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Thoughts and Notes About My Childhood and Upward My Journey In General Two songs help to describe my birth place and day. Goofus--"Iwas born on a farm down in Iowa", and Yankee Doodle Dandy--"I'm a Yankee doodle dandy, Born on the 4th of July". The second is self explanatory. As for the farm, my dad worked there as a hired hand for 30 days. Oh!-- by coincidence it was also just outside of Correctionville. I'm not exactly certain as to how much significance that may or may not have. The day I was born, July 4, 1940, dad asked uncle Lee Metcalf to take my sisters Ila Arlene and Wilma Louise and go get the doctor. (Ila had rheumatic fever and died in surgery when I was 9 months old.) Wilma told me that he ran over some little pigs in the farm lane on the way. In 1943 we had moved to the Glen Metcalf farm, where we lived for three years. There I fell in the creek that ran through the pigpen. Mom gave me at least two baths afterward. I've never liked water since. smile. My last memorable experience with pigs was helping dad feed the pigs on my fifth birthday when I caught my foot in the fence climbing out of the pen, falling and breaking my right arm. So much for pigs. Other preschool memories: while crossing the yard one day a rooster took a dislike to me and attacked--he made a wonderful fried chicken dinner. But then, I wasn't always the victim! There was the time I gave Teddy-bear a bath. He always had one leg shorter than the other after that. When my brother Keith was about three weeks old, I tried feeding him some of mom's homemade catsup. When he was old enough to sit in the highchair, it was extremely difficult for me to keep from falling off of a straight chair. When Keith was old enough to begin walking, there was an occasion that he got in my way and so I reached behind the kitchen door, grabbed a knife for chopping field corn and hit him over the head with it--fortunately, with the flat side. Later I rode my tricycle about a mile up the road to the old country schoolhouse. When mom came looking for me I hid out in the tall weeds. She went back home and called my dad who was in town on business -- I showed up about the same time he did. Then there was the time I took the farm dog across the road to the neighbor's chickenhouse. I started the dog chasing chickens while I went inside and began busting eggs. A hired hand spotted me and told my mother. I tried circumnavigating her on the way home without success. She had a length of cotton rope in her hand. No, she didn't whip me -- something much worse! She tied one end around my waist and the other to a fence post in front of the house. Well, after jumping up and down and bawling for perhaps half-an-hour, she took pity and came back outside at which time the rope had loosened enough to fall off. I remember teaching the litter of pups our farm dog had how to dig and also how to chase cars. When a car came by I would run alongside in the ditch and bark at it. Sadly, every one of the pups as well as the mother were killed by passing cars. I can still vaguely picture my dad dragging the mother dogg's body with a chain behind the tractor somewhere to bury her. When kindergarten started in the fall of 1945 at the country school I decided I didn't like it and so left early and went home. My mother immediately turned me around and I made a second trip to school that day. Afgter three years living on the Glen Metcalf farm we spent 1946 on the Abraham place. I remember seeing a single engine air force plane that had belly flopped in the fields across from the Duncan family's farm house--the pilot walked away. I also found my collection of little toy cars and trucks my parents had hidden until my birthday. When mom caught me playing with them, she gave half to my little brother Keith. That was the summer when I smoked my first cigarette. The neighbor boy, Skeeter Duncan, and I had taken a pack of cigarettes from his house and gone down into the culvert under the road and we shared our first and last smoke together. As I started back up the road toward home I met my mom with Keith in tow coming down the hill. She asked to smell my breath. I don't know how she found out, but that was the day I lost my taste for cigarettes. Also that summer my teenage sister Wilma had to rescue her whining brother who was hiding under the combine when Skeeter and his friend Jacky chased me while riding their horses. On the other hand, she refused to wait for me to find relief one day after getting off the school bus. That morning I had found some wonderful chocolate candy in the cupboard and helped myself. Yes, it was X-lax. Got to walk all the way home with my britches full. One other memory I have from that farm was digging a cave in a snow bank with a dust pan. Even at age six, when my folks would go into Sioux City, mom would have to put a harness and leash on me. why? because if she should happen to look the other way, I was gone--under or behind the nearest counter or clothes rack and away. 1947 found us farming the Bernard place. Dad had to give up his tractor and went back to using Dick and Queen for plowing, etc. Queen died and dad bought Bird, who turned out to have some kind of vision problem. As for me, I can remember that fall walking through the cornfield, picking ears and throwing them into the wagon as the horses pulled it forward. I don't remember getting into any trouble with my double-barreled toy shotgun that would fire small rocks. I also enjoyed taking a hammer and banging on the rocks in the cement walk around the house and watching the sparks fly. I must have had a facination with spiders and cobwebs as I seem to remember them from that time period. And then there was the matter of a small fire I started in the middle of the corncrib. It was November 15, 1947 that brought about many changes in my life. Mom was upstairs in the bedroom cleaning and I was balancing on top of the rail at the head of the bed with my feet against the wall. Suddenly my feet slipped and I did a semi-somersault into the window-- fortunately it had a sturdy screen. A piece of the broken glass had penetrated my lower right eyelid and eye. Apparently things didn't appear to require immediate attention. We didn't have a car and the neighbor had knocked down the phone lines with his tractor's hayrack. The next morning dad walked several miles to the main highway and thumbed a ride into town where he got my uncle to come and take me to see a doctor at the hospital in Sioux City. Twenty-four hours after my injury the doctor stitched up the wound believing everything would be okay. A week later I was racing wheelchairs with my roommate who had a broken leg. You guessed it, I crashed and had to have the stitches redone. The doctor still thought my vision could be saved. The only other thing I remember from that time was lying on a gurney with a man in the room who may have been smoking a cigarette and was swearing about something. At the end of the second week I went home. By Christmas I had lost the vision in the injured right eye and as we would learn later my left eye was beginning to sympathize with the injured one. In the spring of 1948 we moved to Holly Springs where I can vaguely visualize seeing dad tilting a chair against the wall on the hind legs, with a pan of popcorn in his lap, a magazine in his hand and listening to the Friday night fights on the Philco radio. Holly Springs had a population then of about 50 and was located on highway 141 27 miles southeast of Sioux City at the junction of a gravel road that ran between Climbing Hill and Hornick. The West Fork ran behind the house and there was a dike between it and our garden. When mom sent me to the little grocery store for milk, etc., I used up much of the vision I still had reading the comic books stacked on the store counter. Much of the town is now gone and I understand only three families still live there. My mother's name was Nelly and on the south side of the little church next to our house lived Nelly Gesaman and her son Gary. I learned how to ride Gary's bicycle. Dad got me my own bike for my eighth birthday, but while I was in Iowa City at the University hospital, he gave it to my cousins Don and Cliford Campbell figuring a boy going blind didn't have a need for it. More about bicycles later. The Oliver Weaver family lived just North of our little house and several years later his daughter deloris married my farmer cousin Leo Keck of Kingsly, Iowa. Dad was working as a hired hand on Keith Haddock's farm about a mile walk down the road. It was my second grade teacher who told my parents that I was having trouble reading and thought they should take me back to the eye doctor. The end result was that on August 24, mom's 43rd birthday, she and I left for Iowa City and the highly recommended eye clinic. On the 26th the doctors removed my injured eye hoping to preserve what vision remained in the left eye which had started sympathizing with the injured one. I spent seven weeks at the clinic where they repeatedly tested my vision and studied the deterioration going on in the remaining eye. Eventually they figured out that I was guessing at the letters on the eye chart when I could no longer see them clearly. I managed to resist all attempts to give me any intravenous medications and so they had to resort to pills. In those days cataract surgery patients would be tied down in bed to prevent potentially injurious movement. This provided an excellent opportunity for tickling their feet sticking out from the foot of the beds in Ward 23. Mom stayed close by for a time, washing dishes to help pay for room and board. One day when she came to visit she told me that she had purchased a toy gun with holster and key chain with a dog puzzle on it as I remember. Well, of course, I sent her back to fetch it rather than wait until the next day's visit. In mid October I went home for a couple of weeks, then returned to the University hospital to be fitted with a glass eye. After a week, I thought, as did my folks, the ambulance driver was taking me home. You can perhaps imagine my surprise when after an hours drive he pulled up in front of the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton, walked me up the central front walk, across the circular drive and up the steps into the main building. That was November 9, 1948, just six days short of a year since I had fallen through the window. I can still visualize the little blue pullover sweater I was wearing with the broad red, yellow and black stripes around it. There I was introduced to Mrs. Dixon who would be my dorm mother for the next 3 years. You can find the history of the school from 1852 until now on the internet at: http://www.ibsssalumni.org . When the principal, Mr. Durwood Hutchinson, and others were discussing whether I should be put into the 3rd grade or back into the 2nd, if I didn't do well, I said to myself, "No you won't!" As it turned out, they did not have to. At that time when I put my nose on the page of the Sunday School paper, I could still make out the large letters at the top, but that didn't last long. For a long time into my adult years I could distinguish some colors up close and still do retain a greatly diminished amount of light perception. I learned to read braille from Dorthy Petrucci my blind third grade teacher by Christmas vacation and managed to make it through the year without to many other incidents. Well, there was the time Mrs. Dixon discovered I hadn't taken my weekly bath. I think I must have not been feeling well, inasmuch as I never was one to be greatly intimidated by discipline, because as she confronted me with the paddle in her hand as I sat on the edge of the tub, I apparently fainted and woke up in the infirmory. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. One of my schoolmates about that time was fond of saying "bite him". Well, I decided to do it to a classmate. This time Mrs. Dixon applied the board of education to the seat of learning. She also would gather us boys around the radio many nights to listen to The Lone Ranger, Buster Brown, Horris Hite and others. As I best recollect there were times when she also would read the Bible to us and pray. Then there was the time I remember waking up after a nightmare about bears completely turned around in the bed and the covers in a total mess. The summer of 1949 was dad's last year as a farmer on the Yates place. I have memories of digging roads for my toy cars with a tin can, throwing mud balls against the house (oops), Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogues in the outhouse, my grandmothers Metcalf and Campbell greeting each other in the yard near the clothes line, little brother Keith falling asleep in the farm lane, homemade potatoe or tomatoe soup, mom wringing the neck of a chicken and preparing it for dinner. Music lessons With Maurice Olsen on the trumpet and piano with Miss Lois Tiberghien began in the fourth grade -- later it was Miss Phillis Nesbitt; and in the eleventh grade Miss Elaine Bruce provided instruction regarding harmony, cord structure and progression. That year in the fourth grade I chipped my right front tooth on the side of the swimming pool chasing another fellow around in the water of the shallow end. The following summer, 1950, i chipped the left one on a flagpole in the school yard across the street from our apartment in Hornick chasing a baseball. I would pitch it, Keith would hit it and I would chase the sound as it rolled. We also borrowed a girl's bike from the Hobbs family and I would ride it, Keith running ahead of me and I following the sound of his voice. Later that fall after he got his own bike I can remember learning to ride double. I would sit on the seat and pedal while he sat on the crossbar and did the steering. There was even one occasion when two other boys joined us, one sitting on the handlebars and the other on the back fender. We rode together as a tandem like that for seven summers until we got too big. Then in the summer of 1957 I met Arlene Rummell who had a motor scooter. Judy and I bought a homemade tandem in the early 60's and when Shari and Pam were old enough to ride we bought a Schwin tandem which I and the girls rode for about six years, until they both got cars. It has been hanging under the house now for the last 35 years. That same summer between the fourth and fifth grades, Jack Schuller was holding evangelistic meetings in Sioux City and mom took us boys with her for several days. While there Keith and I borrowed Dave Kehler's junior sized bike. I would sit on the seat with my feet spread and he stood on the pedals and steered. We had enjoyed a couple of coastings down a nearby hill. On the last trip a Goodwill truck stopped in front of us and Keith ducked under the corner. Of course, I didn't see it and have a scar in the middle of my forehead to this day. I had to convince the police that I couldn't see before I hit the truck. After applying a gauze bandage and two strips of tape they gave us a ride back to mom. It was at that time Stuart Hamblen's song "It Is No Secret" was popular and dad purchased the sheet music in order to help me learn it. My fourth grade teacher was Mable Hite and I think Miss Beulah Burdine may have been my fifth grade teacher. She also was blind and had additional deformities in her feet and hands. She only had a little finger on each hand and another half finger on just one hand as well. I was always amazed about how strong those two little fingers were. My folks had not heard me play the trumpet as yet in 1950 and stopped in a music store to give me a chance to play for them. The horn I played had been used by the store owner in the municipal band and he offered it to dad for $50. That was all the money he had and declined the generous offer. However, after leaving the store my disappointment must have been quite obvious and so dad went back and bought it anyway. Four or five years later when money was more abundant he paid $250 for another trumpet which I still have stored in the back of my closet today. During the summer of 1951 we lived in Merrill, iowa, north of Sioux City. Keith and I enjoyed coasting down the hill from the town dump. One day as we approached the intersection at the bottom of the hill a pickup truck came speeding through. Keith swerved right, bounced over the sidewalk curb, across the street behind the truck and we landed in the ditch on the other side of the street next to a pile of burned out trash. We walked the block or two home from there that day. The summer of 1952 we rented the Sam Potts house in hospers near Orange City in northwestern Iowa. My sister Wilma and her one-year-old son Terry were living with us at that time while she taught at a nearby country school. I recall sitting at the lunch table near mom and across from Wilma and Terry. I wanted something more to eat and Wilma said that I had had enough. So, I threw a spoon at her which struck her hand as she reached over to feed my nephew, preventing the spoon from striking him. Well, that started a real uproar. She jumped up, went out into the utility room, grabbed a broom or mop and returned hitting me over the head with the handle. I feigned injury until she came back to see what damage she had done. That gave me the opportunity to grab hold of her, take her to the floor and start choking her. At that moment mom figured out what was happening and she grabbed a leather belt and began instructing me concerning the sixth commandment "Thou shalt not kill" thy sister! It was the last beating I ever received and deservedly so--it drew blood. In the years that followed Wilma and I always got along quite well. She gave me a 3/4 body, lefthanded, cut away Les Paul electric guitar for Christmas in 1957. After I had gone back to Vinton that fall the family moved to Earlville, Iowa, about 40 miles west of Debuque. dad was working for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association in that area testing milk for butter fat content. In the seventh grade I was the only trumpet player in the band. Four years later there were so many that I switched to lead Frenchhorn. I also sang in the school chorus, in the early days directed by Mrs. Florence Brock, later by Gerald Kakac, and in high school took voice lessons from Mr. Kakac. Music was always an important part in my life at school and after. I learned to play the ukulele and guitar from schoolmates and dad bought my first guitar for $14 at Christmas in 1954. At last I could string one lefthanded! Over the years I made several trips as a member of the band, chorus and boys quartet to different communities for special presentations about the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. The last was with the marching band after I graduated. Then band instructor, Mr. William Best, had organized our first marching band and we participated in the Lions' Club parade in Chicago on the 4th of July, 1958. That was the summer I enjoyed tossing water filled balloons off of high places and out windows. At one o'clock in the morning I dropped some balloons out of a sixth floor window above the hotel's main entrance. Moments later a squadron of motorcycle policemen came 'round the corner. Down went the window and I jumped into bed. I learned later that they were coming to deal with a highschool band from Georgia on a higher floor whose partying had gotten out of control. In high school it was fun to take part in the shop class where