Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Final Thoughts on The Curse of the Standard Bearers

I really cannot encourage you enough to read these articles for yourself. It is so much better than my few highlights plus you'll get a better context. It can be found here: Year: 2007/2008

     All of Jesus' life was governed by His relationship with His Father in heaven, so His standards could be summed up in two categories. 1) Loving His Father 2) Loving others. These two standards could be combined into one: Love. That's how Jesus interpreted the Law of God. (Matt. 22:36-40; Gal. 5:12-15)

     In short the Holy Spirit using God's Word and love help us determine our speech and our actions. The True Image Bearer lives by the Holy Spirit rather than by standards. Paul admonished the Galatians a number of times precisely on this point. "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" Gal. 3:2-3 "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Gal. 5:25-26

     The Christian life is not governed by standards to control fleshly living (Col. 2:21-23). Instead, it is governed by the Holy Spirit internally motivated by love, the fruit of the Spirit. Paul understood that when people focus on standards to control fleshliness or worldliness, they become boastful because they think they are better than others.

     Study the Bible together.... and draw doctrine from the teaching passages, not historical accounts.

     (Others) need to see you trust them to the Lord while still loving them with no anger, manipulation, rejection, shame, or slander. If they experience any of these from you, it verifies that your position isn't Spirit-led, but Self-led.

     "But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler not even to eat with such a one." 1 Cor. 5:11 In this passage, the Holy Spirit set some standards for the church to apply to its members. So True Image Bearers must hold to standards corporately leading to church discipline. The ones listed by Paul in these passages are indisputable standards. Unfortunately, some misguided zealots in the homeschool and home-church movements add their own standards on disputable matters to this list of behaviours deserving disassociation. They reject or judge people who don't dress by their standards, have house mortgages, practice abstinence birth control, don't homeschool, listen to non-hymn music, etc, instead of loving them and encouraging them to press on to know the Lord.

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