God's Relational Presence

Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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On the evidence available, I'd strongly dispute that, and if he *is* present and active I'd have to conclude that he's a mean-minded, capricious, stupid, maniac and deserves no respect at all.
King David who is described in Scripture as "a man after (God's) own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22) wrote:

"To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low" (2 Samuel 22:26-28).

God is relationally present to us in keeping with our own attitude towards God.
 

Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:15-17, NIV).

God is relational and covenantal.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

We are designed for relationship with God and with one another.
 

Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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The first explicit biblical reference to God’s relational presence involves Cain who chose estrangement:

“So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden” (Genesis 4:16).

In contrast, the Hebrew patriarch Isaac chose relationship:

“Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.” (Genesis 27:7).
 

Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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“God is truly a personal being who welcomes us to experience and explore a genuine bond with him. Not a distant deity or some divine abstraction, God exists eternally as three persons in loving communion with each other. Such a God must be encountered on a relational level.”
Meyers, G. (2011). Seeking spiritual intimacy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

In what ways do these statements align with/challenge your experience of God?
 

Dexter Sinister

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They neither align with nor challenge anything in my experience, I think Glenn Meyers is talking nonsense. My experience of god is that he doesn't exist.
 

Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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They neither align with nor challenge anything in my experience, I think Glenn Meyers is talking nonsense. My experience of god is that he doesn't exist.
Thank you for sharing your experience, DS. I know Glenn Meyers personally. His relational experience with God makes sense to him and resonates with me and many others across the earth and throughout history. 🙏
 

Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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The number of people who believe something to be true has nothing to do with whether it's actually true or not.
I agree, DS.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

Our news and social media are inundated with baseless propaganda and vain philosophy. Don’t be deceived, my Friend.
 
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Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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1 Thessalonians 5:21: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."

The skeptic's mantra.
An instructive word, DS.

The apostle Paul penned this letter to the Thessalonians from Corinth near the end of his second missionary journey around AD 51. About three months prior, Paul preached Christ in Thessalonica, after which this body of believers formed. Paul‘s traveling companion Timothy went back to check on and minister to this relatively new Christian congregation. Paul was aware of religious opposition and false teaching impacting this fellowship. He was relieved to receive a good report back from Timothy, sending this letter of encouragement in response.

The Bible verse you cited comes from Paul’s final instructions to the Thessalonian church. As you know, Paul’s theological writings follow a pattern of doctrine followed by application. The prophetic doctrine of the “day of the Lord” presented in verses 1-11 is referenced throughout Scripture in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi, Acts, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation, specifying a period of time when God personally intervenes in history to carry out His purposes and plan.

Paul was writing about this prophecy when he penned: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, NIV). False teaching about the eschatological “day of the Lord” impacted the church in ancient Thessalonica. Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to test the prophecies they encountered in order to prove them (Acts 17:11).

Paul’s written pattern of doctrine followed by application imitates the spoken pattern of Christ: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes (in what you hear and believe) and as innocent as doves (in how you live that out)” (Matthew 10:16, NIV). Our conduct proceeds from and displays our beliefs. “Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?” (Proverbs 20:11).

How do we know if our conduct is pure and upright? What standards apply? Who is impartial to judge?

Blessings!
 

Dexter Sinister

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“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (
The KJV puts that a little differently, as four sentences rather than two, which admits of a somewhat different understanding:
"Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."

1 Thessalonians is also one of the writings in which Paul clearly indicates that he expects the second coming within his lifetime, in 4:16 and 4:17, though he's careful not to specify a precise time. Clearly the second coming has not occurred. That was a crucial bit of prophecy in the early church, it's a major theme in Paul's writings, Jesus himself is reported as confirming it in the Gospels, and it's a major claim in Revelation as well. Its obvious failure has produced an extraordinary amount of verbal and mental gymnastics to explain it away by arguing that somehow the texts mean something other than what they plainly say. For me, that destroys credibility.
 
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Motar

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Jun 18, 2013
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The KJV puts that a little differently, as four sentences rather than two, which admits of a somewhat different understanding:
"Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."

1 Thessalonians is also one of the writings in which Paul clearly indicates that he expects the second coming within his lifetime, in 4:16 and 4:17, though he's careful not to specify a precise time. Clearly the second coming has not occurred. That was a crucial bit of prophecy in the early church, it's a major theme in Paul's writings, Jesus himself is reported as confirming it in the Gospels, and it's a major claim in Revelation as well. Its obvious failure has produced an extraordinary amount of verbal and mental gymnastics to explain it away by arguing that somehow the texts mean something other than what they plainly say. For me, that destroys credibility.
Good morning, DS.

Your attention to the various Bible translations is important. After all, the revelation is preserved in human language.

You are no doubt acquainted with the contention that the KJV is the only or the most valid among the translations. I must admit I was disturbed when I first heard/read this. I wondered if I was being misled by the version I was using. So I asked God about this. I was reminded by the Spirit as Jesus promised (John 14:26) that God placed an NIV Bible in my hands when he called me out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). So I was liberated from contending over mere words and translations (Proverbs 3:5-6).

God‘s relational presence affords us the guidance of the Spirit who raises our understanding above the letter of the law to the spirit of the law (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Have a blessed day!