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Friday, April 1, 2016

Spiritual Leaders & Discernment

Thoughts About Spiritual Leaders

I have been reading 1 Corinthians again, and I have looked at some of the commentary notes as well.
I'm not the best about real study at all, but things stand out to me at different times that provoke thought.
The following is the result of some of my reading and thoughts.
(Note: I'm a female, and thus not qualified to instruct men.  I hope that this can be edifying, and maybe it will encourage both my readers and myself to dig in further and meditate in a Biblical sense).

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
1 Corinthians 3:21-22

Roman Catholics try to place a supreme importance on Peter, but 1 Corinthians 3 demonstrates that this should not be.  Heresy often begins with a wrong interpretation of Scripture, or the placing of anything above or equal to Scripture.

The foundation of the church is Christ. He is the only foundation to be laid...not Peter (1 Corinthians 3:11).
We learn truth from the Word of God, and anything that contradicts should be avoided.

Church planters and waterers are servants with great responsibility, but it is God who is to be extolled rather than the workers
(1 Corinthians 3:7).
Paul laid the foundation (of Christ) for many churches, but it was all of God's grace.
The church belongs to Christ.

It's kind of fun to think of all the Biblical pastors & evangelists out there as belonging to me (1 Corinthians 3:22).  I guess that could mean ones from the past too!   I certainly have learned from a lot of  people.  
Pastors, teachers, and evangelists don't have a special "in" with God that I don't, though some have been a lot more diligent in their prayer and Bible study than I am.
Every Christian can have that kind of relationship with God, though many of us do not have the responsibility that leaders do.

While we can have affection for our teachers, we should not make idols out of them or boast in them.  One pastor who teaches the Word isn't to be considered higher than another teacher of the Word who may have a different way of speaking, and all true believers are one in Christ.  Men do disappoint us.  God will test their hearts and work as well as our own.  We can imitate them, but only insofar as they are Christlike and faithful.

It's good to think about that all things belong to Christians (and it will be even better in the future), and we are Christ's.  He is in us, because we are in Him.

Discernment:  The article HERE by Grace To You is superb (except the quoting of C.S. Lewis, which I know would have been better left out...especially considering the topic).

The following are just a couple of quotes of John MacArthur from a position article "Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis.":

"Some say that doctrine divides.  That's true!  If you set aside biblical truth and remain silent for fear of offending people, opposition will disappear, but so will some other things like truth, holiness, and God Himself."

"Confronting sin effectively puts a wall of division between the world and the church by separating those who obey the Lord from those who don't.  It's essential that believers draw the line between right and wrong."

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