Humility Devotion

quietude is that uprightness which should the establishment for all others.

Here is the reiteration:

O Jesus! accommodating and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the longing of being regarded, convey me, Jesus.

From the longing of being cherished…

From the longing of being lauded…

From the longing of being respected …

From the longing of being commended …

From the longing of being wanted to other people…

From the longing of being counseled …

From the longing of being affirmed …

From the dread of being mortified …

From the dread of being disdained…

From the dread of enduring reproaches …

From the dread of being calumniated …

From the dread of being overlooked …

From the dread of being criticized …

From the dread of being wronged …

From the dread of being suspected …

That others might be cherished more than I… Jesus, concede me the elegance to want it.

That others might be regarded more than I …

That, in the supposition of the world, others may increment and I may diminish …

That others might be picked and I put aside …

That others might be applauded and I unnoticed …

That others might be liked to me in all things..

That others may wind up holier than I, gave that I may move toward becoming as sacred as I should…

So be it.

This petition is soliciting that we be conveyed from these feelings of trepidation and fallen wants dependent on vanity, pride and unreasonable self esteem with the goal that just God’s musings and endorsement matter to us.

What this reiteration does not mean is an idea of false quietude, as the holy people caution us about. False quietude would mean, for instance, that we intentionally come up short our tests in a misrepresentation of “lowliness” to be the dumbest and “last” instead of first. Or then again attempting to deliberately deny or make light of that you’re a decent craftsman or performer. God has plainly given you that blessing and ability, so use it and use it for His greatness, putting forth a strong effort. Or on the other hand, in the event that you need to be conveyed of the dread of loathed (as the reiteration asks), it doesn’t imply that we purposefully search out chances to be disdained.

Quietude is an ideals that is intended to be unfathomably freeing and liberating on the grounds that “lowliness is truth,” as St. Teresa of Avila said in her life account.

“You will know reality and reality will set you free.” [John 8:32]

The only thing that is important is the means by which we are before God. We’re not intended to be captives to human sentiments, human regard, and human endorsement. We’re not intended to be captives to ourselves and our fallen wants. It’s everything nothing contrasted with Who truly matters.

In his book of contemplations for the ritualistic year, Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene immovably says:

Numerous spirits might want to be unassuming, however few want mortification; many request that God make them humble and intensely appeal to God for this, yet not very many need to be embarrassed. However it is difficult to pick up quietude without mortifications; for similarly as contemplating is the best approach to secure learning, so it is by the method for embarrassment that we achieve modesty.

For whatever length of time that we just want this righteousness of quietude, however are not willing to acknowledge the methods thereto, not are we on the genuine street to procuring it. [Divine Intimacy, contemplation #110]

In St. Francis de Sales’ book Introduction to the Devout Life, he noticed how it is so natural to say,”Oh Lord, I am nevertheless residue and meriting nothing” since we see our wrongdoings. As the Psalmist says…

“For my spirit is bowed down to the residue; my body sticks to the ground.” [Psalm 44:25]

… But then when we really get treated all things considered, we may promptly end up irritated and feel resentful, along these lines showing our absence of lowliness. St. Francis says it’s smarter to take mortifications from others than pre-appoint it or articulate our dishonor ourselves in light of the fact that there is more legitimacy and genuine ethicalness included. [Introduction to the Devout Life, Part II, Ch. 5, Interior Humility].

During my time of asking the Litany of Humility, I’ve seen enough shrouded pride uncovered to me that it has lead me to add on to this reiteration. Indeed – add on! Since self esteem and pride can take such a large number of various structures.

For instance, in my first year of marriage and being moved into our new home together, we would have our families come over. I recollect how troublesome it was for me at first to change into a “serving position” as a host. I felt so irritated that everybody was out there giggling and having a discussion and here I was “slaving ceaselessly” passing up quite a bit of it. It was a genuine battle for me, as senseless as it sounds. (I currently giggle at how conceited that reasoning was!) I attached onto the Litany:

From the longing of being served… convey me, Jesus.

That was just the principal thing I included. (Marriage and youngsters have this entertaining method for uncovering your self esteem. In any case, I imply that in a most thankful manner!) Since at that point, I’ve included more, contingent upon which region of pride and self esteem that I was battling through…

From the dread of being undervalued… convey me, Jesus.

