are you building your personal faith? Jesus exhorted us to be like the man
to “who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock” because every
foundation will be tested in the floods of life!
has a foundation upon which they make their decisions and live their lives.
Unfortunately some have not seriously looked at what is the real basis of
Satan has many
“alternatives” to what he mockingly would call a “radical ultra-legalistic
religion” (There are also many other labels you might insert here). Satan
seeks to keep the words of God from the hearts of men. Jesus simply pointed
out that the foundation that is built on Him involves serving Him as an
and that means handling
His delivered words
as the only source of direction in our lives.
(Lk 6:46; Jn 17:8, 20)
Any approach that does not involve a principled, careful approach to the
words of Christ is a
rejection of Jesus as Lord.
The approach you take towards the words of Christ is the very attitude you
take towards the Lordship of Christ. "He who rejects Me, and
does not receive My words,
has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in
the last day.”
The influence of Satan urges people to avoid what he calls “legalism” which
is in fact a direct attack upon Jesus as Lord.
How Satan Uses Relationships
One of the most
powerful weapons Satan has is human relationships. Jesus plainly warned any
who would seek to be His disciple that he must put God first. "If anyone
comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children,
brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”
I cannot think of a more difficult test than this. Abraham’s faith was great
because he was willing to sacrifice his only son. This was a “flood” that
tested the foundation of faith Abraham had built. The words of Jesus will
lead each of us to similar conflicts. Have we built a faith that will cost
us something? Is it a faith that follows God and not men?
The Challenge of Choosing a Mate
Outside of the
decision to become a Christian, the decision as to who you marry is one of
the most important choices you will make. Do you want to go to heaven? If
you are serious about that then your choice will produce a relationship
where both husband and wife are “heirs together of the grace of life.”
(1 Pt 3:7)
You will find one who is a Christian and will help you go to heaven.
foolishly allows their hearts to become attached to one who is not a
Christian, there will be a great test of faith. On one hand there is the
desire to please to one you love but then there is also the direction that
Jesus gives to His followers. Most who choose to marry a non-Christian fall
away from the Lord.
The Power of Rationalization
It is amazing
to see those who were once enlightened to justify that which cannot be
justified by God’s word. I knew of a Christian woman who dated a
non-Christian for many years. The young man was dedicated to a denomination
that taught a gospel that
was not the gospel of the Lord.
She proclaimed to her closest friends and to her parents that she would not
consider marrying her boyfriend until he was baptized into Christ for the
remission of sins
Time passed and the desire to marry increased. What kind of foundation was
built in her life? Would an honest recognition of what God’s word teaches be
combined with a refusal to compromise, even if it meant losing a dearly
in this case, rationalization provided an “easy” solution. Just proclaim
that salvation is by faith alone apart from any conditional promises (that
would include confession and baptism) and presto, the young man was a
Christian all along! His denomination was right all along! Now faithful
Christians become despised because they represent a threat to her
rationalizations. She now views those who say: “He who believes and is
baptized will be saved”
and also guilty of many other things she may choose to imagine. Legalism is
now defined to condemn those who carefully apply God’s word. It now becomes
easy to cast away like trash any relationship that stands in the way of her
It is amazing
how one person’s change of loyalty can now test many other Christians.
Sadly, parents can suddenly change what they claim to believe because they
refuse to pay the price in losing a relationship with a child! The child is
now leading the parents! The child must be justified in her actions! It now
becomes easy to deny that the Bible teaches any binding law and also easy to
discard and slander faithful brethren.
discipleship demands a stand upon truth
regardless of relationships.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring
peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a
daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her
mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be those of his own household.”
Test Your Heart to Know Who is First
foundation will always direct you to the words of Christ regardless of how
hard the consequences may be. Paul urged the Corinthians to ask this
question and consider the consequences: “Do you not know yourselves, that
Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you are disqualified.”
(2 Cor 13:5)
When human relationships tempted the Galatians to accept a false gospel and
to cause them to regard Paul as an enemy
Paul knew the battle was to have this foundation built again in those he
loved. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is
formed in you.”
A good heart
will always be willing to be tested by God’s word. Satan wishes men to
rationalize and then
quickly cut off all who disagree.
When you compromise and make a relationship more important that God, rest
assured that your relationship
is about to change with the people of God.
It is much “easier” in the short term to “live in the world of throw-away
people” than to have your decision tested. Your new relationships will urge
you to separate from Christians. “They zealously court you, but for no good;
yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them.”
Sadly when one
learns to create their own reality and live in the land of “throw-away
people” there is no stopping point. It now becomes easy to go as far as
agnosticism and even atheism.
Questions to consider
1. Am I willing
to follow the Bible without compromise?
2. Am I willing to have good hearted brethren study with me about my
3. Am I making excuses for my actions by blaming my brethren of having a bad
4. Am I becoming comfortable with those who “sit in the seat of the scornful”?
5. Am I becoming bitter towards my brethren and even looking down on them in
6. Am I teachable? Am I willing to admit I am wrong?
Other Articles by Larry Rouse
Turning the Grace of God into a Carnal Weapon
Humble Enough to be Thankful
Learning to Trust God
Where is "Liberalism" Today?
Why Should I Trust the Bible?
I Left the Baptist church
The Lord's Supper or a Marathon?
You Must Go to War to Find Peace
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