Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

As a very young Christian in 1976 I was chatting with another Christian after church one day.  She asked me a question, and I did not realize until now the significance of the question.

The question was, "Have you made a commitment to a local church?"

My answer, after pondering the question for a short while was this:  "When I got saved I committed everything to Jesus, so I don't think that I have anything left to commit to the church."

I could tell that this was the wrong answer from her perspective as she turned and walked away from me as if I were a leper.  But now I realize that her perspective was that of a carnal Christian.

One mark of a carnal Christian according to the Apostle Paul, and of a person who is unworthy of Jesus according to Jesus, is that their loyalty lies with a person other than Jesus Christ.  Paul expressed his view of the evidence of carnality thus:

1Co 3:1  And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I gave you milk to drink, and not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, neither are you now yet able;
1Co 3:3  for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal, and walking according to human principles?
1Co 3:4  For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal?
1Co 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord has given to each one?
1Co 3:6  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gives the increase.
1Co 3:7  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

It is the identification of a person by their leader or teacher which shows spiritual immaturity or 'carnality'.  This condition, in my opinion, is the result of a person relying on their own understanding or some leader's understanding more than trusting God with their heart.  Such a person has not come to the point of mistrusting themselves or their leaders enough to shift their allegiance to God alone.

Jesus expressed this condition thus:

Mat 10:32  "Therefore whoever who will confess Me before men, I also will confess Him before My Father who is in heaven.
Mat 10:33  But whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
Mat 10:34  "Do not suppose that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35  For I have come to 'turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';
Mat 10:36  and 'a man's enemies will be his own household members.'
Mat 10:37  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Mat 10:38  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Mat 10:39  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ over one's self and one's family members, not to mention others, causes a person to be 'not worthy' of Jesus.

God will allow people to muddle along in life serving themselves or someone else in the hope that we will eventually recognize the folly of our way and turn to Jesus to be our Savior from sin and the Lord of our lives instead of ourselves or someone else lording it over us.  The rest of the world may do this, but God requires unconditional surrender to Him and His Son Jesus for a person to be able to become loyal to God and His Son alone!

Have you, dear reader, reached that point of desperation yet?