May 22, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

May 18 Quotes


The Monstrous Beast of Pride and the Saving Power of the Cross

Pride is a most deadly spiritual sin, and humility is a most under-valued and yet essential virtue. I was going to say “especially in our contemporary culture,” but I’m not sure that’s true. Human beings have always been tripped up, led astray, enslaved and undone by excessive pride. What makes pride so bad? Think about it –

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The Predominant View of “The Least of These” in Church History

The amount of evidence that Gray covers is vast and can hardly be reproduced in a single blog post. But we can summarize his findings with respect to the narrow view of “the least of these.” He concludes that if one sets aside references to the “least of these” that are unspecified, “then it is clear that the narrow interpretation of ‘the least’ is the predominant viewpoint throughout the centuries” (p. 349). The narrow view is held 68% of the time in Middle Ages and 74% of the time in the Renaissance/Reformation (pp. 349-50).

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Is It HOW We Read the Bible or IF We Read the Bible?

What all of these arguments, promoted by the most prominent voices of progressive Christianity, have in common is that they count on their audience members being too unfamiliar with Scripture to even realize how such arguments totally ignore or misrepresent the most relevant biblical passages. The politically incorrect fact of the matter is that for most folk in “progressive Christian” circles, this appears to be a safe assumption.

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The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age

Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.

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The Tumult of Her War

This aspect of the Christian life – conflict with the world and being hated by those who are not united to Christ – is not something that we like to reflect upon, but it is a major theme of the New Testament. And, as John Calvin writes, God uses the tribulations of this world to wean us from excessive love of this present life: “Whatever kind of tribulation presses upon us, we must ever look to this end: to accustom ourselves to contempt for the present life and to be aroused thereby to meditate upon the future life” (Calvin’s Institutes, III.9.1).

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What Kind of Pastor Does God Use to Revitalize a Church?

It is unfortunate the amount of dying churches that conclude they need one of two kinds of men to lead them to revitalize their church. Churches first pursue finding the next young, rock-star preacher to be their pastor, banking on his charisma will be what breathes life back into the church. The problem with this approach is not just the limited amount of so called “rock-star pastors” that exist, but that the Bible does not advocate that the men who lead the church must fit that description.

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Five Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God’s Word

Indeed, Jesus embodies all five of these characteristics. He trusted, studied, used, delighted in, and obeyed God’s Word. In fact, he did all these things even more than the first David. While David certainly serves as an example of what to do with God’s word, Jesus is the ultimate example. One greater than David has come. And he loved God’s Word.

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How to Meditate on God’s Word

by Founders Ministries Blog

Meditation is pondering the Word in our hearts, preaching it to our own souls, and personally applying it to our own lives and circumstances. It is how we sanctify our thinking and bring it into submission to Christ—taking every thought captive

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3 Small Group Myths that Need to Go Away

by Philip Nation

Small groups are an essential part of church life. It goes by a multitude of names–Life Groups, home groups, Sunday school, Bible fellowships, and the list goes on. When a ministry is so important, for some reason, myths begin to swirl around it. Here are three of the myths about small groups.

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Is Mental Illness Actually Biblical?

by Stephen Altrogge

I believe that treating mental illness as only (or even primarily) a spiritual problem is both profoundly unbiblical and incredibly hurtful to those who struggle with mental illness.

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How to Find God’s Perspective on Cancer

by Association of Biblical Counselors

Cancer patients need one additional perspective, which a biblical counselor is well-suited to provide. This perspective is God’s perspective.

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5 Common Questions Every Pastor Should Ask a Prospective Church Member

by Brian Croft

The most important part of the membership process we have at our church is the one-on-one meeting I have with prospective members.

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Is the Christian Church in America Losing Its Influence?

Is the Christian Church in America losing its identity and influence? Or simple learning to better relate to the secular world around us? Jesus commanded us to reach out into the sinful world and share the good news of the gospel of salvation. But He also warned us to not conform to the deception and […]

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Christians need to face the bad news about Christianity

Backsliders, fallen away and nominal Christians seem to be the new norm these days. Even Russell Moore, who recently met with the Pope, is opining that Christianity isn’t normal any more, as you’ll see in the following article. We’re not siding with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission head, so you’ll also […]

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Head for the Hills?

