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Hope As An Anchor Of The Soul (New Year)

hope as an anchor of the soul, eternal security, new year 2018, assurance of salvation

As we move into 2018 many are hoping for a better year than 2017. Many had a very hard year, even excessively hard. Yesterday I was at a public hospital to see a doctor (thyroid) and get medicine repeats. While at the first stage of the process I got talking with a doctor also waiting in the process. He used to work at that particular hospital but had moved on. As we spoke I asked him what his thoughts were for the new year. He immediately answered that he saw nothing ahead that he felt that he could put his hope in. He is not optimistic about the future.

And in one way or another we will all be looking ahead and wondering what life will be like in 2018, or wondering what will happen in our personal circumstances in the coming year. And with so many changes happening so quickly and unexpectedly in the last 20 years or so. It’s hard to be able to predict what will happen in the coming new year. Life has become very uncertain, very unpredictable, not as it was 30-40 years ago.

What many found to be secure 30 years ago in businesses and careers are no longer secure today. From a spiritual perspective I see a very positive side to the modern insecurity of the temporal life. When businesses and careers were secure people who were resisting God found a comfortable place to hide from the Lord in those ‘secure’ environments. But as our world has so turned from the Lord and each generation turned from Him further than the previous generations. Our world has become more and more insecure as it’s become more and more ungodly. And as the Lord has been left out of modern society more and more, He has not allowed such people, such nations, to prosper as once they did when they acknowledge Him, and the Christian Faith as the one truth faith from Him. Now it is becoming far harder to find the world a distraction ‘from the Lord’. In all levels of society people are very insecure regarding their future, regarding the new year. And that is good! People mustn’t be able to find ‘security’ in the world!

I’m hoping that this will have a positive cause in some irreligious people turning to the Lord. And some religious, lost people, turning properly, Biblically to the Lord. As only the Lord can provide absolutely perfect security regardless of our circumstances. That which the Lord wants to give each of us, our world at it’s best cannot come close to providing…

Hope … As An Anchor Of The Soul

While still in this life, in this world, God’s children have hope, perfect security from God regarding their temporal life, as well as their eternal souls…

Hebrews 6:18-20
18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20  Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

As an anchor secures a boat or ship from drifting, so an individual being ‘in-Christ’, being Born Again’, is perfectly secure regarding their eternal soul’s security. And each child of God may have this hope keep them perfectly secure in this world. Even should chaos be happening around them, because their security, their hope is in Christ, their hope cannot be taken away, it cannot be lost! It is in Hebrews 6 promised to be both, “sure and stedfast”…

“Sure”: As in ‘certain’ or ‘unfailing’

“Stedfast”: Will not abandon the child of God before they are living in eternity, at Home in Heaven with the Lord.

This is where our hope for 2018 must be! In Christ! Not in ‘favourible circumstances’ or in ‘things working out better for us in the New Year’. There is no Biblical reason why 2018 will be good as far as temporal things are concerned. Our rebellious societies / cultures give every indication of breaking down even further than they have at this point in time! Get hope from the ONLY source that guarantees hope … Christ!

In Christ’s Hand, In The Hand Of The Father

Those who are truly Christ’s, those who have actually been born again, follow Him. Their life is not their own, they follow their Saviour’s example that He made while in our world…

John 10:27-30
27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and my Father are one.

Christ’s redeemed, His sheep, are absolutely secure in His Hand. As secure as if they were already with Him in Heaven! There is no more secure place than in their Saviour’s Hand! And if that was not enough, the Lord Jesus further comforts His sheep with the fact that they are also in the Father’s Hand! Language cannot express the extent of such security! Words fail us to adequately describe the absolute security of God’s children! And though they will have trials and struggles while still in this sin damaged world, their souls are perfectly secure in Christ for all eternity.

Those Who Know And Keep Christ’s Commandments Are Those Who Are Secure

1 John 2:3-6
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

It is one thing reading, and learning of the perfect security of God’s children. It is another to have such hope, such certainty in one’s heart and mind, giving daily comfort. The irresponsible child of God will not experience the comfort of hope and certainty as they should in their daily walk. The apostle John writes of the eternal security of the child of God who keeps the commandments of Christ faithfully. And this promised certainty strengthens with time. Where on going obedience to the commands of Christ becomes the life of the child of God. Where their life is permanently changed / shaped by the commands of Christ. And (v5) as the, “love of God”, ‘matures’ / ‘is perfected’ in them. Love for God, and then love for their fellow man. These will become blessed indicators of true life with Christ as a child of God. And (v6) they will live according to the same values that the Scriptures teach us that Christ had. Witnessing such change in one self will encourage that one that they have in reality been secured in Christ.

