Truth-spreading Vessels

February 16, 2014

Friends,
It’s always fun, and even easy, to witness on holidays that are about giving to others, particularly when we have something cheerful to give out. My mom made about 230 very beautiful Valentine treat bags, included in them messages of love and hope, deliverance and strength, salvation and eternal life. While she gave those out along the outdoor train station two days ago, I, at the street corners nearby, wore my signs and gave out little Scripture calendars and my homemade tracts. We both had such wonderful conversations the entire time that on the way home my mom said, “That was the most wonderful time ever!” I laughed and said, “You always say that.” But that’s good. If every time she goes, she feels it’s more glorious than the last time, that must be the Lord’s blessing and encouragement. We’re thankful. And to think that my mom, though she’ll turn 80 this year, is still boldly proclaiming the Good News on the streets! Not to mention that she and my dad go strong every day, practice hospitality several times a week (besides their other work), and have no plans to retire. Again, we are thankful to the Lord.

One guy I especially enjoyed meeting was a young man who I noticed had been quietly watching me for some time. So I approached him, and giving him a tract, I said, “I’m encouraging people to read God’s Word.” He was eager to converse and I found out that he was going to school to learn to read, had been in jail for a while, had turned his life over to God just a year ago, and was presently at that corner waiting on the Holy Spirit to lead him in open-air preaching! I was excited and encouraged him to go ahead. He wanted to wait and pray a bit longer, but later he did preach, and I stood near him for about fifteen minutes, praying for him, and amen-ing his proclamations.

The interesting thing about the conversation I had with this guy (I’ll call him Jesse, though that’s not his real name), was that he brought up the sinful nature and stated that we all still carry it. This is the false gospel that is so prevalent! It is a gospel that weakens people, for it is really no gospel at all. Definitely the Lord is able to, and does, bring people to Himself in spite of it, because some people, like Jesse obviously, are seeking the Truth and can only go by what they so far have learned. However, to teach that we can dwell in Christ AND in the sinful nature, and that both can coexist together within “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) is absolutely false. It is contrary to what God’s Word teaches.

Here is some of our conversation as best I can remember it:

Jesse: “But in our mind we still cannot help but sin.”

Me: “Why is that –when 1 Cor. 2:16 says we have the mind of Christ?”

Jesse laughs and nods agreeably, hopefully, excitedly. “Okay, true. But Paul says he does what he does not want to do.”

Me: “You’re talking about Romans chapter 7. Paul is writing in the present tense about his past condition, for he says, ‘I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.’ (v. 14) This could not be his born-again case, because in John 8 Jesus tells us that by adhering to His teaching we come to know the Truth and are thus set free from slavery to sin.” (v. 31-36)

Jesse was humbly teachable: “Oh, wow, true… okay. But, hey, we still carry the sinful nature even while being born again.”

Me: “No, we do not. Galatians 5:24 says that those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Romans 6:6 says that our old self has been crucified with Christ and 2 Cor. 5:17 says that by being in Christ, the old is gone and we are a new creation.”

Jesse, visibly excited, joyful, and strengthened in hope upon hearing such Good News: “That is great! I see what you’re saying…”

We conversed a bit more, and then I saw my mom empty-handed, waiting for me to walk back to the parking lot with her to get more treat bags. Later, when we came back, Jesse was preaching. And what he was preaching was the Truth!

It is the Truth, the entire Truth, and adhering to that Truth, that frees people. Does a person lost in a city get to his destination if he is given only partial directions? Can a person needing to take prescribed medicines and treatments be cured if he is given only half of what is necessary? Can an Olympic athlete continue to press on for the gold if he refuses to do what is required?

The Truth is important. It is not something to twist. Parts of it are not to be left out. The whole Truth must be heard, understood, and walk in. Otherwise the person claiming to have the Truth, does not have the Truth. Because so many “Christians” have not, or will not, study the Truth for themselves straight out of God’s Word, they take what men tell them and claim that that is the Truth. No wonder we have so many people walking in a counterfeit christianity. No wonder we have so many who insist that the sinful nature is always present in the born anew person. No wonder we have so many Christ-claimers who are still addicted to sin.

It doesn’t need to be. If those who have the Truth would get bolder and tell the world that those false gospels are nonsense and false, then genuine seekers of the Truth would hear, realize, and get quickly stronger –so that they too would get out and proclaim the Freedom, and always in the leading and power of the Mighty Spirit of God.

Just think: Jesse, though only a young man, had already had a hard life. Moreover, he submitted his life to Christ just a year ago. Yet there he was, already a street preacher. And one who, apparently, is not only bold, but humble and eager to understand and accept the Truth from God’s Word.

Another man walked up to me while I was near Jesse as he was preaching, and this man remarked that his pastor had told him that those who street-preach are just trying to show off. I responded that some people do preach with wrong motives and from selfish ambition (Phil. 1:15,17), but others do so in love and because Jesus commanded us to go everywhere proclaiming the Great News (Mark 16:15 // Luke 9:2,6) –and even “to the street corners”! (Mt. 22:9) Therefore, I told him, we should rejoice when Christ is preached anywhere. (Phil. 1:18)

I definitely rejoice that God lets me see hearts seeking Him, even those who, though handicapped in the natural (still learning to read and still young in the Faith), are not ashamed to proclaim the Good News of Christ –in love, in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and with every chance they get.

May God spread His Truth. And may He be given each one of us as His vessels by which to do so.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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