12 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 5

B1 What does this mean?
C1 The Means of Justification and Peace With God
D1 Peace with God
E1 Our part is faith, that is, believing God.
E2 God’s part is justification because of the ministry of Jesus.
E3 Peace with God means not fearing His wrath in this life and the next.
F1 Peace is the first blessing of faith.
F2 It is the beginning of a new life. It often brings peace between others and us.
E4 Faith in Jesus is the condition for God’s mercy to be experienced.
D2 Distress in life (from any cause) leads to endurance which leads to proven character which leads to hope. We are in God’s school to grow in faith. Praise God.
D3 When breaking the Law, someone must be punished. It is the lawbreaker, unless someone is a substitute. Jesus was willing to be that substitute. Note the importance of the blood. The blood signifies substitute and death. A willing and legal substitute has died for the punishment of a sinner. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
D4 If, when we were enemies of God, Jesus died, what blessings will be ours now that we are justified by faith in Jesus.
D5 We will rejoice in God.
C2 All Are Spiritually Dead Through Adam and Spiritually Through Jesus
D1 Adam’s sin affected all people, since all are descendants (except Jesus who is God’s Son). The proof of this is our sin, which all humans do (except Jesus).
D2 Written law or no written law, the law existed. Proof of this is punishment for breaking the law.
D3 Verse 15, quoting Clarke: "It is evident that the apostle, in this and the two following verses, is running a parallel, or making a comparison between the offence of Adam and its consequence; and the opposite gift of God and its consequences.
D4 One sin brought death to all humans. One obedience brought forgiveness after many sins.
D5 The importance of the resurrection (verse 17).
D6 Verse 19 shows the contrast between no faith (disobedience) bringing death and faith (obedience to the Gospel) bringing life. 19 Just as through one man’s disobedience many became sinners, so through the obedience of one many will become righteous.
D7 Verse 20, the importance of the Law showing, proving, convicting all of sin.
D8 Sin is strong, so strong in fact, that all humans die because of their sin. Christ’s righteousness is stronger, so much stronger in fact, that those who believe will live even though they sinned. Christ paid the penalty. Those who believe reap the benefit of righteousness, Christ’s righteous, eternal life and all those joys of God’s gifts.
C3 Questions
D1 What is peace with God?
D2 Why is it necessary?
D3 How do we receive peace with God?
D4 What is the purpose of the Law?
D5 What is the importance of Jesus’s resurrection?

How do I apply this to my life? Believe and rejoice in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Acts 4:12 ESV And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

