Nevermind what your feelings say, what does His Word say? God wants us to know that what we do to others, we do to Him. And The word of God is what connects us, not judgement.
We must look beyond peoples actions/ and flaws to see the grace of God, the plan of God, the ability of God. The manifestatation of the love and mercy of God. The Lord is not looking at our failures, but judges us through the finished work that was completed 2000 years ago...He came to be, what we could not be ,so that "As He is, so are we in this world." 1st John 4:17. ...selah.....Praise God!!....
In the book of John, the 7th chapter, we see how the religious people of the day, along with those who "professed "to being people of God, were the very ones who brought judgement upon Jesus. Even goin as far to telling Him, He had a demon! And in verse 24 Jesus tells them, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement." How are you seeing your brother/sister? When talking to others in the body, Do you start questioning their walk with "you can't do that," or "You must do this."..If so,...This is not God.. its Religion! This person might be struggling with a habitual habit or sin, and we are heaping condemantion and guilt upon them.. Who are we to judge a servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Romans14:4. Ostracizing or shunning people have never caused a people to really change to become strong sons of God.
When a person knows God, or better yet, are known by God, and knows their sins are no longer held against them, (Hebrews 8:12) that they are now the Righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus, it encourages them to keep going...not give up. To keep pursuing the "better way" the gift, they have received freely which brings pleasure, joy, and more then anything FREEDOM from guilt and condemnation. Romans 14:13 "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brothers way. And verse 19 says to "pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another." The religious folk like to say..this gives you a license to sin...but just like the professed believers in John, they doubt the word of the Lord. Are we really a New Creation, created IN Christ Jesus? Can He alone really perfect us?
I Corinthians 1: 10 "Now I exhort you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind, and in the same judgment.".
The Father looks over and sees Christ sitting(at His right hand) in a place thats over ALL our unrighteous acts...You see, Love covers a Multitude of Sin and this is what Christ did for us at the cross...once and for all. Will you walk in this love? Not judge another?...but see Jesus?
For as He is, so are we in this world........Only believe..
When someone builds a building, when it is complete, at that moment it is the most resplendent that it will ever be, barring future improvement. From the moment that the building ceases, the edifice begins to deteriorate. Thus, when the building stops, the unbuilding begins. This is the nature of our fallen world.
When construction was completed on Solomon’s Temple and when the temple was dedicated, the temple was as beautiful and as perfect as it would ever be. The wood was now rotting. The stone began to crack and chip. The gold would flake off. In other words, the building would begin to unbuild itself. As you read the biblical account, you will see that there were many instances where people repaired the temple because it was falling apart.
There is a different kind of building – a building that does not unbuild – a building that does not fall apart as soon as construction is complete. In fact, this building continues to become more and more complete. It does not deteriorate. Instead, its beauty is continuously growing. What building? You and me and the entire building of God – the church.
This is what Paul wrote in Ephesians:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)
Unlike other buildings, the household of God – the building of God – the temple of God is not build on dead stone or earth. It is built on a living, breathing Lord. The whole edifice being built, is joined together, and is growing because of Jesus Christ and him alone. Notice the emphatic phrase “Christ Jesus himself”, and then the two relative clauses”in whom” and “in him”. Since the Cornerstore is alive, the building is alive. Since the building is connected to Christ, the building continues to be built, continues to be joined together, and continues to grow. This building does not deteriorate; it grows more and more resplendent.
Unlike other buildings, this building is not made of dead material. Instead, this building – this dwelling place of God – is being built of living stones (as Peter puts it) – stones which have been given life by their Lord, who is also their architect, their builder, and their cornerstone. Paul combines the metaphors of building and gardening specifically because this is a different kind of building – a growing building – a living building. He combines these metaphors again in chapter 4:
[W]e are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV)
He also combines these metaphors of construction and gardening in 1 Corinthians:
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:6-11 ESV)
We are both God’s building and God’s field (or garden) because together we make up a living building – a building which is alive with the life of Christ and grows through the power and working of the Spirit. This is truly a different kind of building.
There is a mixture of building and organic images in the statement that the whole structure is ‘being joined together’ and is ‘growing’ into a holy temple in the Lord. The cornerstone unites the building ‘because it is organically as well as structurally bound to it’. So to speak of the building being joined together refers not simply to the union of one stone with another, but also to the union of the whole structure with (and in) the cornerstone. Both verbs, which occur again in 4:15, 16, focus on the idea of continuous progress. There, in a similar mixing of metaphors, the body is ‘joined together’ and ‘built up’ from Christ the head. (pg. 219 – emphasis in original)
The building exists because of Christ, who is both the head and the cornerstone. The building is joined together because of Christ. And the building grows because of Christ. Just as he has given life to dead people (Ephesians 2:1-10), he has also given life to a dead building.
O’Brien said that the two verbs “joined together” and “built up” focus on continuous progress. Thus, this building – which is built, joined together, and growing – is continuously progressing and continuously growing and continuously becoming more beautiful toward some final outcome. What is the goal of this progress?
…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… (Ephesians 4:13 ESV)
The final outcome of this building progression will be complete unity – both with one another and with God – and complete maturity – measured against Christ himself. We are progressing, but we are not there yet. How beautiful this building will be when we reach unity and maturity! Of course, there is still much disunity and immaturity today. But, how amazing it is to be part of this dwelling place of God – a growing, changing, moving, working temple – which is an altogether different kind of building.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me,and work with me---Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. >Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Bible
There are two paths that every person in the world is walking on: the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to life. You must make a decision in your life as to which way that you are going to walk, and this must be done frequently.
