9/25/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - Believing - Part 5

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Read your Bibles!
The Difference Between "Slaves" and "Friends
The immediate difference is that a slave simply does as he is told, without any implied explanation. A friend receives intimate details as to "why" a person is doing what they are. The difference is intimacy. Jesus made His disciples His friends.
1Ti 6:15b-16
He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
"even us, whom He also called"
This is a reference to "friends" of Jesus Christ (ala Jn 15:15). The Lord "makes known" certain intimate details about His own heart to those in His family (Ro 9:23-24).
A Matter of Trust
Why won't some people that believe that parachutes work actually jump out of a plane??? Answer: Trust. A person can believe something to be true, possibly even for others, but still not trust in it for their own salvation.
Evangelism 101
The question we ought to be asking people is "What do you believe in?" not merely "Do you believe?". Most professing Christians will answer "yes" to the second question; however, they are confused/misinformed/willfully rebellious regarding Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.
"even us, whom He also called"
This is a reference to "friends" of Jesus Christ (ala Jn 15:15). The Lord "makes known" certain intimate details about His own heart to those in His family (Ro 9:23-24).
Read your Bibles!
The Gate and the Way
These are depicted by Jesus as two different elements of saving faith. Both are narrow, neither is wide. Today's so-called "grace gospel" falsely portrays the gate as wide and the way as narrow. This is satanic.
Misdirection
Satan has done a masterful job of sowing misdirection, even from pulpits, resulting in folks "asking the wrong questions!" The question we ought to be asking folks is "WHAT do you believe?", not "DO you believe?" The focus of contemporary Christianity is WRONG!!!
The Narrow Gate/Way
True believing in Jesus Christ carries with it trust in Him, as Lord and Savior. That trust never leaves a saved person, which is why, under the most extreme temptation, He has never lost one.
The Wide Gate and Broad Way
It's possible to "believe" in Jesus, His good name, His works, His resurrection, etc., and NOT be saved, for one reason - if that person has NOT accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There's a trust issue, based on humility, a "counting the cost" that precedes saving faith.
Efficacious Grace
Grace is perfect. It never fails. It saves and sanctifies. It saves and subjects. It makes new. It changes. Its recipients bear fruit, they persist, they endure, they overcome, they submit and obey. "Efficacious" means "effective; able to produce a desired result".
The Wide Gate and Broad Way
It's possible to say, "Jesus is the Son of God"...or "Jesus is Savior"...or even "Jesus is Lord"...and NOT be saved because a human heart can, after believing these things to be true, STILL not accept/trust Him as personal Lord & Savior - that heart may still say, "Yes, these things are true, but He is not MY Lord & Savior".
Conclusion
Why has the concept of "believing" become "difficult"? - it's because people have perverted the concept of grace! When God presents His Son, He presents all of Him. When He gives His Son, He gives all of Him. This is the fullness of grace. (Jn 1:16-17)
"grace upon grace"
means that God showers believers with grace; saving them implies saving them FROM sin ("If it were possible for sin to be forgiven, and yet for the sinner to live just as he lived before, he would not really be saved." - Spurgeon).
"Simony" - Wikipedia
The act of selling church offices and roles; the term also extends to other forms of trafficking for money in "spiritual things". The practice is named after Simon Magus (Ac 8:9-24).
Simon's "belief" / Peter's Rebuke
• "May your silver perish with you" - no believer will ever perish (Jn 3:16)
• "You have no part or portion in this matter" - you're a phony
• "your heart is not right before God" - you have an unbeliever's heart
• "you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity" - this is never true of a believer
Jn 5:39
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me."
A Matter of Trust
Why won't some people that believe that parachutes work actually jump out of a plane??? Answer: Trust. A person can believe something to be true, possibly even for others, but still not trust in it for their own salvation.
A Matter of Trust
In God's eyes, indecision regarding Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the same as the decision NOT to trust in Him.
Evangelism 101
The question we ought to be asking people is "What do you believe in?" not merely "Do you believe?". Most professing Christians will answer "yes" to the second question; however, they are confused/misinformed/willfully rebellious regarding Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior (the "what" is in question).
The Gate and the Way
These are depicted by Jesus as two different elements of saving faith. Both are narrow, neither is wide. Today's so-called "grace gospel" falsely portrays the gate as wide and the way as narrow. This is satanic.
The Wide Gate and Broad Way
It's possible to "believe" in Jesus, His good name, His works, His resurrection, etc., and NOT be saved, for one reason - if that person has NOT accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There's a trust issue, based on humility, a "counting the cost" that precedes saving faith.
Efficacious Grace
Grace is perfect. It never fails. It saves and sanctifies. It saves and subjects. It makes new. It changes. Its recipients bear fruit, they persist, they endure, they overcome, they submit and obey. "Efficacious" means "effective; able to produce a desired result".
The Wide Gate and Broad Way
It's possible to say, "Jesus is the Son of God"...or "Jesus is Savior"...or even "Jesus is Lord"...and NOT be saved because a human heart can, after believing these things to be true, STILL not accept/trust Him as personal Lord & Savior - that heart may still say, "Yes, these things are true, but He is not MY Lord & Savior".
Conclusion
Why has the concept of "believing" become "difficult"? - it's because people have perverted the concept of grace! When God presents His Son, He presents all of Him. When He gives His Son, He gives all of Him. This is the fullness of grace. (Jn 1:16-17)
 

