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Examine yourself? Really? Is that necessary in this enlightened and knowledgeable day and age?
Isn’t everyone going to heaven? Isn’t everyone good?
What is the possible reason for us being told that we need to examine ourselves in light of scripture?
There must be reasons God has in telling us that we need to be sure of our salvation. Why?
I truly believe, in my experience as a Christian and as a blogger who deals with Christians and false converts on a daily basis, there is much validity in one examining himself in light of scripture.
As a former false convert, I know full well the deception that lies within man. That particular man who does all the right things, but his heart is unchanged. He loves God, but doesn’t really know Him. He thinks he’s serving Christ, but is serving self. He goes about his day quoting scripture when need be, reading the Bible only as a source of selfish pleasure when his conscience gets the better of him…and prayer? Usually done for show or as a last resort.
The false convert has it all down pat. He thinks he’s saved. Don’t misunderstand me. But…his heart yearns for the stuff of the world. He yearns to have his appetite satisfied. He is lost, yet wears the jacket of Christianity.
When this false convert’s eyes and conscience are awakened, he realizes something’s wrong. Something is gnawing at him. And he mutters those famous words, “Something’s got to change!”
He doesn’t understand why, but something down deep it stirring. The smoldering has started.
He gets grumpy and moody. The Bible has become his judge. It starts railing on him. Every verse, it seems wants to bring him to justice, and he closes himself in his room or garage or wherever attempting to rid himself of the ever-present holy magnifying glass that looms overhead.
1 John is the book that sets the whole business on fire. He reads it with raw and sensitive eyes. He read how he doesn’t measure up and because his love for the world is so deep…his love for God, obviously is nonexistent. Reading 1 John is like having a sun-burn and having someone continually poke you with a needle, or hit you with a fly-swatter.
He reads in James 4.4… “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
…and he groans. He has many worldly friends and influences. He puts the Bible away, knowing that if he reads anymore, he will just be faced with the inevitable.
This false convert tries to get on with his day, but the Holy Spirit has clamped upon his soul and will not let go. The weight of his enormous sin drags him down and makes him miserable.
He opens the scriptures again and reads in Romans 3…
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
…and realizes he is guilty.
Have you dear reader run up against the wall of God’s judgment?
Have you been convicted by the Scriptures and yet, somehow you must get on with the day? You feel like bawling, but your pride won’t let you.
You want to cry and yell and pound the ground, but…what will everyone think? You attempt to hold it all together…perhaps the feeling will go away.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God”
You false convert are guilty before God. Your sin is growing and the frown of God is deepening. Hell licks its chops in delight and the bridge that suspends you over the abyss creaks and groans…
Be honest with yourself. Stand in front of the mirror of Scripture naked and come to grips with the fact that you are a rotten sinner, living a lie.
Of course it doesn’t. None of our lives do. We live our lives in complete shame before the holy God of heaven and earth. The ONLY way we can ever be counted as worthy and “good enough” is through Christ’s righteousness. We are all condemned before God unless we have the jacket of Christ’s holiness placed upon us.
But it takes brokenness, humility and surrenderedness. It takes murdering pride and putting to death the lusts of the flesh. It takes a whole new mind-set, appreciation and hatred of sin. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit. Only He can save you. Only He has the ability to open the blinds of your mind and heart and bring all your sin into the light. It will be a tough road for a while. But it will be worth it. Eternally worth it!
Are you game…?
[I know a man who presents himself as a Christian, as a “nice” guy, but who will cause his own life as well as his marriage to be gone down in demonic flames because he stubbornly refuses to actually examine himself by the light and truth of God’s word. And instead, appraises himself by himself, according to his own opinion of himself, and will discount and reject the word of God applied in context to the glaring lack of fruit in his life, which never changes nor truly blooms. Is he redeemed? By God’s standards and truth? Or is he simply a milk drinking fool? Is it a matter of far too much head knowledge and no actual Holy Spirit? For all intents and purposes, according to the word of God, it surely looks that way. He knows the word, sometimes uses the word, and yet in practice completely disregards the word in his applying it to himself. Living in a constant state of that habitual sin. Reborn? One thing is for certain, his spirituality is powerless and he is still working for the enemy. And, pridefully, will not submit his resignation of that job. There is no substitute for the truth of the word of God. And no man is an exception to it. One day, he may learn that. May God grant him genuine repentance and actual surrender to Christ as Lord, and not just continue to reduce grace and Jesus Christ to some “look the other way tool” to gratify his need to get out from under his rare feelings of guilt. And May God lead the captive to true freedom in the biblical Christ. Pride is a death sentence.]~AGM
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
2 Peter 2:21
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
1 John 2:3
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.
