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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Real Test

By Philip Mullins 

    It is always easier to walk with the crowd, to agree when everyone else is agreeing, to go with the flow. However, it is how we stand when we have to stand in opposition that is often the real test of our faith in God.
    "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). To be a true Christian means to oppose evil. To stand with Christ often means to stand against people and ideas that are set against Him. While a Christian is to be patient and loving, he or she is not to be passive. A Christian is a soldier in a war.
    Christ displayed such a character. While He was meek and gentle, He could also be aggressive and bold:
        “I tell you, no: but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
        “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men...” (Mark 7:8).
        “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).
    It was not that Jesus was trying to be offensive, but in standing for what was right it was necessary for Him to oppose certain beliefs, teachings, and even people. It was necessary to tell people what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear.
    Some religious people who claim to follow Christ are not willing to oppose anything or anybody. They believe the way of Christ dictates a totally positive approach where one never challenges any belief or practice, even if it is in clear opposition to the way of Christ.
    How much do you believe in God? How much do you trust the Bible as God's word? How convinced are you that Jesus is God's Son? How committed are you to the Bible's standard of righteousness? If you are truly faithful to God and firm in your devotion to His will, then you must stand against whatever opposes these things.
    It is easy to speak up for Christ when others are doing the same. The real test, though, comes when we must speak for Him when others are speaking against Him or His word. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).


- Philip Mullins; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: Belvedere Church of Christ



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