The Status Of A Christian In The World

  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
      I Cor. 3:21-23 = "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
    2. DEFINITIONS:
      1. Status:
        1. Webster Dictionary defines status as "A state of condition of a person; position of affairs".
        2. This has to do with "that which is done or is to be done".
      2. Christian:
        1. One that is a member of the body of Christ.
        2. One that has put off the man of sin and put on the new man in Christ.
          Col 3:1-10 = "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:"
          Romans 6:3-8 = "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:"
    3. A CHRISTIAN'S RELATION TO CHRIST DETERMINES HIS STATUS WITH THINGS BOTH PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL.
      1. Our opening text tells us: I Cor. 3:21-23 = "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
      2. We are told that "All things are yours … things present, or things to come".
        1. All things are before us in the world to be used or not to be used.
        2. Understanding the correct status of a Christian in regards to all things will determine the status of a Christian in things to come.
    4. CONSIDER WITH ME FOR A FEW MOMENTS THE FOLLOWING:
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST IS OURS: "Whether Paul, Apollos, or Cephas"
      1. The Church that Christ built is for the purpose of saving souls
        Matt 16:18 = "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
        Luke 19:10 = "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
        Acts 2:47 = "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
      2. The ministry of Christian services is:
        1. To break the bread of life:
          Matt 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 world. Amen"
          John 6:35, 47-51 = "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. … Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
        2. To guide in the pathway of safety:
          2 Tim 4:1-2 = "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
          Heb 11:13 = "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
          Matt 7:14-15 = "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
        3. To comfort worldly sorrows:
          Isa 40:1-2 = "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins."
          2 Cor 1:4 = "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
          1 Thess 4:18; 5:11 = "Wherefore comfort one another with these words. … Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
          1 Thess 5:14 = "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."
          2 Thess 2:17 = "Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."
    2. THE WORLD IS OURS:
      1. To lodge in – it provides a home for the physical living and a grave for the dead.
      2. As a field for Christian service:
        Mark 16:15 = "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
        Gal 6:10 = "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
      3. To subdue it:
        1. Foes must be conquered:
          1 John 2:16 = "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
          Eph 6:10-13 = "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
          1 Peter 5:8-9 = "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
        2. This world is our arena, wrestling ground, or battle field:
          Gen 1:28 = "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
          1 Tim 6:12 = "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
          1 John 5:4 = "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
          Rom 8:37 = "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
      4. To be used wisely and enjoy the bounty of God's handy work.
        Matt 5:5 = "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
        1 Tim 6:17 = "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"
    3. LIFE IS OURS:
      1. It is a precious gift of God -- Life is sacred"
        Gen 2:7 = "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
        Rom 13:9 = "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
        Rom 1:29 = "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,"
        1. Because of its origin – It came from God.
        2. Because of its privilege – Fellowship with God.
        3. Because of its destiny – eternity with God.
      2. It is a period of discipline - A school in which we learn the fine art of self discipline.
        1 Cor 9:27 = "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
      3. It is a time of enjoyment if lived righteously.
        1 Peter 3:10-12 = "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
    4. DEATH IS OURS:
      Comment: (1) To the sinner death is the master, feared and dreaded. (2) To the Christian death is simply a door way we pass through to an unending life with God. Christ conquered death and we can partake of that glorious victory.
      Rev 1:17-18 = "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
      1. To terminate every sorrow and pain -- it is a refuge from the storm of life.
        Job 3:17 = "There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest."
        Rev 14:13 = "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
      2. To fulfill our deepest desires:
        1. Death is not an enemy to seal us in a region of darkness.
        2. Death is simply a door way through which we must pass for an entrance in the joy of heaven.
          Matt 25:23 = "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
          2 Tim 4:6-8 = "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
    5. THINGS PRESENT ARE OURS: "Things present" (I Cor. 3:23)
      1. Redemption and forgiveness:
        Col 1:14 = "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"
        1 John 1:9 = "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
      2. Peace that passeth understanding:
        John 14:27 = "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
        Phil 4:7 = "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
      3. The Spirit as your abiding guest:
        Luke 11:13 = "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
        I Cor. 3: 16-17 = "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
    6. THINGS TO COME ARE OURS:
      1. The coming of Christ:
        John 14:1 = "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."
        2 Peter 3:12-14 = "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
      2. The glorious resurrection:
        1 Cor 15:51-53 = "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
      3. The heavenly inheritance:
        1 Peter 1:3-5 = "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
      4. God, who is, who was, and who is to come.
        Rev 1:4 = "John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;"
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. WHAT IS YOUR SPIRITUAL STATUS?
      1. Are you carrying out your part of Lord's ministerial service?
      2. Have you been using the world correctly as a field of Godly service?
      3. Has your life been an example before others?
      4. Are you ready to face gate of death?
    2. THE TIME OF PREPARATION IS NOW:
      1. Are you pleased with your answer to these questions?
      2. What shall your answer be?
      3. Your answer will determine where you will spend eternity.

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