When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished’: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30 KJ)
In my time alone with God, I have sought an understanding of why so many who call themselves blessed walk in bondage.
I understand why the heathen rages and the unsaved are undone. I understand how someone who does not know God can be so hateful and hurtful. My problem is not with the wicked for they will always be troubled and weary. I understand ‘no God, no peace.’
What I do not understand is the blessed of us who act like the rest of us. I am now talking about bad acting believers, and sour saints with attitudes who are full of more venom than victory; more foolishness than faith; more hurt than hope; and more legalism than love. These are they who are always trying to impress God with how holy they are and trying to impress people that they are holier than the next person.
It’s no wonder the masses go unsaved. I heard one brother say: “These church folk are trying too hard. They don’t seem authentic, they seem phony because I have seen them at the club and they act like the club. I see them in church and they act like church. They speak to me in the club under the influence of spirits, but they act like they don’t know me in the church under the influence of the Holy Spirit.”
“These folk are hypocrites,” he continued. “I am, too, but the difference is I admit it. I see them as trying too hard and prying too much. They want to know everybody else’s business, but they don’t handle their own. So I don’t go to church. I know it is just a weak excuse, but the so good saints have given this no good sinner an excuse and I am using it for all it is worth.”
God showed me something I had not fully comprehended before: that a hypocrite is not himself/herself on Sunday! And they are that way because they have not accepted or they have not applied the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
So they spend their existence trying to be important, trying to be somebody, trying to be happy, trying to be holy – trying to be a Christian. Instead of accepting the fact that Christ died on a cross for my sins and since I accepted Him and His Cross, I am forever forgiven and forever free and forever a friend of God who loves me so much that He gives me eternal life.
It is a gift. I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. I can’t add to it or subtract from it. It is finished. Over and out. Done. Finished. Final. This Is It! Michael Jackson said it. Jesus meant it. This is It.
God showed me that just as we must master the three Rs of reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic to have a strong foundation for negotiating life. It is even more important that we master the three Rs of the faith: redemption, reconciliation, and regeneration.
I master them and what they mean and then walk in them to apply them. We talk faith, hope, and love, but we don’t live it. It may well be because we have not mastered the basics.
Hear the apt apostle address us all: “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have the peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
The moment I accept Christ’s finished work on the cross, I get all the benefits. The key is to stop trying and start trusting Jesus.
You may write to Dr. Benjamin at Bishop@lightoftheworld.org or at Light of the World Christian Church, 4646 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46228. My book, It’s All In Your Mind, can be ordered at www.tombenjamin.com or by calling 1-800.847.9695.