20151112

What is the gospel?

The gospel is: Jesus is the Lord. He died on the cross in the place of our judgment for doing wrong. He became alive again on the third day. Whoever will believe in him will be saved from judgment and sin. Won't you call on him to save you, today?

That is the gospel.

20150604

Nehemiah 9 - Grace Greater Than All Our Sins

At Northwest Bible Fellowship

20140515

Psalm 51 Summary

Outline

v1-2
Requesting to be washed from sin
v3-6
Honestly acknowledging our sin
v7-9
Wash me so I may be clean and have joy
v10-12
Wash me so that I can have You with me, and so I can have Your Holy Spirit
v13
Wash me so that I may turn others to You
v14-15
Wash me so I may sing and praise You
v16-19
Wash me so I may bring a pleasing sacrifice

Key
v13

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

If I want to have a significant positive influence on other people, I need to be washed from my sins first, then I can.

Application

I'll set aside some time on Saturday evenings to examine my life for sin, and to come up with specific practical actions to take in order to change.

20131206

Matthew 27:1-31 - Reconsidering when we're set in our ways

Outline

v1-2
"When the morning was come..."--what kinds of things do we do in the morning?
v3-10
Judas tried to repent, and the council bought a potters field with the money
v11-14
Jesus didn't argue back
v15-18
Pilate gave the people a choice between Jesus and Barabbas
v19
Pilate's wife warned him
v20-23
The council and the crowd insisted for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified
v24-26
Pilate tried to transfer the responsibility
v27-31
The band of soldiers mistreated Jesus

Key
v19

When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

Sometimes we're already set in our ways to carry out a certain activity and the Lord lets something happen to warn us. We shouldn't merely dismiss the warning and continue in our sin like we had planned.

Application
1 Corinthians 10:12

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

When something happens or somebody says something to make me unsure whether I'm going the right way, I'll reconsider it before the Lord even if I was already set in my ways.

20130926

Matthew 22:1-22 - Outline

v1-7
The kingdom of heaven is like a king who made a wedding
v8-10
The Lord used the unworthiness of some to provide opportunities for others
v11-14
One was called but not chosen because he did not have the garment
v15-22
The Lord provided a marvelous response to a very difficult situation

20130903

Exodus 16 - Outline

v1-3
Israel complained against God and His servants because they were hungry
v4-12
God told them that He would send food
v13-15
The Lord sent manna
v16-18
The Lord provided just the right amounts
v19-21
The Lord's provision was day by day
v22-30
We should rest when it is the Lord's time for us to rest
v31-36
We should prepare to tell future generations about the Lord

20130823

It Is Sin To Allow Bad Depictions From Videos

The Bible Provides Instructions That Apply To Videos
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Paraphrased from Philippians 4:8)
You might have thought that the Bible does not say anything about the videos that we watch (TV, movies, home videos, and Internet videos). However, the Bible does instruct us what kinds of things we should think about, and that applies to watching videos.

Here are four objectionable depictions that are in videos:
  • violence
  • immodesty
  • bad language
  • the occult
Various parts of the Bible warn us about each of these things. God's word instructs us not to listen to, look at, delight in, or even think about various of these. They are not pure, just, or lovely, and they are not virtues. Therefore, we should not intentionally watch depictions of these things in videos. We also should not keep videos depicting such things or display such videos to others.

We Are Affected By Listening To Things

You may argue that, "A video I watch is just an inconsequential external situation. It doesn't affect me." But paying attention to it is a decision from your heart, and it is sinful to make bad decisions about what to watch. Jesus warned that merely looking at a woman with bad motives is equivalent to immoral action in your heart.

As a matter of fact, it is reckless to pay attention to wrong messages. Proverbs warn, "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction [that causes] to err from the words of knowledge." (19:27) "A wicked doer gives heed to false lips; [and] a liar gives ear to a naughty tongue." (17:4) "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants [are] wicked." (29:12)

1 Timothy 4:1 warns, "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils..." This applies directly to videos containing occult messages. Some people go away from believing in Christ, lending an ear to such messages.  So these are things that we need to make sure not to give heed to.

Fictitious Depictions Still Evoke Real Sins

You may argue that video content is not sinful because "It is not real." However, when it comes to sin, it's the thought that counts. When God sent the flood during the time of Noah, part of the problem was the wicked people's evil imaginations. When sinful ideas are portrayed in videos, the portrayals may be synthesized through special effects, but they still convey messages. Remember that Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think about virtuous things.

There Are Some Objects That Can Be Sinful To Keep

You might argue that it is OK to obtain or keep videos because they are just physical objects and "There is nothing unclean of itself..." (Romans 14:14), but that is taking that verse out of context. The videos may merely be objects, but obtaining or keeping them is an action, and actions can obviously be sins.

Generally, people keep videos to display, and people watch them to give heed to the messages they convey. Videos are effective at conveying messages and examples, and there can definitely be messages and examples that are bad. In that way, videos today are similar to books in history. As there have been books with bad content, there are videos with bad content.

Not all videos have bad content, but many do. With our videos that contain bad messages, let's take the example from the believers dealing with sinful books during the revival in Acts 19:19: "Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [people]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it to be] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver." (paraphrased)
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