April 26, 2020. Ephesians 4:28

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Ephesians 4:28 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

  • Cease stealing
    • Again, akin to lying, Paul commands us to stop thievery (klepto)
    • There are many ways to steal
      • Taking someone else’s possession or property
        • Outright thievery
        • Purloining (borrowing without returning item)
      • Stealing one’s reputation (gossip, false accusation, innuendos, speculation, mischaracterization, misquoting…
      • Stealing affection that does not belong to you (someone else’s spouse)
      • Taking credit for another’s efforts
        • We most often steal praise that belongs to God (Moses at the rock, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, Herod Agrippa I in Tyre–Acts 12)
        • Plagiarism, stealing another’s ideas
      • Stealing another’s hope and joy (1 Thessalonians 5:19 quenching the Spirit) through discouragement
      • Cheating on your taxes, in business dealings, or on loans
    • The context of this passage is narrow: stealing possessions and $
    • We are to stop cheating and stealing from others
  • Honest labor
    • God designed man to be productive
      • Genesis 2 the first assignment God gave man was to tend the garden (even before he was given a wife)
      • 1 Timothy 5:8 man is to take care of his family
    • Paul emphasizes 2 aspects of earning a living:
      • Labor with your hands = to work with tools God gave you
        • Hand is a euphemism for productive labor of any kind (1 Sm. 5:11 the hand of God was heavy against the Philistines; Proverbs 21:1 the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord; Eccl. 9:10 whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all might unto Lord; Ecclesiastes 11:6 do not withhold your hand from sowing in the morning and evening; Is. 48:13 God laid the foundation of the earth with his hand and with his right hand he stretches out the heavens; Isaiah 64:8 we are the work of the hand of God)
        • We are not designed to be sluggards or idle (Proverbs 6)
    • Honorable work
      • Every honorable work done in an honorable way (fair and quality) is pleasing to the Lord (laborers, tradesmen, doctors, clerks, teachers…)
      • All labor must be done to praise of God
  • Labor to give
    • The Bible gives us 6 basic uses for money:
      • Malachi 3:9-10 to give to the Lord
      • I Timothy 5:8 to provide for one’s family
      • Romans 13:1-7 to pay taxes and fees to whom they are due
      • Proverbs 13:22 a godly man leaves an inheritance for his children and grandchildren
      • Proverbs 3:27-28 (Jm. 2) to give to those in need
      • Proverbs 6:6-9 store up for future needs (consider the ant)
    • The biblical 6 expenditures must be met before anything else
    • By giving to those in need we lend to the Lord (Proverbs 19:17)
      • Can’t meet every need
      • Often the Lord gives us bounty to share with others
      • Not referring to give to those refuse to work and take advantage of others (2 THS. 4:6-15)
      • To meet legitimate needs as the Lord leads (Good Samaritan)
    • Go from thieving to working to giving (from taker to giver)
    • Stewards of Gospel, family, testimony, all we are given

Apr 26, 2020. I Samuel 18:18-24 (pm)

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IS SAUL WITH THE PROPHETS? I Samuel 19:18-24. PM. 04/26/20. #62.

1 Samuel 19:18-24 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

18 So David fled and escaped, and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19 Now it was told Saul, saying, “Take note, David is at Naioth in Ramah!” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 And when Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. Then Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. 22 Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is at Sechu. So he asked, and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “Indeed they are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

