January 28, 2018

Sermon Message by Rev. Dr. Parrish Bridges

"Living With Integrity"


        Living with Integrity (Psalm 23 and 1 Peter 2:11-25)

                                                      Part 3 – The Committed Life

                                            How to Live with Integrity

  1. I. Stay Away from Temptation.  Avoid it.

Verse 11 – “I urge you….to live in this world as ‘STRANGERS’ and ‘TEMPORARY RESIDENTS’ to keep clear of the desires of your lower nature, for they are always at war with your soul.” (Phillips Translation - PH)

Verse 11 – “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.  Don’t INDULGE YOUR EGO at the expense of your soul.” (Third Millennium Bible - TM)

Verse 16 – “Live as free men, but DO NOT USE YOUR FREEDOM AS A COVER-UP FOR EVIL; live as servants of God.” (New International Version - NIV)

Verse 15 – “IT IS GOD’S WILL that your GOOD LIVES should silence those who foolishly condemn the Gospel without knowing what it can do for them, having never experienced its power.” (Living Bible - LB)

  1. II. Yield to Authority for the Lord’s Sake.

Verse 14 – “FOR THE LORD’S SAKE, YIELD to the people who have AUTHORITY IN THIS WORLD: the king, who is the highest authority, and the leaders who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.” (New Century Version - NCV)

Verse 14 – “Make the Master proud of you by being GOOD CITIZENS.  RESPECT THE AUTHORITIES, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order.”  (TM)

Verse 17 – “Show respect for everyone.  Love Christians everywhere.  FEAR GOD AND HONOR THE GOVERNMENT.” (LB)

Verses 18-19 – “…Be GOOD SERVANTS to your masters – not just to good masters, but also to bad ones.  What counts is that you put up with it FOR GOD’S SAKE when you’re treated badly for no good reason.” (TM)

  1. III. Integrity in Suffering.

Verse 21 – “This is the KIND OF LIFE you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived.  HE SUFFERED EVERYTHING THAT CAME HIS WAY so you would know that it could be done, and also how to do it, step by step.”  (TM)

Verses 22-23 – “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.  When they hurled their insults at him, he DID NOT RETALIATE; when he suffered, he made no threats.  Instead, he ENTRUSTED HIMSELF TO HIM WHO JUDGES JUSTLY.” (NIV)

Verse 23 – “…He suffered in silence, CONTENT TO LET GOD SET THINGS RIGHT.” (TM)

Verse 19 – “A man does a fine thing when he endures pain, with a clear conscience towards God, though he knows he is suffering unjustly.” (PH)

Matthew 5:13, 14, and 16 – Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world … Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV) 


New Testament Reading: 1 Peter 2: 1-10   (NIV) New International Version

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

11) Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

18Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22“He committed no sin,

and no deceit was found in his mouth.

23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 


Prayer of Confession

Lord, when we read how those early Christians devoted themselves to Your teachings, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer, we realize how much we have neglected our spiritual life.  Forgive us, we pray, and through the power of Your Holy Spirit draw us nearer to You and to one another by cultivating spiritual disciplines in our lives.   (Moment of personal silent prayer).  Amen.