…and that something else is your seriousness, your efforts, your decision, your good works, yada, yada, yada.
The Roman Church believes in the real presence but they are into the aforementioned pious activities, as well.
That’s their problem.
They believe in more than Christ alone, too.
So much of Christianity does. Lutheranism, the type that Luther espoused, rests in Christ and Him alone. This is radical. Even many Lutherans today do not accept it. There is often the call for a bit of the self in the equation. It might just be one little bit, but that is one little bit too much. You might as well tell Jesus to scoot over a smidgen and make some room on that cross for you.
What then do you end up with? ‘The God project’…that’s what.
You end up with people who look down their noses at real sinners. People who are just a little better than everyone else. You end up with people in churches who walk alike, who talk alike, who carry similar looking bibles with similarly highlighted passages that place the onus back on the sinner. You get people who place the believer at the center and curve everything back in on him/her. You get people who are just playing a ‘religious game’. You get phonies.
You get Roman Catholicism dressed up in Baptist (non-demon) garb. The pure sweet gospel of the forgiveness of sins and the total justification and sanctification of the sinner for the sake of Jesus Christ, just goes away. And now it all revolves around you. It’s sickening really. It’s a trick of the devil. It’s antithetic to everything the gospel is.
There’s no humility in that kind of a theology. There’s no ongoing repentance there.There’s no freedom there. There’s only the theology of glory. Becoming a better Christian becomes the goal. What does that mean? It’s now all about YOU…that’s what that means. You know all the right Christian words, but in reality you have become a Jew. You are living under the law, not under grace.
One cannot become a better Christian than he/she is at the moment that they were baptized. (Baptized by God, by water and the Word) Please, save the baptism of the Spirit talk…that’s what water Baptism IS!!!
I know that talk like this drives many of you crazy. You hate it when people place everything upon the Lord. “We’ll, we just can’t live anyway we want!” As if you don’t anyway. How often do you really break free from your comfort zone? How often do you really think of the neighbor, before yourself? If you’re anything at all like me, and I suspect that you are…the answer is ‘not too often’.
I would like some of you out there to put your emotions aside for a moment, and think about what I have said. Are you resting in Him? Or are you engaged in a bit of the God project yourself? I do (engage in it) from time to time when I’m at my worst. But I once again return to my Baptism, I receive Body and Blood of our Dear Lord, I hear the Word of the Law which puts an end to me, and I am once again led to repentance and new life in the hearing of His promises.
Am I better than you? Are Lutherans better than you? Come on…you know me better than that. We aren’t better… but we know who and what we are. We know what our deeds, our seriousness, our decisions account for…not much… when it comes to the life of faith in our Dear Lord Jesus.
I hope you will take this as I intend it for you.
I intend it only as food for thought, that you might place the emphasis in your Christian life on the Lord and take the emphasis off of yourself, where it does not belong.
Then, in the freedom that flows from a greater trust in Christ Jesus, go and live in that freedom to the benefit of others and a more secure understanding of what it means to be one of His own, one of His adopted children, who do not need to perform at a certain level of faithfulness in order to remain in the family.
Please feel free to take issue with me.
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