Our True Rebirth: Running From the Cross

For some time now there has been a nagging on my spirit as it concerns the body of Christ. I’m not posting this as a means to bash anyone but more or less to awaken some to a condition that plagues the church. We are now living in a culture and a time were Christians are losing credibility. I know this to be true because I have heard it from those who watch Christians searching for authenticity and integrity. I myself have wondered this as I have been taking a really hard look at church culture. When I pray, I always try to make it a point to pray for the church as a whole and not just the local church. Because rather if we know it or not how we carry ourselves can make sharing the Gospel very hard for the men of God who are called to minister. But we are all called to make disciples.

In my praying and studying the Word of God, the Holy Spirit led me to the epistles of Peter. Peter’s letters spoke directly to the burden that I was feeling in regards to the church. 1 Peter 1:13-23 spoke to our state as believers in Christ and how we are to live this Christian life. This set the stage for what the Holy Spirit began building upon, something that at that time I named “Life Transformation”. I pounder with fellow believers the possible reasons for the lack of power or change within our communities. These communities that we have been led to believed were filled with Christians that were filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet, these communities seem to be dying. Nothing was more evident of this slow death as when I visited my children school and saw all the parents. As I surveyed the crowd and watched the people my heart fell to the floor. At that point I understood why at the bus stop in the morning that the kids behaved the way they did. I then understood why the bus was always late because a adult couldn’t get the children to sit down and be quiet. And if you were to ask them are you a Christian more than 50% would say yes!

As I read through 1 Peter 2, I’m brought to a place of sorrow as I think of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

1 Peter 2:1-3

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Are we growing up? Do we really know that the LORD is good? Have we become complacent in what we think we know of God and are happy with the milk? If you tell someone to stop doing these things, they would call you legalistic and hold tight to justification through faith. But we are of a royal priesthood! We do those things not for salvation but because tells us to and we are simple being obedient to God. 1 Peter 1:15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a] We live holy not just for ourselves but for those atheists that are watching and the Muslims, Buddhists and any other person.

1 Peter 2:12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

If these things don’t stir up your soul, if doing these things do not bring a feeling of joy because you are doing what God has asked of you, then there is a problem…

Are we afraid of being set apart? Are we afraid of being casted out of society? Do we care that much more about the opinion of man than that of the LORD?

1 Peter 3:13-17

13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1 Peter 4:12-19

12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]

19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

So as we look at this world and all that goes on, some of us think that we are missing something out there. Thus, we try our best to separate ourselves from God by making it known that our life with Christ is apart from our functioning in the world. It is this attitude that reflects badly on us all. It is those that think this way that call others who are opposite, Jesus freaks or fanatics. They call them that because they are running hard toward Jesus, while others cannot let the desires for the world go… So is our “accepting Christ” only to avoid hell or are we really God’s elect? Has God actually called us out of the world unto salvation and life by grace? Or are we just growing at a really slow pace? Or could it be that we are growing at a slow pace but just running even fast away from the cross. You never know but God knows; He knows if we are looking for a diamond encrusted platinum cross but once we got to calvary all we found was one covered in blood. To be honest, we know ourselves if our rebirth is true.

1 Peter 4:1-11

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

God bless you & may the Holy Spirit lead you
Rev. W. R. Martin Jr.
visit me at: https://anointedplace.wordpress.com

follow me at: http://twitter.com/refreshinDsaint

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