OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
A. Over the years, man has always had some crazy, false beliefs.
1. The earth is flat.
2. The earth is the center of the Universe.
3. Life can be produced from inanimate matter.
4. California is an island (1775).
B. Two interesting points:
1. Those who believed these things would have contended vehemently for them.
2. Anyone who opposed these ideas would have been thought of as ignorant and foolish.
C. We have entitled our lesson: “I Think.”
1. There are religious beliefs that individuals hold that are false. By this, we mean that they oppose the will of God.
2. Those who hold to them think they are right.
3. They will contend for these beliefs very strongly.
I. GOD’S WILL IS TO DOMINATE OUR MINDS
A. Three verses
1. Hebrews 8:10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
2. Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
3. II Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
B. Why does God want us thinking His thoughts?
1. His ways are right.
2. His ways are holy.
3. His ways are safe.
4. His ways bring ultimate happiness.
5. Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
II. WARNINGS ABOUT TRUSTING ONE’S OWN THOUGHTS
A. Even though God has revealed His will to man, man still likes to hold on to his own thinking.
B. God has warned man about this.
1. Psalm 118:8
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
2. Proverbs 3:5-7
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
3. Proverbs 23:4
…cease from thine own wisdom.
4. Proverbs 28:26
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool…
5. Jeremiah 10:23
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
6. I Corinthians 4:6
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
III. EXAMPLES OF MEN TRUST IN THEIR OWN HEARTS
A. Cain thought that the first fruits of the ground were an acceptable offering to God (Gen. 4:3).
B. Joseph’s brethren thought Joseph’s dreams were a farce (Gen. 37:8).
C. The children of Israel thought that it was acceptable to replace God with a golden calf (Exo. 32:4, 8).
D. Miriam and Aaron thought they had the same authority as their brother, Moses (Num. 12:1-2).
E. The ten spies thought Israel could not conquer the Promised Land (Num. 13:31-33).
F. Ahab thought Micaiah was a horrible prophet (I Kings 22:8).
G. The Sadducees thought there was no resurrection of the dead (Matt. 22:23).
H. The Jews thought Jesus was a liar when He claimed to be the Son of God (Matt. 26:64-65).
I. A classic example: Naaman (II Kings 5:11)
But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
IV. WHAT CAUSES MAN TO TRUST HIS THINKING?
A. The pride of man’s heart (Oba. 1:3)
The pride of thine heart hat deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
B. Being blinded by false teaching (II Co. 4:4)
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
C. Confusion (Acts 2:12-13)
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
D. Lack of information (Acts 26:9)
I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
1. Black cats, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, Friday 13th
2. Paul on Mar’s Hill (Acts 17:22)
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
a. The word “superstitious” means religious.
b. The numerous false gods of the Athenians prove they were superstitious. They had a god for everything, including an unknown god.
F. Wrong interpretations of God’s Word.
a. In Romans 5:20, Paul wrote: “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
b. Paul knew that this statement could be misinterpreted. Some might say that since grace abounds where there is sin, then the more we sin the more grace can abound.
c. Paul confronted this misinterpretation of his words (Rom. 6:1-2).
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer there?
V. PRESENT DAY APPLICATION:
A. I don’t think baptism saves (I Pet. 3:21)
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…
B. I don’t think there is just one church.
1. Ephesians 4:4
There is one body…
2. NOTE: In Ephesians 1:22-23, Paul said that the body is the church. If there is one body, then there is one church.
C. I don’t think that women are prohibited from teaching in the assemblies with men present (I Tim. 2:12).
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the mane, but to be in silence.
D. I don’t think that a person can fall from grace (II Pet. 3:17).
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
E. I don’t think there is anything wrong with instrumental music in worship (Matt. 18:20).
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
F. I think that babies need to be baptized because they have sins (Matt. 18:3).
And he said, Verily I say unto you. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
G. I do not think that church discipline is necessary or useful (II Thess. 3:6).
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
H. I think that it is okay for a Christian to dress immodestly (I Tim. 2:9-10).
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
A. Man seems to have a lot of “think so’s” and “don’t think so’s.”
B. God is not concerned about what man thinks (I Cor. 1:19).
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to naught the understanding of the prudent.
C. Let’s never ignore what God says because we think a different way.
1. Naaman did and departed in his leprosy.
2. Man can ignore God today and will depart from Him in his sins.