And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 16, Number
In this issue:
Many people practice the tradition of removing their shoes before entering a house. There is a clear practical reason for this; it prevents tracking dirt and grime into the house. And, doing so shows a measure of kindness and respect for those who live there and who are responsible for keeping the floor clean.
This serves to illustrate the word “profane” which translates the Greek word bebelos which combines “base” and “threshold” to mean “accessible (as by crossing the door way) that is, (by implication of Jewish notions) heathenish, wicked: - profane (person)” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). That which is profane is base, earthy. That which is profane desecrates and defiles what is clean and pure by introducing strange, foreign things (sinful things) into what is and should be holy (like tracking dirt into a clean house).
We generally think of speech when considering what is profane, and that certainly is a correct application. But the word of God makes broader applications than that. Please consider what God says can be profane so that we can all avoid this sin.
The profane person. “...lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright” (Heb. 12:16). This is “a man of low views, who has no appreciation of any high or divine thing” (The Greek Testament Commentary, Hebrews 12:16, Henry Alford). Esau was fixated on the flesh and on his momentary hunger. Simultaneously, he held his birthright in such little regard that he sold it to his brother Jacob for one meal! Such little regard for his great blessings was evidence of his profanity. Like Esau, Christians can show little appreciation for their great spiritual blessings in Christ. When one’s mind becomes set on the flesh and this present world, his heart and life is defiled by unbelief and all manner of sin. The profane person yearns for the immediacy of sin’s attraction and yields to its temporal pleasure. The profane person does not view or value the eternal inheritance that is reserved in heaven for the faithful (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
The profane person refuses to respect and obey the law of God. God’s law identifies and condemns “the unholy and profane” person as one who lives “contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:9-11). To disregard and reject the gospel of Christ is to join in league with Esau and waste one’s birthright as a child of God.
Profane teachings. “But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). The truth of Christ is revelation from heaven, while the fictions taught by men are earthy, defiling and incapable of developing godliness in those who are exercised by them. Paul told Titus the “commands of men” are such fiction, and to warn brethren not to give heed to those “who turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14). We rightly conclude that the commands of men are profane, base and defiling because they originate in the heart and wisdom of men and not the mind of God (Jer. 10:23; 17:9; Prov. 14:12). We are repeatedly warned not to be deceived by false teachers and their false doctrines (Matt. 7:15-20; 15:7-9; Gal. 1:6-9; Col. 2:8, 20-23). The doctrines and commands of men constitute a wide range of profane suppositions and assumptions about God, sin, life, death, the church, and more. God’s word has the power to sanctify, but the profane teachings of men never will (Jno. 17:17). Whatever is offered to you as truth which is not from the inspired Scriptures is profane and must be rejected (just as Paul and Barnabas opposed false brethren and their false doctrine long ago in Antioch, Gal. 2:4-5; Acts 15:1-2).
Profane discussions. “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:16). We are told to avoid empty, fruitless discussions with those who contradict divine truth (1 Tim. 6:20). There comes a point when the pearls are not to be cast before the swine lest we are trampled and torn to pieces by the faithless rejecters of truth (Matt. 7:6). The profane babbler loves to hear himself talk, but he does not love to apply divine truth to his or her life. The Greek philosophers Paul encountered in Athens were mostly of this sort (Acts 17:18-21, 32-33). Long on verbiage but short on heavenly wisdom, the profane person mistakes dialog and the “exchange of views” for wisdom and insight. Truth convicts; profane babblings produce increased ungodliness. We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves to distinguish the difference and reject the profane, empty offerings of the worldly-minded.
Profane fire. “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Lev. 10:1-2). Regardless of their intentions, these priests displayed a base and unholy attitude toward God by offering Him worship He had not commanded (Lev. 10:3). So it is today. Worship is profane that is not “in spirit and truth” (Jno. 4:24).
Profane speech. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Eph. 4:29). The language of America is laced with profanity. It has become commonplace, few exceptions. Music, movies and television in America showcase a profane nation’s disregard for God. Whether it is the academic, the politician, the student, the parent or the child, the filthy language to which we are subjected is like so much dirt tracked across the threshold on the bottom of shoes. Profanity is proof of a polluted mind that disrespects others and certainly disrespects God. Let us put all “filthy language out of your mouth” (Col. 3:8).
Titus 1:15-16 aptly summarizes those captured by the sin of profanity: “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Do not be characterized by what is base, worldly, unholy and sinful. Instead, “As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 31:25-31
1. A mother’s love is
learned by instruction and admonition, Titus 2:4.
I. A MOTHER PROTECTS HER CHILDREN.
A. The Nurturing of a Mother Lasts
II. A MOTHER PRAYS FOR HER CHILDREN.
A. Faith in God is the Center of
her Life, Prov. 31:10, 30.
III. A MOTHER PREPARES HER CHILDREN.
A. A Mother Prepares her Children
for Many Things.
1. We owe our mothers a great debt
of honor, respect and love.
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
1. The Coming of the
Son of Man:
I. SON OF MAN COMING IN HIS KINGDOM, Matt. 16:28; Mk. 9:1. (Matt. 6:10; Jno. 18:36)
A. Christ Established His Kingdom (Church), Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 41, 47.
II. SON OF MAN COMING IN JUDGMENT.
A. In Judgment against Jerusalem,
Matt. 24:1-3, 27-31. Matt. 23:36; 24:34; 38-39 (Lk. 21:25-28)
III. PRINCIPLES APPLIED TO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN.
A. Be Prepared: Watchfulness, Lk.
12:35-40 (Matt. 25:1-13: 1 Ths. 5:1-11; Matt. 24:44-47).
Conclusion We do not know when the future, final coming of the Son of Man will be, but we know He is coming, Matt. 24:44; Acts 1:11.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
And So It Goes
The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, has announced that he and his partner of 25-plus years are getting a divorce. In a statement to the New Hampshire Diocese he wrote:
“My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate. Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot. It will take a lot of work, a lot of grieving, and a large measure of hope to see it through. And that’s where my faith comes in.” (“A Bishop’s Decision to Divorce”, May 4, 2014, The Daily Beast)
The utter ignorance of Biblical marriage, love, sin, hope and faith is on full display in this man’s statement and conduct.
In another event this week, HGTV cancelled plans for the real estate show “Flip It Forward”, featuring the Benham brothers who hold and speak out for a biblical worldview, including pro-life and traditional marriage (“HGTV Cancels Show that Features Hosts with Biblical Worldview”, Russ Jones, christianheadlines.com).
As people move farther and farther away from God their lives invariably devolve into greater moral chaos. The picture of the Gentile world in Romans 1:18-32 vividly shows the spiritual, religious and moral deconstruction of those who “profess themselves to be wise” and refuse to retain God in their knowledge”.
Homosexuality is sin against God and nature (Rom. 1:24-25, 26-29). Marriage is for men and women based on God’s creation and law (Gen. 2:18-24; Rom. 7:2-3). Sin is defined by God’s word and causes eternal death (Rom. 6:23). Faith trusts God and follows His word, not the dictates of the human heart (Heb. 11:1, 6; Rom. 10:17). Hope rests upon Bible-defined faith (Heb. 11:1; Rom. 5:1-2). Christians must remain strong in faith to endure the attacks that come from a faithless society. We must love sinners as God does and seek their salvation, giving no quarter to sin.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 05/12/2014
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA