The Supplanter

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15 ESV

That is a tall order to love others as Christ has loved us and gave himself up for us. And, how do we do that? By following Jesus’ example – in the power of the Spirit of God at work within our hearts and lives. And, how did Jesus love us? He gave his life up for us on a cross so that we could die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; Lu. 9:23-25).

But, we aren’t God! We can’t die for the sins of the people of the world. And, there is no need to because Jesus already did. So, how can this be applied to our lives?

We can leave the world of sin behind us to follow our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will, as Jesus surrendered to the Father’s will and obeyed Him. We can submit to his Lordship over our lives as Jesus submitted to our heavenly Father. And, we can love others by meeting their legitimate needs and by sharing with them the gospel of Christ, for the salvation of their sins.

And, how is that laying down our lives for our friends? It is that exactly, because when we truly separate ourselves from the world of sin to follow Jesus in surrender to his will for our lives, we are going to face a lot of rejection, and not just from the world, but from the worldly church, too.

And, when we “stick out our necks” (1), basically, in order to tell people the truth of the gospel, in opposition to the lies that are being spread, we are going to face a lot of opposition and persecution, and not just from the world, but from the worldly church, too. And, that is because it is not popular or socially acceptable in our culture to tell people the truth if the truth confronts them in their sin, and if it calls for repentance, or if it makes them uncomfortable, and/or if it challenges their “sacred cows” (2).

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:16-17 ESV

But, Jesus didn’t call us to be “nice” to people, in the sense of just telling them what they want to hear, and what sounds good to them, and what makes them feel good about themselves, even if they are steeped in sin.

He didn’t call us to immerse ourselves in our society and to engage ourselves in worldliness in order to connect with the people of the world, either. And, he didn’t call us to just go around blessing people, either.

What I mean by that is that Jesus did not call us to a social gospel. He didn’t call us to JUST go around doing good deeds to make people feel good, but to the exclusion of sharing the gospel message of salvation. He didn’t call us to join in with the world in their worldliness, either, or to make people feel good about themselves when they are steeped in sin’s deceitfulness.

A “blessing” is something that is spiritually and physically for the well-being of someone, not something contrary to God’s best for them. So, if all we do is be “nice” to people to make them feel good, but we don’t tell them the truth about sin, salvation, eternal life and judgment, then we have cursed them, not blessed them, for we have possibly sent them on their way to hell.

For, Jesus called us to come out from the world and to be separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin. He called us to be a holy people, and holy is living lives which are unlike the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ by the Holy Spirit. And, He called us to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth and to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We aren’t supposed to live like we did before we trusted in Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. We aren’t supposed to walk in the ways of unrighteousness, in adultery, sexual immorality, and impurity, lying, cheating, thieving, and gossiping, and the like. But, we should now be walking in the ways of holiness, purity, love, self-control, uprightness and godliness, living holy lives pleasing to God. Yet, when we do, we are going to be rejected.

And, we are supposed to be, instead, exposing what is evil, and confronting sinful practices, and exposing what is false, especially exposing the cheap grace gospel which has permeated so much of the church and has taken so many people captive to do its will, because it is so deceptive.

For, it teaches its adherents that they can have salvation from sin and the hope of heaven when they die, but that their “faith” does not have to alter their lifestyles. They can continue in their sinful practices without guilt and without fear, they say, claiming God’s grace covers it all.

And, the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians have adopted this cheap grace gospel for themselves, because they have believed the lies instead of the truth. And, so this cheap grace gospel is supplanting the true gospel. Yet, so many people do not see the truth behind this cheap grace gospel, that this is of Satan who wants to destroy the gospel and to lead people away from saving faith in Jesus Christ.

So, many who call themselves Christians are believing that they can keep on in their sinful practices and still claim heaven as their eternal home. So, they are double-minded because they have their eyes on the flesh and not on God while claiming faith in Jesus and God’s saving grace in their lives.

But, God’s Word says that we must walk (in practice, in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God and not according to our flesh if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:16-21).

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” John 15:18-21 ESV

Yet, when we are out there exposing the lies and proclaiming the truth, which is what Jesus did all the time, and which is loving others as Jesus loved us, we are also going to be hated as he was hated, and again, not just by the world, but by the worldly market-driven and flesh-driven church.

