What are the true marks of a Christian? Many of us would quickly say: “a changed life.” There must be a true change is someone’s life for Christ to truly be present. But what does that change look like? Nice language? A certain non-abrasive personality? What about people who never watch TV or listen to secular music? Are these true signs of conversion or a disguise meant to portray a hollow godliness?
Is it not easier to give things up that we can live without in order to conceal the dark truth? Paul understood man’s natural bent toward deception. In the Ephesian church this showed up as Asceticism—the denial of specific practices—specifically marriage and certain foods. In other words, the false teachers were instructing people to completely deny themselves of the things of this world in order to display true holiness. Have you seen the modern day version of this? It’s called legalism. What is the cure? What is the danger?
Join us this Sunday at Redeemer as we consider The Church’s Conduct and Confession, from 1 Timothy 3:14-4:5. Paul simply directs his hearers to the truth by highlighting the high calling of the local church. The church is the “pillar and support of the truth.” Ironically, the very thing that, in many cases, has caused this problem is the cure. The church should not be propagating legalism. It should be actively killing it! How do we see this take shape?
I’m Praying for a Massive Return to the Gospel from texts like this!