How Do We Live at Peace in a Hostile World?

Spock_peaceOur world is marred by violence, greed, and all the fruits of sin. What this world desperately needs is a revelation of Jesus and his peaceable kingdom. But how do we live at peace in a world of hostile Herods and Pharisees?

Jesus said, “When you go someplace to reveal the good news of heaven, let your peace rest on that place” (Matt. 10:12). This seems an odd thing to say, but it makes perfect sense if you grew up watching Star Trek.

In the Star Trek universe, visitors from faraway places would arrive with unknown intentions. If they said, “We come in peace,” you knew all would be well. Their intentions were peaceable.

That’s how it is with us. Wherever we go, we go in peace. We don’t come swinging swords or firing photon torpedoes. We have no interest in picking sides or partisan politics. Instead, we are presenting a radical alternative to anything this world offers, namely, a message of hope from another kingdom.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Rom. 12:18)

For too long Christianity has been associated with the unfortunate image of the bloodied crusader. But the true sons of God are peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Our aim is to live at peace with everyone. When that’s not possible, then it may be time to move on, change the subject, change the conversation, perhaps even change towns (see Matt. 10:14).

I occasionally get messages like this:

Paul, I’ve come to realize that God really loves me and he’s forgiven all my sins. I was so excited to share this at church, but the pastor stood up afterwards and shot me down. He said I was presenting an unbalanced version of grace. Later he sent me a message saying I wasn’t to speak about grace again. What’s going on?

What’s going on is a wedge of truth is beginning to divide “father from son and mother from daughter.” It’s not pleasant, but it happens. Those who have seen grace can’t unsee it, and those who haven’t can’t relate.

Spock reads GITQWhat can you do in such a situation? You have two options: Stop talking about grace or start a new conversation someplace else. The temptation will be to engage in debate, but little good will come of it.

A wiser approach is to ask the Holy Spirit, “How can I reveal the peace of heaven in this situation?” This is what distinguishes the sons of God from others—we make peace where they make war.

Extracted from The Gospel in Twenty Questions, chapter 9, “How do I endure to the end?”

64 Comments on How Do We Live at Peace in a Hostile World?

  1. I am a peacemaker. The pastor was wrong in his response and should have been called out on it. I agree with your conclusion, ask the Holy Spirit to step in.
    We do live in a hostle world, but it has always been hostle. I pray that one day we will see world peace, but know God’s will is in control.

    Great Post!

    Ed

  2. Thank you for the excellent word.. Timely reminder for me

  3. so true, in the last year I have debated and argued,knowing it would come 2 a dead end,i guess wanting to rise 2 the challenge,I always think of a scene from the newest King Arthur[2004} were the knights are free 2 go home,they are leaving,and Arthur stands alone against the Saxons,and you hear the sound of the horn 2 battle, and you see the knights horses get really restless,because the are trained 2 get ready for battle at the sound of the horn, [corny I know] ,but thats the way my mind works.One day I realized,the things we were arguing about,we actually agree on,I got to thinking,I cant disagree with the fact that this is wrong or that is wrong,our interpretation of how to reach that goal is different,its the old [ we cant make the fruit grow,it has to grow on its own.}

  4. Great post and pic! I’m hoping he let McCoy read the book too.

  5. This topic came up in our small group study last night. One of the folks couldn’t understand how the priests and Sadducees could see the result of signs and wonders done in the name of Jesus and still be oppossed to the Way (Acts chapters 3 & 4). Another in the group summed it up quite well: law will always oppose grace. And so it seems.

  6. Excellent post. Couldn’t agree more! “Those who have seen grace can’t unsee it” – you’re not kidding.

  7. Thank God for wisdom Paul! There is a big difference between being a doormat and being a peacemaker. I am grateful to be learning the difference. It’s often learning to speak a new language in a foreign country. Speaking the language of faith…of life….of peace is foreign to most. I know all too well. Grateful to have guidance as we go about proclaiming the good news to both unbelievers and believers who’ve not heard all that Jesus did for us. And very grateful that the Holy Spirit is the one pouring this out in these days. God is an amazing Father to us!

