"I Own That..."

I own it all. I really do. (Please bear with me, it isn't as arrogant as it sounds. I say it that way to get your attention, that's all - this is very Biblical, you'll see if you stick with me...)

If you espouse sovereignty and election...I own that. If you espouse "whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved"....um, that's mine too. I own that. Are you currently enjoying a book by Finney? I won't call it heresy, because though I don't agree with him down the line, still...I own the concept that faith without works is dead. Are you into Edwards or Spurgeon and their fantastic views on New Covenant? I own that. William Law and the importance of certain disciplines? I own that. Grace alone? I own that. It is all mine. Don't let that make you crazy. I didn't come up with any of it, and neither did you. Nor did Paul or Apollos or Peter. Truth belongs God.

Fact is, I own it all, yet am not owned BY any of it. I can shift emphasis or focus at will, or at the clear leading of the Lord to my spirit. I know many other men and women who own it all, I've eaten dinner with some of them recently. Yet these saints are owned BY no one thing, and it is a clear sign of maturity.

I am not even allowed say, "I am of Christ" because of the ring of exclusivity that idea has to it. Christ has chosen to deposit truth into a beautiful diversity of vessels, and I am to receive from them, giving thanks to God for the gift He has placed within them.

I hate moral and ethical sin, because of the deep, generational affect it can have on a human being. I own the fact that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. But when a man or woman is sorry for their sin, and willingly embracing a process of restoration, heeding a consensus of Godly input, I am to walk with them in their process. I am to cover them. I also own the truth of love covering a multitude of sin. I own it all.

Free will? I own that. Election? I own that. Can I lose my salvation? No. Can you? Maybe - I have no choice but to let you answer that. Discipline and training? Own it. Dancing in the freedom that is mine? Own it.

Can I tell you the Biblical definition of carnal? It might surprise you. The definition of carnal is to be owned BY a particular emphasis, to the point that you part company with another believer.

We are making the choice to know nothing in this season but Christ and Him crucified. The gospel will be what we are about till the day we die. Everything we teach, everything we live out in secret in the walls of the Atchley home, will be with an eye towards never....ever....being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We own every aspect of it, bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. Foundational grace is something we will return to, from time to time, as needed.

So I won't take the writings of men and pit them against each other, as though they were plastic army guys in an imaginary war. I won't live as though James and Paul had it out for each other. I won't act as though there were no power in the gospel to completely transform the vilest sinner, nor will I toss out an emphasis on the renewal of the mind, as illustrated in the classic phrase, "a long obedience in one direction."

I own it all. The people of God own it all. Finding common ground is not so difficult for a mature human being, much less a saint.

And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
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