  • David seeks out protection from Samuel
    • David travels to Ramah, home of Samuel
    • Samuel represented divine help
      • Samuel was very old at this time
      • Samuel had left Saul after the botched Amalekite campaign
      • I Samuel 16 Samuel is told to anoint a new king, but he is fearful of Saul (God encourages Samuel)
      • Once Samuel anoints David as king, David is invincible until he becomes king and accomplishes God’s will for him
        • None can harm you until you finish your calling
        • David doesn’t seek help from his troops, but God
    • Notice the partnership between God and man
      • David did what he could be escaping and seeking godly help
      • David depended upon God to help him
    • We are expected to do what we can while relying on God’s help
    • David told Samuel all Saul had done
      • We have no record of Samuel’s response
      • Samuel was probably not surprised
        • Saul’s nature had not changed
        • Saul had not repented, nor shown signs of repent.
      • Saul does not know that David had been anointed as king
        • Saul knows that God’s favor was now on David
        • Saul knows that David is more popular than he is
        • Saul = not realized he fights against God (loses)
    • Since David is God’s choice as king, Samuel helps him
      • Samuel is very consistent in following God’s will
      • Samuel and David are kindred spirits, unlike Saul
  • Messenger mania
    • 5 times Saul sent messengers to capture David
      • Twice he sent them to David’s house
      • Three times he sends mess. to Naioth (lit., dwellings or huts–dorms for the college of prophets outside Ramah)
    • Each time mess. reach Naioth they are turned into temporary prophets, prophesying with the regular prophets
    • Saul does not take “no” for an answer
      • Saul’s jealousy has moved to obsession (obsession is a very destructive force–$, relations, fame, possessions…)
      • Saul seams to take no notice that God protects David
    • God offers 3 levels of protection according to his purposes:
      • Divine protection (Joseph, Elijah, Daniel, Peter[Acts 12])
      • Martyrdom (John the Baptist, Stephen, James [Acts 12])
      • Delayed martyrdom (OT prophets, Peter, Paul, Rev. 6)
  • Saul among the prophets
    • Saul goes after David himself
      • He doesn’t heed the warning God sends him (stops mess.)
      • Power of the king is not absolute (Nebuchadnezzar, Ahab, Herod…)
    • Saul is also turned into a prophesying prophet
      • 2nd time Saul has prophesied
        • 1 Samuel 10 as a confirmation of his calling
        • 1 Samuel 19 as a confirmation of his rejection
      • Saul is made to strip down and be exposed all night
    • A difference between humiliation and humility
      • Humiliation is circumstantial, but humility is a choice
      • Is Saul among the prophets? (slur-king or prophet?)
    • More lessons on humility are taught than learned
    • Proverbs 16:18 a person who refuses to be humbled, will be destroyed

April 19, 2020. Ephesians 4:25-27

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TONGUE and TEMPERAMENT. EPHESIANS. 4:25-27. 4/19/2020. #18.

Ephesians 4:25-27 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.

  • Head, heart, and honesty
    • Paul answers the question, “What does putting off the old man and putting on the new man look like?” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
      • From Ephesians 4:25-5:33 Paul deals with how a spiritual believer acts (the largest portion deals with Christian husbands)
      • Luke 3 John the Baptist told audience what is entailed with repenting of one’s sins
    • Paul begins with honesty, the foundation of all relationships
    • “Put away lying” lit. is “put off falsehood (pseudo)”
      • More than just telling the truth
      • Notice “putting away” = stop doing what you are doing
      • Falsehood comes in many forms:
        • To cover wrongdoing
        • To hide motivations
        • Deceiving to obtain a desired selfish goal
        • To withhold important necessary information
    • To be an honest person, true to highest moral principles
    • Speak truth to neighbor (unlike versus 15, “speak” is in this passage)
      • Literally, “speak truth with your neighbor” (honest dealings)
      • Different use of neighbor than in Luke 10 (Good Samaritan)–refers to fellow believers in this context
    • We are members one to another
      • If we lie to fellow believers we lie to ourselves
      • Same concept as marriage (Ephesians 5:29-33 to be one flesh is to treat spouse as self)
    • Familial = to care for one another as a family
  • A tempered temper
    • One can’t tell your spouse that the Bible commands you to be angry
      • The entire context = be angry, but do not sin
      • A direct quote from Psalm 4:4 (Be angry, and do not sin / Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.)
    • Anger is a natural emotion, at times unavoidable
      • God expressed anger against Israel in the Wilderness
      • Tension between Paul and Barnabas
      • Saul was angry against David
      • Jonah 4:1-11 – Jonah was angry that God refused to destroy Nineveh, but allowed his shadow gourd to die
    • Anger is a necessary emotion (vexation against adversity)
      • Anger is a reaction to tension or irritation
      • Three primary emotions: love, fear, and anger
      • Necessary anger: Moses exacting punishment at the Golden Calf fiasco; Jesus driving out the money changers
    • Selfish anger is sin
      • Genesis 4, Cain killing Abel
      • Saul killing the high priests
      • Jezebel threatening Elijah
    • Do not sin
      • Anger is not the sin; but a wrong response to it is sin
      • Anger calls for action (response, restraint, reflection)
      • James 1:19-20 a faith-based response furthers God’s will
      • Intent: be angry but do not sin
  • Response in the sunshine
    • Anger needs to be dealt with promptly, so it does not fester
      • Should be dealt with quickly
      • Reconcile, rebuke, or turn it over to the Lord
    • Festering anger gives Satan an opportunity to use you to sin
      • Bitterness of soul leads to destruction (Cain)
      • Loss of perspective (Jonah)
    • Some anger must be dealt with before the throne alone
      • Romans 12:18 some people will not reconcile with you
      • Some violations leave deep scars (raping of Tamar)
      • Some irritations are ongoing (Peninnah mocking Hannah)

Key Verse:

Jonah 4 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” 4 Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. 7 But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!” 10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”

April 19, 2020. I Samuel 19:8-17 (PM Service)

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WIFE PROTECTOR. I SAMUEL 19:8-17. PM. 04/19/2020. #61.

I Samuel 19:8-17 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

8 And there was war again; and David went out and fought with the Philistines, and struck them with a mighty blow, and they fled from him. 9 Now the distressing spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing music with his hand. 10 Then Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away from Saul’s presence; and he drove the spear into the wall. So David fled and escaped that night. 11 Saul also sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window. And he went and fled and escaped. 13 And Michal took an image and laid it in the bed, put a cover of goats’ hair for his head, and covered it with clothes. 14 So when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 And when the messengers had come in, there was the image in the bed, with a cover of goats’ hair for his head. 17 Then Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this, and sent my enemy away, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”

  • A good link with bad results
    • Saul had tried to kill David, but Jonathan intervened
    • David then goes forth with more military success
      • Philistines are crushed, slaughtered, and routed
      • This produces more jealousy in Saul
    • David proved to be loyal, effective, and focused
      • David was not against Saul, nor after his position
      • Saul’s position was greatly enhanced by David’s success
  • Saul’s tormented Soul
    • Once again Saul’s soul is engulfed by a tormenting spirit
      • Saul still does not repent (would remove torment)
      • Saul seethes as he grips his spear
    • David plays the harp to soothe Saul (another service to him)
      • Jealous people fume at the good deeds of others
      • Saul stews over David’s success and popularity
    • In a rage Saul attempts to pin David to the wall with his spear
      • David probably assumes Saul’s action was from madness
      • Saul’s actions were from rage and not insanity (personal)
  • A protective wife
    • David escapes Saul’s presence @ night
    • Saul sent messengers to surround his house (Ps. 59:3 lay in wait)
    • David’s wife, Michal, warns David and helps his escape
      • Michal loves David
      • Saul expects his daughter to be loyal to him as Dad and king
      • Michal engineers David’s escape out a window (like Paul)
      • Michal claims David threatened her (to save her life)
      • David later makes the return of Michal to him as the condition for coming back to take the throne
      • David later rebukes Michal for rebuking him when he danced before the ark in his loin cloth upon its return
    • Michal’s actions buy David enough time to make good his escape
      • She puts an image (a teraphim–idol) under a blanket with goat hair sticking out where the head would be
      • She tells the messengers that David is sick
      • Saul commands that David be brought to him on his bed
    • Saul demands to know why Michal supports his enemy
      • Versus 5 Jonathan asked why Saul had made David his enemy
      • Saul imagined that David was his enemy
      • David does not view Saul as his enemy (supported Saul)
    • David is pro-Saul and pro-Israel
  • The lot of the falsely accused
    • David had done right by Saul
    • Saul’s jealousy fueled his imagination
      • He presumed a false scenario in David’s heart
      • David could not prove his innocence of heart
    • 1 Sam. 16:7 only God can see a heart attitude
      • Proverbs 18:13 it is foolish to presume what is in someone’s heart
      • Hard to dissuade a person against a believed falsehood
    • David does not turn himself into Saul’s enemy
      • Romans 12:12-21 David could have responded in kind to Saul
      • David still honors Saul as Israel’s anointed king
    • David stayed true to Saul
      • He didn’t become bitter (destroy self and his calling)
      • He refused to take vengeance (Psalm 59 rescued in morning)
      • David continued to do what was right
      • David turned Saul and situation over to Lord (his way and time)

