President Trump on Saturday touted a conservative victory after his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was confirmed as the 114th Justice after a contentious and dramatic assault from the left.
Speaking in Topeka, Kansas, Trump framed the Democratic resistance to Kavanaugh as an attempt by an “angry mob” to hijack the proceedings “in their quest for power.”
“They threw away and threw aside every notion of fairness, of justice, of decency and of due process,” Trump said of the anti-Kavanaugh efforts. “What he and his wonderful family endured at the hands of Democrats is unthinkable, unthinkable.”
TRUMP: “I want to thank our incredible Republican senators for refusing to back down in the face of the Democrats’ shameless campaign of political & personal destruction… radical Democrats launched a disgraceful campaign to resist & demolish right from the beginning.” pic.twitter.com/lIzj3TqCC9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 6, 2018
“Just imagine the devastation they would cause if they of their obtained the power they so desperately want and crave,” Trump added. “You don’t hand matches to an arsonist and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that’s what they have become.”
Trump then used Kavanaugh’s example to illustrate why conservatives need to vote during the midterm elections in four weeks so that Democrats don’t take back the House:
“You have to vote,” Trump insisted. “On November 6 you will have the chance to stop the radical Democrats — and that’s what they have become — by electing a Republican House and a Republican Senate. We will increase our majorities. We need more Republicans. We need more Republicans.”
“The Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern,” Trump continued. “Republicans believe in the rule of law not the rule of the mob.”
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 6, 2018
Bonus: Feinstein impression
Trump mocks Diane Feinstein, mimics her alleged confusion in a manner similar to how he mimicked a reporter with a disability three years ago pic.twitter.com/2Mba35BwGw
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 7, 2018
This headline is from The Daily Bell, but aren’t ALL sides of the technological police state scary?
Big Brother is comfortable in the corporate suite as well as in the seats of governmental power. The surveillance state is here. You are part of it. And there are people in business and government who are making lots of money with it.
They thank you for your liberty.
And by the way, why did we all get cell phone notices from the president last week? I don’t want any presidents calling me unless it’s to congratulate on me for a round of 63 at the Master’s, or if I win the Heisman.
(From The Daily Bell)
Indeed, every dystopian sci-fi film (and horror film, for that matter) we’ve ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science and technology, Big Business, and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful—but not without help from the citizenry.
On a daily basis, Americans are relinquishing (in many cases, voluntarily) the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to navigate an increasingly technologically-enabled world.
Brett Kavanaugh has become the fifth conservative judge in America’s highest court, after being narrowly confirmed by senators and quickly sworn in amid protests in the aftermath of sexual assault allegations against him.
One good thing about the whole Kavanaugh debacle it it has ripped the mask off of the Democratic party for millions of people. We can now see the Democrats for what they truly are. Power obsessed individuals to the point that they’d do ANYTHING to get and retain power. They’ve full exposed the 10 commandments…
Ever since Trump became the GOP nominee for President CNN has one of his biggest foes. Because of that we never thought we’d see a story like this from CNN: President Donald Trump’s Winning Streak (CNN)—Donald Trump may have never had a better time being President.
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (6:16)
Paul’s fifth rhetorical question introduces a second reason for believers not to be bound together with unbelievers. All false religion is in the final analysis “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1; cf. Deut. 32:17; Rev. 9:20) and is virulently hostile to the true God. There can be no agreement between the temple of God and idols. Christianity is incompatible with every form of false religion.
The Old Testament graphically depicts the disastrous consequences of attempting to mingle idolatry with the worship of the true God. It is instructive to read 2 Kings 21:1–9, which describes the reign of Manasseh, the most wicked of Judah’s kings:
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger. Then he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever. And I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.
The phrase “abominations of the nations” refers to the idolatry Manasseh brought back into Judah. Specifically, “he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.” Even worse, Manasseh “built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, ‘In Jerusalem I will put My name.’ For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord.” And if that were not bad enough, he put an idol in the temple itself: “Then he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, ‘In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever.’ ” That blasphemous insult to God provoked His devastating judgment on the nation:
Now the Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, having done wickedly more than all the Amorites did who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols; therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle. I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become as plunder and spoil to all their enemies; because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day.’ ” (vv. 10–15)
First Samuel 4 and 5 record another incident that illustrates the incompatibility of the true God with idols. Israel was at war with the Philistines and lost four thousand men in one skirmish (4:1–2). Dismayed by the Lord’s failure to help them in battle (which was due to their sin and apostasy), the Israelites sent to Shiloh for the ark of the covenant, the visible representation of God’s presence (4:3–5). Thinking themselves now to be invincible, they fought the Philistines again—this time losing 30,000 men and the ark: “So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died” (4:10–11).
