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Sins of Superstition

Sin and its Character and Categories  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:

1. Mankind is basically the same as he has always been!
a) The differences are only in degrees!
b) He is either more wicked or less wicked.
c) Or, more striving to do right or less striving to do right.
2. The same admonitions that God gave 3500 years ago are still applicable today.
a) Yes, Christianity has made its impact!
b) But that varies with time.
c) One writer stated that Christianity had almost stamped out witchcraft.
· It was written just a few years ago.
· Now, it is again becoming more and more prominent.
3. Man doesn’t for long stay on the road of righteousness.
a) This is the reason why we continually need to be reminded of right things.
b) And strongly encouraged to practice righteousness.
4. This lesson will look at two words: Idolatry & Witchcraft.

Lesson:

I. IDOLATRY

A. Defined:
1) Greek word EIDOLOLATREIA εἰδωλολατρεία —“Appearance, Seen,
Idea.”
2) Thus, an image of something to represent a missing person or being.
3) Thayer: “The worship of false gods, idolatry.”
4) 20th Century Dictionary: “An material object to which religious worship is
addressed; hence, a false god or fictitious divinity, as of a heathen people.”
5) It is giving worship & adoration to or before an object that has: Appearance,
Form, Figure, or Shape.
6) Stresses an appeal to the senses of man.
B. Old Testament teachings & dealings with Idolatry.
1) Heathen world given over to Idolatry.
2) God tried to protect the Israelites from this danger by various things.
a) Invariably, they would get caught up in it time after time.
3) The prophets taught strongly against such.
4) They characterized them as:
a) Weak, Nothing, Feeble, Lifeless, Dumb, etc.
b) Called them: Graven images—that which man fashions himself.
Molten images—that which is fashioned of metal.
c) A man takes a tree:
· With a part of it, he makes a fire to warm himself;
· With another part, he uses for fire to bake bread to eat;
· With some of it he makes into an image to worship.
Sin and its Character and Categories Page 24
C. Dangers & Evils connected with Idolatry.
1) May have first begun as an aid to worship the true God.
a) But deterioration sets in quickly.
b) The image becomes the dwelling place of the divine.
c) Or, the image takes on special reverence and is worshipped.
2) It leads to, or is a denial of, the True God of heaven.
a) Who is invisible to the human eye;
b) Who cannot be captured by man’s arts and devices;
c) Who cannot be contained in that small place of man’s choosing.
3) This visible form restricts a person’s concept of God.
a) It is demeaning to God, an affront to His greatness.
b) It is a perversion of the True knowledge of God
D. The sin is to worship the creature rather than the Creator.
1)
Romans 1:19–23 NKJV
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
2) Man’s pride causes him to make his own gods.
3) He thereby worships himself.
4) He then, sets on the coarse of debasing himself.
E. New Testament emphasis on defining Idolatry.
1) Putting self before God. ().
Philippians 3:19 NKJV
whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
2) Covetousness is called Idolatry (; )
Ephesians 5:5 NKJV
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Colossians 3:5 NKJV
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
3) The general concept then is:
a) Idolatry can be anything that comes or is put before God.
b) Family before God.
c) Success before God.
d) Money before God.
e) Things before God.
4) But, it can also be a sacred object that is bowed down before or revered.
5) A man’s god is that to which he dedicates his Time, Substance, Talents, and Himself unto.
6) Whatever holds the principle place in our hearts, minds, aims:
a) Becomes our god;
b) Usurps the place of God.
7) Idolatry leads away from the True God—not to Him.
II. WITCHCRAFT
A. Greek Word PHARMAKEIA—“Drugs, Medicines” in its original use.
1) This is the way we use it today—Pharmacy—where medicines are sold.
2) But the word was corrupted when men took these drugs and put them to an evil use.
3) It then became defined as: “A drug, an enchantment, pertaining to magical arts.” Or “Bewitch, charm, sorcery, magic, or magical influence.”
4) The word has gone full cycle:
a) From healing & curative drugs;
b) To vicious & malignant dealing in witchcraft or sorcery.
5) illustrates.
A. Defined:
1) Greek word EIDOLOLATREIA εἰδωλολατρεία —“Appearance, Seen,
Idea.”
2) Thus, an image of something to represent a missing person or being.
3) Thayer: “The worship of false gods, idolatry.”
4) 20th Century Dictionary: “An material object to which religious worship is
addressed; hence, a false god or fictitious divinity, as of a heathen people.”
5) It is giving worship & adoration to or before an object that has: Appearance,
Form, Figure, or Shape.
6) Stresses an appeal to the senses of man.
B. Old Testament teachings & dealings with Idolatry.
1) Heathen world given over to Idolatry.
2) God tried to protect the Israelites from this danger by various things.
a) Invariably, they would get caught up in it time after time.
3) The prophets taught strongly against such.
4) They characterized them as:
a) Weak, Nothing, Feeble, Lifeless, Dumb, etc.
b) Called them: Graven images—that which man fashions himself.
Molten images—that which is fashioned of metal.
c) A man takes a tree:
· With a part of it, he makes a fire to warm himself;
· With another part, he uses for fire to bake bread to eat;
· With some of it he makes into an image to worship.
Sin and its Character and Categories Page 24
C. Dangers & Evils connected with Idolatry.
1) May have first begun as an aid to worship the true God.
a) But deterioration sets in quickly.
b) The image becomes the dwelling place of the divine.
c) Or, the image takes on special reverence and is worshipped.
2) It leads to, or is a denial of, the True God of heaven.
a) Who is invisible to the human eye;
b) Who cannot be captured by man’s arts and devices;
c) Who cannot be contained in that small place of man’s choosing.
3) This visible form restricts a person’s concept of God.
a) It is demeaning to God, an affront to His greatness.
b) It is a perversion of the True knowledge of God
D. The sin is to worship the creature rather than the Creator.
1)
2) Man’s pride causes him to make his own gods.
3) He thereby worships himself.
4) He then, sets on the coarse of debasing himself.
E. New Testament emphasis on defining Idolatry.
1) Putting self before God. ().
2) Covetousness is called Idolatry (; )
3) The general concept then is:
a) Idolatry can be anything that comes or is put before God.
b) Family before God.
c) Success before God.
d) Money before God.
e) Things before God.
4) But, it can also be a sacred object that is bowed down before or revered.
5) A man’s god is that to which he dedicates his Time, Substance, Talents, and Himself unto.
6) Whatever holds the principle place in our hearts, minds, aims:
a) Becomes our god;
b) Usurps the place of God.
7) Idolatry leads away from the True God—not to Him.
A. Greek Word PHARMAKEIA—“Drugs, Medicines” in its original use.
1) This is the way we use it today—Pharmacy—where medicines are sold.
2) But the word was corrupted when men took these drugs and put them to an evil use.
3) It then became defined as: “A drug, an enchantment, pertaining to magical arts.” Or “Bewitch, charm, sorcery, magic, or magical influence.”
4) The word has gone full cycle:
a) From healing & curative drugs;
b) To vicious & malignant dealing in witchcraft or sorcery.
5) illustrates.
Sin and its Character and Categories Page 25
B. The Ancient World was riddled with such indulgence.
1)
2) God was warning Israel:
a) Don’t turn to this superstition to find your answers for life.
b) Turn to the Lord your God—hear Him.
c) Don’t depend upon these charms you wear about your neck to protect you.
d) Look to God for protection.
3) Superstition is not easily rooted out.
a) The wearing of special, sacred, things about the neck is still practiced today in the name of Christianity.
b) Magic powers are given to certain names, men, objects—even today.
c) The abilities to look into the future through various signs, etc., still is practiced today.
C. God’s Word says such is evil!
1) It is turning from God to the inventions of evil men.
2) It is trusting in what men say rather than the Word of God.
3) It is believing that men can:
a) Influence unseen powers to produce love or hatred upon others;
b) Or bring prosperity or adversity upon others by sorcery.
4) It turns that which is good into an evil use.
a) Immorality, Impurity, Licentiousness are perversions of the sexual instinct.
· That which is lovely, beautiful, God-given…..
· Is perverted into something dirty, filthy, shameful.
b) Idolatry is a perversion of the True Worship of God.
c) Sorcery is a perversion of the use of healing drugs for evil purposes.
Conclusion
1. This is the awful power of sin!
a) To take that which is given for man’s good…..
b) Then, to turn it into something evil.
2. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word.
a) So we would not turn to Idolatry.
b) So men would not feel the need to turn to sorcery for direction.
3. He has thus warned us: “Those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
God.”
4. But, the one who worships and serves the True God of Heaven:
a) Will find rest for his soul;
b) Hope in his heart;
c) Assurance of his relationship with God.
5. Do you have this rest, hope, assurance?
Acts 8:9–11 NKJV
But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.
Sin and its Character and Categories Page 25
B. The Ancient World was riddled with such indulgence.
1)
Deuteronomy 18:9–13 NKJV
“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.
2) God was warning Israel:
a) Don’t turn to this superstition to find your answers for life.
b) Turn to the Lord your God—hear Him.
c) Don’t depend upon these charms you wear about your neck to protect you.
d) Look to God for protection.
3) Superstition is not easily rooted out.
a) The wearing of special, sacred, things about the neck is still practiced today in the name of Christianity.
b) Magic powers are given to certain names, men, objects—even today.
c) The abilities to look into the future through various signs, etc., still is practiced today.
C. God’s Word says such is evil!
1) It is turning from God to the inventions of evil men.
2) It is trusting in what men say rather than the Word of God.
3) It is believing that men can:
a) Influence unseen powers to produce love or hatred upon others;
b) Or bring prosperity or adversity upon others by sorcery.
4) It turns that which is good into an evil use.
a) Immorality, Impurity, Licentiousness are perversions of the sexual instinct.
· That which is lovely, beautiful, God-given…..
· Is perverted into something dirty, filthy, shameful.
b) Idolatry is a perversion of the True Worship of God.
c) Sorcery is a perversion of the use of healing drugs for evil purposes.
Conclusion
1. This is the awful power of sin!
a) To take that which is given for man’s good…..
b) Then, to turn it into something evil.
2. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word.
a) So we would not turn to Idolatry.
b) So men would not feel the need to turn to sorcery for direction.
3. He has thus warned us: “Those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
God.”
4. But, the one who worships and serves the True God of Heaven:
a) Will find rest for his soul;
b) Hope in his heart;
c) Assurance of his relationship with God.
5. Do you have this rest, hope, assurance?
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