“Spare No Effort” (Ephesians 4:3)

 

Preliminary NOTE: In order to know how we got from the First Session of “The Good Fight of Faith” to this second on “Spare No Effort”, you need to make sure that you have read the first two chapters of the Appendix: A1 of “Group Self-Denial and Individual Separation” {Christ for Individuals}; and A2 of “A Harmony of Life”.

The complete quote from Ephesians 4:3 in the New English Version is, “Spare no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity which the Spirit gives.” The New King James Version requires the total context of Ephesians 4:1-3.

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called {called to be a Christian we would say today, but at the origin of Christianity and Christian churches, and as an introduction to the only bonds of peace Christians have, the phrase for the calling was in the words of Ephesians 4:4b “just as you were called in one hope of your calling”}, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV)

                                                                “Spare No Effort”

2-1: In this summary of “Spare no effort”, supplemented with the 7 ONEs of Ephesians 4:4-6, all the work is done for you to
understand the book of Ephesians, and thus all of the 14 letters of the Apostle Paid.

The only foundation for peace is “these bonds of peace” with which the inherent unity among Christians is to be tied up with individual efforts by individual Christians. These are the only bonds of peace. There are no more bonds of peace than the Seven ONEs of Ephesians 4:4-6. {Also, there are no other major doctrines of Christianity than those 7 ONEs. You see how Ephesians 4:1-6, six verses when the supplement to “Spare no Effort” in the 7 ONEs is added.} Do you mean that Study of these major seven doctrines of the Bible will provide peace among Christians? Yes, this is the only God provided means for peace; however, it goes beyond just the study of these major doctrines, to the living of and with these 7 ONEs of the Bible. Living with the realities {doctrines} of one body, one Holy Spirit, one hope of your Christian calling, one Lord Jesus Christ, one faith, one baptism, and “one God and Father of all”.

  1. This unity is an inherent unity provided only by the Holy Spirit of God.

First of all, for clarity sake it must be stated, as you can see from the con¬ text of “Spare no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity which the Spirit gives” where this unity comes from. It is an inherent unity that can only come from the Spirit of God. No way, as man has learned through¬ out history, can you provide more than a temporal unity in any creations of man. Man has tried to create local church organizations, denominations, and other groups to control and make this unity; but most generally it is a lack of peace that destroys or hampers any real unity.

  1. The fundamental principle from Jesus of “many are called but few are chosen”—that is, distinguishing throughout Christian history, today, and even in the Old Testament times {like in Jeremiah where we have been studying} God “called out a larger group”, say like from Egyptian bondage; and then from that larger called out group selected a few to be “the elect”.
  2. Today there always remains the difference between the called-out assemblies in local churches and the few from each of those local assemblies that God “has chosen”, the names of whom are written on the role of the called-out assembly of the first born in heaven. (Hebrews 12:23) The history of churches and denominations is that men have made drastic and special efforts, sparing no efforts in mis-direction, to make their own local church or denominations synonymous with the church of the firstborn written in heaven. Even today, it never works. For one thing, none of these men, no matter how religious, how competent, or how organized have access to the church roll of the Firstborn Christ in heaven. Only the Spirit of God, Who is still here on earth, has access to that roll in heaven; and it is He that provides, with the 7 major doctrines, this inherent unity.

2-2: Peace among all Christians is shattered anytime a group

{church, religious business, or denomination} takes just one doctrine out of context, running with it alone to the neglect of the other six; and primarily to the neglect of a frontal movement with all Seven.

Splits and denominations, as for example the community church movement, occur as a group of groups take an isolated text of doctrine, and “go every¬ where preaching with it” as preacher-boys are famous for describing preachers or evangelist who do not stick to their announced subject or text. The same problem that created Ted Haggard in his fall from a pastorate in Colorado Springs and as head of the National Evangelistic Association, still exist in the church that ran him off to cover up the larger church wide and denominational wide problem, and to wash their hands, like Pilate, of any guilt in the larger body. What is that problem: tangential efforts on only one doctrine of the seven isolated from the rest?

