Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

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I want to clear something up.

July 4, 2008

I want to clear something up.

Some on the blogosphere are referring to me as “Pastor” Carlos Shelton. I do pastor/teach at my church and am on the leadership team. I have not been given the title “Pastor” though I have pastored while doing my church plant and also have been a Youth Pastor.

I do not take the title of office as it is being applied to me because it has not officially been given to me yet.

Pastoring is a gift where one gently loves and guides the people in the congregation. Many people who are not even in the “leadership” role can have the gift of pastor and also love and guide and others. Ephesians 4: 11-13 states:
11. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12. to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13. until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Notice the phrase “It was he who gave“? God gave these people as a gift and gifted them so do this work and service for the Body of Christ. It is not a “title of authority” though most denominations do use it that way.

I am a Pastor, but again do not take that as a title of office, but as a gift. To apply it to me as a title as Ingrid and Pastorboy do is not accurate.

I am ordained, but because some thought the organization I was ordained through was not “legit” to their specification I rarely mention it anymore. But, since I am not officially been instated by the Vineyard Denomination as a “Pastor” in title, I hope that those referring to me as such will stop as it misrepresents me and what I do.

Thanks,

iggy
h1

I want to clear something up.

July 4, 2008

I want to clear something up.

Some on the blogosphere are referring to me as “Pastor” Carlos Shelton. I do pastor/teach at my church and am on the leadership team. I have not been given the title “Pastor” though I have pastored while doing my church plant and also have been a Youth Pastor.

I do not take the title of office as it is being applied to me because it has not officially been given to me yet.

Pastoring is a gift where one gently loves and guides the people in the congregation. Many people who are not even in the “leadership” role can have the gift of pastor and also love and guide and others. Ephesians 4: 11-13 states:
11. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12. to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13. until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Notice the phrase “It was he who gave“? God gave these people as a gift and gifted them so do this work and service for the Body of Christ. It is not a “title of authority” though most denominations do use it that way.

I am a Pastor, but again do not take that as a title of office, but as a gift. To apply it to me as a title as Ingrid and Pastorboy do is not accurate.

I am ordained, but because some thought the organization I was ordained through was not “legit” to their specification I rarely mention it anymore. But, since I am not officially been instated by the Vineyard Denomination as a “Pastor” in title, I hope that those referring to me as such will stop as it misrepresents me and what I do.

Thanks,

iggy
h1

2 Cor 4:4 Who Is The God of This World?

May 21, 2008

I have been in a discussion with someone on Twitter discussing 2 Cor 4:4 and that it seemed inconsistent with Paul’s theology to state this commonly quoted verse.

2 Cor 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For some reason that verse had always bothered me as I saw it did not fit with other verses that Paul wrote.

Like.

Romans 1: 25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. 26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

Notice it is God doing the deluding? Not Satan. Though I do think Satan plays a part in the turning from the knowledge of God, and adding to the “depraved mind”.

I also noted Paul stating things like:

Romans 3: 30. “since there is only one God,” I wondered why then Paul referred to Satan as the “god of this world”… it seemed that it was a bit of an exaggeration at best! LOL!

But the verses that made me wonder the most was in 1 Cor 8: 4. So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6. yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

If Paul was stating that there is only One God over and over here… and stating that “even if there are so-called gods”, then making a slighted reference to all the many “gods” and “lords” (possibly a reference to Caesar worship?) I just could not see him referring to Satan as a god, even in small letters. It seemed out of character for Paul… though he may at times go to extreme rhetoric as in the “height, width, depth of God’s love”…

Anyway I left it alone for quite a few years, but it still bothered me. Then about a year ago (maybe 3) I was reading Irenaeus and found that he was correcting how this passage should be read. Sorry for all the upcoming cut an past

Against Heresies
Chapter VII.—Reply to an objection founded on the words of St. Paul (2 Cor. iv. 4). St. Paul occasionally uses words not in their grammatical sequence.

