Can they accurately present God's grace, love, blessings, or forgiveness while omitting His purity and narrow road salvation?
There's no god better than our God - and no part of Him should be left out. He's full of love but hates sin. He's full of grace but has serious expectations of His children. He forgives but He also rebukes, disciplines, and punishes.
Throughout history, people have presented half-truths about God, insisting they're making God look better (Romans 3:5-8; Romans 6:1-2). But this is the bottom line: if we don't understand our sin, we'll never understand God's grace.
Presenting half-a-god is popular, but half-a-god won't save people's souls or change their hearts.
Let's make sure we accurately understand and share the God of the Bible, dear Christians. We can't improve on the way God describes Himself in His Word (Hebrews 4:12).
Each highlighted word is linked to a 1-minute devotion or Bite Size Study.
1. Forty some years ago, I had a bumper sticker that read, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." It seemed true at the time, but I was a new Christian and didn't understand that Christians aren't just forgiven; we're also motivated by the power of Christ within us to change. We're new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). See Saints or Sinners.
This bumper sticker attitude seems to be growing, as Christians act and think similar to their unsaved neighbors and have a casual attitude toward sin. But this is nothing new. Paul addressed it in Romans:
Romans 3:5-8: “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) 6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world? 7 “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” 8 And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.
2. When we have the bumper sticker mentality, we're forgetting that God does the work in us, but we actively, wholeheartedly yield to His hand in our lives. The following Scriptures highlight our role and God's. Also see Our Part, God's Part
Hebrews 4:10-13: anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Philippians 2:12-13: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com