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Jimm
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Re: The Church part 1- A meek and quiet bride...

We have now come to the point where we can consider the Spirit of The Bride, that is, the true Church of Jesus Christ. There is much to be added to all the topics posted but let us catch our breath as we rest on this eternal issue. Let us present two texts with which the Spirit will lead us into our further meditations.

Isaiah 66:1-2 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

The true Church, is the Bride and as such the Bride is being adorned as a preparation for Christ. As Paul says, “ For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31-32). And again John tells us, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelations 21:2). When we look at the Church at this perspective we must conclude there is something very mystic about what the church is. There is something that cannot be hidden from they eyes of our Lord, though we do try to hide it with much “outward adorning”. The Lord is adorning inwardly the spirit of the saints, who are the church, “that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”.

Today there is much outward adorning in the saints and there is a great striving to build God’s house but he saith, “what house shall ye build me?”. This question is rhetoric and the answer is contained in the question, let me say plainly, we cannot build the house of God. Solmon begins a Psalm (127) saying, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it…”. It is God who builds the true Church, and it is He who adorns Her. We may and plant and water seeds but it is God who give the increase, and unless it is sent of God it will not grow, it will not receive increase from Him.

Programs, creeds, denominations, songs, theology, meetings, revelations, tongues, prophesies, psalms, hymns, interpretations are all outward signs which do not necessarily mean that there is an inward adorning. There are many in that day who even after having prophesied will not be adorned appropriately for the Lord and to those he will confess, “I never knew you…” (Mathew 7:23). Let us therefore consider with all sobriety and all quietness before the Lord what it is He requires from His church.

Art Katz once said, “The Lord is not Lord until he has been consulted. You do not automatically go to college and get a career, you consult the Lord first, ‘what would you have form me to do?’ It maybe that the kind of character training you require will come from picking up the public garbage, and if that is your intent for me that is what I will do. My government (saith the Lord) must be upon my hand for the increase of and peace there shall be no end.

I will not assume anything in my life that he should necessarily come and approve and condone as if to say, “of course everybody knows you have to earn a living, and you have to have a career and you have to have a career to get…No! Not everybody knows that (Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? Mathew 6:31).

The Lord is not Lord until he has be consulted and he has given the disposition of His heart which might confound everything we have planned. The word ‘Lord’ has become a sort of glib, verbalization and if it’s lost its meaning there, where is there meaning anywhere. And he is not Lord, what are we doing, playing a game and saying ‘Lord, Lord’, when he in fact is not, and we are independently and arbitrarily making our own decisions…and then we come on Sunday and sing His praises…’Lord, Lord!’ This is how the spirits (Acts 19:13) can say Jesus we know and Paul we know but who are you. We see right through you, we know what is the truth of your life and if you are not true on the issue of His Lordship, you are not true on anything.”

Let me interject there with a, hallelujah! We the bride of Christ must learn quietness and how to say ‘Lord’ and mean it, “…even as Sara…”. Our Lord is the center of all things and it the eternal purpose of God that in all things Christ may have preeminence as Paul says, “ And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased, the Father that in him should ALL fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:18-19). This is a central message in many of Watchman Nee’s books and, as he says;

“A colossal problem exists among God’s children today. The Christianity which they kow is quiet fragmentary. You obtain a little grace, I receive a little gift, and he speaks a little tongue. This man experiences some change in conduct, that man posses some measure of love; this one has patience; that one has humility. This is what is commonly known as Christianity. But is this Christianity? It is not, for Christianity is Christ. Christianity is not reward neither is it what Christ gives to me. Christianity is none other than Christ Himself.

Do you perceive the difference? There are two totally divergent ways. Christianity is not one thing which Christ gives to me; Christianity is Christ giving Himself to me. Here is the problem that people consider today’s Christianity to be the endowment of Christ. When I was a sinner, Christ endowed me with grace an mercy. Now that I have become a Christian, He endows me with patience humility and gentleness and whatever. But this is just not so.

