“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pagan prayer and the science of salvation

 “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.” (Mal. 2:11-13).
“And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.” (1Ki. 18:26-29).
The fallen human race has a terrible problem. Sin has given us a dilemma of dilemmas. The separation from God is a separation from His Spirit of peace. We are troubled.
“Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” (Psa. 104:29). The troubling from the Creator upon the animal kingdom causes almost immediate death. But with humanity, we can smooth over the curse of God with some intoxicant, a physical vice or some ideal to fight for; and multitudes do this. Then we don’t sense the wrath of God, His withdrawal from our presence of mind, that burns against us. But, His withdrawal still exists, and the intoxicants eventually bring us to the edge of the pit. Then it is that we must choose to surrender to His vacating our soul, or continue in rebellion and die.
But, there are those who choose not to intoxicate and ruin their bodies with a chemical or with idealisms that unbalance their minds; and that’s when Satan brings them to use a religious opiate to intoxicate their soul. Who would ever think that religion could be an evil? Yet, all over the world the devil plays on the harassed soul that is troubled by the wrath of God. By Adam’s choice to sin, our race has been cursed with the troubled soul, the “evil conscience” (Heb. 10:22), which can never find peace.
The adversary amplifies the dreaded anxiety and hides the grace which God has placed in the natural world and in His precious promises for those who will come to Him and obey His holy laws. But, the devil plays on our natural rebellion toward God’s Law and tries to drive every rebel into religious seclusion rather than see the beauty of obedience which would heal the rift between God and man.
Satan can’t have another champion of faith rampaging through the land proclaiming the science and method of salvation, the steps to Christ. Practical religion is his undoing, so he moves his victims to perform religious rites or good deeds, whereby his or her nature can be redeemed from the pangs of sin. Even prayer, the opening of the heart to God as to a friend, the evil one transforms into a dungeon of bondage.
When used to atone for sin, prayer becomes a sacrament by which the sinner who is demolished in guilt attempts to propitiate the most high Judge. Whenever a human takes this holy office upon himself, instead of accepting Christ’s propitiation in his place, he takes an unrelenting, ravaging cancer upon his soul. No sinner can ever bridge the chasm between the most holy God and the foul, sinful human nature. To satisfy the most High, He has provided for us a propitiator—His Son. He lets no one else intercede before Him. Certainly, no vile sinner no can represent his own case before the supreme Judge; no raucous swine can intercede for himself. His only begotten, beloved, sinless Son alone can represent humanity and stand for us in His presence.
“It pleased the LORD to bruise Him [Christ]; He [God] hath put Him to grief: when Thou [God] shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He [God] shall prolong His [Christ's] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand [Christ's heavenly ministry]. He shall see of the travail of His [Christ’s] soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My [God's] righteous Servant [Jesus] justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I [God] divide Him [Christ] a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and [Christ] made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isa. 53:10-12).
“Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31). “Being justified freely by His [God's] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3:24, 25). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1Jn. 4:10).
Only Christ can mediate for us through His sinless life and His perfect, infinite death. We cannot pray enough, even with whips and chains, to make our pleading acceptable to God. In fact, we make our case more detestable to Him. But, simultaneously, His great heart of mercy yearns to bring the truth home to everyone seeking to save himself. When it comes to salvation we need to let go of the reins and let the oxen go wherever they will; and they will return us to God (see 1 Samuel 6:11-14).
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:4, 5). As long as we are at the controls of our redemption, no matter how hard we work to get God’s benediction, we will never receive His Holy Spirit of grace, like a dove sent down from heaven. In our sinful condition, we will naturally believe that God is obligated to reward all of our hard work to get His attention. But, the Creator never accepts any obligation to satisfy the puppets of the devil. Not only would He therefore be enslaved to the wicked devil, but He would leave His dearly beloved creatures in the clutches of their masterful puppeteer.
We must surrender the reins that steer for heaven. This effectively cuts off the strings that Satan uses to keep us under his dominion. We must trust God to save us by Himself without any of our “salvific” help.
But, here is where the mastermind of all deception comes against us again. He gets us to lay back and do nothing toward our salvation. Yet, there is something for us to do—we must cooperate with God’s salvation. While He needs none of our wretched, sin-originated help, we must cooperate with God. We must come to Him just as we are. We must choose to find Him where He says He would be found—in His Law and His word.
As we study His description of Himself written in His Bible, we must trust His expertise to remake the lines of communication with our soul; “that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (Eph. 5:26). As we read the Holy Writ and if we are patient with Him, our thinking slowly changes; our requests revolve less around begging for His acceptance and more of thanking Him for helping us to finally trust in His acceptance. Trust is being developed; a deep trust which doesn’t pop into existence overnight. But, justification finally happens as soon as faith happens, and heals the curse of the evil conscience. The soul abides in the God of peace, as He sanctifies the redeemed saint’s body, mind, and soul. The battle is over; God has won another son of thunder, another champion of faith and truth.
But, without surrender and the cooperation with God which He has outlined in His word, the seeker for God is left to appease the devil, who sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. He gets his prey involved in an endless round of pleading for mercy, never to the satisfying of the soul. Evangelicals pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Israeli Jews wail at the Wailing Wall. Devout Muslims bow down repeatedly three times a day. Hindus live in cloisters to feel cleaner where they approach God amongst clouds of incense and the sound of gongs. Catholic nuns waste their lives away in convents, pouring out their souls for lost humanity. Wickans pray over a smoldering altar of burning leaves and twigs. Most accomplishing little more than a head rush.
“We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.” (Isa. 59:11).
“Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?” (Isa. 58:5).
“Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?” (Zech. 7:5, 6).
Jesus came to Earth to show us the wrong and the right way to approach God. “And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.” (Luke 11:1, 2). “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” (Matt. 6:7, 8).
Jesus’ communion with His Father was simple and a blessed experience. Don’t we love to talk with our earthly parents? So did Jesus with His Father; and we can be adopted into Their family and find the same blessing that Jesus always had with His Father.
But, we must cooperate with His work of adoption. We must come to Him on our knees before His open word. We will find its high standard somewhat distressing. “The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe…. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:22, 24). The Law of His mouth will challenge our natural pride and our innate rebellion. Thus, His written word will cleanse us and lead us to our full surrender of the heart.
But, we can always opt out of the crucible; and the Lord keeps the devil on the loose just to make sure we have that offer made to us. If we continue to stay in the frying pan of His written word, then we keep the fellowship of His sweet Spirit. That’s fair. “Said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” (John 8:31). Then He holds out the promise for continued trust and obedience, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). Freedom! No more bondage! No more chicanery by the master deceiver!
Yet, if we do opt out of the chastening of Christ’s discipleship program, then we must leave Christ also. “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye [illegimate], and not sons.” (Heb. 12:8)
Illegimacy is why the churches are so full of salvation by works with no power to overcome sin or the mockery of the world. Most do not stay in the purifying crucible, and are left with Satan’s option. That is, in bondage to sinful habits and a devil-inspired, endless weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, the worship of Baal.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:13, 14).

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25).


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

Thank you so much David, I am so happy and so glad. I have liked the time and endeavor you have put into getting all those scriptures. they are gracious.

7/04/2014 3:33 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Thank you, my sole commenter! Daniel, you are a good friend. Happy Sabbath!

7/04/2014 5:30 PM  

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