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Thank you for stopping by our site A-Typical Christianity. On this site we have a bunch of resources for Christians and those who are interested in finding out more about true Christianity. If you like our blog, subscribe on the right side of the page so you get automatic updates via email.

Andy and Melissa Beshore

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some of the "secrets" of Catholicism

This video is called, "To all Catholics; You deserve to know these "secrets"." Click here to get it.



This is the basic text from the video, because it's a little hard to read.

"...Take heed that no one deceive you." Matthew 24:4 See also: Galatians 1:6-9

The Roman Catholic Church teaches many doctrines that are in disagreement with what the Bible declares.

1) The Pope is the head of the church.

The Bible says, that Christ is the head of the church.

"For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body." Ephesians 5:23

2) Baptism is necessary for salvation in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Lord Himself affirms that baptism is not necessary for salvation neither can it save you.

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7 See also: Romans 5:6-11, John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8-9

3) The Roman Catholic church says imagery is used to increase faith in the mystery of Christ.

"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10: 17

“Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female..." Deuteronomy 4:15-16

4) The Roman Catholic church says all sins must be confessed to a priest.

The Bible says, "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin." Psalms 32:5

“Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:7

5) The Roman Catholic Church believes that the virgin Mary is like Jesus and aids in our salvation.

The most crucial problem with the Roman Catholic Church is it's belief that faith alone in Christ is not sufficient for salvation.

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

Seek the truth for yourself.

"And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you."" Matthew 24:4

The Bible has an impact wherever it is proclaimed (Isaiah 55:11), but while Catholics claim Scriptural support for these concepts, none of these teachings have any solid foundation in the clear teaching of Scripture. These concepts are based on Catholic tradition, not the Word of God. In fact they all clearly contradict Biblical principles.

"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-9

Andy and Melissa

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards



Considered to be one of the most famous sermons in American history, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was first delivered in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741. Timely yet timeless, Jonathan Edwards shows us our true nature, that nature which we see so very clearly even today.

How does God REALLY view sinners? Hear just how sinful we REALLY are and how much God's wrath abides on us before conversion. All I can say is, "Ouch, ouch, ouch!"



You can find this sermon here.

How do I know if I'm one of God's elect?

Once someone learns of the doctrine of election, this is usually the next question to be asked. Mark Kielar puts this question in perspective and shows that if you're an unbeliever, this isn't really what you should be concerned with yet.

"This video is called, "How Do I Know If I'm One of God's Elect?" (Mark Kielar)" and you can find it at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=RClNArrlt7A .

Catholicism vs. the Bible

To my grandparents: Please realize I share this with you out of concern and love for you both.

This clip by John MacArthur explains what Catholicism really teaches and the Biblical reasons for why it doesn't match up with the Bible and the true gospel.

This video is called, "John Macarthur Johnny Mac what real Catholics believe" and you can find it at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qt25xnk6gfM .


Andy

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Revival Hymn

The Revival Hymn Video is an audio compilation put to video with words on the screen for easier understanding. This is a powerful compilation and reminds us what true revival is all about.

Created by Host at Sermonindex.net. Speakers: Ian Paisley, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Duncan Campbell, A.W. Tozer and T. Austin Sparks. Music: Last of the Mohicans soundtrack.



This video is called, "Revival Hymn" and you can find it at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=uwbps9k5Dj0 .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Is there such a thing as free will? - Spurgeon

FREE WILL - A SLAVE by C. H. Spurgeon



"I intend to spike the gun this morning, or, rather, to turn it on the enemy, for it was never theirs; it was never cast at their foundry at all, but was intended to teach the very opposite doctrine to that which they assert. Usually, when the text is taken, the divisions are: First, that man has a will. Secondly, that he is entirely free. Thirdly, that men must make themselves willing to come to Christ, otherwise they will not be saved. Now, we shall have no such divisions; but we will endeavour to take a more calm look at the text; and not, because there happen to be the words "will," or "will not" in it, run away with the conclusion that it teaches the doctrine of free-will. It has already been proved beyond all controversy that free-will is nonsense. Freedom cannot belong to will any more than ponderability can belong to electricity. They are altogether different things. Free agency we may believe in, but free-will is simply ridiculous. The will is well known by all to be directed by the understanding, to be moved by motives, to be guided by other parts of the soul, and to be a secondary thing. Philosophy and religion both discard at once the very thought of free-will; and I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, "If any man doth ascribe aught of salvation, even the very least, to the free-will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright....." ~ C.H. Spurgeon



Full text here:
http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0052.htm

You can download this yourself at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=7170545810 .

"It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines, that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make a pilgrimage into the past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me. Were I a Pelagian, or a believer in the doctrine of free-will, I should have to walk for centuries all alone. Here & there a heretic, of no very honorable character, might rise up and call me brother. But taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God's own church." ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Don't Treat the Bible Like You Treat Food or Art - Mark Kielar

This video is called, "Don't Treat the Bible Like You Treat Food or Art." and it's by Mark Kielar. You can find it at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=c8j4weN_P4w .

Objective (adj): undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena; "an objective appraisal"; "objective evidence"

Subjective (adj): Based on personal feeling or interpretation


We can treat food with a subjective bias. We can treat art with a subjective bias. We can't treat the Scriptures with subjective bias. They are objective truth and to treat them otherwise is sin.

How do I find a Bible I can trust?



The first Bible I had was an NIV. I was coming to Christianity with the typical modern American Arminian viewpoint. At the time, I thought that was good because the language was easy to understand. It had study notes that I assumed were reliable. If memory serves me I read both Testaments in their entirety in the NIV. I had no way of knowing what stances they took were reliable and which were not.

After we got married, our views changed. We realized that the modern approach that catered to the NIV had little reference to our sinful nature that the Reformed faith, which is more based on many, many years of Christian history stresses. As we put ourselves in front of more resources that we agreed with, we noticed that the modern approach was more off base.


We have the NKJV but, it comes in the NASB as well.

Although I do not entirely remember how we first heard about the MacArthur Study Bible, we went to a local Christian bookstore and thumbed through it. It seemed good to us, so we each ordered one online. John MacArthur comes from the same Reformed viewpoint as countless champions of the faith. If you wonder, "Why Reformed?", I could not adequately explain it clearly enough. I would recommend "Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism" to adequately explain why this faith is the lone true faith. Am I saying, that unless you are "Reformed" you are not truly Christian? Isn't that narrow minded? Matthew 7:13-14 explains why it is good to be "narrow minded" when it comes to the faith that is valid. I am sure at this point there are some objectors. We have watched the first two hours of the aforementioned DVD, which could far better explain why we think this way than I could do at this point.



MacArthur has almost a verse by verse commentary throughout. He has a thorough set of notes for the entire New Testament. He bears full responsibility for the accuracy of the notes even though He did have help compiling them. He has expositionally preached through nearly the entire New Testament, so he has personal notes that he had prepared for those sermons that he included in this study Bible. He had help from Master's Seminary and people at Grace To You. He had numerous people scower all the notes for accuracy and Scriptural references. He had several others proofread for him. MacArthur had handwritten notes that his team deciphered. So, you can see that all these notes were in front of numerous people other than MacArthur himself, so nobody can say that we are taking only one fallible man's opinion on this.

This masterpiece took about two years to put together. MacArthur devoted himself fully during those two years. He says he never had learned so much as he had during the time this Bible was being put together. He says for many months he spent eight or more hours a day studying not because he had to, but because he wanted to. He says its riches held him captive.

Following how it was put together, MacArthur explains how the Bible came about. I will leave that out, as when you obtain your own copy, you can read this for yourself.