1 John 5:3
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.19“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20“So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.…22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
Word of God. Absolute truth for all men.
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Here is a great follow up to James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries’ concern over Rick Warren’s capitulation to Rome part 1. He examines the Judaizers of Galatians and shows that even a minute change in the Gospel of Christ is a total abandonment of that Gospel. The strongest language in the New Testament is spoken against those who pervert the Gospel. Compared to much of today’s professing Christianity, the Judaizers look extremely conservative and even almost orthodox, and yet Rome makes the Judaizers look like amateurs in perverting Christ’s Gospel.
The video is 14 minutes and White also has good words for how to comment on the situation (hint: not angrily nor arrogantly) and he also expresses a biblical stance on why we should be concerned when we do speak up over these matters.
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” – Luke 16:19-31.
“If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”
HOW OFTEN HAVE we heard people say, “If only I could hear the audible voice of God, see some miracle (that would defy the laws of science) or have some indisputable evidence before me, then I would believe in Him”, but such scenarios would prove to be ineffective; they would not believe until their hearts were changed.
Recall the miracles performed by Christ in certain villages, yet the people continued in unbelief (John 12:37; Luke 10:13). There is absolutely no hope whatsoever in believing God unless He first opens the heart like He did with Lydia (Acts 16:14). We shall certainly die eternally in our sins if God does not breathe His Life into these ‘dry bones’. It is with the regenerate heart that one believes and the evidence of a life that is converted (turned around) to God is the greatest miracle we shall ever see – not Jesus walking on water, turning water into wine or even physically raising a person from the dead. It is a crying shame that much of modern Christendom is crazed over miraculous physical healing, as if that would provide sufficient evidence to convince a sin-enslaved soul to turn to God. You can have as much spiritual phenomena you want that would turn many heads in amazement, but not hearts, in churches that are riddled with heresy. Satan is all too pleased to counterfeit the authentic in order to keep souls from the One True Light.
It is the Word of God spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit to any soul dead in sin that awakens them and opens their eyes. Where darkness reigned, Light triumphantly takes it place; where death ruled, Life takes preeminence. It is a wonder to see and such a mystery to behold that angels long to understand its depth. Shouldn’t that be our standard; shouldn’t that be our one aim in seeing the power of God displayed by turning rebellious and sin-hardened hearts unto Himself? Even if no physical miracles were to take place, would we be just as, if not more enthralled to see hearts changed and desiring to embrace our Lord and Saviour; lives living obediently unto Him that brings Life in abundance?
Reblogged from Shade of the Moriah Tree (which I highly recommend)
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October 13th, 2006
The following are excerpts from four of Spurgeon’s sermons. They outline the lordship salvation position in a way that only Spurgeon can.Excerpt 1: To repent does mean a change of mind; but then it is a thorough change of the understanding and all that is in the mind, so that it includes an illumination, an illumination of the Holy Spirit; and I think it includes a discovery of iniquity and a hatred of it, without which there can hardly be a genuine repentance. We must not, I think, undervalue repentance. It is a blessed grace of God the Holy Spirit, and it is absolutely necessary unto salvation. …
The repentance which is here commanded is the result of faith; it is born at the same time with faith—they are twins, and to say which is the elder-born passes my knowledge. It is a great mystery; faith is before repentance in some of its acts, and repentance before faith in another view of it; the fact being that they come into the soul together. Now, a repentance which makes me weep and abhor my past life because of the love of Christ which has pardoned it, is the right repentance. When I can say, “My sin is washed away by Jesus’ blood,” and then repent because I so sinned as to make it necessary that Christ should die—that dove-eyed repentance which looks at his bleeding wounds, and feels that her heart must bleed because she wounded Christ—that broken heart that breaks because Christ was nailed to the cross for it—that is the repentance which bringeth us salvation. …
Faith means trust in Christ. Now, I must again remark that some have preached this trust in Christ so well and so fully, that I can admire their faithfulness and bless God for them; yet there is a difficulty and a danger; it may be that in preaching simple trust in Christ as being the way of salvation, that they omit to remind the sinner that no faith can be genuine but such as is perfectly consistent with repentance for past sin; for my text seems to me to put it thus: no repentance is true but that which consorts with faith; no faith is true but that which is linked with a hearty and sincere repentance on account of past sin. So then, dear friends, those people who have a faith which allows them to think lightly of past sin, have the faith of devils, and not the faith of God’s elect. (“Faith and Repentance Inseparable,” Sermon #460)
Excerpt 2: Every true Christian pronounces this phrase, “Jesus our Lord,” with the emphasis of unreservedness. We desire that Christ Jesus should be our Lord in everything, and Lord over every part of our being. Each one of us has said to him, “My Lord, do just what thou wilt with me. If I can the better glorify thee by patient endurance or by active service, only give me the needful grace, and I will not fail to own thee as my Lord.” Have you not, beloved, given up to the Lord Jesus everything that you have! Have you not felt that you love him better than husband, or wife, or child! Do you not feel that your spirit, soul, and body, all belong to him, and that you desire to consecrate to him all your goods, all your hours, and all your powers? Are you keeping back from him any of your substance; do you reckon that aught that you have is your own? If so, you are not true to Jesus your Lord, for he who truly loves Jesus, and who knows that he is one of those who are redeemed by him, says with all his heart that Jesus is his Lord, his absolute Sovereign, his Despot, if that word be used in the sense of Christ having unlimited monarchy and supreme sway over the soul. Yea, O “Jesus our Lord,” thou shalt be the autocratic, imperial Master of our heart, and of the whole dominion of our manhood! (“Jesus Our Lord!” Sermon #2806)
Excerpt 3: It is a faith which produces works which saves us; the works do not save us; but a faith which does not produce works is a faith that will only deceive, and cannot lead us into heaven. …
There never was in this world such a thing as an impenitent believer in Jesus Christ, and there never can be. Faith and repentance are born in a spiritual life together, and they grow up together. The moment a man believes he repents, and while he believes he both believes and repents, and until he shall have done with faith he will not have done with repenting. If thou hast believed, but hast never repented of thy sins, then beware of thy believing. If thou pretendest now to be a child of God, and if thou hast never clothed thyself in dust and ashes; if thou hast never hated the sins which once thou didst love: if thou dost not now hate them, and endeavour to be rid of them, if thou dost not humble thyself before God on account of them, as the Lord liveth, thou knowest nothing about saving faith, for faith puts a distance between us and sin; in a moment it leads us away from the distance between us and Christ; nearer to Christ, we are now far off from sin. But he that loves his sin, thinks little of his sin, goes into it with levity, talks of it sportively, speaks of sin as though it were a trifle, hath the faith of devils, but the faith of God’s elect he never knew. True faith purges the soul, since the man now hunts after sin that he might find out the traitor that lurks within his nature; and though a believer is not perfect, yet the drift of faith is to make him perfect; and if it is faith to be perfected, the believer shall be perfected, and then shall he be caught up to dwell before the throne. Judge yourselves, my hearers. Have you brought forth the fruits of repentance? If not, your faith without them is dead. (“Fruitless Faith,” Sermon #3434)
Excerpt 4: Are you born again? Have you passed from death unto life? Are you “a new creature in Christ Jesus?” Is all your trust put in the Lord Jesus Christ? Has his life become your model, and does his Spirit dwell in your mortal body? If so, peace be unto you; this promise is yours. You may have been the worst of men; but if you have faith in Christ those sins are all forgiven, and you may take this promise to be yours for ever. But if you are self-righteous, self-sufficient, ungodly, careless, worldly, there is no such promise for you; you are in the snare, you shall be there, and you shall perish, unless you repent; for it is written, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” May God save you from perishing, by giving you an interest in the blood of Christ; and to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be glory for ever and ever. (“The Snare of the Fowler,” Sermon #124)
(Thank you dear Fides ❤ )
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Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened….—1 Corinthians 5:6-7
No sin is private. It may be secret but it is not private.
It is a great error to hold, as some do, that each man’s conduct is his own business unless his acts infringe on the rights of others. “My liberty ends where yours begins,” is true, but that is not all the truth. No one ever has the right to commit an evil act, no matter how secret. God wills that men should be free, but not that they be free to commit sin….
Coming still closer, we Christians should know that our unchristian conduct cannot be kept in our own back yard. The evil birds of sin fly far and influence many to their everlasting loss. The sin committed in the privacy of the home will have its effect in the assembly of the saints. The minister, the deacon, the teacher who yields to temptation in secret becomes a carrier of moral disease whether he knows it or not. The church will be worse because one member sins. The polluted stream flows out and on, growing wider and darker as it affects more and more persons day after day and year after year.
