Was doing my devotionals this morning -- Paul's letters to Timothy, Titus, Philemon...and whosever's letter to the Hebrew's.
It is amazing how modern mainstream Christianity has so limited the meanings of certain religious words. By limiting the words and making them bereft of their fuller meaning, we have a lesser gospel. And unfortunately, since the lesser gospel is the prevailing gospel it's hard to believe in the glorious marvelous full gospel of Jesus.
For the most part the gospel as preached today is limited to the saving of one's soul from hell. So when we read words that imply the salvation of the body, the soul, the spirit, the finances, the mind, etc...we read them with our bereft understanding of them. Even though we know the Greek word "sozo" is translated as "salvation" and means the deliverance from hell, sickness, poverty, etc, etc, etc, etc...we are so brainwashed that we struggle to see more than the deliverance from hell. At least I struggle. I keep asking myself, "why this internal struggle against accepting the word in all its facet and meaning? Carole, are you trying to not believe?" I suspect I am trying not to be fooled. I suspect the world tells us that good news is just too good to be believed. After all, didn't Isaiah say, "Who has believed our report?" Plus we just don't know how much God loves us, how much the Devil hates us, how much God hates the devil, sickness, sin, etc. And HOW GREAT AND POWERFUL THE GOSPEL IS!!!!
Weirdly enough, I tend to have no faith in what modern full gospel ministers say. I suppose I think it's a fad. I wonder if their American "good life" mentality has affected their interpretation of the gospel. But when I see that the old guys. Folks like Rev Romaine (way back in the day), Jeanne Guyon, John Lake, Andrew Murray, Bosworth and some unknown little pastor in the middle of nowhere believe the fullness of the words we modern Christians have trouble with. Then I begin to belive. Today will be reading Jeanne Guyon.
So, words that need to be considered, words that we tend to shrink and limit semantically:
Reward, salvation, confession, grace, faith, gospel, hope, promise, word, life, eternal life, blessed, kingdom of God. All these words can be limited only to certain aspects of their full meaning.For instance, if the kingdom of God is within us as Jesus said, do we interpret it only as a future life in heaven?
I was very blessed this morning reading the faith chapter (Hebrews 11). And why? Because I saw that some of those heroes of faith had faith which affected physical things. If one listens to some minister who has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof, the next thing one starts believing is that the sovereign God has put a thorn in one's flesh and means one to suffer forever. Then one doesn't fight to try to overcome evil because one starts thinking...well.... I must endure. But we are told to resist the devil and he will flee. We are told to fight the good fight of faith. A tough battle to endure...but one I'm fighting.