Spiritual Success or Distress?

Important Note to the Student

Today's church (Christians collectively who exist as a congregation) is in a serious state of crisis. Christians as individuals are in a serious state of crisis. As a congregation and individuals, we exist in a society that is:

highly materialistic,
extremely complex,
amoral to immoral,
committed to gratification,
pleasure seeking,
intently self focused.

The difficulties that a Christian man or woman encounter as he or she pursues godliness cannot be exaggerated. The difficulties a Christian family encounter as it seeks to be a godly home cannot be exaggerated. The difficulties a congregation encounters as it seeks to be God's spiritual family cannot be exaggerated. Our complex age undermines Christian values and commitments.

For decades congregations and individuals tried to resolve all personal, relationship, family, and church problems by appealing to biblical authority. The Bible is God's word. The Bible is God's compass in the wilderness of this world. However, we make inadequate use of the Bible when we use it only as a resource book for divine authority. The Bible does much more than reveal divine authority. It also reveals our Savior.

God did not restrict our use of His word to a search for biblical authority. God provided us a guide who successfully traveled through this wilderness. This guide not only knew God's teachings; he understood God's teachings. Those teachings were his compass. (See Matthew 4:1-11.)

The premise of this study: Jesus is our God-given role model, example, and guide. The highest, greatest, most powerful Christian motivation is loving commitment to Jesus. Only faith in Jesus allows him to guide us. Only by accepting his guidance and following his example can we successfully travel through this wilderness to God.

Only Jesus is the Christ, the Head of the body, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, the Door, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Propitiation, the Justifier, and our source of mercy, forgiveness, and grace.

If God used Jesus to create the world, to be God's solution to sin, to be the first born from the dead, to sit on His right hand, and to be the final judge, we must understand the importance of, "Follow me." As God's servant, Jesus shows us how to be servants. Only by serving could Jesus become the Christ. God works through servants.

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