Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Permission granted

I'm a little twitchy as I write this.  At risk of much rebuke by those much smarter to me in the areas of the Apostle Paul and Ancient Greek thoughts and customs, I get a little twitchy.  My RN degree does not cover the words that are banging and thrashing around in this mind of mine.  But they've been there, at the forefront for quite a while, and today is the day I've got to begin to let them be free to have their say.

I will confess up front, I am taking two passages right out of a greater context and not spending time looking at the historical and cultural angles.   I'm sure they are very valuable, but I am doing what many claim is the wrong thing to do (myself included).  I am picking a verse(s) and going with it.  What I pray you do is read the context surrounding it, and I highly encourage you to do so.  I am going to take these verses and put them smack dab in 2015, without apology.  If this is the day we part ways, so be it.

These words were not highlighted in my bible years ago.  In fact, I have never highlighted them on paper.  But God has kept them highlighted in my mind I guess.

And is the day for exploration.

Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial....Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything.

Everything - all that exists
Panta - all the whole, every kind of

permissible - allowed or permitted by laws or rules
exesti - permitted, lawful, possible

beneficial - producing good or helpful results or effects; producing benefits
sympherei - am profitable to, combine in a way that brings a profit (gain), especially by a concurrence of circumstances that results in benefit or advancement

mastered - one having authority over another
exousiazo - to exercise authority over, I am ruled, am held under authority

constructive - helping to develop or improve something; helpful to someone instead of upsetting and negative
oikodomeo - to build a house; I build, build up, edify, encourage

If you want to look two verses up, the two verses in all of the Bible that use these sentences, I'll wait. 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23.

Panta is exesti - but not panta is sympherei.  Panta is exesti, but I will not be exousiazo.

Panta is exesti - but not panta is sympherei.  Panta is exesti, but not panta is oikodomeo.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News, tells us Jesus has defeated the powers of sin, death, and the devil.  Grace has entered our world.  Grace, the undeserved favor of a Holy God now rests on each and every person from the beginning of time until the last breath is breathed.  There is no sin that has not been covered, paid for, and thrown away as far as the east is from the west.

If you trust that Jesus' Victorious work on the cross has done all that you can never do, you can rest completely in God's grace.  There is no sin that you have committed or will commit that is not covered under his Victorious work on the cross.

You can lie.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can steal.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can cheat.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can kill.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can overeat.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can abuse your spouse.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can think only of yourself twenty four hours a day.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can live a life totally separated from seeking God's will.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can have sex with someone of the same sex.   Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can blow up three buildings and kill thousands of people.  Because of Christ, forgiven.

You can do anything and everything your sick and evil heart desires.  Because of Christ, it is forgiven.

But the question is, how is doing any or all of these things beneficial to me or those around me?

If I lie and Christ forgives, does that make lying beneficial?

If I steal and Christ forgives, does that make stealing beneficial?

If I cheat and Christ forgives, does that make cheating beneficial?

If I kill and Christ forgives, does that make killing beneficial?

If I abuse my spouse and Christ forgives, does that make abuse beneficial?

If I think only of my self and Christ forgives, does that make selfishness beneficial?

If I live a separate life outside of God's will and Christ forgives, does that make life without him beneficial?

If I have sex with someone of the same sex and Christ forgives, does that make homosexual sex beneficial?

If I blow up three buildings and kill thousands of people and Christ forgives, does that make doing so beneficial?

"Oh, but Ronda, the good that comes from _______, _________, or _________, how can you judge someone or something who does this? "

I can judge because I have done a lot of these very things and they have not been any benefit to me.  In fact, the opposite.  

So if you are rejoicing in permission and see only good benefits, ask yourself this....Is everyone else, besides only me, benefitting from my freedom?

You want to keep killing babies legal because the good that goes on is more important?  Ok.  The truth is the benefits aren't all that great.  There are mothers and fathers and grandparents and siblings who mourn the loss of those innocent lives.  Is that the good you are thinking of?  Oh, that's right, it's the free mammograms.

You want to make it legal for marriage to be redefined?  Ok, in Christ, forgiven.  The benefits?  Hmmmm.  Nothing that you couldn't have gotten without redefining thousands of years of one covenant.  There are legal documents called wills and Powers of Attorney nowadays.  But ok, we'll look for the benefits.  I'm sure they're there.  I'm sure one little mandate by one Court is making your inner struggle go away too.

You are at risk of being called a hypocrite if you say these things are ok in your mind.  If these things are ok you have to say EVERYTHING is ok.  Go ahead, Paul said it.  But he took it a step further.  He put checks and balances in his statement.

Not EVERYTHING is beneficial.  Not EVERYTHING builds someone else up.  And that is the goal of EVERYTHING we are to do.  

That's what Jesus did.  He did what was good for everyone.  He did what was going to free EVERYONE.  He made the selfless sacrifice for EVERYONE and was VICTORIOUS on a cross used to defeat him. 

There is NOTHING you can do to save yourself from the consequences of EVERYTHING his sacrifice gave you the freedom to do.

Your choices have consequences.  What you support, what you vote on, what you voice or don't voice   - your actions, every single one, has consequences.  Just as there will be consequences to my writing this, I'm sure. 

I love you too much to not tell you this.  I don't care if you unfriend me, unfollow me, burn my book, whatever.  I don't care. 

I care about you and I don't ever want you to say to me, "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

Jesus loves you so much more than I ever will.  His love forgives what we humans could never forgive.  He doesn't say "don't" to be mean to you.  He says it to protect you.  To protect your heart. To protect your soul.  He loves you enough to tell you the truth about the choices you are making.  I must have courage to do the same.

You are His precious child.  His love is deeper than anyone or anything can ever give you.  I pray you know that.



Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  
Do not be deceived:  
Neither the sexually immoral 
nor idolaters 
nor adulterers 
nor male prostitutes  
nor homosexual offenders
 nor thieves 
nor the greedy
 nor drunkards 
nor slanderers 
nor swindlers
 will inherit the kingdom of God.  
And that is what some of you 
But you were washed, 
you were sanctified, 
you were justified
 in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
 "Everything is permissible for me" - 
but not everything is beneficial.  
"Everything is permissible for me" - 
but I will not be mastered by anything.  

In the whisper of faith the size of a mustard seed, you are forgiven and set free.  Walk, no RUN through the prison doors Jesus opened for you.

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