From the dread of being overlooked… convey me, Jesus.

From the craving of being viewed as lovely… .convey me, Jesus. (against vanity)

From the longing of looking for encouragements… convey me, Jesus.

What’s more, truly, it continues endlessly. Regardless I ask these equivalent “attached” summons in my customary reiteration of quietude, to say the least.

I exceptionally suggest attaching your very own summons in this reiteration. What territory of self esteem, vanity or pride would you say you are battling with the present moment? Do you locate a concealed delight in being insubordinate in some little way – regardless of whether it’s taken a “sting” at somebody or conflicting with their authentic wishes in some little way? … “From the longing of being insubordinate/defiant… .convey me, Jesus.” Do you find you’re somewhat poor or clingy in a companionship? “From the craving of feeling required… convey me, Jesus.”

Appeal to God for light from the Holy Spirit; see what your shortcomings and aggravations are. You’ll discover more prominent inside opportunity the more you appeal to God for modesty and the more you acknowledge the mortifications God sends your direction. As St. James lets us know, “God opposes the glad yet offers effortlessness to the modest” (James 4:6).

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How Autumn Will Help You To Increase Your Spiritual Retreat?

Moves between seasons can help our capacity to do otherworldly withdraw. For example, in pre-winter, we encounter a characteristic regrouping; a significant number of us plan as energetically amid September as we do in January at the new year. Regularly, this is a period of appraisal on numerous levels.

Pre-winter is additionally a period of grow dim prompting winter lethargy. Those of us who live in atmospheres that turn chilly and fruitless feel an unmistakable desire to lighten up our homes and settle in for longer evenings. We sense the organic desire to rest more hours and the otherworldly tendency to twist internal.

Here’s the way harvest time can upgrade your profound withdraw, regardless of whether it’s few days away or a couple of hours at home.

The diminishing scene can move you to give up. Those late spring blossoms are no more. Maybe an occupation, relationship, or objective is experiencing a kind of death in your life. You may watch leaves falling and ask, “Master, what is falling far from me at this moment—something that has reached a proper time of closure?” A developed tyke leaving for school or marriage or work states away—would you be able to permit that falling without end to occur? A job you have played, and played well, for quite a long time is moving presently—would you be able to give it a chance to fall?

The harsher climate can send you to God for safe house. In some cases it takes a chilly, muddled rainstorm to venture profound into us and shake us from our lack of interest or refusal. You’re hurrying to get over the parking garage to the withdraw house, conveying garments and books and diaries, and the sky opens, and there’s literally nothing you can do. Once inside your room, you simply come apart. This has little to do with the tempest outside yet everything to do with the profound strife you’ve been maintaining a strategic distance from for a considerable length of time. Since you’ve dove into the hurt and fierceness, you at long last have a legit petition for God. Truth be told, you’re happy the blasting breeze and rain are causing so much racket, since that implies nobody will hear your cries and raised voice. You can swing to God and be as urgent as you should be.

Longer evenings can lead you into more reliable quiet and reflection. This is particularly valid in the event that you are withdrawing far from home and have no entrance to media. At the point when the day finishes, and it’s dull at a young hour at night, you either ask or rest. Supplication may incorporate perusing or journaling or drawing or sewing, however it occurs in a sort of shut in calm that can develop profound and supportive.

Another nature of air can rouse new considerations and crisp feelings. Say thanks to God we are physical! That fresh, fiery pre-winter air deals with us straightforwardly. The reasonable sky and sharp skyline—and the immersed shades of trees and grasses—stir us physically, inwardly, and profoundly. On the off chance that we give ourselves an opportunity to ingest the new light and smells, we will feel ourselves restored. We may produce new thoughts, new plans, and new seek after how everything will turn out.

I admit that I am one-sided; harvest time has dependably been my most loved season and the season in which my innovative blessings flourish best. You may be to a greater extent a late spring individual. However, get whatever this season brings to the table. As you think about the late spring’s exercises and your expectations for the months to come, set aside some opportunity to appreciate the air, the shading, and the delicate, early murkiness.