1. As to their affirming that Paul said plainly in the Second [Epistle] to the Corinthians, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not,”3358 and maintaining that there is indeed one god of this world, but another who is beyond all principality, and beginning, and power, we are not to blame if they, who give out that they do themselves know mysteries beyond God, know not how to read Paul. For if any one read the passage thus—according to Paul’s custom, as I show elsewhere, and by many examples, that he uses transposition of words—“In whom God,” then pointing it off, and making a slight interval, and at the same time read also the rest [of the sentence] in one [clause], “hath blinded the minds of them of this world that believe not,” he shall find out the true [sense]; that it is contained in the expression, “God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this world.” And this is shown by means of the little interval [between the clause]. For Paul does not say, “the God of this world,” as if recognising any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, “the unbelievers of this world,” because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption. I shall show from Paul himself, how it is that God has blinded the minds of them that believe not, in the course of this work, that we may not just at present distract our mind from the matter in hand, [by wandering] at large.

2. From many other instances also, we may discover that the apostle frequently uses a transposed order in his sentences, due to the rapidity of his discourses, and the impetus of the Spirit which is in him. An example occurs in the [Epistle] to the Galatians, where he expresses himself as follows:
“Wherefore then the law of works?3359 It was added, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.”3360 For the order of the words runs thus: “Wherefore then the law of works? Ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator, it was added until the seed should come to whom the promise was made,”— man thus asking the question, and the Spirit making answer. And again, in the Second to the Thessalonians, speaking of Antichrist, he says, “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus Christ3361 shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy him3362 with the presence of his coming; [even him] whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.”3363 Now in these [sentences] the order of the words is this: “And then shall be revealed that wicked, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the presence of His coming.”
For he does not mean that the coming of the Lord is after the working of Satan; but the coming of the wicked one, whom we also call Antichrist. If, then, one does not attend to the [proper] reading [of the passage], and if he do not exhibit the intervals of breathing as they occur, there shall be not only incongruities, but also, when reading, he will utter blasphemy, as if the advent of the Lord could take place according to the working of Satan. So therefore, in such passages, the hyperbaton must be exhibited by the reading, and the apostle’s meaning following on, preserved; and thus we do not read in that passage, “the god of this world,” but, “God,” whom we do truly call God; and we hear [it declared of] the unbelieving and the blinded of this world, that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come.


It really made me start thinking again on all this…

I started to look at the verse again so see what it might really be saying.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who veiled the gospel? It is our own unbelief. How is the veil removed, by believing in Jesus. We learned all this in 2 Cor 3
The Gospel is veiled to those who are perishing.

I see it should read:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The God Eternal has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

It then flows so that we now (again as we learned in 2 Cor 3: 16. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.)

Verse 5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

It is God who blinds the unbeliever so that they cannot see Christ. They can see Christ when God reveals Jesus to them as Paul teaches in 1 Cor 1: 18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Now here is my theory, call it conspiracy if you will. LOL!

Most of us are from the Protestant/reformed view. We spend our time in Calvin and Augustine and other 16th century guys who are well worth the read. I think many manuscripts are mostly from Alexandria which took a Platonist/ Gnostic view point of scripture. Somewhere I think we tossed the baby out with the bathwater in our zeal to attack the Roman Catholic Church. I had not read Irenaeus and when I did it was in my search to follow the disciples of John the Apostle. You might know Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of Ignatius and. So the linage is pretty straight forward as to what was taught from John. I see that maybe we just took to our own traditions instead of looking at our historians of past. Note many are pretty far out there, yet, some that we can see come from apostolic line of teaching, should be considered in their interpretations.

iggy

h1

2 Cor 4:4 Who Is The God of This World?

May 21, 2008

I have been in a discussion with someone on Twitter discussing 2 Cor 4:4 and that it seemed inconsistent with Paul’s theology to state this commonly quoted verse.

2 Cor 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For some reason that verse had always bothered me as I saw it did not fit with other verses that Paul wrote.

Like.

Romans 1: 25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. 26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

Notice it is God doing the deluding? Not Satan. Though I do think Satan plays a part in the turning from the knowledge of God, and adding to the “depraved mind”.

