But Ye, Beloved

Miscellaneous Sermons
Miscellaneous Sermons
But Ye, Beloved
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References: Jude 1:20

I told Jeff I would let him read a book that was named after his grandson. So he’s glad to read from the book of Jude today. And toward the end of this book is, as he read these verses, I want to speak to you about that statement, but ye beloved, as Jude addresses us as believers after quite a scathing letter and preaching against the sins of his day, he turns to the believers and he says, but ye beloved.
And then he lists the important things to do, things that are important for us while we’re on this earth. Let me ask you a question. What do you do on your day off? What is it you like to do? You have something, a hobby, something that you’re good at. You know, leisure time is good, and even the Lord said to his disciples, come apart for a while, as someone said, if we don’t come apart, we’ll come apart.
We need that. You can’t run in the midst of it all, someone said, if you don’t now and then run from it all. Nothing wrong with frivolous activity, someone said, as long as you’re not one given to frivolity. And you have to wait till all activity stops sometimes to find a North Star, don’t you? And to find our bearings again. So it’s good that we rest. It’s good that we have those activities. I was thinking, you know, all of those things that we like to do, you don’t enjoy something until you get good at it, do you? I mean, maybe you like sports and maybe one of the things that you do in time off, you like a certain kind of a sport, whether it’s fishing, golfing, tennis or whatever. But if you don’t know how to do it, it’s a pure drudgery, you know? Tennis is only golf ball picking up or a tennis ball picking up if you don’t know how to play tennis the same with golfing, I guess. But you have to learn to be good at it to enjoy it.
Some of you like crafts and obviously from our announcements today. And if you’re good at that, you can spend hours at it, can’t you? And you do it well. And once you begin to do something well, you like that.
Some of you are gardeners and some of the rest of us profit from your love of gardening and we’re glad for that. Maybe you just like reading and the more you read, the better you are at reading and the broader you become at reading and that’s good or cooking or whatever it is. But as much as we learn one of those things and then enjoy it, do we do these things that Jude lists here and enjoy them?
Building up ourselves on our most holy faith. Do you like to do that kind of building? Praying in the Holy Spirit?
Is that something that you desire to get away and have time to do? Keeping yourselves in the love of God? Looking for the coming of Jesus Christ? Even evangelizing, pulling souls out of the fire.
I wonder if we love those things and therefore are as good at those things as we are at our other leisure activities. Notice he says, but ye beloved in the beginning of our text. That’s a contrast, but it’s a very endearing term as Jude turns to the believers. Look back with me, for example, to verse 3.
This is just a one chapter book, of course. In verse 3, beloved, he addresses us again. When I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, what we all have in Christ. It was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you, we might say also, that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. What kind of faith is it?
It’s the one that was delivered to the saints, earnestly contending. Now he begins that way because he knows dangers lurk for all of us and in his world and in our world today. When he gets to verse 10, he contrasts again and says, but these, speaking of the false teachers and those that came in among them, but these speak evil of those things which they know not and what they know naturally as brute beasts and those things they corrupt themselves.
And so he says in verse 12, these are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear. And so he describes those that have come in and it’s dangerous to have false teachers. It’s dangerous to have false doctrines among us and the Lord knows we have them in our generation as well. So verse 17, but beloved, after he gets through with some condemnation, judgment pronounced from God upon these false doctrines and teachers, he says in verse 17, but beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, Jude, not listed as an apostle, but he was a brother of the Lord Jesus and he knew these apostles. He could remind them easily of what they had often heard, how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves sensual, having not the spirit. In the last times, yes, and what will they do? They will separate themselves.
Isn’t it interesting? Many times believers have to be the ones who separate and often that is right and good, but here Jude describes those that because they fall away from the faith, because they don’t hang on to the very faith that they have, they fall away. If you go to your left about two pages probably to the book of 1 John, you’ll find a very parallel passage in 1 John chapter 2 beginning in verse 18, little children, another endearing term, it is the last time. And as you have heard that antichrist, singular notice, shall come even now are there many antichrists whereby you know or we know it is the last time. They went out from us because they were not of us.
The reason why these false teachers who are more for the antichrist than for the real Christ can’t stay around doctrinal teaching, can’t stay around the fellowship of the saints, can’t stay around spiritual things is it’s just not of them, it’s not in them. And so they’re the ones that leave. They go out because they are not of us. If they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. But they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. You have an unction from the Holy One, that is you have the Holy Spirit in you and you know all things.