  8. I think the reason for not understanding grace is that it is completely at odds with what we are taught from an early age. No matter what culture or country you belong to, you are always taught to strive, to work. You are always subjected to performance tests of one form or another, your identity is always under evaluation. You are encouraged to make your mark, make a difference do something grand. So many aspects of your life are competitive, finding a job, keeping a job, getting into school, running a business..

    I guess the question should be how do you convince or even start a conversation that wants to present grace as ‘the good news’ when it is an absolute 180 from everything people know.

  9. Your example is exactly what happened to me. I discovered grace; couldn’t “undiscover” it, and then found myself unable to sit through church. The church I used to attend liked to talk about obedience and surrender every week, and they were almost always able to do it without mentioning Jesus throughout. One Sunday I remember myself almost feeling dizzy when the pastor mentioned that a friend of his had been diagnosed with cancer for a second time after recently being in remission. He went on to say, “Where’s grace going to get him?” and he was almost seething. I looked over at my friend (who also discovered grace) and voiced my disagreement with her. Well, because of this, the pastor and his wife paid me a visit at my house the next week, and basically told me that I was disrupting church by my “feverish note taking” and “talking to my friend during service”. Never once did the pastor ask me why I was feverishly taking notes or talking to my friends. He just wanted me to continue drinking the Kool Aid. I apologized to him, felt bad for disrupting service (because obviously there were people there who wanted to hear this skewed version of the Gospel), and a few months later, when I realized that there was no truth here for me, I left without fanfare. Praise God, I have found a place to worship where the name of Jesus is held higher than anything else. Higher than my obedience, higher than my surrender (or possible lack of surrender), higher than anything that I do or do not do. I try to encourage others with the True Gospel, and try not to beat people over the head with it. If they are unable to understand (at the moment), it does me no good to force it on them, just as it did no good for my pastor to simply expect that I would continue to swallow down what he said, just because he wanted me to.

  10. Great post thanks so much. I never want to unsee grace.

  11. Live long and prosper brother Paul.

  12. Hahaha love what you’ve done with that picture🙂

  13. Paul, The Spirit led me to this. Stop talking and start doing. Meaning, if they don’t believe in what your saying, concerning the Grace of God just walk in it. It’s like what Jesus said ” If you don’t believe in what I’m saying believe me in what I’m doing. Some will see it and some won’t. We really don’t have to try to convince anyone. They will see you and give glory to God! Walking in the Grace that God has given you, they will wonder how you walk like that.

  14. I wonder if we sometimes leave too soon. The Jewish believers ( Jesus along with them) seemed to keep on talking of grace until they were thrown out of the synagogue. They never once obeyed a religious leader or leaders who commanded them to stop speaking of the gospel of grace. Likewise today no pastor has the authority to command us to stop speaking to the people of this good news because Jesus has commanded us to speak and He alone has the authority to stop us.
    It was always the religious leaders in the NT who were the ones who forbade the preaching the gospel of grace and the response of Gods apostles of grace was always the same- ignore them and keep on preaching until they chased them out, stoned them out or burned them out. We always want to be respectful (1 Peter 3:) , not arrogant or obnoxious BUT who are we to disobey God and leave until God says leave?
    See Mtt 28:18-20; Acts 4; and the rest of Acts.
    And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (‭Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭18-20‬ NASB)

    • And when they were beaten rejected and thrown out without taking of offence, they left a witness behind that changed congregations.

  15. Wise words Paul! Where possible it’s much better to value a relationship than divide over our differences.
    It seems to me that far too many grace people are pulling up stumps and leaving their Church, just because the leader doesn’t agree with them about grace!

