God’s Word is the only truth that God accepts.
In this day and age of relativism and subjectivism, there doesn’t seem room for the idea of
absolute truth as recorded in God’s Word, the Bible. Critics of all sorts attack the claims of God’s Word with the aim of justifying their worldviews and dogmas. They do not like the idea of a Righteous God and Savior to whom they will have to answer for their heart’s motives and lifestyles. Let’s face it, Jesus’ message claiming to be the only way to the Father, and that of the Bible in general is controversial and convicting. Even Jesus said that his message was “hard to hear” and asked the disciples “if they would leave also.” But Peter said “Lord to whom should we go, only you have the words of eternal life.”
Let’s face it; the Old Testament with its laws of perfection, was given to get people to see their lost, guilty state before a Holy, Omnipotent God (the 10 commandments show us that we are lost, they are not some sort of a 10 step self improvement regiment); in comparison to the world’s message which is to make you feel good about yourself. The New Testament gives us God’s solution to our sin condition through Christ’s death for all humanity. Thus by nature, God’s Word by nature, is supposed to be difficult to listen to because nobody likes to be told that they are not “basically good” but rather sinful and personally guilty. All other religions try to remove our blame and the consequences of our evil nature in one way or another. This is one reason many won’t darken the door of a church.
Test the Spirits
4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our trademark question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God of truth and gave my truth to mankind through my Apostles as recorded in the Bible. From the first man, I have always wanted to speak to you. I want you to know me. I want you to spend eternity by my side. But you have a problem that must be dealt with first – your sin. I AM Holy and cannot be with you in your sinful condition; I cannot listen to your prayers, or hear your singing. Nothing that you do for me as an unsaved person is acceptable in my sight.
However, I AM the God who came to Earth as the God/Man Jesus Christ. I love you so much that I came to earth to remedy your situation if you would allow me to do so for you. Only I, the eternal God of the universe could adequately pay for the punishment that I set upon mankind’s sin. Only my death 2000 years ago on the cross can eradicate your sin. Only I can make you holy again in my sight properly. No amount of good works or church attendance or helping the needy can remove your sin. No one can live up to my standard of love and righteousness to earn their way to heaven – no one except me. Consequently, I came to earth to live as a man in order to fulfill my Father’s will in its entirety. I fulfilled the Law of God. I completed all the works My Father had for me to do. I earned the right to be the perfect sacrifice for mankind. I did all this for you. Now there is nothing left for you to do, this is why I said “it is finished” on the cross. If you don’t believe me, then chances are that you do not belong to me.
I AM the God who indwells my children by my Spirit. He who has the Son of God has my Spirit in them and they listen to my voice and I will make them think and act as my Son from the inside out. Those who are of the world think and act as the world does and they do not listen to my Word or my messengers because it convicts them of the truth.
Men love darkness because their deeds are evil
We humans tend to run from the truth which makes us uncomfortable rather than face it
head on. To repent means to agree with God about His absolute righteousness, your lost condition in Adam and your personal sin. It has the idea of doing a 180 degree turn in your thinking. Not to promise being better in the future, but to acknowledge that you are not able to be holy like God and that you need Him to make you so. Only then will you listen to the Apostles and teachers of Christ speak of heavenly things and embrace their teaching. 1 Cor 1:18 says that the message of the cross is foolishness to the wise of this world. To forsake the teaching of God’s messengers is to admit your lack of being able to embrace truth that reveals your unsaved condition. God’s light being preached reveals your inner darkness which takes humility to admit.
The true Gospel tells us that we are not basically good
Throughout the scriptures we see righteous men and women being persecuted, tortured and killed for this message, and often by the religious leaders of the day. It is said that there are more martyrs in this century than that of all centuries before. This is because Satan is prodding the religious people of this world to reject the truth of God’s word regarding the worthlessness of their labors for his lies of self righteousness. Look at what Cain did to his brother Abel. Look at what the Religious leaders did to the God/Man Christ Jesus and his Apostles. The true Gospel is a stumbling block to anyone who deems themselves to be righteous in their own abilities because the true Gospel tells us that we are not basically good bur rather sinners and need to be saved without any help from you. This is why Jesus said that he came to save those who are lost. Everyone is lost – but only a few realize it and to those who admit it, eternal life will be given to them.
This is how we can test the spirit
To add human merit or works to this message is to corrupt it. If you want to avoid being confused and misled by the religions of the world, you need to study God’s Word from cover to cover to understand who Christ really is and what he has done for you. Compare everything you hear with God’s Word. Then read and compare multiple commentaries to gain perspective. Whatever is not of sound doctrine is error and you should throw it out. You would not invest in a company without doing your homework first; the same is true with doctrine that determines eternal life. With God the Holy Spirit living in you, He can direct you into knowing real truth. 1 Corinthians 1:7-14, especially verse 14. This is how you test the spirits. Stay in the Word of God and listen to those who preach and write about it accurately. We are talking about your eternal life here. It is important. Invest your life to study wisely. Jesus said, “You study because you think that in the Word of God you will find life, but it is the word of God that testifies about me.” (Steve paraphrase).
More to come,