“The gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere… any additional rules made to govern men’s conduct added nothing to the perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” – John Wycliffe
It seems to me that many Christians tend to struggle with this concept. We would like to say that you can’t be saved unless you wear the correct clothing, say the right words, ect. Although we may not come right out and say it, it’s true. We look at people through our judgmental eyes and assume that because they have not jumped through loops a, b, and c, they simply aren’t saved.
And while the Bible tells us that we will know them (Christians) by their fruit, we must be careful when inspecting that fruit. Are we judging them according to how we think they should be or according to how God says they should be? In truth, those things should be one in the same. We must remember that we are not God and never will be. It is God’s job to save sinners, it is our job to spread the word and glorify Him. I am not saying that everyone should be allowed to be a Christian in whatever way they feel is “right for them.” I am simply warning against applying rules not found in the bible to your fellow siblings in Christ.
You see, when we use our own guidelines to judge each other, it gives us a sense of superiority and pride over those who do not follow those guidelines so well. In that case, we begin to focus more on ourselves and our own righteousness, rather than the grace of God in saving us from our own rebellion. And let’s face it… He saved all of us from rebellion. How can we boast in ourselves?
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9
What’s a timely tidbit?