Hello and welcome back!
You know, God is great, isn’t He? I was just thinking at church tonight how fortunate we Christians are. There are so many things we have to be thankful for.
We have a savior, the living Son of God, who loved us enough to willingly die for us while we were still dead in our sin. Those in the world do not.
Romans 5:8 (BBE) 8 But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us.
We have a Father in heaven who sacrificed His only begotten Son to assure the salvation of those who believe on Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-17 (ASV) 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
17 For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.
We have everlasting life in fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – beginning the moment we believe.
Romans 6:11 (AMP) 11 Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
Who could ask for more!
But ask we do, do we not?
We ask for things that we do not need. We ask for things that are just thinly disguised manipulations to obtain selfish cravings.
Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB) 9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'”
I could continue but you already know what I am talking about, don’t you? Sure you do. The question is why? Why do we continue to do the things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things we desire to do?
The apostle Paul said as much himself.
Here is a man who followed Christ with perseverance difficult to comprehend from the vantage point of 21st century Western Christianity. He even wrote about 2/3’s of the New Testament.
He was a man like we are.
Flesh and blood.
Subject to every temptation that we are subject to but just a man – like us – not God.
He struggled with temptation.
Occasionally, he succumbed to it. He grieved over it but confessed it and went on his way – never looking back but looking ahead – in humble service to his Lord and Master.
Romans 7:19-20 (ASV) 19 For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practise. 20 But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me.
Jesus died for such as us. He came to serve and die for us because we could do nothing at all good enough to satisfy a righteous and holy God. To do so, we would have to be perfect.
Romans 3:10 (ASV) 10 “as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…”
That’s why God sent His Son. Because He is.
Mark 1:11 (NKJV) 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Please listen if you have quit going to church because of wrongs other Christians have done to you.
Please listen if you have been disillusioned by a pastor that has fallen to some temptation and let you down.
It is not a man that we follow but the living, triune God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Man is fallible, God is not.
You say, “I refuse to assemble together with such hypocrites!” God says, not to fail to assemble yourselves together. He didn’t say but do it in a sinless body of believers.
Hebrews 10:25 (AMP) 25 Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
There is no such thing as a sinless body of believers.
Anyone who says so or believes so – is living under self-delusion. The Bible says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The Apostle Paul, when speaking to the brothers and sisters in the church in Corinth that he was not pleased with them due to their sinful ways during the Lord’s Supper.
1 Corinthians 11:22 (ESV) 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
No, there is no perfect church on earth. There is no perfect body assembled in the worship of Almighty God.
There are only humans saved by grace because they believe upon God’s Son and what he accomplished on the cross, not because they are sinless.
There are only humans who are saved because of the ransom paid by Christ for the purpose of purchasing them from eternal damnation.
In order to justify leaving the local body you serve in because of the fall of one of your brothers and sisters in Christ, you would need to be sinless in order to cast the first stone at them.
Are you out of the fellowship with your church family because you feel there are hypocrites in it? You feel right. Some of them are.
That’s why you need to be in the body. To pray, reach out, and love them, not condemn them when disagreements happen. We don’t leave just because of problems.
Romans 14:1 (HCSB)
1 Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about doubtful issues.
Of course, it is frustrating when someone we love and/or look up to fails us. It is ok to be troubled by it. It is not ok to walk away and isolate. In fact, it is a sin. God says do not forsake the assembling of your selves together.
He said it for a reason.
When we assemble in imperfection but straining ahead – that is when we grow. That’s when we grow in Christ. We face problems rather than run away. We forgive as we were forgiven.
Philippians 1:27 (NKJV) 27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
You are a Christian.
You belong to Christ, not fallible man. Obey Him.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NASB77) 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NASB77) 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
Go to church this Sunday.
Until next time,
QUESTION: If you are a Christian, are you serving in a local church? Biblically speaking, should we serve in a local church?