Friday, May 30, 2014

Works of the Flesh - Part 4 (Hatred, Variance, Emulations, and Wrath)



Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)


  

Review

The works of the flesh are sinful qualities which contrast the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The works of the flesh are characteristics of the sinful nature of man caused by lust [sinful desire]. They are opposites of the qualities which the Holy Spirit wants to develop in your life.

There is a constant spiritual battle going on in the life of a believer. The works of the flesh are trying to destroy the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 
(Galatians 5:17)

The fleshly desires of natural man are contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit.  

Although the results of these sins are visible in wrong actions, the cause is not visible. The cause is sinful desires [lusts] of the heart:

And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him...

And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness;And these evil things come from within, and defile the man (Mark 7:18, 20-23)

The sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are not all of the sins identified in the Bible. They are a group of sins called "works of the flesh" which contrast the fruit of the Spirit. Today we are continuing with:

>        HATRED

Hatred is the opposite of love. It is an emotion of intense dislike. It is evil feelings towards others.

The Bible says that hatred stirs up strife:

Hatred stirreth up strife; but love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:12)

It is better to be where love is than with those who are filled with hatred:

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. 
(Proverbs 15:17)

Hatred covered by deceit will be revealed by God:

Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. (Proverbs 26:26)

Deceit here means pretending to like someone when in reality you hate them.

>        VARIANCE

Variance is disagreement, disharmony, and dissension. It is similar to strife.

This word is used only one other place in the Bible; when Jesus speaks of "variance" in the family as a sign of the last days of time:

 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  (Matthew 10:35)


>        EMULATIONS

Emulation is the desire to copy others and to equal or excel them. It is a spirit of rivalry and a form of jealousy. The passage in Galatians is the only reference in the Bible where the word is used in this manner.  

Joshua was chided for his criticism of the 2 elders who prophesied in the camp:

 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!  Numbers 11:29,

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.  Psalms 37:8,

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  I Corinthians 3:3,

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.  James 3:14, 16

>        WRATH

Wrath is violent anger, an angry act, rage.

The Bible says wrath is cruel:

Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy. 
(Proverbs 27:4)

A man of great wrath will suffer because of it:

A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment; for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. (Proverbs 19:19)

Wise men will turn away from wrath:

Scornful men bring a city into a snare:Wise men turn away wrath. (Proverbs 29:8)

As an unbeliever you were a child of wrath:

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. (Ephesians 2:3)

Wrath should not operate in your life:

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice... (Ephesians 4:31)

You are to put off wrath:

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)

You are to forsake wrath:

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. (Psalms 37:8)

You are to be slow to wrath:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.   (James 1:19-20)

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

There is a relation between wrath and the next work of the flesh, which is strife. The Bible describes this relationship:

A wrathful man stirreth up strife; but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. 
(Proverbs 15:18)

Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife. (Proverbs 30:33)



(Biblical Studies)
08/15/15
05/18/17

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Works of the Flesh - Part 1 (Adultery and Fornication)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)


The works of the flesh, are defined as sinful qualities which contrast the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The works of the flesh are characteristics of the sinful nature of man caused by lust [sinful desire]. They are opposites of the qualities which the Holy Spirit wants to develop in your life.

There is a constant spiritual battle going on in the life of a believer. The works of the flesh are in constant battle with your spirit t0 destroy the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 
(Galatians 5:17)

Although the results of these sins are visible in wrong actions, the cause is not visible. The cause is sinful desires [lusts] of the heart:

And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; And these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
 (Mark 7:18, 20-23)

The sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are not all of the sins identified in the Bible. They are a group of sins called “works of the flesh” which contrast the fruit of the Spirit.

>       ADULTERY

Adultery is sexual intercourse by a married person with someone who is not their spouse.

One of the first ten commandments from God was:

Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)

In Old Testament times when a person committed adultery he was put to death:

And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)

Both Jesus and Paul repeated the warning against adultery in the New Testament:

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery. . . (Mark 10:19)

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery. . .
(Romans 13:9)

Jesus expanded the meaning of adultery to include evil sexual desires of the heart:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
 
(Matthew 5:27-28)

Adultery also includes divorcing a mate and remarrying without Biblical cause:

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:32)

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mark 10:12)

When a person commits adultery he is sinning against his own soul:

But whoso comitteth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. (Proverbs 6:32)

God judges those who commit adultery:

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

Those who commit adultery do not inherit the Kingdom of God:

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, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9)

One of the characteristics by which you can recognize false teachers is by the sin of adultery:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction . . .

. . . Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
 (II Peter 2:1,14)

The Bible warns:

For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life. (Proverbs 6:26)

>       FORNICATION

Fornication is sexual intercourse by two people who are not married to each other.

This sin includes adultery which is sexual intercourse by a married person with someone who is not their mate.  It includes sexual deviation such as homosexuality [with someone of the same sex] and incest.

Fornication can be a Biblically permitted reason for divorce:

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery. (Matthew 5:32)

Fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators..shall inherit the kingdom of God.  (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

The Bible tells us to abstain [refrain] from fornication:

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. (I Thessalonians 4:3)

Nevertheless to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (I Corinthians 7:2)

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. (I Corinthians 10:8)

The body is not intended for fornication because it belongs to the Lord. For this reason, you must flee fornication:

. . . Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  (I Corinthians 6:13,18-20)

It is your responsibility to mortify fornication:

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 
(Colossians 3:5)

Fornication is not to even be named among believers:

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints. (Ephesians 5:3)

If a person continues in fornication, he finally will be given over to it totally. According to Apostle Paul, it can even lead to homosexuality.  Eventually, his conscience will no longer be bothered by it:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:


Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (Romans 1:26, 29)

(Biblical Studies)

08/25/15
05/15/17

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Manifested Promises


If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)




Zephaniah  tells of the transgressions of God's people; he talks about being filthy and polluted by not obeying, trusting, receiving correction and drawing near to Him. So I just want to share a word of encouragement to listen to and obey God.

Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!  She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.  Zephaniah 3:1-2

King Solomon understood the imperative of obedience:

 "Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life."  Proverbs 4:13

If you believe in the promises of God, then you should also know that there are certain things that we must do to receive those promises. We can’t walk in mess; filthiness and pollution and expect to collect on those promises. One thing we have to do is learn how to put our pride and stubbornness aside and be able and willing to accept correction and instruction from God. When God gives us instruction, be it straight from God, His word or from an agent of God, we have to accept it and obey it. To obey God and what ever sacrifice it may require on our part is far better than any sacrifice we manufacture in our mind supposedly for Christ's sake.  

The bible gives us so many accounts of men who followed God’s instructions and were blessed by it or saw a victorious outcome!

In Joshua 3, God promises to magnify Joshua before the people. The Israelites were camped in Jordan, waiting to cross over the Jordan River. It was there, God spoke to Joshua and gave him an important instruction: 

“And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan" .   Joshua 3:8

If you read the account though, you’ll see that the promise was given to Joshua before the instruction: 

And the LORD said unto Joshua, "This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee."   Joshua 3:7

Just think if Joshua had not heeded the instruction of God and decided to do it his own way! 

Often times the instruction may not sound logical, or goes against the way we feel it ought to be done, but we sacrifice our flesh and our will to God and we obey.

Another account is found in  when Isaac was told by God to stay in the land where he was instead of leaving it because of the famine and hardship. 


And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:  Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;   Genesis 26:2-3

Isaac obeyed the instruction of God against his human logic and the word tells us that he waxed great, made progress, and grew until he became very great. He prospered so much that the Philistines were envious of him. 

And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:  For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.  Genesis 26:13-14

God’s ways are different from man’s ways 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

 - and that’s why it’s important to listen and follow His instructions and counsel in order to receive His blessings. We should never try to reason out God’s instructions in our head. We already know His wisdom is greater than man’s wisdom. We know this because the bible tells us  

"…the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."  (1 Corinthians 1:25)   

That’s something to think about!

My prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, we come to You this morning with thanksgiving in our heart; rejoicing that this day is the day that You have made and we do rejoice in it! We thank You Lord for waking us this morning with the proper use of our body, for having a desire to seek You early this day.