I learned to use a wood lathe, power saw, sander and other woodworking tools. While there I made a lamp and my own baseball bat. Never developed a particular interest in chair caning, ham radio, basket weaving or piano tuning. I was a member of the wrestling team from the seventh through the eleventh grades and also was part of the track team doing the standing long-jump, triple-jump, and hop-skip-and-jump. My senior year I won the gold medal in the long-jump at the conference tournament held at the Kansas School for the Blind. Frequently during free time you would find several of us roller skating around the large concrete oval in back of the main building. I soon learned that when playing train or crack-the-whip to be the last one in the line. It was much less painful to let go than have the guy behind you drag you down on the cement. Although i had six years of typing instruction, beginning in the seventh grade, it was never my favorite subject even though the skill has done well by me over the intervening years. It was December 10, 1955 that another major event took place in my life. Grandma Meda Metcalf had had a heart attack. Dad, mom and Keith were driving to Sioux City from Earlville thinking that they very possibly could be attending her funeral. That same day a former schoolmate Revanne Jenks and her mother had driven over from Des Moines to Vinton to spend a couple of days visiting. We had been out to dinner and a movie and when I came back to the dorm about 10 PM Mr. Clarence Hilton, my dorm supervisor, met me and told me that the school superintendent Mr. Donald Overbeay wanted to see me in his office immediately. Oh boy! What have I done this time? That is when I received the news that mom had been killed instantly in a car wreck, dad seriously injured and Keith, then 12, had escaped with a few scratches and the subsequent emotional trama. They had come over a rise on Highway 20 between Moville and Sioux City. The car ahead of them was going much slower. Dad stepped on the break, hit a patch of ice and started to spin into the oncoming traffic. A car coming the other way hit the front passenger side and finished the spin. All three were without seat belts and thrown out the passenger door as the car spun. I got to visit with dad at least once before he died. Mom was buried on December 14 and dad died the next day from a blood clot. Grandma survived until late May 1959 after Judy's and my wedding. We still cherish the afghan she crocheted for us. The State Rehab Department had offered me a scholarship in music at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, but I wanted to go to a Bible school. Prairie Bible in Three Hills Alberta turned me down, supposedly because it snows alot there. When I told my friend Arlene Rummell whose family had moved to South San Francisco, CA, she said I would be accepted at Simpson Bible College in San Francisco. On September 24, 1958 I boarded a plane in Omaha and arrived in the Bay Area that evening. Arlene picked me up at the airport and we went straight to the First Baptist Church on Grand Avenue in South City (as it is frequently called) where choir practice was still in progress and that is when and where I met Judith Carol Casagrande, my wife soon to be. As it turned out, I would only attend Simpson for one semester. Perhaps it was the second Sunday evening afterward that Judy and I were talking in the church foyer when I noticed that her voice was behind me. Gracious 18-year-old gentleman that I was, I immediately turned around and kicked her. That required a lot of apologetic phone calls followed by a couple of dates. On November 2, 1958 I proposed and she accepted, on May 2, 1959 she married me out of spite and that is all that I have had for the last 55 years. Again, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. My father-in-law, Ambrose Casagrande, helped me get my first part time job. For more than sixty years he supplemented his family income by dealing and playing lowball poker at Artichoke Joe's. He was able to arrange my playing piano in Joe's Bar on Saturday afternoons for about 8 weeks during the 1959 football season. It didn't take long to figure out that was not the lifestyle I preferred. In the spring of 1960 I trained as a masseur, but that didn't prove to be financially profitable. Our oldest daughter Shari Lynn was born June 29, 1960 and her sister Pamela Jane August 31, 1961. In February 1962 I trained with my first Guide Dog Nita. She retired in 1969 and it was 1995 before I partnered with Mink, in 2004 with Orville, and Kerwin in 2005. In 1963 I trained at Sequoia Automotive rebuilding automatic transmissions. It took a while before I was offered a job back in Des Moines in January 1966 where I worked until June. Judy and the girls stayed behind and as it happened, we were unable to sell our home in California and so after visiting my sister and family in early June I went back home to mama and the girls. That Christmas season I got a $2 an hour weekend job playing organ in the window of Bronstein Music, two hours Friday evening and three Saturday afternoon. Ultimately that lasted for seven years and I must admit that it was the hardest $2 an hour I ever earned. The organ speaker was outside the window and I was inside where they were demonstrating TVs, stereos and musical instruments. I believe it was in September of 1967 to May 68 that we would all pile into the car many evenings when Judy came home from work, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, then drive to San Jose where I would play the organ in the Sweden House Smorgasbord for tips. The manager, Russ, would give us $5 for gas since it was an 80 mile round trip and Judy and the girls got to eat while I played. Russ was a Christian and so I was encouraged to include Christian music as a part of my repertoire. That same year, 1967, I assisted in the organization of the United States Braille Chess Association in San Francisco; helped raise the money to sponsor and send a four man team with two guides to England in March/April 1968 where we participated in the Blind Chess Olympics being held at Weymouth on the English channel. It was during a visit to Stone Henge while feeling around in a crevice of a pillar yours truly found a 1907 King Edward penny. Also in 1967 my senior year roommate at Vinton, Bob Nesler, began working for the California department of Rehabilitation. In June of 1969 he was able to arrange an interview for an X-ray darkroom job for me at Mary's Help Hospital. That lasted twelve years and when they moved and remodeled the department they planned to close the darkroom. The staff appreciated my work ethic and asked me "What else can you do?" I replied, "I always have enjoyed working with my hands, but typing is not exactly what I had in mind." "Oh! you can type? Our head X-ray transcriber is retiring. You get the training, we'll by whatever additional equipment you may need and you've got the job." Three months before they oficially close the darkroom I began transcribing X-ray reports. That lasted for eight years before I burned out from stress and took a medical retirement in December, 1989. The stress was partly due to the use of an Optacon (optical to tactile converter). It consists of a small TV type camera which is held in the right hand and slid across the printed page. The left index finger is placed on a small pad of 144 pins which vibrate in the shape of the letter the camera is viewing. In this fashion one is able to read a variety of print materials. For me it is at times a love/hate relationship. Love to read things for myself--hate the stress it can personally cause. In 1985 Paul Resh, a professor at San Francisco State University, encouraged me to learn how to use the computer. I learned about the special kind of software called a "screen reader". This program converts the printed words on the screen into audible synthetic speech, allowing access to almost everything a blind user might need or want. Eventually I was able to use these learned skills on the job as a transcriber. Soon I would learn about other software that makes it possible to scan printed books and articles which I then could read, edit, format and share with other blind and sighted computer owners eventually via the internet. During the 70's and 80's time refreshable braille displays also had been developed and it is possible to access most of the same print materials using one's sense of touch without synthetic speech software. The mechanical braille dots (small pins) pop up and down in various patterns representing the characters in the braille alphabet as one moves the cursor around the screen. In 1989 my daughter Pam and I took a computer programming class together at the local junior college. Again in 1994 we both attended a DOS batch file class. These skills would help later on with managing the Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, inc. website. http://bartimaeus.us In December of 1994 I suffered some painful gaul bladder attacks and when I went to see the doctor I also discovered that I had developed type II diabetes, a family trait. Since that time I have learned to manage my diabetes using talking glucometers and a Count-a-Dose device for measuring insulin. By the time I was able to undergo surgery the following February, my daughter Pam also developed gaul bladder problems and we both "enjoyed" having them removed four days apart. She didn't appreciate her dad's laughter after his surgery and before her's. Interesting enough, Pam's future Husband and mother-in-law each had the same surgery the previous fall. The last position I held was as Executive Director of the East Bay Center for the Blind in Berkeley on two different occasions, totaling about 4.5 years between 1998 and 2005. Nowadays I spend a lot of time at my computer scanning, editing and preparing books and articles I think will be helpful to other blind Bible students as well as for myself when putting together Sunday school lessons. Another challenging project has been rescuing old hand-brailled and computerized braille books such as Greek and Hebrew grammars, lexicons and dictionaries. Again, the scanning software has been helpful in making available a number of these old books as it is now possible to reproduce many of them in digital files on the computer, which then can be shared around the world on the internet as needed. I am ever so grateful for all those other blind and sighted individuals who have helped to achieve these goals. My Spiritual Journey One of the primary reasons I decided to write this brief autobiographical peace is to share my spiritual journey from childhood to the present time. It is hoped that the detailed experiences will help others to come to have a genuine and positive relationship to God as well. Much of what has been written before could have described a number of active young boys growing up into adulthood, either sighted or blind. To this point, what has received little attention is my personal relationship to God and the twists and turns it has taken along the way. One thing is for certain, my mother provided a strong Christian environment in which to grow up. Part of that strength was the Paddle, part the regular attendance at Sunday school and church, all complimented by a generous portion of Bible reading to us and prayer when at home. Her last gift to me was a braille Bible. I still remember her sitting at the piano and picking out hymn tunes one note at a time during our last summer together. It was when I was six years old, on the way home from attending a vacation Bible School at the Baptist Church in Climbing Hill that I announced from the back seat of the car that I had asked Jesus into my heart -- a term I would not use today. My teenage sister thought that was funny. It would be several years later that Mom would remind me of that incident and even more years later that I would recall it again during my spiritual struggles. I recall Pastor Evert Mitchell and the members of the Nazarene Church in Climbing Hill gathering together to pray for my healing some time in 48 or 49 -- but God had other plans. it was about the same time that I sang my first solo in church, learned at the blind school, Somebody's Knockin' At Your Door. It may have been in Hospers in 1952 I first played a trumpet solo in church -- Beulah Land. During the school year at Vinton I always attended Sunday School and worship services at the American Baptist Church where Von Elbert was Pastor at the time of my graduation and in 1966, when I worked for a short time in Des Moines was also pastoring a church there. As I entered my teens it seems that God became a more important part of my thinking. One odd thing that sticks in my mind is a dream in which Mom and I were walking up to a cashier-like window in a beautiful golden wall in heaven. Arriving, we were handed a "reward (perhaps money)" for our good works. We then turned around and walked away. I can still remember thinking as we left, "Is that all there is?" and the feeling of disappointment that accompanied the thought. Thank You Father, that it was only a dream! After returning to Vinton in January 1956 following the loss of my parents, while lying in bed one night I found great peace and comfort when I prayed, "Lord, it's You and me now." Wilma and I were baptized that year at the Billy Sunday Memorial Tabernacle on Morningside Avenue in Sioux City. I can still remember the pleasant warmth of the water as the Pastor performed the emersion. During the vacation times spent at home with Wilma and her family, I enjoyed attending Youth for Christ meetings and retreats, as well as other church related camps and activities. Pastor Glee Lockwood tried to help me get into Prairie Bible Institute which failed and eventually led to my moving to South Sanfrancisco, California in order to attend Simpson Bible College in San Francisco. On arrival there, within an hour, I attended choir practice at the First Baptist Church where I met my wife Judy. While there I taught the third grade Sunday school class for a few months. Due to lack of funds I only spent one semester at Simpson. As mentioned earlier, six weeks after we met, Judy and I became engaged and were married May 2, 1959. Since I was not of legal age I had to have a guardian appointed in order to get married. Lee Scaggs became that person and participated in the marriage ceremony. As a part of the service Judy and I sang "I Love You Truly" as a duet. She keeps insisting that I bit her finger at the reception when we posed for a picture while feeding each other wedding cake. When we left the church that day it would be almost a year before we started attending church again on a regular basis. The Pastor had said and done some things with which we took issue. In early 1960 we had moved from our first basement apartment on C Street with the Ostranders to an appartment in San Bruno. A couple from the Cedar Avenue Baptist Church knocked on our door and invited us to their couples fellowship meeting. We became members there for eight years. I briefly had the opportunity to teach the Junior High boys and began taking a more active part in singing and playing the piano and trumpet. From my teen years and upward I had taken many trips down the aisle for rededication after rededication. It seemed to me that something was still missing or not quite right. In the fall of 1968 while playing the organ in the store window, a young couple came in and asked if I would play at their wedding. They had approach Pastor Charles Archer of the First Baptist Church in Daly City about holding their wedding there. He agreed and they proceeded with their plans. When they inquired about an organist, he told them that they would have to find another church as First Baptist did not have an organ. Well, they had already sent out the invitations and that would not work for them. Since Pastor Archer and I had been acquainted with each other for several years, he suggested that they contact me and see if I could arrange for an organ to be brought to the church and also play it. They were familiar with my work in the store window and that's precisely what happened. On the Sunday following the wedding I came back to the church and played for the morning and evening services. At the close of the evening service the organ was surrounded by a number of saints who said they would buy the organ if I would come and play it. That lasted twenty-two good years. The Benefits of Good Doctrine and Good Teachers It was 1969 and Pastor Archer was teaching the adult men's Sunday school class. His text was First Corinthians 15:3-4 (the Biblical definition of the "Salvation Gospel". Paul writes: 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you The Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, 2 by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain (to no purpose). 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: 5 and that He was seen of [many witnesses]. (1 Cor. 15:1-5f) As I sat there listening to his explanation of what one must believe in order to be saved, the light of greater understanding began to dawn and the years of confusion and uncertainty started melting away. There was the realization that I had somewhere in the forgotten past personally believed that Jesus Christ "was delivered for our offenses (trespasses), and raised again for our justification." (Rom. 4:25) Yes, we can forget if we do not learn and grow. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. (2 Peter 1:9). We can thank God that He doesn't forget! At that moment I could not remember, nor even today, the exact time when by faith I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. But I knew what I had believed. He alone had paid for my sin and provided the new spiritual life I now possessed. So why all those years of doubt and questions? Partly because of the confusing gospel presentations and partly because of a lack of good instruction on how to live a spiritual life. and, of corse, I may not have always been listening as I should. Have you ever considered how many different "gospel presentations" you may have heard? "you must receive Jesus." "You must repent (feel sorry) of your sins." "You must believe and be baptized." "You must confess Jesus as Lord." "You need to ask Jesus to come into your heart." None of these statements plainly declare (1) 3 how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, (2) 4 and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: 5 and that He was seen. To add to or subtract from this simple truth in some fashion is to confuse and corrupt God's Salvation Gospel. Earlier I mentioned that at the age of six I announced to my family that I had asked Jesus into my heart. The question I cannot answer is: "Did I hear the true Salvation Gospel at that time and believe it or perhaps some time later?" I don't know. But I do know that by the gracious gift of God at a point in time I believed--only God knows when. Not long after the wonderful realization that I had truly believed the Gospel for Salvation, Satan whispered in my ear "But you don't know when and therefore you can't possibly be saved or have any righteousness of your own!" Well, in one sense I had to agree. I did not know when I was saved and I did not have any righteousness of my own. But I did have an answer. "I believe that Jesus Christ is my righteousness! He and He alone always will be! He is my salvation! my Savior!" This leaves us with one critical question still: "Have you personally believed that Christ died for your sin and was raised for your justification?" The answer you provide is the most important one you will ever have to give. 1971 rolled around and Pastor Archer moved back to Indiana. Dr. H. LaVern Schafer became the interim Pastor at Daly City for about fifteen months to be followed by Dave Eckman. I was still struggling with the issues of my two natures and thought life. Walking around in my darkroom I would have inappropriate thoughts and say to myself: "Christians shouldn't be thinking like this!" Obviously, my old sin nature, the flesh, was putting thoughts into my mind it wanted to be fulfilled. I also remember in early March being deeply impressed by Colossians 3:1-3: 1 Since therefore you have been co-raised up with Christ, aim at and seek those things [divine riches] which are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind (reflective thinking) on things above [position and possessions in Christ], not on things on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. At that same time Pastor Schafer was teaching out of Romans 6 and explaining how that when we were baptized (emersed) by the Holy Spirit into Christ, we were baptized (emersed) into His death and resurrection (6:3-4), which was also the time when we received our new nature (6:5-10. Consequently, we are to reckon (count to be true, consider) ourselves to be dead to our old sinful nature and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord (cf. Gal. 2:20). And that was the key, found in Romans 6:11, that open the door for me to a possitive spiritual life experience. I recall with a smile the day that truth struck home. I was walking around in my darkroom when another of those inappropriate thoughts from my sinful nature came into my mind. Immediately I slammed my left fist into my right palm and said aloud, "I AM DEAD TO YOU AND ALIVE TO GOD IN JESUS CHRIST MY LORD!" Then using the new mind given to me in Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), I deliberately began reflectively thinking on Scripture and the truths I had learned and OH! WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE! I only wish that I could say I had always made that choice. Yet now as I do so my life is filled with the love, joy, peace and other parts of the fruit of the Spirit He produces when I am in a right relationship with Him. The more, the closer I walk with Him the better it gets. Further Analysis Having shared in brief the history of my spiritual discoveries and growth, I would now like to go back and discuss the conflict between our old and new natures and some of the deeper reasons why I believe I struggled during those early years. So then, let's go all the way back to the very beginning--to our father Adam. Before Adam decided to "eat the fruit" he and Eve had a very unique relationship with God. Apparently they were clothed with a garment of light and their human spirit was innocent. When Adam chose to believe Satan's lie that he could be like God and sinned, he died spiritually-- that is his person and human nature were separated from God and he forefooted that special relationship. And, even though he afterward believed in the God who created all things, the fellowship he shared with God was not the same as before the fall. Another by product of the fall was that he could only pass on to his descendents that same fallen nature. As a result we were conceived, born, live and die with that same Adamic nature--one that rejects the true knowledge of God and still believes "the Lie". (cf. Rom. 1:18-25) 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for "the lie", and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Throughout human history man has believed and acted as though he is able to meet or exceed any and all of the behavioral requirements necessary to satisfy a righteous God. To illustrate this let us turn to perhaps the foremost example, the nation of Israel seen portrayed in Scripture. In Exodus chapter 19 the LORD said: 5 "Now therefore, if ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; 6 "and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." (Exo. 19:5-6 JPS) Here the words "My covenant" refer back to the unconditional Promise of God to Abraham in Genesis 15:18-21. But notice the response of the Israelites in verse 8. 8 And all the people answered together, and said: "All that the LORD hath spoken we will do." And Moses reported the words of the people unto the LORD. (Exo. 19:8 JPS) God said: "Believe My promise!" They responded: "Tell us what to do and we will do it!" God offered grace. They wanted law. And so God gave them the Law. But notice what He did not give them: 4 "but the LORD hath not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day." (Deu. 29:4 JPS) The irony in all of this is that what they wanted and received only proved that they could not through their own effort earn God's approval. Yet they have this precious promise awaiting them in the future millennium: 6 "And the LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." (Deu. 30:6 JPS -- cf. Jer. 31:31-34; Ezk. 36:26f; 37:12-14; Heb. 10:16-17) With the Mosaic Law came the promise of physical and material well being if the nation kept it. Yet repeatedly throughout Israel's history we can see the evident results to this day of its failure to do so. Nor is any human being able in their own strength of character to keep any kind of law be they Jew, Gentile or member of the Church. James says: 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all [the commandments]. (2:10) And Paul observes in Romans 2: 1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (2:1 NAS) ... 12 For as many as without law sinned, without law shall also perish. And as many as in the sphere of law sinned, through law shall be condemned. (2:12 Wuest) ... 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them. (2:14-15 NAS) Paul observes in Romans 9: 31 But Israel, earnestly endeavoring to acquire a law of righteousness, did not measure up to the law. 32 Because of what? Because, not out of a source of faith but even as out of a source of works they sought to acquire it." (Wuest) The individual Old Testament believer who managed to keep the Law with a certain degree of success by his own efforts did receive the physical and material blessings promised as did the nation for short periods of time. Yet more often than not their failure produced the accompanying penalty. And when on occasion the Spirit of God would come "upon" an individual to provide strength for some specific ministry there was no guarantee that He would remain. In Romans 3 Paul summarizes God's purpose in both the Mosaic and natural law. 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." (3:19-20 NAS) In Exodus 19 Israel refused to believe God's promise given to Abraham and extended to them. They asked for and received instead the Law which they were unable to keep. 13 For not through law was the promise made to Abraham or to his offspring that he should be the heir of the world, but through a righteousness which pertains to faith. (Rom. 4:13 Wuest) Today we are given the promise of salvation by faith in the death of Jesus Christ for our sins and His resurrection for our Justification. The majority of mankind still prefers "works salvation". Kind of reminds you of that popular song from the 70's "I did it my way!" doesn't it? Unfortunately, that same legalistic or "works salvation" attitude has been carried over into and taught as part of the practical side of the true believer's lifestyle. It is this very issue that I would now like to address. Do we order our behavior by keeping the Law or by the enabling power of the indwelling Holy Spirit? Paul asks this question of the Galatians: 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (3:5 NAS) He then answers the question: 10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "the righteous man shall live by [an attitude of] faith." (3:10-11 NAS) Elsewhere he writes: 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Heb. 7:19 NAS) On the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, verses 1-3, the means by which a believer is to live a Godly life was completely changed. Every believer in Christ, since that time, during the Dispensation of Grace has received, been indwelt and sealed unto the day of redemption by, the Holy Spirit Whom Jesus promised in the Upper Room discourse found in the Gospel of John 16:7-15. Simultaneously we also have been graced with a new nature. 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these [His glory and excellence] He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of a divine [quality of] nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." (2 Pet. 1:3-4 NAS) Then Peter goes on to encourage us to grow in the practical use of this new nature. (cf. vv. 5-11) However, Peter also informs us in his first epistle that we will receive at the end or consummation of our faith "the salvation of our souls." (cf. 1 Peter 1:9) This means that we still have our old, Adamic, sinful, soulish nature as long as we are in these mortal bodies. It wars against our new nature through the five senses and emotions without appealing to reason. Turning back to Romans 7 Paul details for us his personal discovery of the fact that he now had, as do we, two different natures -- one old and unregenerate, one born anew from above, one seeking its own desires, and one desiring to do God's will. We cannot serve both at the same time. When we mentally choose to follow the desires of one of our two natures, we are separated from the influence of the other as though it were dead. It would appear that after one believes the Salvation Gospel that they experience a short interval of peace and joy before God allows the spiritual growth process to begin. No doubt this was also Paul's experience during his early Christian life in Tarsus. 9 But I was alive without law aforetime. But the commandment having come, the sinful nature regained its strength and vigor, and I died. 10 And the commandment which was to life, this I found to be to death; 11 for the sinful nature, using the commandment as a fulcrum, beguiled me and through it killed me. (7:9-11 Wuest) The Law killed/separated Paul in his spiritual relationship with God. Verses 7 and 8 provide the example. 7 ... if it had not been for the Law, I should not have recognized the sin nature or have known its meaning. [For instance] I would not have known about covetousness [would have had no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, You shall not covet and have an evil desire [for one thing and another]. 8 But the sinful nature, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law the sinful nature is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing]. (7:7-8 AMP) Paul now goes on to point out that the Law reflects the righteous character of God and the inability of Man's fallen or soulish nature to reproduce it. 12 So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. 13 Therefore, that which is good, to me did it become death? Away with the thought. But the sinful nature, in order that it might become evident that it is sin, through that which is good [the commandment] brought about death in me, in order that the sinful nature [its impulses and workings] through the intermediate agency of the commandment may become exceedingly sinful." (7:12-13 Wuest) Paul had previously remarked in 5:20a: 20 But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition].... (AMP) It should be obvious then that efforts to keep the Law even by a true believer can only end in ultimate spiritual failure. To further show Paul's struggle with his two natures, I cite the following from Pastor Schafer's book on the spiritual life. During Paul's struggle as a carnal believer (one who was manifesting the things of the flesh, or sin nature), his sin nature was triumphant over his new nature. The conflict is described in the following translation of Rom. 7:14-23: (Key: n.n.= new nature; s.n.= sin nature) 14 For I indeed know intellectually the Law is spiritual (i.e. pertains to the human spirit, or the rational part of the mind) but I am carnal (emanating things of the flesh), having been sold under the sin nature. 15 For what I (the sin nature) work out, I (the new nature) do not know experientially. For what I (n.n.) do not desirously will, I (s.n.) practice; but what I (n.n.) am hating non-violently, I (s.n.) am doing. 16 But since I (s.n.) am doing what I (n.n.) do not desirously will, I (n.n.) agree with the Law (Mosaic) that it is useful. 17 But now it is no longer I (n.n.) working it out, but the sin nature (s.n.) that indwells me. 18 For I (n.n.) know intellectually that no inner sense of happiness (agathos) dwells in me (s.n.), that is in my flesh (s.n.): for the desirous will (n.n.) is present in me; but how to work out the proper thing (kalos) is not. 19 But what good I (n.n.) desirously will, I (s.n.) am not doing; to the contrary, what evil I (n.n.) am not desirously willing, this I (s.n.) am practicing. 20 But since what I (n.n.) do not desirously will, I (s.n.) am doing, it is no longer I (n.n.) that works it out, but, on the contrary, the sin nature dwelling in me (s.n.). 21 I (n.n.) find then a principle (law, KJV) that when I (n.n.) desirously will to do the proper thing the evil (s.n.) is present in me. (Evil means to lack character of what is expected of one because of who they are. Trench p.315) 22 For I (n.n.) delight in the rule of God for Christians (law, KJV) after the inner man (new nature plus the mind of Christ and ego of the person) 23 I (n.n.) find then a principle (law, KJV) in my members warring against the principle (law, KJV) of my mind (n.n.) and taking me (n.n.) captive by the principle of the sin nature which is in my members (s.n.). Rom. 7:14-23 (Excerpted from Maturing In Christ by H. LaVern Schafer, Chapter 3, The Enemy Within, p. 85, Published by Xulon Press.) Now notice Paul's cry for help and glorious affirmation of victory in Christ. 24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? 25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (7:24-25 AMP) With his mind Paul recognizes that he has a choice as to which nature he will serve--the old sin nature or the new divinely given human nature. How does he do this? By reckoning or counting it to be true that he is dead to the desires and suggestions of his sinful old nature and alive to the desirous will of God in his new nature in Christ Jesus. (cf. 6:11) Romans 8 in part helps to explain how this is possible. First, he recognizes that for those in Christ Jesus there is no longer any condemnation--our sin debt has been paid. Secondly, he acknowledges the gift and work of the Holy Spirit. 1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (8:1-5 NAS) Then later in chapter 10 he writes: 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (10:4 NAS) This brings us back to Colossians 3:2 where we are told to focus our reflective thinking on things above. We are able to do this because we have been given a new mind. 16 For who has known experientially the mind of the Lord? He who has been joined together with Him. But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16 HLS) The word "instruct," KJV, is translated elsewhere "compacted" in Eph. 4:16 and "knit together" in Col. 2:2. Just think about it, we can now see things as God sees them. How is this possible? By means of the indwelling Holy Spirit. When we experienced initial salvation the Holy Spirit was given to us as an earnest or pledge, a seal, a teacher and enabler. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:13-14 NAS) 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1 Cor. 2:12-13 NAS) In Galatians 5 Paul exhorts us: 16 But I say, Through the instrumentality of the Spirit habitually order your manner of life, and you will in no wise execute the passionate desire of the evil nature, 17 for the evil nature constantly has a strong desire to suppress the Spirit, and the Spirit constantly has a strong desire to suppress the evil nature. And these are entrenched in an attitude of mutual opposition to one another so that you may not do the things that you desire to do. 18 But if you are being led by the Spirit you are not under law." (Wuest) After reciting a list of the works of the flesh Paul goes on to describe the product the Holy Spirit is able to produce in a Spirit-filled believer. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control: against such there is no law. (5:22-23) Although we cannot produce this fruit ourselves, yet when spiritual, like the fireman holding a hose in his hands, we are able to direct the individual parts of the fruit toward the appropriate object as opportunity arises. In a general sense, though not exclusively, love, Long-suffering, Kindness, Goodness and gentleness are directed somewhat more toward the activities of our external life, while joy, peace, faith and self-control seem to relate more to our inner life. When we are carnal and ordering our life according to the sinful nature, the fruit of the Spirit is not available and so we act and react according to our five senses and soulish emotions. When we "confess", agree with God that our attitude and actions are sinful, He is consistent and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all kinds of unrighteousness. At this point it is time to count ourselves dead to the sinful nature and once again set our mind or reflective thinking on the position and possessions we have in Christ. A Comparison of Love There is one additional contrast I would like to address as regards keeping the Law as versus living by faith in the dispensation of grace. The contrast is that between the love of Christ for us and our love for ourself. In romans 13:8-10 Paul makes reference to the Second Commandment concerning human relationships (cf. Mat. 22:39-40) in the statement 8 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one's fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. 9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to one's neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law. (AMP) Notice that the standard for love according to this commandment is one's love for him/herself. Does everyone have the same level of love for themselves? I think not! Consequently, we have a potentially broad concept of what love should be. Is this then the standard on which the true Christian should base his belief and practice? Again, I think not! So what should the standard be? After Israel's rejection of Christ's offer of the Millennial Kingdom, in the Gospel of John during the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus established a new and higher standard of love for the coming dispensation. "13:34 A commandment, a new one, I am giving you, that you should be constantly loving one another with a divine and self-sacrificial love; even as I loved you, you also be loving one another. 35 In this all shall know that you are my disciples, if you constantly have love among one another." ... "15:12 This is the commandment which is mine, namely, that you should be loving one another with a divine and self-sacrificial love just as I loved you. 13 Greater love than this no one has, namely, that anyone lay down his life on behalf of his friends. 