Christ is Wisdom

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Let’s look carefully into 1 Corinthians 1:17-30 that mentions two types of wisdom: (1) worldly wisdom, and (2) the wisdom from above. The wisdom from above is Christ Himself as we shall see, but the following section refers to worldly wisdom.
“not in wisdom of discourse, so that the cross of the Christ should not be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those indeed perishing, but to us being saved it is the power of God. For it has been written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; and the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:17b-20 Berean Literal Bible)
The next part speaks of God’s wisdom first, then worldly wisdom.
“For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God” (1 Corinthians 1:21a Berean Literal Bible)
God’s wisdom is the person of Christ as the 24th verse states:
“Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God:”
God states this same thought again in the 30th verse.
“It is because of Him [God], you are in Christ Jesus, Who [Christ Jesus] has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Corinthians 1:30 New International Version)
In other words, God has made Christ Jesus our wisdom, and our wisdom consists of righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. So Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. From this Scripture, we understand that Christ, and Christ alone, does righteousness. So anyone claiming to have righteousness that isn’t of Christ is presenting false righteousness, self-righteousness. Besides, Christ is the One Who purifies our minds (sanctification), and only He sets us free from the sinful nature, the bondage of the culture, and demonic influences (redemption). Therefore, there’s no true wisdom, righteousness, holiness, or freedom/redemption outside of Christ. However, God tells us to be alert because Satan will continually counterfeit all of these.
</end quote>
 
#RealFaith&Reason
 
Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.
 
 
Amazon sells it, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Witness in God’s Power

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Since thinkers without Christ can’t have true premises, they always use assumptions, and, as a result, basing reason on assumptions seems normal to them. From their point of view, making up stuff and believing made-up stuff seems sane, and anything else seems crazy. On the other hand, those who know Christ desire to work on a higher level, and we want to witness based on God’s power rather than the weakness of worldviews. We know that only the power of the Creator God can renew the mind of the lost, and we see the promise of this power in the following Scripture:

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel; not in wisdom of discourse, so that the cross of the Christ should not be emptied of its power. For the message [Greek: logos, literally: utterance] of the cross is foolishness to those indeed perishing, but to us being saved it is the power of God. For it has been written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; and the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those believing. Forasmuch as both Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek wisdom, we, however, preach [Greek: kerusso, literally: proclaim with gravity and authority] Christ having been crucified, a stumbling block indeed to the Jewish and foolishness to Gentiles, but those called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers, that not many were wise according to the flesh, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world that He might shame the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world that He might shame the strong; and the low-born of the world, and the things being despised, God also chose—the things not being—that He might annul the things being, so that all flesh may not boast before God. But out of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who has been made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:17-30 Berean Study Bible)

Let’s look carefully into 1 Corinthians 1:17-30 that mentions two types of wisdom: (1) worldly wisdom, and (2) the wisdom from above. The wisdom from above is Christ Himself as we shall see, but the following section refers to worldly wisdom.

“not in wisdom of discourse, so that the cross of the Christ should not be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those indeed perishing, but to us being saved it is the power of God. For it has been written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; and the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:17b-20 Berean Literal Bible)

The next part speaks of God’s wisdom first, then worldly wisdom.

“For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God” (1 Corinthians 1:21a Berean Literal Bible)

God’s wisdom is the person of Christ as the 24th verse states:

“Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God:”

God states this same thought again in the 30th verse.

“It is because of Him [God], you are in Christ Jesus, Who [Christ Jesus] has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Corinthians 1:30 New International Version)

In other words, God has made Christ Jesus our wisdom, and our wisdom consists of righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. So Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. From this Scripture, we understand that Christ, and Christ alone, does righteousness. So anyone claiming to have righteousness that isn’t of Christ is presenting false righteousness, self-righteousness. Besides, Christ is the One Who purifies our minds (sanctification), and only He sets us free from the sinful nature, the bondage of the culture, and demonic influences (redemption). Therefore, there’s no true wisdom, righteousness, holiness, or freedom/redemption outside of Christ. However, God tells us to be alert because Satan will continually counterfeit all of these.

The Sabbath in the Law looked forward to the true Sabbath. It never fully realized the rest God had in mind for His people. The Book of Hebrews gives us better understanding for the true Sabbath.

“Since, then, it remains for some to enter His rest, and since those who formerly heard the good news did not enter because of their disobedience, God again designated a certain day as “Today,” when a long time later He spoke through David as was just stated: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:6-11 Berean Study Bible)

We can fulfill the Sabbath since, as God rested from His own work, we cease from our own work. In the New Covenant, everything begins with God leading: “faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by God’s rhema (utterance).” “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” God is real and leads us, and, when we listen to Him and submit to Him, His faith comes. His faith gives us access into His grace, which, in turn, does His works of righteousness through us. That fulfills the Sabbath.

We cease from our own works and fulfill the Sabbath, and we have true righteousness rather than self-righteousness only as He fulfills the Sabbath by doing His works through us. Therefore, whatever isn’t of faith is sin. And God’s purpose in this Christ-generated righteousness is to form Christ more fully within us as we die to the fleshly nature. The light of Christ and His righteousness purifies us from the darkness of the fleshly nature. In other words, God’s purpose is holiness. So we can’t self-generate holiness, but the Holy Spirit alone transfigures us. He doesn’t make us holy against our wills, but we willingly submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit in every thought, word, and deed. Those words that flow out from our mouths from the Holy Spirit are the proclamations that save those who believe. This has nothing to do with human skill or intellect. It’s a moving of the Holy Spirit through those who humble themselves before Him.

“God was pleased through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those believing.” (1 Corinthians 1:21b Berean Literal Bible)

We understand this “foolishness” in the context of “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” So, to those who walk in darkness, Christ appears to be foolishness, yet we know Him as God’s power and wisdom living within us.

“Few are they who by faith touch Him; multitudes are they who throng about Him.” (Augustine)

The translators rendered the word “preaching” from the Greek word “kerugma.” Kerugma means “a proclamation.” This proclamation isn’t theology, excitement, or entertainment. Rather, “we preach Christ crucified.” Stating it literally, we proclaim Christ crucified; we don’t proclaim a message about Christ crucified. Proclaiming Christ is different from stating a proclamation about Christ. One imparts Christ, the Almighty Creator God, from one person to another, while the other gives a speech about theological concepts. It’s one thing to know that we ought to be listening to Christ’s voice, but it’s quite another to actually listen to Christ and yield ourselves to Christ continually throughout every part of our lives.

If we proclaim Christ, the living Christ makes Himself visible through the words spoken, and the proclamation is in the Spirit of prophecy. This preaching is power.

“For the preaching . . . is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 King James Bible)

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles [mouthpiece] of God;” (1 Peter 4:11a King James Bible)

So when we yield to His Spirit, He saturates our words with His Spirit. When we tell of our experiences with Christ and give our testimonies about how He leads, teaches, corrects, or delivers us, we are speaking the living Christ, the Logos, the Utterance. For every word we say, we allow His Holy Spirit to speak His words through us by His Power. In this way, we’re not distracted by our human will and learning. Instead, we speak the living Christ rather than speaking our own words because we aren’t authorized to speak our own words. Only by yielding to the Holy Spirit can we proclaim Christ, and we yield in the moment. Then, when we yield to the Holy Spirit, our words reveal Christ.

At the same time, a person who hears this proclamation is hearing God speak through us, so this person isn’t hearing us. Instead, this person is hearing God’s powerful rhema or utterance, and faith comes by this form of hearing. Since these are God’s utterances as He speaks through us, those words have power, the same power that created and now sustains the universe.

What we’ve just learned from the first chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians will be helpful for understanding Peter’s command to the Church:

“But sanctify [Literally: purify] the Lord God in your hearts [your inner being]: and be ready always to give an answer [Greek: apologia, literally: rational response] to every man who asks you a reason [Greek: logos. Note: Christ is the logos/utterance] of the hope that is in you [your inner being] with meekness [Literally: a gentle spirit] and fear [Literally: reverence or terror].” (1 Peter 3:15 King James Version)

We’ll begin by confessing that we Christians have taken the word “apologia” out of context at times in the past. We’ve used the word to justify human debate tactics and to justify unsound human logic without true premises. Sometimes, we’ve used this word as an excuse for unholy witnessing that doesn’t have the goal of bringing anyone to Christ. For example, there’s a form of witnessing that, if stated plainly, would say, “I’m better than you,” or it might say, “I’m smarter than you,” and that’s not what God meant in 1 Peter 3:15.

In the exact opposite mindset, we don’t bother trying to analyze who’s better, smarter, or more spiritually mature since we have no basis for measurement of those things. We don’t even think about who’s going to rule in the kingdom, but we just want to be faithful in what God has given us to do right now. Truly, we want God to remove this fleshly veil so the glory of Christ shines through us to those around us.

Now we go back to the start of the scriptural command to find that it begins with sanctification. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.” To sanctify is to purify. As God tells us to purify the Lord God in our innermost beings, we realize that it’s a command and also a promise, but how do we fulfill this command and promise? If we’re going to purify Christ in our innermost minds, God has a process for this purification as we might expect. It’s by grace, which is through faith. And we’ve already looked into that, but we need to apply it here.

The righteousness of Christ leads to this holiness. This holiness is sanctification or purification. (Romans 6:9) Righteousness is a gift from God that comes by grace through faith as we yield our minds and the members of our bodies to His grace, as we yield ourselves to Him. In broad terms, God leads, we acknowledge and yield, faith comes and gives access to grace, and we allow God’s grace to do His works through us moment by moment. Of course, the Holy Spirit won’t force us to do His will if we oppose Him, but rather, it all depends on us willingly staying in His presence yielded to His will.

The main point is that purification of Christ in us is the first step in giving an answer to everyone who asks us for a reason of the hope in us. Therefore, without yielding to His Spirit in submission, we can’t fulfill this command and promise of Scripture. And we only receive true authority in the spiritual realm as we submit to God’s authority. Therefore, as we yield ourselves to God, He does His works through us. He transforms our minds to be like His mind, which builds Christ and kills the fleshly nature, and He delegates His authority to us in the moment as we submit in the moment.

At our current state of immaturity, we may become discouraged since we know that we fall short of His glory and often walk or slip out of His will. However, we trust God instead of trusting ourselves, and we look for the ongoing teaching, correcting, and purifying that comes from the Holy Spirit as He is actively involved in our daily lives. We remember His promise:

“Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 American King James Version)

So God tells us to sanctify (purify) the Lord God in our hearts. “Hearts,” as the word appears here, doesn’t refer to the physical organ that pumps blood through our bodies, but rather, it speaks of our innermost beings. “For out of the heart are the issues of life.”

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify [purify] you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 Berean Study Bible)

The word that’s translated as “soul,” here is also translated “heart,” “mind,” or “life” in other verses. And Paul was in travail as the Holy Spirit was forming Christ in the hearts of the Galatians. (Galatians 4:19) Scripture speaks of Christ in us, which is the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) But each of us also has a fallen, carnal, brute-beast mind that causes us to make mistakes and draws us into temptation. That means there’s need for purification, but what are we purifying? As the Scripture says, we purify the Lord God in our hearts, but isn’t He pure already? Of course He’s pure. However, we aren’t pure because each of us has an impure sinful nature, and God is serious about overcoming our sinful natures.

He’s our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and freedom from sin. We purify Him in our hearts, and purification gives clarity and discernment. Purification defines the line between God’s revelation and the flesh’s lying illusions. In essence, purification removes the fleshly sarx carnal nature. Purification is the removal of the fleshly veil.

If we’re going to obey 1 Peter 3:15, we must “purify the Lord God in our hearts,” but purification is a progressive process. Through Scripture, God speaks of purification in 1 Peter 1:7, “so that the authenticity of your faith–more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation [apokalupsis, which means the removal of the veil] of Jesus Christ.” And since God’s will goes against our sinful nature, it’s like fire refining the gold—some refinements and purifications requiring more heat than others. Gold is symbolic of deity, which is Christ in us. This refining fire removes the veil that hides Christ in us.

We can look into this purification and this clarity of vision using an analogy. If we fill a clear water glass with dirt, we can’t see through the glass. But if we start adding clear water, the water begins to wash the dirt out of the glass, and soon, instead of pure dirt, we have muddy water. However, we still can’t see through the muddy water. Though it’s true that some light comes through, there’s no clarity of vision. The point is that we can eventually remove all the mud by adding water. On the other hand, if we add mud instead of water, we make progress backward away from clarity.

So the command is this: “Sanctify the Lord God in your heart.” “Purify the Lord God in your innermost mind.” Since this sanctification is the first step to following the command of 1 Peter 3:15, we can’t truly fulfill this command without purifying the Lord God in our innermost minds to some extent. And since purification is a progressive process, we can expect to find ever-greater clarity as we continue to submit ourselves to the flowing water of the Holy Spirit.

Moving on, according to 1 Peter 3:15, God tells us to give “an answer to every person who asks us for a reason of the hope in us.” And we already know the word that’s translated as “answer” is the Greek word “apologia,” which means “a reasoned response” or “a verbal defense.” But what is equally important is the word that’s translated as “reason” from the Greek word “logos.” Since we looked at “logos” earlier, we remember that “logos” literally means “utterance,” but a key point is that “logos” is also used to refer to Christ. “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” (John 1:1)

Therefore, this word is referring to Christ, Christ in us, the hope of glory. He’s the One we’re purifying in our hearts. Logos is also the Greek word from which we get the word “logic.” So when we speak, God asks us to speak the Living Word, the Logos. Only when Christ speaks through us can we give a reasoned response with sound logic. God commands us to speak as His oracles, but this speaking requires submission to the Holy Spirit. We submit to every God-set authority in humility and deep respect. And we need this submission if we’re going to sanctify the Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts. As we yield, the Holy Spirit progressively removes the impure fleshly veil that hides Christ in our innermost minds. When we allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us, He removes this veil, and He reveals Christ to some extent.

So, God asks us always to be ready to give a rational response to every person who asks for the Logos Who lives within us. He asks us to be ready to give a rational response to anyone who asks us a Logos of the hope in us. But what about this hope? Contrary to popular opinion, God’s hope doesn’t have the same meaning as ungodly “hope.” Instead, God’s hope is real hope. God’s hope doesn’t say, “I hope so.” Instead, real hope is a vision from God of coming reality. This vision comes from Christ in us, the hope of glory. And since God’s hope has vision, and that vision is certain, we see God’s vision by hope.

By hope, we see the vision of our unique identities in Christ, and we see the vision of how our identities fit into the body of Christ. We identify with the Christ, the Spiritual Man within us rather than identifying with our fleshly selves. He is the ministry within each of us, and we see Him as if looking into a mirror. We see how we’ll fulfill this vision if we’re faithful as we individually fit into the body of Christ as particular members. We discern the gifts, ministries, offices, and orders of the body of Christ by this vision, so the hope in us is Christ formed in us, in our innermost minds. And we never forget that we’re all going through this transformation together as one body of Christ. Each member discerns Christ in the others, and we assemble ourselves into God’s order for the body. Obviously, He’ll form His body according to the pattern of Scripture. And He’ll form His body by the Holy Spirit working through the individual members as they assemble themselves in unity and order.

Therefore, God’s hope is solid reality. It has substance. However, if we think that “hope” is something we make-up, just a concept or fabrication, we commit an anti-concreteness fallacy. Anti-concreteness treats reality as if it were made-up stuff. Christ isn’t a concept, but rather, He’s the Reality, and He’s the Truth. In the same way, God’s hope isn’t a concept either, but rather, it’s Reality and Truth.

When compared, God’s utterance in 1 Peter 3:15 confirms and elaborates on what God says through 1 Corinthians 1:17-25. In these cases, He commands us to have a reasonable response, but not human reasoning without divine revelation since we’ve already discovered that human reason without divine revelation can’t be rational. It can’t be sound because if we reason without divine revelation, we’ll be irrational.

We already know why. It’s because we need a true premise to reason rationally, and we can only have a true premise by revelation. If we try to reason without revelation, we root our reasoning in made-up stuff, and basing statements on made-up stuff isn’t rational. Therefore, if we let God guide our thoughts and communications, He’ll make our reasoning sane, but without God, there’s no sanity.

When we purify the Lord God in our hearts, people notice the holiness. People notice when we’re keeping pace with the Holy Spirit. They sense the presence of the Holy One of Israel living in our beings. And since the Almighty Creator God lives in us, we can sense His presence and hear His voice. Even ungodly thinkers can sense a difference in us regardless of whether they understand that they’re seeing Christ in our lives. Of course, those who know Christ also sense His presence in us as they discern the body of Christ. When someone asks us about the Christ in us, we respond to the question with a proclamation from God’s throne. In other words, we respond to the question with an utterance from God, and this reasoned response comes out of the Lord God in our innermost minds (hearts). This reasoned response is an utterance from God. This utterance is the essence of Christ. It has the same authority and power that created the universe. But now He speaks to reveal the Word of Life to another soul.

“to every man who asks you a reason”

Since Christ dwells in us, if we allow Jesus to be visible, someone is more likely to ask about Him. But some Christians are afraid to identify with Christ. Perhaps they fear peer pressure, ostracism, or lost prestige. Perhaps they grew weary of the veiled threats of termination, veiled threats of denied tenure, and shabby treatment. Maybe they want the money and prestige that comes to those who go with the flow, or it’s possible they just want to fit into the world as everyone else does. Though we can dream up many potential reasons, Christ doesn’t approve if we deny Him or fail to give Him all the glory and praise.

“if we endure, we will also reign together with Him; if we will deny Him, He also will deny us;” (2 Timothy 2:12 Berean Literal Bible)

“And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:17 Berean Literal Bible)

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12 Berean Study Bible)

In summary, while witness to unbelievers and believers can degenerate into a battle of worldviews, true witness is the testimony of Jesus Christ. In fact, true witness is a prophetic proclamation that makes Jesus Christ visible because true witness is God speaking through us and imparting something of Himself through us. The testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy. However, keep in mind that all the prophets suffered persecution.

