A Few Thoughts about Rules for Christians
Rules For Christians—Some things to Learn
I have often stated that the rules in the New Testament have been given by Jesus directly or through the early church Apostles and prophets.
We learn God’s will for many situations by
B1 What we must do
B2 What we must NOT do
B3 Principles on what we we must do
B4 Principles on what we must NOT do
B5 Examples of success and God’s blessing are what we are to do
B6 Examples of failure and God’s disapproval are what we are NOT to do
Some examples of failure and God’s disapproval are what we are NOT to do
B1 People influenced by money
D1 His story Numbers 22-24
D2 The result: Joshua 13:22 NIV In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practiced divination.
D3 The warning
E1 2 Peter 2:15 NIV They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.
E2 Revelation 2:14 NIV Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.
D4 A comment. God told Balaam not to go, not to curse them, and not to take money from them, but Balaam did anyway. God refused to let Balaam curse Israel. Balaam, evidently, so covetous for money, instructed Balac to entice Israel with forbidden food and sex. He was slain in battle and is given as an example of what not to do.
D1 His story is in the Gospels. He spent 3+ years following the Lord Jesus, seeing what Jesus did, and hearing what Jesus taught.
D2 Influenced by money. John 12:3-6 NIV Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
D3 The result: Acts 1:16-19 NIV and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” 18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
C3 Ananias and Sapphira
D1 Their story and greed: Acts 5:1-2 NIV Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
D2 The result: Acts 5:5, 9-10 NIV When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. … 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
D3 The warning: Acts 5:3-4 NIV Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.
D4 A comment. They coveted, they lied, and they stole (they had promised to give all the money). The motive evidently was to gain admiration.
C4 Simon the Great
D1 His story is in Acts 8.
D2 His sin: Acts 8:17-19 NIV Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.
D3 The result: Acts 8:20-24 NIV Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.
B2 People influenced by sex
D1 The start of his reign:
E1 His story begins with his love for God: 1 Kings 3:3 NIV Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
E2 What he should have continued in: 1 Kings 3:5, 9-12 NIV At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” … 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
D2 The towards the end of his reign:
E1 His love for sex and women: 1 Kings 11:1-2 NIV King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter–Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.
E2 1 Kings 11:4-6, 9 NIV As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done. … 9 The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.
D1 His general character:
E1 1 Samuel 13:14 NIV But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
E2 Acts 13:22 NIV After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
D2 His sin:
E1 His lust arises. He knows she is married: 2 Samuel 11:2-3 WEB And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
E2 He rapes Bathsheba: 2 Samuel 11:4 WEB And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned to her house.
E3 Sin has many consequences:
F1 She becomes pregnant: 2 Samuel 11:5 NLT Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.“
F2 He tries to cover up his sin by ordering her husband murdered: 2 Samuel 11:15, 17 NLT The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” … 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.
F3 God knows and sends a prophet to confront David: 2 Samuel 12:7-9 NLT Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the LORD and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.
F4 God punishes: 2 Samuel 12:10-12, 14 NLT From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. 11 “This is what the LORD says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” … 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the LORD by doing this, your child will die.”
D3 Today we know the principle: James 1:14-15 NLT Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
D4 Thankfully, David repented, that is, confessed his sin and never did anything like this again. Psalm 51 and 2 Samuel 12:13 NLT Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.
C3 Jezebel (the New Testament person)
D1 Her position is prophetess.
D2 Her sin was in her teaching and action: Revelation 2:20 NLT But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols.
D3 Her punishment and the consequences of sin: Revelation 2:21-23 NLT I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality. 22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
We have principles of what we must not do. We must not let money and physical pleasures influence our actions and cause us to sin.
Jude 1:24-25 NLT Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Examples of failure and God’s disapproval are what we are NOT to do
A Few Thoughts About Rules For Christians—Some things to Learn
Sin, Christian rules, God’s will, temptation, lust, sin’s consequences