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Idolatry, part 1
This is one of those messages that I believe pastors need to bring periodically, as a type of “inspection of the heart.” Every once in a while the Scriptures address our lifestyle. This week as we look into the Word we will be looking at one of those portions.
The heart of the portion of Scripture we will be studying this week deals with idolatry. An Idol is not always a statue or something tangible we can see, touch and feel, sometimes, as in the passage we will be looking at this week, they are things in our heart that should not be there. As the verses below instruct us, we will understand that idolatry is no small issue.
Look with me at these verses, Ephesians 5:3-5 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.”
“No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.” That is some pretty strong language… “No idolater has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.”
First I want us to take a little time and consider more about our involvement in these types of activities and then talk about what it is to be an idolater. So what kind of activities are we talking about? Just a brief reminder the New Testament was written in the Greek language and so it is sometimes helpful for us to know a Greek word and what it means; we’ll look at a few of those this week.
Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” These sins bring the wrath of God upon those who are guilty of them. In dealing with these issues I want to be very careful – especially in light of what this verse says about “empty words.”
The verse could also read, “Let none flatter you, as though such things were tolerable and to be allowed in Christians, or as though they were not very provoking and offensive to God, or as though you might indulge yourselves in them and yet escape with impunity.” Those who flatter themselves and others with hopes of exemption of sin cheat themselves and others. Consider how Satan deceived Adam and Eve with vain words when he said to them, “If you eat of this fruit, you shall not surely die.” Those were vain words indeed. And those who trust them (vain words) will find themselves miserable, for because of participation in these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
I have really, prayerfully, considered what I should say about this issue and these types of activities. On the one hand I don’t want to create the impression that, as Christians, God really doesn’t care about what we are involved in because we are saved by grace. And yet on the other hand, the Scripture is quite clear in saying these issues really are a big deal to God.
Medication: A Merry Heart
A teacher was giving a lesson on blood circulation. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.”
“Yes,” the class said. “Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?”
A little fellow shouted, “Cuz your feet ain’t empty.”
God Bless, Have a Great Day,
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: John 15:15 ESV
Today’s readings: Ezekiel 24 – 27