God Does Not Believe In You

I try to stay calm about inane Christian statements, I really do. But I just can’t help it.

The other day I received an email from a Christian organization trying to encourage me to minister to hurting people. I have no problem with such appeals, nor with helping hurting people.

They talked about God’s grace and how God shows compassion on people and never fails. All of that is fine.

And then they said this:

Can we be the ambassadors of God’s favor and say “I believe in you,” no matter what?

Seriously, I try to stay calm.

The organization that sent this email prides itself on their biblical integrity. They even take it upon themselves to teach others what the Bible says.

Yet if you read that statement, they are saying that God shows you grace because He believes in you.

Oh man. I try so hard.

God does not believe in you. He does not show you grace because He thinks you’re super-duper and just need a little self-esteem boost.

God shows you grace because without Him you can do nothing. Because without new birth you are under God’s wrath and a slave to sin. God, through the Gospel, puts you to death and raises you up to new life in Christ.

At no point in the Bible does God say He believes in us. Many points of the Bible say we are to believe in Him. That’s where the belief thing comes in.

We believe in Him to save us because we can’t save ourselves, nor does He expect us to save ourselves, because we can’t. Which is why He doesn’t believe in you. Which is why He sent His Son to die for you and provided everything necessary for salvation.

He does not show you grace for moral failures because He believes in you. That’s like the complete opposite of why God gives you grace. God gives you grace because without it you aint got a chance.

God gives grace to the humble, to people who have given up on themselves, in other words, people who have the same opinion about themselves that God has–without Him I can do nothing.

God gives grace to people who don’t believe in themselves, but rather believe in Him! If we’re not supposed to believe in ourselves, I’m quite sure God doesn’t either!

He gives you grace because without it you are worthless, hopeless, and useless. He puts that worthless person to death and raises you to new life in Christ as a person who is now worthy of eternal life.

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
–Galatians 3:22

Converting To What?

Christianity is divided into multiple doctrinal camps. Division reigns supreme. Many people wonder why this is the case. Many conclude it’s because the Bible is too hard to understand.

I agree there is too much division, I do not wonder why though, I think I know. And it’s not the Bible’s fault for being too confusing.

The main cause of division is that few are using the Bible anymore as an authority. Sure, they have verses and favorite passages, but few comprehensively use the Bible and fewer submit to what it says.

Today’s doctrine is largely based on what other guys said. When people argue you into their theological camps, it’s generally not out of a concern for your soul but it is 1) a defense of their doctrinal camp and leaders and 2) an attempt to get you into their camp to make their camp look bigger and better.

As we know (from reading the Bible), there is nothing new under the sun. People have long been more interested in defending and building their group than in the eternal state of your soul. Here are two biblical examples:

It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.  For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
–Galatians 6:12-13

The main reason most stayed away from the Gospel is because it would cause them problems. They wanted to appease those who would persecute them for following the Gospel. Best way to do that is to defend the old camp.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
–Matthew 23:15

Pharisees of Jesus’ day are acting the same as those messing with the Galatian church. They would rather count you in their camp than get you right with God. In order to escape hell, you have to first escape the bad teaching and then embrace the good teaching, that’s my interpretation of “twofold child of hell.” You have to be saved from bad teaching and then saved by good teaching, as it were.

People, in general, don’t care about your stand before God; they care about their stats. Better stats means playing a people-pleasing game, winning people to our side so we win. The more we win the more we feel like we are right.

Surround yourself with your camp and you’ll never have to face reality. Unless, of course, you find a camp that deals with reality, by which I mean, the reality God explains in the Bible.

There are no shortcuts and avoid anyone who offers you one. Use zeal, effort, energy, work, toil, labor, and get this right. Beware of theological camps and doctrines named after people. Read the Word so much you know when you’re hearing false teaching.

Having the Spirit teach you the Word through His means (which can be other people with the Spirit; I’m not throwing away all people or churches here) is the only safeguard we have against false teaching and division. Pray for wisdom, then do the work to get it. Be sober, watch and pray.

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