That’s the difference. When the Holy Spirit encourages you, wants you to build yourself up in your faith, wants you to pray in the Holy Spirit, then these things become exciting to you and challenges and you are trying to be better at those things. Whereas those that don’t have the Spirit have a hard time with these things.
So they separate themselves. They’re unsaved, even Jude tells us. You remember that Paul wrote to Timothy and said, now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter time some shall what? Depart from the faith. They walk away giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
They may not know it and they may think they’re right doctrines, but they’re not. And so we know that that time has come. Jude speaks of it, John speaks of it.
Paul warns young Timothy about it. But then he says, but ye beloved. Every one of us, those of us who know Christ as Savior, those of us who have the Spirit in us, whether here in our local church, Metro Baptist Church or believers everywhere, you beloved. You are not of them. You are of the truth. You know, sometimes you stay when the worldlings leave. And sometimes you have to leave when the worldlings stay. But Jude would say to you in all of that, you contend for the faith. You know that the word contend from verse three is the Greek word agonai.
We get our word agony from it. You can see the runner running the race and he’s coming close to the finish line around the final turn. You see the agony on his face.
He’s pushing himself toward the finish line. You agonize for the faith then. You strive for that faith, contend for it. Sometimes you stand when worldly people bow down and sometimes you bow down before a holy God when worldly people won’t humble themselves before a holy God. Sometimes children walk away when parents stand for the faith and sometimes parents walk away when children stand for the faith, even in our day. Churches sometimes stand when people compromise and sometimes people stand when churches compromise.
compromise. But you beloved earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. That is your admonition before God. Now as we look at these things in our passage here, he will conclude in verse 24 because when we do these things, he is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. We’ll be glad to be before the Lord.
And by the way, if you like these kinds of activities, if you like these things that are in our text, there is no greater joy than to meeting the Lord and being in his glory because these are the things that will count when we get there. So let’s look at these. Actually five things. There are four words that are very clear, building, praying, keeping or keep, and looking, and then some thoughts about evangelizing. First of all, building yourselves up. I thought, well, you know, we usually don’t build things down, do we?
And it’s a definite directional thing here. Building yourselves up. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing. If sometimes you have to tear down, sometimes you have to tear away old things so that you can build new things, but we want to be building ourselves up. Christ, he said, will do what with his church? I will build my church. That is the direction we ought to go. We are being built up. Peter said it this way. You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.
You are the stones in the house. Christ is building his house. He put every one of us in the place that he wants us to be.
He locks us in with mortar. He makes us a part of the structure. We do our little part where we are. We are built up.
Now, what are we built up on? Some are trying to build themselves up on psychology, kind of tricking themselves into doing things that they think are right to do. Some are building themselves up on entertainment, and they think they are going to laugh their way from here to heaven, I guess, or whatever. Sometimes we try to build ourselves up on our own talent, don’t we, and our own abilities, thinking this is what will make us strong, this is what will count. And sometimes just with our possessions and our abilities and the things that the riches that we have or whatever, we can get along just fine. We can build ourselves up.
No. Jude says, building up yourselves on your most holy faith. Now, that little word on is interesting because it means by means of. Build yourself up, not just that, okay, I have the Bible and I believe it, that’s it. Now, I’ll go on to other things, but build yourself up by means of this book, by means of this faith. Again, in verse three, when he says, earnestly contend for, notice how he says it, the faith.
What is that? It’s just the faith that was once delivered to the saints, or to put it in the word order that he wrote it, earnestly contending for the once delivered unto the saints faith. It’s a faith that was given to us.
It’s the body of truth that we believe. We may call it Christianity. We may call it our faith. This is the faith that we build ourselves up with.
So build yourselves up by means of this. Paul again said to Timothy, till I come, Timothy, to a pastor over a church, till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine, do these things, give attendance to them, he said. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.
Meditate upon these things. Give thyself holy to them, that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself and under the doctrine, continue in them. And then he says this, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee. If we are not building ourselves up on this faith, we are not in the sense saving ourselves from this on toward generation, those that would pull us away from the Savior. So how does the Bible instruct us, doesn’t it tell us to study, to show ourselves approved unto God? That’s a command that’s building ourselves up upon or with the most holy faith. Meditate upon these things day and night.
