Stay Away from Indoctrination and Dogma

"As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;" (Ephesians 4:14 NASB).

Sunday, August 24, 2014

He Walked the Walk for 30 years Before Preaching to Others


Walking the walk of the Christian life can be challenging sometimes, especially when you have a female friend who likes attention!

This morning, I woke up and in my prayer and meditation, I thanked the Lord for pointing out to me my shortcomings.

You see, a few months ago, I was living outside New York City, and was walking down the street one day with my daughters as a divorced dad. A few feet away approaching us was a female friend, who I met a year earlier. The woman and her female friends invited me one night to their house party while I was sitting in a restaurant talking to a mutual friend. I do not drink and have been sober for almost four years again. Nevertheless that night, I was attracted to these three women and went to the late night party and drank water, while everyone else had wine.

Walking down the street that day outside NYC, as the woman came up to me and my daughters, I was a little embarrassed by the fact that she is a few years younger than me and stunning. I was also wondering what my daughters were thinking. I quickly introduced her to my daughters as the wife of the guy who I found out that she lived with at the party the year earlier. The woman was quick to respond to me in front of my daughters, "Oh we were never married! He left me Dave, and it's a long story that I want to talk to you about, but I've got to go...give me a call, let's get together!"

Here is how the carnal nature and temptation works when you're trying to serve the Lord! 

I was actually walking my daughters to the train station to put them onto a train to go see their friends a few towns away. After seeing my daughters off, I immediately turned around and walked back up the street to see if I would bump into the woman again. Sure enough she was walking down the street!

Greeting the woman again, I told her that I lost her telephone number. The truth was that I erased her cell phone number a year earlier, a few days after the late night party. Not only had I hung out with the group late that night a year earlier, I also went back down to the restaurant that stayed open till 3:00 a.m. with her sexy female friend who was visiting from Texas. That night, the woman from Texas asked me if I wanted to smoke a bowl (marijuana), and I told her I do not do that. She then asked if it was ok that she go out back of the coffee bar and lounge and smoke, and I said, "Do what you gotta do." But it did not end there. That night, the woman from Texas and I made plans to go to a Greek Orthodox Brunch the next day with the group, which I did.

Rationalization and Justification Does Not Work for too long!

Here I was a year later, and although the woman from Texas was now married I found out, her friend here in my town was inviting me over to keep her company, because she was lonely and on the rebound from her live in relationship. Before I knew it, I was spending many nights with this woman at her house having dinner. I tried to rationalize spending time with her by asking her to got to church with me, which she did on two occasions.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NIV)
20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,
    no one who does what is right and never sins.

Thank God the woman moved back to live with her mom in Texas, because I was being drawn into a friendship that I knew was eventually not going to glorify God.

The only reasons why I did not have sex with the woman was (1) I've been celibate as far as intercourse for over two years (2) she was drinking each time we hung out to the point of drunkenness,  and (3) she was hurting mentally and spiritually. Plus she told me that she had slept with another friend in our circle (that she had a crush on during her live in relationship) the night before. I could have manipulated the situation and taken advantage of this woman in her dire straights, but I did not.


How did I avoid not manipulating and taking advantage of this woman sexually?

Step 5
“We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” 

By praying to God and getting honest about my motives for spending time with the woman---and sharing the exact nature of my wrongs with my pastor at church and sponsor in my 12-Step fellowship, I did not do what my carnal nature was seeking. Galatians 5:17 (NIV) informs us; "17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Footnotes:
1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.

God will do for you what you cannot do for yourself! He saw fit to have this woman move back to Texas... I was mesmerized by her, and knew that I needed to not go over to her house any longer...This morning in prayer, I looked back over that time in my life and reflected upon WWJD (What Would Jesus Do).

JESUS WALKED THE WALK FOR 30 YEARS BEFORE PREACHING

People cannot argue that Jesus did not know what it was like to live in a sinful world. Christ walked this planet for 30 years before preaching to others.

Contrary to the Dan Brown movie, The Da Vinci Code, and its false claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, we do not have too many accounts about Jesus younger life in the Holy Bible. We read more about the beginning of Jesus' ministry here on earth in the Gospels. Nevertheless, the Holy Bible tells us that Christ is the Only person who is without sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[a] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Footnotes:
2 Corinthians 5:21 Or be a sin offering

Thank God that today we no longer need to make sin offerings under Mosaic Law. As my pastor pointed out last Sunday about Romans 3:20, "For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are."

Hebrews 10:1-8 (NLT)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

10 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.

3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ[a] came into the world, he said to God,

“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
    But you have given me a body to offer.
6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings
    or other offerings for sin.
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
    as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”[b]
8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses).

Footnotes:
10:5 Greek he; also in 10:8.
10:5-7 Ps 40:6-8 (Greek version).

The Apostle Paul points out in Romans 7:15-17, "15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it."

Paul concludes Romans 7:15-27 by writing in verses 24-27, "24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin."

Understanding that sin lives in us and that God used the Law of Moses to point out how sinful we are, allows us to better understand how we will always be a slave to sin without Christ. Jesus walked the walk of faith for 30 years before God, His father, saw fit in His Divine Time and Wisdom, to have His Son preach to others.

Pastors, priests, evangelists and many born again Christians are Not without sin or perfect! But many of us have walked the walk of finding triumph over our old sinful nature to know how to fight off the temptation of sin by surrendering to Christ, and confessing our sinful thoughts and actions to Jesus Christ (Our advocate), and one another.

1 John 2:1 (NLT)
2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

James 5:16 (NLT)
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Step 10
“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”


1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:27, " I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified." It is hard to be disciplined in today's world with all the Social Media, TV, commercials, movies, billboards, resorts, beaches, cocktail lounges and the sort. However, we can do our best to model after WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) in walking the walk of faith!

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Footnotes:
1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.

Step 12
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message [to others] and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” 

If you have not formally accepted Jesus Christ, please accept the Gift of Salvation by saying this short prayer:  "Dear Jesus, I repent of my sins and the original sin of mankind, please come into my heart and change me to trust in you and build my personal relationship with you by studying your word and applying it to my life to the best of my ability. Thank you for dying on the cross for the remission of sin. Thank you for conquering death with your resurrection. I accept you Jesus as my Lord and Savior, please lead me and guide me. Amen!"

If you have said that short prayer, I welcome you to the True Body of Christ (not a sect, Protestant or Catholic denomination or Eastern religion). Please get into a Bible-based church, where the Word of God is taught unadulterated and reject the rituals, religious lies and Tradition(s) and hedonism of men and women.

Godspeed, love and Truth,

Brother David Johnson, XU

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