Faith and Love

Faith and Love

I was listening to a pastor in our church and he said that the greatest enemy to the gospel of Jesus Christ was not the Romans or the so-called Gentiles but the Pharisees (teachers of the law). It was by their hands that Jesus was crucified. Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”. When I speak to many non-Christians, they tend to not like Christians at all. Let me put this to you that the Christians are not the Christ.

Believers are to only point the way to Christ. Many people join the faith because of the people and do not have a direct relationship with Christ. Hence you hear sentences like, I backslide because the pastor of that church deceived me. I backslide because the people in the church talked about me or treated me badly. Realize that the people here are the ones that hurt you and not the one who called you. Unfortunately, people have this belief that being saved is joining a club. So much so that if the members of the club do not embrace you, you walk away.

A few months ago, pastor spoke about what is in a name. We discovered what you name a child is very important to who he or she will become. I heard someone say that it’s not what my name is but which name I answer to. Which I thought was quite profound.

As a child in our neighbourhood we used to give nicknames to people based on their character or a physical attribute. Sometimes your name would be based on something you did one time and the name stuck. Because you answered to this name, you believed either the hype or the flaw. For example, some of us were called the strongest and we believed it until we met David and his little stones and were utterly humbled. You then realised these names are not entirely true and absolute. Others were called fat until you looked back at those photos and realise you were just bigger than they were and sometimes wish you could go back to that size. The bible trivia I will ask you today is who called us Christians and what did Jesus call us? After you answer this ask yourself this, what name will you will answer to?

When Jesus died and was resurrected, He restored a covenant between father and sons. This was evident in the shift in His relationship with His disciples before and after His crucifixion. After His resurrection, He said to Mary, “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and Your God.” The bible says Now faith is… and says Now that we are sons of God. Faith and relationship between God our Father go hand in hand. The bible says it is impossible to please God without faith.

As sons of God we are to act a certain way. Jesus said my family is those who do my Father’s will. What people call Christianity is not a club but a family. Just like a family no son has more ‘sonship’ than the other. At the end of the day the house belongs to The Father and only He can expel you or accept you. As Paul said, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I started by saying that the greatest enemy of the gospel of Jesus Christ were the Pharisees. Keepers of the law. Paul mentioned in Gal 5:1-6,” It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again, I declare to every man that who let himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.  For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision no uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Later on, Paul says in the chapter of love, that I may speak in tongues, prophesy, perform miracles but if I do this outside of love it counts for nothing. The bible says that Jesus was moved by compassion and He is the author and perfector of our faith. Love is a prerequisite of the God kind of faith. We are not religion bound but faith bound. This faith we claim to ascribe to is based on Love. Jesus said, “you shall know my family by their fruits.” Therefore, it is impossible to please God without the God kind of Faith which is based in Love.

God bless you.

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