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Vain Things. Introduction The Greek adjective kenos, translated “vain,” is descriptive of that which is “empty” [Thomas #2756]. BDAG say it pertains “(1)

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Presentation on theme: "Vain Things. Introduction The Greek adjective kenos, translated “vain,” is descriptive of that which is “empty” [Thomas #2756]. BDAG say it pertains “(1)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Vain Things

2 Introduction The Greek adjective kenos, translated “vain,” is descriptive of that which is “empty” [Thomas #2756]. BDAG say it pertains “(1) to being without something material, empty; (2) to being devoid of intellectual, moral, or spiritual value, empty as a figurative extension of meaning #1; (3) to being without purpose or result, in vain.” This word occurs 18x in 16 verses.

3 Used In Relationship to Christ Jesus Christ is a source of blessing to those who are humbly obedient and an occasion of stumbling to those who are proudly rebellious: “He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich *empty-handed” (Luke 1:46-55, esp. vs. 53).

4 Used In Relation to Lost Mankind Psalms Chapter Two describes the rebelliousness of the Gentiles and lost mankind: “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1-12, esp. vs. 1). Quoted in Acts 4:25, the inspired apostles related this prophecy to the persecution inflicted upon them by the Sanhedrin: “Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples devise *futile things?” (Acts 4:23-31, esp. vs. 25).

5 Used In Relation to Lost Mankind Jesus employed the term in His Parable of the Vinegrowers to describe the rebelliousness of the Israelites: “At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. They took him, and beat him and sent him away *empty-handed” (Mark 12:1-11, esp. vs. 3; Luke 20:9-18, esp. vs ).

6 Used in Relation to Things That Are Vain Denying the Resurrection Denying the Consequence of Immoral Behavior Denying the Necessity of Obedience Denying the All-sufficiency of Scripture

7 Used in Relation to Things That Are Vain One who denies the resurrection invalidates the power of gospel preaching and renders their faith as vain (1 Cor. 15:12-19, esp. vs. 14). One who denies the consequences of immoral behavior is guilty of deceiving others (and himself) with empty words (Eph. 5:3-12, esp. vs. 6).

8 Used in Relation to Things That Are Vain One who denies the necessity of obedience, saying that faith may be evidenced apart from works, is a foolish fellow indeed (James 2:18-26, esp. vs. 20). One who denies the all-sufficiency of Scripture, leading others captive through human philosophy and traditions is promoting empty deception (Col. 2:8, cf. also vs ).

9 Used in Relation to Things That Are Not In Vain Proper Reception of God’s Grace Proper Employment of Our Efforts

10 Used in Relation to Things That Are Not In Vain Recognizing the enormity of his sin, Saul of Tarsus responded to God’s grace by believing, repenting, being baptized, and dedicating his life to the service of Christ. As a result, the grace manifested to him did not prove vain (1 Cor. 15:9-10). Accordingly, the apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to respond to God’s grace in a similar manner (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

11 Used in Relation to Things That Are Not In Vain Urging the Corinthians to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” the apostle said that such toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). When he attended the Jerusalem counsel, recorded in Acts 15, Paul took great efforts in communicating his message, both publicly and privately, for fear that “I might be running, or had run, in *vain” (Gal. 2:1-10, esp. vs. 2).

12 Used in Relation to Things That Are Not In Vain Similarly, he urged the Philippians to be loving, faithful, blameless, and innocent, holding fast the word of life, “so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in *vain” (Phil. 2:14-16, esp. vs. 16).

13 Conclusion In his labors at Thessalonica, Paul was bold in his preaching (1 Thess. 2:1-2), and proactive in his efforts (1 Thess. 3:5-8). Let us employ similar measures in our proclamation and practice of the truth, so that our spiritual labors will not be in vain.


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