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Old 06-20-2019, 12:33 AM   #54
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,032
Default A Great Spiritual Person on the Earth - GSPOTE

Originally Posted by aron View Post
Because of sin, nobody can claim to be a great spiritual person on this earth. Only God will reveal such things, in due time. If you use such words you are far from the mark. Jesus was made both Lord and Christ after the cross, not before it. Do you think, if the sinless Jesus had to pass through such a fire, that we can avoid it, and claim greatness while in the flesh of sin?

Have we learned nothing from scripture? They tried to call Jesus "good" - he had none of it. Should any of us? Who among us Christian believers is a "great spiritual person on the earth"? If you learn such basic lessons, you'll be able to have mutually profitable fellowship with believers near you. You'll be built up with others, and will see them built up with you. What a blessing!
I’d like to develop this idea as pertaining to finding fellowship among believers in your geographic area, and for that matter holding the gospel out to unbelievers.

The main issue the Bible deals with is sin. Because of sin, humanity was separated from God, with all that separation entails: pain, fear, loneliness, purposelessness, alienation, shame, anger, frustration, failure (mistakes), sickness and death. This issue is introduced in the first few chapters of Genesis and isn’t really resolved until the last few chapters of Revelation. In between, it's a constant theme.

Now, everything in the NT narrative hinges on the claim of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day. If Jesus wasn't raised, then his death was merely the death of a good and holy man, a martyr of sorts. Like David, his grave remains among us. Jesus taught, “Love your neighbor”, then he died... he did good works, healing and feeding and caring, then he died. Game over. If there's no resurrection of Jesus, the story ends there.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then his blood does not cleanse us from sin. If he didn’t rise from the dead, then he's not Lord and Christ, but merely another good person who died for a cause. (There have been many, unfortunately.) If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then he was not made sin on our behalf, and our sin remains.

Now, looking at the NT in this light, I want to examine the idea of a “Great Spiritual Person on the Earth” (GSPOTE) as put forth in the LSM, as seen by the quote in the previous post (#53). To me, Jesus’ answer was, Don’t claim to be GSPOTE, rather be the least of all. Because of sin, nobody can claim greatness while on earth. Because of sin, it's prudent instead to take the least place. And don’t get misled by people who claim to be GSPOTE, because they misunderstand the gospel and will lead you astray. People like that will distort the fellowship of the assembly (a good current example may be the New Apostolic Reformation).

Luke 14 (KJV)

8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Take byHismercy facing the idea of “total depravity” or “determinism” or however one puts it, as found in the Reformed Church in his town. Actually I think the idea has a lot to recommend it, and I understand its attraction (I also understand the objections of byHismercy on this thread). But ultimately if one accepts it as “truth” then one is tacitly or overtly accepting John Calvin (or whomever) as a GSPOTE who defines “truth” in our assembly. I don’t think it’s safe to call Luther or Calvin or Billy Graham or Mother Theresa or WL or WN or anyone a GSPOTE. Let the Master do all that at the Bema.

Now if you go to a local assembly and they hold some derived “truth” that they insist on as a precondition and precursor of fellowship, your ability to fellowship will be circumscribed. They have been distorted by a self-proclaimed GSPOTE, and the opinions of that person are now “truth”. It doesn’t matter if it is Ellen White or Mary Baker Eddy or John Nelson Darby or Watchman Nee, if some person’s teachings have determined the understanding of “reality” or “truth” in that assembly then you will have to deal with that.

Because of sin, nobody should make presumptions of themselves or their place. Clearly WN and WL did, and it effectively ruined their ministries, and stumbled many. May we learn the lessons and go on: confess the faith delivered once to all, fight the good fight, serve the Master by helping others, and trust God's mercy and love. At the end, it is all His. It is God's love that sent Jesus, and it His mercy that we can look homeward, with hope. God is Love, and Jesus is the Way.

Now, I can still have fellowship with other believers. But if they insist on "truths" and my holding them as a basis of fellowship, then my ability to fellowship there will be circumscribed. Think, e.g., LC "local ground" and "one minister per age" culminating with Witness Lee saying, "If you aren't 100% for this ministry get out. If you're only 99% for this ministry get out". What kind of fellowship can one have in that assembly? Pretty much none. They have a "truth" that's subsumed the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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