do take your Bibles and turn to

first Corinthians chapter 10 in first

Corinthians chapter 10 Paul is in the

middle of an argument here on what is

the Christian life and what isn't the

Christian life and we're going to start

at verse 23 and i want to read down

through the end of the chapter actually

the first verse of chapter 11 i want you

to think about Paul's argument here

about the Christian life he says in

verse 23 all things are lawful but not

all things are helpful all things are

lawful but not all things build up let

no one seek his own good but the good of

his neighbor eat whatever is sold and to

mark the meat market without raising any

question on the ground of the conscience

for the earth is the Lord's and the

fullness thereof if one of the

unbelievers invites you to dinner and

you're exposed to go eat whatever he

sets before you without raising any

question on the ground of conscience but

if someone says to you this has been

offering sacrifice then do not eat for

the sake of the one who informs you and

for the sake of conscience I do not mean

your conscience but it is for why should

my Liberty

by someone else's conscience if Piper

take with thankfulness why am i denounce

because of that for which I give thanks

so whether you eat or drink or whatever

you do do all to the glory of God give

no offense to Jews or degree sort of the

Church of God just as I try to please

everyone and everything I do not seeking

my own advantage but that of many that

they may be say the imitators of me as I

have of Christ Paul's jumping in here to

an interesting your argument and the

argument really if we could sum it all

up is all about what is Christian and

what should a Christian do and what

shouldn't a Christian do in the argument

that he jumps up into here is the idea

of eating meat offered the angles and

you could make this about anything but

Paul makes it about eating meat that was

offered to idols when people in his day

worship the false gods they often make

sacrifices and the sacrifices amounted

to you generally you know cows oxen that

type of thing and they would make the

sacrifice and as part of the the rules

of worshipping to false gods some of the

sacrifice was then he given to the

priests that offered the sacrifice in

other words he got some of the meat and

because that often amounted to a lot of

me the priest couldn't eat all of that

and so he would take it to the

marketplace and he would sell it and so

Paul is answering a question that some

of the quiz the Christians are asking

should I eat meat that was offered itís

if I go to the marketplace and there are

all of these meat booths set up and I

don't know what is offered to idols or

not because the side doesn't say this

meat was offered to such and such a god

and Paul the Christians are

the meat market and I pick up this this

beef and I go home and I cook it up and

it was offered to idols should i eat

action I eat that Paul says hey all

things for you as a Christian or love

all things are lawful but he says not

all things are expedient and not all

things build up and so Paul says if I

believe market I'm not going to ask you

where that came from does it really

doesn't matter to me were thinking he

said all things are God's the earth is

God's the cattle were gods and yeah they

may have been offered to a false

government what is a false god it's

nothing and so Paul says I'm going to go

to the meat market and I'm going to find

a good cut of beef and I'm going to buy

that thief and i'm going to ask any

questions at all and i'm going to take

him home and i'm going to roast it up

and i'm going to eat it and enjoy it and

he said if you go to somebody else's

house and then cook up this rose and

they put it on the table all says unless

it's tuna fish all set I'm going to eat

it listen to the last couple of messages

you'll know where that case but Paul

says I'm not going to eat it or I am

going to eat it I'm not going to ask any

questions at all put that beef on the

table I don't care where it came from

it's me it's be and I'm going to enjoy

it but he says if they come and say now

hey Paul I want this beef but it was

offered to the god of so and so Paul

says now don't eat it because now you're

going to cause them to stumble and it so

Paul the setting up some friends

series setting up some ideas and

principles principles about what it is

to live the Christian life and I'm going

to get into any more detail on that

because I want to look at the president

and the principles are spelled out for

us in verse 31 and 32 and 33 and their

general principles that apply to

everything who you are and i want to i

want to look at two of them times we

have left the first principle that paul

gives at verse 39 whether you eat or

drink or whatever you do do all to the

glory of God Paul says principal level

14 the consistent Christian life is this

whatever you do do with the door if I go

whatever it is do it to the glory of God

and if you can do it to the glory of God

do it and if you can't do it to the

glory of God don't do it stay away from

it now I remember as a teenager being

taught in my my home church that

principle and one of my youth leaders at

the time said this they said if you can

pray in the middle of whatever you're

doing and ask God to bless it that's

probably a good thing for you to do but

if you can't in the middle of whatever

activity you're taking part in if you

can't bow and ask God to bless that

activity then you probably shouldn't be

doing it because you're not doing it to

the glory of God if you can't ask God to

bless the activity that you're involved

