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1 Question As you drive to the house of a friend, you remember that you agreed to do a simple errand for them that would take you five minutes. For no.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Question As you drive to the house of a friend, you remember that you agreed to do a simple errand for them that would take you five minutes. For no."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Question As you drive to the house of a friend, you remember that you agreed to do a simple errand for them that would take you five minutes. For no good reason you decide against doing this errand and continue to your friend’s house. How do you feel? If they ask about it, how will you explain your choice to your friend?

2 2 This Week I.Explore the various ways man responds to being alerted by his conscience that he has sinned. II.Review the operation of defense mechanisms and the purposes served by them. Lesson Plan

3 3 This Week III.Explore the most commonly used defense mechanisms. IV.Introduce the Nature of the Soul V.Examine our own reliance upon defense mechanisms in our past and clean house as appropriate. Lesson Plan

4 The Conscience at Work 4 Knowledge of Good & Evil Intended or Actual Offense GuiltShame Remorse & Repentance

5 The Conscience at Work 5 Knowledge of Good & Evil Intended or Actual Offense GuiltShame Remorse & Repentance

6 6 I. Introduction Review a. In previous lessons of this series we have established that every sin committed by the individual is recorded in the conscience. b. Although the task of the believer is to maintain a conscience that is void of offense toward God and toward man (Acts 24:16), very often in experience, believers attempt to deny or minimize the consciousness of their personal sin.

7 7 I. Introduction Review c. It is clear from the reading of Scripture that there is something within the soul of man that almost invariably prompts him to make purposeful attempts to keep his own guilt at arms- length and to deny it if at all possible. Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. KJV d. It is as if there is an underlying fear in the natural man that accepting one's responsibility for guilt is to somehow cause the guilty party to be undone to be diminished as a person.

8 8 I. Introduction Review e. For the believer, failure to acknowledge one's own sin is not an option. Since denial of one’s own sin suggests that one will continue in that sinful practice, hardening of the conscience and even reprobation is the likely result.

9 9 I. Introduction Review f. The Bible also makes it very clear that God's design for the treatment of sin is confession, repentance, forgiveness and healing. For the believer burying one's own sin rather than dealing with it is done at great spiritual cost. Ps 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. KJV

10 10 I. Introduction Review g. The process of the natural man which enables such separation from one’s own conscious burden of guilt is referred to as mechanisms of defense. h. While the mechanisms of defense seek to make life in the flesh easier to bear, ultimately they result in the opposite wherein the sinner becomes burdened down by secret sins, sins about which he has no conscious idea and which may persist indefinitely.

11 11 I. Introduction Review i. The natural man is always preoccupied with the self: Protecting the self; building up his self- esteem; fulfilling the desires of the self; etc. It naturally follows that when it comes to an admission of failure, acknowledging it as failure runs contrary to one’s self-interest. j.Behavioral scientists theorize that it is imperative for one to make sense of one’s own behavior in a way that is compatible with one’s image of self in the soul. One must do something to file and sort one’s ordinary experience.

12 12 I. Introduction Review k. When a believer does something that does not fit with their image or their expectation (sin), if it is not acknowledged as sin, the way the event is processed is through what are called mechanisms of defense.

13 13 II. Review Defense Mechanisms a.The five primary functions of defense mechanisms are these: 1.To minimize anxiety and or guilt 2.To protect the ego 3.To maintain equilibrium 4.To prevent discomfort 5.To avoid having to expend further energy in dealing with the situation.

14 14 II. Review Defense Mechanisms b. Burying and denying sin is self-deceiving, it seems to be a good idea but one does so at great price. He may make strenuous efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of his unconfessed sinful situation because it raises anxiety.

15 15 III. Commonly Used DM a. Altruism: The individual deals with the emotional conflict imposed by their guilt by becoming dedicated to meeting the needs of others, even sacrificially.

16 16 III. Commonly Used DM b. Compensation: Realizing his failure to obey, the sinner overemphasizes his compliance in another behavior. 1 Sam 15:13-15 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. KJV

17 17 III. Commonly Used DM c. Denial: Failing to recognize obvious implications or consequences of a thought, act, or situation. 1 John 1:6-8 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. KJV

18 18 III. Commonly Used DM d. Help-Rejecting: The individual experiences the pain and frustration of his sin and makes repetitious requests for help that disguise covert feelings or hostility or reproach toward others. He then rejects the suggestions, advice, or help that others offer. 2 Kings 5:11-12 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. KJV

19 19 III. Commonly Used DM e. Intellectualization: Is the overemphasis on thinking when confronted with an unacceptable impulse or sinful behavior without placing such thoughts into the context of spiritual treason that more accurately reflects what they are truly. Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, KJV

20 20 III. Commonly Used DM f. Rationalization: Offering a self-deceptive and socially acceptable and apparently more or less logical explanation for an act or decision actually produced by unconscious impulses to sin. Gen 19:31-32 One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father." NIV

21 21 III. Commonly Used DM g. Repression: The unconscious blocking of the awareness of past sins, unacceptable thoughts, feelings and impulses. The key to repression is that people do it unconsciously and it is through the conviction of the Spirit that it can be overcome. 1 Cor 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. NIV

22 22 III. Commonly Used DM H. Suppression: The conscious analog of repression; intentional exclusion of material from consciousness. At times, suppression may lead to subsequent repression. Rom 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, NIV

23 23 III. Commonly Used DM i. Although the use of defense mechanisms is a natural response when confronted with one’s own sin, it is ultimately ineffective and counter- productive. The only godly response to sin is to acknowledge it as God sees it, confess it, and repent from it. Ps 6:1-2 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; KJV

24 24 III. Commonly Used DM j. The subtle ways of the flesh are not always easy to recognize but the results of those ways are always predictable. Prov 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. KJV

25 25 IV. Nature of the Soul a. In order to understand the idea of conscience, one must understand the concept of the soul. It is not a question as to whether or not man is a soul, or has a soul, as that is made amply clear in Scripture. 1 Corinthians 15:45 "the first man Adam became a living soul.” b. Adam was inspired by God and was thus constituted a nephesh chayyah ("living soul"), because the "breath of lives" had been imparted to him. Gen 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. KJV

26 26 IV. Nature of the Soul c. God creates the immortal soul, the soul is that aspect of man that is either eternally saved or lost. But, it remained the task of the theologians and philosophers after the first generation of the church to begin to formulate the precise nature of the soul. Ps 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. KJV d. As to the origin of the soul, whether it is passed on through biological reproduction or whether God creates the new soul at the moment of conception the Bible is silent. However, the philosophers were not.

27 27 IV. Nature of the Soul e. With the spread of Christianity among Gentiles and the conversion of philosophers of the various Greek schools, there began efforts to incorporate Greek philosophy with Christianity. f. By the time of Augustine (354-430 A.D.) and certainly well before Aquinas (1225-1274 A.D.), though controversial, the tradition of adopting philosophical arguments into theology was well-established.

28 28 IV. Nature of the Soul g. The two greatest theologians of the early church Augustine and Aquinas are best noted for creating our modern understanding of the nature and functioning of the soul. h. While they agreed on several points, they disagreed on many because each of them came at the question from a different philosophical point of view. Augustine-based his understanding on the philosophy of Plato while Aquinas was rooted in Aristotle.

29 29 IV. Nature of the Soul i. They agreed that the soul is created by God ex nihilo, created as an independent substance not taken from God himself, or from other pre- existing material. j. They agreed that the soul is immortal and cannot die and they agreed that the soul is not a body or corporeal substance, and that the soul has a free will as long as it remains unconstrained.

30 30 IV. Nature of the Soul k. They also agreed that the soul is not the "harmony" of the body, or a mere synthesis of body functioning. Thought is of the nature of the soul, not of the body. l. For Augustine, consistent with Plato, the soul existed independently of the body. The soul is the source of thought; the soul or ideal form, gives life to the body the formed; the soul is a source of beauty, bestowing beauty upon the body.

31 31 IV. Nature of the Soul m. He also saw the soul as the mover of the body as a separate substance inhabiting the body; the body exists in change, or becoming, while the soul is outside change, or becoming. n. The soul is the moral, independent mover of the mortal, dependent, moved body. The soul uses the body, gives life to the body and is its motivating force in which the body maintains itself. At death the soul of the Christian is delivered from the body awaiting resurrection.

32 32 IV. Nature of the Soul o. Aquinas on the other hand, had very different view that is much more Aristotelian in which the soul is the form of the body and must be joined to the body as its natural completion. p. The human soul actualizes, expresses itself through, and even requires a body; that is, its fulfillment. It is expressly the soul and body together that form a species or the various expressions of life.

33 33 IV. Nature of the Soul q. The soul is the source of the intellect as well; since intellect operates through sense, it requires a body, the soul's happiness, or fulfillment, is dependent on the body for its full expression of life. r. Aquinas, consistent with Christian thinking and in difference with Aristotle, argued that at death the soul could leave the body and be rejoined with its perfected body at the resurrection.

34 a. As you reflect upon the various ways that the natural man has for dealing with his sin, do you recognize times that you have fallen into those same traps? b. If so, what do you need to do to clean up your spiritual house? c. How would you differentiate the brain from the soul? 34 V. Application

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