Think About This: “It is hard to imagine anyone suiting up for the (football) game without an awareness of the sometimes bloody struggle that is about to ensue. But I have yet to see a player remove his helmet and head for the stadium exit because he finds it all just too rough. Yet when it comes to Christian living, the field is evacuating quickly because the players have never read the rules nor understood the game plan.” – Alistair Begg
Measuring Your Growth Within His Strength
Posted on January 19, 2024 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” – Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)
Sometimes the clutter of books around my writing area gets to be too much. On this particular Saturday morning I thought it time to get some of this outta my way and then I stumbled on my very old copy of The Portable Nietzsche. I had used a quote from it months earlier and still had it bookmarked in the section that contained stuff from his Human, All Too Human work. Before it went back into its place on the bookshelf I took a glance at a few more disparaging comments (this dude can be really depressing) when I came across this about Christianity as antiquity…
“When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: is it really possible, this for a Jew crucified 2,000 years ago, who said He was God’s son. The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly, the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed-whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions-is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage.” My guess is Nietzsche’s free revolutionary thought got in the way of him being able to rightly divide God’s Word. After all, a man who wrote so freely on the state of the human condition would have met his match (and then some) in the Red Letters. But he chose to live tragically and it sounded like he died that way. Depart from Me, I never knew you…sad, but true.
Makes me happy to know that I made a different choice in my response to the human condition. My choice is to believe that God’s salvation by grace directs me as I go about in my every day, so bring on those church bells (and a cowbell or two). It doesn’t take much to rest your laurels on the Human, all too Human motif and there’s not much to grow into, you just kinda fall wherever the chips may land and accept it. But Christian growth takes work and effort, it does involve rigorous self-examination, and ya gotta be actively overcoming the things that cause you separation from God and our brothers (and sisters).
“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:17-18
Jesus warned about the leaven in our lives. We know leaven is used in the making of bread and if it wasn’t used you’d end up with a soft-shell taco. But if you use leaven in your spiritual self you’ll puff yourself up with all kinds of vision of grandeur towards God. If there is to be healthy, spiritual growth and fruit production in our lives, Jesus was very clear, the leaven has to go. Nietzsche may have thought what he was advising helped people grow into “Ubermensch” (The Superman) but it was based on one’s own value system and life experiences, so you’re figuring things out as they come but if you took a moment to glance at Colossians 3:12-17, you’ll see it has been figured out for you…all you have to do is live in it.
The one thing the human condition desires the most is to have a sense of complete truth and righteousness. Sometimes the bigger problem with this is that we want others to understand that we’re Ubermensch, so it’s our sense of truth and righteousness that matters most. But you get a roomful of these same kinda thinkers and you’ll find out quickly that you’re all running outta space to breathe. Growing in God’s Word and grace teaches us that we need to displace our worldly desires and cravings with His desires and cravings for truth and righteousness. See? Room to breathe!
So, as I begin to wrap this up for today I would ask you to consider where you are, as far as you’re growing in the grace and knowledge of the very Lord and Savior who covered your ransom. Oh, I consider this as well because sometimes one has to check themselves before they wreck themselves and end up with a tragic ending like a 19th century philosopher with a really ugly “S” on their chest and wearing a cape that is torn and tattered. There’s more to come on this topic so stay tuned. Amen?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, a father, and has recently become a grandpop. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” – 1 John 3:1