Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What My Obedience to God Costs Other people
by Oswald Chambers

“They laid hold upon one Simon…and on him they laid the cross.” (Luke 23:26)

If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it–”You call this Christianity?” We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.

Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say–I will never accept anything from anyone. We shall have to, or disobey God. We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our Lord Himself was in (see Luke 8:2-3).

Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves. We cannot. We are so involved in the universal purposes of God that immediately we obey God, others are affected. Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to God and go through the humiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say–I will not cost other people suffering? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him.

Friday, March 09, 2007

All Scripture is God Breathed

I have been studying Galatians as this letter seems so appropriate to what is going on in the American Church today. Let me quote from Galatians 5:1-6

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love."

Paul was writing to the churches in Galatia because certain men had come in after him who were convincing those Churches that they need to be circumcised and follow the Jewish Law. Paul was deeply concerned about this and wrote the letter to admonish the Churches in Galatia to stand fast to the Gospel he had first delivered to them and not for them to be swayed by the arguments of these “Judaisers”

The word of God is timeless and is applicable for all men in all times. Part of the current apostasy in the American Church is the attempt to make the New Testament seem to have two levels of authority. The new “Judaisers” want to keep only the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke & John as the infallible word of God, and to make the rest of the New Testament not infallible and therefore not as authorative as the four Gospels. This allows them to reinterpret the New Testament to what they want it to mean.

The above passage from Galatians proves how wrong these new “Judaisers” are about all of the New Testament not being all equally God Breathed and authoritive. What Paul was speaking about above is just as applicable today as it was in his day and what is so amazing is it points straight to the new “Judaisers” You may ask who are these new Judaisers? Well let’s dive into the meaning of the above passage.

What Paul is saying about the Law above is a Law of “Dead Works”. The Judaisers were wanting the Christians to take on a yoke of works. Or in other words, rituals based on outward acts that required no inward holiness.

If you have followed the emails I send out on the “Emerging” Church which is growing like a plague and infecting even Pentecostal Churches I hope you picked up on what the Emergent movements aim is: To change the gospel from salvation in the cross and inward holiness and obedience; to a Social Gospel based on Dead Works with no salvation through the cross and no inward holiness. Or in other words to place a yoke of bondage on Christians. And why are so many “Christians” flocking to this new Social Gospel? Because it allows them to remain in their sin, to relieve them of having to “crucify the flesh”, to die to self. It relieves them of having to be persecuted for their faith in Christ Jesus but at the same time deceive them into thinking they are a Christian.

As Paul says in Phillipians 3:18:

“For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.”

Paul is saying here that there are many who think themselves Christians but who are actually enemies of Christianity. And he weeps for them, because their end is not what they think it will be, they are headed for the second death and do not even realize it.

God Bless and Stand fast in that faith that was first delivered to you!

John Baker