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Saturday, August 28, 2010

travail before birth

death before resurrection
a short excerpt from a teaching by reggie kelly

The doctrine of Zion’s inviolability implies an unjustified optimism that reflects ignorance of what is necessary for the covenant to be fulfilled. It is the necessity of death before resurrection. We are offended at the lengths God will go, and must go, in order to bring again Jacob. We are ignorant of this for them, because we’ve not sufficiently known it for ourselves. There is a travail of the Spirit that forms Christ in the heart (Gal 4:19). As Paul said, “so then death works in us, but life in you” (2Cor 4:12). That is why Israel’s deliverance is often depicted as a birth that is preceded by travail (Isa 13:8; 66:8; Mic 5:3; Jer 30:6 etc.)

The reason for such tribulation is manifest (Acts 14:22). Fallen human nature cannot be conquered except by the inward work of the cross, applied by the Spirit, through the quickening of divine revelation. This is why Jacob must be brought to the end of his power (Deut 32:36; Dn 12::7) before the veil can be taken away (2Cor 3:16; Zech 12:10). How can it be different for the church? The veil is lifted and Christ revealed at the end of strength (“confidence in the flesh”). That is the pattern for all the true “Israel of God”. It is death before resurrection and travail before birth.

I was going to highlight a sentence but the whole thing is necessary.
Purify the sons of Levi, is our hearts cry.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

wed class "sent ones"

Sent and sent ones

Apostle = “sent forth ones” english translation of greek
Missionary = “sent ones” latin translation

When the disciples come back from their first time being sent out by Jesus, they are anxious to tell Him all that they saw accomplished, all the miracles, and Jesus is a “wet blanket.” He says, "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." The foundation has to be that you have been sent out, by God, so that, when the results are far less encouraging, like being stoned or driven out to the edge of town, you are not ‘shaken.’

Mat 10:40 "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

Mat 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.
Luk 4:26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.

Luk 9:2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.

Jhn 1:6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.

Jhn 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work..

Jhn 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
Jhn 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Jhn 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Jhn 8:29 "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."

Jhn 11:42 "I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."

Jhn 12:45 "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

Jhn 17:18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Jhn 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Jhn 17:23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Act 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Act 13:3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Act 13:4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Romans Bible Study Lesson 13 4:9-12

Romans Bible Study #13
Romans 4:9-12
Solo Christo= Christ Alone

9Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." Gen.15:6

10How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;

11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,

12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

Verse 9 and 10 The blessing pronounced on Abraham was many years before offering Isaac on the altar, in fact, Isaac wasn’t even born yet! The blessing of Chapter 15 of Genesis was also many years before the institution of circumcision in chapter 17. In fact, Ishmael was given the sign of circumcision also. He is not however included in the people of God, so he was a child of Abraham, but not in the line of the promise. He was a child of the bondwoman, not the free. Later on even though he has circumcision, he is sent out and not an heir like, Isaac. (Galatians 4:21-31)
So the inadequacy, of circumcision was being shown even then. It is not enough. It points to a truth, but it is not the truth.
The righteousness that is by faith is the true beginning of the positive relationship between God and man. Abraham at this point is pagan, uncircumcised and has done no ‘works’ to earn anything. God is the one who brings everything positive to this relationship, all we bring is death, and the acknowledgment of what we cannot do. All religions that have “a way” to God involving works are a lie, and would show themselves to be a lie by anyone who would honestly and truly attempt to “live” by them. Our inability to make ourselves “right with God” is not only understood and accepted in Christianity, it is almost “celebrated” as a truth that leaves us swimming in the ocean of God’s grace. Paul continues to “drain the pool” of any thought that we have some ‘part’ in salvation.
The ‘reckoning’ or ‘credited’ of righteousness is effected, in Abraham, by God, before circumcision. Paul trashes boasting by humans, he speaks of righteousness as a blessing, a gift.

Verse 11 “Sign” and “seal” are the two important words in this verse. Circumcision is not the foundation, it is a ‘sign’ pointing to what God had already done. It is a confirmation of what has taken place in the spiritual world out here in the concrete world. It is ‘religion’ and it is NOT essential. Our ‘works,’ our struggles to obey and live this life, are not the foundation, they are a sign that God has already done an amazing work of new birth in us.
Our obedience is not the foundation of our Christian life, otherwise we are completely rocked and lost every time we disobey. That is not the Christian life, our foundation is the faith that God has imparted and the fact that in our hearts a work has been done by God, that hates the sin, that wants to turn from it. His life has been imparted to us by faith. True religion is a set of steps that leads out of a dark hole and ends in fresh air and light. The mistake that is made is to “add to it” and ‘make it exclusive’ by erecting a building around the steps and saying that the building was the goal. The mistake that is made is “they loved their religion more than the God of their religion,” which is how the “hope” movie, described what happened to the Jewish religion, by the time that Jesus arrived on the scene. Faith is not exclusive, all can believe in God by faith. Circumcision which was meant to be a ‘sign’, gets twisted to become a ‘basis’ of being right with God.
There is a verse in a hymn that brings out this truth.
“He breaks the power of cancelled sin.”
The truth of the Christian life is that we are ‘walking out’ what God has done for us. He cancelled the sin, by faith. His life in us works to ‘break the power of sin’ over us, over time, thru many failures and stumbles and falls, each of which humbles us and reminds us of the source of our power.
Legalism is a bondage that says “I will break the power of this sin over me.”
Religions right place in all this is ‘between’ the amazing beginning of faith, God’s work done in us, it is a sign that that work has taken place, and it looks toward the end of faith, God’s final work of transformation, this mortal putting on immortality.