The Inner Working Of The Holy Spirit Gives God’s Children Eternal Security

Here we see that it is the whole Triune Godhead that is involved in the child of God’s hope, their eternal security. Here we are taught the part that the Holy Spirit has…

Romans 8:4  “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

It is through the indwelling Holy Spirit that the obedient child of God is enabled to live righteously, according to the normally impossibly high standards of God’s law. Which happens when they, in obedience to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, walk after Him instead of after the sinful passions of their flesh…

Romans 8:13-17
13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

V15/ It is by the indwell Holy Spirit that God’s children will love Almighty God as their Father.

V16/ They will know the witness of the indwelling Spirit that thy are indeed children of God.

Again: it is through obediently allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead them that another form of ‘hope’, ‘eternal security’ is realized / known in God’s children’s personal experience. That, “all things work together for good to them that love God…”

Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The apostle Paul, after teaching the amazing truths of this chapter in Romans describing the incomparable life of the Spirit led, and Spirit enabled child of God, sums up…

Romans 8:31-32
31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Folks, why be mindlessly foolish by looking to the world, our cultures, and life’s fickle circumstances in the coming 2018 for hope in the coming months of 2018?! Look to the Lord each day, week and month for all your hope in life! Our rebellious world and its ways is going to pass away forever soon (1 John 2:17). Only the ways of the Lord will continue into eternity. Live with the Lord and get used to living according to His values and ways now! And know His hope as an anchor through 2018 and for the rest of your life in this temporal world!

1 John 2:17  “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

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Elijah And The Four Hundred Prophets Of Baal – Which Is The True God?

This morning my devotional reading reached 1 Kings 18 and 19. Chapter 18 has always greatly encouraged me, as we have a classic demonstration of the difference between truth and error. That Truth works, and error is only superstition in the mind…

(Read all of 1 Kings 18)

1 Kings 18:17-41
17  And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
18  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
19  Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.
20  So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.
21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
23  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
25  And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
26  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
27  And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
28  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29  And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
30  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
31  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
32  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
33  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
34  And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
35  And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
36  And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
40  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
41  And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

The LORD again, in His mercy and grace, reached out to wicked Israel – who had again turned from Him to baal – and through His prophet Elijah gave them a living demonstration of the difference between Himself and baal. The difference between Truth and error, the difference between spiritual reality and superstition that is only in the mind, and not in reality.

Today, in the Church age, we do not have fire coming down from Heaven experiences to go by, but the blessed Holy Spirit reaching out to us. Reaching out to the lost to woo them to be repentant toward God, and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21 KJV). And then to those who respond to the work of the Holy Spirit and are born again, each have the Holy Spirit living inside of them (Romans 8:9 KJV). Living inside of them to give them personal enabling to live a godly life with their Father, Almighty God. And to change them, as they faithfully obey the indwelling Holy Spirit’s leading, to be more and more live their blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every one of God’s children can, and should have, more than the one outward experience witnessed by Israel in 1 Kings 18. They can daily have their God’s personal empowering and guidance in their walk with Him. They just have to, in honesty and in integrity, respond to Him, to His Spirit within them with whole hearted obedience.

001 INTEGRITY DISCOVERING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH INTRODUCTION

It must be said right from the beginning that there is no magic formula to quickly discover God’s Truth. It takes a life dedicated to the Lord, and to the discovery, and obedient response to God’s Truth as we discover it for ourselves.

The Outline of this mini series of studies will be along the following lines:

  • The Bible is perfectly accurate
  • God’s Truth is in the Bible only
  • The Bible must be taken literally, except where it says otherwise
  • God’s specific Truth for the Church is found in the New Testament, while still learning from the Old Testament
  • The Holy Spirit has been commissioned by the Lord to lead us to discover His Truth.
  • It takes honest, responsible reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word, with the goal of not simply trying to understand what we find there, but asking the Lord to guide us into His Truth.

