The title of my sermon this morning is "Things That Do Not Matter". Now, in the scripture the Bible uses the word vain. When we look at the word vain throughout scripture that's pretty much what it's referring to. Things that don't matter are vain. They're vanity, okay? Now, I find a good definition of vain right here in this passage also at the end of verse 8 when it says, "These things are good and profitable unto men," but then the contrast in the next verse says, "But avoid foolish questions and genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law, for they are unprofitable and vain." That which is vain is that which is unprofitable. It doesn't do anybody any good. It doesn't really matter. It doesn't accomplish anything. That's what we mean when we talk about vanity. Now, let's get the whole context of the passage here. Let's start in verse number 5.
The Bible reads, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Right out of the gate here he's explaining that our salvation is not based on our works or our deeds or anything that we've done. It's not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. The Bible says in verse 7 that, "Being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." The way that we receive eternal life is through God's grace, meaning that it's something that we do not deserve. It's given to us for free. The Bible says here that, "We're justified by his grace." What does justified mean? It means to be declared righteous in the sight of God.
One good way of remembering it is just as if I'd never sinned. That's what it means to be justified in the sight of God. It's all through faith. It's all through grace. It's by believing in Jesus. It's not by our works or our deeds. Look what the Bible says right after that in verse number 8. "This is a faithful saying and these things that I will that thou affirm constantly that they which have believed in God ... " We're talking about people who are already saved. They've received eternal life through grace, not by works which they've done, but through his grace. It says that, "They which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works." God's telling us here that once we're saved he wants us to be careful to maintain good works, not to earn our salvation, but the reason is given in the next phrase. "These things are good and profitable unto men." What's the Bible saying?
Look, we're saved by grace through faith. That's what gives us eternal life, but you know what is profitable to our fellow men? It's when we do good works. The Bible says that, "We which have believed in God should also be careful to maintain good works because these things are good and profitable unto men," as opposed to the things that are not profitable unto other people. Now, if you would flip over to James 2 quickly. I don't want to spend the whole sermon on this, but James 2 is a passage that's often misunderstood and misconstrued to try to teach a works based salvation. Even though there are so many scriptures in the New Testament that tell us that salvation is by faith alone, that it's not of works any man should boast, and on and on the Bible tells us that, "Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." James 2 is one that will be misconstrued to teach a works based salvation.
I just want to focus on a part of it here that pertains to the sermon this morning. If we begin reading in James 2, verse number 15, the Bible says, "If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food and one of you say unto them depart in peace, be warmed and filled, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what does it profit? Even so faith if it hath not works is dead being alone. Ye, a man may say thou has faith and not have works. Show me thy faith without thy works and I will show the my faith by my works." Now, I've done many sermons where I go verse by verse through this whole chapter. I don't have time to do that this morning, but the thing I want to point out here is that the person who has faith, but does not have works is likened unto the person who says to someone who's starving or naked, "Depart in peace. Be ye warmed and filled."
What the Bible is saying is that saying that to someone doesn't do that person any good, does it? Just saying that? No. If we give them the things that are needful to the body, that's going to do them some good if we give them some food, if we give them a coat to wear. What the Bible is teaching here is that if we have faith, but we don't have works we are not profitable unto others. See, when it says, "What does it profit?" It's saying what does it profit them? It's not saying what does it profit us? Look, having faith profits you. You're going to heaven. You have eternal life. Okay, but what good does it do to anybody else when you don't have the works to go with it? The purpose of the works is to be profitable unto men, to serve the Lord Jesus Christ so that we can get other people saved, so that we can be a blessing to other people, minister to other people and be profitable unto them.
Go back if you would to Titus 3. Let's finish up there. The point is that good works that we do for the Lord are profitable unto men. He said, "Be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." It means that it helps them. It benefits them. It accomplishes something for them. There's nothing vain about that. There's nothing worthless about that. Look what the Bible says in verse 9. "But avoid foolish questions." Okay. These are the things that are not profitable. These are not benefiting our fellow man. These are not helping anyone, edifying anyone, saving anyone. He said, "Avoid foolish questions." He's saying, "Avoid genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law for they are unprofitable and vain." They are worthless. They don't matter. Let's look at some of these things that don't matter. Foolish questions I've heard it said before, "The only stupid question is the one you don't ask."
That's not Biblical because a lot of times that saying should be, "The only foolish question is the one that you just asked." The Bible says that there are foolish questions. The Bible says that we should avoid foolish questions. What's a foolish question? Here's a translation to modern English. A stupid question. People who ask dumb questions. People who ask questions like, "Can God make a rock so big that he could not pick it up?" Just these strange paradoxes or, "Hey, did Adam have a belly button?" Or, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Just this navel gazing stupidity and just dumb questions and just questioning things that don't really need to be questioned. Here's a dumb question. My dad was in a Sunday school class. Somebody raised their hand and said, "When the Bible says preach the gospel to every creature, what about dogs? Every creature. What about the animals? Do you need to give the gospel to them?"
That's just the stupidity where you don't even want to dignify it with an answer. Questions like that don't even deserve to be answered, which is why the Bible says, "Answer not a fool according to his folly lest thou be found to be like unto him." The Bible tell avoid foolish questions. There are people who sit around doing nothing more than just asking dumb questions and just questioning things that really don't matter. They don't profit. I think a great question was found there in James chapter 2 that, "We should ask ourselves every day of our lives when it comes to the things that we read, the things that we do, the things that we watch, the things that we spend our time on. What does it profit? That question should be something we ask ourselves every day about everything we do. What does it profit? Is it vain? Is it something that doesn't matter or is it good and profitable unto men? That's a question that should be asked every day of our lives.
There are so many people who waste so much of their lives on things that don't matter. They don't ask themself the question, what does it profit? What's the point? Why does it matter? He said, "Avoid foolish questions." He said, "Avoid genealogies." You know what else doesn't matter? Our ancestry. It doesn't matter. If if did matter, God wouldn't say avoid it and he wouldn't say it's unprofitable and vain to sit there and try to figure out what your nationality is. People today take so much pride in their nationality or the fact that they're a white person or a black person or they're Hispanic or they're this Indian tribe or that Indian tribe. They get puffed up about those foolish things. The Bible says, "Avoid genealogies." They're unprofitable and vain. It is vain. It doesn't matter what your nationality is, who your ancestors are.
You don't have to turn there, but a great scripture on this is found in Isaiah, chapter 40, verse 17. This is one of my favorite verses. It says, "All nations before him are as nothing." Did you hear that? I want these words to sink down [inaudible 00:09:58]. "All nations before him are as nothing and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity." You'd have to be pretty worthless to be called by God less than nothing. If something doesn't matter that's nothing. If something really doesn't matter he says, "It's less than nothing." He says, "It's vanity. It's meaningless." Yet, people take such pride in the nation and their nationality. "I'm proud to be an American," and all this stuff. You know what? God forbid that I should glory saving the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. That's something that profits. That's something that means something, but today people glory in the flesh. They glory in their race. They glory in their nationality.
It's a bunch of foolish white supremacists. I guarantee you they're not as pure white as they think if they actually went back and figured it out. There's something mixed in there. Who cares? It's the same for any nationality because we're all of one blood. It's foolish to glory in your pedigree, your genealogy. The Bible says there in Titus 3, "Avoid foolish questions, genealogies, contentions and strivings about the law." This is people arguing about the Torah. This is a big thing now. Why don't they just call it the law like the Bible calls it? Instead, they call it the Torah because by speaking a foreign language this somehow gives more mystique to it and more validity to it. They don't want all these verses to come flooding into our mind telling us how unprofitable it is to strive about the law and to contend about the law. They don't want all of these verses to flood into our mind telling us we're not under the law, but under grace and the bondage of the law.
They just repackage it as the Torah. It's vain. It's unprofitable unto men. Okay? These Christians we need to reintroduce them to the New Testament of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They're all hung up on all of these feast days and new moons and all these unprofitable things that the Bible says are, "A shadow of things to come and we should not strive and contend about the law." Now, we should strive for the faith. The Bible says, "Contend earnestly for the faith of Jesus," but strivings about the law? Yeah. They're unprofitable and vain. The Bible says in verse 10, "A man that is in heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth being condemned of himself." Why does the Bible tell us in this context to reject the heretic after the first and second admonition? He's teaching us in this passage to spend our time on things that are good and profitable unto men and not to waste our time on things that don't matter and things that are unprofitable and vain.
The Bible teaches that it is unprofitable and vain to argue with people who are mixed up in false doctrine. Now, we should correct that person once and then correct that person twice, but if that person doesn't want to receive correction, if that person doesn't want to hear the truth it's time to move on. People constantly ask me, "What do I do? I told this person this and this and this and they won't listen to anything I say. What do I do?" The answer is move on. "A man that is in heretic at the first and second admonition reject." Why? We have better things to do with our time that are good and profitable unto men than to waste them arguing with people who don't want to hear the truth. This whole thing of arguing, debating, it really is a waste of everybody involved time. Honestly, that's why we should just tell people once, tell people twice. If they don't want to hear it, just say, "Okay. You're entitled to your opinion," and just move on.
You can take the horse to the water, but you can't make him drink. Right? If people won't believe the truth after seeing two crystal clear scriptures, they probably won't change when you show them 100 crystal clear scriptures. They obviously are subverted, the Bible says. They are condemned of themselves. The Bible also talks about ... if you would flip over to Colossians chapter four, just a few pages to the left in your Bible. The Bible talks about the fact that we have a limited amount of time and that we should use our time wisely on this earth. Ephesians 5:16 says, "Redeeming the time because the days are evil." Okay? Redeeming the time. Redeeming means that we're making the best use out of it, getting the most value out of our time. The Bible says in Colossians 4 verse 5, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without redeeming the time." Why is it that we need to redeem the time according to this verse here, Colossians 4, verse 5? Them that are without. See, when we waste our time we're not being profitable unto men.
When we redeem the time, we are walking in wisdom toward them that are without. Why? It's about reaching people. It's helping others. That's what we need to be spending our time on, something that helps other people. That's what we see keep coming up over and over again in regard to this thing of vanity and things that don't matter. Now, the Bible talks about people that are described as vain persons. Sometimes it'll say, "Vain and light persons." Okay? For example, you don't have to turn there, but in Judges chapter 9 it talks about how [inaudible 00:15:35] hired vain and light persons which followed him. He has a bunch of losers following him. In Judges chapter 11, [inaudible 00:15:45] says, "There were gathered vain men to [inaudible 00:15:47] and went out with him." What is a vain person? What is a light person? These are people who don't spend their lives doing anything that matters. They're just a vain person, a light person. What's the opposite of light? We're talking about things ... how much weight they have. Okay?
Things that don't matter are referred to as light. Then, things that are serious are referred to as grave. Okay? Heavy. They matter. They have significance. They have weight. What the Bible is talking about here is there are people in this world that are just vain people, meaning they go through their life and all they spend time on, all they care about are things that don't matter in the sight of God. Okay? Now, when we talk about a vain person in 2015 in our common English vernacular if I said that someone was very vain, what 99% of people would think of is a person who stares at themself in the mirror and is very worried about their appearance. Right? Now, go to Proverbs chapter number 31 because that actually is a biblical definition also of being vain. Why is a person who stares at themself in the mirror known as a vain person?
