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Learning from challenges in the first century: Heathen Idolatry<br />Laindon Bible Study<br />9th December 2009<br />“Ye k...
Our study this evening<br />
The First Century<br />Section 1<br />
Two major 1stcentury threats<br />
First century idolatry<br />At the heart of Greek and Roman civilisation<br />
The 7 wonders<br />Statue of Zeus at Olympus<br />Colossus of Rhodes<br />Paul’s Third Missionary Journey<br />Temple of A...
Mount Olympus (formed backdrop to Thessalonica) reputed to be place where Greek god’s descended to earth. Still considered...
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)<br />CHAPTER XXVIII ( 378-420 A.D.)<br />The destruction of the P...
Transitional arrangements<br />The Jerusalem Council (~50 AD)<br />Acts chapter 15 verses 19-20<br />19 Wherefore my sente...
First Epistle to the Corinthians<br />Written ~55/56 AD<br />Chapter 8 verse 4<br />“As concerning therefore the eating of...
An oft repeated command<br />2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 16<br />16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols...
The Twenty First Century<br />Section 2<br />
Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine wo...
Idolatry very much alive (2)<br />The threat of idolatry in our lives...<br />Colossians chapter 3 verses 5-7<br />5 Morti...
Why this strong connection?<br />The maker and the things that he has made<br />Romans chapter 1 verses 20-23, 25<br />20 ...
The canker in our society<br />Celebrities idolised<br />Celebrity status considered the ultimate achievement...<br />Grea...
Are we beguiled by idols?<br />No less excusable than this OT example:<br />Isaiah chapter 44 verses 13-15 (also see Isaia...
Conclusions<br />A backdrop to the times<br />Alive in Christianity<br />The danger of compromise<br />Covetousness is ido...
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Learning From Challenges Heathen Idolatry (Slides)

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Learning From Challenges Heathen Idolatry (Slides)

  1. 1. Learning from challenges in the first century: Heathen Idolatry<br />Laindon Bible Study<br />9th December 2009<br />“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” <br />(1 Corinthians 12 v 2)<br />
  2. 2. Our study this evening<br />
  3. 3. The First Century<br />Section 1<br />
  4. 4. Two major 1stcentury threats<br />
  5. 5. First century idolatry<br />At the heart of Greek and Roman civilisation<br />
  6. 6. The 7 wonders<br />Statue of Zeus at Olympus<br />Colossus of Rhodes<br />Paul’s Third Missionary Journey<br />Temple of Artemis at Ephesus<br />
  7. 7. Mount Olympus (formed backdrop to Thessalonica) reputed to be place where Greek god’s descended to earth. Still considered in 1st Century to be the home of Mars and Jupiter<br />The conversion of the Gentiles<br />1 Thessalonians chapter 1 verses 1 to 10<br />1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.<br />
  8. 8. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)<br />CHAPTER XXVIII ( 378-420 A.D.)<br />The destruction of the Pagan religion, A.D. 378-395<br />IV. Introduction of Pagan ceremonies<br />“The most respectable bishops had persuaded themselves that the ignorant rustics would more cheerfully renounce the superstitions of Paganism, if they found some resemblance, some compensation, in the bosom of Christianity. The religion of Constantine achieved, in less than a century, the final conquest of the Roman empire: but the victors themselves were insensibly subdued by the arts of their vanquished rivals.” [emphasis added]<br />The danger of compromise<br />
  9. 9. Transitional arrangements<br />The Jerusalem Council (~50 AD)<br />Acts chapter 15 verses 19-20<br />19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:<br />20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.<br />Acts chapter 15 verses 28-29<br />28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;<br />29That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.<br />
  10. 10. First Epistle to the Corinthians<br />Written ~55/56 AD<br />Chapter 8 verse 4<br />“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”<br />Leviticus chapter 19 verse 4<br />“Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.”<br />Leviticus chapter 26 verse 1<br />“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.”<br />Heb.eliyl “good for nothing, by anal. vain or vanity; specifically an idol:” (Strong’s Lexicon)<br />KJV - idol, no value, thing of nought.<br />
  11. 11. An oft repeated command<br />2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 16<br />16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.<br />1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 14<br />14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.<br />1 John chapter 5 verse 21<br />21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.<br />Galatians chapter 5 verses 19-20<br />19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,<br />20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,<br />1 Peter chapter 4 verse 3<br />3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:<br />
  12. 12. The Twenty First Century<br />Section 2<br />
  13. 13. Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God... The specific note of idolatry is its direct opposition to the primary object of Divine worship; it bestows on a creature the reverence due to God alone... An essential difference exists between idolatry and the veneration of images practised in the Catholic Church, viz., that while the idolater credits the image he reverences with Divinity or Divine powers, the Catholic knows &quot;that in images there is no divinity or virtue on account of which they are to be worshipped, that no petitions can be addressed to them, and that no trust is to be placed in them. . . that the honour which is given to them is referred to the objects (prototypa) which they represent, so that through the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads and kneel, we adore Christ and venerate the Saints whose likenesses they are&quot; (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXV, &quot;de invocatione Sanctorum&quot;). <br />Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God... The specific note of idolatry is its direct opposition to the primary object of Divine worship; it bestows on a creature the reverence due to God alone... An essential difference exists between idolatry and the veneration of images practised in the Catholic Church, viz., that while the idolater credits the image he reverences with Divinity or Divine powers, the Catholic knows &quot;that in images there is no divinity or virtue on account of which they are to be worshipped, that no petitions can be addressed to them, and that no trust is to be placed in them. . . that the honour which is given to them is referred to the objects (prototypa) which they represent, so that through the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads and kneel, we adore Christ and venerate the Saints whose likenesses they are&quot; (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXV, &quot;de invocatione Sanctorum&quot;). <br />Idolatry very much alive (1)<br />Mainstream Christianity<br />Roman Catholicism makes its flawed defence:<br />
  14. 14. Idolatry very much alive (2)<br />The threat of idolatry in our lives...<br />Colossians chapter 3 verses 5-7<br />5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:<br />6 For which things&apos; sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:<br />7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.<br />Ephesians chapter 5 verses 5-7<br />5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.<br />6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.<br />7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.<br />
  15. 15. Why this strong connection?<br />The maker and the things that he has made<br />Romans chapter 1 verses 20-23, 25<br />20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:<br />21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.<br />22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,<br />23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.<br />25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.<br />Romans chapter 1 verse 25 <br />(NT in Modern Speech, Weymouth)<br />25 For they had bartered the reality of God for what is unreal, and had offered divine honours and religious service to created things, rather than to the Creator--He who is for ever blessed. Amen.<br />Romans chapter 1 verse 25 <br />(New English Translation)<br />25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation [tn. Or “creature, created things”] rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. <br />“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6 v 24)<br />
  16. 16. The canker in our society<br />Celebrities idolised<br />Celebrity status considered the ultimate achievement...<br />Great leaders adored<br />Religious, political, business...<br />Material possessions worshipped<br />Houses, cars, clothes...<br />Human achievements venerated <br />Man landing on the moon...<br />There is no room for us to be at all complacent<br />
  17. 17. Are we beguiled by idols?<br />No less excusable than this OT example:<br />Isaiah chapter 44 verses 13-15 (also see Isaiah chapter 46)<br />13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.<br />14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.<br />15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.<br />
  18. 18. Conclusions<br />A backdrop to the times<br />Alive in Christianity<br />The danger of compromise<br />Covetousness is idolatry<br />Transitional arrangements<br />A canker in society<br />Repeated commands<br />A sober warning to us<br />

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