Meet Temptation with Christ

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In Luke 4.1-13 we have the record of Jesus being tempted of Satan. Though He was tempted, He never yielded to temptation (Hebrews 4.15). What a marvelous example we have to follow: our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2.21)! We ought often to thank God for this blessing.

We will not fare as well as did our Lord in meeting temptation (Romans 3.23). However, we do have the ability to resist temptation and we CAN be successful in our battle with Satan and S-I-N! Three points should make this clear to us. Please study the references attached to these points…

  1. We have a HEAVENLY EXAMPLE (Luke 4.1-13).
  2. We have a HEAVENLY ASSURANCE (1 Corinthians 10.13).
  3. We have a HEAVENLY PRESCRIPTION–Revelation 3.10. The saints at Philadelphia were commended by the Lord. They had kept His word of PATIENCE. That word means: “to continue to bear up despite difficulty and suffering … to put up with…” [Louw-Nida]. God’s Word is that which makes it possible to resist temptation (Psalm 119.11).

An “entire alphabet of help” (26 total) from Scripture to resist temptation…

In order to meet temptation with Christ, we must. . .

  • A.  “Keep the word of Christ’s patience” (Rev 3:10).
  • B.  Know the Bible (Psalms 119:11).
  • C.  Be godly (2 Peter 2:9).
  • D.  Look for the way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • E.  Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32).
  • F.  Use the “Spiritual EPA” (Philippians 4:8).
  • G.  Follow the Example of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).
  • H.  Pray (Matthew 26:41).
  • I.   KNOW that we are ABLE to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • J.  Don’t allow temptations to discourage and then destroy (1 Peter 5:6-7).
  • K.  Refuse to allow Satan to create doubt in your mind about what God has said or what He really means (Genesis 3:4-5).
  • L.   Refuse to believe Satan’s lie that something good will come from doing something evil (Genesis 3:4-5).
  • M. Do not allow Satan to use your God-given ability to envision, visualize, and fantasize to create a picture of the pleasure of sin–these pleasures are ONLY for a season (Genesis 3:4-5; Hebrews 11:25).
  • N.   Remember that when God says NO to something it is NOT to diminish your pleasure, but to ENHANCE it (John 10:10).
  • O.  Remember this world is not your home (1 Peter 1:17).
  • P.   Think about the NEW ways God can use you as you choose not to yield to temptation (Hebrews 11).
  • Q.  THINK about how much might be riding on the decision you are about to make (Matthew 16:26).
  • R.   Realize that it is OK to be angry about SIN (John 2:13; Mark 3:5)–Personalize the enemy:  SATAN.
  • S.  Beware of your STRENGTHS (1 Corinthians 10:12).
  • T.  Shift your energy from preoccupation with life’s inconveniences and your own pain to GOING TO WORK FOR THE LORD–Put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14).
  • U.   Know that the way out of temptation is THROUGH it–Patiently endure it and do so with JOY (James 1:2).
  • V.  Understand that the Bible speaks of SINS OF IMAGINING (e.g., Matthew 5:27-28).
  • W. Do not waste time devising evil plans or making provision for the flesh, BUT rather put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14).
  • X.  Do not forget about the OMNISCIENCE OF GOD–Some day all that you thought was secret and hidden will be made manifest and made known (Luke 8:17).
  • Y.  Appreciate and use the DISCERNING POWER OF GOD’S WORD (Hebrews 4:12).
  • Z.   Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Life on this earth is filled with trials, temptations, and disappointments. In order to live the best way it is possible to live here, we must be determined to:  MEET TEMPTATION WITH CHRIST.

Am I Being Used by the Devil?

I’ve just viewed a YouTube Video from the 2018 Power Lectures of the Southaven Church of Christ in Southaven, MS. The speaker was Cliff Goodwin. Cliff taught from Scripture that you and I CAN BE, but ought not to be used by Satan by: (1) Resisting God’s Pattern; (2) Refusing Forgiveness; and (3) Retaining Overconfidence. I would highly recommend this study to you. Please take the time to view it. It lasts 45:32 minutes.

TRUTH for July 2018

JournalsHead.TruthI have just received the July issue of TRUTH from Roger Campbell. There are four fine articles in this month’s issue: (1) Pointing Fingers at Others; (2) What Do You Remember about Abigail?; (3) Lord, Help Me Have a Spirit of Sacrifice; (4) Two Paths which Lead to Two Eternal Destinies. We encourage you to read and be edified by these four articles. Find them by clicking here… Truth1807

Study Guides for Colossians

…covers many of the same topics as Ephesians does and in much the same order.

5100.WebGraphicPlease notice the following brief statement of introduction to Colossians…

“INTRODUCTION TO COLOSSIANS: Paul is writing this letter from prison in Rome. He says in the last verse of the book, “Remember my bonds” (Col 4.18). Colossae was located in the Roman province of Phrygia only twenty or so miles from its companion city of Laodicea. No doubt this accounts for the several times that Laodicea is mentioned in this book (Co 2.1; 4.13-15) and for the exchange of epistles between them. This letter was sent to the church in Colossae at the same time that Paul sent the letter to Philemon regarding Onesimus (Col 4.7-9). It is a companion letter to Ephesians, evidently written at the same time, and also sent by the hand of Tychicus (Col 4.7; Eph 6.21). It covers many of the same topics as Ephesians does and in much the same order. It was written in response to a report by Epaphras regarding the church there (Col 1.7-8). This report was mainly encouraging, but evidently (considering the topics covered in the epistle) also included news of some false teaching that might lead some astray” [Darrell Conley, “Philippians and Colossians—A Summary,” in Studies in Philippians and Colossians, Editor: Dub McClish, 2000 Annual Denton Lectures, p. 38].

I hope you will find the study guides listed below to be helpful. The first is a combination of the others, a 37-page PDF document. If you find them helpful in your study, please tell others where they can be found.

Colossians, 37-page study guide of Colossians… 5100sg.Combo

Colossians 1… 5101sg

Colossians 2… 5102sg

Colossians 3… 5103sg

Colossians 4… 5104sg

Study Guides for Matthew

4000.WebsiteGraphicMatthew’s Gospel provides the vital link between the Old and New Testaments. Matthew begins by tracing the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph; the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary; the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; and Satan’s temptation of Jesus while in the wilderness. Jesus speaks more in Matthew than in the other Gospels, and His teaching discourses include the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7); sending out the Twelve (chapter 10); parables of the kingdom (chapter 13); fellowship of the Kingdom (chapter 18); and the Olivet Discourse concerning the future (chapters 24-25). During Jesus’ final week His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection take place. Matthew concludes with the call of the Great Commission to all believers [The Rainbow Study Bible, p. 1131].

We hope these study guides linked below will be helfpul to you in a detailed study of this great account of the life of Christ. If you find them helpful please refer others to this site.

Matthew–a 337-page PDF, which includes ALL of the following links… 4000sg.Combo

Matthew Introduction… 4000.Intro

Matthew 1… 4001sg

Matthew 2… 4002sg

Matthew 3… 4003sg

Matthew 4… 4004sg

Matthew 5… 4005sg

Matthew 6… 4006sg

Matthew 7… 4007sg

Matthew 8… 4008sg

Matthew 9… 4009sg

Matthew 10… 4010sg

Matthew 11… 4011sg

Matthew 12… 4012sg

Matthew 13… 4013sg

Matthew 14… 4014sg

Matthew 15… 4015sg

Matthew 16… 4016sg

Matthew 17… 4017sg

Matthew 18… 4018sg

Matthew 19… 4019sg

Matthew 20… 4020sg

Matthew 21… 4021sg

Matthew 22… 4022sg

Matthew 23… 4023sg

Matthew 24… 4024sg

Matthew 25… 4025sg

Matthew 26… 4026sg

Matthew 27… 4027sg

Matthew 28… 4028sg

Do it HEARTILY!

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You might recognize the expression of the title of this article as coming from the pen of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23. Please notice verses 22 through 25. In this section of Paul’s letter to the saints at Colossae, instructions are given to various categories of Christians. This particular instruction is for SERVANTS or SLAVES. If we would make proper application of the text to our day, we would take the principle and apply it to employer/employee relationships. The extent of the obedience mentioned is given as “in all things.” Of course, this would not include instances when an employer makes some demand that would cause the Christian to disobey God (Acts 5:29).

In verse 22 the concept is put forth that it is possible to obey WITH EYESERVICE (opthalmodouleiais); the idea being of service or labor that needs to be watched   (i. e., if someone is not watching, a less than full effort would be put forth by the servant). In our modern setting, there are those who are “clock-watchers” and are not so productive at those times, as they long for the time to leave the place of employment in order to get on to their own concerns. Paul teaches that the Christian is not to work in such a fashion, but rather he is to do his work in SINGLENESS OF HEART, fearing God. There is a higher and nobler cause that drives the Christian in all that he does, including what he does at the work place. He does what he does in order to bring glory to God and out of fear of God. There is a SINGLENESS OF HEART that moves the Christian to render the kind of service that does not require constant watching and prodding along. That singleness of heart is the desire to be well pleasing in the sight of God. To please God like Enoch of old did when he “walked with God” (Gen 5:24; Hebrews 11:5).