A woman who really just worries about her appearance to excess and spends a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of energy on just making herself look just so and standing in front of the mirror. God forbid when it's a man that goes down that road. Here's the thing. Men do it, but just in a different way. They don't stand in front of the mirror applying makeup and fancy hairdos, but they'll go to the gym and just stare into that mirror and just become vain in the selfies. Right? The poses and everything. It's vanity. It's worthless. It does not profit anyone. What does it profit? Ask yourself. What does it profit that you spend hours every morning getting yourself ready so that you can look perfect unto the world? What does it profit that you spend hours staring at yourself in the mirror and trying to shape and sculpt every little muscle on your upper arm? How does that profit anyone? How is that a blessing to anyone?
How does that fulfill the great commission that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ left us with to spend our lives reaching people with the gospel and teaching them to observe the word of God? What is the point? Look what the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 31, verse 29. It says, "Many daughters have done virtuously ... " talking about the works and the deeds that they've accomplished. "But though [inaudible 00:18:41] them all. Favor is deceitful." Watch this. "And beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands and let her own works praise her in the gates." According to the Bible beauty is meaningless. Beauty is not worth spending our time on. Beauty doesn't matter like deeds matter, like fearing the Lord matters. Today, if you're a young single man and your goal is just to marry the most beautiful woman you can possibly marry and you have less regard for her character or for her virtue or for her Godliness, but it's just based upon appearance, you are a vain and light person.
If that's what you think is the important thing about a woman ... or if you're a woman, conversely, and that's what you care about you say, "Here's my ideal man." The description ought to be, "He loves the word of God. He's a strong Christian. He's faithful to church. He's a soul winner. He's Godly. He's strong. He's manly." Those are good, but when it's like, "Okay. I want him to have brown hair. I want him to be this tall," it's like, "Whoa." It's not about the outward appearance. It's about the heart. Beauty is vain. What if every woman who spends hours in front of the mirror in the morning making herself look perfect would spend that time reading the Bible? Think about the spiritual beauty. Think about the inward man that would be benefited if we would spend our time doing something that is profitable than to just spend our time on vanity.
Here's something else that the Bible describes as vanity. Go over if you would to Galatians, chapter number 5. What is vanity? It's things that don't matter. What are things that don't matter? Genealogies don't matter. Foolish questions they don't matter. Contentions and strivings about the law don't matter. Our physical appearance doesn't matter. Beauty and the way that we look it doesn't really matter. Okay? What does matter? Serving the Lord, doing things that are profitable unto other people, getting people saved, teaching people the Bible, raising our family, etcetera. Those are the things that matter. Here's another thing that doesn't matter according to the Bible. The praise of men, being popular, people liking us. This is something that vain and light people care very much about. What do vain and light people care about? Everything that doesn't matter. They care a lot about their appearance. They care a lot about people liking them. They spend themselves in past times that are not profitable unto men, vain and light activities.
Here are some vain and light activities that these people would spend time on. For example, just following every twist and turn of professional sports. That's vanity and lightness. That's not profitable unto anybody to just sit there and be an expert on all the different players and you know all the sports. You know what always blows me away? When you have people that are just extremely out of shape, but they're just really into sports. It's like what in the world? It's ridiculous. Some of them need some lightness in their life, a different lightness. The point is they spend their time just on a sofa drinking a beer watching people play a game. Now, look, playing a game is not even of itself profitable unto men, but how much less is sitting and watching a game? How much less profitable is that unto men? You say, "Oh, you're getting on me."
Look, I'm just saying, "Only one life so soon is passed and only what's done for Christ will last." You know what? You can't even name the 12 disciples, but you can name the 12 players on some sports team. You can't name the 12 tribes of Israel, but you can name the 12 quarterbacks of such and such a team. For the past 12 years you know all the stats and you've got 12 different brands of beer that you drunk while you watched your stupid game. Honestly, it's not profitable unto anyone. At least if you went out and played the game, the case could be made that you're doing something for your health. You're getting exercise and maybe you're even fellowshipping with friends and family and enjoying some time together. I've enjoyed many times throwing a football around with friends from church or with my children or something like that to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but when you're sitting in your man cave and you got your big screen and you're all slumped over and you're belching and eating snacks and eating chips off your chest and watching people, you couldn't even run around the block and you're yelling at some guy on the screen for not being athletic enough.
It's like, "What in the world?" This is vain. Look, I'm telling you how not to be a vain and light person today. Here's how you become a vain and light person. Spend a lot of time on your appearance, whether male or female. Spend a ton of time picking out your clothes. Spend a ton of time in front of the mirror every day, whether it's doing bicep curls in front of the mirror or whether it's putting on makeup in front of the mirror. Whatever you're spending all of your time in vanity and lightness. Then, for activities and past times, choose video games. That's got some gravity behind it. That's something that's good and profitable unto men. Right? That's something that's making you smarter and making you a better servant of God giving you wisdom, getting you in better physical condition. No. It's doing none of those things for you or anyone else. Video games, professional sports, all these vain and light activities that people spend their time on. You just need to ask yourself what does it profit?
A lot of times people who spend half their lives, literally half of their time on just completely worthless, vain and light activities will often call people who actually do something with their lives a workaholic. 99% of the time you know what a workaholic is? Somebody who does something with their life. Hard worker, okay? Or, they'll call the person who actually does something with their life they're known as somebody who just, "Oh, you just never have any fun." No, no. Fun has its place, but not 50% of our lives just from one vain and light activity to another. It's a waste of our lives, my friend. The praise of men is also something that's very vain. People who really care about being popular and what people think. What does the Bible say in Galatians 5, verse 26? "Let us not be desirous of vain glory." Don't desire glory for yourself because it's vain. I like how he puts that ... vain glory. Then, in another scripture you don't have to turn there. You can if you want. Philippians. Are you in Galatians 5:26? Yeah. In Philippians there's a few pages to the right, verse 3 of chapter 2. Philippians 2:3 it says, "Let nothing be done through strife."
