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Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm A What? (continued)

People often don't know why they do what they do, and people often don't know why they are not what they are not or even why they are what they are.  Wow! Now that was a hatfull of 'why's' and 'they's' and 'what's'!  This goes along with our talk yesterday about being 'Evangelical' so hold on to your seats.  I did briefly mention how some people react when being asked if they were 'Spirit filled' in yesterdays piece, now we'll take it to the next level.  As I said in my earlier blog posting, my thoughts on being 'Spirit filled' is that it is a very basic and essential part of being a New Testament Born Again Believer.  Scripture makes it very clear that our worship of GOD is done of or through the Spirit, and our worship of HIM is what defines our relationship with HIM.  'GOD is Spirit, and those who worship HIM must worship must worship in Spirit and truth.'  (John 4:24  NKJV)  So now I'll ask a question, 'Can a person be a Christian and NOT be Spirit filled?'  Before we go any further, 'Yeah, I'm a Believer!'  Just as being 'Evangelical' in NOT a denominational thing, neither is being or not being 'Spirit filled.'  At least they shouldn't be.  A lot of folks, through simply not knowing the Biblical facts have either made these two positions into denominational issues, or blindly accept that they are.  If you get right down to Biblical facts, being identified as any thing other than as a 'Christian' isn't based on Scripture either.  Just to give a little background on the disciples being called 'Christians' for the first time, we need to start with shortly after the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.  Remember that Saul, who later was called Paul, was one of the worst enemies of the Early Church.  (Note:  While the facts about JESUS handpicking each of HIS original disciples are supported by Scripture, the apostle Paul never met CHRIST 'in the flesh' so to speak.  His conversion was at least 4 years after the crucification of CHRIST, so in essence Paul was the first Christian to be 'called by the Spirit') Barnabas  went to find Saul (Paul) at Tarsus.  After finding him, they went to Antioch, where they spent a year with the church there, 'teaching a great many people'  during that time.  It was during the time Paul and Barnabas spent in Antioch that anybody, specifically the disciples, were first called 'Christians' by anybody else.  (Acts 11:25-26 NKJV)  Understand that before the Early Church began, those of the Jewish culture all had one thing in common, they were all called 'Jews', there weren't different names for different people who lived in different areas, which was often the case due to the dispersion(s).   Okay, the mini lesson on Paul and 'Christian' is over, let's get back to the issue of being or not being 'Spirit filled'.  We know that we worship GOD 'in Spirit and in truth.'  Is this telling us that we have to be 'in the Spirit' in order to worship the FATHER?  Can we worship HIM if we're not 'in the Spirit'?  Remember just one of the major differences in man's worship of GOD between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, man worshipped through ritual and ceremony for the most part, all very 'physical' and visual.  With the coming of the New and Better Covenant though, man's worship changed, and we've read that now we worship 'in Spirit...'  So you answer the question, 'Can we be a Christian and NOT be Spirit filled?'  In closing this thing up for today, I would caution you to NOT have your actions or position before GOD be decided by bad information, or tradition, or by anything other than the Word of GOD.  Over the many hundreds of years since the beginnings of Christianity with the formation of the Early Church, there has been literally hundreds of different groups form their own belief systems for just about every reason under the sun.  Every time this happened, some Biblical truths have been changed and/or distorted to be what the people wanted them to be, or to be more convenient.  What we accept as Gospel today is often not even close to being Biblical, so please, 'Read your Bibles!'

Have a Blessed day, Terry  or

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