H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
Blogroll
 
T.U.L.I.P.
  • - Endorsed
  • - Indifferent
  • - Contested
 
Autobiographical
 
Profile
Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
My complete profile...
 
The Buzz


Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
Email Me
email
Thursday, January 24, 2013
For Beginner Christians... A Primer - Part II
I remember with uncommon clarity the birth of our first child. I remember my wife starting labour, and taking her to the hospital, and secretly hoping I could go and read magazines in a waiting room somewhere, only to have someone come and inform me after a few hours, that the baby had come and was of such and such a gender. I knew my wife wanted me with her in the labour, but I was pretty nervous about that. In the same way that some people faint at the thought of getting a needle, or seeing their own blood, I was worried that I might not be up to the task of seeing the love of my life suffer in child birth - not that I thought I would actually faint, but rather that I was by no means looking forward to being helpless in the hour of her suffering.

At first we chatted in between the contractions, but when each contraction would came along, my wife would become silent as she concentrated on enduring each episode of mounting pain. There was a psychological battle going on within her that I hadn't really given much thought to before actually seeing it with my own eyes. With each new pain greater in intensity and in length than the last, and this being our first child, everything was new, and she had no idea how much worse it would get, only that it would get worse and worse. When a contraction passed, we would carry on as if nothing had happened, but it was sort of like ignoring the elephant in the room. When the contractions began to come one upon the next, the facade was no longer an option. At one point, I had a concern for her modesty as the door was open and her gown did little to hide her form, and I wanted to leave her for a moment to close the door, and she made me understand by the tone and candor of her voice, that she could care less if the door was open. The pain she was enduring drowned out every other concern, every other thought. Nothing mattered in the world but living through the current distress.

When it was obvious that she was about to give birth, a medical team came in, and for the next half hour, my wife pushed. I had been taught in the birthing class, that there were a bunch of things I might do at this time to help, such as supplying her with ice chips to chew, and I still putting an ice chip to her lips in a moment between pushes, and she neither ate it nor seemed to know it was there. She was with me in body, but she had shut out all but the pain of giving birth. When we found that the umbilical cord was looped around my son's neck, the doctor, the nurses, and I were urgently telling her not to push, but it took several frightening seconds for that to mean anything to her. Later she told me that we should have said, "Don't push, the cord is around the baby's neck!" - for to her, the desire to push at that moment was intoxicating, as it seemed to promise an end to her suffering. Having someone yell into your ear that you should prolong your suffering, is not the sort of message you readily comprehend or receive.

It all worked out well in the end. We gained a son, and I gained a much greater appreciation of my wife. I have never again been able to imagine her as a frail little thing - not after watching her bear up bravely under this profound pain. In fact, what I seem to recall the most is that as my wife was made to endure more and greater suffering, she began to withdraw within herself, until she was so focused on her suffering, that it seemed to me that she was no longer paying any attention to anything else in the world.

Real suffering is like that, it catches and holds your attention, and everything else in life is re-prioritized. What was prominent in importance yesterday, has no value under the present concern. Sit with a person who is dying and knows it, you will never hear them saying that they wish they had made more money and lived in a larger house. A year ago the pursuit of wealth and comfort framed the whole of this person's life, but here on the deathbed a clarity that came much too late brings regret - why did I waste my life pursuing things that have no value to me now? Even if you could crowd all the wealth I had ever gained, and all my possessions into this room with me, I tell you I would trade them all to have my youngest grandchild here with me - just to tell her how precious she is, and to warn her not to waste her life - would that I could do something worthwhile from my deathbed, that I failed to do in this life when I had both the opportunity and the power, each day to do it.

It is not secret that those who are dying, typically do so with regrets. My point is not to suggest that we all take a hard look at the way we are wasting our lives because we are going to regret every wasted moment on the day that our coming suffering will finally tear away the veil from our eyes so that we see the futility of our efforts for what they have been. If you get that from what I am writing, consider it a bonus. I didn't write today to inform you that suffering will force upon you a clarity of mind that you would do better to pursue now, before any suffering comes. No, I wrote today to speak of how suffering turns your focus inward.

