(God’s Gag order)
“And these are the seeds being sown in the thorns; they are the ones who are hearing the Word, and the anxieties of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for OTHER THINGS coming in choke out the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” ~ Mark 4:18-19
In reading the Bible we need to allow it to provide its own definitions for the words it uses. In this case, we need to remember that Jesus IS the Word. That being true, this is some statement!
My thoughts, My actions, My decisions can actually place hands around the throat of my Lord and choke out His influence so that it has no effect in my life! I know that such verbal imagery is offensive, and it should be – but it is in fact what we do none the less.
Grace… What’s Grace?
Now believe it or not, it becomes important here to define grace. It has been my unfortunate experience, that most Christians do not understand what grace is – only how it comes.
This is typical of our current “carnal state” in the body of Christ. We are SO caught up in the HOWs of religion that we most often miss the WHO of relationship.
When I was young, one of the Southern Baptist Churches I attended was Pastored by a really great man. Mind you, I do not believe he was called to be a Pastor – but an Evangelist. He could lead more people to a genuine relationship with Jesus by accident than I could on purpose. I greatly admire him!
My mind today has been racing. Racing to figure out all my “how to”(-s).
- How do I start making enough money to replace my car?
- How do I reconcile the difference I have with those I love?
- How can I face the future when today alone seems so uncertain and overwhelming?
I know the typical “Christian” answer…”Just trust God brother…“. Yes, and I agree with that, but how?
How do I get from theory to fact?
How do I get from active worry and anxiety to genuine trust and rest.
Well, I know to look to Jesus because He is the author and the developer of my trust in Him. This is not just a generalized truth – it is also specific. He will “author” & “develop” trust in my heart in Him* concerning every area of my life, including the ones which troubled my mind in the early hours of this day.
“Come to Me, all you toiling and burdened ones, and *I* will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For it is good to bear My yoke, and My burden is light.” – Matt. 11:28-30 Weymouth
I do not enjoy writing about false doctrines, but I suspect that neither did Paul. Nevertheless, any serious reader of the New Testament cannot side-step the fact that Paul, Peter, John & James spent much of their letters addressing issues of false doctrines and the need for solid teachers, grounded in the Word teaching sound doctrine. So with that in mind…
I am addressing both Docetism and Gnosticism predominately because I refer to it in another study on I Jn. 1:9 and rather than turning THAT study into two studies, I decided to write this one and refer to in in my study on I Jn. 1:9. Also, I am addressing this because the basics of it are very prevalent in today’s world, both inside and outside of the church (the body of Christ).
Let’s begin by establishing what we mean by the word “Sovereign”. There is no generally accepted meaning to this word even though Webster seems to make it clear, religious people (both Christian and otherwise) have deliberated needlessly over this word for millennia. As for OUR purposes in this study we will establish the meaning as – to possess the exclusive right to exercise, within specific jurisdictions, the functions of a potentate and within such jurisdictions – to be answerable to no higher authority.
In the case of God, this is perhaps realized in no greater way than in His position as Judge. Consider how the scriptures represent God’s sovereign judicial jurisdiction over all the earth:
Genesis 18:25 (Amplified Bible)
Far be it from You to do such a thing–to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously?
1 Samuel 2:10 (Amplified Bible)
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them will He thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge [all peoples] to the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king (King) and exalt the power of His anointed (Anointed His Christ).