Our daily studies will be introducing a number of very large subjects and often will need additional study to properly examine that which is only introduced by the morning studies. I will be making addition, more extensive materials available for more thorough examination of the subjects that we cover.

THE BIBLE IS PERFECTLY ACCURATE

It would not be possible to discover God’s Truth for the Church age if there were no access to that Truth for us to read, study and meditate on. So that we can learn it, understand it and then obey it. Praise the Lord that He has made certain that we can learn His Truth and be able to say, as the Old Testament believers did, “Thus saith the Lord!” i.e. Be able to know with absolute certainty what God’s will is, and what life and service with and to Him is today.

The Lord Has Given Us The Bible By Inspiration

2Timothy 3:16 ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God”. Not one word of the Bible is not the product of God’s inspiration. What does the Lord mean by “inspiration of God”? These 3 words come from one Greek word θεοπνευστοςmeaning ‘God breathed’ – literally. Meaning spoken by God – His Words.

2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit chose certain holy men to reveal Truth / doctrine though. Scripture is not simply what was thought wise or good by God’s people in the past. Scripture (the bible) is truth / doctrine directly from God. As we have seen the Lord has always been very particular about His children keeping His will for them, exactly as He has instructed them. The only way that this is possible is for us to have His will recorded, so that we can learn it from an infallible source – His Book, the Bible.

The Extent Of God’s Inspiration Is Not Conceptual, But Verbal – The Very Words Were Inspired By God

Psalms 12:6-7
6  The WORDS of the LORD are PURE WORDS: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Proverbs 30:5  EVERY WORD OF GOD IS PURE: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS shall not pass away.

Because it is so important to the Lord that we have access to His Truth for us, He has taken great care in its deliver to us. That the fallible men that He gave it to us through, would not taint, or spoil it by their natural, human weaknesses. If we look at how it could be possible that the writers of the Bible could write perfect books from how reliable each were. Then we will naturally be skeptical in being able to completely trust the books of the Bible completely. But when we consider that the Bible is God’s revelation to man, and that He is the One behind the giving of His revelation to us. And that He is the One behind its accuracy. Then that is a different world altogether.

Through the Lord men and women have done the impossible. Moses parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel to cross on dry land. Peter walked on the sea! Not humanly possible unless the Lord enables them to.

And so with the transmission of His Truth to us, the Lord – in His own interests, and purposes to man – was behind the perfectly accurate recording of His Truth. So that we may be able to – after responsible – reading, studying and meditating on His Truths, and being led by His Spirit. To be able to know with certainty, “Thus saith the Lord!”, in all areas of His Truth.

Next we will have a look at how the Lord perfectly preserved His Word for us to still have it in our hands today.

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

001 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH-final

008 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

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I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

II. UPRIGHTNESS (See Lessons 004 – 005)

III. HONESTY (See Lesson 006)

IV. SUMMING UP CONCLUSION

With integrity, uprightness and honesty so highly valued by the Lord and mature children of God. These virtues must surely have a very important role today in God’s children’s spiritual lives? And so in these concluding ‘summing up’ studies, we will very briefly introduce the vital areas of God’s dealings with man that these virtues play an essential role.

A. Integrity – Uprightness – Honesty Needed For…

1. Man’s Spiritual Birth (See Lesson 007)

2. God’s Children’s Spiritual Life With Him

In Romans 8 we have seen in this course that Paul teaches us the practical, day-to-day spirit life by contrasting it to the carnal life of those who have not been born again:

Romans 8:1-8
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul lists the two polar opposite lives that our world is divided into according to the Lord. This is because, from the Lord’s perspective, spiritually these are the two possible lives that all of mankind are divided into. Those who are God’s children and who are walking with the Him in integrity, and those who have not been born again and are not living in integrity – they are living in rebellion against the Lord.

The Lost – Live Without Integrity

The lost “walk after the flesh”, and they therefore “mind the things of the flesh”. i.e. Their lives are shaped by their fleshly / sinful passions (See 1 John 2:15-17 KJV). And therefore they are “carnally minded” – not only are their lives shaped by their sinful flesh, but so are their minds (Romans 8:6-7 above)! The carnal mind is at “enmity (in conflict) against God” (verse 7). This is because they are “not subject to the law of God”, neither can they be subject to the law of God. Not surprisingly they cannot please God! The Lord sees their lack of integrity. These lack integrity with the Lord primarily because they resist the Holy Spirit’s attempts to woo them to repentance toward God, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; John 16:8 KJV).

