Wednesday, May 11, 2011


When we preach about forgiveness of sins and a guaranteed entrance into heaven after death, we Bible believing Christians show complete confidence in the work of Jesus at Calvary. This confidence is the power of the church’s evangelistic message.

This kind of confidence concerning forgiveness and our eternal destiny was clearly manifested in the early Christian church before this confidence was lost a few centuries later through religious tradition and hierarchy. It took a reformation for this confidence to return.

There was another kind of confidence in the early church that has nearly disappeared in today’s church. It is the confidence that Christ’s presence in us by the Holy Spirit can free us from the sinful works of our flesh. Listen to these words of Paul as recorded in Galatians 5:16 and ask yourself when was the last time you heard a preacher make such a confident affirmation about the transformation of a believer’s behavior.

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Do we really believe that there exists a power so perfect and so available to every believer that the lust of the flesh can be continuously overcome and give place to real, continuous love?

Do we really believe that the presence of Jesus in us right now is as real and as perfect as His death for us 2000 years ago?

Those of us who counsel and disciple others must face this question: Do we lead others to the confident experience of Galatians 5:16?

Do we know how to lead others to “Walk in the Spirit”? If not, we are in need of a reformation in our understanding of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Just as surely as the church needed a reformation in its evangelism I am convinced the church needs a continuing reformation of spiritual formation for this day.

Where there is no confidence in Jesus’ perfect presence in us by the Spirit there will be imperfect discipleship that leads us around in circles. We do not need a church wandering around in circles looking for the fruitful life. We need churches that are vineyards living the fruitful life.

Bud McCord
Abide International

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