“…. according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” -Rom. 2.16b
Is it remarkable to us that Paul conveys the reality of God’s judgment as a crucial component of his “gospel”? Do we see it as “good news” that “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus”?
Paul is addressing the issues of Law and conscience in Romans 2, and he swings his subject back around to the inward reality, as apostles always do. He declares that even if all seems to be intact externally with the saint, the real issue of judgment has to do with “the secrets of men,” for the Lord is ever and always concerned with reality, and not with the mere appearance of things.
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. -Jn. 7.24
Have I been refined a thousand times over in the inner-man, or have I upheld an image of spirituality in public that conflicts with the secret thoughts and motives of my heart? Have I been willing for the work of the cross in my soul, or have I sought to circumvent the word of truth, and clung to a foundation-less reputation that has been applauded by men, but will be found wanting on the day when “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus”?
If there is duplicity and hypocrisy in my life, if I am still laboring for approval from men, if I am gripped inwardly with greed, pride, lust, envy and fear, the apostle has a word for me, and it is part and parcel with his Gospel. A Day of judgment is coming, when the light of God’s countenance will shine so penetratingly upon my life that every despicable thought, motive, and deed will be exposed. If I have held forth an impressive religious image before men, but have harbored ungodly “secrets” until that Day, they will be revealed in shocking transparency and with exacting clarity.
We may squirm to hear such a thing, but it is Paul’s Gospel. If we have an inadequate consciousness of the Day of judgment, we have not been apprehended by the Gospel of Paul. The gospel of some other man or angel has intruded, and we have been hooked into a lie.
The fact of this coming Day of exposure is Gospel (good news), for we are hearing it now, before that Day dawns. We have the privilege- painful as it may be- of bringing our duplicity and mixtures to Him today, while it is yet day. We have opportunity to repent and believe the Gospel afresh, and when at once we are sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb, everything is made new. When He purges our secret lives, which have harbored all kinds of dark ambitions and shameful musings, and makes us carriers of His own thoughts and desires, only glory remains. We have the remarkable privilege of moving away from a life of bondage and into the joy of becoming stewards of heavenly mysteries.
That is why there is no condemnation for those who are in the Man, Christ Jesus. He cleanses, refines, and heals us from all the corruption and disease that our souls have carried, and grafts us into His own purpose and way. It is no wonder that the Day of judgment was for Paul a necessary element of the Gospel. That Day will once and for all expose and destroy the sins of the world and the hypocrisies of men, and the mysteries of God will become the Government of the entire cosmos. Why should the Church live in hypocrisy and hidden sin when the Gospel has come to deliver us from darkness, both now and in the age to come?
Are you living a double-life, dear saint? Have you some underlying bitterness, anger, lust, rage, or fear still dominating your thoughts? In Light of the Day to come, allow the Father to bring judgment against your duplicity today, and when He burns out your soul-illnesses and makes you true, the exposure of your “secrets” will be Gospel to you, indeed. You will walk in the liberty of the Gospel, which is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him. -Ps. 25.14
The Gospel is not an alterable message that can be shifted and redefined by men in their particular customs, preferences, and societies. The Gospel of Paul, which is the Gospel of God, raises a question mark against all that man has been, all that man is, and all that man ever will be within himself. It calls to task the kings of the earth, all who boast against God, and even all those who purport to be spiritual. Only His very mercy can cleanse, only His truth is true, and only His Light illumines our souls to the degree that our secrets are judged, and that judgment is itself a mercy. The Gospel judges not only our external acts of sin, but the secrets of our hearts, and it is a great mercy that He is touching our secret lives now, instead of being exposed when it is too late.
Oh, how jealous He is for His glory, and how jealous He is over our lives. The jealousy of the Lamb is the expression of His great love, in that He will not let us go until we have come into an unhindered union with God Himself.
Posted in Featured Articles, The Kingdom of God Tagged with: appearance, Good News, gospel, greed, hearing, Holy Spirit, hypocrisy, jealousy, Jesus, judgment, Paul, Reality, romans, spirituality
Respected Journalist Exposes the Scandals of the Charismatic Renewal–and Offers Hope
Contact: Brett Benson, 952-829-2529
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 14 /Christian Newswire/ — Financial scandal. Faulty theology. Moral failure. The last few years have shown that the Church and her leaders are not immune to scandal and corruption. The real problem, however, is that no one is holding them accountable. Until now.
Charismatic insider and contributing editor to Charisma magazine, J. Lee Grady has been a voice crying out against the abuse of the gifts of the Spirit in his weekly, award-winning column “Fire in My Bones.” Though an avid proponent of the charismatic experience, he has observed trends that both distress and anger him. And now he is overturning the money tables.
“Charismatic churches in America today are laden down with tons of baggage that needs to be thrown overboard,” says Grady.
In his new book “The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale” (Chosen/Baker Publishing Group), Grady exposes and confronts the scandals and problems plaguing charismatic and Pentecostal churches today–including abuse, showmanship, manipulation, and infatuation with prosperity. With extraordinary insight and godly discernment he shows how these problems have led to a watered-down spirituality.
“We have turned the holy fire of God into a circus sideshow,” he says. “But when the music stops, the TV cameras are turned off and the money is counted, what do we have?”
Yet his message is not one of condemnation and finger-pointing. Instead Grady challenges all who call themselves Spirit-empowered Christians to return to their biblical roots. He offers hope, help, and a passion for recapturing the authenticity, power, and integrity of true spirituality.
“There is surely fresh fire available to us today,” he says. “If we would reject our misguided mysticism and smug elitism, and renounce our bizarre infatuation with money and success, I believe our churches would catch fire with holy zeal.”
“The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale” includes strategies for developing healthy leaders as well as helpful guidelines for accountability structures. Grady also shares numerous examples of previous revivals in history and insights from his own ministry trips to Africa, Asia and Latin America. Compelled by his great love for God and His Church, Grady gives a straightforward and ultimately affirming message that is a must-read for leaders, insiders, and seekers alike.
Praise for “The Holy Spirit is Not For Sale”
“I could not put this book down. It is compulsive reading. This book could be a turning point for the charismatic movement.” — Dr. R. T. Kendall, former minister, Westminster Chapel (London); bestselling author, “Total Forgiveness” (from the foreword)
“No more discerning voice speaks with such clarity and compassion as Lee Grady’s. Today’s Church needs not only to hear but to heed the wisdom set forth of this book.” — Jack Hayford, chancellor, The King’s College & Seminary; founding pastor, The Church On The Way
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
J. Lee Grady is an author, award-winning journalist, and ordained minister. He serves as a contributing editor of Charisma magazine, one of America’s most widely distributed evangelical Christian publications, and as editor of Experience, the magazine of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. His “Fire in My Bones” column is distributed to thousands around the world. The author of three books, Lee is also the founder of The Mordecai Project, a ministry aimed at confronting the abuse of women around the world. His preaching ministry has taken him to 24 nations. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including “TIME”, “The New York Times”, and “Christianity Today.” He and his family live near Orlando, Florida.
The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale: Rekindling the Power of God in an Age of Compromise
by J. Lee Grady
Posted in News, The Kingdom of God Tagged with: charisma, charismatic, Church, greed, holiness, J. Lee Grady, money, morality, prosperity gospel, sin