Godly love will bring up a conversation that every person in a group, no matter the size will bend the concept numerous ways to suit their fanciful beliefs.  The following movie depicts the images I get from Christ’s teachings.

Click here

Matt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

James 2:
18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

1 John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

 

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Just shut up and listen…

Things you can learn when you shut up and listen, observe, and accept.

The creek is barely a trickle. I’m sure before the city was built around it, that it was a home for fish and wildlife frequented it daily for life.

Today the city bustles around it. From where I sit, I see an irregularly square patch of color under the little bit of water flowing. It’s laying over the stones like a shadow, but it’s brownish green coloring shows that it’s being subsumed by the nature around it. An unnatural invasion being reclaimed by nature itself. Perhaps a napkin or a piece of paper, but moss is growing over it, and slime, and slowly it’s being eaten and resubmitted to nature. May it have a more productive benefit in it’s next life.

On the bank where the grass loses it’s dominance to the flowing water you have a whole community of life. Three different types of grass exist, a broad bladed grass sticks out every little bit in the skinny hair like lighter green grass that covers most of the area. And another grass that grows like a stalk and unfolds at maturity pokes up here and there as well. All crammed into such a tiny space, no battles between them. They find their place and coexist. There are some close to the ground weeds that grow and are blossoming here and there. If each different colored blossom is a different weed, then there are 9 different types in this small 20′ square area. And there are the occasional long stemmed weeds blossoming here and there, sometimes we call them flowers.

Outside of this 20 sq ft area the city adds it’s contribution. The occasional Styrofoam cup, aluminum beer tab, soda bottle, etc…

This is man’s contribution to God’s creation. Which when it was created we were told to care for it. And now we rape this creation to suit our own comforts, desires, and aspirations. Rather than being part of this creation, we have set ourselves apart as more than the creation and foregone our reciprocal duty to her. Where we had an obligation to assist her so she could flourish, we constantly take from her, mar her, abuse her and take her for granted.

The Church, in today’s world, is the same. Where we are to be part of the world, fitting into her, and helping by service to her, we have become standoffish and bossy, trying to tell her how to do it herself. Her in this case being our interpersonal relations in society.

Rather than loving our neighbor we tell them how they should love others and sit on our ass.

Rather than feeding the poor, we try to legislate them out of our line of sight.

Rather than getting involved with young men and women to avoid unmarried, unplanned, unexpected pregnancies, we choose to stand at an abortion clinic and make an already traumatized young girl scarred even more for life. In the future, every other Christian that approaches her will be met with disdain and unbelief of a loving God. Instead they will know God as a Benito Mussolini hateful entity.

The church’s role in society, mirrors man’s scars left upon God’s creation.

And while we can clean up our footprint in the world, the scars we make with society will grow exponentially each generation.

As the Church feels the impact of already having generations of negative presence, her response is to get HARDER in the positions that have led to this situation in the first place.

If you don’t stand up, and create a microrevolution among your people of influence in the Church, you’ll see a Church that is dying irreversibly before you pass on.

What will YOU do about it? Become a more hardcore fundamentalist, or learn to Love neighbor and God as you were instructed?

My personal disclaimer:

Let me be clear…  Maskchange

I don’t care what you think you know, or what you believe, I care about how it manifests in your life.

In this venue we only have words, and you can say what you will, but even when you carefully word your comments, you still reveal things about the inside of you that you hide behind the mask.

Most of you, present a carefully constructed mask to the world, and call it christian (as I’m addressing christians). And you think a better Christian is one with a better mask. That’s like saying the best skunk is the one with the most perfume on it. (two nasty odors, not just one.. the problem is there, but now there are two problems.)

Your mask is an orchestration of your devising. It doesn’t reflect a change in you, it reflects your efforts at control. If you have to control your heart, by definition you are bridling it, but it is not changed.

God wants a changed heart, and He says HE does the changing. Go look up “heart of stone” in Ezekiel’s thoughts. If you continually make a mask and cling to it, you never let God pass to the heart to work on it.

You can only experience that change, if you stop acting, and start living, transparently. Let your emotions show, let your thoughts be known, and learn where you are wrong. The more transparent you are with your heart, the more changing and the faster it will occur.

You have to live a real life, not act a life for the world to see. The more you act or try to live up to the mask you think you should portray, the better the mask is made, but the person inside is left stagnant and wanting.

The Church is filled beautiful masks. Theology has gone from what is God’s plan for me, to how Christian can I act? And the arguments aren’t of faith anymore, but on who made the better mask.

Love or Obedience

Which direction will you run?

Which direction will you run?

 

In 1984 one of the great theological movies of all time was released for public consumption.  Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio and the Gang.

There is a scene, that you may not have realized was a “God message”.  Daniel, the Macchio character wanted to learn Karate.  Mr. Miyagi finally agrees to teach him.  Daniel is UBER excited.  He shows up, fired up, ready to work, so Mr. Miyagi puts him to work.

Wax on, Wax off.

Daniel begins his confused training.

On the verge of mutiny Mr. Miyagi gives in to Daniel and stands before him and pops him one.  Daniel makes the wax on move, reflexively, without premeditation and blocks the move.

The lesson learned was muscle memory over premeditation.   You don’t have to understand, you have to react.

Jhn 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.KJV

Jhn 14:15
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.NASB
———————

A person might read these verses, and wanting to please God, work stringently at keeping His commandments.
….They would feel a sense of accomplishment, like when you buy the right gift for a friend, or answer the right answer on a test.
….That would please the person who was obedient.
….But, would it please God?

The verse has two dominant ways you can interpret it.

1) If you love God you’ll focus your life on obedience as a primary objective.

2) If you love God your changed heart will by default keep the commandments.

3) The first is an accomplishment of self.
…..The second is an accomplishment of God in changing your heart.

4) Which one gives God the glory?

When one’s life becomes focused on the obedience aspect of the faith, their attention is on NOT sinning. They are driving a car 850 miles per hour and their goal is to not sin. That’s all they can look at because if your take your eyes off the goal you will falter and end up in a ditch.

When one’s life becomes focused on Loving God, sin is an issue of the past, you no longer fear punishment for what has been paid for, and your attention is focused solely on the love. The race you run is pointed in a different direction, than the race you run if you flee sin.

Phil 3:13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
***but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind***
*** and reaching forward to what lies ahead,***
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The focus of your heart, must be on the proper prize. You can choose God’s Glory or Your Glory — Him changing you, or You changing yourself.

Christ addresses this, albeit indirectly, at Mat 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The word for “poor” in Greek means dependent, beggared, needy. This would hint that the path of me willing myself to obedient, would be counterthetical to what is being taught. In fact being NEEDY/BEGGARED would relate to the story of the Rich Young Ruler and Him being Mature or Perfect. “If you would be mature/complete/perfect, give up all you have that will provide for you, die totally to your former life of self providence, and come to Christ, 100% needy, and dependent and rely/follow on Him.

Eze 11:19
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, NASB

Eze 36:26
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. NASB

By all accounts, the focus is on the heart being changed, and life changing according to the heart.
vs
The mind getting STRONG and RESOLUTE and conquering the heart.

In fact …
Pro 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: KJV
… seems to confirm that. In this verse, the word for heart, is reference to your inner drive and motivation. In the first part of Romans 8:1-9 you see Paul discussing how a heart of flesh obeys the flesh, a heart indwelled by God’s Spirit obeys God’s spirit. (don’t trust me, go read them.)

The goal of God, is not to beat a man into submission, but to set them on a path where God will change their way of seeing and living life. The focus is on the changing of the heart.

When you make the focus on NOT sinning, you are teaching a person to fear sin. When they fear sin, it works against learning to love. FEAR is an emotion that is 100% self focused. It has a person looking to himself for solutions. John wrote, that if you fear sin you do not have perfect or finished love. 1 John 4:16-18.

People see the word PERFECT and dismiss the verse as unrealistic and start making excuses. The word means the completely mature, finished, type of Love God intends for you. If you fear sin, you lack that love.

If you lack that love, you lack God. God isn’t in you and you aren’t in God. Again, see 1 j 4:16-18.

If you take this verse and contemplate the impact it reveals, growing in love is your focus, not avoiding sin. If you avoided sin and lacked love you failed. Please consult 1 Cor 13.

If you have the love, then you will have the obedience.

Which direction do you wish to teach, preach or personally run yourself? There are 360 directions away from sin.
There is one direction to God.

The Sanctified, Perfect believer! Can you believe?

Sanctify… to set apart…..

The Laver in the Tent of Meeting was set part, it was therefore sanctified.

The Tent of meeting itself was sanctified. As was the ark of the Covenant.

When a person accepts Christ (whatever that broad stroke comment means) He has been sanctified by God and set apart. However is it the same as the Laver and the Tent? Nope, it’s just set apart. You could have the man sanctifiy his dishes, and set them apart for special occasions… The word simply means set apart.

Every time you see the word SANCTIFY does not mean it’s the same discussion, anymore than every time you see the word WET it means you are in the water. So determining HOW it’s set apart is going to be important in context.

So, Rom 6:22 says:
you are freed from sin, (sins are atoned for, what most people called saved)

Then become a slave to God (which means you are working at obedience)

Then you receive a benefit. (probably taught how to love is my best guess)

And THEN, not beofre you are Sanctified.

In this case, while it’s true you are sanctified, set apart when you are saved, or your sins are atoned for, in this case it speaks of a different sanctification.

Scripture talks about God will change us. I contend the Rom 6:22 verse’s use of “Sanctified” is a reference to when the person is changed, and it’s complete.

Paul says his job was to present those with him as “perfect” or complete when Christ returns. Numerous other places the completeness or perfection we are to become are mentioned.

Paul claims himself and others were perfect, or complete. Biggest problem here, si people see the old KJV word PERFECT, and think of it in a Utopian without error sense. That’s a recent meaning added to the word, like the last 125ish years or so. When the guys who did the work on Jim’s version existed, that “without flaw” part didn’t exist. Every time you see it in the Bible, you can assume it means a word (some will suit the circumstances better than others in context) from the family, full grown, complete, mature, finished, etc…. Which avoids UTOPIAN without flaw, and assumes the mistakes made growing up, to the point your growth is finished.

So, Bible has plenty to say we are to be perfect. If we can’t get past the “perfect” term, we’ll have to change what that means to suit our theology.
The question should become what IS perfect, in Biblical terms. Obviously no one but Christ will live sinless from birth to death. There is no Utopian flavor at all to that concept.

Before we move forward we need to agree or address first:

Sanctified, may not be the same context every time you see it used, even the word always means set apart. What is being set apart, OR HOW it is being set apart could change.

Teleios/Perfect/Mature doesn’t have a UTOPIAN, without error, flavor to it. But there are plans for perfection/maturation evident in the NT as there are those that have got there, and Paul admits it’s His job to get us there.

That should get us common ground to get through some of the key verses that will pop up here….

So, what does Perfect mean? While each author explains it in different terms and from different angles, and to varying degrees, the most obvious explanation, and from the most used Author Paul, is in EPhesians 4:11-13.

Ephesians 4:11-16
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
>>>>>>This is those who are given the Spiritual Gifts of leadership. Not everyone has these gifts, just some. Like Discernment, teaching, not all have it so not all are expected to do it.<<<<<<

12 for the equipping of the saints
>>>>This is the individuals in the church<<<<<

for the work of service,
>>>>>> See Gal 5:6, Matt 25 last parable. <<<<<<

to the building up of the body of Christ;
>>>>>>>>>>This is the Church. the individuals build up the Church<<<<<

13 until we all attain
>>>This takes us back to the individuals doing the work.. so they work until they all….><<<<<<
to the unity of the faith, and of the [b]knowledge of the Son of God,
>>>>>Egads those people are going to learn through works, not bible study and sunday school….. those poor modern day Bereans, what ARE they missing out on?<<<<<<<

to a mature man,
>>> KING JAMES…..unto a perfect man,++++++
There is something to be completed in us through works led by the Church. It is expected… So how “perfect is “PERFECT” here? Paul further defines it.<<<<<<<<
to the measure
>>> IF Christ’s spiritual maturity was measured in a glass, our glass would be just as full as his was. the same measure.<<<<<<
of the stature
>>>>> As well as our glass would be the same size. Super Big Gulp vs Super Big Gulp. Not Big gulp vs Super Big Gulp. We are not less<<<<<<
which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
>>>> For anyone saying that it is the full and complete perfection, of only part of Christ. That’s the ONLY three ways saying as fully mature as CHrist could be belittled….
1) Not as much,
2) Not as big.
3) Only as much as part of his.

Each was reconciled by Paul for quadruple redundancy to prevent confusion. NOW people have to work really hard to screw this verse up. <<<<<<<

 

14 [d]As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness [e]in deceitful scheming; 15 but [f]speaking the truth in love, [g]we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together [h]by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Now, SINNING is not how this is accomplished, or rather not sinning. Blessed are the poor, dependent, needy in Spirit. Not the self made strong in spirit that overcomes sin.

1 John 4:16-18 says that if you do not have love, God isn’t in you and you aren’t in God. Does anyone wish to make the argument for, “you will “live in paradise” without being included with God or without His hand in your life? 🙂

No, so the single most important part of your faith, is that you do learn how to love as God does, Matt 5:43-48, not how we have “loved” growing up, which is primarily a self focused love, Sarx, Sinful nature, Flesh…

The key points in the last part of this discussion are:

1) We are to be Perfect.
2) What does Perfect look like?
3) It’s not by not sinning, but by learning how to love.

Conclusion:

This person would be MADE to be set apart, and would be made different. Not just perceived as different. Which is what it says in Isaiah when it says God will change your heart/mind. That is a real change. Not the change people claims happens when nothing has been changed. 🙂 When that change is made, and completed, you are mature, or perfect. This is Christian Maturity.

Melchizedek

Who was Melchizedek and why was He important? This is a cut and paste from a quick answer to another person…. Open for discussion.

Melchizedek:

Abram went and fought the war.
On the return home went through the Valley of the Kings, to Salem, to It’s King Melchizedek, who was also High Priest to God Most High.

This was before the Messiah was promised, before the Jews existed, before the law, and God had a mediator on earth between Him and man.

Mel fed Abram,
Abram offered a tenth to the King/Priest.

If you have a high priest, as mediator, God had relations with man, before the law and Jews. Those who center their faith around Jewish law and traditions, ignore this.

This is in Genesis.

In psalm 110 David speaks of the Lord of His Lord, which we take as the Messiah or God. And speaks how he will be at God’s right hand, and will establish His church after the Order of Melchizedek. Or in the style and format of Mel’s.

Which again, was before the Jews and the Gentiles existed.

Christ’s priesthood is established and ran/operated like a priesthood that existed with no Levitical law, and is not Jewish.

In the NT you read that In Him there is no Jew nor Gentile. Now you know why.

Christ speaking of “the one at David’s right hand”, references to Himself as the one David speaks of in that Psalm.

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They *said to Him, “The son of David.” 43 He *said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying,
44 ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
“SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”’?
45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46 No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.  (Matt 24: nasb)

If you read the book of Hebrews, it’s in a constant comparison to the things to consider regarding Christ and Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5-7:28)

One of the biggest impacts I think that has on our theology, is the meaning of “the fulfillment of the law.” 

The law was given the Jews so sin may increase. 

Their keeping to the larger number of sins is what made them the people set apart from the rest of the world.  Abram’s covenant And here is the one who blesses all the families of the Earth.

They were set apart, so the messiah would come from them and be identified. From the people with the hardest rules, comes the one that kept them best. The rules/laws were for His identification.

The Promise of a messiah, from this people, who would pay for those sins, was identified, and fulfilled.

What purpose does the law have after that?

Christ’s priesthood is ran like Melchizedek’s, and there was no written law or Covenant, in Mel’s times.

Christ defines His priesthood as revolving around love God and Love neighbor, and states if you love neighbor, you are loving God. So if you wish to demonstrate your love for GOD, then you love/do charitable acts, for your neighbor.

THAT is why Melchizedek is important.  The law has been fulfilled, the Christ identified, the Priesthood returns to Melchizedek’s order, and the new Church, with Christ as the High Priest, serves as God’s tools of righteousness on Earth to fulfill the Agapao God has promised the World.