2. Be Convinced of Your Truth
A good number of Christians see the need to defend the Truth. That is all good and well, but in the process they lord it over God's Truth and without realizing it, they proclaim their own limited human truth in place of the Truth with a capital “T.” They set up their own understanding of Jesus, Bible, and God as idols and use these as litmus tests to determine whether other people’s ideas match up to their own standards.
The idolization of their own truth is not enough. They go to war whether on the religious, cultural, or political front. They take on the so-called enemies of Christ with their own ideas and constructs. They expose, attack, ridicule, and shame those who think differently.
Apart from the damaging effect to the Church’s witness to Christ in our culture, these people subvert the actual Truth of their faith. No longer are they dependent in faith on God’s self-revelation in Christ. Rather, they have Christ in their pocket, so to speak. As experienced
This is idolatry. It is a faith that no longer knows questions. Rather, it knows all answers to all and every question. There is no dependency on God. Rather, God has been made dependent on the rhetoric of these people. This is faith in oneself under the guise of faith in Jesus. This too is a loss of faith.
3. Consider Salvation a One-Way Ticket
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” sings one of the old hymns. This is true! Whoever has Jesus, has received a blessed assurance. But let us take a look at what this means. “Jesus is mine” can only be true if Jesus is my Lord. And Jesus is only my Lord when I have surrendered myself to Him. In other words, the assurance of which the hymn speaks is an assurance of no longer being my own, or no longer being in control, of no longer being assured of my own independence and self-determination.
Some Christians, however, take salvation to be a possession. They see salvation as a one-way ticket into heaven. Once purchased, it keeps its validity forever. So, there is no need to thirst after God, follow Jesus, seek to be obedient, or listen to the voice of the Spirit. Now, I’m not arguing here over the question whether one can lose one’s salvation. But I do say that whoever sees salvation as an advance purchase on a nice eternal retirement fund that will yield returns without any effort, does not understand salvation.
Faith that seeks the easy way and sees salvation as a way to by-pass the notion of dying with
Genuine faith, however, is a trusting surrender to God. Such faith is obedient in its gratitude, humble in its witness, and self-effacing in its sharing itself with others in the world. True faith loves in giving itself, speaks in love, and it never ceases to marvel at the unmerited gift of grace.
The three most effective ways to lose your faith are all found in the familiarity of Church and the Christian life. Let's be people of living faith. People always dependent for their salvation on God's grace. People, who faithfully witness to Christ in humble love for