in it probably isn't hot enough and it

probably isn't your fight you go and so

Paul says whatever you do make sure you

run it through the strainer of is it

bringing glory to God or isn't it am I

glorifying God Paul says much the same

thing over in Romans chapter 12 more

fruit more familiar with these verses

but Paul says I appeal to you brothers

by the mercies of God to present your

bodies as a living sacrifice holy and

acceptable to God which is your sphere

do not be conformed to the world but be

transformed by the renewal of your mind

by that my testing you may discern what

is the will of God what is good and

acceptable and perfect how much all say

that we know what is acceptable and

right in our lives if we're living our

lives as a sacrifice to God if we're

living our lives in a way that is going

to war if I God then that's acceptable

to God and that's right in the sight of

God Paul says don't be conformed to the

world don't be like the world around you

be different from that live your life as

one that is that is glorifying God one

that is that is a sacrifice to God and

it's interesting because the contrast of

that is to be conformed with the world

and he says if you're being conforms the

world you're not living a consistent

Christian life if you're if you're

trying to be like the world like I was

in high school in that locker room that

day if you're trying to be like the

world you're not living a life that's a

sacrifice to go you're not living a life

that is that is bringing Maury together

and so the principle in our lives is are

you glorifying God it are you living in

such a way that you can ask God to bless

what you're doing and are you bringing

glory to God by your life a consistent

Christian life continually brings glory

to God and we need to be striving for

that in our lives in Romans turn over a

couple of chapters to chapter 14 Paul

again is saying the exact same thing in

chapter 14 and there's there's 12 verses

here let me read it

you get a read through it very quickly

here that in Romans 14 Paul says as for

the one who's vegan if they welcomed him

but not to quarrel over opinions one

person believes he may need anything

that flies back to what Paul said in

chapter 12 while the beep person eats

only vegetables but not the one who eats

despise the one who stands and let not

the one who stains passed judgment on

the one who eats for God has welcomed

him who are you to pass judgment on the

servant of an elderly and is before his

own master that he stands or Falls and

he will be upheld for the Lord is able

to make him stand one person is teams

one day is better than another while

another is teams all days like each one

should be fully convinced in his own

mind the one who observes the day

observes it in the honor of the Lord the

one who eats eats in the honor of the

Lord since he gives thanks to God while

the one who abstains of stains in the

honor of the Lord and gives thanks to

God for none of us lives to himself and

none of us guys to himself if we live we

lived in the Lord and if we die we die

to the Lord so then whether we live or

whether we die we are the Lord's for to

this end Christ I lived again that he

might be both floor both of the dead and

of the living and why do you pass

judgment on your brother or you why do

you spies your brother for we will all

stand before the judgment seat of God

for it is written as I live since the

Lord every knee will bow and every

tongue will confess to God so then each

of us will give it

of himself together now what is Paul

saying you know if I was to give a list

of principles what does it get a

consistent Christian life or was it what

isn't this morning we would have some

disagreement with me because I might

just I wouldn't probably look to use

what Paul said here I might say all good

Christians would never eat this and all

good Christians must observe this day

celebrate this and in all good

Christians and you might sit there and

say no I don't agree with that at all

and so we can argue well I have a more

consistent Christian life than you do

because I do these things and you don't

do those things or vice versa impulses

listen don't what are you about those

things What did he say was the most

important not the list he said the most

important thing is whenever you do do it

to honor God do it to honor god I was

working with a fellow here recently who

i believe as a Christian man who

believes completely differently about

some of the things new by the lady I

obviously eat me I enjoy any me he is a

vegan because he believes that we need

to follow these different principles of

the Bible and initially my initial

thought was I need to condemn him for

them and then I got thinking I can't

condemn it for why is he doing that he's

trying to honor God with his life and

why am I not doing those things because

i am trying to honor God with my life

you know one of this is doing anything

at the Bible called simple but we're

both in a different way trying to honor

God and Paul is saying the most

important thing is it what you eat and

what you go or what day you observe and

what day you don't observe Paul says the

most important thing is honor God with

your life and as Christians we need to

be focused on honoring God with our

lives and if we focus on honoring God

with our lives we're going to live

consistent Christian lives Paul again

says honor God with your wife glorify

God with our lives I don't know if this

fits here or not this is what I thought

of putting those Hells together too many

of us in our Christian lives are

interested we give lip service Oh what