Bless their hearts, each generation a group arrives on the world scene, having recognized all the Falling Away problems in the world and the church, offering a single, simple solution to the problems by an emphasis of only 1 out of 7. Our God is not a simple God, and our God’s solution plan and program is not simple, it requires a simultaneous frontal movement with all 7 doctrines to make real progress. Goodness, Paul made it simple for us (or really God through the Apostle Paul} when in the history of the writing of the guidance of the 66 books of the Bible, God had Paul summarized all the truth of the first 10 epistles in the book of Ephesians; and then further from the God-given truths of Ephesians to summarize all Christian teachings in 7 major doctrines. And now along comes each few years a group of religious businessmen, who by the way are making large sums of money to the extent of becoming millionaires go off on the tangent of one doctrine like “tongues” or “the cross”.

There is no single doctrine of the Bible any more important for salvation than the preaching of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; but the word itself “cross” is not magic without a proper description in context of how Christ died on the cross for our sins that we might believe and have salvation. You see how quickly the preached of one doctrine, the cross, must lead into others: like the One Lord with a description from the 4 Gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ with all that He lived and died; like with the One God, the Father of Creation and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who thought up salvation and sent His own Son to die on the cross; like God the Holy Spirit who provides in the One Baptism the God-ward side of salvation after initial and continuing faith, after the new birth, and during the yearly internal sanctification process as Christians become more like Christ until more perfectly like Him at the Second Coming; and then there must be the realization and preaching of the One Baptism as the One Salvation.

  1. Most generally when this binding of the peace bonds is shattered anew every few years, these man-make programs, unfortunately based on the Bible but only a very isolated portion of the Bible, the religious group or business has continued to violate all the requirements for speaking in unknown tongues of I Corinthians; and if you will look closely at them you can detect an enlarged ego, where they “think of themselves more highly than they ought to” (Romans 12:3); and their unbalanced emphasis on one or two doctrines of the Bible, comes out of the enlarged ego as condemned in the bottom line of I Corinthians 14:36, that the Word of God came to them only or that the Word of God came out of their group only.
  2. Singular doctrines like repeating “the cross, the cross, the cross” or “tongues, tongues, tongues” is a good rallying point and cry for highly skilled public relations and money-making, even organizational expansion sometimes called “evangelism”; however, they are not even the same as any one of the Seven Majors of the Bible (1) and of Ephesians 4:4-61. The cross is one aspect of the One Lord Jesus Christ and is also part of the one salvation provided by the One God through the One Lord Jesus Christ and the One Spirit.
  3. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

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Spare No Effort

  1. You don’t see One salvation in the seven ONEs of Ephesians 4:4-6; and that is because it is covered under the One Baptism; and you will not see in the One Baptism the doctrine of the One salvation as long as certain group can waylay you on both baptism and salvation. However, since one of the chosen titles of this series of Bible Studies, from the topical standpoint, is both “” and the “One Baptism”, you if you persevere in the Bible Studies will acquire a much more balanced doctrinal approach to the total Bible. It was God who gave us Ephesians and Ephesians 4:4-6 to summarize all the great truths that circle about His own character and personality; and nowhere in this summary of doctrine do you see “one salvation”; and since in all the previous letters of the Apostle Paul leading up to the writing of the book of Ephesians as a summary at Caesarea Philippi, salvation is discussed in so many words, terms, and concepts, you know that one of the Seven has to be about the One Salvation. Which one? Well, the One Baptism naturally. But as long as Baptists can feed their ego that this is water baptism by immersion and as long as the Assemblies of God can feed their ego that this is a second blessing beyond initial salvation in the anointing of the Holy Spirit with the speaking in unknown tongues, the minds of Christianity are cluttered to prevent a full realization, even with all the Bible on “baptism” (2) as the one salvation, of the One Baptism as the One Salvation.
  2. This matter of the One Baptism chosen by Paul and God through the Bible to describe the One Salvation is so important that we momentarily pause here, before sessions on it later in the study of the Life and Letters of Paul, to look briefly at the F. F. Bruce paraphrase of Romans 6:3-14 on the “meaning of baptism”. In other words, go to the Bible itself as properly explained and understood for the ultimate, large meaning of the One Baptism. Is Swaggart right that itis the anointing of the Holy Spirit (3) with a second blessing after initial salvation and with the speaking in unknown tongues (by the way not Swaggart alone but in the tradition of the Pentecostal and the Assemblies of God—in fact, the doctrinal tangent that has really made that denomination as a split off from the main One body of Christians}? Or are the Baptists correct in their tangent of water baptism by immersion, likewise, ignoring the larger meaning as the One Baptism of the One Salvation.
  3. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus {not a baptism in water or a baptism in the Spirit but “baptized into Christ Jesus” by the One Salvation of the One Baptism} were baptized into His death? {yes, there is the cross as part of the One Baptism without being all of it!} (Romans 6:3) And never forget as you will see in the Bible sessions to come on the Life and Letters of Paul that the book of Romans is Paul’s great treatise on salvation. In it you will find all the great words of the Apostolic Preaching of the Cross is really under the heading of the major doctrine of the One Salvation of the One Baptism: reconciliation, justification, the atonement, redemption, the cross of Christ, propitiation, and so on and on through Romans and the Bible.                                                             

