Righteous Sumission vs Zealous Obedience to Principle

Aaron Ireland

The following thoughts came to me after meditating upon Rom 10, particularly v1-4:

1 Brethren, my heart desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved.
2
For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knoweldge
3
For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.
4 For, Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness, unto every body that believeth.

To set the scene for my train of thought, I’ll include a number of assumptions that can be made.

Paul, being a pharisee, knew what Isreal considered to be righteous.

Paul had not given up on Israel.

Israel, as a people, were particularly zealous for God.

Rather than trying to find the heart of God, they distilled all the statements of Moses and the Prophets into a detailed list of “dos and don’ts”.

Christ’s purpose is that people would cease to follow these letter of the Law, and being to operate out of a heart for God.

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Another Gospel

David Takle

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel (Gal.1:6)

The Western Christian Church today is currently undergoing a precipitous decline in numbers, power, and relevence. Many theories have been suggested as to why we are no longer reaching the people of our culture, and why it is that we can now refer to this time in the West as the post-Christian era. I would like to propose that the reason is simply this: that the Christian church as a whole is no longer preaching the Gospel of the New Testament.

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Theocracy – Applied Theocracy

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 6:24

I’ll begin with a quick recap of the last post, by defining my working definition of Theocracy. Theocracy literally means the “rule of God”. My use of the word describes the principle of an individual allowing God the right to rule one’s life, in the present. For a further explanation of what I do and do not mean by Theocracy, refer to the last post.

Any discussion on Theocracy would be futile without considering the practical outworking of God’s Sovereignty. If our understanding of God’s rule doesn’t bring us to the place of obedience, then our pondering reduces itself to mere trivia or entertainment. Woe unto us if we allow this to happen to such an important theme.

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George Street

Dave Smethurst

This all started a number of years ago in a Baptist church in Crystal Palace in South London. The Sunday morning service was closing and a man stood up at the back and raised his hand and said: “Excuse me pastor can I share a short testimony?” The pastor looked at his watch and said “You have three minutes.” The man proceeded with his story: “I’ve just moved into this area. I used to live in Sydney Australia. Just a few months back I was visiting some relatives and I was walking down George Street. You know where George Street is in Sydney going from the Business Area out to the colonial area. A strange little white haired man stepped out from a shop doorway, put a pamphlet in my hand and said: ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ “I was astounded by these words. No one had ever asked me that. I thanked him courteously and all the way home to London this puzzled me. I called a friend and thank God he was a Christian and he led me to Christ.”

The Baptists love testimonies like that. Everyone applauded and welcomed him into their fellowship.

The Baptist pastor flew to Adelaide, Australia the next week and 10 days later in the middle of a three day series in a Baptist church in Adelaide, a woman came up to him for some counseling. He wanted to establish where she stood with Christ. She said “I used to live in Sydney and just a couple of months back I was visiting some friends in Sydney and doing some last minute shopping down George Street. A strange little white haired man stepped out of a shop doorway and offered me a pamphlet and said ‘Excuse me madam, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ “I was disturbed by those words. When I got home to Adelaide, I knew this Baptist church was on the next block from me. I sought out the pastor and he led me to Christ. So I am telling you that I am a Christian.”

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Why I Don’t Go To Church

Wayne Jacobson

I know the way I relate to the church is a bit unconventional and some even call it dangerous. Believe me, I understand that concern because I used to think that way myself, and I even taught others to think that way as well.

If you are happy with the status quo of organized religion today, you may not like what you read here. My purpose is not to convince you to see this incredible church the same way I do, but to answer your questions as openly and honestly as I can. Even if we don’t end up agreeing, hopefully you will understand that our differences need not estrange us as fellow members of Christ’s body.

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The Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Foreward

This letter was orginally published on my first blogsite, CJaK’s fOrEsT, on April 30, 2007. Apart from some minor updates, such as updating references to certain people, due to chronological changes (such as one person, who has since passed away, being referred to in the past tense), and the removal of some grammatical errors, missed ealier, it is presented here as it was presented then, avoiding the temptation to insert some of the information that has come across my path since.

Anyone who knows me personally would realise the significance of the statement, in the disclaimer, “Interestingly, my first observations regarding Seventh Day Adventist doctrine came to my attention immediately prior to what has become one of the most arduous times in the life of my family. The letter you are about to read was written mostly under the anguish of the strains associated with having your family hurled into such disarray. As a result, the suffering spoken of, has been tasted, at least in finite form.” It was after a recent conversation with a brother, which drifted into eschatology, and how it relates to Theocratic themes, which has led me to releasing this here.

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Blaise Pascal

Petter Ottness

Blaise Pascal was very much a man ahead of his time. His brilliant mind covered such issues as physics, mathematics and probability, theology, the first public transport system and the invention of the first calculating machine* to name but a few. He also lived his life in constant pain, from his early childhood until his dying day. It was both his brilliance and pain which shaped Pascal’s life and his relationship and understanding of God, Jesus, grace and the state of humanity. His was a mystical, experiential faith. A faith and knowledge of God not dry and dead but rather very much alive.

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The Crisis of a Christless Christianity

Chip Brogden

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him… beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him…” (Colossians 2:6,8,9a)

The Christian life is a life that is lived IN CHRIST. That is to say, to walk IN HIM is to live as a Christian. Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship. A Christian is a branch that grows out of the Vine and continually produces abundant fruit for the Husbandman. The Church is the gathering together of all individual branches into one Vineyard (see John 15). In this metaphor we see that Christianity is supposed to be a living phenomenon, an observable reality, not a religious philosophy or set of teachings.

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Conqueror Plus One

Aaron Ireland

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us…”
Rom 8:31-39

More than a conqueror

No matter how great the conquest, the greatest title given to the victor is “conqueror”. To conqueror implies that the war is over, and the enemy is defeated. In other words, successive “battles” are won until there emerges a final victor who is known as the “conqueror”.

When the conqueror emerges from the war there is no more fighting to be done. There is nothing more to be added to the conquest. To attain greater conquest, would mean starting the war again, which would mean that we cease being the conqueror until the war is won again, at which point we go back to being the conqueror.

In other words, the only way for us to taste something “more” would be to taste defeat. Then we would cease to be the conqeror (ie, become “less”than a conqueror). In warfare, there will always be a winner and a loser (“conqueror”and “conquered”), at the end. The only exeption would be in the event that diplomatic resolution leaves both sides equally victorious, in which case their is neither “conqueror”nor “conquered”.

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The Saint Must Walk Alone

AW Tozer

Most of the world’s great souls have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.

In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man’s creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.

Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.

Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man “whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart”? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.

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