Aloha Friday Message – July 26, 2013 – The Word’s word is Truth

1330AFC080213 – The Word’s word is Truth.

Read it online here, please.

Normally we start with a Bible selection, but today that is not the case. Today be begin with a song – a hymn, actually. Perhaps you know it, perhaps not. Whichever it is, I ask you to let the link take you to the site where you can see the lyrics and listen to the tune. There are additional links so that you can learn more about the two wonderful women who worked together to give us this wonderful hymn. Verses 2 and 3 will be featured – along with several scripture passages – in today’s message. Before we go to the hymn, though, I want to thank you for reading these, and especially thank you for the times when you share them. These messages are sent out with the intention that they will be shared. When you do that you are helping to fulfill the mission to “make disciples of all nations.” And now, our hymn:

Blessed Assurance (Written 1873)
Text: Frances J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Music: Phoebe P. Knapp, 1839-1908

1.  Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

2.  Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

(Refrain)

3.  Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I, in my Savior, am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

(Refrain)

InGod'sHandsToday I am going to let the hymn and scripture do most of the teaching. This song has been blessing believers and nonbelievers for 140 years. There are so many great things about this short hymn. The chorus says, “That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.” I want my faith to be like that! And then in the second and third verses she uses “perfect submission” as the antecedent to “perfect delight,” and “all is at rest.” One place in scripture where we can find this is in Job 22:21-30. This is not the same kind of submission prescribed by the Shari’ah in Islam which lays down a complex pattern of laws which must be followed. This passage from Job is a theological imperative to know, love, and value God as he wishes to bless and not condemn. You will remember these famous words from John: John 3:16-17For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

It is God’s will not only to save us through the Salvation earned by his Son on our behalf, but also to assure us of that salvation by presenting testimonies – witnesses – to that salvation: 1 John 5:6-13This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

Our submission, then, to the will of God depends on recognizing his will and submitting to it. We know we are sinners because we have broken The Law and ignored The Prophets. We learned through the Apostle Paul that the law was given to earthlings as a condition of receiving the Promise. The Promise was and is Jesus who in turn promised freedom from The Law through fulfillment of his mission – to be the source of God’s salvation. Therefore it is no longer The Law which condemns of us sin, but the Holy Spirit which makes us aware if both sin and salvation. Recall Jesus’ words – John 16:8-11And when [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. In this context, convict is ἐλέγχω – elegchó [el-eng’-kho] which is expose as guilty, to rebuke, to accuse, to admonish, and most of all “to convince with solid, compelling evidence.

It is the testimony of a Perfect Witness – Christ – that gives us access to the Holy Spirit, the Lord, The Giver of Life: John 12:44-50And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

Going back to the hymn and the ideas of “perfect delight” and “all is at rest” our understanding of submission is not one of fear of authority in the law, but rather transcendent peace and safety in the goodness, mercy, and love from God and the goodness, mercy, and love in us through God’s gifts of Salvation in Christ Jesus in whom we find that Peace surpassing all understanding through the Holy Spirit. All fear is gone. We are restored to God’s presence when death and the fear of death no longer rule us. The original sin was to doubt God’s wisdom and it brought fear to Eve and Adam. (The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real.)

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it because it’s THE TRUTH!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

 

We are in God's hands

We are in God’s hands

chick

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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