Thursday, June 04, 2009

For His Name (with audio)


…to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name…
(Romans 1:5 – ESV)

It is all about Jesus – anything that has as its focus something other than the person of Jesus Christ, His atoning work, and our becoming like Him is not from God. No matter how right it may seem, and how much it sounds like the real thing or how much it talks of Jesus, if the primary focus is something else, it is a distraction, which leads to diversion, and ultimately to deception. No work you do for God that comes from your own power will survive the judgment seat of Christ and anything good but not for him is of no eternal worth either.

This includes partnering with non-Christians of other faiths for “the common good”. The common purpose may seem right, however, it is not done for the name of Christ but for the good of men. It is certainly right and good to help hurting people, of course, but there are limits. The church is not to be a “partner” with government and business to help eradicate society’s ills; that is the old social gospel of the early twentieth century. When an effort places the gospel as being secondary in importance to other needs, even if they are real and epidemic it is wrong. The most important thing is a person’s soul, and to set the gospel aside in order to work with non-believers is to deny Christ. A watered down gospel is no gospel at all. We may work with them for noble purposes, yes, but if it means that we have to silence our voice about the gospel then no, no matter how pressing the need.

The true gospel offends people. It reminds us that we are fallen creatures in bondage to sin and on our way to hell apart from God and His offer of salvation in Christ. It reminds us not to expect popularity in the world when we are true to His Word. Instead we are called to follow His narrow, difficult road, no matter what the cost.

Look at what Jesus said in John 15:18-21 – If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

In contrast to this, deeds done in the name of humanity will win the world's approval. So will a gospel cleansed of offensive truth, and focused on man's worth rather than God's righteousness.

The gospel cannot be partnered with the world – 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV) – For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. You are an offensive smell to either God or the world; you cannot be a pleasing aroma to both. For His name, choose the sweet odor of death to self and life to God.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This is taken from a previous post from 12-26-06, but now includes the audio, which has additional material in it...we will be doing this with many of our older posts, so that they can have the audio attached to them...hope these are edifying and enjoyable for you...God bless...

...and don't be afraid to leave a comment if you haven't listened to the audio...the posts can stand on their own, too...