~ A. W. Tozer
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We frequently meet with persons who tell us that they cannot find peace with God. They have been bidden to believe in the Lord Jesus, but they misunderstand the command, and, while they think the), are obeying it, they are really unbelievers; hence they miss the way of peace. They attempt to pray, but their petitions are not answered, and their supplications yield them no comfort whatever, for neither their faith nor their prayer is accepted of the Lord. Such persons are described by James in the third verse of this chapter. We cannot be content to see seekers in this wretchedness, and hence we endeavour to comfort them, instructing them again and again in the great gospel precept, “Believe and live”: yet as a rule they get no further, but linger in an unsatisfactory condition. We will go to the root of the matter, and set forth the reason for the lack of peace and salvation of which some complain.
I. First hearken to THE COMPREHENSIVE COMMAND. “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” According to the connection, the fighting spirit within many men shows that they have not submitted themselves to God; lusting, envy, strife, contention, jealousy, anger, all these things declare that the heart is not submissive, but remains violently self-willed and rebellious. Those who are still wrathful, proud, contentious, and selfish, are evidently unsubdued. A want of submission is no new or rare fault in mankind; ever since the fall it has been the root of all sin. Man wants to be his own law, and his own master. This is abominable, since we are not our own makers; for “it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves.” The Lord should have supremacy over us, for our existence depends on His will. The hemlock of sin grows in the furrows of opposition to God. When the Lord is pleased to turn the hearts of opposers to the obedience of the truth, it is an evident token of salvation; in fact, it is the dawn of salvation itself. To submit to God is to find rest. The rule of God is so beneficial that He ought readily to be obeyed. He never commands us to do that which, in the long run, can be injurious to us; nor does He forbid us anything which can be to our real advantage. All resistance against God must, from the necessity of the case, be futile. Common sense teaches that rebellion against Omnipotence is both insanity and blasphemy. And then let it always be known that submission to God is absolutely necessary to salvation. A man is not saved until he bows before the supreme majesty of God. Now, it is generally in this matter of submission that the stumbling-block lies in the way of souls when seeking peace with God. It keeps them unsaved, and as I have already said, necessarily so, because a man who is not submissive to God is not saved; he is not saved from rebellion, he is not saved from pride, he is still evidently an unsaved man, let him “think whatever he will of himself.
1. Now, in the saved man there is and must be a full and unconditional submission to the law of God. If you say in your heart, “He is too strict in marking sin, and too severe in punishing it,” what is this but condemning your Judge? If you say, “He calls me to account for idle words, and even for sins of ignorance, and this is hard,” what is this but to call your Lord unjust? Should the law be amended to suit your desires? Should its requirements be accommodated to ease your indolence?
2. And before a man can have peace with God he must submit himself to the sentence of the law. If your plea be “not guilty,” you will be committed for trial according to justice, but you cannot be forgiven by mercy. You are in a hopeless position; God Himself cannot meet you upon that ground, for He cannot admit that the law is unrighteous and its penalty too heavy.
3. A man must next submit himself to the plan of salvation by grace alone. If you come with anything like a claim the Lord will not touch the case at all, for you have no claim, and the pretence of one would be an insult to God. If you fancy you have demands upon God, go into the court of justice and plead them, but the sentence is certain to be against you, for by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified.
4. You must also submit yourselves to God’s way of saving you through an atoning sacrifice and by means of your personal faith in that sacrifice.
5. And then there must be full submission to God in the matter of giving up every sin. Either you must cast sin out of your heart or it will keep you out of heaven.
6. If we would be saved there must be submission to the Lord as to all His teachings; a very necessary point in this age, for a multitude of persons, who appear to be religious, judge the Scriptures instead of allowing the Scriptures to judge them.
7. And now I must ask another question of you who desire peace and cannot find it: have you submitted yourself to the providential arrangements of God? I know persons who have a quarrel with God. He took away a beloved object, and they not only thought Him unkind and cruel at the time, but they think so still. Like a child in a fit of the sulks, they cast an evil eye upon the great Father. They are not at peace, and never will be till they have owned the Lord’s supremacy, and ceased from their rebellious thoughts. If they were in a right state of heart they would thank the Lord for their sharp trials, and consent to His will, as being assuredly right. Yield yourselves unto God, and pray to be delivered from future rebellion. If you have submitted, do so yet more completely, for so shall you be known to be Christians when you submit yourselves unto God.
II. Now consider the other and FOLLOWING PRECEPTS. I think I am not suspicious without reason when I express a fear that the preaching which has lately been very common, and in some respects very useful, of “only believe and you shall be saved,” has sometimes been altogether mistaken by those who have heard it. Repentance is as essential to salvation as faith: indeed there is no faith without repentance except the faith which needs to be repented of. A dry-eyed faith will never see the kingdom of God. A holy loathing for sin always attends upon a childlike faith in the Sin-bearer. Where the root grace of faith is found other graces will grow from it. Now notice how the Spirit of God, after having bidden us submit, goes on to show what else is to be done. He calls for a brave resistance of the devil.
1. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The business of salvation is not all passive, the soul must be aroused to active warfare. I am not only to contend with sin, but with the spirit which foments and suggests sin. I am to resist the secret spirit of evil as well as its outward acts. “Oh,” saith one, “I cannot give up an inveterate habit.” Sir, you must give it up; you must resist the devil or perish. “But I have been so long in it,” cries the man. Yes, but if you truly trust Christ your first effort will be to fight against the evil habit. Ay, and if it is not a habit merely, nor an impulse, but if your danger lies in the existence of a cunning spirit who is armed at all points, and both strong and subtle, yet you must not yield, but resolve to resist to the death, cheered by the gracious promise that he will flee from you.
2. Next the apostle writes, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” lie who believes in Christ sincerely will be much in prayer; yet there are some who say, “We want to be saved,” but they neglect prayer.
3. The next precept is, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners.” What! does the Word of God tell sinners to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts? Yes, it does. When a man comes to God and says, “I am willing and anxious to be saved, and I trust Christ to save me,” and yet he keeps his dirty, black hands exercised in filthy actions, doing what he knows is wrong, does he expect God to hear him? If you do the devil’s work with your hands, do not expect the Lord to fill them with His blessing.
4. Then it is added, “Purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” Can they do this? Assuredly not by themselves, but still in order to peace with God there must be so much purification of the heart that it shall no longer be double-minded. When you cease trying to serve two masters, and submit yourselves unto God, He will bless you, but not till then. I believe that this touches the centre of the mischief in many of those hearts which fail to reach peace; they have not given up sin, they are not whole-hearted after salvation.
5. Then the Lord bids us “be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” I grieve to say that I have met with persons who say, “I cannot find peace, I cannot get salvation,” and talk very prettily in that way; but yet outside the door they are giggling one with another, as if it were matter of amusement. What right have you with laughter while sin is unforgiven, while God is angry with you? Nay, go to Him in fitter form and fashion, or He will refuse your prayers. Be serious, begin to think of death, and judgment, and wrath to come.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passionsaare at war within you?b 2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4You adulterous people!c Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Submit your understanding to the truth of God; submit your wills to the will of his precept, the will of his providence. Submit yourselves to God, for he is ready to do you good. If we yield to temptations, the devil will continually follow us; but if we put on the whole armour of God, and stand out against him, he will leave us. Let sinners then submit to God, and seek his grace and favour; resisting the devil. All sin must be wept over; here, in godly sorrow, or, hereafter, in eternal misery. And the Lord will not refuse to comfort one who really mourns for sin, or to exalt one who humbles himself before him. Matthew Henry
(Thanks Zabeth ❤ )
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Reblogged from Paul the Slave….
Everybody in America is born again, and the reason why they’re born again is because of most of the preachers and pastors who do not understand the Gospel nor the power of the Gospel and that we’ve reduced the Gospel down to four spiritual laws and five things God wants you to know. We have done the very same thing that Catholicism has done since its beginning—turned salvation into nothing more than a few little steps and a superstitious prayer at the end, turned salvation into nothing more than a mere human decision whereby a man decides for himself simply to jump out of the line going into Hell in order to jump into the line going to Heaven.
But when you grasp the power of regeneration, everything else begins to fall in place and until you grasp the power of regeneration, you cannot understand the doctrine and the calling to self denial.
Let me just give you an example …another little definition I’ve written about man.
Man is a fallen, radically depraved, spiritually dead, morally corrupt, sin-loving, God-hating creature. In the very core of his being, he is as opposed to God as the devil himself. He cannot change and has no desire to do so. He loves a lie and will do everything in his power to restrain and suppress any and every truth about God and the more he knows about God, the more he hates Him, because God is righteous and man is evil.
