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Stewards of the Truth — 15 Comments

  1. Well spoken. My brother who is a pilot says you can teach a monkey how to fly. You just can't teach him why. I believe that is true for many Christians. They know the rules they just don't know why. And until you know the why it's just an exercise in religion, not relationship.

  2. So what is the solution? "Be good!"?

    Lest we forget: Jer 13:23; 17:9,10, Matt 7:18, etc.

    The answer is in Rev 3:18 if we "buy of [Him]" who is selling the remedies. So how does one "buy"? Doesn't verse 19 bring it home? "...be zealous therefore and repent". Without repentance, the gospel can make no headway in the life. This was/is always Jesus message: "repent ye, and believe the gospel"(Mark 1:15).

    • Repentance has always been important, but the message is clear that we need to understand what we are repenting of. I believe that we need to repent of our pride in our religious knowledge and our unwillingness to put it into practice. Mark 1:15 is in the context of where Jesus called the disciples. He was not asking for a cerebral belief in the Gospel, but an opportunity to grow a practical application of the Gospel.

      Our problem is that we think we know the Gospel (and are proud of it) and have not tumbled to the fact that we have to live the Gospel. Someone once said; "Age cures all sins except pride!" We need to repent of our pride.

      • Maurice, what I'm trying to say is that what you are calling spiritual pride, is a symptom. It's like the "low oil" light on the dashboard of a car. Getting the light to go off, or covering it up so we can't see it doesn't fix the issue. The light only warns of a deeper issue than the light itself.

        What makes a "believer" prideful of their superior knowledge? IF they are not living the truth through obedience to it, what is allowing them to be so blind in the first place? "If that light becomes darkness, how great is that darkness", Jesus said.

        So what remains as the problem that causes the blindness in the first place? What leads a soul to believe the lie that all is well when it is not? Doesn't the bible teach us that having "pleasure in unrighteousness" leads to this wretched condition? Unless these specific sins are identified(which the Holy Spirit is constantly working for our benefit to do) and forsaken, the blindness that deceives will remain. How can I live the gospel truth when corruption in my heart keeps the Holy Spirit at bay? There is no concord between Christ and Satan. One must come apart and be separate from the worldly attractions/practices.(2 Cor 6:14-18)

        Jesus does not tell Laodicea that their problem is thinking all is well. The problem is that they " knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:". Then He calls for repentance that the remedies might be "bought" from Him.

        If we focus on the "spiritual pride" while the true conditions remain, what is there to focus on? Does this make sense?

        Every individual that harbors sin will know which sin they harbor, because the Holy Spirit is faithful to convict every soul God desires to save in this world that He "so loved" and thus gave His only begotten Son, to redeem "whosoever believeth in Him", who taught: "Repent and believe the Gospel".

        • I am not sure that I really understand what you are saying here. I think you are saying that pride is a symptom of other sin in our lives. I suppose that is one way of looking at it but the understanding I get from the Bible is that pride underlies a lot of sinfulness. Prov 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

          • Maurice, you wrote of a specific pride, not the sinful pride that is the root of every rebellious act against the government of God, including everyone who does not even claim to have any "truth" to be proud of.

            Or did I misunderstand when you wrote: "our pride in our religious knowledge...". The root "pride" that leads to all sin is thinking "there is no god but ME. But being proud that I am in good standing with God because I know the TRUTH and do many good things, can only be the result of having become blind to my corrupt heart that keeps the convicting power of the Holy Spirit at bay through lack of repentance. This is the problem Jesus is addressing to Laodicea.

            My point is what causes this symptom? How does one become Pharisaical about truth that sanctifies, unless it does not sanctify? What obstructs the power of the truth in one's life? Also, are you certain this is the need of every member in the church? Again, most don't know what they believe or why(according to the messenger of Christ to this church). If our attention is directed to a symptom, won't we miss the real need, as defined by the True Witness?

            Inge, perhaps some realize their deeper need, as revealed by Jesus, and pride of knowledge is not really their problem due to the growing knowledge of their true condition. Do you both believe that this pride of knowing THE Truth is everyone's only problem?

        • It seems to me that self-focus which manifests in pride is about as close as we can identify to the "original sin" of Lucifer. Thus it seems a bit strange to see pride described as a "symptom" rather than the cause of specific sins.

          May I suggest that those of us who see ourselves as being free from spiritual pride may be in the greatest danger of being destroyed by it. After all, pride does not recognize its need - which is exactly how Jesus described the last-day church.

    • Jesus time was spent putting Christianity into practice and teaching. We need to practice our faith, belief, faithfulness, commitment, repentance, overcoming and without putting all these into practice you die out. James 2:14-17. A mere claim of faith or repentence does a man no good, genuine faith and faithfulness is put into practice, is lived not just recited.

      Maurice bought a Nikon d850 and put it on the shelf and said see I have this camera that takes high resolution pictures of birds and called himself an ornathologist. No, he goes out into the swamps and estuaries of Australia and takes pictures, sometimes taking someone with him to teach, ornathology to, if they have the consitution to be quiet and patient. They come back and tell others all about Gods creations.

  3. Great illustration in your diligence to be the perfect teacher, you have lost your audience.
    1) recognizing the need
    2) identifying the solution
    3) willing to submit

  4. I do not have a great definition of "Spiritual Pride" however maybe somewhat relevant, is in Genesis 3:9 God asks the question, "Where are you"? God was not looking for geographic information. God was talking about the relationship that He and Adam were used to on a daily basis. Something happened when Adam was not where he usually is. Adam now perhaps had feelings similar to our discussion about "Spiritual Pride"? God ask Cain another similar question. Geneses4:9. Where is Abel your brother"? God knew very well the reason for both of the questions. Neither of their answers were satisfactory. If there is a difference of opinion regarding
    "Spiritual Pride, is it comparable to the type of pride in Proverbs 16:18? I am guilty of borrowing ideas. I am also guilty of cherishing a relationship with God,thankfully.

  5. Dear Maurice, I have been thinking over how you described your experience in detecting and correcting mistakes. I agree with Newbegin above. You explain "it is about checking your steps as you go through the solution, realizing you have an error and back tracking until you have found the mistake that caused the error."- This is why I need to review at the end of my every day and talk to Jesus to help me see some of the mistakes I have made that day and ask His forgiveness of those that I have recognised. I am so glad I can throw my sins at the foot of the cross and know that my Lord loves me and I can leave my mistakes there. In evangelism I think the same procedure would work too that you described. This too is like how some Galahs are watching on the side of the flock to give warnings to all about any approaching danger.
    (Is it time you visited Norfolk Is. again?) Godbless today, Mrs A Stolz.

    • I would love to visit Norfolk Is again but the trouble is that they have not built a bridge to Norfolk Is from Australia and I cannot drive my Troopy to it.

  6. Hello Maurice,

    Your post got me to thinking about the "present truth" of my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and those with whom I daily interact. I was struck by the metaphor of Christ offering his "wares" in the marketplace of Laodicea. In this materialistic age, beguiling marketing schemes work to convince us to buy into our dreams with products that we really don’t need or that may even harm us.

    In strong contrast, the Merchantman of Revelation counsels those who bear his name in his end-time church, “Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed.” (Revelation 3:18, NET) In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius gave this advice to his son: “The apparel oft proclaims the man.” This begs the question: As sons and daughters of God, what are we proclaiming by the “clothes” we wear? How are we impressing those with whom we interact? In conjunction with taking “no thought for the lusts of the flesh,” the apostle Paul advised the Romans to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” and to his Ephesians readers he wrote “to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires.” (Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:22, NET)

    Taking off and leaving behind behaviours and attitudes that are continually being formed by the wants and passions inside us and putting on the very different life that is being formed by Jesus requires deliberate, difficult and even agonizing choices that are diametrically opposed to natural desires. Often what seems right in the moment results in heartache, regret and shame for the rest of life.

    The “clothes” we fashion and wear are our attempt to cover the naked truth about ourselves (Genesis 3:7). Our outward show of “alternate facts” and “fake news” might be able to convince others and to even deceive ourselves, but we cannot deceive God. He knows our deepest darkest secrets, yet he loves us. His words to us are: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” True love does not leave the person it cherishes as they are, but draws them constructively with affection to itself. In the warmth and trust of Christ’s awesome love for us, we can work with him as he makes us into the image of that love. That is what Christ offers us: a new eternal life that makes us more than we are now. We need only to be "sold out" to him in exchange. Truly a bargain!


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