Sheldonville Baptist Church
April 11, 2021
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Psalm 95:1NKJV

  • Come Now Is The Time To Worship
  • He Is Exalted
  • He Is Jehovah
  • In My Heart There Rings A Melody
      • Psalm 95:2–3NKJV

  • How Great Thou Art
  • Glorify Thy Name
  • Oh Great Is Our God
  • Majesty
  • Introduction
    Jesus died on the cross, in my place, and for my sins, so that I could be forgiven and reconciled to God if I will but ask.
    This is a foundational truth. But it is not universally accepted. There are many people who do not, and will not believe this.
    What if we are wrong?
    Have you ever wrestled with that question? Don’t feel bad if you have, most Christians do.
    Unfortunately, there is a natural tension between faith and fear. The tension exists between knowing we are right and hoping we are right and, even, doubting we are right. This tension can be managed and mitigated but usually not resolved completely.
    Fortunately, there is an unmistakeable connection between faith and works in the Bible. Usually, our faith prompts our works. But sometimes, our works prompt our faith. It turns out that, behaving rightly reinforces believing rightly.
    Transition
    The Apostle John was writing toward the end of the first century to Christians who struggled to manage the tension between faith and fear. His prescription was to utilize the connection between faith and works. As he wrote, he gave concrete actions that bolster our confidence in what we know.
    Illumination
    1 John 2:3–6 NKJV
    3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    The phrase that we will be keying off of in this entire study is the phrase, “by this we know.” We want to bolster our faith and we want to discover what it is that will help us do that.
    There is a way that we reinforce the knowledge that God exists, that He is knowable, and that He is known by us. That way is by keeping His commandments.
    On the surface, that seems very simple doesn’t it? And it is simple, but there is some depth here as well (otherwise this message would get very short, very fast). If we were to dig into what it means to keep His commandments, we would find that it has meaning specifically for us and meaning for us relative to others.

    Keeping His Commandments for Ourselves

    There are three ideas wrapped up in keeping His commandments for ourselves:

    Conform: Our Own Actions

    Matthew 23:1–3 NKJV
    1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
    The word translated “observe” twice in verse 3 is the same word translated “keep” in our text. Jesus links that word with doing.
    The first, and perhaps most obvious way to keep His commandments is to do what He said to do.

    Maintain: Our Own Knowledge

    John 17:11–12 NKJV
    11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
    This comes from Jesus’ high priestly prayer. “Kept” in verses 11 & 12 is the same as the word “keep” in out text. Clearly, Jesus did not obey His disciples during His earthy ministry (what a mess that would have been). He did, however, maintain them.
    The second way to keep His commandments is to ensure that they are ever top of mind by reading and meditating on them.

    Reiterate: Our Own Instructions

    Acts 25:4 NKJV
    4 But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly.
    In Acts, the Jews were trying to get Festus, the governor, to have Paul brought to Jerusalem. Festus told them no. Though the keeping was done by the guards, it was the speaking of the command that motivated them.
    The third way to keep His commandments is to speak them to ourselves, literally telling ourselves what to do. Sometimes, it is not enough to remember, we need to command…even ourselves.

    Keeping His Commandments for Others

    There are also three ideas wrapped up in keeping His commandments for others.

    Communicate: His Instructions

    Acts 16:22–24 NKJV
    22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
    Paul & Silas in Philippi did not meet with the warmest of receptions. “Keep” in verse 24 is the same word as “keep” in our text. Here, the jailer does not keep the prison for himself, but for others (the prisoners).
    We cannot obey God’s commandments for others, but we can tell them what He said. Please use a little tact here!!!

    Preserve: His Intentions

    John 12:7 NKJV
    7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.
    Jesus had just been anointed with a fragrant, expensive oil. He said she had kept the oil for this specific occasion.
    We can, should, keep God’s commandments safely and securely so they are readily available when the need presents itself. There are forces in our world that would alter or dilute God’s commandments.

    Guard: His Ideals

    John 17:5 NKJV
    5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
    Returning to Jesus’ high priestly prayer, Jesus asks the Father to “keep” his disciples from the evil one. It is the same “keep” as our text. This is related to preserving but is a strengthened idea of guarding with rigor.

    Keeping His Commandments for Good

    1 John 2:3–6 NKJV
    3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    Returning to our text, we find a couple other details worth mentioning.
    Keeping God’s commandments for ourselves is far more critical than trying to keep them for others. It is in the keeping of God’s commandments for ourselves that we find our faith is true.
    Failing to keep God’s commandments demonstrates, for ourselves and others, that our faith is not true. John pulls no punches here. He says that if you claim to know God but do not obey God that you are a liar.
    Conclusion
    There are times when our fear will require confirmation that God really exists and that He is not only knowable, but known. In those moments, our faith is bolstered by what we have been doing, namely His commandments. Our actions validate our belief, even in the face of our own doubt.
    Application
    In order to keep His commandments, you have to know what they are. The Bible has many instructions, imperatives, and outright commands.
    This week, we begin reading the Gospel of Luke in our reading plan (Luke 1-5). As you read this week, whether it is there or somewhere else, Highlight, underline, or note somehow, anything that you read that is a command. After you have noted it, ask yourself if you have been keeping it. If not, challenge yourself to keep it.
      • 1 John 2:3–6NKJV

      • Matthew 23:1–3NKJV

      • John 17:11–12NKJV

      • Acts 25:4NKJV

      • Acts 16:22–24NKJV

      • John 12:7NKJV

      • John 17:5NKJV

      • 1 John 2:3–6NKJV

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