Topical Sermons

(May, 2002)

1. Prov. 3:13-26 - Value of wisdom.
2. No greater wisdom that from above, found in God's word of truth.

Question # 1:

Genesis 6:2-5:
A) Who were the sons of God & daughters of men? Why are they who came from God specifically called 'sons' and from men called 'daughters'?
  1. "Sons of God" - Descendants of Seth, the son of Adam - Gen. 4:25-26
  2. Gen. 4-5 introduces us to two families:
    a. Cain & his descendants (4:16-24) - Who, by following the example of their father Cain, continued to live farther & farther away from God.
    b. Seth & his descendants (4:25-5:32) - Who "began to call on the name of the Lord" - 5:26.
  3. Gen. 6:1-2 - How the world became so wicked & vile that God determined to destroy sinful man with a flood.
    a. 6:1 - Men began to multiply & the earth was being filled up.
    b. Sons of God - Descendants of those who had "called on the name of the Lord" (4:26) began to compromise with sin & cohabit with the "daughters of men" (men & their families who did not call upon the name of the Lord).
    c. 6:2 - Sons of God abandoned their spiritual heritage & "took wives for themselves of all whom they chose".

B) What were the giants in v. 4?
  1. 6:3, 5 - When men began to be driven by their own lustful desires rather than the word and will of God they were influenced by the evil they grew to love.
  2. 6:4 - The result was a world full of violent attackers, robbers and tyrants rather than one filled with people who "called upon the name of the Lord."
  3. "Giants" is translated from a word which means "to fall upon" or attack.

C) Who were the 'men of old' in v. 4b? Do we know of any specific examples / individuals?
  1. 6:4 - These men made a name for themselves among other men, but not in eyes of the Lord (notorious men of evil reputation).
  2. Example: Lamech - Gen. 4:19, 23-24

--Misinterpretations of "sons of God" & "daughters of men"--
1. Sons of God - Not angels or heavenly creatures who cohabited with women to produce a superhuman race. (Such is the stuff of X-Files!)
2. Angels who sinned in 2 Pet. 2:4 cannot be these "sons of God" (Gen. 6:2) since those angels have been "cast down to hell and delivered into chains (pits, ASV) of darkness".

--Sons of God-
Men who did not remain holy and separated from the sinful world around them. Instead, they married women who influenced them to forsake righteous living. The result: Man's ruin and destruction due to sin.

--Clear lessons for us to learn from this sad period in human history--
1) "Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33).
2) The person one chooses to marry will influence him or her for good or evil, so wisely choose a mate who will help you live in God's favor (Prov. 18:22; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
3) God expects us to live holy lives, separated from sin: "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).
4) God will punish sin, so we must be careful to live in truth and holiness (Rom. 1:18; 2:1-11).


Question # 2:

Why were the tax collectors on the N.T. used as examples of sinners? (ex. Lk. 19:10-14) Why were they unpopular with the people, & likened to sinners? (ex. Lk. 7:34)  What was it about them that brought them this stereotype?

1. Were notorious for extorting from the people, making themselves rich by oppressing others -Lk. 3:12-13

"The Roman Government did not collect its own taxes. Instead of doing so, it divided the empire into districts, and sold the privilege of collecting the taxes in these districts to certain capitalists and men of rank. The capitalists employed agents to do the actual collecting. These agents were usually natives of the districts in which they lived, and those in Palestine were called publicans. Their masters urged and encouraged them to make the most fraudulent and vexatious exactions. They systematically overcharged the people and often brought false accusation to obtain money by blackmail. These publicans were justly regarded by the Jews as apostates and traitors, and were classed with the lowest and most abandoned characters. The system was bad, but its practitioners were worse. The Greeks regarded the word "publican" as synonymous with "plunderer." Suidas pictures the life of a publican as "unrestrained plunder, unblushing greed, unreasonable pettifogging, shameless business." (McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel, 76)

2. So, the people regarded them with contempt - as the lowest of sinners - Lk. 7:34

3. This stereotype was not always accurate - Lk. 19:7-10

4. The Lord is able & anxious to save all who will come to Him in repentance (Lk. 15:1-7).