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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2009-07-12 SPIRITUAL FITNESS

A CD copy of this sermon is available.  Specify date & title with your e-mail request, along with delivery information.

July 12, 2009

Sheepfold Ministries, pastor Phil Roland

 

SPIRITUAL   FITNESS

mATT. 15:1-14  -  aCTS 10:1-6

“Spirituality is a way of looking at life that differs from the world’s view. I am a spirit, but live temporarily in a body. One day, I will shed my body and move on to a far better eternal, spiritual place and situation.”            Pastor Phil

 

Three Reasons we Need Spiritual Fitness:

I.  As A PREVENTATIVE AGAINST MORAL WEAKNESS

          A. Culture’s Emphasis on EXTERNALS

                        1. Show-Boaters – “I’m a GOOD person”

                             a. "All that glitters is not gold"

                             b. “Keeping up with the Joneses”

                        2. Façade of a Morally Bankrupt Society

                             a. Served a subpoena yesterday

                             b. In 10 years server served more than 30,000 of them

                             c. Same problems: Missing Conscience in all perpetrators

            B. Easy to look good on the OUTSIDE

                        1. Look religious

                        2. Sound religious

                        3. Act religious

                        4. Dichotomy – Splitting of the mind – James 1:8

                           ”a double-minded man, (is) unstable in all his ways.”

            C. Spiritual Fitness Emphasizes INTERNALS

                        1. Twelve-Step Principles – First three steps

                            a. “I can’t”

                            b. “God can”

                            c. “I let Him do it”

                        2. Question: "Does Jesus Christ live at your house?"

 

II.  As A Protection In Personal Crisis  - Acts 10

     “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what

        was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with

        all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to

        God always.”

            A. Cornelius was Spiritually Fit and as a result, God used him

                        1. He lived a devout/Godly life

                        2. He and his household lived in awe of God

                        3. Showed great compassion to the poor

                        4. Prayed to God continually

                        5. He was a Gentile / Goyen – Non-Jew

          B. Obeying the Law cannot substitute for Spiritual Fitness

                        1. Peter kept the Letter of the Law as an observant Jew         

                        2. Conflict: Letter of Law vs. Spirit of the Law

                        3. Voice in Dream tells Peter to Break the Law – Acts 10:13

                            “And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."

                        4. Gentiles/"Goyen" were one of those "unclean things"

                        5. Peter was being commissioned apostle to Jew and Gentile

            C. Spiritual Fitness Prepares you for Personal Crisis

                        1. Death of Loved-One, Loss of job, Serious Illness

                        2. Spiritual Disciplines

                            a. Piety – Outward Godliness reflecting inward Godliness

                            b. Compassion and generosity for the poor

                            c. Deep, reflective, meditative prayer

                            d. In depth study and meditation of God's Word

                        3. Cultivating inner, spiritual life: loving relationship with God

 

III.  As A Preparation For Eternity

          A. Preparing for the future – 2 Corinthians 5:6-9

              “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the

                   body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.

                   We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body

                   and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether

                   present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.”

                   1. Developing the Spiritual Man/Woman: It’s a process

                            a. The character of Jesus is developed in us – Gal. 5:22-23

                              “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,

                                  kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

                            b. Fruit is formed slowly and with time

                        2. We are INWARDLY preparing for the future - 2 Cor. 4:16

                      “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is

                              perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

          B. Preparing for INTERNAL LIFE - John 3:16

                "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that

                  whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

                        1. Begins with a decision of the mind and heart

                        2. True spirituality is a life-long journey with Christ

SPIRITUAL   FITNESS, Texts:

Matthew 5:1-14

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,

2  "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."

3  He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

4  "For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'

5  "But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God";

6  'then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.

7  "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8  'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

9  And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

10  When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand:

11  "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."

12  Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"

13  But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.

14  "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

 

Acts 10:1-6

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,

2  a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

3  About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!"

4  And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

5  "Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.

6  "He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do."