Category Archives: correctness

Judgements

JUDGEMENTS

I will put the word ‘judgement’ in quotes throughout, to simply draw our continued attention to the word, and prompt us to think of how we individually think of or define it

It is ‘uncomfortable’ to make pronouncements about another person’s spirituality or lack of it.

We shy away from passing ‘judgement’ upon their lack of moral fibre or faith.

In other words if they die having lived a non-Christian lifestyle, or one with no profession of any kind of faith, we nevertheless will not pronounce their reward (wages) as Gehenna/hell. Romans 6/:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Why is that? Why do we still restrain our pronouncements when the person has lived a life of obvious, either debauchery, deception, or violence, perhaps resulting in others, losing their lives? Mass shootings being an example.

Or is it only me that is reluctant to form any opinion on an individual’s final destination in the life hereafter?

Well the truth is, there is only One Judge of all the earth and He will do what is right.

Genesis 18/

Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

We want to hope the best for everyone who will one day stand before God Almighty. But let’s be clear – Christ and the finished work of calvary is the only antidote provided as a means of escape from the afterlife ‘judgement’, and sentence as a result of unrepented of sin.

Life without ‘judgement’ is impossible. Everyone makes ‘judgements’ every day. Of course defining the kind of ‘judgement’ we are speaking of, would be helpful.

So when you want to jump from a wall onto the ground – you weigh-up the consequences, you look at the grassy escarpment and consider how far off the ground you are – and then having made your ‘judgement’ you will either jump, or seek some other means of removing yourself from the wall.

When the salesman is sales-talking you – you are constantly weighing up his ‘patter’, and using your own ‘judgment’ as to the veracity of his presentation, this ‘judgement’ will end in a sale or not.

When the police catch a criminal seemingly red handed. The red bag stolen – is the red bag he is holding. So they make a ‘judgement’ and arrest him or let him go.

When someone lies to your friend and you know it is a lie – you make a ‘judgement’ call, and inform or warn your friend.

So daily ‘discernment’ is exercised by all – it is unavoidable if we are to see our way through life. This ‘discernment’ is – by another name – ‘judgement’.

However ‘to pass sentence on’, is usually reserved for court judges. Who hand out punishment ‘judgements’ to those found guilty.

Some falsely accuse and ‘judge’ others. ‘Judging’ them and passing sentence, because it suits their own ends. This is unjust ‘judgement’.

They ‘judge’ based on a few mis-informed – therefore pseudo facts.

They accuse the person of thoughts and actions, which they deem – prove them to deserve their condemnation, when in fact, they are ignorant of many other necessary facts, one would need, to make a proper ‘judgement’.

‘Passing sentence’ on people for things they have done, that we ourselves are guilty of – almost always, disqualifies us from the role of judge.

But ‘discerning’ and ‘judging’ a situation involving the behaviour of an individual or individuals, that is detrimental to the well-being of others, or even ourselves – is a necessity.

In short there is right ‘judgement’ or righteous ‘judgement’ or there is false or wrong ‘judgement’.

Everyone engages in ‘judgements’ of people etc., – reports, conversations, encounters, articles for sale, holiday offers, wallpaper, behaviour of celebrities, or paparazzi and so on and so on, in all these things we make a choice to ‘judge’.

We come to conclusions based upon our own ability to perceive, be it wise or unwise perception.

Often you will hear the sentence from the lips of another: ‘Don’t judge me’.

What they usually mean is: “Please accept me and don’t reject me or call me a bad person, because of what I am about to tell you, or for what I have done”.

This is usually preceded by some action that is questionable, (perhaps to say the least), and they still want your acceptance and friendship, despite what they said or did. And so ‘Don’t judge me’ is their first request.

To avoid ‘judgement’ especially to have sentence passed on us, is the desire of some folks, if not the wish of everyone.

We desire to be thought of as right in many things. 

When we are guilty, we still try to avoid the ‘judgement’ of others, simply because it can be harsh and violent, and we don’t wish to experience the vitriol.

To remove ‘judgement’ from the planet and it leaves us with total anarchy.

That there is poor ‘judgement’, bad ‘judgement’ and unjust ‘judgement’ whether from an individual wrongly ‘judging’ us – or a government exercising foolish ‘judgement’ – we still cannot imagine life without it.

Unless we live in a perfect world where sin does not exist, we must have ‘judgement’.

The great news of the gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ is that He took upon Himself on the cross, the sentence passed on every person on the planet (because of sin and consequential guilt) – (over 7 billion of us – last count), – and of course all of mankind throughout history.

He died – the just for the unjust – to remove the penalty of all the wrongdoing we have participated in by thought, word and deed.

We need to make a proper ‘judgement’ of this glorious fact.

The ‘judgement’ we make will decide where we stand when we come before The Almighty, in the hereafter.

If we pay lip-service to the above idea, assuming that we can intellectually give ascent to the fact that Christ took our ‘judgement’ for sin, but then think we can continue to live like the devil – we will encounter an ‘awakening’ experience in the after life – to say the least. This is where Gehenna/hell comes in.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

We could reference the original words (Greek Hebrew etc. for the words ‘discernment or judgement’).

But suffice to refer to the ‘judgement’ we use in discerning and forming a correct assessment, and differentiating it from the ‘judgement’ that passes sentence on others rightly or wrongly. This will put us on the same page regarding our subject.

Here is just one scripture where Peter and John the apostles, are exhorting their listeners:

Acts 4/19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.

So he is asking others to make a ‘judgement’ here. 

Discern, weigh-up what I am saying, and make the right ‘judgement’, – come to the right conclusion about what I am telling you.

Some are skilled at ‘judging’ situations, scenarios, and the actions of others, so as to form true ‘judgements’ and come to proper conclusions.

But we live in a world where great confusion increases, and false accusers abound. Opinions are continually in opposition and half-truths reign over the truth.

To find a wise person is an increasingly difficult task in this self-opinionated world. Wrong ‘judgements’ are constantly made and voiced in and on all kinds of social platforms.

Some are heard to cry out: ‘Don’t judge me’ while they themselves, ‘judge and condemn’ left right and centre.

Sentence passing, false accusations, bad behaviour being justified by those who want selfish freedom to do as they please, without ‘judgement’ and so on, giving us this hodgepodge mix of unrighteousness and permissiveness in all departments of human – being.

Then there are those who foolishly tell us God is not a God of love if He ‘judges’, finds guilty and condemns to an eternal prison all those who continuously, persistently ignore Him and set themselves up in rebellion of whatever kind they choose.

Also Jesus said:

John 7/ 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Notice He doesn’t say: judge with ‘self-righteous’ ‘judgement’.

He also tells us that how things might ‘appear’, does not provide enough knowledge to properly discern, and form a correct ‘judgement’.

There is only One who ‘judges’ righteously. And He has left us a book full of the principles essential in making a correct assessment of all things human.

Before any kind of ‘judgement’ can be entered into by human ‘court’, we need to ‘hear Him’…

Matthew 17/5:

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Nothing but…

Nothing but …

I’ve been thinking that after 3 years of Covid (or thereabouts), I’ve been living a more reclusive life, than before. (Join the club do I hear you say?)

As those years have passed – and maturity increases (using such terminology is a way of avoiding the idea of old age) – I suddenly am more fully awake to how much more of the ‘rope’ of normality has slipped through our fingers. Like some released anchor plunging into the sea.

“What are we plunging into?” would be the question.

The world is embracing more and more abnormality. The tragedy is, regardless of how it is packaged ‘positively’ (as something to be desired), presented with words of man’s fallen reasoning – the new normal is the abnormal.

I’ve always been slightly fascinated by man’s inability to communicate. Communicate in a perfect way. So that I know exactly what you mean and you know exactly what I mean.

Nuances in each others communications, are missed by us all.

I may have written about this before – but I know by the odd comment I receive, purporting to agree with what I have written – that in fact, the person is not on the same ‘song sheet’ as I.

I noticed this lately when I commented on one person’s blog post. Asking in essence the name of their ‘god’.

The name and title of my Lord and my God is: ‘Jesus Christ The Lord.’ Acts 4/

Jesus is 11 “the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Notice the ‘no other name’ part. In my mind it is easily established that ‘no other’ means ‘no other’.

Not ‘no other plus – other no others’. Just plain simple ‘no other’. Not hard to grasp is it?

He – The Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour (as in ‘no other’) – He came to give mankind – lost and at sea – drowning in sin – and in the sorrow it brings – a way back to intimacy with God.

There are many so called ‘gods’ but…I Corinthians 8/

For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

Sometimes I think I prefer folks who disagree (maybe as in atheists or agnostics) – than those who think I am speaking their language – as though God is the god of all religions or new age philosophies.

It is my ‘duty’ as a Christian to embrace with respect all human beings. But I am also called to hold fast to what is good and true. I Thessalonians 5/

21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

To test all things and the necessity to do so, tells me that not everything is acceptable and I am to reject all lies and embrace the Person who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. (John 14/6)

It may seem to be a pleasing and seemingly reconciliatory idea to embrace and love all, and their points of view, regardless of their religious beliefs or particular creed. But how is that possible when there is only one truth?

‘You have your truth and I have mine’, sounds worthwhile and agreeable.

But one and one will always be two.

We can be friends and show respect to each other, but I cannot agree with you if your truth says: one plus one is three.

Sorry – hope we will not fall out and reject each other as fellow human beings. But the fact is, we do not speak the same thing.

It may seem like we are on the same page – after all (we might reason) it’s all mathematics anyway –  but no, sorry, we don’t agree.

I notice therefore, after this ‘reclusive’ time, that I seem to be coming to a greater realisation of how much the language used by Christian and non-Christian may sound increasingly similar, but in fact has basic fundamental differences which cannot be reconciled.

Pilot at the crucifixion of The Lord Jesus Christ said ‘What is truth?’

There – in front of him – stood the personification of all truth and he couldn’t see it, but nevertheless, had to admit to the perfection he also observed in The Christ. (…“I find no fault in Him at all). John 18/37:

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all”.

Lines of communication are becoming increasingly blurred with the use of similar words but which do not have the same meaning.

Deception is increasing. Believing lies is becoming the increasing norm. Separating truth from error is becoming a bigger and bigger task and challenge.

Thank God for His Word – the purest and truest communication on earth.

My final illustration and example of this dilemma is the fact that I now need to say:

“When I speak of the Pure Word – I am referring to the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible”.

All the above may grind/grate on the ‘pan-everything-ists’ (Pantheists) – as utter dogmatism – but I’m afraid dogmatically – one and one will always be two.

Good deeds…

Good deeds…

One of the great paradoxes of living as a human being is the fact that most(?) folks would like to be good, but in actual fact, do bad things.

The old adage that ‘actions speak louder than words’ comes to mind.

There are folks who are not professing Christians, and yet they do more ‘good things’ than I do.

Wow that’s a confession to make – right?

After all I’m the one who is ‘preaching’ here. Time I learned to practice what I preach – yes?

Well – just give me a moment to find excuses, and defend myself.

No – it’s best I just admit it – I fall short on the good works front, especially when I consider the dedication of some folks, in adverse situations and life threatening diseased areas, who faithfully dedicate themselves to providing the medical needs of those around them. To mention only one example of good deeds done.

And here I am with eternity nearer than when I first believed.

Here I am – always falling short in my own eyes.

Here I am – wishing I could have given Him (Jesus) more.

Here I am – Mr. Average Christian.

Yet here I am – ready to receive a full reward because I took Jesus at His word!!

Now this may not compute for you. It almost sounds like I can be the biggest vagabond on the planet and yet all will be well with me in the hereafter, regardless of my ‘performance’.

We must grasp that what took place at the cross of Jesus Christ was the release of the possibility for mankind to enter into an exchange deal with the Holy and Righteous God of the universe.

As the song says: ‘I traded my old tattered garments – He gave me a robe of pure white. I’m feasting on Manna from heaven and that’s why I’m happy tonight’.

I traded my life for His, I accepted His gift of eternal life through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2/

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Unrestraint

UNRESTRAINT 2022

In many ways in our world, restraint is being cast off. 

Restraining oneself from bad behaviour, is at a premium.

Instead mankind is giving in – to the lower nature that every human is born with.

This is manifest in many and varied ways when sinful indulgence is practiced.

The conscience everyone has – is eroded, or obliterated, depending on how much or how little a man or a woman listens to, or ignores, their conscience.

The killer – kills one person defying the restraint of their conscience. Having denied conscience they lust to kill again. Until by casting-off restraint time after time, their conscience becomes seared with a hot iron, and they become a serial killer.

I Timothy 4/

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

Every Christian is called to live up to the dictates of their conscience. But there is more at work than just their individual conscience. The Word of God informs the conscience in the mind of the believer.

Also The Holy Spirit Himself responds to the believer who obeys their conscience.

Paul speaks of this in the following verse:

Romans 9/1

I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit…

The New International version says:

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit…

The Holy Spirit of God working in and with the believer’s conscience.

The conscience obeyed – restores or maintains restraint.

Many ignoring their conscience minute by minute daily, and we are on our way to anarchy rule. Here are three separate scriptures you can search for yourself:

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.

(Including the counsel of the correctly informed conscience).

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.

(God sees every violation of the conscience – every heart that has disobeyed conscience, – that’s why He is The Almighty).

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Their conscience tells them this (whatever ‘this’ is) is wrong. They choose to ignore their conscience, to serve selfishness.

Selfishness leads to more selfishness. A life led casting-off restraint. Finally two more scriptures to be found in your concordance:

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

Where there is no revelation, the people cast-off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law

The law of God when obeyed through the inner workings of The Holy Spirit in a person’s life (Christian) – keeps our conscience clean and clear. Happy is the man who maintains a clear conscience.

We need the ongoing revelation of God through His Word to keep a clear conscience.

As the world drifts more and more away from the Revelation of Christ – more and more is restraint cast-off.

All the ills of the world are the fruits of departure from The Only Living and True God and His Son Jesus Christ and His teachings.

As I, as a sinner, obeyed the work of The Holy Spirit upon my conscience and admitted my sin, – Christ came into my life, in an unmistakable way.

Just as it was hard for Paul the apostle (previously Saul of Tarsus) to kick against the promptings of a God-influenced conscience – so it is hard for anyone to resist, when God takes a dealing with them.

Recognise the voice of God in your conscience, repent and confess your sin. The result is Emmanuel – God with us, God in us the hope of glory.

What a glorious salvation He offers!

But He waits to be invited. He will not force His way in. He will influence us to find the right direction, but we must comply wholeheartedly.

Cast-off the power of darkness and receive Christ as Lord – your conscience is trying to get you to agree.

Prophesying today

PROPHESYING TODAY

It is dangerous to ‘generalise’ when we have limited information.

Limited information can cause a limited conclusion. A faulty judgement can therefore be made about a given scenario.

Jumping too quickly to conclusions.

However, in some situations in life, in extenuating circumstances, a decision needs to be taken quickly, because

of how a particular scenario will or might play-out and effect us personally.

This ‘deficient information factor’ makes that decision hard to make.

We do our best – and proceed to make the decision, even with inadequate information, because if it goes a certain way, it will perhaps effect us personally.

I would imagine those who deal in the stock market, find themselves in that situation daily (?).

It can be, that we may not have the time to make full enquiry. And our decision as a result can be a good one or a bad one – as time will usually tell.

We can best hope that by our necessary decision making, no one gets hurt or damaged, as we make the decision.

I’m thinking of how people resign from a particular position they occupy, in perhaps a company, a political party, a Medical Practice, a church etc.

Making their decision, but not basing it on full knowledge, sometimes just suspicion.

It is still true to say, that unless one undertakes a thorough comprehensive research study, our lack of information can cause us to form the wrong conclusions.

The Bible says in James 1/So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; . It’s easy to reverse this – speaking with limited knowledge and without proper discernment, and in self-righteous anger (quick to wrath), making wrong judgements.

Biblically we are exhorted in different ways to be careful about judging given situations or people. 

Some make the mistake of thinking we are never to judge anything. The bible doesn’t teach this – but it does call us to ‘judge righteously’ according to the truth of God’s Word.

