The Word and the Life, in PEOPLE
Hi Eddie… Well, let’s go a little deeper on what seems like your thought that “my relationship with Jesus” is the “only” issue, and people are just “extra” and don’t really matter. “Only God” can show me anything. Thanks for the continued effort to clarify—BUT, you’ll have to work into your paradigm “the Treasure is in EARTHEN vessels” (PEOPLE), and “NOW, through the CHURCH (PEOPLE, in the CHURCH), God makes known His manifold Wisdom” (not just to “me” personally, without others). And “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone proclaiming to them? And how can they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” PEOPLE.
AND, God still says you NEED “apostles, prophets, GoodNews-tellers, shepherds and teachers”—if you want to grow Spiritually. IF you want to Grow Spiritually, the “Gifts” (the PARTS of Jesus, distributed by the Holy Spirit amongst His BODY) interacting with your life are essential. The way God put it, You need PEOPLE “for the equipping of the saints for the work of serving God, for the edifying of the body of Christ, that we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men.” Stuff like that. People ARE necessary, according to God. It’s just His Plan and Choice. Perhaps to root out our independent and prideful natures, such as Lucifer seemed to have, who “had need of nothing” and could say, “I have no need of you.”
OF COURSE, it is only as a person’s LIFE is open to the Spirit and they are living in “times of refreshing that come from repentance” that they can HEAR God! Rather than just have their minds approached by what WOULD be “mere words” (1Cor.4:20), we need GOD, in the Person of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, to the unregenerate and the foolishness of the unspiritual—they “CANNOT understand” (1Cor.2:14-15). If a person’s LIFE is not Right with God, he HAS no “ears to hear” and it is NOT God speaking to them, because of their sin. “Who CAN ascend God’s Holy Hill? Those with clean hands and a pure heart.”
And so, when the LIFE becomes the Light of men, there is a MERGER of His Words and His Life: “The Word was with God, the Word was God…”
Paul points out some things to the Thessalonians that I think are essential for your perspective to be Complete, as well…
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1Thes.4:7-8).
“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1Thes.4:1-2).
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is , the word of God, which is at work in you who believe” (1Thes.2:13).
Clearly, Paul did not regard everything he said to be just a matter of words, passed around, and everything is a grab bag of individualism. HOWEVER, it IS certainly true that if a man’s life is full of sin, “HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND” and “IT IS FOOLISHNESS TO HIM.” So, an intimate Relationship with the PERSON of Jesus IS certainly the Root and Life of anything meaningful, beyond impotent religion and men’s games and charades and ego trips and machines. Amen.
Nice chatting with you. : )