Monday, October 31, 2011

List of Revised Posts/Teachings

I have decided to go through all my previous posts and revise them. I have grown greatly in understanding within these past 2-3 years. I don't want detrimental inaccuracies and misrepresentations of God to be presented on this blog. This blog is about me teaching what I know of God. It isn't meant to be a timeline of my growth (my livejournal can give you that idea). It is meant to have the accurate truth of God and His truth as I know Him.

Below is a list of posts changed, the date they were changed, and an idea of how much was changed. More revisions are to come and they will be added to this post.

Revised Teachings 2011:
Why use the word "Assembly" instead of "Church" - 10/26/11 - Very minor changes, Previous Version Not Retained Online
3 Qualities That Show The Importance of Scripture. / Jesus is The Word of God, Illumination, & The Value of Scripture - 10/27/11 - Major changes, New Section, Renamed and reposted on new date
The Proper Perception, Purpose, & Practice Of Learning God's Word. / Learning Scripture:  Perception, Purpose, and Practice - 10/28/11,11/2/11 - Major changes, Renamed

All My Rights Are Reserved by God - 10/31/11 - Very minor changes, Previous Version Not Retained Online
Does it matter what we watch? - Removed 1/26/12 - Heavily edited 10/31/11, Edited Version Retained Online
Not Us vs Them - 10/31/11 - Minor changes, Previous Version Not Retained Online
Being Motivated by Love - 10/31/11 - Removed
Once Saved, Always Believing / Trust Never Discarded - 10/31/11 - Very minor changes, Renamed, Previous Version Not Retained Online
Which one is the great commission? - 10/31/11 - Moderate changes
Conversion Converts Character - 10/31/11 - Removed
The Letter of the Law, The Life of Love -1 Peter 2:11-17 - 10/31/11 - Very minor changes, Previous Version Not Retained Online

Discipling - 11/2/11 - Moderate changes, Original Version
Renewing the mind - 11/2/11 - Heavily edited
Life itself is in Jesus / Life itself is Jesus - 11/2/11 - Minor changes, Renamed, Previous Version Not Retained Online
Proper Translation of Hebrews 13:17 - 11/2/11 - Moderate changes, Previous Version Not Retained Online
The Meaning of Life: Part 1, How to Know God - 11/2/11 -Major changes, Previous Version Not Retained Online, Supplemental Intent of Learning is now its own post. - Will be revised again soon.

The Life of God vs. The Knowledge of Good and Evil - 11/8/11 - Major additions, minor changes, New Intro
Faith: Trust in God - 12/2/11 - Minor changes/edits

Revised Teachings 2012:
Should Christians Repent? - January 2012 - Removed, Will be split into a new teaching on Repentance & one titled Christ was Not Forsaken on the Cross
The Meaning of Life: Part 2, Understanding the Relationship - 1/25/12 - Moderate Edits, Moderate Additions, Previous Version Not Retained Online
Faith is Trust - 1/26/12 - Moderate Changes and Additions, Previous Version Not Retained Online
Alive to God in Christ Jesus - 1/26/12 -Major Changes, Previous Version Retained Online for my personal growth reference.
Raisin' Hell and Lowerin' Heaven - 1/27/12 - Removed, Read it Here

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jesus is The Word of God

The Word of God is Jesus and Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us to all truth. He did not say that about the holy bible. I'm not saying that the Bible isn't important. The book itself is not essential but its truths are. God can and did teach people those truths without the book. For many hundreds of years Christians did not have bibles in their homes. How did they possibly make it? They had a real spiritual relationship with God.

Today we think "If I haven't read the Bible I can't possibly know God's heart." Do not beat yourself up about not reading the Bible as much as you think you should. As a child of God the words of God should never condemn you. The Bible in the Christian life is not meant to be used as, "I'll follow the rules in the book and then I will meet Jesus."

Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from HIS sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of HIM with whom we have to do."

The Word of God this scripture is talking about is Jesus not the Bible. & Jesus is certainly living and active. 1 Chronicles 28 says, "The LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts."

To think that quoting scripture to someone is guaranteed to pierce to their soul is a false idea. The living God is the one who does this, you can not force it. It is His job to do. Jesus is the sword of the Spirit spoken of in Ephesians 6:17. Jesus is a life giving Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 15:45). The Word of God is the loving, present tense Jesus speaking to the heart.

A lot of churches will teach that the Christian life is about oughts, shoulds, musts, supposed tos, trying to live by the laws that God had put in place, coming up with and following principles and methods for Christian living. What all of that is really doing is looking at pages in a bible and looking at a historical figure for methods and rules. The reality of the Christian life is Christ in you right here and right now, we are in union with Him. We live not by methods, rules, and trying to replicate past happenings but by living right here, in the here and now, with Jesus Christ and His life living in us.

Paul gives us great insight into the value of knowing Jesus in Philippians 3:8,
"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as turds, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I became righteous through trust in Christ."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why use the word "Assembly" instead of "Church" II: The Body of Christ

As presented in my previous teaching Why use the word "Assembly" instead of "Church" we know that the proper translation for the Greek word "ekklesia" (usually erroneously translated as "church") is the English word "assembly." I will show how exquisitely well the word assembly translates the word ekklesia by looking at the various English definitions of assembly and how they relate to the truth of scripture.

First we will look at how scripture describes the assembly of Christ.
"God put all things under Christ’s feet, and he gave him to the assembly as head over all things. Now the assembly is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). We see here that the assembly is Christ's body. Read 1 Corinthians 12. Note verse 27, "Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it."

Here are some interesting English dictionary definitions of the word "assembly" along with related scriptures.
  • A group of persons who are gathered together for a common purpose.
    • Every day disciples continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts,  praising God and having the good will of all the people. (Acts 2:46-47)
    • When they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)
    • Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many people had gathered together and were praying. (Acts 12:12)
    • When you are gathered together in the name of our Lord Jesus the power of our Lord Jesus is present. (1 Corinthians 5:4)
  • A group of parts that fit together to form a self-contained unit; A unit consisting of components that have been fitted together
    • From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:16)
  • The act of constructing something
    • Jesus said "I will build my assembly" (Matthew 16:11)
    • To equip the saints for the work of service, that is, to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12)
    • So the assembly throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the respect of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. (Acts 9:31)
    • Encourage one another and build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
    • You yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
  • Whole, unit - an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity
    • There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
    • Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27) 
    • Jesus prayed, "I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who trust in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will trust that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me." (John 17:20-23)
We see that, while assembly can mean a group of people meeting in a particular place and time, biblically it can also refer to the body of Christ with similar or exact definitions to match those English definitions I presented above (a group of parts that fit together to form a self-contained unit; whole; unit; an assemblage of parts that is regarded as a single entity). The word assembly parallels to the body of Christ and its parts coming together as one. It all relates back to the body because another possible word to use for ekklesia (aside from assembly & congregation) is council which definitions start out with "body" & "A body of people" That goes way past the non-biblical word that is church.

In marriage two become one. We are the bride of Christ. Just as Jesus prayed for us to do so in John 17 quoted above, we become one with God. The assembly is the body of Christ. "For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12). "The body is a unit, it is made up of many parts that form one body" (1 Corinthians 12:12, NIV). Christ is a body, Jesus is the head of that body, those who trust Him are the rest of that body. God has loved us with such favor that we are Christ with Jesus! Just as my hand is me and a part of me so too are we parts of the body of Christ and we are Christ. We aren't simply Christians, we are Christ because we are one with the head of the body, Jesus. How is this the case? Jesus explained in John 17:23 that God the Father loves you just as much as He loves Jesus.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Satan and the Sign or Jesus and the Journey?

Imagine a man is holding up a sign with all of the law, obligations, and expectations you feel that you are supposed to keep. You walk up to the sign but you don't notice Satan (sin) is standing there holding it1. It tells you everything you think you need to do to be a good person, a good Christian. You have everything spelled out right from the start. You feel a comfort in knowing the "supposed to's" of life.

Then standing next to Satan is Jesus. He simply says "Come with me." You don't know where He is going to take you or what you would do together2.

Trust is putting your security in someone or something. Many trust the law because its predictability gives you a sense of security but in reality it never takes you past the sign. When you trust Jesus, that trust plays out in a relationship, you walking with Him and talking with Him. You will only trust Him & go with Him as much as you know He loves you3.

Satan says that doing good and abstaining from evil is the goal of the Christian life. Jesus says that it is knowing and having a relationship with Him and His Father4. Who do you trust?

1. The power of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians 15:56)
2. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
3. We love Him because He loves us first (1 John 4:19) 
4. This is eternal life, to intimately know the Father, who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. (John 17:3)

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