Showing posts with label Christian Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Life. Show all posts

14 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 2:14-26

C2 The Christian life—the relationship of faith and works James 2:14-26 
D1 Believers Should Know That a Faith That Is Not Matched by Works is Fake James 2:14-17 
James 2:14-17 WEL What does it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith and not works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister becomes naked and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say to them, “Leave in peace, may you be warm and filled [with food],” yet you do not give them those things which they need for the body. What good [is it]? 17 So, if faith does not have works, it is dead in itself. 
Faith and not works=  
  • Some teach faith alone in Jesus Christ alone saves. Others do not. What does this passage mean? 
  • In this passage, works are not for saving faith but show what we really believe. 
  • This epistle is written to those already saved. They already are believers. The works mentioned are not for salvation. It is a contrast between a phony faith and a genuine faith. James 1:1-2 WEL James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brothers, consider it all joy when you find yourself surrounded by various trials. 
  • We have been taught by our church leaders (or at least are supposed to be taught) the Gospel, Christian doctrine and why we believe this, the Christian life and why we are to live this. Note here, how Paul ministered to the Philippians. He taught; they learned. What he said, he did. His life and words matched whether in private or in public. Philippians 4:9 WEL Those things, which you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace will be with you. 
  • We all show what we really believe, by how we live. If we are really Christians, our lives will reveal it. 
  • John Wesley comments on this verse:  
  • From Jam 1:22, the apostle has been enforcing Christian practice. He now applies to those who neglect this, under the pretense of faith. St. Paul had taught that "a man is justified by faith without the works of the law." This some began already to wrest to their own destruction. Wherefore St. James, purposely repeating (Jam 2:21, Jam 2:23, Jam 2:25) the same phrases, testimonies, and examples, which St. Paul had used, Rom 4:3, Heb 11:17, Heb 11:31, refutes not the doctrine of St. Paul, but the error of those who abused it. There is, therefore, no contradiction between the apostles: they both delivered the truth of God, but in a different manner, as having to do with different kinds of men. On another occasion St. James himself pleaded the cause of faith, Act 15:13-21; and St. Paul himself strenuously pleads for works, particularly in his latter epistles. This verse is a summary of what follows. What profiteth it? is enlarged on, Jam 2:15-17; though a man say, Jam 2:18-19 can that faith save him? Jam 2:20. 
  • It is not, though he have faith; but, though he say he have faith. Here, therefore, true, living faith is meant: but in other parts of the argument the apostle speaks of a dead, imaginary faith. He does not, therefore, teach that true faith can, but that it cannot, subsist without works: nor does he oppose faith to works; but that empty name of faith, to real faith working by love. Can that faith "which is without works" save him? No more than it can profit his neighbor. 
  • Precept Austin has a comment on this verse:  James 2:14-20 Describes dead faith (including "demonic" faith). James 2:21-26 Describes dynamic, living, useful faith giving three illustrations. James' objective is to answer the question "What is genuine, saving faith?". This question makes James 2:14-26 one of the most vitally important sections of Scripture because the truth James explains deals directly with a person's eternal destiny. The most frightening deception in this life is to think that "I possess saving faith" when it fact in God's eyes it is not genuine saving faith.  
Good works= 
  • Not necessarily the works of feeding and housing the poor though that might be, but a non-Christian can do as much and maybe better. 
  • These would be Christian works as 
  • Galatians 5:22-26 WEL But, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be longing for empty praise, irritating one another, and envying one another.  
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8A WEL Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn’t brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn’t behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn’t easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, calmly endures all things. 8 Love never ends, 
  • We who have been born again are to do good deeds. 
  • Titus 2:14 NASB Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 
  • Titus 3:14 NASB Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. 
  • 1 Peter 2:12 NASB Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 
  • Good deeds do not always mean to given money either. 
  • One example given in our passage refers to meeting physical and material needs. 
  • Luke 7:22 PickNT  
  • So in answer Jesus said to them: "Go and report to John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind regain sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, dead are raised, the poor are evangelized.  
  • Pickering comments on this verse: "The poor are evangelized"—what the poor (and everyone else) need most is salvation and a new life, not a free distribution of wealth. 
  • The actions of these would be a reflection of 
  • Mark 12:28-31 NLT One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these." 
  • Note, that loving God is first, not loving the neighbor. Many, if not most Christian(?) leaders teach loving the neighbor and barely mention loving God. 
  • Loving God is in obeying what Jesus has taught, not some voice or impression inside us. John 14:15 NLT If you love me, obey my commandments. 
Brother and/or sister= 
  • There is an order of priorities in meeting needs: spouse, then children, then our congregational members, then the church elsewhere, and finally the non-believer. 
  • Brother and sister here refer to those whom James wrote to in James 1:1-2. They are believers. 
D2 Believers Should Know Faith Alone With a Change of Life Seen Is Fake James 2:18-19 
James 2:18-19 WEL Someone may say, “You have faith, and I have works. You show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one? You do well; the devils also believe and shudder. 
Faith without works= A faith only in the mind, not in a changed heart. 
Faith with works= A faith in the heart and mind revealing itself in the good deeds that Jesus wants us to do.  
D3 Believers Should Know These Examples James 2:20-26 
James 2:20-26 WEL But will you understand, you senseless man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Wasn’t Abraham, our father, justified by works when he had offered Isaac, his son, on the altar?  22 See how faith worked together with his works, and [how] faith was made complete by works? 23 The Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,” and he was called the Friend of God. 24 You see then how a person is justified by works and not by faith only. 25 In the same way, wasn’t Rahab, the harlot, justified by works when she had received the messengers and sent [them] out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 
  • Two examples 
  • Abraham James 2:20-24 
  • Rahab James 2:25-26 
Questions on James 2:14-26 
  • What is faith? 
  • What are good works? 
  • Why are Christians required to do good works? 
  • Give some examples of good works Christians can do? 
  • What is the relationship between faith and works? 

