Thursday, November 5, 2009
Something to be Said for Consistency
Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Heb 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
The recent presidential elections brought the present regime in on the promise of change. Boy, did we get plenty of that! About the only change we aren't experiencing is change in our pockets.
Sometimes some change can be good; socks, underwear, inept leadership. But when it comes to the bedrock of society change is nothing more than erosion. Which of the Ten Commandments could use a makeover? I, for one, vote that lying, cursing, adultery, coveting, theft and murder remain blacklisted. Though, I am sure, those in power would say, "Yes we can" to altering God's law.
Listed here in verses 7 through 9 are six things that must be constant.
1. The Word of the Lord. "...who have spoken unto you the word of God:"
God's Word must be spoken, that is, taught and preached, in truth. We must speak it as it is to people as they are. Speaking of change, the only way to change the darkened heart of man is by pounding it with the hammer of the Word. faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
2. Faith in the Lord. "...whose faith follow," This is the faith that was once delivered unto the saints for which we must earnestly contend. Jude 3. This is the faith that must be unfeigned, that is, real. I Tim 1:5, II Tim 1:5. The only change needed with true faith is growth!
3. A Good Testimony. "...considering the end of their conversation." The world needs to see Christianity that lives what it preaches. This phrase literally means, "attentively beholding the behavior of a believer upon their exit." Now, that's a mouthful, but it simply means that when a consistent Christian exits this life, you can only extol the virtue of their lifestyle. Something must be said about clean living in line with God's Word.
4. Jesus. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." The theologians use the word "immutability." This means unchangeability. In Malachi we are told, "For I am the Lord, I change not." When it seems that everything around us is settling into shifting sand, we can always hold to God's unchanging hand. Each of us can point to an individual in our lives who has always been there for us, usually that is a mother or a spouse. But even they are limited in their ability to always be dependable. But Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.
5. Doctrine. "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines." The Scripture likens people who are biblically double-minded individuals to objects floating to and fro on the sea, anchorless, moving about with the winds and the waves, undependable, without character. Eph 4:14. Doctrine simply means teaching. We need to be consistent in our teaching of the Word.
6. Grace in the Heart. "For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;" Our hearts, the very core of our beings are established, anchored, made sure, by God's grace. It is His work in our hearts and lives that makes us steady, solid citizens of heaven.
Keep your change, I'll hang on to the Word of God, a sincere faith, living a good testimony, my Savior, solid Baptist Bible doctrine, and God's unmerited favor.