Monday, January 19, 2009

Genuine Faith

"Even one of their own prophets has said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.' This testimony is true. therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth" (Titus 1:12-15). Paul was saying it was time for the Church to stop paying attention to the world, (those who reject the truth). In December 1983, The Princeton Religion Research Center published a landmark survey conducted for The Wall Street Journal by the Gallup Organization. The researchers measured a wide range of moral and ethical behaviors, such as calling in sick when not sick, cheating on income tax, and pilfering company supplies for personal use. The results were disappointing, to say the least. However more disappointing was the finding there was no ethical difference between those who professed to know Christ and those who did not. The church and the world held to the same ethical standards. Someone said "When the Church influences the world we have revival, when the world influences the Church we have apostasy." If our faith life is not validated through our behavior, there is reason to question if we even have a authentic relationship with Christ. Genuine faith in Christ will affect our worship (object God), our walk (holiness) and our work (obedience to Christ). "If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come." (II Corinthians 5:17). The Apostle Paul didn't like what he saw in the believers lives on the island of Crete. They proclaimed Christ with their mouth, but their behavior looked no different than those who did not claim Christ. They needed to examine their lives in the light of the Scriptures. Pray that your faith is "proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:7-8). Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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