Next, MacArthur outlines a good way to study the Bible. We must realize that the Bible contains God's mind and will for our lives (2 Tim 3:16-17). It is infallibly complete (Psalm 19:7; Revelation 22:18-19). It is without error (Proverbs 30:5-6). It is authoritative and final (Psalm 119:89). It is sufficient in and of itself (2 Timothy 3:16-17). What it says will happen (Isaiah 55:11). It will give us Biblical assurance of our salvation - if it is genuine, of course (John 8:47, John 20:31).

We must realize that God's word is our source of truth (John 17:17). This is why we should go to it for everything in this life. We will be blessed, not by the world's definition, but God's definition , when we obey it (Luke 11:28).
The Bible provides the way to give us victory in times of temptation and sin (Ephesians 6:17). It contains power for Christians(Romans 1:16). It guides us throughout our daily lives (Psalm 119:105).

How should we respond to the Bible? We should believe it (John 6:68-69), honor it (Job 23:12), love it (Psalm 119:97), and obey it (1 John 2:5), guard it (1 Timothy 6:20), fight for it (Jude 3), preach it (2 Timothy 4:2), and study it (Ezra 7:10).

We have to be qualified to study it. How are we qualified? First, we have to be saved (1 Corinthians 2:14-16). If we are not saved, Satan has blinded us to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4). Next we have to be hungry for the Word (1 Peter 2:2), dilligent (Acts 17:11), seeking a holy lifestyle (1 Peter 1:14-16), and Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:18).

MacArthur gives a really good reading plan. The Old Testament has a different plan. We should read through the entire New Testament annually. We should take note of anything we do not immediately grasp. We might find answers to issues like these as we continue to read. Other commentaries and resources might be helpful.

MacArthur's New Testament reading plan is time consuming. Following this plan, the New Testament would take almost three years to get through. However, is your goal speed, or proper understanding? Divide long NT books, like the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation into chunks. I did Matthew in four seven chapter chunks. I know it better now than at any point before. Read each chunk daily for thirty days. Read short books, like 1 John, in one setting.

We can use cross references to assist us in proper interpretation as well as indexes and study guides. We can use other Godly men we trust to assist us.

We should not make the Bible say what we want it to. We should rely on history and people we trust. Ask yourself, "What did God originally intend in light of it's context?" Interpret Scripture in light of it's intended normal, literal, historical, and grammatical sense. We should take into account the original language. We should realize that the Old Testament was translated in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, so having a resource that translates these languages is helpful, such as the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. MacArthur frequently cites Greek in the New Testament. We should be aware of grammatical structure of sentences so we know to whom or what passages refer. Scriptures compliment each other. It does not contradict. We should bear this in mind as well.

If the great men of the faith from throughout history support the view that you hold on something, chances are your view is accurate. If historical interpretation differs greatly than yours, chances are, you should abandon your unique interpretation. What we learn from Scripture should penetrate our souls and change the way we live, otherwise the Bible serves no benefit to us.

He goes on, but I would recommend you get the Bible for yourself and check it out. You probably can find this online at his organization's website, gty.org or get a cheaper version if you shop around on the internet. I hope this has been helpful. The MacArthur Bible has been tremendously helpful to us in the year or less that we have had it.

Andy

Thursday, July 17, 2008

False Revival

I (Melissa) found this video to be very interesting because I used to be heavily involved in the charismatic movement and I was involved in a lot of the things that are shown in this video that were supposed revivals. I have come to see the demonic nature of these supposed manifestations of the Holy Spirit. This video shows clips of pagan and demonic manifestations and the supposed manifestations caused by God and you can't even really tell the difference except for the setting of the videos and the way the people are dressed. I'll write more when I have time on my experiences in the charismatic movement.


This video is called, "The False Revival (comparison)" and you can find it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtVGxJU-j2I .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Exposition of Romans - Chapter 3 - Part 1



Exposition on Romans
written by Andy (edited and organized by Melissa)

Introduction

As chapter three begins, Paul has explained in the first two chapters basic foundational truths that he builds upon as the book unfolds. The first chapter illustrated how sinful we are by listing several examples of how we consistently, consciously break God’s commands. Following that, Paul makes the case that since we are so sinful, God’s judgment is very reasonable. Now Paul, in anticipation of the arguments that his opposition might bring forth, embarks on his defense of God’s judgment.

God’s Judgment Defended – Romans 3:1-8

Paul starts chapter three by illuminating the fact that the Jews of the day had a tremendous advantage over the Gentiles because they had the Old Testament, which in numerous parts taught its readers who God was (i.e. His attributes), how salvation was to occur, and pointed to the coming Messiah, which Jesus embodied (v.2). This is to what Paul referred when he said the Jews were given God’s sayings. However, in order for anyone to inherit God’s promises, they have to have a proper relationship with Him. That goes for the Jews of Paul’s day as well as for us today. The Jews thought they had that proper relationship with God, simply because God had called them “His chosen people.” The fact remained that in order for anyone to inherit God’s promises, they still had to exercise saving faith and live it out. If the proper belief was not there, they could not inherit God’s promises and neither can we. Verse 4 says that God would still be true even if we all thought that he wasn’t, then we would all be made out to be liars and liars will not inherit anything.

Romans 3:5-6 says, “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?” Because all of humanity is so sinful and so regularly breaks God’s laws and has the flippant attitude toward God and His law that it does, it shows humanity how separate it is from the nature and will of God. It shows how far “up there” God is and how far “down here” we are in relation. God’s standard is perfection and is embodied in the Ten Commandments. We fall miserably short of that standard, as Paul will illustrate later in the chapter.

God has this standard so He can thoroughly judge the world. Without the standard, judgment would seem unreasonable and God would have no logical basis for sending anyone to hell (v. 6) and even people like Hitler and Hussein would be in heaven. I am sure my reader can agree that they do not expect to see either of those two in heaven.

I will go out on a limb here in verse seven. When Paul says, “For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory,…” I am thinking that Paul is referring to his lifestyle practice of persecuting and killing Christians in the name of God (Acts 8:3) prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). These acts that Paul performed actually worked to bring God glory through the salvation of Paul. So Paul says, “why am I also still judged a sinner (vs. 7)? Paul anticipated that his objectors would say that since God saved Paul despite his outright rebellion toward God (Acts 8:3) leading up to Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) to show God’s amazing work of grace in Paul’s life, why should Paul still be deemed a sinner? (Romans 3:7). Verse 8 says, “And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come’?...” Why not do things so God will have to do some remarkable work and show His power and glory through the intentional sin of others? Paul is explaining that this is the wrong attitude to have toward sin and it will result in final condemnation.

All Have Sinned – Romans 3:9-20

Now Paul shows that all groups, Jews and Gentiles alike, are all subject to sin (Romans 3:9-18). In one of the most recognizable New Testament portions of Scripture, Paul uses the Psalms and the book of Isaiah to support his thesis that we are all under sin. This portion of Scripture indict man in three ways: man’s character (v. 10-12), conversation (v. 13-14), and conduct (v. 15-17). He uses terms like “all” and “none” to show how universal sin and rebellion is in all humanity.

Roman 3:10-18 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Starting in the beginning: “every intent of the thoughts of his (man’s) heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Notice how sin begins in the thoughts. Before sin can become an action it has to take form in the thoughts. Shortly thereafter it says “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). Parents, have you had to teach your kids to lie to you? Have you had to teach your kids to disobey you or did it not come naturally? Modern psychology will give you a ton of other reasons for kids disobedience but they fail to realize sin is there from birth. Ask yourself, which was here first, the Bible or modern psychology? If the Bible tells us things that psychology figured out later on its own, which of the two do you suppose has more authority? The obvious answer should be the Bible.