So far I have spoken about physical suffering - and this I did with purpose. We all understand physical suffering, and hopefully you are able to agree with me that the greater the suffering, the more inclined you are to ignore whatever else is going on, and focus instead on just getting through the suffering.

But however natural doing this may seem, it is perhaps the most destructive thing you can do when the suffering you are experiencing is spiritual.

Let me unwrap that a bit. A believer who is not doing everything in his or her power to draw near to God is in a state of spiritual decline. It is like a ball that has been hurled up an incline - it is either going up, or it is coming back down it does not, and cannot remain at rest along the way. The moment it stops moving up, it begins to move down. Spiritually speaking, that pictures a person who is either humbling himself under God's rule, or a person who is ignoring God's rule. You cannot sit on the fence, to ignore the rule of God is an act of rebellion (sin). When our focus is no longer on obeying God, it is necessarily (and automatically) on pleasing our selves. This is the spiritual equivalent of a turtle pulling his limbs and head into its shell.

Now, I want you to understand what I mean here. I am not talking about withdrawing from church, because often the suffering believer will continue to perform the outward expressions of what would otherwise be a healthy faith. I am talking about struggling under the burden of sin without seeking help from any other believer about their struggle. That is what it means to "turtle" spiritually. We all struggle with (i.e. against) sin in our lives - anyone who cannot admit that is confused doctrinally and practically.

I hope I have impressed upon you the notion that it is quite a natural thing to desire to keep spiritual struggles invisible. Everyone can see when we turtle physically, but unless we tell someone else, no one will know when we turtle in our walk with Christ. In fact, we guard that secret by continuing on and acting as if all is well, and feeling more and more like the faker and the hypocrite that our enemy is working to makes us believe. Of course we feel guilty that we love our sin, and hold onto it with a tenacity that fills us with dread. The bible says that ever last believer, apart from Christ, is enslaved to his own personal refusal to obey God in all things, that is, we are enslaved to sin. But Christ who is in us through the Holy Spirit is not enslaved to sin, and that creates a tension in the believer. On the one hand we refuse to obey God in all things, but on the other we want to obey God in all things. Paul writes that the things we don't want to do (i.e. disobey God), we end up doing, and the things we want to do (i.e. obey God), we don't do. He asks (rhetorically) who it is who can save the believer from this very real, and universally common scenario?

The answer Paul gives is (I am in Romans 7 if you are following along) is that it is a kind of universal law: the part of us that refuses to obey God cannot be made to desire obedience, but will continue to pursue disobedience, and will continue to overcome the part of us that desires to obey God, that is, it will continue to drown out the influence of Christ (through the Holy Spirit) in our lives. He sees himself therefore as a captive - unable to break free from this cycle of sin, even though he wants to - asking (again rhetorically), who will save him from this imprisonment? Who will save him from a body that though it seems to desire righteousness, inevitably ends up pursuing its own pleasures? He answer the question: Jesus will.

But then Paul adds something that sounds pretty confusing to many "...So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin" - Romans 7:25b [ESV].

Huh? Is Paul saying that as long as he has a desire to obey God, it doesn't really matter if he actually does or not? No. What Paul is saying is that this is a law that defines the Christian experience - the Spirit of Christ within us, through the person of the Holy Spirit, will always press us to obey God, and our "old man" will ever resist that pressure, and will always win...

At this point you should be gasping. What? Did you just say that the flesh will always win? Yes I did. The flesh will =always= win. That is what Paul is saying, he is saying that the flesh always wins in the struggle against the Spirit. But I would add this caveat to clarify that. Paul is describing what it means to be in bondage to sin. He has, in the previous chapter made it clear that everyone who is in Christ has been set free from this bondage.

As English readers, we prefer things to come at us in the right order, and the right order for us is not the order of importance, it is chronological order. If you are going to tell me that I am no longer in bondage to sin, you should first explain what bondage to sin is, and then tell me how I am set free from it. What Paul does is first tell us that we are freed from our bondage to sin, and then he describes what bondage to sin looks like. Romans 7 is a description of what we (who are in Christ) have been set free from: we have been set free from the inevitable victory of the flesh over the Spirit.

