Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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I had the thought when I read the 5-05 TFM that Paul now knew that he could hear from God. Before Jesus stopped him on the road to Damascus, he had probably never experienced God's power before and had probably always had to go by what someone else told him. Isn't that the way it still is? We begin hearing from God, and then it comes down to finding out from God for ourselves what is right. We have to have it from God, because His opinion is the only one that counts, and He does something first to give us hope that we can access Him. And how blessed we are that we're not alone, that we have each other! We are so blessed to have people in our lives who hear and recognize that same voice! That's fellowship.
What a great thought, Cris! For Paul to hear from God himself must have been an extraordinary experience for him, not to mention the amazing things Jesus actually told him!
But what we have is even better than just fellowship. We're also very blessed to have government, where we can rest, and not get confused! We're blessed to be in a body that God has created for us, where the truth is unmixed with man's own opinions!! Isn't that amazing? That keeps the false teachers out! And, if we learn that something isn't right, we just change!! I am so thankful for what we have! And the way for us all to keep it, is to always stay humble and stay clean. Once we recognize who God has put over us (the government of God), we can rest more and then not have to always "find out for ourselves". God will require us to have faith in the ones He has placed over us. And when we do that, we come out with peace, just as if we had gone to Mt. Sinai ourselves and gotten it from God ourselves. We are blessed! :)
God has created a right balance of guiding each of us individually by His Spirit, and guiding us by pastors and elders. Either way, it is God who is leading, and the saints are blessed to have that.
Yes, what God has created among the saints who meet at my house is very special. We want to show Jesus that we value this blessing, and we do that by being faithful to him and by doing good to one another. Recently, we have had a few who unwisely thought that they could "get by" with leading double lives, one life they let the saints see and another life that they kept hidden. I am thankful that God gave them the chance to repent by exposing their unfaithfulness to him and the saints. God is good. He is watching over us and judging us! What better could we hope for in this wicked world?
Your servant for Christ,