    • Hey Peter….how are you :-D?
      I don’t see a problem with people leaving a particular church because the leader is not preaching Grace. No one is obligated to go church, and no one should feel under any pressure to stay. Even if the reason seems insignificant to others.
      Why do you go to church?
      I appreciate that you probably get a lot out of the church you attend, and that’s awesome. But for me i don’t, so i don’t go🙂
      It was hard to sit and listen to a preacher mix grace and law, and present a different picture of a God i love week after week. It also became hard for me to relate to my christian brothers and sisters at the particular church i used to attend when i discovered grace. And i know for a lot of people that’s the same. So that’s why i left

      Id agree with you that its much better to value relationships, than divide over differences. I love relationships…..but don’t judge anyone who wants to leave a church. Grace people leave churches, not because we never wish to have another relationship again…but to find relationships that nourish us even more, and in a ways that former churches haven’t.

      Peace be with you mate🙂

      • appreciate your comments John…couldn’t agree more.Many would be critical of them,as they’ve made a “god” of the local church,but i find them refreshing.Fellowship with other believers is important,but not to the point of allowing yourself to have the law imposed on you and falling from grace.We are Christs ambassadors and representing Him(which we do all day,every day)is far more important than attending services at some church. Sticking with the topic,i think when we view ourselves as ambassadors,we will be peaceable.Ambassadors dont force themselves on others or threaten them or refuse to listen and disreguard others thoughts and opinions.

      • Thanks man, and i appreciate you saying that🙂
        That’s absolutely it…it can be so easy to slip into a habit of going to church, and never really end up questioning whether you really want to go, or if you feel like you should go.
        Definitely…being an ambassador of Christ is so cool eh :-D…..and going even further, when we view ourselves as just like Jesus in this world and one with him..holy s**t, then the peace just flows like a river!
        Take care man, hopefully chat soon!

      • In the NT church is not something you go to or attend. Church is something you belong to and are committed to in lifelong loving committed relationships with other less than perfect people.
        How can we say we love God and not love His family/body/bride/community enough to commit ourselves for life to?

      • “In the NT church is not something you go to or attend.”
        Couldn’t agree more.

        “Church is something you belong to..”
        I’d say “someone” we belong to, but i can see where you’re coming from.

        “How can we say we love God and not love His family/body/bride/community enough to commit ourselves for life to?”
        Exactly. We can’t. Its literally impossible to have one and not the other. As Jesus says himself; “Anyone who loves me, will keep my commandments.”
        And in 1 John 2:9
        “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.”

        But lets no stop there. Lets extend this love and peace to all humanity, who, in a mysterious way are all, the offspring of God (Acts 17: 28-29), and therefore, dearly loved brothers and sisters.

        Peace man🙂

      • Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
        We are the church, where two or more are gathered Jesus is in our midst. I spent 45 years in a mixture church and never, ever, felt free or justified. Sure, I heard it, read it and just when I thought I was free, the message of “law” was sneaked into the message, negating any Grace message.
        I happened on Pastor Prince (on TV) while my husband was dying in the hospital and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The Holy Spirit was all over his message. I was very interested. My husband, who was born again, spirit filled died two days later of an unknown illness. He suffered no pain and just went to sleep in the Lord.
        Devastation is a mild word, what I felt was a lot worse. I asked the Lord to keep me so I could go on managing our family owned business–a payroll was due and the employees needed their money. God is faithful and He saw me through what I had to accomplish and is my comfort and peace.
        It was then that I knew something was wrong. I needed answers and I was not getting them from my church. Pat answers don’t work when your heart has been suddenly broken. My daughter tuned into Joseph Prince and we have been watching, learning, and feeding on God’s wisdom and Word for over three months.
        There is no way I will sit in a group or church, or whatever anyone wants to call it, and listen to a preacher who doesn’t have a clue about what God did for us through His beloved son, Jesus. We still fellowship with the saints, however,my family and I worship, pray and receive the Holy Communion at home and share the real good news to anyone who is interested in hearing it.
        In my humble opinion, people who have been set free by hearing the Gospel of Grace cannot continue in churches that are teaching a mixed gospel of grace and law–when the truth will not be received. We pursue Peace by taking our leave and creating our own group. Traditional church can be a social factor in our lives and when it is removed from our lives we immediately panic. Don’t, we did it and the Lord has blessed us mightily with Peace, Joy and Comfort.

      • Terry,

        I soooo feel what you are saying.

        It is very hard to find a church assembly (though a few, apparently, do exist) where the True Gospel (verses a grace and law ministry (once you bring in the law part, I struggle to call it “gospel”🙂 is shared.
        Best to you and God bless your journey.

    • The grace people are the church and the life , eventually the church as you see it will only be a building full of dead people led by a dead leader. The revelation of Jesus will become more and more evident and grace will lead, and if leaders do not follow they will be left behind.

  16. Michael Jenkins // August 31, 2014 at 11:23 am // Reply

    My problem is not sharing Grace but sharing it when people that are so against it. I have met people that do not even have an open mind,cause they are so concerned with doing more and striving to live holy. They are so concerned with keeping all the commandments and what I am preaching is hearsay. The one thing God revealed to me was to stop trying to justify yourself to people that refuse to hear the gospel. There are people out there DYING to hear the good news, and I am wasting my time trying to convince adamant people that the Grace of God is the only thing that saves.

    I like how you said ask the Holy Spirit, let us consult the only Wise God. I got so many objections to the Grace of God but I can’t help but share the good news. Only that I am learning to not keep sharing it with people that refuse to receive it. Like Jesus says shake the dust off your feet.

  17. Grace is not an arguement, or your view , it is the power of God working through you.

    • Grace is universally an objective reality for every authentic son of God. This means that if you belong to Jesus you already have grace, stand it in grace and are already objectively receiving grace from God whether you know it or believe in it or not.
      The ONLY thing that knowing about grace and accepting grace as a fact does is help you emotionally- in peace and joy.
      This will help us be less anxious about God’s church embracing grace – when they resist it and struggle instead with legalism and self effort- the only thing they are missing is the emotional benefits of knowing Jesus grace is sufficient for them in everything. The emotional benefits of embracing grace is huge in itself but accepting grace or rejecting grace niether qualifies not disqualified the authentic church from being objective beneficiaries of grace.
      When you are given a free ticket to an all inclusive holiday you objectively have included everything in the ticket. Not knowing or not believing the meals and the drinks are included do nothing to disqualify you from them. You will only be less happy and less drunk paying extra for your meals and drinks!

      • You take Gods attributes and put them in time, grace is for everyone not just the church, we all live in grace upon grace upon grace, but there is a grace that leads to death, and reveals life.Many will say here he is or there he is. It is not my position to judge but is also not my position to compromise the truth revealed to me at his cost not mine.If my position in grace offends or leaves people feeling judged then let them be judged for rejecting the grace of God and nothing other than this.And let them be offended their offence has no effect on me, I shake the dust of my feet.or to put it more clearly, I shake death of my feet.,and carry on speaking life.

  18. not sure i get your comments Barry.Nothing was said about not loving or caring about the Body of Christ.To tolerate,committ oneself to,and follow other believers who are perpetuating a wrong view of christianity by their mixture of law and grace, is not evidence of our love for God….in fact it could be just the contrary.Paul said “am i living to please God or men?if i were still living to please men(which is what he did as a law thumping pharisee)..i would not be a servant of Christ” Gal. 1:10. choosing not to serve and fellowship with other believers at a particular local church does not equate to lack of love for God or His people.When a local church’s leadership is putting people under law,why would anyone stay?By staying, you are helping the furtherance of “another gospel”.

    • Really like the way you put that man. Great words.
      We love you Barry!

    • I agree 100% with you. Spiritual abuse through leaderships that continually promotes the false self effort “gospel” must never be tolerated. I am convinced this self effort “gospel” is the primary characteristic of the Harlot Babylon false church described in the New Testament. Jesus plus anything is harlotry. God commands is clearly : Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; (‭Revelation‬ ‭18‬:‭4‬ NIV)
      But once we have “come out” from that we are still the church (the eklesia -literally the “called out AND CALLED TOGETHER” people of God.
      Salvation had been radically redefined by the nascent individualistic modern culture from what out fathers defined it as “salvation is Entering into a holy and loving relationship with God AND His people” to something entirely different today: Salvation is now radically redefined as: “Personal empowerment to avoid having to pain of living with less than perfect people.”!!!

      • Barry,agreed and have abetter understanding of where you are coming from.Fellow believers dividing and parting ways over trivial,non essential,things is certainly a poor witness to unbelievers and shows we are lacking in love.Personally,i am not currently attending a “local church”,but have not forsaken fellowship with other believers. I would not even define my attendance at the local church i was attending as “fellowship”.The only reason for the existence of ANY local church,is the building up of the ONE BODY, THE CHURCH. Every time i would speak and point such things out or disagree when law and grace were being mixed,i was “shot down”.Even when pointing some things out with scripture and they agreed with me,they continued to teach the same things( i believe out of fear of losing members and finances).I dont view my not going there anymore as a negative.There are good people there but cant relate to their law-minded way of life. Anyways, forgive me for sounding a critic.I appreciate your comments and am grateful to Paul,E2R,for this avenue of discussion. Grace and Peace..1Peter 4:8

      • Because for Gods family it’s not JESUS PLUS ACCEPTING GRACE – it’s Jesus plus NOTHING !

    • Well said Daryl, We should be tolorent of the world they cannot be anti what they do not know, but the religious can be Antichrist, they claim to know.Like what Jesus said to the religious elite , you stand condemned because you say you see.

  19. But here is something – Who is the greater beneficiary of grace- the brother who “gets grace” or the guy who is blind as a bat to grace but still gets loved and blessed by God – simply because he belongs to Jesus???
    Who ” gets grace” who didn’t receive the revelation of it as a divine gift ?
    Why then do we so called ” grace people” put limits on Gods grace – saying that only those who “see it and get it” deserve our fellowship and acceptance?
    We ” grace poeple” are like a little grace cult and look down our long noses at those who still are he’d captive by legalism, self effort and mixture and it’s all just so much spiritual pride on our part.
    For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NIV)

    • Hey Barry?

      How’r you today?

      You make a well argued case, but i don’t think you’ve considered how it feels to be us who left a particular church.
      Because while you’re busy having a go at us for “putting limits on Gods grace”, we’re picking up the pieces of leaving a particular church that hurt us, looked down on us and marginalized us for what we believed.
      Maybe while you’re at it you should consider having a go at domestic abuse victims for not sticking around to love their partners.
      The world is much bigger than a particular church Barry, God will continue to grow people in all churches and denominations perfectly fine without us being there. There is a world full of people who need our fellowship and acceptance!
      So quit your highfalutin rubbish about who’s the greater beneficiary of grace, and talking about us like some snobbish elitist club, when you haven’t truly considered how we felt before leaving a particular church.
      Leave us in peace, quit bashing us over the head, and stop judging us for leaving churches you’ve never been too or experienced.

    • You make many assumptions.intolorence of deciet and lies is not rejection of the person, or spiritual pride. Most of those you speak of get grace but not as a divine gift, they earned it, and believe you are a thief, and they will not allow thieves in their home with their brothers enticing them to steal.But you can hide what you really are, compromise your identity and you will be welcomed and accepted. You could also reveal your identity trust God and you may find that when you do not take offence you become a witness to the truth that changes people, even whole congregations.

    • On you previous comment. Jesus is Grace there is no other source, and Grace is Jesus he defines it.They cannot be seperated you cannot have one without the other.It is Jesus plus accepting grace, if not you have nothing. The Jesus without grace is what God through Paul continually warns us against, not just through Paul but throughout the whole old and new testament.

    • Not to eat the fruit was the first warning of Jesus without Grace.It has been undone.

    • So now we have to eat Jesus, the new fruit law with Grace. Much easier eating, even let’s you see the kingdom.He is the fulfilment of the law.The slayer of the dragon, the leviathon we could not tame.

  20. A believer since a child, a preachers kid until my teens. But my grace walk started 10 years ago when I read “Grace Awakening” by Chuck Swindoll. This understanding of the Gospel revolutionized my world. BUT, I stayed in an active church that said “grace”, but the walk did not match.. I finally moved on three years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I was so loving the message of the Gospel, but was so confused by the teaching that did not line up with the Grace message.

