29 June 2017

Pleasing God



Theme: Walking in Godliness

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Objectives (from the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson Book)
Know: Paul instructed the Thessalonians to be a contrast to their self-serving sinful culture by living godly lives.
Think: Be so focused on pleasing God that it guides everything I do.
Do: Seek to please God by controlling my bodily appetites, loving others, and living a quiet and productive life.

Notes and questions
B1 Background
C1 Map
C2 Main road
C3 Paul
D1 Preached there on second missionary journey (Acts 17:1)
D2 Went to synagogue and preached for three consecutive Sabbaths
D3 The Jews became jealous and attacked Jason’s house.
D4 Because of the opposition, Paul and his companions went to Berea.
B2 Main point: We are Christians. Christians want to please God. Obedience to God is one way to please God. God requires, commands, us to live our life to please Him.
B3 God’s rules in our passage:
C1 Do not be sexual immoral.
C2 Love one another.
C3 Live without butting into everyone’s life.
B4 Translation note
C1 In 1 Thessalonians 4:4, the word body is sometimes translated wife.
D1 Mopsuestia, Augustine, rabbinical usage, and others understood this to be wife. They would point to 1 Peter 3:7, where the wife is described as the weaker vessel. The word for wife in 1 Peter 3:7 is γυναικεῖος gunaikeios (wife).
D2 Tertullian and Chrysostom and others understood this to be body. They would point to the context of our passage.
C2 The Greek word is σκεῦος skeuos. This means vessel. It is translated in 5 main ways.
D1 Belongings (as in Matthew 12:29)
D2 Container (as in John 19:29)
D3 Body (as in 2 Corinthians 4:7, 2 Timothy 2:21)
D4 Useful tool (as in Acts 9:15, speaking of Paul)
D5 Objects (as in Romans 9:21-23, speaking of people)
C3 The wife is not being discussed.
C4 If it is wife, how can a Christian woman obey this command?
C5 Possess (acquire, get) has the idea of having a mastery over, control of.
C6 In this passage we are not told to get a wife, but to control our body desires.
C7 Ray Stedman writes: At puberty, new hormones pour into the bloodstream and we experience sexual changes, along with which come very powerful drives that urge us, and almost seem to compel us, to certain sexual activities. Society tells us that those urges that boys and girls feel in their bodies are natural and therefore ought to be satisfied whenever opportunity affords. They argue that the sexual appetite should be satisfied just like the urge to hunger, thirst, sleep, or any other natural function. By extension, this argument says that there is nothing wrong with the fulfilling of sexual desires.
C8 But Stedman and Emerson tell us that God has a different opinion.
B5 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2,
C1 The choice of rules to follow
D1 God’s rules
E1 For Israel
E2 For the Church. The church is not a particular denomination. It is the group of all believers and is called the body of Christ.
F1 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:5, NKJV)
F2 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, NKJV)
F3 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:27, NKJV)
F4 A list of a few as an example. Do not be
G1 Conformed to the world (Romans 12:2)
G2 Slothful in business (Romans 12:11)
G3 Conceited (Romans 12:16)
G4 Overcome with evil (Romans 12:21)
G5 Mere servants of men (1 Corinthians 7:23)
G6 Children in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20)
G7 Deceived by evil companions (1 Corinthians 15:33)
G8 Unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
G9 Entangled again with law keeping (Galatians  5:1)
G10 Deceived, because we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8)
D2 Anything else
C2 What does the word walk mean? Consider: Finally, our friends, you learned from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1, GNB92)
B6 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8,
C1 What is sanctification?
D1 It deals with holiness. Holiness is to be compared to a scale.
E1 Light--from 100% to 0%. 0% is absolute darkness.
E2 Heat--from 100% to 0%. 0% is absolute zero, cold.
E3 Good--from 100% to 0%. 0% is absolute evil.
E4 Holiness--from 100% to 0%. 0% is no holiness.
E5 Thus, whatever is 100% God’s way, thoughts, desires, words, and deeds is holiness. Anything less, no matter how small a difference is not holiness. Only 100% is holiness. No one is holy except God.
D2 The standard to measure what is holy or not is God Himself. But as He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, (1 Peter 1:15, NKJV)
D3 Jesus’s life was and is holy. And the angel answered and said to her, “[The] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35, NKJV)
D4 Sanctify is to separate, not to make holy. “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (John 17:19, NKJV). The more we live, know, and accept truth, the more we are sanctified. God is the only source of 100% truth.
C2 We become sanctified by
D1 Truth--“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17, NKJV)
