“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto You will I pray.” Psalm 5:1-2 (KJB)
“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But You, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:1-3
The reactions of people are wide a varied. When Lazarus had died, and was buried four days Jesus came and spoke to the dead man, and Lazarus got up, and came out.
There were many Jews who saw this and believed in Jesus. Some, not only sought to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus. Religious envy often raises the Ire, the anger, of some religious leaders; and this was one of those cases.
“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” John 12:9-11 (KJB)
You would think that seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead would have opened the eyes of all the Jewish people. Why did it not? Because of their hard heart of unbelief. They trusted a religious system; not God. They loved the attention of the crowds; not God. They loved to have power over the people; not surrendering themselves to the power of God.
Do we not know, that every time a soul comes to Jesus in faith, that is a resurrection from the dead. That is the greatest miracle of all. That a man, a woman, boy, or girl who calls on the name of Jesus Christ in faith is doing so because they have heard Jesus say “Come”, and because He has made the spirit of that individual hear, just as dead Lazarus did.
Redemption is given us by the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is God the Son.
“And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, said unto them, ‘Ye have brought this Man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him: no, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.
I will therefore chastise Him, and release.’ ” Luke 23:13-16 (KJB)
During the first days and months of Jesus’s ministry there were those who despised His life and His teaching. For years they sought how they might destroy Him. When we first note this in Scripture is when Jesus stands in a synagogue and reads the prophecy from Isaiah (Luke 4:17-19; Isaiah 61:1-2). There they tried to kill Him.
There are two gospels that tell us that Pilate saw that it was for envy they sought to kill Him (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10). They were envious of His power, authority, and His closeness with God. He was, and is in fact God become flesh – God Incarnate. That alone sent them into a tizzy fit.
Now, they have succeeded in a trial of their own making, in secret, very early in the morning, and these have found Him guilty based on false witnesses that their testimony did not even agree. Yet the religious leaders can not condemn any to death; they must get Him before the governor, who is by Roman appointment, and he must declare Him guilty and sentence Him to die by crucifixion.
Pilate, nor Herod found any fault, neither guilt for any crime in Jesus. Pilate wanted to release Him. The people cried “Crucify Him. Crucify Him.” They even chose the release of a guilty murderer over the sinless Son of God.
Pilates verdict was “Not guilty”. Jesus the Man who was the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary lived a life without sin, was guilty of nothing, sentenced to die because He was perfect.
Dying on the cross He took the curse that was ours. He was judged by His own Father as guilty, because on the cross He became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He lives. All who will come to Him He gives eternal life.
Jesus Christ paid the sin debt that was mine and yours. He carried away our sins in His burial. He rose victoriously declaring the sin debt fully paid.
“And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said,
‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.’” Luke 21:1-4 (KJB)
It seems that the wealthy; many of them; like to make much to do about their giving. Though any giving to aid those who are less fortunate, or are experiencing difficult financial times is generous. Being noticed for it, or seeking applause from the populace is not applauded by God.
Jesus, in the verses of Luke above, was sitting near by where the giving box was located, and He must have heard the jingling of the coins as they went into the metal receiving. Those who were more able to give wanted it to sound as though they were giving much, and Jesus noticed a poor widow who put in all that she had.
When it comes to giving who gives more the man with a million dollars who only gives a tenth of his wealth? or the one who lives from week to week on wages, whose take home pay maybe 400 dollars, and he/she tithes from that? I will let you answer that.
A few years ago there was two very well known billionaires who made the announcement, and quite publicly that they were going to give half of their wealth to aid the poor. Now there is no doubt in my mind that that was a very noble act. Let us think about that for a moment. At that time the younger one of the two had a net worth of over 50 billion dollars. Now let us think of that. If he was giving half of that to aid the poverty stricken, he still has a net worth of 25 billion. There is absolutely no sacrifice in the giving.
These people that were putting their money in the box were giving from their wealth; that is what Jesus said. The widow was giving all she had, and Jesus applauded this woman for doing so.
At this time of year many people get generous with giving. Giving gifts to family, friends, work associates, etc. Organizations give food, clothing, and gifts because of the time of year it is. That is wonderful. Why do we not make it a year round policy to give sacrificially to others in need? One month in a year. That is good. Great giving would be doing it from January 1 through December 31.
Think of this. Genuine generous giving is when you give until it hurts; and you need to cut back on something for yourself to give.
Jesus Christ gave us all He had. He gave His life, dying on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. In Him and through His is life everlasting.
“Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.” Luke 20:37-38 (KJB)
When He was asked by the Sadducees about a spurious thought, that was only being used to try and trap Him, the Master of life and death gave them that answer.
The Sadducees were a group who did not believe in anything spiritual – no angels, no spirits, no resurrection of the dead. Someone said, “That is why they are sad you see”.
Jesus uses the quotation from Exodus 3:6…
” ‘…Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:6
Jesus confirms that there is a resurrection; that when this body of flesh and blood dies and lies in the grave, returns to the dust from which it came, that there is life after death. He clearly states that “God is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”, and that would include all the other saints who are with Him.
There are many people who do not believe in the resurrection. They are part of the same group of Sadducees, and desperately in need of a change of heart and mind. Hear the voice of the Master today.
You can believe Him, and live forever. You can reject Him and die forever. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. He is one day returning to separate the believing from the unbelieving. Where do you fit in?
God is the God of the living.
“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (KJB)
In Luke 15 Jesus tells us three beautiful stories. The first is of a Lost Sheep; the second of a Lost Coin; and the third of a Lost Son. I am dealing with the third today, knowing it is the most remembered one often called the story of the Prodigal Son.
Please read the whole chapter. I will deal mostly with this one verse.
The lost son was lost because he decided to leave the father’s house and go out on his own living (In riotous living), on his inheritance, make friends, and be set for life. He finds himself broke, busted, and bankrupt; and feeding swine, and eating with the very hogs he was feeding. His “friends” had forsaken him, since his money ran out. Something we should all remember is that even as money, the material is temporary; so are people who are friends when you have money.
I like the phrase in verse 17 which states, “And when he came to himself”. He got to thinking. His mind cleared up, and he got to thinking about his father, and the way it could be at home. He humbled himself, went back to his father, to submit to him; not as his son; but to be a servant.
He heads home, and we can see something quite clearly. The father was watching for his son’s return. I can imagine everyday, several times a day he would look down the road in the direction his prodigal son would be coming from, longing to see him treading the way back.
We see the father spotting his son at a far distance, had compassion on him; and I would imagine tears joy and happiness flowing from his eyes; and he runs to greet him. The father prepares a great feast, a party welcoming the son home.
This father represents the God of Heaven. The lost son is anyone who is away from God; out of fellowship with God, and have no joy, peace, or love in their life.
The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ longs for your return. Come to your senses, and know that the Father is waiting for your return. When you start that return He will run to greet you.
When does God run? When ever His wayward child comes home.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)
Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.
There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.
“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” Luke 10:16 (KJB)
Hearing the words and teachings of Jesus, and hearing the gospel is the pathway to knowing the holy, righteous, and Just God. Jesus has pronounced “Woe” upon some cities because of their refusal to hear (Luke 10:13-15).
Many times Jesus says, “He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9; Luke 8:18; 14:35). Of course our ears are for hearing. However, too often we do not hear what is being spoken to us by others even though we are looking them in the face, hearing the words, and their sounds; yet we do not hear.
In the verse above Jesus likens hearing the disciple to hearing Him. It would seem that the “Not hearing” is the despising of the disciple, thus the Lord Himself.
The words of the Lord, even spoken by His children; a born again child of God; is as spoken from the Lord Himself. To reject the word of the Lord is to despise Him. The Dictionary.com site defines “Despise” = “Despise = “to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.”
That is certainly not the way a disciple of Jesus Christ should be about hearing the word of the Lord. It is, however, the attitude of many.
Let us who are of Christ Jesus have our hearts and minds and ears open to the word of the Lord. Let us have hearing ears, not despising Him. When we hear Jesus Christ we hear the Father as well.
Hear the word of Jesus Christ the Son of God today. Hearing, call on His name in repentant faith believing that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and He rose again.
“And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, ‘Maid, arise.’ ” Luke 8:54 (KJB)
A young girl who was sick and dying, of the age of twelve. A woman who had had a medical problem of losing blood for twelve years (Luke 8:42, 43). I am not sure of any significance in the years.
There is certainly significance in the Healer. The woman touches Jesus as He comes through a crowd of people. She reaches out and touches the “border of His garment”, and the blood flow is stopped. She is healed in a moment by the Great Physician. What physicians could not do in twelve years; just one touch of the border of Jesus’s garment, and she is made whole.
Before Jesus gets to the twelve year old girl to heal her, she dies. He makes a statement that the people around her laugh about;
“And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, ‘Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.’” v. 52
Because of the unbelief He faces He put the mockers out. Jesus takes her by the hand and speaks the words, “Maid, arise” and her spirit, her soul, her life returned to her. She sat up, and Jesus told them to give her something to eat.
The Son of God, the Son of Man, God the Son cares for the lives of people. Yesterday we witnessed in the Word that He raised a widow’s son. Today He heals a woman with a blood issue for twelve years simply by her touch of faith; and he raises a twelve year old girl to life again.
He cares for you. He cared all the way to the cross to die for your sins, and took them upon Himself receiving His Father’s wrath, was buried, and He rose again; and He forever lives. Call on His name. He hears. He saves; and in saving He heals, and raises what was dead to life.
“And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, ‘That a great prophet is risen up among us;’ and, ‘That God hath visited His people.’ ” Luke 7:16 (KJB)
Her son was dead. The widow was grieving. She had no idea what she was going to do now to live. Her son, the joy of her life; as with any mother; was grieved by her loss. It also went deeper than that. Her son was her means of a living; buying the groceries, keeping the roof over her head. Now he is dead. [Read of the event in Luke 7:11-17]
As the funeral procession was being carried out for burial they pass by Jesus, and He says to the woman “Weep not” then He touched the bier or coffin, and said to the woman’s son, “Young man, I say unto you, Arise”, and he sat up and spoke. O, what joy must have come into this widow’s heart and life on this blessed day.
That is the event that led up to the verse for today. What would have been my response at seeing a dead man rise before my eyes? What would your response be? Probably one of wonder, awe, but also fear.
Knowing the One whom I know now; that is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, who is God the Son; I would, and will always glorify God.
God has visited His people. He sent Jesus His holy, only begotten Son, and He is called Immanuel which is “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He is the Great Prophet foretold through Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15).
The greatest of miracles which Jesus performs today is when a soul is saved through His death, burial, and resurrection calling on His name in repentance and faith.
Have GOD come visit you today.
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; ‘Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live;’ yea, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live.’ ” Ezekiel 16:1-6 (KJB)
Ezekiel’s word from God for Israel is that “You were found by Me in a state of death, and dying. No one else took pity on you. There is no other god who found you, and gave you life. I said unto you, ‘Live’ and gave you My grace and mercy.”
The condition of every man, woman, boy, or girl who has ever been born is death. Apart from the grace of God, and the blood of the Lamb of God, who is Jesus Christ there is only death for all.
The only Man who ever lived without sin died for us all, that we might have life through His name. His name is Jesus.
May we not flaunt His grace through licentious, debaucherous, hate filled living which comes from death.
Paul the apostle tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and he also tells us that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
The Lord GOD through faith in Jesus Christ is the only One who gives life. Call on His name.
“And they shall know that I am the LORD, that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.” Ezekiel 6:10 (KJB)
The phrase “…Shall know that I am the LORD” is used three other times in this chapter (vv. 6, 13, 14), and it is used at least 59 other times throughout the prophecy of Ezekiel. In chapter 6 it is directed toward the nation of Israel, and they are being reminded of why they are in captivity.
God will have His people know that He is the LORD. That should be a reminder to all people of all days, times, ages, that GOD will do whatever it takes to make His people holy; because He is holy.
In many of the other 59 times the phrase is used it is toward the nations around them. The LORD desires that people of all lands know that He is the LORD.
To know that He is the LORD is to know Him personally. Know Him as our Creator, the All Powerful, All Knowing, All Present, and Immutable [Unchanging] God; also to know Him as Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and King. To know Him is to see Him revealed in the person of His Son Jesus Christ who took all of our sin upon Himself upon the cross, bled and died, was buried, and He rose from death, conquering death, hell, and the grave; and He forever lives as our Mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5).
