Tuesday, June 25, 2013

And That’s Enough

It seems today that nearly everyone calling oneself a Christian has adopted a new creed:

I believe in Jesus Christ
as my Lord and Savior,
and that’s enough.

This seems to be what is heard again and again, without fail.  It seems that whenever a person is confronted with Scriptures that clearly teach that this confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is clearly defined by further specific doctrine, people fall back to this as the only confession and doctrine that they will permit.

Well, there is, of course, this:

I cannot judge what is in another person’s heart.

It seems that people forget that the entire point of the Gospel is salvation for sinners who by Adam’s refusal to trust God’s Word have died to God and the life that is in His Communion.  They seem to forget that the preaching of forgiveness means preaching that people have an actual need to be forgiven.  They seem to forget that the primary cause of the need for forgiveness as proclaimed in the Holy Scriptures is the unbelief and false belief of people.

How can the forgiveness of unbelief and false belief be preached and administered without clearly declaring people's unbelief and false belief?

Why do so many sects exist within what is known as Christendom?

Is it not on account of the diversity of beliefs concerning what the doctrine of the Scriptures really is?

Is it really possible to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior while redefining what He says that this means?  Is it really possible to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior while openly denying what He says concerning the means of salvation?  Is it really possible to trust with true faith in the Messiah or Christ while opposing the very means through which the Scriptures teach that He builds His Church and works in it and through it to save the lost?

Who can even begin to speak of saving the lost without identifying them as the lost?

This group, The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, clearly identifies, even with pictures, those whom they are hoping to save from their lost condition.  How many people consider this to be unloving?  How many people say, “Oh no, I cannot judge these children as being lost”?

If a child is born with spina bifida, do people say that one cannot judge the child as having this deficiency in gestational development?  If someone insisted on calling the diagnosis of such children as cruel, would this not be counted as irrational and even absurd?  How can corrective surgery be pursued for such a child without judging or diagnosing the child as a sufferer of spina bifida?

Yet concerning the most serious broken condition of all, people are inclined to judge that such a condition must not be clearly diagnosed.  They treat the matter of spiritual brokenness to be a matter that should not be diagnosed in absolute terms.  Rather it is said to be a “personal matter.”

Who is really the uncaring and cruel person?

Is it not the person who refuses to acknowledge what has already been clearly diagnosed by the true Physician, the one who truly knows the condition of brokenness of mankind and openly declares both the cause and the cure?  Is not the truly cruel person the one who redefines both the condition and the cure so that neither are rightly recognized?  Is not the truly cruel person the one who administers the cure in an adulterated form that either has no efficacy or may even make the condition worse?

The Lord Jesus through His apostle declares the necessity of speaking the truth in love, saying:

     I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)     
      And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.    (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Therefore it seems absolutely necessary to ask:

      Is it really enough to direct people to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior without actually defining clearly and in unmistakable terms what this belief means?

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