Monday, August 29, 2011

1 Corinthians 6 - Body and Spirit

Glorify God in Body and Spirit

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

[So even under grace where the law has lost the power of death over us, Paul says that we observe a standard of behavior beyond simply fulfilling our own desires for immoral pleasure. The Body has a duty of service, a useful function for the Lord.]

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

[Redemption establishes a permanent link between the Lord and those whom He has saved. The Holy Spirit makes us of one spirit with God, just as sex joins two people together in one flesh.]

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.






Heart (Rom. 2:29)

Tablets, Scrolls


Heart, Mind (Heb 8:10, Jer 31:33)

Man made


Body (1 Cor 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16)

Men - Aaron and sons


Jesus – eternal (Heb 7:28)

Animals died

Blood Sacrifice

Jesus – eternal (Heb 7:27)



eternal (Heb 7:25)

burned incense

Inside Altar

Prayer (Heb 13:15, Rev 5:8)

burned flesh

Outside Altar

crucified savior (Heb 13:12)



God (John 1:12)



Heaven (2 Cor 5:2, John 14:2-3)

Your Tribe of Israel


Your Church Family (Rom 12:4-5)


Kind of like taking the S.A.T.; I would like you to compare and contrast each of these elements in the covenants of Law and of Grace.


Genesis 17:9 And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

Romans2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.


Genesis 26:4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.


1 Kings 5 begins the description for the temple; Solomon called it the House or dwelling place. In Exodus 25 God spoke to Moses and told him to build the tabernacle according to the pattern he was shown. For both the tabernacle and temple the presence of God followed a complete conformity or obedience to the plan.

We have 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.


Priest - Jesus - eternal (Heb 7:28)

Blood Sacrifice - Jesus - eternal (Heb 7:27)

Reconciliation - eternal (Heb 7:25)

Inside Altar - Prayer (Heb 13:15, Rev 5:8)

Outside Altar - crucified savior (Heb 13:12)

Father    - God (John 1:12)

Inheritance -    Heaven (2 Cor 5:2, John 14:2-3)

Fellowship - Your Chruch Family (Rom 12:4-5)


Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

[All of the elements combined to make a covenant; as all of us combine to make up the body of Christ. Just as a temple would be limited that was missing one of its essential elements, so the utility of the church is limited when any of us is missing or not fulfilling our essential service. ]

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Monday, August 22, 2011

James in Review

James 1

Profiting from Trials

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

[During the expository teaching of James 1 back in June, we talked about the refining work of trials, and that role in growing and maturing us in the faith. To James we should be so intent and passionate about Jesus, that we rejoice in the growth and the patience that God is producing even as we go through the trouble.

Again last week we all pretty much admitted that we pray more when enduring hardships and struggles. So what should we think when Christians are unable to "hold-fast" to their faith and endure when troubles come?

In John 16 the whole chapter is Jesus talking to His disciples about persecution, sorrow, and tribulation. We usually talk about religious persecution in other countries, but this week we all witnessed it here in America. This week a mom who I will refer to as an anti-religious bigot, prompted her son to ask Rick Perry how old the earth is? He answered he didn't know but he thinks it's pretty old. Then mom then says ask him about evolution and Perry answers that it's a theory that has some gaps in it. And finally she reveals the depth of her bigotry by saying "ask him why he doesn't believe in science", as if an appreciation and respect for science forces you to swallow evolutionary theory whole. Well is you watched MSNBC cover this you would think Perry said the "moon is made of green cheese".

Gallop has been tracking views on Human evolution for decades and the most recent results show 40% believe God created man in their present form, 38% believe man as evolved with God directing the process, and 16% believe that man evolved and God had no part in the process. So Perry's comments put him in line with the vast majority of the population , but because he is a southern Republican and identifies himself as a religious conservative, the bigot want those questions out there, so the media can critique his "back-woods" beliefs; this is religious persecution in America.

At the end of John 16 Jesus wrapped up his teaching on trouble with this - 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."]

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

[The words translated double-minded are "di" and psyche not just two minds but two lives or two souls. We have heard of people who lead a double life, to the extent that friends and family had no idea about the other life the other relationships and activities that people feel the need to hide. You can imagine the confusion, and conflict someone like that would experience. But that is how James describes the doubting Christian, even calling him "unstable"

In psychology doctors have identified something called multiple-personality-disorder, where a person has a completely different identity that will emerge from time to time and dominate the "common" personality of the afflicted person. Now we would identify someone like that as sick; but think of how little attention we pay to doubting Christians. But we have to understand that doubt and fear are thieves that rob us of God's power.]

James 2

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

[Talk is cheap, and we need to be careful of uttering these "harmless" little sayings like "God bless you" when we do not intend to help or pray for people in need. I'm thankful that when our Church goes on missions trips they don't treat it like another vacation, but that take real help to people in need, with the Gospel, medicine, and even construction work.]

18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your[d] works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

[So think about the works that perfect your faith. What do you do week by week to live a faith filled life? If you think you lack opportunity, ask anyone in the church office what you can do to minister in church and in the community. If you already have the opportunity, I would encourage you to act, "make hay while the sun is shining".

I was looking at an outline of John's first epistle and it looked like this: John starts with the truth of the Gospel and the reality of Jesus, then he adds obedience to the commands of Jesus and the call of God on your life; and concludes with devotion that persistent passion that keeps you moving down that lifetime journey of truth Jesus talked about in John 14.

Let me close with this story that illustrates how actions speak louder than words.

A man was traveling in New England and decided to stay for a few days so he seek lodging at a country inn. As he enters he sees some older men silently rocking on the front porch. After settling in he decides to visit the men on the front porch. He spots an empty rocker sits down and starts to rock. Not hearing any conversation he tries to start one "Nice weather, eh?" No response. "Must be nice to pass a quiet evening out here? But the other men kept quietly rocking. Finally the frustrated man blurts out "is there a law against talking in this town?" Finally he gets an answer when one man leans over and says, "no law, we just like to make sure anything we say is an improvement on the silence".

James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

So James was against empty words and empty faith, he believed that following Jesus required effort, humility, and wisdom, but those things would produce ample evidence of the life that was changed by the Holy Spirit of God.]



Saturday, August 20, 2011

James 5 – Power in Prayer

[Recently while preaching through Revelation, Pastor Haley highlighted this verse

Revelation5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

"You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

As we have learned before the Temple and Tabernacle were made according to the pattern shown to Moses in Heaven. Moreover the other prophets who have seen a vision of heaven have reported this same familiar scene of the heavenly temple of God. As you recall from the model we had set up in church, the holy place in the temple contained an alter of incense, where incense burned continually. We are told by the Apostle John that the real incense in heaven. is the prayer of the saints, this is the pleasant aroma Almighty God has chosen to fill his Holy Temple.

Exodus 30 tells us that every morning and every night Aaron was to burn incense in the presence of God, so this aroma would constantly fill the holy place just outside of the Most Holy where the Arc of the Covenant was held. Moreover the incense was to be made skillfully using a unique formula. The priest offered incense literally to invite the presence of God among His people. Now consider all this in light of the knowledge that the real incense of God is our prayers.

Today James will talk to us about the place that prayer should hold in the lives of God's people. ]

James 5

Meeting Specific Needs

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

[Many times in scriptures we are warned of the struggles, troubles, tribulation, and suffering the saints do and will experience. Each of the difficult times we experience is a reminder to invite the presence of God into our lives. If we resist God's instruction and insist on suffering alone we invite discouragement and even depression to become permanent companions.

After the suffering Christian, the next example is the cheerful saint, then one who is experiencing joy in their lives. How should this one respond? They should praise God by singing psalms. Do you realize that praise is a form of prayer, because we are speaking to God celebrating His grace and mercy, glorifying His name. If the cheerful fail to praise God, their rejoicing could easily turn into personal boasting, and self glorification . We used this verse a few weeks ago, Jeremiah 9:24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.

