Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Arming Slaves

I was at a Bible conference last weekend. I spoke to one older brother who said something like this: "We keep preaching Ephesians 6 to people who need Romans 6. There is no conflict without deliverance." Of course he's right.

God never commanded the Israelites to fight the Egyptians: they were to "stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah" (Exodus 14:13). Conflict didn't start until after they had looked back on the dead bodies of their enemies on the shore of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:30). A person who hasn't looked back on the broken enemy who had him enslaved isn't called to fight.

People are looking for victory who need deliverance.

I grew up in a lot of places, ecclesiastically speaking. One was a mainstream evangelical church. I remember hearing a lot of talk about Romans 12 in that church, but I can't recall hearing about Romans 6-8. Why do we think we can live out Romans 12 if we're not living out Romans 6-8?

I've talked before about hearing a lot of ministry on Colossians 3 that starts in v. 5. Again, why do we think we can live Colossians 3:5 ff. if we're not paying attention to vv. 1-4?

I'm not saying we're not supposed to obey Romans 12, but that we can't live out Romans 12 unless we're living out Romans 6-8. Why else would Romans 12 start with "therefore" (Romans 12:1)?

It's amazing how many people quote John 15:14 to urge obedience, apparently oblivious to John 15:1-4, "without me you can do nothing". Why does the chapter start with a discussion on abiding in Christ? Because unless we're abiding in Christ, we're accomplishing nothing. That is, after all, what He promised.

I am ranting now, but it needs to be said. I listen to a lot of sermons, and I read a lot of articles. The vast majority of "ministry" I hear is nothing more than urging Christians to be made perfect by human will and fleshly power. It's calling slaves to fight when scripture calls them to be still and see the salvation of the Lord. 

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