Exposing the False Teachers of the 21st Century (Titus 1:10) (Hyper Grace)

Exposing the False Teachers of the 21st Century (Titus 1:10) (Hyper Grace) [ Print Document ] Titus 1:10-11 “[10] For there ...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Expounding the Meaning of Deuteronomy 10:8 (PART 2 of 3)


Expounding the Meaning of Deuteronomy 10, Verse 8 (PART 2 of 3) [Print Document]


This is the second part to a short series of articles expounding Deuteronomy 10:8, which says: “At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.”

In the first part, we looked at how bearing the Ark of the Covenant means that we are bearing God’s holy Word (which is based on the Ten Commandments) in our heart. We do this by meditating on God’s Word and by delighting in it (Psalm 1:2).

In this second part, we will look at how one ministers to God. We will discuss what ministering to God is, and what it isn't. And, we will show that it is about fellowship with Abba Father God (Galatians 4:6-7), and not just doing works.


Ministering to God


Deut. 10:8 (in part) says: “At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, … , to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, …”

Often, when we think of ministering, we think of ministering to people. But, ministering to Abba God is different than ministering to people because you could be praying to God and praising Him in your closet, and God’s heart would be honored. You could be called by God to go somewhere to minister to people, but because you are being led by God’s Spirit and are not doing it out of selfish reasons, God would be honored. You would be ministering to God’s Spirit by doing what He leads you to do.

In contrast, if one were to minister to people, but his (or her) heart was focused on how many points he could earn in Heaven, and about how much God would be pleased with him for doing “extra” for the Kingdom of God, he would be mistaken. Abba God doesn’t want our works. He had shown me that, time and time again, when I would perform for His love and acceptance.
God led me to placed in the Bible, such as the following, to help me understand that performing for God’s love and blessing was against His Word.

Galatians 5:1 says: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."


Galatians 5:4-5 says: "[4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. [5] For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

Romans 10:3-4 says that we should not perform, adding our own rules of dos and don’ts: “[3] For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. [4] For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”


Works vs. Grace


Some Christians believe that by doing extra things for God’s love, they will be able to receive His love and acceptance, and even receive complete forgiveness of sin, but that is contrary to the Bible. God’s love, acceptance, meeting of our needs, and forgiveness are based only on what Jesus Christ did at the cross. If we believe in Jesus Christ’s complete atonement for our sins, we are completely saved and forgiven. (Note: But, of course, God cannot let a person, who claims to be a Christian, enter His Kingdom if that person is living in sin. True repentance is important to walking with God. A rebel cannot enter Heaven. [Hebrews 3.])

In John 19:30, we read: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

When Jesus, on the cross, said “It is finished,” He was saying that He completed, fulfilled, and brought to an end the requirements of the Law of Moses. That is what both “finished” and teleó, in Greek, mean.

Abba Father God doesn’t want our service to His Kingdom, without a relationship with Him. He just wants us to have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3) and to obey what He actually is leading us to do. Galatians 5:18 says: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”


Doing God’s will is not about going out and doing something good for God’s Kingdom, with a belief that doing so will earn something from God. Rather, it is depending on God, and seeking His best will, and He will lead you. As you get to know God, you’ll know when God’s Spirit is putting a desire in your heart to pray, or witness, or minister.


God Shall Abundantly Satisfy You.


And, you’ll know when you feel a desire to earn “brownie points” with God by your own efforts, in order to buy more love and more acceptance from God, Who already loves and accepts you. And, God promised to meet all your emotional, spiritual, and physical needs, without you having to work for it.

Let’s look at some verses that I believe will be a blessing to you.

Psalm 36:7-8

“[7] How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
[8] They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”

God, here, promises to abundantly satisfy us Christians from the abundance of His house. He even causes us to drink from a river of godly pleasures. The world has sinful pleasure and entertainment, but God has true, wholesome, delightful pleasure. It is far beyond what most of us have imagined God would be like. He really does want us to enjoy Him.

Abba God is not about snapping a whip and watching to see if we are obeying Him, or not. No, God is about fellowship, and friendship, and intimacy, which is what Adam had with Him in the Garden of Eden. We often think of God like people we know, such as teachers, or stepfathers, or grandpas, or fathers, but He is not like any of them.

Sometimes we feel we have to work in order to be completely saved from sin, but that is false doctrine. In Romans 4, Paul (by God’s leading) writes:

Romans 4:2-5
“[2] For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. [3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”


God’s Love is Who He is.


Abba God is not about performance and works: God is about love and fellowship. Listen to this:

1 Corinthians 13:4 says: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,”

Keeping in mind that charity is a type of love (and that it is agapé, the Greek word for affection and good-will), let’s read: [1 John 4:8] “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

Now, we can see that Abba God suffers long. He patiently endures and is forbearing toward us. God is kind. God envies not. God does not exalt Himself in pride. In fact, everywhere in the Bible you read about how love is, think of how God is. For, love is God’s Nature. It is Who God is. Love is in every action Abba God does and in every thought He thinks. This is not just any love.

It is agape love, which is affectionate love that has our best interest in mind. (But, God will not give what would be to fuel a person’s selfish, destructive ways. For example, God will not give a Christian a million dollars if that would tempt them to turn toward idolatry.) Agape is love that comes from the God Who knows all things and loves us, without wavering (or changing).

James 1:17 says: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

God does not change. He has no variables. Merriam-Webster defines a variable as: “something that changes or that can be changed : something that varies” [A.]

We can be that way, but God never changes. Even when we sin against Abba God, His love for us (which is part of His Nature) never changes. That is encouraging. That gives us hope. The devil wants us to feel defeated and downcast, and that we are “a failure,” but God’s Word says:

1 John 1:9 — “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 8:37 —“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 — “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Since we are a new creature, and since the old man is done away when we died with Christ to that old nature, we have great hope. In this hope and joy, we can walk with God, our loving Father. We can fellowship with Him, and seek His will, and be led by His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18). No longer are we under a bondage to do works so that we satisfy the law. No longer are we under a system of performing for the law to be fulfilled, because Jesus Christ fulfilled the old covenant law (Colossians 2:6-16).


Conclusion


By the Spirit of God leading us, we have the power to walk in the nature of Jesus and to fellowship with God, doing God’s will that He intimately leads us to do. Please, don’t be afraid of the word “intimate.” It refers to the closeness we can have with our loving God. It is spiritual and emotional closeness. It is also proximity. Abba God is actually dwelling within our hearts. That is really how close He is to us. He dwells within us by His Spirit (John 14).

By His Spirit leading us, we can keep the Ten Commandments, which existed from the beginning of time (and during the days of Cain and Abel). No longer are the Ten Commandments just a list of rules, but they are principles we desire to obey because they come from God’s heart, and we love God because of His great love for us.

And, because Abba God loves us so much, we will naturally want to worship Him. That brings us to our next point from Deuteronomy 10:8, which we will look at in Part 3 of this series.

In Part 3, we will expound on what it means to “...bless in his name, unto this day.”

So, to summarize what we discussed, Abba Father God wants us to serve Him and minister to Him by seeking His will and doing it (Matthew 6:33). This is not performance for love or acceptance, because Jesus paid for our sins and purchased our inheritance in Heaven, and our spiritual inheritance on earth (Romans 8:14-17. See Endnote). And, God’s love is everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and is not based on our merit (Romans 4).



If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



____________________________


Endnote:

Romans 8:14-17 says: “[14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

[Note: Suffering with Jesus happens when you are persecuted for your faith in God and for obeying His Word. Jesus spoke of how family members would persecute Christians in Matthew 10:21-22. He said: “[21] And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. [22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”]

Note: Abba means: 'Abbá – "Father," also used as the term of tender endearment by a beloved child – i.e. in an affectionate, dependent relationship with their father; "daddy," "papa."' (http://biblehub.com/greek/5.htm)


Reference: [A.] “Variable.” merriam-webster.com.

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