God’s preacher…

Acts 20:21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The inner working of the Holy Spirit…

John 16:8  And when he [HOLY SPIRIT] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The lost sinner either responds to the duel efforts to win them to turn them in integrity to be repentant towards God, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or they don’t. It’s up to each individual!

Those Who Have Been Born Again – Living With Integrity

The Spirit led child of God doesn’t walk after their sinful flesh, they WALK AFTER the Spirit (Romans 8:14 KJV). For this reason their lives ARE SHAPED by the Holy Spirit’s leading (“they mind the things of the Spirit” – meaning literally that they have a favourable leaning towards that which is valued by the Spirit / the Lord.) And therefore they are “spiritually minded”, which is “life and peace” with the Lord. Life that is infinitely higher than any other life possible in this world!

Those Who Have Been Born Again – Lacking Integrity

When a child of God does not live with integrity with the Lord, their lives are more like those who have not been born again. Through their initially having integrity with the Lord, they were brought to be repentant toward God, and have faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. This brought about their being born again. Then through careless in their spiritual walk, they ‘drifted’ into sin, perhaps little by little. And so little by little they lost their integrity with their Lord. Example: The Loadicean church, and our Laodinean age today. They made their Saviour sick to His stomach with their lukewarmness (See Revelations 3:15-16 KJV).  They are not walking after the Spirit, but the flesh. And so they mind the things of the flesh instead of the Spirit, and their lives are filled with the temporary things of this sinful world, instead of eternal things that are valued by their Father. The result is that, because they are not living in integrity with the Lord, they through rebellion, are in conflict with the Lord! They are “carnally minded” like the lost, and like the lost are not subject to the law of God, neither can they be! What a terrible place for a child of God to be! In conflict with their Father!

One of the serious consequences of such a wicked life is that these question their salvation. They don’t have the Spirit of God witnessing with their spirit that they are children of God anymore. And those who love them, and care for their spiritual lives, are also uncertain if they ever were born again! And this is what we have today. Churches that are filled with mostly lost, but also carnal born again. And no one but the Lord can tell the difference. The remedy for both is to respond to the inner working of the Holy Spirit, with integrity, and allow Him to lead them to be repentant towards God.

Conclusion

Without integrity the spiritual birth is not possible, and neither is the spiritual life of the child of God possible. All future spiritual progress hinges on whether or not we continue with integrity in our walk with our heavenly Father. And there is nothing more important than our spiritual life with our Father!

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

007 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

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I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS (See Lessons 004 – 005)

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord.

III. HONESTY (See Lesson 006)

Luke 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

A. Definition

There are 6 Greek words for “honest”, and “honesty”. 1. ‘kalos’ which means ‘morally good’ or ‘virtuous’ (See Luke 8:15; Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 13:7; 1 Peter 2:12). 2. ‘martureo’ which means ‘to bear witness’ ‘to have a good testimony’ (See Acts 6:3). 3. ‘euschemonos’ an adverb which means ‘decorously’ translated ‘honestly’ (x2), ‘decently’ (x1); (See Romans 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:12). 4. ‘semnos’ translated ‘honest’ (x1) (See Philippians 4:8). 5. ‘semnotes’ translated ‘honesty’ (x1) and ‘gravity’ (x2); ‘honestly’ (See 1 Timothy 2:2). 6. ‘kalos’ (‘o’ is omega in this case) which means ‘well’ morally usually; ‘honestly (x1) (See Hebrews 13:18).

IV. SUMMING UP CONCLUSION

With integrity, uprightness and honesty so highly valued by the Lord and mature children of God. These virtues must surely have a very important role today in God’s children’s spiritual lives? And so in these concluding ‘summing up’ studies, we will very briefly introduce the vital areas of God’s dealings with man that these virtues play an essential role.

A. Integrity – Uprightness – Honesty Needed For…

1. Man’s Spiritual Birth

In John 3 we have seen that the Lord Jesus taught Nicodemus about man’s vital need for a spiritual birth, in order for him to see and enter the kingdom of God. And that the spiritual birth takes place when anyone believed in Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross by faith, with hearts of integrity.

