What compels us – to act in certain ways? This is a very good question because I think it’s a type of acid test – we, can say we believe in Jesus and maybe even recite John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Yet, if we openly state with our mouths that we believe in Jesus but that belief does not compel us to live our lives in obedience to God’s commandments – then clearly, in my view, we are the worst type of hypocrites. There are many verses in Scripture that express the same view.
I think that the major problem facing the Church in ‘western’ countries – is the failure to recognise that the majority of people who call themselves Christians do NOT follow the teachings of Jesus – do you agree?
Okay, back to what Selwyn is talking about today, he continues to examine ‘fear’. He says: “Because fear is possibly the greatest hindrance to entering the experience of being ‘more than a conqueror’, we must continue our examination of (it) …”. The link to my introductory comments is that I thinkÂ ‘fear’ is mainly an issue for people who claim to be Christians (and I’m mainly referring to people who claim to be mature Christians); but, in reality,Â they are not!
For those young Christians still trying out their legs of faith – Selwyn’s summary is worth considering: “The fears that have to be dealt with are those which paralyse our activities and hinder us from functioning effectively. When fear stops us being our best for God then that fear ought to be confronted and brought into His presence.”
The verses set for reading and meditation are excellent, Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians 5:11-21 (NIV):
“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In summary, we are compelled by the love of Jesus – we have left behind our fearful, worldly views – we are a new creation – we live our new life in Christ reconciled to GodÂ – therefore there is nothing on earth, to fear! What do you think?