“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:16
My heart is saddened at how Christianity is being expressed by those who confess to know Christ in the 21st century. God is love and “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-8). This is how we should be conducting ourselves as Christians during these turbulent times. The way some Christians are behaving themselves based upon faulty teachings does not represent Christ who gave His life for all. Ephesians 4:20 says, “But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,” (Eph. 4:20-21)
The Church of Jesus Christ is called to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” Scripture says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16). Both salt and light have properties which affect things around them. Nothing just happens. As believers, we must appropriate what Christ says by acting in the manner spoken. As salt and light we are to be blessings to the world. As the light of the world, we are to illuminate and give light to others. Somehow, the church has lost it’s saltiness or placed it’s lamp under a basket where no one can see it. Our light must shine before people in such a way that they may see the good works Christ assigned the church to do, and glorify the Father who is in heaven Reclaiming Authentic Christianity: Salt and Light.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says, “if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The church is not called to be self-seeking or self-preserving (acting or tending to preserve oneself or itself) in the manner in which it is being displayed. At the death and ascension of Christ, God’s plan that “the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many” (Rom. 5:15).
In early March 2020 at the onset of Covid-19, I heard the Lord say, “My people do not know my ways, nor do they know my Word.” When I ponder this word today, I can see how the Church is missing the mark in knowing and understanding God’s Word and His Ways. At sundry times and in different ways God spoke to the fathers in many ways through His prophets. Scripture in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the world (Heb. 1:2).
God still speaks to His people today through His prophets. Amos 3:7 says, “Certainly the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret plan To His servants the prophets.” Knowing and understanding God’s ways is a matter of the heart. Proverbs 3:5 instructs every believer to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years because they did not understand the way God was taking them. Instead they leaned to their own understanding as Moses was guiding them according to the plan of God for their deliverance from Pharoah. God was angry with that generation because they always went astray in their heart, and they did not know God’s His ways, just His acts (Heb. 3:10; Ps. 95:10). A mark of Christian maturity is knowing and understanding God ways and acting accordingly. God made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel” (Psalms 103:7).
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.John 17:3
Very few people know God and His ways, because most believers are focused only on God’s external actions. Just as the children of Israel, many Christians only pay attention to God’s actions. They are impressed by external miracles. They eagerly seek for healing and for material blessings. Most of their prayers are related to earthly matters, in which they want to see God act on their behalf and bless them in the physical realm. While these things are a part of who God is He is so much more. The truth is in Jesus, not in man-made teachings and unsound doctrine. Paul charged Titus to, “teach what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Sound doctrine is important because our faith is based on the message of the gospel and revelation of Jesus Christ. It makes a difference what we believe about God and how we live in the world today.
If our gospel is hidden, it is hidden from those who are perishing. The god of this world (satan), “has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:3-4). Light dispels darkness; it enables people to see what they cannot see with their natural eyes. God is light, and since He sent His Holy Spirit to live inside believers, so are we. As His ambassadors on earth, we are to shine brightly so that others will be drawn to the light. Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.” I believe that the Light of God will once again shine brightly on His people as we hear and obey His Word so that those living in darkness will be drawn to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
It’s time to arise and be what Christ intended for His Church to become! Scripture says, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me” (Heb. 3:15). Unbelief is our worst enemy as believers. In my early walk with the Lord, I was instructed that unbelief would be my worst enemy as I traverse the path of faith. Through this journey I’ve had to sure up my faith in difficult times. I believe that is true for many believers today. We must operate in the same spirit of faith spoken of in 2 Corinthians 4:13-14, “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written: “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus, and will present us with you.” The spirit of faith is hearing, believing and speaking what God has already spoken. Believing is the key ingredient to operating the same spirit of faith.
The principles of faith are taught, but the spirit of faith must be caught! “ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). When you hear what God has promised in His Word, it causes faith to arise as a result of what you hear. Believing must be of the heart and not the head. To walk in the spirit you have to pay close attention to what you are listening to. When you hear things that are contrary to God’s Word, it brings about confusion, doubt, fear and unbelief in the promises of God.
In this time of transition, we must enter into God’s rest. We enter God’s rest when we believe in Christ’s finished work on the cross. We must remain focused on God’s promises rather than looking at our circumstances. We must be willing to go through the fire of adversity no matter what comes our way. Every step of the way God allows circumstances and situations that will cause you to choose to die to yourself (your own way of doing things) and walk in the truth of His Word proving His faithfulness. Satan wants to destroy your faith in God by having you look at your natural circumstances. God is doing a deep work in the hearts of many of His children through trials and testing. Just as Job says, “But He knows the way I take; When He has put me to the test, I will come out as gold.”
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him (Job 13:15).
In His Service,
Minister Dr. Aleatha F. Green
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.