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

29 August 2018

James 4

B1 James 4:1-10 An illustration of worldly attitude in believers
C1 Marks of worldliness
D1 Arguments and fights
E1 Due to evil attitudes
E2 Due to lust
D2 The lust leads to murder. J. Warner Wallace has written that murder is from only 3 causes—financial greed, sexual lust, and/or desire for power (control). (One source of many).
D3 Covetousness: wanting what is pleasurable to us.
D4 Impure motives in prayer
E1 Our motive can be to glorify God
F1 This is good
F2 1 Corinthians 10:31 WPNT Therefore, whether you eat or you drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
F3 It benefits others as a witness and testimony for the Gospel. Matthew 5:16 NRSV In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
F4 Moses is one example among many of putting God first: Hebrews 11:24-25 NRSV By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
E2 Our motive can be to glorify us
F1 Is following demonic desires. James 3:14-16 WPNT But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth— such ‘wisdom’ is not coming down from Above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. Because where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is unruliness and every foul practice.
F2 Yields no good fruit: Luke 8:14 MKJV And those which fell among thorns are the ones who, when they have heard, go forth and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of life, and do not bear to maturity.
F3 Life is not a joke; it is to be serious: Ecclesiastes 7:4 MKJV The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of laughter. People need to laugh and enjoy each other, but if a person’s life is only for selfish pleasure, that person is a fool.
F4 There is no satisfaction with things: Ecclesiastes 5:10 HCSB The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile.
F5 There is only satisfaction in God: Philippians 4:19-20 NRSV And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
D5 Friend of the world
E1 This would be a friend of the world’s thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
E2 It is of the devil. John 8:44 "You are of [your] father, the devil, and you want to do the lusts of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he tells [it] from himself, because he is a liar and the father of it.
E3 We were delivered from this, when we believed and put our trust into Messiah Jesus. Romans 5:10 NKJV For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Are we going to become an ENEMY of God again?
E4 The grief of Christians when one turns from God’s ways: Philippians 3:17-19 NKJV Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
C2 The cure is to have thoughts, desires, words, and deeds that align with the desires of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:16-17 NRSV Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.
D1 Living by the Spirit is not listening to some disembodied voice, a burning in your bosom, or a tingling in your leg.
D2 Do not follow your heart, because Jeremiah 17:9 WEB The heart is deceitful above all things and it is exceedingly corrupt. Who can know it?
D3 A true believer will want to live life God’s way.
D4 Humility before God
E1 Why does God hate pride? Pride proclaims itself. Pride believes it is good, when it is evil. It is the opposite of God’s character and His ways.
E2 Proverbs 16:5 NASB Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
E3 1 John 2:16 NLT - For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
E4 God exalts. Our pride condemns and is debased. James 4:10 NLT - Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
D5 Resisting the devil
E1 The word resist in Greek is different in verse 6 from verse 7.
E2 In James 4:6, God is arranged in battle against the proud. He resists. All know that God always wins.
E3 In James 4:7, is also stand against but it is not to fight. It is God’s grace that helps us. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
D6 Drawing near to God
E1 This is an active drawing, not passive. Many wish for the so called deeper life of contemplation, but contemplation is passive. God wants us to be active, or we will be devoured and deceived.
F1 1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
F2 Matthew 24:42-44 GW Therefore, be alert, because you don't know on what day your Lord will return. 43 You realize that if a homeowner had known at what time of the night a thief was coming, he would have stayed awake. He would not have let the thief break into his house. 44 Therefore, you, too, must be ready because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.
B2 Judging James 4:11-12
C1 Unrighteous judgment is to judge by appearance, and then to slander them.
C2 Righteous judgment is to judge by the book—the Bible
D1 False doctrine
D2 Sin
B3 In God's will James 4:13-17 An example of pride
C1 We must be aware that God controls the future. We must have the attitude in prayer, “God your will be done.”
C2 Shows submission and acceptance of God's will
C3 A warning and definition of sin: James 4:17 NLT - Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
B4 Applications
C1 God disapproves of pride. God approves of humbleness.
C2 We can serve God and His ways, or we serve the devil and his ways.
C3 God gives the grace to resist the devil. We have the armor of God to help us.
C4 Be careful what we say and think.
C5 Accept God’s will.

15 January 2016

The Lord Told Me – I Think!

A good article to read and ponder. Is the Bible adequate for us today? The link to the whole article is on the title.

The Lord Told Me – I Think!


It seems the Lord has been quite busy lately speaking to His children. A few years ago Alistair Begg quoted a survey stating that one in three American adults say that God speaks to them directly.[1] And hearing the voice of God is not isolated to the common person either. A slew of evangelical leaders claim to hear from the Lord, some of them quite regularly. Henry Blackaby, an avid proponent of extrabiblical revelation of this type, when asked how he knew he was hearing from God and not from some other source, gives this answer, “You come to know His voice as you experience Him in a love relationship. As God speaks and you respond, you will come to the point that you recognize His voice more and more clearly.”[2]

Is God Speaking Today?

Of course, that leaves dangling the important question, “How does one know he is hearing the voice of the Lord in the first place?” Is it not possible...

07 January 2016

Conscience Toward God

From my friend and Christian brother, John Kulp

Conscience Toward God


In the first installment of this topic, we covered in a few words what the Scriptures mean by an “evil conscience” and a “purged conscience”. But what is meant by the concept of a “good conscience before (or toward) God” in Paul’s testimonies and in Peter’s exhortations? Let’s look at these passages one at a time.

“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council (Sanhedrin), said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” (Acts 23:1). Many believe that Paul meant this introductory statement to refer to his past life as an observant and zealous, though yet unconverted, Jew. Likely he sought to appeal to their consciences, as to Jews who...

Click the link above to read the whole post

15 November 2015

Traders not traitors


judas leaving last supper carl bloch

In some ways these are traitors, too.

Some people in the Bible have made some horrible decisions. After the decision was made, it was too late. We can learn not to make the same type of decisions.

How about Adam?

Adam traded the position of prince of the world for a piece of fruit.

Adam traded a loving marriage for a piece of fruit.

Adam traded a perfect environment for a piece of fruit.

Adam traded life for death for a piece of fruit.

Bad decision Adam. Genesis 3:6-19.

How about Esau?

He traded all the rights and blessings of his heritage for a bowl of stew.

Some of the rights and blessing included

1. Financial inheritance--Isaac was very rich Genesis 25:5, Genesis 13:2, Genesis 24:35

2. God's blessings of family priesthood, inheritance of the Holy Land, and the blessing of being in the ancestry of Messiah.

How about Judas?

Judas traded a position as Apostle and a ruler in the Kingdom of heaven for a few dollars. Matthew 19:28

Some have estimated that the 30 pieces of silver would be about 15 ounces.

At $14.25 ounce it would be worth $427.50 at today's price.

The buying power of that though would be enough to buy a piece of land. Matthew 27:7

These are just three examples of people who traded wonderful blessings for some stupid piece of pleasure that only lasted a few minutes to a few days. The worst trade though is those who trade their soul for a few fleeting pleasures of this life. Compare Moses in Hebrews 11:24-25. See Luke 8:14, Titus 3:3, and Mark 8:36.

Need God?

06 May 2015

Tips on avoiding sin

No true Christian wants to sin and displease God. The Scriptures truly state that "…you will know them by their fruit," that is, what kind of life they live.

How do we avoid sin?


Photo credit: I am marlon / Loveseat Deals / CC BY-NC-ND

We will be tempted.

Some tips:

  1. Read and study the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15)

    1. Reading the Bible should be no difficulty. Just read it. Need some help search for a reading plan. The YouVersion Bible app (or here) has many short, long, topical, chronological reading plans. Another is the Blue Letter Bible reading plans.

    2. Studying the Bible. The best is to use the cross references and a topical Bible as Nave's or Torrey's. Online there is Blue Letter Bible, Bible Hub, Precept Austin, and others.

  2. Pray (Matthew 26:41)

    1. Praying is simply talking with God. Jesus prayed (Mark 1:35 and many other places).

    2. Some things to pray for are

      1. Things to be thankful for

      2. Others needs for spiritual health, emotional health, and physical health, etc.

      3. Leaders of your country, religious leaders, and all (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

  3. Encourage others (Galatians 6:2)

    1. "Don't give up." "We can make it with God's help."