26 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Christian Character Traits

James 3:8-9 WEL But the tongue can no one tame. [It is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless God, even the Father, and with the same we curse people, who are made according to God's likeness.
Colossians 3:9-10 WEL Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have completely rid yourself of the old nature with his deeds, 10 And have put on the new [nature], which is being renewed into knowledge according to the image of him who created him.

A Christian is to be acting in God’s image, that is, in reason and in God’s character.

We see a sampling of God’s character as seen in
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
  • 2 Peter 1:3-8
  • Galatians 5:22-23

These traits must be seen in us. Perhaps, it is only briefly at first, but with time and God’s training (chastening), it develops, so we become more consistent in the character traits that He is pleased with.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a WEL Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn't brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn't behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn't easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn't rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends
B1 Love is part of the central character of God. Truth is the other.
C1 1 John 4:8 CSB The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
C2 Hebrews 6:18 CSB So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
B2 Love, God’s love, is a choice. He chooses to love. The actions of love towards others are seen in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
B3 We are to love God in this way and other humans. Luke 10:27 MKJV And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus then gives an example in the illustration of the Good Samaritan.
B4 We are even to love our enemies. Clearly, this has to be a choice. Matthew 5: 44-45 PickeringNT But I say to you: love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45, that you may prove to be sons of your Father in the heavens; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust.

2 Peter 1:3-9 WEL Since his divine power has given to us everything [needful] for life and godliness through the thorough knowledge of him who has called us to glory and moral excellence. 4 Through this he has given very great and precious promises, so that by them we may become partakers of the divine nature, [since] we have escaped the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. 5 Beside this, be diligent to add to your faith moral excellence; to moral excellence add knowledge. 6 To knowledge add self-control; to self-control add perseverance; to perseverance add godliness. 7 To godliness add brotherly love; to brotherly love add unselfish, unconditional love. 8 For if these qualities are in you and are plentiful, they will make you not to be barren or unfruitful in the thorough knowledge concerning our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he who lacks these qualities is blind, short sighted and become forgetful that he was totally cleansed from his past sins.
B1 This list encourages us to become partakers of the divine nature, that is, God’s communicable character traits. We need to have our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds as Jesus character traits are.
B2 God gives us the grace to do this. He also gives us the training and testing that we need. Hebrews 12:10 WEL Truly, they disciplined us for only a few days according to what seemed best to them, but he for our benefit, so that we may be partakers of his holiness.
B3 This is God’s desire for us: Romans 8:29 WEL Because whom he foreknew he also already appointed to conform to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
B4 We add to these traits by
C1 Knowing them, so we must study the New Testament, not only precepts but examples from the life of our Lord Jesus.
C2 Praying for them, so God will give us grace to do them.
C3 Fellowshipping with others, so we can encourage others and they encourage us.
B5 Note the warning: 2 Peter 1:9 But he who lacks these qualities is blind, short sighted and become forgetful that he was totally cleansed from his past sins.
Galatians 5:22-23 WEL But, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
B1 The Spirit in this passage is the Holy Spirit.
B2 God, the Holy Spirit, works into us these traits, if we are willing.
B3 We must not resist His grace.
B4 If they are not seen privately and publicly, God will convict us. When He does we must repent. The fruit of repentance must be seen in that we do not practice these things anymore. Matthew 3:8 ESV Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Another translation: Matthew 3:8 NLT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God).
B5 Our lives, our families, our churches, our society, our country, our government, our business, our world would be a different place, if all lived by this fruit.

