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The Lukewarm Confession

How could a church that’s not lacking any spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 1:7) have so many problems?  That’s the question that rises up in me when I read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  As we go through this letter, the answer now becomes obvious.

Already you have all you want!  Already you have become rich!  You have become kings — and that without us!  How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you!
1 Corinthians 4:8

I love Paul’s attitude, it’s a lot like mine sometimes.  He has humor with an edge of sarcasm.  There are times that this is needed to wake people up from their lethargy.

Paul exposes their faulty mindset.  They felt that they had all they wanted.  They felt that they were rich.  They felt that they no longer had any need of Paul’s apostolic ministry to their church.

For anyone who’s read the book of Revelation, this should sound very familiar.  There was a church to which Jesus Christ dictated a letter through John.  It was situated in the town of Laodicea.

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
Revelation 3:17

Here’s the problem.  They have a good confession, but they were self-deceived.  Please understand, I believe in and practice the memorization and confession of the Word of God.  It’s Scriptural and needed to bring maturity.

The problem arises when we deny the reality of our present situation.  For instance, if I’m sick, I can acknowledge my sickness BUT confess Christ as my Healer.  I can speak the Word that says I’m healed because of the wounds of Christ.

Usually, people only deny that they’re sick because they’re afraid to admit it.  But if you never acknowledged your sickness, how can Christ get the glory for your healing?

“We don’t need you, Paul.  We have all we need. We’re rich.  We’re ruling and reigning.”

The whole time, it was obvious to all outside observers that the church of Corinth was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.  I’m glad that Jesus gave John the diagnosis in the opening of His letter.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Revelation 3:15-16

Most people don’t understand what being lukewarm refers to.  It’s a stubborn refusal to tap into the power of God’s kingdom.

It takes power to raise water from room temperature to boiling.  It also takes power to transform room temperature water into ice.  It requires no power to remain lukewarm.

There’s a subtle deception that many believers have fallen victim to.  That’s exalting their “good confession” over Christ Himself.  It’s not your confession that heals you – Christ is your Healer.

The reason we confess God’s Word is to change us.  I want to renew my mind so that it conforms to God’s Word.  Confession reprograms my internal computer.

When I start having faith in my confession, rather than in Christ, then I’m on the road to becoming lukewarm.  I need to see my need for Christ.  He is the Supplier for all that I need for life and godliness.

You don’t need to deny the situation you’re in.  But just the same, confess what God’s Word says about your situation and look for Christ to show up and bring about the change that’s needed.

Question: How does the confession of God’s Word renew your mind?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on February 11, 2019 in Faith, Healing, Power of God, Word of God

 

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Tricky, Tricky

We’re continuing our look at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church.  The church had broken into factions over following their favorite teachers.  In dealing with this, Paul is showing them that the wisdom of God is far superior to human wisdom.

Do not deceive yourselves.  If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.
1 Corinthians 3:18

This is actually a very scary verse of Scripture.  It troubles me to think that I could possibly trick myself into believing a lie.

Of course, we know that it’s a very easy thing to do.  On more than one occasion I’ve used the arguments that I heard in society around me.  I then convinced myself that I could do something completely opposite to what I knew to be correct.

As Christians, we need to understand that what the world calls wisdom, is not always the truth.  It may seem to work for a season, but eventually, it will produce death in us.

My goal should be to operate in the wisdom of God; that which I receive from the Spirit.  Then I know that I’m headed in the direction of Life.  Unfortunately, in the eyes of the world, this sometimes appears to be foolishness.

Paul goes on to explain the differences.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.  As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
1 Corinthians 3:19-20

When we reject God’s wisdom in favor of the world’s, we’ve chosen the path of deception.  We’re now opening up our lives for the problems that come from foolish decisions.

The phrase, catches the wise in their craftiness, is very descriptive in the Greek.  The word, catch, means to entrap like when a snake hypnotizes its prey by rocking back and forth.

The word picture shows us that we become fascinated by our own trickery.  We deceive ourselves to believe the world’s way of doing things and then we become obsessed with it.

I’ve seen it happen many times.  A believer does something totally out of character for a follower of Christ.  You then hear them explaining it over and over to everyone they meet.

“I deserved to do that.  It’s my turn now.  I have the right to be happy.  I have to think about myself; no one else will.”

We become obsessed and fascinated by our self-deception.  In the end, it will ruin us if we continue in it.

Paul’s second quote is just as important.  The word, thoughts, literally means an internal dialogue.

Have you ever had these discussions taking place within yourself?  You know the right thing to do, but you keep repeating the world’s wisdom to convince yourself to go another way.

The verse says that God knows these internal discussions are empty and profitless.  It could also mean that it will get to the point of idolatry.

Not that you’ll worship a statue of wood or metal.  It’s more deceptive than that.  We actually place the wisdom of this age as the ruler of our lives.  We give the world our attention instead of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t fall into the trap of self-deception.  Take stock of whose wisdom you listen to.  Seek time in the Lord’s presence to hear His voice.  Then follow it over and above anything that the world will try and convince you of.

Question: Why is the world’s wisdom so attractive to us?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Get Rid of Powerlessness Once and for All

For a few posts I’ve been talking about the nature of spiritual power.  I’ve been using the example of electrical power to explain these truths.  We have seen that love is our spiritual “voltage”, while a saved mind is spiritual “current”.  In this final post of the series, I’ll talk about the importance of a saved mind.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things…and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.  “Never, Lord!” he said.  “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 16:21-23

Peter was acting on the principles of an unsaved mind.  This actually caused Peter to rebuke and contradict Jesus.

We can end up in that same state if we don’t allow our minds to be saved and renewed by the Word.  We must always check to see what principles we’re acting on.  Are they the truth of God’s Word, or the principles of the world system?

Don’t get into the position where you contradict the Word of God, because you’re acting out your own human wisdom.

“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”
Matthew 13:22

This verse shows the result of an unsaved mind.  Your actions will be based upon worries, the desire for riches and pleasures, rather than the will of God.  A mind choked by the cares of this world is unfruitful, even if we’re hearing the Word of God.

Unfruitful means that the Word does not produce any change in our lives.  If change is not being produced, then that, by definition, is powerlessness.

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else…
Galatians 6:3-4a

If you find yourself in this state of powerlessness, don’t add the condition of self-deception to it.  Take stock of your life.  Do you see the marks of the power of God or not?  Is there room for improvement?  If so, then allow the working of the Holy Spirit to move you into a closer walk with the Lord.

Don’t be satisfied with the same old mediocre walk that most of Christianity calls normal in this generation.  Break free from that mold and seek the power of God to flow freely through your life.  It all depends upon your attitude and your willingness to humble yourself before a holy God who already knows your condition.

Question: Do you desire the power of God in your life?  What’s your next step to walking in it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Power of God

 

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