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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b]The GOSPEL of God's Great Love
Section II[/b]
Part 6 The BLESSING of Repentance

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (Acts 3:25, 26)

At a time when the Jews were looking for a messiah to come that would solve their political problems and establish the Kingdom to Israel, the Holy Spirit reveals the nature of the ‘blessing’ that God intended to send to the children of Abraham. So misguided were the Jews individually, and even the disciples, that after Jesus appeared to them for the last time they could not resist the question; Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? This is a political question. This is a great revelation of how ‘out of sync’ even the disciples could be with what God was doing in the earth.

When we ask the wrong questions it is likely we will also pray the wrong prayers. Why? The temptation of an evil and adulterous generation is to focus on the fleeting and temporal. People desire to be left alone to think what they want to think, feel what they want to feel and do what they want to do. And they do not care who gets hurt in the process. This is what Francis Schaffer calls "The idol of personal peace." But Jesus came to disrupt everyone’s personal peace and get us thinking about eternity and being reconciled to our Creator.

Knowledge when it comes before the mind causes a person to 'feel'. If the knowledge that is presented does not jibe with ones personal peace they block it out or try to reject it. This is a curious thing. Unbelievers will sit on the edge of their seats waiting to hear some worthless information, but get out of sorts when they need to learn something that will actually 'benefit' them. They lust for forbidden knowledge, but reject the knowledge of God.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hosea 4:6,7)

Scripture uses the picture of being 'asleep' as a metaphor for people that are careless about their souls. (Romans 13:11, I Thess. 5:6, Luke 22:46) Sleep is a powerful thing and it is a powerful picture. When folk are asleep they do not like to be disturbed. The old timers used the concept of 'awakening sinners'. This can be dangerous, but it has to be done. The light of truth shines into the darkness where careless sinners sleep; where they don't want to be bothered.

The Greatest Blessing

The highest blessing that can be conferred upon people is to be turned from sin. Sin is the source of all woes, and if people are turned from that, they will be happy. Christ blesses no one in sin, or while loving sin, but by turning them from sin. (Barnes) God desired to reconcile man unto Himself, the ultimate blessing. And who can imagine one greater? It is the sad state of affairs in the human race, that though God was mindful of sinful man, sinful man did not like to retain God in his/her mind (Psalm 8:4, Romans 1:28). Man does not need more ‘blessings’ as he/she understands them, man stands in need of Christ.

If we mix metaphors for a moment, we see that careless sinners want to be left alone, but often they still want to be blessed. The blessings they seek are those that will help them be comfortable; like blankets and pillows to help them just 'sleep on'. Again we read, Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. The word here ‘iniquities’ is translated in all other places in the KJV as ‘wickedness’. That is how God views the life of those that live according to their own way. To just 'sleep on' when God is trying to awaken is ‘wickedness.’

People ask for blessings and rarely realize what they are asking. To ask God for a blessing is to ask Him for Himself. Before He can bless us with Himself He has to bless us with REPENTANCE. Yet people typically do not want God or even ‘more’ of God. They think that already have enough or even too much and they are not even started yet. Why? Their ‘god’ is their sleep- their 'personal peace'; it is the altar they give their bodies as a living sacrifice for. They present themselves to themselves as a living offering.

Christ came to turn us from Sin and keep us turned. An evil and adulterous generation focuses on the trivial temporal needs of the times and asks for a 'blessing' along those lines. God had an all together different plan. This is the blessing that God promised Abraham's Seed; Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. This [u]is[/u] 'prosperity'.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2008/7/5 13:35Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b]The GOSPEL of God's Great Love
Section II[/b]
Part 7 God's Determinations

God is determined that He will bring many sons unto glory and will not stop short of accomplishing that purpose. This is an awesome task. "Let us make man in our image and likeness," is a purpose God has not turned from; for there is no shadow of turning in God. Yet God is equally determined that salvation will be by Grace. Grace simply means God's loving kindness. God is love, is working to bring about a people that love and He will accomplish it by His loving kindness.

[i]Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all[/i] (Romans 4:16).

Abraham's story is our picture of God's grace and Abraham's faith. God called upon Abraham before Abraham called on the LORD. Because of His loving kindness alone (grace alone) Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees. Not because he was 'lovable' but because [i]God so loved[/i].

God's love is demonstrated by the fact that He loves even His enemies. This is why He calls them and this is why He strives with them. God's mercy stays His hand of judgment, but God's grace calls man to a higher plain that He could never attain in Himself. This is what God did with Abraham. God was calling Him out of the temporal and into the eternal.

What a wonderful picture! That God called Abraham out into a place to sojourn. He called him out of his earthly home and into a foretaste of his eternal home. This is a radical paradigm change. As if his thinking lifted off the earth and into the heavens Abraham began to see that God's loving kindness made him a stranger and pilgrim in the earth. How pitiable an existence he once lived? So He began to walk with God looking for a city who's builder and maker is God. This is the destiny of those that walk in the steps of Abraham. This is not our home. We do not trust this place and we do not love this place. We are looking for a city.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2008/8/26 6:40Profile





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