Louie Giglio suggests that we can stay out of the he-said-she-said arguments when we witness to others. He says that we can do this by telling people about how Jesus is changing our lives. We can tell about the struggles we have had and how God has been there comforting us and helping us through the situation. We can tell about how His life and light is coming into our lives. (https://youtu.be/xUEf-ci3WPY)

The testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy. You can’t say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Spirit of God. When you merely speak about what God is doing in your life right now, you speak by the Spirit of the living God.
</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

Amazon sells it, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The Holy Spirit Leads Us Into All Truth

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
“Son of Man,” he said, “I’ve appointed you to be a watchman over the house of Israel. Therefore when you hear a message that comes from me, you are to warn them for me. “So when I say to a wicked person, ‘You’re about to die,’ if you don’t warn or instruct that wicked person that his behavior is wicked so he can live, that wicked person will die in his sin, but I’ll hold you responsible for his death. If you warn the wicked person, and he doesn’t repent of his wickedness or of his wicked behavior, he’ll die in his sin, but you will have saved your own life. “When a righteous man abandons his righteousness to practice unrighteousness, I’ll set a stumbling block before him. He’ll die. If you don’t warn him, he’ll die in his sin and the righteous deeds that he had practiced won’t be remembered, but you’ll be held responsible for his death. If you warn the righteous person, so that he doesn’t commit sin, then he’ll live since he had been warned. And you will have saved your life.” ~ Ezekiel 3:17-21 International Standard Version
 
Our expedition now leads us to Christian witness, and in this leg of our pilgrimage, we’ll shine a light on the ways that worldviews get in the way of Christian witness. Christian witness ought to shine out through every aspect of our lives. We can attend church, have an intellectual understanding of the Gospel, and have a Christian worldview, and yet fail to manifest Christ. We can even engage in many Christian activities and projects. We can take classes in soul-winning. We sometimes work hard at religion. But what’s it worth if we have no fruit showing in our lives?
 
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control, and faith. Rather than these virtues, we sometimes see self-righteousness, empty religion, sexual sins of all kinds, impatience, anger, bitterness, envy, and many other fruits of the fleshly nature. We see the conflict since Christ is leading, teaching, and correcting us into righteousness. And righteousness leads to holiness. That is, God is purifying us from glory to glory. The fruit of the Spirit will spring forth if we truly have a relationship with Christ. If Christ is working in us in this way, those who are hungry and thirsty will see Christ in us as the fruit of the Spirit becomes obvious. The fruit of the Spirit will open doors for witnessing.
 
“The fruit of a righteous person is a tree of life, and a winner of souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30 God’s Word Translation)
 
One way that soul-winning is taught is to present materialistic and naturalistic evidence, which may be philosophical, scientific, historical, or legal, without any Anointing of the Holy Spirit. Generally, this form of soul-winning depends on human intellect. Without the Holy Spirit, the unbeliever sees only the fruit of the flesh in us when we’re witnessing. What follows is a war of worldviews. Consider the following from my friend, Greg Kiser:
 
“If we REALLY believe what God told us in Romans 1, then these people [the disbelievers] are fools. Are we afraid to talk to fools? Not at all. The Ph.D. means nothing by comparison to all the wisdom & knowledge in Christ. If all knowledge is in Him, then there is no knowledge without Him. I used to think Proverbs 26:4-5 only showed the futility of witnessing to a fool (and most commentators agree with that), but it is not that at all. Instead, it shows us how to engage them.”
 
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
 
Greg goes on to note Psalm 14:1, which also defines a fool as the one who denies God’s existence since God has so clearly shown Himself to them and holds them accountable. Greg goes on to say:
 
“The passage simply means we are NOT to take the worldview of the fool in order to talk to him. That’s what they want!”
 
Ungodly thinkers want us to drop divine revelation. They want us to interpret observation, experience, and the Bible using their axioms that come out or their worldviews. They don’t want us to consider the divine revelation in Scripture. They don’t want God directly involved whether discussing the origin of the universe, geological formations, distant starlight, sexual morality, marriage, home order, Church order, abortion, hate groups, racism, or any other topic.
 
However, ungodly thinkers aren’t the only ones who have problems with worldviews. Worldview problems appear to be part of the fallen human nature. Still, the situation isn’t hopeless, and we’ve already discovered part of God’s plan of deliverance, but the battle is for the mind. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
</end quote>
#RealFaith&Reason
 
Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.
 
 
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Trust the Holy Spirit

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

We can trust the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture, but we can’t trust the fallen human nature, the demonic entities, or the minds of ungodly “intellectuals.” . . . Some oppose this truth by saying, “We must keep our theological conceptions as a blueprint or lens to interpret Scripture.” They say, “We should read the Bible to support our theological conceptions.” It’s true that each of us has a theological conception, and our theological conceptions are parts of our worldviews. Since millions of theological conceptions exist, whose theological conception can we trust? Of course, those who say that we need our theological conceptions also promote their own conceptions as the “correct conceptions” and claim that all others are wrong. Even post-modern relativists claim that their conceptions are right and others are wrong, which is strange since they feel that nothing is either right or wrong. We wouldn’t expect it, but relativists are also exclusivists since they think relativism is right and consider all conflicting opinions wrong.

We trust the Holy Spirit since He knows. If we’re humble, we want the Holy Spirit to continue to correct our theological conceptions. However, He won’t force us when we make our theological conceptions into our foundation rather than having Christ as our Foundation. May we ever long to go beyond theological conception to know Jesus Christ as He knows us.

Merriam Webster says theology is the study of religious faith, practice, and experience, the study of God and God’s relation to the world, a system of religious beliefs or ideas. However, knowing about God and God’s relation to the world is different from knowing God. And a system of religious beliefs or ideas isn’t the same as knowing God.

Therefore, we won’t use the word “theology” to refer to getting to know God through Jesus Christ and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Instead, we’ll use the word “theology” to mean learned concepts about God and all the topics mentioned by Merriam Webster. We’ll contrast theology with knowing Christ and allowing Him to lead, teach, and correct while we yield ourselves to Him.

Theology often goes beyond what God has revealed. That’s a problem. Speculative theology appears in creeds, books, individual felt needs, individual perspectives, certain groups of expert scholars who agree, or organizations. Then each religious organization teaches that its official theology is the one true theology. We just mentioned post-modern relativists. Even the organizations that say doctrine isn’t any issue at all are promoting the doctrine of relativism as the correct doctrine. That doctrine of unity in diversity becomes their claim to fame. Theological disagreements cause divisions. There may be exceptions to that rule, and the competitive human spirit, money, power, and prestige can also cause divisions, but theological disagreements is a huge factor. Speculation drives theological disagreements. Only the Holy Spirit can solve this. And He will.

Oddly, it’s common for theologians to think that their personal theologies are exact restatements of Scripture even when those theologies add to Scripture, omit some Scripture, or require just-so stories to explain away certain Scripture passages. For example, one end-times expert expounded on many supposed coming events but never mentioned a single verse of Scripture. We would have to admit his claims weren’t impossible, but they added to Scripture. Then he said, “Well I’m just quoting Scripture.” This theologian had lost the distinction between his theology and Scripture. A theologian who claims that Jesus isn’t God simply brushes away verses that say Jesus is God. We could go on with endless theologies that claim to follow Scripture exactly.

