I’ve made a mistake.
Well, I’ve made many, many mistakes over my lifetime, but none quite so deceptive as the current one.
For a few years now, I’ve been reading the books of Christian authors who write about the “Christian life” and while I believed they were just helping me discern what God wants from me, just this morning God showed me in scripture:
Galatians 1:6-9 (KJV) which says, “6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
My latest, greatest favorite was Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love” book.
This book grabbed my attention quickly because the focus was on the “lukewarm” believer of Revelation 3:16 (KJV) which says, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
The whole book is crafted around the concept that a “lukewarm” Christian is one who lacks “good works” in reaching out and helping others. On the surface, that’s convicting, especially for believers, but somehow, Chan’s writing has made me feel like “works” is part of salvation.
That is not biblical.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) is clear about how we are saved. It is by grace alone. “8 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.”
After some thought, and lots of scripture reading and prayer, God’s given me an understanding of His words. When matched against men’s and women’s interpretation of His truth, it is definitely misconstrued and terribly misused.
I wonder if instead when Jesus speaks about “lukewarm,” He is referring to the state of our heart. Where we kind of half-heartedly believe in God. We half-heartedly share our faith, we don’t really die to Him. In other words “We still call the shots.”
When we really, absolutely die to Christ, we don’t need any other author to tell us how to live. The bible is our sole source for living in the truth, the way and the life. It is for our instruction, reproof and conviction, according to 2 Timothy 3:16.
The more we read what man’s interpretation of scripture is, the more we are apt to start believing him over what God intends.
I used to have a hard time understanding the bible, but over time, God has lifted the veil from my eyes and set in my heart what His intentions are. I have to believe, that for every other Christian, God will do, wants to do, or is doing the same thing.
I’m not saying Francis Chan or hundreds of other Christian authors aren’t Christians. God may be speaking to them and giving them an understanding of the scriptures, but He will do that for any who seek Him.
Be wary of those who profit mightily from interpreting God’s word for our lives.
Matthew 7: 14-15 (KJV) says, “14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
My salvation and your salvation are dependent upon our faith in God’s grace alone.
It is personal, it’s definitive and it’s eternal.