Before God it is not a matter of endowment of Christ; rather it is God giving Christ Himself to us. God has not granted us humility and patience and gentleness, He grants the entire Christ to us. it is Christ who becomes our patience, humility and gentleness. It is Christ the living Lord. And this is what is truly called Christianity. Please take note that there is nothing at all impersonal in Christianity. Every matter in Christianity has to do with personality, and the person involved is Christ. To put it another way, our patience is not a thing, ours is a Person- our sanctification is not an experience, ours is a Man- our justification is not a thing, ours is a Personality- our righteousness in not behavior, ours is a being. When we are redeemed and delivered we do not obtain items as such, for our redemption and deliverance are alive.”

Again let me interject saying HALLELUJAH. Knowing Christ in this way is the difference between Lordship and “I never knew you; it is the difference between living Christianity and dead Christianity, the true Bride and Church and the institution purporting Christianity. This is a tough pill to swallow but if you will dear saint, in Truth consider the state of your entire Christian life and that of most “churches” the Light that dawns is convicting and sobering. Let us receive the Lord in trembling and quietness and let us, by our submission, give meaning once again to the term ‘Lord’. I pray O Father, that you will reveal you Son to us that we may receive Him in His fullness. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.



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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/30 0:26Profile
Svineklev
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Joined: 2004/12/14
Posts: 74


 Re:

Ironman, et al--

I cannot read all of this thread, so please excuse me if I misread a thing or two. I just wanted to comment on a couple of posts.

1. Though the Pharisees were about the only line of Judaism to survive the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, by no means did they all reject Christianity. Hundreds if not thousands of them converted to Christianity. In fact, Richard John Neuhaus speculates that perhaps [i]millions[/i] of them did (judging by estimated population of Jews in the Roman Empire prior to and after the destruction...millions fewer afterward, with no reported pogroms or famines that can account for the reduction).

Jesus did not focus on them because they were the worst of the worst. They were the "party of the people" and most ordinary Jews of the time would have identified with them rather than the Sadducees or Zealots, etc. Paul clearly come from a pharisaic roots and probably Jesus, too (as well as he knows the teachings of the Tannaim). Often it is those who (though in error) are closer to the truth who receive disciplinary attention. There is no castigation of study or knowledge in the rebuke of the pharisees, but only of their self-centered application and misapplication of traditions and the Word.

2. What E.M. Bounds seems to be railing against are not [i]prayerful[/i] Bible worms, but those who neglect their devotional time with God in favor of pure doctrinal studies. Remember that the apostles in Acts 6:4 say (in giving to others the service at tables): "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."

3. Watchman Nee is thought to be doctrinally unsound by many, many Christians. His quote--

"But our faith is entirely different. From its outset, Christianity is built on the man Christ. It is not built on the doctrines and teachings of Christ. It is amazing that when you open the Bible, you will not find too many chapters of doctrines. Passages where pure doctrinal issues are expounded are rare and of less concern to people. What concerns one the most is the man Himself and what kind of person He is"

--though not that far from being true, is a dangerous one. And ideas have consequences. Though purely propositional, doctrinal truths are less common than aphorisms or narrative in Scripture, they are hardly of less worth.

4. Concerning the 16-year-old boy who touched people with the mere utterance of "Father" as he began prayer.... (It reminds me of the actor who said he would gladly give a small fortune if he could recite the word "Mesopotamia" with half the evocative inflection and feeling of George Whitefield.) We had an elder in my church who was much this same way...whenever he began prayer you could not help but believe his relationship with the Father was intimate and glorious. But he could also quote by heart vast quantities of Scripture, and he knew his theology backwards and forwards.

5. We worship in Spirit AND Truth. You've somehow collated that simply to mean we should worship [i]genuinely[/i] in tune with the Spirit.

I believe you only have half the equation: We worship God when we are genuinely in the Spirit AND when we recognize the importance of true Truth (as Francis Schaeffer used to call it).

All God's best,

--Eric

 2005/4/30 15:58Profile
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
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 Re:

Eric
are you following me :-P In short what God has been impressing on me in many different ways is that the Spirit will teach us and lead us into all truth whether it concerns scripture or other things of God. The spirit is the key because without it we're dead in the water spiritually.


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Farai Bamu

 2005/4/30 21:13Profile
Jimm
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 The leaven...

Hey Eric

Nice to have your contribution here Brother, I am sure your input will add a new depth and dimension to this discussion; in any case the flavor of “Jimm” and “Ironman” where becoming quite bland. :-)

I have read your post and noted your considerations and learnt something from them, but I believe, from my standpoint we may have missed each other here. The reference to the Pharisees was more a reference to the label as it is described in the Bible, not to the historical and statistical typical “Pharisee” (although that angle is noted and requires further meditation on my part), but as to those who were in short, self-righteous. Yes, not every single Pharisee was the unholy of unholies but in the discourse in Mathew 23 a certain kind of man is described; let us now quote and examine part of the familiar text that we may have the same point of reference. Again, I say I do appreciate that historical input but the man recorded by history is altogether different from the one from which the doctrine was drawn, and from that man, a different lesson is to be learnt. From Mathew 23:5-6 we have:

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

The minute to minute, life of every scribe and Pharisee is not known or recorded by any historian, indeed, even the people living in Jerusalem at the time of the Pharisees did not know the secrets of these men’s hearts. Our Lord here tells authoritatively what is in their hearts. Our Lord warned against, “the leaven of the Pharisees” (Mathew 16) and it was a warning to His own disciples. Any person, not just the Pharisees could have the “leaven” of self-righteousness and it is against this leaven that our Lord speaks against, and as it so happen, this “leaven” was manifest in the Pharisees most readily at that time. At the end of the day what is said here is against arrogant self-righteousness and the attempt of justification by one’s own good works.

Again our Lord said authoritatively (this was not an outward observation but an inward revelation of their hearts) of the Jews in John 5(who not the necessarily the Pharisees but who too where demonstrating the “leaven”), “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me”. I never advocate stopping Bible study; in fact, at times I am lead study as much as 12 hours a day, but I do not believe that “in them is eternal life”. The life is in the Son, and any doctrine that does not point to the Son does not point to life. It would be self righteous for me to believe I could read and indoctrinate my way to life, but the purpose of the study is altogether different.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, [b]which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus[/b]. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

I deeply appreciate this statement and take it as a personal statement to me, but all scriptures do is point to Christ. C.H. Surpgeon has a book, “Christ in the old testament” and in the introduction he begins:

“Many of the most picturesque images of Jesus Christ are those found –sometimes seemingly buried- in the Old Testament. Jesus emphasized this point with two of His disciples as they walked and talked on the road to Emmaus. “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Using this teaching model of Jesus Himself, he offers 60 studies revealing in the teaching, testimonies and types of the Old Testament. These are organized into three groups, the historical group (comparing Christ to Old Testament t figures), the ceremonial group and the prophetic group.”

In our studies if we are not lead to Christ, then all we have is philosophy and we are no different to any other religion. I believe that Christ is the sum of all Spiritual things, I do not believe the same can be said for scriptures and doctrine. Though through scriptures and doctrine we plant and water we are given increase only through Christ. There is no intrinsic power in scripture and doctrine except through Christ and His Spirit which is the Spirit of the Father.

The reason my brother and I stress this so much, is because we are basically in agreement with Ravenhill when he says, “I do not believe that 2% of professing Christians are born again never mind filled with the Spirit”. This is a sad state and I believe that at the center of the problem is pride and self righteousness, along with apathy ignorance and false assurances. Our assurance should not be based on doctrines and creeds but on Him in whom we have believed, the line is thin, and this is not an accusation dear brother, it is what it is, a statement against “the leaven” of the Pharisees. It is this which I speak against in the post, not against any specific person or specific Pharisee… do you follow me? I have much more to say about your post but les I talk you into oblivion I will pause here. What are your thoughts so far?


