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

16 January 2020

1 Year Bible—Ephesians Part D

B2 Practical Chapters 4-6
C1 Encouragement for Spiritual Growth Chapter 4:1-16
D1 Spiritual growth is compared to physical growth. We mature in our knowledge, experience, wisdom, actions, etc.
D2 The potential is already there, but it needs proper nutrition to reach that potential.
D3 What does God require as seen in this passage?
E1 A holy life—as God has defined it in the New Testament
E2 Humility—not self promotion
E3 Gentleness—instead of abuse and control
E4 Forbearance—instead of rehearsing failures
E5 Love—as defined in 1 Corinthians 13 both public and private
E6 Unity in peace—instead of self-seeking
D4 It is not unity at any cost. It is not unity to tolerance in false doctrine, practices, or life. We must be in unity not only with believers today but also the whole body of believers from Pentecost to today.
D5 It is unity defined as
E1 One body—from Pentecost until the Rapture
E2 One Spirit—as a holy temple: Ephesians 2:21-22 BSB In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together into a dwelling place for God in His Spirit.
E3 One hope—of Him, our Messiah. This is one of many hopes we have: I John 3:2-3 BSB Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
E4 One Lord—Jesus There is no other lord whether spirit or human. There is only one authority—Jesus.
E5 Faith—the doctrines we believe. There is no change. What was taught by the Lord Jesus and His Apostles is still the same faith.
F1 1 Corinthians 16:13 NRSV Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.
F2 1 Timothy 6:20-21 WEB Timothy, guard that which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of what is falsely called knowledge; 21 which some profess, and thus have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.
E6 Baptism—probably referring to the Baptism by the Holy Spirit.
F1 1 Corinthians 12:13 NRSV For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
F2 But also in water at our public profession of faith: Romans 6:3-4 NRSV Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
E7 One God and Father—there is no other God: Isaiah 43:10 NRSV You are my witnesses, says the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
D4 2 Peter 2:1-5 WEL 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.
C2 Encouragement for Spiritual Life Chapter 4:17-32
D1 We must get rid of the old way of life as described in many places particularly in Galatians 5:19-21. Then, we must put on the new: Ephesians 4:22-24 WEL Get rid of the former lifestyle, the old nature, which is rotten from deceitful lusts, 23 Instead, be renewed in the spirit of your mind. 24 Put on the new nature, which according to God’s [likeness] is created in righteousness and true holiness.
D2 The rest of the chapter lists some of these new ways of life. These characteristics are the ones God has and is in His kingdom.
C3 Encouragement for Spiritual Lifestyle Chapter 5:1-20
D1 There is an obvious Christian life.
D2 It is not in a man-made list. The lifestyle is listed in Scripture.
D3 This is why we must read chapters like this and live it. We can do so with God’s grace.
C4 Encouragement for Living as a Godly Family Chapter 5:21-6:4
D1 Notice how husband and wife both must submit, that is, NOT be adamant and controlling. Ephesians 5:21 GW Place yourselves under each other's authority out of respect for Christ.
D2 Leadership in the family must be the same leadership style as Jesus has.
D3 A husband must love his wife (with the actions of 1 Corinthians 13), and the wife respect her husband.
D4 Fear has 2 senses
E1 A running away from: Genesis 3:8-10 GW In the cool of the evening, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking around in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees in the garden. 9 The LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."
E2 A running to:
F1 Cornelius feared God, yet came praying every day: Acts 10:2 NRSV He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God.
F2 Proverbs 18:10 GW The name of the LORD is a strong tower. A righteous person runs to it and is safe.
E3 Both seen. One does not come, the other does: John 3:20-21 NRSV For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.
C5 Encouragement for Living as a Godly Employee Chapter 6:5-9
D1 Carrying out their duties without pressure.
D2 Carrying out their duties properly.
C6 Encouragement for Living with God’s Armor Chapter 6:10-20
D1 Christians have 3 enemies: the devil, the world, and the flesh.
D2 The world is the mindset and worldview of those who are not believers.
D3 The flesh refers to the sinful desires of the flesh as seen in Galatians 5:19-21.
D4 God has given provision for fighting these 3 things.
D5 The armor of God is for all Christians.
E1 Truth
F1 John 8:32 NRSV and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
F2 Many interpret truth in various ways such as the Gospel, etc. Personally, I think the Lord means “truth.”
F3 Truth delivers from sin, from addiction, from stupidity, from wrong decisions, etc. Truth is delivering. Truth is the start of healing from abuse, addiction, stupidity, foolishness, etc.
F4 Truth as to doctrine and Christian living. The Bible must be interpreted in its plain, normal sense.
E2 Righteousness—to be free of guilt, a bad testimony, bad choices, etc. It leads to a good testimony, better choices, etc. It is protective. The devil wants us to sin.
E3 The Gospel—this is salvation. It is protective by God’s protecting the soul. The devil can kill, but he cannot kill the soul.
E4 Faith—this is believing God instead of something else.
E5 Salvation—this is deliverance. A promise of deliverance now and in the future. A person might be persecuted, but the knowledge and the possession of salvation comforts and gives assurance.
E6 The Word of God—the only source of 100% truth
E7 Prayer—this is asking for wisdom, deliverance, help in many ways. God’s wisdom is perfect. His decisions are done in wisdom, love, and holiness.
D6 The struggle is written about in Romans 7, while the cause is Romans 6, and the solution in Romans 8.
E1 Romans 6:12 GW Therefore, never let sin rule your physical body so that you obey its desires.
E2 Romans 7:23-24 GW However, I see a different standard at work throughout my body. It is at war with the standards my mind sets and tries to take me captive to sin's standards which still exist throughout my body. 24 What a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me from my dying body?
E3 Romans 8:26 NRSV Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. AND Romans 8:34 NRSV Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
C7 Prayer for the Ephesians Chapter 6:21-24

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?