August 16, 2013

Ways To Please God III: Spiritual Networking & Connectivity

Honor God in Body and Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~ “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

God created us - mind, body and soul. God died for us literally to save us spiritually and eternally. God made us part of His body by redeeming us and it is He that dwells in our bodies as it is where He has chosen to reside among all of His Creation. We need to recognize how great and distinction this is- to have the sovereign God of all eternity choose to pick us from before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1). There are a few distinctions that need to be pointed out in the syntax and grammar here. The word “you” and “your” are plural. Paul is addressing believers or an entire congregation while simultaneously making each individual believer understand the God resides not only within each individual but also as a body. It behooves us to understand the entire body can be negatively affected by the wrong-doing of one rogue agent in the body.

The bottom-line is that our bodies regardless have been given to bring glory to God, not shame. It is why we are exhorted not to bind them to a prostitute. God is present at the site of all our sins as He is within us wherever we go. That would include if we go into a whorehouse or brothel. In the entire context of this passage we see an imperative to not indulge in sexual immorality. Sexual immorality not only compromises the body of the individual it also affects the well-being of a congregation because it puts the entire congregation in a poor light in front of the world. What we do as Christians as part of a Christian body of people reflects on everyone else in that body.

We must realize there are eternal consequences for unrepentant sexual immorality. Those that pursue these sins cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (therefore be in the presence of holy God). The two are incompatible. In the end it is the saving grace of God that pulls the sinner from these sins. In pulling them from those sins He makes a new creation that is not like the old. One must then ask a question. If I have not repented and not changed and am not a new creation…then what am I? I certainly cannot be a Christian then, can I? If we pursue our sins and enjoy them this cannot be of God…it is of us. If the sin is of us then we are not fully His, are we?

Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 5:18 ~ Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said that if we allowed God’s word to rule in our homes that if
An angel(s) actually visited us in our homes, once there they would not be out of their element. When God’s word rules in our life, His Spirit rules and strives in us. The problem is that in many homes, even those of professing Christians, it is not God or His word that rules in us…it is the world that rules in us. Instead of angels in our homes it seems we are visited by demons and the consequences are horrid. We too frequently see divorce, broken homes, sexual immorality, abuse physical and psychological rule homes. These are not homes ruled over by the Spirit of God. Even homes that look good from the outside are often homes that are dysfunctional and disconnected on the inside. The members of the family may not be literally divorced from one another but emotionally and psychologically they couldn’t be farther apart.

The answer is to allow the Word of God to rule in all our lives and to have unity in Christ Jesus. We need to not inhibit the Holy Spirit from doing His work in our lives.

Ephesians 4:4 ~ “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling…

Romans 8:5 ~ “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:12-14 ~ “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

1 Corinthians 3:16 ~ “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?

…and just like we have seen above in Honoring God in Body and Spirit, the correlation of the individual making up the plurality and communal aspect of the Body of Christ is a critical symbiotic relationship too. If we do not have the Spirit and Word of God reign in us we then have broken or dysfunctional families within the church. We then begin to see the breakdown of the family units that form the bedrock of the Church. These building blocks of family need to be laid firmly against the Cornerstone Jesus Christ to have the rock-solid basis to remain spiritually strong. It follows that as the churches erode…so does society…and this is exactly what we have seen occur over the last century. Inductive reasoning then tells us that if we remove God from society we go horribly astray rapidly. People stand in the streets wondering why things have gotten so bad. Since many will not believe in the spiritual aspects to the downfall of the society they will choose the next obvious place to blame: other people. The Republicans, the Democrats, the youth, the aged, etc. All the meanwhile, the answer to the problem lies within. Or should I say that the answer to the problem does NOT lie within as there is no Spirit of God in them? When God is on the “outs” in our lives and families we as individuals and community are being decimated. Subsequently or societies are being effectively being destroyed. 

We are called to love God and each other as we love ourselves. There is a clear reason for this-we are a communal being both with God and other humans. This is the basis for the Kingdom of God which eventually will be spiritual and physical at least in terms of a spirit body. If we do not then it shows just how little we love or care for others and our God. This is the root of separation, alienation, apathy and ambivalence. The best way to reflect the Kingdom and therefore God's will is to show a true loving relationship to other humanity. We must never forget that if the Kingdom is anything, it is relational. That relation starts with God and all other things fall out from that in our human relations. Look at it as spiritual networking. A lack of this love manifests itself in a failure to evangelize, preach the Gospel, tell truth of Scripture (even when it stings) and not obeying the commands and statutes of Scripture. Commands that at times...are commonsense.

So be filled with the Holy Spirit. You are not being asked. This is an imperative or command. God expects obedience here. Otherwise, expect the decimation of the world around in judgment that befalls those that disobey en masse. What are those judgments?

Deuteronomy 28:18 ~ The  fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. [We have generation after generation being cured with debt they cannot absolve themselves of]

Deuteronomy 28:20 ~ The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.

 Deuteronomy 28:25 ~ The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. [Even in military superiority we will be undermined]

Deuteronomy 28:27 ~ The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. [Afflicted with incurable diseases]

Deuteronomy 28:28 ~ The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. [In other words, people will be lost in their sin because people have abandoned the truth of God]

Deuteronomy 28:29 ~ At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. [In other words, people will be lost in their sin because people have abandoned the truth of God]

Deuteronomy 28:30 ~ You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. [Astronomically high foreclosure rates and homelessness]

Deuteronomy 28:32-33 ~ Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. [Our debt to foreign nations like China has indebted our children’s generation to another nation like debt/wage slaves. It is a form of financial exile]

Deuteronomy 28:41 ~ You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. [As above our children are in debt to East Asian countries]
Deuteronomy 28: 43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. [We see the reproduction rate of the west decrease as we see the adherents of Islam and the like dramatically increase. By mere offspring alone we will be overtaken by foreign Gods sooner than later. Our abortions and failing families will exacerbate this issue.]

Deuteronomy 28: 44 ~ They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail. [This one should be self-explanatory]

And so the list goes on in Deuteronomy for thirty or forty more verse. The parallels to modern America should rattle people but apparently it doesn’t. Why? I believe it is because the Spirit of God is not filling nor dwelling in fewer and fewer Americans.

I suggest that we are not pleasing God in this country and it can only bring wrath and judgment on the unrepentant (and even some of us). We are not only an embarrassment to the name of our predecessors, we will also be an embarrassment to our descendants. As such we will become slaves to foreign powers.

Deuteronomy 28:46-49 ~ They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand…

Yeah…we’re not pleasing God. I think it’s obvious.

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