I also noted Paul stating things like:

Romans 3: 30. “since there is only one God,” I wondered why then Paul referred to Satan as the “god of this world”… it seemed that it was a bit of an exaggeration at best! LOL!

But the verses that made me wonder the most was in 1 Cor 8: 4. So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6. yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

If Paul was stating that there is only One God over and over here… and stating that “even if there are so-called gods”, then making a slighted reference to all the many “gods” and “lords” (possibly a reference to Caesar worship?) I just could not see him referring to Satan as a god, even in small letters. It seemed out of character for Paul… though he may at times go to extreme rhetoric as in the “height, width, depth of God’s love”…

Anyway I left it alone for quite a few years, but it still bothered me. Then about a year ago (maybe 3) I was reading Irenaeus and found that he was correcting how this passage should be read. Sorry for all the upcoming cut an past

Against Heresies
Chapter VII.—Reply to an objection founded on the words of St. Paul (2 Cor. iv. 4). St. Paul occasionally uses words not in their grammatical sequence.

1. As to their affirming that Paul said plainly in the Second [Epistle] to the Corinthians, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not,”3358 and maintaining that there is indeed one god of this world, but another who is beyond all principality, and beginning, and power, we are not to blame if they, who give out that they do themselves know mysteries beyond God, know not how to read Paul. For if any one read the passage thus—according to Paul’s custom, as I show elsewhere, and by many examples, that he uses transposition of words—“In whom God,” then pointing it off, and making a slight interval, and at the same time read also the rest [of the sentence] in one [clause], “hath blinded the minds of them of this world that believe not,” he shall find out the true [sense]; that it is contained in the expression, “God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this world.” And this is shown by means of the little interval [between the clause]. For Paul does not say, “the God of this world,” as if recognising any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, “the unbelievers of this world,” because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption. I shall show from Paul himself, how it is that God has blinded the minds of them that believe not, in the course of this work, that we may not just at present distract our mind from the matter in hand, [by wandering] at large.

2. From many other instances also, we may discover that the apostle frequently uses a transposed order in his sentences, due to the rapidity of his discourses, and the impetus of the Spirit which is in him. An example occurs in the [Epistle] to the Galatians, where he expresses himself as follows:
“Wherefore then the law of works?3359 It was added, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.”3360 For the order of the words runs thus: “Wherefore then the law of works? Ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator, it was added until the seed should come to whom the promise was made,”— man thus asking the question, and the Spirit making answer. And again, in the Second to the Thessalonians, speaking of Antichrist, he says, “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus Christ3361 shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy him3362 with the presence of his coming; [even him] whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.”3363 Now in these [sentences] the order of the words is this: “And then shall be revealed that wicked, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the presence of His coming.”
For he does not mean that the coming of the Lord is after the working of Satan; but the coming of the wicked one, whom we also call Antichrist. If, then, one does not attend to the [proper] reading [of the passage], and if he do not exhibit the intervals of breathing as they occur, there shall be not only incongruities, but also, when reading, he will utter blasphemy, as if the advent of the Lord could take place according to the working of Satan. So therefore, in such passages, the hyperbaton must be exhibited by the reading, and the apostle’s meaning following on, preserved; and thus we do not read in that passage, “the god of this world,” but, “God,” whom we do truly call God; and we hear [it declared of] the unbelieving and the blinded of this world, that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come.


It really made me start thinking again on all this…

I started to look at the verse again so see what it might really be saying.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who veiled the gospel? It is our own unbelief. How is the veil removed, by believing in Jesus. We learned all this in 2 Cor 3
The Gospel is veiled to those who are perishing.

I see it should read:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The God Eternal has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

It then flows so that we now (again as we learned in 2 Cor 3: 16. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.)

Verse 5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

It is God who blinds the unbeliever so that they cannot see Christ. They can see Christ when God reveals Jesus to them as Paul teaches in 1 Cor 1: 18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Now here is my theory, call it conspiracy if you will. LOL!

