*********** Sunday Sermon Notes 2019

"How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Help Within Their Families, And Within Their Family Relationships.”

”You Shall Know The Truth, And The Truth Shall Set You Free! - “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

“Depending On God To Change The Man In The Mirror.”

***********

"How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Help Within Their Families, And Within Their Family Relationships.”

Matthew 1.

01-06-2019  Part 1  

Well, here we are six days into the New Year of 2019.

But also, have you thought about, that these are the final 12 months, before we begin a new decade?

In fact, in 2020 we begin the third consecutive decade or 10 years.

Remember, since the new millennium began or the 2000’s, we experienced the first decade from 2000 until 2010.

Then, the second decade is from 2010 until 2020.

And Lord willing, we will experience a third decade from 2020 until 2030.                      If you are a child of God.                                                                                                  A committed follower of Jesus Christ.                                                                              A Spirit-filled servant of the Lord.                                                                                    Then everyone of us needs the reassurance, the hope, and the confidence that God will be with us, no matter what!

Notice Matthew 1: 23 Says,

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us!

Praise God Immanuel, God is with us!

However, have you or I ever thought about what does it really mean that God is with us, or with us Is God?

Or, is this another Christian cliché that we some time say to one another, to sound spiritual?

What does it really mean that God is with us, or with us is God?

There is an important theological word, a very important Biblical concept that will help us better understand what it means when we say, “God is with us!”

This word is ‘Omnipresence’.                                                                                            And this compound word has two parts to it.

•The first part or the prefix is ‘omni’, which comes from the Latin that means “all.” “or boundless!”                                                                                                                 •The second part of the word is “presence!”  Referring to existence or manifestation.

Therefore, a good definition of the word omnipresence would be something or someone who is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

For example, here on Earth “air,” or “oxygen,” or “sound,” all three are omnipresent! That is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

However, omnipresence when it is in reference to God means His Divine presence encompasses all creation both seen and unseen so, to say that God is omnipresent is to say that God is present everywhere. Yet God is not totally immersed in the fabric of creation, for that is called ‘Pantheism’.  But God's presence is continuous throughout all of creation, though it may not be revealed in the same way at the same time to people everywhere.  At times, He may be actively present in a situation, while He may not reveal that He is present in another circumstance in some other area.  The Bible reveals that God can be both present to a person in a manifest manner (Psalm 46:1; Isaiah 57:15) and present in every situation in all of creation at any given time (Psalm 33:13-14).  Omnipresence is God's characteristic of being present to all ranges of both time and space.  Although God is present in all time and space, God is not locally limited to any time or space. God is everywhere and in every now.  No molecule or atomic particle is so small that God is not fully present to it, and no galaxy so vast that God does not circumscribe it.  But if we were to remove creation, God would still know of it, for He knows all possibilities, whether they are actual or not. God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order of things, in every manner, time and place (Isaiah 40:12; Nahum 1:3). God is actively present in a different way in every event in history as provident guide of human affairs (Psalm 48:7; 2 Chronicles 20:37; Daniel 5:5-6).  God is in a special way attentively present to those who call upon His name, who intercede for others, who adore God, who petition, and who pray earnestly for forgiveness (Psalm 46:1).  Supremely, He is present in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:19), and mystically present in the universal church that covers the earth and against which the gates of hell will not prevail.  Just as the omniscience of God suffers apparent paradoxes due to the limitations of the human mind, so does the omnipresence of God.  One of these paradoxes is important: the presence of God in hell, that place unto which the wicked are departed and suffer the unlimited and unceasing fury of God because of their sin.  Many argue that hell is a place of separation from God (Matthew 25:41), and if so, then God cannot be said to be in a place that is separated from Him.  However, the wicked in hell endure His everlasting anger, for Revelation 14:10 speaks of the torment of the wicked in the presence of the Lamb. That God should be present in a place that the wicked are said to be departed unto does cause some consternation. However, this paradox can be explained by the fact that God can be present because He fills all things with His presence (Colossians 1:17) and upholds everything by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) yet He is not necessarily everywhere to bless. Just as God is sometimes separated from His children because of sin (Isaiah 52:9), and He is far from the wicked (Proverbs 15:29) and orders the godless subjects of darkness to depart at the end of time to a place of eternal punishment, God is still there in the midst.  He knows what those souls suffer who are now in hell; He knows their anguish, their cries for respite, their tears and grief for the eternal state that they find themselves in. He is there in every way as a perpetual reminder to them of their sin which has created a chasm from every blessing that might be otherwise granted.  He is there in every way, but He displays no attribute other than His wrath.  Likewise, He will also be in heaven, manifesting every blessing that we cannot even begin to comprehend here; He will be there displaying His manifold blessing, His manifold love, and His manifold kindness indeed, everything other than His wrath.  The omnipresence of God should serve to remind us that we cannot hide from God when we have sinned (Psalm 139:11-12), yet we can return to God in repentance and faith without even having to move (Isaiah 57:16).

Listen, in the Bible our God reveals himself in scripture as being omnipresent as one of His primary attributes concerning His nature and His essence!

Notice Proverbs 15: 3.                                                                                                      The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

See Psalm 139: 7-10.                                                                                                           Vs. 7.  Where shall I go from Your Spirit, or where shall I flee from Your presence?      Vs. 8.  If I ascend to Heaven you are there!                                                                     If I make my bed in Sheol or Hell, you are there!

Also, note: Rev. 14: 9-11 & Rev. 20: 11-15                                                                    Vs. 9.   If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.    Vs. 10.   Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Now again, God has revealed Himself in scripture as being omnipresent, capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

See Jeremiah 23: 23&24                                                                                                  Vs. 23.  Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?                            Vs. 24.  Can any hide themselves in a secret place that I shall not see them saith the LORD.

Do not I, the LORD, fill Heaven and Earth saith the LORD?

Now notice Isaiah 7: 14.                                                                                     Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Well, here we are six days into the new year of 2019.

But also, have you thought about, that these are the final 12 months, before we begin a new decade?

In fact, in 2020 we begin the third consecutive or 10 years.

Remember, since the new millennium began or the 2000’s, we experienced the first decade from 2000 Until 2010.

Then the second decade is from 2010 until 2020.                                                         And Lord willing, we will experience a third decade from 2020 until 2030.                      If you are a child of God.                                                                                                   A committed follower of Jesus Christ.                                                                              A Spirit-filled servant of the Lord.                                                                                   Then everyone of us needs the reassurance, the hope, and the confidence that God will be with us, no matter what!

Notice Matthew 1:23 says,                                                                                               The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us!

Praise God!  Immanuel, God is with us!

However, have you or I ever thought about what does it really mean that God is with us, or with us is God?

Or, is this another Christian cliché that we some time say to one another, to sound spiritual?

What does it really mean that God is with us, or with us is God?

There is an important theological word, a very important Biblical concept that will help us better understand what it means when we say, “God is with us!”

This word is omnipresence.                                                                                           And this compound word has two parts to It.                                                                    •The first part or the prefix is omni, which comes from the Latin that means ‘all.’  Or 'boundless’!                                                                                                                         •The second part of the word is ‘presence’!  Referring to existence or manifestation.

Therefore, a good definition of the word omnipresence would be something or someone who is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

For example, here on earth ‘air’, or ‘oxygen’, or ‘sound,’ all three are omnipresent!  That is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

However, omnipresence when it is in reference to God means His divine presence encompasses all creation both seen and unseen so, to say that God is omnipresent is to say that God is present everywhere.  Yet, God is not totally immersed in the fabric of creation, for that is called ‘Pantheism’.   But, God's presence is continuous throughout all of creation, though it may not be revealed in the same way at the same time to people everywhere.  At times, He may be actively present in a situation, while He may not reveal that He is present in another circumstance in some other area.  The Bible reveals that God can be both present to a person in a manifest manner (Psalm 46:1; Isaiah 57:15) and present in every situation in all of creation at any given time (Psalm 33:13-14).  Omnipresence is God's characteristic of being present to all ranges of both time and space.  Although God is present in all time and space, God is not locally limited to any time or space.  God is everywhere and in every now.  No molecule or atomic particle is so small that God is not fully present to it, and no galaxy so vast that God does not circumscribe it.  But if we were to remove creation, God would still know of it, for He knows all possibilities, whether they are actual or not.  God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order of things, in every manner, time and place (Isaiah 40:12; Nahum 1:3).  God is actively present in a different way in every event in history as provident guide of human affairs (Psalm 48:7; 2 Chronicles 20:37; Daniel 5:5-6). God is in a special way attentively present to those who call upon His name, who intercede for others, who adore God, who petition, and who pray earnestly for forgiveness (Psalm 46:1). Supremely, He is present in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:19), and mystically present in the universal church that covers the earth and against which the gates of hell will not prevail.  Just as the omniscience of God suffers apparent paradoxes due to the limitations of the human mind, so does the omnipresence of God. One of these paradoxes is important: the presence of God in hell, that place unto which the wicked are departed and suffer the unlimited and unceasing fury of God because of their sin. Many argue that hell is a place of separation from God (Matthew 25:41), and if so, then God cannot be said to be in a place that is separated from Him.  However, the wicked in hell endure His everlasting anger, for Revelation 14:10 speaks of the torment of the wicked in the presence of the Lamb.  That God should be present in a place that the wicked are said to be departed unto does cause some consternation. However, this paradox can be explained by the fact that God can be present because He fills all things with His presence (Colossians 1:17) and upholds everything by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) yet He is not necessarily everywhere to bless.  Just as God is sometimes separated from His children because of sin (Isaiah 52:9), and He is far from the wicked (Proverbs 15:29) and orders the godless subjects of darkness to depart at the end of time to a place of eternal punishment, God is still there in the midst. He knows what those souls suffer who are now in hell; He knows their anguish, their cries for respite, their tears and grief for the eternal state that they find themselves in. He is there in every way as a perpetual reminder to them of their sin which has created a chasm from every blessing that might be otherwise granted.  He is there in every way, but He displays no attribute other than His wrath.  Likewise, He will also be in heaven, manifesting every blessing that we cannot even begin to comprehend here; He will be there displaying His manifold blessing, His manifold love, and His manifold kindness indeed, everything other than His wrath.  The omnipresence of God should serve to remind us that we cannot hide from God when we have sinned (Psalm 139:11-12), yet we can return to God in repentance and faith without even having to move (Isaiah 57:16).

Listen, in the Bible our God reveals Himself in scripture as being omnipresent as one of His primary attributes concerning His nature and His essence!

Notice Proverbs 15: 3.                                                                                                      The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

See Psalm 139: 7-10.                                                                                                         Vs. 7.  Where shall I go from Your Spirit, or where shall I flee from Your presence?        Vs. 8.  If I ascend to Heaven you are there!                                                                       If I make my bed in Sheol or Hell, you are there!

Also note: Rev. 14: 9-11 & Rev. 20: 11-15                                                                    Vs. 9.   If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.         Vs. 10.  Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Now again, God has revealed Himself in scripture as being omnipresent, capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

See Jeremiah 23: 23&24                                                                                                Vs. 23.  Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?                           Vs. 24.  Can any hide themselves in a secret place that I shall not see them saith the LORD.

Do not I the LORD, fill Heaven and Earth saith the LORD?

Now Notice Isaiah 7: 14.                                                                                    Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel

01-13-2019              Part 2      


Well, here we are 13 days into the new year of 2019 and so much is going on perhaps in your life, ether personally, or spiritually, or physically, or relationally with others.

Therefore, as a child of God.   As a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or as a            Spirit-filled Servant of the Lord, everyone of us needs the reassurance, the hope, and the confidence, that God will be with us, no matter what!

Again, notice Matthew 1: 23.

I believe that it is the angel Gabriel who is speaking to Joseph according to vs. 20.

But notice vs. 23, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us!                                                                                Praise God!  Immanuel, God is with us!

However, do you or I really know what that means, that God is with us, or with us is God?

I mean, it sounds good! Uplifting!  Encouraging!                                                                But what should it mean to us, that God is with us?

For a few minutes allow me to touch on something that was briefly said last Sunday about how we can let our preconceived ideas, or, our unscriptural expectations that we may have which could cause you and me to redefine what it really means that God is with us!

For example, we said last Sunday how that we often expect and assume because God is with us, that means the LORD is present to fix whatever is wrong in my life!  Or, whatever is causing unhappiness in my life, the LORD is present to remove It!   Or, whatever the unmet needs or desires in my life, the LORD is present to provide it!

Yet, each one of those expectations or assumptions I just mention, can come from our own preconceived Ideas.

Or, maybe from my own unscriptural expectations when it comes to what the Bible teaches me about the presence of the LORD!

Or, possibly from a certain Bible teacher’s incorrect teaching of the Bible about the presence of the LORD! 

For example, statements like these, “God has showed up, to show out, for truly the LORD is in this place!”

Or, another might say, “I got a feeling that everything is going to be all right, because God is with you and me today!”

And yet, we notice that the presence of the LORD in our particular circumstance or situation, has cause nothing to change, nor has His presence been able to fixed anything!

Nor has He provided for the situation in the way I thought He would!                          Nor has He healed as I thought He might!                                                                       Nor has He blessed in the way that I ask Him to!

And it is at this point we are extremely vulnerable, for the enemy Satan, or His demons will strongly attack us with all kinds of negative thoughts, ideas, and feelings such as, you are all alone, there’s no hope here, for you have been forsaken and abandoned by God!

You are no longer loved by God, nor are you wanted by Him!                                    You better take matters into your own hands before things get worse.  Look what has happened, look what is going on!                                                                                Why not reject God because He has surely rejected you!

And again, the enemy, or His demons can attack us with all kinds of negative thoughts, Ideas, and feelings like, look at all that you’ve done for the LORD!  Or, how you have sacrificed and have gone without!                                                                                 This is not right!                                                                                                              This is not fair!                                                                                                                   You deserve better than this!

Listen, and if you and me do not know how to respond Biblically, scripturally, and Godly to any of these things mention to us by the enemy, then he will shipwreck our faith, he will defeat us, and he will destroy our testimony!

May I introduce another theological term or concept that we should know something about that will help us understand about God‘s presence.

The Sovereignty of God!

Here are some meaning of the words ‘Sovereign’ or ‘Sovereignty’.                                  •The right to do or choose as one wills.                                                                                    •To have complete control.

Some synonyms,                                                                                                            •Supremacy.                                                                                                                         •Independent.                                                                                                                       •Unaccountable.                                                                                                                 

Notice Daniel 4: 34&35.                                                                                                                          Here we have an example of God’s sovereign recognized. 

Vs. 34.  And at the end of the time, I Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me;                                                                                    And I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,                                                                              And His kingdom is from generation to generation.                                                      

Vs. 35.  All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and He does according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the earth.  No one can restrain His hand. Nor say unto Him, what have you done?

Now see Genesis 31: 3.                                                                                                                       Then the LORD said to Jacob, Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.                                                                                           

This too, is making reference to God’s sovereign presence.                                              In fact, in vs. 3, with you can mean, along, beside, close or among.

See Joshua 1: 9.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

This is making reference to God’s sovereign presence.

See Deuteronomy 31: 6.  Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.

Now, this is making reference to God’s sovereign presence.

See Psalms 23: 4.                                                                                                            Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.                                                And this is making reference to God’s sovereign presence.

And finally, Psalms 46: 7&11.                                                                                                                    Vs. 7.  The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah                Vs. 11.  The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah

These are making reference to God’s Sovereign presence.

01-20-2019     Part 3     Sunday

So, for the last two Sundays in this new month, at the beginning of this new year we have needed the reassurance, the hope, and the confidence, that our God will be with us, no matter what!  Because no matter what happens internationally, or nationally, or locally, or relationally, or even personally our God is truly with us.

Now again let’s notice Matthew 1.  But this time let’s begin at vs. 20.  Because here was an individual who needed to know that God was with him, when he was faced with a very difficult decision because of an unusual circumstance.

Show you what I mean!

Vs. 20.  But while (he) Joseph thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary as your wife to be, because that which is conceived in her is of The Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                               Vs. 21.  And Mary will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people, and all people from their sins.                                                                 Vs. 22.  So, all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by The Lord through the prophet Isaiah who said:                                                                                                                                       Vs. 23.  Behold, the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call His name (Immanuel), which is translated, God with us.

And with God’s help, we have been able to learn what this wonderful phrase at the end of vs. 23 God with us is really saying!

Listen, for you and I to know and believe that God is with us is an invaluable revelation and insight, because it reveals to us about the sovereign omnipresence of the LORD our God!

In fact, these two theological words sovereignty and omnipresence are only just two of the many major attributes concerning God.

And on the first Sunday of this month, one of the things we focused upon was the omnipresence of the LORD.                                                                                         Then last Sunday, one of the things we focused upon was the sovereignty of God.

And therefore, to summarize what we have learned so far.

God’s omnipresence allows Him to be anywhere, at any time, with anyone.

And yet, His sovereignty will determine what He will do or not do, where ever He may be, and whomever He may be with!

Also, we learned that God with us does not mean the absence of problems, or trials, or difficulties!

But, it does mean that His plan, His purpose, His will, will be done and not just ours!

This afternoon lets finish up our brief miniseries as we continue in this New Year, as we observe from the Bible three examples featuring the Lord Jesus Christ who desires to be our Immanuel no matter what!

So, our first example that features the Lord Jesus Christ who desires to be our Immanuel we must know us to fear, or to be discourage, or to be overwhelm.  Why, Immanuel, God is with that neither the conditions, nor the circumstances, nor the situations should cause you and I even in the storms of life! 

See Luke 8:                                                                                                                      Vs. 22. Now it happened on a certain day, that Jesus got into a boat with His Disciples.  And the Lord said to them, Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.  So, they launched out.                                                                                                                 Vs. 23.  But as they sailed, Jesus fell asleep.  But a windstorm came down onto the lake, and they and the boat were filling with water and were in jeopardy, or in serious trouble.                                                                                                                            Vs. 24.  And they came to Jesus and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing, or we are going to die. Then Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water.  And they stopped, and there was a calm!                                    Vs. 25.  Then Jesus said unto them, where is your faith?  But His Disciples were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, who can this be?  Because He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!

NOTE: Remember that, God with us does not mean the absence of problems, or trials, or difficulties!                                                                                                                  But it does mean that His plan, His purpose, His will, will be done and not just ours!

Now our next example that features the Lord Jesus Christ who desires to be our Immanuel is, no matter how great the task, or how difficult the mission, we still can be effective ministers for the Lord.

Why, Immanuel, God is with you and I especially when His priorities becomes our priority!

See Matthew 28:                                                                                                                    Vs. 18.  And Jesus came and spoke to the disciples saying, all authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth.                                                                            Vs. 19.  Go, Therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, or teach all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,          Vs. 20. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen.

And lastly, our final example that features the Lord Jesus Christ who desires to be our Immanuel, because we are not to put our confidence in man, nor are we to be dependent upon others who are here today and gone tomorrow!  Why, Immanuel, God is with you and I even when others forsake, forget, or fail us!

See II Timothy 4:                                                                                                           Vs. 16.  The Apostle Paul is speaking, at my first defense (or court trial) no one stood with me, but all forsook me.  May it not be charged or held against them.                     Vs. 17.  But The Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message (the Gospel) might be preached fully through me, so that all the Gentiles might hear.  And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.                                                                               Vs. 18.  And The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and preserve me for His Heavenly Kingdom. To Him be Glory forever, and ever. Amen!

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“God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

02-10-2019     Part 1    

Let me read first, St. John 8:                                                                                                        Vs. 31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, if you abide in My Word you are My disciples indeed.                                                                Vs. 32. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

With God’s help this afternoon, we want to come back to a topic that we have entitled, “You Shall Know The Truth, And The Truth Shall Set You Free!” Amen!

Now as we return to this particular topical series, I am hopeful that it will help us to better understand God’s will, plan, and purpose for our lives, for our families, for our culture, and for our society as a whole!

But also, that this particular topical series will help us to Biblically address some of the issues, the concerns, and the controversies that are a part of our world today.

For example, you might recall that back in February of 2018, we initiated an informative subject that dealt with the subject of ‘Forgiveness and Unforgiveness”!

And to our surprise we found out both personally and culturally that the subject of forgiveness especially, is not always acceptable for most.

Now this afternoon with God’s help we want to begin a new subject that we might find both personally and culturally challenging and controversial especially in our world today.

But we need to, with the love of God and with the truth of God’s Word, address Biblically this subject which we want to call, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

Now notice Genesis 1:                                                                                                                  Vs. 26. Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.                                                       Vs. 27.  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

Also See Genesis 2:                                                                                                                               Vs. 18. And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.                                                                                                               Vs. 21.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. And he slept the Lord took one of his ribs or, took of his side, and then closed up the flesh in its place.                                      Vs. 22.  Then the rib or the side which the Lord God had taken from man, the Lord made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

Vs. 23.  And Adam said: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.                                                                       Vs. 24.  Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.                                                                                                                Vs. 25.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

And lastly, see Matthew 19:                                                                                                           Vs. 4.  And Jesus answered and said to them, Have you not read that He (God) who made them at the beginning, made them male and female.                                                                              Vs. 5.  and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

•Did you notice God’s divine design of heterosexual marriage that it is not to be transient, nor transitional?   •Did you notice God’s divine design of a set sexual orientation that it is not to be transient, nor transitional?•Did you notice God’s divine design of a set sexual identity that it is not to be transient, nor transitional?

But something happened that caused the human family to go from order to disorder. From obedience to disobedience.  From submission to rebellion.

Now see Genesis 3:                                                                                                                          Vs. 1.  Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And the serpent said to the woman, has God indeed said that you, shall not eat of every tree of the garden?             Vs. 2.  And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;      Vs. 3.  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.                                                                                  Vs. 4.  Then the serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die. “God is mistaken!”              Vs. 5.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. “God is withholding from you all knowledge and complete autonomy.”         Vs. 6.  So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food.  That the tree was pleasant to the eyes. And it was a tree desirable to make one wise.  So, Eve took of its fruit and ate.  And she also gave to her husband with her and Adam ate.                                                                  Vs. 7.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Quote Romans 5:                                                                                                                              Vs. 12.  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through, or because of sin. And thus, death spread to all men, because all sinned.                                                       Vs. 19a.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners!

Once Again, something happened that caused the human family to go from order to disorder. From obedience to disobedience.  From submission to rebellion.

In fact, you might recall that on June the 26th, 2015, and interestingly that this June, it will be four years since the United States Supreme Court Justices at that time, voted in favor of same- sex marriages which must be legalized in all 50 States.

And thus, redefining the definition of marriage in the United States, as not being for only a man and a woman, but now is recognized and legalized for those who are of the same gender who desire to be married.

But it didn’t stop there!

For it appears at The Public School System throughout America must now accommodate and re-educate the next generation to be more excepting, more open to the idea that heterosexual marriage, sexual orientation, and sexual identity is transient or transitional!

Show you what I mean.

Now, The California Family Council Reveals to us how The California Department of Education’s proposed changes to K-12 health curriculum.

“The California Department of Education is asking parents to review its proposed K-12 health curriculum framework, which seeks to radically transform the way public school students think about gender and sexuality. This written set of goals and objectives, revamped in light of the state’s new LGBT affirming sex education law (the Healthy Youth Act), will guide curriculum development over the next decade.

Yet, children of Christian and other conservative minded parents will find many of the new health lessons in conflict with the values taught at home

(Parents have until Friday, January 11 to submit their comments. See below for details) “Dispelling myths about gender expectations in kindergarten can lay the groundwork for acceptance, inclusiveness, and an anti-bullying environment in schools,” the proposed framework states. “Gender non-conformity and physical characteristics are often at the root of many forms of bullying.”

Chapter 3: Transitional Kindergarten Through Grade Three.  So, what are these myths about gender that even kindergarteners must unlearn? Not just the color, toy, and activity preferences the two sexes tend to be attracted to, but “stereotypes” that involve dress and body parts. The framework encourages teachers to read students books like, “My Princess Boy,” about a boy who likes pink dresses and to invite adults, who identify as transgender, to the class as guest speakers.

When it comes to health lessons about body organs, the framework tells teachers to dispel the myth that male and female reproductive organs are different.

The framework states: When providing instruction on sexual and reproductive organs, teachers can introduce the concept that gender does not always match the sexual and reproductive organs described. For example, teachers may share, “In the classroom, we may use the term ‘female reproductive organs’ but some people who identify as male have these organs. The actual anatomical name for organs is utilized.

Chapter 3: Transitional Kindergarten Through Grade Three. While these new gender lessons start in kindergarten, they are reinforced in every grade. The entire proposed K-12 health curriculum framework, you can read here, consists of nine chapters with several appendixes. It includes 842 mentions of the words ‘sex’, ‘sexual’, and ‘sexuality’; 239 mention of ‘gender’, with “67” in the 4th -6th grade-framework alone; and two mentions of ‘abstinence’ in the entire 1,000-page health framework.

Although Christian parents would find many objections within this framework, listed below are some of the most objectionable sections.

The framework recommends a K-3 book on gender identity titled, “Who Are You?” Which introduces kids to the gender spectrum. According to the lesson plan for the book, kids get to work the three layers of “The Gender Wheel” and learn how grown-ups look at a baby’s body when they are born and make a guess. This is the sex assigned at birth: male or female. Sometimes people get this confused with gender. But gender is much more than the body you were born with.

Chapter 3: Transitional Kindergarten Through Grade Three.  The framework introduces high school kids to the dangers of “spiritual abuse” listed among other types of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical) teens must avoid. Examples of religious abuse include, “Forcing others to adhere to rigid gender roles. Not allowing a partner to do things they enjoy.”

Chapter 6: Grades Nine Through Twelve.  The framework tells middle school teachers to use gender neutral language for romantic relationships and to eliminate words that imply teens have only one sex partner at a time.  “In order to be inclusive: the term “partner” should be used in place of or in addition to “boyfriend/girlfriend” or “husband/wife” to avoid assumptions about gender and sexual orientation. Some students may be non-monogamous and the term “partner(s)” may also be used to be more inclusive.

Chapter 5: Grades Seven and Eight.  The framework introduces high school students to sexual terms such as polysexual, pansexual, and asexual.

Chapter 6: Grades Nine Through Twelve.  The framework encouraged middle school teachers to invite abortion providers as class speakers. “Guest speakers from your local public health department sexual health clinic, or local nonprofit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, may have well-informed sexual health educators and age-appropriate materials to support comprehensive sexual health education.”

 Listen, I believe the Lord is calling you and me to be different, so we can make a difference!

I believe the Lord wants you and me to take a stand for what is right and what is true!            Yet we should do it respectfully, compassionately, but without compromise.

So, notice Esther 4:                                                                                                                             Vs. 13.  And Uncle Mordecai told them to answer his niece Esther.  Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews.  Because you won’t! Vs. 14.   For if you remain completely silent at this time, then you know what relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place.  But you and your father's house will perish. Yet Esther, who knows whether you have come to the kingdom as Queen for such a time as this?

What Esther needed, what you and I need is a different mindset that will help us to be proactive and not just reactive.

For example, Romans 12: 2.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Acts 5: 28.  And the High Priest saying, did we not strictly command you not to teach in this Name?  And now look you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!            Vs. 29. But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: We ought to obey God rather than men!

Galatians 1: 10.  For, do I now persuade, or seek the approval of men or God?  Or, do I seek to please men?  For if I still want to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Joshua 24: 15.  Joshua is speaking, and if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve!  Whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Back to Genesis 3:

Notice Genesis 3:                                                                                                                                Vs. 1.  Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  And the serpent said to the woman, has God indeed or truly said, stop there.

If you think about it, the bases of our argument or our objection to same-sex marriage, or transitional sexual orientation, or transitional sexual identity, or any subject comes from the Bible the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who gives truth, understanding and discernment.

So, what do you really believe about the Bible?                                                                             And is the Bible really reliable?                                                                                                          Is the Bible actually the Word of God from God?

And finally, does the Bible have the right, the authority to tell you and me how to live my life?

So next time, and before we go any farther with this new subject, lets address and resolve the issue about the Bible itself!

02-24-2019    

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th or, if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

We are considering, “What The Bible Says And Teaches us About The Fundamentals, The basics, The Core Truth For being A Committed Follower Of Jesus Christ, Or You Would like To be One Day”.

So, this morning let's finish up our look at What The Bible Says & Teaches About How We Can be A better Witness For Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And How We Can be A More Affective Witness For Jehovah Or Yahweh Almighty? Amen!

And again, what are the primary ways we can be a witness for the LORD?                Answer, we should be both a verbal and nonverbal witness for the LORD!

But what does that mean, what does that look like?

Well, back in December of 2018, we considered what a “nonverbal witness” for the LORD should mean, and what it should look like!

Simply put, a nonverbal witness for the LORD is the repentance that God the Holy Spirit gives and that we receive, so that our lifestyle, our conduct, and our moral behavior will be transformed daily.

And therefore, God who is at work on the inside of us, who also by His Grace is changing our lifestyle, our conduct, and our moral behavior.

Now this afternoon let’s consider what it is to be a verbal witness for God.                     But what does that mean, and what should that look like?

Listen, a verbal witness for God is to be that person whom the LORD will empower world that needs to know who He really is.  And what, but they must be willing and available, because the LORD will never make us do anything.

Therefore, let me continue, a “verbal witness” for God is to be that one who continues to study regularly, and is learning God’s Word in order to share, or minister, or communicate the Gospel message about Jesus Christ unto what He has really done to make a difference in anyone who would receive Him and follow Him.

So, notice II Timothy 2: 15.                                                                                                Study to show your self-approved unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, who can rightly-dividing the Word of truth.

Listen, studying the Bible is a Spirit-lead process in order to gain the Biblical and spiritual understanding about God Himself, His ways, His will, His creation, His commandments or rules, His Salvation and His future for us.

Then having such insight, you apply what you have learned for the rest of your life.                                   Being a doer of the Word and not just a hearer, or a reader, or a studier only!

But how do we study the Bible?

Here are some steps you should know when it comes to studying the Bible!              •Set aside time, and make this a priority in your life.                                             •Praying or talking to God before, and during, and after your time in the Word together.                            •Read and study a verse, or verses in the Bible within its contexts.

For example, notice II Timothy 2: 11-15.                                                                          Vs. 11.  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.    Vs. 12.  If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. But if we were to deny Him, He also will deny us.                Vs. 13.  If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.                  Vs. 14.  Of these things, put them in remembrance, charging or commanding them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but leads to the subverting or the undermining of the hearers.  How to avoid this?                                                 Vs. 15.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

So, remember to read and study a verse, or verses in the Bible within its contexts!

•Next, read to understand, don’t just read to be reading!                                              An example, take time to look up familiar and unfamiliar words, or names, or places you are reading.           For example, the word ‘Love’.                                                                                            •Have a basic understanding of grammar.                                                                           For example, verbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, and what they are, and how they work.  Remember the Bible is a human language book that uses verbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc.

The Bible is not a book of symbols or numbers or pictures, like Hieroglyphics.                •Next, be familiar and knowledgeable about the layout of the Bible.  66 books, a library within one book.  Two Testaments, and within them various literary Genre.  For example, the Gospels, the Prophetic books, the Epistles, the Poetic Books, the Historical Books etc.               

A suggestion, read through the Bible in a one or two-year program, will help you to become familiar and knowledgeable about the layout of the Bible.                                  •Develop a basic understanding of how to access, or research, or investigate the Bible Itself by using various bible study tools such as;               •Dictionaries.                                                                                        •Lexicons.                                                                                                                              •Original language word studies books.                                                                                 •A Bible Concordance.                                                                                                           •A book on the various essential Bible doctrines.                                                                        For example, the deity of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the end times.               •A Biblical topical reference book or Bible.                                                                             This can be very helpful in getting started in a particular topic, or subject, or Interest you would like to study or know more about.                                                                        •A book on ancient world customs, or ancient history.                                                            •From time to time use other Bible translations or versions or paraphrases to help you to understand a certain passage in the Bible.                                                                      •From time to time, read a trusted Bible commentators, or better known as Bible commentaries.                 (Let me know if you need some recommendations).                                                             •Obtain a good study Bible by a reliable and balanced Bible teacher, or Pastor.              (Let me know if you need some recommendations).                                                         •Have an inquisitive mind.  Be like an Investigator Reporter who seeks to understand the facts and the truth about a matter in order to share with others.                                    •And lastly,                                                                                                                        Be Patient.                                                                                                                            Be Persistent.                                                                                                                      Be Consistent.                                                                                                                      And be Humble.

Turn to I Peter 3

Notice I Peter 3: 15.                                                                                                       But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer, or a defense to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear or respect! Wow!

At least three words will guide you and me in fulfilling this verse!                                             •Dependency.                    •Preparedness.                                                                                                        •Graciousness.                                             

Notice again, I Peter 3: 15.                                                                                               But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, stop there!

That’s Dependency!

See St. John 15: 5.  I am the Vine, you are the ranches.  He or she who abides in Me and I in them, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing!

Back to I Peter 3

Next, notice again I Peter 3: 15.                                                                                    But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, (and always be ready to give an answer, or a defense to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you).  Stop there!

That’s Preparedness!

See II Timothy 3: 14.  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,                               Vs. 15.  and know that from childhood, you have known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for Salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.                       Vs. 16.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,                                                     Vs. 17.  So that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Back to I Peter 3.

And lastly, notice I Peter 3: 15.                                                                                        But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer, or a defense to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, (with meekness and fear or respect)!

That’s Graciousness!

See Colossians 4:                                                                                                                      Vs. 3.  Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in chains,                                              Vs. 4. that I may make it known or manifest as I ought to speak.                                          Vs. 5.  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.                   Vs. 6.  Let your speech always be with Grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Listen, being a verbal witness for God is to be that One who continues to study regularly, and is learning God’s Word in order to share, or minister, or communicate the Gospel message about Jesus Christ unto a world that needs to know who He really is.  And what He has really done to make a difference in anyone who would receive Him and follow Him.

03-03-2019   Part 3  

Now this afternoon we want to come back to our new subject which we are calling, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

Now let’s do a brief review of what we have learned so far.

Because according to the Bible God’s divine design of heterosexual marriage was revealed to us in Genesis 2: 18-25 and Matthew 19: 4&5.

And there are four non-negotiable factors within God’s design for heterosexual marriage that we should know about and we should embrace.                                                                        •Heterosexual marriage design by God was to be monogamous, no bigamy, no polygamy.                                                                                                                          •Heterosexual marriage design by God was to be unbiased regardless of race, culture, age, or social-economics.   NOTE - However God’s design for heterosexual marriage is extremely bias in three areas. •Marrying anyone who is of the same gender.                                                                         •Marrying anyone within your immediate family.                                                           •Marrying anyone who is in a certain religion, or a member of a Cult, or is a new age Spiritualist, or is into the Occult, or is an Atheist or Agnostic.                                                  •Next, God’s divine design for heterosexual marriage was to be an irrevocable bond, no unbiblical divorce! NOTE - Matthew 19: 8&9.  And I Corinthians 7: 15&16.                                     •And finally, heterosexual marriage design by God was to be a lifelong covenant between a husband and a wife until physical death separates them.                    

Now, we’ve also learned from the Bible that God’s design of heterosexual orientation and heterosexual identity is also reveal to us in Genesis 1: 26&27 and Matthew 19: 4.

And by the way, the concept of sexual orientation is defined as, when someone is attracted too, and are drawn unto another person romantically, emotionally, and sexually.

And therefore, heterosexual orientation design by God was intended for both married and single individuals to be attracted to the opposite sex, and to feel drawn unto them romantically, emotionally, and sexually who are of the opposite sex.

However, heterosexual gender identity is much different.  Heterosexual gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but it’s about who You are from birth, a male or a female.

Listen, for God’s design of sexual identity is set at conception and is manifest at birth. Therefore, our sexual identity according to the Bible is not to be transient, nor transitional.  No transgenderism.  No transvestism.

Two questions.  First, what caused the human family to go from conformity to unconformity? From order to disorder?  From obedience to disobedience?  From submission to rebellion?  From clarity to confusion?

Secondly, and why has mankind over a period of time worked so hard to change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s divine design for heterosexual marriage?                                                         Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual orientation?                                                                 Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual identity?

Something must have happened!  Something must have gone terribly wrong!

Yes, it did!  Notice Genesis 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  Now, the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And the serpent said to the woman, has God indeed said that you, shall not eat of every tree of the garden?            Vs. 2.  And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;      Vs. 3.  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.                                                                                    Vs. 4.  Then the serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die. “God is mistaken!)            Vs. 5.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. “God is withholding from you all knowledge and complete autonomy.”                                                                                                                                    Vs. 6.  So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food. that the tree was pleasant to the eyes.  And it was a tree desirable to make one wise. So, Eve took of its fruit and ate.  And she also gave to her husband with her and Adam ate.                                                                      Vs. 7.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves covering.

Listen, for Adam and Eve something had changed spiritually on the inside of them.

Show you what I mean!

Now, see I John 3: 10.  In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

Listen, spiritually speaking Adam & Eve and their descendants suddenly were no longer a part of God’s parental care.  No longer in right relationship and fellowship with God Himself!

Again, for Adam and Eve something had changed spiritually on the inside of them.

See St. John 8: 44.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand firm for the truth. Why? Because there is no truth in him.  Therefore, when he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own native tongue, Because he is a liar and the father of it.

Listen, spiritually speaking Adam & Eve and their Descendants, suddenly found themselves Under a different parental care.  One who would constantly mistreat them and deceive them and would lead them to do the same thing to one another, and to do the same thing to others.  Like a bad foster care guardian who would mistreat and deceive and would lead a child to do the same thing to their siblings, and to do the same thing to other kids.

Next, spiritually speaking from now on death and sin would dominate Adam & Eve and their descendants.

See Romans 5:                                                                                                                                  Vs. 12.  Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered the world, and death through or Because of sin.  And thus, death spread to all men, because all sinned.                                          Vs. 19a.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners!

Question.  But what is sin?                                                                                                                   Simply put, sin is whatever God says sin is, those things He has revealed unto mankind in the Bible, that is what sin is!  For example, Galatians 5:19-21, also known as the works of the flesh.

So, even though my culture, or my society may disagree what God says is sin.  Or, if my family.  Or, even my own flesh may detest what God says sin is!  Nevertheless, sin is whatever God says sin is!

Listen, whatever something, not someone, but whatever something that God hates, calls, or identifies to be sinful or wrong or evil or abhorrent, then so it is according to God!

And therefore, for anyone who would rebel, disobey, transgress, alter or change what God hates, or has identifies as being sinful or wrong, or evil or abhorrent. That person or persons Has sin, or has become sinful, or is sinning against God!

See James 4: 17. Therefore, to him who knows to do good or right and does not do itto him it is Sin.

See Isaiah 5: 20.  Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

So, with the time that we have left, and with God’s help, let’s consider the earlier chapters of Genesis and what they reveal unto us about the various kinds of sins committed or practiced after Adam and Eve’s rebellion and disobedience unto God.

For example, Genesis 4:                                                                                                                       Vs. 8. Now, Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed or murdered him.                                               Vs. 9. Then the LORD said to Cain; Where is Abel your brother? And Cain said, I do not know, Am I my brother's keeper?                                                                                                            Vs. 10.  And the LORD said; What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.

Notice Genesis 4:                                                                                                                                Vs. 19.  Then Lamech (this is the great, great, great grandson of Cain), He took for himself two wives. The name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah.

Now, see Genesis 6:                                                                                                                           Vs. 5.  Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.                                                      Vs. 11. The earth also was corrupt before God and the Earth was filled with violence.

Finally, see Genesis 9:                                                                                                                  Vs. 20. And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.                                                         Vs. 21. Then Noah drank of the wine and was drunk or was intoxicated, and became uncovered or nude or naked within his tent.                                                                                                   Vs. 22. And Noah’s middle son Ham, who is the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside the tent.                                                                                                                 Vs. 23. But Shem the youngest brother, and Japheth the oldest brother, took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father.  Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's nakedness.                                              Vs. 24. So, Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son or Grandson had done to him.         Vs. 25. Then he said: Cursed be Canaan; (Not Ham the father) but a servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.

03-10-2019   Part 4  

Now this afternoon, lets continue with our current subject as we come to terms with what the Bible says about, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

And last Sunday we ask an important question, “Why has mankind over a period of time has worked so hard to change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s divine design for heterosexual marriage? “ Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual orientation?                                                    Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual identity?

Well, together we learned how the human family beginning with Adam and Eve and all their descendants including us today, went from conformity to unconformity!  From order to disorder!  From obedience to disobedience!  From submission to rebellion! From clarity to confusion!

Notice again Romans 5:                                                                                                           Vs. 12.  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death (through) or, Because of sin.  And thus, death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Question But what is sin?                                                                                                    Sin is whatever God says sin is. They are those things He has revealed unto mankind in the Bible.  For they are those things that God hates, or they are wrong, evil, abhorrent or, an abomination to the LORD, then that is what sin is!

For example, in Galatians 5: 19-21.                                                                                   Also known as, the works of the flesh which Is a short list of certain sins mentioned in other places in the Bible.                                                                                                    Vs. 19.  Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,       Vs. 20.  Idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,                                                                                                       Vs. 21.  Envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Now notice again vs. 19.  Now, the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, stop there!

Let’s take a few minutes to examine each one of these words in vs. 19, because a proper understanding of each word is so relevant to our current topic that a we are in.

I show you what I mean!

First,  Adultery.                                                                                                                       The deliberate breaking, or the intentional violation of the marriage vows by means of sexually or emotionally unfaithfulness, or infidelity, or cheating.                                                  This can be done by two individuals who are still married.                                                   Or, this can be done by an individual who is married or is separated, and they are Involved with another person who is single.

Also, there are three types of adultery.                                                                                                                       1.  Sexual adultery.                                                                                                              (Note) St. John 8: 4. The pharisees said to Jesus, Teacher this woman was caught in adultery in the very act.

2.  An emotional or, attracted adultery.                                                                           (Note) Matthew 5: 28.  Jesus is speaking, but I say to you, that whoever looks at a woman or a man to lust for them, has already committed adultery with them in their heart.                                                                                                                                 Listen, no sexual adultery has occurred at this point!                                                       But what is occurring is by an unhealthy bond or connection.  As well as, romantic feelings or, affections.  And a preoccupation or, obsession has taken over one’s mind and heart.

Remember Jesus said, Whoever, looks at a woman or a man to lust for them, has already committed adultery with them in their heart!

Lastly, the 3rd type of adultery can occur when there is no Biblical grounds for divorce or separation.      (Note) Matthew 19: 8&9.                                                                                                   Vs. 8. Jesus said to them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.                                     Vs. 9.  And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication or sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

By the way, though rarely enforced adultery in United States and in other parts of the world is considered a crime or is illegal.

(Note), Although adultery is a misdemeanor in most of the states with laws against it, some including Michigan and Wisconsin categorize the offense as a felony. Punishments vary widely by state.  In Maryland, the penalty is a paltry $10 fine.  But in Massachusetts, an adulterer could face up to three years in jail.

Next, in Galatians 5: 19 is the word ‘fornication’.                                                            Now this is a very interesting word.                                                                                         It Comes from a New Testament Greek word called, “Porneia.”

Also, from this word ‘Porneia’, we get our English words pornographic or porn.   Therefore, porneia, or fornication is defined as, any and all immoral, illicit, unlawful, unbiblical, unnatural, sexual act, or sexual stimulation or arousal with another person or persons, or with oneself, or with a non-human entity.

Fornication would include these areas of conduct, behavior, or lifestyle.                          •Premarital sex.                                                                                                           •Adultery.                                                                                                                               •Mate swapping.                                                                                                                  •Sexual orgies.                                                                                                                  •Legal or illegal prostitution with a male or female, with an adult or a minor.                   •Strip club involvement.                                                                                                           •The use of pornographic.                                                                    •Sexting.                                                                                                                          •Occultic or paganistic sexual acts.                                                                                  •Incest.                                                                                                                               •Homosexuality or Lesbianism. •Bisexuality. •Polysexuality. •Pansexuality. •Transvestitism. •Transsexualism.                  •Bestiality.                                                                                        •Sadomasochism                                                                                •Necrophilia.                                                                                       •Pedophilia.                                                                                                                          

(Note) I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                            Vs. 18.  Flee fornication or sexual immorality.  Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.                         Vs. 19.  Or, do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?                                                  Vs. 20.  For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

And Matthew 19: 9.  And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication or, sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

Next, in Galatians 5: 19 is the word ‘uncleanness’ or ‘defilement’.   Spiritual adultery or, fornication i.e., idolatry.   Which may include occultic or paganistic sexual acts or, sacrificial rituals.        

And lastly, in Galatians 5: 19 is the word ‘Lewdness’.  It comes from a New Testament Greek word called, ‘Aselgeia’, which means living without restraint, uncontrolled, unbridled desires or lust, or sexual excesses.

This means that Lewdness is doing something we know is wrong, but doing it anyway because it feels good. It denotes a pride in the sin. This can include inappropriate sexual behavior, indulging in excesses and lack of restraint in many different areas of life.

A sex addict, a nymphomaniac.  Or, one who is promiscuous, or, wants to hook up on a regular basis.            

Listen, even though my culture or, my society may reject or, resist what God says is sin.

Or, if my family, or even my own flesh may detest or disagree with, what God says sin is!  Nevertheless, sin is whatever God says sin is, and has revealed such things in the Bible!

And therefore, anyone who would rebel, or disobey, or transgress, or alter, or change what God hates, and has identifies as being sinful or wrong, or evil or abhorrent.  That person or persons have sinned, or has become sinful.  Or, is sinning against God Himself!

Notice again Romans 5:                                                                                                      Vs. 12.  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through) or because of sin.  And thus, death spread to all men, because all sinned.

But in the sight of God,  just how bad are we?         

See Romans 3:                                                                                                                  Vs. 9. What then?   Are we better than they?  Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.                                            Vs. 10. As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one.                                      Vs. 11. There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.                Vs. 12. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.                                                                               Vs. 13. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips.                                                                           Vs. 14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.                                                   Vs. 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood;                                                                          Vs. 16. Destruction and misery are in their ways;                                                             17. And the way of peace they have not known.                                                               18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.                                                                   23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

And Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Listen, death and sin would dominate Adam & Eve and their descendants until the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

In fact, notice the hope that is given to us in Romans 5:                                               Vs. 17.  For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of Grace and of the gift of righteousness, will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.             Vs. 18.  Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one man's righteous act the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life.                      Vs. 19.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.

So, who is this one that is being spoken of, over and over again who can save us, who can change us, who can forgive us?                                                                                                      

Now, notice St. John 3Vs. 16.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.                                                                  Vs. 17.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Now, notice St. John 1: 29.  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Also, see I Timothy 1: 15.  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

03-17-2019   Part 5  

Now this afternoon, lets continue with our current subject as we come to terms with what the Bible says about, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

So, with God’s help, we have been answering the question, “Why has mankind or human beings from various cultures and over a vast period of time, why have we  worked so hard to change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s divine design for heterosexual marriage? “                                   Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual orientation?                                                    Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual identity?

Well, together we have been learning how the human family beginning with Adam and Eve and all their descendants including us today, we have been and we still are affected by sin and death which has led us from conformity to unconformity!  From order to disorder!  From obedience to disobedience!  From submission to rebellion! from clarity to confusion!

Notice again Romans 5:                                                                                                       Vs. 12.  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death (through) or, because of sin.  And thus, death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Listen, death and sin would dominate, control, isolate Adam & Eve and their descendants until the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ which paid in-full our sin debt that we could never pay, nor could we ever atone for, nor would we be able to satisfy God’s Holy & righteous standards and commands.

See Romans 5:                                                                                                                 Vs. 19.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.  But how?

Turn to Romans 10:

See Romans 10:                                                                                                               Vs. 9.  That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus or Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised or resurrected Him from the dead, you will be Saved.       Vs. 10.   For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth vs. confession is made unto salvation.                                                                                         Vs. 13.   For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

However, notice vs. 14 for it raises some important questions! Vs. 14.  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a Preacher or a witness?

In fact, in Romans 1: 15-17, the Apostle Paul shares the answer which is, “Personal Involvement“.   Show you what I mean!

Turn to Romans 1:                                                                                                             Vs. 15.  The Apostle Paul is speaking, so as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you who are in Rome also.

Stop here and explain about the Roman Empire the Gospels and New Testament times. Its problems and its excesses that led to its downfall.

Some of these things are very similar to what is happening in the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries.

For example;                                                                                                                     •The devaluating of human Life.  Whether it was the unborn or children, or the elderly they were all expendable.                                                                                            Also, capital punishment by means of scourging and crucifixion.                                   The Colosseum spectacles.                                                                                            Or, the military conquest of the world of that time.                                                               •Slavery.                                                                                                                               •Government out-of-control spending.                                                                                   •Unbearable taxation throughout the empire.                                                                     •Unbridled sexuality and sexual practices.                                                                          •Idolatry, but zero tolerance for the newly found Christian faith.                                  •Corrupt leaders who could care less about the people they represented.                            

Now, the Apostle Paul continues here in vs. 16&17.                                                             Vs. 16.  For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it (the Gospel of Christ) is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek or Gentiles.            Vs. 17.  For or because in it (the Gospel of Christ) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith!

Question, could you name a sickness, or a disease or a mental or psychological disorder that you would like to see healed and eradicated?

Now imagine that you know a competent medical scientist who has come up with the cure and the means to eradicate that sickness, or disease or mental or psychological disorder!  However, there is a catch!

They need you to receive the cure for yourself first, to be a witness that this cure really works.  Then afterwards, for the rest of your days, they need your help in getting the word out so that others can know that there Is hope, that there Is help, that there is a cure!

Question would you do it?                                                                                                   •Would you devote yourself?                                                                                        •Would you inconvenience yourself?                                                                               •Would you take the risk that you might be rejected or misunderstood?                      •Yet would you be unashamedly involved and committed to warning anyone of the consequences of doing nothing!

In fact, that is exactly what the Apostle Paul is doing here in these 11 verses, vs. 15-25.

So, lets continue in verse 18.   For or, because the wrath of God is (also) revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (Why?)              Vs. 19.  because what may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has shown it to them.    Vs. 20.  For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made or created, even God’s eternal power and Godhead (or Triunity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit), so that they (mankind) are without excuse, (Why?)                                 Vs. 21.  because although they (mankind) knew God (because of His creation), they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. But became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.             Vs. 22.  Professing to be wise, they became fools,                                                                Vs. 23.  and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.                  Vs. 24.  Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,                                                                  Vs. 25.  who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature (remember vs. 23), rather than the Creator, Who is Blessed forever.  Amen.

Now may I re-read vs. 24 again!                                                                                    Vs. 24.  Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, (How?)                                                     Vs. 26.  For this reason, God gave them up unto vile passions.  For even their women exchanged or swapped for something else different than the natural use of their sexuality for what Is against nature, or against the divine design of God set forth within His creation a heterosexual union.     Vs. 27.  Likewise, also the men, leaving or abandoning the natural use of the Woman, (a heterosexual union), burned in their lust for one another.  Men with men, committing what is shameful.  And receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. Wow!                                                        Vs. 28.   And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, (reprobate mind) to do those things which are not fitting; or right, appropriate, normal, or natural!

So, in what other did this manifest as well?                                                                    Well, notice vs. 29, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,

Vs. 30.  backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Vs. 31.  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;                             Vs. 32.  Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death.  Not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them, (remember vs. 26-31).

Now turn to I Corinthians 6.    

So then, what is the Ultimate Consequence For rebelling and rejecting God Standards and His Commands?

See I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                            Vs. 9.  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,                          Vs. 10.  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (Stop There)!

Notice I Corinthians 6: 9 again from the NKJV.                                                              Vs. 9. Do you not know that the unrighteous will-not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites.

(The NLT) I Corinthians 6:9 says, Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality.

(The KJV) I Corinthians 6:9 says, Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, *nor effeminate, *nor abusers of themselves with mankind.

•’Effeminate’, says the KJV.  The Greek word is μαλακός or malako.  Which can mean a boy kept for homosexual relations with an adult man. (Pedophilia).  Or, an adult male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness, such as prostitution with either male or female.

Next, abusers of themselves with mankind, says the KJV.  A Strong's Definitions -The Greek word is ἀρσενοκοίτης or arsenokoítēs. Which can mean a Sodomite, or one who lies with a male as with a female, a homosexual.

Now vs. 10 continues.  Nor, thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God.                                                                  Vs. 11.  But such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.         

Imagine you now know the LORD in a personal relationship, and He has the cure and the means to eventually eradicate Satan, sin, death, sickness and disease, hell and evil!

However, there is a catch!

God needs you and I to receive the cure for ourselves first, to be a witness that this cure really works. Then afterwards for the rest of our days, He needs our involvement in getting the word out so that others can know that there is hope, that there is help, that there is a cure!

Question would we do it?                                                                                                   •Would we devote ourselves?                                                                                             •Would we inconvenience ourselves?                                                                                    •Would we take the risk that we might be rejected or misunderstood?                        •Yet would we be unashamedly involved and committed to warning anyone of the consequences of doing nothing!

03-24-2019   Part 6   

Again, this afternoon lets continue with our current subject which we have called, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

And with God’s help, we have been answering some very important questions with the help of the Bible, so we can better understand why has mankind, human beings from various cultures Including our own.  Why have we worked so hard over time to change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s Divine Design for heterosexual marriage?                                                                                                   Or, God’s Divine Design for heterosexual orientation?                                                    Or, God’s Divine Design for heterosexual identity?

Because unfortunately at the core of all this desire for change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s Divine Design is Deception, Disobedience, and Defiance, this according to the Bible.

Now notice I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                   Vs. 9.  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.               Vs. 10.  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God Vs. 11.  But such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Listen, in vs. 11.  The Apostle Paul was telling this Congregation of Believers although they were far from perfect.

Yet, by the Grace of God, they had experienced transformation from within, which lead to a change in their lifestyles.

So then, they were not just a Christian ‘Hyphen’ thief.                                                     Or, a Christian ‘Hyphen’ Adulterer.                                                                                      Or, a Christian ‘Hyphen’ Fornicator.                                                                                    Or, any of the other things that was mentioned here in verses 9 &10!

Instead they had experienced divine transformation.                                                     •They are no more a Thief!                                                                                                 •They are no more an Adulterer!                                                                                      •They are no more a Fornicator.

Now, this doesn’t mean that they did not struggle from time to time!                                  Nor, does it mean that there were those who were not tempted at times.                   Nor, does it mean at times unfortunately some of them did give into temptation, and sinned against God.

But here is what it does mean!                                                                                           Immediately by the Holy Spirit who indwells all Believers, they did experience conviction and correction in their hearts.

Which then led them to acknowledge and confess their sins unto God.                       Which then led them to repentance and being an overcomer, and not just being overcome.

Listen, they experienced a true change within their identities, that affected their spirit, soul, and bodies.

Notice vs. 11 again, but such were some of you!                                                            But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Wow!

Now, there are some Christian and non-Christians that would argue and say, that in I Corinthians 6: 9&10, and in other places of the New Testament, including the Gospels, that the word homosexual, or homosexuality is not mentioned in the original King James Bible.

Some say, its only in the newer translations of the Bible!                                              But it is not in the authorized King James Version of the Bible.                                       And therefore, how can homosexuality be a sin if it’s not mentioned in the Bible?

Is this true?                                                                                                                     Yes, and no!                                                                                                                       With God’s help, let me see if I can explain.

First, let me read from the KJV for I Corinthians 6: 9. Listen, be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, *nor effeminate, *nor abusers of themselves with mankind.

So, it is true.                                                                                                                      Neither the words homosexual, or homosexuality is mentioned in the original King James Bible.       And also, it is true in the newer translations of the Bible the words homosexual or homosexuality are used.

For example, from the NKJV, I Corinthians 6: 9 says,                                                    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites.

Now, from the NLT, I Corinthians 6: 9 it says, don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality.

However, it is not true that in the original King James Bible, homosexuality is not referred to!

It’s just that the English translators of that day, they used other words from their time to describe and to refer to the practice of homosexuality.

Let me read again from the KJV for I Corinthians 6: 9 which says, be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, *nor effeminate, *nor abusers of themselves with mankind.                        •Effeminate, says the KJV, comes from a Greek word, μαλακός or malako.              Which can mean a boy kept for homosexual relations with an adult man. (Pedophilia).      Or, an adult male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness, such as prostitution with either male or female.

•Next, abusers of themselves with mankind, says the KJV.                                                  A Strong's Definition is the Greek word ἀρσενοκοίτης or arsenokoítēs.                              Which can mean a Sodomite or one who practices sodomy.                                             Which can either be between two same-sex individuals Bisexual.                                               It can be between two heterosexual individuals.                                                                And it can be between two individuals who are, Pansexual, or Polysexual.

Now, there are some Christian and Non-Christians that would argue and say, that in other places of the New Testament, that the word Homosexual, or homosexuality is not mentioned in the original King James Bible.

Some say, its only in the newer translations of the Bible!                                            

But it is not in the authorized King James Version of the Bible.                                            And therefore, how can homosexuality be a sin if it’s not mentioned in the Bible?          Is this true?

Let me read from the KJV for I Timothy 1: 9&10.                                                          Vs. 9.   Knowing this, that the Law of God is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,                                                                                                                    Vs. 10.  For whoremongers, (for them that defile themselves with mankind), for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.

And yes, again it is true in the newer translations of the Bible the words homosexual or homosexuality are used.

For example, let me read from the NIV for I Timothy 1: 9&10.                                      Vs. 9.  We also know that the Law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,        Vs. 10.  for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.

Also, let me read from the NKJV for I Timothy 1: 9&10.                                              Vs. 9.  knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,                              Vs. 10.  For fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.

However, it is not true that homosexuality is not referred to in other places in the New Testament.

Homosexuality is referred to in other places in the New Testament by the translators of the King James Version.  They use words that were familiar to their day.

Vs. 10.  For example, let me read again from the KJV of I Timothy 1: 10.                   For whoremongers, (for them that defile themselves with mankind).  Stop there!

The word ‘whoremongers’, from a Strong's Definition, πόρνος pórnos, which can mean, a male or female fornicator acting sexually lewd.                                                           Or, it can refer to a male who prostitutes their body for hire, to fulfill the lust of others. a Gigolo, or an escort.

But now notice the next words in vs. 10 KJV, “For them that defile themselves with mankind!”

A Strong's Definition is again, the Greek word ἀρσενοκοίτης or arsenokoítēs.                   Which can mean a Sodomite or one who practices sodomy.                                            Which can either be between two same-sex individuals.                                                  It can be between two heterosexual individuals.                                                          And it can be between two who are Bisexual, Pansexual, Or Polysexual.

Now, there are some Christian and non-Christians that would argue and say, that in the Gospels, that the word homosexual, or homosexuality are not mentioned in the original King James Bible.

And again, some would say its only in the newer translations of the Bible, but it is not in the authorize King James Version of the Bible.                                                                     And therefore, how can homosexuality be a sin if it’s not mentioned in the Bible?   Is this true?

Let me read from the KJV For Matthew 19: 9. Jesus is speaking, and I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

So yes, it is true, that in the newer translations of the Bible the words homosexual or homosexuality are used.

For example, l me read from the NKJV concerning Matthew 19: 9.  Now Jesus is speaking, and I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

But again, it is not true that homosexuality is not referred to In the Gospels.

Homosexuality is referred to in the Gospels by the translators of the King James Version, however they use words that were familiar to their day.

Again, notice the KJV for Matthew 19: 9, Jesus is speaking, and I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication.  Stop right there!

Listen, fornication is from the Greek word, ‘Porneia’, that we have seen before.

