Our Charge as Disciples

Thomas Paine wrote: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. …Heaven knows how to put a price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated ..."

Christians in America are in a crisis, but many shrink from the service of their Christ. Many have become summer Christians, led by the sunshine Clergy.  They fail to stand for Christ by not speaking Christ’s liberty into the darkness of the public square in America. But make no mistake, they that stand for Christ now, deserve the thanks of man and the blessing of God.

Christ knows how to put a price upon His blessings. Jesus said, “Stand up for Me against world opinion, and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father…” (Matthew 10:32 MSG &:33 NASB)

How do we stand and testify for Christ? Jesus said in John 8:31 – 32, “If you abide in me, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Therefore, to abide in Christ is to know our old beliefs were wrong and it is Christ’s truth that sets us free from our old self. We now have the God-given privilege and responsibility of making our actions and voices heard in the market place of ideas. Our actions and voices matter, because God has designed it so. Disciples have the duty to never shrink from speaking the truth of Christ, which is testifying of Christ’s standard of morality into the world. Paul said in Ephesians 6:20, as a soldier of Christ, “…I am (Christ’s) ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ambassadors are more than messengers. They are representing our sovereign who sent us. Christians are called to entreat people to be reconciled to God, and to listen to the forgiving voice of their Creator.

Knowing this, what is preventing us from speaking the truth of Christ into the darkness that lives within our culture and other human beings? The answer may be, we are not abiding in Christ because we have not gotten over ourselves.  If we truly know Him, we will gain the boldness to make the giant step to represent Him like flashlight shining into darkness. Therefore, to know Christ is to take on His commission as our purpose for our lives, and live His truth in the evil world in which we live.

When Scripture says, shine the light of Christ into darkness, (2 Corinthians 4:6) it means we are to freely speak Christ’s morality into darkness. This exposes darkness for what it is and lets the Spirit of Christ “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness.” Christ said in John 1:5 “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Then Ephesians 5:11 commands us to expose darkness, and Philippians 2:15 confirms, “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Also see, Matthew 5:16, 2 Corinthians 4:4 & 6) Then in James 1:22 it states, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Then in James 2:18 “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

James is telling us we cannot separate the cause and the effect because God cannot bless an imitation. To hear and not obey is deceiving ourselves. The cause is believing the word of truth, and the effect is being a doer of the word. Therefore, to be an obedient doer we must do righteous works and speak Christ’s truth into the darkness of this world. This enables the promised freely given Spirit of Truth to convince and convict those who worship the creature vs. the creator. For, “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)

Dr. Heinrich Gruber a German Protestant theologian lived his Christian Commission during the Nazi regime. He was not only a Good Samaritan, he is a hero of the faith. In the autumn of 1939 Nazi authorities started deporting Jewish Austrians of Jewish descent to German–occupied Poland, Auschwitz. Then in February 1940 the same fate hit 1200 Jewish Germans and Gentile Germans of Jewish descent who were deported to the consecration camp in Lublin, Poland. Dr. Gruber learned of this and protested to every higher ranking German up to President Herman Goring. The Gestapo warned Gruber never to protest the deportation again. Dr. Gruber continued his protest by speaking Christ standard of morality into the Nazi political operation that was deporting Jews to death camps. He even protested directly to Adolf Eichmann, who Gruber later found was one of the organizers of the ‘final solution’ to kill all Jewish men, women, and children in Germany, and in countries Germany conquered.

In December 1940, Dr. Gruber was arrested and eventually sent to the Dachau concentration camp. He survived Dachau by being released in June 1943 while others arrested with him were worked to death or killed outright. During the two and half years Dr. Gruber was brutalized and even had his front teeth kicked out by the extremely cruel Dead Head, SS. They had sweeping powers to incarcerate and kill anyone deemed undesirable or perceived to be against the Third Reich. This included anyone, including lawyers, homosexuals, gypsies, Catholic priests, Protestant Clergy.

More than 20 years after the horror of the German death camps Dr. Gruber traveled to Israel to offer his testimony against Adolf Eichmann in May of 1961. He was the only non-Jew person or Clergy to testify against the man who was responsible for millions of deaths of Jews and Christians. During his testimony Dr. Gruber’s words were immediately transmitted by the press all over the world. He received death threats against his life by unnamed forces of evil for testifying, but the people of Israel were so moved by his selfless behavior that hundreds sent him letters of thanks. I believe God was also moved by him honoring his godly responsibility.

In 1975 before Dr. Gruber’s death he was interviewed and said; “I will always say the charge of Christ is clearly spoken in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite who go back on their way are in the judgment of Jesus Christ. Everyone who is silent to injustice is also guilty just like the Levite and the priest.” They turned away from righteousness and chose inaction. This is the knowledge of Christ without obedience.

Dr. Gruber was making the point that the charge, the purpose of discipleship contains a price of service that is rendered by the believer for the freely given grace supplied to eternal life. The price we have to pay, is obedience to God’s word, by doing acts of righteousness and it does not matter if we are a believer, shepherd, priest, or Levite.

Today in America according to Barna studies, 70% of our pastors and priests shrink from the service of Christ because they will not speak from the pulpit the biblical truth regarding the political moral decay in America. Dr. Gruber is biblically and unequivocally correct. Every Christian, Pastor, or Priest who is silent to injustice is under the judgment of Christ. This is why Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act. God will not hold us guiltless.”

Thomas Paine wrote in "The American Crisis": " 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose (religious) conscience approves his conduct, will pursue His (Christ’s) principles unto death ..." 

May God bless you with being a doer of the word!

David Howard Foxhole Ministry – foxholeministry@gmail.com New Life Church, Billings, MT

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