RESTORING YOUR INTEGRITY
INTRODUCTION: The definition of the word integrity is an unimpaired condition: Soundness: the quality or state of being complete or undivided. Sadly, today the church has become like the frog in the kettle where the water is heated slowly. We are to be salt and light in our generation and instead of living lives of integrity, too many in the church are being conformed to this world without even realizing it: Romans 12:1-2.
I. SPEAK THE TRUTH!
We have sports stars that cheat to attain their record-breaking feats; we have politicians who promise anything we want to hear in order to be elected and sadly, we have churches teaching what the crowds want to hear instead of teaching the living Word of God! 2 Timothy 4:1-4; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 3:2; Proverbs 28:6; Revelation 3:2; 2 Corinthians 10:12. Remember: Truth always comes before grace!
First: We must speak the truth: Ephesians 4:14. Second: We must stand for the truth:
2 Corinthians 13:8. God tells us that His Word is the truth! John 17:17. The truth is good news: I am a sinner but I have a Savior who died for my sins and gives me His grace that I do not deserve!
II. SURRENDER TO GOD’S TRUTH!
We not only need to speak the truth and stand for the truth, we must surrender to the truth! Remember, there is no grace without the truth. John 8:31-32. It is when we freely admit how broken and desperate we are and say to our Lord: “Jesus, I admit it. I come to you admitting that I need your grace every step of the way that we receive the grace of God into our lives: Matthew 7:24-29. Telling the truth is the place we must start if we want an authentic, living, firsthand faith. Are you totally excited about the forgiveness you have found in Jesus Christ?
III. CONFESS GOD’S TRUTH TO OTHERS!
Telling the truth, even when it is not pretty sets us free. It is like oxygen for the long- distance runner: it fills us with the strength we need and blesses others who so desperately need to see God’s truth in action! You see we can afford to tell God’s truth to others because the truth is we are all broken and our God loves us anyhow! Our security is found in Christ and His unconditional mercy, not in ourselves! True integrity allows us to admit to God and to others that we still fall short of God’s standard but in spite of that He still choses to give us His grace and His righteousness! John 15:1-5; Philippians 4:13. Our Lord encourages us to be honest with Him, to be honest with ourselves and to be honest with others about our real condition: 1 John 1:7-10. If you long to be forgiven for your sin, stop trying to cover it up. Be honest with God and confess it! Don’t keep making excuses for your sin, honestly let God know the truth! He already knows but He wants to hear it from you so He can give you His grace! Proverbs 28:13-14; James 5:16. This is saying what God says about our sin! This is integrity! Proverbs 11:3; Revelation 3:1-6. Do you have an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to your church? Do you have an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to you?
Revelations 3:1-6 – 3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Romans 12:1-2 – 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 – 4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Revelation 3:2 – 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.
Proverbs 28:6 – Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.
2 Corinthians 10:12 – 12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
Ephesians 4:14 – 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
2 Corinthians 13:8 – 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
John 17:17 – 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
John 8:31-32 – 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Matthew 7:24-29 – 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
John 15:1-5 – 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Philippians 4:13 – 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
1 John 1:7-10 – 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Proverbs 28:13-14 – Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
James 5:16 – 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Proverbs 11:3 – The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
Revelation 3:1-6 – 3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.