Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2018

Anger

When we received Christ, we died to sin.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Rom. 6:1-2)

Since, then; you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col. 3:1-4)Since these things are so, God also tells us to "rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Col. 3:8).

We are told to put anger away. That does not mean in a month or a week. It means now. It is not possible to put it away if it is likely that you are not a Christian.

Other things should disappear besides anger. "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to …

Questions on Becoming a Christian 5

Dear Friend,

I wrote much of the following several weeks ago, but I was not sure it was kind enough, so I decided not to send it until I looked at it again. It is abrupt, so it might sound unkind. You get this preamble to prepare you for what is an expression of love for you (the right kind of love). I ache for you! You are hurting and the freedom from fear and hurt is freely available to you now.

Much of your problem with God is caused by your teachers; in this case, a teacher with Reformed convictions. The distinctives of different systematic theologies do not give saving truth. Systematic theology is the wrong way to find truth about God. You get some truth and some falsehood in each of them. Which one of these is right? On the distinctives, none of them! There is common, saving truth in all of them.

What do I believe? The common, saving truth! I certainly am not Reformed, Arminian, Dispensational, Lutheran, Charismatic, etc.

The rest of your problem is you. None of the problems ar…

Questions on Becoming a Christian 4

Dear Friend,

A few days ago, our computer ate some of our incoming messages. We can't find them, so I am writing this because if yours was one of them, you might wonder why I did not answer it.

Since I am writing anyway, I will add a few thoughts in a different vein.

• You want to be a Christian.
• Somehow you think the Gospel is true, even while you are rebelling against God for sending Jesus to the Cross.
• You may be seeing a quality of life that you do not see in others and which you want to have.
• You may desire Heaven.
• You may be concerned about judgment.
• You may have read biographies of Isobel Kuhn, Amy Carmichael, Corrie ten Boom, Patricia St. John, or Lilias Trotter. These were women of faith whom I respect very much. If you haven’t read them, I would encourage it.

The best way of learning is by imitation. There may not be many people alive that you would like to imitate. So imitate people who are no longer alive but who are in Heaven.

In your search, you might w…

Questions on Becoming a Christian 3

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your long letter. The more I know you, the more likely I will say what applies to you. There is a reason that I am sure that you will be a Christian shortly. It is from Jeremiah 29. It is speaking of Judah at the end of 70 years of captivity, but I think it applies to all seekers. Verse 13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

You described your search for God as starting around age 12, and then later you said, “I still wanted to be a Christian; it simply began to occur to me that prescribed methods were not working.” The methods you say you used were not prescribed in the Bible. They are standard prescriptions in all the world’s religions. They were duties you were doing, religious duties. You were reading to read, a duty. You were also reading critically. You were not reading to receive.

Romans 9:30-10:4: “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is b…

Questions on Becoming a Christian 2

Dear Friend,

Your letter was very encouraging to me. I did not expect that my teaching and answering your problems would help.

Your not praying or reading the Gospels explains a lot. You have said several times that you want to be a Christian, but did not do two of the things that are causes of faith. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the preaching of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). Of course you have not had faith. You have not gone to the source.

Becoming a Christian is not an exercise of reason or intellectual answers. It is about a moral problem; it is a sin issue. You could have all of your questions answered to your satisfaction, and still you would not be a Christian.

Part of this belief, this trust in the completed work of Christ, is repentance from dead works to serve the living and true God. This turning from sin was the basic command in the prophets, of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), Peter (Acts 2:38), and Paul (Acts 26:20).

Here are a few paragraph…

Questions & Objections on Becoming a Christian

Dear Friend,

I hope the books I sent to you were of some help. In my letter, I said that you did not need the peripherals in order to become a Christian. They do not change your need for redemption or the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:1-5: "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve."

First, I wish to comment on your struggle with depression and guilt. The feelings of guilt can be absolute or relative or false. Leviticus 5:17 describes guilt absolutely, unrelated to the conscience, and Romans 14:23 describes relative guilt…

The Christian Duty of Evangelism

In the Great Commission, there are two phrases which are often missed.

1. “As you go, make disciples”. The word is not go; it is as you go.
2. “teaching them to obey everything”

“As you go.” Christians are “going” all the time. It is “as they go” that making disciples takes place. It is not a special event; it is a continual event meant to happen throughout the course of your normal, daily life. You are meant to be making disciples as you go.

"Teaching them to obey everything." In the Great Commission, the Apostles were commanded to do three things: Make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded His apostles.

These new Christians were taught to obey everything. That includes making disciples, baptizing, and teaching everyone to obey. Therefore, all Christians are commanded to make disciples, baptize, and teach obedience. Every Christian is an evangelist, just by being Christian.

Here are the ingredients of evangelism:

• Be saved and k…

When Little Annoyances Turn Into Great Transgressions

Dear Friend,

Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
(Psalm 19:13)

This is wonderful. If I am kept from willful presumptuous sins, if they do not get control over me, I will not be guilty of great transgression.

From what you have told me, you have been guilty of great transgression. This did not happen all of a sudden. The enemy had been feeding you with little annoyances for many years. Some of them you confessed, and some of them you did not confess. These temptations occurred in your home, at work, in school, with your family, and in church. God, in His goodness, kept using you for His glory even when you had lost the joy of your salvation. After a while, the Enemy set you up with a big temptation.

You may have kept your integrity in many ways. The Enemy knew that temptations in those areas would not have worked. The devil is not omniscient, but he got to know you. His object is to destroy the…

The God of Hope & Provision

Dear K,

Thank you for coming by to see me. I think I can help, or rather know that God can, and maybe God will use me to help you.

You know God and know the Scripture, but somehow your knowledge does not get applied in such a way that you are delivered from your obsessive/compulsive life.

Your earthly desire has not been met. It may be the cause or the result of your obsessive/compulsive life. In any case, it has not been a help to you.

You have a lot of "why" questions. They turn out to be accusatory "whys" more than requests for information, explanations, or reasons. If God gave you His information, explanation, or reason, you would not think that it was satisfactory.

As you say, you have good "insight" about your problem. That insight has not been enough, however accurate to give you the will or the power to act on that insight.

• God is the God of hope, not of despair. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so t…

Simple, Free Salvation

Dear K,

If, in fact, there is more than one way to Heaven, then evangelical Christianity cannot be one of them. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 6:27).

Salvation cannot be both free and cost something. Evangelical Christianity is simple and free. All others are very complicated and not free. Christianity is simple, free, and present tense.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

The words hears, believes and has are all present tense. The phrase “will not be judged” is future tense, and “he has crossed over from death to life” is past tense.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 …

Does the Bible Not Make Sense to You?

Dear K,

It is evident that your eyes are open and that you desire light. It also seems evident that although you are getting a glimmer of light, the light does not yet make sense to you.

I am going to quote a few Bible verses on light.

“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:17-18)

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall n…