Going back then to Romans 6, we learn that every believer has been spiritually united with Christ, such that we became partakers of His death, His burial, His resurrection, and more profoundly, His life. Paul explains that when Christ died, we (who are in Christ, as opposed to "all of mankind") died with Him, that the penalty for our sin was satisfied by our having died in Christ, and that the life of Christ, which we were joined to when we became believers, overcame death, and so we too, who were in Christ, have already overcome death.

These are profound truths, but Paul invites the reader to understand the implications of these truths - it means that the part of us that cannot obey God has been judged already in Christ, and being truly dead, it no longer has power over us.

Aha! you object. I have read this, but my own experience denies it, you think. I have seen it in print, but it has never worked for me. I find myself today just as enslaved, and just as inevitably following the desires of my flesh as ever I did - even if I do so secretly now that I am a believer. It has always been the source of fear and concern with me, striking me as "proof" that either Paul is wrong, or there is something "broken" or false about my faith.

But you only think that because you haven't been a very good reader.

You see, what Paul is saying is that before you were a Christian the breath of life that was in you was yours and yours alone - and this same life that sustained you in the flesh was corrupt, and because it was corrupt you could not experience victory over it. This life was united together with the life of Christ, and it died forever when Christ died. You now share Christ's life, which is sufficient to sustain you even as your former life sustained you - but unlike the life that Christ took with Him to the grave, this new life is incorruptible, and not only "can" over come the flesh - it cannot fail to over come it.

Of course that sounds like nonsense to you, because, lets face it - it sounds like I am saying that if you are a *real* Christian then the life of Christ is in you, and there *should be* an inevitable consequence to that new life being in you: you should always be victorious over sin...

But you only think that because you have failed to remember that the life that Christ took to the cross was not just the first part of you life - the part you lived until salvation. It was all of it, your past life, the life you are living today, and the life you will continue to life until the day that your flesh gives out.

Paul's message is not that you will be sinless, it is that the thing which is causing you to sin (your old "life") has already been crucified, even though you haven't finished living it out yet. You likewise have not come fully into the possession of your new life (for if you had, you surely would not sin), but have received the Holy Spirit as a promise of this new life which is already yours, and which you will inherit the moment your flesh lives no more. I say, Paul's message is that since the life that cannot but sin has been put to death, and since you have already come into possession of the promise of that life that is yours already but you have yet to receive, you no longer are in the same situation you were in before you came to Christ.

Back then there was no escape from sin. If you were a Jew, you had the law, but the law was not able to provoke you to sinlessness, since the corrupt life that was in you would always win. But now that you are in Christ, and now that this old life has been put to death already (even though you are still living it out), you no longer are the slave of that old life, but in fact you are a slave to the life of Christ which you have been joined to.

Paul is speaking about what is true already, but will not be experienced until the day your flesh dies and you receive the fullness of these truths. But this truth, Paul goes on to explain, means that even though this present (corrupt) life will always be victorious over the Spirit, you have access right now, through the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit whom you received when you believed, to the life of Christ which can never fail to overcome sin.

In this way, Paul writes, you have been set free, only your freedom is not found in the corrupt life that Christ has taken to the Christ, it is found in His life which you are a partaker of through the Spirit (for now), and which you will come into the fullness of on the day that your flesh perishes.

This is why Paul writes at every opportunity that the Christian ought to walk according to the incorruptible Spirit, rather than according to his corrupt life. When Paul elsewhere writes about Christians believers being "still in their flesh" he means believers who are ignorant of these truths, who continue to strive against the desires of the flesh, only to fail. They have forgotten what they should have learned at the beginning - that the only way a believer can truly overcome the desires of the flesh is by surrendering to the incorruptible life of Christ within Him.

That's a hard fact to articulate. People who hear that, want to have it explained, because it sounds like a slogan or something - it doesn't seem to include the "how to" information that they want. But the truth is, it isn't about "How" it is about "Who". Paul writes that we have to have these truths settled in our thinking - that our old life has truly been put to death already in Christ, and that on account of both it's death, and again our new life in Christ, we really are able to have victory - but it isn't the victory of our fleshly desires suddenly disappearing, nor of some profound and foreign spiritual strength that suddenly overcomes them. It is a truth, and Paul tells us that in leaning on this truth, we are able to set aside the former master, in favor of the new.

It's not a secret or anything, and yet it seems like we might want to describe it as the "secret" to Christian obedience. The problem most of us have is that we want Jesus to make us stop sinning, and He doesn't do that. What he does is give us His own incorruptible life, and informs us that we should stop obeying those desires that come from our former (now "dead") life, and instead we should have it settled in our mind that the life of Christ is in us, and that this life, when allowed to express itself through our obedience, is incorruptible - it will provide the way of escape.

The trouble then, with suffering in silent and ongoing defeat, is that we tend not to talk to anyone about our defeat, and for this reason, we may remain bogged down in it, when we have been set free in Christ from it.

I write this post today then for you, believer, who find yourself still struggling in your sins, and hiding it from everyone. I write so that you will know, not only that you already have the victorious life of Christ within you, if indeed you are a genuine child of God, but that this life is more than just a promise of future freedom - it is also the source of your own deliverance in the here and now. You S-H-O-U-L-D know this already, but I suspect many don't, and you shouldn't feel bad if our enemy has managed to hide these truths from you up until today. All that matters is that you stop playing the spiritual turtle. I write these things because if you are turtled, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to speak them to you - and my hope is that in reading this, you will look into Romans 6, 7, and 8 and see that you will never rise out of this by trying harder, the only way out is by settling your mind on the truth, and acting on that truth.

If you don't know what that looks like, and you want to bounce a few questions off of me, feel free to do so - my email is over there at the bottom of the column on your left. If you're embarrassed and you want to remain anonymous - go right ahead - create an anonymous GMail account, and throw some questions my way. My concern is that you grow into what Christ saved you to be, and if I can help I count that as a great and welcome privilege.

posted by Daniel @ 11:19 AM   0 comment(s)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
For Beginner Christians... A Primer - Part I
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world." - Hebrews 1:1,2 [ESV]

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. - 1 Peter 1:10-12 [ESV]

If I told you that I used to speak French, long ago, but now I speak English through an interpreter, you wouldn't imagine that I was saying that I now speak English to the Interpreter who then speaks French for me in my name. If I wanted to continue speaking to you in French, I would do so directly, and not through an intermediary.

Hebrews 1:1,2 tells us is that God no longer speaks to mankind the way He used to at one time. Previously God would communicate in a variety of ways, His message to a chosen prophet, and that prophet would then communicate that message to God's chosen people. The message received by the prophet could come in the form of a dream, a vision, an audible voice, or many other various means, and the prophet would then communicate the message to God's people; proclaiming it in the streets, writing it down (if it was a message for the ages to come), or even acting out various object lessons.

The point is that in the past God gave his messages to human intermediaries in various ways, and that message was communicated to God's people in various ways, but that all ended when Christ came. From then on God spoke in one way, and through one intermediary: Christ.

I hope the scope and significance of that finds some purchase in your understanding. It means that God no longer gives messages to His people through any other medium, and certainly not through the means He used in the past. The role of today's prophet is not to communicate new messages from God (as it had been in times past), but to expound God's final and finished message to His people.

This message which began to be articulated in the old testament, and finally and completely articulated by Christ in the new. 1 Peter 1:10-12 reminds us that it was the Spirit of Christ speaking to and through the old testament prophets. The Apostles themselves were Christ's envoys - carrying to God's people, through the medium of the new testament scriptures, the message that Christ had ordained they should communicate.

In other words, the bible holds God final and full message, given through Christ in both testaments, in the old: through agency of inspiration, in the new: by the words and instructions of Christ given directly to the Apostles and thereafter articulated in the pages of the New Testament. There is now no new revelation, no new messages, no new intermediaries. Christ was and is the final Intermediary, the final revelation, the last and closing chapter in God's message to Adam's fallen race.

