CALLED, CHOSEN and FAITHFUL
 
 
In MATT. 22.14- Jesus gives those that have an ear to hear, something to take to heart. He says “For many are called, but few are chosen” Jesus repeats this same phrase, which is in reality a warning for us, in MATT. chapter 20 as well. Many are called, but few are chosen. What exactly is Christ trying to tell us in this passage? The same words, called and chosen are repeated
again in REV. 17.
 
Let’s turn there please. REV. 17.14 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

Notice, those that return with our Lord Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of
God on earth are described as being called, chosen and faithful.
These 3 terms describe the process we must follow for salvation. As we know from
John chapter 6, we do not have a choice as to whether we are called. No one can
come to Christ unless the Father has decided to call them.
Our heavenly Father alone decides who He will give the invitation of salvation too
in this present age.
However, what we do with that invitation once it is given to us, is entirely up to us.
Many parables describe this process. The parable of the sower of seed, the parable
of the talents, and of the 10 virgins as well as the parable of the wedding feast,
which is where we find the phrase and warning repeated, that many are called but
few are chosen.
The scriptures reveal, that once God gives us the invitation by calling us and we
respond and except that invitation by being baptized, then we must live the rest of
our lives by being faithful to our calling. And that is the point that I want to address
today.
We must remain faithful to our calling, to the gift and invitation of eternal life that
has been freely given to us. For as we will cover today, the scriptures plainly reveal
that many are called, many are invited to the wedding, but few work diligently
enough to be qualified, and thus few are chosen to attend.
Over the course of my last several messages, we covered some fundamental points
in relation to our calling and our Christian development. And I asked all of us,
including myself to deeply consider how we use each day that God has given us.
Do we truly value the relationship that God seeks to have with us, more than
anything else in life? And do our daily actions really demonstrate our commitment
to our Father and Jesus Christ? As Passover season approaches, we are instructed
to examine ourselves. Therefore these are questions, that all of us should take to
heart and truthfully consider for ourselves.
For we read in 2 COR.5.10 “That we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what
he has done, whether it be good or evil.
We must remember that our actions speak louder than words, and that the road to
hell or the grave, is paved with good intentions!
Many are called, but few are chosen. This term chosen is also translated in many
places as elect, as in elected or an election. Let’s think of it is human terms for a
minute.
How does the modern election system work? First the party nominates a candidate,
which we can liken to being called by God. The Father in essence nominates you
and I for salvation. After the person is called or nominated, an elective process
takes place.
What we might call the campaign trail. Or in our case, our walk from baptism to
the end of our physical lives. And then, from the group of candidates only a few
are chosen or elected to office.
God is telling us through these scriptures, that just because we are on the ticket,
having excepted the invitation, by being baptized, it does not mean we will be
automatically chosen to fill a position in the Kingdom of God. Do we fully
comprehend this fact. The biblical reality is that we must fully qualify for the
position being offered to us.
However, there is one big difference between a human election and the elective
process that all of us are currently engaged in.
Turn please to REV. 3.4-6
4 You have a [few] names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and
they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be
clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;
but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
The great thing about God’s plan and His elective process, is that our names are
already in the book of life. In other places such as in the first chapter of Ephesians,
it says we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our
inheritance.
In other words, once we are baptized and receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit
through the laying on of hands, God then gives us, the benefit of the doubt. In His
mind we have already made it. Our names are written in the Book of Life. The
election is ours if we really want it more than anything else in life.
This great truth should be an anchor for our souls, both sure and steadfast. ROM.
11.29 states that “ the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”
We have an eternal spiritual guarantee from our Creator, that salvation is awaiting
us in the near future. However, we must balance this promise with the mature
understanding that we must conform to Gods standards in order to inherit those
promises. In short we must be faithful, in order to be chosen.
As our Savior Himself tells us in LUKE 12.48 “To who much is given, much is also
required”
And in MATT. 7.14 He states that “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that
leads to eternal life and few their are that find it, that is, in this present evil age”
Notice once again verses 4 and 5 of REV. 3. 4 You have a [few] names even in
Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white,
for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I
will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.
Notice only a few brethren, from the entire Sardis era, are found worthy by God to
inherit the promises. Translation: The road to salvation is not a walk in the park.
We must all overcome or our names will also be blotted out of the Book of Life.
We must be faithfully focused on the goal that God has called us to achieve. Many
NT passages address the theme of being spiritually diligent, zealously laboring,
intensely focused on the eternal prize. Let’s turn to one such passage.
GAL. 4.19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is
formed in you.
This phrase “labor in birth”, can also be translated as travail, as in feeling the pains
of childbirth. Thayers Greek English Lexicon comments on this verse as follows;
“Paul stated that he was striving with intense effort and anguish for the brethren to
be conformed to the mind of Christ.
Notice, the verse reads, That Paul was laboring [until] Christ was formed in them.
Developing the mind of Jesus Christ. This is not something that just happens by
fiat, or that will be accomplished at the resurrection. Rather, throughout the
scriptures we are instructed that we must develop the mind of Christ now, while we
are still in the flesh.
Paul understood this, and worked diligently, laboring as if in childbirth, to lead and
encourage the brethren under his charge to fulfill the will of God, in their lives.
EPH. 4.22-24 “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man
which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the
spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created
according to God, in true righteousness and holiness”
The word renewed in verse 23, might be better translated as “reformed”
“We are to be reformed, by the spirit in our mind” In other words, our minds are
to be reformed by being conformed to the Holy Spirit that is dwelling within us.
Our minds are to be reformed and conformed to the mind of Jesus Christ. As it
states in verse 24 our new man is to be “created in true righteousness and Holiness”
Again, these scriptures inform us that this is not something that is accomplished at
the resurrection. Conforming our minds to think like God thinks, is something that
we must accomplish now, in this life in the flesh.
Let’s consider more closely, this vital point of developing the mind of God, now,
while we are still in the flesh. As we will see, this theme spans the entire bible.
1 PET. 1.13-17
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon
the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as
obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your
ignorance;
Why? Because as we just read we are now a new creation. A new man or a new
woman. So our minds should not be conformed to our old way of thinking- rather
we should be training our minds to be conformed to the mind of Christ. In other
words, to think and therefore act just like God.
Continuing in verse 15.
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because
it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each
one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.
In these verses, Peter is telling us that we must get our spiritual act together.
As my father used to say to me, “Tom think straight and fly right”
Peter goes on to tell us how to go about getting our act together. We do this by
having a firm grasp and vision on the prize.
We are to gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest our hope fully upon the
grace that is to be [brought to you] at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
As God’s word states, without vision My people perish. Mediating on the promises
God gives us, and thereby having a clear vision of our eternal future, is essential in
giving us the motivation we need to succeed.
Please turn with me to another familiar scripture.
MATT. 6.33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
these things shall be added to you”
In this verse, our Savior is giving us the same instruction, that we read in 1 Peter
chapter 1.13-15. Focus on the goal, the promise, the prize- the Kingdom of God.
And also Christ tells us the way in which we attain the Goal. By seeking first, His
Righteousness. Becoming Holy as God is Holy, this must be the our central focus
and priority in life.
God’s message to us, is really quite simple. If we really want to inherit salvation- If
that is truly our personal goal in life- Then we must show God that we really want
it by our daily actions. As the saying goes, actions speak loader than words.
We must be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, or we will be deceiving
ourselves.
God is offering us eternity, to become God as He is God. Nothing in the universe is
greater than what we are freely being offered.
All we have to do, is allow God’s Spirit to actively work in our minds, and as we
read in 1 Peter 1, verse 14, as obedient children, stop thinking and acting like we
are still living in the flesh, as we did before we were baptized. Our old man and
woman has died. We are now a new creation- Therefore our lives must reflect this
reality.
Let’s carefully read 1 PET. 1, verse 15 again-. For He who called you is holy, you
also be holy in ALL your conduct. Notice, we are told by the living word of God, to
be Holy in All of our conduct.