Remember, Porneia, or fornication is defined as, any and all immoral, illicit, unlawful, unbiblical, unnatural, sexual act, or sexual stimulation or arousal with another person or persons, or with oneself, or with a non-human entity.

Now, one last area we should consider.  Because there are some Christians who are uninformed or misinformed.

And there are some so-called “Professing Christians,” who unfortunately are religious or they are coming from a new-age spirituality, but they are still unsaved according to the Bible.

And, there are non-Christians in general as well.

But there are those who would say that the Bible supports the idea of an alternative lifestyle such as a bisexual relationship that they say supposedly existed between David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul (is this true)?

Let me read to you some information from a Bible study series conducted by the Metropolitan Community Church.

In which they said that “the Bible shows that the blessing of the Lord can rest on a homosexual.

And they gave as an example David, who was a man after God's own heart, and who they think obviously had a relationship with Jonathan the son of King Saul."

And by the way, The Metropolitan Community Church, founded by Troy Perry Back in the late 60s, which then was the first openly Gay Protestant Denominational Church in Los Angeles.

But since then they have become an openly LGBTQ Church.  And they also have other satellite churches throughout the United States and around the world.

Now, The Metropolitan Community Church Points out in the Bible that in I Samuel Chapter 18,            and in I Samuel chapter 20,                                                                                                    and in II Samuel chapter 1,                                                                                                    is sufficient evidence to support their point of view about David and Jonathan.

So, with the time we have left, lets briefly consider the Metropolitan Community Church’s point of view with the help of the Bible, and then you can make up your own mind about the matter.

Now, here in the opening chapter of I Samuel 18, both David and Jonathan apparently had a chance to meet and had an immediate connection, and a mutual respect for one another, even though they never met before.

Listen, even though Jonathan was the king’s son, and the likely successor of his father’s kingdom, Jonathan never felt jealous over David’s victory against Goliath in chapter 17, unlike his father.

Also, Jonathan never let his father’s suspicions and jealousies about David and his intentions, poison his mind about the man. 

Instead, Jonathan took the time to get to know David for himself, to see what kind of man he really was!  And to Jonathan’s surprise God brought a true friend, and a brother, a loyal comrade into his life.  In which, there was an immediate bond between them!

Now notice vs. 1.  Now, when he David had finished speaking to King Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.                  Vs. 3.  Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because Jonathan loved him as his own soul.             Vs. 4.  And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.

Now in vs. 4, there are some who suggest that at this point, Jonathan stripped himself and kissed David.  And David gave himself to Jonathan.

But that’s not what the Bible says happened!

Notice I Samuel 20:                                                                                                               Vs. 3. Then David took an oath again, and said to Jonathan, Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, therefore the king has said, do not let Jonathan know this, man!

See I Samuel 20:                                                                                                                  Vs. 40.  Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his armor bearer, and said to him, Go, carry them to the city lest he be grieved.  But David said, truly as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.

Now this phrase in vs. 3 which David said, "Your father certainly knoweth that I have found grace or favor in your eyes."

And there are some who suggest that this is referring to an existing homosexual relationship between them!

But actually, all that David is saying is that he recognizes the favor, the grace, and friendship that has been shown to him by Jonathan, now that his father is seeking to destroy him.

Now also, in I Samuel 20: There is another possibility for misunderstanding because of the Bible’s description of physical affection that was shown between Jonathan and David.

Show you what I

Vs. 41.  As soon as the boy had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground and bowed down three times.  And David and Jonathan kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so.

Now this phrase that says that David and Jonathan kissed one another, makes some to suggest that this was a kiss, the same kind of kiss in which a man kisses a woman, mouth to mouth.

But actually, this was not a mouth-to-mouth kiss.  But a mouth-to-forehead, or a mouth-to-cheek or neck.

This even today, is a traditional Middle Eastern show of affection and appreciation to another man, or a male relative.

But there are still some who suggest that David was definitely Bisexual, because he was married and at one point had several wives.

But they say that the true love of his life was not His wives, but It was a man, Jonathan because David said so!

Notice II Samuel 1:                                                                                                                       Vs. 25.  How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!  Jonathan was slain in your high places.          Vs. 26.  I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women.

Now, even though in vs. 26 the Bible says that David said of Jonathan after his death, “Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women!"

Listen, we should not assume that David and Jonathan had some kind of illicit relationship together.

Because remember, in that day men and women relationships were much different than they are now and especially here in the United States.

But in David’s time, women were to be isolated from men for their own safety and well-being, with the exception of a husband and/or other male relatives.

But primarily for men the exchange of ideas and concepts and feelings and camaraderie, was a man to man thing, which would surpass the relationships they had with the women in their lives.

Listen, David was only reflecting and recalling, because he still in morning for his friend.  Thankful and blessed that he was able to have with Jonathan, a marvelous friendship with another man whom he esteemed and loved, and who was a true friend to him at a time that he needed It the most, that’s all its saying.

Say something about same-sex friendships.

Quote Proverbs 18: 24.                                                                                                      A man that has friends must shew himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

03-31-2019   Part 7  

Again, this afternoon, lets continue with our current subject which we have called, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

And with God’s help, we have been answering some very important questions with the help of the Bible, so we can better understand why has mankind, human beings from various cultures including our own.  Why have we worked so hard over time to change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s divine design for heterosexual marriage?                                                                                                                                Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual orientation?                                                   Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual identity?

And therefore, with the help of the Bible and the Holy Spirit, we have come to understand that at the core of all this desire for change, and to redefine, as well as to redesign God’s design for heterosexual marriage, heterosexual orientation, or, heterosexual identity.

At the core of all this Is deception, disobedience, and defiance, this according to God, Himself!

Now, last Sunday we addressed a few areas of misunderstanding and misinformation that some people have.

For example, I cannot change, I am what I am!                                                                  Yet, doesn’t the Bible teach that a person who is in Christ Jesus because of the new birth, will experience for themselves a divine identity change.

II Corinthians 5:17 says, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Also, there be over time, an inwardly change that will affect you outwardly!

With the Holy Spirit’s help and your corporation.  Your lifestyle, your conduct, and your behavior over time will be transformed.

Remember I Corinthians 6:                                                                                              Vs. 9.  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.            Vs. 10.  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.                                                                                            Vs. 11.  But such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, the Holy Spirit!

(NOTE:) Now remember, you can learn more or review how we answered this particular question in more detail last Sunday, by checking out our church website and listening to the digital audio recording, dated 3-24-19.

Or if you prefer, on the church website you can look for the section that says “Sermon Notes,” and the date 3-24-19.

Next, last Sunday we also addressed another area of misunderstanding and misinformation that some people have.

There are some that would say that the words homosexual or homosexuality in particular, may not be a sin because is not mentioned in the original King James Bible version.

And again, you can learn more or review how we answered this particular question in more detail last Sunday, by checking out our church website and listening to the digital audio recording, dated 3-24-19.

Or, if you prefer, on the church website you can look for the section that says “Sermon Notes,” and the date 3-24-19.

And finally, we addressed one more area that there is some misunderstanding and misinformation that some people have.

Because, there are those who would say that the Bible supports the idea of an alternative lifestyle such as a bisexual relationship that they say supposedly existed between David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul.

And again, you can learn more or review how we answered this particular question in more detail last Sunday, by checking out our church website and listening to the digital audio recording, dated 3-24-19.

Or if you prefer, on the church website you can look for the section that says “Sermon Notes,” and the date 3-24-19.

Now, this afternoon we want to address another area of misunderstanding and misinformation that some people have.

For there are some that would argue and say that there are some the Old Testament passages in the Bible, that suggest that the LGBTQ lifestyle are the worst kinds of sins in the Bible.  And therefore, God‘s judgment and punishment upon the LGBTQ lifestyle is greater and more severe, because their sin is worse than any other sin In the Bible.

But is this true?

Are there some passages in the Old Testament that suggest the LGBTQ lifestyle is the worst kind of sins in the Bible?

Some say yes, and they point to a few verses in the Old Testament, for example, notice Leviticus 18:22.       Vs. 22.  You males shall not lie with a male as with a woman.  It is an abomination.

See, abomination means, this sin is worse than any other sin in the Bible.  It is the worst kind of sin in the Bible.

But that’s not true!

Actually, the word ‘abomination’ when God uses it can describe something that He strongly dislike or disapprove of.  Or that which is detestable or disgraceful according to His standards.                      The word ‘abomination’ when God uses it can describe something obscene, or is an obscenity.             The word ‘abomination’ when God uses it can describe something that is an outrage or atrocity.

Note: Proverbs 6: 16-19 says,                                                                                        Vs. 16.  These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination unto Him:        Vs. 17.  A proud look, a lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,                       Vs. 18.  A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil,          Vs. 19.  A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

Also, see Deuteronomy 22:5, a woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for or because all who do so are an abomination unto the LORD your God.

Some people say this means women are not allowed to wear slacks.

The problem with that is men didn't wear slacks in those days.  Listen, the concern is much broader than that!  The idea doesn’t just refer to clothes, it also refers to weapons, tools, jewelry and ornaments as well.

And the point God is making, whatever tends to blurs, or eliminates the distinctiveness between male & female is forbidden, and is to be avoided by God’s people, and this would include transvestism.

Question, were there certain sins that if they were practiced by God’s people during Old Testament times, they would to be punishable by death?

Is this true?                                                                                                                             Notice Leviticus 20: 13,  If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

Also, see Leviticus 20:16    If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.

Question, why was Capital Punishment for certain sins by God’s people only in the Old Testament times was implemented?

Two main reasons.

The first reason, God wants His people to be distinct or Holy from other people, from the other nations that were around them.

And when His people refuse; or try to conform and be like the people, or like the other nations that were around them.                                                                                              God allow Capital Punishment to be administer for certain sins.

The second reason why Capital Punishment for certain sins by God’s people only in the Old Testament times was implemented was because, God needed to deal with the mixed multitude that was among His people after the Exodus from Egypt.

Note: Exodus 12: 38, first identifies this group calling them “the mixed multitude.”

Still another area of misunderstanding and misinformation actually comes from the New Testament.

Some people have, suggested because of the phrase in Romans 1: 24,26, & 28, “and God gave them up!” or, “God gave them over unto a reprobate mind!”

That the LGBTQ lifestyle is the worst kind of sins in the Bible.  And therefore, God‘s judgment and punishment upon the LGBTQ lifestyle is greater and more severe, because their sin is worse than any other sin in the Bible.

But, is this true?                                                                                                        Notice Romans 1:                                                                                                               * Vs. 24.  Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.  How?                                                           * Vs. 26.   For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.                                                       Vs. 27.  Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.                                                       * Vs. 28.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind (reprobate mind) to do those things which are not fitting; Or right, appropriate, normal, or natural!                                                                          Vs. 25.  who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.                                   Vs. 20.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,                                                                                    Vs. 21.  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Vs. 22.  Professing to be wise, they became fools,                                                       Vs. 23  and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Now, the last area of misunderstanding and misinformation that we want to address is the wrong perspective that some people have because of the way God responded against the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding areas, and therefore some people suggest that this is why the LGBTQ lifestyle is the worst kind of sins in the Bible.

But is this true?                                                                                                              May I first suggest that you begin read at Genesis 18: 16-33.

Then Genesis 19: 1-38.                                                                                                            But because of time I will not read all these verses.

But, lets notice Genesis 19:                                                                                                   Vs. 4.  Now before they lay down to sleep.  Stop there!                                                      This is in reference to the two visitors Lot’s wife and Lot’s two unmarried daughters.

Now vs. 4 continues, the men of the city, the males of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house of Lot.                                            Vs. 5. And they called to Lot and said to him, where are the men (the two Visitors) who came to you tonight?Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.                                                    Vs. 6.  So, Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him.                     Vs. 7.  and said, Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!                                       Vs. 8.  See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish.

Only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.

NOTE: There’s also another similar account in Judges 19: 22-30 similar to this incident.

Now vs. 9 continues,                                                                                                          And they said, "Stand back!  Then they said!  This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; *Now we will deal worse with you than with them.                 So, they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.  Vs. 10.  But the men the Angels reached out their hands and pulled Lot back into the house with them, and shut the door.         Vs. 11.  AND they (the Angels) struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. Vs. 12.  Then the men (Angels) said to Lot, Have you anyone else here?  Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city take them out of this place!                                        Vs. 13.  For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.                              Vs. 14.  So, Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!  But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

Listen, this lets me know, that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding area, that homosexuality was not the only sin that was practice among them.

May I suggest, that all matter of sexual sin that we could imagine was prevalent among them!                                                                                                              

And not just homosexuality only!

Actually, homosexual gang rape, was just one of the many sins that was practice within the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding area!

Vs. 15.  When the morning dawned, the Angels urged lot to hurry, saying, arise, take your wife and your two unmarried daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.             Vs. 16.  And while Lot lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two

05-05-2019   Part   8

This afternoon lets return back to our very special and timely subject which we initiated back in February 2019.

And our subject is called, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

And with God’s help, we have been answering some very important questions utilizing the Bible so we can better understand why has mankind, human beings from various cultures including our own.  Why have we worked so hard over time to change, or to redefine, or to redesign God’s divine design for heterosexual marriage?                                                                                                                                           Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual orientation?                                                   Or, God’s divine design for heterosexual identity?

Therefore, with the help of the Bible and the Holy Spirit, we are able to come to an understanding, that at the core of all this desire for change, and to redefine, as well as to redesign God’s design for heterosexual marriage, heterosexual orientation, or, heterosexual Identity.

At the core of all this is, deception, disobedience, and defiance, this according to God himself!

So this afternoon has we return back to this important series, lets briefly address the matter of marriage from God‘s point of view.

We know unfortunately, there are many outside the Body of Christ, as well as inside the Body of Christ also, that would disagree, denounce, dislike what God and His Word has to say concerning His view on the subject of marriage!

But as committed followers of Jesus Christ, we need not be confused.  Nor indifferent.  And neither should we be intimidated by the culture when it comes to God’s view on the subject of marriage.

If we know for ourselves what was the original intention, purpose and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage?

In fact, does anyone here feel that they know what was God’s original intention, purpose and plan for creating and designing heterosexual marriage?

Well let’s notice Matthew 19: 4&5 for some answers!

Vs. 4.  And Jesus answered and said to the Pharisees, have you not read, that He (God in Genesis 1 &2), Who made them (Adam and Eve), at the beginning, made them male and female, the opposite gender from one another, heterosexual?                       Vs. 5.  And God said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

So, what was the original intention, purpose and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage?

First, according to Matthew 19: 4, the original intention, purpose, and plan if God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage was that because before the fall in Genesis 3, *mankind’s sexual orientation and sexual identity was divinely set.  And it was not intended to be transitional.

Again notice vs. 4, and Jesus answered and said to the Pharisees, have you not read, *that God Who made them (Adam and Eve), at the beginning, made them male and female.

Listen, mankind’s sexual orientation and sexual identity was divinely set, and was not intended to be transitional.

And therefore, the original intention, purpose and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual, or opposite gender marriage, *was because before the fall in Genesis 3, there was no same sex orientation, no same sex identity.  And neither was there any gender orientation or identity that was transitional.

So, what was the original intention, purpose and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage?

Next, according to Matthew 19: 5, the original intention, purpose, and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage was, to have human beings endowed by their creator to procreate, or reproduce after their own kind within the boundaries of marriage so to establish and maintain the traditional nuclear family model.

And by the way, the traditional nuclear family, or the conjugal family is, a family unit consisting of two married monogamous adult individuals of the opposite Gender, who may have a child, or any number of children.  Whether it be their own biological child or children who are full-blood siblings.  Or, any mixture of dependent children under their care, including stepchildren, adopted children, or foster children.

Notice Matthew 19: 5, For Jesus is quoting here Genesis 2:24, and God said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, *and the two shall become one flesh.

The term “one flesh” can mean, united, or as one.  Alike, or together.  For example, just as our human bodies are one whole entity and cannot be divided into individual parts and still be a whole. So likewise, God intended it to be within marriage. Two people are no longer two individuals, but now there is one entity both spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and financially.

However, the term “one flesh” also has another meaning as well!

See I Corinthians 6: 16, Or do you not know that the one who is joined sexually active with a harlot or a prostitute is one body with her?  For the two, God said, shall become one flesh!

Listen, physically speaking, “one flesh,” can be, but not always, but can be the result of an ongoing sexual relationship in which a child, or children are produce.

And therefore, in the child or children they now possess the unique genetic makeup of both biological parents, becoming the physical emblem of that one flesh union.

See Genesis 1:                                                                                                                 Vs. 27. So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.                                                                                       Vs. 28. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

However, for quite some time now the traditional nuclear family model has been under attack by the new, or modern, or alternative family myth, which advocates that the traditional nuclear family model is obsolete and needs to be replaced, *because of overpopulation and the rapid depletion of natural resources, housing, of the healthcare systems, or of Jobs.  And therefore, any LGBTQ Lifestyle or relationship is an acceptable alternative to the traditional nuclear family model.

Also, this myth would advocate that the traditional nuclear family model is obsolete and Needs to be replaced, *because of domestic violence issues.  And therefore, any LGBTQ lifestyle or relationship is an acceptable alternative to the traditional nuclear family Model.

Likewise, this myth would advocate that the traditional nuclear family model is obsolete and needs to be replaced, because of unwanted pregnancies or the abuse and neglect of the next generation.  And therefore, any LGBTQ lifestyle or relationship is an acceptable alternative to the traditional nuclear family model.

Lastly this myth would advocate that the traditional nuclear family model is obsolete and needs to be replaced, *because of it’s subjugation of women to an inferior role unto men.  And therefore, any LGBTQ lifestyle or relationship is an acceptable alternative to the traditional nuclear family model.

But again, according to Matthew 19: 5, the original intention, purpose, and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage was, to have human beings endowed by their creator to procreate, or reproduce after their own kind within the boundaries of marriage so to establish and maintain the traditional nuclear family model.

Again, see Matthew 19: 5, And God said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, *and the two shall become one flesh.

And finally, what was the original intention, purpose and plan of God in creating and designing heterosexual marriage?

Well, believe it or not heterosexual marriage is a spiritual and visual picture or example of Jesus Christ’s relationship, love and care for the church He is building.

Notice Matthew 16:18, Jesus Is speaking, and I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Now notice Ephsians 5:                                                                                                   Vs. 22.  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.                                       Vs. 23.  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is The Savior of the body.                                                                                            Vs. 24.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.                                                                                          Vs. 25.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,     Vs. 32.  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Now again, unfortunately, there are many outside the Body of Christ, as well as inside the Body of Christ also, that would disagree, denounce, dislike what God and His Word has to say concerning His view on the subject of marriage!

But as committed followers of Jesus Christ, we need not be confused.  Nor indifferent.  And neither should we be intimidated by the culture when it comes to God’s view on the subject of marriage.

Notice Acts 5:                                                                                                                  Vs.  27.  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council.  And the high priest asked them,                                                                                                   Vs. 28.   Saying, did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?  And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine or teachings, and intend to bring this man’s blood on us!”                          Vs. 29.  But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: We ought to obey God rather than men.

Listen, based on the Bible’s clear revelation about marriage from God‘s point of view, then we to must obey God rather than man!

If we truly believe that marriage the way God intended, is very sacred, Holy, unique and exclusive.  Just like when we ordain a person unto the ministry, or to the Pastorate, or to evangelism outreach or missions.

Listen, if we truly believe that marriage the way God intended, is better experienced and enjoyed, when the two individuals are committed followers of Jesus Christ, and I personally believe that it is!

If we truly believe that marriage the way God intended, is more than a civil or religious ceremony, and I personally believe that it is!

If we truly believe that marriage the way God intended, is more than a legal document. Or, just a piece of paper from some state or county agency, and I personally believe that it is!

If we truly believe that marriage the way God intended, is more than cohabitating.  Or being in a common-law union, and I personally believe that it is!

And, if we truly believe that marriage the way God intended, is more than a polygamous union.  Or, a long-term union with a non-human entity.  A pet, or a human-like android or robot.  But if marriage is more than a polygamous union.  Or a long-term union with a non-human entity, and I personally believe that it is!

Then, be must obey God rather than man, and accept the consequences, and yet be willing to take a stance on such a controversial subject, knowing that there will be many outside the Body of Christ, as well as inside the Body of Christ. That will disagree, denounce, dislike that God and His Word has to say concerning His view on the subject of marriage.

Therefore, with God’s help over the years as a Pastor when it comes to officiating a wedding ceremony, I would like to share with you the terms that I share with a couple during our interview session, or a getting to know one another session. That is before We start premarital counseling, and that is before the wedding ceremony Itself.

“Please be advise that there are some conditions based on what the Bible teaches, that would make it impossible for me or our church ministers, to officiate a wedding. Or to be able to utilize our church facilities and equipment here at Cornerstone Community Church.”

Vs. 1.  A Christian wanting to marry a non-Christian.                                                     Vs. 2.  Two people of the same gender.                                                                            Vs. 3. Currently cohabiting.  Unless you and your partner are willing to change your living arrangements until after your wedding.                                                                 Vs. 4.  Not willing to abstain sexually with your partner, until after the wedding.              Vs. 5.  Not willing to seek help or counseling before the wedding for a pornography addiction, or a sexual addiction of any kind.  Strip clubs, online adult websites, seeking prostitutes, etc.                                    Vs. 6.  Not willing to seek help or counseling before the wedding for domestic abuse issues in your past that you never have dealt with.  Or, you have anger management issues.  Or, if you are currently abusing or being violent with your partner right now.     Vs. 7.  Not willing to seek help or counseling before the wedding for a substance abuse problem.               Vs. 8.  If you are in the process of a divorce, but your divorce has not been finalized.  Or, you only been divorced within the last three to six months.                                                      Vs. 9.  Unable or unwilling to complete the premarital counseling sessions that we agreed upon, that are based on what the Bible teaches about marriage.

05-12-2019   Part   3 

On this very special day with God’s help, I would like us to return back to a topic that we initiated back in 2018 on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day which we called, “What Would God Have Every Mother & Father To Know & To Do For their Child Or Children, No Matter What Their Ages Are?” 

So again, this Year, We will do Like we did last Year, as we answer the question, “What Would God Have Every Mother & Father To Know & To Do For their Child Or Children, No Matter What Their Ages Are?” 

So today will be part one, as we would like to encourage and challenge all the mothers, or anyone who is in a mothering role raising up the next generation.

And LORD willing next month, on Father’s Day, we will consider part two as we hope to encourage and challenge all the fathers, or anyone who is in a fathering role raising up the next generation.

Now if you have with you a pen or a pencil, or if you can borrow one.  Also, if you noticed in your bulletin today, an insert page that says at the top of the page, NOTES!

Please have them ready because I will have for you three important words that I want you to be able to write down and remember.

So then, on this Mother’s Day, on this last Mother’s Day of this decade.  I want to especially encourage and challenge each one of you who are mothers, or you would like to be some day.

Or, perhaps you are already in a mothering role raising up the next generation in some capacity.  Like a Grandmother or Great Grandmother.  A Stepmom.  An Adopted-mom.  A Foster-Mom.  A Guardian.  A Play-Mom, or a Spiritual-Mother.  A Mentor.  An Educator.  Or, a Sunday School/Youth Dept. Teacher, Worker, or Volunteer.

Could you please write down and remember these three familiar words, because they will help you to know what God would have you to know and to do for the child or the children, no matter what their ages are.  Whether from the childhood years, or all the way into their adult years, and everything in between!

Now when you write these three words, write each word on the left side of your paper, And stack them on top of each other.

Now please write down these three words, Stop.  Look. And Listen.

Think about it, each one of these words are meant to be a reminder, a warning, a correction, and a personal call for change.

Also, each one of these three words can help anyone who is raising up the next generation to know what would God have you to know and to do for the child or the children to whom you have been divinely appointed to Influence, or to give guidance unto them no matter what their ages!

So then, let’s consider this first word, ‘Stop’!                                                                    Now the word ‘stop’ is meant to be a reminder, a warning, a correction, and a personal call for change.     One parent said it this way to remind us all, “stop trying to be your child friend. For your child has plenty of associates.  Be the parent!”

Also, “stop letting the child or children dictate to you what he or she is or, is not going to do!                        We must remind them often, as long as they live in your home, and you are the parent, the overseer who set the standard for the home, and for them.

Lastly, stop being so busy whether it is at work.  Or, an active social life, trying to live that type of life you had before the kids.

But let’s consider one more area, “stop letting anger control you!”                                  Notice Psalms 37: 8.  Stop or cease from anger, and forsake wrath (fret not thyself) in any wise to do evil or wrong.

Note: Psalms 37: 1.  Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Note: Psalms 37: 7.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Our English word ‘Fret’, can mean to worry. To be consumed by one's thoughts.  To be agitated about something or someone.                                                                         But in Psalms 37: 8,1,&7, this Hebrew verb חָרָה chârâh, which can mean, to heat oneself unto vexation.               Or, to be ablaze with anger.  Or, to be displeased, upset, very wroth, annoyed, irritated, aggravated, exasperated, in a terrible mood.

Now remember, there are three words that will help anyone who is raising up the next generation so you can know what would God have you to know and to do for the child or the children, no matter what their ages are!

Now, let’s look at the next word, ‘Look’!                                                                          Now the word ‘look’ is meant to be a reminder, a warning, a correction, and a personal call for change.

A wise parent said it this way, when you are too busy you can, and you will miss some important signs that your child is troubled, or need your help!

Because most of the time, our kids will not come out and say, “I am having problems with my homework, or with peer pressure, or I’m being bullied etc.”

Look for changes in their attitude or behavior.                                                                Don’t always assume that everything is okay with your child all because they don’t say something.            It’s up to the parent to initiate, talk too, and to reach out to each child.

But let’s consider one more area, “be watchful, be perceptive, be aware.”

Notice Colossians 4: 2.  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same matter with thanksgiving.

Now remember there, are three words that will help anyone who is raising up the next generation so you can know what would God have you to know and to do for the child or the children, no matter what their ages are!

And finally, our last word is, ‘Listen’!

Now the word ‘listen’ is meant to be a reminder, a warning, a correction, and a personal call for change.

And again, one parent said It this way, as parents we need to learn how to listen.  In most cases, it’s the parent who wants to get their say in first as if they will forget what is on their mind.

Also, parents need to have a calm and caring voice, so that child can feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts, or concerns, or feelings, or fears.

But let’s consider one more area, become a better listener!    Always try to understand where the other person is coming from, even though you may disagree.

Notice James 1: 19 & 20.                                                                                                 Vs. 19.  So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;               Vs. 20.  for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Now we ended the message by showing the two YouTube video links below, that really challenged us to consider that this may be the reasons why we don’t listen to each other well.

Please check it out and see what you think.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGhTZrv49Fw&feature=share

Screen Time By Diane Sawyer  (Part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KopB_2PxZoQ&feature=share

Screen Time By Diane Sawyer  (Part 2)

05-19-2019    Part 9   

This afternoon lets return back to our very special and timely subject called, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Heterosexual Orientation, And Heterosexual Identity.”

Now this afternoon we need to address three important matters that we can sometimes forget as committed followers of Jesus Christ.

First, you and I must always refrain from stereotyping anyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity, their political position or affiliation.  Regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs, or their sexual orientation, or their sexual identity, even though you and I may totally disagree, or we may feel that their lifestyle, position, or beliefs are wrong.  Listen, you and I as committed followers of Jesus Christ, must refrain from stereotyping anyone.

Now notice St. John 1:                                                                                                              Vs. 45.  Philip found Nathanael and said unto Nathanael, We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Vs. 46.  But Nathanael said to Philip, Can anything good come out of Nazareth?  Then Philip said to Nathanael, Come and see!

Now, the second important matter that we can sometimes forget as committed followers of Jesus Christ, is that you and I should never demonize, dehumanize, or vilify any one spiritual or religious beliefs.  Or, even their sexual orientation or identity, although you and I may totally disagree, or we regardless of their race or ethnicity.  Their political position or affiliation.  They may feel that their lifestyle, position, or beliefs are wrong.  Listen, you and I, as committed followers of Jesus Christ, you and I should never demonize, dehumanize, or vilify anyone, at any time, or anywhere!

Notice in Matthew 9: 34 how our Lord Jesus was demonized!                                       Vs. 34.  But the Pharisees said about Jesus, He casteth out devils through or by the Prince of the devils.

Now notice in St. John 8: 40&41, how the LORD was dehumanized!

Notice St. John 8:                                                                                                               Vs. 40.  Jesus is speaking, But, now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God.  Abraham did not do this.                                                Vs. 41.  Jesus is speaking, you do the deeds of your father. Then the Pharisees said unto Jesus, we were not born of fornication; We have one Father-God!

Lastly, notice in Luke 23: 1&2, how Jesus Christ was truly vilified!

See Luke 23:1&2.                                                                                                          Vs. 1.  And then, the whole multitude of the Scribes and Pharisees arose and led Jesus unto Pilate.         Vs. 2.  And they began to accuse Jesus saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute unto Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a King.

So then, with those things in mind, lets address a couple of common stereotypes or misunderstandings. You and I may have about an LGBTQ individual.

First of all, the vast majority of LGBTQ individuals are not all activist, radicals, militants, nor do they want to flaunt their sexuality in a LGBTQ parade.

Also, another common stereotype, or misunderstanding you and I may have about an LGBTQ individual is that the vast majority of LGBTQ individuals are not all Pedophiles.

Now, let’s also address so that we know as committed followers of Jesus Christ, we should never demonize, dehumanize, or vilify any one regardless of their sexual orientation or identity, even though we will feel that their lifestyle, or beliefs are wrong.

And here is a good reason why, because in most cases there is much more going-on beneath the surface of a person’s life than you or I may realize, or fully understand the dysfunction, the disappointments, and the despair that is at work in so many lives.

And here are some examples that you may, or you may not know about.  Suicide, substance abuse, or depression, is high among some, not all, but some, LGBTQ individuals.

In some cases, either social, or employment, or discrimination, or bullying and violence, or straight out societal rejection unless you are a celebrity or an entertainer, but these things are still common for some LGBTQ individuals.

