Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Submitted to Scripture

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 – ESV)

It would seem that there is no end to people whom use the Bible as a tool but instead of being instructed in righteousness, they are looking to lessons in self-satisfaction. When a teacher consistently tries to back up their points by appealing to scripture, it can be difficult for the undiscerning to realize what is going on. However, if we understand the scope and sweep of scripture, we can learn to discern a counterfeit when we see it.

The first step along this road is to realize what the problems are, what God has done, and what God calls us to do. The problems as the Bible defines and describes them are sin and guilt. However, to the person who reads the Word of God but is not actually submitted to it, the main problem is a lack of fulfillment and sadness. To the flesh minded faith, salvation and satisfaction are found in your living out your story, instead of true faith, where salvation and satisfaction are found in proclaiming His story, and living out the truth of that in your own life experience.

We cannot learn to discern if we cannot learn to submit, and for someone who is a Christian, submitting to God happens at the basic level of scripture. If we cannot do that, we are only fooling ourselves. We need to heed what the Word says about submission to God and worshipping through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). Then we can begin to grow in the knowledge of God and not submit to every fad and fraud that comes to us in the guise of the godly. Our “powers of discernment” need the power of the Word of God.

The King James renders this part of the verse as “to have their senses exercised to discern” but this is unfortunate for today’s English, because it can be easily misunderstood. It is not simply our physical senses that grow sharp, but our minds, our spiritual senses, as they are renewed by and tethered to the Word (Hebrews 4:12 / Ephesians 4:23).

We must be committed to a lifelong process of learning His Word (Matthew 28:18-20 / John 8:31-32). Our goal then becomes to grow to maturity in and unto Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16 / 2 Peter 3:18). The flesh minded faith wants to find its “true self” while the true faith is concerned with dying to self and living for God. You cannot serve two masters; you cannot live for the flesh, chasing all those temporal things you used to before you knew God, and call that serving God. We will either be submitted to scripture, or we will be exercising our flesh minded faith.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


MrsEvenSo... said...

Eze 44:23 And they shall teach my people [the difference] between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Annette said...

very true

Even So... said...

There are many who are only submitted to the degree that it gets them what they want...we are all that way sometimes, God grant us mercy and give us grace that we don't stay that way, thinking that we are increasing in the knowledge of God...

donsands said...

"Speak evil of no man."

"Give to him the other cheek."

"Love your enemies."

"Forgive him 7 times 70."

"Pray without ceasing."

"Love God with all your heart, might, soul, and mind."

The thing about submitting, is we desperately need His grace and power to do so.

I guess the one thing we need is a mind that "wants" to submitt, because the flesh is incredibly weak.

Good post JD. I'm believeing the Lord hasn't finished with me yet. His workmanship in me, is some kind of difficult, and needs lots of patience. And He is so faithful and longsuffereing. What a savior and Master we do have.

Even So... said...

Amen, Don, Amen Amen Amen...this is why the first post in this series talks of the once for all commitment to be committed and then we enter the process, many haven't started out by making that commitment and that truly is a reason why it is sporadic more than it might otherwise be...

Ted M. Gossard said...

Flesh minded faith. First time I've heard of such, but it is certainly really no faith at all, since the mind of the flesh is death. We're not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if Jesus lives in us.

That being said, it is clear that we can fail to live out what we are in Jesus. As Paul tells us: "You are light in the Lord; walk as children of light!" etc.

I agree that we need to be in the Word regularly and over our lifetime. This is a missing link for many in our Christianity, today, I'm afraid. And we miss alot and end up prey to all kinds of things if we don't exercise ourselves in this way. And be renewed in our minds, as you so well,in this post, remind us.

Even So... said...

Indeed, even though most of these posts are about the beginning of the matter, our initial committment to be submitted to scripture, this must be carried on over the course of our lives...