A final point emphasized by our guest speaker last Sunday was the warning that it is entirely possible to be religious and not have a relationship with God. You see, there are a lot of trappings that go along with a new life in Christ, and it is quite possible indeed to enjoy the trappings yet miss entirely the central thing! This is indeed an utter tragedy, as if one invested a great deal in elaborate computer peripherals: speakers, headsets, cameras, laser and 3-D printers, modems, high speed connectivity, scanners, gaming and productivity software, antivirus kits, keyboards, mice, game controllers… but missed entirely the essential CPU, the computer itself which runs them all!
You can do this with Christ too. You can attend church services, Bible studies, pot-lucks and prayer meetings. You can enjoy the company of Christians, make them your friends, host them in your home, bare your soul to them and even go through the motions of prayer with them. But if the Holy Spirit has not entered your being through your recognition and confession of your innate sinfulness and helplessness before a just and pure God. If you have not stretched out your arm to Him alone for salvation, invited Him to be your Lord, listened to His still small voice and immediately obeyed it, you will not know Him. You will know only the trappings of His kingdom. You will be like one “window shopping,” seeing and enjoying fine and desirable things yet unable go touch and obtain them because of the barrier between.
But you need not languish outside, “Come and dine,” He calls. Only leave all behind, on the worldly streets, come as you are, stripped and ready to be re-clothed. Trusting totally that He will do so. No longer will you use Christianity, but now you give yourself to Christ allowing Him to live through you!
It is a seeming backward thing, this Christian salvation. But it is no less the truth, the way to life is death, and that Truth, that Way, that Life is Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
And here’s the answer to yesterday’s quiz: