Sunday, October 11, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians Part 10 – Warning Against Idolatry

Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth began with letting the church know that Paul was happy to hear that the church had received and responded correctly to his first letter.

Remembering James 5:19, 20 " My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."  

Paul explained why he didn't visit them and that he was pleased they had responded well to his first letter, even though not all had repented.

Last week we looked at Paul encouraging the church to allow the offender of incest return to the congregation, because he had truly repented and turned away from his sin, therefore he had been forgiven. Paul said that his punishment by the church forcing him to leave the congregation was enough, and that since he had repented and was forgiven, they must allow him back.

Paul reminded them that it was not that long ago, they too were not living as God wanted them, and they repented, and were forgiven by Paul.

Paul reminds the church in Corinth, and us as well, that forgiveness to those who have repented is essential, not only because we are commanded to do so by Christ, but because when we forgive, we keep Satan from having a way to outwit us.

Satan will use our unforgiveness as a weapon against us in his schemes.

As long as we have unforgiveness against someone who has repented, we are being disobedient to the Lord, which in turn allows a foothold for Satan to work against us.

Satan is always looking for an area of our lives where we are being disobedient, which allows him room to work his schemes against us.

This week Paul speaks of God’s warning against idolatry

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE II Corinthians 6:14-18

 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”
17 Therefore,
“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”
18 And,
“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

a. Yoked together
                                                     i. A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.

                                                  ii. Paul is saying “Do not be “tied” to an unbeliever
1. Contracts (business type)

2. Marriage (a contract between God and two people)

3. Best friends (verbal agreement/contract)

4. Clubs / groups / societies
a. i.e. kids clubs which allow anti-Christian views/people to be leaders

b. Social clubs which focus their groups around activities which are anti-Christian, such as alcohol, or “secret-society” type groups

                                               iii. Because, vs 14 “What does righteousness and wickedness have in common?”

b. Like oil and water
                                                     i. Nothing in common

                                                  ii. Cannot ever truly mix

                                               iii. If you can spend all your time with unbeliever’s and feel no discord in your spirit, I would question your resolve to be close to God

c. What agreement can there be?
                                                     i. Paul is NOT talking about being around people, or hanging once in a while, or going to certain places where unbeliever’s may be

                                                  ii. He is talking about having contracts, or being “bound” to an unbeliever either by word or deed

1. Jesus was surrounded by sinners all the time
a. He influenced them and some changed

2. Being separate from the world does not mean hide in a tower

3. It means “be separate”
a. DEF viewed as a unit apart or by itself

b. i.e. you better not look and act like an unbeliever, or you are NOT separate

                                               iii. Never have a formal agreement or contract with an unbeliever
1. You both have different views of righteous behavior

2. Different views of right and wrong
3. You will find yourself in a compromising situation

Jodie asked me to take over Alabaster Corner and run it. Most of the people there are believer’s, and Jodie is a believer.

Even if none of the people there were believer’s, my agreement is with Jodie, who is a believer.

If Jodie was not a believer, I would have had to say no. It would be against my faith to be in an agreement with someone who is not a believer.

Some may argue, “yea, but you could possibly change her belief’s.”

That may be so, but God did not say in His word, “Do not be yoked together with unbeliever’s, unless you think you can change them.”

My obedience to God is to be a doer of the word, and I would have to decline.

a. Unconditional love of God
                                                     i. God’s love is unconditional, because Jesus died for ALL PEOPLE

                                                  ii. But as He has stated His love, it requires a proper response

                                               iii. The proper response would be to love God back
1. How is our response fulfilled? How do we love the Lord?

2. John 14:15 Jesus tells us, “If you love me, keep my commands.”

b. Conditional relationship
                                                     i. God’s love is unconditional, however, it requires a proper response because a “relationship” with God is conditional.

                                                  ii. Forgiveness is for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord (unconditional)

                                               iii. But one must repent to be forgiven (conditional)

                                                iv. Jesus died for ALL (unconditional)

                                                   v. But you must accept the conditions of the “New Covenant” to make Jesus your Lord (conditional)

c. Be separate, come out from them
                                                     i. As believer’s, we can walk among the unbeliever’s

                                                  ii. However, we must be separate

                                               iii. Do not appear as them, talk as them, act as they do

                                                iv. Because we are NOT them.

                                                   v. One of the biggest complaints of unbeliever’s is how Christians act just like they do, so why get “saved”?

I read an article the other day entitled, “Rock bands you didn’t know were Christian.”

I immediately had a problem with this article.

If you didn’t “know” they were Christian, I would question if they are true or false converts.

If they are truly Christian, how come no one knew?

I speak about my faith with everyone who I come in contact with. I have spoke in depth about my faith to atheists, Muslims, homosexuals, engineers, men of science, a friend of mine who works for NASA, I wonder if anyone I know doesn’t know I am a man of faith?

I don’t fight, argue, convince, prove, dispute, debate, etc...

I simply end up talking about what God has done for me in my life, how He has guided me, saved me, lead me, protected me, how I am devoted to following Him, teaching of Him, learning about Him, He is so important to me, I share Him with everyone.

I even put my faith on my leathersmith business cards.

I have my family bible on display in the leather shop, which open the door with everyone who sees it to talk about “my family bible”.

We walk among them, but are not of them.

We are the light in this dark world, reflecting God’s Glory to draw men unto Him.

a. I will be a Father to you
                                                     i. Condition. Do not be part of unclean things, and I will be a father to you.

                                                  ii. Touch unclean things, and I will not be a father to you.

b. You will be my sons and daughters
                                                     i. There are too many benefits to mention when you are the son or daughter to God!
1. Spiritual fruits naturally produced by allowing the Holy Spirit of God to work in you -  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

2. Whole Armor of God - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

3. Spiritual Gifts - Various gifts from the Spirit to allow you to build, strengthen, lift up, encourage other believer’s.
4. An Eternal Home - Awaiting you, in a place where you will receive your everlasting resurrected body which will be a perfect match for your redeemed soul, never to have tasted sin, never becoming ill, feeling sadness, pain, everlasting for the rest of eternity, and never failing, sinning, and not capable of being corruptible!

c. What fellowship can light have with dark?
                                                     i. Darkness is scientifically proven to be the “absence of light”

                                                  ii. We are that light in this world, and where there is light, the darkness should flee

                                               iii. A room cannot be both light and dark

                                                iv. There is no true compatibility between dark and light

CONCLUSION - Therefore, if we belong to Him, we are light

If we are light, and belong to Him, then we must behave as such.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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