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Loyal
Sunday, July 12, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Broken and Contrite.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Hebrews 10:19-31 (NASB).

What it Means

As I was getting ready to sit down to write up what the Lord was teaching me from his word today, he put the phrase in my mind, “paradigm shift.” I had heard the phrase before, but I was unfamiliar with its meaning, so I looked it up.

Paradigm - Other words for “paradigm” are model, standard, pattern, or archetype. Archetype: “The original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies” (M-W Dictionary). Paradigm Shift – “A time when the usual and accepted way of doing or thinking about something changes completely” (dictionary.cambridge.org). “Think of a Paradigm Shift as a change from one way of thinking to another. It's a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It just does not happen, but rather it is driven by agents of change” (taketheleap.com).

Confidence to Enter (vv. 19-25)

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

I believe the Lord Jesus is showing me more than one “paradigm shift” here. For one, when we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, apart from God, without hope, and destined to eternal damnation when we die. That is our paradigm, i.e. the sin pattern through which we were born with sin natures due to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (See: Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:44-50). Our usual way we act is the way of sin. So, when we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, a paradigm shift (metamorphosis) takes place in our lives, and the usual sin pattern which we had been following changes completely, and now we enter into a new and living way which Jesus Christ inaugurated (initiated) for us through his blood shed for us on the cross for our sins.

This “new and living way” is that Jesus Christ died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might die to self and live for him who gave himself up for us. He died that we might be set free from slavery to sin, and that we might become slaves of righteousness; that we might no longer conduct our lives after the pattern of our sinful flesh, but that we might live our lives according to (in agreement with) the Spirit. This is a “paradigm shift.” Through faith in Jesus Christ we have a change of thinking from one way to another (repentance), and the Spirit of God transforms us in heart and mind away from living for sin and self to new life in Christ, now walking in his holiness (regeneration) [Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; 2 Co. 5:15; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24-25].

Yet, the fall in the Garden was also a paradigm shift, because they were created in the image of God, and not with sin natures, and yet they rejected God’s instructions, and chose to listen to Satan and to believe his lies, and thus they had a change from one way of thinking to another, which not only drastically altered their lives, but our lives, as well.

Still another “paradigm shift” I see here was the change which took place from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. Some things did not change. They still had the same God, and the same promised Savior, and they were still saved by faith, and they still had to follow the same standard for holy living which God established from the beginning of time.

Yet, the Jews who accepted Jesus as their Savior had some major transitions to make from the old way of living under the law to the new way of grace. They experienced some significant changes from the old way of Jewish religious practice, ceremonies, and physical representations of that which was holy - which were “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” which were to come (See: Heb. 8-10; cf. Col. 2:16-17) - to the new way of the Spirit. For instance, the presence of God is no longer in a physical temple. We, who are followers of Christ, are that temple, and God dwells within us in the person of his Spirit. We no longer need human priests to mediate between us and God and to make sacrifices for our sins. Jesus Christ is our high priest who gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins, once for all. He is our only mediator between us and God the Father.

Hold Fast (vv. 23-25)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Another paradigm shift I believe the Lord Jesus is showing me today is this shift that has taken place within the church over a period of several years, and is still progressively taking place within the church. This paradigm shift is a change from one way of thinking about Christ and his gospel to another. It is also a drastic movement away from the usual and accepted way of believing about Christ Jesus, our salvation, the gospel of Christ, eternal life, God the Father, and the Christian life and practice, etc., which is founded in the scriptures. As well, it is a revolution, i.e. a departure from a previous standing (apostasy, see 2 Thess. 2:3), and it is driven by agents of change, but not for the good. And, it is a breakaway from the foundation which was laid by the prophets and the NT apostles for the church, with Christ as the chief cornerstone. That foundation which was laid is Jesus Christ.

I can’t say for certain at what point exactly I began to notice this paradigm shift in the church. I think it was in 1999, which is the year that the Lord Jesus led me and my husband to start a ministry to college age adults from our home, but I am most certain this shift began long before then, or at least the groundwork for it was laid long before then. We were then introduced to the teaching and ministry of a man named Rick Warren. I had never heard of him before. The church (institutional) we were attending was following Mr. Warren’s model for church planting and church growth (multiplication). They said that God had called them and had given them a unique vision and mission for the church, yet we soon learned that the foundation for it all came from the Rick Warren model, and soon we also realized that this model had become the new norm for so many Christian congregations and pastors across the nation, and across denominations. It was astounding!

That is when I began to notice a shift in the church toward a focus on entertainment and on having fun (the church being fun), and toward attracting the world to the church using worldly (sinful, ungodly) means and methods. I also began to notice pastors, even ones who had previously preached the true gospel, now shying away from such words as “sin,” “repentance,” “obedience,” and “submission,” as well as avoiding the subjects of hell and eternal damnation and God’s judgments on the earth. I noticed, too, this shift towards making everyone feel good about themselves, and a focus on making sure the world feels comfortable in our meetings, and towards teachings which encourage staying in our own lane and not getting in anyone else’s lane by sharing the gospel with them, basically.

I heard a lot about “unity,” but not unity with Christ or his Spirit or with the Word of God, but unity with human leaders and their human goals, objectives, and mission and purpose statements for the church, which were modeled after the Rick Warren church growth model, which was/is a business model for how to build your business. And, there was a lot of talk about those who didn’t “unify” and how they were “disunifiers” and “troublemakers,” and they were encouraged to get on “the same page” with the leadership or go someplace else. The Bible was being replaced in Sunday school with books written by mere humans, and worship services became centers for providing entertainment for the world so that the people of the world would want to come back. If you were serious about God and his Word, you were a relic (a dinosaur), and someone to be discarded because you have “strong convictions.”

Then, another shift took place, only this one more severe than the one before that. This one is not just watering down the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world, and this one is not just about making everyone feel good and about having a good time. This one is about the blending of religions, thoughts, ideas, etc. into one. It is about mysticism and myths and about God being happy if we are happy, and about finding who we are in nature or in myths, or in ourselves, and it is concerning practicing the practices of Middle Eastern religion and such a twisting of scripture that it blows my mind away that any follower of Christ would buy into this stuff, which is so obviously contrary to the Word of God. Yet, it is being taught in evangelical churches here in America (Example: John Eldredge’s books).

Each shift that has taken place has only served to move the church deeper into apostasy, i.e. “a departure from a previous standing” (biblehub.com), i.e. a paradigm shift. The gospel of Christ has been so obliterated that it barely resembles the gospel at all anymore. Now there is a huge global movement toward bringing all of us into a one world religion and a one world governmental structure. They are really pressing the unity of religion right now, and are pressing the issue of doing away with “extremism,” which includes those who hold to the gospel according to Jesus Christ and the NT apostles. Obama and the Pope are strong voices in favor of this removal of “extremists” and this “unity” of religion. They are working hard to put to death the old order (pattern, model, foundation) which was laid by the prophets and NT apostles, which is Jesus Christ, so that out of the ashes of the old order a phoenix (the new order) can rise. We need to be aware of the times in which we live, for they are troubled times, and this is all leading up to the rule of the beast (Rev. 13). And, we need to stand strong in our faith and to let nothing move us away from Christ Jesus.

Continually Sinning Willfully (vv. 26-31)

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

God will judge his adulterous church, and he will judge these “change agents” who are leading God’s people astray. Don’t be caught in their trap of deceit. If we continue to conduct our lives according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (See: Ro. 8:1-14). Die to sin. Live to righteousness.

Broken and Contrite / An Original Work / May 13, 2012

I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.

Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.

Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.

 
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