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

11 December 2019

1 Year Through the Bible Series—Romans Part F

C1 Chapter 12
D1 Romans 12 begins with an appeal for us to give our life in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds under Jesus’s rules and lifestyle for us. Most of this chapter and the following give us these rules.
E1 Romans 12:1 PickNT Now then, brothers, I exhort you, in view of God's compassions, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, satisfying to God—your intelligent duty.
E2 Pickering comments on this verse: Any animal in the Old Testament had to die in order to become a sacrifice, so what does Paul mean by a 'living' one? In 1Co 15:31 he said that he died every day. Paul could not have been referring to actual physical death, obviously, since Heb 9:27 affirms that it is appointed to men to die only once (no re-incarnation). He may well have faced possible death often enough, but I suppose he is referring to dying to himself. I suppose this is also the meaning of our Lord's words in Luke 9:23-24—"If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." In that day a cross was an instrument of death. We must die to our own will in order to embrace God's. To present the body is presumably a metonym for presenting one's whole self.
D2 Romans 12:3-8
E1 This deals with the gifts of grace for believers to serve God in ministering to others especially to the brothers and sisters.
E2 These gifts are prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, and compassion. As others have pointed out this is the division of labor in the body of believers. These are broad areas covering primarily the needs of the congregation and also for preaching the Gospel.
F1 Prophecy for foretelling (rarely) and giving a message to believers, which is effective and motivating messages. The message is blessed by God for service. Prophecy is for 1 Corinthians 14:3 WEL But he who prophesies speaks to people for edification, exhortation, and comfort.
G1 Edification to build up the knowledge, wisdom, and actions of believers.
G2 Exhortation to encourage and help in knowledge, wisdom, and actions of believers.
G3 Comfort to lessen anxiety and unrest in believers.
F2 There is time to speak of the other gifts but they are more easily understood by most people.
D3 Romans 12:9-21 are a list of some of the rules all Christians are to live by. Let us take heed. We can obey with the strength God gives us.
C2 Chapter 13
D1 Romans 13:1-7 deals with our relation and obligations to the government. We need to respect leaders and to pray For them. That God would give them wisdom, so that the country may live in peace and safety and that the believers may be allowed to live as Christians. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NRSV First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
D2 Romans 13:8-10 deals with our relation and obligations to our neighbor.
E1 Our neighbor, as far as Scripture is concerned, refers to anyone we meet. Luke 10:29, 37 NIV But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" ... 37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise.
E2 Romans 13:10 NIV Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
F1 The word harm is the Greek word for bad in many applications.
F2 Bad is based on God’s standard not mine, not yours, not the neighbor.
D3 Romans 13:11-14 is urging us to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ.
C3 Chapter 14
D1 The chapter gives rules regarding our responsibilities to our Christian brothers and sisters.
D2 Romans 14:1-4 deals with what we eat. We are not to eat something that might cause our fellow believer to fall from faith.
D3 Romans 14:5-9 deals with observation of days for worship or something special. It is not important what particular day we worship but that we worship. We don’t need to argue and fight about this. One worships God on Sunday? Amen Another worships on Saturday. Maybe someone worships on Wednesday or every day. It makes no difference.
D4 Romans 14:10-12 reminds us that each of us will face judgment at Jesus’s throne. This judgment is not regarding salvation but for rewards. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NLT Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials--gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
D5 Romans 14:13-23 teaches us the rationale and motive for these rules which are our love for God and our love for our brother and sister as shown by what we say and what we do. We are not to insist on our own way in many things but accept the other person. Many marital arguments could be avoided by not insisting on our own personal habit or opinion.
C4 Chapter 15
D1 Romans 15:1-6 continues with rules for the church (the people). It is in helping our weaker brother or sister. We might understand weaker as more sensitive personality. The goal is not to insist and demand our way but to build up the faith of each other.
E1 It is the attitude of Jesus Christ: John 5:30 NKJV I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
E2 We must have the same attitude: Matthew 16:24 NKJV Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
E3 Philippians 2:4 NIV not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
E4 Galatians 6:2 NASB Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
D2 Romans 15:7-13 teach us that Gentiles and Jews believes are one. We are of one family. We have been adopted by God as sons and daughters. We are co-heirs with the Lord Jesus. Romans 8:17 NIV Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
D3 Romans 15:14-22 teaches us that Paul was their apostle.
D4 Romans 15:23-33 is Paul’s plans for visiting these believers.
C5 Chapter 16 is a list of personal greetings to many brothers and sisters and the finishing of the letter.

Romans 16:27 CSB to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to him be the glory forever! Amen.

30 September 2019

Thoughts on Discipling Christian Life What It Is Part 2

B2 Why it is
C1 What we live in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds reflects what we really believe.
C2 We may say we believe something, but how we act, talk, do business, etc. reveals our true motivations and beliefs.
C3 We need a renewed mind, then study, fellowship, and application.
C4 Christians are in the Kingdom of God. This is where Jesus reigns. It is not on earth, yet. Today the enemy’s kingdom prevails. God is King of the Universe (and beyond). Believers are those who believe and are loyal to The King.
D1 King Jesus and His kingdom
E1 This was offered to Israel during Jesus’s 3+ years of ministry, but Israel rejected it. They only wanted a physical kingdom, if He did what they wanted—overthrow the Romans, give them plenty of food, let them define religion, and be the powers behind the throne. Jesus did not do this. His kingdom is a kingdom based on spiritual relationship to Him.
F1 John 6:15 MKJV Therefore when Jesus perceived that they would come and take Him by force, that they might make Him a king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain alone by Himself.
F2 Luke 19:14 MKJV But his citizens hated him. And they sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this one to reign over us.
F3 John 19:15 MKJV But they cried out, Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him! Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
E2 The heart of Christians: Colossians 1:13-14 MKJV For He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins.
E3 Some characteristics: 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.
E4 A Kingdom of peace:
F1 Between nations: Isaiah 2:2-4 NIV In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
F2 Between animals, etc.: Isaiah 11:6-9 NIV The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra's den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
E5 The leadership style is different: Matthew 11:28-30 NIV Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
D2 The devil’s
E1 1 John 5:19 WEL We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
E2 The characteristics of satan’s kingdom: 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV 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 worldthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeis 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.
E3 satan blinds instead of gives sight: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJV But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
E4 More characteristics of his kingdom: Galatians 5:16-21  WEL I say, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you cannot do the things that you want to. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious. They are adultery, sexual sin, moral corruption, unrestrained lust, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, provoking jealousy, hot anger, pushing to be first, selfish scheming, dissensions, heresy, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, wild partying, and so on, about which I have told you before, and as I have also told you in the past that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
E4 The Bible foretells the last days attitude: 1 Timothy 4:1-3 NIV The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
E5 His leadership style is control: 3 John 1:9-11 GW I wrote a letter to the congregation. But Diotrephes, who loves to be in charge, won't accept us. 10 For this reason, when I come I will bring up what he's doing. He's not satisfied with saying malicious things about us. He also refuses to accept the believers we send as guests. He even tries to stop others who want to accept them and attempts to throw those people out of the congregation. 11 Dear friend, never imitate evil, but imitate good. The person who does good is from God. The person who does evil has never seen God.
D3 The contrast between God’s kingdom and satan’s
F1 Ephesians 2:1-3 NKJV And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others
F2 Matthew 12:26-28 NKJV If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
F3 Acts 26:17-18 NIV I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
F4 Romans 14:17 NIV For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
B3 Are you living a Christian life, the Kingdom of God??
C1 In thoughts, desires, words, and deeds
C2 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 WEL Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what does righteousness have in common with unrighteousness? What fellowship is there between light and darkness? 15 What harmony does Christ have with Satan? What does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What does the Temple of God have in agreement with idols? For you are the Temple of the Living God, just as God has said, “I will live in them and walk in them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 “So then come out from among them. Be separate,” says the Lord, “and do not touch [what is] unclean, then I will accept you, 18 “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty.
C3 Psalms 111:10 GW The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Good sense is shown by everyone who follows God's guiding principles. His praise continues forever.

29 September 2019

Thoughts on Discipling Christian Life What It Is Part 1

B1 What it is
C1 God’s way of thinking
C2 God’s way of living
C3 God’s desire for creation, especially humans
C4 Titus 2:12 WEL Teaching us that by refusing ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live in this present world with self-restraint, righteously, and pleasingly to God.
C5 There are only 2 worldviews. Compare Proverbs 7-9 between the woman named folly and the one named wisdom. This is one article that teaches that contrast The Two Women: Madam Folly and Dame Wisdom (Proverbs 7-9)
D1 God’s view
E1 Some basic Scriptures
F1 We leave the old view to live the new: 2 Corinthians 5:17 WEB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
F2 We need to be conformed. To His death has the idea of we die too. We die to the old life, desires, actions, motivations, goals, etc. Philippians 3:10 WEB that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death.
F3 This is the fruit of the new worldview. If everyone alive had this fruit, this would be the culture and actions of the whole world. Sadly, we know what the whole world lives like. Galatians 5:22-26 WEB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. Let’s not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.
F4 Real love, as God defines, would be the norm. The following list is the love of the Christian worldview. We don’t see this much, because Christians are most likely ignorant. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 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. 8a Love never ends,
F5 God’s worldview has His people doing good works, as He defines them. Ephesians 2:10 WEB For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.
F6 The New man and woman have put off the old worldview to follow these rules: Colossians 3:9-11 WEB Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.
F7 God’s worldview has us reading, studying, and applying the teaching of the New Testament. 1 Peter 2:2 WEB as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby,
F8 God’s worldview has us praying that God’s will be done, not any other will. Luke 11:2 WEB He said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
F9 God’s worldview has priorities. If faced with a terrifying choice of family or God, the new worldview takes comfort in their new family. Luke 18:29-30 WEB He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for the Kingdom of God’s sake, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life.”
E2 A few links
D2 Not God’s view would be the opposite. This is the world we live in today. We see wars, conflicts, lies, deceit, theft, arguments, hate, name-calling, abuse, etc. This is not God’s way of life.
D3 The contrast between God’s worldview and any other worldview. In this passage, flesh refers to any other worldview and spirit refers to God’s worldview. This is pretty consistent in the New Testament. It doesn’t usually refer to the human flesh which God created. Context helps us to understand.
E1 The worldview labeled as flesh: Galatians 5:19-21 WEL Now the works of the flesh are obvious. They are adultery, sexual sin, moral corruption, unrestrained lust, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, provoking jealousy, hot anger, pushing to be first, selfish scheming, dissensions, heresy, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, wild partying, and so on, about which I have told you before, and as I have also told you in the past that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

E2 The worldview labeled as spirit: 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.

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.