Then, this time he just crunches it into one word. Vain glory. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." When we want people to think that we're so great that's vain. That's worthless. That's unprofitable. That doesn't matter. You don't have to turn there, but Psalms 62:9 says, "Surely men of low degree are vanity and men of high degree are a lie. To be laid in the balance, they're altogether lighter than vanity." Now, earlier in the sermon we had less than nothing. Less than nothing was what? The nations of the world. Okay? "Lighter than vanity is men of high degree." He says, "In this world there are men of low degree and there are men of high degree." What does this mean? Social standing. Financial standing. Okay? Now, this would be like in India where they have the caste system. They have different people that are higher ranking in the society, men of high degree, men of low degree. Or, if you went to Europe under feudalism you have the nobility which are the men of high degree, and then you have the commoners which are the men of low degree. Right? Even today in England they have what? The House of Lords and the House of Commons.
They have branches of government there. The point is that in this world there are all different ways that we rank people. We rank people as being wealthy people, people with money and we rank people as not having money and being poor and not having a penny to their name. The Bible says, "Surely men of low degree are vanity." See, no one can glory in who they are in the sight of God. God's not a respecter of any man's person. He says, "The men of low degree are vanity," and it says, "Men of high degree are a lie. To be laid in the balance they are altogether lighter than vanity." Men of low degree? Vanity. Men of high degree? Lighter than vanity. Why? At least the man of low degree knows that he's of low degree. The man of high degree is just as low, but he's vainly puffed up in his own fleshly mind and he thinks that he's something that he's not. He thinks he's a great man when really he's not. When I think of degree, also I can't help but think of a college degree where someone earns these titles of bachelor. I've spent my life trying not to be a bachelor. I got married when I was 19 so I could stop being a bachelor.
The last thing I want to do is go back to college so I could become a bachelor. Anyway, "The bachelor of sciences, the master of theology, the doctor of divinity," all these titles of degrees of, "Hey, this guy is only a bachelor, but he's a master and he is a doctor, PhD. These degrees that man gives out to exalt himself and to exalt others, these are actually lighter than vanity. It's not even worthy to describe these titles as vanity because they're actually lighter than vanity when they're weighed in God's balances. See, these things don't matter in life. Let's keep going. 1 Timothy, chapter 1, if you would. What matters? Does it matter what people think of us? No. Does it matter what degree we are in society or what college degree we have or how much money we have? No. Those things don't matter. Does it matter whether we're the most beautiful woman or the most handsome man? No. Those things don't matter. Does it matter whether we're red, yellow, black or white? No, doesn't matter. Does it matter how many video games we beat in the last month? No, doesn't matter. Does it matter whether we won the Super Bowl? Not unless you were one of the players. Then it probably matters. "We won!" You didn't do anything.
You're keeping them in business buying all the gear and whatever, but that was your contribution to winning. Anyway, 1 Timothy, chapter 1 verse 3 says, "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies which minister questions rather than Godly edifying which is in faith so do. Now, the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart and a good conscious and a faith unfamed, from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling, desiring to be teachers of the law understanding neither what they say or whereof they affirm." You say, "Pastor Anderson, what does the word jangling mean?" Okay, this is jangling. Right? If I shake my keys around this is jangling. Basically, instead of these people using their mouths to talk about something that matters, something that is Godly edifying, something that builds up someone, something that teaches someone, something that makes them a better person, something that makes them a better servant of Christ, a better husband, a better father, a better human being. That's Godly edifying which is by faith in the word of God.
Then, there's just jangling which is just blathering. It's just making noise. It's just a bunch of noise. It's like the Bible says where, "People become like a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal," but they're not saying anything that matters. It's just, duh. They're not saying anything that matters. Here's the thing. Sometimes this vain jangling can be confused for actual Godly edifying, because a lot of times this vain jangling has to do with the Bible. Now, I'm not making this up because look down at your Bible in front of you. It says, "They turned aside unto vain jangling." What are the next words? "Desiring to be teachers of the law." Does this vain jangling have something to do with the Bible?
Yeah, but it's just asking stupid questions about the Bible and going on and on and on about things that don't matter. There are things that the Bible makes real clear, things that the Bible emphasizes, things that the Bible tells us over and over again very clearly and puts great importance on. That's what we ought to talk about over and over again. That's what we ought to put emphasis on and put the importance on, but then there are people who like to find the most obscure thing in the Bible that God does not spend time on or that he does not give us any details about, something that he just barely touches on, just barely brushes on and then they just want to delve into that for hundreds of hours and, "I'm going to get to the bottom of what it means." When it says that, "The woman should have power on her head because of the angels," I'm just going to spend hundreds of hours just speculating about things that ... look, the things that are revealed, that's what we need to spend time.
There's enough in the Bible that's crystal clear for you to worry about than to just jangle on and on about angels and demons and Nephilim and all these spiritual things that you don't even know anything about that the Bible gives us very little detail about. You just want to go on and on and on and on while the world goes to hell. While huge sections of the word of God that are clear and easy to understand go completely ignored, we're just going to find the most obscure passage and just delve into some strange new doctrine or some little nuance of something and try to figure out what it means. It's vain. What does it profit? Some people call this majoring on the minors. Now, everything in the Bible is important, but here's the thing, though. Some things are more important than others, number one. Number two is things that are clear and that are revealed that's what God wants us to spend time on, not beating our head against things that we don't understand. Okay? It's like people who go to take a test and they just spend the whole hour on question number two.