11 July 2020

1 Timothy 4:15-16

B4 Be steadfast in your belief
C1 Keep on habitually applying these things.
D1 We need to think. We need to deeply think. We need to be careful.
D2 The Greek word apply is μελετάω meletáō. It is frequently translated as meditate, practice, attend to with the idea of being diligent, and having a plan to follow and follow it. The Christian faith is one of learning truth from the Scriptures, then teaching and living it. We must keep on practicing the faith. Also in Acts 4:25 CSB You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David your servant: Why do the Gentiles rage and the peoples plot futile things? [The word plot or devise in the same word]
D3 Verses
E1 Psalm 77:12 NET I will think about all you have done; I will reflect upon your deeds!
E2 Philippians 3:12-14 NLT I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
C2 Give yourself wholly to them.
D1 Robertson writes: [Give yourself is] Present imperative second person singular of ειμ, "keep on in these things.
D2 The things of God are most important to our life today and in the future life.
D3 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
C3 ...progress may be obvious to all.
D1 Progress in the Christian faith comes from the preceding verses.
D2 We should always be growing.
D3 To grow we need spiritual food. 1 Peter 2:1-3 EMTV Therefore having put away all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all slanders, 2 as newborn babes, desire the genuine milk of the word, that by it you may grow, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
D4 We need to be taught. We need to live it. We need to teach others.
C4 Watch yourself and your teaching.
D1 The Greek word for watch is ἐπέχω epéchō. It means to fix your attention. In this case, watch yourself so that you take care of your spiritual health, emotional health, and physical health.
D2 3 John 1:2 EMTV Beloved, concerning all things I pray you to prosper and to be healthy, just as your soul prospers.
D3 Teaching/doctrine is all we believe. It includes God’s character, beliefs, lifestyle, and worldview. We learn this today from the teachings of the Bible especially the New Testament.
C5 Continue in them.
D1 Continue in them
E1 The Greek word for continue is ἐπιμένω epiménō. It means to remain, stay put, not to waver. In this case, from the truth taught by the Lord Jesus and His apostles.
E2 2 Thessalonians 2:15 EMTV So then, brothers, stand fast and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our letter.
E3 Galatians 5:1 NLT So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.
D2 Our progress must be something all can observe clearly. It must be in private and public.
C6 ...for in doing this you will deliver both yourself and those hearing you.
D1 Wilbur Pickering remarks: Paul here emphasizes human responsibility. If Timothy goes astray, those who trust him in spiritual matters will also go astray; if he remains firm those who follow him will too. This reminds me of James 3:1. "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."
D2 Lange writes: For in doing this. The sense of the σωτηρία is positive as well as negative. As to the former, Paul probably meant the saving of Timothy himself, and of those that heard him, from false doctrine and its unhappy effects. But with this is joined the gaining of the salvation promised through the gospel to all that believe, the blessedness of which Timothy and his hearers would thus more and more partake. A twofold and most alluring reward is thus assured to his fidelity.
D3 The salvation mentioned here is not soul salvation. It is salvation/deliverance from the world’s way, worldview, lifestyle, and philosophy. It is deliverance from error.
B5 Applications
C1 There is a Christian life for our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
C2 We need to study, teach, and live the Christian faith.
C3 We need to actively think about God’s teachings.
C4 God will give us grace to do these things.
D1 James 4:6 NET But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.
D2 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NET I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.
D3 1 Peter 5:10 GW God, who shows you his kindness and who has called you through Christ Jesus to his eternal glory, will restore you, strengthen you, make you strong, and support you as you suffer for a little while.
C5 Do not quit.
B6 Questions
C1 How is consistency important to the Christian life?
C2 Why do God’s teachings need to be the greatest priority?
C3 What is the Christian life? How is it different from a non-Christian life?
C4 Why do we need God’s grace to live a Christian life?

09 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 4

B1 What does this mean?
C1 Abraham’s Salvation Is Through Faith Alone
D1 Verse 1 is a continuation of the thought of Romans 3:31.
D2 All Jews had very high respect for Abraham, the Father of the faithful. How was Abraham made right with God? By keeping the Law? No, the Law did not exist for another 400 years. Abraham was made right with God, because he believed God (faith). Circumcision was not a work that justified Abraham either. Some might argue that salvation is faith+works, but Abraham was justified before he was circumcised.
D3 Salvation is through grace alone by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Verse 3 WEL What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited as righteousness to him.” This is a quote from Genesis 15:6. This is imputation, which is (ISBE): The word "imputation," according to the Scriptural usage, denotes an attributing of something to a person, or a charging of one with anything, or a setting of something to one's account.
D4 Verse 4-8 clearly states that faith is NOT a work. Another translation: Romans 4:4-5 NET Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness.
D5 Verse 9-10
E1 Clearly shows that salvation is not just for Jews (a huge problem for 1st century Jews). Salvation is also for Gentiles.
E2 Salvation was credited to Abraham’s account. He did not earn it.
E3 Salvation came before circumcision. Circumcision is not needed for salvation.
E4 Ephesians 4:7-9 WEL So that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace, you are saved through faith and that [is] not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God, 9 Not of works, lest anyone should boast.
D6 Verse 11 shows that circumcision is not required as it is for Jews. To Jews, circumcision is a sign of God's covenant with them. Circumcision to Gentiles, it is a medical procedure. On the other hand, salvation is the very same salvation for Jews and Gentiles. See Acts 10.
D7 Verse 12 teaches that the only Jews who have salvation are those who believe just like Abraham believed.
D8 On verses 13-17, Robertson writes: In these verses (Romans 4:13) Paul employs (Sanday and Headlam) the keywords of his gospel (faith, promise, grace) and arrays them against the current Jewish theology (law, works, merit).
D9 Verse 13, God’s promises to Abraham being heir of the world was not through Mosaic law but through righteousness because of a person’s faith, that is, believing God.
D10 Verse 16, faith shows that salvation is through grace, not works. God gets the credit for salvation. Barclay writes:
To Abraham God made a very great and wonderful promise. He promised that he would become a great nation, and that in him all families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3). In truth, the earth would be given to him as his inheritance. Now that promise came to Abraham because of the faith that he showed towards God. It did not come because he piled up merit by doing works of the law. It was the outgoing of God's generous grace in answer to Abraham's absolute faith. The promise, as Paul saw it, was dependent on two things and two things only--the free grace of God and the perfect faith of Abraham.

