Becoming a better Christian and other such nonsense

Katkeh --- HBW! by Lacejoy

Did you hear a good sermon today?

Did the preacher tell you how to make your life work a bit better today?

Did you get some good biblical principles on how to be a better husband, or wife, or how to be a more spiritual and committed  Christian?

Did they tell you what you can do in your community to be a better citizen, a more caring human being?

If you received some preaching along those lines today, then you were fed a portion of  horse dung.  

Those things might be a problem in your life and maybe you do need to work on some of those things that you might have a better life, but what do those things have to do with faith in Christ?  Absolutely nothing.  You can get good advice on how to better yourself just about everywhere these days.

Those things (things that we ‘do’) are law things. The law will save no one. The law always accuses us. It’s demand is a perfect demand, to be fulfilled perfectly by the doer in every instance… and it doesn’t mean tomorrow…but right NOW.

If you heard those things at church today, you are in a place where there is NO GOSPEL. Just law. The law trumps the gospel in a place like that. They might know exactly what the gospel is, and they might even give you the gospel, but if they preached those things to you so that you might become better…then, while you weren’t looking, they ripped the gospel away from you and replaced it with horse dung wrapped in colored foil paper with a curly ribbon.

Those things are law things. There is no life in law things. Things that demand. No life. Yes, maybe in the short term you will see improvement. But in the long run, only death will result from a diet of law.  St. Paul himself referred to the 10 Commandments as “the ministry of death”.  And law things are NOT ONLY the 10 Commandments, but every single demand that your existence places upon you. All of it is law. God’s law.

So, if you want to be a big fan of Moses and the Law, in order that you might progress higher and higher up the Christian ladder of obedience and spirituality…I wish you a lot of luck. You will need it. In the end, you’ll only become despairing of your Christian life, or you will become prideful in it. And then, you are in BIG Trouble, with a capital ‘T’.

You need to have the law DONE TO YOU. Not to make you better…but asserted in it’s full force of perfection (the way Jesus did in the Sermon on the Mount) in order to kill you off to any idea that you can handle it, or tame the law to make it work for you. You cannot. No one can. “No one will be justified in the sight of the law.” And when you have been sufficiently cut off at the knees by that Word of law, then the gospel should be handed over to you freely. Completely. Devoid of any little thing that you must do in order for it to be effective in your life. “Come forth Lazarus!”  He will raise you. He will breathe new life into your lifeless corpse. He will open up the future for you, yet again, where you were once hopeless. When you go to church, you need to know how to listen for the law, and then the gospel. That is your job in all of this. Don’t be hoodwinked by the new Moses who comes dressesd up as Jesus, while fomenting death. There is only one Jesus and He came, He comes, to free you from the bonds of death, and to give you what only He can…new life, forgiveness, and salvation in Him.

 

Here’s today’s sermon from where I got the inspiration for this post:

   click here >  Christian Transcendence nonsense

(If you are used to having the carrot dangled in front of you each week at church, then you probably won’t care for this sermon which puts all of that baloney to death…and gives you what you really need… which is all the more reason why you should hear it)

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Thanks to flickr and Lacejoy for the photo.

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18 Responses

  1. Amen, and amen! Good stuff!

  2. Thank you, Alden!

  3. Thank you, Richard!

    I appreciate you stopping by!

  4. No amen or thank you from me.
    No I didn’t hear a sermon (Bible lecture) this Sunday. There is nothing in the Bible that requires a hired expert to spoon feed the Bible to me or any other believer. Sermonizing is a crock made up by sincere men who could not trust God to do what He says He will do when we do what we are supposed to do – “spur one another on to love and good works”; “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another”; “… be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs…”. This is what I do on Sunday. I’ve heard more than 1000 bible lectures and I don’t need an other one. “Preach the word, in season and out of season…” does not mean lecture the Word, no questions, no additions, no objections, no participation, no nothing from you stupid lay folk who work secular jobs. That is what happens when we sit in the pew each Sunday morning. We also consume 75 – 85% of our “giving” when we expect this one-way communication oriented set up. Now we are poolers, not givers. Now it is more important for us wealthy Americans to hear a weekly professionally prepared Bible lecture, then to send someone with the good news to millions around the world who have no one to tell them within 2 days journey. This is horrrrendous!

    Paul taught the “right to be paid” and he also taught “refusing the right to be paid”. Acts 20, 1 Cor. 9 (the whole chapter), and 2 Thes. 3. It is time for God’s people to learn God’s design for building up the saints to the full stature of Christ.

    Are you a believer who’s faith will fail unless you hear a professional Bible lecture every week of your life until the day you die? A yes is the answer for that question to the typical pew sitter. That is proof they are not being “equipped to do the work of the ministry” by their alleged “pastor teacher”.

  5. There is no biblical requirement one way or the other for preachers of Word to be paid, or not.

    In our congregation we feel so strongly about the Word that we want someone to be a steward of that Word (and Sacrament) full time, and we are willing to pay for that privelage.

    I guess we are blessed to be able to afford to pay our minister of the Word. i wish we could pay him more!

    Thanks, Tim!

  6. “There is no biblical requirement…” There doesn’t need to be. Apostolic example with the reasons given added to kingdom stewardship thinking should be enough. Much of what we do as maturing Christians goes far beyond only doing what is “specifically required”. The requirement to “love God” and “love one another” puts us in this dimension.

