Based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 3614 adults, the Barna survey focused on the three-quarters of adults 18 years of age or older who have been married at least once. The study identified those who had been divorced; the age at which they were divorced; how many divorces they have experienced; and the age at which the born again Christians had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Comparing the ages when divorced adults had accepted Christ and when they underwent their divorce, the researchers were able to determine both the impact of one’s faith commitment on the resilience of the
marriage and whether the divorce occurred before or after their born again commitment.
Although many Christian churches attempt to dissuade congregants from getting a divorce, the research confirmed a finding identified by Barna a decade ago (and further confirmed through tracking studies conducted each year since): born again Christians have the same likelihood of divorce as do non-Christians. Among married born again Christians, 35% have experienced a divorce. That figure is identical to the outcome among married adults who are not born again: 35%.
Have we ever wondered why the lives of many Christians seem no different than the life of the non-Christians? Why doesn’t faith make a difference in the day to day lives of many? The answer is simple: Even though Jesus won the victory, many fail to apply the power of the cross practically in life. In order to fight the enemy effectively, we must understand the magnitude of Jesus’s sacrifice with the sole intent of rescuing us from the powers of witchcraft, death and sin.
Principle #1: The cross is the only basis for the provision of my needs -
Many people believe that God blesses them according to their good works. Isiah 64: says, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is like filthy rags”. We falsely think our good works will amount to being ‘good Christians’. When we fall short, we fall under guilt and condemnation and wonder if God would
ever want to help us.
We must understand that God does not supply our needs according to our good works but ‘according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19). Without the cross, we have no access to God, no righteousness, no fellowship and no inheritance in Him. The cross is the sole basis of all of God’s provisions,
forgiveness, healing, release from shame, sorrow, poverty – every one of these was accounted for in the cross
Principle #2: At the cross, Jesus administered a TOTAL permanent and irreversible defeat
upon Satan - Satan has already been defeated. Jesus nailed our sins to the cross and made a public
spectacle of Satan (Colossians 2:15). Satan is like a ‘roaring lion who seeks to devour’ but his teeth have been removed. We fail many times because ‘we try to defeat Satan’. We can’t do that because he has already been defeated. We trust in the grace and power of God instead and apply the victory over us.
Principle#3:God has transported you from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light -
By doing so, we appropriate the redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1: 12-14). Through ‘redemption’, we have been ‘delivered’ from the power of Satan or from ‘darkness’ to ‘light’. The word used here for ‘power’ is ‘exousia’, which means ‘authority’.
If Colossians 1: 12-14 is true, by what ‘authority’ does a defeated enemy have the right to influence people in their decisions of life? When we allow our minds to be polluted with thoughts of disobedience to Jesus, we allow ourselves to become ‘inhabitants’ of Satan’s seat of authority. This is why ‘rebellion’ is equated
with ‘witchcraft’. People are mesmerized into believing that since they are in God’s Kingdom, they are immune to the influence of Satan
Principle#4: Our Bridge out of darkness is Jesus Christ
– Imagine a great river. On one side is the Kingdom of God and light. On the other side lies the Kingdom of Satan and darkness. In order to pass over to the kingdom of light, you may be tempted to ‘swim on your own’ but the river is too deep, too swift, and too wide! What we need is a bridge that God has already
provided. There is only ONE built with the unbreakable glue of love which is the blood of God’s own son
Principle#5: The Bridge is the ‘gateway’ to our destination
– A bridge is not an end but a means to destination. Jesus is the bridge to the kingdom of light. His goal is to bring us to the fullness of the kingdom of light. Millions have started the journey of crossing over but didn’t! Salvation is NOT the end but the beginning of the journey. It is a way to the kingdom of God.
Where are we and other Christians now? Are we hanging AROUND the bridge? Are we looking at the turbulence of the river and getting perplexed? Are we walking with the destination in sight and experiencing the freedom that God has for us.
Let us walk on the ‘bridge’ and enter the full purposes of God for this generation.
Pr. Leslie Verghese