The Jews were still asking, "How can a man enter into the right relationship with God so that he too may inherit this great promise?" Their answer was, "He must do so by acquiring merit in the sight of God through doing works which the law prescribes." That is to say, he must do it by his own efforts. Paul saw with absolute clearness that this Jewish attitude had completely destroyed the promise. It had done so for this reason--no man can fully keep the law; therefore, if the promise depends on keeping the law, it can never be fulfilled.
D11 Verse 20, compare Romans 1:21 where most humans do not do like Abraham. They gave God no credit or honor for what He has done, is doing, and will do, nor be thankful.
D12 Verse 23, a reason we have the written Scriptures and the Old Testament is for us to have facts and teaching about God and His ways.
D13 Verse 24, we inherit the blessings IF we believe. This shows that the fulfillment of promises is conditional being based on faith.
D14 Verse 24-25
E1 All must believe God’s gospel as delivered by God the Son, Jesus Christ.
F1 We must believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. It was not resuscitation but resurrection.
F2 Delivered (handed over) because of our transgressions ( To commit an offense by violating a law, principle, or duty (Source)).
F3 Jesus’s resurrection proves our justification. We cannot know if Jesus died for His own sins or was an acceptable substitute for ours. If Jesus did not rise, then we are not justified. Jesus did rise, so we are justified! That He was resurrected was witnessed by over 500 brothers and sisters. 1 Corinthians 15:6 NIV After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
F5 Gary Habermas has many articles and books.
E2 These verses show the importance of Jesus Christ's resurrection, death, punishment for our sins, and resurrection, which proves and provides our justification.
C3 Questions
D1 What is the importance of Abraham’s believing God?
D2 Why is believing God successful but keeping the Mosaic Law unsuccessful?
D3 Which was first—believing God or circumcision?
D4 What is the importance of Jesus’s resurrection?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Thank you, O Lord, for all your works and dealings with others.

08 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 3

B1 What does this mean?
C1 The Advantage of the Jew
D1 God gave His message through the Jews. Jesus is a Jew, too.
D2 Jewish unbelief will not stop God's plans.
D4 God is correct and righteous to judge and sentence Law breakers.
C2 All People Are Sinners and Cannot Seek God
D1 No one righteous. Does this mean Jesus sinned?
E1 No.
E2 The plain, normal sense understands this passage is a quote from the Old Testament.
F1 Robertson writes: [Verses 10-12 come from] Psalm 14:1-3; first half of 13 as far as εδολιουσαν from Psalm 5:9, the second half from Psalm 140:3; verse 14 from Psalm 10:7; 15-17 from an abridgment of Isaiah 59:7f.; verse 18 from Psalm 35:1.
E3 Jesus had not yet been born of the Virgin, so the quote of everyone being a sinner is correct.
E4 Jesus has finished His earthly ministry by the time Paul wrote this letter, so we understand that all humans are sinners in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds EXCEPT Jesus Christ. See 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, etc.
E5 Sin's effects are thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
E6 Sin has consequences.
E7 Verse 19, since the Jew is guilty because of the Law, now all are guilty because of the Law.
C2 Salvation Not Through the Law but Through Faith
D1 The Law and keeping it does not bring forgiveness of sins, salvation, and fellowship with God.
D2 Believing God does.
D3 Jesus is Savior of Jew and Gentile.
D4 Salvation is the same. It is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
D5 Jesus's work on the cross was public.
D6 This death of Jesus is proof that Jesus suffered for our sins if we meet His conditions.
C3 Questions
D1 What advantages of Jews are listed?
D2 How can God be considered holy if sin and evil is in the universe?
D3 Is God’s grace so great that we can sin more to receive more grace? Explain.
D4 Why can’t keeping Mosaic Law bring salvation?
D5 What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Thank you for your theology, O Lord.

