Endangering our Christian liberty

In Apostles Paul’s letter to Timothy, he strikes the truth about prosperity preachers of this modern day, given three ways by which they trick, confuse and deceive believers.

  1. Wrongly dividing the word of God
  2. Striving about the words of God to ruin the hearer – danger of ignorance
  3. Using profane and idle babblings which increases to more ungodliness

The combinations of these three ways in any given message infect the believers negatively and rapidly; leading them away from the truth; saying that the law had past and believers can do what they like in church. Law or no law; grace or no grace; Apostle Paul said,

“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2Tim. 2:19).

Beware of those wrongly dividing the word of God

As many preachers as we have who likes to imitate Apostle Paul, we have seen them going after what Paul was against and the falling back he predicted. The scripture says

 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (called ‘old school’), but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables (manipulating grace)” (2Tim. 4:3-4).

kingdom

As believers, we experience our greatest happiness and freedom when we live our lives according to God’s standard, love (the law of liberty). This kind of righteous living comes to us when we hear and apply the truth of God’s word to our lives (hearing is not enough); but separation from the world (not doing according to world’s order or norms). Living according to God’s standard frees us from sins that captivate us.

Apostles Paul’s doctrinal teaching will be of none effect if it cannot be demonstrated. Justification is not the end of our Christian race but the beginning. However, our sanctification has to show the practicality of the reason for which we were saved. The only way it can be shown is through a change of heart manifest in the outward. It is true we are justified by faith and not by work; however, our faith must produce good work which is only evident in our sanctification.

Many believers who claimed liberty through grace will either nullify the Law or practice selective obedience of the law. This is evident when it comes to things pertaining to money. On the one hand, some believers who are missy will say tithing is not feasible because they don’t want to pay tenth of their gains; on the other hand, ministers who nullifies the law would say tithe is an acceptable part of the law because of the monetary gain. They are wrongly dividing the word of God for their selfishness; manipulating grace of God to satisfy their own fleshly selfish desires; and disregard to those things that would build a believer in the faith.

Libertywithout submitting to the will of God is like taking grace with levity. We need to build up our faith and empty ourselves by immersing ourselves in the truth of God’s word.

Beware of those striving about the words of God to ruin the hearer

If we say the law condemns and by it all has fall short of the glory of God; why then the grace which suppose to save us has turn around for people to go waywardly and turn against God who out of His love provided that grace. What is the problem? Under the law, we were all guilty; now, under grace we do things outside God’s will.

It is easy to enter Christian race; it is also easy to keep up with it if we remain in faith. However it may be difficult to keep up with it if we fail to go by the rule – the word of God, inclusive of God’s law. There is the need to educate ourselves the danger of missing or falling back from this grace. It is a hard heart that makes one to believe that he/she cannot obey the laws. How far have you tried to obey? Persistent obeying leads to maturity in faith; but not obeying at all leads to apostasy. This means we crucify Jesus the second time. We need to avoid a hard heart.

The writer of the book of Hebrew warns us the danger in the abuse of grace

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.  Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb. 10:26-29).

As a believer who by grace receives forgiveness for his/her past deeds needs to continue and never to look back or fall back into willful sin. To sin deliberately after receiving the Lord Jesus Christ is apostasy. If a believer rejected God’s provision for salvation, there is no other remedy, since forgiveness of sin can only be found in Christ.

When there is no forgiveness, what next? Judgment. Instead of grace to bridge your relationship with God; your rejection of that grace makes you God’s adversary. If after we have received the grace and still disobeyed God, we insulted the spirit of grace – Holy Spirit.

Those practicing erroneous concept of Christian liberty are in danger; and would receive the wages of unrighteousness – spiritual death. As Balaam lost his prophetic power for promised monetary reward in the Old Testament; likewise many believers today, from the pulpit to the floor of the church have lost and are still losing their calling and spiritual gift because of position and unrighteous wages. Jude the brother of our Lord said.

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” Jude 11 (Num. 22-24; Rev. 2:14).

Apostle Peter described those who misconstrued liberty as follows

“For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2Pet. 2:18-19).

It is also apparent and not surprising what Apostle Peter said about Paul’s gospel message that some “untaught and unstable people” will twist the scripture to their own destruction (2Pet. 3:15-16).

Many liberty proclaimed or promised by some so-called men of God are indeed herald of slave to sin. The freedom proclaimed is involved in moral ruin, because they are motivated by greed. Christian liberty from the law has been twisted to license to sin. Instead of reformation, new converts and unregenerate believers who could not get out of the former conversation because of false claim of liberty are falling again into that formal immorality; while their ministers have become teachers of sinful lifestyle.

Knowledge without obedience has become the character of those ministers; they knew what was right and holy but they deliberately chose to do what is wrong and corrupt for selfish motive.

Using of profane and idle babblings which increases to more ungodliness – Moral defilement in the church

Some of the areas of criticism of Apostle Paul concerning legalism are those areas limiting the Christian liberty by requiring an adherence to some laws   (Jewish fables; commandment of man which turn from the truth – Titus 1:4; or, those of circumcision). As it was then so it is today; preaching of things that are not biblically based to suits the evil intents of those who like to identify with Christian but are still in the world.

