Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Destiny of the Christian: Salvation

Pastor Babij continues in his exposition of 1 Peter, using Scripture to show how the Christian’s standing as one chosen of God calls the Christian to behave as a sojourner and alien in this world. Pastor reminds Christians that “we are in the world but not of the world” and examines what the Scriptures teach concerning the Christian’s true destiny and spiritual state.

Full Transcript:

Take your Bibles and turn to 1 Peter. This epistle is a rich, theological message of the practical presentation of the Christian life. That is what we are going to get from this book as we go through it. It will teach us who we are and what we ought to do.

As we look at our text in 1 Peter 1:1-2, it says:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Let us pray. Lord, this morning as we look at this text, enable me to explain it and give a sense of what it says so that the people can use it in their lives. I pray that You would give us understanding and weld upon our hearts these truths because they are so important especially when it comes to days when we will be persecuted for our faith and ridiculed for it. I pray that You would enable us to understand and practice so that when those days come we would be ready, so that we would be armed to do what You want us to do so that glory is brought to Your Name. I pray this in Christ, Amen.

We already looked at the introduction of the epistle. Peter now belongs to Christ because He saved him and appointed him to his apostolic office and specifically commissioned him to speak by the authority given to him by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ having all authority in heaven and earth to bring the message to the world. Peter is now writing to a group of Christians who are living, as it were, in a pressure cooker. They are living in a region of Asia Minor, modern day Turkey, which is hostile to anyone connected to Jesus Christ.

Peter thought it was important for the recipients of his letter to understand three major areas that cover the whole book. The first area is to understand salvation itself. The second area is to understand that if a person is going to suffer persecution in a place, he or she will need to learn submission. They need to learn who to submit to and what that is going to look like. The last area honed in on is learning how to respond to the Lord and in the present environment when they are suffering for their faith. Peter addresses those things in the whole of the book. The purpose statement that Peter has in the book is to call persecuted Christians to live a holy life as children of God and citizens of heaven, pointing them to the example of Christ and to their future hope. Peter writes describing who his readers are as to their literal status and to who they are in their spiritual status. He wants his readers to see themselves correctly. Sometimes we do not see ourselves as Christians correctly and the Word of God has to adjust our thinking even about ourselves. He wants us to see ourselves as God sees us.

He calls his readers elect foreigners and exalts them far above the natives with whom they live. They are God’s chosen people while the people among whom they are scattered are nothing of the kind. God’s election has made us foreigners and aliens not just to local regions, but also to the whole world anywhere we would go. A Christian would feel that way to some extent. But God raises His children to an exalted state and that is what He wants us to see. Before us we have an audience of Jews and Gentiles who are scattered. They were not a people but now they are. They are of course living as aliens, they lived in a hostile society, scattered and not in a place that was a united, protected community. They were without permanent residence and without civil protection. And here they were chosen, and that is a point that Peter is making in the beginning of the book.

In this book there is going to be a presentable outline that we can follow. It will be the destiny of the Christian, which is salvation in Hebrews 1. We are going to see in Hebrews 1:5 and then 9-10 that it says:

Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time… obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries.

And then in Hebrews 2:2 it says:

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.

Salvation is on the mind of the apostle. He wants the audience to understand what God has done concerning their salvation. The first thing he brings to their minds is the literal status of the chosen or elect, those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Because we are chosen by God, we have been called to a certain obligation in the world. We have been called to a certain mandate in the world, and that mandate includes several things. The first one is that we have been called to be aliens. If you will notice in Hebrews 1:1, it says:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens.

Aliens are people that are temporary residents that God has chosen. They soon quickly realize that they are visiting strangers on the earth. They are not home yet and we need to know that when we live our lives every day. They are socially marginalized people to some extent, even though we do not feel that a lot in the United States. But we should be ready for it in case it comes in greater measure than we are used to. Their faith in Christ found no social acceptance with those they dealt with. Like today in the United States, there is no social acceptance about Biblical Christianity. People do not really talk about it. We are pretty much secular in our society, but we still live with them, those who do know Christ.

We also have an alien nationality. An alien is a sojourner, a stranger. An alien is one who lives alongside others, but they are from a different place. The word is used to describe temporary residents, not permanent settlers in the land. Those who have a deep attachment to a higher allegiance and to another sphere, that is who we are.

