Joy

Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit, as set out in Galatians 5:22, but what is joy in the biblical context?

My dictionary defines joy as, ‘the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.’

As we search the Bible for the use of the word we find there are enumerable occasions, both in the Old and the New Testaments where joy is experienced by God’s people. Invariably they are joyous because of something that has happened or because of something they believe will happen. In either case, they are pleased and happy. They may even be elated and want to express their delight by singing.

Such a response is found in Isaiah 35:10: ‘And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’

Paul in Romans 14:7 tells of the joy that is found in the kingdom of God: ‘for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’  Note that the kingdom of God is a present experience of those in the kingdom.

Matthew 2:10 provides us with an example of joy on account of something wonderful happening: ‘When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.’

The wise men from the East were seeking the Child who had been born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2), and they were being directed to Him by a star (v 9). The Scriptures (v 6; Micah 5:2) affirmed Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, and there they found Him, worshipped Him and gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1-12)

In an entirely different context, who would have thought affliction would bring joy to the afflicted? But James in his letter to the persecuted Christians of the Dispersion (1:1) wrote, ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:2, 3).’  And in verse 4 he assured them they would lack nothing.

Likewise, the Thessalonians experienced joy of the Holy Spirit in their afflictions: ‘And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe (1 Thessalonians 1:6).’

Habakkuk made a positive statement of intent when he proclaimed:‘Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:18).’ His ‘Hymn of Faith’ (3:17-19) pictures a bleak situation when crops fail and animals die, but regardless of any hardships to come, he professes faith in the God of his salvation, and he knows he will be blessed with joy because the Lord God is his strength (v 19).

Finally, I’ll leave you with a few passages which express joy,

‘You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

‘For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12).’

‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her (Isaiah 65:19).’

‘Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people (Luke 2:10).”’

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).”

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Love

Galatians 5:22 lists ‘love’ as the first fruit of the Spirit; there being nine in all: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [See previous article about the fruit of the Spirit: https://thebiblicalway.blog/2018/02/12/fruit-of-the-spirit/ ]

1 John 4:8 proclaims that ‘God is love’, and If God is love, then love is preeminent in the life of a Christian. John, whom Jesus loved (John 13:23; 19:26), tells us that God loves us and sent His son to ‘be the propitiation for our sins’ (1 John 4:10), and because of this ‘we also ought to love one another’ (v 11). So we love God (Luke 10:27) and we love one another (John 13:34-35).

If we can gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of love we shall have a better understanding of God, and we shall know how to love Him more and our neighbours better. It’s an all-win prospect.

The Bible has a lot to say about love, and it gives us a description in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. Virtually the whole chapter is devoted to what Paul the Apostle calls a ‘gift’ – the gift of love.

Paul’s desire was for the Corinthian church to be united in the Spirit as one body with its members using their Spirit-given gifts which he mentions in Chapter 12, verses 4 to 11. Here they are: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healings, the working of miracles, prophesy, discerning of spirits, tongues and the interpretation of tongues.

In addition to these gifts, the one gift they should desire more than any is ‘love’ (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

The Greek word for love in this context is agápē. It is not to be confused with philia, which is the kind of love one has for a friend or a brother – a love of tender affection.

Agápē love is the sort of love God has for His Son (John 3:35; 17:24) and for us (John 3:16) and for those who hate Him (Luke 6:27) Matthew 5:44). It’s an outgoing, unconditional love which is given with no strings attached, and it is for all and sundry, regardless of any merit or quality on their part.

Here’s what Paul says about it:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).’

This agápē love flows from God (1 John 4:8), and by the aid of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18) it flows from those who love God (Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31; Luke 10:27).

Paul concludes Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians by saying, ‘And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (v 13).

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Fruit of the Spirit

Paul the Apostle undoubtedly is the most well-known apologist of the Scriptures. In fact he was responsible for writing nine letters to the early churches and four to individual Christians, all persevered in the New Testament. They contain vital information on the nature of salvation through Jesus Christ, and how Christians should live in view of their salvation.

One Pauline theme that repeats itself is the contrast between those who are in Christ and those who are in the flesh. That contrast is evident because of differences in conduct between the two groups. A good example can be found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 6. In verses 9 and 10 he writes, ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.’ Then, in the next verse he observes, ‘And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.’

