15 Jul 2003

Conscious of Nothing Against Myself

Submitted by theshovel
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I am sending out a portion of a recent correspondence in which I referred to the "Wham bang" of the good news. My reference prompted a most excellent series of questions. First, what is this "Wham"? Then, how should it be experienced? And lastly, what if it doesn't meet the expectations of others who have also experienced it? Hopefully, you'll be able to follow along even though it is only a portion of the ongoing thread. If you want to read the whole thing you can catch it here in the Q&A section. Jim

The 'WHAM' bit is the simple yet most amazing aspect of the good news, which is the very life of God that entered our very beings so that we have become one with Him! Ah ... but how should YOU experience it, and how should others come to expect to see it in you? Consider what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers regarding the very same thing:

But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by YOU, or by ANY human court; in fact, I do not even examine MYSELF. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

Does something REAL happen because of God's life within us? You'd better believe it! You know what the problem is with this though? When we decide to examine ourselves or each other for proofs of this life we only end up forcing the miraculous to measure up to some kind of comparative standard based upon observable fleshly relativities! Jesus himself ended up on the bottom of that measuring stick! That's right, he was judged by this world, especially by those who sat in the judgment seat of Moses, as a man forsaken and damned by God and man. The reality of Christ within us is not revealed by examination, but can only be WITNESSED. The witness is real, and is always present, but it gets pushed to the side as being unsubstantial when those fleshly glasses of judgment are put on by which we sometimes hope to validate this life. But why should we place any value upon any judgment other than that of the cross of Christ? For it is there that all fleshly judgment is rendered moot and God's judgment of life and freedom is revealed in Christ alone!!

in fact, I do not even examine MYSELF. For I am conscious of NOTHING against myself

Paul knew what it was to examine himself ... just as you and I also know this legal self-examination by which one is compared against another to see how well we rate. But here, after having told the saints at Corinth that he could care less about their examination of him he went on to declare that he didn't even examine HIMSELF ... because he was not conscious of anything against him!! Okay, okay, was he saying that he didn't have the same kind of struggles we deal with? Not at all, we can also find his very real and relatable testimony in Romans 7. But realize this: his struggles all served to convince him regarding what was TRUE and what was FALSE about himself. In other words, his lack of consciousness of anything against himself was continually revealed to him BECAUSE OF these same kinds of struggles we deal with. You see, it's one thing to be told there are no ghosts in your closet so that you are able to profess your confidence to others; it's another to find yourself locked in that closet paralyzed by your hidden fear that makes them seem more real than life itself. Because we have been left in a world that views all things according to its own flawed perception of reality we should not be surprised to discover that we will adopt its fears and sense of guilt and condemnation when we base our judgments upon that which can be seen with fleshly eyes or heard with fleshly ears.

For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by THIS acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.

Our acquittal cannot be based upon having no conscience of things against us; for that would only produce a vicious circle of logic, ultimately leaving Christ out of the picture! I think you also understand this pathetic circular reason just as much as I do, but let me explain it so that you know what I am referring to so that something simple doesn't come across as being deep! :) You see, the reasoning IS simple for that judgment of ourselves is based upon our own fleeting perceptions or sensations of judgment. In other words, if I don't FEEL forgiven then I suspect that maybe I'm not, or if I can stand outside that closet full of ghosts and say, I don't believe in ghosts!, and feel confident that I don't ... then I can feel the absence of their condemnation! Here is the logic many have adopted in an attempt to relieve the feelings of guilt and condemnation: If I can talk myself into a mental state of ignoring all the scary stuff behind that closet door - you know, the one I now profess as being empty - then I can claim I have no consciousness of sin. The truth of the matter is that it has nothing to do with Christ even though it might contain all manner of Christian terminology. It is merely a logic built upon itself, which is built upon nothing ... and it falls under its own weight.

For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by THIS acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.

