When Feelings Triumph Over Truth, Sin Is Revealed

It continually amazes me when professing Christians behave like unbelievers—insulted by God's Word, repulsed by discipline and loving reproof (or strong rebuke when necessary), and deferring to their feelings rather than the Word of God. It also amazes me that when acts of sacrificial love are demonstrated, the instant a feeling is hurt (not a sin committed mind you), how quickly love is forgotten for the deception of sin-founded feelings. What compounds this egregious manifestation of self-centeredness and ingratitude, is the expectation that one should conform to the likeness and feelings of another person rather than be conformed in every way, to the image of Christ Jesus the Lord.

"Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he [or she] will not go unpunished...Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right."
-Proverbs 16:5, 13 (ESV)

I suppose the key word in all of this is "professing". As Jesus Himself states, many will say they know the Lord, but only a few will find and walk the narrow way, and thus, enter the narrow gate to eternal life. For it isn't those who profess they are Christians, but those who actually abide in the Lord Jesus and obey His commandments and follow Him (1 Jn 5:2-5).

"As He said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed!' But He said, 'Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!'

"And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
-Luke 11:27-28, 1 John 2:17 (ESV, emphasis mine)

In the original Greek the word keep in Luke 11:28 is φυλάσσω (transliterated phylassō), which means: to guard; to take care not to violate; to observe. Therefore, it is clear in this verse as well as  many others throughout the Old and New Testaments, that God plainly states it is not through familial heritage, nor from human exertion nor individual profession that one is truly saved. It is by God's sovereign choosing that anyone is saved from His wrath. The LORD has always proved who are truly His by stating that His children are those who love the truth, repent when rebuked (not always right way, but soon thereafter), and strive to do whatever is necessary to continually bear the good fruit of Jesus Christ—that is, preaching the Gospel of God's grace to a lost and dying world, and exhorting the saints in Christ to deny ourselves (including our feelings and opinions that don't align with Scripture) daily, and follow Jesus in the way of holiness (Mt 16:24, Lk 14:33).

"And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray."
-Isaiah 35:8 (ESV, emphasis mine)

Because the LORD our God is faithful, those He truly saves are those whom He keeps in His love. And because we are kept in God's love, He disciplines us when we stray so that even if we are fools, we will still walk in holiness. Being kept in God's love by God Himself, is what causes us to actually do what He says rather than merely agree with what He says; for even Satan agrees that the Lord is one and shudders (Is 29:13, James 2:19).

I'm not saying that once we're saved, we've been made perfect and will never sin again. What I am saying is that I only echo what the Apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write in Philippians 3:12-14, "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." In this passage, the Apostle Paul mentions twice that he has not obtained perfection, that is, no longer sins or struggles with sin. Rather, Paul states that because he is saved by God's grace and not by man's works (that could never earn him salvation anyway), he is exuberantly grateful to the LORD for taking hold of him, and therefore, passionately desires to take a hold of all that God has called him to in Christ Jesus—to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mt 6:33).

Therefore it is evident from the word and righteous precepts of God that anyone who habitually lives in their feelings; those who trust in themselves and how they feel, and balk at any godly counsel is more than likely not saved, or at best, is in desperate need of strong rebuke and discipline so they may not continue to walk in the sin of their flesh, but walk in the holiness of the Spirit.

For those of you today, who are reading this and have been a victim of friendly-fire (Christians assaulting Christians), then be encouraged, you are not alone. As a matter of fact, you're in good company. The Old Testament prophets, Jesus our Lord, the Apostles and disciples of Jesus then and now; those who run hard after God, are always being bullied, lied and gossiped about by the idle saints in Christ (if they are in truly in Christ, only God knows). They jeer at you because your righteous living and pursuit of holiness shines a bright light and reveals their hidden sins.

Do not despair nor be dismayed, for the LORD our God is in your midst, and He is the mighty one who will save those who do what is right, from those who do wrong. Whether God gives us justice on this side of Heaven or the next, we can be encouraged because we know that our lives here are a mist and what we're building and storing, is for eternity. Therefore remain steadfast and immovable in the Lord, His commandments, and His precepts. Let no one bully you into submitting to man's ways and preferences, but look to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith; knowing that your pursuit for His pleasure and glory alone is what's most beautiful in His sight (Mk 14:6).