The triumphant Philistines brought the ark to the temple of their god Dagon in Ashdod (5:1–2). The next morning, much to their surprise, they discovered that the idol of Dagon had prostrated itself before the ark (5:3). They put the idol back in its place, only to have the same thing happen the next day—this time with Dagon’s head and hands cut off. The message was clear: The true God tolerates no rivals. He will not share billing with false gods.
Ezekiel chapter 8 further illustrates that reality. In verse 3 the Lord took Ezekiel (who was actually in Babylon) by means of a vision to the temple in Jerusalem, “to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located,” alongside “the glory of the God of Israel” (v. 4). Such a situation was intolerable to God, who declared in verse 6, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary?” Rather than share His own sanctuary with pagan idols, God chose to abandon it.
But that idol was not the only thing provoking God to abandon His temple. At the end of verse 6 He told Ezekiel, “You will see still greater abominations,” which verses 7–10 describe:
Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.” So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around.
Shockingly, the apostate Israelites had carved idolatrous graffiti on the walls of the temple. And in what they supposed was a secret place, seventy elders of Israel were conducting idolatrous worship in front of that graffiti (vv. 11–12).
Even that appalling scene did not fully express the depths to which apostate Israel had plunged. In his vision, the Lord “brought [Ezekiel] to the entrance of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz” (v. 14). Committing blasphemy in the temple along with the women, “at the entrance to the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun” (v. 16). Like the women weeping for the false god Tammuz, these men were engaged in idolatrous worship in the very temple of the true God. God’s reaction, recorded in verse 18, was to promise judgment: “Therefore, I indeed shall deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor shall I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I shall not listen to them.” In 586 b.c. the Babylonians made their third and last invasion, destroying Jerusalem and taking captives. With that judgment, God did just as He had promised, using the Babylonians as a divine weapon to destroy the corrupted, profaned temple.
Today believers, both individually (1 Cor. 6:19) and collectively (1 Cor. 3:16–17; Eph. 2:22), are the temple of the living God. The phrase the living God, appearing more than two dozen times in Scripture (e.g., 2 Cor. 3:3; Rom. 9:26; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:10), contrasts Him with the dead idols of false religion. The authoritative phrase just as God said introduces a statement confirming that believers are God’s temple. In that statement, a mosaic of several Old Testament passages (cf. Lev. 26:11–12; Jer. 24:7; Ezek. 37:27), God promised, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” As the temple of God, the people of His covenant, His precious possession, and His dwelling place, believers cannot join forces with false religion. To be so unequally yoked for the purpose of serving God has always been unacceptable and blasphemous.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean”; (6:17a)
To be bound together with unbelievers is not only foolish and irreverent, but it also disobeys God’s explicit command, expressed in the two imperative verbs translated come out and be separate. Therefore links the command in this verse with the principle expressed in verse 16. As those personally indwelt by the living God, believers are to avoid any joint spiritual effort with unbelievers. As the temple of the living God, they must not be linked for the cause of the advancement of divine truth with any form of false religion.
The thought in this verse hearkens back to Isaiah 52, where God commanded His people, “Depart, depart, go out from there, touch nothing unclean; go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord” (v. 11; cf. Rev 18:4). Christians, like Israel at the time of her salvation (vv. Isa. 52:7–10), must make a clean break with all false religion to avoid its contaminating influence (cf. 2 Tim. 2:16–17). Paul repeated this principle in Ephesians 5:5–11:
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.
The “children of Light” must “not be partakers” with the “sons of disobedience.” They must be concerned with “pleasing … the Lord,” not sinful men. To that end, they must “not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.” The church’s goal is not to make unbelievers feel comfortable and nonthreatened. On the contrary, it is to make them feel uncomfortable with their sins and threatened by God’s judgment and the terrors of hell that they face.
It has always been God’s will for His people to be distinct from unbelievers. In Leviticus 20:24, 26 God said to Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.… Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” In the New Testament Peter reiterated that principle, exhorting believers, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Peter 1:14–16).
Strengthening the point that failing to separate from unbelievers is disobedience is the third command in this verse, Do not touch what is unclean. Touch is from haptō and refers to a harmful touch, as in 1 John 5:18. Believers are not to be involved with unclean, false teaching. They are to “save [those trapped in false religions], snatching them out of the fire … hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (Jude 23). But the church cannot worship, evangelize, or minister with those who pervert or reject the truth of the Word of God.
