Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus- Thoughts? Critically think about everything he says, then let me know if it really lives up to its hype.
What Church Should Be.
The American church spend millions upon millions of dollars on our “churches”. Are we wrong? Is the American Church biblical? I really want to hear your opinions on this. Lets have a God glorifying discussion, folks. Please, comment with your thoughts, and interact with each other.
It is difficult to bring together in a few paragraphs these ideas: grace, love, and courage. Character traits and emotions are complicated and multifaceted, making them almost impossible to concretely define. Through life they appear and reappear, often with different faces. Not bad faces, just different. Sometimes grace is accepting; sometimes it is enabling. Sometimes love is gentle; sometimes it is harsh. Sometimes courage is quiet strength; sometimes it is boldly stepping out. There is a time and season for everything. Often, in my short 22 years, I have found all three walk hand-in-hand. They are connected and intertwined, often influencing each other. The blurred boundaries make separation impossible.
Grace. I have often heard of it, experienced it, and given it. It is the frequent cry of the guilty. It is what a sinner clings to. It is accepting. Grace is the saving favor in which we have no merit. But it is also sufficient in the sinner’s life to produce obedience. It is enabling.
Love. A most frequently used term. It is a Mother’s affectionate touch. It is a soft and patient voice. It is gentle. Love is the unconditional, immutable power by which God made a way for forgiveness. But it is also the same Father’s firm rebuke. It is harsh.
Courage. I will always think of it in To Kill a Mockingbird. It is doing the right thing, all odds against, with no promise of success. Courage is day by day committing to truth. It is quiet strength. But it is also facing the giants of evil. It is a man submitting to His Father’s will, in full knowledge of what He would bear. It is boldly stepping out.
For the Christian, all three are vital in battling sin. I thank God daily that His grace in my life has saved me from what I was, but also that it is making me what I ought to be. It has accepted me, and now it is enabling me. His love comforts me and has forgiven my sins, but it also is the continual correction for the sin that remains. It is gentle in its forgiveness, but harsh in its rebuke. Lastly, courage. Atticus Finch said, “courage is… when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” We may fight daily battles; we may lose. But we fight anyway. The difference between Atticus and the Christian however, is that though we may tally small loses, we know the greatest victory has already been won. We stand firm everyday, even when feeling we have already lost, and take heart in Christ’s infinite victory. The Christian holds with quiet strength, when tempted to despair at sin, to the bold stepping out of our Savior.
Sin will not go softly. It will fight and cling to its host like cancer in a struggling body. But it will fight in vain. Grace, love and courage did not end with the crucifixion but were resurrected with Christ. Victory has been attained. Do not grow weary in battling sin, for we have been promised that it was “licked” before it began. God has and will continue to save me from myself, He will redeem what is His.
“Through all I’ve experienced these last two years, I have become persuaded of and am confident in this: GOD WINS!… He wins because He heals a sinner from her sin-sickness and removes every last vestige of selfishness and ugliness from her soul. God wins not because He takes away what is hard in our life —Oh, He will one day cure us of these sufferings and restore our losses, but I tell you that God wins, because in Christ, He is saving you from yourself. ” -Jennifer Uwarow
— Knowledge of the Holy - A.W. Tozer
“Be very courageous to do what the Lord Jesus bids you in all things, and let men judge you to be an idiot if they will, you shall be one of the Lord’s champions, a true knight of the cross.” | C.H. Spurgeon
May grace abound. That is my prayer. Because, in the face of abounding failure, it is my only hope. However, I do not pray that grace would only cover my sins. I pray it would increase so that I may obey, ensuing less sins to be covered. The result of my reflections, upheld by the crutches of scripture, and theologians, are the implications of grace. Many understand salvation as the finish line. But it is the starter pistol of the Christian life.
We cannot use grace to squash holiness; Jesus cannot be our savior, but not our Lord (JFK Mensah). Love for the Son, fosters obedience to the Father. Grace inherently necessitates obedience. Titus 2:11-14:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Grace has freed us to obey. It cannot be used to excuse holiness, it is used to advance it. Too often I have heard of the imperfections of the human condition, and not often enough do I hear of the power of God.
“we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5)
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Tim. 1:7)
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. ” (Rom. 6:17-18)
If we love God we will obey him. If we want to obey him, we will earnestly plead for sanctification, and we will be sanctified. Would not satisfaction with our state of holiness indicate being at ease with sin, because certainly we are not perfect? Certainly we do sin, everyday. But to be content with that sin (and do not be naive enough to deny that we are all content with our sin at times, especially the “little” sins) is to do an injustice to the accomplishments of Christ, the gift of the Spirit, and the image and glory of God.
Becoming Christlike means becoming more human; human in the way God intended. We return to our original design, and in doing so bring glory to God. Salvation is not merely the quantity of our life, but the quality in which we live it. The quality of our obedience must be more profound than gross actions of righteousness, but fine movements that are are easily and often overlooked as modest error.
“Here is an honest man. Do people say of him, ‘He is such an honest man that he would not steal a horse?’ No, that would not prove him to be very honest; but they say, ‘He would not even take a pin that did not belong to him.’”…“‘We must live, you know,’ said a money-loving shopkeeper, as his excuse for doing what he could not otherwise defend. ‘Yes, but we must die,’ was the reply, ‘and therefore we must do no such thing.’ There is no particular necessity for any of us living. We are probably better dead, if we cannot live without doing wrong.” - C.H. Spurgeon
Obedience lies in the exactness of our actions. We do not deem the floor clean if the majority of it has been mopped, we pronounce it clean when every corner has been scrubbed. In the same way, we are not obedient if only in the large things, we are obedient when we take care to align even the most minute actions with the will of God.
Please, do not mistake me. Understand my audience and intent. I am merely pointing out that we are too apt to fall on grace rather than stand by it. I am not saying we can be perfect if we just try hard enough. I am not saying that we should not struggle. Thank God that Christ’s death covered even our tiniest sin, and thank God that his righteous life is imputed to us in every way! However, I am saying, that we are too comfortable. That, maybe, we do not think as often as we should on the little things. I am writing to the Christian ( as much as I am writing to myself) that fails to see every implication of grace. We must not only enjoy the peace in it, but live by the power in it as well. The cross is more victorious than we give it credit.
“The genuine christian will every now and then have to put his foot down, and say, ‘No I cannot, and I will not be mixed up with such a thing as that,’ and will have to say this to his master, to his father, to his friend, whose respect he desires to gain, and who may be of the greatest possible assistance to him in life. But if it be your duty, my dear brother and sister, thus to do the right, do it if the skies fall. Do it if poverty should stare you in the face. Do it if you should be turned into the streets tomorrow. You shall never be a loser by God in the long run; and if you have to suffer for righteousness’ sake, blessed are you!”C.H. Spurgeon
— C.H. Spurgeon
For those of you who follow Solus Christus, I have a request. I am currently starting up a new blog (a little different than this one). It is a year long project, where I challenge myself to write everyday, and post every couple days. Many of you have shown support for this blog, and I can not thank you enough. If you could follow my new blog as well, it would mean the world. It is linked to a “blogger” account, and the posts are streamed in as links, and I will occasionally re-post the text on Tumblr as well. Blogger allows for a wider range of followers and tracks all the hits on my site. So, if you could help me out I’d really appreciate it. If you just want to follow my current blog only, I pray that it will continually be an encouragement and glorifying to God. Thanks Tumblr pals!
Asked by samlin
Thank you so much for the encouragement. It is truly a blessing to know that it is read, and it is blessing others!