John 3:14-15
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:19-21
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

i. Lacking Integrity

Those with no godly integrity do not come to believe in Christ for the spiritual birth (verse 20), “every one that doeth evil hateth the light (Christ)”. “Doeth evil” is plural number (grammatically) meaning that it is referring to multiple acts of evil, or habitual evil / sin. There is no “repentance toward God” in such a person (Acts 20:21 KJV). Their lack of godly integrity, in the eyes of the Lord, keeps them from responding to the offer of Christ to save them from the condemnation of their sin, or at least responding to Christ ‘in such an acceptable manner’ as to bring about their spiritual birth. These may even become active in a local church, but because of their lack of integrity, their lack of repentance towards God, the Lord sees their unacceptable ‘response’ to Christ as one of rejection, “hateth the light”.

ii. With Integrity

Those with godly integrity do come to believe in Christ and therefore have a spiritual birth (verse 21), “he that doeth truth cometh to the light” (Christ). “Doeth truth” is singular number (grammatically) and therefore speaks of a single action. Meaning that this person is an honest person, they are consistently honest. They consistently do what they believe to be right because they are people of integrity. And when presented with the Gospel of the substitutionary death of Christ for them, they respond – as they always do – with integrity. With their whole hearts! And are therefore born again.

2. God’s Children’s Spiritual Life With Him

(Continue in next study…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

 

006 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS (See Lessons 004 – 005)

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord.

III. HONESTY

Luke 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

A. Definition

There are 6 Greek words for “honest”, and “honesty”. 1. ‘kalos’ which means ‘morally good’ or ‘virtuous’ (See Luke 8:15; Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 13:7; 1 Peter 2:12). 2. ‘martureo’ which means ‘to bear witness’ ‘to have a good testimony’ (See Acts 6:3). 3. ‘euschemonos’ an adverb which means ‘decorously’ translated ‘honestly’ (x2), ‘decently’ (x1); (See Romans 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:12). 4. ‘semnos’ translated ‘honest’ (x1) (See Philippians 4:8). 5. ‘semnotes’ translated ‘honesty’ (x1) and ‘gravity’ (x2); ‘honestly’ (See 1 Timothy 2:2). 6. ‘kalos’ (‘o’ is omega in this case) which means ‘well’ morally usually; ‘honestly (x1) (See Hebrews 13:18).

Deacons must be men known for their honesty. Of the few qualifications required, having a testimony of being honest is listed…

Acts 6:3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report (one Greek word), full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The child of God must be honest before for all people. Honesty must be their reputation…

Romans 12:17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Honesty is to be a marked difference between themselves and the world…

Romans 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

As God’s children we have been changed. We have been turned from dishonesty and deceit, and have shown ourselves to be truthful before our fellow man, “in the sight of God.” If this is not our personal testimony then we are either sinfully resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit, or we have not been born again. Paul lists the very important example of honesty with the Word of God. The fact that Paul mentions this particular example of our need to be honest, means that this is an area of challenge for the child of God. We WILL be challenged in our walk to keep our selves honest in our handling of the Word of God. The biggest challenge will come from our sinful flesh. We will be tempted to be lazy in our reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 2:15-16, Joshua 1:8). And therefore not know His Word as we ought to. When discussing or debating certain truths in God’s Word we will be tempted to simply defend our belief than honestly considering the other person’s explanation. And there are many who care more about holding to their opinions than finding God’s Truth from the Word of God. We must be both honest before God and man. Lastly, when reading and studying we need to be asking the Lord to guide our understanding of His Word. Otherwise we will be limited to understanding what God’s Word means to us. We MUST learn what the Lord wants us to understand, believe and live from His Word. Do you see the difference? The difference between our own understanding and God’s actual Truth?

2 Corinthians 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Here honesty is listed among godly virtues that need to be in each child of God…

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

It is one thing to have a reputation of being honest by others, but it is another when we are honest in the eyes of the Lord, Who sees everything, as we as when we have a “good conscience” in our dealings with people…

Hebrews 13:18  Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

See also 2 Corinthians 8:21; 2 Corinthians 13:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Peter 2:12.

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

005 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS

Psalms 15:2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart [INTEGRITY].

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines ‘uprightness’ in its moral use as ‘honesty; integrity in principle or practice; conformity to rectitude and justice in social dealings.’

