Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

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Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

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I write this shortly after watching the Emmys last night, as I type this I can sense that at least 5 legalistic who read my blogs are reaching for the big red x at the top right hand part of their screen.

Measuring the climate of a culture

I read a quote several years back that spoke of measuring the climate of the culture of that day that in order to assess what they were really like you had “to examine the literature that was popularly read at that time”. Today reading sadly is falling by the wayside as we get further and further strapped to our gadgets and I fear that unless I reverse the trend in mm you own house, turning the page of a book will be a forgotten art.

Anyways, back to the Emmys!  When I watch awards shows I realize how little TV I actually do watch, many of the shows mentioned I had never seen. I don’t actually have either DirectTV,  Dish or Cable & if I want to see a series that bad I will impose on someone else or wait until it comes on Netflix.

Back to the literature analogy, the writers of the books of that day had to make them relevant to the potential reader otherwise we would not have the evidence of their book to analyze and see what they were reading about. If it was irrelevant then it would not be popular,  the same with many of today’s shows.

Today’s shows have so much competition in both content,  genre’s,  channels and trying to engage the audience and get them hooked in as short a time span as possible. I have two feelings about this.

My 1st feeling is that as a Christian I should not have anything to do with it and avoid as much as possible.  It is true that many of the shows that become popular have really bad stuff in them in order to keep them as real as possible.

If TV affects you in a negative way then I would say that it is best to not allow yourself to stumble. In reality it is all down to the individuals walk with Christ and where your sin issues are.

But there is some value in knowing what is going on in the world,  it does allow you to keep relevant to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to people, a way if you will of making conversation on a neutral ground?  If that is why then that is awesome.

The downside of popular TV

Because if this competition, networks have had to outdo each other, whether it has been more sex, more relevant characters, (gay, divorced, wherever Hollywood’s sympathies are that month) more alcohol, more drugs (and that’s just breaking bad) whatever they think will keep the public interested enough to stay with their show.

Wholesome entertainment

I will admit, I have bought into it as much as the next couch potato. However I do yearn for more shows like Duck Dynasty, ones that have a good overall message, Regrettably I am in the minority and these shows don’t sell.

I am not telling you, nor would I want to be your “Holy Spirit” that TV is all bad because we know that it is not. When John Logie Baird from Helensburgh,  Scotland first made pictures appear in that box, I bet he had no idea how wide ranging or far reaching his invention would be.

How does it affect you?

TV itself cannot make you sin, you and only you and how you deal with it is what makes you sin, is it removing time from what God has placed as his will and plan for your life?

The same could be said for anything,  it is only a sin if you let it become a consuming passion.

Why the title?

Well sin is designed to be a temptation.  Even as far back as the Garden of Eden,  we were tempted with something that would enrich our lives, however it was slowly killing us, hence the title,  it is in my opinion the perfect description of sin.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing please share, comment or like as the LORD leads.
TGBTG
TTE

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They knew God but did not honor him

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They knew God but did not honor him.

Romans 1:18 (ESV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

This is a series in the book of Romans, for the home page in our study and to see other studies then please click here or our main epistle page is here. My aim is to go through the Book of Romans as the LORD wills.

People’s perception of the wrath of God

Who all likes talking about the wrath of God? (watches as no-one’s hand is raised!) Doesn’t “sell well” in today’s consumer driven, drive through; reap the blessings but to hang with the curses Christianity that we have here in quite a few Christian blogs and websites. It is a tough topic and no mistake, but it is integral to the gospel message and here is why.

In order for Jesus sacrifice to make sense, we have to have a God that has been grieved enough by the sin of the world to want to rectify the situation. You see, people’s perception of the wrath of God is all wrong! God hates the sin and desires that all would come to his saving grace. You see, we deserve the wrath of God because of “sin” what we do not deserve is Gods amazing grace.

The “benevolent dictator”

Failure to acknowledge this fact will have God as a “benevolent dictator” allowing us to be on this planet long enough so that we can accumulate enough sin so he can nuke us! Sounds ridiculous huh? This line of thinking is not scriptural and does not follow logical theological patterns. The wrath of God is always completely righteous.

Only God can judge me

As we see in the text God’s wrath is “revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” which does clarify what is being said above. If you set yourself against God then expect him to allow you to reap what you sew. I find it laughable when I read T-Shirts and tattoos that state “Only God can judge me” I feel like asking “do you really know what you are challenging God to do?”

If you are thinking this sounds unfair, well actually it is perfectly fair. The driver in whether the wrath of God comes down upon you is believe it or not you! You have the option of choosing to be on Gods side or not. You can choose a life of unrighteousness by Gods standards and live by your own standards that should you not change you will end up getting the eternity that you have asked for.

Ungodliness versus Unrighteousness

So why did he say ungodliness and unrighteousness? Well it deals with two distinct sins, ungodliness is man’s offenses concerning God and unrighteousness deals with man’s sins towards everyone else. You can be without God and still be seen as righteous in the world’s eyes. The question you have to ask is who’s judgment do you trust more?

They suppressed the truth, if you try to cover up, defame, lie about or otherwise pervert people away from God, and then this one is for you. This is for all of the evolutionists who try to contort the creation account in order to elevate man’s wisdom and try to cloud man’s thoughts towards the truth that is written in the Holy Scriptures.

The sad truth about what they know

Paul goes on to say that “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” this is tragic as they knew God but failed to glorify him, therefore they have the knowledge and really have no absolution from excuse. We tried to pervert, re-size God, and make him fit into what we needed him to fit into. This carries onto verse 23 where we turn God into what the Greek work “Eikon” (Where we get our modern day Icon) where they reduced God to an image of what they wanted him to be. They were not thankful for all that he had done, ungrateful and “professing to become wise they became fools”. The wisdom of God far supersedes anything that man could come up with.

I liken this to a desperate man, when I have been desperate I usually get scammed or do something foolish (almost always with money) which is why we have tried to elevate our thinking beyond God and why so many houses of Academia try to “dumb down” theological thinkers. It is happening today dear Christian. If you read a Creation/Evolution debate, the Evolutionist will always attack the intelligence of the Creationist first.

What does God do?

Well God allows them to go after the lusts of their heart. In the same way he allowed Israel to elect a king even although he knew it was going to lead to heartache, he is not that benevolent dictator that I spoke about earlier. If we are insistent on going a certain way, perhaps God will allow us to go through our consequences before delivering us.

By going after the lusts of their hearts they are inviting their own consequences. Anyone see a parallel with today? They are going after impurity, dishonoring their bodies and served the created rather than the creator. A horrible situation that sounds like my life in reverse. If you are reading this and are still in your sin or are thinking of walking away from God, please take this passage as a warning. I have been there! See my testimony page, I have been circling the drain many times and God has pulled me out of the toilet bowl.

Paul was surrounded by this writing from the city of Corinth where lusts, vile passions and basically whatever your heart’s desire was, you could get it there. They gave up the truth for the lie, notice Paul advises there is only one truth, by the same token they gave themselves up for the lie, the lie of idolatry.

I am hoping that this Bible study was fruitful for you and I pray that you share, like or comment as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE