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Tag Archives: compromise

Too Far for the Sake of Relevance

I’m continuing to look at First Corinthians, chapter 15.  Paul is talking about the concept of resurrection.  He started by reminding them of his Gospel message.  This is, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he then appeared to many credible witnesses.

Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
1 Corinthians 15:11

This is the foundation of faith that the Corinthian church was established upon.  Unfortunately, they were now trying to become more acceptable to the society around them.  Belief in someone rising from the dead was a little far out.

Greek society prided themselves on their intellect and knowledge.  It’s a lot like where I live, in the Boston area, where there’s a college or university everywhere you look.

Because they wanted to be “relevant”, they downplayed the resurrection.  Sometimes even telling people they could become a Christian without believing in it.  They were probably well-meaning and though that once they came in the door, someday they’d “see the light.”

What does Paul think about this?

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
1 Corinthians 15:12-14

Paul is very clear.  There’s no salvation without the resurrection.  If God isn’t powerful enough to raise the dead, then what was the purpose of the cross?  What Christ did on the cross is meaningless without the resurrection.

More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:15-17

Changing the truth of God’s Word in order to make it more palatable to society only removes the very heart of the message.  It’s no longer the Gospel.

Many in our generation need to understand this truth.  The Scripture says what it says.  It will offend some people.  We can’t change that.

This being said, we can change the way we handle it.  We can be more loving and less judgmental.  When Jesus ministered, He found a way to show God’s love without compromising truth.

We need to take stock of our message.  Does it line up with Scripture?  Once you leave the clear path of truth, the doctrines of faith begin to fall like dominoes.

Paul shows these Christians the end result of a belief in no resurrection.

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
1 Corinthians 15:18-19

The bottom line is to never compromise the truth of the Word to win people to Christ.  You can change the method, but not the message.

Question: What was the message that you believed when you were saved?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on August 28, 2019 in Faith, Revival, The Church, The Gospel

 

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Salt or Sand

In my last post I looked at a verse from Peter’s first letter. He talked about the fact that we’re to live as aliens in the world. He goes on to speak more about it.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:1-2

The next thing Peter says is that we are scattered all over the world. Literally, he said that we are dispersed. In the context of this letter, he was talking to a people who had moved because of persecution.

But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
Acts 8:3-4

The enemy brought persecution on the early church thinking that he could extinguish it before it caught on. Unfortunately for him it was like putting water on a grease fire. They scattered everywhere, but they told the Good News of Jesus Christ wherever they went.

This should apply to us in our generation. Right now we’re scattered everywhere. There are Christians in schools, hospitals, offices, sports, and entertainment. If only we would “preach the word wherever we go,” we would see the same results that they had.

Our trouble is that we want to blend in. Jesus wants us scattered, but to keep our identity in Him.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Matthew 5:13

We are salt – a seasoning with a distinct taste. I know there are those who are on a low salt diet. I’ve tasted some of the salt replacement spices on the market. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no true replacement for salt.

Most people can’t eat anything without some salt on it. When you scatter salt on something, it changes and enhances the flavor of it.

How can salt lose its saltiness? Back in the ancient world, salt was not as pure as it is today. There was always a small amount of sand in it. If that salt got wet, the true salt would dissolve away leaving only the sand. Anyone who’s tried to have a picnic at the beach on a windy day can tell you that sand does not make your food taste better.

When we compromise with the world in order to blend in, we’re trading sand for salt. We think that we’re doing so good for God. What does the world think?

According to Christ, we’re good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled. That’s kind of where the church finds itself today – on the fringes of society. We’re mostly ignored by the world. I guess we blended in too well.

It’s time for the church to rise up and be the church. Not just during your weekly service, but all week long. We need to show Christ to the world wherever we’ve been scattered. That’s what will change the flavor of the world around us.

Question: How have you portrayed Christ to your world lately?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Ministry, Revival, The Church

 

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A Soul at War

mhXQFuIHow healthy is your soul? I’m taking a few posts to talk about soul health and prosperity. Most people ignore the health of their soul. It’s just like the health of your body.

Some people just assume that they’re healthy. They go to the gym, but then smoke 2 packs a day. There are Christians who treat their soul the same way. Yet it’s the most important part of my being.

My soul determines who I am. It decides whether I listen to my spirit or my flesh. It’s important that my soul be healthy and attentive.

Your environment plays a big issue. What do you allow yourself to be exposed to? The Apostle Peter had this to say about Lot, Abraham’s nephew.

…for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.
2 Peter 2:8

Because he moved into the wicked city of Sodom, Lot placed himself in a position of constant attack on his soul. Many of us do the same things. The movies we watch, the music we listen to, and the friends we spend time with all have an effect on us.

In Lot’s case, it caused him to compromise and eventually he lost everything he held dear. That’s because when we chase after the world system, it affects the health of our soul.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11

We need this attitude. The knowledge that this world system is not my home. I belong to a different Kingdom. I’m simply a stranger passing through. I live by a different set of laws.

The word abstain in the above verse literally means to keep your distance from. We need to understand that the closer we get to the world, the more we want what they have. These desires cause a conflict in our souls.

Unfortunately, it’s not a fierce fire fight that we can win with one decisive strike. No, instead it’s a constant siege. It wears down our strength little by little until we find ourselves in a position we never thought we would ever be in.

If you want to maintain the strength and health of your soul, then you’ll need to be careful how close you get to the world. Obviously, we can’t live like monks. We need to go to work, school, and other daily activities.

What we don’t need to do is adopt their standards. We can’t live by their lifestyles. Our foundation for living is in the Word of God and our strength is in the Holy Spirit.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2

That’s why time with the Lord is so important. It’s where we find rest from the constant siege of the world. As we remain in Christ, we find that our soul has the health we need to overcome in this life.

Question: How often do you find your rest in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Prayer, Spiritual Warfare

 

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