Embracing Grace: I’d Like to Buy an Argument

A 365 Day Devotional Journal

Day 40

Scripture: Isaiah 60:1-3, 18-20; Ephesians 5:13-15; James 4; Galatians 5:14-16; 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Photo Credit: Petr Kratochvil. Public Domain.

I came here for a good argument.
No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument.
An argument isn’t just contradiction.
It can be.
No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
No it isn’t.
Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction.
 Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’
Yes it is!
No it isn’t!
Yes it is!
 Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.
(short pause)
No it isn’t.
 

So goes the “I’d like to Buy an Argument” skit, portrayed by the comedic troupe, Monty Python. As is usual with most comedians, Monty Python’s greatest success came with portraying real life taken up a notch.

Or maybe not.

Maybe this sketch contains more truth than we care to admit, even privately. Speaking honestly now, isn’t this the way of most arguments? How is it, when we intend not to argue, we end up being pulled into arguing about not arguing? It is something called “splitting hairs,” and it’s

conniving,

sneaky,

underhanded.

It pulls us down to the lowest common denominator, to the level of the instigator, lower than the people involved, down to the base(ment) level of our sin nature, and that of the devil.

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.1

Some will find exception to this statement, because they scoff at the concept of a devil having this kind of hold on people. They like to think we are the masters of our destiny.

Well, this is both true and not true at the same time.

Yes, we control where we eventually end up in eternity, but Satan is also very real. And he hates us with a malevolence that goes backward in time to before he was cast from heaven, when he first was lifted up in pride within his heart. His hatred looks forward in time to where he will eventually be cast and, because of this, he is determined to pull as many down into the pit with him as he can.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.2

Right before these two verses in 1 Peter, the apostle admonishes us to give over to God all our worries and cares in this life. Why do you suppose he prefaced his warning about the devil with telling us to cast our cares onto Jesus?

Perhaps it is because they are related. Have you noticed that it is only when you are walking in anxiety that you worry, or fret, or are prone to be argumentative?

The opposite of anxiety is peace.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

The origin of the word, prince, comes from the twelfth century Latin word, princeps, meaning “first, chief, prince,” or literally, “that takes first” from primus “first” and capere “to take”.3

Again, referring back to the phrase Pastor Steve Foss likes to use, peace is “at one again with God.”4

So Jesus is the one that takes first of at one again with God. In other words, when he ascended to heaven, he sat down at the right hand of God. Jesse DuPlantis tells of visiting heaven, seeing Jesus literally stepping in and out of the Father, being in union with Him on the throne as one then stepping out of His essence to walk about heaven.

This is what Prince of Peace means.

Jesus, who existed with God before the creation, stepped out of heaven to walk the earth as a man. And as a transfigured man, Jesus is the first to be at one again with God.

The primary pre-Christian origin of the word holy was in reference to something “that must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated,” and was connected with the Old English word for health.5 In Christian circles, holy is defined as set apart. R.C. Sproul says of holy:

It comes from an ancient word that meant, ‘to cut,’ or ‘to separate.’ Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase ‘a cut above something.’ When we find a garment or another piece of merchandise that is outstanding, that has a superior excellence, we use the expression that it is ‘a cut above the rest.

The only way we can walk holy is by the grace of God. It is a cyclical process…

Only when we walk in peace can we be at one again with God.
Only when we are at one again with God can we walk in the Spirit.
Only when we walk in the Spirit can we be holy, just as Jesus is holy.
Only when we walk holy can we be wholly in Christ.
Only when we walk wholly in Christ can we walk in peace.

If I were to draw a circle of arrows connecting words, it would look something like this:

If ever our world needs to know how to walk in peace, it is now.

International Evangelist and teacher, David Martin, was recently interviewed by Sid Roth. In the course of their conversation, Martin recounts a trip to Africa and the receiving of something he called the “Transfiguration Anointing”. Martin says this anointing is all about holiness, the repenting of little things, such as thoughts. It is an impartation of the fear of the Lord and is a desire to walk right, in righteousness with God, but that its manifestation is peace.6

As believers, we all are called to radiate God, but we can only do this when we walk in the Spirit in holiness, when we are set apart, wholly, at one again, with God.

Read: Isaiah 60:1-3, 18-20; Ephesians 5:13-15; James 4; Galatians 5:14-16; 1 Peter 5:8-9. Journal your private thoughts.

Father God, impart your manifestation of peace on our lives. Grant me this transfiguration anointing. Forgive me of my sins, especially the little foxes, for they despoil the vine. Wash me, make me white as snow, for the sake of Your son, Jesus, and for the kingdom, amen.

_____________________

1 Galations 5:14-16. Scripture quotation taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. www.tyndale.com
21 Peter 5:7-8. Scripture quotation taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. www.tyndale.com
3 “prince.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 16 Mar. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prince>.
4”At one again with God.” Steve Foss. Armed For War: Discipleship Course. http://www.stevefoss.com/dctv.html
5 “holy.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 16 Mar. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/holy>.
6 R. C. Sproul. The Holiness of God, p. 40. Copyright © 1985. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois.
7 Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural. David Martin. 14-20 Mar 2011. http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?abbr=tv_&page=NewsArticle&id=9791;  http://www.davemartinministries.com/; http://www.livingsupernaturally.com/index.html

Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise

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