Surface Christianity Versus Deep Roots


He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.
Titus 1:9

For whatever it’s worth, I become agitated when people claim they’re preachers, but aren’t willing to give the Bible authority over their life. Instead, they use their religious theories and doctrines to grow a hard shell around them.

When the Bible enters a person, it’s painful, convicting, and cleansing. A healthy Bible discussion feels like a hard workout in the gym— it burns spiritual calories. The Bible’s message penetrates, causing surrender, humility, and a serving heart. While the believer feels and smells the pain of his sinful flesh burning, his life produces bright light and unconditional love that pleases God and attracts favor.

In contrast, the “preacher’s heart” is the Pharisee who uses God’s name and principles to exalt him, and his Bible knowledge to clobber others. He sits in front of the auditorium to be seen. People follow him because he imposes fear, shame, and guilt on them, falsely calling it freedom.

Spiritual growth is not an outward display. It’s sitting alone and in small groups with an open Bible and letting its words penetrate deeply into the mind and soul, not protecting ourselves from its message, but letting it win the inner war against our deep sinfulness and lovelessness. That will produce an outer life that comes from a life deeply rooted in God.

Once a person has lived many years in this spiritual skill he will have developed extra capacity to lead others into experiencing good and godly results in their lives. God also makes him responsible to expose those who pretend godliness, but it’s only on the surface.