And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thou Shall not be worldly, a paraphrase

Note to the reader: Here again I am publishing some of my rough draft study notes from the Sunday sermon. I hope these will fill in the gaps that time kept me from completing. I do apologize for their rough nature.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Exodus 20:17


Coveting is about worship. It is the worship of things, experiences, honors, fantasies.
The 10 Commandments began with “you shall have no other gods”. It essentially ends the same way. (All the ten relate to the worship and faith of God)

Coveting involves worship of things with a faith that those things fulfill you. But our faith is in God, that is saving faith. So coveting is worshiping that which is not God in place of God. You will worship what you have faith in. You also will accentuate your life to that which you worship. It will involve your emotions, values, and drive. Even if it is a false dichotomy of God.

Thus it is an imperative that we worship in Spirit and in truth. As we know God we will have a drive, emotion, and value toward God, forsaking all others. It will grow our faith in God. Thus our worship will get better and better. Our lives will accentuate God throughout the week and when we come to worship God together it will be all the more wonderful. Here we see Him as Savior, Lord, and Love.

Coveting is an act of the heart. It may never have an outward expression, but defiles the mind and affections away from God nonetheless. Coveting is an affection. As Christians, Christ is our Savior, Lord, and Love. Coveting is a direct competition with love for Christ.

Coveting seems to be the acceptable sin of today in America, even in the church. Capitalism has bred a false use of wealth. Wealth was once the tool of spreading the Gospel, now it is a subversive idol.

True, other sins are part and parcel with worldliness. But it seems the accumulation of those things we covet, that is idolize, have snared us. We began this study with an inquiry of the Ten Commandments. In my staunch conservatives I wanted to make a moral stand that the Sabbath should be for rest and worship alone. My thought was fix the Sabbath and all else falls into place. Wrong. If you read my notes in this blog you will find my new perspective. Even moral theology can become an idol.

So coveting deals with idols. It may be things, such as a Ferrari or a House. It may be experiences, such as a trip to Disney or attending your kids ball game. I have watched a show called Hoarders. In it, people idolize junk. Trash, wood, hay, and stubble. They find security in this refuse, and though we may scorn it, we may too find security in boats, computers, and home theatres.

The cross puts this into the proper perspective……
• Lay up your treasure in Heaven…
• Christ, the man who had no home or place to lay His head.
• Consider the man who built bigger barns, only to die the night they were finished.
• Romans 8:18 Teaches that the sufferings of now are not worthy to be compared to what awaits us in the kingdom.
• 1 Corinthians 1:26 Implores us to consider our calling. Look at what a rare position it is to be bought by the blood of Christ and work in His calling.
• 2 Corinthians 3:5 our adequacy is not from mere possession, but from God. Thus nothing we own makes a difference.
• Colossians 3:4F Consider our life in Christ and dead to greed and evil desire.
• Philippians 3:7F Paul explains that because of the value of the Gospel, anything that does not help him gain Christ is a loss. It is dead weight in the race. Paul knew this from the Hellenistic/Jewish pinnacle of success.
• King Solomon in all his wealth, wisdom, and indulgence also said that all is vanity but
• The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Thus it is the cross that orders our values and affections into proper submission and glory of God. The world tells us differently. Just as the miracles Jesus did evidenced His ability to forgive sins as the Son of God, His teaching reveals His order for our sanctification.

Think about the ensnaring pursuits that keep you from the fullness of Christ and Him from doing the full work in you…
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

In Luke 14:18 people chose their things rather than the invitation to the banquet of the King.

Paul and Coveting
Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET." But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Romans 7:4-12

Here we see the law makes us aware, and the cross sets us free. So there is power to overcome sin. It is not in us, but in Christ.

The Sufficiency of the Cross
We all go around empty and condemned in our sin till we are saved by Christ. Afterwards we enter a process of sanctification, that is the putting to death the old nature. Habits are hard to break, so are the comforts we once knew. Some things are quite obvious that they are idols and hindrances to our Christianity. But stuff, worldly longings are often just as bad.

The cross is the measure and gateway to freedom in Christ.
Deny self, Take no provision….
Take up your cross, Your hands and labor are bearing the cross, not any other mammon
Follow Him. If He leads He will provide.

The bottom line is what Has God done to show His glory in your heart? What spiritual fruit are you bearing? Are you enslaved in any way? Is there idolatry?

If he is Savior, Lord, and Love, then Love for Him must certainly eclipse any love for things of covetousness that they categorically no longer can be described as a love.

It is not the appeal of self that should reign, “I want what my neighbor has because I I I I “, no it should be I love my God and He supplies me, I want my neighbor to know Christ. I want to glorify God in the lot He has provided.

No comments: