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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Theology to think about & A call to for men to become spiritual leaders

Theology to Think About!
The church must not assume that just because they have success at producing well mannered and nice people, that their souls have been saved. A church full of mannerly, nice people, satisfied with their own good manners and niceness - not willing to request further of GOD for service in His aspirations - turned away from GOD to their own schemes, are just as needful of deliverance as any pagan. And these people will always prove to be even more problematic in finding salvation because they believe they have no need. While it is true that redemption brings about improvement in the individual, here and now, improvement is not the goal and ~certainly is not salvation. That would be "new wine" in old skins, and just a “patch” on an old garment. The will of GOD is and always has been " the total conformity to the image, of Jesus Christ" by every believer. (Romans 8: 29) The old man has to die, not just be improved upon. "...old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." (II Corinthians 5: 17) Have you been made new?

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 1 Corinthians. 13:11
This passage of scripture teaches that there needs to be a clear point in time that can be pointed to and understood as the "time of change". In the Jewish world, for a young man, there was a public ceremony marking the time that he became a man. It was understood that this ceremony, called a "bar mitzvah", was the marking of the time that a boy became adult, or "son of the Law". The Jews required candidates to learn and commit themselves to the Biblical duties of manhood before they were recognized as adults. Some changes were expected of him by everyone who knew him. The entire community of GOD'S people were expected to help him in this time of transition. During this time of change the young man became accountable to GOD himself for obeying the Commandments and keeping the Law. (You hear this called the "age of accountability" by church people today). It was during this time that he would need all the help he could get from the Elders and religious leaders. It was this time when he was the most vulnerable to the teachings of error. It is when we attempt to change, especially for the better, that the world and the evil one becomes aware of us trying to move from our earthly father's house to our Heavenly Father's house. This time of change, this time of heightened vulnerability, can be a time that we are over powered and crushed if we do not have mature, GODLY spiritual help in facing this change. That is, among other things, the work of the church.
Sadly, many today have never made the cross over because they do not get the help they need to make this transition. And because their fathers did not receive any help with their change either, even they have very little help to offer to them now. Men, until you get you and your family under the authority and ways of GOD there will be little help to be found in the secular world. They are suffering the same susceptibility to misunderstandings and misfortunes you are. They can't tell you how to get your wife and children to a place they have never been. Many of you are still locked in to your old ways of throwing furniture when you don't get your way, throwing away relationships when you have to work at them and having a childish temper tantrum when life happens contrary to your wants. You do it at home, at work and on the highways. Your wife, your children and the rest of us in the community need you to grow up and start being part of the solution and not continue as part of the problem. The reason you are still where you are, spiritually and emotionally, is because nobody was there to help you make the crossover to being an adult. So you are still wandering around aimlessly wasting your furniture, relationships and life. You need to experience an unmistakable, public moment when you know that you are changed. When others can expect to see a difference in you. A time when from here on out, you can expect to see a difference, for the better in yourself. You deserve it and so do the rest of us.
"Change is not cheap". Going from a child to an adult is a tough change. Change isn't easy for anyone and some never change because it means they will have to have a funeral. The child, the past, has to die. The Bible calls it the old man. "And that ye put on the new man, which after GOD is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:24. When you surrender to the Holy Spirit of GOD and allow Him to fill (control) your life, then He teaches you from scripture and helps you make the commitment to "change" or grow up. When a child speaks, understands or thinks as a child, it's with their "emotions" in charge. You know a "going with the feeling" kind of thing. Well, when you become an adult, you put away your "feelings" in favor of speaking, thinking and acting like what is moral, righteous and honest. A child does what's easy because it feels good, an adult does what's right because that's the difference between adults and children.
This is not speaking down to anyone but spiritually speaking, those of you who are not born-again believers, walking daily in the power of the Spirit of GOD, are still involved with childish things. Remember when you were seven years old and would scream at your mother that your little brother had twenty-six butter beans on his plate and you only had twenty-four. Well, you're still there spiritually and emotionally. Now, instead of butter beans it's tree stands, bass boats and big wheels on your truck. When you become a man, grow up to spiritual responsibility, the toys of your childhood are still fun, but they don't dominate and control your life. You can try to dodge change by pointing to a good position you hold with the company or a chain of very successful businesses in an effort to prove that you are all right. This doesn't make you an adult spiritually or emotionally, it makes you a business man.
When this spiritual change you need takes place, when you are born again, Ephesians chapter four gives you a list of things, that with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can expect to have change in your life:
Verse 26, says, "Don't go to bed mad, you can forgive, it's a choice you have now as an adult."
Verse 27, says, "You are not in this alone, you have help resisting the devil".
Verse 28, says. "You don't have to steal anymore, and you can make enough with your own hands to support yourself and the poor and needy."
Verse 29, says, "You will have a new language that will encourage your children and other people around you." Verse 30, says, You have GOD'S help in making GOD happy with your life until the day you leave this world to meet Him".
Verse 31 says, "You will be free from all that child cussing, wife slapping and stomach churning bitterness in your life."
Verse 32 says, "You are free to forgive, be tenderhearted and live in joy and peace. You don't have to prove to the world that you are a man. You can expect different things of yourself now. You know you are a man because you know that Christ Jesus made you a man. You know that He has paid your cost for crossing over and becoming a child of GOD, now spiritually an adult, with old things passed away, and all things become new. (II Corinthians 5: 17) . . Ed


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