07 July 2020

1 Timothy 4:11-14

B3 More pastoral advice.
C1 Paul is speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so all these words are not suggestions, they are required.
C2 Pass along and teach these things.
D1 The Greek word commanding is παραγγέλλω paraggellō. It means to transmit as pass on/pass along a message. Mainly, it is the message of this letter and/or specifically verses 1-10.
D2 A very important message indeed. It is the message of salvation. It is the message of God’s kingdom teachings as God’s rules, worldview, lifestyle, etc.
D3 Whatever we teach and emphasize MUST be believed and lived by us. We cannot be someone who teaches one thing but lives differently. God will judge the hypocrite.
D4 God’s method: 2 Timothy 2:25 NLT Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth.
C3 All Christians need to be an example.
D1 Jesus is our example. He is also the one we are to imitate.
D2 John 13:14-15 GNB  I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.
D3 1 Peter 2:21 GNB It was to this that God called you, for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps.
D4 We are to be examples to the unsaved in these things: in word, behavior, love, attitude, faith, and purity.
C4 Let no one despise your young age. It is not age that matters but maturity. See Pickering in his notes: As a professor of mine once said, "Your youth is not the problem; it's the immaturity that goes with it."
C5 Consistently apply yourself in reading [of Scripture], exhortation, and to teaching.
D1 Publicly and privately.
E1 We need spiritual food (Scripture), encouragement and motivation (exhortation), and to teach others.
E2 We need to read, think about what we read (the Bible term of meditate, that is, thinking through and deeply), teach what we read, and live what we read.
F1 Joshua 1:8 GW Never stop reciting these teachings. You must think about them night and day so that you will faithfully do everything written in them. Only then will you prosper and succeed.
F2 Psalms 1:2 ESV but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
F3 See also Psalm 19, Psalm 119, and Proverbs 1:1-7.
D2 We are to encourage and motivate others to do the same.
D3 We teach by speaking, doing, correcting, etc.
C6 We receive gifts from the Holy Spirit.
D1 All believers have a gift.
E1 The gift is given so we can serve God faithfully and be successful at it.
E2 The gift is given so we can be joyful and content in exercising that gift.
D2 We must develop this gift by the exercises from verse 13.
D3 God has delegated this to us.
D4 Let us be faithful.
D5 It is possible to neglect our gift. God knows.
C7 Questions
D1 Just based on this Scripture, what are some ways to attain spiritual maturity?
D2 What is the importance of being an example (pleasing to God) in everything we do?
D3 We all have a gift to serve God. Serve God when you see a need and can fulfill it. Why do some not serve God, use the gift God has given, and meet a need if we are able?

04 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 2

B1 What does this mean?
C1 God’s Judgment Is Righteous
D1 We must be careful when passing judgment. We must be aware that we often are guilty of the same sin. We must test. We cannot tolerate everything people do. JFB commentary has: The Jew under like condemnation with the Gentile. From those without, the apostle now turns to those within the pale of revealed religion, the self-righteous Jews, who looked down upon the uncovenanted heathen as beyond the pale of God’s mercies, within which they deemed themselves secure, however inconsistent their life may be. Alas! what multitudes wrap themselves up in like fatal confidence, who occupy the corresponding position in the Christian Church!
D2 Judging, etc. must be according to truth, that is, reality. It also must agree with Scripture, which is the only source of 100% truth.
D3 Verse 4, God's goodness towards us is so that we will repent and believe in Jesus. This goodness is expressed by God's kindness, forbearance, and longsuffering.
D4 If one does not repent, then it often to even greater sin, and greater sin leads to an increase in God's wrath.
D5 Verses 5-11 shows that choices and actions lead to consequences of relationship with God. God's judges all fairly. A Jew may think he is better than all, but this is not true. A Jew gets judged according to the same standards as non-Jews.
D6 Verses 14-15 show Jews have a written law and non-Jews have an unwritten law. All know that lying is wrong, murder is wrong, etc.
C2 The Spiritual Problem of the Jew
D1 A religious Jew has many advantages, but advantages bring greater responsibility.
D2 Ignorance is not an excuse, for all will be judged.
D3 Verses 28-29 show who is a true Jew. It is a heart matter, not just physical and DNA matter.
C3 Questions
D1 Is it wrong to judge? When is it wrong or right?
D2 By whose standard do we use to judge? Why?
D3 What is God’s judgment based on?
D4 How do people become stubborn?
D5 Why is self-seeking and rejecting truth dangerous?
D6 Does God show favoritism? How are we to understand each individual?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? The importance of truth.

