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November 26, 2011

Kenosis – Jesus Emptied Himself for Us. 24 Nov 2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 2:05 pm

Kenosis

Kenosis (from the Greek word for emptiness) is the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.

The word is used in Philippians 2:7 “Jesus made himself nothing …” (NIV) or “…he emptied himself…” (NRSV), using the verb form “to empty”.

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Phil.2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
reputation = From Strongs G2756; to make empty, that is, (figuratively) to abase, neutralize, falsify: – make (of none effect, of no reputation, void), be in vain.


Last edited on Saturday, 26 November 2011

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A.C.T.S. = How To Pray – 26 Nov 11

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 10:40 am

A = Adoration

Nehemiah 9:5-6 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

C = Confession

Nehemiah 9:33-35 Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works.

T = Thanksgiving

Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

S = Supplication

Nehemiah 9:36-37 Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress.


Last edited on Saturday, 26 November 2011

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November 25, 2011

Number meanings in the Bible – 25Nov2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 10:03 pm

Numbers – Possible Significance


THE NUMBER ONE:
The number one is the number of unity and primacy. It is not made up of any other numbers and it is the source of all numbers. It symbolizes God, the first great cause of everything, who is independent from everything and the source of everything.

THE NUMBER TWO:
The number 2 is the number of witnesses, the number of confirmation. Punishment could not be applied to a guilty party unless the crime bad been witnessed by at least two people.

THE NUMBER THREE:
The number 3 is the number of divinity, the number of the trinity. The Lord Jesus Christ has three offices: prophet, priest and king. He was raised on the third day and His resurrection power enables us to defeat our three greatest enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

THE NUMBER FOUR:
The number 4 is the number of the earth. It is the world number; it is the number of God’s creation. There are four division to the day, morning, noon, evening and night. There are four seasons of the year; spring, summer, fall and winter. There are four gospels that give us the story of the earthly life of the Lord Jesus.

THE NUMBER FIVE: The number 5 and 10 are basically the same in the Scripture. 5 is the number of fullness or completeness. The human hand has 5 fingers; the feet have 5 toes and the body 5 senses.

THE NUMBER SIX:
The number 6 in the bible is the number of man. Man was created on the sixth day. And he was to work six days and rest on the seventh. The Lord Jesus was crucified on the sixth day of the week because he was dying as a man, for man.

THE NUMBER SEVEN:
There is not a more important number in the Bible or in the book of Revelation than the number 7. It is the number of perfection. How do we get that? Seven is 3 + 4. 3 is the divine number, 4 is the world number. 7 is the number where God and the world get together. The Hebrew word for seven comes from a root meaning, “to be full” or “satisfied.” It further represents “universal”.

The number 7 cut in half spells danger, disaster, despair, distress.

THE NUMBER TEN:
Ten therefore is an extension of the number 5. The number 10 also represents completeness. God sent ten plagues to the nation of Egypt. It was a full and complete judgment. The complete moral law was given in the Ten Commandments.

THE NUMBER TWELVE:
The number twelve is God’s governmental number. It is the number of the rule and government of God. 12 is related to 7. 4 + 3 = 7, but 4 x 3 = 12. The number of this world multiplied by the number of God is 12. So it refers to the rule and the reign of God over this world. There are twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. There are twelve apostles of the lamb.

THE NUMBER FORTY:
Now just as four is a symbol of this world, multiples of four deal with earthlty testing, or trials of this worrld. And the number 40, 40 being simply a multiple of 4, 4 x 10 = 40, is a symbol of earthly trial and testing.


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Last edited on Friday, 11.15.2011

November 24, 2011

Tenth Commandment – 11.24.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 12:28 pm

10th Commandment
Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

1 Cor 6:9-10 (KJV) 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

SOMEONE DESCRIBE TO ME WHAT COVET IS.
Exodus 20:17
• Covet – khaw-mad’ – A primitive root; to delight in: – beauty, greatly beloved, delectable thing, ( X great) delight, desire, goodly, lust, (be) pleasant (thing), precious (thing).

