God helps us in a timely fashion. I republished my article on speaking in tongues because manifesting holy spirit is a part of the new Covenant. It is the only manifestation that God tells us builds us up Spiritually. Being spiritually strong and mature is definitely a part of renewing our minds to what the Word says is the life we can choose to live as the children of God. I Co 13 is one of the few chapters taught by the traditionalist church as the “love ” chapter, I think that the book of Ephesians ought to be known as the love book, for it is the doctrine book for Christians functioning at the mature level as the Sons of God. But getting back to I Co 13, note that it is between chapters 12 and 14, the most detailed chapters dealing with the proper disciplined usage of the manifestations. It is there because the manifestations must be used with love or their effectiveness is diminished. Speaking in tongues then becomes a part of loving yourself. If you do not love yourself how can you effectively love others as yourself? I do not know about you, but I believe, from my perspective, I became a lot more lovable when I got born again, and began to change my mind set from one of possessive self interest to being available to be of service to God and His family. When I was introduced to attraction marketing, it was not a big jump to being more concerned about finding others pain and wanting to supply the answer with value shared. As a maturing Christian, I had been trying to tune into what others needed to hear so that they could see that God’s Word had the answers that they needed in their lives. I studied God’s Word so that I could know if what they were doing lined up with the rulebook of Life or not. Admittedly it took a while for me to see the freedom and liberty that we have in the new Covenant, because it was not taught to me that through discipline to think soundly, I became free to choose wisely and get the biggest bang for the buck. I thought that phrase meant something like how do I make a deal where I profit more than the other guy. Now I see that to get the best deal is to get to the point it is as much a win for my seller as for me the buyer and if the roles are reversed vice versa. My pastors growing up were not strict literalist in what they taught. I was not taught to sacrifice for lent, or abstaining from meat on Friday would somehow make points for my relationship with God. The legalisms I grew up with were I needed to be in my pew on Sunday, and I needed to meet if not exceed my tithe to get the blessings of God. I needed to wear my suit and tie and not be sitting in church thinking that girl across the aisle was really something special. Now I did eventually get to marry a girl that sat in my congregation, and because I wore a suit and tie so much I am not all that uncomfortable when the occasion arises to wear one. But my pew warming days are for the most part over and I no longer consider my giving to God to be a tithe either before or after my taxes are withheld. I am a cheerful giver, not an obligation giver. I fellowship in houses where the Word of God is taught and my giving does not go to repave the parking lot or build a new wing or repair a roof or boiler. I try to eat healthy and drink healthy but I still do not learn to do as the heathen and prove to God I am sacrificing for Him in a way that all the world can see. No one has to follow me into the bathroom stall to note if I am circumcised or not, and my fellowship leader does not demand to see my check stub or tax return to see if I have given enough this year. When I fall short it is between me and God, unless my short coming affects someone else. Then perhaps I need to not just confess my sin to God but try to right my wrong, if restitution would be possible or accepted. I pray more in private than in public, I speak in tongues more in private than in public, and when I do speak in tongues in public it is either to be interpreted by me or in accordance with I Co 14:6, by revelation or doctrine, prophesy or knowledge.
I endeavor to be motivated to do that which I do, by my love for God and the person that I am with. If I try to make something available to you to purchase it is not because I want to defraud you of the purchase price but that I think you may benefit from the exchange. I refrain from activities that cloud my judgement because I want to make wise choices not choose things that are to my detriment or the detriment of others. My freedom is of great concern to traditionalist, for that much freedom is not a part of their dogmas. It is based on scriptures and the new Covenant, but alas that is not as important to them as they say it is. They want to pick and chose which parts of the old testament that they say must be adhered to to be right with God. Because of this they respond to the verse that Christ is the end of the law for the believers in the new covenant, with the verse that Jesus stated in his earthly ministry, that he came to fulfill the law not destroy it Mt 5:17. but this describes his earthly ministry not his heavenly ministry. The law is still not destroyed but it is not to still be our schoolmaster either. Ga 3:24,25. Placing ourselves under the law also places us under it’s curse. If we have doubts about whether a certain action is sinful or not perhaps we could look at what was the law that was put in place because the people did not want to have a vital ongoing relationship with God to figure life out. But we now have that vital ongoing relationship with God available to us, let us not be as stiff necked and stupid as the Hebrews were in the wilderness. Paul shows us that history has proven that all fall short of fulfilling the law save one, do not put yourself under the curse again. That one had an advantage, he had innocent blood, he made it available for us to not be bound to try to live by that which has been shown to be impossible for a descendent of Adam to do. I say above “from my perspective” because God loved me any way despite my faults. And He loves you, we enter in to the new Covenant in response to that love. Jn 3:16.
