KEEPING THE SPIRITUAL FIRE BURNING
Study Text:— Gal 3: 1-3
– The Christian life should not only begin strong, but it should also finish strong .
– How many of you, after beginning the Christian life strong, are in danger of rusting out? 2Ti 4:7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
– You are not expected to shine less and less — Pr 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
– Negligence is the rust of the soul that corrodes through all her best resolves. RUST ( i.e vices /character failure) Destruction that takes very slow, gradual, imperceptible steps;
– We live in a corrosive world,
– It starts with what look like a fresh coat of paint. They don’t seem significant at the time.
– They may even seem advantageous. If not challenged, the rusty spiritual life begins to pit the metal of our character.
1. Characteristics of a burning believer / Christian (others may, I cannot.)
– Ps 27:4, Daniel 1: 8, He is a single minded man.
– He is man of one ambition, one book, covenant, devotion, endeavor, focus, goal, heart, purpose, one question (Gal 1: 10), one standard, resolution, vision and yearning.
– This is what kept Abraham, Jacob, Paul, Daniel, Enoch, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha, and the Apostles burning and going
2. Causes and Subtle signs of spiritual rust.
i). Guilt upon the conscience
– like rust upon iron, both defiles and consumes it, and at last eats out the very heart and substance of the metal.
ii). Bitterness, Malice, guile (deception), hypocrisy and falsehood (which makes you a permanent slave to yourself and Satan, he has no peace),jealousy and envy (unhappy when other are making progress), and all evil speaking (by lying, by slandering, by back-biting) 1Pe 2:1:
iii). Prayerlessness, worldliness, Hosea 7:8-9
iv). Pornography, lust, sensuality
v). Pride Pr 16:18, 21: 4, 6: 16-17—their position, their influence, their beauty, their spiritual gift and talents
v). Self-will, covetousness, idolatry (worshiping men and not God). They have lost the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (their understanding is darkened (Eph 4: 18)
Subtle signs of spiritual rust —
(a). Following Jesus afar off (Mt.26: 57-58 ) Hosea 7: 8-9 He is supposed to be separate, but he a cake not turned
– There is no checking up, there is sinful relaxation, insensitivity, careless and therefore enemies devour his strength. Gray hair: sign of decay and decline, little liberty, carelessness
(b) 2Tim 4: 10 Separation from and forsaking (a) Godly counsel (b) Godly influence (c) Godly reproves (d) Godly usefulness
(c) Num.11: 16, Hosea 8: 12— When you find your heart resenting, despising the word of God, spiritual rust has started
(d) Moving with wrong company and permitting little liberty
(e) Loss of any of the fruit of the
Spirit and any of the Christian virtues mentioned in the following references of the scriptures (Gal.5: 22-24, 2Pet. 1: 5-9)
(f). When fellowship, love, prayer are now mechanical
(g). When original Christian conviction is lost
(h) When Christian service is abandoned and despised
3. Case study of spiritual rust Christian / believer
– Some started well, but did not finish well — LOOK OUT FOR WHAT QUENCHED THE FIRE IN THEIR LIFE AND MINISTRY (Identify what you have allowed to corrode your spiritual life)
1. CAIN had spiritual rust (corroded by envy and jealousy)
– assassinate his brother Abel (beware of Character assassination in the kingdom)
2. REUBEN had spiritual rust
– Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the Excellency of dignity, and the Excellency of power: (Gen 49: 3-4)
3. EPHRAIM had spiritual rust
– Ephraim — the youngest of all the tribes, but the most blessed of the tribe. Gen.48:5, 8-20; Jer.31:9, 20
4. BALAAM had spiritual rust — (corroded by covetousness)
5. SAMSON had spiritual rust
– Samson means little sun. He supposed to be a shining light /sun. He shook himself, but the power was gone. Samson was asleep when he got his hair cut!
6. SOLOMON had spiritual rust
– When SOLOMON had a vision, he was the wisest man in the world. When Solomon lost his vision, he could not control his own evil passions for strange women.
7. SAUL the 1st king of Israel had spiritual rust
– Saul slowly over a period of time developed wrong attitudes and then his bad behavior followed
8. UZZIAH THE KING had spiritual rust
– When he had a vision, he followed hard after God. When he lost his vision, he was ruined by the greatness of his wealth.
DAVID DID NOT GO TO BATTLE, 2 Samuel 11:1, David should have been in active duty, but while he was A.W.O.L., absent without leave, (lazy choices) – corroded by lust and became a RUSTY Warrior.
Gehazi had spiritual rust — 2King 4:29, 2King 5: 25 —(corroded by covetousness)
Judas had spiritual rust —(corroded by covetousness) — When JUDAS had a vision, he cast out demons and performs miracles. When he lost his vision he sold his Lord for 30 pieces of silver.
Demas had spiritual rust —(corroded by WORLDLINESS) — When DEMAS had a vision, he was an effective minister of the gospel. When he lost his vision, he went back and became the judge of the Christians.
1Cor 10:11: Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
4. Consequence of a Rusty life — Rubbishes Ne 4:10
We become less trustworthy, less safe, less appealing, and less respected. (Isa 53 : 1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?)
5. Cure for burn out / rusty life (The only solution to inevitable decay)
Pr 25:4: — Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel