Onlline Sermons

We have posted a lot of sermons from our Universal Life Church ministers. Some are Christian and some are not. You are welcome to use them or just enjoy them as you like.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Universal Life Church

Beauty and Bands
By Scott Phillips

A Dichotomy of Truth

A Dichotomy is a division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions: "the dichotomy of the one and the many". Many times I share it as the paradox and the principle when speaking of God and his word. Concepts can at times be contrasting, and some would say contradictory, yet each magnifies the other.

We live in a generation who are of the "either Or" mindset. They seem to have difficulty with intellectual complexity of the true and right way to handle concepts of "Even and Also". It would seem people try to pick and choose what it is they believe, when the Lord is wanting us to embrace his whole revelation.

An example of this is John chapter 3. John 3:16 is a favorite
passage by all and many use this scripture as a defining description
toward salvation while overlooking scripture in the same gospel and
even the same chapter, John 3:3 & 5. We must accept both as
markers on this wonderful path of salvation.

What is righteousness? It is something that God gives us. We
cannot be righteous without him giving us his righteousness.
However we do have a responsibility, the responsibility of
sanctification. It is the balance between Righteousness and
holiness. Sadly and often you have those that are legalistic in
their mindset that have trouble with grace and you have the sloppy
agape crowd that reject the concept of restraint and separation.
It is as if many cannot chew gum and walk at the same time.

In reading through the good book, the following scripture ministered
to me.

"And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the
flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and
the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock." Zec 11:7

A flock of sheep sold to the butcher marked for slaughter caught the
eye of the great shepherd. He rescued them and chose two of his
favorite staves of salvation. The rod of righteousness and the Rod
of sanctification.

The New Testament is full of principles given in which Christians
are to be distinctive and different from the world that surrounds
them. The way they dress, conduct business and the fellowship is
covered in the Apostolic Epistles.

In this age of information, this either or deception is running
rampant. Men of long standing are losing their minds, or it would
seem to be the case as they reject one concept and embrace another
when both are to be concepts that run in conjunction with the other.

His Righteousness is to be guarded by us. We are his vessel, so
therefore we must guard his Holy Deposit. However in this
"enlightened" age of the simple, understanding these Biblical
Principles cause us individually and as a group make conclusions
based in our desire to do what pleases him. Without a doubt the way
things have been presented has been off base in the past by some.
That does not however take away the validity or virtue in the
concepts and things they loved and bled for. From my own personal
journey and the experience it has brought me, I am thankful for the
Beauty of Grace and the Bands of Sanctification. One without the
other is wasted.

If you lack joy, many times it springs from a breach in your spirit.
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

If you have no joy, it is because you lack peace. If you lack
peace, there is a breach in the righteousness of God. God gives us
righteousness; we guard it in our consecration and pursuit of him.

The good shepherd is calling us all to a renewed level of joy and
consecration. Joy springs from consecration.

Kept by Beauty and Bands!


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