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Fifteen Miles from Heaven

Moses E. Lard, the well-known gospel preacher of the nineteenth century, kept a preaching appointment at Richmond, Missouri in 1853. As he was hitching his horse near the meeting house, a black man named Dick, a brother in Christ, approached him and introduced himself. He told Lard that he once belonged to the church at a place called “Stanley’s,” where an “old brother Warriner” used to preach but, after Warriner’s death, the church there ceased meeting, depriving Dick for a long time of the privilege of assembling with the saints. Yet, his faith in Christ had remained steadfast. “I have come fifteen miles today to hear you preach,” he said, “and I have brought with me my young master, Thomas. I think he would be a Christian if he knew how.” After being introduced to Thomas, Lard went into the house to begin the services. He strongly believed in divine providence and wondered to himself if God’s hand were in the presence of Dick and his master. The audience was large, but not a Christian there had come fifteen miles, a considerable distance in that day. But here was a bondservant who, after working hard all week, had traveled that far to attend the meeting. Lard was still thinking about Dick’s words as he entered the pulpit to begin his lesson. “Thomas was in the congregation – a circumstance which I determined not to forget for the next hour and a half,” he later recalled. And through his speech, he kept steadily in mind “a plain, honest boy of sixteen.” The simple sermon, deliberately delivered in the “plowman’s phrase” that had been Lard’s early dialect, accomplished its purpose. When the invitation was extended, Thomas went forward and gave the preacher his hand. “Poor Dick was as near Heaven then, as he will ever be again until he reaches that blessed abode. He could not sit, he could not stand, he did not shout but clapped his hands, while tears ran over those toil-worn cheeks. He meekly occupied a distant comer of the house, and, I felt, if angels delight to gather around the heart that is full of gratitude to Christ, surely they must have had a strong pleasure in folding their wings in that comer just then.” Thomas was baptized into Christ that evening. A little more than two weeks later, at the request of Dick and Thomas, Lard went to the community near their home to preach for two days in the shade of some large trees. There a modest stand and some crude seats had been erected to accommodate the services. Resolved to make the most of the limited time, the first day Lard preached two-and-a-half hours to a large audience of “an honest, agricultural people, blessed with pertinent common sense and sound hearts.” The sermon made a favorable impression on most of those present. The next day the audience, undiminished in size, gathered again to hear another equally long sermon. At the close, four men came forward to confess Christ. The excitement was such that Lard thought it would be unwise to leave the people in the present mood in order to meet another appointment where nothing might be accomplished. So he decided to stay. The third night eight more confessed their faith in Christ, and before the meeting closed, forty had been baptized for the remission of their sins. Furthermore, those who remained of the old Stanley’s church came to take seats in the assembly of the saints. On the Lord’s day, the brethren, old and new, met at a convenient place a mile distant to organize a New Testament church. They invoked the protection of God and resolved to be faithful in His service. “A table was then spread, and on it were placed the emblematic loaf and cup. The supper was then eaten in memory of the Master, a song sung, and the services of the hour closed” (Lard’s Quarterly, Sept. 1863, pp. 23-25). The church, known as South Point, was located in Ray County, Missouri. It came into existence primarily because a chattel slave who was also a bondservant of Christ loved both of his masters enough to travel fifteen miles to hear the gospel. That journey may have been the difference between heaven and hell for Thomas and for many others as well. God, in the exercise of His providence, very often uses what to us may seem to be an insignificant act of faith to accomplish His purposes. Heaven, indeed, my sometimes be just “fifteen” miles away. – by Earl Kimbrough

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It is probably sound advice that, when a car leaves you stranded, you should return the favor. Few people would keep a car that cannot be depended upon to work as needed. There may be a parable here.

Remember that David described himself and his fellow Israelites as “…his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). In other words, they belonged to God and were to serve according to the pleasure of His will. Recall that those rebuilding the wall with Zerubbabel identified themselves as “…the servants of the God of heaven and earth…” (Ezra 5:11). They were determined not to let anyone or anything stop them from finishing their God-appointed tasks.

Jesus used the analogy of sheep to represent his disciples. He said that His sheep (followers) will hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:3, 16, 27). Later, when Peter answered the council’s command for the apostles to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, he said, “…Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 5:19, 20). Peter was determined to follow the instructions of the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).

As members of the local church, we are sheep who make up the flock (Acts 20:28). We are at the same time servants of Christ (Acts 4:29). We must ask ourselves, “Can the Lord depend on me?” Can He depend on me to be present at feeding time (every service and Bible class)? Can He depend on me to stand up for His truth when it is under attack? Can He depend on me to give as He has made me prosper? Remember that it was Jesus who asked, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). He is relying on all of us to be about His business.

