Saturday, October 13, 2007

Results of Flesh-Free Living!

A guy called Steve left a helpful question on my previous blog post about what the true Biblical definition of flesh is. I did a bit of research and found out that the Bible sees about 8 different definitions to what flesh can be and I suggested to Steve that I thought in context Rob Rufus was seeing flesh in terms of something being "opposed to the Spirit" or "applying to the carnal nature". But it was a helpful question because of course I took Rob's statement on the flesh out of context - hence the possible confusion. I am further on in the transcript of the sermon he made those comments in - "Authorised/Unauthorised Fire" - and Rob has just made some comments about Isaiah 6. This is the passage where Isaiah sees the glory of God, cries "Woe is me", has his guilt and condemnation cautherised away by the heavenly coal and there is a significant result. Rob said;

"Notice again - for Isaiah - the initiative comes from heaven for God to bring fire from heaven in the form of a coal through an angelic visitation and it cautherises Isaiah's guilt away. Grace comes and love comes and mercy comes and deliverance from fear comes to Isaiah. It doesn't come from Isaiah - it isn't the energy of his flesh, it isn't Isaiah making New Years resolutions! While Isaiah is on his face God makes the decision to come and take his fear away. The result? "Here I am! Send me!". This isn't a man motivated by guilt and manipulation but from a man who is liberated from guilt and an authentic ministry comes from that. It didn't come from his own efforts or own energy".

These concepts are vital for the Church to seize because Ern Baxter used to talk about the "paralysis of analysis". Evangelicals especially of the Reformed variety are prone to become so obsessed with orthodoxy that we end up doing nothing because of fear that we make a mistake. Oh to experience the liberating condemnation-destroying touch of the heavenly fire so that we too could rise with Isaiah and say; "Here am I! Send me!". At present I fear that many evangelicals would hear the question; "Who will go for us? Who shall we send" and we would spend all the time trying to "prove all things" deciding whether that was our flesh speaking or the devil.

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