As shockingly blunt as this quote may be, the bible backs it up in so many words. I would like to use this as an example of what we must guard ourselves against and where we are headed when we understand the power of the Gospel through The Holy Spirit.
Likewise, Spiritual discernment helps us see the root of the problem that weakens our testimony as well as exposes the sin we’ve been dealing with as well as those of the nation.
Please read this first: A little background about why George Whitefield made this statement… .
He used the forgotten principle that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Pet. 4:17) and applied it to his day. Bible application for us today.
To clarify, who is The Church ?
Indeed, the sad fact is that the Church is subject to corruption and decay. The Church was shaken to its foundations back then and is now I believe. Many watchmen have gone before us and we are seeing that now on the rise during all the global turmoil. Good news is many were awakened out of a deep sleep and spiritual death because of those like Whitefield who testified to the truth that sets men free, we see this clearly from the apostles in scripture as well. There was a separation between the precious and the vile. The battle lines were drawn. Nations can be saved through repentance. “Whitefield saw, as Calvin and Knox before him did, that unless the Church was restored the eternal undoing of thousands of souls would continue.”
A powerful witness he was because he lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is surely a lesson for us all today as the universal body of Believers.
At some point or another, you’ve heard about or read about a fellow Christian or famous Christian (perhaps, you’re the one who’s trifling with old ways/ sins) who’s fallen into bondage again through some sort of indiscretion or an imposter of the faith as they say/not saved at all but claiming Christianity and there is no discipline taking place among church leadership, congregation etc. How truly tragic these stories are because it dreadfully hurts our testimony and indeed, offends/grieves the heart of God (Eph 4:29-31).
The bible tells us that none of us are without sin….however, there are distinguishing marks of the Believer as the Holy Spirit conversion on us when we’ve been saved. The following “Having The Spirit” by J.C. Ryle will closely examine this: (See Link)
We don’t want to be found guilty of fashioning a god in our own image. (Rom. 1:25)
Please know I’m checking my own heart here too which is why I felt compelled to write about this today because there is a power and authority I feel we have abandoned or lost somehow and I long to see and embrace that God-given power, authority and joy restored to us, a more vibrant faith in my own life back as well as for the Church universal. In these ever moral decreasing, Christ rejecting threatening times we are living in, our light (Christ In us) can still pierce the darkness which is why we must be certain we are not posing a threat to our testimony by deceiving ourselves in sin in any way as we represent this kingdom; we must walk worthy, not out of duty or drudge but because of true joy-filled power and authority Gospel-filled transformation!
While we’re on this subject, at this point, if we’re growing in honesty, we should ask ourselves; “Have I been offending GOD?”
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
It’s important we think about this because we could be in danger of being or becoming lukewarm – and we know the warning about that (Rev. 3:16).
Indeed, IF the Church loses it’s saltiness & light (Matt. 5:13), how can we expect to be effective in Kingdom building and especially in our own spiritual growth, prayerfulness with the LORD if we don’t come to terms with what Jesus delivered us from and apply it to our lives?
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
—2 Corinthians 10:4
How? The Holy Spirit!
What function does the Holy Spirit serve?
He united you to Christ at the moment of conversion; He caused you to believe (2 Thessalonians 2:13). He placed you into Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13), and He is the bond that makes you belong to Jesus (Romans 8:9).
He assures you that you belong to God. He teaches you to call God, “Father” (Romans 8:15-16). He is God’s seal of ownership and your guarantee of complete salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
He is making you to be more like Jesus Christ. By progressively freeing you from sinful habits and transforming you into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). By empowering you to replace ungodly habits with godly fruit such as love, patience, and self-control (Galatians 5:18-23).
KEY! Our part is that we must CHOOSE cooperation with the Holy Spirit means the disciplined use of His divine resources. Change occurs as we learn to put off the old ways of thinking and responding and put on God’s new ways of thinking and responding. This begins by daily renewing your mind with the life-changing truth of God’s Word (Ephesians 4:22-24; See verses 25-32 for some specific examples). As you learn to practice the truth, you gradually become more and more godly–like Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 4:7).
The word ”train” in 1 Timothy 4:7 is an athletic term. It means: daily sustained effort. Just as it takes practice to be skilled in a particular sport, so it takes practice to be skilled in living the Christian life. God does not expect you to be perfect; He expects you to be growing. Your part in growing is exerting daily sustained effort to apply His Word to your life.
The Bible also says, “The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgement.” (John 16:8). Otherwise, we’d have to admit, we’re ignoring that beautiful still small voice to our own detriment and stifling our spiritual growth and closeness with our Savior.
Today is about growing up in our faith and remembering how important it is to be doers of the WORD, not just hearers (James 1:22). This is where we find power to overcome!
JESUS, King of kings and Lord or lords, wants to deliver us from lies we have believed about sin and revive us again as His children. As we’ve discovered, this will take our cooperation, our obedience to make it happen! I am hopeful more will come to Christ as HE so chooses and when we live in the Gospel power and authority, we get to join Him in His work – how amazing!
As the New Year 2017 approaches – let this be a calling to surrender any detestable lukewarm behavior we’ve allowed to grow in us; lack of prayer-life, lack of bible study, lack of humility, unrepentant sin and ask God to uproot it and fill us with Himself, the power and authority of Himself/The Gospel and replace our “busy, uninterested ways” back to our Savior and build our relationship with our first love Jesus more closely (Rev. 2:4-5). Alas, there is a crown awaiting those of us who eagerly seek His glorious appearing (2Tim 4:8)! Our days are fleeting, make it count! Let’s be found worthy to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36) This is the perfect season to renew our relationship.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH WITH GOSPEL POWER!
Now to Him who IS ABLE to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the ONLY GOD, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our LORD, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)