asceticism

Heart Service #15

Saturday, May 10, 2014

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the key to being delivered from and guarded against today’s apostate Christendom.

Christendom’s various false –isms—asceticism, ritualism, denominationalism, legalism, formalism, et cetera—are religion’s methods of reforming outward behavior (ceremonies, rites, and rituals are sin-maintenance activities). Yet, there is no change in nature, in the heart (cf. Matthew 23:25-28).

We trusted the Gospel of Grace, “we obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered [us].” Thankfully, in God’s mind, today’s Scripture says we were the servants of sin”—past tense. God gave us a new nature: He took us out of Adam and He placed us into Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Thus, He does not see us in Christ as sinners; God sees us in Christ as saints, set apart unto His purpose and will (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; et al.). Father God does not consider us servants of sin, so does it make sense for us Christians to now serve sin? The answer is unequivocally, “NO!” (The renewed mind of Romans 12:1,2. It is not “reasonable” [logical] to serve sin; it is only “reasonable” to let our identity in Jesus Christ impact our daily living, for He alone deserves praise!)

Literally everything Father God could ever give us—including a new identity/nature—He already gave it all to us, in Jesus Christ! “Ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:10; cf. Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3). Dear saint, may you never, ever, EVER let the various –isms in religion deceive you and rob you of your spiritual wealth in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:4,8,18).

Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “That Christ may dwell in [their] hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17). May we read, study, and believe Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, to the end the indwelling Holy Spirit works mightily in the hearts of us who believe those Scriptures, that the very life of Jesus Christ becomes more evident in ours!

So, dear saint, will you “obey from the heart [this] form of doctrine which was delivered you?”

FINIS! 🙂

Bible Study 101 #12

Thursday, January 16, 2014

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

While we study all of the Bible, Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, have direct application to us as people in the Dispensation of the Grace of God.

Want to know how to be saved from your sins and eternal hellfire? Read Romans chapters 1-5. Want to know how to have victory over daily sins? Read Romans chapters 6-8. Want to know what happened to the nation Israel and what will happen to her in the future? Read Romans chapters 9-11. Want to see the grace life applied in specific situations? Read Romans chapters 12-16.

Wondering what a Christian congregation looks like if it ignores the grace doctrines in Romans and embraces philosophy (humanism)? Read 1 Corinthians. Want to see Paul defend his apostleship? Read 2 Corinthians.

What does a Christian congregation look like if it ignores the grace doctrines in Romans and embraces Mosaic Law-keeping (legalism)? Read Galatians. Curious to know what Jesus Christ will do with us Christians in the ages to come? Read Ephesians. Want to see how Christians should work together for the Gospel’s sake? Read Philippians. What does a Christian congregation look like if it ignores the grace doctrines in Romans and embraces religious “self-denial” (asceticism)? Read Colossians.

Wondering what a Christian congregation looks like if it applies by faith the doctrine of Romans, thereby becoming a model assembly of mature grace living? Read 1 Thessalonians. What is our relationship to Israel’s prophetic program? Read 2 Thessalonians.

Want to address and correct issues involving the local church—its organization and administration and our participation in its ministry? Read 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Desire to see Christian brotherly love displayed? Read Philemon.

Regarding life issues, these 13 epistles of Paul should be consulted first, and if they are silent about a matter, then seek advice from other Bible books. Dear friends, God’s will for us is not complicated like religion makes it….