Isaiah 29 is nearly verbatim to the condition of Israel in Jesus’ day. The people were hypocrites, doing lip-service to God but in truth, they were creating a system of fear-based on their own traditions, as if they were the commandment of men.
I recently heard a man teaching at a Seminary say, “Do you want to know what the meaning of Scripture is? Scripture is the meaning of Scripture.” In other words, there isn’t a magical incantation, translation method or pixie dust you can sprinkle on the pages to have what it […]
Whether or not an individual believes Tongues are still an active gift of the Spirit today, there is no question that the Bible does not teach that Tongues are the definitive sign that a new believer is Saved, or justified in the eyes of God. In fact, it clearly teaches that the only way this can happen (being justified before God) is based on the Obedience of Christ. (Rom 3:21-26, Rom 5:19) Tongues are not a fruit of the Spirit and they are also not to be a corporate body activity.
The answer can only be a careful and concise study of the Word of God that is grounded in the counsel of many and gaining, through the Spirit of God, Wisdom that comes from the anointing that abides in you and teaches you all things if you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27)
Some of the most basic concepts of Christianity and Biblical knowledge are often skewed by organizations that take over your thinking, individuality and personal responsibility. For instance, I existed for 15-years in an echo-chamber. I was forbidden from following other pastors and learning from them, even pastors in our organization. I was to ‘learn my shepherd’s voice’ and no one else’s.
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!
The truth is – we are emotional creatures – God made us that way. We respond to life with emotion. It is emotions that help steer us. Fear, angler, Joy, and Love. We know certain music can stir our emotions. It’s known that when women watch a good Romance, you better have a box of tissues nearby – they become overcome with emotion.
And finally – we know that early historical Apostolic and Church fathers still very much believed in moral purity, holy (righteous living as directed by the Spirit of God) and, what the conscious tells you, which we know was a valuable tool, otherwise there would have been no need to talk about having a seared (immune, dormant and ineffective) conscience. (1 Timothy 4:2)
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.