Now, another major factor that is tragic when you begin to understand that for some individuals not all, but for some in their childhood years, or in their adolescent years, or in their early young adult years, some individuals may have experienced, or they are currently enduring sexual abuse, perhaps by a same-sex individual, or by a opposite sex individual or individuals.

For example, *Unwanted sexual advances, or molestations.                                                   *Rape, or attempted rape.                                                                                                    *Family incestual involvement or experimentation.                                                                 *Or exposure to different types of pornography by a same-sex individual or by a opposite sex individual or individuals.

Also, please know that some individuals in their childhood years, or in their adolescent years, or in their early young adult years, some may have experienced, or they are currently enduring sexual exploitation or trafficking.

Please know that some individuals in their childhood years, or in their adolescent years, or in their early young adult years may have, or they are currently enduring being teased, bullied, or harmed because of obvious masculine or feminine traits they may possess.

And lastly, in some cases, not all, but in some cases, because of mistreatment, or because of abuse by a male or female figure in their lives. there are some males and females who have chosen what they think is, a safe and predictable situation by being Involved with in a same sex relationship.  And many times, there are some who will want to maintain traditional masculine and feminine roles among each other.  For example, one of the individuals assumes a masculine role within the relationship. While the other Individual assumes a feminine role within their relationship.

And finally, we said there were three important matters that we can sometimes forget as committed followers of Jesus Christ.

Listen thirdly, as committed followers of Jesus Christ, we should know and understand at the core of everyone’s lifestyle choices, behavioral issues, or a sinful conduct that displeases God.  At the very core of all of this is our sinful hearts!

Now notice Mark 7:                                                                                                               Vs. 20.  And Jesus said, What comes out of a man, is that which defiles a man.        Vs. 21.  Because from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, Vs. 22.  thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.        Vs.  23.  All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

Notice Jeremiah 17: 9&10.                                                                                            Vs. 9.  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?                              Vs. 10.  I the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even I give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

See Psalms 51: 10.                                                                                                     Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.daughters, for the LORD was being merciful unto Him.  And they brought Lot out and set him outside the city.

05-26-2019   Part 2     

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th.  Or, if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

We are considering What The Bible Says And Teaches Us About, The Fundamentals, The Basics, The Core Truths For Being A Committed Follower Of Jesus Christ, (Or You Would Like to Be one Day).

Now this afternoon, let’s continue to understand What The Bible Teaches About The Very Nature Of Salvation That Comes From God, by focusing upon these eight essential elements by which God’s salvation from it’s very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for that person who believes and receives it from God.

Now the 8 essential elements are;   •Divine election.     •Regeneration/Born again.    •Justification.     •Sanctification.      •Sonship or a Personal relationship/Friendship.   •Eternal security.         •Non-conformity.     •Glorification/Resurrection.

Now, last month we considered the first essential element by which God’s salvation from its very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for the person who believes and receives it from God, and that was divine election!

Now this afternoon let’s consider the next essential element by which God’s salvation from its very beginning, until It’s completion and fulfillment for the person who believes and receives it from God, and that would be ‘Regeneration’!

Now notice Titus 3:                                                                                                         Vs. 4.  But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,    Vs. 5.  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Wow!

But what does this Phrase in Titus 3: 5b, the washing of regeneration really mean?

Basically, what we have here in Titus 3:5b, are actually two very important spiritual ideas or concepts fused together, in order to give us one important doctrine or belief!

First let’s consider briefly the word in Titus 3:5b, “Regeneration,” or “Spiritual Regeneration.”

Listen, “spiritual regeneration” literally means, a new birth.  Or being re-born or re-created.  Or, *having obtain a new kind of life that one does not currently possess become!

Remember, II Corinthians 5: 17, Although the word regeneration is never use, but it is obviously implied.      Vs. 17.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have new “spiritual regeneration!”

So then, what does the words, “the washing” mean?

Notice vs. 5.  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, *through the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

This word “washing” simply means, to bathe, to wash, to bath.

Listen, it is referring to being cleanse from a contaminate, or from contamination.

Let’s say you were accidentally exposed to something highly radioactive, and you must undergo an external decontamination, or a special washing of your body and hair.

And so in a similar way, here in Titus 3:5b is a reminder to all of us who have believed and received because of saving faith in Jesus Christ, we have experienced a spiritual internal decontamination, or a washing from a spiritual contagion, or contaminate Known in the Bible as, original sin, or the sin of Adam and Eve!

And by the way, in most English Bibles the use of the definite article, “the washing,” which helps us to know that this is a special Kind of internal spiritual washing or cleansing, and not an external washing or cleansing like some who teach and believe occurs in the waters of baptism, better known as “Baptism Regeneration.”

Notice this important quote about baptismal regeneration.

“This doctrine of baptismal regeneration ordinarily held by Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, and also by Low-Church Episcopalians, differs from that of the Roman and Greek churches, and of High-Church Anglicans, in its rejection of the idea that baptism is the instrumental cause of regeneration, and that the grace of regeneration is effectually conveyed through the administration of that rite wherever duly performed. The teaching of Scripture on this subject is held to be that salvation is immediately dependent on faith, which, as a fruit of the operation of the Spirit of God in the soul, already, in its reception of Christ, implies the regenerating action of that Spirit, and is itself one evidence of it.

To faith in Christ is attached the promise of forgiveness, and of all other blessings. Baptism is administered to those who already possess (at least profess) this faith, and symbolizes the dying to sin and rising to righteousness implicit in the act of faith (Romans. 6).

It is the symbol of a cleansing from sin and renewal by God's Spirit, but not the agency effecting that renewal, even instrumentally.  Baptism is not, indeed, to be regarded as a bare symbol.  It may be expected that it’s believing reception will be accompanied by fresh measures of grace, strengthening and fitting for the new life. This, however, as the life is already there, as nothing to do with the idea of baptism as an opus operatum, working a spiritual change in virtue of its mere administration.  In Scripture, the agency with which regeneration is specially connected, is the divine "word".  Compare 1 Peter 1:23. Without living faith, in those capable of its exercise, the outward rite can avail nothing. The supposed "regeneration" may be received in multitudes of instances is received without the least apparent change in heart or life.

The above, naturally, applies to adults; the case of children, born and growing up within the Christian community, is on a different footing. Those who recognize the right of such to baptism hold that in the normal Christian development children of believing parents should be the subjects of divine grace from the commencement (Ephesians 6:4); they therefore, properly receive the initiatory rite of the Christian church. The faith of the parent, in presenting his child for baptism, lays hold on God's promise to be a God to him and to his children; and he is entitled to hope for that which baptism pledges to him. But this, again, has no relation to the idea of regeneration through baptism.”

But here in Titus 3:5b, this is something totally different.  Because this is a God.  And not by my own individual efforts, or works, or abilities, but a spiritual washing or cleansing that only comes from God!

Show you what I mean!

Now notice Ephesians 5:                                                                                                   Vs. 25.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her (the church),      Vs. *26. that He (Christ), might sanctify and cleanse her (the church), with the washing of water by the Word, Vs. 27.  that He (Christ), might present her (the church), to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she (the church), should be holy and without blemish.

Now again, this internal spiritual washing or cleansing which has been given by God that is a part of the new birth, and cannot be by my own individual efforts, or works, or abilities. But this spiritual washing or cleansing can only come from God!

Now notice St. John 3:                                                                                                     Vs. 3.  And Jesus answered and said to Nicodemus, Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, they cannot see the kingdom of God.                                   Vs. 4.  But Nicodemus said to Jesus, How, can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?                                                 Vs. 5.  Jesus answered, Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born (or re-born) of water and the Spirit, they cannot enter the kingdom of God.  Why?                               Vs. 6.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.                                Vs. 7.  So do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again.

Now remember the word “regeneration,” or “spiritual regeneration?”

Literally means, a new birth.  Or, being re-born or re-created.  Or, *having obtain a new kind of life that one does not currently possess!

Now notice Ephesians 2:                                                                                                    Vs. 4.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,                                   Vs. *5.  Even when we were dead in trespasses (Remember vs. 1-3).                              Now vs. 5 says, even when we were dead in trespasses He made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved,                                                                               Vs. 6.   And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  How?    Vs. 8.  For by *Grace you have been *saved, through *faith, and that not of yourselves; it Is the Gift of God,   Vs. 9.  And not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Question. But, how can you really know for yourself, or concerning anyone else, that you, or another person, has really been born again, and is truly saved, on their way to Heaven?

Now Notice Matthew 7:                                                                                                    Vs. 16.  You will know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?    Vs. 20.  Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.                                                      Vs. 21.  Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.                                                          Vs. 22.  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?       

Vs. 23.  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! And again vs. 20, therefore, by their fruits you will know them.

How can you really know for yourself, or concerning anyone else, that you, or another person, has really been born again, and is truly saved, on their way to Heaven?

Now notice Galatians 5:                                                                                                 Vs. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,       Vs. 23. Gentleness, Self-Control.  Against such there is no law.                                    Vs. 24. And those who are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   Vs. 25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Also, remember Galatians 5: 16-18.

06-02-2019    Part 10   

This afternoon, lets finish up a very special and timely subject that we have called, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Of Heterosexual Orientation, And Of Heterosexual Identity.”

Now this afternoon there are two important matters that we need to consider as we finish up this series.

The first matter we need to consider is, what should you and I say or do as a child of God, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, if someone we personally know and care about, like a family member, or a friend, or a classmate, or someone who says they are a Christian, but they identify, or they are a practicing LGBTQ individual, what should we say or do?

Now also, the second matter we will consider is, what should you and I say or do, as a child of God, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, if someone, or even your own self, are tempted or you struggle with LGBTQ Desires, feelings, or tendencies, what should we say or do?

Listen, as a child of God, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, I should not be surprised of what people are capable of.

For we can clearly understand because of our own personal struggles, and because of what the Bible teaches us about the origin of original sin from Adam and Eve which is also known as, “the sin nature,” or “the flesh!”

Quoting a paraphrase of Romans 7: 17&18.                                                                       For the Apostle Paul is speaking about His own personal struggles since he has been saved.                  “But now it is no longer I who does such things, but sin that dwells in me is the influencer.            Because I know that in me that is in my flesh, nothing good dwells.   For to do good is present within me also, but how to perform what is good, I find it very difficult to do!”

Listen, whether a person is saved or unsaved.  Religious or non-religious.                            For it does not matter about their race, their age, their education, their socioeconomics, their gender or sexual orientation, straight or not straight.

We all must know that the Bible teaches us about the origin of original sin from Adam and Eve which is also known as, “the sin nature,” or “the flesh!”

Now notice Galatians 5:                                                                                                   Vs. 19.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,      Vs. 20.  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,                                                                                       Vs. 21.  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So then, the first matter we will consider is, what should you and I say, or do as a child of God, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, if someone we personally know and care about like a family member, or a friend, or a classmate, or someone who says they are a Christian, but they identify, or they are a practicing LGBTQ individual, what should we say or do?

First of all, don’t gossip nor slander, or tease, or make fun of an LGBTQ individual or anyone else for that matter!  Whether on social media, or by texting, or by a face to face conversation or phone calls to family or friends about them and their lifestyle, behavior, or conduct.

Next, do not reject, or shun, or try shame an LGBTQ person, or anyone else for that matter!

Because we are never to physically or emotionally bully, or attack, or harm anyone just because of our own insecurities, or our fears, or our prejudice or bigotry.

Next, with God’s help, do not overreact if an LGBTQ person choose to reveal to you that they are coming out! or they reveal to you a little bit about their lifestyle, or their beliefs, or their social views on this topic.

Do not overreact, remain calm, prayerful, and under the Holy Spirit’s control.  Even though you and I will strongly disagree with them about their lifestyle or their choice, it’s not our job to set them straight, or to try to fix them, or to try to change them, or to try to do some kind of deliverance intervention.

Remember, it is God who must change them from the inside out!

Now again, if someone we personally know and care about like a family member, or a friend, or a classmate, or someone who says they are a Christian, but they identify, or they are a practicing LGBTQ individual, what should we say or do?

Next, do not act like a Pharisee, being overly judgmental or, condemning towards the individual.

Notice Luke 18:                                                                                                                 Vs. 9.  Also, He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:                                                                                         Vs. 10.  Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a Tax collector.                      Vs. 11.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Tax Collector.    Vs. 12.  for I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.                                           Vs. 13.  But the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner!                                  Vs. 14.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Now again, if someone we personally know and care about like a family member, or a friend, or a classmate, or someone who says they are a Christian, but they identify, or they are a practicing LGBTQ individual, what should we say or do?

Next, for that LGBTQ individual that we nay know, or anyone else for that natter!

You and I should commit ourselves to be their prayer intercessor.

Listen, if it is possible and we have regular contact with them, offer to pray together with them.

Also, whether they know it or not, we pray for them on a regular basis as well.

Next, if an LGBTQ person you know is an adult, regularly invite them to come with you to church, or to a Bible Study, or to a Revival or Crusade meeting.  And if they are a minor, bring them with you to church, or to Bible Study, or to VBS, or to a Revival or Crusade meeting as often as possible.

Remember, constant exposure to either the proclamation of the Word of God, or if they are willing to read and study the Bible for themselves, either way this will make a difference in time.

Listen, if someone we personally know and care about like a family member, or a friend, or a classmate, or someone who says they are a Christian, but they identify, or they are a practicing LGBTQ individual, what should we say or do?

Next, at all times show and demonstrate God’s love, Agape!

Remember I Corinthians 13: 1-8a.

Listen, at all times show and demonstrate God’s love.  Stay in touch with them.

And be willing to talk to them if they reach out to you because of the different problems or matters that they are facing in life.

And lastly, I would highly recommend if you are personally invited to attend an LGBTQ so-called Christian, or non-Christian wedding ceremony.

Please, personally get in touch with them, and use the opportunity to be a witness for God and to minister unto them.  Respectfully and graciously explain to them your biblical position and understanding concerning the subject of marriage revealed in the Bible.

Listen, depending upon the relationship you have with the person, prayerfully ask God what you should do. Maybe you would choose to attend their reception because of your love for them, and because you desire to maintain open communication with them moving forward.

This is something to pray about!

Now, briefly we have a second matter that we should consider, what should you and I say or do,

As a child of God, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, if someone, or even your own self, are tempted, or you struggle with LGBTQ Desires, feelings, or tendencies, what should we say or do?

Now notice I Corinthians 10:                                                                                         Vs. 13.  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

First and most importantly please know, that God loves you, and that He sent His only begotten Son into this world to redeem and to save, and to set free anyone who will trust in Him and receive Him into their lives.

Please know that you cannot change yourself, but God can change you from within, when you and I really asked for His help, no matter what the matter is!

Please know there is nothing that you are doing, or have done, or could do, that God cannot forgive, that God cannot change, or that God cannot redeem, when we come to Him and repent.

Finally, what should you and I say or do as a child of God, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, if someone, or even your own self, are tempted, or you struggle with LGBTQ desires, feelings, or tendencies, what should we say or do?

Please know that our church family here at Cornerstone, that we truly care about you and we love you and you are always welcome here.

For we want to help you or anyone else who is seeking to know God’s will for their lives.

If you are interested in Christian counseling to work through some things.

If you need prayer and just someone to share the scriptures and what the Bible says about the things you’re facing right now.

Or, if you just need someone to listen to you.

Please know you can come to any of our ministers, or our elders, or our deacons or deaconess, or myself, we are available.

Now, I would like to finish up with two YouTube video testimonials, two individuals who were courageous to share their struggles and yet their personal transformation having committed themselves totally unto Jesus Christ, as their personal Lord and Savior.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeweNcJHL0E&feature=share

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_VQdXjq6Ws&feature=share

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*************** TERMS OF ENDEARMENT ***************

04-07-2019   Part 1 

As most of you know, usually twice in a year during the resurrection or Easter season, and then during the Christmas season as well.

It’s good for us to take a break from the current topic that we are involved with at this time. So that we can focus on our first Love, and the most important ONE in all the Bible, and that is the LORD Jesus Christ!  Amen.

For He is the One and Only, God-Man!

Having two natures at the same time being fully God and fully man (Human).

For Theologians called this “the Hypostatic Union!”

Listen, this truth about our Savior should be at the heart of our Christmas celebrations, and at the heart of our Easter or Resurrection celebrations as well!

Always remember that Jesus Christ is this one unique person possessing two distinct natures.  And therefore, making it possible for many to be in a right relationship with their Creator because of Him, and Him only.

Sometimes it’s really easy to forget this reality concerning the humanity or the human side of Jesus.

For we can focus so much on His deity, and that’s very important don’t get me wrong!

But, we can focus so on His much deity that we fail to appreciate and benefit from the human side, and the relational side of Jesus.

If you think about it, Jesus came into this world having direct contact with people and with individuals from the beginning of His earthly life in the manger, right up until His heavenly ascension at the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter 1.

For 33 years the God-Man was very human in every way.

For example, He chose not to isolate Himself but to be sociable, available, and approachable.  Developing many personal relationships.  As well as, interacting with His culture and His society, yet never being conformed unto It.

But being to builder and redeemer of men, although it was costly for Him.  Many times, being inconvenience.

Or, other times being judged and misunderstood.  And ultimately it brought about being forsaken, and betrayed, and crucified!

So that mankind could have and experience an everlasting relationship that will never end.  That will always be fulfilling and blessed.  And, that will help us to stay connected and dependent upon the Lord Himself.

Therefore, during this special month, during this special season, with God’s help, we want to begin his new topic that we want to call, “Terms Of Endearment.”

Now, in the Bible there are some terms or names of endearment that the Lord Jesus used concerning us.  And also, there are other terms of endearment that also refers to us in other places of the New Testament, that we will consider.

But listen, the most important thing to remember is, that these terms or names of endearment that God has so graciously bestowed upon us, are to help us to understand the type of relationship that God wants to have with us who are building and developing their own personal relationship with Him.

For example, some of the terms or names of endearment that we will look at overtime are, friend, which is a term of endearment.

Next, brother, another term of endearment.                                                                  Also, Ambassador, another term of endearment just to name a few.

However, for this afternoon let’s consider the first term of endearment that was mention from the list, that describes the type of relationship that God wants to have with you and I and the first one is friend!  Wow!

You mean God wants to befriend me!”

By the way, there is a current network television series with a similar title called, “God Friended Me!” it airs local on Sunday nights.

So, you Are telling me that you and I can have a friendship with God?

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have some hang-ups when it comes to relating to God as a friend!

Maybe, it’s because of the types of human friendships that I have had!                     Maybe, it’s because I, myself in some cases have failed to be the kind of friend that I should have been.

Also, for me, the word “friend” when It comes to my interaction with God can seems somewhat superficial.  Or, a bit too casual, and not reverent, or honoring!  Kind of like some individuals today who want to refer to God as,                                                    “My Big Buddy in the sky!”                                                                                                “My Homie.”                                                                                                                     “My Amigo.

Yet, on the other hand, the word friend or friendship in the Bible, God uses it to show how He feels about us, and how we can feel about Him as well.

Listen, this particular term of endearment “friend,” when it comes to God, and God with us is something that is greatly needed in our lives today!

With all the problems and pressures of life that so many of us are facing, it sure looks like we could use a real friend right about now!

And you know what many centuries ago, that’s what the Disciples of Jesus felt like the night before His crucifixion.

They need a real friend!                                           

Now notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I (Jesus said) I have called you “friends.”  Because all things that I heard from My Father, I have made it known unto you.

NOTE: Share some background concerning St. John 15:15 and some of the circumstances that everyone was facing that night in the upper room, before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.                                                                                                 

Maybe as a personal assignment in preparation for the Easter season that we are in.     And read for yourself St. John Chapter 13 thru chapter 17.                                            Five very important chapters that demonstrated Jesus true friendship and love that He had for His 12 Disciples, yes even Judas!

Let me give me a flavor of what was going on that night in the upper room!

For example, see St. John 13: 1-5.                                                                                      The symbolic cleansing and forgiveness of His Disciples.                                                    Vs. 1.  Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.         Vs. 2.  And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,                                                                             Vs. 3.  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,                                                                   Vs. 4.  rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.     Vs. 5.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Next, see St. John 13: 21-30.                                                                                              Judas’ plan is revealed And He is dismissed from the group.                                        Vs. 21.  When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.                                             Vs. 22.  Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.     Vs. 23.  Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.       Vs. 24.  Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Vs. 25.  Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?                   Vs. 26.  Jesus answered, It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Vs. 27.  Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly. Vs. 28.  But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.                    Vs. 29.  For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, Buy those things we need for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor.                                Vs. 30.  Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately.  And it was night.

Lastly. see St. John 13: 37& 38, Jesus also reveals Peter’s rejection and denial of Him.                                    Vs. 37.  Peter said to Him, Lord, why can I not follow You now?  I will lay down my life for Your sake.               Vs. 38.  Jesus answered him, will you lay down your life for My sake?   Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.

It’s no wonder Jesus said these words, in see St. John 14: 1.                                          Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Now see Proverbs 18:                                                                                                    Vs. 24.  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: And there is “a friend” that sticketh closer than a brother.

Listen, the song writer said, “What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grieves to bear.                  What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.                                                     Oh, what peace we often forfeit.                                                                                      Oh, what needless pain we bear!                                                                                           All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!

04-014-2019    Part 2  

During this special month, during this special season, with God’s help, we want to continue with our newest topic that we are calling, “God’s Terms Or Words Of Endearment.”

These special words, or terms of endearment that are personal and intimate, they are meant to be relational sentiments between God and His people!

In fact, in the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ used certain terms or words of endearment concerning His followers.

And also, in other places of the New Testament there are additional terms or words of endearment between God and His people as well!

But remember that these terms or words of endearment that God has bestowed upon us so graciously should help anyone to understand the type of relationship that God wants to have with us who are building and developing their own personal relationship with Him.

So, this afternoon lets continue with our first term or word of endearment, because this is a way that God sees us in Christ, as friends, and not just servants, but friends. Wow!

Now notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I, (Jesus said) I have called you ‘friends’.  Because all things that I heard from My Father, I have made it known unto you.

Listen, by God’s Grace and for the rest of our days, you and I are to cultivate and maintain a personal relationship, and a bonafide friendship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

But first, we may need to overcome some of our hang-ups that we may have when it comes to God as our friend!                                                                                             •For example, a lack of understanding and appreciation of the word friend or friendship.

Because these two words, friend or friendship that are used quite often in our culture or society, means a lot of things to a lot of people.

Kind of like the word ‘love’, that is tossed around by so many.

And so likewise, the words, friend or friendship for the most part has lost its meaning and significance, because we apply it to people and individuals who probably don’t deserve that recognition in our lives.

Here are some definitions or ideas for the word friend and friendship.                            A friend is someone whom you can trust, depend upon, or rely upon.                               *A friend is someone who can admit and apologize when they are wrong or have messed up.                A friend is someone who can forgive you and move on when there has been confession, true repentance, and an apology along with an understanding of what they said or did and how it affected you.                   A friend is someone who can keep things confidential, whatever you have shared with them.                      A friend is someone in whom you can communicate with.                                               A friend is loyal and committed to you and the relationship.  Willing to stand by you through thick and thin! Through good times and bad times.                                               A friend is honest and truthful with you at all times.                                                           A friend is someone you enjoy spending time with, and doing things together with.            A friend is someone who would sacrifice what they have, or even go without, so that your needs might be met.

Some synonyms for the word friend, are;                                                                       Companion, Comrade, Confidant, Compadre.

•Now another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, it’s because of our own personal experiences with human friendships or with so-called friends.

•Still another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, is that we would be overly concerned that we are being irreverent or superficial with God!

•Another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, are.                                                                                                    feelings of unworthiness.                                                                                                   Or, I’m too busy for that kind of relationship!                                                                         Or, I’m so above all that kind of friendship stuff!

•And lastly, another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, might be because of my current lifestyle choices.  Or, my conduct or behavior at this time.  So then, I don’t want God to tell me what to do!  Nor, do I want God telling me what I am doing is wrong like a good friend should!

But please remember that this particular term or word of endearment can really help us to understand that there is another type of relationship that God wants to have with you and I who are ready for something more.

This particular term or word of endearment concerning friendship, needs to be seen from God‘s point of view and not just ours!

Listen, this particular term or word of endearment, ‘friend’, should help us and not hinder us, in building and developing a closer and personal relationship with the LORD.

Now again, in the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ used this word ‘friend’ on several occasions.  For this special term of endearment, He reserved it for His followers, and surprisingly for others that you and I would not expect!

First, notice the Lord’s use of this special term of endearment that He reserved for His followers!

Again, notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I, (Jesus said) have called you ‘friends’.  Because all things that I heard from My Father, I have made it known unto you.

Now see St. John 15:                                                                                                        Vs. 12. This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.            Vs. 13. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for His friends.

Also See St. John 10:                                                                                                          Vs. 11.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.            Vs. 17. Therefore, My Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again.                     Vs. 18. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.

Notice St. John 11:                                                                                                          Vs. 1.  Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.                  Vs. 3.  Therefore, the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.                            Vs. 5.  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.                                              Vs. 11. These things said Jesus: and after that He said unto the Disciples, our friend Lazarus is sleep; but I go, that I may awake him out of his sleep.                                      Vs. 14.  Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

And finally, lets notice the Lord’s use of this special term of endearment ‘friend’ that surprisingly He would use for others that you and I would not expect!

For example, Luke 7: 34. Jesus is speaking about the accusations of the Pharisees against Him, saying, the Son of Man is come eating and drinking; And you say, behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber.  A friend of publicans and sinners!

In fact, turn to Luke 15:                                                                                                     Vs. 1.  Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Jesus to hear Him.          Vs. 2.  But the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, this Man receives sinners and eats with them.       Vs. 3.  So, Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying:                                                         Vs. 4.  What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 

And lastly notice our Lord’s reaction to one of the most notorious Sinner whoever lived!

Now notice Matthew 26:                                                                                                 Vs. 48.  Now, His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.        Vs. 49.  Immediately Judas went up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi! and kissed Him.                            Vs. 50.  But Jesus said to him, friend, why have you come? Then the guards came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

See Psalms 41:                                                                                                                                            Vs. 9.  Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.                                                                                                               

See Psalms 55:                Vs. 12.  For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it.  Nor, was it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; For then I could hide from him.                                                 Vs. 13.  But it was you, a man, my equal, my guide or my companion, friend, and my acquaintance.

04-21-2019    Part 3   

Well, on this very special day, during this wonderful season that we have had a chance to be renewed and to rededicate ourselves unto God anew and afresh.

So, with God’s help, we want to continue with our newest topic that we are calling, “God’s Terms Or Words Of Endearment.”

And we have been learning together for the last couple of Sundays, that there are some special words, or terms of endearment that are very personal and intimate, and they are meant to be relational sentiments between God and His people!

In fact, in the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ on occasion used certain words or terms of endearment concerning His followers.

Also, in other places of the New Testament there are additional words or terms of endearment that are used between God and His people as well.

And we will learn more about these things during the next Christmas and Easter and/or Resurrection seasons.

But this afternoon lets finish up our first word or term of endearment that we been considering for the last two Sundays.   This is another way that God sees us in Christ, and that is as friends, and not just servants, but friends. Wow!

Now notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I, Jesus said I have called you ‘friends’.  Because all things that I heard from my Father, I have made it known unto you.

Listen, by the Grace of God, and for the rest of our days, you and I have the privilege to cultivate and maintain a personal relationship, and a bonafide friendship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Now this particular concept about friendship with God, I truly believe can help us to understand that there is another level in our relationship with God to consider, that our LORD wants you and I to have who are ready for something more.

Show you what I mean!

Now notice James 2: 23, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.  And he was called the friend of God.

Now see Isaiah 41: 8.  For the Prophet Isaiah is speaking to the people of God, on behalf of God. “But you Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, you are the descendants of Abraham my friend.”

Listen, and you can search this out later in the days ahead, but according to Genesis chapter 12 thru chapter 25, a total of 14 chapters.

We see the God of heaven reaches out to an ordinary man on earth, to initiate, to begin a personal relationship a friendship that would change and affect Abraham’s destiny.

But also, that would change and affect the destiny of mankind forever, if this ordinary man would believe God, and would receive what God wanted to do in and through His life.

So then, with God’s help if we can understand the relationship between Abraham and God, and the apparent friendship they shared with one another.

Then that will help us to understand what a friendship and a relationship with God, could look like for us as well.

Therefore, there are three major segments in the life of Abraham that I would like us to briefly touch on, so, that we can observe the similarities between God and Abraham’s relationship and friendship, and the relationship and friendship God wants to have with you and me, who are in Christ Jesus!

Now the first major segment, or chapter from the life of Abraham that I would like us to observe from Genesis chapter 12: 1-9, was how the LORD initiated a relationship and friendship with Abraham.

Think about it, out of all the people on the earth at that time, the LORD chose and selected this man, this person!

Next, God imposes certain conditions within their friendship.  For example, Abraham must leave his family and his homeland.

Then, Abraham must go to a place he has never been before, that God said He would give unto him.  And that God said I will let you know when you get there!

Abraham must believe that God would make him the progenitor of both a physical nation and a spiritual nation even though right now in Abraham’s life all of this seems to be impossible.

Question.  Because you and I are in Christ, do we believe that the LORD has initiated a relationship and friendship with certain conditions?

See Luke 9: 23. Then He said to them all, if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Now, the next major segment, or chapter from the life of Abraham that I would like us to observe is from Genesis chapter 22: 1-19, God requires and demands the preeminence in their relationship and friendship with one another.

Abraham must be willing when the time comes to sacrifice the promise child, the one in whom you delight and love!

Question.  Do you think God still requires and demands the preeminence in His relationship and friendship that He has with you and me who are truly saved?

See Colossians 1: 18.  And Christ is the head of the Body, the Church, who is the beginning.  The firstborn from the dead, or to be resurrected.  That in all things, He may have the preeminence.

