Jesus warned us to expect satan’s nefarious attempts to steal the word of God from us. His purpose is to destroy our faith so he can, then, kill us. How has he done this in your life? Pause and think about this. In Matthew 13.18-22, Jesus said to expect people to demean us and to criticize our faith, as one ploy. Also, to expect satan to tempt us with sex and beverage alcohol allurements to sell his deviance, as everyone remembers. These are not new tactics, as Galatians 5.16-21 and Revelation 2.1-3.22 discuss. In fact, these are ways that satan used during Israel’s wilderness journey to the Promised Land. The ways continue to become increasingly effective today on people who are challenged by self-control. Proverbs 25.28 NASB: “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Think about that.
A. Golden Calf
- Exodus 32.1-6.
- Philosophers persuaded the people to turn from God; Exodus 20.4.
- They celebrated with song and dance and “rose up to play”. The Hebrew word for play includes laughter, mocking, and making sport (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).
B. Baalam and Peor
- Numbers 25.1-18 violated Exodus 20.3, 14, 17.
- Sex in the city because Balak followed Baalam’s advice for tripping up the people. Jesus said the Israelites were engaging in sexual immorality, in Revelation 2.14. Apostle Paul comments on this in 1 Corinthians 10.8.
- How did sex get into the city? How could the city keep it out? Which city?
C. Solomon on Adultery
- Before he became a participant, he advised his sons against this; Proverbs 5.1-23, especially verse 21.
- But, later, he listened to the philosophers (in his bed) and became deceived by their sexual rituals; 1 Kings 11.1-8, especially verse 4. Do you think he remembered Proverbs 5.21? How do you think his subjects responded to his example?
- How did sex topple the king? How could he have prevented this? You?
D. Galatians, Romans, and Flesh
- Galatians 5.13, 19-21: AD 48. Which of his list relate to sex? What is Paul’s warning about giving into lust? How can we follow this?
- Why did the Jerusalem Council’s Decree include such a warning to Gentile believers? Acts 15.19-22. Notice the broad inclusion of NASB Leviticus 18.6-23 in “fornication”, “sexual immorality” in other translations. So, satan’s deceptions using sex had not changed during the 1,450 years from Moses to Paul.
- Romans 7.14-24, 8.5-8: AD 55. How do these verses describe life as a teeter-totter? What does Paul say controls? What is Paul’s warning about giving into lust? How can we follow this?
- Shouldn’t we be able to see this repetition of satan’s chief weapon by now? Why don’t we? Self-control?
- The internet has facilitated “an insatiable appetite for sexually explicit content, and the high percentage of those searching are teenagers…6 out of 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18…9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18” (Baptist and Reflector, 2016, February 10, Vol. 182, No.3, P. 1).
E. From Ephesus to Laodicea
- Ephesus: Revelation 2.1-7, AD 95: apostolic faith beginning to slip. Who were the “Nicolaitans”. “They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce…licentiousness…and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). Nicholas was a trusted “brother in the Lord”, according to Acts 6.5, which gave him a following. Ephesian Christians’ faith depended upon holding onto the Scripture (Romans 10.17, Ephesians 4.11-13), which they, apparently, were “abandoning” (NASB). Nicholas’ followers were taking advantage of this opportunity. Jesus warned of this in Matthew 24.12. “Lawlessness” included sexual immorality, the systemic deception of satan; 2 Corinthians 4.3-4. Count the number of “sex-assistance” ads you see and hear this week. Who considers these? Why?
- Smyrna: Revelation 2.8-11: sex would be in the ‘synagogue of satan’.
- Pergamum: Revelation 2.12-17: temptation of sex.
- Thyatira: Revelation 2.18-29: intrusion of sex.
- Sardis: Revelation 3.1-6: adulterous deeds evidencing “death”.
- Philadelphia: Revelation 3.7-13: homosexuality?
- Laodicea: Revelation 3.14-22: apostasy! Like Solomon!
F. The Problem is Self-Control
- Not like Joseph (Genesis 39.9b) or Job (31.1).
- Why and how self-control last of the Fruit of the Spirit?
- Led by the Spirit; Galatians 5.22-25.
- How is self-control a function of Proverbs 4.23 and Hebrews 5.14?
G. The Real Question
- Luke 18.8b.
- How does sexual purity reflect faith?
- Likewise, why didn’t Daniel, S,M,A eat the king’s food? How were they better thereafter?
- How to protect ‘faith’?
