Friday, April 17, 2009

Worthy of the Gospel?

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved--and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have." - Philippians 1:27-30

Standing firm in one spirit
Contending for the faith
Unafraid of opposition

These things are given as the result of conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. As we look at our church(es), we can use these as a method of self-evaluation. Are we existing, keeping the "company" afloat, or are we worthy of the gospel of Christ - Unified, Contending, Unafraid?

Too often, we let the opposition get the upper hand by bowing to their philosophies. "Science has shown...", "New historical evidence indicates...", "Most scholars agree..."; these are the opening lines of sentences that we are less and less willing to go against in contending for the faith. We are afraid of looking irrational or unintelligent.

In science, often all evidence is viewed through a scope of atheistic presuppositions. Is this any less a "faith-based theory" than our faith in God? When these scientists are starting from the premise that there is no God, aren't they starting with a "faith statement"? So, when they think they have "proved scripture wrong", their proof is faulty because they are starting from a faulty foundation. Much of what is actually proven true in science points to the truth that there is a God who created all things rather than proving there is no God, but many "scientists" choose not to see it.

What do you read that helps you "contend for the faith" alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ? Let me take this moment to recommend that you visit the "Answers in Genesis" website and give them some thought. These, too, are scientists, but they start from the premise that scripture is true, and show how science can be used to prove it. They have some thought-provoking and even faith-strengthening materials available. I am not in any way sponsored by them or even connected to them. I just appreciate them. You may want to visit their "Creation Museum" in the Cincinnati, OH, area.

Let's not give in to fear of confidently preaching the word; standing up for God in the power of His Spirit without apology. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

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