Are You Walking in the Truth?

Posted: July 19, 2008 in Bar-Jesus, Commands of Christ, Jesus Christ, Obama
Tags: , , ,

Sunday Morning I will preach a “VBS Kickoff” Sermon on Lifeway’s Outrigger Island Theme. The verse for the week is Ps 86:11: (ESV) Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. It is all about following God’s Unshakeable Truth. If you saw our church and listen to the cool songs, you would think we were off for a Hawaiian Vacation. In reality I believe we are off for a battle in the Pacific, a battle which has the hearts and souls of our children as its prize. Increasingly our Nation is moving away from the TRUTH of God’s Word.
We live in a country where people openly question the authority and truth of God’s Word. Many of you have heard the following quotation from our potential future President:

“And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount — a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our Bibles now. Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles.” Barack Obama 6/28/2006

I have nothing against Barack Obama, but he represents the problem with Christianity today. There are too many smart, intelligent people who think they know more than God, and they think they know better what the truth is. And they are fooling many smart intelligent people.

We have something similar in Acts 13:4-12.

(NKJV) So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Obama claims to be a Born Again Follower of Christ?

Barack Obama is very similar to “Bar-Jesus” because he is using his version of the truth (pseudo-Christianity) to influence voters, especially in light of his ‘Christian Brochure’.

Obama claims to be a Born Again Follower of Christ?

In Acts 13, Elymas (Aramaic for Wise) thought he knew the truth, but he was a false prophet. He was Bar-Jesus (False Jesus). He tried to fool Sergius Paulus, who himself was an intelligent man, a man of authority given him by the Roman Senate.

Along comes Paul & Barnabus preaching and teaching the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Sergius was fascinated by this truth and was about to become a convert. Elymas (about to lose his sugar daddy) withstood them (got in their face) trying to turn the proconsul away from them.

Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, who is TRUTH. Paul locked his eyes on him and spoke this truth: withstood him (got in his face) and said: “You son of the devil, you enemy of all true righteousness, you monster of trickery and evil, is it not time you gave up trying to pervert the truth of the Lord? Now listen, the Lord himself will touch you, for some time you will not see the light of the sun – you will be blind!” (Phillips)

Then Sergius believed, but Acts 3:12 says he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

I believe Christianity is so watered down because we have failed to teach the Truth of Jesus Christ. The truth is not just doctrine. The truth of Jesus is never meant to be intellectual and theological. The Jews had all that with the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducee’s. Jesus stood on the steps of the temple and cried out: You will not come to ME that you might have life”. The truth of Jesus Christ will produce LIFE that can be seen by everyone. It is not just theological doctrine. Here is evidence that perhaps our way of teaching the Bible is not working.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life between May 8 and Aug. 13, 2007, among a representative sample of more than 35,000 Americans, found the following disturbing result about “TRUTH” (see chart)

IS THERE ANY TRUTH? Even among Evangelical Christians there is doubt and unbelief about Jesus when He says I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me! We have BAR-JESUS’s like Alexander McClaren & Barack Obama encouraging us to read our Bibles and yet being “OPEN” to what the Truth of God’s Word is. In fact they will tell you it is impossible to know truth!

The reason that I am so concerned about our children, and our grandchildren, is that People Walk according to the Truth they believe. If we do not know what the Truth is, then we will walk to whatever we want. Gay Marriage makes sense to someone who doesn’t believe in truth. Mercy killing makes sense to people without truth. Abortion makes sense to people without truth.

I’m afraid that even attending Bible-teaching churches that my grandchildren will grow up not knowing the truth of God because we parents and grandparents don’t know the truth of God’s way. We can quote Psalms 86:11 all we want. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. But God has already shown us His Way. His Way is His Son Jesus Christ. We are to Walk in Him, Abide in Him.

But I’m afraid that the words of Jack Nicholson are echoing across the churches of our land: “You can’t handle the truth”

The truth is that God’s Truth is meant to Guide our lives. It is meant to be Practical, Walkable, Livable. The Truth of God will IMPACT the WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE. And it is meant to impact you in Extraordinary Ways.

But when we Christians aren’t Living the Truth of God’s Word, then Truth starts to be subjective, open to your own interpretation.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

I’m not talking about truth’s such as the Inerrancy of God’s Word, the Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, Salvation by Grace and on and on. Those are important Theological Truths that I believe most of us share. But with Jesus it is not about Theology, it is about Livology. Jesus came that we might have LIFE, and that ABUNDANTLY!

I’m talking about Living the Life that Jesus Taught!

If Jesus is the WAY & the TRUTH, how do we Learn of Him so that we might have LIFE? The key is what Jesus told us was our Great Commission:

“Teaching them to (KEEP) observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

So what were all the commands of Jesus? A survey of the Gospels will produce about 49 general commands that every believer should follow. This, then, is the curriculum for carrying out the Great Commission and being a disciple. These Commands are the TRUTH, They Are the WAY They Will REPRODUCE HIS LIFE IN US!

The Greek word translated keep is tereo, which means “to guard, to watch, to observe closely, to hold fast.” This same word is used to describe the care that the Philippian jailer was to exercise in keeping Paul and Silas from escaping.

During the times of wind-driven ships, navigators would use the phrase keeping the stars. This meant that they would use the stars to chart a course across the ocean. This is precisely how the commands of Christ are to be used: as dependable lights for charting a course throughout life.

THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST:

1. Showing Our Love for Christ

“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

2. Abiding in God’s Love

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).

3. Perfecting God’s Love

“Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (I John 2:5).

4. Having God Live Within Us

“If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23).

5. Experiencing God’s Love

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father…” (John 14:21).

6. Knowing Christ Intimately

“…And I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).

“Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (I John 2:3).

If you are serious about learning and following the commands of Christ, I suggest you enrol in the FREE Daily Success Program of daily emails sponsored by the Institute in Basic Life Principles. You can do so at www.IBLP.org. Bill Gothard has done exhaustive research and application into the 49 commands of Christ. While it is geared toward men, women can enroll as well.

Churches that call themselves Christian must return to following the Commands of Christ. He is our Way, our Truth and our Life. No man comes to God but by following Jesus and His commands.

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Comments
  1. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Thanks for supplying these details.

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