Category Archives: Legalism

Holiness or Hypocrisy?

My Utmost for His Highest, reads : Take the Initiative
…add to your faith virtue… 2 PETER 1:5
Add means that we have to do something. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves. We must “work out” our “own salvation” which God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12). Add means that we must get into the habit of doing things, and in the initial stages that is difficult. To take the initiative is to make a beginning— to instruct yourself in the way you must go.
Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you when He speaks, and never reconsider or change your initial decisions. If you hesitate when God tells you to do something, you are being careless, spurning the grace in which you stand. Take the initiative yourself, make a decision of your will right now, and make it impossible to go back. Burn your bridges behind you, saying, “I will write that letter,” or “I will pay that debt”; and then do it! Make it irrevocable.
We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.



In my opinion therefore, it is wrong to “hide behind the Lord”  when in fact we are being simply apathetic towards others; or when saying things like; it is wrong to love the world – instead of the Lord, when we are actually only loving ourselves! This is rather just a sanctimonious viewpoint of the soul, and ultimately the “grandest excuse” to be self-absorbed, apathetic, complacent, and dismissive of others!

With this type of narcissistic psychopathy (which can stem from a poor upbringing or parenting skills)   one must “push in to overcome this emotional complacency” by moving outside one’s self in the service of others, rather than simply “ withdrawing in the Lord” (self-Sanctification)  as an excuse from the idea of – actually engaging with others; which is oftentimes required to be effective to others, and our Lord when he direct us to be.

In short, our apathy towards others should never be painted as in simply following “Holiness”; when in fact Jesus never instructed anyone to become so socially withdrawn as to not engage with others. In fact, this type of behavior could be viewed as disobedience; when the Lord attempts to move in us – yet we will not be moved, and therefore is not in accordance with the scriptures, and is not how the Holy Spirit operates – but rather rooted in self instead.


 

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Lordship Salvation Teachings

People often have an incomplete understanding of different doctrines; they make statements which are untrue as a result. 

2 Timothy 2:15 – is written in proving such a point…

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A balanced understanding of the scriptures in contexts, is required to not mislead or deceive others.


 

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Above reproach?

When one sees themselves as alway in the right, the need to forgive and love others as yourself fades away, this is commonly referred to as legalism! Matthew 24:12 speaks to this, and why folks have no more use for others!


 

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Soul or Spirit?

Understanding Spirituality in discipleship to Jesus Christ, will always be conducive to the Bible.

The functions of the Holy Spirit is rooted to the human spirit in conscience and intuition; whereas the soul is rooted to the emotions and intellect of the mind. Without a clear understanding of the scriptures, people often confuse “emotional intelligence” with the intuition of the Holy Spirit’s leadings as exemplified in the Bible. This is an “all to common mistake” made within the Christians development.

The Holy Spirit functions to show the believer just who the Lord is in Christ, by experience and personal revelations which are comparable to Jesus, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and other early believers in the New Testament, who received the Holy Spirit on and after the day of Pentecost.

The Old Testament Saints are used in example to men’s hearts towards the Lord; if they be soft or hardened, while siting how obedience in faith was required in receiving the promises of the Lord.

David was an outstanding example of continued repentance of heart towards the Lord, and the infinite mercy shown to him.

The “Lamb of God” – Jesus Christ was the promised one (Messiah) first to the Jew, then to the Gentiles, who took away the sins of the world on a cross to all who would believe on him!

The law was given to Moses as an example of a school master – a measuring stick, to show how Holy the Lord God is, and how utterly hopeless humanity is in keeping even one aspect of the law within the hearts of men!      As an example; this is why adultery was used by Jesus in explaining even if a man didn’t engage in the physical act (like under the law of Moses) the human heart is still corrupted by sin, and even our thought life needs forgiveness!

Anyone who believes that apart from Christ, they can conform or perform to the Spirituality required to commune with the Father, has completely misunderstood the scriptural texts as to who Christ is, and the utter depravity of humanity!

The bottom line is that it is impossible to move in Holiness apart from the Spiritual connection to the Holy Spirit as for the atonement of Christ, and nothing less!

Paul said in Hebrew 6:1 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,”

Paul understood that the atonement of Christ has already been made complete in Christ for the believer by faith, which is the “Doctrine of Christ”.  It is imperative for our understanding and growth that we grasp this doctrine fully.

He is speaking of the total depravity of man, and the tremendous cost paid for our sinful souls by Christ on the cross!

Without a complete understanding of this “sound” doctrine, we could end up like a bunch of Monks once did, while attempting to continually move in Holiness within in the dark ages from 5th–15th century – prior to the reformation! Legalism is always the result from the Scribes of old to the present age, if our minds cannot grasp the infinite grace and mercy shown to us by the completed work of Christ on the cross!