14 As for you, friends of mine you are, if you habitually do that which I am enjoining upon you." (Note: [Greek word here used of God's love produced in the heart of the yielded saint by the Holy Spirit, a love that impels one to deny himself for the sake of the loved one], 1 Cor. 13:1. Wuest) Once more a question arises: Can we keep this commandment in our own strength? Even though we have a new nature, as Paul discovered, it is only possible through the empowerment supplied by the indwelling Holy Spirit when we are in proper spiritual relationship with God. When we were saved we were given the Holy Spirit who produces His fruit in us. ... because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts and still floods them through the agency of the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom. 5:5 Wuest) In light of the numerous Scriptures that have been cited and compared, it should soon become obvious that the true believer cannot attain to or maintain a vital relationship to or fruitful walk with God by trying to keep the Law by his own efforts in the realm of his old nature or even in the new nature (cf. Rom. 7:24-25). However, as we mentally count ourself to be dead to our old sinful nature, the flesh, and count ourself to be alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, then the Holy Spirit is able to reproduce a God quality of life in us which we can demonstrate as we direct His fruit toward the appropriate objects. Paul then closes chapter 13 as follows: 14 But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and stop making provision for [indulging] the sinful nature [flesh] with a view to [gratifying] a passionate craving. (rom. 13:14 AMP) Now then let us close with this from Romans 8: 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father! 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. NAS) ADDITIONAL RESOURCES I have found the following three books of infinite value in my studies and understanding of the spiritual life. I highly recommend them. MATURING IN CHRIST -- The Revised Christian Life Series by H. LaVern Schafer, Th.D., now in one Volume. Including the newly added eighth chapter. Available in print at Xulon Press: http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781609578381 or phone: 1-866-909-2665 This prior series of booklets, now revised and expanded in one print volume, is designed to help the Christian in Christ grow progressively from birth to maturity. The fundamental truths contained here have made a profound difference in the practical life experience of many a believer. These chapters will probably be most helpful when read in consecutive order. Here is a brief summary of the eight chapters discussing the foundational truths that result in a positive Christian growth experience. * 1. The Doctrine of God: You can read here about who God is and what He is all about. * 2. The Christian's Thought Life: This chapter lays down the fundamental guidelines for a successful relationship and walk with God. * 3. The Enemy Within: This is a treatise on the old sinful nature -- the one enemy of the believer that never goes away in this life. * 4. The Spiritual Christian: The goal of this chapter is to provide the serious Bible student with the "meat" of the Word which will enable him to conquer his own sin nature and to experience the joys that God has provided for him. * 5. Satan: The Enemy Without: This chapter describes Satan's methods and the Biblically based defennse available for the victorious believer. * 6. The World System and Other Appeals: Learn here how the world system would redirect your love for God and derail your spiritual relationship with Him. * 7. The Maturing of the Spiritual Christian: Helpful instructions for the believer's ongoing growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. * 8. DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIPS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT: Gives an overview of the elements discussed in the first seven chapters showing how they interrelate to each other and the Holy Spirit. ------------------------- The Christian "In Christ": An Introduction to "In Christ" Truth by David K. Spurbeck, Sr. This book is an exhaustive study of the "In Christ" references found in the New Testament. Absolutely essential reading. Print copies can be purchased by sending a $23.95 money order (includes shipping) to: Know To Grow Publications 1601 Limpas Lane Forest Grove, OR 97116 Here is a list of the various Sections and subtitles in the book: SECTION I: ENTRY "INTO" THE BODY OF CHRIST The Idea of "Into" (eis) The Isolation of Spirit Baptism as the Action The Identification with a Unity as a Result Predicted as One Identified as Christ Jesus Identified as Christ Identified as the Fellowship of His Son Identified as One Body Identified as Himself Identified as One New Man Identified as a Holy Temple Identified as a Dwelling Place of God Identified as a Man Identified as Him or the Christ The Induction of the Individual into Christ The Involvement "into" the Death of Christ The Incentive for Spiritual Growth SECTION II: ENVIRONMENT "IN" THE BODY OF CHRIST The Recognition of One's Position Dead with Christ in His Death as Our Perfect Substitute The Believer's Participation in the Substitutionary Work of Christ Resurrected with Christ No Condemnation in Christ Jesus Accepted in the Beloved Made Near to God Seated in the Heavenlies Made the Fullness Share in the New Creation Put on Christ as an Outer Garment Made One with Christ and One Another Made Saints in Christ The Recognition of One's Possessions All Spiritual Blessings in the Heavenlies in Christ Possess the Righteousness of God Possess Positional Sanctification Possess Complete Redemption Placed as a Mature Son Placed as a Priest Provided with a Spiritual Gift Possess Liberty in Christ Placed as One Inlawed to Christ Made a Part of the Building of God Christ Calls Us His Brethren Provided Forgiveness by God SECTION III: COMMUNION "TOGETHER" IN THE CHRIST Sharing Together in Position / 270 Crucified Together Died Together Buried Together Made Alive Together Raised Together Seated Together Given All Things Together Life Is Hidden Together Heirs Together Sharers Together Sharing Together in Possessions Built Together Bound Together in a Unity Bondslaves Together Workers Together Chosen Together Blended Together Knit Together Suffer Together Citizens Together Sharing Together in the Future Will Be Raised and Presented Together Will Be Conformed Together to Christ's Glorified Body Will Live Together With Him Will Share Glory Together with Him Will Reign Together With Him -------------------------- ME! A PRIEST? by David K. Spurbeck Sr. Pastor Spurbeck has given the Bartimaeus Alliance of the Blind, Inc. the unique and special privilege of posting this indepth study on the "priesthood" of the New Testament believer on the web in an HTML format for your benefit. It is a must read for everyone who has a desire to grow spiritually in their relationship to God. We ask that you please observe the copyright restrictions. The print edition of the book contains 684 pages and can be purchased for $29.95, including shipping, from: KNOW TO GROW In Christ PUBLICATIONS 1601 LIMPAS LANE FOREST GROVE, OR 97116 Please include your check or money order with your request. Section and chapters are listed as follows: SECTION I The Structure Of The Priesthood Of The Believer Chapter 1: What Is The Key Concept? Chapter 2: What is a Priest? Chapter 3: Did Israel Become a Priesthood? Chapter 4: How Did Priesthoods Develop Historically? Chapter 5: How Does a Person Become a Priest? Chapter 6: Am I Competent? Chapter 7: Christ our Heavenly High Priest Chapter 8: Priestly Potentials for the Grace Believer SECTION II The Sacrifices Of The Believer-Priest Chapter 1: What Is a Sacrifice? Chapter 2: The Old Testament Concept of Sacrifice Chapter 3: The Sacrifice of the Physical Body--Romans 12:1, 2 Chapter 4: The Sacrifice of Praise - Hebrews 13:15 Chapter 5: The Sacrifice of Doing Good - Hebrews 13:16 Chapter 6: The Sacrifice of Fellowship - Hebrews 13:16 Chapter 7: The Sacrifice of Giving - Philippians 4:18 Chapter 8: The Sacrifice of Faith - Philippians 2:17 Chapter 9: The Value of the Sacrifices SECTION III The Service Of The Believer-Priest Service as a Priest Service to God Service as a Special Priestly Obligation SECTION IV The Specialization Of The Believer-Priest The Definition of Spiritual Gift The Confusion Concerning Spiritual Gifts The Provision of a Spiritual Gift The Limitation to One Spiritual Gift The Identification of the Gifts The Utilization of the Gifts The Specialization of the Believer-Priest SECTION V The Sharing Of The Believer-Priest Chapter 1: The Believer-Priest and His Bible Chapter 2: The Believer-Priest and His God Chapter 3: The Believer-Priest and His Communication Chapter 4: The Believer-Priest and His Personal Life Chapter 5: The Believer-Priest and the Church Chapter 6: The Priesthood of the Believer and Its Implementation
Are you blind?--a citizen in the Country of the Blind? In a recent sermon my pastor made a reference to the "country of the dead." This immediately started me thinking of the old H.G. Wells science fiction story "The Country Of The Blind".*1 And, of course, there also is that old proverb "There are none so blind as those who will not see."*2 Well, all this has been rattling around in my head for several days and with your permission here are some random thoughts. For more than sixty years now I have been blind as a result of falling head first through a window. And although most people would rather lose a limb, be deaf and dumb or die than be physically blind, I have found it to be a blessing from God in my life through which it has been possible for me to learn about and experience His awsome grace. In H.G. Well's story "The Country of The Blind", Nunez, a sighted man, accidentally falls into an isolated valley in the Andes mountains of Equador where all the inhabitants have been blind for many generations. Recognizing the state of affairs, he immediately thinks of the old axiom "The one eyed man in the country of the blind is king." But soon he discovers that they have adapted their world and belief system to their own condition and have a strong desire to make him like themselves. Because they are physically blind they cannot see the stars he sees--nor will they believe his words! You see, their belief system was based only on what they were able to observe for themselves. This brings me to my second thought: "There are none so blind as those who will not see!" which speaks of a condition far worse than mere physical blindness. An even more dangerous condition from which all men suffer is spiritual blindness. Both Jesus and Paul quote Isaiah in describing the people of Israel: 'Go to this people and say, "'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I should heal them."' (Acts 28:26-27, Matthew 13:14-15, Isaiah 6:9) In Jeremiah 5:21 we find a similar statement: 'Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes, but see not; Who have ears, but hear not.' And Paul, in Romans 120-23,28,32, describes the Gentiles as no better. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals andcrawling creatures.... And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,... and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. In the above passages we have been given a description of "those who will not see." Obviously, this is a state of mind chosen by the individual. One does not usually choose to put out his own eyes, although, I know of at least one man who did. And yet, when it comes to spiritual matters concerning the truth as seen in God's Word, countless multitudes make the decision to reject it, preferring to follow their own misconceptions as those in the country of the blind. How foolish indeed! The Bible is primarily a book that reveals God to men and what He wants us to know. However, when touching on history or things scientific, it has always been demonstrated to be reliable, even though often disputed by unbelieving men. But it is here we want to discuss how it is that we may come to know Him. Jesus, the "God-man," said in the Gospel of John: "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life" (8:12). As the physical eye requires light in order to see where it's going, likewise, the spiritual eyes of men require a source of light. In the Bible, in the Gospel of John, we have seen that Jesus proclaimed Himself to be that light. In the next chapter, John 9, we see the story of the man born blind whose eyes were opened. Not since the beginning of the world had anyone heard of such a thing, and yet, the Pharisees reject the evidence and testimony set forth before their very eyes. What they could see with their physical eyes they refuse to see with their spiritual eyes. Notice what Jesus had to say about this in John 9:39-41. And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains. In other words, they rejected the truth available to them, choosing rather to follow their own unenlightened way. And that way led them to crucify the very One who came to lead them out of their darkness into the light of life. "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:11-13). In John chapter 3 Jesus also spoke to Nicodemus about being born anew. ... "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh [physical birth], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [spiritual birth]. "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'..." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" (vss 3-9) Nicodemus needed to see, as do we, that sinful man, spiritually blind and separated from God, must be newly born spiritually from above by the Spirit. In verse 14 Jesus goes on to explain how this is to be accomplished. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [a godly quality of life]. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [is believing] in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (3:14-17). Elsewhere in chapter 12;32-36 Jesus says: "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die [on a cross]. The crowd then answered Him, "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?" So Jesus said to them, "For a little while longer the Light is among you Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light. " What Jesus is saying is that it was necessary for Him to die, the sinless One, for the sins of the world in order that men might once again have a living relationship to God. He says in 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." And how is it that we come? By faith. Faith in the fact that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world[ including our own], was buried [because He was dead], and raised again the third day [by this God showing His acceptance of Christ's sacrifice in our behalf for our justification]. After this He was seen by more than 500 people. Not only seen with their physical eyes, touched by their hands, but now justified through the eyes of faith. A great many of these died as marters because of their testtimony to the truth of what they saw. Do you see it? Back in John 3 Jesus finishes His conversation with Nicodemus in verses 18-21 as follows. "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." Have you seen the Light? Are you walking in the Light? Are the eyes of your faith opened to Him? Or, do you choose to remain a citizen in the Country of the Blind? Believe in His Name, and all that it represents, and you will be delivered out from the country of the spiritually blind. FOOTNOTES *1 The Country of The Blind: H.G. Wells, 1904 *2 John Bartlett: Familiar Quotations: 1919 10th ed. a. "None so blind as those that will not see." Commentary on Jeremiah 5:21. Mathew Henry (1662-1714) b. "There is none so blind as they that won't see." Polite Conversation, dialogue iii. Jonathan Swift: (1667-1745) c. "Who is so deafe or so blinde as is he That wilfully will neither heare nor see?" Proverbes. Part ii. Chap. ix. John Heywood (1497-1580)
Recently Orville, my third Guide Dog, after eight months of service underwent a career change. It wasn't because he is a poor guide, in fact, just the contrary is true. So what is the problem? Orville is bent on self-destruction. Twice in his short life he has needed surgery to remove indigestible objects not meant to be swallowed--panty hose and packing tape--who knows what else. Another such event could be fatal. Therefore, members of the Guide Dog staff and I decided that it would be in Orville's best interest for a longer and happier life to place him in a more suitable home where he could be watched and have fewer opportunities to do harm to himself. In just a few days I will return to train with another guide. And, reflecting on Orville's behavior that resulted in his career change, it occurs to me that the Bible has much to say about a similar behavioral problem for the human race--"bent on spiritual self-destruction." So what's the "good news?" In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians he writes in Chapter 15:1-5: "Now I make known to you, ... the gospel which I preached to you, ... for I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared ..." John, one who saw, touched and spent time with the risen Christ, quotes Jesus in his Gospel as saying to Nicodemus: "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (3:17-20). Did you notice in the verses quoted that a person's standing before God, (condemned or uncondemned), depends entirely on what you believe about Jesus Christ and whether or not you, by faith, receive His work of salvation on your behalf? Or, are you like those who stand condemned because they have a "bent for self-destruction," prefering darkness rather than light? No matter how many good things we can and try to do, like Orville, we need someone else to save us from our bent on self-destruction. That someone is Jesus Christ, He can change your life, He changed mine. -- GEM
You've probably heard the old axiom "You are what you eat." Might it also be said, "You are what you think."? Most certainly for the Christian who would "grow up" into Christ, the "thought life" is of the utmost importance. In Colossians 3:2 we are instructed to set our mind on the things above. And in Romans 8:6-8 we read that "the mind set on the flesh (or sin nature) is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God,... and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." So then, where do we direct our thinking in order to mind the things of the Spirit and to please God? Romans 6:11 is a good place to start! "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Is your mindset such that you are constantly counting upon the fact that you are dead to (separated from) the sinful nature and now have a living relationship with respect to the Father in Christ Jesus? Grabbing hold of this thought can revolutionize your spiritual life. The choice is yours. There are many other such truths in the Word of God on which the believer can reflect or meditate. Peter encourages us in 1 Peter 2:2 "like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation," and "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" 2 Peter 3:18; and Paul in Philippians 4:8-9 "brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you." And dare we forget the message of the 119th Psalm? The author of Hebrews in 4:12-13 tells us how absolutely important God's Word is. "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bear to the eyes of Him [whom for us, face to face, is the Word]." So tell me, What Do You Think?
