“‘Quit your preaching,’ they preach. ‘They should not preach these things; shame will not overtake us.’ House of Jacob, should it be asked, ‘Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient? Are these the things He does?’ Don’t My words bring good to the one who walks uprightly? Micah 2:6-7 (HCSB)
There is a serious debate within the Church at large. The argument is over how to present the gospel: Should we focus on God’s forgiving love or on His standard by which mankind will be judged?
I believe we should present both equally. To me, that is what sharing the whole gospel is about. It’s what the Bible would call “not straying from the path.”
“Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right or to the left; turn your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:27 (NASB)
God has given us the Bible to show us how we should live. In the Bible, we understand God’s Holiness, man’s sinfulness, Jesus’ gracefulness, and the believer’s thankfulness.
When we stray to the “left” of the Bible’s instruction, we abuse God’s liberty by rebelling against accountability. Swing too far to the “right,” and we worship the discipline of religion while denying ourselves God’s gracious gift of a personal relationship with Him.
A healthy “walk” with Jesus is a balance of freedom with accountability and discipline with a personal relationship.
In the days of Micah, the liberal “left,” so to speak, had taken the Lord’s grace for granted to the point that they worshipped idols. Understand, they had not completely abandoned the Lord. They simply presented the “positive” aspects of God’s loving provision while denying the reality of His hatred of sin, which leads to judgment.
This approach to worship led to spiritual compromise: the Lord + idolatry. They sought a religion that allowed them to retain a primary identity with the Lord yet didn’t isolate them from their sinful desires or profitable political relationships with other nations. Does this sound familiar?
Whenever the prophets would preach of the true standard of God, Israel would reject their message. It would be very confusing for anyone on the outside because both parties claimed to be God-honoring Jews. Given the options, the average person would probably go with the religion that asked “least” of their devotion while promising the most liberty. We read God’s Word to know the truth and walk according to it.
Lord, grant us the opportunity (along with the boldness) to share the “whole gospel” with others. We want to walk in Your ways, neither adding to nor taking away from your Word.
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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