October 14, 2016

If It Looks Like a Duck

In our church we have a 55-gallon trash can that is used as a drop-off container for non-perishable food items donated to the community pantry. A sign on the can reads, “Sharing Ministries – This is not a trash can.” I chuckle because no one reads the sign and people simply see a large trash can that contains plastic grocery sacks, paper cartons and cans, so they toss in their trash. A few people approach Christianity in the same fashion. While they want to be seen as a new creation in Christ, their life style continues to resemble their old-self. Paul said, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----It is scary to think of all the ways we are false. In which ways are we to be like Him for our salvation to be true? The Bible makes it clear that we can not be saved by our doing good. It also makes it clear that we will not be saved without our doing good. And we won’t be like Him by doing good in and of ourselves. So God gave us Christ to believe. But the fallen angels also believe. But we add faith to that belief, which they don’t. Then is it by that faith we can profess to be wells of spring water while we maintain ourselves as cans of trash?
-----No. Faith has two sides. One side is sticky. It clings. The other side is impressionable. It imitates the shape of what the sticky side clings to. Is the imitation perfect? No. It’s an estimation. Is the effort perfect? No. We’ve not tried to the point of shedding blood. So what part of us must be true for us to have salvation?
-----What part of us can be true? We’re false. God is true. That’s why He gives us His Spirit, so we can have a part that is true. What we must have of ourselves is integrity. “The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” (Ps 7:8) My righteousness is Christ’s imputed to me. It’s imputing to me comes at the integrity of my call upon Him. Is my call only from desire to escape the fire? Or is it also from a desire for His righteousness? We don’t even desire perfectly.
-----But, integrity isn’t about perfection. It is about strength and reality. The integrity of any structure is about the strengths of its framework bearing up against the flaws in its framework. It stands in spite of its imperfections. So, doing some good although we do some bad is integrity. Believing in some truth is integrity in spite of holding to some mistakes. Having faith that Christ will save us is integrity although we are often terrified of death. Working hard to meet a friend’s need is integrity although we’ll laugh at an enemy stuck in a ditch. It is all integrity if it moves towards reflecting the Lord. And your food-bank collection can reflects us: it’s made of a trash can; it has food in it; it has trash in it; yet the food will get to where it is needed.

Love you all,
Steve Corey