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Peculiar – Pull Up A Chair



Psalm 119:113-120

SAMECH
113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.
119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.


Journaling:

1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to

People, today, are not afraid of most anything, let alone God’s judgment! To them, God is a “figure head” and a religious thought – “He doesn’t really exist, does He”? But just in case, they will muster up some “fire insurance” to hopefully keep them from going to Hell. And, really now, this loving God would never cast anyone into Hell, would He? This is pretty much the mentality of the unsaved individual. There are also those who just do not believe there is a God, let alone fear Him.  Why reverence/fear something you don’t believe in?  In fact, the average person doesn’t fear law enforcement officers like they did just 30-40 years ago. The respect and fear for authority is almost a thing of the past.

I’m not going to cover Hell or God’s judgment on the unsaved world in today’s post. However, I merely wanted to emphasize how little today’s born-again believer trembles for fear of God and His judgments, let alone the unsaved world. If the believer did, there would be more righteous living going on, wouldn’t there? There would be a separated people making an impact on the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only in word but in their testimony!  What happened to being able to tell someone was a Christian because they lived like a Christian?

On the most part, today’s Christian is worldly. He is content to enjoy the world’s pleasures and indulge, all under the guise of Christian liberty. This breaks my heart because this was never practiced by Jesus Christ, or His disciples. In fact, they were first named “Christians” in Antioch.  We can read about this in Acts 11.  In fact, why not take a moment to read that Chapter and see why they were named this?  Does this definition resemble your Christian walk?  The Christians at Antioch were making an impact on their city!  People’s lives were changing because of them!  Are people’s lives changing because of you?

Who should we be patterning our lives after? Should we be listening to famous preachers of today? Should we pattern our lives according to our Pastor? What happens when that preacher goes astray? Our pattern is torn – so where do we go now?  Granted, the Apostle Paul told his followers to do as he did in I Corinthians 11:1, but that statement was followed by: “even as I also am of Christ.” He wasn’t telling people to have blind faith in a preacher but to follow that preacher IF “he is of Christ.”  How can one be certain their Pastor is following after Christ?  The Holy Spirit, who resides within you, will show you through the word of God, friend!  What you hear from the pulpit will match what is in your Bible!

Better yet, rather than looking to man for answers, why not look to Jesus Christ? His walk here on earth was perfect, was it not? He led a sinless life, did He not? His word contains truth, does it not? Then why in the world would you want to pattern your Christian walk according to someone who does not pattern his life to Christ? I have personally seen the pastor of a church drinking a beer and speaking vulgar slang words! Is this the type of pastor that patterns his life to Christ?  Is this the type of pastor who should be leading other Christians?  This is not Christian liberty, my friend.  NO WHERE in Scripture is there an account of any disciple (after Christ’s Ascension) getting tipsy and using the Lord’s name in vain or vulgar language.  There is, however, an account of a man and his wife lying and struck down dead because of it!

The Lord Jesus Christ calls us to be different! Titus 2:14 and I Peter 2:9 say we are to be a peculiar people. That word means different or set apart to Him.  Our Saviour gave Himself for us, redeemed us from ALL iniquity, and purified us unto Himself so that we would be zealous of GOOD works and we would show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light! Does that sound like Christians who would want to cuss, drink, compromise God’s word – all in the name of Christian liberty? Galatians 5:1 speaks of a Christian’s liberty.  However, this liberty is freedom from the yoke of bondage of the Law. Christ sets us free to experience true freedom and liberty – freedom from the Law that even the Jews could not keep – a freedom from knowing that nothing we do can measure up to God.  Our liberty is in Jesus Christ because He paid it all!  He did not give us liberty to act like the world!  His liberty is in the ability to say no to sin!  He gave us a new life, II Corinthians 5:17, which gives us freedom from such things!

We are warned in God’s word that there are false teachers in our midst who want to lead those tender new Christians and weak Christians astray. In fact, they are so cunning that they even lead the “seasoned” Christian astray as well (II Peter 2:1-3).  How can one recognize a false teacher?  Get in the word of God, Christian!  The more you read it, the more you will be able to recognize a fraud when you hear one!  The expert in counterfeit money doesn’t study the counterfeit bills; he studies the real thing in order to recognize the fake!  Become an expert at recognizing counterfeit preachers!

How does one prevent being led astray? Do not follow man but follow after the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only one who has led a sinless life and is the only one who can lead us in the paths of righteousness. He has called us to lead separated lives – not compromise!  Take a moment to read:  II Corinthians 6:14-17, I Thessalonians 5:22, II Thessalonians 3:13-15, II Thessalonians 3:6, II Timothy 3:10-14, Ephesians 5:11-18.

Is it any wonder why the Psalmist kept turning to God’s word? He encountered the enemy at every turn but yet he kept strong in the word of God! Why? The Psalmist feared God’s judgment more than his enemy, that’s why. So where does that put us? Do we tremble at the thought of God’s judgment as it relates to our compromise? If we did, we would not be compromising but would be living that “peculiar” life that Christ called us to live. We would not be trying to cover our sin under the title, “Christian liberty.”  I’m led to believe that “Christian Liberty” is the new definition for compromise!  If you do drink alcohol, Christian, and say you’re not drinking to the point of drunkeness (which you know is spoken evil of in the word), what about your brother in Christ?  What if your brother in Christ sees you having a fun time, will he know if you’re having wholesome fun or will he think you just had a few drinks? This analogy can be applied to many areas of our life!

Study the word of God, Christian, before you pattern your life after what the world considers O.K.!  It’s not them you will be standing before when you die!

It has been man’s desire from the beginning to “get to Heaven” on his own terms. Yes, we have choices but the born-again believer does not have to make the wrong choices in life. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to successfully live separated lives. Again, it is choice! Today’s preaching from the pulpit rarely speaks of living a separated life. Instead, today’s preaching concentrates on God’s love and goodness (which is all true) but leaves out His judgment and chastisement. This type of preaching has been going on for quite some time and we are seeing the effects of this preaching in the lives of Christians.

~Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I’m currently reading Sacred Betrayal by James R. Beller. It is an excellent book on Baptist history – and not only Baptist history but the decline of separated living. How sad to see where biblical doctrine has been watered down throughout the centuries. Is it any wonder that the believer is weak? Granted, we are responsible for our own spiritual growth. It is not up to the preacher to spoon feed us, Christian! Even a baby learns to feed himself, after all. As believers, we should be growing in the Lord at a steady pace. The preaching of God’s Word should be enforcing what we have already learned from the Word. The preaching should be the glue that binds all that we’ve learned together!

~2 Corinthians 2:11-15 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

So why then do we see so many misguided and weak Christians? If they are truly born again, they are failing in a few areas. You can read your Bible until the cows come home. But if you are merely reading for the sake of reading, you won’t glean a thing. The Holy Spirit may have brought out a couple of verses for you to glean from but you have ignored His prodding. The Apostle Paul exhorts us not to quench the Holy Spirit.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

Jesus called believers to a higher standard, don’t you see that? He didn’t give believers an open door to sin! This is what is being taught in churches today! How sad is that?  Baptists are looked upon with disdain because it is said of them that they claim salvation but live like the world!  Christ must be looking down from His Heaven and shedding tears at the perversions being taught in the Church today – all under the guise of “freedom” and “grace”!  Is it any wonder that some believers look to other “religions” that will help them to “feel” saved?  One will doubt their salvation if one is not in God’s Word being fed by the Master.  One will doubt their salvation if one isn’t led by the Holy Spirit.  How can you doubt your salvation when you are being obedient to God’s Word?  You are only as “spiritual” as the amount of time you work at listening to God and obeying His Words. The truth from God’s Word sets us free. We no longer live in doubt, shame, and bewilderment. We are secure in God’s love because of what Christ did. As a result of our salvation, we desire to follow after Him and do what pleases Him – not what pleases man!

~John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

In kind, one will look to other doctrines if one isn’t grounded in what he has been taught by God – not by man, but by God!  Why does a Christian stray and try to live by religious laws again?  For example, if a person is born again, why would he want to go back to the Catholic church and see his Saviour being sacrificed in the mass day after day?  Why would a person who is born again want to follow  Levitical laws that placed burdens from which Christ freed us?  Why would a person who is born again be side tracked into a religion that requires you to not have electricity or phones.  Is it just so they can say they are separated?  Is it because they need this “extra” doctrine to prove to themselves that if they keep it they are truly saved?  God knows the heart, Christian!  God wants obedience to His Word.  If we are truly living according to His Word, we won’t need the religious bondage to make us “feel” saved.  If we are truly living according to His Word, we won’t doubt our salvation.  Obedience brings peace and leaves no room for doubt.

~2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Furthermore, following after false teaching brings burdens that cannot be carried.  Christ gave us freedom with our salvation.  It is a freedom from sin and an ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to say no to sin.  This is where Christians have dropped the ball.  They have become so complacent to sin and not living a separated life that they feel as though they can not conquer sin.

~Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

We are held to a higher standard, not an open ticket to sin.  Do Christ’s words sound like an open ticket to sin?  Does this sound like an open door to enjoy the things of the world?  The Christian is called to live with higher standards than the Ten Commandments!  These higher standards cannot be done in the flesh. They cannot be upheld by unbelievers. Only a yielded Christian can live by these standards – yielded to the Holy Spirit of God. But it takes a committed believer! It takes a believer who seeks after God’s will and applies what he has learned.  The Jews could not keep the Law and that is why our Lord and Saviour came to save them from their bondage of sin!  But here in Matthew, Jesus is adding that not only should they NOT commit adultery but they in fact commit adultery just by looking on a woman with lust in their hearts!

Christ taught separation. When a believer says he loves the Lord, then let him live like he does. The more a Christian dabbles in the world, the harder it will be for him to stay away from sin.  Eventually, that Christian will smell and act like the world.  Is it any wonder Christians are weak today? They are being fed man’s garbage, not God’s Word!  Whatever happened to comparing God’s Word to what the preacher says?  Whatever happened to the Christian spending quality time in his Bible and learning at the feet of Christ?  There are too many Martha’s and not enough Mary’s!  The more we separate ourselves, the closer we get to our Saviour and the less we love the things of this world.

Sit at Christ’s feet and learn from Him.  After all, the Holy Spirit penned His words for us to be able to glean from its blessed pages!  We are to study for ourselves (2 Tim. 2:15), not be spoon fed by the preacher!  We are to learn from Jesus, not from man! Man can deceive us but God will not.

~Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

No where in the Bible does it encourage to be of the world. No where in the Bible does it say that it’s OK to act like the world. No where in the Bible does it say to live like everyone else does. We are suppose to be (Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9) different, not like the rest of the world.

This is what is preached in today’s church: “We have to go into the world to win them.”  True, we do. However, no where does the Word say to be like the world – quite the opposite – we are to be “peculiar.” Christians who are not living separated lives are going to doubt their salvation and seek to find that peace within from something. Christians who are not living separated lives are going to be looking for “more” out of their Christian walk because they are not at peace in their spirit. They’re not at peace because the Holy Spirit is trying to convict them and guide them but they are quenching Him.  Be at peace by being in the Word and obeying what the Holy Spirit points out to you.  He’ll clean you through and through and you will never have to seek confirmation of your salvation.