November 28, 2022

Ep.1257: Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part IV)

How patience, kindness and goodness transform our Christian lives

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CHAPTERS

[00:12:34]
How can we rise above our natural inclination of being impatient?


[00:28:20]
How does God's kindness include integrity and moral excellence?


[00:44:54]
How does integrity provoke goodness? Can we be truly good?


Theme Scripture: Galatians 5:16

When the Apostle Paul listed the "fruit of the spirit" in the 5th chapter of Galatians, he placed it right after a nasty list, recounting 15 "deeds of the flesh." This fruit list was positioned as a remedy for any Christian who might struggle with any of those earthly issues. In Part I and II of this series, we examined the depths of sin in that “earthly deeds” list. In Part III we opened up the remedy of the fruit of the spirit and began with love, joy and peace. While these three things seem basic to any Christian, they have deep roots in the teaching and example of Jesus himself. As we continue with Part IV of our series, we address the next three fruits on the list: patience, kindness and goodness. Don’t let the simplicity of these things fool you, as they each have the ability to profoundly change your life!

Continue Reading

There's patience and then there's PATIENCE!

When we think of patience, we typically think of someone who is willing to wait, as in, “The lines were long, but we waited patiently for our turn.” In the New Testament, the primary words for "patience" add important details to the idea of simply waiting. They describe patience as having fortitude and perseverance. Now, here’s the surprising thing. The patience listed as the fourth fruit of the spirit is an entirely different word! Its meaning focuses on being willing to be restrained and appropriate. So, why is this kind of patience described as the fruitage of God’s spirit and not the other?

Perhaps it is because this kind of patience is not only more difficult to develop but is also more difficult to realize its need. I can readily recognize the need to bear up under the weight of trial. However, I am much more likely to miss my need for godly restraint because I feel like my human restraint is good enough. I need God’s spirit to help me see such a need.

Who's fruit?

One important thing to remember is that this fruit, this depth of character that we are developing is of God. It is NOT the fruit of any individual Christian, it is the result, of God’s spirit dwelling within individual Christians. Each of these fruits come from God as they reflect His character, wisdom and strength. Letting this thought sink in changes everything. The God of all creation gives us His spirit so we can have His own power and influence guide our lives and change our characters!

Check out our November 28, 2022 podcast, “Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part IV)” for more. We closely examine this restraining brand of patience. Then we investigate what kindness and goodness really mean. As you might guess, their meanings are far more profound than what plainly meets the eye. There are nine fruits of the spirit, and this episode captures the middle three. Join us and watch how God arranges for the depth of His character to unfold in us!

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November 21, 2022

Ep.1256: Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part III)

How love, joy and peace work together to transform our lives

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:15:01]
Why is selfless love the foundation for all the other fruits?


[00:30:49]
Am I failing as a Christian if I'm not always feeling joy?


[00:48:31]
Can we really have peace when the world around us is falling apart?


Theme Scripture: Galatians 5:16

In our last two episodes, we spent significant time reviewing and understanding the Apostle Paul’s list of the deeds of the flesh in Galatians 5. His reason for such a detailed and uncomfortable list was to give us all a clear push forward and away from such things, so we can walk towards living a new life. To walk in Jesus’ footsteps and do God’s will first and foremost should be the most important aspects of any Christian’s daily life. In this episode, we continue examining the Apostle Paul’s profound contrast between the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit by methodically examining each of the nine characteristics listed. What will these nine aspects of the fruit of the spirit teach us? They teach what a true Christian life looks like, sounds like and feels like!

Continue Reading

The Apostle Paul begins his list of the fruit of the spirit with love, joy and peace. At the outset, these seem simple. We all know Christianity is founded in love, and we all know the joy of having God in our lives. We also know that God’s plan should bring us peace. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to write these off as so basic that we can just move on to something else.

Instead, let’s pause and consider.

This list is called the "fruit of the spirit." Paul is telling us this is not the fruit - the result - of your efforts or my efforts. He is telling us that God’s own spirit, His power and influence in our lives, is what produces these results. This is in direct contrast to the desires of the flesh producing the deeds of the flesh.