03 July 2020

Devotional Notes Romans 1

B1 What does this mean?
C1 Salutation & Purpose
D1 Paul is an Apostle chosen and commissioned by Jesus Christ.
D2 Jesus Christ meets all the OT prophecy identifiers of Messiah especially so by His resurrection.
D3 Paul is to preach, and people are to repent.
C2Paul’s Desire to See the Believers in Rome
D1 Does Gospel (Good News) of or about His Son (God's Son, Jesus)? Most likely of, for it is the Good News that Jesus preached.
D2 Paul's purpose in desiring to visit them is to grow both his and their faith.
D3 Note Paul's evangelistic desire.
C3 Paul States His Boldness in the Good News
D1 Salvation is given to the one who believes that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and His message.
D2 It is an ability brought by God's grace alone in opening our hearts and minds to be freed in order to believe.
C4 The Downward Path of Sinful Humanity
D1 All are sinners by nature. This has been passed down from Adam.
D2 God initiates salvation by giving grace to understand the Gospel. He frees our will. With our will being freed, we need to believe. The decision is ours.
D3 Most refuse to believe, so they continue their descent into sin and incurring a greater punishment.
D4 Note how people suppress the truth. It is “in unrighteousness,” that is, they show their suppression of truth by doing unrighteousness.
D5 God reveals His character. People understand these truths. Most reject them.
D6 Verse 21, people refuse to give God the credit for what He has done and is doing. They also are not thankful for what He has done and is doing.
D7 Note that the punishment for sin is God allowing them to sin even more.
C5 Questions
D1 What are some proofs that Jesus is the promised Messiah?
D2 Is Christianity reasonable? Why?
D3 Why is the resurrection so important?
D4 How does “everyone know God?”
D5 Why does God punish sin by allowing a person to sin more?
D6 Does anyone HAVE TO sin?
D7 What is the solution?
B2 How do I apply this to my life? Repent and believe.

01 July 2020

1 Timothy 4:6-10

B2 Remind brethren
C1 These instructions are primarily for the pastors/leaders but should be applied to all brothers and sisters. Most pastors/leaders do not.
D1 Timothy must remind them, that is, bring them up occasionally to refresh their memory.
D2 Good teachers do not teach something one time. They review it from time to time as necessary.
D3 Timothy must nourish himself as well. We need to be nourished in
E1 Words of faith, that is,
F1 Matthew 4:4 NLT But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
F2 Psalm 1:1-3 NLT Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
E2 Good teaching
F1 Luke 24:27 NLT Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
F2 God is the Teacher of all teachers, the greatest, the best. This verse prophesies but the character trait is reality: Isaiah 2:3 NLT People from many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob's God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For the LORD's teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
E3 Consistently
F1 Hebrews 13:8 NLT Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
F2 Malachi 3:6 NLT I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.
F3 Attitude—I need to do this. I will do this.
F4 Dedication—I will do this every day.
F5 Habit—I will do this as a habit without fail, except in an emergency.
F6 Help—I will seek God’s help and wisdom.
F7 Others—I will teach and be taught by others.
F8 Expect—I expect God to teach me through Scriptures.
F9 Application—I will live what I’m taught.
E4 Barclay writes: It tells us how to face the task of teaching. Timothy is told that he must feed his life on the words of faith. No man can give out without taking in. He who would teach must be continually learning. It is the reverse of the truth that when a man becomes a teacher he ceases to be a learner; he must daily know Jesus Christ better before he can bring him to others.
C2 In doing so, we are being pleasing servants of the Lord Jesus.
D1 We remind ourselves and our fellow believers of these things. W
D2 We must not do the things of verse 7.
D3 The method is to remind ourselves through Bible reading, Bible study, prayer, and fellowship (with God and believers).
D4 We have to be open and listen when our fellow believers remind us.
C3 We have to be nourished in the faith. This is knowing the Gospel and Biblical doctrine.
C4 We have to follow them carefully. We do not follow them to be saved or to be better Christians than someone else. We do follow them because we want to be good servants of Jesus Christ.
C5 We are not to follow crude myths or old wives’ stories. These are not doctrine. They are religious myths and stories. None of them are something Christians need to believe.
C6 We need to be in training for living a godly life.
D1 We must know the Bible.
D2 We must know what we believe.
D3 We must know how to live a Christian life.
D4 We must be able to answer questions challenging our faith (apologetics).
C7 Physical exercise is OK but will not enhance our faith. Some of the same points of being a better athlete can be applied to learning God’s ways.
C8 We need to be ready for living tomorrow with God’s standards stronger in us then today.
C9 Believing that Jesus is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe is offensive to many people. The Gospel is offensive. Jesus is offensive. A Christian life is offensive to many. God’s standards are offensive to many. See also 1 John 4:14, Isaiah 45:22, 1 Timothy 2:4, Acts 2:21, 2 Peter 3:9.
B3 Applications
C1 Christians are different. Saving faith is different. Jesus is different. Jesus suffered, so will we.
C2 God gives us grace and strength for whatever we face.
C3 We need to be taught and to teach each other.
C4 We need to encourage each other in the faith.
C5 We need to pray for each other.
B4 Questions
C1 What is the relationship between being a great athlete and a great Christian?
C2 Why does the pastor/leader have to learn and teach?
C3 What is the importance of consistency in the Christian faith?
C4 Why do we have to emphasize knowing the Bible, knowing what we believe, knowing what the Christian life and worldview is, and knowing how to defend the faith (apologetics)?

30 June 2020

A Few Thoughts About Deception

B1 Defined:
C1 the act of causing someone to believe an untruth, or the state of being so deceived. (Source)
C2 For better or worse, here is a Wikipedia article on Deception.
D3 Why Do People Lie? (non-Christian but gives a nice summary).
