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Tag Archives: disobedience

Looking Below the Surface

As we continue through Second Corinthians, Paul is talking about the authority we have in Christ.  We’ve been given powerful spiritual weapons that everyone needs to know how to use.

He now talks about why this is the case.

And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
2 Corinthians 10:6

The way this verse is written in English makes it sound like we get spanked for our wrongdoings after we’ve already started obeying.  That’s not really what it says.

In Greek, both the words disobedience and obedience have the root word of hearing.  There is no word, act, in the original.  This is about hearing and doing God’s will.

The disobedience that Paul is talking about could be either a misunderstanding or a willful ignoring of God’s will.  Now that the church has received correction from the apostle in his first letter, this has been resolved.

So, in essence, Paul is telling them that there is vindication because they’re now walking in obedience to God’s plan for them.  They listened to, and are now following Paul’s correction.

The key is, how well are they listening?  It goes toward motive.  When we know what God wants us to do, are we willing to obey?

This goes right along with something Paul wrote earlier in this epistle.  He referred to the sorrow and repentance that his first letter caused.

See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
2 Corinthians 7:11

They had done some things that looked like they were ignoring God’s desire for them.  It might have been done innocently or willfully.  The point is that when Paul brought it to their attention, they repented and turned back to obedience.

That is what vindicated them.  Now they need to examine their inner man.

You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he.
2 Corinthians 10:7

In this verse, Paul is simply talking about drawing logical conclusions.  Looking on the surface it’s clear that the Corinthian people belonged to Christ.  By that same line of reasoning, Paul and his ministry team belong to Christ as well.

We need to see through the eyes of Christ.  Sometimes what believers do, doesn’t exactly line up with what the Lord wants them to do.  However, that doesn’t make them any less a follower of Christ.

We need to give people the opportunity to grow and mature without judging and accusing them.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work in His own way.

Question: What are some things that you’ve changed as you’ve matured in Christ?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2020 in Ministry, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Ignoring the Signs

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI’m posting about how supernatural signs fit into God’s plan. I talked about the signs that God has used throughout history – the sun, moon, stars, and rainbows.

The only time it’s a problem, is when we ask for a sign.

“God, if this is your will, let a bird start chirping.”

Asking for a sign is actually pretty dangerous. There are examples from Scripture that prove this out. Look at Gideon in the Old Testament. He asked God for a sign that he would be victorious in battle. God gave him the sign, but then cut his army down to 300 men. If you ask for a sign, then you’re required to show more faith.

In my last post we were talking about king Ahaz.

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
Isaiah 7:10-11

God said to Ahaz that He would show him a sign. Ahaz just had to tell the Lord what it would be. I could think of some great signs that would convince me to move forward. What was Ahaz’ response?

But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
Isaiah 7:12

Why would he respond like that? It does sound holy – but it was disobedient. When God tells you to do something and you say no, that’s the definition of disobedience – no matter how righteous you sound.

Remember from my last article that Ahaz wasn’t serving God. Part of Isaiah’s prophecy said that within 65 years, Israel would be shattered. In effect, Ahaz is saying NO to the entire prophecy.

What he does is to meet with the king of Assyria. He wants to make a treaty with them. He told them that he would give them Judah, and he would become one of Assyria’s vassals.

To show his submission to Assyria, Ahaz cleans out the gold and silver from the temple, and gives it as a gift to the king. The king of Assyria seems to be happy with this, then turns and conquers Israel, Judah’s rival.

In the prophecy, God said that He would defend Judah. Ahaz was saying, “No, I can handle this on my own. I don’t need or want your sign.”

What we need to realize is that a sign is the proof that God did the work. Someone far from the Lord doesn’t want any proof that God’s doing anything. Ahaz had a very religious way of saying, “I don’t need God.”

Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?”
Isaiah 7:12

By his actions, Ahaz wearied God to the point of disgust. You know you’re in trouble when God is disgusted with you. That’s where the sign of the virgin birth comes in.

In my next post we’ll see how it fits in to God’s plan.

Question: What religious reasons do we use to excuse our disobedience these days?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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The New Testament Sabbath

churchesI’m posting about how to rest in the Lord and in His finished work. We can see the negative example of Israel from Scripture.

It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.
Hebrews 4:6

These are sobering words. I notice that he writes that some, and not all will enter this rest. The verse says that those who didn’t, missed out because of disobedience. The actual Greek word there is apeitheia. This is where we get the English word apathy from.

This means that they did not enter in because of obstinate and rebellious disbelief. It’s made sadder by the fact that these very people had the Good News preached to them. This means that we have to be all the more careful to not miss this rest.

Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Hebrews 4:7

I believe that this is the key to the whole issue. If you hear His voice, don’t become hard hearted. Here we are 2000 years later and He’s still calling to His people. “Enter My rest.” If you hear this call, don’t get stubborn about it.

That’s why I think that it’s foolish to argue about what day of the week is the “day of rest.” The Scripture clearly calls it today – whatever day today is.

The Word of God plainly tells us that a cease from work is not the same as resting in God. For that matter, attending church is not the same as resting in God. I can’t say it any clearer than to tell you point blank that Israel observed the Sabbath but still DID NOT ENTER GOD’S REST.

In the Old Testament the Sabbath looks forward to what Jesus was going to accomplish for us. Any concept or truth from the Old Covenant must pass through the filter of the cross. Only then can you understand the true implications for the New Covenant believer.

The Sabbath is now applied to everyday under grace. The simple fact is that if you believe that Sunday (or Saturday) is the only day when you can have a church service, and that all believers need to worship together, you have a problem. If those two statements are true, then it’s not God’s will for firefighters, police, EMT’s, nurses, or others who have to work those days, to be saved.

We argue and fight about the most foolish things in the body of Christ. Israel obeyed the law of the Sabbath. Yet the Scripture clearly says that Israel never entered into God’s rest. Yet, we hold them up as the example for keeping the Sabbath.

The important thing we need to ask ourselves is not what day of the week we worship God, but are we entering into His rest? Will you enter into God’s rest TODAY?

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
Hebrews 4:8

The problem Israel faced is that Joshua only brought about a military victory. He was not able to bring the nation into true rest. That’s why God is so serious about our entering in.

More than anyone else, Christians should be entering the rest that God has provided for them. Not just on weekends, but 24/7. Anything less and you’re missing a big part of the blessing that was given us at the cross.

Question: How often are you intentional about entering God’s rest?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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