In the world but not of it

November 2, 2010

One Word…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

“I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ”. Galatians 1:6-7

During Paul’s absence, certain men called Judaizers, those of the Jewish way and belief of life came from Palestine and insisted that gentile believers could not be true Christians until they submitted to the Jewish ordinances of the Law, such as circumcision.

They tried to discredit Paul, because he was not one of the original twelve apostles. Paul was stressed because the people he had personally instructed were so quick to believe these men.

Not much has changed since then. The body of Christ is still filled with rules and regulations that choke the life out of the people and dilute the Gospel.

These rules and regulations have led to differing organizations that call themselves Christian sprouting up, all in an effort to accommodate their views.

The result over the ages has been astonishing when you consider, for example, a study conducted in 1979 across 223 countries that showed that there were 9000 “Christian” denominations.

It is urgent today for us to ensure that we know the true gospel and not some flavor of it. Paul’s wonder and amazement at the believer’s response in this passage is a subtle reminder that perhaps they were not yet grounded in the Word and in their relationship with Christ. They were still being drawn or pulled by the Law and ordinances they were accustomed to.

As D.L. Moody once said “law tells me how crooked I am; grace comes along and straightens me out”.

But to know God’s grace is to know God’s Word.

Knowing God’s Word will help us to recognize the counterfeit. This is important for the reason that the Word of God is the reliable source, not an apparition or some supernatural experience.

Many seek experience today as a cure-all or an answer to prayer, yet God’s Word provides the answers we are seeking. This is not to say that someone could not hear from God in a supernatural way.

God can choose how He communicates to someone, but it will never contradict His Word. The Spirit and the Word agree. So the Spirit will never lead us to do things that the Word cannot confirm.

To the degree that we are willing to obey, God will give us understanding. It was Spurgeon who said, “a Bible that’s falling apart probably belongs to someone who isn’t”.

A man was out walking in the desert when a voice said to him, “Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both sorry and glad.” The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them in his pocket.

The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds and rubies and emeralds.

And he was both glad and sorry. Glad that he had taken some; sorry that he hadn’t taken more.

And so it is with God’s word.

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