We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Christian Is Different — Or Should Be!


The modern Christian seems to think that he is doing something wonderful when he behaves very much like the man of the world; he tries to argue that this is the way to win him.  But he is not winning him!  Our Lord could mix with publicans and sinners, but he was never mistaken for one of them; He was called the friend of publicans and sinners, but the contrast was there even in the criticism.  And the point is that the true Christian, because of what has happened to him, because of this regeneration, because of the work of the Spirit, because he has been made new, is of necessity a different man.

But I will go further.  Not only does the Christian know that he is different, the non-Christian also knows it.  At once the Christian and the non-Christian are aware of a difference between themselves.  They are aware of a lack of affinity.  I want to press this, because it seems to me to be one of the most thorough-going tests we can ever apply to ourselves.  Unless we are conscious of a lack of affinity with people who still belong to the world I cannot see that we are Christians at all.  That does not mean that we cannot share certain things with them, that we cannot be pleasant, that we cannot pass the time of day with them, as it were.  But it does mean that we are aware of a difference, of a barrier, that we belong to different realms and to different positions entirely.  We can have social relations with non-Christians, but the whole time we are aware of this difference, we are not at home in that atmosphere.  We may, for various reasons, have to be with them occasionally, but we are aware that we do not belong to their world.  And they too are equally aware of the fact that we do not belong to it.  And that is the thing that is so valuable, that even the non-Christian, the man of the world, expects the Christian to be different.


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Darkness and Light: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:17-5:17,” pgs. 86-87

4 comments:

Alec said...

Glenn,
So true.

This can be one of the hardest things to adjust to. Even if we say little to nothing, the Word is there empowered by the holy Spirit. Sometimes even innocent comments will enflame response bringing the division into sharp relief.

Alec

Jim B said...

Glenn,

I appreciate the post and I absolutely agree, we are seeing the result of compromise in the church today. The leaders of the church have done everything to make the church and it's people close to the world to try and win some but all they do is show the world why the church is more like them instead of more like Christ. We can play the blame game all we want to but that will not change anything, we must fall to our knees and pray desperately to Almighty God who is well able.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn,

Exactly. Alec also made a good point: with the indwelling Holy Spirit, often we don't have to even speak. The division is clear, regardless.

(Unless of course you are busy trying to quench and grieve the Holy Spirit by looking as much like the world as possible, but even then, the Lord will still make His presence in your life known.)

-Carolyn

Doug Evans said...

Amen!

Our 'friends' on the "Christian" Left (Namely Mark Sandlin) think it's totally awesome to hang out at the bar with LGBT, sex workers, drug users, drunks... because that's what Jesus did. And yes, Jesus did associate with sinners, but he did not hang out in bars and he did not drink with them as Mark Sandlin is proud to do, such an act would affirm their sins. Jesus message was "Go and sin no more" the "Christian" left's message is "What's your favorite sin? Cool!"