Plumbline Faith

Simple Faith, Simple Virtue, Simple Church

Simple Discipleship — July 17, 2018
Simple Faith — July 16, 2018

Simple Faith

The Bible doesn’t say to believe in yourself …

But to die to self.

Jesus never said to forgive yourself …

But to forgive others and then ask God to forgive you.

The Gospel isn’t about affirming you …

But about repenting and surrendering to Christ’s rule.

Only then will you find yourself …

Your freedom …

And your validation …

As defined by Him.

Simple Virtue — July 15, 2018

Simple Virtue

“Who are you to judge? God knows my heart.”

Yes. Yes He does:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jer 17:9)

Which is why, in fact, we ARE to judge …

But righteously. (Jn 7:24)

Which means wisely applying God’s external standards of what’s true, right and real …

To internally justified lies, immorality and deception.

 

Simple Faith — July 14, 2018
Simple Truth — July 13, 2018

Simple Truth

Reformed Theology says it’s impossible to reject God’s grace when offered …

Based on the philosophic concept that doing so would involve human autonomy against God’s sovereignty.

The flaw is that Reformed Theology does not see that there is a third option, which runs throughout Scripture.

The choice isn’t Calvinism = a Sovereign God …

While Arminianism = Human autonomy.

Rather, Biblical doctrine shows a God who is so sovereign …

He can offer grace to those who have no choice in and of themselves, while also granting them the choice to reject that grace.

Denying God’s sovereign right to delegate that choice is, at it’s core, a denial of His sovereignty.

Simple Faith — July 12, 2018

Simple Faith

We are bound by the limits of our fallen nature, which makes us spiritually “dead in our trespasses and sin”.

We are not spiritually sick, but dead.

Free will, therefore, is a myth apart from God’s grace giving us the option to choose Him …

Because a dead man has no choice in and of himself.

Fundamentally, we have no human autonomy or ability to choose anything apart from what God has chosen to delegate and enable.

According to His sovereign will, however, He didn’t want puppets on a string …

So He gave Adam the option to choose sin and death – as He knew he would – by rejecting His rule.

Adam chose foolishly.

Christ, according to His eternal plan …

Then defeated sin and death through the Cross to give us the option to choose righteousness and life – as He wills – by submitting to His rule.

This is what makes God’s grace so amazing.

Choose wisely.

Simple Truth — July 11, 2018

Simple Truth

The irony of hard core “Calvinism” is that it diminishes God’s sovereignty …

By claiming He can’t delegate to others the option to reject Him.

Can a God who is so limited truly have absolute sovereignty?

This is the inherent contradiction in their reformed theology.

They have great insight on many things, but can not reconcile their philosophic concept of God’s “sovereignty” …

With His right to delegate, as He chooses, the option to reject His sovereignty.

They are thus trapped in a fundamental internal contradiction …

Of defining God as so sovereign, He can’t actually be sovereign.

Simple Church — July 10, 2018

Simple Church

There are only four verses in the entire New Testament which mention singing God’s praises together when we gather as the church.

And in those verses, there is just one reason given for that congregational singing:

To encourage one another.

That’s it.

Nothing else.

In contrast, the New Testament never refers to congregational singing as what we now call “worship”.

The popular idea these days that “worship” is singing, or that we do it to invoke, experience or encounter God’s presence among us …

Just isn’t found in the New Testament.

Rather, it is from the Old Testament idea of the temple, where you went to encounter God.

In contrast, under the New Covenant, we have become God’s temple because He now dwells in us and among us.

Thus, we sing together to express God’s presence already in us, not to bring His presence to us …

And we do it congregationally for the purpose of encouraging one another.

Nothing more, nothing less.

So let’s stop distorting Scripture by putting on staged performances designed to manipulate intense reactions which we think signify “God’s presence” …

And calling that “worship”.

It’s not. It’s just carnality masquerading as spirituality.

Instead, let’s return to what the New Testament actually says:

By congregationally singing God’s praises with voices joyfully joined together …

For the simple purpose of encouraging one another as an expression of His presence already in us.

Simple Church — July 9, 2018

Simple Church

Most of what we call “worship” today …

Is so contrived and manipulative as to be an affront to God.

Most, however, are so unwilling to submit their concept of “worship” to what the New Testament actually says is worship …

That they don’t even care.

Simple Faith — July 8, 2018
Simple Faith — July 7, 2018

Simple Faith

We don’t truly believe because we perceive …

But truly perceive because we believe.

The former is all about us …

As we start with ourselves, only to remain trapped in ourselves.

The latter is all about God …

Who gives faith to believe.

Only then can we repent of ourselves to become more than ourselves.

Simple Truth — July 6, 2018

Simple Truth

God’s raw, unmitigated written Word bears stark witness against those who promote existentialism, relativism, “progressive” liberalism …

Or any other competing post-modern “ism” of our day.

Which is why they all hate both the totality of Scripture …

And the God of Scripture.

Simple Church — July 5, 2018

Simple Church

Did you know that the English word “church” does not come from the New Testament …

And is a mistranslation of the original New Testament Greek word “ekklesia”?

Instead, “church” derives from an old German word “circe”, denoting gatherings of those engaged in occult practices related to pagan gods …

From which our word “circus” also comes.

Maybe that explains why “church” today looks nothing like the New Testament concept of “ekklesia”.

In contrast, “ekklesua” referred – during the time the New Testament was written – to local governing assemblies of citizens appointed to deliberate, represent and advance the interests of the ruling king and his kingdom in their own communities.

Maybe it’s time to take a second look at Scripture through the lens of the actual words originally used …

And what they actually meant when selected by the Holy Spirit to become the New Testament.

Otherwise, we distort the orginal intent of Scripture with contrary, post-New Testament meanings.

Simple Truth — July 4, 2018
Simple Faith — July 3, 2018

Simple Faith

The triune God of the Bible is perfectly one and complete in and of Himself.

Unlike Islam and various “Oneness” heresies, however, His complete internal unity also includes internal diversity.

That intrinsic diversity means He can internally relate, love and communicate …

And thus, as He chooses, do so externally as well.

Which explains the main difference between the true God of the Old and New Testament …

And the detached, uncaring and mute “God” of Islam.

Simple Church — July 2, 2018
Simple Discipleship — July 1, 2018
Simple Truth — June 30, 2018

Simple Truth

There’s the hard Gospel of Godly repentance and Kingdom surrender.

Then there’s the easy “Gospel” of individual decision and optional lifestyle …

Especially among “churches” that preach cheap grace and easy believism.

Where are the men of God these days, who preach hard truth under the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

May God deliver us from the easy “Gospel” of false hope and deceptive charm …

As we proclaim true salvation and redemption once again.

Simple Faith — June 29, 2018

Simple Faith

What if you actually studied the New Testament and the original, actual meanings of the words it contains?

What if you studied it a second time and then a third time?

And, after all that, what if you discovered that what you call “worship” …

Isn’t?

What if …

Simple Virtue — June 28, 2018
Simple Church — June 27, 2018
Simple Discipleship — June 26, 2018
Simple Truth — June 25, 2018
Simple Faith — June 24, 2017
Simple Church — June 23, 2017

Simple Church

“Assembly” is probably the closest English word to “ekklesia”, which is the Greek word commonly mistranslated as “church” in our English Bibles.

But even “assembly” falls short.

When the New Testament was written, “ekklesia” almost always – in the common usage of the day – referred to a participatory assembly of local citizens appointed as the governing authority, under Rome, in a city or region.

In Israel during Jesus’ time on Earth, the local ekklesia under Roman rule was the Sanhedrin.

Each city or provence had their own local ekklesia, which oversaw local affairs under Roman authority through local citizens selected by the Emperor.

The internal function of each ekklesia, in their own locale, was democratic – with full participation and say by each member – just like a State assembly or town council today.

The idea of Christ building His ekklesia, therefore, was subversive to Roman ears, but fully in line with His further teachings on His Kingdom.

Unfortunately, “church” today has little to do – either as to form or function – with what “ekklesia” actually meant when the New Testament was written.

To really understand the Bible, we need to learn what it actually said when written, based on the meaning and context of the words used …

Rather than reading back into those words our conflicting post-New Testament meanings.