9/22/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - Believing - Part 4

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A Matter of Trust
Why won't some people that believe that parachutes work actually jump out of a plane??? Answer: Trust. A person can believe something to be true, possibly even for others, but still not trust in it for their own salvation.
A Matter of Trust
In terms of saving faith, indecision regarding Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the same as the decision NOT to trust in Him.
Evangelism 101
The question we ought to be asking people is "What do you believe in?" not merely "Do you believe?". Most professing Christians will answer "yes" to the second question; however, they are confused/misinformed/willfully rebellious regarding Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.
The Gate and the Way
These are depicted by Jesus as two different elements of saving faith. Both are narrow, neither is wide. Today's so-called "grace gospel" falsely portrays the gate as wide and the way as narrow. This is satanic.
Understand God's Grace
• Scriptural Grace: "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Mt 7:14).
• Today's false "grace": the gate is big (many are saved), but the way is narrow (only a few saved will submit to the Lord)
Misdirection
Satan has done a masterful job of sowing misdirection, even from pulpits, resulting in folks "asking the wrong questions!" The question we ought to be asking folks is "WHAT do you believe?", not "DO you believe?" The focus of contemporary Christianity is WRONG!!!
The Narrow Gate/Way
True believing in Jesus Christ carries with it trust in Him, as Lord and Savior. That trust never leaves a saved person, which is why, under the most extreme temptation, He has never lost one.
The Wide Gate and Broad Way
It's possible to "believe" in Jesus, His good name, His works, His resurrection, etc., and NOT be saved, for one reason - if that person has NOT accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There's a trust issue, based on humility, a "counting the cost" that precedes saving faith.
Efficacious Grace
Grace is perfect. It never fails. It saves and sanctifies. It saves and subjects. It makes new. It changes. Its recipients bear fruit, they persist, they endure, they overcome, they submit and obey. "Efficacious" means "effective; able to produce a desired result".
The Wide Gate and Broad Way
It's possible to say, "Jesus is the Son of God"...or "Jesus is Savior"...or even "Jesus is Lord"...and NOT be saved because a human heart can, after believing these things to be true, STILL not accept/trust Him as personal Lord & Savior - that heart may still say, "Yes, these things are true, but He is not MY Lord & Savior".
Conclusion
Why has the concept of "believing" become "difficult"? - it's because people have perverted the concept of grace! When God presents His Son, He presents all of Him. When He gives His Son, He gives all of Him. This is the fullness of grace. (Jn 1:16-17)
"grace upon grace"
means that God showers believers with grace; saving them implies saving them FROM sin ("If it were possible for sin to be forgiven, and yet for the sinner to live just as he lived before, he would not really be saved." - Spurgeon).
Mental Gymnastics
In order to dismiss the plain words of Jesus Christ, one must concoct a system of theology that multiplies exponentially in complexity as it attempts to make things "fit". The flip side is godliness, "simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2Co 11:3).
Bad Fruit
At the end of every errant theological path is incongruity. At the end of every attempt to make the Gospel "fit" into man's estimation of it, there exists an abyss.
Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior
If you believe that God, by grace, will make you saved, then you must also believe that God, by grace, will make you subordinate to Christ. Therefore, be careful what you believe, for not all believing is the same, or godly!
Believing In the Bible
Just because the word "believe" (or its derivatives) shows up in scripture does not mean all "believing" is the same! To the contrary, scripture contextualizes different beliefs, of which two categories arise: belief in Jesus Christ, or some other belief (unbelief in Him - eg: the facts or His offices only).
Believing Implies Hearing
Mt 13:9 "He who has ears, let him hear." It's impossible to believe something that results in godly faith if you can't first "hear" it!
Not All Believing Is the Same
Nowhere in the Bible, does it state that all believing is godly. In fact, the Bible depicts man's heart as utterly deceitful.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
God gives no one His grace that it may remain inactive and accomplish nothing good, but in order that it may bear interest, and by being publicly known and proved externally, draw every one to God, as Christ says: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

 


