In the ESV Bible, the word ‘Fire’ is found 465 times, in 424 verses. I couldn’t begin to list them.. suffice it to say, anyone asking for that fire to fall down clearly has no idea what ‘fire’ represented, and if you are ‘on fire’ for God, you are sitting in judgment and wrath and eternal torment in the Lake of Fire that is never quenched.
This is so important, that Jesus declared in Matthew 22, that ALL of the Law and the Prophets depend literally on this concept, and that the greatest Commandment of all, is to Love God, and to Love God is to Love your Neighbor;
Let’s digest this verse, found in Luke 14. This is important because I personally know families that have been torn to shreds over denominational stances, with players in the story using this verse as justification for why they can Biblically separate and tear their families apart with justification. The reality is, Jesus gave us a beautiful verse that has been abused, misused and made ugly.
It is the silliest thing to be now, to believe that my personal obedience, which is still expected, by the way, is what would make me righteous. That it somehow is more necessary and powerful than what Christ has already done on that Cross… That it would save me, or even keep me saved. The system of religion I left believed that their ideals of Holiness (which is code for dress standard) would not save a person, but in the absence of obedience to them, a person couldn’t be or stay saved.
Too often prayer is me complaining. Sometimes, prayer is me wishing for something else. Sometimes, prayer is me wishing God would change so and so. Sometimes it is me wishing God would change me. Sometimes it is me wishing God would do something for someone else. Sometimes…
I’ve known people, with no religious connection at all, who said their ‘calling’ in life was to do X, or Y, or Z. Feeding the homeless? To be a counselor? To write? To be a lawyer? Your calling is YOUR desire. Your desire is what you were made to be!
That Grace IS, as notated in the Amplified Bible version quoted above, God’s unbelievable, and unmerited, unearned drawing, that isn’t warranted by any outward holiness, works or sacrament we perform, or pompous self-righteousness (that as best is as filthy rags to God) that we can do.
The Jewelry thing (the abstinence doctrine) is a very implicit argument that requires the believers to ignore the entirety of the Bible, and even the words of Jesus, the culture of the people in question and the documented and archeological history of the audience to which this was written, and re-interprets the explicit meanings and statements therein to fit their implicit narrative.
Notice the intense difference? Love (focused on others) vs ‘their contrived doctrine and self-focus’. (look at my intelligence and ability, you should do what I say!) So my point is, Scripture makes it clear your love for others, which produces action and behaviors that benefit others, is how you serve Christ, and one another, and is in fact, being Christian.
One of my favorite moments of Scripture is arguably one of those that is in question whether or not it is in the original manuscripts. Regardless of its historical veracity, it’s principle is without a doubt indicative of the nature of Christ (and the nature I want to mimic) and […]