Jan 06

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The title of the article which provoked this series of articles is: “A dangerous trend in the churches of Christ.” First, let me give the writer credit for using a small “c” in the word “church.” Some of our most “highly” educated have failed to understand that the word “church” is not a proper noun! However, he appears to be willfully unaware that what he writes is not new! In getting right to his point, he wrote: “we put far too much emphasis on our own rightness.” Then, he continued with these words: “Right doctrine that leads to right actions is critically important, BUT (capitalized and bold, added, frw) if we’ve come to the place that our rightness outranks Jesus in terms of where we direct our attention (and I believe we have), we have a problem.” It should not take one with a Doctorate Degree to understand that there is no “rightness” without Jesus and no Jesus without “rightness!” Here is a good place to recall the words of God through Samuel to King Saul: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (The Hebrew, kaw-shab’, which is, “A primitive root; to prick up the ears, that is, hearken: – attend, (cause to) hear (-ken), give heed, incline, mark (well), regard.” (Strong) than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22). “Rightness” comes through obeying the commandments of God! Worship while disobeying God is enmity, it is unacceptable and vain!
The writer wrote this: “We’re saved by God’s grace as long as our faith is continually placed in Jesus.” May I point out that Paul wrote: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Here one needs to understand that the word “hearing” is a noun, not a verb; and it comes from the Greek word “akoē” and means: “report;” and is so translated in verse 16: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report (akoē)?” Therefore, I state, if our “faith” is not built by the “report,” “the gospel of Christ,” “the teaching of Christ,” It has no saving power whatsoever! We must not forget Paul’s words: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16). We are saved, as Paul wrote, by “the gospel of Christ,” “for (the Greek, gar, “A primary particle; properly assigning a reason,” Strong) it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; …” Now, notice with me, Paul’s next words: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed …” (verse 17). Once more attention is called to the word “for” and that it is the Greek “gar.” So, why is “the gospel of Christ” God’s power unto salvation? It is because within it, is “the righteousness of God revealed.” Now here is a simple question: “Is Jesus not in “the gospel of Christ,” which is “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9)?” Give thought to this question: “Is Jesus not in “the gospel of Christ?” Then, if Jesus is within “the teaching of Christ,” “the gospel of Christ,” wherein is “the righteousness of God” is revealed;” can a person have “too much righteousness?” Remember, “rightness” is within “righteousness!” So, how can we have “too much rightness?”
The writer continued with these words: “How do we know if this (Having to much rightness, frw) is a problem? What does an over-emphasis on our rightness look like?” We shall allow the writer to answer the question, himself: “It looks like a constant dwelling on the doctrines that set us apart from others, like baptism, music, women’s roles, and the like.” Let it be known, that the subjects, the ones the writer pointed out, are indeed, some of and may be the major teachings “that set us apart from others!” There have always been those who would destroy the marks of separation; as they try to remake “the churches of Christ,” as they try to denominationalize the churches of Christ! It takes another gospel/teaching to make a denomination; as Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-7).
Friends, there is no salvation, there is no rightness, in another gospel! So, the question to each of us: “Where do we stand?” Is it within “the gospel of Christ;” within “the teaching of Christ?” Do you think you have “too much rightness?”

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/loving-god-without-loving-righteousness-4/