Tag Archives: spirit

Body of Christ

What is it??

There have been alot descriptions that I have heard coming from the pulpit, from people, from books, and from just weird analogies.

I believe that we have used some normal tendencies of what we would try to call the physical one of using the human body as the model of Christ. But this somehow seems to be deficient in its actual example of Christ. I think this is because we use the example of the body having so many parts to it to coincide with our quoting a favorite verse in Ephesians 4:11 “And his gifts were that some should be apostles,some prophets,some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.”

What we have to remember is that this statement is coming from a ‘human,flesh’ way of our ‘being’ in the world. Is this what God is trying to do in our world? Is He trying for us to be ‘good’ christians, to be the answer to everyone’s problems? Or is there something more, different, or Spiritual?

What we also must ‘see’ in this statement when it is used, is it’s context. There are only three words in this phrase. But if we look at it ‘let’s say back words’ we might ‘see’ it. Christ is not only the ‘Head’ of the Body, He is all the Body!! Colossians 3:11 says “Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian,Scythian,slave,free man, but Christ is all and in all.

Christ is all and in all. Just trying to put a picture to this, it would look like to me that Christ’s Body’s essence is also Him. We are to be Christ. Of the Spirit.

What I see in God’s portraying of his ‘renewing’ of man in our pews or speaking,teaching, or portraying in our mission statements, is not what is said in the scriptures. It was the spirit, that was changed in the garden, therefore it is the Spirit that God is restoring in man at the Cross. All things are new, in Christ’s Resurrection, Man’s Spirit is not only New But it is Christ’s Spirit, the Creator of the World.

By understanding this Epiphany of Christ, we should or we have to shed alot of the same things that hold us back from this picture. Nothing else matters, God wants us back in the fold, his child, his heirs, his people!

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Spirit of the Law

I wonder sometimes if we understand the difference of the two things. The Law and the Spirit of the Law.

One easy reference we can use and dissect the two is the Law of Moses and the ‘New Covenant’,the Law of Christ.

These two things are the same on the surface but they are totally different in reality.

Let’s look at the first one, “The Law”, it was given to Moses by God for His people, the nation of Israel to follow and heed them to the things of God. It was a human way of doing certain things that made them ‘stand out’ as a group as being different in the world. The three main things that made them stand out were of their food laws of eating certain things or not eaten of certain things. It was a ‘marker’ for Jewish men to be circumcised to be apart of God’s people. It was also a ‘marker’ for the nation of Israel to have specific religious days and rites to their God. These were all specific and obvious things for the world to notice in their daily rituals. They stood out in this time of society, it was that society was just the opposite in their rituals of obedience.

The second one, being the “Spirit of the Law” was different. It was not of the human ways of doing things, it did not pertain to the ‘ways’ of society. It was to be ‘distinct’ in its coming across to the believers of God, and was a showing of what was of the inside of mankind to just be as God. God’s ways, are different. They are ‘seen’ as coming from ‘above’ actions and beings. This is foreign to us even today, we still believe that we have to really ‘work’ at being different in the world to ‘make’ that difference that we think we have to be. This is what we call the difference between the “old covenant” and the “new covenant”, It is different totally in nature and actions. It is because the new covenant changed things, in realizing that the old covenant could not be fulfilled by the second party(the Jews), The first party, the originator of the covenant, then steps in to fulfill the covenant of ‘being the one’ to fulfill the covenant by doing and being the law. This is the New Covenant being set up for ‘new’ steps for Gods people to just ‘be’ His.

It is this ‘step’, God’s son Jesus, fulfills the old covenant as it should of been, but it showed the Israelites that they to were not capable to fulfill the law, as the gentiles could not of either. They were all in the same boat. This is a plural problem of ‘mankind’ that they were incapable to follow a law or laws. Mankind was/is tainted. We need Help!

Help was on it’s way with the God’s son, Jesus to follow the law, and was the law, so to put the law in God’s hands to be accomplished. The Law as we understood it was now irrelevant to us, because we were and still are unable to fulfill these ‘laws’ as mankind wanted to.

God has now brought in His Son, Jesus to follow, in all aspects of our lives, All of our Lives. For it was mankind that failed, not just a few, or a group, a race, or appointed ones to fulfill the things of God. He is giving all the blessings of himself to all men and women to live in the Kingdom of God!

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Filed under Deeper Understanding, Kingdom of God, New Perspective

Dying

This is a word that will change your life when someone says it about someone.

It is a word that creates things in your mind about the person in which it is said. It brings sadness, sorrow, horror and complete disbelief of the news. We know that this word points to ending of one’s life in the physical life as we know it. This mortal body is coming to an end of it’s time, for whatever reason that has brought about the dying of it. It will be over. Finished. Done.

It is with this mindset, and reality of death that we must use to instill in ourselves in the understanding of these verses in Romans 7.

      1      Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
      2      For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
      3      So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
      4      Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
      5      For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
      6      But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ro 7:1–6). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

This illustration of dying in and of the law is as true to the finality of something as a person that has just been told they are dying. This story of the law and its repercussions of living under its jurisdiction, is just devastating to one and its life of being.

Let’s break this down. Let me insert something here that is always helpful in understanding the scriptures. The Bible was ‘not’ written to us (ponder on this for a second) but ‘for’ us. The ‘law’ question that is being raised here is generally used for the Israelite’s in their worship of God. They have the 10 commandments. They also have 613 minor laws that are to be followed in the observances of these main laws. It is these that we are concerned about.

I am going to be talking not of the black and white of romans 7. 1-6 but of what it is actually saying to us in the deeper meaning of Paul’s illustration. The ‘law’ that is talked about is the ‘slavery’ that we are under with the power of ‘ the law’ of sin. We are slaves to it, we have no recourse but to follow it’s instructions. We are trapped. Sin is there. It is the law that exasperate it that makes it larger than life and brings it out into the front of our lives. It is all around us, in everything that we want to do, it is there, making us do the things that we don’t want to do.

The Law of marriage says that they and us today that if we are married, we are married to that person til death do us part. It is this and only this that cancels this bond. Anything outside of this bond is considered to be adultery for it is outside of the law.

Jesus uses the things of this world as the example of things that are to be understood in His Kingdom.(Not the other way around) It is here that we will transpose this example into what Jesus is really saying.

Jesus is telling us that our master is the sin of our flesh must die, so that we may again be with our original owner of God. Jesus, being the perfect example of fulfilling the law, and only one, must die to it, to then have no ownership of Him or of anyone else. Jesus has taken the effectiveness of the law and has abolished it, so that it will not have any influence on us.

God’s decree on His servants, is that they are free from bondage of the law, and are now servants of the creator. God is always faithful. He brings back to him his children that are lost. As like the prodigal son, God always will welcome us in our journey back to him with open arms, and to prepare that awesome feast for us to announce that all are back in the fold.

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Filed under Deeper Understanding, Kingdom of God

Ekklesia- the now and not yet

The ekklesia is ………

Yes, it can be a bit tricky to describe, depending on who you are or where your experience lies with your experience of the term.

But lets give it whirl, in our definition of the word, ekklesia.(we will use the greek word, instead of the english word that is used to let us be more specific in our definition. The english word of ‘church’ can be used in various ways that will confuse us, unless we define those differences in the onset of our explanation. So we will stick with the greek word,’Ekklesia’.

If we are to use the greek word then we must use the greek definition to get us on the right track. The Greek word ekklēsia means assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones. It is used seventy times in the Septuagint for the Hebrew ḳāhāl (from which latter we have our word call), rendered in Sept, by sunagōgē and ekklesia. This latter word occ. in N.T. 115 times (36 in plural), and is always transl. “church” except in Acts 19:32, 39, 41 (assembly). (used from Companion Bible; Ethelbert W. Bullinger)

ḳāhāl is used (1) of Israel as a People called out from the rest of the nations (Gen. 28:3); (2) of the tribal council of Simeon and Levi, those called out from each tribe (Gen. 49:6); (3) of an assembly of Israelites called out for worship or any other purpose (Deut. 18:16; 31:30; Josh. 8:35; Judg. 21:8); (4) any assembly of worshippers as a congregation (Ps. 22:22, 25. Ekklēsia in Matt. 16:18; (18:17; 1 Cor. 14:19, 35, &c.); (5) the equivalent ekklēsia of separate assemblies in different localities (Acts 5:11; 8:3; 1 Cor. 4:17, &c.); (6) of the guild or “union” of Ephesian craftsmen (Acts 19:32, 41), and v. 39 (the lawful assembly). Finally, the special Pauline usage of ekklēsia differs from all these. Other assemblies consisted of called-out ones from Jews, or from Gentiles (Acts 18:22), but this new body is of called-out ones from both. (used from Companion Bible; Ethelbert W. Bullinger)

Ekklesia is a defining term which probably take you alot of different directions if you let it, but we won’t let it here. Ekklesia meaning assembly or the ‘called out ones’ was defined early on in the OT as the word for the coming together of the people of Israel or the twelve leaders of the tribe to meet with Moses, to tell them of what God’s message to them as a people were to do. This is the example that is used in Gen. 28:3 to the actual ‘calling’ of the people of God, as an assembly apart from the other nations.

6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. Heb 3:6 This verse is an example of a description of God’s house but where it lies.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. This also describes the temple of God as YOU because “God’s spirit dwells in you”. Now, for some clarification on these two verses that most people miss when they read it. This is where in translation of anything from one language to another, sometimes the language which you are translating into does not have a word or just a variant of that word. This is one of those cases that english does not have a plural form of ‘You’, the closest thing that we have to it is the phrase that the ‘Texans’ have that expresses a plural ‘You’ and it is “You’all”. So this is what we will use as an example in describing this attribute of ‘you’ in these verses.

By ‘seeing’ this in the word that it is not of a singular use but of ‘you’all’, it does change things in our understanding of these scriptures, let alone of the dynamics of the paradigm of the storyline. This theme (you,you’all) will be used in understanding alot of things in the bible throughout the story of God. To further the studies I would also recommend using some kind of greek help in totally understanding different words that might point in different direction if don’t know it.

God is amazing in his guidance of his showing his creation the way back to him from their exile from him. It is not just a quick, “You messed up, now come follow me,NOW! No, it is a step by step process that involves our eyes and our heart being receptive to ‘SEEING’ and ‘Hearing’ Him in all our lives. It was also for the Israelites, in their long,long journey from exile from their wilderness. It started for man in the garden of eden with God, changed in this process, God created a pinpoint within the Temple Holy of Hollies,changed when the system became corrupt, Jesus walked with mankind for 33 years, Jesus died and rose again, Jesus(God) now within Us’all.

God is very systematic is his work as a creator, just look at your surroundings today while you are outside, We will be amazed at the planning and reasoning behind everything that just works so perfectly together. Tonight, go look at the night sky and look at the billions and billions of stars that are out there, not one of them is colliding with each other, synced perfectly for our awe and amazement.

This is also they way God works in His Body, God being the Head of his body has synced his being in us, and us into him, through His plan of Christ becoming man but also staying Christ, to commune with us as one to be as He was from the beginning. God IS AMAZING!

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Filed under Kingdom of God, New Perspective

A strange thing happened on the way to…

I love reading. I love reading christian theology. I love reading the bible. and I do!

I had the opportunity to pick up some older books from my father that He had gotten from his pastoral Uncle, which would be two generations back. So these books are early 1900’s edition of christianity in all phases of literature. I have about thirty or so left to read(before the end of the year,I promised to have them read). I went thru the books trying to see which one I wanted to read next, after a store bought book which I was almost finished with to start on.

I perused the selection of books with no particular rhyme or reason on the subject on which to pick the book on, I usually stick with a theme of books for a period of time that peak’s my interest. So I pick this small withered book with yellow pages that was still in pretty good considered it was printed in 1966. It is book titled “Studies in Amos” by Kyle M. Yates,Jr. Now, this in round about way is considered a commentary on ‘Amos’, which exceedes it’s accomplishment as a book.

When I delve into a subject for studying I am never surprised that I don’t ‘see’ something new or a answer a question that I have always had, and it gets answered in the book. This book was no exception. I am a hound dog in always looking for insight and answers to questions that arise in my journey. If you haven’t read the book of Amos lately, I would strongly suggest you do, to remind yourself on what the prophet Amos was telling Israel that their indiscretions and turning from God was taking them down the road to destruction, and it was coming soon.

Israel was in trouble, God was not happy. God’s design for them was to worship Him.

It seems that their “seeking and Living” was being construed as something else as God had planned. The people were not using the temple as their understanding of worship it was meant for. John 4: 24 says that “God is Spirit,and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” This was not being done in the kingdom of Israel. The people of God had made their ‘meeting place the idol that it was the focus of their lives. After all, this was where God’s finger was touching still, even tho his people were not worshiping him as they said. But this wasn’t what God intended for his people, It was HIM, that He wanted them to seek and find, and not to be infatuated with the ‘place’ that He could be at.

It seems that Israel did not take the warning to heart, because it wasn’t for long in it’s history that Israel’s Temple was destroyed. Amos’s warning was a precursor to the ‘church’ of today I believe that the same thing is coming to the building of worship, of the so called believers. It is the realization that the church must face that we are using the building for the substitution of Jesus Christ, for the answer. It is the essence of Christ that we are missing, the ‘life’ of Christ we are missing, the Love of Christ is missing, the Care of the World by Christ is missing,We just don’t understand why the things we are doing aren’t working? A Duh!

As was when Israel was trying to ‘Seek’, They were not seeking ‘Christ’, they were seeking the meeting place. God is Spirit, and the Truth is that He is within ‘US, and We are within Him.

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Rhema?

For those that don’t know what the word means in the title, no many do that don’t really study the bible. There are two definitions of the word “word” from the bible that take on a whole new meaning depending on how you interpret the meaning. We can use one meaning throughout the whole bible and come away with a version of the bible, than someone who interprets the word in the other definition.

and this could be where we get into some various beliefs.

“Logos” is the actual words of God that have inspired the bible and have been written down for us. This is the way that alot of people and especially the jewish community as to how the bible is to be read.

But there is another word that is used to describe the word of God, and that is “Rhema”.

Now this is a deeper meaning of “word”. An example of this word rhema being used is the verse of Romans 10:17. “So faith come out of hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” Note the word used in this verse “hearing” it did not say “seeing”. I think we sometimes just input the word “seeing” to prove our understanding of it. But  “Word” in the verse is the rhema type that is used here. It is not the written word but deeper meaning of the whole “word”. We need to also understand that we need to take the “word” of God as a whole,not as parts,as we do now. (Those that study Greek can verify in the texts mention that this is how it is used.)

This deeper meaning of the word or rhema I believe is what could be referenced as “the spirit of the Word”. Let this sink in for a minute, and say it out loud to really understand what this means. We need to be descriptive of each word of this phrase. Spirit, this is the more elusive description of God, but we can try our best to describe it. God’s spirit has always been. God’s spirit is what God is all about. It is His will. He’s desire. It is really a description of Him. And God is God!

Let me take this even further real to us when I use a personal reference to imitate this being. My rules(commandments) as a father to my three girls(when they were younger) knew of my restrictions and rules of the McCall household. But these were not actually written rules that I had, but they were beliefs and personalities of myself that I was portraying on my household. I know I told them what they were at least a million times,don’t know if they really remembered them, but Oh well. After all, this was my Kingdom! ha,ha.(don’t tell my wife)

Can you see the picture that I have created, it wasn’t the written laws that I wrote(10 commandments) it was a reflection of me in those laws that I was trying to show the girls that I wanted them to be also. It wasn’t about the million laws that I could of wrote down.

Our seeing the 10 commandments as “logos” has really hurt our understanding of the father,in this case God. We have to see the “Word” as “Rhema” as the “Spirit of the Word”.

What is it that God wants us to hear in the Word?

On a personal note, I have been searching and studying and reading and pondering and  meditating on the “Spirit of the Word” and I feel that I have come to an understanding of what God’s intentions are for His People. albeit I don’t everything about it, but I think that I know the gist of the outline. I see more and more of Him everyday, and I thank him daily.

I pray that you too can “See” and “Hear” Him in His “Word”.

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Do you really believe what you believe is real?

This quote is from Dr. Del Tackett formally of Focus on the Family’s “The Truth Project” in his opening statements of the series.

This has always pondered me on the statement even being said out loud, even doubted. But the more I have questioned myself and others on what and why we believe what we believe has become one of my 1st questions to ask someone.

It seems that what we believe is just not questioned! We believe in what we believe because our parents believed this way or this is what my church has taught.

Wow! This is  really scary to me and should be to you,too!  In 1 John 4:1 John tells us to test all spirits of this world, all spirits are not of God. We should not give free reign with someone that speaks the word just because of where they are or the title that they have. This was emphasized many times to the various churches in the new testament that there are many false teachers and followers out in the world. Let me stop here and just mention that in this section that this also includes religion in general. Christ preached all thru the NT of the “religions of the world” that they were not of Him.

Let me stop here and let you take a look at a clip of an experience  that Francis Chan had when he had visitors came to him at his house. Check this link out- http://youtu.be/5Is8QnxviOI

If you don’t know who Francis Chan is,check him out, he is an awesome believer!

Francis Chan’s life was changed thru these instances when these men came to his house and they professed their beliefs but yet did not know where they came from. He questioned them on how they validated their beliefs yet he did not know himself on how he validated his own beliefs! Wow, what a statement.

I understand on where he was coming from in his stand on his belief, but yet could not validate it. I have read the bible over a few times and my perception on what I believed I just assumed was in there some place.

Not til I started to go look for what I believed in, that I could not find anything that supported it!

Ok, now what?

My perspective on God and the Bible had been totally shattered in where I stood. I had to go back into the word/God.(I want to point out right here that we need to understand that the word is God,and God is the word, they are not separate identities) If we read the bible with the understanding that God is in the word,of the word,and is His nature we will totally see the bible in a new light, pun intended.

God is to be looked at in a new light, a new covenant kind of way than we see with our normal eyes. The whole bible is God. Every word,every verse, every chapter,every book,every testament is God. We need to have our eyes wide open so we can see the BIG picture of God.

The bottom line is that we need to back and read the bible. See God in himself(the bible).

Let me give you some help in this start. Ask God for help in seeing Him in his words and his story. Pray that He will show you with His eyes and His spirit of the Bible. Do this every time you read the bible. This will prevent yourself from seeing what you want to see.

May God give the eyes to see Him in the reading of His Word!! Amen and Amen.

 

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What is a Ministry?

Is “ministry” a corporate thing? Is it old testament thing?Paul,Timothy,Philip,Barnabas they had their ministry! We have christian ministries, we have non-christian ministries, so what qualifies it to be a ministry?
I think we first have to define it, then go from there.
First, I have a problem with the word itself, or maybe the way that we use it. My take on the word is two fold, one is that it should be used in the singular sense. Let me tell you what I mean, when paul is described in the bible as having his journey’s or ministry it was about him and his life of following God through His Spirit. It was Paul’s Life Story and how God used him in his walk with the lord. I have not found in the Bible the Corporate committee to organize and regulate how and when someone should do according to this committee. God created us as individuals as apart of a body, to act as one thing, the church!! Our own little journey of life should always be about Him and His Spirit.

Two, How does a “Ministry” as we know it today, glorify God? If I was to accept Christ as my “personal Savior” how is this working when my environment is a corporate situation. The largest gathering that I have come across in the bible that was to influence a group was that of the Disciples in the upper room, which was around 120 people.
Is what we are doing what God intended?
Please share your thought on this! Let me know if we as a society,church,people, or governments are doing it right?

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We are one in the Spirit!

What does this really Mean?
I think that I may have something to that regard.
My wife and I have been married for almost 32 years and it seems that we have been on the same page for quite a few years with alot of stuff. It seems that we can predict what each other will say before we say it, we can know what we both want for supper,we know each other more than the other person realizes it.
I wonder if this is what it means in the bible that the 2 shall become 1?!
This is the description of a marriage!
If this is correct, then the concept of the church(bride) and Christ(groom) being 1 in the Spirit makes sense!!!!
The key to all this is the fellowship of my wife and me thru all these years with getting to walk and talk to each other, learning from each other and desiring more and more time together.
Our time with God is the key to all this oneness. We have to desire to be with Him every second, every day of our lives!
We can be One in the Spirit with the Lord!!!

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Filed under Our walk