“and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. (6:17b–18)
Failing to separate from unbelievers is foolish, because such disobedience cuts believers off from the blessings of an intimate relationship with God. He promises those who heed His command to separate from unbelievers (v. 17) that He will welcome them. Eisdechomai (welcome), used only here in the New Testament, means “to receive,” or “to admit into one’s favor.” In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) rendering of Ezekiel 20:34, eisdechomai is used to speak of God’s gathering Israel to Himself out of the nations. The idea is that those who separate from unbelievers will find God’s arms open wide to receive them.
They will also enjoy the full range of blessings bestowed by their heavenly father on His sons and daughters. Paul probably had in mind 2 Samuel 7:14, where God promised David that he would bless his son Solomon: “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me.” God blesses His obedient children, as He did Solomon. But in the last part of the verse God warned, “When he [Solomon] commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men.” The writer of Hebrews also affirmed God’s discipline of His children: “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6). As always, obedience brings blessing; disobedience brings chastening.
Sadly, Solomon forfeited the promised blessing by making compromising alliances with unbelievers. First Kings 11:1–11 tells the tragic story of his downfall. Solomon
loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, neither shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love.” (vv. 1–2)
Just as the Lord had predicted, “when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods” (v. 4). As a result, “his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (v. 4). Despite Solomon’s wisdom and understanding of the truth, his compromising alliances with unbelievers proved his undoing. The allurement of idolatry proved too much, and he
went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. (vv. 5–8)
Because of his disobedience,
the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.” (vv. 9–11)
The devastating result of Solomon’s compromise with unbelievers was the division of his kingdom.
Any alliance with the unsaved is disobedience that defiles and therefore interrupts believers’ communion with their Father, forfeiting His blessing.
16b–c The chief reason why believers are not to enter any syncretistic or compromising relationship with unbelievers (v. 14a) is that they belong exclusively to God. Corporately, the Christian community forms “the temple [or sanctuary] of the living God” (cf. 1 Co 3:16–17; see also 6:19, which individualizes the truth), or, as Paul later expressed it, “a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph 2:22).
To establish this point (v. 16b) Paul quotes several OT passages. “I will live with them and walk among them” is based on Leviticus 26:11a, 12a, with possible allusions to Exodus 25:8; 29:45a; 1 Kings 6:13; and Ezekiel 37:27a. God’s promise to Israel in the wilderness, subsequently reiterated, becomes his promise to the church in the gospel era (cf. Rev 21:3). “I will be their God, and they will be my people” is a recurring promise of Yahweh to his covenantal people (see Ex 6:7; Lev 26:12b; Jer 32:38; Eze 37:27b).
17 In keeping with the promise of his presence and protection, God demands purity of life and separation from evil: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing” (cf. 1 Th 5:22). Isaiah 52:11 is the source of Paul’s citation; the differences may be explained by Paul’s quoting from memory and applying the text to the Corinthian situation. In Isaiah, the call was for separation (= departure) from Babylon (autēs, “her,” in the LXX), with its pagan idolatry. In Paul, the call is for separation from unbelievers (autōn, “them,” v. 17 = apistoi, “unbelievers” [GK 603], v. 14), with their pagan way of life. This verse, therefore, should not be used in defense of separation from other believers on the ground of doctrinal differences.
“And [or “then,” kai] I will receive you” stems from Ezekiel 20:34, 41. God’s approval of his people is dependent on their obedience to his commands. Separation from the world (vv. 14, 17a–c) leads to fellowship with God (vv. 17d–18; cf. Jas 4:4).
6:16–18. Paul turned to speak of believers and unbelievers as the temple of God and the temple of … idols. This manner of speaking summed up Paul’s outlooks so well that he elaborated on it for the next two verses. His lengthy attention to this matter suggests that his chief concern throughout this passage was the Corinthians’ involvement in pagan idolatry.
Paul first clarified that believers are the temple of the living God. The Old Testament speaks of the God of Israel as the living God because he is active and responsive to his people. God differs dramatically from the dead idols of paganism that can do nothing. The fact that believers are the temple of the living God as opposed to that of idols demonstrates why believers must remain separate from the practices of idolatry.
To fill out his assertion, Paul grouped together several Old Testament passages that illustrated the intimate involvement between the living God and his people. He first alluded to Exodus 25:8 and 29:45 where God said, I will live with them. The living God does not remain distant from his people. He is personally present among them, thus making the people themselves the temple of God.
