Monday, February 20, 2017

The Nature of Sin

Sin = a transgression of God's divine law.
(most common definition, fits Christianity, Judaism, Islam)

Question:  Groups without a Sovereign deity?  (Hindu, Buddhist)
Answer = Sin still a violation of a Moral Code - almost universal - even secularists and atheists recognize right and wrong - may not call it "sin".

Biblical View:  1)  divine law(s) exist
                         2)  God has revealed (some of) them to us - through His deeds, prophets, apostles, Jesus Christ, Word.  They are a part of who God is - Eternal, non-changing
                         3)  Obedience to those laws results in good - for individual, nation, for mankind as a whole - (not necessarily immediate results)
                         4)  Violation of those laws is sin - (is harmful, detrimental)

We often downplay the seriousness of sin.  Scripture does NOT!!!!  (the word is used over 1,000 times plus additional words, phrases, descriptions, examples, etc.)  - God doesn't LAUGH at sin!!

Over the next couple weeks = a view of Sin from Scripture

Today:  The Nature of Sin  ie:  sin's character, qualities, description.  Its makeup, composition, essence.
What makes it sin?  What is the stuff sin is made of?

This is a broad subject!  Therefore, we have a simple overview!

#1.  the most common word in New Testament Greek = literally to miss the mark - Rom. 3:23.
We don't live up to God's plan, design for us.
BUT, that only touches the surface.....

#2.  Error, Deviation - stepping out, aside, away.  More than wander, stray = knowingly choose wrong path.
Often translated - "transgress, trespass" - Mark 11:25 - sometimes is just a thought.

#3.  Unbelief - the word for faith in the Greek is pistis.  Many times an "a" was added to the front of a word to mean the exact opposite.  Therefore apistia = un-faith, un belief
The problem = willful ie:  refusal to believe - Heb. 3:16-19 - belief is something we do with head, heart, and hands.

#4.  Refusal
           Rom. 1:18, 21 - refused to acknowledge
           2 Thess. 2:9-10 - refused to love, accept, embrace
           Acts 7:51 - resistance (holding back), refusal, rebellion

#5.  Lawlessness - (again - alpha prefix)
     Nomos = law
     Anomos = no law, without law, against the law!  - in defiance of the law!  Matt. 24:9-12  Matt. 24:12 - NASB

#6.  Disobedience - aKoo'o - to hear  
                             - hupakoo o - to obey (because really hear!!)
 The word for refusal to hear is translated - "disobedience".
Illustrated in:  Matt. 13:14-15 and John 9:41 - may hear the words but don't hear the message.

Point:  sin IS "missing the mark" - but way more.  Often = because we don't want to ht the mark!!  Don't like the rule, standard, law!!

If that = the nature of Sin ... (its makeup, stuff), THEN what are its EFFECTS??  (it's produce, product, outcome, result?)

(Briefly --- from Old Testament word pictures...)

Sin is seen to:
Mark, mar, blemish ---- to deface, to make crooked, to bend, twist, distort, to deform, to pervert, to make unsuitable, unacceptable, unusable.
Example:  Titus 3:10-11
Quick Application:  Gen. 1:27

Point:  Sin is Serious Stuff
On one hand, might laugh, joke in the aftermath of danger.  However, recognize the need serious concentration and effort while dealing with it.

We ought, therefore, to:  1) watch out - (pay attention, be careful, be on guard)
                                      2)  Confess (recognize, admit) - don't try to fool yourself
                                      3)  Embrace the Remedy - ie:  Christ - 1 Pet. 2:24,  2 Cor. 5:21
                                      4)  Take responsibility

Monday, February 13, 2017

Reciprocal Relationship

2 Timothy = pastoral epistle and prison epistle.   Therefore = Paul's "last words" to Timothy.

Already looked at Paul's words concerning:  personal development
ie:  things Timothy needed to do in order to develop himself, his ministry, his effectiveness.

Now - look at things Timothy can do for Paul!!  2 Tim. 4:9-22
1)  come to me ....quickly ... before winter
2)  bring Mark!  (John Mark who wrote the gospel of Mark)
3)  bring my cloak and scrolls - studies, scriptures
4)  greet the brothers and sisters on my behalf

Additional words from other prison epistles
Eph. 6:19-20 - Pray for me - in prison
Col. 4:18 - remember my chains - in prison

Ask ourselves:
1)  What does this say about Paul? - WASM
2)  What does this say to us?? - ISM

A few observations about Paul:
#1.  He was human - who has surrendered himself to God and was sold out to Him.
    easy to forget or overlook because he was the great Apostle Paul, but -->James 5:17-18.  Elijah was just like us.

