Accept One Another
Last week we talked about the fact that sin has been erased despite what others are teaching according to natural reason. In that audio, we talked about a wide array of common misconceptions of the sacrifice for our sins. Where we landed may have not been the place were so many in Christianity land, huh Jim?
Adam, I suspect that very few venture where we do because of fear:
The proposition that sin has been erased is too scary
Guardrails are set up to ward against the possibility that sin has not really been erased
What are we really trusting in?
Well we received an interesting question from one of our listeners in response to last weeks show, she asks:
“I’ve listened to your messages (sometimes going back over certain parts) and they have been more than helpful. I am ashamed and somewhat afraid to ask, but what about being a reprobate? As I see it, I will reap what I’ve sown. For many years since I’ve known Him, I’ve known He wants me to write my life’s story, and I haven’t done it. I think it’s a rebellion thing with me but I don’t know for sure.”
Jim, are there a few words you’d like to share here with our listener?
My dear friend …
heavy burden: reprobate… reaping what you’ve sown…
how did your conclusions build up?
what makes for rebellion other than the law?
from desire to expectation?
Adam, I think this ties in quite well with this week’s topic regarding acceptance.
Accept One Another Romans 15 :7
Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:7, NASB)
Much has been said about acceptance over the centuries both by believers and unbelievers. Most of us have been driven by it’s desire in very real ways throughout the full course of our lives. As I have observed Christian teaching over the years, I have sensed a form of acceptance taking place in the all the various ideas that are presented to us.
If one will claim the name of Jesus then they can be accepted. If one will ‘love others’ then they can be accepted. If one will go to church with this group or that group, then one may be accepted by that group. If one will do the ‘right thing’ then he can be accepted by the ‘do the right thing’ people.
But how far off has the institution of man gone from the very elements already present within the world? Did we not learn these very things while living in the world? How many times did you do that ‘thing’ that would get you accepted by that group of friends you thought you wanted in your high school experience? How many times have you worked so hard to achieve that outward image that if finally seen by others would put you at the top of the heap? Did you ever change your appearance to finally get that boy or girl to desire you, to like you, to accept you as precious and special?
It seems that we have been persuaded to approach God in the very same way. We unknowingly seem to want to attach all sorts of extra impressions into what keeps us standing before Him blameless and pleasing. How much of this is just the natural mind always trying to understand the things that can only be understood through unnatural means?
Jim: How much have we misread this call to acceptance in Christ to mean something totally different than what was intended? How do you see things like sexual acceptance, family acceptance, social acceptance still forcing their way into the teaching of Christ and derailing the true essence of what it means to be ‘accepted’ by the Father?
Considering Paul’s injunction to accept one another in the same way Christ accepted us to the glory of God, it should be quite obvious how out of kilter it has become in much of what calls itself Christianity. After all, if we approach God according to the always-shifting acceptance standards we learned in this world, what else can that produce among us other than a change in how we say things? Have we just learned to speak Christianeese?
Jim, what does it mean to accept another according to Christ? Is this just some call to TRY to look past things that bother us about others? Or does it actually have to do with putting aside the whole measuring stick with which we learned to use in this world to accept another?
How we view others is directly connected to how we view God, as well as how we view ourselves. We wrongly imagine that we can separate the interconnectedness of our relationships
Trying to look past what bothers us pales in comparison
Seeing all things in Christ is seeing all things as they truly are
The measuring stick: the constant contrast
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Jim, what kinds of things have we mistaken for acceptance? I mean, what have we tried to fill up on instead of the living, satisfying life of Christ? How about sex, or outward appearance, or food, or prestige? Do our new desires for acceptance through Him run much deeper than these things can satisfy? Have we tried replacing Him with them?
Because so many churches and religious groups push programs and principles rather than Christ, there’s always going to be an underlying dissatisfaction among those who take heed to it.
Christian principles are built upon the same elemental stuff of the world
Still view ourselves as empty rather than filled with life in Christ, and that is why we keep looking for some other source of satisfaction.
There is no satisfaction other than Christ
Jim, do you have any examples of the acceptance of the living God in your own life you would like to share?
Jim, do you think that the longing for so many outward things[and even some inward] are really boiled down to that deep longing for this acceptance we HAVE in Christ?