A second thing is that we have been called to be citizens of another kingdom. Our mandate is to live according to a higher standard than the world, keeping in mind our alien nationality and our temporary residency. That should always be in our minds. Our higher allegiance is that the chosen’s higher citizenship is in heaven and we are only here for a short period of time to reach a world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without turning there, Philippians 3:20 says:

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not home and while we remain here, Christians are waiting to be fitted and transformed into our eternal state, which is our future. It also says in the next verse, 21:

Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

We then, an alien society living within a society and members of the Kingdom of God, but also aliens on the earth. What makes us so different? The first thing is that we are governed by the Word of the living God. We have the Bible that guides and directs us. It makes us different. The Word of God is transforming our minds so that we think differently because we are believers. Our minds are transformed by Scripture and we are different by that, as governed by the Word.

Secondly, we are different because we obey a higher authority. Our authority is God Himself. Peter says in 1 Peter 2:11:

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

In other words as aliens, our authority is to live as God wants us to live. We should know what that is if we are to live as God wants us to. Peter definitely addresses that in this epistle. We are different because we are in the world but not of the world. We are here but not of it. It is not our home, and it is temporary. We are given the ministry of reconciliation.

A third thing is that we are called to be ambassadors. If you notice in 1 Peter 1:1, it says:

To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

These people are scattered throughout all these regions in Asia Minor for one particular reason, that is because the Lord always scatters Christians to every place on the planet. This is so that we can be the witness to bring the gospel to those across the ocean. We Christians as aliens to this world have been called by Christ to bring the Word of God, the gospel, to a world that is steeped in spiritual darkness and in particular to our time, to our own unique postmodern culture that is populated by different groups. We have the baby boomers, those who are born between 1946 and 1964, like me. Then we have generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980. And then generation Y, the millennial generation, those born between 1981 to 2000. And then we have generation Z, those born from 2001 onward. Maybe they know something we do not, maybe this is the last generation and the Lord will come after this!

But in every one of those generations, there are unique characteristics and needs. But one thing they all need is the gospel of Christ. We need to bring it to them, so with our culture’s unique characteristics and needs, what they need more than anything else is Jesus Christ. Satan blinds their eyes to see that, but we know that. As aliens, we cannot keep our mouths shut about Christ. This is where the persecution begins. This is where we start getting mistreated and maligned and disregarded.

The one and only institution that has been mandated by God to bring the message of the gospel to the world is the church, the gathered people who are called out of darkness into light. In the church are found the followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus has entrusted His followers with His message of salvation by grace alone through Christ alone. Therefore, we are not merely chosen for heaven, we are chosen for earth. God did not take you out of here when you became a believer. But He left you here for a good reason, not only to become a mouth piece but to clean up your life by the power of the Spirit so you can be His example. Also, to open your mouth to others in your family and workplace and people who are you going to uniquely meet.

We need to bring the gospel to those people. We are mandated to do that. While we are here on earth, while we move through the earth, we are to demonstrate an alien lifestyle to the world with the goal to proclaim the gospel and to live out our ambassadorship as citizens of another realm of the kingdom of heaven.

God’s children are like Abraham of old, who was remember in the same situation. This is what Scriptures writes about Abraham. Look at what it says in Hebrews 11:9-10, 13:

By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Notice then what it says in Hebrews 11:16:

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

That is our outlook on life. Abraham is our father in the Old Testament and in many respects we are connected to him because he was justified by faith and we are justified by faith. But this was his lot. He saw a city of God but only by faith. We know we have eternal promises given to us by God but we hold on to them by faith. We know they are going to come true. We are just like him, aliens in a foreign land. We are sojourning and we confess that we are strangers and exiles on the earth. I want you to see that our understanding of election by God makes all the difference in our present condition, our outlook on life and our future. This brings me to the next thing that I was mentioning, which is that the destiny of a Christian is their spiritual status. We looked at the literal, earthly status. But what is their spiritual status? It really answers a question which asks what is the basis of being chosen by God? What is the source of our election and the purpose or goal of why we are chosen in the spiritual sense?

