Being a Christian is more than going to church, more than signing in the choir or band, more than being part of the popular crowd at church, more than fist bumping the pastor, more than wearing cool tee-shirts about Jesus and more than reading the Bible. Being a Christian means obeying everything God and Jesus told us to do. It means that we love the commands they have given us. It means we agree with the commands they have given us with all our minds, hearts and souls. It means that nothing in us balks at their beliefs. Their beliefs are our beliefs. It doesn’t mean we will never sin. We will, without a doubt, sin, as Paul so clearly and eloquently describes in Romans. But we will hate our sin because it goes against everything we wish we we could be. Not because we are afraid of losing our salvation, but because we wish we could please God and even ourselves better because God’s commands are pleasurable to us.
That is how a true Christian feels about God’s commands.
A person who claims to love God and Jesus, yet balks or argues against their commands (or any basic principle) set forth in the Bible is in danger. Remember, I don’t mean a person who sins, because that would be all of us. I mean a person who balks in their minds and hearts. They don’t agree with it and wish to argue against it. These people must examine their souls. That is my true belief. One who has given themselves to Christ has died to the world. They aren’t perfect, but they wish they were. With all their hearts. This is the transformation that happened when they accepted the Holy Spirit into themselves. Not perfection, but the wish for it.
I have met too many church goers who say they love Christ but continue to argue against what the Bible clearly says about how we are to live. They do this because they wish to live in a way that is clearly unbiblical. It is open rebellion. They are sexually immoral, agree with homosexuality, abuse drugs and alcohol, refuse to work, refuse to discipline their children, refuse correction, abuse their parents, abuse their teachers, abuse their elders, abuse their children, gossip, live selfishly, shirk responsibility and cheat their neighbors by demanding government money that they don’t deserve. They surround themselves with likeminded ‘Christians’ and defend one another. Sadly, they seek out pastors who are too afraid to lose their tithes to correct them.
And so, they move forward happily in their sin, believing they are Christians.
When one reads the Bible, it is absolutely clear that to God, Obedience = Love and Love = Obedience. They are almost one and the same to God. As a parent, I can see how closely these relate. Everyone falls down, but that’s not the point, is it? It’s about wanting to do what is right. It’s about our beliefs. Without loving God’s commands, we are nothing and our supposed ‘love’ is nothing. It is less than dirt. Nowhere in the Bible is love defined as a ‘feeling’. It isn’t defined as a sort of glowing kindness or softness of heart. Neither is it defined as a wishy washy forgiveness when others brutally break God’s commands. Nowhere does it say that ‘love’ means that we put our arms around others that damn God, abuse his name or brazenly flaunt their bodies in gay pride parades.
Indeed, I am beginning to suspect that Christians who fight to defend these very people are actually fighting for themselves and their own sins. I am coming to believe that if they agree that these are sins, then their own sins might also come under scrutiny. After all, how many divorces do we now have in churches that didn’t stem from adultery? How many affairs took place that went unknown? How many drugs are still being consumed? How many secrets are hidden? I wonder if this is not at the base of these Christians’ love, not the true of love self sacrifice. True love would cause a true Christian to help these people turn from their ways so that they can find Christ and live. Those who continue blindly in their sins can’t find Christ- which will cause them to die. Who, exactly, is showing true love?
No, the Bible is clear that Love = Obedience to God’s commands (a deep desire to obey them). Ask yourself what kind of person you are. Do you or don’t you agree with God’s commands? Do you or don’t you love Jesus’ commands? Do you wish to follow them? Do you try your best to follow them? Is the Bible your standard for living? Do you repent when the Holy Spirit convicts you of wrong doing or do you continue to do whatever you want? Be what you say you are and you will have value to God. Otherwise, you are worthless as a Christian- if you are one at all.