House Church Talk - Leonardo Da Vinci's last words
goodword at bresnan.net
Sat Aug 21 09:22:34 EDT 2004
Glenn Frank <glennfrank at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Old Leo did not understand...
> Our lack of quality works do not offend God...
> As stated prior by Adam Waggoner, the Bible says our "good" works are filthy
> rags before God.... All of them... No matter the quality...
> Not to say that God does not want us to do good works, They just don't get
> us to heaven and therefore are as good as rags to be tossed in the trash in
> that regard.
There is certainly a lot of truth in your words and observations, Bro. Glenn.
I embrace the same general position, regarding human works and human
Yet I do wonder, at times, if we modern churches don't make too much of how
ruined we're supposed to be -- especially as believers.
Before we are found and made alive in Jesus Christ, we truly are as Isaiah
describes us in Is. 59 and 64, etc. And we're also as God declares in Is.
55:8,9 (My thoughts are not your thoughts...)
But I do not think that God would have us continue on as we once were. God's
Word in Isaiah is an indictment against us, not a promise of how we are to
live in Christ.
Paul says to the Ephesians, in chapt 2 that while works certainly do not save
us, yet through faith we are created in Christ Jesus for good works...which
were prepared ahead of time by God Himself. Our thoughts also should now
reflect God's own thinking, if we walk in Him, as Paul mentions in 1 Cor 2,
saying that we now have the mind of Christ, if we have the Spirit of God, and
just flesh, as once was the case.
The fact that today's church is so very fleshly, so carnal, so void of the
Spirit, is not a good thing, not an acceptable thing before God. It's not for
us to revel in the fact that our works might now be worthless, and our
thoughts still lowly and useless. The whole New Testament picks up on God's
promise in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, that we should now have a new spirit, a new
heart, a new mind -- that God's own standard of righteousness and excellence
should now be written within, on our very hearts, by His own Holy Spirit that
now indwells us.
We are without excuse if we find that our present works, and words, and walk,
and thoughts still fall far short of God's purpose in Christ Jesus --which is
to make us holy, from the inside out. By the blood of Jesus we have been made
pure and clean. By the Spirit of God let us now live.
Yet, I'm afraid that you are right. Today's church is too much like the
people of God in Isaiah's days. For as I read Isaiah's words, I see the
present day visible church of God -- the very cry of believers today who look
for Jesus to return ---
Isaiah speaks by the Spirit of God, saying:
Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence --
As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil --
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook at Your presence.
For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned --
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
But now, O LORD, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Do not be furious, O LORD,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
Your holy cities are a wilderness,
Zion is a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things are laid waste.
Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O LORD?
Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?
"I was sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
To a nation that was not called by My name.
I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts...
(Isaiah the prophet, 64:-65:2)
Jesus died for us, to make us new and holy in God's sight. All of what Isaiah
says against us was nailed to the cross with Jesus Christ, making perfect all
who trust in Him. Our lives, then, have been set free to live as God would
have us live. We are no longer required to fulfill the things Isaiah says
about those who are still void of God's Spirit.
So then, by God's grace, we may (and should) be different than Isaiah
describes us above. To walk in the Spirit fulfills the Law.
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