Work and duty have caused a lot of crashes yet they are as popular as ever. They are so easy to duplicate or fake. If we told a group of Christians to stop coveting (there is no point in asking humans never to offend God since everyone offends Him) some would choose to lock themselves in an empty room, plug their ears, cover their eyes, and report that they have stopped coveting.
A much better way
The catalogue of my deeds
The opinion that no one is saved until they get their new bodies is full of fear and unbelief. There is little love for God and what he has done it all humanity in that sentiment. After believing and confessing one is told “now you need God’s righteous commands”. They call that holiness (the setting apart of the believer) your lifelong pursuit. Along with that they introduce you to the kingdom diet – a regime that does not exist – for if the flesh of bulls and goats is no longer good food for sustaining life Christ is misleading us with “man lives by food and God’s word”.
Many Christians are wallowing in a compliance mud pit. The deeds we need to COMPLETE are OUR WARFARE – that is what “having done” means – and it is not to diligence over food, drink and the shadows of things to come.
Cowardly and Busy Noisemakers
It is obvious that putting on God’s armour has an expected end. In fact there are two aims. The first is resistance [withstanding] in the evil day. The second comes after the combatant “has done all”, and this second end is also an [up]standing. It is the list of things to do that causes the crashes. What exactly are we expected to do so we can ultimately stand? It is the fight, the blows to Satan’s head, the exposure of the lies by which the father of lies has trapped millions of believers; lies so outrageous that the term believers does not fit any more.
Solutions abound in the books of our contemporaries and these answers leave us in the doldrums. They leave us trying to bring about the very condition that equips us (a) to take up (put on) the armour, (b) do a full job, and (c) stand in the final stage of our pilgrimage.
- It is because one is saved that one can put on the armour
- (1) Taking up the armour and (2) doing all are both verbs compounded with kata.
- Katalambano = fully take up
- Katergazomai = fully work out, completely absorb
If our interest is to run interference then we might tell the believer that his standing will take a lifetime, instead of affirming that the full package of working everything down to the bone is not a question of adding anything to the load that the Holy Spirit disperses. We may attach our work as nothing cooperation with the Spirit’s fruit and gifts. The gifts in which the believer is intended to excel are immediately evident. So are the fruit. All half-hearted motions in the realm of gifts or fruit are insulting to the Saviour. If we could claim to be in love (be patient, kind and faithful etc.) with God without the Holy Spirit’s help or the Christ Event we would, and that is the textbook definition of fearing the lifeboat. The message of the armour points to a sobering reality. Taking and using the armour is warfare.
Putting on a face
We cannot say we do not know how disturbing religious posturing is to God. People have a tendency to say “Yes, yes, yes” loudly and openly when pressed then whisper “What a load of utter rot!” to their neighbours. We complain and murmur. Historic hypocrisy is rooted in the fog over loving God and fearing Him. Neither can be faked or manufactured. God has to build and guard the house.
If fearing God is where wisdom begins love will never find its wings
- Loving from God’s perspective means pulling out all the stops
- Fearing God means keeping one’s distance (unless one is ready to die)
- Believing in one God insults polytheists
- Keeping commands as proof of love is an empty shell when the only neighbours one knows are one’s siblings
Thinking of all the denominations that have risen, all the nations that have been staking out identity as moral standard bearers, we are convinced that the triumph of sham, pomp, and predatory power is over. We have sniffed out the pretenders and the news cycle is hard to summarize. One cannot fear God so much that caring for one’s neighbour or donkey is not attractive. Duck! There is a woe ready as long as pretentious love is tower in which we find refuge.