You’ll be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Desire the sincere milk of the word. Desire it. It’s time to have devotions. It’s time to sit down and read. I’ve got to get up early enough this morning to read and pray, whatever.
Desire that sincere milk. You’d get up early if you smelled the bacon frying, wouldn’t you? Well get up when the Holy Spirit says, time to read the word too, the bread of life. Chew it. By reason of use, have your senses exercised to this and exercise yourself unto godliness.
Not bodily building yourself up necessarily, but soul building. Because that is profitable not only in this life, but in the life to come. You know what the the unforgiving tool is, is time.
Isn’t it? And Paul admonished us, redeem that time. You only have so many hours in the day, and we all have equal time. We all have the same opportunities. And it’s what we like and what we give ourselves to that determines what we’re built up in. And you may be an excellent doer of whatever your interest is, but our interest ought to be in these things, folks. And we ought to build ourselves up on these.
So let’s do that. So building yourselves up by means of this holy faith that you have. Secondly, the thing we need to do is pray in the Holy Ghost, praying in the Holy Ghost. Now prayer here, the Bible speaks of lots of different kinds of prayer. And this is a very common word for prayer.
You remember Paul said it this way in 1 Timothy, I exhort therefore that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. Prayer is quite a study. Prayer is quite a hobby, if you will.
It’s quite a job to do. There’s a lots of kinds of prayer. There are various things we pray for. And we must do it constantly.
We must be instant in season and out of season. Prayer is hard work. And though it is the most powerful thing at our disposal, to ask God to get things done that would be pleasing to His will, the greatest thing we can do, the thing that we could spend the best time in is prayer.
We probably spend the least amount of time in, don’t we? Too bad, as C.S. Lewis called it. God gave us this dignity of causality. You can take your hands and go do things, and God’s given you that ability.
Or secondly, you can ask God to go do things. And which is the better? And which is the more powerful? And which will get it done right?
Ask God to do it. And yet, which do we do more often? As a matter of fact, a hundred times more than the other. We try to do it all ourselves. And folks, we struggle with our schedule, with our time. Jude is admonishing us. God through Jude and by the Holy Spirit is admonishing us.
We need to be praying. I like what Jesus said when he began. He said unto them, when you pray, say, our Father which art in heaven, and he gives us that prayer. Did you notice that he didn’t say, now, if you pray, pray our Father which art in heaven. No, when you pray, Jesus assumed that you would be praying if you are his believer. When you pray, he said, he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint. Now, praying in what? In the Holy Ghost. The word ghost is spirit, of course.
And let me give you a little definition here. Sometimes that language that Jude is writing in can be in what is called the emphatic order. In other words, our English word order is very important to how we mean things.
Theirs wasn’t so important. They had endings and prefixes and suffixes. But when they put it in a certain order called the emphatic order, they meant to emphasize something. So this verse literally says, in the Holy Spirit, praying. In other words, the emphasis is not just on the praying, but we must pray in the Holy Spirit. Not in our own strength, not just for the lust of our own flesh, in the Holy Spirit, praying. This is not, by the way, a charismatic trance that some people try to work themselves up into, and if they kind of lose their head and their eyes roll back in their sockets, you know, that then they’re really praying through.
No. There was a woman in Philippi that had a spirit of divination and followed the apostle Paul around, and she said, these are the men of the Most High God who show us the way of salvation. She did that for three days until Paul got grieved with that kind of thing.
It turned around and cast an evil spirit out of her. It’s not praying in some kind of a trance. By the way, it’s not praying in our own lust, is it? James said, you ask and receive not because you ask amiss that you may consume it upon your lust. It’s not praying as the hypocrites do. Jesus said, when thou prayest, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. When you pray, enter into your closet. Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. And we don’t pray men as ungrateful husbands. Peter said, likewise you husbands, dwell with them, that is, our wives, according to knowledge giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel and as being heirs together of the grace of life. She’s your sister in Christ after all, that your prayers be not hindered. Because when we pray without that relationship right before God, our prayers are hindered.
What are we to be doing? Praying in the holy ghost. Now, what instruction can you think of from the Scripture that we have from the Holy Spirit? Are we not to be filled with the Holy Spirit? And that is a command to us in Ephesians 5, be filled with the Spirit.
Are you striving for that? Are you thinking of every day, Father, am I draining the Holy Spirit away from me or am I feeling? It’s not that He doesn’t dwell in you. He has sealed you to the day of redemption.
