AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH May 22, 2011

 

A Presbyterian Church following the Bible without Qualification
and the Lord Jesus Christ without Compromise by Faith     

 

Stand-by or Stand Up! ...    Part II    12 Deviations, One Devotion

Last Sunday, we began to look at erratic departures from biblical faith in Christ. It is faith and not a twitch of preference which is indispensable, the word of God and not philosophy which is to be revered. It is Christ as the living word of God, with no additives, for whom all must be forsaken (Luke 14:27ff.)., including all these mischievous mis-programmed distortions of Biblically required reality.

We come today to some more with the same admonition, DV next Sunday, we focus the right way more fully. We turn now directly to avoidance of what avoids Him, and clear continuation in commission from the most High in the ONLY NAME which gives access, that of Christ Jesus, undoctored, undiminished, undimmed, undeviatingly.  Next Sunday, DV, we shall complete this series. We have reached M, now ...

N) THE PORT-HOLE CHRISTIAN - Matthew 13:20-21. This is the SOME-TIME Christian in early stages. The word is still growing in the shallow soil; abroad, port-hole peeps on the kingdom of heaven are taken from the Self-Liner cruising along the coast. Stimulating it may be, but spiritual it is not. There is no consistency or growth (versus II Peter 3:18, 1:1-11).

O) THE SACRED LIFE CHRISTIAN - II Timothy 4:10. Demas has forsaken us, having loved this present world. For one's sacred life one must give worship, take liberties, follow one's desires, will, thoughts. For the real Christian however, it is the "MARK of the HIGH CALLING in Christ" to which one looks, not the petty putty of one's personal predilections. Do you "hate your own life also" as prescribed then ? (Luke 14:26) and are you aware that those who are Christ's

You will notice that it is accomplished. Warfare may remain, but the victory is Christ's (Galatians 5:16-24) with the outcome noted in verse 24, and lived as in Galatians 2:20, where Paul exclaims:

What is SACRED here ? It is CHRIST. What SHOULD BE made holy ? ... we who are Christians. It is we who should be ... wholly consecrated to God, the living God (cf. Romans 12:1): not to imaginations about religion - or ourselves. Desire to save your life ? Lose it! Lose it for HIS sake ? you'll save it (Mark 8:35, Romans 12:1-2).

P) THE LIBERAL CHRISTIAN: Mark 8:38, John 12:48ff., 5:43-48, Matthew 5:19-23. These people would re-write the Bible at their taste and discretion. This word of God however will JUDGE THEM. Interfering with the manufacturer's handbook will not change the way you must treat your car. (See The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Chs.1, 10 and Appendices C, D.)

Q) THE RADICAL CHRISTIAN - See II Corinthians 11:4.

Put Christ on the mantel-piece, "your" christ whom you mould, along with your other idols. It could be your personal creation, that of some sect, corresponding to the "Mary" delusively created by Rome.

It is however "the Lord's Christ" - Luke 2:38, who is Jehovah in the flesh (John 8:58). HE ALONE saves (Isaiah 43:10-12, Acts 4:10-12). And as to Him, He saves ALTOGETHER (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 5:8-10, John 10:9,l 27-28, I John 5:12-13, John 4:14, 6:51-54). Other 'christs' are man-manufactured apprentices whose status compared with Jesus Christ, the Lord, zooms towards the sub-infantile (Isaiah 28:5, 9-11, 29:13-14); for man is infinitely below God, and created gods are mere flamboyant derogation of God (Isaiah 41:21-24, 43:8-11, 45:21-24, 48:3-7, II Corinthians 11). Debased, they debar.

Much Pentecostalism comes here, creating counter-commandment concepts with a "liberty" that has no licence from God (Isaiah 28:9-11, 29:13-14 & see A Question of Gifts); and we think of Eliphaz in Job 4:13-8:

So spiritual! But he STILL went on to make shallow judgments on Job: and had to be prayed for by this saint, at the end, that he might be forgiven! Dreams, visions, feelings, frenzies and spiritual perceptions are added to the word of God as basic to life: folly, even if no personal pride is added.

God may guide in any way of course, but HIS WORD has no additions: NONE!

If however it is to be moulded for ecumenical convenience, as when a Buddha with papal authority was placed by the Dalai Lama on the altar in St Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Assisi Italy (October 27, 1986 ... cf. Psalm 96:5, Galatians 1:6-9, Isaiah 43:10-14 48:4-8), for example, officially set on the place of masses where a movable christ' is carted about at will: then you have a double defilement.

Hybrid Christians ? These merely acquire deformities and defile with defamations, the name of Jesus Christ. (Cf. II Corinthians 11:1-15.) (See SMR, pp. 1008-1088H, 743-744, 750B-E, 864ff., 953ff., 842ff.)

R) THE SUPERBLY-SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN. Some resemblance to 0)... but see Luke 18:10. THIS person is too spiritual to condescend to the ordinary folk, yet is very thankful not for sins forgiven but for being superior (cf. John 8:37-45). Yet, said Christ, the rank sinner whom he despised, who cried -

S) THE BALANCING ACT CHRISTIAN. See II Corinthians 1:19-20, Proverbs 8:8. BUT!, says one, I ALSO read this, so I shall not need to do that! I will do only the part of the word which appeals to me, which seems suitable, attainable. Why try for the impossible; and anyway, I do not see how ... if I do this, I CAN also do that! The word of God however is neither twisted nor in default; if it says it, the only wise course is to do it (Proverbs 1:33, 2:10, 9:10, 13:13, 21:16, 22:17, 28:7-9, 30:5-6).

T) THE "WHO-ME?" CHRISTIAN. See Hosea 7:10,16. This one is guaranteed absent when it counts, certain to avoid suffering, not to be seen in the godly works of construction, while compromising the while with rebels... where? In the sleazy slums of unspirituality.

U) THE BURROW-FURROW RABBIT CHRISTIAN ... burrows in the word, but runs in the fields with a white flag behind, when confronted (Isaiah 59:14, Jer. 9:1-6, Ezekiel 33:32, John 6:58-66).

V) THE CIRCULAR CHRISTIAN - Psalm 95:6-10, Jonah...

Here the problem is that a conscious desire to serve God may be present, but in the way, the flesh speaks with languorous tones that sentimentally may sound a little like sanctity (Galatians 5:17ff., II Corinthians 11). The individual prays, pleases him/herself, and prays without Biblical faith so erring; and then for the error, very probably pays. It should be the Lord says, I pray and HE is pleased.

W) THE NOT-BEGUN CHRISTIAN - see I Corinthians 10:1-12. He has no fear of God though he may have terror of trifling. The "clean" fear of God is replaced by the trepidation and consternation of uncertain troubles and vague perils. Think of the Jews failing to ... enter the promised land (Numbers 14) - with GOD WITH THEM!
It is a case of SHRINKING FROM REALITY, a pitiable plight that forsakes the divine pity in self-indulgence and pre-occupation. As Jeremiah 2:13 has it :
"For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns that can hold no water."'

         X) THE CRANIAL CHRISTIAN and the Danielic Depth-

 

         Superficial virtuosity can lead some into professorial chairs where their foolish faithlessness becomes a curse to the church which should never have called them; a trap to the local congregation, perhaps blinded by verbal facility.

 

         Knowing all 'the answers', few of the questions, those afflicted with this disease are likely to fall for, or become part of the Corinthian syndrome of II Corinthians11 where Paul rebuked the Church for its terrible tendency to accept ANYTHING from usurpers such as those who would bring in a "new Jesus" or "another Jesus", "another Gospel" with "another Spirit". Such appears the way of much twentieth century churchianity (see The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, pp. 864, 904ff.; 743-744,750A-E).

 

         Pressing consequences include:

         disloyalty, treachery, betrayal of the faith once delivered,

         plausible combination with

         the exotic, despotic, erotic or theologically neurotic,

         clamour, spiritual mutation,

         restlessness and a diffuseness resulting from spiritual cataracts.

         Nil-faith nostrums abound and philosophy protrudes like bulging eyes.

 

         This pathetic pathology is to be carefully distinguished from Danielic Depth, where in long humiliation before the Lord (Daniel 10), a Christian learns to 'eat meat' (I Cor. 3:1-3, Hebrews 6:1-3, Galatians 6:14) and to help in its provision for others. Thus Daniel was noted for being enabled in the area of "an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles and explaining enigmas" - Daniel 5:12 - cf. Ephesians 1:17-19 ("the eyes of your understanding being enlightened"). The spirit and the understanding in reality GO TOGETHER, each bowed before and lifted up by the hand of the Lord (Isaiah 66:2).

 

         Y) THE DOMINANT CHRISTIAN or the Encouraging Servant of Christ - Matthew 18:1-5, 20:20-28, Mark 9:33-37. Recall also the express case of much unappreciated Diotrephes (III John 9-10), one of whom it was said: "who loves to have the pre-eminence among them" and "does not receive us".


Glory appears so to have tainted his wings that he found an apostle unacceptable. Many nowadays would not say, admit or even perhaps conceive this to be their fault, but to lead is one thing, to shove another; and to push preconceived ideas is as far different from exhorting to righteousness which may indeed be done with passion, that the one may lead to anti-apostolic glamour and the other to a return to the faith.

 

         Health and happiness in Jesus Christ acknowledges ONLY God as Lord, and it is HE who is the LORD Jesus Christ who said, "Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and not do the things that I say!" - Luke 6:46. With "leadership" of a carnal, worldly, self-important type, agreements can be broken, the covenant of Christ can be slighted and a head-full of exalted rubbish can replace the fact that even Christ did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). The Gentiles, said Christ, love to domineer, "yet it shall not be so among you" (Matthew 20:25-26).

 

         To help, exhort Biblically, share vision of service, encourage in the right walk, supervise affairs with zeal and personal modesty, this is the right side of the dominance which so appeals to the peoples, as Jesus indicated, and the apostle John showed. How sad that diseases of the spirit can foil the wonders of teamwork of the faithful; but the facts are plain and the way must be chosen so that neither is the stimulus of supervisory saintliness lost nor is the dominance of carnal presumption gained.

 

THUS

 

         Weak pushings and wavering promptings fail: in the Lord be STRONG then in the power of His might, and let not the corrosive capture faith or domination rule sanctity. Be godly and of good courage and heart, and in the Lord you have abundant grace.