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Sermon No: 73361-Our thought life - Part 3



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SERMON TOPIC: Our thought life - Part 3

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 19 July 2020

Topic Groups: THOUGHT LIFE, STRONGHOLDS

Sermon synopsis: The Zion Gate - Whatever is reverent, honorable, worthy of respect.
That is the filter for what you allow in this gate. Satan loves to fill our thoughts with shameful things that we think no one else will know about. Ask yourself, is this thought honorable or noble, if not, don’t admit it into your mind.

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Our thought life Part 3.

We saw how Jesus holds us responsible for our 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.

The Walls of My Mind.

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

The eight gates of Jerusalem 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.

Only thoughts that fit the Philippians 4:8: are allowed to enter and roam the streets.

Let us look at the eight gates and connect them with the eight things we should meditate on.

8 Gates to the mind.

Philippians 4:8:

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.

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 – What is True.

We connected the Jaffa Gate with the Truth.

We looked at the question of “What is Truth.

Before pondering on something we must ask ourselves.

Is this thought true?

Am I thinking about something that is a lie?

Only the truth is allowed to enter my ‘Jaffa Gate.’

David’s Psalm of repentance.

Psalm 51:6.

You desire truth in the inward parts.

Psalm 119:30.

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

8 Gates to the mind.

Christian Quarter

Muslim Quarter

Armenian Quarter

Jewish Quarter

The Zion Gate.

Like the well-known Jaffa Gate, Zion Gate is also a Tafnit Gate, meaning entrance into the gate is only at a 90-degree angle.

These types of gates were built to make it harder for enemy attacks to come straight into the city. The idea behind these gates is that anyone coming through has to make a turn while entering the city, slowing down any enemy attack exposing them to the city's protectors.

The gate has a second floor equipped with defensive installations including a balcony above the entrance where boiling oil could be poured on the attacking enemy. Adjacent to the entrance is a small window in the stone wall with an arrow slit where guards could safely aim at their attackers.

The Zion Gate.

Looking at the defenses to the city that were built into these entrances, I want to ask is your mind guarded? We are at war and our weapons are powerful defensive weapons that are used to neutralize the attack of the enemy.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.

On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

After looking at these next 2 gates, I want to look at some defensive weaponry.

The gate is located on the south-west side of the old city.

Zion is the name of the hill where the Temple was built (Mount Zion). Later, it was one of the names of Jerusalem, and then extended to refer to the whole land of Israel.

Zion Gate, has many names, like "David's Gate," "The Jew's Gate," or the "Jewish Quarter Gate,"

This gate leads to the Armenian quarter, through which you can reach the Jewish Quarter

Today you can see its many battle scars from weapon fire.

This is why this gate is also named the “wounded” gate.

Think about “Noble” things.

Philippians 4:8.

Whatever is noble (honorable)

Noble: having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire such as

Generosity

Courage.

Honesty.

Integrity.

Honour.

Respect.

The Palmach was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine.

During the independence war, in May 1948, Palmach forces fought the Jordanians at Zion gate and managed to reach the Jewish quarter which was under siege, but had to retreat and eventually the quarter was evacuated.

The Zion Gate and the Jaffa Gate were closed from 1948 to 1967 when the Jordanians (Arabs) maintained control of the Old City. They closed the gates because they faced West Jerusalem, which was controlled by Israel, but it was one of the main gates used by the IDF to enter and liberate the Old City in 1967. Victories in battle give a soldier honors, so connecting Zion Gate with honor is a good fit.

[is] honorable, σεμνά (semna) Adjective - Nominative Neuter Plural Strong's Greek 4586: Venerable, honorable, grave, serious, dignified. From sebomai; venerable, i.e. Honorable.

Some instances where this word is used.

1 Timothy 3:8 & 11.

In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

Whatever is reverent, honorable, worthy of respect.

That is the filter for what you allow in this gate.

Satan loves to fill our thoughts with shameful things that we think no one else will know about.

Ask yourself, is this thought honorable or noble, if not, don’t admit it into your mind.

