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Our Greatest Hindrance

    Our greatest hindrance in ministry, whether it be our preaching from the pulpit, or just telling others of what Christ has done for us is our sinful behavior.  Specifically, it is our religious behavior, which is in my opinion the most sinful behavior.

    Those of us who rest in the finished work of Christ and are aware of God's sovereign grace in the work of salvation have absolutely no reason to come to others including non-believers, and bang them over the head with a snobbish self-righteous attitude, or strict religious rules that do nothing but condemn.   And that person you are looking down upon because you don't think they know as much as you or have their life together as well as you, you should approach with sympathy and concern, not fire and brimstone judgment.

    I look around this world and I see all kinds of people suffering through all kinds of terrible situations.  I see people involved in sinful lifestyles, sinful and false religions, and instead of being angry at everything, I have sadness and sympathy in my heart.  If I meet a drug addict, a criminal, or a false religionist, my heart is not immediately set to that of anger and of judgment, but one of sympathy and sadness for them.  The only reason I'm not sharing in their misery is because the Lord has shed His grace on me and rescued me from such a life.  Instead of patting myself on the back for having it together, I thank the Lord for his preserving grace.  

    And while I don't believe it's our duty to try and win souls, as there is only One soul winner, we should be desirous to see God's elect come to a knowledge of Christ.  And though we are not able to hinder God, sometimes our actions and speech have a repelling effect, not an inviting one.  If you think that unbeliever will embrace what you have to say while having a self-righteous attitude toward them, you can think again.  They will turn away and reject what you have to say.

For they bind heavy and hard to bear burdens, and lay  them  on the shoulders of men, but they do not desire to move them with their finger. And they do all their works to be seen by men.  (Matthew 23:4-5, LITV)

    Jesus had a lot to say about the Pharisees and self-righteous people.  Maybe we should all examine ourselves and take a refresher course on these things.  Just read Matthew 23, and see what He has to say.  

    We are all to preach the Gospel.  We can do this obviously from the pulpit.  But we can also do this with our talents and materials the Lord has given each of us.  We can tell others what great things the Lord has done for us!  We can tell of the good news of how the Lord took pity on such deplorable and wretched souls like us and lifted us off the dung heap and robed us with the perfect righteousness of Christ.  He has covered all of our sins and deficiencies.  And He has shown us unmerited favor, love and mercy.  And we can tell everyone of this great news while leaving our own sanctimonious opinions out of our speech.

    Preach the truth.  And leave it at that.  God has it all under control.  You don't need to judge.  And He didn't give you the authority to run around with a self-righteous attitude so you can judge others by laying a guilt trip upon people.  You aren't serving the Kingdom by acting like a Pharisee!

    Instead of passing around judgment and condemnation upon everyone, maybe you should consider going into your prayer closet, being quiet, and studying the Scriptures.  Doctrine is important, but our life in Christ is not just a doctrine.  It's about a relationship with the living and triune God through Christ our Lord.    

Topics: Pristine Grace Neo-Gnosticism
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