The Heart of Man

5 Peter answered Him, “Explain to us this parable.” 16 And He said, “Are you also still without understanding?” 17 “Do you not know that everything which enters into the mouth passes into the stomach and passes into a latrine?” 18 “But the things which come from the mouth come out from the heart, and that defiles the man.” Matthew 15:15-20 (translated from the NA28 Greek text) (Read verses 19-20 on the site)

In this post we are going to focus on one Greek word that was one of the words in yesterday’s post, It is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, that describes one of the sinful acts that have sprung from Satan’s counterfeit love. That word is πορνεία (porneia). Here is the definition for yesterday’s post: Continue reading

It is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience

5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience Colossians 3:5-6 (NASB)

In Ephesians 5:1-2 the Apostle Paul gave us exhortation to line up our lives with God’s standard of self-sacrificial love that mimics His own for His beloved Children.

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)  Continue reading

Power In Prayer

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 1 John 3:21-22

Part of the reason so many are finding Christianity to be boring is because they are not experiencing the kind of Christian living described in this passage. They have not entered into this kind of relationship, where each day they experience the glorious adventure of seeing a living God at work, answering prayer, and giving to them things that they ask. But in this passage we have a beautiful picture of the normal life of a Christian…. Continue reading

Christian maturity and discernment

12 Not that I have already obtained  or have already been perfected, but I press on that, if indeed, I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Discernment is not a dirty word. I saw read a statement by friend the other day which stated that if a Christian leader demands to be shielded from those with discernment then that is a sure sign that he (or she) has some sort of theology problem or worse and that very thing calls for those with discernment to take an even closer look at that person’s ministry. When I read that I thought immediately of Paul’s preaching in Berea in which the Jews there closely examined the teaching of Paul comparing it with the Word of God to make sure that what he was teaching was the truth…. Continue reading

Why Do Christians Worship on Sunday?

From creation onward, the people of God worshiped on the seventh day of the week. This was a “creation ordinance” that the Creator Himself established by His example, with the intent that His creatures would follow it. He worked six days and called His image-bearers to work (Gen. 2:15); He rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2Ex. 20:1131:17) and called His image-bearers to rest. He signified this with His benediction, setting apart the seventh day as “holy” (Gen. 2:3).

Later, when the Sabbath command was reiterated, we read: “In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed” (Ex. 31:17)…. Continue reading

Do you really know my Lord?

6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NASB) 

Isaiah 9:6 is part of a magnificent prophecy given to the prophet Isaiah about 800 years prior to the advent of our Lord being born of a virgin according to the will of God the Father in order to fulfill his eternal will and plan of redemption of his people. Of course there are those who scoff at this prophecy being about the Messiah or that the Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that prophecy. However, those who make those assertions, even if they call themselves Christians, are not of us and never have been of us (1 John 2:19)…. Continue reading

If we confess our sins

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, that he may forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

When the focus of “Christianity” is moved from being God-focused to Man-focused confusion is the ultimate consequence. We see this with so-called Christian leaders like N.T. Wright who is nothing more than an intellectual “Christian” liberal who is attempting to redefine the Gospel or “Good News” along the lines of those who follow Jesus asserting Christ’s kingdom here on earth…. Continue reading

El-Shaddai and His people

1 Now when Abram was ninety- nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. 2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1-2 NASB)

In these last days it is imperative that God’s people have a more complete knowledge of God. So, in light of this, let us look at one of the names of God that speaks much about His power and provision. God keeps His part of the covenants He makes and it is this name, El-Shaddai, that God used for Himself that gives us much comfort as we come to understand that He helps and blesses His people…. Continue reading

Pragmatism is deadly to New Testament Christianity

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV) (Read verses 3-5 on the site)

The proponents of the seeker-sensitive church growth model may very well have had good intentions when through it was spawned the rise of contemporary mega-churches such as Willow Creek and Saddleback Valley Baptist and their clones. The focus was outreach to the unchurched. While that appears to be a proper function of the New Testament Church one of the model’s fundamental components is actually an antithesis of the clear instruction to Church leaders found in God’s Word. That component is pragmatism. Continue reading

Give attention to

Until I come give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13 (translated from the NA28 Greek Text)

This ministry began as a polemic response to the preaching and ministry downgrade that was taking place in the visible church during the early years of the attempted Purpose Driven takeover of the evangelical churches throughout the United States and in other parts of the world. There were other things going at that time as well such as the rise of the Emergent Village, and other forms of “Christian Liberalism” such as the ministry of Rob Bell. Continue reading

No pardon, no salvation!

4 “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. 5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.” 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:4-8 (NASB) (Read verses 7-8 on the site)

For quite some time now we have been looking long and hard at the narrowness of the Gospel and how it it is not editable. It is not open to change. No matter how much a person wants it to be otherwise, it is unchangeable. It is God’s Good News to fallen man…. Continue reading

The hidden hand of God

Good stories don’t just entertain; they also teach. The biblical book of Ruth is a great story, so while it is captivating on a narrative level, it’s also deeply instructive. One of the main lessons the book of Ruth teaches is that, despite appearances often to the contrary, God cares for us and is in control of all things.

The theological word that describes God’s care for all things is “providence.” Providence means that the hidden hand of God is always at work in the ordinary affairs of day-to-day life. Ruth is not a theological treatise reflecting on the doctrine of providence in the form of propositions….. Continue reading

Sanctity of Life

Passages to instruct us as we reach out, pray, vote and respond. Take time this week to pray for our nation’s leaders that their hearts would be turned to govern in the light and clarity of Holy Scripture.

God is the Creator of Life

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Job 33:4 – The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. God creates and fashions life within the womb.

Job 31:15 – Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?…. Continue reading

God’s providence and His inheritance

11 In whom also we were made an inheritance, having been predestined according to the plan of the one working all things according to the counsel of His will,12 for us to be to the praise of His glory, the ones having previously hoped in Christ. Ephesians 1:11-12 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Most modern Bible translations undoubtedly render v11 a bit differently than I did above. The words “we were made an inheritance” translates one verb, ἐκληρώθημεν, which is the Aorist tense, Indicative mood, Passive voice of κληρόω (klēroō), “obtain an inheritance.…. Continue reading

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!

14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! Romans 9:14 (NASB)

The natural mind, plagued with selective rationalization, demands that God be fair in His dealings with all humankind. Fairness speaks of justice. One of the tenets of our republican form of government in the USA is a right to a fair and speedy trial before one’s peers. A person on trial for a crime may or may not truly want justice. They may be guilty so their desire is not justice, but grace. If a judge in a criminal trial declares a defendant guilty, but then defers sentencing in lieu of probation or “time served” then he has extended grace to the guilty party. Continue reading

The gospel that is believed and saves

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing. 2 Timothy 1:8-12 (NASB) (Read verses 11-12 on the site)

The churchianity that most of us  grew up with is confused with genuine Christianity by many people. It is actually a set of beliefs or values  laid out in our minds’ decision grid. It becomes a value system in the heart that reckons salvation to be based on religious acts such as saying a certain prayer in a certain order while holding to a certain frame of mind…. Continue reading

We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren just as our Lord laid His life down for us

16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16 (NASB) 

What differentiates a genuine Christian from one whose religion is only skin-deep? Jesus said that He knows those who are His. He calls them His sheep who hear His voice and follow Him. (John 10:27) He also called them His disciples. He gave us the requirements for being His disciple in Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23 where he said that if anyone desires to follow Him they must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him. If we combine these two views then we learn that our Lord’s sheep, His disciples, are those who hear His voice, deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him. This is telling us that genuine Christians are those who humble themselves before their Lord, die to self, submit to His Lordship, obey Him, and emulate Him as He leads. Continue reading

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him

41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:41-44 (NASB) 

One of the aspects of our Christian faith that we lose sight of sometimes, and it gets us in trouble when we do, is how vital it is that we remain totally amazed that we ever got saved at all. We make a huge error when we forget this because that path leads to self-righteousness, self-absorption, and an ungrateful heart towards God. Even though we may not be fully aware that we are in that place of self-focus, we cannot be Spirit-led when we are full of self. Continue reading

False Prophets Do Not Preach Repentance

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3

The preaching and teaching of a false prophet does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way leading to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need not be aware of the blackness of your own heart.

You just “decide for Christ” and you rush in with the crowd, and your name is put down, and is one of the large number of ‘decisions’ reported by the press…. Continue reading

The superiority of Christ, the cost of discipleship, and the genuine Gospel

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1:1-4 (NASB)  (Read verses 3-4 on the site)

The Church in the early part of the 21st Century is very sick. This sickness has not happened all at once. Instead, it is the result of centuries of compromise after compromise on the part of Christian leaders and their followers to adapt the Gospel and the Church doctrines to conform to what men want. As a result, the Church has lost its savor. It is no longer salty. The countries in Europe where the Reformers restored the Gospel at the cost of untold numbers of martyrs would not now be considered Christian at all. Continue reading

John 1:1 and the Holy Trinity

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God , and God was the Word. John 1:1 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Carefully examine the four Greek examples I placed at the top of this post. The first one is from the Textus Receptus, which is the Greek behind the KJV. The next two are from the middle of the 19th century with Tichendorf’s New Testament predating Wescott and Hort’s by about 9 years or so. The last example is of the Nestle-Aland 28th Edition, which is what I use here. I pray that you noticed that there is no differences in the text other than the NA28 used a capital eplison at the beginning of the verse and the rest did not. Continue reading

Love of the world

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)

One of the markers of Christian genuineness is separation from the World. This isn’t a physical removal from planet Earth or a disintegration of the body of a Christian…. Continue reading

The Person Who Denies Sin

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 

The word confess does not mean to ask for forgiveness. Christ’s work for us upon the cross has already done all that is necessary to forgive us. What God wants us to do is to look at the sin before us and call it what He calls it. That means to agree with God about it, and that is what the word confess means: Fess comes from a root which means to say, and con means with. To say with God what He says about something is confessing sin….. Continue reading

The Providence of God

The entire life of Joseph is summarized in Genesis 50:20: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” The teenager we met at the beginning of the story is now over a hundred years old. His life has come full circle, and he is addressing his duplicitous brothers. Their actions, in selling him into slavery, had nothing but evil intent written all over it. Their malevolence can in no way be lessened by the knowledge that things did not turn out as they might have done. Truth is, God overruled their evil actions to accomplish a purpose that neither they nor Joseph could have fathomed. God brought good out of evil. In the words of the Westminster Confession, God in His providence “upholds, directs, disposes and governs all creatures, actions and things” to bring about a sovereignly pre-determined plan (5.1). Continue reading

The Person Who Rationalizes Sin

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:1-2

There is never any need to sin, but if we find ourselves doing so, we have a perfect defense available to us—a defense that the Father will gladly receive, one that He already assures us will be welcomed. We have an Advocate with the Father who will rush to our defense immediately, but His defense is of no avail to us if we are still defending ourselves…. Continue reading