Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
2Cr 13:5 - Examine yourselves [as to] whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-- unless indeed you are disqualified.
What if you were alone in a remote village with a lush green forest around you, perhaps by a stream with the sound of water rushing down smooth rocks and no access to TVs, Radios or the Internet and you read this book called “The Holy Bible”? You had no opportunity to get influenced by any preaching or opinions or ideologies of people. All you would have is your own understanding of the Holy Bible. What conclusion would you come up with? Think about that for a moment.
Shut yourself out from all the preaching, teaching and evangelism you get from the television, crusades, conferences, and seminars. If you started blank with this book The Bible, reading it cover to cover for yourself multiple times and then compared what you understood with what you see in Christianity today, would it thrill you or disturb you? Do you see similarity in the faith of the early Christians and today's Christians? Yes of course there is a difference in culture, technology and knowledge, but at the core of it with regards to our inner self, are we more Christ like today or were the disciples in the bible more Christ like than us?
When so many around us live a so called “Christian” life that can be observed and when there is so much abundance of preaching and teaching on TV, Radio and the internet and when there are so many books written by "famous" preachers easily available for downloads on your kindle or in book shops, why read the Bible? Just copy what others are doing, especially the popular preachers because they seem to have got it all together isn’t it? Why not just listen to some podcast in the car for a few minutes each day and a short prayer every night? Why read the bible? That’s what most professing Christians unfortunately do. People attend conferences in large numbers and prefer "listening" and "watching" rather than reading the word of God and meditating on it for themselves.
Friends, don't get me wrong. There are indeed excellent teachers and preachers out there genuinely called of God for the equipping of the saints. Please do attend church regularly, listen to good teaching and preaching and learn. But do not idolize the preachers. They are also men and women saved by grace through faith just like you and me. They are just as dependent on His grace as you are. They need to feed on the word of God just as you do. Where do you think they got their revelation and sermons from? It is from the same source as you get your revelations from. The Bible!! When the Lord returns, there's not going to be any Bishops, Reverends, Senior Pastors, Associate Pastors or Preachers. We are all going to be on level ground, as sons and daughters of our God the Father, as one awesome family.
In a church, when a group of so called “believers” get together, the one thing that should really stand out is “love for one another’. Jesus said "This is how the world will know that you are my disciples. When you have love for one another." - John 13:35.
With that in mind and when you read through the New Testament; When you really dwell upon the “word of God”, what is it that you understand? What is it you expect to see? Remember, you are in a remote village sitting by a stream reading the Bible for yourself and have no exposure to any preaching or TV or the internet and nobody influencing your thoughts.
I have read the bible and this is what I see. I see a committed people…who got so excited to know that their sins were forgiven and they were now reconciled to God again as originally was in the garden of Eden. They were so excited to experience a brand new life that is totally free from the power of sin and they wanted to get this good news (gospel) out into all the world. I see that we are rescued from sin and death and eternal damnation. There is now no condemnation for us, and that we have the same nature of Christ in us because we have the same Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We are citizens of heaven, we are a NEW creation born of God Himself, we have this amazing grace to put to death the sin in us right now, we have been given authority over the devil, and we are enjoying a sense of liberty. This world's system of success, position, possessions and pleasures don't matter so much anymore. I see that such committed people actually got together and loved each other, and joyfully sang songs of praise to our Lord. They encouraged one another teaching people to have faith in Christ, they healed the sick and cast out demons just as Jesus did, shared all things with each other so that nobody lacked anything and nobody had an excess of anything and called such a gathering “a church”. I see that there was a noticeable difference between people who professed to be Christians and people of the world. They eagerly sent out disciples to go and share the love of Christ to others and planted similar churches where people loved one another. They were not focused so much on the size of a congregation or popularity and reach, but on making disciples for Christ. (The book of Acts)
Believing in Christ is not an "intellectual" understanding of Jesus being the son of God who came and died on the cross for our sins and who rose again. On the contrary, it is fully understanding the purpose of His death and resurrection and completely & wholly relying on the finished work of Jesus for our peace, for our eternal life, for our day to day provision, for our divine health and for our abundant life in the here and now. It is about walking in the newness of life.
Romans 6:4 - We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
In the bible we read, the disciples used to go from house to house, have meals together, break bread and remind themselves of Jesus’ work on the cross and identify themselves with each other as those who belonged to God. A sense of commonality without divisions. This is what a church looked like in the “bible” isn’t it? The persecutors of the early disciples of Christ accused them of having turned the world upside down because they lived a very different life to that of the world. And it was obviously noticeable.
Yet in today's world, (generally speaking) there is so little difference between the world and the church. This is because it is LIGHT that dispels darkness. Darkness will never dispel darkness. Jesus said that we believers are the light of the world and salt of the earth. When we as Christians step into darkness, the works of darkness must flee and it will because we are the light of the world. But if professing Christians live in darkness themselves to blend in with the world, then expecting darkness to flee is a bit naive, don’t you think?
But friends, I do not fret because “that church” that we see in the bible is very much alive today…there are a few of God's children in every church around the world who are truly “the church” and these people are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Its these people that the world is attracted to. It is also these people that get persecuted. So examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourself. Compare your beliefs, your actions and your current life to what it should look like as mentioned in the word of God. I encourage you to read the bible for yourselves and meditate on His word everyday, regularly. I guarantee you, you will change and be transformed with a renewed faith, full of love and revelation. Your life will never be the same again.
The apostle Paul got to know the Lord Jesus personally and intimately so well, that though he endured all kinds of hardships such as imprisonment, stoning, lashings, hunger, shipwrecks and more, he still poured out his life until his very last breath trying to share the love of Christ with the lost. He wasn't too concerned about the number of his followers or how many he could attract to an event. All Paul wanted was for the world to know Jesus Christ just the same way as he did.
2 Tim 1:12-13 - That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I knowwhom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
My dear brothers and sisters, the best way to get to know and walk with the Lord Jesus on a daily basis is to spend quality time in reading His word and meditating on it everyday for yourself. Spend time in prayer alone with Him as you read His word. That's when He speaks to you. Jesus said "My sheep know my voice". You will hear Him speak to you. His Holy Spirit will teach you things you do not know and you will begin to see the world and your very own life in a different way. Do attend conferences and seminars when and if you can, and if you know they are led by genuine Godly individuals, but do not give up your personal quiet time with the Lord. Your personal walk with the Lord is far more important than your participation in church organised programs and events.
Proverbs 4:20-22 says - My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ears to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are LIFE to those who find them, and HEALTH to ALL THEIR FLESH.
His word is true life and true health, but only to those who FIND them. May the Lord Jesus bless you. May His Holy Spirit enable you and grant you the grace to set aside quality quiet time alone with Him and His word everyday. Join our community here on Facebook and be encouraged.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years of my walk with God, I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.