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Lesson # Matt. 5:33-37
Study Material - Matt. 5:33-37
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.
33 'Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.' 34 'But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 'Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 'But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil.
The third commandment is in view here - taking the Lords name in vain, false swearing. There are only two opinions in existence. Gods opinion, which we have in Bible doctrine, and mans opinion, which is conjured up in mans own imagination. Now sometimes this view of man is accurate when it correctly interprets the knowledge of the universe. However, when mans views interpret incorrectly the knowledge of this universe, then mans opinion in that respect is invalid.
Jesus begins with a reminder, just as he began verses 21, 27, and 31, 'you have heard', 'it has been said'. These are references to the knowledge that these peoples have had available to them in the scriptures for centuries. Nothing new was being presented here.
The scriptures have explained salvation, of spiritual growth, of the need to control ones own attitude, of how to deal with other people and so forth. Here is but another example of man making or boasting about what he can or might do. Swearing, boasting, or even presuming ones own ability to succeed. These are things that man has no right to, has no control over, and cannot even presume to have any control over.
By heaven, by earth, by Jerusalem, by ones own mind. These are the sum total of all that exists. Heaven is Gods domain, the origin of His opinion. The earth is creation, over which God has dominion and sovereignty. Jerusalem is the city of peace, the source and substance of spiritual maturity (attaining the peace of God) through Bible doctrine. And then mans head, the origin of mans independent thought and interpretations of life.
Man has no control over heaven obviously. None of us living here have ever seen it, nor do we even know how to get there. We know that it is not a part of creation, therefore it is outside of this universe. But we do not even know the boundaries of our universe. Many think that our universe is about 12 or 14 billion light years in diameter, but just a few years ago we thought it was much smaller. As we invent better space telescopes we will probably discover even further distances in the universe. Some think that the universe is expanding, but if so, then into what is it expanding and how big is that?
As we are able to see smaller and smaller things, we discover smaller and smaller components of the universe. We know that angels exist, but we cannot see them nor detect them. We know that human life is in the soul but we cannot detect or even see that life, other than measuring EEG or EKG activity, but we cannot see the soul, we cannot see the human spirit, we cannot determine who has a soul and spirit and who does not. We cannot make ourselves grow a different color hair, or different color skin despite the advances in genetic research of recent years.
So where does our boasting come from? Where do our oaths come from? These are false vows. How can we guarantee results in anything. We might use Gods name in vain, which only displays our lack of vocabulary, and our ignorance and arrogance in life. Vulgar language, or proud statements are both evil manifestations - nothing less.
I will finish this job. I will get the contracts. I will keep my promise. I will get even with them. I will do what I want to do. I refuse to accept that decision.
When Bible doctrine is absent in these attitudes then they are evil thoughts. They are from the source of arrogance and presume that you have some semblance of control over all the necessary ingredients required to accomplish them. But you do not know whether you will live even one more minute. If your heart suddenly stopped, how would you restart it? If God decided that your life was now over, then no emergency call, no electrical inducement, nothing would get your ticker going again.
Obviously many things in life seem to give you control. It is not likely that you will die in the next minute, so you have the opportunity of making many presumptions in life. Yes, I'll have eggs for breakfast tomorrow. Yes I will pursue that new client, etc. But there is yet another aspect to this false confidence in life, and that is making your yes's and no's mean what you say they do. Too often people hedge their statements (politicians, lawyers). People say things that are ambiguous, or they play with words and twist their meanings so that they are not committed to doing something that they agreed to do. This is a cute way of breaking a verbal contract or some verbal understanding. This is an inherent defect in ones integrity or honesty.
So the short of it is, be honest. Do not presume something that you have no control over. The mere fact that some people ignore God in their life means that they think they have better control over their own life and need no further assistance. Of course when they do get into trouble, then 'O God help!', is the first thing that comes out of their mouth.
Of course in all that you do, do in doctrine. With every underlying presumption is Gods Word. You do not have to impress the boss with statements of, 'We'll get that account', nor do you have to snow the boss with statements like, 'God willing we'll get that account.'
Rather you take the attitude of getting yourself organized, you research, you come up with a plan and alternate plans, then you forge ahead toward attaining your predefined goals. You think things through, you make yourself ready to make changes if things do not go the way you expect and you forge ahead. If it is Gods will, then you will succeed or have some measure of success. If it is not His will, then you probably have overlooked something, or closed your eyes to some aspect of your objective. Example - you wish to be successful in your own home business. Do you have a product or service? Does anyone want it? Do you have the personality to sell or do it? Do you have the resources to advertise it? Do you need a primary source of income (your day job) in order to stay alive while you pursue this new venture? Who would want your product or service? Who are your competitors? How do they operate? How does the industry operate? Do you have a thorough knowledge of the industry (background experience, understanding, education, natural talent, etc.) in order to even proceed in the venture? Now 99% of these businesses fail, because people have unrealistic expectations, they over simplify their task, they do not do their home work, they expect things to be easier than they really are. They try to place themselves in a mold that they simply do not fit into. They over estimate their own abilities.
This is all a misinterpretation of reality with respect to ones own life. But as you advance in Bible study and therefore in your spiritual life, then God makes it very clear to you just where your strengths and abilities are, and by default you will follow your own natural talents and gifts that God has given you.
By ignoring your Bible study, and therefore your spiritual growth, then you may not have a clear understanding of your natural gifts, so you look elsewhere for your life time genie, and generally never find it. You make your own inner oaths, even promises of better things in your life, but you will fail because God is not in your life. Just as you cannot change the fundamental laws of this universe, so you cannot control all aspects of your life. Without God you are left with only a false sense of confidence based on your limited knowledge of life. The promises to yourself, you cannot fulfill. But the obligations to God you can fulfill if you just remain positive toward Him. In this case God is really doing all of the work. You just sit back and learn and grow up spiritually, and receive His blessing as it simply unfolds before your life.
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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