    To leave this church (I had been a member for 27 years), I had to find and attend a church that they approved of and I had to join within one year, or I would be church disciplined.

    Never again will I give someone spiritual authority over me that does not fully understand the Gospel message of Not our righteousness, but God’s righteousness. I can listen to different teachers and shepherds, but allowing them the right to teach me is a very special thing to me. I cherish the gospel of grace. And though I have certainly encountered preachers who don’t endorse my beliefs, I do NOT have to subject myself to their teaching. Nor do I intend to I give any institution the right to take away the freedom I have in Christ when it comes to my decision of where I (and my family) will worship. So I am very selective of the institutional church I attend.

    When I encountered the teaching that the lukewarm church (Revelation 3:15-16) was a church that was mixing the hot of the Gospel with the Cold of works; It resonated with me. It made sense, and maybe that’s why lukewarm teaching tends to make me feel ill and I don’t want any part of it. I don’t ‘look down my nose at sheep’ under this teaching… I ache for them.

    • I understand how it is better to leave if the legalism within a community of professing Christians weighs us down. For me I was able to remain within in a legalistic community because God gave me grace to have a tremendous influence for the gospel of grace within that community to turn large numbers of people from law and mixture living to the confidence of the sufficiency of the grace of Jesus. I was and continue to be a leader influencer so instead of the legalists weighing me down God gave me grace to lift them up . I believe salt, light and gospel truth is weightier than Law, lies and legalism. It is never without persecution but in the end greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world .

      • Barry,will be praying for you and the influence God is giving you with those people.Obviously,He has gifted you to reach them and the Holy Spirit,a heart for them.In the great Body of Christ there are many parts and all work together and have need of the other.For me,i have neither the time or the desire to influence them as you do,and frustrated that such a need exists as it seems such a hindrance to witnessing to unbelievers.You try and point them to Christ and being set free,then they go to church and are presented another form of bondage by those who should know better,Your work is important though and may God continue to bless as you follow Him.

      • Thanks Daryl – indeed God has a different plan for each of us – one must flee to another more grace filled community to be a greater light among light other bearers while another must remain with the prisoners of legalism and self effort to be light in the midst of darkness. Sad truth is that in most communities who profess Christ law is more prevalent than gospel grace.

      • Daryl,
        You, obviously have a kind heart.
        I so understand and appreciate your concern regarding churches that teach bondage, this says a lot about your heart and your ministry. I think you underestimate yourself .. thank you for your post.

        As for Barry’s response.. it had little to do with my post, so I did not reply to him. He made a lot of false assumptions. (leaving the community of believers? weighed down by this community? Assuming I don’t share with my fellow community of believers? etc ).

        Up to a few years ago, I was totally on the same page as my previous church..

        An example of their teaching > you struggle with a specific sin.. say anger.. then you are to memorize all the verses on anger, get an accountability partner, possibly report back to the leadership with your progress (sin-centric). Whereas I would teach > to stop focusing on your sin (your righteousness) and focus on His righteousness and the fruit of righteousness will grow in you, you would not want to be angry because that puts people into bondage, while you live free. Even the requirements I had to do in order to leave the church without church discipline shows you some of their teaching.

        My post was about who I allow to teach, or exercise authority over, me, choice to leave rather than debate. (leave the specific institutional church, not the community therein, No way those are my friends and loved ones, and fellow believers).

        maybe it was poor communication skills on my part🙂.

    • Hi Jimmi, it is always good to find Gods opinion on things or see through his eyes.First to illustrate how deep his grace for us is 1 John 17\18 there is a sin that does not lead to death, and Gods Sons do not sin. A statement not a suggestion. So what is this sin that does not lead to death. I believe it is rejecting grace.Read the surrounding verses.Then read 2 Peter 18 to 22 for me this expresses Gods view.

    • 1John4:17-18 and 2Peter2:17-22 even the whole of 2nd Peter speaks of those that have forgotten the hyper Grace that saved them.
      This to correct above.

      • Hi Chris, thanks for your response. I think I understand your post, and hope I am addressing it here. To help you see my take, maybe this would help.

        NOTE: I just tried to come up with an example that would not be derogatory to the church I left (I have many other examples).

        The Bible gives us so many wonderful teachings. But I don’t believe, anymore, in using it just as a behavior modification tool (in the flesh sense). To memorize “Husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church” would not be how I would tackle a marital issue with the husband. I don’t believe Paul wrote these verses so that the husband is glorified and to focus on his own righteousness. He never separated his message of grace from his teachings.
        Rather, I would try to take the husband to Jesus and Him crucified. Get him to understand (if he is a believer), and living, that he is pure, righteous (Jesus’s righteousness, not his own) and free. He does not have to (nor can he) do anything to be loved. Then I would show Him these verses of how he can now Love His wife as Christ loves the Church. Pointing HER to JESUS, Not to his own good works of how He loves His wife. As he is freed, a graces filled husband no longer holds his wife in bondage to himself. We would never consider his wife as submitting to his own good works (i.e. “I am now committed to loving you as Christ loves the church, so the next verse says you must submit to me”). He would be pointing her to freedom in the righteousness of Jesus. His love would be unconditional and not based on her works (righteousness), and she will be free to submit to God and love her husband as God would want her to. These verses are pointed to the beauty of Jesus’ righteousness, not man’s, and a grace filled husband would LOVE this message. And he would likely memorize it, because of how precious these words are. (A law? A grace filled believer would see it as an opportunity!!)

  21. Jimmy, thanks for the encouraging words,and think you are being very wise in your care of teaching and authority.Personally,I believe there is a lot of error concerning our being “under” others,leaders ruling “over” us because of their “office”,submitting to them due to the supposed “office”….this the result of some serious mis-translations of scripture by those with an agenda. At the very least,the rule or authority of any church leader today,is incomparable to the early Church leaders while scripture was still in progress.NOW,we have the completed Word,then it was “new” teaching and thus reasonable to “obey” them.Today,blindly submitting to another because of their “position” is foolish,and any leader who feels that they do rule over others in the Body,should consider Jesus words in Math.23:8-12 and Luke22:24-27.

    • Daryl Thanks for shedding some light on the obey them mentality that is being abused.

    • Daryl,

      I debated using the terms such as “spiritual authority” and “exercise authority”. I agree with your perspective, and appreciated your response. We are limited to 250 words and so I edited that post many times. Otherwise, I can go too far in depth on subtopics.

      In this case, I chose those terms for brevity. I have one authority, and His words are written on my heart. The discussion of authority of leaders is beyond the scope of this post, and to prove my point on using these terms for brevity, look at where this discussion as gone🙂, and I did not want to divert.

      My response was focused on allowing a church leader the right to teach me, in an environment where they are set up as an authority. Though no teaching is perfect (excepting mine of course🙂 ); In the model of the institutional church, we sit like little puppets and allow a speaker to fill our heads with their interpretations (verses an organic gathering where the topic is discussed and thoughts shared) (I’ve been reading too much Frank Viola🙂 ).

      Now if I am going to stay in that model (I’m still working through this, and it is beyond the scope of this post to discuss organic church), I am going to be very careful. I am not going to stay under that teaching when I think it looks like I am endorsing their message. Though others might choose to stay to make a change, I would disagree, but that’s just me. Even more so if I was financially supporting that ministry.

      As a matter of fact, to be fair. I once met a missionary who didn’t like how people from the US would come to his church and try to hijack it. I see his point. If I started a house church, and someone came and tried to turn it into a home church under a pastor, I wouldn’t like that either. I would simply tell them to start their own ministry, and if the people that I was worshiping with wanted to change to that ministry, that would be totally their choice.

      Again this is NOT about a community of believers (How I would love living in a community of Hyper-grace believers, but, where I live there aren’t many), rather an organized church.

      Again, thanks for your insights.

      • All I would say is Jesus has not changed his problem is not with the world but with the religious, this was and still is his heart. If people claim to represent my beliefs I will challenge them from within their home, after all they claim that all are welcome and it is also my home.I would rather be stoned than walk away.And you can be sure of this if you really stand up for what you believe you will be stoned. If you compromise you will leave without fuss and reinforce what you leave.I have a different perspective as I have never agreed with the rejection of hyper grace, l met hyper grace and then had to deal with the `church` for a new believer an eye opening experience.I never accepted the `church` then met Jesus.After my experience I could only seperate the two, there was no other choice available to me.
        I have fortunately found a fellowship were it seems possible to bring the two back together.After two years of rejection and isolation, two great years.

      • A final comment on this subject. If the church is not addressed from the inside it will continue to be addressed from the outside. The world is not blind to the churches self righteousness, they seem to have more discretion ,they see the church as a bunch of condemning, self righteousss hypocrites.Maybe God speaking to the church.

  22. Corina Gaines // March 20, 2015 at 7:18 am // Reply

    Of course we pick sides. The Jewish people in 1930’s Germany didn’t “pick sides,” and they were slaughtered by the millions. How naive can you get? They now see the error of their ways and have promised to never again be led to the slaughter without a fight.

    Christians and pastors in 18th Century America picked sides. Pastors preached Revolution from the pulpits and fought alongside their congregants. If the Christians of America at that time had believed your nonsense, we would still be a British Colony.

    There is good and there is evil – pick one and stick with it. Albert Einstein said “The only way evil can triumph over good is when the people who are good do NOTHING!”

    Seriously, stay out of politics and stick with the spiritual – you are much better at it.

    Love, A pure, undiluted Grace preacher and teacher

    • Corinna, I presume your comment is directed to me. If so, I’m confused – you tell me to pick a side then tell me to stay out of politics. Which is it? And which is the good side would you have me pick? The Republicans?

      It seems to me that when Christians get into politics they become less like Jesus who said almost nothing about the politics of his day. Jesus and Paul lived in a world of institutional evil – foreign occupation, slavery, mistreatment of woman, infanticide – yet their responses were never political. Jesus stood up for the poor and oppressed without attacking those on the wrong side. Show me one sermon where he condemned Romans and slave-owners.

      If Jesus had picked the Jewish side, what would have happened to the centurion, the Samaritan woman at the well, and Matthew the tax collector who served the Roman machine? What would’ve happened to the Gentiles and us? Thank God that Jesus is not interested in picking sides! Thank God that he invites both the sinner and the Pharisee, the Jew and the Roman, the slave and the slaver, the grace preacher and the grace-killer, to his table of grace.

      And who said anything about doing nothing? While Roman families were abandoning their babies to die, peaceable Christians were collecting them and saving their lives. Jesus didn’t suffer and die to make us political and politics rarely brings lasting solutions to evil. This “nonsense” I preach comes straight from the Lord’s mouth (“If people don’t listen to you, shake the dust off your feet and leave” (Matt 14:10)) and Paul’s (“as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18)).

    • i was reading this post and my wife looks over and says what are you smiling about?
      Didn’t realize I was. Then realized …. I still am:
      After being insulting, condesending and rude (not to mention wrong🙂 ) Corinna ends with:” Love, A pure, undiluted Grace preacher and teacher”.

      Too funny: I think I’ll pass on that “church” and its “teacher”. 🙂. I can’t Believe it, I am still smiling.

  23. Emilie Rautenbaxh // May 3, 2015 at 9:59 am // Reply

    Great post which I read last year and was reminded of recently. Any thoughts on the following verse? v19?

    • ‘Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord’ (Rom 12:19). That’s Paul’s version of “don’t play the judgment game.” Let God worry about making things right.

  24. Search where mr Nimroy saw the vulcan greeting. It is on YouTube. Old Jewish blessing.

  25. David Rest // May 6, 2016 at 12:11 pm // Reply

    Paul man, I know eternity will reveal the extent of your impact. While we’re still here however, I just want you to know that your writing means a lot to me and is a source of great comfort. I keep coming back for more.
    Cheers!

Tell us what you think (<250 words)...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s