Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)
- TITLE: Shopping For Spiritual Food
By Doug Laird
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In the plan of God, believers enter the marriage relationship with the concept of permanency.
However, in the same plan of God, one’s choice of pastor teacher may change from time to time in order for an individual to continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… (2Pet. 3: 18 NASB).”
Note that I did not say choice of “denomination”, but a choice of pastor teacher.
Denominationalism is a bi-product of religion. Religion, being anything in doctrine or practice that Man has added to or deleted from what can be Biblically substantiated, has done more to shatter the unity of the Christian Community that any other satanic weapon of mass destruction. Sad as it is, Satan uses many unwitting Christians to promote it.
Just as believers are at their individual stage of spiritual maturity, the same goes for pastor teachers in their calling. No one, pastor or layperson, can be used to lead another believer/congregation beyond a stage of spiritual maturity than he/they are at themselves.
Parents, family tradition, relationships, and convenience often determine the location and frequency of one’s attendance and form of worship resulting in many born again believers never advancing beyond the infancy stage (Heb 5: 13, 14) in the post salvation spiritual life.
Such believers are relatively moral and remain just as saved as the ones who do mature, but they never advance to the point where they perceive the very purpose of their being on earth is to bring glory to God.
While corporate worship (Heb. 10: 25) for the purpose of celebrating the Lord’s Supper (1Cor. 12: 24, 25) and the teaching of the Word of God (Matt. 28: 19, 20) are commands (not options), salvation and experiential sanctification (discipleship) is based on certain decisions that each and every individual believer has to make for him/herself.
Idealists often envision grandparents, their sons, daughters, in laws, and grandchildren filling up a section of pews on a regular basis at the local church.
The truth is that although this paints a pretty picture, such a setting is contrary to what the Bible reveals about the salvation of individual family members (Luke 12: 52, 53).
If the Rapture were to occur during such a Church service, there is more than just likelihood that some of the family members would still be sitting there when the others are taken “in the twinkling of an eye (1Cor. 15:52 NASB).
The challenges for the pastor-teacher is to continuously present the whole realm of doctrine to a congregation that is composed of individuals who are at different levels along the road to spiritual maturity.
The challenge for the individual believer is to discern if and when it is time to stay and if and when it is time to move on in order to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pet. 3: 18 NASB).”
Many issues should be considered in determining just where God would have any one individual receive his/her doctrine at any given time in the course of his/her post salvation spiritual life, but there are two primary issues that we must be examined (2Cor. 13: 5).
Is my present pastor teacher supplying me with the information that I need to continually “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pet. 3: 15 NASB)’ or am I just attending Church to address some form of obligation to God or family members.
Am I more spiritually edified than I was a year ago? How so? Am I unwittingly suffering from spiritual malnutrition (Amos 8: 11)?
The absence of appetite for food in the natural realm is a sign of illness. The absence of appetite for food in the spiritual realm is a sign of retrogression.
Most of us are very selective as to where we go and what we buy when we go shopping for the family groceries to feed bodies that are here today and gone tomorrow. Should we not be even more concerned with where we go and what spiritual food we receive when we go shopping for our spiritual food that is feeding our souls that will live forever?
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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