Praise God!!! Copyright by Maurice L. Painter, 2016. www.sozoclass.com
Family businesses are interesting. One owner that I counseled had his son work through all of the functional positions of his company before shipping him off to another state to learn from another company in the industry. This is not uncommon and is a good way of preserving the best of the corporate culture, while exposing the next leader to innovative changes. For a while, though, the son is ‘just another employee’ doing the same work as every other employee. But, one day he will own the company! Paul uses a similar discussion, in Galatians 4.1-7, to show the lengths to which God went to make us heirs of His kingdom.
- This word does not indicate, as Calvinists believe, that some people are not chosen for salvation. Jesus’ words state otherwise: Revelation 3.20, John 3.16-18, and John 6.47.
- In Galatians 4.1-3, Paul describes my scenario. The heir of minor age is no different from the family servant: both must serve within the culture established by the owner/father. Neither can change it; only the Father can make necessary changes.
- Christians were just like any other people before they received the salvation that God had planned, as is discussed in the verses above from John and Revelation. Paul identifies the source of ‘bondage’ in 2 Corinthians 4.3-4 as the ‘god of this world’. Jesus discussed satan’s ‘veil’ in Matthew 13.18-22. Notice how this thief keeps the covering over mankind’s eyes, continuing even today. Secular-humanism is one ‘elementary’ philosophy by which some are bound. Socialism is another, a means by which an ‘elite’ government or business extracts control over others to its will and wishes. Paul criticized these in Colossians 2.8-10.
- The Mosaic Law was a good and purposeful ‘bondage’ to keep the exiting Hebrews and their later generations from adopting the aberrant ways of the peoples around them. The Decalogue, also, revealed the righteous character of God to the people. Although they were to emulate His character, the Decalogue only convinced them that they never could. They would have to trust Him by faith for salvation and expectantly await the time when He would come to live among them in person, as His prophets foretold. He expressed this plan early, in Exodus 25.8 and 29.45-46.
- Paul gives the only rationale for the time of Jesus’ birth in Galatians 4.4: it was God’s choice!
- Why just then? Perhaps it was time for the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies. Perhaps it was time for the blood of the sinless One to atone for the sins that separated everyone from God. Perhaps it was time to reestablish ‘truth’, as Jesus told Governor Pilate at His sentencing, in John 18.37. Perhaps mankind had reached the limits of God’s tether, which they had exceeded before the Flood. How close are we today?
- Why was it important for Paul to state in Galatians 4.4 that Jesus was ‘born of a woman’? How does John 1.14 help our understanding? What about John 10.1 together with John 3.4-7? Romans 8.3-4? Philippians 2.7-8? Hebrews 2.14-15?
- How does Jesus’ response to the attorney’s leading question in Matthew 22.37-40 explain why Jesus was ‘born under the law’ in Galatians 4.4? What is the relationship with ‘truth’? Why did the attorney need to hear this answer?
- Notice the progressive sequence in Galatians 4.4-5: Jesus was born of woman (thereby not a spirit, as some said; see 1 John 4.1-3), born under the Law (thereby chosen by God; see Exodus 19.4-6), to redeem those under the Law (by mediating a superior covenant, that could give life [Galatians 3.21]; see Hebrews 12.18-24), so they/we would be adopted sons/heirs of God.
- What gifts does Galatians 4.6-7 state are ours because Jesus did this for us?
- Paul elaborates on the transition from slave to son in Ephesians 2.19-22, including what benefits?
- Why is the Holy Spirit such a great ‘gift’? Read in John 14.26 what Jesus said He would do for us. What more could we need in this life? How is this El Shaddai to us? How does this fulfill Jesus’ promise in Mark 10.29-30?
- Why is it important that the Holy Spirit cries ‘Abba! Father!’? How does Romans 8.26-27 help us to understand? ‘Abba! Father!’ is only found in Mark 14.36, Romans 8.15, and Galatians 4.6. ‘Father’ is simply the Greek equivalent of the word ‘Abba’. “It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in our language” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).
- God has made us His child and joint-heir with Jesus of all that He is and has; Romans 8.17 and 2 Peter 1.2-4.
- The Holy Spirit walks with us daily as our ‘very present Help’; John 14.26 and Psalm 46.1-3.
- This inheritance is what we were rescued for. See 160103 Escape at www.sozoclass.com.
- Paul’s ministry was a rebuttal of the agendas of those whose philosophies imposed works atop or in place of faith in Jesus alone. See 160110 Agenda at www.sozoclass.com and 160124 Rebuttal at www.sozoclass.com.
- We who accept John 14.6 have a rich inheritance! Enjoy it now as an appetizer for the main course throughout eternity in Heaven!
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2016. www.sozoclass.com.