Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What about Lordship Theology?

Have you ever heard someone say that Jesus must be Lord of all or he is not Lord at all? Have you ever heard someone say that if you do not make Jesus your Lord he will not be your savior? These are two statements that can be often heard from those who teach Lordship theology. Again, like in the last post of the leaven of the Pharisees, so too, there are Lordshippers in both the Pentecostal and Cessationist movements. This is a serious error in my view. Why? Because when you really think about it, if obedience to Christ proves that he is Lord or it is the way that you make him Lord then, without perfect obedience no one can be saved.

It finds its roots in the following passage that used alone is taking it out of its context. Luke 6:46  "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? The result of using this particular verse alone is that it robs the context. Literal context is very important in interpreting what an author or a speaker is saying. Equally important is the audience that is being addressed and the situation that is being addressed. This was spoken to Jews before the cross. Why is that important you ask? The answer is found in the situation or occasion that was being addressed. Look at the historical occasion; it was spoken to Jews who were expecting an earthly deliverer that would gather the people into a Jewish army that would expel Rome from Israel and Jerusalem. As he was calling the Jewish people to his Messiahship there was an anticipation of his kingdom. He was advocating a peaceful kingdom and many of them wanted to use the army of Israel under their anointed king to take the kingdom by force.

The real answer however comes into play after the cross and the day of Pentecost. Look at this verse from the Acts; 10:36  As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),” after the resurrection no one can make Jesus Lord… He IS Lord… Lord of ALL! And further, look at what Paul wrote. Php 2:10-11  “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  (11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” It should be obvious that no one can make Jesus Lord of their life. He is Lord period. The important question to ask is this; is he your savior?

Think about it saint. In this year of the Lord 2013, who is your president? The answer is Barak Obama. If I ask the same question to a Tea Party supporter the answer is the same. We cannot make Barak Obama president. It does not matter whether we like him or not he is still the president. Conversely, had Mitt Romney won the election, no matter how much we liked Barak Obama we could not make him our president. So then, quit telling people that they must make Jesus Christ their Lord. He simply is the Lord and he is the Lord of all. Trust him to be your savior and the love that you have for the Father will help you to submit to him as Lord.
The transformation process flows from love that is birthed by the gospel of unconditional grace. Peace with God through Jesus Christ is the way in which God changes our stony heart into a heart of flesh. Lordship theology works in the opposite way. It forces us to legalistic obedience and therefore is obvious error.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What spirit are you listening to?

2Co 11:3-4  But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  (4)  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

Here Paul is correcting the Corinthian saints. He explains to them that many of the so called super apostles that have come to them are preaching another Jesus, from another spirit, which ends up being a different gospel than the one they received. It amazes me that so many people today are doing the exact same thing. You hear them saying that was a good word. The problem is that many times the good word they heard contradicts the last word they heard, and they said that it was a good word also, and they seem to be oblivious to it.

One of the reasons is that there is *way too much of a spirit today* of just accepting what someone who appears to have authority says. Far too many evangelical pastors promote this kind of thinking. One of the reasons is that so many leaders, apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors and teachers have just accepted without question what they have been taught. I cover all of the *fivefold gifting’s* because this post is geared at all evangelicals both Pentecostal and Cessationists. It is equally rampant in either group. The title of the leaders makes little difference. It can be the whole fivefold ministry or it can be just elders, pastors and evangelists and teachers. Either way the results are the same.

It does not matter what gospel, Jesus or Spirit that Herbert Mason preached; or what gospel, Jesus or Spirit  that D.L. Moody preached; or what gospel, Jesus or Spirit that Martin Luther preached; or what gospel, Jesus or Spirit John Calvin preached; or what gospel, Jesus or Spirit John Wesley preached.  It really only matters what gospel, Jesus or Spirit that Paul, Peter, or John preached.  And we each have a responsibility to prayerfully seek and search the scripture for what the gospel, Jesus and Spirit was that the first century apostles preached.

Frankly you will find that it is different than the gospel, Spirit or Jesus that most all preach today. The gospel that Peter preached can be clearly seen in Acts 10:38-44. It is a very simple message. The gospel, Jesus and Spirit that has been handed down has been leavened with the leaven of the Pharisees. Jesus warned that the first century believers should beware and take heed. Of what you ask? Of the leaven of the Pharisees, and he went on to say that the leaven of the Pharisees was the DOCTRINE/TEACHING of the Pharisees (Matthew 16:6-12; Luke 12:1 & Mark 8:15.) The warning included the leaven of the Sadducees and Herod also.

This warning was not idle. He did not warn that it may happen. No, indeed, he warned that it would happen. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his glorious kingdom was going to be leavened by the leaven of the Pharisees. This is precisely what happened, so it is imperative that we prayerfully search the scripture and diligently seek what was being said to the first century Christians. This means that we must always examine who was being addressed, and what was the entire context of what was being said. We should ask ourselves this question; will the audience relevance and the entire context back up what I am saying and if not then it should not be presented. This should take the place of our mindlessly accepting what we have been taught by others over the years.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

APOKALUPSIS: The manifestation of the sons and daughters of God

Rom 8:19 NLT “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are.”

Is it possible that we live in a time when the children of God could and should be revealed, manifested? I believe that we do indeed. The New Living Translation of the bible shows this quite clearly. I have written several times on this blog that during the first century, before the destruction of the temple, it appeared that God had two people. First, he had the Jews who were under the Old Covenant and then, he had the Christ followers, Christians who were made up of both Jews and Gentiles. Interestingly, both groups were telling all who would listen that they were the true children of God.

How would God vindicate Jesus? How would he vindicate the Christ followers or Christians? The answer is obvious and simple. He would make Jesus enemies his foot stool. Further, who really were Jesus enemies? The answer to this question is the unbelieving Jews and especially the scribes and Pharisees who used the Torah to prove that Jesus was not their Messiah (John 7:47-49.)

John 7:47-49NLT  "Have you been led astray, too?" the Pharisees mocked.  (48)  "Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in Him?  (49)  This foolish crowd follows Him, but they are ignorant of the law. God's curse is on them!"

Let me repeat the question; how would God vindicate Jesus? He would do that by placing his stamp of approval on Jesus and the Christ followers… Christians. Well friend, God did just that very thing in 70 AD/CE when he allowed the Romans to destroy the temple and Jerusalem just as Jesus prophesied. Yes, way back in the latter part of the first century God revealed who his children really are. Unfortunately, we have been waiting for something else. We have not believed what God said and did and therefore, by not believing we have made it just the same as if it did not happen. If no one believes that they are the manifest sons and daughters of God then guess what? You guessed it correctly. If they do not believe it they will not operate or walk in the reality of it.

We are entering yet another two thousand year period of biblical history. There have been three two thousand year ages so far and we are twelve years and two months into the next age. The first one was from Adam to Abraham. The second one was from Abraham to Christ. The third was from Christ to the year 2000, and now this new age began in 2001. In the first age, mankind in general sought religion and tried to find their way to God in their own efforts. In the second age, the Old Covenant age mankind created religion and tried to find their way to God with the Old Covenant. The third age, the church age, God actually came and dwelt among humanity. Some rejected and killed him and others developed a religion based upon him. The religion based on Jesus still developed a way that humanity could alledgedly find their way to God.

Will we be the manifest sons and daughters of God at last? Will we believe that God made a way to come to us? Will we believe that God dwells in us all the time every day? Remember, the creation is still groaning… what will we do? What will we do?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The sole purpose of the scripture

John 5:39-40  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  (40)  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
In John chapter five Jesus explains to the Pharisees the purpose and proper use of scripture. The scriptures are there to point to him so that one can come to him and get life. That is it. It is a totally redemptive purpose. The only proper use of the scripture by a follower of Christ is redemptive. There is no other possible use.

But what about Second Timothy 3:16?  Good question! First, if one only reads Second Timothy 3:16 they miss the boat exegetically. That verse does not exist in a vacuum and it changes the meaning when taken out of context. The proper context for Second Timothy 3:16 is to include three verses. The context demands that you include verse 15 and 17. The reason is that verse 15 says the same thing as John 5:39-40. It gives the redemptive purpose saying that the scriptures makes one wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. There you have it very, very plain. This means that it can only be profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness in a redemptive way.  2Ti 3:15-17 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  (16)  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Ok, so how do those things work in a redemptive way? It means that they are only good for teaching from a redemptive standpoint. All teaching has to center on being made wise for salvation, redemption. That it is only good for reproof from a redemptive standpoint. This makes it a different meaning entirely. One should be reproved for not trusting completely in the redemption provided by Jesus Christ. The same thing is true of correction. It is only valuable for correcting the person who is not resting in grace. Finally, for training in righteousness means that the only righteousness that one has is the righteousness of God that comes from faith in Christ. Didn’t Isaiah say that we are all as an unclean thing and all of our righteousness are as filthy rags? That is precisely why God imputes righteousness. The Old Testament agrees. The first mention of righteousness was Genesis 15:6.

Isn’t it obvious that 2Tim 3:16 is misused when it is taken out of its redemptive context. We cannot receive instruction from the law apart from redemption and Christ Jesus. We cannot receive instruction in righteousness apart from the righteousness of God. It is just plain wrong to teach from the scriptures except for the redemptive purpose. When 2Tim 3:15-17 agree with John 5:39-40 it should make people stop and think about how

Friday, February 8, 2013

The pristine gospel; the first sermon to the gentiles

Acts 10:38-44 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.  (39)  And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,  (40)  but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,  (41)  not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  (42)  And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.  (43) To him all the prophets’ bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."  (44)  While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word
If there is any question about the contents of the gospel this should settle it once for all. The Holy Spirit was poured out on all who heard and believed. It was predicated on believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and believing that everyone who believes receives forgiveness through his name. This is the gospel according to Jesus via Peter. the entire incident is described in one hundred and seventy-seven words. This goes to show that it does not take all that much to preach the gospel. Isaiah asks the question “who has believed our report?” Here is a classic example of the Gentiles believing.

Believing the message brings the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit does all the rest. However, the important thing is to continue in believing the message. This is why it is so important to continue to preach the gospel every time the Saints gather together. The gospel is the instrument that continues to stir the presence of the Holy Spirit. The law does not stir the presence of the Holy Spirit. It takes the focus off the Spirit and places it on the flesh. This is why Paul explained to the Colossians that just as they received Christ… that is how they should continue to walk in him, i.e., by clinging to the gospel (Col 2:6.)

So let me ask again… why are preachers preaching everything but the gospel when it is the instrument that stirs the Spirit? It must be the leaven of the Pharisees that causes such a departure from protocol. The saints must be completely resting in the gospel. This is the only way that they can ever really be able to receive instruction about a walk that is pleasing to Christ. If they question their salvation, justification or acceptance before God, they will be transported into fear and will lose the stirring of the Holy Spirit.

When they lose the stirring of the Holy Spirit they will lose peace with God and will ultimately fall into despair.

There are so many passages that demonstrate that believing (trusting in, clinging to, and relying on) the gospel is the sole responsibility of the saint. All obedience flows from this faith. Real obedience will only flow from a place of total trust and rest.

Why the gospel is important in the transformation process

Rom 8:6  "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace," A very misunderstood passag...