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TEXT: Luke. 6:17 – 49
A Purpose Driven Life Centers on God’s Wise and Loving Principles.
- This lecture is intended to remind Christians to determine what is actually binding and that which is necessary for Christians to obey.
- The lesson will help new Christians, become familiar with the scriptures and to help seasoned Christians deepen their knowledge of God’s word, find strength and direction for daily living, and share their faith with others.
- This lesson will also help us to know that when we abide in Christ words, we are truly his disciples indeed and all the promises of God to the faithful shall be for us (John 8:31-32).
DEFINITION OF KEY WORDS
Basic – Means primary, most important or beginning of Christian life.
Principles – Those things we have to do and moral rules, values, philosophies and ethics.
Godly – Living a moral life based on religious principles. In this our lecture a person who lives a Godly life is the one who abides by the rules of God and stands by it.
Through the scriptures, God has given a pattern of conduct to man. To understand this, we must first understand that God is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1, 26). Because He is the creator, He has absolute authority over all things (Exodus 15:18, Psalm 29:10, Eph. 1:20-22). His authority extends to the physical world (Heb. 1:3). His authority extends to the world of mankind. This authority as the Creator gives God the right to give laws. It also gives Him the right to demand conformity (obedience) to those laws. Because God is creator, we must assume that He has communicated moral laws to man in order to direct societies. Without such direction, man would live in confusion.
Jeremiah 10:23 correctly explains that it is not possible for men to determine unchanging moral laws. Jeremiah wrote, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself, it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps (Prov. 20:24, Isa. 26:7).In view of these facts, therefore, we must recognize the authority of God for giving man moral laws by which to conduct himself in his relationships with his fellow man.
As Christians we live under a law of principles. The guiding principles of all law for all time have been based on two directives of love;
- You will love the Lord your God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matt. 22:37).
- You will love your neighbour as yourself (Matt. 22:39). These are the two most important guiding moral principles of life by which all men from the beginning of time were to conduct their lives. But when we are to love our neighbour as ourselves, we are obligated to always love. There are no loopholes in love. There are no places of silence that would allow us to escape our responsibility towards our neighbour. Love covers the totality of our life.
Condition of Entrance into Godly Living
The basic foundation to becoming a Christian is the five basic principles which include hearing the gospel, believing the gospel, repent of our sins, confessing Jesus and being baptized as a new creature (Rom. 10:17).
This new creature must be guided by the basic principles of Godly living to gain eternal salvation. These include: faithfulness, humility, endurance, perseverance, sympathetic service, love, patience, contentment, being prayerful, long suffering, dedication/commitment, forgiveness and righteousness.
Christ Attracted Multitude:
Christ attracted the multitude at Judaea and Jerusalem because of His love and good works. When they heard of Him, they came for healing of their diseases. And those who were vexed with unclean spirit were healed. The devils were cast out, and He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said:
- “Blessed be ye: poor for yours is the Kingdom of God (Lk. 6:17-20).
This clearly shows that the multitude needed divine help, because they acknowledge the fact that they were poor and needed to strive hard to reach perfection in righteousness. A humble person recognizes his spiritual poverty and mourns over his spiritual inadequacy; such a person will inherit the kingdom of God.
- Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness now,have spiritual desires: for they shall be filled. This is spiritual fullness.
- Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh.
Here on earth, weeping is temporary – Joy will be restored.
- Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and separate you from their company, and cast out your name as evil, for the son of man’s sake.
Here as Christians, are we not suffering persecution, excommunication, reproach, saints hated, for Christ sake (Lk. 6:22).
My brothers, rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is in heaven, for in like manner were the prophets treated.
- But woe unto you that are rich for ye have received your consolation – Vain Glory of worshipping money as if money can even put us up if we are dead physically.
- Woe unto you that are full!for ye shall hunger, woe unto you that laugh now: for ye shall mourn and weep. That means we should not be consoled by our riches because its perilous and is worldly fullness that soon will vanish away. Let us seek for heavenly projections (Lk. 6:25). You may not become wealthy in this life, but you will be building treasures in heaven.
- Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
This is flattering and deceitful to the false prophets
- But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.
The authority of Christ is recorded in this verse 27 that we should love our enemies and do good to them and that we should return good for evil.
- Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
This verse warns us against cursing our enemies. We are admonished to bless those that curse us in verse 28 and pray for them.
- And unto him that smited thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. We are forbidden from retaliation, this completely shows a high level of meekness.
- Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Here, benevolence is enjoined and we are asked to give alms (Lk. 6:30).
- And as ye would have men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
This is synonymous to the golden rule as stated in (Matt. 7:12). The “golden rule” is a principle of desiring that others treat us as we would seek to be treated by them. This principle is based on what Paul wrote “for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). If we sow goodness, we will reap goodness.
- For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them.
