Foolish words, empty quarrels

talk

Ever met that person who re-invents himself every other month?  He is convinced that this diet is the one that is going to change this health, but then next month you meet him eating junk food. She says that she’s found just the right church, but a year later she is in another.  Of particular concern to me are those who claim to be ‘in Christ’ but who do not match their profession of discipleship with a life of growing devotion, who get taken in by fads and personalities over devotion to Jesus Himself.

Our faith must be more than words!  We can intelligently debate the fine points about the prophetic timeline of the Second Coming;  we can be able to dissect the various ideas about the intersection of the sovereign will of God and human free will – yet, have no saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Paul urges us to become rooted in Christ and to enter into a transformative experience of His grace. “Those who have trusted in God (must) be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:8-12, NIV)

Are you just a great talker, friend?  “Do good!” the Word says.  Paul reminds us that endless debates about words and meanings, getting caught up in tertiary issues of faith are divisive and useless!

In many instances, the 21st century evangelical church has allowed herself to be diverted from the Gospel of Christ into political activities that are obscuring the eternal message about the wonderful love of Jesus Christ. That is not to say that there are not issues of social concern and justice, that we should be without convictions about the implications of the law of the land and our expression of faith.  In our time we are privileged with the power of the ballot and we ought to use our vote in line with our deep convictions about what it means to live the Christian life.

However, to focus all the energies of our faith, to use the precious resources of our church, to further some political party’s ambitions for power is a terrible diversion from our true mission which is to bring others to peace with God.  The Bible tells us that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20, NLT)

Questions will arise for each one of us about what certain parts of the Word mean, about ethical convictions, about how the Church should best do her work. God has blessed us with minds that need to be trained and gifts of teaching that can be used to help us develop sound doctrine. The best practice is to root that teaching in service. If we are actively worshipping, generously investing our resources and time in some area of service, if we are visiting the sick, showing hospitality, praying more than 30 second prayers – somehow many of those questions will find their answers in time, while the Kingdom of God is being established.

Let’s commit ourselves to loving Jesus and making that love visible by loving others with a committed, constant, self-forgetful love. Here is a word from the Word. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.(Colossians 2:6-10, NIV)

Lord, bring us to profound faith expressed in our service today. Amen.

________

On And On

Where can I run from Your presence
Where can I flee from You
Even if I hide on the highest mountainYou are there

Where can I run from Your presence
Where can I flee from You
Even if I lie in the lowest valley
You will find me there

Deeper than any ocean
Your love goes on and on and on and on
Higher than any mountain
Your love goes on and on and on and on

(Your love goes on and on and on and on and on)

And if I clothe myself in shadows
Would I fade away from You
No even if I fall to the deepest darkness
Love surrounds me still

No even if I fall to the deepest darkness
Your love surrounds me still

There is no ending to Your
Love that holds on won’t let go
Love that won’t leave me on my own
I am falling deeper into Your
Love that holds on won’t let go
Love that won’t leave me on my own

Your love goes on and on and on and on
Love don’t let me go
Don’t let go
Love don’t let me go|Don’t let go

There’s nowhere I can run
There’s nowhere I can hide
There’s nowhere I can go that You won’t find me Lord

Kirby Kaple | Mitch Parks | Rob Kaple

© 2015 Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing)

Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

1 Comment

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One response to “Foolish words, empty quarrels

  1. Corinne Pursell

    fantastic

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