A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hey, Paul didn't say he gave up being moral as something to be despised.

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ...."  Phil. 3:8

What did Paul count "dung" in Philippians that he abandoned in order to win Christ. [Philippians 3].  Paul knew the advantage of being a Jew [Rom. 4:1] which consisted of being near to the promises and having the oracles of God [Scripture].  Paul knew it was better not to covet than to covet. [Romans 7:7ff]  He did not come to Christ in order to abandon goodness of life, but to really attain it. [Romans 8:2, 13,14].  The Spirit does not work the motions of sin and death in the believer.

What Paul rejected was the idea that anything of the flesh [nature] could give him access to the Spirit. Hence, true morality was impossible for him, no matter how hard he strived.  In order to "win Christ" he must give up all confidence in nature [natural generation from Abraham] and throw himself on the mercy of God in Christ.

The result of this is not immorality and wicked behavior, but true morality free from hypocrisy and deceit.  Our nature inherited from Adam produces immoral behavior, no matter how sweetly it is perfumed [Galatians 5:19-21] and none of these who live in the flesh will inherit the kingdom of God, for obedience to God comes only by the Spirit.

The gift of God in Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, given to those who are to be heirs of eternal life and they are justified by faith and counted holy.  Thus they, by grace are enabled to achieve a measure of true morality, morality from the heart and soul, bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-26]  This morality is not the ground of their salvation, but the result of it.

But it is good to remember that those who say that they are in the light, but walk in darkness are deceived and fool themselves and try to fool others.  [1John 1:5-7]

Romans 8:13, 14  "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Christ is no minister of sin, but of wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pastoral Prayer from 1John 2:8-17

 Prayer for May 26, 2013 1John 2:8-7

We praise You, O precious Father, because the darkness of the world passed away
with coming of Your Only Begotten Son into the world. The darkness of hatred and
idolatry has passed with the light of the Gospel and we have learned to love You and
our Christian brothers and sisters, because we are in the light and know where we go. 
Those who hate their brothers are in darkness and walk in blindness.

We are all babes and have our sins forgiven for Your name’s sake. We would know the
Father. We would be strong in faith, as young men, overcoming the world because we
have known the Father. We would be seasoned as old men who walk in the old truths
and have proved them to be true and constant. The Gospel is suited for everyone, O
Lord, and we would be zealous in all parts of our lives.

Teach us, O Lord, not to love the world. What a seductress she is, who would lure us
away from the love of Christ, for if we love not Christ the love of the Father is not in
us. We cannot serve God and mammon. The desires of the body overwhelm us and we
slumber in meat and drink and seek not the kingdom of God. We chase the bauble that
shine brightly to our eyes and do not lay up treasure in heaven. We love the praise and
approval of men, and do not seek the favor of our Heavenly Father. We slumber in
these idolatries and spiritual life dies in us, unless we are awakened by the trumpet call
of Your Holy word: “Awake, thou that sleepest, and rise from the dead and Christ will
give You life.

But the world passes away. That which is seen is temporal, but that which is not seen is
eternal in the heavens. May we lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven and not on the
earth, for the world passes away with its wicked desires, but he that does the will of
God abides forever.

We bring our petition to You, O Lord. You are gracious to hear our prayers and to
grant the desires of our hearts, for You have renewed us by Your Spirit to seek those
things which are above.

We would be like You, O precious Christ. We have been predestined to be like You
and all of God’s work in us to that holy end, conformity to the image of Christ. 
We thank You that Satan has received a death blow and cannot rise again as he was
before. Satan shall be bruised under the feet of Jesus Christ and His bloody kingdom
will be no more, but will pass away in the eternal fires of judgment. But we have a
received a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Amen and Amen.

May we be faithful in our witness in all things. Revive thy backslidden and erring
church, O Lord, just as You sent renewal in days gone by. Revive thy work in the
midst of the years, O Lord. We have heard thy speech O LORD, and have feared: O
LORD, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. The world is
too much with us, and we call upon You for mercy and grace. Mercy, to think that we
could turn aside Your wrath by ceremonies and works of the body. Nay, O Lord, it is
the love of the world that we must fear. The desire of our heart toward the ease of the
body, the pleasure of the eyes, and the pride of life: the satisfaction we have in the
praise of others: these are our problems, O Lord, not the keeping of ceremonies.

You, O Lord, are the One true and eternal living Spirit and we must worship You
sincerely from our hearts and rest in You all the days of our lives, beginning our
eternal Sabbath in this life by resting in You alone. Have mercy upon us O Lord, for
our hearts are far from You so often and we love the world and the things that are in
the world, driving the love of the Father far from us. Have mercy upon us and renew a
right spirit within us, so that we will truly love one another as You have loved us.

It is Your will that we do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with our God. If we
do not love the people of God and the church that You purchased with Your own
blood, then we will love the world for Christ does not teach us so, to despise the
church and love the world. He bought the church with His precious blood, and it is to
be precious in our eyes. The world hated Him and spurned Him and spat upon Him and
scourged Him and crucified Him for they did not love Him or His people. O kind and
merciful Heavenly Father, will You teach us to so love Your church and Your people?
What a commendation to Your people, that they loved one another. Not that they kept
ceremonies, but that they loved one another and sought the good of one another.
In the precious Name of Christ our Savior, we pray.

“8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you:
because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the
light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his
brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he
that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not
whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 12 I write unto you,
little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto
you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you,
young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little
children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers,
because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young
men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have
overcome the wicked one. 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is
in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of
the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but
he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1Jo 2:8-17 )


Blog Archive