Saturday, March 6, 2010
Why Can't We Just All Get Along?
Are the spiritual and the intellectual aspects of faith mutually exclusive? Surely they are two
sides of the same coin. We are saved by the power of the Holy Spirit. Right? We are also called upon, as saved sinners, to work out our salvation "with fear and trembling."
To "work a thing out" means to think about it; to meditate on it. We read about the giants of
the Christian faith who preceded us and find that they waged titanic struggles within their hearts. If you gaze into the pure light of the Gospel, how can you not be overwhelmed with the
sense of your own unworthiness?
But the call to holiness is not a call to Pharisaism. By the psalmist's instruction to "serve the Lord
with gladness," we understand that ours is to be a joyful holiness. Jesus said "ye are the light of the world." Light and warmth go together.
These are things of the Spirit, imparted by Him that we might be witnesses. But Scripture also says that the things of God are "spiritually discerned." Discernment. Not judgement. Do you see the difference? We are commanded to exercise the one. God reserves the other to himself.
In observing, pointing out and remarking upon what has been shown (again and again) to be error, I am to be charitable. We are commanded, after all, my fellow Christians, to love one another. We are to be no less firm, however, in speaking against errant teaching; teaching that runs counter to the whole counsel of the Word of God.
"You are in error because you do not know scripture." These words were spoken by our Lord and Saviour. Paul uses the first chapter of his letter to the Galatians to pronounce anathema on
those who would teach that sinful man can be saved by ANY effort of his own. This heresy, propagated in Galatia by the so-called Judaizers, has taken many forms and had many names throughout the Church Age.
I said "heresy." A different gospel. Another type of salvation. Jesus said, "No one can come to the Father but through me." Do we dare to naysay the Master's words? Is this statement so repugnant as to require all sorts of mental gymnastics to put a different spin on it? Why is that, do you suppose? Pay careful attention to not just the answer, but the thought process used to arrive at that answer. Bear these words in mind as you meditate: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?"