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• Like we always do in this class, describe to me the ways and things that we can covet.
• What are the things that we covet, that are just going to be HARD, really HARD not to covet?
• What are things that we covet, that most of the time we don’t even think about it as covetousness?

Any more discussion on covetousness before we explore further?

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Before we even start today, can someone tell me when the first recorded case of covetousness in the bible was?
• Eve, garden of Eden.

Gen 3:6-7 (NIV) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

What was “different” about this tree? There were probably vast amounts of trees in Eden, what made this one different?
• Desirable for gaining wisdom

Let’s look at Genesis 3:1-5 and evaluate it:
Gen 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Let’s examine the LIE that the serpent told Eve, and let’s compare it to some of our temptations and see the similarities. What did Satan do here to tempt Eve?
• He told a great deal of truth combined with the element of untruth.
• The tree was not physically fatal to life, and the eating of it really issued in a knowledge of good and evil.
Isn’t that the way a lot of us are tempted in to sin? Isn’t there always a little bit of “truth” mixed in to a little bit of “untruth” that tempts us into sin? This is one of Satan’s favorite ways of deceiving us to sin.

ye shall be as gods. Notice the word “gods” here. Satan uses the Hebrew word <ʾelōhîm> — which is the same word used for the true, supreme being, the SUPREME GOD, Yaweh. Satan was trying to persuade our Adam and Eve that they should, by eating this fruit, become wise and powerful as God, (for knowledge is power), and be able to exist for ever, independently of him.

RESULT: Not trusting God, he uses his own will to seek happiness by, as a surer way, as men do now.
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So, ok, covetousness is such a big deal that it made the Top 10, and if you had a computer program like mine, you can find all kinds of scriptures dealing with how “bad” coveting is. Let me ask you this, why is it such a BIG DEAL? Why is just “wanting something” such a big deal?
(DISCUSS)
• Possible answer:
o Because it is “idolatry: Col 3:5 (NIV) Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
o But covetousness is the root of all sins of word or deed against our neighbor. James 1:14-15 (NIV) 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
o Lack of covetousness will prevent most public crimes; “If you do not covet other people’s stuff, then you will not steal, rob, kill, destroy, etc.”
o Because covetous people are never satisfied.
o He has other gods before him.
o He worships his gold or treasures, be sets his affection on it. Expects protection and security from it.Places his confidence in it.
o Because covetousness is telling God that “HE” is not good enough to fulfill your needs and desires.
o It tells God that we are not content with his provisions. It neglects divine Providence
o Let’s face it, it tells God that we want what will gratify OURSELVES, not what will serve God.

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Let’s look at just a few verses that I thought were key for today’s lesson.

Our relationship with God.

This first verse MUST BE read in the KJV.
Psalms 10:3 (KJV) For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

When talking about covetousness here, notice the scripture says “WHOM the Lord abhorreth.” Well, think about that, do you think you can be in “fellowship” with God when you are covetous? So, how would you get back in fellowship with God?

Our relationships with our family.

Prov 15:27 (NIV) A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.

If the bible says that covetousness “will” bring trouble to a family, do that mean it “might”, or does it mean it “will”? Is there any way around this?

The more you get, the less you have. AND, give to the needy, not your rich friends

Prov 22:16 (NIV) He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.

When is “enough” enough?

Eccl 5:10 (NIV) Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

Woe’s and Warnings to YOU!

Isaiah 5:8 (NIV)Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.

A wasted life, deserted and foolish

Jer 17:11 (NIV) Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool.

Are you rich, who are your friends?

Ezek 33:31 (NIV) My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.

Here’s the “answer” to it all……Here is the TRUTH for us believers.
Matt 6:19-21 (NIV) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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Matthew Henry Unabridged (reworded)
The tenth commandment strikes at the root:
• The preceding commands implicitly forbid all desire of doing that which will be an injury to our neighbour;
• this forbids all inordinate (excessive) desires of having that which will be a gratification to ourselves.
o “O that such a man’s house were mine! Such a man’s wife mine! Such a man’s estate mine!”