Not just sometimes, but rather in everything that we do, every day of our lives, we
must conduct all of our daily affairs in a Holy manner. To strive to live as our
Father in heaven lives, each and every day. Following the example set by Jesus while
he sojourned in the flesh.
And as we read in verse 17, We must work out our own salvation in fear and
trembling. Brethren, let’s all realize, that one day soon, we will all be standing
before God’s throne. And God is going to ask all of us, individually, to give an
account for all of our time since our baptism.
What grade do you think your Creator will give you? This is a question we should
all take to heart. There’s a great quote that fits in quite well with this question, it
reads "Life is principally multiple choice, but at the end there's a tough essay
question."
Life is all about the mental decisions that we make every day. How do we respond
to daily life, and our daily interactions with others. What’s really going on upstairs
in our minds? We must be gaining mastery over our thought process now, while we
still have the time. Jesus tells us, when night comes, no one can work. When night
comes, will we all have enough oil in our lamps?
God promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and not to try us more than we are
able to bare. He has given us a number of talents. The question is, what are we
doing with them? Are we growing to perfection? God certainly will give us the time
that we need to come to perfection. But are we using the time we have been given
properly?
Remember the quote I gave some time back- that “time is an opportunity” Are we
wasting our time? Are we wasting God’s time? Or are we being good stewards and
using the time and the tools our Father has given us in a worthy fashion?
In EPH. chapter 4, Those in the church are urged to do so. EPH. 4.1,
“I the prisoner of the Lord, beseech, [that is urgently and fervently implore] you
and me to walk worthy of the calling with which we were called”
Before we know it, the Spring Holy Days will be upon us once again. At which
time, we are instructed to take an account of ourselves, to see if we are in the faith.
To judge ourselves to see whether or not we are living a life that is worthy of the
upward call of Christ Jesus. Are we truly living a life worthy of the blood He shed
for us?
So I again pose the question to all of you and myself also. Are we all truly putting
enough effort into developing the mind and character of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. Are we like the Apostle Paul, striving with intense effort and anguish to
develop the mind of Christ, in himself as well as those under his charge. To
become Holy are God is Holy. Now while we are still in the flesh.
This command to be Holy as God is Holy, is not just a New Testament
requirement. Throughout the bible, Gods people are commanded to live a Holy
life. Let’s look at a couple Old Testament verses.
LEV. 11.41-44
‘And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall
not be eaten. 42 Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or
whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth—these
you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. 43 You shall not make yourselves
abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves
unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. 44 For I am the LORD your God.
You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.
These physical instructions involving clean and unclean food, disclose some very
important spiritual principles that all true Christians must follow in order to
develop the mind of Christ and therefore be able to live a Holy life.
We are told by our Savior that He is the true bread of life. His word is spirit and it
is life. We are instructed to live by every word of God. Therefore we come to
understand that the way we conform our minds to God’s standards is by
continually eating the pure spiritual food of God’s word.
Our minds are cleansed by the washing of the water of the word, we are told in
EPH. 5.
In other words, in order to develop the mind of God, we must be properly feeding
and conditioning our minds with the word of God. Mentally ingesting only
spiritually clean food.
And speaking of ingesting only spiritually unleavened food.
Since we are already in the Book of Leviticus, with the Spring Holy Days fast
approaching, I thought it would be beneficial to spend a little time focusing on the
overarching lesson that they teach us.
Each spring we rehearse God’s command to put sin out of our lives.
Let’s begin by reading some verses in LEV. 23. Let’s pick it up starting in verse 9.
9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and
say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its
harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.
11 He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on
the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
As we all know, this premier sheaf, the first of the firstfruits, represents Jesus Christ.
And that the waving of the sheaf before the Lord represents Christ ascending to
our Father in heaven to be excepted on our behalf.
OK Drop to verses 15-17
15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day
that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be
completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall
offer a new grain offering to the LORD. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings
two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be
baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD.
