Tag Archive | Bible

The Process Is The Point – Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1–3 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

6. Lay aside every weight

Hebrews 12:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Notice that weights are different from sins? What might be some weights that hinder us yet it isn’t sin?  They may even be good things that keep us from doing the best things.

What could you streamline?  Hobbies, extra activities, etc.

How can you evaluate things as to being a weight?

1. Glorify God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

2. Profitable? or

3. Enslaving?

1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV) “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

4. Cause Others to stumble?

1 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

5. Edify Yourself or others?

1 Corinthians 10:23 (ESV) “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.


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The Process Is The Point – 1 Corinthians 9:25-26

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV)

    24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

    25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

    26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

    27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

2. Exercise Self-Control

1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

What is self-control?

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Self-control is taking every thought, word or deed captive under Christ to obey Christ.

We can’t exercise self-control on our own though, it is a fruit of the Spirit.  Only through the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives can we have self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

We also must compete according to the rules, no making up the rules as you go along.

2 Timothy 2:5 (ESV) An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

Otherwise you may be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.   

 

3. Do not run Aimlessly

1 Corinthians 9:26 (ESV) So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

Run as for the Lord

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.


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The Process Is the Point – Run to Obtain the Prize

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

1. Run to obtain the prize

1 Corinthians 9:24 (ESV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

What is the prize?

  • An Imperishable and unfading wreath

1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

1 Peter 5:4 (ESV) And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

  • The wreath is the crown of life, righteousness, glory (James 1:12; Rev 2:10; 2 Tim 4:8;)

James 1:12 (ESV) Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

  • Upward or Heavenly Call of God

Philippians 3:14 (ESV) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Those are all future prizes for those who run the race.  But there are also present day prizes.

Luke 18:29-30 (ESV)

29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Notice how that passage says “in this time and in the age to come”?

There are present time rewards for those who are running the race not “just” a future hope.

Not that the future hope is not enough but because the Lord knows we would struggle with a seemingly distant hope and no rewards along the way.  He is a gracious and generous God to those He loves.

 


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The Most Misused Verses in the Bible, Surprising Ways God’s Word Is Misunderstood

The Most Misused Verses in the Bible,Surprising Ways God’s Word Is Misunderstood – Kindle version

A surprising number of well-known Bible verses are commonly misused and misunderstood. Whether intentionally or not, people take important verses out of context, and pastor and Bible scholar Eric J. Bargerhuff has seen the effects: confusion, faulty decisions, sin being dismissed, and more. With a deft touch, he helps readers understand and apply sound principles of interpretation and application of twenty familiar verses. This concise high-interest approach appeals to the curious as well as readers concerned about incorrect theology.

Free kindle book for a limited time.


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Do All Things …

Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Difficult!


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What Does God’s Word Say About Doctrine?

Last month in studying doctrine we left off with Paul’s solution to being taken captive to false doctrine in 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Paul commends Timothy for following his teaching.  Then he encourages Timothy to continue in all he has learned.  Finally Paul wraps up with the two of the most memorized verses about the Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Then in the next chapter Paul commends Timothy again about sound doctrine.  You think Paul thinks sound doctrine is important?

1 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

 

Timothy not only has been learning directly from Paul but he learned from the sacred writings, meaning our Old Testament, from his childhood.  Even the Old Testament is able to make us “wise for salvation through faith” verse 15.

While the word Doctrine is not used much in the Old Testament, there are several other names for doctrine.

Truth

Psalms 25:5 (ESV) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalms 119:160 (ESV) The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Precepts

Psalms 119:93 (ESV) I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Teaching

Proverbs 4:2 (ESV) for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

Instruction

Proverbs 19:20 (ESV) Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Statutes

Ezra 7:10 (ESV) For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Those are just a sampling of the verses in the Old Testament concerning doctrine.  There are many, many more to be found in the New Testament along with warnings against falling for different doctrines.

 



For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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So What do We Do?

Paul doesn’t leave us here as weak women, but he tells us what to do. Follow his teaching of Scripture.  Scripture is able to make you wise for Salvation through faith in Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

 

We are to follow the teaching of Paul and the Scripture to keep ourselves from being weak women taken captive by false teaching.

Next month we will look more specifically at what God’s Word says about doctrine.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Weak Women Taken Captive

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

“Weak women” – gunaikária – this word is hard to arrive at exactly what Paul is referring to here because this word is only used in this passage of the Bible.  An Englishman’s search won’t reveal any other usage.  So we since we can’t find other verses to explain this passage we will have to look closer at what this verse itself tells us about the weak women.

