The Church is full of hypocrites
This is one of the most distressing accusations against Christianity. Unfortunately it is
true. Every Christian is a hypocrite to one degree or another. But this accusation is not fair in that all humans are hypocritical. No human even lives up to their own standard of righteousness. We all want to put our best foot forward so people don’t see our dark sides. When church is nothing but a self righteous country club there is good reason why people should stay away from Church or any other religion for that matter. But that is not what God intends with his church. Church is rather a hospital for sick souls where complete holiness is only attained when a Christian dies. But church is open to all humans who would admit that they are sick and need Christ to do for them what they cannot. We don’t go to church because we are good enough; we go because we know that we are not! And our prayers are not to earn heaven, but that Christ would make us increasingly more holy in life until that day when he puts an end to our sin nature.
Paul writes to this “troubled” church and yet calls them saints and sanctified, but not because of their faithfulness, rather because Christ is faithful to finish what he starts in each of them. That is one of the beauties of Christianity over other religions.
Called to be blameless on that day
1 Cor 1: 1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who is perfect and saved you for the same purpose – holy perfection. I have made you perfect in my sight positionally so now in this temporary life I have given you everything you need for life and godliness. As you wait for my return, when I will complete your perfection, let the facts of your position replace the feelings of your condition. This is why I AM known as the Author and perfecter of your faith. I will bring the circumstances to mature your faith as you rest in your position as indicated in my word.
I AM the faithful God who is able to do what I promise. I have called you. I have sanctified you by my blood. I have given you my grace. I have placed you in my Son to have fellowship with him. I have enriched you with every spiritual gift. I will keep you safe until He returns. I have made you blameless and will keep you as such. And regardless of the circumstances I allow you to go through, I am right there with you to see you through them and mature you by them. What more can I do for you than I have not already done? Trust me. Let my word transform your thinking so you can grow more and more confident in my grace.
Stop trying, Start dying, keep relying
Salvation is God’s work through Christ on your behalf. Sanctification is what that looks like in application; it is his work in you to make you match up with what he has already done for you positionally 2000 years ago, ultimately ending up in your perfection in the end. Salvation – initially, and sanctification – daily are both received by faith. Where is boasting then? As I have said many times, Heaven then is not a reward, but the place where the ultimate completion of our faith will be realized; Christ-likeness will finally be realized conditionally and experientially as vs 8 says and Phil 1:6 confirms “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” So as you have received Christ so walk in him. By faith.
Behold, wait, rest and stand
We want to do, do, do. He tells us to stand and see the salvation of the Lord. There is nothing that we can do to remove ourselves from the love and forgiveness of God. Just because we are Christian, does not mean we are sinless. But rather our sinfulness keeps us humbly returning to God in confession for continued filling. His mercies are new every morning. Maturity in Christ is not that we are sinless, but rather when we do sin, how quickly do we confess and restore our fellowship with God. Ultimately Christ will make us perfect just as he is perfect when we get to heaven. But for now, we need to strive to keep our fellowship with Christ intact as he transforms us into his image by letting us see how our failures which differ from our position of perfection in him. While there is breath in our lungs, nobody is beyond saving and restoring fellowship with God. The church is full of hypocrites because nobody likes to admit that they are sinful and need God, but it is the only way to experience change.
More to come,