LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thoughts on the New Covenant

In my own studies over the years it became apparent to me that the work of God the Holy Spirit in the believer's life is a main focal point of the New Testament. Yea, it was a main focal point in the Old Testament prophecies of the then coming New Covenant. My own prayerful meditations on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life brought me to a place where I was at odds with my Scofield Reference Bible; the very Bible that served as my devotional Bible.

It became apparent to me that His indwelling the Christian and bringing that individual to conformity to Christ was the Spirit's main emphasis. His work is to regenerate one who is dead in trespasses and sins. He works in concert with His Word (the Bible) in the regeneration of that person. He then uses His Word as a tool to sanctify that person. I acknowledge that there is a positional sanctification; please don't get me wrong there - but I also see that practical sanctification is inevitable. That the Christian is to be a temple of God in the Spirit is undeniable. Considering these things brought me to a point where I had to take a hard look at this whole idea of there being such a thing as a Christian who wilfully continued to live a life that was at variance with the commands of Christ. I examined 1 and 2 Corinthians and found that even though Paul called them carnal, yet they were a people earnestly looking for the return of Christ; a people that subbjected themselves to the rebukes of Paul - this despite the false teachers who sought to question Paul's authority - many of the repenting. Yes, this is the same congregation that Paul refered to as "epistles of Christ, written by the Spirit on the hearts, and read by men". Hardly can one find here the notion that a Christian can go on through life cold to the teachings of Christ. You won't find that notion taught in scripture; not anywhere.

Over time I began to conclude that the kingdom of God, at least the present aspect of it - His being in control over the universe and the elements is the subject for another discusion - , is centered upon people being conformed to the image of Christ. Please consider that the Spirit leads all true "sons of God". He changes the inclinations and dispositions of such so that they begin to desire the things of God, including that person's new-found desire to get into the Word. As the Christian prayerfully meditates on the teachings of Christ contained therein, the Spirit brings about a change, so that, over time, that individual's life begins to reflect the life of Christ that is within. This process, known as the sanctification process, also includes the intercession ministries of both Christ and the Spirit as well as the chastening of the Father. It also takes place within the Body of Christ as Christians live and interact with eachother.

Something else should be said at this point - The Sermon on the Mount is a description of the Spirit led life and is to be meditated on in order for the Spirit to do His work of molding the Christian into the image of Christ. Please don't treat the Sermon on the Mount as being for another people at a future time. It is to be meditated on NOW and used as a tool by the Spirit in the practical sanctification process.

Conformity to Christ is why God saved us. In my opinion this is inseparable from the Kingdom of God in its present aspect. Prayerful meditation on God's Word, obedience to it, and living within the Body of Christ are all our responsibilities in this whole idea of conformity to Christ, yea, the practical sanctification process.

Mark

13 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

To sum it up: The Kingdom of God in its present aspect is the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and His continual transforming of the Christian into the image of Christ.

December 01, 2008 4:43 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Amen!
God does what man is unable to do and is one hundred per cent successful in bringing his sheep to saving faith. Then God is one hundred per cent successful in inspiring his sheep to follow him.
Sheep that do not follow Christ in any way are quite simply not his sheep.

December 02, 2008 10:09 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

What is a Scofield Bible? Is it very different from the Bible I read, the New International Version?

December 02, 2008 1:17 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Lorenzo,
The Scolfield Bible has notes that explain the Bible so you can understand it.

December 02, 2008 2:16 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

hahaha!
I am sorry - I just had to pop in here and say that.

Lorenzo,
I like the Scolfield Bible in the way it explains the organization of Scripture, but Mark sees it differently. I was teasing him a little.

Mark, I hope you don't mind. :~)

December 02, 2008 2:18 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I just looked it up on google. Is it still in the King James writing style?

December 02, 2008 5:05 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Rose,
Please give me your take on whether or not there is a great theological gulf between NCT and classic dispensationalism and or FGT. If so just how big is that gulf? Can the two systems find common ground in order to work together? If so, how? Are there actually two different soteriolgies represented here?

December 02, 2008 7:46 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

soteriologies

December 02, 2008 7:47 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Jill,
The Scofield Bible that I have is King James, 1611.

December 02, 2008 7:49 PM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Mark, you obviously find the King James version the best for you. There is a lot of controversy about the 'correct' translation. I don't know about these things because as you know, I feel there is more to being a Christain that pure theology.

There is a very bad translation here in England called The Good News Bible. It is very simple to read and was originally written for people whom English was not their first language.

I really like the New International, although the language and phraseology of the King James is beautiful.

December 03, 2008 3:27 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

I feel there is more to being a Christain that pure theology.

While it is certainly true that correct knowledge of theology and doctrine do not save, it is also true that that faith in bad theology does not save. Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is the definition of a true Christian.

Human imagination and claims of alternative ways to be saved outside of these core principles offer no path to being a Christian.

December 03, 2008 10:25 AM

 
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Jazzy: I'm not talking about 'bad' theology.

I used to study theology in depth, but I found that the more I studied the less important theology itself became to me.

Jesus said we had to come as simple children, so I just stopped all the frenetic searching about and just accepted what I was able to do.

I feel that certainly we all have different paths to take and different roles to play. You at Bluecollar have the paths which you feel you have been called to take, and I have mine. That doesn't mean yours or mine are right or wrong. They are just different.

December 03, 2008 11:16 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Loren,
That doesn't mean yours or mine are right or wrong. They are just different.

Do you believe eternal salvation can be achieved through other ways than faith in Jesus Christ?

December 03, 2008 9:46 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home