Then what will be the natural effects of this spiritual manifestation? The first effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such and such spiritual communications, I am a great man;” he has never had any communications at all; for “God has respect unto the humble, but the proud he knoweth afar off.” He does not want to come near them to know them, and will never give them any visits of love. It will give a man happiness; for he must be happy who lives near to God. Again: it will give a man holiness. A man who has not holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but do not believe any man unless you see that his deeds answer to what he says. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.” He will not bestow his favors upon the wicked; for while he wild not cast away a perfect man, neither will he respect an evil doer. Thus there will three effects of nearness to Jesus, all beginning with the letter h—humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to us!
From the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 1, Sermon 29 by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I am sensitive to politicians who misuse Scripture. (Please note that a lot of politicians do this, regardless of political affiliation. I fault any who do this, regardless of what letter they have after their name.) Today I read a news article where a presidential candidate used a verse inappropriately. I’m going to call this particular error “Smoke and Mirrors Exposition” which I define as taking a verse out of context to support an issue in which the verse has no bearing on the issue at hand. With this particular error, oftentimes the same issue supported by the politician is clearly condemned by other passages of Scripture. Continue reading →
Adam and Eve had fallen from their position of innocence by disobeying God’s command. This is sin. Whenever someone sins, there are consequences. Sometimes those consequences are immediate and sometimes they come later, but they always happen. Here is what God did.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:14-19)
First, the serpent is held accountable. There is some debate over whether God judged the physical animal Satan used or Satan himself. It appears to this writer that God judged them both. The physical serpent was cursed to crawl on his belly. (vs. 14) The apparent reason for this is that it was complicit somehow in Satan’s work. Satan in turn was condemned by the seed of the woman which would “bruise” his head. (vs. 15)
Philippians 3:4-7 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
More than anyone else, the Apostle Paul could have boasted of himself. He was a “Hebrew of Hebrews” with Pharisaical training and a zeal for the law. In fact, he was “blameless” concerning the law. In addition, he was intellectually sharp and and well-respected. By his own admission, he could have had “confidence in the flesh”. But he didn’t. Continue reading →
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
This verse is a paraphrase of Proverbs 3:34:
Proverbs 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
Pride, often manifested in scorn, will cause God to resist (oppose) us. Pride is what caused Satan to be cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15). Pride is one of the seven deadly sins (Proverbs 6:16-19). If we desire God’s grace on our lives, we must be humble. In short, we must resist pride or God will resist us. Continue reading →