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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Ten Commandments: Stealing

“You shall not steal.” Before this was written on the stone tablets (twice), it was spoken from Mount Horeb.

“You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.” (Deuteronomy 4:11-13)

This happened over 4,000 years ago. Apparently people were stealing then.

I remember when I was in kindergarten, I was walking home from school with a friend when he announced to me, “I will teach you how to steal a cookie.”

There was a corner grocery store about two blocks from home. His mother had told him to bring home a pound of hamburger from the store. My friend told me, “When I order the hamburger, the owner goes to the back room to grind and wrap the it. While he is in t…

The Ten Commandments: Adultery, Part 2

“Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’ ‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’ ‘Why then,’ they asked, ‘did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’ Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.’” (Matthew 19:3-9)

I have received the following question, “Would you please let me know what is biblically authorized divorce(s)?”

The basic sentence in the text without the subor…

The Ten Commandments: Definition of Adultery

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Deuteronomy 5:18)

Adultery has both a narrow and a broad definition.

In the narrow sense, it is sexual intercourse with some person other than your spouse, or it is one person is not married having sexual intercourse with someone who is married. Or if divorced and remarried, if the divorce is not biblically authorized.

You may say, “If that is so, then half of the country has committed or is committing adultery right now.”

True!

Let’s look at the wider definition of adultery.

Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

He did not say, “If a married man looks lustfully or if a single man looks lustfully at a married woman…”

In this case, marriage is not part of the command, and the physical act is not part of the command.

Now we have moved the guilty section from half of the country to 100% of the country.

“The law was added so that the trespass might in…

The Ten Commandments: Murder

“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 NIV)

The Authorized Version says, “Thou shalt not kill.” From the context, we know that the word used in this commandment is more specific than “kill.” The very next chapter says, “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.” Exodus 21:12 requires the execution of a man who kills another man. If the command in Exodus 20 meant “kill” in a general sense, the execution required in Exodus 21 would be violating this command.

No, the word is “murder.” However, the word is still more specific than that.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

There are murderers (physical and spiritual) who es…

The Ten Commandments: The Sabbath

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-12)

This is a wonderful command. It tells us to work six days and rest one. God did not say, “Work five and rest two.” God gave Himself as the reason for this pattern by His own example. He worked six days and rested one.

The Church today is divided over which day is the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week or the first day. However, the argument is generally over which day we are to gather together for worship, not which day we should rest. The command does not speak to the subject of w…

The Ten Commandments, Part 3

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7)

There are two parts to this. The first is the command. The second is the reason for the command as far as men are concerned.

There are many people who think that they are not violating this command because they are only using His name thoughtlessly or by habit. They think that “in vain” means maliciously or in anger. Because they do not use “God” or “Jesus” in anger, they assume that they are innocent of the violation. In “vain” means “for nothing.” “Empty.” What they are doing is exactly what is prohibited.

This next part is serious!

God will not hold anyone guiltless who uses His name with no meaning.

The Ten Commandments, Part 2

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)

This command is comprehensive. We are not to make an idol of anything, like anything, anywhere. This should be clear, but it is not clear to many people.

• You shall not make
• You shall not bow

If for some reason an idol got made, it is not to be worshipped.

Why? The real creator, God, is jealous and will punish to the fourth generation those who:

• hate God
• disobey God

He will show love to a thousand generations those who:

• love God
• obey God

Do you get the message?

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your lov…

The Ten Commandments, Part 1

The next few weeks, my subject will be the Ten Commandments and related teaching in the New Testament. These commands were first given orally.

“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.” (Exodus 19:16-19)

“Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.’ You came near and stood at the foot of the mount…

Good News/Bad News: The Solution and Judgment

Bad news:

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3)

Good news:

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” (Titus 3:4-8)

The good news is the solution to the character of the bad news and to the judgment on the bad news.

Two Destinations

“For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:18-21)

There are two destinations:

1) Destruction
2) Heaven and a glorious body like Christ’s glorious body

The means to the first destination:

• Be an enemy of the Cross of Christ.
• Have your stomach as your god.
• Glory in your shame.
• Set your mind on earthly things.

The means to the second destination:

• Anticipate with eagerness the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you on the right path?

Three Types of People

Here are three types of people who will not be saved:

1. The religious
2. The legalist
3. The licentious

The religious:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and …

Taking Off the Old & Putting On the New

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” (Ephesians 4:17-19)

This is a description of people without God.

Here is another description:

“I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” (Romans 6:19)

And a third…

“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” …

The Effect of Repentance, Part 2

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with th…

The Effect of Repentance, Part 1

“But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:18-21)

Notice the results of repentance and turning to God:

• Your sins may be wiped out.
• Times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
• The return of Jesus Christ

Repentance Is from the Lord

The word “repentance” has gotten a bad reputation. It is not associated with good things. However, the bad reputation is false.

In the Bible, repentance is associated with kindness and gentleness.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

“And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

Repenting is turning toward God because of His grace, love, kindness, gentleness, and truth toward us.

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30)

The Liar, Satan, has distorted the meanin…

Repentance & Forgiveness

Here are a few scriptures on repentance and forgiveness:

“He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’” (Luke 24:46-47)

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Him.” (Acts 26:17-18)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

“Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he comma…

Impossible for Man

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23)

“Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” (Mark 10:23-27)

There are two impossible things stated here:

1. It is impossible for a man to change his character from bad to good.
2. It is impossible for a covetous man to be saved by his own will.

What is impossible to man is possible with God. Jesus came to this earth to deliver men from the fear of death, the guilt of si…

What You Will Say When You Are Saved, Part 5

Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old. — Psalm 25:4-6

It will be a glad day when you say this to the Lord.

What You Will Say When You Are Saved, Part 3

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. — Psalm 103:1-5

If you say this, you will be talking to yourself about the Lord and His love and compassion and the forgiveness of your sins.