1 Peter chapter one and the three tenses of salvation

I find 1 Peter chapter one a very interesting chapter.  It speaks of God’s foreknowledge, His election of the saints and our salvation.  But is Peter’s account of these three things in compliance with church doctrine? 

Peter calls the believers he was writing to as the elect and in doing this he adds according to the foreknowledge of God. 

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.[1]

There is an understanding in large portion of the church that this election that was done by the foreknowledge of God puts the believer in a state of eternal security.  That once converted there really is no more hope of salvation.  Instead what is taught is believers have gone from a state of been saved (elected by God’s foreknowledge) to a state of being saved (being born again).  According to this teaching the believer only needs to be saved at His coming.  This is called the three tenses of salvation.  Are saved, being saved and will be saved.

I have written about this before in my post Three red flags on the three tenses of salvation.  Now I would like to consider the three tenses of salvation from 1 Peter where we see Peter affirming election by God’s foreknowledge.

Right after his pronunciation of our election by God’s foreknowledge we see in the very next three verses exactly what we have been elected to by God’s foreknowledge. 

Peter taught we have been born again (begotten) by the mercy of God into a hope of a very real and living nature.  And because of this living hope Peter appropriately gives praise to God who is the Father of Jesus.  He did not praise Him because he had received anything.  Instead he praises Him because he knows and lives according to this hope.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,[2]

There is for us believers who have this hope, an inheritance kept for us in heaven which is sure and reliable.  Our hope in our election is not on some changing event or uncertain ability of God to deliver to us who hope.  Rather it is sure in the one who has made the promise.

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,[3]

Peter after telling the believers in his letter of the hope they have kept for them in heaven through the resurrection of Christ from the dead, doesn’t let his readers know they are saved.  Instead he says they are kept by the power of God though their faith unto salvation. 

Scripture screams of this hope and this faith in what we do not possess, yet hope for.  Instead we believers what to preach salvation as an event that comes at the point of conversion, not the hope that it is.  We take Peter’s statements about election and God’s foreknowledge and twist it to mean something that is not taught by Peter or any other writers of either Testaments.

Peter clearly teaches that as believers we have the power of God that keeps us in the promises of God through our faith.  By a faith that is as lively as our hope is, we wait for our salvation to be revealed to us at His appearing.

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.[4]

At His coming those who have been elected through the foreknowledge of God and remained in the faith of Christ will receive their salvation.  The promise will be fulfilled.  We will no longer hope for what we do not have, as Paul says.  We will no longer have to have a faith that hopes for what is not seen, as the writer of Hebrews says, for we will see Him on that day.  Our God who calls things that are not as if they were will no longer speak so concerning our salvation since our hope will be revealed and realized through Christ’s appearing. 

Because of this hope we can go through the trials of the next three verses because we know as we continue in our faith we are closer to our end of hope, even our salvation.  Peter says by living our faith in trails we can look forward to His praise and His glory and His honor.  Those of us who are elected and living for God, are living out in our lives the evidence of things not seen.  This is why Peter can so confidently say we are receiving not the beginning but the end of our faith, the very salvation of our souls.

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.[5]

This salvation, this hope this election by the foreknowledge of God was spoken of by the prophets.  As I said already, no writer of either Testaments teaches what is taught in the doctrine of the three tenses of salvation.  You won’t find this teaching in the Law of Moses or the Prophets and it is not taught in the New Testament. 

Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:[6]

Peter lets his readers know they are to live a sober in their lives and thinking as they hope to the end for the grace to be given unto them when Jesus comes as our King of Kings.  Since our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed as someone has once said and Peter speaks of this salvation as coming at the end of our faith.  Let us not do disservice his message and say we are waiting for the third tier of our salvation.  We are waiting for the one hope of grace unto salvation to be given to us when Christ returns.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;[7]

What we do see in scripture is a hope in what is not seen.  Again, read my post The three red flags on the three tenses of salvation.

What does this mean for the believer?

Since scripture doesn’t teach there are three tenses of salvation and instead there is only one hope of salvation coming to us at Christ’s return, what does this mean for believers? 