Turn to Jesus Christ from sin, and know that the LORD, He is the LORD.
“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of Hosts His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.” Isaiah 54:4-5 (KJB)
I love the “Fear not” of these verses, and all of Scripture. This one seems to be extra powerful. It is probably due to the prophecy before it of our Suffering Servant Savior prophecies in chapters 51-53. Their Messiah would come, suffer, and die even by their own religious establishments hands, yet He is “Smiten of God and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).
Through the sacrifice; the suffering, the bleeding, the dying of Jesus Christ, all of sins debt was paid.
I leave you with more thoughts from F. B. Meyer…
“We have heard the exiles summoned to leave Babylon, and have beheld the Savior becoming the sin-bearer. Here our attention is recalled to the still desolate condition of Jerusalem. See Neh_1:3; Neh_2:3; Neh_2:13-17. Jehovah says, Sing, but Israel replies that she cannot sing so long as she lies desolate. In reply God declares His inalienable love: He is their husband still and has sworn that the waters of death and destruction shall never be able to separate them from Himself. The kindness of His mercy is everlasting, and His covenant of peace shall outlast the mountains and hills.
In the closing paragraph, Isa_54:11-17, we behold the chosen city emerging from her heap of ruins. Watched by the eye of the great Architect, wrought by unseen hands, tested by the line and plummet of righteousness, she arises to fulfill her mission to the world. To inspired hearts it seems as though her common stones are jewels. Her children are taught of the Lord. Every accusing voice is hushed. All weapons of destruction are impotent. The New Jerusalem seems to have come down from heaven.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY – F. B. Meyer “The Wondrous Love of God” on Isaiah 54:1-17
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:12-15 (KJB)
Christians who live godly lives will suffer persecution. Have you ever been laughed at because of the simplicity of your faith in Christ, the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to cleanse, to heal, to redeem, and get us into the presence of Holy God? Have you ever been threatened for your faith in Him? How about beaten and maybe left for dead?
Evil abounds in this world. Anyone who has eyes and ears knows there is evil in this world; and it is in the hearts of the people who live on this planet. As Christians we must guard our own hearts and minds through the word of God and prayer.
The Apostle tells us that “Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse…” The evil ones are not only those who would do us physical harm; but also those who would do us spiritual harm by teaching lies, deceiving, and themselves being deceived.
So what do we do when evil surrounds us?
- Remember the things you have been taught from Scripture;
- Continue in those things applying them to your life, living for Jesus Christ and standing on His word;
- Always remember that those teachings you have learned in the word are the words of wisdom and for your salvation;
- There is absolutely no instruction to identify (to participate) with the world around us.
Always remember the gospel – the good news is – that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and He rose again.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJB)
Many of the Christians in Corinth seems to have been indifferent to the culture in which they lived. Sexual immorality was rampant in the city, and Christians were participating in the sin as well becoming more and more bound by their sinful actions; and thinking nothing of it.
It does the Christian of 2019 and every age to read the words of Paul in this chapter concerning these matters.
As Christians we are to live a life that honors, edifies, and glorifies the Holy and Righteous God who has purchased us through the blood of Jesus His Son. That is done through the Holy Spirit and the word of God; applying His teachings and commandments to our lives. We are not part of the evil world culture.
To yield to the temptation of the world is to be brought under the power of sin. There is gross sexual immorality in the Christian community. Eagerly participating in sexual intercourse before marriage; some after marriage who have no problem with sleeping with as many women or men as they can find. God is not pleased with this. He is not honored, He is not glorified; and neither is the Christian living such a licentious life a faithful witness for the Holiness of God.
Let me leave you this morning with the commentary of the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
“1Co_6:12-20. Refutation of the antinomian defense of fornication as if it was lawful because meats are so.
All things are lawful unto me — These, which were Paul’s own words on a former occasion (to the Corinthians, compare 1Co_10:23, and Gal_5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eating of meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Act_15:29), “fornication” (perhaps in the letter of the Corinthians to Paul, 1Co_7:1). Paul’s remark had referred only to things indifferent: but they wished to treat fornication as such, on the ground that the existence of bodily appetites proved the lawfulness of their gratification.
me — Paul giving himself as a sample of Christians in general.
but I — whatever others do, I will not, etc.
lawful … brought under the power — The Greek words are from the same root, whence there is a play on the words: All things are in my power, but I will not be brought under the power of any of them (the “all things”). He who commits “fornication,” steps aside from his own legitimate power or liberty, and is “brought under the power” of an harlot (1Co_6:15; compare 1Co_7:4). The “power” ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things which he uses [Bengel]; else his liberty is forfeited; he ceases to be his own master (Joh_8:34-36; Gal_5:13; 1Pe_2:16; 2Pe_2:19). Unlawful things ruin thousands; “lawful” things (unlawfully used), ten thousands.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Be sure to read the whole chapter six. Let those of us who name the name of Christ Jesus live the name as well.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, praise unto our God: many shall see and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” Psalm 40:1-4 (KJB)
The LORD does indeed lift us, picks us up, out of the miry clay, the pit of sin, and sets our feet upon a rock; the Rock is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
The way of sin is darkness, and cold. O, it may seem like the way to go at the time; it may seem like it is the comfortable thing; it may seem to be pleasurable, but it leads to shame, pain, misery, and death. Be an instrument of praise to the LORD God. Call on the name of the Lord and be delivered from that pit to which you are imprisoned.
Let me share with you the thoughts of Charles Spurgeon from the Treasury of David on verse four…
“Blessed.” This is an exclamation similar to that of thePsa_1:1-6, “Oh, the happiness of the man.” God’s blessings are emphatic, “I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed,” indeed and in very truth. “Is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.” Faith obtaineth promises. A simple, single-eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed but the wealthiest and most prosperous man who has no faith is accursed, be he who he may. “And respecteth not the proud.” The proud expect all men to bow down and do them reverence, as if the worship of the golden calves were again set up in Israel; but believing mean are too noble to honour mere money-bags, or cringe before bombastic dignity. The righteous pay their respect to humble goodness, rather than to inflated self-consequence. Our Lord Jesus was in this our bright example. No flattery of kings and great ones ever fell from his lips; he gave no honour to dishonourable men. The haughty were never his favourites. “Nor such as turn aside to lies.” Heresies and idolatries are lies, and so are avarice, worldliness, and pleasure-seeking. Woe to those who follow such deceptions. Our Lord was ever both the truth and the lover of truth, and the father of lies had no part in him. We must never pay deference to apostates, time-servers, and false teachers; they are an ill leaven, and the more we purge ourselves of them the better; they are blessed whom God preserves from all error in creed and practice. Judged by this verse, many apparently happy persons must be the reverse of blessed, for anything in the shape of a purse, a fine equipage, or a wealthy establishment, commands their reverence, whether the owner be a rake or a saint, an idiot or a philosopher. Verily, were the arch-fiend of hell to start a carriage and pair, and live like a lord, he would have thousands who would court his acquaintance. TREASURY OF DAVID, by Charles Spurgeon verse 4
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into different temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower of it falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Blessed, the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God:’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and overflowing of evil, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. But who ever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, to keep himself unspotted from the world.'” James 1:1-27
REFERENCES: 4:8; Deuteronomy 32:26; Acts 2:5; 13:26; 1 Kings 3:9; Mark 11:24; Job 5:17; 14:2; Numbers 23:19; Jeremiah 2:3; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 15:2; Matthew 7:21; Romans 2:13; Luke 6:47; Isaiah 1:16; John 8:31-32
“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.
Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin you that which is convenient, yet for love’s sake I rather beseech, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: which in time past was to you unprofitable, but now profitable to you and to me: whom I have sent again: you therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: whom I would have retained with me, that in your stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: but without your mind would I do nothing; that your benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that you should receive him for ever; not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto you, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
If you count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he has wronged you, or owes anything, put that on my account; I Paul have written with mine own hand, I will repay, because I do not say to you, how you owe unto me even your own self besides. Yea, brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. Having confidence in your obedience I wrote unto you, knowing that you will also do more than I say. But immediately prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
There, you salute Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow laborers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” Philemon 1:1-25
REFERENCES: Ephesians 1:2; 3:1; 2 Corinthians 7:13; 9:7; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 16:17; Colossians 4:9; Genesis 45:5
THE CHURCH AT SARDIS
I. THE CHURCH WHICH IS BELIEVED TO BE ALIVE; BUT IS DEAD.
II. JESUS IDENTIFIED AS HE WHO HAS THE SEVEN SPIRITS AND SEVEN STARS.
III. JESUS KNOWS THE TRUE STATE OF THE CHURCH.
IV. JESUS CALLS ON THE CHURCH TO WATCH…
V. HOPE FOR THE FEW.
VI. THE BOOK OF LIFE.
I. Note the Perfection of the One who has All Power, is Perfect, and Holds the Messengers in His Hands (v. 1).
A. Speaking of the Fulness of Christ…
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD…” Isaiah 11:1-2
B. The fulness of the Power of God…
“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, ‘This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.'” Zechariah 4:6
II. It is a Sad State to Think you Live, but Really are Dead (v. 1).
A. They evidently had the appearance of life to many within and without.
B. Their works were busy, busy, busy… but not living for and glorifying the Lord.
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Cor. 3:12-15
III. There is a Calling to Watch, and Strengthen the Things which Remain; and Repent (vv. 2-3).
A. Many times throughout the NT we are commanded to “Watch”.
B. With things which remain we must strengthen them, and then;
C. We must repent – turning our eyes, our hearts, our minds, our very lives back over to the Lord, our Redeemer.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Rom. 13:11-14
IV. A Few Will Walk With Him in White (v. 4).
A. Another reference to garments…
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Rev. 16:15
V. White Raiment, Book of Life, and Confessed before the Father and Angels; and the Challenge to Hear (vv. 5-6).
A. The Book of Life is mentioned several times throughout the Bible.
“Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written.” EX. 32:32
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” PS. 69:28
“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:3
Also Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:12
B. Another of the books is the Lambs Book of Life.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Rev. 20:12
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Rev. 21:27
C. Is your name written in the book of Life, and the Lamb’s book of Life?
These sermon points are from the message Tim A. Blankenship preached on Sunday morning August 05, 2018.
The reason this one faith in God through Jesus Christ is the Precious Faith…
1 Peter 1-25
I. It is Most Precious (vv. 1-5)
II. More Precious than Gold (vv. 6-11).
III. It was the desire of Prophets and Angels (vv. 10 & 12).
IV. It is Precious to maintain Holiness; Keeping the Faith ((vv. 13-25).
Balances, Integrity and Righteousness – Proverbs 11:1-6
1. Balances were a means of conducting much agricultural, metals, and other forms of business in days of the past. Notice that the “False balance” is an “Abomination to the LORD” – something that is disgusting, and wicked in the sight of the LORD.
This proverb (v. 1) can be tied with the command to “Love our neighbor” (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31) as ourselves; and the final six of the Ten Commandments. The Lord delights in a just weight or right balances.
2. Pride, arrogance, insolence, presumptuousness are words very similar in meaning. Most people hate arrogance when it is seen in someone else. The Mirriam/Webster Dictionary defines “arrogant” as being “Offensives exaggerating one’s own importance”; “insolent” is defined as “contemptuous, rude, disrespectful, or brutal in behavior or language: OVERBEARING, BOLD”; “presumptuous” means “overstepping due bounds; taking liberties: OVERBOLD.” With this “Pride” comes shame following closely on the heels – see Proverbs 16:18.
In contrast is the “lowly” or the modest individual. These are usually the thankful person. The individual who knows they are not alone and trust the Lord for their every need.
3. “Integrity” equals “Soundness: adherence to a code of values: utter sincerity, honesty, and candor: completeness.” These, of course, would be guided by the teachings of God’s word and the Holy Spirit in the Christian.
In this verse as well as verses 2, and 4 through 6 there are contrasting statements: “The integrity of the upright” and “The perverseness of transgressors”; Riches and righteousness; “The righteousness of the perfect… but the wicked shall fall…”
There is destruction awaiting those connected to unrighteousness.
