And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 50 December 20, 2009
In this issue:
The Holy Spirit inspired James to warn his readers of deception. He issues the warning three times in the first chapter of his epistle. Each warning applies a different Greek word – all translated using derivatives of one English word – “deceive” (indicating different nuances of deception). Make no mistake: We can be deceived! Consequently, we must live circumspectly (carefully), Ephesians 5:16.
James 1:16: Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. The word here is planao, derived from plane (a wandering, Thayer). The person who is deceived wanders about; he is led astray. The warning is given in a context that urges endurance when tempted (1:12). This is accomplished by knowing the source of temptation (1:13-14), knowing temptation occurs (1:14) and knowing the effect sin has on us (1:15). We are in danger of wandering from the truth into the eternal death of error if we do not heed the warning to endure trials and temptation.
James 1:22: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. This word is paralogizomai and means to miscount, to cheat by false reckoning, to deceive by false reasoning (Thayer). One can develop a false estimate of his spiritual condition by hearing yet failing to obey God’s word. To avoid miscalculating our spiritual condition we must put away all sin, implant God’s word in our hearts and obey it to be saved (1:21-22). One can become to believe he is saved because he is hearing God’s word yet refusing to obey it. Such a person has miscalculated; such is false reasoning. It is when we hear and obey God’s word that will God bless us (1:23-25).
James 1:26: 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. The word used here is apatao and means to cheat, to beguile (Thayer). Although a religious person is convinced he is pleasing God, a failure to control his tongue cheats him out of God’s approval and blessing. The heart can be beguiled into believing what is not true. We must honestly and objectively examine ourselves in the light of God’s word – not by the feelings of our heart – in order to avoid cheating ourselves out of God’s blessings (2 Cor 13:5).
James gives us all a timeless warning: Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Adultery Destroys Lives
Steven F. Deaton
Tiger Woods is just the latest high-profile person to be exposed as an adulterer. Senator Max Baucus is another. Woods gets more attention because he is better known and because of so many women being connected to him. Whether it is one or over a dozen, adultery is the same: it destroys lives.
King David took Uriah's wife, Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11). When it was discovered she was pregnant, the king attempted to cover it up. He tried to get Uriah to sleep with his wife so everyone would think the child was his. When that didn't work, David got him drunk and tried it again. When that didn't work, he had Uriah killed. After this, David took Bathsheba as his wife so everything would seemingly be okay. But, it was not to be.
God exposed David as an adulterer through Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-15). He did not deny his sin, but readily confessed it and sought God's mercy. Of course, it was granted. However, forgiveness did not remove the consequences. David's son by Bathsheba died (2 Sam. 12:15-23). Too, David's household was filled with trouble from then on (2 Sam. 12:10-12). No doubt, the king wished he had never gazed on the woman on the rooftop.
Whether it is king David, Woods, or Baucus, adultery destroys lives. It affects those who commit the act. It also impacts the innocent around them. Uriah was perfectly innocent. Wood's wife and children are going through extremely difficult times now and will never completely heal. Baucus' wife is humiliated and terribly hurt.
Adultery has a monetary impact as well. The wise man said, "Remove your way far from her [an immoral woman]...Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner" (Prov. 5:8, 10). In the case of Woods you can also see a definite economic catastrophe with all the brands he is connected to being tarnished to some degree; if nothing else losing the ability to use Woods to promote their products. Whenever adultery takes place, there is a material consequence. Whether it is due to paying for gifts and rooms for the adultery, loss of work due to mental stress, or a divided household with two sets of bills. You can think of many more.
The worst thing is the damage adultery does to souls. An adulterer cannot go to heaven (Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10). Those impacted by the sin can become bitter toward God and His ways. Instead of blaming the devil for the consequences and pain, some attack God. Children can lose all respect for authority because one of the parents has completely destroyed trust and respect for the main authority figure in their life. In some cases, the children follow their parent's footsteps into a life of sexual immorality as either an attempt to numb the pain or because they think it is normal behavior. However you look at it, adultery destroys souls.
There is one way the Bible gives us to deal with sexual immorality, adultery included: RUN! Joseph did (Gen. 39:11-13). The Holy Spirit commanded it (1 Cor. 6:18). So, when you are tempted by Satan to lust after another, remember adultery destroys lives.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Value of One Soul Part 1
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:3-7
1. One soul is more valuable than
whole world (Matt 16:26).
I. JESUS AND ONE SOUL.
A. Jesus Came to Save the Lost,
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Value of One Soul Part 2
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:8-10
II. THE VALUE (IMPORTANCE) OF THE SOUL, Matt 16:26; Lk 15:8-9.
A. The Soul is made in the
Image of God, Gen 1:26-27; 2:7. 1 Cor 15:45 (Jno 5:21, 24, 29; 6:54)
1. Care for your soul as you would your most valuable
possession (Matt 16:26).
Climate change advocates have been in Copenhagen, Denmark over the past two weeks holding a global conference on the subject.
This is not an exposé on the fallacies of global warming. But, to coin the phrase, there is some climate change we can agree that ought to occur. And, it is up to us to cause these changes.
In the home: A climate of loving trust must replace lustful indulgence. Many, many families are destroyed by the sins of self-centeredness. The marriage vow to love, honor and cherish is too often replaced by selfishness, disrespect, anger, bitterness and hate. This toxic atmosphere is sucking the life out of families. With close to 50% of U.S. marriages ending in divorce, we must effect godly climate change in the home. (Eph 5:22-33; 1 Pet 3:1-7)
In the church: A climate of devotion to truth must replace devotion to men (1 Cor 4:6). Too many churches have abandoned “thus saith the Lord” for the divisive power grabs of men. Christ has all authority, and the atmosphere that breathes life into the churches of Christ is faith that is built upon the word of God. (Col 3:17; 1 Pet 1:22-25; Jno 17:17)
In the heart: A climate of faithful service must replace selfish pride (Gal 2:20). Christ will not live in the heart of any person whose heart is filled with pride (1 Jno 2:15-17). Obedient faith is the climate necessary for His presence (Eph 3:17). Implanting God’s word in our hearts will cause real and lasting climate change. (Jas 1:21-22)
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 12/21/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA