ENCOURAGE BY Paul Tripp
This is a life changer, consider it.
Let me present a model of confrontation that uses the word ENCOURAGE as an acrostic.
Examine your heart – Confrontation always begins with you. Because we all struggle with indwelling sin, we must begin with ourselves. We must be sure that we have dealt with our anger, impatience, self-righteousness, and bitterness. When we start with our own confession, we are in a much better place to lead another to confess.
Note your calling- Remember that confrontation is not based on your opinion of the person. You are there as an ambassador and your job is to faithfully represent the message of the King. In other words, your goal is to help people see and accept God’s view of them.
Check your attitude- When you speak, are your words spoken in kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, forbearance, compassion, and love? Failure to do this will hinder God-honoring, change producing confrontation. We need to examine both our message and our attitude as we speak.
Own your own faults- It is vital to enter moments of confrontation with a humble recognition of who we really are. As we admit our need for the Lord’s forgiveness, we are able to be patient and forgiving with the one to whom God has called us to minister.
Use words wisely- Effective confrontation demands preparation, particularly of our words. We need to ask God to help us use words that carry his message, not get in the way of it.
Reflect on scripture- The content of confrontation is always the Bible. It guides what we say and how we say it. We should enter moments of confrontation with a specific understanding of what Scripture says about the issues at hand. This means more than citing proof texts; it means understanding how the themes, principles, perspectives, and commands of Scripture shape the way we think about the issues before us.
Always be prepared to listen- The best, most effect confrontation is interactive. We need to give the person an opportunity to talk, since we cannot look into his heart or read his mind. We need to welcome his questions and look for signs that he is seeing the things he needs to see. We need to listen for true confession and the commitment to specific acts of repentance. As we listen, we will learn where we are in the confrontation process.
Grant time for a response- We must give the Holy Spirit time to work. There is nothing in Scripture that promises that if we do our confrontation work well, the person will confess and repent in one sitting. Rather, the Bible teaches us that change is usually a process. We need to model the same patience God has granted us. This patience does not compromise God’s work of change, but flows out of a commitment to it.
Encourage with the person with the gospel- It is the awesome grace of God, his boundless love, and his ever-present help that give us a reason to turn from our sin. Scripture says that it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). The truths of the gospel—both is challenge and its comfort—must color our confrontation.
Do We Believe or Does God Believe For Us?
Sometimes I hear our Arminian/Roman Catholic friends declare that if God freely gives us a new heart to believe then it is not us doing the believing but God doing the believing for us. Response: That is like saying that since God give us physical eyes to see that God is doing the seeing for us. My sight is the result of God's gift to me and my own use of the gift. God is not coercing me to see. I do so willingly. Likewise when God restores the heart to a regenerate state, we want what we want which is to believe in Jesus Christ. Most importantly, the effect of this truth is that is brings man to the dust, to strip him of all hope in himself. Only then is grace truly grace, not the reward for some condition I first meet, lest any man should boast (1 Cor 1:30-31).
Confessions of a Former Word of Faith Pastor
For quite some time, I was a pastor in the “word of faith” movement. On today’s "Dividing Line" show, I shared something of an insider’s guide, as well as the powerful biblical truths God used to alert me to the gross deception. How grateful I am to God for bringing me out! - John Samson
War of Words Part 2- Paul Tripp
Discover your roots- Luke 6:45 records one of the important things that Christ said about your communication.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
When I was growing up, my parents would take us to family reunions on my mom’s side of the family. My mother’s brothers and sisters were all unbelievers. Whenever we went to one of these reunions, my parents would stay for the meal and then whisk us away before the drinking began.
At one reunion my mom was engaged in conversation and did not realize that my uncle had gotten drunk in another room, where he saying sexually provocative things about the women present in front of me and my brother Mark. When Mom realized what was happening, she ran in, grabbed our hands, and stuffed us in the car. On the way home she said, “There is nothing that comes out of a drunk that wasn’t there in the first place.” I will never forget those words.
We must begin by admitting that people and situations do not cause use to speak as we do. Our hearts control our words. People and situations simply provide the occasion for the heart to express itself. Humbly confessing this opens to you the floodgates of God’s forgiveness and power. “He is faith and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
War of Words by Paul David Tripp
I was once talking with a lady who had been married for many years. She was married to a person, who very honestly, I would have to say was a bad man. He was angry, controlling, and manipulative. He regularly said and did hurtful things. She, meanwhile, had dreamed of the ultimate husband and had gotten so embittered by the blessing of other women in her church that she said she could no longer go to worship. She felt as if God had forsaken her, so much that she couldn’t read her Bible or pray.
I wanted her to understand her identify in Christ and the love of the Lord. I wanted her to understand that God is a refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, so I quoted a few passages to her that spoke of God’s amazing love, when, in the middle of the verse, she said, “Stop!” I looked up at her angry face. She said, “Don’t tell me any more that God loves me. I want a husband who loves me!” And she pounded her fist on her chair as she spoke.
I learned something that day. To the degree that you have based your life on something other than the Lord, to that degree God’s love and the hope of the gospel will not comfort you. You will not be comforted because you are hungry for another kind of bread. You long for a king who will give you the bread you crave. The bread might be a relationship, circumstance, or position. It might be human love and respect, the desire for vengeances, or a certain economic state. It literally can be anything in creation! But there are only two types of bread: Christ, the living bread, and everything else. We set our hearts either on him or something else.
