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SERMON TOPIC: Our thought life - Part 2

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 5 July 2020

Topic Groups: THOUGHT LIFE, STRONGHOLDS

Sermon synopsis: Paul exhorts us to develop a Christian thought life. A Christian thought life, is the basis of a life of joy.

Phil 4:4-8. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
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SERMON OVERVIEW:

Our thought life Part 2.

Psalm 4:4

We are responsible for our thought life.

In Matthew we read how Jesus holds them responsible for their thoughts.

Matthew 9:4. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? (NIV)

And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Why are you harbouring evil thoughts in your hearts? (KJV)

You can’t stop the birds flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair. Chinese Proverb

We are responsible for our thought life.

Your thoughts are influenced by what you read, what you watch on TV, the company and conversation you keep and that includes social media.

These are things that you have control over.

Guard your thought life.

Proverbs 4:23. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:6-7.

Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Eat and drink! he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

Much has been made of man’s thought life in recent years and doctrines that have been based on modern phycology, have permeated the Church.

They have a twisted thread of truth, but instead of God been at the centre, it has at it’s core, man and his own efforts and energy.

The truth remains that you are not what you think you are, but you are what you think.

Our thoughts determine our behaviour.

Paul exhorts us to develop a Christian thought life.

A Christian thought life, is the basis of a life of joy.

Philippians 4:4-8.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.

Bible.Org on Philippians 4.

https:// bible.org/ seriespage/ lesson-25-christian-s-thought-life-philippians-48

What Paul is NOT teaching:

The power of positive thinking.

The Christian world has been infiltrated with the false teaching of “positive thinking,” popularized by Norman Vincent Peale and, with only slight variations, by Peale’s protege, Robert Schuller.

If you are at all familiar with the teachings of these men, you know that they are not Christian in any orthodox sense of the term, even though they both have been welcomed into evangelical circles.

Through their influence, the idea has crept into the American church that it is wrong ever to be negative or critical.

This has resulted in the loss of discernment.

A young woman once stopped attending the church I pastored in California because she said I was too negative. When I pressed her for specifics, she showed me my sermon outline from the previous week. Sure enough, I had to admit, my points were stated negatively rather than positively.

But I pointed out to her that I had taken the points verbatim from the biblical text. But that didn’t matter to her! And, of course, it didn’t occur to her that she was being critical of my preaching, or that Paul and Jesus were often both critical and negative. She believed that we must always be positive.

The positive thinking heresy has further spread through the so-called “Health and Wealth” or “Name it and Claim it” teaching, that whatever you confess positively by faith, God must do it.

This heresy attributes power to faith itself, and says that even if you are sick, you must not give a negative confession by admitting it, but must claim your healing by affirming, “I am well!”

Also a number of purportedly Christian sales companies or successful salesmen have utilized a form of this error through a sales motivational teaching called “positive mental attitude.” You’re never supposed to entertain negative thoughts. You’re supposed to use “positive self-talk,” have faith in yourself, and visualize yourself as successful and wealthy so that it will become a reality.

All of these errors are based on the heresy of Science of Mind, taught by Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Church of Religious Science, that your mind can create reality, that through thinking positively, you can do anything or achieve any success you want.

The variations mentioned above, though claiming to be Christian and appealing to Philippians 4:8 as support, are satanic in that they appeal to the flesh, promote self, and do not confront people with the need to be subject to the lordship of Christ.

(Dave Hunt deals with many of these errors in his two books,

The Seduction of Christianity and Beyond Seduction.)

The Walls of My Mind.

The old city of Jerusalem has eight main gates strategically placed in its walls.

These eight gates can be used to illustrate the eight things that Paul tells us to think about in Philippians 4:8.

Picture your mind as old Jerusalem, with the eight gates representing eight things we should meditate on. Only thoughts that fit the Philippians 4:8. are allowed to enter and roam the streets.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

8 Gates to the mind.

These are the 8 gates we need to guard our minds.

True Gate ~ Jaffa

Honorable Gate ~ Zion

Just Gate ~ Dung

Pure Gate ~ Golden

Lovely Gate ~ Lion’s

Commendable Gate ~ Herod’s

Excellent Gate ~ Damascus

Praiseworthy Gate ~ New

Jaffa Gate.

The name Jaffa Gate is currently used for both the historical Ottoman gate from 1538, and for the wide gap in the city wall adjacent to it to the south. The old gate has the shape of a medieval gate tower with an L-shaped entryway, which was secured at both ends (north and east) with heavy doors. The breach in the wall was created in 1898 by the Ottoman authorities in order to allow German emperor Wilhelm II to enter the city triumphally.

The breach and the ramp leading up to it are now allowing cars to access the Old City from the west.

Wikipedia

The Jaffa (Joppa) gate is the first gate you see when coming up to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Over the last 2000 years the gate has been destroyed and resurrected several times. The walls were rebuilt for the final time by the Turks in the late 1530’s.

The Jaffa gate is located on the western side of the old city wall, and is also known as David’s gate, named after King David.

It was traditionally the main entrance to the Old City and is named for the port city of Jaffa which faces this gate.

From the Jaffa gate, you can enter the Arab Market, or visit the King David Citadel or go to the Jewish Quarter via the Armenian Quarter.

Jaffa Gate – What is True.

An interesting True historical fact about the Jaffa Gate, is that the Ottoman authorities breached the Old City wall right next to Jaffa gate.

This breach was made in 1898 when Kaiser Wilhelm the Second made a pilgrimage to the Holy City accompanied by a huge entourage.

This was done so that the Kaiser could enter the Old City in style on his chariot, without having to disembark and enter the city on foot.

In 1917, British general Edmund Allenby entered the Old City through the Jaffa Gate, but got off his horse and went in on foot to show respect, desiring to avoid comparison with Kaiser Wilhelm II’s haughty entry.

Let’s connect the Jaffa Gate with the True Gate.

Ask yourself. Is this thought true? Am I thinking about something that is a lie? Is my meditation in accord with what is true? Only thoughts that are true are allowed to enter my ‘Jaffa Gate.’

David’s Psalm of repentance.

Psalm 51:6.

You desire truth in the inward parts.

Psalm119:30.

I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.

Jesus about the truth.

In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

Pilate about the truth.

What is Truth?

Oxford Dictionary. Truth: noun; that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

Children are growing up in a very uncertain world. Their questions are often met with confusing or vague replies.

Is there a God? Probably not.

Where did everything come from? The Big Bang triggered everything, before that we can’t say for sure.

How do I know what’s right and what’s wrong? There’s no absolute morality, so just do what feels good to you.

What happens when I die? Probably that’s the end, but no one knows for sure.

What is fake news and who decides what is true?

For a few hundred years The Bible was regarded as the truth and it was the foundation of law in the civilized world.

It's teachings revolutionized pagan kingdoms, bringing to an end cannibalism and practices like sati and infanticide and slavery.

In recent years though, you can be fined or fired from your employment or even go to jail for quoting certain parts of the Bible.

What is fake news and who decides what is true?

At one time not long ago you could ask a new mother if she had given birth to a boy or a girl, but nowadays you must wait until the child is 4 or 5 years old and then ask them if they want to be a boy or a girl, or perhaps both.

This is the so called truth propagated by the liberal media and politicians and backed by the social media giants who have elected themselves as the ones who can decide for us what is true and what is false and what we can say or not say. Isaiah 5:20.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Answers in Genesis.

Who defines moral truth?

Well, according to a recent survey, over half of American adults (58%) say you get to decide what’s right and wrong for yourself.

And it’s not just those outside the church who think this way, it’s prevalent even among those who attend evangelical churches, with 46% rejecting the idea of absolute moral truth.

According to the research, only 43% of professing born-again Christians believe in the existence of absolute truth! However, almost nine out of ten adults (85%) who do have a biblical worldview reject the idea that moral absolutes do not exist and that people must create their own moral standards.!

So, in the minds of Americans, where does “truth” come from?

The survey found that the most common notion is that God is the basis of truth—but it was a minority of only four out of ten adults (42%). Another four out of ten believe that either inner certainty (16%), scientific proof (15%), tradition (5%), or public consensus (4%) leads to knowing truth. The remaining two out of every ten adults said that either there is no such thing as truth (5%) or that they do not know the basis of truth (13%).

FOR THOSE WHO SAY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS TRUTH, DO THEY ACCEPT THEIR STATEMENT AS TRUTH?

Truth is what matters not opinions.

Is Truth an absolute, or can you create your own truth?

Is Truth an absolute, or can you create your own truth?

When sharing the Gospel with unbelievers, a common reply is “I believe such and such”.

This is creating your own reality, it is like saying that if I jump out of an airplane, I don’t have to take a parachute if I want to survive, I can take a hanky chief or a serviette. You can believe what you like, but I have my own belief, it’s a case of whatever works for you.

This is ludicrous, yet this is the reasoning of all too many.

Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life”

John 14:6.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

What is truth?

Jesus said.

John 8: 31-36.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

They answered him, We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free? Jesus replied, Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

In this modern age, been liberated, means to be in bondage to some kind of vice or sin.

The prison of lust and pleasures habits/addictions.

The word liberated means something totally opposite to the world.

Liberate: (Collins dictionary) Free from rigid social conventions especially in sexual behaviour.

So the person the world says is liberated, God says is in bondage.

Titus 3:3. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us..

Truth leads to acknowledging our sin.

The Truth is that we are sinners.

1 John 1:8.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God

We deceive ourselves by not acknowledging our sin.

1 John 1:6-10. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Think about things that are “True”.

We need the Holy Spirit to guide us into Truth.

John 16:13.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The Truth equips us and sanctifies us. (Sets us apart)

Ephesians 6:14.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.

John 17:17.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

God’s Word must be handled correctly.

Most false teachings use Scripture for validation.

However if one looks at context and does comparison with the rest of Scripture, it soon is evident that the doctrine is unsound.

2 Timothy 2:15.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Guard your heart against false teaching.

Envy and selfish ambition.

James 3:13-16.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

To harbour a thought, is to give it permission to stay, we all have to deal with wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accommodate them.

Titus charged to oppose “False Teachers”.

Titus 1:10-16.

For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group.They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach, and that for the sake of dishonest gain..

Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faithand will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.

In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.

God must be worshipped in truth not ignorance.

John 4:22-24.

You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

If you want to meet with God, he sets the terms.

Psalm 24:3-5.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his heart to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.

Where there is insincerity, dishonesty and deception, true worship is not possible.

I have met too many professing Christians who love to participate in emotionally charged worship, but are dishonest and lack integrity in their dealings with others.

We may be truly said to worship God, though we lack perfection; but we cannot be said to worship Him if we lack sincerity.

Stephen Charnock. (a English Puritan Presbyterian clergyman)


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