“Do you not know that when we were baptized into membership of Christ Jesus, we were baptized into participation in His death? That is why we were buried with Him in our baptism (Colossians 2:12}.

The purpose of this participation in His death and burial was that we should for the future live a new life, just as Christ was raised form the dead by the Father’s glorious power. You see, it follows inevitably that if we were identified with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall also be identified with Him in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him.

2-3: All we have for PEACE and UNITY among all Christians of the ONE BODY…all we have as avenues of efforts at evangelism and Bible teaching, and in order to MAJOR on, is the Seven ONEs of Ephesians 4:4-6; and that, if it is to promote real peace and unity of the one body rather than scatter and shatter that peace and unity must be a balanced movement on all 7 fronts. In other words, since the total Word of God was given for “our instruction ”, we as a body of Christ must advance forward in efforts, peace, and unity with a balanced approach on the total Word of God.

  1. It is exciting that the bottom line of Ephesians, hence the bottom line of at least the first ten epistles of Paul {part of the Word of God), is that we personally become involved in the great living doctrines of the Seven ONEs. There is both a positive side and a negative side to the “doctrine of Christ” from the Apostle John in II John 9.
  1. There is only one real use of the “anointing” close to the sense in which the Swaggart’s try to use it, I John 2:27; and this verse points out the fallacies of what they are claiming: (1) first of all nothing about unknown tongues as a sign of that anointing; ( 2 ) it is a “you have received” matter of the past for Christians, also a “Him abides in you” matter of initial salvation and not of any second blessing; and (3) further the Apostle John reminds you as a Christian that you do not need the Swaggart’s to teach you a new thing about this anointing of the Holy Spirit as it is the Holy Spirit of Christ abiding you that “teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (I John 2:27) It is obvious that this world-wise TV effort from Baton Rouge thinks that “the Word came to them only, or came out of them” ( I Corinthians 14), leading them also to the excesses of Tongues over Prophesy; and a kind of church people who have ignored 7 day a week Christianity, are attempting with moments of emotional outburst to provide evidences of salvation.

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“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine {the very positive side is that it is possible for Christians to “abide” or live in the doctrine of Christ} of Christ does not have God. (You see immediately how intertwined for life are the two doctrinal ONEs of the One God the
Father and the One Lord Jesus Christ!} He who abides {yes, yes, yes, lives personally in the doctrine of Christ} in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” (II John 9)

NOTE: How much clearer could it be of these two ONEs, One God and one Lord, that Christianity properly lived is a matter of living in the doc¬ trine of Christ and living in this doctrine entails personal involvement with “both the Father and the Son”; amen, amen, and amen!

