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We Are The Lord's, The Earth Is The Lord's
December 20, 2009
If we are to grow in the Lord, we must understand basics, such as - we are the Lord's! We belong to Him, purchased by the blood of the Lamb of God. We are His children, God is our Father. As such, we must listen to Him and obey Him in all things. The earth is also the Lord's, and all the richness of it. Therefore, any good thing that we might receive is a gift from God. We don't actually own any thing, it is only placed in our charge. Since we are the Lord's, and the earth is the Lord's, we need to receive everything gratefully and graciously, giving Him the praise, honor, and glory. We are not to make up rules oriented to the flesh, but are to walk in the Spirit of the Lord.
We Are The Lord’s, The Earth Is The Lord’s
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 12-20-2009
Over the past several lessons, we have studied the freedom that exists in Christ Jesus. We saw that there is no law of rules, regulations, and ordinances under Christ. We saw the importance of weaning Christians from the milk of the word of God, giving them the necessary nourishment to mature spiritually. We next examined the fact that God does not care what we eat.
In this lesson, I want to look at the fact that there are many things about which God does not care. The fact that human beings keep trying to say that He does shows a lack of understanding, first, of the scriptures, and, second, of Christianity and godliness.
1 Corinthians 15:42 "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
Flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom of God. Why, then, are we obsessed with the flesh? The apostle Paul said that we must stay focused on heaven, not on earth.
Colossians 3:1 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."
In this passage, we see that God wants us to concentrate on spiritual, heavenly things, and not on things of this world. Paul lists several things in verse 11 that God cares nothing about.
1 Corinthians 7:18 "Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
Galatians 3:27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
God does not care about our nationality, whether Greek
or Jew. He does not care about whether or not our males are circumcised or
uncircumcised. He does not care about our culture, as demonstrated by the
mention of barbarians and Scythians. He does not care if we are servants or
free men. He does not care if we are married or unmarried. He doesn’t care
if we own property or not. Material things pass away. None of these have
anything to do with spirituality or godliness.
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”
What matters is that we are Christians. We are spiritual beings.
Romans 14:1 "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's."
In Romans 14, as we have previously seen, God does not care if we eat meat or if we eat vegetables. He does not care if we regard each day as the same, or whether we hold one day in higher regard than another. What matters is that we belong to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 8:4 “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.”
1 Corinthians 10:25 ”Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?
30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
God does not even care whether or not we eat meat that has been offered to idol gods. After all, we know that these are false, man-made idols. They have no power to help or to harm. We also know that all good things, such as our food, come from God. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.
Circumcised or uncircumcised.
Married or unmarried
Meat eaters or vegetable eaters.
Eaters of meat offered to idols or non-eaters of meat offered to idols
Eaters of particular kinds of meat or eaters of all kinds of meat.
Regarding every day the same or regarding some days as special.
Servant or free man.
Jew or Gentile.
Barbarian or civilized.
Male or female.
Rich or poor.
Educated or uneducated.
Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."
Men need to quit making up doctrines. Man’s ideas are fleshly, earthly, sensual, and devilish.
God doesn’t care about such things. What He cares about is whether or not we listen to Him and obey Him. He cares about our focusing on heavenly things, spiritual things. He cares about our loving Him and loving one another. Let’s concentrate on what He cares about!