    2. It is part of bearing one another's burdens.

  4. Allow others to encourage you. Have another person you can talk to. You don't need to tell all, just ask for prayer and for the person to listen and for you to listen in return. (Galatians 5:13-14)

    1. Not only are we to be an encouragement to others, but we are to let others encourage us.

    2. It is OK to ask for help.

  5. Confess failures and sin (James 5:16)

    1. All of us from Peter to us today have sinned and need to confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness.

    2. If we sin and only God knows, confess it to Him alone.

    3. If we sin against one, then confess to God after you have gone to the other person, confessed your sin, and ask for their forgiveness. When we forgive others, we then allow God to handle it. That others person still needs to confess and ask God for forgiveness.

  6. Know your weaknesses, so then you can flee temptation, avoiding it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

    1. Have the addiction gene? Then stay away from any addiction as gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc.

    2. Always and everyone needs to stay away from porn.

  7. Resist, so leave the area, start doing something else, etc. (James 4:7)

    1. If tempted, then leave the area and get busy with something—work, exercise, helping others, washing dishes, anything to occupy your time.

    2. Walk away and memorize Scripture, pray, go out and help someone.

  8. When you sin, do not blame others but take the responsibility. Compare Adam who failed by blaming his wife and God (Genesis 3:12). Compare Aaron who made the golden calf (Exodus 32:24).

  9. Be persistent and consistent. (Colossians 1:23 and James 1:12)

    1. People are not just tempted once. It will happen again and again.

    2. If we give in, it will be easier to give in the second time.

  10. When you sin, do not be discouraged or give up. Consider Peter who denied Jesus. He was forgiven and still used of God (John 18:25-27 and John 21:17).

    1. All of us sin.

    2. All of us are forgiven.

    3. All of us need God's help.

    4. Peter sinned a grievous sin and still was used by God (see the verse above).

  11. Remember that Jesus himself was tempted, and how He resisted. (Hebrews 2:18, Hebrews 4:15)

    1. He knew the Scriptures.

    2. He applied the Scriptures.

    3. He lived the Scriptures.

  12. Do the Scriptures, that is, obey God's rules. (James 1:22)

    1. If we busy ourselves obey God's laws, we will know what they are and be practiced in obeying them.

    2. There are over 1,000 rules in the New Testament.

  13. Stop sinning (Ephesians 4:28)

  14. Avoid evil people who may encourage you to sin (Proverbs 1:10, 2 Corinthians 6:14)

  15. There are rewards for not sinning.

    1. First, you don't sin.

    2. Secondly, a crown from God. This is something we receive on our judgment day. (James 1:12)

  16. Be aware that the devil wants you to sin and will try anything to get you to sin. (1 Peter 5:8)

Sin is a constant danger. God knows we are frail. God will help us. Don't give up, that's what the Tempter, the devil, wants.

30 April 2015



painting vs. reality

Photo credit: JFXie / Foter / CC BY

Doublethink--the acceptance of two contradictory ideas or beliefs at the same time. (doublethink. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from website:

Nancy Pearcey writes an article in Evolution News entitled Darwin's Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails. A couple of quotes from her article are telling

  1. In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots -- that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one "can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free." We are "constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots."


    A dual consciousness is a signal that contrary evidence from general revelation is being suppressed.

    Slingerland acknowledges that his reductionist view of humans as essentially robots is contrary to ordinary experience. Gesturing toward his own daughter, Slingerland writes, "At an important and ineradicable level, the idea of my daughter as merely a complex robot carrying my genes into the next generation is both bizarre and repugnant to me." Such a reductionistic view "inspires in us a kind of emotional resistance and even revulsion."

  2. Marvin Minsky of MIT is best known for his pithy phrase that the human brain is nothing but "a three-pound computer made of meat." Obviously, computers do not have the power of choice; the implication is that neither do humans. Surprisingly, however, Minsky then asks, "Does that mean we must embrace the modern scientific view and put aside the ancient myth of voluntary choice? No. We can't do that."