As I believe we have all come to understand, the Feast of Pentecost, is a harvest
feast, thus symbolizing the first resurrection. All those that will take part in the first
resurrection are symbolized by the 2 leavened loaves that are waved before the
Lord, in the same manner as was the Premier sheaf. Thus representing the
Firstfruits ascending to Heaven to be presented to our Father by Jesus Christ.
These 2 loaves are baked with leaven. Why are they baked with leaven? I’m sure all
of us at one time or another has made a loaf of bread from scratch. Thus, as you
know, if done by hand, without the aid of a bread maker, the process is rather
laborious.
First, the ingredients must all be mixed together. And then, we must wait for the
dough to rise. After this initial rise, the bread is kneaded, to the point at which it
becomes somewhat elastic in texture. This is a rather long and tedious process. And
then, after the bread is fully worked, it is shaped into it’s final form and then baked.
Once the dough has been baked, it can know longer be kneaded and shaped.
Hence, therefore, the baked leaven bread symbolizes our finished state. After we
have spend numerous years, being formed and shaped by God.
Recall all the symbolism of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. Our old
man dies with Christ on the Passover. We immediately are raised in newness of life
and are cast out of spiritual Egypt which symbolizes our old way of life.
Now empowered by the Spirit of God, we are instructed to completely remove sin
from our lives. This is symbolically represented by the 7 days of Unleavened Bread.
We are not instructed to remove the leaven of sin for 4 days or 6 days but rather for
a full 7 days, representing the complete removal of sin from our lives.
Just as there were 7 days of Creation and there are 7 sections of the Bible, and 7
Church eras, and 7 annual Holy Days symbolizing Gods complete plan of
salvation for all mankind. The number 7 represents the complete remove of sin
from our lives. Thus at the end of the process, which results in the end of our
physical lives, we are to be mentally and spiritually mature, having our minds free
from the corruption of sin.
Or put another way, we are to be Holy as God is Holy, having formed the mind of
Christ within us.
And so having lived a life striving diligently with all of our hearts, minds, soul and
being to fully eradicate our carnality, we are now prepared for the first resurrection.
Let’s continue reading LEV. 23.20-22
20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering
before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the
priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to
you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your
dwellings throughout your generations.
22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners
of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest.
You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.’”
Brethren considering the fact that Lev. 23 has 44 verses. I ask you, why has God
placed verse 22, literally in the middle of the Holy Day chapter? The chapter that
lays out God’s plan of salvation for mankind? Further why does this verse
immediately follow the resurrection of the Firstfruits? This verse seems to be
completely out of context with the rest of the chapter. Or is it?
Is this a warning verse that God is giving us? I believe that it is. What happens if we
do not complete the process of overcoming and don’t master the bridling of our
minds? Would we not be like a crop in a field that has not ripened to maturity, and
therefore not ready to be harvested?
Speaking of this unharvested grain, let’s read the last part of verse 22 again; “You
shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger” Digging deeper into the root
meaning of this phrase “leave them for the poor and for the stranger” may help to
shed more light onto why God placed this verse in this chapter.
Let’s look at the 3 Hebrew words that form this phrase separately and then
interpret them all together.
The first word is “leave” Strongs [5800] “azab” According to the Theological
Wordbook of the O.T. A more literal, or primary translation is to abandon or to
forsake. It’s used numerous times in scripture stating that Israel forsook the Lord
and followed Baal. So these crops are to be forsaken or abandoned in the field.
The second word is “poor” [6041] “ani” primary meaning is a person suffering
some kind of disability or distress, or affliction. Quoting from the Theological
Wordbook; “ani is often used in social and economic terms, it describes a person
who in most cases is a servant, without rights to inheritance. The word can also be
translated as afflicted, both physically and spiritually as in the exile[ISA. 51.21]
And the 3rd term is “stranger” [1616] “ger” means a sojourner, alien, or stranger.
The root means to live among people who are not your blood relatives. In other
words, in this context, the term describes someone who is not an Israelite.
