What We Learned Together Sunday February 18, 2024
Thaddeus Williams in his book Don’t Follow Your Heart builds a case that this type of self-worship is not authentic, satisfying, or edgy. Instead, its rehashing what is literally humanity's oldest lie. He calls on a new generation of mavericks and renegades, heretics who refuse to march in unison with the self-obsessed herd. With a fascinating blend of theology, philosophy, science, psychology, and pop culture, Williams points us to a life beyond self-defeating dogmas to a more meaningful life centered on Someone infinitely more interesting, satisfying, and awesome than ourselves. [Don’t Follow Your Heart: Boldly Breaking The Ten Commandments of Self-Worship].
The religion of self comes not only with saints and hymns but also with its own sacred commandments. Here are ten:
We live in a culture which calls upon us to worship at the altar of our hearts. So many beliefs held so dearly to so many people in our culture. We are to be obedient to Christ and not worship our hearts. The ten commandments of self-worship that we are not to obey because we do not worship our hearts. We are Christians who are putting to death certain things about us and laying aside specific sins and putting on new things in Christ. We will continue to stand out even more as the culture bows in worship of their own hearts. This morning the Holy Spirit testifies to us as the church body of the Reality of Personal Transformation in the Christian Life. What makes us a Christian! Not the Thees and Thous, and dos and donts or religious rules but the relationship with Jesus in union with Him as my Savior and My Lord. We must testify of the change He brings into the life a sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ. Lasat week we saw Responsibility of Spiritual Formation in the Christian Life [3:1-4] In Christ Looking Up and Today In Christ Laying Aside [vv. 5, 8-9] and In Christ Putting On [vv. 12, 15-17]. See the Christian actions Therefore, consider dead . . . rid yourselves of all of them . . . stripped off . . . and have put on the new self . . .” Look at the paragraph in your sermon notes this morning. We as Christians ought to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord Jesus in all things [1:10] because He is above all things and over all [1:15-20]. We as Christians are to walk in Him [2:6] and do all things in Him and for Him [3:17] because Christ is our life [3:4]. So two commands in verses five to eight.
First, Personal Transformation Requires Putting To Death Certain Sins in verse five. Two lists in this passage this morning both containing five sins: sins of loved self [v.5] and sins of wicked hate [v.8]. Notice the Requirements of Dealing Completely With These Sins in verse five. You Need To Stop These All In Everyway!
“Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead . . .” The context in verse one to four. IN other words seeking things above and setting your mind on things above will cause us to take these actions here as command sin the Christian life. This command meaning to cease completely from activity, with the implication of extreme measures taken to guarantee such a cessation—"to stop completely, to cease completely, put to death.” [also in Romans 6:11 and 8:13] Like killing rattlesnakes in Eastern Washington. In contrast to 2:20-23 where Paul said “if you have died with Christ . . . as if you were living in the world . . .” Different translations of this phrase in verse five would include, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead . . . Put to death therefore what is earthly in you . . .Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth . . . So put to death your worldly impulses . . .” Contrary to the religion, rules and restrictions of the teachings of men. Put to death “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed [covetousness], which is idolatry.” Sinful pleasures unfaithful to the law of God, moral corruption of unholy affections, undignified passion without restrain, ungodly aims, and depraved appetites [cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7]. These sins dominate the culture of Colossae and our own culture. Every sin and problem comes back to these sins here. All sorts of people following their hearts as those climbing into sexual immorality, they gladly thrust their hand into impurity, and they wholeheartedly pursue passion with evil desire and greed in their hearts which is idolatry. Such sins reveal the sinful desires of the human heart. Such sins show the sinful attitudes of human flesh. All matters of holiness in our Christian living to put these to death. All makes us guilty before God and others are wronged in these sins. Paul moves from the expression to the desire with sexual immorality then greed showing these markers in our lives where we proceed and these become more evident. Not just put to death at the level of sexual immorality but also at the heart level of greed. All of these could be summarized as “reaching out for an object to satisfy self.” What I want . . . How I Should feel . . .This I desire . . . that I must have . . .The idol of self rules and reigns so people commit sexual immorality all the way to greed so they might do selfish things. [cf. Romans 6:11-14; Ephesians 5:3-6] When was the last time you confessed one of these sins? Father I confess to you my sexual immorality . . . Father I confess to you the impurity of my desire to hold what is unclean . . . Father I gave myself over to my own passion and desire . . . Father I confess that I was only focused on my evil desire . . . Father I confess to you the greed within my heart that I simply wanted more just ot have more . .. Sins of loved self. Dear friend what is it in your life that you are reaching out to satisfy self that you must put to death? We need to be very biblical in our language and the way we describe things admit at times when we're putting to death these certain sins. The wonderful thing about this is in Christ you can do that! Isn't that wonderful that in Christ I don't have to give over to a greedy heart in Christ. I don't have to give myself over to some evil desire in Christ. I'm not submitting and and following just whatever passion I have. I can put it to death in Christ and I'm commanded to do! The movie How To Train A Dragon they're trying to send this certain message that dragons really aren't dragons that there are some good dragons. All dragons don't need to be killed I mean look at toothless he's nice. See you and me we need to stop with this we can tame them and train them and put boundaries around them. My rules and My rituals and My religion will restrain these sins. They don't. I would say to us here today who we are as people and God has given us this instruction that every single one of us in here has at least one or two if not all these things be putting to death in our earthy bodies.
And then in verse six to seven Reasons for Dealing Completely With These Sins. Paul writes, “On account of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.” The list of five sins in verse five explained further according to the judgment of God and past of Christians. Such sins were punished by God in Christ on the cross deserving the wrath of God because of such disobedience. Do you see that change in your life? “In them yourselves you also walked when you were living in them.” Those sins were once my living but now Christ is my life! The reasons for dealing completely with these sins is because of life in Christ and Christ is my life. How are you putting that sin to death? How are you showing life in Christ? What are the sins in my life that I am not putting to death that need to be put to death? “The wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience . . .” [1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:5; Romans 1:29-31] These sins of loved self You Need To Stop These All In Every way!
Second, Personal Transformation Means Laying Aside Specific Sins in verse eight. This second list in this passage containing five sins: sins of loved self [v.5] and sins of wicked hate [v.8]. You Must Put Them All Away. Here are Requirements of Putting Away All of Them Sins. “But now you also, lay them all aside . . .” Again another command meaning “put away, place aside to another location stop, and get rid of it.” The emphasis of this verb is “do it yourself right now.” [Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22, 25; Hebrews 12:1; James 1:21; 1 Peter 2:1] “All [plural] these things [plural] . . .” All variations, kinds and types as one commentator wrote, “the whole bunch of filthy rags.” Such sins encourage the self-righteous heart of the religious person. Where the first list was all matters of holiness with this list all matters of forgiveness. In this list the attitude of anger moved to activity of abusive speech from your mouth. And the Realities of Putting Away All of Them Sins. The Five specific sins identified here which we must all lay aside. Later another list of Five special qualities there which we must all put on [3:12]. See the descriptions in the sermon notes this morning. Wrath divine punishment based on angry judgment against someone same word in verse six smoldering resentments and kindly of bitterness. Anger an intense, passionate desire of an overwhelming and possibly destructive character—‘intense desire, overwhelming passion.” Settled heart attitude Malice a feeling of hostility and strong dislike, desiring to do harm—‘hateful feeling.’ ‘together with every hateful feeling” [Ephesians 4:31] wood of anger and the fire of wrath Slander to speak against someone in such a way as to harm or injure his or her reputation—"to revile, to defame, to blaspheme, reviling.” Abusive Speech from your mouth obscene, shameful speech involving culturally disapproved themes—‘vulgar speech, obscene speech, dirty talk.’ “slander and dirty talk that ever came from your lips”
These sins of wicked hate where we hate someone, want to harm them, and hurt them. When we are offended, outraged, and have offense. All of these sins personally done against other people. We seek to injure them, insult them and wound them. All common to humanity and present within the church body. We are justifying such sinful behavior because of what they have done. We are excusing many sinful behaviors because of how I have been treated by them. “But now you also, lay them all aside . . .” Here the words in Ephesians chapter four, “Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” [Ephesians 4:29-32]
Putting to Death Certain Sins-You Need To Stop These All In Everyway! Laying Aside Specific Sins-You Must Put Them All Away. Memorize and know these lists so that the presence of such sins not stay. Know these lists so that the Spirit of God identities in your life that which you put to death and lay aside. The need for each of us actively and personally laying aside specific sins. That none of us would be identified with any of these sins! Remember the prayer in Colossians 1:9-10, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects.” Take the commanded Christian action when confronted about these sins. Living my Christian life with such sins in my past as one changed by Christ. Present Obedience in both my desires and deeds as a Christian. Internal matters and heart issues for all of us. Making these lists of sins the matters of our confession of sin before God. Putting to Death sins of loved self and Laying Aside sins of wicked hate.
