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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Untying the Knot, continued
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (I Corinthians 14:37)
Cornelius gave alms and they came up to God for a memorial. When we perform religious duties and our heart is far from God, when we are robbing widows and abusing the poor (as some rich evangelists are doing today), then all our righteousness is as filthy rags. But to claim that when we tell the truth and are faithful to our wife or husband God sees these behaviors as filthy rags is to miss the point entirely.
You know what? Religion has a way of destroying character and common sense. And this is true not only of the Christian religion!
Perhaps our regarding our own personality as a nonentity or as a source of religious filth proceeds from the fact we have been commanded to crucify the old nature.
It absolutely is true that the only place for our first personality is on the cross with Jesus. Yet there is an element in us, a power of will, a mind, call it whatever you decide, that transcends the old Adam and yet is not Christ. It is this power of will that continually makes choices, that governs the thoughts we think and the actions we take.
It is like power steering. Nothing happens until you begin to turn the wheel. Then the power-steering motor helps you.
When we choose to serve God the power of God kicks in and assists us to climb Mount Zion. When we choose to serve sin the power of Satan kicks in and drags us down to the pit. We make the choice. Never, never, never forget that.
You are going to be judged some day for your actions while in the world. Your actions result from the choices you make. The devil can't make you do anything and Christ won't make you do anything.
The Christian salvation is largely the product of a finely honed, decisive will. A double-minded person will get nowhere with the Lord.
I wonder if the whole second viewpoint (that there is nothing we are to do) is not just one massive device to relieve us of making the choices we must make if we are to please God. How do you feel about this? We just don't want to believe we have to turn away from sin. We are looking for a way in which to basically do what we want and still go to Heaven, or to have God do it all for us so no effort on our part is required. We want to go to Heaven "on flow'ry beds of ease" as the old hymn put it.
You would become a millionaire overnight if you could develop a way by which people could eat all they want, never exercise, and become trim and muscular. This is what the Evangelical viewpoint promises. You really don't have to do anything. God does it all for you. Just rest and you will find yourself back in the Garden of Eden. (But what happens if the heavenly snake comes by?)
To be continued.