Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Christianity without Transformation - The Problem With Lent

There are many religious traditions that people encounter that are entertaining, activities, works and presumptions on the Grace of God given.

Many people are concerned about a hyper grace Gospel.  I am concerned about dead works.  Hear the word of the Lord:

 "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me".  Matthew 15:8

"And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote".  Isaiah 29:13

This all comes as the church world begins to go thru yet another tradition.  "Honoring" Jesus and His sacrifice in the season of Lent.  Abstaining from this or that.  No meat.  Wearing ashes (tonight).  Giving up all kinds of things in a sort of physical circumcision, when God calls for people to have a circumcision of their Hearts and not their flesh. 

"A true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people".  Romans 2:29

Pastor Phil Ressler wrote on this in his profound writing "20 Things to Give up for Lent".  Read it if you think I am off on this.

There are too many things we do that are traditional and without transformation.  Most Communion is without impact.  Infant Baptism as a "Born Again" moment is without effect.  I don't deny God's capability in grace extended (as happens in a dedication), but it is not a transformation as described by Jesus to Nicodemus.  That is a transformative experience.

The same is those who believe they have been Baptized in the Holy Spirit but are un transformed.  They may have gone thru some ceremony, but it's all tradition.  Even some who speak in some kind of tongue are untransformed.

Unless a person is transformed, they will not see the Kingdom of God.  That's not about heaven. That's another issue. It's about seeing what God is doing all around us.

It's time to let the trans-formative power of Christ rule and reign in hearts.  (I can speak for God here too, He is tired of those who honor him with their mouths but nothing else)

Romans 12:2
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.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 3:18
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Romans 5:1-21
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a very good post. Good job. If you know the pastor perhaps you might mention the men who speak in tongues yet sound as brass and symbols... Their is a process and warnings in every book of the bible of God rejecting those who neither endure chasteing Hebrews 12 or who will not have the Spirit as mentioned in jude not having means refusing mistreating neglecting the Spirit...end result those not liking to retain the knowledge of God are rejected. Another title for the Holy spirit is the Spirit of knowledge... Also for the scriptures in this post they line up with the teachings of Jesus concerning the heart or soul parable if you will...Indeed land that bears thorns is mentioned in Hebrews... deny the Spirit long enough and It may be your last time as leaonard ravenhill and dereck prince so aptly preached and taught...calling Him lord while refusing Him and refusing to repent...will draw the wrath of God for those holding (having) the Spirit of truth and loving unrighteousness. end result a form of religion having denied the empowering Holy Spirit whom God JEALOUSLY yearns to be welcome..