Romans 6:11 reads: "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to the sin nature, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." In this passage of Scripture Paul is explaining positional truths about and attitudes we should take regarding our old sin nature and our new nature in Christ. Dr. H.L. Schafer writes: "God counts believers to have already died to the sin nature. When Christians were baptized (immersed) into the death of Christ, they died to the sin nature. The sin nature did not die--rather the believer died to the sin nature. The sin nature is very much alive. The saint died and was resurrected in Christ; these are facts that God counts to be true. The believer is thus to be living resurrected life in Christ." (Maturing In Christ, Chapter 4, The Spiritual Christian, pp110) Paul begins Romans chapter 6 with an important question. 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue living in the sin nature in order that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to the sin nature still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized (immersed) into Christ Jesus have been baptized (immersed) into His death? Rom 6:1-3 This is true Spirit baptism--being immersed (placed by the Holy Spirit) into Christ, His death and resurrection! 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. Col 3:5 All works produced by our sin nature. 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through immersion (by the Holy Spirit( into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, Rom 6:4-5 Paul further explains his thought process and attitude in Galatians: 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. 21 I am not setting aside (or annulling) the grace of God, for if through the law is righteousness, then Christ died undeservedly freely without cause. Gal 2:20-21 Paul is totally dependent upon the righteousness of Christ given to him at the point of salvation, and allowing that righteousness to be lived out through Him. 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body relating to the sin nature might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to the sin nature; 7 for he who has died is freed from the sin nature. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to the sin nature, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to the sin nature, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let the sin nature reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to the sin nature as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For then the sin nature shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:6-14 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of the sin nature and of death. Rom 8:2 5 For those who are habitually dominated by the sinful nature put their minds on the things of the sinful nature, but those who are habitually dominated by the Spirit put their minds on the things of the Spirit. Rom 8:5 The latter can be seen in the fruit of the Spirit demonstrated in the life while having our reflective thinking fixed on those things related to our position and possessions in Christ. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the sin nature.... 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sin nature with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 1 Therefore since you have been co-raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is (and you in Him are), seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind (reflective thinking) on the things above (our position and possessions), not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
As we reflect on Him, He is reflected in us! NAS 2c 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face [person], beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. KSW 3:18 Now, as for us, we all, with uncovered face, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are having our outward expressions changed into the same image from one degree of glory to another according as this change of expression proceeds from the Lord, the Spirit, this outward expression coming from and being truly representative of our Lord. DKS 3:18 "But all of us with face [person] standing being unveiled, while continually reflecting as a mirror [or mirroring] the glory of the Lord, are being made to give an outward expression of our inward nature with reference to the same image [of Christ] from glory into glory even as from the Spirit of the Lord." In other words, the Holy Spirit has written something on the inside that is to be reflected on the outside. Something already exists but must be manifested as an accurate representation of a reality. The transformation of Romans twelve involves the believer's thinking. DKS ro 12:2 but be transformed by the renewedness of the mind with the purpose that you may prove what the good and well-pleasing and complete desirous will of God is." God expects us to use the renewedness of our minds to reflectively think so that we will be living in light of our being in Christ. As a result, the reality of our being in Christ will be reflected to the outside world. 2c 4:6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Christ. cf 2:10 KSW 4:6 ''' resulting in an illumination being given of the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Christ. 2c 4:7 But we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; [the reflection of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Christ] ''' practical illustrations of ro 6:3-11 2c 4:8 _we _are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; KSW 4:8 We are being hard pressed from every side, but we are not hemmed in. We are bewildered, not knowing which way to turn, but not utterly destitute of possible measures or resources. 2c 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; KSW 4:9 We are being persecuted, but not left in the lurch, not abandoned, not let down. We are being knocked down, but not destroyed, 2c 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (cf Galatians 2:20) KSW 4:10 always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus in order that the life of Jesus might be clearly and openly shown in our body, 2c 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (cf Romans 6:11 KSW 4:11 for, as for us, we who are living are perpetually being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake in order that the life of Jesus might be clearly and openly shown in our mortal body. 2c 4:12 So death works in us, but life in you. KSW 4:12 So that death is operative in us but the life is operative in you. 2c 4:13. But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also are believing, therefore we also are speaking, (ps 116:10 I believed when I said, "I am greatly afflicted.") 2c 4:14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 2c 4:15 For all things _are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. 2c 4:16. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. [made fit for the new spiritual existence into which we have been ushered in salvation, and constantly being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus] 2c 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 2c 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
co 3:1 "Since it is a fact that you were co-raised with the Christ, be seeking the things above, where the Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, co 3:2 be reflectively thinking the things above, not the things upon the earth. co 3:3 For you have died and your life is in a state of being hidden together with Christ in God; co 3:4 Whenever the Christ, our life, has been manifested, then you also will be manifested together with Him in a quality of glory." ANXIETY, What to do with it! KSW phi 4:4. Be rejoicing in the Lord always. Again I say, Be rejoicing. phi 4:5 Let your sweet reasonableness, your forbearance, your being satisfied with less than your due, become known to all men. The Lord is near [in that His coming may occur at any moment]. phi 4:6 Stop worrying about even one thing, but in everything by prayer whose essence is that of worship and devotion and by supplication which is a cry for your personal needs, with [meta after] thanksgiving let your requests for the things asked for be made known in the presence of God, phi 4:7 and the peace of God which surpasses all power of comprehension shall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. phi 4:8. Finally, brethren, whatever things have the character of truth, whatever things are worthy of reverence, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are attractive, whatever excellence there is or fit object of praise, these things make the subject of careful reflection. 1 thes 5:17 pray without ceasing; KSW 5:17 Be praying unceasingly. 1 thes 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's _desirous will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 thes 5:19 Do not quench [stop stifling and surpressing] the Spirit; 2c 5:17 (cf. In Christ Truth) Ro 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin _nature, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. DKS "And in this way you reckon for yourselves _that _you yourselves to be dead ones indeed to the sin nature but living with reference to God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11)." DKS Ro 12:1 "I am beseeching you, brothers through the tender compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well-pleasing to God, your logical religious service; and stop being conformed to this age (the legal age cf. chapters 9-11), Ro 12: 2 but be transformed by the renewedness of the mind with the purpose that you may prove what the good and well-pleasing and complete desirous will of God is." Each grace believer has two options: choose to live in the sin nature or choose to live in the new nature To live in the new nature, it is essential that we be living in our position in Christ. We are to set our reflective thinking on things above (Col. 3:1-4). These things include our position and possessions that accrue to the believer because we are in Christ. It is a mental process. A believer can live in his sin nature and revel in his old position in Adam, the old man (co 3:9; ep 4:22). We can choose to live in our new nature and enjoy our new position in the new man, the Christ Ep 2:15, 1 co 12:12, 13).
Paul has many things to say about the fruitful walk for the true believer in Christ. He writes in his letter to the Ephesians, 4:1: I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, ... And continuing in 5:8 he says: ... walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists_ in all goodness and righteousness and truth), putting to the test and then approving what is well pleasing to the Lord. Verse 17 says: On this account stop becoming those who are without reflection or intelligence, but be understanding what the will of the Lord is. Turning back to Galatians 5:16 we read: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those wh o practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, (or long-suffering), kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Eph. 5:16-23 Weaving these threads together, we read in Ephesians 5:18: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,(making up for your deficiencies) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; And again In Galatians 5:24: Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Since we have been made companions and partakers of the Divine nature, therefore, let us take full advantage of all that we have that we might walk the fruitful walk.
Ephesians 6:17 reads as follows: And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. James writes in 4:7: "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." But how do we resist him? Peter, in his first epistle gives us some direction. Be of sober mind, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, solid as a rock in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 1P5:8-9 And Paul adds: in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes (or thought patterns). 2Cor 2:11 Now then, let's look briefly at Ephesians 6. 10. Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Note, it is His power and not our own. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, Pascal wrote "Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth, we cannot know it." What is your relationship with the truth? and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: How often Satan attacks with accusations of unrighteousness, and how blessed to know that: As for us, out of God as a source we are in Christ Jesus, who became for us ''' righteousness ''' not having a righteousness of our own, ''' but that which is through faith in Christ. and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; Are you prepared to deliver the Good News with others so that they might also know peace with God? How that Christ died for our sins, and was buried; that He rose again the third day, and was seen. in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. The Shield of Faith, that body of doctrine; truths and promises contained in the Bible is there to help us resist the devil. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION: the expectation of deliverance! Do you really believe God's Word, or, is it just wishful thinking? and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The point is this, the Word of God is meant to be directed toward our own thoughts and actions first before anywhere else. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,''' Once we have gained the victory and are standing firm, we can then intercede on behalf of others fighting the same battle we've just won by the grace of God.
"Professing themselves to be wise, men became fools." (Romans 1:22a) For man said, "Let us make god in our own images that we might have dominion over him." Thus he traded "the glory of the incorruptible God for images made like corruptible man." (Romans 1:22b) And man formed gods out of the dust of his head, and in his own likeness created he them both males and females. The first they called gramps for he was old, senile, deaf and blind; and because he was lonely he tried very hard to please everyone, and was ever so grateful for the least of their attention--and that's just what he got--while they gobbled his goodies, robbed his pockets and sought mostly to please themselves. Gramps applauded with only one hand. Now others made god like a yardstick by which they measured themselves with themselves, and they looked down on other men--but never! No never looked up! And they said, "Truth is what we say it is. Please spare us the confusion of facts." They plant their feet firmly on air while gravity goes out for a walk. Then the call went out across the land to worship Hypothesis; and great multitudes gathered at Mount Ph.D., for of a truth it was piled high and deep. There every man scribed his own god supposing that his was supreme--but anarchy reigned, and great was the thud of Ph.D. for everyone worshipped himself! In no way are the gods that man creates able to deliver him-- but THE GOD who created all things can! The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be delivered." And then there was . . . METAPHYSICS Why and Wherefore set out one day To hunt for a wild negation. They agreed to meet at a cool retreat On the Point of Interrogation. But the night was dark and they missed their mark, And, driven well nigh to distraction, They lost their ways in a murky maze Of utter abstruse abstraction. They took a boat and were soon afloat On the Sea of Speculation, But the sea grew rough, and their boat, though tough, Was split into an equation. As they floundered about in the waves of doubt Rose a fearful hypothesis, Who gibbered with glee as they sank in the sea, And the last they saw was this: On a rock bound reef of unbelief There sat the wild negation; When they sank once more and were washed ashore At the Point of Interrogation. --Oliver Hereford, 1898 And some called god BOO! For they said, "He who is good will not harm us. Come, let us be slaves to our fears!"--never knowing what might come, they worship the cruel unknown. And God says, "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8) Of course, there is always that colorful but mindless creature who swallows and regurgitates everything. My name, it is Poly, I'm an eclectic bird. For you I will parrot from religions I've heard. I'll pick some from this one, and from that one i'll choose, Whichever one suits me, that's the one I will use. To begin--there is Good, an impersonal force, A principle, something about which men discourse. Now second--there's Evil, some add that to the list Still others would argue that it does not exist. But then thirdly say those, you'll be happy to find, That the whole mess is only a question of Mind! Retribution is fourth if your ways you don't mend-- (Expletive deleted) may describe your foul end. Yet if all of this squawking to you seems obscure, If what you are seeking is the simple and pure, Then, trust dear old Poly, your eclectic friend, Just unfurl your mainsail and be borne on the wind. Well, if all of this seems like a lot of babble to you, perhaps you would like some really good news. The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians said, "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." Jesus is alive today as proof that His death for sin is effective. Why not now admit to God the condition of your heart and receive by faith God's offer of eternal life provided in the finished work of Jesus Christ His Son "who was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:25)
Did you notice that the question is not "who" is God but "what"? Do you know that the God of the Bible is a genuine "person"? For only a personality can demonstrate those characteristics attributed to the God of the Bible. God Sees and Hears: And the LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings."--Exodus 3:7 God Creates: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.--Genesis 1:1 God Remembers: "Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him," declares the LORD.--Jeremiah 31:20 God Speaks (to Moses, subject-object relationship): And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."-- Exodus 3:12 God Has a Will: also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,--Ephesians 1:11 God Is a Personal Spirit: "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."--John 4:24 God Knows (has a mind): "For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."--Jeremiah 29:11 God Will Judge: "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. . . . And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.--John 5:28-29, Hebrews 9:27-28 God Loves: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever is believing in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." . . . In this is love, not that we loved God,but that He loved us and sent His Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. . . . In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, . . . For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.--John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9 In light of the above quotations, it is evident that the God of the Bible is a real person who creates, sees and hears, thinks, speaks and remembers. No, I haven't forgotten that He also judges, demanding satisfaction for every wrong done by man. But, because of love, He offers to us His Son through faith to be our satisfaction for sins. This is the will of God "Who desires that all men be saved and come to a precise and experiential knowledge of the truth, for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a Man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom on behalf of all." I have obeyed "His will" and put my faith in Jesus Christ who "died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to many. He has proven Himself to be a friend true to His word. He gives peace and direction in every aspect of my life. Perhaps today you too would like to place your trust in Jesus. Now then, concerning the "new age" concept that God is a what (impersonal), the idea is perhaps as old as the tower of Babel itself, and fabricated from the immoral religious and philosophical practices of antiquity--the alleged "new way". From the beginning, the personal God of the Bible has warned against such beliefs and activities. Impending disaster awaits those who refuse to turn back. Today, you can escape the coming judgment by placing your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again for our justification.