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Changing Our World One Person at a Time!



For some time now, a frequent topic in sermons, prayers, and conversations has been the fact that our world seems to be in so much pain as we live out our sinfulness in hatred, violence and selfishness. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to provide a different way of life. Although as sinners our witness is sometimes clouded, I sincerely believe that most of us want to do our best to be servants of Christ and to make a positive impact on the world. So often we hesitate putting ourselves out there because we think we have to do something really big. The truth is that like Jesus, our ministry normally happens one person, one encounter at a time. While Jesus’ ministry eventually impacted the entire world, here on earth he most often cared for people one person at a time. He sat and talked with the Samaritan woman at the well, healed the blind beggar, sought out the woman who had touched the hem of his garment, and brought his friend, Lazarus, back to life. As a result of each of these healings, hopefully, the one who was healed also turned around and demonstrated God’s persistent love to someone else. Jesus’ example speaks to us today. I am privileged to share with you the true story of an encounter experienced by one of our church members, Erin Sherlock. In August, Erin headed off to college in North Carolina after having grown up here at Grace. Erin was one of our young people with whom I went to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit in the summer of 2015. Here’s what happened to Erin. As she was walking through the college cafeteria late one evening, Erin noticed a person she did not know. He was sitting with his head down and rubbing his eyes. Instead of walking out of the room, Erin approached the person, asking if he was okay and if he needed someone to talk to. The person readily accepted the invitation to talk. Erin describes it this way, “I sat right down and took off my backpack. Ready to listen, he let everything out. I talked. He talked. He cried. I cried.” Mid-conversation he said he wanted to die. But they continued to talk. At the end of the conversation, when Erin stood up to leave, the young man said, “Is it weird if I ask for a hug? “ Erin replied, “Not at all. Bring it on.” During the hug he whispered three life changing words, “You saved me.” Here’s Erin’s own reflection on this experience: “I’ve wanted to change the world for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to go abroad and serve. I’ve wanted to become a public speaker. When I thought of changing the world I always thought of making a huge impact. But [this experience] taught me you can change the world in the smallest of ways. I clearly changed this guy’s perspective on life so greatly he didn’t want to die anymore. October, 2016 October, 2016 Grace Notes is also available online at Page 2 Moral of the story, go out and change the world – it only takes one person to make a huge impact. And don’t be afraid to go up to people and make yourself vulnerable to their life and yours as well.” Well said, Erin. Well done, good and faithful servant! Your Grace family is proud of you as is your biological family! My friends in Christ here at Grace, thank you for your support of the youth ministry and Christian Education and worship ministry of our congregation. Our work together in this congregation is preparing people like Erin Sherlock to go out into this crazy world with faith and compassion. The next time you put money in your church envelope, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the ministry we are doing together. No matter what your age, please take advantage of the many ministries we have here in our congregation. We live in a tough world, so we need to be prepared to go into the world knowing that the Holy Spirit will be at work through us. Thanks be to God for the opportunities that are placed before us. Together we make a huge difference, one person at a time!


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Simply Christians

Many people are growing disenchanted with present religious forms which originated in the middle ages and have become meaningless. There is displeasure with denominational structures and dogma. Some, because of such views, have even decided that “Christianity” is not relevant today. We believe they have made that decision because they are not sufficiently acquainted with the Scriptures to be able to distinguish between the gospel of Christ and what men over the centuries have attempted to add to it.

If some of these things have troubled you and you have felt a yearning to return to the simple, uncomplicated religion of Christ, stripping away all the nonessential elements of religion and simply abiding by the truths of Christ, truths which transform the soul and bind it to God, let us suggest that it can and has been done.

The Bible, God’s word to man, presents Jesus Christ as the Son of God. He was foreshadowed and predicted in the Old Testament which God used to govern His people until Christ should come and establish the New (Jer. 31:31-33; Gal. 3:19, 23-24). That New Testament reveals the religion of Christ. By studying it we learn all there is to know of the way of Christ.

We learn that among the followers of Christ there existed no denominational organizations whatever. All began at a later time. In the New Testament we see people hearing the gospel and obeying the conditions of God’s grace. Being thus saved, they were added to the Lord’s people, the church (Acts 2:36-47). As the gospel spread, we find them assembling together in congregations in various localities. Each congregation was under its own elders (Acts 14:23) and no one else on earth. These elders could not make laws and be masters. They were given the responsibility of tending and caring for the congregation as shepherds would a flock (Acts 20:17, 28; I Pet. 5:1-3). The only headquarters those disciples knew was heaven, where their head, Jesus Christ, was and is (Eph. 1:22-23).

Their worship was something in which to participate, not something to watch. On the first day of the week, for instance, they would eat the Lord’s supper and hear preaching (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-29), they would all sing (Eph. 5:19), they would all pray with various ones leading (1 Cor. 14:15-16), and they would share in their mutual responsibilities by sharing their prosperity (1 Cor. 16:1-2). We find no contributions being collected on any other day than the first day of the week and no hierarchy taxing them or telling them how much to give. They had no organizations clamoring for their support. They gave as they individually purposed in their own hearts (2 Cor. 9:6-7). In all this they were all necessarily involved for each saved person was a priest (Rev. 1:5-6). No one could perform his service or worship for another.

They lived godly lives. They cared for their poor. They taught others. They sent out preachers to teach others in far communities. With simplicity of faith and fervor there was no need of centralization. Without organized machinery, the gospel was preached to the whole of civilization in a short time (Col. 1:23). These disciples of Christ were known as Christians (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; I Pet. 4:16). They wore no sectarian names. Their religion was not materialistic or sensual. They did not seek to impress men with pious ceremony, rather, they sought to impress God with the only thing that has ever impressed Him contrite obedience (2 Sam. 15:22). Their appeal was not social or recreational. They offered the gospel, for they knew it was God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16), and any other appeal was beneath them.

Many sigh, “Oh, if only such could be today.” But it is! Free men and women over the earth have despaired of denominationalism, seeing in it neither necessity nor relevance but only a cause of division. They desire the simplicity of what Christ authored, and their number is increasing. How many have taken such a stand? Who knows! They are related and connected only in Christ and not in some organization with machinery to keep a tally. We will not try to number them. What is important, though, is that a group of such people meet within minutes of where you live.

They are just Christians. They worship and serve God in the same way the early disciples did. Christ is their only creed and the Scriptures their only guide. They are not members of any human organization, they are simply a congregation, or church, of Christ. They, in turn, would like to share Christ with you and with all the world.

You too can be just a Christian and serve God without belonging to any denomination, bound by denominational laws or obligations. If such freedom appeals to you, please contact us.

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Become As Little Children


In Matthew 18:1-6, Jesus gives some very important qualifications for those who would enter the kingdom of heaven. He would say, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Notice that this is something all who wish to enter that heavenly abode must do. But what did Jesus mean when he said that all who would enter heaven must become as little children? Surely he did not mean that those converted to him must act childish and immature. Rather he meant that those who are converted to him must be “childlike”. There is a vast difference from being “childish” and being “childlike”. With these thoughts in mind, let us look at three qualities of children:

1) One of the most outstanding qualities of a young child is his humble spirit. Young children have not yet learned what pride is. Those who wish to live for eternity in the presence of Almighty God must employ this same attitude of humility. As adults, we often trust in our own abilities all too much, refusing (because of stubborn pride) the help of those who truly can help us. This is all too often the case when it comes to salvation. We must turn to the One, and only One, who can save us–God. We must obey what He has set out for us to do (1 Samuel 15:22; Ecclesiastes 5:1; Hosea 6:6; Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:29) . We must never think that we are “above” that which God would have us do. Without humility, we will never access the grace of the Almighty (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). Is your pride more important than your soul? (Proverbs 16:18; Matthew 16:26).

2) A young child trusts with all his heart that his parents will be there for him in his time of need. A child trusts that his father will be there for him when he takes those first steps, or takes his first ride on his new bike. A child trusts that his mother will be there for him when he scrapes his knee, or when the other kids are picking on him. Those who would enter into that heaven must, too, manifest a simple, loving trust in the One who loves us and died for us. When God makes a promise, we should trust Him to see it through. When I do what He has told me through His word, I can rest assured and trust with all my heart that He will uphold what He has promised. I can also rest assured that He will be there for me in times of need, in times of rejoicing, in times of despair. God is faithful and will not forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5). Do you trust in God?

