Tuesday, March 08, 2016

…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?


Luke 18:1-43

(1)  And he spake a parable unto them to the end that they ought always to pray, and not to faint;

(2)  saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, and regarded not man:

(3)  and there was a widow in that city; and she came oft unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

(4)  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

(5)  yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest she wear me out by her continual coming.

(6)  And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge saith.

(7)  And shall not God avenge his elect, that cry to him day and night, and yet he is longsuffering over them?

(8)  I say unto you, that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
 

…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?
 

(9)  And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought:

(10)  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

(11)  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

(12)  I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get.

(13)  But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.

(14)  I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?


(15)  And they were bringing unto him also their babes, that he should touch them: but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

(16)  But Jesus called them unto him, saying, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God.

(17)  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein.


…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?


(18)  And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

(19)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, even God.

(20)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and mother.

(21)  And he said, All these things have I observed from my youth up.

(22)  And when Jesus heard it, he said unto him, One thing thou lackest yet: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.


…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?

 

(23)  But when he heard these things, he became exceeding sorrowful; for he was very rich.

(24)  And Jesus seeing him said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

(25)  For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

(26)  And they that heard it said, Then who can be saved?

(27)  But he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

(28)  And Peter said, Lo, we have left our own, and followed thee.

(29)  And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or wife, or brethren, or parents, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,

(30)  who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come eternal life.


…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?


(31)  And he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets shall be accomplished unto the Son of man.

(32)  For he shall be delivered up unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and shamefully treated, and spit upon:

(33)  and they shall scourge and kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

(34)  And they understood none of these things; and this saying was hid from them, and they perceived not the things that were said.

(35)  And it came to pass, as he drew nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:

(36)  and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant.

(37)  And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

(38)  And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

(39)  And they that went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.


…shall he find THIS KIND OF faith on the earth?


(40)  And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,

(41)  What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

(42)  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole.

(43)  And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

Monday, March 07, 2016

From Futility to Liberty

Romans 8:19-23 For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God's children, (20) because the creation has become subject to futility, though not by anything it did. The one who subjected it did so in the certainty (21) that the creation itself would also be set free from corrupting bondage in order to share the glorious freedom [KJV ~ liberty] of God's children. (22) For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. (23) However, not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

We have been subjected to futility (corruption, vanity, inutility, even emptiness) for God’s purposes: that He would and has sent His Son to redeem us from vanity to fullness of life, even abundance of life. And even more!
 
Ephesians 3:8-12 To me, the very least of all the saints [Paul the apostle], this grace was given so that I might proclaim to the gentiles the immeasurable wealth of the Messiah (9) and help everyone* see how this secret that has been at work was hidden for ages by God, who created all things. (10) He did this so that now, through the church, the wisdom of God in all its variety might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm (11) in keeping with the eternal purpose that God carried out through the Messiah Jesus our Lord, (12) in whom we have boldness and confident access through his faithfulness.
 
*everyone: this may mean all sentient life, all the angels good and fallen, and all humankind.
 
Bob Mumford in his book Human As God Intended lists fives “arches” from which we must be set free. Why? Because they are corrupted. Our freedom is in the Messiah only, as individuals and very importantly as the BODY of the Messiah, the church, His Bride and wife to be! In order to bring God’s freedom in the Messiah to those bound to corruption we must be free of it! The five arches Mumford notes are:
 
1. Natural Family
2. Culture/Tradition
3. Economics?Money
4. Politics/Tribal Loyalty
5. Religion/Cultic Loyalty
 
I have noticed something lately on talk radio. Talk radio is very “conservative for the most part. Until the recent election cycle began mention of our Judeo/Christian heritage was made with some frequency. Now that we are smack in the middle of the campaigns for nominations there seems an absence of reference to our Judeo/Christian heritage. We seem to be focused entirely on persons and personalities. Not even policy comes to the fore, let alone our Judeo/Christian heritage or Jesus or the Bible or the church. As one Christian commentator pointed out, “evangelical” has become more a political appellation than a biblical term. Politics and Tribal (party and personal) Loyalty have pushed our Judeo/Christian heritage backstage. We as Christians need to bring not only our HERITAGE on stage, but our Heir as well. Note not only our position in the Messiah (the Christ) in verse 17 below, but that these verses (Romans 8:14-19) precede those which open this article (Romans 8:19-23).
    
Romans 8:14-19 For all who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. (15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba! Father!" (16) The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. (17) Now if we are children, we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with the Messiah—if, in fact, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us. (19) For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God's children,
 
There is a great need to abandon the five arches as options for life. This will put us in apparent opposition to those who cling and “thrive” to them for what they perceive as life. Nothing in and of the five arches is something you can take with you! Death which is universal will separate you forever from this world and the things of this world. The five arches are the world, and their goals and attainments are the grist and reward of the world. You cannot take them beyond the grave.
 
Mumford points out that we in Christ by bringing persons to Christ are His instruments through which He is setting creation free. He notes that we will be unable to do this if we ourselves are in bondage to the world (the arches). We are hindered by them as they are corrupt, they are stained by sin and in this day they are VERY stained.
 
2Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, (4) traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; (5) holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.
 
These are SERIOUS defects. The church in our day must seek God’s entire counsel which includes two realities that the natural man murmurs against: OBEDIENCE and HOLINESS. How we love grace, favor and mercy. Some today love justice too, not understanding that God calls us to BE just, not to GET justice. Jesus has through faith by His grace saved us into love unto obedience resulting in holiness. Holiness or sanctification is what separates us from corruption, and from the worlds corruptions. Those corruptions are the idolatries of their day. We are to flee idols.
 
1John 2:15-17 Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father's love is not in him. (16) For everything that is in the world—the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance—is not from the Father but is from the world. (17) And the world and its desires are fading away, but the person who does God's will remains forever.
 
I overheard a very cogent remark made aside by lady one Sunday: “but do we even know what the things of the world are…”
 
Do we? We do NOT want to become legalistic religious prudes, but somethings just need to be placed out of bounds. I think that should include most of televisions late night talk shows and not a few of the daytime talk shows. A strong case can be made that 90% of all television be out of bounds. I believe that Romans Ch. 14 should guide us in much of our material intake; those who can watch (eat) must make peace with those who cannot, those who cannot watch must find peace with those who can.
   
Romans 14:22-23 As for the faith you do have, have it as your own conviction before God. How blessed is the person who has no reason to condemn himself because of what he approves! But the person who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not act in faith; and anything that is not done in faith is sin.
 
Nevertheless they Apostle writes: “LOVE NOT the world or the things of the world.” THEREFORE it is incumbent on we who confess to know the Messiah to identify those things and refrain from their use. And I am at the point of wondering at the wisdom(?) of Anabaptist doctrine which abandons all involvement with the civil governance of the world. The current carnality and “reality show” overtones dominating the political campaigns make interest in them unpleasant in what they expose to ones conscience.
 
Revival is what many are longing for. The word revival implies that something has died or is near death (see Revelation 3:1-6) Those who study past revivals note that prayer and repentance are the keys to revival. Why? Because those who would be revived will be ones set free from corruption into the liberty of the gospel! Is the church dying? Is it dead? If so is it not the wages of sin that produce death? And is sin not the partaking of the world and its sinful things? Is the church now deep in the idolatrous worship of the Natural Family, Culture with Tradition, Economics and Money, Politics and Tribal Loyalties, and Religion and Cultic Loyalty?
 
Simply to believe the Messiah Jesus, His our Father and the Holy Spirit is to connect to the power of God which translates us : from the realm of satanic domain and darkness in which the world EXISTS into the Kingdom of God in the Messiah and the liberty of the gospel!
 
We need to believe there is a difference, and it is a profound difference between these: the Kingdom of God and the domain of the adversary. The evidence of this difference? It is the love of God shed abroad into our hearts. We must receive God’s love and then love God and the things of God. And if you ask me, the first things of God we must love are our fellow Christians, our neighbors and our enemies! We must love them as the Messiah loves them and loves us, not in that order, but just as we meet them in our daily life in but not of this world.

Romans 8:22-25 International Standard Version (ISV)
22 For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. 23 However, not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For we were saved with this hope in mind. Now a hope that can be observed is not really hope, for who hopes for what can be seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet observe, we eagerly wait for it with patience.