September 7, 2003
Our community seems to be in turmoil over a moral
issue, Sunday Alcohol Sales. Both sides are using the
Bible to support their position. However, in the
presentations at three public meetings, we seem to
be anything but partners in the proclamation of the
(Historical note - the City Council voted 6-6 with the mayor,
to his credit, voting no, to Sunday Alcohol Sales in Hopkinsville, thus breaking the tie - unfortunately, a year later it was brought back up and passed)
Getting the cart before the horse, I would point you
first to vs. 12-18 of our text, which seems to describe
the scenario that is being played out locally before us.
I think it was Thomas Paine who said,“Men often
see the same subjects through different lights”
After the second public hearing on the issue, our
Pastor said that he sensed an evil spirit at the
meeting and was disturbed by it.
I understood what he was talking about, but myself,
of all people, having such potential to think negatively,
saw it in a different light. To me it was more like a
revival. It is true that Satan, in his deceiving and
consistent way, was there, using his spokesmen to
promote his agenda and propaganda.
I greatly rejoiced to see God’s people resisting the devil
and taking a stand for God, borrowing an excerpt from
the Declaration of Independence, “to a candid world”.
v. 9 - read - “judgment” - discernment, perception -
to know - Eph. 3:16-19
The delicate tact & instinct, which under the Spirit,
intuitively perceives what is right, & almost
unconsciously shrinks from what is wrong. (There
is no right way to do the wrong thing).
This attitude cannot exist without love. “Every one
that loveth is born of God, & knoweth God” - I John 4:7b
Mr. Spurgeon says “He who does not keep God’s
love in memory is not likely to remember His Law”
With love there comes a spiritual sense, a spiritual
sight, a spiritual hearing, & a sense of beauty &
holiness! Hard hurdles for those who will sacrifice
principle for temporary gain!
Let me remind you once again of Luke 16:10-11
Positive - Eph. 1:18
Negative - Eph. 4:18-19
v. 10 - read -
“that ye may approve things that are excellent” -
There have been some major things happen in the
courts and congresses of the land in the last
forty years that have been unconstitutional.
THEY HAVE NOT PROMOTED THE GENERAL
WELFARE - the preamble to the U.S. Constitution
speaks of “promoting the general welfare”.
Certainly, this is one of those issues, though not of
the influence of:
1962 Murray v. Curlett - Bible Reading
1962 Engel v. Vitale - nondenominational prayer
1963 Arlington School District v. Schempp - Bible Reading
1973 Roe v. Wade - abortion on demand - killing of babes
1980 Stone v. Graham - Ky law - Ten Commandments
1990’s Local Board voluntarily dropping of Baccalaureate
2003 Lawrence v. Texas - legalization of sodomy
ch. 4:8 Gal. 5:14-17 James 3:16 Rom. 7:14-25
Alcohol breaks down inhibitions (the brakes of the
human anatomy and personality).
It is a work of the flesh - Gal. 5:19-21,22-23
I Cor. 6:9-11
Matt. 10:16 - “be ye therefore wise as serpents,
and harmless as doves.”
The prudence of the serpent is specially apparent
in the quickness of its perception of danger and
the rapidity with which it escapes. (copperhead story)
The dove analogy is associated with simpleness
(unmixed and unadulterated) and emphasizes the idea of
simplicity of character.
“sincere” - pure, true, moral & ethical purity!
“without offense” - not stumbling or causing others
to stumble. Blameless.
Remember James 3:2 - (scandal)
offense - skandalon
The word is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way - sometimes the hindrance is in itself good and those stumbled by it are wicked. Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words - p. 801
“till the day of Christ”
v. 11 - Paul prays that their love may abound, not
only in knowledge (lesson from James 3:14-16
and notes) and discernment, but also
in the fruit of holy living!
“Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, have
oftimes no connection” - William Cowper
(See James 3:14-16 notes pp. 5-8) - the following in brown are those notes.
vs. 14-16 - The wisdom below contrasted in
vs. 17-18 with the wisdom from Above.
Wisdom below is called “earthly (originates in the
world), sensual (in the flesh) and devilish (from Satan),
three adjectives correspond to our three great
It is called "earthly" - epigeios - natural or animal - opposite of
"spiritual" - pneumatikos, the spiritual.
"sensual" - psuchikos, or natural - the lower part of
the immaterial in man:
"devilish" - daimoniodes - possessed of a demon or under
the control of a demon
Sensual, standing between earthly & devilish - in
ABSOLUTE need of grace!
It tends to make man half beast, half devil.
I Cor. 2:14 Jude 18-19
Ruled by passions and appetites. Characterized
by personal victory rather than rejoicing in the
triumph of TRUTH.
It tends to “confusion & every vile deed” - v. 16
Eccl. 3:21 - “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth
upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth
downward to the earth?”
“Brute Beasts - II Peter 2:12 - ruled entirely by
lower nature and without the utilization of God’s grace!
Romans 1:32 Philippians 3:17-19
Scripture has nothing but condemnation for the man who
is ruled by the "psyche" - understanding this word helps
us understand where Freud and psychology has gotten
“The natural man receiveth not he things of the Spirit of God”
Mere good nature will never save a man. It is not enough to
be “well disposed”. Esau was all this. He stands in Scripture
as an example of the natural man, ruled only by the ,
good-natured, generous, brave & kindly, but “having not the
Spirit”; NO GRACE, therefore his character in the Bible is
stamped as that of a “profane person”. Heb. 12:16
vs. 17-18 -The Wisdom from Above.
It is pure first, purity first, peace second - an inverted order
of secular America and the anti-godly rest of the world who
wants sin, prosperity and then peace. WHAT A CLASH!
This wisdom originates from ABOVE - Our Gracious Heavenly
Father, the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variableness
neither shadow of turning.
It does not come from self-culture, nor from pop culture but
it is SUPERNATURAL & GRACIOUS.
It is “Gentle & easy to be entreated” - it is forebearing under
provocation - I Tim. 3:3
It is patient - ready to forgive - “without partiality”, hard to
provoke - easily pacified.
It is spurred by love - I Cor. 13:4-7
Spiritual farmers who scatter seed in hope and righteousness
is the blessed harvest for their toil.
Psalm 85:10 There has to be righteousness before peace.
America once was ruled by the peace from above,
Americans were truly wise because they thought more
about their duties than their rights. Unselfish if you please!
The ACLU is a selfish, earthly, sensual organization.
America is characterized now by “in your face selfishness”,
ME, MYSELF AND I.
Cowper said “Knowledge & wisdom, far from being one,
Have oftimes no connection.
Knowledge is proud that she has learned so much.
Wisdom is humble that she has learned so little. Anonymous
The wise man makes the will of God its rule & God’s glory
his end - a la the Puritans.
The man who lives without God is the impersonation of stupidity,
“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God”, Satan is the
supreme fool of the universe and his cronies want to be like
Unbridled tongue/unbridled nature.
Unchecked speech/unchecked wickedness.
Authority to read Isaiah 2:10-11
v. 6 - Romans 4:20-25 I Thess. 5:14-24