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Only Jesus (great song by Big Daddy)

What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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Take a Chance on Jesus Alone


Are you afraid to turn from Paul, Pauline doctrine, and Pauline friends and family, and turn to Jesus as your sole teacher and pastor? Well, Oswald Chambers... a leading Christian at the turn of the last century... exhorts you to just submit to Jesus’ words and see what happens. He wrote:

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back?… Again and again he will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender… Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit of those who have placed their trust in him… If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what he says. Once you obey, you will merely find that what he says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ's statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when he brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis –  only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God. (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, entry for May 30, accessed at www.utmost.org.) 


Experiences Prepared Me For The Leap Oswald Asks For

Suffering hostility for standing up for Christ's supremacy over Paul or anyone else will actually benefit you. It will strengthen your resolve to study to show yourself approved, as Peter says. Peter means you must study to be sure you are correctly reading the Word of God.

You can well imagine the hostility that one receives if you publicly state to most Christians that Paul is not inspired. That Jesus warns us about Paul, etc. That Jesus is our sole pastor and sole teacher.

But God provides us lessons on how to turn that hostility aimed at ourselves into something which will make each of us a stronger  follower of Jesus.

Here is proof from a fascinating experience I long forgot about. I recently found in my mom's estate papers a hand-written letter from 1976 which I wrote my grandma. We called her Nanzio -- an Italian affectionate form of nonna, grandma. Her name was Angelina Milacchio at birth. Her dad came from Calitri, Italy in the 1880s. She was a humble nanny and maid to many families. She moved out of our house in 1974 to marry a professor at Santa Ana College in California.


In this letter, I shared with her the stress that an anti-Christian professor of New Testament was putting on me at Fordham University in the Bronx. I was a Freshman. This evil hearted woman was as hostile toward only me in the class as you can imagine. If there was anyone else who was a Christian, they would not stand up to her false claims about Jesus and Christianity. I never was angry to her, but I tried to explain what a Christian believes and why. However, she was unbearable, at least it felt that way to an eighteen year old.  (On my academic path, see this link.)


For example, which I still feel the pain today when I just thought about it, one time I was late to class by a few minutes. I said I was sorry as I entered. She stared at me for what felt like an eternity without saying anything. The prof wanted the entire class to know her extreme hostility toward me. She never accepted my apology. She also never treated anyone else the same way as she did me. But I long forgave and forgot about that professor. However, when I recently found this letter to my Nanzio from 1976, it showed me something important about this teacher. It reminded me that this professor was the catalyst for why I try to research every material detail carefully  so that nothing important is overlooked.  Of course, I still make mistakes but I pray it will never be for lack of 100% effort not to make a mistake. That evil  professor made it impossible for me unless I could prove unequivocally she was wrong. What she intended for evil -- to dissuade me from following Jesus -- God used for good.


Here is what I wrote Nanzio in 1976. (See link for original handwritten pages). I hope my Bible verses and edifying quotes will strengthen all Christians who follow Jesus alone to stay the path no matter what befalls you:


In my New Testament course I have a very anti-Christian biased course and it's very hard for my answers to please my teacher. So far I have a C on one exam. But this Tuesday, I have my Second Exam and I will study for the next 2 days. ...

I understand your concern for my future. You are right we cannot trust anyone in these, the Latter Days of Mankind. But the End is near and we must be watchful of that day. Our works should be pleasing to the Lord. Jesus warned of wolves in sheep's clothing ("but are inwardly wolves"). As God says in the Bible, "Take ye heed, every one of his neighbor, and trust yet not in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will go about with slanders." (Jeremiah chapter 9 verse 4.) Really only the Lord is worthy of our Trust, Belief. As Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath Everlasting Life." (John chapter 6 verse 47.) We can't even trust in our own works or selves in relation to God. (Ephesians 2:8-9.)"


As you can see, my ideas leaned toward Paul. We likely all have this common starting place even as we began our escape  from spiritual bondage to Paul. This shows nothing binds you to your past way of thinking. Turn to Jesus, and study to show yourself approved, as Peter says. This will cleanse your soul, and break the bonds with non-authoritative teaching.


In the final quote from my 1976 letter, I make a closing remark followed by a quote to my Nanzio from a poem that I used to encourage myself to handle this professor's evil behavior:


I'll say goodbye now with this thought. In everything we choose to do we face the consequences of that action whether it be right or sinful, profitable, or wasteful. We make the decision based on what God lets us know in wisdom and knowledge. When we see the truth and accept it rather than believe a lie we must follow it. We must take up our crosses daily James Russell Lowell, born in 1819, said: 

They are slaves who fear to speak

for the fallen and the weak.

They are slaves who will not choose

Hatred scoffing and abuse

Rather than in silence shrink

From the truth they need must think.

They are slaves who dare not be

In with the 2 or 3. 


Love Doug   Kisses and affection 


That letter reminded me of a painful time of persecution for following Jesus. Many more times I have endured hateful abuse and slander. But that early experience with the hateful teacher prepared me to endure all that came later. 

James says we are to count it joy when we go through such trials. It is for the perfecting and strengthening of our faith.


In closing, dear friends of our ministry at Jesus' Words Only, please meditate on the poem in your own battles today. In the American Civil War such anti-slavery poems as this poem greatly helped the cause. It was said that Lowell's poems were worth an army corp to the Union forces. See link. I think Jesus' followers who read it, and memorize it, will likewise be strengthened and toughened for the spiritual battles ahead.