The Christian has opportunity at the work place or wherever he finds himself to be a shining light of influence (Mt 5:14-16). In another passage written by Paul to servants, he suggests what has to be an amazingly attractive and awesome opportunity. Listen to the instructions. Titus 2:9–Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Now the possibility of actually ADORNING the doctrine of God ought to be quite exciting to all of us. As we go about our work we have opportunity to represent before others what it means to be part of God’s family. We can make Christianity attractive to those who are outside of Christ in a lost condition.

The part of the passage from Colossians that I would like us to focus in on is that part that talks about doing WHATEVER we do HEARTILY. Yes, the context is that section dealing with slaves or servants. However, can we not see how inconsistent it is for a Christian to do anything he does in any other way than the way that the Holy Spirit demands servants to work for their masters? After all, it is clearly pointed out that all Christians (whether we be an employer or an employee in the work situation) are the servants of the Lord Christ (v. 24).

If we would study the word HEARTILY in the original Greek, we would see that it is the same word root that is often translated SOUL. The idea is that of working with your whole heart, with all of your being. That is, putting your entire self into the work.

Colossians 3:24 speaks about the motivation for doing whatever we do heartily. The reward is not the paycheck at the end of the week, but the one that is coming further down the road. It is the reward that comes from serving the Lord Christ. It is the crown of life (Rev 2:10).

When I think of this passage, I think of my need to be concerned about excellence in whatever I do. I need to be doing all that I do HEARTILY. As a Christian, I serve the Lord Christ. As a Christian, people are watching me and they need to see a true and genuine Christian. Those watching me need to be influenced toward that which is right and good. They need to be led by my behavior to ask a reason of the hope that is in me, and I need to be prepared to give them that answer (1 Peter 3:15).

Next time you are called upon to perform some task, why not allow this word from the Holy Spirit to ring in your ears. Let us all decide to render the service we render in whatever place or time it is rendered, heartily!

Study Guides for 2 Timothy

The Bible student, therefore ought to “hang on” every word of this precious document…

5500.WebsiteGraphicI just read an article from the pen of Wayne Jackson, which seems to me to be an excellent introduction to 2 Timothy. I include here the link to his website so that you can go and benefit from reading the same.

Second Timothy was the final epistle Paul penned before his “appointment” with death was realized (cf. Hebrews 9:27). As he set to parchment his concluding instructions to Timothy, his faithful friend, he could almost hear the executioner sharpening his sword. He wrote: “For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come” (4:6). The Bible student, therefore ought to “hang on” every word of this precious document.

Please read the rest of Wayne Jackson’s article by clicking HERE.

We have uploaded a set of study Guides on 2 Timothy, including one PDF file which contains all four guides. If they are helpful to you, please tell others about this source.

Study Gude on 2 Timothy… 5500sg.Combo

Chapter 1… 5501sg

Chapter 2… 5502sg

Chapter 3…. 5503sg

Chapter 4… 5504sg

A Curse on Neutrality

The curse of Meroz teaches us that it is not wise to attempt to “sit on the fence.” 

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Please consider these words… Judges 5:23— Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.  The Book of Judges may be described best by the word “neglected” as far as the amount of time Christians spend studying its content.  However, there are some powerful lessons recorded within its pages.  If you remember the way we divided time into Fifteen Bible Periods, you recall that the Period of the Judges was one of the fifteen.

The KJV does not clearly show it, but all except the last phrase of verse 31 in Judges 5 is poetical, it is “Deborah’s Song.”  When I think of Judges, usually the word CYCLE comes to my mind.  The period might best be pictured by the Roller Coaster at the Amusement Park.  Up and down, up and down, was the nature of this period.  For a time Israel would be faithful, then they would become more and more like their heathen neighbors.  God would judge them by allowing their enemies to become their conquerors.  Then the people would cry out to the Lord for deliverance and God would send a deliverer, a Judge, if you will, and the cycle would begin anew.

