Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

February 26, 2012

Daily Devotionals: (Feb. 26th) The Christian’s Social Life

by colinmercer

The New Testament Church: Learning from the first disciples of Christianity

Reading: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.” Acts 3:1

Ireland has for a long time been called “the land of saints and scholars.” This description reflects the fact that religion played a major part in Irish history: monks and scribes, in the safety and seclusion of monastic life, preserved many of the West’s written treasures and to some extent “saved civilization” when the stability of Europe was rocked.  While we are thankful for the literary accomplishments of the medieval Irish, we must not overlook the fact that it was in the context of false religion. All over the Emerald Isle there are monasteries and convents testifying to the mistaken belief that religion could best be maintained by being kept apart from the outside world, that seclusion and separation equaled holiness.

The apostle and disciples of the early New Testament church had a different view. The believers practiced separation from sin, not separation from not society. They were very conscious of the need for personal sanctification, but they did not take their true Christianity and hide it behind the gray walls of a monastery.

Our text shows that the early disciples lived their Christian lives for God before men. They went out into the world among the people. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said there is always the danger that we should “think of Christianity as something abstract and intellectual. Though we must know the theory and have the understanding, we must never forget that first and foremost the Christian faith deals with life and living; it is the most revolutionary power the world has ever known. A dead church is a contradiction in terms. It is dead something—call it what you like—but not a dead church. The church is life, and it is power, and it is vigour.”

How true! We are often ashamed of the gospel. We feel comfortable in the services on a Lord’s Day, but Monday sees us afraid, timid, and silent. We must pray for power and courage to be out and to meet the world with the gospel of Christ.

February 10, 2012

Daily Devotionals: (Feb. 10th) One of the Saints or Just Among the Saints?

by colinmercer

The New Testament Church: Learning from the first disciples of Christianity

Reading: “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.” Acts 1:17

There are certain characters in Scripture that are shocking examples of wickedness, duplicity, and hypocrisy. At the forefront of that infamous group stands Judas Iscariot. His name has become synonymous with betrayal and treachery. He is known the world over as the traitor, the thief, and the apostate. In fact, to be called a Judas is generally viewed as a great insult.

Judas died an unrepentant sinner. But the astounding thing is that in his life he was very closely connected to the Lord and to his disciples. Judas was numbered or considered to be a follower of Christ, and therefore he participated in the ministry of the disciples. But none of that could change the fact that Judas was an unbeliever. He was among the saints. but he was not one of them. He was an apostate among the apostles.

That truth presents a very solemn warning. It is possible that some who identify with the church of Christ and therefore with the people of God are not God’s people at all. To put it more succinctly, not all who associate or participate with God’s people are truly saved! Do you remember the parable of the wheat and tares that Christ told in Matthew 13? The wheat and tares grew side by side, and so it is in the visible church. While there are those who are truly saved, there are others who are numbered with them and may even serve with them, but they are not truly converted. When Judas died, he went to “his own place,” as will every false professor. Am I one of the saints or just among the saints? Am I a true believer?

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