The Bible does not say,
“Don’t walk in the flesh and you will
fulfill the desires of the Spirit.”
Rather it says,
“Walk in the Spirit and you
won’t fulfill the desires of the
The Bible does not say,
“Don’t walk in the flesh and you will
fulfill the desires of the Spirit.”
Rather it says,
“Walk in the Spirit and you
won’t fulfill the desires of the
ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have
received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father.”
In this verse of scripture a contrast is being made between the spirit that dominated God’s people under the Law of Moses and the spirit that dominates His people in New Testament Churches. We do not have the spirit of fear which caused them to cry out “Lord, God,” but we have the spirit of adoption which causes us to cry “our Father.”
The key word for consideration here is “adoption.” In the modern day usage of the term it is used to convey the idea of receiving one outside the family bloodline and genetic pool, and making that person to become one of the family through legal action. This is not what is meant by the Bible term, although there are those who try desperately to make it so.
In the Bible there are degrees of son-ship designated by specific terms. “Teknon” is a Greek term translated in the Bible as a born child. “Pais” or “Padion” is the Greek work translated a small son, one under tutorship. “Huios” is the Greek term for a fully mature son who is able to act appropriately in the stead of, and in the name of, his father. It is this latter term, “Huios” that is consistently used of seasoned disciples in the New Testament Church. This is what every child of God in this age can and should become. This is what is meant in Romans 8:15 by the term “adoption.” In the original language this is a composite of two other terms. It is “huiothesia” a combination of “huios” mature son, and “thesia” to set or place; hence, the forceful meaning of the word is “to set in the position of mature sons.”
So, Paul encouraged the Romans and all of us with this enlightenment. We do not have the same position with God in the New Testament Church as the Israelites had under the Law. They had a continuous spirit of fear, but we have a continuous spirit and understanding of being mature sons who lovingly regard God as “our Father,” and do his bidding willingly and with gladness of heart.
Oh, what a joy it is to live in this position. God has given His Son for us. His Son has given His life for us. The Holy Spirit has empowered us and lives with us to continuously teach and guide us into the ways of all truth. We serve Him not out of a fear of being stoned if we do not, but because we love Him and are truly thankful for what He has done for us.
It is appropriate then that we should make the most of our prized position as mature sons. The more we know the more we can believe. The more we believe, the greater our faith. The greater our faith, the greater our hope. And in the end, the greater will be our blessed opportunity to rule and to reign with Him in the age that is about to happen. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be call the sons of God.
is a spirit of
the Baptist made a most interesting statement characterizing the
Jewish Messiah Whom he announced. He said, “… I indeed baptize
you with water; but one mightier than I cometh,the latchet of whose
shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy
Ghost and with fire:” Luke 3:16, Matt. 3:11.
Most all agree that the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, occurred on the day called Pentecost as recorded in Acts Chapter Two. But what about the baptism of fire that John prophesied Jesus would administer? There are two common misunderstandings of this prophecy and its fulfillment. One is that the conjunction “Kai” in the Koine Greek text should be translated “Even.” The other is that this was accomplished by the cloven tongues of fire that sat upon the disciples on that historic and monumental occasion. Let it be said that if the conjunction should have been translated “even” instead of “and” surely one of the many translations of the Bible would employ it that way. None do! Additionally, the cloven tongues that sat upon the disciples on Pentecost do not represent a baptism which is in Greek “baptizo” to plunge or immerse. So both the ideas are rejected as simple misunderstandings of what John the Baptist was actually saying.
Closer examination of what John said, and in correlation with other scriptures indicate a baptism of judgment. Dr. A. T. Robertson in his work WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT sees and expresses this view as well. The completed work of Christ Jesus, including both His cross work and His Holy Word establishes the criteria by which men shall meet Him in judgment. For this reason the church of His establishment is empowered with both knowledge and dynamic ability to grow up in Him, and to exercise His holy will in each generation. Such as are submissive to Him are undergoing, here and now, that baptism spoken of as fire, a consistent type of judgment. Consequently, the apostle Peter plainly expresses this truth in I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
The judgment through which modern day, submissive disciples pass is that of being shaped by His Word (transformed rather than conformed to the world). Sometimes this is indeed quite fiery, but it allows the person so exercised to correct views, lifestyle, and beliefs to be in accord with God’s Word. His judgment then producing in that person highly rewardable works at His coming. Thus does the extended water baptism of John through a New Testament Church afford one the extended baptism of fire that refines him for God’s service both now, and in the millennial reign to come.