3) Have you ever seen two children engaged in a tussle, shouting to each other that they hate one another, only to see them five minutes later playing together as best friends, as if nothing ever happened. Children are so quick to forgive one another, while at the same time they are very quick to forget. Those who desire to live with God for eternity must manifest a similar attitude of forgiveness. The child of God must be willing to forgive those who repent of their wrongdoing if they wish to be forgiven of their sins by the Father (Matthew 18:21-22; Ephesians 4:32).

In closing, do we manifest the same forgiving attitude toward others that God manifests toward us (Matthew 6:14-15)?

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Does Galatians 6:10 Authorize The Church to Give to Non-Saints? Part 7

March 18th, 2003

I think I understand what your point is, but we simply disagree. The premise that you are setting forth is that in ALL cases when the scriptures address individuals, that means individuals ONLY and in ALL cases when the scriptures address the church, that means the church ONLY. For you (in your mind) to accept that Galatians 6:1-10 is speaking to churches would mean that you (in your mind) would have to prevent individuals from doing benevolence. (If that is not correct, let me know). However, the hermeneutic here is flawed. The assumption from which you begin is incorrect. You fail to realize that the church is made up of individual members and as such individuals must always be involved when the church acts corporately whether that is through worship, evangelism, or benevolence and that sometimes individuals can act on the behalf of the church outside the context of the assembly (such as an eldership making a decision for the church or the preacher writing an article for the newspaper on behalf of the church).

To say that Galatians 6:1-10 applies to individuals ONLY is simply not warranted from the text (that was why I went through the text again and emphasized the plural number in my last e-mail). There is absolutely no way to prove that Paul was only addressing Christians on an individual level ONLY. The “proof” that you set forth is really a by-product of the doctrine of saints-only. It goes something like this: “The Bible teaches that the church may give money from the treasury to saints only. Therefore, Galatians 6:10 MUST be talking about individuals and not the church. This must be true or else my doctrine is wrong. It is impossible for my doctrine to be wrong, therefore it must be true that Paul is ONLY addressing individuals.” You assume this to be true because your doctrine demands it, not because the text warrants it. This assumes the very thing that you must prove. And that kind of reasoning is not sufficient to establish truth.

Additionally, to say that the actions in Galatians 6:1-10 were “individual, not corporate” implies that Paul wrote the letter to the churches but did not give the churches any corporate action which they needed to take to correct the problems they faced from the Judaizing teachers. It puts one in the position of affirming that Paul wrote to the churches to correct a problem that was in the church, but that Paul had no expectation of the church to take any corrective action in that regard. Such a position contradicts the purpose for which Paul wrote the letter to the “churches” of Galatia. I would really like to hear your answer to this particular item.

You have got to at least acknowledge that the general thrust of the letter was written to the CHURCHES, not to individuals. As such, when Paul uses the plural number the FIRST thing that we must expect is that he is addressing the church. Addressing individuals would, therefore, be an exception to the general thrust of the epistle and must be PROVEN to be addressed to individuals ONLY. So for your case to stand, you must prove that Galatians 6:1-10 can ONLY be addressed to individuals. It just is not sufficient to say, “I think,” or “It seems to me” or “It appears to be this way;” it must be PROVEN that individuals ONLY were being addressed in Galatians 6:1-10. This is impossible to do given the plural nature of the verbs in that chapter.

My argument from 1 Corinthians 11 is that just as the plurality of the verbs in 1 Corinthians 11 make that corporate action so also the plurality of the verb in Galatians 6:1-10 makes that corporate action. An inspired writer does NOT have to use the word “together” every single time he wants to indicate corporate action. The same elements in 1 Corinthians 11 that make the action there corporate are found in Galatians as well.

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Commandment Keeping

There are those in the religious world today who ridicule the idea of keeping commandments. They claim that keeping God’s commandments have nothing to do with our salvation today. If someone objects and says that we must keep God’s commandments to be saved, the charge of legalism is leveled against him. Is it true that keeping God’s commandments has nothing to do with salvation? Are we legalists because we demand that those who follow Christ keep his commandments? Let’s examine these questions in light of the New Testament scriptures.