If I am examined by the Lord, and the Lord ONLY examines according to the reality of Christ then He only sees what is REALLY true, and that truth is the NEW CREATION in Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

No, no, it is not a matter of God seeing Christ INSTEAD of me so that my sinfulness is overlooked by His selective viewpoint, it is that God is the only one unhampered by the bogus judgments of appearance that cause me to rock back and forth. God sees the reality, and the reality is that Christ IS my new life. This is the only reality by which Paul could say he was conscious of nothing against him. It is the only reality by which we can claim that same consciousness.

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These comments were all transferred over from the original website

Posted: July 15, 2003 by Rainbow

-CONCIOUS OF NOTHING AGAINST MYSELF! - The title says it all for me! - A TRUE statement for me to hold on to!

Posted: July 15, 2003 by John

WOW! Reminds me of Heb 10.1-22. We have been given in Christ that which we could never have under the law.

Posted: July 15, 2003 by Neil

Once again, my friend, a reminder of what Paul's gospel really was all about. I cannot recall, in all my years of being taught in the church, of ever having received any teaching on this statement of his. I believe the average teacher doesn't want to touch it. It brings up so many problems in fitting into standard doctrine that even the most scholarly would avoid it.

On the one hand, to those who have not a clue as to what Christ was--is--all about, it would seem that Paul is being smug, convinced he is always right in his belief or actions. Such an interpretation would say that Hitler fell into this same category. Old Adolph certainly was convinced that he was right and had no consciousness of anything against himself...or one might say that he was pompous, self-righteous, only accountable to God. On the other hand, still by those who have no understanding of this miraculous thing called Christ in us, one might think that Paul was hopelessly in denial, unready and unwilling to see himself as he really is.

With either of these views, one might further wonder why we should even pay attention to anything Paul has to say. He obviously goes from extreme to extreme, unable to settle on any middle, stable ground. First he says he knows of nothing against him, and then on another occasion says "wretched man that I am..." in an act of self-flagellation for all his shortcomings. Why should we listen to someone so torn in not determining his true status in Christ?

The fact of the matter is that Paul's statement jibes perfectly with the knowledge that a result of this exchanged life, this new creation, is a cleansed conscience free from condemnation. This is our true status in Christ wherein no man judges us nor do we judge ourselves. For the first time in history only God judges us. And since he is the only ultimate just judge, then his judgements are truly just. Why, when God has declared us "not guilty" we should turn around and declare ourselves guilty, or allow others to, is beyond reason, according to Paul's view. There is no basis for such in what Paul tells us nor even in his own experience...and he did invite us to use him as a type of standard by which we can measure our faith.

But if we do it like Paul did it, then the entire structure of modern Christianity falls into ruin. To be truthful, the structure of Christianity as a whole for about the last 1800 years crumbles into dust. And we can't let that happen, now can we? [Sorry. Didn't mean to let that last bit of sarcasm slip in.]

Posted: July 15, 2003 by Cheri


great shoveletter!

Posted: July 15, 2003 by Anonymous

I first started out thinking one way about this part in the bible ,then i folowed another persausion for many years,now im ready to be persauded agian as to its TRUE meaning.

Posted: July 15, 2003 by Anonymous


Hey there my friend. I just happened to glance on the title of the subject and was blown away. I believe I was sharing this huge realization that I had when I read this passage when we were in Florida visiting you last year.

As I like to rephrase the passage in street lingo:

"I don't give a rip what you say about me or furthermore what any other idiot says about me. As a matter of fact I don't even check my own self out, because I don't find anything wrong with me. BUT you know what hommie, just because I don't give a rip about what you think about me, or what I think about me, that is NOT why I'm not jacked-up. The ONE who determines that is the MAN. So our thoughts or words don't actually mean anything Only HIS! "

Posted: Feb-19-05 by dave c

hey jim,

thanks for this great reminder dear brother, IN HIM.

Prayers needed for my mom, as she is in the hospital recovering from stomach flu complications (having had 2 strokes before) and she's a real fighter; going through rehab again.

So blessed, to know our God looks at us as having (being the personification of) integrity, purity, holiness, righteousness, wisdom, peace, everything else that Jesus Christ is FOR US. So blessed.

So blessed to know you all too. love dave c.

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