It is stated here that those who are not godly do same. This is considered as a sin. Sinners do good to those that do good unto them. As Christians, we should strive harder to be different (Matt. 6:31-34).
- In verse 35, we are enjoined to love our enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and our reward shall be great, because we are children of God, for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
- Verse 36: We are to be merciful as our father – God. We are forbidden from judgment and warned against condemnation. If we do this we are following divine mercy.
We must never forget what James said in James 2:13 – “for judgment will be without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy”.
- Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judge, condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven”.
When we mould our character after Christ, we are into multitude of forgiveness. Mercy and Forgiveness becomes the identity of our personality as Christians. Forgiveness is not only a condition for the father to forgive our sins, but also the foundation on which our character is changed into being godly.
- In verse 38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you, same measure that ye mete shall be measured to you”.
- Verse 39:“Can the blind be led by the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”
As Christians, we should be the light of the world, shining for others to see through our conduct. Thus, if we be blind, (i.e. we are darkness and cannot see) then, we will lead the world blindly and not show them godly living.
- Verse 40: The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
We are enjoined as followers of Christ, to imitate Christ example in His perfection.
- Verse 41 & 42: We Christians should not behave as hypocrite. Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in they brother’s eye.
We are enjoined to correct others by first purge ourselves of every stain and live godly exemplary lives for others to emulate. Christ condemns self-righteousness and inconsistency.
- Verse 43: for a good fruit bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt fruit tree bringeth forth good fruit.
- Verse 44: For every tree is known by its own fruit.
This means that, good trees bring forth good fruit. Good fruits here are the fruits of the spirit as recorded in (Gal. 5:22).
- Verse 45: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil.
When you live a godly life, you will not only manifest fruit, but you will manifest good fruits.
- Verse 46: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Christ warns us against disobedience and false profession.
- Verse 47: Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like.
Christ enjoined us to be obedience and doers of His words.
- Verse 48: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Here, God is the Rock, and when we cling to Him, we are immovable and secured.
- And in verse 49: But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
When we hear His word, and disobey we are shallow, insecured and our trails will prolong and we will fall.
Principles of Godly Living – Attributes
Peace: Live in peace with one another (1 Thess. 5:13; Col. 3:15, Phil. 4:7).
The Bible clearly states that peace makers shall be called children of God (Matt 5:9).
Prayers: We must never forget that kneeling prayer, keeps you in good standing with God (James 5:16, 1 Tim. 2:8, Matt. 7:7, 1 Thess. 5:17).
We are quite aware that prayer is the key to everything.
When we kneel in prayer, it is difficult to stumble. A wise poet wrote, “if prayer is made the center of our lives God will remove our strife. If one petitions God in humility, God will bless such a person with tranquility.
Humility:Humility is manifested through gentleness. A harsh person is not humble in his relationship with others. When one response to harshness with a gentle spirit, then we know that, that person is godly (James 3:17). Therefore, as servant of Christ, we must not strife nor quarrel, but be gentle to all . . . (2 Timothy 2:24). In a spirit of humility, we must be patient with one another while we forbear one another’s opinion.
Love: Love is the binding cord that holds all our mental attributes together as we forbear one another. Love is what continues our fellowship with one another as we forbear our differences in opinion (1 Cor. 13:4-7). And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity(1 Cor. 13:13).
Benefits for Living a Godly Life
Let us learn how to receive the blessing of God and prosper (be fortunate) successful, fruitful, healthy satisfied physically, spiritually and financially. Investing in the bank of heaven is most important. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doeth corrupt, where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:20).
Your deposit in the bank of heaven cannot be stolen, affected by economic recession or confiscated (Matt. 6:19-21). The righteous who trust in the Lord, will be blessed with riches, honour and long life (Prov. 8:17, 22:4).
A hundred fold return on your heavenly investments is available to all who are totally dedicated to Christ (Mk. 10:28 – 30).
Read Psalm 1.
Verse 1 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in seat of the scornful. Verse 3 “And he shall be like the tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season……………..
People who abide by the principles of Godly living are those who have discovered God’s purpose for their lives (that is they live purpose driven lives).They invest their lives in time for eternity.
Godly living people realize that their lives were made by God and for God, therefore, they are committed to knowing, loving and doing His will. Knowing God’s purpose will reduce stress, focus energy, clarify decision making, add meaning to life and more importantly, help prepare us for eternity (1 Cor. 15:58). Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
Godly living people are those who base their lives on the wise and loving principles of God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In conclusion, whatever we do, we must do to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Our lives must be patterned after the holy examples of Jesus (Col. 3:17). Peter writes in 2 Pet. 1:5-7 – that we should add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance, and to perseverance godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brother kindness – love. If these attributes are ours, we are practicing the principles of godly living.
UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST,
20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
INDOOR LECTURE OF NOVEMBER, 2017.
BY BROTHER EMEDIONG S. NYONG