Now considering the overarching spiritual meaning of the crops in the field,
representing God’s spiritual harvest of the firstfruits. And considering the odd
placement of this verse in LEV. 23, I don’t think it is much of a stretch to put a
spiritual tint on the underlying meaning of this verse.
Putting this all together then. The unharvested crops can be equated with people
that are forsaken or abandoned and therefore are poor, that is suffering distress and
affliction because they are without an inheritance. And that is because they are
considered aliens, not having the promise of inheritance the God has given to
Israel.
Let’s overlay this understanding with some spiritual principles.
EPH. 2.11-13
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called
Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—
12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth
of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without
God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been
brought near by the blood of Christ.
Brethren, if we forsake our calling we will be aliens of spiritual Israel, having no
hope of an eternal inheritance.
MATT. 22.2-3
“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his
son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and
they were not willing to come. Skip down to verse 11.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not
have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in
here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to
the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer
darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
This parable again shows the need to be spiritually mature, symbolized by being
dressed in a wedding garment, and again we are reminded that just because we
have been called, or given an invitation to the wedding, it does not mean we will be
automatically chosen at attend. We must properly prepare for it.
Or we will be cast into outer darkness, and experience weeping and gnashing of
teeth, being like the poor in LEV. 23.22 in great distress and affliction, being aliens
from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise,
having no hope and without God in the world.
Brethren, turn back to LEV. 23 for a minute.
Now consider also, that immediately following LEV. 23.22, God directs our
attention to the Feast of Trumpets.
So verse 22, is a pivotal verse that separates God’s Master Plan into 2 parts.
It’s as if God is warning us, that if we are not prepared to be harvested, we will not
accompany Jesus Christ on Trumpets to assist Him in establishing the Kingdom of
God on earth.
For REV. 3.12 states “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My
throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne”
So if our Spiritual character is not fully developed, we will not be qualified to rule
and reign with Jesus Christ, so God might just leave us unharvested, as the crop in
the field. This is a very serious message and warning that we must all take to heart.
There is an another O.T. passage that kind of mirrors this thought, of having to be
fully prepared when the harvest time arrives. I believe that it adds weight to Jesus
Christ’s admonition that we must become perfect as our Father in Heaven is
perfect.
1 KINGS 6.1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the
children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of
Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that
he began to build the house of the LORD.
And drop to verse 7. And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone
finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the
temple while it was being built.
Now the point that I want to address, is why were all the stones that were used to
build the Temple- Finished off site? They were all completely finished at the
quarry.
Would it not indeed have been a whole lot easier to finish the cutting of the stones
right at the building site? It’s like building a house and precutting all the boards at
the mill and then transporting them to the job site and erecting the house. Anyone
that has ever built anything would surely conclude that doing so would be a lot
more difficult, then just measuring and cutting the boards as needed on site.
So the question is why? Why was this done, and even more importantly for us to
understand. Why did God deem it necessary to include this information in the
bible?
After all, All scripture was given by inspiration of God for our edification, reproof,
correction and instruction in righteousness.
To understand the underlying significance, we need to understand what these
foundational stones of the Temple represent. I’m sure we all already know the
answer to this question, but let’s turn to 1 PET 2 and read it anyway.
1 PET. 2.1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil
speaking, - In other words what Peter is stating is put away your carnal nature.
Drop to verses 4 and 5
“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God
and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
So these verses confirm for us that we are the spiritual fulfillment of the stones that
were used to build the physical temple. Understanding this then, a very important
principle becomes apparent.
As the living stones of God’s spiritual house, we need to be spiritually finished prior
to God putting His spiritual Temple together. Brethren, these verses confirm and
support, what we just covered in LEV. 23.22. We must be spiritually mature, having
fully developed the mind of Christ, or we will not take part in the harvest of the
firstfruits.
With this mindset then, let’s consider the admonition that David gave to Solomon.
1 CHRON. 28. 9-10
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a
loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and
understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by
you; but if you [forsake Him], He will cast you off forever. 10 Consider now, for the
LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”
This word forsake just happens to be the same word translated as leave in LEV.
