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Posts Tagged ‘Holiness’

Doing Our Best

October 6th, 2013 No comments

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And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Mark 8:15

Jesus gives a two-fold warning, to beware of two types of teaching.  While many have speculated as to what these are, Jesus says plainly what the leaven, or yeast, of the Pharisees is.

Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Luke 12:1 (portion)

This warning is like a warning to watch out for the “ditch on either side of the road”.  We have clearly identified the one error (which is an error in teaching or doctrine), which is hypocrisy.  This religious error stems from pride.  The Pharisees claimed to keep the law, to be righteous legalists, but as the encounter with the woman caught in adultery proved (John 8:1-11), none of them truly were.  For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23.  In claiming to be righteous, even though each one of them knew themselves not to be, they were “actors” (the real meaning of hypocrite).  While pretending to be righteous, they were each one of them filled with “dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27), just as we all are without Christ.

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In the Midst of It

October 1st, 2013 No comments

rat-crosshairBe not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Galatians 6:7

The secret to the spiritual life is not in and of itself warfare, but rather in the Spirit Himself.  Yes, we can learn the principles of warfare, and learn to bind and loose forces, yet if the reason that they are there, if there is some, is not dealt with, they will simply return, and often larger.

Consider for a moment Jesus’ life and ministry.  He did have to confront satan in the wilderness, but, finding nothing in him, the devil left him for a more opportune time (Luke 4:13).  The next time we read about the adversary directly opposing Jesus was at the end of his ministry, first speaking through Peter and then at the crucifixion, three and a half some years later.

What does this mean?  It means that, unless there were other times in Jesus’ ministry where the enemy came to Him to test Him, Jesus spent most of ministry with the enemy driven back, not in open conflict with Jesus during His ministry.

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Here or There

November 19th, 2012 No comments

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:1

You see, it is, at least in part, up to us, how we will walk this Christian walk.  Verse after verse, command after command, the writers of the New Testament, in the shadow of the cross, call, exhort, and train us to live godly, after our example and High Priest of the faith, Jesus Christ.

Not one moment may we forget that it is the pure in heart that shall see God.  Nor, let us falter into the way of unbelief and die in the wilderness.  But, in the same way, let us not make this journey of our own effort, or of the devices of the flesh, but by the power of the Spirit, we do put to death the misdeeds of the flesh, and so live unto God!

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The Old

September 26th, 2012 No comments

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:3 NASB

Now, we have seen, Christ came to satisfy the righteous requirement of the law for us, and, in completely fulfilling it in His own flesh, we, in our belief in His work, are baptized into His work, His death, burial, and resurrection.

There is, however, a working out of the process of our faith.  As Paul called those who were new to the faith “babes”, and “carnal”  (1 Corinthians 3:1), he also wrote to the Galatians, who were yet learning, of how he was in great labor of prayer until Christ was formed within them.

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The Small Way

July 12th, 2012 No comments

For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:14

I think one of the hardest walks is the walk of Faith and Life in the Gospel, and yet, light and easy at the same time.

The walk is one by the Spirit, and not by the flesh, and requires faith to walk it.  It requires a hatred and a crucifixion of everything of this life, but when done as a response to a revelation, it is always with joy.

But, he calls us to learn this way of His, and to call others to it.

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Relevant?

July 8th, 2012 No comments

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:

1 Corinthians 2:12-15

We must be clear.  We are not to judge those outside of the church, but we are called to judge those inside it (1 Corinthians 5:12).  Those outside are sinners, and we expect them to act like sinners.  If they sin, it is their nature to sin, and we do not do well if we point fingers at the unregenerate, just as we do well not to fit into them, for there is no fellowship between light and dark.  Likewise, when we enter into soulish, or carnal, judgement against a brother, failing to discern the Lord’s body, we do sin.  Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30).  He did not use His own mind or understanding to judge, but He judged according to the Spirit, and was right when He prophesied judgement on the Pharisees, on Jerusalem, and on the cities that would not hear His Gospel.

Yet, Paul made it clear that the man of the flesh cannot receive the things of God, for they are spiritually discerned.  Not will not, cannot.  Jesus said it this way, that those who are not born again cannot see nor enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3-5).

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Grace

April 27th, 2012 No comments

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:17

Grace is God’s gift to men.  It is His unmerited favor, it is His divine enablement, it is never deserved.

Grace and holiness always go hand in hand. His Grace teaches us to say no to sin, and by it we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh in the finished works. Any “grace” that is not intrinsically tied to real, practical holiness is not Grace. And by humbling ourselves and repenting and mourning, more Grace is given, submitting to God, resisting the devil, Christ within conquers all our foes.

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Corrupt

April 18th, 2012 No comments

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy [corrupt]: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psalm 14:3, emphasis added and edited

There is no one in this world that is righteous outside of Christ.  The quicker we see that this world is completely condemned, that there is not a single person who seeks the right outside of His Spirit, and hate it, the quicker we will realize that the only good we have is in Him.

They have all turned aside, and they have all become corrupt, of filthy.

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Discipleship

April 7th, 2012 No comments

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:26

There are many ways to approach discipleship in Christ, but one thing is assured.  Unless your obedience is carried to the extreme, it is not Biblical Christianity.

Discipleship begins at the cross.  It begins at the laying down of everything of this life, and that of following the Master.  From start to finish, it must be about absolute trusting and dependence upon the Shepherd for everything. Read more…

Holiness

April 2nd, 2012 No comments

Imagine for a moment that the church made a shift, that it turned a corner, and that instead of holiness being a marginal topic, one that is sometimes talked about, but seldom embraced, imagine that it was suddenly the norm for Christians again to expect holiness in their meetings, in their ministers, and in their people’s daily lives.

What if there was a dramatic shift in the body, only possible by God, of course, so that the whole of mainstream Christianity was revitalized, revived even, so that we had a living, active knowledge of God on a personal basis from God teaching us Himself? Read more…