Friday, July 27, 2012

Reflections on "My Utmost": July 27

The Way to Knowledge

I have to comment on this title -- Jesus is the Way (John 14: 6), and the knowledge that we receive, we receive through the Holy Spirit living in us (1 John2: 20, 27)

The golden rule to follow to obtain spiritual understanding is not one of intellectual pursuit, but one of obedience. If a person wants scientific knowledge, then intellectual curiosity must be his guide. But if he desires knowledge and insight into the teachings of Jesus Christ, he can only obtain it through obedience.

No, Oswald. Right believing leads to right living, and nothing can replace the heart change that overtakes a man who believes on Him whom the Father has sent (John 6: 29)

 If spiritual things seem dark and hidden to me, then I can be sure that there is a point of disobedience somewhere in my life. Intellectual darkness is the result of ignorance, but spiritual darkness is the result of something that I do not intend to obey.

"Intellectual darkness, spiritual darkness" all of these terms and dichotomies create confusion, not clarity. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8: 12), and as we walk in Him, there is no occasion of stumbling.

No one ever receives a word from God without instantly being put to the test regarding it. We disobey and then wonder why we are not growing spiritually.

The problem is not growing spiritually, but rather gaining more awareness of God's grace working in our lives through our growing knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3: 18)

 Jesus said, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

This passage was preached while Jesus was still under law in the Sermon on the Mouth, where Jesus brought the Mosaic law back to its proper unassailable and unmanageable height. Man can never reconcile himself to God through atonement with others, for the sin that afflicts us is deeper than behavior, but defines and permeates our very being.

 He is saying, in essence, “Don’t say another word to me; first be obedient by making things right.”

What folly! We have one Savior, one mediator, and by His once and for all sacrifice, we can boldly enter the throne of grace! (Hebrews 4: 16)

The teachings of Jesus hit us where we live. We cannot stand as impostors before Him for even one second. He instructs us down to the very last detail. The Spirit of God uncovers our spirit of self-vindication and makes us sensitive to things that we have never even thought of before.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness, not sin (John 16: 9). If we are trying to vindicate ourselves, then we need to rest in the truth that we have already been fully vindicated, having been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

When Jesus drives something home to you through His Word, don’t try to evade it.

When we read the Scriptures, we behold Jesus (Luke 24: 27)

If you do, you will become a religious impostor. Examine the things you tend simply to shrug your shoulders about, and where you have refused to be obedient, and you will know why you are not growing spiritually. As Jesus said, “First . . . go . . ..” Even at the risk of being thought of as fanatical, you must obey what God tells you.

I cannot believe that Oswald Chambers is still esteemed so greatly in Christian circles. On many issues he demonstrates a disturbing distortion of the righteousness that has been imparted to every believer. His works puts too much emphasis on what the believer must do instead of the rest which every believer receives by believing on what Jesus has done!

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