2-3-2017 What Is Shameful

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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” (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV).  What is wrong with our society, or any other, is that works of the flesh are not only practiced, but they are promoted, and presumed with pride to be without any shame or guilt, whatsoever! Sinners are not ashamed of their own sins, but of all who “Preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:2 NKJV)!  But like Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16 NKJV).

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

#guilt, #shame, #works-of-the-flesh

Do you hide from God?

By Doug Kashorek

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:8.

Sin. Our culture denies its existence, explaining away every behavior as just a personal choice that the rest of us must tolerate. Those who have fallen from the image of God we were created in (and that’s all of us!) have tried to deny sin, lie about it, justify it, pass the blame for it, or tried to hide it … or ourselves from God.

The truth of what Adam and Eve had done hit them the moment they disobeyed God’s command, so they tried to solve the problem themselves, sewing fig leaves together for a covering.

The transgression of God’s law is a reality and man’s greatest struggle. Sin means death, and God’s temporary solution, until the blood of His Son could flow back through time from the cross, was to make them garments of skin, showing that only death and blood can restore sinners back to the image of God. That they knew the sound of God walking in the garden and hid from Him betrays the guilt they felt. Guilt is good as it prompts us to come into Christ.

Do you hide from God?

http://www.douglaskashorek.com/

#guilt, #sin

Watching the replay for ourselves

I spotted a spiritual lesson in the middle of a historic basketball game last night that was too good not to pass along.

Two players, under the goal, were vying for position when the referee whistled one player for a foul. Well, the accused player couldn’t believe that he would be guilty of such an accusation! The open hands of an innocent plea and a disagreeable disposition of unbelief followed suit…that was until the player looked up at the arena’s replay screen which clearly showed his arm locked around the arm of his opponent; hence: a foul had indeed been committed, he was guilty as charged, he stopped arguing with the referee, and he got back to work.

The lesson is this: when we look at the gospel and see an error in our lives, there’s no point in arguing with God against it – just look at the replay screen, repent, and get back to work.

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he 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 he does.” (James 1:19-25)

#guilt, #honesty, #repentance, #sin, #spiritual-analogies

(#198) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:24-Wanna Abet?

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 29:24: “Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.”

Solomon has already judged against agreeing to uphold someone else’s debt (Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27; 27:13), now he warns against sharing in someone’s sin! The gang members, driver of the get-away vehicle, owner/renter of a meth lab house, participants in the crime, are all as guilty as the one who actually commits the sin! This proverb shows that the one who shares in “thievery,” for instance, will end up losing his/her honesty and integrity by swearing “to tell the truth, but reveal[ing] nothing.”

The truth of this proverb remains unchanged in the New Testament Law of Jesus Christ: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22); “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11); “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 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” (Romans 1:28-32). Saul of Tarsus may not have stoned the first martyr for Jesus Christ, Stephen, but Saul protected the coats of those who did the stoning (Acts 7:54-60)! This still bothered him toward the end of his spiritually-productive life (1 Timothy 1:12-16)!

Choose your associates and friends carefully; be well aware of what they’re up to; have the courage to avoid damning situations! They may actually “think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #guilt, #honesty, #integrity, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #sharing, #sins, #wisdom

spiritual rash

If you’ve ever had a rash, your experience may have gone something like this: you notice yourself scratching at the irritated part of your skin and it dawns on you that it’s been itching a lot. You realize the rash is there. You put cream of some kind on it to treat it and make a conscious effort not to scratch it. Your concentration on not scratching it makes it itch more. You hold yourself back, but your self control eventually breaks down and you scratch feverishly until it attains that raw, hot, yet strangely soothing painful sensation that you know deep down means it’s going to be twice as bad tomorrow. You’re relieved for a moment, yet you know that you’ve done the worst thing you could have done to it.

Sin is sort of like that.

Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want…. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:19,24-25)

Lord, give us the self control to let Your Spirit dictate our actions when we are in the throes of temptation.

#christianity, #guilt, #itch, #rash, #self-control, #sin, #skin, #temptation

Some good advice for keeping a conscience in good working order

The ole’ conscience – it can be ignored, but if our conscience is talking we need to listen, but just because it’s not saying something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be!

We need to listen to our conscience when it talks because…

  • …it makes a good pillow. Proverbs 3:21-24 says, “My son, let them not depart from your eyes—Keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” Not too many people toss and turn at night about the right thing they did, oh, but the wrong we have committed speaks for itself in this case.
  • …if it/we know we’re wrong then what does that say about the way God views it. While speaking about righteousness, sin and guilt, Paul said in Romans 2:15 even the gentiles who lived outside of the law knew this: “[the “lawless” gentiles] show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)“. Concerning the witness of the conscience, in his book “My Daily Walk With God” (p. 124), Charles B. Hodge, Jr. said the, “Conscience reflects man’s attitude towards God and makes him aware of God’s attitude towards him.” Spot on!
  • …if we ignore it for too long it will quit talking! That’s dangerous territory. A seared conscience is a conscience that has no feeling; it has no conviction for truth or for what’s right. The guilt of the crime remains, but the guilt will not be sensed, but it will still be judged as wrong regardless – hence the need to listen before our conscience falls on deaf ears (2 Timothy 4:1-3).

Our conscience is there to help take care of us and we should take care of it, but when we fail to heed it then only God can take of our conscience by grace through the work of Jesus. And that’s one voice that we can’t afford to ignore (Hebrews 12:25).

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 3:21)

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:12-14)

#christian-living, #conscience, #guilt, #relief

Thieves With A Conscience by Brett Pertillo

A group of thieves broke into a building and stole computers and equipment.  What they didn’t know at the time was they were stealing from a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual assault.  Once they discovered this, they felt bad for what they had done.  The following night, they brought back everything they stole in a shopping cart and even included a hand written apology note which said (grammatical mistakes included), “We had no idea what we were takeing.  Here your stuff back we hope that you guys can continue to make a differenence in peoples live.  God bless” (ABC Local).

First of all, it’s ironic that the same people who were sinning called for God’s blessings.  Aside from this, one wonders what was going through these thieves’ minds.  Did they think returning the items made everything OK?  Even though these robbers made a good decision in returning the stolen items, they were the ones who committed the felony in the first place.  Sometimes people misunderstand what true repentance is.  These thieves likely thought they were making things right and repenting of what they had done, even if they didn’t put it in so many words.  However, it’s clear this was not an action of repentance, but just a rare blip on the conscience meter.

What does true repentance really look like?  First, true repentance is a 180-degree turn (Acts 3:19).  A person who is walking towards sin completely changes direction, putting his back to sin, and begins walking towards God.  Second, true repentance is found in the person who is sickened by their actions and is committed to changing his ways (2 Corinthians 7:10).  After sinning with Bathsheba, David wrote a psalm that perfectly displays this point (Psalm 51).

It’s fairly easy to feel and act “sorry” for the things we have done.  Sometimes we will even go so far as to try and smooth things over with those we have wronged.  However, let’s keep in mind that true repentance is about a sincere 180-degree change, feeling guilty, and being committed and determined not to repeat past mistakes.  May we have the courage to repent and turn our backs to sin when the need arises.

from BP’s Fuel For Thought – Brett Petrillo – Bear Valley church of Christ – Denver, CO

#brett-petrillo, #conscience, #conviction, #description-of-repentance, #god, #guilt, #repentance, #sermon-illustrations, #sin, #theft