Good people and Godly people

This past summer was absolutely fantastic! I was able to spend lots of time with my family and in devotional time seeking God. During those quiet moments, the Holy Spirit lead me toward studying on the topic of discipleship, most importantly the difference between being “good” and being “Godly.”

So often we get caught up in the personality, charisma, or personal sentiment regarding people. We like them, so therefore that automatically means that God does too. Nice people, who treat me well, tell me what I want to hear, and give me what I want. But the chasm between good and Godly is enormous.

Consider Jesus’ words in Luke 18:19:

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

Paul also confirms this sentiment in Romans 3:23

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

In the New Testament sense, NOBODY is worthy of God. It doesn’t matter how well we treat our spouses, take care of family, give to good causes, or attend church.

The ONLY way that we can be justified is through having a relationship with Jesus Christ! As John 14:6 states:

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The Truth of Christianity and What it Means to be Saved.

The following verses have just captured my attention lately. For the past months, I’ve been contemplating deeply on the truth of Christianity and what it means to be saved. There are so many good people in church. They are the many people who sacrifice to take care of their families and abstain from a lot of the vices of this world. Yet, Jesus plainly states in Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It gets to me every time. We can be so religious and pious that we completely miss the mark. Our salvation is not dependent on what we do but rather who we know. The only way to God is through knowing Jesus (John 14:6).

This is what hurts so much as I preach to the many good people I run across on a daily basis. They give to the Red Cross. They attend service Sunday mornings. They don’t curse, drink, or smoke. They treat their wives and families with the utmost care and love. Yet, all of these things by themselves are meaningless without a relationship with Jesus. Being good doesn’t equate to being a Christian!

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Why honor is so important for a church, part II

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:17

There is a segment of Christianity who feels that only God deserves honor. However pious this may sound, the Bible makes it evident that we demonstrate honor to God by following his word, which clearly states that we should honor everyone. This would be an indictment against such behaviors as gossip, hate, slander, murmuring, rebellion against godly pastors, etc. If we truly want to honor God, then we must demonstrate honor, again defined as demonstrating respect to someone because of the high respect we have for them.

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Why honor is so important for a church, part I

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…” Matthew 15:8

There comes a moment in the life of every Christian where we need to decide if we will follow a self serving religious path or the path of discipleship. One creates a false sense of our own self in Christ, while the latter pronounces that following Jesus requires the ultimate sacrifice: putting your desires aside for the sake of Christ.

It is imperative to acknowledge the truth in Jesus’ words. It’s true that there are people who exist who are satisfied with singing the songs and who avoid the Christian stigmas of cursing and drinking. Yet their hearts do not reflect a life that honors God– that desires to live out the meaning of the words they sing on Sunday.

The thesaurus reveals the word honor to have several synonyms, such as to esteem, respect, to pay homage to, or to assign high value towards. In Greek, honor is translated from the word “timao” which Strong’s defines as “to prize, i.e. fix a valuation upon; by implication, to revere.” In sum, to honor something is to demonstrate respect because of the high value we place on something or someone.

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Right Faith (orthodoxy) and Right Action (orthopraxis)

There are two important elements to faith that one should hold onto, being orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Defined simply, orthodoxy is right belief while orthopraxis refers to right action. One essentially holds a position to be true with the other acts in accordance to right position.

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