The conduct of those in the flesh is clearly spelled out. Then Paul goes on to explain in the next ten chapters changes that must take place in the lives of those who are sanctified and justified in Jesus by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11).

We find an almost identical theme in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Toward the end of Chapter 5 he comes up with this: ‘Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practise such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (vs 19-21)

Then by contrast, he lists what he defines as fruit of the Spirit which characterise those who are led by the Spirit (v 18). But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (v 22).

They ‘have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (v 24)’

I’ll pause here to make a note of caution, because to reap this fruit a huge transformation must first take place in the mind of the believer (Romans 12:1, 2).

The fruit is not a spontaneous gift of the Spirit after conversion. Like any good fruit, it takes time to grow and mature before it can be tasted and enjoyed. A new-born Christian has to work at producing fruit of the Spirit. He has to renew the ways in which he thinks and behaves; he has to put off the old and put on the new (Romans 12:1, 2).

As he walks in the Spirit, worldly thoughts and actions must no longer be part of him; for, ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25).

In keeping with this, ’……. put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24)’.

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The Westminster Confession of Faith

See for yourself – Is the Westminster Confession of Faith wholly in accord with the Bible?

The version of the Confession being referred to for this article can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.pcaac.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WCFScriptureProofs.pdf

I’ve set out below a few instances where the supporting texts do not substantiate what is confessed. They are taken from Chapter 7 ‘Of God’s Covenant with Man’.  I could have chosen Chapter 19 ‘Of the Law of God’ or other chapters, but this one will suffice as an illustration.

The implications of the failings of supporting texts are huge, because some churches will only have members who subscribe to the Confession.

Here is an extract from the Confession:

Chapter 7 Of God’s Covenant with Man

1 The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant. a

a Isa. 40:13–17. Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counseller hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. Job 9:32–33. For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both. Ps. 113:5–6. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! Job 22:2–3. Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? Job 35:7–8. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Acts 17:24–25. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.

MY COMMENT/OBSERVATION

Which of the supportive texts under ‘a’ point to God making a covenant with Man? It is true God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17), and He warned him if he did he would die, but where is there any mention of a ‘covenant’? Even if God had covenanted with Adam, which of the chosen texts supports this?

Here is my Second Extract.

Chapter 7:2

2 The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, b wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, c upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. d

b Gen. 2:16–17. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Hos. 6:7. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. Gal. 3:12. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

c Gen. 3:22. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever … Rom. 10:5. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. Rom. 5:12–14. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come….) … See Rom. 5:15–20.

d Gen. 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gal. 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

MY COMMENT/OBSERVATION

In 2 b and 2 c above it is claimed God made a covenant of works wherein life was promised to Adam and to his posterity.

God never promised life to Adam; He said he would die if he ate of the tree, but He never promised life. He never made any mention of Adam’s posterity, nor did He spell out a condition regarding his posterity. Eve had not even been formed at the time of God’s command (Genesis 2:18).

With regard to Hosea 6:7 in section b the relevant covenant would have been the Mosaic Covenant of Exodus 19:5, 6, which Adam could never have kept, since Moses had not been born and God had not made the covenant. The people referred to in Hosea 6:4 were of Ephraim and Judah (v 4). They ‘transgressed the Mosaic Covenant’ – not Adam.

d refers to the necessity of Adam’s perfect and personal obedience of the covenant for obtaining life for himself and his posterity, but ‘The book of the law’ (Deuteronomy 31:24-29) mentioned in the supporting texts had not been written in the time of Adam, so there was no way he could have been required to obey it.

I hope this short article will encourage you to examine the Westminster Confession to ascertain for yourself if it wholly conforms to the Bible.

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The Temples of God

This is a massive subject which cannot possibly be covered properly in a short blog post, but I will attempt to outline the basic facts as I believe them to be.

The Bible records the building of three stone temples, and it describes four spiritual temples, plus Ezekiel’s visionary temple (Ezekiel 40-48).

STONE TEMPLES

The First Temple

King Solomon built the First Temple. He reigned from 970 BC to 931 BC, and he started building the Temple (1 Kings 6) in his fourth year as king. It took seven years to complete (1 Kings 6:38). The Temple was unbelievably beautiful, and the interior was lined with gold (1 Kings 6:22)

This magnificent structure survived until after the siege of Jerusalem (598-587 BC) by Nebuchadnezzar 11, when it was destroyed in 587 or 586 BC (2 Kings 25:9-17; Jeremiah 52:12-23).

