The word translated as church in our scriptures is ekklisia. It simply means “Called out ones”.
The church as most people conceive of it is a system of worship directed at an individual. This is the definition of a cult by the way and the character of worship acceptable to god under the law.
Now God requires us to worship him in spirit and in truth. How do we do that? If you don’t know than I can’t tell you. I could try but all I could give you are laws and ordinances and you would be no better off than you are now.
I think the history of the church is nothing less than the history of Babylon. It has been the attempt by man to turn the power of God into a technique man can use to (at it’s best and most ineffective) save man and (in the main) control man.
There have been numerous authentic revivals – I have no doubt of this – but they have become dead when turned into a formulae, a method, a set of doctrines.
Walking by the spirit is not mimicking.
It’s all about present truth!
Just as at the close of the age of Law Jesus and John preached a more severe version of law
“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Matthew 5:27-28
now at the close of the age of Grace people of the spirit are preaching a more severe grace.
This is because grace in its most radical and pure form weeds out the chaff!
Grace is the utter absence of instructions. Of guides. This is why we walk gracefully with fear and trembling because there is nothing to hold onto.
We desperately want to hold onto stuff – go back into egypt because at least in egypt we knew what we were supposed to do.
To live gracefully, TO BE FREE, requires absolute FAITH IN GOD!
Sanctification is an act of God and as such is something to be left to God; God will accept no sacrifice you offer to him.
The cross of Christ is the end of all human endeavor to please god.
“All things are lawful to me” 1 Corinthians 10:23 that is an absolute term; any caveats utterly negate it.
All of Paul’s statements concerning what he is going to do are him refusing to be brought under the power of things. They have nothing to do with paul sanctifying himself to god or of Paul pleasing God but of Paul maintaining his freedom!
Remember this is a guy who according to the law was blameless. But he counted that as what? As refuse!
I am saying that after redemption the work of God in you ramps up.
God was implicitly in control of you before he redeemed you; now you are redeemed he is explicitly in control.
I’m sorry but if you try not to sin you are going to sin. You are a failure.
In fact the sole purpose of the law is to show you that you are a failure and in need of a saviour TO DO FOR YOU WHAT YOU CANNOT DO FOR YOURSELF!
So why did Jesus ask her to sin no more (to the woman he saved from stoning)? I see 1 of two possible answers.
1 Because a command of GOD IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISOBEY. This would mean that she would find it easy to sin no more, she wouldn’t even need to think about it she simply wouldn’t sin because her nature had been transformed.
2. To show her that she was a failure – maybe she needed the law for a bit more as a schoolmaster to bring her to christ.
I know from experience that certain things drop away and become easy to not do or to do.
The reason I no longer smoke is because cigarettes have become foul to me. I actually fought against the sickening taste of them for a few days after God freed me from them. In the end they were making me gag so much that I JUST COULD NOT CONTINUE SMOKING THEM.
That hasn’t changed!
I tried smoking one a week ago. In the past after quitting them I would give one a go months or weeks later and they would taste awesome. This time I couldn’t have any more than 2 drags BECAUSE IT WAS SICKENING.
Got drunk and stoned though.
Again I am not telling you to do what I do. That’s between you and God.
Oh and this should scare you because grace is one scary place. It is the leaving behind of everything visible and the entering into the place of blindness where all you have is a small calm voice and your faith in that small calm voice which the small calm voice tells you is a gift He gave and is giving you.