Some questions
B1 Do we have the character traits that God wishes for us to have?
B2 What can we do to increase these traits?
B3 Why must we be consistent in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds in private as well as in public?

Psalm 124:8 NLT Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 119:20 NIV My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.

Psalm 119:34-36 NIV Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

13 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Teaching the Christian Life

Philippians 4:9 WEL Those things, which you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace will be with you.

We must have these traits already.

  • Purpose: Proverbs 1:1-7 NLT These are the proverbs of Solomon, David's son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
  • Correction: Proverbs 12:1 NLT To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
  • God teaches us, too: Matthew 16:17 NLT Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
  • From illustrations: Matthew 24:32 NLT "Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near.
  • From godly mentors: Philippians 3:17 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
  • Know the source of all wisdom and knowledge: Colossians 1:9-10 NLT So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
  • Learning from chastisement: 1 Timothy 1:20 NLT Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.
  • Learning to live Godly lives (from New Testament instructions: 1 Timothy 4:8, 11 NLT "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come." ... Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
  • Learned from gentle instruction before we were believers: 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.

  • Acknowledge the source: John 3:27 NLT John replied, "No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.
  • By reading and studying the Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:15 NLT You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
  • From others living a Christian lifestyle: 2 Timothy 3:10 NLT But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
  • From our brothers and sisters: Colossians 3:16 NLT Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

  • From hearing the Scriptures read: 1 Timothy 4:13 NLT Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
  • We need someone to tell us: Romans 10:14 NLT But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
  • Hearing encouraging words: Ephesians 4:29 NLT Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

  • Seeing the damage of bad examples: 2 Kings 13:6 NLT But they continued to sin, following the evil example of Jeroboam. They also allowed the Asherah pole in Samaria to remain standing.
  • Follow Jesus’s good example: John 13:15 NLT I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
  • By working diligently to supply for ourselves and a little more to help others: Acts 20:35 NLT And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
  • Live a life of love. This does include telling hard to hear truths: Ephesians 5:2 NLT Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
  • Live what you teach both in private and pubic: Titus 2:7 NLT And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

  • Confessing and forsaking sins: Proverbs 28:13 NLT People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
  • Apply what we read and are taught (in truth): Proverbs 22:17 NLT Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.

  • How to live: Psalm 119:7 NLT As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!
  • How to know God’s ways: Romans 12:2 NLT Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • By learning and apply it, we receive: Proverbs 14:14 NLT Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
  • We learn and apply it: Proverbs 14:22 NKJV Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

  • The Lord Jesus says: John 13:17 PickNT If you understand these things, you are blessed if you do them.
  • The Apostle says: James 1:22 NKJV But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
  • We do what we believe. Doing does not forgive sins. Doing shows we are forgiven and changed: James 2:18 NLT Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." But I say, "How can you show me your faith if you don't have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds."
  • Finally, Matthew 7:24-27 NLT "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."
We need and He gives grace to help us: Hebrews 13:9 NLT So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God's grace, not from rules about food, which don't help those who follow them.

02 January 2019

Ephesians 6:5-9

A1 Scripture
B1 Ephesians 6:5-9 WEL Servants be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh with deep respect and trembling in single loyalty of your heart as to Christ. 6 Not pleasing them only when they are watching, instead, be servants of Christ doing God's will from the heart, 7 With a cheerful willingness doing your work as to the Lord and not to men. 8 Knowing that whatever good thing anyone does, he will receive from the Lord, whether he is a freeman or servant. 9 Masters, you must do the same to them, stay away from threatening, knowing that your Master is also in heaven, neither is there any partiality with him.
B3 Ephesians 6:5-9 GNB Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling; and do it with a sincere heart, as though you were serving Christ. (6) Do this not only when they are watching you, because you want to gain their approval; but with all your heart do what God wants, as slaves of Christ. (7) Do your work as slaves cheerfully, as though you served the Lord, and not merely human beings. (8) Remember that the Lord will reward each of us, whether slave or free, for the good work we do. (9) Masters, behave in the same way toward your slaves and stop using threats. Remember that you and your slaves belong to the same Master in heaven, who judges everyone by the same standard.
A2 Outline
B1 Servants/Slaves/Employees
C1 Obey
C2 Fear and trembling
C3 Simplicity of heart
C4 As to Christ
C5 Not with eyeservice
C6 As men pleasers
C7 But as slaves of Christ
C8 Doing the will of God wholeheartedly
C9 With good will
C10 As to the Lord
C11 Not to men
B2 God's principle
C1 Knowing that whatever good thing anyone does
C2 The same will receive back from the Lord
C3 Whether slave or free
B3 Masters/Employers
C1 Do the same towards them
C2 Do not threaten
C3 Know that your Master is in heaven
C4 Your master has no partiality
A3 Notes
B1 Slaves, Bond-servants
C1 Defined
D1 The main idea is service.
D2 This is not the cruel slavery as was practiced in the Old South. Compare: Some Initial Reflections on Slavery in the New Testament by Dr. Daniel B. Wallace.
D3 Female slaves in the Old Testament
E1 Scripture: Exodus 21:7-9 GW Whenever a man sells his daughter into slavery, she will not go free the way male slaves do. (8) If she doesn't please the master who has chosen her as a wife, he must let her be bought back by one of her close relatives. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, since he has treated her unfairly. (9) But if he has chosen her for his son, he must treat her like a daughter.
E2 Explanation
F1 Especially referring to getting a wife by slavery laws.
F2 The father owns a man money.
F3 The man who wants to marry the daughter has no money to pay a dowry.
F4 So the father sells her to the man as a slave for the purpose of being the man's wife, and the man who gets the wife doesn't have to pay a dowry.
F5 The daughter can walk free if the man who wants to marry her treats her badly.
D4 Most slaves in the Old Testament were slaves because of debt. God required them to be free from slavery after 7 years and debt free. Compare Deuteronomy 15:1-9.
D5 Slaves could be bought out of slavery by kinsman redeemer or after 7 years of service.
D6 By the Jubilee (Leviticus 25).
D7 By injury of the slave. If the slave owner injury a slave, the slave was free. Exodus 21:26-27 GW Whenever an owner hits his male or female slave in the eye and the slave is blinded, he must let the slave go free to make up for the loss of the eye. 27 If the owner knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free to make up for the loss of the tooth.
D8 By escape. Deuteronomy 23:15 GW If a slave escapes from his master and comes to you, don't return him to his master.
D9 By the rejection of a female slave by her owner. Deuteronomy 21:14 GW But if it happens that you are no longer pleased with her, let her go wherever she wants. You must never sell her or mistreat her as if she were a slave, since you've already had sex with her.
D10 By paying off his (own) debt.
D11 By God's command. Jeremiah 34:8-10 GW The LORD spoke his word to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah and all the people in Jerusalem promised to free their slaves. (9) Everyone was supposed to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female. No one was supposed to keep another Jew as a slave. (10) All the officials and all the people agreed and promised to free their male and female slaves and not to keep them as slaves anymore. So they set them free.
D12 New Testament laws were similar. Slaves were to obey and do their work as unto the Lord, and masters had to treat them as brothers.
D13 Slavery was taught to be wrong (1 Corinthians 7:23 GNB God bought you for a price; so do not become slaves of people), but if a person was a slave, God had strict rules to follow.
C2 The difference between God's version of a Master/servant relationship and humanity's
D1 God's version
E1 Trusts His servants. Delegates to His servants. Matthew 24:45 GNB Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant? It is the one that his master has placed in charge of the other servants to give them their food at the proper time.
E2 Rewards His servants for good work. Matthew 25:23 GNB 'Well done, you good and faithful servant!' said his master. 'You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!'
E3 Is moved by compassion. Forgives debts. Matthew 18:27 GNB The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.
E4 Avoid being slaves of anything (sin, etc. These are addictions to any sin as addicted to lying, stealing, blaspheming God, idolatry, hate and so on. 1 Corinthians 7:23 GNB God bought you for a price; so do not become slaves of people.
E5 To be fair and just. Colossians 4:1 GNB Masters, be fair and just in the way you treat your slaves. Remember that you too have a Master in heaven.
D2 Man’s version is the opposite.
B2 Obey
C1 Defined: To do what was asked. Romans 6:16 GNB Surely you know that when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey—-either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God.
C2 Example: Hebrews 11:8 GNB It was faith that made Abraham obey when God called him to go out to a country which God had promised to give him. He left his own country without knowing where he was going.
B3 According to the flesh. This refers to fellow humans like ourselves. The other Master is God himself, and He is not flesh. While Jesus became flesh for us, He nonetheless is God who is spirit, not flesh.
B4 Simplicity of heart/singleness of heart/sincere heart. This refers to not having any ulterior motivations, making a facade to prevent loyalty and faithfulness but in heart being the very opposite. This is a type of hypocrisy, but God wants honesty or as worded here simplicity of heart. God also expects us to have this attitude towards Him, our Master. The word also signifies an attitude of freely giving without strings attached. Compare James 1:5 NRSV If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.
B5 Eye service. This means someone works only when the boss is around and otherwise they do little.Proverbs 18:9 GNB A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive.
B6 Men pleasers. Sucking up to the boss, but not really doing any work.
B7 Servants of Christ. As we would serve the Lord Jesus, we need to serve our masters on earth.
B8 Doing the will of God from the heart. This means with a good attitude and motivation with honesty. A boss can trust a person like that. Matthew 25:21 NKJV His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
B9 Good thing...Lord. God watches us and will reward us for out faithfulness in how we live our life here.
B10 Bond or free. God doesn't give a better reward to a rich than to a poor person, nor a free person more than a servant.
B11 Masters. This means that the master has to have the same good attitude and actions that his slave/servant/employee must do. There are two types of leaders. The first is the control freak bully who treats those under him with abuse. He is like Nimrod—a mighty hunter. The second type of leader is the shepherd type who is firm and monitoring but delegates duties and gives freedom to obey or disobey. He is like the Lord Jesus.
B12 Forebear threatening. As above it reflects a type of leadership. A good leader does not have to threaten, because those under him will want to obey.
B13 Master in heaven. This means that a leader/master/employer is being watched by God. God is the master's Master and will reward or punish depending how he/she leads here on earth.
A4 Applications
B1 God is our Master. We must learn His ways and live His ways.
B2 We are to treat every as God treats us.
B3 God does not play favorites.
B4 God knows what we think and do.
B5 We are bond-slaves of Jesus, who is the King of the Universe and Head of the Church.

12 December 2018

Ephesians 5:16-21

  A1 Scripture
B1 Ephesians 5:16-21 WEL Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore, don't be foolish but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not be drunk with wine, which is immoral excess, instead be filled by the Spirit: 19 Speaking among yourselves in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making music in your heart to the Lord, 20 Always giving thanks to the God and Father for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Place yourselves under one another in the fear of God.
B2 Ephesians 5:16-21 GNB  Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days.  17  Don't be fools, then, but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do.  18  Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit.  19  Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts.  20  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father.  21  Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.

A2 Outline
B1 Living the Christian life
C1 Circumspectly
C2 Not as fools
C3 But as wise
C4 Redeeming the time. Because the days are evil
B2 Some rules
C1 Do not be unwise but understand what the Lord's will
C2 Do not be drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit
D1 Speaking to one another in
E1 Psalms
E2 Hymns
E3 Spiritual songs
D2 Singing and making melody
E1 In heart
E2 To the Lord
D3 Giving thanks                            
E1 Always
E2 For all things
E3 To God the Father
E4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
D4 Submitting to one another in the fear of God.

A3 Notes
B1 Definitions
C1 Circumspectly—thinking carefully about possible risks before doing or saying something (Merriam-Webster)
C2 Dissipation—behavior that shows you are interested only in pleasure, money, etc. (Merriam-Webster)
B2 Walk carries the idea of living a certain lifestyle.
C1  1 John 1:7  (NKJV) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
C2  Acts 21:21  (NKJV) ...but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise [their] children nor to walk according to the customs.
B3 The Bible has rules. The Bible is a revelation from God about Himself and His way of life. He wants us to have the same attitudes. He wants us to obey His laws and rules. Acts 15:20 GNB  Instead, we should write a letter telling them not to eat any food that is ritually unclean because it has been offered to idols; to keep themselves from sexual immorality; and not to eat any animal that has been strangled, or any blood.
B3 A fool is one who thinks he is smart, intelligent, clever but others know he is not. Some fools are naive, but many are premeditatedly evil. The word for "fool" here is used only one time. It is the opposite of being wise. σοφος asophos which is without wisdom.
C1 We can walk/live our life as a fool or in wisdom.
C2 What is our choice? It is foolishly or wisely?
B4 The time is evil. Read the headlines.
B5 What is redeeming the time?
C1 There is only so much time. What are we going to do with it? Live like God wants us or like the first verses of Chapter 5—
C2 The word "redeeming" here as the idea of using an opportunity.
C3 There is a reason to be redeeming the time/using the opportunity that we have. It is because the days are evil. The evil heart of humanity shows itself more clearly every day in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
B6 The word unwise in verse 17 is a different word than in verse 16. It is to be mindless, making a decision without any foresight or insight. Choices do have consequences.
B7 The word understand has to do with finding out something. We are to find out God's will. How do we do this?
C1 Some verses to consider:
D1 Jeremiah 4:22 GNB92 The LORD says, My people are stupid; they don't know me. They are like foolish children; they have no understanding. They are experts at doing what is evil, but failures at doing what is good.
D2 Romans 12:2 NASB77 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
D3 1 Thessalonians 4:1 GNB92 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.
D4 1 Peter 4:2 GNB92 From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God's will and not by human desires.
C2 The Old Testament is God's will for a NATION, while the New Testament is God's will for a PEOPLE, the Church.
C3 Somethings in the New Testament we MUST do. Some things in the New Testament we must NOT do. Some things we learn by example that we MUST do or must NOT do.
C4 Illustrations/examples abound in the Old Testament. We read of foolish decisions and wise decisions (from God's point of view). We MUST do the wise and must NOT do the foolish.
C5 God, the Holy Spirit, helps us, convicts us, disciplines us, encourages us what to do. If we are doing wrong, we must repent and not do it anymore. If we still fail at times, make sure we have the right attitude that it is wrong and seek the prayers and even the counsel of a BIBLE believing Christian.
C6 Consider this advice: Just as children follow the example of their parents, so Christians must follow the example of their heavenly Father. Their love, then, will not be mere words, but will show itself by self-sacrifice, just as Christ’s love did (5:1-2).
Converted pagans had a special problem in that many of the sinful practices they once engaged in were still widespread in the society in which they lived. One way to overcome the temptation to such practices was not even to speak about them. They should certainly not joke lightheartedly about them, because people who practice such things are enemies of God’s kingdom (3-5).
Besides being careful about what they say, Christians should be careful about what they hear. They must examine what people say, whether concerning religion, morals or anything else, to see whether such people are on the side of Satan (darkness) or Christ (light). Only by careful testing will Christians know whether a thing is pleasing to God or not, whether it belongs to the light or to the darkness (6-10). If the lives of Christians are pure, they will show up the sins of others, just as light shows up dirt. Any who stir themselves from their moral laziness can be cleansed, if they allow themselves to be examined in the light of Christ (11-14).
