TEEN TREE            OF LIFE

A Person’s Toolbox for Successful Living

Part 3

July 11, 2021

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

We are looking at the importance of having God build your house and how if you allow Him to, you’ll end up making wiser decisions and will live a life which glorifies Him.

 

The Saw

A saw is used extensively in both the framing and the finishing work of a building. Every piece that makes up the structure of a building must be measured and cut to match the blueprints in order for it to fit together properly and fulfill its purpose. The saw is used to trim out bad sections and cut off whatever may be unnecessary in fitting the pieces together.

 

Look at HEB 12:1 (New International Reader’s Version)A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. And let us keep on running the race marked out for us. In this verse, the writer is telling us that we need to cut away the sin that keep us out of God’s Plan for our lives. The symbolism of the saw is important because it teaches us that we need to put out effort to cut away what’s standing in the way of our Christian Walk. It reminds us that there’s an effort involved in preparing to live in God’s Plan for our lives.

 

So, every believer has areas of sin that need to be cut away, and burdens that need to be set aside, in order to successfully run the race that God has set before us. The bad areas of a piece of wood need to be cut out before it can be successfully used in a building. If it’s not, that section will weaken the entire structure. As believers, we should strive every day, with God at work in us, to remove the sin which entangles us. We should also be diligent in putting off our old sinful ways and habits. Metaphorically speaking, the sinful areas of our life need to be cut out. The saw is used to do this. (Something is metaphorical when you use it to stand for, or symbolize, something else.)

 

A length of wood needs to be cut to the right size before it will properly fit where it needs to go in a structure. We also need to have the unnecessary parts of our lives cut out so that we properly fit where God wants us to be. Encumbrances are not always bad things. They are just things that slow us down in a race. Encumbrances include extra length in boards that keep them from fitting where they are supposed to go. For example, hobbies can be great ways to spend time and can even be used to glorify God if done at the right time and in the right way. But what if the hobby is making it difficult for you to do something you know you should be doing? What if the hobby is taking so much of your time that you are skipping Bible study? The hobby may be good in itself, but if it hinders you from keeping your priorities straight, then it is an encumbrance and may need to be trimmed or even cut off. That’s where the symbolic saw needs to be used.

 

The Nails

The boards used in framing need to be held in place. Nails are the most common way to secure boards and a hammer is used to drive the nails into the boards. The nails used to hold the people in the church together is Bible doctrine. When we share the same fundamental beliefs about what God has revealed in His Word, it unifies us. It makes us one unit of believers with the same belief system. We agree on the same body of theological teachings – doctrine.

 

One important belief that unifies us is that the Bible, in its 66 canonical books in their original languages, is a divine revelation. It is the inspired, infallible Word of God. This is taught in PSA 119:89 (New International Reader’s Version): Lord, your word lasts forever. It stands firm in the heavens.

 

PRO 30:5-6 (New International Reader’s Version): tells us this about Bible doctrine: “Every word of God is perfect. He is like a shield to those who trust in him. He keeps them safe. Don’t add to his words. If you do, he will correct you. He will prove that you are a liar.”

 

The apostle Paul wrote this beautiful statement about Bible doctrine: God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. (2TI 3:16 New International Reader’s Version) This statement is one which truly unifies those who believe it!

 

The apostle Peter wrote these inspiring words about Bible doctrine: We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word. (2PE 1:20-19-21 The Message Bible) Can you see how belief in this statement would unite a group of believers because of its encouraging and uplifting message? Knowing The Holy Spirit’s role in the creation of God’s Words increases its worth.

 

Still, Bible doctrine is often attacked as tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people. And while that is true in one sense, in another sense, it truly is Bible doctrine that unifies. Still it’s true that the Bible is full of very divisive doctrine in that it calls for a division between the righteous and the unrighteous. It also calls for a division between those committed to the Gospel and those who pervert it and also between those who are true Christians and those who are not.

 

In ROM 16:17-19 Paul writes this to warn us about people in the church who try to divide those who are unified in a church: I am warning you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who try to keep you from staying together. They want to trip you up. They teach you things opposite to what you have learned. Stay away from them. People like that are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving only themselves. With smooth talk and with words they don’t mean they fool people who don’t know any better. Everyone has heard that you obey God. So you have filled me with joy. I want you to be wise about what is good. And I want you to have nothing to do with what is evil.

 

Doctrine divides when it incorrectly makes a distinction between what is true and what is false. Seeking unity among those with contrary doctrine is pointless and detrimental because it’s forcing those involved to purposefully ignore truth in order to achieve conformity.

 

EPH 4:1-13 (The Message Bible) expresses clearly that true unity is based on having the same doctrine. Christians should be humble, gentle, patient and show tolerance for one another in love while also being diligent to preserve the unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace. How can that be done? By having the same doctrine. There is one body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, and one God and Father of all who is over all and in all. Here is what Paul wrote: In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is, He climbed the high mountain, He captured the enemy and seized the plunder, He handed it all out in gifts to the people. Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

 

Do you want to be successful in life according to God’s definition? Then rise up and embrace Biblical doctrine. Pursue truth at all costs and do not back down from it. That is what godly men and women of integrity do.

 

{to be continued}

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