Author Topic: Our spiritual journey  (Read 813 times)

Description:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online davetaff

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 1429
  • Total likes: 106
  • Thanked: 45 times
  • Gender: Male
  • New :God is Love
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2016, 04:15:32 PM »
But everything Jesus said was said to "OT people". Does that mean He has nothing to say to us? I can't agree with that position.

I have to agree with Deborah on this our Lord said
 
Mat 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

This can't mean we only take notice of what he said after his resurrection but even then he only spoke to Jews I believe

Love and Peace
Dave

Offline francis drake

Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2016, 07:53:18 PM »
But everything Jesus said was said to "OT people". Does that mean He has nothing to say to us? I can't agree with that position.
That's not what I said or meant Deborah. I am looking at the purpose behind what Jesus preached, and contrary to what many teach or believe, he did not refine the Law in the Sermon on the Mount. His preaching there and elsewhere was just to demonstrate the utter futility of trying to gain righteousness from the law.

Matt5v17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


ie. Unless they succeed in their attempts at self righteousness, they will never ever get into heaven! They will be in outer darkness forever and ever.

Jesus spoke these words to people who were under the spell of religious leaders, the Pharisees etc. who had broken down the law into thousands of rules of what was good and what was evil.
These men portrayed themselves as perfect before God, and were beheld as such by all the people. But here we Jesus telling the people that they had to do even better than these high and holy men.
In that context, Jesus shows that our thoughts condemn us, even when we refrain from committing adultery or killing anyone. Thought crime condemns us now. There is no escape.

That this teaching is meant to show the impossible is demonstrated by the penalty of failure, dismemberment! Here is the penalty for failure.

27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.


You cannot preach law, and ignore the consequences of that law. By rights, we should be seeing many preachers missing eyes and arms.

The final verse should make the deliberate impossibility of Jesus's preaching abundantly clear.
 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
To get into heaven, we have got to be like God.
It sounds a bit like what Satan said to Eve, and it should, because the law was the direct consequence of the fall!

He is telling the Jews that if they wanted to gain righteousness by law keeping, the stakes are far beyond anybody's reach, even for the Pharisees.


We see the same with the rich young ruler.

Matt19v16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.


The man had asked what good thing he should do to get eternal life. The correct answer of course is nothing, nada, zilch, because it is free for the asking.

But seeing that the man was into earning his eternal inheritance by good works, Jesus goes down that route. "Keep all the commandments", to which the man proclaims that he has always been a good boy since childhood, including that of loving his neighbour.
So Jesus gives him more law, more earning potential! Ooops, he hits a raw nerve.
21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

I find it amusing that Jesus turns down one of the most amazing opportunities for evangelism in the bible. Someone actually comes and asks how to get to heaven, and Jesus sends him off on a wild goose chase.

But...but....but what if he gets run over on his way home and goes straight to hell...?

We need to lear from all this. The law was given for law breakers, not for the righteous ones. It was given so that local and national authorities can punish evil doers.

In no way did law keeping ever make a single man righteous though.

The rules against idolatry etc were all given to prevent Satan gaining power over the nation.
Despite all that, they failed to keep it and the nation slid down the pan until it was overrun and taken into captivity by their enemies.

Having demonstrated throughout most of his ministry, the utter futility of righteousness by trying to be good or by keeping the law, Jesus then presented them with a new and better covenant.

Anyone trying to keep the righteousness of the law had better sharpen a knife for when he fails.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)
The following users thanked this post: Seeker

Offline Deborah

  • Bible Buddies - together
  • ******
  • Posts: 430
  • Total likes: 83
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Female
  • New :
    • Discovering the Bible
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2016, 10:27:29 AM »
That's not what I said or meant Deborah. I am looking at the purpose behind what Jesus preached, and contrary to what many teach or believe, he did not refine the Law in the Sermon on the Mount. His preaching there and elsewhere was just to demonstrate the utter futility of trying to gain righteousness from the law.

....

Having demonstrated throughout most of his ministry, the utter futility of righteousness by trying to be good or by keeping the law, Jesus then presented them with a new and better covenant.

Anyone trying to keep the righteousness of the law had better sharpen a knife for when he fails.

That's certainly one of the things that the Sermon on the Mount teaches us. But is it really all "just" to demonstrate the utter futility of striving for righteousness by law? Doesn't it also demonstrate what the Holy Spirit is aiming to achieve in us as He gradually confirms us to the image of Christ? And since we need to co-operate with Him for our sanctification, is it not useful to know what we are aiming for? This is a description of the lifestyle that brings glory to God. We will never live it out perfectly, but it is the pattern for us to model.

I agree with you: the law doesn't make us righteous. But if we are following Jesus, this is the path we will follow.
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

Offline Deborah

  • Bible Buddies - together
  • ******
  • Posts: 430
  • Total likes: 83
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Female
  • New :
    • Discovering the Bible
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2016, 03:41:42 PM »
Worship (Exodus 25-29)


Israel?s first formal act of worship and thanksgiving is to donate the materials for the construction of a sanctuary - the Tabernacle.

It is truly amazing that the Creator of the universe should condescend to 'live' in a man-made structure. It isn't that God needs a home; rather, the Tabernacle is a visual aid to symbolise the reality of His presence and to teach us certain truths about how to approach and worship Him.  Every element in the Tabernacle's construction conveys a spiritual truth; it is an earthly, material representation of spiritual realities (Hebrews 8:5). Because of this, every detail of its structure is of great importance, and it has to be made exactly to God's specifications.

