Saturday, July 18, 2009

What Have We Come To?

"Believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Believe in the Deity of Christ. Believe in Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; and you will become a Christian."

So the whole plan of salvation is to give intellectual assent to some doctrine?

A person is considered a "Christian" because they could say "Yup" at places they were asked to? A simple cure for the spiritual issue.

Colossians 2:8
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."

Have we been cheating people of true salvation by giving them philosophy and doctrine instead of giving them the Spirit of God that gives us life and that causes all spiritual change? We have removed ourselves from the spiritual because it is uncontrollable. We have a few moments in the Spirit here and there but where is the consistency of life that the Spirit gives the believer? There are great cathedrals that have been built in honor to God but have the people who worship in those beautiful establishments honored Him as well?

Don't get me wrong. I know salvation is not earned and that it is a free gift of God. But here lies the issue as well; just like every free gift I must take ownership of it. For example, if I were given a gym membership as a gift but I never spent time at the gym would I really know what it is like to workout in that gym? No. I can show you my membership card...but the evidence of me being at the gym is missing.

I fully believe that salvation comes through a truly repentant heart but I believe it also goes so much deeper. Paul told the church in Philippi to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". It is not a 2 minute prayer at an altar. It is taking that 2 minute time at an altar and letting God take our life time to alter us.

We act as though we are doing God a favor by accepting His salvation. We are not saved so we can go to heaven. Salvation is not a fire insurance policy. We are not saved to see what we can get out of God; salvation is about God getting glory out of our lives.

We work out our salvation by devoting our LIVES to God. Letting the spiritual impact our physical. We must start to let God interrupt how we usually act toward people, how we work, how we play. It all is affected by our salvation.

Psalm 42:1
"As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God."

Does that sound like a person who let their salvation become a thing to be forgotten? That is the heart of a person truly repentant and needing more of their God.

The question boils down to's your salvation? Is it being worked out or is it some vain philosophy?

I guess if we take it a step further still can Jesus be our Savior and NOT our Lord? This question however has an easy answer but a harsh reality.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Have you heard anyone use the word "reconcile"? I hear it all over the place now. First, with Oprah and her New Age beliefs. She reconciled her idea of God with other ways of thinking (kinda old news there). I hear it from those who reconcile their faith in Christ with their homosexuality. These are not the only two instances of people or groups of people reconciling themselves with God. Those who abuse much of anything try to reconcile their actions with God. This goes beyond justification (being declared righteous). Their reconciling is saying that my acts or thoughts or beliefs are "OK" with God because we've worked out our differences.

Those who do such make it almost sound spiritual their act of reconciling. Yet, they are far from being truly reconciled to God.

Do they really know what reconciliation is? And who does the reconciling?

The dictionary definition and most common usage of reconciling is to: bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or balanced. For example, when you balance your check book to your bank account. When it is balanced then it is reconciled. There is no disagreement in either record.

At some point we've got the reconciliation process flipped. We've reconciled ourselves "with" God; rather than us being reconciled "to" God.

Here is what I mean...

In order for someone to be reconciled there must be something broken between the offended and the offender. When we look at scripture the roles that are played as mankind being the offender and God being the offended. The act of reconciliation must be initiated by the offended party.

For example, if I had offended my wife in some way that caused our relationship to be broken; no matter how much I apologized and sent sweet messages and all those types of things to her we would not be reconciled. I was the one in the wrong and therefore cannot bring harmony to the situation. Now if my wife comes to me and forgives me and starts the process of reconciliation then we will have our relationship restored.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

The message that Christians should preach is the message of reconciliation that God will not hold the sins of mankind against them if they come to God through Christ. God wants to have mankind's relationship restored with Him. And that comes through being reconciled. We cannot do the divine act of reconciliation and believe that all things are peachy. If we want to be reconciled then we must come before God in the light of our actions and be forgiven. And keep in balance with God and that means the actions that cause us to be separated or in disagreement to Him should be abandoned.