I cannot help but wonder whether many orthodox evangelicals simply see empty words, which have no real significance, when reading the words of Jesus, the Head of the Church. As the King of kings, He is speaking to His subjects. As the Shepherd of the sheep, He is speaking to His flock, as the Head of His household, He is speaking to the other members of the household, His brethren, all of which appellations evangelicals claim.
I wonder why this is, when all orthodox evangelicals declare, quite emphatically, that the Scriptures are God’s word to His people, His instructions for living a life pleasing to Him, a life in right relationship with Himself and the rest of His family, yet decide that He doesn’t mean what He says and that He needs to be interpreted by them, or that His words don’t apply to them?
Arminian or Calvinist will agree that the recorded words of Jesus are the words of
He who said, "I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent
me commanded me what to say and how to say it"
When Jesus was baptized, one of the rare recorded occasions when the voice of the Almighty God was heard, He said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; LISTEN TO HIM.”
Then why are we not listening to Him, and taking serious notice of Him when He gave the warning to His disciples,"Be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees"?
Notice that Jesus “gave the warning to His disciples”. It was to His followers, His disciples, which evangelicals claim to be, to which He gave this warning. His disciples, or followers, and in our context, genuine Christians, are the people with whom He had, the closest of relationships, who walked with Him, lived in relationship with Him, ate with Him, endured hardship with Him, and whom, except one, had been faithful in that relationship.
And yet; it seems that there are among us, many, maybe a majority, and even those in the “high places” of Christian learning, who think they are above such warnings.
Why is it that we can become so proud that we consider ourselves to have reached such a pinnacle of proud religiosity that we can forget that there are absolutely none so spiritually strong and mature, so sanctified, that he/she cannot fall?
Why can we not see that even though the Holy Spirit of God has drawn us into a right relationship with the Father, through the finished work of Christ, and that, even though we are justified by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, sanctified by His Holy Spirit, we have NOT become infallible, unable to fail, simply because we are the still flesh and blood we always were, still in the body, into which life was breathed, and still facing the same temptation as always, and still weak and liable to the same failures in our understanding of Biblical truth, function in our own lives, and in the group of believers with whom we fellowship.
Who is so bold as to say they are stronger than those heroes of the faith who stumbled through their walk, such as Peter did? I certainly will not put up my hand to that!
Again, I cannot help but wonder whether our blindness is because we have become Pharisees , who, it seems, were the original blueprints of much of what is regarded as being a good evangelical church member?
The Pharisees knew their Bibles; were disciplined in prayer; fasted twice a week; gave about a third of their income to their church; were moral (very moral); many had been martyred for their faith; they attended ‘church’ regularly; they were evangelical/orthodox; and evangelistic, they were very careful about how spiritual they appeared, piously defending, very vigorously, their own righteousness.
They do seem familiar! I wonder why?