The 3rd example is the sick, those who's bodies are not healing as they should. To the sick James says they will need an extra dose of humility to ask others to pray for him. He says call the elders of the church together to pray, and anoint the sick with oil, our symbol of the Holy Spirit, calling on the name of the Lord. Verse 15 says these prayers offered in faith will "save" the sick. As we read about the Lord's Supper or communion practiced in the early church we are told that many were sick because of they did not come humbly confessing their sins, so they took of the elements of bread and wine unworthily and for that reason they became sick and some even died. James concludes that by this humble submission and seeking God that those sick because of sin would also be forgiven.

We are no long in the age of the Apostles, when healing was one of the sign gifts, like speaking in unlearned languages, and foretelling future events; but we still believe in seeking God in prayer for the healing of the sick. We have seen some miraculous healing here on earth, while other saints are"lifted up" in the presence of the Lord once the physical body has failed. Much like the other examples, the clear point for the sick is not to go it alone. When the body is failing, seek God humbly with the elders of the church, in prayer, for healing and forgiveness.]

16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

[Hidden sin is the worst because it is untreated, being covered up. When we cover our sin, we foolishly think we are hiding from God like Adam and Eve in the garden. But fig leaves and other deceptions don't cover sin, only the blood of Jesus can do that. So instead of hiding sin, confess it. Like the sick, invite some faithful saints into your life with the Lord, so that you can be healed. We should be less worried about what other people might think, than about the harm of unconfessed sin, and the danger of a powerless life when the Lord is not invited in through prayer.

I like this emphasis on fervent prayer. In the temple incense wasn't like the modern kind where the scented oils are combined with charcoal that can be burned directly. They had to take coals off the brazen alter and use those to burn the incense; they had to add heat for the smoke of the incense to fill the temple. So think of fervent prayer as prayer with passion, incense burning with the heat of fire. James says this kind of prayer is effective and powerful, these are prayers that get results.]

17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain in the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

[How powerful is prayer? Verse 17 says that through prayer God was entreated to change the weather. Last week we had a day of prayer as a church and one of our main requests was that we prayed for rain. This Saturday it rained, and it was about 15 degrees cooler, I thank God for the rain, let's pray for more. Invite God into all the areas of our lives, even the weather.]

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

[God is patient, and many of us have experienced a season of our lives separated from God. We've had times where we ran from God, rebelled against God, and just lived the way we wanted. We do need to understand though that sometimes believers cross the line of no return after which God will just take them, as we studied back in Hebrews.

So unrepentant Christians are in danger, and we should do what we can to turn them back to God. Make those phone calls, seek out those who wander, and if you turn them back to God you can literally save their life. It's easy for one to fall, but if we walk with friends and family it's much harder for Satan to tempt us with his deceptions.

The two themes in this passage are the power of prayer, and the danger of going it alone. We need a lot of work on both of these points. I'm glad life groups are starting up again soon to encourage us to be involved in each other lives. Even more than that, we need to pray, to be constantly in prayer. We need to fill the temple of God with the smoke of our prayers, inviting Him into the most troubling parts of our lives. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, but what good is a temple without the presence of God?

John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

That is the outcome of a life without prayer; without God's continual presence in our lives we can't do anything. A prayerless saint is a powerless saint; but a prayerful saint is a powerful force for God in the world.

Revelation 8: 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

What kind a temple are you, filled with the fragrant smoke of prayer, or empty and powerless without the daily presence of God?]

Saturday, August 13, 2011

James 5 – Wealth and Patience

[Carlos Slim Helu for the past two years has topped the Forbes billionaires list as the richest man in the world. He owns a majority interest in Telemex and Americana Movil, which are the Latin American equivalents of AT&T and Verizon. This week as the world financial markets shrank with fear at the government debt problems in the U.S. and Europe; Carlos Slim Helu lost 6.7 billion dollars, almost 10% of his wealth.

