Judging or Forgiving
Romans 3:23-24 (AMP) “ Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honour and glory which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favour and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, “
Does this scripture apply to none of us, some of us, or all of us? What about Marks Gospel? Do the words of Jesus contained there apply to none of us, some of us, or all of us? How about the New Testament – once again does it apply to none of us, some of us, or all of us? A bit of a dumb question maybe? Apparently not so dumb as we all may think.
There are all too frequently those who seem to pick and choose that which they will accept and believe and that which they either cannot or will not accept or believe. The biggest divide seems to be the relevance clearly advocate the use of those gifts associated with such a baptism. Tongues, healing, prophecy, casting out demons - all are gifts of the Holy Spirit for the church. More specifically these are gifts for Christians through the ages until and including today.
Jesus said that ‘by our fruits’ people will know that we are Christians. By inference, ‘by their fruits’ we shall also know Christians from the non-believers. I believe that, knowing that believers would be separated by the differences in their “Statements of Belief”, Jesus also gave us very clear instructions regarding those differences. In Mark 9:38-42 (NKJV) “Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.“
This isn’t rocket science – rather it is a clear mandate from the Lord Himself against our judging – perhaps even against the necessity to forgive each others differences. To me, the differences don’t matter because, as Jesus said, “for he who is not against us is on our side.” So what offence have any of our Christian brothers and sisters actually caused us? If they are preaching the Gospel, healing the sick and casting out demons in Jesus Name – with or without the use of tongues or prophecy or anything else except the use of Jesus Name.
Yet I suspect that we will continue to denigrate others not of our denomination – all because their “i’s” and “t’s” are dotted and crossed differently to ours. It is time to put away our judgements and our forgiveness as neither are really necessary in the sense that we really are, or should be, all together and on the same side.
That’s the theory anyway.