Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Today, I share thoughts in response to the blog by Marcus Ampe at guestwriters.com posted February 02, 2016, Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer.  In my present developing Christian awareness, justification pertains to grace, more than to adjudication and formal investigations for truth-finding aimed at establishing conclusive declarations of innocence or guilt.  Works called forth and motivated by faith do not deliver, they display; and the act of being (i.e., existing) is not work.  Rather than an outcome of judgment (i.e., the application of divine law to resolve conflicts and settle disputes), an aspect of deliverance and salvation, or an overlaying of divinity that serves as atonement, justification is the acknowledgment of correct composition and disposition as emergent from GOD.  Properly understood, the things justified by Deity are themselves all appearances and aspects of that that is divine.  Included, therefore, are such elements as covenant, events, forbearance, forgiveness, imparted spirit, miracles, praise, sacred promise, prophecy, eternal purpose, sacraments, and divine utterance.  Hear that a different way:  Covenant is justified; covenant-keeping is justified; covenant law is holy, and just, and good; covenant-breaking is not.  Forbearance and forgiveness are justified—along with all the many acts of GOD to benefit Creation, including Incarnation, damnation, virgin birth, and the second death—defiance, disobedience, idolatry, and rebellion are not.  Ampe’s presentation suggests that some believers seek to justify and save themselves by faith without works, and he begins with the following:

 

Today there is still lots of commotion about works and faith. Still too many Christians do think they do not need any works.
The Catholic church, we must say, has from the beginning seen that certain works were necessary. One can not become a Christian without putting the previous life of sin away by having regret, asking for forgiveness of sins and taking steps to show regret (an act to be taken), opening oneself for remission by going for a baptism (a work).

Not only Rome sees baptism as a channel of sanctifying grace, as the primary instrumental cause of justification, and the sacrament of penance, whereby congruous merit is achieved through works of satisfaction, as the supplementary restorative cause whenever the grace of God’s initial acceptance is lost through mortal sin.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law:  that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:  that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay:  but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  (Romans 3:  19-28, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Salvation Only Through Christ? (01/07/2016); Actions Make Divine Essence Visible? (12/18/2015); Justified Through Christ? (08/26/2015); Justifying GOD? (03/15/2015); Justification? (12/12/2010); Faith Forced? (12/13/2010)

 

In the emphasis I propose, justification through the active presence and operations of divine grace in the life pertains to the substance of ones existence, and is not a matter of external actions by GOD applied to alter living content as with rebirth and regeneration.  Believers in Christ are to put away the notion of using a standard to measure, rank, and compare themselves against one another, for the Scriptures also speak of GOD being justified.  In the same way, human babies discover and explore their own composition and makeup directing their hands, digits, elbows, and feet into their own mouths, divinity seeks out that that is divine, consumes, inbreathes, ingests and internalizes it, then emanates, beams forth and out-breathes what was sought as pre-chosen and “elect”.  In the holy writings, a condition of being justified is described using such words as anointed, blameless, consecrated, good, innocent, just, pure, repentant, and sanctified.  Applied to finite beings and living creatures, neither having full sacred knowledge, nor a state of ones substance as completely holy and perfected are intended.  Grace and faith should be understood as aspects of our condition as a new creation, not merely as aspects of divinity that operate on our behalf.  Thus, works are the appearance of that that is, not merely efforts and operations of self-will to achieve and accomplish a higher state.  Grace, faith and righteousness are the very substance of GOD.  Consider again the following verses from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible:

(1.)  Job 25:  4-6, KJV:  4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?  5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.  6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

(2.)  Job 32:  1-3, KJV:  1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram:  against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.  3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  8-10, KJV):  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:   9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, to say, “tribulation worketh patience,” states that existing spirit substance is aroused, increased, and nourished as in (4.) Romans 5:  1-3, KJV:  5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:  knowing that tribulation worketh patience;)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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Today, a more detailed reply is made to a proud and disrespectful fighter at thoughts.com who posted a comment for (10/16/2015) Christ Coming Soon?  The personal commitment a one must make to Jesus Christ, and the works of life believers are to carry out as members of his spiritual body are to be continued on a daily and moment-by-moment basis, whether or not any one is told the specific day or hour when Christ will return.  The sacred process is fired more by trust than knowledge.  There are many readers now exploiting, and using the Internet to express anger, bitterness, frustration, twisted humor, malice and sarcasm.  Often, such writers are only willing to present and respond to one-liners, phrases, and simple paragraphs.  Developed and structured responses such as this sacred writings blog may not be read at all, because once spread out as an article upon a webpage, they will appear intimidating, time-consuming, and too complex.  Even so, my responses to those who want amusement, jibes, levity, and zingers always should be the same disciplined and sober answer I have from GOD that I would make to those in the faith.  The structure, tone and texture of my writings are to complement and reflect the challenge, divine order, and richness of the Bible.  I am not surprised or disturbed that we can not trust “wirelessguru1” to behave as  someone who shows respect to me, to the hours and days of work that have gone into each of the nearly 1,000 blogs I have published to date at thoughts.com, to the holy writings themselves, to Jesus Christ, or to the solemn duty laid upon his own heart and mind to provide constructive criticism and meaningful correction to others through truth.  It is the Spirit from GOD that makes us faithful, generous, kind, thoughtful and truthful toward others, just as it is the divine Spirit that enables our ability to wait on the Lord.  After many years of his heckling and insults, all present indications are, “wirelessguru1” is not a Christian believer, has never made a full adult study of anything I have written, and has not heard and comprehended a single word I’ve said.  Consider the following:

“wirelessguru1”           When, fanatic?

