Some send their car there when it breaks down, some tell those they don’t like to go there, and I have even heard it used on the streets by a mother to her child. Yes, honestly! We use the word almost without thinking, but does the place really exist?
Have you been to any funerals? I guess in every case, the minister will say nothing but good things about the deceased, and suggest that Heaven is the goal. So, we are happy, and even encouraged to think that Heaven exists and that’s where we will go.
We feel very comfortable with the idea of Heaven, even those who are not very religious. Part of that may be because we don’t want to think of anything bad when our life ends. It is comforting to think that we will spend forever in a good and happy place of light, surrounded by angels and nice music. But is that a true picture?
Parents think nothing about correcting their children when they do something wrong, and if correction doesn’t work, then punishment. This could be the removal of a toy (that could be an iPhone!), being sent to your room, or in the past physical correction like a smack. Today, we frown on any kind of corporal punishment, and as a result we have softened the concept of our loving parents doing anything to hurt us, even when we do something wrong and deserve it. So, parents are encouraged to help, guide, and affirm their children, but never punish, after all they might get the idea they don’t love them. I well remember a loving mum smacking her child because they ran out into the roadway and into the path of an oncoming car. Fortunately, the car driver saw the child, and swerved to avoid her. Immediately after the smack, came a long, tearful hug and kiss. Did that mum love her child? Undeniably. Did that child know she was loved? Again, certainly.
The Bible talks a lot about correction and punishment, but we have chosen to concentrate on, and only emphasise the God of love. However, we must take the Bible as a whole, and when we do, we will see that God’s love and justice are inextricably linked. He does not give one without the other. I read that some theologians think that hell is a metaphor, or imaginary, to give the ‘idea’ of punishment which is meant to keep us on the narrow way. On a human level, what would happen if you said to your child, ‘you are being punished for doing wrong, but don’t worry, it’s only an imaginary punishment, it’s not real’? I don’t want to burst your bubble, but God says that not everyone will go to Heaven. Some will go to hell. That, my friend is an uncomfortable thought, but true nonetheless. I suppose we comfort ourselves by thinking that hell is filled with the Hitlers of this world, and no one like us, right? So what do we do with these verses? If there is no justice, we would never have to worry about how we lived, would we? Just asking.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14 NIV
Yes, the Bible must be taken as a whole, but two seperate parts. The Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The New replaces the Old. The Old Testament is the Almighty Father admonishing His Children and teaching them. Teaching them what sin was by issuing forth His Laws to the Jews, with rewards and curses. This revolved completely around man's actions. The New Testament revolves completely around Jesus and what He did for us. Hell (which many will go) is reserved for those that deny Jesus' finished work. It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance, not the fear of Hell. The fear of punishment did not work in the Old Testament nor will it now. God did not use the Mosiac Law to bring about righteousness, only through Christ is righteousness obtained...........not in us trying to be "righteous" on our own. It is God's Love that drew me to Christ after denying Him for 43 years, it was His Love for me that healed me and His Love for me that keeps me In Christ and above the Law. A true understanding of this comes only In the Spirit and not in men's logic. As Jesus stated the man who has tasted the new wine (after having the old wine), prefers the old wine (paraphrased). The wine represents the old and new covenants. Man thinks that it is the law that saves and keeps order, it is staying under the law that kills, because as proven we cannot keep the law while being under the law. Only one that ever did was Jesus. Taste and see the Goodness of God!
You can only be as righteous as your cleansed state (I Jn 1:9), under the limits of the truth as God’s justice weighs in, in that you still have sin (I Jn 1:8,10). So while you are right Paul, that you don’t have to worry about the task of throwing off this nature to make right, why hesitate with Christ’s relationship? That is, why form over-confidence? For all that that relationship brings doesn’t exclude us from the responsibility of the author’s point for that which remains. Does the life in the Spirit in even that most fervent hour of refreshment? Show me where. Remember, it places the outcome on the individual to “fulfill” the lust of the flesh or not, not an absence of conditions. The outcome is enabled by the quickening of the Spirit in our mortal bodies released by our surrender, but all the options remain in place. But I’ll be the first to agree with you, those times of refreshment can so invigorate in joy in focus on God that no evil thing is found. I know, and I think then there are two fronts on this "narrow road" that remain:
Daily Cross-bearing Choices and Responsible maintenance in His Gift. That is, knowing when to pour it on. May you find His times of refreshment, ,
Hello Pryz, I enjoyed your comments. Hebrews 10:1-2 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things can never with those sacrifices which they offere year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
So by Jesus' one sacrifice we should have no more conscience of sin. Our focus should only be on Jesus and the scriptures. When we walk in the Spirit we do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. I renew my mind daily by keeping my focus on Our Lord. Am I perfect? No! Christs' offering is how I'm the righteousness of God. Overconfident, not in my ability to "not sin". In Christ, absolutely! So is this saying that I walk around sinning, absolutely not, sin is death, it opens the door for the devil. As long as my focus (my mind) is on the Lord, I do not sin nor do I concern myself with sin. This is the freedom we have In Christ. I sin less now on accident, then I ever did before on purpose. I walk around in a bubble with the Joy of the Holy Spirit, do bad things happen absolutely, do I know that all is under control......again YES. Does the life in the Spirit in even that most fervent hour of refreshment?