Now, how do you take something like that, how do you expect a creature like that to all of a sudden hear a Gospel message of self-denial and turn his back on absolutely everything he is and at all cost follow the Christ? How can you expect a man to take a journey of a thousand miles if he’s neither willing nor able to take the first step? And this idea of, well, as the brother put it, “Well, let’s get them saved and then gradually introduce them to salvation and to discipleship and to the call to self-denial.” But I want to tell you something. It is not any easier to coax a dead man to take one step than it is to coax him to take a million. If he’s dead, he’s dead. And within that is found the power of regeneration.
Because I, as a preacher, an itinerant, nothing, little preacher, because of my belief in the power of the Gospel and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, I can look at the most defiled man on the face of the earth and tell him to forsake his mother, his father, his lands, his home, his own life, and I can expect that, out of the group of them, somebody’s coming out. I do not have to lay down the bar on the Gospel. I can bid men to come and die from the very moment I speak with them because I believe in the power of resurrection.
Someone says, “How can you expect a man to do that?” I say, “Well, let me answer that with another question. How can Ezekiel command bones to live? And how can Jesus cry out to a dead man and tell him to come forth?” Because salvation is not just some mere, tiny, puny, human decision.
It is the supernatural work of God.
“No man is really saved unless he is in his heart obedient to Christ.”~CH Spurgeon
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Do you fear God? No, I mean, really….do you fear GOD?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.~Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.~Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.~Proverbs 1:7
“In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.”~Luke 12:1-9
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth”—Hebrews 12:6.
There cannot be a greater evidence of God’s hatred and wrath than His refusing to correct men for their sinful courses and vanities!
Where God refuses to correct, there God resolves to destroy! There is no man so near God’s axe, so near the flames, so near hell, as he whom God will not so much as spend a rod upon! “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev 3:19).
God is most angry when He shows no anger!
Who can seriously meditate upon this and not be silent under God’s most smarting rod?
The Mute Christian
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Excellent post from a dear brother much respected. From Shade of the Moriah Tree. Link provided at the end of the post. Please check out his blog.:-) ~AGM†
WOMEN IN MINISTRY, particularly the role of shepherding the flock, remains to be one of the most unrelenting and heated controversies in the Church. The difficulty in our present day arises out of the fact that it has almost become the accepted norm; the ever increasing subtle influence of feminism goes beyond justification to the ‘Christianisation’ of it. But is it not the trend of how the Church compromises – adopting the world’s methods after undergoing a ‘ceremony of purification’ for its use and assets?
In considering such a sensitive issue in the light of Scripture, it is imperative to suspend all our insubordinately-biased and preconceived notions – a mentality that reflects nothing of the Spirit of Christ but that of the world (with all its prideful, bitter and divisive contentions) – in order to arrive at a clear understanding that is biblically governed, balanced and Spirit led. An unwillingness to do so is to reject God’s standards revealed through Scripture in preference of embracing culture as our guide and authority.
‘Women being silent’ in the church is a very weak and imbalancedangle of the argument used to put forth in prohibiting women asserting spiritual authority over a man, and is therefore ridiculous to insinuate that what Paul meant was for women to refrain from communicating in the body of Christ; women, as well as men, were at liberty to speak in tongues, interpret and prophecy (1 Corinthians 11:5). So where exactly was Paul coming from? The bedrock and pillar of Paul’s reasoning is grounded in the knowledge of Adam having been formed prior to Eve, referring back to the beginning of God’s creational order: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1Timothy 2:12-14). The ‘culture issue’ is superseded and transcended where Scripture affirmatively stands throughout the duration of creation up until Christ’s Second Advent Who will renew all things. Secondly, “Eve was deceived” as Paul states. Thirdly – Romans 5 is where Paul refers to Adam – not Eve – as being head of the human race; Christ (the Second Adam) now being the Federal Head of all who are created (regenerate) in Him. Fourthly – Husbands are the head of wives as Ephesians 5:23 states, and fifthly – as Paul was referring to male headship in the home, it is without dispute that 1Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9 confirms the establishment of the husband of one wife – not thewife of one husband – and the continual reference to he in context of church leadership.
Paul was not a male chauvinist or bound by culture, as many are inclined to believe; he went beyond that (culture) by highlighting the role and order of creation as God intended. It’s undeniably clear that the function of men and women today – in the secular and spiritual – have been reversed; men are no longer men and women no longer women – that is the epitome of a pluralistic-secular society riddled with a plethora of immoral bias and orientation, and many churches are no different the way in which they compromise by conforming to the world’s mold. The wrong emphasis within many denominations today (or over the last 50 years) leans heavily on adapting to culture, struggling to become relevant to society while neglecting her primary calling – over and above the Great Commission – conforming to the image of Jesus Christ; that is what really makes the church dynamically relevant to society’s desperate need – not succumbing and conforming to the world’s pressure.
