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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (35)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Aren’t you glad that we have the ability to ask questions?  Without this ability, we would remain ignorant, confused, and without knowledge about many things.

 

B.      Aren’t you glad that we have people that have the ability to answer our questions?  Without these individuals, we would remain ignorant, confused, and without knowledge about many things.

 

C.     Tonight is our Q & A Night.  We appreciate all of the questions that are put into the Q&A box.  Keep putting the questions in there.

1.      Some will be answered on our Q&A Night.

2.      Some will be answered in the bulletin.

3.      Some will require a class session or entire class to answer.  (NOTE:  I have several on the Book of Revelation that need to be answered).

 

D.    Tonight, we will be examining four questions.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  Sin

 

A.    Stated:  What is sin?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Most of the time, we only use one definition of sin, that is, that transgression of the law.  This definition is found in I John 3:4.

 

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:  for sin is the transgression of the law.

 

a.      Transgress:

1)      Strong (458):  illegality, that is, violation of the law

2)      Thayer:  contempt and violation of law

3)      Vine:  to do lawlessness

b.      God has revealed His law to us in the pages of the Bible.  When we go against that law, we sin.

2.      Other definitions of sin in the Bible:

a.      The thought of foolishness (Prov. 24:9)

 

The thought of foolishness is sin…

 

1)      Sin does not have to be committed by an outward act.

2)      Sin can be committed within the thoughts of man.

b.      Whatsoever is not of faith (Rom. 14:23)

 

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith:  for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

 

1)      In the context, the apostle Paul is referring to a matter of option, that is, eating of meats that had been offered to idols and were sold in the marketplace.

a)      Some thought that to eat such meats was sinful.  Thus, they refrained.  NOTE:  Refusing to eat the meat was not sinful.

b)      If these individuals were coerced by others to eat the meat, it would cause

them to violate their conscience and sin. 

-          They were not eating of faith.

-          They were not doing something that they knew to be right based upon their understanding of the Word of God that applied to a matter of option, not a matter of faith.

-          NOTE:  At this time, they were ignorant of God’s truth on this matter.

2)      Making application of this verse in our society today is difficult.

a)      In years gone by, children were often taught that is was wrong to play any game using face cards.

b)      If this person was to come to my house and we played cards, they would believe this is wrong.

c)      If they played, and violated their conscience, they would sin.  Their playing would not be by faith.  Their playing would not be because they knew that God does not condemn all types of card games.

c.       To know to do good and do it not (James 4:17)

 

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

d.      “All unrighteousness is sin…” (I John 5:17)

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  Prayer Posture, Lifting Up Hands

 

A.    Stated:  In the song, “On Bended Knee” (#961), what does the phrase “lifting holy hands to you” mean?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      The song, “On Bended Knee,” was written and composed by Robert Gay in 1988.

a.      It is a song about prayer and praising God in prayer.

b.      It refers to both the inner man and outer man that are involved in prayer.

2.      He speaks of the posture of the person praying in the song.

a.      “On bended knee I come.”

b.      “Bowing down before your holy throne.”

c.       “Lifting holy hands to You.”

3.      The lifting up of holy hands to God is taken from I Timothy 2:8.

 

I will therefore that men prayer every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

 

a.      Lifting the hands toward the heavens was one of the postures of the Jews and of the early church.  It symbolized the individual’s desire to reach up to God as he spoke with his heavenly Father.

b.      Over the course of time, this prayer posture has been omitted from public use.  In like manner, most no longer pray on a bended knee.  How many have ever fallen face down on the ground and prayed to God?  Jesus did this in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39). 

c.       In some churches, and, with some youth, the practice is starting to come back into use.  There is nothing inherently wrong in lifting one’s hands in prayer to God at all.

d.      NOTE:

1)      Some see it as an act of trying to call undue attention to one’s self.

2)      Others see it as an act of defiance against the traditions of the past.

3)      Some see it as some that is done because it can be done rather than doing it with a sincere heart.

4)      When it is done during worship, some see it as injecting emotionalism and sensationalism into the assembly.

5)      Some believe that it will lead to other things that do not need to be done in the worship, such as swaying back and forth, lifting up one’s hands during the song service, and even speaking out, especially by women.  When this happens the focus is no longer on God, but on the worshipper.  We must remember that worship IS NOT about us.

e.       Those who do it need to remember that if they lift up their hands, their hands they need to be holy hands.  This is the most important element if the prayer is going to be heard by God.  Unholy hands will not reach the ear of God.

1)      Psalm 66:18

 

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

 

2)      Proverbs 28:9

 

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.

 

III.             QUESTION #3:  Tears in A Bottle

 

A.    Stated:  In Psalm 56:8, the Bible mentions the psalmist’s tears being placed into a bottle.  To what does this refer?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Psalm 56:8

 

Thou tellest my wanderings:  put thou my tears into thy bottle:  are they not in thy book?

 

2.      Background of the psalm:

a.      David was being afflicted by his enemies (Ps. 56:1-2).  The title of the psalm, given by the Jews states:  “To the chief musician upon Jonath-elem-recho-kim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.”  (See I Sam. 21:10-12; 27:2-7).

b.      During this time, David’s faith was placed in God (Ps. 56:3).

c.       David knew that God was aware of his predicament.  In verse 8, he writes:  “Thou tellest my wanderings.”  The word “tellest” means “to number, to take account of.”

d.      David then makes a request of God:  “…put thou my tears into thy bottle.”

1)      This was a literal practice in the ancient world. 

a)      When times of grief came upon those ancient people, they would cry and collect their tears in small bottles so they could remember the day in the future.

b)      These bottles were made of very thin glass and had a top like a funnel to catch their tears.  They are now known as “lachymatories.”  This is from a Latin word meaning:  “to shed tears.”

2)      The difficulties of David’s situation had caused him to shed many tears.  He wanted to the Lord to catch these and place them into His bottle so he would not forget David’s affliction.

a)      It is the use of beautiful figurative language in a prayer request of David.

b)      We, too, do not want the Father to forget our tears.  We want Him to remember us in our affliction and help to comfort our grieving hearts.

 

IV.             QUESTION #4:  The Use of Euphemisms

 

A.    Question:  Is saying things like, “Oh God,” “Oh Lord,” and “Jeez,” bad?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      The Lord is deeply concerned about our speech and our conversation.

a.      Ephesians 4:29

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…

 

b.      Ephesians 5:3-4

 

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting, which are not convenient:  but rather giving of thanks.

 

c.       Colossians 3:8

 

But now ye also put off all these; anger wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication about of your mouth.

 

d.      Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11

 

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.

 

(Notice the adjectives Paul uses:  corrupt, foolish, and filthy, nor are we to take the Lord’s name in vain.

2.      Many words that individuals say are substitutes for filthy words and for the Lord’s name. 

a.      We call these euphemisms.

b.      These are milder forms of the filthy words.  Everyone knows what they mean.

c.       Jeez for Jesus.  Lawd for Lord.  Lordy for Lord.  Golly for God. 

3.      We need to be holy, even in our conversation.

a.      Christians do not need to ride a tight line between right and wrong. 

b.      There are plenty of wholesome words that we can use to describe both our joy and anger without getting close to cussing or using God’s name in vain.

4.      We all need to keep in mind Matthew 12:36-37.

 

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    We have covered many interesting topics that relate to the Christian life:  sin, prayer, tears, and our words.

 

B.      May God:

1.      Keep us from the temptation to sin.

2.      Hear our prayers.

3.      Put our tears in His bottle.

4.      Help us to remember that we will be judge by all the words we speak.