Christianity 201

October 13, 2012

Faith Forms

Christian faith can take many forms, not all of them conforming to the ideal scripture presents.  Three weeks ago Jeff Knott, our pastor continued a series in Philippians, looking at these verses from chapter one:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

I asked him for some of his notes from a particular point in the message:

Life presents us with all kinds of opportunities and choices – but life has a way of filling up with non-essentials.  It is like going shopping when you are hungry. They are not good or bad in and of themselves – but their presence weighs us down

That is what Paul is praying here – that we will have insight to know what is essential for the journey – what really counts in my walk with Christ.

Again some things matter —  some things don’t; And we get bogged down and churches get bogged down in things that don’t count, things that take them on a detour;  and it is not that what they do is bad – but they have missed the best.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.   

Gal 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

  • Not a rigid faith expressing itself through law
  • Not a dry faith expressing itself through the intellect alone
  • Not a cold faith expressing itself through duty
  • Not a sentimental faith expressing itself through nostalgia
  • Not a national faith expressing itself through patriotism

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.  

Jeff Knott

The question you and I need to ask ourselves concerns whether or not our faith has been, or has become rigid, dry, cold, sentimental or national.

NLT Revelation 2:4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.

Here are some closing summary words from John 13 in The Message translation:

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

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