3 Nov 2014

Fearless Judgment

Submitted by theshovel
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Last week, I sent out a Spoonful entitled Same Words, Same Mind, Same Judgment. In that short letter, I dealt with how the mindless, religious adaptation of Paul’s amazing words of spiritual wisdom have perverted his plea for unity into an organization that keeps splitting itself apart. I left off with the statement, “Be prepared to be confused by the simplicity of the answer, for it is Christ!” Of course, I know stuff like that drives some of you absolutely insane, but I did say I would continue. And so here I am back again with more absurdly-good news that will probably cause many to wonder if I’m on some kind of medication! I, on the other hand, will continue to pray that your eyes will be opened more and more to the utter simplicity of Jesus Christ—a simplicity that reveals the true source of our confusion.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians is the part about having the same judgment. The mere mention of God’s judgment can throw a wet blanket over any light-hearted gathering, especially a grace-based group. I know, for I’ve not only had that blanket thrown on me more times than I can count, I also did my fair share of using it to smother the joy of others. Sometimes I was totally oblivious to the stifling effect, probably due to my own fervency in my attempt to be a faithful witness. Other times, I felt it full on. Somewhere along the line, however, I discovered that, through Christ, fear of God’s scrutiny is unfounded. I’m not suggesting that God doesn’t examine us anymore, I’m saying that we have no reason to be afraid of what He might turn up in the process.

And yet many believers still squirm when someone quotes a Bible verse on judgment. If we only knew how counterproductive it was to keep it all at arm’s length, we would find assurance rather than intimidation and condemnation. I suspect many grace teachers downplay or avoid discussions about God’s examination because it seems so contrary to grace. I have to admit, it’s much easier to put all the questions regarding some of the troubling things Jesus said as not relevant because they were spoken before the cross. Nevertheless, we’re still left with many more that clearly reflect an after the cross point of view. Of course, that’s why some will disregard any New Testament writings other than Paul’s. Maybe that’s why his many references to God’s judgment shake our confidence.

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 4:4

Instead of letting the last phrase of that verse shake your confidence, consider how the whole thing fits together. What I’m saying is that Paul’s preposterous claim of ignorance regarding anything that could be held against him hangs upon his knowing that God does the examining. And he had determined to know nothing among them except Christ, and him crucified. Please tell me you hear the incredible meaning of the same judgment he desired for them to share in.

Once again, I will continue!

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New Testament: 

Comments

PREACH, my Brother!!

Jim, good food for thought!  It seems to me that Paul is saying that he (we) cannot really know ourselves, our true motives behind our actions, where our thoughts are really coming from, etc.  He seems to be saying that this is no excuse, just because we don't understand it doesn't make it ok, but try as hard as we want and we still cannot make ourselves be truly honest with who we are, we are blind to things concerning the inward things of us.  God's judgment on the other hand, shines His light on the truth and reveals to us just what is truly going on inside.  We can either deny what we now see, feel condemned or guilty about it, or we can see it with thankful eyes and hearts as the love of God not leaving us where we are but bringing is into a new understand of who we are and Who He is to us and in us.  What He is showing is just another understanding of how and what He has made new in us through our union with Christ.   This light from God (judgment) is not something to run and hide from, but something to embrace as the love of God in action in our lives.   It is very interesting that this was just one of the things that came up yesterday as I was talking with my sister, we are going through the letter to the Galatians, and even though very often we see things quite differently, He so often shows me things that I'm might not see any other way.  I love the way our Father uses all things to encourage each of us so we can pass it along to encourage other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Dear Jim, PTL and once again, a most fervent thank you for sharing this. We need never fear God’s judgment; yes, sometimes it is “tough”, but it is always founded in love, the love of Him who is our Father, our “dearest Daddy,” as His Son called Him. Actually, too, it is used by Him to keep us safe (or so I see it). Thank you again. I do appreciate all you share for have determined your words are based in love, His love! Joanne A.

You had written:
“Instead of letting the last phrase of that verse shake your confidence, consider how the whole thing fits together. What I’m saying is that Paul’s preposterous claim of ignorance regarding anything that could be held against him hangs upon his knowing that God does the examining. And he had determined to know nothing among them except Christ, and him crucified. Please tell me you hear the incredible meaning of the same judgment he desired for them to share in.”

Joanne Anstine

i am so very thankful that HIS judgment and examination is not according to man's wisdom, outward appearance or 'sin'.  HIS judgment and examination toward and concerning those who are in HIM (New Creations) is based solely upon Christ and what HE has made worthy and acceptable.  this is because of HIS nature of Love and all that HE IS, and all that HE brought about through Jesus Christ.  the judgment of GOD toward man and sin was met in, through, and by HIS Son.  :)

i love how our judgment and examination by the Father is all the same!  it is based and sourced from the Son!  :)  He is our fearless judgment and examination  … there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … there should be none between us/one another, for HE holds none/nothing against us.  :)

looking so forward for you to continue and expound and share MORE MORE MORE!  :)

heart

Thanks Jim! Thank you for much encouragement.

I love how God’s judgment of us as righteous in Christ is confirmed and affirmed again and again and again! It’s like God is the Master Jeweler with His divine eyepiece (maybe His Word?), taking me His diamond in Christ out of the showcase to show off and appraise every time a customer walks by and asks to view it.

Again and again, He shows off all of the facets of what He has done in me as I am in Him—the quality, the color, the cut—it’s all there in me as I am in Christ Jesus. As Jamie Grace would say, “it’s a beautiful thang!”

John

“…through Christ, fear of God’s scrutiny is unfounded. I’m not suggesting that God doesn’t examine us anymore, I’m saying that we have no reason to be afraid of what He might turn up in the process.” <~theshovel

yeah, i know what you mean about GOD's scrutiny being feared.  frown when we are still viewing ourselves and/or one another as those who have NOT been made NEW, we will constantly look for, point out and 'be aware' of each other's weaknesses, 'sins', and what have you.  GOD, on the other hand, no longer sees those things, but sees only the New Creation HE has made.  :)  it is a smothering bondage to constantly watch, observe and scrutinize our selves and each other from the same 'view' as the world.  looking for, witch-hunting, seeking after, etc. that which is no longer ours to 'scrutinize' will never disappoint!  there will ALWAYS be found something to 'point out' (in 'christian love' of course) that makes us inferior, lacking, shameful, needful of 'working on', dot dot dot … fill in the blank.  as if we don't do that to our selves enough on a daily basis.  we, our families, relatives, friends, employers, peers, neighbors dot dot dot … you name it … are FULL to OVER-flowing with plenty of endless, painful, separating scrutiny.  it is the bound nature of human 'life' on planet earth.  what meaningful, lasting, living hope is there to be found in any of it? 

thank GOD that kind of scrutiny is not the same scrutiny we are to fear from the FATHER!  it is a NEW Creation matter and a NEW relationship we have been brought into with, through and by Christ, and a NEW relationship that we have and share in and with one another.  :)  if only we could have that 'view' at all times without distraction!  sighhh ….

heart

theshovel's picture

Wow, this was so encouraging to read while stuck at work on a beautiful day! Thanks.

This is great dot dot dot! I love the phrase “smothering bondage.” Almost sounds like a song but really is truth that captures the feeling of being on the lookout for people and situations to inspect. It also lets me be ever the more thankful for my Father and His freedom for which He set me free dot dot dot :) by the way, a day is coming when distractions will be no more. :)

John Elrod

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