Thomson Presbyterian Church
How to Destroy Your Neighbor
  • HO Hum

    What is the purpose of leaven?
    Agent used in breads to fluff it up and lighten it
    Bread, air pocket when you slice it
    Jews were commanded to use unleavened bread - Ex 12:18 in order to be ready to flee Egypt, passover there wasn’t enough time to wait for the bread to rise
    Leaven “is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action (gas bubbles) that lightens and softens the mixture.”
    It causes the dough to break down making the bread lighter and soft


    Paul uses this illustration to refer to a softening and weakening of the faith in the church of Galatia
    “running well” (7)
    Obeying the truth
    “taking no other view” than the gospel (preached cross)
    “hindered in their belief” believing those who preached circumcision (opposed to the gospel)
    “unsettled” wavering in their belief in the truth
    Paul warns against the one who has done this
    “bear the penalty”
    Emasculate himself”
    “A little leaven leavens the whole lump”
    This false belief, turning from the gospel, was spreading through the church
    This man was a negative influencer. Satan uses this in our life to turn us from the grace of Jesus Christ to something else.
    Satan uses crafty ways, sometimes subtle ways, to turn God’s people away from the truth of the gospel


    He uses sin in the life of the believer
    Paul to the Corinthians
    English Standard Version Chapter 5

    6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

    Simon J. Kistemaker
    Two elders who were at odds with one another
    Met with them: “I forgive you”
    Had to meet a second time: “Will you forgive me”
    Let us look at the sin in our life. If left unchecked it is like leaven that leavens the whole lump.
    He uses sinful men in our personal lives
    Paul to the Corinthians
    English Standard Version Chapter 15

    33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

    FBI Takedowns - code of silence in small neighborhood in Boston
    A history of organized crime
    family business - kids would grow up with expectations to be involved in the family business of theft
    gangs would be involved in crime sprees for years
    Reminds me of the movie sing. Johnny was the gorilla who broke out of the family business of robbing banks to find a singing career.
    Many of us grew up in homes where we were discouraged from hanging out with the bad kids
    Sometimes the people we hang around can be used to draw us from the truth of the gospel.
    He uses sinful men in the fellowship of the church
    Writer of Hebrews
    English Standard Version Chapter 12

    15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

    John Calvin has a great section on his Institutes of Christian Religion
    believes that the church will always consist of the wheat and the tares
    Will be the case until the great harvest
    He believes this is for the benefit of practicing forgivenenss
    The proof is in the Lord’s prayer
    daily pray “forgive us our debts” or “trespasses”
    Institutes of the Christian Religion 16. The False Claim of Perfection Comes from Distorted Opinion

    But to godly and peaceable men Augustine gives this advice: “Mercifully to correct what they can; patiently to bear and lovingly to bewail and mourn what they cannot; until God either amends or corrects or in the harvest uproots the tares and winnows the chaff”

    So What?

    How do we respond to these attacks by Satan?
    In each scenario we could:
    Work really hard on not sinning, bordering on legalism
    Get rid of friends and people who are bad influenes
    Leave the church
    look at every sin in our life as something we have to fight, work hard on our own power
    Fight with friends and family, alienating them
    Fight with everyone else in the church, thinking we are right and they are wrong


    I believe Paul gives another option here. Its what frames his concluding statement:
    English Standard Version Chapter 5

