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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Holy Life

Jer 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Jer 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.
Jer 7:5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
Jer 7:6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
Jer 7:7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

In last Sunday´s Scripture Lesson the question was asked that is, by and large, ignored in this world today, ¨How much of your daily lifestyle is shaped by popular culture and how much is influenced by God´s Word?¨

The Grumpy Old Men´s Class did run 7 to 10 when I assumed the privilege of teaching it, for the want of a willing teacher. Because of my teaching the possibility of living a ¨Holy Life,¨ (a life devoted to the service of God. Rom. 12:1) combined with problems that occur in any Church Family with a very Biblical Pastor, two members left the class and the fellowship of the Church. Others have left for an assortment of reasons until the class is now made up of 3 to 5 members on any given Sunday. And here we are now striving to build the LORD´s Church Family with, hopefully, dedicated Christ Followers.

In verse 3 we see Jeremiah delivering a message to God´s people that, through-out the past six thousand years, has never changed, ¨Amend your ways.¨ From the time God called Abraham away from his family in Genesis, the LORD has looked for a separate, a different people. God created Adam a perfect man with a free will and Adam chose to follow his good looking woman, Eve, and to disobey God From that moment forward the ¨world¨ has been trouble and God has been calling people, all people, to return to Him. (2Pet. 3:9)

Jesus reduced the Ten Commandments down to two Great Commandments, which if followed, will see a man or a woman obeying all 613 explanations. Yet, in spite of Jesus' statement in the Gospels that He had not come to do away with the Law and that not one title would ever pass away, the New Testament Christian, an oxymoron, has, indeed cast the Law into the Dung Heap! And yet if we go no further than the Book of Romans we find Paul, in the KJV mentioning the Law 78 times in 52 verses.

Now, up front, we are not under the penalty of the Law, we, Christians, are under Grace but the Law is very important to us for many reasons, two of them I´ll mention here. First, the Law is the perfect Word Picture, or Illustration of Jesus who is God in the flesh of a man. And second, the Law is our Code Of Conduct! This is the example we are to seek to model to the Lost Man.

Over the years I have been permanently banned from a number of web sites, claiming to be Christian, because my teaching of the importance of the Law to the Christian has offended folks. God has not put His call on any man´s life to tickle the ears of the masses. If you look at teachers like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren you will see that tickling ears builds monster followings but who are they following? If a man, any man, follows God and obeys God to receive his messages, only, from God, he will offend people. God´s ways are not preferred by most of the world, that is why The Christian Faith is such a small following.

So, can a man live a Holy life? Not without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit! When Jesus departed the Disciples, He promised the Comforter would be sent, by Him, to us. That is the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is there with any Saved Man. The difference between a God fearing Christian and a carnal Christian is the quenching of the Holy Spirit. The God fearing Christian makes the effort to listen to the Spirit he or she is indwelt by and everybody else quenches that same Spirit whether saved and indwelt or unsaved and the Spirit knocking at their heart´s door. With the indwelling of the Spirit of God and the personal commitment to follow the leading of the Spirit, any person can lead a life dedicated to God, a Holy life.

Like myself, you will have times that you stiffen your neck and disobey but, again, like myself, you will fall down, repent and be forgiven and reinstated if you love God.