The reason that I say it must be done frequently is that it is easy to find yourself on the wrong path far too often. These verses have been used to tell people that there are few people going to heaven (“few there be that find it”) and that salvation is hard (“straight is the gate, and narrow is the way”). Actually, these verses are not speaking of your eternity, because you don’t find Jesus; He finds you!
Jesus does not say that the straight gate leads to “eternal” life. We have thrown that word in to try and explain what Jesus was talking about, but we need not put words in His mouth to have a marvelous meaning from this text. Jesus is saying that there are two paths on which to walk. If you follow after the narrow way, where Christ’s finished work serves as the lone gate, then you will walk a path that few people find. There are millions of Christians who continue to operate in their day-to-day walk by their own works and efforts instead of resting in Christ’s finished work. They are walking exactly like the lost, on a road that will lead to destruction in so many areas of their life.
This is the cause of many Christians seeing so many disasters in their life and family. They are attempting to live out “religion”, while not resting in relationship. Notice that Jesus goes on in this text to explain who you should look out for, because it is the “false prophet” of verse 15 that causes so many people to choose the wrong path.
The Bible never says that you will know if someone is a Christian or not by their fruit, though that is often said. It does say, “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16), with the “them” being the false prophets of the previous verse. The false prophet will bring forth “thorns” and “thistles” (verse 16), and it is incapable of bringing forth good fruit (verse 18).
We must be on guard for the false prophet because they are ravening wolves inside. Wolves feed on sheep, so a good indicator of whether or not you are near a false prophet is not what they act like or look like, because they are wearing “sheep’s clothing” (verse 15). An indicator of a false prophet’s nature is the fruit of their ministry. Are the sheep being whipped and scattered? Are there many who have run from the church because of that ministry? Are the people sitting in the church producing the fruits of the Spirit? The answer to these questions will indicate whether you are near a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Decide to go the path of the finished work of Christ. There is but one door in, as you must labor to enter into the rest of the Lord (Hebrews 4:11), but the abundant life that is found on that path is truly a product of the good shepherd (John 10:10). Only His Finished Work works, so guard the Finished Work!
A DAILY DEVOTIONAL I felt was good enough to share...
Martin Luther taught at the beginning of the reformation, that you should always interpret the obscure passages by the many clear passages. You don't interpret clear statements of the scripture which cannot be broken by obscure passages that seem to contradict it.
We can get out of fellowship with God but not out of relationship.
First Corinthians could be called, The Epistle of the Carnal Christian Doctrine. Our whole foundation is Jesus Christ. Once you believe, it cannot be destroyed. There are deeds that we do, like depending on the Holy Spirit, not ourselves, that can produce all kinds of beautiful things. But as we build upon the Foundation,(Christ), which is already layed, we must be careful; for if not done with right motive, it could be wood, hay or straw, (a work of the flesh) instead of gold silver and precious stones. The word says in Chapter 3 verse 13 that what we build, will become open, disclosed and declared at the judgement seat of Christ, because it will be revealed with fire, and burnt up. But verse 15 says, altho we may suffer loss, by losing rewards, he himself will be saved, but only as one who has passed through fire.(Job 23:10). The believer will never be in a judgement seat of condemnation. For there is no more condemnation when "IN" Christ.
Hebrews 12:5 says the Christian out of fellowship will be disciplined, but not disowned. He disciplines those He loves to bring us back into fellowship.
In Luke 18 v:18 A certain ruler asked "Good teacher", What shall I do to inherit eternal life? and Jesus said, Why do you call me good? No one is good, except God only.
Believer, know that "our" righteousness is as filthy rags...no one can be good enough in "our" deeds. This is why God sent us His Son. It's only His work IN us that will produce gold, silver and precious stones.
Jesus was always provoking the Jewish people, because they were taught it was "their own" effort in keeping the law that made them good enough. He showed them they could not be saved by their "law-keeping."..and neither can we..for if we break one(and we will).. we have broken them all.
John 6 28-40...Verse 28 "What shall we do that we may work the works of God?" Jesus said, verse 29 "Believe on Him" whom He has sent. This is the one possible thing we can do that has no merit to it. Believe what He has taught and receive pardon. Its the work of the Triune God that saves each individual. Verse 37 "ALL"(reaching back before the world was even created, my emp.) that the Father gives me, will come to me, and the one who comes will certainly not be cast out." How can He cast out someone given in eternity passed? In verse 38 He came to do the will of the Father and in verse 39 "ALL" that He has given me, I should not lose any, but that I should give "new life" and raise them up at the last day. And verse 40 For this is my Fathers will and His purpose, that everyone who sees the Son, believes,cleaves and trust and relies on...should have eternal life. and will be raised at the last day.
There is no way to be lost again. If you say you are, what does this say about the Jesus that came to do the will of the Father...that He Failed? I think not!
Know that you are saved by free grace, through your faith in Christ Jesus. this salvation is not of yourselves, of your own doing or striving but it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8,9
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's own handiwork(His workmanship) recreated in Christ Jesus(Born Anew). that we may do those good works which God predestined(planned beforehand) for us(taking paths which he prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prepared and made ready for us to live.
Oh Living Stones, read on through this Chapter, KNOW you, who were once far away. have been brought near. IN Him and in fellowship with one another, we are being built up to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in the Spirit.
Be Encouraged, Just as Moses lifted up the serpent of bronze (symbolic of judgement, in worship system in Israel) in the desert on a pole (a picture of sin being judged) they gazed upon it, were healed and lived... Numbers 21:9...so it was necessary for the Son of man to be lifted up on the cross in John 3:14 and reading on into 15, and 16...we see our sins were already judged, and paid for, as we look to the Cross...we live life everlasting. Don't stop at 16...verse 17 and 18 will have you "Shouting with Joy!!"