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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
18 Let [katabrabeuo] no man [medeis] beguile [katabrabeuo] you [humas] of your reward [katabrabeuo] in [en] a voluntary [thelo] humility [tapeinophrosune] and [kai] worshipping [threskeia] of angels, [aggelos] intruding into [embateuo] those things which [hos] he hath [horao] not [me] seen, [horao] vainly [eike] puffed up [phusioo] by [hupo] his [autos] fleshly [sarx] mind, [nous]KJV-Interlinear
18 Let no one keep defrauding you
of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels,
taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly
At first glance you
might think that this verse is concerned with someone out there, deceiving you
or turning you away from doctrine, which of course it does, however, the word
for prize, katabrabeuo, is a word used for a prize
In those ancient times,
competitions were conducted on a regular basis.And the competitions were well known to everyone.
Likewise, the winner
was awarded a prize for finishing first in his event.And having won, there was a judge of the
event, often times called the brabeus, or one who
handed out the award already won.
What does this tell
us?Well, not everyone who Paul is
addressing has advanced to spiritual maturity.However, the prize for spiritual maturity is contingent on advancing to
spiritual maturity.So, if we are at
risk of losing a prize, then it must have already been awarded.
And if it is possible
to lose a prize, then it is because of our failure to advance to maturity.Therefore, your loss is your fault.
God has already made
provision for each and every person.You
might want to review the Parables to reacquaint yourself with some of these
To the victor goes the
spoils, and to the loser, nothing.And
in fact to the winner, goes all of the potential
winnings of the loser, as well.So to the
winner, the one who advances to spiritual maturity in all that it represents, goes a phenomenal prize.
Unbelievers lose their
prize, obviously.Immature believers
lose much or all of their prize, depending on the
degree, or lack of it, of their spiritual growth.He receives his own prize, but also a share
in all of the lost prizes that everyone else has lost.
We continue the description
of the vastness of your potential reward in heaven, which sooner or later
should boggle your mind, and then perhaps you will actually get serious about
your spiritual life.
Some folks will be hot
for doctrine from their emotions, but that soon wears off.Some folks have to be impressed, or have to
analyze every little detail of doctrine.They have to have doctrine proved to them, as though they are some kind
of prize themselves, that God must want.
Some folks will simply
slip off the band wagon and lose interest.After all if Bible study does not result in some form of immediate
blessing, then what good is it?
You can only be
beguiled, charmed away, lured, enticed, fascinated
away into the world, if you are not focused on Bible doctrine.
And those doing the
beguiling, are those who possess an extreme and serious view of life, even to
the point of demonstrating phenomenal objectivity, even to the point of demonstrating
the tenacity of learning that the angels demonstrate.This is not a reference to angel worship, but
to imitating angels.The angels look
deeply into the things of this world in order to learn, 1 Pet. 1:12.
But as far a these
deceptions go, they originate from the carnal mind, from the sin nature, and
therefore take facts and draw wrong conclusions.Evolution, is a good
example of this type of misdirection of truth.Evolution has become an almost universal truth for society, while
creationism has become the object of jokes.
Almost every social
issue is a potential trap for luring you away from truth.
The politics, philosophies
and theories of the world, all elbow their way to
center stage, pushing truth aside.Why?Because the
object of evil is to distract you.And the more sincerity and integrity that evil can portray, then the
more likely that people will adopt its views.
without as daily dose of Bible study, then you will become a natural prey,
subscriber, and member of those views.
Your only defense and
guard against any distraction, is your spiritual life.
In eternity past, God
established for you, a prize for eternity.Your prize is contingent on your believing in Christ, on your advancement
to spiritual maturity, on your maximizing your spiritual production through
living within the spiritual environment which God has designed.
In a competition, the
trophy is held up for all to see.It is
theirs for the taking, but they have to enter the race, and run it, and finish
it, before they can receive the prize.
In life, too many do
not bother to enter the race.Too many drop out of the race when they do enter it.
Too many listen to the rhetoric
of the world, listen to the propaganda of their disabilities, listen to the enticements
of immediate gratification offered, and adopt the excuses and indifferences and
prejudices of the world.
Majorities become indignant
and that is their arrogance.Minorities
become convinced that they lack opportunity, and that is their arrogance.All use their own excuses or attitudes as
justification for their approach to life.
And to what end?They gain or pursue some form of worldly prize
which is nothing but a shadow, holding on to nothing but emptiness in effect,
and losing a vast fortune, a galactic fortune, but never realizing it until it
is really too late.
Professors can be
convincing.Politicians can be
convincing.Priests can be
convincing.Celebrities can be
convincing.Racists can be
convincing.Anyone who advances some sin
nature component of your life, something that entices you, can convince you
easily, because if you lack doctrine, then you have no defense against their
trap.And you walk right in, with your
eyes wide open.
And then, you lose.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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