The post-Christian culture that Francis Schaeffer and Chuck Colson foretold is now reality. So what do we do? We’ll discuss one leader’s ideas.
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What about the person without the Bible?

What about the person without the Bible? Will they be held accountable for breaking God’s Law? Or Face God’s judgment? According to Scripture, “the work of the Law is written on their hearts.” And the Bible even gives multiple examples of God judging peoples and nations who have never heard God’s Law.


Deceitful Workmen

I have recently encountered not a small number of professing “Christians” online who are “offended” when certain lifestyles are referred to as sinful, even though the Bible is not unclear about it.


Time to Disband the Boy Scouts?

I suppose we should have seen this coming. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates—after having helmed the forced recognition of homosexual men and women into the U.S.


The Heavenly Citizen’s Prospect

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
– Philippians 3:20–21 –

In a word, the heavenly citizen’s prospect is glorification. Glorification is that final stage in the process of redemption when Christ (a) raises the bodies of all believers from the dead and reunites those bodies with their souls; and (b) instantly changes the bodies of believers alive at His coming into perfect, sin-free bodies, even like His own when He was resurrected.

Glorification

The Body of Our Humiliation

Earlier translations of this verse spoke of “our vile body” (KJV) or “the body of our humiliation” (ASV). But that could send the wrong message. Paul doesn’t intend to demean the body in any way, as if the physical body was evil in itself. That was the teaching of certain pagan religious philosophers of the day, but not of biblical Christianity. Remember, Adam and Eve were created perfectly by God, in His image, as a body-and-soul entity.

And so “the body of our humiliation” has nothing to do with some supposed inherent sinfulness of the body. Rather, it refers to our bodies, which are presently marked by the humiliation caused by sin—always characterized by weakness, by physical decay, by indignity, sickness and suffering, and of course the ultimate humiliation of death. And the body, though not inherently sinful in itself, is too often the instrument of our sinful acts—the vehicle through which we gratify our sinful desires. Knowing that that which should be set apart and consecrated as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) is nevertheless presented to sin as an instrument of unrighteousness (Rom 6:13) causes it all the more to be regarded as “the body of our humiliation.” Indeed, in this body we groan (2 Cor 5:2; cf. Rom 8:23), calling out with the Apostle Paul, “Who will save me from the body of this death?” (Rom 7:24).

The answer we receive in this text is: the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ is coming! And He’s not coming to rescue you out of your body, so you can live as a disembodied spirit in some ethereal existence for all eternity. He’s not coming to replace your body, as if He could only redeem part of you. No, He is coming to transform your present, lowly, sin-sick body into conformity with the body of His own glory!

1 Corinthians 15: Our Glorified Bodies

What will these glorified bodies be like? In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul defends the bodily resurrection against those in Corinth who were denying it. Towards the end of the chapter, he gives us insight into the nature of our glorified, resurrection bodies, in contrast with our natural bodies.

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Ireland’s Gay Marriage Referendum a Sign of Roman Catholic Decline

by Marsha West

Berean Research reports:

In Ireland,” says a character in a 1904 George Bernard Shaw play, “the people is the Church, and the Church is the people.”

But not so much anymore.

On Friday (May 22), voters in this once deeply Roman Catholic country will decide whether the country’s constitution should be amended to allow for gay marriage. If the amendment passes, Ireland will become the first country to legalize same-sex civil marriage by popular vote.

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Darkness Covers the Land, but God’s People Say and Do Nothing

by Bill Muehlenberg

OK, headlines are meant to grab your attention, and so the use of hyperbole is common. Well, now that I have your attention, then yes, of course, there are some Christians doing things and saying things during the dark times we find ourselves in. But they are clearly in the minority.

