3nd Gospel Life Change Dynamic: What Is Truth? Becoming Single Minded and Absorbed in Gospel Truth
Roger Himes, The Gospel Coach
GOSPEL LIFE CHANGE DYNAMICS
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3rd Gospel Life Change Dynamic:
What Is Truth?
Becoming Single Minded
and Absorbed In the Gospel
Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The Greek’s meaning for ‘pure in heart’ is being single-minded: seeing things in a pure, all-absorbing way– not mixed with other opinions, theories, philosophies, etc. If you have a single mind, you are in a spiritual partnership agreement with God to enter into his world view. There are lots of world views in this world. But the gospel truth is what communicates God’s worldview.
Being pure in heart is a similar thought for our Lord’s first statement at the beginning of his ministry and after spending 40 days in the wilderness with Satan: “Repent! Believe the gospel.” It’s not labeled as such, but being his first statement, we can see it as a COMMAND.
In other words, repent of all other theologies, philosophies and theories, and simply live in gospel belief. Don’t mix it other religious thoughts. Just use the gospel as your sole focus and resource. There is a lot of talk and teaching about ‘how to listen to God,’ and ‘how to hear from God.’ If you think about it, the only way we can truly listen to God and hear from him is by means of gospel truth. The gospel is HIS declaration of spiritual reality. If our minds are racing with other theories and opinions, then we at least subconsciously ask what Pilate did: “What is truth?”
It’s Like We Have the Second “Tower of Babel” Today
Christian denominations and theologies all water-down the gospel and dissect it almost out of existence. James speaks of double-mindedness that results in being unstable in all our ways. This is at least partly what he means: Having such an array of thoughts that nothing is ‘pure.’ Nothing is total ‘reality.’ Everything is like varying shades of grey. Nothing is black and white. Is this is part of what the Bible means by DARKNESS? Is walking in the LIGHT living in the declared gospel reality of Jesus?
Theology is MAN’S ideas about God. The Gospel is GOD’S ideas about God. We have so many man-made theologies today that it’s almost overwhelming. There are so many different types of churches and denominations that it can cause spiritual insanity if you truly listen to what they all say. They all claim to be right, and they all differ from each other. I have not verified it, but I read that there are over 50 denominations of just Baptists in the world today.
Paul speaks against ‘the enticing words of man’s wisdom’ (Col 2:4, I Cor 2:4). This is too often what theology has digressed into: just the opinions and speculations of natural human thought. Some of the theologies I read are truly insane – when compared to New Testament gospel truth.
We All Apply Our Past to the Present
We are all an accumulation of our thoughts. We believe what we have been taught, and what we have learned, — whether it is right or wrong. Unless it is corrected by something (i.e., “Repent and believe the gospel”), what we believe goes with us to the grave. I said it before: our ‘truth box’ is not always filled with TRUTH.
I grew up in a self-motivation, positive thinking type background. I’d even written a book on the subject that was endorsed by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Charlie ‘Life Is Tremendous’ Jones: Searching For Reality. When I became a Christian, this type of thinking and belief is what guided my thoughts. I just used the word ‘faith’ instead of other terminology I’d been using. My theology was not biblical: “God helps those who help themselves.” But this type thinking is what led me throughout most of the first 15 years of my Christian life.
You probably don’t have the same past that I did. You are probably not guided and led by the same things that I was. But the truth is: you are guided and led by SOMETHING – and I doubt very seriously it is GOSPEL TRUTH! There are very few Christians I’ve ever met who came into the truth of true gospel revelation without doing a lot of repenting of past beliefs!
We often APPLY our past to our present Christian lives.
The truth is that God wants us to REPENT of our past beliefs,
and only focus on the truth and reality of his gospel.
And this is actually something we should do each and every day!
The Gospel Was Written In ‘The Halls of Heaven’
The truth of the gospel was actually written before the foundations of the world, just as the cross of Christ was always in the mind and heart of God. God was not surprised by the fall of man. He was not shocked that we would need redemption from sin. He knew gospel truth would be what we would need for the transformation of our minds to spiritual reality (Rom 12:1).
I’m sure he is not shocked by our second “Tower of Babel” type world today with all its opinions, thoughts, theologies and philosophies – even in Christianity. I’m sure he knew that Paul’s words that we should ‘all say the same thing’ (I Cor 1:10) would mostly fall on deaf ears. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The question today is whether we will CHOOSE
to let the gospel perform its task.
Everything in life revolves around choices we make – decisions we make. We MUST have choices and decisions. Without choice there is nothing to truly guide our hearts and keep it focused. We have been faced with choices since the Garden of Eden and the two trees. And we all have to make the choice of being WILLING to repent of past beliefs that we have held so dear to our heart, and simply trust God enough to believe his gospel. Many of these beliefs we must repent of have been planted in us by well-meaning churches, denominations and pastors.
Only the gospel gives us boldness, confidence, assurance,
authority and right standing with God.
Gospel truth is the way God relates to us personally.
It answers the question, “What is truth?”
It is what puts us into partnership agreement with God.
It is what makes us single minded and shows us how to listen to God.
It is meant to become our world view.
Be Separated to the Gospel: Become Saturated With It
God wants us to be separated unto his gospel, as Paul says he was (Rom 1:1). He wants us to repent of all our other thoughts and feelings and simply trust him enough to believe his gospel. He wants us to enter into the spiritual synergism that exists in the process of the gospel. The gospel is what makes us ONE with God – in union with him, as Jesus prayed in John 17. We cannot be in union and oneness with God if our minds are going off on tangents of their own.
REST IN GOD is the way that we enter into gospel revelation. It’s the way we learn how to listen to God and also how to hear from God, as I mentioned. Three times in Hebrews 3 and 4 it is said, “Today if you WILL hear his voice…” First, this is repeated three times for a reason: it’s important. Second, a choice is involved: ‘if you will.’ Third, hearing only comes if we are willing to take time, and rest in God. This is the only way we can ‘boldly’ approach the throne of God (Heb 4:16). This is the only way we have boldness in the day of judgment (I John 4:17).
Paul rested in God for three years to receive gospel revelation (Gal 1:18). He had a lot more repenting to do than most of us because he was so saturated and absorbed with Jewish religion. Then it took 14 more years before he was willing to confront the other disciples in Jerusalem with their religious error (Gal 2:1). Becoming saturated with the gospel takes time. It’s a process. It’s not an overnight occurrence!
Paul says that he was appointed for the defense and confirmation of the gospel, and this is what allows us to be partakers of God’s grace (Phil 1:7, 17). The gospel was committed into his trust (I Tim 1:11). He was set aside from his mother’s womb for it to be revealed to him (Gal 1:11-16). He was settled in his faith and could not be moved away from the gospel . . . knowing that it is what fulfills the word of God in us and others (Col 1:23, 25). Paul was separated to it!
And he tells us to become his followers.
The same calling on him is the calling that is on us.
He says we should all say the same thing (I Cor 1:10).
Living the gospel should be our destiny.
It should be our purpose in life. It should become our greatest priority.
And then we should share it with others so that it becomes theirs too.
To Be Affective We Must Focus on ONE System
As an example of this, I’m involved in IM, or internet marketing. The greatest problem most IMers have is that there are too many choices – just like Christianity. There’s so many denominations, and there’s a church on every-other street corner, and they all preach something different. It’s worse than having to choose from 32 flavors of ice cream.
IM enthusiasts get at least one new tried, proven, and unfailing system presented to them each and every day – sometimes 10 of them. What this does is dilute their effectiveness. Instead of running with ONE system, they are diluted with many choices, and they never effectively use even one.
If they would just take all out massive action on ONE system, that was tried, proven, and had good references, they would be much better off. But there is always a new carrot dangling from the end of the stick – that is of course said to be better than any other.
Paul describes this in Christianity. He says we are ever-learning, but never able to come into a knowledge of the truth (II Tim 3:7). Of course he means gospel truth.
It is your CHOICE whether you choose to live a gospel life or not.
Since the two trees in Eden, we always have a choice in life.
If you choose NOT to trust the gospel, then at least find ONE thing
that you do trust, and stick with it.
Gospel Synergism Is Like A Centrifugal Force
I just spoke about Colossians 1:23-25: we should become saturated with the gospel, and not turn away from it, because it is what FULFILLS the word of God in us. The gospel is the process of God – it is the synergistic work of God in us. I hate to use a movie phrase, but it might be said, “The force is with you.”
Don’t forget the gospel is ‘the power of God’ (Rom 1:16). It doesn’t lead to the power of God, and it doesn’t just explain the power of God. Paul says the gospel is – THE power of God. It’s a definite article. What he is saying is that there is NO other power of God available to us. It carries with it the Old Testament thought: “One can put 1,000 to flight, but two can put 10,000 to flight.” We have the synergistic power of God working through us in the gospel.
The gospel is like a big spiritual river. I live in Colorado, and the Colorado River is a mighty force through most of our state – and it flows down through Utah, Arizona, etc. If you get in the river, then the river does all of the work. It just carries you along with its flow. Your only job is to get in the river. It does the rest of the work. But you can’t benefit from the force of the river if you just sit on the bank and watch it go by. This is much like the power of the gospel.
Jesus says, “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is EASY, and my burden is LIGHT” (Matt 11:28-30).
If you live by one of those 10,000 instructors in Christ that Paul talks about, you are going to be burdened by all of their instruction. You’ll be like the IMer who doesn’t focus on just one system, but is bombarded by everything that comes down the Pike. Instruction is very labor intensive, and it causes fatigue. Fathers of the gospel just point you to the gospel. They put you into the ‘river’ of the gospel, knowing that it will do most of the rest of the work. This is the rest of God Hebrews 4 discloses.
Rest is how we enter into the gospel process of God – God’s spiritual river. We enter in through trust. But like the priests in the Jordan River headed for Jericho, we must enter the river. Then we become like rivers of living water flowing out of us (John 7:38). Once we do enter in, it is the gospel that ‘establishes us’ in the things of God – the mystery of God’s ways become revelation to us (Rom 16:25).
But nothing happens until we step into the water.
Once we step into the water, we become consumed by it.
Like the Priests At Jericho, Step Into the Water
God doesn’t care how we reach this point of fully entering into living gospel truth – into totally separating ourselves to it. It is what answers the question, “What is truth?” The gospel truth is what brings us to the point of being single minded, so we are not caught up in every other religious persuasion or theology that comes down the Pike. We no longer listen to all the voices that come from The Tower of Babel.
The gospel is what puts us into a partnership agreement with God himself. The gospel becomes our world view. And it shows us how to listen to God – which of course manifests into how to hear from God. So we have come round-robin from where we started. This is what happens when you enter into the flow and process of God’s gospel: it does most of the work.
Gospel polls and studies declare that only about 7% of all people who say they are committed Christians truly live in gospel truth. most of them mix it with something else — law, religion, principles, precepts, etc. To most Christians it’s a system of “Jesus Plus” — what I do and what I don’t do. The Bible talks about a ‘remnant’ of people who are faithful. If you choose to live in the gospel truth, you will be part of a small remnant. You will be part of ‘the narrow way.’
I declare that the power of the gospel can have you living life at least 50% better, in less than a year, than you are today. This occurs by you taking these “Gospel Life Change Dynamics” to heart and allowing them to become part of your life. I will continue with them at the rate of about one per week (except when I’m out of the country or something similar). So we will go through all of them in less than a year. I have about 40 of these gospel coaching sessions.
We must do three things for the gospel to become vital in our lives.
(1) We must acknowledge as gospel truth. We must trust God enough to believe him, — and not just believe IN him. I believe the gospel is the only language God speaks this side of the cross.
(2) We must act on the gospel. Just believing it is not enough. We must receive it into us. Later we will see how the two commands of Jesus – repent and believe the gospel, and love others as I have loved you – inter-relate with each other so well. Gospel belief actually empowers us to love.
(3) We must listen to God – not to every pulpit, book, CD, or TV program that comes down the Pike. It is only by listening to God that we learn to hear from him. “Today if you WILL hear his voice…” It’s the way Paul did it, for 17 years before he had courage and confidence enough to approach the disciples in Jerusalem. It’s the way we must do it too.
This is how the gospel becomes reality in our lives.