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9-9-2016 Opinion About Salvation

“A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16 NKJV).  “A fool” is anyone arguing against this moral distinction between good and evil, and “is self-confident” without God’s approval.  People may say, “I know I’m saved, regardless of what you show me in the Bible!”  Solomon said: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV).  When Jesus says to “every creature,” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV), how can anyone “know they are saved” if they claimed “salvation” before being baptized?  Salvation is not man’s to claim, but God’s to give, and on His terms!  “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#fool, #opinion, #salvation, #self-confident, #wise

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9-9-2016 Opinion About Salvation

“A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16 NKJV).  “A fool” is anyone arguing against this moral distinction between good and evil, and “is self-confident” without God’s approval.  People may say, “I know I’m saved, regardless of what you show me in the Bible!”  Solomon said: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV).  When Jesus says to “every creature,” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV), how can anyone “know they are saved” if they claimed “salvation” before being baptized?  Salvation is not man’s to claim, but God’s to give, and on His terms!  “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#fool, #self-confident

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(#197) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:19-21-Are We Pampered Servants?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:19-21: “A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. He who pampers his servant from childhood Will have him as a son in the end.”

The term “servant” indicates someone who works for someone else, and though Moses was “a servant” in God’s House, Jesus took “the form of a bondservant” (Philippians 2:7), He was “a Son over His own house, whose house we are” (Hebrews 3:5-6), that is, the church of Christ (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 1:22-23). Jesus’ obedience under Moses’ Law (Hebrews 5:8-9) is our example for obeying Jesus’ Law (Matthew 28:18-20).

It is a disobedient servant who will not follow carefully-worded instructions, so that “though he understands, he will not respond” with obedience. No one has become a servant of Christ by confessing to be saved before being baptized (buried) into the death of Jesus (Romans 6:1-7); no servant of Christ ever added mechanical instrumental music to the singing required in worship (Ephesians 5:19-20); no servants of Christ ever murdered to expand the church (John 18:37; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6); no servants of Christ enjoyed the recreation of fleshly appeals (Romans 13:13-14)!

There is no hope for “a fool” (one who disobeys God) unless he/she repents and obeys God’s Will. One who is conceited must become humbled in order to learn obedience to God: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). The person who is “hasty in his words” is trying to justify him- or herself, rather than listening to what must be changed to please God. “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). No one can “testify” their way to salvation without doing what God says!

A pampered servant will soon “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). This is why all those who have been taught that once they’re saved, they’re always saved, and cannot lose their salvation become spiritually arrogant, thinking they are “bullet-proof!” “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Paul addressed that attitude (and doctrine!) when he wrote: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:16-17). Truly, as Paul wrote, “if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #fleshly-recreation, #fool, #god, #hasty-in-words, #instrumental-music, #jesus-christ, #murder, #obedience, #once-saved-always-saved, #proverbs, #saved-before-baptism, #self-justified, #worship

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(#194) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:8-10-We Didn’t Start The Fire

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:8-10: “Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being.”

Who burns down the town, keeps things stirred up, and promotes hatred? NOT those who follow God’s Will, the “wise,” and “upright,” but the “scoffers,” “fools,” and “bloodthirsty.” A “scoffer” “acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24) and hates those who correct him (Proverbs 9:8). A “fool” “despises his father’s instruction” (Proverbs 15:5); starts quarrels (Proverbs 20:3); “trusts in his own heart (Proverbs 28:26); and “walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:14). Since “the devil” “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), then “The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6); who “shall not live out half their days” (Psalm 55:23); and “hate the blameless” (Proverbs 29:10).

Wars of retaliation in the Middle East, violence approved and conducted by a religion, or fighting by forces of interference in other countries’ affairs, are all under the direction of the Devil! Only those who are in rebellion against God and His righteousness would “set a city aflame,” that is, hurt and destroy someone’s homeland. Arguing with “scoffers” and “fools” never settles the matter, which is why “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29).

The answer to all the violence in the world is NOT United States “police action,” but the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus left His disciples with these assurances: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27); “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 6:33); and this was offered to the Gentiles “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all– that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:36-38).

Jesus Christ said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14-16). So we boldly say to the scoffers, fools, and bloodthirsty people in this world: “Tear down this wall” by obeying Jesus Christ as Lord.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #bloodthirsty, #enmity, #fool, #interference, #proverbs, #scoffer, #united-states, #violence, #wall, #wars, #wisdom

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(#179) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:4-5-The Contradiction of Fools

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 26:4-5: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.  Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

“Do not answer a fool” and “answer a fool” seem to be a contradiction of terms, but they are not! These commands are detached from each other by separate and different purposes. A “fool” is everyone who: rejects God’s Wisdom and lives wickedly (Psalm 53:1); “spreads slander” (Proverbs 10:18); does evil for fun (Proverbs 10:23); “troubles his own house” (Proverbs 11:29); thinks he is right, regardless of the Bible (Proverbs 12:15); never listens to his father (Proverbs 15:5); can’t have wisdom beaten into him (Proverbs 17:10)!

