7:00 p.m. CST
Texas Power Hour
w/Pastor Carolyn Sissom & Friends
The Gospel of Behaving
THE GOSPEL OF BEHAVING
Preached by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
May 1, 2018, The Year of Our Lord
“The gospel has two sides, the believing side and the behaving side.” A. M. Hunter
Romans 12: 1: “I urge you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship.”
In view of the attack by the mouth of the beast at the Correspondent’s Dinner against Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chapter 12 is again an On-Time Word of the Gospel of Behaving. As Christians we must consider this was an overt attack on her as a Christian woman. The attack was also against the Christian gospel as well as on the Gift of Life.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, I say unto you, Behold, your Lord will make His words in your mouth fire, and this people wood. The fire in your mouth shall devour them. (Jer. 5:14).
When Paul begins chapter 12 with the word “therefore” He reaches back to the great doctrines set before us in the first eight chapters. The apostle now will expound to us the kind of lives we ought to live in view of all we have in Christ. He calls those fantastic blessings “mercies” from God.
A review of the first eight chapters reveals our enormous privileges as Christians:
Therefore the Lord has every right to expect Christians to live on “higher ground” to make a greater sacrifice than did the O.T. saints.
The word ‘sacrifice” takes our minds to the O.T. ritual of offering dead animals to the Lord. In contrast, Paul urges the N.T. saint to regard himself as a believer-priest offering a living sacrifice to the Lord. What is the sacrifice? The believer’s own body (i.e. flesh). Why does Paul ask us to give our bodies to Jesus when we are now living in the enormous mercies and privileges as outlined above?
Why is the body the N.T. sacrifice rather than the believer’s spirit? In his Spirit, the Christian is ready to go all out for Christ. He bows in prayer repeatedly and affirms his desire to yield himself totally to Jesus. But then he doesn’t do it. Why not? His spirit is willing, but his flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).
If the Lord can get a man’s body, the rest of the man would easily go with it. So our unredeemed body is the N.T. believer’s sacrifice. Now it is obvious we can’t offer our bodies as dead sacrifices. That would be dumb. Dead bodies would be useless. To make them a living sacrifice, we have to use them for Christ and not for ourselves. By denying ourselves the privilege of using our bodies to please ourselves (do our own thing), and devoting them to the service of the Lord, we make the sacrifice Paul speaks of. Observe that he appeals to us to do this. Moses commanded Israelites to make their sacrifices, but Paul asked for ours. The only way it is acceptable to the Lord is for it to be a loving, voluntary sacrifice based on our love for Him. That’s why he reminds us of the mercies of God.
The only way to make a sacrifice holy is to dedicate it to the Lord. We do this by offering ourselves on the altar of daily life. The place where we live, work, and carry out the duties of living are our altar. When we make Jesus, Lord we submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading in the smallest details of life. Unlike the O.T. priest, N.T. believers do not go into a physical temple with our offering. We live in our temple (1 Cor. 6:19). We enjoy intimacy with Christ in the true sanctuary of our spirit.
The living sacrifice is seen in the way we pay our bills; speak to our spouse, and about out spouse; serve our employer; speak to our co-workers; discipline our children; and love our neighbor.
12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Paul now tells us how to make the sacrificial offering of our bodies to the Lord:
The world system rejects Christ and all Godliness. The Abrahamic and Davidic covenants establish that the earth is the Lord’s! It belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Jesus Christ. In one grand finished work, the cross of Jesus Christ destroyed the power of Satan and the first man, Adam! After Calvary, Christians are to give place to neither Satan nor Adam.
Col. 2:15 NIV: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
On that awful day when the true Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us, Jesus bruised the king of darkness. Like courageous Jael who put the hammer to the head of Sisera (Judg. 4: 18-21; 5: 24-27), Jesus mortally wounded our adversary at the cross. Iniquity came to an “end” (Ezek 21:27); literally it was “chopped off.” This word is used to denote the end or death of a person (Gen. 6:13).
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1 Jn. 3:8: He that commits sins is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
The day has come, the seventh day from Adam and the third day from Jesus (Hos. 6: 1-3: 2 Pet. 3:80. It is time to fully understand and appropriate the spoils of His eternal triumph!
The warfare is accomplished, but His Bride still experiences the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12). We stand complete in our victorious Captain, warding off any thought or vain imagination that tries to rise above that understanding (2 Cor. 10: 3-6; 2 Thess. 2:4).
The only way to overcome the mouth of the dragon is with the mouth of the Lord—a prophetic Church full of the living Word. The Greek word for “demon” is “daimon”, and it can be rendered as a “knowing one.” There are demonized intelligences sent forth to harass the elect. But we have been clothed upon with a higher intelligence—we have the Mind of Christ.
But the devil, like Goliath of old, still strides up and down the earth mouthing his obscenities. The dragon still has a mouth. He is like the chained lion in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress who is still able to roar. Men have given him incredible influence, but Satan is a spiritual terrorist, a tyrannical bully. His taunts and intimidations are aimed to handcuff the saints, keeping them in a defeated, defensive posture. The adversary wants to hold back every believer in the dark. (2 Cor. 4: 3-4) spiritually blind and deaf to the true identity in Christ as the seed of Abraham and David.
12:3: “For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment. God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Pride is a fundamental temptation of all believers. Vanity is the basis of all snobbery. Those going beyond their gift limit, get “big shot” notions and often feel called to “straighten out” their brethren—usually in doctrine and through discernment. The gift of Discernment is exercised through maturity and wisdom. In the infant stages, we want to shun the person manifesting demons. Then the next stage is to judge the person. Once the vessel operating in the gift comes into maturity, it is just clinical and not personal. We no longer take attacks from the enemy as personal.
