“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)
There are countless examples of those who have possessed great understanding of spiritual things, who have had phenomenally successful ministries, who have enjoyed great respect for their intellect and sound biblical positions.
But who have eventually fallen into compromise.
Because they did not allow the Cross to be applied to their lives. They had too much confidence in their own performances, reputations, or outward successes.
They had confidence in their own strength. And in their own Christian flesh.
The Missing Part of the Gospel
Most Christians live with an understanding of only part of the work that the Lord has accomplished on their behalf.
They know that He died for them. And that He paid the penalty for their sins. They know that the scriptures say how we are “dead to the law” and “dead to sin” (Galatians 2:19; Romans 6:11). They know that they are “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20)
They even read the words that we are “risen with Christ“. (Colossians 3:1-4)
But they live as if the Lord has only accomplished one part of this for them. And they persist in trying to live a life that is impossible for them to live.
All because of a terrible misunderstanding that is common across the Christian spectrum.
This is not something missing in only one group or one denomination. This is a common blessing and truth that is missing all across the board in the lives of believers.
This is something that is missing in the lives of those who have already been born again.
Living by What Power?
This could be explained in a couple ways.
Consider a man who owns an awesome car. Who does not put gas in that car. Who gets out of his car and tries to push his car down the road. Failing to realize that his car runs on gasoline; and not by his own effort.
Or a kerosene lamp. That is cleanly trimmed. And very nicely polished. But does not have the kerosene within it. And yet, the owner tries to light the wick without any success. Who, at best, gets only short moments of light as he lights and re-lights the wick. While it continues to go out.
Failing to understand that he must put kerosene in the lamp to make it work.
Or the electric lamp that thinks it can bring light to those sitting around it. But it is not plugged in. The electricity is not flowing through it. And so, it can never give light. As beautiful and stylish and shiny as it is.
It is a worthless paperweight sitting on an end table. Because it believes it can light the room by its own power. Instead of allowing the electric current to flow through it and light it up.
Leaving the Spirit Behind
We live in a way no different than this.
Because we fail to see that the Lord has put us to death. In order that He can be our life.
Not in order that we can be a life for Him. Or to live for Him. But so that He can be our Life. So that He can be our Life for us.
But we just don’t get it.
Instead, we constantly try to reverse this truth. In a million different ways, we twist this around.
Churches constantly reverse this by the way that they teach us to live. By getting it wrong in a million different ways.
The Christian world is filled with teaching that tries to combine modern motivational psychology with the Bible. Only to accomplish disastrous results.
We are basically taught a kind of Christian form of the “Psychology of Winning”, the “Power of Positive Thinking”, and the hard-work, sports-training ethic all rolled into one. With a lot of Bible verses sprinkled in to make it very compelling.
Which is an especially seductive method used by those trying to build a ministry, to train up leaders, to reach out to the community, to be “missional”, or to “make a difference” in the world.
While leaving the Lord and His Spirit behind. As they run ahead waving for the Holy Spirit to catch up!
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