And, why are we hated? It is because we aren’t of the world. We don’t participate in the sins of the world. They are not what we practice or what we go to as a matter of course. Rather, we expose the fruitless deeds of darkness and we tell people the truth, just like Jesus did, which is one of the big reasons they killed him, too.

And, in this way we are laying down our lives for others, as Jesus did for us, so that they can be delivered out of their slavery to sin and walk in freedom in the Spirit of God in holiness and godliness, and so that they can truly have the hope of eternal life with God.

For, our lives mean nothing to us outside of serving our Lord and walking in his ways and in his truth. So, we willingly lay them down, knowing we will be hated and rejected, so that others can truly be delivered from slavery to sin and truly have eternal life with God.

For, if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God, we must die with Christ to sin (daily) and live to him and to his righteousness, walking daily in the truth and in the power of God’s Spirit. We must walk in obedience to his commands and love one another, too. Jesus must not only be our Savior, but he must be our Lord. Then, we will be at rest for we will know that we are living in the center of God’s will.

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting

Hymn lyrics by Jean Sophia Pigott, 1876
Music by James Mountain, pub.1876

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

*copyright status is public domain

(1) Stick out one’s neck – “To personally assume or expose oneself to some risk, danger, or responsibility; to imperil oneself or put oneself in harm’s way” (The Free Dictionary).

(2) Sacred cow – “Someone or something that has been accepted or respected for a long time and that people are afraid or unwilling to criticize or question” (M-W Dictionary).

 

13 thoughts on “The Supplanter

  1. “And, he didn’t call us to just go around blessing people, either.” Actually Sue, He did. Matt 5:44 and numerous other verses of Scripture refers. And I’m thinking, if God tells us to bless those who curse us, the prevailing essence of teaching here is as per “

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    • As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. Oops … Released too early! “And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. . . . But love ye your enemies, and do good . . . and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:31-36).

      Thoughts?

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      • Yes, but not to the exclusion of sharing the gospel. Many people present Jesus only as a good deed doer, but they neglect to share his messages. They think their good deeds will suffice. But good deeds is universal to so many religions.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The key word here, Bruce, is “just”. There is a modern movement that teaches just going around doing good deeds, some of which include a lot of worldly things, in place of sharing the gospel. They invite people to watch movies with and do kind deeds but sharing Christ is not included with them.

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  2. Probably should have waited until I had my coffee! But short story is, I’m thinking you can ask God to bless just about anyone because what we’re doing is asking God to do what only He can do. And if He was merciful to us, which He has been, then asking God to bless and be merciful to others is in line with God’s Word. There is a delicate balance between that which we should not do and that which we should do and to over emphasize one aspect without considering the other is equally dangerous. Just bouncing stuff off of you, hope you don’t mind.

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    • Blessing in the sense in which Jesus meant it is good. A blessing is something that is for the wellbeing of the other person, so it should be something that is spiritually or physically healthful and should not be just going around being nice to people in the sense of just what makes them feel good, especially if the benefit they gain from it is contrary to what is spiritually beneficial to them. So many people are being nice to people and thinking they are being like Jesus while they are leading people straight to hell by refusing to tell them the truth. That is not a blessing. That is a curse disguised as a blessing.

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      • Hi Sue, I heartily agree. Told ya I should have waited until I had my coffee! I mistakenly assumed that all true blessings were given because the one who asked for the blessings honestly hoped for God to intervene but as you so accurately state, such is not always the case. I just slapped myself on the wrist! And as you indicate, with your well being in mind, blessings!

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      • Bruce, that is ok. It made me realize that others may misunderstand my meaning, too, so I added in these two paragraphs:

        What I mean by that is that Jesus did not call us to a social gospel. He didn’t call us to JUST go around doing good deeds to make people feel good, but to the exclusion of sharing the gospel message of salvation. He didn’t call us to join in with the world in their worldliness, either, or to make people feel good about themselves when they are steeped in sin’s deceitfulness.

        A “blessing” is something that is spiritually and physically for the well-being of someone, not something contrary to God’s best for them. So, if all we do is be “nice” to people to make them feel good, but we don’t tell them the truth about sin, salvation, eternal life and judgment, then we have cursed them, not blessed them, for we have possibly sent them on their way to hell.

        *Does that make it more clear?

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