Christians must be alert at all times. They must act wisely and display the worth of Christianity to a sinful world (15-17). In former days they might have tried to overcome depression or find enjoyment by drinking till they became drunk. Now that they are Christians, they should open their lives to God and allow God's Spirit to control them. They will find true joy in having fellowship with other Christians, singing praises together and giving thanks to God (18-20)."Bridgeway Bible Commentary by Don Fleming. The comment is on Ephesians 5:1-20.
B8 We know what drunk with wine means, so what does filled with the Spirit mean? Acting drunk with Holy laughter?
C1 Being drunk means not be clear headed. It is a person who has their judgment clouded, standards loosened, and the central nervous nervous system depressed.
C2 Being filled with the Spirit would be the opposite of being drunk with wine.
C3 It is the Holy Spirit helping and empowering us to do God’s will, a holy boldness, faithfulness, etc.
D1 Philippians 2:13 NRSV  For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
D2 Ephesians 3:16 NLT - I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
D3 Acts 4:31 NRSV  When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.
D4 Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
C2 Being drunk with wine leads to acting stupid without judgment or insight or even a memory of what happened (Proverbs 23:35 GNB92 I must have been hit,” you will say; “I must have been beaten up, but I don't remember it. Why can't I wake up? I need another drink).
C3 Here are some examples from the Scriptures of people filled with the Spirit. I ask you; as they acting like they are drunk (with wine)?
D1 Exodus 31:3 NKJV And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all [manner of] workmanship.
D2 Luke 1:15 NKJV For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
D3 Luke 1:41 NKJV And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
D4 Luke 4:1 NKJV Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
D5 Acts 4:8 NKJV Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel.
D6 Acts 13:9 NKJV Then Saul, who also [is called] Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him.
C4 It means instead to be doing things the way God wants us to. Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those [who are] Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
C5 Being filled with the Spirit leads to the activities of verse 19
B9 Ephesians 5:19 NKJV ...speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord...
C1 Even if we are gagged and unable to speak, we can still sing in our hearts.
C2 Acts 16:25 GNB  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
B10 We are commanded to give thanks for ALL things. How is this possible seeing all the evil, troubling, sad things in life?
C1 We cannot thank God for the evil things that happen to us, because those things come from a world cursed because of sin.
C2 We can thank God that in the midst of evil we can
D1 Thank Him for His holiness: Psalms 97:12 GNB  All you that are righteous be glad because of what the LORD has done! Remember what the holy God has done, and give thanks to him.
D2 Thank Him for His mercy: Psalms 107:1 NKJV  Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
D3 We can thank Him that He is with us through whatever we face: Matthew 28:20 MKJV  Teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
D4 We can thank Him that this life doesn't last forever. It ends, then eternal life begins. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 NLT - Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
D5 We can thank Him for the Lord Jesus. 2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
D6 We can thank Him that the Lord Jesus has suffered too.
E1 Hebrews 2:18 NKJV  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
E2 Hebrews 10:32-33 NKJV  But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:  (33)  partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated.
E3 1 Peter 2:21-23 NKJV  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:  (22)  "who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth";  (23)  who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.
E4 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
B11 Submit. What is Biblical submission?
C1 The Greek word, G5293 Ὑποτάσσω hupotassō, means to place under. It does not imply overcoming resistance or that one is resisting and must be conquered. The English word does imply that meaning, but the Greek word does not. It is a placing under authority.
C2 It is so translated: Ephesians 5:21 GW  Place yourselves under each other's authority out of respect for Christ.
C3 Ephesians 5:21 WEL Place yourselves under one another in the fear of God.
C4 We are not to be stubborn to push, fight for our own way, thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
C5 We are to place ourselves under each other’s authority.
C6 The Lord Jesus, when He was 12, placed himself under the authority of Joseph and Mary. It was not because God obeys humans, but it was in honor of them. The Lord Jesus did not say, “I have a right to be here. I will not do what you say. You need to grovel before me.” He simply went with them. Luke 2:48-51 GNB  His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you."  49  He answered them, "Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?"  50  But they did not understand his answer.  51  So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
B12 Fear of God
C1 Being afraid of God
C2 Why?
D1 Guilt from sin (as Adam)
D2 Judgment Day someday.
D3 Eternal punishment.
D4 God's majesty.
D5 God's power.
C3 The fear of the Lord is to run TOWARDS Him, not away from Him.
D1 Adam and Eve ran away from Him: Genesis 3:8 NRSV  They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
D2 The Prodigal Son went towards his father: Luke 15:20 GNB  So he got up and started back to his father. "He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him.
C4 There is a contrast between the 2 attitudes: John 3:19-21 GNB  This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.  20  Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.  21  But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
A4 Applications
B1 God wants us to know His will. We must read and study the Bible.
B2 God wants us to do His will.
B3 God wants us to be filled with His Spirit, so we can know His will, do His will, think His will, and be faithful to His will.
B4 God wants us to worship Him in song.
B5 God wants us to be thankful.
B6 God wants us to not push for OUR rights, but for truth and helpfulness to each other.