Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Has Christ Been Formed in You

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
The apostle Paul said in Galatians 4:18-20"But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you." Paul was speaking to the Galatian church. I like what the late Bro. Lee J. Muncy told our church in Tigard, Oregon. He said that he would put himself in the place of the one who was being spoken to. For instance when God would command Israel to do something it would be as though God were commanding Bro. Muncy.  Jesus Christ was apparently not  formed in the Galatian church.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:7, "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." And the Bible says in Romans 8:24-25"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."  I remember my first pastor, the Late Bro. Edmund Werner, saying that he did not have a wish so, a maybe so or a think so salvation but he had a know so salvation. In looking back I don't think he was disputing the above passage. He was saying that there are those who wish or think maybe that someday the Lord will save them whatever they do. Somewhere, in the distant future, they will be saved because the Lord Jesus will understand. I'm with Bro. Werner. I want to know I am saved.

Why would the apostle stand in doubt of the Galatians? The Bible says in Isaiah 55:7-9  "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Maybe the apostle saw that the Galatian church was doing their own thing instead of God's. Or more likely the reason is found in Galatians 1:6-9 where Paul said,  "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Another gospel? Accursed? That's pretty strong language.

I like the chorus we used to sing in church called, "He's My Lord and My God." It goes like this;
     He's my Lord and my God, 
     He's not just a stranger to me.
     When I looked past the veil it was easy to see,
     He's my Lord and My God!
Make no mistake, the Trinity doctrine also teaches that Jesus is God. However that doctrine also makes Him the second person of the Godhead. As I understand it this was an attempt to acknowledge Jesus as God and to acknowledge the Father as God also. Of course one wouldn't want to leave out the Holy Ghost either, so in  the  second century the church fathers came up with the doctrine of the Trinity. So the Trinitarian can claim to believe in monotheism. My wife and I heard one Trinitarian preacher refer to God as a community. I don't think that the early church thought of God as a community of persons in the Godhead.

To my way of thinking, such a doctrine dilutes the concept of Jesus being Lord and God. Apostle Thomas, eight days after the resurrection said when he saw the risen Lord called Him, "My Lord and my God." (See John 20:27-28) The chorus says, "when I looked past the veil it was easy to see, He's my Lord and my God." The Lord Jesus almost invariably referred to Himself as, "the Son of man." (Starting in Matthew 8:20 and many times thereafter) This was the veil of His flesh. This is in perfect accord with the prophesy in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 where both Moses and God said the Messiah would be taken from among the brethren of Israel. This is an important prophesy for apostle Peter made reference to it when he said in Acts 3:22-23"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."

Has Christ been formed in you yet? You may call yourself a Christian and yet believe that the Lord Jesus is a second person in a Trinity. I think that this is what apostle Paul had in mind when he referred in Galatians 1:6-7 to the Christ of another gospel, which indeed is not another but is a perversion of, "the gospel of Christ." 
There are many perversions of the gospel. Not the least of which is the Roman Catholic doctrine of baptism. As I understand it they baptize all their converts in the titles, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (See Matthew 28:19) But this was never meant to be used as the mode of baptism. It was a command of the Lord, according to Matthew's gospel to go and baptize. (See also Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:45-49, and John 20:21-23) When they went and baptized, they always did so in the singular name of Jesus. (See Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, and Acts 19:4-5) Have you been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus to have your sins forgiven? If not you need to be, for the Bible says in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Find someone today who will baptize you in Jesus name. If you will do so, God has promised you the gift of His Spirit that you will receive as they did on the Day of Pentecost. (See Acts 2:39 and Acts 2:1-4)

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