You never need to prove your faith to God. Why? He is actually proving His work in you by your faith in Him. Simply put: if God were not at work in you, there would be no faith present in you. You would be called “an unbeliever,” as you once were. In addition, you never need to prove your faith to others. Why? God is exhibiting Himself in you, as others observe your peculiar life.
Why do so many Christians have Christianity backwards? Typically, whenever we address a problem within Christianity, it is a false view, promoted by a backward approach to the faith. Stated another way, men erroneously attribute the work of God to man. The problematic cause of dyslexic Christianity is biblical illiteracy.
When a man or woman decides that God needs them to help with teaching, preaching, or writing (ie. Aimee Semple McPherson; Joyce Meyer; Paula White; etc.), the doctrinal and practical errors they possess in their arsenal, produce collateral damage. They often lead people astray by their non-biblical opinions and stories. The result is distortion, and distortion that holds potential to multiply. Let not many of you become teachers (Jas 3:1).
If our ideas are popular, our bad ideas are profoundly damaging. The apostle Paul, for this reason, stays his focus on Christ, as he writes. He regrets the necessity of having to defend his apostleship against the slander of his opponents in the church. He knows the danger of those who preach themselves.
If we need hope, Christ is our only hope (Col 1:27). If we need faith, only Christ can instill it (Rom 12:3; Heb 12:2). If we need love, Christ welcomes us. If we need salvation, God has reconciled us to Christ (2 Cor 5:9).
There is nothing so defective in today’s version of practical Christianity than the void of Christ. This Christ-less Christianity is a debacle. It is a travesty. It is empty, and yet, it has an abundant marketing budget. Promotion of error in the church has never had so much money.
There is an inverse relationship between the Bible and popularity. The Bible is not agreeable to sinners, so if your pastor is popular, you may wish to find one who actually has a Bible in his hand when he preaches.
The Bible is the instrument of corrected alignment, and the agency of the Holy Spirit does the work of correction. The Spirit does not employ any other resource than the Word of God, preached, to accomplish this right alignment. Ironically, I just checked social media, and observed an advertisement for a, “Christ-centered on-line Bible study” offered by a notoriously man-centered Christian organization. Here is proof that you can have battle jargon right, but you may not remember the danger of the famous Oliver Hazard Perry quote, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”
I have met a number of Christians who share the same testimony, of how they got everything backwards from man-centered ministries, when they began their Christian life. These ministries — call them, legion — are all but oblivious to their vain labors done for the glory of man.
Usually, I avoid names when I write against parties in the church, who are unaware of their work in this regard. Rank heretics get called out by name, but here, my encouragement is for all who read these words, directing them to the Bible. Imagine your sin nature holds sway and your communication becomes about you rather than Christ Jesus, our Lord. That’s backwards, and surely, you would be agreeable to what I have written here.
Repentance is about correcting dyslexic Christianity. The Spirit and the Word correct our natural, sinful selfishness in Christian ministry. May God grant you grace to truly be Christ-centered, which comes when we are Word-centered, which comes about when the Spirit is pleased to center us. Pray for right alignment.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 15, 2021