If we study the context of Judges 5:23, we find that apparently the people of this location, MEROZ, did not help their brethren in battle against the Canaanites.  Deborah, by inspiration, is rebuking and passing on God’s judgment against their attempt at maintaining neutrality.  They were near to the place of fighting, yet entered not into the fray!  By the fact that they are condemned it ought to be obvious that they had opportunity, yet acted not.

Since these people of Meroz are mentioned nowhere else in Scripture, this very negative remark serves as the only remembrance of them.  In this sad status they share with the New Testament city of Chorazin (Matthew 11:21).  Jesus pronounced a woe upon Chorazin because of their unwillingness to take a stand with Him, even in the face of mountains of evidence.

CURSE YE BITTERLY–These strong words from the prophetess and Judge Deborah naturally stir us to inquire about the cause of the severe words.  In our Bible reading if we will seek to be students of theology (study of God), we will be wise and greatly blessed in that wisdom.  What does this incident from the days of the Judges teach us about God?

Quite obviously, it teaches us that we need to be careful not to seek the false comfort of neutrality when it comes to the battle of good versus evil.  It is NOT pleasing to God for His people to hide from the battle when His will has called us to become involved.  Rather our position must be to make our choice known, put on the whole armor of God, and stand and defend (Ephesians 6:13).

The curse of Meroz teaches us that it is not wise to attempt to “sit on the fence.”  Our Lord teaches clearly in the Sermon on the Mount—Matthew 6:24… No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Of course, the context here has to do with compromise to attain wealth, but any way that we show lack of commitment to the Lord would put us into the “despising Him” category.  There is great peer pressure these days just to “live and let live.”  Pluralism is having its HEY DAY in our society!  But we will not be any more pleasing to God today with that approach than were the people of Meroz in their day.

We might wish to ask ourselves in an honest bit of self-examination: “Is there any way that I sit as Meroz to the work of the Lord here?”  The work of the Lord, the work which the Lord has placed into the hands of His church, is saving souls.  Can it be said of me that I am allowing others to do this work and I am idly watching?

It is a wonderful thing to have peace.  To be lovers of peace is part of living the Christian life.  However, Satan is out there and he is having enormous success in causing our family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to live in such a way that their end will be that place prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 24:41).  For us not to enter the battle, having knowledge that there is a cure for the disease of sin, is Meroz-like neutrality and endangers our own destiny.

May we all dedicate ourselves to the proposition that we will learn well from the folks at Meroz.  That doing as they did will NOT be our course.  That having the knowledge that Christ will be WITH US (Matthew 28:20), as we go forth with the gospel, we will not cease to carry that sword of the Spirit.  That we will make it our practice to live in such a way that we can be “read” (2 Corinthians 3:1-2) with soul-saving profit to all with whom we come in contact.  And let us be praying continually that the Lord will be able to use us mightily in the battle for truth, and right, and the salvation of lost souls.

Study Guides on 2 Peter

Peter’s desire is to REMIND us of things that are very important so that we might be established in the present truth…

6100.WebsiteGraphicPeter’s second letter begins with a MOST encouraging note in verse 3 which helps us to know that we have all that we need through the knowledge of Christ. He seems unable to add enough adjectives to the word PROMISES, which ought to cause us to think about the many blessings of living a faithful Christian life. He points to some special qualities which will be ours as we diligently add to our faith the qualities which our Lord would have us to develop. We cannot be fruitless if we go about in these graces. If we are lacking then we need to think more seriously about what we have received in Christ. Peter’s desire is to REMIND us of things that are very important so that we might be established in the present truth (v. 12). He remembers the time of the Transfiguration when he and two other apostles heard the voice of the Lord (Matthew 17.5). He praises the Holy Scriptures as coming from holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit.

Please study 2 Peter with the study guides listed below. If you find them to be helpful please tell others where they can come to use them

2 Peter Combined… 6100.Combo

2 Peter 1… 6101sg

2 Peter 2… 6102sg

2 Peter 3… 6103sg

Study Guide for 3 John

A 9-page, 9-part study of 3 John, including 2 puzzles.

6400.WebsiteGraphic3 John was written to Gaius, a faithful member of the Lord’s church.  This church wanted to assist some missionaries and Gaius was leading in the effort, but he and the faithful ones were opposed by a brother named Diotrephes, who was an obvious tyrant in that congregation.  The Apostle John instructs the church to support the preaching of the gospel and promises to deal with Diotrephes.

Please study this short epistle from the inspired Apostle John using our study guide. If you find it helpful, tell others where they can come find a copy.

Study Guide for 3 John… 6400sg