Friday, September 28, 2007

Bitter/Sweets: Sheltered Lives

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. {1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NAS}

With all of the “stuff” hitting proverbial fans all over the place: it is hard to imagine that any of us are leading all that much of a sheltered life. For what has not reached-out and bitten someone today will surely take a chunk out of their children tomorrow{1}.

Nonetheless: there is more unto our lives than what naturally comes to meet our physical eyes{2}; and it is in this regard that all of us lead lives more sheltered than what most are willing to even consider{3}. For we were all created to be our Heavenly Father’s children by faith{4}; and He has no desire to see any of us perish{5}.

In other words: it is in regards unto our eternal lives that we are sheltered; and it is about this that 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 is referring unto. For it truly is as it is written: Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.{6}

Yes, many have been led to believe that it addresses something much more tangible unto the here and now. For it has been widely taught that our Heavenly Father will not allow His children by faith to be tempted to lie, steal, cheat, fornicate, murder, and all of the rest of those things beyond what they can withstand.

2 Peter 1:1-4 certainly appears to support such a doctrine. For there is absolutely nothing sinful about our Heavenly Father’s divine nature{7}.

There is, however, the matter of us being but poor reflections of His magnificent glory while we are still a part of this world that should not be ignored{8}. For the more highly we want to think of ourselves: the more in danger of eternal damnation we become{9}; and this most definitely applies unto righteousness—be assured{10}.

Alas, is this not something that the Apostle Peter was made all too painfully aware of? For even after being delivered from the humiliation of his denial of Christ{11} and restored unto his position of leadership{12}: was he not made to suffer even more{13}???

Yes, it can be naturally argued that the Apostle Peter brought all of his own misery upon himself. For he had a tendency to be quite impetuous at inopportune times{14}; and the density of his hard-headedness is beyond compare{15}.

Nonetheless: is it not to miss the point to hold such a position? For if our Heavenly Father is truly able to shelter us from being tempted to sin by the devil: should He not be able to also shelter us from the wickedness of our own hearts{16}???

No, none of this will make any sense unto those who have not been given ears to hear{17}; but unto those who have: the implications will be undeniable. For many have suffered much unnecessarily{18} because of being accused of not truly being in Christ because of false doctrines based upon the premise that no one who is truly in Him sins.

Yes, it is written: Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.{19} Just like it is also written: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.{20}

On the other hand: could it not be that what is being addressed in 1 John 3:4-10 is a different kind of sin? For it truly is as it is written: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.{21}

No, I am not here to dispute the fact that all wrongdoing is sin{22}; and that the one who sins is subject unto eternal damnation{23}. For it has been personally revealed unto me that this is indeed true{24}.

Nonetheless: is there not another side unto this that we would do well not to ignore? For it is written: All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.{25}

Alas, does that not serve as a further explanation of what 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 and 2 Peter 1:1-4 is actually addressing? For who from amongst us could stay firm in the faith without the shelter that is provided by our Heavenly Father{26}???

Yes, around and around it could go until the very end. Therefore: may we all make a close examination of ourselves. For who from amongst us can honestly say that there is nothing about themselves that is not perfect in the same way as our Heavenly Father is perfect{27}???

[{1}Hosea 4:1-14; {2}2Corinthians 4:18; {3}John 3:19-21; {4}Romans 8:16; {5}Ezekiel 18:30-32; {6}2 Peter 1:1-4 NIV; {7}Psalm 18:30; {8}1 Corinthians 13:12; {9}Proverbs 16:18; {10}1 Corinthians 4:7; {11}Luke 22:54-62; {12}John 21:15-19; {13}Galatians 2:11-16; {14}John 18:7-11; {15}John 21:20-22; {16}Jeremiah 17:9-10; {17}1 Corinthians 2:14; {18}2 Corinthians 10:1-12; {19}1 John 3:6 KJV; {20}1 John 3:9 KJV; {21}1 John 1:1-10 KJV; {22}1 John 5:17; {23}Ezekiel 18:4; {24}Galatians 1:11-12; {25}1 John 5:17-20 NIV; {26}Mark 14:38; {27}Romans 7:14-25]

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