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  1. Selfishness Php 2:3-8 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Paul is not saying here that you should be absorbed in other people's worldly or fleshly interests, but rather to look out for their best interest - that is, what is good for them. For often what others are interested in is not in their best interest. Christians should have on their minds as to what is in the best interest of others. Many could care less about the problem of sin. But Jesus saw it in their best interest to deal with that problem. As with Jesus, looking out for the best interest of others does not mean that you'll be appreciated for doing so. But then again while the selfish are only in it for their own personal benefit, the selfless are willing to face what they must for benefit of others. Envy and selfish ambition go hand in hand with every evil practice. So "let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." Gal 5:26 The solution to Selfishness is Selflessness through service. Look to benefit others without regard as to what you get out of it. Rather than seeking your own success, try to make someone else successful. Some of John the Baptist's disciples came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan— the one you testified about— well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him." To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. ... He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:26,27,30 Don't try to make a name for yourself. Try to make a name for someone else. The Sin Series
  2. SIN ENSLAVES Pr 5:22,23 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." John 8:34 When people sin, they may not have the intention to become a slave, and yet that's what happens. Some are slaves to sin and don't know it until they try to stop sinning. Others are quite aware of their slavery - whether reluctantly or willingly. For the Christians I mention Romans 6:17-22 Thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. And "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Gal 5:1 The Proverb Series
  3. CONTROL YOUR DESIRES Pr 4:23-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. That is, take care as to what you desire. Desires can lead to life or death. Desires start in the heart, but are reflected by things like what one says (the mouth), what one looks at (the eyes), and where one goes (the feet). In fact the converse is also true. By controlling what you say, look at, and where you go you can affect your desires. "Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Gal 5:16 and "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." Gal 5:24 The Proverb Series
  4. Greed & Avarice Eph 5:5 "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a man is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." You may have heard of the "Prosperity Gospel". That's a gospel which celebrates avarice; avarice being "the immoderate desire for wealth." But "people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1Tim 6:9,10 So as Jesus said, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15 And "no servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 16:13 Therefore "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Heb 13:5 For "A greedy man brings trouble to his family" Pr 15:27a "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint." Pr 23:4 And Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Mt 19:23 Fortunately the solution to greed to very simple and measurable. The solution is simply to practice generosity! In fact wasn't this what Jesus proposed to the greedy rich man? See also Christian Generosity.
  5. Paul's Credentials Paul claims that his apostleship did not come by man nor through man but it came directly from Jesus Christ. Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead And he claimed that his gospel likewise was not given to him by man, but he got it directly from Jesus Christ. Gal 1:11,12 I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. But how are Paul's claims validated? We could ask the same of Jesus who claimed himself the Son of God and that salvation is through faith in him. How did he validate his claims? He validated them through miracles. When the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." John 2:18,19 Speaking of his resurrection. Likewise Nicodemus noted, ."Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." John 3:2 Likewise Jesus himself said, "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:37,38 Jesus tells us not to believe someone who claims to speak for God, but has no miracles to show for it.Mohammed, for example, is disqualified as a prophet. Miracles are necessary to affirm such a person is speaking for God. Peter said, "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a manaccredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know." Acts 2:22 John records some of Jesus' miracles in his gospel saying, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:30,31 Paul also affirmed Jesus in this way to the Athenians, "God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:31 Jesus and his apostles affirm that belief in him should be on the basis of miracles. Jesus' miracles are Jesus' credentials. But Paul himself has these same credentials. Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 2Cor 12:12 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.Acts 19:11,12 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands Acts 14:3 When he went up to Jerusalem to present his gospel to them, this is what silenced his skeptics. Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. And after they had become silent. Acts 15:12,13 The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
  6. Seduction As was mentioned previously those who tempt and seduce others to sin are guilty of a greater sin and incur upon themselves a greater judgment. Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." For example, women are guilty of this kind of thing when they dress provocatively, which is why Paul commands, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety" 1 Tim 2:9a and likewise Proverbs warns of wayward women, "Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.)" Prov 7:10-12 The Sin Series