Weak women are “burdened with sins”.  Burdened here means heaped up, piled up or loaded up.  If you went through the Pilgrim’s Progress Bible study with us previously you would remember how Christian was carrying a burden through the beginning of the book. But upon obtaining salvation Christian’s burden rolled away into the empty tomb and was seen no more.  Then we discussed how Christian’s burden wasn’t just his sin, because others sinned and didn’t carry around burdens.   Christian’s burden was the guilt of his sins which weighed on him.  As believers we aren’t to be carrying a burden of sin guilt around with us.  We are to repent and seek forgiveness for our sins.  Then we are to live as forgiven and thankful children.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

We lay aside our burdens and trust in Christ who has finished the work of Salvation for us.

Psalms 32:1-5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

 

1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

 

Not only are “weak women” burdened by sin, they are also led astray by various passions – tossed to and fro by every idle wind of doctrine.

Ephesians 4:14 (ESV)  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

“Weak women” are always learning and never arriving at the truth.  They are always seeking the newest and best way to live.  You know that miraculous home management program so that you can get everything done with minimal effort.  The newest homeschool curriculum which will teach the children everything in 10 easy steps or maybe it is the “oldies but goodies”, going back to the curriculum our founding fathers used for their children.  The church even often offers up quite a selection of fads to choose from.

The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life

Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth am I Here For?

“Weak women” are not content with doing the hard work that being godly, raising children, homeschooling, teaching, working or even Bible study requires.   They will latch onto every new fad that comes along.

Godliness in 10 easy steps.

Wheat grass juice will cure your every ill.

The Magic Step to flat abs.

Always learning but never arriving at truth – MacArthur doesn’t mince words here speaking of “weak women”.

Sin and lack of discernment neutralized their ability to apprehend God’s truth. If they have been reared in the church, they are especially susceptible to ideas that purport to be Christian. But their ignorance of Scripture and their sinful living make them utterly undiscerning and defenseless against unbiblical and ungodly precepts. They are continually learning about everything except the knowledge of the truth. Because legalism deals only in outward performance, it is very attractive. Many such women, and men as well, are glad to find a way that promises to make them right with God simply by adhering to certain outward forms and conforming to certain behavioral standards.

John MacArthur, in 2 Timothy Commentary

What is the truth?  Of course, it is God’s Word.  Always learning about “Christianity” but never actually learning from Scripture.  Some churches are like that now themselves.  Always studying all kinds of books but never really studying the Bible.  Looking for the “magic” Bible verse that will answer all your questions.

What is the “knowledge of the truth”?  Knowing the Bible would be the average person’s first response.  Yet we have an even better explanation in the Bible.  Paul uses this phrase repeatedly in his epistles.

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

 

Titus 1:1 (ESV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

 

Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV)

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Charles Spurgeon on “Knowledge of the Truth”

It is the truth which saves. Jesus Christ is the truth: the whole testimony of God about Christ is the truth. The work of the Holy Ghost in the heart is to work in us the truth.”

Knowledge of the Truth isn’t just knowledge of some truth or knowledge of some doctrine; it is personal life changing knowledge of the salvation of Jesus Christ.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Creeps Creeping In

These people who have an appearance of Godliness without the Power (2 Timothy 3:5) creep in.  They don’t come boldly teaching false doctrine but they creep into households.  They come in the back door.

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Paul also warns the Galatians of these false brothers slipping in secretly to try to pervert the truth.

Galatians 2:4-5 (ESV)

4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Paul isn’t the only one warning about those who creep in to distort the truth. Peter also warns about them.

2 Peter 2:1 (ESV) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Jude warns about them also.

Jude 4 (ESV) For certain people have crept in unnoticed  who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert  the grace of our God into sensuality and  deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

We cannot let our guard down for an instant.  They are out to capture weak women.  Capture is used in the sense of leading away captives like the Israelites to Babylon.  Like slaves.

We are to make every thought captive to Christ and are not to allow ourselves to be carried away captive by peddlers of false doctrine.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 (ESV)

5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

2 Peter 3:17 (ESV) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

Colossians 2:8 (ESV) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

Today though we don’t have to have these false teachers physically come into our homes to take us captive, see we often invite them in through the TV or through the books we read or even the music we hear.  We let images and ideas in through seemingly innocuous, (harmless), means such as media.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we can handle peddlers of false doctrine as long as they are not physically present.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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