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My Musings, Observations, etc.
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November 11, 2012
7:46 AM | Posted by Randy Ross | Edit Post
Where have we been for the last year? Well, busy, to say the least. A lot has happened over the last year. I have completed my Bachelor's of Theology. While working on that, I also obtained my Paramedic certification. Those two things, along with trying to work and take care of the family, have kept me extremely busy. But, things are settling down a little bit. So, let's see where the next few posts will take us.
December 31, 2011
6:10 PM | Posted by Randy Ross | Edit Post
First, salvation is by grace through faith. There is nothing we could ever do to earn our salvation.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.Knowing that salvation is not according to anything one could do, it is impossible to use this definition to label me as a legalist.
As far as a "strict adherence to the law" goes, we have a schoolmaster in the law which shows us our need for salvation. Once a person is saved, we are made free from the law. As one who is saved, I enjoy the freedom to do whatever I wish. However, knowing I am free from the law and having been saved from the fires of hell (the fire I deserved), I willingly serve my Lord and do as He wishes. How can I know what the Lord wants for me? I can look to the Word of God.
Now that we see who the legalist is not, who is the real legalist? The real legalist is the one who looks for loopholes, the one who lives his life according to the exclusions and omissions from the Word of God.
When the Word of God is so clearly against the use of alcohol, the legalist will point out that there is no clear "thou shalt not drink beer."
When the Word of God is clear about worldly associations and entertainment, the legalist will say there is no clear commandment saying, "Thou shalt not listen to (supposedly) Christian rock." The legalist will point out that the Scriptures do not specifically prohibit going to movies, wearing pants (or other immodest apparel).
The legalist would point out that the Bible does not directly say, "thou shalt not date."
The legalist would point out that the Bible does not say, "thou shalt not go lay naked on the beach nor go with those who would lay naked."
**I know, some of you are saying you don't go to the nude beach, but the Bible gives a clear definition of "naked" and that standard is met at every beach.**
The legalist would point out that there is no clear prohibition against the abuse of drugs and tobacco.
When the legalist dilutes the Word of God into any of the corrupt versions, they may even claim there is no prohibition against women or sodomite preachers.
When we look at those who would twist Scripture or take things out of context to thwart God's Word or to suit their flesh, we also see a clear example of the true pharisee. The pharisees did not know Christ, but they knew the law. I am amazed at how well today's pharisees (let's use the modern term for them: liberals) know the Word of God when it suits them, and ignore it when it does not.
The point is, I am not the legalist. I am not living by a strict set of rules. It is the the modern pharisees, the liberals who are always looking for a way to escape the will of God who are the legalists. It is these modern pharisees who twist and ignore the Word of God to suit their own flesh.
December 29, 2011
4:42 PM | Posted by Randy Ross | Edit Post
In his day, Paul dealt with an issue in the Corinthian church where people were following certain men. Some followed Apollos, some follow Paul and some follow others. Today, some follow Bob Jones, some follow Peter Ruckman, some follow John Calvin, some follow Jack Hyles and some follow others. Consider the following passage:
1Co 3:3-7 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (4) For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (5) Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Paul referred to these who followed men as carnal. So, following Paul's example, I refuse to be a follower of men. If we stopped there, many would label me as independent, but I am not. In fact, there is a man who I diligently try to follow. Who, do you ask, is that man? Jesus.
Am I independent? No. I am a bond-slave who has been bought with a price. I strive to do my Master's bidding and serve Him every day. Is this service laborious? Absolutely not. I am thankful for my Master's work in my life. He rescued me. I was on a broad path of destruction. There were many people on this path with me: co-workers, friends, relatives and strangers. Sadly, there are still many on this path. However, there was a day when Jesus, my Master, came along and showed me the end of this broad path. He offered me an alternative. He showed me that it was my sins which were taking me down this road. He also showed me how a debt had accumulated for my sin. Finally, through His Holy and Precious Word, He showed me that the debt had been paid. How was the debt paid? Who paid it? My master purchased my redemption with His own blood.
You may also be on this path, but the same blood which purchased me can set you free as well.