He remains in you. You were baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit once and for all, but we must be constantly in guard to be filled with the Spirit. Aren’t we to abide in the Spirit?
Aren’t we to abide as a branch does in the vine? Aren’t we to let the Holy Spirit dwell in us? To walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh, Galatians 5. To be led of the Spirit. All of these things put us in the sphere of the Holy Spirit. So when He says, in the Holy Spirit praying, that little word in draws a circle.
This is called being in the Spirit. You be in there when you’re praying. You be inside this circle. Now as a believer, you can be outside that circle is all. You cannot have the Holy Spirit working mightily in your life.
You cannot have the power of the Spirit working with you. He may have, as John R.R. I said, locked himself in the room, or in his room in your house because he doesn’t like the rest of the house.
You may have offended him and grieved him. And then how can our prayers matter? But if we walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit, and we are conscious of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, then praying is enjoyable, it is good, and we do it, and it is profitable.
We must be walking in the Spirit and praying in the Spirit. I read something interesting this week, and I liked it from a daily devotional I get from my old theology professor. And he copied something written by a friend of his. And his name is Norman Brown, and he was a chaplain in World War II. And this was written on July 4th. And he is talking about stealth bombing.
And so my professor puts a note in here. Some of us may not know what stealth bombing was from the war days, but it was basically because the bombers couldn’t be as nearly as precise as they are today. You know, we can put a bomb down the exhaust pipe of a jeep, I guess, if we want to. But in those days, it was stealth bombing, meaning they just let it fly. And they came over a city and then had to go, and so they really couldn’t see what it was going to hit specifically. It may have been military targets, it may have been factories, it could have been civilians.
They just had to let it drop. And that’s what happened in World War II. Well, here is Chaplain Brown on July 4th, and he says this, the crowd below our hotel window scurried along the streets of Edinburgh, unaware that we were watched. We were enjoying a two-week vacation in Scotland where the Navy had once stationed us long ago. And we’ve gone back several times to enjoy the beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the natives, and the richness of history. Of course, I like that because I may have stood in that same hotel window. I’ve stood and looked down on Princess Street, the main street in Edinburgh, up from up high where you stay in those hotels and you see the streets full of people down below. Scotland, heavenly influenced our early American dreams of freedom from England on a hot July 4th, 233 years ago. And looking down on the scene, I wondered what I could give this land of my ancestors, he says.
I recall an old popular song that is from a distance. Why not at least pray stealth prayers for the people below? They’d be stealth because they’d be for people I will likely never meet and who would have no idea that they were being prayed for. So I prayed God would bless the people on the street below.
And you write some other things and then he says, well, for one thing, my attitude toward others should improve. It’s hard to ignore or to get aggravated with someone you’re praying for. You know, we might have a tendency to look at the crowds of people and say, look at those scrubby people. But if we said, Lord, bless those people, Lord, bring those people to gospel. Lord, use me as some instrument, as a witness to these people. Then it’s hard as condemned as they are before God.
It is hard not to reach out to them and think well of them. And so we ought to be praying more. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Now, thirdly, keeping yourselves in the love of God. You know, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit that’s given unto us.
The love of God shines. It’s agape love. The agape love of God is a specific love that God has for the world and the world does not have agape love. As a matter of fact, an unbeliever who doesn’t know Christ never has agape love. It is a God-born thing for God’s so love the world that he gave his only begotten. and son. Not that we loved him but that he loved us and gave his son to be a propitiation for our sins.
So here is this unmerited constant love and we’re commanded to keep ourselves in it. You know if it were a real cold day outside and the snow was likely to be flying and I had my little grandson Matthew with me and we were outside and it was kind of cold I might say to Matthew, Matthew go stand in the sunshine. You know he could be over where it’s cold he’d probably be in a mud puddle somewhere or something like that.
I say Matthew go stand in the sunshine. Now you know God’s love is constant but our determination to be in that love sometimes waivers just like the sun will always be shining and it’s always there for you if you’ll go stand in it and in that sense we can be commanded to keep ourselves in the love of God. Keep in that place where his love shines on us.
Don’t let anything come between you and that love and block that from your life. Keep yourselves in the love of God. Turn back one more time to 1st John to your left this time to chapter 3 and verse 1. Chapter 3 and verse 1, behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not and they don’t know Agape love. Beloved now are we the sons of God. It doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is and how does this work? Every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. Lord make me have this kind of love.
