There are many things covered in scripture and the natural thoughts of man seem to gravitate toward the negative principles, such as judgement, division, punishment, sin shame, etc. Perhaps this is because natural man knows somehow that he is separated from God and even many Christians judge themselves harshly because they still don't measure up to expectations that they and others have established as Biblical standards. I have to emphatically state... "You don't measure up... EVER! Let's just get that out in front of everyone. Anyone who thinks they measure up to God's standards is living in complete deception. Ok, now I've said it, and stones should be thrown any moment. Where do we go from here?
The gospel (and the whole Bible for that matter) clearly defines the state of man without God. Man IS separated, he IS rejected, he IS unable to do anything that recommends him to God, BUT... God has made a way through Jesus Christ to bridge every division, separation and rejection from God. The blood of the cross covers ALL.
But this isn't only an evangelical statement. I believe the Christian community desperately needs to change its way of looking at things. That it needs to evaluate everything it hears and does by one question..."is what we're doing and teaching building and revealing spiritual life?" Let's take a look further into this.
I recently asked a couple of my close friends who are both Christian counselors what percentage of their clients don't have a proper perception of God. They might be receiving counseling for personal problems, addictions, etc., but the underlying issue is that they don't understand who God is to them, who they are in HIM, or what HIS purposes are for them.
One thought a moment and declared that "probably 95% of his clients were in this category. When I asked the other later, he said he would have said 100%. Folks, do you understand how significant this is? These are "Christian" counselors. They counsel "Christians." And, according to them, 95-100% of the "Christians" (that they have counseled) don't have a proper understanding of God?
I quizzed further and found that most of the clients considered themselves Christians, had gone through some religious liturgy or ceremony for salvation at an earlier age, had been involved in "church," knew some scripture, etc. But these professional counselors evidently believe that these things aren't enough... there is something lacking.
Could it be that much of what is taught in Christian circles is about intellectual knowledge, programs, ethics and moralities, political postures, etc., etc.? But how much is demonstrating the LIFE of God and encouraging folks to walk in it and share it?
Ok, I know you are saying we've beaten this dead horse enough. Where do we go from here that will address this issue and bring some of this LIFE? How do we DO life? Quick answer--- I don't know. But I have noticed that when people come together around Jesus only, lay their expectations of others down, set their pet theologies and knowledge aside, learn to listen to one another instead of talk, quit trying to convert one another, take a deep breath and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ... Things start to happen. LIFE starts to flow by HIS Spirit.
Think about this. The early church didn't have the New Testament. They didn't have church buildings, no para-church ministries, no paid preachers, no pulpits, no praise team with all the media technology, no programs, etc............................................ But what did they have? They had the LIFE of the Holy Spirit, they had fellowship, they had family, they had recent stories of Jesus and what He said and did. They revolutionized the world. SO WILL WE AS WE FOLLOW HIM!
Let's DO Life!