From the pulpit: Christian waltz focuses on Christ

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Many contemporary Church leaders would agree many in the Church minimize holiness, obedience and godliness. As a result, the glory of Christ in the Church and in our culture seems to be going down in flames.

The desire in the hearts of people who love Christ is to put out the flames.

Some people feel the Church must preach the &8220;do&8217;s&8221; and the &8220;do nots&8221; more forcefully than ever.

They believe focusing attention on Christian behavior, and preaching fiery messages, will encourage God&8217;s people to turn their lives around.

Unfortunately, they are unintentionally fanning the flames!

We believe in teaching believers the Christian Waltz.

A waltz is a dance made up of three steps.

In the first step, we acknowledge our need for Christ as we see our sin in light of the Law.

In the second step, we look to Christ, by faith, to change us.

In the third step, we fight against sin and responsibly choose righteousness in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

An emphasis on the love and grace of God lays the dance floor for the waltz.

Unless we are convinced of God&8217;s favor by virtue of our union with Christ, we will minimize our sin and engage in excuse making. Unfortunately, many in the Church today teach believers a Two-step to simply repent and fight.

People acknowledge their sin and proceed to try to avoid sin.

The problem with this model is that it bypasses the cross of Christ and the supernatural power of the resurrection.

Connected to Christ and His resources by faith, we must understand we can now choose to do what is right and choose to avoid what is ungodly. We become more holy only as we flee to Christ, trusting Him to change our hearts. Faith then works itself out in obedience to the Word of God.

Obedience does not change our hearts; our changed hearts obey!

We must be looking to the cross and the promises of the Gospel, not only for conversion but also for life change.

Each time we feel the bite of the venomous serpent of sin, our first recourse must be to look upon Christ for spiritual healing.

Sadly, this emphasis is lacking when we teach sanctification primarily by human striving rather than by trusting in Christ.

However, if we are truly looking to Christ as we abide in Him by faith, as the Holy Spirit strengthens and renews our union with Christ, His life will flow through us and we will live as Jesus lived.

Our look to Christ will lead to energetic activity by virtue of the work of the Spirit.

We must get back to the fact that the Christian life is presented in the Scriptures as nothing less than supernatural. We are far too competent in ourselves.

We need to encourage people and ourselves to a desperate dependence upon Christ.

We must lead one another in the Waltz!

Bob Flayhart is pastor at Oak Mountain Presbyterian. church.