Apr 12, 2020. THE DEATH OF DEATH, Revelation 1:17-18.

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Revelation 1:17-18 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

  • From Grave to Glory
    • We tend to view life based upon our present situation
      • Our health, finances, & relationships
      • Solomon’s goal was pleasure, but Job’s goal was worship & service
    • Revelation 1 puts John 19 into perspective (from cross to crown)
      • Puts John 3:16 in perspective
      • Places our lives in perspective (not just saving sacrifice, but glorious conquering king
      • We must look forward as well as backwards
    • This passage hinges on two tenses of the verb “to be”
      • Jesus was  dead
      • Jesus is alive (“I am alive”)
    • The end gives meaning to all that precedes it
      • Solomon’s end was disappointment
      • Judas’s end was destruction
      • Paul’s end was triumphant
    • There is no triumphant of death when death is a door & not a prison
  • John on Patmos
    • When John was on Patmos (exiled there by Diocletian) he has a vision of the glorified Lord
      • John is overwhelmed (as was Paul in Acts 9 & Isaiah in Isaiah 6) — trembling in fear
      • John falls as if dead in terror & worship
    • John had met Jesus at several different stages of Jesus’ life
      • As a man while they were fishing (Isaiah 53:2 looked like an ordinary man)
      • In Samaria (John wanted to call down fire from heaven)
      • At the cross (John looked upon a dying & disfigured man)
      • In the Upper Room (resurrected, but not glorified)
      • At Patmos (glorified, enthroned Christ)
    • Christians are going to live either as if Christ came alive in the past or is seated in glory & power in the present
      • To celebrate the risen Christ without celebrating the glorified empowering Christ is to minimize his impact in our lives
      • John experienced a different level of the manifestation of Christ than he had 60 years earlier with Christ on earth
      • If believers live as if what Christ did was merely a past event they will miss his triumphant present power in their lives
  • They live triumphantly
    • Not many believers live as if they are empowered by the reigning God of the universe (powerful, majestic, sovereign)
    • Romans 8:37 because He is the mighty conqueror we are more than conquerors in him (we are royalty)
    • Philippians 4:12 we are triumphant even when physically suffering, persecuted, and in need (must live triumphantly)
    • Who is king in your life? — circumstances, concerns, or Christ
    • Faith focused or feelings fastened?
    • Do we have to see what John saw to respond as John responded?
  • Christ lifts us up
    • Jesus lifted up John (see God face to face)
      • He touched him (strengthen)
      • He calmed him (1 Jn. 4:18 casting out fear)
      • Gave John perspective (1st & last; middle also)
    • Alive forevermore = no going back (life to death to ∞life)
    • Christ holds the Golden Keys
      • Key to Hades to set the prisoner free
      • Key to Death to lock death away forever
    • Our life & future are secure in the hands of the living Lord

Apr 12, 2020 (evening). I Samuel 19:1-7

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I Samuel 19:1-7 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

1 Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted greatly in David. 2 So Jonathan told David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide. 3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell you.” 4 Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you. 5 For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?” 6 So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed.” 7 Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. So Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past.

