INTRO: I never grow weary of reading the life and exploits of Joseph. His life truly had its twists and turns, its ups and downs. While Josephs name is not included with the three ancient patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His name is given important mention in various Old testament books. The 105th Psalm includes him prominently in Israels historical development. Could Joseph have known the true magnitude of his historic role? Probably not. And there are life lessons to be learned from him.
I. PARENTAL FAVORITISM CREATES HURT FEELINGS
A. Gen 37:3,4 and when his brethren saw ...
1. yes, we may understand Jacobs feelings
2. Joseph and Benjamin sons of beloved Rachel
B. Such favoritism can seldom promote good in families
1. from his youth his brothers were not civil to him
2. oh, how parents need to guard against, be wary - and it may not be easy to be even, equitable - but it is such an important thing
II. THE DANGER OF GOING ALONG WITH WRONG
A. Gen 37:18-22 with 29,30 ... and he rent his clothes
1. Reuben was eldest - knew right/wrong - knew this course was wrong
2. but he went along with it thinking hed fix things
B. Things got out of hand - beyond Reubens control!
1. when a thing is wrong, the time to stand is at the beginning of it - not after it blossoms
2. regrets do not change things - do not make things right
III. YOUTH IS NO EXCUSE TO ABANDON WHAT IS RIGHT
A. Gen 39:9,10 ... and sin against God?
1. from 17 years to 30 years until he is Pharaohs Prime Minister
2. so, were dealing with the pressures of life and flesh upon a youngster!
B. How did he deal with this?
1. he remembered his integrity (39:8)
2. he remembered his convictions (39:9)
3. he remembered his God (39:9)
4. he finally fled from the situation (39:15)
5. but he did not flirt with the possibilities!
C. Joseph should be an inspiration to our youth
IV. ACKNOWLEDGE GOD, AND HE WILL DIRECT
A. Gen 40:4-16 It is not in me: God shall give ...
1. listen to Prov 3:6,7 - this described Joseph
2. his entire Egyptian experience is one of acknowledging God; in humility taking Gods direction
3. his life had stability, purpose in the most foreign of circumstances because he was dependent on and trusting in God
B. Joseph challenges our own young people!
1. yes, you live in a secular society which, at best, only gives lip service to God (Mt 15:8)
2. are you caught up in their lifestyle, their emphasis, their activities?
3. Joseph was an ordinary person who kept his eyes on God and did extraordinary things ... so can you!
V. TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT
A. Gen 50:15-21 ... Joseph will peradventure hate us ...
1. years had passed ... and they still know guilt
2. perhaps, too, they judged Joseph by their own standard of behavior ... what theyd have done
B. Note v.19 - Joseph knew that it was Gods business to right the wrongs, settle accounts
1. he chose to meet a wrong with a right!
2. Mt 5:44 do we typically live by this?
CLOSE: Gen 50:24-26. These verses demonstrate Josephs unswerving faith in God! That is the secret of his amazing life.
Cecil A. Hutson
20 June 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)