Many people argue, 'I do believe in Christ. I believe in the Church, and I
believe in the Bible. Isn’t that enough?' Don’t my beliefs, my knowledge
and my desire carry enough weight to be found acceptable in the eyes of
God? I can answer these questions with one word: No! It’s not enough for
us to possess knowledge. It’s not enough for us to simply believe: (Even
the demons fear God after believing He exists and tremble! James 2: 19)
Desire is good, but desire in and of itself is not enough for us to inherit
eternal life. Each of these aspects is good; they’re all essential and vital,
but we also must RECEIVE Christ; we must RECEIVE the indwelling of
the Holy Spirit by taking Christ on in baptism. Allow me, if you would, to
share an illustration. I may go to the airport. I have a reservation; I have
a ticket in my pocket. The plane is on the ramp. It is a huge plane capable
of carrying numerous passengers to various places all around the world.
I am certain that it has the ability to take me to my destination. They call
the flight number three times and yet, I choose not to get on board. They
close the door. The plane taxis down the runway and takes off, but I have
not boarded the plane. Why? I 'believed' in the plane, I knew the plane was
there; I knew the plane had the ability to get me to my destination; I had
a reservation; I had every opportunity to act upon what I knew was true,
but I neglected to get on board. We can believe in God, Christ, the Bible,
and the Church - but if we have neglected to actually connect with Him in
the waters of baptism to have our sins remitted we are still lost! If this is
where you are, your belief has been an end that has justified your means,
and you have not entrusted yourself to Him. If this is where you are, why
not take the opportunities presented to you today by giving your life to the
Lord Jesus Christ? Go ahead, take that step of faith and climb aboard!
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! - Kevin
I’d never really given it much thought until I read a recent article about the incredible parallel that exists between Adam and Eve, and Christ and His Church. Entertain the similarities. In the beginning God brought Adam into existence. God made a help meet for him by God putting Adam to sleep. The reason for the first anesthetic? To create a help meet suitable for Adam. God removes one of Adam’s ribs and introduces Eve to the Garden. I still love reading the passage that shares Adam’s reaction, “Now THIS is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!! She shall be called woman because she was taken out of the man!” Adam was thrilled to have someone to share his future with!
Naked, unashamed, uninhibited and free this couple enjoyed physical intimacy in a garden paradise beyond comparison of any Caribbean cruise! I know that because sin wasn’t there at first. They conversed with each other and with God as they walked and talked with Him in the cool of the day. Imagine the depth of communication, intimacy and love! Adam and Eve was commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. Just as Eve was brought into existence by the process just described, centuries later, when the fullness of time had come (Gal. 4:4), the church was formed. As a deep sleep came over Adam, so too, after Jesus’ earthly ministry, Jesus was crucified. While He slept the sleep of death, a Roman soldier pierced the side of our Lord and out came the blood that purchased the church. Think about it: The spiritual bride, the church, was purchased by the blood of Christ, and brought into existence in like manner as Eve, Adam’s bride. Just as Eve was called to remain pure, so too the Church, as the Bride of Christ, must remain pure. (Ephesians 5:25-27).
If you were to ask any woman about her wedding day, I’m positive they could share with you the events even down to the most insignificant detail. She could describe the music, the laughter, the tears and the joy. She could recount what time the wedding took place, what was served at the reception, and the names of her bridesmaids. She could describe in detail the look in her husband’s eyes as he expressed vows of faithfulness and love. Just as the budding bride remembers her wedding day, so too does the church, the bride of Christ remember her wedding day and ever be faithful to it … Jeremiah 2:32. Have you said, “I do” to your Creator? Commit your ways to Him. Take Him on in baptism today and begin a life of intimacy as you’ve never known before!
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! -Kevin
I once heard it said that there’s only two ways a marriage can end: death or divorce. My first reaction to that statement was one of shock.” How morbid!” I thought. But after having time for reflection I’ve come to embrace this statement as being absolutely true regardless as to its morbidity. There’s really only two ways a marriage can end. The same is true of our relationship with Christ Jesus. We’re reminded time and again of Jesus being the Bridegroom of His bride, the church. Because Jesus is the ‘Head’ of the relationship we share, He leads us in the direction best meant for us to go. Because He possesses the Words of life, we follow His leading through whatever life throws at us.
When counseling with couples who’ve grown disinterested in each other I remind them of an important truth. Love is more a decision than a feeling. In other words, each of us choose who to love, who to marry and spend the rest of our lives with. Time brings about change. Circumstances change, people change and relationships change. Change isn’t a bad thing: it’s just…different. Unfortunately, some are unable to adjust to life’s changes and throw in the towel well before the buzzer sounds. The reason God hates divorce is because of the pain, isolation and grief it causes. It’s never easy to watch someone go through divorce. In some cases it’s worse than death because they still see their mate from time to time which is a reminder of how things could have been. I’m not writing this article to beat up on divorcees. I’m reminding each of us as Christ’s bride to embrace the love we share with Him. Loving God is a choice. Either we decide to love Him or not.
If you’ve begun a life with Jesus, my encouragement to you is to finish it! Don’t walk away from the best relationship you could ever hope to have. Time brings about change. Circumstances change, people change and relationships change. We change, but Jesus NEVER changes. His love is everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
At one time you chose to love Jesus. Remind yourself: the choice you made is greater than your feelings. Feelings come and go. Jesus came into your life when you gave your heart to Him. The only reason He’ll ‘go’ is if you tell Him to.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! Kevin
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.