vendredi 4 octobre 2013

The New Bible Deniers and Good Works (Up-Date)

Biblical Christianity is always under attack from without or from within. For the past 8 years or so, i have been focusing about the critics who came from outside Christianity. I read books they wrote or books that debunked their thesis. It was a fascinating thing to see how atheism could be neutralized and Islamic attacks be muted by experts on the subjects. While I was delving studiously through the attacks coming from outside Christianity, a revolt was forming within our ranks. It was not a reform but a rebellion of everything we considered sacred and orthodox.

It first appeared in a dressed up and inoffensive appearances, using similar biblical statements as the one we were used to read in the Scriptures. However, the emphasis were on the repetitive nagging nuances that made us uncomfortable however we chose to turn a blind eye to it thinking that it was just a mood of the day. It shall pass we thought. But we were wrong. It didn't pass. It became worst.

At first, it seemed to be a kind of revelation to some that we were Children of God. Then time passed, they were no longer satisfied by just being called Children of God. They wanted it to be emphasized. So they turned against the biblical word, 'Servant of God'. After all, why would anyone want to call himself a 'servant of God' if he has the opportunity to be called a 'Child of God'? These were nagging nuances at first. Then the mood became more emphatic. You now had to choose between either being a servant of God or a child of God. You can not be both we were now told. That is when we realized that the sloppy thinking was not simply inoffensive, but dangerous.

We know that the apostles never found it a contradiction to be called both Children of God and Servant of the Lord in their writings. It was not an either this or that. It was rather we are both this and that. Unfortunately this convergent view of both Servanthood and Childhood which are equally emphasized in the New Testament letters was lost to many. They now only wanted their non-biblical view of "either servant of the Lord or children of God" to be the only option on the table.

"But honestly who cares?" I thought to myself. Let them choose whatever they want to believe in about our spiritual identity. We will still serve the Lord while using different terminologies. No big deal. Right?

Wrong! I was wrong. You see, once you start depreciating a biblical truth, or favoring one scriptural revelation over the other, and start loosing a balanced view of the Scriptures, there is no way that you will stop there. It is like a drug. You will keep pushing the boundaries and think the more outrageous you are, the more spiritual you are. So some have started to measure their spirituality on this new metric. Who can bring a more daring beliefs? The more daring they were, the more they thought they were spiritual.

I was wrong to think that 'Servant of God' will be the end of it. Soon other point of views came to life. The denial of the existence of sin. The rejection of the practice of confession of sins once someone sinned. (Why would anyone want to confess if sin doesn't exist in the first place?) Then it was the essential doctrine of repentance that had to be butchered. Now we are told you should never repent from your sins. What about good works? They no longer care about its practice anymore. Actually some even think that doing a good work is totally impossible to Christians. And many-many and many more anomalous doctrines just started to spring forth. It was like witnessing a Championship in a Heretical competition. "Who will do better than me in distorting the scripture" attitude was now touted as the new spirituality. Those who excelled in biblical distortion was highly regarded as the group Guru.

Where is that happening? If you ever visit Central Africa - namely Rwanda and Burundi - don't jump the opportunity to meet those young minds. They now are part of our own 7 wonders of the Grand Lake Region.

You now know why they are in my target fire (See pics on top).

Let me now turn to the biblical teaching of Good Works.

St. Paul informed us that:
"For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 Darby

According to this scripture that follows the express emphasize that we are saved by grace and not by works, we are emphatically informed that we were created in Christ for good works. We were made anew in order to do and practice good works.  You can not claim to be of the Lord and indulge and enjoy living a life bereft of Good Works. Good works is the manifestation of who we have become in Christ.

Some Other Verses about Good Works.

I) "Faithful is the Word, and as to these things, I desire that you strongly affirm that THOSE BELIEVING GOD might be careful to maintain GOOD WORKS. These things are good and PROFITABLE to MEN." Titus 3:8

We learn in this scripture that a) this is a request made to Believers (those who believe God), b) We are reminded  that Good work is expected of Believers, c) These things have profit to man. Profit means benefit. Good Works benefit man. Good works do not directly profit God obviously, just like salvation does not profit God. It profits men obviously, since men are the one who benefit from it. However we know that it pleases God, even if it is not profitable to God but profitable to men.

They are other things that is not profitable to God but are beneficial to men, however they still please God:

II) "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the MAN OF GOD may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every GOOD WORK." 2Timothy 3:16-17

The Scripture also profit the Man of God for doctrines and the like in order to make him capable of Good Works. The purpose of the existence of the scripture is so that we could be able to do Good Work.

II) "who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS." Titus 2:14

Jesus saved us with the intention that we would be enthusiastic about good works as the International Standard Version puts it:

"He gave himself for us to set us free from every wrong and to cleanse us so that we could be his special people who are ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT doing good deeds." - Titus 2:14 ISV.

If someone is not at all enthusiastic about doing good works, we have all the scriptural right to worry about what type of christian is S/He and even question the nature of his redemption experience.

III) "PUT THEM IN MIND to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, TO BE READY TO EVERY GOOD WORK," Titus 3:1

Paul certainly is concerned that the Believers should always have this in mind, "be ready to do every good work". I suspect the reason for that, it is because it pleases God when we bear fruits (do Good Works).

IV) "And let ours also learn to maintain GOOD WORKS for necessary uses, so that they may not be UNFRUITFUL." Titus 3:14

Good works are our fruitfulness. It does not profit God, but it does profit men. And by profiting men, it bring Glory to God:
"In this My Father is GLORIFIED, that you bear MUCH FRUIT [Good Works], so you shall be My disciples." John 15:8

Good Works does Glorify God:

a) "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your GOOD WORKS and GLORIFY YOUR FATHER who is in Heaven." Matthew 5:16

b) "having your CONDUCT HONEST among the nations, in that which they speak against you as evildoers, they may GLORIFY GOD in a day of His visitation, seeing your GOOD WORKS." 1 Peter 2:12

Good Works as a mean to silent ignorant and foolish people:

c) " For this is the will of God, that by DOING GOOD (Good Deeds) you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people." 1Peter 2:15

d) "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, that, even if any are disobedient to the word, they may be gained without the word by the CONDUCT of the wives, ... as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose children you became, DOING GOOD and fearing no terror. " 1Peter 3:1, 6

This is a small encouragement to those who serve their Lord with a pure conscience to keep doing good works for our God do not forget all your work and Labour.
"So that, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not without fruit in the Lord." - 1Corinthians 15:58   
P.S: Remember Dorcas:  "And in Joppa was a certain disciple named Tabitha (which translated is called Dorcas). She was full of good works and kind deeds which she did." Act 9:36

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