Conforming to the image of Christ – Christian Zeal (week 7)

My study notes for Sunday night Nov 5th. To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit

Sunday Night Discipleship

Week 7 – Christian Zeal

(Majority of material gathered from A Puritan Theology. Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones. Chapter 58)


  1. Complacency in the Christian life (week 6)
  2. Zeal in the Christian life.


Zeal – energy, excitement, passion for something.


Revelation 3:19 – [19] Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (ESV)

Isaiah 59:17     [17] He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. (ESV)

Psalm 69:9 – [9] For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. (ESV)

John 2:17 – [17] His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (ESV)

Titus 2:14 – [14] who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (ESV)

John Reynolds – 1716 – “an earnest desire and concern for all things pertaining to the glory of God and the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ among men.”

Samuel Ward – 1636 – “Zeal is like a varnish, which does not add color but gives gloss and luster to whatever it is applied to.”  “In plain English, zeal is nothing but heat… It is a spiritual heat wrought in the heart of man by the Holy Ghost, improving the good affections of love, hope, ant etc., for the best service and furtherance of God’s glory.”


Questions we need to answer:

  1. What is keeping us from being zealous for the Lord?
  • In our worship
  • In our witness
  1. Where in history did we/the church decide that we cannot show a passion and excitement for the Lord?
  • There is a balance. We need to stay away from the extremes (in most things)
  • A knowledge driven life
  • An emotional driven life
  1. What did the ancient church look like compared to us?
  • Come and see or Go and tell
  • An experience or a mission
  • All about you/us or all about Him.
  1. What do we look like today compared to the early church?
  • My agenda, My life
  • His agenda, His glory


(False Zeal and True Zeal material gather from  A Puritan Theology. Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones. Chapter 58)

False Zeal (Samuel Ward)

  1. Counterfeit zeal
  • 2 Kings 10:16 – Jehu and his hypocritical zeal
  1. Blind Zeal
  • Romans 10:2 – pretending to honor God without truly knowing Him.
  • Paul had blind zeal before his conversion.
  1. Turbulent Zeal
  • James 3:14 – bitter envy or jealousy


True Zeal

  1. God-Centered Zeal
  • Titus 2:14 – Works….all for God’s glory.
  • Zeal for God = Love of God
  1. Biblical Zeal
  • Romans 10:2 – according to knowledge
  • True zeal is grounded in the Word of God as the only rule of faith and life.
  • Pharisees were zealous…yet.
  1. Self-reforming Zeal
  • We first need to cast stones at our self, pluck the beam from our own eye.
  • Let us examine ourselves.
  1. Active Zeal


  • Phil 2:13
  • 2 Cor. 12:9-10
  1. Consistent Zeal
  • Gal. 3:3 – Start hot and stay hot.
  • Heb. 3:14 – Hold till the end
  1. Sweet and Gentle Zeal
  • Jonathan Edwards (1700’s) We must learn what it means to be a bold warrior for God from the Captain of all God’s armies: Jesus Christ. Christ boldly spoke against sin, hypocrisy, and false teaching.  Yet, when Christ was surrounded by enemies like roaring lions, He showed he strength not in the exercise  of any fiery passions; not in fierce and violent speeches, but in patience, meekness, love and forgiveness.
  • A burning flame of divine love

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