We may belong to one of the many assemblies of Christians who claim to be ‘bible believing’ people. We pride ourself in our knowledge of doctrines, statement of faith, the mechanics of the ‘new testament’ assembly practices.
But you don’t have to look too hard to realize that we are nothing like the new testament assemblies in their work of faith, labour of love, and patience of hope.
We may share the principles and practices of the new testament churches, like the plurality of elders, priesthood of all believers, non solicitation of funds, headship, head covering, etc.,
But we lack the power of the new testament church.
The Lord Jesus rebuked the Jews in Jn 5:39 by bringing out the fact that they thought that the scriptures give them life. What the Lord meant was that they thought that the mere possession of the scriptures gives life, which was wrong. We should not fall into the same mistake by thinking that just because we understand the bible, and we’ve got the new testament principles figured out, we can be content. Having these will not give power to our lives.
What made the new testament believers powerful is not that that the could perform miracles and signs and wonders, it was the simple fact that they were living out their faith in God and Christ Jesus on a daily basis. This is what made people notice them and ask “for the reason of their hope”.
They lived daily by making pleasing the Lord the highest goal, loving one another the greatest command, and telling others about the Saviour the greatest commission. They endeavored to see issues the way God sees it and change their life accordingly.
They were not just bible believers, they were bible be-live-ers.
Today, nobody seems to ask the question, “can I enjoy dancing?”, “should Christians watch movies?”, “is rock music good?”, “can I date?”, “can I wear short skirts or short pants?”, “should i buy insurance?”, etc. So many Christians, while staying away from the ‘big sins’ (drugs, alcohol), happily embrace the more ‘subtle’ forms of pleasing fleshly living in the form entertainment and material indulgence (music, dance, hobbies, shopping).
We are not living out the standards of bible, even though we know it so well.
Now this does not mean that knowing the bible well is not good, it is the foundation on which we base our practical lives. It is the authority by which we judge if something is in agreement with Gods will. It is the source of our instruction and has all we need to equip us for fruitful and righteous living.
But it must be obeyed
And willing obedience is a result of love for Christ. “if ye love Me, obey my commands”.
If we would just return to our first love, the Lord Jesus, and live out our daily lives is faith, love and hope, making decisions with God’s delight as priority, our Christian testimony will make a difference in society, and church won’t feel like a just another social club.
A life that is yielded to the Spirit’s leading will be a vessel fit for Gods use.
2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work