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” On the “deceitful” point, has anyone ever had to teach you to lie? Did you not have the tendency to do it already? From where did that tendency come? It seems obvious that the tendency was there all along, even from conception. Psalms 51:5 says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous…” This refers to the fact that no one lives in accordance with God standards. “Understands” is synonymous with the word “comprehends.” This refers to the fact that the carnally-minded man cannot understand God and His standard of righteousness. Romans 8:7, I think, supports this statement when it says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Minds who have not been transformed and renewed by the process of regeneration cannot understand the things of God. These minds are not influenced by God’s law. They say things like, “The Ten Commandments are a guide” and think that they do not have to be kept today. They seem to forget, that Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). How does Jesus manifest Himself to us? It seems clear that the answer to this question is by having His commands, the Word written on our hearts (Romans 2:15).

The carnally minded seem to forget that Jesus said that in order to be called great in the kingdom of heaven we should keep His commands and teach others to do so (Matthew 5:19). What’s more, in perhaps His most famous teaching exposition ever recorded, in the following Sermon on the Mount, Jesus opened up the Law and taught on adultery (Seventh Commandment), murder (Sixth Commandment), divorce (Seventh Commandment), our attitude toward wealth (Second and tenth Commandment references). In Matthew 15:19-20 Jesus said that the things that defile us are when we break His commands and He lists six Commandments in those verses alone. I am counting "fornications" as a reference to the Seventh Commandment. Jesus taught about divorce and adultery and gave the rich young ruler six Commandments either in letter or in essence (Matthew 19:18-19). This is not exhaustive, but the point remains, God’s Law still has its place under the new covenant.

Romans 3:11 says, “There is none who seeks after God.” There are many religions out there. Every one of them thinks theirs is the only true one. In fact, all religions, with the exception of Biblical Christianity have all tried to escape the one true God. Philippians 2:21 tells us that “all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” Unregenerate minds do not even search out the things of God. Ephesians 4:18 shows us that unregenerate sinners have “their understanding darkened… because of the blindness of their heart.” Unregenerate humanity tries to satisfy themselves in other religions and unless God seeks them first, they will perish. Unless the Father calls sinners, sinners cannot be saved. God has to seek us before we can seek Him. In Matthew 11:27, Jesus says, “Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” We cannot and will not know God the Father unless Jesus the Son reveals the Father to us. In John 6:37, Jesus says, “All that the Father gives Me I will by no means cast out.” So, the Father does the selecting, not us. The Father gives us to Christ. In John 6:44, Jesus plainly says that the Father draws sinners to Jesus. Only then do we get saved. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” We are not even able to seek God and His kingdom unless God first works in our hearts.

Romans 3: 12 says, “They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no not one.” Becoming “unprofitable” (v. 12) refers to being worthless, or becoming depraved. So before coming to God, God sees sinners as “worthless or “depraved.” The fact that none of us do good before coming to God can be supported by how God views our deeds before coming to Him. If we look at Isaiah 64:6, we can glean several characteristics about ourselves and How God reacts to us. It says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”
This is clear. You and I are unclean. Our righteousnesses/good deeds are pointless, futile and a waste of God’s time before we get saved by Him. It goes on to say, “We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” What happens if our iniquities rule over us? They separate us further and further from God. Before long, we can never be saved by God. We can also explain “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12) using the same logic.

Now we switch focus from man’s character issues to those things that proceed from the mouth. “Their throat is an open tomb” (v. 13). What is housed in tombs? Dead things! How do dead things usually feel after a while? (Cold!) Do you like to touch dead things? (Hopefully not!) How do dead things smell after a while if they have not been to the undertaker and drenched in formaldehyde? (They stink!) Under normal circumstances are these things that you would gravitate toward or away from? (Hopefully away from!) What should God do with us if our mouths have these characteristics? Is it any wonder why God says in His Word why the mouth can have such a negative impact? Verse 13 goes on to say, “With their tongues they have practiced deceit.” This is an ongoing attribute of a lifestyle. From time to time we can expect to slip up, but if we consistently mess up with no remorse with no signs of growing in holiness, we can be sure this applies to us (see 1 John 1:6).

“The poison of asps is under their lips” (v. 13). An asp, for those of us who were not already aware (like I was not until I just looked it up) is synonymous in the Greek with a viper or cobra, two venomous snakes. So what comes out of their mouths? Poison. Do you watch your mouth? Is God convicting you if you swear? If not, there might be cause for concern for you because genuine Christians should have sensitivity to grandiose sins such as cussing. Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Mourning here refers to mourning over sin by Holy Spirit conviction and comfort comes by the Holy Spirit as well. Verse fourteen is basically a repetition of thirteen.

We have addressed the mouths of the depraved, now this section of Old Testament quotes concludes with a discussion on how we conduct ourselves. Verse 15 says, “Their feet are swift to shed blood.” This seems to speak to having a violent temperament, wanting to address conflict by violence, rather than more peacefully, when Jesus did clearly speak to the importance of being a peacemaker (See Matthew 5:9). This idea is consistent with loving one’s enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). We are to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us and use us. Can we say we always keep that command? I surely cannot.

Romans 3:16 says, “Destruction and misery are in their ways.” Think of the catastrophe of 9/11. That was a day that was totally characterized by destruction and misery. Think of the people behind the attacks. Think of people doing similar things (maybe on a smaller scale) constantly. Think of the perpetrators in the recent high school shootings in Colorado. Think of the suicide bombers in the Middle East. Think of the horrific things people like Hitler and Hussein did to their fellow countrymen. These illustrations were designed to make you think of something miserable and destructive. These acts or thoughts of performing these types of acts characterize the style of life here. The scary thing is that if it were not for God’s common grace, these tales of destruction could have been even worse than they were. What’s more, even you and I could be capable of things even more vile than these.

“And the way of peace they have not known” (v. 17). This seems to speak of our tendency to always have some sort of conflict, whether inner or outer, going on. This can happen externally between individuals, groups, and nations. Verse 18 says, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Why is there no fear? Because we have forsaken God’s law. The summation of God’s law, the Ten Commandments can be found in Exodus 20. If people were aware of the penalty of lying (Revelation 21:8), stealing (1 Corinthians 6:10), blasphemy (Exodus 20:7), adultery/fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9), idolatry (1 Corinthians 6:9), and covetousness (1 Corinthians 6:10), for example, they might flee the wrath to come.

Why use the law? Because it “stops the mouth” (Romans 3:19). It shows us our guilt. It teaches us why we need Christ (Galatians 3:24). It converts the soul (Psalm 19:7). Jesus used it in His witnessing (Luke 18, Matthew 19, Matthew 5-6). It shows us our sin (Romans 7:7, 9). It is holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12). It makes sin “exceedingly sinful” (Romans 7:13). It keeps us from justifying ourselves because that will not work with God (Romans 3:20). We cannot keep the law perfectly. Since we cannot, we need to know what it says so we can know that we are guilty before God, flee the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7), and embrace the Savior. There are other reasons, too, but you get the idea.

Exposition of Romans - Chapter 3 - Part 2



Exposition on Romans
written by Andy (edited and organized by Melissa)

God’s Righteousness Through Faith – Romans 3:21-26

Beginning in verse 21, Paul changes his focus. He has finished proving that man can in no way attain his own righteousness, so the only righteousness that remains is that which can only be found in Christ. This righteousness can only be provided by God (Isaiah 45:8) when God starts the process of salvation convicting us of our sin, God’s righteousness, and God’s judgment by the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11). How is righteousness provided to us? Through faith in Christ (Romans 3:22). Notice that it says nothing about works. Ephesians 2:8-9 says the same thing. It cannot be about works, because no matter how many good works any of us have done, it does not matter because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Our sins are what send us to hell. The glory of God is His sinless perfection, embodied in the life that Christ lived. None of us can ever hope to attain that. That is why it is necessary to put faith in Christ. He kept the law perfectly for us (See 2 Corinthians 5:21). Since we come to the Father through Him (See John 14:6), we can trust in His perfect work on the cross.
We are justified (v. 24) when we repent and put our faith in Him. The penalty we deserve, death and eternal torment in hell for breaking God’s law, was paid for us in Jesus’ sinless life and atoning work on the cross. Justification, an essential doctrine of the faith, in addition to containing our forgiveness, also imputes Christ’s righteousness on believers, as an ink stamp imputes its stamp on an envelope. This stamp is what God sees that allows Him to forgive us and allow us to enter heaven. Only because Christ was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21) can we be declared righteous. If He had sinned, His sacrifice would contain no validity. Because He did not sin, His perfection is “stamped” on us and we are allowed to enter the celestial city.

