Repentance, personal holiness and the big lie

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 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. Galatians 6:7-10 (LSB) 

Repentance is not a large part of the paradigm that is the 21st Century version of the visible Church. The current trend to build Mega-Churches has as one of its main tenets that the prevailing culture within which the church resides must determine the content of the Gospel…. Continue reading

Flesh-bound Christians and the Mortification of Sin

7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! Rather, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. For I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, worked out in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 Now I was once alive apart from the Law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to lead to life, was found to lead to death for me. Read verses 11-24 on the site.

If we are honest, each of us would have to confess that there are sins that have an incredible hold on us. It seems that no matter how devoted we become in our walk before our Lord, there will be some sins that trip us up, making us stumble and fall to our deep chagrin…. Continue reading

The Lordship of Christ and Genuine Saving Faith

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ concerning all of you because your faith is being proclaimed in all the world. Romans 1:8 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In these broadly apostate days of the visible church the good biblical words such as ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ are thrown around and used in such a loose way that it is important for us dig into what God’s Word says about πιστεύω (pisteuō), “to have faith in, trust; particularly, to be firmly, persuaded as to something” and πιστός (pistos), an adjective meaning “faithful, trustworthy, reliable, dependable” instead of relying on what our modern translations give us for these words, for if we do not “dig” we remain in a shallow understanding of these things…. Continue reading

Is it Good Works or is it Works Righteousness?

36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38 (LSB) 

When I was a young man and even prior to that when I was a teenager, I was quite religious. I went to church with my family and tried to emulate what I saw my parents do in their devotion. I tried to reach a point in my own devotion where I could be fulfilled, wanting to serve God with the joy and fervor I saw in other believers. However, I just could not do it. I found myself bored in church…. Continue reading

Filthy Rags

6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, carry us away. Isaiah 64:6 (LSB)

We have looked deeply at the Biblical definition of our Salvation over the last several posts. In this post we will continue to do that. One of the attacks on the Gospel in our time comes from several sources, but with the same focus. That focus is to change what our salvation is actually is and what it accomplishes and why it is necessary…. Continue reading

What is the real Gospel?

14 Now after John had been delivered up into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15 (LSB) 

In my Cruden’s Concordance introduction for the word “gospel” it reads, “The English word gospel comes from the Anglo-Saxon gõdspel which meant good tidings through, gõdspel or god-story. The word in the original (Greek) in the New Testament is euaggelion, from which, through the Latin evangelium, comes our word evangel, with its derivatives…. Continue reading

Death and life

1 And you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom we all also formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3 (LSB) 

I have been to many funerals in my 72 years. The hard ones are for those who were young and it seemed that they had not had the time to do anything in this life….

Of course the hardest ones are of those we were sure were not believers. On the other hand, there have been those who were Christians who we served with for many years and some who came to the Lord as they neared their end. For instance, I led my uncle to the Lord the day before he died. What a difference that made at that funeral! Several years ago my nephew Travis developed brain cancer and eventually died from it. He was a good Christian man. I remember his funeral being more of a celebration than something mournful. Also, we had a good friend at our church who battled brain cancer for over  a year and ended up in hospice for several weeks before he died. He was a godly man. His funeral was somewhat sad because we all will miss him, but it was not a tragic thing for us nor for his family for he was much beloved and was a solid Christian leader. At his funeral many shared how his life had impacted them to draw them into a closer walk with the Lord. Yes there was weeping, but not that mournful thing. View article →

That Which Prevails Over Death

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20 (LSB) 

Genuine Christians, God’s heirs, are those who have believed. Continue reading

The One True Gospel

23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:23-24 (LSB) 

I will be 73 years old later this year. I have been a Christian for about 38 years, but I grew up in a “Christian” home going to church every Sunday until I grew up and went my own way. I know that Christians are commanded to be forgiving, kind, and gentle with others. However, we are also commanded to stand firm and withstand false teachers and their doctrines…. Continue reading

The Valley of Humiliation and dealing with discouragement

23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Genesis 40:23 (LSB) 

My natural tendency is to heartily participate in self-pity, outrage, and unforgiveness thereby opening doors in my heart that Satan enters causing me to become discouraged. When this happens to me, I find that my circumstances drive me to become very negative and impatient. I suppose that this is one of my besetting sins which clings closely to me ready to cut in on me causing me to drop out of the race God has set before me to run with endurance (Hebrews 12:1-2)…. Continue reading

What is Christian Suffering and Perseverance?

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3-7 (LSB)

Because of God’s grace and regeneration, believers are changed forever. However, they are not immediately at the spiritual maturity level that God desires for His people. Therefore, from that point until they go home to be with their Lord, all genuine Christians will go through a series of tests and trials that put pressure on their faith…. Continue reading

Whose sins are forgiven and why?

