New Testament consideration of food (3)

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Sung Psalm 104:10-16 (note esp. vv14-15)

Readings  I Tim.4 and Hebrews 13:9-10

Paul argues that all foods are now lawful to be eaten because of creation (the O.T. food laws came later and were temporary). Listening to false teachers and their demon-inspired doctrine which teach celibacy or man-made food laws, leads to apostasy. These teachers know they are lying but don’t feel guilty because their consciences are seared. This is widespread in churches that are part of the great falling away NOW happening in the last days.

The Hebrews passage refers to O.T. food laws as divers doctrines. We discussed the false guilt and asceticism that various religious groups, vegetarians and vegans hold to as a substitute and side-track to true guilt from sin against God’s commandments.

We now, with all sacrifices abandoned, have an altar, a sacrifice and a High Priest who are Christ who offered himself once for all, consumed on the cross by the flame of the Holy Spirit, as a sweet smell to his Heavenly Father.

 

New Testament considerations on food (2)

 

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Sung Psalm 21:1-6

Read   I Cor.10:14-33

Paul has most to say under the inspiration of the Spirit about food and the O.T. food laws. In this chapter he addresses whether it is sinful to eat food that has been offered or consecrated to idols.

Verse 16 speaks of the religious significance of the Lord’s Supper which pictures union with Christ and one another. Verses 18 to 20 expose any continued O.T. Christ-less sacrifices and those of all pagan religions as idolatry and actually demonic.

Verses 25 and following basically state, “buy what you like and eat what you like but take care not to offend.”

Real Treasure

As you will have noticed this blog is called Jules’ Jewels with the aim and prayer that valuable insights from the Bible will be shared to enrich others.

Recently at our church (CPRC) CPRC website  we heard about Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:3). Listen to sermon here

This verse is like the map that leads us to the real treasure of eternal life. Treasure would usually make us think of a buried pirates chest like this one!

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Our Lord Jesus told a story in Matthew 13:44 in which a man found a treasure and sold all he had to buy the field where it was hidden. Christ plainly describes himself and his gospel in these terms. In himself, because he is the unique source of covenant love in God which is eternal, we have infinite riches that are everlasting and incomparable with any earthly riches.

Thus he is our treasure in heaven, our inheritance, and our selfless deeds, love of the brethren and building of the kingdom add to our heavenly reward of grace. We dig for him, the unique source of knowledge of God and wisdom in the Scriptures (Job.3:21, Prov.2:4).

But we too, Christ’s brethren and God’s children are HIS peculiar treasure (Ex.19:5, Ps.135:4) because we are the true Israel of God for whom he gave his precious blood and as a result he indwells us by his Spirit, who is the real treasure in a worthless clay jar (II Cor.4:17).

When Jesus returns at the end of earthly time it will be for his treasure-US. He comes to make up his jewels who will adorn his crown (Mal.3:17).

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One final point; Moses the great Old Covenant mediator esteemed suffering for his New Covenant Messiah greater riches than all Egypt had to offer (Hebrews 11:25). May we more and more treasure true spiritual riches rather than anything on earth just as he did.

New Testament Considerations of Food.

New Testament considerations of food.

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Sung Psalm 24:1-6. Note the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.

Read Romans 14

The subject of this chapter is Christian liberty specifically in relation to food and days.

The weak in conscience avoid eating meat and our aim in the church ought to be to strengthen them so that the enter into more liberty but till then the strong believer must accept them with charity. We do nothing in isolation as believers (vv7-8) but everything impacts on our Christian family in the church and in relation to God. We must not cause stumbling (v13). Paul KNEW that all foods were pure from the Psalms, from Peter’s account of his vision and from the words of Christ in the gospels (v20).

I Cor. 8 similarly is on Christian liberty but this time in relation to food offered to idols which was an offence to weak consciences.

James 1:26-27 and 2:1-4

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James 1:26-27

Practical Religion

  1. James uses the word religion to mean any man’s external devotion to his God or gods. He is pointing to true religion.
  2. Bridling the tongue means controlling it by not allowing unbridled cursing, swearing, blasphemy, slander or anger which comes out of men and defiles them (Mark 7:21).
  3. To deceive your own heart means you are guilty of self-deception. Your heart is full of fake faith which is exposed by unbridled speech (because true faith wrought by the Holy Spirit will produce self-control).
  4. Vain means useless, counting for nothing and void of result (c.f. book of Ecclesiastes.)
  5. Speech is chosen by James as the barometer of a man’s life because it is one of the easiest and most obvious aspects of character to assess. Scripture tells us it is the measure of a man’s heart (Mark 7:21, Prov.23:7).
  6. James calls God “the Father” because he is our father and the father of Christ but also possibly to show him as the father of the fatherless and widows who both have no means of sustaining themselves (Acts 6:1, Ps. 68:5, Ps. 145:9).
  7. Both widows and orphans don’t have the means to make a living e.g. poor widow with her mite and widow of Nain.
  8. The wicked world wants to make us sin and cause blemishes on our character (spots). Negatively we are to stand antithetically against the world but positively if we care for needy widows and orphans we positively act in a pure and undefiled manner acceptable to God.