The man who comes to you saying that he has a personal message for you from God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, is a deceiver who is likely deceived himself. The only time it is right to say, "Thus sayeth the Lord!" is when you are about to read from the scriptures. The only message God has for any of us, has already been given, and it is bound up in a book we call the bible. It is God's whole message, anything less is an incomplete message, and anything more is not part of God's message.

God no longer speaks to us through human intermediaries, but only through Christ's finished message.

It is the work of the preacher, the prophet, the teacher, and the pastor to proclaim, expound, explain, and guard this message without adornment. To preach from and explain the scriptures is to preach from and explain Christ Himself - to proclaim and to make understood who Christ is, and what that means to all who are called to Him.

It behooves every believer then to be on guard against the sort of mystical nonsense that passes in some corners for genuine spirituality. If you are a believer, you have within you the Holy Spirit who will be convicting you of sin. The Holy Spirit will not be at peace with any sin in your life, and you will experience this unrest as your own. No matter how much pleasure a sin may bring you, you will never be at peace with it, because the Spirit in you cannot be at peace with it - and you will experience His unrest as you own. No voices, no premonitions, no mystical hoopla. What you will experience is a conviction that what you are doing is not pleasing to God, and this coupled to the Spirit's desire that you live a life on earth that is pleasing to God will create a tension in you because your flesh will still desire sin, and you will not understand how it is that you can possibly give into that sinful desire when it seems a part of you knows it is wrong, and doesn't want to give into it.

This is the natural experience of every genuine child of God. We experience this conviction because the Holy Spirit (who is in us) is at odds with our own (self-serving) desires. We do not, and cannot overcome these desires by any other means than surrendering to the will of the Spirit, over and against our own desires which are contrary, and we cannot genuinely surrender to the Spirit unless we trust that in doing so, we are genuinely pleasing God. We call this walking in the Spirit.

There is no other way to truly obey God. If our obedience does not flow from a settled surrender to God, but is instead the begrudging compromise of one who halts between surrender and rebellion, then all we are doing is wrapping our disobedience in the guise of obedience, and we aren't fooling God, and (deep down), we aren't fooling ourselves either. We know something is wrong, but we don't know what.

Here is where the enemy shipwrecks many a believer whose genuine faith lays uselessly hung up on the reefs of their own ignorance, and is hammered into numbness and uselessness by the unceasing guilt that comes from knowing something is not right, and again from the ignorance that is being reinforced by a works theology that promises that if you just do more, you will break free from the reefs, and sail on in sweet ease.

The message of scripture is not that you can unlock the power to overcoming sin by doing such and such. The message is that you have already over come sin in Christ who is now in you (if you are a believer) in the person of the Holy Spirit. The message is that you will never, and can never obey God, and that is why you need a Savior. The message is that this same, incorruptible Savior is in you through the Spirit, and has overcome your rebellion against God already. The message is that there is no "trick" no "secret" and no "riddle" to any of this. You simply have to believe that what God said is true, and act on that belief.

Does that sound like a riddle? It isn't. Christ who has overcome death, cannot sin. Christ is in you through the Holy Spirit, so that when you are convicted that you should do one thing or avoid doing another, all that is left to you is the doing of the one and the avoiding of the other. You won't feel any power flowing through you, you won't feel like some foreign intelligence is communicating to you what course you should set for yourself. You will simply know, by the grace of God and the presence of His indwelling Spirit, what is expected of you, and then you will be left to either obey your flesh and thus walk contrary to the desires of the Spirit, or obey what you know is right, and thereby walk in harmony with the desires of the Spirit. When you conduct yourself (externally) according to the desires of the Spirit, but apart from the certainty that you are surrendered to God, your efforts are vain (empty). Vain efforts are not, and cannot ever be, acts of worship. The problem is never in your hands, it is in your heart. When you respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, knowing in your heart that your obedience is expressing without contradiction the heart behind the obedience, then you are walking in the Spirit, and your obedience is pleasing to God, and pleasing to you.

