Saturday, November 10, 2012

Style And Substance

"Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.  Such things are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value.  But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ"
Colossians 2:16, 17 (Amplified)

One thing I have noticed over the years is the difference between style and substance in regard to someone's personal relationship with God and the teaching and preaching of God's Word.  For example, many of my friends are fellow ministers of some kind and they all have different styles.  But they all have the same goal of getting people connected to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ and helping people grow and develop spiritually.  While the substance is the same the style used is different depending on the person and the situation.

The style of how people serve God may be different too, but if the substance is based on God and His Word then we don't need to be too concerned about the style.  Usually we like our own style and view anything different as wrong, but that is not necessarily the case.  Our goal should not be to find things we disagree about based on a certain style but to find ways to help and encourage each other.  We need to learn to appreciate the differences and find ways to blend the variety we have in the Body of Christ to work together and become as effective as possible.

Colossians 2:16, 17 says we should not be worried about people who would judge us because of what we are eating and drinking or how we celebrate a certain day because these things are about style and not substance.  If there is a problem with the substance of something, if there are some doctrinal problems, then that certainly needs to be addressed; we do not sacrifice substance in favor of style.  Also, we should not just accept a person or teaching because of the style involved without checking the substance.  Each of us need to make sure that our style stems from the truth of God's Word, that way what we are doing will really produce fruit for God and His Kingdom, no matter what the style may be.

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