The Word – Special Delivery

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My Musings – Years ago, the Christian worldview, based upon the Word of God, was nearly universally accepted as the absolute truth in the Western world.  This worldview has eroded over the years to the point that truth is largely considered to be relative to the person or circumstances.  Pontius Pilate once asked Jesus “What is truth.”  Nowadays, many (most) would answer question with “it depends.”  But Jesus said then, and would still say today, “I am the truth,” or “my words are truth.”  Jesus is able to say that because He is the Word that was with God in the beginning.

In revelation God unveils truth; by interpretation man understands that truth.  The link that connects God proclaiming (revelation) and man perceiving (interpretation) is the inspiration of Holy Scriptures.  The inspired Word of God.

Revelation – The divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of things (the facts of Divine communication) that were previously secret or unknown.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, NIV 1978)

Inspiration – A divine influence or action (the means of Divine communication) on a person to enable him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20, 21, NIV 1978)

Interpretation – The apprehension and understanding (the process of Divine communication) of God’s revelation to man.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV 1978)

My Advice – The first two parts (revelation and inspiration) have been done for you.  Do your best to apprehend and understand what God is saying through His Word. through His Son.

 

Mission Accomplished!

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My Musings – Been thinking a lot about the aging process here lately.  In my adult Sunday School class yesterday, we talked about the various age groups in the Body and how they relate to each other, noting that older does not always equate with more mature in the faith.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we matured as fast (at least it seems fast now that I am in my mid-sixties) as we aged?  I confessed to the class to being older (it was quite obvious, of course), but not old (some denial going on?).  I also told them I aspired to being the oldest in our Church, but was willing to be patient about it.

Back to aging, versus maturing.  In the above text, as John speaks of three ages of men (children, young men and fathers) he could just as well be speaking about the three stages of salvation and Christian maturity (justification, sanctification, glorification).

Dear Children (Justification) – A judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law. In addition to the pardon of sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in respect of the justified. The law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled – Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.  This is a past event that is accomplished through the work of the Son.

Young Men (Sanctification) – In Christian theology, a distinction is made between justification and sanctification where justification refers to having saving faith and sanctification refers to the process of gradual purification from sin and progressive spiritual growth that should mark the life of the believer – The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.  This is an on-going process that is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Fathers  (Glorification) – In the Scripture the idea of glorification deals with the ultimate perfection of believers.  It is ours by inheritance – Evangelical dictionary of biblical theology, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.  This is our future destination through the work of the Father.

Interestingly, while these three aspects of salvation occur in the past (“have been justified through faith“), present (“are being transformed into His likeness“) and future (“we shall be like Him“), John speaks of them all as having already taken place (“have been forgiven“, “have overcome“, “have known Him“).  How each of us progress is different, and all of us experience our ups and downs, but that first act of faith guarantees the ultimate perfection of them all.  It kind of looks like this:

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My Advice –  Do not be discouraged.  “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, NIV 1978).”  It’s a done deal.  So, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily [those ups and downs] entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV 1978).”  And one day “we shall see Him as He is.”  What a glorious thought!

No Shame

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My Musings – So, if God did not give us a spirit of timidity, where did it come from?  If He gave us a spirit of power, why does the timidity win out so often?  Satan is the master of deception, convincing us of what we cannot do, when he knows very well the power that is within.  A power that he does not want unleashed.

My Advice – Listen to the Spirit of the Lord, and turn a deaf ear to the spirit of the enemy. Unleash the power, but do so in love and self-discipline.

Take Heart

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My Musings – We have a tendency to want to do things in our own might and power.  That’s a risky proposition, to say the least.  And a needless risk at that.  As His children we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.  And He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.

My Advice – “I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV 1984).  And because He overcame, so will we.  Don’t take needless risks.

Acknowledging Jesus

1 John 4:2-3This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Those who clearly deny Jesus are easy to spot. But there are many who claim to acknowledge Jesus, but in reality it is not the Jesus of scripture that they acknowledge. He was not merely a prophet, He was not merely a good man, He was not created divinity. He was, is and will always be co-eternal with God, the one and only Savior.

My Advice – Many will claim that Jesus was less than what He claimed to be. If He was less, He was actually nothing. But you know that He is exactly who He said He was. Do not waver in your belief about that.

Fresh Fruit

Galatians 5:22, 23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Who would not want these? The problem is we seek for them in all the wrong places. The truth is, they are ours simply by living by the Spirit.

My Advice – Let these qualities be your legacy in life. Pursue them rather than wealth and status. Wealth and status may be a by-product that you will only be able to truly enjoy if you have these qualities. You cannot gain these qualities any other way than by living by the Spirit.

You Know His Voice

Galatians 5:16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – A battle is being waged within us. A skirmish that is not necessary, because the war has already been won.

My Advice – The Spirit lives within you. Listen to Him. You know His voice. He is the feeling of uneasiness you feel when faced with certain choices, the sense of unrest when you’ve made the wrong choice and the feeling of peace when you know that you have.