  7. DO THE GOOD YOU CAN Pr 3:27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Likewise James writes, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins." Jas 4:17 Sins of omission are easier to overlook than sins of commission. Thus one needs to be all the more prudent in evaluating whether there are things they are not doing which they should be. "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Gal 6:10 The Proverb Series
  8. Sexual Immorality Sexual Immorality Part 1 Sexual immorality is the fulfilling of one's sexual desires in a way contrary to God's design. Sex is made for marriage alone. Heb 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. There's only a few places where the will of God is state explicitly. This is one of them: 1Thess 4:5-8 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. Avoid, Abstain, Control - these are the Biblical solutions to the problem of sexual immorality. Let there be no excuses! Sexual Immorality Part 2 Intoleration Much of the world's culture today is about toleration. But Jesus said, "I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols." Rev 2:20 Likewise Paul wrote, "I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner——not even to eat with such a person." 1Cor 5:11 But in contrast to the Biblical Jesus many Christians today have made up for themselves a different Jesus, a tolerant Jesus. Such people tend to tolerate anyone except for those who follow the Biblical Jesus. The Christian community should not be about the toleration of sin, but about the elimination of sin. "Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people." Eph 5:3 Sexual Immorality Part 3 The Precedent Jesus speaks of Adam and Eve as the precedent for marriage. And upon that precedent he declared in Mark 10:11,12 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." How can a remarriage after divorce be adultery? Because as God sees it, the divorced did not nullified the first marriage. Thus "by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress." Rom 7:2,3 For it's "until death do you part", not "until divorce do you part." Now as Jesus utilized the precedent of Adam and Eve in arguing against divorce, there are even more obvious applications of that precedent. For example Jesus noted, "at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.'" Mark 10:6 Thus homosexual marriages are illegitimate. And as sex is reserved for marriage, the practice of homosexuality is sexually immoral. But not only homosexuality, all sex outside of marriage is sexually immoral. Furthermore as God made the one woman for the one man, polygamy is likewise illegitimate and another form of adultery. However I previously mentioned the subject of degrees of sin. In this case it may be noted that under the law of Moses while the overt form of adultery was punishable by death (Deut 22:22), along with homosexuality (Lev 20:13), and incest (Lev 20), there was no punishment under the law for remarriage after divorce, nor for polygamy, nor for lust, as I will mention next. Thus while all forms of sexual immorality are sin, some are reckoned less severe than others. See more on Marriage, Divorce and Adultery Sexual Immorality Part 4 Lust Jesus said, "I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."Mt 5:28 And this should not be a new revelation to those familiar with the 10 commandments, the last of which states, "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Ex 20:17 The desire for what is not meant for you, that is sin. But some may point out that for it to be adultery there has to be a marriage. A single person who looks at another single person to lust for them don't commit adultery. They commit fornication, which is not much better. No Jesus didn't have to state that explicitly, for the implication is obvious to all, except perhaps for those who are intent on living a sexually immoral lifestyle. Pornagraphy is such a form of sexual immorality. And as for solutions to alleged "addictions" to pornography, of which the Bible never speaks, Avoid, Abstain, Control, and no excuses please. Much of the culture in Western society today is sexually indulgent, and there's far too much tolerance and sympathy for such indulgence both on a public and private level. Sexual Immorality Part 5 Homosexuality The Bible categorizes homosexuality along with other forms of sin Tim 1:9,10 The law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, (NASB) Such people do inherit the kingdom of God. 1Co 6:9,10 do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (NASB) Homosexuality is ultimately a result of rejecting God and giving in to sexual depravity. Rom 1:24-27Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator— who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. See more on Sex and Sanctification The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
  9. ACCEPT DISCIPLINE Pr 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Heb 12:5-7) There are two extremes when people react to discipline. Some who are disciplined take it too lightly, and so don't learn from the discipline. When God disciplines us, we shouldn't take it too lightly. But on the other hand, we shouldn't take it too seriously. Thus it warns fathers, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Eph 6:4 and "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." Col 3:21 There are those disciplined by the Lord who may feel that God has completely rejected them. That is not the case. "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Heb 12:10,11 The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
  10. bcbsr


    BE GENEROUS Pr 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. This is one of the many promises concerning generosity. Practicing generosity also helps one to measure to what degree money, in the form of greed, has become an idol in one's life and if so, generosity helps to overcome such greed. Thus Jesus said to the rich young ruler, who thought that he was a "good" person, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." Mr 10:21 But the man went away sad. Do you find it difficult to give away money? A good New Testament reference to the promise above is 2Cor 9:6-11 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. Here we learn first that, contrary to a legalistic "tithing" concept, the Christian is to give whatever amount and to whatever cause he has decided in his heart. This is a good principle when it comes to deciding on the amount to give to a particular cause. Give up to the point where you feel reluctant to give more. (As you practice generosity you may find that you're increasingly feeling less reluctant the more you give. But that's often a matter of practice) And secondly we learn that the purpose of God granting prosperity to the generous giving is in order that they may use it for further acts of generosity. The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
  11. bcbsr


    Pride Perhaps the most insidious and harmful of all sins is pride. Pr 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Ps 10:4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Circumstances Conducive to Pride Prosperity Hosea 13:6 When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. Health 2Chr 32:24,25 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Success Ps 140:8 do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD; do not let their plans succeed, or they will become proud Prominence 2Ch 26:16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. Beauty Eze 28:17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. Wealth Eze 28:5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud. That's why Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Mt 19:23 See also Measuring One's Humility Solution to pride - Submission and Humiliation
  12. Actually the subject has to do with the permanence of marriage and validity of remarriage after divorce. As I pointed out, even God got divorced.
  13. TRUST GOD, FORSAKING YOUR OWN OPINION Pr 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. The Bible provides us with God's understanding of things. So when our understanding of things conflicts with the Word of God - let us trust that God knows best. Many pray to know God's will about particular circumstances. Try to apply the Bible in everything you do. And then you will get the guidance you seek. Don't think that you know better than God. Fear God and avoid being involved in anything which you recognize as evil. The Proverb Series
  14. Is Jesus the Rule or the Exception? While John says, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1John 2:6 and Paul says, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1Col 11:1 and Peter says, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1Peter 2:21 and Jesus said, "anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." Mt 10:38 there are many in the Christian community who view Jesus as the exception rather than the rule of their life. While there many examples I've run across where Christians view Jesus as the exception rather than the rule of their life, I was particularly enlightened when I was led to confront a group of institutional religious leaders concerning their hypocrisy. The rhetoric I used was not nearly as strong as that Jesus utilized in Matthew 23, but it upset them enough to take offense. While I noted I was simply following Jesus' precedent, they claimed that with regards to Jesus' severe rhetoric at times, that was was to be exclusive to Jesus. Jesus was to be the exception rather than the example to follow. Consider Jesus as a precedent for ministry. Much as I concur with John MacArthur on a number of points I was disturbed when he made the statement on public radio that one reason for Jesus coming was to establish an institution. Such mentality is common among the institutionally elite, paid professionals. But it seems to me that Jesus did not come to establish an institution. In fact it appears one of his greatest enemies was institutional religion. One of the first things that happened when he started his ministry was that he got largely expelled from the institutional religion. He gathered a number of disciples and taught them. But he didn't even establish a religious hierarchy among them, let alone buy a building or provide an institutional name, other than simply his Church. Choosing some for apostles was not for the purpose of ruling over others, but rather to be his official witnesses. When he left, his example of making disciples was to be the rule. "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." John 17:18 and he told them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;" Mt 28:19,20 Do you treat Jesus as the rule or the exception with regards to ministry. Are you planning to make disciples? Are you planning to teach people? Or have you embraced the institutional clergy/laity mindset of paying others to do the ministry for you? The writer of Hebrews observes, "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again...." Heb 5:12 Would he have said the same of you? How long do you think you must be a Christian before it should be noted of you, "by this time you ought to be teachers"? Have you been following Jesus or just playing church? There are examples of the apostles themselves failing to grasp Jesus as the precedent to Christian living. First they failed to wait for the Holy Spirit as Jesus commanded and rushed into making a decision which was not theirs to make. For to be an apostle is to be chosen personally by Jesus Christ Himself. Yet they took up a matter of replacing Judas, which was not theirs to take up and chose an apostle by lot, rather than allow the LORD to chose the apostle to replace Judas (namely, Paul). And even after they received the Holy Spirit they still showed their pride in disregarding