Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?

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Did you know that Christians can believe lies about God?

No Christian, I hope, desires to do so. But I am certain that whenever we sin, we have already believed something about God that is not true.

Lies and wrong IDs
We all live out the identities we believe in and find our purpose and satisfaction in.

A woman may claim to be a disciple-maker. She might say her aim is to be an exemplary employee and win souls for Jesus at her workplace. But if all that excites her is the monthly SMS notification about her account having been credited with a huge salary, God knows she has little to do with making disciples; she is living out the identity of a money-lover.

She has believed in the lie that money in her bank account will give her more pleasure or security than Jesus could.

A pastor might say he loves his wife and children to bits and might have provided a house, cars and all the snazzy gadgets they could enjoy in life. But at night when he has shut himself alone and his eyes and mind rove all over the dark side of the internet to get what his sexual desires want, God knows that he is living the identity of a pornography-lover.

He has believed in the lie that indulging in sexually impure fantasies will bring more pleasure to him than the presence of God could.

Scandal
It is possible that both these people are actually children of God. Oh, the scandal.

“How could you possibly say that someone so sinful is saved?”

Well, if you know me, I usually hesitate to say so. But to paraphrase John Owen’s observations – “Some lusts flare up over others… One lust can be greater in one man than another”. Chapter 6, Right Way to Kill Sin, Mortification of Sin in Believers.

We might be quick to say such people are definitely not Christians, who are supposed to be dead to sin and alive to God. I am tempted to say the same. And some might even be not truly Christian.

But I will fool myself if I promptly declare myself better than them. Selective amnesia is sinful amnesia. Surely we remember how we have easily repeated sins for years and how easily have swept them aside?

To continue- the people involved may feel “genuinely” sorry about their repeated patterns of sin and their self-absorption. They might feel the tearing guilt inside, the controlled-demolition of their conscience with the silent pleas of God the Holy Spirit in the background. They might fall on their knees by the bed, hands on the floor, saying through desperate tears –

“GOD, OH GOD I’M SO SORRY .. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. PLEASE FORGIVE ME, OH GOD OF GRACE!”

If the sins of over-spending, man-pleasing and lust had stopped, it would have made sense.
But maddeningly, this cycle repeats.

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Destroyed inside.

 

If you are a Christ-follower and are honest with yourself right now, you know sins can repeat in your life. Continue reading “Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?”

Extremism in My Religion?!

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Have you ever met a person who’s extremely devoted to their work?

You know – the guy who reaches home from work at 9:30pm and hardly grumbles about it because he loves what he is doing. The missionary or pastor who rushes to counsel troubled families in slums at 1am. The teenager who wakes up at 4 am to study for her biology exam.

The company or school recognizes their contribution- Star employee of the year. Rank #1 in the class. It takes a while but the missionary features in a couple of magazines, not to mention the monthly newsletter that is commended by their home-church.

His cubicle is adorned with certificates, maybe a trophy or two.

She loves the way she gets all the answers right and is not wasting her time unlike some others in her class.

In the world of Christians, you will find almost all of us passionate about one thing or the other. There are those of us who are devoted to “social media justice”. We share and re-share the latest outrage and call out for justice on Facebook and Twitter. Our time and efforts are spent on ensuring that the latest “stand for justice” is taken.

Other Christians are all about healthy living. The right kind of diet, cookies, juices, whole wheat, organic (or metallic), on it goes.

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Some others are passionate about the right exercise and body-building techniques. Others love to get their parenting technique perfect to the last word and can correct anyone whose techniques appear faulty. Continue reading “Extremism in My Religion?!”

To Escape Or To Fight, That Is The Question

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Over the years, I have noticed two types of fellow Christians with opposing approaches on dealing with temptation. Both could be part of the same fellowship, in the same local church or missionary organisation. But why can’t they agree?
Let me briefly explain their stands below-

Side A. “God says Flee”
These Christians point out that temptation is not something to trifle or play around with. They rightly say that the Lord Jesus died for these very things that caused them to sin, and rather than facing the choice to sin, they choose to escape the object or situation of temptation, sometimes in “radical fashion.

Favorite verses : 1 Cor 10:12-13, Matt 5:29-30 , Eph 5:3 , Gen 39:2-12, 1 Cor 6:8, 2 Tim 2:22

Life-theme: Joseph running and escaping Pharoah’s wife’s wrong advances. (Gen 39:1-20)

Pet peeve against Side B: “Pride goes before a fall, have you not heard?”

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A Cannon mouth your size? “Tumse Na Ho Payega”

Side B. “Stand and fight”
These Christians think that temptation is really unavoidable in our daily lives. While they too hate sin and try to avoid temptation, they don’t really understand “Side A”. Continue reading “To Escape Or To Fight, That Is The Question”