What does it mean for believers that we were not saved simply because God knows and foreknows everything?  What does it mean that His foreknowledge of us receiving Christ as our savior is not the first tense of the three tenses of salvation?  Peter talked about election and God’s foreknowledge and still yet Peter talks about only one salvation, a future salvation coming to us who believe.  What does this mean if we bought into the three tenses of salvation?

What does it mean for believers who never heard of the three tenses of salvation but do believe they were saved at conversion?  What happens to the believer that realizes that scripture is not teaching the race was one at conversion, but rather at Christ’s return?  What happens to a believer’s confidence in what they been told by the church, when the Holy Spirit reveals to them the true teaching of our gospel?

What they should do is praise God!  They should rejoice that God so loves them that He does not leave them in their stupor of anti-gospel.  A gospel that tells them they are saved at conversion and no longer need to hope in what they do not see.  A gospel that teaches them they don’t have to remain steadfast to the end in order to make their hope sure.

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:[1]

It is for no reason that the writer of Hebrews warns believers in Christ Jesus about falling away from the faith into which they were born again.  Don’t listen to the Calvinist who say the word “if” in Hebrews means “since it is impossible”.  If the word “if” means “since it is impossible” why can’t we find one translation that interpreted it that way?  Ask the Holy Spirit who to listen to, the Calvinist or the Word of God?

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.[2]

If this Word of God is witnessed to you by the Holy Spirit, rejoice in the God who loves you and is still speaking to you through His Word.  We get to be like Abraham who did not hope in something he possessed, rather his hope was in the promises of God that he did not see.

For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.[3]

We too need to patiently endure to the end to see the promises of God given to us in our hope of salvation.  It is not those who have what was promised who have faith like Abraham.  It is those who hope in what was promised and endure patiently for this promise who have faith like Abraham.

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.[4]

If the light of the true Gospel According to the Gospel, not according to men, has shined its light on your hearts, then obey this gospel.  Know, live and run the race to the end.  Knowing that you have a hope of salvation, do not fall away from the gospel that could have saved you.  Do not shipwreck your faith.  And for Pete’s sake don’t let the gospel according to men cause you to shipwreck others faith by telling them salvation comes at the altar of conversion. 

Don’t put their mind at ease with the anti-gospel when it needs to be at its sharpest.  Let those who hear of your hope in Christ, love God with all their mind, heart and strength.  Give them what they need to live a life worthy of their calling unto salvation to the end. 

The anti-gospel of men is there to bring about death by causing men to assume they have salvation when they do not.  It is there to cause men to not live out their hope to the end, so they will with hardened hearts treat the gospel as finished instead of being manifested in their lives until their race is done.

Reject the gospel of men and embrace the gospel as God has given it to us in His word.  Let me know if the Holy Spirit bears witness with your spirit concerning our one true gospel of hope found in scripture.

[1] Hebrews 6:11

[2] Hebrews 6:4-6

[3] Hebrews 6:13-15

[4] Romans 4:12

[1] 1 Peter 1:2

[2] 1 Peter 1:3

[3] 1 Peter 1:4

[4] 1 Peter 1:5

[5] 1 Peter 1:9

[6] 1 Peter 1:10

[7] 1 Peter 1:13

Disarming Calvinism (part five)

I have stated that Calvinism teaches that God is ultimately committed to His chosen people, the children of the promise, which gives support to the doctrine of irresistible grace and once saved always saved.  This commitment and support for His people is nonnegotiable with God and that God will not violate this.

I will demonstrate from the New Testament that God is not dedicated to His people as taught by the Calvinist.  That He is dedicated to something that is greater than His people.  Although this following statement is very explosive and nuclear in proportion to the other topics in this series, I will demonstrate that His commitment to His people is conditional and will disarm the notion birthed in Calvinism, that God is unconditionally committed to His people. 

If you have not followed these series of post on Disarming Calvinism, I would recommend you go back and read them in order for the Biblical support of what I will only summarize here. 

