The forgiven individual in the troubled church Devotional Commentary

By Practical Christianity Foundation, (PCF)

How do we, redeemed and forgiven sinners, live in the midst of a church divided? How does our faith survive in a faithless church culture? How do we as forgiven believers practice forgiveness and promote unity in the church without compromising God's revealed Truth?

As we have been saying, we are living in a time when the Church of Jesus Christ appears to be surrounded and infiltrated by the ungodly. The Church, like the surrounding culture, is sharply divided over a wide array of issues. The time, energy and resources of the Church, (where we worship and serve our God with other believers), are invested in bitterly fought battles that end up tearing the Church apart rather than drawing the Church together in a sound and godly unity.
What are we, forgiven individuals, supposed to do?

But the issues in debate are not the real issue in focus! The issues only reflect a frightfully abysmal lack of respect for the Word of God. One must peer intensely into the distant past through the pages of church history to learn of the days of the Apostles and the church fathers, who simply believed and said: When the Bible speaks, God speaks. Our churches are overflowing with mere commentators who are not completely given to the ministry of prayer and the Word. Because bad theology begets bad practices, the redeemed people of Christ’s Church find themselves often bitterly disagreeing with noncommittal fellow-believers, deacons, teachers, pastors, elders, and the institutional church itself.
What are we, forgiven individuals, supposed to do?

Yet! What do we do? For God’s people who are genuinely regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the blood of Christ, there should be no issues. Rather, we should be consumed by one overriding passion: To live and serve in a Spirit-directed biblically sound way, bearing the testimony of the grace of God and reflecting the glory of the Lord Who redeemed us. When the Bible says, “Thus says the Lord…,” God’s people say, “Amen! Let it be so!”

When, as the redeemed, we hear all the ungodly things the unfaithful within the churches say, we rightly grieve because the testimony of the Holy Spirit is so maligned. When a church body conducts itself contrary to biblical precepts and treats God's eternal Truth with indifference, apathy, or disinterest, we are simply shocked. Nonetheless, because of Christ and what He did for us in saving us with His precious blood, we reject the temptation to return evil for evil, but instead, stand firm as the voice of God's revealed Truth within the church and serve in the ministry of reconciliation simply because we too are forgiven sinners. There are countless reasons for passing judgment and expressing displeasure or disfavor toward unrepentant sinners. But there is only one reason to forgive: Jesus Christ Who secured God’s eternal forgiveness for underserving sinners like us. Yes, Christ is the only reason for the Christian to do anything.
So, what are we, forgiven individuals, supposed to do? We look to Christ! Not to our feelings; Not to our flawed, biblically unsound, and ungodly reasons; But to Jesus Christ alone! Who bore the fury of God's judgment even for those we wish to condemn.

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