"CHILDREN OF GOD."
I. GOD'S DECLARATION TO THE PEOPLE, "I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD."
A. They had a special relationship to the only true and living God who is the Creator.
1. Through their deliverance from Egypt and the subsequent wilderness journeys, God had been manifesting His power to them.
a. They had seen His judgments against the Egyptians.
b. They had seen Him part the Red Sea.
c. They watched Him destroy the Egyptian Army.
2. God has been revealing His nature to them.
a. He is a holy God.
b. He is a righteous God.
B. Because He was the Lord their God, there were certain things they were not to do. Verse 2.
1. They were not to live like the Egyptians from whom they had just been delivered, nor like the Canaanites whose land they would soon possess.
2. In this chapter he speaks of several of the practices of the Egyptians and the Canaanites that they were to abhor.
b. Beastiality. c Adultery.
e. Getting rid of unwanted babies.
3. When they had conquered the land through the help of God and the leadership of Joshua. Before His death, Joshua called the people togetherand challenged them.
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
C. Because He was the Lord their God, there were certain things they were to do. Verse 4.
1. They were to do His judgments and keep His ordinances.
2. God had given to them the Ten Commandments.
3. There are people today who do not like the 10 commandments.
a. They do not want them placed in the classrooms of the public schools.
b. They say that no one has a right to tell someone else what is right and wrong.
c. Each man is responsible to determine for himself what is right and wrong.
d. Thus our society has become hedonistic and pantheistic.
e. America has become like the ancient Egyptians and the Canaanites. Our nation has become a pagan nation.
f. We have pagans controlling the government who have rejected the laws of God who are creating laws contrary to the laws of God.
g. No longer do they believe that the Law of the Lord is perfect and the statutes of the Lord are right.
4. Here in California since Gray Davis has become the governor and we have a Democratic controlled legislature they have been pumping out pro homosexual laws at an alarming rate.
5. Our President has vetoed laws that would prevent partial birth abortions, and has shown great support for the homosexual causes.
6. Because of the special relationship that the children of Israel had to God they were to live by God's rules if they were to continue in the land that God was going to give to them.
II. TODAY GOD IS CALLING US TO BE HIS CHILDREN.
A. The requirements are the same. As His children, there are certain things we must not do.
Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world is passing away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God will abide for ever.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that from now on, you walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the emptiness of their mind, with their understanding darkened. They are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. They are past feeling because they have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, and they work all uncleanness with greediness.
1. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.
2. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
3. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a man is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
4. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Ephesians 5:3-6
: Paul wrote to those living in wicked and immoral Corinth.
1CO 6-10 (NIV)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
B. To be His children we are to abide by His rules.
1. I used to tell my boys that as long as they lived in our house and I was paying the bills and providing for their needs, they had to live by the rules of the house. And any time they felt they did not want to abide by the rules, they would have to move out.
2. God says to you that He wants to be your Father. He desires to take full care of you, but you must abide by His rules.
3. What are His rules?
a. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you.
b. Love one another for love is of God and he that loves is born of God and knows God.
c. Show mercy and compassion on the needy.
d. Tell the truth.
e. Be ruled by His Spirit rather than by your flesh.
III. WE ARE TO BE OBEDIENT TO THE FATHER'S COUNCIL, FOR IF WE ARE, WE SHALL LIVE.
A. How deceived the world is today as to what constitutes real living.
1. When people are engaged in some riotous pleasure they often declare, "Now this is real living."
a. God declares that is not living, that is a living death.
b. The Bible declares that a person who lives for pleasure is dead while they are still alive.
2. The pleasures of the world are so short-lived.
a. Much like a person who has taken up skydiving and has become addicted to the rush that comes in the free fall. They scream at the thrill.
b. What a radical, emotional change must occur when they pull the rip cord and discover that their parachute is not unfurling. A moment of thrill, a moment of terror, and it is all over. So for the person who lives for the pleasures of the world.
c. As the psalmist described when they come to face death, they will be utterly filled with terror.
3. True life, real living is found in Jesus Christ.
a. Paul said, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
b. Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life, and that more abundant."
c. The abundant life is found in Jesus Christ. It is being a child of God and knowing the love of your heavenly Father.