In your question I'm assuming that of should be offer? Yes, absolutely I could honestly say that in this last year, I have suffered many loses and trying circumstances. Yet, through the Holy Spirit, my joy and contentment remain. Are there moments of pain, yes. But as soon as I recognize the need for comfort and strength and seek His Holy Spirit, that is exactly what I recieve. In truth, other people's suffering affect me more than my own. I am much more sensitive to others' needs. This is not boasting of myself, but boasting of How good The Father is. When I am weakest He is my only source for strength, comfort and joy.Remember, it places the outcome on the individual to “fulfill” the lust of the flesh or not, not an absence of conditions. The outcome is enabled by the quickening of the Spirit in our mortal bodies released by our surrender, but all the options remain in place. But I’ll be the first to agree with you, those times of refreshment can so invigorate in joy in focus on God that no evil thing is found. I know, and I think then there are two fronts on this "narrow road" that remain:
I absolutely agree with your statements, here. The conditions to fulfill the lusts of the flesh are always available, this is a fallen world. When in faith I surrender to the Lord, and my mind is stayed on the Lord, I do not see or recognise the conditions. Whereas if my focus were on "not sinning", my mind is then focused on the conditions. So then I would fall into temptation and then sin.
Now in your first statement it is not by my righteousness am I judged nor by that am I the Righteousness of God. It is only by Jesus' Righteousness Romans 3:22Eventhe righteousnessofGod which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Romans 3:21But now the righteousnessofGod without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whomGod imputeth righteousness without works,
But when walking in the Spirit there will be works, but I do not attain His righteousness, by what I do. It is given freely. The works that I perform are only by His Grace (undeserved favor to operate in HIS abilities). Not by my abilities or goodness. I do agree with your statements this response was only to expound upon my beliefs.
But I’ll be the first to agree with you, those times of refreshment can so invigorate in joy in focus on God that no evil thing is found.
Yes, exactly. Ok, when in a relationship with Jesus those times are a continuous flow, broken only when I lose focus. Then when I realize I've shifted my focus, I readjust then back into it.
A simplified example is Adam and Eve, there only focus was God, until the fall. They walked in the spirit, until the serpent shifted their focus the physical world. Then they fell, by Eve eating the fruit, then their physical eyes and all their 5 physical senses, became more aware of their physical nature than their spiritual nature. Then they suddenly realized they were naked. God the Father through Jesus is bringing us back into our original state of being, more focused on His Spirit than on our physical senses. I use my physical 5 senses, but they do not use me (most of the time).
As much as has been described over this, from “we are the righteousness of God in Christ”, to we are also in the man’s shoes who so confessed an absolute “wretched man that I am”, gives little doubt that the Father wanted His children to be in absolute confidence over the subject. A confidence I hope wasn’t perceived to be attacked by me previously. So much has been applied to this subject of a justified Christian life, how can anyone deny, it is one of those subjects covered within the pages of His word with quite exhaustive finality?
But they (outside the body) don’t get it do, do they? They daily expose themselves as the open shame. The world will laud the intellectual who they and the intellectual will hold the BOC captive as much as possible because of that Spirit at work within is perceived as self-righteousness when in actuality, it is what they neither know or see, a child of God’s relationship with the Father enabled to good works.
I’ll spend that secret place a portion that your “loses” will experience God’s bounty in return brother!
Pryz, no I didn't percieve it to be an attack. A word of caution is how I took it and was grateful. It is always good to do a self-evaluation, I asked myself "who is the center of my life" Jesus! Then "What have I earned?" If my answer is nothing, then I'm good to go. I prefer Christ-Esteem to self-esteem.
You are blessed, Brother!
(quick explanation of the above) Jesus blessed us with everything we need through the cross and His Finished Work. So I say that as a reminder to both myself and to whom I'm addressing (in this case you).