Wednesday night during Bible Study, Tim spoke about holiness. During the lesson he asked a question that has gotten me to thinking. That is one of the things I love about Wednesday night Bible Study. It stimulates my curiosity and sends me seeking answers.
The question that was asked was.........
Do you or have you ever wondered if you were really "saved".
Now, honestly, I can say, yes. I've asked that question of myself more than once. Who am I questioning? God? Am I asking Him about his ability to "save" me or doubting His love for me? No, I'm honestly not. I don't doubt for a second that God can and will do anything for me, nor do I doubt His ability to wipe away my unworthiness (using the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ) and make me His own.
My question in return is: Why would He? Why did He?
I can never be worthy of the forgiveness of God for my sins. I'm worthless, a vile sinner of the worst sort. Paul had nothing on me. I can't even say I'm going to try, because I know going in that I'll fail. It's that flesh thing. It just keeps on fighting me and won't give in.
I am living day by day under the Grace of the gift of Jesus Christ and I know that because of this gift, I'm forgiven. This in turn causes me to seek God's Word to learn more, use God's Word to make a change in my life and hopefully other people's lives.
This is where the fruit of the spirit comes in. Thing is, if you have to tell people about your fruit, is it really fruit or you tooting your own horn? If you have the Holy Spirit within you, the fruit is going to emerge, no doubt about it. If you are "producing" fruit for your own gain or gratification, the fruit will be useless as it won't bless others beyond a moment. It won't last. The real stuff won't have to be a big deal, a right word at the right time, a touch in times of sorrow, giving beyond the immediate need, these will last and go in to bless others.
You see how one question leads to another, one point makes another point. For all answers to all questions with regard to God's love of you and me, go to His Word. You'll find your answers, in His time.
Monday, June 22, 2009
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
--2 Tim. 2:15.
Studying I Corinthians, Chapters 12-14.
This past week I've run into the subject of women's role in religion, the church, in history and today's society. It has been the bone of contention in some circles, a cause for earnest discussion in others. The debate seems to center on whether or not a woman is to "lead" or "teach".
Now, I'm not even going into the debate with regards to today's life, we know there are women leaders, teachers and women holding high office. This writing is purely regarding women in biblical history and their positions during those times and how I think it applies to women in the church today. Let us remember that the church refers not the the buildings or temples, but to God's Elect.
God created Eve (woman) to be Adam's (mans) "helper" or "helpmeet". The word helper is translated from the Hebrew word "ezer". That word means one who helps from a position of authority. The same word is used to describe God in scriptures that explain how God will help us. It is always used from a position of strength or one of authority.
That being said, women are not to have "authority" over men in spiritual matters, men are to lead and set the example in spiritual matters. Men are in the minority in the church as we know it today, the main membership appears to be women and children. Thus, women are often thrust into roles of teaching and preaching the word. Very often when there are men in the membership, they are heavy in the roles of deacon or elders and are over used in those duties.
There are many role models in the scripture of women leaders, Deborah the Judge of Israel, Miriam the sister of Moses, Phoebe the deaconess, and Pricilla. That is actually a few of the women that were very active during history. We won't even go into the women that followed Christ and ministered to Him and the disciples.
So, to say that women are to be servants of man, while accurate in one respect, is inaccurate in another. Women like men are to be servants and humble to all as Christ gave us the example, but women are not to be servant or subservient to men, they are to do as God intended, lift up, support and be equal in His eyes.
We, the elect, are all called to minister to others, spread the good news of Jesus Christ, it matters not if we wear pants or skirts. We are all called to exhibit the "Fruit of the Spirit" and the love of Christ.
In my studies, I've concluded that Paul was speaking to the masses, both the "saved" and "unsaved", attending his teachings. There were women/wives that may have engaged in "prophecies" or had questions who were not part of the "ekkleesia", translated "the church or body of believers", these I believe, were the women to which Paul referred and demanded that they wait upon their husbands (who were called) to explain the answers or to keep silent with their babbling, false prophecies. Among all things, Paul desired that the teaching of the Word be "done decently and in order"
I continue to study daily to approve my learning, and pray to my Father that I am not misinterpreting the Word. I thank God daily for my husband, who is a Man of God and for the other men that teach me guided by The Word.
Guide and guard my eyes, ears and heart in my thirst for knowledge and understanding of Your Word. Keep me from heresy and ignorance allowing my learning to grow in Your time.
Thank You for sending Doug and me to do your work among the homeless and forgotten, we long to be Your feet, Your hands and to show the lost Your Heart and love for them.
All this I ask in the Name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit~