Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Is The Gospel Set Free?
Some years ago, after he was released from prison, Jim Baker wrote a book titled, “I Was Wrong”. It was a BIG book. When I saw it in the store I commented to Rhonda, my wife, “He must have been wrong about a lot.” As I said, it was a BIG book.
My friend Eric asked me last week after "Don’t Back Down", “How can I objectively know whether I'm really "dedicated" to standing up for God and when I'm being "stubborn" with my misunderstanding of Him?”
The risk we run when we take a stand that is unyielding is that down the road we will see that we were wrong. Sometimes it is not our stand that is wrong as much as it is our hearts. What does my heart display while I am standing firm? If we display an attitude that contradicts the character of Jesus Christ we can be sure that, while our position may be right, our heart is not. Our Master is not well served by those whose spirit is controlled by their flesh. (see Luke 9:54-56)
Christians have been guilty of being right in a wrong way far too many times. I may know a thing is wrong in my inner man. But if my outer man, the flesh, is in control, then my actions and attitudes will be seen as fleshly not spiritual. If, on the other hand, my outer man is no longer the controlling part of my character, then my actions and attitudes will reflect the heart and character of my Master.
Galatians 2:20 says in part, “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” To live by faith means, (in part) we will stand for what is godly and right, without apology or backing down. That same passage begins in the KJV “I am crucified with Christ”. Remember that those who do not know God will not be won by the brute force of our godly stand, but by receiving and accepting the Gospel within their spirits. If our flesh interferes with the righteousness that is within our hearts, then the Gospel is hindered.
When we are crucified with Christ and living by faith in him, our outer man will reflect the redeemed inner man that belongs to Christ and the Gospel within us will be set free.