Ashamed Of The Word Of God

August 9, 2012

Friends,
It sure is strange when someone says, “Yes, I’m a Christian, but I keep my faith a private thing.”  Strange because Jesus told us that when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit we will receive power to be witnesses for Him.  (Acts 1:8)  This power will make us bold and excited to go out, and in fact, compelled to do so.  Even if we don’t go out street-preaching, we still will be sharing Christ at every opportunity.  We will also love speaking of Him to one another.  (Mal. 3:16)

What did the disciples do in the early church?  They spread the Gospel everywhere.  When they were commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18), they replied that they couldn’t help but speak and that they were merely obeying God.  (v. 19,20)  Then they all got together and prayed.  (v. 24)  And what did they pray?  They prayed for more boldness!  (v. 29)  –And that the Lord would display His miracle power through them.  (v. 30)  The Lord answered and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (v. 31), the apostles even performing miracles.  (5:12)

What then is wrong with “Christians” who claim to have the Holy Spirit but don’t like to talk about Jesus who is the Word of God?  (John 1:1,14 // Rev. 19:13)  Hmmm…  Something’s wrong.  Yea, something is very wrong.  It’s called “sin”.  It’s called “unbelief”.  It’s called “being ashamed of Christ and His words.”

First of all, such a person doesn’t have the joy and excitement because they are not walking in faith.  If we are walking in faith, we are joyful!  I’m sorry, but it’s just the Truth.  And yes, this convicts me too, for what about those days when we’re tired, even tired of praying; or when we don’t feel good, or we’re worried, or we had an argument with our spouse, or it’s too hot out (or too cold) to go witnessing, or we didn’t get the call for the job, or a loved one is in distress and we see no way to help them…?  Yea, these days can get us down.  However, we are not to weep long.  We can cry or grieve as is appropriate, but then we must get up and get about the Lord’s business.  If we can’t do this, and if we are moping around, then we are not walking in faith.  Faith in the Lord says, “This too shall pass, and joy will come in the morning –or soon.  Therefore, I will continue to do good even now.”

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  (Gal. 5:22)  If we don’t have it, there’s a blockage from the Vine to the branch.  (John 15:1)  Some kind of blockage concerning faith.  And a faith problem is no small issue.  –Because problems in faith means there’s unbelief present.  And who can speak boldly if they are harboring ideas that Jesus, or the Gospel, or God’s promises are not the Truth?

Practicing sin, of course, is another reason why a person wouldn’t be able to witness boldly.  Oh, he could try, but he’d be doing it in his own strength, for the Spirit is not going to aid, at least not for long, a person who keeps sinning.  For how can a man walk in the power of the Spirit while also walking in the power of the sinful nature?  The Spirit and the sinful nature are in conflict with one another (Gal. 5:17) so it’s impossible.  Nor can a man switch between the two.  Maybe he can for a time because God is patient.  But if there’s no repentance, God, who abhors being expected to live in a defiled temple, will destroy the man.  (1 Cor. 3:16,17)

Now, what about the rigidly righteous “Christian” who has no “big” sin in his life, yet he does not speak up (or out) boldly about Christ, the Gospel, the Word of God, or God’s ways?  This is the one we all need to check ourselves on for sure.  For how many of us say we love Jesus and are following Him, yet when we get a nudge from the Spirit to speak of Him or God’s Word, we shrink back?  What does this mean?  It means we love our lives more than Christ –a huge strike for claiming to belong to Him!  (Luke 9:24)  We’re too shy or too scared or too ill-equipped or too something.  Right?  Well, if we feel that, then again, it’s lack of faith in Jesus’ words when He promised we’d be given words from the Spirit.  (Matt. 10:19,20)  And again, lack of faith is serious stuff; without it, it’s impossible to please God.  (Heb. 11:6)

So… what else could it be but that we are ashamed of Christ and His words?  His words are too harsh, too much about sin and judgement and Hell.  Too much about leaving all to follow Him.  Just too radical, to put it bluntly.

But what does Jesus say concerning such a person?  He says, “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Many will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.”  (Mark 8:38)  And if we’ve been reading God’s Word, we’ll understand that such a condition does not mean Heaven.

Is it okay then to keep one’s faith to oneself?  Is it okay with Christ that we don’t spread His message as He told everyone to do?  (Matt. 28:18-20)  Was it just a suggestion?  Was it just for some to do, not others?  Well, let’s just read Mark 8:38 again –and make a wise conclusion.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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