Biblical Balance

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In order to walk, little children must learn balance. We call it learning to walk, but it is more a case of learning balance. For the church, balance is of the utmost importance as she learns to walk in love. If she just applies wisdom without love she will have safety, but she will be cold and indifferent – she will end up legalistic which is deadly. On the other hand, love applied to situations without wisdom is sloppy agape and it is just as deadly, because godly wisdom is the preservative. Love without instruction is without form. Wisdom without love is void. To walk in love we must have a balance of both.

The enemy of our souls is always trying to get us (the church) to go to the left or to the right off of God’s Word, because God’s Word is balanced. To have good balance, all of the Bible must be taught and in the balance in which it is written. In other words, one subject should not be emphasized over and above another subject unless that’s how it is handled in the Bible. For example; Grace should not be more emphasized than obedience. Love should not be over emphasized and wisdom understated. The promises should not be over emphasized while abiding in Jesus is understated – for the promises are for those who abide in Jesus. Faith should not be emphasized above walking by the spirit, since there will never be good results without the two going hand in hand.

We also need to balance the written word with the leading of the Spirit in order to walk in the God kind of love – for it is the Spirit that gives life to the written word, enabling one to walk in wisdom and love, which is what the Bible teaches.

In order for the church to take the Promise Land she must emphasize the presence of the Lord, faith, and obedience to the word of God with equal importance. The Israelites could not enter the Promise Land without the presence of the Lord. (Ex: 33:14-15) They could not enter the Sabbath rest because of unbelief. (Heb: 3:11-12) They couldn’t triumph over their enemies when there was sin in the camp. (Josh: 7:10-13)

When salvation is preached, one should emphasize the awesome grace of God, but in balance with man’s part which is to enter into Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection so that they can be new creatures in Jesus.

When Jesus said to the Jewish leaders, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone,” speaking of the woman caught in the very act of adultery, he was not making light of the law or the sin – he was walking in love and wisdom. Wisdom knows that the law is righteous and was established to give life not death. But love wanted to give the woman another chance. Jesus knew that when the law was established, strict penalties were decreed to help people be strong and resist temptation. But the woman brought to Him was no more of a sinner than those who wanted Him to sentence her to death. His answer was full of love and wisdom.

In Matt: 12:3-4, Jesus is not teaching us to make light of the law, He is operating in love and wisdom. He knew that God established the law to help man, not to destroy man. Just so, the showbread was to be kept holy to help man gain a concept of the holy, but when David and his men were in great need of sustenance, mercy took precedence over the teaching. The wisdom of God (which is full of love) would say, “If I deny David and his men this food in the name of keeping it sacred, will I be serving the law or breaking the law of love?” Therefore the Spirit behind the law rules over the law.

The balance of the Word is already in the Word. The church’s balance is not a balance of some of God’s Word and some of the world. Christians should not be ashamed of any of the Word. As soon as the church tries to hide or ignore any part of God’s written word, she becomes unbalanced. The Word is our balance.

Parent/child relationships do not work very well if one party neglects their role obligations. Marriages are not very successful if only one party fulfills their role obligations. Government never works well without everyone doing their part to honor it. The word of God will work well for the church when she honors all of it. The New Testament is the Holy Spirit revelation of the law. We are new creatures in Jesus and we have God’s laws written in our heart by the Holy Spirit. When we void any part of God’s Word, we are thrown off balance. This is a call to receive the Word in the Spirit in which it was written.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Balanced Christianity

An article in a magazine identified one problem in Christianity today as selfishness. Of course this is an anomaly because Jesus died on the cross to save us from that very malady – selfishness.

The article cries out against the imbalance that immature Christians fall into when they spend too much time in one aspect of God’s word and too little elsewhere. In this case – too much time with the “Promise Box” and too little time in the instruction book (the Bible).

The article points out that Christianity is about faith, standing in the face of adversity, and putting God and others ahead of ourselves. I couldn’t agree more. But it’s also about the rewards for having done so. This is very important because it is what God is trying to get through to us. He is teaching us that He is life – if you want it come and get it.