What do they tell you when you take a test? "If you don't understand question number two, keep going." Move on and then later it will come to you, maybe. If it doesn't, at least you can do the rest of the test. Okay? People are spending their time on vain jangling. What does it say in verse 5? "The end of the commandment." What's the commandment? The law. "The end of a commandment" is charity out of a pure heart and of a good conscious and a faith unfamed. What does it mean, "The end of the commandment?" What it means is that's the goal. The goal of the commandment. What's the point of why God gave us the law in the first place? He wants us to achieve charity out of a pure heart. He wants us to have a good conscious. He wants us to have faith unfamed, but some people just desire to be teachers of the law. What does that mean? They like to hear themself talk. They don't understand what they say or whatever they affirm, but they like to hear themselves say it.
They love this annoying sound. To us, this is what it sounds like, but to them it's a really beautiful sound to hear themself talk and go on and on about these strange doctrines. Don't have time to go soul winning. Don't have time to read through the Bible cover to cover in a year. They say it for years and still haven't finished cover to cover the first time, but oh, oh, oh. They're an expert on demonology. You know that there are a lot of people out there like this. Who's run into people like this? Yeah, exactly. What does the Bible say? "It's vain." It says, "It's vanity." It says that, "It does not edify." Look at Colossians chapter 2 quickly. The Bible says in Colossians chapter 2 verse 8. It says, "Beware a city man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ." He says in verse 18, "Let no man beguile you of your reward and of voluntary humility and of worshiping of angels intruding into those things which he hath not seen vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."
Look, just intruding into things that we don't understand. He's saying, "They're vainly puffed up in their fleshly mind. It's not spiritual at all." Go to 1 Corinthians, chapter 14. What am I talking about here with this vain jangling? You see, the things that we should be spending our time and effort on are things that edify other people. For example, when I decide what am I going to preach? I try to decide what do people need to hear? What are the doctrines that are the most important doctrines that we need to make sure everybody's nailed down on? Or, what are the good works that God wants us as a church to be doing that this sermon can help inspire people to do those good works? What are the sins that people have in their lives that God wants us to get out of our lives? Let's preach on that and edify people and help them to become a stronger Christian. What are the messages that can be preached that can edify and bless and help build up the church?
That's what the decision comes down to when I'm deciding what to preach as a pastor. What do people need to hear? Let me tell you something. There's a reason why I'm preaching this sermon because people need to hear it because in the advent of the internet there is more vain jangling going on than ever in the history of mankind, because it gives people a platform where they can hear themself talk really loudly and talk about things that they don't understand and blow out their mouth and have no qualifications, but just go off and just teach all this garbage that's nonsense that doesn't edify. Look, I want to talk about stuff that matters. When people come up to me and talk to me about stuff that doesn't matter, I usually just try to change the subject and just get off that subject and just say, "I just don't have any interest in that."
For example, if somebody comes to me and wants to talk to me about why the King James Bible is the word of God and how these other popular Bibles that are out there corrupt and change the word of God, that's an important subject. That really matters. When the word of God is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice and there are Bibles out there that are completely changing God's word and in fact most people are falling for it, and in fact the best selling Bible in America today is the NIV which is one of the most corrupt versions out there and they're removing ... entire verses are gone, whole verses gone! They're just making huge changes where verses are not even recognizable. It's not the same word anymore. They don't even say anything like what the original said and key doctrines are affected. That really matters, but then you have these vain janglers who come at you and they want to talk about, "In this Bible it spells Savior with an o-u-r and in this one it's spelled with an o-r.
Why is color spelled c-o-l-o-r and over here it's spelled c-o-l-o-u-r? Or, they want to talk about the "k" on the end of music. In the King James Bible music with a "k" on the end versus music without a "k" on the end. Or, "In this Bible the "S" in Spirit is capitalized and in this Bible it's not capitalized." This is vain jangling. This has no bearing on any doctrine. It is not profitable unto any man and not only that, it shows that the person who is asking the question is unlearned, because someone who is actually learned would realize that in the original languages the Bible doesn't even have capital letters because capital letters were invented in the modern era. In the original language the letters are just written letters. There's only one kind of letters. When you're reading a Hebrew or a Greek Bible it's just going to be one style of letters back then. The learned person knows that the word of God is spoken and then written down.
Capitalizations don't affect the meaning. It's meant to be heard. Okay? It's the word that was spoken by God. "The holy man of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Those who are unlearned, they think that how a word is spelled somehow changes what it means, when in reality color with an extra "u" in it or Savior with an extra "u" in it is completely irrelevant to the doctrine or the meaning. These are the things that people jangle with and waste their time on. Go buy video games. Go become an avid professional sports enthusiast while you're at it if you're going to sit there and jangle about spellings in the Bible how things are spelled. Look, God didn't call us to a spelling bee. We're called to be evangelists of the gospel, not spelling bee champions. People come at you with this type of minutiae and they're worried about these tiny little issues that mean nothing. Okay? Where are we at, Colossians? Can I have you turn to 1 Corinthians 14?
What's this sermon about? What's the sermon called? The sermon is called Things That Don't Matter". Right? I want you to ask yourself every day of your life from now on what does it profit? The Bible says this. "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." He's saying, "Look. There are things that you can do that aren't even sinful. They're not bad." I don't think it's a sin to play Pacman, but let me tell you something, though. Does it edify? No. Sitting and spending your life ... look, I've been there, my friend. When I was a teenager or really more of a young teenager, I was more like 10 or 11. I remember there was a time when I played a lot of video games as a kid. I was addicted to video games. Just to put it in perspective for those that are from my generation, I actually beat Contra without taking a single hit. Who knows the came Contra? Lots of people. All right?
You know how much work went into that then. Most people have never beat Contra without getting up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right [inaudible 00:44:28] and putting in the cheat code to get 99 lives. Okay? Very few people have beat Contra without the cheat code and even less have beat Contra without taking a single hit in the whole game! I'm talking stage eight where you're inside the alien and you're fighting against that beating heart and all those aliens are coming at you and the heart keeps beating faster and faster and faster and faster. Let me ask you something. What in the world did that profit anyone? Nothing! How many hours and hours and hours and hours I wasted playing Contra. That's just one of many games I played. That wasn't even my main game. You know what? Video games haven't become more profitable than they were back then. What am I talking about? Wasting your time just worried about your appearance, making yourself look good to other people like that's what our life is about or something.