We have learned that our New Testament teaches that Abraham has received a seal of the righteousness that God gave him, a mark in his flesh.  Circumcision is this seal of imputed righteousness that was given to Abraham and all his descendants.  Our New Testament teaches that we gentiles, now through Christ, get to share in the imputed righteousness that was given to Abraham by becoming his spiritual offspring,

Even though they were elected as a people through Abrahams calling and even though they were in a covenant of imputed righteousness many never entered their rest.  As scripture says not all who are Jews are Jews.

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.[1]

Knowing through our past study of scripture that God has imputed the whole nation of Israel His righteousness through His covenant, to what does God obligate Himself?  Does He obligate Himself to His chosen people under the covenant of imputed righteousness or does He obligate Himself to something even more important?  It is not His chosen people that He has obligated Himself to, it is His WORD.

In Calvinism they like to teach that God is obligated to His people over and above all other things.  They even go as far as to teach that we can be faithless, which goes against all other teachings in scripture but God will be faithful to us because He can not disown Himself.  Teaching we belong to Him and even is a reprobate state, even in a lukewarm condition He can not disown us.  They have read but not understood what is written.

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.[2]

The people of the covenant of righteousness who walked away from the imputed righteousness came to understand what is meant by God remaining faithful to Himself.  They learned He will not disown Himself, He will not disown the Living Word.  He will do exactly as He said He would when we do not live out our lives in faith and obedience.

“‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant.[3]

Was it not the Lord who gave Moses the blessings and the curses?  Was it not the people of God’s election choice to do good or to do harm?  Wasn’t it the people of the covenant of imputed righteousness that had a choice before them that day?  And did not God tell them He will do to them as His word says, whether for good or for harm?  Well He did harm to them as they deserved.  It wasn’t His people who were imputed His righteousness that He was ultimately committed to, it is His WORD.  He did exactly as He said He would.

When God in His word says He will disown us if we disown Him, we cast that aside and pervert His intent to do as His word says.  Even the very words we just cast aside.  It is true the Lord has spoken to us in these in the past though His prophets and now through His Son.  Jesus’ teaching is full of warnings to believers to not be disobedient, faithless, lazy, backslidden, overtaken by this world, yet the Calvinist say God will not disown me.  Sorry Calvinist, as God declares in His WORD He will do as He has declared. 

One day not only the Calvinist whose rest is solely on in eternal security, but the disobedient, wicked, lazy, unrighteous servants of other denominations and theologies will be overtaken by the words of God that He has spoken to us, just it did the covenant people of His election.

But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers? “Then they repented and said, ‘The LORD Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.'”[4]

[1] Romans 2:28-29

[2] 2 Timothy 2:11-13

[3] Ezekiel 16:59

[4] Zechariah 1:6

Scriptural challenge (Part 2)

Yesterday, I gave the challenge to find in scripture were the church organization we have today is taught us in scripture.  I gave evidence from scripture that we are ignoring what has been passed down to us from those who have been guided by the Holy Spirit.  It is my conviction that one of the reasons we do not see the Holy Spirit in our lives like we do those in the book of Acts or 1 Corinthians is because we have left scripture. 

Of course we all think that we have stayed true to scripture and the message of the gospel, but yesterdays post glaringly shows we do not.  Everyone who is part of the local church will defend to the death what we have today.  Heck, I would have done the same thing at one time.  But I can not get past this glaring difference between what Paul taught us and what we do.  Can you?

The scripture I chose for this comes from Paul when he is teaching how a local assembly of believers is supposed to conduct themselves.  His goal in this teaching is so the church can be instructed and encouraged.

For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.[1]

But that is the job of the pastor right?  After all what is he there for on Sunday mornings if it is not for those two basics purposes?  If not for those two basic purposes, then what is he there for, to oversee what he is over?  And if he is over, is he not in charged?  And if he is in charge, has he not become the head?  And if not the head, have we not rejected God as our king, just like the jews?

If we are to deny he is their for the purpose of being the head, then it is for encouragement and instruction then, right?  But if he is there for instruction and encouragement, then he again has usurped what the Holy Spirit has given to us as instructions to obey, concerning how the church is to function when we assemble.

It is not taught in scripture that this is for the office of the pastor to do.  This is for those who speak in tongues, interpret tongues, prophesy and have a revelation.  This is two be done orderly and with no more than three who speak in tongues, no more than three who prophecy, but everyone can in due time encourage and instruct in the local assembly as the Holy Spirit leads.  You know, like everyone does everyday outside of the assembly in everyday Christian life.

Again it is not to be taken that those who God has given a heart of a shepherd can not do these things.  On the contrary, all people who function in all the offices can participate.  What we expect from church, encouragement and instruction, is not an office driven activity, but a move of the Holy Spirit activity that can come from any Spirit filled believer in the assembly.

Which now gets me to my point.  We will never become what we read in scripture if we ignore scripture for what promotes our own spiritual laziness and apathy.  I don’t care if we are “Spirit filled”.  If we refuse to do as we see instructed to us by the Holy Spirit, do we really think God is pleased?  And if not pleased, is He willing to give us what we say we want?  Not when we the “Spirit filled” can’t even follow the Spirit so the Spirit can be in our midst.

Sadly I think many of us have not one bit of desire to do these things as part of our lives in Christ.  Does this make us hot for Christ, but certainly not cold, but lukewarm doesn’t not.

Since we will continue to refuse to obey scripture, and grieve the Holy Spirit, we will willingly keep those whose hearts are hard from being convicted by the Holy Spirit, since we absolutely refuse to obey the Holy Spirit.

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you![2]

How is it that at many churches we sing the song Breath without a thought to the words we worship with? 

“This is the air I breath

This is the air I breath

Your Holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread

This is my daily bread

Your very word spoken to me”

We do not and never will have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst like the verse above, because we will never do it the way the Spirit of Christ tells us.  We will never experience the Holy Spirit in our midst like this and nether will the lost.  We refuse to do what we are instructed by the Holy Spirit.  We will not for the benefit of our own spiritual well being, nor those of the lost.  Instead let us feed our spiritual laziness and apathy with scorn towards the instructions from the scriptures we say we follow.

So let us meet on Sunday and let us worship to the song Breath and tell the Lord how important His presence and word is to us.  Let us speak to him how desperate we are to have him in our lives, but by God keep Him at bay, because we are not that desperate to obey Him!

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'”[3]

[1] 1 Corinthians 14:31

[2] 1 Corinthians 14:24-25

[3] Matthew 15:8-9

Scriptural challenge

Many people think I am off my rocker for insisting that the local church is not functioning as it should.  Another way to say it is the local church is not biblical.  My concern is more that a perception.  I write this to challenge people to actually compare what they practice with the instructions of scripture concerning our gatherings.

Who is it that Paul taught should speak in church?  Did he teach the one who gives the announcements?  Well of course the pastor, right?

I asked people before, and even a pastor who is like a father to me, who put the pastor in charge?  We have Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Teachers and Pastors, so who says the pastor is in charge of the local church?  Why is the pastor the one who tells the prophets, evangelist, teachers and apostles when to speak and if their word is applicable?

Where in scripture do we see the instructions from the Holy Spirit that the pastor is over the other offices and has authority to release or hinder those offices in the local service?  Where in scripture do we have the instructions from the Holy Spirit the pastor is the one who teaches the congregation, does the “vision casting” is the main one who sets all agendas?  I can find no such scripture. 

So who is it that the Holy Spirit has instructed us in scripture to speak at the local assembly?  We know from Paul’s writings that one who has the gift of tongues is eligible to speak in church.  And this can be done by two or three individuals at one local gathering.  Then scripture teaches that someone must interpret, either the one who spoke or a different interpreter.

So now we have two kinds of people who can speak in the local assembly.  The first is one who speaks in tongues, provided there is an interpreter.  The second kind is the interpreter if the one who speaks in tongues is not the one to interpret, depending on the Spirits leading.  So far so good.  We can see how all the local bodies are in line with scripture here, because we allow this in our meetings, but let’s keep going. 

