Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:39:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 All Scripture is breathed out by God http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/30/all-scripture-is-breathed-out-by-god-2/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/30/all-scripture-is-breathed-out-by-god-2/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:39:50 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57274 Continue reading ]]>

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–17, NASB

Over the years that this blog has been online I have received numerous negative comments from people that I have never allowed to be posted. Why? It is because those who made those comments either do not bother to follow the rules clearly posted, which are assiduously enforced, or they have failed to read them. Their error is that they they attack what is posted here from sacred Scripture as truth, in context, clearly exposited and exegeted with innuendo, human philosophy, but never, I repeat, never do they go to God’s Word and make any attempt to show me where I have erred in my exegesis of the text. In fact, I cannot remember anyone ever doing that since this blog has been online, but I have received more attempts than I can remember to protest and derail the truth from God’s Word from the humanistic platform of outrage that God is Sovereign and they are not. One hot topic has always been the fact that sacred Scripture is the inspired Word of God and that makes it infallible and inerrant, but what makes it so abhorrent to those who insist on protesting, it also means that the truths it presents are God’s truths and that our sovereign God is going to hold all outside of the Body of Christ accountable to His Law and are, therefore, liable to His wrath. They, therefore, hate God’s truth and resist it as such hoping, I suppose, that this will somehow remove their liability.

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The Shepherd of the sheep http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/29/the-shepherd-of-the-sheep/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/29/the-shepherd-of-the-sheep/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:04:17 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57270 Continue reading ]]>

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. John 10:1–2, NASB

Just because a person claims to be a Christian does not mean that he or she is regenerate, justified, sanctified, or adopted into God’s family. Many base their standing as a Christian on religious acts they have done. Others claim salvation based upon their good words plus their religion. Tragically, there are also many, and more each day it seems, “Christian leaders” who preach and teach things that they portray as the Good News, but are, instead, only the result of marketing techniques. What is Jesus’ standard of being one of his shepherds? Look at the passage I placed at the top of this post. Who was Jesus speaking to when he made that statement? We have to back up a few verses for that.

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Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/28/good-teacher-what-shall-i-do-to-inherit-eternal-life/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/28/good-teacher-what-shall-i-do-to-inherit-eternal-life/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 07:31:54 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57266 Continue reading ]]>

As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Mark 10:17, NASB

The natural man cannot conceive of eternal life coming to anyone who does not “earn” or somehow “deserve” it. Jesus’ teaching set the record straight, but many today still do not regard what He said. Even preachers and religious leaders have bent the truth and twisted it in such a way so as to provide a way for professing believers to have a “work” they could point back to that marks them as having done that one thing that enables them to inherit eternal life. The Kingdom of God is not earned by people who somehow elevate themselves higher than others through their good works or their religiosity. No, our Lord used children as examples whom He referred to this way, “For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

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God must be the focus of all our worship and praise http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/27/god-must-be-the-focus-of-all-our-worship-and-praise/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/27/god-must-be-the-focus-of-all-our-worship-and-praise/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:43:19 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57262 Continue reading ]]>

Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. Luke 9:28–32, NASB

Much of this ministry is focused on exposing the makeup of the dividing line between genuine Christianity, that which is God centered, and counterfeit Christianity, that which is man centered. We will now look at the vast difference in how each side understands the concepts of God’s glory and the praise that is His due. The word most often translated as praise in the New Testament is δόξα or doxa. It is also translated even more often as glory. However, in secular Greek, δόξα means opinion or conjecture, especially favorable human opinion, which then includes an evaluation placed by others, such as fame, repute, honor, or praise. Is this what is meant in God’s Word when δόξα is used in reference to God’s glory and the praise that His due? I submit that that definition exactly defines most professing Christians’ understanding of praise and worship, but is not in any way shape or form Biblical δόξα.

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You are not under law but under grace http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/26/you-are-not-under-law-but-under-grace/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/26/you-are-not-under-law-but-under-grace/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 06:48:14 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57258 Continue reading ]]>

For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be. Romans 6:14–15, NASB

Most of the formative years of my Christian walk were spent in one church from February 1987 through February 2000. During that time we had three pastors. I was in some form of teaching for most of that time. One of the things that always came up when we studied the Old Testament was Romans 6:14–15. It was as if someone always had to make sure that we were not being legalistic. They cast the law as far from them and our church as the East is from the West. Is that how we are to treat God’s Law?

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Bearing much fruit http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/24/bearing-much-fruit/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/24/bearing-much-fruit/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:57:45 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57253 Continue reading ]]>

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. John 15:1–8, NASB

Are Christians commanded to be fruitful? Are we to be productive in the Kingdom of God? Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post. In v. 1 our Lord Jesus tells us that He is the vine and that His Father is the vinedresser. In v. 2 He makes it clear that there will always be professing Christians who are not genuine. How do we know this? They bear no fruit at all. They are lifeless branches that are taken away and burned. A person who does not bear fruit is not a true believer and will one day be taken away to an eternity in Hell. Here is v. 2 from the Greek: πᾶν κλῆμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ φέρον καρπόν, αἴρει αὐτό, καὶ πᾶν τὸ καρπὸν φέρον, καθαίρει αὐτὸ, ἵνα πλείονα καρπὸν φέρῃ. The word used here that is translated as “bear” is φέρον the present active participle version of φέρω or pherō. In other words, this is talking about continuous or repeated action. Branches who bear no fruit (μὴ φέρον καρπόν), are so as a way of life. On the other hand, our Lord says that genuine branches in the vine who do bear fruit (καρπὸν φέρον) do so as a way of life and he adds that the Father prunes them in order to make them even more fruitful. Then, in vv. 5 and 8 we read that some branches will bear “much fruit.” In other words, some believers will be exceptionally more fruitful than others, but all genuine believers will be fruitful. How can we reach this “much more fruitful” level?

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Post tenebras lux http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/23/post-tenebras-lux/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/23/post-tenebras-lux/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:15:55 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57249 Continue reading ]]> The Doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, or sola fide, was the key of the Protestant Reformation. Its recovery was from the darkness created by the dominance of man-made religiosity, which held that justification was accomplished through faith plus good works. This grew into people being required to do religious acts in order to be considered righteous. The driving force of the Reformation was captured by the Latin phrase post tenebras lux (after darkness, light).

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Fellowship/koinōnia http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/22/fellowship-koinonia/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/22/fellowship-koinonia/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:01:24 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57244 Continue reading ]]>

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42, NASB

Most of the churches I attended in my life had something called “fellowship” and some even had space dedicated to it called “fellowship hall” or something similar. We had time after “church” that was called “fellowship time” that always seemed to be a relaxed time of visiting together and just being friendly with each other outside of normal “church stuff.” In the New Testament the word that is translated as “fellowship” as in Acts 2:42 (above) is κοινωνια or koinōnia, which Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest has defined as, “joint participation in a common interest or activity.” Instead of simply a friendly time of visiting together or a coming together for relaxation, κοινωνια, then, is a partnership, a sharing of something in common.

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Preaching error and making confident assertions with seemingly full assurance http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/21/preaching-error-and-making-confident-assertions-with-seemingly-full-assurance/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/21/preaching-error-and-making-confident-assertions-with-seemingly-full-assurance/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:01:10 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57241 Continue reading ]]>

For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. 1 Timothy 1:6–7, NASB

God is not the author of confusion. His truth is clear and discernable by the regenerate heart. On the other hand, our enemy, being the source of lies and deception, must create a climate in which what his false teachers expound is disguised as the truth and there will be attempts by those defending these false teachings to demand tolerance so that their error will not be open to detailed scrutiny. It is all a paradigm of smoke and mirrors. Rob Bell has taught, for instance, that it is wrong to use the Bible as our plumb line, our standard of truth. Whenever any of us address these things he says, out come his defenders with their smoke and mirrors attempting to redirect the focus from Bell to those demanding that he be held to account as a false teacher. They call us divisive and all sorts of other things in their attempt to deflect our scrutiny. The Church must withstand false teachers. Just because they preach with assurance does not mean they are right and that the source of what they are teaching is from God.

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The depths of God http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/20/the-depths-of-god/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/10/20/the-depths-of-god/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:46:38 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57237 Continue reading ]]>

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 1 Corinthians 2:6–10, NASB

I’m sure the title of this post struck some of you in a way hard to explain. When I first started this study, I could not help but think back on an investigation I did many years ago into some false teachings by a man who claimed that his ministry was based entirely “in the deep things of God.” That mysterious statement seemed to be used by him as a smokescreen to hide the fact that he was teaching rank heresy and that heresy was claimed by him to be coming to him as a direct revelation from God. Well, if that were true then it would indeed be “the deep things of God,” but what he was teaching was very shallow spiritually and really called for people to become submissive to him as a prophet based on one thing; he said so. This is not what the depths of God (the deeps things of God) are. Let us take a closer look.

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