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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The false security of self-help salvation

Whenever I see a blog that has a positive bearing toward the things of God I book mark it if it is at all biblical. One thing I’ve found, however, is that MOST of them offer check lists and humanistic philosophies for ‘how to be a Christian.’ That really bothers me. We do not ‘be a Christian’ by following a check list. We don’t ‘be a Christian’ by applying the positive aspects of self improvement to our life. That only makes a better professor. I was just disappointed yet again today in reading a blog that started out on a very positive note only to degenerate into a set of checklists: Do this; you have to follow this; you can’t do this and so forth.
To really be a Christian, we must focus all of our energy on getting to know the Savior. We must be entirely involved in finding out what the Lord requires of us within the pages of His Word. And finally we must be entirely involved in doing the Will that we find within the pages of the Bible. And that takes work.
I think the problem is too often that people want the outward appearance of being a Christian without really putting in the work. So they read the self help books and the 40 day, 30 day, 10 day, etc, spiritual campaigns that are supposed to make you a better Christian. The read books like the “Purpose Driven Life’ and the Purpose Driven Church” and other pseudo religious literature that are best compared to getting to be a preacher by climbing over the back wall of the church grounds. Christ phrased it, He that…climbeth up some other way. John 10:1
When we pursue the ‘self-help’ kind of religion we are like a man who sets out to be body builder but doesn’t want to do the hours at the gym and all the reps necessary to have the toned and sculpted musculature necessary for a body-builder. He might read all the books, and watch all the TV shows and videos that talk about a well muscled form, but he will never be a body builder until he walks away from the books and videos and TV shows and gets into the gym to begin lifting weights.
‘Being a Christian’ is exactly like that. The books and the videos, and the devotional guides and the checklists and all the other paraphernalia available in religious circles today are only making the false teachers rich. They don’t make Christians. They don’t produce righteous, victorious, rejoicing children of God. The only thing that accomplishes that is God sent conviction and sincere repentance of sins. When that comes there will be a true turning from, forsaking all sin. When a man, woman or child is willing to make that commitment, we find that the fantastic gift of eternal Salvation is bestowed upon them. Then they are born again as the Children of God.
But that is only one step on the road to Heaven. Some want to teach that once you have grabbed that gift it can never be taken away from you. And while it is true that Satan cannot take it from us and the Lord won’t take it from us, we are very capable of casting it aside. When we fail to spend time in fellowship with the Lord we drop that beautiful gift in the mud. When we fail to study and follow the Word of God we commit sin and tread underfoot the gift of Salvation. The Hebrew writer tells us if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:26-29.
It isn’t enough to pursue a path of ‘self help.’ Our help must come from above and our path must be learned from the pages of God’s Word alone. No man can teach the ways of God. Understanding of those ways comes only through the Holy Spirit and the individual alone together in reading and prayer.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post, Judy. I enjoyed reading it and it is a great reminder of whom it is we must abide in.