Jdgs. 21:25 π Mt. 7:22-23 π Mt. 24:12 π Mt. 25:21 π Jn. 4:23 π Jn. 4:23-24 π Jn. 10:10 π Jn. 14:6 π Rom. 2:6-11 π 1 Cor. 2:14 π 1 Cor. 13:6 π 2 Cor. 6:14 π Eph. 2:10 π 2 Pet. 1:5 π 1 Jn. 4:8
“In those days [of the judges] there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” ( Jdgs. 21:25 ) This is the quintessential description of what the New Testament calls lawlessness, a characteristic which Jesus said would abound in the days before His return ( Mt. 24:12 ) and which Paul said was entirely incompatible with righteousness (what is right and true and good in God’s eyes – 2 Cor. 6:14; top ) Thus, all of what ails mankind can be traced – not primarily to flawed methodologies or even to poverty or ignorance – but to a flawed and corrupted source. Men doing what is “right” and “good” and “true” in their own eyes - and not as all of life is seen in the eyes of God – is the source of all of man’s self-inflicted woes. After having rejected God as King, there simply is no possibility that man can do anything that is truly or, especially, eternally good.
Jesus said, “I have come so that [My sheep] may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” ( Jn. 10:10 ) He also said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers [of God] will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” ( Jn. 4:23-24; top ) Men have taken the words of Jesus that were supposed to bring the life of God to mankind and transformed them into a religion that gropes for a “God” that is most often re-created into the likeness of mere men after the vain imaginations of some Bible “scholar” or charismatic leader. Yet the truth remains that those who would truly desire to both seek and find God, those who truly desire life abundant and eternal, must and will worship (adore and obey) the Father in spirit and in truth.
No coin is ever minted without a “heads” side and a “tails” side. So too in the kingdom of God no person is ever given the fruit of the tree of life who is not in the process of being conformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus, a likeness that is and must be described in terms of life, love, righteousness, holiness and truth. Men who concoct a “Christian” religion according to what is right in their own eyes tend to do well on one side of the coin or the other but rarely both. That is, men who can read and compile historical or linguistic facts can readily latch onto creeds, doctrines (teachings) and various elements of “theology” – but these can be the meanest, most vindictive, vitriolic, acerbic, bitter, sarcastic, back stabbing power-mongers, slanderers and gossips in or out of the “church”! On the other hand, those who see this blatant hypocrisy for what it is, quite often, overreact with an oversimplified “all you need is love” philosophy and mindset.
God is Spirit and that Spirit is love. ( 1 Jn. 4:8 ) Yet love “does not rejoice in iniquity (sin, lawlessness, unrighteousness), but rejoices in the truth.” ( 1 Cor. 13:6 ) What is truth? Jesus said, “I am…the truth…” ( Jn. 14:6; top ) The inner core of a coin – where “heads” meets “tails” – cannot rightly be said to belong to either face but rightly both faces rest on the inner core. Christ Himself is that core. In the life of a true seeker of God (one who does not rest content until God is actually found and experienced) these two faces must be a solid amalgamation of both spirit and truth. It simply will not do to have one without the other.
Jesus said that “the Father is seeking such [as these] to worship Him.” ( Jn. 4:23 ) Men who have forgotten that they did not create the universe have deemed themselves entitled to write or re-write “the rulebook.” Rather than seek the heart of God to discover what He desires, men concoct religions right in their own eyes and according to their own preferences and strengths. Yet the truth remains that it is what God declares that will be the standard by which all men are judged. ( Rom. 2:6-11; top )
The one who has pursued and sought God through the spirit may perhaps face the most straight-forward course in order to press on to spiritual maturity. Peter wrote, “With all diligence add to your faith goodness, and to your goodness knowledge…” ( 2 Pet. 1:5 ) The process certainly does not stop there but the person who has practiced goodness because of his belief in God (however imperfectly defined that may have been in the past) has a better basis upon which to incorporate more accurate spiritual (and not merely intellectual) knowledge of the things of God. ( 1 Cor. 2:14; top ) The biggest struggle these are likely to face will be in transitioning from their independence (in truth, lawlessness, doing “their own thing” as they think best, that is, as is right in their own eyes) to which they are accustomed into the total Lordship of Christ over every aspect of their life.
On the other hand, the one who has much knowledge of the Scriptures but little experience in the way of the Spirit (and spirit!) must of necessity repent of having gained knowledge apart from obedience to the Spirit of God. Such a one must relinquish all of his knowledge back into the hands of God and wait for Him to purify out all contaminants of man-made or even demonic ideas that have been received and believed as truth. In the midst of this process, he must also go back to his first, simple faith and with all diligence, add to his faith goodness, true goodness, “the good deeds which God has prepared beforehand for him to walk in.” ( Eph. 2:10; top ) But because his knowledge is out of order (perhaps even having been out of order for years) and out of proportion (in comparison to “normal” healthy spiritual growth), it will always be easy for him to add to his faith yet more knowledge (apart from obedience to God’s good works for him) or to add “goodness” (in his own eyes) to his knowledge.
A true seeker and finder of God will be comprised of all three parts of the coin of the realm – the core and the two faces – and these are summed up in four words: be, do and know Christ. So long as we keep these three things in pretty much this order, the Spirit of Christ and God will bring Christ’s life to us and that life will overflow out of us and beneficially touch the lives of others around us. Any methodology or process that pushes us away from any of the elements of the coin is a work of the devil designed to deface or destroy the value of the “coin” that Christ and God created us to be. And indeed many who think they know what they are supposed to be in God’s “economy” will be surprised when they are rejected outright on the last day because they did not worship God in spirit and in truth but instead did only what was right in their own eyes. (lawlessness – Mt. 7:22-23; top )
There may be no more tragic ending to a life’s story than that they failed – by only a small measure or because they attempted only half the task – to enter into the joyful rewards and presence of God for all of eternity. “Almost” will be a word that will haunt many a soul in hell whereas “Well done, good and faithful servant” ( Mt. 25:21; top ) is reserved for those who have truly followed God in both spirit (goodness and love in and from the spiritual realms) and in truth (accurate and spiritual knowledge of God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ). Anything else is a mere counterfeit without value in the realm of the One True King, Christ Jesus.
Let he who has ears hear.
- Lawlessness That Abounds Bible Bullet: Matthew 24:12 - Neil Girrard The simple mistranslation of one Greek word may be responsible for much misunderstanding of our responsibilities before God.
- God In Our Own Likeness - Neil Girrard Re-inventing God has devastating consequences upon our lives, now and in eternity.
- The Non-Religious Bible Bullet: James 1:27 - Neil Girrard In the final analysis there are two kinds of people: religious and non-religious - however, this distinction is not as all-encompassing as it might first appear.
- Alone - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) Being alone has more to do with the Christian life than most suppose.
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