"I'm growing because I read my Bible every day!"
|"I'm sick of growing!"|
"I'm growing because I read my Bible every day!"
|"I'm sick of growing!"|
|The ultimate Civil War hero with facial hair...|
2 Cor 7:10 "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."
|"I repent... now let me out!"|
|Worldly "repentance" at its best...|
So we know which promises he's talking about, and how we have been included into the family of God under the New Covenant... now what do we do about it? We are to "cleanse ourselves": to purify every area of our lives consciously put it under Christ's feet, to (as Paul will put it later in 2 Cor) "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (10:5). Also he mentions holiness: rather than just moral uprightness, this term basically (especially in Hebrew) means "to cut". That might puzzle many until we consider what happens when we slice and dice meat in the kitchen: we set something apart from everything else. We sever every tendon and bit of gristle that connects our piece with the rest, and dedicate that part to whatever use we see fit. So briefly, God is holy in that He is separate from everything else that exists: we are created, but He is Creator. We are dependent on Him in every way, but He needs nothing from anyone. In Christ, we can be holy in a derivative sense... we can be wholly dedicated to God's use. The Mosaic Law often uses "holy" in this way: the cups, incense, animals, etc. were only to be used for the rituals God had laid out
Great tasting holiness..."Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God."
So you see why 2 Cor 7:1 made me think in terms of future grace: Paul points to the guaranteed prospect of God's riches and generosity when we will be His children by glorified nature, as well as by our union with Christ (1 Jn 3:1-3). It is this future reality that must propel us to and through holiness; Piper warns that a motivation of gratitude can easily lead to what he calls a "debtor's ethic" we'll explore in the future. In conclusion, Paul urges us in our verse towards what is the only fitting course for God's people: to live out what God has declared us, promised to us and is continuing to remake us into... holy."It should be obvious from this why future grace is so utterly crucial in God's great plan to glorify Himself and satisfy His people. Most of our experience of God's active grace lies in the future. The grace that I have already experienced from God -from a quantitative standpoint- is infinitesimally small compared to the future grace that I will experience from now to eternity. This means that the great wealth of glory that God means to display for the enjoyment of His people is duly praised where future grace -in all its freedom- is duly prized."
|A great truth.... IN CONTEXT!|
"Sam is a bus driver!"
|I dread seeing this one!|
"But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens." (Jer 10:10-11)
|No... I have no idea what he's saying!|
"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt..... For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
|What the Cross felt like...|
|"...but bad guys go to hell!"|
"And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (6:16-18)We previously pondered how we as Gentiles (Jews literally called us "dogs" in Jesus's time!) could partake in promises seemingly addressed to Israel as a nation, but I don't think I took a stab at answering what could be an even more intriguing question...
|"Not one foreigner is to enter inside the, around the Sanctuary..."|
"Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here." (Mt 12:5-6) "Jesus answered and said unto them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'... But he spake of the temple of his body." (Jn 2:20-21)
|Likely the worst misunderstanding of the Temple in Salt Lake City|
|Vampires this way ---->|
"...and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." (Rev 17:3-6)
|Strange brew in there, I bet...|
"All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil... My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts-- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.... deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men... My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;" (Ps. 56:5, 57:4, 59:2, Prov 1:10-12)This is the sad, unavoidable reality of all those outside of Christ: in their nature and at heart, they hate Him and heartily approve of His murder. What's more, they hate all those who follow Christ and desire them dead (Matt 10:25). I know it's hard to reconcile this biblical teaching with the nice, little old lady who lives down the street and bakes the most delicious cookies, but just happens to be a Buddhist; we all know and care for polite, friendly unbelievers, and have, in certain cases, been thankful for their generosity. To be sure, God does restrain the evil thoughts and actions of every lost person, and even uses them to bless His children so that "all things work together for the good of them that love God." But again, everyone who is not God's child through Jesus has another father (Jn 8:44) and "the works of their father they will do." I think I see this clearly because of God's insight into my own lust for violence: I'm sure I seemed a nice enough guy as an unbeliever. I held down a job, paid my taxes and even attended church regularly. But give me an excuse to pummel someone and a couple of guys on my side, and I didn't hesitate to instigate rather than pacify. This is the mindset of the woman and her master: a lust for violence and abject fury towards those who preach and embody God and His righteousness.
|What's in the cup?|
"For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."Job 21:20, Ps 60:3, Isa 51:17,and Jer 25:15 all mention or allude to this cup that God has for those who sin against Him. And the cup is full of God's judgment... the dregs in ancient fermentation were especially bitter and harsh; so I feel safe in concluding that the cup in the woman's hand not only shows what she thirsts for and indulges in, but how God has judged her. Romans 1 repeatedly speaks of unbelievers who are "given over" to sin as a punishment for sin; the message of comfort for God's beleaguered people is that God has judged their tormentors. We need only "rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev 6:11) This last book of the Bible is thought by many to be difficult and incomprehensible (and to be fair, I wouldn't teach it to 1st graders!), but it is filled with encouragement for those "that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (14:12)