Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

19 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 4:1-6

B4 Chapter 4
C1 The Christian life—placing ourselves under God’s authority James 4:1-12
D1 Believers Should Know the Origin of Personal Wars and Arguing James 4:1-3
D2 Believers Should Know Being Friends with World Is Enemy of God James 4:4-6
D3 Believers Should Be Humble and Resist the devil James 4:7-10
D4 Believers Should Know Not to Slander Judge Wrongly James 4:11-12

James 4:1-6 WEL Where do arguments and strifes among you [come] from? [Don’t they come] from your lusts that are at war in your bodies. 2 You covet something and do not get [it], so you kill. You zealously desire [for things] but cannot obtain it, so you quarrel and fight. You do not get things, because you do not ask. 3 You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wicked motives, in order to squander it on your lusts. 4 You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that to be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God? 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says for no reason, “The Spirit that lives in us yearns because of envy?” 6 But He gives greater grace. That’s why he says, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Henrietta Mears writes on James 4: The world consists of all the things around us and the spirit within us that are blind and deaf to the value of spiritual things and care nothing about doing the will of God. The devil has organized this world on principles opposed to God in every way. They are principles of force, greed, ambition, selfishness and pleasure. The believer should be crucified to this world. (Source)

Fights=
  • The Greek word for fights (wars, arguments, etc.) is πόλεμος pólemos. It means war, battle, fight, dispute, etc. Robertson’s Word Pictures has (polemos, old word, Mat 24:6) pictures the chronic state or campaign, while machē (also old word, 2Co 7:5) presents the separate conflicts or battles in the war. So we have a conflict that is a continuous battle that no one will stop.
  • The Greek word for strifes (quarrels, fightings, etc.) is μάχη máchē. It means contentions, fights, etc. As we see above it refers to the individual battles.
  • These are hot headed arguments that each person feels so strongly that they will fight even to the point of destroying their fellow believer.
  • We have a choice as believers. We can live our lives in the world’s lifestyle or God’s lifestyle. The world’s is results in disorder, confusion, and societal ills. God’s lifestyle results in peace, love, joy, etc.
  • Which lifestyle do we prefer?
  • How do we avoid fighting?
    • Know the truth
      • Truth is reality.
      • God’s ways are best. Isaiah 55:9 NLT For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
      • His yoke is easy. His yoke is His rules. Matthew 11:30 NLT For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
      • His ways are decent and orderly: 1 Corinthians 14:40 NET And do everything in a decent and orderly manner.
      • They are characterized by the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23 NET But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
      • Human ways lead to death: Proverbs 16:25 NLT There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
      • God’s ways lead to life: Romans 8:6 CSB Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.
    • Know love
      • Love is a choice.
      • We can choose to do God’s will that results in peace or not do God’s will that results in death.
    • Know what God thinks about it
      • God wants the brothers and sisters to live in peace:
        • Colossians 3:15 CSB And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.
        • James 3:18 NIV Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
      • Don’t seek revenge. Let God do it, if it is needed. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
    • Know ourselves: Do we want peace?
    • Know humility: Philippians 2:3 NLT Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
    • Know forgiveness: Colossians 3:13 NIV Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
    • Know priorities: Luke 10:27 NIV He answered, " '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, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
    • Know God’s assistance: Luke 10:27 NIV He answered, " '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, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.
Lusts=
  • Desires
  • There are fleshly desires. Not all fleshly desires are evil. They need to be in moderation. Romans 13:13-14 GW We should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives.  14 Instead, live like the Lord Jesus Christ did, and forget about satisfying the desires of your sinful nature.
  • There are godly desires.
    • Proverbs 11:23 NET What the righteous desire leads only to good, but what the wicked hope for leads to wrath.
    • Psalm 27:4 NET I have asked the LORD for one thing - this is what I desire! I want to live in the LORD's house all the days of my life, so I can gaze at the splendor of the LORD and contemplate in his temple.
    • Matthew 5:6 NET Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
  • This is God’s will for us: Galatians 5:24 NLT Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
Prayer= John 15:5 CSB I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.
Enemy of God= We can resist God and willing disobey, but it comes with a penalty. We must not fight God: Acts 5:39 NIV But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
God resists=
  • He does not answer prayer.
  • He does not bless.
  • God chastens believers, not blessing the disobedient
God jealous=
  • Adam Clarke states: Perhaps the word in this and the two succeeding verses may be well paraphrased thus: “Do ye think that concerning these things the Scripture speaks falsely, or that the Holy Spirit which dwells in us can excite us to envy others instead of being contented with the state in which the providence of God has placed us? Nay, far otherwise; for He gives us more grace to enable us to bear the ills of life, and to lie in deep humility at his feet, knowing that his Holy Spirit has said, Pro 3:34: God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Seeing these things are so, submit yourselves to God; resist the devil, who would tempt you to envy, and he will flee from you; draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.”
  • JFB commentary: “Does the (Holy) Spirit that God hath placed in us lust to (towards) envy” (namely, as ye do in your worldly “wars and fightings”)? Certainly not; ye are therefore walking in the flesh, not in the Spirit, while ye thus lust towards, that is, with envy against one another. The friendship of the world tends to breed envy; the Spirit produces very different fruit.
  • Craig Keener in his IVP Background commentary states:
    • Here James may refer to the evil impulse that, according to Jewish tradition, God made to dwell in people; on this reading, he is saying, “This human spirit jealously longs,” as in Jas 4:1-3. Less likely, he could mean that one’s spirit or soul longs and ought to long—but for God (Psa 42:1-2; Psa 63:1; Psa 84:2).
    • A third possibility is that he may be citing a proverbial maxim based on such texts as Exo 20:5, Deu 32:21 and Joe 2:18, summarizing the sense of Scripture thus: “God is jealous over the spirit he gave us” and will tolerate no competition for its affection (Jas 4:4). (Like Jewish writers, New Testament authors sometimes midrashically meshed various texts together.) This view seems to fit the context somewhat better than other views, given that Scripture did not speak this “in vain” (Jas 4:5); but the “greater grace” of Jas 4:6 could support the first view above.
Proud=
  • Have a difficulty accepting God’s opinion if it differs from theirs
  • Proverbs 8:13 ESV The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
  • 1 John 2:16 NIV For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.
  • Proverbs 6:16-17 NIV There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
  • Luke 14:11 NIV For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
  • A warning to us: Isaiah 2:17 NIV The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
Humble=
  • Philippians 2:3-8 NIV Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death--even death on a cross!
  • We are to live in humility with God. Micah 6:8 NIV He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Questions=
  • Name some differences in words and actions that show the difference between the Christian lifestyle and worldly lifestyle.
  • What is the origin of most disagreements, wars, fights, arguments, etc.?
  • Why does God state that without Him we can do nothing?
  • State some reasons God hates pride and love humility.
  • We all need to ask, “How are we doing?”