There is deliverance for the righteous; but “transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.” (Jeremiah 2:19)
-Tim A. Blankenship
We start off with an “Ye have heard…” statement. It is the fourth of five if you count the “It has been said” of verse 31. This shows us Jesus’s familiarity with Scripture and the Law. It also shows that He is familiar with the general interpretation of those Laws.
In looking at the SERMON ON THE MOUNT we must realize that for the time being these principles are our goal. I fall so short of these principles of His Kingdom. The only way they are lived is when we are in complete obedience to the leading of the Spirit within us. Let me say here that our perfection/completion is only by God’s own decree – “You are Justified. All your sins are gone. Jesus has paid your debt”. This is still our goal for now.
THE PLACE TO BEGIN LIVING HONESTLY, WITH HIGH HONOR AND INTEGRITY IS WITH JESUS CHRIST (vv. 33-37).
* When your heart is right with God your first responsibility of honesty is with Him.
+ He already knows your heart and thoughts why would you lie to Him.
+ Why lie to others, if indeed, you see the image of God in them, and we should.
* When making a vow, or promise, let your Yes, Be Yes; and your No, be No!
+ If you must swear on a “Stack of Grandma’s Bibles”, then, your word is probably as good as the ocean front property in Arizona.
THE PLACE TO BEGIN SEEKING THE GOOD OF OTHERS IS BY LOOKING AT THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST AND BE LIKE HIM (vv. 38-42).
* Jesus even turns this toward those who would strike you.
+ Is it a wimpy thing for a man to “turn the other cheek”?
+ Is it the right and courageous thing to “turn the other cheek”?
* Giving others what belongs to you shows that you care for them more than we care for things.
+ Giving them our time – if you are “compel(led) to go a mile, go with him twain”.
+ Giving possessions – if he “take away you coat, let him have your cloke also” (vv. 40, 42).
“Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3 (KJV).
LIVING WITHOUT THE ATTITUDE OF RETALIATION IS A WORK OF JESUS CHRIST IN OUR HEARTS (vv.43-47).
* I recall nowhere in Scriptures which tell us to “Hate your enemies”.
+ Most error in such things comes from misinterpretations and evil hearts.
+ Here, Jesus quickly puts that thought out in the cold
* The law does teach, “Eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:23-25).
+ Seeking justice and seeking revenge are two different thoughts.
+ You can still love the person when justice is being done, but revenge almost requires hatred.
* When we love those who love us, we are doing only what others will do.
+ When we love those who have stricken us, who have lied about us, who have harmed us, then, people will see the love of Jesus Christ, and the difference He has made in our lives.
+ We need to be strengthened by the Spirit of God each day to walk with Christ and be like Him, in loving and forgiving those who have despised us, even hated us.
THE PERFECTION OF GOD IS THE COMPLETENESS WE HAVE SOLELY IN HIM (v. 48).
* This is similar to God’s command to Israel:
+ “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45, and 1 Peter 1:15-16.
* Perfection is the work of God taking us and making us more into the likeness of His Son.
+ It is the goal of every follower of Jesus to one day be made like Him for we have the promise;
+ “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV).
-Tim A. Blankenship
THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
Hearing Wisdom From Human Sources – Proverbs 1:8-19
Verse 8 – The first line of defense against evil for the child is the parents and their wisdom concerning good, right, wrong, godliness, evil, Righteousness and unrighteousness.
If the parents are not wise in the things of God, then their children are in danger of great peril. The child is to listen to their parents teaching with interest in what they are teaching.
“Obey the correction, discipline, chastisement of your father. Do not throw away, cast off the law of your mother.”
Verse 9 – By hearing, obeying your father, and grasping hold of your mother’s teaching, and cherishing her teachings they will be like a golden chain around your neck (Genesis 41:42-43).
For they (shall be) an ornament of grace unto thy head. The sentiment here expressed is put forward as an inducement to youth to observe obedience towards the instruction of the father and the law of the mother, and the meaning is that, just as in popular opinion ornaments and jewels are supposed to set off the personal form, so obedience towards parents in the ways of virtue embellishes the moral character (Bayne, Cartwright, Holden). From The Pulpit Commentary (e-Sword edition).
Could it be that a child who grows in wisdom will be seen as having a “Good head on his shoulders”?
Verses 10-19 – The enticements, alluring and greed of the evil will lead to murder.
There is temptation which comes from outside the individual sinner. Those who “lay wait for blood” There is a certain greed, lust, thirst for power which cares not whose life it may harm.
This greed for blood comes from lustful desire for material gain to be seen as powerful, famous, and beautiful.
Within these verses are two warnings to “consent thou not”, and of what this evil does. Verse 10, and verse 15 is a call to “walk not in the way with them”.
The Pulpit Commentary gives us a point to think about,
“HOW THE TEMPTATION IS TO BE MET. “Consent thou not.” Let no man deem himself the helpless victim of temptation. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able,” etc. (1Co_10:13) We have wills. We can say “Yes” and “No.” We are not responsible for meeting with temptation, since even Christ felt the cruel force of this trial, but we are responsible for the way we behave under it. one thing to be tempted, Another thing to fall.
Psalm 119 gives some words of wisdom and instruction as well, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word. With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:9-11 (KJV)
-Tim A. Blankenship
A study through Proverbs.
THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
Contents of Wisdom – Proverbs 1:1-19
FIVE QUESTIONS by Warren Wiersbe –
1. What is the major theme of the Book of Proverbs?
2. Who wrote the Book of Proverbs and how is it written?
3. What is the key verse that helps “unlock” the book? [1:7]
4. What does Proverbs say about Jesus Christ? [Colossians 2:3; 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30
5. What must we do to get the most out of the book?
From BE SKILLFUL BY Warren W. Wiersbe
“Proverbs are pithy statements that summarize in a few choice words practical truths relating to some aspect of everyday life.” Wiersbe
“As you study, keep in mind that Hebrew proverbs are generalized statements of what is usually true in life, and they must not be treated like promises.” Wiersbe
Verse 1 – This verse tells us that these are “Proverbs of Solomon”, however, as we proceed through these words of wisdom we will see that he is not the author of all the Proverbs, but he is probably responsible for compiling them into a book. There are also some of the proverbs which were copied by Hezekiah’s men (25:1), and then there are those called “the wise” (22:17; 24:23), a man named Agur (30:1-33), and Lemuel (31:1-9), and then who wrote 31:10-31 “The Virtuous Woman”?
It is quite clear that with the exception of those mentioned Solomon is responsible for these proverbs.
Verses 2 – 6 – The purpose of the Proverbs is explained by these verses. “To know wisdom”, and I would add here that he is speaking of godly wisdom, not earthly wisdom as James contrast the two (James 3:13-18).
One thing that comes out in Proverbs is that those who have wisdom will listen to others; especially those in authority; such as parents.
For understanding the Proverbs one needs the Spirit of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12-16; Romans 8:9).
Verses 7 -9 – Having a reverence for God is a theme of Proverbs. “The fear of the LORD…” is not being afraid of making a bad choice.
The MacArthur Study Bible notes verse 7 in part –
“The fear of the LORD is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s (cf. Ps. 42:1)”
Instruction is important for learning; there are some who refuse instruction in wisdom. You can be sure they are not wise.
Verses 10 – 19 – Advice is given by wise parents to a learning son. Shun evil. These not so wise people will make evil sound so pleasant, and even apear pleasant, and enjoyable it could be a lure to do the evil, rather than the right and good.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The Stewardship Of The Priesthood
When we began these messages on Stewardship back in January we looked at chapter one of Malachi – THE STEWARDSHIP OF WORSHIP. Worship is our stewardship of the way we lift up, magnify, and praise Him. We saw that we are to REMEMBER WHO WE ARE; THAT WE WERE CHOSEN BY GOD, that SINCE WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY HIM AND PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD, WE CANNOT AFFORD TO GIVE ANYTHING, EXCEPT THE VERY BEST – would the government be happy if we sent less than expected of us? We went on and saw, and should see that BOREDOM IS THE BANE [poison] OF THE CHRISTIAN SOUL AND WORSHIP. If we desire to fight boredom in our worship we must be always REMEMBERING THE GREATNESS OF OUR GOD, HIS NAME, AND HIS WORD WILL KEEP US FROM BOREDOM. Worship is not in any specific type of music it will be found in the individual’s heart.
Today we look at THE STEWARDSHIP OF THE PRIESTHOOD, which could be seen as the Stewardship of Leadership as well. Seeing how the Old Testament passage is speaking of the heirs of Levi as the priests, we can also see this as being to the Priesthood of each believer.
In looking at this Old Testament priesthood things do not look too well. They are mostly responsible for the deadness of the worship of the people. They, themselves have devalued the meaning of worship. They have been bored by their worship practices. They have counted it all contemptible.
The Bible teaches us that every believer since Christ is a Priest of Christ. First Peter 2:9 states, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV). Let’s look not at the overall outline of the chapter.
Since the Priesthood is a responsibility these will be presented as that:
I. The Priests will have RESPONSIBILITY WITH GOD’S WORD (vv. 1-9; 2 Timothy 2:15).
II. The Priests will have RESPONSIBILITY OF A GENUINE AND A DEDICATED HEART (vv. 10-13) with no hypocrisy.
III. RESPONSIBILITY OF FAMILY RELATIONS (vv. 14-16; 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25; 8:1-5).
IV. RESPONSIBILITY OF ACCURATE EVALUATIONS (v. 17; John 7:24; 1 Cor. 11:31).
I. THE STEWARDSHIP OF GOD’S WORD (vv. 1-9).
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV).
A. The priesthood of the OT was dealing with spiritual leadership.
B. The priests to whom Malachi wrote were neglecting the Word of God
C. These priests also were not even hearing the Word themselves.
1. They were bringing a curse on themselves as well as the people they were supposed to be serving.
2. They had also caused ‘many to stumble’, they had corrupted the covenant of Levi.
D. As the priests of God today (All Christians) “ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV); we all are to show forth the power of God’s Word.
1. We must make it an integral part of our lives – it must not be neglected, but read, studied, heard, and applied.
2. We must not be partial in presenting the word of God, but point out the “Whole counsel of God” no matter whom it applies to.
3. Our walk with God is based upon our treatment of God’s Word in life, and it is essential to our walk with Him.
4. As priests we are the messengers of the Word of the Lord.
II. THE STEWARDSHIP OF A GENUINE AND DEDICATED HEART (vv. 10-13).
A. With a genuine, dedicated heart there is no room for hypocrisy.
1. It is hypocrisy to deal with a person more favorably because she/he may have more worldly possessions, or have political power, or the position they may have in some organization or even a church.
2. Whether we like it or not the world takes notice of the hypocrisy within those who name the name of Christ.
B. When we tolerate the joining together of our children with the godless we give the world a hypocritical statement.
C. Feigned, sanctimonious, weeping for sin will not bring back God’s blessing.
D. God’s priests today must show forth the image of Jesus Christ in our lives.
1. Living with a dedicated heart and life to the Lord
2. Hating all forms of hypocrisy – especially when it is in ourselves – because the Lord hates hypocrisy.
3. Teaching our children and grandchildren the ways of God, His Word, and holiness.
4. Having genuine, sorrowful, repentance over our sin – remembering that God truly knows our hearts.
III. THE STEWARDSHIP OF FAMILY RELATIONS (vv. 14-16).
“Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD” 1 Samuel 2:12-17 (KJV).
“Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them” 1 Samuel 2:22-25 (KJV).
“And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment” 1 Samuel 8:1-3 (KJV).
A. The family relationship is often hurting in Christian circles today – speaking mainly of the husband and wife.
1. Men are to be the chief priest of their home, and lead the wife in spiritual matters of holiness and godliness.
2. When we look at the marriage stats of our day we find that the divorce rate is equal among Christians as with those who do not know Christ.
3. That is a definite black mark against the truth and power of Christ in our lives.
B. The priests of the OT, to whom Malachi wrote were divorcing their wives and thinking nothing of it, yet wondering what’s happened to the blessing of God.
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
1. This was for the bringing for of godly children.
2. The Messiah would come from these children.
C. As priests of God today, we bring children into the presence of God by our faith, and by always being faithful to God and His Word.
IV. THE STEWARDSHIP OF ACCURATE EVALUATIONS (v. 17).
“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” 1 Cor. 11”31 (KJV).