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord. It could also be said that the consistently obedient child of God is morally simple and straight in character. i.e. Not just in outward action but right down to their character they are upright, and people of integrity. This is what is to be aimed from in spiritual growth. This is what the Holy Spirit is attempting to lead every child of God to in their walk / life with Him.

B. The Lord’s High View Of Uprightness (See Lesson 004)

C. Uprightness In God’s Children

When we see that God’s children understand the Lord’s very high value of “uprightness”, we expect to read of their very high value of ‘uprightness’ as well…

1. Job

Job valued the virtue of “uprighteness” and we see him claim that his heart, that his inner being is upright…

Job 33:3  My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.

2. King David

King David’s response to the Lord’s high value of “uprighteness” in His children is passionate. Definitely not careless! …

2 Samuel 22:24-25
24  I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
25  Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

Who knows the hand of God in their life? Who knows the blessing of being blessed by being aware of the presence of the Lord? …

Psalms 15:1-2
1  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

… the child of God who walks / lives “uprightly” before the Lord, and shows this spiritual virtue by doing good (“worketh righteousness”), and being truthful in their inner being (“speaketh the truth in his heart”).

3. Solomon

King Solomon was very aware that his father, King David, was close to the Lord. And that he was loved by the Lord because of his ‘uprightness of heart with Him’ … among other godly virtues in his character.

1 Kings 3:6  And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

D. To Not Walk In Uprightness Is To Walk In Darkness

Keep in mind that we are looking to understand the Lord’s view of life and ourselves…

Proverbs 2:13  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

Leaving the ways of “uprightness”, being morally straight, is to walk in spiritual, and moral darkness. That is disastrous! No real child of God is okay with that!

Proverbs 10:9  He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

The child of God who lives “uprightly” before the Lord is on solid ground. The Lord Himself makes certain of that. The alternative is being someone who perverts their way, their life (morally, and spiritually crooked in the eyes of the Lord!).

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

As we saw before: if we are not His children who are people of “integrity” and “uprightness” before Him, then we heading for destruction because of our perverseness, our moral crookedness.

The alternative is that perverseness, moral and spiritual crookedness – according to the Lord – WILL destroy us! In the Lord’s view: those who are not upright and people of integrity are morally and spiritually destroyed, morally and spiritually wrecked! This is not talking about a child of God losing their salvation, but being completely spiritually defeated! And having no walk with the Lord at all! This view will not be according to the common person, who will see the morally, and spiritually destroyed person as someone just like themselves. Just a normal person. The Lord, we need to understand, we need to get into our thinking, has His own view of us. And the reality is that according to Him most people are destroyed in their character. That most of His children are lukewarm and make Him sick to His stomach! (Revelation 3:15-16 KJV). Their hearts and minds are very far from Him. They do not understand Him and His ways! They are passionately against Him and His ways!

In the New Testament Paul describes this same thing as being “carnally minded”

Romans 8:6-7
6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

This is the danger of ‘going-with-the-flow’ around us. And unless we PURPOSE IN OUR MINDS – EACH DAY, to make certain that we ARE going to walk with Him that particular day, we too will be caught up in the rebellious ways of the world. We will find, through carelessness, that we are not able to resist the rebellious passions of the flesh.

The Lord warns us of loving the “the things of the world” which in 1 John 5 are the three sinful passions / lusts of the flesh. Note the Lord’s warning about ‘loving them’, and note the future, the lack of a future, for the world and the sinful lusts of the flesh! …

1 John 2:15-17
15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Choose sides wisely! And not just in your head, but in your heart, mind and soul! So that your whole life reflects clearly which side you are on!

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

004 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY (See Lessons 001 – 003)

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

II. UPRIGHTNESS

Psalms 15:2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart [INTEGRITY].

A. Definition

The Hebrew word for “upright”, “uprightness” is ‘yashar’ which means ‘straight’. In the KJV it is translated ‘right’ (54x), ‘upright’ (43x), ‘righteous’ (8x); ‘pleased’ (7x); ‘convenient’ (x3); ‘equity’, ‘just’, ‘meet’, ‘meetest’, ‘please’, ‘pleaseth’, ‘uprighty’, ‘uprightness’.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines ‘uprightness’ in its moral use as ‘honesty; integrity in principle or practice; conformity to rectitude and justice in social dealings.’

