The Life of Faith.
Is our modern form of Christianity a true reflection of the teachings of Christ or not?
What does it really mean to “live by Faith”?
Is what we understand as Christianity really Christian?
I have heard it said that in order to be living by faith a person must “forsake all” and live in “Full-time service to God”. In other words, they who have secular employment somehow are not living by faith. This is garbage as far as Jesus is concerned:-
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
All that we have comes as a result of having faith. In order to believe we must have faith. We can only come to God if we have faith that He exists, and that He will answer our prayers!
The greatest men and women of faith in the Bible were ALL working people: shepherds, fishermen, carpenters, monarchs, advisers, judges, tent makers etc., etc. It is a false teaching that only they who give up their jobs to live as “full time” disciples are trully living by faith!
It seems to me that for most christians their christianity revolves around “church”. On Sunday we become holier than we are the rest of the week. The people really get into the “praise and worship”, the tongues, the prophesying, the laying on of hands. But does this trully glorify the Father?
Ps 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
We are taught the importance of praising God, that the one who offers praise glorifies Him.
Jn 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
True worshippers worship in spirit and in truth.
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Lk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
We get caught up in the extasy of what passes for worship and praise yet our lives are not to be built on these things. According to Jesus, our lives should be built on hearing His sayings and DOING them!
Ps 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.
36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.
When our hearts are not right with God is not our music and words of praise and adoration merely flattery? Yet God is not fooled by all this, even though we may fool ourselves into thinking that all God wants to hear from us is how great we say he is, and all that He desires from us is to hear us say how much we love Him! But what is it that God trully desires from His children?
Ps 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 ¶ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
What is it that our heavenly father trully requires from His children?
Mic 6:6 ¶ Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
We can come before Him and offer words, or songs, of praise and adoration but only that which is offered by the obedient will be acceptable to Him!
Has all our organising, our endless stream of meetings and conferences, not taken the place of obedience to the Lord’s commands? The fundamental things of the Christian faith are NOT the services and Bible Studies, the House Groups and Youth Gatherings to talk about God and talk to God, NO! The fundamental things are walking in obedience to His teachings. DOING the things that He asks!
Years ago I had a vision of a gathering of hundreds of christians who were attending a great meeting. They were all praising God with their hands raised in the air. Then I heard a gentle voice which said, “These people honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me!”
How many of us are found wanting in this area? Too much time and effort is expended in promoting and maintaining programmes and our beloved traditions that we forget that programmes and traditions are not where it’s at!
When the Apostle Paul prophesied the coming great apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3), it didn’t mean a wholescale turning from the churches, but that there would be a falling away from truth! Too often church services replace service to our fellows. Church becomes what we do and not what we are! Fellowship is what we are to have, not a name to replace the word “church ” in our title! Devotions replace devotion to the Lord, and devotionals replace our studying to show ourselves approved unto God! (2 Timothy 2:15)
We become like the adulterous generation who only seeks signs and wonders! We will traverse the planet for spiritual gifts, but we wouldn’t traverse the planet in order to seek the giver of those gifts! We’ll pray for people in need, but we won’t lift a finger to alleviate their need, citing the old Jewish phrase, “It is CORBAN!”
korban korban kor-ban’ and korbanav korbanas kor-ban-as’
of Hebrew and Aramaic origin respectively
1) a gift offered (or to be offered) to God
2) the sacred treasury
But let us not think that God will idly sit by and allow this sorry state of affairs to continue. He will purify his church!
The church that he wants should be renowned for the love between its members, not the excellence of its music, and the standard of its performances on a Sunday morning!
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
© 1996 By John L. Hayworth
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