Sin in the Camp

Romans 14:23b  For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

How big is that “whatever?” Seems to me that it includes anything without limitation–no exclusion. Any action, any thought, any deed, any spoken word, anything at all must come from faith or it falls into the category of sin. That’s heavy duty, and can become kind of scary.

However, the Lord is merciful and will not hold things against us for which we have no light. But, as light is given, we become accountable.

I am now accountable for something in which I failed significantly last night.

I was asked by an unbeliever whom I have known for a few decades how we were doing financially.

This particular person lives in fear, is very negative in his outlook, and despises most things about the government. He is promoting the need to find alternative means for living in the coming crisis, such as storing food, investing in precious metals, and living beneath the radar of the government’s watching eye.

Our income was cut in half last September, just after we moved to PA. We have managed okay, but it has been thin, and is getting thinner. The winter months are especially hard here with heating costs being what they are. Our meager savings are now gone. But, we are not destitute.

The Lord has been faithful to provide in various ways. I will occasionally get a call to go preach somewhere, and there is usually a monetary gift with that. Sometimes, someone will visit my website and make a donation through that. So, the reality is that the Lord watches over us.

But, that is not the reality I presented to the person on the phone last night. I painted the picture as gloomily as I possibly could without lying. I spoke the truth insofar as the natural phenomena are concerned.

I did not speak faith. Not once. Not once did I say the Lord is providing, or the Lord will make a way.

But, that is what He has been teaching me the last few months. He has been showing me that I am to speak faith, to call those things that are not as though they already were. (Romans 4:17)

Even though I am not yet at that level of faith, I could have at least spoken about the Lord’s provision and how He has provided and will continue to provide.

I was presented with a perfect opportunity to magnify the Lord when I was told to seek alternative means of income. I missed the opportunity.

In that place, I did not come from faith, so all my speech was sin. I missed it big time.

Will I recognize the opportunity the next time? Will I be bold for the Lord in a similar situation?

What about you? Have you ever had occasion to speak your faith and let it slide?

Bible Study Lesson 6

We are learning how to use the Blue Letter Bible, an online, interactive, and very powerful study tool. If you are just joining us, place the link for the BLB in your favorites or on your desktop. You do not need to download anything. And welcome to the study. You may want to subscribe to this blog in order to keep up with the lessons. You may do so by signing up with the Free Subscription on the right-hand side of this blog. However, all lessons will be archived under the category titled Bible Study Methods. You can go there at any time and get a lesson to review or to catch up.

The more I use this tool, the more I realize how powerful it is. The BLB is a benefit for the casual student and for the one who wants to go into the deepest depths of study of God’s Word possible without actually learning the original languages. Today, just before I began this post, I learned something else about its power. I can quickly discover how many times a particular Greek or Hebrew word is used; or I can just as quickly learn how many times a particular English word is used. I can also find out how many different ways a particular original language word is translated. This is a powerful resource, and will be a great benefit. I will explain how to use this for your study in a future lesson.

We are now learning how to use the BLB as we look into what it means to be pleasing to the Lord, or how to please God. Our main text, or launching place is Hebrews 11:6 where we are told that without faith it is impossible to please God.  Bring that verse up in your window now. For information on how to do this, go to Lesson 1. Our search through the scriptures for the time being are launched from this verse and the keys associated with it in the BLB.

In our last lesson, we looked at how to access the information from Vine’s Expository Dictionary using the Strong’s numbering system. There were many verses with differing nuances of meaning that were listed just for the Strong’s word #2100. If you have just joined us, then you should go back to the last lesson by clicking on the link at the beginning of this paragraph and follow the few steps covered in that lesson.

You should now be gaining insight not only on how to use the BLB, but also on what it means to please God. So, let’s continue with learning other aspects of the BLB. You should have Hebrews 11:6 in your main window of the BLB.

Look at the blue keys to the left of the verse. We have already delved into the “C” and the “V” keys. Now click on the “D” key next to the verse. That should bring up a small window labeled “Available Dictionary Aids for Hebrews 11:6.” Beneath that blue bar is a box labeled “Choose Dictionary Topic for Hbr 11:6 – Then Click “Go” .” Next to that box is a drop-down arrow. Click on that.

That gives you plenty of resources to continue your study on what it means to please God. One of the most outstanding and often used resources is the Nave’s Topical Bible, which is listed here with various topics around the idea of pleasing God. Click on one of the topics listed such as “Desire – Spiritual.” Then clck “Go.”

Again you will see why it is important ot have your notebook with you, for nothing but scripture addresses is given–and there are many! However, each address is “hot” and can be clicked to take you directly to that verse. However, each verse will open up in that window, so that you will have to click your back button on the browser to return to the list of verses.

If you are preparing a lesson on some aspect of pleasing the Lord, then there is the tremendously useful tool of Torrey’s Topical Textbook that is also listed as a resource under the available dictionary aids. Since we are studying Hebrews 11:6 which teaches us that faith is necessary in order to please God, lets look at how Torrey presents that to us.

As you scroll down through the available dictionary aids, you will find Torrey’s Topical Textbook at the bottom. Underneath that you will see “Faith – Impossible to Please God Without.” Select that and choose “Go.” You will notice that you are given a basic outline of what the Bible teaches concerning this vast subject.

 If you are following along on this study, you have enough in front of you now to keep you busy for quite some time. Enjoy, and share with us the fruits of your study.

NOTE: As we progress, you may have a question about something that we have covered. Be sure to use the comments section for all comments and questions. Also, read the comments section, because someone may ask or say something that will benefit you as you go through this study. Thanks