Singular vs Plural

This morning in my Bible study time, it seems that having a “singular focus” was the thought of the day. It began like this,

On Sunday June 7th the MyDailyBible app devotional reading, DailyPlan #Bible https://www.mydailybible.org/dp/esv/one-year-tract/2020-06-07.htm included Psalm 95. This Psalm contains scriptures found in the Book of Hebrews chapters 3 & 4 that I post fairly often in my blog. Before I read any of the scriptures of the day or devotionals that I follow I determined to read Psalm 95 again to treasure these verses again in my heart.

Psalm 95:7-11
7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 
8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

What caught my eyes attention was verse 10 and in particular, the word “err.”

Screenshot_20200609-042107_KJV Strong's.jpg

Strong’s definition of err begins with the idea “to vacillate.” I looked up the definition of vacillate. It is, “alternate or waver between different opinions or actions; be indecisive.” This verse came to mind,

1 Kings 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

If you are thinking that this is where the title of this post came from you’d be wrong. It was just setting it up.

After getting the thought of rereading Psalm 95 out of my system I began my regular Bible study through the scriptures of the day and devotional readings. I don’t read my 3 different scriptures of the day without reading the entire chapter they are found in. It’s the only way to get the “context” of their meaning.

The YouVersion scripture for today is,

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/col.3.23-24.NKJV

Colossians chapter 3 begins with profound thoughts and statements,

Colossians 3:1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

A “True Christian” has brought to death their carnal nature, the fleshly desires, and has set their hearts affections on the things that are pleasing to Father God. I know this doesn’t happen entirely, immediately, when you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart and life to change your nature. I know it’s a process of falling down and getting back up. There are NO Perfect Christians in “deed” but every True Christian should be “Perfect in Heart.” Our affections for the important things of life should be centered on pleasing Father God. “Don’t Halt Between Two Opinions!!!” LOVE God more than anything and live that out to the best of our ability. Don’t “Err – Vacillate!!!”

Maybe now you’re thinking that “setting our affections” mostly, or mainly on pleasing our Dear Heavenly Father is where my title, “Singular vs Plural” comes from but again, that wasn’t it. The next verse of the day was in the Tecarta Bible app and comes from Psalm 51. Psalm 51 truly changed my life, my thinking and my world view because God used it to “Change My Heart.” Create In Me A NEW Heart Oh God was my cry to Father God for months and is still my desire. But that’s not today’s verse, this it,

Psalm 51:17 KJV
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
https://tbibl.es/9xjn

This is the verse that I’ve read countless times and for some reason today brought the question to my mind, is “are a broken spirit” bad grammar. In a way “broken and contrite” is speaking of two effects on a heart, a heart, singular right? Earlier in Psalm 51 David speaks of the bones God has broken,

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

The “bones” may be plural but that’s not the context of the “The sacrifices of God are” being plural. The plural sense of the “ARE” in verse 17 is found in verse 10,

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Our spirit and any other spirit involved, God’s or satan’s, has a strong effect on our mind, will and emotions. Those things are bound up in our carnal nature. The things the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3 that need to be put to death and lived above in a resurrection lived life. The plural of the “Are” is explained in this commentary of Psalm 51:17,

Screenshot_20200609-043944_Samsung Internet.jpg

We need a “New Heart” to love God as we should but we also need a “Renewed Mind.” I believe God gives a “Born Again with God’s Spirit” Christian a New Heart instantly. It’s a heart that desires to and can love Father God sincerely. God through the Holy Spirit now at work in a truly Born Again Christian influences our thoughts of our mind. Everybody can have “good thoughts” but without the power of God working in them may only get to the “thought” stage, never acted upon.

Barnes notes in his commentary that the “mind” is connected to our spirit, our carnal spirit. It isn’t only our heart that has to be crushed from realizing the weight of the sins we have committed against God but our minds also. The thoughts of our mind have the power to either bless or vex us. They can bring joy or torment. The renewing of our mind is a process and only comes through the “washing of the Word of God.”

Not knowing what the Word of God says for yourself, being a “Good Berean” will ever renew your mind. It’s knowing what the Word of God actually says for yourself can your mind fight against the thoughts the enemy brings into it. These thoughts don’t have to be to kill, steal or lust to have a bad effect on your walk to please Father God. They only have to pervert a truth of God’s Word. Just twist it in a way that you get off the “straight and narrow path” and wind up in the bushes or maybe the ditch.

Err doesn’t happen overnight, it comes in stages, just like the renewing of your mind. A lifetime of wrong mindsets isn’t undone in a day or formed in a day. What can happen in a day is the realization that you are being presented for consideration two mindsets that are opposed to each other, “Two Opinions.” By our own free will we decide if we will “halt between two opinions” or take a stand on the one God desires that we take. We are always free to choose. God will NEVER force us to choose the choice that pleases Him.

Not choosing has it’s consequences,

James 1:5-7 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Singular vs Plural isn’t about grammar to God. It’s about moving past being a carnal Christian and deciding to follow God with all your mind, soul and spirit. It’s about getting off the fence, out of the neutral ground and deciding who’s side you’re gonna be on. Stop flirting with sin of any kind. It isn’t OK to have a premeditated “little slip” every now and then to half heartedly say Lord, I’m sorry for my sin. Don’t you realize God knows our thoughts before we think them. He won’t be fooled or mocked.

Don’t be Plural, Don’t Vacillate, choose to be Singular in heart, mind and spirit. Don’t be a lukewarm Christian. Jesus’ Words are in red because He spoke them. He warned about the “err of vacillating” in a very descriptive way. He paints a very clear picture of what He thinks about pluralism. It’s the other 3:16,

Revelation 3:16  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

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