GRAVITAS "Our Highest Place is Low at Jesus Feet"
New Covenant Ministry
God wrought greater miracles through Him after He assembled His disciples from Nazareth and relocated to Capernaum where He began to teach them faith privately and publicly. Faith is required to believe God. Believing in God is the work of God and believing on Him who God has sent places one at the feet of Jesus. “Our highest place is low at His (Jesus) feet” (W.J. Seymour) Gravitas is the relationship wherein one esteems another’s magnitude as in one’s respect for another. Ancient philosophers, some who lived before the birth of Jesus, reiterated for centuries, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
Heckled but Determined
Although true many belittled JESUS when they called him THE CARPENTER’S SON. Nevertheless Jesus though it not robbery to be equal to God. He walked in His purpose and fulfilled His mission in a way that others perceived that was rebellion. However He became highly effective to others when they placed faith in Him (for their own gain) and most astonished when non-Jews received Him undisputably as their Christ. Early in His ministry, He was not received as a prophet in His hometown of Nazareth by the people who observed Him from His youth. They became offended after He stepped into His role as a teacher and began to do miracles. The Bible says they asked “Where did He get such wisdom and what about His miracles? Isn’t He the carpenter’s son? Where did He get all this? And so they rejected Him. Jesus said to them, a prophet is respected everywhere except in his home town and by his own family” (Mark 6:3).There was a lack of gravitas towards His value and people doubted Jesus’ role as a priest or His authority as a teacher. It is uncertain that the others in Jesus home of Nazareth knew that Jesus could trace His biological lineage back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38). They knew he was of the tribe of Judah but the Nazarenes placed no gravitas upon Him being the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, prophesied of by their great patriarch Israel (Gen. 49:10).
God's Love Towards Us.
The church was a mystery during the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah and the proverbial glass was perceived as being half full during the time of Moses in referance to God’s dispensation (house-keeping) towards man. By the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit, the glass became half empty for those still practicing Mosaic Law and who didn’t receive this promised Comforter. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 HCS). The same God, the same glass and the same people, but a new covenant and the possibility of living in a state of spiritual overflow became a reality once Christ arose and power was given to man at Pentecost, as prophesized by the prophet Joel “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:27). Self exertion was no longer a requirement to become righteous as Mosaic Law proposed. On the contrary a holy lifestyle is now the requirement that God accepts along with keeping the love of people a priority. The paradigm shift from the law to grace also had a perceptual shift from the glass being half full to half empty. The law was a fundamental concrete expression of God’s dealing with man. Grace became the manifestation of the fullness of God’s mercy towards man. The incomprehendible expression of God’s love towards us is at best an abstraction to the finite mind of man. Therefore, faith is needed to please God.
Bishop Mason rebukes the Devil
Because of misplaced gravitas great feats at the pinnacle of man’s prowess without God, failed in both ancient and modern worlds. The Tower of Babel never reached the heavens, and the Titanic sunk. There are other examples of misplaced gravitas in the Bible when people were esteemed lightly but were God’s anointed. Such as was David. Samuel was instructed by God to anoint a king among the sons of Jesse. David was not even called to the gathering but “was tending the sheep” (I Samuel 16:11). Consequently, he was the one that God chose to be king instead of Saul. This pattern is seen in Biblical history as a path that God chooses to elevate people.
God ordains strength out of the mouth of babes (Psalms 8:2) and many times a younger brother is preferred to the older, as in the case of sons of Abraham, Isaac was preferred above Ishmael, Jacob was preferred above Esau and Ephraim was preferred greater than Manasseh. Even of the only two men who walked upon the earth with the blood type D (D=Divine), the Second Adam (Christ) is greater than the first Adam was.
It is not our task to determine the moral worth of an individual unless we are counseling them to facilitate one’s journey to conform to Christ. “A Christian’s judgment is illegitimate when it is done in a hasty manner without evidence, when judging others before straightening up one’s own life, or to denounce one in order to raise one’s own ego” (Jay Adams). Solomon wrote . . .”for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecclesiastes. 11:6b). Christians are to bear each others burdens as well as their own thus becoming responsible for ourselves and those around us. Avoid, The Mind of Cain that asks “am I my brother’s keeper” (Genesis 4:9). Prefer others before oneself. This is Christianity in its purest form. This is the way of God which is foreign to our human nature. For this purpose, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us” (Romans 5:5b).
Doctrines of Devils
Many religions still teach the observance of dietary laws as doctrine. If you are still operating in Mosaic (concrete) realities you are operating with a glass half full. Paul says those who teach others to keep the law after the advent of grace are in error even rebuking Peter (Galatians 2:11). “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth”(I Timothy 4:1-3 HCS). “Don't be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established by grace and not by foods, since those involved in them have not benefited”(Hebrews 13:9 HCS). Therefore, it is essential to those who have the teaching gift, not to teach that acts of piety, obtains God’s favor but that God’s grace is received through faith in God. Afterward, the Holy Spirit is shed abroad in the heart. Works are therefore a consequence of being in good standing with God not a prerequisite for pleasing Him.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Amen.
Jesus is the fullest optimization of grace that man has ever experience. Yet, alternative ways are at the apex of popularity. We can glimpse into the mind of God with an examination of the first law written by God and given to Moses. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-5).
Unblending Grace from Law
“For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory” "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God's revelation. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature-for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil." (2 Cor. 9, Heb. 5: 12-14 Holman Christian Standard Version)
© 2012 Reginald Boswell