Ouch! This quote from A.W. Tozer, written decades ago, is as applicable today as it was when he wrote it. Far too many Christians do not live any different than the non-Christians around them. They are not walking and living like Jesus. They do not have the power of God’s Spirit working in and through them.
I want to bring you my postulate that most present-day Christians live sub-Christian lives. As a result, Christianity has been watered down until the solution is so weak that if it were poison it would not hurt anyone and if it were medicine it would not cure anyone!
Most Christians are not joyful persons because they are not holy persons, and they are not holy persons because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit, and they are not filled with the Holy Spirit because they are not separated persons.
The Spirit cannot fill whom He cannot separate, and whom He cannot fill, He cannot make holy, and whom He cannot make holy, He cannot make happy!
My postulate further insists that the average modern Christian is not Christlike. The proof of this is apparent in the disposition that we find among the children of God. They have moral weaknesses and suffer frequent defeats. They have a dulled understanding and often live far below the standard of the Scriptures and thus outside the will of God.
To be honest, let us admit that the application of the gospel is being pulled down to the standard of the most carnal, the cheapest saintling hanging on by the teeth anywhere in the kingdom of God!A.W. Tozer
The Spirit cannot fill whom He cannot separate, and whom He cannot fill, He cannot make holy, and whom He cannot make holy, He cannot make happy! ~ TozerTweet
So what are we to do about it? For one, we must grow in the Gospel. The truth of the Gospel must get deep down into our souls. The Gospel must be so ingrained in us that it guides every thought, action, and reaction. As we grow in our understanding and implications of the gospel, we will also grow in our knowledge and application of the Bible. But please understand…there is a difference between knowing about the Bible and growing in the Gospel. The Pharisees knew a lot about the written Word but they rejected the incarnate Word. You have to do more than graduate with a degree in Bible Trivia. To grow in the gospel is to have our identity, mission, security, and hopes all built on what Christ has done.
To grow in the gospel is to have our identity, mission, security, and hopes all built on what Christ has done.Tweet
The second thing we need to do to avoid a water downed Christianity is to strive for holiness. The Apostle Peter exhorts us to be holy because God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15–16). As Christ followers, we are set apart to holiness. This is a challenge because we live in the midst of a world that does not regard holiness as a virtue. And the more we reduce Christianity to the standards of our culture, the more watered down it becomes. As a result, we need to continually pursue and strive after holiness (Hebrews 12:14).
As we grow in the Gospel and pursue holiness, God’s Spirit is able to fill us and lead us and return to us the joy of our salvation.