9/20/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - Believing - Part 3

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Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
There are some who seem willing to accept Christ as Saviour who will not receive him as Lord. They will not often state the case quite as plainly as that; but, as actions speak more plainly than words, that is what their conduct practically says.
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
How sad it is that some talk about their faith in Christ, yet their faith is not proved by their works! Some even speak as if they understood what we mean by the covenant of grace; yet, alas! there is no good evidence of grace in their lives, but very clear proof of sin (not grace) abounding.
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
I cannot conceive it possible for anyone truly to receive Christ as Saviour and yet not to receive him as Lord. One of the first instincts of a redeemed soul is to fall at the feet of the Saviour, and gratefully and adoringly to cry, "Blessed Master, bought with thy precious blood, I own that I am thine,-thine only, thine wholly, thine for ever. Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
It is not possible for us to accept Christ as our Saviour unless he also becomes our King, for a very large part of salvation consists in our being saved from sin's dominion over us, and:
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
The only way in which we can be delivered from the mastery of Satan is by becoming subject to the mastery of Christ. . . . If it were possible for sin to be forgiven, and yet for the sinner to live just as he lived before, he would not really be saved.
The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith
We will all sin, but the heart of a believer is seen in his repentant attitude, and his overall desire for the things of God. The same apostle Paul who judged the "so-called brother" in 1Cor 5 is the same man who struggled with his own sin in Romans 7. But Paul's genuine faith in the Lord is revealed in his DESIRE to do the things of God, even though he failed at times.
The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith
Sin is not something the true believer can rest in, without his conscience being affected. If he can rest in sin, and even boast in it, it's a sign that he may have the old heart, not a new heart from Christ.
The Wonderful Results of Saving Faith
The salvation of a person is in question if he continually lives in sin without a clash of conscience, see 1Co 5, 1 John, and James. In fact, John said the difference between believer and unbeliever was "obvious" in 1Jo 3.
The "Rock of Offense"
Jesus Christ, "the Rock", is only offensive to those who reject Him. To the rest, He is Lord and Savior. If a believer speaks of Him and others are offended, the believer ought not shrink away, or seek approval some other way, for he does not have the right to misrepresent the sovereign Lord.
A "different gospel"
The flesh's basic tendency is to reject authority. Since the Gospel includes the lordship of Jesus Christ, the flesh will reject Him as Lord but "keep" Him as Savior, since the latter portion is perceived as not requiring basic submission. The result is a "divided Jesus" and therefore a perverted gospel.
Understand God's Grace
• Scriptural Grace: "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Mt 7:14).
• Today's false "grace": the gate is big (many are saved), but the way is narrow (only a few saved will submit to the Lord)
A "different gospel"
Today's "Christian evangelist" tells everyone that God loves them so much that He'll forgo His own integrity and save them without submitting them to Jesus Christ as Lord.
Jesus is Lord
Without repentance, people won't arrive at the faith necessary for salvation. They will just have a half-hearted acceptance of Jesus as Savior, just in case.
The Perverted "grace gospel"
People LOVE an emasculated god because they can, in their sinful natures, DOMINATE him. That is sin's "desire [teshuqa]"..."crouching at the door" (Gen 4:7)! Sin and grace are "enemies". Sinful man cannot accept ALL of God's grace without becoming completely dependent and subordinate to the Lord.
Charles Spurgeon on Grace
A man who is really saved by grace does not need to be told that he is under solemn obligations to serve Christ; the new life within him tells him that. Instead of regarding it as a burden, he gladly surrenders himself-body, soul, and spirit, to the Lord who has redeemed him, reckoning this to be his reasonable service.
Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior
If you believe that God, by grace, will make you saved, then you must also believe that God, by grace, will make you subordinate to Christ. Therefore, be careful what you believe, for not all believing is the same, or godly!
Flawed Interpretation
Word- and phrase-association is NOT a fail-proof method of interpreting scripture. In fact, many have gone astray by assuming words and phrases always mean the same thing, regardless of context.
Not All Believing Is the Same
Nowhere in the Bible, does it state that all believing is godly. In fact, the Bible depicts man's heart as utterly deceitful.
It Matters What You Believe
Jesus stated that those who believed in Him (true "believers") would walk in the Light. (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:6-7)
"judge according to the flesh"
Jesus stated the root of the Pharisees' belief - the flesh. The flesh cannot be godly (1Co 2:14 - "...spiritually appraised...") - in fact, it cannot even appraise its own depravity...it doesn't suppose it's actually depraved, even.
"unless you believe [pisteuo] that I am He"
Jesus made the absolute distinction that "belief" must be in His person ("that I am He"). He wasn't refuting knowledge of scripture, He was explaining the chasm between knowing OF Him and actually KNOWING Him.
Believing In the Bible
Just because the word "believe" (or its derivatives) shows up in scripture does not mean all "believing" is the same! To the contrary, scripture contextualizes different beliefs, of which two categories arise: belief in Jesus Christ, or some other belief (unbelief in Him - eg: the facts or His offices only).
Believing In Real Life
Just like we shouldn't hang on a phrase in the Bible as always meaning the same thing, we shouldn't hang on a person's words equaling salvation in their heart, just because we hear them say a certain phrase, such as "I believe".
Evidence: Freedom Through Persistence
Jesus stated that a true believer in Christ would "continue in [His] word" and be set free!
"do the deeds of Abraham" - Jn 8:39
What the Pharisees didn't comprehend was that Abraham believed in Jesus Christ (the Messiah of the OT - Jn 5:39; 8:56) and therefore He did good deeds, as fruit of God-given faith (Ro 4:3-5).
Mt 13:20-21
"The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
"in a similar way" - Mk 4:16
Jesus implies that this second class of people fall into the same category as the first, namely, unconverted unbelievers (even though, for a time, they "believed for a while", as Luke described it).
The Parable of the Soils
What scripture tells us is that if a person has true faith, as a result of godly belief in Jesus Christ, they will bear evidence of that result (30, 60, 100-fold). (eg: Lk 8:14)
Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior
If you believe that God, by grace, will make you saved, then you must also believe that God, by grace, will make you subordinate to Christ. Therefore, be careful what you believe, for not all believing is the same, or godly!
Regarding Luke 8:15
These people are not playing a religious game, and are not hedging their bets just in case, but they have humbled themselves before Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

 


