Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A MIND FOR HOLINESS ?






IT IS a law of our mind that we can never feel obligated to do what we think is impossible to be done.
We will never feel an obligation to be what we believe it is impossible for us to be.
And there lies our problem with Holiness. Our human mind says, 'it is impossible for me to be Holy'.
Therefore we are going to have to do some work on ourselves if we are to respond to Gods command, "you be Holy as I am Holy".
Gods word is in full agreement with our human mind;
(1Cor 2v14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(Rom 8v7) For the mind of the flesh, the human mind, is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to Gods law, indeed it cannot.
So we have it clearly there that our human mind, the mind of the body, on its own, does not accept the things of God. Those who live only in their humanity cannot please God (Rom 8v8)
Then Paul teaches us something new. Speaking to Christians, he says,"but you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the Spirit is life because of righteousness".(Rom 8v9,10)
Paul then goes on to say that Christians are free from living only by their human mind -  the mind that does not agree with God or understand the things of God. (Rom8v12-13)
The new Testament tells us that Christians have an addition to their minds which enables us to understand the things of God -  to learn from Gods word and to change ourselves into spiritual people who agree with God and receive His (impossible) instructions.
The addition to our minds is called -  'the spirit of our mind'. It is found in Ephesians 4v23; "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind".
Our problem with Holiness disappears when we reject the voice of the human mind and tap into the spirit of our mind -  letting the word of God re-educate us -  and letting God teach us through our personal relationship with HIm.
                                                                                                                                                               


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A CLOSER LOOK AT 1 JOHN.!




                                                                      

 A doctrine has been made from a few verses in 1 John 1: 7-10; But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another; and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

These verses are used to support the teaching that Christians should always be confessing their sins to receive cleansing, and to stay in right relationship with God. To put it another way; Christians must be preoccupied with their sins daily in order to receive forgiveness and cleansing. The first problem with this teaching is that it does not consider the information in other parts of John's letter. A discussion or conclusion is not valid unless all available information on the subject at hand has been considered.

As an example, let’s take chapter 1:10; If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and the truth is not in us, and the verse after that which is chapter 2:1; These things I write to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. In the second reference John is giving one of his reasons for writing the letter; that his readers may not sin. If they give attention to his writing they will live without sinning. Doesn’t that seem to contradict what he has just said in the previous verse? If I am able to live today without sinning because of John’s letter, does that mean that I call God a liar if I tell somebody today that I have not sinned? Also, if John is able to write a letter which can result in his readers not sinning, then to have that ability, he himself must be living without sinning. John obviously believed it was possible to live without sinning.

If we contrast other parts of Johns letter with the teaching that Christians are always sinning and needing to confess, we will find that teaching has very little support. Here is a brief list; 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him or known Him. 3:8 Whoever sins is of the devil. 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 5:18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

How then, do we interpret those first few verses in chapter 1? Talking about Jesus in 1:2,3 John says, the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal that was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His son Jesus Christ. He is talking to those who do not yet have fellowship with the Father and Jesus. In short, he is preaching the Gospel.

John 1:1-10 is exhortation from John to accept what God has said in the Gospel. All are sinners needing a saviour. If we say we have never sinned we make God a liar, with regard to what he has said in the Gospel. If we admit that we are sinners as the Gospel says, and confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us ours sins and to cleanse us by the blood of Jesus. If we say we don’t need the Gospel we deceive ourselves. The Amplified Bible uses the words ‘truth of the Gospel’ or ‘the message of the Gospel’, three times in those verses.

One further reference outside of 1 John, will help to dispel this teaching of a life of introspection for Christians. Paul gives us a brief description of his personal life with God in 1Corinthians 4:3; ‘But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but he who judges me is the Lord’. No introspection or concern about his standing with God here. ‘I do not even judge myself’. It is a description of a life lived in unconcerned trust in God.

RDThompson


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Monday, May 29, 2017

A CLOSER LOOK AT ROMANS 7!






A MAGNIFYING GLASS ON ROMANS 7              


Romans seven is often taken as indisputable evidence that Christians have a sin nature in cohabitation with their born-again self. After all, Paul uses the words ‘sin that dwells in me’ twice in the chapter. He also says, ‘For I know that nothing good dwells in me’, and ‘evil is present with me’. End of story, right? Well..actually no. The truth is, that conclusion does not hold water after a close look at the chapter, and a comparison with Pauls other writing in the New Testament.

Previous to Romans seven Paul has covered in detail the just judgment of God upon sinners, the inadequacy of the law, Justification by faith, the crucifixion of the old sinful self with Christ and our rising with Him to a new Spiritual life. An important aspect of our Christian life remains, and that is our experience with the body, which has the memory of our previous life and is dead or corrupt because of sin. The apostle begins with that subject in chapter six, focuses on it in chapter seven and adds more detail in chapter eight.

 In all of the phrases by Paul mentioned in the first paragraph, after a careful reading of chapter seven, we find he was speaking about his body. Verse eighteen puts it beyond question when he says, ‘ For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…We could have been excused for having some doubt as to his meaning if he had not added that small explanation. Further statements in verse twenty three, ‘But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind’, and verse twenty four, ‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death’, establish the fact.

His continuation of this theme in chapter eight confirms we are on the right track, ‘For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live’. (Rom 8:13)

Any discussion like this should factor in Pauls other writings in the New Testament.

Jesus’ description of what He called ‘the defiled heart’ in Mark 7:20-23, is the most comprehensive look at the sin nature in the New Testament. He also said, 'Blessed are the pure in heart'.(Math5:8) Paul is the New Testament's biggest advocate of a pure heart cleansed by Jesus’ blood. It is from him we read such statements as, ‘To the pure in heart all things are pure’, (Titus 1:15) and his description of the result in a believer, of Christ’s atonement, ‘no more consciousness of sin’. (Hebrews 10:2) Only an inflexible proponent of the sin nature in the believer teaching, could hold out after so much evidence to the contrary.

It is baffling how a teaching having no support at all in the New Testament, continues to be accepted by so many as the norm.

RDThompson





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Saturday, May 20, 2017

DOES DEATH GET RID OF SIN ? ADAM CLARKES ANSWER.!




WILL DEATH BE OUR FINAL DELIVERANCE FROM SIN?

Here is Adam Clarkes response to the question. I have always been in agreement with this view but have never thought of it in this way . His comments had a strong impact on me. I have changed some of the words to modern english;

Adam Clarkes Commentary: Quote.                                            





Nothing is purified by death, nothing in the grave, nothing in Heaven. Many think that no man can be fully saved from sin in this life. I ask, where is this clearly stated in the New Testament? Where in that volume is it intimated that sin is never wholly destroyed until death takes place, and the soul and the body are separated? Nowhere.

In the false doctrine of purgatory for example, it is held that so strong is sin that it cannot be wholly destroyed even in death and a middle state between Heaven and hell is necessary to atone for that which the blood of Christ had not cancelled and to purge from that which the energy of the Holy Spirit had not cleansed before death.

That is the extreme, but others hold out that death is the complete deliverer from all corruption, and the final destroyer of sin, as if it were revealed in every page of the Bible! Whereas there is not one passage in the sacred text that says any such thing. Were this true, then death far from being the last enemy would be the last and best friend and the greatest of all deliverers.

If the last remains of all indwelling sin of all believers is to be destroyed by death, then death which removes it must be the highest benefactor of mankind! The truth is it is neither the cause nor the means of sins destruction. It is the blood of Jesus alone that cleanses from all unrighteousness.  

Then the death of Christ and the influence of the Holy Spirit were only sufficient to weaken sin -  but our death must come to effect sins total destruction. Thus death is partially our saviour also. That which came by sin (for sin entered into the world and death by sin) now turns around and becomes its destroyer. Such ideas are absurd. It is the blood of Christ that cleanses from all unrighteousness, and the sanctification of the believer is no more dependent on death than his justification.

Those who say believers do not cease from sin till they die are such believers who do not make a proper use of their faith. Unquote.
RDThompson




 
 
 

 








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