(Photo by Chazz Layne)
Almost every sect of Christianity is a perversion of its essence, to accommodate it to the prejudices of the world. ~ William Hazlitt
“In essence”…What a loaded, and mighty, phrase.
A partial definition of the word “essence” given by Merriam Webster is…
a : the permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being
b : the individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence
c : the properties or attributes by means of which something can be placed in its proper class or identified as being what it is
Politicians are busy pushing their agenda, various forms of media are subtly coach our thinking in the direction they want it to go and the political correctness of our culture leaves us afraid, if not down right ashamed, to take an opposing stance.
The church, as a whole, is busy preaching God’s love while neglecting His judgement, preaching tolerance while neglecting righteousness and preaching serving others while neglecting sin. There is more focus on fitting God into our life than for Him to change our life.
The same Spirit who teaches us how to love is the very Spirit who said “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ”. The same Spirit who said “judge not lest you be judged” is the same Spirit who overturned the tables in the Temple. The same Spirit who instructed us to serve others is the same Spirit who said “the wages of sin are death”.
We have lost the true and original essence of the “Instruction Manual”. We need to return to the zeal in which it was given and the hunger with which it was received.
The essence of the Scripture is…
2 Timothy 3:16(AMP) Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),
John 3:30(AMP) He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]
Proverbs 3:6(MSG) Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
If when we walk out of church we have a feeling of “I’m OK, you’re OK, everyone’s OK”…it’s time to find a new church. If we walk out not having recieved light on our sin…it’s time to find a new church. If we are not regularly going through the experience of “iron sharpening iron”…it’s time to find a new church. And, if we receive more encouragement to service than solitude with God…it’s time to find a new church.
I heard a pastor say…Jesus came to put a face on God. We’re here to put a face on Jesus. THAT should leave us shaking in our boots!
Remember…We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus and the essence of the Scripture needs to fill the DASH.