D2 A work of God--Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NKJV). This is wholly of grace and as long as we do not resist God. An example of resisting the Holy Spirit: Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; (2 Timothy 3:8, NKJV)
D3 The blood of Jesus Christ crucified. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. (Hebrews 13:12, NKJV)
D4 Not sinning with our body. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; (1 Thessalonians 4:3, NKJV)
C3 Dangers of lust
D1 Choke the word, that is, the conviction of the Holy Spirit on our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. “...and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”  (Mark 4:19 WEB)
D2  Leads to many sins. Now these things took place as examples for us, in order that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Nor be idolaters, just as some of them; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY."  Nor let us commit fornication, just as some of them fornicated, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;  nor let us tempt Christ, just as also some of them tempted Him, and were destroyed by serpents;  nor murmur, just as also some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.  Now all these things happened to those people as examples, and they were written for our instruction, to whom the ends of the ages have come.  So then, let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he should fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also make the way out, so as for you to be able to bear it.  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (I Corinthians 10:6-14 [EMTV])
D3 Leads to a return to our unconverted mind and life. That you put off, concerning your former way of life, the old man which is being corrupted according to the deceitful lusts, (Ephesians 4:22 [EMTV])
D4 Leads to destruction and perdition. These two words show the loss of Christian life and testimony. But those desiring to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and many senseless and harmful lusts which sink men into destruction and perdition. (I Timothy 6:9 [EMTV])
D5 Leads to a loss of wanting truth and godly teachers who teach truth. Because the time will come when they will not tolerate the sound doctrine; rather, they will accumulate for themselves a great many teachers who will tickle their ears according to their lusts (2 Timothy 4:3, WPNT)
D6 Leads to fighting. Where do fights and quarrels among you [come] from? [Don't they come] from your lusts that are at war in your bodies. You set your heart on something and do not get [it], so you kill. You long [for things] but cannot obtain it, so you quarrel and fight. You do not get things, because you do not ask. You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wicked motives, in order to squander it on your lusts. (James 4:1-6, WEL)
D7 Leads to injury of our souls. Beloved, I beg [you] as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, (1 Peter 2:11, NKJV)
D8 Losing God’s helpful restraint. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not obey me. So I let them go their stubborn ways and do whatever they wanted. (Psalms 81:11-12, GNB92)
C4 How do we “control our bodily lusts?”
D1 Know and do the will of God. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV). How and where do we know the will of God?
D2 Be serious about self discipline. We need to avoid sin. Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever. That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, GNB92)
D3 How does reading and studying the Bible help us?
D4 How does our prayer and the prayer of others help us?
D5 How does God’s chastening help us?
D6 How does self discipline help us? But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfill its] lusts. (Romans 13:14, NKJV). Putting on the Lord Jesus refers to The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12, NKJV)
D7 How do we build ourselves up in the faith? How do we keep ourselves in the love of God? But you, my friends, keep on building yourselves up on your most sacred faith. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy to give you eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21, GNB92)
D8 How do we give up ungodly things? For God has revealed his grace for the salvation of all people. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this world, (Titus 2:11-12, GNB92)
D9 What else can we do?
B7 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12,
C1 How has God taught us to love one another?
C2 Why are living a quiet life, minding our own business, and working to earn our own living important? How do we do this?
C3 What are 2 good reasons for doing so? See 1 Thessalonians 4:12
B8 How to avoid being deceived.
C1 Know the truth.
C2 Be honest.
C3 Be humble.
C4 Be aware, that is, be alert for deception.
C5 Be aware of statistics. See 5 Ways to Avoid Being Fooled by Statistics.
C6 Be a little skeptical.
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B9 Next week
C1 He is coming
C2 Theme: Waiting in faithfulness
C3 Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11

21 June 2017

Destructive Patterns



Theme: God can use flawed people

Scriptures: Judges 16:1-31

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion lesson book)
Know: Samson’s patterns of sin and lust led to the Spirit leaving him, taking away his strength. God later used Samson again when he cried out to God.
Think: Maintain a mindset of humble obedience and dependence of God.
Do: Stay in close fellowship with God by confessing sin daily and avoiding sinful patterns.

Notes and questions:
B1 Basics
C1 Images: Source

C2 Samson
D1 What were Samson’s strengths?
D2 What were Samson’s weaknesses?
D3 Why did God use this fellow as His judge?
D4 Did Samson always love God the way he should have?
D5 How does this verse apply to Samson? “If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15, NKJV)
D6 How does Samson compare with Moses? By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, (Hebrews 11:24-25, NKJV)
D7 Did Samson live this verse? LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; (Psalms 15:1-2, NKJV)
D8 Did Samson repent? See Judges 16:28
B2 Judges 16:1-3,
C1 Why is Samson in Gaza?
C2 Samson sinned, but he was still able to lift the gates to the city with its bars and posts and carry them off to the top of a hill. Why did God still give Samson strength?
C3 A quote on Samson and the gate: The Gaza gate would have consisted of two thick doors that could be barred, and the side posts probably turned in stone sockets. Many of the ancient gates were also covered with metal or at least reinforced with metal bands. Samson pulled up the barred gate with the side posts attached and carried the whole thing off. It was as if he pulled a flower out of the ground, yet Dr. William Barrick computed the weight of the gate and posts to have been between five and ten tons (“Samson’s Removal of Gaza’s Gates,” drbarrick.org, n.d.) And Samson carried the gate to Hebron, which was 36 miles away and 3,200 feet higher in altitude!
B3 Judges 16:4-17
C1 Love This word describes a serious love. It is used
D1 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:2, NKJV)
D2 “Nevertheless the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you. (Deuteronomy 23:5, NKJV)
D3 By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him. (Song of Solomon 3:1, NKJV)
C2 1100 pieces of silver from each Philistine lord.
D1 Five lords each giving 1100 pieces of silver equals 5,500 pieces of silver.
D2 Thayer believes that a silver piece used to pay Judas the Betrayer was a tetradrachm.
D3 A tetradrachm weighed about 0.5 troy ounces.
D4 0.5 troy ounces equals 15.55 grams.
D4 A gram on today’s silver market is worth about $0.53. (20 Jun 17)
D5 It is believed that one silver piece was worth about $8.24.
D6 1,100 pieces of silver would be worth approximately $9,065.65.
D7 The 5,500 pieces of silver would be worth about $45,328.25.
D8 The buying value of that probably was a lot more than that. The 30 pieces of silver given then returned by Judas the Betrayer bought a field for a cemetery. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, “and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me.” (Matthew 27:6-10, NKJV)
C3 A withe in the culture of that day was probably a small rope made from green tree bark. The Hebrew word suggests a small rope or cord.
C4 A tow would be similar to a wick or thread.
C5 The new ropes would have been made from seasoned materials, not green.
C6 “That he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I [have been] a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any [other] man.” (Judges 16:17, NKJV). What was the source of his strength?
D1 It is not long hair.
D2 It is his dedication and vow as a Nazirite.
D3 According to the ISBE article on Nazirite, the conditions are:
E1 The strictest abstinence from wine and from every product of the vine
E2 The keeping of the hair uncut and the beard untouched by a razor
E3 The prohibition to touch a dead body
E4 Prohibition of unclean food (Judges 13:5-7; Judges 13:6)
D4 As long as he kept his vow, God was with him. Thus, he had to obey to have God’s blessing.
C7 Why did Delilah love money more than Samson?
C8 What was wrong with Samson that he could not see what she was really after?