    Why not? Minsky goes on: "No matter that the physical world provides no room for freedom of will; that concept is essential to our models of the mental realm." We cannot "ever give it up. We're virtually forced to maintain that belief, even though we know it's false." False, that is, according to Minsky's materialist worldview.


Now think of some of these doublethink statements.

  1. Bruce Jenner, "I am a woman."

  2. Unnamed patient I took care of, "I am Jesus Christ."

  3. Unnamed patient I took care of, "I am the Virgin Mary."

  4. Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland, "I am god."

  5. Unnamed physician who called me at work, "This is god speaking." I did know who he was, and he was not being funny, Trust me.

We could name many others, but you have met these people yourself. They claim one thing but live another.


  1. The Calvinist (TULIP) who believes in exhaustive determinism who writes that people believe in the doctrine of God's sovereign but balk at determinism, he becomes angry at his wife for something she does/does not do.

  2. The prophetic healer(?) who becomes sick and requests prayer, or teaches on physical healing in the atonement, the sick are healed, and the dead rise, has glasses, dentures, pacemaker, wheelchair, etc.

  3. The one who believes in speaking reality and God cannot do anything until we speak it, speaks it and nothing happens.

  4. The person who believes in miracle healers today go a healer for healing and nothing happens but still believes it.

  5. The person who thinks they are worthless but have many gifts for the church and society.

  6. The person who thinks they are ugly but miss the obvious beauty that others see.

  7. The person who thinks they are stupid when they are not.

There are times when we all have experience some of these, but where is the reality?

We should be facing reality.

Another false belief is that we are good. We do not obey any of the Ten Commandments perfectly. We have all lied, stolen, coveted, etc.

We might as well as face reality. The so called healer, prophet, or teacher that believes in healing, seed faith, "blessings," etc. are wrong, for where is the reality?

10 March 2015

Is It Right to Shame People?

Is It Right to Shame People?

People have the tendency to want revenge. They may seek revenge by physical, emotional, verbal, or financial means. They may use sarcasm or shade the truth by emphasizing those details they want to prove their point.

There is, however, a down side to it.

There article shows the downside of shaming customers who give a negative review or perhaps a low tip. 5 Reasons Restaurants Should Think Twice About Shaming Bad Customers. Reasons like "The satisfaction is usually temporary, and often not worth it" as this may lead to backfiring when more details are known.

An application can be made to Christians. Do we seek revenge by shaming someone?

There are some problems.

  1. What are the facts (truth)?
  2. Why do you/I want to do this?
  3. Is it right in God's view?

What does the Bible say?

  1. It is not our place. "Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God's anger do it. For the scripture says, "I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord." (Romans 12:19, GNB92)
  2. We should one for that person to repent, so we are to treat our enemies with kindness. "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on one cheek, let him hit the other one too; if someone takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well." (Luke 6:27-29, GNB92)
  3. It smacks of pride as if we are the Judge. Maybe they will repent. "So watch what you do! "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4, GNB92)
  4. We might ourselves guilty of bad behavior ourselves. "Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How dare you say to your brother, 'Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,' when you have a log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5, GNB92)
  5. We need to make things right with our brethren. "So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God. (Matthew 5:23-24, GNB92)

Shaming people is a form of manipulation and is wrong. We must not do it. There are better ways of dealing with conflicts. "Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody." (Romans 12:18, GNB92)

27 January 2015

Animal Cruelty

The righteous know the needs of their animals, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. (Proverbs 12:10)

The meaning of this verse is to treat animals with gentleness and meet their needs as best as possible.

This article shows what one person is alleged to have done. It is the absolute opposite of the Bible. It is the breaking of God's law.

Cops: Woman Drowned Puppy In Airport Toilet After Not Being Allowed To Board Plane With Animal

After Nebraska airport workers refused to allow her to board a plane with a three-week-old puppy, a woman allegedly went into a nearby bathroom and drowned the animal in a toilet bowl, police allege.

Compassion is a Christian virtue. If it is not present in a person's life, one must one about that person's commitment to Jesus Christ.

As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

The times compassion is not seen in God is in judgment. When His law has been broken, He punishes. When someone crosses His line, then the time for mercy has been exhausted.