Parson to Person
There are some things that are easy to believe, but difficult to prove. In fact, most things in the spirit world are that way to the carnal mind. It is the intent of this short article to draw attention to the folly of New Testament church existence by evolution. Please think with me for a moment.
Most Baptists readily agree that a New Testament church cannot be divorced from its membership. Therefore, the qualifications of each church member become all important to the spiritual status of the local body to which he belongs. As the members go, so goes the church for better or worse.
It is equally agreed among non-Protestant Baptist churches that the new birth experience and deep water baptism by the authority of the church is essential, constituting the prerequisites to church membership. By these things, and the fulfillment of the other parts of the Great Commission churches are kept separate from the world, from false religion, and in an acceptable state to enjoy the blessings of the Almighty in word, and in deed.
With all this being said, it is recognized that there are a lot of “Speckled Bird” churches in Baptist ranks today. Some are “planted” by men who care little for the fundamentals of the faith once delivered to the saints. Some are socio-religious gatherings that “evolve” into a “church.” This method was used by the Wesley brothers, but their production was not a New Testament church.
Then there are those who pick no bones about their disdain for the Baptist heritage. They refuse to use the Baptist name, and think to create a church by some sort of deception, deception I say because they still want to claim scriptural Baptist status. Humm. does that not sound much like so many who call themselves “non-denominational” or “Usta-Wazer Baptists? That former title is an oxymoron simply because non-denomination is a denomination with reference to type or kind.
So, the questions remains. Might a group of people, two or three or more, achieve a non-profit charter to claim tax exemption engage in religious activity, and thereby grow into a bona fide New Testament church regardless of their prerequisites? More precisely stated, may a group of religious minded people evolve into a New Testament church?
When the Word is followed, only those who are endowed with the new birth, and scriptural, deep water baptism administered by a bona fide church of the Lord, may constitute a church that is recognized and blessed of heaven. Such is the perpetuation of the baptism of John (heaven-sent baptism). There may be many ceremonial washings and dips, but there is only one baptism of John. So, a church by evolution? That is biblically unknown, and in the end worthless.
MARCH 15 – An Attitude of Worship
Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.
2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God. We have a righteous and Holy God that wants to be worshiped. The question that comes to mind is, do we worship Him in the manner we want or in the manner that God wants? What type of worship does God want? We have the Old Testament as an example unless we would want to disregard it. In that case, just buy a New Testament and ignore the Old Testament. Keep thy foot, is an interesting statement as it relates to the house of God. Moses at the burning bush was called upon to take off his shoes because he was walking on Holy Ground. Joshua was commanded to “Loose thy shoe from off they foot.” The reason was given that the ground he walked on was Holy Ground.
This tells us there is a prescribed way of worship. Today we have an attitude that if we gather and do our “thing” that God has to accept what we want to call worship. The tabernacle and temple worship was very strictly regulated in the way and method of approaching God. The New Testament gives us hints of what not to do in worship. The New Testament calls for us to “Let all things be done unto edifying.” Notice that this is Holy Ground when we come into the presence of God. There are many things that are done today that is called worship that is not what God calls for.
Be ready to hear. This has always been a problem in our day and age. Notice, “the sacrifice of fools.” We would say that a particular denomination is giving the sacrifice of fools because they believe in “good works” for salvation. We examine our method, our purpose and our heart in worship. Are we there to offer what we want to offer or are we there to offer unto God what He wants offered? Are we there to ease our own mind about being holy before God and leave saying to ourselves, there, I have done what was required and then live like the world until the next time we decide to worship?
For they consider not that they do evil. This is devastating to some methods of worship. This calls an attempt to worship God that is contrary to what He wants is called evil. This puts some well-meaning people in a position that they would not imagine being in.
The reverence that God wants is often confused with emotionalism. There should be a reverence as demonstrated by Israel when they would not even approach the foot of the mountain because of a Holy God. There should be that thought of sanctifying ourselves before we come into the presence of God. May we worship God in spirit and in truth.
How is your worship? Should we not consider what God wants?