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

i.e. The ‘innocence’ (“integrity”) of the ‘straight’ (“upright”) shall guide them. The consistently obedient child of God is morally ‘innocent’, or morally ‘simple’, in their morally ‘straight’ walk with the Lord. It could also be said that the consistently obedient child of God is morally simple and straight in character. i.e. Not just in outward action but right down to their character they are upright, and people of integrity. This is what is to be aimed from in spiritual growth. This is what the Holy Spirit is attempting to lead every child of God to in their walk / life with Him.

B. The Lord’s High View Of Uprightness

As we previously saw how proud the Lord was of Job in the following Scripture, here the Lord describes Job as being blameless in character and behaviour before Him. And the Lord also uses the word, “upright”, to communicate His pleasure in Job’s morally ‘straight’ life before Him.

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Again, a familiar Scripture 1 Kings 9:4, where we looked at the challenge the Lord gave to king Solomon at the beginning of his reign over Israel. Where along with Integrity, Solomon is challenged with walking ‘uprightly’ before Him. These character virtues are very, very important to the Lord for the character of the man who would lead His chosen people. Solomon would need to be able to lead the Lord’s people to keep their focus on the Lord Himself, and not just on religious practice. And that would take an accurate witness before them. A witness who walked in “integrity of heart” and in “uprightness” before the Lord and before the Lord’s people. Who can calculate the value of such a witness in the Lord’s purposes?!

1 Kings 9:4  And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

In 1 Chronicles 29:17 King David worshipping the Lord acknowledges that he knows that the Lord has pleasure in His children’s moral uprightness. And knowing that the Lord sees the truth of his heart, claims that he worshipped the Lord in uprightness. i.e. David’s worship was pure – as the Lord required His children’s worship to be. Here we have more than the Lord’s approve in uprightness, but that the Lord has pleasure in uprightness! No wonder it so was important to king David that he was upright in heart before the Lord Whom he loved so much!

1 Chronicles 29:17  I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

The upright child of God will stand out in today’s world where there is less and less restrain in the indulgence of fleshly pleasure. This kind of child of God will stand out in the local church today! Where the Lord is sick to His stomach of His lukewarm children today…

Revelation 3:15-16
15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

In Revelation 3:13-22 the Lord gives His counsel to the Laodicean, last day’s church. And in verses 15-16 the Lord rebukes the spiritual state of His children! This is what today’s child of God is up against. Not just making sure that the wicked world around them does not drag them down in its wicked, fleshly ways. But to also not allow the wicked, fleshly ways of typical church folk to not dictate their spiritual walk either!

The lines are drawn! On which side do we live? On the Lord’s side of integrity and uprightness, or the world, carnal Christians, and lost church folk? Today’s child of God very often must be willing to walk alone with the Lord. There being little or no support and fellowship with others who will be led by the Holy Spirit into a walk of integrity and uprightness! Our Father is worthy of our living alone with Him in our spiritual lives if need be. The faithful child of God will find life, alone with the Lord, is far more blessed that in the company of many carnal fellow believers. Believers whose constant carnal company makes it impossible to walk in integrity and uprightness with the Lord.

This does not mean that we do not attend a Biblical, local church. It only means that we limit our fellowship time with those who will not turn from living in disobedience to their Father.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

003 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY

A. Definition (See Lesson 001)

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

B. The Lord’s High Value Of Integrity

The Lord’s high value of integrity cannot be overstated, or exaggerated, as we will see from the following Scriptures…

1. Example 1 – 2 (See Lesson 001-002)

Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

C. The Lord’s Spiritually Mature Children’s Value Of Integrity

With the Lord, having such a high value of His children’s integrity, we must surely find, in those children who are mature in their walk / life with their Father, also a very high value of their being found with integrity by their Father?

1. Job (See Lesson 002)

2. King David (See Lesson 002)

3. Solomon

Proverbs 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

The opposite of integrity is perverseness! The Hebrew word here ‘seleph’ means ‘crookedness’, ‘crooked dealing’. When we are not innocent (don’t have integrity) before the Lord we are ‘perverse’ (crooked, corrupted) before the Lord!

Proverbs 19:1  Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

‘Integrity’ and ‘perverseness’ are polar opposites. We are either the one or the other! There is no in between!