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands – chapter 11 insights. | Transforming Grace (wordpress.com)
To help us overcome our fear of confronting one another and of being confronted, Tripp gives many caveats and clarifications to the concept of biblical rebuke:
1. Confrontation is rooted in the first great commandment – to love God
If we love God we will rebuke our brothers lovingly. If we love our relationship or peace more than we love God, we will say nothing.
2. Confrontation is rooted in the second great commandment – to love neighbour
I am afraid that we have replaced love in relationship with being “nice”. [p202]
We fail to confront, not because we love others too much but because we love ourselves too
3. Confrontation is our moral responsibility in every relationship
The model of rebuke is not a radical moment of truth-telling, a long list of indictments, but rather many mini-moments of confrontation within an ongoing relationship of love. [p203]
4. Confrontation is meant to be more of a lifestyle than an unusual event
Parents and teenagers have little meaningful, honest conversation, so when confrontation comes it is unusual. This will not work. We need to be ready to make the most of every opportunity, at home and in church.
5. We fail to confront in love because we give in to subtle forms of hatred
There is no neutral ground. Either we respond in love or by some form of hatred. Anger and bitterness distorts the way we see others.
6. We fail to confront because we have given in to more active forms of hatred.
Injustice hurts and mistreats the sinner.
Gossip is the confession of another’s sin to someone who is not involved. It destroys character rather than builds it. It creates anger rather than godliness.
Revenge is the opposite of ministry. Revenge seeks harm whilst ministry seeks good.
7. Confrontation flows out of our identity as God’s children.
Secure in his adoptive love, we are to align our lives with his will for us as loving Father.
8. Biblical confrontation is never motivated by impatience, frustration, hurt or anger.
9. Confrontation never forces a person to deal with you, but places him before the Lord.
Confrontation is about creating the opportunity for conviction, confession, forgiveness and repentance – to experience the grace we have also received from God.
Biblical confrontation starts with our own heart.
God must provide the love, courage, tenderness, compassion and wisdom we need. Anger, selfishness, pride or hurt must play no part in our confrontation.
Don’t let anger surface when you confront someone.
Don’t make it personal. This is about a right relationship with God not your personal hurt.
Don’t stand against but stand with the person.
Don’t confuse your opinion on the matter with God’s will. Hold the mirror of the word up to the situation.
Don’t settle for quick solutions that do not address the heart.
Have the right goal in mind.
I will be convinced that I am right as I look at a situation, regardless of my spiritual blind spots, sinful desires and wrong thinking. This bit is brilliant: Imagine a verbally abusive husband and his abused wife. The gospel provides comfort and challenge in all situations. It is tempting to offer the man the challenge of the gospel, “You must repent of your abuse” and the wife the comfort of the gospel “Jesus loves you and died for your healing.” But the actually they both need the comfort and the challenge. The man must first hear the comfort of the gospel before the challenge, “Jesus loves you and died for you, you are his and he is yours, live for him, love as he loved you, stop being abusive.” whilst the wife needs the challenge of the gospel before the comfort “Forgive as God has forgiven you, get rid of all bitterness and anger for the sake of Christ who loves you.”
Lessons to learn
When counselling, I need to always remember that the Word of God is living and active and that my opinion is powerless. If someone is open to the Word of God, then the Holy Spirit will use the word to bring transformation. If a person is not open to the Word of God then my opinions, arguments and pointers will not change that person. Feed the hungry.
I am also confronted with the busyness of ministry which leads to exhaustion. If I am not feeding on the gospel, so that my heart is prepared for ministry, then I’ll bring unhelpful emotions which will make me a banging gong. The love of Christ is the root of all good ministry.
Counseling One Another - Founders Ministries
“I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness,
complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14).
. . . Counseling one another involves not only dealing with sin, but also encouraging those who are suffering from depression, discouragement, loss, or grief. Paul demonstrates this aspect of counseling in 1 Thessalonians where he encourages those who have had family members and friends who have died. (See 4:13–5:11; see also 1 Corinthians 15 where he talks about the resurrection and the fact that death no longer has a sting for the believer.) Peter closes his letter with wonderful words of comfort to those who, as a result of their faith, have been scattered, with these wonderful words of comfort: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10). Paul gives words of comfort about the suffering we must undergo as believers. He tells us that we should rejoice in our suffering, because “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3–5).
