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THE DEEP-SEATED MONSTER
This Is How I Feel
Victor M. Eskew
A. We live in a “feeling” society.
1. If we hurt someone’s feelings, they will file a grievance or a lawsuit against us.
2. Counseling sessions begin with this question: “How do you feel about this?”
3. Standards are cast out the window, and individuals will say: “But, this is the way I feel about it.”
B. Subjectivism has infiltrated the spiritual realm as well.
1. We have the Bible, but it is often rejected for how a person feels.
2. Individuals do not turn to the Bible to prove their beliefs. Instead, they will say: “I know I am right because this is how I feel.”
C. Feelings are the “Deep-Seated Monster” that has terrorized religion. Let’s talk about feelings in this lesson.
I. THE CREATOR OF FEELINGS
A. The author of man’s feelings is God.
1. The Bible says that God created man in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27).
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
2. God has feelings and when He created man He instilled feelings into man.
a. God can
1) Be pleased (Gen. 1:31).
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2) Grieve (Gen. 6:6).
And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
b. Man has the ability to feel the feelings that God feels (Abraham, Gen. 23:2).
And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
B. God has given man an abundance of feelings.
1. There are four basic types of feelings.
a. Mad (Acts 26:11)
b. Sad (Luke 24:17)
c. Glad (Prov. 15:20)
d. Fear (Matt. 10:28)
e. NOTE: All of the other emotions can be placed within these four basic categories.
2. One of the most interesting feelings involves man’s conscience.
a. The conscience is a feeling that originates in the mind that either approves of my actions or condemns my actions based upon the training received.
b. Romans 2:15
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
II. THE CAUSE OF FEELINGS
A. Feelings are supposed to be a reaction and not a standard.
B. Proper feelings react to two things.
1. True testimony
a. Those on the day of Pentecost asked a question (Acts 2:37).
b. They were given a divine answer (Acts 2:38).
c. Note the response of their feelings (Acts 2:41).
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there added unto them about three thousand souls.
2. True experiences
a. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus expressed sorrow knowing that death was coming and the sins of the world would be placed upon Him (Matt. 26:38).
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…
b. In Acts 5:41, the apostles are found rejoicing. They have a basis for their rejoicing.
And they separated from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
III. THE CRISIS OF FEELINGS
A. Feelings can be based upon the wrong things.
1. Lies (Jacob, Gen. 37:34)
And Jacob rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
2. False perceptions
a. When Gad, Asher, and the half-tribe of Manasseh desired the land on the east of the Jordan River, Moses had a false perception of their intention (Num. 32).
b. When Reuben, Asher, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar at the edge of the Jordan River, Israel was ready to go to war with them until their learned their true motive, then their feelings changed (Josh. 22).
B. Feelings can be turned off and one.
1. Off: The priest and the Levite on the road to Jericho (Luke 10:31-32).
2. On: The hypocrites when they fasted (Matt. 6:16).
C. Feelings can ignore facts and truth.
1. The church at Corinth ignored the fornicator instead of mourning (I Cor. 5:1-2).
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
2. The false teachers of the apostasy hardened their hearts toward the truth and proclaimed lies (I Tim. 4:1-2).
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
3. We see this often when trying to teach others about the gospel plan of salvation. They ignore the teachings on baptism and accept their feelings.
D. Feelings can change.
1. Feelings toward people, places, and events change (Ex., Ted Cox at Brookland, AR).
2. If feelings are subject to change, and feelings are our standard, then conflicting feelings can both be right.
a. Paul despised the church and fought against it .
b. Paul was converted and loved the church and sought to expand it.
c. NOTE: In Acts 23:1, he said that he had always lived in all good conscience before God.
E. Feelings leave no basis for religious discussion.
1. Remember, people ignore standards and accept only their feelings.
2. If feelings are right regardless of the facts and truth, we have no basis for discussion.
a. You believe that how you feel about something is right.
b. I believe that how I feel about something is right.
c. Even though we disagree about the “something,” there is no way to discuss the issue and come to a conclusion.
3. Example of Apollos (Acts 18:24-28)
a. Apollos was eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures (v. 24).
b. However, he only knew the baptism of John (v. 25).
c. What if Apollos “felt” he was right about John’s baptism? How could he have been taught differently?
d. Fortunately, this was not the position he took and was taught the right way of the Lord (v. 26).
And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly.
F. If feelings are the standard, then each man becomes his own god.
1. There are many feelings that people have about baptism: good, bad, confusion, uncertainty.
2. If feelings are the standard, then each one of the individual’s feelings are right regardless of the teachings of God’s Word. Thus, each man becomes his own god in this matter.
3. This is not really the case at all (Ex., Naaman, II Kings 5).
a. God ordered Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan River to be cleansed of his leprosy (v. 10).
b. Naaman “felt” the rivers of Damascus were better (v. 12).
c. He left God angry and still a leper (v. 11).
d. Feelings do not change the divine standard of God’s Word.
e. When he obeyed, he was cleansed (v. 14).
4. Exodus 20:3
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
A. Feelings are a gift from God and enhance our lives, but they were never intended to be substituted for the truth.
B. God wants to reason with man (Isa. 1:18).
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord…
C. Once God has reasoned with us, and we believe and obey the truth, then our feelings will follow (Ex., The Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:26-40).
1. The eunuch was reading the prophet Isaiah (v. 28).
2. Philip began at the same Scripture and preached unto him Jesus (v. 35).
3. When the eunuch obeyed the truth, he went on his way rejoicing (vs. 36-39)