Confession And Conscience
The blood of Christ purges your conscience from dead work to serve the living by reading and applying God 's Word.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, I trust so. Bless your heart. I’m glad to be back with you. Feeling great, praise the Lord, and we’re gonna continue, if you will please. In First Peter chapter 3, walking around in verses 15 and 16, how do you really get ready to have an effective witness for Christ? Number one, sell out to God, be sure that you’ve said yes to God. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Number two, get ready to share Christ, “Be ready to be on the job for Him when He opens the door for He’d be ready always, said He. Then you give your witness with meekness. And we were on that the last time we got together if you remember. Meekness means your attitude toward other human beings, humility is a Godward virtue when you talk to other people, and if you brag about being humble, you know, you’re not.
Humility, is a Godward virtue, the quality of knowing that you need God every split second of the time, and depending upon Him therefore for His control. Meekness is the quality of appreciating the value of another human being, God created that human being as His special creation, the genetic chain that is found in the cells of that human being is not duplicated in any other of the billions of human beings on earth. It just blows your mind to think about it, that God who is the God of infinite power is also the God of infinite detail.
And so, the DNA, the genetic chain in the cells of that body of that person that you’re talking with, are special, so special that they are not duplicated in any other living organism anywhere. Special meekness means you look at another individual as being of infinite worth worthy of your attention, worthy of your love, worthy of all that you can do for that person. Then he says, “Give your answer with,” in the King James version it says, “fear.” And I think the Greek New Testament, actually uses that word, that always, not always, always, but nearly always is translated. The fear…. kind of fear. Let me just look and be sure. It’s the end of verse 15, isn’t it? With meekness and fear, sure. It’s the Greek word from which we get our phobia idea. He has a phobia, it means he is afraid of something. Phobos, phobon, phobou, all the different forms of the verb. So there’s a sense if you wanna take it literally, there’s a sense in which you approach your Christian witness with a good deal of not craven fear, but a healthy respect for the importance of the situation. Let me illustrate it for you.
A very simple matter, your having to change an electric light fixture, let’s say it’s in the ceiling. Now, if you’ve been properly taught when you start to un-couple that electric light fixture, you make sure that the hot wire is covered. Yes, you un-couple it, there’s a little screw cap that goes over the place where the wires are joined and you unscrew that and you uncouple it. But if you’re smart and if you have a real respect for what you’re doing, you’re going to see to it that that hot wire is covered up again why, because if you don’t, a careless movement of your hand or your screwdriver or other implement will touch that hot wire and short it and you could be severely injured or killed. You don’t wanna be electrocuted, and so you take care of it. Now, does that mean that you approach the task trembling and cowardly and shaking in craven fear? No, not at all. It does mean, however, that you have learned that the situation is serious enough that you have to be careful. Now, it seems to me that there’s something like that involved in this matter of your witness. He says, approach the individuals with whom you speak with real appreciation and respect. That’s covered in our discussion of the word meekness.
Now, he uses the word fear. What does that mean, am I afraid of this person? No. But the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. I look heaven-ward and realize that God could kill me just by looking away from me, I know that He’s all powerful, and my soul reaches up toward him in faith, but also in a Godly respect and holy awe, the fear of God. What else? It is the realization that if this thing isn’t done right, I could do tremendous damage in this relationship, how many people have been turned off from the Savior because of carelessness on the part of some Christian. The number must be immense. Carelessness on the part of some believer, has done immense damage, in the lives of people who were observing it and perhaps misinterpreting it. He says, “Give your answer with fear,” why, because you’re dealing with something far more dynamic than that electric wire that you are fiddling with when you change the chandelier. You follow me there? You’re dealing with something that is tremendously dynamic, and you don’t want to short-circuit it. You don’t want any careless words of yours or careless action or careless attitude, you don’t want any of that to short-circuit the work of God’s divine power flowing through you.
And so you approach the task with a very sensible awareness of the seriousness of the situation. That’s what that word fear has wrapped up in it. You understand? Do your witnessing with the realization that this is indeed serious business. Yes. Jim Mallace who is now with the Lord was the son of a tea planter who also established a little church yonder in the land of India on a tea plantation. Jim was raised in that setting and later on came back from India to Great Britain and pursued, for a while, a pre-medical education, went to university and studied medicine and finished his studies, did, I think, his internship and then was strangely moved to get into gospel work and finally became a missionary on his own. He was when he came to minister to my church in LaSalle, Illinois, and he was then I suppose 55 something like that, or 60, who knows. Anyhow, he had a lifetime of experience and a very rich understanding of the word of God. I remember I asked him what is the secret. I asked him one time, “What is the secret of the richness that you have in your opening of the Word of God?” He said, “Well, I’ll tell you, I’m a little different from many of you people, a lot of you read the Bible like a textbook and you outline it, and you work on it. I read it,” he said “just to hear God say something special to me and when he does, then I pass it along.” [chuckle]
Well, there’s a difference there, I guess. Anyhow, he told the story of what had happened in his medical studies, and I don’t suppose this could possibly happen today was that was a good many years ago now, that was back in the ’40s, and the man himself, he was speaking was already either pushing 60 or 60 was pushing right back. So it had been a few years before. You understand the setting of what I’m about to tell you. But he said he was watching in an operating room and there was a delicate operation being performed on some patient and the surgeon asked for a certain implement whatever it was, and it was handed to him, he took one look at it and tossed it on the floor. Now, it so happened that this was, this was an unusual instrument, and they had to scurry around and find another one that had been sterilized.
After the operation was over, the surgeon gathered all the students together. He said you saw what happened, he said there was a tiny speck of rust on that instrument and he said “This is so important, a man’s life is hanging in the balance, and any little carelessness could have killed him.” He said, “You can’t allow even a tiny speck of anything.”
Now that I say was a great many years ago and today, you have stainless steel and you have the sterilizers that sterilize everything under a good many pounds of steam and all that. But that’s what happened then. “Just a little speck carelessly applied could jeopardize,” said the surgeon, “a person’s life.” Well, you get the point I’m sure, don’t you. A little carelessness on my part, could jar the hand of the great physician as he operates on somebody, could introduce a spec of spiritual infection in a life that so desperately needs the healing Balm of Gilead. Do your work with a sense of the immense importance of what you’re doing. A pretty good idea, wouldn’t you say? Now, he says, having a good conscience, verse 16, a clean conscience is part of an effective witness. We go back then to the point with which I opened yesterday’s broadcast to know that you’re right with God, that things between you and God are settled is so important, but this matter of conscience, is not simply a once for all concept, but it has to do with the living of every day’s life, moment by moment, sentence and paragraph by paragraph, situation by situation.
I need constantly to let God keep my conscience clean, having your conscience cleansed. “The blood of Christ will purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living and true God,” we read in the Bible. If we confess our sins, He said if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and as a result, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanseth of us from all sin. Having a good conscience. What does that mean? You and I are fallible, faulty human beings. And so we do slip and we do make mistakes and we do come short and when that happens, we need immediately to run to the mercy seat and ask the Lord Jesus to cleanse us, a clean conscience moment by moment is part of an effective witness. I’ll get back to that the next time we get together. God willing.
Lord Jesus Christ, we worship Thee, and we pray that our lives can witness effectively for Thee, our loving Lord. I pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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