Love is the first fruit on this very special and sacred list. It's first for a reason. The kind of love listed here is selfless love. It is a love that does not seek its own interest, that gives for the benefit of the receiver and not for its own advantage. This is the kind of love that “God so loved the world” with and that Jesus commanded us to “love one another as I have loved you.” This love is the absolute foundation upon which each and every fruit of the spirit that follows can be built upon. The beautiful thing is God’s spirit will produce this love within us if and only if we continually follow and grow in its leadings.

Joy and peace

The next fruit on the list is joy. Joy is dramatically underrated and usually misunderstood. Once we learn what joy is and is not, it can begin to transform our daily lives. And don’t get me started about peace, as it is another underappreciated fruit! Check out our November 21, 2022 podcast, “Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part III)” for more. Join us as we open up love, joy and peace as the godly characteristics they are. Prepare to be inspired!

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November 21, 2022

VIDEO: Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part III)

We finally will open up the fruit list in part 3 of our series on the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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November 21, 2022

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November 15, 2022

Ep.: What does it mean when God said mankind was created in “our” own image?

The Bible tells us the first humans were Adam and Eve. The rest of the human family have their lineage through them.

“Let us make man in our own image and likeness” refers to the cooperative work of God and his first angelic creation, the Word, or Logos in Greek, who later became a human being. This is Jesus in his pre-human existence.

John 1:1-3,10:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was [a] god.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and apart from him nothing that exists came into being. He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him, and the world did not recognize him. He came to the things that were his own, and his own people gave him no welcome.

John 1:14: (NASB) And the Word (Logos) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

He had a level of glory and in a very unique position as the “only begotten” from the Father.

1 Corinthians 8:6: …there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 

Simply put – creation is of the Father by the son.

John 17:5: (NASB) Now, Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. Jesus understood and remembered where he came from while he was human on earth.

1 Corinthians 8:6: There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. We understand this verse to mean that God is the great architect and planner of creation. He did not consult with others when He made His wonderful plans.

Jesus before he became a man carried out His Father’s designs. He was the master builder.

Proverbs 8:22-30: The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth…When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, When He established the clouds above…when He marked out the foundations of the earth, Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman.

Just as we identify a famous building by its architect’s name, so do we with creation. We never say this building was built by the chief foreman of construction.

In the case of creation of all things and of humans, Jesus was God’s chief foreman. God was the architect.

To learn more about the details of creation in Genesis listen to, “What Profound Secret Does Creation Reveal? Contradictions (Part V)”

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Ep.1255: Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part II)

Spiritual pitfalls to watch for in our human relationships and behavior. Discussion points: interpersonal relationships, group relationships and reckless behaviors

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:13:08]
What does hostility produce when we let it grow?


[00:30:44]
How can we make our group relationships more godly?


[00:45:08]
What can reckless behavior do to our spiritual life?


Theme Scripture: Galatians 5:16

Adam was created in the image of God. His physical human nature was fashioned in a way that would glorify God by its very existence. Once he sinned, all that changed. What was once a pure reflection of the heart and mind of God, at best became a muddied and defective reflection. Fast forward thousands of years and we find God’s plan in place to clean up this muddied mess. This cleanup comes through Jesus and his true disciples. As Jesus’ disciples, we are tasked with living above our muddied world. In Part I of this series, we opened up the Apostle Paul’s reasoning regarding walking in the spirit and not fulfilling the desires of the flesh. We began examining Paul’s long list of the works of the flesh in contrast with the fruit of the spirit. Today we continue this journey toward walking in the spirit!

Continue Reading

The "bad" list and the "good" list

Anytime we read the Bible and come upon a long list of human characteristics, we should always pause and consider. Such lists are either there for a sober warning about what to avoid, or as an invitation to embrace what’s listed for spiritual growth. Interestingly, the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5 gave us both kinds. He first gave us a long list of the "works of the flesh." He then contrasted these with the "fruit of the spirit."

