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Psalm 52 1 
1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God? 2 You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. 3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. 4 You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue! 5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. 6 The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying, 7 “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!” 8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. 9 For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.

swordBackground 2

David, no doubt, was in mental anguish when he said to Abiathar (1 Sa. 22:22),”That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family.” David blamed himself for causing the death of all the persons Abiathar’s father’s house. They all were put to death because of Doeg’s malicious information that was passed on by David. To give himself some relief to his grief, he penned this psalm. David:

  1.  Sets responsibility back to Doeg for what he had done (v. 1).
  2. Accuses him and convicts Doeg his crimes (v. 2-4).
  3. Passes sentence upon him (v. 5).
  4. Foretells the triumphs of the righteous in (v. 6, 7).
  5. Comforts himself in the mercy of God and the assurance he had that he should still praise him (v. 8, 9).

In singing this psalm we should detest the sin of lying, foresee the ruin of those that persist in it, and reassure ourselves with the assurance of the preservation of God’s church and people, in spite of all the malicious designs of the children of Satan, that is the father of lies.

Entitled: To the chief musician, Maschil. A psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

Verse 1: The answer to the question may seem strange. But it is not! The strong, evil man will not always be with us. But the kind love of God will be! In other words, Satan will not be triumphant and victorious.

Verse 2: Our tongue is the part of our mouth that we eat and speak with. David says that Doeg’s tongue is like a sharp knife. The Hebrew word means “razor”. A razor is the sharp knife that men shave (or cut off) their beards with! Doeg’s words cut and hurt people’s feelings.

Verses 3 – 4: Here are some of the bad things that Doeg does.

Verse 5: But God will punish Doeg. He will also punish (or hurt) everybody else that is cruel. “Pull out” is what you do to plants: you pull them out of the ground, or you uproot them. Plants cannot live if their roots are not in the ground. Doeg cannot live either!

Verse 6: “Good people” is “the righteous” in Hebrew. Look after Psalm 5 (in Psalms 1-41) to see what righteous means. When God does something it often makes us feel afraid. But then we begin to understand what he has done, then we are happy!
Verse 7: A fortress is a place where your enemies cannot catch you. Look at Psalm 18:2 of Psalms 1-41. People are wrong if they think that God will not catch them because they think they:

  • are very strong and powerful
  • have a lot of money.

Doeg was powerful and had a lot of money. But God punished him anyway.

Verses 8 – 9: There are two important groups of words here:

  • kind love (hesed in Hebrew)
  • your people (hasidim in Hebrew).

Items for Discussion

  • Do you think our society condones lying? Why or why not?
  • What happens when there is no consequence to the act of lying or being untruthful?
  • How does God feel about lying?
  • What is the correct response from society, from individuals to untruths?
  • God discounts both power and wealth – why is that bad news for some and good news for others?
  • David passed on a “lie” – What is his response to when he finds out what he did?

 

Colossians 1:1-11
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,

Background

Paul wrote this letter when he was in prison (Colossians 4:3). He was probably in Rome (Acts 28:16, 30-31). If he was, he wrote it about 60 years after Jesus’ birth. Paul was writing to the Christians who lived in the city called Colossae. It was 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of the city called Ephesus, in the valley of the river Lycus. Today this area is part of Turkey. The main roads for trade went past Colossae. It was a large and wealthy city for many centuries. But Laodicea (16 kilometers or 10 miles away) and Hierapolis (21 kilometers or 16 miles away) grew to be larger and more important cities. When Paul wrote this letter, Colossae had become a small town. It was no longer very important.

Epaphras was a man who lived in Colossae (1:7; 4:12-13). There he preached the good news about Jesus. The people who became Christians formed the church at Colossae. Most of them were Gentiles. Epaphras visited Paul in prison and told Paul about the young church that was at Colossae. The Christians who lived there had begun to listen to false teachers. Paul was worried that the Christians would turn away from the true gospel. Even today many false teachers do not seem to deny the gospel message. Instead, they slightly change it. Often they teach extra things or add rules to the gospel. Paul wrote to the Christians at Colossae to remind them about Jesus Christ and about his true message. Paul emphasized that Christ is superior. Paul wrote more about Christ in this letter than in any other of his letters. He reminded the Christians that their past life had gone. Christ was now their life. Christ had made them free from rules and evil powers.