Most of us are from the Protestant/reformed view. We spend our time in Calvin and Augustine and other 16th century guys who are well worth the read. I think many manuscripts are mostly from Alexandria which took a Platonist/ Gnostic view point of scripture. Somewhere I think we tossed the baby out with the bathwater in our zeal to attack the Roman Catholic Church. I had not read Irenaeus and when I did it was in my search to follow the disciples of John the Apostle. You might know Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of Ignatius and. So the linage is pretty straight forward as to what was taught from John. I see that maybe we just took to our own traditions instead of looking at our historians of past. Note many are pretty far out there, yet, some that we can see come from apostolic line of teaching, should be considered in their interpretations.

iggy

h1

Love the Higher Law

March 26, 2008

Love the Higher Law

There are some things I just can’t grasp. One thing that I just can’t grasp or might not agree with is Leron Shultzs’ idea that we cannot analogize God. I see his point to a degree, yet the Bible is full of “God is like a…” statements. Yet, God does not have a beak or wings and Jesus is not a literal lamb… and Peter as dense as he could be sometimes was not a literal rock. So if one takes analogies to their extreme results… they will fall very short. Though I do like his idea of God as “Being in relationship.”

Now, one area I have thought about since High School was the concept of opposites. I had a teacher that asked the question one time, “What is the opposite of love?” we all stated “hate” just like you probably just did. Yet, he pointed out that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy or the lack of emotion.

The opposite of hate is not love, the opposite of sorrow is not joy but all being emotions, are opposite to apathy.

Now, I am not sure if that helps me or hurts me as far as theology.

Yet let’s look at something in scripture called the Higher Law of Love.

1 John 4:16b “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”

God dwells in the emotion of love. He calls us to live in those attributes that are of love. Grace itself can be best understood as the emotion God has for us, or knowing that God loves us.

Many people are quick to state that we are to “obey God” or it’s variation, that we are to “obey God’s Law”. Yet miss that to obey as they teach is actually “works”. For example, if you read this article you will note the author quotes verses on “He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” yet misses that we cannot be obedient, for if we could, then we could obey the Law and would not have needed Jesus to die on the cross for the author only has half the teaching here… which is dangerous if one claims to be a teacher to only give half the teaching that one might mislead others down “works” salvation instead of total dependency on Christ Jesus for salvation. Though Jesus states “He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” we must recognize a few things…

Jesus is talking to Judas who had his own agenda. Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet, still gave Judas all the chances to turn. Jesus is stating that Judas to be filled with the Spirit of Truth by the Father because Judas believes on Jesus. Yet, most importantly one must understand what it was that Jesus “commanded” us to be obedient to. Here is what the bible teaches as to what the commands we are to be obedient to.

1 John 3: 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Note that some seem to teach that we are still under the Mosaic law, while the bible teaches quite the opposite for Believers in Jesus.

Again there is more to obedience that so many miss, and that we as mere men, have no obedience in and of ourselves. Romans 5: 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Though many quickly accept that we have no righteousness except Jesus as well as holiness of our own outside of the Holiness of Christ all imputed to us, for some reason many still believe wrongly that they have the ability to be obedient on and in their own power, or worse that they are “helped” by the Holy Spirit to be obedient. Now, there is some merit to the last one, yet we must realize that yet we must keep it in the biblical perspective. In a book by Chuck Smith “Charisma Versus Charismania” Chuck gives an example of lifting a table. We are on one side while God is on the other side and we lift and God helps. That is a terrible example… sorry to be so blunt.
The truth is any “works” we do will be tainted, yet the works God does are always good and perfect. So, if God is helping us God is defeating His own good and perfect will. Yet, if we understand that God lifts the table and we may look like we are lifting it, we are to only give God the glory in what He is doing by lifting the table. We are to be no less dependant on God than Jesus was Himself. In His own words he states in John 5: 19 “Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Again if we look at Romans 5:19 we will notice that “through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners”. This many readily accept and have not issue with, yet, when we get to the second half many seem to balk at the very idea they cannot be obedient! They seem to hold to that our righteousness comes from our own obedience yet we read, “so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”. It is from the obedience of the one man (Jesus) that we are made righteous. In Hebrews 5 we read, “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus learned obedience Philippians 2: 5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Again we see that Jesus was obedient even unto death.

