Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dietary Laws and Sabbaths for Christians

   A novel, but incorrect, interpretation of Romans 14:1-10, is that it was written to address optional fasting on certain holy [sabbath] days and not to referee a dispute among Christians about Old Covenant dietary laws and observation of sabbaths.
   But when read in context [the entire chapter, not just the first ten verses], the plain understanding--with no mental gymnastics or logic leaps--is that the apostle says nothing about fasting and is indeed addressing the controversy of legalism in dietary laws and observation of holy days [sabbaths].
A better Covenant established on better promises
-- Hebrews 8:6
   
   Paul wrote that some Christians were "weak" in the faith. Those he referred to [as weak] were the ones who felt compelled to observe dietary laws and holy days and condemned others for not doing the same. 
   Within the context of Romans chapter fourteen, Paul admonishes all Believers to be tolerant of each other in matters of what to eat or not to eat and in matters of what holy days to observe. 
One person esteems one day above another
Another esteems every day alike
Let every one be fully persuaded in their own minds
    Food choices and holy days are completely optional for New Covenant Believers. Verse :14 reinforces the subject to be that of menu in general and not of fasting or not fasting on holy days. At any rate, fasting was never mandated for the Sabbath, and neither was it mandated for most other sabbaths. 
   Mental gymnastics and logic leaps are clearly required to claim that Romans chapter fourteen is not dealing with Old Covenant dietary laws and  sabbath requirements.
   The chapter plainly refers to menu choices--not to fasting--and specifies that the controversy largely involves vegetarianism -vs- meat (flesh) eating, or at the very least eating certain kinds of meat. The word food as used in this passage can also correctly be translated as "menu," (vs :15) and the context bears it out that Paul is writing of controversial menu choices and holy days in general and not about fasting only on certain days.
   When it comes to mandating food and holy days, biblical instruction is, "Drop the subject and mind your own business. This is a matter of liberty and option." 
   Those who cannot allow liberty concerning this issue, are sadly related to those Paul wrote of to the Galatians, the ones he said came to "spy out our liberty!" 
    The apostle wrote that the issues of optional food choices and holy days are not to be controversial matters among Christians but rather non-issues, matters of love and liberty.

...Shalom 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Spiritual Warfare Lesson 8


The Armor of God
Lesson 8 of Hungry Hearts Fellowship's Home-Church Curriculum
Be solidly/firmly supported with TRUTH—Strap it on and wear it!

 Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth….

  • Putting on the whole armor of God begins with strapping on TRUTH. 

  • Pontius Pilot asked, “What is TRUTH John 18:38?”   
  • Jesus said to the woman at the well, …true worshippers shall worship the Father by [the] Spirit and by [the] TRUTH….John 4:23.

 Our quest to find TRUTH must begin not with facts, bits of information, but with a person. Jesus claimed to be that person when he said, “I AM…the TRUTHJohn 14:6.” It is only when we believe that Jesus is TRUTH personified, that he is the only way, the only TRUTH, and the only life, that we can begin waging spiritual warfare [both defensive and offensive] by fastening on the first piece of the Armor of God—the belt of TRUTH. Only then, can we begin applying to our lives not only the life that is inherent in the person of Jesus, but the life and protection that is inherent in his words  [TRUTH] Matthew 7:24-25.
   Jesus said his Spirit—the Spirit of TRUTH—would dwell in all who belonged to him John 14:17.  
   What an awesome defense against powerful spiritual enemies [who frequently work through physical means]!
  
Discussion

  • How does Psalm 91:4 add to our understanding of Ephesians 6:14
  • What did David mean by Psalm 40:11?
  • What does *Psalm 100:5 say to those who claim  God’s TRUTH [the Bible] has been corrupted—that we no longer have it in its entirety?
  • What are some companion verses to Ephesians 6:14, that show more scriptural examples of how [during his ministry] Jesus answered Pilate’s question, “What is TRUTH?” John 17:17, John 14:16-17

 *Ben Chayyim Hebrew Text Translations

Life Application
How can believers belt on the TRUTH and apply it to our lives in a defensive manner while offensively fighting the good fight, wielding the powerful spiritual weapons provided for us by our Creator?

