Aboutthechurchbody

topics of interest


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Righteousness vs Wickedness

In scripture the apostle Paul says that we are in a fight and that we are to win this fight as followers of Jesus.  This fight is between righteousness and wickedness. Internally within ourselves, and externally in our world.  We have to be ready to give it our all in this fight. Paul says don’t beat the air ineffectually, but understand what you are doing and how to do it.  Follow the leading of the Spirit of God in your life.

This fight is the fight of faith.  Staying faithful to God, listening to him, and obeying him.

This fight might be costly.  The Bible says we are to count the cost, put our hands to the plow, and don’t look back.  We are either for righteousness or against it. These are the two positions in our world at the present time.

The Bible says that if we fight for righteousness God will be at our right hand.  He will  teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight.  He will be our shield all around.  If we stand he will be our helper to deliver us from our enemies.

Scripture is clear.  Believers have enemies.  Those who want to destroy righteousness, kill God, and live in the lusts of their flesh.  King David says that God’s enemies are his enemies and that he hates them with a pure hatred.

What we are seeing in the USA today is dizzying  The divide that has occurred between  people who want to throw off all restraint of righteousness and people who are trying to maintain some kind of righteousness in the land.  This is not a political divide. It is not a racial divide.  It is righteousness and wickedness fighting each other within both groups of people.

As Believers we need to declare ourselves on God’s side.  Take this stance in our lives and come what may stand in it.  God will help us and show himself faithful to us.  We have this well known quote from Joshua, ‘Choose you this day who you will serve.. but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.’

 

 


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The Sufferings of Christ

The Bible declares that the believer will partake of the sufferings of Christ.  That this is in their best interests. That the believer will partake of the glory when they have also suffered like their predecessor Jesus.  Jesus has gone before us, we are to follow him.  Job declares that he knew of God, he had heard of him previously, but when Job suffered he stated he then saw God, gained understanding, and abhorred himself for his complaint against God.

Job suffered when he stood alone in his faith.  His friends contradicted him, his wife encouraged him to curse God.  Job experienced the loss of his family, his children, his friends, his possessions, his standing and respect in the community.  He stayed faithful to God, and afterward was richly rewarded by God in this life, and I am confident, in the life to come.  In the kingdom of God.  How could Job be happy with what God gave him after he had experienced such devastating losses?  God makes it possible.  Our further understanding makes it possible.  God’s work in us makes it possible.  The Bible says that with God nothing is impossible.

The New Testament says that we need to arm ourselves with this knowledge of the believer suffering.  It is happening in the world today and believers in the western nations don’t understand it.  Arm yourselves with this mind, the Bible says.  Christ suffered, and so you can expect that you will suffer as well.  Are you greater than your teacher, the Bible says?

Do we suffer in a vacuum away from God?  No, God is with us.  He makes it possible.  He provides.  It is not easy, but the suffering will end.  Paul states that if it is God’s will that you suffer for a period of time endure it like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  These are teachings that are lost to the western church doctrines in our day.  It should open our eyes as to who is a true leader of God’s people in our day and times.

 

 


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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.


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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.

 


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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.