Conforming to the Image of Christ (Week 8) – The means of Christian Zeal

My study notes for Sunday night Dec. 3rd. To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

Resource and main focus for this material: A Puritan Theology. Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones. Chapter 58

The means for Christian Zeal

2 Corinthians 9:1–2

[1] Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, [2] for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. (ESV)

Zeal – Our affections set ablaze against all things sinful and toward all things holy.

 

Why Christian Zeal is needed in my life

 

To keep me on my mission and purpose.

  • MY LIFE MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR HIM TO OTHERS.
  • Is my life really making a difference for the kingdom?

 

To keep the devil defeated in my life.  (It takes diligence and discipline because it is hard.  It is hard because we do have a real enemy.)

Satan’s strategy it to keep us Distracted and Dismayed

  • By temptation
  1. to pride – 1 Chron 21:1-8
  2. to materialism – John 2:15; James 5:1-7
  3. to immorality – 1 Cor 7:5
  4. to lie – Acts 5:3
  5. to discouragement – 1 Pet 5:6-10
  6. to be unforgiving – 2 Cor 2:10,11 etc.).
  • Promoting false teaching among believers – 1 John 4:1-4
  • Promoting anger, bitterness, and division – Eph.4:26,27; 2 Cor.2:5-11

 

Christian zeal is possible for all believers if…

 

We must desire it.

  • It will not just happen, nor can we do it on our own.  It is by and through Him that it is possible.  (THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!!!   NOT ME, BUT HIM!!!!)
  • I want to be different and live different.
  • We love Him, We depend on Him. We are devoted to Him.  WE SEEK AND ASK…DAILY.

 

We diligently give ourselves to the means appointed by God to sustain it.

 

Philippians 2:12-13 – A mysterious collaboration between the power of God and my efforts.

  • His power
  • My efforts, diligence, passion

 

The means to ignite and maintain Christian Zeal

Prayer

  • Zeal cannot be earned or bargained for, but must be given.
  • Samuel Ward – “Prayer and zeal are as water and ice, mutually producing each other.”
  • Luke 11:9-13 – [9] And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. [10] For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. [11] What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; [12] or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? [13] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (ESV)
  • James 4:2–4 – [2] You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. [3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. [4] You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (ESV)
  • Humble, willing, see the need (know we are lacking…spirit convicts then we ask)

 

The Word of God

The word fuels our zeal. (Keeps our zeal ablaze.)

Word feeds our passion and love for God which He graciously placed in our hearts.

  • Hearing – When the word is faithfully preached it is God who is speaking to our hearts.
  • Reading – Devotionally reading the Word of God.
    • What does this teach me about God
      How does it impact me
  • Meditation – Think on.   Our focus.

 

Faithful Attendance and Fellowship in God’s House

  • Hebrews 10:24-25 (coals laying close to one another)

Hebrews 10:19–25

[19] Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, [20] by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, [21] and since we have a great priest over the house of God, [22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (ESV)

 

Repentance and Resistance against Sin

Revelation 3:14–22 – (WE KEEP GOING BACK TO THE LUKEWARM CHURCH…

[14] “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. [15] “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! [16] So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. [17] For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. [18] I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. [19] Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. [20] Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. [21] The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. [22] He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (ESV)

 

2 Corinthians 7:10–11 (GODLY GRIEF BRINGS REPENTANCE

[10] For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. [11] For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. (ESV)

 

  • Refusing to let go of something the spirit is telling us to let go of…

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