‘Moral innocence’ means to be ‘plain’ and ‘simple’ morally. Everything is either right or wrong. There are no gray areas between right and wrong. And with those of integrity there are no excuses made, nor sort for, nor are attempts made to evade the Lord’s know will. If it’s God’s will then it MUST be done! Even if there are times that God’s will seems to guarantee suffering, or that it will bring unhappiness to His child. The child of God who has integrity trusts their Father with their safety, and with their happiness when obeying Him. Even when obedience seems to guaranty the loss of these. As in the case of our New Testament example…

4. Mary

Godly Mary showed her integrity, when she yielded to the Lord so that she would be impregnated with baby Jesus by the Holy Spirit. This would surely have seemed to guaranty that she would be condemned for being pregnant outside of marriage! And just before her own marriage to Joseph! But her godly words were, “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” i.e. ‘Lord, I’m yours to use in your purposes, and I trust you with my safety, and I trust you with my future happiness.’

Is our Father not worthy of such integrity in His children’s personal responses to Him?! Even if our integrity with our Father may bring hardship into our lives for the short time that we are still in this world? And before we go Home to be with the Lord in the eternal glory and comfort of Heaven?

To God’s experienced child, by the Holy Spirit, they know that any sufferings in this life cannot be compared to the glory of the eternal life with the Lord in Heaven…

Romans 8:16-18
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18  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.

A consistent, innocent (integrity) walk with the Lord WILL produce this type of godly hope in a child of God. This child of God’s faith will grow, and so will their hope…

Hebrews 6:18-19
18  That …, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

In our unstable world, in our breaking world, all need the solid hope that only Almighty God can give. And only with the child of God with integrity is that possible! We CAN each get to be a person of integrity! Little by little each day of committing to walk honestly with the Lord. Not letting failures stop us going after this godly goal of becoming a person of integrity before the Lord. Always getting up again straight away and loving the Lord by putting failures behind us immediately.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

002 Introducing The Virtue Of Integrity

BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

_____

I. INTEGRITY

A. Definition

There are two Hebrew words translated “integrity” in the Old Testament; ‘tome’ which means ‘complete’ or morally ‘innocence’; and ‘toom-maw’ which means ‘innocence’. (From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries).

Read 1 Kings 9:2-7 KJV.

A person is not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are casual towards sin. They are not ‘innocent’ before the Lord if they are careless, and casual, in their attitude towards the Lord Himself. The mature ‘innocent’ person is the one whose mind is made up that sin is not an option. Doing what they know offends the Lord is not an option!

B. The Lord’s High Value Of Integrity

The Lord’s high value of integrity cannot be overstated, or exaggerated, as we will see from the following Scriptures…

1. Example 1 (See Lesson 001)

2. Example 2

Do you recall how the Lord boasted of His servant Job? Can you or I comprehend just what an incomprehensible compliment that is?! Almighty God, holy and unchanging, boasting of His pleasure in someone?!

Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

What were the character qualities that the Lord boasted of that He found in Job? “Perfect” (mature, complete), “upright” (‘straight’, to be considered next…), “one that feareth God”, “escheweth (turn from) evil”. And then special mention of, after all that Job had been through, that he still held firm to his “integrity”! It should not surprise us, to again, find “integrity” and “being upright” in a short list of virtues that the Lord boasts of finding a favourite servant.

The LORD used satan to put His faithful servant through a trial of fire to advance him in his walk with Himself. And because of his integrity, Job learned the hard learnt lesson and grew in his walk with the LORD. And so it is recorded, Job 42:12-16  “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.  13  He had also seven sons and three daughters.  14  And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.  15  And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.  16  After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations”. As the LORD planned, Job grew to be a greater witness to the one true God!

Surely it is clear that the Lord’s value of finding the virtue of moral innocence (integrity) in His children is supremely high! And it is surely because when ‘moral innocence’ is in one’s character, then their personal response to the Lord when He reaches out to them, and when He commands them through His Word, assures Him that He will receive the pure, unadulterated response that He, Holy, Almighty God, requires!

C. The Lord’s Spiritually Mature Children’s Value Of Integrity

With the Lord, having such a high value of His children’s integrity, we must surely find, in those children who are mature in their walk / life with their Father, also a very high value of their being found with integrity by their Father?

1. Job

Job 31:6  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

2. King David

Psalms 7:8  The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Psalms 25:21  Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

Psalms 26:1  A Psalm of David. Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

Psalms 41:12  And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…