03 November 2020

A Few Thoughts about Steps into Apostasy Part B

 

B5 Loss of creation

C1 Since the Bible interpretation method is changed, the interpretation of Genesis especially the first 9 chapters are also changed.

C2 Often times science becomes the highest wisdom and authority replacing God and His words.

C3 If we can’t believe what God inspires in the first 9 chapters, when do we start believing what He said? 1 John 5:10 CSB The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. The one who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about his Son.

B6 Loss of doctrine

C1 Mainly loss of the idea that doctrine is important

C2 The teaching and beliefs in the church are determined by society and its changing times.

C3 Teachers that teach what we want to hear rather than what we need to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 NLT For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

C4 Authority turns from Scripture to science, philosophy, experience, mysticism, “the silence” with its contemplative prayer, and personal ideas of truth.

C5 The solution is the Bible itself.

D1 False teachers will arise, so beware and avoid.

E1 2 Timothy 2:17-18 GNB Such teaching is like an open sore that eats away the flesh. Two men who have taught such things are Hymenaeus and Philetus. 18 They have left the way of truth and are upsetting the faith of some believers by saying that our resurrection has already taken place.

E2 Jeremiah 14:14 NRSV And the LORD said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.

E3 Ezekiel 22:28 NLT And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, 'My message is from the Sovereign LORD,' when the LORD hasn't spoken a single word to them.

D2 False priorities will replace God Himself. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 GNB Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. 2 People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; 3 they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; 4 they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; 5 they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people.

D3 God warns us.

D4 God teaches all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be proficient, having been thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 EMTV).

D5 To remain steadfast and true to the faith.

E1 Colossians 1:23 NKJV if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

E2 2 John 1:9 PickNT Anyone who turns aside and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; but whoever continues in Christ's teaching does have both the Father and the Son.

B7 Loss of what’s authoritative

C1 Seeking authority from leaders, mysticism, experiences, etc.

C2 Drifting from Bible reading and study for reading theological books and articles and listening to speakers.

C3 Solution

D1 Psalms 119:130 AFV The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

D2 Proverbs 6:22-23 GW When you walk around, they will lead you. When you lie down, they will watch over you. When you wake up, they will talk to you 23 because the command is a lamp, the teachings are a light, and the warnings from discipline are the path of life

B8 Loss of Christian witness

C1 The Gospel changes. It becomes corrupted by people adding something to doworks, rituals, joining a certain group, etc.

C2 People losing their conscience (become hardened and calloused) and guilt. People in general think they are good, and God will accept them to heaven as they are.

D1 Hardening of conscience

E1 Titus 1:15-16 NRSV To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

E2 1 Timothy 4:2 NET influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.

D2 Self-deception Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

C3 Solution

D1 Knowing that the gospel never changes. Compare Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23. See Revelation 14:6.

D2 Know and believe the Gospel.

D3 Know that God curses anyone who changes the gospel. Galatians 1:8 NIV But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!

D4 Realize that preaching the wrong gospel will have people believing an error and not be saved. Some wrong gospels are works and rituals are necessary, etc.

B9 Loss of Christian worldview

C1 Drifting into pantheism. See Romans 1:21-25.

C2 Losing Creator and creation for oneness of all things

C3 2 Timothy 3:4 GNB they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God.

B10 Loss of Christian lifestyle

C1 2 Peter 2:22 NLT They prove the truth of this proverb: "A dog returns to its vomit." And another says, "A washed pig returns to the mud.

C2 See the difference from Galatians 5:16-26.

B11 Loss of Christianity

C1 Drifting into atheism, pantheism, and other religions with different gods and different gospels. Compare Romans 1:25 GNB They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen.

C2 Refusing to believe.

D1 Personally, I understand this passage to be saying “No” to God rather than there is no god. Psalms 14:1 NRSV To the leader. Of David. Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.

D2 Matthew 23:37 WEL O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your children together even like a hen gathers her chicks under [her] wings, but you determinately would not.

D3 John 3:36 WEL “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, but he who refuses to believe the Son will not see life, on the contrary the fierce anger of God remains on him.”

