Post details: over-humanization


Permalink 11:07:09 am, Categories: By Trent, 506 words   English (US)


Jesus commanded Lazarus.
Lazarus obeyed.
When he obeyed that was a good work, was it not?
All obedience is good work. But was it really Lazarus that should be credited for it? Do you think that Lazarus will take the credit, and say "Yeah, I obeyed, I did it!" Is that what anybody would say when they arise and come forth from a grave?
It was a miracle. Lazarus obeyed, but then again he did nothing.

When works are judged there will be all kinds of works, but they will fall into two categories. The one category is what man can produce. The other category is what God can produce. What is wood, hay and stubble except the good/bad/ugly of man's works produced by their sweat? And on the other hand, what man can produce a single precious jewel by their own sweat? It is impossible with man to produce a single good work, but with man it is possible to make all kinds of works that will be utterly rejected at the judgment and reduced to ashes in the fire.

When the antichrist helps an old woman across the street, is that a good work? NO! It is sin, for anything that is not of faith is sin! And the antichrist does nothing of faith, and all is done in impure rebellion! Repentance is needed, and faith. For Jesus suffered and died for all the sin done independently of God by such a man, while the world would applaud those same works.

Am I over-spiritualizing? Can such a thing happen? The Spirit and only the Spirit is reality and to humanize and extol the ability of man to do what is pleasing to God ... when man can do nothing is the delusion of religion. Such a bitter disillusionment awaits the humanists at the judgment, when all their "good works" as man would judge, the fire judges as dust ... for they were produced by men. And all the works that man cannot do, and yet they did them, for they are their works ... these precious jewels are gifts of the Most High, and to Him belongs all credit and glory for the production of them.

Rewards are coming, and I know that I know, that I will only be rewarded for exactly what I never did. For rewards come to those that abide and let the Lord do through them as though it was them ... but it indeed and in truth was not them at all. It was the Lord, by His Spirit. Or it is nothing at all.

Take brother Lazarus' word for it when he tells you in the Kingdom, that he obeyed the Lord, but he didn't obey the Lord. I mean, he didn't ... but then again he did.

All true obedience is miraculous. And all of the Lord's commands reveal what we cannot do, but by His Spirit, He intends to do them through us!

To God be the glory!
Apart from Him we do absolutely nothing.

Ripening still,

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Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
Can one over-spiritualize in seeking after the Truth, which is in Christ? No, all things done in faith and sincerity to understand Him, we love, is pleasing to God. But we must always remember the "fruit of the Spirit"(Gal. 5:22-23) and display it toward one another when reasoning together... seeking the Truth, here a little, there a little.

To all reading this comment:
Remember this, when reading the Word of God in the Bible or in the Letters: God is spirit; His Christ, spirit, the very Holy Spirit which is given of Christ to all those who love and believe in Him. So then, faith is also spiritual, being spiritually received as a gift because of the Truth you have accepted. The Truth is also spiritual because it can only be understood and received by the Spirit according to the will of God. This very understanding is also given by God and therefore is spiritual as well. No one can have anything unless God gives it. Human power, and understanding, is of no use at all and is earthly. What God gives is spiritual, and discerned in a spiritual way. Earthly understanding resists the Truth. So all those who seek to understand through earthly wisdom, will doubt, because that which God offers must be received spiritually, in humbleness and complete abandonment of oneself before God.

In serving God we also become servants to one another and even of all those who seek Him.

In Christ's great love,
Permalink 02/08/07 @ 12:13
Comment from: Pam [Member]
Hey Trent,

Who can resist obeying God when the Holy Spirit calls him/her to do so and who can will himself to obey when God has hardened His heart? Obedience to God is that which we should praise God for, that He has called us to knowingly serve Him for He could as easily have hardened our hearts that we serve as vessels of wrath. Man's works good or bad are nothing in view of eternity but only the purposes of God in the fulfillment of His Work upon the earth.

Great post even without my addition!;-]

Permalink 02/08/07 @ 12:52
Comment from: societyvs [Visitor]
It;s still over-spiritualizing a very simple concept - about doing good for others.

The reason I say that is I read the gospels and I don't see any of these theological pre-requirements stated in Matthew chapters 5-7 (or anywhere else to be honest). God seems to be asking to 'do good' to others - regardless of the theology we want to put behind it. The two commandments don't even require it - They ask us to love God (with all out being) and to love our neighbor like we love ourselves. Fact being that our love from God is being passed forward to the next person. It's not that we aren't doing anything but we are reflecting the love of God we learned to others. Paul even went so far as to say 'love your neighbors' and this is loving God (seeing that humans are created in His image and He loves them). And it seems to be the core of Jesus' message (do unto others as you would like to have done unto you). Why does that even need to be spiritualized? On that simple command 'hangs all the law and the prophets'.

I guess I have some issue with it because I am seeing a lot of Christians using this as a 'cop-out' for helping the poor. And a 'cop-out' for a lot of things in general - they have to be 'led' into something - when all along they have the book in front of their faces.
Permalink 02/08/07 @ 17:24
Comment from: Pam [Member]

I guess I'll butt in here a bit. It is never wrong to be good to people but being good to people isn't the way to eternal life and we can be good to people without serving God. Jesus is the Way to eternal life. God's work is good works and not necessarily those of our own choosing. God's work may include feeding the poor but also may include telling a pharisee where the rubber meets the road, or clearing the temple, or dying for the sins of the world. Jesus was faithful to do the Father's Will and not His own. Those of us who are directed by Christ should do the same. We aren't serving God when we tack His name onto the works that we choose to be good. I think that is the point that Trent was making. I sure wouldn't use it as an excuse for with-holding food from a starving man and knowing Trent, I don't think he would either.:0)

Permalink 02/08/07 @ 20:00
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
Brothers and Sisters, listen and have understanding of the Lord's purpose in His servants, for we are servants by choice having asked the Master to dwell in us. And so our works, from this place, are no more our own works, but the will of the Lord manifest in us...the work of the Spirit.
It as the apostles wrote: Works without faith is no more work and faith without works is no more faith. So then, My brothers, you are both right from your own understanding of Scripture, yet your understanding is not yet complete, nor is mine complete. What I see in Trents words is the very thing the Lord taught me from the beginning. Which is: Apart from Him I am nothing and all I do of myself amounts to nothing also. Only that which I do in Him profits, and that which I do, I do not of myself, but only by Him that is in me and whose voice I obey. We are always working and serving a master. Either we are in Christ working toward His purpose in ourselves and for those to whom He sends us; or we are not in Christ and we are serving satan by default. You know the saying, 'you cannot serve two masters'. This is not just in relation to God and mammon. We either serve God in belief or satan by unbeleif... the atheist is not neutral, rather he is the fool as proverbs says.
So to make a longwinded comment short, I beleive brother Trent was saying: "apart from the Lord we can do nothing and by Him are all things manifest" or in other words, when we take our will out of the equation and give over ourselves completely to the Master we become empty vessels fit for the Master's use...we have become His hands and His feet, members of His body - Jesus then, is doing all the work. And the works that we are doing are those very works that brother "society" mentioned.

So then what Trent is saying, and I always repeat as often as possible, lest I take even one thing the Lord has done or shown me to myself for my own glory, calling it my own...
I shout with all my heart:
Permalink 02/08/07 @ 21:48
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
I am sorry if I was gave you an unvarnished reply.
I had only a minute to write, and did not read over it. Please pardon the curt tone of that message. I am, as Timothy would say, a man of many stumblings, and I would not want to place myself as the person in charge of correcting your thoughts.

Think and believe as you want to believe. Just please understand that I do not want to applaud a man for the "doing good to others" that I see. If it is in their heart to do good, then they are bearing (not producing) the good. amen. I applaud the Vine, for producing what the branch is bearing. Can I count on you to help me from straying from this, for I am encumbered by a straying and crediting to myself and others, what good can only come from God. For "only God is good" - Jesus.

Good works are wrought in God, and placed before us that we should walk in them, according to His strength.
I know that we are commanded to love our enemies. However, there is not one indication in the entire Bible that we are told that it is something that we can do.

Many people come along and imply that obedience is something that we can do on our own, but the Lord said clearly that apart from Him we can do nothing.
So, when I read Matthew 5-7, I do not muster the human energies and strength to accomplish a fulfillment of that in the least. I know that it is impossible with me, but possible with God ... for even our willingness to do it is a gift, and the fulfillment is likewise a gift. All grace to do as He commands is a gift, and to Him belongs all the glory.

"Not by power, nor by strength, but by my Spirit says the Lord!" (it does not get more hyper-spiritualized than that.)


Permalink 02/08/07 @ 23:18
Comment from: Len [Visitor] ·
Really good stuff, Trent. thanks for sharing. Reminds me of one of my very most favorite quotable thoughts:
"With GOD: *motive* is everything." ... "He looketh upon the heart."

blessings & Shalom.
Permalink 02/08/07 @ 23:51
Comment from: societyvs [Visitor]
Trent (and others), I don't disagree that God had provided the way for these actions we all now walk in - and I am thankful for it. I guess I only raise concern with the idea of spirituality - since I have seen that term abused in many a kind way - even in these days. What is the definition of spirituality?

I am all for good works - whether the muslim, the atheist, or the mormon does them - and I know theologically we all don't agree with them - but isn't doing 'good from God'? How come we are so quick to take out our spade and seperate ourselves from them when they are also doing good? How can you be so sure that God has not ordained them for that purpose - or put those ideas into their hearts? Is what they are doing spiritual? Does what they reflect in their very work habits reflect their understanding of a gracious God also? Or is it that God only converses with us - those with the right scriptural perspective?

The questions linger because we want to say as a theological perspective that we are not 'saved by works' and although this is true - James, in his letter, without 'work's we are also lying to ourselves. But God has given us that ability to do such - he gave us hands, feet, a mind, a heart, and motivation - I can't see God being grieved by helping someone even if we don;t recognize God in that endeavor - see Matt 25 (sheep and goat story) - those people never even recognized Jesus yet whatever they did 'unto the least of these they did unto him'. God loves people and God is not overly concerned with who does the loving - as long as the poor, broken, and desperate are loved. So with or without recognition of God - it would seem the 'good deeds' in that story was essential (also see Good Samaritan story in Luke). The heart of Jesus is love - those who love another, in some regards, they can know God.

Don;t get me wrong though - I only got these ideas from knowing and reading about Jesus - and trying to grasp the strength of that love. I would have never had some of the intentions I have now if it wasn't for the leading of God to this water. I see a Jesus in the gospels that loved the poor, broken, and desperate in society and that was his focus of his ministry - and if we want to be 'like Jesus' - we need to believe the master. I see a church these days that has forgotten the poor and the broken and the desperate in society - we aren't even looking anymore nevermind. But God see's it all - those who die in the gutter, the drug addict, the single mother who abandons her kids, etc - and he still loves them - even if we can't or don't wanna. I have heard every Christian excuse up to this point about this is of little concern to them - by merely over-spiritualizing the idea or not understanding spirituality, we think our words are more important than our actions - because that's what church taught us. Read Jesus one more time - watch his every move in the gospels - he helps every single person that is in need of it - and they are always struggling or hurt - I see a God that cares about the poor in this world - and I see a church that is playing with the notion of who this Jesus is. It's it the book in front of us.

Permalink 02/09/07 @ 10:21

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