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1-25-2017 Believing In Vain

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV).  What Paul preached was that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose to life the third day, all according to the Scriptures. He followed the sinners’ response to “die to sins,” and be “baptized into Christ Jesus’” death (Romans 6:2-3 NKJV). Believing in vain happens when a Christian believes doctrines that deny Gospel truth. Faith becomes “vain,” or empty, if Jesus’ resurrection is denied (1 Corinthians 15:14); or people fellowship God and live in darkness (1 John 1:6); or once-saved, always saved (1 John 1:8); or that people are saved by faith only and before baptism.

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

#believe, #vain

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(#93) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:8-Wasted Worship

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 15:8-10: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness. Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die” (Proverbs 15:8-10).

“Wicked” denotes evil intent, corrupted purpose, someone who feeds on sins. This is NOT referring to anyone who gives in to temptation and sins, or a good person who gets led astray, or one who tries to do right and fails! That said, this proverb shows God will not accept “sacrifice” (worship) from a “wicked” person, but rejects it as “an abomination.” “The way” is wicked, “the sacrifice” is wicked, and to “forsake” God’s Way is wicked. Before Noah’s flood, Enoch had properly evaluated the world: “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’” (Jude 14-15). Truly “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Their corruption was complete and they were irretrievable!

Another proverb teaches this: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; How much more when he brings it with wicked intent! (Proverbs 21:27). God has followed this principle throughout Scripture, regardless of whether it involved His chosen people (Israelites) or aliens (Gentiles): “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18); “’To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?’ Says the LORD. ‘I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies-I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting’” (Isaiah 1:11-13); “Therefore hear, you nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people-The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words, Nor My law, but rejected it. For what purpose to Me Comes frankincense from Sheba, And sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me” (Jeremiah 6:18-20); “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings” (Amos 5:21-22). God counts as vain, wasted, and completely useless, all sacrifices, worship, offerings, and assemblies by those who refuse to follow His rules.

It is little wonder, then, that God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), because “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Now we should understand why Jesus Christ said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Mark 7:6-7).

If you want God to hear your prayers, accept your praises of Him, and regard your gifts, you must listen to what 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). “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

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

#abomination, #bible-study, #hypocrites, #prayer, #proverbs, #sin, #ungodly, #vain, #wicked, #worship

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Psalm 127 Living in a Safe House

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This one is attributed to Solomon.

Verses 1-2 describe a Safe House is the Lord’s House;

Verses 3-5 describe a family in a Safe House.

Verses 1-2: (Verse 1) Since this is credited to Solomon who had built God’s House (the Temple in Jerusalem, 1 Kings 5:1-5), this naturally fits. Moses’ “house” was the family of Israelites under Moses’ Law: “And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:5-6). Today the “household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15) is the church of Christ, thus the application would be that it is useless to establish any other church, or claim to be a part of the church of Christ, unless one goes all the way by obeying all of what God demands (Acts 2:36-47). Jesus said: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9). Since the “home” must be established upon the heterosexual love relationship in a marriage (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6), then all attempts to build a family (house) based upon homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality is “in vain.” The same applies to Solomon’s Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:7-9), and every other city that has no foundation of faith in God! There is no purpose in building a house without God, and the sleepless watchman of a city is useless “unless the LORD guards the city.” There is no security in a church, home, or city, without God’s blessing. (Verse 2) It is “vain” (useless) to get up for work early, sit up late, suffering for food, when God is blessing. Diligence is good, as Solomon said: “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4).    Solomon also said: “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22). Jesus, the wisest Man of all, said: “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).

Verses 3-5: (Verse 3) There is no greater tribute to the blessing of a child than these verses. First, children are a “heritage” (inheritance) from God. There is no godly way to decide to have an abortion. The miniscule percentage of women whose lives would be in jeopardy should they birth the baby inside them in no way justifies the bloodthirsty, murderous, savage, brutal, sacrificing of human lives called “abortion.” (Verse 4) Second, children of our youthful years become a parent’s strength to endure, like arrows arming a warrior. Parents are people God is preparing to “take on” the struggle of life. (Verse 5) Third, the man should be “happy” because of his responsibility of fatherhood.  His children, unashamed by his duties common to man have his guidance that helps them to be able to take leadership in civic matters, as well. Good parenting affects the future, also.

Thought:  Males who won’t commit to the responsibility of producing a child with their own marriage spouse, should never be given the opportunity by any female. Females who encourage or accept males as sires and not permanently married mates, are reducing child-bearing to an animal level. Having children without marriage is ugly, degrading, deceptive, and destructive, and should never be judged lightly.

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

#abortion, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #children, #church-of-christ, #city, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #family, #god, #house, #marriage, #obedience, #teaching, #vain, #wisdom

What Is Beauty?

Solomon described outward beauty as being vain (Proverbs 31:30). The NIV translates the term vain as “fleeting.” Both charm and beauty are superficial and temporary. Real beauty originates from the heart (1 Peter 3:1-4) when a woman displays (1) reverence towards God (Proverbs 31:30), (2) a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), (3) being submissive toward her husband (1 Peter 3:5-6).

#beauty, #charm, #describe, #fleeting, #heart, #meek, #reverence, #submissive, #superficial, #temporary, #term, #translate, #vain