Getting together and talking about dumb things that don't matter and just wasting our time, wasting our life. Look, what sets Faithful Word Baptist Church apart from a lot of the other churches that are out there? In my mind it's that we're actually doing a great work for God in the sense that we have a team of people going out every week. Every day somebody's out knocking doors preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's not vain talking. When you're going door to door and giving the gospel, when the word of God is being preached and taught and when people get together and talk about ways that they can be a better parent, a better father, a better wife, a better daughter, a better child, better soul winner. When we talk about Bible doctrine that matters, I think it's great to sit around and talk Bible doctrine, sit around and talk about things that we learned. "Hey, I was studying this scripture. Here's what I found. "Hey, when you read this passage what do you think this means?" Not this vain jangling about just trivia of these weird speculations.
It's better to talk about the doctrine that's actually revealed in the Bible. What am I talking about? People who ask dumb questions, strive about the law and go on and on about words to no profit, but to just the [inaudible 00:47:00] of the hearers. What's another waste of time that people vainly puff themselves up within their fleshly mind? Learning a dead language. Okay? This is people who want to learn Latin. Yes, I'm talking to you. People who want to spend their time learning Latin I question the Godliness of that activity. Why? It's unprofitable and vain. Why? God said, "The tongues are given unto us to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are very few people on this earth who speak Latin. There's no one who speaks it as their main language as their native language. What does the Bible say? Look at 1 Corinthians, chapter 14, verse 1. "Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts."
What's the main gift we talk about in 1 Corinthians, chapter 14? What's the main gift? Tongues is the main gift of 1 Corinthians 14. 1 Corinthians 14 is the language chapter, the tongue chapter. It says, "Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy." What's the purpose of learning foreign languages? To preach. To prophesy. Let me ask you something. Are you going to be preaching in Latin? Are you preaching in Sanskrit? Are you going to preach in ancient Greek, the stupid pronunciation that no one uses? No. Then, why are you wasting your time learning Latin? They say, "Oh, it makes you smart to learn Latin." It makes you smart to learn Spanish, too. Every benefit that you get from learning Latin you get the same benefit. "A lot of our English words are derived from Latin." Okay. Then speak modern Latin. It's called Spanish. You ever heard of Latin America? Have you ever heard of a Latino? Why don't you learn Italian? Why don't you learn French? Why don't you learn Romanian? Then, you could actually preach to somebody in Portuguese or preach to somebody in a language that people actually speak.
You say, "Oh. I just want to be a really educated person and know Latin." Yeah. You want to be vainly puffed up in your fleshly mind is what you want to do. You want to flex your mind in front of that mirror every day with your Latin and Sanskrit and ancient this and ancient that. You know what? That doesn't profit anyone. You know what profits someone? Learning Spanish, and then giving them the gospel in Spanish. Now, I've studies a lot of Greek, but I always studied modern Greek pronunciation. You know what? I actually wasn't good enough in modern Greek to be able to win somebody to Christ start to finish, but I actually was able to talk to somebody and win them to Christ. The way that I got into the conversation was they were a Greek person and I spoke Greek to them. I got to talking to this person and built a rapport with that person and I was able to win somebody to Christ.
That actually matters something. Look, I'm telling you. People want to just waste their time and puff themselves up on things that don't matter. We need to ask ourselves that is the profit? What is a profit? It's not always what does it profit me? It should be like what is the profit for my fellow man? What does it profit others? What does it say in verse 1, 1 Corinthians 14? "Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy, for he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto man, but unto God for no man understandeth him. How be it in the spirit he speaks of mysteries, but he that prophesy speaketh to edification and exhortation and comfort." Look at verse 9. "Likewise, ye [inaudible 00:50:49] utter by the tongues where it's easy to be understood. How shall be known what is spoken for he shall speak unto the air. There are it may be so many kinds voices in the world. None of them is without signification. Therefore, if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be under him that speaketh a barbarian and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian to me. Even so such as your zealous of spiritual gifts seek that you may excel to the edifying of the church."
What is your gift today? Is it the gift of being a musician? Use it to edify the church. Playing worldly music is unprofitable and vain. Spending your life becoming an expert musician to play the world's music is unprofitable and vain. Playing the hymns in church is profitable. Why? You're edifying the church. Why? It matters. Okay. Learning a foreign language, the gift of tongues which is not babbling and falling on the ground. It's speaking real languages. Hey, you have the gift of tongues? Learn a language that can be used to preach the gospel to living, breathing human beings. Any other foreign language studying is vain, dangling. Any other foreign language study is not edifying the church. It's misusing a spiritual gift at that point because look, God gave us our lives. We belong to him.
We should spend our lives honoring him. Why would we sit there and learn stuff that doesn't edify the church? Why would be spend our piano practice time learning worldly songs when we could be learning hymns and praises to God that can be used to his honor and glory for the rest of our lives in whatever church that we go to, whether it's Faithful Word or whatever other church we can minister through music, through foreign languages. Whatever your abilities and skills do them on things that matter. Flip over if you would to 1 Timothy, chapter 6. Look, there's plenty of scripture on this subject because the Bible talks over and over again. Especially, he tells pastors because the most scriptures you'll find on the subject are in 1:2 Timothy and Titus which are called the pastoral epistles.
