Exiled Because of Faith

Faith in Jesus Christ is not so easy as some might think because faith is about God and not about us, and the vast majority of us think more of ‘me.’ ‘Me’ has absolutely nothing to do with my relationship ‘in Christ.’ This relationship has everything to do with God and I am the but object of His grace. Writing about ‘freedom in Christ’ is the most misunderstood aspect of being a Believer, a Follower of Jesus Christ; the reason being that far too many somehow think that ‘freedom’ provides life without consequences.

Fearful Expectation of Judgment

Poor theology, citing ‘out of context’ Scriptures also provides just as weak Bible studies resulting in catastrophic lifestyles filled with unrepentant sin. Those who teach and provide listeners with false foundations are as guilty as their students who live defeated lives of immorality. “For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, 27 but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. 28 Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:26-31 NET2.

There are those surrounding us who have been introduced to biblical truth and have become members of a local church and while claiming to be ‘Christian’ continue to sin. The Hebrew writer says in verse 29 this is ‘contempt for the Son do God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace.’ Those who are participating in the local church without faith will find that ‘it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’

What we know as Believers is that it is not that we must endure difficulty with perseverance, but rather we do persevere when hard times come because of faith in the One who redeemed our souls in death and conquered the same in His resurrection. Because He endured we, too, endure because of His grace and indwelling presence. Our Foundation is sure, the Solid Rock. This construction is not about me or about you. This construct is solely about Jesus Christ for He has liberated me, liberated you, liberated us from the bonds of sin which enables one to follow Him.

Freedom in Exile

Being free from the bonds of sin is to be an exile in community because you are following Christ. You are no longer captive to the world, but you are an exile in it awaiting the coming of Christ. We are in voluntary self-exile because of the choice to obey Christ every day. This is a very difficult thing for Believers to accomplish, to be separated from the activities of unbelievers. Paul instructs the church in Corinth to come out from among those who are not Followers of the Christ “And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:15-18.

Believers Have an Advantage

How are we to know if one is not of Christ? Paul gives us an insight to this, “So then from now on we acknowledge no one from an outward human point of view. Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, now we do not know him in that way any longer. So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!” We view everyone from a spiritual mindset of righteousness and not from the perspective of godless worldliness. Believers have an advantage because we stand on the Solid Rock who provides a prominent viewpoint. For this reason those who do not know Christ think they are able to say that Christians are ‘self-righteous’ and this is simply incorrect.

No Reason to Listen to Godlessness.

Interestingly enough those who are lost and without Christ and without spiritual understanding will often command those of faith ‘do not judge me.’ However, in their ignorance of spiritual things they bring judgment upon God’s people, but Paul instructs us, “Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” and later in verse 16 not to allow these to judge us which is followed in verse 20 with this question, “If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world?” There is no reason to listen to their words for in Colossians 3:1-3 the Apostle continues with, “Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

We are exiled because of faithful obedience to the Lord. Jesus is Lord.

 

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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