His text: I Peter 2
11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Below are some paraphrased quotes (i cant type fast enough to be verbatim)
"Why does character matter?
The biggest threat is not Islamic terrorism, the economic downturn, or whatever is on the news etc. It is the war waged against our souls.
Character is not essential for building a big church, so people will like you, but because the glory of God is at stake.
Are you aware, have you thought about, taken steps to fight this battle?
We don't have to slavishly yield to the passions of our flesh. If the passions of our flesh is waging war against our soul, then we best wage war against those passions.
Searching God's word for the truth counter to what our passions demand. With the Spirit's help we can refuse to engage in the desires of our flesh.
Some of us are hyper-conscientious. We are aware of the war raging against our souls but are discouraged and doubting our salvation. While waging battle, we shouldnt be paralyzed.
It would be hard to identify 1 sin that came out of your heart that didn't first enter your eyes.
The barometer we should acknowledge is the question, has Jesus become just average. Has the lustre been lost?
Quotes Piper "cultivate the mindset of exiles."
Peter is not advocating "cultural isolation". We are not told to hunker down, separate ourselves, and wait for the rapture." Peter was not an American fundamentalist.
God not only drives those passions from us, He replaces them with Himself.
Inner character always has a missional orientation.
"the day of visitation" normally thought of that last day. Storms sees the day of visitation as that time when the Spirit enables your character to glorify God to others here and now.
When I preach, are eyes riveted to how I do it, my gestures, how I present it, or to the beauty of Christ?
Character may cost you having "numbers" (big church) and as Peter said, you will still be spoken of as an evildoer.