23.22. But what’s really important is the overall concept of these verses. God
continually searches our minds and hearts. He knows us better than we know
ourselves. All of us have also been chosen to be apart of God’s spiritual house. But
if we take our character development lightly and forsake our calling, then God will
forsake us also and we will be left in the field without receiving our spiritual
inheritance.
Just as we saw in LEV. 23. We must complete the process of coming to spiritual
maturity or perfection first, completely removing the sin from our lives as pictured
by the 7 Days of Unleavened Bread, and then we will be suitable for the harvest.
And suitable as a finished stone to be used in God’s spiritual Temple.
By contrast, if we do not grow to maturity, we will disqualify ourselves from taking
part in the eternal inheritance that is waiting for us. And be compared to the crop
that is left in the field, after the harvest is completed.
1 COR. 9.25-27
25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it
to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run
thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I
discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to
others, I myself should become disqualified.
Notice, what the Apostle Paul is saying here. He said that if he failed at disciplining
himself and did not bring his body into complete subjection, that he would fall
short of the goal. And we know that our minds control our bodily actions, so the
crux of the matter is that we must master our thought process.
And that is the heart of the matter. Seeking first God’s righteousness, becoming
Holy and perfect as God is Holy and perfect, means gaining mastery over our
carnal mind.
Simple put, as we covered before. God wants His Children, to emulate Him. To
think and act like He does, at all times. Said another way, God wants us to develop
His Holy Righteous character. And what exactly is character? “Character is defined
as the mental and moral qualities distinctive of an individual”
The English word Character is derived from an old Greek word that means a
“stamping tool”
This stamping tool when used, made a distinctive mark. And that is what God
wants to form in us. God wants to stamp our minds with His very nature. To be
Holy as God is Holy.
And as we have heard many times over the years in God’s Church, Holy righteous
character is NOT something that can be created by fiat. If it were, then what is the
purpose of human life? God could just create spiritual children without us all going
through the process of overcoming satan, sin and our own selves.
No, Godly character can not be created by fiat, it is something that we must strive
for with all of our hearts, minds, souls and being. We have to want it more than
anything else in life, or we will not be able to perfect it. That’s what it means to love
God with all of our hearts, mind soul and being.
An appropriate quote that I can slip in here states: “The price of anything is the
amount of life you exchange for it”
So I ask you brethren, how much is eternal life worth? “The price of anything is
the amount of life you exchange for it”
The price that God requires us to pay is summed up in the first and Great
commandment. “ To love God with all our hearts, minds, soul and being”
Let’s examine what it means to be Holy as God is Holy, And perfect as our Father
in heaven is perfect. This concept of becoming Holy and perfect tend to seem
unattainable to our human minds. But yet as we have covered, this is what we are
commanded to strive towards. To fully develop the mind of Christ.
Humanly, the opposite of love is hate. This is because we judge things largely
according to the senses. Love, therefore, is a strong feeling for a person or thing;
hate is a strong feeling against. However, biblically, the opposite of love is sin. Like
love, sin is also something we do.
According to I John 5:3, love is keeping God's commandments, and sin, then, is the
breaking of His commandments.
Seriously consider this: If we sin, then biblically, we do not love God, our fellow
man, or for that matter, ourselves, because sinning means we have taken steps
toward committing spiritual suicide!
Sin is defined as lawlessness. So God’s law defines for us what sin is. Furthermore
we read in PSM. 119.172 that all God’s commandments are righteousness. So to be
righteous, one must not sin. And ROM. 7.12 informs us that “The law is holy, and
the commandment holy and just and good”
So in a nutshell since God has commanded us to become Holy and Righteous as
God is Holy and Righteous, He is commanding us to completely remove sin from
our lives and to act in a Godly manner at all times. Is it humanly possible? Yes it is.
Jesus Christ did it and He was tempted at all points, yet remained without sin. And
Jesus has therefore set us an example that we should follow in His steps.