As the pastor read the Daleth portion of Psalm 119 during the evening service I could not help but think how relevant these words are for believers today. My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Thy word. (Ps 119#25) Daily I am forced to recognize the weakness of my flesh--that I am but dust--having a sinful nature. Paul in Romans 8:9 reminds us that we "are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." And to the Corinthians he wrote: "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual [thoughts] with spiritual [words.] (1 Co 2:12-13) What an absolutely thrilling prospect that the author of God's Word now lives in us to teach, to lead, to give revival to our soul. Doesn't that make you want to grab your Bible and read? I have told of my ways, and Thou hast answered me; Teach me Thy statutes. (Ps 119#26) Throughout the Old and New Testaments we read of men like Job and Peter confessing their unworthiness before God. And yet, God in His infinite mercy and grace, in love sent His beloved Son to die for our sins, and to rise again the third day, in order that those who believe might receive new life through faith in Jesus Christ alone. What a wonderful answer God has given to the unworthy sinner who receives His gift and so escapes the torments of eternal judgment. I would like to learn more about the truth of His Word. Wouldn't you? Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, So I will meditate on Thy wonders. (Ps 119#27) Concerning the Holy Spirit, John writes: "And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him." (1 Jn 2:27) And Paul encourages us to: "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth." And "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you." (Col 3:2, 16) As we continue to reflect on the Word of God the Spirit will teach us. My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Thy word. (Ps. 119#28) "Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." (2 Cor 1:3-5) Again I would remind you of the promises of Jesus in John's Gospel. "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, ... the Spirit of Truth, ... I will not leave you as orphans." (Jn 14:16-18) The Word of God is filled with promise after promise of comfort to be confirmed to us by the work of the Spirit in our hearts. Remove the false way from me, And graciously grant me Thy law. (Ps 119#29) Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn 8:31-32) Jesus is "the way, the truth, the life"; His Word is true; we have received the Spirit of truth; and when our lives are girded with truth, we have tremendous power with which to counter the lies and half-truths of the father of lies, Satan. This is grace for living! I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Thine ordinances [before me.] (Ps 119:30) "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God [did:] sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and [as an offering] for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Rom 8:2-4) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." (Gal 5:22-25) In the last 2 verses Paul describes a genuine Christian attitude. As we count true our death to sin And that with Christ we're raised, The Godly life and peace within Mark those who mind His ways! I cleave to Thy testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! (Ps 119:31) Read another passage filled with promise from the God who cannot lie! "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:11-14) Not only are we Christ's possession, but "it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for [his] good pleasure." (php 2:13) I shall run the way of Thy commandments, For Thou wilt enlarge my heart. (Ps 119:32) Consider what Peter says to those who have been born again through the living and abiding Word of God. "Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord." (1 Pet 2:1-3) Is the Word of God important? O Yes! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith in the death of Christ for our sins and His resurrection that gives us new life; faith that impowers us to live that life now by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and faith that looks forward to the time when all those who have been born into the family of God will gather in His presence where we will be "seated with Him in the heavenly [places], in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ep 2:6-7--GEM
My Brother, please explain to me And try to make it plain, Why anyone from sin set free Should want those chains again? They bind you in a state of death And render weak the strong, Explain to me how peace of mind You find when you've done wrong. You say, "I feel so miserable! That somehow all is lost!" Then, let me remind you, you were bought! Don't you forget the cost! The blood of Jesus was the price, It saves and keeps you clean, His righteousness now does suffice, He is your go between. You say, "I cannot understand! The truth I'm not receiving!" Go back! Obey His first commands! The ones that speak of living. When you believed, you died with Christ, Now then, you're risen too! So take your mind from old desires-- And fill it now with new. The Spirit is the only one Who can your flesh subdue, Provide a channel for the Son To live His life in you. Can you despise such help from God? His power and grace reject? The loving Father wields the rod-- What else should you expect? The Father wants you here below To reflect what's above, The fruit of light your life to show Bound with the chains of love-- Love's chains are never hard to bear, I tell you, for I know-- They lead you, feed you, rest you where The living waters flow-- 'Tis there you'll understand much more, Know peace and joy within-- As you reject sin's lying lure For fellowship with Him.
JUDAS LAMENT For thirty pieces of silver, I did the Lord betray; And sold Him to the chief priests, Who sought the Lord to slay. I led them out to the garden, Where He went oft to pray; And kissed Him there in the garden, The One they sought to slay. They brought Him into their council, Their hearts were filled with hate; And there they planned to kill Him-- Repent! I did, but too late. I gave them back their money, I cast it down in their midst; But the shame, the guilt, and the torment, Of them I ne'er can be ridst. I betrayed innocent blood! I betrayed innocent blood!
'Twas with boastful words in haste I spoke, "O Lord, for You I'll die!" But when the time for truth arose, I did the Lord deny. Then with bitter tears my eyes were washed That I might better see, He loved me first, the Father's Son, Enough to die for me. For when I see those nail pierced hands, The feet and riven side, The blood stained cross that empty stands Where Jesus bled and died; Then with contrite heart my hands reach out His loving heart to touch; For "I have loved so little, Lord, And You have loved so much." Now when I boast of things I've done, And others I will do; O loving Captain of my soul, Remind me then of You.
As I walked up that dusty road Toward worship on that day, I met an angry crowd of men All bound the other way; They went to crucify a man, Their King His cross did say. He struggled there beneath that load, His strength was almost gone; And then He fell down in the road, The Father's holy Son; He bore the heavy weight of sin Up to Golgotha's crown. They bid me take His cross for Him Up to Golgotha's hill; And as I bore it on its way, I helped the Lord to kill; But I could never know the weight Of sin He carried still. And as He hung there on that cross, An offering for sin; I understood salvation's cost And guilt welled-up within; With heart felt agony I cried, "Oh, Lord, what have I done?" That heavy load it was my sin, That Jesus bore alone.
The nails pierced the hands and the feet of my Lord, They tore through His flesh and struck deep in the wood; They point to salvation, the grace of our God-- Through the blood of the Lamb that was slain. The hammer it thundered, it rang out of sin, It tolled out the hatred in the hearts of men; And it beats out a message, New Life to begin-- Through the blood of the Lamb that was slain. The wounds in His hands, in His Feett, in His side, They show how He suffered, how He bled, how He died; And they pour out redemption, God's way is supplied-- Through the blood of the Lamb that was slain. Oh, the love of my Savior to hang on that tree, He bore all my sin and my sin's penalty; And although I'm a sinner, by grace I'm set free--Through the blood of the Lamb that was slain. O sinner, believe that He died for your sin, For you can do nothing salvation to win; My Jesus is knocking, Oh, bid Him come in-- Through the blood of the Lamb that was slain.
On a rugged hil, Calvary's rugged hill, The Savior bled and died, By man was crucified-- As I hung there. There by Jesus side, I too was crucified, And spewed out in my shame, Reproach on His dear name-- As I hung there. Save us, if you can? If You be God, not man? Then, tender eyes of love, My stony heart did move-- As I hung there. Sin had nailed Him there; My sin helped nail Him there. With heart-felt agony, I cried, "Remember me"-- As I hung there. "Today, my friend, you'll be In paradise with Me." He died there for my sin, I found new life in Him-- As I hung there.
They laid the Savior in a tomb, And rolled a stone in place; Their many hearts were filled with gloom, They did not know God's grace; That He'd rise again With victory over sin; And He lives, today He lives! They went that morn with hearts bowed low, To see where Jesus lay; 'Twas then they found, and now we know, That Jesus lives today! For He rose again With Victory over sin; And He lives, Today He lives. The empty cross upon a hill, The empty tomb nearby; Tell of the blood that once did spill To save both you and i. Yes, He rose again With victory o'er my sin; And He lives, today He lives.
An Examination of First Corinthians 11:24, 27, 29 by Grant E. Metcalf Revised September 2009 Acknowledgments I wish to express my deep appreciation to my brothers in Christ who over the years have helped me to come to a better understanding of the meaning of the elements of the Lord's table. Former pastors: H. LaVern Schafer, Th.D., David J. Eckman, Ph.D., and more recently professors David K. Spurbeck, Th.M, and his brother Dale R. Spurbeck, M.Div., of the Dispensational Theological Seminary, Cherry Grove, OR, who assisted me with much of the research for this article. Background On three different occasions during the past year I have been involved in discussions about my understanding of the meaning of the "bread" of the Lord's table. The first time was with a prominent Christian who was to be speaking at a summer Bible conference which traditionally ends with a celebration of the Lord's table. The second time occurred in my adult Sunday school class. The third time, I was relating the prior incidents to a fellow believer and he wanted to hear more and suggested this article. In all three cases, I was surprised at the ignorance of such a view, especially in my own church where the pastor alludes to this teaching at every occasion of the Lord's table. As mentioned above, my initial understanding goes back at least 35 years to two prior pastors. At that time I also wrote a couple of hymn poems: The Fellowship*1 and The Body*2. These are included with the endnotes. PREMISE It is my expectation via the evidence and arguments presented here to demonstrate that the term "body" in First Corinthians 11:24, 27, 29 is "The Body of Christ",--"The Church". The purpose here is not to discount the significance of the physical body of Christ, nor to ignore the blood of the New Covenant, but to restore what I believe to be the original emphasis and meaning intended by the Lord Jesus at the Last Supper and in His direct revelation to the Apostle Paul as recorded in First Corinthians 11; compared also with chapters 10 and 12. CLEANING HOUSE! Throwing Out The Bath water, But Not The Baby Perhaps some questions you should ask are: "Who and/or what are we talking about?" "When was it broken?" "Where did it happen?" "Why didn't they fix it?" and "How can it be fixed?" For more than 300 years no New Testament Greek manuscripts of First Corinthians 11:24 contained the word "broken" (Greek, klwmen). About 350 A.D. the word first appeared as a marginal note and was retained by a number of subsequent copyists. It would be another 150 years or more before it was integrated into the text of the Epistle. Quite probably this was done under the influence of the Romanist church because its inclusion helped to support their doctrine of transubstantiation so widely believed in one form or another today. Furthermore, a majority of modern critical texts agree that "broken - klwmen" should be omitted on the basis of ancient manuscript evidence. (See Bernhard Weiss, Nestles, &c.) (See below for "of the Lord" in verse 29.) Additionally, the inclusion of the word "broken" (implying the physical body of Christ) in the phrase "this is My Body which is broken for you" must be considered a direct contradiction to the fulfillment of prophecy as reported by the Apostle John in his Gospel (19:36, cf. PS 34:20; EX 12:46; NU 9:12). There it states that "A bone of him shall not be broken". If the original autograph is to be our basis for belief and practice, should one then be building doctrine on an obvious interpellation by addition to the text? David Spurbeck also observes: ... Every time a communion service is held, bread is broken. In the Upper Room Christ took a single loaf and broke it and distributed the pieces to the individual disciples. Christ was anticipating the fact that the single loaf would be identified as His Body. Though the loaf is broken in pieces now, the Father sees it as one loaf by imputation. Some will accept the Romanist tradition that the body is Christ's physical body as did some of the later copyists of 1 Corinthians. In 11:24 a minority who accepted the Roman view added the word "broken" to the original text to give their theology credibility. The Authorized Version follows their copies with the translation "which is broken for you." An accurate translation of the Lord's statement (as it is in the gospels] is "Take, eat, this is my Body which is in the place of you; this be doing in remembrance of me (1 Cor. 11:24)." *3 Inasmuch as the comparison of Scripture with Scripture combined with historical evidence fails to support the inclusion of "broken" in the original text, we must conclude that the addition of the word by a copyist is initially one man's subjective opinion at best and should not be given preference in any consideration of a worthwhile evaluation of its principle meaning. Thus any translation of the statement in question in First Corinthians 11:24 might be better rendered: "... this is my body, the one which is for you: ..." The remaining discussion will reflect this viewpoint.