Often, Jesus Himself is cited as one who criticized the Pharisees for being commandment keepers. However, such was not the case. We should note well that Jesus never condemned anyone for keeping God’s commandments. Jesus, however, did condemn the Pharisees for placing their own commandments above God’s! This is an entirely different situation. Matthew 15:1-9 is one such instance. Jesus confronted the Pharisees in regard to transgressing God’s command to keep their own tradition (15:3). He said that they had made God’s commandment of none effect by their tradition (15:6). Then He says that they in fact have taught for doctrine their own commandments, the commandments of men (15:9). Keeping such commandments should not be placed into the same category as keeping God’s commandments. To equate the desire to keep God’s commandments with the desire to keep man’s commandments in place of God’s commandments is to pervert the words of Jesus and entirely miss the point. Jesus expected others to keep God’s commandments. It is because these Pharisees had set aside God’s commandments, that Jesus’ anger was kindled against them.

In contrast to ridiculing commandment keeping, Jesus Himself preached it! In Matthew 19:17, Jesus told one asking about obtaining eternal life to keep God’s commandments if he would enter into life. The man asked what he lacked and Jesus added another commandment, namely, to go sell all that he had to the poor and follow Jesus (19:21). In John 14:15 Jesus said to the apostles, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Loving Jesus is dependent upon keeping His commandments. To say that we love Jesus, yet fail to keep his commandments is hypocrisy at best and outright lying at worst. Jesus reiterates in John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” Note two things about this scripture. First, Jesus equates keeping commandments with abiding in His love. When you note John 14:15 (that you can’t love without keeping the commandments) along with John 15:10 (that you can’t keep the commandments without abiding in love), one gains a very firm conclusion: we can love Jesus if and only if we keep his commandments. But second, what is even more remarkable about John 15:10 is that Jesus himself is a commandment keeper. He abides in the love of the Father through keeping the Father’s commandments. Here is a one-two knockout for those who claim that commandment keeping has nothing to do with salvation.

The apostle John explains further in his first epistle just exactly what the relationship between commandment keeping and salvation is. In 1 John 2:3, 4 we read, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” The simple conclusion is that one cannot come to know God without keeping the commandments. If you don’t know God, you can’t be saved (2 Thess. 1:8). The apostle John comments further in 1 John 5:2, 3 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” We cannot even love God without keeping God’s commandments. In fact, John defines love for God in exactly these terms. He says, “This is the love of God.” Let we forget, love for God is the first and greatest commandment. Loving our neighbor is like this commandment, but ultimately comes second (Matthew 22:37-39). My relationship with God always takes precedence over my relationship with other people. This means that I must be concerned about keeping God’s commandments.

The bottom line is ultimately this. Those who ridicule commandment keeping, ridicule Jesus himself, for He was a commandment keeper (John 15:10). Those who ridicule commandment keepers, ridicule the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit was only promised to those who kept Jesus commandments (John 14:15-17). And those who ridicule commandment keepers, ridicule God the Father because we can neither know Him or love Him without doing such (1 John 2:3; 5:2). Such has nothing to do with being a legalist; and has everything to do with our being saved. So let’s keep those commandments and show God that we truly do love Him!

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Genesis 8:20-22

When God specified what the ark was to be loaded with He provided for the worship needs of Noah and his family. Clean animals were required and so they were available when Noah landed.

This sacrifice is a very significant one. The earth had just been cleansed from idolatry and violence and every sin imaginable. At this point, as Noah makes the sacrifice, every human on the planet stands right with God. I don’t know whether Noah knew that the sacrifice he made was a shadow of things to come, but it was. He was looking forward to Christ in this sacrifice. Looking forward as God did in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

This point marks a new beginning in the history of mankind. The line of Messiah is set. He will not come from the line of Cain. He will come from the line of Seth of whom Noah is descended. The Lord is pleased with the sacrifice of Noah.

We need to note the Lord’s promise. The Lord is not going to strike down the inhabitants of the earth again until the earth is destroyed. He has assured the success of His plan and no further measures of this kind will be needed. When I was in elementary school my classmates and I went through drills with regard to what to do in case of nuclear attack. Questions were asked all around the planet as to whether a potential nuclear war would be the end of life for this planet. The answer was right there in God’s book. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” The promise for mankind is in the harvest.

Our text also has something to say about the doctrine of total hereditary depravity (which teaches that we are born in sin and wholly depraved). Verse 21 refutes this idea with this phrase, “for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” This is a far cry from being born sinful.

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