  1. This is really another way to say that all we have as Christians to in reality guide and maximize our efforts, for peace and unity among Christians is a common agreement on the total context of the Bible. Just like in salvation the Holy Spirit put the unity there in the body of Christ, also putting the unity into the writing of the Bible although it was over a period of thousands of years and through Apostles and Prophets. The difficulty for peace and unity comes as certain groups, churches, and denominations start making imbalanced approaches to the 7 ONEs, emphasizing one or two over the others or minimizing one or more, or neglect and even becoming intolerant toward the living doctrine of one or more of the Seven. Those that actually deny parts of the Bible, sometimes even all of the Bible, as the Word of God do the most for disunity and war among Christians, often are the kind of groups that strive to promote unity by other means like by way of organization of “up with people” or “purpose driven wants” or “unknown tongues” or a lopsided repetition of “the cross” to the exclusion of so much else in the Bible!
  2. How do we deal with the disunity caused by so many different “interpretations” of the Bible. Well, the answer to that is like the answer to any other problem in Christianity: go to the Bible which has answers for the problems which keep repeating themselves generation after generation. In particular, in this case, go to the Apostle Peter who declared: (1) that no Scripture can be privately or exclusively interpreted apart from the public domain of Christians, no matter how big, powerful, or anointed is the group; and (2) it all came from God through God the Holy Spirit and that same Holy Spirit provides unity of interpretation. This is the ASPI interpretation of the Bible, the Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation of the Bible, about which you will read and hear a great deal in the Life and Letters of Paul. And the same Apostle Peter who first reminded us that Paul was writing Scriptures of the Word of God just like the Prophets before him in the Old Testament, is the same Apostle who reminds of only ONE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE, the one from God.

(1). The Apostle Peter testifies to how Paul did write Scriptures of the Word of God, and beyond that how some religious groups can so easily “wrest the writings of Paul” to their own destruction. (4)

“…as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand^, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” (II Peter 3:15,16 NKJV)

(2). The One Interpretation of Scripture, the ASPI interpretation.

“…understand this, at the outset, that no prophetic scripture allows a man to interpret it by himself; for prophecy never came by human impulse, it was when carried away by the holy Spirit that the holy men of God spoke”     (II Peter 1:20,21 Moffat (5))

(3). What really determines “who” understands the Scripture.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)

  1. The “untaught” and “unstable” delight in their own private group-based interpretations of things “hard to understand”. If it is a matter of Bible study on the depths in the epistles of Paul, or the teachings of Jesus on eschatology in Matthew 24 of the hard to understand parts of the book of Revelation, these untaught {by the Spirit of God and time in actual Bible study, many college and seminary classes are definitely more study about the Bible than of the Bible itself so that even PhDs remain untaught and unlearned on real Bible} and “unstable”, unstable in the sound doctrines of the Bible.
  2. As with so many good books, the Moffat translation will disappear from the book stores and book shelves of SBC churches and bookstores because of the fundamentalists takeover of the SBC, primarily because of how effectively these former Bible Baptists have propagandized the SBC and others to make conservatism synonymous with fundamentalism. In other words, their own private interpretations based on the divorced lawyer-Congregationalists minister in Dallas and the Irish Priest Roman Catholic, have carried on through many backwoods Baptists like the missionary Baptists {“If the King James Version was good enough for Paul, it is good enough for me”, many of them have said} and Bible Baptists. How in the world they were carried away with a divorced lawyer, Congregationalists and a Roman Catholic priest in Ireland is almost beyond understanding, but it is documented in religious history, and in the Scofield Reference Bible.}

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Spare No Effort

Sorry religious scholars, the PhDs and Th.Ds. will not cut it. The overwhelming probability of such training is more likely to put you in the “untaught” and “unstable” category (6) from the Apostle Peter and in your study of Paul, or the rest of the Bible, than to give you any real Bible understanding by way of the ASPI

2-4: For peace and unity as given by the One Holy Spirit, Christians must put on over their lives these seven doctrines. It is not enough to know the 7 major doctrines of the Bible, although that is a start and that is the subject of the summary of the book of Ephesians until it comes to the end chapter where the 7 doctrines are to actually be “put on ” as the seven pieces of the armor of God.

What you really want to look for in Christian leadership toward peace and unity, is men of God who obviously have both a balanced commitment to the Seven ONEs and an obvious practice of putting on all 7 of the doctrines in the armor of God!

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord (more of the being personally involved in major doctrines, “in the Lord”} and in the power of His might. Put on the whole {a last effort at balance in your doctrine and doctrinal involvement with a balanced “whole”} armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10,11)

While Christians rightly so find assurance against Satan, “against principalities, power, and the rulers of the darkness of this age”, in order to fight the good fight of faith and be winners in a church that must lose during the Falling Away, the whole balanced putting on daily of Christian armor assurance standing and survival against the “wiles of the devil.” While “greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world” are an assurance Christians can stand on, it does not assure complete ability to stand against, or withstand, all that Satan with his experience and long history of Christian destruction can throw at us.

  1. Such for example are those at Universities and Seminaries, members of the JESUS SEMINAR, who pass judgment not only on the Gospel of John but on whether Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, voting each year among them as to whether this is true.

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                                                                     “Spare No Effort”

  1. No doubt that “evil day” that Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:13 is the trying and evil days of the Falling Away; and of course, in order to STAND and “withstand in the evil day”, you need to put on the whole armor of the seven major doctrines and you need to look likewise for Christian leaders who obviously are putting on in balance the whole armor of God. It is not enough to put on the helmet, or the footwear, or even the belt—things that are more convenient to wear; for they will not withstand, nor survive without the whole of the balanced armor.
  2. Find leaders, and examples, who have put on the belt of truth around their waist. Don’t forget just plain honesty and intellectual honesty as you would seek and promote your leaders. Truth is as broad as the whole truth of Go&, truth would include the teachings and doctrines of Christ and the Bible {by the way, they are one and the same; that is the One Lord is the same as the One Bible}; and above all truth would include the One Christ who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) When during the 4th stage of the Falling Away as Christians and Christian leaders “turn away from truth”, that truth they turn away from and deny is also Christ.

NOTE: Of course, the majority of you in churches and denominations during these times of the Falling Away for II Timothy 4:3,4 are going to choose Bible teachers with “itching ears”, those who through the process of intolerance toward sound doctrine, purpose driven personal wants, the heaping in and out process in local churches, come finally to the 4th stage of the Falling away where self-denial and “the turning away from truth” dominates. Forget, avoid, and ignore that leader if they have passed all the way into the 5th stage of being turned into fables. If you have not taken the same path through the 5 stages of the Falling Away, you surely will recognize these last two stages in your chosen leaders. {Please do not forget that evangelists are notorious for the making up of stories that could be true but are not; and that this is also an itching way to lead into dishonesty.}

  1. Get you a leader for an example that every day puts on “the breastplate of righteousness”. This definitely does not mean without sin, for there are no such men or pastors; but if the active Christian leader is habitually and daily putting on the breastplate of righteousness then he can be living simultaneously in habitual sin. Righteousness is a complicated doctrine that is both a legal declared righteousness of Christ in the sight of God upon any Christian, because of the atonement and salvation; and is also a real, becoming righteousness of Christ yearly in the process of sanctification of the One Salvation, that of being and becoming more like Christ.

Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

NOTE: It is not just that they have a large, open Bible during preaching from which they seem to deliver faithfully “the Gospel of Peace”; but have they put on the gospel of peace with proper PREPARATION! In other words, their words are okay, but how are their hearts toward other Christian brothers, and toward God’s methods of peace and unity, or even efforts.

  1. Find leaders and examples with their feet shod “with the preparation of the gospel of peace”. (Ephesians 6:15) How can there be peace and unity without a “gospel of peace”; and beautiful are the feet of those who actually “preach the gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15 and Isaiah 52:7 and Nahum 1:15)

Godly Peace with Men

(1). Granted it not easy to tell the difference in the popular preachers who were and continue to be the fighting against flesh and blood that destroyed so many careers (7) and reputations in the SBC, obviously controlled more by a lack of love if not hate itself …that is between those kind of preachers and Ieaders (8) even while they preach from an open Bible and seem to go word for word; and the leaders who actually have those feet shod “with the preparation of the gospel of peace”. W. O. Carver in THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE CHRISTIAN CALLING, writes of Ephesians 6:15:

  1. J. Vernon McGee expressed the lack of love in the hearts of such leaders of the fundamentalists, which naturally cannot exist simultaneously with a fighting attitude against flesh and blood Christian brothers, “I wish the fundamentalists could contend for the faith without being contentious.” Of course, now with their obvious control of the SBC, they have gone underground with their hate and fighting; and as victims of the “turning away from truth” of the Falling Away will even deny that one of their leaders, Criswell, said to Moyer before they fought, destroyed reputations and careers of Christian brothers, “We are going to keep fighting until one side or the other wins.” These fundamentalists in control are still fighting, you had better believe it; but it is always easier to shoot down hill than up hill, where with control of the SBC they have the high ground, established and where followers tend to overlook their real shortcomings for peace and unity in that they do not daily put on the balanced armor of God.
  2. Years ago while in a bookstore some promoter of books reminded me of a new book coming out from a fundamentalists leader on “Spiritual Warfare”. Without mentioning any names in public, it was well known among preachers of the SBC who lived through that period of splits in the SBC, almost 20 years ago, and the fighting of fundamentalists where they destroyed reputations and careers of real conservatives, that this well-known pastor was personally and inherently a fighter against Christian brothers; so that 1 asked the lady, do you mean he wrote a book on just WARFARE, for he is well noted as a fighter against Christian flesh and blood.

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                                                                             “Spare No Effort”

Take-your-stand, therefore, on the field of conflict belted around your thighs with the girdle of true integrity; and clothed with the breastplate of righteousness of character and conduct; having your feet shod, for firm footing and protection against injury, with that preparation for Christian struggle which is bought to us in the gospel of peace with God and godly peace with men…”

Surely “godly peace with men” would be our way to ferret out Christian leaders who live in the doctrines as well as become famous for teaching them, and thus to also ferret out those who do not no matter how eloquent and impressive with their open and large Bibles do not actually promote peace and unity according to the Bible designated methods of “Spare No Efforts”. Of course, today as these fundamentalists sit on their perches of high ground, they with “wise in the ways of the world” PR methods, claim on the more conservatives of the SBC that object to their methods of leadership that they in turn promote a lack of unity, peace, and spare no effort in the wrong direction.

Speak Great Swelling Words but Cause Divisions in the SBC

(2). Have they given any attention to the PREPARATION of the heart and mind, even the character or personality; or like the national leaders of Jeremiah and Isaiah, are they drunk or captive to their own “Power and Privilege.” In other words, do they consider their positions and status are more the preparation to preach and teach the Gospel of peace, than of any preparation in character and personality! The Apostle Jude spoke of such leaders of the first century without preparation for the gospel of Peace. {One might say that without such preparation even before these leaders appear in the pulpit and before a teacher’s stand, they are unprepared to do that very thing. No real reflection on their delivery, quite often impressive even to the point of great swelling words, but on that the preparation was inadequate.)

“There are grumbles, complainers, walking according to their own lusts {remember how the Apostle James said that “the spirit within us lusteth to envy”}; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you told that there would be mockers in the last time (9) who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 16-19)

NOTE: If you can tell which leaders really promote peace and unity, and even if you cannot tell if they are “sensual”, given over to the ways of the world, you should be able to tell when they have caused DIVISIONS, now or in the past.

Bad Habits and Attitudes of Church Members to Avoid

(3). Finally, if you can tell if they have the character and personality of PREPARATION any other way, you can tell if they exhibit in their churches and denomination, even family life, the bad habits that are to be avoided in any church member of II Timothy 3:1-9; like self-lovers, “lovers of money”, (10) boasters, proud, unloving, brutal, despisers of good, headstrong, haughty, and “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”

2-5:     “Above all”   (Ephesians 6:16-18) find leaders and examples, who wear obviously and out in the open (10): (1) the shield of faith; (2) the helmet of salvation; (3) the sword of the Spirit; and (4) “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.

  1. “Above all”, does this mean that these last three doctrines, that of faith, Spirit, and prayer are the most important doctrines. No, it just means that you are getting closer to the 7 ONES, while in previous pieces of armor these were only partials of the 7 ONES. Actually “prayer” is just an added admonition, not really a major doctrine of the Seven ONES, although a clear teaching of Jesus and the Apostles of the Bible.
  2. The Shield of Faith.

 

  1. To keep your perspective on time, the “last days” started at the same time as the coming of the Holy Spirit after the Ascension of Christ, and will end also with the Holy Spirit, as He is withdrawn from earth.
  2. These are not the same as the $12,000 suits of Wall street and Wall Street lawyers, even these practitioners with diamonds a fancy dress, often millionaires of the gospel of prosperity and peace. Their peace and unity come from agreement with the world and the world within the church on the gospel of prosperity and health; in other words, they want to prove that they practice, just like they preach, the gospel of wealth and prosperity. That God has blessed them in a special way and been good to them!

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(1). Paul tells the urgency of putting on the doctrine, personally and individually, of the One Faith, and for choosing leaders as examples that do the same: “with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one”. (Ephesians 6:16)

(2). If you watched DATELINE not long ago on preachers who have lost their faith, you know that at the extreme there are pastors, preachers, and other Christian leaders that are going through the motions of their positions without putting on each day the Shield of Faith. They will not be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one, and they must slip into the casual¬ ties of the Falling Away. Avoid them, the Apostle Paul writes in II Timothy 3:5. Even though they are fellow church members, they are to be avoided like a plague. And if you do not see the wisdom of such church behavior, or even of separation from this church if necessary, recall that the requirements for fellowship with fellow Christians is much greater than requirements for fellowship with the world. {Hopefully you have read that in A1 and A2 of the Appendix of Life and Letters of Paul or will if you have not already.}

(3). Now on the way to the extreme of those who have lost their shield of faith are many pastors and other church leaders who do not show much faith anyway. You can hear it in their words, more often platitudes and teachings of tradition and the world than of expressions of faith in God, Christ, and the Bible; or even professions of faith in what God can do!

  1. The Sword of the Spirit.

Finally, an opportunity to mention why One Bible was not in the list of  7 ONEs. The major doctrine is the ONE SPIRIT, and a natural implication of that major doctrine is that the Holy Spirit both wrote and assists readers with the understanding of the Bible, hence the sword of the Spirit. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit.

  1. Pray.

Pray, pray, and pray! Prayer, Prayer, and Prayer! The Spirit within the Christian normally, naturally, and regularly wants to cry out “Abba, for Father”; and then following the model prayer (11), so as to (1) not prayer like the religious leaders of Jesus time called the Pharisees to be seen and heard of men, and (2) not to really be preaching to the congregation (12) telling God things that He already knows! So much prayer never goes past the ceiling of the building where it is delivered, for so many leaders are so consumed by pastoral and administrative duties that prayer like physical exercise falls by the wayside; or like in the time of Jeremiah, God stopped listening to the prayers of His own people, telling Jeremiah to no longer pray for them, {yes, that point of no return will come again for today’s people of God in America, where the Falling Away and the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit (13) have gone so far into “fables”, the God’s own people are cut off from God by God Himself.}

  1. Called commonly the Lord’s prayer, but which is really the model prayer for all Christians, leaders or otherwise as Jesus said before the prayer “pray in this manner”.

36                                                    

Spare No Effort

NOTE: Please if you have not read already A1 and A2 of the Appendix do so, as it closes the gap of explanation between chapter 1 and chapter  2 of Life and Letters of Paul. You will find them listed and available for download on the Progress Chart of this free, online Bible study of Life and Letters of Paul, that is at http://sungrist.org/ProgressChartLifeAndLettersPaul.html.

 

  1. Many pastors and evangelists should read and study Andrew Blackwood’s LEADING IN PUBLIC PRAYER, learning to practice the ATSCC that he advises.

13 Read FRIENDS OF JESUS IN THIS AGE OF BIBLE AND COMPUTER, the second publication of SunGrist Bible available on Amazon. On the cover you will find a partial quote from Daniel 12 about when “the power of the Holy people is completely shattered”, at that time of extensive travel and information explosion, it will be finished. Of course, the only realities that can destroy the power of the Holy people {you see, out of the decision of God it no longer avails “that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world} is both the Falling Away and the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from earth.

 

 Because of the way this chapter transferred from Word to WordPress, you will really need the PDF free download of “Spare No Effort” to make more sense out it.  You can free download it at http://sungrist.org/SpareNoEffort.pdf .

 

 

 

 

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