BAD ATTITUDES HAVE TO GO

bad attitudes have to go

 

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

 

We are ambassadors for Christ by God’s grace who have been entrusted with the word and ministry of reconciliation to reconcile unsaved people to God 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.  As workers together with God this grace we have received would be in vain if we do not also walk in holiness. Living holy allows Him to use us in unlimited ways to reach our generation with the Gospel. Holiness is a provision of grace whereby the righteous and holy nature of our new creation spirit makes possible a walk in the spirit above the lusts of the flesh. It has been created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).

 

We often associate unholy things with works of the flesh or deeds only (Galatians 5:19-21). Bad attitudes can be unholy things too but not so obvious as works of the flesh. Second Corinthians 6 deals with separation from unholy things and concludes with a statement in 2 Corinthians 7:1 that says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Filthiness of the spirit can include things that need cleansed in the spirit of your mind not things in your spirit man (because it’s been created in righteousness and holiness Ephesians 4:23, 24). This can be bad attitudes that need cleansed. An attitude is a predisposition or tendency that evaluates and responds positively or negatively toward certain ideas, objects, people, or situations. The attitude causes us to evaluate something by how we previously felt about it and bringing that feeling into our present behavior toward it. The attitude can be totally wrong and it will cut you off. It needs purged from our soul.

 

You can have all the right associations and a defiled attitude can cut you off.

Think about Judas who was in the company of Jesus and the other disciples.

Think about Gehazi who was Elisha’s servant who could have received his mantle.

Think about Ananias and Saphira who were associated with the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost.

Think about Lucifer, who originally was in the very presence of God.

 

All missed it and messed up because of a filthy attitude. Perfecting holiness involves not just cleaning up the outside of our life but also the inside by allowing God’s implanted word to remove filthiness from within our soul James 1:21. Our soul (mind, will, and emotions) isn’t instantly saved at salvation but under goes a process of salvation where the parts of our soul still influenced by the sinful fleshly nature need dealt with. The victory has already been won by Jesus and the provision for us to apply it is already ours in Christ by the grace of God. What remains is our responsibility to cleanse or purge ourselves from it.

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Grace DID Much More Abound

grace did much more

 

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Thank God for the liberty that the grace of God brings to our life. This liberty is not so we are free to sin but that we can be free to serve (Galatians 5:13). Grace was never given to us as a cover or as an excuse to continue sinning. I’ve often heard Romans 5:20 quoted saying something like this, that people sinning causes grace to abound so don’t be concerned if they are sinning. I heard an internationally famous preacher say that we shouldn’t focus on the younger generation’s sinning we should focus on the grace abounding to them.  Oh my!

 

Romans 5:20 does not say grace keeps abounding as we keep sinning. The comparison is between how the sin of one man’s offense (Adam) multiplied, abounded, and increased into countless transgressions when the Law came on the scene, grace DID much more abound when the one man Jesus came on the scene. Grace doesn’t abound when we sin, grace DID already abound when Jesus died at the Cross. It doesn’t say GRACE DOES MORE ABOUND it says GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND, implying a past tense finished work. The grace Jesus made available at the Cross abounded more than the transgressions that abounded due to the Law. (The Greek grammar supports this as a past action where the phrase “did much more abound” is one word “hupereperisseusen” and is in the “first aorist active indicative” which  indicates a past action).

 

Without even knowing Greek grammar further reading of Romans 6:1, 2, 15 makes it even more clear and destroys the argument that our sinning causes more grace to abound when it says Rom 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we CONTINUE in sin, that grace may abound? 2 GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? In other words shall we continually sin, or habitually sin that grace may abound? God forbid, (or let it not be, far from it, by no means or let it never be said).

 

Then again in Romans 6:15 What then? shall we SIN, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Shall we SIN once in awhile or a little bit that grace may abound and once again, GOD FORBID. We are not given grace to reign in our lives for ongoing sinning but that we would sin not. Grace isn’t a license to sin but to serve because we’ve been freed from sin’s enslaving power.

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PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE

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Our minds often need to be changed before God can do something through us because God’s thoughts aren’t always our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).  In Acts 10 God had to change Peter’s thoughts toward the Gentiles before ministry could be extended through him.  (Other examples:  Jonah to Ninevah, Jonah 1-3; disciples to Samaritans in John 4.)   Our minds will like operating on God’s Word when we give it a chance.

 

 

Mark 16:15 says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The commission says every creature (Mk. 16:15), so that means every creature must be reachable. Our mind needs renewed to think like this:

 

That’s our assignment (Mark16:15).

We have authority (Matthew 28:18).

We have the anointing (Acts 10:38).

We have the ability (Acts 1:8).

We need to be available (1 Peter 3:15; Romans 1:15).

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THE MIND OF CHRIST IS HUMBLE

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

 

Jesus was humble-minded or walked in humility. For a Christian, humility is the mind of Christ in our spirit affecting our daily thinking. We have the mind of Christ in our spirit 1 Corinthians 2:16 and we are exhorted to let this mind be in us (in our natural mind, where we think, feel, and decide). If it was automatic that we thought in line with it we wouldn’t be exhorted to “let” this mind be in you. It is a mindset that surrenders its rights, makes itself of no reputation, and seeks no recognition Philippians 2:5-8. The Holy Spirit brings this from our spirit to our natural mind 1 Corinthians 2:9-13.

 

There is not a more deceptive sin than the sin of pride. It is a sin that everyone else can see a person has a problem with but the last person to find out about it is the proud person. Satan is the original source of pride and to walk in humility is to resist the very nature of the one who caused the Fall.

 

Pride leads to CONTENTIONS, Proverb 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

 

Pride leads to COMPARISONS, 2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

 

Pride leads to COMPETITION, Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (rivalry, contention, selfish ambition); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

A majority of the friction and strife in churches can be from the root of pride. Think of a church where there was no contention, comparison, and competition.  Humble people would rather suffer wrong than do wrong and they are the ones who receive God’s favor. Jesus prayed that our unity would be to the degree that He had with the Father, which is they were ONE John 17:20-23. What if we would endeavor to be One more than we endeavored to be blessed? We’d all get blessed. For some, the hardest thing for them to give is “in.” They would rather lose with an unyielded will than win from submitting to another.

 

Today many want to launch out for themselves, become celebrities, and famous rather than be a part of a team, or body of believers. They won’t submit to their identity as a member of a body, a living stone in a temple, or a disciple on a ministry team. We don’t have to operate like that for with the mind of Christ and help of the Holy Spirit we can walk in humility.mind-of-christ-is-humble

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STAY HUMBLE

 

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James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

 

Humility is one of the secrets to continual usefulness in the service of the Lord. We are told in Romans 12:3 not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think but to think soberly about ourselves. Thinking soberly includes not thinking more lowly of ourselves as much as it does not thinking more highly of ourselves. Humility doesn’t mean that we diminish ourselves or put ourselves down. It means that we say everything about ourselves that God says about us in His Word, nothing more, and nothing less. Some have to come up in their thinking about themselves to be humble. There are others who have to come down in their thinking of themselves because they have an exaggerated opinion of their own importance and an excessive belief in their worth. Anything that exalts us, our abilities, our gifts, and our talents out of proportion is not good. There are a few examples of humility we should remember.

 

Remember Moses, a man of destiny, is described as a man, “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds.” It came into his heart that he was to be a deliverer of the children of Israel but Moses was not ready. Moses went out in all of his ability and pride and slew an Egyptian thinking that the people would understand he was chosen to be a deliverer.  He was not and ended up forty years on the backside of a desert until the Lord would send him forth. I believe God often wants to promote many people but their gifts, abilities, and talents will take them where their character cannot uphold them. Only proven godly character can take us the distance. Later God appears to Moses and sends him and he succeeds. Moses changed his tune from “Look who I am” to “Who am I Lord?” Moses realized without God he was nothing and could do nothing (Exodus 2:3, 4, 10-25; Acts 7:20-36).

 

Remember Miriam and Aaron, family members of Moses. Moses had developed humility and is described as the meekest man on the face of the Earth (Numbers 12:3). Miriam and Aaron got together and basically said, “Who does Moses think he is,” and “has God only spoken by Moses.” “God’s used us before, we have gifts too, he’s not the only one gifted around here.” They were filled with pride. The problem is they didn’t honor the authority God had given Moses and exalted their own gifting above the authority (Moses) in their life. God heard their murmuring against Moses and Miriam became leprous. Why wasn’t Aaron judged with leprosy like Miriam? He spoke against Moses (Numbers 12:2), the anger of the Lord was against him, (v. 9), and he even acknowledged he had done foolishly and sinned (v. 11). Perhaps Miriam had instigated it or had been critical of her brother repeatedly and for a long time. Perhaps it is because Aaron had the holy garments of the priesthood on and the anointing protected him but there came a day when the garments were stripped from him and death was there to meet him (Numbers 20:23-29).

 

Remember Saul of the Old Testament. The Israelites wanted a king and Saul was chosen. He had good looks, a tall stature, and God did use him. Saul’s pride made him jealous of God’s choice to use David and over a course of years tries to kill David some twenty one times. God finally had to take the kingdom from Saul and in sending the Prophet Samuel reveals what was at the core of this verdict against him when he said. “When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?” Saul didn’t remain little in his own eyes but got an exaggerated opinion of his own importance which is pride. Proverb 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Saul got puffed up, or got “the big head” about himself and it is said at the end of his life one of the saddest verses in the Bible that he died as though he had not been anointed with the anointing oil (2 Samuel 1:21). All the years of being privileged to be chosen, anointed, and used of God goes down the drain as though you have never been.  When we stay little in our own eyes God can use us. No matter what people say of us whether it is praise or criticism we should remain little in our own eyes. Without Him we can do nothing.

 

Proverb 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

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SERVING THE LORD WITH ALL HUMILITY OF MIND

 

serving the lord with all humility of mind

Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.

 

The Apostle Paul’s inner attitude in his ministry and in the face of dealing with plots against him by the religious people of his day was that of humility of mind. He was a humble leader of God’s people as he endeavored to preach and teach the Word of God’s grace. The greatest opposition he faced was from the religious Judaizers, for religion has always been the greatest persecutor of grace.

 

As Christians we are not only saved by grace through faith but we are to have our lifestyle in this world by the grace of God 2 Corinthians 1:12. God gives this grace in response to two things: faith Ephesians 2:7-9; and humility James 4:6. This makes both faith and humility extremely important for every believer to learn how to walk in them. We are exhorted to be clothed with humility (clothes can be seen, have to be put on, have to fit; they protect, warm, and attract) 1 Peter 5:5.

 

What is humility of mind?

 

  1. THINKING SOBERLY, NOT MORE HIGHLY OR MORE LOWLY OF OURSELVES THAN WHAT THE WORD SAYS WE ARE.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

 

  1. ACKNOWLEDGING THAT ALL THAT WE HAVE AND ARE CAME FROM HIM.

1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

 

  1. TOTALLY TRUSTING IN GOD AS THE SOURCE OF OUR SUFFICIENCY.

2 Corinthians 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward.  5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

 

  1. IT IS THE MIND OF CHRIST THAT SURRENDERS ITS’ RIGHTS, SEEKS NO RECOGNITION, MAKES ITSELF OF NO REPUTATION.

Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

  1. IT IS SUBMITTING AND RELEASING THE CARE OF OUR LIFE TO GOD.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

  1. IT IS GLORYING IN GOD ALONE.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

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HUMILITY FROM HEAVEN CAME DOWN

the humility of heaven

 

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Jesus Christ came to Earth to pay the ransom price for the sin of the world and restore mankind to a relationship with God. He was also our example of the way to live on Earth under the rule of God’s Kingdom. Humility led Jesus to leave Heaven to give His life for our redemption and give us an example of the life of the humility. He is the only one from there who could know how to live it here in a fallen world before man was redeemed. Jesus demonstrated by His life example that the way up is to go down. As a result of humbling Himself God exalted Him and gave Him a name which is above every name.

 

The perversion of this is seen in the pride of Lucifer who cast out of Heaven who sought rule for himself at the expense of all others Isaiah 14:12-15. The contrast is clear: humility serves while pride seeks to be served. More certain than Lucifer’s pride causing the Fall, Jesus’ humility delivers us from the power of the nature that caused the Fall.

 

The Scriptures tells us to, “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus Philippians 2:5.” The mind of Jesus’ humility is clearly revealed in Scripture:

 

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 5:41 I receive not honour from men.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

John 7:28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 8:50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

 

Humility is the noble spirit of the Kingdom of Heaven displayed by the King of glory, Jesus Christ. His humble surrender to His Father allowed the Father to do in and through Him all that He had planned. Jesus was exalted and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven because He humbled Himself. THERE ARE NO PROUD BEINGS IN HEAVEN.

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