We are justified through Christ’s grace (v. 24) when we repent of our sins and realize that there is nothing that we can do to earn eternal life. It is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Romans 3:24 says “freely,” also indicating that God’s grace supplied through Christ is a gift, because gifts are free. This supernatural gift is only given when God does a work in the heart of a sinner, whereby the Holy Spirit convicts the depraved sinner of sin, producing Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10) before repentance.

Christ redeemed sinners (v. 24). What if you had been guilty of a heinous crime that called for a fifty thousand dollar fine or imprisonment until the fine could be paid, and you could not pay it. Wouldn’t you feel redeemed if a total stranger, whom you did not even know paid your fine for you? Well, that is, in essence, the very thing that is exemplified in Christ’s work on the cross. We are all guilty (Romans 3:19, 23). We deserve punishment (hell for eternity), Christ, Whom we did not know before conversion came in and paid our fine for us in His perfect obedience to God’s law and death and resurrection. If our faith is in Him, we are redeemed.

Romans 3:25 says, “whom God sent forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God has passed over the sins that were previously committed” It was God’s decision to send Christ. He would have been totally just if He never sent Christ. He would have been totally just if He let us all perish and suffer eternally in hell, because that is what we all deserve. But God did not want to let that happen (See Romans 5:8). So, He sent His son to live in our place.

“Propitiation” in verse 25 refers to the fact that the brutal murder and crucifixion of Christ on Calvary satisfied God’s righteous requirement of wrath to be leashed upon sinners. If God had not poured out His wrath on Christ to such a point that while He was on the cross the Father had to look away and forsake His Son(Matthew 27:46), He would have saved it for us. We would not be able to handle it. Imagine the worst possible way to die. Now imagine something infinitely worse. You probably still would not adequately characterize the feeling of God’s wrath. The only other way God’s justice could be served if someone’s faith is not in Christ, is if the sinner spends eternity in hell. Those are the only two ways God’s judgment can be satisfied.

The propitiation is only effective when we put our faith in Christ (v. 25) and repent of our sins. This faith is not a one-time ordeal. It goes on over a believer’s entire life. Only God can give faith to believers (Ephesians 2:8) and it’s the only way that believers show they are righteous in the sight of God (Romans 3:22, 25; among others). In order to have saving faith, we need to understand the complete Gospel, experience sorrow over our sin (2 Corinthians 7:10), experience joy over what God has done for us (Romans 6:17, 15:13), and trust Christ implicitly for everything from that point forward. This type of faith will result in an overarching characteristic of obedience to the nature and will of God.

Romans 3:25-26 speak of God demonstrating His righteousness. This basically was accomplished in the entirety of Christ’s earthly existence. Christ demonstrated God’s righteousness by not sinning (2 Corinthians 5:21). God cares for what is right. It is not right to sin against God. It would be right of God to slaughter every one of us and send every one of us to hell for eternity for sinning against Him. Instead, all our sins, past, present, and future, fell on Christ’s shoulders on the cross, provided that we respond to the Gospel. All the while, God is patient with us, exercising His forbearance (v. 25). He could annihilate us any time He wants since we are so sinful. Instead, he holds back His wrath, giving sinful humanity the chance to get right with Him. What are you waiting for?

Verse 26 says, “That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” By slaughtering His own Son instead of us, God is just. Justice is satisfied because the penalty we deserve all fell on Christ at Calvary. Either we will put our faith in Christ and accept His payment for our sins on His behalf (being justified), or we will pay for our sins eternally in hell. Either way, God is just.

Boasting Excluded – Romans 3:27-31

Since our salvation has nothing to do with us and everything to do with what Christ did for us, we have nothing to boast in, except to boast in Christ. Salvation has nothing to do with us keeping a law. None of us can keep the law and nobody ever will keep the law. Since sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), we will always be guilty from that standpoint. No amount of good works can outweigh all the sins we have committed. The only thing we can trust in is Christ to save us (Romans 3:27-28). That is our only hope.

Lastly, verse 31 says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” The law still serves very important roles to the Christian. The law helps us see why we need saving in the first place (Galatians 3:24, Romans 7:7, Romans 7:13, Romans 3:19, Psalm 19:7). The law makes grace amazing and the law is written on believers’ hearts (Romans 2:15). The believer has an inborn capacity to obey the law since one of their Christian characteristics is sensitivity to sin (1 John 2:3-5) (Romans 8:3-4).

This concludes chapter three. This will be the last one of these for a while. I want to try to read through more of the New Testament. Taking the time to prepare these, while beneficial in educating myself, is keeping me in Romans for too long a chunk of time. I need to spend time in the rest of the New Testament as well. If God allows, I plan on resuming this series one day, but I have yet do determine if or when that will be. I hope this has been of benefit. God bless!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Amazing Grace Update



Hi everyone.

You may have remembered us posting about "Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism," the DVD from the Apologetics Group. We got it in the mail a short while ago and watched the first six or so chapters Sunday evening. This video is fantastic! It explains so well not only that the Reformed road is in fact the narrow road and the difficult way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14), but is does an impeccable job explaining WHY it is the correct way. If anyone thinks you are in a cult because you are "Reformed," get this DVD, and show them the "Church History" section that will explain where the modern Gospel came from and how hundreds and thousands of years of church history are not in support of the modern Gospel, but rather, in support of the Reformed way of thinking.

Incidentally, we found out after we got the DVD, that our Pastor, Dr. Thomas Ascol, is one of the contributors to the DVD. So, if you live in or near Lee County, Florida and you are looking for a doctrinally sound true church, check out Grace Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Florida. If you disagree with my stance, please find the DVD online yourself and check it out. Pay particular attention to the list of names in the Church History section. If you are going to disagree with this way of thinking, you will have to disagree with all those names in that list and several hundred years of church history. Are you prepared to argue your case about that with God? Please come into it with an open mind. It is our prayer that God will "reform" the hearts that need "reforming" and save them that believe. I would like to hear feedback from anyone who gets this DVD and sees it. Thanks all.

You can find the video at: http://www.theapologeticsgroup.com/cms/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,67/category_id,1/manufacturer_id,0/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,1/ or by clicking on the title of this blog.

Andy

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paul Washer Project - Our favorite video

This is probably our all-time favorite video called "The Paul Washer Project." Gives us goosebumps every time! I just wish more people preached like this nowadays. We need to hear the truth. You can find this video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYsClDclvf0 . It uses a clip from the infamous "Shocking Youth Message" that Paul Washer did at a conference back in 2002.

Shocking Youth Message - Paul Washer

This video is from the 2002 Youth Evangelism Conference in Montgomery, Alabama. It has become known as the infamous "Shocking Youth Message." We first got our hands on the audio portion of this video a few years ago before we ever knew who Paul Washer was and it was shocking. We had never heard someone preach the truth like that before. If you've never watched this video, you have to. Examine yourself, to see if you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
You can find this video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cncEhCvrVgQ .

Are you truly saved? - Paul Washer

This is video is about how to answer a very important question, "How do you know you're saved?" It's called, "Paul Washer Sermon Jam 1." You can find this video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY6F0pkArds .

Paul Washer's Testimony

This is Paul Washer's testimony. It's called, "Isn't it Enough? (Paul Washer's Secret)." Very powerful! It's not every day that you hear a testimony like this. You can find this video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J471VobaZks .

How to Witness Honestly - Paul Washer

This video clip is from a Q & A session with Paul Washer. He describes how he witnesses to people and he doesn't use sneaky tactics like a lot of people do today.

This video is called, "How to Witness Honestly (Advice from Paul Washer)" and you can find it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt9V4Q5n9gs .

Why Won't They Listen? Reaching A Lost Culture



How can we combat an evolutionary culture? This sermon explains why we must change our culture from the foundation up. The foundation must be the Word of God and Christian history, not evolution or something else. This sermon helps explain one of the main reasons people don't listen when we try to share the gospel and Ken Ham gives ways that we can combat that. We need to change our strategy. Ken Ham is the president and founder of Answers in Genesis-U.S. and the highly acclaimed Creation Museum in Cincinatti, Ohio. Check out http://answersingenesis.org for a wealth of creationism, evolution, and apologetical resources, including homeschool curriculum.


You can find it at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=11606143116

Friday, July 11, 2008

Globe-trotting Benny Hinn exposed



Ever wonder what televangelists do between their globe-trotting conversion crusades? This NBC Dateline special from 2003 reveals the dubious financial dealings of prominent Christian evangelist Pastor Benny Hinn, uncovering an extravagant lifestyle that would put most true Christians to shame. Reporter Bob McKeown explains what happens to some of the millions of dollars sent to the Hinn Ministry by his devoted followers.

This video is called, "Benny Hinn: A Massive Fraud & A Crook" and you can find it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUyPjeIFKug&feature=related .

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rick Warren Twisting Scripture



Rick Warren's Scripture twisting at it's best. You won't believe some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth and how much he can take stuff out of context, especially at the end of part 2. If you've ever read his book "Purpose Driven Life," you need to know what the author of the book thinks. He is currently the pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio comments on what he says.


This video is called, "Rick Warren Twisting Scripture (WOTMR) [1of2]" and you can find it at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mVth6gtHBNk


This video is called, "Rick Warren Twisting Scripture (WOTMR) [2of2]" and you can find it at:

Scriptural Origami with Joel Osteen


"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting." Romans 16:18

It's time to play Scriptural Origami with your host, Joel Osteen!



This video is called, "Osteen Said What?" and you can find it at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=di9-PebV634&feature=related .

By Their Fruit Parts 1 and 2 - Paul Washer sermons

This pair of Washer sermons are perhaps as good as "Tests of Genuine Conversion." This is about how historical Christianity differs from contemporary American Christianity.

By Their Fruit - Part 1 Matthew 7:13-20

You can find this also at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=47081358368

By Their Fruit - Part 2 Matthew 5:1-13

You can also find this at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=47081404610

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Top 10 Atheist Strawmen

This video is called, "The Top 10 Atheist Strawmen." It refutes most arguments that atheists will give you about why they don't believe in God. Watch this video and be more equipped to give a response when you talk to an atheist. You can also watch the video at http://youtube.com/watch?v=7NgCJeSMHcw .

Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper




Don't Waste your Life - Part 1 (How can God allow people and babies to die in natural disasters?)


Don't Waste your Life - Part 2 (What is life really all about?)


Don't Waste your Life - Part 3 (Is retirement Biblical?)


Don't Waste your Life - Part 4 (What does an unwasted life look like?)


Don't Waste your Life - Part 5 (What is your hope in?)


Don't Waste your Life - Part 6 (Is your passion to see the supremacy of Christ above all else?)

Who do you want to be like?




Recent headlines have paired Madonna with Alex Rodriguez in late-night romps that have ultimately allegedly ended the slugger’s marriage. I realize that this is just the latest example of how our heroes fall short and live lives that are less than model status. There are countless other examples of other sports heroes past and present who have had stellar careers, but less than stellar personal lives. In the beginning of this reflection, I would like to identify the athletes who have caused the offenses and provide examples.

Beginning with Rodriguez, he has recently been linked to Madonna in extra-marital affairs. Both Madonna and Rodriguez are married. Rodriguez’s wife, incidentally, is allegedly having an affair with Lenny Kravitz. You can read about this more at: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/05/arts/peepsat.php .

Here is my question. How many young kids have Yankees’ number 13 jerseys? How many have Alex Rodriguez posters on their wall? How many collect baseball cards and have stowed his away someplace safe because he is their favorite ball player? At what point do parents step up and say, “Son, based on how this guy lives his life, I am not sure he is one I want you to emulate.”

What about Kobe Bryant? How soon we forget that he raped (although acquitted) an employee in a Colorado hotel four years ago. It apparently was not pursued in trial because another man impregnated Bryant’s accuser before the trial was set to begin. So, Bryant got off the hook and is playing basketball free from worry again. How many wear Lakers’ #24 Jerseys or have posters of him on their walls?

Dare I go here: Michael Jordan might be the best athlete that ever played professional sports. One could argue that there was never nor will ever be anyone better to don a uniform. How much paraphernalia of his do we still have? Posters, books, videos, and cards fill our closets. How much did we worship him when he played? Did we not try to emulate him as a basketball player when we were kids? Did we not plaster our walls with posters of him? Did we not want to be like him? So many of us did that Gatorade made a song about it. Yet, did he not have a severe gambling problem? Maybe he still even does. Did he not try to cover up an extra marital affair? If you read The Jordan Rules, if I remember correctly, his teammates did not have the easiest time getting along with him either.

I could go on for pages upon pages, but the point is clear: those who we idolize fail us because they, like us, are human. We should try to emulate God and His Son, not sports stars, who are mere mortals, like ourselves. They, like us are born radically depraved, hating God (See Psalm 51:5, Genesis 6:5, Genesis 8:21, Jeremiah 17:9). They do not have to be taught how to have immoral, adulterous, covetous desires. They have them naturally and so do we. They are all liars (Psalm 116:11) and no liar can enter heaven (Revelation 21:8). Since they are covetous they cannot enter heaven (1 Corinthians 6:10). They have not put God first (Romans 3:11). They are pretty bad, huh? It might come as a surprise that you and I have all this (and more sinfulness) in common with these and other athletes. The only way their sinfulness can be forgiven is the same way yours and mine can be forgiven.

God has to awaken us to the state of our sinful condition. God the Father has to draw us sinners to His Son (Matthew 11:27, John 6:44), produce Godly sorrow over our sins (2 Corinthians 7:10, Matthew 5:4) that leads us to broken, humble repentance, which is absolutely essential for salvation (Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30-31). When we realize our depraved, damned state, repent of (as if while you were living for your sin you were walking due South; living a life of repentance is walking from this point forward due North) our sins, God will give us a new, clean heart and new desires. (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Over time, we should notice evidences to our new life (1 John, Matthew 5-6). Then we should read our Bible daily and obey it. (Job 23:12). God will never let you down!

This used to be me. I was the one with my walls plastered, collecting the cards, taping the games, collecting a ton of useless artifacts, but God has done a work in me, cleansing me of my idols (Ezekiel 36:25), including sports. An idol is anything you put before God. You can make an idol with your hands or with your mind. I still have most of the stuff from my childhood, but I do not cling to it anymore, as I did then. I now have a fraction of what I used to have. Now, God is in more ways number one in my life. He will not have it any other way. You can try to convince yourself that your idolatry is not that bad today, but your arguments will not work with God.

Look at your life. Have you noticed patterns of idolatry in your own life? Maybe you thought of them as “no big deal,” but now you understand them to be what they are: idolatry. Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Does your style of life consistently match up with the standard of Holy Scripture? Or do you trivialize your sins? Does your lifestyle consistently condone what Scripture consistently condemns? Could you be one of those Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:21-23? Please make you calling and election sure today (2 Peter 1:10). You might not have tomorrow.

