Tag Archives: Christianity

Fox Like Prophets

How has America come to where it be? Many reasons. Here is another.  For those that spiritualize Israel, spiritualize Israel.  

Ezekiel 13:4-5 “O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. 5 “You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord.

False prophets like foxes: —

1. These creatures are lovers of grapes, as we know by a common proverb; and consequently they did much damage in such countries as Judea, which abounded with vineyards, as is noted in Song 2:15, not only by devouring the grapes but also by making holes in the walls and fences, whereby they laid open the vineyards to other ravenous beasts as well as to themselves. Just so did the false prophets to the cities of Judah: they did not only beguile people of their substance, by the character which they assumed, and the figure which they made among them; but by their false doctrines and subversions of the genuine will and Word of God they broke down the walls and fences from about them; I mean that blessing and protection of the Almighty which was annexed to the obedience of His own laws.

2. In another respect did these prophets resemble the foxes in the deserts, that they could make breaches, but had not the faculty of stopping them up again. They did not call the people to repentance; or if they did, it was but such a superficial fast as we read of (Jer 36), at which they read his prophecy, and then cut it in pieces and threw it into the fire. Their making up of their breaches this way was but like the labour of unfaithful builders; one laid the stones in the wall, and others daubed it with untempered mortar.

3. These false prophets resembled foxes in their fraudulent practices. By crafty speeches and cunningly devised fables they misled the hearts of the simple. They studied how to suit their discourses to the various tempers of the people whom they conversed with; to prophesy smooth things to the stout-hearted, and terrible things to the timorous, that they might keep them all in the way which they would have them to walk in.

4. These false prophets had another property of foxes, which was a prowling ravenous appetite. When they came out of their colleges into the vineyard, they resolved that the making of their fortune, the arriving at a plentiful condition, a goodly heritage, should be the first and greatest of all their cares. So little were they concerned for the welfare of the people over whom they pretended to be guardians and spiritual watchmen, that they would sell their souls, as God complains here, for handfuls of barley and morsels of bread.

5. As foxes are of the number of unclean beasts, so these prophets were men of corrupt minds and loose morals. How prone they were to prevaricate with God, and seduce the people, to counterfeit a Divine mission, to run when they were not sent, to prophesy out of their own heart without a revelation, to proclaim their visions of peace when there was no peace, is abundantly set forth in this chapter.

(W. Reading, M. A.)

Exell, Joseph S. (Editor), The Biblical Illustrator OT

Understanding the Believer’s Battle with Sin, Part 1

Romans 7:14-25

Sermon Transcript

gty.org/90-306

Summary

This sermon discusses the believer’s ongoing struggle with sin based on an analysis of Paul’s words in Romans 7:14-25. It examines different interpretations of whether Paul is describing his experience before or after becoming a Christian. The text emphasizes the common experience of disappointment and the desire for righteousness, highlighting the believer’s newness of life and the divine nature within them. As new creations, we have holy longings and desires from our new incorruptible nature, yet still struggle with sin in our flesh. This ongoing inner conflict is the normal Christian experience and shows the reality of sanctification as a lifelong process. The preacher encourages believers to view sin as an intrusion into their redeemed selves and to live in the joy and liberation of their new creation in Christ.

Outline

I.Introduction
a.The Believer’s Warfare
b.Paul’s Inspired Description of the Conflict (Romans 7:14-25)
II.The Debate: Is This a Christian or Non-Christian Experience?
a.Arguments for a Non-Christian Experience
b.Arguments for a Christian Experience
c.The Conflict Defines the Believer’s Soul
III.Understanding the Spiritual Pathology
a.The Doctrine of Human Depravity
b.The Doctrine of Divine Regeneration
IV.The Reality of the New Creation
a.Purified Souls (1 Peter 1:22-23)
b.A New Creation in Righteousness and Holiness (Ephesians 4:24)
c.The Incorruptible Seed (1 Peter 1:23-25)
V.Living in the Tension
a.Recognizing Sin as an Intrusion
b.Rejoicing in the New Creation
c.Anticipating Final Deliverance (Romans 7:24-25)

Study Questions

.

