By the mercy of God alone

Thread starter #1
Paul insisted that when it comes to himself and those who come along beside him, the truth must be told and lived in open display. Hidden and shameful things are to be renounced. Yet perhaps, above all, the word of God should not be handled deceitful, nor taken lightly!

In reality, he was in the ministry because of the mercy of God alone……that was inspiration enough to keep going and not give up! The truth that you didn’t start ministry, should humble you to understand that you’re not capable of the ministry ... At least not the ministry concerning Jesus Christ! Any ministry that you have the power to start is indication of it being the arm of flesh…….now know this going forward, if the gospel (good news of the finished work Christ Jesus) is hid, it is hid to those who are lost. It is veiled to the perishing ones who can’t believe because they don’t want to believe! They would rather believe a lie. Darkness is the delivery method always used by the god of this world system!

From Corey Jenkins, FB post
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But the good news, of each believer, is that they are "able ministers" of the New Covenant, by the Spirit who lives within. We can rest in the finished work and be available to share the good news as we are led of Him, NOT with the compulsion of our flesh!
- my add (Walter)

#TheMercyOfMinistry #ChristIsLife
 
Thread starter #2
A bit of clarification I just found...


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Thread starter #3
Further,

Shape up!, fly right!, do more!, BE more! ... the gospel of the flesh

Rest, trust, depend and walk in His confident grace ... the gospel of Christ, which mercy brought and laid hold of - IN each one of us.


Often these grace posts get confused and seem to need much in the way of sidebar notes. I trust the above helps the original op.

Peace
 
Thread starter #4
From Mike Q Daniel,
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there’s NOT a lot of “buck up and get it done” in Scripture. Instead, knowing the human condition is often full of striving and perpetually falling short of our desires for ourselves, much less the glory of God. Scripture doesn’t prescribe more hustle, but instead prescribed more hushed attentiveness, more coming-to-Jesus-to-rest moments. Sounds good to me!

God wouldn’t have you be lazy, but He certainly isn’t wanting you to have a “gotta make it happen” attitude about the recent season of which the angels proclaim “peace in earth”. That really was not code for “step up and get more done!”

Right now, God is doing what He does – sharing His love and peace and joy and rest, and if we are available we get to participate. That’ll require a lot of our weakness meeting a whole lot of His strength, but what it won’t require is you pulling yourself up by soulical boot straps and “doing what it takes”.

If nothing else, grace means: If you could do what’s necessary, Christ didn’t have to; if He has done what’s necessary, then you don’t have to. The very real alternative to walking according to a “get ‘er done” fleshiness is a walk with God as your enoughness in restfulness. That is the life by grace. His life made yours, by grace. And it means rest for weary souls. Yours. Mine.

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Selah, amen.
 
A man's ministry is part and parcel of his salvation. They are no more separable than Christ is; as even stated by Paul in his question "Is Christ divided?"

Christ comes to a man in that ministry given to a man...in and for the Church. And so Paul came to understand his calling as was tailored specifically to him for the revelation of salvation...and no less, his in particular.

In all his seeing, in all his own understanding there was a making way for the revelation of God's grace and love in Jesus Christ. He knew his own preferences, he knew his own bent, he knew well that he knew...that God knows of all these things "about" himself.

He neither has nor holds shame to them of their being his own...for he knows...God knows, and that the God who knows is not shaming him, but even working with him, for him, to him with, and in them. And so he would rapturously declare in certain matter:

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

This matter was in his seeing resolution, in seeing the wisdom of God...in even seeing how such burden carried by him had its own peculiar working for release by his refusal to surrender it's grievous bearing before his God. He obeyed...and carried. Even in and through all curious contradiction that might present itself.

All we have to do is enter as he entered. As as man now made subject to having his (mind) thinking changed.

What man better prepared to all things of Jewery in our appraisal (except the Christ of course) than Paul? (I have no doubt of those many things he also knew "under his belt") He lists his credentials for any man to see if inclined. Who better formed and informed to "make a case" to the Jews? Former fishermen? Tax collector...etc?

We know Joseph of Arimathea showed kindness, Nicodemus listened and learned certain matters, but we have no testimony of their apostleship. Nor even how they ultimately appeared. But of this Hebrew of Hebrews, diligently learned Pharisee we do know. And of his striking conversion. Who better...for the Jew? And who, by his own testimony with a more sincere longing to it?

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

There's a very complete Gospel to be found in the above. But that can be another matter.

But we know to whom Paul was sent. Paul knew to whom he was sent. No doubt he encountered Jews along the way...but he knew his assigned field. And so much so that he came to glory in it, as the Lord's glory was being revealed to him. The way of the Lord...(Who is the Way) being revealed to him. And he came to ex posit on the cross of Christ and His (Christ's) working through it in such depth, and of such note, that few others wrote thereon in such length, and in such depth.

These matters received by Paul of Christ are life to the Church, but not merely as an automatic writer would record or announce. As though when an apostle touches pen to paper "apostle stuff" automatically flows, or prophets automatically write "prophet stuff"...but still not denying all is guided by another's hand. Such seeming paradox and/or contradiction must be navigated.

They (these matters) had first their working in Paul to his salvation and he came to understand the very depth that his calling called him to were no less precisely charted to those depths of necessity for his own instruction in salvation. He didn't merely trip over them as part and parcel of apostleship as though God holds a checklist "These things I show apostles, these things to prophets, these to pastors, teachers, evangelists and thence such others to the 'folks in the pews'." If I get too bold, God knows.

Yet, there is a perfect orderliness.

Paul understood, even as he came to particularly state later (was he mistaken?) that these matters to him, that became life to him, and in him...were perfectly assigned him...even in his discharge of his calling to apostleship. And so much so he had no timidity in commending them to all acceptation.

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

With now greater light given to him first, and for him to distribution:

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

He said he knew (had learned) why he was chosen to obtain mercy. (That in itself seems rather bold, no? Almost as might be esteemed a boast by some of such knowing) The same mercy that had led him to see this matter. (Which he needed to see to his salvation) So that through him men might see the patience of God to one such as himself who would believe on Christ to life everlasting.

But what might be esteemed as boast of knowing the cause (Really Paul...you actually know why you were chosen?) is not when viewed in this sober light.

What Paul in hoping, believing, convicted of the very truth of this matter is rather him saying...

Because it should be plain to all that because God can save a man "like me" in such patient enduring with such a one...I am used as a pattern for hope.

And not of my excelling in anything at all, but only of the grace of God that if one is chosen to see yes...even a man like me...will work to salvation assured, and to the glory of God...who has demonstrated such patience (even in, and to, a man like me).

Paul went in obedience laying all his own preference before God through Christ. Even and especially as was previously mentioned, of such grief for his brothers after the flesh...his kinsman he could not, and would not, deny.

But what did Paul receive in this? Was this in him to remain all of unrequited? God forbid!

I will make no contention Paul "bought" his seeing with his grief nor heaviness of heart. As though God is ever forced to answer upon such terms..."if I present enough sorrow...God is under requirement"...nevertheless...He confesses himself to be the healer of the broken hearted...what need therefore to think an arm need be twisted?
(Does this itself become too twisted for understanding?) After all, Paul himself even came to confession of "light and momentary afflictions" as things of this consistency should be counted.

Nevertheless...whether we use "in spite of" or "because of" is no matter, Paul got to see "the how" of how it is working. How that the way of God's plan for his brothers after the flesh (of whom promise was made to their Patriarchs for their children) would be, was being in fulfillment..."and so all Israel shall be saved".

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (We may read what precedes this declaration of purposeful hardening of hearts to a specific end...even for the gentiles salvation...made enemies of the gospel for our sakes...who...gave eyes of stupor to them)

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.


Do we doubt Paul's relief there? The lifting of all previously known burdening in their regard? Do we at all doubt his conviction of God's working in all matters, even and especially in those with which we may experience some grief?

Do we doubt his rapture in:

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?
Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

It's funny to me that these words come to mind:

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Sweet soldiers of the Christ of all grace who have and even presently are giving their lives in the service of His grace...I can only salute you...even a man like me. It is only fitting and proper.
 
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Thread starter #6
Israel, I think I see you. And that is a good thing of the grace brought to Paul, and your witness of it. And mine.

Yes, Paul as a former Pharisee must cry for mercy, not to twist the hand of providence,
But ... to receive and later with new vision confess that very mercy was available to him, who was once the chief of sinners now made whole in the completeness of Christ.
To some, such boasting rends garments, yet Paul would say, let him who boasts, boast in the Lord, the making men holy and complete is HIS work not mine. Not I but Christ!
(And to others the response is to take up stones. Careful, Paul!)

Paul knew stones and shipwreck. He knew that those weaknesses of his life would still point to the grace offered in the gospel, for him, for the stoners and for you and I.

Such "service in grace" yes, a sweet aroma of Christ.
From Christ to Paul.
From Christ thru Paul to us.
From Christ in us, bearing His life and bearing His fruit, love, joy, peace, to the world.

Great mercy indeed. (Thanks Paul), and thanks brother.
 
Thread starter #7
Mercy and the Simplicity of the gospel go hand in hand, enjoy ...
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“How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology? No baptism, no communion, no confirmation, no speaking in tongues, no mission trip, no volunteerism, and no church clothes. He couldn’t even bend his knees to pray. He didn’t say the sinner's prayer and among other things, he was a thief. Jesus didn’t take away his pain, heal his body, or smite the scoffers. Yet it was a thief who walked into heaven the same hour as Jesus simply by believing. He had nothing more to offer other than his belief that Jesus was who he said he was. No spin from brilliant theologians. No ego or arrogance. No Shiny lights, skinny jeans, or crafty words. No haze machine, donuts, or coffee in the entrance. Just a naked dying man on a cross unable to even fold his hands to pray.”

For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

I read this today and was reminded of the simplicity of the Gospel.

#grace #Jesus #TheLoveOfGod
 
Thread starter #8
The Religious message would have us believe that we can have new covenant life through old covenant practices. They would have us believe that a set of religious written rules, a religious theology, a set of religious principles, or religious morals is the way to Godly living.

The truth is that the only way to Godly living is for God to baptize us into the death and burial of Christ and to resurrect us with Christ and then join us together with Christ. New covenant life is the Spirit of God coming to live inside of us and motivating from our union with Christ from within. God gives us a new motive by replacing our old heart with a new heart that has been perfected in love, our old spirit with a new spirit that is infused with Christ and our old mind with the mind of Christ.

Life is never ever going to be found in the slavery and bondage to elemental forces of this world that are found in trying to follow religious rules, theology, principles or morals. The more we try to find life in living a religious life, the more chaotic, confused, weakened, unfulfilled and fearful we will be.

Simply put we can't find Life by placing our belief into the works of a dead religion which is the pride of the flesh. Life can only be found by believing in and fully trusting in Jesus Christ alone! The Christian life is not about changing our behavior from bad to good, it’s not about us following a behavior modification or sin management program, the Christian life is about us dying and being born again into a living hope of Jesus Christ joining Himself to us in a perfect eternal union and making us alive together with Him forever. Our only responsibility is for us to trust Him to allow Him to express Himself in us and through us for the rest of eternity.

From JimBob Custer, FB post.
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“that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:2-4, 8‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭NASB

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:4-6‬ ‭NASB‬‬
 
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