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Basic Christianity, John Stott.
The tenth commandment is in some ways the most revealing of all. It turns the Decalogue (The Ten Commandments) from an outward legal code into an inward moral standard. The civil law cannot touch us for covetousness, but only for theft. For covetousness belongs to the inner life. It lurks in the heart and the mind. What lust is to adultery, and temper is to murder, that covetousness is to theft.

The particular things which we are not to covet and which are mentioned in the commandment are surprisingly modern. In the housing shortage there is much coveting of our neighbor’s house, and the divorce courts would not be so full if men did not covet their neighbor’s wife. “Covetness….is idolatry” wrote Paul, and by contrast, “There is great gain in godliness with contentment.”
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Albert Barnes Commentary:
As the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments forbid us to injure our neighbor in deed, the ninth forbids us to injure him in word, and the tenth, in thought. No human eye can see the coveting heart; it is witnessed only by him who possesses it and by Him to whom all things are naked and open.

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Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that God would give you a heart that says everyday “The Lord if my shepherd, I shall not want.” Pray that you would have a heart for the poor and needy and would take action to give rather than get.

Consider fasting from at least one meal this week and giving the cost of the meal to those in need.

Read these before reading Matthew 5:38-42 (below)
Exodus 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Leviticus 24:20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury.

Deuteronomy 19:21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Matthew 5:38-42
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
In Exodus, God gives His people a stern and final warning which strikes at the root of the evil that dwells in man’s fallen heart. While other sins such as theft, murder, adultery, and blasphemy are outward, covetousness is a sin that dwells inside. It is a sin that lies at the root of the bad tree. From it grows all manner of outward sin. No wonder God completed His Ten Commandments with it!
In the New Testament, the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles echo this command. God’s people, who make up the church, are not covetous. Period. We are alive in Christ and dead to sin. Yet how is it that covetousness can creep into the church? We have an enemy who likes to use this particular sin on unprepared Christians to tear down the church of Jesus Christ. When Christians neglect to put on the armor of God (Eph. 6), we are vulnerable to the Devil’s flaming darts. We get lazy or slothful in our prayer or daily study of the Holy Scriptures and soon the prince of liars finds an opening and exploits it.
The armored Christian however will know God’s will, for it is plainly laid out in His word: “Give to the one who begs from you” (Matt 5:42), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt 6:19-20), and to “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” to the feast of the kingdom of God (Luke 14:21).

John Calvin’s Commentary on the Harmony of the Three Gospels
Though the words of Christ, which are related by Matthew, appear to command us to give to all without discrimination, yet we gather a different meaning from Luke, who explains the whole matter more fully. First, it is certain, that it was the design of Christ to make his disciples generous, but not prodigals and it would be a foolish prodigality to scatter at random what the Lord has given us. Again, we see the rule which the Spirit lays down in another passage for liberality. Let us therefore hold, first, that Christ exhorts his disciples to be liberal and generous; and next, that the way of doing it is, not to think that they have discharged their duty when they have aided a few persons, but to study to be kind to all, and not to be weary of giving, so long as they have the means.
Besides, that no man may cavil (split hairs or quibble) at the words of Matthew, let us compare what is said by Luke. Christ affirms that when, in lending or doing other kind offices, we look to the mutual reward, and we perform no part of our duty to God. He thus draws a distinction between charity and carnal friendship. Ungodly men have no disinterested affection for each other, but only a mercenary regard: and thus, as Plato judiciously observes, every man draws on himself that affection which he entertains for others. But Christ demands from his own people disinterested beneficence, and bids them study to aid the poor, from whom nothing can be expected in return. We now see what it is, to have an open hand to petitioners. It is to be generously disposed to all who need our assistance, and who cannot return the favor.

