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Luke 16:13 NIV "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other......." Today, I'll submit that "idol worship" is different then it was in the OLD and NEW Testament. Today "Idol Worship" can be: Video Games, Soap Opera (TV), Sport Games, Clothing, one's looks and/or hair on their head, their home, their car... I think you get the idea. How much of your MONEY - ENERGY - TIME and yes, even EMOTIONS do you give these THINGS? Are you so "devoted" to the point that your attitude could be seen as "Worshiping" these things? Why are they so tempting? Because they serve us and draw attention to us and like 'cults', we find friends that enjoy and we derive "fellowship" from the "worship" of these things.. in other words - they fill a need and emptiness. When we realize finally our "worship" of these is wrong - we should then James 4:8 "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." NASU When we seek to fill an emptiness by going to an IDOL, we find the 'filling' short lived. We need to go back to that IDOL again and again and again, because the "filling" is very short lived. That is the way of idols. They are empty and in the end - they leave us empty. Then comes "addiction" to that "idol" as we want and need our "FIX" when the "Rush" the "Feeling" is gone. I close with the Words of Christ: Matt 6:28-34 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."... NIV
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, 'No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.' This applies to idol worship too. Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, 'Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?' 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says this, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,or you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." We belong to Jesus.We owe our existence _and salvation to Him because of the price He paid for us on the cross and in the grave. So, when the revelation of Christ in us and living His life through us dawns, we begin to understand grace and having died with Him on the cross we are _new creatures in Him, no longer drawn to sinful temptation but to focusing on Jesus instead. Romans 8:9, 'You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.' We aren't to worry because, we passed the test and have the Spirit of our Lord in us and, are able to say this, 'For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.', Philippians 4:13. Idol worship may be powerful for non-Christians but, we are empowered by Christ Himself and keep our attention on Him as He lives His life through us. Resisting sin isn't something you can do under your own power or by trying to obey the 10 commandments so, if that's what you're doing you will always lose. The commandments point out the sin but offer no way to overcome it. That's why Paul wrote in Romans 6:14, '' For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Understand and embrace grace and Jesus' indwelling Spirit will help you overcome sinful desires by directing your attention to the Truth.
This is my somewhat unique and different approach to answer this question: "Why is idol worship such a powerful temptation?" Well, I first think it goes back to the Garden of Eden when Eve succumbed to the temptation by the serpent(Satan) and her putting the decision emphasis on herself thereby thinking that her desires and self decision was more important than being obedient to God and to Adam, her created mate and husband. This is the genesis of the human race thinking more highly of themselves and thinking we know better, etc., than doing and being obedient /subservient to The One True GOD in Heaven! The devil came into the Garden at the very beginning to 'lead astray'; to cause discourse, disruption, deceit, distraction and ultimately destruction within the lives and souls of mankind at this very beginning. Satan appealed to mankind at this very beginning to get man -(ADAM)-, to being the one whom chooses "whom he may serve" instead of being obedient to God's first "thou shalt not". i.e.--When Jesus was fasting 40 days in the wilderness, Satan comes along and tries to tempt Jesus to worship him (the devil) and in return, he-(Satan)- will "give Jesus all the kingdoms, glory and position on Earth". **Satan had the 'gumption' to think that he could actually tempt The SON of GOD to Serve him, to do what he wanted Him to do and even --and, this is the big one-- 'to serve and follow him (Satan!). (Matthew 4:1-11)** This is exactly what Satan is trying to accomplish when he is getting man to worship idols or other gods instead of THE ONE TRUE GOD! "Jesus Christ is LORD of Heaven and Earth! "Only He is to be worshipped and praised". "The devil roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) "You shall serve no other Gods besides me." (Exodus 20:3 and Exodus 34:14 and Deuteronomy 11:16) "For in Heaven and Earth, there is no other name by which man can be saved". His name is JESUS CHRIST! ----------------------------- The devil tempts us to put our focus, our energy, our talent, our intellect, our attention, our time, our efforts into pleasing ourselves by doing, thinking, participating in and focusing on and in/or towards anything or anyone that can take away our God ordained intent He has for us! God wants us to put our focus on Him, our God, our Creator, our Savior --and-- OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST! "Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, ON Earth as it is IN Heaven..."Give us this day......" ---AMEN! "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ"! ~~~Andy~~~