Now the last major segment, or chapter from the life of Abraham that I would like us to observe is from Genesis chapter 25:1-11, in which God helps Abraham to understand that their relationship and friendship was not just earthly and temporal, but heavenly and eternal.

Because Sarah, his wife eventually dies before him.  But surprisingly, Abraham would remarry and have more children.

Also, both Isaac and Ishmael his sons would move on and start their own lives and families somewhere else.

But now that Abraham was now 175 years old, He understood that all this that he had experienced was only temporary, the best was yet to come!

Question, do you think God ultimately wants to help you and me who are truly saved, to understand that our friendship Is not just earthly and temporal, but heavenly and eternal?

See Hebrews 11:                                                                                                             Vs. 8.  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance.   And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Vs. 9.  By faith Abraham dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise!                        Vs. 10.  But Abraham waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Note: Please read for yourselves Revelation chapters 21 and 22 to understand what Abraham was waiting for!

Now, with the time remaining there are two basic questions to ask and to answer.

First, what is our part when it comes to our friendship with God?

Secondly, what is God’s part when it comes to His friendship with us?

First, what is our part when it comes to our friendship with God?

See St. John 15 14. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever, I command you.

Now see James 4: 4. You adulterers and adulteresses!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity or hostility or causes friction with God?  Whoever therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes themselves an enemy of God.

And lastly, what is God’s part when it comes to His friendship with us?

Proverbs 18: 24.  A man that has friends must shew himself friendly: And there is a friend that will stick closer than a brother.

And See Proverbs 17: 17.  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

“Depending On God To Change The Man In The Mirror.”

06-09-2019    Part 1     Sunday

Now let me read some familiar words, from St. John 8:                                                    Vs. 31.  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, If you abide in My Word you are My disciples indeed.                                                                                                 Vs. 32.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

As most of you know we are involved in a biblical series that we have entitled, “You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Set You Free!” 

And it is my hope involved in a biblical series that we have entitled, “You Shall Know The Truth”, And that over time that this particular series that God will use to help us to better understand His will, plan, and purpose for our lives, for our families, for our culture, and for our society as a whole!

But also, that this particular series will help us to address Biblically, some important issues, concerns, and controversies that are a part of our world today that sometime we may be uncomfortable or unwilling to deal with!

For example, last year for most of 2018 we dealt with the subject of forgiveness and unforgiveness, or to forgive or not to forgive!

And in February of this year until June 2, 2019, we dealt with the subject of, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Heterosexual Orientation, And Heterosexual Identity.”

And therefore, I believe the LORD has been helping us as a church family, along with any guests or visitors. To address Biblically, some of the Issues, concerns, and controversies that are a part of our world today that at times we may be uncomfortable or unwilling to deal with!

And once again with God’s help, we want to begin another new topic within this series, that I believe for all of us we will find personally challenging, but spiritually beneficial if applied!

Now how many of you recall the Michael Jackson song called, “Man In The Mirror”?  It was released in January 1988, 31 years ago. With lyrics by Siedah Garrett and music by Glen Ballard, but produced by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.

Question, if you heard this song what do you think Michael Jackson was singing about?

In fact, there is a part in the song that has these words.                                               “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.                                                                         I'm asking him to change his ways, no message could have been any clearer.              If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change!”

Question, what do you think Michael Jackson was singing about?

In my humble opinion the major theme of this song is the need for self-realization along with self-determination. So that together, they will bring about personal change and societal change.

But is this kind of change really that easy for us to do?

Listen, apart from God and our willingness to cooperate with him in our Lives, *Can we really change ourselves for the long-term.  And can we really change ourselves from the inside, so that we are different on the outside?

But what if I told you there is away with God’s help, and our willingness to cooperate with Him in our lives.

There is a way that we can experience personal change, and thereby we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God.

I mean, a real and lasting change that starts from within. And then it will affect you and I outwardly, so much so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior Is dramatically different than it was before!

Now notice the KJV James 1:                                                                                       Vs. 21.  Wherefore, lay apart, or setting aside all filthiness, or moral defilement, or anything that will defile you morally and ethically!                                                       •Wherefore lay apart, or setting aside all filthiness, and superfluity. Which means, something in great abundance, or of a large quantity or amount.                      •Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness.

Which, in this case means, moral badness, or unbridle depravity that wants to corrupt and influence another or others.                                                                                  Also, naughtiness in this case can mean, having evil Intentions or wickedness.            Or, having ill-will that desires to injure or hurt another.

•Wherefore lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted or implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.  Wow!

Did you notice how much the Word of God plays an important part in our lives in bringing about our salvation.

But now, notice how much the Word of God plays an important part in our lives in bringing about our sanctification as well.

Now see vs. 22.  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Notice this very helpful example given in vs. 23&24.                                                     Vs. 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 glass or a mirror;                                                                                   Vs. 24. Because he observes himself, but goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was at that moment.                                                                                      Vs. 25. However, the one 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 they do.

So again, what if I told you there is a way with God’s help, and our willingness to cooperate with Him in our lives. There is a way that we can experience personal change, and thereby we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God.

Not a superficial change, but a real and lasting change that starts from within. And then it will affect you and I outwardly, so much so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior is dramatically different than it was before!

Therefore, our new topic will be called, “Depending On God To Change The Man In The Mirror.”

Especially, in those times when you and I can be overly critical about certain matters.

Or, how we can be very judgmental about what a person said or did in a given situation, or circumstance that they found themselves In.

Or, how we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a bigot, or even a racist when dealing with certain people!

Listen, even though as a child of God, a committed follower of Jesus Christ, we still need God’s help (DAILY), in dealing with and overcoming those times when we can be overly critical about certain matters.

Or, how we can be very judgmental about what a person said or did in a given situation, or circumstance that they found themselves In.

Or, how we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a bigot, or even a racist when dealing with certain people!

May I give you a Bible reading and studying recommendation or a project that you might want to consider over the summer months?

Would you consider reading and studying the Epistle or the Book of James throughout this summer?

Because in each chapter one or more key things will stand out and will require God’s help for you and I to change.

For example, in chapter 1.  Subduing bad anger.  Notice vs. 19 & 20.                               In chapter 2.  Exposing how we can easily mistreat others.  Notice vs. 1-4.                  In chapter 3. Controlling the way we speak and what we say to others.  Notice vs 1-12.                             In chapter 4. Repenting from bad attitudes.  Notice vs. 1-17.                                          And in chapter 5. Committing to do what is right and to be helpful.  Notice vs. 1-20.

Now, remember the Apostle James’s example in James 1: 23 & 24.                            Vs. 23.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, that person is like an individual, observing their natural face.

Note: This would be their morning face after waking up. This is the face before washing!  These are the teeth and breath before cleaning!

If they are an adult male, this would Include the face before combing or brushing facial hair, if they have such!

Now, if they are an adult female, this would Include the face before applying lotion or make-up!  Again, this is the natural face!

Next notice vs. 24 says, for they observe themselves in a mirror, yet goes away, or turn away from the mirror, and immediately forgets, what kind of person they were. The morning face after waking up!  This is the face before washing! these are the teeth and breath before cleaning!                                              And again vs. 24 says, for they observe themselves in a mirror, yet goes away, or turn away from the mirror, and immediately forgets, what kind of person they were.

But how is this possible?                                                                                                The answer is, they deceive their own selves.                                                               The answer is, they delude their own selves.

Listen, for them, the mirror is not a tool for correction, or for improvement, or for change.                Listen, the mirror has become merely an item to have and to own, but not to inform, or to bring about change for them.                                                                                            Listen, if a mirror is used correctly it can be a necessary tool, to bring correction and improvement to the one who is unable to see, what others see.

The playwright, William Shakespeare, from one of his famous plays, a play called "Hamlet."  One of the characters says to his son, "To thine own self be true."

What does this quote from Shakespeare mean to you?

06-16-2019   Part 4

On this very special day with God’s help, I would like us to return back to a topic that we shared back in 2018 on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

And then again on Mother’s Day 2019, we return back to this topic that we called, “What Would God Have Every Mother And Father To Know And to Do For their Child Or Children, No Matter What their Ages Are?”

So, today on this last Father’s Day of this decade, we will continue with this topic, in fact this will be part 4, for this time we would like to encourage and challenge all the fathers, or anyone who is in a fathering role raising up the next generation.

Now, if you have with you a pen or a pencil, or if you can borrow one.

Also, if you noticed in your bulletin today, an insert page that says at the top of the page, ‘NOTES’!

Please have them ready because I will have for you three important words that I want you to be able to write down and remember.

Now with God’s help, I want to especially encourage and challenge each one of you who are fathers, or you would like to be some day.

Perhaps you are already in a fathering role raising up the next generation in some capacity.

Like a Grandfather or Great Grandfather. A Step-Dad, an Adopted Dad, a Foster Dad, a Guardian, a Play-Dad, or a Spiritual-Father.  Or, a Mentor. An Educator or a Sunday School/Youth Dept. Teacher, Worker, or Volunteer.

I want to encourage and challenge each one of you.                                                                            In fact, could you please write down and remember these three familiar words I want to share with you.

Because they will help you to know what God would have you to know and to do for the child or the children, no matter what their ages are. Whether from the childhood years, or all the way into their adult years, and everything in between!

Now when you write these three words, write each word on the left side of your paper, and stack them on top of each other.  

Now, please write down these three words,                                                                                             •Faith.                                                                                                                                                          •Hope.                                                                                                                                                     •And Love or Agape.

See I Corinthians 13: 13, and now abide Faith, Hope, Love, these three; But the greatest of these is Love.

May I give an important observation of God’s divine design for fathers and mothers.             Listen, generally speaking unfortunately there are exceptions.                                                        But generally speaking, God’s designed mothers to be nurturers of the next generation.          And generally speaking, and unfortunately there are exceptions.                                                But generally speaking, God’s designed fathers to lead the next generation.

At least three ways God designed fathers to lead the next generation.                                      First, fathers are to lead by example.                                                                                           Secondly, fathers are to lead by being that patient teacher or instructor concerning the spiritual things in life.  Or, concerning the moral and/or the ethical things in life.  Or, concerning the practical things in life.                                                                                                                                                                                  And Thirdly, fathers are to lead by being that rock, that strength-giver, that stabilizer within the home, and within a family.

But also, and just as important, God’s designed fathers to lead the next generation, in these three spiritual disciplines as well.                                                                                                   •Faith.                                 •Hope                                                                                                                                               •And Love or Agape.

Now, see II Timothy 3:                                                                                                                Vs. 10.  But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,                                                                                                       Vs. 11.  persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra what persecutions I endured.  And, out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Now again, notice vs 10,                                                                                                                   But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance.

First, let’s understand God’s designed for fathers to lead the next generation, in this important spiritual discipline that is called “faith.”

And let’s consider three specific areas concerning faith.                                                           •Our faith in action.                                                                                                                          •Our faith in God.                                                                                                                             •Our faithfulness in relationships, i.e. with God, with family, and with friends.

Now our next spiritual discipline that God designed for fathers to lead the next generation is in the area of “Hope.”

See Lamentation 3:                                                                                                                      Vs. 21.  This I recall to my mind, therefore, I have hope.                                                               Vs. 22.  Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. Vs. 23.  For they are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.                                             Vs. 24.  The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore, I hope in Him!

And now, the last spiritual discipline that God designed for fathers to lead the next generation is in the area of “Love,” or Agape.

And see again II Timothy 3:                                                                                                              Vs. 10.  But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance.                                                                                                        And let’s consider three specific area concerning love.                                                               •Our love in action.                                                                                                                           •Our love for God.                                                                                                                                •Our love for others, i.e. family, friends, people in general.

For example, see Romans 12:                                                                                                                Vs. 9.  Let love be without hypocrisy, How?  Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Listen, God’s love is uncompromising when it comes to good and evil. When it comes to right and wrong. When it comes to sin or not to sin.

Again vs. 9 says. Let love be without hypocrisy, How?                                                                  Now, see vs. 10.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;                                                                                                              Vs. 11.  Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;                                          Vs. 12.  Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;                           Vs. 13.  Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.                                            Vs. 14.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.                                                          Vs. 15.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.                                         Vs. 16.  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.                                               Vs. 17.  Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.          Vs. 18.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.                         Vs. 19.  Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.                                                                           Vs. 20. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.                                                                                  Vs. 21.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Swan and the Crane     Written by Joshua Becker·

There is an old fable involving a swan and a crane that reads like this:

A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments, the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder and then inquired:

“Where do you come from?”

“I come from heaven!” replied the swan.

“And where is heaven?” asked the crane.

“Heaven!” said the swan, “Heaven! Have you never heard of heaven?”  And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of her home. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made of precious stones, and of rivers, pure as crystal. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane.

Finally, the crane asked: “Are there any snails there?”

“Snails!” repeated the swan; “No! Of course, there are not.”

“Then,” said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, “you can have your heaven. I want snails!”

06-23-2019  Part 13

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th or, if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

We are considering what the Bible says and teaches us about,                                 *The Fundamentals,                                                                                                            *The Basics,                                                                                                                  *The Core Truths                                                                                                                For being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or you would like to be one day.

Now this afternoon, let’s continue to understand what the Bible teaches about the very nature of salvation that comes from God, by again focusing upon these eight essential elements from which God’s salvation from it’s very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for that person who believes and receives it from God.

Now the eight essential elements are                                                                                        •Divine election.                                                                                                                       •Regeneration/a new birth.                        •Justification.                                                                                          •Sanctification.                                                                                                                            •Sonship or a personal relationship/friendship.                                                                     •Eternal security.                                                                                                                   •Non-conformity.                                                                                               •Glorification/resurrection.

Now last month we considered the second essential element from which God’s salvation from its very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for the person who believes and receives it from God, and that was regeneration/a new birth!

Now this afternoon, let’s consider the next essential element from which God’s salvation from its very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for the person who believes and receives it from God, and that would be Justification!

Now notice Romans 5:                                                                                                       Vs. 18. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation.  Even so through one man’s righteous act, the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life.                   Vs. 19.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.  So, also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Now notice again Romans 5:                                                                                           Vs. 18.  Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation.  Even so through one man’s righteous act, the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life.

So, what does the words justification or justify mean?

•The Standard English Definition. The action of showing something to be right or reasonable.  A reason why something is correct, morally rightness.                                  •The Theological Biblical Definition.  For example, The Theological Biblical Definition can be summarized like this!

Being justified by God, or justification by faith alone and not by works, links us unto Jesus Christ. Who He is, that is, He is the just one, and the Justifier.

Also, justification by faith alone and not by works, links us unto what Jesus Christ has done for sinners, being the atoning sacrifice for those who place their faith or trust in Him.

Next, a theological Biblical definition can be summarized like this!

Being justified by God, or justification by faith alone, links us unto God’s righteousness.

Finally, a theological Biblical definition can be summarized like this!

Being justified by God, or justification by faith alone, links us unto sanctification.

Now two pictures that may help us understand and appreciate divine justification, or being justified by God.

The first picture is, after the birth especially of a premature child who needs medical Intervention.             •This premature new born needs something to strengthen their immune system.            •This premature new born needs nutrients for their body, etc.

Listen, likewise, after our spiritual new birth we receive from God immediately, several essential things that needful for spiritual growth and development are given.  For example, divine acceptance, approval, protection, and security, just to name a few.

Now again, there are two pictures that may help us understand and appreciate divine justification, or being justified by God.

The second picture is, after a legal conviction, because you and I really did it. We have been found guilty, and now are awaiting sentencing.

First, the need we have for mercy from the judge.                                                            The need we have for a second chance, or special consideration or understanding.       The need we have for a court appointed counseling to help us to get to a better place.

Listen, likewise, after a legal conviction, because you and I really did It. We have been found guilty, and are now awaiting sentencing.

For example, we need divine forgiveness.  An acquittal.  A righteousness apart from ourselves.  Peace with God.  And a sanctification that brings about transformation.

In fact, sanctification and justification are not synonyms!

Divine justification and sanctification are actually and uniquely connected to each other like the two opposite sides of the same coin, heads and tails!

Yet, there is a big difference between sanctification and justification.

First, divine justification is, instant, immediate, permanent, can never be repeated or revoked.

On the other hand, divine sanctification is, progressive, continuous, ongoing, transforming, being perfected.

Divine sanctification is causing mature, change, development, and a teachableness.

Interestingly, both divine justification and sanctification begin at the time of our salvation.

Yet, only divine sanctification continues until our salvation is complete, and has fully ran its course concerning us.

Quote Romans 8:30. “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified.  And whom He justified, them He also glorified.”

See Job 25:4.                                                                                                                            How then can man be justified with God?  Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

Our problem.

See Romans 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 23.  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 The only solution.

See I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                           Vs. 9.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,           Vs. 10.  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.                                                                                               Vs. 11.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, also known as God the Holy Spirit.

Our blessed Benefactor.

See Romans 3: 24.                                                                                                                Being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

See Romans 3:26.                                                                                                          To declare I say at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of them which believeth in Jesus.

See II Corinthians 5:21.                                                                                                   For He hath made Him, to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Our need to humble ourselves and receive.

See Romans 3:20.                                                                                                             Therefore, by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.

See Romans 3:28.  Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law.

Here are a couple of benefits when we are justified by God.

See Romans 5:1.                                                                                                            Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

See Romans 5:9.                                                                                                                Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

07-07-2019    Part 2

I don’t know if you like to watch team sport competition like, American football, or basketball or hockey, or soccer.

But there is one thing they all have in common, their competition is divided into two halves, the first half and the second half.

Sometimes, that team can have a good first half, or a not so good first half.

But what really determines if a team will win or lose the game in my opinion, is how well they do in the second half of a game to adapt, adjust, and change!

Listen, a team and its players who will accept this strategy to adapt, adjust, and change, will often times be victorious in the second half, and in most cases, they are able to win the game!

Well, as you may know last Monday July 1, 2019, started the beginning of the second half of this year of 2019.

And as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, one who is in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, and whose so purpose is to bring Glory to your Father in Heaven, then we must be willing adapt, adjust, and change things that we were doing, or not doing!

And I truly believe, twice a year January 1st, which begins the first half of the year.   And then July 1st, that begins the second half of the year, both of these times are an excellent time to Make some adjustments, to adapt to a new strategy, and to seek God earnestly for real change in our lives both inwardly and outwardly. Amen!

So, in order to help us with this goal in mind, lets return back to an important topic that we began last month, on the 2nd Sunday in June, that was called, “Being Depended on God To change The Man in The Mirror.”

And remember, we gave recognition to a very popular song by the late Michael Jackson that was called, “Man In The Mirror!”

Listen, this Michael Jackson song supposes that a serious-minded person can change their self, and therefore, change their world!

But, what if I told you that there is only one way with God’s help                                                                                                               Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

07-07-2019    Part 2

I don’t know if you like to watch team sport competition like, American football, or basketball or hockey, or soccer.

But there is one thing they all have in common, their competition is divided into two halves, the first half and the second half.

Sometimes, that team can have a good first half, or a not so good first half.

But what really determines if a team will win or lose the game in my opinion, is how well they do in the second half of a game to adapt, adjust, and change!

Listen, a team and its players who will accept this strategy to adapt, adjust, and change, will often times be victorious in the second half, and in most cases, they are able to win the game!

Well, as you may know last Monday July 1, 2019, started the beginning of the second half of this year of 2019.

And as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, one who is in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, and whose so purpose is to bring Glory to your Father in Heaven, then we must be willing adapt, adjust, and change things that we were doing, or not doing!

And I truly believe, twice a year January 1st, which begins the first half of the year.   And then July 1st, that begins the second half of the year, both of these times are an excellent time to Make some adjustments, to adapt to a new strategy, and to seek God earnestly for real change in our lives both inwardly and outwardly. Amen!

So, in order to help us with this goal in mind, lets return back to an important topic that we began last month, on the 2nd Sunday in June, that was called, “Being Depended on God To change The Man in The Mirror.”

And remember, we gave recognition to a very popular song by the late Michael Jackson that was called, “Man In The Mirror!”

Listen, this Michael Jackson song supposes that a serious-minded person can change their self, and therefore, change their world!

But, what if I told you that there is only one way with God’s help, and our willingness to cooperate with Him in our lives daily.  That you and I can experience personal change.  I mean a real and lasting change that starts from within.  And then, that inward transformation will affect you and I, outwardly.  So much, so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior is dramatically different than it was before. And there by we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God by being both salt and light.  Amen!!

Show you what I mean!

Notice the KJV of James 1:                                                                                               Vs. 21.  Wherefore, lay apart or setting aside all filthiness, or moral defilement, or anything that will defile you morally and ethically!                                                             -  Wherefore, lay apart or setting aside all filthiness, and superfluity.  Which means, something in great abundance, or of a large quantity or amount.                                    -  Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness.

Which in this case means, moral badness, or unbridle depravity that wants to corrupt and influence another or others.                                                                                         Also, naughtiness, in this case can mean, having evil intentions or wickedness.         Or, having ill-will that desires to injure or hurt another.

Vs. 21.  Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted or implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. Wow!

Question, did you notice how much the Word of God plays an important part in our lives in bringing about our salvation?

But now notice vs. 22-25, and notice how much the Word of God plays a major part in our lives to bring about God’s sanctification!

See vs. 22.  “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

Now, notice this very helpful example given in vs. 23&24.                                              Vs. 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 glass or a mirror;                                                                    Vs. 24.  Because he observes himself, but goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was at that moment.                                                                                 Vs. 25.  However, the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, i.e. the Bible, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be bless in what they do!”

Question, did you notice how much the Word of God plays a major part in our lives to bring about God’s sanctification?

Therefore, being depended on God to change the man in the mirror, and not ourselves should be one of our greatest desires!

Listen, even though as a child of God, a committed follower of Jesus Christ, we still need God’s help DAILY, in dealing with and overcoming those times when we can be overly critical about certain matters and about certain people.

Or, we can be very judgmental about what a person said or did in a given situation, or circumstance that they found themselves in.                                                                    Or, we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a bigot, or even a racist when dealing with certain people!

And unless we are willing to biblically and spiritually deal with such things that were just mention, that comes from deep down inside our hearts and our flesh, our old sin nature, where all these negative things and much more come from, then there can be no real change!

For example:

See James 3:                                                                                                                     Vs. 2.  For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.                                                              Vs. 3.  Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.               Vs. 4.  Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.                                   Vs. 5.  Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest, a little fire kindles!                                                                                                       Vs. 6.  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.                                     Vs. 7.  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.                                                                                             Vs. 8. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.             Vs. 9.  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.                                                                                        Vs. 10.  Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Vs. 11.  Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?                  Vs. 12.  Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?  Thus, no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

See James 4:                                                                                                                          Vs. 11.  Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Also, James 4:11.  The NIV says this way, brothers and sisters, do not Slander one another.  Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

Vs. 12.  There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy. So, who are you to judge another?

See Matthew 12:                                                                                                                    Vs. 34.  Brood of vipers!  How can you, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.                                                                           Vs. 35.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.                                           Vs. 36.  But I say to you, that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.                                                                                                   Vs. 37.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

See Psalms 51:                                                                                                                      Vs. 10.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

See Galatians 5:                                                                                                                    Vs. 16.  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.          Vs. 18.  But if you are l by the Spirit, you are not under the law.                                   Vs. 19.  Because the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, Vs. 20.  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,                                                                                          Vs. 21.  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So then, being depended on God to change the man in the mirror by His Word, and by the Holy Spirit Who indwells us, can bring about real and lasting change that starts from within.

And then the change will affect you and I outwardly, so much so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior is dramatically different than it was before.  And there by we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God by being both salt and light, Amen!!

So then, with God’s help, let’s begin to address this first area, that you and I can often times find ourselves being overly critical about certain matters, and about certain people as well.

Now see Mark 7:                                                                                                                   Vs. 1.  Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together unto Jesus, having come from Jerusalem. Vs. 2.  Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with unclean hands, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.  Why?                                                                   Vs. 3.  Because the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the Elders.  (For example!)                        Vs. 4. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.  And there are many other things which they have received and practice, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and tables, according to KJV.

The NKJV translate the word as couches, or a pallet to recline upon, or a small bed to carry the sick upon.

Vs. 5. So then, the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus, Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the Elders, but they eat bread with unwashed hands?                                                        Vs. 6. And Jesus answered and said unto them, correctly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, for it is written: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me,            Vs. 7. “And in vain they worship Me, why?  Because teaching as doctrines, the commandments of men!”

Note: Isaiah 29:13.                                                                                                           Vs. 13.  Making the Word of God of no effect, through or because of your tradition which you have handed down.

Have you ever heard of the term, ”pet-peeves?”                                                            Do you know what that means, “a pet-peeve?”

The word ‘pet’ can mean, ownership or responsible for a favorite type or kind, easily drawn unto or desirable!

The word ‘peeve’ can mean, something that annoys, that can easily bother you, that can make you overly critical about the minor, the trivial, the normal things that happens In life, or in society, or in the home, or in a marriage, or in the church, or within your own spiritual life as well.

Here is a short list of some pet-peeves most people would admit they have, or that really bothers them about others!                                                                                            •Bad drivers.                                                                                                                        •People who talk loudly on the phone.                                                                                      •People who talk while their mouth is full of food.                                                                    •Individuals who will not pick up after themselves.                                                                   •The use of profanity when a person talks, especially the f-bombs!                                    •Inconsiderate smokers.                                                                                                 •Unreliable people who don't follow through.                                                                       •People who cut in line.                                                                                                     •People who run into you, but they don’t say excuse me!  Or, I’m sorry!                             •Long prayers, long sermons, long church services!                                                                 •Being interrupted by the other person, while you are trying to get your point across.            •Messy or unflushed shared toilets at home, at work, at school, at church.                        •People that turn almost everything into an argument.                                                     •People who do not cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze.                                  •People who easily notices the speck in their brother’s eye, and not the plank in their own eye!

Now notice again Mark 7:                                                                                                     Vs. 1.  Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together unto Jesus, having come from Jerusalem. Vs. 2.  Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with unclean hands, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.  Why?                                                                      Vs. 3.  Because the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of The Elders.  (For example!)                          Vs. 4.  When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and practice, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Vs. 5. So then, the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus, Why, do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the Elders, but they eat bread with unwashed hands?

Listen, people who are overly critical, about certain matters, and about certain people, they think it is their responsibility to set everybody straight.

Because they really believe they are being truthful, helpful, insightful, and beneficial!

But notice something that Jesus said about that here in Mark 7:                                 Vs. 6.  And Jesus answered and said unto them, correctly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, for it is written: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me,                                                Vs. 7.  “And in vain they worship Me, why?  Because teaching as doctrines, the commandments of men!”

Remember vs. 3 &4.  Because the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the Elders. (For example!)       Vs. 4.  When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.  And there are many other things which they have received and practice, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

•Now, here is another question, have you ever had a person in your life who was overly critical about you? Someone who acted almost like a Drill Sergeant, or they had a Platoon Sergeant mentality?

For example, maybe they were, or maybe they are;                                                                  •A Driver Instructor.                                                                                                                      •A Coach.                                                                                                                                  •A Spouse.                                                                                                                                 •A Parent.                                                                                                                           •An Adult Child.                                                                                                                         •A Pastor or a Church Leader.                                                                                                •An Individual in the Congregation.                                                                                           •A Boss, Supervisor, Manager, or Director.                                                                          •A School or College Teacher or a Vocational Instructor.                                                                   •A Physician, a Physical Therapist.

Question, have you ever had a person in your life who was overly critical about you?             Question, and how did that make you feel?             •Inadequate.                                                                                                                •Worthless.                                                                                                                      •That you are stupid and dumb.                                                                                         •Or inferior.                                               

Question, and because of that person, or persons’ negative influence upon you. How does it still affect you to this day?                                                                                        •Low self-esteem.                                                                                                              •Self-doubt or a lack of confidence.                                                       •Perfectionism.                                                                                                                    •Extremely shy and bashfulness.                                                                                         •Antisocial.                                                                                                                              •A strong dislike for authority figures.                                                                                   

Listen, we can even be overly critical about our own selves at times, as well.                      •Feeling incompetent.                                                                                                           •Feeling ignorant or unintelligent.                                                                                        •Feeling unproductive, not contributing!

Listen, criticism and encouragement, are both needed at times, both can be effective, but only one should be used regularly and that is encouragement!

Notice Psalms 141: 3&4.                                                                                                           Vs. 3.  Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.                            Vs. 4.  Incline not my heart to any evil thing, or to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity. And don’t let me eat of their dainties or choice foods!

07-14-2019   Part 3

Notice James 1:                                                                                                                               Vs. 22.   “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”                        Vs. 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 glass or a mirror;                                                                                                Vs. 24.  Although he observes himself, but goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was at that moment.                                                                                                             Vs. 25.  However, the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, i.e. the Bible, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be bless in what they do!”

So, let us return back to our brief mini-series we are calling, “Being Depended On God To Change The Man Or The Woman In The Mirror.” 

Listen, according to James 1: 22-25, one of the many purposes of the Bible, or the Word of God is to act like a mirror in our lives!

And along with the Holy Spirit this can be an important time for personal discovery, spiritual growth, and Biblical transformation or change.

In fact, we are considering three very serious matters, that if we are not careful can affect and diminish our witness, our testimony, and our ministry unto others, whom we wish to help, or to share the Gospel with, or to be that Godly example for them to follow, as you are following Christ!

The first serious matter, are those times when we can be overly critical about certain things and about certain people.

The second serious matter, are those times when we can be very judgmental or condemning because of the way a person looks, or how they talk, or what they have done, or what they are doing or not doing!

And the third serious matter, are those times that we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a Bigot, or even a Racist when dealing with certain people!

Therefore, being depended on God to change the man in the mirror by His Word, and by the Holy Spirit Who indwells us, is the only way to bring about real and lasting change that starts from within.

And then over time, that inward change will affect you and I outwardly, so much so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior is dramatically different than it was before.

And thereby, we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God by being both salt and light

So, then last Sunday, you might remember I ran out of time, but we were dealing with the first serious matter that often times we can find ourselves involved in, and that is being overly critical about certain matters, and about certain people.

