Thursday, June 6, 2013

Greet and Love in Wisdom

"Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." Romans 16:16-20 ESV

Wow. Have these verses been misused by many but they are so important to understand. We are not be naive. Naive people are easy marks. Grace has a certain sound and we are to listen for it. We are to become discerning of what is wholesome and eternal.

In the world at large and in the Church there are people who are very gifted but they divide and create obstacles. It is ignored because they are gifted. They are producers because of their natural talents and gifts so they are given leeway in their ministry of division.

The beautiful thing about grace and grace teaching is that it gently exposes evil for what it is without exploring evil in an infecting way. What the Bible teaches arms people with real armor without giving them nightmares. Grace gives security and unity. It providing a wall around our city while breaking down the middle wall of partition that separates us from experiencing communion with God and true fellowship with one another.

We are to greet one another with a holy kiss. Beware of those who want to whisper in your ear about why you shouldn't accept that one and why this one is disqualified. It is our God of peace who will crush Satan under our feet in due season. God doesn't use dividers as helpers in this process. Yes, there are tares mixed in the wheat... God knows all about it.

"Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith - to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen." Romans 16:25-27 ESV

The message is a message of strengthening and revealing what is true and wholesome. Light dispels darkness. We deal with darkness head on with light not whispers. We include. We love. We proclaim faith. Shepherds protect the sheep with a rod and they use the rod as needed. The message is one of safety. We call people to a city of refuge where they can live without fear. The door is still open to an Ark where they will be dry. The guilty need a payment for their sins. We all need a place where we can function in purity.

The grace message repels the predator who is hiding under a cloak of goodness because it says, "No one is good but God." and it invites the weak and damaged by saying, "No one is as good for you as God is."

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