01/23/18 - Think On These Things
Leader: Pastor Marwin Reeves, Jr.
Christ Community Worship Center, Inc.
Meeting Day(s): 01/23/18
Meeting Time: 7:00PM
Think on These Things
After the fall, God prepared a plan for the thinking of His people. He called it “The Law”. In response to this law, they were responsible for loving God, obeying the Word he gave to the leader, and receiving the blessing of His covenant. The reward for their obedience was God’s protection, provision, and promise (Deut. 7:12-26). However, there was also a penalty for disobedience which was losing the favor of God in their lives. Losing this favor was the result of three specific things:
Idolatry (Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim and Penuel as places of worship with golden calves at each location for worship, syncretism [idolatry was the worst sin of its kind likened to adultery because it’s an abandonment of Israel’s husband…God])
Injustice God expects justice and this is how we relate to each other which was a demand from God (fair treatment of workers, appropriate treatment of widows, orphans and foreigners [Micah 6:6-8])
Reliance on Religious Ritualism (This is the idea that God will accept ritualistic worship in place of the true worship God requires from us [Isaiah 58:6-7])
God sends the prophets to His people in order that they might repent to escape the judgment that He will put on them from Assyrians and Babylonians. However, beyond the judgment, there is hope of a better future. This future is the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Eze. 11:19, 36:26).
This same call for repentance rings out on the Day of Pentecost after the 120 are filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit. This prophetic message establishes the church as God’s vehicle to move in the earth (Acts 2:42) demonstrating His power through His apostles. Romans then sets the stage for how we are to think about our new lives in Christ further elaborated upon in and throughout the epistles.
True (1 Ki. 22:30; John 8:32)
- In accordance with fact or reality
- Accurate or exact
Honest (1 Sam. 28:8; Proverbs 11:1)
Just (Ge. 38:7-10; Romans 5:1)
- Free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere
- Morally correct or virtuous
- Fairly earned, especially through hard work
- Blameless or well-intentioned even if unsuccessful or misguided
- Simple, unpretentious, and unsophisticated
Pure (Luke 1:28; 1 Jn. 3:3)
- Based on behaving according to what is morally right and fair
- (of treatment) deserved or appropriate in circumstances
- (of an opinion or appraisal) well founded; justifiable
Lovely (Esther in conduct and beauty)
- Not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material
- Without any extraneous and unnecessary elements
- Free of any contamination
- Wholesome and untainted by immorality, especially that of a sexual nature
- (of a sound) perfectly in tune and with a clear tone
- (of an animal or plant) of unmixed origin or descent.
Good (Ps. 133; 1 Cor. 1:10)
- exquisitely beautiful
- very pleasant or enjoyable; delightful
Report (2 Sam. 1:1-15; Isa. 53:1
- To be desired or approved of
- Pleasing and welcome
- Expressing approval
- Having the qualities required for a particular role
- Appropriate to a particular purpose
- Give a spoken or written account that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated
- Cover an event or subject as a journalist or reporter
- Used to indicate that something has been stated, although one cannot confirm its accuracy
- Make a formal statement or complaint about (someone or something) to the necessary authority.
Something exquisitely beautiful, pleasant or enjoyable you have observed, heard, done, or investigated that is worthy of being approved, thought about, or recapitulated.
- Behavior showing high moral standards
- A quality considered morally good or desirable in a person
- A good or useful quality of a thing
- Virginity or chastity, especially of a woman
- Express warm approval or admiration of
- Express one’s respect and gratitude toward (a deity), especially in song
Best Practices for Thinking Biblically
God has created us with logical sense (rationality) as well as moral sense (conscience) so that we can apprehend order and find meaning in the universe He created. Whenever we experience anything through our senses: for example, we use logic to categorize and generalize from the particular to the general, and whenever we make deductions in our thinking (comparing terms, making inferences, and so on), we likewise rely on logic. We have an innate intellectual and moral compass that points us to God. William James once said, "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." How often this happens about how we view the Word of God. Because we have been indoctrinated to think a certain way about scripture, we often don’t allow ourselves the room to grow in that area. This attitude hinders the work of the Spirit and greatly impedes growth.
These are the questions that I’d like you to ask yourself as a means of filtering negative thought patterns out of your mind. Ultimately, Scripture is the highest authority and is to be used at all times to control the thought life.
Rules for Rational Thinking
- Are my thoughts based in objective reality and facts? In other words, is what I am thinking of true. Philippians 4:8; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 11:1,6 are the standard for this frame of mind.
- Are my thoughts keeping me out of conflict with others? Hebrews 12:14; Rom. 8:6; Rom. 14:19; Ephesians 5:25
- Are my thoughts helping me to feel the way that I want to feel without hurting God, myself, or others emotionally, physically, or spiritually? Matthew. 22:37-39; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16
- Are my thoughts helping me to achieve my short and long-term goals? II Tim. 2:3,4; Galatians 6:7-9; Philippians 1:6
- Are my thoughts helping me to be more like Jesus Christ, the protypical man? Romans 12:1,2; II Cor. 3:18; II Cor. 4:8-11