Pentecostal churches being notorious for recognising both gender ministers, were one of the first denominations (at the least a movement that has excelled in ordaining female ministers more than any other) to initiate the role of women pastors. John MacArthur commented on the assumption that because there is ‘success’ within such movements therefore it must be right – “But, from the standpoint of historic Pentecostalism, most of those groups go back to sort of a common source, where women were very high profile, and it’s been sort of a historic thing. Once you get in the flow of that and you see that women have ministry and it seems that people get saved under their preaching and good things happen and so forth…and experience is your compelling issue; then, experience will dictate continuity to that.” You notice the last part of what he said there: “experience will dictate continuity to that.” And he’s right (in pointing out the error) – many make the experience the rule rather than what God has revealed and made plain through Scripture which is the solid ground of authority. The amount of folks I have conversed with who hold very persuasive arguments, and the testimonies I have heard of and read ‘seem’ to qualify and authenticate that such women have been called of God. No matter how eloquent and articulate women pastors communicate, that is of no true essence and reason to validate and confirm as divine ordination; and I use the word ‘divine’ intentionally as many women are ordained by the will of man alone. MacArthur is right: “…from a biblical standpoint, there is no tolerance in Scripture for women leaders in the church, apart from women leading other women – older women teaching younger women and leading their children and so forth…Therefore, although women are spiritual equals with men and the ministry of women is essential to the body of Christ, women are excluded from leadership over men in the church”
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man…for Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).
Of course, Paul was not denying women the call to teach, or in fact that they could teach effectively but so long as it remained in the realm from woman to woman and children. Some may contend through the following scriptures in disputing to the contrary: Acts 1:12–14; 9:36–42; 16:13–15; 17:1–4, 10–12; 18:1–2, 18, 24–28; Romans 16; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 1:5; 4:19. The fact that Paul greatly valued the work of women who worked alongside him for the furtherance of the Gospel, does not entail he appointed female elders or pastors. He saw and valued the order of God’s creation.
Another aspect to consider is the fact that only certain males of theocratic Israel were designated for the office of priests and kings in the Old Testament. This was not man’s choosing or prerogative but God’s sovereign will and order. Deborah as a leader (Judges 4 and 5) was clearly an exception to the rule. There was no woman with an ongoing prophetic ministry. Isaiah 3:12 indicates that God allowed women to rule as a manifestation of His judgment on a sinning nation. Moreover, in the new era and inauguration of the New Testament Church, why did Jesus only appoint male apostles – especially when considering Mary, whom Jesus first appeared to after His resurrection? Above all women, she would have been the perfect candidate. In addition, no woman wrote any of the books in the Old Testament or the gospels and epistles in the New Testament.
Are we then to say that God was lenient with culture back then, and that eventually such gender ‘classifications’ and ‘divisions’ would phase out as the body of Christ matured? Of course not!
Joel’s prophecy commenced its fulfilment – as Peter himself referred to – on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16), which speaks of a new era of the Holy Spirit being poured out in depths unknown to any previous age. This was the age when Paul stated, “…the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:22-29). That section, ‘no male and female’ is a favourable reference of contention used in defence of both genders called to the office of elder and pastor. But why were there no women (in the era of the early Church) appointed to lead and pastor churches since men and women were deemed equal in Christ? History reveals that all the way through the New Testament epoch there was no such thing as women shepherding any church whatsoever. The feminist movement (originating around the middle part of the 19th century) played a significant part in triggering off women usurping the office of elders and pastors.
I have observed over the years, while personally knowing women who claim to have been ordained of God for the role of pastor, a prominent domineering trait held in common by all, which is not a balanced authoritativeness but rather a close resemblance to that of Jezebel; question their calling from a exegetical biblical standpoint and watch their demeanour change from being very gentle to becoming very defensive and aggressive. I have yet to meet one who is of a quiet (gentle) disposition – that’s not to say that there aren’t any out there, but I seriously doubt it.
This is not to downplay and degrade women who are equally able and complimentary in their ways to men; men and women are wired differently, but each operating in their given supporting role that brings balance to the body of Christ, so much so that man is never meant to function without her, and vice-versa. Needless to say, as many are fully aware, numerous women have been subject to inhumane treatment of all kinds that find no absolute warrant in Scripture. Numerous men have grossly misunderstood the Scriptures, wresting them for their own abusive gain to overpower and shamefully domineer women. Nowhere does Scripture condone harsh and derogatory treatment of women, which is prevalent in many world religions and cults, contemptuously relating to women as an ‘object’ to be used at their (male) convenience; viewed as 2nd class citizens (below men), having their own rights stripped of them. Christians of varied denominations are not excused from the sin of treating woman as the ‘underdog’, who are expected to submissively obey or ‘face the consequences’. Many husbands who profess faith in Christ are quick to forget Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:25-29:“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the Church to Himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, just as Christ does the Church, because we are members of His body.”MacArthur eloquently stated how Jesus Himself treated women that countered a male chauvinistic mentality, while still distinguishing God’s original order of creation from a culture bias:“In Jesus’ treatment of women, He raised their station of life and He showed them compassion and respect in a way they had never known. This demonstrated their equality. At the same time, however, Jesus still did not exalt women to a place of leadership over men.”
Without question, countless of women throughout history to the present day are known to have held exceptional intellectual aptitude and high profile communication skills (among many other notable attributes) – written and spoken – that surpass not just a few males. Their leadership proficiency has reached extraordinary levels, having made their mark as exemplary school teachers, lecturers, employers, political leaders and queens. However, Scripture is emphatically clear that God has designated spiritual shepherding, under the Headship of Christ, to man.
The old famous truth still bears weight: “Behind every great man is a great woman.” Exemplars such as Sarah Edwards, Susannah Spurgeon, Bethan Lloyd-Jones, and Martha Ravenhill were such the kind of women that having been without their companionship, none of the leaders would have encountered the degree of eternal impact through their ministry in the church. That is not to detract from the anointing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, Who enables the efficacy of preaching the Word, but through marriage God has ordained woman to be man’s helper (1 Corinthians 11:8-9) – not to be taken for granted or to be used as a ‘means to an end’, but that rather without her, man is incomplete to fulfil the role God has created him to be and do (Genesis 2:18); both male and female are indissolubly linked that neither are complete without each other – both are equals that compliment one another in unity.
As the church has compromised in advocating and endorsing the vocation of women pastors, my shared concern is that such approvals will only widen the gulf of liberalism. Should we be surprised that homosexuality is condoned, encouraged and even embarked upon as equal to God’s original way of creation between man and woman as the church (in general) continues to divert from fundamentalism – not to mention that lesbian and gay pastors are now welcomed to lead the flock, who in turn marry people of the same gender? My point is, where will all this go, because the essence of liberalism is the greater form of tyranny when measured against conservative fundamentalism (if we are to include the notion that many look upon the latter as ‘opposing’ freedom, not realising that it’s function is a deterrent against lawlessness). Because so few these days earnestly contend for the faith in God’s way, the stage gives way to liberalism that inevitably embraces antinomianism. It is a gradual wearing down that opens the way to lawlessness. Subsequent to extensive research, Mark Slick rightly affirmed, “We see that denominations that hold to women pastors later overwhelmingly come to support abortion, homosexuality, and deny the inerrancy of scripture.” This may sound ridiculous and a little off track in context to the main subject, but we shouldn’t be at all surprised (only because it can be expected with the way things are heading) if in a few years we find the church – not the secular realm that already approves of it – integrating a permissive law for human sexual rights with animals. After all, who would have believed that the Church of England (C of E) would amalgamate with Islam, forming Chrislam? Ecumenically, the C of E openly compromised with the Roman Catholic Church from the early 1960’s onwards, so is it any wonder why currently the shift is so deplorably enormous? Sadly but true, this also applies to popular mainstream evangelicalism that continues to weaken and waver in its doctrine as unity is prioritised at the expense of truth.
Is it mere presumption to assert that as Eve was deceived, Satan has once again succeeded in masquerading the same manoeuvres to ensure that the route having been taken to ordain women into pastoral ministry is really ‘okay’ (“Did God insinuate that women cannot lead men spiritually”- carrying the same connotation as, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not…’?”) – that no harm is done – so long as they are preaching the ‘truth’ and ‘success’ follows? For what will that ‘truth’ be but another gospel that dethrones God (in one’s understanding) and exalts man (or woman!), and what kind of ‘success’ will that be that so many wrongly equate with God’s approval and blessing?