Topical Sermons

Bible Question Box

July, 2001

1. Psa. 25:4-5 - David's trust in God was revealed in his unwavering trust in & reliance upon the truth of God.
2. We trust His answers to all our Bible questions to be right, so we also depend upon Him to "light our path" with His word (Psa. 119:105).

Question 1: "Please explain why there were clean and unclean animals during the time of Noah prior to the law of Moses. Were not clean and unclean animals a part of the law?"

-Genesis 7:2-
  A. Speculations For The Distinction:
    1. Proof of human origin (introducing centuries older practice).
    2. This distinction is founded on nature, such being self-evident (cf. sheep vs. hyena; the dove vs. the vulture - Speaker's Commentary).
    3. Founded "on an immediate conscious feeling of the human spirit" (Keil).
  B. Most Probable Answer Is The Contextual One: Divinely Instituted To Satisfy The Necessities Of Sacrifice To God - Gen. 8:20.
    1. The law of Moses would introduce "clean & unclean" as a dietary restriction - Lev. 11:1-3.
    2. Such was a "ceremonial" uncleanness which Christ removed - Mk. 7:19; Acts 10:9-16, cf. v.28.

Question 2: "I was wondering if you could clear up some uncertainty…I was reading 1 John 5:16-17. I tried to understand it in its context, but don't quite get it - even with the surrounding text."

  A. The Text & Context:
    1. Immediate context:
      a. 5:14 - God hears us when we pray according to His will - cf. Jas. 4:3; 1 Pet. 3:12.
      b. 5:15 - We have our petitions (they are effective) - 1 Jno. 3:22; Jas. 5:16.
    2. The text presents two things which may occur from sin:
      a. 5:16 - Sin which does not lead to death - Its outcome is not eternal death.
      b. Sin which does lead to death - Its outcome is eternal death.
      c. 5:17 - All unrighteousness is sin (every deed violating divine law is sin - cf. 1 Jno. 3:4).
      d. 5:17 - But not all sin leads to (eternal) death (there is sin not leading to death).
  B. What Sin Does Not Lead To (Result In) Death?
    1. Every sin which is confessed, repented of & repudiated - 1 Jno. 1:9.
    2. Sin which is not continued, practiced & lived in - 1 Jno. 3:4-10 (2:29); 5:18.
      a. We have an advocate when we thus deal with sin - 2:1.
      b. Pray for one another in such situations! - Jas. 5:16.
  C. What Sin Does Lead To (Result In) Death?
    1. Every sin which one refuses to confess, repent of & repudiate! - 1 Jno. 1:8
    2. Sin which is practiced as one's course of life - 1 Jno. 3:8.
      a. There is no more sacrifice for such sin - Heb. 10:26.
      b. Praying for such a person will not be effective (5:15) because our prayer does not countermand (supercede, revoke) or cancel another's free-will! - cf. Matt. 7:6; 10:14; 15:14.
  D. Practical Applications From 1 John 5:16-17:
    1. Stop practicing sin or you will die eternally - Rom. 6:23.
    2. Prayer will not be effective when one chooses to deliberately live in sin (cf. Heb. 6:4-6).
    3. Do not harden your heart toward sin & its eternal punishment - Heb. 3:7-8.

Question 3: "In Mt. 10:38, 16:24 & Mk. 8:34, Jesus uses the phrase, "take up your cross." (We today have a general understanding of what that means because we know that Jesus had died on a cross. Yet those to whom He said "take up your cross" hadn't known how Jesus died because it hadn't happened yet.) What did "take up your cross" mean to those to whom it was said before Jesus died? How were they to understand its meaning at that point in time?

  A. Although Jesus Had Not Yet Been Crucified, His Audience Could Understood The Figure He Used - Matt. 10:38.
    1. Crucifixion was the common Roman method of execution.
    2. The condemned would carry the cross-beam to place of death.
    3. Jesus was teaching them that self-denial was the price of discipleship they would have to pay - cf. Matt. 10:34-37, 39.
  B. Jesus Told Them Of His Death So They Could More Fully Understand The Point He Made - cf. Matt. 16:21-25; Lk. 9:22-23.
    -From the death of Jesus they, and we, learn the extent of self-denial, sacrifice & service necessary in order to be His disciple!

   Psa. 25:4-5 - Humbly accept the salvation God shows us in His truth.