Sunday, September 8, 2013

Controlling Sin

Religion is a bunch of Rules and Regulations. No. Thank you.


Many years back, when I first heard the Call, or felt led by The Spirit, to become a Sower of the Seed, a Teller of Truth, A Show-er of The Way, I considered a Bible College. I traveled a great distance in a car that I was not sure would actually make it, to spend a Week with a Preacher and tour the College he ran. If I said the name of the College, or the name of the Preacher, you would recognize it.

So here I am, learning what it would take to become a Student. The Preacher said this. "If you join, we will be sending a group of people to your Home, Apartment, or whatever, while you are attending. They will take out the TV. They will remove anything we deem a hindrance to your Spiritual Growth and learning. When you Graduate, we will give it back. Maybe."

That was all I needed to hear. No. Thank you. I was polite and stayed until it was over and I left to go home. So to join this College, they are going to send "Morality Police" to my home and remove anything that does not fit THEIR idea of what is good? I will have to dress a certain way. Talk a certain way. Act a certain way. Live a certain way. I have to, in essence, give myself to the Church. Become obedient to the Church, before I can learn about God? Really?

I know many people that will tell you that they truly believe that the Bible is nothing more than an old Book, written by a bunch of old guys, that want to control every aspect of your life. It's not the Word of God, but a Doctrine of dos and don'ts, that are meant to control society.

Many will tell you that this is also the way they see the Ten Commandments. A set of Laws to make your life harder. To control your actions and limit your choices on how to live your life. They see Religion as more a Social Engineering tool, for the psychological manipulation of people, into performing actions they wish for them to perform. To control the masses.

Here is the problem. In some cases, this is actually true. Some "Religions" DO attempt to control Sin, through rules and regulations. Our Society is one based on "the rule of Law." An attempt to control people's behaviours, by use of fear, as to the consequences for the action. Do this, go to Hell. Do this, go to Jail. Etc.

But here is the problem. Leave aside that the Bible IS, without a doubt, the Word of the Living God, and the fact that Religion itself is NOT Salvation, you cannot control Sin through Rules and Regulations. You cannot control Sin through Laws. You cannot control Sin through man-made Religion. There is only one way to control Sin. That is by changing the heart.

Matthew 20:
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus IS our example. Remember the Last Supper?

John 13:
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
So what did Jesus do here? Did He tell his Disciples they must obey this or that Law? Did he say they must not,,,,or if they do,,,,they will go to Hell? Did He tell them they MUST wash each other's feet. No. He got up, the Lord of Lords, stripped, and got on His knees {Came to their level} and washed their dirty feet.

Peter speaks on this as well.

1 Peter 5:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.

4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Ever work for a Boss that was one of those, "Do as I say, not as I do?" In other words, they tell you that you must work in this manor, yet they do little to nothing. Have you ever worked for a Boss that get's right down in the trenches with you and is doing the same jobs they are asking you to do? Which Boss do you feel has more respect and is a more effective Leader?

In the Military, Commanders are the same way. Some sit in safe areas, and tell their Troops to go and come, to fight, and die. To not question why, but to do or die. Others, and the Greatest Commanders in History, are those that say WE must go and come. WE must fight. WE must do or die. They are the ones LEADING the charge. Right there with their Troops. Side by side in the trenches.

It's not effective for you to tell someone, "You must live this way to be 'Holy.'" And then have them see you live the opposite. You cannot really tell someone that they cannot eat red meat, while you are chowing down on a Burger. Or tell someone the they can not drink with a Cigarette in your hand. You cannot tell someone that the Bible says this or that, and expect them to hear you, if you are living the opposite.

Here is an example for you as to how you could be more effective in the sharing of The Word. You are dinning with someone. They go to take their first bit of food, and you say, "You had better give thanks to God first." Or, when the food is present, you bow your head, lift you eyes to Heaven, or whatever, and say "Thank You Lord for the food we receive today."

Now they ask you why you do that, you have an opening to discuss the reason we should all give thanksgiving to God everyday. For all we have. You can tell the story of the feeding of five thousand. You can tell the story of the Last Supper. They all involve Jesus. They may say nothing. But they witnessed you do it. You may have planted a seed into their life.

Now Paul wrote to Timothy,,,

1 Timothy 4: 
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
So the next time someone tells you that you are going to hell for eating that piece of Bacon? Just a side note. Another reason it is important to give thanks to God for the food you receive.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Bodily exercise here is not talking about going to the Gym. Paul is talking about Religious Exercise. Don't Eat that, say ten "Hail Mary's" do not walk this far on the Sabbath. ETC. But teach and lead by example, the Truth according to God. Religion vs Faith. Paul tells Timothy, choose Faith.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

11 These things command and teach.

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Now read that last sentence again. "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." "Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine." You know what it says. Understand it. Learn it. Teach it. Live it. Apply it to your own life. "Continue in them." Do not follow after some new teachings. Do what you know to be true. "For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." Not only will you be Saved, but those OBSERVING you, will be as well. Lead by example. Allow them to see. Then they will seek after the reason you are the way you are, which will lead them to the Truth.

You must live by faith rather than by effort of the flesh. It is not in your power to control the situation and fix the problem in other people's lives. You must understand that it is the Lord who needs to change hearts, and that is, who you need to be trusting. Anything else, you are trusting in yourself, or man-made traditions called religion. Where do you feel is a better place to put your faith?

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

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