bits from bob....

Thinking about.....Coherence

by Robert J. Young
Main and Oklahoma Church, McAlester, Oklahoma
December 15, 2002
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Coherence is an interesting word, communicating an interesting idea or concept. Jesus is the cohering force that makes everything hold together (Col. 1:16). We seek to be people of integrity, wholeness, consistency. That is coherence. Have you considered whether you are spiritually coherent?

In the realm of the spirit, coherence is not easy. When a person becomes a Christian, he immediately becomes incoherent. There is no way the various aspects of life can fit together without conflicts. Usually, the new Christian is characterized by a significant amount of emotion, and an emphasis on various external things. Life is measured by externals, and spiritual vigor is directly proportional to the circumstances of life.

It takes time to build a firm foundation that provides an internal spiritual coherence, strong and steady. Let externals be as they may, change as the winds, such do not cause distress because we are rooted and grounded in God through Christ. Oswald Chambers observed that many lack spiritual coherence because of an overemphasis on external coherence. I want to look right to others, to be accepted. Continuing, Chambers asks whether one lives in the basement where foundations are laid, or in an upper story where external are always obvious. Certainly it is clear that the two seldom touch.

A consistent spiritual walk--spiritual coherence--is in the fundamentals. An interesting exercise involves asking yourself what you believe, and then asking what you absolutely have to believe. Do away with as much of the periphery and fluff as possible. Get down to the bedrock of your faith. What's there?

The great foundation of Christianity is the cross of Christ as power for the redemption of the world. The cross may not be honored by the world, but it is important. If we quit brooding about the tragedy of the cross, if we quit remembering the cross, if we find our attentions focused in other things, we are worth little. Contemporary preaching may be interesting, and it may bring people to the church building, but if it does not connect God and mankind, if it cannot bring people to God, it is powerless. And if it is powerless, it cannot be the gospel.

Let's get serious about restoration--let's restore the energy of God to our Christian lives, and focus on what we are becoming deep within more than in the externals.

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Last updated December 15, 2002.