Paul - Under Authority?
Text: Acts 21:1-14
Paul was a world-shaker, a passionate and resolute man.That much is clear. What is not clear is the question of whether or not he was defying God's warnings in seeking to go to Jerusalem.
The Courage to Preach
Text: Acts 20:13-38
Paul's last words to the Ephesian elders tell us much about his passion for the Gospel and the courage needed to proclaim the whole counsel of God.
Authentic and Counterfeit Christianity
If you have been united to Christ, Jesus has broken the curse and brought us into fellowship with God. The bondage of sin has been broken. When as Christians we sin, we are acting in unbelief - not believing that our actions are being openly beheld by God and others. It is to forget our identity and the gift of the Holy Spirit and to live as if we were still under sin's dominion. Living genuinely and transparently, then, means by the grace of God, to consciously live every moment with the belief that all of our thoughts and life are truly open before God and man. It means to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), to have nothing hidden, but for your life to be laid bare before all (Heb. 4:11-13) So when we do sin, we don't hide it but confess it (1 John 2:1),we judge ourselves and grieve over it (1 Cor 11:31-32). And then we keep moving toward the goal (Phil 3:14). knowing that we are clean and forgiven in Christ (1 John 1:9).
Sadly, it seems that many of the new postmodern "Christian" authors think that being authentic and transparent means that, not only do Christians fail but we are to be proud of our failures and openly acknowledge them as just who we are, with no intent, with the help of God, to live otherwise. This may have the appearance of being authentic and transparent but it is, in fact, the most non-transparent of all.. Why? you ask. Because the person who does this is hiding their true identity: that they are a counterfeit child of God, and are in fact, a child of the devil ... and are doing his bidding. In this view, sin is not just a reality of this world but is being sanctified (as sin) and even institutionalized. Given the fact that many books with these kinds of concepts are best-sellers, it reveals that too many Christians are being lured away by hallow and deceptive teaching. When you read the Bible, you could not possibly come up with these things. When Christ saves a person He does not leave us as slaves. No ... He liberates the captives and calls us former captives to be instruments He can use to free others who are now slaves. When He frees us He breaks our chains, but He does not take us out of the world ... no He keeps us here and, by the grace of God, uses us to open blind eyes and unplug deaf ears, and by the word of His power, turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh.
There is much going on outside the Church in our culture that has recently arrested our attention, but the greatest deception still seems to be coming from within. It is slowing us down and has the potential to make us much less fruitful so I suggest that we spend a little more time untying ourselves against this godless teaching which is taking deep root in the Church. Given what these false prophets are teaching, it would appear that they have no understanding or experience of the new birth (or regeneration). To understand grace indeed recognizes that we must humbly affirm that we are no better than others. But it also means, in grace, that we have been given a new disposition which detests the evil it sees in one's self and, by the grace of God, strives to live according to God's holy law. It does not boast over others, because EVERYTHING good we have is a gift from above (John 3:27). Genuine Christians know that they have been forgiven of great sin and deserve heaven no more than others but it also means they will be fighting a war against sin for their whole lives. Don't let anyone tell you that a Christian can continue to abide in sin after being cleansed (1 John 3:9).
Book Review: Accidental Saints by Tim Challies
The Separation of Church and Sleep
Test: Acts 20:1-12
Why do we do church on Sunday? Why should it be a priority, and what does sleep have to do with any of this?
Behind the Smile of Francis
Scriptural reflections on the Pope's visit to the United States this week...
2 Thess 2:1-17
If I Had An Hour with a New Convert
Today I had the great privilege of once again guest hosting on Dr. James White's Dividing Line program. Imagine the scenario. You’ve had an amazing conversation with someone which has led to his conversion to Christ. You have just an hour with him. After that, you may never see him again. What are the most important things you would wish him to know? What follows is my answer to that question. - JS
No Little Disturbance
Not everyone in Ephesus was pleased that the Gospel was advancing. For some, it meant a real possibility of bankruptcy in their business. Paul's bold preaching without apology is the background for the riot that ensued. A message for our times.
Debating Calvinism & Biblical Resistance to Tyrants
Apologia Radio #139
Jeff Durbin writes: This new episode with John Samson is great! We talk about how big God's grace is, God's sovereignty, Reformed Theology, and we opened up the phone to someone who was challenging Calvinism on my social media. I really think the conversation will bless you as much as it did me. Great episode to share with people to help them understand the Doctrines of Grace.
What Every Christian Should Know
If you only had a brief time with a new convert, what are the most important things you would want him to know that would establish him in his Christian faith?
Text: Romans 5:1-11
The Bigness of God
God is all powerful and all wise. When we as Christians grasp something of the "bigness" of God - His complete and utter Sovereignty - the inevitable result will be a desire to pray and to pray more. As we go phrase by phrase through Isaiah 40, the transcendent majesty of God is put on display.
Speaker: Dr. Steve Lawson
Title: A Puny God
Text: Isaiah 40:12-31