Thursday, November 03, 2005

James 1:27

I’d like to answer the questions from my last blog, but because I can’t write anything that is short, I’ll do one question at a time. The question answered in this blog will be...

What application, if any, can we learn from this text(the end of the book of Ezra)?

I think there is a lot that we can learn from this text. Here are some of my thoughts in point form.

1. It is important to keep ourselves away from temptation before it overwhelms us.
”Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 1 Cor.10:12”

2. We who received God’s grace are no longer our own, but our lives now belong to Christ.
“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Cor.6:20"

3. It may be necessary to change our surroundings and the way we are currently living.
“Do not conform any longer 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. Rom.12:2”

4. To realize that we are already joined to Christ Jesus and should have no part of sin.
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9”

5. To acknowledge that we live in a world of idolatry and sinful desires, and are constantly being immersed in it’s culture, yet we are to keep ourselves unspotted by the world around us(not remove ourselves physically from it , but not becoming like it either).
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27"
and “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17"

6. That we have a new covenant in Jesus with a merciful God of grace who loves us, one who will save us from sin and death, restoring us to Himself.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10” and “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15”

There are more things that could be learned from the text, but for the sake of keeping this shorter I think these points are sufficient. Although I'd love to hear more of yours(the reader)!

Note: the other question(Why do you think it was necessary for the Jews to divorce or separate from their wives, and why did God condone it?) will be covered in my next blog.


Yogger said...

Is it possible to NOT be immersed in our culture? Is "culture" a bad thing? Can you be immersed in culture, but not sin?

The Essenes were a group of people who isolated themselves from culture... or you can take the Amish or Huderites as an example... does isolation from "culture" really mean we'll sin less? I think you'll find that sin is equally existant within every culture... for when you isolate from "culture" all you're doing is creating a new one.

Perhaps, we need not isolate from culture as much as strive to redeem the positive aspects and influence the rest of the culture we coexist within.

In other words, be "in" this world, but not "of" this world. Just some thoughts

gospeloflove said...
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gospeloflove said...

I was trying to say a similar thing in point 5. Perhaps it came across wrong. Even though Lot lived in Sodom & Gomorrah he WAS still righteous right? Anyway I agree that we shouldn't separate ourselves physically. However, spiritually we should be as separate as light is from dark while shining in the midst.

Thanks for the comment Kyle!