16a. Or what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
Here is the last of the five rhetorical questions that call for a negative answer. Paul asks whether there is any agreement between God’s temple and idols. The temple is the place where God chooses to dwell, although God cannot be confined to a house built by human hands (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chron. 6:18; Isa. 66:1, 2; Acts 7:49–50). He is everywhere and reveals his power against an idol, be it Dagon of the Philistines or Baal of the Canaanites (1 Sam. 5:1–5; 1 Kings 18:21–40). But how would the Gentile Christians in Corinth understand the phrase temple of God? The Jews said that God dwelled in the Most Holy Place in the temple at Jerusalem, but Paul taught the Corinthians that God dwelled within their hearts and made their body his temple (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; see Rom. 8:9).
The Most Holy Place in Jerusalem was devoid of a statue and therefore became the laughingstock of the Gentiles who had temples with idols. We expect that Jewish Christians would consider pagan temples an abomination, and for them to enter these premises would be a transgression of God’s law. But Gentiles who had converted to the Christian faith needed to understand that they could no longer go to these shrines and participate in the sacrifices. They had to know that such sacrifices were offered to demons and not to God (1 Cor. 10:20). Participation in these worship services would make them partakers of demons. Being God’s people, the Corinthians had to break with their pagan culture and serve God with heart, soul, and mind. Paul had taught the people that they were God’s temple, had reminded them of this truth (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19), and now once more states it. Paul implies that the idols in pagan temples are dead and says emphatically, “we are the temple of the living God.”
Throughout his epistles Paul strengthens his discourse with quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures. At times he takes passages from various places to form a series of verses that are linked by key words (e.g., Rom. 3:10–18; 9:25–29, 33; 10:18–21; 11:26–27, 34–35; 15:9–12). In II Corinthians, he cites at least six Old Testament references; they appear to be linked together by the thought that God is a Father to his people, who are asked to keep themselves pure.
The passages are conflated and adapted to the train of thought Paul is developing. We cannot expect that Paul always had ready access to the scrolls; he often had to rely on memory.
16b. Just as God said,
“I will dwell with them and walk among them,
and I will be their God
and they will be my people.”
God addresses his people through the Scriptures and gives them promises and instructions. This promise is fourfold: He will dwell with his people, walk with them, be their God, and make them his people. The words of this text are a conflation of two passages from the Scriptures:
- “I will dwell with them” derives from the Hebrew text of Exodus 25:8 and 29:45, where God tells the Israelites that he will dwell among them. A literal translation says, “I will dwell within them,” which confirms Paul’s remark, “We are the temple of the living God.”
- “[I will] walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.” With minor modifications—for instance, a change from the second person plural to the third person plural—these words are from the Greek text of Leviticus 26:12. God’s promise is that his dwelling with his people signifies peaceful relations, and his walking among them indicates benevolent activity. He pays full attention to all people and every detail (Matt. 10:30).
The second part of this sentence, “I will be their God and they will be my people,” is a golden thread that God has woven into his Word from beginning to end. To mention only four out of many references: in embryo form God begins with the covenant blessing of Genesis 17:7, consolidates it in the wording of his covenant with Israel in Exodus 6:7, continues it in the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:26–27, and concludes it with Revelation 21:3. Philip Edgcumbe Hughes delineates three stages for the continuation of God’s covenant through Christ among his people: the incarnation (John 1:14), the indwelling of Christ in the hearts of believers (Eph. 3:17), and God’s dwelling with his people on the new earth (Rev. 21:3).
But Scripture does not limit the indwelling power to Christ. It teaches that the triune God dwells in the hearts of the believers. With Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father make their abode with believers (e.g., John 14:17; 1 John 4:12). God is always with his people from the time of creation in the garden of Eden to the restored garden after the renewal of all things.
- “Therefore, come out from their midst
And be separate,” says the Lord.
“Touch nothing unclean
And I will receive you.”
God requires full allegiance from his covenant people and therefore instructs them to strive for purity. As he is holy, so he expects his people to be holy (Lev. 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:15–16). With variations, this theme appears throughout the Scriptures. God has not separated himself from his people, yet his sons and daughters repeatedly have turned away from him and adopted the ways of the world. God is a faithful covenant God who fulfills the promises that he has given to his people. And he expects his covenant partners to keep their promises to him and to fulfill the obligations of his Word.
Paul quotes a passage from the Greek text of Isaiah: “Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure” (52:11; compare Jer. 51:45). The last part, “I will receive you,” is taken from the Greek text of Ezekiel 20:34, 41, and Zephaniah 3:20.