C9 How do we deal with weaknesses, our failures to stand true to God’s rules? It was a moral weakness that took Samson down to defeat. How do we stay true to God? How do we avoid sin ruining our character and testimony?
C10 Why is sin so appealing to the flesh?
C11 Will a little compromise lead to more compromise?
B4 Judges 16:18-31,
C1 What is the significance of the words: But he did not know that the LORD  had departed from him. (Judges 16:20, NKJV)?
C2 What happens when we sin and have moral or other downfalls? So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. “However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [who is] born to you shall surely die.” (2 Samuel 12:13-14, NKJV)
C3 While the Philistines were praising dagon, they were soon to find out that dagon was not able to protect them from their enemy.
B5 Steps in downfall
C1 Each human Romans 1:18-32
D1 Everyone knows there is God.
D2 God shows Himself through creation. This is part of prevenient grace.
D3 Truth is deliberately suppressed. This is resistance to God’s grace.
D4 Unrighteousness is how people suppress truth. This is the unrighteousness that comes from the heart, the inner person. “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (Matthew 15:18-19, NKJV). People do not live in thoughts, words, desires, or deeds that way God wants us to. There are no excuses as, “I didn’t know.”
D5 They resisted glorifying God and thanking God.
D6 The consequences of this leads to a change in thinking (it becomes futile, that is, starting to think their unreasonable thoughts are the truth). It also leads to the heart becoming darker, that is, there is less light from God to know truth.
D7 Self deception comes next, for they believe they are very wise, but in reality, they are fools.
D8 They start to worship an other god, usually themselves and whatever is comfortable for them.  This has consequences leading to uncleanness. This is spiritual but also physical, not the dirt of hard work but the dirt of sin. They wanted freedom, but they became slaves of sin. Compare: knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him,] that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans 6:6, NKJV)
D9 This leads to God removing His grace even more, so that now they desired, lusted, for things that God disapproves of. Dishonor their bodies refers to mistreatment of our body in any way, especially sinful ways.
D10 People leave God’s truths for lies, then worship and serve those lies. We are addicted to sin.
D11 They turn to unnatural sin practices of all and any types in words, thoughts, desires, and deeds.
D12 This has consequences and affects the body.
D13 Still rejecting God and His ways, God allows them to have a debased mind, a reprobate mind. It is the mind that rejects good and chooses evil. Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20, NKJV)
D14 Now, it seems, there is no stopping of the flood of evil that people do. Among these are...all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. (Romans 1:29-31, HCSB). They not only do them but are filled with them.
D15 Finally, they are recruiters of others to do evil, even though they know the punishment of God.
C2 To sin (James 1:13-15)
D1 God does not tempt. God cannot be tempted.
D2 Our hearts choose to lust after something evil. This builds, sometimes for years. We are tempted to sin.
D3 So then (sadly) we often decide to do evil (...desire has conceived).
D4 We sin.
D5 We die. This would be our testimony, our prayer life, often our family, our____.
B6 Remember
C1 We must know what God wants. We must read and study the Bible daily.
C2 We must pray for God’s deliverance and protection. So we must avoid sin.
C3 If we sin, we must repent, confess, and ask forgiveness.
C4 We are in this together. Pray for one another.
C5 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit. (James 5:16-18, HCSB)
C6 [Let your] conduct [be] without covetousness; [be] content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD [is] my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  (Hebrews 13:5-6, NKJV)
C7 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV)
B7 Next week:
C1 Pleasing God
C2 Theme: Walking in Godliness
C3 Scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12