Man Centered Christianity

Not My Will But Thine Be Done

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Above All

Faith Without Works Is Dead


Hey All I put this writing together several years ago. At the time I was being convicted and in true ABR fashion, I made a soapbox out of it. Since then I have settled down a bit but still find this writing convicting. I would like to say that I like the song Above All and I sing it in church often. It simply requires a little instruction before I sing it.
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1 Samuel 15:22 Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,And to heed than the fat of rams.


There is a false teaching that has subtly snared me over and over again and is found through out the Christian community. I wonder if you to have seen it? It is a message that is heavy on grace but light on God’s sovereignty. It teaches we are “so loved by God” that we forget that He is a just judge. It overlooks his rod of discipline in which he uses to correct and guide (Hebrews 12:6)

I like to call this false teaching "Man-Centered Christianity ". Humanism that disguises itself as God's Grace. It sees God as winking at sin. It convinces people they are saved when they are not. Those who embrace and then spread this deadly doctrine do not walk in obedience to God because they are in love with themselves not our heavenly Father.

It is true that the message of the cross is a message of grace and love but it is also one of death! Death to self. Death to personal ambitions that are in conflict with the will of God. It is a message of obedience, motivated by loving devotion and selfless sacrifice. It is a message that recognized that He is sovereign. That our “above all” thought should be to please God.

My goal in writing this hub is to strengthen your walk with God by exposing a lie that has creeped in to some churches. You may already be aware of its presence. If you are not then let me warn you so that you will not be ensnared by its subtle trap as I have been. For God is indeed forgiving, loving, and slow to anger. We are certainly saved by Grace through faith apart from works. However....faith without works is dead! (James 2:20)

Above all.

I was listening to a song recently that grabbed my attention. The song is called “Above All”. It is a beautiful song that talks about the love of Christ towards us. It states that Christ’s above all thought in going to the cross was me! Here is the chorus.

“Above All” Song by Paul Baloche and Lenny Leblanc.

”Crucified, laid behind the stone.
You lived and died, rejected and alone.
Like a Rose, trampled on the ground.
You took the fall and thought of me
Above All.


Hmmm....?

Although I am loved by our savior more then I could possibly understand. Scripture does not teach that I was was his above all thought. Nor was it the fate of humanity. I believe humanity was heavy on his mind, that indeed, he understood that it was for our sake that he must die. However, Christ set his eyes and will towards the cross and embraced death out of his love for God the Father. His “Above all" desire was not to save humanity but to do the will of God.

John 14:31
But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.


Luke 22:42
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.


Alarmed, I began to think of several other sentiments that came to mind that insinuate that Christ was thinking of me, that is was specifically His love for me that sent him to the cross. Tell me if you ever heard any of these saying?

• Someone asked Jesus, “How much do you love me?”
“This much,” Jesus replied and then he stretched out his arms and died.

• Jesus died on the cross just for you!

• His great love for you is why Christ died, you’re the reason he was crucified.

• They needn’t have nailed him to the cross.
His love for me, glued him to that Roman tree.

You see it was God who was thinking of humanity. While this is great, and I love it! It is only part of a complete picture. Jesus's "Above All" thoughts were not of me but of God. According to John 3:16 GOD loved humanity and did not want to see them die in their sin so he sent his son to die for those who would believe! But to bring balance, we read in John 14:31, humanity must learn that Jesus is obedient in all things because he loves God. This was spoken to those who followed Christ or those who believed! It is Christ's love for God as seen through his obedience that completes this picture.

Jesus is telling us to follow his example. Take a moment and consider the following words of Jesus:

Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

John 14:15
"If you love me, you will obey what I command"

John 15:10
"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love."

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Philippians 2:6
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.


Some may ask me “Isn’t Jesus God?” Yes he is! Totally and completely! However, Christ is also totally and completely human. It is from his Humanity that we must take our example. The Human part of Christ acknowledged the sovereignty of God and submitted his will just as we must do. From this perspective we are shown how we are to relate to God.

Jesus was tempted and suffered both physically and mentally just as we do! He understood that he had to die to self to live for God! He died to self every day of his life. We see it most vividly in the last hours before his arrest. Jesus asked God to let the cup of death pass from him. To spare him from the cross. We understand from this that God was asking him to do something he’d rather not do. However, after making his wishes known he says, “Never the less, not my will, but thine be done!” Powerful words! He meant what he said. He stayed right there in the garden for Judas to find him. He could have left at any time. Instead he remained obedient to God by staying put.

What are we to take from this? Jesus's personal will was something different then God's. However, he loved God so much he was willing to set aside his personal will/desire in order to be obedient to God the father. Jesus's love of God was his "Above All" motivation..

We see a very different doctrine being taught in some churches today. It is Humanism disguised as grace and is a justification for self-centered lifestyles that see men as gods. Christ placed God as the center, or better yet, at the head! He walked in obedience. He loved God more than himself and found doing his will the true source of joy

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


In closing, I acknowledge fully the love of Christ for his people.

Ephesians 5:25
Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

However, I ask myself and indeed all who are reading this writing, “Who is sovereign, God or man?” If you believe as I do that God is sovereign then I ask, “Have we followed Christ’s example and placed him at the center of our life? Is our highest purpose in life to do His will over our own? Is our love for God seen through our obedience to his Word?”

I leave you with this last thought. Child–Centered Parenting leads to spoiled, undisciplined, and ungrateful children, who see themselves as the most important member of the family. When grown, they feel as though society must serve them just as their parents did. In the same way, Man-centered theology leads to self-centered, undisciplined followers who, Instead of Christ, see humanity and themselves at the center of the church and the “Above All “ most important thing in God's Kingdom.

It is my prayer that God be our Master and that we would place Him and His Word “Above all”

Your Brother in Christ
ABR



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Comments 20 comments

Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 7 years ago from Detroit, MI

This is a wonderful hub! I could not agree more. 'Above All'. I must admit that I completely overlooked the fact that Jesus was above all showing His love for the Father. We too, must do likewise. Thank you for sharing this with us.

God Bless You


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Wehzo: I too had missed it. I Like how you phrased that "Showing his love for the father"

Thanks for stopping by.

In Christ

ABR


Sciantel 7 years ago

I know that God does not wink at sin. Jesus said even, if you love Me you will follow My commandments. He told this I believe in Mark, while they were having the last supper together. He also said that he who is not willing to carry his cross is not worthy of Him. Jesus expects us to carry the weight of a life lived for Him. God bless you along your Christian journey.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Sciantel: I can tell that you love the Lord. I pray for your healing.

In Christ

ABR


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 7 years ago from Roseville, CA

How can I say a bigger AMEN? I've had communications with a "grace" teacher that stays on the "milk" of salvation through the blood and work of Christ alone. What does it mean to walk by the Spirit? It's certainly not keeping all the Mosaic Law, but rather listening to the Spirit's voice in us that tells us daily, through the Word (the New Covenant, of course) what to do. We hear His voice and we either heed it or ignore it.

If He says, "Give to that person" ~ give. If He says, "Pray for that person" ~ pray. If He says, "You need to speak about God's love to that person" ~ speak. We know right from wrong and we have a new conscience when we are in Christ. He forgives us when we have His heart of repentance. Obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings His "staff and rod", because He loves us!

Talking about taking up the cross? People will hate us for setting the boundaries Christ gives us, for they are not in conformation with the world. We have to be strong enough to stand; amen!

This watered-down gospel of grace alone is that of the "antinomians" ~ "go on living in sin and trust in the righteousness of Christ to save you in the end". NOT. Amen, sister ~ AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Judah's Daughter I am glad you agree.

We are to have no confidence in the works of the flesh and our hope is in Christ's righteousness alone. However, this does not mean I can continue in sin so that Grace may abound. For I am not to let sin reign in my mortal body.

My works prophet me nothing other then the satisfaction of a clean conscience. My obedience to scripture is my way of saying I love you back.

God Bless you. Your ministry is in my prayers. May God our father continue to give you understanding into His Word. You are an encouragement to me.

Your Brother In Christ

ABR


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 7 years ago from Roseville, CA

Sorry, ABR ~ I can't always know the female or male identity in the hub name, brother :-) Please excuse me calling your sister! I will be more cautious until I find out if I am responding to a male or female in the future :-) Love you and stand in agreement. Praise God.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

LOL No Prob Judah's Daughter ROFL

God Bless

ABR


oscarwms profile image

oscarwms 7 years ago from PA

That is one great hub. Puts things in the right perspective. To many Christians take God for granted. They take Him out of their pocket so to speak when things go wrong then when things get better they put him back in waitng for the next problem. One song writer put it this way: God is an ontime God he is there when you need him. Well I need him all of the time, when times are good or bad. This is not the time for fair weather Christianity.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks again Oscarwms I too need God all the time. Like you, I do not like the fire insurance mentality.

Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff I am honored.

In Christ

ABR


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California

A timely hub indeed. I agree with what you said, "It is true that the message of the cross is a message of grace and love but it is also one of death!" I feel that churches today cheapen the grace of God when it is centered on men and women. Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without repentance, the crown without the cross, victorious Christian living without obedience in following Christ. After all, Jesus said, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Lk 9:23). His invitation still stands, as we are invited to die on a daily basis. Dying to one's self corrects the egocentric nature of fallen human beings, guiding one back to the cross and a God-centered Christianity: "...not my will, but your will be done" (Lk 22:42).

Excellent hub brother. The Lord bless your writing ministry.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks GS -Cheap Grace isn't grace at all is it? True Grace saves and sanctifies

1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

God's Grace, that is God's love for me, empowers me to walk in obedience.

In Christ

ABR


Sciantel 7 years ago

One thing I will say about people who think they are not having to stay obedient to the law, their small love for the Lord means their small sacrifice to Him, because I see it as, obeying is our sacrifice to God on a daily basis.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Sciatel Great Point!

Romans 12:1

1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

In Christ

ABR


internpete profile image

internpete 7 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

Amen. Grace AND TRUTH. Many Christians do seem to skim over the truth part. Thanks for sharing this!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Internpete. Grace and truth love it. They balance each other out!

Thanks for taking the time.

In Christ

ABR


selahangel profile image

selahangel 7 years ago from Texas

God has been showing me the same type of thing. I just this second wrote a hub on Self-esteem vs. God-Esteem. I had to send your article to my husband, it was not only well thought out but one of those little nuggets that only God can reveal to man.

Thank you for being obediant.

Angel


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Angel, It would appear that we serve the same God. I believe this is the message we Americans (myself included) need to hear right now. I am sensing it in the spirit and so are many others. As humanism takes hold globally, God is emphasizing a life of obedience. Motivated by our Love for Him and empowered by His Grace.

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the Christ-Centered corner of Hubpages

In Christ

ABR


sarmack profile image

sarmack 7 years ago from Washington

I call the self-serving person who professes to be Christian, a so-called Christian. This was the only way I could differentiate them in my prayers which cover the Christian Church for these United States. My heart aches for the so-called Christian.

God is Judge. And He surely lets you know it if there is any inkling that you may stray. He Loves us so. On the other hand, He will give you visions of your status and of His Love for you. These Loving times make up for all the struggles that we may encounter.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 7 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Sarmack thank you for your input. We are indeed to listen to that still small voice when he speaks.

Thank you for your prayers over our nation. As we all are I am sure.

God bless

ABR

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