He is teaching that He is Father – the inevitable result of receiving Him as your God and Father is that you will have Him as your God and Father. The benefit is that you will have the best, most perfect, most wonderful, and most capable God and Father.

He is teaching us that the inevitable result of making Jesus your Lord, Savior, and Shepherd is that you will have the one who qualifies better than anyone to be your instructor, guide, example, and overseer and the only one who qualifies as you Savior.

He is teaching us that the inevitable result of hooking up with life, light, and love is that you will reap the benefits of them. Our relationship with God is a two way street, He in us and we in Him. The result is that He has children and we have the parental authority, guidance, and provisions so vitally necessary to our well-being.

God’s commandments and precepts are never given without the promises that pertain to them. God teaches us to do it His way for that very purpose – so that we can be our best and have His best. I know this because of the way the Bible teachings are constructed. Therefore it is imperative for us to keep the balance of the word. Anytime we change the balance of the word we become unbalanced. True Christianity is to walk in love. A baby must learn balance in order to walk. Christians must learn balance in order to walk in love. The word of God is balanced. Never underemphasize anything that the Bible emphasizes and never overemphasize what the Bible teaches. Keep the balance.

Immature Christians’ preoccupation with their own lives and stuff is repulsive in the light of the true gospel. But what is needed is knowledge of the Son of God.

Eph: 4:11-16: And he gives some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

We need to preach the gospel of the kingdom along with the gospel of salvation. They go together like love and marriage.

Now that I have emphasized the benefits of enjoying God our Father, let me present the balance. We are to consider ourselves His servants. We are to take up our cross daily – giving up our self-interests, comfort, and security in the interest of serving others. Though that may sound like a hardship, it is not, because God lives in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. His good pleasure is to love us and to love others. There is the balance. Trust and obey God and be happy.

Action and reward – References: Genesis 1:7, 9:11, 12:1-3, Deut: 28:1-14, 30:19-20, Josh: 1:7-8, Prov: 3:1-19, Isa: 11:1-16, 61:1-8, Jer: 24:6-7, Ezek: 36:24-30, Mal: 3:1-18, Matt: 6: 32-33, 7: 7-12, Mk: 11:22-24, Lk: 6:38, 15:31, 17:10, 18:29-30, Jn: 3:16-17, 4:14, 6:47, 8:12, 31,32, 10:10, John 14,15,16, 1Cor: 3:21-23, 2Cor: 1:20, 1Pet: 2:9-11, 1Jn: 5:14-15

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Why Are So Many Christians Succombing to Divorce?

In the last 25 years I have watched many marriages fall. Why?

Was it because they didn’t care what God said?

Was it because they only wanted to do their own thing?

Was it because the spouse abused them terribly?

Was it because they believe it’s all right to divorce if you are not happy?

In most of these cases both parties:

• Wanted to serve God • Wanted their marriage to work • Were seeking strength and answers in order to avoid divorce.

So what happened?

I believe that this tragedy is another case of the word not being taught in balance. These Christians heard so much about how God loves them, how he understands their hurts and weakness, how his mercy endures forever, how he is so benevolent, how he sent Jesus so sinners can go to heaven, and how he has given them numerous blessings and promises to put them over in life.

So the troubled couple or just one of the spouses went to God in prayer either through the pastor, or the laying on of hands, or privately. Once that was done, they sat back and waited for God to solve their problem. They endured their situation expecting God’s deliverance any day. Time went by and not only didn’t things get better, they probably got worse.

If both spouses are standing for their marriage, usually one of them is weaker than the other and will lose patience or faith at some point. He or she then takes matters into his or her own hands and try to find marital bliss elsewhere or they think that a separation or divorce will at least rid them of their problems and they go for it.

If just one is standing for a better marriage or relationship the same thing applies – they get tired of waiting and take matters into their own hands.

Question: How could the church or good biblical teaching – thus biblical thinking help couples resist the temptation to divorce?

Answer: By always teaching the balance in the scriptures instead of emphasizing the good stuff and once in a while casually mentioning the disciplines required of them.

• Had they been taught that when they came to God they were to repent of doing things their way and were to determine to learn to do things God’s way from then on . . .

• Had they been taught what the scripture, ‘Not by might, not by power, but by God’s Spirit really means – which is that the Christian receives God’s Spirit and acts according to it rather that according to their carnal nature . . . (If they would do that they are guaranteed to win big time, but it will be in God’s time or in due season, not in man’s time.)

• Had the parties involved had just as much teaching about the fact that they were crucified with Christ and have been raised to new life – the life of Christ in them . . .

• Had they had just as much teaching about striving for all purity . . .

• Had they had just as much teaching of the biblical attitude that since one died for all, all ought to live for him . . .

• Had they had just as much teaching about what taking up their cross means . . . (the Amp. V. says it means to give up your comfort, security, and self-interest and be ruled by God’s love.)

• Had they had just as much teaching about the biblical attitude of rather to suffer than to fail to please God . . .

• Had they been thoroughly taught about their witness now and their reward in heaven . . .

• Had they been made to understand that there is a time and a season for the benefits mentioned above and sometimes it is time to reap the benefits and sometimes it is time to suffer because things must be done God’s way and not the carnal way . . .

Had they been taught that these things are what a Christian does and had they been taught it as often as they were taught the above benevolence of God . . .

• Many of them would have had the correct mindset – the godly one.

• Most of them would have been able to keep the correct focus – God’s ways not their ways.

• Many would have been able to keep their priorities straight – the body of Christ behaves as Christ would, thinks as he does, hates what he hates and loves what he loves.

• They would have been able to bolster their courage with thoughts of pleasing God and eventually reaping an abundant harvest – a true reward in God’s timing. And they would have had the satisfaction of doing righteously.

• They would have set a good example.

• They would have done their part to keep the family together.

• They would not have evolved into a part of society’s problem.

• They would not have been guilty of causing emotional hurt for their and other people’s children – divorce is harmful.

• They would not have hurt theirs and other people’s children by setting a terrible example.

• They would not have chosen to sacrifice their witness and reward in heaven for a temporal better day.

• And there’s a good chance that God would have, over a period of time, solved their differences and rewarded them with a satisfactory relationship with their spouse. If not, at least they would have had the satisfaction of serving God with a true heart.

This is a hard teaching. This is a powerful. Look around you. What do you see?

• Broken families, broken lives.

• Dysfunctional people, dysfunctional families, dysfunctional churches, dysfunctional nations.

Where did they come from?

• Selfish choices.

• Ungodly choices.

Lk: 9:23, Rom: 6-8, 2Cor: 5:14, Gal: 2:20, 1Pet: 4:1, Zech: 3:7, 4:6

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to put a guilt trip on anyone. If you are divorced and this article makes you feel bad, go to God and talk to him about it until you have peace. God bless you.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Love Rules, Not Mercy

I am getting the impression that because mercy had been so much emphasized the last thirty years or so, many now think that God is mercy – that his reaction to any situation is always mercy.

God is not mercy. He has mercy. He shows mercy, but He is Love. Now get this because it is very important.

To say that love rules or to say that God is love means that God always does what is called for in order to love.

We’re talking about the Father kind of love. God has a Father heart toward everyone, but He can only benefit those who choose Him as Father and trust and obey Him.

Think about it. Everything that God has instructed mankind to do in the Bible is for man’s protection. Some of the precepts are for the good of all and some are for the good of the individual. So to think that God would easily pass over what He has said in favor of not putting a guilt trip on someone is purely a fallacy.

When though God has said, “Do not commit fornication”, a person deliberately goes ahead and has intercourse with someone who is not their lifelong mate, they put themselves in jeopardy. That wrong choice exposes them to diseases. They risk exposing themselves to the wrath of someone – a father, an irate ex-lover, etc. Then there is the risk of pregnancy. If that happens then both the father and the mother are involved and now there is a brand new tiny person involved. If the parents continue to make irresponsible choices, the offspring are bound to suffer from those choices.

God is love and disobedience grieves Him because every disobedience hurts someone.

And the wages of sin is death. Am I saying that if a person deliberately disobeys God they can’t be saved? No. I’m saying until they repent of their disobedience, they cannot have a relationship with God. He does not hear the prayers of the sinner. (Prov: 15:29) This does not mean He doesn’t care about them and it doesn’t mean He wants them to be under a load of guilt and shame. It means that if a child of God chooses to disobey Him, they will be alienated from God and will feel guilt and shame until they repent and return.

God’s mercy is standing by waiting for the child to come home. He is waiting and longing to be a Father to the disobedient one. But let it be known and understood, He does not overlook disobedience and He does not put mercy ahead of love. To love a child a good parent must teach, train, and discipline him/her.

How does God want us to react to a person who chooses to disobey him? He wants us to speak the truth to one another in love. He wants us to urge one another on to love and good works. (Heb: 10:25) He wants us to fish them out of the murky waters. He wants us to turn a sinner from his sin. (Jas: 5:19) He wants us to warn that one. (1Thess: 5:14)

I know that the recent teachings have not been in this direction, but this is the direction that must be chosen in order to walk in love. The loving Christian does not condemn, but he does not ignore the fact that the sinner is in a dangerous place. That’s where Christians are missing it. They no longer think the person who sins is in a dangerous place, they think that God is excusing everything and patching things up for everyone. They think Jesus died so we can all go to heaven, but He died and rose to restore eternal life to us. This life is in God’s Son, Jesus. (1Jn: 5:11) It’s a life that practices making right choices.

This article is in the balance series because it was an over-emphasis of mercy, forgiveness, and grace that has caused this error. These should be proclaimed, but in balance with God’s severity. He is a loving God – a loving Father – He will not let you get away with sinning.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

God is God of the Past, Present, and Future

It is considered a wise teaching that God has said: I am not the God of the past or the future, but I am the God of now. That statement has been misconstrued from a quote about God being the “I AM”.

Why do I say that was misconstrued? I say that because when I tried to implement that teaching, I kept coming up against a brick wall. I was expecting Him to do what I asked, now. I mean I would trust God for the now and come up empty-handed. What was wrong?

I discovered that the scriptures don’t talk that way. It’s:

Ps: 25:5: Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Ps: 27:14: Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Ps: 37:7: Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Isa: 40:32: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Heb: 10:6: For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Mt: 6:19-20: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Jesus says in Mk: 11:23: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Even that is future tense – shall have.)

So, often the scriptures give hope for now and reward later. This is not to say God has not made provisions for now. Jesus said in Mt: 9:29: Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And in Mk: 9:23: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

God does do some things instantly and if you have the faith and need to receive it now, you can receive it. I’m just saying the norm in the Bible is promises that give hope. Even the texts of Jesus’ above are usually manifest in future tense.

If this be the case what is God saying when He says I AM – the God of now? Now, He is busy bringing things to pass. Now, He comforts, encourages, teaches, and equips. PTL!

The Bible teaches that there is a place for the past. It can be full of good memories for some. And it can always be used as a learning experience.

The present is good for making the most of life – whether you are in a position to make lemonade or are empowered to do great things and/or manifest the joy of the Lord.

The future offers the child of God bright hope.

It’s when any one of these is blown out of proportion that problems arise. Unbalanced teaching of the scriptures will always cause problems. The Bible is balances and teachers will be wise to heed this caution – make sure you have the balance.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

He is Daddy and He is God

I heard a song that went: “Will you please hurry up, Lord cause I don’t think I can take this anymore.” It wasn’t sung with piety, it was belted out. It had a great beat to it and I liked it. But when I got to thinking about it, I knew that although most of us have felt that way at times and even said that to God, it is not the proper attitude.

Is piety toward God important?

Dan: 8:7-14: And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8: Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9: And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10: And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11: Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12: And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. (Vs 12 in Amplified Bible says, And the host [the chosen people] was given [to the wicked horn] together with the continual burnt offering because of the transgression [of God’s people – their abounding irreverence, ungodliness, and lack of piety]. And righteousness and truth were cast down to the ground, and it [the wicked horn] accomplished this [by divine permission] and prospered.) 13: Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14: And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Heb: 5:7: Amp. V: In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].

God has been hard on me and I believe that it is because I want to be free of all baggage and I want to be conformed into the image of His Son. When I say, hard on me, I mean that I have endured years and years of emotional suffering of which I thought He would quickly deliver me, but instead it was as in Isaiah 43:1-2: But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

The biggest lesson I have learned from it all, beside patient endurance, is that God is God and the sooner a Christian realizes that God must call the shots and that He must be trusted, the better off they are going to be.

I do not believe that a Christian needs to crawl up to God’s throne and grovel for what they need and want. But I do believe in practicing great piety toward the heavenly Father. Piety means that we show Him all the respect and reverence that is due Him for who He is.

I am not objecting to the teaching of calling God, Daddy. We are, through Jesus, in a Father/child relationship with Him. We can take that to heart and feel loved and comfortable with Him. In fact, to truly know and enjoy the Father/child relationship with Him will do away with all that “I’m not worthy.” stuff and that “What did I do to deserve His love and forgiveness?” and so on. When you know that He loves you as His very own child, you do not question His benevolence toward you. It is called for and expected. Children don’t have to do anything to qualify for their parent’s love.

Getting back to my present point, though God is Daddy, He must have full control of your life. He will discipline His children. This means if you are in a position for Him to work in your life, He will let you go through some very hard things. If you continue in the faith, He will be with you and sometimes even carry you until due season for reaping. At that time, you will be ecstatic at the results that you will enjoy because you did it His way.

Heb: 12:5-14: And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7: If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8: But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9: Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10: For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12: Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13: And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

All Christians need piety and reverence toward God the Father. It makes surrender and submission much easier and it brings the believer to a place where they can trust Him with everything because they know He loves them and they know that He is in charge. As one submits to His will and way, their reverence for Him and confidence in Him will grow. That’s where a person enters that spacious place spoken of in Job 36:16. All the assurances and promises in the word come to pass after the believer trusts and obeys Him.

I’m saying that once a Christian learns to revere God and His word, it becomes much easier to let Him be God in their entire life. When godly piety and reverence matures in the believer’s life they can truly say, “Your will be done,” in extremely difficult times and remain in the Sabbath rest – waiting and expecting God to handle things. The believer’s job during that time is to do what Jesus would do in each situation that arises.

Most Christians seem to have the attitude of that song above – “Won’t you please hurry up, Lord, cause I just can’t take this anymore.” Many Christians have succumbed to doing things the world’s way because God didn’t hurry up and fix their problem. They never understood what I’m trying to get across here – that the Christian must make up their mind to do things God’s way no matter what. Never should they take things into their own hands. Why? Because of the great and precious promises.

2Pet: 1:3-13: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6: And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7: And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8: For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9: But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 12: Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13: Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Gal: 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Eph: 3:16-20: That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18: May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

To summarize: If you remain in the carnal attitude that tries to tell God what to do and how to do it, you will eventually become disillusioned and faint. But if you will practice piety toward Him and submit to chastisement and allow Him to be God and Father in your life, you will reap an abundant harvest that will be far above what you can ask or think.

Again balance is what’s needed here. God is the loving Father and the Christian’s daddy, but He is also Almighty God and we should tremble at His word.

Isa: 66:1-2: Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2: For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

The Word is balanced. In it you learn all about God’s love and benevolence and you learn that He expects to be revered and obeyed.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Do You Have On the Wedding Garment?

The way the Gospel is handled by many today, even in churches, makes the way that leads to life broad. For this reason I felt impelled to do this article.

You are not going to come to the place of judgment and after living contrary to the Gospel, say, I was standing on Rom: 10:9-10. It won’t work. Why? Because Jesus already told us that we are to live by every word of God.

Rom: 10:9-10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Matt: 4:4: But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

And Jesus said: Matt: 7:13: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matt: 20-23: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matt: 22:1-14: And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3: And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4: Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5: But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7: But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8: Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9: Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10: So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11: And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13: Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14: For many are called, but few are chosen.

This warning is for all of those who have been living under an illusion due to mishandling of the Gospel. When you slip into the wedding feast in the same slippery manner that you have lived your life, Jesus will discover you and say: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom: 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Eph: 4:17-24: This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18: Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20: But ye have not so learned Christ; 21: If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

Another Balance Message

Believers make God their God because they hear the good news and come to understand that God is a good, all-knowing, all-powerful, benevolent God and He is offering to save them and take care of them. Then teachers come along and say things like “We should just worship God and forget about always getting something.” or “We think too much about what God can do for us instead of just being obedient and take what comes.”

These statements come from two factors: One, it’s true that too many Christians are centered up on their own interests instead of Jesus’ interest and two, these statements sound so humble and pious.

True Christians may need to be reminded that they belong to Christ and that they need to be about the Father’s business, but the teacher has taken piety too far in saying that the Christian should not look for God, their Father, to take good care of them and help them and bless them, because the Bible teaches what God expects of the believer and goes right on to teach what the believer can expect from God.

In the Biblical balance the believer is to live for God, but God created man to gratify His joy in giving. You can’t out give the giver, in fact God would not be happy with children who acted like servants. He is happy with children who are eager to serve, but He is not looking for a Master/servant relationship with people, He wants a Father/child relationship with people.

So what should the teacher have said to make the point that Christians have a much broader area of concern than their own interests. Well, remember, I’m referring to believers who heard the good news and want God in their life. I am not referring to the group who just wants to go to heaven when they die and get their own way while here. The second group can’t be persuaded to live for God because that is not the deal they made. Most of the selfish Christians fall into the second group, but it is possible for some in the first group to get sidetracked. They need teachers who teach the whole message in the balance that only the Bible has. So the teacher teaches man’s part and God’s part--both of them already rightly worded in the Bible--teach the Bible--all of it.

This is important to know because if you give people the “We should” messages without giving them the reasons we should and the way to carry out the “We shoulds”, you’ll not get godly results, you’ll get insincerity, loveless love, and religion; for the joy of the relationship with the Godhead is in the mutual benefits. The life of the believer and the church is in a Father/child relationship with God.

© Sylvia Huffnagle

In Defense of Christians

The subject of this article is Christian bashing. It is true that there is a lot of inexcusable ignorance and erroneous teaching in the Christian community today and I am among those who address these issues, but the attacks on Christian behavior that I wish to address here will be a call for balance.

One article I read was written by a Christian do-gooder who in the name of compassion and understanding for the down and outer had a scathing rebuke for well meaning Christians who have hurt the down and outers (DAO).

First, before I blame the Christians and Christian counselors I want some facts. In this case the DAO claimed to be terribly hurt by a church. Whatever story she relayed to the Christian do-gooder caused the do-gooder to bash churches for being judgmental.

What went on? What is judgmental? Did the people of the church snub this person because they were known to be say--promiscuous and a single mom? That would not be the Christian way and could be labeled judgmental.

Was the church blamed for being judgmental because they reached out to the woman to offer her what Christians have, which is God the Father and Jesus Christ who is Lord and Savior, and in so doing brought out the fact that one must repent of sin and ungodly ways in order to receive the love and care God wants to give them. That is not judgmental, but it could offend those who don’t want to repent or who don’t want to acknowledge that what they are doing is sin. In that case, offensiveness is necessary in the name of truth that will set people free.

Could it be that only one person, or one couple, or one family treated the person with disdain and caused the whole church to be judged judgmental?

The same do-gooder’s second bashing was that Christians are clueless. She accused Christian counselors of giving simple advise without compassion. Apparently the counselor told the DAO to “just move out” of the boyfriend’s place.

We are not told whether the boyfriend was abusive, stingy, overbearing, or whether it was a case of the girl receiving Jesus and needed to change from her ways to God’s ways. The counselor was suppose to be clueless because the girl was an unemployed twenty-four year old and a mother of two children, the second one belonging to the boyfriend and she is already, with his help, barely making ends meet.

As I see it taught in the Bible, the counselor should have offered assistance and support, but I can’t agree that it was wrong to counsel her to “just move out,” because sin has to be cut off. It is not God’s way to ease yourself gradually out of sin.

Before you get mad at me, let’s see how Jesus handled such matters. The woman was caught in the very act of adultery. What did He counsel her? “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Jn: 8:11 He did not say, “Go and try to avoid that type of thing.” He did not say, “Go and work on finding a better way of life.” or “Go and I give you six months to stop committing adultery.”

He knew that for her to have the power to stop sinning she needed to cut it off--stop it. She needed to make a quality decision to stop doing it and she needed someone to believe in who could help her. Jesus did not condemn her. He let her know that the past was in the past, but she needed to start on a new path immediately.

There are many agencies today to help a person get a new start. A good counselor will be knowledgeable about these agencies and will offer the DAO support and assistance in obtaining the necessary help. But to advise her to get out--to cut it out is the biblical way even if it goes against the grain with modern thinkers.

The third bashing by the same do-gooder was that Christians are self-centered and heartless. Now there are many so called Christians that this may be true about, but in this case it was because some pastor declared from the pulpit that illegitimate children don’t deserve to live and so the DAO had an abortion.

Now it is obvious that this pastor is out of line and the words that he spoke are unchristian. But why make a blanket statement that Christians are self-centered and heartless because one so-called Christian spoke unchristian?

The fourth criticism of Christians came from another source. The accuser calls Christians’ attitudes judgmental and condemning. He says that in context of this American Christian dilemma:

“We thoughtlessly criticize anything that isn’t distinctly Christian. When met with opposing ideas, we draw cultural battle lines and those on the other side are considered the enemy. We vilify and ridicule the representatives of “godless culture” and rather than engage with and love the lost, we take offense and withdraw into our Christian enclaves. Practically speaking, many Christians live as if they really don’t like the world or anyone in it!

We are often doing precisely the opposite of what Jesus did. He did not come to condemn the world but to save it (see John 3:17). Sinners didn’t offend Jesus! These were the very people to whom he was drawn and engaged with—the dirty, the broken, the vulgar, and the immoral.”

I will defend this to a point. I understand how it feels to be a passionate American Christian and see what the godless are trying to do to our country. First some may thoughtlessly criticize the opposing beliefs and doctrines, but some of us only do it thoughtfully, caringly and where we think it will help clarify the difference between what the opposition believes and what the Bible teaches.

Second point, when met with opposing ideas we draw battle lines because it is a battle. There is a cultural war on for this country. Often it’s the devil who instigates the battle and it may not be flesh and blood that we are battling--we must bear that in mind, but there is a cultural battle on in America and many of us know for sure that we must keep America strong in godly beliefs and behavior.

Thirdly, I and I’m sure many others that this person is taking to task spend much time loving, caring, ministering, and reaching out to people as Jesus did in the example this writer provides. That is another aspect of our Christian walk. Sometimes they can even be done together. We hate the opposing teaching or doctrine, but love the ill-informed or rebellious.

We do take offence when we see our Christian heritage under attack, but perhaps the person this writer was observing thought he was among his own kind and just wasn’t careful about how he expressed himself.

As for not liking the world--what does it say in 1Jn: 2:15-17--“love not the world nor the things that are of it.” So for many of us, we don’t like worldliness and we do have a wall up against it, but we love sinners and want to give them the Truth.

I think this writer was around Christians who let their hair down, so to speak, thinking that this writer would have observed the same things and would have the same opinions, and maybe they even let a little of the wrong spirit creep into their talk, but that does not say they really were the mean-spirited Christians that the writer perceived.

So this article takes issue with some of the Christian bashing going on. Some of it may be deserved, but there needs to be a balance. The bashers need to make sure they know what they are talking about, because to point out legitimate unloving ways to the Christians is an act of love, but to smack them down when you don’t have the facts is not love and can do much harm.

© Sylvia Huffnagle


Sylvia Huffnagle - minister The Father/child Covenant Relationship  Romans 6-8 Grace Sowing and Reaping Biblical Balance Apologetics Apologetics II Biblical Balance End Time Warnings End Time Warnings II Author's Pitch Page Download About e-mail me