Obedience to the gospel – a relationship with reality!

When I look back at my life to when I first received Jesus, all I remember is how free and full of joy I was! I remember the man that led me to the Lord and how patient and kind he was, as he explained how much God loved me even in the midst of my self-imposed miserable life. He told me how precious I was in Gods sight, and that all God wanted to do was to be my Father; and to walk with me, and talk with me. To love and encourage and instruct me through this life! He told me that the Father was not mad at me; that He just wanted me to know Him so that I could experience His love for me firsthand. So I took him up on his offer and received Christ into my heart, and it was exactly as he said – beautiful! Suddenly I was alive, at peace, and full of his love! Yet, what I did not realize then, and in fact, did not totally realize until just recently was that within that brief conversation, I had become obedient to the gospel of Christ; and as a result had opened my heart and received His life. The reality of a relationship with the Creator of the universe had begun for me! I was like an eager child exploring life for the first time! Everything had become new! I loved life for the first time, and loved other people as well! I was full of the joy of the Lord because I was at liberty to follow my new heart!

Then came church – Where I was instructed to do all these things: sin management of course being at the top of a very long list surrounding all the ways in which I could either please or displease God. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much discussion surrounding the beautiful thing that had already happened to me. In other words, telling me to rest in that place because that’s where the Christian life flowed from.

What I got instead was, if you gain much wisdom you’ll get closer to God; or if you do this or that you’ll get in better standing with Him. What they failed to tell me is that I was as close as I was ever going to get because He actually made Himself one with me, and that I was already in perfect standing with Him! In essence, what happened to me in church is that I had picked up an alternate reality. I had exchanged at least on the surface, or rather in my mind, simple obedience to the gospel for that of obedience to the law, and an advanced course in behavior modification. It wasn’t until I stepped out of the church that I once again stepped back into obedience to the gospel I had first received!

Author’s note:

My friends, obedience to the gospel is simply to open your heart in belief, that you may receive the eternal life of God Himself; at which point He becomes our eternal Daddy! Please do not allow yourselves to be distracted by an alternate reality. Obedience to the simple gospel is in reality an eternal relationship with God the Father!

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – I Peter 1:3-5

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

P.S. Please remember as Andrew Farley so beautifully stated, ‘There is a Daddy behind the doctrine!’

 

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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!

 

 

Shut your mouth!

Do you justify your life and your relationship with God and others based on your ability to measure up to your own interpretation of the law and your obedience to it? Or do you walk by faith in the One who fulfilled the law on man’s behalf? The way in which a person answers the preceding questions will determine whether or not he or she actually understands the purpose of the law. Sadly enough, for many christians because they do not understand the purpose of the law, the law stands as a tool to be observed in order to remain in right standing with God and others. In other words, the law is used in an attempt to produce righteousness which is something that it was never intended to do. The law was not given to make man more righteous; it was given to shut his mouth. That he may turn to God, and receive the only righteousness that is valid; which of course is the righteousness of God in Christ! The following verses are a short account of the laws intended purpose.

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world 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. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation, by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sin that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No. But by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. ~ Romans 3:19-28

Upon close examination of the preceding verses, what we see is this:

  1. What the law says it says to those under law
  2. No one can be justified by attempting to keep the law
  3. The law brings knowledge of sin
  4. The righteousness of God is something apart from the law
  5. The righteousness of God is by faith in Christ, the only requirement is to believe
  6. Everybody sins
  7. We are justified freely by His grace, through Christ’s blood
  8. God demonstrated His righteousness, long-suffering, forbearance, and mercy at the cross
  9. That we would understand now that God is both just and the One who justifies those who have placed faith in Jesus
  10. What is left to boast about? We can’t keep the law, and our works can’t justify us!

In conclusion, and notice this is a restatement from verse 21, that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Authors note:

The frustrating part about this subject is that these verses from the book of Romans are taught in churches around the world on a daily basis. And yet a large percentage of the Christian community remains deadlocked under law; diabolically held captive through the co-mingling of two systems that were never intended to work together. Remember, the letter kills but the spirit gives life! The New Covenant is our hope my beloved, and Christ is our life….period!!!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

P.S. For a closer look at how the covenants are being manipulated, go back and check out my post called Living in the substance of God’s forgiveness vs existing in the shadow of a sacrificial system written in Nov. 2015.

The bible is not God!

Over the course of the past five years, I have been involved in countless debates over the scriptures regarding their proper interpretation on various subjects. And what I have found through it all is this: There are two approaches in regards to the observation of the bible. The first approach is to consider it a moral compass or guide for life. The second is to discern through it that we as believers have apprehended the actual giver of life. The first approach will produce a never ending barrage of rule keeping and unfinished business; while the second will produce a life of rest and peace. The bible is not God, and it was never intended by God to be the source of life. The word of God is all about and directed towards the only true life giver – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus put forth the following words to the unbelieving:

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. ~ John 5:39-40

Jesus put forth these words to the believing:

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. ~ John 17:3

The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. ~ John 14:17 (Side note: This statement was before the cross! It has been fulfilled! Christ dwells with us and in us!)

Authors note:

My friends, the bible did not make God real to me; the Father made Himself real to me! Remember, Abraham had no bible! Melchizadek had no bible! The apostles had no bible! The early church had no bible! Yet all these people remained in a relationship with God. My point is not to bash the bible; it is simply to point relationally and directly at the author! God bless!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

 

 

The music of Christ in us!

About 15 years ago, I began to tinker with the guitar. My friends told me that the quickest, most proficient way to learn was to actually study music theory. They instructed me to start with the basics, so that in the end, I would understand the fundamentals and be able to find my way around the fret board. In short, I did not listen to them because I found the study of music to be quite challenging. The result of this error of course is, that I still don’t know how to actually play guitar! Sure, I can fake it and play some songs; and to the untrained ear, my capabilities may look good and sound fine. However, to the trained musician, this will most certainly not be the case; because what he or she will see are the wanderings of the lost. In other words, what they will see is a person that doesn’t know what key he is in, or where the root notes in any given scale begin or end. Quite simply put, the trained musician will know that what they are observing is someone that does not understand the basic principles of music. Which brings us to point!

I have been a christian now for nearly 13 years, yet it has only been in the past three or four years that I have actually experienced the music of Christ in harmony in me! Prior to that, I did not understand because I was not taught that the basic principles of Christianity are all wrapped up in Christ Himself via the New Covenant. In essence, prior to this understanding, my attempts to live the Christian life weren’t much better than the way I had pursued playing the guitar! Of course this analogy falls short when one considers the fact that Christ enters us at salvation, and never leaves us nor forsakes us; nevertheless, the riches of having a New Covenant understanding surrounding God the Father, the word of God, and Christ Himself are without parallel in terms of our relationship with God!

The following statements are taken from a short study series by Bob George called: ‘A Closer look at the New Covenant”:

The New Covenant

 Forgiveness, reconciliation, sanctification, righteousness, justification, identity, life – These New Testament words make up the very essence of the gospel. For most people, however, these are just nebulous doctrines dangling out in space somewhere, as if they don’t belong or connect to each other.

Historically, some groups have been so focused on these “individual doctrines” that great division has resulted. New denominations and sects have been formed based on single doctrines. In the process, the true meaning of the doctrine has been totally obscured. As a result, the average Christian knows something about each piece that makes up the gospel message, but is unsure and confused about how they fit together.

God has given us a framework that holds the various elements of the gospel in place: this framework is called the New Covenant. It encompasses everything that Christ has accomplished for us through His death, burial and resurrection. That is why it is of utmost importance for every believer to understand the New Covenant. With a proper understanding of the New Covenant, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Authors note:

I was unable to experience the harmonious music of Christ in me because I was under the bondage of the Old Covenant; and the fact of the matter is, that it is impossible to experience life in the new while remaining under the old! For the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

And we have such trust in Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. ~ II Cor. 3:4-6

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

Flee youthful lusts!

Please read II Tim. 2:14-26

I believe we all know this scripture and are aware of the way it is traditionally taught; the subject somehow surrounding sexual immorality, using Joseph and his experience with Potiphar’s wife to substantiate the point; how he ran off and left his coat; hence flee also youthful lusts.

The problem with this interpretation is that this verse has nothing to do with sexual immorality or even sin for that matter. Paul is simply reminding Timothy to avoid religious contention by maintaining some spirit led self-control. In other words, to flee any compulsion that might lead him to argue his case like a young man. Remember Timothy, these men have been taken captive by the enemy to do his will; so you are not battling flesh and blood. The idea here is not to win some fleshly argument, but rather to edify in hopes that they may change their minds concerning their error.

The problem with taking scripture out of context and slinging them wherever they stick is that we lose the power and insight within its original God given context. II Tim. 2:22 deals with one of the hardest subjects we will ever face as christians; which is our ability or lack thereof to remain somewhat self-controlled in the face of those that are clearly destructive to the body of Christ.

Authors note:
Gold and silver represent purely inspired vessels; while wood and clay represent impure and un-inspired. Hymenaeus and Philetus were of the latter having strayed concerning the truth. Lord may we remain always and forever inspired by what you have made us to be. That we may stand in the light of your loving righteousness and not our own; in that we would not be sin conscious, but rather life conscious; rightly dividing the word of truth. God bless you all!

Commentary by:
George L. Miller