Holding the Truth in Love

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Devotionals, Shared Thoughts, Wake Up!
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Many sincere Christians have been provoked to a righteous indignation by those who have reduced what Paul referred to as “the Power of God unto salvation,” the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to mere theology. Thus they have rendered it a non-effectual redemption message which allows people to hear about God in the flesh dying on the cross for our sins without any requirement of any personal commitment to change, obey, follow, or die to self.

When true believers for the sake of “unity” and “harmony” allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ is reduced to a mere theology, the result can only be that people end up becoming members of a congregation rather than maturing members of the Body of Christ. Who cares how big, “successful” and “growing” the congregation is when the precepts of righteousness are being cast aside and the Kingdom of God is neglected and the righteousness of God not adorn by the body of Christ? Carnal people care, people seeking acceptance by other people care, selfish and egotistical men care.

The purpose God has committed the Gospel into our hands is to bring the glory due His name by its power to set the captives free. However, it is the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH that sets men free. It places them in the “congregation of the righteous” and makes them members of the Body of Christ. We are to be as the Apostle Paul said “stewards” of the Gospel.

1Co 4:1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Yet, today there are many  liberal preachers who are, in the name of Jesus are growing mega churches by creating feel good about yourself religious social centers and are guilty of reducing true biblical discipleship to a mere historical fact instead of a present day requirement for a true Christian lifestyle and fellowship with God.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Lu 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Unless we become true disciples of Christ (those who have willingly come under the discipline and chastisement of Christ) we are not children of God, but bastards (Heb. 12:5-8). This is not my personal commentary and opinion; this is what the Word of God says, and if we are not disciples, but bastards, then we have no rightful inheritance to God or His Kingdom.

Matt. 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

In Jesus’ previous statement we can sense His disgust with the hypocrisy of that present day religious system. It was a system that was neither serving as a mediator nor as an intercessor for the people of God. Rather, it was merely seeking to further itself at the expense of God’s people. Listen carefully to the certainty of those hypocrites who keep back the truth – theirs is a greater damnation. Are we so naive as to think that same  hypocritical system isn’t present today in the worlds religious system?

Christians who find themselves frustrated at the falsehood of the pseudo religious system should find some relief in those words of Jesus. Although God is indeed long-suffering with the misplaced sincerity of the ignorant, He is “angry with the wicked every day” (Psm 7:11). “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be” (Psm. 37:9, 10).

True believers can and will often be provoked to anger by hypocrites in the Church who are keeping other from coming to a saving knowledge of the truth. However, God’s word tells us not to “fret” over the wicked (Psm 37:7). Therefore, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil” (Eph 4:26, 27).

Ps 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Perhaps the greatest the greatest way we “give place” is when we engage in open slander or attack these hypocrites personally. I’m not saying we shouldn’t mark these people as those “transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, [and therefore] hath not God” (II Jo. 9). I’m saying there is a point when such remarks become nothing more that a person attack on the individual. Then such words not only cease benefit the body of Christ, but can, and often do, damage those who are young in the Lord.

Therefore, Christian, don’t neglect your responsibilities to God and the Church. As true believers and disciples of Christ we must be willing to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Ro. 16:17). BUT we must be careful not to do so with any form of self-gratifying, personal vengeance such as slander or even an abusive rebuttal — even if you are correct. Truth is never to be used as a means of personal vengeance. The enemies of the Gospel are opposed to Jesus, not us. Their seeming opposition to us is only because they oppose the true God – just as they should only receive you IF they truly receive Jesus.

Jesus clearly said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me” (John 15:18-21).

We must hold the truth in love and only use it as a weapon “against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). We are never to use the truth to lash out at flesh and blood. Many will find the truth is in opposition to what they are doing, but we are not to stand in physical opposition waving the sword of truth at our neighbor. The truth is meant to be a lamp unto the feet of men and a light for their path. It is the power of God unto salvation for those that believe. It is meant to bring redemption, life and deliverance.

Let’s earnestly contend for the faith and expel lies with the presentation of the truth in love for the King who has saved us and in love for those who have yet to believe.

 

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