Obedience To The Faith, The Objective of Real Ministry

Romans 1:1-1:8
The difficulty of a family is that we bear our infirmities together. Our difficulties are the most sacred ground on earth – it is where we need to focus our need and labor for growth. It is our ministry.
PRACTICAL PRAYING FOR REACHING YOUR FAMILY
1) Romans 1:5 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for
obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name.”
(a) God will be glorified by our laying hold of His deposit in us. Jesus
Christ described this in Matthew 25:15 as giving talents to every man
according to his “several” ability. An individual, distinct gift.
(b) The clear end of apostleship, the clear ministry objective, is for
the obedience to the faith. Our ministry should be building obedience to
the faith, NOT building a ministry empire. We cannot minister to “all
nations” until we have our own house in order.
(c) Did you know that each one of us has a special, particular call to a
field of service for Christ? Have you recognized it yet? Do you know
your call? Seek it out and stir it up!
(d) Do you have a family? This is your first call of ministry.
Singleness allows for other, and many times more broader ministry. The
Apostle Paul sent single guy’s (Timothy and Titus) to appoint elders in the local assembly all over the Roman empire. What was the requirement he gave them in appointing those elders? They had to be able to rule their own house well. If their family was not in order, they were disallowed from ministry leadership in the local church.
(e) Do you have a yearning burden for ministry to your family? It can only be accomplished through the power given of the Holy Spirit. Pray without ceasing. How do we reach the harvest of souls, beginning with our own children? What did Jesus say? Matthew 938 “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” PRAY! Connect to the Power of ministry through prayer.
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE
To be improved ministers at home, talk with your wife and then pray with her, preparing to meet the family problems that will surely come. And pray for those occasions where you may intersect each family member with the Gospel. Each child will have specific incidents in life that will give occasion to times of spiritual ministry for you as parents. Pray specifically for those times. Because our children’s souls are hanging in the balance, pray for wisdom to reach their heart in those places in which God is obviously trying to get their attention. I like to call them ‘family incidents.’ Major or minor points of conflict that, if you are alert, could produce much fruit from the time you invest in dealing with the problem. Precious time invested through the Spirit may take many late hours of laboring love with those ‘family incidents,’ but this is where the battle is won. You know your children and their needs, but God knows them even better. We need to seriously pray for those points of specific incidents so that our ministry to our children will deepen. Jesus would get away and pray all night for His ministry. Can you imagine that? We need times of quiet with our wives to talk and pray for those specific incidents where the souls of our children may be reached with Christ’s truth.
WE NEED A LONGING
2) Romans 1:11 “…long to impart unto you some spiritual gift to the end ye may be established.”
(a) This is our ministry objective. A longing to impart in Christ a spiritual gift to the end that we are established. Not to bring glory to ourselves!
How does this take place?
(b) In the Spirit, NOT in the flesh! (Romans 19)
WE NEED TO BE COMFORTED
3) Romans 1:12 “That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”
(a) This is the reason for assembling together in churches and fellowships! Comfort by mutual faith! There is a fellowship in the precious Gospel, not in a dominance of the pulpit.
(b) If we minister to our children in the Spirit, we will give them comfort in Christ.
MINISTER IN THE GOSPEL TO MAN’S SPIRIT, NOT THE FLESH
4) Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son,…
(a) TEMPTATION We sometimes want to win our children’s heart and “comfort”
them by using just a little pacification of the flesh. Just a little at first, then it grows until we are caught with the feeling that we don’t want them to think that we don’t love them, so we concede what we know is wrong. They beg with the “can’t I have…everyone else has” and we concede.
(b) We have heard before, “Pick your battles and choose the most important ones, and don’t struggle with those smaller things.” Don’t pick your battles, WIN every battle for Jesus Christ in order to win that true comfort of mutual faith. Ministry in Christ is truth transforming lives with comfort through the Scriptures.
(c) Discipline can ALWAYS end with this comfort! How? Comfort comes from the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, through the transforming truth of Holy Scripture.
(d) Objective ministry in children is the effectual deposit of obedience to the faith. Without this obedience to the faith, your children will be lost for this is what salvation entails.
TATTOO STORY