Give me this kind of desire. Make me as holy as you are. This love as I said is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit that is given unto us. Believers have this Agape love. Paul said to the Corinthians you know knowledge puffs up but charity edifies or literally knowledge builds up or puffs up and love builds up.
We can have knowledge that only just puffs us up in our pride but love always builds and aren’t we supposed to be building ourselves up on our most holy faith and so if we’re keeping ourselves in the love of God love builds up. It’s kind of interesting though that we’re commanded to do this. Even though God holds us and we are kept in his right hand and no man can pluck us out of his hand we are to be striving to do this.
We are to be keeping ourselves in the sunshine of his love. When we go to England one of the of course we see the Charles Spurgeon history I’ve told you about that many times but on one day we go to the cemetery where he is buried and they have quite a large tomb there in marker on his grave and there’s a Latin saying carved on his tombstone and then we leave the the cemetery and we go down the street a little ways and there’s Spurgeon’s College and as you walk in the entrance of this college they have a huge round stained glass window and around the perimeter of that window is this same Latin saying et tenet au et tenure probably not saying it correctly in Latin but it means I both hold and M held. Spurgeon liked that so well I both hold and M held.
You know you pick up a little one and you know and he does what to you he holds on he grabs you around the neck but you’re the one holding him aren’t you. His stature in your arms is really not up to him it’s up to you and Spurgeon liked that I both hold and M held and what a beautiful thing that is I like it also that’s carved on the side of his tomb is the words to William Cooper song there is a fountain on the fourth verse air since by faith I saw that stream thy flowing wounds supply redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die wouldn’t it be great for redeeming love to be our theme until the day that we die then fourthly not only keeping ourselves in the love of God but looking for mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life looking for it interesting word about looking it means to receive something something. To look for something in this sense means to receive towards something or from something. I’ll tell you for example this unique word appears in Titus 2.13, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
We are to be looking for the blessed hope in the sense that when that happens we’re going to receive things from God. The same thing in Luke 2.38. She coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord and spake of him to all them that looked for the redemption in Jerusalem. They looked for redemption.
They looked to receive redemption and release in Jerusalem. This word sometimes is the word waiting. You yourselves be like unto men that wait for their Lord when he will return from the wedding because he’ll come and he’ll bring us those things.
And then even in the sense of receiving you receive her in the Lord, Paul spoke. Now if that’s true we are looking for what? We’re looking for mercy because when the Lord comes, folks, we’re going to receive mercy. We look for it not just because we’re interested in it happening.
We’re looking for him coming because of what he’s going to bring to us. Looking for the mercy. Praise the Lord that when the rapture happens, folks, you and I are receiving mercy. We are being delivered from the tribulation that will come upon the earth. I know that some people say, well, it’s just not fair or why should we think that it’s fair for us to escape the tribulation period.
And I think to myself, how can we think that way? Suppose we are sitting in this auditorium and an earthquake began or maybe a tornado passed over and this building began to shake or maybe smoke filled this room and fire. Every husband in this room would first turn to his wife and say, honey, come on. You turn to the one you love and make sure she is safe first. And our Lord will turn to the bride of Christ and say, honey, come on.
Let me deliver you. Rise up my beloved and come away and we will and be and escape that terrible time. We are looking for such mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Do you know you have eternal life if you’re a believer? It’s there though sometimes you look at this life and say, well, this is eternal life. I don’t know if I can stand it that long. We’re hurting in body and we’re hurting in things. You have it. It’s just not activated yet.
Or we might say today, it’s been downloaded. It just hasn’t been installed on your hard drive. I mean, it’s there and it’s ready to run, but you’ve got to make it ready and the Lord will.
In other words, you’re wired for it, but the office has to turn on the power, you know, like when they turn on the utilities. And one day when there’s a shout and the voice of the archangel and the Trump of God, all of what you are wired for will come alive. And in an instant you will be changed to be like him. You are looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life to dwell in such an existence.
What a wonderful thing that will be. Now, just lastly and briefly, I want to mention in these verses the way Jude finishes this short epistle in verses 22 and 23, because I would say if we add a fifth thing, not only building ourselves up, praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves in the love of God and looking for mercy, lastly I would say it as evangelizing the lost. That’s an exercise that we don’t exercise ourselves in very much, at least not enough, do we? And how do we do that? Here are three things he gives that makes a difference. So if we take these things and put them into our mix here, put them into our lives, it will make a difference. First of all, compassion makes a difference.
