Monthly Archives: February 2014
(This will likely be my shortest blog ever.)
Ponder these scriptures, and ponder my conclusion…
- Scriptures says in Romans 10:17 that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the word (Rhema) of God.”
- Scripture teaches in Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God”
- Scripture says “Anything that is not of faith (ie: produced by, a product of), is sin.” (Romans 14:23b)
- The Scripture tells us that “Jesus was perfect, without sin”. (Hebrews 4:15)
- And… “We are to be like Jesus” (1 John 2:6)
- Lastly, Jesus said of Himself: “I only say what I hear the Father say”, and “I only do what I see the Father do.” (John 5:19; 12:50)
So, anytime we “say” something that the Father hasn’t said, or “do” something we don’t see the Father doing – what we are saying or what we are doing, is, therefore, not a product of faith, and is must be sin.
So next time I am tempted to ask “Is this sin?” or “Is this evil?” or “Is this wrong?” – the simple answer becomes “did I hear the Father say to say it, or did I see the Father do it?”
It “no”, then it is not “of faith”, it is therefore “sin”, and the Father is not pleased.
This is why sin should grieve the Christian. Not because we have broken a rule on a list – but because we have failed to please the Father.
The primary difference in the “sin(s) of a sinner”, and the “sin(s) of a Saint”, is that the Saint is grieved, ashamed, convicted and disgusted by their sin(s), which though likely frequent, should be, by-and-large, accidental, not premeditated. The sinner loves their sin, and find themselves typically, deliberately and naturally, comfortably at home with their sins, proud of them, and not at all convicted by them.
Christian (Saint): When you sin, are you proud or ashamed? Are you convicted or comfortable? Are you in love with it, or disgusted by it?
Again, the question is not, “did I break a rule on some list?” The question, for the Christian, is “Did I act displeasing to my Father?”
(Or, subtitled: The concern I have with the “Gospel” that is being preached now a-days, can be likened unto road work.)
Imagine if you will, a terribly rough, worn, pothole-filled road, with shoulders eroding away, and the lines faded to disappearance – too narrow, like one of those one-lane bridges. One day, after much complaining, many accidents and repeated troubles, the transportation department comes in and completely tears up the road, grinding, shoveling, and destroying it, completely removing all signs of the asphalt, curbs and surface, till there is nothing left but bare dirt. This is the Gospel that most preach! Hallelujah, the awful road which caused me so much pain, worry, hurt and trouble has been removed and dealt with. We run onto the dirt surface with zeal and happiness, emotional stirred by the removal of the old road, and the new dirt path left behind. Dancing with excitement, we tell everyone “the nasty old road is gone”! And herein, with the old road gone, we spend our lives, rejoicing that the old road is gone, and we are so pleased with the dirt road, though somehow insufficient, hoping and believing that one day, in that great by-and-by, when we die, we will then have a new road, all to ourselves! Meanwhile, our excitement wanes over time, as the dirt road becomes muddy at times, proves very unsafe with no lines or proper shoulders, and there we remain, reconciled to be content (though miserable) with this new, inadequate road – most days wishing we had our old road back (at least it made sense to us) – and hoping that one day, things will again, get better.
But alas, one day a stranger comes to visit, he asks about the strange dirt road that you are firmly, but miserably sitting upon. He tells you that his road was once a dusty, muddy mess as well. They he explains a deep truth to you, a “Gospel” that you have not been told before. He explains that this destruction and removal of the old rough, worn & pothole-filled road, was indeed absolutely necessary, and of first most importance to the project to be performed, but that the project was not just the remove of the old, but an immediate installation of a new road. He asks, “Didn’t you sense that there was more?” You respond that you thought maybe there was more, but no one told you, and you were so very excited to have the old road gone! You suddenly recall an old, but vague memory of other heavy equipment, different from the rest, that arrived immediately after the old road was removed, but in your hast to dance with excitement and emotion in the middle of the dirt road, the equipment remained in the distance, and eventually, it went away.
Then the stranger explains that the destruction of the old road was not done so that a new dirt road – sure to get muddy in the rain, dusty in the wind, still without lines for safety, and strange indeed compared to other roads – could be its result. No, no! This was done that a newer, greater, more effective road could be out in its place. A new “superhighway”, with the greatest of all safety features for your travel – a road with a new destination. It is wider, safer, sturdier, and better in every way. It is not a revision of the old, but a brand new road, better than ever, made perfectly for you. And on this road you are to begin a new journey, to a new destination. To your amazement, it also comes with a brand new vehicle designed for your travel; and as a bonus, this road comes with your own personal travel guide for the journey. And best of all, you don’t even have to drive – your new guide, will also be your chauffeur! This is good news indeed – this is a “Gospel” worth getting excited over – this makes sense!
All you have to do is “yield” to the equipment that is creating the new road, and “surrender” to the absolute wisdom of your guide and chauffeur, and then become an “active participant” in the journey of a lifetime, wherein God’s power and strength, becomes, in a mystery, your enablement to journey to places once unknown, for His Name Sake, and His Glory, in all the earth.
Jesus’ work in His passion, with the 3-day work of death, burial & resurrection, is the destruction of the old road. Therein He has removed the penalty of your sin, and freed you from its power – however, for 3 years prior, Jesus taught and demonstrated the “new road”. That is, His Father’s Kingdom. A kingdom in which all things become new, and though our “yielding” to His Lordship, our “surrender” to the absolute leadership of the Holy Spirit, and our necessary, thought “paradoxical participation” in God’s work of Grace in our lives, we experience the fulfillment of the “Gospel of the Kingdom” from which the “Gospel of Salvation” purposed us to go. Our Savior, become our King!
So, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a road. Destroyed, and rebuilt anew – providing all that is needed for life and godliness – in Christ Jesus. The unfortunate Truth is, the dirt road will never get you to where the new road is designed to take you. So move aside, and ask the Father to send the equipment to put in the new road (your new heart), and to provide your new vehicle (your new spirit), and to give you the guide and chauffeur (His Holy Spirit), and pour our His Grace on you and in you, for the journey!
Let him who has ears to hear, hear!
2 Corinthian 5:17
John 14:16-17, 16:7
1 Corinthians 15:3-4