Jesus said: John 7/

24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

The spirit in which we judge is also of paramount importance. Anger and bitterness in our hearts and we have judged wrongly already, and must hear ‘judge not that you be not judged’.

Matthew 7/ v1“Judge  not, that you be not judged.

It may seem now that I am about to change tack to a different subject, but that’s not what I am doing.

Because I am thinking of the discernment necessary and the full knowledge needed, of what is said – before judgements can be made in response to modern day prophetic utterance.

Prophecy in the bible in it’s basic definition is simply ‘inspired utterance’. Jesus spoke with supreme wisdom and perpetual inspiration/revelation. 

Those who penned the scriptures were given Grace of an unequalled kind. No one (as in ‘ordinary’ Christians) prophesying since the Apostles and prophets, chosen by Christ, will be given that same calibre of Grace. Therefore they will not speak as authoritatively.

That does not mean that someone with a true gift of prophecy (inspired utterance), will not speak with authority.

Just not of that particular unique kind that penned The Word of God.

The Bible cannot be added to, it remains perpetually in the hand of The Holy Spirit to accomplish whatever God sends it to accomplish. Isa. 55/

11 

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;

It shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Whether this ‘accomplishing’ takes place in the individuals heart or in accomplishing the task of giving to mankind foreknowledge of the future, in prophesying what is to come.

But modern day, inspired utterance, still calls for men and women to be in touch with God.

We are exhorted to speak as the ‘oracles of God’.

1 Peter 4:11

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

Some Christians live more incomplete lives than others, when they exclude from their experience the possible exercise of Spiritual Gifts, as found in I Corinthians chapter 12 etc..

Even those who believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and therefore accept the ‘manifestation of The Holy Spirit’ doctrinally, (another way of saying ‘the gifts of The Spirit’) – even so, may not fully manifest those gifts.

Certain cessationists dismiss the Gifts of The Holy Spirit – as not being for today.

If the manifestations of The Holy Spirit, are not taking place today – it is not because God has turned the tap off, or that such a thing is not possible, but rather for the reason, that  they are not sought for fully, or not allowed in the assembly of God’s people, usually as a result of cessationist theology or limited revelation/experience in the leadership.

The lack of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit may also be because of the ‘falling away’ that is happening on the earth and even in the churches. We read of a somewhat parallel time in the time of Samuel the prophet: 

I Samuel 3/1…And the word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those days; there was no open vision.

The gifts are not as manifest as in previous eras. (This can also be the result of how much there is – full or limited pursuing thereof): Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 

Those who accept the gifts, rightly so, as being for today – may not, however in practice, manifest them in the church.

Prophecy is for every member – we may all prophesy one by one.

All may speak ‘inspired utterances’.

These utterances of the spoken gifts are as follows – prophesy, speaking in different tongues and interpretation, word of wisdom, word of knowledge.

There are other gifts, or manifestations of The Holy Spirit, but the above are the spoken gifts.

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

When it comes to prophesying – we are told: 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 

All prophesying’ does not make us all prophets.

A prophet is someone who has a proven track record in words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophesying by forth-telling or fore-telling.

The fruit of which gives help, direction and deliverance to the church.

It may entail foretelling, but must include:

 3 (But he who prophesies speaks)… edification and exhortation and comfort to men.

Except, on the rarer occasions when it can contain correction or rebuke, depending on the situation. Such correction should come from an established proven Prophetic ministry, that God has set in the church.

The rest of the church present, where a prophecy is given, are meant to engage in discerning if the prophecy is brought by The Holy Spirit and does not violate the principles of God’s Word.

29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 

We must be careful to:

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Unfortunately some dismiss anything prophetic, when we are told we can all prophesy, (and the Word of God cannot be broken).

We must judge firstly the prophecy – and after this depending on the fruit in their lives – if need be – then the vessel who brought the prophecy.

If what they are – in themselves, clearly shows them to be false prophets, or carrying a wrong spirit, or disrupting and damaging the people of God, then they need to be subject to the sanction of the church.

But – and this brings me back to my original point – full or limited knowledge…

If a foretelling prophecy does not come to pass, being of a foretelling nature, the first thing to establish is – is it completely wrong? Genuine prophets can make mistakes, but this does not mean they are to be dismissed as charlatans.

To dismiss them out of hand, is to get the cart before the horse. We are to judge the prophecy, as to it’s correctness or otherwise. But if it is wrong, we should not automatically disqualify the prophet.

Unless he/she has a track record of damaging the church, causing confusion, and perhaps obtaining a ‘following’ through dishonest gain.

Titus 1:

10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 

The Gifts or manifestations of – The Holy Spirit are for our profit as the Church. 

And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,

There can be a lot of ‘hype’ in televised prophesying, especially in a certain country. But we need to see-through the hype and ask the question ‘Is this of God?” Secondly is this person a true servant of Christ – who loves The Lord.

Not easily or immediately discernible sometimes. But we must not ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’.

Regarding foretelling and not the less consequential type of prophesying, (edification, exhortation, and comfort), here is the safeguard:

Deuteronomy18

21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

There is both warnings for those who hear the prophetic word, in this passage:

 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

And for the prophet who prophesies:

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’

However these warnings aught to be heard in the light of the greater Covenant of The New Testament.

Elusive certainty

ELUSIVE CERTAINTY 2021

To be absolutely certain about anything in this life, is difficult, to say the least.

I’ve been taking an interest in the political news of the USA. I am not an American, and I am generally not interested in politics per se, but I am interested in truth.