#2.  He had typical human needs
examples:  a cloak for the body, scrolls for the mind, companionship for the heart, soul (relational needs), assistance for the ministry, prayer for strength, courage, delivery.  To know he was not forgotten.....that his work mattered, that he mattered.

#3.  He was not above asking for human help in meeting those needs.

So, on the one hand, Phil. 4:13, however, the recognition that sometimes Christ provides that strength through people!!!

So, What's this say to us?  Application?  Isms?

This passage not teaching something we don't know... rather, illustrating and re-enforcing things we do know!!!

#1.  we're all pretty much in the same boat.
ie.  human, with human needs and human shortcomings.  1 Cor. 10:13 - "common to man"
But we also have human gifts, talents, abilities, resources... Contributions!!

Point:  You are both a liability and an asset.

#2.  We need One Another. 
On one hand, Timothy wouldn't be who he was without Paul.  However, Paul wouldn't be who he was without Timothy.  2 Tim. 1:4 -->adding TO Paul!!

Point:  this = a Reciprocal Relationship - by God's Design!!!

#3.  "We're better together" - (borrowed quote)
examples:  as a couple, family, friendship, small group, church, community, denomination, parachurch group, etc.)
idea of "body" - 1 Cor. 12:12, 14-20

Summary #1 - to our congregation:  (if you are called to OBC) WE NEED YOU - here and functioning
Summary #2 - (if you are called to OBC) YOU NEED US!!! - here and functioning

#4.  Sometimes God gives an awareness of Himself through people  (ie:  His Presence, concern, holding, healing)

This works 2 ways:  You may experience Him through other people.  But, others may experience His Presence through you!!   Therefore, need of the body, gathering, your ministry.

God works through His people - all of whom are potential vessels.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Study of 2nd. Timothy - Discipleship

2 Tim. = "last words" - Paul is in Roman prison in Rome awaiting execution

1st. two weeks covered - Personal Lifestyle - (growth, development)
then - Evangelism - (every Christian's duty) - WASMs and ISMs

Today:  Discipleship  

noun - a disciple (from Latin word for pupil) = a student  (learner)
BUT more than just a pupil - adherent, imitator. Example:  John the Baptist's disciples - became imitators of John, practitioners of his messages

Verb = to disciple = to teach, instruct, but more than sharing facts.
= (an attempt) to develop, equip, train - not always successful.  Example:  Jesus and Judas Iscariot -
all great leaders who disciple people will have miserable failures.

Concept in Scripture:  - Paul - Col. 2:6-7 - to disciple = (attempt) to promote this process

Eph. 4:11-14 - point here = He gave people to develop people for works of service.  Someone solid, firm in Christ.

2 Tim.1:13-14, 2 Tim. 2:2 - Pattern  This = why we go back to the original teachers.

Could use this order:  Timothy -
1) learn these truths
2) keep these truths - (hold to, practice)
3) guard these truths - (stronger word than "keep")
4) entrust these truths to reliable men, who will be qualified to teach others.
    (vs. 2)

So ---  how to?   what's it take?

#1.  Intentionality - must decide, determine to be a part of discipleship

#2.  Knowledge    Objection:  Problem?  - I don't know anything or I don't know enough. 
Answer:  Impart what you do know.  You know more than somebody.

Note:  Discipling is more than teaching doctrinal truths
        Also = teaching practical application of those truths. - builds disciples

#3.  Time - if don't spend time with someone, won't happen - biggest reason we have no time - taking care of self!
 Settings:     #1.  family - best one
                  #2.  formal discipling - formal training
                  #3.  intentional friendships
                  #4.  church - AWANA, Sunday School, Sunday night!, youth, attendance

Outcome?  on one hand, no guarantee that will have a success.
However, the Great Commission, Matt. 28:18-20 - promise of His presence, assistance found within this passage.  Won't go alone.
(point = may not be successful, will be blessed!!)

Why so important?  urgent?

       2 Tim. 3:14-15

These truths affect - a)  your eternal state (after life)
                    also     b) your present state (life now)
                    and      c) the social state  (society, culture)

#2.  Paul is not going to be around to proclaim, teach it.  2 Tim. 4;5-7
Each generation must accept responsibility for discipling the next generation.

to this we are called!!  - Matt. 28:18-20

THE GREAT COMMISSION:  1) a charge, a command, an order which includes
                                                  2) authority (backing)
                                         and   3) trust