Wednesday, February 8, 2017
The Transforming Gospel...
Romans 12:2 NASB "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
The perfect will of God is as follows: John 6:40 NASB "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." The will of the Father is simple... He wants everyone to accept the reconciliation he provided in Jesus Christ. The fact is that the gospel should be transforming. Let me repeat that for effect. The gospel SHOULD be transforming. The gospel should be transforming all by itself. How does it work you ask? Great question! The answer is simple. The gospel gives one peace with the Father. Once the gospel is believed, apprehended... peace/shalom with God is experienced. This is the fertile ground of the gospel seed. The gospel seed brings about the fruit of transformation. Therefore, it is imperative that one renews their mind continually to the gospel. Paul begs by the mercies of God, again the gospel. Anyone that wants to know what the mind must be renewed with should realize that it is the gospel. It is not the Law. It is not the scripture. Yes, if one is to ever experience transformation, it has to come from the gospel and grace.
Unfortunately current evangelical and orthodox doctrine is WAY off the mark in this regard. Almost universally, people are taught that they need to renew their mind to the scripture and especially the law. This is completely the opposite of what Paul was getting at when he wrote the first two verses of Romans chapter 12. The mind of the saint MUST be renewed to the gospel for transformation to ensue. This is why it seems that people are so spiritually dead... especially those in the church. The vibrant ones are vibrant in spite of church doctrine. They are vibrant because deep down in their Spirit they realize that God is graceful and they actually rest in his peace. The really vibrant ones do not FEAR God, rather they truly love Him. Not because of the commandment, but because they have renewed their mind to the gospel. Gospel is good news. It is truly good news that one can have peace with God the Father on the basis of the actions of the Lord Jesus Christ, and him alone. Now hear me, let him who has ears hear the Spirit right now. It takes more for some of us to be at peace with God than others. Not because of God, but because of our faith. Therefore, in order for the gospel to transform, grace must be UNLIMITED!
Yet, today, most of the focus of evangelical Christianity is on self reformation. The jumping off point for this is reading scripture, especially the Law portions, and striving to be better, striving to be more Christ like. Reformation is a fleshly pursuit. It is not placed on the supernatural foundation of true transformation. The majority of evangelicals are caught up in the rat race of being reformation worker bees. Most of what they do is focused on self improvement. This all in the light of, Paul stating, that in him, that is in his flesh, there dwells no good thing. This is not as so many think that Paul is self loathing. No, it is Paul admitting that aside from the gospel of Christ, and God's redemption plan he does not stand a chance of pleasing God. The gospel that Paul and the first century Christian leaders taught is a different gospel than what is taught today. The reality is that evangelical Christianity has developed and is teaching a different gospel.. It is a gospel that demands self effort and reformation in addition to the transforming work of Jesus Christ.
Still, this knowledge is just that, merely knowledge, without the strength of the unified body of Christ, the ekklesia, the called out ones. The transformation, to be ultimately successful requires the body believing the gospel. Until there are groups of saints that join in regularly to renew their minds to the gospel... notice I said to the gospel and not to the scripture and law. The full transformation will not take place, rather it is still-born. People are fearful of trusting completely in grace. They have been duped by ignorant and many times arrogant leaders that make them think they are heretics for believing the gospel of grace. Oh, these leaders talk about grace, but only in a schizophrenic way. They do not allow the time or the atmosphere for the gospel to really transform. These leaders, will ultimately face judgment for their error but not in a time frame that will help the saints move forward in the transformation process.
I challenge anyone to go to any church, pay close attention, and it will become evident that the focus is not on the gospel. Sunday after Sunday the main focus will be on self improvement. It will focus on read and do and not believe and be. NOTHING, in scripture can be properly taught until the gospel and grace are paramount, foundational, and the only focus. There needs to be a paradigm shift that will allow the many things covered in the scripture to be understood within their contextual and historical significance. While I want to see the saints transformed, I also want to see the leadership cease and desist from the current error that they operate under. Stop reading the scripture as a legal constitutional document and begin to see it solely as the redemptive narrative.
She/He who has an ear let him/her hear!
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