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly” put in other terms would be “don’t get down on his level.” We must not accept a fool’s method of reasoning in a lame attempt to reply “lest you also be like him,” that is, we also become foolish! Jesus Christ is, of course, our example, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23), and therefore so should Christians do (1 Peter 3:8-9). Moses answered rebels rebelliously: “it went ill with Moses on account of them; Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips” (Psalm 106:32-33; read Numbers 20:1-13). (a) It does no good to argue the “age of the earth” to Evolutionists who continually make up “millions and billions” of years with absolutely NO proof, whatsoever! The issue is whether God Created, not when! (And He did! Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3) (b) It is useless to argue the pain and suffering of women to those who cold-bloodedly murder babies by abortion. The weeping prophet, Elisha, predicted that the Syrians would “dash their children, and rip open their women with child” (2 Kings 8:12), which came true (2 Kings 15:16). The issue is respect for each human life because God made us (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 139:13-18). (c) It is senseless to argue the bad effects of political policies to power-mad politicians who are determined to control every aspect of individual life! God delivered Israelites from slavery in Egypt (Leviticus 26:13), delivered them from oppression repeatedly (Psalm 62:8-11; 2 Kings 13:1-9), and Christians should “not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:21-23).

“Answer a fool according to his folly” when silence would be mistaken for proof that he is right! Zophar thought Job was wrong and asked: “Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated?” (Job 11:2). Truly there is “A time to keep silence, And a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). When a possessed “slave girl” proclaimed the truthfulness of Paul, he “greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And he came out that very hour” (Acts 16:16-18). When truth can be shown to be contradictory to error, Christians must speak! Jesus said that the world hates Him “because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7). Compromising with false teachers of the Bible lets them think they also are true (1 Timothy 4:1-7); bargaining with kidnappers lets them think they have some leverage; making a deal with terrorists lets them think they have won!

Jesus sent His disciples “out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). No fool has a truthful answer against the Gospel of Jesus Christ which says: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bargaining, #bible-study, #compromise, #conceit, #folly, #fool, #making-a-deal, #proverbs, #rebellious, #terrorists, #wisdom

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(#165) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:7-If It’s Over Your Head, Think Again

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:7: “Wisdom is too lofty for a fool; He does not open his mouth in the gate.”

Wisdom is available to all throughout the Bible: “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:32-36); “Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction” (Proverbs 10:14); “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 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” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

“A fool” will not take advantage of wisdom’s availability, but instead makes the excuse that is “too lofty” (over his/her head) to learn. Rather than exert effort to learn more of wisdom and become a stronger person, “a fool” would rather condemn the truth and those who teach the truth by saying it (and they) are: racist, smart aleck, self-righteous, hypocritical, judgmental, or know-it-alls. Those who use such lame and false labels to avoid learning God’s Wisdom show who is “a fool.”

“The gate” is a term used to describe the place of governing (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) and tribunal judgments (Genesis 23:17-18; Hebrews 13:12). “A fool” has nothing wise to say “in the gate,” and his silence shows his uselessness in applying wisdom! If you think wisdom is over your head, think again! Jesus Christ said: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (John 7:17).

Thought: Injustices are the product of fools and few wise men!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #fool, #lame-excuse, #over-my-head, #proverbs, #wisdom

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(#156) The Proverbs of Solomon 21:20-Where To Discover Oil

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 21:20: “There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it.”

“Desirable treasure” and “oil” are signs of God’s blessings, but are for “the dwelling of the wise.” God blesses the “wise,” or those who obey Him, as Solomon wrote: “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19). “Oil” (pressed olives but not petroleum!) was among the plentiful bounties of the Promised Land for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 8:7-10), and was used for burning in lamps (Exodus 27:20-21), dedication of sacred items (Exodus 40:9-11), dedication of kings (1 Samuel 16:11-13), and was included in many sacrifices in Moses’ Law (Leviticus, Numbers). God blesses those who are dedicated to Him.

It takes a “foolish man” to “squander it.” Those who refuse to live by God’s code of conduct will “waste” (literally, scatter, throw away) whatever possessions and life he or she owns (Luke 15:13)! Jesus Christ used “foolish virgins” to show what happens to those who make no provision to keep their lamps burning with oil (Matthew 25:1-13): they are unprepared to go in to the wedding, and once the door is closed, they are left outside. What good does it do for God to bless a fool, who will not learn from those blessings to love and worship the God who gave them?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #blessing, #fool, #oil, #proverbs, #squander, #waste, #wisdom