James 2:1-4

Respect of Persons

1-2. We believe faith here spoken of is objective, it is faith given to us by Christ.

  1. Christ is called “the Lord of glory” because that is his exalted position now.
  2. Faith in Christ will mean that we treat people as equals in God’s sight because he has no favourites and is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). We must not judge by externals.
  3. Respect of persons means we judge someone by their outward appearance to be of a certain class or status, hold them in high esteem and grant them special privileges.

6-7. James tells the hypothetical story of two church visitors one of whom is rich and is given favour while another poor man is not.

8. We believe people would favour the rich man for selfish reasons, for what they could gain from him in terms of favours, gifts, offerings and perhaps employment. We often think similarly of the conversion of celebrities.

9. I think we are guilty of favouritism by limiting our fellowship at church to only a favoured few whom we know and with whom we have things in common. We may ignore some particularly the young folk.

10. Partial means distinguishing, judging, making distinction and showing preference.

11. To be judges with evil thoughts means to be partial for selfish reasons which is a travesty of true judgment and is misleading and wrong. God looks on the heart (I Sam.16:7).

 

Next study (DV) June 4th James 2:5-11 (2 chapters of booklet)

Get wisdom!

Notes from recent speech by Rev. Martyn McGeown in South Wales.

Reading  Proverbs 4:1-13

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Why is wisdom crucial in life? Because God is wise and Christ is the wisdom of God.

Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. God is omniscient and wise.

Wisdom is the use, adaptation and application of knowledge to it’s highest end which is the glory of God.
Five words for fools in O.T. each progressively worse: simple/gullible, arrogant, sensual, scorner, stubborn.

They all have this in common, they don’t listen to advice or godly wisdom.

Wisdom and folly are ethical rather than intellectual properties.

A wise person pays attention to reality, circumstances and facts.

Means of obtaining wisdom: listening to and applying good Biblical preaching, prayer and godly counsel.

Listen to message here.

 

The Law of God in the Christian’s Life

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Greg Bowman Via John Fonville:

The Holy Spirit uses His law all throughout our lives for all three purposes. We are dead to the law as a covenant of works (i.e., a rule for life, condition for life, “Do this and live or else be condemned,” cf. Gal. 3:10/Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:12/Lev. 18:5; Luke 10:25-28; Rom. 8:1). But, we are not lawless. God’s moral law, which is eternal, still guides our gratitude/sanctification and functions as a rule of life/defines what a good work is, how to love God and our neighbor. Heidelberg Q. 114/115 deals with our responsibility of obeying God’s law: 114. Can those who are converted to God keep these commandments perfectly?
No, but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience;1 nevertheless, with earnest purpose they do begin to live, not only according to some, but according to all the commandments of God.2
1 Ecc 7:20; Rom 7:14-15; 1 Cor 13:9; 1 Jn 1:8; 2 Ps 1:1-2; Rom 7:22-25; Php 3:12-16
115. Why then does God have them preached so strictly if in this life no one can keep them perfectly?
First, that throughout our life we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature, and therefore seek more earnestly the forgiveness of sins and righteousness in Christ;1 second, that we may be zealous for good deeds and constantly pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that He may more and more renew us after God’s image, until after this life we reach the goal of perfection.2
1 Ps 32:5; Rom 3:19-26, 7:7, 24-25; 1 Jn 1:9; 2 1 Cor 9:24; Php 3:12-14; 1 Jn 3:1-3

Here is how a great 17th century Scottish preacher, Ralph Erskine put it, “gospel-obedience thereto is no part of his righteousness for justification before God, if he should endeavor to make his gospel-obedience to the law as a rule of life in the hand of a Mediator, any part of his righteousness for justification,
he so far turns the covenant of grace, and the duties required therein, into a covenant of works, and he seeks to live unto that to which he is, and should be dead.”

Erskine goes on to show how we establish the law as a rule of life: ““We conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law; and so he is dead to the law,” (Rom. 3:28,31). Now, does this doctrine destroy our living to God? Nay, “Do you make void the law, through faith? God forbid! Yes, we establish the law:” We establish it as a covenant of works, while we believe in Christ for righteousness, to be imputed for our justification; and we establish it a rule of life, and holiness, while we believe in Christ for strength, to be imparted for our sanctification; and so being dead to the law, in point of justification, we live unto God in sanctification.”

Greg Bowman I really wish…that Christians who suggest the idea of no Law for believers would consider the ramifications of that.
Just a few:
*Undermines the holiness of God, which the Law reflects.
*Undermines the holiness of His children, which is a gospel benefit
*Undermines the existence of sin, by leaving it undefined and spiritualized.
*Undermines the necessity of ongoing confession.
*Undermines the necessity of ongoing repentance.
*Leads to antinomianism.
*Leads to legalism.