What was the Reformation all about?
From Wittenberg, Germany, Dr. Steven Lawson is interviewed on the subject of the Reformation:
Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones on George Whitefield
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' documentary on the life and times of the 18th Century preacher George Whitefield.
Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison
Who is God?
What is it about God that fuels the application that we have just made? Many of the people we counsel live inside a black hole of self will, misery, and confusion. They need God to break in on their shadow land from which sin has erased the light of the personal and living God. Often without realizing it, people live as partial atheists, working themselves, their own will and opinions. The see God for within the black hole and he appears remote, irrelevant, and distorted.
When people think about God by instinct, not by revelation, they ask many of the wrong questions. Will he meet my felts needs? Will he be co-pilot in my life? Can I get him to make my day, my spouse, my kids, my health, and my finances work out? Is he like a rabbit’s foot? If I do my bit for God, will he do his bit for me? Is God capricious? Is it tough to figure out what he’s up to, or what he wants? Is it possible he might disappoint me? Might he even betray my trust? Is he “the man upstairs” to whom I pay my respects and dues? Is he sour tempered and displeased, a hard-edged taskmaster? Is he my true inner self? My higher power? Is he the theoretical uncaused cause and prime mover? Is God a happy feeling or an intense emotion? Is he an inhabitant of religiously toned activities?
A Testimony from the Bat Cave
Eric Keel from Bat Cave wrote this to me today. Yes, Bat Cave, North Carolina is a real place, with a real zip code of 28710. It is about 20 minutes from Asheville, NC and 2 hours west of Charlotte, NC.
Eric writes: I heard you on The Dividing Line recently and your 5 shows on the doctrines of Grace were life-changing for my wife and myself. I would like to personally thank you for your obedience to speak on these topics and give so much Scripture that I can no longer consider myself an Arminian...lol.
John Samson: Hi Eric, Thank you for your most encouraging words. May I ask what exactly was "life changing" for you and your wife?
Eric writes: I've been saved since I was 12. (30 now) I've always enjoyed teaching God's Word and leading God's people in worship (I'm the worship pastor at Bat Cave Baptist Church in the mountains of NC). I have believed and taught since I began teaching that Jesus died for the WHOLE WORLD and therefore salvation was placed in our hands. All the while I would say that salvation is 100% of God, and yet would continue to teach that He has done everything that He CAN do... now it's up to us.
It's funny, I started working for UPS in November of '13 and have about 5 hours a day that I can listen to sermons/podcasts, etc. So I started listening to the Reformed Pubcast just for the entertainment value but couldn't run from or argue against the theology that was presented. James White was mentioned multiple times in each podcast so I decided to head over to the Dividing Line and started listening to that as well. This was probably around Feb of this year. I went all the way back to November and binge listened....lol. I got to February (I think) where Dr. White was gone to the Ukraine and you filled in for him for 5 sessions. The first (I believe) was on the Law and the Gospel and how witnessing cannot be just what Christ has done for me nor can it be SOLELY, "Here is your Savior." I remember the point very clearly that the Law is needed in conjunction with the Gospel, first to show sin and separation, and then the Gospel and Christ enter the picture to fix the problem presented to us in the Old Testament.
My memory fails me at the moment to the 2nd sermon, but I do remember that sermons 3-5 were on the the Doctrines of Grace. 1-Total Depravity (TD), 2-Unconditional Election, 3-Limited Atonement. I listened to the TD sermon probably 3 times before I took it to my wife and said, "You have to listen to this." In the same way that 'it doesn't matter how bright a flashlight you have, if a man is blind, he can't see it', God had miraculously open my (and my wife's) eyes to His Amazing Grace. I was saved before by His grace, but it's so much more obvious and glorious now just how He did it.
I have to admit that I was quite disappointed that there were still 2 sermons left to go and no way to hear you teach through them. Then, in God's sovereignty and perfect timing, you come back, months later, and continued what you started.
Blame it on the Brain? By Ed Welch
The questions now become a little more difficult. Having briefly reviewed the assumption that we are unity of two substances, and having determined that the church is on solid ground with this doctrine, the next questions is to define, describe, and name our immaterial substance.
A popular name for the immaterial stuff of the person is the spirit, but that is certainly not the only biblical name. Since the Bible has so much to say about our spiritual nature, it provides a rich and diverse vocabulary for it. In the Bible, “spirit” (pneuma) shares its field of meaning with a number of words. Included are terms such as “heart” (kardia), “mind” (dianoia, phrenes, and nous), “soul” (Greek: psuche. Hebrew:nephes), “conscience” (sunedesis), “inner self” (1Peter 3:4), and “inner man” (2 Cor 4:16). Even though these words have different emphases, they can be used almost interchangeably—and I will use them that way. The basic idea behind all these terms is that every human being lives a morally responsible creature before the face of God. We have a pervasive Godward orientation. Everything we do is related to the living God.
The heart in the Scripture is variously used; sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principal of moral operations, as they occur in our doing good or evil… the seat and subject of the law of sin is the heart of man. –John Owen