LINEAR CHRISTIANITY
Synopsis of Commentary
(Linear meaning, straight-line and without substitution)
The process of living-in and walking-out the Christian Doctrine follows a progressive revelation. The believer's journey pursues a course of unfoldiing understanding, commitment and yielding to the Word of God as the foundation, power and truth which governs his/her life.  More than just a few ministries today teach a 'skip-jump' (abbreviated) method of revelation in an attempt to guide a new believer (as well as many seasoned followers) into his/her spiritual maturity.  Such methods often rely heavily on ritual, ceremonial, and/or emotive experiences along with various secular-type dogma to usher the believer into a 'deeper' Christian walk, often to the detriment of their spiritual development. Short-cut Christianity only produces a diluted belief system and weakened ability to proceed down the "pathway of righteousness", while the forces of unrighteousness are attempting to prevail against us.  A linear doctrinal continuum rests upon Scripture, the Gospel, The Cross, His Resurrection and His Second Coming.  The Believer's course, for living a Christian life, would include:
The Word   -   Truth  -  Belief  -  Trust  -   Faith  -  Obedience  -  Fruit  -  Fulfillment of Commission
The  Word here being, "The Word [Christ] became flesh" (John 14:1a) and meaning the written  Word of God, as well.   Belief comes out of the Truth held within the Word of God.  You can't readily believe in that which you do not hold as being grounded in truth.   Trust emanates out of your belief.  You can't really Trust in that which you don't believe.   Faith then comes out of the Truth revealed in the Word of God, and one's belief and Trust in that Revelation.  Thus, Obedience is a fruit of your Faith in action.
When a Christian is experiencing difficulty e.g., trusting in the Promises of God, they need to critically reexamine the soundness in their understanding of, and belief in, the written Word of God.   For if they are sitting under the teaching of false doctrine, they will surely have trust issues with His Promises.  Likewise, faltering  faith is so often related to wavering trust which always produces a mixed obedience to God's Commandments and decrees.  The "fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23a) and one test for those who claim to be "spiritual" can be formulated from these nine virtues.
Christianity is not a cafeteria-style menu of doctrines from which we can pick-and-choose, subject to our whim or fancy of the day, that is called Relativism.  The ongoing fulfillment of God's plan for our life is to come into a spiritual awareness that God is Love and bringing all things in our life under the headship of Christ.  And our life in turn, manifesting that God-Love in all which we think, say and do as we share and witness the Gospel to the unsaved ..which is a tall order, yet we serve an infinite God who is all powerful, knowing, and ever-present.
If we are going to successfully navigate through the obstacle course of tumultuous times to come (and they are expressly coming), effectively participate in the fulfillment of Christ's end-time purposes, and contribute to the out-working of His end-time Plan (Eph. 1-10), then we must have a true understanding of how straight-line Christianity works for us and why it was designed that way.  Each believer has an integral part in fulfilling God's Great Commission, and subsequently gathering the harvest of souls into The Kingdom, He has set before us.  If ever there was a time and season to become inline, in-sync, and submitted to the Word of The Living God, it is today.  Don't allow yourself to be caught out-of-alignment with His Word, when He comes for His Church, the Body-of-Christ.
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
www.aamen.org
LCN:22636.534.011107-v19
amen_ministries@hotmail.com