9/18/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - Believing - Part 2

Video     Audio

Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
Christ Jesus did not come in order that you might continue in sin and escape the penalty of it; he did not come to prevent the disease being mortal, but to take the disease itself away.
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
The only way in which we can be delivered from the mastery of Satan is by becoming subject to the mastery of Christ. . . . If it were possible for sin to be forgiven, and yet for the sinner to live just as he lived before, he would not really be saved.
The "Rock of Offense"
Jesus Christ, "the Rock", is only offensive to those who reject Him. To the rest, He is Lord and Savior. If a believer speaks of Him and others are offended, the believer ought not shrink away, or seek approval some other way, for he does not have the right to misrepresent the sovereign Lord.
Mental Gymnastics
In order to dismiss the plain words of Jesus Christ, one must concoct a system of theology that multiplies exponentially in complexity as it attempts to make things "fit". The flip side is godliness, "simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2Co 11:3).
Bad Fruit
At the end of every errant theological path is incongruity. At the end of every attempt to make the Gospel "fit" into man's estimation of it, there exists an abyss.
A "different gospel"
The flesh's basic tendency is to reject authority. Since the Gospel includes the lordship of Jesus Christ, the flesh will reject Him as Lord but "keep" Him as Savior, since the latter portion is perceived as not requiring basic submission. The result is a "divided Jesus" and therefore a perverted gospel.
An Old, Effective Trick...
Stake a claim to something FIRST and the world, in its laziness, will accept it as authentic. Satan loves to "steal" godly words, such as grace.
Understand God's Grace
• Scriptural Grace: "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Mt 7:14).
• Today's false "grace": the gate is big (many are saved), but the way is narrow (only a few saved will submit to the Lord)
The Perverted "grace gospel"
A false gospel is no different than the sleezeball who tells his girlfriend that he "loves her" so that he can sleep with her! If she "believes" him, she might fall prey to his devices and be defiled.
The Perverted "grace gospel"
People LOVE an emasculated god because they can, in their sinful natures, DOMINATE him. That is sin's "desire [teshuqa]"..."crouching at the door" (Gen 4:7)! Sin and grace are "enemies". Sinful man cannot accept ALL of God's grace without becoming completely dependent and subordinate to the Lord.
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
Such men may talk what they will about justification by faith, and salvation by grace, but they are rebels at heart, they have not on the wedding dress any more than the self-righteous, whom they so eagerly condemn. The fact is, if we wish for the blessings of grace, we must in our hearts submit to the rules of grace without picking and choosing.
Charles Spurgeon on Salvation
A man who is really saved by grace does not need to be told that he is under solemn obligations to serve Christ; the new life within him tells him that. Instead of regarding it as a burden, he gladly surrenders himself-body, soul, and spirit, to the Lord who has redeemed him, reckoning this to be his reasonable service.
Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior
If you believe that God, by grace, will make you saved, then you must also believe that God, by grace, will make you subordinate to Christ. Therefore, be careful what you believe, for not all believing is the same, or godly!
"The human heart has so many recesses for vanity, so many lurking places for falsehood, is so shrouded by fraud and hypocrisy, that it often deceives itself."
- John Calvin on human beliefs as relating to true saving faith
"believe"
from pisteuo - believe, have faith in, trust in; pass: I am entrusted with; in context, everyone believes something and everyone has faith in something (whether it's godly is another issue altogether!)
Flawed Interpretation
Word- and phrase-association is NOT a fail-proof method of interpreting scripture. In fact, many have gone astray by assuming words and phrases always mean the same thing, regardless of context.
Not All Believing Is the Same
Nowhere in the Bible, does it state that all believing is godly. In fact, the Bible depicts man's heart as utterly deceitful.
It Matters What You Believe
Jesus stated that those who believed in Him (true "believers") would walk in the Light. (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:6-7)
"judge according to the flesh"
Jesus stated the root of the Pharisees' belief - the flesh. The flesh cannot be godly (1Co 2:14 - "...spiritually appraised...") - in fact, it cannot even appraise its own depravity...it doesn't suppose it's actually depraved, even.
The Pharisees' Belief
The Pharisees certainly believed in something, and it was based on the same word (the same Law) that Jesus based His personal belief on. While the vehicle for true faith, the Word, was the same, not all were "on the train" towards salvation.
"unless you believe [pisteuo] that I am He"
Jesus made the absolute distinction that "belief" must be in His person ("that I am He"). He wasn't refuting knowledge of scripture, He was explaining the chasm between knowing OF Him and actually KNOWING Him.
Believing In the Bible
Just because the word "believe" (or its derivatives) shows up in scripture does not mean all "believing" is the same! To the contrary, scripture contextualizes different beliefs, of which two categories arise: belief in Jesus Christ, or some other belief (unbelief in Him - eg: the facts or His offices only).
Flawed Interpretation
Word- and phrase-association is NOT a fail-proof method of interpreting scripture. In fact, many have gone astray by assuming words and phrases always mean the same thing, regardless of context.
Jn 8:30 ff
The greater context of Jesus Christ's own thoughts about the heart of man regarding his ability to believe (Jn 2:23-24) implies that we must press on in this passage for additional, qualifying/clarifying context!
Evidence: Freedom Through Persistence
Jesus stated that a true believer in Christ would "continue in [His] word" and be set free!
"do the deeds of Abraham" - Jn 8:39
What the Pharisees didn't comprehend was that Abraham believed in Jesus Christ (the Messiah of the OT - Jn 5:39; 8:56) and therefore He did good deeds, as fruit of God-given faith (Ro 4:3-5).
Believing Implies Hearing
Mt 13:9 "He who has ears, let him hear." It's impossible to believe something that results in godly faith if you can't first "hear" it!
Not All Believing Is the Same
Nowhere in the Bible, does it state that all believing is godly. In fact, the Bible depicts man's heart as utterly deceitful.
Mt 13:20-21
"The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
"in a similar way" - Mk 4:16
Jesus implies that this second class of people fall into the same category as the first, namely, unconverted unbelievers (even though, for a time, they "believed for a while", as Luke described it).
The Parable of the Soils
What scripture tells us is that if a person has true faith, as a result of godly belief in Jesus Christ, they will bear evidence of that result (30, 60, 100-fold). (eg: Lk 8:14)
Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior
If you believe that God, by grace, will make you saved, then you must also believe that God, by grace, will make you subordinate to Christ. Therefore, be careful what you believe, for not all believing is the same, or godly!
Believing Implies Hearing
Mt 13:9 "He who has ears, let him hear." It's impossible to believe something that results in godly faith if you can't first "hear" it!
Mt 13:23
"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
Mk 4:20
"And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
True faith, of which we speak, cannot be manufactured by our own thoughts, for it is solely a work of God in us, without any assistance on our part.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Whoever has not this faith talks but vainly about faith and works, and does not himself know what he says or whither it tends. He has not received it. He juggles with lies and applies the Scriptures where they speak of faith and works to his own dreams and false thoughts, which is purely a human work, whereas the Scriptures attribute both faith and good works not to ourselves, but to God alone.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Is not this a perverted and blind people? They teach we cannot do a good deed of ourselves, and then in their presumption go to work and arrogate to themselves the highest of all the works of God, namely faith, to manufacture it themselves out of their own perverted thoughts.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
God gives no one His grace that it may remain inactive and accomplish nothing good, but in order that it may bear interest, and by being publicly known and proved externally, draw every one to God, as Christ says: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
This is what James means when he says in his Epistle: "Faith without works is dead" (2:26). That is, as the works do not follow, it is a sure sign that there is no faith there; but only an empty thought and dream, which they falsely call faith.

9/15/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - Believing

Video     Audio

"The human heart has so many recesses for vanity, so many lurking places for falsehood, is so shrouded by fraud and hypocrisy, that it often deceives itself."
- John Calvin on human beliefs as relating to true saving faith
"believe"
from pisteuo - believe, have faith in, trust in; pass: I am entrusted with; in context, everyone believes something and everyone has faith in something (whether it's godly is another issue altogether!)
Not All Believing Is the Same
Nowhere in the Bible, does it state that all believing is godly. In fact, the Bible depicts man's heart as utterly deceitful.
Jer 17:9
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
It Matters What You Believe
Jesus stated that those who believed in Him (true "believers") would walk in the Light. (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:6-7)
"judge according to the flesh"
Jesus stated the root of the Pharisees' belief - the flesh. The flesh cannot be godly (1Co 2:14 - "...spiritually appraised...") - in fact, it cannot even appraise its own depravity...it doesn't suppose it's actually depraved, even.
Jn 5:39
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me."
The Pharisees' Belief
The Pharisees certainly believed in something, and it was based on the same word (the same Law) that Jesus based His personal belief on. While the vehicle for true faith, the Word, was the same, not all were "on the train" towards salvation.
"unless you believe [pisteuo] that I am He"
Jesus made the absolute distinction that "belief" must be in His person ("that I am He"). He wasn't refuting knowledge of scripture, He was explaining the chasm between knowing OF Him and actually KNOWING Him.
Believing In the Bible
Just because the word "believe" (or its derivatives) shows up in scripture does not mean all "believing" is the same! To the contrary, scripture contextualizes different beliefs, of which two categories arise: belief in Jesus Christ, or some other belief (unbelief in Him - eg: the facts or His offices only).
The Value of Context
Without the Gospel context, the rest of scripture becomes "difficult" to understand, often confusing, and as a result, frustrating. Satan loves it when a "well-intentioned" believer puts their Bible aside in frustration!
Jn 8:30 ff
The greater context of Jesus Christ's own thoughts about the heart of man regarding his ability to believe (Jn 2:23-24) implies that we must press on in this passage for additional, qualifying/clarifying context!
Evidence: Freedom Through Persistence
Jesus stated that a true believer in Christ would "continue in [His] word" and be set free!
"do the deeds of Abraham" - Jn 8:39
What the Pharisees didn't comprehend was that Abraham believed in Jesus Christ (the Messiah of the OT - Jn 5:39; 8:56) and therefore He did good deeds, as fruit of God-given faith (Ro 4:3-5).
Believing Implies Hearing
Mt 13:9 "He who has ears, let him hear." It's impossible to believe something that results in godly faith if you can't first "hear" it!
"do the deeds of Abraham" - Jn 8:39
What the Pharisees didn't comprehend was that Abraham believed in Jesus Christ (the Messiah of the OT - Jn 5:39; 8:56) and therefore He did good deeds, as fruit of God-given faith (Ro 4:3-5).
Not All Believing Is the Same
Nowhere in the Bible, does it state that all believing is godly. In fact, the Bible depicts man's heart as utterly deceitful.
Jn 2:23-24
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed [pisteuo] in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men.
Mt 13:20-21
"The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
"in a similar way" - Mk 4:16
Jesus implies that this second class of people fall into the same category as the first, namely, unconverted unbelievers (even though, for a time, they "believed for a while", as Luke described it).
"do the deeds of Abraham" - Jn 8:39
What the Pharisees didn't comprehend was that Abraham believed in Jesus Christ (the Messiah of the OT - Jn 5:39; 8:56) and therefore He did good deeds, as fruit of God-given faith (Ro 4:3-5).

 


9/11/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - The Gospel Context - Part 2

Video     Audio

"ready to make a defense"
Students eventually become teachers (ala Heb 5:11-14). Teachers are able to clarify topics of discussion by wiping away irrelevant or false preconceptions, supplanting them with the truth. One must be able to first identify false ideas before they are able to dispel them for their students!
"the ends justifies the means"
NEVER in the Bible is this method considered godly. In fact, the Word of God tells us that it is better to suffer for what is right than to do something wrong! (eg. 1Pe 2:20; 3:17; 4:19)
Ro 9:20 [Message]
Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn't talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, "Why did you shape me like this?"
What is life?
Answer: Jn 1:4
The Gospel Context
The Gospel context must be tied to the Person of Jesus Christ. If a person ties it to something artificial, like hyper-dispensationalism, they have lost their context!
Jesus Seeks and Saves
Jesus' purpose in life, His calling, as an obedient servant of His Father in Heaven, was/is to seek and to save that which is lost! The "good news" (Gospel) is that He came to do this! His ministry, His words, His actions were dominated by this simple calling. This is the Gospel context.
The Value of Context
Without the Gospel context, the rest of scripture becomes "difficult" to understand, often confusing, and as a result, frustrating. Satan loves it when a "well-intentioned" believer puts their Bible aside in frustration!
The Gospel Context
The Bible speaks about two types of people, unbelievers and believers. The Gospel is always presented in this context because it concerns the salvation of man (eg. Mt 7:13-29). The only time Gospel passages become "difficult" is when people make further divisions (eg. from errant context).
"fishers of men" - Mt 4:19
This phrase is consistent with the context of Jesus' own ministry. "Fishing" implies catching. Maturing may come later, as experiential sanctification does, but the goal is to "catch" (seek and save).
Continuing Christ's Work
The Great Commission is a continuation of Jesus Christ's ministry, which was to "seek and to save the lost" (Lk 19:10). The Bible equips us to do this by teaching us, often through examples, what it means to reaffirm and defend the Gospel (ala Paul, Peter, John in their epistles).
Life's Context
Our great charter in life is to seek and to save...for that is Jesus' legacy...that was His own context, His Gospel context. He has handed the mantle over to generations of believers.
What is life?
Answer: Jn 1:4
Heb 11:1-2
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.
"from faith to faith"
The beginning and the end is faith. We live by faith in the Person of the Gospel. That is our life's context. That is our salvation and our sanctification.
Life's Context
Our great charter in life is to seek and to save...for that is Jesus' legacy...that was His own context, His Gospel context. He has handed the mantle over to generations of believers.
Jesus' Life Context
The context of Jesus' life, and therefore the Gospel context, was dictated by the history and the audience of the Jews. The Jews had gone astray and needed to repent from "salvation by works" to "salvation by grace, through Christ". This conflict dominated His ministry.
Our Life's Context
We must evangelize the same way that Jesus did, "repent and believe in the gospel" (Mk 1:15). We must evangelize in context. We mustn't ever take Biblical passages out of context in order to relieve the pressure of spreading the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The result of taking Biblical things out of context is a fall from holiness.
The Gospel has context.

 


9/8/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - The Gospel Context

Video     Audio

"the ends justifies the means"
NEVER in the Bible is this method considered godly. In fact, the Word of God tells us that it is better to suffer for what is right than to do something wrong! (eg. 1Pe 2:20; 3:17; 4:19)
Taking Things Out of Context
It's really easy, and often advantageous to the flesh, to take things out of context, to debate with God about His will for us. The pattern for doing so is clear - it's the same that Satan and the woman in the Garden followed. The result is a fall from holiness.
The result of taking Biblical things out of context is a fall from holiness.
The Gospel has context.
The Gospel Context (Mt 28:18-20)
• From: Jesus, "with all authority"
• To: "all the nations" (both Jews and Gentiles)
• What: "all that I commanded you" (when He was with them, aka the content of the 4 Gospels)
The Gospel Context (Mt 28:18-20)
If Jesus' words (eg. those found in the 4 Gospels) were supposedly ONLY for the Jews in the so-called Age of Israel, then why did He send the apostles (Jews) out to "all the nations" (including the Gentiles) with the ONLY Gospel they knew (the one He taught them, as described in the 4 Gospels)???
The Gospel Context
We're talking about the same Gospel because we're talking about the same PERSON!!! Jesus is Jesus. The Savior is the Savior. There's only one Person in view, therefore there's only one Gospel! (this is what Paul was fighting against in 2Co 11:4).
The Gospel Context
Before His Cross, believers trusted God that He'd send their Messiah/Savior. After His Cross, believers trust God that He's sent their Messiah/Savior. There's only one Jesus. One Person means one Gospel. Christ is not divided, nor is His Gospel.
The Gospel Context (Mk)
• Historically: Jesus preached His Gospel in His lifetime, as did His Jewish apostles/disciples
• Audience: Jesus preached the same Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, as did His Jewish apostles/disciples
• Presentation: Jesus used different language/idioms/etc. to relate His Gospel to different people, but the underlying content was always the same
Ro 1:9
For God, whom I [Paul] serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son [same Gospel as in Mk 1:1], is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,
The Gospel Context (Mk)
• Historically: Jesus preached His Gospel in His lifetime, as did His Jewish apostles/disciples
• Audience: Jesus preached the same Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, as did His Jewish apostles/disciples
• Presentation: Jesus used different language/idioms/etc. to related His Gospel to different people, but the underlying content was always the same
The Gospel Context
The Gospel context must be tied to the Person of Jesus Christ. If a person ties it to something artificial, like hyper-dispensationalism, they have lost their context!
The result of taking Biblical things out of context is a fall from holiness.
The Gospel has context.
The Gospel Context
The Bible speaks about two types of people, unbelievers and believers. The Gospel is always presented in this context because it concerns the salvation of man (eg. Mt 7:13-29). The only time Gospel passages become "difficult" is when people make further divisions (eg. from errant context).
The Gospel Context (Mt 28:18-20)
• From: Jesus, "with all authority"
• To: "all the nations" (both Jews and Gentiles)
• What: "all that I commanded you" (when He was with them, aka the content of the 4 Gospels)
Taking Things Out of Context
It's really easy, and often advantageous to the flesh, to take things out of context, to debate with God about His will for us. The pattern for doing so is clear - it's the same that Satan and the woman in the Garden followed. The result is a fall from holiness.
The Gospel Context
The Gospel context must be tied to the Person of Jesus Christ. If a person ties it to something artificial, like hyper-dispensationalism, they have lost their context!
The Gospel Context (Mt 28:18-20)
If Jesus' words (eg. those found in the 4 Gospels) were supposedly ONLY for the Jews in the so-called Age of Israel, then why did He send the apostles (Jews) out to "all the nations" (including the Gentiles) with the ONLY Gospel they knew (the one He taught them, as described in the 4 Gospels)???
The Gospel Context
We're talking about the same Gospel because we're talking about the same PERSON!!! Jesus is Jesus. The Savior is the Savior. There's only one Person in view, therefore there's only one Gospel! (this is what Paul was fighting against in 2Co 11:4).
The Gospel Context
Before His Cross, believers trusted God that He'd send their Messiah/Savior. After His Cross, believers trust God that He's sent their Messiah/Savior. There's only one Jesus. One Person means one Gospel. Christ is not divided, nor is His Gospel.
The Gospel Context (Mk)
• Historically: Jesus preached His Gospel in His lifetime, as did His Jewish apostles/disciples
• Audience: Jesus preached the same Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, as did His Jewish apostles/disciples
• Presentation: Jesus used different language/idioms/etc. to related His Gospel to different people, but the underlying content was always the same
The Gospel Context
The Bible speaks about two types of people, unbelievers and believers. The Gospel is always presented in this context because it concerns the salvation of man (eg. Mt 7:13-29). The only time Gospel passages become "difficult" is when people make further divisions (eg. from errant context).
The result of taking Biblical things out of context is a fall from holiness.
The Gospel has context.

 


9/6/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - The Gospels - Part 2

Video     Audio

"known by Him"
in context in 1Co 8:3, refers to a special favor or approval of God; is reminiscent of Jesus' words in Mt 7:22a, 23a "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord...And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME."
"known by Him"
Love is the great evidence that we know God and that God knows us.
Holy Intimacy
God is love. There's nothing more intimate and eternal than God's love. We are able to experience His love supernaturally (1Jn 4:7-11).
Holy Intimacy
Love is the great evidence that we know God and God knows us. And the evidence that we love God is that we keep His commands, and love the brethren.
The Word of Christ
Can you imagine embarking on a quest for faith, a faith that comes from hearing the word of Christ (Ro 10:17), without first consulting the actual words of Christ, Himself?
Different forms of religion have crept into our lives over the years that spoil the pure desire to learn from Christ and follow Him.
Mt 28:19-20
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
John 5:24
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
"Difficulty" With the Gospels
The only reason the Gospels (those books that contain Jesus' words) are "difficult" is because man has selective hearing. Arguably the greatest attack on the Gospels from within so-called "Christianity" has been from hyper-dispensationalism.
2 Tim 2:15 KJV
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The Printing Press & Systematic Theology
The sharp rise in the science of theology, based on the sharing of ideas between notable theologians is directly related to the printing press. This allowed theologians to build doctrines upon doctrines.
"Mishnah" acc. to Wikipedia
The term "Mishnah" originally referred to a method of teaching by presenting topics in a systematic order, as contrasted with Midrash, which meant teaching by following the order of the Bible. The Mishnah as a written compilation accordingly orders its content by subject matter, instead of by biblical context as the Midrashim do.
Dispensationalism
"As a system, dispensationalism is rooted in Scripture and expounded in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) and the Plymouth Brethren movement."
Systematic Theology
This type of Bible teaching has been "progressing" for centuries, becoming particularly popular in the last 100-200 years. Of particular noteworthiness is the extensive work of Lewis Sperry Chafer in his "Systematic Theology" (pub. 1947), whose spiritual heritage links through C.I. Scofield back to Darby.
Systematic Theology
When we get carried away with systematic theology, we literally get carried away from the beauty of scripture as its found in context. If we don't hold on tightly to keeping scripture in context, we will lose our way, as man has done throughout human history.
The real danger is that contemporary "Christian" developments, and men building doctrines upon doctrines upon doctrines instead of continuing to just read their Bibles in context, may have separated people from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor John MacArthur
"Dispensationalism is a system of biblical interpretation that sees a distinction between God's program for Israel and His dealings with the church. It's really as simple as that."
Why the Confusion?
Is it possible that because you had bought a lie that the Gospels and the words of Jesus were not "for your dispensation", in full or in part, that this could be the major culprit in your confusion???
Why the Confusion?
God is not interested in confusing His own children, especially regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Satan is (1Co 14:33, 2Co 11:3)
"the gospel of Jesus Christ"
from evaggelion Iesous Christos - refers to the good news about Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God (Mk 1:1 cp Ro 1:9)
Simplicity and Purity of Christ
To both Mark (wrote his Gospel in 50s AD) and Paul (wrote Ro ~56AD), and ANY/ALL writers of the NT, there wasn't some artificially "dispensationalized" viewpoint about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! There has always ONLY been one Gospel!
Why the Confusion???
If the Gospel was never confusing to the writers of the NT, why in the world would it be confusing to us now? The answer is easy: the "doctrines of demons" (1Ti 4:1)! To interrupt the continuity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to violate the whole Bible (ref: 1Co 10:1-4)!
"the same spiritual drink"
OT saints were not made alive by "another gospel" from "another spirit"; it's always been the good news of Jesus Christ!
2Co 11:4
Paul was afraid that the doctrines of demons would successfully "split" the simplicity, purity, and unity of the one true Gospel. To Paul, there was always just a single Gospel.
Selective Hearing
Why would we ever choose to listen to some of Jesus' words, but not all? (Ro 10:17) Context is indeed key; however, man has manufactured unholy contexts in order to "write off" the words of our very Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as desired.
Listen To the Spirit
Since the Holy Spirit is also called the "Spirit of Christ" (Ro 8:9), and this same Spirit "inspired" the Word of God (1Co 2:12-13, 2Ti 3:16), we know that the whole Bible reflects the "word of Christ" (Ro 10:17).
The more we get in the way, the more work we make for ourselves, and the more we get away from doing God's work of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Eph 2:10

 


