Friday, February 8, 2013

Mark 9:49-50 comments: a sacrifice seasoned

49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

The Authorized Version, the Geneva Bible, and Tyndale’s New Testament all have the Byzantine/Antiochan Christian ending of verse 49. Modern New Age Versions of the Bible following Westcott-Hort’s Alexandrian manuscripts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, leave it out.

The problem is that the verse is referring to two types of people; one saved and the other damned. The unsaved are tormented with fire while the saved, who are a sacrifice to God, are salted with salt.

Leviticus 2:13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

The Christian is to regard his body as a living sacrifice to God. This is according to Paul, given inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16; Job 32:8; 2 Peter 3:15), which is understanding and wisdom, synonyms in dozens of verses.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

For you Greekophiles Paul uses the word for reasonable that Plato and Aristotle would have used, Logikos, from which we get logical, only Paul’s explanation of what reasonable is, our bodies a living sacrifice to God, is a far cry from what Plato and Aristotle found reasonable.

Your bodies are not to be used for the works of the flesh, for sin. Those people who define themselves, their existence, by these sins will not inherit God’s Kingdom. Have you ever heard someone call themselves “a player” or “a party animal” or “a night owl” or any other term that implies sexual immorality, moral incontinency, or lack of self-discipline?

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Notice that there are more than just actions of the body that constitute the works of the flesh but of the mind, as well, which is part of the flesh in its sinful attitudes and thoughts. The modern Christian’s fear, paranoia, bigotry, hatred, and lust for violent revenge are just as much works of the flesh as the unbeliever’s lasciviousness and are not befitting someone who is called to be a living sacrifice to God.

The fruit or the proof of the Spirit of God being inside you is not how many “decisions for Christ” you can get by twisting the verses regarding salvation and browbeating people until they give in to shut you up, how many seats you can arrange to fill in church services, how many tracts you hand out, or how you dress, or what family members you shun because they’re too worldly, or how faithfully you talk about “those” people whomever “those” people happen to be this year.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Is your testimony worthless? Do you have nothing to commend yourself as a Christian but how you proudly hold your head up at what you don’t drink, what you don’t laugh at, what you don’t listen to, what you don’t watch or read, what party you don’t vote for, and who you don’t associate with?

The salt that loses its saltness is worthless. It has no value. It doesn’t fulfill its intended function. And remember, the Christian’s works are going to be judged. The value and worth of what he or she claims to have done for Christ will be weighed in Christ’s balance at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Keep in mind also the actual context of these verses, oh church worker, pastor, Sunday School teacher, youth leader, believer or pretender.

For Christians;

2Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

And for those who reject Christ;

Revelation 20:11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Ohhh, people are going to have a time of it, aren’t they?

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