So the first thing that we see that Peter brings out is to give us the basis of God choosing us. Look in Hebrews 1:2 for the first thing he says, the basis of God choosing us:

According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

The next one is the sphere of God’s choosing. Let us move to the first one which would be the basis of God’s choosing, this is according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, who is definitely active in salvation. This means that election is not based on God’s foreknowledge of our faith. People will agree that God predestined some to be saved, but they will say that He does this by looking into the future and seeing who will believe Christ and who will not. And then based on the foreknowledge of that person’s faith, He will elect them. If they do not believe, He will not elect them. The reason people believe why some are saved and some are not, lies within the people themselves and not with God. All that God does in His predestination work is to give confirmation to the decision He knows people will make on their own. People believe that it is first man’s choice, with God’s choice following. But this is not what the Bible teaches.

God’s foreknowledge is not in any good that we have done or in any nobility, wisdom, power, or choice that we have. God’s foreknowledge is not in any of those things. This view actually destroys the meaning of foreknowledge. In the sovereignty of God, the only thing that can be foreknown is those that are predestined. This means that election must be prior to faith and prior to anybody believing. It is the Father who had the foreknowledge of who would believe. The Father elects and then gives His sheep to Jesus Christ, and those sheep come after hearing the gospel. All that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him. The foreknowledge is of persons, not facts. It is a special, personal, relational knowledge which is spoken of in this word, foreknowledge. God thought of certain people in a saving relationship to Him. In this sense, He knew them long ago.

What does foreknowledge mean? It is really from the Greek word, prognosis. It means to know beforehand. God’s foreknowledge is a lot more than knowing what will happen in the future. It includes His effective choice. For example this term is used in another passage of Scripture in reference to Jesus Christ. Ask yourself this, what does it mean that Christ was foreknown? It says in the Word of God in Acts 2:22-23:

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death..

The Father did not look into the future and see that Jesus would be a good candidate for Messiah and then chose Him. Jesus dying on the cross for sinners, all those who would receive Him as Lord and Savior, was determined completely before the foundation of the world. God sets the boundaries. God predetermined a love relationship with us before anything ever happened.

I love that passage of Scripture in Acts 17:26 which says:

He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.

Do you know that where you live and when you live has all been determined by God? It is no mistake that you are here today. That is God’s sovereignty. That is radically different from the mindset of the world. The only way we could ever have our minds changed on this matter is from God’s Word. But if you look at Scripture, like John 10:14, it says:

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.

There is that word connected to the word foreknowledge. Also in 2 Timothy 2:19, it says:

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

In other words, God knows His sheep and His sheep will live differently from the world. Both things go together. When the life of God is in your soul, you are different! When people know God, and I pray that He knows you, it is a personal knowledge that involves a saving, intimate, ongoing relationship. I was mentioning a few weeks ago in Romans 8:29, which says:

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.

This word to foreknow actually indicates God’s choice long before we had a universe and the world was created. God knew beforehand to whom He would extend the grace of salvation. That means that foreknowledge is best understood to mean, “those whom He along ago thought of in a saving relationship to Himself. The NLT expresses Romans 8:29 this way:

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

That is the first thing that we should know as aliens on this earth in the spiritual realm is the basis of our salvation. In other words, you had nothing to do with being saved. Yes you did come and repent and believe, but only after God did the work to draw you to Himself and make you alive in Christ. He opened your eyes to believe, kept back the power of your flesh, Satan and the worldly influence. You are going imperfectly forward, but you are heading to your eternal home which is of course with the Lord in heaven.

The second thing under this is the sphere of God’s choosing. This is the next in the spiritual status of a Christian while they live as aliens on the earth. If you notice the second thing in 1 Peter 1:2, it says:

According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure

The sphere of our election is by the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One that sets you apart. It is His job to do that. Another passage of Scripture that is similar is found in Romans 6:22, which says:

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

This particular word is very important and I want to highlight it here. Today there is some confusion about the teaching of sanctification. Let me point out this morning three dimensional features about Biblical sanctification. The first dimensional feature in the Christian’s existence on earth is the initial separation from sin. That is what Peter is talking about in verse two. It is the initial separation from sin unto God. And there are other sanctification that Peter will talk about in his epistle.

The second dimensional feature in the Christian’s existence on earth includes the hard work of growing in holiness throughout life. That is the Spirit of God’s responsibility as well as ours. Peter does not talk about this in verse two though.

