“Words and Actions”
Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
God created man in His image, Genesis 1:26. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 All men bear God’s image. We have been created with reason, a sense of holiness and righteousness.
As a result of the Fall of Adam, the attributes which we received from our Creator have been corrupted. I have been thinking recently of our ability to reason. Surely, our reasoning is not perfect. I think all would readily admit to the limitations of human reason.
For example, men and women are not able to think their way to a saving faith. All men, since the Fall are born dead in sin. We are all born with a sin nature. Yet, we are still able to reason and think, albeit imperfectly. Reason is the most obvious attribute that separates mankind from every other creature.
However, I have observed that many have been convinced that they are unable to think for themselves. Further, we are told that we don’t have the ability to recognize reality. It seems that we have lost the ability to connect words with actions. As a result, we can’t discern the veracity of what we hear. We have to rely upon those who are the “experts” to interpret the speaker’s intentions.
Actions that don’t fit the words have little to do with what was said, we are told. The problem has worked its way into the church. Leaders profess commitment to the Bible, yet those same leaders use cleverly devised methods to build their churches, methods designed to attract “seekers.” The people in the pews simply assume that those special methods are necessary regardless of what the Bible teaches. The Apostle Paul warned the church to not be taken in by man-centered philosophies or worldly principles, Colossians 2:8.
Romans 12:2 stands opposed to this so-called wisdom. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The Bible teaches that God enters the mind and changes the heart. Repentance is a change of mind that leads to reliance upon the Person and Work of Christ.
Christians have fallen prey to the “church building experts “and the “health – wealth” preachers as a result of “checking their minds at the door.” These false teachers have manipulated people to think that this world is the focus of life. In their minds’, Jesus becomes the one who can make your life better. He wants to heal you physically. He really wants you to be rich in this world. And, the church needs to be “relevant” in order to attract those seeking God!
Christian, think! Is this what Jesus said? Emphatically no! Jesus said eternal life is knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. Life that never ends, the “abundant life” is KNOWING GOD. This life is but a nanosecond in relation to the whole of life in eternity. Jesus also said that the Father seeks true worshipers to worship Him, John 4:23-24.
Jesus didn’t come to make your life better. He came to change your life, if you belong to Him. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” 2Corinthians 5:17a.
As a pastor my foremost concern is the church. But, I am obliged to declare the gospel to all people. The pure gospel is that Christ died for our, that He was buried and that He rose on the third day, all in accordance with the Old Testament Scriptures, 1Corinthians 15:3-4. The gospel is ordained by God to enter your mind and pierce your heart. When God breaks in, we see our hopelessness. When God calls and regenerates a man or woman they come face to face with their sin. They learn that God requires perfection for He is holy. They are moved to acknowledge their sinfulness and to turn to Christ. They then live in reliance upon His perfect righteousness, having a desire to please Him. This will not attract all people. But it will be used by God to pierce the hearts of those whom He has chosen.
My exhortation to those who profess Christ is to train yourself to think critically, having a conscience formed by the word of God.