Maybe some of you have heard this story of mine before, but I will repeat it for a good illustration of ministering to the flesh versus the spirit. When my son Daniel was three, he received a ‘Cracker-jack’ box. I saw it and began to work Dan up into excitement about the ’secret prize’ that I remembered always searching for when I was a boy. So, I got his level of anticipation raised, and his desire to get that ’secret prize’ became real. So, together we dug that prize out of the cracker-jack box, and lo and behold, it was a kids tattoo packet, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and all. Well, I remembered my childhood fleshly joy when my brother and I got kids tattoos and pasted them all over our arms, so I took the pack and told little Dan, ‘wow, just watch this, we can have cool tattoos!’ Together, we pasted those tattoos all over Daniel’s arms (of course, dad was too old for mickey mouse!). Then, after enjoying such an accomplishment, my wife asked me to run to the grocery store for her, so Daniel and I hopped in the car and went to the store. Well, I did not realize what great spiritual lesson lay ahead at that store, but while standing in one of the isles, a big, burly sailor man, came walking up to Daniel. Now that I think of it, who knows who that man was for I had never seen him before, nor since. For all I know, he could have been an angel of God. But this crusty, tattooed, sleeveless man marched up to my son Daniel and began to talk directly to him. Not even looking at me, he looked straight into my son’s eyes and said, ’son, don’t you know what the Scripture says? The Scripture says, Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:28 ). ‘Son,’ he said, ‘tattoos are the way of death. You need to fear the Lord and depart from evil, and you will have life.’ And I thought, ‘whoa!’ This weather beaten, tattooed, and crusty-faced sailor is speaking from experience. And I thought, Lord, what have I done in encouraging the flesh of my son. The flesh will die. It’s end is the way of death. On the way home from the grocery, I prayed how I could carefully withdrawal all the excitement I had pumped into the ‘fun’ of tattoos, and impart to Daniel the spiritual understanding and excitement of wanting to obey the Lord. I told him that daddy was wrong, and had not obeyed God’s Word about tattoos, so I asked him to forgive me. Then I began to talk to Dan about how great God is and how good His Word the Bible is, and why we should obey it always. Then I said, ’so Dan, let’s wash those tattoos off and obey Jesus!’ And we got home, and he washed off those tattoos just as joyfully with me as when I had helped him put them on. The victory had been won, through ministry to his spirit, in the Gospel, and the flesh had been put to death. What a joy that was! And I began to learn that that is how we must reach our children’s souls for Christ.
YOUTH GROUPS
There may be some youth groups that have leadership which are truly seeking to serve the Lord, but the “youth group” does not generally stir up anything but gratification of the flesh. I know, I used to be a youth group director. At some point, there is always an effort to use ‘fun’ to try and ‘reach’ teens for Christ. You cannot use the gratification of the flesh to reach your children for Christ! It won’t happen. You cannot use the flesh to reach the spirit. The flesh will not be saved! These bones will be thrown into the ground, or else transformed at Christ’s return (instant death and resurrection). Your flesh will not see God! (1 Corinthians 15:50)
MINISTRY IS ONE-DIMENSIONAL
1) We should care enough about our ministry to our children so that they enjoy comfort through the Spirit towards the obedience of Jesus Christ! We cannot unless we ourselves are comforted in Christ. Connection to God is one dimensional. It is a personal, and individual salvation and growth in sanctification.
(a) Remember the woman at the well (John 4:6-42)? She connected to God in the comfort she received from the man “who knew everything I had ever done.” She in turn, reached her fellow townspeople, but some didn’t believe until after hearing him themselves, in a personal connection.
I connect to God personally and am comforted. Then I may reach someone so that their heart also connects to God and receives comfort in the faith.
(b) The one-dimensional ministry of obedience to the faith is found right here at home. It runs from faith, to faith. We cannot teach others to walk by faith until we teach our own children to. And we cannot teach our children how to walk by faith until we begin to walk by faith. From faith, to faith. (Romans 1:17)
Copyright 1999, Gary L. Cox. No part of this sermon may be reprinted for charge or sale. All rights reserved. To receive a copy of the audio tape email webmaster@wcfs.edu or write or call
Walkersville Christian Fellowship
4 West Main Street
Thurmont, MD 21788-1824
ph 301-271-0123
web http//www.wcfs.edu/wcf

Romans 1:1-1:8

The difficulty of a family is that we bear our infirmities together. Our difficulties are the most sacred ground on earth – it is where we need to focus our need and labor for growth. It is our ministry.

