“having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it” 2 Timothy 3:5
Denying – Were you confronted by yesterday’s umbrella questions? All those ways of denying the power of God. (Do you need to look at them again? – go ahead. I’ll wait).
Jesus had something else to say about this word. Luke 14:28 is a comment on denial. Jesus says that if you want what God is offering, don’t expect a discount price. Count the cost first. (Click here to see that word). God’s never sells for less than the full price.
Wait! Did you think God’s offer was FREE? If you listen to the evangelical world, you hear the message over and over. God’s forgiveness is free. You pay nothing. Just accept it. I wonder how we ever came up with that marketing slogan. Jesus says that this whole conversion thing is exceeding expensive. Paul tells us that it will cost us our lives. Don’t come without being ready and able to pay. The only free part wasn’t really free at all, was it? The only reason I don’t have to pay the ultimate price is that Jesus paid the price for me. It wasn’t free. It was just charged to someone else.
Have you counted the cost? Here’s the last denial question: Have you denied the place of community in the assembly of the saints? That’s not the same question as “Where do you go to church?” Community is a tangible representation of God’s power, established by Him and for Him. Community is where I am most alive in His purposes, where my activity edifies others. Community is where I give myself away because God has given me a self to give away.
Every time I act on the basis of my individual separateness, I deny my essential connection to community. Every time I place myself at a “safe” distance from others, I deny God’s plan for engagement in the lives of others. Every time I calculate what a relationship will mean to me or what it will cost me, I deny the power of the God of the group. God chose a people, not a person. His plan is a group plan, a divine cooperative. All citizens are on equal footing, and equally able and needy. Adam was never intended to be alone. Neither are you. All of God’s children have “helpmate” status. The only question is whether or not we are willing to give up ourselves in the process of becoming one of many.
You can go to church all your life and still deny the power of God. All you have to do is keep your distance.