Bible Fellowship Time
Discussion questions:

1. What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments?
2. What does God declare and reveal as a sin in the tenth commandment?
3. What specifically does he forbid the coveting of?
4. Are there some things that are good to covet? What are they?
5. What is this commandment’s relationship with the previous commandments?
Going Deeper – Matthew 5:40-42
40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

6. What is Jesus’ teaching on giving (v.42)?
7. Are Christians to be liberal or conservative in giving to those who ask or are in need? (Liberal)
8. Read Matthew 6:19-24. What does Jesus’ teaching in that passage say about a person that covets?
Matt 6:19-24 (NIV) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one 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.

9. If we have covetous eyes which are on our neighbor’s possessions, what does that say about our body?
10. What does it say potentially about our salvation?

Application:

Anybody who knows English comedy will recognize the television show Are you being served? It was a very famous sitcom from the 1980’s in the United Kingdom and made its name by being full of double entendre’s based on innuendo and parody of the British social caste system. It is about the exact opposite of the Christian walk that Christ taught his disciples. If Christianity was a TV show, it would more accurately be called Who are you serving? Christians are called upon to give to and serve God and our neighbor liberally and without thought of return on investment. Particularly Jesus points out those who ask. Who are those who normally ask? The poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. A covetous person seeks after his own fleeting treasures, while a generous Christian seeks after the needs of others out of compassion and a genuine gratefulness to Christ for his own liberal sacrifice on their behalf. Are you laying up treasure here or in heaven?

Who are you serving?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Closing Devotion

Thomas Manton

Let us be content with the portion God has given us of earthly things. God stands upon his sovereignty, and we must be content with God’s allowance, though he gives to others more and to you less; for God is supreme, and will not be controlled in the handing out of what is his own. The good man of the house pleaded, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?…Do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matt. 20:13-15) Though others have better trading, and finer apparel, and be more amply provided for than us, God is sovereign, and will give according to his pleasure, and you must be content. Nothing is deserved, and therefore certainly everything should be kindly taken. If a man is kept at another’s cost, we take it very ill if he murmurs and dislikes his diet. Certainly we are all maintained at a free cost, and, therefore, we should be content with whatever God will put into our hands. God in wisdom knows what is best for us. The shepherd and not the sheep chooses the pasture. Leave it to God to give what is suitable to your condition of life. God gives a portion as you are able to bear. Contentment itself is a gift of God and a great blessing. When our minds are suited to our condition, our earthly blessings are sweeter and more comfortable. Our happiness does not lie in abundance, but in contentment
(Luk 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.).
All spiritual miseries may be attributed to either a war between a man and his conscience, or a war between his affections and his condition. There may be just as much love in a lesser portion as in a greater. There is the same affection to a younger child, though he does have as large an allowance as his elder brother. The father loves him just as well. So a child of God may say “God loves me, though he has given another more than me.” Be content with what falls to your share in the gracious providence of God.

November 14, 2011

Ninth Commandment – 11.14.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 9:43 am

9TH Commandment
Exodus 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:16
Before we go any further, let’s have a biblical history lesson. In the Old Testament, when this LAW was written, in what manner could be you accused and proven guilty?
Deut 19:15-20 (NIV) One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.
Before we go in depth, going back to the 9th Commandment, Exodus 20:16, just like we normally do, in what ways does this apply to us in modern day, 2011?
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Can someone give me a New Testament equivalent to the 9th Commandment?

2Ti 3:1-3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Jas 4:11-12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Now, let’s take a “spin” on this. To give false testimony most of the time that requires “speech” correct? Let’s take a look at “speech” or “words” that we speak.

