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Daniel John• Timely Word •

Re-interpreting the Christian Faith- Sound or Unsound?

By 15 February 2014September 26th, 2017No Comments

As Christians we are often acutely aware of our individual shortcomings and failures in our daily walk of faith. There are areas of our lives where we struggle – whether it is over specific sins or misplaced priorities in relation to work, family and leisure – consequently making us fashion and worship our own individual idols. In many ways, we are all guilty of times when we have violated the truth that Christ is our Lord and grieved Him. So, it is a fact that we do ask ourselves from time to time – ‘Is the Lord Jesus really the Lord of my life?’

Preachers recognize these struggles and often preach and urge Christians young and old to put Christ back in His right place, i.e. on the throne of our hearts. I have repented of the sin of going my own way and sought the Lord’s forgiveness many times in this area.

But, sometimes the problem that Christians have come from a distorted reinterpretation of the Christian faith where they conveniently view becoming a Christian as a 2-stage process. The 1st as simply accepting Jesus as Saviour when one recognizes that he/she is a sinner but without the accompanying need to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. The 2nd is about lordship, which supposedly comes only later when the new Christian grows in the faith; when he/she grows in understanding and practices the faith more – and then accepts Jesus as Lord. Brothers and sisters, there is no truth in this re-interpretation of the Christian faith.

As Paul says in Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.

This erroneous teaching lulls young Christians (regardless of physical age) into believing that they can first get a ticket to heaven, but that submitting to the Lordship of Christ is not required. Therefore they think that they can take their time, worship their idols, and only make the decision to make Christ as their Lord when a crisis or some other matter calls the issue into sharp focus. This wrong teaching also becomes the basis for Christians to excuse all sorts of shortcomings including sexual immorality amongst others, in the discipleship walk because meanwhile, their entry into heaven is guaranteed.

“The Bible makes it plain, I believe, that people who persistently refuse the command of Jesus’ lordship have no warrant for believing that they are saved. Such people should not be comforted that they are saved simply because there was a time when they “believed” gospel facts or walked an aisle or signed a card or prayed a prayer. In fact, Jesus seems far more eager to explode the assurance of false “professions of faith” than he is to give assurance to people who are intent on living in sin. Where does he ever bolster the “eternal security” of a person unwilling to forsake sin?” – John Piper

Paul in Colossian 2:6 says, “As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him.” May God help each one of us to not take the Lordship of Christ as an optional extra and thereby put our very faith in jeopardy. Let us search the scriptures diligently and abide by the truth rather than convenient false interpretations of it.

By Daniel John, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 15&16 February 2014)