were more interested in is that we don't

get caught when we don't undergo we're

not so many times unfortunately we're

not so much interested in the consistent

Christian life were more interested in

what can I get away and if we make a

mistake it's like oh no I need to make

sure that my pastor or my friend or my

neighbor doesn't find out and so we

begin to try to cover those things up

and hide those number one that's not

glorifying to god number two that is not

a consistent Christian life that's

hypocrisy we need to live our lives not

so let's worried about what other people

think is we are worried about what God

things because ultimately in ruins 14

Paul says this everyone needs to stand

before God and give an account of

himself none of us are going to stand

there and give an account of our

neighbor or somebody else I'm going to

stand before God good account of myself

and whether I lived in such a way as to

glorify God and God's not going to stand

before God and you said you know on this

day

in this year you ate this piece of meat

that I told you not to touch that's not

going to happen I'm going to stand there

and he's gonna say how did you live to

honor me did you live to glorify me

that's what a consistent Christian life

is one that constantly seeks to honor

and glorify go the first principle that

pole sets out there in 1st Corinthians

chapter and the second one is not as

long as I promise I only have an hour

left so I gotta move quickly the second

principle is not that long and it really

feeds off of the first one and they

almost seem contradictory first but it's

not he says when they leader drunk or

whatever you do do all to the glory good

principle number to give no offense the

jews or greeks into the church which are

just as i try to please everyone

everything i do not seeking my own

advantage but that of many that they may

be saved principle number two in our

consistent christian life we need to be

sensitive to people around us we need to

be sensitive to people we need to be

sensitive to realize and even in our

consistent Christian lives some things

may be offensive to other people some

things may be offensive that's why Paul

said earlier in chapter 10 of first

Corinthians if one of the unbelievers

invites you to dinner and you're

disposed to go to eat whatever is sent

me for you without raising any question

on the ground of conscience but if

someone says this has been an offering

the sacrifice then don't eat it for the

sake of the one who informed you and for

the sake of consciousness I don't need

your conscience

what appalls what does he say he says

you're free to live your life and

whatever way more wise guy but he said

Joe make your brother stumble in their

faith don't cause someone else to be

turned away from faith in God because of

the way you are living your life and I

think it really comes down again to

glorify God if I am going to attempt to

live it away that is going to cause you

to stumble I'm not glorify God me

because I'm pushing you away from where

you need to be in your relationship with

you and it so Paul says glorify God but

be aware that those around you may see

living differently than you do don't

make them stumble he says jaan free meat

that's offered any I love but if it's

going to make you stumble I'm not going

to eat it it's not worth it there's

something more important glorifying God

is more important your relationship with

God is much more important than my

liberty in my freedom cards so more if I

go and he says be sensitive to those

around you the Christian life with God

first other people second to myself 30 a

consistent Christian life is putting God

first other people second

and myself thirds and if and when we

suffer are any type of animosity for our

faith we need to make sure that we're

living our life in that order we need to

make sure that we're putting God first

we may need to make sure that we're

glorified er we need to make sure that

we're being sensitive to others and we

need to make sure that we're putting

ourselves we need to make sure that when

we experience animosity it has nothing

to do with my hypocrisy and everything

to do with my faith in Jesus calls and

so my challenge this week is for us to

day by day ask ourselves the question am

i bringing glory to God and way that I

live my life is my life live to honor

and glorify God am I putting him first

and when that is true everything else in

our lives will fall into place

everything else our lives will be

exactly let's take a moment about our

Heavenly Father I thank you this morning

for your work I thank you for the

principles that you give us for living

the Christian life putting you first

honoring you horrifying you glory I pray

that that would be our highest priority

our chief concern above all else and

what I pray that is we get involved in

activities or situations that are not

glorifying to you I pray that we would

recognize that immediately for what it

is and Lord rather than try to hide it

or make excuses like we just repent and

walk away and Lord in doing that

continue to live a consistent Christian

life or help us as well to be sensitive

to others or there are many different

opinions and ideas at times on how we

have lived what we were to do maybe what

we're to eat and days were to celebrate

the lord help us to realize those aren't

the most

things of life glorify you is

encouraging and building up others in

their faith is important as well it

won't help us to be sensitive to those

things as we strive again to put you

first but again we thank you for how you

will work in our lives in Jesus name