Back To Basics Transcript

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Back to Basics (1)

The story is told of a top league football club that put up a very poor showing against a not so great club. The next day at practice, the manager, addressing the players said, After our performance yesterday, we have to start at the very beginning. Picking up the soccer ball, the manager continued, Now, this is a ball; it is made of leather, with a bladder inside, into which air is pumped. It bounces and it is meant to be kicked with the foot For someone not on the team, this may sound funny; but if you were a player on the team it will not be funny! With what we are witnessing today among people who say that they are Christians, we cannot but go the way of the manager of this football club!

In Hebrews 6:1-2, it is written, Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. In this passage of scripture, we note that the Holy Spirit desires for all Christians to move on to maturity in the things of God and addresses the matter as, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection And for as much as it is imperative for us to move on to perfection, it is also critical that we are sure that the elementary principles of Christ are well established in the life of the believer in Christ. Unfortunately, there are many people who claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but who do not know that there are elementary principles of Christ, let alone be established in them; not to talk of moving on to maturity or perfection.

In Galatians 4:1-3, the bible says, Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. For too long, many Christians, even though they have been born again for years are still children and do not differ from slaves. No wonder, many of them are still under guardians and stewards! This explains why so many children of God are sadly being led astray by false prophets and people who know nothing about God and our Lord, Jesus Christ. There are many Christians who indeed are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; but as long as they remain children, they will be no different from slaves, and will have to take instructions from people who are themselves not as knowledgeable in the things of God. Why else will a Christian, born of the Spirit of God, still be controlled by the old sinful nature, the flesh and its desires, which lead them into more sinfulness?

The bible tells us in Galatians 5:19-21 that some of the results of succumbing to the desires of the flesh, which is the same thing as being controlled by the old sinful nature, include:
Adulteryextra-marital sexual relations;
Fornicationpre-marital sexual relations;
Uncleannessunclean and filthy sexual activities, like having sex with little children, blood relatives, people of the same gender, or, animals, and, masturbation;
Lewdnesspromiscuity, prostitution, indecent and seductive dressing, conversations, and, conduct;
Idolatrynot just the bowing down to a graven image, but a devotion to anything else but God. It is also greed and covetousness, which is the strong desire to have what belongs to someone else.
Sorcerythe use of drugs, magical arts, esoteric means, and other manipulative techniques such as crying or threats, to bring others under your control, or to make them to do your bidding;
Hatredhostility or enmity against others;
Contentionsstarting quarrels, engaging in strife and wranglings;
Jealousiesenvious and contentious rivalry, and competitiveness. What the word of God encourages is cooperation, not competition;
Outbursts of wrathuncontrolled bursts of anger or rage, which changes an individuals personality, resulting in acts like slapping or striking someone, rape, and even murder;
Selfish ambitionsposturing, or projecting oneself and interests at the expense of others; and includes political maneuvering, petition-writing against others so that you can be promoted, and they, demoted or even sacked;
Dissensionscausing division in a place where there once was unity, including acts which separate the best of friends, and which cause married couples to quarrel and be permanently separated;
Heresiessectarianism or party-spirit, building cliques, believing that your group or opinion (which is contrary to Gods word) is the only one that counts;
Envyto wish someone ill, or lead someone away from truth;
Murdersto kill or cause to be killed;
Drunkennessintoxication with wine of any sort, stimulants, or power, as is the case in political, social, economic, or religious, power;
Revelriescarousing, nocturnal and riotous processions of half-intoxicated or over-excited people, carnivals, riotous feastings, etc.

To have received the salvation of God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and still be manifesting these works of the flesh which have been enumerated, is a problem that every child of God needs to soberly reflect upon. Indeed, besides a person who has a neurotic problem, only children pick dirt from the ground and put it in their mouth when unsupervised. The works of the flesh enumerated here can be compared to dirt on the ground. So, for a Christian to be engaged in them is like putting dirt into ones mouth, thus making one sick, and even causing death! This is the reason why we need to go back to the basics of the Christian faith. We need to move away from spiritual immaturity on to spiritual maturity; we need to move away from childish conduct which can only be excused for children and move on to perfection, which rightly belongs to adults; we need to dispense with tendencies that may suggest neurotic problems on our part, and move on to conduct of sanity and sanctity. The bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. This means that God has not given anyone who is born again, a mental disposition of fearfulness, timidity or cowardice; rather God gave to us, as His truly born again children, a mental disposition which enables us to live as He wants us to live, and added to that enablement, the capacity to show affection, kindness, and benevolence to others (which implies no malice, but a disposition which does things for others based on Gods word, rather than based on who they are); and, added to these enablement and capacity, the vital principle of self-control and self-discipline (which means that a Christian should not be uncontrollable by the Holy Spirit, but should be subject to the restraint and constraint of God by the Spirit of God and Gods word).

What we are simply saying is that, a situation where people say that they are born again, and yet display tendencies that would suggest that there is a depravity of sort is a sign of spiritual immaturity at best, and at worst, a mark of spiritual insanity! The word carnality as used in the bible is a very strong expression when considered in the spiritual context. What madness is to normal human living is what carnality is to Christianitycarnality is spiritual insanity! Only mad people walk naked; only mad people hear and heed the voices of demons; only mad people put unsavoury things into their mouths; only mad people can be comfortable living outside the home, roaming about, and living among the dead in cemeteries; only mad people are unrestrainable, as the bible tells us in the story of the mad man of Gadara (which story is to be found in Luke 8:27-29). When we look at what mad men do in society, and what carnal people do vis--vis Christianity, the comparison is clear, for only a carnal person would dress in a manner that reveals what should be covered, like we find many Christian women, so called, who dress in a manner that would suggest that they are no different from prostitutes; only a carnal person would be listening to and obeying the dictates and voice of the world and of the devil; only a carnal person can ingest unsavoury wordsteachings that have come from the pits of hell, and be excited; only a carnal person can be comfortable to live outside of God, and among the dead; only when a person is carnal is he or she unrestrained in conversation and conduct, and, unrestrainable by God, His word, and His Spirit!

Friend, have you been living the Christian life carnally? Have you been trying to live the spiritual life in an unspiritual way? Have you been overcome by the fashion of this world in your dressing, disposition, speech, and mannerism? Are you more at home with the people of the world, than with the people of God? Are you unable to subject yourself to the control of the Holy Spirit? Are you unable to discern spiritual things? Do you see no difference between worldly things and spiritual things? If your answer to any of these is Yes, then you, my friend, if you say you are a Christian, as unpleasant as it is to have to say, are anything but that! Indeed, you are practicing a belief system which is alien to Christianity! For example, Christianity does not allow dating, neither does it have room for valentines day, nor is it tolerant of lewd dressing in the name of fashion. Indeed, the bible says, in Romans 12:2, be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. From this verse of scripture, we see that the Christian is the pointer on how to live; not the world. For a Christian therefore, to live according to the standards of this world, is a misnomer. We also see from this verse that a Christian has been transformed from within; he is not superficial, neither is he artificial. No matter how hard you shake a bottle of a cola soft drink; an orange drink is not going to spill out. You see, who people see and interact with, is who you are on the inside! You cannot therefore, claim to be a Christian, and yet dress and live just as a person of the world! Again, we see from this verse that in order to know the will of God for your life, you have to let God, through His Spirit, transform you from the inside out. Finally, we see that the will of God for your life, if you are indeed a Christian, is good; always acceptable to God (it may not be acceptable to a worldly person); and, it is complete (nothing can be added to it, neither subtracted from it). Therefore, if you are going through tough times in line with the will of God, note that it is the best thing that can happen to you; it is pleasing to God; and, will ultimately result in the salvation of many!

We urge you therefore, to humble yourself under the hand of God, and let Him do in you, what will make you acceptable and pleasing to Him. It is time to let the carnal life die, in order to allow the spiritual life soar. It is time to restitute your ways and return to the basics of the Christian faith. If you are not born again, all this may sound foreign to you, but should you desire the spiritual life, which after God is lived in true righteousness and holiness, then first, repent of your sins before God, and then, put your trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God for your salvation and deliverance from sinful living; calling upon Him to save you from this untoward world. Thereafter, you also must begin to learn the basics of the Christian faith!

Let us pray!