Something that has always been of interest to me is the matter of how we men are able to take words and phrases out of context in order to prove our misconceptions, prejudice, and especially ignorance. As an illustration of this, I would like to briefly relate a recent experience of mine. Because I am blind, I use a voice synthesizer and screen reading software when at the computer. As I was working my way through the Gospel of John, chapter 6 and verse 12, in the Greek New Testament, my attention was suddenly arrested by what sounded like the words "Santa Claus". Did I really hear that? Yes! What's more, it was right in the middle of the passage describing the feeding of the 5000. Now just imagine with me for a moment. What could 5000 hungry people, with their bellies now full, want more than a real Santa Claus? The rest I'll leave to your own imagination. Silly isn't it? However, the syllables of the name are there in two Greek words "perisseu-santa klas-mata", and they have nothing to do with my crazy imagination, but are to be understood in the full illumination of "context! context! context!" While in John chapter 6, let's take a look at two additional quotes from W.E. Vine and A.C. Gaebelein regarding the misapplication of this passage to the Lord's body and the celebration of the Lord's Supper. First W.E. Vine writes: NOT THE LORD'S SUPPER: A DISTINCTION (John 6:53-58) What He says in this sixth chapter has no reference to the Lord's Supper. And for the following reasons: (a) Had the Supper been in view, to eat of the bread of the Supper would constitute the participant a partaker of eternal life apart from the condition of faith in Christ; (b) the paramount subject in this part of the discourse is eternal life: that subject is never mentioned in connection with the Lord's Supper; (c) to take His teaching to refer to that, is to give a literal application, whereas He plainly indicates that His words concerning His flesh and blood were not so intended; (d) He says that the giving of His flesh is "for the life of the world;" the Lord's Supper was instituted not for the world but for His disciples; (e) in His instruction concerning the Supper He speaks of His body, whereas here He speaks of His flesh. (John: His Record of Christ: p. 70) From A.C. Gaebelein's annotated Bible Commentary on John 6 we read: The great discourse on the Bread of Life follows. It is connected with the sign of the feeding of the multitude. When He speaks of being the Bread from Heaven He refers to His incarnation. "For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven and giveth His life for the world." They rejected that Bread. Then He speaks of eating His flesh and drinking His blood both for the reception of life and for the sustenance of that life. These words have nothing whatever to do with the Lord's supper. Bishop Ryle, who was a leader in a ritualistic church, repudiated this wrong interpretation in the following words: "For one thing, a literal 'eating and drinking' of Christ's body and blood would have been an idea utterly revolting to all Jews, and flatly contradictory to an often-repeated precept of their law.--For another thing, to take a literal view of 'eating and drinking,' is to interpose a bodily act between the soul of man and salvation. This is a thing for which there is no precedent in Scripture. The only things without which we cannot be saved are repentance and faith.--Last, but not least, to take a literal view of 'eating and drinking,' would involve most blasphemous and profane consequences. It would shut out of heaven the penitent thief. He died long after these words were spoken, without any literal eating and drinking. Will any dare to say he had 'no life' in Him?--It would admit to heaven thousands of ignorant, godless communicants in the present day. They literally eat and drink, no doubt! But they have no eternal life, and will not be raised to glory. Let these reasons be carefully pondered." And so, we return to the word "body" in First Corinthians 11:24 and its contextual meaning. David Spurbeck notes: A number of terms describe the Body of Christ in grace revelation as has been seen. These include the Church (Eph. 1:22, 23), the Body (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 12:12, 13; Eph. 1:23; 4:4, 12, 16), the new man (Eph. 2:15; 4:24), the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and the Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). *4 In First Corinthians 10:16-17 Paul gives to us the fundamental definition for the metaphor "the Body" as used in chapters 10, 11, and 12 of this epistle. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (KJV) Kenneth Wuest in his Expanded translation of the Greek New Testament, quoted here and elsewhere, says it like this: 16. The cup of the blessing (which our Lord consecrated by giving thanks) which we consecrate with prayer, is it not a symbol of our joint-participation in the blood of the Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a symbol of our joint-participation in the body of Christ? 17 Seeing that there is one loaf of bread, we, the many, are one body, for we all share with one another in eating from the one aforementioned loaf of bread. David Spurbeck writes concerning unity: The Communication of the Oneness in the Body of Christ God chose three figures of speech to describe oneness: a loaf of bread, a human body and a man. Each of these demonstrates a compound unity. There is always one--only one. Diversity exists in the unity but there are no diverse unities. Specific emphasis is made when each figure of speech is used. The first figure of speech is the metaphor of one bread or one loaf. "The cup of blessing (i.e. that which is well-spoken of) of which we are speaking well, is it not a fellowship (i.e. sharing in common) with reference to the blood of Christ? The bread that we are breaking, is it not a fellowship of the Body of Christ? Because we the many continually are one loaf ("bread"), one body; for we are all partaking out of one loaf (1 Cor. 10:16, 17)." Here the bread of the Lordian table is seen to represent the Church that is the Body of Christ. A key rule for the interpretation of Scripture is the observation of context in order to understand the meaning of the text. 1 Corinthians ten is the obvious context for 1 Corinthians eleven. It clearly establishes the meaning of the bread in the communion service. There is no Christ on a crucifix here. In fact 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17 is the source of the term "communion" used to describe the Lordian table.... *5 Previously Spurbeck wrote: God sees the believers in the local church to be a part of the unity. The unity of the Body of Christ is naturally represented in a spiritual local gathering. A truly biblical New Testament church will be a demonstration of the unity that is in Christ. The Christ is not a multi-bodied Head but one Head with one Body that can be manifested in the local assembly. "The Body" is never used in the New Testament to describe the local church. Unity exists in the mind of God as He imputes oneness to all who are in Christ. Such a oneness is similar to the oneness that exists between the members of the Godhead. Even though there are three Persons, they share in a single essence and hence are one (cf. 1 Jn. 5:7). In 1 Corinthians Paul rebuked the Corinthian believers for their abuse of the oneness during the agape feast (1 Cor. 11:17-22). The very bread that they broke was being refuted by their practice in the meal accompanying the Lordian supper.*6 A.T. Robertson comments: "... Of the one bread [tou henos artou]. Of the one loaf, the article [tou] referring to one loaf already mentioned. One body [hen swma]. Here the mystical spiritual body of Christ as in 12:12f., the spiritual kingdom or church of which Christ is head (Col 1:18; Eph 5:23)." *7 Robertson appears to make no distinction between the bread of verse 16 and that of 17, but rather affirms their agreement in definition, the Body, the Church. See also Colossians 1:24. By imputation God sees us in Christ's physical body having been crucified, buried, and raised; this accomplished by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit (RO 6:2-11) 2 "... How is it possible for us, such persons as we are, who have been separated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer to live in its grip? 3 Do you not know that all we who were placed in Christ Jesus, in His death were placed? 4 We therefore were entombed with Him through this being placed in His death, in order that in the same manner as there was raised up Christ out from among those who are dead through the glory of the Father, thus also we by means of a new life imparted may order our behavior. 5 For in view of the fact that we are those who have become permanently united with Him with respect to the likeness of His death, certainly also we shall be those who as a logical result have become permanently united with Him with respect to the likeness of His resurrection,... 8 Now, in view of the fact that we died once for all with Christ, we believe that we shall also live by means of Him, ... 11 Thus, also, as for you, you be constantly counting upon the fact that, on the one hand, you are those who have been separated from the sinful nature, and, on the other, that you are living ones with respect to God in Christ Jesus." (Wuest) Again, God sees me participating in the physical body of the Beloved and I am to see not only myself there but the other members of the spiritual Body of Christ there as well. To consider the bread to represent only His physical body seems to me to border on a form of idolatry against which Paul had just warned. Certainly there is a significance to be recognized in the instrument of His physical body. However, of greater import, if you will, is the end product of what took place, a significant part of which is the spiritual Body of Christ, the Church, with Christ as its Head.
"In the Beloved" accepted am I, Risen, ascended, and seated on high; Saved from all sin thro' His infinite grace, With the redeemed ones accorded a place. "In the Beloved"-- how safe my retreat, In the Beloved accounted complete; "Who can condemn me?" In Him I am free, Savior and Keeper forever is He. "In the Beloved" I went to the tree, There, in His Person, by faith I may see Infinite wrath rolling over His head, Infinite grace, for He died in my stead. "In the Beloved," God's marvelous grace Calls me to dwell in this wonderful place; God sees my Savior, and then He sees me, "In the Beloved," accepted and free. -- Civilla D. Martin ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED (C) 1930, renewed 1958, Hope Publishing Co. 380 South Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (800-323-1049) Used by permission. URL: www.hopepublishing.com/
At this point I would like to address another critical issue, that of idolatry--making an idol out of the Lord's physical body. Some would contend that Paul's reference to the Body in 1 Cor. 10:16-17 only pertains to believers knowingly not eating anything offered to a pagan idol. But doesn't the "wherefore" of 10:14 point back to another time and place? Namely, Exodus 32:1-8. There we discover the children of Israel, God's chosen people, declaring that a molten calf is Elohim and in connection with this Aaron proclaiming a feast to the LORD! Is it any wonder Paul writes "But with many of them God was not well pleased." (First Corinthians 10:5) 10:11 Now, these things were happening to them from time to time by way of examples, and they were written for our admonition to whom the ends of the ages have come... 14 Wherefore, my beloved ones, be fleeing from the idolatry. (Wuest) Is it possible that like Aaron and the children of Israel, men living in the dispensation of grace are putting the Lord to an all-out test by making the physical body of Christ an idol? Was it not the instrument by which the Son of God manifested His Person to man? Was it not the instrument that carried His blood to the cross where it was poured out in payment for sin? Was it not laid dead in the tomb? Is it not now a resurrected, glorified physical body? the instrument by which the blood of the New Covenant was carried into the Holy of Holies in heaven where it seals our eternal redemption? (HEB 9:12, 12:24) Is that body still hanging on a cross? still in the grave? Are we to worship a lifeless carcass? For that matter, are we to be giving worship to a living "body"? When Thomas met the Lord after His resurrection and fell at His feet, did he say, "Oh, body, thou art worthy!"? NO! He addressed the Person when he cried, "My Lord and my God!" (JN 20:28) We should be worshipping the Person, not His instrument. IDENTIFYING THE BODY Now then, let's examine the text of 1 Corinthians 12:12-14. First, the KJV: 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. Here is Wuest's translation: 12. For even as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body being many, are one body, thus also is the Christ, 13 for indeed by means of one Spirit we all were placed into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free men. And we all were imbued with one Spirit. 14 For, indeed, the body is not one but many members. As seen above, Paul provides further doctrinal instruction in chapter 12. Again, Robertson remarks: ... What Paul here means is Christ as the Head of the Church has a body composed of the members who have varied gifts and functions like the different members of the human body. They are all vitally connected with the Head of the body and with each other. This idea he now elaborates in a remarkable manner. *8 Paul begins with a reference to the physical body and how it works as a unit. He then transfers the metaphor over to the spiritual Body of the Christ, the Church represented by its believer members with Christ as the Head. Here's an additional comment from Spurbeck: "Body" is the metaphor used most often. Believers are participants in one Body. "For in a similar way we have many members in one Body, but every member does not have the same practice, so we, being the many are one Body in Christ, and each one members of one another (Rom. 12:4, 5)." Paul gives the reason for the simile as many members who share in a single unity. In 1 Corinthians 12 he uses a metaphor with a simile. "For like as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of the body being many are one body, so also is the Christ; for indeed we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body ... for indeed the Body is not one member but many (1 Cor. 12:12-14)." An unruffledness of mind (peace) should be acting as an umpire in the Body of Christ because of God's calling the believer to salvation (Col. 3:15). *9 Thus we can clearly see in the context of chapters 10 and 12 that the use of the metaphor "the Body" is unmistakably representative of "the Church". Also in 12:12 it is described as "the Christ" as well as symbolized in the bread (or loaf) of 10:16-17. With this background let's take a closer look at the issue under discussion in chapter 11. CONTEXT! CONTEXT! CONTEXT! Sandwiched in between the doctrinal statements of 10:16-17, 11:23-26, and those of chapter 12 are a number of issues relating to the carnal practices of the Corinthian church which in one fashion or another bear directly on their attendance at the Lord's table. Most of these can be summed up under the general heading of "a failure to properly value the Body of the Christ and its individual members". This can be traced all the way back to chapter 1 and verse 13 where Paul asks the question, "Is The Christ divided?" He then goes on to point out that the practicing by some of "popularity contests," failure to rightly judge sin in the Body, the abuse of Christian liberty with respect to brothers weak in the faith, submission to the divine order of authority, and in 11:17-34 the total disregard of the "haves" for the "have nots" at the so-called "love feast" are all a failure to correctly value and behave in the Body, the Christ, and toward its individual members. (Dare we call the last of these "spiritual munchkins"? -- Forgive me! Please!) 11:17-22 from Wuest's translation reads: 17. Moreover, when giving you this charge, I am not praising you, because you are not coming together (in the local assembly) for the better but for the worse. 18 For indeed, first of all, when you come together in the assembly, I am hearing that divisions have their regular place among you, and I partly believe it, 19 for it is a necessity in the nature of the case also for factions to be among you, in order that also those who have been put to the test and have met the specifications and have been approved might become identified as such among you. 20 Therefore, when you come together to the same place, it is not possible to eat a supper the character of which is that it could be a supper designated as belonging to the Lord. 21 For each one in the eating (of the supper) takes his own private supper beforehand. And one indeed is hungry and another is intoxicated. 22 Do you not have houses for the eating and the drinking? Or, the Church of God are you despising, and are you making those ashamed who do not have the means (by which to buy food)? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I am not praising you. Taking into account the equating of the Body in 10:16-17 to the bread and/or loaf, and that Paul makes reference to "the Church" in verse 22, another term for "the Body", it seems to be most logical to understand, in this context, the use of the terms bread and Body in the following verses, 23 and 24, along with 27 and 29, to represent the Body of Christ, the Church. 11:23. For, as for myself, I received by direct revelation from the presence of the Lord that which also I in turn passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night during which He was being betrayed took bread, 24 and having given thanks, He broke it and said, This is my body which is (given) on your behalf. This be doing with a view to remembering me. (Wuest) When the Lord Jesus Christ introduced the elements of the Lordian table at the Last Supper, He was anticipating not only the shedding of His blood and death but also the day of Pentecost and the formation of the Church--the Body. As He broke off pieces from the loaf, He was not introducing a symbol of His "broken physical body" contrary to Scripture (cf. JN 19:36 and PS 34:20). Now then, if the breaking does not relate to Christ's physical body, what does it mean? Doubtless, the disciples in attendance at the last supper understood much of the meaning of the Jewish Passover, however, it is quite reasonable to think that they had little or no true comprehension of the meaning of what Christ was establishing at that exact moment. In fact, didn't even Jesus himself say in John 16:12, "I have yet many things to be saying to you, but you are not able to be bearing them now so far as your understanding and receiving of them is concerned." (Wuest) It has been suggested that the fragmented loaf represents the Body, the Church), and its parts, now resident both in heaven and on earth. This interpretation offers an acceptable explanation for the meaning behind our breaking of the bread. When one snaps off a fragment of the loaf, he/she is recognizing not only the value of his/her relationship to the Head of the Body of Christ, but just as importantly, to the Body and its individual member parts. Such a view can also be demonstrated to be in full agreement with the subsequent verses referring to the Body. *A William Kelly comments: ... But the supper, besides being the memorial of Christ and emphatically His death, is now bound up with the body of Christ, as we have seen in chapter 10:16, 17. This is so true that he who willfully or under an act of discipline does not partake of that one loaf ceases to enjoy the privileges of God's assembly on earth; he who partakes of it cannot free himself from the responsibilities of that holy fellowship. And as Paul was the chosen vessel by whom was to be revealed the mystery of Christ and the church, so did it seem good to the Lord that he should receive a special revelation of His supper, the standing sign of its unity and public witness of its communion. It is striking to observe that, plainly as the Lord has revealed His mind here, even the Protestant Reformers failed to recover its lineaments. They have individualized the Lord's supper. They make it "for thee." "Take thou," &c. This is consistent. They had not seen the one body and one Spirit. Even if they had limited it to those who were believed to be justified by faith, still this would have been only an aggregate of individuals. They never received the truth of the church as Christ's body on earth. On the contrary they began the system of distinct or independent national churches on earth; they relegated the unity of the church to heaven. The one body, as an existing relationship to which the Christian belongs now, and on which he is bound to act continually, was unknown as a present reality; and this ignorance betrayed itself even in their mode of celebrating the sacrament, as it does to this day. *10 11:25 In like manner also He took the cup after the partaking of the food, saying, This cup is the covenant new in its nature, a covenant which is within the sphere of my blood. This be doing as often as you are drinking it, with a view to remembering me. 26 For as often as you are eating this bread and drinking this cup, the death of the Lord you are proclaiming until that time whenever He may come. (Wuest) In reflecting on the New Covenant by His blood, one is reminded as well of the words of God recorded in Leviticus 17:11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement (covering) for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement (covering) for your soul. (KJV) Under the Law the life sustaining blood of the sacrifice was poured out in death in order to provide a covering for the sins of the one presenting the sacrifice. How much better we have it. Our sacrifice, the Lamb of God, and our High Priest, by means of His own blood has entered once and for all time into the Holy of Holies in heaven there to secure for us eternal redemption (HEB 9:12). Just think of it--His blood, sprinkled eternally in heaven (HEB 12:24), not only paid the price for sin, but provides for us eternal life--With Him! Romans 5:8 But God is constantly proving His own love to us, because while we were yet sinners, Christ in behalf of us died. 9 Much more therefore, having been justified now by His blood, we shall be saved through Him from the wrath. 10 For though, while being enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by the life He possesses. 11 And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we received the reconciliation. (Wuest) Furthermore, as we participate in the Lord's supper our actions are once again proclaiming the Gospel so clearly defined by Paul in chapter 15:3-5a: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that he was seen ... (KJV) Our witness should be a living illustration of the effectiveness of that Gospel as a reminder to all of what was accomplished by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at Calvary.
Ah! What expectation should be ours while at His table. Not only do we share in a unity with Him, His Body--the saints, His death and resurrection, but also in anticipation of His sudden and promised return. We look back and thank God for what has been done. We look 'round and thank God for what He is doing in us. We look up and say, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." The Fallout The remaining verses of chapter 11, 27-34, emphasize the importance of one's relationships, both with the Lord, and with the Church--His Body--of which He is the Head. Verses 30-32 spell out the consequences for those who fail to perform an appropriate self-examination regarding their personal relationships with and estimation of Christ and the members of His Body. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of (liable to) the body and blood of the Lord. (KJV) 27 So that, whoever is eating the bread or drinking the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. (Wuest) The Lord Jesus had many things to say in the Upper Room which are recorded in John's Gospel chapters 13-17. Probably because he does not include the breaking of bread and passing of the cup, we overlook many of the truths spoken on that occasion. Note the emphasis on unity, or oneness, in His final prayer: JN 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.... 21 That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (KJV) (cf. JN 14:20) As Paul clearly states in 10:17, this oneness is to be seen in the bread, "the Body"--the Church. And twice Jesus also states the purpose for this unity, this oneness: "that the world may believe" and "that the world may know". The world should be seeing this unity lived out in the life of the Body which is also a proclamation of the reality and power inherent in His death, burial and resurrection. The failure on our part to give an appropriate value to the Body and its individual parts destroys that witness to the world and our relationship to God because of the value He places on each individual member of the Body--the Christ. In this we can see how the Corinthians were liable for their attitudes and actions toward their brothers in the Body. Their sin was in not properly evaluating the Body--the true Church (11:29; cf. 12:13 and 10:17). Manifesting their partiality and divisive spirit, they contradicted the truth of oneness in Christ. For this, they were "guilty" [enochos] (perhaps better liable or answerable to). 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the [Lord's] body. (KJV) 28 But let an individual be putting himself to the test for the purpose of approving himself and finding that he meets the prescribed specifications, let him thus be eating of the bread and drinking of the cup. 29 For the one who eats and drinks is eating and drinking so as to bring judgment upon himself if he does not properly evaluate the body. (Wuest) Again in this passage, verse 29, there is a similar textual problem to that of "broken" in verse 24. "Of the Lord" [tou kuriou] is a late addition to the manuscripts and is rejected by many modern critical scholars as not belonging to the original autograph. Removing this late addition to the text allows the term the "Body" to be in better agreement with its proper designation as the Body of the Christ--the Church. T. Teignmouth Shore writes: (2) The fault which St. Paul was condemning was the practice which the Corinthians had fallen into of regarding these gatherings as opportunities for individual indulgence, and not as Church assemblies. They did not rightly estimate such gatherings as being corporate meetings; they did not rightly estimate themselves as not now isolated individuals, but members of the common Body. They ought to discern in these meetings of the Church a body; they ought to discern in themselves parts of a body. Not only is this interpretation, I venture to think, the most accurate and literal interpretation of the Greek, but it is the only view which seems to me to make the passage bear intelligibly on the point which St. Paul is considering, and the real evil he seeks to counteract. (3) To refer these words directly or indirectly to the question of a physical presence in the Lord's Supper, is to divorce them violently from their surroundings, and to make them allude to some evil for which the explicit and practical remedy commended in verses 33 and 34 would be no remedy at all. Moreover, if the word "body" means the Lord's physical body, surely the word "Lord's" would have been added, and the words, "and the blood," for the non-recognition of the blood would be just as great an offence. (4) St. Paul never uses the word "body" in reference to our Lord's physical body, without some clear indication that such is meant. (See Rom. 7:4; Phil. 3:21; Col. 1:22.) On the other hand, the use of the word "Body," or "Body of Christ," meaning the Church, is frequent. We have had it but a few verses before, in reference to this very subject (chap. 10:17). It is also to be found in Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:23, 30. (In this last passage, "of His flesh and of His bones," are not in the best MSS., and destroy the real force of "Body," which means "Church.") *11 Shore's interpretation of verse 29 certainly supports the argument in the immediate context for "the Body" being the Church. "Despising the Church of God", (verse 22), is a failure, in the context, to properly evaluate "the Body", thus making one liable (verse 27). Alan Redpath remarks: First, when I meet around the Lord's table I am to remember the Lord's body. I believe in this sense the word suggests to us not simply His body that hung on the cross, but the body of Jesus Christ in the world today, His church. I am to discern that I am part of this, and if in my life I am in any way sinning against the body of Jesus Christ, I am grieving the Lord, and am therefore eating unworthily. *12 And Then There Were ... 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (KJV) 30 Because of this, among you are many who have infirmities and are in continued ill health, and a considerable number are sleeping (dead). 31 Now, if we properly evaluated and formed a right estimate of ourselves, in that case we would not be judged. 32 But when we are being judged by the Lord, we are the subjects of a disciplinary judgment in order that we may not be condemned with the world. (Wuest) Lastly Warren W. Wiersbe has this to say: Finally, we should look around (11:33-34). We should not look around in order to criticize other believers, but in order to discern the Lord's body (v. 29). This perhaps has a dual meaning: we should discern His body in the loaf, but also in the church around us--for the church is the body of Christ. "For we being many are one bread, and one body" (I Cor. 10:17). The Supper should be a demonstration of the unity of the church--but there was not much unity in the Corinthian church. In fact, their celebration of the Lord's Supper was only a demonstration of their disunity. *13
What Paul received from the Lord and then related to the Corinthians in 11:24 is His explanation of what He meant by My "body" when anticipating the observance of the Lord's Table after Pentecost. Taking into account the disunity of 11:17-22; its direct connection to the reason for and judgment of verses 27-32; the definition and analogy of the "Body" given in the larger context of chapters 10 and 12; combined with the Lord's Prayer in John 17, emphasizing oneness, all contribute to the conclusion that the term "body" (swma) in 11:24 is to be understood as the Body of the Christ, the Church. "In that day you shall know experientially that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you." (JN 14:20, Wuest) 11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. (KJV) 33 So that, my brethren, when you are coming together for the purpose of eating, be waiting for one another. 34 In the event that anyone is hungry, let him be eating at home in order that you do not come together with the result that you will be judged. And the other matters which remain I will dispose of whenever I come. (Wuest) * * * * * END NOTES *A ADDENDUM After the initial posting of this article, I was asked to prove from 11:24 that [to swma] meant the spiritual body of Christ. So, seeking the help of others highly experienced in Greek exegesis, I offer the following. 1) First, I observed that Matthew, Mark & Luke all have the same five Greek words in the same order, [touto estin to swma mou], describing the bread/loaf. Paul gives a different order to those words [touto mou estin to swma] in First Corinthians 11:24. Significance? possibly for emphasis. 2) In every instance of [mou] it can be seen as the ablative case, or genitive of source, implying separation from. Possible translation: [touto mou estin to swma] -- "This from Me [to you] is the body." In the Upper Room discourse, (JN 16:7), Christ said He would send the Holy Spirit. And, we know that when the Spirit came at Pentecost He formed the "body" of the Christ, the Church. In this we see that the Christ was anticipating the day of Pentecost. 3) [to huper humwn] are 3 additional words given to Paul by the Lord which helps to explain the meaning of "body". The article [to], translation "the one" and pointing to the previous word "body"; the preposition [huper] translated "on behalf"; the pronoun [humwn] translated "of you [pl.]", a genitive of description. Thus, "The one on behalf of you." Wuest translates this phrase "which is (given) on your behalf." The inclusion of (given) seems to me to support the ablative or genitive of source argument for the translation of mou. 4) Translation: "This from me to you [pl.] is the Body, the one on your behalf." 5) If Scripture has a primary meaning for what it says, and I support that view, then only one interpretation can be considered correct. I believe the spiritual body is the correct interpretation because of the immediate context (11:17-34), the definitions found in the nearby Context (10:16-17, 12:12-14), and the greater CONTEXT of Scripture, with special emphasis to include the Upper Room Discourse (JN 13-17). *1 The Fellowship - lyrics There is fellowship in Jesus, Fellowship divine and sweet, As we gather 'round the table, From the Savior's table eat-- When we break the bread of union, Lift the cup of grace divine, We are one in blest communion, We are one by blood sublime. In the loaf I see you brother, And in you I see the Lord; Let us praise our heav'nly Father For the beauty of accord; For the Body He created, For the Savior at its head; For our unity as stated In the symbol of the bread. Lift the cup and pause--to savor Of the meaning deep within By His death we know God's favor, By His blood we're cleansed from sin! The New Covenant in glory By His blood has now been sealed; Ever there to prove the story Of God's love to man revealed. Oh, how sweet the contemplation Of the Savior's love and grace; Oh, the thrill of expectation, Soon to look upon His face; He who's calling us His brethren, In whose life and death we share; We who know Him seek no other, But to meet Him we prepare. *2 The Body - lyrics (tune: Madrid) We are one Body all Baptized into Christ the Lord; Work by the Spirit done As revealed in sacred word. Prejudice shall not be, In Christ equality; When saved we're made to be Many parts with unity. Placed by the Spirit's will, Given a gift a work to fill. Whether 'tis Head or feet, All are needful to complete. Sharing the Word and hand, Edified we shall stand. With fervent love and care, Joys and sufferings all to share. As through this life we move, Let us use our gifts in love. Love that shall stand the test Seeks to serve the others best. If we would edify, Such love we must apply; Loving not just in word, But in deed as to the Lord. *3 The Christian "In Christ", An Introduction to "In Christ" Truth, The Believer's Position and Possessions In Christ, p. 158: (C) 1999 by David K. Spurbeck, Sr., Know to Grow In Christ Publishing, 1601 Limpas Lane, Forest Grove, OR 97116-1356 *4 Ibid. p. 145 *5 Ibid. p. 158 *6 Ibid. p. 157 *7 A. T. Robertson in Word Pictures in the New Testament - 1 Corinthians, 10:16-17, p. 53: Christian Classics Etherial Library, www.ccel.org/ccel/robertson_at/wordpictures.html *8 Ibid. p. 63 *9 The Christian "In Christ", p. 158 *10 Notes On The First Epistle Of Paul The Apostle To The Corinthians with A New Translation, pages 180-181- by William Kelly, 1878. *11 "St. Paul's Epistles To The Corinthians: The First Epistle with Commentary" page 114 -- by T. Teignmouth Shore, edited Charles John Ellicott, 1910). *12 The Royal Route To Heaven: Studies in First Corinthians, Alan Redpath, page 137. (C) 1960, Fleming H. Revell *13 Be Wise: What a Difference Between Man's Knowledge and God's Wisdom: I Corinthians, pages 118-119- by Warren W. Wiersbe: (C) 1983, Scripture Press Publications
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