…Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Much that passes for New Testament Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song, and made palatable by religious entertainment.
I take the risk of being misunderstood when I say that probably no other portion of the Scriptures can compare with the Pauline Epistles when it comes to making artificial saints. Peter warned that the unlearned and unstable would wrest Paul’s writings to their own destruction, and we have only to visit the average Bible conference and listen to a few lectures to know what he meant!
The ominous thing is that the Pauline doctrines may be taught with complete faithfulness to the letter of the text without making the hearers one whit better. The teacher may and often does so teach the truth as to leave the hearers without a sense of moral obligation.
One reason for the divorce between truth and life may be lack of the Spirit’s illumination. Another surely is the teacher’s unwillingness to get himself into trouble. Any man with fair pulpit gifts can get on with the average congregation if he just “feeds” them and lets them alone. Give them plenty of objective truth and never hint that they are wrong and should be set right, and they will be content!
But the man who preaches truth and applies it to the lives of his hearers will feel the nails and the thorns. He will lead a hard life—but a glorious one!