Presumptuous or Groundless Hope?
The combination of the devotionals written by Tozer and A B Simpson along with the 14th chapter of John paints a very sobering picture, not just for the past generations when they were written, but for the generations living in 2017. Are you willing to take a gamble on your eternal life?
Tozer addressed the idea of “hope”. “The perils of groundless hope threaten the Christian too. James sharply rebuked the believers of his day for presumptuously assuming an earthly future they had no real assurance would be theirs, . . .” https://www.cmallian...ns/tozer?id=857
My idea of “groundless hope” comes from the teaching that encourages a mental faith that covers sin rather than an active faith that changes the heart and life. The cover-up theology allows the fruit of the flesh and sin to continue to be produced in their lives rather than fruits of righteousness. The conscience becomes worthless, the Holy Spirit’s convictions are quenched by the belief that Jesus is our covering rather than our Deliverer. The Truth that Jesus “ransomed” us from the power of sin to "deliver" us from sin, is lost. It appears that the real definitions of words are lost in empty theological redefining of key Biblical words and concepts, which feed and support a “ groundless hope”.
So what is a real faith? It is believed that faith to the Apostle John was an active belief. James says, “...For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” If you have faith in the chair in which you are about to sit, can support you, you sit down with confidence. If that chair should happen to let you down, you will not sit down so confidently the next time you sit on that type of chair. The more chairs that fail you, the more inclined you will be to not have faith in those chairs. I believe that faith will grow with intimate relationship. God says to draw nigh to Him and He will respond and draw nigh to you. Satan will definitely run interference to cause us to doubt and stop seeking and obeying.
Jesus was impressed by the faith of the centurion; a man that understood authority. Why? Because he knew that Jesus had authority, even as he himself had authority. When he spoke, his commands were carried out. This centurion had evidently heard about Jesus and what was happening from witnesses, applied what he heard to his own life, and knew Jesus was a man of authority, that could be trusted.
You live and act on what you truly trust, have faith in or reliance upon. Obedience is the greatest evidence of faith. Jesus frequently used the concept that if you loved Him or if you loved the Father, you would keep or carry out their words or commandments.
That leads us to AB Simpson’s devotional. https://www.cmallian...mpson?mmdd=0629
Simpson was trying to help us realize the difference between what the Holy Spirit will do because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, compared to what “we must do” with and in obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The experience of a daily, intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit living, guiding, directing from within a body purely dedicated to Him and His purposes.
Paul said in Romans 6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness?
I believe that the Holy Spirit has taught me another concept or element of our relationships, that was possibly never as obvious or powerful, in the world, as it is in the 21st century, regarding the use of all the different types of electronic media. This concept or element is “influence”. Historically, the influences upon a persons life were the people and things that surrounded them and were in their limited environment.
The children of Israel were told to destroy complete societies as they moved into the promised land. They were not to be even curious about the heathen lifestyles. That meant that they would remove all possible influences of the world out of reach in their lives, leaving only the Godly influences, with out any of the idolatry.
Would you please consider looking at the word “idolatry” and its definition and meaning of the words within the definition? All definitions are taken from WordWeb
idolatry is “2. The worship of idols; the worship of images that are not God.”
“ the worship of images that are not God.”
Worship is “ Love unquestioningly and uncritically or to excess; venerate as an idol.”
Love is defined as “1. Have a great affection or liking for 2. Get pleasure from”
Image is “3. A visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface.”
Will you sit and honestly evaluate your own life and see how many things would fit or come under the definition of “idolatry”?
Here are some items that might be included: sports, TV, books, music, theater, internet, social media, even making money and spending it for things or gaining power and respect. I am sure that the list could go on and on.
Our next consideration should be to define and separate the vain, worldly activities from eternal, Godliness and holiness, in our lives. What influences are we affected and controlled by?
The Holy Spirit will reveal the answer as any individual repents and comes humbly before Him feeding on the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit.
Now enters the real definition of “grace” as defined by Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionary. “ graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude)”
Where does the “divine influence” come from? My understanding would be from the Holy Spirit speaking to my spirit in agreement with the Word of God. Possibly the encouragement and empowerment to do what I know is right because it has been written on my heart; that which selflessly serves and brings honor and glory to the Father.
If we feed at the table of the worldly influences we would be rejecting “grace” and the reflection of our life would be that of Satan and the world.
When we feed at the divine table on God’s Word, in our quiet place, we are placing ourselves under the divine influence, the influence of the Holy Spirit, and we will see His reflection in our lives. We will know and experience the wonderful true grace of God.
As Paul said, we will be the servants of whom we yield our members to, which I believe includes our mind and affections. The results will be evident in the fruit which our lives produce... the actions, attitudes, and things that we spend most of our time with and talk about.
I am a witness to the fact that when you experience God’s true grace it will change your life, especially the struggles with the selfishness of the flesh.
Rom 12:1 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice — alive, holy, and pleasing to God — which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God — what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Jesus, in John, explains a very important relationship possibility and the way to come to the Father.
John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 20 I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.
As the Father was in Jesus so does Jesus need to dwell in Christians. That is what Jesus says here in John 14:20 and also in His prayer to the Father in John 17:20 - 23. The same way that the Father and Jesus are ‘one’ is how true Christian believers are to be ‘one’ with each other and ‘one’ with Jesus.
1 John 3:3-10 And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him.
Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous.
The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.
Everyone who has been fathered by God does not practice sin, because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God.
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness — the one who does not love his fellow Christian — is not of God.
John 14:1 - 31 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. 3And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. 4And you know the way where I am going.”
5 Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.”
9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves. 12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. 16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you. 19 In a little while the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too. 20 You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.
21 The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
22 “Lord,” Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “what has happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. 24 The person who does not love me does not obey my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. 25 “I have spoken these things while staying with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me, 31 but I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Get up, let us go from here.”