It’s common for two theologians with opposing theologies to both claim to be following Scripture exactly without adding anything to or diminishing anything in Scripture. And yet their theologies conflict with each other. If they were both following Scripture without creative interpretation, there wouldn’t be any conflict or division. So what do they do? Each accuses the other of adding to Scripture and diminishing Scripture, but the real problem is that both of them confuse Scripture with theological worldview.

As Christ-followers, we stand against speculative theology. We stand against any speculative theology, including our own, and we pray that the Holy Spirit reveals those hidden assumptions and speculations that seem so real to us but go beyond Scripture. Hopefully, there’s no speculative theology in this journey, but it may have crept in unawares. So, if there is any, we pray that the Holy Spirit exposes it and doesn’t allow it to do damage. And we pray that the Holy Spirit continues to teach and correct us. We also pray that our hearts are soft toward Him. Now if we, with this attitude, are likely to venture into fantasy land, what about a Christ-follower who believes that assumptions are the basis of sound reasoning?

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:2-3 New International Version)

We have to ask the questions. Whose theology should we trust? And which denomination is best? And which books should we trust? And which theological experts can we trust?

The answer is that we know we can trust God, and we know the Holy Spirit is our teacher. Therefore, the Holy Spirit will direct us to fellowship with others, and He’ll direct each of us to a fellowship where we can grow. At some time, He may move us again if necessary for our continued growth providing that we’re still open to spiritual growth beyond the maturity we’ve attained at that time.

Part of our spiritual growth is recognizing the body of Christ. We recognize the ministry in each member, and we see that the ministry is Christ in us, the hope of glory. God has provided the Church, and the Church is part of God’s method for understanding Scripture. In other words, the Church is an important part of His way and an important part of His method. God designed the Church to work in the order and pattern written in Scripture, and the early Church largely followed this pattern when the Church was walking well. Then they abandoned the pattern. But God has been restoring various parts of the scriptural pattern over the past several centuries.

Of course, it makes no sense for me to presume that I can initiate God’s order or pattern since God’s order is as much a part of Himself as His righteousness, love, peace, or joy. Therefore, only God can initiate His order, and the Holy Spirit will put the Church into order, precept on precept, with power and authority. And precept on precept, the Holy Spirit will bring the Church into unity. Yes, Christ will return for a bride without spot or wrinkle, so as God’s plan unfolds, we’ll see God using the Church to correctly understand Scripture when the Church follows the pattern of Scripture. But God will fulfill His plan in His timing by His effort, not by human effort. Our part is paying attention to Him and submitting to Him. Meanwhile, we know God provides a pattern that’s safer than human ideas, innovations, patterns, and precepts. And God doesn’t need our ideas. He has a plan.

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

Amazon sells it, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.

http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Guard Your Heart

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
“Above everything else guard your heart (innermost mind), because from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 International Standard Version)
 
We can trust the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture, but we can’t trust the fallen human nature, the demonic entities, or the minds of ungodly “intellectuals.” Ungodly persuaders would love to have us sit in their counsel so they could brainwash us.
 
We have an alternative to ungodly counselors. God speaks to us through Scripture, and since anyone can experience His revelation through Scripture, there’s no question about it. The Bible is God’s utterance without error, and the Holy Spirit confirms this truth to us, so there’s no question about this revelation either. Rather, the question is about interpretation. And rational interpretation is only possible by listening to God’s voice. The Holy Spirit leads us if we follow Him. His leading depends on our willingness to submit to His Spirit, so the question is: whom will we worship? Will we worship our minds and egos? Will we worship demons? Will we worship human intellect? Or will we worship God?
</end quote>
#RealFaith&Reason
 
Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.
 
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Theology Isn’t Scripture

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Let’s consider the same thought process that we applied to reality and science and see how it works with God’s revelation as we hear, read, or remember Scripture. And notice there’s no difference in the thought process thinkers use for rationalized science or rationalized theology. Both of them fall flat on the same principle. They both come from the wrong source. The wrong source is neither observation of the created world nor what God wrote in Scripture. Instead, the wrong source is the fallen, sin-cursed human mind, or worse, demonic influence.

While the human mind tries to interpret using the confirmation bias process, we must choose the right source, which is divine revelation. So we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of Scripture to us. And we also allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of the created world to us. It’s even why we allow Him to reveal the meaning and purpose of our experiences and observations day by day and minute by minute in every situation.

Our choices for interpreting Scripture are similar to our choices for interpreting any other part of reality with the same circular confirmation bias, worldview, presuppositions, and filter, reasoning in a circle on the left and divine revelation without fallacy on the right. You choose which one to follow. The influencers of the devil, culture, and flesh plus the assumptions that flow naturally from the worldview are inputs into the filter, and they resist the truth that comes from Scripture. They “help” us interpret Scripture. Whatever makes it through the filter is fed into the worldview as confirmation bias.

On the right hand, God interprets Scripture through divine revelation, which builds up Christ in you. To be clear, God speaks, and His faith comes by the rhema or utterance of God. Christ is the logos or utterance of God. God spoke and created the universe by His utterance. Interestingly, when we read “Create in me a clean heart, oh God,” in Psalm 51:10, the Hebrew word “bara” that’s translated as “create” is the same word that’s used to describe the way God created (bara) the heavens and the earth. And He did it by His utterance. He is the one who builds up Christ in you.

As we absorb the choice we have before us, we consider that some thinkers claim that the fallen natural human mind can understand Scripture without God or His revelation. These thinkers claim that we don’t need the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture. The basis of this claim is that they think the fallen human mind is basically good. They would say, “The human mind was, after all, created by God, wasn’t it?” However, God doesn’t teach that the human mind is basically good. To the contrary, we can’t find “human goodness” in Scripture, but rather, the human mind’s unreliability is a major theme of Scripture.

According to a second story, some thinkers claim that we can simply shift our minds into neutral. In effect, they say that we shift into neutral and read Scripture, but by making this claim, they’re also claiming that we can trust our fallen minds to avoid misinterpreting Scripture. They’re also saying that we don’t need the Holy Spirit, we don’t need the unction from the Father, yet that isn’t what God says through Scripture.

“And as for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But just as His true and genuine anointing teaches you about all things, so remain in Him as you have been taught.” (1 John 2:27 Berean Study Bible)

By this Scripture, we know that the “shifting our minds into neutral” philosophy doesn’t come from God. And we don’t find that philosophy in Scripture.

