Proverbs 18 4-18-20

True worshipers of Jesus live in a constant state of submission to His will and way. The Spirit leads us.  There is NO OTHER WAY to get Jesus in us except to simply invite Him in. Revelation 3:20. I describe His invitation like this: Jesus knocks; we open the door; He stands at the threshold and holds out His hand. Why? Before He will come in, He wants the deed to our “house” and the Master key to every door. Once we give Him these things, He comes in and LIVES! He NEVER leaves! He begins to transform the place into His House. Out with the old and in with the new.

Why are we talking about this? Because people throughout history have changed the requirements for salvation and sanctification (becoming like Christ) to be something they were never intended to be.

4 The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

In other words, people use persuasive speech to sway others to their way of thinking. Some err in this way with sincere hearts, while others do it for power, pleasure, malice, and pay-off. Either way, their way is wrong according to Scripture. The fountain of wisdom is the Spirit of God who comes rushing from within us as living waters of eternal life. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14. Since we are now talking about Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well of Sychar, let’s see what else He told her.

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

Where I see a great contradiction is in THE SACRAMENTS, particularly the LORD’S SUPPER.

Sacrament- religious sign or symbol, especially associated with Christian churches, in which a sacred or spiritual power is believed to be transmitted through material elements viewed as channels of divine grace.

Here’s a little history behind the sacraments:

At the Council of Trent(1545–63), the Roman Catholic Church formally fixed the number of sacraments at seven: baptismconfirmation, the Eucharist, penance, holy ordersmatrimony, and anointing of the sick. The theology of the Eastern Orthodox churches also fixed the number of sacraments at seven. The classical Protestant churches (i.e., LutheranAnglican, and Reformed) have accepted only two sacraments, baptism and the Eucharist [the Lord’s Supper], though Luther allowed that penance was a valid part of sacramental theology. Britannica.com

The sacraments may or may not be true (I personally don’t believe they are because they lean toward idolatry; consider the bronze snake that Moses made Numbers 21:8-9 and Gideon’s ephod Judges 8:27), but either way, they are not what saves us. God desires for us to worship Him. In the Old Covenant, a worshiper would place his hands upon a lamb and symbolically place his sins, his heart, even his very life upon that lamb. That lamb became his substitutionary sacrifice and he would be covered. He would perform this ritual every year for his sins.

Jesus is our Substitutionary Sacrifice.

We are to place our sins, our heart, even our very lives on Him. Once that is done, there is no more need for sacrifice. Let’s look at Hebrews:

12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves;but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Once sacrifice for all time. There is no need for Him to become flesh and blood to cleanse us more than the first and ONLY time (that time was on the cross). Let’s continue:

24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared ONCE FOR ALL at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

The blood on the altar stays on the altar. We eat the Bread of heaven every time we come to Him for fellowship, for guidance, for strength, and for encouragement when we fail. Jesus Himself said, The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” John 6:63. Our repentance (after our initial salvation) may not be considered as much for the forgiveness of sin (see Psalm 103:12 and John 13:10) as for redirection on the path of life with him. We repent (change direction, set our hearts and minds to change) and look at and to Jesus.

There is one more item of distinction I would like for us to see:

The New Testament mentions a series of “holy acts” that are not, strictly speaking, sacraments. Though the Roman Catholic Church recognizes a difference between such “holy acts,” which are called sacramentals, and sacraments, Britannica.com

We partake in SACRAMENTALS, not sacraments. They are NOT magical. We depend upon the Spirit within us to save us and make us whole and to renew us daily. 2 Corinthians 4:16 Baptism works the same way. You will notice that the woman’s baptism was never mentioned, but her belief and trust in Jesus was! John 4:28-29, and 39-42.

Let’s be true worshipers today. Let’s thank Him for His substitutionary sacrifice, His daily provision of grace, and the continuous fellowship of His Spirit.

Thank You, LORD, that if I went into a coma today that I would not ever have to worry about my sins being forgiven or my having You inside me. Your Presence is made known to me through Your Spirit as He bears witness with my spirit that I am Your child (Romans 8:16). May Your truth become evident to all as we hold to the word of life (Philippians 2:16a). Amen.

 

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