Performance = Transformation; The treadmill of religious works!

I’m sure most of us have heard the old inerrancy, sufficiency speech; and though I agree whole-heartedly that the word of God is infallible and inerrant in its original context; I also believe we have run so far away from it that we need a Hubel telescope to bring it back into focus. Fortunately for us, we have that telescope in the person and works of Jesus Christ, through the lens of His life, death, burial and resurrection! I’m sure you have all heard the old analogy that all roads lead back to Rome; well in the case of the gospel, all roads lead back to the cross. This of course is fundamental Christianity at its best! Yet we have strayed so far from it that the cross is nearly lost in religious obscurity. Dogmatically taught and preached away from until it is as if it never happened, and Jesus did not literally mean what He said when He cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” The unfortunate result of this reality is that the Christian majority by means of obedience to the exterior leading of the law has set itself to the task of fulfilling in itself what has already been fulfilled in Christ; which of course is impossible. True transformation does not occur through performance. Transformation happens by keeping our minds eye on the perfect nature of Christ in us; which then begins the process of renewing our mind to a new creation reality; that in turn begins to manifest the works of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control; in other words, Christ-like behavior! Now of course, there are no time constraints here, this is simply called growing in grace!

Now, in order to truly gain spiritual confirmation, revelation of God’s grace; you must have an unconditional gospel; for if you do not have an unconditional gospel, you do not have anything to demonstrate its reality. For instance, if you have a ‘yeah but’, ‘if’ or ‘and’ attached to any of the gifts and eternal promises of God; you have effectively nullified the grace of God in one’s mind. This does not nullify the power of grace from God’s perspective; this hindrance is personal to an unrenewed mindset. This problem is the biggest error in modern Christianity! There must be no strings attached to the finished work of the cross!

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. ~ Col. 1:27

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.  Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle”, which all concern things which perish with the using – according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. ~ Col. 2:18-23

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. ~ Gal. 5:22-25

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. ~ Prov. 14:12

Authors note:

My friends, the operation of the spirit is a very simple yet complex subject that I by no means claim to have fully apprehended! Therefore, this work, as any other, should be left in the realm of the Holy Spirit for individual interpretation and confirmation. May the word of Christ dwell in you richly!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

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Religious Theology – The wide gate!

 

The following statement is taken from the book of Alcoholics Anonymous; and although written by a secular author, the point of the statement itself unfortunately substantiates the position many Christians have taken concerning the New Covenant grace of God!

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

There is a common thread amongst the religions of the world, and that thread is an adherence to a certain set of moral or ethical principles that either maintain or substantiate a person’s relationship with God. These principles and standards vary from religion to religion, or from denomination to denomination; but at their core, they all have one thing in common – They are all based on a law relationship with deity. True Christianity on the other hand, which by the way is not law based, is the only way in which man can actually and completely be united with God relationally. Yet the majority of Christian teaching not only runs away from this principle, but bolsters it at every occasion by proclaiming abstinence from sin as its main theme rather than the finished work of Christ; which in the grand scheme of things only serves to incite sin in the life of the believer! This, my friends, is the wide gate of religious theology, and many will go in through it.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations– “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. ~ Colossians 2:16-23

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ~ Romans 3:19-20

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ~ Matthew 7: 21-23

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. ~ Proverbs 14:12

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14

Author’s note:

Writings like these are bittersweet. Bitter because I know so many people caught up in religious theology; sweet because I know the unfathomable love and mercy of the One who is the solution! The One who watches over His people! The One that has victory in the end! Christianity is not an advanced course in behavior modification, with all the behavior verses in the bible plus the law as a tutor. Christianity is about a person working with our person that we may learn to walk together in love – That person is Jesus Christ Himself!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

PC Christianity!

With all the hub-bub surrounding the issue of political correctness on our college campuses and in our politics, I can’t help but see the same movie being played out in modern christianity. The church has become an institution full of men and women afraid to speak their minds and hearts concerning what is truth and what is not. For instance, folks will sit back and listen to a fear-based message regarding taking or not taking the mark of the beast. The pastor clearly warning everyone that to take the mark, even if it is to feed their starving family, in lieu of the world economic system being overtaken by a global bank; would mean the loss of their salvation. Everyone of course saying, ‘Amen’; while simultaneously trying to convince themselves that they would rather die, take a bullet, etc. before making such a terrible choice! The whole time knowing deep in their hearts, where Christ dwells, with the perfect love of God, that the message is nonsense! Unfortunately, what this really means is that folks are willing to die rather than face the pastor and tell him that he is not teaching truth.

Now I don’t know about anyone else, but what this clearly says to me is, that if a person is unwilling to face the pastor of his or her local church; how in the world do they expect to face down one of the devils henchmen and say, ‘Go ahead and kill me; but I refuse to take the mark!’ Unfortunately, this is political correctness at its best!

Matthew 15:1-6 – Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do your disciples transgress the traditions of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, “Honor your father and your mother”; and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, whoever says to his father or mother, “whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”- then he need not honor his father or mother.” Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.’

Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

John 5:39, 40 – You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Author’s note:

My friends, let us not be afraid to challenge tradition with truth. That we may keep our eyes, our ears, and our hearts firmly fixed on the life giver and finisher of our lives who dwells within us!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

P.S. I challenge anyone who has not only looked at the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ through the lens of scripture, but who has also received his life, to tell me that He was traditional or politically correct!

 

 

Stuck in the seat of Moses!

One of the most profound errors in modern Christianity is its failure to recognize that the New Testament did not come into effect until the cross; which means quite simply, that the gospels are in fact Old Testament; and Jesus was teaching under law.

The following passages are taken from the New Testament letters and should substantiate the two points I am trying to make. #1 – The fact that Jesus was born under law and therefore taught under law. #2 – A will does not come into effect until the one who made it dies.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. ~ Gal. 4:1-5

And for this reason He is the mediator of the New Covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. ~ Heb. 9: 15-17

My friends, if we are unable to discern what is old and what is new, how in the world can we even begin to discern things like proper interpretation, let alone fruitful application? Let’s make no mistake here, if we don’t understand the timeline between the Old and New Testament, our understanding of the entire bible will be jaded. You will have one piece over here, and another over there; and none of them will fit together as a cohesive unit. The worse part of this confusion is that by nature this teaching can do nothing but put the saints directly under law.

The following verses are an example of how easily this law based nonsense can get stuck in the heart of the believer:

Enter Matthew 23:1-3 – Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

Now upon close examination of these verses, it is very clear that Jesus admonished the multitudes, as well as His disciples, not only to observe the law of Moses, but to perform it as well. Now let’s take a look at modern christianity! Making statements such as the Ten Commandments are the christians moral standard for life; and wa – la! Everyone is quite effectively placed under law.

Authors note:
There are very few pastor teachers that teach the gospels are Old Testament. Therefore, as a result, they themselves remain in the seat of Moses. My advice my friends is that should you discern your pastor, your teacher, or even your best friend attempting to bring you under law; that you do exactly the opposite of what Jesus told His disciples and the multitudes and do neither what they say nor what they do. Lest you find yourself stuck in the seat of Moses with them! God bless!

Commentary by:
George L. Miller

Subsequent reading:
Hebrews chapters 7-10
Romans chapters 5-8
II Cor. chapter 3 verses 4-18

P.S. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ~ Gal. 5:1

Alive in Christ!

When our minds run away with the ravenous depravity that surrounds us in lieu of fallen man; and our hearts begin to sink into the unfathomable depths of human sorrow and suffering where even our best theology isn’t enough; there Jesus awaits! The ever-present lover of our souls! As this is where He can and will always be found!

There is a perpetual dying which takes place in the heart of every believer. It is a death to what is, in exchange for what is to come. It is a death to circumstance of health and of wealth, the exchange of the temporal for the eternal. It is a death to life as we know it, in return for a life we are not yet completely sure of. It is a death to all we had hoped we would ever be, in exchange for what we have already been made. It is being made alive in Christ and becoming dead to the world!

This death is painful but pure; hard and yet simple. All the while this death is God’s affair, and all we can do is roll with it!

Quote ~ G. L. Miller 4/27/2014

Eternally connected!

I awoke this morning with the enemy spewing large volumes of crap into my mind, accusing and belittling me – once again seeking to destroy my joy by attempting to rattle my faith first thing in the morning! Ah, but my ever present Lord and perpetual Savior stepped right in as He always does and gave me this:

When Moses was in the wilderness, he became angry at the people; and in his anger he made almost the same statement as Cain did in the opening chapters of Genesis. Basically stating, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ However the difference between these two men, and the way God dealt with them was this – Moses was connected to God, and Cain was not!

My friends, the enemies main objective is to try and make us believe that we are somehow disconnected from God; however, this cannot be accomplished in the life of the believer because Christ lives in us, and as a result, we are eternally connected! Amen! Nice try Satan!

Romans 8:33-39:  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 1:21-22: And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.

Shared by George L. Miller