Bible Ballistics: Deny Him? 10/13/13 Vol. 2 No.22
We looked at “incongruity” last week, and found that it refers to things that don’t line up or match. Looking at Jeremiah lately, I’ve seen an incongruity in Israel. They were talking about being “God’s”, but not really knowing Him. Are we doing that? To put a spin on a popular gospel song, “Can we, Could we, Would we—Yes we can, we could and we would but we shouldn’t”….
Who would deny Jesus? Matthew 10:32-39 says,
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Jesus tells us here that following Him will not always be a popular thing to do. Following Him carries a price tag; one that many aren’t willing to pay. Although salvation is a free “gift” of God, it isn’t “cheap”. It cost Christ His life-blood on Calvary and it will cost us “losing our life” on the altar of faith and submission. We see in Romans 12:1-2,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
We are called to give our life to Him—after all He paid for it (see 1Cor 6:19-20). As Galatians 2:20 says,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
To place my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, means I am depending on HIM for living my life.
As we see in 2 Peter 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”.
We hear from Peter, that salvation empowers us to have not only life, but godliness as we live daily. Enabled to obey Him and His word, as Jesus himself says in
John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
What does this have to do with “denying” Him? I think a lot. We often see in our “media” resources instructions to “do this or that” to prove we’re not “ashamed” of Him. They quote Matthew about “confess me before men…..deny me before men…” and the consequence of each particular action to compel us to comply. Is that what Jesus expects of us? Does a button “deny” Him or my living?
I believe that Jesus has a much deeper meaning than what we have made it. In our media saturated culture we have come to believe and base our security on something so flimsy as “tweets”, “posts”, “likes”, and “forwards” and have missed what our Lord has called us to be and do. We must understand that scripture—all of scripture, teaches us that real saving faith in Jesus is evidenced by our lifestyle not by pushing or not pushing a button. You can’t push enough buttons to get to heaven…. Only faith in Jesus saves!!!!
James gives us a picture of “real faith”. Not talking about works that save but works that are the evidence of real salvation. Ephesians 2 gives a similar picture. Let’s look at both.
James 2:17-20, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” Not a ‘say so’ faith but a ‘do so’ faith.
Real faith is more than words, or just saying one believes in God. It is a total commitment of ourselves and our souls to the power and deliverance of God through Christ’s sacrifice for my sin.
Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Here Paul clearly tells us that we are saved by faith through grace, but we are saved to do good works. It’s not the vehicle of my salvation but the evidence of it.
As I have been studying Jeremiah in recent weeks, God calls his own people, Israel, to come to Him in truth not just words.
Jeremiah 5:2 says, “And though they say, The Lord liveth; surely they swear falsely.”
And Isaiah 29:13 mirrors the same idea, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”
So I think we need to understand that God is holding me/us accountable for our whole life, not just our words (written or spoken). Just “forwarding”, “liking” or “sharing” something or not doing so, is not the evidence of my allegiance to Jesus. If I am devoted to HIM, my “LIFE” will reveal that, and others will KNOW that I love and obey HIM by my lifestyle.
How are we living? Are we (am I) willing to claim love for Jesus when there is no cost other than pushing a button? Or am I willing to sacrifice my desires and choices daily to follow Jesus? Does my life show that I love Jesus most or myself? A question we all need to ask. May God speak to you this week as you ponder how and where you “walk” and if it’s with Jesus?