PRACTICAL PRAYING FOR REACHING YOUR FAMILY

1) Romans 1:5 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for

obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name.”

(a) God will be glorified by our laying hold of His deposit in us. Jesus

Christ described this in Matthew 25:15 as giving talents to every man

according to his “several” ability. An individual, distinct gift.

(b) The clear end of apostleship, the clear ministry objective, is for

the obedience to the faith. Our ministry should be building obedience to

the faith, NOT building a ministry empire. We cannot minister to “all

nations” until we have our own house in order.

(c) Did you know that each one of us has a special, particular call to a

field of service for Christ? Have you recognized it yet? Do you know

your call? Seek it out and stir it up!

(d) Do you have a family? This is your first call of ministry.

Singleness allows for other, and many times more broader ministry. The

Apostle Paul sent single guy’s (Timothy and Titus) to appoint elders in the local assembly all over the Roman empire. What was the requirement he gave them in appointing those elders? They had to be able to rule their own house well. If their family was not in order, they were disallowed from ministry leadership in the local church.

(e) Do you have a yearning burden for ministry to your family? It can only be accomplished through the power given of the Holy Spirit. Pray without ceasing. How do we reach the harvest of souls, beginning with our own children? What did Jesus say? Matthew 938 “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” PRAY! Connect to the Power of ministry through prayer.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

To be improved ministers at home, talk with your wife and then pray with her, preparing to meet the family problems that will surely come. And pray for those occasions where you may intersect each family member with the Gospel. Each child will have specific incidents in life that will give occasion to times of spiritual ministry for you as parents. Pray specifically for those times. Because our children’s souls are hanging in the balance, pray for wisdom to reach their heart in those places in which God is obviously trying to get their attention. I like to call them ‘family incidents.’ Major or minor points of conflict that, if you are alert, could produce much fruit from the time you invest in dealing with the problem. Precious time invested through the Spirit may take many late hours of laboring love with those ‘family incidents,’ but this is where the battle is won. You know your children and their needs, but God knows them even better. We need to seriously pray for those points of specific incidents so that our ministry to our children will deepen. Jesus would get away and pray all night for His ministry. Can you imagine that? We need times of quiet with our wives to talk and pray for those specific incidents where the souls of our children may be reached with Christ’s truth.

WE NEED A LONGING

2) Romans 1:11 “…long to impart unto you some spiritual gift to the end ye may be established.”

(a) This is our ministry objective. A longing to impart in Christ a spiritual gift to the end that we are established. Not to bring glory to ourselves!

How does this take place?

(b) In the Spirit, NOT in the flesh! (Romans 19)

WE NEED TO BE COMFORTED

3) Romans 1:12 “That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

(a) This is the reason for assembling together in churches and fellowships! Comfort by mutual faith! There is a fellowship in the precious Gospel, not in a dominance of the pulpit.

(b) If we minister to our children in the Spirit, we will give them comfort in Christ.

MINISTER IN THE GOSPEL TO MAN’S SPIRIT, NOT THE FLESH

4) Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son,…

(a) TEMPTATION We sometimes want to win our children’s heart and “comfort”

them by using just a little pacification of the flesh. Just a little at first, then it grows until we are caught with the feeling that we don’t want them to think that we don’t love them, so we concede what we know is wrong. They beg with the “can’t I have…everyone else has” and we concede.

(b) We have heard before, “Pick your battles and choose the most important ones, and don’t struggle with those smaller things.” Don’t pick your battles, WIN every battle for Jesus Christ in order to win that true comfort of mutual faith. Ministry in Christ is truth transforming lives with comfort through the Scriptures.

(c) Discipline can ALWAYS end with this comfort! How? Comfort comes from the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, through the transforming truth of Holy Scripture.

(d) Objective ministry in children is the effectual deposit of obedience to the faith. Without this obedience to the faith, your children will be lost for this is what salvation entails.

