Our church did an awesome job of putting on a passion play for Easter. The key thing emphasized was the question “Is it I?” Having asked this they all went on to abandon Jesus. John was so focussed on relationship that he did the best and returned to follow the Lord through most of the process and was there for Jesus to give him, from the cross, the responsibility for Mary.
They should have said, “Given all that I know about myself from being in Jesus’ presence for 3 years, SURELY IT MUST BE I WHO WOULD BETRAY HIM!”
Remember my suggestion that the word of God can not be read usefully unless, when it says we should do something, we conclude that we are probably not doing it; and when it tells us to not do something we conclude that we are probably doing it.
THERE IS NO GODLINESS WITHOUT A GROWING SENSE THAT “I, YES I, NO ONE ELSE BUT I AM THE CHIEF OF SINNERS!
And so let a man examine himself and so partake of communion. Are you doing well enough on the surface to believe that there are lots of worse people? Then, Like D.L. MOODY you should say “that is I only I’d be worse except for the grace of God” How can we boast as if anything we have is not given to us?
I had a pastor listen to all my tapes, and the only theological fault he could find was in my emphasis that all of us need to declare loudly, along with the apostle Paul, “This is a faithful saying ane worthy of all acceptation, than Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I, yes I, no one else but I am the chief! He really thought that the apostle was worse than Dr. Bell! I hope that my tombstone will read CHIEF OF SINNERS/FRIEND OF GOD!
My brother and his wife help young would-be missionary candidates prepare for launching into “full time ministry” One of their greatest flaws, the candidates that is, is to think that because they at THE CALLED therefore whatever they think feel or do must be godly. They stop examining themselves and stop taking feedback and stop growing and soon the God who called them can’t use them.Pastors and church leaders often fall into the same pit.
I grew up in a church where members were so eager to “arrive” at a position where they no longer needed to grow or struggle with sin that they simply declared themselves to have arrived and quit growing. Needless to say the church has not grown in 80 years, has abandoned its drive for holiness and tries to look good on the mission field by buying lies about how well they are doing.
Mosses was called dramatically at the burning bush , gathered him wife and kids and headed for full time ministry. God then stopped him and offered to strike him dead because he had not circumcised him sons. Aaron’s boys offered incense to worship God that was more interesting and which they liked better and God struck them dead and told Aaron not to morn. Annanias and Sapharia gave a lot of money to the church and were struck dead because they pretended it was more. The early church gathered for communion and didn’t examine themselves and died like flies.
Oh brother and sister, read the word and pray and talk with fellow believers with a constant assurance that IT IS I and rejoice in feedback and spankings and anything that leads to growth. Do not expect to arrive or your arrival will be the end of your growth or usefulness to God. Two things should increase as you go, and they will produce ever increasing humility gratitude and usefulness 1. humble awareness that in you apart for God dwells no good thing 2. that you are not apart from God and can do all things through Him!