    I would suggest your “love for the Word” go far beyond your feelings that you need a hired man to deliver it to you each week. Luke 6:40 and 2 Tim. 2:2 tells us that a teacher reproduces himself into his students. Needing to be taught your whole life and never coming to the point of “being like” your teacher and being “fully trained” says the teacher is not teaching and the students are not learning. This reality may be hard to swallow when perpetual dependency is all you have ever known. If we are willing to walk by faith we will move into areas we have not seen, simply because revelation calls us there. Your teacher will probably never suggest that you grow to do what he does. It’s his livelihood. It’s deeply cemented tradition. You may be perfectly happy sitting in the pew every week till the day you die, but you will not be “a man of God complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. 2 Tim. 3:17. God calls you to go there. Will you look into the scripture I have given you? I hope you are able to receive truth from a brother who works a sacred job in the marketplace. You need to be a Berean, “more noble” about your faith and daily examine what you are told with the scripture to see if it’s true. Acts 17:11

  7. Tim,

    You seem to be really hung up on this “paid man” thing, and “sitting in pews”.

    If you don’t want to do those things that is great.

    If others want to, that is their right to do so.

    “You need to…”

    You don’t have a clue about what ‘I need’.

    I suggest you just take care of yourself.

    Thank you.

    Bye-bye!

  8. Steve,
    Excellent post. I especially like your advice, ” When you go to church, you need to know how to listen for the law, and then the gospel.” Amen.

    As long as we are sinners, though redeemed we yet have need of the nourishment of the gospel. The apostle Peter (apparently a paid minister – 1Cor. 9:3-9) years after Pentecost found himself in Galatia and yet faltering in regards to law and gospel and in need of some refreshment. Paul confronts him and delivers a mini-sermon that hammers home Gospel 101: “…yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we [Jews] believed on Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law: because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Gal. 2:16)

    As fallen humans our default response is too often to live by law and to give law. In this church age no one outgrows that struggle and thus the need to be fed of the gratuitous grace of God that is the righteousness of faith in Christ Jesus which Paul refers to as “my gospel.” And the ministry of that gospel is critically central to the ministry of the church to the redeemed and unredeemed.

    cheers and thanks for the refresher,
    Jack

  9. “As fallen humans our default response is too often to live by law and to give law. In this church age no one outgrows that struggle and thus the need to be fed of the gratuitous grace of God that is the righteousness of faith in Christ Jesus which Paul refers to as “my gospel.””

    Thank you, Jack!

    Very well said, my friend.

    We appreciate you stopping by and contributing.

    – Steve

  10. “You seem to be really hung up on this “paid man” thing, and “sitting in pews”.

    And with good reason. Your inability to see how these man made traditions nullify God’s very specific instructions show how you filter your intake of God’s Word. Tradition is trumping truth. I used to be in this fog. Not any more.

    “If you don’t want to do those things that is great.
    If others want to, that is their right to do so.”

    If you consider yourself a servant of God, your only rights are what He has given you. One-way communication, spectator oriented, non-reproductive teaching is not a right given by God. Maybe you have a scripture you can share with me on your assumed “rights” in this.

    “You need to…”
    You don’t have a clue about what ‘I need’.
    I suggest you just take care of yourself.

    With this in your mind, you are clearly clueless on what God has said our mutual relationhsip is. Just to start off, we are “members of one another”. We are supernaturally, connected for eternity. This is part of our spiritual identity. This is a connection that Jesus has made for us. You write as if you are ignorant of this.

  11. OK, Tim.

    You have all the answers, and we (and the VAST majority of Christians in the world) are just plain ignoramuses.

    I think we’ll stick with what we are doing, and leave all the brilliant new ideas to you.

    I hope it all works out well for you.

  12. “You have all the answers, and we (and the VAST majority of Christians in the world) are just plain ignoramuses.”

    If the number of people doing something vs. not doing something had ANY real merit to it, had ANY substance before God, then I would join you. God’s Word on the issue is ALL that matters. The scripture I have shared appears to be meaningless to you since you do not respond to it at all in your replies. All your thinking on this is completely outside of God’s Word, even though you claim to value it highly.

    “I think we’ll stick with what we are doing, and leave all the brilliant new ideas to you.”

    An example of scoffing at God’s Word on what believers should do when they meet and the purpose of teaching.

    “I hope it all works out well for you.”

    Obeying God’s Word ALWAYS works out well. Substituting man’s ideas for God’s will give you pleasure for a season but that is all. Choose your investments as you wish. It appears to me the “old adam” is ruling this part of your life. You have demonstrated your desire to be in the saddle. Jesus paid to get you out of it, but you can stay in it. I’m only a messenger. I can’t establish what cost you will pay.

  13. Well, Tim, what cost will you pay for not trusting in the cross of Christ, alone, and instead think that you are gaining something from your supposed obedience. Which is NOT really obedience because while you might talk a good game, God knows all your thoughts, what you did last week and the week before that. All the things that you could have done…but did not do.

    What will all of that cost you, Tim?

  14. “Well, Tim, what cost will you pay for not trusting in the cross of Christ, alone, and instead think that you are gaining something from your supposed obedience. ”

    Another sad refusal acknowledge God’s specific instructions for His redeemed people so they may reproduce rather than be perpetually dependent, lazy in the Word, and forgetful hearers rather than doers of the Word. So you question my salvation? You think I am trying to earn my way to heaven? Based on your previous refusal to address God’s Word directly I’ll leave you wondering whether I am dressed in the righteousness of Christ or not.

    So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

    Do you think Christ cares little about how we obey Him and bring pleasure to Him by what we have done in our bodies? What are we “due” for our obedience? I don’t know exactly but I bet it’s worth much more than whatever is gained from men’s traditions that oppose God’s Word.

  15. That is great, Tim.

    How is your obedience project going?

  16. this is the best post I’ve read in a while – I don’t think we realize how we’ve been taken over by the should-be’s and the you need to tighten up your act message.

  17. Charlie,

    Thanks my friend.

    Yep. That stuff is everywhere.

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