The Black Phoenix     “Brow of Brass and Neck of Iron” in due time.  Be encouraged!

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.  (James 3:  11-18, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christ Coming Soon? (10/16/2015); About The End Of The World (08/30/2015); Is Prayer Outside Time and Space? (06/29/2015); Answer a Fool? (06/04/2015); Knowing? (05/24/2015); Because We Are Certain (12/30/2014); Help Thou Mine Unbelief (12/31/2014)

“wirelessguru1”, it is not wrong to desire understanding, to value dialog, or to ask for clear and simple explanations.  For those who want to continue their emotional and mental focus upon things that are carnal, historical, material, secular and social, the six question tools (who, what, when, where, how, and why) are usually enough to obtain and limit all the information they actually have the ability to take in, and make use of.  By contrast, those who want spiritual awareness, a continuous consciousness of GOD, sacred knowledge, and an intimate relationship with divinity must rely upon eternal operations, and events that only proceed through the active presence of GOD.  Included are anointing, baptism, endowment, incarnation, indwelling, infilling, judgment, miracles, obedience, praise, prayer, prophecy, rebirth, repentance, revelation, sanctification, and worship.

As a divine device “When will Jesus return?” has been given to believers to expose the character, intent, motives and rebellious nature of those who opposing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Given the question already has been answered by various teachings provided to the body of believers (the church) the proper question to be posed is, What are you ready to do in response to the answers you are given?  What changes, endurance, or correction should we expect to see in you?  Many want to know out of pride, to have advantage, and to display their superiority of intellect and mind.  Some want to know for gossip and interactions that center in argument, condemnation, malicious criticism, debate, judging others, slander, and threats.  Some who ask, given truth, would hide it, “hoard” it, possess it, deny it to those around them, and use truth to manipulate and subordinate the ones who want to know, and who would freely share what they know.  (Among the hoarders are those who claim license, privilege, special favor, and ability to influence GOD.)  There are even those who, knowing, would sell what they know, make merchandise of truth, even alter, cheapen, defile, and pollute it to make it more appealing, exciting, marketable and sensational. 

Those having made a firm commitment to be in right relationship with divinity are challenged to do so on the basis of conviction, hope, respect and trust.  The means provided by GOD for believers to develop a continuing bond with Deity include unswerving acknowledgement, fellowship with believers who have greater maturity than oneself, longsuffering, praise, prayer, rejoicing, sacrifice, unselfish service, sharing, study of the holy writings, and giving thanks.

When the question tools are placed in our hands by inner conflicts, discomfort, fear, lightness, and uncertainty, believers often go to work dismantling the assurances established through the living ministries of Jesus Christ.  Neither the millennia of divine law, covenants, promise and prophesy, nor the savior’s own miraculous birth, his suffering, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, his promise to return have sufficient weight for those bent on an analysis intended to render divinity simple—that is, no longer eternal, exalted, immeasurable, infinite, or profound.

It remains that existence, and the placement of created beings and living creatures within peculiar spheres for life are not the product of a finite mind and will.  Thus instead of, When will Jesus return? those having wisdom imparted from GOD ask, What must I do until Jesus returns?  Getting the best answer requires asking the best question.  For even where a person dies, and goes to their grave, they will still get to be alive, and see Jesus, alive for themselves.  Because knowledge will remain incomplete, limited, and even unchanging, many questions the living generate will lose relevance, and fade away unanswered.  Other questions will be answered, yet, will have no power to change the exacting demands, imperatives and obligations that frustrate living, yet, may not be denied or ignored.  Finally, there are some questions that should never be asked of divinity in the first place; and those who insist upon having and knowing what GOD has reserved exclusively for divinity are guilty of arrogance, being meddlesome, nosiness, presumption and stubbornness.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  For example, in his role as a chosen prophet and spokesperson for divinity, Moses obtained answers from GOD through direct communication that could be described as “face-to-face” interaction.  In the Tabernacle of Moses, authoritative answers from divinity to carefully worded questions from the High Priest could be obtained only by using the Urim and Thummim placed within the regalia of the High Priest, or by the casting of lots that would allow divinity to determine the outcomes displayed.  The High Priest brought consecration, sacred knowledge and priestly skill to the tasks of communion, exchange and mediation through word.  Obtaining a clear, decisive response from GOD might require days, weeks, or longer.  As much as there might be immediacy of need for an answer, there also was a strict demand for humility, lawfulness, patience and propriety.  While upon the earth, Jesus obtained answers from GOD by using fervent prayer; and had to accept that many things known to the Father would not be shared with anyone else.  Thus, those who come to Christ rely upon the answers preserved as sacred Scripture, and those established in a believer’s awareness by operations of the Holy Spirit.  Quality, sufficiency, and satisfaction are ensured by the Spirit and the Word always being in agreement.  Among those preparing for the Advent of Christ, faith and propriety require that these be taken as the most necessary sacred devices for correction, enlightenment, guidance, and peace of mind.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I share the following poem written as a response to the blog published by Dennis Cardiff at WordPress.com, GOTTA FIND A HOME:  Conversations with Street People.  We are not human before GOD because of error, poverty, sin and wickedness.  It is not that we eat, drink, crave sex, or sleep to excess.  Nor are we recognized to be human because we are seen as infirm, soft, and weak.  Our existence as human is a divine endowment, a breath, a word, a strength that defies all suffering.  Yes, our humanness appears as need for divine love, sacred knowledge, and eternal transformation; yet, our humanity is best displayed in compassion, determination, integrity, and insistence upon righteousness.  None may claim to be human merely by habitually breaking their word, exaggerated anger (we say, rage), lying, and presumption.  We are known by divinity to be human where we will continually persevere as Spirit.  GOD has many sons and daughters who will endure pain, rejection, and death; yet, only one son born without sin, Jesus Christ.  Be encouraged! 

 

GOING UNDER, RISING UP

A POEM FOR CHUCK, JOE, AND THE HOMELESS ANGEL

 

Christians are those commanded to believe
To endure suffering with
GOD who dies through his mortal son
Accomplishing all their pain
Their shame
Their weakness
Their betrayal
Their having no place to go

These refuse to live in the cardboard box
Or sleep on a grate of steel
Yet, come under blood from a cross
The ones so lost from longing to be free
From life
From challenge
Obligation, duty
Dues, pain, fear
Pain, fear
Pain, fear
Pain, fear
Pain, fear

They commit themselves
To changing
Breaking bread
Breaking off shame-sex relationship
The politics of buy and sell
The futility of alcohol
Going under in waters of rebirth
Growing
Learning
Knowing
Giving
Singing
Not quitting, not dying, not being overcome

Living by the discipline
Of an already made up mind
Craving and receiving a taste of what’s to be
Heirs of exodus and eternal ecstasy
Who know
The problems do not disappear
They fade like street noise
There unheard
It’s what you have to do with sonic booms
Sinister voices inside your own head
The so-called issues of today,
Right-now that comes tomorrow

Love everlasting
A choice that can not be undone
to face the day pursuing
Always only Light, life agreeing
the darkness, death
And sorrow
Have all been kicked to the curb
Showing the world’s blind eye
The power in I yet love
All the gift shared by
I AM
The extra quarter, the extra blanket of his blood

 
 

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2015.  All rights reserved.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I share a recently penned poem (see below) as the product of daily efforts to relax from the stress of retirement.  Each day, I try to take a break from the blog writing of at least thirty minutes.  My work on a document is the planting of a seed, and continues from an often painful work to select a topic question using “Yahoo! Answers” until the replies to comments are posted, and announcements of the newly published work are sent out through Facebook and Twitter.  As a result, multiple documents and drafts have my attention night and day until I may feel the sacred truths they contain are correctly delivered to those choosing to be my readers.  During my break, I generally go outside where I may search the sky—Jesus will come with clouds—and stand on the entry platform of the apartment building where I live.  In addition to seeing and being seen by my neighbors, this allows me to consider occurrences and traffic on the street.  Even so, my mind tends to continuing working on the blog, realizing errors, improvements, and materials for re-write.  In the past few autumns I’ve been impressed by the trees changing color, and I have resisted the urge to write a poem as encroaching on my blog time.  Perhaps, because leaves on one of our two neighborhood cherry blossom trees have been brown since June, the trees have become more and more a focus in my feelings and thoughts during “break time.”  So, finally, the other day, I put some notes to paper, that started out as  tercets (verses or lines grouped in poetry using the a-a-a rhyme), that I thought might be “fresher” by my using a little “poetic license.”  To avoid an extended period of working on the piece, I decided to share it immediately; and so, I attempted to post the work elsewhere as a friendly greeting and alumnus encouragement to welcome a new faculty person to the History Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

 

SWEET TOOTH

A poem shared on 21 November 2013 with History @ Trinity
To welcome Professor Jennifer Regan–Lefebvre, Ph.D.,
History Department, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

 

The trees along my street are autumn bright
And painted to arouse ones appetite
Dripping and swaying in the cooling air

Cream puff frosted like a French éclair
An oak tree stands, its leaves now chocolate brown
But most are maples honey-laded down

The smallest, youngest to be seen is tart
Strawberry red, a sacred work of art
Juicy and luscious like the elms that flame

And most of us don’t even know their names
Ambling among the leaves that drift to earth
Without a clue how much the lot is worth

A handiwork divine is on display
No wonder one is moved to think and say
Surely such a fruit will make me wise

Warned of sorrows, vigilant for lies
I choose a simple walking on in truth
Our Maker sure must have a huge sweet tooth

 

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Michael Andrew Williams, AB 63
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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