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In our study of the book of James we have reached James 4:1-4 which deals with the topic of worldliness. Over the last several weeks we have done a study of the Scripture's teaching on worldliness looking at the definition of worldliness, what worldliness looks like, and finally how we can overcome worldliness. Yesterday morning I promised to post these questions which are based off the passages we considered together and are designed to help us discern what is worldly.
Dear Church Family,
Yesterday morning we finished our seven week Newcomers Class with a time of question and answer. One of the questions that we addressed was the question of why we use the type of music we do in our church services. Of course this is a broad and particularly divisive issue in churches all across our nation. Some churches have responded by literally dividing their congregations according to musical preference and holding multiple services based on these preferences. Other churches have responded by attempting to read more into Scripture than is there regarding music, insisting that everyone in the church adopt a certain application. In both cases, the result is division.
The desire of the leadership of our church is to be faithful to Scripture--by not stopping short of what Scripture says on this subject, thus violating God's law; and by not going beyond what is written, thus holding people to a man-made standard. We also desire to earnestly endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3).
Towards this end, I have written a brief overview of what I presented to the class yesterday. It is certainly not exhaustive and there are better things written on the subject. But it represents my prayerful attempt to lead our congregation in faithfulness to Scripture with a spirit of charity towards each other. You will find it attached below. By God's grace, I trust it will be helpful.
In last Sunday's sermon (AM), I mentioned some recent attacks on the deity of Christ, including attacks even on the popular level (I mentioned The Da Vinci Code). The example given in the message, was the popular assertion that Jesus never claimed to be God and the apostles (and early church) never thought him to be God. He was only determined to be God later (usually in A.D. 325). We showed how that was untrue from our passage for that day, James 2:1.
Afterward, someone in the church asked me about other passages in the New Testament that claim that Jesus is God. There are lots of passages that we could go to (e.g. John 14:9-"He who has seen me, has seen the Father"), but I've copied a chart below that shows the passages where the Greek word for God (Theos) is used of Jesus.
|John 1:1||In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.|
|John 1:18||No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.|
|John 20:28||Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”|
|Rom. 9:5||To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.|
|Titus 2:13||. . . waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ . . .|
|Heb. 1:8||But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.”|
|2 Pet. 1:1||To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ . . .|