August 1, 2008 Matthew

Giving to the World What Doesn’t Belong to It

Don’t give to the world what doesn’t belong to the world.

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. Mark 12:17

The Church is a precious jewel, a royal diadem which belongs wholly to its builder, Christ. To give away the church, the bride, to the world, would be truly adulterous and base. Erastianism is a concept from the 1500s introduced by a man named Thomas Erastus who believed that the state should reign supreme in church matters, and even take the role in punishing sins.

But is not this betrayal and treason against a jealous God, Father, Husband, and King of Kings?

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4-5

… I the Lord your God am a jealous God… Exodus 20:5

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24

The Church is a city on a hill devoted to shining a light in a land of darkness and providing a refuge for all who cry out Abba, Father. It does not cede its God-ordained mandate of worship to the discretion of the world, but worships, rather, in spite of it. How faithless it is to put it at the mercy of the world!

You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord God. And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Ezekiel 16:17-20

Let us run and give to our God what belongs to him! Let us keep the beautiful jewels of his gold and of his silver which he gave to us for him alone! Let us throw away the images of men, the brand names, the false identities, the worldly icons, and keep ourselves unstained from the world! Let us take our embroidered garments back and cover ourselves and stand once again in his grace! Let us no longer put his oil and his incense before dead and mute images, but cast them before the throne of the living and eternal one! Let us not give his bread to be trampled on by the world! Above all, let us not desert our sons and daughters, who belong to him, to the world’s vicious and deceptive ways, but pursue them with love and forbearance to keep them healthy in the sheepfold of God!

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