Between a Rock And a Hard Place?

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

Ever find yourself between a rock and a hard place? How about in a situation in which people you love and respect disagree?

What do we do when competing views put us between a rock and a hard place?

Some things aren’t as “cut and dry” as those claiming the authority of Apollos, Cephas, Paul, or Christ suggest! Who’s right?

Each claims their beliefs, behaviors and be-attitudes are biblical. But division is not.

When controversies arise about what other believers think, say, and do (like Corinthians will address), it is helpful to ask, what would Jesus do or how would He judge this matter?

This I know, He’d do it perfectly, every time. We won’t. His judgments surprised those inquiring, especially those with the strongest views.

Paul is wisely and powerfully dealing with division by bringing Calvary to the forefront of the debate.

The mystery of the gospel of Christ places all who believe in the same place: Forgiven, freed, in fellowship, and forever grateful for the grace of God: That’s cut and dry. We have the mind of Christ on the matter!

To discern the mind of Christ when there is division, God gives us three things (From 1 Cor. 2:9-16):

1. Revelation (9-10). God gave 66 books (and no others) to reveal His mind on important matters. Human reasoning and rationalizing are faulty. We rely upon God’s words and Spirit (Isa. 55:6-10, Eph. 1:17).

2. Inspiration (10-13). God not only revealed His will, He recorded it: without error (inerrancy) and incapable of error (infallibility). Those words are preserved today to guide us (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Ro. 15:4).

Inspired of God and written by men is complimentary, not contradictory.

“Such a belief about the nature of Scripture will embolden the Christian reader’s confidence: There really is a single authorial meaning in Scripture, and they really can understand that meaning.” It will take the Spirit’s help, so we have:

3. Illumination (10-16). The natural man (unregenerate) cannot comprehend the mystery of the gospel, the goodness of God that leadeth us to repentance and faith, or God’s wisdom revealed by the word of God, the mind of Christ.

To him it’s foolishness. So, God enlightens our understanding. A few thoughts:

· Study the tree of life (revelation) not the tree of (carnal) knowledge (man’s reason & rationality).

· Try the spirits (1 Jn. 4:1). Other spirits incl.: Error, anti-Christ, world/age, seductions/doctrines, pride.

· Spiritual with spiritual. Before a matter can be judged, all that the Bible says about it should be compared. Context confines the Author’s intent, and therefore our interpretations and judgments.

· Context: God chose words and situations to reveal His will. We look at all (not select) passages, principles, precepts, patterns, and the Person (God) to determine the mind of Christ on a matter.
(Grammatical-historical, lexical-syntactical, literary, and analogy of faith - all that Bible reveals about it).

· What is proclaimed as “biblical” or “cut and dry” is often really tradition, rigidity, or ignorance. The carnal prefer to argue, antagonize, and abandon those who disagree.

But we have the mind of Christ. The beliefs, behaviors, and be-attitudes you embrace or let go of with God’s help might surprise you.

· V. 15. Your informed conscience should keep you humble and seeking more wisdom from God. Don’t judge before you thoroughly understand. Many injuries occur by jumping to conclusions.

Friend, if you’re born-again you have the mind of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, and the words of Christ revealed, inspired, and illuminated. Use them to the best of your ability especially when controversies occur.

But one thing we all lack: The perfection of Christ. Stay humble, be honest, strive for unity not division.

When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place or between competing and conflicting opinions you now have a better idea how to get the mind of Christ on the matter. What would Jesus do?

With further study you may be surprised that you see things differently than they once appeared or others believe.

That’s the wonder of the mystery of the gospel, the grace and goodness of God, and the mind of Christ!

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