Severed Foot Faith?
Choices, choices and AdChoices. Our hyper-consumer culture overwhelms us with all the choices we can make to please our whims. For all the hyper-individually focused advertising that is pushed at you, you as a person are lost. You are just a consumer whose only value is what you can spend.
Our Adchoice mentality affects our faith. We say we can be spiritual on our own with a custom order Jesus on our terms. This consumeristic spirituality caters to our self-centeredness. The whole “ME and Jesus” private relationship is not biblical, but blasphemous. This misguided, “Me and Jesus” spirituality not only runs counter to scripture, but even more, it degrades God’s saving work. We are redeemed as we are part of God’s people. Our ultimate communal expression is communion where we are joined to Christ and one another (1 Cor 10:17). Certainly, a self-centered spirituality will not require us to participate seriously in a church community.
If you revel in being a severed foot cut off from the body of Christ because us other Christians stink and you are more holy than us, I am offended! Who are you not to grace us with your unique embodiment of sinfulness? Who are you to think you can have Christ without us? Who are you to withhold the work of the Spirit in you to bless others for God’s glory?
The Way of Christ is not about and cannot be just a personal relationship with Jesus. Our faith has been handed down through the faith community. We are individually members of the body, the Church, but there is no severed foot faith separate from the body. The weakness of this self-centered faith in the United States is apparent from the weakness of individuals to pass along the faith.
Following Christ is not a private individualistic affair. Yes, you are to have a personal connection to Christ. While we do have our personal and solitary times with the LORD, we are baptized and called to exercise our faith in God by how we live with one another. We are to meet together to encourage one another in the faith, rather than flying solo to be picked off one by one in spiritual warfare. (Heb 10:23-25) If even the Son of God needed a small group of disciples to do faith with, why would we think we can sever ourselves from the body and be okay?
That we are to follow Christ with one another is abundantly clear throughout the New Testament (see below). We worship together. We experience life and salvation together. We are bound together. In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (1 Cor 12, Rom 12:5). So, we forgive one another. We bear one another’s burdens. We share God’s love with one another. We are to be devoted to one another in love. We are to honor one another above ourselves. Rather than slacking, we are encouraged to do more and more life together as God’s people.
Don’t be a sinner alone. You are redeemed by Christ to belong to His people, not to go life alone. To be clear, if you are doing faith as a severed foot without fellow sinners, you are unbiblical and disobeying Christ. So as baptized Christians joined to the Body of Christ, actively engage your spiritual life by living it out in the temple of God’s people (1 Pet 2:4-5). Embrace the Spirit-given blessing of belonging to the family of God. Come join your brothers and sisters in Christ so you may more powerfully grow in knowing Christ in your life.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give y’all a spirit of unity with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together y’all may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 15:5-6)
Your servant in his Church, Pastor Douglas
(See Jn 13:34, Rom 12:10, 13:8, 1 Cor 3:16-17, 12:12-14, 2 Cor 13:11, Gal 5:13, Eph 4:2, 4:32, Phil 2:5, Col 3:13, 1 Thess 4:9, 5:11, Heb 3:13, 10:23-25, 13:1, 1 Pet 1:22, 1 Pet 3:8, 1 Pet 5:5, 1 Jn 1:7, 3:23, 4:11-12)
Devotion for Sunday, September 23, 2018
“If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. If I should say, “My foot has slipped,” Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.” (Psalm 94:17-18)
We were born with a wandering heart, going to the places of our imagination. The Lord calls out to all and invites us to journey with Him in truth. The Lord watches over your going out and your coming in. He knows who you are and what you need. Come to the place where your soul is fed by His goodness and mercy. Know that the Lord will hold you up.
Lord, I need Your guidance, for this world is filled with traps and pitfalls. Guide me, O Lord, in the way I should go that I would forever dwell in Your presence. Help me through those places where I slip that I may look to You, the One who made all things. You are my help in every time and the One who is able to save me from this world that is heading to destruction.
Savior of the world, You have come that all who hear Your voice would rise and walk with You. Keep me from going down into the pit. Help me that I may now and always walk according to Your grace and mercy. Lead me, O Lord, in the way You know I need to go and then give me the strength to follow where You lead. You are my help and strength. Guide me by Your lovingkindness. Amen.