2 Peter 3:17-18 NIV Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Jude 1:24-25 NKJV Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present [you] faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, [Be] glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

02 November 2020

A Few Thoughts about Steps into Apostasy Part A

 

The steps into apostasy

B1 Loss of first love

B2 Loss of prayer and fellowship with God

B3 Loss of truth

B4 Loss of correct interpretation

B5 Loss of creation

B6 Loss of doctrine.

B7 Loss of what’s authority

B8 Loss of Christian witness

B9 Loss of Christian worldview

B10 Loss of Christian lifestyle

B11 Loss of Christianity


B1 Loss of first love

C1 Revelation 2:4 WEL Nevertheless, I have [something] against you, because you have forsaken your first love.

D1 Why love?

E1 Considering that love is a choice. It seems that they loved something or someone else supremely.

E2 Exodus 20:3 NLT You must not have any other god but me.

E3 Matthew 6:33 EMTV But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

E4 John 14:15 WEL If you love me, obey my commandments.

D2 The Ephesians, as well as all of us sometimes, started to desire other things, justify it somehow, and eventually fulfill their desire.

E1 1 John 2:16-17 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. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

E2 James 1:14-15 GW Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they lure him away and trap him. 15 Then desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin. When sin grows up, it gives birth to death.

D3 The solution

E1 To know the truth, believe the truth, and live the truth. John 8:32 NIV Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

E2 To rely on the grace of God. Jude 1:24-25 NKJV Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

E3 The Lord. 2 Peter 2:9 EMTV then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and how to keep the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment,

E4 Praying to recognize the way out of temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 EMTV No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way out, so as for you to be able to bear it.

B2 Loss of prayer and fellowship with God

C1 Fellowship is something God enjoys. Fellowship with God, talking to God, enjoying God’s blessings, and serving God diminish. The loss comes from enjoying spending time with other things and having no time for fellowship with God.

D1 1 John 1:3 ESV that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

D2 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.

C2 Prayer is talking with God. We don’t use trite phrases, memorized words, manipulation, etc. The loss is no time to talk to God.

D1 Consider this application: Revelation 3:20 NIV Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

D2 Proverbs 15:8 NRSV The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

D3 Matthew 6:7-8 GNB When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. 8 Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.

B3 Loss of truth

C1 Replacing truth with a substitute of truth.

C2 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NLT Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

C3 God never changes. So, His truth never changes. Malachi 3:6 NLT I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

C4 Loss or changing of THE standard.

D1 God’s character never changes. If it did, then we have the problem with God’s perfection. If there is a defect in God’s character, then He cannot be perfect/flawless in what He does and decrees. There would be a defect. BUT, God has no needs, no defects, nothing missing from His knowledge. So, His standards cannot change.

D2 We must ask, “What is His purpose for the Old Testament Laws?”

E1 The Mosaic Law is a covenant with an earthly nation and people. If they do His laws, He blesses. If they do not His laws, He curses. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NRSV See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn from the way that I am commanding you today, to follow other gods that you have not known.

E2 God’s purpose for the law, I believe, is to show that no one can obey His laws in thoughts or desires or words or deeds. All are condemned. God’s purpose did not lack anything.

E3 His purpose was completed in Jesus, who did obey God’s law in His thoughts and desires and words and deeds.

E4 Since God’s purpose was fulfilled, Jesus revealed the true way and true laws. Compare Galatians 3

C The solution might be

D1 Faith that since God does not change, His standards do not change either.

D2 Understanding the difference between the two worldviews taught in the Bible. They are the “flesh/world” worldview and the “spirit” worldview. Compare Galatians 5:16-26, 1 John 2:16, and Romans 8.

B4 Loss of correct Bible interpretation

C1 There are many methods of interpretation. Some examples are allegorical, symbolic, mystical, and spiritual.

C2 Losing Bible reading and study to reading mainly commentaries and articles.

C3 Many arguments for these other methods of interpretation are given, books written, and lectures orated to convince us to adopt a different method of interpretation.

C4 To me, it is most reasonable to interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense. Since God is omniscient, omnisapient, and omnipotent, He certainly must be perfect in His communication. The plain, normal sense in His intended method of interpretation. If He wishes to communication symbolism, it is obvious.