In Part I of this series, we closely examined the first two categories of these works of the flesh:

Category 1 - Intimate Human Desire: immorality, impurity, sensuality
Category 2 - Spiritual Control: idolatry, sorcery

In this episode, we break down the last three categories of the works of the flesh with ten natural human characteristics:

Category 3 - Personal Relationships: hostility, strife, jealousy, anger
Category 4 - Group Relationships: disputes, dissensions, factions, envy
Category 5 - Reckless Behavior: drunkenness, carousing

Hostility, for example, is very much an internal characteristic that lodges and grows in our hearts and minds. Hostility can be present and powerful within us without anyone knowing it’s there.

Paul lists strife right after hostility. To be engaged in strife is to be engaged in contention and quarreling. Guess what feeds such tension-filled relationships? Hostility, of course. Looking deeper, we realize there is a cause and effect relationship between them. In addition, many of these deeds of the flesh were listed in a specific order. Paul has a lot to teach us with these difficult characteristics!

Check out our November 14, 2022 podcast, “Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part II)” for more. We dive into how our Personal and Goup Relationships can be ruined by simply acting the way human beings naturally act. We then address Reckless Behavior. The Apostle Paul is teaching us as Christians how avoid these common and painful traps. Join us! To be forewarned is to be forearmed!

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We will continue examining the works of the flesh in contrast with the fruit of the spirit.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

 

 

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Ep.: Who were the Pharisees and Saduccees?

The Pharisees were the group that had the most religious influence among the Israelites. They were widely accepted as the religious teachers of the day and the largest group of religious teachers in Israel at the first advent of Jesus.

The name Pharisee means, “separated ones.”  It’s believed that this was originally a derogatory name given to them by the Sadducees to depict how they separated themselves from the common people. They believed that the common man, even if he was a Jew, was impure if he didn’t adhere to the strict requirements of ritual cleanliness. The Pharisees claimed to explain the Law of Moses more precisely than anyone else, even than the priests, who were Sadducees. This attitude led them to add to the written Law, and these additions led to some of the greatest errors and sins which Jesus so strongly condemned. They added what they called the “Oral Tradition of Interpretations.” They felt these interpretations were necessary to clarify the obscurities of the Law. In some cases, they actually modified the letter of the Law to adapt to what they called the changing needs and conditions of life.

The Pharisees believed the written Law was not detailed enough, and so the oral law became equal to the Law of Moses. They wanted a formula for everything. They wanted written instructions for every detail of life, and God just didn’t provide that level of detail in the Mosaic Law.

That’s one of the reasons they were so opposed to Jesus, because he did not follow the oral traditions.

For example, Matthew 5:1-3 shows the prominence of the oral traditions:

“Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread. And he answered and said to them, Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”

The Pharisees were one of the groups seeking to arrest and kill Jesus. Another group was the Sadducees. The Sadducees appear to be the group that existed first. The word “Sadducee” comes from the term “House of Zadok.” Zadok was the tenth High Priest after Aaron. He was the High Priest during the reign of David and Solomon when the first Temple was built. When the New Testament speaks about the chief priests coming to Jesus, it’s talking about the Sadducees.

The Sadducees did not accept the oral traditions promulgated by the Pharisees. They believed strictly in the writings of Moses. The position of the oral traditions was the major area of disagreement between the two groups. Notice that when Jesus condemned the Pharisees for adding burdens upon the people, the Sadducees never came to their defense because they agreed with Jesus on that point. Before the days of our Lord, there had been a great shift of religious influence away from the priesthood of the Sadducees and towards the Pharisees. The Sadducees had been greatly influenced by Greek philosophy, and because of this, largely lost interest in their service to the temple sacrifices. Now that is a strong contradiction – a group that adhered to the writings of Moses actually lost interest in the temple sacrifices and became more interested in power!

The Sadducees were the priests, but more concerned with matters of state and political power. The Pharisees were the religious teachers and controlled the local synagogues. In religious matters, they had the confidence of the people. They formulated and taught the Oral Traditions. To put it simply, the Sadducees were after political power while the Pharisees were after religious power and influence.

To learn more about how the Pharisees and Sadducees impacted Jesus’ crucifixion listen to, “How Were Politics Part of Jesus’ Crucifixion?”

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Ep.: What did Jesus give up when he came to earth?

In his pre-human existence, Jesus was a spirit being in heaven in constant communion with his Father. Jesus as “the Word” served his heavenly Father, “THE God.” He was lower in rank “a god” or “mighty one” of the angelic order.

He is identified with the title “the Word” (Logos in the Greek), and in John 1:1-2 (KJV) we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Unfortunately, these scriptures have been mistranslated and misunderstood. A more accurate, word-for-word translation for John 1:1-2 would be, In the beginning the Word was towards the God and a god was the Word.

The Greek word for “with” in the KJV means “towards” (“pros”) and is so used in John 1:29 (KJV),

“The next day, John sees Jesus coming towards [i.e., unto] him.” Of the 99 uses of “pros” in John’s Gospel, it is translated “unto” or “to” 86 times, but not again one time as “with.”

“Towards God” is a Greek idiom that means “pertaining to God,” or “in the service of God.” The identical idiom is again used in Hebrews 2:17 (NASB): Therefore, he had to be made like his brethren in all things, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

“Was God” is more accurately translated as “a god.” (See Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott interlinear translation.) The word “God” in this verse is the Greek word “theos,” meaning “mighty one.” The same Greek word, theos, is used for mighty people in power in John 10:34-35. For example, Jesus states the judges of Israel were called “gods” (see also Psalm 82:6). Additionally, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is called the “god (theos) of this world.”

 Jesus was the “Word” of God before he was made flesh (John 1:14). He was a mighty one (a god) serving in the things pertaining to (THE) God and he has had this privilege since the very beginning of time. He had a level of glory and in a very unique position as being “the only begotten from the Father.”

Jehovah had no beginning but is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), while Revelation 3:14 calls Jesus “the beginning of God’s creation,” as “the only begotten son,” (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9).

Jesus was “the Word” or spokesman of the Almighty because in him God revealed and executed His plan and purposes. Eastern kings usually had an officer, called the King’s Word or Voice, who stood upon the steps of the throne, at the side of a lattice window covered with a curtain. Behind this curtain the king sat and expressed his commands to this officer. The Word spoke for the king. From this custom, the phraseology of the text is derived.

In Genesis 1:27, God said “Let us make man in our image…” God was talking to the Logos and the angelic family. God is the great architect of His plan and used the Logos and the angels to help carry out the work of the natural creation. 1 Corinthians 8:6 (KJV): …there is but one God, the Father, of whom (as the architect) are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom (as the instrumentality of creation) are all things, and we by him. 

Jesus understood and remembered where he came from while he was human on earth.

John 17:5 (NASB) Now, Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Jesus was rewarded with an even higher nature than before – the divine nature at God’s right hand.

Philippians 2:9-11: (NASB) For this reason also, God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 2:6-8: (KJV) But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him (specifically being applied to Jesus as the son of man) a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Divine nature is immortal. This means having life that is not dependent on an outside source: John 5:26: (NASB) For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the son also to have life in himself.

In summary, Jesus as the Logos or Word was a spirit being in heaven with the unique position of being God’s only begotten son. We can only imagine the privileges of communion and trust that came with such an honor. The Logos was the “master workman” in carrying out God’s grand design of creation and we can imagine he was in charge of delegation to the other spirit beings in heaven.

We so much appreciate his ransom sacrifice on our behalf, as described in 1 Timothy 2:5-6: (NASB) For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

Because of his faithfulness, Jesus was rewarded with an even higher spiritual position than he originally held, that of the divine nature.

To learn more about Jesus’ life and sacrifice for mankind listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?” and “How Did Jesus’ Resurrection Change Both Heaven and Earth?”

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