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My Security

I heard this quote from a sermon recently.

"My security is not in what I believe but in Who I believe in."

I hear quotes like this a lot from pastors and preachers in various groups and normally pass them by.

But I have, in years past, guest spoke in this congregation and have friends who attend there. I love them. Clearly, the church thought it was a quote worth repeating as they turned it into a reel for their social media page. Since it was posted so publicly, I want to address it publicly.

I lost sleep thinking about this quote. It's just false. The context preceding it is false and gives the impression if we care about beliefs, practices, and doctrines then we are somehow putting our security in ourselves rather than in Jesus Christ. This may be what people want to hear today but it isn't the truth. Beliefs matter. Doctrine matters. Practices matter.

Think about the above statement in quotation marks. How can I possibly disconnect WHAT I believe and practice from the One WHOM I believe in?

To think it is possible to believe in Jesus while practicing anti-Jesus things or holding anti-Jesus views and still maintaining our security is a false Jesus addressed very plainly when He once asked, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). Sounds like these people claimed to believe in WHO Jesus was but were not doing WHAT Jesus said...and they are not commended for it! Rather than security, their outlook is one of insecurity. In the text which follows Jesus warns of the "great fall" that was coming upon those who think they can "hear these sayings of Mine" and "do nothing" (see Luke 6:47-49).

This is not really a new argument. People have tried to disconnect the Lord from His law for a long time....or love from law...or grace from obedient faith.

The book of Galatians, from which the speaker was supposedly preaching, is NOT a condemnation of the law or rule of Jesus Christ. Yet, certain statements in Galatians are often taken out of context to try and prove such. Paul's key focus in Galatians is upon those who still try to uphold themselves by the law of Moses--binding Old Testament practices such as circumcision, feasts, etc. (Galatians 4:10; 5:3-4). Yet, the speaker from the above-mentioned reel has moved the Galatian context out of context and inserted it into a new context or framework as if we ought not, today, be concerned with rules or doctrines or our religious practices. This is doing a disservice to the real point of the text. Put simply, the Galatians are never rebuked for striving to follow the new law, the law of Christ, for it is directly connected to the one Whom they believe. They are rebuked for binding an old, obsolete law, the law of Moses, upon New Testament Christians and striving to live by an expired covenant.

We need to make sure we're applying words and statements to their appropriate contexts and not trying to overextend them in such a way they create contradictions in other Scriptures and are an obvious indication we've inserted our personal framework into the text. Romans and Galatians are popular playgrounds for such methods of EISEGESIS as preachers speak on topics like "works" or "law" or "security."

Before we make pithy, catchy statements (similar to the one above) like "It doesn't matter what I believe, but who I believe" please just think. Does this work in other spheres of life?

I believe in my CEO. But I don't put into practice the business model of my CEO when I manage my franchise. The CEO holds me accountable. My response, "Sorry boss, my security is not in what I believe and practice but in Who I believe." I think your CEO will tell you that if you believe in his role, you will also follow his business model or you don't really believe and can find a new job!

I believe in my coach. The coach draws up a play. I don't follow the play, but create my own play. The coach calls a timeout and says, "Why did you not run the play?" My response, "Sorry coach, my security is not in what I believe and practice but in Who I believe." I think your coach will put you on the bench and tell you if you believe in Him as your Coach you need to run his plays.

I believe in my band director. The band director gives us a sheet of music to play for a concert. I decide to play my own notes, at my own tempo, at my own preferred volume. The director speaks to me after the performance to question the lack of unity I caused by going rogue. I respond, "Band director, I love you and I believe in you, but our success is not in what I believe or practice or perform but in who I believe in." I think you might be encouraged to pursue a solo career because you clearly don't understand what it means to respect the director and work as a team.

I believe in and love my wife. She asks me to show my love to her by telling her the truth, treating her with respect, and providing for her to the best of my ability. Instead of doing these things I lie to her, cheat on her, and refuse to get a job to provide for her. She asks me, "I thought you loved me, why are you doing these things? My response, "Sorry, honey, I do love you and my security is not in what I believe or practice but in Who I love." How's that response going to work in your marriage?

Do we get the point? We can't disconnect our belief from our actions. True security involves trusting and doing. True belief is one that puts the belief in the One in Whom I trust into action. We respect the Lord and, by extension, respect and even defend and fight for His will and ways. We must be careful to not divorce belief from actions. James warns about those who would say things like this when he writes, "You believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!" (James 2:19). A belief that seeks and obeys the One in Whom we place our faith is a God-pleasing faith (see Hebrews 11:6).

How fragile, how insecure, how weak is a faith that thinks it can disconnect the one in Whom we believe from what He teaches.