01 November 2020

Devotions on Proverbs: Proverbs 2:12-22 Part A

 

C1 The wisdom that comes from God will do 3 things:

D1 Save from evil people

D2 Save from evil man/woman

D3 Save from God’s judgment and being cut off from the land of the living

C2 Save from evil people

D1 The Hebrew word for save is נָצַל nâtsa. It means

E1 To remain free from slavery of evil people of all types

E2 Step Bible

1c) (Hiphil)

1c1) to take away, snatch away

1c2) to rescue, recover

1c3) to deliver (from enemies or troubles or death)

1c4) to deliver from sin and guilt

D2 These people are described as

E1 Wicked (rebellious against God’s character, worldview, lifestyle, laws, and kingdom).

E2 Perverse speech (blasphemous against God and His ways and lies of all types)

E3 Abandoned the truth and God’s way of life

E4 Lifestyle of darkness

F1 Ecclesiastes 2:14 NIV The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.

F2 John 3:19 CSB This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

F3 Compare: Colossians 1:13 GNB He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son,

E5 Love doing evil, that is, disobeying God and breaking His laws.

E6 Rejoicing in evil, evil people, evil actions, thus pain, suffering, selfishness, etc. Compare Galatians 5:19-21 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

E7 Instead of straight paths, there is a crooked path. Acts 2:40 NLT Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation! Crooked as perverse, evil, corrupted, etc.

E8 Living in dark ways. Compare: Colossians 1:13 GNB He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son,

E9 Devious. Compare: Proverbs 14:2 NLT Those who follow the right path fear the LORD; those who take the wrong path despise him.

D3 Questions:

E1 How can having God’s wisdom spare us from evil people?

E2 Name some of the ways people are wicked. Give some examples.

E3 How does abandoning truth affect wisdom?

31 October 2020

Devotions on Proverbs: Proverbs 2:1-11

 

C1 Note the conditions needed for the result

D1 Depending on how you understand the verses there several of conditions to be meet before there is a result. These are (listed by verb). In summary, we must be willing to listen, pay attention closely, ask diligently, and strongly desire and use effort to find wisdom.

D2 Likewise, the nouns. In summary, we are to know, learn, listen to the words and commands of knowledge and wisdom, to understand the principles and reasons for these words, and to desire them as money and hidden treasure.

C2 The result is to understand the character traits of God and His worldview and lifestyle. The word fear has the meaning that God is judge, and we must give an account of ourselves someday. As believing Christians we have assurance of salvation, because of the ministry of God the Son for us (the Gospel). The judgment seat we face is the Bema seat of Christ where we are judged for rewards [Romans 14:10 NKJV, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15]

C3 Yahweh is the source of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, safety, preservation, and protection. There are conditionslisted aboveand the conditions of obeying His rules. These are the rules of His kingdom. These are the rules the He lives by and requires us to obey these.

C4 If these blessings are not enough, we also learn that God’s instructions will give us perception to avoid making bad decisions. We will understand what is right, just, and fair. This is not just a philosophical knowledge but knowledge we can apply to every activity in life. This gift of God also results in finding knowledge and wisdom to be pleasant and enjoyable. Discretion and understanding will protect and guard us. This is because we will make wise choices and decisions instead of stupid choices.

C5 Questions:

B1 How do we learn God’s principles of wisdom, etc.?

B2 How do we live these principles?

B3 How do we encourage and teach others to live these principles?

29 October 2020

A Few Thoughts About Suppressing the Truth

Romans 1:18 NRSV For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.

Words

B1 Truth

C1 The Greek word is ἀλήθεια alḗtheia. It means reality, the actual state of affairs. Things and happenings that are not concealed (Strong G227).

C2 Mark 5:33 EMTV But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

B2 Suppress

C1 The Greek word is κατέχω katéchō. It means to hold back, hinder, and in some contexts keep tightly to oneself as in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Here to hinder and suppress.

C2 For Romans 1:18 and Romans 7:6 TDNTa has this sense: for holding illegally.

Compare the word revealed with the word suppress. The former is not cover-up but the latter is. See Matthew 10:26-27 EMTV Therefore do not fear them. For nothing is concealed that shall not be unveiled, and secret that shall not be made known. 27 "What I say to you in the dark, say in the light; and what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops.

How to people suppress truth?

B1 Lie

B2 Pretend something never happened

B3 Refuse to print or discuss an incident

B4 Ignore

B5 Threaten harm if something is revealed

B6 Falsely accuse someone who has the truth

C1 Projection is often used.

C2 Projection is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal, or object. The term is most commonly used to describe defensive projection—attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another. The concept emerged from Sigmund Freud’s work in the 1890s. (Source)

B7 Have their supporters help by shaming the truth teller

B8 Gaslight them (Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes, including low self-esteem. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and misinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's beliefs. Instances can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents occurred, to belittling the victim's emotions and feelings, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. Copied from Wikipedia. Be cautious with Wikipedia data).

B9 When referencing God (Yahweh), blaspheming, denying His existence, blaming Him for all the evils that are a consequence of bad choices of ourselves or others.

B10 Often to cover-up and suppress a “problem,” murder is used.

B11 What other ways can you think of?

 

Above image by J Dahl, MD


Dangers of suppressing truth

B1 When truth is suppressed, healing of a problem cannot begin.

B2 Acknowledging, admitting, confessing, asking forgiveness, and restitution are needed.

C1 A person still might be punished.

C2 Choices still have consequences which leave emotional, spiritual, relationship, etc. scars.

C3 James 5:16 ESV Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

C4 1 John 1:8-10 EMTV If we claim that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

B3 Admitting a emotional problem, abuse, molestation, addiction, etc. also starts with acknowledging the truth.

B4 Not admitting a problem with sin will lead to worse problems. Proverbs 29:1 NLT Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

B5 In the history of Israel, many of the people complained about the way God treated them. God punished them by sending poisonous snakes. The way to be healed was to acknowledge the truth. Those who did not, died. The people needed to believe God. Numbers 21:8-9 ESV And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

B6 Exchanging truth for a lie. People do not believe the truth but instead believe a lie to be truth. Romans 1:25 CSB They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.

Articles

B1 Non-Christian

C1 Why Confessing Is Good for You

C2 The Healing Practice of Confession

C3 The Mindset That Makes It Hard to Admit You're Wrong

B2 Christian

C1 The Importance of Confession in a Christian’s Life

C2 Here is the great evangelical disasterthe failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for thisnamely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age. First, there has been accommodation on Scripture, so that many who call themselves evangelicals hold a weakened view of the Bible and no longer affirm the truth of all the Bible teachestruth not only in religious matters but in the areas of science and history and morality. Francis Schaeffer.

The ultimate source of truth is Jesus Christ: John 14:6 AFV Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

Romans 1:18 NRSV For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.

B1 God is angry about sin

B2 God is angry because of ungodliness and wickedness (breaking the 10 Commandments). God’s anger is not an out of control rant and tantrum. It is a just judge/king’s emotions over rebellion to His laws.

B3 God is angry that people use wickedness to suppress the truth

B4 This is the start of a downhill cascade of trouble for humanity

B5 There is no healing without acknowledging truth about God and ourselves. We need to give God credit for His amazing person and deeds, and to be thankful for His goodness. Romans 1:21 WEL So, when they knew God, they didn’t glorify him as God, nor were they thankful, they became foolish in their reasonings, and so their foolish heart was darkened.

27 October 2020

A Few Thoughts About Matthew 18

Matthew 18 has been a difficult passage for interpreters. So, I give my few thoughts on this chapter.

The Lord Jesus is speaking to Jews. These Jews are disciples. Matthew 18:1a NIV At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked…

He is teaching them some of the principles, worldview, and lifestyle of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the same as the King of God. Compare Matthew 4:17 with Mark 1:15, etc. This is a kingdom where God rules. Eventually, Jesus will reign in Jerusalem and the universe will be the Kingdom of God. (You might want to read What is the Kingdom of Heaven?) (I don’t know anything about Bruce Colbert, so be aware).