A. The OT priests of Malachi’s day were accusing God of delighting in wickedness.
1. They would even accuse God of favoring the wicked, and being unconcerned with the righteous.
B. Let’s be certain that we see God as being the benevolent Caretaker and Creator that He really is.
C. We must see ourselves as God sees us, and then we can see others as God sees them.
I. WE MUST BE FAITHFUL STEWARDS OF GOD’S WORD.
II. WE MUST BE GENUINE AND DEDICATED TO THE LORD’S TASK AT HAND.
III. WE MUST MAINTAIN GOOD AND GODLY FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS.
IV. WE MUST ALWAYS MAKE ACCURATE EVALUATIONS.
-Tim A. Blankenship
EXAMPLES OF CHRISTIAN LIVING (Part 1)
Proposed OUTLINE –
I. TYCHICUS WAS A MAN WITH THE HEART OF A SERVANT (vv. 7-8).
II. ONESIMUS, WAS A MAN WITH A PAST THAT WAS SINFUL (v. 9).
III. ARISTARCHUS, WAS MAN WITH A SYMPATHETIC HEART (v. 10a).
IV. MARK WAS A MAN WITH A SURPRISING FUTURE (v. 10b).
I borrowed the idea for the main points of this outline from THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY, Colossians & Philemon, pp. 192-199.
Paul has given much instruction on the dangers, and destruction of those who are Gnostics, and their teachings. Remember, they deny, the deity of Jesus Christ; because to their way of thinking Deity, and flesh cannot reside in the same body; as a matter of fact Deity cannot have a body of flesh. They supposedly believed that Jesus existed, but only as a spirit being; His “death” was only faked; thus there was only a ‘spiritual resurrection’. Do you know how silly that sounds?
Paul has encouraged us to pray for one another, and the Church; and shared with us how he was praying for us. He has lifted up the name of Jesus showing that He is Preeminent in all things, that He was the Creator of the Universe, and not only Creator, but He sustained it all.
Paul has warned us about the “Philosophy of men… And going after the ways of the world, and not after Christ”. He shared with us the sufficiency of Jesus Christ, and warned us of the death knell of legalism, and angel worship.
The apostle also encouraged us, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…” Putting off the things of the flesh. Setting our affections on things of God – things above. Putting to death all sexual sins, and covetousness. Learning to deal with anger, wrath, malice, etc… To “Put on bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness.. Meekness, longsuffering, and forbearing one another, forgiving one another. Putting on God-like love. Having godly family relationships, work relationships.
Last time we looked at having a Christian Walk with the Lord; OUR DEPORTMENT.
In these final two messages we will be looking at examples of Christian deportment. There are seven that are good, and one that does not turn out so well. These are what needs to be exhibited in our church, and in life. We are each gifted by the Holy Spirit differently, so let’s be careful about using our gift effectively, and efficiently.
THERE ARE PEOPLE IN OUR CHURCH WHO HAVE THE HEART OF A SERVANT (vv. 7-8).
“ For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another…” Romans 12:3-10 (KJV).
The word ministry in the above Scripture is speaking of “Serving”, being a servant to others. It is the type of work that is needed in the church, and everyone should be serving; first the Lord, of course, then others. There are some who are just clearly gifted with SERVING others. They are usually the first to see a need, and address it, by doing something themselves, or if it is too big a project they call on others to help out.
The one’s with the gift of ministry/serving are also the type of people who do not desire recognition. They will serve even when no one notices. They prefer anonymity in the matter of ministry, without a lot of hooplah. In the our text for the day we see Tychicus, and he was most likely this way, but Paul goes ahead and makes sure the church at Colossae knows who he is anyway.
The gift of service offered was 1) Letting the people know of Paul’s state; 2) To find out the state of the church of Colossae, and return to Paul with that info; and 3) To be an encouragement to them:
1. A servant will be one who is concerned enough to let others know the needs of those who are preaching elsewhere;
2. A servant will also be one who informs those who are preaching, of the needs and growth, or lack thereof, of the congregation they are serving;
3. A servant will be an encouraging part of the congregation.
We all need to have the attitude of the Servant. Not serving to be noticed, but serving because of calling, and desire to glorify the Lord.
EVERYONE IN THE CONGREGATION NEEDS TO REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALL PEOPLE WITH A SINFUL PAST (v.9).
Onesimus was the run away slave of Philemon. It is quite possible that, not only had he ran away, but he had stolen from Philemon. Paul says to Philemon, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that to mine account” Philemon 1:18 (KJV). It is sure that he had a sinful past.
A lot of us might ask, “Well what is he doing going back?” He was delivering this letter with Tychicus, to Colossae. He was most likely taking another letter to his master Philemon, from the hand of Paul.
In Onesimus we see a great Christian principle. It was one which Paul taught and Onesimus was going to practice, as a matter of fact he was practicing. That that he was practicing was keeping the matter of the law of slavery. Deuteronomy says, “Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee” (23:15 KJV). The one to whom a slave had fled was to care for this bond-servant, shelter, food, etc., but for them to go back was entirely up to the slave. In the case of Onesimus it was the good and godly thing to do, especially since he had become a Christian, and Philemon was a brother in Christ.
Paul describes Onesimus as, ‘…a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you…’ The testimony of Onesimus was what every Christian testimony is. One of deliverance to new life. Change had taken place in him, and it does in all who come to Christ.
The ministry of service of both Tychicus and Onesimus was to inform the people at the Colossian church of the work, ministry and needs of Paul. Onesimus was almost undoubtedly carrying another letter addressed to Philemon, and to whom he would deliver this letter face to face with the man he had wronged. Philemon was a wealthy leader of the Colossian Church which met in his house.
I have no problem believing that Philemon completely forgave Onesimus and set him free. After reading Paul’s letter himself, and then, reading it to the congregation meeting ‘in his house’ how could he refuse.
THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH WHO HAVE A SYMPATHETIC HEART (v. 10a).
Aristarchus is mentioned in Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2. Aristarchus is a voluntary captive with Paul. He is most likely not an actual prisoner, but has chosen to stay with Paul and minister to him. Part of his ministry would have been as an encourager. There would have been days when Paul would have been about as low as a Christian man can get, and would need someone to lift him up. Aristarchus was that man.
Understanding the situation requires sympathy. What is sympathy? According to the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY sympathy is – “a relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the others”. Suffering with the one who is suffering. It would also involve being blessed with the one who is blessed. Paul has said, “Weep with those who weep…” Romans 12:15. In that same verse he said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice”. There are those who can and do weep with you when you hurt. They are there for you when you need an encouraging word.
A word of caution. Not everyone has this kind of sympathy that puts them right in the place of suffering or rejoicing. We should all have some elements of sympathy, but not all to the extent that Aristarchus had. It is always a good thing to weep with the weeping, and unless you are jealous of someone else’s success rejoice with them in their rejoicing.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH WHO HAVE A SURPRISING FUTURE (v. 10b).
Mark had been a failure on Paul’s first missionary journey. In Acts 13:5 we find “John” who is John Mark ministering with Paul and Barnabus. In the thirteenth verse we have John Mark departing and going back to Jerusalem. There is absolutely no explanation, but due to the conflict that arises between Paul and Barnabus over John Mark going with them on the second missionary journey, we assume that Mark could not take the heat, so he got out while he could.
Paul was probably furious about Mark’s departure, as well as feeling like Mark deserted him. Mark was still, most likely, an immature Christian, and was not use to see persecution because of the faith. Mark had seen a challenge from Satan himself through the sorcerer Elymas, and he had seen the persecution of Paul and Barnabus, and it was all he could take. There was much contention between the two; so much that they went separate ways, and that was something God used to further the kingdom (Acts 15:36-41). One thing we can learn from this is that at all times we must use discernment. That is what Paul was doing, and at this time did not see any fruit in the life of Mark as the defeated, discouraged young man he was when he ran back to Jerusalem. When Paul saw the growth in Mark that was needed he commends him to others.
Notice in this statement by Paul that he says of Mark, “Receive him”. He mentions Mark again in the letter to Philemon, verse 24, “Salute… Mark… my fellow laborers”. Mark had grown and had become a strong believer in the faith. He mentions Mark again in 2 Timothy 4:11, as being a “profitable [useful] to me for the ministry”.
Mark went on and wrote the second Gospel. That is right the Gospel according to Mark. According to some historians and theologians Mark is the oldest of the four Gospels.
One thing by looking at the man Mark is that just because you have failed does not mean that God is finished with you. When your faith is strengthened and renewed God will use you for His glory again. When you fear you have failed just look to the One who has saved you and He will pick you up.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Satisfaction Of Imperfection
Why the title, “THE SATISFACTION OF IMPERFECTION”? It just seems that people who profess themselves to be Christian, are more and more giving excuse for their rude, and sometimes lewd behavior, as “Well! Nobody’s perfect”. That is an acclamation of THE SATISFACTION OF IMPERFECTION.
To excuse our sins as just being normal for being human, rather than seeing them as an offense to God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; and harm to our fellowship with them is wrapped in hardcore unbelief, or pure ignorance. Paul has told these things are dead with Christ on the cross, however, in our present text we are told to put them to death.
The Gnostics had a problem with the flesh and the Spirit of God being together, so they basically just said, “Live how you want in the body. You will be okay”, but Paul tells us to put these evil practices to death. “Mortify” means to put to death. This requires “The Set Mind” which we looked at in verses 1 – 4. Paul believed we were able, by the power of the Holy Spirit within to put these evils to death; put them out of our lives.
It is true that we are not perfect people, and as humans, yes, we will and do sin. That is no excuse for offending the holiness of God which is within us. As has been stated before, “We do not have to sin”. If we have been saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and His resurrection, then we do not have to sin. We have been made free. That is the greatest independence that has ever been given to mankind, if we would only receive it, and its blessings.
I. PUT TO DEATH THOSE THINGS WHICH SO EASILY DRAG US INTO SIN (v. 5a).
II. A LIST OF SINS CONCERNING PERVERTED LOVE THAT LEADS TO EVIL MOTIVES (v. 5b).
III. THESE ARE SINS OF THE CHILDREN OF UNBELIEF AND WILL COME UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD; WE USE TO LIVE THERE, BUT ARE DELIVERED (vv. 6-7).
IV. A LIST OF HATE SINS WHICH LEAD TO AN EVIL ACT (v. 8).
V. EACH ONE PUTS ON THE ‘NEW MAN’ AND PROCEEDS TO HOLINESS AND A SATISFACTION FOR HOLINESS (vv. 9-11).
I. PUT TO DEATH THOSE THINGS WHICH SO EASILY DRAG US INTO SIN (v. 5a).
A. We, as Christians, have been given a gift; the gift to say no to sin, and not let sin reign in our lives.
“ Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” Rom. 6:12-14
B. It is up to the Christian to live with the Set Mind to overcome sin, and not let it have dominion.
1. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has freed us from sins death and bondage, but the mind of the Christian must work out the victory in living it.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Philp. 2:12-13.
II. A LIST OF SINS CONCERNING PERVERTED LOVE THAT LEADS TO EVIL MOTIVES (v. 5b).
A. All of these sins are acts related to sexual immorality.
1. Fornication – The Greek word for this is ‘porneia’ from which we have the word pornography, and has to do with harlotry, idolatry, adultery and incest.
2. Uncleanness – physically or morally impure.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” Jesus (Mark 7:21-23).
3. Inordinate affection – unregulated, disorderly passion and lust.
“That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God” 1 Thes. 4:4-5.
4. Evil concupiscence – depraved, forbidden, injurious desire or lust.
5. Covetousness – Greediness, avarice = excessive desire for wealth; REMEMBER THE TENTH COMMANDMENT, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s” Ex. 20:17.
B. All of these things are connected to covetousness which is “Idolatry”.
1. Whatever consumes your mind, and your time is your god; that is what you worship.
2. Our lives are God’s – Let’s worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
III. THESE ARE SINS OF THE CHILDREN OF UNBELIEF AND WILL COME UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD; WE USE TO LIVE THERE, BUT ARE DELIVERED (vv. 6-7).