And remember, as an example we looked at one of the many pet peeves of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

In fact, Mark 7: 3. Says, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the Elders. Vs. 4.  When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.  And there are many other things which they have received and practice, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Vs. 5.  So then, the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus, why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the Elders, but they eat bread with unwashed hands?

And remember I ask the question, have you ever had a person in your life who was overly critical about you? •How did that make you feel?                                                                                                             •And because of that person, or person’s negative influence upon you, how does it still affect you to this day?

For example:                                                                                                                              •Low self-esteem.                                                                                                                         •Self-doubt or, a lack of confidence.                                                                      •Perfectionism.                                                                                                                                    •Extremely shy and bashful.                                                       •Antisocial.                                                                                                                                         •A strong dislike for authority figures.                                                                                            •Also, we can even be overly critical about our own selves at times as well.                                 •Feeling incompetent.                                                                                                                   •Feeling ignorant or, unintelligent.                                                                                               •Feeling non-productive, unable to contribute!

So then, why would you and I think by doing the same thing to others that was done unto us, is going to be helpful?

Listen, criticism and encouragement, are both needed at times, both can be effective, but only one should be used regularly and that is encouragement!

And therefore, depending upon God to change the man in the mirror from being overly critical, judgmental, being like a Pharisee can start today by requesting daily God’s help, His strength, His graciousness, and the understanding of how to control the impulse of being overly critical about certain matters!

Or, the impulse to be overly critical about certain people.                                                             As we know, most of the times these things are done verbally.

But they also can be done in a written format, as well.  By a letter, or a note, or a poster or Banner.  Or, by texting, or by an email, or by one’s own social media account, by blogging or posting.

Listen we must choose our words and the tone of our voice very carefully.                           •Don’t talk angrily, or mean, or roughly.                                                                                      •Don’t raise your voice by shouting or screaming!                                                                                   •Don’t use profanity to help make your point.                                                                                   •Don’t talk disrespectful.                                                                                                                    •Don’t slander.                                                                                                                                    •Don’t use sarcasm in order to put the person down.                                                                       •Don’t make fun of, or humiliate or emasculate the other person.                                      

Let’s stop under estimating the destructive power of our words, because they can be very dangerous!                                                                                                                      

Listen, along with a bad attitude towards that person or persons, the things we can say to them to me is like, someone handling a loaded firearm carelessly.

I mean statements like:                                                                                                                     •I hate you!                                                                                                                                   •You are fat, or you must be anorexic!                                                                                          •Why can’t you be like your _______,  (Fill in the blank)!                                                                            •I wish you were never born!                                                                                                          •I wish you would die or kill yourself!                                                                                                •Why are you so stupid and dumb!                                                                                                  •You are old and ugly!                                                                                                                          •I have never loved you!  Or I want a divorce.  Or, I’m breaking up with you!                               •I’m sorry you are not good enough, or you are not what we are looking for.

Listen, words like these and many others, they go right to the core of the individual, so that they can never be forgotten what was said by you, and they can never be taken back, even though you may apologize or say you are sorry!

Again, this is much like someone firing or shooting a gun, once you pull the trigger you can’t get the bullet to come back! Because it has been released with great speed.

And if it hits its target, it will cause damage, or injury, or possibly death!

Quote Proverbs 18:21 says,                                                                                                            Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Quote Matthew 12:                                                                                                                               Vs. 36.  But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.                                                                                                                           Vs. 37.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Now turn to James 2. 

Now remember we said there are three very serious matters that I believe the LORD is leading us to focus upon, that if we are not careful can affect and diminish our witness, our testimony, and our ministry unto others, whom we wish to help, or to share the Gospel with, or to be that Godly example for them to follow, as we are following Christ!

So then, lets address this second serious matter that you and I can find ourselves doing at times, and that is being very judgmental or condemning because of the way a person looks, or how they talk, or what they have done, or what they are doing or not doing!

Now notice James 2:                                                                                                                      Vs. 1.  My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Glory with Partiality.  (An example, vs. 2&3).                                                                                             Vs. 2.  For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel. But there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes.                                                                  Vs. 3.  And you pay attention too or you cater to the man wearing the fine clothes and say to him, Sir, please sit here in a good place!  But you say to the poor man, you stand there, or, Sit here at my footstool.         Vs. 4.  Question, have you not shown partiality among yourselves, (and become judges) with evil thoughts?

And unfortunately, at times you and I can be very judgmental or, condemning because of the way a person looks, or how they talk, or what they have done, or what they are doing or not doing!

And if we are not careful, our witness, our testimony, even our ministry unto others whom we wish to help, or to share the gospel with, or to be that Godly example for them to follow, as we are following Christ will be greatly affected and diminished.

Now here in Luke 18: 9-12, our Lord Jesus gives us a profile of someone who was very judgmental and condemning.  Feeling superior.  Also, disparaging of others, which means, to insult someone in such a way, that you show that you have no respect or value for them.

Notice Luke 18:                                                                                                                           Vs. 9.  Also, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.                                                                                                       Vs. 10.  Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.     Vs. 11.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself.  God, I thank you that I am not like other men.  An extortioner, unjust, an adulterer, or even as this tax collector.                           Vs. 12.  I fast twice a week.  I give tithes of all that I possess.                                                        Vs. 13.  Then the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his chest, saying, God, be merciful to me a Sinner!

Now notice again vs. 9, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.  Feeling superior.                                                                 Vs. 10.  Jesus continues, two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.                                                                                                                                      Vs. 1.  Now the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself.

God, I thank you that I am not like other men.  Again, feeling superior.

Now next He says, For I am not like other people. An extortioner.  Unjust.  An adulterer.  Or, even as this tax collector.

•Notice how he is judgmental and condemning.                                                                           •He has a very negative opinion about others.                                                                                   •He was disparaging, Insulting.

Finally, in vs. 12 he says, I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess.  Again, feeling superior.

•Question.  Have you ever had a person in your life who was very judgmental or condemning of you?     •How did that make you feel?                                                                                                        •Very insecure.                                                                                                                                 •An outcast.                                                                                                                                      •Defeated.

And because of that person, or persons negative influence upon you, how does it still affect you to this day?

For example:                                                                                                                                  •A people-pleaser.                                                                                                                                 •A pretender.                                                                                                                                      •Oppressed and rejected.                                                                                                                   

Also, we can even be judgmental or condemning of our own selves at times as well.             •Feeling shameful.                                                                                                                             •Dirty or unclean.                                                                                                                         •Unworthy or unfit.

Listen.  So why would you and I think by doing the same thing to another that was done unto us, is going to be helpful?

Therefore, let us seek God, to change the man in the mirror from being judgmental, for being like a Pharisee by requesting (daily) God’s help, His strength, His Graciousness, and the understanding of how to control the impulse of being very judgmental and condemning. feeling superior, being disparaging of others.

Now notice Matthew 7:                                                                                                                Vs. 3.   For why do you look at the speck or the sawdust in your brother’s eye. But do not consider the plank of wood that is in your own eye?                                                                   Vs. 4.  Tell me how can you say to your brother, let me remove the speck or the sawdust from your eye, and you have in your eye a plank of wood?                                                                   Vs. 5.  Hypocrite! First remove the plank of wood from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck or the sawdust from your brother’s eye.

So, what do you think Jesus point was?                                                                                                 Actually, our Lord's teaching was not just about sawdust and planks of wood in one's eyes.

In fact, the real issue that concern Jesus, and should concern you and me is revealed to us here in Matthew 7: 1&2.                                                                                                                       Vs. 1.  Judge not, that you be not judged.                                                                                      Vs. 2.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

07-21-2019   Part 4  

Notice this paraphrase of James 1: 22-25.                                                                                     Vs. 22.  “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”                      Vs. 23.  “Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, they are like a man observing his natural face in a glass or a mirror;                                                                         Vs. 24.  Although he observes himself, He still goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was at that moment.                                                                                                        Vs. 25.  However, the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, i.e. the Bible, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the Work, this one will be bless in what they do!”

So, let’s finish up our brief mini-series which we have called, “Being Depended On God To Change The Man or the Woman In the Mirror.” 

Listen, according to James 1: 22-25, one of the many purposes of the Bible, or the Word of God is to act like a mirror in our lives!  And then, along with the help of the Holy Spirit this can be an important time for personal discovery, for spiritual growth.  And to experience biblical transformation or change when we do not allow ourselves to be self-deceived.

But instead, we are to be doers of the Word, a practitioner of the Bible in every situation or circumstance.  In every relationship.  Or, even when challenges, or personal or spiritual attacks come our way.

So then, we are considering three very serious matters, that if we are not careful can affect and diminish our witness, our testimony, and our ministry unto others, whom we wish to help, or to share the Gospel with, or to be that Godly example for them to follow, as we are following Christ!

The first serious matter, are those times when we can be overly critical about certain things and about certain people.

The second serious matter, are those times when we can be very judgmental or condemning because of the way a person looks, or how they talk, or that they have done, or what they are doing or not doing, especially when you and I think we are doing better than someone else!

And the third serious matter, are those times that we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a Bigot, or even a Racist when dealing with certain people.  Or, when dealing with a certain age group. Or, when dealing with a certain gender.  Or, with a certain individual whose sexual orientation or identity is different than yours.  Or, with someone whose political or social views, ideology, or position, is different than yours.  Or, with someone whose denominational, or religious beliefs or practices is different than yours.

But remember, all three of these matters just mentioned are connected to one another to show us how easy it is for any of us to move from one to the other, or to be guilty of all three.

And all three of these matters just mentioned are possible when the heart and the flesh of a person is not daily, under the control of God.

Therefore, being depended on God to change the man in the mirror by His Word, and by the Holy Spirit who indwells us, is the only real way to bring about lasting change that starts from within.

And then, over time that inward change will affect you and I outwardly, so much, so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior is dramatically different than it Was before.

And thereby, we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God by being both salt and light.

Now, last Sunday with God’s help, we address the second serious matter that unfortunately, at times you and I can be very judgmental or condemning because of the way a person looks, or how they talk, or what they have done, or what they are doing or not doing, especially when you and I think we are doing better than someone else!

For example, Luke 18.                                                                                                                   Vs. 9.  Also, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.                     Vs. 10.  Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other, a tax collector.  Vs. 11.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself.  God, I thank you that I am not like other men.  An extortioner, unjust, an adulterer, or even as this tax collector.                                 Vs. 12.  I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess.

Listen, if we are acting like the individuals mention in vs. 9, or like the Pharisee that was mention in vs. 11&12, then our witness, our testimony, even our ministry unto others whom we wish to help, or to share the gospel with, or to be that Godly example for them to follow, as we are following Christ, will be greatly affected and diminished in those times when you and I can be very judgmental or condemning because of the way a person looks, or how they talk, or what they have done, or what they are doing or not doing, especially when you and I think we are doing better than someone else!

Now let’s consider our third and final matter that is serious, and we need to address are those times when we are being intolerant, or prejudice, or a bigot, or even a racist when dealing with certain people. Or, when dealing with a certain age group.  Or, when dealing with a certain gender.  Or, with a certain individual whose sexual orientation or identity is different than yours. Or, with someone whose political or social views, ideology, or position, is different than yours. Or, with someone whose denominational or religious beliefs or practices is different than yours.

Notice St. John 1:                                                                                                                         Vs. 45.  Philip found Nathanael and said to Nathanael, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote, and His Name is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  Vs. 46.  But Nathanael said to Philip, can any good thing come out of Nazareth? And Philip said to Nathanael, Come and see!

See St. John 8: 48.                                                                                                                             Then, the Jews answered and said to Jesus, do we not say correctly that you are a Samaritan, and you have a demon?

Now see St. John 4:                                                                                                                          Vs. 6.  Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.                                                                                                Vs. 7.  A woman of Samaria came to draw water.  And Jesus said to her, give Me a drink.             Vs. 8.  For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.                                                  * Vs. 9.  Then the woman of Samaria said to Jesus, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?  Because the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

See Galatians 2:                                                                                                                                Vs. 11.  Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed;    Vs. 12.  before certain men came from James, Peter would eat with the Gentiles. But when these men from James came around, Peter withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision, or who were Jewish!                                                                                   Vs. 13.  And the rest of the Jewish Christians also played the hypocrite along with Peter, so much so, even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy too.

See Numbers 12: 1&2.                                                                                                                     Vs. 1.  Then Moses’ sister Miriam, and his brother Aaron, spoke against Moses because of the Cushite or Ethiopian woman whom Moses had married; for Moses had married a Cushite or Ethiopian woman.      Vs. 2.  So, Miriam and Aaron said, Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses?  Has the LORD not spoken through us also? And the LORD heard it.

Note:  In Exodus 2: 16-22, Moses, after fleeing Egypt for his life, he finds refuge within a family, a priest of the land of Midian who had seven daughters.  As a fugitive Moses started a new life, and eventually Moses was given one of the Priest of Midian’s daughters to marry, and her name was Zipporah, who boar Moses a son named, Gershom.  Apparently, Moses had two wives over his lifetime very similar to Abraham.  His first wife Zipporah, whom he married when he was younger according to Exodus 2: 16-22.  But his first wife Zipporah we assume passed away, although nothing is said about it in the Bible. Then years later, Moses desires to remarry, this would be his second wife who is unnamed mention in Numbers 12: 1.

 An Important Statement.

Listen, at the very heart of all intolerants, prejudice, bigotry, and racism, is not hatred, but it is pride!

In fact, it is the same sin of pride that was found in the devil himself!

Quote Isaiah 14:                                                                                                                                   Vs. 12.  How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!                                                                     Vs. 13.  For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the North;             Vs. 14.  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'

Quote Ezekiel 28:                                                                                                                                    Vs. 14.  You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.                                  Vs. 15.  You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until iniquity was found in you.         Vs. 17.  Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.

And Then God also said, I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.

Listen, at the very heart of all intolerants, prejudice, bigotry, and racism, is not hatred, but it is pride!                   It is the same sin of pride that was found in the devil himself!

Remember the song, “Say It Loud, I’m Black And I’m Proud”  by the late James Brown and his co-writer and bandleader at that time, saxophonist, Alfred Pee-Wee Ellis, that was recorded and released in 1968.  YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkjaXyuDKYs&feature=share

Supposedly, an anthem for black people to embrace a positive racial self-image, pride, and self-awareness of one’s cultural and history.

But spiritually and biblically-speaking, the title of that song, may have revealed something more than having a racially positive self-image!

Because depending on the individual or a group of people who liked the song, it is easy to give your own meaning or interpretation of the song, which a lot of times is different from what the composer or songwriter may had in mind!

For example, remember, “I’m Coming Out" by Diana Ross released in August, 1980.   “The lyrics held a special meaning to Ms. Ross, as she was leaving Motown Records and "coming out," from under Berry Gordy’s thumb!”     YouTube   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-mjl63e0ms&feature=share

But later that year, this song became the anthem for the LGBTQ Community, to express pride and self-awareness, and never being ashamed of who you are!

And again, depending on the individual or a group of people who liked a song, it is easy to give your own meaning or interpretation of the song, which a lot of times is different from what the composer or songwriter may had in mind!

Listen, for any people to say, say it loud, I’m (Fill in the blank) and I’m proud” could be a problem, the problem of sinful pride!

But please don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say!  Personally, I have no problem with a healthy appreciation, awareness, and gratitude unto God for one’s ancestry, for one’s ethnic or racial identity, for one’s cultural uniqueness and distinctives, is a result of our Creator’s plan, will, and purpose for every people, and for every generation, which is only for this life and it is temporary!

But on the other hand, feelings of racial superiority.  Or, racial separatist ideology.  Or, Racism. Bigotry. Prejudice.  Or, intolerants by any people or individual, against another people or individual. To intimidate, or to dominate. To suppress, or to oppress. To control, or to enslave.  Or, to eradicate, or to bring about their Genocide, is Satanic, demonic, sadistic, evil, sinful and wrong.

For example, in the small African country of Rwanda, in 1994, the Hutu’s Against the Tutsi.

The Holocaust by the Nazi Germans, against the European Jews, from 1941 unto 1945.

Note:  My unfortunate journey in becoming a Racist.                                                                  •In Jr. High School, the next day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, as I encouraged the physical assault upon non-black students because it was said “they” killed Dr. Martin Luther King.              •Later in High School I was a member of the BSU, the Black Student Union, and was heavily influenced by an adult teacher who was a militant racist himself.                                                •In High School I took a Black History course, that only focused on the positive things and not the negative things in Black history.                                                                                               •Exposure to the early 70s to the nation of Islam and the teachings of Malcolm X.                          •Jr. College - more Black History courses, a militant racist.                                                                       •Exposure to the early 70s Black Panther party.                                                                                  •A minor incident with a local Los Angeles Sheriff Department Deputy.

Listen, if we are not careful and wise, our witness, our testimony, even our ministry unto others whom we wish to help, or to share the Gospel with, or to be that Godly example for them to follow, as we are following Christ will be greatly affected and diminished in those times that we are being intolerant, or prejudice, or a Bigot, or even a Racist when dealing a certain age group. Or, when dealing with a certain gender. Or, with a certain individual whose sexual orientation or identity is different than yours. Or, with someone chose political or with certain people.  Or, when dealing with social views, ideology, or position, is different than yours. Or, with someone whose denominational or religious beliefs or practices is different than yours.

Question, have you ever had a person or persons in your life who was intolerant, or prejudice, or a Bigot, or even a Racist when they were dealing with you?

And how did that make you feel?  Extremely angry, or defensive, or hostile, or wanted to act out in a violent way.

Or, maybe you were deeply hurt, or insulted, feeling unaccepted, or feeling not good enough, or inferior.

And because of that person, or persons negative influence upon you, *how does it still affect you to this day?

For example: Internal animosity, hatred, and unforgiveness towards certain people, or a group, or individuals and what they stand for, or believe, or practice!

Never feeling accepted when around certain people, or a certain group, or individuals, because of what they stand for, or believe, or practice!

An inferiority complex when dealing with certain people, or a certain group, or individuals because of what they stand for, or believe, or practice!

Wanting to avoid being around certain people, or a certain group, or individuals because of what they stand for, or believe, or practice!

A strong distain, or a distrust, or a suspicion when it comes to certain people, or a certain group, or individuals because of what they stand for, or believe, or practice!

Question.  So, why would you and I think by doing such things to another person that was done unto us, is going to be helpful, or useful, or effective as a representative of Christ?

Therefore, let us seek God, to change the man in the mirror by requesting (daily) God’s help, His strength, His Graciousness, and the understanding of how to control the impulse of intolerant, or prejudice, or a Bigot, or even a Racist when dealing with certain people. Or when dealing with a certain age group. Or, when dealing with a certain gender. Or, with a certain individual whose sexual orientation or identity is different than yours. Or, with someone whose political or social views, ideology, or position, is different than yours. Or, with someone whose denominational or religious beliefs or practices is different than yours.

See Acts 17:                                                                                                                                  Vs. 24.  God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in Temples made with hands.                                                                                   Vs. 25.  Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.                                                                                                       Vs. 26.  And God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.

See Acts 1: 8.                                                                                                                                     But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

See Revelation 5:                                                                                                                               Vs. 8.  Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints Vs. 9.  And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

See Galatians 3:                                                                                                                                       Vs. 26.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.                                                      Vs. 27.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.                                 Vs. 28.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.                                                                                       Vs. 29.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

A YouTube video on the topic of race and racism from a biblical point of view.                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWW7-JirDe0&feature=share

08-25-2019   Part 6

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th.  Or, if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

We are considering what the Bible says and teaches us about,                                  *The Fundamentals,                                                                                                               *The Basics,                                                                                                                        *The core truths for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or you would like to be one day.

Now this afternoon, let’s continue to understand what the Bible teaches about The Very Nature Of Salvation That Comes From God By Once Again Focusing On One Of These 8 Essential Elements That Also Come From God.  And the next essential element that is a major part of our salvation would be called, non-conformity.

Listen, non-conformity, or the practical side of sanctification Needs to be more than just theoretical or theological to us.        

Non-conformity, or the practical side of sanctification needs to be extremely practical, so much so that we are willing to be different, so we can make a difference within these times that we are a part of, and for the glory of God!

Note: An observation about those who choose to be different, an influencer, a trendsetter in our society or culture today!

Whether it is in the music industry.  Or, in the movie or television industry.  Or, in the fashion industry, or on an internet website.  These individuals could be entrepreneurs, or world leaders or politicians, or professional sport personalities, or educators, teachers, or professors.

They have become whether for good, or for bad, the influencers and trendsetters within our society and culture today!

Question, yet would you and I be willing to be different, an influencer, or a trendsetter within these times that we are a part of, and for the glory of God?

Whether it would be morally or ethically!                                                                           Whether it would be in how you speak, or how you talk.  By what you say or don’t say!                     Whether it would be by your commitment to personal integrity, honesty, and truthfulness.

Or, whether it would be by your conduct, your behavior or, your lifestyle choices, that you are willing to be different, an influencer, or a trendsetter within these times that we are a part of, and for the glory of God.

Now notice carefully Romans 12:                                                                                     Vs. 1.  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  Vs. 2.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing or reprogramming of your mind or heart, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Listen, non-conformity, or the practical side of sanctification becomes a reality for us personally, when we are willing to be different, so we can make a difference within these times that we are a part of, and for the glory of God!

Question, but what is the world, that is being referred to here, in vs. 2?

Now I would like to give to you three important things from the Bible, that would help you and me to understand what we are dealing with when it comes to the world!

First, how do we be in the world, but not of the world?

Notice St. John 17:                                                                                                         Vs. 14.  Jesus is speaking, I have given them your word; and the world has hated Them, why, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.                   Vs. 15.  I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.                                                                                         Vs. 16.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.                                    Vs. 17.  Sanctify them by your truth. your word is truth.                                                    Vs. 18.  As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Now, there are three things from the Bible that would help you and me to understand what we are dealing with when it comes to the world!

And secondly, is the world is indeed fascinating, appealing, and alluring for every human being, very similar to a bright light that attracts moths at night.

In other words, the world has a strong pull or magnetism upon us. The world can have a desirable attraction upon our flesh, our senses, or our self- centeredness!

Show you what I mean!

Notice, I John 2:                                                                                                                      Vs. 15.  Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.                                                                                          Vs. 16.  For all that is in the world is, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and these things are not of the Father, but of the world!                            Vs. 17.  Also, the world is passing away and the lust of it; but the one who does the will of God, abides forever.

Now, there are three things from the Bible that would help you and me to understand what we are dealing with when it comes to the world!

And thirdly, who is really in control of the world?                                                           

Notice II Corinthians 4:                                                                                                           Vs. 3.  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:                                                     Vs. 4.  In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Also, see I John 5: 19. (KJV)

We know that we are of God, but the whole world lies under the sway the influence or the control of the wicked one.

Also, see St. Luke 4:                                                                                                            Vs. 5.  Then the devil, taking Jesus up on a high mountain, and showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.                                                                        Vs. 6.  And the devil said unto Jesus, all this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.                                       Vs. 7.  Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours!

Also, see Ephesians 2:                                                                                                    Vs. 2.  Wherein in time past, you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince or ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:     Vs. 3.  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Back to Romans 12

Now notice again, Romans 12:                                                                                        Vs. 1.  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Vs. 2.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing or reprogramming of your mind or heart, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Listen non-conformity, or the practical side of sanctification becomes a reality for us personally, when we are willing to be different, so we can make a difference within these times that we are a part of, and for the glory of God!

Show you what I mean!

See I Peter 2:9.                                                                                                                        But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Now See II Corinthians 5:17.                                                                                     Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

See II Corinthians 5:20.                                                                                                      Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.

See Philippians 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 20.  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Vs. 21. Who will transform our lowly body, so that it may be conformed unto His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

And see I John 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!  Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.                                              Vs. 2.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.                                        Vs. 3.  And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

09-29-2019   Part 7 

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”            Do you know what you believe and why?  Could you share or explain to a non-Christian or a fellow Christian?   A friend or a family member?    A teacher or a professor?    A coworker or a next-door neighbor what you believe and why?    Do you really know what you believe and why?

Well, each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th, or if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

With God’s help, hopefully, we are equipping you, we are informing you, and we are helping you to consider what the Bible says and teaches us about the different beliefs and ideas of our day.

But most importantly, hopefully we are equipping you, we are informing you, and we are helping you to consider what the Bible says and teaches us about,  *The Fundamentals.   *The Basics.   *The Core Truths, for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, (or you would like to be one day).

So, this afternoon lets continue to understand what the Bible teaches about the very nature of Salvation that comes from God.

Remember, there are at least these eight essential elements that make up our glorious Salvation.

And last month we considered the fifth essential element that comes from God for the person who believes and receives is from God through Jesus Christ, and that was non-conformity, or the practical side of Sanctification.

Today, lets continue to understand what the Bible teaches about our great Salvation, by focusing on the next essential element that is called, Sonship, or being a child of God, having a personal relationship and a friendship with God that is forever.

Listen, this particular essential element of our Salvation should help us to appreciate, that the God of heaven is looking to establish and maintain a lasting relationship with each one of us who are truly saved because of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we will briefly examine with the help of the Bible, three unique spiritual inheritances that we have in Christ.

By the way, what is an ‘inheritance’?

So then, there are at least three unique spiritual inheritances that we have in Christ.                                 1. We have a lasting personal position.                                                                           2. We have a lasting personal friendship.                                                                            3. We have a lasting personal relationship.                                                                         

But before we start let me clarify something that is often misunderstood as modern-day Christians.

These three areas that I just mentioned, having a lasting personal position.  Having a lasting personal friendship.   And having a lasting personal relationship.                                                                      

These three areas are not about self-esteem building!   Nor, are these three areas about enhancing one’s ego, or one’s narcissistic tendencies!

Listen, these three areas that were mention are to be a clear reminder that God is looking to establish and maintain a lasting relationship with each one of us who are truly saved because of Jesus Christ.

And not some kind of temporary religious experience were we perform ritualistic duties.

Or, that we are only focused upon keeping the rules, or the traditions, or certain ceremonies. Or that we are obsessed with our own self-righteousness.

So, let’s consider our first unique spiritual inheritance that we have in Christ, and that is we have a lasting personal position with God because of Jesus Christ!

See Galatians 3:                                                                                                                   Vs. 26.  For you are all sons of God (through faith in Christ Jesus).                             Vs. 27.  For as many of you as were Baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.               Vs. 28.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.                                                       Vs. 29.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

•••Now take some time to explain vs. 26, 27, 28, 29.   Because of the misuse and misunderstanding being taught by some in our day. •••

Notice again Galatians 3:                                                                                                   Vs. 26. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.   Note: Sons of God can mean, the spiritual offspring, or a child, or children of God.

Next, only made possible through or because of faith in Christ Jesus, He is the only way!

Now see St. John 1:                                                                                                            Vs. 12.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become (children of God), even to those who believe in His name,                                                           Vs. 13.  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Now back to Galatians 3.

Notice Galatians 3:                                                                                                        Vs. 27.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.   Note: this verse here is not talking about water baptism, but spiritual baptism!

Now see I Corinthians 12:13,                                                                                             “For by one Spirit (a reference to the Holy Spirit), we were all baptized into one body, (the body of Christ).  Whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves or free, all have been made to drink into one Spirit.”

Now back to Galatians 3.

Notice Galatians 3:                                                                                                            Vs. 28.  So, *there is neither Jew nor Greek or Gentiles.    *there is neither slave nor free.                                                                                          *there is neither male nor female.                                                                                      *For or because you are all one in Christ Jesus!                                                             Note: This verse here is not talking about denying the sociology differences within different cultures and societies.  But to spiritually recognize our equality in Christ, regardless of our differences.

Also, this verse should not be use protests against gender leadership inequality within the home, or the church.  See later Ephesians 5:22-24, I Timothy 3: 1-12, Titus 1:5-9.

And neither should it be use to promote gender fluidity, or same sex acceptance within the body of Christ.

Now back to Galatians 3.

Notice Galatians 3:                                                                                                        Vs. 29.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

What promise?

See Galatians 4:                                                                                                                 Vs. 4.  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, to be born of a woman, to be born under the Law.                                                                         Vs. 5.  Yet, to redeem those who were under the Law.  Why?  So that we might receive the adoption as sons, or the spiritual offspring, or spiritual children of God.   Note: Fulfilling the promise given to is in Galatians 3: 29. “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed or offspring, and heirs according to the promise.”

Now Galatians 4: 6 continues, and because you are sons, or the spiritual offspring, or spiritual children of God.

God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son, (another name for the Holy Spirit) into your hearts, so we can cry out, “Abba, Father!"

See Romans 8:                                                                                                                  Vs. 14.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.                Vs. 15.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received The Spirit of Adoption, (another name for the Holy Spirit), by whom we can cry out, “Abba, Father.”                                      Vs. 16.  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.  Vs. 17.  And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Now back to Galatians 4.

Now Galatians 4: 7 continues. Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Now see St. John 8:                                                                                                         Vs. 34.  Jesus answered them, most assuredly, I say to you, whoever habitually commits sin, is a slave of sin Vs. 35.  Jesus continues, Also, a slave does not abide in the house forever.  Because they are not free.  But on the other hand, a son abides forever.  Why?  Because They are free!                                     Vs. 36.  Jesus continues, therefore, if the Son or the Son of God, or God the Son, makes you free. You shall be free Indeed, or truly.  Why?  Because you have been made a son in Christ, and are no longer a slave.

Now See I John 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are for this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.                     Vs. 2.  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be we know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

••Now, one more important thing to know and understand when it comes to being a child of God, our Heavenly Father reserves the right to discipline us and to correct us according to His purposes.

See Hebrews 12:                                                                                                               Vs. 5.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;                                                      Vs. 6.  For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.                     Vs. 7.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?                                                                                       Vs. 8.  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.                                                                                            Vs.  9.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?                                                   Vs. 10.  For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.                                                   Vs. 11.  Now, no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

*********** Wednesday Sermon Notes 2019

“To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

01-09-2019   Part 11      Wednesday

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

Now we have mentioned before that there is a 3-point outline the Apostle Paul is being led by the Holy Spirit to give this church and any other church, the correction and the direction concerning their participation with the Lord’s table or Holy Communion. 

