9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. — Titus 3:9-11 NIV
Paul’s advice to Titus was given at a time when the discussion about the law was the single most divisive issue in the new church. Did Jesus fulfill the law or abolish the law? We have grace but don’t we still need to be circumcised? Even the apostles had differing opinions on some of these things. In today’s church, we get involved in foolish controversies over things not nearly as important as the law. Carpet colors, steeple or no steeple, immersion or sprinkling and the list goes on and on. Not one of these discussions will lead a soul to Christ but they may very well turn people away from the church altogether. They are definitely unprofitable and useless. Jesus instructed us to “go and make disciples”. He did not instruct us to go and make denominations, etc. When we are in front of outsiders, our conversations and teachings should be limited to instructing people in how to be saved. All true Christians agree on the plan of salvation. That is the story Jesus wants us to tell. It is simple and powerful. Wherever we are or whomever we are speaking to, our sentiment must be the same as Paul’s:
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. — 1 Cor. 2:2-5 NIV
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.–1 Cor. 15:54-58 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
In today’s society, we are confronted almost daily with alternate belief systems. There are religions with all kinds of tenets and creeds. But none of them claim to serve a risen Savior. Christianity is the only one that makes that claim. Our God is a living, loving God. He sent Jesus to overcome death, hell, and the grave. For that reason, we must stand strong and immovable. For us, there can be no alternative to Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. His death and resurrection guarantees us eternal life. So, our work that we must do enthusiastically for Him is to “win” others to Christ. “Win” is the correct word because we are in a spiritual war every day and we must be overcomers. We overcome satan by the blood of Jesus, our testimony and because we love Jesus more than life itself. Religious work is useless, but the work that we do for Christ is eternal.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.–1 Cor. 3:12-15
God is waiting to show you the way.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.–1 Cor. 15:58
How did you answer yesterday’s question? “Am I fruitful?” Maybe you thought, “Why does it even matter?” The answer is in the passages above. Jesus is the foundation and the head of the Church. There is no other foundation that will stand in eternity. If we are being fruitful, then our work will stand the test of fire. It will show that we have been a valuable part of God’s Kingdom work here on earth. If we are faithful, there are rewards laid up for us in heaven. There is nothing that we do for the Lord that is useless. Does our work earn us salvation? Emphatically, NO,IT DOES NOT! If what we do here on earth proves to be of little or no value, Christians will still make it to heaven, but they will have few or no rewards and their hair may be singed from living too close to the flame.–