Saturday, November 24, 2007

Isn’t it enough to go to church?

Here is the problem with the modern church; she has bewitched herself that just being saved is good enough. Come to church in the morning but live as the cousin of the devil. Don’t worry; Jesus died to set you free. If that is all what it is then Christianity is nothing more than wishful thinking. Paul asks the Romans: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom 6: 1-6).
A couple of phrases need to be underlined in that passage. Shall we continue to sin because we believe that grace will abound? No, God does not agree. The writer to the Hebrews says: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26). How then do we explain the excuse that it is ok to live in sin because we are saved by grace and not by works? The church today is more a den of thieves than a place of worship. There is no difference between churchgoers and non churchgoers. Both groups have their consciences seared with a hot iron that good is bad and bad is good.
When we believe in Christ we died to sin. So how come we are so active in sin yet claim it is normal. There is no compunction and indulgence. Why would the Lord save us only for us to still abide in the same old nature of sin only to be talking about Christ? Talk is cheap and anyone could do that but those who believe in Christ must do so in spirit and in truth by walking in the newness of life which mimics that of Christ. At that point though we are not perfect but falling in sin brings us remorse and repentance rather than mere aloofness because we are not perfect. Why is the church afraid to preach against sexual sins, lies, and thievery; in short the works of the flesh as mentioned in Galatians 5: 19-21?
As you invoke these passages the Christian 5th Amendment “Do Not Judge” is slapped on you face. How do we read a passage like: “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” ( I Cor 5:9-13 ). Yet even people with no love talk about showing love. How difficult is it to interpret this passage that do not associate with anyone who says he is a Christian but is living in sin? The Bible does not say do not walk with non Christians because you have to convert them. However, those who say they are Christians but refuse to change their lives must be avoided. That is the divine edict! Did God think that we are not perfect? Sure! But man thinks the verse should be revised or considered inconsequential. What turpitude of the modern church!
I do believe that though we are not perfect because we live in the sinful carcass yet our desire to live a perfect life could be exemplified in the way we treat sin and holiness. Be ye holy as I am holy (I Pet 1:16). Isn’t that a divine command? If it was impossible would God give us such a command? Holiness may not entail absolute perfection but it does involve dieing to sin. Christians must become allergic to sin rather than acquiesce to sin or make evil their bedfellows. That is why the church is empty; or dead and inactive like a graveyard. We need to wake up and live the life of Christ and walk in the newness of life in which Christ called us.

Until then, may God help us all in Jesus’ name!

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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