Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
November 2022 (4)
October 2022 (5)
September 2022 (6)
August 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
May 2022 (4)
April 2022 (7)
March 2022 (4)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (4)
July 2021 (6)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLES
by Philip Owen

          In conservative Christian circles, we often hear the phrase “the fundamentals of the faith,” describing those doctrines (such as the inspiration of the Bible, direct creation, and justification by faith) as non-negotiable articles of faith. They must be embraced by true believers. In addition to essential doctrines, there is another area of non-negotiables, that is, principles believers must adhere to if we are to be the victorious children of God Christ has redeemed us to be. Among those principles is a group of five found in the sixteenth and concluding chapter of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (vv. 13, 14). We cannot be what God has called us to be without embracing these practical commands.

            “Be on the alert.” No believer is given license to relax. We must all be vigilant. We must act as sentries day and night. This is no small task because the enemy is everywhere. Satan is incapable of sympathy—not even for the weak, the young, or the infirm. He will deceive and destroy anyone he can. The world may pose as the friend of believers, but it hated Christ and, ultimately, it will hate every believer. Even when unbelievers are sincerely trying to be kind, they are enticing believers to compromise and sin. And then, there is our own flesh, the mortal enemy of God and all righteousness. It will fight against righteousness to its dying day.

            “Stand firm in the faith.” Add to those dangers listed above the doctrinal error that false teachers try to insert into the church, and the necessity to be incessantly alert should be obvious. Where doctrine is concerned, Paul’s command makes it evident that, first of all, we must possess as clear and complete a knowledge of the truth as we are capable of acquiring. And when we know the truth, we are not to allow any enticement to move us from the truth. An easier life, less conflict with family, less scorn from the world, more praise from men—none of these things should entice us to compromise the truth of the Word of God.

            “Act like men.” Yes, though it is politically incorrect to affirm it, there is a difference between men and women. Among other differences, men tend to act with less emotionalism, with more boldness, courage, and decisiveness in stressful or dangerous situations than women. There, I’ve said it. Let the chips fall where they may. And perhaps even more to the point, men are expected to exhibit those characteristics. To “act like men” in the spiritual battle requires believers to be in “fighting form,” standing for the truth, standing against error, taking decisive biblical action against sin wherever it attacks, and building defenses against the inroads of compromise. In the spiritual battle, all believers—both men and women—are called upon to act like men.

            “Be strong.” Not physical strength, certainly, but spiritual strength. Satan has a heyday with spiritual wimps. In order to be victorious in the battle, believers must rely on the strength which God supplies. No amount of natural intelligence, skill, or experience can defeat our spiritual enemies. We must obey the Word of God, yield ourselves to the direction of the Holy Spirit, and allow the Lord to work in and through us. Strength is found in doing His will for His glory.  Every human effort will result in defeat.

            “Let all you do be done in love.” Here is an essential qualifier. Given the first four commands, it might be possible to mistakenly cultivate a Rambo attitude toward our spiritual life—harsh, tough, mean. But Paul warns us that we are to fight this battle in a spirit of love. We certainly are not to love Satan, our flesh, or false teachers, but we are to love those human beings who oppose us.  And our actions should be motivated by love for the Lord, love for His Word, love for the brethren, and, yes, love even for our enemies.

            We are in perilous times. If we, as believers, wish to honor the Lord, remain faithful to Him, protect our loved ones, and draw lost ones to Christ, we must realize that the principles Paul has set forth are non-negotiable. We will act in accord with them, or we will lose the battle. May we all “act like men.”

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page