8 Gates to the mind.

These are the 8 gates that 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

3. Dung Gate – What is Just

Jewish Quarter

Christian Quarter

Muslim Quarter

Armenian Quarter

In the Southeast corner of the old city is the only gate that leads directly into the Jewish Quarter. While the other gates are named for great cities and wonderful ideas, this one is named for the residue from the Temple that was dumped in the nearby Valley of Hinnom, where it was burned. The tradition of dumping refuse from this gate continued into Roman times, and so the name Dung Gate stuck.

Think on what is just (Right)

[is] right, δίκαια (dikaia) Adjective - Nominative Neuter Plural Strong's Greek 1342: From dike; equitable; by implication, innocent, holy Matthew 1:19 Adj-NMS GRK: ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς δίκαιος ὢν καὶ NAS: being a righteous man and not wanting KJV: husband, being a just [man], and not

I found it interesting that this word is used of Joseph when he found out that his bride to be was pregnant. Most men would have wanted to publicly shame her, but he wanted to settle the matter quietly.

Think about “Just” things.

Isaiah 59:14–15.

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.

God’s Truth, His Word has been discarded by our modern day society, thrown aside as irrelevant and outdated.

This gate leads to the Western Wall, the Southern Wall Archaeological Park and the Temple Mount.

The Dung Gate is the place where the refuse of the old city was carried out to the Hinnom valley (Gehenna) where the fires never died and where the prevailing winds would carry odours away. When the First temple still existed in Jerusalem, all the garbage and ash from sacrifices were taken out through this gate.

Viewing the map of all the gates, you will notice that the dung gate is at the lowest point (southern most point)

In a Believers life it typifies the valley experience that can carry on for some time, but the result of that experience is evident at the Dung Gate.

This is where all the Garbage or Refuse is removed. Valley experiences are used by the Lord to clear away the rubbish, so that true faith, refined by the fire, can come forth and produce fruit.

Cleaning the clutter and rubbish in our lives is never easy but the benefits of this experience are far reaching.

Sometimes it takes a mountain.

Sometimes it takes a mountain Sometimes a troubled sea Sometimes it takes a desert To get a hold of me Your love is so much stronger Than whatever troubles me Sometimes it takes a mountain To trust You and believe

Gaither vocal band.

Do my thoughts reflect things that are just?

“JUST” is defined as based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

This qualification is a good checkpoint for my thoughts.

Are my thoughts vengeful and impulsive. There are thoughts we need to get rid of, in the same way that garbage was disposed of via this Dung gate.

Ephesians 4:31.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

2 Corinthians 7:1.

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

The Christian thought life.

A Christian Thought Life by Tom Schmidt.

The human mind is extraordinary. With it we form thoughts, opinions, morals, plans, dreams, and speech.

With it we direct actions, decisions, behaviors, and choices. All of us wish we were smarter.

All of us wish we had a better control over our mind. Sadly, there is something wrong with our minds and the way we use them.

For some, this manifests itself in mental illness (dementia, depression, or various other medical disorders).

For others, it is a frustration with the type of thoughts which are entertained (self-pity, bitterness, selfishness, jealousy).

A Christian Thought Life by Tom Schmidt.

Even for us who possess a “healthy mind,” we know that there is something wrong with our thought life.

We find ourselves running away with illogical anxieties; we get stuck in a mental obsession of past embarrassing moments or hurtful situations, endlessly replaying them in our head; we struggle not to think horrible thoughts about others (lust, covetous, self-righteous judging, etc.); we delude ourselves over the extreme greatness of our talents or weaknesses.

In reality, our minds are beautiful, but broken. No matter how much education we receive, or how much effort we exert, we find ourselves continually indulging in thoughts which are false, shameful, vain, or outright perverse.

Recognizing that things are not the way they ought to be, some advocate positive thinking as the solution.

The argument goes, ‘You just need to believe in yourself more;’ or ‘Think happy thoughts and you’ll be happy.’ This type of action may help momentarily, but really it just leads to disillusionment. It does not matter how highly you think of yourself if you end up continually using your mind to do what is evil.

It will not help to think ‘happy thoughts’ and pretend everything is ok when eventually the ugliness of your situation forces you to deal with reality that your life is a mess. What we really need is not positive thinking, but godly thinking.

Man is prone to deception.