A. The afore mentioned sins are sins of the children of the devil.
B. The “Wrath of God” will come on all those who are living in them.
C. In the past we were also ‘children of the devil’ walking like them, but no longer are ‘in them’
IV. A LIST OF HATE SINS WHICH LEAD TO AN EVIL ACT (v. 8).
A. Hate in the mind leads to hateful actions which lead to all kinds of deeds, and their consequences.
1.. Anger – is desire with a violent passion.
a. Anger is an emotion that is given us by God, but what we do with it and how we use it is another thing.
b. In this verse it has meaning of negative actions; uncontrolled, destructive actions.
2. Wrath – fierce passion and indignation.
3. Malice – to actively seek the harm of another whether by words or by actions.
4. Blasphemy – evil speaking, railing against God – ‘Railing’ is to mock, babble, joke; to complain angrily.
5. Filthy communication – cursing, swearing, filthy joking, taking the name of the Lord in vain, etc..
B. The Christian is to “Put off” these things.
1. These things should be like clothing that smells terribly bad, or on fire; we get them off really quick.
2. Since we are told to do this we must believe that we can do it.
V. EACH ONE PUTS ON THE ‘NEW MAN’ AND PROCEEDS TO HOLINESS AND A SATISFACTION FOR HOLINESS (vv. 9-11).
A. Having ‘put off’ the “Old man” and “Put on the new man” we are to practice holiness and have the satisfaction of perfection.
B. We are renewed daily as we read, study and apply the Word of God to our lives, and daily living
1. We are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created us.
2. We progressively become more like Jesus – there is growth; though much of the time we may not be able to see it ourselves.
C. The ethnic background does not matter; we are equal before God.
-Tim A. Blankenship
NO PEOPLE LEFT OUT
There may have been accusations against Paul’s teaching, claiming that He was preaching an unjust and unrighteous God. That is not what Paul preached, nor is it the teaching of Scripture.
Because God is holy, righteous, and just He has every right to be “Merciful to whom He will be merciful” and to “Have compassion on whom He will have compassion”. He has did everything that His glory, holiness, righteousness, and justness allowed Him to do in order that the lost might be saved.
Hosea’s wife Gomer is brought into this picture of God’s salvation. She had become a harlot, yet God commanded Hosea to love her, and redeem her from her slavery (Hosea 2:1-22; 3:1-5). Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah saying, “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth”. (vv. 27-28; Isaiah 10:22-23). These quotations make it quite plain that God’s intentions has always been to save people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. He has blessed the nation of Israel with the blessing of giving the world His Word and the Living Word [His Son Jesus], and is blessing them again, by bringing them back to Himself, though they have strayed, and not believed Him. (See Isaiah 1:9 and 13:9).
Hosea 2:23 Paul has given as the Word of God for calling people for Himself from the Gentile nations.
Vv. 25-26 — The quotation from Hosea concerning those not “My people” and called “Children of the living God”;
Vv. 27-29 — The numerous number of Israel shows God’s fulfillment to make of them a “Great Nation”, however, due to their unfaithfulness, there will only be a small number (a remnant) from that number who will be delivered; thus, He will finish the things which He has said concerning Israel, and He will fulfill His word in short order. Except the Lord saved a remnant the Nation would have been like Sodom and Gomorrha, in destruction;
Vv. 30-32 — You can almost begin to see that there have been questions concerning the Jews about what Paul is teaching, and he is answering them; “What about these Gentiles who never pursued righteousness, and now are righteous?” It is theirs because of faith, ie., trusting God implicitly, and no other – no works – just a simple faith that realizes that it is solely by grace through faith we are saved. Israel, on the other hand, had the law, pursuing it by their works, and deeds and failed to attain righteousness by the law. The reason Israel failed is they were seeking to obtain it by the keeping of the law, rather than trusting the Lord and His grace; they had not the faith; and when it came to Jesus, their Messiah/Christ, He was a “Stumbling stone”;
v. 33 — In Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16 the prophet tells us basically what Paul is quoting; Jesus, the One who died on the cross to may a way for “His own”, and the nations, was rejected, because the cross was and still is an “Offense”. It is not only an offense to the Jew it is an offense to many who are Gentiles.
In 1993 the Barna Research Group conducted a poll on beliefs among those who professed being born again, as compared to the total population. The statement, “All good people, whether they consider Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior or not, will live in Heaven after they die on earth” was read to those who participated. Of those who professed to be “Born again” thirty two percent [32%] agreed with the statement. Forty eight [48%] of those churched agreed, along with forty four percent [44%] of the total population.
“All good people, whether they consider Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior or not will live in Heaven after they die on earth.”
Professing Born again …. 32 percent agreed;
Those who attend church …. 48 percent agreed;
Total population …. 44 percent agreed.
It is evident even today  that this has not improved. It has most likely worsened. How terrible it would be to stand before Jesus one day and have our only answer being, “I thought I could make it on my own. I was a good man/woman.” Then, to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you worker of iniquity”.
There will be no shame for those who take God at His Word and believe in Jesus. We will be able to stand before Him with confidence in His finished work and all the glory will belong solely to Him, and that will be our glorification.
Since God Is For Us
When you get to thinking about the goodness, grace and mercy of God, and you see things taught us in Scripture as, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8); and, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son…” (5:10); would it not be perfectly fitting of God to do even more wondrous things for those who are no longer His enemies.
Things we can see which God has done for us, and gives us, and continues to do in and through us:
1. Christ was given as our Substitute for sin; to freely give us all things; that is basically forgiveness. That is the most wondrous thing, along with the fellowship which we can have with the Father. We no longer have guilt, excusing us to flee from God’s presence, and we now have the presence of God within us who calls us to the throne of grace to receive forgiveness (vv. 31-32);
2. There is no charge that can be brought against us. The only Ones who can bring any legitimate charge against us will not, because we have been cleansed and forgiven by them. When you forgive someone a debt owed to you by them; you are the one who paid the debt. That is actually what forgiveness is. Until a debt is paid; it is owed. God could charge us with sin, but instead He has justified us; Jesus could also, but He died for us, rising again, is seated at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (vv. 33-34);
3. There is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ. Sin has been the source of all our separation from God; now sin has been dealt with in a death blow that is for all eternity; It is the love of Jesus Christ which is being spoke of in verse thirty five – in all these things mentioned they are rather sources of strength building rather than sources of separation and they are building blocks of our faith. We are at our Lord’s mercy, and for His glory (vv. 35-36);
4. The term, “More than conquerors” is one that is sometimes heard in other places other than church and Christian atmosphere. It is heard on school campuses. It is heard in youth discussions; Come what may, let the devil beware we will stand. We must understand that we cannot overcome, we cannot be “Conquerors” in our strength – it is in the power, Spirit and glory of Jesus Christ that we conquer (v. 37);
5. There are many things which Paul uses here to show us that there is nothing that can separate us from the “love of God…in Christ Jesus”; Notice if you will the first two – “Death nor life”; now death is separation of life from the body; but what is this doing here – especially ‘Life’? There are times we can let life get between us and God; however, if we are God’s that is not the end; “…angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing (even yourself), shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
O, what a wonder and glory it is; this thing called grace, this privilege called grace; this merciful eternal act of God. None deserve it. Few receive it. All who receive it will glorify Jesus. “Since God be for us, who can be against us”? No not one.
-Tim A. Blankenship
GLORY: Our Destination
So many times as we have our struggles with life and living; facing the sicknesses, diseases we wonder, “Is it worth all this to believe? Is it worth the suffering to continue to trust the Lord? Is it worth the doing without, just to remain honest and/or moral?” There are many questions asked in this life. Some we cannot answer. Some we must answer; at least for the peace of our own hearts.
My prayer is that all who will ever read this message, or hear it, will know their eternal destination. It is by knowing the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, that we know our eternal destiny.
There are some things we must know and realize about this destiny we have in Jesus:
1. We do not always know how to pray concerning our path in life, but the Holy Spirit – the person of Christ in you – knows our hearts, sorrows, and infirmities, and intercedes for us; and with “Groanings which cannot be uttered” (v. 26);
2. It is God who searches the heart and knows the mind of the Spirit, and because of this He prays according to God’s will (v. 27);
3. If we believe that the Spirit of God is praying through us, then we should realize that then “All things work together for good…”, and God is glorified (v. 28);
4. We can know that God is sovereign over all things, even His people – in God’s foreknowledge He predestinated those who follow Christ to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and because of this He is placed as ‘firstborn among many brethren’ (v. 29) placing Him as the Heir apparent (this is one who cannot be legally kept from the throne), fulfilling the will and the glory of God;
5. Those who have been predestined ‘to be conformed to the image of his Son’, “them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (v. 30).
Those who have been called to Jesus’s salvation – the saved, are justified, and the justified, have the promise of God of being glorified. We can rest assured that God will get us to that destination, because His own glory is at stake; and it would not be possible for the glory of God to dim, die, or be disposed of.
-Tim A. Blankenship
This makes the seventh message on this prayer which Paul prayed for the church of Colossae. The first part of the prayer has to do with having “Knowledge of the will of God…”. The second part, that we “Might walk worthy of the Lord…”. The third, “Being fruitful in every good work…”. The fourth, that we “Might be increasing in the knowledge of God”. Fifth, that we “Might be strengthened with all might…”. Sixth “Giving thanks…, and now the final one – OUR QUALIFICATION
There are four things to be noted about OUR QUALIFICATION in these two verses:
1. We have been qualified, because we have been delivered, by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross;
2. We have been qualified, because we have been translated into His kingdom;
3. We have been qualified, because we have been redeemed;
4. We have been qualified, because we have been forgiven, by the just and holy God of heaven.
I. OUR QUALIFICATION is due to the delivering work Jesus did for us on the cross.
A. The devil was defeated on the cross.
B. Darkness was defeated on the cross.
1. Jesus went through the deepest, darkest, dungeon of despair anyone could ever go through as the Father forsook Him.
2. When the battle on the cross was over the fellowship between the Father and the Son was restored, while He was still hanging on the cross – I know that because He prayed, “Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit” Luke 23:46 (KJV).
3. When Jesus had entered the battle with the devil and darkness, and as He came out of it He had prayed, “My God, My God…”. He had experienced the brokenness of the fellowship.
C. Because of this great battle we are qualified.
John Calvin concerning the phrase “Who hath delivered us…”; “Mark, here is the beginning of our salvation-when God delivers us from the depth of ruin into which we were plunged. For wherever His grace is not, there is darkness, as it is said in Isaiah 60:2, ‘Behold darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the nations; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” ‘In the first place, we ourselves are called darkness, and afterwards the whole world, and Satan, the Prince of darkness, under whose tyranny we are held captive, until we are set free by Christ’s hand. From this you may gather that the whole world, with all its pretended wisdom and righteousness, is regarded as nothing but darkness in the sight of God, because, apart from the kingdom of Christ, there is no light.” CALVIN’S COMMENTARIES Vol. 21, pp. 147&148.
II. OUR QUALIFICATION is due to Jesus translating us into His kingdom.
A. We have been transferred by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ into His kingdom.
1. His kingdom is a present reality.
B. If you are not part of His present kingdom you will not be part of His coming kingdom when He rules and reigns on earth.
III. OUR QUALIFICATION is because we have been redeemed.
A. We have been bought with a price.
1. First Corinthians 6:20 tells us to glorify God in our bodies, since we have been bought with a price.
2. . Another verse in 1 Corinthians and chapter seven and verse 23 tells us not to be servants to men – that, of course, means not to become servants unto them by means of debt, or feeling we are obligated to them to the point of denying our faith.
B. A price has been paid in full, and it was paid in blood.
1. It was the life’s blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son that was shed on the cross that day so long ago, yet so close to home.
2. We are redeemed by shed blood of the Lamb of God who came to take away our sin.
IV. OUR QUALIFICATION is because we have forgiveness of sins.
A. We cannot have forgiveness without redemption.
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness]” (Heb. 9:22).
1. All sins debt has been paid, by the blood of calvary’s Lamb.
2. The Lamb of God, whom John the Baptist proclaimed, “…Taketh away the sin of the world.”
B. Because of the redemption provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we have forgiveness, remission.
The Merriam/Webster Dictionary defines ‘Remission’ = ‘the act of remitting’ with the word ‘Remit’ = ‘forgive, pardon’. If you were a prisoner which would be better to be put on parole or pardoned? Myself, It would take the pardon. That means the sin has been forgiven, and with no conditions. If you are paroled then, you must check in to your parole officer or sheriff, or some other authority of law. Your sin is not forgiven.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.” Psalm 32:1-6 (KJV).
