Aboutthechurchbody

topics of interest


Legalism

Legalism, in my view, is relying on the Mosaic Law for our righteousness. The Bible says that the law was good as it was originally given. The issue was that the hearts of men could not be changed by the law. If righteousness could have come through the law the scripture says it would have been done that way by God. Man needed to be reborn into righteousness after the fall of Adam and Eve. This was accomplished through Christ, a righteous man, dying on the cross and being raised again to new life. The Law was instituted as a tutor of righteousness until the appointed time of the birth of Jesus Christ. God’s requirements have not changed in Scripture. Beginning in the OT and then into the NT God teaches us about his requirements for right living, right thinking, and right hearts. What Jesus did was to make our transformation in these areas possible. We can now do through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit what we could not do under the Law. We can become a new creation in Christ. The scriptures teach us how we are to make these changes.

Today’s modern teaching on legalism has made it about overlooking God’s requirements for righteous living. That we have no choice but to continue to sin. This teaching denies the new birth in Christ. It puts believers in the camp of the unrighteous, with no real power, and at the control of sin. This is false teaching according to the Bible.


Two Covenants meaning Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:21 begins a teaching about the two sons of Abraham. The story in the OT of the two sons named Ishmael and Isaac tells of how Ishmael and his mother Hagar were sent away by Abraham. In Galatians the apostle Paul says that we can look figuratively at the mothers of Abraham’s sons as representing two covenants, one of the natural, and one of the promise through the power of the Spirit. Paul clearly teaches that the present Jerusalem is of Hagar. She will not share in the inheritance of God. Paul declares that there is a Jerusalem that is above and that she is the mother of those who are in Christ.
Today we have many teachers and preachers who make errors in dividing the word of truth. They teach one part of the Bible as full and complete truth, but when other parts of the Bible are read their teaching is contradicted by other Scriptures. This means there is error in what they are teaching.
The present church system that we know of in North America does not have checks and balances. There is alot of control implemented in the majority of churches. We can be certain that this type of control of people and of what we are being taught is not of God. We seem to have a mishmash of teachings related to both Hagar and Sarah. On the one hand we have freedom in Christ, on the other hand we are subjects and children to these church systems. The Hagars of our day.


Ministry to Saints

There is a complaint by the saints in the church today of being fed a plenteous  diet of pablum and milk by church leaders.  They want to hear the word of God.  They want to hear the exhortation and challenge needed in our times.  They want to know where they are in relation to God’s instruction and what they need to be working on.

Church leaders, on the other hand, are concerned about building bigger congregations.  Leaders are looking to appeal to a broad range of people so that all kinds of people will be comfortable in attending their church.  The church has become shallow in its’ depths and broad in its’ ways.  It wants to be seen as welcoming to all and diligently endeavors not to offend anyone who crosses its’ thresholds.

This is a distinctively different kind of church than we read about in the scriptures.  The church we see in these writings exhorts the believers to get their lives free from sin.  To choose paths of righteousness and to turn from evil.  To be good and kind and generous to one another, to help one another.   Believers who rejected God’s counsel were disciplined by putting them out of the church until they repented.  These were accepted back into the church through the permission of the affected congregation.

The Bible states that ‘narrow is the gate (or way) that leads to life and few there be that find it’.  This is contrary to what the church is teaching believers today.

 


Jesus friend of sinners

Jesus is a friend of sinners.  We hear this frequently about Jesus’ ministry in sermons, in songs, in comments by believers.   The comments are along the lines of ‘Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors’.  Did he?  Large crowds followed Jesus.  I am sure there were people of all kinds within these crowds.  The Bible does not indicate that Jesus went to these kinds of people, but rather that they came to him.  Jesus entered a community, people heard that he was there and they brought their sick, their demon possessed, their crippled,  blind, deaf, and lame to him to be healed.  People came to him to hear his teaching.

Jesus hung out with his disciples.  They were with him wherever he went.  He took them aside and revealed things to them about the Father.  He expounded on and explained his parables to them.  He took only  three disciples with him up on the mount where he was transfigured before them.  In the Bible Jesus exhorts some whom he healed to ‘go and sin no more’.

The apostle Paul exhorts believers many times in the NT to bring forth the fruits of salvation and of their need to turn away from their past sins and to no longer indulge in these sins.   Paul explains that our past sinful behavior was of the old man, but we who believe are made new creations.  We are to clothe ourselves with the ‘new man’.   We are to love righteousness and to flee evil.  We are to bring forth righteousness and justice from out of our inner being, to hate sin.