For example, the First Point is in I Corinthians 11: 18-22, & 33, 34.                                Here, the Apostle Paul rebukes this church, and any other church for their mistreatment of one another before, during, and after the Lord’s Supper.

Remember that before the Lord’s Supper or Communion, some of the first century Gentile churches would observed the Love (Agape) Feast, that is it was their version of a Christian potluck or a church family fellowship time together.

The Second Point is in, I Corinthians 11: 23-26, here the Apostle Paul reminds this church, and any other church, how the first Communion was instituted by Jesus Christ, and the symbolic importance of the bread and the cup.

Now the Third & Final Point, is in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, and here the LORD uses the Apostle Paul like an Old Testament Prophet, to warn this church and any other church, of the dangers and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

And this afternoon we will begin to consider this third and final point here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32.

That we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Show you what I mean!

In I Corinthians 11:                                                                                                         Vs. 27.  Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                                                                                                          Vs. 28.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.                                                                                                                                  

Vs. 29.  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.                                                                            Vs. 30.  For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.                                                                                                                  Vs. 31.  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.                                  Vs. 32.  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.  Wow!

Perhaps, the re-arranging of the verses here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32 for study purposes only, may help.

For example, I Corinthians 11: 27&29, we have the Warning!

Vs. 27. Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                                   Vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Next, here are some of the dangers, and the Consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.                                                                                                                                     Vs. 30.  For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Next, here is how we can avoid such dangers and consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.                                                                                                                                    Vs. 28a.  But let a man or a person examine themselves.  Why?                                   Vs. 31.  For or because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

Next, the Purpose!

Vs. 32. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, Himself that we may not be condemned with the world.

Finally, the Permission!                                                                                                 Vs. 28b.  And then, so let them eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

So then, with the time remaining, lets first consider the warning in I Corinthians 11: 27&29.

Notice vs. 27.  Therefore, or wherefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                                                                                           And vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Now, here are a few things to consider about this warning.                                             In vs. 27, a small detail, but a big Insight we should understand.

Some English translations of the Bible starts vs. 27.  With wherefore, or therefore, or so then.

The main point of these words is to bring us to a point of personal responsibility.  In other words, there are responsibilities to bear, based on what we learned in vs. 23-26.

And please review again what you learned.

Next, another small detail, but a big insight we should understand.                                    In vs. 27, the whoever, or the He, or the one in vs. 29!

These warnings in vs. 27&29 is for anyone, everyone, anybody!                             There are no exceptions.                                                                                               There are no exemption.                                                                                                   Whether you are                                                                                                         Male or female.                                                                                                                 Young or old.                                                                                                                      Jew or gentile.                                                                                                             Rich or poor.                                                                                                               Saved or unsaved!                                                                                                   

These warnings in vs. 27&29 are for anyone, everyone, anybody!                                 still another small detail, but a big insight we should understand.

Notice in vs. 27, eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord.

Remember this bread and this cup is from the LORD and not from a man, or from men, but it’s from the LORD!                                                                                                     It is His idea.                                                                                                                  His ordinance.                                                                                                                  His warning.                                                                                                                            His judgment.

Next, in vs. 27 & 29, unworthily, or in an unworthy manner!

And here in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 the English words translated in most English Bibles as unworthily or an unworthy manner, comes from a Greek word ἀναξίως anaxíōs, which is an adverb and not an adjective.

If it were an adjective, it would be referring to one’s personal worth or value.                        If it were an adjective, it would be referring to the manner in which something was done, or practice or performed.

And unfortunately, In I Corinthians 11: 27&29 unworthily or in an unworthy manner supposes that whoever eats and drinks is unworthy.  And it is true, that in our own selves apart from Jesus Christ, we are all unworthy to participate in the table the Lord or Holy Communion.

In fact, apart from Jesus Christ we are all unworthy to be regarded as His followers, and beneficiaries of the eternal life that He so freely gives.

Yet it is in, and through, and because of Jesus Christ, and by means of The Holy Spirit who brings true conversion to our hearts we are able to place our personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Who then justifies and sanctifies us in the sight of God so that our worthiness and our acceptance, is no longer in question, and no longer an issue with God.

However, in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 the words unworthily or in an unworthy manner, means being or acting inappropriately, having made oneself unsuitable for something special, for something beneficial.

Listen, unworthily or in an unworthy manner can mean being irreverent or defiant towards something that is sacred, holy, and special.

In other words, a defiant spirit or attitude in us that does not care about God standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or to obey them.

This spirit or attitude only wants what it wants no matter the consequences.  And will demand to be in control of its own needs, wants, and desires.

So then, unworthily or in an unworthy manner can be any sin or habitual or defiant practice, behavior, conduct, or lifestyle that is against, or that is contrary to God and His Word.

And finally, unworthily or in an unworthy manner speaks of the unworthiness of an act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins!                                                                                                 Morally                                                                                                                    Ethically                                                                                                                      Spiritually                                                                                                                 Biblically                                                                                                               Relationally                                                                                                                               •In vs. 27, guilty of the body and blood of the Lord!                                                        •In vs. 29, eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

01-16-2019   Part 12     

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s continue to look at this third & final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

And again, let’s consider the warning in vs. 27&29.                                                     Vs. 27.  Therefore, or wherefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                           And vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Now in I Corinthians 11: 27&29, the English words translated in most English Bibles is, unworthily, or in an unworthy manner, actually comes from a Greek word, ἀναξίως anaxíōs, which is an adverb and not a adjective.  For if it were an adjective, it would be referring to one’s personal worth or value.  But here in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 the words unworthily, or in an unworthy manner, is an adverb, referring to the manner in which something was done, or practice or performed.

But unfortunately, so many believe I Corinthians 11: 27&29 is referring to an individuals unworthiness.  And in one way that is true, in our own selves apart from Jesus Christ, we are all unworthy to participate in the table the Lord or Holy Communion.  In fact, apart from Jesus Christ we are all unworthy to be regarded as His followers, and beneficiaries of the eternal life that He so freely gives.  Yet ,it is in and through, and because of Jesus Christ, and by means of The Holy Spirit who brings true conversion to our hearts we are able to place our personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Who then justifies and sanctifies us in the sight of God so that our worthiness and our acceptance, is no longer in question, and no longer an issue with God.  However, in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 the words unworthily or in an unworthy manner, means being or acting inappropriately, having made oneself unsuitable for something special, for something beneficial.  Also, unworthily or in an unworthy manner can referred to as being irreverent or defiant towards something that is sacred, holy, and special.  In other words, having a defiant spirit or attitude in us that does not care about God standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or to obey them. This spirit or attitude only wants what it wants no matter the consequences.  And will demand to be in control of its own needs, wants, and desires.  So then, unworthily or, in an unworthy manner can be any sin or habitual or defiant practice, behavior, conduct, or lifestyle that is against, or that is contrary to God and His Word.  And finally, unworthily or in an unworthy manner speaks of the unworthiness of an act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins. But only hypocrisy or pretending, or in self-denial about one’s true condition.  Note: I John 1: 5-10.

Also, here are some things to consider that we may have become, or we are doing, or we have done recently, in which we have not acknowledged and confessed unto God, nor sought His forgiveness, nor with God’s help have repented of such things.                •Gossiping.                                                                                                                         •Slandering.                                                                                                                        •Lying.                                                                                                                                      •Lusting.                                                                                                                                 •Unforgiving.                                                                                                                          •Abusive, either verbally or physically .                                                                                            •Judgmental or overly critical, a Pharisee-mentality.                                                                 •Self-righteous.                                                                                                                       •Prideful.                                                                                                                           •Self-centered.                                                                                                                   •Selfish.                                                                                                                         •Sectarian.                                                                                                                                 •A religious ritualist or conformist.                                                                                         •A racist.                                                                                                                                 •Sacrilegious.                                                                                                                           •A moral compromiser.                                                                                                             •A thief.                                                                                                                                    •Having wrong motives.                                                                                                            •An addict.                                                                                                                                   •A murmurer and complainer.                                                                                                    •A deceiver.                                                                                                                           •Stiff-neck.                                                                                                                                •Rebellious.                                                                                                                               •Disobedient.                                                                                                                           •Unbelieving.                                                                                                                             

Also, notice Mark 7:                                                                                                       Vs. 21.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,                                                                                                    Vs. 22.  thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.                                                                                                           Vs. 23.  All these evil things come from within and defile a man.

Now see I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                Vs. 9.  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?        Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,                                                                                                               Vs. 10.  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Now notice Galatians 5:                                                                                                         Vs. 19.  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,                                                                                                 Vs. 20.  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,                                                                                       Vs. 21.  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Now see II Timothy 3:                                                                                                   Vs. 2.  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,                                                 Vs. 3.  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, Vs. 4.  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

And lastly see Proverbs 6:                                                                                             Vs. 16.  These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination unto Him:     Vs. 17.  A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,                       Vs. 18.  A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil,          Vs. 19.  A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

And remember, unworthily or, in an unworthy manner speaks of the unworthiness of an act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins.  But only hypocrisy or pretending, or in self-denial about one’s true condition.

And these were some of the things to consider that we may have become, or we are doing, or we have done recently, in which we have not acknowledged and confessed unto God, nor sought His forgiveness, nor with God’s help have repented of such things.

Now see I Corinthians 11: 27.  Therefore or, wherefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, in an unworthy manner will be guilty.  Stop there!

This word ‘guilty’ is a judicial word that means, one held accountable or responsible. one worthy of punishment, correction or discipline.

Now notice again I Corinthians 11: 27. Therefore, or wherefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Or, in I Corinthians 11: 27, the English Standard Version says, whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

Or, I Corinthians 11: 27, the New International Version says, so then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

But this last one is a paraphrase that I think based on the context of I Corinthians 11: 27, is the best English interpretation for understanding this last phrase at the end of vs. 27.

Notice therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of dishonoring, disrespecting, or devaluing the body and blood of the Lord.

01-23-2019   Part 13     

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s continue to look at this third & final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

And again, let’s consider the warning in vs. 27&29.                                                     Vs. 27.  Therefore, or wherefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                           And vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Say something again about warning labels!                                                                           Also, share some humorous warning labels.

For example, on a hand-held hair dryer the warning label said, “Do not use while sleeping."

On a novelty rock garden set that was called "Popcorn Rocks."  The warning label said, “Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth.”                                                                            On a coffee cup, a warning label said, “Caution: Hot beverages are hot!"                       On a package of peanuts, the warning label said, “May contain nuts."                                 On a shipment of hammers, a warning label said, “May be harmful if swallowed."                 On a child sized superman costume the warning label said, “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."

The main purpose of a warning label is to inform, to make one aware of the possibilities or the harmful effects or consequences.

And do you think before having Communion there should be a warning label to read before you participate?

Now here I Corinthians 11: 27&29 we have two nearly identical warnings.                            And last Wednesday we considered the first warning in vs. 27.

 

This afternoon let’s consider the second warning.

Notice vs. 29 again, for the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, stop there!

And that’s the key.  Because in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 the English words translated in most English Bibles as unworthily or an unworthy manner, comes from a Greek word ἀναξίως anaxíōs, which is an adverb and not a adjective.  If it were an adjective, it would be referring to one’s personal worth or value.  If it were an adjective, it would be referring to the manner in which something was done, or practice or performed.  And unfortunately, in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 unworthily or in an unworthy manner supposes that whoever eats and drinks is unworthy.  And it is true, that in our own selves apart from Jesus Christ, we are all unworthy to participate in the table the Lord or Holy Communion.

In fact, apart from Jesus Christ we are all unworthy to be regarded as His followers, and beneficiaries of the eternal life that He so freely gives. Yet it is in, and through, and because of Jesus Christ, and by means of The Holy Spirit who brings true conversion to our hearts we are able to place our personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Who then justifies and sanctifies us in the sight of God so that our worthiness and our acceptance, is no longer in question, and no longer an issue with God.  However, in I Corinthians 11: 27&29 the words unworthily or, in an unworthy manner, means being or acting inappropriately, having made oneself unsuitable for something special, for something beneficial.

Listen unworthily or in an unworthy manner can mean being irreverent or defiant towards something that is sacred, holy, and special.

In other words, a defiant spirit or attitude in us that does not care about God standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or to obey them. This spirit or attitude only wants what it wants no matter the consequences.  And will demand to be in control of its own needs, wants, and desires.

So then, unworthily or, in an unworthy manner can be any sin or habitual or defiant practice, behavior, conduct, or lifestyle that is against, or that is contrary to God and His Word.

And finally, unworthily or, in an unworthy manner speaks of the unworthiness of an act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins!

Now notice vs. 29 again, for the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

The word ‘Discerning’ is important to understand.

A Strong’s Definition: the Greek word, διακρίνω diakrínō, to judge, to discern to distinguish, or to decide the value or the importance of something.

So, not discerning would mean, not judging, nor discerning, nor distinguishing, nor deciding the value or the importance of something.

So how important is the Lord’s Body?

Remember I Corinthians 11:                                                                                        Vs. 27.  Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

See Hebrews 10:                                                                                                                  Vs. 5.  Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But, a body You have prepared for me.                                                          Vs. 6.  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.                                 Vs. 7.  Then I said, Behold, I have come in the volume of the book it is written of me to do Your will, O God.                                                                                                                Vs. 10.  By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

See I Peter 2: 24&25:                                                                                                      Vs. 24.  Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.                         Vs. 25.  For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Now back to I Corinthians 11:

Finally, notice vs. 29 again for the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks Judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Now this word ‘Judgment’ from Strong's Definition, is the Greek verb κρίμα kríma, can mean, a decision to be for or against.

But the Greek word krínō – properly, to separate (distinguish), i.e. judge; come to a choice (decision, judgment) by making a judgment either positive (a verdict in favor of) or negative (which rejects or condemns).

Krínō, distinguish, judge, typically refers to making a determination of right or wrong (innocence or guilt, especially on an official (legal) standard. We only judge.             Krínō) accurately by intelligent comparison and contrast based on God's word, i.e. to approve prefer what is correct and reject what is inferior wrong.

Krínō is used of "bringing to trial" the trying of fact in a court of law.                                   Krinō originally meant "separate," 'to distinguish, to pick out, to be of opinion, to judge.

We know God is a God of love and Grace, but also our God is a God of judgment and justice as well?

Let’s consider some verses from the Bible to help us understand what the judgment of God is all about for both the saved and the unsaved that will occur at separate times.

First, the final judgment the Saved.

See II Corinthians 5:                                                                                                          Vs. 10.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Also, see I Corinthians 3: 12-15.                                                                                   Vs. 12.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,                                                                                                              Vs. 13.  each one’s work will become clear; for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.                     Vs. 14.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.   Vs. 15.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Now, the final judgment of the devil and all his demons along with the unsaved.

See Revelation 20:                                                                                                        Vs. 10. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are.  And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.                                                                                                               Vs. 11.  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.  And there was found no place for them.                   Vs. 12.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Next, believers earthly judgments whenever necessary.

See I Peter 4:                                                                                                                          Vs. 17.  For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?    Vs. 18.  Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?

See Hebrews 10:                                                                                                                Vs. 26.  For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,                                                                                Vs. 27.  but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.                                                                                                      Vs. 28.  Anyone who has rejected Moses law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.                                                                                                      Vs. 29.  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of Grace?                   Vs. 30.  For we know Him who said, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge His people.                                                                   Vs. 31.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

See Hebrews 12:                                                                                                              Vs. 5.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;                                                                                                                Vs. 6.  For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.                                                                                                                        Vs. 7.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?                                                                                           Vs. 8.  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.                                                                                            Vs. 9.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?                                                                                                                                     Vs. 10.  For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.                                                    Vs. 11.  Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

And see Galatians 6: 7&8:                                                                                                   Vs. 7.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.                                                                                                                         Vs. 8.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

02-06-2019   Part 14     

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this Important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s continue to look at this third and final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or In an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

For Example, I Corinthians 11: 27&29 we have the warning!                                              Vs. 27.  Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                               Vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Question, so, what are some of the dangers, and some of the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord?

Notice I Corinthians 11: 30, For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.   Is that it!

Well, I personally believe that there are some other things that should be considered also which are not mention here in vs. 30, but they are mentioned in other places of the Bible.

I don’t think this is a completed list, but only a few of the dangers, only a few of the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Unfortunately, the other consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord is a prolong loss of fellowship with our God.

Not in our relationship with God!                                                                                   But in our fellowship with God.

See I John 1: 3,6,8,9,10.

Vs. 3.  that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.                                                                                                                                  Vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.                                                                                                    Vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Vs. 9.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                                              Vs. 10.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

So, the other consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, and by the way, the words unworthily or in an unworthy manner can be, any sin or habitual or defiant practice, behavior, conduct, or lifestyle that is against, or that is contrary to God and His word.

Unworthily or, in an unworthy manner speaks of the unworthiness of an act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins!

So, Notice I John 1: 6,8,9,10.                                                                                             Vs. 6.  What if you, or I said, that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in Darkness!                                                                                                                           Vs. 8.  What if you, or I said, that we have no sin!                                                                    Vs. 9.  What if you, or I refuse to, confess our sins!                                                                                                                                   Vs. 10.  What if you, or I said, we have not sinned!

Listen, there will be a prolong loss of fellowship with God, if we choose to do nothing!

But what does fellowship with God look Like?                                                                And what are we really forfeiting or losing out on?                                                         First, what does fellowship with God look like?

Listen, the God of Heaven greatly desire and has made it possible for those who are truly saved and forgiven to have an abiding fellowship with Himself, and as a result of such fellowship we enjoy the many blessings and benefits the comes from being in constant, uninterrupted fellowship with God.

For example, such blessings and benefits we enjoy are, having the LORD’s guidance, His patients, His Joy, His discernment, His enablement and empowerment for faithful service.  His loving acceptance and approval.  And His mighty power, so that we can overcome any temptations.

In addition, we are also beneficiaries of the peace of God.  The Grace of God. The Love of God. The protection of God.  Having our needs met by God. Having a God given insight and understanding when reading and studying the Bible.  And having an unwavering faith or confidence that trusteth in the LORD, that enables one to endure any trial or test that comes.

So then, what are we really forfeiting or losing out on concerning our fellowship with God?

For example, having the LORD’s guidance, His patients, His joy, His discernment, His enablement and empowerment for faithful service.  His loving acceptance and approval.  And His mighty power, so that we can overcome any temptations.

In addition, we are forfeiting or losing out on the peace of God. The Grace of God.  The love of God.  The protection of God.  Having our needs met by God.  Having a God-given insight and understanding when reading and studying the Bible.  And having an unwavering faith or confidence that trusteth in the LORD, that enables one to endure any trial or test that comes.

So, what are some of the dangers, and some of the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord?

Now notice again I Corinthians 11: 30, for this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Let’s first notice the phrase, “For this reason,” or “For this cause!”                              But what is this making reference to?

Remember I Corinthians 11: 27&29.                                                                                    Vs. 27.  Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                                 Vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.                                           Next in vs. 30, it says, for this reason MANY are weak and sick among you, and MANY sleep.

But who are the MANY?

See vs. 27.  Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner!                                                                                                           Vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner!

And remember the words unworthily or in an unworthy manner can be any sin or habitual or defiant practice, behavior, conduct, or lifestyle that is against, or that is contrary to God and His Word.

Unworthily or, in an unworthy manner speaks of the unworthiness of an act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins!

Next in vs. 30 it says, For this reason many are weak.  Stop there!

‘Weak’, this Greek adjective from a Strong’s definition is ἀσθενεῖς (astheneis).                It literally means not strong, but weak physically, or morally.  Or infirm, sick. Strengthless.                                                                                                                     I believe it’s referring to a progressive chronic physical deteriorating debilitating kinds of illnesses, sicknesses, or diseases.

Next in vs. 30 it says, for this reason many are weak, and sick among you.  Stop there!  Sick or sickly, is also a Greek adjective from a Strong’s definition ἄρρωστοι (arrōstoi).   It literally means infirm, sick, ill, feeble, sickly.

And I believe it’s referring to again of a progressive chronic physical deteriorating debilitating kinds of illnesses, sicknesses, or diseases.

And lastly in vs. 30 it says, For this reason many are weak, and sick among you, and many sleep.  Stop There!

Sleep is from a Greek verb the Strong’s definition κοιμῶνται (koimōntai).                           It literally means to put to sleep, or to slumber figuratively, or literally to be decease.           Some examples of the word Sleep used in the Bible to refer to physical dead;

See Acts 7: 60.  Falling on his knees, Stephen cried out in a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.  And when Stephen had said this, he fell asleep.

See Acts 13: 36.  For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.

See I Thessalonians 4: 15.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

See I Corinthians 15: 51.  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 

02-13-2019   Part 15     

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s continue to look at this third & final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Question, so what are some of the dangers, and some of the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord?

Notice I Corinthians 11: 30.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

So then, does God chastise His people sometime spiritually and physically?

See Hebrews 12: 5-7.                                                                                                      Vs. 5.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD nor, be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;                                                                                                                           Vs. 6.  For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.                                                                                                                               Vs. 7.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?”

Question, does God chastise His people sometime spiritually and physically?

See Deuteronomy 28:                                                                                                          Vs. 15.  But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:                                               Vs. 22.  The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.                                                                                                    Vs. 27.  The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed.                                                             Vs. 28.  The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart.    Vs. 59.  then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues great and prolonged plagues and serious and prolonged sicknesses.                                 Vs. 60.  Moreover, He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.                                                                            Vs. 61.   Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed.

Question, does God chastise His people sometime spiritually and physically?

See James 5                                                                                                                  Vs. 19.  Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,                                                                                                                                   Vs. 20.  let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Also, see I John 5:                                                                                                         Vs. 16.  If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.  There is sin leading to death.  I do not say that he should pray about that.                                         Vs. 17.  All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

So, in vs.16, what is the sin that leads to death?

Listen, any sin or habitual or defiant practice, behavior, conduct, or lifestyle that is against or that is contrary to God and His Word, by which we become hypocrites.

Or any act, or a lifestyle, or behavior that exist, that is habitual in one’s life and there is no confession to God, and there is no repentance from that sin or sins!

Remember how I John 1:  vs. 6,8,9,10 corrects us?                                                     Vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.                                                                                                          Vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.        Vs. 9.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                                                 Vs. 10.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

But notice again I John 1:                                                                                                   Vs. 6.  But what if you or I said that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in darkness!                                                                                                                        Vs. 8.  What if you or I said, that we have no sin!                                                                  Vs. 9.  What if you or I refuse to, confess our sins.                                                       Vs. 10.  What if you or I said, we have not sinned!

Now see again I John 5:                                                                                                          Vs. 16.  If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.  There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.                                    Vs. 17.  All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

Also, here Is insightful Example in Acts 5:                                                                    Vs. 3.  But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?                                                  Vs. 4.  While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.                                                                                                                Vs. 5.  Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great          fear came upon all those who heard these things.                                                             Vs. 6.  And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Vs. 7.  Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.                                                                                                                             Vs. 8.  And Peter answered her, tell me whether you sold the land for so much? She said, Yes, for so much.                                                                                                     Vs. 9.  Then Peter said to her, how is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord?  Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.                                                                                                        Vs. 10.  Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last.  And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.

Back to I Corinthians 11.

So how can we Biblically avoid such dangers and consequences?

Is there any solution or answer that we should consider, so that we don’t partake unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord?

Yes! See I Corinthians 11: 28a. & vs. 31, this is how we can Biblically avoid such dangers and consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Notice vs. 28a.  But let a man or a person examine themselves.  Why?                                Vs. 31.  For or, because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

Now notice again vs. 28a.                                                                                                  But let a man or a person examine themselves.

Strong's Definitions: δοκιμάζω dokimázō.                                                                      To test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not, as certain metals).                                                                                                                           Or, to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worth. 

Please notice other places in the New Testament where this word is used, but it is sometime translated into English with a different word.

For example, Galatians 6: 4.                                                                                                   But let each one test (examine) his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another

Also, see I John 4: 1.  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

02-20-2019   Part 16     

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s continue to look at this third & final Section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Now, notice vs. 30.                                                                                                                        For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

How can you and I as a child of God avoid such dangers and consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord?

Well, notice vs. 28a.                                                                                                                            But let a man or a person examine themselves. Why?                                                                    Vs. 31.  For or because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.  And last Wednesday towards the end of our Bible Study time we considered the words, “examine yourself!”                                                                                                                                        Vs. 28a.  But, let a man or a person examine yourself.                                                                      •Not compare themselves!                                                                                                                      •Not make excuses for themselves!                                                                                                    •But to examine themselves!                                                                                                             Our English word examine can be better understood from the original language of the New Testament.

Note: A Strong’s definition from the Greek verb, δοκιμάζω dokimázō.                                                To test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as certain metals.            Or, to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, or deem worthy. 

Now, there are at least two areas that we should examine regularly, concerning ourselves.

First, was our Salvation experience in coming to Christ was it really genuine?  Does it continue to be life-changing?  And is there is a personal abiding relationship with God that is developing?  Listen, is during our own personal private devotional prayer time that we have with the Lord, Himself, we should examine ourselves to know that our Salvation experience in coming to Christ was genuine and continues to be life-changing, and also there is a personal abiding relationship with God that is developing.

Now, Notice II Corinthians 13: 5.  Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?  Unless, indeed you are disqualified or a reprobate? Wow!

So, how could one examine themselves?  How could one test themselves to know whether or Not they are in the Faith?

See I John 1: 6&8.                                                                                                                          Vs. 6.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, but walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.                                                                                                                           Vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

How could one examine themselves?  How could one test themselves to know whether or not they are in the Faith?

See St. John 16:                                                                                                                                   Vs. 7.  Jesus is speaking, nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper or the Comforter or the Holy Spirit will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.                                                                                               Vs. 8.  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

Quote Romans 8: 9.  But, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, or the Spirit of God, they are not His!

Now, remember St. John 16:                                                                                                          Vs. 8.  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment.

So, how could one examine themselves?                                                                                           How could one test themselves to know whether or not they are in the Faith?

Listen.  If I experience no divine guilt or conviction in my heart, and I can still continue to do what is wrong, sinful, and against God and His Word.  Then, there is a strong possibility that I was never saved in the first place, but only experienced a false conversion, a religious experience, or just united with a local church ministry.

Now, there are at least two areas that we should examine regularly, concerning ourselves.            Before we participate and partake of the Lord’s Table, or Holy Communion.

Now, notice 28a.  But, let a man or a person examine yourself.

Unfortunately, we still sin, not regularly!  But, from time to time, and in various ways that are contrary to the Word of God, and the Will of God, we still sin!

Question, but how do we examine ourselves Biblically and correctly?                                     And the answer is we need divine help!  God’s help!  God’s assistance!

Notice Psalms 139:                                                                                                                     Vs. 23.  Search me O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:                          Vs. 24.  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

02-27-2019   Part 17     

Let’s return back to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s continue to look at this third & final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Now notice vs. 28a.                                                                                                            But let a man or (a person) examine themselves.

And last Wednesday, if you remember we said that there were at least two areas that we should examine ourselves regularly!

First of all, according to II Corinthians 13, you should examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves, do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?  Unless indeed you are disqualified or a reprobate?

Or, secondly, before you participate and partake of the Lord’s Table, or Holy Communion you should examine yourselves.

But in either case, how should we examine ourselves?

Well, last Wednesday with the help of I John 1: 6 &8, and St. John 16: 7&8, we considered how to examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith.

This Wednesday, lets finish up our look at how we should examine and judge ourselves as well, before we participate and partake of the Lord’s Table, or Holy Communion?

Now again, how we should examine ourselves before we participate and partake of the Lord’s Table, or Holy Communion?

Now, see I John 1: 9.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we confess our sins!

But what does that really mean, and how do we Know that we are doing this correctly?

(Do a brief review with the Bible study group).

And again, according to I Corinthians 11: 28a, how do we examine ourselves?

Now, see Psalms 32:                                                                                                        Vs. 5.  I acknowledged my sin unto You and mine iniquity have I not hid.

I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Listen, with God’s help after we have examined ourselves by spending some personal time with God, then we should both acknowledge and confess to God our own sin or sins.

(Do a brief review with the Bible study group).

Now it is at this point we need the Holy Spirit who is the only One who can change us and transform us through the repentance that He so freely gives.

But yet, we so seldomly know how to receive this repentance that the Holy Spirit wants us to walk in!

Now, see II Timothy 2:                                                                                                       Vs.  25.  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;                                             Vs. 26.  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Question, what should you and I expect when the Holy Spirit produces change and transformation through the repentance that He so freely gives?

First, repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, a divine strength to turn from, or, to turn away from anything or anyone that would cause you to compromise or be tempted, or become disobedient and sin against God!

Secondly, repentance that comes from God and not from self, will produce within you and me, the fear of the Lord!

See Proverbs 9: 10.                                                                                                     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Question, in what ways does the fear of the Lord make a difference within you and me? (Repeat)

Here are at least three things you and I will noticed at work within our hearts.

First, the fear of the Lord is when God develops within my heart a personal conviction and commitment, so that I don’t want to displease Him.

Next, the fear of the Lord is when God develops within my heart a personal conviction and commitment, so that I don’t want to experience the LORD’s chastisement or correction upon my life, reaping what I sow!

And lastly, the fear of the Lord is when God develops within my heart a personal conviction & commitment, so that I don’t want my testimony and my witness to others, to be in vain!

Now notice vs. 31.                                                                                                           For or, because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.                               Listen, not only do we examine ourselves, but also, must judge ourselves!

The word ‘judge’ that is used here, comes from a Greek verb, a Strong’s definition, διακρίνω diakrínō, which is a mult-definitional word.  And one of the meanings for can mean judge, διακρίνω diakrínō, can mean to decide or to decide upon a matter.