Our roles, therefore, as counselors to one another are not only to deal with sin, but also to offer comfort and cheer. Further, we are to train and instruct others in righteousness (see 1 Timothy 3:16 quoted above). Our counsel has both a corrective purpose and a training process. Admonition by itself can create serious relational problems. It is when we take the time to gently train others in the way of righteousness that we complete the God-ordained cycle.
Here are some practical suggestions as to how we should counsel one another (though this is not to be construed as a complete list):
• Make sure that our own lives are exemplary. Not perfect! No one is! But our overall lives should be such that the people whom we are counseling have respect for us. Christ is clear (Matthew 7) that we should first clean up our own lives before we correct someone else.
• Always pray before approaching another person and when possible, pray with that person. Remember that God is the one who changes people.
• If there is a sin involved, we need to know clearly what the Bible has to say about it. We must make certain that it is a sin, not something that we must learn to forbear.
• If a fellow member is discouraged we need to find out the basis of that discouragement and talk with that person about the provisions and promises which our Lord has given to us in His Word.
• Often we will deal with people who have lost hope. Those people must be helped to see that through the power of the Spirit of God their lives and their outlook can be changed.
• We must encourage those whom we counsel to be in the Scriptures frequently. Leave with them directions to those specific portions of the Word of God which address their situations.
• We need to encourage those whom we counsel to regularly spend time in fellowship with and in service to a caring, local church.
• Enlist the help of others who will also come alongside them and who will befriend, counsel and encourage them.
• When there are matters to which they need to attend, check up on them to make sure that they are doing their part. If they have sinned against someone, direct them to seek that person out and ask for forgiveness. If they are spiritually lazy, remind them of their obligations as believers. Get involved with them, showing not only by words, but also by example how one serves the Lord. If they are depressed or discouraged, spend time with them; do not allow them to sit alone at home enumerating their problems. Talk to them about their responsibilities, but also help them to see their unnoticed blessings.
• Always be truthful with them and urge them to be the same with you. Unless you know the real problems with which you are dealing, you are stumbling in the darkness as you try to help them.
• Encourage them to take steps toward progress—not perfection. Notice their progress and encourage them that they are making progress. It is sometimes difficult for people with problems to take giant strides. Remember and remind them, that many small steps ultimately measure up to real changes.
Wednesday Men's Bible Study August 9, 2023 Chapter Six Getting In Touch with Reality
Join us at Lowey's House for food and fellowship, singing and studying
Wednesday Men's Bible Study August 2, 2023 Chapter Five Mortifying the Flesh
Join us at Knowlton's House for food and fellowship, singing and studying
Wednesday Men's Bible Study July 19, 2023 Chapter Three Identifying Your Own Way
Also Burgers with Bruce Dinner at the Leonard's 6:30 PM
1) Let us review again the teaching on communication in the Exemplary Husband book as the instructions for communication moving forward . . . “but speaking the truth in love” [Ephesians 4:15]. We ought to maintain a high level of biblical communication in our interaction as brothers.
2) Let us remind ourselves again of how we ought to relate and interact as brothers with the instructions by the Apostle Paul, “[I] urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” [Ephesians 4:1-3] We ought to walk with one another in such ways in which we live our calling and behave with such diligence.
3) Let us remind ourselves of remaining devoted to prayer to God, especially praying for another as the writer of Hebrews says, “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.” [Hebrews 13:19] We ought to pray for one another as brothers because of each of our responsibilities, concerns, problems, burdens, struggles, battles, failures, and sins. We need to pray for one another both privately and publicly, personally and presently, fervently and humbly.
4) Let us remind ourselves of what the Lord has done and what we believe He does do . . . “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” [Ephesians 3:20-21] We ought to speak forth this belief in the matters we are responsible as brothers giving thanks to Him when He does show Himself in our midst as Him who is able to do.
5) Let us remind ourselves of the importance of the work of the Spirit of God in our lives as brothers and the life of the ministry of New Life Fellowship. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want.” [Galatians 5:16-17] We ought to walk in dependence upon the Spirit of God desiring the fruit of the Spirit brought forth in our discussions so that any conflict, disagreement, complaint, and sin do not manifest any of the deeds of the flesh.
6) Let us remind ourselves of the need in each of our lives for the confession of sin, repentance of sin, and faith in the Lord as we were given as a church body during our time at the Communion table on Sunday. We ought to live the Christian life as one examined by the Spirit of God bowing at the foot of the cross being those who are asking forgiveness from the Lord and from one another as sinners saved by grace.
Wednesday Men's Bible Study July 12, 2023 Chapter Two Recognizing the Evil Within
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.