It is ironic how sound Biblical teachings of who Christ is to the believer spiritually, can be twisted by the mind and soul into a convoluted understanding of the New Testament Gospel as being soulish rather than spiritual, when confusing the emotional intelligence of the soul with the actual spiritual life, which once and for all was provided and completed for us in Christ Jesus.

One thing which I can testify to is that my life is not my own since coming to the Lord! Providentially, although I attempted to plan for my life, it is the Lord who allowed or disallowed how I attempted to move forward. A major example of this is how I tried to go to sea with the Merchant Marine after my time in the Coast Guard.

My application continually became ensnared within the hiring administration of the Military Sealift Command again and again, till I finally gave up and moved in the direction of obtaining a job as a Marine Machinery technician aboard Army watercraft instead. One of the reasons for this is that I would meet my future wife (who I had prayed for 20 years) and direct her towards Christ for her salvation.

It was not me who chose any of my life’s course, but rather Christ within me, and in whom the Father offered me my bride in 1997. Yet only after a years’ worth of confirmations (almost daily) to my soul of what the Lord had indeed orchestrated. It was the most transformative time in all my Christian walk!

I can still remember where I was standing on the day the Lord spoke to my heart proclaiming that “my life was in his hands”! What a joyous “Spirit filled moment” that was for my soul; and is one which has proven itself again and again even to the point of my own death, and afterwards when being accused of  loving the world more than the Lord, by some poor doctrinally confused brethren.

The main thrust of my point is; that understanding sound doctrine is imperative to ones emotional and spiritual health, even when the Lord has moved from within you by his spirit in giving significant understanding to our souls of just who we are, and the grace given to us freely in Christ by Grace, and not of our own merit!

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Out of Touch?

Poor Bible understanding of Isaiah and other scriptures create such fervent and even desperation in proving oneself worthy! Yet Christ is the only justification; for all to come to a saving faith in him. When Israel rejected Christ, then the Gospel went out to the Gentiles for salvation for those who put their faith in him. (Matthew 7:13-14).

 


Remnant

Romans 9:27–28 (ESV): 27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”

Romans 11 – * referencing Isaiah

That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of this chapter.

(1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant ( Romans 11:1 )

(2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it ( Romans 11:2-6 ).

(3) The present national unbelief was foreseen ( Romans 11:7-10 ).

(4) Israel’s unbelief is the Gentile opportunity ( Romans 11:11-25 ).

(5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ ( Romans 11:17-22 ).

(6) They are to be grafted in again ( Romans 11:23 Romans 11:24 ).

(7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved ( Romans 11:25-29 ). That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham ; Genesis 15:5 Genesis 15:6 ; Galatians 3:29 and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant.

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FAITH DESTROYER

The Righteous Live by FAITH – Not by sight. In other words, what you believe does not affect the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit within you. Remember, we are God’s work, and not our own, once we have been sealed for the day of redemption!


 

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Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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Stiff Necked

Oswald Chambers teaches on his April 7th devotional the following quote…

As the disciples were commanded, you should also say nothing until the Son of Man has risen in you— until the life of the risen Christ so dominates you that you truly understand what He taught while here on earth. When you grow and develop the right condition inwardly, the words Jesus spoke become so clear that you are amazed you did not grasp them before. In fact, you were not able to understand them before because you had not yet developed the proper spiritual condition to deal with them.

Our Lord doesn’t hide these things from us, but we are not prepared to receive them until we are in the right condition in our spiritual life. Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). We must have a oneness with His risen life before we are prepared to bear any particular truth from Him. Do we really know anything about the indwelling of the risen life of Jesus? The evidence that we do is that His Word is becoming understandable to us. God cannot reveal anything to us if we don’t have His Spirit. And our own unyielding and headstrong opinions will effectively prevent God from revealing anything to us. But our insensible thinking will end immediately once His resurrection life has its way with us.

“…tell no one….” But so many people do tell what they saw on the Mount of Transfiguration— their mountaintop experience. They have seen a vision and they testify to it, but there is no connection between what they say and how they live. Their lives don’t add up because the Son of Man has not yet risen in them. How long will it be before His resurrection life is formed and evident in you and in me?


It is headstrong and hypocritical to say that; others use the Bible to teach what they want, yet you yourself do the very same thing! (Romans 2:1-5)

How tragic to think that you are so spiritually spot on in your understanding, that you simply discard the discernment of others who have tried to share with you.

It is frustrating and almost laughable when we see a Bible study leader who “thinks” that they are so “very exclusively sanctified” in Christ; that no one else can move their heart towards seeing God move, beyond anything bigger than their own Cognitive Dissonance!

This is not Spirituality at all, but simply stubbornness and bull headed when even the closest of brethren are powerless to help, until one repents from such a comfortable yet prideful position of the mind, the one who is so blinded in their own conceits!  (Proverbs 26:12), (Romans 12:16)

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Faith or Fear

Does this sound like Paul thinks that God’s Grace is being on the Broad Road?
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


 

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