And so Israel is able to enjoy fellowship with their God and be His people. They will learn to pray to Him, to offer sacrifices to Him, to confess their sins, and to express their gratitude for what He has done for them. As they camp in the desert, He 'camps' with them, living alongside them and travelling with them in symbol as He will one day do in reality (John 1:14).

Just like the Israelites, we pray to God (I Thessalonians 5:17) and confess our sins (I John 1:9) on a regular basis. We even offer sacrifices - not animals, but praise, thanksgiving, and good deeds of all kinds (Hebrews 13:15,16). But worship is not just something that we do on a Sunday in a church service; we live our whole lives in God's presence. One of the reasons that Jesus became Man was to share our earthly life - to be truly one of us - so that He knows from experience all the difficulties and temptations that we have to face (Hebrews 2:17,18). And He has not abandoned us. "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

Offline Deborah

  • Bible Buddies - together
  • ******
  • Posts: 430
  • Total likes: 83
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Female
  • New :
    • Discovering the Bible
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2016, 08:14:36 PM »
Rebellion & idolatry  (Exodus 32)


Sadly, the Israelites have not grasped the concepts of monotheism and imageless worship (even their deliverance from Egypt they attribute to Moses, not Yahweh), and they find it hard (despite the evidence of the daily manna and the pillar of cloud) to comprehend an invisible and intangible God. Impatient to continue on their journey, they soon grew weary of waiting for Moses to return from his meeting with God on the mountain, and decide to take matters into their own hands.

So the people 'gang up' on Aaron (there is more than a hint of intimidation), who lacks the spiritual conviction to resist their demands. The making and use of images can always be rationalised as an aid to worship; but invariably such things dishonour God and end up replacing Him.
"At Horeb they made a calf
and worshipped an idol cast from metal.
They exchanged their glorious God
for an image of a bull, which eats grass."
(Psalm 106:19,20)
The bull-statue is the standard representation of Baal, the fertility god of the Canaanites. And this is what is presented to the Israelites as an image of Yahweh. It might be labelled with His name, but it is a gross misrepresentation of His nature. For although the bull could be said to represent Yahweh's strength and power, in the minds of the people it is associated with sexual potency. A whole religion (altar, priest, sacrifices and festival) is quickly invented to go with the idol, and the people adopt it with great enthusiasm. They claim to be honouring their God; but in fact, they have created a completely different god - one with no moral demands - and the 'festival to Yahweh' rapidly degenerates into a drunken orgy. The consequences will be disastrous... God is offended almost beyond recall, and the nation comes close to being wiped out (Exodus 32:9-13).

We might not go so far as to worship statues of animals; but that does not mean we are immune to the lure of idolatry. Growing weary of waiting for Christ's return (II Peter 3:3,4), the Church has far too often succumbed to the spirit of the age and absorbed aspects of the surrounding culture, giving them a Christian gloss to make them acceptable. It's hard to look at the proliferation of mediaeval saints and not see a strong resemblance to the personal and local deities of pre-Christian paganism. But before we condemn the mediaeval church, we need to consider how much some sections of the modern church flirt with New Age philosophy and practices, while others pander to materialism. "Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy?" (I Corinthians 10:22) It's a dangerous thing to do!
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

Online davetaff

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 1429
  • Total likes: 106
  • Thanked: 45 times
  • Gender: Male
  • New :God is Love
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2017, 02:30:46 PM »
Hi Deborah
Sorry for being so long in replying and thanking you for a interesting post I have wondered about all the imagery in the churches I know people say it's to the glory of God But dose God need it dose he want it could all the gold and silver and works of art be put to better use helping the poor.
Do you think that all the splender of some churches can be off-putting one tends to be admiring one surroundings instead of looking for God.

Love and Peace
Dave   

Offline Deborah

  • Bible Buddies - together
  • ******
  • Posts: 430
  • Total likes: 83
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Female
  • New :
    • Discovering the Bible
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2017, 07:48:03 PM »
Hi Dave

I'm inclined to agree with you (I prefer simplicity myself), but there are some other aspects to consider.

You're right: God doesn't need or want expensive decoration of the buildings we worship in. But how glorifying is it to worship Him in grubby or tatty surroundings? It's only natural to want to make the place look as nice as we reasonably can - how far to go is a matter of taste and culture.

It's all very well saying that the church should sell off its works of art - but most of them are on the walls and roofs of its buildings, so they can't just be auctioned off and taken away.

Finally, think how many builders and craftsmen were employed in erecting the great cathedrals. They must have given a massive boost to the local economy. And employment is a better way of helping people than charity.
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

Online davetaff

  • Moderator
  • ***
  • Posts: 1429
  • Total likes: 106
  • Thanked: 45 times
  • Gender: Male
  • New :God is Love
Re: Our spiritual journey
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2017, 02:35:27 PM »
Hi Deborah
Thank you for your reply there are many different aspects to think about and you make some very good points when I said what I did I was thinking about these verses.

Exo 20:24  An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
Exo 20:25  And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
Exo 20:26  Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

here we have Gods alter being built of very simple inexpensive materials should we follow this commandment or should we follow Solomon's example.

Or should we heed Paul's words which maybe are more in keeping with the subject in hand.

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

The spiritual body of Christ which we are is the temple of God so when we are congregated together it's not the building but those inside it which are the temple of God and the cement that holds it all together is the Holy Spirit.

Paul has much to say on this so I thought I'd past a little in here for the benefit of our guests and seekers.

 1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20  But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Love and Peace
Dave