When we exercise our faith, we may still have struggles and setbacks, but the general underpinning and drive will be to seek Christ and yield to Him as our Lord. Then, we respond to Him and others because of what He has done for us. We do this along with seeking righteousness; this will translate into virtue, morality, justice, decency, uprightness, and honesty, which we will do completely-not just once in a while or when it is convenient, as the cross was not convenient to our Lord! Then we will see sin as unproductive and reprehensible, and be able to see its destructive nature both to us and to those around us. When we refuse to yield to Christ, we will earn the wages of death!
· As a pastor, you must know the desires that feed sin, and be able to confront others in love to bring them back to the church.
· As a pastor, you must be committed to wisdom, and seek discernment; do not rely on feelings, innuendos, and half-truths. Go to more mature Christians and to prayer.
· As a pastor, you must be committed not to allow sin to reign in your life or in your church.
· The liberty of the Christian life is by surrender, as it gives us freedom from law (Rom. 3:19; 6:14; -15; Gal. 3:23-25), forgiveness, acceptance, and access to His presence (Rom. 5:1-2).
· Our acceptance does not have to depend on our performance (Rom. 7: 7-11; 10:3).
· We have been freed from sin and declared cleaned (John 8:34-36; Rom 3:19; 6: 3-23; 1 Cor.15: 16; Gal. 3:10-20; 4:21-31)!
· Christ and the Holy Spirit give us the power to overcome and the motive to go in the right direction.
· Always remember, we are not obligated to do anything with our faith, but what good would that be? Self-interest only serves to place us on the wrong path with the bad boss and bad wages.
1. When you are facing struggles and setbacks, how do you, or how can you see the Lord at work to motivate your faith and determination?
2. What do you think of the statement, "we cannot be full of ourselves when we are full of Him?"
3. What do you need to do to fully trust in Christ, and yield to Him as your Lord, and not to your problems?
4. How can you not only see yourself as God's willing bondservant, but also devote yourself to Him? How would your life, faith, and behaviors change? If they are not His, expel them!
5. How is sin not worth the effort?
6. Read Gal. 3:23-25; what has Christ changed in you?
7. Who is faith directed to? How can you make sure faith is real and personal?
8. Why is faith not just obedience? Why is faith not just an object or an idea?
9. What does the effect of church leadership, parents, or godly friends have on you when they are developing the Fruits of the Spirit and character (Gal: 5)?
10. God allows us to choose; what choices are you making? What choices do you need to make?