In summary, the first story is that we can trust the human mind and the second story is we can think in a neutral and unbiased way. These two dangerous stories are tricks of the enemy of our souls, and both of these stories assure deception and leave us open to doctrines of demons. In refuting these stories, God says the human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked, and He commands us to seek Him with our whole mind.

We see that God has a reason for telling us to seek Him with everything that’s in us. If we seek God, we enquire of God. God asks us to enquire of Him, and not only does God ask us to seek Him, but seeking God isn’t something that God only mentions a few times through Scripture. Just the opposite, seeking God is a major theme of Scripture, not a suggestion but a command.

We need to clarify one other point about seeking God. Techniques like mind blanking, sensory deprivation, and guided imagery are different from seeking God. Seeking God isn’t a trance state. In fact, we don’t dare open our minds to whatever pops into them from whatever source, which is why we guard our innermost minds, for out of the innermost mind flows life.
</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

Amazon sells it, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The Human Heart/Mind is Deceitful

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
We’ll again look into the same process working for science. In this case, “settled science” is the group-held worldview, which is powerful because of peer-pressure, coercion, message control, and brainwashing. And though it’s effective for confirmation bias, it’s even more effective for blurring the line between good and evil, truth and error, or reality and make-believe.
 
The two ways of interpreting scientific observation are similar to the two ways of dealing with any other part of reality. We have the same circular reasoning confirmation bias with the worldview, assumptions, and filter on the left and divine revelation on the right. Once again, you make the choice. You submit your will to one or the other. A combination of the presuppositions and assumptions that come out of the worldview plus the influence of demons, peer pressure, and your human flesh create the filter. That filter resists any truth that comes from the scientific observation unless that truth conforms to the filter. The filter adds information and removes information from the observations. Then, the filtered scientific observations go into the worldview and confirm the bias of the worldview. On the other hand, you can choose to listen to what God is saying about the scientific observations, in which case, the observations build up Christ in you.
 
So what happens when a scientist observes something new that conflicts with the group-held paradigm? The scientific establishment usually rejects the new observation for a while because only a few can see this part of reality when few thinkers believe it. If a few others accept the new observation, it’s easier for even more thinkers to come on board. When enough thinkers accept it, almost everyone accepts what has now become the bandwagon. This gradual acceptance is a naturally occurring bandwagon fallacy of emotional momentum. However, humanity is resistant to new information because of worldviews and confirmation bias. As a result, it’s difficult for scientists to observe the unexpected. When enough people admit to seeing this part of reality, emotional momentum builds as peer pressure shifts slowly, over decades or centuries, to support the new observation.
 
This resistance to change works against science to protect the status quo. However, sacred cows resist change even more than those parts of the paradigm that aren’t given such a glorified status. Therefore, the scientific establishment rejects new observations when those observations conflict with the sacred cows. They reject these conflicting observations even after many scientists make the same observation. In cases where observations conflict with the sacred cow stories, additional stories called “just-so stories,” must be made-up to rescue the sacred cows from the conflicting observations. In its resistance to reality, the establishment accepts conflicting observations only after someone crafts and perfects just-so stories because they must protect the sacred cows at all cost.
 
Let’s look at a concrete example of this sacred cow protection process to understand better how it works. When scientists discovered soft tissue in dinosaur bones, the sacred cows of millions of years and molecules-to-humanity evolutionism came into question. So, the scientific establishment rejected the observation. Finally, someone made up a just-so story to explain how soft tissue could survive for millions of years. Even though the just-so story was silly, it was enough for many within the scientific establishment to stop denying the observations. And now the just-so story “proves” millions of years and molecules-to-humanity evolutionism. How stories can prove anything is a mystery, but persuaders use many stories to prove that the sacred cows are true.
 
Besides these hallucinations, thinkers also see what they expect to see whether it’s real or not. For example, Bill Nye claimed to see the big bang, billions of years, no Genesis Flood, and simple life popping into existence spontaneously and evolving from amoebas into humanity in the back yards of Kentucky. Ken challenged Bill’s magical claim of looking into the past. However, Bill defended his claim by saying everyone is always looking into the past since light takes time to reach each person from the point of origin. When defending a worldview, especially a godless worldview, ungodly thinkers don’t even demand the illusion of rationality.
 
Now let’s shift our viewpoint to look at the other way of thinking. By using a completely different method of reasoning, a scientist can go into his or her work with a mind open to God’s revelation. For example, George Washington Carver used this method of reasoning, and any scientist can do the same. Seeking the mind of God works because God knows all about scientific and technical things since He made everything and knows everything. God will, without exception, direct the paths of those who acknowledge Him.
 
This wisdom, knowledge, and understanding from God is why those who follow Christ should excel beyond all others in every line of work. Since everyone who follows Christ is in the presence of the One Who is all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, we can expect excellence from ourselves. Everyone who follows Christ stands in the presence of the Source of all love, joy, peace, stability, patience, gentleness, humility, goodness, and inner strength. Therefore, the Christ-follower has an advantage. Also, even with the prejudice often shown against Christ-followers, the Christ-follower can receive wisdom to succeed against prejudice where God opens the door.
</end quote>
#RealFaith&Reason
 
Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.
 
 
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Two Distinct Ways of Thinking

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
We’re looking at the way we think our thoughts. Now, we want to look in more detail than we did previously. We see two distinct types of reason. On the left side, we’re looking at reasoning based on assumptions. As discussed previously, the assumptions come out of the worldview and then return to the worldview to confirm the worldview using circular reasoning and confirmation bias.

In contrast, on the right side, divine revelation provides a firm foundation for rational thought. Truth sets the innermost human mind free. We have this truth and freedom when we acknowledge God’s revelation and submit to it. This revelation comes to us directly from God. No intermediary exists to interpret the revelation. God interprets reality and reveals it to us. God speaks to us through the Bible and every means of divine revelation mentioned in the Bible. And His revelation never conflicts with the Bible since God never disagrees with Himself. For those of us who are born again, Christ lives within, so the experience is greater and clearer. We still have a fleshly nature that’s involved in the circular process of the filter, the worldview, and the assumptions, but we’re learning to disregard that fleshly problem. We’re learning to discern the voice of Christ and to respond in willing submission to Him.

God also reveals reality to ungodly thinkers who refuse to acknowledge Him. Ungodly thinkers filter and dismiss much of this revelation, and they refuse to glorify God for any revelation they accept. They twist and warp any revelation they accept by rationalizing the revelation to fit the constraints of their worldviews. Atheists and Christians alike rationalize God’s revelation if they fail to acknowledge the voice of God when He’s speaking to them.

Between these two opposing ways of thinking, is the human will. At each moment, every thinker decides. We decide which of these two ways of thinking we’ll acknowledge. We decide which reasoning we’ll use. In every condition and during every moment, we decide constantly. Failure to decide is a decision to be double-minded. Double-minded thinkers follow the ungodly thinking on the left. And since human interpretation discounts or adds to revelation, human interpretation follows the circular reasoning on the left. Revelation, however, is direct and avoids fallacy, while human interference tries every trick to frustrate revelation.

As we’ve seen, we’re the ones who choose whom we’ll serve at each moment, and since no one can decide for us, we decide whether we’ll acknowledge God’s leading or lean on human understanding. In every case, we make this choice in all our ways and in everything we do, and there’s no time when we aren’t making this choice. Even when we think we aren’t making this choice, we’re choosing ungodly thinking. To more fully understand what’s happening, we notice what God says through Scripture:

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 New International Version)

But didn’t God choose us? Isn’t it true that God did choose us? Yes. God chose us. Even though many speculative theologies go well beyond what God says, He did choose us as these Scriptures plainly state:

“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined [appointed ahead of time] us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the Beloved One.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 Berean Study Bible)

“For those God foreknew, He also predestined [based on foreknowledge] to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29 Berean Study Bible)

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” (John 15:16 Berean Study Bible”

Here, we looked at only three verses, but God’s decision to call us is a major theme of Scripture. And yet, the fact that we must choose is also a major theme in Scripture. God chose certain individuals based on His foreknowledge. He knew what decisions we would make. As a builder chooses skilled workers based on the builder’s knowledge of those skilled workers and what they will do, God foreknew each of us and how He would use us.

Unfortunately, the theologies surrounding these Scripture have become intensified in the minds of many saints, and many have broken fellowship over speculative interpretations. We can see that both are true. We can see that God hasn’t asked us to explain away certain Scriptures that disagree with our favorite interpretations. For our purposes, we must realize that God has put it into our hands to decide to follow Him in every situation as the following Scriptures teach:

“I call heaven and earth to testify against you today! I’ve set life and death before you today: both blessings and curses. Choose life, that it may be well with you—you and your children.” (Deuteronomy 30:19 International Standard Version)

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14 New International Version)

“As they traveled along, Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to His message. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations to be made. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord replied, ‘you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42 Berean Study Bible)

“choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25 New American Standard Bible)

“So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.” (Genesis 13:11 English Standard Version)

“Enter through the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad the way leading to destruction, and many are those entering through it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 Berean Study Bible)

“But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed.” (James 1:14 Berean Study Bible)

“There is a way that seems right to a person, but eventually it ends in death.” (Proverbs 14:12 God’s Word Translation)

Since God is worthy of trust, knows all things, and can’t lie or be wrong, why would we follow our worldviews that consist of vapor? He can bypass our human interpretation processes. He can impart truth directly to us. We only need to submit and desire His righteousness. He even gives us the power to desire His will and to do His will if we ask Him for it. It doesn’t depend on us. So when we listen to Christ, He brings light to our spiritual eyes. Then our senses constantly improve. We’re ever more able to discern as we yield ourselves to His Spirit. But we aren’t the ones who are discerning between truth and fiction, between good and evil. Christ in us is discerning.

“The command of Jehovah is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalm 19:1b Young’s Literal Translation)

As we progress, yielding leads to greater yielding and spiritual maturity. And this maturity is Christ in us more fully formed as we die more completely to our fleshly natures. As we mature, spiritual discernment gets more accurate. We exercise our senses by using those spiritual senses. As a result, our discernment improves.

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14 English Standard Version)

We must be able to distinguish good from evil.

The human mind is evil:

“The human mind is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable. No one can understand how deceitful it is.” (Jeremiah 17:9 God’s Word Translation)

God is good:

“’Why do you call Me good?’ Jesus replied, ‘No one is good except God alone.’” (Mark 10:18 Berean Study Bible)

Neither of the two methods of thinking shows an instant result. Instead, both are incremental processes that are constantly going on within us, and in these internal processes, each of us makes choices, and those choices direct thoughts, words, and actions. So each of us either descends into darkness or rises into light and glory one step at a time. Those who want truth will rise to the fullness of light and glory if they’re faithful. They’ll succeed even if darkness deceived them in the past. God, Who is absolutely just and Who knows our hearts, will see to it.

As we continue to grow in Christ and die to self, our senses become keener as we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit in obedience. When we vigorously exercise our senses by using them, our sarx minds lose ground as Christ is built up in us. As we mature, His presence in us gives us increased ability to tell the difference between our minds and God’s mind, between evil and good.

As we’ve already discovered, the natural human mind is evil, and God’s mind is good.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25:13-30 about a master who gave stewards gold to invest for profit. In Scripture, gold typifies deity. When we acknowledged Christ, we were born again and immediately had Christ in us, the hope of glory. By grace, which is through faith, God had put a seed of Christ into us, but He expects an increase of this gold.

God speaks much about edification in Scripture. And the word “edification” means to build up. Specifically, God is telling us about building up Christ in us. Through Scripture, God explains many of His methods for building up Christ in us and warns against the things that undo this work. Not only that, but God speaks through Scripture of refining gold, which represents the ways that God removes the impurity from the gold, demolishing the strongholds of Satan in our minds. This process of making increase of the gold and refining the gold is the process of coming to spiritual maturity.

In this journey, spiritual senses direct our walk, and they direct us to meet regularly with other Christians and to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture. Equally important, they expose the false teacher, correct the false belief, and steer us away from sinful thoughts, words, and acts.

Though seldom considered, humility is part of maturity since humility allows us to submit ourselves to God-set authority. Through humility, we can take correction, and we can better judge who’s sent by God and who’s speaking by the Holy Spirit. To say it another way, we can better see the body of Christ, the spiritual gifts, ministries, offices, and orders that make up the body of Christ.

God reveals the meaning of what we observe and experience. He explains and interprets observation and experience beyond human limits of observation, and all who walk in the Spirit have this continuing experience. The only alternative is allowing our fallen, deceitful, wicked human minds to filter, explain, and interpret observation and experience beyond the human limits of observation. However, that alternative will result in error since the human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked and can only interpret by making up stuff.

Since knowledge of reality is partial for the present, we only know in part. However, partial knowledge isn’t the same as not having any knowledge with certainty. We have partial but unquestionable knowledge. For instance, we know Christ absolutely but not completely as we’ll know Him one day. We recognize the body of Christ now. Even though we see as if looking in a mirror, our vision improves as we yield to the Spirit of Truth. So we have some absolute knowledge, and God’s revelation is our only accurate knowledge. However, revelation is still incomplete because of human weakness.
</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

Amazon sells it, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Human Interpretation

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

The Interpretation Process

We each have a way that we interpret our experiences and observations. Our interpretations are our representations of reality, but they aren’t reality itself. Our interpretations aren’t even the small part of reality that we have observed or experienced. Instead, our interpretations are the thoughts we have about the small part of reality that we’ve observed or experienced. In other words, interpretation is what we have left after we use our minds to think about our observations and experiences. However, it’s not just interpretation of direct observation and experience. Consider how often we infer based on things we heard from some “trusted source” but never saw or experienced for ourselves. So we have these interpretations, and we feed them back into our worldviews as confirmation bias. We reason in a circle. In short, the worldview filters experience and observation, and then the worldview confirms itself with the filtered results, which strengthens the amazing filter that keeps you and me from seeing reality as it is.

This process is a lot to take in and understand, so we’ll try to paint a picture of how it works:

At the top, we see a symbol labeled “Reality,” which represents what exists. Of course, reality includes microscopic organisms, animals, people, stars, planets, and fossils. And it includes heaven, hell, angels, and demons. It also includes God.

To the left of reality, we see a circular reasoning process where the worldview generates assumptions and presuppositions, and those assumptions and presuppositions create a filter that filters reality. Then, the filtered impressions of reality return as confirmation bias into the worldview. It’s circular. We see assumptions and presuppositions coming out of the worldview, and as we live our lives, these assumptions and presuppositions don’t seem like made-up stuff. Instead, they seem like part of reality, and they strengthen the filter of the worldview.

The influencers are there, the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. The world, of course, is the total of all the ungodly thinkers. To make matters worse, we usually block out people who clash with our worldviews. The fleshly nature uses desires, emotions, and impulses to get its way. The fleshly nature influences us, often to our hurt and regardless of how we try to control these passions. Then we have ungodly influences from the outside, the culture, and life in general. These external influences include ungodly friends, books, publications, videos, shows, social contacts, teachers, news services, and experts. That’s where peer pressure tries to squeeze and coerce us into the world’s mold. And that’s where cleverly designed fables and stories in videos, movies, TV shows, textbooks, and novels seek to mold our minds without our awareness. Not only that, but we don’t fight against flesh and blood; we fight against principalities and powers, the wicked spiritual forces in the heavens influencing our filters.

We react to reality and filter it. Whatever conflicts with our worldviews, we dismiss and ignore. That’s denial. Whatever matches our worldviews, we use as confirmation bias to make our worldviews seem more real. Then, we bring assumptions out of our worldviews. We’re usually aware of our assumptions. We also bring presuppositions out of our worldviews, but we think that our presuppositions are part of reality. We feed these assumptions and presuppositions into our filters along with the influences that come from the culture, our fleshly desires, and demonic forces. That reinforces our filters, so they become strongholds against truth. We’re less able to see reality as it is. As we filter reality, this circular process keeps leading us from one level of darkness to a deeper level of darkness.

It continues. We filter reality and bolster our worldviews. Then presuppositions and assumptions come out of our worldviews to bolster our filters, which filter reality so they can bolster our worldviews. And on it goes moment by moment every day of our lives unless God intervenes.

It’s not easy to see this problem in ourselves, but it sure is obvious in others. The trouble is that it does little good to see the problem in others, and yet we can benefit by seeing it in ourselves. We don’t observe reality directly. Instead, we observe reality through human limits of observation. As the mind’s filter obscures and distorts the limited observation, we can’t understand or accept some of what we observe since our filters deflect our observations, distorting our perceptions. Then we add distorted, filtered perceptions to our worldviews.

Of course, we must keep in mind that every person’s filter is unique since we each filter our perceptions through our respective worldviews. This way, our filtered perceptions match our worldviews. In the resulting blindness, we have trouble perceiving anything not already in our unique worldviews. And even if we do perceive something that isn’t already in our worldviews, we reject it as crazy. We often aren’t even able to see it. The filter also can add whatever the worldview expects to find. It even adds observations and experiences that aren’t there. As a result, we confirm our biases. The relationship between the filter and the worldview is confirmation bias.

We’re looking into the shared insanity of humanity. Of course, people who go too far in insanity can’t take care of themselves. Those of us who have the same problem but less severe can still add value to those around us. When we run into people whose worldviews are radically different from our own, we think they’re insane, and they think we’re insane. Arguments and disunity result.

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Scientism is Idolatry

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Some followers blindly believe the interpretations of certain scientists. Other followers blindly believe the interpretations of certain theologians. Some theologians blindly believe the interpretations of certain scientists and instantly convince their followers of those scientists’ claims. Since some thinkers have rationalized faith in scientists, they find it hard to believe that scientists aren’t perfect. As a result, they exalt scientists. They consider scientists’ words to be the authority, but these scientists are subject to the same faults as everyone else, and peer pressure among scientists is intense. This peer pressure coerces scientists who refuse to bow down to the sacred cows that the elites erected through groupthink. And the same peer pressure rewards those scientists whose interpretations don’t conflict with the sacred cows. And the same is true of theologians.

God established peer review. He established the order of a multiplicity of ministries and many counselors. If we follow His order, peer review helps overcome the problems of worldviews. However, when peer review isn’t Spirit-led, it makes the worldview problem worse. It filters out righteousness. It establishes groupthink and enforces it. Peer review becomes a form of censorship. It aggravates the errors of perception and exaggerates the problems of worldviews. As a result, peer review gives unwarranted credibility to unreliable group-held worldviews and creates the illusion that make-believe is reality. And this unwarranted credibility allows make-believe to creep into every part of life. We see it in entertainment, fiction, fact-checkers, education, news, museums, zoos, public parks, nature centers, scientific journals, and every other activity and setting. Perhaps the most effective is entertainment. (AiG 2-Part Video https://goo.gl/EiA25k) We each have a responsibility not to allow these influencers to push us toward hate, godless thinking, naturalism, racism, envy, covetousness, sexual immorality, or any other sin.

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

Amazon sells it, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.

http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail