Worship, our views of death, spiritual maturity by Pastor Don Moore

Monday, October 19, 2009

Worship, our views of death, spiritual maturity by Pastor Don

This is from Pastor Don’s Friday Bible study 10/2/09

Romans 6:18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

This is the last phase of spiritual growth. God changes the way we worship.  Our outlook, purpose and will can get in the way of our worship.  As we grow in Christ our view of sin and death change, and our purpose of life changes.  We begin to see death as but a doorway to eternal life.  Finally we will get to see Jesus face to face.  Our view of death changes, and also our way of looking at sin changes.

Jesus conquered sin and death.  Therefore, sin which leads to physical death isn’t leading to physical death but to spiritual death.  If we sin there is a penalty and a price to pay.

Physical death leads to spiritual life.  We are a spirit that lives in a body, but when we face physical death we are moving into spiritual eternal life.

Life itself changes.  What you used to fear, now you no longer fear.  Things that used to seem important are not so important.  Pastor Don told us, if we do not believe in eternal life, then we might want to consider doing the bucket list.

God has programmed us so we believe in the hope of life after death, and we want to try and make our lives count for something.  The more mature you are in the spirit, the more you see death as a doorway.  Jesus did not get moved by the opinions of people, for Jesus knew that the worst thing they would do is kill Him, and he had no fear of death.  Jesus also knew people would not be able to kill Him until His time had come.  They did not kill Him until He was ready to die, and even on the cross He died when “it was finished.”  Not a moment before or a moment later.  The timing of His death was Jesus’ choice. Because Jesus was not a sinner, death had no authority over Him. Death only has authority over us if we are afraid.  The Romans expected that Jesus would be on the cross 2-3 days dying a slow death and were surprised at how quickly he died.  Death didn’t kill Him, He gave up the ghost.

You are the final authority over the moment of your expiration.  Our physical body is programmed to keep us alive.  The physical body is programmed to exist.  Crucifixion is a horrible way to die- and those on the cross would painfully lift their bodies up to gasp in a breath, it was involuntary – they struggled to breathe even when the pain to do so was horrific. What kills us is disease, death, or lack of will to live.  It is not the point of death, but the cessation of life.

Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

The death spirit and hades had possession of the people.

Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Death and hades were where the spirits went – but then death and hades were cast into the lake of fire. That was the second death.  The first death is physical death, the second death is when those who desire to be placed away from God will stay eternally in bondage in hell, the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

If people do not want to be around God, their names are not in the Book of Life and they will be cast into the lake of fire.

It is our lack of spiritual understanding and spiritual immaturity that we do not realize the truth of God – even Creation shows God’s existence to everyone.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

To go to hell you have to reject God, to deny the manifest truth of God, and that takes some doing for all of creation declare’s God’s existence.

Romans 1:19-20 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

What is here in the world is created – it didn’t just happen.

Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;  for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Romans 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

Our flesh (mind, will, emotions) all of us is tempted and said, “yes” to sin and this was not to our best outcome. Our mind will sometimes lead us into dangerous places and cause us to make mistakes.  We want to become slaves of righteousness for holiness.

Romans 6:20-21 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

The end of these things is death.

Romans 6:22-23 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we get more spiritual our attitude toward death changes, we pray for people in a different way, and the desires of our heart changes. If we are earthbound we might pray for people to live even when it is to their detriment.  After 70 years some people are ready to be with God, and they look at their lives with different eyes than those who are not so sure about death, who want to keep the person around so that they do not have to be grieved.  Pastor Don said that his mom wants to live a long life only if she has her mind and her health.

We do not have all the answers and we need to trust God.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Pastor Don described life as like a puzzle in pieces.  You may not even know if you have all the pieces to the puzzle and to build the puzzle you need to start at the outer edges – at the corners, and piece them together, then begin to build the middle.  We may not even have the picture on the cover of the box.

In faith we start with the outer edges and leave the rest of the puzzle up to God until we get there.  Your expectations can disappoint you, for your expectations may not be built on all the pieces of the puzzle.

Pastor Don’s father, Ivor Moore,  used to always say:  Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.

Our view of sin is not the end of all life and death, but it is part of our learning process.

THY WILL BE DONE.  God’s got the plan and the picture on the top of the box of puzzle pieces we have been given.

Philippians 1:20-21 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

We need to recognize spiritual maturity is a process that we go through.  Our will is important and our level of maturity is important, but we need to accept this growth toward maturity as part of the process.  We sometimes wonder why alcoholism, sickness, disease, dysfunctional families and things have happened in our lives.  Our flesh screams out that we want the perfect life NOW.  We have to die to self to attain the perfect life.  Why do we admire movie stars and give them accolades for their beauty – they didn’t do anything to achieve it – it was given to them by God.  And movie stars who supposedly have their beautiful lives end up doing ugly stuff.  It is as we die to self and mature and grow in Christ that we begin to build the character that really matters.  All the beauty and glamor without character is tarnished.

Romans 6:22-23 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the conclusion.  We are set free from sin by the Blood of Jesus.  We have the faith that sin no longer encumbers us. Yes, we will mess up and make a  mistake, but our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus. Jesus has eliminated our sins. We can go before the bench and claim, “not guilty.”  The case is dismissed because Jesus paid the price.  If we accept this fact, we are set free, and as such have become slaves of God.  We should, as we grow in Christ, sin less, recognizing our new spiritual nature.  We have chosen a different master, and as a child of Christ, we do not have to sin over and over and over again.  We are not serving our old master Romans 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. Our old master is the flesh.  Our flesh is designed to kill us. we will sin in the flesh over and over and over and over – there is no way to stop the flesh meter, there is no eject button.  It is only by the spirit that we can stop it, by saying that we have chosen a different master – now we are a slave to God.

We need to take our thoughts captive to Christ.  Thought leads to sin, but it is not sin until it comes to our mouth.

We then read Romans 6:23 – 7:1 Pastor Don pointed out that the Bible was not originally written in chapter and verse – and 6:23 runs right into 7:1.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

As long as we are in the physical body the laws of the 10 Commandments exist.  Jesus conquered sin and death.  He lived under the law and obeyed the law without sin.  He has shown us it is possible to do this, and through Him we can.  As long as we are alive we are to live by the scriptures.  It is never ok to lie, cheat, steal, kill, commit adultery, use God’s name in vain, etc.  We are told to not be afraid or worry.  It is not ok to be stressed out.  Worry is forbidden. Jesus did not say, I wish you wouldn’t worry, He commanded DO NOT WORRY.

We tend to fall into drugs, pills, drinking to escape from ourselves, and our self-imposed stress.  We have to volunteer to let the circumstances in our lives lead us to the pint where we feel we are stressed.  Some people say things are too much for them, and what they are saying is too much is what we consider basic life.  The worry and stress is self-made.  DO NOT WORRY.  It is not a suggestion made by God, but a command. Worry brings death.

If we are fixing to stress don’t jump into the mess.  Pastor Don told us to make sure we pray and speak with God before we get out of bed so we don’t jump into a mess.

Praying your day is blessed.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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