The Old Testament context is the time when the Jewish exiles were permitted to leave Babylon by a decree of Cyrus. They could carry with them the vessels that belonged to the temple in Jerusalem. God exhorted them to depart from Babylon but not to take along anything unclean that pertained to idol worship. His people, chastened by the exile but now set free, had to be pure and spotless. Likewise the Corinthians who had come out of the world of pagan idolatry now had to be a people fully dedicated to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“I will receive you.” The promise is stated in future terms to indicate that God’s reception of his children depends on their obedience. The Old Testament prophets looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, but the readers of Paul’s epistle already lived in fellowship with Christ (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 5:17). The clause is preceded by the command not to touch anything spiritually unclean. Hence, if followers of Jesus keep themselves unsullied by worldly influences, God approves of them and takes them in. God requires obedience that is expressed in total commitment to him.
- “And I will be a father to you
And you will be my sons and daughters,”
says the Lord Almighty.
The quotation comes from an Old Testament passage, 2 Samuel 7:14, that Paul adapts. (Adaptation is evident in changing “his father” to “a father,” and “son” to the plural “sons and daughters.” The verb to be is altered accordingly.) In that passage God speaks to David through the prophet Nathan. About David’s successor to the throne God says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.” Solomon is the king of Israel about whom Nathan prophesied, but Jesus Christ is the King of kings who ultimately fulfilled Nathan’s prophecy.
The apostles inaugurated a new era with the inclusion of women as spiritual equals to men to take their places in God’s kingdom (Joel 2:28–29; Acts 2:17–18). God is a father to all his children as Jesus is a brother to all his spiritual brothers and sisters. God desires that his children consecrate themselves to live a life of holiness and dedication, “for what an affront it is to God for us to call Him our Father and then to defile ourselves with the abominations of idolatry.”
These promises are given by no one other than the Lord Almighty. The title Almighty is awe-inspiring, because it reveals God as the omnipotent One to whom no one in either heaven or on earth can be compared. The Hebrew text of the Old Testament uses the word Sabaoth, which means Lord of the armies, or Lord of hosts, and the word occurs in the Greek text of James 5:4. Martin Luther incorporated the term in his well-known hymn “A Mighty Fortress” in the line “Lord Sabaoth his name.” As God’s title is great, so is his promise.
 Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 488–489). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, pp. 230–233). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Dan Lucarini, Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, pg.38-41
Roman Catholics may use words like “grace” and “faith,” but they often have very different meanings. In this brief clip, Leonardo De Chirico explains one of the main challenges coming from present-day Roman Catholicism.
This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for a donation of any amount this month only, you can also receive a copy of Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer, a documentary featuring interviews with R.C. Sproul and several Ligonier Teaching Fellows, on DVD. Offer ends 10/31/18.
We have two main challenges coming from present-day Roman Catholicism: One is the battle over words. Roman Catholicism in its post-Vatican II time has tried to capture basic Evangelical Protestant language, trying to redefine it still using the same words, still using the same sounds but significantly redefining its meaning. In a very important book published in 2005, Is the Reformation Over? by Mark Noll and Nystrom, there is a recognition that if one reads the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, there is a sense in which two-thirds of the Catechism can be accepted by a Protestant—two-thirds—if you read these words prima facia “for what they mean,” in terms of the readers perspective. But then the authors say, but if you look closely, and if you try to understand what these words mean, you find that wherever the Catechism speaks of Christ, it speaks of the church; wherever it speaks of grace, it speaks also of the sacraments; wherever it speaks of faith, it speaks of works; wherever it speaks of the glory of God; it speaks also of the veneration of the saints and Mary. You see the words are the same but the meaning is blurred. So that you have a sense that they are saying almost the same things but then the end result is that they are actually saying very different things.
In 2012 another important book written by George Weigel title Evangelical Catholicism tries not only to redefine the basic words of the gospel but also to redefine what does evangelical mean. And he says basically that Roman Catholicism is the noun carrying the doctrinal sacramental weight. Evangelical Catholicism is a way of describing a kind of spirituality. The good Roman Catholics—they pray and read their Bibles. And that is the way in which they are redefining the word evangelicalism by severing its biblical, theological, and historical roots and re-infusing, infusing of a different meaning what historically evangelicalism has always meant.
Jesus, where’er thy people meet,
There they behold thy mercy-seat;
Where’er they seek thee, thou art found,
And ev’ry place is hallowed ground.
For thou, within no walls confined,
Inhabitest the humble mind;
Such ever bring thee where they come,
And going, take thee to their home.
Dear Shepherd of thy chosen few,
Thy former mercies here renew;
Here to our waiting hearts proclaim
The sweetness of thy saving Name.