The greatest hindrance to your walk with God, in this age, and in every age, is, and has always been, empty religion. Do you want to overcome sin? You overcome sin by faith, not by effort. It isn't that you believe hard enough, and obedience suddenly becomes easy, it is that you face the truth - that your disobedience flows from a rejection of God's rule over you, and that the only avenue open to you is that of the willing slave, who surrenders from the heart to God's rule. When you surrender to God, it starts in the heart and not in the hands. The reason people act the part is because they hope to fix whatever is wrong with them, without anyone being the wiser. I would hazard a guess that in any congregation many if not most members are in this boat. They are consumed with religious activity, coming to all the meetings, robust in their various 'ministries' - playing the role, as best they can, but secretly concerned that they alone, are fakers, and hoping that they will solve the riddle of their failure before anyone can find out.

So I write today, about one of the things that contributes to this problem: the mystical notion that someone else has been given a message from God for you. That's just rubbish - even worse than rubbish, it is a corrupt notion that corrupts the church. It can be as obvious as some person coming to you privately and suggesting that God has "impressed it upon their heart" that they should say such and such to you, and it can be as subtle as the pastor suggesting that the message he is preaching today was impressed upon Him by God's Spirit. The same God who, through the story of the rich man and Lazarus (c.f. Luke 16) refused to give a private message to the rich man's relatives, since they had already, the words of Moses, having reasoned that if they would not obey the words of Moses, they would by no means obey the special message, even of one who returned from the grave. Am I to believe that the same God who would regarded scripture as sufficient in the past, now feels it is more effective to prompt pastors with subjective feelings which they then (infallibly) interpret into messages?

So you believe that? If you do it is only because [1] those around you believe it, and you don't want to rock the boat, and [2] you don't know the scriptures well enough. Listen: the bible is God's personal message to YOU. The role of the preacher is not use the bible as the vehicle by which a topical point is made, and a religious expectation is articulated. The role of the preacher is to expound the word of God - to make known to you, as clearly as possible, what God has already said to you personally in the scriptures. That is it. When a preacher preaches the word of God, for the sake of making the word of God known - then, and only then, is he preaching Christ. So when a pastor tries to sell you on the notion that he has received a message from God for this congregation, remember that God doesn't speak like that any more. That's not the same as a preacher saying that in recent days he has a personal concern either on account of genuine discernment or again on account of some impressions that are presently influencing him; that it seemed good to him to study up on these things in the past week, and to share therefore, with the congregation what the word of God has to say about the matter. Nothing quacky there. This man is not setting himself up, contrary to the clear word of God, as God's (other) new covenant intermediary who has infallibly received a holy prompting that he has infallibly and correctly divined to mean that he should preach on such and such, so that the congregation must, if the prompting is indeed from God, regard the entire sermon as just as infallible as the prompting...

My job today is simply to take the words of Christ inscribed by inspiration in the opening words of the letter to the Hebrews, and show from these simple, clear words, that although in times past God used to speak to others and have them speak to us in His name, that He no longer does that, but now speaks to us through the words of Christ which are collected and finalized in the Old and New Testaments. That God used to speak through dreams and visions to prophets, but now does not. That God used to have prophets give object lessons and proclaim to others what God communicated to them (personally), but that there is no longer any secret revelation - that this has all ended in Christ, and that now everyone can know the message of God - not through mystical sensations, through religious impressions, through subjective experiences that must be correctly interpreted through the holy discernment of divine riddles - but through the word of God: the scriptures. Teachers should expound it. Preachers should proclaim it. Prophets should guard it, and all God's children should consume it, unadulterated by the cleverness of man, and the mystical nonsense that passes for religion in far too many circles these days.
posted by Daniel @ 12:39 PM   0 comment(s)
 
Previous Posts
 
Adult Bible Study
 
Archives
 
Search Doulogos
Search Doulogos...
 
Links
 
TTLB
 
Atom Feed
Atom Feed
 
Hits
 
Copyright
Creative Commons License
Text posted on this site
is licensed under a
Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
License
.