He's constantly telling the pastor, "Don't get caught up about these contingencies about the law. Don't get caught up in this genealogy. Don't get caught up in this vain jangling. Don't get caught up in all these foolish questions. Don't waste a bunch of time on this stuff." Look at 1 Timothy 6:20. "Though Timothy keep that which is avoiding profane babblings and oppositions of science falsely so-called which some professing [inaudible 00:53:33]." A lot of the vain jangling today is in the area of science. A lot of people who don't even know anything about science, haven't even studied science, not even an expert in science, don't have a job that has anything to do with science, but they just want to be these amateur scientists and come at you with all these false accusations of science so-called, all this vain jangling. I have zero interest in it. Don't come talking to me about astronomy. I have no interest in it.
My interest in astronomy is if there's a planet in view I'll walk outside and look at it. Don't expect anything else out of me in regard to astronomy. I'll show you Orion and Plaedes and that's all. I can't even always find the Little Dipper. You know what? Seriously, you are living a Little Dipper life if that's what you're going to spend your time worrying about.
Pastor Anderson: Being all dismayed at the signs of heaven and trying to figure out ... look, nobody knows what's out there. We haven't been there. I'll go there someday because someday I may go beyond the farthest star because I'm going to heaven some day.
Pastor Anderson: Until then, I can wait.
Pastor Anderson: I don't want to talk about astronomy. You know what? I don't want to go on and on and on and jangle about evolution either because it's stupid and doesn't makes sense. The foolish say there is no God. It's just science so falsely called. People who are just amateurs and ... they just want to go on and on about it. A lot of times these are same people who are not doing the works that are profitable unto men. Look what the Bible says in 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verse 14. Then, here's what's funny. All these bozos who want to come at you, they want to go on and on about their geosyntricity and the flat earth and the blah, blah, blah, all this stupid junk that's meaningless.
They want to come after you and it's just like, "Why?! Why does it matter?! Who cares!" They're like, "Oh. It's because it disproves evolution." "So, what? Do you know most people were going to hell before evolution was ever even invented?" "Oh, but this is going to make people safe." "You know how you're going to get people safe? Take the Bible and out soul winning!"
Congregation: Amen. That's right.
Pastor Anderson: You're spending so much time with your oppositions of science so and you think that is your evangelism?! No! Evangelism is when you open your Bible to preach the gospel. Preach the Bible. Preach the word of God. "No, no, no. We're going to win the world to Christ by proving that it's flat." The only thing that's flat is the top of your block head. Okay? The earth's not flat. Anybody who thinks it's flat is a moron. "Oh, but what about geosyntricity, though?" Who cares? You vain jangler. You say, "Why do you even bring this up? It's stupid." I get an email about it every day of my life.
Every day I get an email. "Hey, what do you think about geosyntricity?" "Listen, Copernicus, I don't care. Listen Galileo, do you even own a telescope?" "Pastor, I have a really important question for you. Do you think the earth is flat?" "Hey, Pastor Anderson, you don't think there used to be giants 40 feet tall?" "No!" "Hey, Pastor Anderson ... " "Shut up!" "Why?" "It doesn't matter and you are a lazy fool. You're too lazy to read the Bible and care about doctrine that matters. You're too lazy to go to church and actually join a church instead of just surfing YouTube. You're too lazy to go to church. You're too lazy to go soul winning." "Oh, it's so fun to watch all these videos about science. I'm really into science. I really like to learn about the cosmology of the universe."
"Hey, look. You want to go down that route, go ahead. Just don't take me with you because I'm not going. I'm staying right here on planet Earth. I'm not going to Kolab. I'm not going to these distant realms of the galaxy. I'm happy right here on earth with the Bible and actually caring about things that matter." The Bible doesn't say disprove every opposition so called. It says, "Avoid opposition sciences so called." Does the Bible say to proving science wrong? No, it doesn't. Sometimes I just want to shake people to get this across to people like hey, I care about stuff that matters.
Oh, you speak a foreign language? Come talk to me when you're ready to actually put together a soul winning video in that language. Come talk to me when you're ready to take a missions trip with me to go and win people to Christ in that language. Come talk to me when we find a neighborhood in Phoenix filled with people who speak that language and we're going to go and win them to Christ. Oh, you speak a foreign language? Come talk to me when you're ready to use it to edify the church. Don't come at me and say, "Did you know that if you go back to the Hebrew in Zechariah ... ?" All this vain talk.
I'm not interested. I don't want to talk about science falsely so-called. I don't want to talk about dead languages. I don't want to talk about people's weird theories and weird ideas and the trendy doctrine of the month. No. I want to talk about stuff that matters. If you want talk about this stuff, talk about it somewhere else. I don't want to hear it. I'm sick of it. Stop emailing me about this stuff and stop approaching me about stuff. I don't want to hear it. I have no interest in it. You say, "You're being rude or angry at me." Here's the thing, though, okay? I don't have time. I want to do things that matter in life.
What does the Bible say in Titus? Flip over just a few pages right in your Bible. I remember a couple people came up to me about this stuff and I very patiently talked to them about it and explained to them, "No. It's not right." Then, when it's just like every day now, you know what it tells me? It tells me there's an epidemic. There's an epidemic amongst Christians and an epidemic amongst the truth movement of vain jangling. I don't want anything to do with it. All right? Let's just ask ourselves, what does it profit? What happens when you finally prove that geosyntricity is true?
What is that going to accomplish for anyone, anywhere ever? For hundreds of years they're like, "Oh, the earth is the center of the universe." Then, they're like, "Oops. The sun is the center." Did it really change the price of tea in China? No!
Pastor Anderson: Titus, chapter 1, verse 9. "The faithful word as taught that he might be able doctrine both to and convince the gain slayers. Why hold fast the faithful word? To be able to the gain sayers for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially with circumcision. Flip over if you would to 1 Corinthians 4:15 and I'm done. I'll close with 1 Corinthians 4:15. 1 Corinthians 15. The world is dying and going to hell today. I don't care about astronomy. I don't care about professional sports. I don't need you to impress me by quoting phrases in ancient Latin. I don't want to discuss whether or not Adam had a belly button.