John Calvin in his commentary said, “In the first place, he says that we have redemption, and immediately explains it as meaning the remission of sins; for these two things agree together by apposition. For questionably, when God remits our transgressions, He exempts us from condemnation to eternal death. This is our liberty, this our glorying in the face of death-that our sins are not imputed to us. He says that this redemption was procured through the blood of Christ, for by the sacrifice of His death all the sins of the world have been expiated.” CALVIN COMMENTARIES p. 148.
I. Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ He has qualified us, fit us for His kingdom.
II. He has qualified us by delivering us from the deep, dark, dungeonness, of sin.
III. He has qualified us by translating from the kingdom of darkness, death, and destruction into His kingdom of love, light, and His limitless presence.
IV. He has qualified us by paying the price to redeem us from our sin debt; He paid the full price, not to the devil, but to the Father to whom the debt was owed.
V. Now that the debt has been paid in full the Father is truly forgiving all our sin, and seeing you and I in the garments of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Earnest Expectation For Redemption
In our last study of Romans 8:10-17 we looked at “A Joyful Expectation In The Father”. That Joyful Expectation is due to His promise that we are “Joint heirs” with Jesus Himself. “Joint heir” means; everything that is His is ours. I am glad to be a joint heir with Christ. We must always know that we are not joint heirs due to our behavior, our goodness, or anything else of us. It is due solely by the Grace of God.
The Father has given us the Right, the Privilege to call God Father, Abba [Daddy]. We have been adopted into the family of God and given all the rights of the elder Son.
EARNEST EXPECTATION AND THE REDEMPTION OF CREATION – INCLUDING OUR PHYSICAL BODIES.
Looking at these memorable verses (18-25) we see and learn some wonderful things. First of all in verse 18 we see that there is going to be “Glory” for those who have believed on Jesus. He has written in verse 17, “… That we may be also glorified together.” and he is speaking, of course of Jesus. There is no glory apart from Jesus.
Paul is making a bold declaration. Notice he says, “For I reckon…” He is declaring something to be so, because the Spirit of Christ has already declared it to be so. We need this mindset, which actually begins in the heart of the believer.
The statement Paul makes in this sentence is a strong statement concerning our glory we share with Christ. The glory we will have in heaven is far beyond any suffering we have received while here on this earth. Stop and think about the suffering you have endured, whether for Christ or because of illness, or even some things of suffering you may have brought on yourself. Those will all be forgotten when we see Jesus in His glory, and receive His glory; the glory we have with Him.
In verse 19 we find that the “creation” all created things, are personalized by Paul making it almost human. It is as though the creation is waiting – waiting expectantly – for the ‘Sons of God to be revealed’. This is the revelation to all of creation who are the children of God. They will receive the glory, then, they shall know. “All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory”: How then, can we receive glory? By way of Jesus and His cross – His death, burial and resurrection.
On verses 20 thru 22 the MacArthur Study Bible note states,
“futility’ (NKJV). This refers to the inability to achieve a goal or purpose. Because of man’s sin, God cursed the physical universe (Gen. 3:17-19), and now, no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose”.
I am going to have to agree with this comment. I have stated in sermons and other things, that, “Man is the only part of God’s creation that does not fulfill God’s original purpose”. In thinking about what the study note says from the MacArthur Study Bible I believe that statement is correct, because when Adam and Eve sinned the earth was cursed. The lamb and the lion no longer lie down together; the calf and the wolf no longer eat together; the child can no longer play on the serpent’s den. And they could before the earth was cursed by the sin of mankind. Through no fault of the creature, ie., creation with the exception of man, thus, the futility, the ‘subjection’ ‘to vanity’. The creation had not sinned, but because of grace, God provides for Adam and Eve and all mankind; who is made after His image and likeness. For the redemption of man, the whole universe is cursed; and because of Jesus Christ, not only is man redeemed but also all of creation. Now isn’t that great or what? In the personification of the creation you can almost see the expectation. Listen as she cries. There was an earthquake at the crucifixion, and the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). There was darkness over the whole earth from noon to three in the afternoon when Jesus was suffering for the sins of the world (Matthew 27:45). She is still groaning today. Listen as the storms rage. In some parts of the earth she is disturbed and we can feel her torment. Mount Saint Helens blew her top in 1980, and people died. Just last week Tsunami hit leaving 50,000 plus people without a home. On December 26, 2004 over 300,000 people were killed by a Tsunami as it ravaged Thailand and areas around it. You get the picture. Creation when personified is looking for that day when all things will be set right and made brand new.
In verse 23 we are told that those who have received the gifts of the Spirit; or, the “First fruits of the Spirit” are also longing or groaning for that day when the redemption will be complete. Now, know that, if you have been saved, you are no more saved than you ever will be, nor are you any less saved than you are right now. The point is there is coming a day when our redemption will be completed when we see Jesus face to face, then, we will be home. We are waiting for that ‘adoption’ when we receive our inheritance, and the redemption of our bodies. When Jesus comes for His Bride; the Church; all those who have died will be resurrected from their graves, and it does not matter where that grave may be. Those will be raised in their redeemed bodies, then, those who are alive and remain will be changed, and receive their redeemed bodies. Now I am groaning even more. I have had some people ask me, “Don’t you dread getting old?” to which I have replied, “Not at all. The older I get the closer I get to home”. That is the day I am living for.
Verses 24 & 25 speak of the “Hope” we have now. “Hope that is seen is not hope” seems like a bold statement of sorts. It is quite sensible. If we have the new car of our dreams, we do not hope to get one. We have it in our possession. The hope Paul speaks of, of course is much different than is ‘wishful thinking’, or even thinking that has merit to back up the hope. This hope; of which Paul speaks, is based on the trustworthiness of God and His Word. It is based on the worth of God. Therefore, we can know quite assuredly that though what we have now is hope for that day when He comes; it is as good as accomplished, because God has said it. He has promised it. Because He has promised it, “We eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (NKJV), or “We with patience wait for it”. God did not, does not, nor will not make idle or empty promises. His Word will come to pass, therefore, it is worth looking for and well worth the wait.
Col 1:10 (KJV) Might be fruitful in every good work…
When a tree matures enough to begin bearing fruit it will bear the fruit it is supposed to bear. An apple tree will bear apples. A peach tree will bear peaches. A thorn tree will bring forth thorns. You get the picture.
People bear fruit as well. When you were a lost sinner you bore fruit which would be compared to a thorn tree – basically useless and certainly not glorifying the Lord. We all were in that “thorny situation” at one time. A sinking ship, that was going down fast.
Now, that we are saved we will bear fruit that is honoring to our Savior, and will glorify Him. What kind of fruit do Christian’s bear? 1) Evidence of a changed life; 2) Telling others about Jesus; 3) Praising God; 4) Living a holy life; 5) Displaying holy attitudes. The Christian, when sin has invaded the heart, is convicted, and immediately upon the conviction by the Spirit of God will seek forgiveness. She/he does not let sin lay around for long, but wants that fellowship with Jesus Christ sweet and glorious.
When we pray for fruitfulness in one another we ourselves will become fruitful.
Last Sunday morning we looked at the first part of the prayer Paul prayed here in the first chapter of Colossians, “…to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;“ Col 1:9 (KJV), and Sunday evening at the second part, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” Col 1:10 (KJV). (Please note that this message was preached 9/17/2006 at Carr Lane Baptist Church)
Is this prayer important to the life of the church? Is it important that the Christians of today pray a prayer similar to this? I believe so to both of the above questions. It should be every Christian’s desire to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. It should also be our desire to walk worthy of the Lord and be pleasing to Him; glorifying Him. It should also be our desire to see all our brothers and sisters in Christ fulfilling the same. Therefore, we must pray for one another to that very effect.
The desire of Paul’s heart for this part of the prayer is that, “We might be fruitful in every good work”.
Let’s define what ‘Every good work’ is. It would seem to me that every is self explanatory, as is good, and work. Does anyone do “good works” apart from the work of Jesus Christ in us though? It is necessary that on the outward appearance, there are many who do ‘good works’, but what is meant by us being ‘fruitful in every good work’? It would most certainly mean that all the good things we do in the Spirit of God working in us, which brings glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
A quote from John Gill, “being fruitful in every good work; saints are trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord; good works are the fruit, which, under the influence of divine grace, they bring forth; and this is not of one sort only, as trees usually do, but of every kind; being ingrafted into Christ the true vine, and deriving life, sap, and nourishment from him, they are filled with the fruits of righteousness by him, which they bring forth and bear, to the glory of his heavenly Father; and being such, they are pleasant plants to him, as fruit bearing trees are to the owner of them: wherefore, in order to the saints walking in their lives and conversations unto all pleasing, or pleasing in all things, the apostle prays they might be fruitful in good works, and that in everyone, in every kind of good works: “ (From John Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible – e-Sword).
We cannot bear fruit except we abide in the vine. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.“ John 15:1-8 (KJV). Part of being in the vine and bearing fruit is getting answers to your prayers. That is seen in the above verse seven.
Let’s look at some of the fruits that we bear when we give ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. There will be evidence of a changed life, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.“ 1 Cor 6:9-11 (KJV). Note, particularly the last verse. “Such were some of you…”
2. Telling others of Jesus, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:18 (KJV). This commandment/commission is for all who follow Jesus;
3. Praising God, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Heb. 13:15 (KJV);
4. Living a holy life, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Cor. 5:7-8 (KJV);
5. Displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit”, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Gal. 5:22-26 (KJV).
This fruit is not the same fruit. It is multiple fruits, and they are the good fruits of the Spirit of God, that works in us to accomplish the will of God and glorify Him.
Without knowledge which we spoke of last time, there would be no fruitfulness. Fruitfulness is a product of righteousness, which is produced through knowledge received by the Spirit of God, working in the mind, accomplishing the will of God in us. Every Christian bears fruit.
Let’s look now at how this fruit it produced.
1. Comes by union with Christ Jesus, “ Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4-5;
2. The wisdom of God is needed, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17. John MacArthur writes, “Lack of fruit is directly related to lack of spiritual wisdom”. (From THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY pg. 32).
3. As Christians we must make every diligent effort, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8.
-Tim A. Blankenship
RECOGNIZING YOUR MASTER
I. LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH; LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION (vv. 1 – 10).
II. TAKING AUTHORITY OVER SIN IN OUR LIVES (vv. 11 – 13).
III. SERVING THE ONE WHOM WE OBEY (vv. 14 – 22).
IV. WAGES OF SIN; AND THE GIFT OF GOD (v. 23)
Does grace give a license to sin? That was the basic question Paul had to answer from his critics – the critics of the true gospel of grace. Does a dead person sin? Not any longer. They are free from sin, but not necessarily from sins wages.
If grace abounds ‘much more’ because of sins intensity, brought about by the law, then, does it not seem that to willfully and deliberately sin would be good? However, for one to be made alive in Christ there must be death and resurrection. This death is the putting away of sin (Col. 3:5). The resurrection is the ‘newness of life’ that only happens through faith in Jesus.
Paul has revealed to us that all people are sinners; “There is none righteous…”, “There is none who seeketh after God…”. He then tells us that the only way for us to please God is by grace through faith. By grace, God declares righteous [right with Himself], those who believe in His Son Jesus. Now, in chapter six Paul turns to the continuing work of God’s grace in those who believe. The Word is sanctification. To be sanctified is a process, a daily process, by which God works in the believer’s life to make us in ‘the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).
If a person is still controlled by sin that individual has not yet died, nor been resurrected to life by power of Jesus’s resurrection. Before resurrection there must be death. The question we must ask is, “WHO IS YOUR MASTER”?
Is there anything which you desire/crave more than anything else which is not a necessity for living and life? Are you addicted to it? If it is something that causes you to become irritable, rude, obnoxious and angry to be without, then, it is probably something that controls you. “WHO IS YOUR MASTER?”
IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, AND THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION (vv. 1 – 10).
“Where do my good deeds fit into the scale for salvation?” Do they fit into salvation at all? Here is what Paul has previously said, “If it is of works, it is no more by grace; God becomes indebted to us” (Paraphrased from Rom. 4:4).
By faith the believer trusts God for their salvation, and not their own works. Good works, for the glory of God are a by-product of our faith. God produces fruits in us as we root ourselves in Him.