Most of the church is sleeping through its own execution. All around us the world is exploding, and all around us the church is imploding, yet most believers don’t seem to give a rip. And if they do care, they sure don’t seem to be opening their mouths very much.

Everywhere we hear the sound of crickets chirping while things continue to go down the gurgler fact. Even more incredible is the fact that in so much of the world Christians are dying the most horrific deaths, often at the hands of devout Muslims, but most Christians in the West seem not to care in the least. They are dead silent. And that may well be because they are dead – at least spiritually speaking.

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Study of attitudes to same-sex marriage retracted over ‘fake data’

by Marsha West

The study, using gay political canvessers, alleged that a conversation with a gay person could soften attitudes on same-sex marriage. But evidence has has been presented showing the study was a complete fabrication. The Guardian has the details: The senior author of a study claiming to find that a brief, face-to-face conversation with a gay political canvasser had […]

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Boy Scouts of America president says ban on gay leaders unsustainable

by Marsha West

AOL reports that the radical homosexual lobby may finally have their way with the Scouts. According to Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality. “We are 180 degrees from where we were a year ago. This is a very, very positive development.” Bible believing Christians vehemently disagree with Mr. Wahls that gay leaders in the Scouts is […]

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No Other Gospel: Satan’s Deception Through False Teachers

Galatians 1:6-10  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of my very favorite books in all the Bible is Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.  This letter addresses a problem seen in many churches today of adding man-made requirements to being a Christian and beautifully reveals how free Christianity truly is from external salvific requirements. This is another good book to learn what separates true Christianity from many of the different cults masquerading as a superior Christianity when, in fact, they are not Christian at all.  As John MacArthur points out, Galatians is not a detached theological treatise but a deeply personal letter written from the grieving heart of a godly man for his spiritual children, whose faith and living were being undermined by false teachers.[1. MacArthur, John. “Introduction.” The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Galatians. Chicago: Moody, 1987. x-xi. Print. ]

The first 12 verses of Galatians 1 include Paul’s introduction and his stern rebuke of the people of Galatia abandoning the true Gospel and being swayed by those false teachers.  Much like today, the false gospel these teachers espoused created a plethora of Jews who made a merely superficial profession of faith but eventually turned back to their works righteous ways.  These folks were what we today would consider false converts and it was they (Judaizers) who arose within the church itself, “speaking twisted things” and trying to “draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30)  Such is the danger of false conversions and false teachers within the church.

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You Can Trust Your Bible: An Interview with Peter Williams

I recently saw this interesting interview at TGC with my friend Peter Williams. Peter is a biblical scholar and the CEO of Tyndale House in Cambridge, England–a study center for evangelical scholars.


Hearing The Voice Of The Lord

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  In a recent answer to a question, you discussed a time when you asked God a question about why a situation involving forgiveness turned out the way it did. You wrote that God responded to your question. I assume from spending much time reading the information on your web site that you have these conversations with God frequently. I hear pastors in radio sermons as well as my own pastors talk frequently about hearing from God and that God speaks to their hearts all the time. My question is how does one know when they are hearing from God or receiving answers to questions directed to God? I received Jesus as my Lord and savior many years ago and I read my Bible most days and pray everyday throughout the day as well as continually feel a deep longing to connect with God. I don’t know how to distinguish a word/thought/conversation with God from my own thoughts. How does one develop this talent/ability?

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Acts 2 And The Day Of The Lord

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I’m a little confused as Acts 2:20 reads “the sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.”

But Revelation 6:12 reads, ” I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red.”

Does this mean the day of the Lord only starts after the sixth seal is opened? That doesn’t fit with anything I believe but I can’t seem to get over it. Thanks in advance for your answer. You make the end times understandable but this little thing has thrown me!

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The Sabbath Rest

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Chapter 4 of Hebrews speaks of entering into the Sabbath rest. I am fairly certain that this is not referring to the tradition Sabbath; i.e., 7th day of the week. Is this referring to the New Covenant (Jesus’ redemptive act on the Cross)? Or is there something else going on here?

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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