Monday, October 28, 2013
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV).
If the professing “Church” is to impact our culture as the Lord Jesus Christ intended, then it had better recognize today’s Scripture as applicable to it!
The Scriptural record demonstrates that, by the opening years of the first century A.D., the LORD God has dealt with the most wretched, rebellious, unbelieving race of creatures in all of His creation. Some 4,000 years since creation, and God’s will in the earth (His earthly kingdom) is still not accomplished.
When He offers Israel her Messiah-King (Jesus), the Person who alone can redeem her from sin and Satan, and who alone can cleanse her of her sins, Israel demands His crucifixion (John 19:15)! Even into the early Acts period, Israel is still unrepentant. She continues to intentionally reject God’s Word to her, as the Prophet Stephen testified: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51). Shortly after Stephen spoke these words, Israel stones and murders him; national Israel has now committed the “unpardonable sin” of Matthew 12:31,32, and thus (temporarily) falls before God.
In Acts chapter 9, God implements a plan that He has kept secret in Himself since the world began (Ephesians 3:1-11). He saves His chief enemy in the earth, Saul of Tarsus, commissions him as Paul the Apostle, and sends salvation to the Gentiles without Israel’s kingdom (Romans 11:11-13), thus beginning a new agency, the Church the Body of Christ, and His purpose and plan for the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20-23).
And so, we (finally!) reach the context of today’s Scripture. Unfortunately, members of the Body of Christ are just as sinful and ignorant of God’s Word as the billions who lived during the previous 4,000 years (or 6,000 years if we include the present-day). Sin abounds in Corinth, in the lives of these Christians (read 1 Corinthians). Today’s Scripture, sadly, applies to many sincere Christians today. Religious tradition and the world’s “wisdom” have polluted their souls and corrupted their minds. Consequently, they too have rejected God’s Word to them… often, deliberately….