Making your life bullet proof!
Essential exercises to build a better body Part 3
Several years ago Officer Cardamon of the Erie police force was on the late night shift. He was sitting at an intersection when a car did not make a complete stop at a stop sign he was concerned at so late at night that the person driving was falling asleep at the wheel. He called to alert everyone he was in pursuit, turned on the lights and the siren.
The man driving the car pulled over, as officer Cardamon walked up to the drivers window he found himself face to face with 9mm pistol before he knew it two shots were fired one missed and one hit him in the chest the officer went down. The man had just robbed a local convenience store and thought officer Cardamon was on to him. To the man’s surprise in just a few seconds two shots rang out from the officer both going through the door of the car to hit his leg and arm. The man dropped his gun and surrendered. Officer Cardamon was bruised but OK 3/8” inch of Kevlar a fabric so dense that the bullet was stopped from piercing his skin.
Today’s essential is to bullet-proof our walk
We have talked about how we need to fight for our relationships and when we don’t have the strength to openly rely on him for that strength and we will win
Then we talked about the importance of truth and integrity and learning to lovingly communicate with each other, the truth and to always maintain our integrity even in the littlest things will keep our relationships strong and are the core to everything else being strong.
Today I want to define righteousness and the role it plays in healthy and bullet proofed relationships
But lets start again with Ephesians 6: 10-18
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere
On the Roman soldier they wore a vest made out of leather with metal plates sewn on to protect the soldier from blows of a sword or piercings of a spear. Without it the soldier was a dead man the closest thing we have to it today is a Kevlar vest.
This breastplate or body armor of God’s righteousness kept the soldier alive and will keep us alive today. Our two biggest adversaries to our become everything God has called us to be and our functioning as a fellowship of believers are the devil and our own flesh and wrapping ourselves in God’s righteousness defeats both of those easily.
Righteousness defined is virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting.
This is a challenge because what is rightness, correct thinking, feeling, and/or acting?
There are so many opinions of what that is and what that means.
Here is the challenge, do you believe the Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and is the Word of God?
If you don’t why don’t you?
The Bible has errors….my question is where are these errors there have been questions about the differing accounts in the Gospels but we are dealing with eye witnesses giving accounts from different points of view nothing that would steal the accuracy of scripture
Historical reliability – many things over the years have been pointed to as fallacy in scripture, King David and the Hittite people to name just two. Archeologist and historians were both convinced that these were myths only to discover them to be true after further archeological digs.
That being said righteousness is defined by what God says that it is in the Bible.
The first thing we have to understand about righteousness is that we can’t be righteous on our own God has got to do it in us and through us.
Romans 3:23 – 26
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Three important points
– We all have sinned
– We can not come into God’s presence and be made righteous apart from the grace (unmerited favor) and the blood price (redemption) of Christ
– His purity, righteousness justifies us before a holy God
In other words when we recognize we are sinners and accept that Christ paid the price for all of our sin on the cross we receive unmerited favor to become righteous because of him that is how we are righteous
But then living righteously is another thing.
Receiving God’s righteousness is our get out of hell free card but living righteously is the way we protect ourselves from failure and broken relationships and walk in the blessings of God.
Let’s look at the problems a lack of righteousness causes
2 Timothy 3:1-5
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
I want us to look at the life saving features of righteousness from this list of unrighteousness
If unrighteousness is… (with each item relate it to Body relationships)
- Only loving yourself and money then righteous living is laying down your life for others and being generous “we are to prefer one another” and always be willing to give recognizing that everything we have came from God.
- Is being boastful and proud then righteousness is being humble not a doormat but instead knowing who you are and submitting that to God and others to be a blessing
- Being disobedient to parents and authority then righteousness is learning to sit and listen to wisdom and want to gain understanding
- Scoffing at God and nothing being sacred then righteousness is being respectful of people, God and walking always in a way that reflects the love of Christ
- Being unloving and unforgiving then righteousness is never taking offense, always believing the best in your brothers and sisters in Christ and daily forgiving yourself and them in this they therefore will not slander, speak ill of each other
- Having no self-control then righteousness is having self control by not responding to people out of anger or one-upmanship, not hurting someone in return for their hurting you
- Hating what is good then righteousness is loving what is good. The Bible defines a good person as having these qualities
– heart felt devotion to God (Acts 13:2)
– willing obedience (John 14:15)
– accepts peoples imperfections but pushes them on to growth Acts 11:23,24 story of Barnabas encouraging
– enjoys seeing others use and grow in their gifts (most of Paul’s writings)
– generous with time and money Acts 4:36,37, 1 John 3:17
– devotes themselves to reaching the lost Acts 11:21-24
-recognizes the source of all human goodness is submitting to the Holy Spirit Galatians 5: 16,22
- Love pleasure rather than God then righteousness is loving God more than pleasure allow me to give you some signs if you are too busy to read your Bible, pray, come to church, serve, share then you are struggling with loving pleasure rather than God
- Act religious but reject the power then righteousness is having a real relationship with God and believing in the power that healing, prophecy, and all of the gifts of the spirit and character of God are needed.
We can’t maintain any of this apart from Christ. These are not going to hell or going to heaven rules these are the things that if we learn to live them make our lives better, more loving cause us to grow as believers and bullet-proof us from our own flesh and the enemy.
I know I stepped on some toes today but the point is these are all key points that will keep you alive in the Body of Christ and as your walk in them you will help to keep others alive as well.