Trusting Him completely; means that we die to ourselves, and our own believed abilities to
earn God’s favor. There must be a death to self rule in order for God to rule in peace and harmony.
“Baptized into Jesus” is speaking of becoming immersed in Him. By faith we are baptized into Jesus. The word ‘Baptized’ means to immerse – to put under. We have all probably heard the expression, “He is immersed in his work”, meaning, of course, that he is totally given to his job or enterprise. When we are ‘Baptized/Immersed into Jesus’ it means we are totally given to Him.
There is death that has taken place. A separation of the spirit and soul from the body of sin. Notice I say, “From the body of sin”, not from the body of flesh. The ‘Body of sin’ is really the old Adamic nature. It, by faith, has been crucified with Jesus Christ in His death on the cross.
The ordinance of water baptism every obedient Christian practices is a public confession, and testimony by symbol of the actual event that has already taken place in the believer’s life.
This baptism into Jesus is “Reckoning” of ourselves dead in His crucifixion, and raised with Him by His resurrection. To be “Crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) is to put to death everything that is an abomination to God and take away its power to condemn (John 3:18); Rom. 8:1). By His resurrection we are “Raised up” to “Walk in newness of life”. It is a “New life”, not the old life warmed over. In God’s work of “Sanctification” He makes us holy. There are no left-over’s.
If we have died with Jesus we will also live with Him. If death has no more dominion over Him, it does not have dominion over those who believe. Death is an enemy, but is not to be feared by saints of God. It is inevitable that we will die, but death has no holding power. Being dead to sin we are no longer the servants/slaves of sin.
TAKING AUTHORITY OVER SIN IN OUR LIVES (vv. 11 – 13).
There is a continual struggle with sin, and we have been given the means of having victory over it. Within these three verses we have the answer to the question of why we struggle with sin, even after we have, by faith received God’s gracious gift of salvation. Within these same verses we have the answer of how we can have victory over sin.
Even before Jesus physically died on the cross He knew that His very purpose in being the incarnate Son of God was to become sin for us, receive judgment for our sin, to pour out His life’s blood for our redemption and do it to fulfill the demands of the holy law of God, and for His glory. He, while living for the glory of His Father, had already “Reckoned” Himself dead. Do you know what happened when He “Reckoned” Himself dead for the cause of His Father? He was able to fulfill all His Father’s will in His life.
The very reason people get out of the will of God is because we do not “Reckon” ourselves dead in Christ, and we are alive for ourselves.
The best life that we could live is lived through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Even after a person has received Jesus as Lord and Savior there is still sin in the world. Its temptations are strong; and often much stronger than we are – physically speaking. “Do not let sin…reign in your mortal body…” is speaking of the physical body. By the Spirit of Jesus in us we are to take control of physical appetites that cause us to sin. Some of these appetites are natural – we were created with them – but if left uncontrolled they become perverted and sinful.
One example is our strong desire to eat food, especially when we are hungry, but unless we control our appetite we will become “Gluttons”, make ourselves sick, and become overweight. We must eat to survive, but we must control the eating, and not let the eating control us. Someone has said, “Eat to live, not live to eat”. Everything must come under the reign of our own will as it has been changed by the “Newness of life” in Christ Jesus.
Notice these commands – “Reckon…yourselves…dead”, “Do not let sin reign your mortal body”. These are two directives given to aid us in living in victory over sin. There is a third one, “…Yield yourselves unto God…”. If we continue to desire to do our own thing we have not yet yielded to God’s will. We are still in rebellion against Him.
The very reason sin continues to reign in many professing Christians is because of this very thing. Jesus is not Lord. He is merely a “Life insurance policy”, or “Fire insurance policy”, only to call on in a time of great need and emergency. Like a spare tire. GOD IN A BOX.
Once again we can ask the question, “Who is your master?”
SERVING THE ONE WHOM WE OBEY (vv. 14 – 22).
The law condemns us. It offers us nothing in the way of escaping the wrath of God. It clearly shows us we are sinners unable to please God. As long as anyone is dependent upon the works of the law for the favor of God, they are under the dominion of the law, and are condemned.
Since, by faith, the believer is under grace and not the law we are no longer under the laws condemnation. Under grace we no longer desire to rebel against God. We desire to grow closer to Him, and become more like Jesus in our commitments, and living. As was previously stated, we are dead to sin (v. 11). Why would anyone who has experienced God’s grace, and newness of life in Jesus, desire to continue in sin?
You will, however, give yourself to whomever is your master. If your master is sin, then, you are a slave to sin and death is the continuing and end result. When Jesus is your Master, and in His righteousness, there is continuing growth in Him, and at the end of your physical life eternal life continues with Him.
At one time everyone who is a Christian – born again – was a servant/slave to sin. When the Spirit of God called we heard and obeyed, “That form of doctrine”, which is the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, being made free from sin we are the servants of righteousness. We can only be servants of righteousness as we yield to the One who is the embodiment of Righteousness, and that is Jesus.
The fruit of being a slave of sin is death and shame. “Being made free from sin”, the fruit is holiness. God will do whatever it takes to make us holy. Holiness is accomplished by the work of God, through sanctification. I believe that every event, every test, every trial, and every temptation of every day is a work of sanctification, and we are being made holy for God and His glory. Just as salvation is a work of God’s grace, so too is the work of sanctification a daily grace of God. “Who Is Your Master?”
WAGES OF SIN; AND THE GIFT OF GOD (v. 23).
This verse has long been one within the passages of Scriptures which are used in what has been called “THE ROMAN ROAD” for leading others to faith in Jesus.
We hear of “Wages” in every day living. If one has a job, vocation, avocation, or occupation, they know what ‘wages’ are. Wages are given for what has been earned and deserved. Humanity without God is a dying race. There is no life for we humans apart from God. Even physical life, as short as it is, is given by Him. He gives life and He takes it away.
Every one of the members of the human race is born in a condemned state – apart from God and is dying. God offers us a personal relationship with Him in order that we might glorify Him, and live. If we reject God’s free gift of grace we only get what we were born deserving – death; eternal separation from God, and Hell.
There are two absolutes given in this verse. 1) If you continue in your sin, and rebellion against God; death awaits you; 2) If you receive, by faith, Jesus Christ, believing He died and rose again for the glory of the Father, and has declared you justified and righteous by God, you have eternal life.
WHO IS YOUR MASTER?
-Tim A. Blankenship
Praying For Knowledge
I. THERE IS A DESTRUCTION FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.“ Hosea 4:6 (KJV).
A. “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.“ Prov 19:2 (KJV).
B. “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men (be mature).“ 1 Cor 14:20 (KJV).
C. Without knowledge you cannot know what is truth.
“Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.“ Isaiah 5:13 (KJV).
II. BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE.
A. The Bible speaks of being ‘Filled with sorrow’ –
“But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.“ John 16:6 (KJV).
B. The Bible speaks of being ‘filled with fear’ –
“And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. Luke 5:26 (KJV).
C. There is the term ‘filled with rage’ –
“And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.“ Luke 6:11 (KJV).
D. Then, last but not least of which is ‘Filled with the Spirit –
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;“ Eph 5:18 (KJV).
1. The filling represents total control.
2. Being filled with knowledge would then, have you and me under control of Biblical and godly knowledge.
a. That means when we are ‘filled with knowledge’ when the “Know-it-alls” [Gnostics] surround us; when they overwhelm us; when they belittle us; and tell us, “You know nothing”, we are knowledgeable and can stand on the truth of the knowledge we have of God from His Word.
III. KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL.
A. Sometimes, it is a struggle to find and know the will of God.
B. There are seven things for which we can be certain is the will of God for our lives:
It is God’s will that we be Saved –
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.“ 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV).
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.“ 1 Tim 2:4 (KJV).
It is God’s will that we be Spirit filled – (Eph. 5:18);
It is God’s will that we be Sanctified –
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:“ 1 Thess 4:3 (KJV).
It is the will of God that we be Submissive –
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:“ 1 Peter 2:13-15 (KJV);
It is the will of God that we be Suffering –
“Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.“ 1 Peter 4:19 (KJV);
It is the will of God that we be Serving –
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.“ 1 Peter 4:10 (KJV);
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” Eph 4:1 (KJV);
If we are faithful in following these six elements of God’s will then it is what ever we desire.
“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.“ Prov. 16:3 (KJV); and
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart “ Psalms 37:4 (KJV).
John MacArthur writes,
“How does a person obtain knowledge? First, he must desire it. In John 7:17 Jesus says, ‘If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.’ That thought is echoed in Hosea 6:3, “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.’ Second, he must depend on the Holy Spirit. It is through Him that we know the things God has revealed to us (cf. 1 Cor. 2:10-12). Finally, he must study the Scriptures, for they make the believer ‘adequate, equipped for every good work’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Perhaps the most graphic text related to the pursuit of divine truth is Job 28.” From The MacArthur New Testament Commentary -Colossians & Philemon p.29
IV. WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING.
A. In an age of careless theology where people make their own god and interpretation of Scriptures the wisdom of God is greatly needed.
1. Scriptures, nor personal experiences can be properly understood by the question – What does this say to me?.
2. Scripture must interpret Scripture, comparing spiritual with spiritual, and personal experience in light of Scripture (1 Cor. 2:13-14).
B. With wisdom we collect and organize principles taught in Scripture.
C. With understanding we apply these principles to daily living.
John MacArthur writes, “Having knowledge of God’s Word control our minds is the key to righteous living. What controls your thoughts will control your behavior. Self-control is a result of mind-control which is dependent on knowledge. Knowledge of God’s Word will lead to all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
I. CHRISTIANS WILL FILL THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF GOD AND HIS WORD.
II. BEING FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD…WILL ENABLE US TO DEFEND THE TRUTH, STAND FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND BE VIBRANT AND DILIGENT WITNESSES FOR CHRIST.
III. HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL WILL FULFILL OUR BEING AND WE WILL BE MOST SATISFIED IN CHRIST, AND WILL GLORIFY HIM.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”. John Piper
IV. WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING IS NECESSARY IN A WORLD THAT IS FULL OF DARKNESS, AND THE COMING OF CHRIST DRAWS NEARER.
V. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR YOU NEED HIM NOW.
-Tim A. Blankenship
This began our study of Romans chapter four. We covered the first four verses.
Unique – Saving Faith
The Outline is for Romans 4:1-25
I. AN EXAMPLE OF A UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF A CREDITED ACCOUNT (vv. 5-8).
III. THE CREDITED ACCOUNT IS NOT DUE TO WHAT WE HAVE INVESTED OR PUT TO THE ACCOUNT (vv. 9-12).
IV. THIS RECKONING OF JUSTIFICATION IS GOOD FOR ALL THROUGH FAITH ALONE (vv. 13-17).
V. IT IS THE RECKONING OF GOD HIMSELF; NO HUMAN WORKS ARE CALLED FOR (vv. 18-25).
It was, and probably still is, a popular belief among Jews of Paul’s day and Jews and non-Jews of our day to believe that Abraham was declared righteous by God due to his obedience. Paul puts the record straight.
How were people of the Old Testament saved? Was it by complete obedience to God’s law? Was it by the sacrifice of bulls, goats, lambs, etc.? What do the Scriptures say?
“By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” (Romans 3:20).
“Abraham believed God…” (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6-9).
No one has ever been saved by keeping the law, no one will ever be saved by keeping the law. To see that it is by faith in God alone that saves, God gives us ample Scriptures to prove it. For example Psalm 32:1-2; and Hebrews 11.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, David, Solomon, etc. are all evidences of justification by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. They believing what would be; we believing what has been and shall be.
There are three words in this study which stand out as a theme. The first word is ‘Reckoned’ found in verses 4, 9, and 10. The second word is ‘Impute’, is used six times, in verses 6, 8, 11, 22, 23, and 24. The third word is ‘counted’, it is used only twice. They all come from the same Greek word logizomai – log-id’-zom-ahee – of these words are terms for accounting. God’s declaring us righteous, and justified.
AN EXAMPLE OF THE UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
Salvation by grace through faith is unique – one of a kind. There is nothing like it in religion. Grace is not possible by work. If it is not by faith it is not grace.