As we have studied in the Bible multiple times before, wealth and all material possessions are temporary. This week many of us logged on to our on-line retirement accounts or clicked "update" in Quicken and saw tens of thousands of dollars vanish in an instant, and wondered "where did it go"? ]

James 5

Rich Oppressors Will Be Judged

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.

[James the half brother of Jesus wrote this two thousand years ago, and yet it has a meaning so contemporary it could have been written this week. Did you watch the evening news on Tuesday or Thursday this week? If so you heard some rich and not-so-rich weeping and howling as the world stock exchanges declined. Since July 22 the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 10%, and the wealth of the world declined by trillions of dollars. Finally after decades of government overspending, the world is waking up to the problem of public debt and wondering "who is going to pay for all this"? For the U.S. the national debt works out to over $130,000 for each tax payer and growing. Congress worked out a plan the cut spending by 2.7 trillion over 10 years, but the federal government is overspending by 1.5 trillion every year. So this week the credit rating U.S. government debt was downgraded from AAA to AA+ with a negative outlook.

So how does government debt connect to a declining stock market? The answer we saw last week, in James 4:13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.

You see the market values a company based on its future expected earnings; and that carries the assumption that everything will be stable, normal and predictable. But as verse 14 says "you don't know what will happen tomorrow", so when governments can't borrow and spend like before, everyone understands that change is coming, but until the exact form of that change is well understood, then all future business is under a cloud of uncertainty, and future earnings are unpredictable. So the past two weeks the free markets discounted future earnings by about 10%, to account for the uncertainty.

As verse 3 in chapter 5 tells us this "corrosion" of wealth is a witness against us; because it reveals what we are really trusting. If your confidence is in your retirement account then you probably became very anxious this week. Watching the stock market decline 10% would be gnawing at your guts, or as James said it "eat your flesh like fire". So if all your effort was in "heaping up treasure in the last days", then watching a big chunk of it evaporate all at once makes for a hard week; and we hear the rich howl and weep in their misery.]

4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.

[Beyond the condemnation of trusting temporary riches, there is a greater judgment against dishonest business. The main example here is not paying that wages that are earned by those who do the work. Day laborers were to be paid at the end of every day because they would need that money to buy food. Pastor Haley teaching in Revelation brought out the example of that economic collapse where is will take a whole days wages, to feed one man for a day.

The message of Revelation and James 5 is the same, judgment is coming. James says the benefits of cheating your employees and committing fraud are temporary. Nothing is hidden from God. Verse 4 says the "cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord", so wealth gained by fraud will be fleeting. Those who will commit fraud to feed their greed, will be so consumed by their overindulgence that they would do anything to sustain their lifestyle, even commit murder.]

Be Patient and Persevering

7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

[So if the rich would break the rules for instant gratification, how should we be? What behavior would we refine by really trusting in God. Patience "until the coming of the Lord". Like a farmer waits for the harvest so we wait for the Lord's judgment. Patience is an act of worship, that establishes our hearts are sustained by the promises of God.]

9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

[Too many Christians believe that God should act according to our schedule, but that is not our example, nor is it what God has promised. The prophets many times endured years to see the word of God fulfilled, and many died never seeing the completion of God's promise, especially those regarding Messiah. Job is our example of long enduring in patience, trusting that in the end the Lord is compassionate and merciful, that is our hope.]

12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes" be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.

[Taking an oath to add strength to your words has the same problem as the business plan, in chapter 4. You cannot make anything more likely by swearing an oath, there will always be many things outside of your control. Hebrews 6 said that God swore by himself because he could not swear by anything greater! In reality many people swear falsely using oaths to add to their deception. They use it as a tool to commit fraud. But we should be as reliable as a person can be, saying just yes or know, "as the Lord wills" was our instruction in chapter 4. This week we got a good object lesson in things outside of our control. The question for all of us is "what do you love, and who do you trust"?]