Separate Yourself from Worldliness
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[a] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
7 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body[b] and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
1) Separate ourselves from worldliness because God, in His holiness, separates holiness from worldliness (v. 14-16a).
2) Separate ourselves from worldliness because God, in His holiness, dwells with us (16b-17).
3) Separate ourselves from worldliness because, God, in His holiness,
became our Father.
When Jesus reveals our counterfeit humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death--
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
1) Counterfeit humility looks to the self, but true humility looks to others
2) Counterfeit humility draws the attention of man, but true humility draws the scorn of man
3) Counterfeit humility will be exalted by man, but true humility will be exalted by God
4) Unity is the foundation of all humility
God's Mixtape on Love
Song of Songs depicts three aspects of God's love for us:
1) True love demands uniqueness:
6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies.
Just as God's love to us is unique, we are called to a unique love to Him and the Church that is prioritized above all other loves and affections.
2) True love sees perfection:
4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Just as God's love to us sees perfection (unto our redemption) even though we cannot meet His criteria, we are also called to a love that establishes, benefits, and perfects those around us.
3) True love desires permanence:
8:6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.
Just as God's love lasts forever, we are to recognize that the love we are called to is meant to last forever, between God and us, and between our brothers and sisters in Christ.
When the Void Answers
Job 24: 1 “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days?
Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
The Problem of Pain requires a God who...
1) defines good and evil as the moral law-giver: secularistic atheism, naturalistic materialism, and humanism are not consistent alternatives who resonate with our sense of injustice when we see the Problem of Evil
2) is sovereign: the issue underlying good and evil is that of sovereignty: "who gets to define good and evil." However, while we try to be sovereign, we are not omnipotent and omniscient, even as a collective race. Sovereignty belongs to God.
3) is loving: even if God were omnipotent and omniscient, if he were evil in core, we would be in terror forever. God's love is what guides His power and knowledge.
2 Chronicles 36:17-23
17 Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or aged. He gave them all into his hand. 18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. 19 And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels. 20 He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. 22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’”
This is the last picture offered by the last book of the Hebrew Bible. It is a what you would call a false ending in filmography, where the expectations of the audience are not met in a conclusion of a movie. Three things we can learn from this false ending is that (1) the greatest consequence to our sin is not our punishment, but what we miss out from (relationship with God); (2) God's restoration is not merit-based; and (3) a real ending is coming, and we have a trailer of it in Revelation 22:1-5