Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
We as Christians, on the other hand, seem to have evolved to be too civilized. We are a generation of “cookie cutter” Christians. We sometimes say that God chooses us in-spite of our peculiarities; when I believe He more often chooses folks Because of our peculiarities. We have spent hundreds of years telling new Christians to weed out sin from their lives (which is a good thing), but diminishing or doing away with all together, the Relationship aspect of our walk with Him. If you sit up in your bed in the morning and purpose in your heart to “be good” for the Lord on this day, you are doomed to fail. (I usually make it about five minutes). Listen up, this is hard. Not complicated, but Hard. Jesus doesn’t want you to live a good life for Him. He wants to live a good life through you.
You think I’m splitting hairs? Look at Matt. Ch.7. Jesus tells us that on that day (judgement day) many will tell the Lord they did lots of neat stuff for Him. They did without, they belonged to this Church or that, they were baptized, they knocked on so many doors, they gave to the poor, or they even cast out demons. These are all good things, but after all that, Jesus replies in vs 23: “And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity.” The word ‘knew’ is, in the original language, a word that means to have a relationship with. Not convinced?
In the Old Testament there were several occasions where God sent a prophet - (never popular) to warn the nation Israel of an impending judgement. More than once the response of the folks was: “that could never happen to us, we have the temple”. Were they trusting in a Who or a What? Clear as mud? How about this. Phil. 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Read that again. Say this slow and out loud. SALVATION is not a bi-product of good works, but rather good works are a bi-product of SALVATION. If we could truly yield more of our selves to God, sin would not find even a foothold.
In his book “The Barbarian Way”, E. R. McManus says we are like a zoo - in that we have the in-dwelling Christ, and we think that folks come from far and wide to see Him in us. More accurately, we are a million acre preserve where a living God that cannot be contained, roams free. If this seems vague, tune in next time when we will look at some Biblical examples, and what they had in common. It’s not what you think. God Bless.