The only obedience we can give is the obedience to Love God and one another. Yet, even that is with the understanding that Love is not generated from us, but is a response to what God has already done. That God loved us first, 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Since we have responded to the love of God, then we receive the Holy Spirit. God is love and if we have responded then God lives in us, (1 John 4:12)

Once one grasps that truth, then we can allow God to work in us and through us. The sign in that this is happening in us is how we treat others. God does not care if you “repent” to Him, if you have harmed someone, yet do nothing to bring reconciliation. If you do not have reconciliation in your heart, which is driven by the love of God, then whatever you do is really worthless no matter how good one can teach.

Be blessed,
iggy

h1

Love the Higher Law

March 26, 2008

Love the Higher Law

There are some things I just can’t grasp. One thing that I just can’t grasp or might not agree with is Leron Shultzs’ idea that we cannot analogize God. I see his point to a degree, yet the Bible is full of “God is like a…” statements. Yet, God does not have a beak or wings and Jesus is not a literal lamb… and Peter as dense as he could be sometimes was not a literal rock. So if one takes analogies to their extreme results… they will fall very short. Though I do like his idea of God as “Being in relationship.”

Now, one area I have thought about since High School was the concept of opposites. I had a teacher that asked the question one time, “What is the opposite of love?” we all stated “hate” just like you probably just did. Yet, he pointed out that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy or the lack of emotion.

The opposite of hate is not love, the opposite of sorrow is not joy but all being emotions, are opposite to apathy.

Now, I am not sure if that helps me or hurts me as far as theology.

Yet let’s look at something in scripture called the Higher Law of Love.

1 John 4:16b “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”

God dwells in the emotion of love. He calls us to live in those attributes that are of love. Grace itself can be best understood as the emotion God has for us, or knowing that God loves us.

Many people are quick to state that we are to “obey God” or it’s variation, that we are to “obey God’s Law”. Yet miss that to obey as they teach is actually “works”. For example, if you read this article you will note the author quotes verses on “He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” yet misses that we cannot be obedient, for if we could, then we could obey the Law and would not have needed Jesus to die on the cross for the author only has half the teaching here… which is dangerous if one claims to be a teacher to only give half the teaching that one might mislead others down “works” salvation instead of total dependency on Christ Jesus for salvation. Though Jesus states “He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching” we must recognize a few things…

Jesus is talking to Judas who had his own agenda. Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet, still gave Judas all the chances to turn. Jesus is stating that Judas to be filled with the Spirit of Truth by the Father because Judas believes on Jesus. Yet, most importantly one must understand what it was that Jesus “commanded” us to be obedient to. Here is what the bible teaches as to what the commands we are to be obedient to.

1 John 3: 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Note that some seem to teach that we are still under the Mosaic law, while the bible teaches quite the opposite for Believers in Jesus.

Again there is more to obedience that so many miss, and that we as mere men, have no obedience in and of ourselves. Romans 5: 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Though many quickly accept that we have no righteousness except Jesus as well as holiness of our own outside of the Holiness of Christ all imputed to us, for some reason many still believe wrongly that they have the ability to be obedient on and in their own power, or worse that they are “helped” by the Holy Spirit to be obedient. Now, there is some merit to the last one, yet we must realize that yet we must keep it in the biblical perspective. In a book by Chuck Smith “Charisma Versus Charismania” Chuck gives an example of lifting a table. We are on one side while God is on the other side and we lift and God helps. That is a terrible example… sorry to be so blunt.
The truth is any “works” we do will be tainted, yet the works God does are always good and perfect. So, if God is helping us God is defeating His own good and perfect will. Yet, if we understand that God lifts the table and we may look like we are lifting it, we are to only give God the glory in what He is doing by lifting the table. We are to be no less dependant on God than Jesus was Himself. In His own words he states in John 5: 19 “Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Again if we look at Romans 5:19 we will notice that “through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners”. This many readily accept and have not issue with, yet, when we get to the second half many seem to balk at the very idea they cannot be obedient! They seem to hold to that our righteousness comes from our own obedience yet we read, “so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”. It is from the obedience of the one man (Jesus) that we are made righteous. In Hebrews 5 we read, “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus learned obedience Philippians 2: 5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Again we see that Jesus was obedient even unto death.