Verse 12 So Abraham is right with God, by faith, and those Jews who are circumcised have nothing unless they also have become right with God, by faith, like Abraham. And those who are uncircumcised can still rejoice and be right with God, totally outside of that because the foundation is “sola fide”, by faith alone!

Continuing our review of the 5 “Sola”s of the Reformation

Solo Christo! By Christ's Work Alone are We Saved

The Reformation called the church back to faith in Christ as the sole mediator between God and man. While the Roman church held that "there is a purgatory and that the souls there detained are helped by the intercessions of the faithful" and that "Saints are to be venerated and invoked;" "that their relics are to be venerated" -- the reformers taught that salvation was by Christ's work alone. As John Calvin said in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, "Christ stepped in, took the punishment upon himself and bore the judgment due to sinners. With his own blood he expiated the sins which made them enemies of God and thereby satisfied him...we look to Christ alone for divine favour and fatherly love!" Likewise the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 30 asks, "Do such then believe in Jesus the only Saviour who seek their salvation and happiness in saints, in themselves, or anywhere else? They do not; for though they boast of him in words yet in deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Saviour: for one of these two things must be true that either Jesus is not a complete Saviour or that they who by a true faith receive this Saviour must find all things in him necessary to their salvation."

An added word about the baptism of infants.
This is an add on because the Presbyterian church and ‘Reformed’ churches take Romans 4:11 and other verses to support the baptism of infants. They say since circumcision is a sign and baptism is a sign and circumcision was given to male
babies at 8 days old, baptism could be administered to the ‘seed’ of the children of the new covenant. The argument falls apart when we acknowledge that the new covenant is not a relationship between God and a specific physical group of people. We are brought into the family, by faith, and an infant cannot, understand and express faith.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Does James Contradict Paul?

Does James Contradict Paul?
Galatians 5:6b “but faith working through love.”
Paul understands that this faith, when it is true will result in a sacrificial, risk-taking, lay-down-your-life kind of love. But James is concerned that some were hiding behind, “I’m not perfect just forgiven” bumper-stickers; and were displaying a dead, or demon, or useless faith. Dead faith James 2:14-17: Demon faith James 2:19: Useless faith James 2:20.
James 2:23 and Romans 4:3 are quoting the same verse from Genesis 15:6. So both believe that justification is by faith, but James looks at the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac 12 years later as ‘proof’ of his faith.
James 2:24 “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”
James 4:13-16 read
James recognizes that all is from God. It would be arrogant to say that “a person” is adding his works to faith and thereby has something to boast in.
So what we have here is two authors looking at the same transaction in different ways.
God and Paul and James are at McDonald’s at the counter, they have placed their order and now God is picking up the tab, paying for the whole thing. Paul begins to rejoice right then and there, My Meal is Paid For, Paid in Full, by God. Hallelujah!! James is standing back quietly not rejoicing until he is handed the actual meal, once the meal is in his hand, then he turns to God and expresses his thanks to God. Thank You for buying me this meal that I now hold in my hand.

For Paul “justification by works” means gaining a right standing with God thru the merit of works. For James “justification by works” means maintaining a right-standing with God by faith along with the necessary evidences of that faith. The works of love are necessary as evidence of the “faith” by which alone, God has reckoned you righteous.
Paul would say that the only thing that unites you to Christ is dependence on Christ. James would say the faith which truly justifies, never remains alone, but always works by love.
Paul is battling the lie that we have any part in being made right with God.
James is battling the lie that faith can be something that exists separate from the rest of your life and a person can go on being bad and doing great harm to the name of Christ.
Colossians 2:6 brings this all together. “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” Paul expects his readers to walk out there daily lives with the same deep dependence that they showed when they received Him by faith.