Of some have compassion, folks, making a difference. The apostle Paul said, I am a debtor, both to the wise and the unwise. I’m a debtor to the world that doesn’t know Christ. What kind of a heart and mind can say a thing like that? It is a person who has found unmerited favor himself as a murderer and a persecutor, and the grace of God saved him. I wonder he can look at a world and say, I am a debtor then to everyone else who is as I was. You know, if you walk down a street and you saw someone down on this corner handing out food and passing out food to be eaten and you walk down here to the other corner and you see someone starving to death, wouldn’t it be right of you, don’t you owe it to that person to say, hey, someone’s passing out food down there? Go get some.
And here we are with people who don’t know Christ as Savior. We have the solution. We have the answer.
And therefore we become debtors to the whole world. Compassion will make a difference. Urgency makes a difference. difference. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.
Could it be more graphic than that? Literally pulling them out of the fire. They’re almost dropping into hell in a moment’s notice in a heartbeat they could be in the flames of hell and you are literally pulling them out of the fire.
Urgency makes a difference. Oh Lord, I’ll get around to it sometime. Oh Lord, before I die, make me a witness. No, no.
Lord, don’t do that. People are dying now. Hell is real now.
Give me this urgency now and lastly, holiness makes a difference. And that’s why he says, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Not the sinner, but the garments that he is in. What is ruining him? The sin that is pulling him down. The nature from Adam that we all had and all have.
That is killing him and that is pulling him down. But we must hate the sin and love the sinner and we have to learn how to distinguish between those things. Of the Lord Jesus Christ, the writer of Hebrews said, thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Jesus Christ hated something and what he hated was iniquity.
It was killing people and taking people to hell. Therefore God, even thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. When we love righteousness and hate iniquity, we might find ourselves then better evangelizers. Holiness will make a difference. And so Roman says, let love be without dissimulation or without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Clave to that which is good.
Can we do that? Abhor that which is evil in this world and yet cleave to that which is good. We will be like Christ if we can. And we will be able then to pull people out of the fire while we’re hating the garments that are spotted by the flesh. Psalm 9710, ye that love the Lord hate evil. So holiness makes a difference folks to us.
And so what is our command? Start exercising. Start doing. You say, well I’m not too good at these things. Well you weren’t too good at the craft that you like either when you started. You weren’t too good at the sport that you like when someone was teaching you how to do it.
But after you learned and after these things got in your bloodstream, you loved these things. So all you can say is exercise yourself rather under godliness because these things are profitable in this life. Everything else is fat.
Everything else needs to be trimmed down. Everything else needs to take second place to these muscles in our Christian life that we need to have. And god help us to do this in the day and age in which we live. Stand with me if you will now. And as we stand let’s bow our heads. Let’s go to the Lord in prayer and let’s prepare to sing a song of invitation. Let’s go to him in prayer.
Now Father, how can we read your word and add words to it? Lord our heart cries out to you for our need. We know that, Father, we are sinners. We know that even as your children that we have not walked rightly many times. We have exercised ourselves in this world unto all kinds of things. We have burnt the hours of the day in those activities and not in these. And so Father help us today. Show us our fault. Humble us before you. Father change our want to. Change our desires. Help us Father to start and as we do reading or praying or even witnessing, Father be with us. Strengthen us. Encourage us. Help us in these things. May we leave behind this morning those things that drag us down. Those sins and our lives that we know are pulling us apart. Father may we cut those strings this morning. May we leave those at this altar today. And Father I pray that you would guide us into this strength and help us be the kind of people we need to be. We ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.
On page 547 in your song book 547 have thine own way Lord. There are four verses. We’ll sing these four verses.
Our invitation is this. If you are here today and don’t know Christ the Savior and the Lord has spoken to you specifically about that and you know you need to receive Christ the Savior. You come and Howard is standing right here and someone will take you and the Word of God apart privately and show you how to receive Christ the Savior.
What the Bible specifically says about that. We invite you to come even as we’re singing. And maybe you have other things to surrender to the Lord. You need someone to help you with baptism, membership or some other thing. Come and let someone pray with you. If you’d like to just kneel here at the front and go back to your seat you’re welcome to do that too. So let’s sing this song. You do it prayerfully asking the Lord to lead you in these things. Alright let’s sing this together. Have thine own way Lord. Have thine own way.

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