48 And he said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 49 And the ones reclining with him began saying among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” (Luke 7:48-49 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In Luke 7:36-50 there are three main characters. There is our Lord Jesus Christ, Simon the Pharisee, and an unnamed woman who is referred to in v37 and v39 simply as ἁμαρτωλός (hamartōlos), “sinful, sinner.” The events in this passage take place at a meal in Simon’s home and there are others reclining at the table with them. The unnamed woman is uninvited…. Continue reading

Put Away

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and anger and wrath and shouting and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Instead, be kind to one another, tender-hearted, graciously forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has graciously forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-32 (LSB) 

Much that is wrong that is causing the confusion in the church visible all around us right now is the result of complete misunderstanding of what it means to be a true disciple of Christ, a Christian. John MacArthur’s book, Slave, is a great source for believers to read and then understand their true role in the Kingdom of God…. Continue reading

Let us Walk in the Light!

1 See how great a love the Father has given to us, that we would be called children of God; and we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not been manifested as yet what we will be. We know that when He is manifested, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 (LSB) 

God’s truth is knowable. Also, His truth is as His attributes and character. He is immutable. His truth is never changing. He is Holy. His truth is Holy, separate from the corruption of the world. His truth, the Word of God, is precise. It supernaturally divides man’s “truth” and understanding from God’s genuine truth…. Continue reading

The Work of the Comforter in the Face of the Hatred of the World

3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 And there are varieties of workings, but the same God who works everything in everyone. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for what is profitable.1 Corinthians 12:3-7 (LSB) 

A careful survey of any Scriptural expository of the ministry of the Holy Spirit will reveal that the writers of the New Testament usually tell us about ο παρακλητος (o parakletos, the Comforter, and His ministry in the context of Christians remaining obedient, Christlike Christians in the midst of persecution and in the face of the hatred of the World…. Continue reading

Is the Bible the Word of God and Does it Have Authority?

12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 (LSB) 

Several yeas ago  I posted “Is there a war going on between God and His forces on one side and Satan and his forces on the other?” In that post I mentioned a link sent to me by a friend to a post on another blog called The Emergent Village. On that blog I could not help noticing a link to another post by another writer there titled “The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom“. What that fellow had to say is the centerpiece of “Christian Liberalism.” Denying The Bible as the Word of God, a gift from God to His people is the first step into apostasy. Once that step is taken all other truths are no longer held as absolute. Continue reading

Your Measure of faith

3 For by the grace having been given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Not long ago a good friend showed me this verse and said a brother at our church seemed very confused about the words “measure of faith.” Part of his confusion stemmed from reading several commentaries about it that differed from each other…. Continue reading

Personal holiness and inward cleanliness

24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! Matthew 23:24 (LSB) 

A huge trap that Christians can fall into is self-righteousness. It is a form of idolatry and that always causes spiritual blindness (Romans 1:24-25). Self-righteousness puts all effort towards godliness in the wrong place. It creates a form of piety that is all about outward appearances while putting little or no priority on matters of the heart. It is all about being concerned about appearances and what others think rather than being totally committed to abiding in Christ from within first. The self-righteous are consciously holy. However, that is not what we are called to be. Christians must be consciously repentant and unconsciously holy. The difference is huge for these are totally opposite walks. Continue reading

The Way and persecution

14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would abide, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:14-19 (LSB)  Read verses 18-19 on the site. Continue reading

Did Jesus Have a Fallen Human Nature?

Several months ago I was asked to begin work on a new book, a commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. The reasons I have not completed that work are many, but primarily I am very intimidated by the work itself. I loved working on the manuscript for my book Complete in Christ, which was a commentary on the Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, however, Romans is an entirely different project. I’ve been a Bible teacher for decades and I could not count how often I have gone to Romans for source material for doctrinal answers. Also, when God saved me and I got my first Study Bible right after that, I began reading the New Testament. I could not put it down. However, when I came to Romans I found the answers to most of my questions about doctrine. I love this Epistle. Continue reading

Pride, proud, arrogant, puffed up

18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. (Proverbs 16:18 NASB)

At the root of hypocrisy is, of course, pride. Pride is the antithesis of humility, which is exemplified for us by Paul’s attitude to the Ephesian church in the following passage:

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Ephesians 3:8-13 NASB)

Continue reading

Persecution of those who live righteously

10 But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra. What persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:10-13 (LSB) 

Christians who live in total obedience to their Lord will be persecuted. So, what does that say about “Christians” who live at peace with the world around them? The truth of the matter is this; the reason “Christians” are not persecuted in the US like they are in other countries is that very few of them are walking in the level of obedience to their Lord that would draw attention to them from those who hate the real Jesus and the Word of God…. Continue reading

Who are the Apostates

3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you exhorting that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4 (LSB) 

Carefully read the passage above my brethren. The writer of the Epistle of Jude is the brother of James, the well-known leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21;18; Galatians 2:9) and, therefore, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ…. Continue reading

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him

4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world sets himself as an enemy of God. James 4:4 (LSB) 

Compromise is a term the world system likes. In fact, the world system as we know it in our time runs on rails greased by compromise. Even though the U.S. Constitution protects the right of free speech to its citizens, the political correctness movement is doing all it can to squelch or smother the expression of “opinion” that is contrary to what it deems as inoffensive. It appears that the right of the easily offended is more protected than the right of those who speak the truth and live by it…. Continue reading

The light of the world

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (LSB) 

While Joel and Victoria Osteen believe that our Lord’s command to let your light shine before others is to prosper and show everyone how God is blessing you, this is not what He was talking about in the passage above at all…. Continue reading