Tag Archives: spiritual gifts

The truth will set you free? not really . . .

Christians confuse being saved with being Christian.  Salvation is God’s business and requires only a repentant heart and a confession.  (The heart believes unto righteousness and confession is made unto salvation.  Romans 10:10)  That’s an event.  No law or laws apply to this simple transaction – my sins for Jesus’ sacrifice.

However the Christian life is not an event but a process which involves the fulfillment of various conditions, a process which starts with a group of “If” clauses describing the conditions by which we become Christians and live a Christian life through experience, practice and faithfulness.

It starts with the Word.  Here is the whole quote and the process in context:

(1) IF you continue in my word, (2) then you are my disciples in deed (not in word) and (3 then) you will know the truth and (4 then) the truth will make (not set) you free.

“Setting free” is an event; you are in prison and someone comes with a key to open a door and you walk out.  “Making” you free is a process which continues over a period of time because the Truth is Jesus himself – “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

It is quite possible to halt that process at any time for many reasons. Unfortunately the opposite is often true.  You are saved and then sit somewhere, occasionally a pew, and learn virtually nothing about the word, so you skirt discipleship and the truth  It might be presented to you but not followed,  and whatever freedom you once had wicks away like a much-used plastic air freshener.

Here are some examples from my experience.  “I don’t believe that.”  I  remember hearing this after I got the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  These gifts  are thoroughly described and recommended in scripture, but then a denomination or well-known teacher says this is not for today and it is easier to let someone else do your Christian walk for you, to sit, soak, and sour in your former theology rather than to move along with the Word. At that point you become a disciple in word but not in deed.  The truth, that is Jesus, having been rejected moves on. Hesitate to say what you don’t believe in – maybe God has something new for you.

I told God when I graduated with a MA in missions that I didn’t care what denominations and groups did in the mission field; I wanted to be where He was moving and working.  It meant that the majority of my coworkers thought my ideas were off the wall.  My superiors said flatly “We are not going into mainland China.”  It took 12 years for me to get to China but it was worth the wait and, in spite of my impatience, the timing was perfect.  How much more quickly accepted I was!

Writing off China (7 out of 10 earthlings live there) looks so totally foolish today doesn’t it!  But that is what Man does –  not sinful man, not satanic man, but self-willed and not-God-willed Man.   Missions committees are helpful in their way but not the word in which we continue.

Christian life promises freedom at the end, not in the beginning.  So let’s paraphrase this verse:

After you have been soaking in the Word of God and have walked out in your life many of its principles, and having proved your discipleship, then Jesus, the Truth will become a part of your personal life and will continue to make you free day-by-day.  Enoch did this – so can you.

French: Vous connaîtrez la vérité, et la vérité fera de vous des hommes libres.

Chinese: 你 们 必 晓 得 真 理 , 真 理 必 叫 你 们 得 以 自 由 。

You will find this as a chapter in an e-book on apologetics at Amazon, Book Baby, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and other vendors.

Why Michal had no more children, and today’s Church

King Saul’s daughter Michal (2 Samuel) had her eye on David as he was coming up in the ranks so the king gave her to David as his wife. She saved him on occasion and served him well but later on she made a tragic mistake.

Before we can understand this passage, we must remember that women in the Bible are a symbol of The Church, or more specifically, the people of God. In every respect she was a good and honorable example of the Church as the submitted promoter of her husband, the Lord.

Here is the passage that shows her downfall. David has just rescued the Ark of the Covenant (called here a Chest), the most essential physical piece of property owned by the Jews and a symbol of their authority in God. It is a joyous day.

2 Samuel 6:12-16 …..David went and brought up the Chest of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David, celebrating extravagantly all the way, with frequent sacrifices of choice bulls. David, ceremonially dressed in priest’s linen, danced with great abandon before God. The whole country was with him as he accompanied the Chest of God with shouts and trumpet blasts. But as the Chest of God came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, happened to be looking out a window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before God, her heart filled with scorn.
later.
20-22 David returned home to bless his family. Michal, Saul’s daughter, came out to greet him: “How wonderfully the king has distinguished himself today—exposing himself to the eyes of the servants’ maids like some burlesque street dancer!” {Michal is being sarcastic here.} David replied to Michal, “In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory—more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned…I’ll gladly look like a fool…but among these maids you’re so worried about, I’ll be honored no end.” 23 Michal, Saul’s daughter, was barren the rest of her life.

Briefly, Michal showed open, public contempt for David who was glorifying and praising God. We have that in the church today – people who reject the praise and worship due to the Lord. The Bible does not suggest that we worship in song and dance, but that God expects this from us. To reject this puts us out of the stream of God’s intimacy. Michal was not divorced, i.e. no longer saved, she was simply put aside.

For almost 50 years now there have been groups that said speaking in tongues and other spiritual gifts were from the devil – in other words, they are showing the same contempt for the Holy Spirit as Michal did of David. Thankfully that sort of thing is less common than it was in the 70s and 80s. But please note what happens to churches like that – they are barren, childless, joyless, put aside.

It says Michal has no children after that. Today we see this worked out in the lives of Spirit-denying churches – they have no new members, or at least very few. They are no longer child-bearing.

Let this being a warning to you – rejecting the Holy Spirit and the gifts, even though it is controversial, could lead you and your congregation into a downward spiral where eventually you must close your church’s doors. No children is the same as no fruit. God does not need the Word of God without the Spirit – together they produce fruit.

If your church is going nowhere you can start praying that the Holy Spirit and the gifts will come in and when they do, so will more of the Lord. Otherwise, like David, He may just not show up again.