Influence And Example Vital To Church
- OPENING COMMENT:
Many members of the Church
have remarked, that they do not gave any talent to serve the Lord
for they are not able to preach, lead singing, lead public prayers,
or even teach a Bible class. Therefore, they sit back doing nothing,
overlooking their ability to carry out two fundamental factors
in spreading the gospel which everyone possesses: Influence and Example. It is felt by these since they
are not able to take a leading part in the assembly they are useless.
However, this is far from correct, for every child of God us useful
and plays a vital role in teaching the lost.
- INFLUENCE AND EXAMPLE DEFINED:
- Influence: "The act or power
of producing an effect without apparent force or direct authority
T. Carter, in LEAVES OF GOLD, Edited by Clyde Fracnis
Lytle, p. 118.] "The least may influence the greatest. It
was St. Andrew that influenced St. Peter to "come and see"
Jesus. One least spoken of among the apostles influenced the
one who took the foremost place among them as if to show that
such power is independent of personal superiority. It is not
the great and gifted alone who exercise this mysterious power
of influence. It is a universal law of life. These personal
influences, first of Jesus on Andrew, then of Andrew on Peter,
were the beginning of the conversion of the world."
- Example: "That which is to
be followed or imitated". [WEBSTER]
man who lived some six miles from the house of worship, complained
to his minister of the distance he had to go to attend worship.
Never you mind, said the minister, Remember
every Lords day you have the privilege of preaching a sermon
six miles long -- you preach the gospel to all the residents and
people you pass."
- GODS WORD DEMANDS BOTH OF CHRISTIANS:
- Christ spoke of influence in the
likeness of salt and light. Matthew
5:13-16 = "Ye are the salt of the earth: but
if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be
salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast
out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light
of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,
but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that
are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which
is in heaven."
- Christ further spoke of influence
as the likeness of leaven. Matthew
13:33 = "Another parable spake he unto them;
the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman
took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole
- Paul exhorted Timothy to be an
Timothy 4:12 = "Let no man despise thy youth:
but be that an example of the believers, in word, in conversation,
in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
- Paul exhorts the Corinthians to
imitate him as he imitated Christ. I
Corinthians 11:1 = "Be ye imitators of me,
even as I also am of Christ." [ASV]
- IMPORTANCE OF INFLUENCE AND EXAMPLE IN
SAVING THE LOST:
- Influence -- This lets
us reach out into the depths of darkness with spiritual light
to guide others to Christ.
1:79 = " To give light to them that sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way
26:18 = Paul said, "To open their eyes, and
to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins,
and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that
is in me."
- Example -= Lets us manifest
before others an example, or pattern, of what God wants them
Thessalonians 3:7-9 = "For yourselves know how ye ought
to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither
did we eat any mans bread for nought; but wrought with labour
and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any
of you: not because we have not power, but top make ourselves an example
unto you to follow us."
Peter 2:21-24 = "For even hereunto were ye called: because
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should
follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he
threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we,
being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes
ye were healed."
- CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE WORKS IN TWO WAYS:
- Working internally influence is like
5:13 = "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if
the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?
It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and
to be trodden under the foot of men."
- Salt penetrates food as Christians
penetrate worldly wickedness.
28:19-20 = "Go ye therefore, and teach
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them
to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
8:4 = "Therefore they that were scattered
abroad went every where preaching the word."
- Comment: The penetrating
ability of salt is like that of leaven [Matthew
13:33] that works throughout the dough. Paul said
5:9 = "A little leaven leaventh the whole
- Salt preserves - The gospel influence
also has preservatives powers:
- The gospel preserves. Romans
1:16 = "For I am not ashamed of the gospel
of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also
to the Greek."
- The gospel preserves, however,
only when it is allowed to come into our hearts and
16:15-16 = "And he said unto them, go ye into
all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned."
24:13 = "But he that shall endure unto the end,
the same shall be saved."
2. Working externally influence
is like unto light. Matthew
5:13-16 = "ye are the light of the world. A city
that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle,
and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth
light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine
before me that they may see your good works, and glorify your
Father which is in heaven."
a. The visible opposite
- The difference between light and darkness
noted in the beginning. Genesis
1:4 = "And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from darkness."
- It reveals sin as evil.
3:19-21 = "And this is the condemnation, that
light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather
than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that
doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest
his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh
to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they
are wrought in God."
- Light reveals good works, while
darkness tries to hid the evil.
5:16 = "Let your light so shine before
men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven."
- Let true Christians be seen
as doers and not only hearers. James
1:22 = "But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
- We were created in Christ
to do good works.
2:10 = "For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
- CHRISTIAN EXAMPLE SEEN IN THE WRITINGS
OF PETER AND PAUL:
are to pattern ourselves after the example of Christ:
Peter wrote in I
Peter 2:21 = "For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps." Paul wrote to
Timothy 4:12 = "Let no man despise thy youth;
but be thou an example to them that believe, in word, in
manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity". [ASV]
Lets take a closer look at how Paul wrote to Timothy
to be an example:
- In Word:
- A careful study of the word
and its use:
17:11 = "These were more noble than
those in Thessalonica, in that they received the
word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Timothy 2:15 = "Study to shew thyself
approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
- Speaking as the oracles of
Peter 4:11 = "If any man speak, let him
speak as the oracles of God if any man minister,
let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that
God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
- In manner of life:
- Walking in the light. Ephesians
5:8-12 = "For ye were sometimes darkness,
but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children
of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all good
and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable
unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness, but rather reprove the, for it
is a shame even to speak of those things which are
done of them in secret."
- Walking worthily. Ephesians
4:1-3 = "I therefore, the prisoner of
the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness,
with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace."
- To be blameless. Philippians
2:15 = "That ye may be blameless and
harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the
midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom
ye shine as lights in the world;"
- In love:
- After the pattern of Gods
5:1-2 = "Be ye therefore followers of
God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ
also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling
- Manifesting itself in unity.
133:1 = "Behold, how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
- In faith.
- To please God.
Hebrews 11:6 = "But without faith
it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder
of them that diligently seek him."
- That we may be examples of
faithful living before others, as was manifest by
the Thessalonians. I
Thessalonians 1:6-8 = "And ye became
followers of us, and of the Lord, having received
the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy
Ghost: so that ye were examples to all that believe
in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out
the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia,
but also in every place your faith to god ward is
spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing."
- To receive the crown of life.
Peter 1:9 = "Receiving the end of your
faith, even the salvation of your souls."
2:10 = "Fear none of those things which
thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some
of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall
have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life."
- In purity:
- Purity of thought. Proverbs
23:7 = "For as he thinketh in his heart
so is he: eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his
heart is not with thee." Matthew
5:28 = "But I say unto you, that whosoever
looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed
adultery with her already in his heart."
- Keep yourself pure from all
sinful connections. I
Timothy 5:22 = "Lay hands suddenly on
no man, neither be partaker of other mens sins;
keep thyself pure."
- Shun even the appearance
of evil. I
Thessalonians 5:22 = "Abstain from all
appearance of evil."
COMMENT: Unless Christians
use their influence in reaching those wandering about in darkness
to guide them to Christ and live an example before them, the preaching
and teaching just becomes empty words.
- WE MUST BE DOERS. James
1:22 = "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers
only, deceiving your own selves."
NOTE: Many have
deceived themselves into thinking there is nothing they can do.
Letting their valuable influence and example go unused. They fail
to realize how great a service they can fender, encouraging others
and living the gospel example.
- WE MUST NOT BE GUILTY OF THE SIN OF NEGLECT.
4:17= "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and
doeth it not to him it is sin."
- DO YOU NEED TO REPENT OF YOUR NEGLECT OF
USING YOUR GREATEST TALENTS OF INFLUENCE AND EXAMPLE? Remember
what happened to the one talent man. [Matthew
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