Elder Randy Hughes
Oct. 8, 2023
It is good to see all of you this morning. Good morning, and I hope that you had a great week and are looking forward to a good opportunity just to share in God's word. In this time together, before we get started with the message, I want to go back and review a little bit about what we had talked about last week.
You remember we were in first Corinthians, chapter 1 verses 3 through 10. There are a couple of verses that I really wanted to emphasize and just remind us of what we did back then in 1st Corinthians chapter 1. And it's, I think as I went home and I re-looked and I just reflected on what was said, it just challenged me again.
When you stop and you think about God's faithfulness and, all of that that was involved in that. And I want you to take a look at verse 2, it says, Unto the church of God, which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus. Called saints with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord both theirs and ours.
You know it's just interesting that we are called to be saints and you know that, that word is about us being set apart, that we are holy ones. And, that's how God views us today. And when you stop and you think about that, that's so very, very important. And then look at verse 5, and I think this really even expands that.
It says that in everything we are enriched by him. Enriched. Remember we talked about that. That those were given spiritual riches, you know, when you look at Ephesians chapter one, you know, that's a passage of scripture, that chapter that I often go back before I go to bed and I look at that verse or those verses because it's just amazing to see all of the spiritual gifts that we have received from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and because of Him.
And, so we're enriched. And then it says, all utterances. And, you know, when you look at, when we talk about that, that's what we spoke about last week, and we said, that is the Word of God speaking to us. This is the only way that God speaks to us today. Is this word and I tell you, you know, if we're Christians and we're not looking at the word of God every day, if we're not taking time to read it, to study it and to read it again and to study it again, you know, how is it that God is speaking to you?
You know, he tells us that we are to pray without ceasing and that's us talking to him, but he talks to us. Through his spirit and through this word. And, uh, we need to be in that word. We need to study and read it and study some more. In verse 6, it says that Christ was confirmed in us by God. And then in verse 7, why?
What are we doing? We're waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen? You know, and I think these are the things that are so very, very important to us. These are the spiritual things that God has shared with us. And then in verse 9, look at verse 9, it says, God is faithful, by whom ye are called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
God is faithful. He has placed Christ within us.
Okay. He has placed Christ within us and all of that. What does that mean? What does that mean to you personally? That Christ is within us each and every day. If you have put your faith and trust in Christ. And, then in verse 10, it says, Now I beseech you, now I beg of you. Brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye are perfectly, listen, perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
You know, he begs us, and he's begging us to do what? He's begging us that we speak that same message. What message? What messages is he talking about? He's talking about the glorious gospel of the grace of God. He's talking to us about the message that he shares with us in all of his epistles. And how we are to live by grace, through grace.
And, you know, it's that, that message is what we are supposed to be holding on to. And, if that's what he's begging us to be part of, understanding what the Word of God is saying about the grace of God. And then he goes on and he says, No division, divisions among you, perfect, perfectly joined together, having the same mind.
And brothers and sisters, listen, God has placed us together here as part of his body. And he's placed us here to serve, to faithfulness.
And, when there's those little things that start to bump and hit, that's exactly what Satan is looking for. That's exactly what he wants to do. He wants to take our focus away from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and on, put it on whatever that struggle is. So no divisions. You're perfectly joined together.
Isn't it amazing when you think of that? Perfectly joined together. And having that same mind, and then having that same judgment, that discernment. And basically what that is, it's discerning what is right in our walk, and what is the truth. That's the discernment that Paul wants us to have. These are very important spiritual aspects of our lives in Christ.
These are things that are supposed to be going on in our lives every single day. And, it's through his faithfulness that we have these things, through God's faithfulness. And so the question becomes, now what? Now what? How are we going to respond? And God has shown us his faithfulness to us. What's going to be our faithfulness to Him?
That's the question. And we are sanctified in Christ. We are holy ones. And we are to be His servant. That's why we're here. We're ambassadors for Christ. And He wants us to serve Him. And to be part of that. I would like you to turn to Romans chapter 6.
And, let us pray. Our Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this opportunity that we have to be together. I thank you for this body of Christ. What a joy it was this morning, just to talk and to share with brothers and sisters in Christ. To see how they're doing, and to recognize what you are doing in their lives, and hearing What it is that is blessing them.
What a blessing that was. And what an encouragement it was to me. We thank you Lord for your Son Jesus Christ. We thank you for your love and your compassion for us. And for that sacrifice that he made. So that we would have eternal life. I'm thankful Lord for the Holy Spirit. Who guides and directs us each day and Lord, I'm thankful for your word for the challenges that brings to me and I know to all of us as we read it, as we study it, God help us to be faithful, help us to be faithful in the message, help us to stand firm in what it is that we believe and Lord also help us to just be strong in the faith with boldness, And with love, love for one another.
And Father, I ask too, that you be honored and glorified by all that is said here today. May your spirit just guide, guide me, guide all of us, Lord, as we go through these scriptures. As we look at what it is that you would have us to do. And Father, I just pray that you would help us. And the things that we do, that you would guide us and direct us.
Show us what it is that you would have us to do, I pray. And thank you again, Lord, for the opportunity that you have given to us. And may you be again, honored and glorified by all that is said and done. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Thank you folks, I'm gonna read and I'm gonna use the Amplified Bible again. I hope you don't mind. But I just think that, what it has to say is so very, very, it, it's clear. And, not that King James Version isn't right. I mean, we all know that it is. But it amplifies some of the thoughts that I think it's important that we hear. And so in Romans chapter 6, starting in verse 13.
As instruments of right of wickedness, but often offer yourselves to God in a decisive act as those alive raised from the dead to new to a new life and your members, all of the ability, all of the abilities sanctified set apart as instruments of righteousness. Yielded to God, for sin will no longer be a master over you, since you are not under the law as slaves, but under unmerited grace, as recipients of God's favor and mercy.
What then are we to conclude? Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God's grace? Certainly not. Do you know? Do you not know that when you continually offer yourselves to someone to do his will, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey either slaves of sin, which leads to death or obedience, which leads to the righteousness, the right standing with God.
But thank God that through you, that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient with all your heart to the standard of the teaching of which you were instructed, to the doctrine to which you were instructed, and to which you were committed. Having been set free from sin, you have become the slaves of righteousness, of conformity to God's will and purpose.
I'm speaking in familiar human terms because of your body members as slaves
to impurity and to moral lawlessness, leading to further lawlessness, so now offer your members your abilities, your talents, as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification. That is being set apart for God's purpose. May God have us listen to the reading of his word. And you know, an author that I read part of his book, and his name is Alan Feldling.
And he wrote, there was once a king who had two servants. One of the servants, for fear of not pleasing his master. Rose up each day, hurried along to do all the things he believed the king would want done. He didn't want to bother the king with questions about what the work was. Instead, he hurried from project to project, from early in the morning to late at night.
The other servant was also eager to please his master and would rise early as well. But he took a few moments to go to the king and ask him about his wishes for the day and find out just what it was he desired to be done. Only after such consultation did this servant step into the work to be done that day.
Work consisting of tasks and projects the king himself had expressed a desire for. The busy servant had gotten a lot done by the time the inquiring servant even started to work. But which of them was doing the will of the master in pleasing him? Genuine productivity is not about doing as much for God as we can manage.
It's about doing the work God actually has for us on a given day. We are more than servants. We are God's servants. That being the case, how might God be inviting you to wait for a specific direction? Or, is God inviting you to take a specific step now? Alan Felding, in his book, An Unhurried Life. So, going back to Romans chapter 6.
You know, it talks about their, yielding our lives. And When it talks about the yielding of our lives, it's talking about that it is a response to God and Him placing us into Christ. It's our response for Him doing that. Christ lives within us, and so we are sanctified, we are holy ones, we're called to be saints, and we're called to respond to that calling He has given to us.
There are three types of sanctification, and the first one is a positional sanctification. It talks about what is our position, what is, who we are, because of the sanctification we have, because of what God did for us. In 1 Corinthians 15, 1 4 it says more other brethren, I declare, and there's the Greek meaning to that, that word declare, is to gain knowledge or have a thorough knowledge of something.
He says, I declare unto you the gospel. which I preached unto you, ye also receive, wherein ye stand, by which ye also are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I have delivered unto you first that which also I received, how Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
God's faithfulness, our sanctification, how do we respond to that? What is it that God wants us to do? And you know, stop and think what ways, this is just for your own, stop and think what ways have you responded in your life to God because of his faithfulness? Where's your faithfulness at? And how have you responded to that?
Turn, if you would, please, to Romans chapter 8, verses 11 through 18.
Verses 11 through 18. And it says, But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall blossom quickly in your mortal bodies. By His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
For if we live after the flesh, we shall die. But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby cry Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. If so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Wow, I'm telling you, man, if that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will. we're adopted by God. We are his sons and daughters and we're joint heirs with Christ. One day he's going to come back. He's going to rapture us up. We're going to have new heavenly bodies. And we're going to be with him. How can you not get excited over that? And the other question is, how can you not respond to that in your daily walk? Ephesians 2:19 says, Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners.
But fellow citizens with the saints in the household of God, God be thanked that we were servants of sin. But you have obeyed from the heart. You obeyed from the heart. That form of doctrine, which is delivered unto you, the doctrine of the grace of God that Paul has given unto us. Is there any greater thing?
There isn't. And we are sanctified in Christ. We are holy ones, and we are to be his servants. The first point of sanctification was our position. And now we know. We're sons and daughters of God. And we're joint heirs of Jesus Christ. But there's a practical side of sanctification as well. In Ephesians 4. 1 tells us, I therefore the prisoner of the Lord.
Beseech you, there's that word again, and it's been three weeks since you've, three weeks in a row, you've heard that word, beseech, beg of you. Mike had it in his message. We talked about it last week, we're talking about it again this week. Paul begs us that we walk worthy according to the vocation wherewith ye are called.
The believer is set apart, we're set apart for his service. You know, and the question is, where do we learn, where do we learn what our vocation is? Where do you learn that? You learn it from here, from the Word of God. And you know that one mind that comes from what we hear from God's Word.
That's where we get our calling. That's where we get that vocation. I'm not talking about your everyday job. That's not the vocation that this is talking about. What does vocation mean? Our walk, our service for Him. That's the vocation that Paul's talking about here. In 1 Timothy 3:4 it says, For this is good and acceptable in the sight of our God.
Our savior who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. This is the will of God. This is part of our vocation. This is why we're here on this earth. If God didn't want us here, he would've taken us up the moment we trusted in Christ. But he left us here for our purpose and his purpose is that all men be saved.
We are to be out there sharing the gospel of the grace of God folks. This church has always, always been a church that believed in evangelism. I hope that never changes. I hope that never changes. There's a track rack out there. I kept hearing all the time, we need tracks, we need tracks, we need tracks.
There's a track rack out there and it's full. It's still full. Now all of those of you that were saying, we need more tracks, they're out there. So let's get them and let's use them. You know, it talks about That we have an opportunity, and it's not just getting people saved, but it's getting them to understand this.
The word of truth. The gospel of the grace of God. Our glorious message. I love talking to my brother Nick. You know brother Nick? He stands firm on the gospel of the grace of God. Go up and try to trick him once. It ain't going to happen. Tell you that right now. He'll let you know it too. Praise the Lord brother
It's standing firm on that gospel. It stands firm for that message. That's our vocation. Turn to Philippians chapter two. Philippians chapter two. You know, Ethan and I are taking a Bible class, at BBI, and, we're taking this class on how to preach, and, I've been trying, really trying hard to put it into play, but one of the things that it says is that we are not to jump around in the Bible through all kinds of scriptures.
You're supposed to stay within your passage, and, I try to do that, but there are some times I need us to just look at the Bible. We need to look at the word rather than me just reading it to you. But Philippians chapter 2 verses 3 through 8. Let's look at that and see what God has to say. It says, Let nothing be done through strife and vainglory, but in all lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Here it is again. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant that was made in the likeness of men.
I love this passage of Scripture. I read it, I read through it many times because it reminds me of what a servant truly is. It's not just about evangelism, it's about our lives. Our lives every day. And it's about how we treat people. You know, God says we are to love all people. All people. And, uh, that's hard sometimes, isn't it?
That's really hard. Sometimes that is trying to love the unlovable. It's not easy, but that's what God calls us to be. That's part of being a servant. And we don't have a lot of time to go through all of the great details of this particular thing, but I want to look at a few points. It says be like minded of one accord.
Again, not thinking about ourselves. We all have different opinions. That's fine. And we could talk about them and discuss them, but you gotta do it with grace. We got to be careful that we are not doing things to cause division within the church. We got to be very careful of that and being of one mind.
It says, esteem others better than ourselves. Helping others to grow.
It means us giving up and giving to and, uh, having that same mind as Christ. I you know, I don't think Paul ever accomplished that. I don't know if anybody can. There is no greater servant than Jesus Christ. No greater servant. He took, he took a basin of water, and took his hair, and washed the feet of his disciples.
Have you ever done that for somebody? I'd have a difficult time doing that. But you know, what is it that God requires of us for people? I've asked people to do favors for me in this church. I never heard the word no. Never. Never heard the word no. I've asked to borrow things from people in this church, and I never heard the word no.
Never. And having that same mind, being a servant of God in our everyday lives, even at your job, you know. Do you do your, do you do your work for Christ as you would for Him? I mean, are you on the job working? Or when the boss or the manager kind of walks away, you kind of relax a little bit and not work quite as hard?
We're not supposed to work according to eye service. We're supposed to do our jobs. That's being a servant of God, even in the world. But it's also about serving God in other ways. And then lastly, I thought one of the biggest things, and it's important for me, is to be humble and to be obedient. Listen to what God is saying.
And I listen to my brothers and sisters when I talk with them. I had a great talk yesterday afternoon with Ruth. And what a wonderful discussion it was. But I walked away knowing that there is a sister who loves Christ. She's humble and she's obedient. And I think that many of us are in this church, we humble ourselves and we're obedient to what it is that God asked us to do.
These are the actions for everyday life. And there there's reasons why we're all called to do these actions. It's not that we can't do them. It's a matter of attitude. And practical sanctification is a progressive process, which means growing and righteous living as a believer matures spiritually. And how do we do that?
It's back to this again. It's a back to the Word of God. Folks, you've got to read it. You've got to study it if you're going to mature. in Christ. And you know, and I look back, Romans 16:13 tells us, neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead.
Your members as instruments, as righteousness, until, unto God. There are some verses, that I really want to talk about. And it's just four or five of them, but it's, one is in 1st Corinthians, and it says, What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, this is Paul, he says, What is my reward?
That when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge. That I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, he's not connected to anything, although I be free from all men, yet I have made myself a servant unto all, that I might gain more. That's, he's working on the mind of Christ there in that verse.
And he was given that gospel. And never once did he use it for his own glory. Never in the word of God did we see that. First, and then you look at Galatians 5:13. Turn with me there if you would. When, Guide Service first started, this was a verse that we took. And, we took this verse and I gotta, Paul, help me here, but I think we worked, we worked on that verse, Paul, for months, for months as a group, as men, and Pastor Paul was leading and he would share. He would say, okay, now what does this mean? And we'd look up that word in the word of God and, we'd look where it was else used and we'd look into the Greek. But Galatians chapter five. In verse 13, it says that, For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.
Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love, serve one another.
You know, that's practical living. That's what God expects of us. In Ephesians 6, 5 and 6, it says servants be obedient that you, that your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling and singleness of your heart unto Christ. Not with eye service, we just talked about that, as men pleasers, but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.
Listen, if you're doing something, you're grumbling and murmuring all about it all the way through. That's not being a servant, folks. That's not being a servant.
Servants, servanthood comes from here. It comes from the heart. And then Paul is to be obedient to those who are your earthly masters. Wherever they are. If they're your boss, your manager. Your wife, you know, better listen. Those, I love my wife but your earthly masters do that, you do it with respect for authority. Okay? with a sincere heart seeking to please them as servants to Christ. Doing the will of God. That's what that verse is talking about. And you know, it's interesting. I want to read one more passage. please Go to Matthew. In Matthew chapter 6. Boy, we're in... Matthew chapter 6.
And, here it talks about...I just enjoy what... Jesus is saying here. It says, No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You mammon.
Mammon, looking that up, means, you can't, money, it means possessions, it means fame, it means status, or whatever else, whatever else is more valuable than Jesus Christ. That we see it that way. It's more valuable than what Jesus Christ is. , yes. You know, and, uh, there was a time in my life I loved the lord. I was saved.
I went to church. I was doing all the things I should do, that I thought God wanted me to do. But man, I was hooked on football. Monday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday, Sunday. Monday. I don't care who was playing. I just love watching football.
And, it was Finley Hunter and I had a conversation when he was at our church doing a series of messages. And, he just kept saying this phrase:
“Keeping the main thing the main thing.”
It turned it around for me. I still watch football, but I don't watch it anywhere close to that.
The third part of sanctification is the ultimate one. The ultimate sanctification is when the believer stands before God. That's when our sanctification is clean. It's finished. He will recognize that you are sanctified in Christ on that very, very glorious day.
When we go home with him, to be with him for eternity. Ephesians 5:5 and 6 says that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself, a glorious church. A glorious church, talking about the body of Christ, which we are part of, and he wants it to be a glorious church.
Having not a spot, or a wrinkle, or any other thing, but that it should be holy, set apart, and without blameless
Romans 6, when he sees us, but now being made free from sin, become servants to God, to have your fruit unto holiness, until the everlasting life. Sanctified in Christ. Holy, set apart. This is the outcome. And in Romans 12:1, we all know it. I beseech you, I beg you therefore, brothers, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Folks, we are sanctified in Christ. We are holy ones. And we are to be servants. This is the answer to the question, because of God's faithfulness, where will I be faithful? It's in our servanthood. It's in our everyday walk, in our everyday life. And from the Apostle Paul, he says, and this, the very God of peace, sanctify you wholly.
And I pray to God, your whole spirit and soul and body preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That's in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Let's pray together. Our gracious God and Father, thank you so much for this opportunity. I pray that all of us, Lord, will listen to your word. I pray that we will listen to your spirit, and that you would give us guidance and direction on our walk.Help us, Lord, with the vocation which you have called us. Help us to be the servants that you want us to be. Each of us are different. You're giving us each different talents and gifts. Help us to use them for your honor and glory. God, may you be glorified in each and every one of our lives, and may this body of Christ be one that brings honor and glory to you.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.