There is an immense difference between the many churchgoers who claim to be Christians and the few who truly have surrendered everything in this world to follow and serve Christ and His kingdom. Nowadays anyone can claim to be a Christian, so long as they pray the qualifying “sinner’s prayer,” read their bible, go to church, pay their tithes and offering, tell other people about Jesus, and practice outwardly what it means to be a Christian in today’s world. Anyone can, and many do, practice these things, and yet in doing so they never truly in their heart choose to leave behind everything in this world to follow and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moreover, we get a great example of this from scriptures (see Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31, and Luke 18:18–30) explaining the plight of the wealthy man who told Jesus how he followed all the rules and laws religiously (just as those in today’s local church system do). Yet, in this encounter we learn that the wealthy man did not have it in his heart to let go of everything in this world to follow Christ. Hence, the true believers know that there is no compromise with Christ. Hence, either you will forsake everything in this world and truly follow Christ, or you will find some sort of compromise (like modern Christianity) that allows you to justify yourself according to a false or counterfeit gospel.
Consequently, it should come as no surprise that so many choose this counterfeit life in the name of Christ and turn away from the Truth, Way, and Life offered through Jesus. Today’s local church system is built on traditional practices, ceremonial services, manmade doctrines, a counterfeit gospel, and so many other foundational principles that deceive millions upon millions into believing that this is the truth and the way leading to eternal life. Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7
One of the most glaring errors of the local church system is the belief that the bible is the Word of God (explained in more detail below). However, there is no doubt that all scripture is, “God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Nevertheless, this should not be confused with what Jesus Himself told us we must rely on as the primary source for all Truth, the Life, and the Way. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit and not the bible to give His true followers the Truth that produces spiritual growth. However, just as the religious people who confronted Jesus (who were all in error), far too many turn to the bible (the scriptures) as their primary source to learn and understand the mysteries of heaven, and this is why they remain blind or spiritually underdeveloped.
Thus, if the true follower of Christ fails to recognize the supreme value of the Holy Spirit as the true source for guidance, knowledge, and wisdom they will surely find that their lives have strayed from the narrow path. Jesus said, “But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to Life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14 Regrettably, the Jews, who knew the scriptures so very well, could not recognize the Truth, the Way, and the Life when He was stranding right in front of them! This was in spite of the fact that these religious people had a ton of head knowledge on the scriptures and relentlessly practiced their traditions. Outwardly, they looked to be God’s people, but inwardly they were lost and dead. This is why Jesus told them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.” Matthew 23:13 Today’s modern Christianity practices are no different than what these religious minded souls had been blinded by.
Therefore, those who are truly in Christ must look to learn all spiritual truths of the kingdom of heaven by means of intercession with the Holy Spirit. This is how Jesus, the true Word of God, teaches us how to walk as He walked. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 The above term Word in Greek comes from the word lógos (from légō) and is an expression of a thought or a saying preeminently used of Christ expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we receive the Father’s thoughts spoken to us by Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is a spiritual mystery in itself!
Furthermore, the scriptures tell us, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life.” 1 John 1:1 Thus, Jesus is the Word of God and the Word of Life, this is the core of the Gospel. Thus, everything that proceeds from His mouth is the Word of God, “On one occasion, while Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret with the crowd pressing in on Him to hear the Word of God.” Luke 5:1 The Word of Truth that became flesh and dwelt among us is the only source of everlasting Life if one decides to turn away from this world to follow and serve Him. Jesus, the Word, is the only Way! Jesus never promised to send us a bible to teach us all how to follow Him. He promised us the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17
Likewise, Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My Words. The Word that you hear is not My own, but it is from the Father who sent Me. All this I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:23-26 Again, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify about Me.” John 15:26 That is why John wrote, “I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:14
Finally, the Apostle John sums up the significance of the Holy Spirit that the Father has given to us by way of Jesus as our advocate in all things. “I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. And as for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But just as His true and genuine anointing teaches you about all things, so remain in Him as you have been taught. And now, little children, remain in Christ, so that when He appears, we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.” 1 John 2:26-29
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