The third dimensional feature in the Christian’s existence on earth is the final act of God when He makes His holy people complete and holy for eternity. That is the end result, that God is bringing us to Himself where we spend eternity with Him where we are finally going to be home.

The Holy Spirit sets you apart at salvation, which is positional sanctification. Before God you are set apart by the gospel. You are set apart now from your sin. That is the first dimension that the apostle Peter refers to in verse two, God’s gracious act of turning sinners into His people. We are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God by the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

Verse 2 is predominantly a reference to conversion, to the act of God saving His people. Peter mentions other dimensions in other passages of Scripture. Look at 1 Peter 1:14, it says:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance. but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

We are connected to God once we have the Spirit of God living in us. The task now is to make us holy and we are to cooperate with the Spirit of God to make that happen. The Holy Spirit sets us apart in salvation and makes us holy. Every true Christian will love Christ and will obey Him though not perfectly. In the gospel of John, it says in John 15:10:

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Brethren, there is no such thing as salvation without sanctification. If somebody says they believe but have no evidence in their life to convict them of being a Christian, there may be a good possibility that they just made a profession of faith but do not have the Spirit of God in them and are still unsaved. All real salvation will produce fruits of that salvation because it is the Holy Spirit of God that is doing it and starting it which will work in us.

Election leads one through salvation to a life of obedience. Some people might find that a little bit strange, but it is nonetheless true that we were effectively called and spiritually made holy and that this election leads to obedience, to God’s call, and to forgiveness under the new covenant.

The third feature is that God chooses us while we are still aliens and strangers on the earth. What was the purpose or goal? If you notice in 1 Peter 1:2, this is the goal:

To obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood.

The direction of the believer is that they have been chosen to obey Jesus Christ. It is part of the same package of conversion. If you notice this language, when does the Bible say that a person or group of people were sprinkled by blood? There are three references in Scripture, twice in the Levitical law and once outside of the law. But the only one that fits is found in Exodus 24:1-8, which only happened once in the Old Testament. Take your Bibles and turn there while I have the Scripture on the screen. This has to do with the obedience, which was under the law. If the people obeyed and kept the law, there was blessing, but if not there was cursing. The first section is Exodus 24:3:

Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!

It looks there like they were definitely willing to do what God said to do. Look down to Exodus 24:7:

hen he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”

The people were making a covenant of obedience with God and that covenant is always sealed with blood. That is the ratification of the covenant. What happened in this text, well if you look at Exodus 24:6, it says:

Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

Look ta Exodus 24:8:

So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

This is the picture that Peter brings up in 1 Peter 1:2, so when the blood was sprinkled on the altar, that was signifying God’s part of the covenant. When the blood was sprinkled on the people right here in the Old Testament, that signified the people’s part of the covenant. The blood consecrated to two parties involved in the covenant. Sprinkling blood on people signifies a dedication of obedience. When a believer is saved by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, which makes their past election a present reality, they are then brought into a covenant of obedience to God, sealed and ratified with the blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, we are not saved by our obedience, but by Christ’s obedience. Once we are saved by His obedience, it is our job to obey. That obedience to God comes very naturally when the Spirit of God is moving us in that direction.

When Christ shed His blood, He brought redeemed man and God into a covenant of obedience. Christ’s blood is applied or sprinkled or shed on us in a spiritual sense and by God’s Spirit, all the people will say, “We will obey You, Jesus” because that is what the Spirit of God is producing in our hearts.

Peter also in Acts 5:29-32 said when he was preaching:

We must obey God rather than men.The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.

One of the first moments of obedience that we have produced in our hearts by the Holy Spirit is to say yes to Jesus and to repent of our sin and believe in Him. That is the first step of obedience. Salvation and obedience are two sides of the new covenant. This means that believers are linked to the new covenant promises written in Jeremiah 31. Just to bring to your attention what that says, it says in verse 31:

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.

In other words, it says in that passage of Scripture that they broke the covenant and disobeyed it. The Lord says that He is going to have a new covenant, which is going to be different than the old one. Some of the promises of the new covenant from Jeremiah, is that everyone connected to the new covenant will have a new heart. It says in Jeremiah 24:7:

I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord.

