WHY AM I A MAVERIK?
Why do I call myself a “Maverick Christian?” We have quite a few Mavericks in the Bible. Maverick Hosea was asked by God to marry Gomer a harlot (The Story of Undying Love). Would we do that if God asked us? Maverick Daniel gives us clear picture of civil disobedience. Would we do that for God? Maverick Peter served time in jail for his Christian beliefs. Would we defy our government if they made Christianity against the law? Maverick John was arrested for his beliefs and banned to the Island of Patmos. Would there be enough evidence to arrest us for being a Christian? The Greatest Maverick was Jesus. Jesus gave us some Maverick beliefs that so few apply them to their lives.
WHAT MAKES ME NERVOUS
What makes me nervous about Christianity? As Christian our beliefs are not practiced in our daily lives. For a very long time I’ve felt that we Christians have never quite caught up to Jesus’ (Maverick) demands to discipleship as expressed in his Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said these are those BLESSED by God!
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs (ALONE) is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they (ALONE) shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
“Blessed are the meek, for they (ALONE) shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they (ALONE) shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they (ALONE) shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they (ALONE) shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they (ALONE) shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs (ALONE) is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…” (Matthew 5:11-12)
In the New Testament Greek one of the most theological powerful and provocative uses of the emphatic third person pronoun is in the beatitudes. All have the same construction. “Blessed are the … for they (gr. αυτοι) will ….” The nuance of αυτος is that they, “they alone will receive the blessing.”
Jesus is not saying that those who mourn, among others, are comforted. He is saying that they and they alone will be comforted. The merciful, and they alone or only, will receive mercy. Only those who are pure in heart will see God. The meaning of the αυτος is nuanced, but it is there, and its force is devastating to much of modern theology and its easy believism.
Notice that it does not say, “Blessed are those who have had a conversion experience, for theirs is the kingdom.” In fact, Jesus later says that many who claim to have done great things for him are in fact strangers (Matt 7:23). What will you do with this? Are you are a stranger or illegitimate to Jesus?
MAVERICK STARTING POINT
What were some other Maverick beliefs? When we become Christian it has been given to us “everything we need for life and godliness,,, we are partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4). We are to add to the FAITH (see Romans 12:3) God has given us! Again, faith that He has given to us! Here is what we are to add to that faith. It says in 2 Peter 1:5-8
- Faith (Starting point for every Christian)
- Virtue or moral character (godly character)
- Knowledge (spiritual understanding)
- Self-Control (discipline)
- Endurance (passionate patience)
- Godliness (piety, reverence, holiness)
- Brotherly kindness (brotherly affection)
- Love (A selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love)