There is contention over the results of the Presidential election. And the perceived evidence of fraud in the minds of thousands of Americans is plainly manifest.

As far as I can determine – the mainstream media either ignore or play down all the conclusions the many Republican followers are convinced of.

That there is fraudulent balloting as in computers set to favour one candidate over the other, is hard to prove. Especially if the forensic examination of the machines is not permitted or ordered by the governing powers that be.

So until there is certain proof of all the claims that are being made regarding fraudulence – we are left with uncertainty.

Even though the many ways fraudulence can take place (as itemised by affidavit testimony etc.) is proclaimed until investigation and proper and thorough examination takes place – we have in the meantime – uncertainty.

Life is full of uncertainty.

John the Baptist is an example of a follower of Christ, who when faced with his imminent demise at the hands of a foolish king – entered into uncertainty. (Matthew 11/2-4)

Our human make-up, our human condition, is fickle. Strong today, weak tomorrow. Beset with uncertainty and doubt.

But there is a difference in human beings who live in similar ‘bodies of death’ as Paul the Apostle describes them. (Romans 7/24).

He for one, had a certainty of faith to his dying day, as described below:

2 Timothy 4:6-8

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

The difference between human beings, when faced with the uncertainty we are all subject to – is our response to it – How we face or deal with uncertainty.

The human mind can change – and does change every moment of the day.

Many when offered the Christian gospel message – will listen for a short time and then change their minds and get on with what is at hand – entering back into uncertainty and holding to it, as a reason for making no response to Christ’s claims. The bible calls this unbelief.

The Christian believer, when similarly beset with uncertainty of whatever kind – knows deep within what is taking place.

It is what the scripture describes as ‘the trial of our faith’.

1 Peter 1:7

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

When doubt enters the changeable mind – it is time to:

1 Thessalonians 5:

21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

We hold fast to what we are convinced is truth. God has proven it to be so through the word of truth (the Bible) and through the spiritual experience we have had in encountering Christ. This is the truth we have been convinced of in our past experience, and biblically, will not change.

John the Baptist was sent a specific word from Jesus, telling him how to respond to his doubts:

Luke 7/22

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Uncertainty can precede believing a lie, or believing the truth.

For example what do you believe – was the election fraudulent – or was it honourably executed?

My topic is not the election – my topic is truth and certainty/uncertainty.

How many things are you uncertain about? How many things are you sure about? Maybe we should make a two column list?

One thing is for sure – there is truth and there are lies.

Here is how to find the truth – it may take some time!

Matthew 7/ KJV:

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

The right one?

THE RIGHT ONE?

Think of all the personalities in this world. All the personalities on social media. All the multitudes full of diversity and differences of opinion. All the different cultural backgrounds. All the varying needs, the rich, the poor, the man-made labels of lower, middle and upper classes. The age groups with youthful ambition, hard-nosed business men, older entrepreneurs with their individual ‘empires’.

Think of the crime syndicates, think of the secret organisations, the money pedlars, the inner city crime scenes, gang culture and warfare. Think of the pimps and prostitutes. Think of the elite – the millionaires and billionaires, the movie stars and pop stars.

Think of the dictators, the communist regimes, mis-used democracy, the politics of power and position-seeking, the judicial systems that differ throughout the world.

And so we could go on trying to describe the world in which we live – humanity-wise.

And then there is the description that perhaps fits you and I (?).

It is a term that I think originated in North America – the descriptive term is: ‘average joe’.

I’m not from the USA, but the term sounds like it fits most of us in the Western Hemisphere.

But ‘average Joe’ will also fit in somewhere in the list I started this post with.

Enter stage left – the Christian gospel.

Stating the obvious, the Christian gospel is sent to mankind. Think mankind – and then look again at my list.

How will this gospel sit with those who fit the above categories?

And then factor-in the fact that the onlooker can be forgiven for thinking that in fact there is more than one ‘gospel’.

Think of the observer, the outsider, the ones not involved in Christianity – and listen as they express their confusion over what Christianity is all about.

Just as individual Christians have individual personalities. So churches and church organisations seem to vary immensely to the ‘average Joe’ outsider, in their corporate ‘personalities’. The average Joe who is not involved in it all.

Terms and name tags are bandied about by Christians as they label their own particular ‘tribe.’

The outsider concludes – “But which church is the right one?”

Rather than pursue it – they decides to refuse it.

Giving it a little of his/her time they roughly peruse what immediately hits them. The showcase presentation on social media, websites, Facebook, YouTube, T.V. etc.

They perhaps haven’t the time to enter into a deeper examination of the warp and woof of a particular ‘brand’, they happen to have come across, via google search.

What are we to do if we are to navigate our way to the right church? 

Navigating our way to the church that is right – and thankfully there will be more than one. But unfortunately in some cases – there may not be one near you.

What are we to do when even Christians need to examine each individual group of believers to see if they are ‘sound’, ‘the real McCoy’, and are not as we say in my culture – ‘one stick short of a bundle?’

Well – let’s stop right there, and state that there is no escape from going to the gospel as an individual personality, firstly and foremostly. It’s meant to be that way.

The message is to the individual, before we get to what corporate body of people we should attach ourselves to.

Salvation is about the human heart finding the Only Living and true God.

A corporate body of people who claim to be Christian, or who describe themselves with the Christian label are not automatically the real McCoy, just because the ‘christian’ label is built-in to their PR description.

So individual, who is perhaps somewhere in my initial list above – get that bible open and get reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – the four gospels.

Steep yourself in it and hear the message, as you talk to God at the same time.

It is sent firstly and foremostly to you, with divine love from Jesus Christ The Lord of heaven and earth.

Understand that He too ‘can’t believe’ some of the shenanigans His people get up to. Matt. 13/58, 17/17. Mark 6/6, 16/14.

He is flabbergasted by the unbelief (from which all misbehaviour stems), that even those who believe get up to.

He has experienced this from the beginning when He recruited the twelve disciples. But yet, He fully invited them on board without reservation.

Whoever comes to Him they were told, He would never cast out, and He promised to be with them always.

Yep – you heard it right – the believers can do unbelievable things, because you see when we come to Christ and find His acceptance and promise of eternal life, we have only began a journey.

Having believed on Christ as Lord, we still have many areas God has to work on, to bring change. And you might encounter some area in a person, or in the personality of a church – that still needs altered, changed, or overhauled drastically.

You are not to be put off by this, because Christ came to build His church, mature His church, cleanse His church, revive His church, and it doesn’t all happen overnight.

In the words of the song: ‘I owe you some kind of an apology.’

Christians owe the world an apology for the fact that the church universal, is so imperfect in behaviour.

Whereas the world owes God an apology for its rejection of Him.

But of course the church is made up of people who needed a saviour, in the first place, and who haven’t, and never will, stop NEEDING Him to perfect them.

Having found The Saviour, they now need Him to increase their faith more and more, so that they will not disappoint you (unconvinced unbeliever) – with their shortcomings, and areas of remaining unbelief, in the midst of their established faith.

Unbelief is the second original sin, (mankind) the first was self-absorption and pride, resulting in rebellion (the devil).

Mark 9/

Listen to the man (average Joe?) in great need:

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I BELIEVE; HELP MY UNBELIEF!”

Another Gospel?

ANOTHER GOSPEL? 

There are seemingly quite a few who are offering us – a more updated version of Christianity.

Challenging some of the fundamentals of the faith – confusing the fundamentals with the newly re-contextualised fundamentalism label.

Because there exists dogmatic Pharisees who want everything conformed to their image – they assume that those who hold fast to that which is good, has been good, and always will be good, are dead traditionalists/‘fundamentalists’.

…Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

That which is good is the articles of faith – long established and present in many Christian churches, from which we are never meant to depart, as per the charge of the gospel of Christ.

Those searching for a broader outlook. Those searching for a so-called more ‘enlightened’ approach – are apt to use the fact that we all cannot know all mysteries, and therefore this is a reason to alter, annul and eventually dismiss what is sound and cannot change, and has been established for centuries.

They do this act of watering down – in the name of tolerance, open-mindedness, and all-embracing love. And consider it theological progress.

The result is that they see so many sides to things that nothing ever becomes sure. But at least they reason we can ‘all get along’.

Soon they lead us to the ‘many roads to God approach’ – again in the name of tolerance and being nice.

And then slowly but surely we are meant to embrace every religion under the sun, in the name of tolerance and understanding of how the other half lives. As we partake of the ecumenical soup.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved and delivered from this corrupt generation. The God of the bible is called Jehovah and His son Jesus Christ The Lord. There is a heaven and there is a hell.

Pretty straightforward and dogmatic – but absolutely true.

To hold to this does not automatically make me an intolerant bigot, out to be rude and denigrate everyone who thinks differently.

The latest truth being tampered with – is the fact that there is a hell, there is a Gehenna.

Some so called ‘progressives’ consider the best way to get rid of hell is not to believe in it.

That way everyone is ok and marching to the promised land of heaven, regardless of what they believe or what lifestyle they practice or what god they serve.

Pan-everything-ism is the new (no, not really new – just rehashed) ‘enlightened’ way, they would have us believe.

And when someone makes a statement like my last paragraph they are perceived as dogmatic stick-in-the-mud fundamentalists who want to condemn everyone to hell. However there is only One who has the power/right/authority to do so –

Jesus said:

Luke 12:5

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

I believe in enlightenment/inspiration, or better put, revelation – but within the guidelines and confines of The Holy Bible.

As a painter/poet/preacher ‘etc’. I like to think I have some imagination. And I am open-minded enough to at least listen to those who have another slant on things other than my own.

I’m aware of dogmatism out of a heart bound-up with bitterness in the name of religion.

I’m aware that there are those who stand with Christ in doctrine, but with the devil in attitude.

But I’m also aware that there is such a thing as truth and error.

The bible is full of warnings (do a study on it – see how many you can find).

If there is no need to warn God’s true people – then there are no dangers.

Here’s a tip – Go for ‘sincere’ in people – rather than ‘nice’. And go for the bible and what it says even more than the preaching of it.

By that I mean – the words themselves, because:

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Notice the EVERY word aspect.

Regardless of whether we have experienced Revelation on every word – the revelation we have already received convinces us that the potential for further revelation comes through every word of scripture.

What has been established by revelation is to be adhered to. For example ‘justification by faith’ as revealed to Martin Luther. Does that mean that he is an infallible guide because he received revelation? No – but the bible is.

Sometimes we must take the word exactly as we find it, not blindly, (i.e. without a quickened understanding) but in trust – first. This leads to more revelation of what we are reading, as God has promised to lead us into more spiritual understanding:

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

We take it on board first, and then we are free to ask God what it really is saying.

The truth has been established of old. Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God, He needs-must die on the cross to offer mankind a way back to relationship with God, there is a Gehenna to escape through Christ, there was a virgin birth and so on…

The exaltation of the intellect of man over the inspiration of scripture will produce all kinds of theories and unbiblical conclusions.

Christians beware.

30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Wisdom responses

(see John 4)

WISDOM RESPONSES

It’s an interesting study to note Jesus’ response to various situations and scenarios.

We see Him speaking to a Samaritan woman at a well. Not the done thing – as 

…Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

So He cut across the socially accepted norms and prophetically gave insight into this woman’s life

She was never the same again – so accurate was the information He gave her. We are not told all that He said to her. Did He in fact give a comprehensive history of her life – so much so that she exclaimed?: 

“Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

Was she so overwhelmed by what He said regarding her lack of marital status – that it seemed He had insight into everything to do with her life? (And of course He had – as He has with regard to our lives).

Was she so astounded – she exaggerated her message? She would not be the first person to be astounded by what Christ did for her. I too am in that company of people.

40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

Notice the Samaritans response to this demonstration of supernatural knowledge, that could not have been known, any other way – it started them on their quest to find out more.

Then having heard Christ preach – they became believers in The Son of God, The Messiah, themselves.

They wanted Jesus to stay with them. So He stayed another two days.

On another occasion the disciples went to prepare a place for Jesus as a stopover on a fuller journey. A stopover place amongst the Samaritans. But these Samaritans refused to receive Him.

The disciples acting wrongly and ‘inspired’ by the devil – wanted the Samaritans destroyed in response to this refusal to receive The Messiah:

Luke 9/54

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

They had a scriptural precedent, (so they thought) to repeat history. But Jesus pointed out how wrong they were. Teaching us that it is not what we say – but the spirit by which we speak.

We must discern what is behind and inspiring religions, or cults. By their fruits we shall know them.

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

It was all right for Elijah – why not them? Many twist the Word of God, and use it as the letter that kills, because they are moving in their unaided understanding or are demonically inspired to adulterate The Word of God.

Join with me in asking ourselves:

…what manner of spirit you (we) are of…?

On another occasion Jesus responded to a Samaritan woman and gave her what she requested even though…

John 4/22

22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Mark 7:27-29

27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

If we pray, we trust that as we move wisely the Son of God will be impressed by our requests, as He was with this woman and we shall (believing) receive the answer to our prayers.

When the Samaritans refused Jesus although He would not sanction ‘the fire from heaven’ destruction of His rejectors. Nevertheless we note the weighty consequence, in contrast, to the Samaritans who responded to the woman at the well:

And they went to another village.

Jesus looks for one thing above all – our acceptance of Him into our lives. He must have a welcoming embrace from us. He will not force Himself into our lives. He will influence us, draw us, speak to us, work in our conscience, all to bring us to Himself.

But that’s it – unless we embrace Him wholeheartedly –

He will go…

to another village.

…and correction?

…and correction?

Most Christian bloggers like to edify, exhort positively, and comfort us all, in our journey through this fallen world.

I have received from a number of Christian blogs, the encouragement I needed for a certain ‘day in the life’.

It would seem though, that some subject matter is best avoided if your goal is to be popular, when blogging.

However most Christians would agree that we are not called to win popularity competitions, and yet they love the ‘amen’ to their posts, and often (or mostly) it is genuinely given.

They are glad when others are edified, and rightly so. We all need encouragement.

But again I often wonder if anyone wants to address the mess?

Sometimes we need to repent and return to the first works – indeed repentance from ‘dead’ works returning to our first love of the Lord Jesus Christ, entering into a closer walk with Him.

For this to happen we need to be corrected.

The human heart and mind is prone to wander. And sometimes in the midst of our convicted conscience –  the last thing we need is someone laying heavies upon us that point out our faults and failings.

But conversely – does this mean this should never be done? We live in a world where no one wants to listen to correction.

Does that include the Christians? Who are told:

NKJV – Hebrews 12/5 …do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him…

Amplified version – 

My son, do not make light of the discipline of the Lord,

And do not lose heart and give up when you are corrected by Him;

Going on to say:

For the Lord disciplines and corrects those whom He loves,…

This is like a foreign language to some Christians, who have been fed on daily bread that is only buttered on one side and coated with sugar.

Having said that – some have suffered dry bread with no butter or sugar!

If you get the analogy – I refer to an unbalanced diet. Too much or too little of one thing. Christians who are ‘unexposed’ to necessary teaching to enable proper spiritual growth.

You see we all need different sustenance. We all need a different word from The Lord, according to our developmental requirements.

God the Father has one priority, like any good father, He wants to raise His children well, and allow them to reflect more perfectly the image of their brother – The Lord Jesus Christ.

We by inheritance are also children of God. There is only one ‘Only Begotten’, but:

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

So correction is very much a part of a good wholesome growth plan for a child’s life.

Not some harsh unfair manipulation or provoking of children, through abuse – but a balanced diet of edification, exhortation, and comfort – and correction.

But what about God’s adult children, who are still children in grown-up bodies manifesting self-absorption and injuring others?

This is a big subject I know. And I am not going to do it justice in this short post.

But let’s remember we are meant to grow in grace (thank God it’s grace!) and be changed from glory to glory, as by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, who might just tell us from time to time:

 ‘You are wrong’.

I don’t find correction easy to take – do you? Especially if it comes from a source other than God. But that’s where we must step away and examine and discern if it is just our own flesh and self-will that doesn’t like the truth, or if in fact the devil is trying (as we say) ‘to do a number on us’. Usually his condemnation has a tiny reference to something true and a whole deluge of lies. Know the difference.