9/4/16 - The "Difficult" Passages - The Gospels

Video     Audio

#7 - E. W. Bullinger
"[Seven is] the great number of spiritual perfection. A number which, therefore, occupies so large a place in the works, and especially in the Word of God as being inspired by the Holy Spirit."
Our Beloved Deliverance
EBC (Eusebeia Bible Church), FICM (Freedom In Christ Ministries), and NCC (North Christian Church) combine to complete a 7 year and 7 month journey. That's how long it took to deliver this congregation unto the completed Gospel message!!!
Taking a Deep Breath
We're at one of those moments in time, after a REALLY long, hard-fought battle...when it's all over, the warrior doesn't always know how to live OFF of the battlefield!
Luke 11:9-10
"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." - Jesus
1Co 10:12
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
A Shepherd's Adoration
I love you. All of you. I have fought hard for you, by grace, in humility. I have watched you delivered unto the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and nothing is sweeter for a shepherd, like me.
May we never depart from the supreme intimacy of the Gospel. (eg. Jn 15)
"known by Him"
in context in 1Co 8:3, refers to a special favor or approval of God; is reminiscent of Jesus' words in Mt 7:22a, 23a "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord...And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME."
Holy Intimacy
God is love. There's nothing more intimate and eternal than God's love. We are able to experience His love supernaturally (1Jn 4:7-11).
Holy Intimacy
Jesus never had sex. Paul, as far as we know, after his conversion, never had sex. Neither were deprived of the greatest love and intimacy. In fact, one might argue they were spared the "distraction" of having sex (not that the temptation wasn't present).
Seven Years and Seven Months
My beloved, you have been delivered up to the Gospel. You know it now. You've seen the scripture. You understand it. Now go live it!
The Word of Christ
Can you imagine embarking on a quest for faith, a faith that comes from hearing the word of Christ (Ro 10:17), without first consulting the actual words of Christ, Himself?
Luke 11:9-10
"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." - Jesus
Mt 28:19-20
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
John 5:24
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
"Difficulty" With the Gospels
The only reason the Gospels (those books that contain Jesus' words) are "difficult" is because man has selective hearing. Arguably the greatest attack on the Gospels from within so-called "Christianity" has been from hyper-dispensationalism.
The Printing Press & Systematic Theology
The sharp rise in the science of theology, based on the sharing of ideas between notable theologians is directly related to the printing press. This allowed theologians to build doctrines upon doctrines.
Dispensationalism
"As a system, dispensationalism is rooted in Scripture and expounded in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) and the Plymouth Brethren movement."
Systematic Theology
This type of Bible teaching has been "progressing" for centuries, becoming particularly popular in the last 100-200 years. Of particular noteworthiness is the extensive work of Lewis Sperry Chafer in his "Systematic Theology" (pub. 1947), whose spiritual heritage links through C.I. Scofield back to Darby.
Why the Confusion?
God is not interested in confusing His own children, especially regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Satan is (1Co 14:33, 2Co 11:3)
"the gospel of Jesus Christ"
from evaggelion Iesous Christos - refers to the good news about Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God (Mk 1:1 cp Ro 1:9)
Simplicity and Purity of Christ
To both Mark (wrote his Gospel in 50s AD) and Paul (wrote Ro ~56AD), and ANY/ALL writers of the NT, there wasn't some artificially "dispensationalized" viewpoint about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! There has always ONLY been one Gospel!
Why the Confusion???
If the Gospel was never confusing to the writers of the NT, why in the world would it be confusing to us now? The answer is easy: the "doctrines of demons" (1Ti 4:1)! To interrupt the continuity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to violate the whole Bible (ref: 1Co 10:1-4)!
"the same spiritual drink"
OT saints were not made alive by "another gospel" from "another spirit"; it's always been the good news of Jesus Christ!
2Co 11:4
Paul was afraid that the doctrines of demons would successfully "split" the simplicity, purity, and unity of the one true Gospel. To Paul, there was always just a single Gospel.
Selective Hearing
Why would we ever choose to listen to some of Jesus' words, but not all? (Ro 10:17) Context is indeed key; however, man has manufactured unholy contexts in order to "write off" the words of our very Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as desired.
Listen To the Spirit
Since the Holy Spirit is also called the "Spirit of Christ" (Ro 8:9), and this same Spirit "inspired" the Word of God (1Co 2:12-13, 2Ti 3:16), we know that the whole Bible reflects the "word of Christ" (Ro 10:17).
The Word of Christ
Can you imagine embarking on a quest for faith, a faith that comes from hearing the word of Christ (Ro 10:17), without first consulting the actual words of Christ, Himself?
Why the Confusion???
If the Gospel was never confusing to the writers of the NT, why in the world would it be confusing to us now? The answer is easy: the "doctrines of demons" (1Ti 4:1)! To interrupt the continuity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to violate the whole Bible (ref: 1Co 10:1-4)!
Selective Hearing
Why would we ever choose to listen to some of Jesus' words, but not all? (Ro 10:17) Context is indeed key; however, man has manufactured unholy contexts in order to "write off" the words of our very Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as desired.
Communion

 


9/1/16 - Seven Years and Seven Months

Video     Audio

#7 - E. W. Bullinger
"[Seven is] the great number of spiritual perfection. A number which, therefore, occupies so large a place in the works, and especially in the Word of God as being inspired by the Holy Spirit."
Our Beloved Deliverance
EBC (Eusebeia Bible Church), FICM (Freedom In Christ Ministries), and NCC (North Christian Church) combine to complete a 7 year and 7 month journey. That's how long it took to deliver this congregation unto the completed Gospel message!!!
Taking a Deep Breath
We're at one of those moments in time, after a REALLY long, hard-fought battle...when it's all over, the warrior doesn't always know how to live OFF of the battlefield!
A Shepherd's Adoration
I love you. All of you. I have fought hard for you, by grace, in humility. I have watched you delivered unto the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and nothing is sweeter for a shepherd, like me.
May we never depart from the supreme intimacy of the Gospel. (eg. Jn 15)
Holy Intimacy
God is love. There's nothing more intimate and eternal than God's love. We are able to experience His love supernaturally (1Jn 4:7-11).
Holy Intimacy
Jesus never had sex. Paul, as far as we know, after his conversion, never had sex. Neither were deprived of the greatest love and intimacy. In fact, one might argue they were spared the "distraction" of having sex (not that the temptation wasn't present).
Regarding the Great Commission
"Finish the sentence!" Don't just go out and "win souls" (that's a great endeavor, of course), but continue with Jesus' guidance. Encourage new converts to seek a place of learning (eg. NCC or the like).
Teaching and Teachers
Jesus commanded the Great Commission. He also gave the "Helper", the Holy Spirit, to teach us. The Holy Spirit inspired the Word of God and the spiritual gifts to teach us by (eg. pastors and teachers).
Vested Interest
Each person evangelized must be considered a potential for personal assignment. A new convert is just about the best investment opportunity you'll ever be given! The greatest investments we can ever make are in our relationships with others.
The Familiarity Phenomenon
There have been many lessons given on the Gospel over this past year, incredibly timely and well-placed. Yet, sometimes it takes another man, an unknown one, to grab my own sheep's attention!
Gal 6:10
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
"especially"
from malista (from mala, "very much") - very much the case; particularly so; especially (mostly) so; exceedingly
Gal 6:10
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
"especially"
from malista (from mala, "very much") - very much the case; particularly so; especially (mostly) so; exceedingly
Who To Honor?
We believers need to change our perspective. We, especially in America, have been trained by the world to honor the beautiful and the rich. WE'VE BEEN WRONG! (1 Co 12:20-26)
Who To Honor?
I'm tired of "apologizing" for the stark words found in the Bible...especially those made by Jesus that seem to "offend" our contemporary "sensibilities"!!! By not defending my Lord's honor in every possible way, what am I saying to the world???
Isa 55:8
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD."
Seven Years and Seven Months
My beloved, you have been delivered up to the Gospel. You know it now. You've seen the scripture. You understand it. Now go live it!

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