Chances are pretty good that if you’ve attended a local fellowship for any significant amount of time, you’ve heard the grumbles of one of two contentions among the adherents:
1. There is either consistent attention on the fact that believers have compromised and adapted to the spirit of the age and therefore have become powerless to effect any real change in their communities.
Or the opposite:
2. That we need to stop the Christian-on-Christian bashing and recognize that the body is in need of healing just like anyone else and therefore needs to be nutured and not harshly criticized; admonished in love and not made to feel lesser.
When you consider the diverse dynamics of any congregation you’ll quickly notice that the truth is – the body needs both! We need more ministers of the Gospel (by which I mean – you and I) who walk in the humility of recognizing our own weakness and need for a Savior; have experientially received and are filled with the love of God who – more than a mere act of obedience – can then recognize, empathize, and have compassion for the hurting and therefore are *compelled* to reach out and be used as a vessel that brings healing to a broken world.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.
But we also must recognize that we are completely powerless to do so if we hope to do so on sheer emotional love alone with no knowledge or accurate understanding of the Word of God to minister to others with.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
For what separates the humanitarian, atheist, religious zealot, or monk – from doing good deeds like any Christian fellowship can do, except for the power and objective truth in the Gospel of our salvation?
The fact that we do good works ‘from’ having received salvation as a free gift from God, and not because we are trying like all the other religions of the world to ‘earn’ our salvation through our own efforts, should be central to our own understanding of the salvation found in the Gospel, our motivation, and then to what we preach to others.
Too often there’s a sense of Christian Pharisaicalism where we believe the grace of God was something earned by our flawless church attendance, or our ‘well mentioned’ giving to various causes/needs; by intellectual pride, or even by our church attire.
But even these examples are not mentioned to insult believers. Because at the heart of many shows of religious zeal I recognize that there is sometimes just an inner heart cry that’s screaming out ‘notice me,’ ‘validate me,’ ‘acknowledge me,’ and ‘love me.’
And we do love you!
For this reason every minister must continue to speak the truth, but their life and profession must be unified in step with the Holy Spirit so that it can clearly show forth that it is indeed sincerely driven by love.
And *that* is what *this* message is really a call for.
If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but do not have love,
I… am… nothing
1 Corinthians 13:2
Speak the Truth in Love
And Love, in Truth