Here may we prove the pow’r of prayer
To strengthen faith and sweeten care,
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all heav’n before our eyes.
Lord, we are few, but thou art near;
Nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
O rend the heav’ns, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts thine own.
Two tunes for this one:
Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exod. 20:7)
God is holy. To take God’s name in vain is to fail to acknowledge God for who he is. To take God’s name in vain is to treat God, his Word, or his work in the world in a way that demeans him and robs him of his infinite glory. In its answer to the question: “What is required in the third commandment?” the Heidelberg Catechism explains:
We are not to blaspheme or to abuse the Name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor to share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders. In short, we must use the holy Name of God only with fear and reverence, so that we may rightly confess Him, call upon Him, and praise Him in all our words and works. (Heidelberg Catechism 99)
There is a lot here, too much to go into in this brief essay. Instead, I want to deal with the heart of the matter—how our speech and actions relate to our love, or lack of love, for God.
We take God’s name in vain when we fail to love God with anything less than our entire heart. When Jesus encountered the religious leaders of his day, he saw past their attempts to keep God happy with made-up laws about how much one should give to the temple or how many steps one could take on a holy day. The religious leaders tried hard to understand God’s law and apply it correctly, but they failed where it counted most. They failed to love God. This made their attempts to keep the law vain.
You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matt. 15:7–9)
The religious leaders had bound themselves to “unnecessary oaths.” Thus they had failed to “use the holy Name of God only with fear and reverence, so that we may rightly confess Him, call upon Him, and praise Him in all our words and works.” What Jesus said to the religious leaders applies to everyone. No one always perfectly loves God. So when people seek to honor God without perfect love, their attempts to obey God’s law become vain worship. Everyone, all the time, takes the name of the Lord in vain.
We take God’s name in vain when we talk about God in any way that hinders the truth. False doctrine—lies about God—is the worst kind of inappropriate speech that takes the name of the Lord in vain. The apostle Peter speaks to this:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Pet. 2:1–3)
Most people think cursing is using dirty language. In the Bible, to “abuse the Name of God by cursing” is to speak blasphemy against God. Blasphemy, at its root, is to speak sacrilegiously against God, to treat him inappropriately or falsely.
When considering our doctrine or praises, we can begin to see human failure in both. Everyone takes the name of the Lord in vain whenever they say anything false about God, whether out loud or in their inner thoughts and feelings. Whenever anyone perceives God as less then all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful or whenever one questions God’s actions in the world, that person is taking God’s name in vain.
We take God’s name in vain when we misrepresent him through our actions. Whenever a person fails to live up to what God requires while claiming to be a disciple of Jesus, that person takes God’s name in vain. To treat holiness as unimportant, to have hateful thoughts, to fail to love others, to despise sermons or worship—these activities take God’s name in vain. Paul puts it well:
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (Titus 1:16)
We are called to praise God, not only with our words but also with our lives. We are to “praise Him in all our words and works.” The third commandment—like all of God’s commandments—requires perfection, everywhere, always. I have tried to state this clearly, because too often people lower God’s standards and imagine that they keep his commandments—at least enough to get by—to make God happy with their performance. This too violates the third commandment.
Even though everyone takes the name of the Lord in vain in various ways, Jesus never did. Jesus kept the third commandment perfectly.
Jesus kept the third commandment in our place. Jesus loved God perfectly. He had a perfect regard for Scripture. Every time he prayed, it mattered. Moved by love, he honored God’s name in everything he did, thought, and felt. He taught the truth about God. He spoke it. He lived by it even to the point of death. He died for the truth.
Jesus did all things as a representative of anyone who would trust him for salvation. If people trust Christ for salvation, they can have confidence that—even though they fail to keep the third commandment perfectly—God still accepts them. In this life, Christians are free from the law’s condemnation. Christians are free to strive to honor God’s name.
In fact, Christians have more reason to honor God. They know the God who is merciful and gracious. The grace and mercy God grants to you because Jesus died in your place doesn’t in anyway give you a reason to disregard striving for obedience. Jesus promised that the Spirit would be a helper (John 14:16). The apostle Paul put it this way:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:8–10)
Saved by grace alone, God has set aside his people, Christians, to do good works. Through the Holy Spirit, we begin to obey—imperfectly, weakly, often failing. Regardless, we strive to love and obey God because “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). God did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves:
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:3–4)
This is the good news of the gospel. This gospel will enable you to begin to honor and love God’s name because you know that God has a reputation worth keeping.