If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.  If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.[1]

Paul has given us further instructions that prophets should speak, and again only two or three per local assembly.  Oh and if someone has a special revelation, maybe a word of knowledge, then they too are someone who can speak to the congregation.

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.  And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.[2]

Let’s see, we have several people that Paul instructs us to have speak at the Sunday service.  We have those who speak in tongues, those who interpret tongues, those who prophecy and those who have a special revelation.  That is four different types of people giving different types of instruction, exhortation, correction or possibly rebuking.  Imagine all of this without the use of the word “Pastor”.  Oh my goodness, the office of the Pastor is not even mentioned in the local assembly.  In fact no office is mentioned at all.  Could it be because Christ is our head and not the office of a man in the church?

This doesn’t mean the man who wants to be a shepherd doesn’t get to speak during the Sunday service.  No indeed, for he too can speak if he speaks in tongues, interprets, prophecies or has a special revelation.

For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.[3]

We are instructed by the Holy Spirit to seek the greater gift if we really want to make an impact on peoples lives on Sunday morning meetings.  It is further revealed that Paul desired everyone to speak in tongues or prophecy making every individual eligible to give a word at the local assembly.

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.  But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.  I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.[4]

The instruction we have from the Holy Spirit to edify the church by strengthening it, encouraging it and comforting it is by allowing those who speak in tongues, interpret, prophesy or have a word of revelation, to be those who instruct on Sunday mornings.

In fact the best way to win the world is to do just exactly that.

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”[5]

How about that for a Sunday church service!

So my challenge to those who swear by what we have at the local church, please find me the scripture to support what you do.  You know and I know there is none.  The reality is we have forsaken what scripture says for our own way.  We do this while we worship Him.  How ironic, isn’t it.  We have decided to follow the teachings of men on this matter.  How the Lord must be pleased.

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'”[6]

[1] 1 Corinthians 14:27-28

[2] 1 Corinthians 14:29-30

[3] 1 Corinthians 14:31

[4] 1 Corinthians 14:1,3,5

[5] 1 Corinthians 14:24-25

[6] Matthew 15:8-9

Left, left, left right left

It seems as if the world is standing upon a precipice.  We are about to be plunged headlong into a time of changing governments, war, famine, natural disasters and spiritual confrontation.  Yet I can not help to think when I look around that I walk among the living the dead.  I am not talking about those who have rejected God but those who claim His name.

When speaking of what I know of current events, which didn’t come from the TV, it is as if the body of Christ suddenly becomes aware that I have leprosy.  At least when I speak what I know to the lost they sincerely are either interested or at minimal angry with the deterioration of our country.

But with the house of God I have to assume I am speaking on a taboo subject.  It as if we Christians have been given the charge from God to keep a positive attitude.  Did I miss something?  Did God give our father Abraham the charge to keep a positive attitude about the economy?  Was Abraham credited righteousness for sticking his head in the sand?  Is this what scripture means when it says we are to live the same faith as Abraham?

And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.[1]

Maybe this unfailing positive attitude in the church has come to us from the Law of Moses?  Maybe there is something I missed in the shadow of the Law and the design of the Tabernacle that speaks of this?  All I know is that it must be in there and somehow I missed it, because I am overwhelmed by the number of believers who act like it is a sin to speak of current and now historical events. 

They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”[2]

If not found in what God commended Abraham for or promised him, and if it is not found in the shadow of the Law of Moses, maybe I can find an explanation from the prophets.  Maybe they spoke of day when no matter what the economy is doing, we Christians will be an example to the lost by speaking a positive confession to bring about a better shopping day.  Maybe the prophets saw and foretold the virtue of putting our head in the sand and avoid any conversation or person who doesn’t want to be person of faith and speak only the sweet savory positive message.

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.[3]

Am I not only anti-American, but also anti-Christian because I see what is going on around us?  Will it only be important to believers when it finally impacts are daily routine?  Until then should I fall into rank and march to the modern church cadence/

I don’t know but I been told—that Christ died to increase our gold.  Sound off—big wallet, house and car.  Sound off—dissenters will be tarred.

But I have searched what God has credited to Abraham and can’t find support for this head in the sand mentality of the church.  I’ve studied the covenant God gave Abraham and I can not find where we are to confess better business and loan deals ahead.  Moses has left nothing for me on this, nor can I find in the prophets that we are to be a people of the new covenant, who close our eyes to the reality of the new one world order emerging.

I have heard prominent men of God say over and over to avoid people like me who don’t live by faith.  They tell their flocks they need to stay away from the news and people who are negative, that is if they want to be a people who God can use.  That is if they want to be a part of God’s blessing.  So they all march on saying they are not here to discuss the negative, they are a people of faith.

So maybe I suffer from spiritual leprosy after all.  I am keenly aware of where our country is politically and economically.  I am stricken with the understanding of where the world is politically and economically.  I am afflicted with the knowledge our tomorrows will not be like our yesteryears.  I can not swallow the positive messages of faith concerning God’s continual financial blessing for us.  The message of God’s abundance eats at my soul.

I often wonder what will happen to the church if they continue to support a doctrine that I can not find in scripture.  What will happen to those who call on the name of the Lord for His blessings?  What will happen to those who say true faith is avoiding people like me who nay say that the poverty is a spiritual condition?  What will happen to those who worship God today in the lie, only to have their understanding of faith in God destroyed?

Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God.  Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.[4]

[1] Romans 4:12

[2] Hebrews 8:5

[3] Amos 3:7

[4] Isaiah 5:21:22

I can’t do it alone, can you?

Here on the internet we would be scholars and teachers of men spend much time and effort to be the most impressive with our understanding of scripture.  We volley back and forth with our ideas of spiritual understanding and enlightenment.  We give off the impression that our walk with the Lord has brought us to a place of spiritual maturity if not perfection, for personal imperfection is taboo when we are trying to gain a following of what we advocate.

Let me be the first to say that I am not what I should be in the Lord.  I have not arrived and at times I feel like I lose ground.  I am aware that I am in a spiritual battle.  All is not quiet on the western front for me.  As Carmen says in one of his song, “My flesh and spirit had a race and Satan went full throttle.”  But with this confession how, can I become what I need to be in Christ.

I looked for it in the local church and I did not see what I was promised.  I have looked for it here on the net and saw no evidence of it here either.  Where do I go to be part of what every believer needs?

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.[1]

When I go to the local body all I see is the pastor, worship leader, Sunday school teacher and the guy who gives announcements, church administrator, sound ministry etc.  I can find all kinds of titles and positions in church except for what God has ordained for us, to benefit us in our walk with our God. Where are the prophets that speak into our lives and keep us on the path with God?  Where is the Apostles and the evangelist with their leadership and spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ?

On line we are like players of Monopoly trying to gain as much following as possible to be that which we desire to be.  Yet where is the Spirit of the Lord?  We on line are no better off than what we are at the local level, maybe even worse. 

How does one get past what is so glaringly lacking in what God Himself has given the church, so we can become mature?  I know for me that I do not want to be full of head knowledge and yet miss what I could have been in Christ, because I never became mature in my walk.

Who else is with me in acknowledging we can’t do it ourselves.  Who will acknowledge with me we need the prophet too?  Who will admit with me we need more than just the pastor, but the apostle and evangelist too? 

Is there any hope for a people who are denied the existence of every office God has ordained for our benefit excluding the office of the pastor?  Is there any hope for a people who have been so sheep herded, that we think only one kind of bleating sheep (the pastor) is good enough for us.  Most of us can’t even recognize God not only wants, but needs us to bleat out his message in all the offices and gifts of the Spirit as He has ordained for us.  For those of who think we have arrived and are a light to men, what office of the Spirit are you, another pastor?

I need you to help me become what I desire to be in Christ.  I need your accountability, wisdom, prayers, spiritual understanding, spoken word of knowledge, timely rebuke and correction.  And somehow have this in the biblical context of what Paul preached, the testimony of the Law and the prophets.  Not something close to the real thing, but the real thing.

In the natural I feel this is hopeless, but with the Spirit I have hope.

[1] Ephesians 4:11-13