Romans Bible Study Lesson 12 3:31-4:8

Romans Bible Study Number 12
Romans 3:31-4:8
Phrase Sola Gracia – by Grace Alone

Romans 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according tot he flesh, has found? 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works , he has something to boast about, but not before God. 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 4:6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. 4:8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

Verse 3:31 “The Law” is not nullified by faith it is established. That is, through the eyes of faith we now see the Law, and its true purpose. The Law is the eternal “no” of God that then leads us to cry out for the “yes” of faith. The law puts us squarely under the unbearable weight of divine judgment, awaiting the amazing miracle of divine justification, which we receive by faith.
Verse 4:1 Abraham is held up, because if “this gospel” is to be ultimate truth, it must be shown to apply to the ultimate Hebrew. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was I am.” (John 8:58) This led to a discussion with the religious leaders of His day that led to them picking up stones to stone Him. So, when you bring up Abraham to a Jewish audience, the ears of all “perk up” and a new ‘weight’ comes to the conversation.
Verse 4:2,3 If Abraham was justified by works, this ‘gospel’ collapses. Either it applies to everyone for all time or it becomes optional, something that some people need, but not all. The “relative” boasting of men comparing themselves with men, example, Terry Bradshaw was a better quarterback than Bubby Brister, has no ground with God. Both are sinners, doomed to an eternal hell, if they do not repent. All that Abraham was, was proceeded by, “Abraham believed God.” We have no ‘sensible organ’ to see what is unseen, to see beyond death, to recognize ‘invisible authority’, the know Him who is unknowable. This belief in God is credited (an accounting term) as righteousness. The miracle of faith comes from God, and the free gift of righteousness comes from God. “Through what they are not, men participate in what God is.” “Faith is a vacuum and a limitation encompassed by miracle and by paradoxical impossibility.” Two quotes from Barth, he loves the word “paradox”, which he takes to mean para-beyond and doxa-opinion, also Doxa-Glory. So with Abraham, as with everyone who “Believes in God,” all of our “works” proceed out of what we are not...Faith is a miracle, a miracle that comes when we are at the end of ourself. It is the source of Abraham’s works and our works. Faith is “void of any human content” and because it is, “it is guaranteed by God as His righteousness.
Verse 4 God is not a builder paying a contractor to come and do work that benefits Him. So much depends on our view, our understanding of God. He is “other.” He has no ‘needs.’ It is completely impossible for us to do something for Him. Remember ‘sixpence none the richer’- CS Lewis picture of a boy going out and buying his father a present with his father’s money, so his father got a present worth sixpence, but he paid sixpence for it. The heresy of salvation by works is completely unmasked when you realize it is acting like a person could put God in his debt. “God, you owe me,” is a patently ridiculous statement.
Verse 5 Faith is the standard of God, and that faith puts us in the book of life. The knowledge of ‘good and evil’ the tree that we eat of and choose to judge from has been proven to be poison. God is the judge, and His true and right judgment is based on faith, which brings His life. We assign far to much ‘praise’ to “great men” and we assign far too much blame to “evil men.” Faith is reckoned as righteousness, God’s righteousness, the divine ‘nevertheless’ not the divine ‘therefore.’ Forgiveness of who we are, not approval of who we are is the key.
“who justifies the ungodly” is the key, there is absolutely no boasting.
Verse 6 One heavy-hitter from the Hebrew hall of fame has been brought out by Paul to prove that his Gospel is not knew, and now he brings out the other King David. What does David have to say about the possibility of a person working to be make himself right with God? Nothing!, because he knows there is no such possibility.
Verse 7 Those who are blessed are not “the godly receiving their wages” but the ungodly receiving their GIFT. The forgiveness of God covering the sins of man. Our righteousness is actually the death of any hope of our righteousness and then the conscious leaning on God and His righteousness.
Verse 8 The very next verse in the same Psalm (32) My sin, I don’t deny it, I own it, it is mine, but oh, oh, oh, what amazing grace is given to me, God does not take it into account!
Read Psalm 32:1-5
All false religions go off course right here at this point. They say there is a “stairway to heaven” works that can be done to earn a spot, service that can be rendered that puts God in your debt. Christianity shouts “NO” to all human righteousness and all human obtaining of right-standing with God. And in that, hard, unyielding, unscalable, wall of NO, God utters His YES. He offers a new relationship, one that has hope, as long as God is the only object of that hope. His forgiveness, His grace freely given, and absolutely, positively nothing else.

Sola Gracia by Grace alone. The second major theme of the reformation.
Because God loves us, through the blood of Jesus, He forgives us freely, because of His love. We do not deserve it, but the love of God gives it to us. By Grace alone, what is amazing is how “simple” these truths are, but in their simplicity they cut against the heart of man, that desires to prove itself as, good, right, deserving of love. The NO of God is; you deserve death (desperation), leads to the YES of God (hope) that flowing simply and powerfully out of His love, forgiveness comes to us at great cost. At a horrible cost we are freely made right with God, by faith.