SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

"JESUS THE WAY TO A BETTER LIFE!"

In the preceding study, we introduced the theme of “Jesus, The Way”

•  Now we shall concentrate our attention on the subject “Jesus, The Way To A Better Life”
•  The popular goal of our generation is “the good life”…..
•  This dream is not new!
•  It has been the desire of every age and every walk of life—of teachers, & philosophers, of kings and common men.
[But to the truly good life, Jesus is the way! To see this is true, consider first that……]

 

I.  Jesus Corrects Our Misconceptions
•  What “The Good Life ” means to the masses…..

•  Material prosperity – Pleasure – Popularity

•  Why Many Think This Way….

1.  Nearly everyone would agree that two words sum up what “The good life” is all about: happiness and peace.

2. Many suppose material prosperity, pleasure and popularity will bring us these things

3. But even a quick observation reveals that most wealthy,

high-living, famous people are extremely unhappy and lacking inner peace .

II.  Jesus Corrects This Misconception ….

•  He taught there is more to life than material possessions. Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
• He offers a peace which things of the world cannot give, and a joy which is complete and full. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
[What the world cannot give, Jesus Can. How does He do it…?

 

III.  Jesus Leads the Way to a Better Life.

a) By Identifying and Removing the Real Problem ….

•  What is the cause of so much unhappiness? What deprives so many of inner peace?

•  Is it not things like immorality, theft, murder?

•  Is it not things like coveting, envy and pride?

•  Such things destroy families, friendships, and property

•  What then is the cause of these things?

•  Jesus declared the source to be the sinful hearts of men. Mark 7:21 -23 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. [23] All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

•  James, the Lord's brother, concurred with His diagnosis. James 4:1-2 “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? [2] You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”

•  What has Jesus done to remove this problem?

Titus 3:3-7 “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. [4] But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, [5] not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, [6] whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, [7] that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

•  Out of kindness, love, mercy and grace, God through Jesus Christ has saved us and made us righteous in His sight!

•  This took place when we experienced the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (a reference to the act of baptism) in which one who believes in Jesus is truly born again of water and Spirit! John 3:5.

•  In other words, Jesus removes the problem of unhappiness and lack of inner peace by first removing the cause: SIN! But there is more……

b)  By Teaching Us to Seek New Goals in Life….

•  He warns of the folly of seeking after riches -

Matthew 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;”

•  They are perishable, They are open to theft.

•  He teaches us to put our treasure in heaven -

Matthew 6:20 “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

•  Where it is perpetual – Where it is secure.

c)  How does one go about laying up treasure in heaven?

•  By living for Jesus, even under the most adverse conditions. Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. [23] Rejoice in that day and leap for joy For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”

•  By following His teaching -

Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”

d)  By Giving Us What We do not Expect……

•  Once we learn not to make material things, pleasure, and fame our goals in life, but to instead make following Jesus and His teachings our goal.

•  He then provides us an unexpected portion of these very things!

•  Material things for those who put God first

Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' [32] For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

•  Pleasure that is full and inexpressible -

1 Peter 1:8 “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,”

•  Fame that lasts forever -

Col. 3:4 “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

•  In the very exercise of living for Christ and following His example.

•  We find peace and happiness -

Acts 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

•  Note the word “blessed” (truly happy) in this verse.

Conclusion: The world sets before us goals which many people cannot achieve, and even if achieved, often do not satisfy.

Eccles. 5:10 “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.”

• But Jesus places before us goals which can be achieved, and that do satisfy…..
• All can store up treasure in heaven – All can live for Jesus.
• If there is any doubt that doing this brings lasting happiness and a much better life even now, just look at any individual you may know who is truly following Jesus….
• Outwardly they may be suffering persecution, or physical illnesses.
• But even then they still have that joy that is full, that peace which is unspeakable.
• If you are not happy, if you are not at peace in your heart, if you are looking for a better life, why not let Jesus be “The Way” for you? As Jesus Himself said
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”