Sunday, November 9, 2008

Contending for the Truth

As good stewards we must maintain the cause of truth against all comers."Never get into religious controversies," says one; that is to say, being interpreted, be a Christian soldier, but let your sword rust in its scabbard, and sneak into heaven like a coward.Such advice I cannot endorse. If God has called you by the truth, maintain the truth, which has been the means of your salvation. We are not to be pugnacious, always contending for every crotchet of our own; but wherein we have learned the truth of the Holy Spirit, we are not tamely to see that standard torn down which our fathers upheld at peril of their blood.This is an age in which truth must be maintained zealously, vehemently, continually. Playing fast and loose as many do, believing this to-day and that to-morrow, is the sure mark of children of wrath; but having received the truth, to hold fast the very form of it, as Paul bids Timothy to do, is one of the duties of heirs of heaven. Stand fast for truth, and may God give the victory to the faithful.We must believe the gospel and maintain it, for it is committed to our trust.

((The above excerpt from a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon in1876))

Here we are 140 years later and not much has changed. There are still people who live like the world and call themselves Christians. The truth is still questioned, doubted and not taken seriously. Even by the church.

As a follower of Christ, we should be passionate about sharing the Gospel. Expressing the truth in love and keeping verses such as Ephesians 4: 29-32 and 1 Peter 3: 15 in mind so as to encourage others. Likewise, we are reminded of the effectiveness of the Word (2 Timothy 3: 16 and Titus 1: 9).

Our purpose in life is to Glorify God. We do that by loving Him and loving others. The key is to do so without compromising the Word or grieving the Holy Spirit in our testimony (words & actions). It's relatively easy to share the message of "God loves you" to the world however, there are going to be times when the whole truth is not as popular.This is exactly why we need to be 'consumed' with the Word of God. Our human (sinful) nature can easily get in the way of the Gospel. Our pride, arrogance and selfishness can all distort the truth. Faith comes through hearing the Word. Our words and actions should be Christ-like. Boldly proclaim the Gospel with love and compassion.

We should be in the Word daily to understand better how to correctly use the 'sword of the spirit'.