God answers our prayers in a timely fashion. If we are not all knowing, it behooves us to be sure we are praying for that which He would have us pray for by speaking in tongues that which He provides the utterance for. We are also to pray for things that we know to pray for so we pray with our understanding as well. When we pray at times we also praise God and speak of His wonderful works for which we are thankful, both in tongues and with our understanding also. When we pray, there is nothing that says God will not honor our conversation with Him and reply or answer our prayers. We also spend time learning to listen for His still small voice via Word of Knowledge and Word of Wisdom. The more Word we know, the easier we will be able to judge if it is God supplying the message that we hear for the Word is God revealing Himself to us and He is not one to change and go a totally new direction. What He tells us will not be a contradiction of our new Covenant.
The new Covenant is ours by grace, this is why we live Biblically in the age of grace. There are groups that teach we must constantly ask God to give us grace and mercy, if you were God, do not you think you would be tired of being asked to give that which you have already given in such abundance that all you need to to is pick up the book and read all about it. It is ours to appropriate into our thinking. We don’t need to beg for it, rather we need to thank Him for it because it is already given to us. To give a bad example, we go out trick or treating, we come home with a bag full of more sugary treats than we should perhaps consume in a month, we eat what we are given permission to eat by mom and dad and as soon as we are finished we ask to be taken out for an ice cream cone. We still have the rest of the bag available but we do not consider our appetite to have been filled. Our moderation is to be known of men. We do not look at all we have been given and decide we have an abundance so now we can go share or even be happy that we are so blessed. The Christian walk is a balanced walk. It is good to have an appetite to improve ourselves, but if we never get thankful for all that we have been given, that all we have available to us for the accepting of who we are as Sons of God, then we make our lives more miserable than God would have it to be. Do we deserve all that we have been given, no not by a long shot. But does that mean it is not ours to claim, again not by a long shot. Study to show yourself approved a workman that needeth not to be ashamed by not receiving the fruit of our labor, Rejoice in the things that God has bestowed upon you, make use of the gifts he has given you, be ready to share how you placed yourself in position to receive it so that others may duplicate your success. This is what is meant by being a new Covenant believer. If you can not see yourself as a member of the family of God you need to do some more study. If you do not see yourself as sanctified, set apart from others who do not know what God has done for them or you, you have some studying to do. If you do not understand you are justified, you are made righteous, that you have been redeemed and that God has given you enough information that you can make wise decisions, then get your nose in the book and find out what it is all about, don’t ask Alfie, unless he has been studying God’s Word longer than you have. The Answers are there in black and white or whatever color of ink is used. Learn what it says then learn to discipline your life to live your life of abundance that is promised to you as you claim God’s promises to and for you. Stand fast in the liberty in which you are called in the family of God. (Sorry to all you folks born after the song was popular “What’s it all about, Alfie” You can google it, who knows you might even enjoy it too. Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Dionne Warrick) Once you know what the word says you can reference just about anything even a pop song to make a point about the truth. Ignorance is not bliss, knowledge gained like taking “A Journey through the Acts and Epistles” (Walter J Cummins 2006,2013 all rights reserved) can make all the difference in the World to your life as a Christian. Life is a series of Choices, Believing is a verb that requires action, Details do matter, we have a lot to be thankful for, We have a new Covenant whose details are not to be understood by staying in the old Testament and the Gospels. Do / Can we learn a lot from that part of the Word. yes we can, but the parts of the Word written specifically to and about the Christian Church, will give us a filter to get even more out of the OT and old Covenant than we might otherwise obtain. Israel had something good going for them, we are the new Israel and we have something even better going for us. Don’t get legalistic, Learn to be loving and know that you are loved. Don’t give up on God, He does not give up on you. Selah.