Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: Tampering With God’s Recipe
By Doug Laird
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Even if the changes should produce a satisfactory product, according to the likes and dislikes of those who amend it, the end result is that it is no longer the product that the original recipe intended to produce.
This is true regarding both natural and spiritual â€śfoodâ€ť.
Legitimate concern for a healthy diet has been turned into a billion dollar industry in America with all kinds of strategies and gimmicks on the market to achieve and maintain proper weight and nutrition through diet, exercise, and food supplements.
An obsession with weight control has led many people into counterproductive methods that have jeopardized their overall health and normal bodily functions.
Despite all these attempts to â€śimproveâ€ť our overt appearance and the quality and length of our lives, the fact remains that people who are in great physical shape die every day for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with their health. Ironically, older, overweight, pallbearers who drink, smoke, and feast on junk food often carry many of them to their graves.
Proper nutrition and care of the physical bodies that we have are a part of being good stewards of all that we have received from God. However, of greater concern should be the spiritual food and exercise of the soul.
â€śFor physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come (1Tim.4: 8 NIV).â€ť
The primary responsibility for the quantity and quality of the spiritual food that the members of any given congregation receive is that of the pastor teacher (John 21: 15-17/James 3:1). However, this does not dismiss the responsibility of the individual believer to discern what can and cannot be Biblically substantiated (Acts 17:11).
Scripture clearly reveals that false doctrines and practices will be widespread as the Church Age comes to its end. Never assume that every one who stands behind the pulpit speaks for God (2Cor.11: 14, 15).
The sincerity of the speaker does not ensure the accuracy of his message. A bullet fired in ignorance can be just as lethal as one fired with malice.
Salvation and positional sanctification is the result of a one-time decision to believe in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Experiential sanctification and the building of a soul structure, however, is a life-long process, as we daily learn and apply the â€śmind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NIV)â€ť to the events and circumstances of our individual lives.
In the spiritual realm, just â€ś a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough (Gal 5: 9 NIV).â€ť The â€ślittle yeastâ€ť refers to false doctrine(s). The â€śbatch of doughâ€ť refers to the accurate doctrines stored in the soul.
Recipes indicate the type and size of the mixing bowl or pan that we are to use. The recipe also tells us if we are to do anything to prepare the bowl or pan to receive the ingredients.
We can do â€śnothingâ€ť in the spiritual realm â€śapart from Him (John 15: 5 NIV)â€ť.
This â€śnothingâ€ť includes preparing, ingesting, and metabolizing spiritual food. For God to work through us, we must be in filled (under the control) of God the Holy Spirit and in fellowship with Him. In order to ensure that our vessel is prepared to receive spiritual nourishment, we are to confess any known sins (1John 1: 9) so that fellowship (not salvation) and the filling of the Spirit can be restored.
Scripture warns us that we must not attempt to place new spiritual food in old containers (Luke 5: 37, 38). Our old containers (fallen natures) cannot receive and retain true spiritual food, but are always receptive to satanic substitutions offered in the name of religion (Romans 8: 7).
We must have a new container, that being a regenerated spirit that we receive at the new birth, in order to store and process the spiritual food enabling us to build a durable soul structure (Matthew 7: 24, 25).
If we choose not to follow the directions of the divine recipe and take from or to add to the ingredients or procedure that the recipe calls for, we take upon ourselves the responsibility for the ultimate outcome of the meal that we produce.
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