 

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HungryHeartsMinistries.faith / copyright © Jocelyn Andersen 2020 / OneWayPress.com

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Spiritual Warfare Lesson One


The Armor of God
Lesson 1
Know where our power comes from

 Ephesians 6:10  "…be Strong in the LORD and in the power of HIS might."

In studies of spiritual warfare, this simple statement is the nexus, the beginning and the ending, the alpha and omega, of the entire subject. It is too easy to fall into the deception of self-sufficiency and confuse the power of our might with the power of HIS might. Yes, King David was physically strong and had physically mighty men in his army. Yes, Bathsheba wrote of valiant women in her letter to her son. All Christians, both women and men, are commanded be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might. One example of how to do this, is found in the life of Moses. Moses was the most politically powerful man among all the Hebrews, yet he was also the most humble person on earth. When faced with the overthrow of his God-ordained government, Moses did not rally the armies—which he could have done—but rather fell on his face before God in intercession and prayer for a people who were condemning themselves. He knew that real victory entailed much more than mere physical victory over a physical enemy. Moses was raised a prince in Egypt. He was a physically powerful man trained in physical warfare. At the age of 40, he was capable of fighting and single-handedly defeating multiple adversaries, simultaneously. The Bible says, he remained a physically powerful man throughout his life. Yet, when Moses became God’s man, we never again see even a hint of the masculine pride and self-sufficiency that had dominated his early life.

Discussion
Who else in the Bible is an example of being strong in the power of the Lord’s might? What was the result?

Who [in the Bible] was an example of depending on their own power? What was the result?

Are there examples in the Bible of someone doing both? What was the result of each?

What power works [or should work] in the lives of believers?

List Companion verses to Ephesians 3:10
Ephesians 3:20-21  Now unto HIM that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us Unto HIM be glory…”

Life Application
What are some ways [aside from physical power] in which we might depend on our own strength / abilities rather than God’s, and how can we avoid doing that?
 


HungryHeartsMinistries.faith / copyright © Jocelyn Andersen 2020 / OneWayPress.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How to Wage SPIRITUAL Warfare


"Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might..."
 
When it comes to spiritual warfare, this simple statement--frequently read but often glossed over--is the nexus, the beginning and the ending, the alpha and omega, of the entire subject. But it is all too easy to fall into the deception of self-sufficiency, to confuse the power of our might, our resources, with the power of God's might and HIS resources. 

Yes, King David had physically powerful men in his physical army.  Yes, Bathsheba wrote of valiant women in her letter to her son. But in his letter to the Christians of Ephesus, the apostle Paul admonished all Christians, both women and men, to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 

A premiere example of how to do this, is found in the life of Moses, the most politically powerful man among all the Hebrews, yet the Bible says he was also the most humble person on earth.

When Moses was faced with the overthrow of his God-ordained government, he did not rally the troops—which he could have done. The Israelite army was large [and largely loyal to him], but instead, Moses fell on his face before God in intercession and prayer for a people who were condemning themselves. 

Moses saw the big picture and knew what was at stake. He knew that real victory entailed much more than mere physical victory over a physical enemy. He was raised a prince in Egypt. He was a physically powerful man who had experienced the best training that could be had in physical warfare. At the age of 40, he was depicted as fighting and single-handedly defeating multiple adversaries, simultaneously. The Bible says, he remained a physically powerful man throughout his life. Yet, when he became God’s man, we never again see even a hint of the masculine pride and dependence on political status or physical strength that had dominated his early life. 

The enemies of our souls are not a flesh and blood persons, but make no mistake about it, they are are real and very powerful spiritual beings. We cannot afford to forget that everything we see was created by that which we cannot see. 

The physical is always subordinate to the spiritual. 

And as a roaring lion, the enemy of our souls prowls about seeking to destroy anyone and everyone he can. But our Creator, in his infinite mercy, has equipped his people with everything we need for life and godliness as well as to resist and fight battles in the spiritual realm, battles that will be of great import in our lives--one way or the the other--in the physical realm we currently inhabit. 

So, even though Diabolos often works through people, the battle is really spiritual, and spiritual battles cannot be won through physical means. 

Want to learn more? Ephesians 6:10-18 is a great place to start, but don't stop there. Strengthen our spirits daily by knowing and doing the Word of God. 


Read your Bibles everyday always picking up today where you left off yesterday!