Sunday 2 May 2021

We had taken a visiting son and his girlfriend to the beach, where we ate a meal, wathcing the surfers bob up and down, making sure that they did not stay on the waves overlong becacuse there was not beach, but rocks and a seawall.

On the way back Kea and I were talking about how some people in this world considre there is nothing spiritual, and then start talking about spirituality. Because they do not see anything is real: they believe there is nothing there, they walk blindly into places the Monks and Saints fear, and that does not end well.

We are told that the spirit of God is within us. Guiding us. I see this more in Kea, who has at times knowledga and timing and guidance that is well beyond any wisdom of this time.

But the wise are now held in contempt by the rulers of this world, who worship the woke. But we shall not.

COLLECT ONE

O Almighty God,
who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men;
Grant unto thy people,
that they may love the thing which thou commandest,
and desire that which thou dost promise;
that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed,
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 John 4:7-21

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God”, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

John 15:1-8

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

There are a couple of warnings here. The first is that abiding is a relationship with Christ. It is both corporate and personal. The spirit will work when the word of God is revealed and preached truly, for God will call his own, despite our faults and liturgies.

But we have to be very careful about what we add to the gospel. In short, we should never add new teachings. The gospel is: all else is immaterial. So on the Pentecostal side, those who talk too much of the spiritual and ascending a series of stages are not preaching the gospel, but something occut. On the more Reformed side, there is a tendency to discount the spirit of God completely and instead look to the word of God, and twist it to meet the fashions of the day so you can signal your righteoousness to all.

But we are sinners, and virtue signals do not save.

We have the spirit of God among us, but we shall test all spirits and messages and prophecies, for all can be false. If we don’t test, we will find two things.

The people within the church will start hating each other, becoming jealous, and the place will devolve into a toxic girl scout, competing for the queen bee position, using merit badges as weapons.

And over a generation or two, that church will lose evangelical zeal, stop converting, stop growing, and fossilize

Such branches will one one with the heresiarchs, and will not enter the kingdom of God.

Be very afraid when your pastors start preaching virtue instead of the repentance before the cross of Christ. There are times when you have to meet privately, then as a group, and then you will find you are the one who is asked to leave. So be it.

For we are to be righteous, The righteous care about where they need to reform, and don’t bother boasting.