The Armor That Just Works – Breastplate of Righteousness
Reading through Philippians 3
I’m working through the Lifetime Guarantee study book with some guys at the Rescue Mission and I made this for myself to think about the things that Paul boasted in.
I’m not sure what I think about this poplet business, but it helps me to breakdown these ancient boasts and think of them in more modern terms.
With vs. Like – The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit
22 After removing him, God raised up David their king. He testified about him: ‘I have found Davids the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22
I was reading “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan yesterday and he had a really good point. It’s better for us to be WITH our mentor or somebody we want to be like rather than to DO things LIKE they would do them.
I think that is what the big awesome deal about King David. He didn’t know God as a concept or a method. God was as real to him as a friend or a roomate!
That’s what Jesus was up to when He picked the 12 apostles.
And He appointed twelve (whom He also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might send them out to preach. Mark 3:14
Jesus didn’t pick 12 guys to be like Him or to imitate His ways. That would just turn into another Law. God created the original Mosaic Law and came and lived among us so that we could be WITH HIM.
The bummer of trying to be LIKE somebody is that it will always get messed up. The Occupy people say Jesus was like them, the Republicans say Jesus was like them. As I read through the book of Acts and I’m working on my @iamstpaul project there is never any question that God is WITH Paul. (except for maybe when he’s getting stoned to death–but right after that there was no question!)
I think that’s also how God knew that King David would “accomplish everything I want him to do” because He knew David wanted to be WITH God and in God’s presence more than he wanted to seek equality with God.
Somewhere else there was a guy that wanted to be present with God more than to be like/equal to Him.
[Jesus,] who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped…Phil 2:6
Romans 2: God Doesn't Need Your Upgrades
You’ve got to read this entire chapter to really crack open Romans 2:6-11. In vs. 6-11 it sounds like one’s works decide salvation, but down in Romans 2:25-29 the difference between good and bad is really defined.
Romans 2.25-29 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
If a do-gooder is a do-gooder for their own purposes and their own glory, then it’s evil! It’s what is inside, not outside, that shows the value of the deed.
Take King Saul for instance. It was good on the outside for him to have that big sacrifice, and to keep all of the best cattle from his invasions for more sacrifices. Samuel, on the other hand, could tell from what God told him that what was inside Saul was bad.
“What is that bleating of goats I hear?!” says Samuel. God told Saul what was good, what was righteous, but Saul thought he could out do God and upgrade that righteousness by doing something different.
That’s what the Pharisees were doing in Jesus’ day. God said not to walk more than a couple thousand steps from your property, in order to keep people from being distracted and give them a day of rest. The Pharisees said “Hey, if we have a jar of dirt from our property hanging around our neck, we’re never far from our land, and we can go all over the place and conduct business, just like it’s any other day!” They thought they were upgrading God’s plan for their Sabbath, but instead they were just walking their hearts right out of life in God.
Tomorrow we’ll explore this some more.