not believing

I am not talking about our church, nor am I talking about real Christianity, as in the ideal given to us in scripture. Even there we see serious issues and problems within some of the churches. I am referring to my experience with other believers at times. When I have thought that we were not doing well, or doing what we should have done by each other, especially with reference to needed reconciliation and growth in grace, then I look at what Jesus taught, what the New Testament teaches, and I can only shake my head in disbelief. And say to myself, “I don’t believe in this kind of Christianity.” Of course it’s not the real thing.

Therefore my problem is not with Christianity as given to us in scripture, but to our failure to live it out. Some matters are extra hard, though no doubt we are always in need of God’s grace and his Spirit to live at all in any moment in accord with God’s will in Jesus. I am referring to our stubborn refusal to obey the plain words of scripture. Perhaps we can’t see this because of the hardness of our heart along with lack of knowledge of what scripture says, perhaps including poor biblical interpretation.

Disciples were first called “Christians” in Antioch. Was it because they were like Jesus? Or more in terms of their profession of faith in being followers of this Jesus Christ, with some meaning of the Anointed One in “Christ” being carried over. I don’t know. We do bear his name. And so we are to represent him.

Therefore we need to be called to account for our failure to take this sufficiently seriously. It is never a question of not being able, since our ability is always in Jesus and never in ourselves. It is more a matter of simple obedience. In all of our weakness, we seek to obey and be obedient children. So that our profession of faith may honor the one whose name we bear.

6 comments on “not believing

  1. Shelly says:

    We live in a broken world and we, as followers of Christ, are broken people. We are sinners saved by grace. The more time we spend in prayer and in the Word, the more the Lord can reveal to us ways we are not following His will for our lives. May we all be willing to lavish grace on others the way He has lavished it on us. Be blessed today and find a way to bless someone else.

  2. Amy says:

    Tim, how would you like to see Christians live out their faith more fully? By the way to treat each other (fruits)- being more forgiving, less condemning, more encouraging? Or by acts of service (works)- humanitarian aid, volunteering, etc? Do you think that the church is lacking equally in both areas, or one more than another? I’d really like to know what you think. Thanks, Amy

    • Hmmm, Amy (I think you’re addressing me- ha), both are so important. I think first and fundamentally it is important that we remain united in Christ by the Spirit in love, that we would make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And then from that service to others, particularly the poor and those in need is to follow. Both are certainly vital and part of the life in Jesus to which we are called. Glad you brought up the aspect of service here. Thanks.

  3. Amy says:

    Gosh sorry! I know your name is Ted! That is my fathers name, too.

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