Thursday, May 17, 2007

Articulating The Faith

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

This is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible simply because it puts in essence the Christian worldview that all who desire to live godly should adhere to. It is somewhat of a reflection of what Paul states in Galations.

Galations 5:22
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

This for me is incredibly convicting because I have fell short in many of these areas as I am sure many of you have as well. These attributes come through trial and tribulation to say the least. When we begin to follow Christ in our infant stages it is so important to have someone who is stronger in the faith to train you up according to the scriptures.

1 Corinthians 3

1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal.

When we first make a conscience decision to follow Christ we are coming from death to life as the scriptures tell us. In this process we do not instantly come to the full knowledge of Christ. If you are under good teaching you may get the basic understanding of what you are partaking in but the Bible is a weighty and it will take you time to come to a full understanding as far as the details of what this is all about. A lot of times in churches pastors ask people to come down the aisle and make a commitment based on an emotional high. They stand before the congregation and are led to believe that Christianity is all about what you can get from God versus what the Bible teaches. We become a slave to righteousness and we are no longer our own. In actuality we were slaves to sin, our own selfish desires, and children of satan.

I witnessed something this weekend that was extraordinary in the church I have been visiting. I think I have a better understanding of why Christianity typically has become so shallow in this country. Mainly because their is 1) No discipleship 2) Not making people articulate what they claim to believe. I have a good friend Lionel who's link you can see on my list, he was talking to me about discipleship and the more and more I think about it he was 100% right. Discipleship is lacking in he body of Christ. The great commission in Matthew 28 has not changed even though we are about 2000 years past that great command to all believers. It is our duty to win the lost in this wicked world. How many people since you have been saved have you taken under your wing and shown them the way since you have matured and you can obviously see they are babes in Christ? I fall under this conviction as well. I have made it a personal point of mine to do this by making myself available to those who God has enabled to respond to the Faith. This is an act of obedience according to scripture. You see the closer you get to the Lord the more He will reveal to you through His Word.

Secondly, being able to articulate the Faith. In church Sunday I was literally amazed beyond any comprehensible verbal articulation. I am a pretty composed person so I am sure no one could tell. I saw something that I had never seen in my entire life. Either I have been living in a box or have just been in some really bad churches. Pastor Steve and his lovely wife gave their testimonies which were great, but they are adults, I would expect a great testimony from them-no brainer. The amazing aspect was two of the daughters. One was the pastors daughter and the other was an elders daughter 14 and 15 in age. No exaggeration here, but they could articulate their faith better than the majority of adults I know-without a doubt. These babies in the Faith had to write papers of how they came to Faith. They had convictions about what we as a culture would consider small sins, cheating? Sin is sin to God, but I found out that what I would consider as a small thing; actually enormous in the eyes of a Holy & Righteous God. That is amazing. God's Word is powerful enough to convince a child and the adult alike.You see we have failed to make people thoroughly examine what they are getting in to. In that we have imposter's going around saying they are Christians and are not.

Christianity is not about what you know intellectually but about who you know and your total dependency in what He did for you. Just that simple. It does not stop there,but after you realize that-it should be natural to chase Him vigorously. He is our Savior-Jesus the Christ.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it--