Sunday, June 29, 2014

Revelation 3 Letter to Sardis

Revelation 3:1) To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this:' I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

The tragedy of being a Christian who is labeled as having relationship with God that is alive and well but in reality is a dead or dying relationship. God's will for His children is to be alive with the life He gives. We receive that life when we are born again but we have to put it into practice and allow it to work in our lives.

Revelation 3: 2 NASB
. [2] 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. …

The gracious warning of God, as we read His word and hear it taught and preached we need to heed the warnings. If we will listen with an open and receptive heart God will instruct us in our walk with Him.

A call to wake up, a call to strengthen what is left. Perhaps the first step in being brought back into a vibrant relationship with Christ is to bolster that part of our life that is still in accordance with His will, after reinforcing that area that we are obedient in we may move forward from that point.

3)So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

What God has spoken to us in His word and revealed to us through His word and Spirit we are to cling to it and obey it and if we have strayed from it we are to turn back to it. Another admonition to wake up as in verse 2. If they did not wake up judgement would come as a thief.

Revelation 3:4-6 NASB
[4] 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. [5] 'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. [6] ' He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' …

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

1st Corinthians 7: 1-5 On Sex and Marriage

This my Sunday School lesson from today, yes believe it or not it was about sex. Sex is not a taboo subject in the bible but is actually encouraged within the bonds of marriage. Paul has something to say about sex in this excerpt from his letter to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 KJV
[1] … Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

As we delve into this passage, it would be helpful if we had the letter Paul was responding to, but since we don't we have to do the best we can within the context.

People can go to extremes in dealing with relationships between men and women. The ascetic might refrain from all contact with the opposite sex in order to enhance their relationship with God, the libertine might indulge the fleshly nature and gratify all their sexual desires whether it be righteous or not. The Corinthian culture was steeped in sexual immorality which even carried over into their pagan worship. Our present culture has its own share of immorality which has spilled over into the church.

Therefore, is it good for a man to touch a woman? I agree with Paul, men and women should be careful in their contact with members of the opposite sex. We should teach our youth to have godly boundaries in their courtships, also single adults should have boundaries in their courtships. The human sex drive is powerful, we best not underestimate it.

The next four verses deal with marriage and sex within the marriage.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

These four verses are a good example of the importance of taking verses within their context. The verses above and below verse 3 indicate what Paul is referring to in the third verse.

2] Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3] Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4] The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. [

5] Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

I believe this is teaching the importance of not depriving your mate of sex. We are created with sexual desires and God has given us the institution of marriage to fulfill those desires. Aside from health issues I believe that believers should engage in sex as often as they desire and should always be willing to meet one another's sexual needs. Apart from health issues, there is no reason why married believers should not have an enjoyable and bountiful sex life; sex is an important component of marriage and should not be neglected.

This is not the only place sex is advocated within the marriage but we see it also in the Old Testament.
Proverbs 5:15-20 KJV
[15] Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. [16] Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. [17] Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. [18] Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. [19] Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. [20] And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
I believe Paul was primarily speaking of sexual relations but in reference to verses 3 and the first part of 5

'Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence (good will) and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Defraud ye not one the other,' or deprive one another

Husbands be good to your wives, love them as this passage says in Ephesians
Ephesians 5:25 KJV
[25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Give them your time, your attention, hear what they have to say, be sensitive to their needs and be sensitive to their wants. Compliment them on their looks, let them know they are beautiful and recognize them for all they do and all they are.

Wives follow the teaching in the same passage.

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Ephesians 5:33 KJV
[33] Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Submit and reverence your husband. Show him respect, honor his God given authority in the marriage. Give him attention, hear what he says. Give him your support, let him know you are behind him. Engage him in conservation, contrary to what some believe and how men are depicted by some, men are not brute beasts who are just interested in fulfilling their carnal desires and pursuing manly things like hunting, fishing and their favorite sports team. Men do enjoy engaging in intelligent conversations.
Don't get hung up on your looks, nothing wrong with looking the best for your spouse, that is a good thing, but do not buy into the lie that it is all about natural appearance.

Let us close with this passage from:

1 Peter 3:1-7 KJV
[1] Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; [2] While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. [3] Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; [4] But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. [5] For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: [6] Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. [7] Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. …

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