Thursday, February 19, 2015

Doctrine's won't save you, but Jesus will

How do you tell if what you're hearing or reading is really of God or Spirit-inspired? I believe that every child of God, who has learned to listen to the Spirit, can tell right away if the spirit of the person they're listening to is of Christ or not. Have you ever talked to stranger and right from the outset you'll know they're a brother, even though nothing spiritual was mentioned?

Shutterstock/Russell Shively (text by DR)
I'm a professor of science and I've taught hundreds of students. Though I never talk about religion, spirituality or evolution/creation in class, my Christian students seem to know I am a believer and I can know the same about them. We are like hounds and smell the blood of Christ on our fellow brothers and sisters! Ok, that was a strange example to use, I admit it.

In the same way, we can sift through the tons of reading material or sermons we go through each day (I actually don't read or listen to much at all nowadays, I confess!) and pick up what is truly made in the Spirit and what is not. Sometimes, even if what is preached is correct, it still lacks the flavor or aroma of Christ. Some call this the discernment of the Spirit and others the witness of the Spirit. Jesus said the Spirit would guide us into all truth and speak to us too. 

So here's the question: why do many believers fear hearing people they think may be espousing "heresies" and the like? Are you afraid that if you listen to something false you'll somehow be led astray? That's like saying that an intelligent physicist or astronomer, if she hears a child saying the world is flat too much, will soon enough believe it! 

I remember the first time I heard a sermon from a very famous so-called "grace" or "hyper-grace" preacher. This so-called "grace gospel" was new to me at the time and he looked strange, he talked strange and he was not really typical-looking pastor, by my standards anyways - all of this was based on his appearance, of course. But as he spoke, I heard many things which I knew was of the Spirit, I heard my Daddy God's voice in him and was comforted that he was a genuine brother in the Spirit. Intrigued, I heard more of sermons and read some of his books which turned out to be a huge blessing in my life and to my family and millions of other souls too.

During the same season, I heard another series of videos by a similar preacher, albeit these sermons were made many years ago, maybe in the 90's. He was more like what you expect when you hear the word 'pastor' and he spoke many truths, very eloquently and powerfully I might add. But there was no witness of the Spirit. I did not feel comfortable with the man and never wanted to hear another sermon from him again. I found out a few weeks later, that today, this pastor had left the faith! 

I write a lot of crazy things here. I feel like Joshua in the promised land. It's full of giants, but I know the land is ours in Christ. Many times I just don't know how to get rid of them! Just like the ancient Israelites under Joshua, it took time for them to conquer their inheritance... in fact, the task was never really finished, neither in Joshua's time nor after his departure - thankfully, he was only a shadow or type of Christ. We are in a similar place today, following our spiritual Joshua - Jesus Christ. He's leading us to our spiritual and glorious inheritance in Him and we must be bold. Sometimes He leads us to abandon our time-honored beliefs for deeper ones. I mean, come on, how can we not expect that to happen when we have the Infinite One leading us?

Doctrines may come and go. The doctrines you hold dear today, you might forfeit tomorrow for greater, deeper and even truer ones. That's not a problem - doctrines are ways by which we try to makes sense of the spiritual world, but they have no power to save you, only Jesus does. As you walk with God more and more, you'll find that your doctrines will change, they will have to and it should never the other way around where we change our walk to suit this or that theology, even if said doctrines are about Jesus... because in the end, our faith is in Christ, it's Him we rely and depend on, and He's not a mantra to recite like a confession, He's the Living Word of God, The One and Only, who gives us life and life to the full. 

So before you just dismiss some of my more outrageous posts, why not think about them? Maybe even send me an email sharing with me your thoughts? Or if you're a little bold, maybe even experiment! We're on a journey to the same place... Jesus is the Way, but that doesn't mean we go about getting there on the same footpaths.

With my utmost blessings,

David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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