The Works of The Flesh In Us

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Hi M____,

I know you only through e- mails, and I would never impute any motives to you which you do not make clear to me. But God knows your heart. He knows whether you are defending the Truth of His word to aggrandize yourself or if you are waiting humbly and patiently, yet willingly, to be of service to another hungry soul.

1Co 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

It was knowing this simply fact of life that provoked this very important admonition from the apostle Paul:

1Ti 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

It is very easy to fail to remember what are the results of placing a novice into a place of leadership before coming to know what are that man’s qualifications in Christ:

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

It simply takes time to have one’s senses exercised to know good and evil:

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [ even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

It is right at the end of telling His disciples that they would be hated of all men for having such high standards that Christ makes this sobering statement:

Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
Luk 21:14 Settle [ it] therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Luk 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and [ some] of you shall they cause to be put to death.
Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all [ men] for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

So realize that your immature desire to share your new found truths with others is common to us all at first. In time God will burn out of us all any vanity which makes us think that our own flesh is deserving of any glory. I hope I have perceived the spirit and question of this letter, and I hope I have said something which addresses that question.

Your brother in Christ, Mike

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