REAL PREACHING

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GREETINGS!

I just stumbled on to a blog entitled “…the Centrality & Supremacy of Christ” by a precious brother David D. Flowers who is a freelance writer &David D. Flowers blogger.  David’s heart beats with the same passion to let others know of this wonderful Christian life which is nothing more (or less) than “CHRIST IN YOU!”

PLEASE, you MUST check out the whole entry.  Below is merely an small excerpt from an entry on January 5, 2009 entitled The Problem with Modern-Day Preaching :

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“How far Satan will go even in bringing about a kind of devotion to Christ, and promote a mystical, physical “Christianity” with elements of moral elevation, and yet hide within that very thing something which is of himself and, being of himself, savors of that which was in him from that time when he himself was hurled out of heaven, that thing which would take from the Lord Jesus the absoluteness of His place in the Godhead.”T. Austin Sparks, The Centrality and Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ, p.38

“If you listen closely, much of modern-day preaching is an attempt to fill the void in people’s soul by taking the back door approach to living victoriously. In the end, it undermines the absolute centrality and supremacy of Christ. Instead of preaching the depths and riches of Christ, his principles are taught in its place (not entirely of course, just those principles that fit our accepted cultural and theological ideas). To add to that… mix some new age self-help heresy in there and you completely lose anything that comes close to resembling Christ.

Christ has made a way for us to come to him directly. We should not concern ourselves with the effect (his living), until we begin with the cause (his life). Beginning with Christ will in the end give us those things that we see in his principles. We must concern ourselves with the being, instead of the doing. The doing will come naturally… after we have locked on to his Person and understand that knowing Christ in spirit and in truth is our only concern.”

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This IS the Christian Life!

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I have recently had the joy and privilege of listening to sermons from precious saints of “old” and wow has it been rich.  I have been soooo blessed listening to Major Ian Thomas, Watchman Nee and A.W. Tozer, and I’ve been reminded of wonderful truths that have transformed my life.

The consistent message you will hear from each of these saints is this: Jesus IS the Christian life.  What really encouraged me is how they will often say something and emphasize that “this IS the normal Christian life.”  So, for the last week my heart has been so richly blessed and encouraged as I was reminded of this liberating message of grace.

This is truly my life’s message; to let the world know I serve a risen (and therefore) LIVING Savior!  We don’t worship a dead religious leader on the cross. NO!!! He has risen indeed in order to give us HIS life!

We often talk about being saved to go to heaven, etc.  But as Major Ian Thomas has often said, “This is NOT salvation!  Salvation is perfect Divinity being clothed in a redeemed sinner’s humanity.”  Chew on that for a while.  We are not saved in order to get out of hell and in to heaven…no!  We are saved so that Jesus might “get out of” heaven and IN TO US!

As Jesus lived on this earth so do we live here on earth.  In Philippians chapter 2 we are reminded that Jesus chose to set aside His privileges as God to take on the form of a man…He became a man.  Our Divine Father clothed Himself in Jesus’ perfect humanity.  Think about that.  “God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world…”  The gospels often refer to God’s work IN and THROUGH Jesus.

So, do you see it?  This is EXACTLY what Jesus desires to do with us..wow!  Our Father wants to be clothed with our imperfect humanity.  If you read the gospels, you will be reminded that Jesus never did or said anything except what His Father told him to say or do.  He also said that “if you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.”  My dear friend if you’ve been born again, this is EXACTLY how we are to live; in absolute dependence on Jesus “who is our life”.  When we do, the world will see Jesus when they see us!

This is truly the cry of my heart; to just let God be God (I heard He’s up for the job J) in my life and let JESUS live the Christian life through me, because He is the only one who did live it and can live it through me!  Believe me, I’ve “tried” and all I do is make a mess of things when I live by my efforts.  The bible reminds us that apart from Him “I can do NOTHING!”

My dear friend, is that your desire?  Is that the cry of your heart?  If so, then let us stop trying….trying…trying, and let us die to ourselves and OUR effort and simply start trusting Him to do what only HE CAN do; to live out HIS life!

What an exciting life this Christian life is….this truly is THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE!!! Blessings!

Check out my entry tomorrow for a wonderful illustration of “righteous” living…real cool stuff!

 

 

 

Passion for the Purity of the Gospel

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small-butterfly-flapping2    If something is pure, what does that mean?  We have purebred horses, purebred dogs, pure water, and so forth.  Even people are referred to as being “pure” or their ancestry is 100% Norwegian or Italian, etc.

    www.Encarta.msn.com gives us the following 3 definitions:

   1. not mixed: not mixed with any other substance

    2. free from contamination: clean and free from impurities

    3. complete: sheer or complete

    So, let’s say I had a purebred Arabian horse & bred it with another Arabian.  After the birth I found out that the other horse was actually ½ Appaloosa. Now, although the foal may look like an Arabian it is now considered an AraAppaloosa.  It CAN NOT now be considered an Arabian can it? No! Why? The bloodline have been mixed.  And how would you feel as a breeder? You’d probably feel cheated, be very, very upset and you’d probably want to do something about it.

    Well, let’s say I had 20 gallons of pure mountain spring water.  How many drops of grape juice would it take for it to be “unpure”? How many drops of a squeezed lemon would it take? Any tiny amount would cause it not to be purely mountain spring water….it was altered!

    Better yet, how many drops of arsenic would you allow me to put into the 20 gallons of water before drinking it? Exactly… none!!! Why, just a little would kill you.

    This is exactly Paul’s attitude in Galatians. The gospel is the gospel is the gospel! And here is the simplistic gospel: (1) Man has sinned & is therefore dead to the life of God (2) the FINALITY of the cross – He reconciled us while we were His enemies by taking our sins AWAY (3) the REALITY of the resurrection – He rose again to give us HIS life and(4) When saved we are given a NEW identity!

    So, as we learned, the good news is that salvation is being saved from the wages of sin which is death.  We have been made spiritually alive!  This is the simple gospel.

    So, like the horse and like the water any deviance from this simplistic message, ie any amount of the arsenic of legalism would make it no longer the pure gospel, but rather a whole different message. 

    We MUST exercise spiritual discernment & be vigilant to preserve the purity of the gospel.