Gene Cunningham - May 23, 2000

Living Sacrifice 33

The lifestyle of a believer living expectantly -- the hope of our calling has 3 aspects: (1) The Blessed Hope enables the attitudes in Mat 5:3-10 beatitudes. (2) Living hope (1Pe 1:3-4) --if we lay hold of attitudes of blessing it will effect our life style (1Co 7:29-35; :2Co 4:16-18). (3) Purifying hope (1Jo 3:3) relates to to spiritual, moral, and eternal ramifications of living in the expectation of Christ's coming (2Ti 2:19-24, 2Pe 1:4). Time is compressed (1Co 7:29-35); we need undistracted devotion to the Lord. Believers in the last generation, we have to take up an attitude and lifestyle that focuses on eternity. Believer focused on Christ's return do not lose heart (2Co 4:16-18), in "momentary light affliction ... while we look at the things unseen" (Tit 2:13). Characteristics of believers with the Living hope: (1) We consider that Christ is coming today; (2) He makes full use of the world for the gospel; (3) He lives a carefree existence without anxiety; (4) His one concern is divine approval; (5) He is single-minded and undistracted; (6) He is concerned about devotion and purity; (7) He sees all things - good and bad - as unworthy to be compared to eternity (2Co 2:9-10). The Crown of Righteousness we'll get for loving His appearing (2Ti 4:8); this should be our fist love (Rev 2:4). Crowns and rewards at His appearing should motivate us: Imperishable Crown - 1Co 9:25, Crown of Joy - Phi 4:1, 1Th 2:19, Crown of Life - Jam 1:12, Crown of Glory - 1Pe 5:4, Crown of Righteousness - 2Ti 4:8; We'll receive rank (2Ti 2:12,) authority (Mat 5:20-23), and wealth (2Pe 1:11). Jesus talking to disciples -- challenge to continuous urgency and expectation (Luk 12:35, Rom 12:1), "Be girded" -- prepared for action; means to fix our hope on the return of Christ (1Pe 1:13, 2Ti 2:4). We need to get rid of encumbrances. (1) girding is spiritual strengthening of the soul through the word (Luk 12:35, belt of truth, Eph 6). (2) Burning lamp represents the Holy Spirit and fellowship (Luk 12:35-36, Tit 2:13). (3) Be " men waiting for their master" (Luk 2:35, 1Th 1:9-10). Serving and waiting -- perfect spiritual balance. Waiting for the Master when He returns from the wedding feast (Luk 12:36, Rev 3:20). Blessed are those alert when He comes (Luk 12:36-37, 1Th 5:6). The master girds Himself and has us take the proper place at the table and place (Luk 12:37-38, Joh 13:3-4). In Luk 12:35-38: The Wedding Feast: (1) Jesus Christ is the awaited Master. (2) His coming is the Rapture (Tit 2:13, 1Pe 1:3, 1Jo 3:3). (3) Good servants live expectantly (2Ti 4:8). (4) This event is the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9). (5) The picture is the Kings table at a banquet. (6) Those at the head table have honor, mark, and position. (7) Believers (the remnant) living and serving expectantly when He comes, will be seated by rank by the Father. (8) These believers will be served communion by the King, the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat 26:29). (9) At the last supper, Jesus left the disciples an example of service and expectation of blessing to those who follow (Joh 13:12-15). (10) Jesus left a promise of blessing (Joh 13:16-17). Other support for reward in scripture: (1) Kings showed honor by hosting them at his table -- "friends of the King" (e.g., 2Sa 9 - Mephibosheth seated at Kings table daily). (2) David thought of himself as an honored guest (Psa 23:5). The anointing is a symbol of exultation and promotion (1Sa 16:12). (3) Jesus uses this picture in the the upper room -- "... I have called you friends" (Joh 15:14-15, Joh 14:21). (4) Other examples -- Abraham (Pro 3:22, Jam 2:23). Even those who have wandered off course (1Co 9:27); they still has reason for hope (Mat 21:28-32). God is more patient than our earthly father. Warning - potential of reward can be lost (Luk 12:39).

Scripture References: James 1:12, John 13:16-17, Titus 2:13, Matthew 21:28-32, John 13:3-4, Philippians 4:1, John 13:12-15, Luke 12:35-36, James 2:23, Luke 12:37-38, Revelation 2:4, Matthew 26:29, Luke 12:35, Proverbs 3:22, Luke 12:36-37, Titus 2:13, Revelation 19:7-9, Romans 12:1, John 14:21, Revelation 3:20, John 3:3, John 3:3, Luke 12:35, John 15:14-15, Luke 12:36, Matthew 5:3-10, Titus 2:13, Matthew 5:20-23, Psalms 23:5, Luke 2:35, Luke 12:39, Luke 12:35-38

From Series: "Living Sacrifice (1995)"

Romans 12 and specifically Rom 12:1-2 is a pivot point between the doctrinal section and application of the book. This series methodically uses this passage to outline aspects or doctrines of the christian life -- God's provision and our prospect. Our lives can be acceptable to God if we progress on the path He intends. Living Sacrifice presents 12 doctrines: (1) redeeming time; (2) standing (positional truth); (3) self-presentation - availability; (4) approval; (5) service; (6) provision; (7) spiritual warfare; (8) conformity; (9) spiritual advance; (10) renewal; (11) divine guidance; (12) abundant life.

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