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/30 23:25Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/3
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 Re: The leaven...

Br. Jim wrote:

Quote:
God has not granted us humility and patience and gentleness, He grants the entire Christ to us. it is Christ who becomes our patience, humility and gentleness. It is Christ the living Lord. And this is what is truly called Christianity.



“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Your testimony of the "Life" is true and good.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/5/3 16:05Profile
Svineklev
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Joined: 2004/12/14
Posts: 74


 Re: The leaven...

Jimm--

My problem with those who correlate doctrine and creed with pharisaism (like Ravenhill, here) is that they throw out the baby with the bath water (and in this case, it's literally the Christ Child they're throwing out). Not that they MEAN to, of course....

When one makes statements like that--Our assurance should not be based on doctrines and creeds but on Him in whom we have believed--who is this "Him" being spoken of? We know we are speaking of the [i]same[/i] "Him in whom we have believed" by the use of doctrine and creed. The Spirit and theology are not opposing forces. Sound theology enriches our spirituality; it does not detract from it.

There is, as you say, no intrinsic power in Scripture and doctrine except through Christ and His Spirit which is the Spirit of the Father. True enough.

But you would agree that Scripture is "God-breathed" and if interpreted through true doctrine, what do we have? The very Word of God. Its pages drip with the spirit of Christ, do they not? What in heaven's name could you possibly have against rightly dividing the Word of Truth?

By the by, Mr. Ironman, sir. No, I am not following you around. This topic just struck my fancy. "Great" minds may not think alike, but perhaps they're drawn to similar subjects! 8-)

--Eric

 2005/5/10 4:38Profile
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
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 Re:

Eric
I'm no great thinker but if you insist... 8-)


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Farai Bamu

 2005/5/11 1:31Profile
Jimm
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 498
Harare, ZIMBABWE

 Doctrine and the Spirit of Christ

Quote:
My problem with those who correlate doctrine and creed with pharisaism (like Ravenhill, here)



I think you have misunderstood me and “Ravenhill here”. It is not that I correlate doctrine and creed with Phariseeism, but that Phariseeism correlates with doctrine and creeds. That statement will make no sense if you are in haste but let me attempt to explain what I mean.

Anyone who ministers the gospel of Jesus Christ must have doctrine of some kind but not everyone who has a doctrine of some kind has Jesus Christ. The first person who explained to me what Calvinism was all about was a drug dealer. He could (at the time) recite scripture more fluently than anyone I had ever met in my entire life! Why is it that he could see the truth and recite it but he could not utilize it?

Quote:
When one makes statements like that--Our assurance should not be based on doctrines and creeds but on Him in whom we have believed--who is this "Him" being spoken of? We know we are speaking of the same "Him in whom we have believed" by the use of doctrine and creed. The Spirit and theology are not opposing forces. Sound theology enriches our spirituality; it does not detract from it.



Doctrine does not necessarily mean unity of belief or one accord in Christ, being in Christ on the other hand does mean unity of belief and one accord, so that the testimony of the individual Christian is more powerful than what he knows. I speak of testimony as a general statement encompassing as much as the person’s conduct and walk everyday, that is testimony, that is fruit, which is doctrine in action. Sound theology does not produce enriched spirituality but enriched spirituality produces sound doctrine. If it all it took to change my personality and obtain life was to understand a teaching then the very sovereignty of God would be lost in that the key to life would be bound up in man’s understanding and quickness of mind and not in the grace of God, for grace is not constrained by doctrine. You may say, “it is God who give the understanding and so His sovereignty is not lost” and to that I would say, “Amen, it is also God who gives the spirituality!”. If however you do not believe this and you turn and you ask me:

Quote:
But you would agree that Scripture is "God-breathed" and if interpreted through true doctrine, what do we have? The very Word of God. Its pages drip with the spirit of Christ, do they not? What in heaven's name could you possibly have against rightly dividing the Word of Truth?
Quote:


In this case I would say to you what book do you know of that is more “God-breathed” than the Bible? (none) Then why is that people reading the same bible can come to doctrines that are not only different but opposing? Truth my produce different doctrines but the are never opposing. Most modern doctrine stems from the Bible, but some doctrine is heretical, for “rightly dividing the word of truth” belongs to God, and those who are not in Christ are not equipped to do it. The Lord may sovereignly enlighten one who does not have the Spirit through the bible (as he did with me) but this is not necessarily always the case. The Lord may have enlightned you with Calvinism, but why has it not worked for the drug dealer? Are not the pages “dripping with the Spirit of Christ” I say to you no, Christ does not dwell in books or temples made with hands but in heaven and in men. A man filled with Christ, can teach of Christ freely, not relying on any fixed doctrine, but because he walks in truth, he speaks of the truth. Forgive me dear sir, for putting words in your mouth, but I only did it to give you a commentary of what I perceive or you and that may be wrong. I await correction.

In Christ

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/5/18 12:37Profile
Jimm
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 Re: Hearing the voice

There is an aspect of the being born of the Spirit that is unique to the children of God and this is “hearing”. the hearing we speak of now is spiritual hearing and must be distinguished from the physical ability to hear. This is not a spiritual gift but it is a faculty of those who are mature in Christ. A normal faculty of the believer’s spirit is hearing. Let us consider the following texts that we may be of one accord. I pray that God may direct our understanding and enlighten our hearts to His Son.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:7-16)

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: [b]if any man hear my voice[/b], and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [b]He that hath an ear, let him hear[/b] what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelations 3:20-22)

Again let us state that having “an ear” is not a spiritual gift and neither is hearing. The Lord speaks not only to the spiritually gifted but also to all of His sheep. As we grow in Christ we will become more familiar to his voice and we will automatically shun and flee from the hirelings prophets and teachers. Let us consider one final text before we go into explanation of this saying.

And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, [b]The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.[/b]And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee. (Genesis 27:22-29)

There is a lot to be said about the voice of someone. I have no experience with sheep but I remember being out on rural farm in Africa when we were herding cattle. I was a city boy and my cousins enjoyed playing pranks on me when I visited, and on one occasion we had gone out with the cattle and I marveled at how obedient the all were. my cousins would run and shout instructions to them to stop, turn, move etc. After noting the commands I was keen to get involved and I told my cousins about this, and they tried in vain to hide their amusement, but they encouraged me to try. And so I began to run in the midst of them shouting in the same way and with the same words but it seemed that they did everything except what I was saying! My words were indeed right but my voice was wrong and they had the good sense to hear and pick that up.

In this age of apostasy we have many false prophets and teachers. Sadly many of them do not know that they are wrong and if we are not careful our other senses will deceive us into hearing the voice of the hireling. We only have one Lord and Master in this world and everyone and everything else is false (But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren Mathew 23:8). As we mature in Christ we should be able to hear whether a man speaks from the Spirit of Christ or not. If it is not the Spirit of Christ then it is not profitable for you to hear anything they have to say. This is far deeper than the question of doctrine, though we should be ware of false doctrine and heresy. The issue of “hearing” goes down to the source of the speakers message, is it from the Spirit or the flesh or the Devil.

