Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
The Secret Formula.
In John chapter 9, Jesus and His disciples encounter a man blind from birth, and the first question asked of Jesus is telling. “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” vs 2.   You see, in those days, as well as many cultures today, all misfortune, all malady, is thought to be a result of sin.  In parts of India, it is unlawful to help a beggar, since he is being punished by their god or gods. Jesus’ response was: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Some translations read: “but that the Son of Man might be glorified”. 
You see the formula then, as now I’m afraid, was thought to be “do right = rewards   or,   do wrong = repercussions.   Although there is an element of truth to that, in as much as every sin has consequence, let me give you a Biblical Principal to chew on. When you get saved; give your life unconditionally to Jesus as your Lord, beyond just receiving the fire insurance that goes with that, you are given a new citizenship - heaven. And a new identity - 2nd Cor. 5:17. You are a soldier in His army, and have been dropped behind enemy lines.  Jesus warned that you will be hated. They (the world) hated Jesus first, and you by extension.  Furthermore, the more actively you fight in this war, the more fire you will draw. Never seen the enemy? You probably aren’t on the front lines.  The disciples, when crossing the lake (sea) were exactly where Jesus told them to be, doing exactly what Jesus told them to do, and still life’s storm hit them to the degree they feared for their lives. Still, just so we don’t think this is a license to sin, Jesus found a cripple He had healed just before, and tells him: “Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” - John 5:14.  And “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” - Gal. 6:6-8.  Clear as mud?  So what is the purpose of suffering?  Well, if you are not His; if you are just trying to make it on your own, there really isn’t any reason or rhyme. You are just drifting with the current. Oh, you may think you are in control, feebly rowing occasionally, but you really aren’t. If you are “in Christ”, then here is your answer: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” - 1st Peter 5:10.  You see it is to perfect us for the work of the ministry. To draw us to Him in complete dependance, and to display His glory to the world around us.
Good news = to him that knows it is sin, it is sin - “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:” Acts. 17:30.   Bad news? = Jesus’ saying: “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.”  John 15:20.  Regardless of what you think of the Church, the Preacher, Pastor, Priest, if you received the message and understood it, it’s on your shoulders.  Ask Jesus to make you a new set of eyes.  

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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