My husband, aka The Saxophone Player and the Director of New Brothers Fellowship, wrote a short and very good piece on the NBF Blog yesterday. I wanted to share it with you.
by Doug Gregan
There is something incomprehensible to me, as I witness established Christians, with years of faith and knowledge of the scriptures, move away from Jesus Christ as He is declared in the Bible. How powerful and sobering is the spiritual transaction that takes place in John chapter 6, concerning the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His Blood.
“Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can hear it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, ‘Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him.” (John 6:60-64)
Incredible that the betrayal of Christ should be connected to unbelief concerning His Resurrection and Ascension, His Sonship and Kingship.
And, this is exactly what is happening in these days. The hard sayings of Jesus become offensive apart from the personal apprehension and persistence in the Cross. They cause us to stumble.
“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” (John 6:66)
They walk with Him no more, but they remember His name, they remember His works, His compassion, His kindness, His love, His social justice principles, His philosophical depth.
It is here that the Flesh fashions another Jesus; a Jesus without a Cross, who challenges no one and meets us at our own understanding of truth.
No need to deny myself, to come apart from the spirit of the world, to submit to the authority of God or His Word outside of the parameters I find acceptable. The words of Jesus are mine to pick through and interpret according to my comfort level.
This is betrayal. This causes others to stumble.
I pray for the Holy Spirit to quicken the Words of Christ, again, to those who are offended and have created Christ in their image. May mercy bring us back to the glorious liberty of the Cross and dying to ourselves, that His resurrection life may flow through us again.
The words of Psalm 50 come to mind:
“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. ‘Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver! The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!'” (Psalm 50:21-23, ESV)