The Second Temple

By contrast, the Second Temple was but a shadow of the former (Haggai 2:3). Nevertheless, it was built where the previous one had been, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Its foundations were laid in 536 BC – that was only two years after 42,360 exiled Jews returned to their homeland under the leadership of Zerubbabel (Haggai 2:3; Zechariah 4:9, 10). There was a short period when they were forced to stop building on account of opposition from the Samaritans. In 520 BC Haggai and Zechariah motivated the people to restart building the temple, and it was finished four years later in the spring of 516 BC (Ezra 6:16).

The Third Temple

The main structure of the Second Temple survived for over five-and-a-half centuries until King Herod the Great demolished parts of it, extended and rebuilt it.

His superior rebuild transformed the Temple into a magnificent structure. Even the disciples of Jesus were captivated by its beauty, and they drew His attention to it. They must of have been taken back when He said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Matthew 24:2).”  Sure enough, His prophecy came true when it was destroyed in 70 AD at the end of a siege of Jerusalem by the Roman army under the command of Titus.

SPIRITUAL TEMPLES

Jesus, the Temple

The writings of the New Testament brought a new dimension, a new understanding, of the Temples of God. Firstly, Jesus spoke of the ‘temple’ of His body (John 2:21) which He said He would raise in three days (v 19). The Jews mocked Him saying it had taken forty-six years* to build the Temple; therefore how could it possibly be rebuilt in three days (John 2:17-22)?. They had no idea He was referring to the temple of His body (Matthew 17:22, 23; 20:19; Luke 24:46-48).

The Church, the Temple of God and of the Spirit

Next we come to 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 which reads as follows: ’Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.’  Here Paul the Apostle addressed the Corinthian church as a whole, and he told them they were God’s Temple in which His Spirit dwells.

2 Corinthians 6:16 accords with the above, ‘And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be there God, and they shall be my people.”’

Ephesians 2:19-22 reveals how the Ephesian church was being built into a ‘holy temple’ and ‘dwelling place of God in the Spirit’.

My understanding of the above is that the whole Church, not just individual churches, is the Temple of God and of the Spirit.

The Body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit

Each believer’s body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. ‘Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.’

The Temple of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb

The Book of the Revelation 21:22, 27 tells of the ultimate Temple:  But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  ……… But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.’

EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE

Exploring the nature of Ezekiel’s visionary Temple (Ezekiel 40-48) is beyond the scope of the short article.

*Forty-six years – Herod the Great started building the Temple in 20/19 BC and it was finished in 26 AD, 22 years after his death.

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Prayer

I doubt there is anyone who goes through life without making a prayer – even those who do not believe in the existence of a god or a supreme being. For sure, they won’t admit it, but prayer is a natural response in keeping with our makeup, since were are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). God is Spirit (John 4:24), and we are both physical and spiritual. We therefore pray with the spirit and with our intellect (1 Corinthians 14:15).

We are most likely to pray when we are in dire need, perhaps in a life-threatening situation (Psalm 7:1). Such prayers could be described a ‘arrow’ prayers. They are spontaneous and to the point, and from the heart. I remember one such prayer I prayed to God when I capsized my canoe in the Bristol Channel. I truly thought I was going to die, but within five minutes of my prayer a small aeroplane flew overhead and banked its wings (Jonah 2:7). From that moment I had hope I would be rescued. Sure enough the Barry lifeboat found me and plucked me out of the water (Jonah 2:10)!

When we examine the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, we find hundreds of references to prayers, and there are examples of prayer, the elements of which are worthy of analysis; for example, the so-called ‘Lord’s Prayer’ in Mathew 6:9-13:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors,

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

The first and prime element of the prayer focusses on ‘Our Father’ whom we address. Next, we consider the nature of His being, i.e., His holiness, His separateness and the fact that He dwells in heaven.

The fourth element concerns our desire for His will to be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.

The fifth element is our request for God to supply us with our basic needs, and we ask for His forgiveness.

Our final pleas are for His sovereign intervention to keep us from situations were there may be temptation and evil.

This is an excellent prayer which has foundational elements that  could be used as a basis for other prayers.

Typical prayers in the Bible come under the headings of supplication, adoration, thanksgiving and confession. There may be more categories;  King David, for example, made imprecatory prayers such as those expressed in Psalms 55:15; 69:28 and 109:8.

Prayers of supplication may contain requests for forgiveness and mercy (Exodus 32:30-32). In prayers of thanksgiving there could be expressions of praise, adoration and wonder (Psalm 145:1-3). An individual may agree on behalf of others to present a prayer to God in the form of a petition (Jeremiah 42:1-6).

Prayer is not just a one way expression of our hopes, fears, requests or praises etc.. If we pray in faith (Matthew 21:21, 22) we can be assured He hears us (Proverbs 15:29) and He will respond (John 16:23, 24). If we wait on Him we may see His response in the working out of our lives and the lives of others around us. My brother prayed over a period of forty years for me to be saved, and he never gave up hope (Luke 18:1). God heard his prayer and responded in His own time.

Sometimes we never get an answer to a prayer, but that doesn’t mean God has ignored it. He is attentive to all of our prayers, and if they are in accord with His will He will use them positively (1 Kings 9:1-5).

Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian because our prayers are intricately woven into the tapestry of God’s eternal plan. He uses our prayers in the workings out of history which He has foreordained (1 Peter 1:20). How remarkable is that! We can pray for individuals, for governments, for kings, and for overcoming spiritual principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12). No hurricane, earthquake, flood, drought, famine or epidemic is accidental, but God uses our prayers in connection with them.

He is truly wonderful and gracious to include our prayers in the workings of His redemption plan.

Never underestimate the power of prayer. ‘Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit (James 5:17, 18).’

Finally, God has ordained His church, which is His temple (1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16), to be a powerhouse of prayer (Mark 11;17; Luke 19:46).

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Idolatry

What is idolatry? The dictionary simply defines it as, ‘The religious worship of idols.’ And what is worship? It is ‘reverent honour and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.’ There’s an element of adoration in the act of worship.

All of us without exception worship something or somebody, whether we realise it or not. We may worship our wife, our football club, a film star, our car, money, even our own body! All of these things may be defined as ‘idols’. We set them apart and give them priority in our lives. We religiously safeguard them, protect them and cherish them.

Take mobile phones, for example; how many people do we know who are apparently obsessed with them? They can’t put them down for a moment. They have become enslaved by them. They will pay large amounts of cash to obtain the latest version. They regard them as essential for keeping in contact with friends, searching the Internet, posting to social media, conducting business or perhaps making money.

I think you will agree then, that we all worship something, but God made us specifically to worship Him (Matthew 4:10; 22:37, 38). He wants us to adore Him, to honour Him and to give Him the glory He deserves (1 Corinthians 10:31). Because He made us to worship Him, our greatest joy and happiness is to be found in Him (John 15:9-11), not in idols.

The worship of anything other than God is idol worship. He says in Exodus 20:2, 3, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me.” This is the first commandment of the decalogue (Exodus 20:1-17).

Here’s the second commandment, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” (Exodus 20:4, 5a)

This second commandment goes beyond a literal interpretation, and it should be applied figuratively, i.e., we should only worship and serve God.

Objects in themselves are not idols, but we can, and do make them into idols if we worship them. Wholesome activities such as walking, gardening, cycling, cooking, travelling and reading are intrinsically good; nevertheless they can become idols if we prioritise them above God.

God demands our all, and He warrants our all (Luke 10:27), because He sent His Son to live obediently to Him and to die on a cross as our substitute, so that we may live with Him forever (John 3:16). Who would want to worship any idol when there’s a God like that? But there are many who do not revere Him, so the apostle John exhorts us to be vigilant. He lovingly says, ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen’ (1John 5:21).

Here are a few relevant passages from the New Testament on the subject of idolatry:

1 Corinthians 10:6. 7 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play .”

1 Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are of the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

1 Peter 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in lewdness, lusts. drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

The Old Testament has many references to idols. Here are a few:

Leviticus 19:4 Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves moulded gods: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 26:1 You shall not make idols for yourselves: neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 4:23, 24 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 32:21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God. They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. ……….

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