Me against all Christendom (exhibit three)

In the first two exhibits I have shown how an entire people, even the people of God, can miss what God has for them, including the gospel.  This means the average person to the political and spiritual leaders.  To lay out my third example, I need to do it a little differently.  I have to tell it in a story, a story that retails of a time I was sassing the great I Am.

I am one of those unstable people who can not tell if I am called or not.  The things I want to be and do for the Lord qualifies me as one who suffers from grandiosity.  This according to one of my former pastors.  Anyway in my former life I used to drive a commercial truck and was always gone.  Of course wrestling with a calling does not leave you alone while on the road, it seems to nag one even more.

In my frustration I started telling God he doesn’t need me.  I started to explain to Him that He doesn’t need me because He has this pastor and that pastor.  He doesn’t need me because He has this great man of God and that great man of God.  The further I went down the highway the more complete my list got.  Then I finally summed it up with a long drawn out sarcastic, “And you got Billy Graham!”

Now to exhibit three.

In an instance in my mind, an understanding came to me about the circumstances involved in David slaying Goliath. 

The one who should have led the people into battle that day failed to do so.  He of all people had the right from God to lead.  Instead of leading them into battle, he led them into cowardice.  He failed to believe and act on his Kingship that was ordained by God.

The army was the ones who were experienced in battle.  They had the history and the promises of God being with them in battle.  They knew that all other gods were false gods and could not deliver their enemies.  Yet they who God ordained through the Law of Moses to fight in battle forgot who it was they served and who it was that fought for them. 

The Levites and the House of Aaron should have been the first on the scene to speak the word of the Lord to go forth into battle.  They should have been the ones so close to the heart of the Lord they would known His heart and the obvious outcome of the battle that day.  But they too failed to understand who it was they served and like the Samaritans of long ago and the Samericans of today they literally worshiped what they did not know.

But there was this one boy who worshiped, and he knew who it was to whom he worshiped.  He understood the heart and mind of the Lord that day.  He understood the obvious outcome of the battle that day.  The whole nation of the people of God got it wrong that day, but not this one boy.  Nobody else who had a divine right to lead politically, spiritually or to fight that day had it right.  Their understanding did not allow for faith in God to work on that day.  But God found one who without a throne led that day.  One without a priestly garment or duties understood the heart of God that day.  One without battle experience showed the most courage that day.

Then a heard in my heart a very firm, “I will use who I want, so shut up!”  So I shut up and pondered what I had just experienced and learned.  But I did shut up.

So God has shown me how a whole nation, even a people of God can get it wrong.  God showed me that it is very possible for one to stand up against politics, religion and brute force and say you are wrong!  This is the right way!

Since this experience, I have always felt that the big deal that day wasn’t slaying one giant.  The big deal is standing up to a king and saying I will lead.  Standing up to the army and saying I will show courage.  And standing up to the priest and say, I know God.

We all know that David did a great thing that day, but we seem to not realize that he stepped on a lot of toes too.  Before he slew Goliath, what was it his brothers said to him?

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”[1]

I know when I say, it is me against all Christendom, it makes me appear conceited too.  I know it makes my heart appear wickedly arrogant to say I know the better way, I know the correct way, walk this way.  I know some only think I come to pick a fight and argue semantics.  But time will tell.  Only God can show in time if I am correct or if I am only a fool.  But for now the scriptures show me I am no fool and I need to stand up and say to the people of God, “You do not understand the gospel you hope in, nor do you practice the faith you say you posses.”

So yes, for now it is me against all Christendom.

[1] I Samuel 17:28

What did king David have to brag about?

How is it that David can say, “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation?”  What would he know of it?  What in the world is going on here?

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.[1]

Now for us Pentecostal types, he even wanted to keep the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life.  Now if I didn’t know better, if I had never read or heard of this prayer, I would conclude that it was the prayer of a New Testament believer.  But it isn’t.

We have assumed as New Testament believers, we have access to those things the people of Israel in our Old Testament scriptures never had access to.  But apparently not.  David after his sin wanted the joy of the salvation of the Lord back in his life.  But maybe I stretch it a little bit, huh.  I am looking for something that is not there, right.  David meant something else when he prayed to God.  How could he ever let his heart rejoice in the Lord’s salvation when he never had it, right?

I have been advocating scripture teaches we have a hope of salvation and that it will be given to us when Christ returns.  A Calvinist has repeatedly asked me what would the benefit for a believer if he hasn’t been saved.  He assumes that there is no benefit to having a hope of salvation.  But what does scripture teach us?

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.[2]

If anyone had a hope of salvation it would be David and yet he has the benefit of his hope of salvation.  He is a 1,000 years before the sacrifice of Christ.  Paul attributes to David the same knowledge of salvation that we share in the book of Romans.  Paul wants his readers to understand their salvation and the imputing of grace, and he uses David as his example. 

So do we now separate the joy David had about the Lord’s salvation, from the reason the joy would come, the grace given.  Did David have a joy of his salvation without having his sins forgiven?  Did David have his joy without the Lord declaring him guiltless?

How many of us quote psalms 51 when we are faced with our sins, and look to it for hope as we pray and sing this psalm.  When we do this, do we splice and dice the meaning of the hope of salvation?  Certainly not!

David had a hope of salvation and enjoyed it as much and found comfort in it as much as we do.  He knew what it was to have his sins blotted out as much as we do.  As I advocate in my book The Gospel According to the Gospel our hope in salvation is no more and no less that what the saints of the Old Testament hoped for.  David didn’t ask of the Lord, restore the joy of my salvation, he asked for the joy of thy salvation.  He understood his salvation was in the Lord.  This too is what the New Testament writers teach.  This is why we have to wait for the Lord to return to bring us our salvation.  He is our salvation and we wait for His return.

The Gospel According to the Gospel teaches-

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.[3]

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.[4]

Whose gospel do you follow?

[1] Psalms 21:7-12

[2] Romans 4:5-8

[3] Hebrews 9:28

[4] 1 Peter 1:9