Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beyond Salvation

Alan Knox said in his blog, The Assembling of the Church, that his church was soon going to study the book of Ephesians. In that regard, did anyone have any favorite verses to share?  Well, I had more than a verse is mind.  This is the comment I left...

I love this book! How do I pick a favorite verse or even a phrase? It's the whole thought and intent I love: the mystery of the gospel made known to Paul by special revelation, not known to other generations, and now revealed to us.

What is this 'mystery of the gospel', or 'the mystery of His will'? Isn't salvation the greatest gift there is to know? No! Neither was salvation a mystery not revealed to other generations. Is it that by grace we have been saved and not of works? No! Far from it! Rather, it is what is now available to those who are saved in this church age.

Through salvation, we already have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. It can't be that. Through salvation, we are already seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It can't be that. Through salvation, we already have redemption in His blood, forgiveness of our trespasses. It can't be those either.

Then what?! What could possibly be more than salvation by grace while we're still on earth and awaiting our heavenly bodies and inheritance?! Is it merely that we love each other and worship God? What a privilege, but no, it is not those either.

This is what... and it is far MORE abundantly than ALL we could possibly ask, think, or imagine!  It is the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and fullness of God! It is to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge! It is that Christ will dwell in our hearts through faith, and we will be filled with His indwelling Spirit. It is that He will manifest Himself in us!

Perhaps all these things are summed up in this verse: "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32 ESV)"  It is through this profound mystery that we grow up in Christ, that we mature and move beyond the milk of the word and sink our spiritual teeth into the meat of the word.  If it were just salvation, it wouldn't be profound unless we artificially inflated it.

Don't take the verses out of context. Don't read the verses in this book quickly and say, "I know that already." Instead, let us humble ourselves and be as nothing, so that He may exalt us at the right time. It's ALL about Him! Let Christ and His Father come and make their home in our hearts! Amen!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fast Food Faith Fighters

[Edited 3/21/2017 because it sorely needed it.]

Grab a cause, any cause! Whatever you do, don't just sit there and enjoy your food.

Here's my dilemma. Apparently, I'm pro-gay marriage/anti-Christian if I eat Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked ice cream. But, I'm anti-gay marriage/pro-Christian if I eat at Chick-fil-A. Well, I hate to disappoint your club membership drives, but I'm just trying to enjoy a treat.

What am I supposed to do? Blog, of course!

oh... seems others beat me to it.  Oh well.

Yeah, it was a popular topic for a while. I'd left a comment on one blog. A friend on Facebook 'Liked' the blog, so I just had to read it. But after I read it, I didn't like the triviality of judging others and dividing left and right. At first, when I heard about all these restaurant sit-ins, it sounded fun! Only it wasn't meant to be fun. These people were serious!

To me, there's something way more important than these issues, your soul. Our souls. Maybe if you just read my comment you'll get what I mean... 

My Blog Comment: As Christians, we have a singular responsibility, and it does not have to with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Chick-fil-A, sexual preference, or even someone’s personal sin-of-choice. That singular responsibility is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who need to hear it, with all gentleness and reason. 

Who needs to hear the Gospel? Anyone who doesn’t know it, whether straight, gay, lesbian, single, thief, slanderer, liar, sexually immoral, baptist, reformed, Unitarian, Catholic, those living their best life now, etc. If they don't know it, they need it, and just because they go to church or call themselves ‘spiritual, but not religious’ doesn’t automatically mean that they know it. 

The Gospel is not even about personal sin; we sin because we have a sin nature. We have a sin nature because God condemned us in Adam.  When the Bible lists the symptoms of those who won’t enter Heaven, it includes everyone except those who have been saved by believing in Christ. Excellent article! Excellent reference to John 3:17!  Read John 3:16 again, but also include John 3:18 and discover why those who were condemned in Adam remain so. 

(PS – In addition to this responsibility, our primary goal, the race set before us, is to mature as Christians, so that Christ can manifest Himself in us. John 14.)

I don't know when, but my blog comment was either not accepted or it was removed. Shame. The blog was http://jrlee.tv/2012/08/01/ben-jerrys-chick-fil-a-political-correctness/. I had never heard of Freedom Church and really have know no idea what they teach or believe beyond this article.

My point is this: I don't care about what you eat. I care about what's in your heart.