August 27, 2019

Soul Forged: The Lord As A Blacksmith

By: maxarkes

Sometimes it can feel as if you have been in the forge under intense heat and repeated blows from The Blacksmith's hammer for a long time. The metal is just beginning to cool and the impact of the hammer has folded the steel over on itself. It is a new creation made from the material of the old. The story of all new creations in Christ. The Lord is a blacksmith. He keeps a refining fire stoked and a keen eye on His creation as He shapes them by striking while they are white hot. The creation does not give easily and it is only under the heat and pressure that His prized possessions begin to take shape. It is as if His possessions have wills of their own always trying to fight the reshaping. He is a blacksmith and He keeps forging on. As people are always coming to Him requiring his sacrifice and service of salvation and sanctification. A Blacksmith that is also your Father, your Friend, and your Neighbor.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Sparks like stars fly upward from His hammer as He shapes with another annealing blow of the divine. There will be no swarf or waste product. The Smith will reuse all of the material. There is no waste in this Smith's world he uses everything, even the stuff others would've discarded as bad or useless. In The Smith's forge even the waste goes to good use. The only requirement for this Smith is that the new creation be pure...holy.

“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years." ~Malachi 3:1-4

The new creation has been put through the flame. It was a heat that most wince away from when the forge door is opened or when the bellows are pumped to superheat the flame.Once the object to be worked has been heated it becomes malleable or softened so that it can be wrought. When cold and detached these creations are rigged and unbending. Once the Smith's creation has been put through the flame and becomes compliant enough it can be drawn out and spread over a wider area. It can be fashioned into a point or given a utilitarian edge like a wedge or chisel. The Smith can actually us His Smith's chisel and peen hammer to fashion another chisel to be used to create yet another chisel (and so on). The superheated creation can be bent to places or angles it didn't know it could bend. Punching can create indentations, bends, angles, holes or keys where there were none before giving The Smith's new creation a place to be filled or a place that will match up and mate with another of the Smith's creations. Alone these fitted pieces can do work but nothing as efficient as they can when used in unity. The synergy they create as a functioning system in a mutual dependency vastly outweighs their individual usages. The positive effect they have on the world when they work together vastly outweighs the impact one of them have on an individual basis.

A unification process of individual pieces can also be done in the form of welding also to create a rigged and permanent bond. In The Smith's forge the pieces to be welded are heated to what is generally referred to as "welding heat". The Smith judges the correct temperature by sight: The metal will glow internally an intensely. At this temperature the steel is near molten and impurities are burned off at an accelerated rate.

"Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; remove wicked officials from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness." ~ Proverbs 25:4-5

Any foreign material or impurities that form in this fusion, such as the sin or unrighteousness that can weaken the unity of parts and potentially cause it to fail are removed. Thus interactions must be kept pure. The Smith will also carefully shape mating faces so that as they are brought together, unwanted elements are squeezed out as the creations are joined together.

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed..." ~2 Corinthians 4:8-9

The Smith cleans the parts to be joined with a course objects that abrades them and scrapes them clean and makes them pure, He then will put them in the fire to heat again. With a mixture of pounding, drawing and upsetting through a hammering process the faces will be shaped so that when finally brought together the center of the two will connect first and the connection spread outward under the hammer blows, pushing out impurities/sin.

The joining that was begun with the taps and eventually blows from The Smith's hammer. Often the joint is weak and incomplete, so The Smith will again heat the joint to temperature and work the weld with light blows to "set" the weld and finally to dress it into its final shape. It will be a glorious thing. 

There are no guarantees this will be the last forging. If the new creation breaks or is compromised, this process will need to be repeated to repair or remove imperfections

The new creation has taken shape or has been reformed. Often times it looks the same as the old but the inside is different in ways that will become evident on the surface later. A new internal strength. A new compassion for mankind. A need to "be with" others to help them, not just "go to" them once in a while. An understanding for others that will need to go through the same heat and forging process. Heated, hit with repeated shaping blows - heated again - hit with more shaping blows...

August 26, 2019

hamartia / ἁμαρτία

hamartia/ἁμαρτία literally means to miss the mark or fail. Miss the mark as an arrow missing a target. Failure to hit an intended target. It is the word used in the Bible most often for sin. Missing the mark of what? Holiness. Holiness that can only be found in God. That’s why the word repentance in Greek is metanoia/μετάνοια. Metanoia literally means to turn or change one’s mind.

Specifically, to turn one’s mind therefore changing one’s action. Where the mind leads the body follows. Turn in a way so that one is facing where they should be going mentally/physically. In the context of sin, it is to turn away from sin and back to holiness. Thereby, reversing the turn or correcting the action that would cause one to miss the bullseye. In Classical Greek it meant changing one's mind about something thereby changing one’s behavior. Here we see the intrinsic nature of the need of a believer’s beliefs correlating directly to actions. It starts with a heart/mind change that leads to literal action. That is why James states that faith without works/actions is a dead faith (James 2:17). 

In Greek myth Metanoia was depicted as a shadowy god, cloaked and sorrowful, who accompanied Kairos, the god of Opportunity (at an exact moment). Metanoia sowed regret. The regret of the lost moment inspired repentance for the "missed moment". A form of temporal melancholy. A missed moment that likely occurred while one’s back is turned while pursuing their sin. One cannot be double-minded. You are either pursuing things in error for the wrong reasons or you are pursuing the correct things for the right reasons. 

Wherever metanoia is used it is used to express a fundamental change in thinking that leads to a fundamental change in behavior and/or way of living". In the time of Jesus, "repentance" meant "a fundamental change in thinking/living." In Christian thinking this change is a necessary component in accomplishing God's plan for salvation and communion. For everyone that live in unity as a community will be joined in the commonality of having all turned to the same exact target. All minds and action in the same direction. Christ. 

#sin #repent #change #archery#arrow

August 24, 2019

pneuma / πνεῦμα

pneuma /πνεῦμα or pneu/πνέω neither male nor female but rather it is considered genderless or neuter. It means wind; breeze; breath; spirit, Spirit. The Hebrew counterpart (rûach) has the same range of meaning as Pneuma. In Genesis it is the breath of life breathed into all beings from God. It is also used to refer to the Spirit of God. In these instances, it is often preceded by Holy Ἁγίος. Never once is pneuma used in the Bible as to refer to an impersonal ‘force’. It is an entity with persona. It is also the vital principal by which the body is animated.

Reference: Genesis 2:7 (Septuagint) Matthew 1:18, 3:16, 4:1
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