Matt 12:36-37 (NIV) But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

FOCUS on the word [ACCOUNT]:

Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

NOTICE in Matthew 12:36-37, you will give an account for everything you SAID. Now, notice in Ecc 12:14 and Romans 2:16, you will give an account for every “secret” thing….. or things you didn’t say but should have said.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
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Basic Christianity, John Stott.
The last five commandments express that respect for the rights of others which is implicit in true love. To break these commandments is to rob a man of the things most precious to him, his life (you shall not kill), his home or honor (you shall not commit adultery), his property (you shall not steal), and now his reputation (you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor)

This commandment is not only applicable to the courts of law. It does include perjury. But it also includes all forms of scandal, slander, idle talk and tittle-tattle, all lies and deliberate exaggerations or distortions of the truth. We can bear false witness by listening to unkind rumors as well as by passing them on, by making jokes at somebody else’s expense, by creating false impressions, by not correcting untrue statements, and by our silence as well as by our speech. [DISCUSS AT LENGTH]
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Ex 23:6-7 (NIV) 6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
When it says “do not deny justice to your poor”…. So it would also mean the opposite, which would be “what”? (Do not give favoritism in court to the rich). What does that make you think of today?
• OJ Simpson trial, the guilty that are rich or famous appear to get away with it because they can afford better/more lawyers.

Lev_19:11 “‘Do not steal.

How does this apply to today’s 9th commandment?
• Stealing someone’s reputation by lying, etc.

Lev_19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

Psalms 15:1-3 (NIV) 1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,

Psalms 101:5-7 (NIV) 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. 6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
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Now, do not answer this….but think about yourself. If there is “one thing” you could change about yourself FOR THE BETTER, and it’s not “too hard” to do…..maybe you have a GOSSIP problem.

Prov 10:18 (NIV) 18 He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.

Prov 11:13 (NIV) A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
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OK, so here’s another one. If you want to make your life better, and avoid temptation at the same time, here’s something you can do for yourself:

2 Tim 3:3-5 (NIV) without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
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Have you ever thought…that it was lies and slander that put Jesus and most of the disciples to death?

Matt 26:59-61 (NIV) 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward

Acts 6:12 (NIV) 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.

Folks, if lies and slander helped put Jesus and the disciples to death, then lies and slander are a powerful, powerful sin. No wonder God detests this sin.
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Eph 4:31 (NIV) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

James 4:11 (NIV) Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

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—Matthew Henry Unabridged
The ninth commandment concerns our own and our neighbour’s good name: Thou shalt not bear false witness, v. 16. This forbids,
1. Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbour.
2. Speaking unjustly against our neighbour, to the prejudice of his reputation; and (which involves the guilty of both),
3. Bearing false witness against him, laying to his charge things that he knows not, either judicially, upon oath (by which the third commandment, and the sixth of eighth, as well as this, are broken), in common converse, slandering, backbiting, tale-bearing, aggravating what is done amiss and making it worse than it is, and any way endeavouring to raise our own reputation upon the ruin of our neighbour’s.
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Matthew 5:33-37 Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]
Matthew 5:33-37
• Break – ep-ee-or-keh’-o – to commit perjury: – forswear self.
Going Deeper – Matthew 5:33-37

1. Who is Jesus speaking to?
a. Mat 4:24-25 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

2. What were the Jews guilty of regarding this particular teaching?
3. What is Jesus’ command (v.34)?
4. What is the common element between heaven, earth, Jerusalem, and the head (vv.34-36)? (God)
5. Does this mean we are not to ever take oaths?
6. What are you if you swear falsely or break an oath or vow? (a liar)
7. What does God think about lying again?
Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. The Sin of Lying – deception and falsehood is sinful before God
2. The Scope of Lying – lying can affect anyone who is around us
3. The Seriousness of Lying – lies come from the father of lies and liars will suffer consequences
4. The Sources of Lying – different excuses for lying
5. The Sidekicks of Lying – sins that normally are accompanied by lying
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily for a mouth that is honest and pure. Purify your heart through washing of the Word so that it may overflow only pure and righteous words for the building up or salvation of those around you.
Give thanks that you have the righteousness of Christ and the Holy Spirit to empower you to bear truthful witness in your daily walk.

Read and meditate each day: Psalm 120; Romans 12:1-2, 9-12; Proverbs 12:13-22

Psalm 120
A song of ascents.
1 I call on the LORD in my distress,
and he answers me.
2 Save me, LORD,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
3 What will he do to you,
and what more besides,
you deceitful tongue?
4 He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
with burning coals of the broom bush.
5 Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace;
but when I speak, they are for war.

