Sunday, September 15, 2013

Christian vs Christian

You shouldn't have to wear boxing gloves to church.

Romans 14:4, 10-13  Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer?

Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  11  For the Scriptures say, "'As surely as I live,' says the LORD, 'every knee will bend to Me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God. '"  12  Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.  13  So let's stop condemning each other.

Every organization has it's share of division and strife among the people that are in the group. Whether it is in the military, a social group or a workplace, there is going to be conflict.

That shouldn't be true of the church but unfortunately it is not any better inside the body of Christ. There have always been divisions and fighting despite the fact that Jesus prayed for us to get along with each other and serve each other and to be united together just the same as he is united with God the Father. (John 17:21)

I have never slowed down and allowed this verse to sink in. It is stuck in the middle of a bunch of verses about whether the Gentile believers should stick to the dietary restrictions that the Jews observed under the law. The verse is Romans 14:4 "Who are you to condemn someone else's servants?"

The first thought that came to mind is that I am a servant of God. I am just a slave, I do not have any rights, my life has been redeemed by Jesus and therefore it belongs to him. Since he has purchased me he has all rights to me and my life should be spent making sure that I am pleasing my master.

Second thought that comes to mind is that I am surrounded by other servants of God that he has also redeemed and none of those other servants around me are answerable to me. I don't have any rights and I don't have any authority. As a fellow slave, I have no power or any right to have another slave give an account for his actions.

What if the other servants are doing what God has told them to do? Why am I putting them down? So what if they are not pleasing me when it comes to stuff that isn't an essential part of the gospel. There is one Lord, one Holy Spirit and one God and I am not any of them.
James 4:12  God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
Jesus had the right to walk around this planet and point his finger at everybody that he saw that was wrong and condemn all of them but instead the main characteristic of his life was love. It was love that drew people to him. Without love the gospel doesn't have any power and instead of drawing people in to Jesus we will drive them away.

Help me Lord to be less like the devil with his judging personality and help me to grow more like my loving redeemer.