When God created man and placed him in the garden of Eden his sole prerogative was to have reverence for God and worship Him alone. In Ecle 12:13 we see the duty of man explained All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God's providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man. When Man was tempted and gave to it he lost the path. Now idol worship is so tempting because it stops the reverence for God in us and satisfy our present carnal desires. Idolatry of the contemporary world aims at satisfying our carnal needs which makes many people run for it. It tends to show the people how important they are and look and will change their lives in idolatry. They are so seductive in nature for someone in the flesh can't resist the temptation. On the contrary these things separate you from God and offers you an identity to hell. The bible records in Isaiah 59: 2 that it's our sins that separates us from God, sin is as a result of of disobedience to Gods word and living in the flesh Even after the fall of man who forsook his Initial call to worship God, God through Moses being a jealousy God gave a commandment to the children of Israel never to worship other gods before Him. Idols are things we can see, touch, feel, enjoy, participate in them, be with them that's why the temptation of becoming an idol worshiper is high. For they are at your disposal and have facade promises that make you think they will solve your problems. The only way to avoid these forms of idol worship which have grown apart from the previous statues and the carvings of man, is by allowing the Holy Ghost to dwell in you who will help you resist and overcome the temptation of idol worship.
Idol worship for the Christian is believing any other way of salvation, than what Jesus did for us on the cross. It is adding anything to what He did to save us by the shedding of His own blood. Anything or person that we trust other than Jesus alone, is an idol. If we trust in anything we do that adds to our salvation, it is an idol. When the Israelites were being bitten by snakes and dying in the desert, God has Moses put a brass serpent on a pole and every one who looked at it would live. It was a type of Christ who every one who looks to for salvation will be saved from hell. Later, God had Moses take the brass serpent on a pole down, because it became an idol to the people believing it had the power to save them and not God who gave the way to be saved. We unknowingly do the same thing when we trust in our works instead of Jesus alone by faith, if we believe that our works to save us (such as going to church and giving money) or have anything to do with our salvation. Then we are trusting in our works to save us and it is an idol. Anything we trust in to save us but Jesus finished work on the cross is an idol. If we trust in our own righteousness, we are trusting in ourselves, and not Jesus. We are saved by what Jesus did for us by shedding His own blood for us sinners to be saved. And if we trust in anything else to save us, we are in idolatry. There is absolutely no other way to be saved than what Jesus did for us, and if we add anything we do or do not do to what He did for us, we are in idolatry. Either He is going to get all the glory for saving us sinners, or we are going to try to give some of it to ourselves. As though we could do something that would satisfy God other than what Jesus did for us. Any spiritual pride we have in something we have done or will do that we believe adds to our salvation is idolatry, as it is taking away from what He did for us and giving the credit to ourselves. All Christians need to know that our works, what we do or do not do, add nothing to our salvation which is all by grace. Romans 11:6 It is without works or anything we do. But after we have accepted Jesus as our only savior, we do good works and keep from sin because we are saved and it adds to our reward in heaven. But it never adds anything to our salvation, because it is all by what He did for us plus nothing from us. Salvation by grace, without works, comes first, and then we do good works because we love Jesus for saving us sinners. We love Him because He first loved us. We do what we do because of His grace. That is why we need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are saved and have eternal life now, or else we do good works trying to save our selves by what we do instead of doing what we do because of what Jesus has already done for us by saving us sinners from hell. Eternal security, knowing that we are children of God by faith alone, will keep us from doing things to earn salvation which only Jesus can give, and do good works because we love Him for saving us. If you do not know you are saved, then just put your faith in Jesus alone, that His blood sacrifice has paid your sin debt in full, and He has given you eternal life in Him who saved you by grace. Just believe He did it just for you and you alone. If you do you are saved and have eternal life because He did it just for you. And also remember that as a saved sinner, you are not a sinless person. We all still sin. First John 1:8 But, when we have trusted Jesus alone to save us, we are given His righteousness through the spirit that He seals us with unto the day of redemption. If we keep our eyes on Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith, we will not worry about our works.
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