Biblical Truths and Theology 4

Message of chapter one is as follows:

  • The inscription, as usual (v. 1, v. 2).
  • His thanksgiving to God for what he had heard concerning them—their faith, love, and hope (v. 3-8).
  • His prayer for their knowledge, fruitfulness, and strength (v. 9-11).
  • An admirable summary of the Christian doctrine concerning the operation of the Spirit, the person of the Redeemer, the work of redemption, and the preaching of it in the gospel (v. 12-29).
Let’s look at Paul’s summary:

Verse 9 Paul had not met the Christians who lived at Colossae. But he greatly cared about them. This was part of his work as an apostle. In verses 3-8, Paul thanked God for what God had already done for those Christians. In verses 9-14, Paul asked God to do particular things for them in the future. This is a wonderful prayer. All church leaders can pray like this for the Christians that they lead.

The false teachers believed that they had special knowledge and wisdom. They taught people how to understand this secret wisdom. But the false teachers did not believe and trust the true God. The Christians had started to believe these teachers. Paul did not try to correct the false teachers. Instead, he reminded the Christians about God’s truth. Paul did this in several places in this letter. Paul prayed that the Christians would learn more and more about God. The Greek words mean ‘be full of knowledge’. But people cannot discover this knowledge by themselves. The Holy Spirit will teach them (Ephesians 1:17). God wants people to know him more and more. He wants people to know about his wonderful purpose in Jesus. And God wants everybody to hear the good news. He can forgive sins. A person who knows God learns wisdom from the Holy Spirit. James 3:13-18 describes wisdom that comes from God. And those verses compare it with wisdom that does not come from God.

Verse 10 Christians learn wisdom from the Holy Spirit. Then they learn to behave in the right way. They know what God wants them to do. People who really know Christ start to behave like Christ. In verse 6, Paul said, ‘the gospel is spreading. And it produces fruit’. He repeated that idea in this verse. Paul described the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. So, ‘fruit’ refers to the good way in which Christians live. And ‘spreading’ means that more and more people are learning to know God. And they are learning what God has done by Jesus. When people become Christians, they start to know God. They learn what pleases him. Then they do what pleases him. As they do this, they will know God even more. In John 14:15, Jesus said that if people love him, they will obey him. This is how Christians become mature. And it is how they live holy lives.

Verse 11 A Christian cannot please God unless God helps him. God gives Christians the power to live the right way (Philippians 4:13). Only God has this power. For example, he made everything that is in the world and in the sky (Genesis 1:1-2:3). Jesus died on the cross. But God’s power made Jesus alive again (Ephesians 1:19-21). God gives his power to Christians, to you and me. Then we can trust Jesus more each day. Christians may have troubles in their lives. Sometimes they suffer because they are Christians (1 Peter 4:12-16). People may insult them. But God wants Christians to be patient and kind. And he wants Christians to continue to trust Christ. When they have troubles in their lives, God’s power will help them. Paul knew God’s power because he had received it (1:29). When God’s people have his power, they will also be happy in their spirit.

Items for Discussion

  • What are some of the types of false messages that migrate into the Christian religion that you have become personally aware of?
  • What are some of the risks of deciding what messages are false and what messages are truthful?
  • Where do you personally see evidence of God’s power in your life?
  • What is the danger of believing that there not be any struggles in life if you are a Christian?
  • Think about two people you know, both seriously ill. One is a Christian and the other believes in God but not necessarily Christ. What is the difference in how they are living?
  • What is our role as Christians when we hear doctrine that is false? What should we do?

Discussion Challenge

  • What should the response be from Christians to people who habitually do not tell the truth?
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