Practical Application of the Word of God
The ability to discern between what is true, what is almost true (breaks the 9th commandment) and what is completely untrue (also breaks the 9th commandment) seems to be disappearing from the ekklesia.
Too much error is creeping into the body of Christ and little of it is getting challenged with the word of God.
We have invested ourselves so much in the commandments and doctrines of human beings without being like the Bereans and searching the scriptures daily to see if what humans are saying is what God says and we have strayed so far into the idolatry of people and organizations that it seems we just blindly accept everything we see, read, and hear as truth, not realizing how much of it is in reality distancing us from God and Jesus Christ.
When a sermon about what The Church is starts with – and uses throughout the sermon – a website definition as its basis and never defines the Greek word that is translated as church in the New Testament (the Greek word is ekklesia) – it is interesting to note that the English word church comes from the Greek word kyriakos which means “belonging to the Lord” – red flags should be going off in our minds and we should be listening intently for errors (there were many).
Yet except for a few people, the sermon raised no eyebrows and there was no righteous indignation at the errors.
That is a strong indication of how dull our spiritual senses have become and how much we’ve become steeped in the idolatry of people and organizations over time.
Consider the following statements made by a minister in the body of Christ about the holy spirit and the converting process.
If they sound true, according to the word of God, to you, then there’s no need for you to read any more of this post. If they don’t sound true, then please read on.
“…we are to let go and allow the work of Jesus Christ to be built and established in us.”
This “let go and let God” idea of the passive Christian is not biblical – God’s word says we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and that we are in an active, participatory, working relationship with God to put off sin and to put on righteousness (do a Bible study on the book of Ephesians and look at all the put off and put on statements about our responsibility in relationship to God and Jesus Christ) – and it’s a dangerously false theology (it is commonly known as the Keswick theology) that is found nowhere in the word of God.
So what does God’s word say?
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,” (Phil. 1:27)
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Tim. 2:22)
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,” (Eph. 6:10-18)
“To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Col. 1:29)
This is not a passive calling. Just as God and Jesus Christ have their responsibilities in perfecting the things concerning us and completing this good work in us that they’ve begun, we have the responsibility to actively respond to their work by working with them.
“We cannot inhibit that work [that God is doing in us through His spirit] or fail to recognize what is happening in us.”
This statement is completely false. It’s dangerous theology because it denies the fact that God gives us choices and our choices can inhibit that work.
We can quench God’s spirit, which would inhibit that work.
We can go after idols and worship false gods, which would inhibit that work.
We can quit, give up, and walk away from God and Jesus Christ, which would inhibit that work.
“Without God’s Spirit in us, we would just be ‘normal’ like everyone else…”
The elitism, which is unbiblical but yet seems to be pervasive within the body of Christ, drips off of this statement.
The reality is that we as Christian are just “normal” people whom God has chosen to call now, and we know that His plan is call all the just “normal” people He has created within His timing and purpose.
What does God’s word say about those of us who are being called now? It’s the opposite of the elitism implied in this statement.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’ (I Cor. 1:26-31)
We are losing discernment because we are not in the word of God daily searching the scriptures. Instead, we’re relying on other people for truth and that’s always a very dangerous road to begin to walk on and walk down. It will not end well for us if we continue down that road.
We are told in James to receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save our souls. We can’t receive something if the door is shut and never opened.
Jesus Christ, our Teacher – and His teaching is the bottom line of what we must believe and do because the books we will be judged on are the same books that Revelation 20 says will be opened in the second resurrection to all humanity and which they will be judged on – tells us in Matthew 11 to come to Him and learn from Him.
If we’re not in the word of God and we’re instead entrenched in the words of mere mortals, flawed, imperfect, sinful at times, and just plain wrong at times, then we will not learn nor will we have and grow in spiritual discernment.
Today is not too late for any of us to return to our God and to His word if we’re reading this.
However, because none of us knows the number of our days that written in God’s book, tomorrow may be.