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DOING THE WILL OF GOD

A SERMON DELIVERED AT
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
HUDSON, NEW YORK
11 June 2000

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:

Genesis 2:17; 3:6 and 24
Mark 3:20-35

John 3:3 and 5; 4:44
1 Corinthians 13:7
Galatians 5:14-26
1 John 2:16

Last week we talked about how we are to stand up against those things that are against the will of God, and today we are going to continue in this same subject by discussing what it requires of us to be doing the will of God.

Last week we also discussed how the temple and synagogue leadership was afraid of Jesus' teachings, because they though His teachings would undermine their positions of authority, but in reality it was exposing their hardness of heart.

These leaders fell into the sin of the boastful pride of life as John describes in his first letter (2:16).

And from what we learned, one can not be this way and also be doing the will of God.

As Christians, we each have this responsibility.

It is here that we are going to pick up our study of God's word this morning beginning in Mark 3:20 and continuing to the end of the chapter.

20    Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.

These people were gathering around Jesus because He was offering them a message of hope that the other religious leaders were not.

Christians are to give others hope!

21    When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."

Even Jesus' own family didn't believe who He was or in His teachings, even though what He said was Scripturally sound.

They also were not truly loving Him, as Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 13:7 where he writes that love "bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things".

They were doing none of these things.  In fact, they were exhibiting every sign of being embarrassed because of Jesus, and thus they tried to hide Him away.

This is the key to understanding the will of God; it is printed in His word, the Bible, and as Christians, we are being called upon to be knowledgeable of God's teachings that we don't make the same mistakes.

We are not to be embarrassed about Jesus or His word.   we are to live it and speak it as part of our everyday lives.

Unfortunately the actions of Jesus' relatives are not uncommon among families when one person is being set apart for God's work.  They often think that their family member could not be the one to do this job, or have a particular gift.

Jesus himself had pointed out this very fact in John 4:44 when he said that a prophet has no honor in his own country.

This is a very tragic situation, for one person it trying to do the will of God, while the others are actually fighting against God's will.

And this is even worse, when it comes forth from the religious leadership.

22    And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."

What they are saying is that Jesus is possessed by the devil, by Satan.

And we can get a better idea of how ungodly the people are when we understand the meaning of the name Beelzebub.  In Greek it literally means lord of dung or filth and from the Hebrew, lord of the flies.

They were saying that Jesus' words were as annoying as a swarm of flies.

And Jesus understood what they were saying, yet He still tried to reach them.

23    So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan?

24    If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25    If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26    And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.

27    In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.

A more modern example could be that of trying to dig a ditch, while others are trying to fill it in, or trying to drive a car with one foot pressed hard on the brake and the other on the accelerator.  We just don't accomplish much.

But then Jesus tells them of the ways in which they are playing with the judgement of God.

28    I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.

29    But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."

30    He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."

They were saying that the Holy Spirit of God was the devil, for the Spirit of God was in and upon Jesus.

31    Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.

32    A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."

33    "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.

34    Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!

35    Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."
(NIV)

Jesus is talking about spiritual things and spiritual relationships, for it is obvious that Jesus' earthly mother is still his mother.

He is trying to make a point that only those who do the will of God will be in heaven with Him.

In Genesis 2:17, God told Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he disobeyed God and ate it (Genesis 3:6) and as a result he lost the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24), which was a copy of heavenly existence, and Adam and all other living beings began to die.

Adam's disobedience has affected our lives to this very day, and will continue to do so until we are born again and enter the true heaven.

In John 3:3 we are told that unless one is born again, or born from above, he or she cannot see the kingdom of heaven, and in verse 5 we are also told that unless we are born of water and the Spirit we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.

It is from this heavenly perspective that we can continue to do the will of God.

Listen to what Paul tells us about living a godly life and doing the will of God in Galatians 5:14-26.

14    The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

To truly love someone else, we must first learn to love ourselves and accept God's love for us.  And if we truly love ourselves we will take care of ourselves and present a believable image before others.

15    If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

This would include such things as gossip.

16    So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

17    For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Each and every one of us get caught in this trap from time to time and we don't do what God wants us to do, either.

18    But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19    The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

20    idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

21    and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Sometimes we think we are born again, because we believe in Jesus Christ, but we have never wholly surrendered ourselves to God, so that the Holy Spirit could cleanse us from such impurities.

If we want this church to grow in this community, then we must eliminate these things from our lives.

As an example, the most destructive forces in our churches today are discord, gossup and the formation of factions. 

They drive people away instead of drawing them in.

We are to set ourselves apart from the ways of the world.

We are to dare to be different from those of this world who lose their hope.

We are to be like those who find their hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are to live in the Spirit, as we are told next.

22    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23    gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

24    Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

25    Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

26    Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(NIV)

We need to live as if we were physically with Jesus as were His disciples, for if we are Christians, that's what we are to be like, but more like they were after Pentecost, as we read about in the Book of Acts.

We need to learn to do no physical or verbal harm to each other or to the world around us.

We need to be a sanctuary for each other and for the world around us.

We need to love God, ourselves, and others with all our heart, soul, spirit and mind, for by so living we will naturally do the will of God.

Let us pray...

Amen.

Your Comments are welcome

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