Romans 12:1-2
A Living Sacrifice
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

DISCUSS: ALL OF US CHRISTIANS WOULD LOVE TO BE ‘AUTOMATICALLY’ TRANSFORMED….BUT WHY AREN’T WE? WHAT PREVENTS US? HOW CAN WE BECOME TRANSFORMED?
Romans 12:9-12

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Proverbs 12:13-22
13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
and so the innocent escape trouble.
14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward.
15 The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult.
17 An honest witness tells the truth,
but a false witness tells lies.
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.
21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The LORD detests lying lips,
but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus again refers back to the Ten Commandments. This time he references the 9th commandment from Yahweh. This command states that God’s people should not speak falsely or give false evidence regarding another person. In Jesus’ day, the Jews had become experts at bending the Law to their own wishes and getting around commandments on so-called technicalities. Stuart Weber comments “Legal technicalities can evolve to the point of destroying the justice they are supposed to serve. Truth loses itself in wordiness.” However, this not only applies to the judicial systems but also to private conversations or even thoughts. Lies are among the most damaging of sins and can destroy a person’s reputation and good name. The Scripture is filled with examples of liars. The very birth of sin in creation began with a lie; a so-called “half-truth” from Satan to Eve. We must constantly be on guard and in prayer against a lying tongue and wicked mouth.
Now that we are alive in Christ, his commandment to kingdom citizens is to love our neighbor, and our neighbor is every person we meet, whether saved or lost. One way of loving our neighbor is for the church to be a people of integrity and wisdom. Integrity means that we keep our promises, to the point where we don’t even have to promise and people will regard it as such because they know we will do what we have said. But he also expects wisdom in our responses. For when we say “yes” and do not do it, we are a liar. It is better to simply say “no” than to break faith with another person or party.

Bible Fellowship Time
Icebreakers

Were you ever promised something as a child (maybe by a parent) and the promise was broken? How did it make you feel?

Application:

Do lies and falsehood live in you? I hope not! As we’ve just discussed, lies and falsehood live in the flesh or sin nature. The Scripture says in Galatians 5 that “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” We have nailed the sinful flesh to the cross. The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This does not guarantee that we will never sin again, we most definitely will at times. That flesh is on the cross, but it is still writhing a bit until we go to be with the Lord. But we must remember that Christ lives in us! If Christ lives in us, what great hope we have to overcome sin!
Closing Devotion
Read this devotion from Thomas Brooks for assurance of the hope that we have:

We do not stand before God in our own righteousness, but in the perfect, spotless, and matchless righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Weak hearts are apt to be troubled and discouraged when they look upon the sin that is in them, and the imperfections that attend their best service. Yet in Christ we have all. Your sins shall never provoke Christ to give you a bill of divorce. This is a great support that sin shall never separate us from God. It is slain judicially, and is under the sentence of condemnation. It has been sentenced though not fully put to death. The power of it is much abated, and its dominion and tyranny are overpowered. The Lord has stripped sin of all its ruling, reigning, domineering, and tyrannizing power. O Christian, look upon sin as dead! It is not to be obeyed, and not to be acknowledged. The Lord Jesus has given sin a mortal wound by his death and Spirit, and by the communication of grace to the soul. Thus sin shall never recover its strength and shall die a lingering death in the souls of the saints. It is like a tree cut at the root with a serious gash, and must die soon. Though for a time it may flourish, it may have leaves and fruit, yet it secretly dies, and will shortly wither and perish. Christ did not die all at once upon the cross, so also the slaying of sin is gradual in the souls of saints. Christ has given sin such a mortal blow, it will never recover. We may truly say that it is slain. Therefore, cheer up O weak souls, for certainly sin that is thus slain can never provoke Jesus Christ to give you a bill of divorce. Ah! That all weak Christians would be like the bee: to abide upon those sweet flowers and gather honey out of them.

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