Graceful Truth

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Who's In Charge (and what difference does that make to me?)

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There are thousands of "drop the mic" statements in the Bible. These are definitive statements which, if dealt with properly, should be the end of the discussion. These statements define what really IS, whether we agree or not.

And, they demand a response. We can ignore them if we choose, but there are unnecessary and serious consequences if we try to live counter to what is true. It simply won't work right.

One of the greatest such passages is Colossians 1:13-20. It is, perhaps, the highest statement in Scripture about Christ's fullness and authority.

Take one statement in this magnificent passage: "He is also head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18a).

Pause and meditate on the implications of this simple, but all-encompassing truth. As Christ is the Head of the church, it means ...

  • Everything flows from Christ in the church.
  • He is the "MIND" of the church and should be treated so.
  • No one in the church has the ability to lead, except under HIS leadership and authority.
  • The church has the grand opportunity of being led by a perfect MIND, if they will listen and cooperate
  • Man's ideas of the church are meaningless, unless they are coming from the Head.
  • If we are not rightly related to the Head and continually engaged with Him (through prayer and the Word), then we have no hope of the church heading the right way, making the right decisions, living properly.
  • This demands of church leaders (and members) that we constantly listen to the Head's leadership and direction.
  • This explains why many churches are dysfunctional and dying: they have—somewhere and somehow—become disconnected to the Head and are not following His leadership. This is the simple reality.
  • As the Head of the Body, Christ has everything to gain by leading well, by ordering those things that are going to bring health and life to His body. Why would He direct the body in ways that would destroy itself? Therefore, we must trust that His directions are trustworthy and good at all times, and we should instantly obey with glad submission.
  • Every member of the body, the church, is connected to Him, not just one. Therefore, all of us can hear God. And, the Head has graciously provided instructions with black and white ink on pages to make sure there are no misunderstandings. And, given us His Holy Spirit to "lead us into all truth."
  • There should be perfect unity in the church IF each member is connected to the same Head. This does not mean that we are all alike, but that each diverse part of the body—rightly connected to God—will play their part with other parts of the body in perfect harmony. (Tozer said, ““Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
  • One day we will be appalled at all the ways we have ignored His leadership.
  • If the Head is leading the body, and good occurs, then the members should not take credit for what has happened, but instead deflect all the glory to the part of the body which is singularly responsible.
  • ... and on and on and on. The implications for us are eternal!

One response comes to mind … 

Hallelujah for the Head! Praise God that He has so designed His body that is not mindless or leaderless, and at the head is One who is perfect in all ways and all directions and we will gladly submit to His leadership! 

And one prayer … 

“Dear Jesus, Head of my life and Head of Your church, please give us the wisdom to draw near to You, listening constantly to You and moving only at Your initiation. Protect us from the pride that makes us think we can move without You. Lead us in all the right paths for Your name’s sake. And, as You do, protect us from stealing glory from the One from which all things good come.”

 

Posted by Bill Elliff

FORGETTING THE REAL PROBLEM

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Politicians, social scientists, and every man on the street argue about what's wrong with the world. "It's the government," they say. "If we would just adopt this form of government (the one they agree with), everything would be right." There are as many ideas as there are people.

But we are wasting time. God has already clarified this, of course, as He always has upon any subject that matters.

THE EVIL

There is only one primary thing wrong with the world. Paul identifies it in Galatians, Chapter 5 as "the flesh." It's a term that means man in his humanity without God. Man on his own. This can be man in an expensive suit or man in a ghetto. It makes no difference. Humanity is humanity, shot through with sinful depravity ever since the fall. And here is the inevitable result to society.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Read that list slowly again. You will find the source of everything wrong in the world contained there. The only other factor conflicting this world is the force of darkness—Satan and his minions egging on man to be independent of God. He knows this will bring all the destruction needed.

THE GOOD

Where there is rightness and good in this world is equally from a single source, which Paul calls, "walking by the Spirit." He reminds us that if we walk by the Spirit we will not (simply cannot) walk by the flesh. You cannot walk in two directions at once—it's physically impossible. If you have been born of the Spirit (a true Christian) and then daily follow His leadership, it will produce amazing fruit. In reality, Divine fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

In fact, if you have a group of people who are fully following the Spirit, you do not even need the law, for the Spirit of God, flowing and leading through them, will naturally fulfill all the law.

Our unwillingness to embrace this truth is dangerous. It causes us to take our eyes off of the real problem and look for alternate solutions. It is why some preachers become political activists instead of biblical prophets, and the results of this transfer are sometimes (not always) unfortunate. If their agenda in the political arena is watered down, those around them lose the needed message of the simple, profound, world-changing gospel. This is not to say we should divorce ourselves from the political arena. But when we find ourselves there, we must maintain right thinking. The real problem with man is our divorce from God. This is why our pursuit of revival and spiritual awakening is so critical. It is a cry to bring this understanding back to the church and set her on mission to do the only task that matters and lasts.

So, the next time some pundit with a big title weighs in on the world condition, remind them that any twelve-year-old who knows Christ can answer the great world question: the reason the world is in a miserable condition is because we are not following Jesus. Our greatest quest should be to follow Him and lead people to Him. 

Simple as that.

 

Posted by Bill Elliff

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