We live in an age of skepticism about religion in general and specifically about the “church.” There are many churches in America, and their messages frequently contradict one another. At the same time, we are inundated with vast numbers of messages about attractive alternatives to the Church. The word “church” is “ekklesia” in the original language, and it means “the called out.” It does not refer to any denomination or human-made religious body. It refers to individuals who reject the alternatives the world has to offer. The biblical teachings about the “called out” cannot be improved upon, and neither can the gifts God offers to us. Here are some that specifically deal with finding the best life possible.
The word of God cannot be improved. The Bible has been tested over the centuries, primarily by people who were trying to prove it wrong. Having been one of those people, I can testify to the futility of that attempt. As 2 Peter 1: 16-21 tells us, the Bible is not a bunch of fables. It contains prophecies that can be confirmed. The Bible includes just enough history to verify its integrity and just enough science to show it is beyond human knowledge for its day. The philosophy of the biblical narrative has proven to lead to a high quality of life, mentally and spiritually. The problems come with what Peter calls “private interpretations” and when humans try to find a way to make money with it instead of just letting it guide their lives.
God’s instructions on how to live cannot be improved. Take the teachings of Christ in Matthew 5:21 through chapter 6 and think about what kind of world it would be if everyone lived by those teachings. As you read those verses, you will see that this wisdom contradicts what you hear from politicians and secularists. Next, read Galatians 5:19-23 and think about what has caused the misery we see in the world around us. The gifts God offers are free, and all alternatives to God’s instructions fail.
God’s instructions for salvation make sense. Being lost means a relationship has been severed–be it a marriage, a business, or a life. All the pop psychology in the world won’t repair relationships because it has no power. God created us pure, but the world corrupts us, rupturing our relationship with Him. Repairing that relationship is beyond all human efforts. God knows how to restore us (2 Peter 2:9), and Romans 6 tells us how to become a new person with God’s Spirit living in us. This is the ultimate gift of God because it is eternal. Go to a quiet place and allow yourself to think about the gifts God offers. Accepting God’s gifts and living life God’s way works, and it’s the ultimate solution to the human dilemma.
— John N. Clayton © 2022