Lord, I will forever give you praise, honor and celebrate Your name.  You are the God of the past, present and future,  You are my God.  Whatever you do, rather I understand it or not, You have my total trust.  You are honor, dominion and power - You are my God.  Oh God, You are the only wise God.  I love You, I magnify You, I lift Your name where ever I go.  I thank You for loving us, for keeping us, for being the only wise God; the one true living God.  I magnify Your name, I worship You and I give You praise.  You are the one who knows my beginnings, my middle and my end!  Lord, You are my God.

Lord we thank You for Your goodness; everything You do is good! We thank You for providing our needs; for food, clothing and shelter.

But most of all, Lord, we thank You for salvation. We thank You Father for Your son, Jesus, who obeyed Your will and gave His life for us so that we may have eternal life with You also. We understand the price that was paid; the sacrifice that was made and it’s with grateful hearts that we say thank You, thank You, thank You.

We thank You Father for Your loving kindness, Lord, for Your long suffering, for Your mercy, Lord we say thank You. We don’t take Your grace for granted Lord; we are appreciative that You didn't cut us off in our sins but You paved the way for us to have an encounter with You! In Your tender mercy, You reached down and rescued us from the sinking sands of sin and degradation. You filled us with Your Holy Spirit and caused us to walk in right-standing with You.

And Lord if we slip, You said that if we come to You in godly sorrow and true repentance that You’d be faithful to forgive us. We thank You for that.

We thank You heavenly father for a steadfast desire to serve You despite whatever obstacles come up against us - knowing that You say in Your word to arm ourselves for suffering even as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ suffered.

And while in our suffering and our going through, teach us, Lord, to take comfort in knowing that You will never leave us nor forsake us.

In Your word, Lord, You tell us that the battle is not ours, that it belongs to You. So when we feel overwhelmed with the cares of this world, help us Lord to stand, when we've done all that we can possibly do, help us to stand with our faith rooted and grounded in You.

We thank You Lord God for the power of the resurrection, power in the name of Jesus and power in Your Holy Spirit. Even now, Father, in the precious name of Jesus and in accordance to Your will, we pray that Your healing virtue flow to every person in need of healing.  Lord we know that there is power in the blood, Lord God it’s healing power in the blood that Jesus shed and Lord we are calling on You now as Jehovah Rapha to send healing and deliverance to the sick among us. Lord, in faith we thank You now, we give You praise in advance because we know that You’re able! Praise Your holy name.

Lord we pray for a touch from You, to strengthen us, to build us up in You, to mold us, to propel us to where You need us to be.

Lord we pray for our government and our leaders that someone will operate in godly ways with integrity and faith in You who will stand up and be a voice for righteousness. Lord we pray for our church leaders, our bishops and pastors, elders, ministers, teachers, prophets, evangelists; that they stay as clay in Your hands – moldable to Your will and Your way; humble before You, obedient to Your instructions, oracles to You Lord as they lead Your body in the way that You want us to go. And even for the body of Christ, Lord, I pray that You wake us up, keep us refreshed in Your spirit, steadfast, Lord God, immovable, always abounding in Your work. Break up the spirit of slothfulness, inconsistency, wavering, and unaccountability and replace it with a spirit of readiness, faithfulness, consistency and accountability. Father, stir up the gifts in us; not for our glory but for the building up of Your body so that we can evangelize the lost, the unbelievers, those that need You now more than ever.

We want to be recipients of Your manifested promises. Help us Lord to heed Your word and be obedient to it. Help us to receive Your instruction and Your correction. Help us Lord God to walk in Your ways and be pleasing in your sight. Lord, I pray that You help us to make good decisions based on faith in You and the knowledge and power of Your word. You said in Your word Lord to trust You with all of our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding. In all of our ways, we are to acknowledge You and you will direct our path. Help us Lord to lean on You and to heed your word. When we trust in You, Lord, we don’t have to be worried or be concerned about the cares of this world because we have a hope and that hope is in You Lord.

As we go about our day today, Lord I pray that we be ever mindful of You; that the fruit of Your spirit be evident to all, that we be a blessing to someone along the way and that Your will be done in our life.

Lord we thank You for this opportunity to unite together in prayer once again. We thank You for all You've done and for all that You’re doing. In Jesus’ name, amen

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9)


God bless you all


Elder C. L. Henry



09/03/16