09 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Living a Christian Lifestyle

Lifestyle defined: noun the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group. (Source)
The foundation, the first principle, of a lifestyle is
  • Our human nature is corrupted by sin.
  • Adam was the first sinner. Even though Eve committed the sin first, Adam is credited with the curse being on the universe. Sin brings destruction.
    • Romans 5:14 BSB Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:22 NKJV For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
  • Original sin is not that we are punished for Adam’s sin, for we are punished for our own sins. Original is the sin nature that we all have. It is “Me First.”
  • We need to be born again, to have the new nature.
When God created the universe and everything in it, He made it according to His rules and attitudes.
  • The first principle, in my opinion, is truth.
    • Psalm 31:5 CSB Into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, LORD, God of truth.
    • 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.
  • The second is love. Love is a choice, not necessarily an emotion. The actions of love in public and in private are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
  • Love and truth are found together: 3 John 1:1 NET From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth.
  • So we have the summary of the Law: Matthew 22:36-40 NIV "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
  • This, in turn, is based on the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a summary of all God’s laws. Each commandment is a board category (I wrote about this here; scroll down to “Knowing temptation comes in 10 broad areas). Each can be in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. Each is to be followed in public and in private.
In the New Testament
  • There are approximately 1,000 rules for Christians. Here is one list: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NET Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.
  • To know God’s rules for Christians in different categories for marriage or lying, we can see
God’s rules don’t change
  • Often people make the statement about God’s ways changing, but
    • God’s character does not change
      • 1 Samuel 15:29 NLT And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!"
      • Numbers 23:19 NLT - God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
      • Hebrews 6:18 NLT - So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
    • He rules His kingdom with His laws that do not change
  • God’s character does not change regarding His laws or promises
    • Malachi 3:6 NRSV For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.
    • James 1:17-18 NRSV Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
What God hates: Galatians 5:19-21 WEB Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
What God loves: Galatians 5:22-23 WEB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So living the principles of the Christian life today are the same as they were when Christianity began at Pentecost. The rules, the promises, what God loves, what God hates are the same. We can safely read the Bible and live a Christian life.
We learn God’s will by things we must do, things we must not do, examples of things that pleased God or displeased Him, and principles that we can apply in many ways.

14 November 2018

Ephesians 4:17-23



A1 Scripture
B1 NKJV: This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (Ephesians 4:17-23)
B2 WEL: [17] Therefore I speak this and bear witness in the Lord, that from now on you walk not like other Gentiles walk in the emptiness of their mind. [18] Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. [19] Who being callous gave themselves over to lustful pleasure to do every kind of impurity with insatiable desire. [20] But you haven't learned Christ in this way. [21] If you learned Him and been taught by Him, then, as the truth is in Jesus, [22] Get rid of the former lifestyle, the old man, which is rotten from deceitful lusts. [23] Instead be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Ephesians 4:17-23
B3 GNB: In the Lord's name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint. That was not what you learned about Christ! You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—-the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, (Ephesians 4:17-23)
A2 Outline
B1 Lifestyle and Worldview
C1 Gentiles (unsaved)
D1 Futility of their mind
D2 Understanding is darkened
D3 Alienated from the life of God
D4 All the above from ignorance
E1 Blindness of heart
E2 Callous
E3 Addicted to fleshly pleasures―impurity of all sorts
C2 Gentiles (saved)
D1 Jesus is THE teacher
E1 We are the learners
E2 He the teacher
E3 Jesus tells the truth
C3 The old lifestyle must go, disappear, not be followed anymore, forsaken
D1 Because it is the "old man."
D2 It is rotten.
D3 All from deceitful lusts.
C4 We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind
A3 Notes
B1 Definitions
C1 Gentiles: non-Israelites (Jews)
C2 Futility of their mind = the mind is our thinking ability, the place where we think. Futility is emptiness, non-thinking ability, "being stupid," etc. Futility is the idea of having no truth, sense of truth, interest in the truth, so that when truth comes along, it is suppressed ("For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18 NKJV). It takes the Holy Spirit's initiative and action to open our minds and hearts to the truth.
C3 Understanding is darkened = understanding is comprehension, the ability to "catch on" to something. The idea of choices have consequences is not foreseen, and so they (we) make stupid choices that lead to unintended, perhaps consequences that are difficult, life threatening, death, pain in ourselves or others. Darkened because God's ways and thoughts are not present in us. When and if we hear about God and His ways, our unregenerate heart rebels and rejects it unless the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds.
C4 Alienated from the life of God = we are under God's curse because of our sin and the sin of the world. We are separated from God and doomed to destruction.
C5 Blindness of heart = What causes all this is humanity's ignorance from a blind heart (a heart that cannot see, understand, know God and His ways), callousness from sinning and suppressing the guilt (justifying ourselves), and addicted to pleasing our various and sundry desires. Sin is very addictive.
C6 The saved Gentiles are different because of Jesus teaching, the Holy Spirit's conviction of our heart, and opening the way to trust into Jesus Christ.
C7 Because we are now new creations, we must live that way. The Bible has the means and rules to do this. The Holy Spirit is our helper, encourager, prodder, rebuker (when needed) to keep going.
B2 Questions and applications
C1 How are you living your life in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds?
C2 Is there a difference in our lives now that we are Christians? Is this something that others can see? Matthew 5:14-16 HCSB You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
C3 Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit humanity was divided into Jews or Gentiles. Now it is Jews, Gentiles, and Church. The church are all those who believe and trust in Messiah Yeshua for salvation, forgiveness of sins, and restored fellowship with God.
C4 We need reminders from each other and the Scriptures to keep faithful to New Testament doctrine and life. We should be teaching each other, praying for each other, encouraging each other, and reading/studying the Bible each and every day.
C5 A few of the rules that the Lord Jesus has given us in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-26 NRSV And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 25 Beloved, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. (Emphasis is mine).