In yesterday's post, we covered man's way of thinking.
However, God intended for us to receive revelation directly from Him, His Word, and others. The Bible calls this "GRACE".
The apostles' doctrine of GRACE can be attained through the definition of the Greek word "charis". With the exception of one verse (James 1:11), every time the word "grace" occurs in the King James version of the New Testament, the word is "charis".
CHARIS, 5485 "the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life" (Strong's Concordance)
This is the ONLY non-contradictory definition that fits all the verses containing "charis"! Notice, "reflection" means it is God who does the righteous act. We choose to let God do it through us. This requires us to be humble. This is NOTHING we can brag about. EVERY other definition for GRACE is a result of man-made tradition being introduced into the process of hermeneutics.
The main way GRACE occurs today is through the Holy Spirit which is inside of us.
HOWEVER, we are ALSO influenced from our flesh.
So the problem is: HOW do we know if the "influence" is from the Holy Spirit or from our flesh?
This process has to be objective...the answer can't be: "because it feels right" or "because it feels wrong". Our feelings are NOT correct 100% of the time. NOTICE: If someone's response is, "I'm just going to keep trusting God" this is not a sufficient answer...HOW are you going to know that what you are trusting in is God?
Or said another way: WHY do you ever make another mistake for the rest of your life if you are ALWAYS trusting God? The bottomline is the fault is OURS, not God's...when we don't intentionally think in an objective manner, it is possible to follow the flesh and do something DIFFERENT than what God is telling us to do AND believe it is from God.
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24)
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." (Mark 12:30)
Spirit AND TRUTH. Doing God's Will involves our ENTIRE being. There are three steps to this process of DOING God's Will:
1. Revelation from God
2. Objective determination of TRUTH
3. Do the TRUTH
Step 1 could be termed GRACE and Steps 2 and 3 are covered by FAITH. If you read the link to FAITH you will see that Paul's definition of FAITH is remarkably similar to "meta-cognition"...not the "cognition" perspective that is taught in some "traditional" churches.
The Purpose of "Modeling God" is to show you how to hear from God more clearly and more often (GRACE) AND how to intentionally, objectively determine (meta-cognition) if what you are hearing is from God or the flesh. The book is written to explain WHY this process is Biblical. I believe God led me through this process repeatedly for 14 years in order to write "Modeling God". The GENERAL explanation of the HOW of this 14 year process to determine the non-contradictory worldview is the 3 Step Process disclosed above. "Modeling God" ONLY deals with Step 2 SPECIFICALLY.
Some people have misunderstood GRACE and then projected onto me that "Modeling God" is about how we can go to Heaven if we skip over Step 1. "Modeling God" clearly explains that salvation is dependent on doing all three steps, but the MOST important step is #1. The Spiritual connection is CLEARLY the most important. People can make it to Heaven without even knowing how to do Step 2. From page 117 of "Modeling God":
"Paul's conversion (Acts 9:3-6) was a supernatural event. The process of salvation is incomplete without a supernatural interaction. This book focuses on proving a non-contradictory explanation of God and salvation. This is an intellectual explanation."
"Since God is a spirit, our ability to do this process depends on our spiritual response. Knowing this process and doing it are two separate events. It is possible to do this process without completely understanding it. However, the more one understands the process, the better he is able to intentionally make progress towards God and help others do the same."
"Conversely, depending completely on salvation by solely knowing the process and not doing it is called "mental assent." Salvation cannot be obtained this way because there is no spiritual connection. We've seen "believe in your heart" is the key because it leads to doing the process."
The purpose of "Modeling God" is to use an objective process for determining TRUTH in order to show the WHY behind the non-contradictory explanation of God and salvation. However, in the Big Picture, this is SECONDARY to having a spiritual connection with God.
HOW do you objectively determine TRUTH? If your answer is: "By God's Word"...then you still need to explain HOW you determine that your INTERPRETATION of God's Word is TRUTH.
TWO MORE DIFFERENCES FROM ANIMALS
The FAITH link leads us to realize two differences between us and animals. Recall that FAITH is a belief in something that hasn't happened yet and/or something that can't be seen. FAITH is a belief...it REQUIRES THINKING! FAITH is built on experience and understanding. Faith is PROVEN by actions. Experience and understanding?
As humans, we have the ability to INTENTIONALLY remember and imagine. Both of these are an expression of your will. Notice how many times the Bible talks about remembering and imagining. Even God talks about what He chooses to remember and imagine!
Animals don't intentionally reminisce about their past. Dogs don't fondly recall their days as a pup...sorry to wreck all of those cartoons and childhood stories. Animals also don't intentionally imagine future scenarios. Again, sorry for wrecking the tradition we are presented with that says animals are just like us.
FAITH is based on experience...this requires us to choose to REMEMBER in a profitable manner. This is meta-cognition.
FAITH is based on understanding...this requires us to choose to IMAGINE in a profitable manner. This is meta-cognition.
What is your definition of GRACE?
What is your definition of FAITH?
Who's fault is it when you are wrong?
Does God WANT you to be wrong?
Do you believe God has provided a way for you to avoid being wrong?
How do you determine if what you are hearing is from God or your flesh?
How do you determine TRUTH?