“You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.””
Let's draw a parallel between the Jew/Gentile relationship and the church goer/non church goer relationship. There are millions in America who identify themselves as "Christian" because of their association with the faith in some form or another. Some seldom pass through the doors of a church and yet claim to be "Christian". Others attend regularly and, therefore, feel they deserve the title. Perhaps many feel the connection simply because their family roots are in the faith. The sad commentary is, however, that although these people associate with "Christianity" their lives are in opposite practice of its principles of faith.
Often, those who do not identify themselves as "Christian" at all, are repulsed by the actions of those who do. Such was the case in the above scripture. The Jews felt they deserved to be recognized as "God's" people just because of their inherited faith.
My friend, none of us can claim to be "God's" children simply by association, tradition, or heritage. The only way we can call ourselves His children is to visit the cross and recognize that our sin placed Jesus there. We must repent (turn from by a change of mind and direction), ask for forgiveness of our sins, and invite Jesus to become Lord of our lives. This is what is known as being "born again" (see 2 Corinthians 7:10; I John 1:9; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:8-10,13; and John 3:1-7).
Today, no matter how your idea developed that you are "Christian", I challenge you to examine the evidence based on the Word of God rather than your assumptions. Are you truly in the faith??
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Rev. Curtis Norris