My friend Wessel sent me this sermon a few days ago because I was looking for a good sermon on grace. Some of my friends pitched in with sermons, but this one from a South African church was BY FAR the best. I’ve listened to it 3 times already. The speaker sounds exactly like one of best friends from university, Andrew, who is from South Africa.
I’m testing out a new file download service, so I hope this works… here is the MP3 file. (7 megabytes, 30 minutes)
Let me know if you can’t download that.
The text of the sermon is Genesis 48:1-20:
1Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him.
2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to…
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My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
The joy we experience from our trials can be some of the greatest joy we know. Since one of the major reasons God sends trials into our lives is to test the genuineness of our faith, what more fitting occasion to have joy than in and after an experience of suffering that has proved the reality of our salvation? A strengthened assurance of our salvation and confidence that God cares for us, as manifest in the reality that our suffering could neither break our faith nor sever us from His love, is cause for the highest happiness.
True joy does not come cheaply or as a fleeting, superficial emotion. Real joy is produced by much deeper factors than the circumstances that produce superficial happiness. If you are struggling through the negative circumstances of life, floundering in doubt and dismay, you have forgotten that genuine joy resides in the confidence that your life is hidden with Christ in God. In God’s providence, that joy and assurance can be most strong during a trial.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
Continuous confession characterizes Christians.
Yesterday we learned that the only condition for receiving God’s gracious forgiveness is to “walk in the light”—in other words, to be a true Christian (1 John 1:7). At first glance, today’s verse appears to contradict that truth by adding a condition—namely, confession of sin. Such is not the case, however. First John 1:9 could be translated, “If we are the ones confessing our sins, He is forgiving us.” This verse looks at salvation from man’s perspective and defines Christians as those who are continually confessing their sins. Confession, like saving faith, is not a one–time act but a continuous pattern throughout our lives.
What is confession? The Greek word means “to say the same thing.” Confession, then, is agreeing with God about our sin. Confession affirms that God is just when He chastens us for our sins. It also restores us to the place of His blessing—something He is always “faithful” to do. Proverbs 28:13 reinforces that truth, promising that “he who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”
Some may question how a holy God can be “righteous” and still forgive sins. John has already answered that by noting in verse 7 that forgiveness comes through the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul declares that “God displayed [Christ] publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith … for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:25–26).
True confession involves sorrow because sin has offended God (2 Cor. 7:10)—not mere remorse because of its negative consequences in one’s life (as was the case with Saul [1 Sam. 15:24] and Judas [Matt. 27:3]). It also involves repentance—turning away from sin and no longer embracing it (cf.Acts 19:18–19; 1 Thess. 1:9).
Is there a sin you’ve been clinging to? If so, confess and forsake it today, and experience God’s blessed forgiveness.
Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for being “good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon [Him]” (Ps. 86:5).
For Further Study: Memorize Psalm 139:23–24 to remind you of the need for God’s help in confessing your sins.
When I sin, I typically question whether or not I’m truly saved. I reason that a saved person, while not perfect, really ought to exhibit some evidence that the Holy Spirit has transformed her. Usually, I momentarily conclude that I must be a false convert.
(Those episodes must drive my husband crazy.)
But eventually I come to my senses and remember that Jesus took care of my sin by His death on the cross. Yes, I should walk by the Spirit more than I do. Yes, my sin dishonors Him. And yes, in those moments I’m failing to reflect His holy nature. But even so, I need to focus on Him rather than on myself.
Last Sunday the Lord encouraged me through the second verse of “Before The Throne Of God Above” by shifting my gaze from the despair of having sinned yet again to the joy that Jesus paid…
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By Elizabeth Prata
On Sundays I usually post a theological word with its definition, then an explanation, and use it in a verse. I also use a picture to represent the concept. This is my effort to maintain a theological literacy among the brethren and between generations, something I believe is critical. We have to know what we believe, why, and know the words to express it. Words like Justification, Immanence, and Perspicuity have all been a Sunday Word of the Week.
Similarly, when we discuss other words such as love, peace, and joy, we think we know what they mean, but often times these culturally embedded words have a totally different flavor when used from a biblical context. It is true of the words pertaining to the Fruit of the Spirit. Even these ‘simpler’ biblical words are misunderstood.
Therefore, over the next 9 weeks the Word of the Week…
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At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”—John 4:27
The disciples came back from buying food in Sychar at the exact moment Jesus revealed His messiahship to the Samaritan woman. The phrase “at this point” captures Jesus’ complete mastery of the situation. Had the disciples returned earlier, they would have interrupted the conversation before it reached its dramatic conclusion; had they returned later, they would have missed hearing Jesus’ declaration.
The disciples were amazed to see that Jesus “had been speaking with a woman,” which was a shocking breach of societal norms. That she was a Samaritan made the Lord’s action even more astonishing. And had they known the woman’s immoral background, the disciples would have been completely stunned. But they respected Jesus so much that they knew better than to interrupt His conversation. Therefore they did not ask the woman, “What do You seek?” or ask Jesus, “Why do You speak with her?” They had already learned that Jesus had good reasons for doing what He did.
As He explained the truth to this woman, the Lord did not force or manipulate the conversation. Instead, He sovereignly orchestrated the timing of events so the disciples would arrive at the right moment. History is under God’s absolute control, prewritten in eternity past. Therefore, Jesus Himself always acted according to the Father’s timetable.
In this situation at a well in Samaria—as so often in His life—Jesus’ sovereign control of events opens a window through which we can see His deity.
|God’s sovereignty is one of the aspects of His nature that disturbs some, feeling as though He ’s too much in their business. But what are some of the many comforts and confidences that flow from this glorious doctrine of His providence?|
Sinning Against Yourself
Here is our Order of Worship
A Call to Worship link
God of Hope,
we come into your presence this morning
with confidence that you will meet us here.
Where there is sadness, bring joy;
Where there is tiredness, bring refreshment;
Where there is despair, bring a renewed sense of hope.
Let this place be a sanctuary,
a safe haven for us,
a home for holy words and songs and prayers
as we devote ourselves to you.
We pray this in Jesus’ name
A Prayer for Humility (link)
O Lamb of God, who, both by your example and precept, instructed us to be meek and humble, give me grace throughout my whole life, in every thought, and word, and work, to imitate your meekness and humility. Mortify in me the whole body of pride; grant me to feel that I am nothing and have nothing, and that I deserve nothing but shame and contempt, but misery and punishment. Grant, O Lord, that I may look for nothing, claim nothing; and that I may go through all the scenes of life, not seeking my own glory, but looking wholly unto you, and acting wholly for you.
Let me never speak any word that may tend to my own praise, unless the good of my neighbour requires it; and even then let me beware, lest, to heal another, I wound my own soul. Let my ears and my heart be ever shut to the praise that comes from men.
Give me a dread of applause, in whatsoever form, and from whatsoever tongue, it comes. Deliver my soul from this snare of hell; neither let me spread it for the feet of others. Whosoever perishes thereby, let their blood be upon their own head, and let not my hand be upon them.
O giver of every good and perfect gift, if at any time you please to work by my hand, teach me to discern what is my own from what is another’s, and to render unto you the things that are yours. As all the good that is done on earth you do it yourself, let me ever return to you all the glory. Let me, as a pure crystal, transmit all the light you pour upon me; but never claim as my own what is your sole property.
Scripture Reading: Habakkuk 2:9-17 (NASB Bible Gateway)
“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house
To put his nest on high,
To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
“You have devised a shameful thing for your house
By cutting off many peoples;
So you are sinning against yourself.
“Surely the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
And founds a town with violence!
“Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts
That peoples toil for fire,
And nations grow weary for nothing?
“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.
“Woe to you who make your neighbors drink,
Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk
So as to look on their nakedness!
“You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor.
Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness.
The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you,
And utter disgrace will come upon your glory.
“For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
And the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them,
Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.
The Lord’s Prayer (link)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
Jude 1:24-25 (NASB Bible Gateway)
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Lamb of God, Thou Now Art Seated
Lamb of God, Thou now art seated
high beside Thy Father’s throne;
all Thy gracious work completed,
all Thy mighty vict’ry won:
ev’ry knee in heav’n is bending
to the Lamb for sinners slain;
ev’ry voice and harp is swelling –
Worthy is the Lamb to reign!
Lord, in all Thy pow’r and glory,
still Thy thoughts and eyes are here;
watching o’er Thy ransomed people,
to Thy gracious heart so dear;
Thou for them art interceding;
everlasting is Thy love –
and a blessed rest preparing
in our Father’s house above.
Lamb of God, Thy faithful promise
says, “Behold, I quickly come;”
and our hearts, to Thine responsive,
cry, “Come, Lord, and take us home.”
Oh, the rapture that awaits us,
when we meet Thee in the air,
and with Thee ascend in triumph,
all Thy deepest joys to share.
Lamb of God, when Thou in glory
shalt to this sad earth return,
all Thy foes shall quake before Thee,
all who now despise Thee mourn;
then shall we at Thine appearing,
with Thee in Thy kingdom reign;
Thine the praise, and Thine the glory,
Lamb of God for sinners slain.
—Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017).
The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, recently published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.