As for our issues and pet doctrines, the person who is wise will not argue the scripture. There are some who do this for sport. If we are settled in what we believe, we will know why we believe what we believe and we won’t need to argue. Can it be found in the law, the Psalms and the prophets of the Old Testament? Did Jesus teach it? Is it part of the apostles’ doctrine in the Book of Acts? Does what you believe agree with the Pauline, Johannine, and general Epistles of the N.T.? Does your beliefs bring you into joy, peace and righteousness? This is the grace that will cause us to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought and have sound judgment.
12:4-6a: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them accordingly.”
This is the first mention of “Christ’s body,” in this letter. “Body truth,” as it is called was peculiar to Paul, since he was the one chosen to make it known. All of our body parts have different functions and tasks. Those who refuse to use their gifts to maintain the unity of believers on earth, fail to recognize the interdependence of the various parts of the body. Claiming great wisdom, they use their gifts to feed their own egos, and end up dividing those who should be working together for Jesus.
It is at this very point of differences of gifts that conceit and arrogance develop. That is why it is vital to see that the gifts have to do with faith (directed toward God) rather than knowledge (directed toward men). If we really have the Spirit of Christ
dwelling in us, He will seek to express Himself through us in some distinctive way. How he chooses to do it, is our particular gift.
12:6b-9: “If prophecy,prophecy according to the proportion of your faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching. Or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; and he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
This list is sometimes described as the seven ability gifts:
One of the greatest joys for a Christian is to discover his gift and use it for the glory of the Lord. I believe all who are operating in their gifts and callings will have joy unspeakable and full of glory. It is the fulfillment of destiny and purpose.
12: 9-13: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer; contributing to the needs of the saints , practicing hospitality.”
Let’s have no pretense when it comes to loving one another. Hate evil with a passion and cling to that which is good. Be affectionate towards one another as love between brothers demands, and delight in letting the other brother have the place of honor. Don’t get lazy when it comes to serving the Lord. Keep your spirit boiling with enthusiasm as you burn yourself out for Him. If you keep in mind what he has in store for you that hope will enable you to patiently ride out any trouble coming your way. Keep yourself in a constant state of prayer.
12:14-16: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.’
The early church set as they were in naturally suspicious or hostile communities, needed wise and cool heads. It takes two to keep the peace. The mature Christian must not be responsible for breaking the peace. Also, maturity will cause one to act rather than react. Our maturity is measured by how we handle the immaturity of others. If we are dealing with a hot head, nothing will be resolved if we respond in like manner.
Neither are we to become a doormat or victim. When we face abuse or mis-use, then we should confront the abuser in love telling them of their fault. If we do not address the issue, then we will push the anger down. Unresolved anger becomes a spirit of anger. We are still to bless that person and not curse them out of our anger.
12:17-21: “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry feed him and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Never means never. No matter what is done to us two wrongs don’t make a right. It is called spite. The golden rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you is respect. Yes, we are not to be walked upon as victims, but neither do we take revenge. If we can walk away from our adversary in peace and leave our peace with them, we will see the Lord bring the correction. That is just a fact. What he wants from us is that we do not lose our peace and be overcome by evil. The goodness of the Lord in us will overcome the evil.
That does not mean that our enemy will ever agree with us or be our friend. He might and he might not. Either way, we are to stay in peace.
Preached by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Scripture from Key Word Study Bible unless otherwise noted. I entered into the labors of Lovett’s Lights on Romans by: C. S. Lovett; Whose Right It Is by; Kelly Varner; F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary, by: Leslie Allen. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the view of those from whom I gleaned.
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In 1990, the call came to start a church. We officially incorporated. In retrospect, I now know that we were chosen to be a part of the ushering in of the Third Day Glory Church. At the time, I was preaching by vision and Spirit of Revelation. As in every move of God, we came under heavy persecutions. However, the Lord was more than faithful. He raised up dear Pastors, Prophets and Ministries to stand with us. Those great warriors continue to be a part of the Eldership of this ministry.
We had incredible visitations and mighty outpourings of the Glory of God in our meetings. Hindsight now reveals that without the persecution, we would never have dug in. Also, we had to be tested by persecution in order to overcome and be proven to produce fruit 30-60-100 fold.
In 1997, my husband’s company moved us to Houston, After a much needed rest and time to reflect on what had transpired in those 7-years in Baton Rouge, the Lord again directed me to start a new work here in Houston.
This came in along with the Golden Glory Revival. The Lord did not tell me that I would be a conduit of the Golden Glory, but that I was to prophesy it. I was preparing to teach on Gift of Miracles at a community Bible Study. Our friends, Barney and Joann Fuller, mailed me the book by Ruth Ward Heflin, Golden Glory. I read the book on a flight to Los Angeles. That night I awoke, sitting straight up in my bed. The room was filled with golden angels. They were all singing the song recorded by Candy Christmas, GLORY, GLORY, GLORY, THAT’S MY STORY.”
Prior to this visitation, the Lord spoke to me around November 2000, that wherever I went, I was to declare the Glory of God.
It seems that no matter where I preach in the Bible, I end up with only one message, the declaration of the Glory of God: Feast of Tabernacles, The Holy of Holies, the Mountain of the Last Days,The Overcomer, The Sons of God, The Kingdom of God, The Joseph Company, The Bride of Christ, The 144,000, The Remnant, Those who pass under the Rod, The Branch of the Lord, Those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes, Mt. Zion, New Jerusalem, etc. etc. All of this plus more tell only one story, “GLORY GLORY GLORY.
We are an apostolic ministry as well as prophetic. Our desire is to reveal Jesus Christ in the fulness of the Majesty of His Great power and Glory
“Until we all come in the unity of the faith, of the knowledge of the son of GOD, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of CHRIST.“
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor.
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