Many teachers are teaching true doctrine but it is from the flesh and for their own purpose and will, but those who speak of Christ are they who we hear. One undeniable mark of the Spirit of Christ is conviction (When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment John16:8). The Spirit of Christ is convicting. A minister of the gospel who does not bring about conviction, either in his words or in his conduct is very questionable. By conviction I do not refer to alter call numbers, as this may reflect his own charisma powers of persuasion or something else. conviction refers to that working and speaking which the Spirit operates in the conscience of people. No man has the power to bring Godly conviction, but this is entirely the work of God in His own Spirit. If a person speaks and works of God, there is conviction to those who witness, but if a man speaks and works of Himself, even if the works and words appear to be righteous, there is no conviction.

After maturing in Christ there is in fact a feeling of offense when someone speaks of themselves about Christ. One of the most offensive things for a mature Christians to endure is testimony and works that do not proceed from Christ. Good words and works can never substitute the voice of the Spirit of our Lord, and according to Christ we know His voice. This is divine fact written in your Bible as well as mine, and it is also written upon the spirits of those who are born of His Spirit. We know His voice, and words and works that do not bare His voice are detestable and we should flee from them. With our senses we may see signs and wonders and tears and we may hear scriptures and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, but all of theses can be used in deception. The voice of God cannot be counterfeited and it is upon this that we must rely.

Some of us are not exercised in hearing the voice of God. While it is true that the hearing gets better with exercise, it is not true that this is how it is acquired. You can hear because you are a sheep of God, if in fact you are a sheep. If you are a sheep then you will grow in Christ and your spiritual senses will sharpen as use them (But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who [b]by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil[/b]. Hebrews 5:14). That which is of Christ is good, that which is not of Christ is evil. We must become increasingly aware and of the “voice” of Christ in those that name of Christ. May the Lord be merciful to us and by His grace may he give us increase in Christ. Amen.



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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/5/18 14:32Profile
Svineklev
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Joined: 2004/12/14
Posts: 74


 Re:

James--

You said:

"Sound theology does not produce enriched spirituality but enriched spirituality produces sound doctrine."

I agree with you on the first part. Sound theology gets you nowhere in and of itself (like your drug-dealer friend). (Just as an aside--even if a communist, alcoholic, womanizing deadbeat told me that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life, I wouldn't give up my faith as a result. Truth is truth no matter who says it and whether or not they are able to apply it to their own lives.)

At any rate, I cannot agree with you on the second half: enriched spirituality does NOT produce sound doctrine in and of itself. The two HAVE TO go together. If one is growing in the faith, then one is hearing the Word preached and reading the Word for him or herself, being mentored by those more mature in the faith, and studying the writings of those witnesses who have gone before us. These activities all involve growth in [i]doctrine.[/i]

That's what doctrine IS. Knowing the contours of His face, being able to discern His voice from imitators (like those cows were able to do).

Enriched spirituality produces sound doctrine produces enriched spirituality produces sound doctrine produces enriched spirituality....

One cannot and must not separate them. If anyone does, then I fear for his or her susceptibility to deception.

Mormon's teach their people that they should read the Book of Mormon with an open mind...and that if it's true God will give them a "feeling of assurance." In other words they will "hear His voice." And lo and behold--through the amazing power of suggestion--[i]most of them do![/i]

Ah, isn't that lovely...enriched "spirituality" producing "sound" doctrine.

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Yes, maturity does hone one's sense of hearing. And discerning error will produce offense within one.

The trouble is that immaturity may give one a false sense of hearing His voice. One may even take offense at the truth, believing it to usher forth from the Deceiver.

They are mirror images. Sheep definitiely hear His voice. But when can we be sure that WE are sheep?

We can be sure only when what we have heard conforms to the Standard we have been given: the written Word of God. And no, Christ Himself is not in the typeset ink of the words. But in those words we have a benchmark to rely on. A benchmark He has provided for us. (And like any such Standard, it is useless unless we have the ability to interpret it correctly. Hermeneutics and Systematics and Church History may not seem very "spiritual." But they have been used of God to safeguard the integrity of His revelation to us. Be thankful.)

--Eric

 2005/5/22 21:12Profile





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