And when we were baptized, we entered in a covenant with God, pledging
ourselves to do just that, to follow and obey and emulate Jesus Christ.
The Apostle James gives us the steps that lead us to sin, and therefore also he gives
us the formula that we need to mentally follow in order to completely remove sin
from our lives.
JAM. 1.12-15
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he
will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be
tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted
when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has
conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Temptation can be defined as the desire, allurement, enticement, or seduction to to
something that we know to be wrong. These verses inform us that we sin when we
allow our senses to influence our minds in a carnal way.
As we covered last time, in James chapter 3, our mind is like the rudder of a ship,
or a horses bridle, directing the entire body. So what we must master is the bridling
of our mind, through the control of our senses. As verse 14 shows, when we allow
our minds to be carried away by temptation, the result is sin.
As Jesus shows us from His life, a person does not have to sin. Sin is a choice. We
can chose to obey God or follow the dictates of our carnal mind. Since we all have
the Spirit of God residing within us, we must allow God’s Spirit to guide our
thought process.
As the scripture in Romans states, we must be led by the Spirit of God, if we are to
be considered God’s children.
Turn to JAM. 3.2- For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble
in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
So we come to spiritual perfection or maturity when we learn to gain mastery over
our minds and our senses.
Job realized the need to control his senses, especially his control over what he
allowed his eyes to dwell on.
JOB 31.1-8
1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I look upon a young woman?
2 For what is the allotment of God from above,
And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is it not destruction for the wicked,
And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
4 Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood, Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,
6 Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity.
7 If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart walked after my eyes,
Or if any spot adheres to my hands, 8 Then let me sow, and another eat;
Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.
Job made a covenant with himself that he would strive diligently to control what he
allowed his eyes to dwell upon. In todays culture and society, sexual enticement and
a lack of morality surrounds us. So one way to combat temptation is to follow the
instruction given to us in PHIL. 4.8
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever
things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things
are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—
meditate on these things”
We must mentally filter out as much garbage as we can, and then learn to gain a
more firm control over our thought process.
Let’s go back and read James 1.12 again. “Blessed is the man who endures
temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which
the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
Notice the motivation to overcoming temptation is summed up in our love for God.
Which is the Great Commandment. So it all comes full circle. We show God we
love Him by our obedience, which is summed up as the mastery over our carnal
mind. Living a Holy life, developing a perfect mind in the biblical sense is, therefore
a choice that we make, each and every day.
Let’s begin to rap things up be looking at the example set for us by King David.
ACTS 13.22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as
king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a
man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
Brethren God knows our hearts. We must have the same deep desire, as David had,
striving with all of our hearts and minds, and soul and being to become like God.
To have the heart, or mind that God the Father has and that Jesus Christ has- that’s
our purpose in life.
PSM. 97.10 You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His
saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
PSM. 119.104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every
false way.
Brethren, if we really love God, then we must make up our mind, and will
ourselves not to sin. We must indelibly stamp our mind with God’s character.
And like King David, we accomplish this by hating every false way. We must hate
everything that would mare our character development.
As it states in PROV. 23.7 For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Therefore, if we
think only Holy and righteous thoughts, we will become Holy and righteous.
I have one last quote that I want to leave with you today, and it kind of sums up
this entire message. “Life is the sum of all your choices”
Friends, we must choose to become like God, and then God will in the end, also
choose us to be His children.
So as we prepare to renew our Covenant with our Creator, let’s determine like
never before, to show God that we are truly thankful for our calling.
Let’s all follow the examples set for us in scripture, and desire more than anything else in life, to develop a heart and a mind, that is a perfect reflection of our Father in Heaven. That is to fully develop the mind of Christ, and thereby fulfill our Savior’s command. To become perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect.

Brethren, we all have been called to have a very special relationship with our
Creator, and to have a unique role in the Kingdom of God. Let’s all strive to be
faithful, so that, when the trumpet blows, we will also be Chosen.

Thank you for your time today.

Thomas C. Trinka Feb. 27, 2010
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