Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gifts of God

A person from my Facebook friends Don Carson posted this question.

 Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -

Here is my answer, I may have gotten carried a little bit away.

Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -

This is an interesting question that has caused me to reflect some on the nature of God and the nature of Man as well as the relationship between the two.

The question can be approached from a few different interpretations.

One interpretation would probably be a more odd way of looking at it than you  planed.  But if we approach the result of God in our hearts and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit  it is for Salvation and the power to live in Grace from that point on.  And if we approach the thought of the Gifts of God as the things He brings into our lives we can see that those Gifts can not take the place of Salvation and Grace.  We see the example of the Hebrew Nation at various times living in captivity pre and post David.  They would bring great blessing and gifts to those nations and the people would receive gifts and blessings but they did not receive Salvation.  For this discussion we will follow the principle that Salvation is only via the Messiah and those prior to the Cross lived by faith looking forward just as we live by faith looking backwards.  We can also see this in the New Testament in the person of Judas.  He received the Gifts of God but it did not take the place of God in his heart. 

I know that this approach to the question is most likely backward from the intent but that is what came into my mind first.

Lets look at an interpretation that is probably more in line with how most others would view the question.  That is do Gifts from God Come in to our life that will take the Focus from God and turn it to the Gift.  We will once again consider Gifts to be those blessings that we interpret as coming from God.  And here is where the nature of man enters into the picture and where I will take a bit of a contrary view.  My conjecture is that we interpret things as blessings from God when it is actually our desires, wants, greeds, manipulations, bargaining, and such that has colored the event.  That when those things come in to our life and they pull the focus from God, compete in our Heart so to speak for His place. those things did not come from God.  They came from us.

Take a look at Lazarus the one with the sisters Mary and Martha not the beggar.  And realize that the gift that Jesus brought into their lives was sickness and death.  Jesus has healed others at a distance prior to this.  He purposely delays His departure.  Lazarus, Mary, and Martha considered Him the Messiah the One that was to come the Son of God.  Yet He allowed Lazarus to die, this is not something we would ever think of as a Gift but it was.  It was a matter of their interpretation prior to the full revelation of God’s plan.

So, with that view we must be diligent about what is entering into our lives and ask is this for the Glory of God or for my glory.  Is this the leadership of the Holy Spirit confirmed by the whole of Scripture and sound advice of those grounded in the Word of God.  Have I sought the answer to this in Prayer with an open heart. Have I seen confirmation to Prayers that are in line with sound Biblical understanding.  Or is this what I want is it what I desire.  Is it of God.

Now the concept of the Gifts being the Gifts of the Spirit are a matter I will leave to someone else to consider..

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