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Christian messages today specialize in motivating the Christian to obey wisdom and truth by appealing to their carnal desires. This is not the true Christian motivation. The true Christian motive for all they do is to serve the Lord in the spirit of holiness.
According to the Bible, a Christian has already decided to learn God’s way and walk in them. They have already chosen to obey God. And they have already agreed to deal wisely in the affairs of life. I will show you that from scripture, but first I want to address why Christians are here to serve Christ.
Why are Christians called the body of Christ if their main goal is to serve their own interests? If their main goal is to serve Christ, why are the messages about serving self?
It’s time to get real, Christians. Yes, the Bible does teach the benefits of doing things God’s way. Yes, it teaches that there are rewards for doing good. And yes, it is perfectly alright for a Christian to look forward to the blessings and rewards spoken of in the Word. But in the New Testament that is not the Christian’s focus, their reason for doing things right is because they made covenant with God, they are His child and they love Him and want to please Him. In the same context, they worship Jesus, they adore Jesus and they serve Jesus.
Christians are or should be motivated to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. That is; as soon as a Christian knows what is the right thing to do, they don’t even have to think about it--if it’s the right thing to do, then that’s what they do naturally. Yes, naturally--they are a new creature with a new nature that naturally responds to Jesus.
If you think this is too unrealistic, you have miss it. I am talking from the same point of view that the Bible talks. It’s just too bad that today’s preachers and teachers and Christians don’t talk this way.
What way, you may ask? A Christian should talk as if that which God has created in them is a done deal. Are you a new creature in Christ Jesus? Have you been crucified with Christ and resurrected Christ in you7? Are you a member of Christ’s own body? Have you covenanted with God to be His child--to hearken unto Him, trust Him, obey Him?
Then, what’s the problem? The problem is that the Bible talks the right way, the done deal way and the church is talking as if all Christians are babies who have to be coaxed into eating their pabulum. Brothers and sisters, these things ought not be.
A Christian is anointed to be a part of Christ’s body. A Christian, according to the Bible, loves what Jesus loves, hates what Jesus hate, does what Jesus does, and speaks what Jesus speaks. Let’s get real. The Bible is real. Let’s look at a few verses that show the Christian way of thinking.
The right mind-set:
Rom: 6:3-6: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom: 6:22-23: But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom: 8:4-8: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom: 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Rom: 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
1Cor: 6:20: For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
2Cor: 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Gal: 3:27: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal: 5:24: And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Eph: 1:22-23: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23: Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Eph: 4:17: This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18: Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20: But ye have not so learned Christ; 21: If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
I going to stop quoting scriptures here as I believe I have made my point. In the light of these scriptures, why are the leaders coming at this from a position of selling us on the idea of doing the right thing? The true call to salvation is a call to get right and do right. If this message offends you, I really believe you have been given the wrong message. This is the Bible message.
Because of modern thinking, I can think of two negative reactions to this message--the one is: “Aren’t you being too hard on us?” and the other is: “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
My answer is that the same Bible that tells us about the mercy and grace of the Lord is the same Bible that talks this way about the church. That means that this message must be balanced with the ‘give them a break” or “give them space” message. Consider it given, but that does not do away with this message, the grace is to allow us time to grow and to cushion our falls as we learn, it is not to be used as a means of exemption from God’s mandates, precepts, and admonitions.
© Sylvia Huffnagle
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