William Andrew Dillard
TERMS MUST DISCRIMINATE
Surely the title of this article is elementary. If terms did not precisely identify mental ideas and/or discriminately identify people, places, things, then language would be meaningless, and civilization could not advance from what would surely be a pool of constant confusion. Even in an advanced society, the inadequacy of language, and/or the pollution of terminology continually hinders many efforts, giving rise to lawsuits in attempts to pinpoint precise ideas that weakened language sets forth.
It is of little surprise then that religious heresy, and many misunderstandings arise from failures to use terms of language more discriminately. Illustrating this point one need only to ask any number of people to define major doctrinal terms of the Bible such as salvation, baptism, church, etc. The degree of misunderstanding is staggering. Another such common usage error is the term “soul.” It is used indiscriminately in pulpit and pew, most often to convey the idea of the spirit of man. However, the trinity of man is soul (psyche, mind life), body, and spirit. I Thess. 5:23. Precise terms for each of these are used in the scriptures. Nowhere does the Bible indicate that the soul is the spirit of man. The soul is conscious life. Conscious life exists as a combination of the trinity of man, but it also exists without the body.
But wherein lies any danger in failure to use these terms discriminately? Well, to use “soul” to mean “spirit” fosters powerful, erroneous ideas. For instance, both the Bible and God’s people promote evangelism with the goal being the initial bringing of men to Christ, or the new birth. But the clear teaching of the scripture is that being born from above is an event affecting the spirit of man for both time and eternity. Upon that foundation one may embark on a lifetime of winning his own soul by which life is disciplined into conformity to Bible doctrine. But when soul is substituted for spirit, the idea is inferred that the soul is complete in its salvation at the point of the new birth. Is it any wonder then that non-bible reading Christians easily sleep in fundamental error fostered by indiscriminate terminology? Moreover, that will cost them dearly, and forever at the judgment seat of Christ.
It must be understood that salvation for mankind is threefold. The spirit of man is saved and sealed in repentance of sin, and placement of trust in Christ Jesus as one’s personal Savior. The mind-life (consciousness) is being saved progressively as one disciplines him/herself in conformity to God’s Word. Physical salvation will not come until the resurrection or rapture. Until then, it behooves all men to be discriminatory in the use of terminology lest destructive ideas find root and blossom into a successful undermining of one’s faith, or worse, into full blown heresy, affecting great numbers of people.
Some of David’s actions were of the flesh and not at all godly. However, God’s Spirit witnessed to his spirit that he was a child of God and heir to special privileges. When David was convicted of his sin he poured out his heart to his Creator, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: . . . Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (Psalm 51:3, 4).
One of my favorite teachers, Brother Ray Brooks, often quoted an old chimney corner proverb. “It’s not how a man falls that qualifies him as a man. It is how he gets up that defines his character.” David was constantly at war with Israel’s enemies, and he consulted with God so much that his warriors considered David’s prayer and clout with God as part of the army’s battle strategy.
David did not measure God’s love for him by answered prayers or by God’s giving an abundance of good things. “Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:7, 8).
Leave it in God’s hands; sleep in peace and wake up thanking Him for another day to live for Him, not knowing what is in store, whether good or bad. David would be the first to admit that living by faith is hard on the flesh. But, it is the only life that brings gladness to the soul. In God’s eyes everything is right on track. Hold on tight!
IN OTHER WORDs
God is on His throne and all is right with the world.
A timely snowstorm, a changed life
On the first Sunday in 1850 at the age of fifteen Charles Spurgeon converted to Christ. On January 6, 1850 a snow storm made him seek shelter in a Primitive Methodist chapel in Colchester. The scheduled speaker could not keep his appointment, and one of the men attempted to preach. His text was Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” After exhausting his thoughts on the passage, he looked straight at the young Spurgeon and said: “Young man, you look very miserable! You always will be miserable-miserable in life and miserable in death, if you don’t obey my text: but if you obey now, this moment you will be saved. Young man, look to Jesus! Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but to look and live”
Young Spurgeon heard, not the voice of the inept preacher, but the voice of the Spirit of God and was gloriously saved. Realizing his need to be baptized “He walked from Hew Market to Isleham, seven miles, on May 3rd, 1850, where Rev. Mr. Cantlow buried him with Christ in Baptism.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 180-181
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