    12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

    Emasculate - to be deprived of strength and vigor
    Play on the fact that they are teaching circumcision - righteousness by works
    It is as if Paul is saying: “I wish they would cut themselves off, from the fellowship of the church.”
    He does not say, withdraw or fight this person. Why?
    He knows that the situation is God’s providence.
    Rather, he wants them to trust in God to fight these battles.
    John Calvin say it this way:
    But if the Lord declares that the church is to labor under this evil—to be weighed down with the mixture of the wicked—until the Day of Judgment, they are vainly seeking a church besmirched with no blemish.
    Calvin, J. (2011). Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2. (J. T. McNeill, Ed., F. L. Battles, Trans.) (Vol. 1, p. 1028). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
    I believe this is because they both know that the purpose of the church being in this situation is because it is not our battle. It is a battle for our King Jesus.
    This doesn’t excuse us from carrying out church discipline, but it does help us do it better.
    Our job as Christians is to follow Jesus and to place our faith in him.
    If he is the King and head of the church, maybe we need to trust in him. If he desires the church to include both the wheat and the tares until the great harvest, then there is nothing we can do.
    The goal is to trust in King Jesus to defeat our enemies, to uphold his church, to remove the chaff, to protect his truth.
    Paul calls the Galatians to trust in Jesus and to believe in His gospel. He calls them back to obedience to the good news not the law of slavery.
    The way that we guard against these attacks by Satan is to cling to Jesus through faith.
    Maybe you are one who likes to withdraw. Maybe you like to fight. We are reminded today that a “little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Let us trust in Jesus to protect us from turning away from the truth (the gospel) and from these attacks by Satan.
    Let us pray and hope for his return that we may see sin and chaff removed from our midst.
    Let us be content to have Jesus Christ as the churches “Infectious Disease Control.”
      • Galatians 5:13–15ESV

      • John 17:23–26ESV

      • Galatians 5:6ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 5:6ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 15:33ESV

      • Hebrews 12:15ESV

      • Galatians 5:12ESV

  • Bugs Bunny

    We are at war
    “desires of the flesh” vs “Spirit”

    The Warning

    Paul warns the Galatians of their calling
    This series we will look at how to walk by the Spirit
    Today we simply need to be warned of the seriousness of sin in our life
    “irreconcilable war”
    We are being warned, just like the Galatians because:

    We often forget we are at war

    King David - 2 Samuel 11-12
    David takes Bathsheba
    He then tries to cover it up
    confronted by the prophet Nathan
    2 Samuel 12:1–15 ESV
    1 And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’ ” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick.

    We need to understand the _consequences_ of this war

    Jonathan Steingard - Lead Singer of Hawk Nelsen
    Instagram post
    preachers son, grew up in the church
    “No Longer believes in God”
    “long process”
    “More like pulling on the threads of a sweater.”
    “Once I found that I didn’t believe that the Bible was the perfect Word of God - it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all.”
    “pulling on the threads of a sweater”
    “We didn’t enjoy going to church. We didn’t enjoy reading the Bible. We didn’t enjoy praying”
    “Its going to be 72 degrees here in San Diego. Its sunny here. Its a beautiful day. No Sweater needed.”

    We need this warning because we often _justify_ our own sins

    Building a swing set on a Sunday
    Neighbor said “don’t worry you are no longer under the law”
    Not freedom to sin, freedom to not sin

    So What?

    Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
    19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    We may have convinced ourselves we aren’t this bad.
    But, sin carries with it a subversive and covert nature.
    There is a fine line between a protest and a riot:
    Cities all over are protesting the death of Mr. George Floyd.

    Message: Heed the warning

    Sanctification is a process
    “remnants of corruption”
    “continual and irreconcilable war within”
    We need to heed this warning, especially today as many Christians have made themselves comfortable and are not using the tools God has given us to mortify sin in our lives.
    We, like the Galatians are turning from Jesus Christ to something else.
    God has given us the means of grace:
    Word of God
    i.e. the Church
    During this time of separation, how many of you continued to worship with your family? Continued to read your Bible? Continued in daily prayer? etc . . .
    Remember Jonathan Steingard’s words above:“We didn’t enjoy going to church. We didn’t enjoy reading the Bible. We didn’t enjoy praying”
    The warning for us is that we are at war, especially if isolated. Neglecting these means of grace will only provide us an atmosphere of turning from Jesus.
    Good News: Jesus invites us to continue to walk with him and HIs Spirit.
    We can heed the warning today, see the seriousness of our sin, and turn to Jesus seeking forgiveness and strength to combat our sin.
    Galatians 5:24 ESV
    24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
    Let us be a people who seeks to walk by the Spirit and not the desires of the flesh.
      • Galatians 5:19–21ESV

      • Galatians 5:24ESV

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