Like i said in my last post, i would like to keep sharing what God has been teaching me on love. In this post, i will be talking about the importance of love in expressing faith, and using the gifts of the spirit for God’s glory in the church. This post includes a lot of my recent reformed beliefs and i am in no way trying to offend anyone with it. I hope you learn something new from it.
Firstly, today’s church has somehow succeeded in separating the gifts of the spirit from Love. Whole denominations have been formed based on their belief in the gifts of the spirit and other denominations about how they believe we should desire love but not the gifts of the spirit.
Its such a shame how we get denominationalism from such things in the church today because that’s not what Jesus wanted. The other day i was with some of my christian friends, and we met an atheist and he asked, ‘Which one of them are you? The happy-clappy ones or the methodist or baptist’. And then each one of us starting telling him the denomination we belonged to. When he got to me i told him ‘I’m in the middle of it all’. I must admit i felt ashamed that even though we were all christians we had to divide ourselves into groups. There was nothing uniting about someone saying ‘church of england’ and another saying ‘baptist’. Growing up as a teenager, i always referred to myself as a ‘pentecostal’. But one day, i read one of Jesus’s last requests to His father just before he was going to be crucified. He said, “That they all may be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.”
You can imagine Jesus was asking his Father for what was most precious to His heart because He knew He was leaving the world. That is the basis for my non-denominationalism. I may still hold on to my pentecostal beliefs but if you asked me what denomination i was i would just say ‘I’m a christian, a member of the body of Christ’. Imagine what would happen if we could all focus on our similarities and lose sight of our differences? The reason why Jesus asked that we may be one was so that the world may believe and be convinced that his Father sent Him. Expectedly, the atheist we spoke to was from a christian family. His mum was methodist, his grandmother was apostolic and most of his extended family were ‘happy-clappy’. One Church=Won World.
Its even more scary when we make up theological terms and say we belong to a man because He came up with some doctrines. Yes, Martin Luther and John Calvin really helped in the building of today’s church foundation but Calvin and Luther belong to Christ. There’s no need to call yourself a ‘Calvinist’ or a ‘Lutheran’. This was what the church in corinth did that Paul wrote to them about in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13:
What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ.
13Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?
Calvin and Luther were servants of Christ. The doctrines they came up with were not their doctrines but the doctrines of the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit. Maybe if everyone stuck to the name ‘Christian’ (instead of Lutheran, pentecostal, baptist, methodist etc) the world will not think christianity is a joke. Another thing i find quite strange is when preachers say their teachings can be plagiarised. I don’t understand how the word of God can be plagiarised. If you teach something, you didn’t reveal it to yourself, the Holy Spirit did. Can a teaching of the Holy Spirit be plagiarised? Is it not for the benefit of the body of Christ? I don’t understand this but if you read this and you think there’s an explanation for it i’ll be more than happy to hear what you have to say :). I take hope and joy from Christ’s promise however : I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Love cannot and should not be separated from the gifts of the spirit. Neither should faith be separated from Love. God has taught me that no virtue in the Bible should be separated from Love. Not grace, or faith, or patience. Love is a complete fulfillment of the law. The gifts of the spirit should be rooted in Love. These days you have many churches that teach faith and all i ever get out from some of the sermons i hear about faith is a willpower that lasts for a couple of days. Faith come by hearing, studying and meditating on the word of God. But do you know what the Bible says about what Love does to Faith? Do you know what gives energy to your faith? Or what activates the faith you get from the word of God? Love is the answer.
Galatians 5:6 (Amplified Version) says: 6For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
So love is the battery for your faith torchlight. Your faith grows from the word, but your faith needs love to activate it, energize it, express it and to work it out to the glory of God. Basically, your faith is useless without love. Just as faith without works is dead(works without faith is dead too), Love without Faith is dead. Love is the way we do the good works God wants us to do.
Note that everytime i say love in this post, i’m mostly talking about letting God love us. I believe very strongly that when we let God love us we let us love us, and we let us love others. If you miss the first step you miss it all. If i was to explain this practically, i would say letting God love us is letting Him be involved in everything in our lives and having an intimate relationship with Him. Sometimes i even ask God things like ‘Which subject do you want me to study today Lord?’. That’s what God wants from us. He wants to be our best friend and trust Him, and cast every single care on Him. Every worry, every fear, every tear. Just tell it all to Him. He wants to be our counselor, our Helper, comforter, intercessor, strengthener. He wants to be our all. If we can just humble ourselves to be like little children and live simple lives where we don’t attempt to hide anything from God or keep worrying about things but cast all our cares on Him, our lives will change.This is what i admire from David in the Bible. He was honest with God. He told God his greatest fears, and described to God about how he felt when he was down. He praised God the best way he could when he had victories. I believe this was why David could have such revelations on the coming of Jesus, and many other things he wrote about in the psalms.
I’ll continue this topic in my next post, cause i think its quite a lot to discuss in one post.
God Bless! 😀