the LORD. For in Acts 6 when widows were being overlooked due to prejudice the apostles said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables." Acts 6:2 Yet Jesus had washed their feet after a meal and said to them, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:15. Jesus was trying to teach that ministry and service was not an either/or thing, but a both/and thing. Did Jesus both teach the Word and "wait on tables"? Yes he did. And we note that at this point Acts turns away from the apostles to focus on those who could both wait on tables and teach the Word. In fact two of the people the apostles assigned to deal with this matter were Stephen and Philip. Acts goes on to show they both ministered the Word and waited on tables. And while Jesus commanded the apostles (the institutionally elite by this time) to have gone to all the world to make disciples, and Peter himself acknowledged. "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe." Acts 15:5, yet in that same meeting as Paul notes, "James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars (speaking facetiously), gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews." Gal 2:9, the eleven relinquished their obligation to minister to Gentiles, disregarding the LORD's command. Even persecution wouldn't budge them into fulfilling the Great Commission. "On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. ... Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went." Acts 8:1,4 And why did that meeting in Jerusalem even take place but because a cult had grown inside the church of Jerusalem right under the oversight of Peter, James and John, who apparently were neglecting to teach what should have been taught. Unlike Jesus, at that point, they were afraid (Gal 2:12) of some false brethren (Gal 2:4) and did not confront them as Jesus would have nor even regarded Jesus' warning concerning false teachers (Mt 7:15). Though granted it could be argued that the apostles matured later in these matters. The principle, not simply based on these particular observations, but rather throughout history, is that once a person views themselves as being in a position of institutional authority, corruption follows. There's a tendency to make too much of oneself, putting down others, judging with partiality, not open to scrutiny, and disregarding the LORD in their life. They become the rule, and Jesus becomes the exception. Jesus did not come to establish an institution, but to establish a relationship with those who would follow him. The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
  15. Principles Concerning Sin The Sinful Nature The propensity (innate inclination) to sin is part of the human condtion into which all are born. In fact the New Testament uses the term "sarx", the Greek word for "flesh", when speaking of the sinful nature. In fact the NIV frequently translates "sarx" as "sinful nature" as you can see below. Eph 2:3 "All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath" Rom 7:5 "when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death." Rom 8:13 "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live" Rom 13:14 "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Gal 5:16,17 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." A person sins and guilt is incurred when they comply with their sinful nature. Christians are instructed to resist gratifying their sinful nature by living in accordance with the Spirit. This study will help to enlighten Christians as to misdeeds of the body they may have to keep aware of and put to death. 1Peter 2:11 "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." Sin Corrupts Sowing and Reaping "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction" Galatians 6:7,8a You Sow: Rom 1:21 although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened You Reap: Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. You Sow: Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator You Reap: Rom 1:26a Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts You Sow: Rom 1:28a since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God You Reap: Rom 1:28b he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done What is implied from the fact that under certain circumstances God "gives people over" to the corrupting influence of sin is that God normally restrains sin from having its full effect. But if a person willfully and persistently embraces sin, God does at some point give them over to have their mind, their conscience, their heart corrupted by it. Sin Incurs Judgment Rom 6:23a "the wages of sin is death" Rev 21:8 "the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars— their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Even Christians are warned: 1Cor 6:9,10 "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Ephesians 5:5,6 "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a man is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient." Degrees of Culpability The Seducers Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." John 19:11 Jesus answered (Pilate), "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin." While Pilate abused his authority, he didn't do so out of personal malice against Christ, rather because of his God-appointed position he was unwillingly forced to deal with the situation by those who handed Jesus over to him. As such, those who handed him over may be likened to seducers who successfully tempted Pilate to sin. Such seducers commit a greater sin and thus incur a greater punishment. The Knowledgable Luke 10:13,14 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you John 15:22,24 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.... If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. The more you know, the more you will be held responsible for. And thus, for example, those who presume to be teachers will be more highly scrutinized in judgment. Jas 3:1 "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
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