Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:07:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 From where does the righteousness of the Christian come? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/21/from-where-does-the-righteousness-of-the-christian-come/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/21/from-where-does-the-righteousness-of-the-christian-come/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:07:05 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57453 Continue reading ]]>

but what things were gain to me, these I have considered loss on account of Christ. But even more so I consider all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom all things I suffered loss and I consider them dung, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness that is of the law, but the righteousness through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based upon faith, to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being conformed to his death, that if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already been perfected, but I press on if indeed I my lay hold of that for which I was also laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:7–11, translated from the NA28 Greek text

From where does the righteousness of the Christian come? If you think that is an unimportant question or one that we do not need to spend much time on, then you could quite possibly be one who is either the next victim of a deceiver or have already been deceived. If we look at the opposition to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by professing Christians, in other words, either apostates or the religious who believe they are Justified through their religion, they claim righteousness comes from some other way beyond what the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ says. Many of these were like I was growing up as a Southern Baptist. My understanding of salvation was that one had to be religious, but it all started with that profession of faith that was followed by Baptism, which I did in the fourth grade (1960). I was not regenerate. I was religious and since it was all works of the flesh in order to please God (law), I could not do a very good job of it nor did I like nor did I keep it up very long. However, my heart goes out to all those like me who grew up like me and did that same thing. I pray that God has mercy on you and draw you into His light and obedience to the Gospel as He did me in 1986.

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Humble service vs. the Young, Restless and Reformed http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/20/humble-service-vs-the-young-restless-and-reformed/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/20/humble-service-vs-the-young-restless-and-reformed/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 07:40:14 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57449 Continue reading ]]>

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassions, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, as ones joined in soul, in one mind, doing nothing according to rivalry neither according to empty conceit but in humility, esteeming one another above self. Philippians 2:1–3, translated from the NA28 Greek text

Over the last several years there has been a “movement” in the visible church that has been made up of group called the “Young, Restless and Reformed”, or YRR. I have always been puzzled by the YRR group. Why? God’s truth, especially the Gospel, divides, but those who are truly in Christ are called continually in sacred Scripture to come together, to unite in love and humility as exemplified by Christ himself. On the other hand, what I see in the YRR folks is a co-opting of a genuine restoration of Reformation theology by those who are attempting to blend it with the seeker sensitive, cultural relevance, and gospel contextualization which are all corrupting influences that move the focus back to the mis-direction mainstream evangelicalism was going, but with the hope or desire of “getting a pass” because they proclaim themselves to “be reformed.” As those in the seeker sensitive paradigm have found though, emotionalism and getting people to work through motivations other than the genuine moving of the Holy Spirit will work only for a short period of time. Why? It is all of this flesh – and that means it is of this world. That is not what Christians are called to do. I believe the recent tragic implosion of Mark Driscoll’s ministry is a prime example of what we are talking about.

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For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/19/for-to-me-to-live-is-christ-and-to-die-is-gain/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/19/for-to-me-to-live-is-christ-and-to-die-is-gain/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:57:03 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57445 Continue reading ]]>

Παῦλος καὶ Τιμόθεος δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Φιλίπποις σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Philippians 1:1–2, NA28

Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:1–2, translated from the NA28 Greek text

In vv. 1–2, Paul and Timothy give the standard Christian greeting that was very common in the early Church. Notice that it is from both Paul and Timothy, who identify themselves as δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (slaves of Christ Jesus), but it addressed to all the ἁγίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (saints in Christ Jesus) at Philippi. The word “saints” translates ἁγίοις, which is actually a form of an adjective that means “holy.” That root word is ἅγιος or hagios, which in the dative form, as used in this passage, designates “saints.” Paul used this word in Ephesians 2:19 saying, “you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Who are the “overseers”? This is the Greek word ἐπισκόποις, the dative, plural of ἐπίσκοπος or episkopos, “overseer, bishop.” In the Greek, it literally refers to someone who “looks over” or “watches over” a group of people. It is translated as “overseers” or “elders” in the church. Paul gives their qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7. What we must understand, my brethren, is that in 1 Peter 2:25, Peter refers to our Lord Jesus Christ as “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Therefore, Jesus is the chief overseer of our lives. Those men who are appointed as elders and such in our churches function on His behalf and should use His life as a model.

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Thoughts on Driscoll and the biblical qualifications for a pastor http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/18/thoughts-on-driscoll-and-the-biblical-qualifications-for-a-pastor/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/18/thoughts-on-driscoll-and-the-biblical-qualifications-for-a-pastor/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 17:07:31 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57440 Continue reading ]]> Pastoring 101 – here’s what should happen when seminary students show up for their first day of class: they are handed two live sheep. And the professor then tells them this: your assignment is to look after these sheep for the next semester. You are to feed them, care for them, tend them, comb their wool, and protect them from wolves. If, at the end of the semester, you return both of these sheep to me, alive and in good condition (i.e. they not frightened, malnourished or missing any limbs), then you will have earned the right to graduate to the next step: learning how to minister to actual people. View article →

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Hope and despair http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/18/hope-and-despair/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/18/hope-and-despair/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 08:10:15 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57436 Continue reading ]]>

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4, NASB

The role of a Christian writer primarily focusing on the growing apostasy in the church is a tough one. As the Lord shows us what is really going on in the “visible church” that is Christian in name only it is easy to become overwhelmed. If we focus on the these things to the exclusion of our devotion to our Lord we will find in short order that these battles take a heavy toll. They cannot be fought in our strength alone. Fortunately, we can remain in the fight in obedience to our Lord as long as we are doing battle while yoked to our Lord. Also, we must never lose sight of our Lord’s own promise to never stop building His Church (Matthew 16:18).

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Baby captured smiling in the womb by ultrasound http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/17/baby-captured-smiling-in-the-womb-by-ultrasound/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/17/baby-captured-smiling-in-the-womb-by-ultrasound/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:08:49 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57430 Continue reading ]]> The Telegraph reports:

Little bundle of joy Leo David Hargreaves could just be the cheeriest baby in the country, according to his parents. Not only does the five month-old smile all the time, he’s been smiling since before he was born.

A 4D ultrasound scan, taken when Leo’s mother, Amy Cregg, was 31 weeks’ pregnant, clearly shows him grinning from ear-to-ear.

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Baptist Press examines the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts to alter public perception on homosexuality http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/17/baptist-press-examines-the-human-rights-campaigns-efforts-to-alter-public-perception-on-homosexuality/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/17/baptist-press-examines-the-human-rights-campaigns-efforts-to-alter-public-perception-on-homosexuality/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:06:46 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57405 Continue reading ]]> According to a Baptist Press news release:

Baptist Press has released an in-depth look at the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts to alter public opinion on homosexuality. The report examines both the HRC’s new campaign in Mississippi and its overall efforts during more than three decades of seeking to advance LGBT rights.

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Love of this lost and dying world is a key marker of the apostate http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/17/love-of-this-lost-and-dying-world-is-a-key-marker-of-the-apostate/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/17/love-of-this-lost-and-dying-world-is-a-key-marker-of-the-apostate/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:25:55 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57422 Continue reading ]]>

Μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον μηδὲ τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. ἐάν τις ἀγαπᾷ τὸν κόσμον, οὐκ ἔστιν ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ πατρὸς ἐν αὐτῷ· 1 John 2:15, NA28

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15, NASB

There is a certain type of love that God hates. We find that in John 15:18–20:

Εἰ ὁ κόσμος ὑμᾶς μισεῖ, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐμὲ πρῶτον ὑμῶν μεμίσηκεν. εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἦτε, ὁ κόσμος ἂν τὸ ἴδιον ἐφίλει· ὅτι δὲ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ ἐστέ, ἀλλʼ ἐγὼ ἐξελεξάμην ὑμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου, διὰ τοῦτο μισεῖ ὑμᾶς ὁ κόσμος. μνημονεύετε τοῦ λόγου οὗ ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν· οὐκ ἔστιν δοῦλος μείζων τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ. *εἰ ἐμὲ ἐδίωξαν, καὶ ὑμᾶς διώξουσιν· εἰ τὸν λόγον μου ἐτήρησαν, καὶ τὸν ὑμέτερον τηρήσουσιν. John 15:18–20, NA28

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. John 15:18–20, NASB

God has no love for “love of the world system that is opposed to God.” Jesus made it clear in the passage from John 15:18-20 that those who are “of the world” are not of God nor are those whom He has selected from out of the world part of the world. This is why those who are still “of the world” hates them. I want to reinitiate here that there are plenty of apostate, “so-called Christians” in our time who exhibit that very same hatred toward those of us who refuse to back away from Orthodox Christianity and God’s Word and being infallible and complete. In any case, John is telling us in 1 John 2:15–17 two important truths about genuine Christianity. First, the Christian loves God and fellow Christians and an absence of love of the world must habitually characterize the love life of those to be considered genuinely born again.

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Should Christians dialogue with obvious apostates and heretics? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/16/should-christians-dialogue-with-obvious-apostates-and-heretics/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/16/should-christians-dialogue-with-obvious-apostates-and-heretics/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 10:07:04 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57418 Continue reading ]]>

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. “He must turn away from evil and do good; HE must seek peace and pursue it. “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8–12, NASB

This era of the Church is one of extreme deception due to compromise with the standards and focus of the world. Separation between the Church and the world is not being kept. Instead, the holy barrier between the two has been breached as false prophets have welcomed in not only the world and its ways into their churches, but have also embraced the mysticism of the Eastern religions. Syncretism is the new byword of the Emergent Village and the New Evangelism. On the other hand, God is good. He keeps His promises. The Lord told Peter that He is the one building His Church and no evil will ever be able to destroy it (Matthew 16:18). If this is true, and it is because our Lord spoke it, then how do we reconcile the rapid apostasy of so much of the visible Church with what He said? God always keeps a remnant during times of rampant apostasy. These Christians are the small group whom God has reserved who have not bowed the knee to Baal. These are also the ones in whom God is developing Christlikeness and through the fires of persecution by those in the visible Church who have succumbed to the heresies and ungodliness going on in it, He is teaching them how to stand firm and never compromise with evil. In this they learn the difference between debate and dialogue and know that the former actually clarifies the truth and why they hold to it while the latter is only a conversation which has the intent of compromising the truth.

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Jesus Calling – whitewashing the red flags http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/15/jesus-calling-whitewashing-the-red-flags/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/11/15/jesus-calling-whitewashing-the-red-flags/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 11:07:04 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57408 Continue reading ]]> Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports that the 10th anniversary edition of the controversial book Jesus Calling has undergone a miraculous “transformation” without any explanation from publisher Thomas Nelson or the author Sarah Young. Could this be damage control by the publisher who discovered that Young’s “Jesus” is not the Jesus of the Bible? View article →

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