Andy

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How to memorize scripture successfully and easily



This was such an amazing sermon on how to memorize Scripture by Pastor/Evangelist Greg Locke. He is the pastor of Global Vision Baptist Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. He was like listening to a walking talking Bible. It was amazing how much Scripture he has not just hidden in his mind, but his heart. This was a truly inspirational sermon and is showing us that memorizing Scripture doesn't have to be such an ominous task. It is so important that we hide the Word of God in our heart so that we can give an answer for the hope that lies within us. May this video sermon inspire you you as it has us. We will let you know how this Scripture memorization goes in the future. God bless!

Here are the main points covered:
1) Choose your topic
2) List all references in order
3) Memorize all references first
4) Fill in the verses and write them yourself
5) Walk as you work
6) Repetition is the key to learning


Pastor Greg Locke

This is just the audio version of the sermon. You can watch the video by going to: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=626081244250 .

Monday, July 07, 2008

Todd Bentley's Violent Ministry


Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries

Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio

Is Todd Bentley a false prophet? See for yourself. Matthew 7:15-16: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." In lieu of Galatians 5:22-25, how does Mr. Bentley evoke Christianity? If anybody thinks he does, please share your take with me. Don't tell me about his signs and wonders as the devil can deceive many with his too (2 Thessalonians 2).

Todd Bentley talks about kicking old ladies in the face to heal them, choking people to get the demons out of them, beating a ladies leg up and down on the floor to heal her, being possessed by demons himself, among a bunch of other stuff. Does this sound like a work of God to you? Many people are being deceived by this man and he is having large revival meetings in Lakeland, Florida. Do a Google search and you can easily find out a bunch more information about him or do a search on YouTube as well. People need to be aware of what's going on, especially since so many people believe this is a genuine move of God.

The Bible warns of false prophets deceiving people with signs and wonders. This is exactly what's going on. There is no talk of repentance, faith, or any sound theology at all. Where are thr fruits of the spirit being evidenced in his life such as love, joy, peace, kindness, SELF-CONTROL, etc.? This is why it's so important to know our Bible's and to be on the alert for false prophets so we aren't deceived ourselves. Just because someone claims to be a man of God and seems to have signs and wonders doesn't mean they're of God automatically. Supposed signs and wonders doesn't validate someone's ministry. Rather, you MUST look at the fruit and compare it to Scripture, not personal experience.

This video is called, "Todd Bentley's Violent "Ministry" [Full Version] (WOTMR)." Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio talks about Todd Bentley and why what he says doesn't line up with Scripture(2 Peter 2 among others).

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Joel Osteen vs. Paul Washer






This video is called, "Joel Osteen vs. Paul Washer." These videos contrast the messages of Joel Osteen and Paul Washer. Can you tell who the false prophet is? I'll give you a hint, his name starts with J.

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3

Exposition of Romans - Chapter 2



Exposition of Romans
written by Andy (edited and organized by Melissa)

Introduction

When we read Romans chapter two, it becomes important to read it in light of chapter one, otherwise chapter two won’t make sense. Chapter one finished by talking about man’s unrighteousness and the things that characterize that unrighteous lifestyle. See verses 18 to 32. Chapter two starts by making a case for God’s righteous judgment of sinners, which is quite reasonable when taken in lieu of chapter one. Let’s begin.

God’s Righteous Judgment – Romans 2:1-16

Romans 2:1 says, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man whoever you are who judge for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” Who is there who is reading this who can honestly say that they are completely innocent in the sight of God? That they have not broken any of God’s commands themselves? There is not a single person (Romans 3:9-18 explains this principle in greater detail). Romans 1:18-32 shows the specific things Paul listed to show us our guilt. They are defined in the previous blog. Paul is saying that if we are going to point out others’ sins, according to that standard, we must realize that we are guilty ourselves of violating the same commands. It goes back to the principle that Jesus outlined in Matthew 7:1-5 about “judge not, lest ye be judged”. We should not think ourselves to be morally superior to other Christians or non Christians. If we are going to look at others as sinful, we need to be willing to look at ourselves in the same way. If we justify ourselves by saying things like, “My sins are nowhere near as serious as that person’s,” I feel we miss Paul’s point. In Romans 2:3, Paul clearly states that we all will be judged by the same standard, so we had better be willing to look at ourselves.

Paul points out this truth on which I have just commented in Romans 2:2 where he says, “But we know that the judgment of God is according to the truth against those who practice such things.” “Truth” in this verse refers to what is right. In other words, God is going to judge all humanity according to what He deems as right, whether we agree with His standard or not. In addition, God is going to condemn those who make their lifestyle practice match up with the sins listed in 1:18-32 (see Romans ch.1 exposition).

Non Christians live their lives consistently in a way that does not grow in conformity to God’s standards. That said, verse two says God’s judgment is against them. Also this principle can be applied to church-goers who do not “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4) like those John refers to in 1 John 1:6. These people ignore the constant warnings of the Spirit, and eventually God leaves them alone. Jude and Hebrews talk about the unpardonable state. When they ignore God, they ignore the common grace of God, briefly described by Paul in Romans 2:4. God blesses non Christians to a point so that they can see His goodness and His patience with them in their sin for an extended period of time. This is in the hope that sinners will realize these attributes of God’s character, see how patient God is being with them while they continue to live in rebellion toward Him, and eventually lead them to repentance. The response to God all boils down to repentance (Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30-31). If there is no repentance, there is no salvation.

Paul clearly explains in verse five that unrepentant hearts earn God’s wrath and judgment. Having our sins shown to us is actually a tremendous blessing from God, even though it is not all that pleasant. If we have to repent from our sins in order to be saved from God’s wrath and eternity in hell, and to continue to repent to have a sign that we actually have been saved (1 John 1:9), we need to know how sinful we are. So, when we consistently try to mask our sins, this truth is nearly impossible to realize. When we remove all references to sin like most American Christian churches these days, this has a devastating effect on sinners. They cannot be saved if they do not realize what they need to be saved from.

Verse six explains that all peoples, whether in Christ or not will be judged or rewarded based on their deeds. Those who are in Christ will be rewarded in proportion to their deeds. The greater the amount of deeds, the greater the reward in heaven. The lesser the amount of deeds, the lesser the reward in heaven. It must be stated that deeds DO NOT earn salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” However, the good deeds should be an overflowing of our hearts that represent the work God has done in us. Our deeds will show the evidence of our true hearts.

Romans 2:7-8 goes on to say, “eternal life to those who…doing good (deeds) seek for (God’s)glory, (God’s) honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth (1 John 1:6), but obey unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-32) – indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil…” (in parentheses added) If we consistently seek God’s glory, honor, and an increasingly Godly lifestyle, we will be saved in the end. If, however, we live unrighteously and lacking conformity to the Word of God, then we deserve God’s indignation, wrath, tribulation, and anguish.

The Greek meaning for “glory” in the verse 7 can mean splendor, brilliance, or giving God the highest status. The Greek meaning for “honor” in this passage refers to value, respect, nobility, or specialness. The Greek meaning for “immortality” refers to imperishableness and incorruption. In verse 8, the Greek meaning for “indignation” refers to wrath, fury, anger, rage, a state of intense displeasure based in some real or perceived wrong. In verse 9, the Greek meaning for “tribulation” refers to trouble, distress, and oppression. The Greek meaning for “anguish” refers to hardship and difficulty. Romans 2:11 says, “For there is no partiality with God.” God does not show preferential treatment based on any circumstances. So, from all this, we reasonably conclude that faith and deeds go hand in hand. Anyone who says any differently is terribly mistaken. James 2:14-26 is an important passage which is summed up in the statement, “Faith without works is dead.”

Some of us do not have as much knowledge about God as do others. The next section illustrates how we all will be judged based on what we do know. Later on, we will see that this fact still leaves us all guilty. Verse 12 says, “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law.” Chapter one explained how we have things like creation that surround us that tells us enough about God to leave us “without excuse” (1:20).

Next comes a statement that supports the thesis of the previous paragraph: “doers of the law will be justified” (2:13). If we have limited knowledge, then, why are we still without excuse? Verse fifteen answers this question. Despite the fact that we might not know a great deal, the law is still “written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men…” (2:15-16). So, since God has written His law on our hearts, we know when we do wrong. We know when we lie, steal, blaspheme, or break any of the other Ten Commandments that it is wrong. Despite the fact that we know it is wrong, we still do it anyway. This shows our blatant disregard for God at times. When we think of it this way, it is remarkable that God remains patient with us. Every day, many times without realizing it, we violate God’s standard in our thoughts, attitudes, and deeds, yet we still get the chance to live, because God remains patient with us (2:4). This should make God’s common grace to us amazing and lead us to continuous confession of our sins. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The Jews Guilty as Gentiles – Romans 2:17-24

Paul goes on to address the Jews in Rome. The Jews had the Law and were taught the effect the Law should have (2:15-16). Since the Jews knew the Law they knew more about God’s will, which meant that they were accountable for more. It has already been stated that we will be judged based on what we already know, not what we do not know. This principle meant that the Jews in Rome were in danger of harsher judgment if they chose to spurn God. Verses 19 and 20 show that they had become conceited since they knew more about God than the Gentiles. They taught those who appeared to be younger and weaker in the faith the Law. The problem is, they failed to look at themselves (2:21-24). Isn’t it funny how we are quick to point out others’ faults yet have difficulty looking at our own sins? Even as I write this, I see areas in which I am sinning. Jesus talked about hypocritical behavior like this in Matthew 7:1-5.

Circumcision to No Avail – Romans 2:25-29

Paul concludes the second chapter by talking about how Jewish circumcision is meaningless if there is no inward reality of the Christian life. I liken Jewish circumcision to contemporary baptism. Across most Baptist schools of thought with which I am familiar, it seems that it is not baptism that saves you, rather it is the changed heart and lifestyle. The act of baptism is looked at as an outward public expression of the changed life. If there is no inward reality (2:29) of a changed heart as a result of God having saved someone, then no salvation took place, even if a ritual like circumcision or baptism took place. If there is little to no difference in style of life after someone says they have been saved compared to before they say they got saved, chances are, nothing actually happened. No salvation took place. It is the obedient lifestyle that grows over time with respect to God’s Word that shows evidence that salvation occurred. 1 John talks a great deal about evidences of salvation. Paul makes the case that if someone does not even get circumcised but lives an obedient lifestyle, God will look at them as if they had been circumcised and count them righteous (2:26). What’s more, if someone does get circumcised, but are a perpetual law breaker, their circumcision is worthless (2:25).

Again, it is the inward reality, not the external observance of religious rituals that shows someone is saved. I have heard of people trusting in “having made their decision” or having been baptized, but these people miss Paul’s point here at the end of Romans 2. These people did their rituals, yet they continue to live as immorally as ever. No salvation took place in these people. At least no salvation can take place until God shows people their sin, so they can look to Jesus on the cross and see how He took the punishment they deserve for all their unrighteousness. They need to repent (turn from sin), trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross, and grow in the things of God over a long time. This will show whether God has done a work of saving grace in someone’s life, not whether they got circumcised or baptized.

This concludes my exposition on chapter two. Keep a look out for chapter three. Please leave me comments sharing what you agree or disagree with. The purpose of these is to impart what I am learning, and to learn more myself. Thank you for reading this. If God is convicting you, please let Him. Humble yourself and repent of your sins. You may not have tomorrow! God bless!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Why modern "evangelism" is not evangelism at all.



What does the evangelism at your church sound like? When you evangelize your friends and family, what do you say to them? Do you promise, love, joy, peace, and lasting happiness? What was your reason for coming to Christ? Do you see God as a God that only wants to make your life better and that doesn't require anything of you? Is God just an accessory you add to your own life? Was your reason for coming to God merely to have fire insurance? Think about it. Examine yourself to see if you're in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).


"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the modern-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and wordliness." ~ Article entitled Saving Faith: Part 1 Signs of the Times by A.W. Pink, circa 1930



This video clip is called, "Why Modern "Evangelism" is Not Evangelism At All," posted by LaneCh on YouTube. If you've never checked out LaneCh on YouTube, he's got a wealth of great videos posted.



This is part of the documentary Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism. You can order this at The Apologetics Group's Official Website: http://www.theapologeticsgroup.com

Exposition of Romans - Chapter 1




Exposition of Romans
written by Andy (edited and organized by Melissa)

Introduction

The book of Romans might be the most significant non-Gospel book in the entire New Testament. Romans has such a wealth of sound theology for practical application to the Christian’s life. I plan on sharing what I have learned through a detailed study of the book over a series of blogs. This first blog is dedicated to covering chapter one. You might wonder how thirty-two verses can contain this much commentary, but I believe that God’s word has so much truth within its lines that what I have shared here only scratches the surface with what is actually here. In no way is this complete. I pray this is a blessing to whoever reads this. Please feel free to comment, compliment, criticize, etc. I want feedback. Thank you for considering this. I plan on doing chapter two in subsequent blogs. Keep a look out! God Bless!

Greeting – Romans 1:1-15

Paul starts Romans off by introducing the letter and sharing his intent for writing it. He is writing it to the members in the church in Rome with the purpose of teaching them the great truths of the gospel of grace to those who had never received it. He also had an obligation to God to minister to the Gentiles.

The Just Live by Faith - Romans 1:16-17

The gospel is power of God unto salvation for all peoples, regardless of ethnicity, or religious affiliation. It is totally done by God, not by us at all. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, God saves us “by His (His not in text) grace, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God (God gives it to us as His gift; we do not obtain it by ourselves), not of works (His work, not ours; not by us repeating a simple prayer-that would be our work). The righteousness of God is revealed through Gospel. In Exodus 20, God shows us His righteous standard, the Law.

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness – Romans 1:18-32

Romans 1:18 says, God’s wrath is revealed against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness, and those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. I know of a host of people who call themselves Christians who do not want to look at their sin, its severity, and how it severely offends God. John 3:36 says, God’s wrath abides upon these people, who intentionally find their comfortable idea about God and stay there, not searching out the truth in Scripture for themselves, but only relying upon what they have heard from contemporary Christian pulpits.

Paul goes on to describe what these people are like. They think they know about God, but in reality they have made an image of God that is more acceptable to them. They say, “I don’t want to hear about God’s holiness, justice, and wrath. Give me more of that cushy ‘love, joy, peace, fulfillment and everlasting happiness’ stuff.” What does God do with people like that? Verse 24 says, He gives them over to their “uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts.” 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Instead of worshiping the one true God of the Bible, they worship the image they have made in their minds. God gives them up to pursue their wicked lifestyles, their “vile passions”. This particular pair of verses (vs. 26-27) refers to the specific sin of homosexuality, but I think it is reasonable to infer that the general practice of sin can have the same effect.

Romans 1:28 says, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge…”
When sinners choose not to follow God, they continually reject God’s truth and God’s call on their lives. It goes on to say, “God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things that are not fitting…” What patterns characterize these people who reject God? Verses 29-32 spell it out plainly and we’ve defined the words they list below. These are they who “walk in darkness,” according to 1 John 1:6. I looked up the Greek definitions of these words in the Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and also used Webster’s New World Dictionary.