  • The frustration of Saul
    • The Philistines had not killed David and Micah loved him
    • Saul decides to have David killed directly
      • Saul = given over to an tormenting spirit
      • Saul informs his son, Jonathan, and his servants that David must be killed (Jonathan and Saul’s servants love David)
      • Saul has a way out of this mess = REPENT!
    • Jonathan reveals Saul’s plan to David
      • Jonathan is caught between loyalty to his father and loyalty to David
        • Exodus 20:12 honor your father and mother
        • Acts 5:29 must obey God over earthly authorities
        • Jonathan had to decide if loyalty to God meant supporting his father or his friend, David (submission to God = the issue!)
    • Jonathan is in a difficult place
      • He was torn between supporting his father and king and doing what was right before God by protecting David
      • Jonathan had not chosen to be in this position
      • Often God places us in difficult positions to test us, use us, and to serve as an example to others
    • Jonathan neither shirked his responsibility nor betrayed his father
      • By serving God, Jonathan truly served his father (best interests)
      • We always do best by others when we put God first (even when the ones we are helping oppose God and us)
    • Jonathan hid David and spoke to Saul
      • Jonathan points out that David saved Israel via slaying Goliath
      • God was obviously with David
      • Saul had rejoiced in David’s victory
  • Saul relents but still remains unchanged
    • Jonathan’s reasoning makes sense to Saul, so Saul is soothed
    • David is once again restored to good standing before Saul
      • Jonathan had injected common sense reasoning into father
      • Saul accepts the logic, but his nature had not changed
      • The same arrogance Samuel dealt with was still in Saul
    • Unless underlying causes are addressed, they will not go away
      • Sinful thoughts and behavior don’t leave on their own
      • A change of mind due to reason or change of situation is of the flesh, temporary, and undependable
      • James 1:5-8 vacillating between right and wrong is double-mindedness and instability (changeable and dangerous)
      • A desire to change does not produce a permanent change
  • Permanent change comes from a regenerated nature
    • Character and attitude are not rational processes
      • What Saul decided based upon Jonathan’s reason Δ with mood
      • David was not safe, but trusted Saul’s word and honored him
    • Reason alone can’t control passion, pride, and pettiness
    • Irrational and foolish acts are impulsive with no benefit or logic
    • To assuage an angry man is only to delay his next outburst
      • Saul had not changed and did not want to change
      • Pride removes God from your life (exalt self or God)
  • David, Saul’s loyal servant
    • The situation settles down briefly
      • Ironically, Saul opposes the one who benefits him most
      • Men oppose Christ, who benefits them the most (eternal)
    • David remained loyal to Saul as his king and God’s anointed to the end
      • Believers face irrational hatred, falsehood, and persecution
      • Believers must remain loyal to Christ and true to others

Apr 5, 2020. Ephesians 4:20-24

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A CHANGE OF SPIRITUAL GARMENTS. EPH. 4:20-24. 4/05/20. #17.

Ephesians 4:20-24 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

  • Learning Christ
    • Paul had done an effective job of discipling Eph. (3 yrs.)
    • Continuing as a corrupt old nature Gentile is not what the Eph. church had been taught
    • Literally, you have not been so discipled by Christ (learned = same word as disciple) – James 1:17-27
    • Three aspects of learning:
      • Being taught (the information stage)
      • Learning what is taught (the receiving stage)
      • Applying what is taught (the doing stage)
    • Paul expected the disciples to submit to his teaching
      • Learning is not just taking in information
      • The OT Jews often learned & then rebelled
    • “If you have heard him & been taught by him…”
      • First class condition = since you have heard…
      • We often know more than we apply
    • Jesus taught the Eph. through Paul
      • When Paul taught it was the same as Jesus teaching, for Paul taught his words
      • I Peter 4:11 when we teach the true words of God, Jesus is teaching

example:  When you learn from an owner’s manual, you’re taught by the company

  • The one that saves us expects us to obey him
    • A choice to follow or not (old nature is strong)
  • Put off the old nature
    • An actual conscience act (not automatic)
    • The choice to follow is contrary to the old nature that we had been following (old desires & habits)
    • James 1:12-15 often our desires, cravings, & habits are deep-seated & powerful (corrupt nature & personalities) example: it took 3 miles to turn around the Titanic
    • The old nature does not want to be evicted
      • Conduct = way of life
      • Old nature worsens over time (more corrupt)
    • Deceitful lusts = insatiable desires (wanting what one cannot have = lit., reaching for more (pleonexia)
  • Put on new nature
    • Renewal of spirit of the mind
      • To make one’s thinking align with the new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Php. 4:8)
      • Even though the soul has been saved, the mind must be renewed (spiritual sanctification verses an effectual sanctification)

Three steps: given the tools, learning to use the tools, and then actually using the tools

  • Creation in holiness makes it possible to renew the mind, but we must use freewill to do so
    • Three types of sanctification:  (1) positional sanctification (salvation)  (2) progressive sanctification (growing to maturity)  (3) glorification
    • Progressive sanctification is the battlefield on which pre-glorified believers must fight

Key Verse:  James 1:17-27

James 1:17-27 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.  19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Mar 29, 2020. Ephesians 4:15-19

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BODY BEAUTIFUL. EPH. 4:15-19. 3/29/20. AM. #16.

Ephesians 4:15-19 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 17 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, 18 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; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

  • The dual manifestations of the believer
    • A believer manifests himself with 2 main traits:
      • Integrity (honesty, truthfulness, genuineness)
      • Love (charity, generosity, compassion, empathy)
    • “Speaking” the truth is a mistranslation
      • Lit., doing the truth or dealing truthfully
      • Being honest in one’s dealings with others
      • Sometimes dealing truthfully involves hiding facts (Egyptian midwives, Rahab, Samuel)
      • Honoring God’s will & ways (doing right)
    • Motivation is love
      • John 3:16 God’s love for us
      • II Corinthians 5:14 the love of Christ working through us
      • Showing love to saints, strangers, & enemies
    • Lovingly dealing truthfully could involve encouragement, charity, admonition, or even rebuke (I Thessalonians 5:14)
    • Philippians 2:3 integrity empowered by love = mode of operation
  • The body of Christ
    • Assembly of believers = called body of Christ (Ep. 2:16)
      • I Corinthians 12:12-26 compared to human body
      • Should function as a fit human body does
    • Description of the church body:
      • Knit together (compacted; connected)
        • Used in II Peter 3:5 as the earth being made to stand together out of the water (Gen. 1)
        • Properly put together in form & function
        • The Lord puts each part in the right place
        • Body parts are designed to be connected
      • Every joint supplies what is needed
        • In human body, the arms, legs, heart, eyes, ears, etc. are supplying rest of body
        • Each function supports the rest of body
      • Effective working = accomplishes the will of God
        • Each part has a specified function
        • Each part shares its own load
        • When parts of the body don’t share own load, the entire body suffers
    • Three results of the body of Christ working together:
      • Spiritual growth in the body (kingdom expands)
      • The body us self-edifying (built up in knowledge, worship, fellowship, ministry, outreach, prayer…)
      • The body = empowered by love of God (Jn. 13:34)
  • Not to walk like other Gentiles (unbelievers)
    • Description of traits of the unsaved:
      • Futility of mind (vanity, useless, worthless)
      • Understanding is darkened = no knowledge of the truth, loving evil; no desire for light of Lord
      • Alienated from life of God = strangers to spiritual
        • Life of Christians = baffling to them
        • We are a subculture in a fallen world
      • Ignorant (no knowledge) = don’t know about God or the Bible, or church (2 Pt. 3:5 willfully ignorant)
    • Results: past feeling (hard-hearted = porosis of the kardia) or petrification of the heart; abandoned to lewdness (indecent, debased, perverse); full of uncleanness (filthy, impure), greedy (self-indulgent)
    • The believer has a new nature that suppresses old one