1)What are the different interpretations of who Paul is describing in Romans 7?
2)Why is the view that it describes all believers seen as most accurate?
3)What was purified and made new at our spiritual rebirth?
4)How is our new nature described in 1 Peter 1?
5)How can understanding our true righteous nature encourage us?
6)How does the sermon describe Martin Luther’s struggle with sin and its tormenting nature?
7)What is emphasized as crucial for believers to understand in addition to their battle with sin?
8)What are the two foundational doctrines that help us understand the believer’s battle with sin?

Multiple Choice Questions

.

1)Those who view Romans 7 as a non-Christian view it as describing Paul:
a)After his conversion
b)Before his conversion
c)Both before and after

.

2)Paul’s references to “delighting in the law of God in my inward man” show:
a)A non-Christian viewpoint
b)A carnal Christian viewpoint
c)A regenerate nature

.

3)Understanding our true righteous nature can bring:
a)Condemnation
b)Encouragement
c)Despair

.

4)According to 1 Peter 1:22-23, what has happened to the believer’s soul through regeneration?
a)It has been purified
b)It has been strengthened
c)It has been renewed
d)It has been forgiven

.

5)How does Ephesians 4:24 describe the believer’s new nature?
a)Created in true righteousness and holiness
b)Empowered by the Holy Spirit
c)Freed from the law of sin and death
d)Restored to perfect obedience

.

6)Based on the sermon, how should believers view their remaining sin?
a)As a necessary part of their identity
b)As an intrusion into their redeemed selves
c)As a sign of spiritual immaturity
d)As evidence of their lack of faith

.

7)According to the sermon, what is described as a common experience for believers?  
a)Joy and fulfillment  
b)Disappointment and desire for righteousness  
c)Freedom from sin  
d)Indifference towards spiritual growth

.

8)What does the sermon emphasize as equally crucial for believers to understand alongside their battle with sin?  
a)Their wretchedness  
b)Their newness of life  
c)Their past sins  
d)Their struggles with temptation

.

9)What is the main message conveyed in the sermon regarding the believer’s battle with sin?  
a)Sin will always dominate the believer’s life  
b)Believers should focus solely on their struggles with sin  
c)Understanding one’s righteousness and newness of life is crucial  
d)The battle with sin is insurmountable and leads to despair

.

10)Our new nature received at rebirth is characterized as:
a)Imperishable
b)Perishable
c)Neutral

.

11)According to 1 Peter 1, believers have:
a)An unchanged soul
b)A purified soul
c)No soul

Illustrations

There are a few illustrations given in the sermon:

1. The pastor references a story his father told him about a pastor who still preached his full sermon even though only two people showed up to church one rainy Sunday. The pastor said “I don’t make two cows eat all the hay” implying he wouldn’t force the small congregation to sit through the whole thing if attendance was low.

Generated by GAB.ai

2. Martin Luther is quoted as saying “Not reading or speculating, but living, dying, and being condemned makes a real theologian.” The pastor uses this quote to illustrate that truly understanding theology comes from experiencing the personal struggle and inner conflict described in Romans 7, not just studying it objectively.

Der Wurf mit dem TintenfaĂź
As seen at luther.de/bilder

3. Charles Spurgeon is quoted from a 1861 sermon where he describes the aspirations, desires, and longings of the new nature that cannot be satisfied by time or earth. The pastor cites this to illustrate how other theologians have similarly described the pure and holy nature believers receive at regeneration.

Generated by GAB.ai

4. There is reference made to “faculties and characteristics of life that come from our first birth” compared to “faculties and characteristics of life that come from our second birth.” This serves to illustrate how believers have two sets of tendencies, desires, etc. operating within them based on their two distinct natures.

As seen at media.bahaiteachings.org

Those are the main illustrations I noticed utilized in the sermon to help explain and reinforce certain points about the ongoing spiritual struggle discussed in the text from Romans.