 

Prayer: Lord help us to hear the still small voice of edification or correction. Amen

 

Falling

FALLING

Unfortunately we hear of prominent and not so prominent Christians falling into sin.

We know of those on the front line, presenting themselves as leaders and wanting to please God in all things, who fall into sin. (usually sexual in nature).

Others who are depending on their leadership, are startled and disappointed and feel betrayed.

When this happens it creates the idea that in leadership, there seems to be no one to trust, no one living  according to God’s right way. There seems to be a dearth of victorious Christian Living, starting with leaders.

However we wrestle not against flesh and blood. And those in the front line are first to stand in the gun sights of the devil.

We must first therefore realise this fact, and cover them with prayer.

No one in leadership is any more ‘impenetrable’ than others. They are human and subject to the same like passions as anyone else.

Things of protocol must be put into place and the need to be covered with answerability to a plural leadership of their fellow eldership – lived out practically.

The wicked have drawn the sword

And have bent their bow,

To cast down the poor and needy,

To slay those who are of upright conduct.

We see from these verses who is in line for the ‘roaring lions’ attention – those of upright conduct. (I Peter 5/8)

Often before they fell they were men or women of upright conduct. We often forget quickly the character they have shown, and the good they have accomplished. The body of Christ (the church) killing their own wounded.

At the same time we must keep before us the standard God’s word clearly spells out. And not slide into moral laxity.

There is one paramount way to keep our hearts from the demands of the prince of the power of the air – and it is by having presence of mind to appropriate continuously what the Grace of God has provided.

Our God in calling us to forgive 70×7 per day – gives us a glimpse into the fact that He too will practice what He preaches. Plenteous in mercy and forgiveness.

He will not respond to pretenders however, who think to laughingly avail themselves of this promise of forgiveness, whilst they carry on sinning, as though it was acceptable to do so.

That’s called hypocrisy.

Grace is a revelation. It is a revelation not just for salvation – but that through the grace of God we can LIVE!

Always availing ourselves of His promises and His strength to maintain our hearts in good condition before Him.

Let’s pray for those who have fallen. And if they were in a position of leadership and injured others in their fall, let’s still allow them into fellowship with forgiving embrace – but only where we find the sincerity of humility and true repentance. Otherwise if they continue in sin, we become guilty of bidding them God’s-speed in their misdemeanours.

This calls for good discernment. The bible warns about wolves in sheep’s clothing:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

We shall (we are told) know them (the sincere men and women of God) by their fruits. The actions they take, the attitude they carry, the character they show, their speech, prayer life, fairness, empathy, and so on.

Prayer:

Lord help us to stand dependant on you alone. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

 

as unto spiritual…

AS UNTO SPIRITUAL…

I Corinthians 3/

1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Who is Paul the Apostle addressing here?

Answer – ‘brothers’ – brothers-in-Christ of course, because all the Corinthians he is speaking to, were not his kith and kin.

Not natural kith and kin but ‘brothers in Christ’.

And in addressing brothers, (bearing in mind that his epistles were to the whole church) – he is addressing his ‘sisters-in-Christ’ also.

Is he addressing you and I? Bearing in mind that the Bible (used always-and-eternally in the hand of The Holy Spirit) – is addressing all believers for all time. We conclude readily then, that he is speaking to us also.

All you need to qualify for hearing this epistle – is to be a ‘brother/sister-in-Christ’.

Hmmm?

Can’t imagine that everyone I’m addressing has joined this family of believers?

Anyway – that is for you to decide.

But Paul reveals indirectly to us that there are varying depths of spirituality among believers in Christ.

And that there are matters they were not yet able to comprehend.

The surprise perhaps in this passage is this – he was addressing them all. And he puts them all in the same category (unlike John did in his epistle). Paul refers to them as ‘babes in Christ’.

John – in I John 2 refers to little children, young men, and fathers.

Paul speaks to them all as ‘babes in Christ’. And coupled with this designation is the idea that they are still carnal.

The word carnal can mean different things. But essentially it is the natural sinful mind we are born with.

Everything in the Christian life is a matter of exchange.

We trade in our thoughts, our self-righteousness, our selfishness, or mental problems, our limited reasoning, our emotional hang-ups – and in exchange we receive the joy of The Lord, The peace that passes understanding, the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of The Holy Spirit, God’s strength, his righteousness, his holiness, his forgiveness and above all His love.

So now everything is ‘rosey in the garden’?

No – simply because we still have everything that life throws at us to contend with.

But with the attributes of Christ within us – we now must learn to yield ourselves to The Lord of our life, and allow those attributes to control us.

This takes time and inner development under the hand of God. But we grow, we mature, we enter into what the Bible describes as being grounded and settled – all through the exercise of faith that expresses itself in biblical meditation, praise and worship, prayer, and joining ourselves in true and real fellowship with the family of God.

Colossians 1/

23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Notice the behaviour that accompanied the ‘babes in Christ’ designation that Paul reveals to us as the epistle continues – 

For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 

As we look and listen we recognise similar traits in the church today. Manifesting the fact that we all need to grow up – 

Ephesians 4

14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

 This calls firstly and foremostly for a willingness – yes a willingness – to come together at the foot of the cross and lay it all down – all the carnality – AND EXCHANGE it for His life.

Tomorrow as an area of my spiritual immaturity is made clear to me – I need to return to the one with whom I first made the great exchange – and offer Him my mistakes, my sin, my immature behaviour – “Sorry Lord please come and let your life rule over mine!”