Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bible Study - James 5 Brotherhood Discussion

We discuss this BIble Study - James 5 Brotherhood.
Key Points:
  1. Use Wealth to Bless Others rather than to indulge in oneself only; Not to bully, cheating and be unfair to others. Use wealth to build treasure on in heaven rather than on earth.
    We spend much time on the teaching of Luke 16:8 Parable for the Dishonest Steward. The teaching are:

    1. Commendation is for the Wisdom and not the dishonesty.
    2. Sons of Light should be wise in the things of God. Jesus gave some principles in the following verses.
    3. Use wealth to make friends and for eternal life. i.e.. use wealth for expanding the Kingdom of God.
    4. Andrew will provide additional articles to shed more light on this parable.
  2. Be Mature first - Personal Conduct -

    1. Patient
    2. Steadfast in our hearts - trusting in God
    3. No grumbling against others.
    4. No swearing or over-committing. Under delivering and breaking promises incurred condemnations.
  3. Then Caring for Others

    1.   comfort the suffering
    2.   celebrate with the cheerful
    3.   pray and heal the sick
    4.   sharing problems with one another
    5.   pray for one another
    6.   bring back those that wandered away from the truth and fellowship.
Biblical Definition of Worldliness
note: common words used in speeches have at least two scope of meanings. One is the layman or loose definition of the word. The other is the higly technical definition of the word or term.  The lay and subject matter expert definitions for the same word could mean very differently. When we communicate, we need to be careful which version is used. In the discussion below, we must differentiate worldliness used in the loose sense to mean things that are in or related to the world and the Biblical technical definition of Worldliness.
The present definition is:(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000)
world·ly  adj. world·li·er, world·li·est
1. Of, relating to, or devoted to the temporal world.
2. Experienced in human affairs; sophisticated or worldly-wise:
worldli·ness n.
Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of American EnglishWORLDLINESS, n. [from world.] A predominant passion for obtaining the good things of this life; covetousness; addictedness to gain and temporal enjoyments.
Andrew cited temptations of Jesus as reference to worldliness - power, lust, wealth.
The definition of worldliness can be found in James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Jas 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? 
We can perhaps define worldliness as putting worldly things(e.g. money, pleasure, power etc) more important than God.
1John2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh (Lusts) and the desires of the eyes(Seeing & Wanting) and pride in possessions(Power+Money)--is not from the Father but is from the world.
In Gal 5:17-21 using Flesh as worldly desire vs Spirit, we can find a list of things that is similar to Jame 3:14-15. Gal 5:22-23 similar to the Wisdom from Above of James 3:17-18.

I think a short definition of worldliness if the value system or philosophy of teaching that values the things of the world is more important and desirable, more trust worthy than God or Biblical Teachings.

Worldliness is not countered by keeping distant from the world but by letting the mind/attitude of Christ - a heart in love with God - shape our attitudes and mindset. "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Romans 12:2).
Worldliness is trivialized when it is reduced to a laundry list of do's and don'ts. Worldliness is completely misunderstood when fear of it is used as a reason to separate from the world. True godliness is living out the loving heart of God in the midst of the world for the sake of the world at the expense of one's own welfare. It is to live like Jesus whose self-denial, self-giving, and humility demonstrated God's love for the world.

May it is easier to understand Worldliness by defining it as Ungodliness!

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