We need to do something that will edify our church and that will edify our fellow man. We need to do things that are good and profitable unto men and worry about things that matter, worry about things that are revealed, spend our time on things that are Godly and edifying and true and honest and pure and just of any virtue and any praise. We should not spend out time on dumb things that don't matter. Sometimes people will come to me and ask me, "Pastor, I don't know how you get so much done." Sometimes I want to ask that person, "I wonder how little you get done when there's 24 hours in a day, when you sleep for eight hours and you've got 16 hours to do whatever."
It's amazing to me how little people get done. Here's why people get so little done. TV, vain jangling, sitting around talking nonsense. That's why. 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. Let's end on a high note here on the positive. It says, "Moreover brethren, I declare unto the gospel verse 1 which I preach unto you which you have also received wherein you're saved if you also keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you've believed in vain." Now, what does it mean believed in vain? You believed wrong stuff.
You didn't believe the gospel as he lays it out here, "The death and resurrection of Christ." The chapter is about people who don't believe in the resurrection. They believed in vain because whatever they believed it wasn't the gospel and it's not going to do them any good. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and then he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." Jump down to verse 10. The Bible says, "But the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than all."
Stop right there. Jesus Christ bestowed grace upon Paul. Paul says, "You know what? The grace that was bestowed upon me was not in vain because I talked more than they all." He says, "No, but I labored more abundantly than they all. Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." He's saying, "Look, I don't get the glory. It was through God's grace." Let me tell you something. "I labored more abundantly than they all. We usually consider the Apostle Paul to be the greatest Christian of the New Testament. That's what most people would consider.
Even if you say, "I like John better," the thing is he would be the top five greatest Christians of all time. Most people would argue he's the best Christian that ever lived. I've heard that my whole life in church. I would tend to agree with that. Why? He labored more abundantly than the rest of the apostles. He labored more than Peter, James and John. That's why he's the greatest apostle. Why? He did the works. The Bible says, "In all labor there is profit, but the talk of the lips tailor only to ... " Okay? There are a lot of people who talk a lot of vain talk and a lot of vain questions and fables, genealogies and foolish questions, arguments and debates and wasting of time.
Then, there are those who roll up their sleeves and labor. They work. They get something done. There are people who sit around and argue and argue and argue about the doctrines of salvation. Then, there are us who we figured out salvation the moment we got saved, and then we go out and we labor with it and get other people saved, not just going on and on debating it endlessly. A guy came to church a couple of weeks ago and wanted to debate salvation with me after the morning service. I preached a Sunday morning sermon. He walked up to me and started to tell me how works are a part of it.
He wanted to argue that with me. I was real friendly to him. I said, "Hey, actually, the Bible says something a little different. Let me show you one scripture in Romans 4. I wanted to take him to Romans 4 and show him some verses on that. As I started to turn in the Bible he said, "Oh. I've already read that, but ... " He started to talk. I said, "Oh, you already read it? All right. Bye." I just walked away. What do you tell the guy who knows everything? "Hey, can I show you something in the Bible?" "I've already read the Bible." "Oh, okay. Bye." The guy was just perplexed. Why? I don't have time to debate salvation because I'm already saved.
I already know salvation is by faith. I'm not wondering is it by works? Therefore, I don't want to debate about it. You know what? If somebody doesn't believe that it's by faith alone they're a heretic. [inaudible 01:07:17] once. Admonish them twice. I'm going to walk away. I don't want to debate it. No. He didn't say, "I debated more abundantly than they all." The grace was ... I debated more than anybody! I won every argument on Facebook! I won every argument in the YouTube comments! I debated people all over the world! I debated Muslims and Catholics and Presbyterians! I debated everybody!
No, no. You say, "I labored more abundantly than they all. You know what he did when he ran into the debates? He's like, "See ya." He went and found the people to give the gospel to. He went and found the Tituses and the Timothies he could teach how to be a pastor, people who actually wanted to learn, people who were interested, not beating his head against the wall with people who weren't. Last verse, verse 58. 1 Corinthians 15:58. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
The whole sermon can be boiled down to this. What matters? Working for the Lord. That's what matters. Doing something, getting off your duff and doing some work to your fellow man, to be a blessing to your fellow church members and to be a blessing to your fellow family and loved ones, to preach the gospel to every creature, to teach the Bible, to teach the gospel, to teach sound Biblical doctrine. What is a big waste of your time? Standing in the mirror, learning things to impress people, learning musical instruments to impress people and going around and talking about this nonsense cosmology, astronomy, blah, blah, blah junk that doesn't profit anybody.
No, let's roll up our sleeves and do some real work. You know what? Reading the Bible is hard work. Who wants to read the Bible with me and work at it? Yeah. Who wants to learn a foreign language that can actually get people saved? Yeah! Let's do it! Who wants to go out and knock all the doors in Phoenix, Arizona?! Yeah!
Pastor Anderson: That's the stuff that actually matters. I want to spend my life on something that matters. He says, "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as you know your labor is not in vain in the Lord. It's never in vain when you're working for the Lord.
Pastor Anderson: This can often be vain. This is always vain. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for the word of God, Lord. We thank you for your grace and that salvation is by faith alone, Lord. If we had to be good enough to go to heaven, none of us would be going to heaven. We'd all be going to hell, Lord, because we all sin and come short. Father, we pray that you would help us, Lord, to make something out of our lives, Lord. Help us to do something with our lives that matters. Help us to do something and labor and work for you, Lord, so that at the end of our life there are a bunch of people that we helped and a bunch of stronger Christians because we taught them, and a bunch of people that got saved because we preached the gospel to them.
Help us to profit our fellow man and help us to every day when we start an activity, ask that question before we start that activity, what does it profit? Help us to spend our lives on that which is good and profitable to man. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.