Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Believer's Responsibility for the Body and for The Word

Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

How are you living out your life as a minister of reconciliation? Are you aware of the fact that God says in His Word that this is your job description?
Do you know that it also says that as a believer in Jesus Christ, that you are to be an ambassador for Christ?
Think about it...both of those truths tell us that our lives are not our! Scripture even says that too..we've been bought with a price ( the blood and flesh and life of Jesus Christ ), and it's NOT ABOUT US ANYMORE!
What does it mean to be a bond-servant?
It means that we are totally and completely to be at the will of God in all that we say and do.
Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, was SERIOUS about this!
He said that even if he himself, or an angel, should preach a gospel other than what they had heard originally, that they were to be accursed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He included himself in that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is SERIOUS about the holiness of God's Word...and so is GOD!
God tells us in the Old Testament that He has exalted His Name with His Word.
Why do we feel, in the church, that we can't be bold in the Lord?
Why do we buy into the thought that we don't have to PROTECT God's Holy Word with our very lives?!
Why do we seek the favor of MAN instead of the favor of Almighty God?
Why do we work harder at protecting man than at protecting God's Word and His body?!
We have to realize that God hates that junk! He hates it! He will not put up with it!
He is Holy, and we are told to be holy as He is holy.
He would not tolerate someone twisting His Word to meet their own needs and their own glorification..and He does not want His church, His body, to tolerate it either.
Yes, we are to speak the truth in love. No doubt about that...but speak the truth must...and it won't always mean that the person who it's being spoken to walks away feeling all rosy inside!
Maybe they'll be mad.
Maybe they'll be hurt.
Maybe they'll be convicted.
The end result is not our business. God doesn't say, "Speak the truth in love unless someone is going to be offended. In that case, just coddle them instead."
He never says that, for to do so would be contrary to Who He is...and contrary to the truth that He GUARDS His GLORY..and that we, as His body, are supposed to do the follow in His model.
In fact, let's look at that passage a little more closely, for it is WAY too often taken totally out of context, and used to serve one's selfish need instead of serving it's intended purpose.
Ephesians 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth
in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom
the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
So, look for yourself and see..what's the PURPOSE behind "speaking the truth in love"????????????????
That the whole body may grow up in all aspects into HIM who is the head, even Christ! For the growth of the body, for the building up of itself in love!
How can a body of believers truly grow up in all aspects into Christ, if we are not willing to speak the truth, relative to v.14 regarding "the winds of doctrine, the trickery of men, and craftiness in decietful scheming"?!
We must do so! We have an obligation to protect both the body of Christ and the Word of God.
If we need an example of what happens when a body of believers doesn't do this...we need only to read the Old Testament and see what happened to Israel and Judah.

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1 comment:

D.L. White said...

I loved Tom's sermon about the body a few weeks ago. How all the parts work together for the good of the entire body. You don't see an arm working against a leg, or the heart working against the lungs - they all work together. Additionally, if a body part is hurting or weak, the rest of the body compensates, to help it heal. In the church, it should never be a case of "me" and "them" it is about "us". We are not to attack one another, but in love to come along side one another, and help each other.