Let us show compassion to the animals.

08 January 2015

What Is Biblical Ethics?

This is a topic of a bigger work that I am laboring on.


What is Biblical Ethics


A1 Ethics is

B1 the study of moral values and rules.

B2 the study of right and wrong


A2 The philosophical study of ethics refers to people coming up with a rational (scientific) arguments for a code of right and wrong.

B1 Three broad views

C1 Virtue ethics has to do with the character of the person, not the act or deed.

C2 Deontology refers to strict adherence to rules, not necessarily character or deed.

C3 Consequentialism deals with rightness or wrongness from the outcome/result of the act or deed.

B2 Examples

C1 Virtue ethics would say it depends on whether the lie helps or hurts one's character or the group's character.

C2 Deontology would hold that lying is always wrong.

C3 Consequentialism would believe that lying is wrong if it hurts someone.

B3 Source of the rules

C1 Virtue ethics would rely on what would make the being of a person the best.

C2 Deontology has a number of theories one being the divine law and moral absolutes from these laws.

C3 Consequentialism bases its rules on what the outcome would be thus would be flexible or changing depending on the circumstances.

B4 What is desirable

C1 Virtue ethics would hold to desirable virtues or characteristics of one's being, however, how they derive their list of what is virtue is debated among them.

C2 Deontology would point to meeting a standard, an absolute standard. Murder is always wrong.

C3 Consequentialism often bases what is desirable on the principle of the greatest happiness. Murder would be wrong it the outcome is not for the happiness of a person, a group, a family, or society.

B5 Famous examples

C1 Virtue ethics--Aristotle taught that the greatest happiness comes from practicing virtues. Probably in the sense of having good, virtuous habits based on reason. Some of these would be reason, wisdom, justice, temperance, etc. The most common example is to meet a mean between two extremes, thus courage is the mean between cowardice and rashness.

C2 Deontology

D1 Augustine taught that humans are to seek the highest good for personal and societal happiness. This is done by loving God. If one loves God then he/she will do what God commands. God always does things according to love. Moral truth exists only in dependence of what God says, so his commands are mortality (right and wrong).

D2 Robert Adams teaches

E1 Two theorems

F1 It is wrong to do X.

F2 it is against God's laws to do X.

E2 God's laws do not explain what is moral (right or wrong) but the laws themselves show and teach what is right or wrong, thus why God made those laws.

E3 Laws and actions would have to be in agreement with God's character especially His characteristic of love.

F1 An action is wrong if and only if it defies God's character of love.

F2 God cannot command cruelty for instance because it is against His character of love. Cruelty is not loving. God is loving, thus cruelty is against God's character and is wrong.

D3 The Euthyphro dilemma

E1 Offered by Plato as, "Is X good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good?"

E2 The first would imply that everything that God commands is good.

E3 The second would imply that God is subject to a law, a standard, greater than Himself.

C3 Consequentialism

D1 Basically is the end justifies the means

D2 Forms

E1 What is best for the state (government) is what is morally good. (State Consequentialism).

E2 What is best for maximum pleasure is morally good, and what is painful is morally bad. (Utilitarianism, Hedonism)

E3 What is best for me is morally good; everything else is morally bad. (Ethical egoism)

E4 What is best for others is morally good; what is best for me that might hurt others is morally bad. (Ethical altruism)

E5 What is best may be mistaken, but if the motive was good then it is morally good. (Motive Consequentialism)

E6 What is most loving (as defined by the individual) is morally good, and what is not loving is morally bad. It all depends on any given situation. (Situational Ethics)

E7 And many others.

D3 Many different adherents from Milton Friedman to Sam Harris, Peter Singer, and others.


A3 Biblical ethics is the study of what the Bible teaches on what is right and wrong.

B1 Philosophically Biblical Christians would be considered to be believers in some form of deontology.

B2 My view

C1 The Bible is God's revealed words.

C2 God is accurately portrayed in the Bible.

C3 God is good.

C4 God created all things good.

C5 Creation needed laws and regulations for everything to operate smoothly.

C6 Therefore, God's rules are good. (because the results are good according to the operator's manual).