Plans for God’s people, chapter 18

Jan 12 - 2,020. God’s 10th Month, Tevet 15, year 5,780     

To: A called people gifted with desire to be atOne with God, “His church.”

Our individual calling and deliverance is likened to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt in many ways. Israelites were predestined to be delivered by promise, “no good works, nor righteousness.” They were in physical and spiritual bondage “slaves to pagan Egypt” much as we followers of Jesus were in bondage to this world’s pagan practices inspired by Satan before God the Father revealed Jesus. This world’s Babylonian styled system of things has all the pagan Egyptian trappings the Israelites were under. As Jesus delivered Israelites and some Egyptians by promise through His called out servant “Moses,” He delivers a predestined called out by promise following from this world’s system of things. As Israelites struggled with their inherited nature’s desire to turn back: “called out followers of Jesus need to count the cost.” As Israel’s turning from old Egyptian customs wasn’t easy, “separating from the world can bring on persecutions.” Israel’s stubbornness through their fleshly nature was to the degree that most died before being delivered to the promised lands. There’s an important difference. Our individual spiritual callings and deliverances has parallels to Israelites physical deliverance, but “believers IN Jesus’ shed blood so our sins can be remitted “is accompanied by His Holy Spirit’s energizing power to overcome to the end.”

Jesus defines our spiritual calling and new nature through Paul.

(Romans 15:1-6; “But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves. Let each of us please his, ‘Christian’ neighbor for his good to build him up. (3) For even Christ did not please Himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on Me.” Quote from Psalms 69:9. (Israel’s recorded fleshly failures are for our spiritual learning.)

Rom 15:4-6; “For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”)

Today we aren’t necessarily blessed with “believing IN assemblies to congregate with” but we can pray for like minded believers whose struggles are similar to our own. May we each be encouraged to keep our minds fixed on Jesus as “The Vine and we the branches.” Our condition is similar to Abraham’s who lived among unbelievers, but we have spiritual examples.

(Hebrews 12:1-6; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfector of our faith. For the joy set out for Him He endured the cross, disregarding its shame and has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Think of Him who endured such opposition against Himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when He corrects you. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son He accepts.”) Quote from Proverbs 6:11-12.

One God, One Body, One Message

with many members, defines God‘s church.

Disorder is the product of evil; unity is the of product of His righteousness. (James 3:16-18; “For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, full of mercy, accommodating and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.”) We must conclude that all aren’t called to His peace in this age.

(2Corinthians 4:3-4; “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age ‘Satan’ has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.”) We must conclude “Satan has blinded all but God’s called.”

(1Corinthians 12:12-26; “For just as the body, ‘church’ is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. (14) For in fact the body is not a single member, but many. If the foot says, “Since I am not a hand, I am not part of the body,” it does not lose its membership in the body because of that. And if the ear says, “Since I am not an eye, I am not part of the body,” it does not lose its membership in the body because of that. (17) If the whole body were an eye, what part would do the hearing? If the whole were an ear, what part would exercise the sense of smell? But as a matter of fact, God has placed each of the members in the body just as He decided. (19) If they were all the same member, where would the body be? So now there are many members, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor in turn can the head say to the foot, “I do not need you.” (22) On the contrary, those members that seem to be weaker are essential, and those members we consider less honorable we clothe with greater honor and our un-presentable members are clothed with dignity, but our presentable members do not need this. Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member, so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another. (26) If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it.”)

Divided religions resent God’s loving togetherness

conclude that God works in all denominations.

(1Cor 12:27-31; “Now you, ‘individually’ are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it. And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadership, and different kinds of tongues. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they? (31) But you should be eager for the greater gifts. And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.”)

That way beyond comparison is, “LOVE.” Chapter 13: is the love chapter.

The greatest of all is love which is “the manifestation of a circumcised heart.” Because there’s animalistic love, parental love and Godly perpetual love we insert Godly in front of love for greater understanding. Godly love like His promises are perpetual as the human parental love should be.

(1Cor 13:1-13; “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have Godly love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have Godly love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have Godly love, I receive no benefit.

(4-7; Godly Love is patient, Godly love is kind, it is not envious. Godly love does not brag it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving and it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.”

(8-13; Godly love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect ‘completion’ comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and Godly love. But the greatest of these is Godly love.”)

How wonderful to worship a God who knows us fully, One who knew us before the foundation of the world and One who gives us His energizing Holy Spirit, “the spirit of a sound mind.”

(2Timothy 1:6-7; “Because of this I remind you to rekindle God’s gift that you possess through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and ‘Godly’ love and self-control.”)

Pursue love, exercise gifts, particularly that which you teach interpret.

(1Cor 14:1-5; “Pursue love and be eager for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy ‘teach.’ For the one speaking in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, for no one understands; he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit ‘with the spirit.’ But the one who prophesies ‘teaches’ speaks to people for their strengthening, ‘edification’ encouragement, and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds himself up, but the one who prophesies ‘teaches’ builds up the church. (5) I wish you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy ‘teach.’ The one who prophesies ‘teaches’ is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets so that the church may be strengthened.”)

It’s obvious, chapter 12 and Paul’s theme “isn’t speaking of prophesies as in predicting the future” but teaching that builds up God‘s church.

(1Cor 14:6-12; “Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I help you unless I speak to you with a revelation or with knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is similar for lifeless things that make a sound, like a flute or harp. Unless they make a distinction in the notes, how can what is played on the flute or harp be understood? If, for example, the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will get ready for battle? (9) It is the same for you. If you do not speak clearly with your tongue, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are probably many kinds of languages in the world and none is without meaning. If then I do not know the meaning of a language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. It is the same with you. Since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, seek to abound in order to strengthen the church.”)

God’s manifesting His energizing Holy Spirit in people on that Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension caused them to speak languages not understood by themselves, but to many from distant lands hearing Israelites who didn’t normally speak their language, speaking words of God made quiet an impression. Likewise God manifesting His spirit in Cornelius’ gentile family, causing them to speak an unfamiliar language. See Acts 10:. Both were evidence of God’s miraculously putting His energizing Holy Spirit in His called out people.

It was never intended that a perpetual sign be given to manifest God’s spirit in people as evidence of their conversion. (Matt 12:38-40; “Then some of the experts in the law along with some Pharisees answered Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” But He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.”) See also Matt 16:4, Mark 8:12 and Luke 11:29. Meditate on “an evil adulterous population ask for signs.”

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