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Knowledge puffs up the Mind of Flesh.

Scientific knowledge of the world and cosmos has exploded upon our present day scene.  This acquired knowledge may expand the natural mind of a man, but it does not expand the narrow and darkened heart of the man who will perish in spite of his acquired knowledge of the natural.  Do you think that the Infinite Creator of this Universe, and the Creator of all things visible and invisible, is impressed with our finite knowledge of His Creation?  All knowledge that is cultured with the pride of human logic, sooner than later, contradicts the infinite God, and questions the Creator's Own understanding of His Own Word of absolute Truth that holds all things together.  This questioning of the all wise God originated in the Garden of Eden from its source of Satan, and continues to echo from hell, whose proximity is just around the corner.  "Did the Lord God really say, and mean what He said?  Nah: Choose for yourself."  

God is not a contradiction to Himself, and neither is the revealed Word of God a contradiction to the unsearchable knowledge, power and the glory, ascribed to the Creator through His Truth expressed in the heavens and written in Scripture.  The wisdom of this world perishes, but the Wisdom of God is eternal.   After all, if you have ears to hear, the heaven's are declaring God's glory and power: (See Psalm 19 verse 1 thru 4.) For it is by the constancy of God's Word that all things exist, and are held together in obedience to His Word of Power and Wisdom.  The Truth of God's Word remains constant because He is Constant with an unchangeableness in the essence of His Eternal Holiness.  God cannot but remain faithful to His divine Word and purpose in His creation, for God and His Word are One. 

Alas, it is unfaithful man, mired in the center of self that innately forms within his own willful mind, objections and contradictions to God and to His Word.  Man's own self serving iniquity has blinded his mind, causing man kind's own idolatrous failures.  But the Grace of God's Spirit calls the lost soul to begin to comprehend within his darkened heart, of his eternal need for God's Work of Salvation through the crucified, death and resurrection of the Son of Man, God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  The crucified Christ is foolishness in the wisdom of man, but God's Wisdom is a work of Divine Agapao/Love and mercy that if any person would hear God's call to His Sacrificial Offering of His Spirit of Grace in the Christ of God, then that Divine Grace would bring that person into an intimacy with the Eternal God, through His Son Jesus Christ, Who has conquered our sin and death. (See 1st Corinthians 1 verse 17 thru 25.) Thus says the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glories,, glory in this; that he understands and knows Me, that I AM the Lord Who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: For in these things I delight, says the Lord. (See Jeremiah 9 verse 23 thru 25.) If man does not answer Wisdom's call to God's Word of repentance and Salvation, then at the end, man will inevitably find himself to be the enigma, in final opposition to himself, through his rebellious opposition to the only God of the Living.  The wisdom of the wisest of men does not make one indispensible to the all wise God.  I wonder whatever became of the man Solomon, a son of David, who saw himself in his wisdom, indispensible to the plan of Yahweh God?

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen; yes, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, so that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1st Corinthians 1 verse 25 thru 29.)

Within the cultural religions of Christianity, the institutional leaders are each right in their own eyes.  It is man's assessed correctness, confined to his own myopic vision and finite knowledge that creates contradictions in opposition to God's Eternal Covenant that brings freedom from sin's bondage.  Within our minds of flesh, it is good to have an ongoing working knowledge of what is written in scripture: Nevertheless, it is far better in simple application, to have a heart that is one with the Spirit of God, Who brings enrichment to the soul that would rest in the Love of God that surpasses our understanding. Knowledge makes one proud, but sacrificial Love builds one up.  If any man think that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he aught to know:  For if any man Loves God, the same is known of Him. (1st Corinthians 8 verse 1 thru 3.) He is the Source of your Life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our wisdom, our Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption: Therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord". (1st Corinthians 1 verse 30 thru 31.) Paul, in his epistle, is referring to the same Scripture from Jeremiah that we have already seen above: Let him that glories, glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I AM the LORD, which exercise Loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: For in these things I delight; declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9 verse 24.)  

The scholars, pastors, evangelist and teachers of scripture, having a knowledge of the history and the languages of the bible, have, by whatever gifted means, assisted each and everyone of us in attaining knowledge of the events and instructions of scripture, all of which tends to establish faith.  But, even in our hearing of the instructions and being immersed in the written Word; God is the only One Who can create a new life in Christ Jesus, and expand the humble heart that is yielded in God's Covenant within Him.  Paul writing to the Corinthian says: I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planted any thing, neither he that waters; but God, Who gives the increase. (1st Corinthian 3 verse 6 thru 7.) God, in all instances of Salvation, provides the Good Seed, which is His Word and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  Through God's reproductive design, His Covenant Word, seeded in the soul and mind of man, is to reproduce the likes of Paul the planter, and Apollos the one who waters, and you and me who are all to have the likeness of the Image of the Love of God, in Jesus Christ.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is Perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (1st Corinthians 13 verse 9 thru 10.)

Wisdom would say, if we would be perfect then the Love/Agapao of the perfect Son of God would abide in our hearts, for: 

God's Perfect Love (Agapao ) suffers long, and is kind; Love envies not; Love vaunts not itself, Love (Agape) is not puffed up, Agapao does not behave itself unseemly, Love seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, Agapao thinks no evil;  Rejoices not in iniquity, but love (agape) rejoices in the Truth;  Love (agape) bears all things, Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Agape  never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. And now abides faith, hope, Love (Agape) , these three; but the greatest of these is Agape/Love. (1st Corinthians 13 verse 4 thru 8 and verse 13.)

Owe nothing to anyone except to Love/Agapao one another; for he who Loves/Agapao his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  (Romans 13 verse 8.) NASB.

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore Love/Agapao is the fulfillment of the law.  (Romans 13 verse 10.) NASB.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love/agapao your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5 verse 14,) NASB.

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall Love/Agapao your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (James 2 verse 8.) NASB.

The Lord Jesus, the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life of men says; "I AM the Vine, and without Me you can do nothing.(See John 15 verse 1 thru 5.) Jesus states a very logical premise: Without the Vine, there is no production of fruit.  If God is Love then He is Perfect Love, and without this Love/Agapao of God working within the hearts of men, then it must be that mankind are absent from the vine and the production of God's Perfect Love is impossible.  Without the Holy Spirit of the Word of God, even with the hard work and seemingly good intentions of our human instructors of the scriptures, then essentials can be misconstrued in the communication and interpretation of words, and human error is reinforced with a dogmatic position of more error. Knowledge puffs up, but agape love edifies. If any man thinks that he knows any thing, he knows nothing yet, as he ought to know.  However, if any man Agape Loves God, the same is known of Him. (1st Corinthians 8 verse 1 thru 3.) And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Agape Love, I am nothing. (1st Corinthians 13 verse 2.) The dynamics of one word of one language of the bible, can be lost in the translation into another, and the natural man in us, can pass over one vital point, and miss the essential heart of the matter that should make us all one, within our faith in the one Christ Jesus.  For There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4 verse 4 thru 6.)

However, in our confusion of our own individual fleshly thoughts of what is right and wrong, I'm afraid that in our divisiveness, we have substituted our own doctrines, and dispensed with the Lord's sanctifying Words of Covenant instructions, leading up to, and during His last supper with His disciples.  As the Word of God implies: The cultural traditions, and the understanding of man, can make the Word of God non effectual within the heart of man. (See Mark 7 verse 13.) In the following verse, Paul is dealing sharply with the permissive licentiousness within the Corinthian church and their not understanding the power of the Love of God to separate man from their sin.  Your glorying is not good.  Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, for you are to be unleavened.  For even Christ our Passover, is sacrificed for us:  Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the Unleavened Bread of sincerity, and Truth. (1st Corinthians 5 verse 6 thru 8.) The Unleavened Bread of our Communion within our Lord Jesus Christ, the True Bread of Heaven, coupled with repentance from sin, is our assurance of God's cleansing Mercy and Grace through the Covenant Blood of Jesus Christ, so that our souls remain in God's Kingdom of Peace.

Is it not time to put away the prideful intellectual leaven of the flesh that puffs up, divides and separates the bread, for Jesus Christ our Passover, is sacrificed for us sinners?  Shall we continue in sin that so easily entraps us?  God forbid: For now in the fullness of God's Covenant of Grace in the Blood of Jesus Christ, we are to be abiding as One in Christ, in the fullness of His holiness. 

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Robert Glenn Pratten with my beloved wife Rose Labez Pratten