Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box

Can Christians think outside the box when it comes to their daily walk with Christ? I think this is a pretty good question. What type of thinking and living will challenge us to grow and not be ritualistic without leaving the commandments of the word of God?

Before we go forward with this idea, let's go ahead and let the Bible speak. After all, it alone can determine what is right in the eyes of God. Deuteronomy 4:2 - "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Psalm 119:89 - "You word, O Lord, is forever settled in heaven." Matthew 20:35 - "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words by no means will pass away." 1 Corinthians 4:6 - "...that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written." Galatians 1:6-7 - "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ." 2 Thessalonians 3:4 - "And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed."

So, it is settled. The Bible is the ultimate and only authority for all things we believe and say and do (Col. 3:17). This is a good place to start. Faith stems from the teachings of the word (Rom. 10:17). Whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23). Yes, obeying the correct and Biblical plan of salvation does matter. Being in the one church that Jesus built matters. Worshiping God according to the teachings of the New Testament matters. We can go on and on with many of these obvious Scriptural truths.

But at the same time, let's be careful. Don't be afraid to question what you believe in light of the Scriptures. Don't be afraid to challenge any human traditions within the church. Don't be afraid to examine your methodology for reaching out to others with the pure gospel and see if you need to go about it differently.

Let's face it, most churches today would not hire Jesus or Paul to preach for them. We want safety and security and we don't want anyone to rock the boat. Our spiritual lives might be in desperate need of a genuine tragedy, or perhaps some good old fashion persecution, just so we can be broken down to our core again in order to examine whether or not we are really in Christ.

I was thinking this morning that what I would like to do is sit down with every person that has any interest in Christ at all and have a one on one Bible study with them. Although this is not physically possible, it is needed. It would go something like this - you and I with God's word in front of us, both being challenged to do what the Bible actually says. I might need to change some things. You might need to change some things. One or both of us might need to be Scripturally converted altogether. If we are not a member of the church that pleases God according to the New Testament, we might need to leave our current congregation and decide to be a part of a local family of believers that is doing the will of the Lord.

Thinking outside the box can revive a spiritually dead individual. We do not have to give up the word of God to think outside the box. But we do have to give up ourselves! The last time I looked, this is what Jesus was asking us to do in the first place.

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'" ~ Matthew 16:24

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