Why Are We Blind

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord – (Hebrews 12:14Hebrews 12:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  

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Today I was revisiting a series of studies in Romans 7 from Bill Poss of Bread of Life Fellowship, and as always, Pastor Bill minces no words and softens no blows when it comes to tearing down any area that (we might believe) gives us license to shirk off repentance and regeneration. True regeneration.

Like a boxer with a one-two punch, he then posts this gem, a YouTube compilation of messages from rock-solid preachers of yore preaching about death to self for *Christians.*

That’s important. As sinners, we heard of death to self, we heard of dying to the old man and being raised alive in Christ; but that old scapegoat of “carnal Christianity” gives us that cloak to hide behind when it comes to actually lining up and marching out when we hear our CO’s orders like:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2Romans 6:1-2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  

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The Scriptures overflow with passages about motivation for the Christian, why we ought to serve the Lord (Luke 7:36-50Luke 7:36-50
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.  

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,) how we ought to serve the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24Colossians 3:23-24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  

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,) and what sort of consideration we should have for ourselves (Philippians 1:20Philippians 1:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  

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But if we’re still looking back with longing at the plans of Sodom and Gomorrah, should we truly be surprised when we secretly, honestly examine our walk and wonder why it is that we’ve become a pillar of salt blasted with fire?

Not quite the salt and light we were commanded to become, is it?

Our passage in Hebrews explains it plainly, so let’s tear it down and ingest it:

“Follow” is “dioko” (Strong’s Greek 1377) and means “to make to run or flee,” or also “to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing.” Think of the phrase “hot pursuit” and you’ve got the idea.

But also know that this word is the root for the word “diakonos,” (SG1249) – the word which means (and where we get the word ) “deacon.” Yes, like a church deacon – “one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister.”

Wow. First word in and already we’re being commanded to perform like deacons. Are we taking it seriously yet?

“Peace” is “eirēnē” (SG1515) and means “a state of national tranquillity” and also “peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord.” Just three verses later, we see that we’re to pursue peace and all these other traits diligently (“episkopeō“) for this reason :

…lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (v15-16)

See what it says? Within ourselves or within the congregation, it says we:

stop relying on the grace of Christ

have a root of bitterness spring up (“pikria,” “extreme wickedness”)

see these defile many (“defile” is “miainō” – “to dye with another color, to stain; to pollute, contaminate”)

fornicate (“pornos,”) and profane (“bebēlos“) and trade our inheritance (“prōtotokia“) for base pleasures.

All from not seeking peace as a deacon ought.

We’re only two words into the passage. Are we serious yet?

“All” is “pas” (SG3956) and means “each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.”

You know that brother or sister that’s been coming to church for almost a year now and you don’t even know their name? Or that one that did that thing that everyone heard about, and you’ve been there in prayer circle while they pled forgiveness at the foot of the Cross, and you’re still carrying around that baggage, that opinion like they’re some bum and not your family? Yeah, you. Us. Me too. Stop it. It’s all of us. Join up.

Serious yet?

“And.”

No, God’s gaze doesn’t skip over us even with a lowly article like “And.”

“And” is “kai” (SG2532) and means “and, also, even, indeed, but.” The notes also say “a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force.” Which means it’s all of it rolled together – deacon mindset, chasing hard after peace and harmony. Does that describe your walk? No? Maybe that’s why we don’t see Christ.

After which comes the word “holiness” – “hagiasmos” (SG38): “consecration, purification.” Are we purified? Are we made sacred? Have we removed ourselves from those common things which pollute and defile?

“Eh, it’s just a tv show,” you say. Or, “I go along to get along. People already think bad things about Christians, I don’t want them thinking I’m stuck up.”

And yes, nobody wants to come off as a Bertha Better’nthou, but this is in here for a reason.

Remember just before? The part where we pursue brotherly concord in order to stop all those things from springing up amongst the congregation?

Well, in like manner, there’s a reason we have to consecrate, purify, separate our hearts and lives and minds from the world and give them to Christ’s service. Why do we need Holiness? Because:

“without” (“chōris” SG5565, “apart (from)” )

“which” (“hos” SG3739, “who, which, what, that” )

– interesting that “who” is the first pronoun listed. Holiness comes from some One, not something.

“no man” (“oudeis” SG3762, “no one, nothing” )

“shall see” (“optanomai” SG3700, “to look at, behold” )

“the Lord” (“kyrios” SG2962, “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord”)

Are we serious yet?

Let’s assemble it.

Run swiftly, as a servant does, in order to catch peace between everyone and also even sanctification, apart from Whom no one shall behold the Master.

Are we pursuing harmony?

Have we sought after holiness and purity?

If not

WE

SHALL

NOT

SEE

CHRIST.

 

It’s that simple. No Christ in your walk, O Christian?

There’s why. Point-blank.

O wretched man that I am!” we cry. “Who shall save me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24Romans 7:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? the body...: or, this body of death  

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Once more – “My grace is sufficient for you,” says our bridegroom. Behold!

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” (Hebrews 12:28Hebrews 12:28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: let...: or, let us hold fast  

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“Let us have” is “echō” – imperfect plural tense. That means “It represents continuous or re-occuring action in the past time.”

In other words, it ALREADY STARTED in the past and IT CONTINUES TO HAPPEN NOW.

 

Did you hear that???

 

WE

HAVE

GRACE

NOW!!

 

Pick yourself up and get back to it!!

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak [this] to your shame! (1 Corinthians 15:341 Corinthians 15:34
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.  

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I’ll see you at the wedding banquet, dear brothers and sisters!