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Archive for August 27th, 2019

Confronting the nominal

Posted by appolus on August 27, 2019

When the spiritual stands to confront the merely formal, traditional, nominal and “natural,” then there is going to be trouble. This is not now merely the reaction from the world: it is the reaction from religion. I would go further, and say it may be the reaction from Christianity. There is a very great difference between formal, traditional, nominal, “natural” Christianity, on the one side, and spiritual Christianity, on the other; a great deal of difference. So much so, that this also becomes a battlefield – the battlefield of a lot of trouble.

Leave formalism alone, and everything will go on quite quietly. Leave traditionalism alone – that is, the set order of things as it has always been; that framework of things as it has been constituted and set up and established by man; that Christianity which is the fixed, accepted system of things – and you will escape a great deal of trouble. But seek to bring in a truly spiritual order of things, and trouble arises at once. And YOU are the trouble maker! The truth is that the trouble lies in the existing condition, the situation, the state; but it is only brought out by your action.

And so spiritual men and women, and spiritual ministry, are called “trouble makers,” because the two things cannot go on together. That is where Israel was. They had the traditions, they had the oracles, they had the ordinances, they had the testimonies; they had the forms, they had the system – they had it all; but, in the days of the prophets, there was ever this vast gap between the “externals” and “internals” of life in relation with God. The heart is far removed from the lips. The spiritual reality is not found in the formal. You may have it all – but then bring in the truly spiritual meaning of things, and trouble begins in that very realm. It is the trouble which arises when what is external and traditional comes into conflict with something which is truly spiritual……T.A.Sparks

Brother Sparks has identified an eternal truth. There is enmity between the flesh and the spirit. Can the two co-exist? No, one must die. It is often a slow tortured death, but death nonetheless. We cannot serve two masters, Jesus identified this truth for us. We are told that we shall love the one and hate the other. This word hate is the Biblical word for prefer. People take comfort in the fact that they do not hate “the other.” No, but they prefer the formal, the traditional, the nominal. In the end, we can only worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Take away Spirit and Truth and you are left with an argument about where you should worship. It is not where we should worship, it is how we should worship. In Spirit and in Truth. The flesh, represented by the formal, the traditional the nominal and the natural is the deadliest enemy of the Spirit and the Truth.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, The presence of God, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 3 Comments »