Malachi: Committed or Contented

The prophets were a special breed. They are included and rightly belong among the heroes of Hebrews 11, v. 32. Many of them described their job with the term, “burden.” They understood how they would be received and treated, and yet they saw how important their task was to God.  Hebrews 11:38 best describes them as, “men of whom the world was not worthy.”

Our study will be upon the last of these prophets, Malachi.  We plan to dig into the background, emphasize the reoccurring thoughts and terms, ask and answer perttinent questions and make applications to our lives, the church and even our nation.

Outline: 1:1-5 doubing God’s love; 1:6-2:9, dishonoriing God’s name; 2:10-16, God’s clear view of divorce; 2:17-4:3, Sins of Judah; 4:4-6, last words,

1:1-5 Questions:

Who is God and Malachi addressing?

What is the response to, “I have loved you?”

What did God do to Esau?

What is God’s response to their determination to rebuild?

What is meant by the immutability of God?

 

Faith or commands

Do we today, living under the new covenant, live under faith and love covenant, or are we under a command-oriented covenant?

Somehow, faith and love are polarized from commands. The higher spiritual level is a faith and love system. Completely opposite is an obedience and commands system which amounts to a lower spiritual level.

This is how the Old Testament and New Testament are viewed and since we live under the new, the old command basis is obsolete. The New Testament, being superior, dispenses with the necessities of commands because faith and love are superiors. Instead of emphasizing obedience, faith and love take precedence.

Perhaps you disagree as I do. The fact is, there are some problems with this view. There is some truth in these views but error can go camo. First consider some Scriptures.

• 1 John 4:17-18, Motivation should be more than just fear of punishment, 1 Jno 4:17-18.  Eventually and primarily we should be motivated by faith, love!
• The Bible does not leave the impression that faith, love and commands are incompatible. Instead, obedience to commands is the way to show love and faith.
• John 14:21; 15:12; actually command love, not diminished nor merely wished or suggested or presented as an encouragement.
• 1 John 5:3, describes commands as, “not grievous.” It is important to not view commands as burdens. Instead they are all for our good, freedom, and happiness.

The New Testament frequently uses terms that correspond with commands, such as, obey or obedience, John 15:10, 14, 17.

• Matthew 28:20, at the heart of the great commissionwas teaching and observance.
• Revelation 12:17; 14:12, Satan seeks those identified with keeping what God has commanded.
• It is a mistake to make God’s commands inferior. If God is God, andLord, then obedience is in order and fully compatible.
• Acts 5:29, Peter was not ashamed of obedience.
• The book of Romans is framed with the phrase, “obedience of faith,” 1:5; 16:26.
• Galatians 5:7, Obedience is an expression of faith not cowering in doubt but actions based on truthful facts.
• Phil 2:12, interestingly commands obedience with “fear and trembling,” Often we are not what we ought to be lacking in perfect love and fear helps us overcome weaknesses.
• When our motivation not what it ought to be, fear of punishment is needed, just as a child needs fear.
• God knows we don’t do right for perfect reasons all the time. This is why hell is included, as are warnings like, Luke 6:46.
• The Pharisees tried to enforce their traditions and wrongfully as God’s commands, Matthew 15:1-3.
• The solution was not to do away with all commands, but make sure to distinguish God’s commands from man’s traditions.

Examples in the Bible

What about examples in the Bible?

Sometimes it is said before partaking of the Lord’s supper, “…We are to do this as we are commanded in Ac 20:7,”

We might bristle up, and think Ac 20:7 is not a command. It is only an example. Even thinking that it is  important  to make a clear distinction between commands and examples.

There is no hierarchy in the will of God. Commands are not the most important, followed by examples and necessary inferences.

No matter the means, they are still the will of God and equal in importance. A few questions for good discussion,

• Are commands clearer? Ac 14:23; 1 Tim 3:4.
• Which is more prevelant?
• Are commands really directly to us? Ac 2:38; 1 Cor 6:18.

Commands in the Bible

Some commands are not imperatives, but are suggestions, “Have an awesome day!.”

Some imperatives are not formed in commands, Ephesians 4:26. The command is not to get angry, but to not sin.

God’s will is recorded in many forms. Luke 1:13, 31, are formed as a future prediction but are actually requirements of God. Matthew 19:9, has no commands. However, it contains statements and facts about God’s view of marriage. Revelation 21:8 also is command absent yet it includes many moral divine obligations. In John 3:5 Jesus doesn’t command baptism or anything but a necessary fact is comminicated.

The point is that whatever the form God’s will occurs, we must be ready to obey.

Some Things We Believe:

The Lord’s Church in Leland

(Meeting in the Holiday Inn Express Conference Room, Leland, N.C.,

Sundays, 9:00 a.m. for Bible Study & 10:00 a.m. for worship.)

 

“Speaking the truth in love”—Eph. 4:15

 

  1.  That the Bible is the inspired word of God and is able to make us “wise unto salvation.”

         2 Tim. 3: 15-16

 

  1.  That we should speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.

          I Pet. 4: 11;  Rev. 22: 18-19

 

  1.  That salvation comes through Jesus Christ, the son of God.  Jn. 14: 6; 2 Tim. 2: 10;  Acts 4: 12

 

  1.  That Jesus Christ built His church.  Matt. 16: 18;  Eph. 1: 22-23.

 

  1.  That the church is “the pillar and the ground of the truth,” whose responsibility is to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  I Tim. 3: 15

 

  1.  That in order to be saved, a person must
  •  Hear the gospel  Rom. 10: 17
  •  Believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God  John 8: 24; Mark 16: 15-16
  •  Repent of one’s sins  Luke 13: 3; Acts 2: 38; Acts 3: 19
  •  Confess Jesus Christ as the son of God Rom. 10: 9-10; Acts 8: 37
  •  Be baptized for the remission of sins  Acts 2: 38; Mark 16: 15-16
  •   Remain faithful until death Col. 1: 22-23; 2 Pet. 2: 20-22

 

       If You Would Like to Learn More, Join Us this Sunday.

 

Mirth or mourning?

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy.             ————-Ecclesiastes 7:2-3

Mirth or mourning?

The King James version uses the word “mirth” instead of “feasting.” The holiday season is known as the season of mirth. Mirth means laughter, excitement and amusement. It is hard to conceal our joy during this time. You are considered to be a Grinch if you do not share in this excitement. When this season ends, immediately, we miss the laughter and enjoyments.

When tragedy strikes we especially want the time of feasting to return. Yet, Solomon wrote that this time in the “house of mourning” is a learning time. Saying goodbye to someone we love is not something we anticipate, but an important part of grieving. God has other things in store for us, and we must embrace them without our departed loved ones.

Today, no one mourns at the preaching of the gospel. We want the warm, happy stories. We treasure feeling good above feeling bad. Solomon and Jesus advise differently.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

 

—-Matthew 5:4

Which house are you in today?

Please send all questions and inquiries to:

Dana Emery

danaemery1954@yahoo.com

(910) 612-2456

Your Secret Father

“…And your Father who sees…in secret.” Matthew 6:4
Your secret Father

Some families give gifts, using a method of secret giving

(“secret Santa”). The object is to avoid overspending or over-
gifting. Names are drawn for each to secretly shop, buy and
wrap for their secret person. The thrill is knowing that they
don’t know who their secret giver is. Sadly, like Jethro Bodine,
this is the closest that they will come to being secret agents.

Jesus warned,
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men, to be noticed by
them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

—- Matthew 6:1.

He includes giving to someone, praying and fasting, Matthew
6:2-18. Each one of these has the potential to be a show, a
way to impress people.

The most impressive actions are the ones that no one knows
about, except God. This is why Jesus says to pray in your
closet and not brag to yourself either.

…Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that
your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in
secret will reward you.

—– Matthew 6:3-4

Religion has become a spectacle, entertainment, and a concert.
It was meant to be a close, meaningful relationship of an
individual with God. Our English word, “religion” comes from
the word ligament. True religion should pull you back to God
like a ligament and not be a display for man to see.
Sadly, many still prefer…
…The approval of men rather than the approval of God.

—– John 12:42.

The next time you have a chance to do anything good, keep it
a secret, seek the approval of God in everything, and God will
reward you.
Please send all questions and inquiries to:

Dana Emery
(910) 612-2456
Danaemery1954@yahoo.com

Are You Happy?

“…Words of sober truth.” Acts 26:25

Are you happy?

Every day you are exposed to items that promise to bring you happiness. Over 300 times daily an ad or billboard loudly insists that you are not happy. But if you have this one item, you will finally be happy.

The creator and savior of this world says that happiness comes from quieter sources. Jesus taught that happiness comes through things we normally avoid.

Blessed are the poor in spirit…those who mourn…the gentle…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…the merciful…the pure in heart…the peacemakers…those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness….

—–Matthew 5:3-12

None of these qualities are mentioned in ads today. But the Lord promises happiness to you if these traits describe you.

So, are you happy? Is your happiness because of some earthly pursuit of happiness? Or is it because you have what the Lord says is a true happiness? The same Lord and savior once said,

If you know these things, you are happy if you do them.

—–John 13:17

Please send questions and comments to:

Dana Emery

(910) 612-2456

Danaemery1954@yahoo.com