In this 'Only God can judge me' culture I am pressed to reflect upon the tides of consensus which fuel the independence and pride of the flesh above the dependence and humility of the spirit.
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How many times have you heard the words 'Only God can judge me' Ok maybe not those exact words, how about let him who is without sin cast the first stone! or take the plank out of your own eye! Or even it's not for me to judge!
If you have then maybe like me you might be tired of hearing the scriptures spoken in partiality as a result of an unwillingness to discipline or be disciplined in accordance with the tenets of the faith.
The warnings of second Timothy chapter three continue to ring true that the more we reject the Lord's way, the more we undermine, despise and usurp the structures of authority and governance he has established. Such is the state of our society that any discussion about hierarchy these days is frowned upon as top heavy.
As a result, we are becoming a law unto ourselves, manifesting arrogance by the way we reject any scrutiny from others. This level of haughtiness presumes that our self-righteousness can stand the test of the final judgement.
Wait a minute! I hear you say. ‘“Only God fully understands me and if he accepts me for who I am who then has the right to judge me? I am on a journey. Speak to the hand!”
Fellow citizen before you continue on YOUR journey, if you would but listen for a moment.
Let's begin first with 'the journey'.
Paul the apostle states that we all share in a common salvation 'journey' which must be personally applied by faith. Read Jude 1:3
This means that salvation isn't personal first, it is common for all, made available subject to our willingness to transition from belief to discipleship.
Salvation isn't based on your idea of what it is at the point it applies to YOUR journey. That's relativism!
Salvation is God's plan 'journey' which you have been chosen along with other fellow citizens to take.
But? I hear you say, ‘’I pray, study my bible, attend church every Sunday, tithe and give an offering. Isn't that enough?’’
Fellow citizen discipleship is not by itself a life long commitment to services, courses and programs. Rather it is a covenantal commitment to the Lord and the household of faith. Hence we should not measure discipleship by how much we have learned but by how much what we have learned has produced the fruit of the spirit in and through us.
This means moving from a tick box exercise to a genuine transparent and accountable covenantal relationship with Christ and his ekklesia.
Recognising the mandate to produce fruit of this quality provoked the disciples to ask for even more faith from the Lord as they realised their own inadequacies.
This was the very issue Paul was addressing in Corinth when he stated that the Ekklesia had many teachers but very few fathers. 1st Corinthians 4:15
So you ask how do I begin to take such steps?
1. Our Lord modelled an open and transparent life, accountable to the Father and his disciples. This quality of blamelessness upon which his society springs we are commended to exemplify. Philippians 2:15
2. The Lord established his government (Ekklesia) in order to regulate his society and ensure the continuity of his governance. Matthew 16:18
3. Our Lord established a policy of scrutiny which is to be openly applied at all levels of his society in order to provide instruction, correction, reprove and rebuke IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS for his citizens. 2nd Timothy 3:16
4. The Lord appoints his own hierarchy, sacred rulers to ensure discipline and order is maintained. 1st Corinthians 12:5
5. The appointed hierarchy must give an account/report of the Ekklesia and it's citizens. Hebrews 13:17
6. The Lord stands present in the midst of his Ekklesia to ensure checks and balances to address our corporate and individual immaturity. Revelations 1.
7. These all come under testing to ensure the qualities of his kingdom are consistent. 1st Corinthians 3:13
So next time you say or even hear the words 'Only God can judge me' take a moment to reflect on the fact that maybe God is disciplining you so that you may share in his righteousness.
For king and for country...