Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:13-14
Hence lies the mystery of Jesus’ words regarding the Gospel. As the Kingdom lies wholly within the realm of the Holy Spirit, and does not exist outside of the context of it, Jesus came as one teaching on a subject that no one could understand.
Think about it. The natural man, the one without His Spirit, cannot receive spiritual truths. They are utterly foreign to him, and he simply cannot discern them. But, for the man with the Spirit, they speak of spiritual things using spiritual words.
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…
I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 16:25). There is that which looks like labor and achievement, but, as a despondent King Solomon observed, it all the result of rivalry, envy, between a man and his neighbor. It is vanity, meaningless, and a striving after the wind.
Consider the words of the apostle John. He said that everyone who truly loves is born of God (1 John 4:7). If love is the restoration God is looking to bring to the human heart (Matthew 22:40), then love is principally the one thing which fallen man cannot do (1 Peter 1:22, Galatians 5:6). There is no true benevolence, as King Solomon pointed out, there is no real industry. What appears to be love at the outset is really a misidentified attempting to gratify the flesh.
We have a model, a standard, a measure of perfection. If ever we needed an absolute standard, it is today. It isn’t found in an international standard of measures, nor is it found in a business formula, but it is found in a man, perfect, humble, and willing to die.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 (portion)
There is no limit to what we have in God, but only in ourselves, when we find our lives not measuring up to the mountain we are trying to move with our mustard seed of faith, we need only look one place for the answer, within. Jesus was never alone, He always had the Father. He never, in the record of the Gospels, moved a literal mountain, because He never, apparently, saw the Father doing so. But, equally important to remember in this day is, He could!
She said to herself, If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.
This a woman at the end of her rope, she had tried everything else. She had done everything imaginable. But, she had arrived at a plan. She knew the Healer was nearby and, though it was breaking the law, she decided to press through the possible consequences of the stigma and her own shame and pain and touch the one she knew could heal her.
It was her faith that healed her, Jesus said. Other times, it was Jesus’ faith, and the power of God present to heal, but for her, it was her faith that drew upon that anointing within the Lord. It wasn’t His will that healed her, but hers! Jesus, well aware of the Spirit within Him, according to other accounts, was able to feel the strength of that virtue departing from Him, but, it was her belief, if she only touched, that made it come forth. And for this, He commended her.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Christ gave His life for us, and, although we can get to heaven, it is quite apparent from scripture that we can have greater or less reward when we get there. We are saved by Grace, yet rewarded for what we do. This is called the doctrine of Eternal Reward.
Psalm 1:5 says, “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” We understand that the sinners will be judged, but so too will the believers, made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ.
In his last days old Dr. Bressee [the founder of the Nazarene church] would preach from church to church one message: “Keep the glory down.” Why? He knew that if they ever lost it they were finished.
–R T Kendall, The Anointing
Probably every genuine move of God was birthed in something special. In every move, there was something Beyond the text of the written Word, Beyond the meetings, Beyond the men, that made a difference.
If we understood that the Gospel is more than words on a page, that it is more than a natural man can understand (John 3:3-5), that it is the unseen, spiritual realm that makes a difference (Colossians 1:16), we would be much closer to the glorious overcoming church of Ephesians 4:13.
The cry of a generation, to cleave wholly to the Lord.
They are sick of compromise, and a church that is irrelevant. They are confused over a teaching that on one side talks about power, but on the other hand, can’t get out of its own politics and powerlessness.
Jesus said that would know us by our love, and yet they know us by our cliches.
We have traded faith for doctrinal statements. We have traded true understanding for a listening to sermons we really don’t believe down in the depths of our heart–not enough to be changed.
Some are sincere, but they lack tools to apply. Many want to teach and help others out of the mire, but they fail to understand how to reach in.