The only obedience we can give is the obedience to Love God and one another. Yet, even that is with the understanding that Love is not generated from us, but is a response to what God has already done. That God loved us first, 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Since we have responded to the love of God, then we receive the Holy Spirit. God is love and if we have responded then God lives in us, (1 John 4:12)

Once one grasps that truth, then we can allow God to work in us and through us. The sign in that this is happening in us is how we treat others. God does not care if you “repent” to Him, if you have harmed someone, yet do nothing to bring reconciliation. If you do not have reconciliation in your heart, which is driven by the love of God, then whatever you do is really worthless no matter how good one can teach.

Be blessed,
iggy

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Walking Through Romans: pt 12 Romans 11

March 19, 2008

Walking Through Romans pt 12 Romans 11

Romans 11
1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”?[a] 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.[c] But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: “ God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.”[d]9 And David says:

“ Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”[e]
11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,[f] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,[g] as it is written:
“ The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”[h]
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “ For who has known the mind of the LORD?
Or who has become His counselor?”[i]
35 “ Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”[j]36
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

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In chapter 10 we talked about the purpose of the Law. Here we see that since we are not saved by the Law… nor are we saved by being a Jew, the natural question would be, “I say then, has God cast away His people? “

Paul is quick to state that, “Certainly not!” In fact this is so emphatic of exclamation that it may be taken as swearing in the original language… simply stated being, “Hell no!”. The point is that Paul is stating that God has not forsaken the Jews.

Now we must proceed carefully here as if one does not read this passage with great care there are many errors that one can come away with.

Foreknowledge being more that the bible refers to.
Election is more than the biblical definition.
That works are part of keeping salvation.
That “right belief” saves us.

These are some of the errors I have encountered that people use this passage to promote their errant teachings.

Yet, the truth is that we see that Paul refers to “His people whom He foreknew” meaning the Jew. And out of this there is a remnant that come from the faith of Abraham. We must be careful not to add to the scripture concerning “Foreknowledge” as if we do, we can enter into the misunderstanding that some are chosen on a personal basis meaning, that as an individual, God chose you to be saved. Now, there is some truth to that, yet, we see that Election is not about the individual, but about the Jew and Gentile becoming one man.

If one takes a look at Ephesians 2 you will see Paul teaching just this.

“14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

We see here in Romans that Paul is taking that same thought throughout this passage.

God foreknew the Election of the remnant… the Elect is the New Man made of the two being Jew and Gentile.

The issue then arises that though God “Chose” the Jew, and now also “engrafts” the Gentile and rejects the Jews for the sake of causing them to become jealous, that the Gentile not become prideful. For if the Jew was cut off (note not all as some are preserved as a remnant.) The Gentile then might become prideful and state, “, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Which Paul states, “Well said.” Yet, if one then assumes as a Gentile, just as the Jew did before him, that because God now chooses the Gentile that all is well, pride can raise it’s ugly head and God can just as well cut of the Gentile. In fact there will be a time that this will happen. When the age of the Gentile is complete God will cut off those who did not come to Him in faith. Paul states in verse 25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

Again if we read this as an “individual” it may sound like if we do not “continue in His goodness” which sounds like one might be able to lose salvation. In fact this is quite the opposite as Paul is reassuring that we the “Elect” are saved by grace and not by works. Even more we see that Paul’s assurance of God’s ability to save even those who have fallen. We see that though the Jew has fallen away, that he also may be grafted on again if he does not persist in unbelief.