Monday, June 15, 2015

What shall a man profit?

1 Corinthians 8 (The Message)
1-3 The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not? We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions—but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all.

Sometimes? I think anytime and every time our humble hearts will help us more than our proud minds.

Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the marketplaces, who call unto their fellows
17 and say, We piped unto you, and ye did not dance; we wailed, and ye did not mourn.
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a demon.
19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! And wisdom is justified by her works.

Something in this has caught my attention for years. IS IT as if the Baptists call out to the Catholics "You're baptizing babies?" And the Catholics calling out to the protestants, "You're not baptizing babies?" We divide over the "doctrine" we teach, and correct or not, the divisions become as sinful or more than the errors. The devil takes advantage of our PRIDE. We are not to love the things of the world. Lust, covetousness, and PRIDE are killers. We take God’s things and begin to possess them in a fashion not of God. We make them our own things and then they no longer belong to Him!!!

Philippians 2:5 Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]
6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,
7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.
8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!
9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

Galatians 5:13 For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another.
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.
Romans 6-7
18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Romans 8
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,
21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.
25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.
26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

We must continually deny our selves, take up the instrument (the CROSS) by which we may die daily, and allow “room” for God in Power to raise us from death to life. Revelation 3:20 I fear this will look very different than we may have imagined.

Galatians 5 The Message (MSG)

1 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
2-3 I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, [any denominational doctrine; anything not of God but of man] at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision [or any other rule-keeping system] trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law.
4-6 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.

And will faith working by/in/with love remain in us without an outward manifestation? I pray not, but that it will manifest to accomplish the unity the Messiah prayed for us to live out in (not of) the world. Jesus prayed to Father for us to live in unity, oh how good and pleasant it is. Did Father answer that prayer? I think He did, I can’t imagine it otherwise.
John 17
Therefore if we have strife in the church someone, (ME) must humble themselves and seek the way back to peace. The world thrives on despotism. The church thrives on love and the fruit of the Spirit.

God IS love. In Him is no darkness at all.

We are ONE BODY belonging to the Messiah, He is our Head. Father, help us have the mind of our Head who is Jesus. If we think like another, like a hireling, or like a wolf, the results will be calamitous.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Can we hear God's commandment?

A brother once told me that another brother was able to say: “I’m free to have a glass of wine.” To which the first brother inquired: “Yes, but are you free to NOT have a glass of wine?”

This morning I saw the matter of women under their husbands authority somewhat in the same light. Is the husband free to command his wife’s silence? Is she free obey her husband and to be silent? Is the pastor free to command a woman not to teach? Is a woman free to obey her pastor and not teach? Are we free NOT to command? Are they free NOT to obey? Now we are no longer speaking of one glass of wine. 

 “What? was it from you that the word of God went forth? or came it unto you alone?
If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 14:36-37

As Christ’s body, bride, and wife to be, we must be free to do what the Lord commands. My sense is that this matter of women teaching and speaking in the church is every bit as important as drinking wine and even more so. Women who are married are to be examples to those who are not, the younger and the widows. If the wife will obey, the children will obey. If not…?

We live in an age of wantonness. Not only women but men are wanton, and even in the church. Romans 13:13; 1 Timothy 5:11. Tozer, Bunyan and others took a stand against wantoness in the church. But do we today? Do we even see the issue? Is our grace cheap? Grace is costly, Jesus paid the high price of obedience unto death, OBEDIENCE unto death >>>---> SO THAT that we might have God’s grace. Bonhoeffer saw it and saw the German church forfeit it’s voice; it had no knowledge or power to stop Hitler. It’s witness was powerless, and a very few Jews were saved from death. We should be LOVING Jews today AND praying God give us divine opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Romans 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”  Jewish evangelism is being carried out today, and there will be a blessing for those who participate, even in simply praying. It is the stewardship of knowledge and grace we need to be about. We need to be the Bride, but that will not make men and women equal. We are different. God has instructions on how the difference is to operate, how men are to rule and women to obey.

Women chafe under authority every bit as much as men, and yet in the church they are not to usurp it from men. Men can be very cowardly and not be obedient to the Lord, and the gifts the Lord gives lie dormant just as the one talent was buried. God! Help us! We need to walk as Jesus walked, in obedience, not as the world walks. I fear that when women are given power that should not have the church men begin to think and become like women, and even deceived like Eve.

“But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. But let all things be done decently and in order.”
1 Corinthians 14:38-40

If she will not obey and be silent how shall her husband teach her at home? If the man is to lazy to learn from God and from men, and is content to be taught by women, how shall he lead AND TEACH in his home?

“…for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:33-35

Isaiah 3:12 My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

Do I take the matter to far? Am I in eisegesis?