Since many of the Jews believed that Abraham was justified by works Paul realized that this fallacy needed correction. If Abraham was justified (declared righteous by God) by his works he would then have a reason to boast. His boasting, of course, would have to be before men. He would not glory before God. God’s glory is a glory of its own. Man’s glory cannot match the glory of God.
God delights in those who believe in Him. Those who realize they are weak and helpless to save themselves. Those who have no one else in which to turn, but Him. Those whose hearts are broken and shattered because they realize there is no other hope by Him. Those who have reached the bottom of the bottom, the lowest low. These realize then, God is my hope, my strength, song, salvation, my very source of peace, life and joy.
“A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).
When God called Abraham to leave his native land he obeyed, and left. Now understand, Abraham was at that time what the Jews would call a Gentile – there were no Jews. In his culture they worshiped idols, and were despicable in their behavior. Somehow in the midst of all this darkness God shined brightly His light into the life of Abraham, he saw, he heard, and he left this land of despicable sin and shame – the Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:31). He even came out with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and his wife Sarah as well as others who are unnamed.
If you heard God speak for the first time would you get up and leave your home, friends, ownership of your land, business, etc. to obey God? Many will not do that whose lives they say belong to Him. Abraham did. How did he do it? He believed God, then he put one foot in front of the other; over and over again. Faith is the end of any attempt to gain God’s favor on any personal merit. If you could gain God’s favor by personal merit it would be by works not grace, therefore, if the works ceased, so too would the favor of God.
When a man or woman takes on a job (work) he/she expects to be paid. The employer is indebted to the employee until the employee receives his/her wages. In like fashion if we worked for our salvation God would be indebted to us until the debt was paid. God is indebted to no one. He did not, nor does not even owe us the possibility of salvation. In His grace He paid our sin debt, and then, when we believe He declares us righteous. What wonderful grace.
“Wonderful grace of Jesus; greater than all my sin. How can my tongue describe it? Where shall my praise begin?”
-Tim A. Blankenship
A False Witness
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
One false witness takes a truth and twists it to convict Jesus (Matthew 26:59-61). What makes the statement “False”? It is the accusation against One who has done no wrong. It is the attitude of the heart. It just was not true.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
There is even protection for the accused, and that protection is seen in Numbers 35:30,
“Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.”
It is repeated,
“At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:6).
What makes someone a false witness? Envy, greed, unjust anger, disobedience to God, fear, hatred. Love will never cause one to be a false witness.
I. A FALSE WITNESS TWISTS WORDS TO FIT THEIR OWN AGENDA.
II. THINGS WILL FALL APART WITHOUT THE TRUTH.
III. THE TRUTH OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN THE CHILD OF GOD.
IV. FALSE WITNESSES DESTROY – THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.
A FALSE WITNESS TWISTS WORDS TO FIT THEIR OWN AGENDA.
That was the way of the two witnesses at Jesus’s trial. They gave testimony to words Jesus did say, but they were twisted to fit the agenda of the hearts of the condemned to condemn the innocent.
The Psalmist wrote,
“Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.” (Psalm 56:5).
A man by the name of John Dryden said,
“Truth is the foundation of all knowledge and the cement of all societies.” (From BE SKILLED by Warren W. Wiersbe).
SOCIETIES WILL FALL APART WITHOUT THE TRUTH.
There is only injustice when you have an elite who make the laws to suit themselves and it enables them to take from the least fortunate. Warren Wiersbe wrote,
“Without truth, things start to fall apart; when people lie officially, the foundations of society begin to crumble.”
Jezebel, by pretense seemed as though she was going to exalt Naboth, but she had arranged for two men to bring charges of blasphemy against him. The charges were not truth. (See 1 Kings chapter 21). It is for sure that the kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel crumbled.
A “False witness” is a killer with intent to harm.
“A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.” (Prov. 25:18).
All of those things mentioned in the verse are instruments of death. False words of false witnesses are instruments of death.
The false witness is a deceiver.
“He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness; but a false witness deceit.” (Prov. 12:17).
Think about the lies, the false witness of Ken Lay of Enron infamy. The lies they told led a business down to destruction. Let us not be guilty of bearing false witness.
THE TRUTH OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN THE CHILD OF GOD.
The Spirit of God does not, will not lie. Neither will He in the person He possesses.
The child of God, who is possessed by the Spirit of God will speak the truth in love.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:15).
The child of God will not practice deceit. (See verse 14 of Ephesians 4).
She/He will not “Bear false witness”.
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10).
In 2 Timothy 3:3 “False accusers” is used as one of the terms of people who have departed from the faith, or never had it. It is the Greek word “Diabolos” which is actually the word for devil.
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Is that not interesting to know that the same word for “False accusers” is the same word for devil. That surely means that “False accusers” are of the devil and have no part with God.
IT IS FOR CERTAIN THAT FALSE WITNESSES DESTROY – IT IS ALSO FOR CERTAIN THAT TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.
We have seen by the Word of God that false witnesses are one’s who will lead others to destruction, and is headed for destruction themselves. They will destroy those who they do not like, because they have a higher position, greater material assets, are more popular, are envious and greedy for more of the world. They destroy families, churches, communities, businesses, governments, whole societies. They, themselves are headed on a path of destruction.
There is a word from our Lord Jesus on this matter.
“If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).
It is a great thing to be free from the power which holds us to be false witnesses, which causes us to grasp for, hunger, and devour the things of the world. They cause us to do harm to others, even by false words of testimony. Using a good Biblical word, WOE be to those who will continue to bear false witness against another. Look out if you do.
May Psalm 12 be the prayer of our hearts concerning this thing of bearing false witness against anyone.
The only way out of such a destructive life is to confess your sin; trust Jesus to cleanse your heart and tongue. Be filled with the Spirit and walk in that Spirit. If a brother or sister in Christ offends you take the matter to God, not to another brother. One thing that appears to happen when we take this to someone else: it seems to end up being a false witness against the other. We only share such thing with others to get them on “Our side”. Check yourself, then go to that other person who has offended you. That will stop the false witnessing. Make sure of your own heart.
-Tim A. Blankenship
This is the fourth message in the series SEVEN ABOMINATIONS WHICH GOD HATES.
The Heart Of Imagination
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
“The heart of the human problem, is the problem of the human heart.”
It is not by accident, nor coincidence that this abomination is at the center of this list. The heart is at the center of our emotions, even our thoughts and actions, are moved by the heart. Now we are not talking about the thing in our bodies that pumps the blood that courses through our veins.
“IMAGINATION —the power of the mind to form a mental image. The Bible uses the word imagination to refer to evil plans, purposes, and thoughts (Gen. 8:21; Jer. 7:24; Luke 1:51). It does not use the word to describe forming mental images of things that do not exist.” Nelsons New Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
“Subtlety in the contrivance of sin, wisdom to do evil, a heart that designs and a head that devises wicked imaginations, that is acquainted with the depths of Satan and knows how to carry on a covetous, envious, revengeful plot, most effectually. The more there is of craft and management in sin the more it is an abomination to God.” Matthew Henry Commentary.
THE CENTER OF MAN’S BEING IS HIS HEART.
God saw in the beginning and told us about it, “…The thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5). Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” (Matthew 15:19; See also Mark 7:21). If man’s heart could be changed then the world can be changed.
There is one man who has a pure heart. He gives it to whom ever will believe in Him. According to 1 Corinthians 2:16 those who are “spiritual” have His mind. This means a new heart, new hungers, desires, and longings. Along with the new heart comes the “new mind” and thoughts.
THE PLOTTING OF THINGS IN WICKEDNESS.
To plan to do something which is right and good – godly – is honorable. To plan on doing the right thing is a good deterrent to keep from doing the wrong and evil thing. It is always right to plan right things, and do them with the right motive. Wrong motives come from the wicked heart that devises wicked imaginations.
“Devising” is a word for plotting or planning an evil act or deed. A word that is known today for plotting and scheming is “Designing”. You have probably heart the title “Designing Women” – I believe that is the title of a television sitcom some time ago. The idea of both is to scheme and plot for the purpose of going outside of God’s plan and direction. I find it sad to say, but there is too much of this going on in local churches, and denominations. When we have a gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Christ, believe God’s Word, and have a common agenda, why do we need to have groups planning who the next President of the Convention is going to be? “Designing” people. “Devising”, “Designing”, these come from one’s own mind. Thoughts like, “How do I get even?”, “How do I force this person out of his/her position so I can work my way in?” “What is the best way to steal money from my employer?, my bank?, my government?” Do you get the picture? Then, people who have this thought pattern set out to “devise” a plan for the events to occur. They will do it secretly; maybe with some help.
The words, “Devise”, “Designing”, “Plotting”, and “Scheming” all have connotations of evil within them. Of course, it will also depend on how the word is seen and used in a sentence.
The good – godly – heart plans to do good and right. Remember the One with the pure heart. Be born again.
WICKEDNESS AND GOODNESS.
The wicked heart devises wicked ways. It does not know good. Evil cannot know righteousness. Even when an evil/wicked heart does a “good” thing there is usually a hidden motive. It is the motive of the heart that really makes the difference.
Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9).
Overcome evil with good, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21). Light always cancels out darkness. Good will always overcome evil – not because of the power of good, but because of the power of the good, holy, and righteous God. It will do that in our hearts as long as the light of Christ is shining – Let it shine in.
THE IMAGINATION OF MAN.
Our imaginations can be used for evil or good. The imagination which God is referring to, and which He hates is the “Imagination” which plots an evil plan for their own purposes, and against God and anything godly. A deliberate act against God. When we know the will of God and deliberately disobey, is that an act of a wicked imagination? The inclination of our hearts is to imagine evil – to manufacture it and perform it. That evil inclination, however, can be changed by a change of will – a supernatural change.
Children’s imaginations are really vivid and quite colorful. We let children imagine, that is why there are so many copyrights and inventions (Patents). The automobiles we drive came along because of someone’s imagination – the train, airplane, etc. Electricity, television, radio, recordings, all came from an imagination somewhere. We have sent men to the moon, because of an imagination or two.
Think of the imagination it has taken in medicine. Forty years ago no one did “Open heart surgeries”, and if it was attempted, it failed with death of the patient. Now it is a procedure that is conducted everyday, and probably many times a day around the world. Now the imagination of man is wanting to play with creating life, and then taking it by means of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer or SCNT, for the purpose of stemcell “Research?”, supposedly to save the lives of needy individuals, probably more of those who could afford the procedure or have the insurance to cover it. This is the “Wicked Imagination” of which God hates.
The heart that devises a “wicked imagination” is not the heart of God. It imagines doing evil to others for personal gain – in the case of SCNT it is against the life of the embryo on which they will kill to “Research?”. For the most part selfish gain is what is involved in this procedure, this killing of innocent life to supposedly save the life of others. Let us leave the giving and taking of life in God’s hands.
Only Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying our sins far away, and rising again to life; can change the heart that deviseth wicked imaginations; into a heart that glorifies Him.
In conclusion, shun every vile imagination – plan to do what is right and good. You were born with an evil heart – You can be born again through Jesus Christ and have a new, clean heart. There is no good in mankind – goodness is solely a God thing – it comes from God. In Jesus Christ you receive a sanctified imagination.
-Tim A. Blankenship
We have been studying the first chapter of Romans, and have made it all the way through verse 27 as of the 16th of August.
In looking at these previous verses we have seen What Happens When God Gives Up?
Truth is repressed by unrighteousness (vv.18-23);
God releases them to their own decay and filth of immorality (vv. 24-25);
God releases them to shameful passions (vv. 26-27).
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27 (KJV).
These ‘vile affections’, ’shameful passions’ are the shameful acts of homosexuality. Women with women going against the God created order. Women are usually the last to fall morally.
“Men with men” against the nature created in them.
This debauchery certainly reaps what it sows. (v. 27b).
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galations 6:7).
Physical and bodily problems. Sexually transmitted diseases one of which is AIDS, and it has no cure. Before this disease took on political overtones it was known as GRIDS “Gay Related Imunno Dificiency Syndrome”. There is certainly spiritual blindness.
God “gives them up” when they refuse Him. This abhorrent behavior does not cause God’s judgment, but is the result of God’s already judging. His judgment is already on us, when His hand or restraint is gone from such wicked behavior. This decadence will be judged in and by the hand of God. It actually shows us the levels of wickedness humankind will sink when left without God’s restraints.
-Tim A. Blankenship