excerpt from John Fenn "Living from the inside out #3, Weekly Thoughts, 9/25/10 Email"
Imagine you are a 1st century believer for a moment. Not only that, but you are a Gentile Greek, and let's say you live in Corinth. You know little of Judaism beyond the fact that they don't associate with you and they have a synagogue in town where they meet on Saturdays.
But through a friend you visit the home of a Roman named Gaius Justus where people from all backgrounds are meeting and talking about this new life they have. You see a Jewish leader named Crispus and many other Jews there, not to mention Greeks from Corinth, which makes you wonder why Jews and Romans and Greeks are together. (Acts 18:7-8)
But as a result of being taught about Jesus in these meetings you become born again and baptized with the Holy Spirit, now a Spirit-filled disciple of Jesus.
Let me ask you - how do you stay balanced? How do you know truth from error? There is no New Testament written for you to turn to yet. The gospels won't be written for another 15-20 years or more so you know little of Jesus other than stories Paul repeats from what he heard from this other Jewish guy named Peter.
Paul is there for over 18 months to teach you what you have in Christ Jesus, and you have others in your life you fellowship with who are equally new to Christ, but how do you and they, brand new disciples of Jesus, grow and stay balanced? You have no external means of support other than your friends who are equally new to the Lord.
Amazingly, you are taught to get to know the One within, the living Lord who has made you a temple. Paul later writes to you reinforcing what he taught during his first visit with you all, that your bodies are temples of God, and you have the treasure of God in your earthen vessel of a body. (I Cor 6:19, II Cor 4:7)
How do you grow without a Bible, without a 'read through a chapter a day' or scripture memory verses? Moses, who is Moses? Old Testament, what is that? All I know is the gods of Greece and Rome are mere exercises in social function, but now I have Life living in me!
The answer is of course that you must take responsibility for your own spiritual life. You elevate fellow believers in your priorities of life to spend time with them, to pray with them, to worship with them...but you can't do a Bible study...about all you can do is seek He who lives within. And that's how you grow, applying love and discipline to your life, talking with the Lord and listening for the casual reply, day by day.
You learn how to walk with Him, how to talk with Him in your daily life, making the times you come together in Gaius Justus' living room and other homes the 'icing on the cake' for your week, not the source of your life.
In Paul's later letters to you all he asks you to decide how much you are going to give towards the offerings he is receiving for believers in Jerusalem, and if you'll consider supporting him in ministry so he can share with others what he shared with you. He asks you as part of the body to help settle the lawsuit between two brothers, he asks you to rise up and deal with the man sleeping with his step-mother. He tells you that because Christ lives in you, you must take responsibility for your life; there is no temple priest that's going to provide a formula or rules engraved in stones for you to follow - you have Life living in you, now get to know Him!
You are responsible for your own spiritual walk, responsible for spending time with the Lord as a living temple, and learning to be more Christ-like without New Testament, with little knowledge of the Old Testament, with little knowledge of the life of Jesus. You must depend on Him and those around you to grow together in this grace.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last weekend during my bible time, I was reading 1 Samuel. When I got to ch 8v6, the people of Israel says ”Give us a king to judge us.” I’m thinking “why do they do that every time and why do they need a king?” I continued reading and in verse 7&8 “And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.” When Abba says “They have forsaken me and served other gods.” that bothered me a lot and I started talking to Abba about it. Yeshua says to me “People are still doing that to me now.” I’m thinking “How? There is no king.” Yeshua says ”When they exalt their pastors over me.””Wow” I thought. Yeshua was showing me how people are afraid of intimacy with him. Just like the Israelites were afraid of God’s presence. In Deuteronomy 5v25 "Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die.” The Israelites wanted Moses to be their intercessor, just like the people today want their pastor to be their intercessors telling them what to do and depending on how close that pastor is with Abba, they will blindly follow instead of having their own personal intimacy and growth with Abba. Also they don’t want to be held accountable to Him. They want to do what they want on their own terms instead of Abba guiding their life. I am very blessed of the pastors I listen to. They know that Abba is King and we are to have a personal relationship with Him. They know they are on the same walk that we are on with Abba and they are only being used by Abba to strengthen and equip His kids. Not to be their king. Unfortunately some Christian religions do that and cause people to be in bondage. We need to have a one on one intimacy with Abba and only He is to be our King. Deuteronomy 5:29 Abba says, “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!”
Posted by Theresa Giardino at 5:42 PM