personal / ministry notes from Jason – 3rd quarter 2024

personal / ministry notes from Jason – 3rd quarter 2024

A friend of mine related to me that this past year Javelinas came onto his property and dug up and tore out an irrigation line which he had put underground. This irrigation line stretched around his whole property (about one acre of his land). He had to replace the entire irrigation line because of the damage done by the Javalina—which cost him a lot of money and took a lot of time to replace!

Javalina are notorious for scavenging whatever they think is needful for them to survive. Many people think that navigating through human experience requires more or less the equivalent behavior of the Javalina. Yet this is not God’s way revealed to us in Scripture but rather the perverse and insidious deception of sin and the demons.

Sabbath keeping is revolutionary because it profoundly challenges and protests against the notion that we must initiate and establish our own security and safety in life by means of our own devising. Sabbath keeping is an act of faith in the living God to be one’s keeper and stronghold in a harsh and cruel world. This is the testimony given throughout the Psalms and explicitly promised in the Torah. God is able to keep his own people but is worthy of our trust! What we do in response to his commands to keep Sabbath reveals much about the quality of our professed faith—regardless of whether someone becomes a religious “legalist” or simply flaunts God’s Torah.

I am not of the opinion that Christians must adopt the practices of Judaism (ancient or modern) regarding the Sabbath day, nor would I oppose some modified practices of spiritual disciplines by Christians on a designated day (for example, Saturday or Sunday). There are today advocates for both of these options and I am convinced that each person should be convinced in one’s own mind and respect the choices of others (see Romans 14:1-6). To argue over specific devotional disciplines is pointless and misses the entire reason for which God redeemed us through our Lord Jesus. That is, so that we could enjoy the full salvation of God through the union of our whole persons with God’s Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this clearly—specifically noting that God’s purpose in the Son is for us to become holy and so demonstrate the goodness and power of the Gospel (see 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12). To use the traditional theological term, to become sanctified for God’s use in his Kingdom on earth. I contend that the command to keep the Sabbath day holy is a means toward God’s end purpose for us and thus assert sabbath keeping as sanctification.

The Apostle Peter uses what I take to be unmistakably clear terminology to teach the same truth as the Apostle Paul.

Bracing up, therefore, your minds for action and perfectly composed, fix your hope altogether on the grace that will be coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children do not shape your lives by the passions that controlled you in your previous ignorance; instead, as the One who called you is holy, so should you personally become holy in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, because I am holy!’ [Leviticus 11:44] (1 Peter 1:13-16, Berkeley Version [Zondervan:1965])

The Apostle Peter then goes on to exhort his readers (see chapter 2) to seek before God a vigorous practice of faith which necessitates the turning away from sin and reformation of character and conduct. And this teaching content and exhortations are echoed throughout the New Testament writings. What are we then to conclude from this teaching?

Here is what I suggest: That God’s concern is not with ritual or specific disciplines of spirituality in themselves but rather the honest response of a person’s well-being expressed in faith. If genuine faith is present and active in individuals and communities, then God will answer that faith by manifesting his Presence and power. For we must remember that the focal point of the Holy Spirit’s interest and supernatural operations is the human person—and thus also human bodies.

Jason Caywood


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