Definitions of Terms

Unrighteousness – wickedness, evil, wrongdoing, iniquity, unjust, wrong

Fornication – marital unfaithfulness, prostitution, adultery, sexual sin of any kind. When people have sex with someone to whom they are not married, even if it is with someone to whom they will eventually marry, until they marry they commit this sin. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines fornication as “sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons.”

Wickedness – malice (active ill will; desire to harm another; evil intent), iniquities, a negative moral quality opposed to God and his goodness

Covetousness – greediness, avarice (greed for money). We are covetous when we aren’t satisfied with what God has already blessed us with. Always wanting more than what we already have.

Maliciousness – evil, wickedness, depravity. From the time we are born, we do things that aren’t pleasing to God (sin) without being taught to do those things.

Full of envy – goes hand in hand with covetousness. If I am jealous because someone has something I want, but do not yet have, I am not happy with what God has already blessed me with, and I am jealous of that person.

Murder – 1 John 3:15 says, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.”

Debate – quarrel, strife, dissension (disagreement), discord. As a Christian, we shouldn’t be seeking to cause dissension among believers. But, we should speak the truth in love, even if it gets other people mad. Many people now won’t speak the truth because they think they’re being divisive if they do so.

Deceit – slyness, trickery, guile, subtilty, craft

Malignity – wicked thoughts, to speak evil of. This usually happens before we act upon our wicked deeds. Basically our mindset before we break any one of the Ten Commandments could be deemed “evil-mindedness.”

Whisperers – gossiper (one who chatters idly about others). Have you ever talked bad about someone behind their back? Gossiped?

Backbiters - slanderers, defamatory (to attack the reputation of someone)

Haters of God – those who, as a pattern of life, break God’s commands without a second thought by “walking in darkness” (1 John 1:6).

Despiteful – insolent (boldly disrespectful) man, injurious (harmful)

Proud – arrogant (having or showing great pride for oneself and contempt for others)

Boasters – braggart (an offensively boastful person)

Inventors of evil things – Constantly trying to find new ways to sin against God and do evil.

Disobedient to parents – It’s amazing how this one finds itself in the same list as murder and adultery. This is, after all the Fifth Commandment. This is very important to God. Ephesians 6:2 says, it’s the “first Commandment with a promise” (of blessing). Yet how can God bestow His blessings on children who willfully disobey Him in this area?

Without understanding – senseless, dull, foolish

Covenantbreakers – faithless, untrustworthy. If we say we are going to do something for somebody, do we follow through with it? Do we regularly keep our word? If not, we are untrustworthy.

Without natural affection – unloving. This is one of the most enigmatic terms in the Bible. I think so many professing Christians mistake “loving” with “condoning.” If you are a professing Christian, you need to be loving to your neighbor by sharing the truth with them about their sins. For example, if I was going for a walk late at night and we lived in the same neighborhood, suppose I walk by your house. I notice that your house is on fire! You are sound asleep (or at least your light is off). If I walk by your house without trying to wake you up because I do not want to awaken you from your peaceful slumber, am I being loving? Wouldn’t it be loving of me to exhaust all my resources to try to wake you up so you can get yourself and your family out of your house before you perish in the flames? Or would you rather I just let you sleep? Letting you sleep would be unloving! If I love you, I will wake you up to save you! I might even break the door down and yank you out of bed myself, trusting that you will thank me later. Even if you do not thank me, if I let you burn, I would be guilty of what the law calls “depraved indifference.” Depraved means corrupt and indifference means I couldn’t care less. So, because I decided to let you die without trying to help you, I would be corrupt because I did not care less. This is what we do if we refuse to share the truth with sinners.

Implacable – unforgiving, not reconcilable, trucebreakers. In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells the disciples that we should be willing to forgive our brothers and sisters as many times as necessary. We will be severely disciplined if we do not forgive others.

Unmerciful – ruthless, merciless. We should be willing to forgive our brothers and sisters when they come to us in broken humility. If we harden our hearts against them, God could do the same to us.

Romans 1:32 says, “Who knowing the righteous judgment of God…” These people to whom Paul refers know God’s standard because the law is written on their hearts, therefore they know the difference between right and wrong; their conscience bears witness (See Romans 2:15). John 1:9 tells us “That was the true Light, which gives light to every man coming into the world.” In other words, God has given us knowledge of his existence (through creation – see Romans 1:19-20). This is why we are without excuse. Romans 1:32 goes on to say, “that those who practice such things” (all things listed and explained in verses 28-31) “are deserving of death.” This is why we all will die one day – because our depraved hearts could not help but sin against God. “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4; Ezekiel 18:20). “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Romans 1:32 continues, “not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Paul finishes the chapter by saying that all those who make their lifestyle practice conform to all the sin listed in the prior fourteen verses (Romans 1:18-31) deserve death and God’s judgment. What’s more, it’s not just practicing these things, but also condoning others who practice these things. Christians are to hunger for righteous living (See Matthew 5:6). False converts are those who have been described in the prior fourteen verses. Pay particularly close attention to the mindset Paul attributes to these people in Romans 1:28. They turned from the truth to worship the man-made lie (today’s god who condones sin and says not to open our mouths to help show people their sin so they can come to the point of Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10), which produces repentance, which is essential for salvation (Luke 13:3, Matthew 4:17, Acts 17:30, 31)). The God of the Bible hates sin, and pours out His wrath upon sinners (John 3:36). This chapter talked about some of God’s penalty against sin.

Practical Application

What good is the Bible if we cannot apply it to our lives practically? Each one of us is born totally in rebellion to the nature and will of God. The Bible says, every intent of man’s heart is only evil continually (Genesis 6:5), the imaginations of our hearts are evil from our youth (Genesis 8:21), our hearts above all things are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) Jesus Himself called us evil in Luke 11:13 and Matthew 7:11.

Beginning at verse eighteen through the end of the chapter of Romans 1, Paul lists for us a series of ways how we can be in blatant rebellion toward God. Do any of those in the list specifically apply to you as you read this? Please do not trivialize your sin. God will not do that on Judgment Day. We should not either. Look at your sin for what it is and call it what it is: sin. Realize that it offends a righteous God, Who “hate(s) all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5), Who “has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31, Psalm 9:8), Who has to punish all workers of iniquity (Matthew 7:23), “Who will render to each according to his deeds…to those who do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness-indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil...” (Romans 2:6-9).

Please think soberly about your eternal salvation. You only have one chance at this life. Make it count. You are not guaranteed your next breath. Humble yourself now. Cry out to God. Confess and forsake your sins to God. Write a list of each of the Ten Commandments. I plan on explaining why to use the Ten Commandments in future entries. Next to each number write out how many specific instances you can remember in which you broke each of those Commandments. Then realize, you probably could not even remember everything. This should show you how much you need God’s forgiveness. Read the list to God, expressing your sorrow over your offenses directed at Him.

You have broken God’s Law too many times to be able to pay back God to balance the scales. But God, who is full of wrath, as we have discussed, is also “rich in mercy” (Ephesians 2:4). Remember that God sent His son to live in your place. Jesus of Nazareth lived a perfect life. He did not sin a single time. "God made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us so we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). He was brutally beaten and crucified for the sin of the whole world (according to Isaiah 53). “God commends His love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Tell God you want to turn from your sins at this moment, that you want to place your faith in Christ alone to save you. When you do that, and it is genuine, Ezekiel 36:25-27 says, God will “sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; (God) will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. (God) will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; (God) will take the heart of stone” (the one in rebellion toward God) “out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (God) will put (His) Spirit within you and cause you to walk in (His) statutes, and you will keep (His) judgments and do them.” The read your Bible daily and obey it.

Over time, you should notice some changes in your life that show evidences you have been converted. If you do not see God working in your life and changing you, then you should examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Read 1 John and Matthew 5-7 to get an idea of what some of those changes should look like. Thank you for reading this. May God save you, bless you, and keep you.

Andy