Engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiology

Why I love my “Non-Calvinist” brothers/sisters

Four quick reasons:

1. They are family. They are my brother’s and sisters; we are all part of the body of Jesus Christ – purchased by His blood. Whether we agree on every issue or not, we are still spiritual siblings and are commanded to love each other.

2. Whether they know it or not, God has loved them so much that He hand picked them to adoption. If God has set His electing love on them, as He has me, without any merit found within the loved but more demerit than one can ever imagine; there is absolutely no reason why I should not love them also, seeing as I can give reasons to do so.

3. They truly do love The LORD. My believing non-Calvinist friends do love The LORD with all their hearts – some of them love Him more than I do! The parts of their theology that takes glory from God, or attempts to share some of His praise in the salvation of men, seem to go unseen by them. I believe that once they see the implications of their stance they would amend it because I believe the do have a consuming love for God. I have no reason to not love anyone who has a burning passion for my LORD!

4. They love others. I was raised “non-Calvinist”, my childhood pastor – a man I thank God for (in spite of our disagreements) – cares for me. In my childhood years he spoke to me as he thought best to keep me from moral failure and to encourage me to dive into God’s Word. It’s kind of ironic that it’s part of his influence in holding Scripture high that lead me to be a Calvinist!

Although I wish all my non-Calvinist friends were Calvinists, I love them dearly…. ‘just saying. =)

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Servants of Christ Jesus – Philippians 1:1 (The Kingdom Principle)

The Principle of Serving (The kingdom principle): 
There is a principle in Mark 9:35 that we find concerning greatness in the kingdom of God. It can be paraphrased like this: “The higher one is in the kingdom, the lower he becomes as a servant.” This kingdom logic is the incompatible with the logic of the natural man.  When he hears this principle, by the time it reaches his twisted brain, it says “If I wish to f_wlead, I must first learn to serve!” I have been told this growing up, and it sounds like a good moral principle, but there is a fundamental misconception in this statement. One doesn’t serve for a time and then become the served. This turns service into a rung on the ladder of success that is used as a means to the “servant’s” self-glorification; thus making church leaders nothing but spiritual CEOs utilizing people to accomplish their goals in building their ecclesiastical empire. 
This kingdom principle is exactly the opposite of what the natural man would do. The higher position one holds among the local assembly, the more of a servant you are. Servants don’t demand respect, higher pay, their own parking spot, or to have it all done their way. Servants always put the ones they serve first. They forego their own needs for the sake of others. They are servants.  


Servants of Christ Jesus – Philippians 1:1 (Holy Ground)

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:” Philippians 1:1

The Holy Ground of Service:
Not only does the place of servitude place all believers on equal ground,having been taken from being a God-hating slave of sin to a God-loving slave of Christ freed from sin, it puts us on holy ground. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Christ came to serve!wash-feet Philippians 2:5-7 tells us that we are to have the mind of Christ, which is the mind of a servant. I know it may seem strange to some to think like this. We are use to offering God giifts of service and grattitude, but Scripture is clear that there is a way in which we don’t serve Christ, but He serves us! Lest we go too far in balking at the idea remember what Christ said to Peter when he refused to let Christ wash his feet as a servant. “Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” (John 13:8) Praise The LORD, He came to serve!

Being a servant is part of being conformed into the image of Christ. The ground of service is holy ground, for it is in serving we become more like Him.

 



Servants of Christ Jesus – Philippians 1:1 (Equal Ground)

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:” Philippians 1:1

The Equal Ground of Service:
Timothy was Paul’s “son in the faith” (I Timothy 1:2) yet here, in the opening of the book, Paul places Timothy and himself on the same level – servants. Timothy wasn’t Paul’s “assistant”. Paul expounds on this a bit more in Ephesians 6:9 when he tells masters to remember that their Christian slaves have the same Master they do. They may be above them in earthly matters, but spiritually, they are both slaves of God. He also says in I Corinthians 3:8-9 that “he who plants and he who waters are one, but God gives the increase”. There is no room for any slave to boast over being a better, more profitable slave than another. We are all slaves, and are to remember that when relating to other brothers and sisters in Christ. 
 I am not advocating that we should not have pastors and teachers; Scripture is very clear that those are given by God to the church. But for one to use his position as a means to demand respect, view self as above another by being more beneficial to God and His work, or commandeer the people of God is to take a twisted view of the reason these men are given to the body.   

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus…”