A second thing is that everyone in the new covenant will have final forgiveness of sins. It says in Jeremiah 31:34:

I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

People who are in the new covenant also will have a permanent indwelling of the Spirit. We know from Romans that if you do not have the Spirit of God, you are not His. Everyone in the covenant will have the law inside their heart. It says in Jeremiah 31:33:

I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

This last one indicates that the new covenant people will obey God, not so much because they have to but because they want to. There is a difference between true obedience and the opposite where someone shows external obedience but internal reluctance. Kids do that all the time with their parents. We are talking about an attitude where people show that they are in a relationship with Jesus Christ. What God has done for them changes everything, their heart, and disposition, etc. When we come to the Lord’s Table we say to drink all of it because this is the blood of the covenant which was poured out for the many for the forgiveness of sins.

We are enabled to obey by the Holy Spirit and cannot obey on our own. We do not have the attitudes to do that, but we cooperate when the Spirit of God says to believe and be baptized. A believer’s response should be of love to the Lord and wanting to obey.

When the Holy Spirit says not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit tells us to study the Word and make ourselves workmen that are approved and rightly abiding by the Word of God, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says to be present and partake of the Lord’s Table as often as your church assembly does it, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says for husbands to be filled with the Spirit and to love their wives, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord first, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says for wives to be filled with the Spirit and to submit and respect their husbands as unto the Lord, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says to be thankful in everything, rejoice always and pray without ceasing, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says to abstain from all forms of sexual immorality, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says to young people flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, a believer responds with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

When the Holy Spirit says for children to obey their parents for this is right and good, if that child is a born again, blood-bought believer, then they should respond with, “I love you Lord, I want to obey.”

I do not need to continue on. When I say in these examples that the Spirit of God speaks to you, I mean through the Word. When He does, you are going to be Word-saturated. You are not just going to have a casual connection to God’s Word, but you will know it and what it says. You are going to know who you are in Christ and what God has done for you, as well as how to live every day. We are aliens living in this world, we are called to a certain mandate and obligation, and we ought to meet it.

You know what Peter is going to do? He is going to help us meet this mandate. The purpose and goal of God’s choosing, of His election, is obedience. Here is the bottom line, knowing who you are and what God has done should impress upon your mind that salvation has a divine origin to it. That means that suffering and life’s trials cannot shake it. Life’s trials cannot remove it, no matter how much a Christian suffers, even to the point that they become a martyr. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. No demon or person or situation can do it because Christians are to be assured of their salvation. They are to know that trials endured by faith, with a proper understanding of God’s eternal salvation will only bring a believer closer to their Lord, into a deeper abiding faith in God knowing that the work of God is a permanent situation and this world is a temporary situation.

We live on a disposable planet. Heaven and earth are going to pass away and there will be a new heaven and earth. How we live here though with the time God ordained for you to be here is very significant because you cannot live the way you want to, only the way God wants you to. I pray that God would change our minds this morning.

Look how this great salutation ends. This is only the introduction to the book. Look at the end of 1 Peter 1:2:

May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

When we get into the book, you will find out that we will deal with multicolored trials. Here he is saying that God’s grace, abundant provision, and peace provides protection in a multitude of ways. He starts out this book so that his readers will know they are special to God and that everything He does cannot be reversed. Nothing can change that truth. Through this passage, God says, “Now go and live your life as an alien in another society for me. Be a mouth piece for me and let your life reflect what you believe and you will be an influence to other people and will bring glory to God. And you will obey in all that.”

And all God’s people said, Amen! Let’s pray. Lord, thank You once again for Your Word. It is awesome to know these things are recorded for us. It is not a musty old book that does not mean anything. It is a book with great significance and it is more up to date than tomorrow’s newspaper. Lord, I thank You, that for those who are Your children, we do not have to be in the dark about any of it. We can know exactly what we are supposed to do. I pray that this morning if someone does not know You as their own Lord and Savior, I pray that You would give them that life that makes them obey and say yes to Christ. For us, Lord, who have been in the faith either for a short period of time or for five, ten years or longer, continue to make our heart soft and that we would be very sensitive to the moving of the Spirit of God as we hear Him speak through the Word of God to our hearts. I pray that we would be more obedience today than we were yesterday, more ready to do Your will and give ourselves over as a living sacrifice than we ever have before. I pray that You would take us and conform us to the image of Christ so You can use us. We know that we are not only called for heaven, but also for earth. Do Your work in our lives. I pray in Christ’s Name, Amen.