(Compiled by Pastor Vuyani Dombo)
When there are accusations and allegations against the church, we as the church should not be quick to criticise, refute or fight back, but we should be quick to do self-introspection and find out whether these allegations and accusations are true. We have need of discernment because we are fighting a war, and it is our common faith that is under attack, not personalities. In contending and defending our faith we need to hold ourselves and fellow believers to very high standards of accountability. As believers, we are not only accountable to GOD, but we are also accountable to the world. We are the custodians, defenders, and stewards of our faith. It is therefore all our responsibility to fight a good and worthy and noble fight for the faith, guarding it against error and people or things that will bring it into disrepute (2 Timothy 4:7 AMP). We need to do the best that we can to do what Jesus wants us to do (not what we want to do), and not to disgrace the name of Jesus. In so doing, every believer should (a) strive to stay away from people and things that would render the faith null and void; and (b) live by example to demonstrate the legitimacy, authenticity and effectiveness of the faith.
As believers, we have been called out of darkness into GOD’s marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9), and since we are no longer of darkness, we are no longer to do the things of darkness. We contend for the faith by walking in the light which we have been called. We are not there as believers to show forth bad things, but to show forth the goodness of GOD in our lives. We are trophies of Christ’s victory, & GOD’s marketing and advertising tools. GOD shows us off as His work of light to the world that we may do things of light. We are the Word of GOD, the Bible, and the epistle of Jesus to the world (2 Corinthians 2:14). However, when we are doing and producing things of darkness, we are no longer used by GOD, but by the enemy. When we destroy people, we no longer display the wonderful virtues of the Kingdom of light, because doing GOD’s work does not amount to harm and abuse.
We need self-control as believers, not to live life as we please, but as GOD pleases. We are not representing ourselves as Christians, but we represent the One after whom we are named. As believers if we destroy and make a thorough mess of our faith, we will destroy and make a thorough mess of the faith of other believers. We must keep and have a good conscience before GOD and before man, knowing that the world is expecting to see Jesus in us, and rightly behaving like the light we are. There is a pattern, model, and example in Scripture for all believers to live by. This pattern and model is what we must measure ourselves against, as righteousness and holiness are our defence against attacks on our faith. We must not give people of the world any reason whatsoever to doubt or question our faith.
The only basis for our fellowship/ relationship/ communion with GOD and one another is the light, i.e. righteousness, truth, and integrity (1 John 1:5-7). If our fellowship with another believer is doing wrong, we have no fellowship with GOD. We ought to, in contending and defending our faith, do the best that we can, leaving nothing to chance (1 Corinthians 9:27). Christianity is practicing what we preach, and the danger of preaching what we do not practice is being disqualified. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin so that we sin no more, and we cannot do wrong and say we are living under grace. The grace of GOD cleanses us from sin so that we sin no more, not for us to continue to sin with impunity. It is impossible to keep on sinning as a child of GOD because your born-again conscience (washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus) cannot stand sin and will not stop talking to you. We need to be sanctified and set ourselves apart for GOD; we will be disqualified if we are doing everything that the world is doing.
As believers if we destroy and make a thorough mess of our faith, we will destroy and make a thorough mess of the faith of other believers.