In His Name?Handbook 2: Article 16 - Correction

"Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord, Jesus."

Colossians 3:17

"The Christian life, walk, and work must be carried out in the nature and character of Christ. It is the lack of Christ's nature in the church that is of great concern to us in these days.

We have a tendency to forget, even though we say it all the time, that the church is not an organization but an organism. This means that it is a living, breathing life form, dependent upon the source of its life, which is Christ. We also tend to forget that Christ will live His life no differently, in nature and character, than He did while upon the earth. Simply defined, the church is Jesus Christ carrying on the same work in the same way as when sent by His Father. His nature never has and never will change. He will not act in a manner unbecoming His nature. We ask: How is it that so many Christians and so many churches do things 'in the name of the Lord Jesus' but not in His nature? How is it that they have taken upon themselves liberties that Christ took not, methods that Christ abhorred, worldly ways that Christ denounced? We answer: it is because they have not His nature.

Consider the many fads making the rounds in Christian circles today. [There are strategies for every possible human need -- healing of our minds, our self esteem, our marriages, our parenting, our finances, our stresses, our weight or drinking or drug problems. Many suggestions and promises for comfort and prosperity for our walk in the world, but few for our walk in the Spirit.] Can you imagine Jesus saying and doing these things?

Did the Son ever make demands upon the Father, claiming what was rightfully His? Did He stoop to using methods of the world to build up the Kingdom? Did He give away a door prize to the follower that brought the most newcomers to the next sermon on the mount? Did He brag about how much He had accomplished in just three short years? Ridiculous! To think of Jesus Christ conducting Himself in such a manner is beyond imagination. Here is the question: If Christ would not and does not conduct Himself in such an unseemly way, why do we seldom blink an eye when His people do? We lightly pass it off as 'immaturity' or as 'their way of doing things', when in point of fact it is nothing less than a damning slur on His nature, even if they say it is done 'in His Name'. The spirit that is loose in churches today has fostered the idea that the end justifies the means, forgetting that Christ is not only the end, HE IS ALSO THE MEANS.

Everything Christ did and does is in perfect accordance with the nature of God. It follows that everything done by true disciples of Jesus Christ will be done in perfect accordance with the nature and character of Christ.

The gravest danger which faces us today is not the world or the flesh or the devil, it is God's people who are not wholly His, whose conduct and character as servants is contrary to the nature of Christ. I speak of 'good' Christians who think that because they are engaged in the Lord's work they have carte blanche to do the work of Christ in any way they choose...

We are under no obligation to recognize and fraternize with those ministries and works which are clearly contrary to Christ's nature and character. Let us henceforth observe both the 'what' and the 'how' of those working in the Kingdom... We caution against those ministries that play upon the soul of the believer, that have not the nature of Christ about them. They may say they work in the name of Christ, but they speak of a different Jesus than the Holy Spirit came to reveal."

Stewart Peterson

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