TATTOO STORY

Maybe some of you have heard this story of mine before, but I will repeat it for a good illustration of ministering to the flesh versus the spirit. When my son Daniel was three, he received a ‘Cracker-jack’ box. I saw it and began to work Dan up into excitement about the ’secret prize’ that I remembered always searching for when I was a boy. So, I got his level of anticipation raised, and his desire to get that ’secret prize’ became real. So, together we dug that prize out of the cracker-jack box, and lo and behold, it was a kids tattoo packet, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and all. Well, I remembered my childhood fleshly joy when my brother and I got kids tattoos and pasted them all over our arms, so I took the pack and told little Dan, ‘wow, just watch this, we can have cool tattoos!’ Together, we pasted those tattoos all over Daniel’s arms (of course, dad was too old for mickey mouse!). Then, after enjoying such an accomplishment, my wife asked me to run to the grocery store for her, so Daniel and I hopped in the car and went to the store. Well, I did not realize what great spiritual lesson lay ahead at that store, but while standing in one of the isles, a big, burly sailor man, came walking up to Daniel. Now that I think of it, who knows who that man was for I had never seen him before, nor since. For all I know, he could have been an angel of God. But this crusty, tattooed, sleeveless man marched up to my son Daniel and began to talk directly to him. Not even looking at me, he looked straight into my son’s eyes and said, ’son, don’t you know what the Scripture says? The Scripture says, Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:28 ). ‘Son,’ he said, ‘tattoos are the way of death. You need to fear the Lord and depart from evil, and you will have life.’ And I thought, ‘whoa!’ This weather beaten, tattooed, and crusty-faced sailor is speaking from experience. And I thought, Lord, what have I done in encouraging the flesh of my son. The flesh will die. It’s end is the way of death. On the way home from the grocery, I prayed how I could carefully withdrawal all the excitement I had pumped into the ‘fun’ of tattoos, and impart to Daniel the spiritual understanding and excitement of wanting to obey the Lord. I told him that daddy was wrong, and had not obeyed God’s Word about tattoos, so I asked him to forgive me. Then I began to talk to Dan about how great God is and how good His Word the Bible is, and why we should obey it always. Then I said, ’so Dan, let’s wash those tattoos off and obey Jesus!’ And we got home, and he washed off those tattoos just as joyfully with me as when I had helped him put them on. The victory had been won, through ministry to his spirit, in the Gospel, and the flesh had been put to death. What a joy that was! And I began to learn that that is how we must reach our children’s souls for Christ.

YOUTH GROUPS

There may be some youth groups that have leadership which are truly seeking to serve the Lord, but the “youth group” does not generally stir up anything but gratification of the flesh. I know, I used to be a youth group director. At some point, there is always an effort to use ‘fun’ to try and ‘reach’ teens for Christ. You cannot use the gratification of the flesh to reach your children for Christ! It won’t happen. You cannot use the flesh to reach the spirit. The flesh will not be saved! These bones will be thrown into the ground, or else transformed at Christ’s return (instant death and resurrection). Your flesh will not see God! (1 Corinthians 15:50)

MINISTRY IS ONE-DIMENSIONAL

1) We should care enough about our ministry to our children so that they enjoy comfort through the Spirit towards the obedience of Jesus Christ! We cannot unless we ourselves are comforted in Christ. Connection to God is one dimensional. It is a personal, and individual salvation and growth in sanctification.

(a) Remember the woman at the well (John 4:6-42)? She connected to God in the comfort she received from the man “who knew everything I had ever done.” She in turn, reached her fellow townspeople, but some didn’t believe until after hearing him themselves, in a personal connection.

I connect to God personally and am comforted. Then I may reach someone so that their heart also connects to God and receives comfort in the faith.

(b) The one-dimensional ministry of obedience to the faith is found right here at home. It runs from faith, to faith. We cannot teach others to walk by faith until we teach our own children to. And we cannot teach our children how to walk by faith until we begin to walk by faith. From faith, to faith. (Romans 1:17)

Copyright 1999, Gary L. Cox. No part of this sermon may be reprinted for charge or sale. All rights reserved. To receive a copy of the audio tape email webmaster@wcfs.edu or write or call

Walkersville Christian Fellowship

4 West Main Street

Thurmont, MD 21788-1824

ph 301-271-0123

web http//www.wcfs.edu/wcf

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