The Church-what is Being Preached?
No matter how much you hate statistics like I do, the fact is they are there, they are actual answers from real people, and they are what evidence is based off of. In a recent Baron study, 33% out of 100 people believe that they are born again. 45% out of that 33% believed they are saved by works. These answers are not biblical!
Ephesians 2:8 says we were saved by grace . . . so no one could boast.1 this means what? Our preachers are teaching from the New Testament of Christ's resurrection power with the mindset of the Old Testament! Beloved, the cross has covered it all-Jesus' death has more than satisfied God's wrath and high expectation. The Law brings death, but the Spirit brings life to all who receive it.2 The Law of Moses was supposed to have us realize our desperate need for a Savior. Who can really live up to the expectation of the Commandments? Why do you think Jesus made the Law sound so harsh? If we tried to follow what Jesus said about any Laws and parallel that with the Old, we would never be able to stand on an acre of this land on earth and not be struck down (because, in fact, all ground is holy ground. 3) But we are covered in righteousness through our salvation in Christ and enjoy fellowship with Him!
You're probably thinking I'm a quack, you're getting offended, or you're just plain confused. If you are any of these, please stick with me! And if you're on the edge of your seat, then you will definitely wanna tune in for this. The Holy Spirit is our friend, not our foe. He convicts us of righteousness, not sin. (If that was the case, everything I said would be a lie. The devil however, is the Father of Lies and he will convince you that you are still guilty!) There is now no more condemnation in Christ.4 All your sins are forgiven-past, present, and future. That's why before you were born again; sin was a place you were bound to. Now, it's a mere part of your story, and nothing more. If you try not to sin, you will fail. This is why we must rest instead of try. Put this to consideration: How much easier is your manual labor when your heart is free? When you do not fret and have complete peace, how much less effort do you have to succeed? (No, this is not a biblical excuse to be lazy) Jesus knew; that's why he said, "Come-give me your cares, and I will give you rest." This is an act of spiritual rest and surrender.
Now, tell me this. Why are so many trying to balance this debt and this release? They do not want to accept nor have they heard that all their sins have been paid for. Remember the woman with the alabaster jar? Who had nothing but her tears and sweet fragrance to offer the King? Recall how the Pharisees & Jesus reacted. The religious leaders judged but Jesus said, "Who has been forgiven much has loved much."5 She knew the Lord have forgiven her, so she was due to love Him. We, the Body of Christ, need to be like her. We need to understand all of our sins have been exhausted on Jesus' cross, so we need to spread the Good News. That's why it's called the Gospel!
Recently, our public library offered a month a gratuity and waived all fines from any member's account. When my mother heard this she wept. She had an $18 fee because she had "lost" a book in transition from hospital to hospital due to illness. She was grateful then, especially since the book had been misplaced. (Now, the novel has been found) This is an example of Christ. Now, re-born Christians serve God. And my mom? She keeps the book in her car and reads it while waiting for appointments because she's glad the library paid her fine.
Beloved, I hope a seed of grace has been planted in you. "Grace"-the unmerited, undeserved favor of God in your life. Because of Christ's blood, that is a reality. This is amazing grace!! Now, will you consider joining me on the missio dei? The message of the Church should not be "Your relationship with God has to be either hot or cold or you're out!" but rather ". . . Or do you despise his goodness, not realizing goodness leads to true repentance?" We need to love people, Church! Let's be the loving spirit of Christ, not the condemning people of the devil!