Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Danger of Denial

We usually think that denying Christ is an outright act
like Peter’s disavowal of Jesus in John 18. But Heber
Reginald, an English writer, pointed out that we deny the
Lord in more subtle ways: love of the world and forsaking
the course of duty, which Christ has plainly pointed out
to us.

We deny our Lord whenever we lend our praise, thoughts,
silence, speech, actions, etc., to things we believe to be
sinful. We deny our Lord whenever we forsake others in affliction
and refuse to give countenance, encouragement, and support
to those who for God’s sake are exposed to persecutions
and slander.

Those of us who are baptized will consciously avoid any
open, deliberate, and vocal denial of the Lord. But loving
the world, failing to do as God directs, tolerating sin,
and refusing to support our fellow brothers and sisters
are subtle ways we do deny the One who has redeemed us.
It is not easy for one to turn his back on Christ if he
keeps his eyes on Him. When Peter’s eyes met with those of
Jesus on the cross, he repented of his sins.
To openly deny the Lord is shameful and appalling, but
tolerating any sin forsakes our righteous calling. Let us
determine to live faithfully for Jesus so that no one will
ever be able to accuse us of turning our backs to Him.
Remember we are always in danger of denial.

Many Christians, who do not live according to the Word of
God, shrink from active warfare for their Lord and are
driven by ridicule to deny their faith. By associating
with those whom they should avoid as Judas did, they put
themselves in the place of temptation: to circumstances,
which they could not have been guilty of.
The disciple of Christ who in our days disguises his faith
through dread of suffering or reproach denies his Lord as
truly as did Peter in the judgment hall.
Peter and Judas will forever be remembered for their
betrayals—Judas only for that act, Peter for that act plus
many other positive ones. Both disciples had desirable and
undesirable character traits. The difference is that one
responded to Jesus’ power and the other did not; one had
genuine repentance, the other did not.

Wilfred O. Omwange, Njoro, Kenya


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