Imagine a church in which the leader decides who you date, what clothes you wear, in some capacities what job you work at, how you do your hair, where you purchase a home, who you can befriend or fellowship, what books you read, what you listen to, so on, and so forth. You might not think this happens, but it does.
Now ask yourself this question, “What does being a Christian mean?” You may encounter thoughts and answers such as “Being freed from Sin by God”, or, “Showing the Love of God to those around you.”, or, “Being led by the Spirit of God in everything you do.”
Now I realize this is a little bit of a click bait title, and it was meant to be. In truth, I’ve wondered this very thing about myself. For fifteen years I was a legislated Christian and I’ve wondered, several times, Was I really a Christian?
The pastor told me not to wear short sleeve shirts, so I threw out my short sleeve shirts. The pastor told me I couldn’t watch TV or movies and go to heaven, so I threw out my TV and stopped the movie house. The pastor told me I couldn’t read Sci-Fi / Fantasy books so I threw out my books. The pastor told me I couldn’t listen to non-Christian (and most) Christian music, so I threw out most of my music. The pastor told me I couldn’t swim in a public pool so I quit swimming in public pools. The pastor told me not to give to charities, just to our church, so I stopped giving to charities… the Pastor told me…
You might have received the point by now.
For as many as are led by the Pastor, these are sons of God. – Romans 8:14
Actually, that was a mistake….
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. – Romans 8:14
But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. – John 14:26
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. – John 16:13
But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. – Galatians 5:18
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. – I Corinthians 12:13
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, – Titus 3:5
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22,23
So, are you a Christian?
The answer, is Are you being led by the Spirit?
In my last 15 years of Churchianity, this was defined as obedience to the Pastor. God talked to him, and he told you so, and through him, God talked to you. Somewhere, and somehow, we lost the reality that each of us was to be led by the Spirit(God) individually.
So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. – Romans 14:12, KJV
To be a Christian, is to be an imitator of Christ. To be a Christian is to be led by the Spirit of Christ. To be a Christian is to exemplify the character, and person, and love of Christ.
If our every behavior and motion of life is being dictated by another man, who is just as flawed as we are, we are being legislated by man, and not Christ. And then we have to ask, Are we really Christians?
Surprisingly, even to me, having a pseudo degree in theology, the word each is found in 141 verses in the King James Bible and is used 154 times and is used so many times to refer to the concept that, ‘it is up to ourselves’. The word is the Greek hek’-as-tos and means, literally, each or every one, as in every man or woman.
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. – Romans 15:2, KJV
The term ‘every one of us’ is translated as each. Each one of us has a responsibility to please God, to submit ourselves to God, to seek Him, to follow Him, and to be like Him. So then, if our every action and behavior is dictated by another man, how can we be Led by the Spirit?
If every Church service is one man having a monologue with dozens, hundreds or thousands of Congregants, how can they be Led by the Spirit?
Thus, my message and purpose is to further the promise of God – that if you are Led by HIS spirit, you are HIS children! We must submit ourselves to Jesus Christ who is our only Lord and Potentate.
We should honor men and women who give their lives for the Gospels sake, but our allegiance is to Jesus Christ, and no other!
God bless you on our journey to being Led by His Spirit!