2 Corinthians 3:1-3 ESV
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
A Huge Responsibility
For those of us who are Christian bloggers, or preachers, or teachers of the Word of God, we have a huge responsibility to our readers or listeners. We need to make certain that what we are teaching or what we are presenting is the truth of God’s Word, or that it is in line with the truth of God’s Word, to the best of our understanding.
For, the people who follow what we preach, or teach, or share, will bear the fruit of what we teach them, which will then bear testimony as to what is in our own hearts, as well as what is in theirs, and it will be a testimonial as to our own moral character and fidelity or infidelity.
I am not saying that everyone who hears the words we speak or write will bear the fruit of what we present to them as truth, though, but that those who follow us, and what we present to them as truth, will be our testimonial as to whether or not what we are presenting is, indeed, truth, and is, indeed, of God. And, it will reveal, too, what is in our own hearts, and will bear testimony as to our own moral fiber.
But, this doesn’t apply merely to those of us who blog or who write devotionals or who preach or teach the Bible. This applies to all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. How we live our lives and what we say to others may influence them to follow our examples or to follow what we say. So, we must be so careful in what we do or say and how we live our lives, for we may be leading others to follow suit.
If you are a parent to small children, you may understand this in that you may witness often that your children are a reflection of you and the things that you say and do. For, small children, in particular, will repeat what they hear and they will mimic what they see their parents do, especially when they are playing pretend. But, parents are not the only influences in their lives, and children are born with certain bents themselves, so not everything a child does is the reflection of the parents, but some of it is or it can be.
The Fruit of our Labors
There are many professing Christians and preachers, teachers and bloggers, etc., who are teaching or who are presenting a gospel message which gives free license for immorality (Jude 1:4). But, they are taking liberty with the scriptures when they do this, for the scriptures are quite clear on the subjects of immorality and purity in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ.
And, truly, at least here in America, that false gospel is bearing fruit in people’s lives all across this nation. The church, overall, is on a massive spiritual decline. And, immorality within the church is rampant. And, the leadership, overall, is not doing anything about it, because so many of them are trapped in sexual sin themselves.
While Christ and his NT apostles taught purity, holiness, righteousness, godliness, integrity, honesty, morality, faithfulness, and the like, as what should be evident in the life of a true believer in Jesus, too many preachers today are teaching that we can live how we want and entertain ourselves incessantly with what is immoral, and that God’s grace covers it all.
So, going back to what Paul said at the beginning of this chapter in 2 Corinthians 3. What we teach and what we live will be evidenced in the lives of those who FOLLOW our examples and who FOLLOW what we teach them. The fruit of our labors will be evidenced in the lifestyles of those who follow us and what we teach, and that will be our letter of commendation.
So, if the majority of those who call themselves Christians are following the true gospel, the end result should be that the vast majority of those professing Christians should be walking in purity, holiness, righteousness, and godliness, and they should be living lives separate from the world of sin because they are being made to be like Jesus.
They should not be “struggling” with sexual sin and regularly giving in to the temptation to look at porn, or to watch TV shows or movies or YouTube videos which are filled with filthy language or sexual content or immoral situations. They should not be addicted to needing to be continuously being entertained or to be continually partaking in what is ungodly.
But, the fact that the large majority of today’s Christians in America are very flesh driven, are needing to be entertained all the time by what is fleshly and impure and immoral, speaks volumes to the fact that what they are following is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ, but is this “cheap grace” gospel which gives them free license to live in immorality while excusing it away. For, there is no call to purity in this gospel, but rather this gospel coddles people in their sins and even resists purity and holiness.
Change that is Necessary
The true gospel, though, makes no room (no provision) for the flesh. It demands holiness, purity, faithfulness, integrity, honesty and love. It calls for us to live separate from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ. And, it teaches us that we will reap what we sow.
God’s grace to us is not free license for immorality. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s soon return (Tit. 2:11-14).
All throughout the New Testament we learn that our salvation means death to sin and living to righteousness. It means that we no longer live like we did before we trusted in Christ. We don’t engage ourselves in what is unholy and immoral, and it warns us again and again that those who do (practice) such things will not inherit eternal life. Do we get this? These warnings were to Christians, not to the unsaved world!
Again and again we who are Christians are warned against listening to what tickles itching ears, and against following those who are teaching what is false. Again and again we are warned against taking God’s grace lightly and thinking that we can live how we want and still have the promise of heaven when we die. That theory is dispelled all throughout the New Testament.
For, if we conduct our lives according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity. This is the message all throughout the New Testament. We can’t ignore these messages for there are way too many of them. And, they are consistent. If we live to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if we live to the Spirit, we will have eternal life with God.
True belief in Jesus Christ results in a change of heart, mind and lifestyle away from living for sin and self to living to God and to his righteousness. Not saying we will never sin, or that we may not fall back into sin for a period of time and need to be revived. But, what the scriptures clearly teach is that how we live is evidence of what we believe. Our lifestyles give evidence to what is truly in our hearts and as to what gospel we are following.
So, please don’t buy into the lies which tell you that it doesn’t matter to God how you live once you believe in him. Don’t buy into the lies which tell you that once you are “In” that nothing you do can impact your eternal security. Read the scriptures – all of them in the New Testament. Pray. Ask the Lord to show you the truth. Listen to HIM! And, follow what he teaches.
One day we are all going to stand before God. And, many are going to say on that day, “Lord, Lord,” and he is going to say, “Depart from me for I never knew you.”
Those who follow the true gospel should be walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. And, daily they should be putting to death those deeds of the flesh.
Those who walk according to the flesh but are convinced that it won’t matter to them for eternity are listening to the wrong gospel, and that is why the church in our nation is where it is today, in this moral decline, because too many are believing the lies instead of the truth. So, make sure today that you are following the truth, for your life depends on it.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Sunday, November 4, 2018