In our own strength we cannot stand in judgment before a righteous God. We stand there only in the strength of Christ, our advocate, because He took our sins upon Himself once and for all. Only He stands able to say what is and is not acceptable to God.
- Jim Shempert
Theology is one of my hobbies. Probably boring to most, but it’s one of mine. Theology in short definition is the study of God. Most people will gladly talk to you about their children, their favorite sports team, or the political climate of the day. Me, I like to talk about the Bible, its application to my life, and the higher spiritual precepts that are there for us all – whether we choose to seek them or not. I’m also selective of who I go too deep into theology with. If I discern that a person is not spiritually mature, nor very deep in his theology, I probably won’t try to go too deep with him. If a person believes in a Jesus that is all love and no justice, I usually don’t waste my time.
I have found, in talking to differing groups of people over the last year or so, that there are two things that are desperately needed in Christendom today: 1) Bible-believing preachers/teachers who teach with the authority of God and 2) Christians who need to fall back in love with the Word of God.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well yes, but Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
I find that as I engage those who may not be as engaged in their theology, that they have a different view of Jesus than what is in the Scriptures. Unfortunately, the natural human trait to exhibit is anger when one is confronted with scriptures that don’t match his “theology.” “Well, I don’t believe that!” “That’s not what my Jesus says.”
It’s then that one realizes, it is not you who he is mad at, it’s God. Man’s natural inclination is to rebel against God. We naturally seek to one-up God, to make ourselves equal with Him. Our flesh tells us that we are on the same playing field. Woefully, we are not. In our own strength we cannot stand in judgment before a righteous God. We stand there only in the strength of Christ, our advocate, because He took our sins upon Himself once and for all. Only He stands able to say what is and is not acceptable to God.
Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising — have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken! (Mark 12:24-27).
Here is Jesus Himself telling people that they are in error because they do not follow Scripture. I think if anyone calls himself a Christian, he must square himself with the fact that Jesus was the Living Word, and, therefore, ALL Scripture is infallible. If you do not believe that, then simply put, I’m not sure why you would call yourself a Christian. If you don’t listen to the words of the Savior, then why call yourself a follower of Him.
The Old Testament’s teachings are true. The New Testament and its teachings are true. If you consider yourself a Christian, if you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, you must start with that as a base. The church must come back to its center. Christ is the center of the church. Whatever your feelings on whatever issue, if you are a Christian, you must look at it and make your decision based on your faith in Christ.
To do that, you must educate yourself in the Bible and on what Christ says. If you do not, the world, in its hatred of God, will do its best to degrade and destroy the Word of God. What some call progressive, Scripture calls false.
In the end, all Scripture is true. The point of all Scripture is to point a fallen man to Christ. Because we all stand in need of a Savior. We are all guilty of sin, and all are unable to restore ourselves to God. God, in His love, made a way for His creation to return to Him. The work is done. The victory is won. The choice, though, is yours.
Christ is not a historical figure, nor an intellectual idea, nor a debate topic. He is the perfect Lamb that God required for our sin. He gave His life willingly for yours. He stands ready, right now, to save and forgive even the worst among us. I know because He did it for me.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).