Beloved: Grace and Peace
Elkmont Baptist Church
Dearest and Beloved
Pleasing the Lord
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 8:5-6 says, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded
Grace to you.
but to be spiritually minded
life and peace." Since the minding of the flesh is death;
and they that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit, which is life and peace, what are the things of the Spirit? I suggest they are the things of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:32-34 says:
wife. There is a difference
between a wife and a virgin. The
unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please
This passage tells us that when we care for the things of the Lord we are concerned how we may please the Lord. When we care for the things of the Lord, we are concerned how we may be holy both in body and in spirit.
When we truly care about someone, we want to know them and the things that please them, do we not? How then do we please the Lord? He has told us that "without faith, it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6). So we know faith in Him is a requirement.
David tells us in Psalm 69:30-32: "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
also shall please the LORD better than an ox
bullock that hath horns and hooves. The humble shall see
be glad: and your
heart shall live that seek God."
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort
by the Lord Jesus, that
as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God,
abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God,
your sanctification, that ye should
abstain from fornication:
means to be set apart. It comes from the same root word as
please God we must be holy. To do that we must abstain from fornication.
"That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; . . . For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (1 Thessalonians 4:4, 7). Young people, unmarried ones, God cares about the way we obtain our spouse. Ye must do so in a way that pleases Him.
"But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another" (1 Thessalonians 4:9). We must love one another as we have been taught by God.
"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and
ye may have lack of nothing" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
To please God we must mind our own business and do our work honestly towards those who are outside the church. The way we do our jobs is important to Him. Do you see the progression? Our bodies, our spouse, the church, our workplace.
The Apostle Paul tells us that "He that is unmarried careth for things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: . . . The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:" - verses we have already studied. Now look at what follows: "And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction" (1 Corinthians 7:32, 34-35).
Young men and young women, the Apostle says that the time of singleness in your life is a time to attend upon the Lord without distraction. (Husbands and wives, did you notice the other parts of those verses how the husband should care about how to please his wife, and the wife how she may please her husband?) Young people, this is a time of profit in your lives.
Let us look at other means Paul identifies of how one may please the Lord. How may one be holy both in body and in spirit? What does it mean to be holy? Why should we be holy?
Hebrews 12:14 says, "Follow peace with all
and holiness, without which no man
shall see the Lord . . . ." Without holiness, we won't see the Lord, and those around us won't see Him in us.
Ezekiel 44:23, speaking of the priests to come, says, "And they shall teach my people
between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the
unclean and the clean."
Would it be good for us to know the difference between the holy and profane? That might be the first step in understanding how to be holy both in body and in spirit.
Hebrews 12:16 describes Esau for us as one who was profane: "Lest there
fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright." Genesis 25:29-34 records the incident referred to in Hebrews. Genesis 25:34 says, "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised
Esau sold his birthright for one morsel of meat. Esau despised his birthright. To despise something is to count that something as worthless. The birthright is the right of the firstborn. The firstborn was to get a double portion of the inheritance and be the head of the family when the father passed away (Deuteronomy 21:17). The double portion of the inheritance was to ensure that the firstborn could take care of the family (extended family). 1 Chronicles 5 tells us that Jacob's son Reuben did not get the birthright (although he was firstborn) but Joseph's two sons did (1 Chronicles 5:1). Joseph certainly took care of the family and provided for them. So, in case of Esau, he counted his birthright as nothing and sold it for a single meal.
What else did Esau do? He married girls named "Beauty" and "Spice", daughters of Hittites. He did not wait for his father to help him, but chose ones "Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah" (Genesis 26:35). The way one gets his spouse, and the one who is chosen is important: "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (1 Thessalonians 4:7; see also 4:4).
The Apostle Paul tells us, "Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body
not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the
Lord for the body" (1 Corinthians 6:13). Isn't that what holiness means? To be set apart. Holiness is to be set apart for the Lord.
Paul goes on: "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make
the members of an harlot? God forbid"
(1 Corinthians 6:15).
Then Paul tells us how to be holy in body: "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). If we strive to glorify God in body and in spirit, being holy in body and spirit should follow.
". . . dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1).
James the Just tells us, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue
a fire, a
world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell" (James 3:5-6). The tongue is among our members and can defile the whole body!
Why is the tongue that member which can defile the whole body? The Lord Jesus says, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are
which defile a
man:" (Matthew 15:18-20).
The Apostle Paul understood this so well. He commands Timothy (and us): "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself
(1 Timothy 4:7).
"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane
babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:" (1 Timothy 6:20).
"But shun profane
vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness"
Psalm 29, a psalm of David, admonishes us: "Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:1-2).
We are admonished to worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Did you notice that holiness is beautiful?
Psalm 29 goes on and in verse 9 says, "The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth everyone speak of
Everyone in his temple doth speak of His glory? When we come together whose glory do we speak of? Of whose glory should we speak? Remember our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. So what should we be speaking in our hearts?
1 Corinthians 12 discusses body life (and family life). Verse 22 says:
of the body, which we think to be less honorable,
upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely
more abundant comeliness. For our comely
have no need: but God hath
tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that
which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but
Keep on rejoicing. Let us speak of His glory and worship Him in the beauty of holiness, without which not one shall see Him.
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord [literally, the things of the Lord], how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3
should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.
- a series compilation
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those
(2 Timothy 2:15).
- 1 Corinthians 12:22-26