Isaiah 55:8-9.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Clever arguments are presented to justify wrong attitudes and actions.

Often people will seek counsel to justify doing something that God’s Word and their conscience condemns.

Jeremiah 17:9.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Wrong desires open the door for deception.

2 Timothy 4:2-4.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.

Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

False teachers thrive because people do not want to hear the truth, they want to be told things that appeal to the flesh and the sinful nature.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works.

He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lieand so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

The mind always justifies what the heart embraces.

Wrong desires open the door for deception.

Romans 1:21-25 &28.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools .... They exchanged the truth about God for a lie..... Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

1. WE NEED THE MIND OF CHRIST THROUGH CONVERSION.

Ephesians 2:1-3.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

1 Corinthians 2:16.

Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Repentance (Metanoia)

Repentance is not reformation, which is self improvement, it is a change of mind, a work of regeneration that the Holy Spirit performs. This occurs when we are born again, however the work of renewal in our minds continues as we are sanctified and we have to choose what to set our minds on.

Romans 8:5-7. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

1. WE NEED THE MIND OF CHRIST THROUGH CONVERSION.

Colossians 3:1-5. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Putting the flesh to death requires starving and suffocating it and not allowing it breathing room in our minds.

2. WE MUST BLOCK OUT SOURCES FOR SINFUL THOUGHTS.

Pastor Kent Hughes, in his book, Disciplines of a Godly Man ([Crossway Books], p. 75) writes,

I am aware of the wise warnings against using words like ‘all,’ ‘every,’ and ‘always’ in what I say.

Absolutizing one’s pronouncements is dangerous. But I’m going to do it anyway. Here it is:

It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind.

This is always true of all Christians in every situation!

3. TAKE IN GOD’S WORD FROM EVERY SOURCE.

Read it daily. If you’re not a reader, listen to it on audio. You have no excuses for not saturating your mind with Scripture.

Kent Hughes also says, “You cannot be profoundly influenced by that which you do not know” (p. 77).

Memorize verses that relate to problems you struggle with. Unless the Word is in your heart, God cannot use it when you are tempted

EG: Jesus’ used the Word to fend off temptation: Matthew. 4:1-11. “It is written”

You do not need to read the newspaper every day, but you desperately need to read your Bible every day!

A renewed mind leads to transformation.

Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

God’s Word is needed to reveal our hearts.

Hebrews 4:12-13.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Sin is often not deliberately doing evil, but been deceived into trusting our own reasoning rather than God’s Word and His clear instructions.

Satan used this strategy on Eve successfully and then tried it on Jesus when tempting him during his 40 day fast.

The deception of self-reasoning.

2 Corinthians 11:2-4.

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

The spirit of this age is one of lawlessness, of trusting your own reasoning rather than submitting to God’s Word.

4. EXPOSE YOUR MIND TO THE TEACHING AND EXAMPLES OF THE GREAT CHRISTIANS.

Listen to and read sermons from godly men, sermons and commentaries of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, J. C. Ryle, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and other giants of the faith are available in print.

Read or listen to audio books on the biographies of these and other godly men and women.

Avoid most of the modern Christian best sellers, and spend your time reading the works that have stood the test of time. These men walked with God, and they will feed your soul.

5. SING & LISTEN TO WHOLESOME MUSIC.

Get recordings of the great songs, they will fill your mind with wholesome truth, especially those that are taken directly from Scripture.

Some of the great hymns have a history of sustaining God’s people down through the years, and they are doctrinally meaty.

The Wesley’s used hymns to teach theology to many who were illiterate. Much of the modern day songs, have lyrics that lack substance and that are not doctrinally balanced.

Acts 16:25.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Ephesians 5:18-20.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:16.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

5. SING & LISTEN TO WHOLESOME MUSIC.

Psalm 105:1-5. Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.

Guard your Thought Life.

Luke 6:45.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Proverbs 4:23.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

What have you got stored in your heart?

5. SING & LISTEN TO WHOLESOME MUSIC.

Sometimes it takes a mountain Sometimes a troubled sea Sometimes it takes a desert To get a hold of me Your love is so much stronger Than whatever troubles me Sometimes it takes a mountain To trust You and believe

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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