So, the how should we judge ourselves?

Listen, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, we search the scriptures to know what God says.

Then be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.            Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!

This is what it means to judge ourselves.                                                                       We never condemn ourselves!                                                                                             

But we judge ourselves.                                                                                                          For example, see Ephesians 4.

Now again, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, we search the scriptures to know what God says.

Notice Ephesians 4:                                                                                                               Vs. 25.  Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Now, be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.

Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!  Next, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, We search the scriptures to know what God says.                                                                                                        Vs. 26.  Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,                   Vs. 27.  nor give place to the devil.

Now, be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.

Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!

Next, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, we search the scriptures to know what God says.

Vs. 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.

Now be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.

Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!

Next, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, we search the scriptures to know what God says.

Vs. 29.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Now be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.

Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!

Next, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, we search the scriptures to know what God says.

Vs. 30.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Now, be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.

Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!

Lastly, with your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit, we search the scriptures to know what God says.

Vs. 31.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Now, be honest and willing to decide upon the matter that is going on in your life.

Be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!

Now, back to I Corinthian 11.

So, how can we avoid the dangers and consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or, in an unworthy manner of the bread and the cup of the Lord?

Notice vs. 28a.  But let a man or a person examine themselves.  Why?                        Vs. 31.  For, or because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

Now, here are some suggestions you might consider when applying vs. 28a, but let a man or a person examine themselves.                                                                          And vs. 31.  For or, because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

So, here are some suggestions you might consider!                                                •Seek a quiet place, an undistracted place so you can be with the Lord privately, be intentional.                                                                                                                      •Request and depend on God to help you go through this process together.                      •Examine yourself.  Admitting and confessing to God any and every sin that the Holy Spirit brings to your attention or your remembrance that you’ve been involved in currently, or from the recent past, or from the distant past.                                           •Judge yourself, not condemn yourself.

But judge yourself.  With your Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit search the scriptures to know what God says.

Then be honest and willing to admit to God that you have fallen short of His standards, His will, His purpose, His plan for you!                                                                             •Request for divine repentance and change in your behavior your attitude your conduct          your life style.                                                                                                                    •Request from The Lord that the desire of your heart would to never allow anything or anyone to hinder or block your fellowship with Him.                                                           •Begin to intercede for others who are struggling like you are in certain areas of your life.

03-06-2019    Part 18  

Let’s return to our current topic, “To Receive Or Not To Receive That Is The Question When It Comes To Participating In Holy Communion?”

Listen, this particular topic about Holy Communion we are considering from I Corinthians 11: 18-34, will truly help us to receive God’s instruction and correction so that we can avoid the pitfalls and the misunderstandings surrounding the observance and practice of this important Biblical ordinance.

And this afternoon let’s finish up our look at this third and final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, so that we may receive God’s warning and correction so we can avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Now, as we come to the end of our study concerning Communion, let’s review what we’ve learned so far about this third and final section here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32.

And here in I Corinthians 11: 27-32, we re-arranged some of the verses for study purposes to help us understand the Important part we are to play!

For example, I Corinthians 11: 27&29, we are to heed the warnings that are divinely given to us!

Notice vs. 27. Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                                           Also, vs. 29.  For the one who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.

Next, we should consider seriously the dangers, and the consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Notice vs. 30.  For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Next, we should know how to avoid the dangers and consequences that comes from partaking unworthily or in an unworthy manner, of the bread and the cup of the Lord.

Notice vs. 28a.  But let a man or a person examine themselves. Why?                            And vs. 31.  For or because if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

Next, we should consider the purposes that God has when He allows his correction or His discipline to play apart in our lives!

Vs. 32.  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord (Himself) that we may not be condemned with the world.

Finally, we should accept the permission to participate in Communion that God gives to us, after we have examined ourselves and have judged ourselves!

Notice vs. 28b.  And, then so let them eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

So then, let’s go back to vs. 31a.  For or because if we would judge ourselves! (Stop there)!

And last Wednesday we spent some time understanding what it meant to judge ourselves!  Not to condemn ourselves!  But to judge ourselves.  To deal with things in our lives that are sinful, that are wrong, or that is displeasing in God’s sight.

However, notice vs. 31b, we will not be judged!

Because when we deal with things in our lives that are sinful, that are wrong, that are displeasing in God’s sight, and we examine our ourselves regularly.  Acknowledging, confessing, and repenting with God’s help, then the Lord Himself Is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Listen, as a true child of God we must deal with things in our life now!                        Don’t wait!  Don’t procrastinate!                                                                                      Don’t make excuses!                                                                                                          Don’t blame others!                                                                                                              Stop being in denial!                                                                                                             Stop resisting or rebelling against the Lord!                                                                     Again, if we would judge ourselves, we will not be judged!                                               Question, but what if you and I or anyone we know who is a true Child of God, would want to continue in their sin, their disobedience, their rebellion against God?

Neither, confessing or repenting for their actions, lifestyle, or behavior. Question what is God’s response to all of this?

Now notice vs. 32.  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord (Himself) that we may not be condemned with the world.

Listen, we should consider the purposes that God Has when He allows His correction or His discipline to play apart in our lives!

Now notice vs. 32;                                                                                                            But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord (Himself), that we may not be condemned with the world.

Also see Job 5: 17.  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore, despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:                                                                           Vs. 18. For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Now, see Psalms 94: 12.  Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.

Lastly, see Proverbs 3:                                                                                                      Vs. 11. My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;           Vs. 12. For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Back to I Corinthians 11:                                                                                                Now, notice vs. 28b, and then so let them eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Finally, we should accept the permission to participate in Communion that God gives to us, after we have examined ourselves and have judged ourselves!

Notice vs. 28b.  And, then so let them eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Although over the last several weeks we spent some quality time understanding our part and our involvement when it comes to Communion.  But actually, Communion is not about us, it’s all about Jesus, who He is, and what He has done for everyone.

Show you what I mean!                                                                                                       Remember, I Corinthians 11:                                                                                                 Vs. 23.  For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;                                     Vs. 24.  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.                                                    Vs. 25.  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.            Vs. 26.  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.

"How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Help Within Their Families, And Within Their Family Relationships.”

 03-13-2019    Part 1        

This afternoon we want to return back to the Book of Proverbs.

As some of you may know for some time we have been working our way through the Psalms and the Proverbs, going back-and-forth looking at certain chapters, and looking at certain verses.                         In fact, we have entitled this series, "Applying The Psalms And Proverbs For Daily Living."

For we are learning how that many of the Psalms & Proverbs can be extremely helpful to you and I in any situation or circumstance that we are facing, that we are dealing with, if applied.

And here in the Book of Proverbs chapter 10 thru chapter 31, there are several major themes that we are focusing upon.                                                                                   For example, we considered the topic of verbal communication.  Or, being more aware and cautious of the words that we would say to another person.

Also, we dealt with the topic of receive God's wisdom and understanding for overcoming, or dealing with anger, adversity, or aging.

So then, this afternoon we're going to begin to consider another major theme from the book of Proverbs.

And therefore, our newest topic from the Book of Proverbs will be called, "How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Help Within Their Families, And Within Their Family Relationships.”

And our first subject that we will deal with when it comes to applying the Proverbs to help us within our families, and within our family relationships, is to know and to accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation spiritually, emotionally, and socially.  Amen!

And whether you are a Christian parent or parents, a Christian grandparent, a Christian aunt or uncle, a Christian adult cousin, a Christian stepparent, a Christian foster parent, a Christian public school teacher, a Christian counselor, a Christian children social worker, a Pastor, or a Youth Pastor or a Sunday school teacher or volunteer.

We all should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation spiritually, emotionally, and socially.

Now, notice this well-known and very familiar verse from the Bible.                                    See Proverbs 22:6,                                                                                                             “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it!”

Question what do you know about this purpose what do you think you’re saying to us?

Next question is this, a promise?                                                                                            A prediction?                                                                                                                          A plan?                                                                                                                              Or, our purpose?                                                                                                                   Or, is there something more or something deeper?                                                      Or, is there something spiritually, emotionally, and socially that we need to consider?

But before we answer that question, let’s pursue with the help of the Bible a better understanding what God is saying to us about the next generation, from conception into their late teens, whether or not they are a part of our family!

But what is God saying to us about the next generation and how important and valuable they really are?

For example, see Psalms 139:                                                                                      Vs. 13.  For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.        Vs. 14.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

Next. The KJV says about Psalms 127: 3-5.                                                                 Vs. 3.  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

Also, Psalm 127: 3 (The NASB bible version) says, behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

Or, Psalm 127: 3 (The DBY bible version) says, Lo, children are an inheritance from Jehovah, and the fruit of the womb a reward.

Now, KJV continues to says here in Psalms 127:                                                         Vs. 4.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.            Vs. 5.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

See Mark 10:                                                                                                                         Vs. 13.  Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.                                                                   Vs. 14.  But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Vs. 15.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.                                                   Vs. 16.  And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

Now, in Deuteronomy 6, originally given unto the children of Israel in the Old Testament.  Yet, there are some very important principles that still applies to a faith community, or a local church, or to the body of Christ as a whole that we can you still use today!

See Deuteronomy 6:                                                                                                         Vs. 4.  “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!                                            Vs. 5.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.       Vs. 6.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.                   Vs. 7.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.                                                          Vs. 8.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.           Vs. 9.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Now, unto the adult females and whether you are a parent a grandparent, an aunt, an adult cousin, a stepparent, a foster parent.

II Timothy 1:                                                                                                                         Vs. 5.  when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

And, II Timothy 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 15.  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now, unto to the adult males, and whether you are a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, an adult cousin, a stepparent, a foster parent.

Ephesians 6:                                                                                                                        Vs. 4.  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Also, Colossians 3:                                                                                                                  Vs. 21.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Also, Malachi 4:                                                                                                                 Vs. 5.  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.                                                                                                    Vs. 6.  And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse

03-20-2019    Part 2      

Let’s return back to our newest topic from the Book Of Proverbs we are calling, "How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Find Help Within Their Families And Within Their Family Relationships.”

And the first subject that we are dealing with is, “To Know And To Accept What The Bible Says Is Our Responsibility In Raising Up The Next Generation Spiritually, Morally, Emotionally, And Socially.” Amen!

And therefore, as Christian adults we should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation whether those within our own Homes.  Or, those who are a part of our families.                                                          Or, those who a part of our church families.                                                                   Or, those who a part of our neighborhoods or communities.

Again, we should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation.

Now, notice this well-known and very familiar verse from the Bible.

See Proverbs 22:6.  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it!”

Question.  What do you know about this verse?                                                                  What do you think this verse is saying unto us as Christian adults?                                       Also, is this verse,                                                                                                                     A promise?                                                                                                                                 A prediction?                                                                                                                             A plan?                                                                                                                                    Or, our purpose?                                                                                                                  Or, could there be something more, or something deeper that we need to consider?

Because Proverbs 22:6 is probably the most quoted bible passage when it comes to childrearing, and yet ironically, it may be the most misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misapplied verse in all the Bible.

Listen, when Christians were asked what does Proverbs 22: 6 means and how would you interpret and apply it?

The majority came up with this interpretation and application.                                           “Teach your children to know and obey the Ten Commandments; teach them to pray at mealtime, bedtime, and for emergencies.  And be sure to feed them a steady diet of Bible verses to memorize.

Make sure your kids attend Sunday school and church regularly.  If possible, send them to Christian camp, Vacation Bible School.  If you can enroll them into a Christian private school and or college.

Do this early, because watch out teenage and early 20’s rebellion will come!

They will sow a lot of wild oats that will detour their spiritual life.  But when their fling is over, they’ll come back to God.   And you can count on it because this verse has God’s promise on it.

But in my opinion, there are a few major problems with this interpretation and application of Proverbs 22: 6.

First, nothing is mentioned about an intimate relationship between the child and the adult in their life in which the exchange of ideas and believes are better received.

Next, nothing is mentioned about the adult in the child’s life modeling and being an example for the child to follow when it comes to spiritual matters and biblical truths.

Also, there can be a false security or the farming out that others will be responsible and more effective in reaching the child in your life, whether it’s by Sunday School, regularly Church attendance. Christian camp, Vacation Bible School, or Christian private school and or college.

Lastly, each child is an individual when it comes to spiritual matters.  Some have accepted at an early age the Lord Jesus Christ into their lives.  Others have rebelled and then later in life returned.  But some never did return and chose instead to pursue their sinful lifestyle, or they have accepted another religious belief or spiritual philosophy, and unfortunately died.  Perhaps they cried out to the Lord before their passing, but maybe they did not!

Note: The Bible study group wanted to discuss and give their opinions about my opinion on this matter.  It was a insightful and helpful discussion.

Now notice again Proverbs 22: 6, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it!

Question, is there something more, or something deeper here that we need to consider?

Yes, in fact a better way to understand and interpret Proverbs 22: 6, is to look up in an English and in Bible dictionary familiar un familiar words in vs. 6.

Next, read Proverbs 22: 6, from a different Bible translation than you normally use.

For example: The Christian Standard Bible says, “Start a youth out on his way; even when he grows old, he will not depart from it.”

The New International Version says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.”

However, the first two words in Most English Bibles, “Train Up’ needs to be understood from the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

Show you what I mean!

Actually, in Hebrew the words “Train Up” that is translated into most English bibles is just one word in the Hebrew language.

The Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’ has multiple meanings.                                                                 For example, to dedicate or to consecrate oneself for a task, a job, or a mission.

The Hebrew word Hanakh is used to dedicate a building, the tabernacle or the Temple.

In fact, an Arabic verb that is used here and is very close cousin to the Hebrew word Hanakh, which can mean to stimulate one to pursue what’s best for them.

At this point the interpretation gives a helpful metaphor of a midwife assisting the mother of a newborn, in helping the baby to know how to nurse from their mother.

The midwife, by dipping her finger into a small bowl of crushed dates in order to massage the palate and gums of a newborn to encouraged the baby’s sucking instinct so that nursing could begin as soon as possible.

In other words, the midwife stimulated the baby’s gums in order to encourage the kind of behavior that would benefit the child.

She wisely and deftly utilized the baby’s natural instinct to guide them toward what is best.

Listen, the best parental training is accomplished when we opt for inspiration instead of coercion.

We do this by discovering the child’s natural desires and unique abilities and by encouraging the behavior that will allow him or her to develop accordingly.

Now this is not to say that we merely allow children or young adults to do as they please, nor that we should avoid necessary discipline or guidance or training of them.

Because the last meaning of the Hebrew word, ‘Hanakh’ relates to the training of a wild horse.

And the uses of a horse’s bridle which subdues the horse for the purpose of directing its natural energies without breaking its spirit.

However, that the bridle is not a yoke to dominate the horse.

Horses want to run because God gave them a desire to fulfill their created purpose.  A wise, caring rider uses the bit and the reins to help the horse achieve its purpose safely and effectively.

So, let’s review again the words “Train Up” or the Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’.

The Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’ can mean, to dedicate or to consecrate oneself for a task, a job, or a mission.

Therefore, as a Christian adult I should be willing to dedicate and consecrate myself for the task of the raising up the next generation within my influence.

Next, train up or the Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’ can mean to stimulate one to pursue what’s best for them.

Remember the midwife metaphor or picture.                                                                    In other words, the midwife stimulated the baby’s gums in order to encourage the kind of behavior that would benefit the child.

She wisely and deftly utilized the baby’s natural instinct to guide them toward what is best.

Likewise, when we discover a child’s natural desires and unique abilities, then we can wisely encourage the behavior that will allow him or her to develop accordingly.

But remember, this is not to say that we merely allow children or young adults to do as they please, nor that we should avoid necessary discipline or guidance or training of them.

Lastly, “Train Up” or the Hebrew word 'Hanakh’, can relate to the training of a wild horse.

And the uses of a horse’s bridle which subdues the horse for the purpose of directing its natural energies without breaking its spirit.

Horses want to run because God gave them a desire to fulfill their created purpose.  A wise, caring rider uses the bit and the reins to help the horse achieve its purpose safely and effectively.

So likewise, as wise adults who care about the next generation in help them achieve their God giving purposes safely and effectively without breaking their spirit.

03-27-2019    Part 3      

Let’s return back to our newest topic from the Book of Proverbs we are calling, "How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Find Help Within Their Families And Within Their Family Relationships.”

And the first subject that we are dealing with is, “To Know And To Accept What The Bible Says Is Our Responsibility In raising Up The Next Generation Spiritually, Morally, Emotionally, And Socially.” Amen!

And therefore, as Christian adults we should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation whether those within our own homes in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.                                                                                                          Or, those who are a part of our families in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.                                                                  Or, those who a part of our church families in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.                                                                  Or, those who a part of our neighborhoods or communities in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.

Again, we should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation.

Now see Proverbs 22:6.                                                                                                      Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it!”

Question, so what do you think this verse is saying unto us as Christian adults?       And could there be something more here than we realize?                                             Is there something deeper here that we need to consider?

And the answer is yes!  In fact, within the first two words in most English Bibles, the words “train up", is so very important for us to understand.

Remember, the Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’, this Hebrew word has several important meanings to help us.

For example, this Hebrew word can mean, to dedicate or to consecrate oneself for a task, a job, or a mission.

And therefore, as a Christian Adult I should be willing to dedicate and consecrate myself for the task of the raising up the next generation within my influence.

Next, train up or the Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’ can also mean, to stimulate one to pursue what’s best for them. 

Now remember the midwife metaphor or illustration.

In the times of the Old Testament the Midwife would help stimulate a newborn’s mouth in order for them to nurse from their mother.  The act of the midwife influenced the kind of behavior that would benefit the child.  Therefore, Midwife simply and wisely utilized the baby’s natural instincts to guide them toward what is best, receiving nourishment from their mother, so that they can grow and thrive.

So likewise, when we discover a child’s natural desires and unique abilities, and then we can wisely encourage the behavior that will allow him or her to develop accordingly.

But remember, this is not to say that we merely allow children or young adults to do as they please, nor, that we should avoid necessary discipline or guidance or training of them.

And lastly, train up or, the Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’, can mean, to train or bring into submission a wild horse so that it can be useful.

A person who trains and works with horses, they normally use a horse’s bridle and bit, which helps subdues the horse for the purpose of directing its natural energies without breaking its spirit.

Because horses want to run for God gave them a desire to fulfill that part of their created purpose.

A wise, caring rider uses the bit and the reins to help the horse achieve its purpose safely and effectively.

So likewise, as wise adults who care about the next generation in help them achieve their God giving purposes safely and effectively without breaking their spirit.

Now notice Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child.  Stop there!

We may assume because of the word ‘child’ that is used here it is referring to someone from a newborn to about five or six years of age.

But actually, the word ‘child’ that is used here can refer to a much broader range of age. It would include from a newborn all the way up to someone into their 20s.

Next, see Proverbs 22:6 again.  Because this next portion is the second most important part of the Proverb for a Christian adult to understand and to apply.      Notice Proverbs 22:6. Train up a child in the way he should go.  Stop there!          Notice it says, in the way he or she should go!                                                            And not in the way he or she wants to go!                                                                     Nor, in the way that I want them to go!                                                                        But, in the way he or she should go!  Wow.                                                                      But, what does this mean, and what does it look like?

Now there are other Bible translations that may give us a clue and some insight.

For example: The Darby Bible Translation says, Train up the child according to the tenor of his way.

The International Standard Version says, Train a child in the way appropriate for him. The Christian Standard Bible says, Start a youth out on his way.                                      The Youngs Literal Translation says, Give instruction to a youth about his way.

In fact, in Hebrew it says quite simply, “in accordance with his way.”   Now, the key here is to understand this Hebrew word that is translated into English by the word ‘way!’

The Hebrew word is ‘Derek’, or in English it is, ‘way.’   The Hebrew word ‘Derek’, can refer to a literal way, such as a path, or a road, or a course.

Like in Proverbs 3: 5&6.                                                                                                Vs. 5.  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.                  Vs. 6.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

But also, the Hebrew word ‘Derek’, can also refer to the manner in which someone or something Acts.

Or, it can refer to something or someone’s characteristics that are distinct and that are set.

For example, in Proverbs 30: 18&19 says.                                                                      Vs. 18.  There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand:                     Vs. 19.  The way of an eagle in the sky.                                                                                 The way of a serpent on a rock.                                                                                          The way of a ship in the middle of the sea.                                                                          And the way of a man with a maid.

Did you notice in each one of these examples in Proverbs 30: 18&19, the term ‘way’ refers to the manner in which someone or something acts.  Or, it is referring to something or someone’s characteristics that are distinct and that are set.  In other words, according to verse 19 you can’t expect a serpent to act like an eagle.  Their characteristics are distinct and they are set very differently.  Nor, should you think that a ship in the middle of the sea will be like a man with a maid.  Again, their characteristics are distinct and they are set very differently.

Listen, we are to train up the next generation according to his or her characteristics, or manner, or tenor that are distinct and that are set for them.

For example, some will be artistic, others athletic.   And still others academic.  One may be strong-willed and another compliant.  One can be encouraged by rewards or recognition, while another couldn’t care less.

Listen, we receive each child from the hand of God, not as a lump of clay to be molded in whatever way we see fit, or what we would desire.

But each child as a unique, distinctive person with a destiny.  Each child's nature, faculties, and temperament are given unto them.  We are to honor God’s creation of this one-of-a-kind individual by adapting our training to his or her characteristic.  To fight it, is to fight against God’s creation.

Instead, study the next generation within your sphere of influence.

And, if you have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance unto them, with God’s help, develop a close relationship with them.  Then help this person discover his or her road, or the path he or she was created to follow.

Remember the illustration we shared about a wild horse being trained overtime.

Ask God to help you make the most of this person’s natural tendencies, so that he or she can live in harmony with God’s design for them.

04-03-2019    Part 4      

"How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Find Help Within Their Families And Within Their Family Relationships?”

And the first subject that we are dealing with is, “To Know And To Accept What The Bible Says Is Our Responsibility In Raising Up The Next Generation Spiritually, Morally, Emotionally, And Socially.” Amen!

And therefore, as Christian adults we should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation whether those within our own homes in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.

Or, those who are a part of our families in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.                                                                 Or, those who a part of our church families in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.                                                                       Or, those who a part of our neighborhoods or communities in which we have been given access and permission to influence or to give guidance.

Again, we should know and accept what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation.

Now notice Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go.  Stop there!

Do a review.

Now, the key here is to understand this Hebrew word that is translated into English by the word “way!”

The Hebrew word is ‘Derek’, or in English ‘way’.  The Hebrew word ‘way’ can refer to a literal way, such as a path, or a road, or a course.  Or, the Hebrew word ‘way’ can also refer to the manner in which someone or something acts.                                                     Or, it can refer to something or someone’s characteristics that are distinct and that are set.                   

A Good example is from Proverbs 30: 18&19 which says,                                                  Vs. 18. There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand:     Vs. 19. The way of an eagle in the sky.                                                                                  The way of a serpent on a rock.                                                                                              The way of a ship in the middle of the sea.                                                                           And the way of a man with a maid.

Notice in each one of these examples in Proverbs 30: 18&19, the term ‘way’ refer to the manner in which someone or something acts.                                                         Or, it is referring to something or someone’s characteristics that are distinct and that are set.

In other words, according to verse 19 you can’t expect a serpent to act like an eagle. their characteristics are distinct and, they are set very differently.

Nor, should you think that a ship in the middle of the sea will be like a man with a maid.                     Again, their characteristics are distinct and they are set very differently.

Here is the point, we are to train up the next generation according to his or her characteristics, or manner, or tenor that are distinct and that are set for them.

Listen, we receive each child from the hand of God, not as a lump of clay to be molded in whatever way we see fit or desire.

But each child as a unique, distinctive person with a destiny.  For each child has his or her natural tendencies whether Good or bad.  Certain characteristics that are distinct and that are set.

For example, the manner or, tenor of their actions.  Or, certain Interests, or, a temperament that were given unto them by God before they were born.

So then, we must spend time learning about this person within our sphere of influence. And if you have been given access and permission to Influence or to give guidance unto them, with God’s help, develop a close relationship with them.  Then help this person discover his or her road, or the path he or she was created to follow.

Remember the illustration we shared about a wild horse who is being trained overtime.            Be sure to ask God regularly to help you make the most of this opportunity that has been given unto you.

Now, see Proverbs 22:6                                                                                                Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. So, is this a guarantee?                                                                                                    Or, a definite promise?                                                                                                  Or, is this Proverb a reasonable prediction?                                                                 Or, a trajectory statement concerning one’s outcome for life?

Notice Proverbs 22:6  And when he or she is old, they will not depart from it!”  Two things to remember                          •And when he or she is old!                                                                                          •He or she will not depart from it!”

First, when he or she is “old,”                                                                                              Or, when he or she as they age.   Not just a set point in time, 12, 18, or 25.  But, throughout duration of time.   In other words, birthday after birthday.  And throughout all the seasons of one’s life.

Now lastly, the Proverb’s says, that he or she will not depart from it.    Again, is this a guarantee?                   Or, a definite promise?                                                                                                         Or, is this Proverb a reasonable prediction?                                                                   Or, a trajectory statement concerning one’s outcome for life?

By the way, the word ‘trajectory’ means, a path of an object through space, or the path of life that a person chooses.                                                                                            Our English word trajectory comes from the Latin, Trajectoria, which means "throw across."                The prefix tra- is short for trans-which means "across" (think transport and transit).   And the ‘ject’ that is in trajectory, comes from the Latin, Jacere, which means "throw" and is also the root of our English word jet.

So, once again Proverbs 22:6 says,  and when he or she is old, or, when he or she as they age. They will not depart from it!

Question what is “the it” that he or she will not depart from?                                                •Is it the training?                                                                                                          •Or, is it the way they should go?

Remember, the term “way” is referring to the manner in which someone or something acts.                        Or, it is referring to something or someone’s characteristics that are distinct and that are set.

Listen, each child has his or her natural tendencies whether good or bad.  Certain characteristics that are distinct and that are set.    For example, the manner or, tenor of their actions.  Or certain interests, or a temperament that were given unto them by God before they were born.

Therefore, here are some areas in which the next generation needs our help and our guidance.              1. Vocational.                                                                                                                      2. Ministerial or serving or giving back.                                                                             3. Practical.                                                                                                                      4. Emotional.                                                                                                                       5. Spiritual.

Explain Vocational.  Not just a job or a career goal.  But a pre-existing vocational aptitude which may include certain skills, gifts, talents, abilities they possess.

•Ministerial or serving or giving back.                                                                              

•Practical.                                                                                                                         On the positive side.  A natural leader, they think things out, not impulsive. They are good with money, a saver not a spender.                                                                      On the negative side. They are easy to get frustrated or distracted. They lose motivation when things don’t work out their way. They can be disrespectful. They at times, have no self-control. They are impatient. They feel at times entitled, or self-centered.

•Emotional.                                                                                                                          Easily anger or to get upset.                                                                                               Or, compassionate and caring.

•Spiritual.                                                                                                                           A real heart for God.                                                                                                         Interested in biblical and spiritual things.                                                                              Wants to pray.                                                                                                              Wants to go to church.                                                                                                       Wants to read their Bible.                                                                                                    Wants to worship God.                                                                                                          Wants a relationship with God.

Remember the word “train up” or the Hebrew word ‘Hanakh’. The Hebrew word Hanakh can mean, to dedicate or to consecrate oneself for a task, a job, or a mission. Therefore, as a Christian adult I should be willing to dedicate and consecrate myself for the task of the raising up the next generation within my influence.

Next, train up or the Hebrew word Hanakh can mean to stimulate one to pursue what’s best for them.  Remember the midwife metaphor or picture.  In other words, the midwife stimulated the baby’s gums in order to encourage the kind of behavior that would benefit the child.  She wisely and deftly utilized the baby’s natural instinct to guide them toward what is best.  Likewise, when we discover a child’s natural desires and unique abilities, then we can wisely encourage the behavior that will allow him or her to develop accordingly.

But remember, this is not to say that we merely allow children or young adults to do as they please, nor that we should avoid necessary discipline or guidance or training of them.

04-10-2019    Part 5    

"How Does The Blessed Man Or Woman Apply The Proverbs To Find Help Within Their Families And Within Their Family Relationships?”

Now we are continuing with our first subject from the Proverbs, which is knowing and accepting what the Bible says is our responsibility in raising up the next generation spiritually, morally, emotionally, and socially.” Amen!

Listen, in raising up the next generation either spiritually, morally, emotionally, or socially, we have been focusing on Proverbs 22: 6.

For this is our personal mandate as a Christian adult who has been given access and permission to influence, or to give guidance in raising up the next generation especially, emotionally and socially, which it appears that this part of Proverbs 22: 6 is making reference to when it says, “in the way he or she should go!”

However, in raising up the next generation spiritually, morally, emotionally, or socially, there is one major factor that we must consider, and that is at times the need for correction (reproof) and discipline!

Now notice Proverbs 29:17,                                                                                               Correct your son or daughter, and they will give you rest; Yes, they will give delight to your soul.

So, let’s begin to see what the Bible says about correction (reproof) and discipline concerning the next generation if we have been given access and permission to influence, or to give guidance unto them that is age-appropriate.

Now you have probably notice, because it seems that our current culture and society is very confused and uncertain about correction (reproof) and discipline for the next generation whatever their age.

Question, so what do you think are some of the reasons why this is?

Next question as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, one who is filled with the Holy Spirit.  And one who knows and studies the Bible, and is living by the Word.  Are you and I confused and uncertain about correction (reproof) and discipline for the next generation whatever their age?

Therefore, I believe, we need to know more now than ever what does the Bible says about correction (reproof) and discipline concerning the next generation, if we have been given access and permission to Influence or to give guidance unto them that is age-appropriate.

 Now turn to Hebrews chapter 12.

Question, where does the idea of correction (reproof) and discipline come from?              Is it simply man-made? Or, is it from God Himself?

Now notice Hebrews 12: 5-11.                                                                                              Vs. 5.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;           &nbs