B2 Effects of deception
C1 A classic on deception is Propaganda by Edward Bernays (PDF).
C2 Effects as abuse, control (no freedom), stealing, pain, even death.
What God teaches
B1 A solemn warning: Matthew 24:4 WEL Jesus answering said to them, “Beware that no one deceives you.
B2 God’s comment on Jeremiah living in a society of liars: Jeremiah 9:6 NIV You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me," declares the LORD.
B3 Lies disguised as smooth and flattering speech: Romans 16:18 GW People like these are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive unsuspecting people.
B4 A person’s source of deception: Jeremiah 17:9 GNB Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed.
B5 As punishment, God will send deception. Since they do and want deception, God gives to them. They reject truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 EMTV And because of this, God will send them strong delusion, in order for them to believe the lie.
B6 People can lie with persuasive arguments: Colossians 2:1-4 EMTV For I want you to know how great a struggle I have concerning you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being joined together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to a full knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 Now this I say lest anyone may deceive you with persuasive words.
B7 Some find joy in deception (just because they can): Proverbs 26:19 LEB so is a man who deceives his neighbor, but says "Am I not joking?
B8 The way a person looks, dresses, acts, etc. can be deceiving: Proverbs 31:30 LEB Charm is deceit and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears Yahweh shall be praised.
B9 Yes, trusted religious leaders can lie: Matthew 24:11 NASB Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
B10 A person’s countenance can be deceptive: Proverbs 26:26 NKJV Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.
B11 Often deception comes from ignorance: Matthew 22:29 EMTV Jesus answered and said to them, "You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.
B12 The time may come when lies are so rampant, we are not to trust our neighbor. Jeremiah 9:3-5 NLT My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies. They refuse to stand up for the truth. They only go from bad to worse. They do not know me," says the LORD. 4 "Beware of your neighbor! Don't even trust your brother! For brother takes advantage of brother, and friend slanders friend. 5 They all fool and defraud each other; no one tells the truth. With practiced tongues they tell lies; they wear themselves out with all their sinning.
B13 Sin deceives then hardens the heart. The hardening happens because the evil is believed so strongly. Hebrews 3:13 EMTV but encourage yourselves every day, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
B14 Contrast Jesus who never lied. He still never lies, which is why we understand, read, and study the Bible in its plain, normal sense. 1 Peter 2:22 EMTV Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.
B15 A denial of reality—I am a good person. 1 John 1:8 EMTV If we claim that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
B16 It is good to be a little skeptical: Proverbs 14:8 NLT The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
B17 Employment lying. This be might the quality of work, the amount of work, or the amount of time it took to work: Proverbs 11:18 NIV A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
B18 There are many spiritual ways of deception: Jeremiah 29:8 NIV Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have.
B19 A cheating merchant is a liar/deceiver. He lies in the amount bought or in the price: Proverbs 20:17 NIV Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
B20 Deception to hurt, manipulate, defraud. The defraud can be in finance, sex, adoration, control, etc. Jeremiah 9:8 NIV Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors, but in their hearts they set traps for them.
B21 Some people believe themselves to be spiritually safe by reading a Bible verse and agreeing with it but not living it. James 1:22 EMTV But become doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
B22 The people we associate with affect us. This would include groups, organizations, memberships. 1 Corinthians 15:33 EMTV Do not be deceived: "Evil associations corrupts good habits.
B23 Deny the deity of Jesus Christ: 2 John 1:7 EMTV Because many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and the antichrist.

The method
B1 Teach the truth for a while, say 6-9 months.
B2 After that slowly bring in one falsity.
B3 When that lie has been accepted, introduce another falsity.
B4 Slowly change the definitions from common definitions to a very specialized definition.
B5 Act very holy at all times.
B6 Be very friendly.
B7 Note those who believe your every word and make them your “best” friends. Marginalize the others.
B8 Bring in “big name” speakers who believe like you do. Then promote their books.
B9 Discourage people from checking out if what you say is true. Accuse them of being divisive.
B10 Slowly change the rules, constitute, by laws, etc. to give you more authority and power.
B1 Know what truth is:
B2 Be a little skeptical.
B3 Study truth.
B4 Believe truth.
B5 Practice truth.
B6 Pray for God to keep us in truth: Proverbs 30:8 ISV Keep deception and lies far away from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Feed me with food that I need for today.
B7 Teach the truth to others: Ephesians 4:11-13 ISV And it is he who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up the body of the Messiah 13 until all of us are united in the faith and in the full knowledge of God's Son, and until we attain mature adulthood and the full standard of development in the Messiah.


29 June 2020

1 Timothy 4:1-5

B1 Warning of Apostasy
C1 This is for the latter times
D1 End of the church age
D2 Just before the Tribulation. The Tribulation period itself is one of complete apostasy of government, religion, and society. Only God can save.
D3 Society falls apart
D4 Like the days of Noah and the times of Sodom and Gomorrah
E1 The sins of society are NOT any special sins.
E2 They are the breaking of God’s Commandments as summarized in the 10 Commandments.
E3 Every law is broken in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
E4 Truth changes from the correspondence theory (reality) to the Narcissistic theory (what I say is truth, is truth).
E5 Genesis 15:16 NRSV And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
F1 Punishment does happen. We don’t know when.
F2 God is very patient. He wants all to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 NIV The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
C2 Characteristics of those times
D1 Depart from the faith—leaving the Gospel and doctrine as taught by the Lord Jesus and the Apostles.
E1 Steps in apostasy
F1 Truth is the first thing to be changed.
F2 Then Bible interpretation becomes everything except the plain, normal sense.
F3 Then the Gospel is corrupted or neglected. Works or something else become necessary.
F4 Then the doctrine of God, the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are changed.
F5 Christianity departs from evidence and a reasonable faith to one of experience and mysticism.
E2 Becoming deceived
F1 The method: charisma, philosophy, empty deceit. Colossians 2:8 AMPC See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).
F2 Comes from spiritual ignorance: Matthew 22:29 NRSV Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
F3 True sets one free from deception. We must start with truth/reality. John 8:31-32 WEL Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “If you continue in my teaching, you are truly my disciples, 32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
D2 Liars are rampant.
E1 These teachings come from liars whose consciences are seared. They just don’t care anymore about God’s truth in its plain, normal sense.
E2 The devil, hating God, uses lies for his teaching. God, loving truth, uses truth to teach the truth.
E3 Claim to be spokes-persons for God. Jeremiah 14:14-15 GNB But the LORD replied, "The prophets are telling lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I give them any orders or speak one word to them. The visions they talk about have not come from me; their predictions are worthless things that they have imagined. 15 I, the LORD, tell you what I am going to do to those prophets whom I did not send but who speak in my name and say war and starvation will not strike this land—I will kill them in war and by starvation.
E4 Use the same words and terminology with different meanings/definitions.
D3 A seared conscience is one in which truth is suppressed and pushed aside.
E1 Romans 1:18 NIV The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
E2 Often we believe false teachers because we become deceived and sear our conscience as well.
F1 James 1:22 NIV Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
F2 Sometimes we think everything is wonderful, we are strong Christians, and we have arrived at spiritual maturity. But, in reality, we are in terrible shape. Revelation 3:17-18 GNB You say, 'I am rich and well off; I have all I need.' But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind. 18 I advise you, then, to buy gold from me, pure gold, in order to be rich. Buy also white clothing to dress yourself and cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy also some ointment to put on your eyes, so that you may see.
E3 We need to live a life in truth/reality.
F1 Psalm 86:11 NKJV Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
G1 God loves to teach.
G2 We must acknowledge our ignorance and need to be taught.
G3 Just being taught by God (reading and studying the Scriptures) is not enough. We must live it continually and in private and public.
G4 Walk is our daily life.
G5 Unite as in undivided motives, attitudes, thoughts, words, and deeds.
G6 Our heart is the core of our being. We are not to be hypocrites.
F2 1 John 1:6 ISV If we claim that we have fellowship with him but keep living in darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.
F3 James 1:23-25 GW If someone listens to God's word but doesn't do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror, 24 studies his features, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 However, the person who continues to study God's perfect teachings that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don't merely listen and forget; they actually do what God's teachings say.
D4 Turning to seducing spirits and teachings of demons. Leaving truth.
E1 Lifestyle is determined by whatever a person decides.
E2 The plain, normal sense of Scripture becomes changed to one of “spiritual interpretation.” Doctrine and messages come from meeting God(?) in The Silence. The people are deceived to think it is Yahweh who gives these messages, but the messages come from the false. 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 CSB For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
D5 Lies and hypocrisy
E1 What these false teachers say and do are not the same.
E2 They love to cover up and hide what they really believe and do.
E3 Many fake pastors hide various abuses and financial documents from the faithful.
D6 Conscience seared—people do all these evil things and do not feel any guilt.
D7 Forbid marriage.
D8 Teach the necessity to avoid certain foods.
E1 This refers to foods not related to health, but to progress spiritually. Some teach that Christians must follow the dietary laws outlined in the Old Testament. If someone wants to follow those laws, so be it, but if they teach it is spiritually necessarily for the Christian, it is false teaching. I am a Christian not a Jew. God bless the Jews.
E2 The truth is Christians can eat. The reason? God created these foods to be partaken with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. So, if a teacher teaches the necessity of not eating something for spiritual reasons, they are teaching lies. Beware! We have been warned.
E3 These foods are spoken by the Holy Spirit to be good and not to be refused. We are to be thankful for them, when we eat any food.
E4 These foods are sanctified.
F1 Because God said so.
F2 Because of prayer.
E5 We can also worship on Sunday or any other day: Colossians 2:16-17 WEL So then don't let anyone condemn you in food, drink, religious festivals, new moon, or the Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of things to come, but the real substance is Christ.
E5 A link about Torah observance by Jews for Jesus.
C3 Resources:
D1 Last Days Apostasy of the Church Andy Woods This is a 6-part series.
C4 Questions
D1 How is a person deceived?
D2 What makes the last days a time of greater deception?
D3 How can we avoid deception?
D4 What is our standard for living the Christian life?