We should be concern and not to close our eyes to moral defilement in the church; it is a replica of the Old Testament holiness. Sin as evident as it could is considered acceptable and pleasurable in the world today; especially, in the church. Ministers are afraid to preach on sins, but could spend two years preaching on grace. The awareness of sin is no more noticeable, but has become every moment habitual syndrome.

On one occasion, I was listening to a prominent man-minister of God on the television and he said “it is ugly for a woman who did not use make-up”. What is wrong with the natural beauty endowed women by God? It is the prerogative of any woman to use make-up or not. Is the minister advertising make-up in the church? Is that what the minister is looking for in the church? Creating seductive atmosphere for fornication and adultery? Is that the grace he should be preaching?

On another occasion, a prominent woman-minister of God was preaching and she said “I know many minister do not like to talk on what I am about to say”. Then she said “any woman coming to the house of God whose most part of her chest is open or who wore a dress that shows her butt if she bends down is indecent and unholy in the house of God”.

Consider these two preachers; two of them are prominent ministers, believed to be well knowledgeable and verse in the scripture. But the difference is that the man-minister encourages and created an atmosphere for worldliness; while the woman-minister created an atmosphere for holiness in the house of God. Who of the two is preparing kingdom’s candidate?

There is no modesty in the way some women dressed to the church nowadays. I am not saying there should be a dressing code; however, a woman is to dress in good taste and avoid excessiveness in personal adornment and naked dressing. Excessiveness in dressing and adornment is very apparent and has become a destructive agent of seduction in the church today.

As believers, even though we are not attached to any legalism, still, our outside appearance or observation should speak of our mind. Can someone who smokes hemp or a drug addict reveal the opposite of what is in his mind? Or the one who dressed half naked portray decency or holiness? Therefore, I viewed legalism in two ways and proffers also two ways out.

  1. Legalism that hinders potential believers from entering into Christian fold should be done away with
  2. Legalism that promotes decency and holiness in the house of God must be kept; for Christianity is not a dumping ground.

Antidote to Keeping under grace and not endangering your liberty

The scripture says

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Eph. 6:10-13)

The fact that we do not earn grace also applies in that we cannot keep under grace without being strong in the Lord. Believers must stay under the canopy of the armor of God so that we do not fallout of the grace. Our liberty must not be misused or else, we are caught off guarded. The assaults of the devil cannot penetrate to the believers who place their faith in God.

As believers, we become the target of satanic attack; vulnerable to any attack, influences or immorality. Being under grace or our liberty does not prevent us from temptation or danger unless we guard ourselves with the armor of God (Eph. 6 10-18): this is what makes grace abound in our lives.

If we believed that we have been pardoned of our sin and free from sin and its power, then we need to put on the whole armor of God for three reasons

  1. that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
  2. that we may be able to withstand in the evil day
  3. that we may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one

Every believer must learn how to read the Bible in order to know when a preacher preaches sound doctrine. Why? Many have crept into the churches who say they speak for Christ while proclaiming their false doctrine; discrediting a form of legalism to create another form of legalism.

The problem with believers today is indirectly the same as it was in the Old Testament time. In the Old Testament, believers did not have Bible to read, but relied on what the priest says; but today, believers have the Bible but they don’t read it. This means many lack the knowledge of the word of God even though they are surrounded by uncountable versions of the Bible.

Many ministers see this and they take advantage of it by telling the people what they want to hear and what they want to impact the people. So, whatever the minister says whether right or wrong, as long as it comes from the mouth of the minister (their demigod) it is taken without searching for the truth in the Bible.

Christians should always focus on Christ, for He is the center of our faith, not the preacher. The Bible says

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2Cor. 4:5)

The power is in the truth of what is preached, the good news that Christ has saved us from our sins; and that we should not go back into sin anymore.

The Bible says

“For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:30-31).

As a Christian under grace, in order not to endanger or misuse your liberty, guide yourself with the following,

  1. Do not fallout of your love for Christ – grace
  2. Be faithful in all situation
  3. Do not compromise with the things of this world or satan enjoyment that entices one to sin
  4. Do not allow yourself to be induces into corruption, whereby you sin against God
  5. Examine your stand with Lord every moment – growing spiritually
  6. You are not just a church goer, but you should hold fast to the truth and faithfully worship the Lord.

 

ByLawrenceAbitogun

Christianedification.com

Related posts:

  1. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 1
  2. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 3
  3. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 2
  4. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? Part 4
  5. Are Ministers not Misconstruing Christian Liberty and Grace in the Church? part 6 – Benefits of Grace

Category: teaching

About the Author

Lawrence B. Abitogun, called by the special grace of the Almighty God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by the empowerment of the Holy Ghost, witnessing and preaching the gospel to the world, was born to a Christian parents at Uso, Ondo state, Nigeria. He received his elementary and secondary education in Nigeria from 1959-1971. He obtained a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Industrial Arts at North Texas State University, Denton TX USA in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

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