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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Nov 14, 2013 | Comments (0)


Twenty-Seventh Sunday After Pentecost, The Reign of Christ the King

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

 

Remember: The DISCIPLE-SHIFT

(see Pentecost Sunday Meditation by Clicking Here)

The Virtual Small Group

Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The War on Legalism

God declared War on Legalism when He sent His Word into the World. John 1:1 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Legalism fought back against grace believing the Bible, not Jesus, is the word of God. Grace is based on the Two Great Love Commandments. All the Law and the Prophets have now been changed into “do the loving thing.” Matthew 22:37-40 The New Command is to be in His Presence in order to Love one another. John 13:34 “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

The Gospel of grace is not about feeling excited about praising God for who He is but to feel how excited God is to praise us for whom we are.

Galatians 6:13 “Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh.”

Luke 22:22 Sanhedrin: “So you are God, then?” Jesus: “You said it”

Legalism thinks to change the world, but does not think of changing itself.

John 10:24-25 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me.”

Buried in the Good Friday narratives is the reason why Christ was legally crucified. Why were they asking for Jesus to tell them plainly who He was? Why was Jesus not more specific? He did tell His disciples He was the Messiah. He also told them not to tell anyone. Not because it was too dangerous for Him but for them. They could be sentenced to death if they believed He was the Christ of God.

This came to an end on that Passover night. It all started Thursday evening in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is in prayer when the soldiers arrest Him. They are not Roman Troops. They are from the Temple Guards. He is taken to the Temple. There He stands before the seventy elders of the Sanhedrin. They have already convicted Him once to die. John 7:49-52 To make it stick, the law says a person has to be convicted of death twice.

Those who arrest Jesus take Him to Caiaphas the high priest. There the teachers of the law and the elders have assembled. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin are looking for evidence against Jesus so they can put him to death. “We found this fellow saying that He Himself is Christ, the King.” John 18:33-37 But they do not find any usable evidence, though many false witnesses come forward. This is immediate reason for dismissal of all counts according to the Law.

The high Priest hangs in there. He says to Him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”  “You have said so,” Jesus replied. Then the High Priest tears his clothes and says, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answer.

We should understand this charge of blasphemy.  Even today in some countries people are charged with death because they are considered to have blasphemed God or the prophet. Where did this charge come from? They get it today in the same place the Sanhedrin got it two thousand years ago, Leviticus 24:15. “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death, all the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.”

When you take this Law literally it is inhumane. This is an example of how Jesus took the literal words of Scripture and turned it into a grace meaning. Jesus changed the Law of Blasphemy when He said “All sins shall be forgiven and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:28-29

Those seeking a literal answer ask, “What is the unforgivable sin?” We must understand the grace meaning of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always in all of us. We all do not always feel this Presence. When the Spirit moves and we do not move we lose forever that moment. We can never get that moment back. It is unforgivable, that is: irretrievable. There will be other times and movements of the Spirit. Whether we are ready to move with or without the Spirit is up to us. That is how the grace shift works, either up and in or down and out.


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group:  Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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