“Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say” by. Rev. Adam Hamilton
Beginning Sunday, September 8th, we will be using Rev. Adam Hamilton’s study, “Half Truths....” as a 5 week sermon series. Join us as we explore some of the popular sayings that miss the point. They are simple phrases such as: “God helps those who
help themselves,” “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” and several others. While they sound Christian and like something you might find in the Bible, in truth, these are not exactly Biblical in what they say. Whether we have said any of these sayings or not you are
invited to come and discover the whole truth behind these common Christian cliches as we compare them with the wisdom to be found in Scripture.
Week 1: September 8th: “Everything happens for a reason.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
In this world, there is some cause for every effect. But in When Christians Get It Wrong, Pastor Adam Hamilton wrote about “a theological assumption many Christians hold: Everything that happens is God’s will. It is not uncommon to hear people put it this way: “Everything happens for a reason.” That is not Biblical. Some bad effects, like severe storms are just “the way life works.” Galatians noted that in other cases our choices, not God’s acts, cause bad effects. If this is the case, how do we look back at our lives and God’s place in it?
Week 2: September 15th: “God helps those who help themselves” Psalm 10:14, 27-28; Psalm 18:6, 16; Psalm 121:1-2
The half-truth of “God helps those who help themselves” is that our willingness to put forth effort is a key part of almost any growth or progress in our lives. It is, however, quite wrong to suggest that God only acts in response to our effort. In fact, even as he urged the Phillippian Christians to “carry out your own salvation,” Paul reminded them that “God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes” (verse 13) Come explore what it means to look back at our own lives and
recognize that God is here to help all.
Week 3: September 22nd: “God won’t give you more than you can handle” 1 Corinthians 10:13 & Psalm 46:1-2
Many people typically base “God won’t give you more than you can handle” on verse 13 (God “won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities”). Paul was quite explicit in talking about temptation, notably the temptation to go back to serving false gods (verse 14). Israel fell into that trap in the desert (1 Cor. 10:1-10). It was a very live issue for the Christians of Corinth. Paul said that no temptation could force them to sin, and to abandon their devotion to God. He did not say, however, that all life situations are within our power to “handle.”
Week 4: September 29th: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Deuteronomy 23:12-14
“God said it, I believe it, that settles it” rightly says that Scripture is the key for spiritual growth. Paul told Timothy that Scripture was useful “for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.” (He did not say that it would answer all historical, scientific or financial questions.) The Bible is our record of God’s dealings with humans, and guides our interactions with God, but how do we use the Bible along
with other sources to live out our life as good as possible?
Week 5: October 6th “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Matthew 7:1-5
Who are “we” to judge the sin of another? The apostle Paul said only God (not us) can accurately assess people’s motivations, and see what is in their heart.He spoke strongly against those Roman Christians encouraging them to “Stop judging one another.” As a
people who are “broken” how do we approach sin and its place in our lives?
Eudora United Methodist Church is a growing congregation with a wonderful mix of newer attending younger singles/families and older adults that have been part of the church's rich history. We're a mission and service-oriented church that is constantly striving to grow in understanding God's love for us and in our response of sharing that love with others. We experience and share the presence of God's spirit in an intentionally blended music worship on Sunday mornings and in a variety of Spiritual Formation opportunities for all ages. Various Fellowship Groups also bring the congregation together for fun activities that meet through the year.
Looking for a new church home in which to grow and share? Come visit and discover your place here!