Battling Believers Make Me Tired
In our world, the title ‘Christian’ has many meanings depending on who you’re speaking with.
As a pastor I find myself in conversations with many types of Christians. There are differing beliefs on repentance, baptism, election, eternal security, and the Holy Spirit – to name only a few.
It’s easy to become consumed by those debates. In fact, it’s easy to become exhausted by those debates. Sometimes I feel like I’m living on the defensive – but against other believers not skeptics. That’s not God’s plan for the church.
While important in their place, such controversies can fog the beautiful, simple yet mysterious good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Beauty of Simplicity
It was very important to the Apostle Paul that he declared the mystery of Christ in just that way:
3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
Colossians 4:3–4 (NLT)
God sent his Son, Jesus, as the final sacrifice for our sins. He was crucified in our place and rose to life on the third day. Through a relationship with Jesus Christ we are offered forgiveness, eternity in Heaven, and a full abundant life.
Paul continues with his simple message this way:
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (NLT)
Immediately after the sermon at Pentecost the Apostle Peter was asked this by those who now believed:
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Acts 2:37 (NLT)
Peter’s answer was simple and yet oh so powerful:
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 (NLT)
Let’s Keep Talking
I’m certainly not advocating for us to end deep conversations on the various topics listed above. They are important. They have their place. They have benefited the church.
What I am advocating is at the end of the day we remember the beautiful, simple message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and view our fellow Christians as brothers and sisters in the faith.
We live in a world filled with broken and lost sinners in need of a savior. Let’s keep it simple and keep it focused on Jesus. After all, we just want them to believe that Jesus saves.