The first principle the Lord Jesus teaches (verses 1-7) is who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God? Jesus gives no names but a principle. A principle is a law, doctrine, or assumption on which action or behavior is based (Source). Humans tend to ask who is the greatest. Jesus makes it clear that it is not what makes humans great on earth but what God considers great. Some things that make one great in the Kingdom of Heaven:

  • Poor in Spirit, meekness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, suffer for righteousness sake in Matthew 5:3-12

  • Doing and teaching God’s rules and righteousness in Matthew 5:19-20

  • Doing the will of God in Matthew 7:21

  • Humility, trust, and faith in Matthew 18:1, 3-4

  • Not being a hypocrite in Matthew 23:13 also see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:21

  • The highest priority in our life is God’s kingdom and His righteousness in Matthew 6:33

  • Not trusting in money but faith in God in Mark 10:23-25

  • Being faithful and steadfast in faith towards God in Luke 9:62

  • Being born again, the new birth, by God because of faith and trust in Him in John 3:3-5

  • Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit in Romans 14:17

Jesus teaches further that if a person does something to a child causing them to not believe the Gospel, that person will receive a severe penalty. It would be better to have a millstone hung around their neck and thrown into the sea to drown. An example might be someone claiming to be a Christian, be it a pastor, a youth pastor, a church worker, Sunday School teacher or whatever. This person of respect molests that child, which causes them to reject Christ when they are older. Even though that pastor, etc. might think of themselves as being great, even though that pastor, etc. is acclaimed by the congregation, that person is spiritually dead and an evangelist for satan causing someone to NOT believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The next section (verses 8-10) deals with obstacles to believe the gospel. I have read of more than one person who had gifted hands, say a musician or surgeon, who would not believe the gospel. When they had some tragedy and lost a hand, they experienced financial and emotional stress. This brought a situation where their heart was softened to listen to the gospel.

Next in verses 11-14, Jesus teaches His desire, longing, and effort to seek those who are lost. All humans are lost and perishing because of sin except the sinless Jesus. He is the Lamb of God (John 1:29) and the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) who paid the penalty for our sins, suffered for our sins, and taking the punishment for our breaking God’s laws.

In verses 15-20, the Lord Jesus deals with the topic of a sinning believer. The word church indicates that Jesus does not speak of our present-day church, for it didn’t exist until Pentecost. So, it must refer to a group of believers. Jesus is addressing His disciples. He is teaching a principle of the Kingdom of Heaven, so it can be applied to the church today. The church today is believers, not an organization.

Note the word brother which refers to one of common belief, not necessarily common family. Also note the word witness. This is someone who has firsthand knowledge of some offense. The issue is hopefully dealt with when the offended person tells the offender of their sin. If they repent (ask forgiveness and never do it again), then all is well. This repenting person is living as a Christian. If that person does not repent, then bring other witnesses. If the offender repents, all is well. If he/she does not repent still, then bring it before the group. If he/she repents, all is well. If not, then that person must be treated as if they are not a non-Christian. They may be a Christian, but they are acting and living like a non-Christian, so must be treated as such. The non-repenting person is not to be treated with abuse but with the attitude of wanting them to confess their sin and repent. Compare 1 Corinthians chapter 5.

A word of caution. Abusing church leaders like to isolate the one who has been abused from any witnesses of support. These false teachers and their supporters then abuse the abused. This has happened many times. Always have someone with you preferably a lawyer. A child who has been molested must never have to experience this situation. Refer the molestation to law enforcement.

Some things to remember about this passage.

B1 There are false witnesses. Matthew 26:59-61 NLT Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60 But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone's testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61 who declared, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.

B2 There are evil counseling methods where the abused/molested most face the accused alone or in front of “church leaders.” Avoid this at all costs. Always have a witness with you. Don’t be intimidated.

Verses 21-35 are about forgiveness and the one who can forgive. God is the only one who can forgive sin. There is no such thing as forgive and forget. The abused/molested have scars and are unable to forget. Such talk is the counsel of at best ignorant but more likely abusers themselves.

When we ask God to forgive our sins, He does, IF we are repent. Words are cheap. A person’s life speaks louder than words. For an example read about King Manasseh in 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33. As God has forgiven us, we forgive others. Forgiveness means to not seek revenge. Reporting a crime is not revenge. Only God forgives sins. Sins leave scars on us and on those who were wronged. The devil does much harm by reminding us of our past sins. Compare the Apostle Paul as in Acts 22:4, 1 Corinthians 15:9, Galatians 1:13, and Philippians 3:6. Some interpret Paul’s thorn in the flesh to be satan’s reminding Paul of this.

God’s forgiveness can be revoked as in Matthew 18:32-35 NLT Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 35 "That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.

The Lord Jesus teaches the principles, and many times gives an illustration of that truth as we read in Matthew 18:21-35.

Questions:

B1 What does it mean to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven?

B2 How does one achieve that greatness?

B3 Why does God value character traits and attitudes instead of power, authority, prestige, and financial greatness?

B4 Why do people who are molested or abused often reject the Gospel?

B5 What should a person do who is molested or abused? Report it to law enforcement. It is a crime, and you’ll be doing your part to stop this evil person.

B6 Explain forgiveness of sins.

Proverbs 18:12 NLT Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.

Romans 8:13-14 AFV Because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

2 Peter 3:9 NRSV The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

Proverbs 21:2 GNB You may think that everything you do is right, but remember that the LORD judges your motives.

Psalms 25:8 GNB Because the LORD is righteous and good, he teaches sinners the path they should follow.

26 October 2020

Devotions on Proverbs: Proverbs 1:8-19

 

B3 Proverbs 1:20-33

C1 Wisdom is personified pleading for those without wisdom to come and learn wisdom.

C2 Being wise in not automatically known.

C3 Parts

D1 Announcement and invitation in Proverbs 1:20-21.

D2 Her message in Proverbs 1:22-33

E1 People naturally love being simple. Proverbs 1:22

F1 Love is to desire and long for hence love in many different applications as spouse, family, friend, ideas, philosophy, etc. In our passage, it seems to refer to lifestyle and worldview.

F2 Simple: The basic verb idea is “be open, spacious, wide,” and might relate to the immature or simple one who is open to all kinds of enticement, not having developed a discriminating judgment as to what is right or wrong. (TWOT 1853a).

E2 Wisdom pleads for all to turn around, stop being that way, learn wisdom. Turn means to turn around, repent, turn from living in simpleness to return to God, etc. Proverbs 1:23 GW Turn to me when I warn you. I will generously pour out my spirit for you. I will make my words known to you.

E3 Rejection of wisdom in Proverbs 1:24-25 has consequences. A foolish past can be changed to a glorious future. Repeated rejection eventually results in lost opportunity to repent. This itself is a consequence of foolishness.

E4 The consequences of rejection in Proverbs 1:26-27. Choosing foolish decisions instead of wisdom leads to sad and painful consequences. It results in calamity, fear, desolation, destruction, distress, and anguish. Proverbs 1:26-27 GNB So when you get into trouble, I will laugh at you. I will make fun of you when terror strikes—27 when it comes on you like a storm, bringing fierce winds of trouble, and you are in pain and misery.

E5 Proverbs 1:28-31 gives the reason for not helping them. They repeatedly rejected wisdom and consequently made bad choices. They can’t blame God for what happened to them.

F1 Proverbs 16:16 GW How much better it is to gain wisdom than gold, and the gaining of understanding should be chosen over silver.

F2 Compare Moses in Hebrew 11:24-26.

F3 A few of the notes from Constable's Expository Bible Study Notes 2016 Edition Thomas L. Constable, Th.D.:

G1 Choices-the wise teachers bring us back to that familiar theme: the choice between wise behavior and foolish, between righteous conduct and wicked, has consequences that boggle the mind. [Note #71: Hubbard, p. 319.]

G2 The fool is one by his own fault, not by fate (vv. 30-31). [Note #72: Kidner, p. 60.] Wisdom laughs at the fool's calamity (v. 26), not because she is hard-hearted but because it is so absurd to choose folly (v. 26).

G3 The figure of laughing reveals the absurdity of choosing a foolish way of life and being totally unprepared for disaster. [Note #73: Ross, p. 910.]

E6 Being simple, that is, foolish always leads to bad outcomes. Proverbs 1:32-33 NCV Fools will die because they refuse to listen; they will be destroyed because they do not care. 33 But those who listen to me will live in safety and be at peace, without fear of injury.

C4 We learn the principle that when God initiates and offers, we do not resist.

C5 Wisdom comes from God, but we must read, study, apply. We will be tested.

C6 How can wisdom help us?

C7 Why do people resist God and His offer to know wisdom?