Have You Been Proven?

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  Deuteronomy 13:1-4

The Jungle Book (1994 Film)

British soldier (upon the capture of Mowgli) – Show us the treasure and we will let you live!

Mowgli – I will show you the treasure…….and we will see who lives…….

The world – Find what gives you pleasure….and begin to live!

Christian believer – You may have your pleasure……and we will see who lives…..

Overcoming the World

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4

What does this mean?

Does this mean that we should not enjoy a sunset?  Does it mean that we should isolate ourselves from those who do not share our views?  Does it mean that we should isolate ourselves to serve God?  Does it mean that we should not participate in the political process?  Does it mean that we should shun color and modern conveniences?

Review James chapter 4 and check out what the context has to say.

What are you finding?

Lust is a strong desire.

Is there anything in James 4 that is associated with the world elsewhere in Scripture?

For all that is in the world, the lust (strong desire) of the flesh, and the lust (strong desire) of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  I John 2:16

Each one of these characteristics of the world actually represents an area of legitimate human need.  In the case of the world, these legitimate needs are fulfilled outside the boundaries set by God.

The legitimate needs of man are biological needs, the need for possessions, and the need for experience.

Hunger is a legitimate biological need.  If one steals to fulfill this need the result is sin.  

The need for possession is represented by clothing, food, shelter, tools, family, etc.  If this need focuses on having what one’s neighbor possesses, it becomes covetousness.  

The need for experience is necessary for learning, personal improvement, value to business, skills and so on.  However, there are experiences that transgress God’s laws and the result is sin.  Experience may also puff us up into pride, self-importance and ungratefulness to Him from whom all things good emanate.

When Eve saw that the tree was good for food (biological need),  it was pleasant to the eyes (need for possession), and that it was desired to make one wise (need for experience), she partook of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6).  With his eyes wide open, Adam followed her into disobedience.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Hebrews 4:15

 Matthew 4:1 – 11

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred (biological need).

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down (the need for experience): for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee (need for possession), if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

The Lord responded to each temptation with; It is written…

 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  I John 4:4

Note: Friendship with the world is the practice of fulfilling legitimate human needs outside the clear commands and boundaries of Scripture.

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…….

The Law

And God spake all these words, saying I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.  

Exodus 20:1-20

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized (Spirit baptism*) into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:19-29

* I Corinthians 12:13