Key verse:  I Corinthians 12:12-26

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Mar. 22, 2020. Ephesians 4:11-14

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DIVINE JOURNEYMEN. EPH. 4:11-14. 3/22/20. AM. #15.

Ephesians 4:11-14 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

  1. The functions of God’s gifts
    1. Paul states that God gave 3 kingdom expansion gift types:
    1. (1) apostles, prophets  (2) evangelists  (pastors and teachers)
    1. REVELATION GIFTS – apostles and prophets were given to the church to reveal God’s plan, the Gospel, church doctrine, church organization, and end times events
      1. The apostles (lit., sent ones on a mission) were the initial evangelists and church planters
      1. Apostles laid the foundation of the church
      1. Some apostles wrote NT Scripture (Matthew, John, Paul, Peter)
      1. Some associates of the apostles also wrote Scripture (Mark, Luke, James, Jude)
      1. Prophets were proclaimers of the Word and at times prophesied as led by the Spirit
    1. HEARKENING GIFTS – after the apostles laid the foundation the gospel was proclaimed by evangelists, missionaries, and church planters (still present today)
    1. DISCIPLING GIFTS – pastors and teachers were given to maintain, grow, and instruct church members
      1. Due to the Greek sentence structure, some teach that pastors and teachers are the same, but they are separate elsewhere
      1. Pastors (shepherds) watch over God’s flock by instructing, admonishing, caring, and equipping
      1. Teachers instruct the flock in God’s Word and way
  2. The objectives of gifts
    1. Three goals: (1) equipping  (2) working  (3) edifying
    1. EQUIPPING – lit., “to put things right”
      1. Used in setting a broken bone or mending a net
      1. Used in properly building a structure
      1. To training God’s people to use their gifts and calling to further the kingdom of God
      1. Pastors, elders (1 Tm. 3:2), and teachers are to guide saints in using their gifts to serve God
    1. WORKING – we obtain our word “energy” from this word
      1. Serving God is active, not passive
      1. Everyone is to work in the ministry
    1. EDIFYING THE BODY – to build up the body (encouragement, admonishing, comforting, and fellowship)
      1. HEBREWS 10:19-25 – ministry is not a solitary activity, but teamwork toward 1 goal (1 Chronicles 12)
      1. Hebrews 13:7,17; 1 Thessolonians 5:14 body = self-sustaining
  3. The results of the working out of the gifts in the body
    1. Unity of the faith (a united purpose led by Lord)
      1. Strife in the body shows immaturity and infiltration
      1. Philippians 2:3 working together with and for one another
    1. Knowledge of the Son of God
      1. II Peter 3:18 must ever be growing in knowing about the Lord intimately and objectively
      1. Philippians 3:14 none reach full knowledge of Him
    1. Perfection (telios) = maturing of believers
    1. Coming to full stature (metron) or development in Christ
  4. Consequences of God’s gifts
    1. No longer children (Hebrew 5)
    1. No longer unstable (James 1:5) – vacillating in walk
    1. No longer succumbing to men’s clever trickery and cunning craftiness (deceitful plotting against Lord)
  5. The work of the Lord is purposeful, empowered, and vital

Key verse: 

Hebrews 10:19-25 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Mar 15, 2020. Ephesians 4:7-9

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Ephesians 4:7-9 (New King James Version [NKJV])

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?