Cross Purposes 25 / I-Do-As-I-Please Christianity
For contemplation and consideration: Psalm 1, and also 1 John 5:19.
Point for consideration: ”Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19 NASB.
Where is the confusion in this simple remark by Jesus? It seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Or is it just that we think we ought to be entitled to “reinterpret” His directives, informed more by what we’d rather do, or what is politically correct (and spiritually unsound), that brings us to the conclusion that the moral and universal laws of God do not apply to our Christian life?
Substitutes? Doctrines of cheap grace in the form of “all we have to do is believe” - making the cross, redemption, salvation, and sanctification ineffective? Another favorite: substitution of rituals for realities, memberships in a church as a substitute for the Divine Life of Christ within us by being born of the Holy Spirit?
The apostle Paul reminds us most sternly and without mincing words, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 1 Corinthians 13:5 KJV.
A few synonyms for “reprobate”: unprincipled, bad, wicked, rakish, shameless, immoral, degenerate, dissipated, debauched, depraved, knavish, lawless. And does it need to be restated that, just because we have the “legal right” to do something, is it necessarily morally right or in our best interests?
Here’s how it’s supposed to work: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 KJV.
Miracles beyond description happened through the Cross! One of the biggest of these is that the old reprobate me died there - in and through Jesus!
When a soul experiences this “death”, and a rebirth takes place, that soul begins to experience freedom from sin and the passions of the flesh. What Jesus Christ did for that soul now manifests in that soul! An old life dies. A new life begins. He or she is no longer driven by a reprobate mind or behavior. He or she has been set free, having received in real time the “get out of jail free” card, so as to walk in newness of life.
The thing is, we must then continue to walk free. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1. KJV.
Many of us have undergone this “conversion” experience, or begun it. That is what it means to be born again. It is very, very real. There is no more desire for sinning; one is no longer motivated by it.
That is why it is so difficult to understand where all this “liberal theology” comes from, with its anything-goes positions, that tells us we can go on sinning once we have realized that we have been set free from sin through the Lord Jesus Christ, and are now free to live the blessed life by the power of His Holy Spirit.
Anyone who has experienced this freedom no longer wants to sin and live a reprobate life. It’s that simple. Management, motivation, and mission have changed hands!
Churches, which are more politically informed than they are Holy Spirit and Word of God informed, should simply stop referring to themselves as “Christian”, for they are not living in the holy name of Jesus Christ, but are only profaning it before the world.
None of this carries any power of salvation, and it certainly does not promote any sort of Biblical sanctification. It is in fact complete “ignore-ance” of the Holy Word of God and the Holy Spirit, teaching instead that what is corrupt and defiling within a soul is just plain OK, acceptable, and supported.
Those sticking to the understanding of the implications of the Cross have been accused any number of times of being “judgmental”, the favorite accusation of peddlers of New Age hedonistic relativism and the cult of self-will. God’s Word on the matter simply states, “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge; but he that hateth reproof is brutish.” Proverbs 12:1. KJV. The NASB take on it: “... But he who hates reproof is stupid.”
If God did not love us, He would let us wallow in our reprobate state, instead of making a way for us to come home and to be made whole through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Where are the lovers of the knowledge of God? Where are they who yearn for His instruction? It seems we live in a world where much of the church has gone reprobate and stupid in its hatred of divine Wisdom and reproof!
Where is the salt of the Earth? Or are so many among us as salt that has lost its savor, always looking back and yearning for Sodom?
The purpose of the Cross and the shedding of Jesus’ Blood is so that we may be set free from self, sin, death, the world system, and the power of the devil - not so that we can get a free ticket to heaven while still wallowing in reprobate thinking and doing.
As far as the Cross is concerned, Jesus “nailed it”! It really is that simple.
It really is true that when we become Christians in spirit and in truth, we exchange our old reprobate life for the pure Mind and Heart of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are new creations, the old has passed away, all things are become new! We live increasingly according to the power of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing unloving or judgmental about that! However, original sin, that source of rebellion within, can prompt a defensive posture, since it is the “end of the world” for the reprobate mind and the forces that drive it! What is passing away is certainly reluctant to surrender to its inevitable fate.
Apparently some who are under the impression that surrender to the Cross is unnecessary have not bothered to read the Bible for themselves, come to know the Christ of Whom it testifies, nor allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them into the truth or bring to mind all that Jesus taught. If they did, they would not embrace the foolery that they have, nor would they be allowing politics to inform church beliefs and practices.
How theologians and ministers continue to debate against the simple Way provided through the Wisdom that is Jesus Christ, after over two-thousand years, seems rather baffling. You’d think they’d know better by now.
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