Faith alone without works is dead. When we’re saved there’s a change in us.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
We’re a new creature when we’re saved. If we think of a boat, one oar is faith and the other is our works. We would only go in circles with one oar, but both oars get us places. Faith with works gives results that people can see in our life.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
There are some things that God hates and we need to hate them too. The first thing listed is pride.
Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things doth the Lord hate…A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
When we get saved, we have pride and have to work on it. We need to be humble as a little child. Pride working is shown in:
- Unthankful: doesn’t see things as given in our life by God (Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God…)
- Murmuring or complaining: “do all things without murmurings” (Philippians 2:14). The enemy wants us to think we have a right to complain like the rest of the world, but we’re not like the world.
- Angry outbursts, road rage, moody, Anger doesn’t go away when we get saved. We have to learn to control it.
- Independent, unwilling to serve someone, unteachable, can’t be told what to do. Jesus did God’s will, not his (John 5:30).
- Wanting to be praised all the time
- Touchy, irritable, ultra sensitive, easily getting hurt feelings, hurt feelings when others don’t consider your opinion
- Resisting authority, being disrespectful
- Sharp, critical tongue or comments
- Hard to admit when we’re wrong
- Tends to be controlling: thinking others need to do things our way. People feel they never measure to your desires.
- Worrying about what others think about you
- Not spending time in Bible study and prayer which shows we think something we’re doing is more important
Daniel had responsibilities on his job. He had an excellent spirit and wanted to be like God. He wouldn’t have shown an excellent spirit if he wasn’t relying on God and praying. We need to be sure our attitudes and actions are Christ-like.
Daniel 6:1-4 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred…because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel…but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
The Pharisees were proud, exalted, trusted in themselves, and despised others. They had dead faith and no compassion.
Luke 18:9-14 And he spake…unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
When we pass from death to life, we show love to others. To have faith and works, we have compassion for our fellowman.
I John 3:14-18 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and…no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
The priest and Levite saw the man beaten by the roadside but didn’t stop to help, so they had dead faith. The Samaritan had plans but stopped to care for the man. We need to be willing to change our plans to help others, or our faith is dead.
Luke 10:12-17…A certain man went…to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded …half dead. And…there came down a certain priest…when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite…passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan…saw…had compassion on him, And went…and bound up his wounds…set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him…when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said…Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more…I will repay thee. Which …was neighbour unto him…? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus…Go, and do thou likewise.
Eli’s sons were wicked as priests in the temple. They were eating the meat sacrifices of the people, not offering them to God.
I Samuel 2:12-17 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord. And the priests’ custom…when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething…struck it into the pan…all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh…they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said…Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said…Let them not fail to burn the fat…then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great…for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
Eli knew the evil his sons were doing but he only talked to them and didn’t restrain them or correct the situation.
I Samuel 2:22-25 Now Eli was very old, and heard…his sons did…lay with the women that assembled at…the tabernacle …And he said…Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report …ye make the Lord’s people to transgress…Notwithstanding they hearkened not…because the Lord would slay them.
God sent a message to Eli that they were despising the offering of the Lord. God held Eli responsible for not restraining his sons. We can’t put our children above God by not restraining them from doing evil when they’re living in our house.
I Samuel 2:27-30 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said…unto the house of thy father…did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? And…give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering…and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings…Wherefore the Lord…saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
I Samuel 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
Samuel was serving in the temple and probably 8 or 9 years old, but didn’t know the Lord yet. Eli and his sons let the lamps go out at night which were to be burning forever (Leviticus 24:1-2). God spoke to Samuel when the lights went out and he came to ask what Eli wanted, to take instruction, even in the night. We need to have the same attitude of hearing and paying attention to God, not letting our minds wander to our problems or activities during church services.
I Samuel 3:1-15 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli…when Eli was laid down…his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord…Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord…And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call…Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. Therefore Eli said…Go, lie down…if he call thee…say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel…lay down in his place. And the Lord…called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. And the Lord said…Behold, I will do a thing …I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house…I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not…I have sworn…that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
Samuel didn’t let any of God’s words fall to the ground. We need to not let God’s words fall to the ground in not doing them.
I Samuel 3:16-19 Then Eli…said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. And he said, What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing…And he said…let him do what seemeth him good. And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
Hopni and Phineas took the ark to battle, thinking it would protect them. It didn’t protect them because they were evil.
I Samuel 4:10-11 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten…there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
Eli got selfish and proud, thinking he could let his sons keep doing evil. We have to stay humble and obey what God says.
I Samuel 4:13-18…Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man…told it, all the city cried out. And when Eli heard…said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult?…Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes…could not see. And the man said…I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? And the messenger…said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter… Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward…and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy…
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)