Daily Archives: August 18, 2019

August 18 Experiencing Peace

Scripture Reading: John 14:1–27

Key Verse: John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When God initially placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by fragrant flowers, beautiful trees, and delicious fruits, do you think they felt peaceful? Of course they did. They were in true communion with each other and with God. They had no knowledge of evil, heartache, pain, or death.

We all know what happened next. Temptation entered the garden, and mankind began its earthly bondage to sin and death. Despite God’s foreknowledge of what would occur in Eden, it was never His will for humans to experience pain. God’s perfect, peaceful world was tainted by the author of evil, Satan.

Though we live in a world plagued by violence, anger, and hostility, we can still experience the peace that God intended us to know. By sending His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, the door of peace and forgiveness was opened once and for all to those who believe.

To obtain God’s peace, you must make three key decisions: accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, believe that the peace God offers is yours for the asking, and live in obedience to God’s will. Remember—it is impossible to live with peace in your heart and rebellion in your actions.

It is God’s will for you to be tranquil in your heart and serene in your spirit, despite the chaos around you. Seek His peace today.

I will know, Lord, when I am seeking Your will: I will have an untroubled heart because of Your peace within.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 241). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 18 Life at Its Best

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 7

Key Verse: 2 Samuel 7:18

King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”

David was stunned by Nathan’s announcement. God was crafting a divine covenant with the former shepherd that exceeded David’s fondest hopes. His household and the people of Israel would reap of God’s extraordinary beneficence.

The king and warrior was overcome with gratitude: “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me this far?” (2 Sam. 7:18 nasb).

In a different sense but of far grander import, God has formed a covenant with each believer in Christ. It is the new covenant of forgiveness of sin and the gift of God’s righteousness. The incredible blessings of life in Christ, eternal and abundant, are inextricably bound up in this profound new relationship with deity.

This new life in Christ—a new beginning, a new perspective, a new destiny, a new power—is the only context to define life at its best. It does not get any better than intimate fellowship with our Guide and Sustainer, Jesus Christ.

Our response, when we ponder the immense weight of “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3 nasb), should mimic the awe and wonder of David. Who are we that God has chosen us to know and enjoy Him?

Don’t gauge your level of success or satisfaction by materialistic criteria. You live in a covenant relationship with the Savior and King.

Father, who am I that You have chosen me to know and enjoy fellowship with You? I am overwhelmed by the privilege of my covenant relationship with You.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 241). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 18 God Is Your Banner

Scripture reading: Psalm 37:1–9

Key verse: Psalm 36:12

There the workers of iniquity have fallen;

They have been cast down and are not able to rise.

Kay Arthur asks,

Are there days in your life when you feel utterly defeated? Outnumbered, outflanked, and outgunned? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and overcome by yearnings of the flesh that run counter to God’s Word and His desire and plan for you?

Where do you turn, Beloved? Where do you find the strength and will to stand fast and keep fighting the good fight? Where do you look for help when the enemy comes in like a flood?

Turn to Jehovah-nissi. Find your deliverance in “the Lord my Banner.” Let your heart thrill at the victory that is ours in Him.

A banner in ancient times was an ensign or standard carried at the head of a military grouping. It became the rallying point in a time of war. Often it was a bare pole topped with a bright ornament that caught the light of the sun.

In times of battle, soldiers would look across the confusion and chaos of the battlefield for a glimpse of their king’s banner. As long as the shining ensign was held high, they would fight with courage and confidence.

God is your Banner. He sees the war raging against you and is your eternal Source of hope and confidence. In times of stress and pressure, take courage. Look for God’s standard moving out in front of you. The victory is yours as you trust Him.

You are my Banner, dear Lord. You are my Source of hope and confidence. Give me courage in times of stress and pressure, knowing that Your standard moves in front of me into battle.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 241). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 18, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

cast your cares verse

22 Out of the confidence that God is enthroned (v. 19), the psalmist encourages the godly to reflect on his justice. In contrast to human treachery, Yahweh will “sustain” the righteous so that they will not be overcome (cf. 37:23–24). The oracle of salvation encourages the godly to “cast” their “cares” (lit., “what he has given you”; cf. 1 Pe 5:7) on the Lord. For a similar expression see 37:5–7. Calvin, 3:344, after struggling with this text, wrote the following:

It is not enough that we make application to God for the supply of our wants. Our desires and petitions must be offered up with a due reliance upon his providence, for how many are there who pray in a clamorous spirit, and who, by the inordinate anxiety and restlessness which they evince, seem resolved to dictate terms to the Almighty … and there can be no question that the only means of checking an excessive impatience is an absolute submission to the Divine will, as to the blessings which should be bestowed.[1]


22 The one praying now offers advice directly to the audience, but not about being betrayed by a friend. Again an abrupt shift in thinking takes the audience by surprise. The speaker is now back to assurance and the certainty that God will sustain and not let the righteous fall. One wonders if the assurance is really for the audience, or is it another way of convincing the soul that God’s promises are sure? It is the heart of what the person crying out to God is depending on—it is a wish expressed as an affirmation.[2]


22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

  1. Thy burden,” or what thy God lays upon thee, lay thou it “upon the Lord.” His wisdom casts it on thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it on him. He cast thy lot for thee, cast thy lot on him. He gives thee thy portion of suffering, accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back to him by thine assured confidence. “He shall sustain thee.” Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labours and trials. As thy days so shall thy strength be. “He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” He may move like the boughs of a tree in the tempest, but he shall never be moved like a tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered it, and never will. Like pillars, the godly stand immovable, to the glory of the Great Architect.[3]

55:22 The golden peak of Psalm 55 is reached in verse 22:

Cast your burden on the Lord,

And He shall sustain you;

He shall never permit

the righteous to be moved.

The psalmist came to realize that the best course in time of troubles is not to run away from them, but to cast the burden of them on the Lord. May we learn the lovely lesson set forth by Bishop Horne: “He who once bore the burden of our sins and sorrows requests that we should now and ever permit Him to bear the burden of our cares.”[4]


55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord. The word for “burden” implies one’s circumstances, one’s lot. The psalmist promises that the Lord will uphold the believer in the struggles of life.[5]


55:22 Cast your burden. The Septuagint renders this “cast your anxieties,” and 1 Pet. 5:7 urges Christians to a similar faith in the face of persecution. moved. [6]


55:22 he will never permit the righteous to be moved. The context of the psalm shows that there is no unqualified promise that the righteous will always be happy and prosperous. The psalmist sings this lament to the Lord because he is in despair. The verse must mean that God will not leave the righteous in the fallen position forever, but will vindicate them in the end.[7]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 456). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] deClaissé-Walford, N., & Tanner, B. (2014). Book Two of the Psalter: Psalms 42–72. In E. J. Young, R. K. Harrison, & R. L. Hubbard Jr. (Eds.), The Book of Psalms (p. 478). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 27-57 (Vol. 2, p. 451). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 634–635). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 55:22). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1005). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 784). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

Lord’s Day 33, 2019 — The Thirsty Theologian

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them
in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude
keeping festival.

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

—Psalm 42

Hymn XL.
Why art thou cast down?

Be still my heart! these anxious cares
To thee are burdens, thorns, and snares,
They cast dishonor on thy Lord,
And contradict his gracious word!

Brought safely by his hand thus far,
Why wilt thou now give place to fear?
How canst thou want if he provide,
Or lose thy way with such a guide?

When first before his mercy-seat,
Thou didst to him thy all commit;
He gave thee warrant, from that hour,
To trust his wisdom, love, and pow’r.

Did ever trouble yet befall,
And he refuse to hear thy call?
And has he not his promise past,
That thou shalt overcome at last?

Like David, thou may’st comfort draw,
Sav’d from the bear’s and lion’s paw;
Goliath’s rage I may defy,
For God, my Saviour, still is nigh.

He who has help’d me hitherto,
Will help me all my journey thro’;
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to his praise.

Tho’ rough and thorny be the road,
It leads thee home, apace, to God;
Then count thy present trials small,
For heav’n will make amends for all.

—John Newton, Olney Hymns. Book III: On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation
if you can possibly help it.
But if you’re in need of a good sermon,
try these.

via Lord’s Day 33, 2019 — The Thirsty Theologian

William Lane Craig debates Daniel Came: Does God exist? — WINTERY KNIGHT

The video of the debate was posted by ReasonableFaith.org– Dr. Craig’s organization. This debate occurred in March 2017 at the University of Dublin, in Ireland.

The video: (91 minutes)

My non-snarky summary is below.

Read more: William Lane Craig debates Daniel Came: Does God exist? — WINTERY KNIGHT

Trusting In The Right Thing — The Outspoken TULIP

What makes someone a genuine Christian? Good works? Obedience to Scripture’s precepts? Praying “the sinner’s prayer” or making a “decision” to follow Jesus?

When people ask for evidence of our salvation, do we point to how much we pray and study the Bible? Do we tell them about our various ministries within our local churches or our involvement with parachurch organizations? Maybe we mention how we homeschool our children, or how we’ve forsaken sexual sin? Surely each of these things demonstrate our love for the Lord! Right?

Um, not really.

A lot of those behaviors are good, but only as responses to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We aren’t Christians because of anything we do. We’re Christians because He shed His blood to satisfy the wrath of God that actually belongs to us. He redeemed those who trust in His finished work on the cross. His grace, and only His grace, makes us His   children.

via Trusting In The Right Thing — The Outspoken TULIP

August 18 In Step with the Spirit

scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 13
key verse: Galatians 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Have you ever held someone’s hand as you walked along together? You surely noticed how important it is to maintain the same stride. You can’t walk too slowly and you can’t walk too fast, at least not without pulling your hand away.

That is what Galatians 5:25 is talking about when it says “walk in the Spirit.” The New International Version captures the original Greek flavor of the word walk here: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” The word picture is one of “walking in line with.” When you are not following your fleshly urges to walk at your own pace, you feel the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit step by step along the way.

When you walk in harmony with the Spirit, the fruit of this relationship is evident. It makes sense that the fruit of the Spirit is the subject of other verses of Galatians 5. Which of these do you see in your attitudes and behavior: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self–control? It is truly an awesome list. As you think through these attributes, it’s crucial to remember that they are not products of a decision to try harder. God keeps your feet on His good path when you keep in step with Him.

How often I have walked my own way, O Lord. Forgive me. I want to keep in step with Your Spirit. Set my feet on Your path and keep them there.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

18 august (preached 17 august 1856) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Making light of Christ

“But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.” Matthew 22:5

suggested further reading: Matthew 13:9–17

It is making light of the gospel and of the whole of God’s glorious things, when men go to hear and yet do not pay attention. How many who frequent churches and chapels to indulge in a comfortable nap! Think what a fearful insult that is to the King of heaven. Would they enter into Her Majesty’s palace, ask an audience, and then go to sleep before her face? And yet the sin of sleeping in Her Majesty’s presence, would not be so great, even though against her laws, as the sin of wilfully slumbering in God’s sanctuary. How many go to our houses of worship who do not sleep, but who sit with vacant stare, listening as they would to a man who could not play a lively tune upon a good instrument. What goes in at one ear goes out at the other. Whatever enters the brain goes out without affecting the heart. Ah, my hearers, you are guilty of making light of God’s gospel, when you sit under a sermon without paying attention to it! Oh! What would lost souls give to hear another sermon! What would yonder dying wretch who is just now nearing the grave, give for another Sabbath! And what will you give, one of these days, when you shall be close to Jordan’s brink, that you might have one more warning, and listen once more to the wooing voice of God’s minister! We make light of the gospel when we hear it, without solemn and awful attention to it.

for meditation: Hear—listen—remember—obey (James 1:25). A sleeping congregation is no more use than a sleeping preacher.

sermon no. 98[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 237). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

18 AUGUST 365 Days with Calvin

Being One in Christ

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 12:27

suggested further reading: Philippians 2

What has been said about the nature and condition of the human body must be applied to us; for we are not merely a civil society, but, having been engrafted into Christ’s body, are truly members of one another.

Therefore, we should know that whatever any one of us has, it has been given to us for the edification of our fellow believers. Accordingly, let us bring forward what we have and not keep it back, buried, as it were, within self, or only for our own use. Let not the person who is endowed with superior gifts be puffed up with pride and despise others; rather, let him consider nothing is so diminutive as to be of no use. For in truth, even the least among the pious brings forth fruit according to his slender capacity, so there is no useless member in the church.

Those who are not endowed with much honor should not envy those above them or refuse to do their duty to them, but they should maintain the station in which they have been placed. Let there be mutual affection, mutual fellow feeling, mutual concern. Let us have regard for the advantage of all, so that we may not destroy the church by maligning, or envy, or pride, or any disagreement. On the contrary, let every one of us strive to preserve the church to the utmost of our power.

This is a large and magnificent subject, but I content myself with having pointed out one way in which the above text must be applied to the church.

for meditation: The church being one in Jesus Christ implies that each member of the church has particular tasks to do, just as families share tasks in their home. Some of these tasks are prominent; others, more mundane. Paul is directing every member of the church to use his or her gifts for the health and well-being of the church and their fellow members. If you are a believer, what gifts has the Spirit given you to use for the upbuilding of the church? Are you using those gifts now? How could you use them more effectively?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 249). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

SSB Sunday Gathering – August 18, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

Photo by Sasha Martynov on Pexels.com

Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Ordinary Time, Year 1 and may be found here.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Galatians 3: 6 – 14

So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

John 5: 30 – 47

“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

“You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.  Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.

“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing — testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

***

***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***

Feel free to join the discussion.

You can share your church struggles and concerns.

Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.

What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?

Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

via SSB Sunday Gathering – August 18, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

EChurch@Wartburg – 08.17.2019- Abraham Wright TAG Part 2 — The Wartburg Watch

A Prayer by Thomas Merton link

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end, nor do I really know myself.
And the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope thcat I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Amen

Seeing God in Creation link

The warmth
of the sun’s embrace
the gentle breeze swept in
by incoming tide
the rhythm of seasons
of new birth
death and recreation
All these speak so clearly
of your love
your power
and your beauty
All are expressions
of your creativity
and more importantly of yourself
As an artist might share his personality
within each brushstroke
so within the myriad colours
of a butterfly’s wing
you share the exuberance of your love

That we can glimpse you
within creation is a beautiful thought
but also tells us
that you desire to be seen
to be found and known
Open our eyes, Lord
as we walk through this world
feel the wind and sunshine
see the majesty of creation unfolding before our eyes
Help us
to see you

– John Birch

Prayer for Being a Light to the Nations link

Lord God, Ruler of all,
you have called us from among the peoples and nations of the world to be your own.
We praise you for the love that you have shown us by setting us apart for your service.
By your Spirit, help us to live as people who are in but not of the world,
that we may be light to the nations and bring you glory and honor,
in the name of Jesus Christ.
Amen

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Benediction

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
Numbers 6:24-26

via EChurch@Wartburg – 08.17.2019- Abraham Wright TAG Part 2 —

August 18, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

Faith in the Truth

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God … For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1a, 4–5)

The foundational mark of an overcomer is believing that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). That abbreviated statement implies all that is true about Him; that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, who came to earth to die and rise to accomplish salvation for sinners. Only the one who believes in the truth about Him is born of God (lit., “out of God has been begotten”) and overcomes the world. All who are born of God are overcomers, and only those who believe in Jesus Christ are born of God.

In the prologue to his gospel, John wrote, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). The Lord Himself declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). In Acts 4:12 Peter boldly told the hostile Jewish authorities that “there is salvation in no one else [other than Jesus; v. 10]; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Paul wrote, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11), and, “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Tim. 2:5–6). Any teaching that people can be saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ is biblically untenable (see the discussion of this point in chapter 20 of this volume).

The tenses of the verbs in verse 1 reveal a significant theological truth. Believes translates a present tense form of the verb pisteuō, whereas gegennētai (is born) is in the perfect tense. The opening phrase of verse 1 literally reads, “Whoever is believing that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God.” The point is that, contrary to Arminian theology, continual faith is the result of the new birth, not its cause. Christians do not keep themselves born again by believing, and lose their salvation if they stop believing. On the contrary, it is their perseverance in the faith that gives evidence that they have been born again. The faith that God grants in regeneration (Eph. 2:8) is permanent, and cannot be lost. Nor, as some teach, can it die, for dead faith does not save (James 2:14–26). There is no such thing as an “unbelieving believer.”

The question sometimes arises concerning those who profess faith in Christ, but then stop believing in Him. Our Lord described such people in the parable of the soils:

Others [seeds] fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.…

The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Matt. 13:5–7, 20–22)

Such false, temporary faith produces no fruit, in contrast to genuine saving faith, which alone produces the fruit that proves one’s new birth:

And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.…

And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. (Matt. 13:8, 23; cf. 3:8; Acts 26:20)

Earlier in this epistle, John explained that those who permanently fall away from the faith were never redeemed in the first place: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (2:19; cf. the exposition of this verse in chapter 9 of this volume). Their professed faith was never true saving faith. Saving faith is not mere intellectual knowledge of gospel facts, but involves a wholehearted, permanent commitment to Jesus as Lord, Savior, Messiah, and God incarnate.

The content of saving faith, as noted above, is that Jesus is the Christ; He is its object. People who are born of God believe the truth about Christ; those who do not are liars and antichrists. As John warned earlier in this letter, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son” (2:22). Then, making it unmistakably clear that no one can come to the Father apart from Jesus Christ, he added, “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also” (v. 23; cf. chapter 9 of this volume for an exposition of 2:22–23). No one who rejects Jesus Christ will ever see heaven, since anyone who “does not confess Jesus is not from God” (4:3), and only in the one who “confesses that Jesus is the Son of God [does God abide], and he in God” (v. 15).

John repeated for emphasis the truth from verse 1 that those who believe in Jesus Christ and have been born of God … overcome the world, gaining the victory over it through their faith. The phrase our faith literally reads, “the faith of us.” It could refer to the subjective, personal faith of individual believers, or objectively to the Christian faith, “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3; cf. Acts 6:7; 13:8; 14:22; 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:13; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 1:23; Phil. 1:27; 1 Tim. 4:1; 6:10, 21; 2 Tim. 4:7). It is safe to see in this context of believing that John is referring not to the objective content of the gospel as theology, but to the subjective trust by which God makes saints overcomers.

This interpretation is supported by the apostle’s rhetorical question, Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (cf. 4:15). Christians are victorious overcomers from the moment of salvation, when they are granted a faith that will never fail to embrace the gospel. They may experience times of doubt; they may cry out with David, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? (Ps. 13:1; cf. 22:1; 27:9; 44:24; 69:17; 88:14; 102:2; 143:7; 2 Tim. 2:11–13). But true saving faith will never fail, because those who possess it have in Christ triumphed over every foe. The “great … cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1; cf. Rom. 8:31–39)—the heroes of faith described in Hebrews 11—testify that true faith endures every trial and emerges victorious over them all. Job expressed the triumph of faith when he cried out in the midst of his trials, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).[1]


4. This is the victory. As he had said that all who are born of God overcome the world, he also sets forth the way of overcoming it. For it might be still asked, whence comes this victory? He then makes the victory over the world to depend on faith.

This passage is remarkable: for though Satan continually repeats his dreadful and horrible onsets, yet the Spirit of God, declaring that we are beyond the reach of danger, removes fear, and animates us to fight with courage. And the past time is more emphatical than the present or the future; for he says, that has overcome, in order that we might feel certain, as though the enemy had been already put to flight. It is, indeed, true, that our warfare continues through life, that our conflicts are daily, nay, that new and various battles are every moment on every side stirred up against us by the enemy; but as God does not arm us only for one day, and as faith is not that of one day, but is the perpetual work of the Holy Spirit, we are already partakers of victory, as though we had already conquered.

This confidence does not, however, introduce indifference, but renders us always anxiously intent on fighting. For the Lord thus bids his people to be certain, while yet he would not have them to be secure; but on the contrary, he declares that they have already overcome, in order that they may fight more courageously and more strenuously.

The term world has here a wide meaning, for it includes whatever is adverse to the Spirit of God: thus, the corruption of our nature is a part of the world; all lusts, all the crafts of Satan, in short, whatever leads us away from God. Having such a force to contend with, we have an immense war to carry on, and we should have been already conquered before coming to the contest, and we should be conquered a hundred times daily, had not God promised to us the victory. But God encourages us to fight by promising us the victory. But as this promise secures to us perpetually the invincible power of God, so, on the other hand, it annihilates all the strength of men. For the Apostle does not teach us here that God only brings some help to us, so that being aided by him, we may be sufficiently able to resist; but he makes victory to depend on faith alone; and faith receives from another that by which it overcomes. They then take away from God what is his own, who sing triumph to their own power.[2]


4 Verse 4 builds on vv. 2–3 by describing the benefits of obedience. All those who are born of God “conquer [nikaō, GK 3771] the world” (NIV, “overcome the world”). The conquest metaphor is consistent with John’s dualistic perspective, which sees a hostile relationship between the world and God’s children. But the precise meaning of nikaō here is open to debate, especially since it seems to contrast starkly with the real-life experiences of the Johannine Christians (see Introduction).

Some suggest that nikaō is used in an eschatological sense. Schnackenburg, 229–30, for example, sees here a reference to “the victory that Christ won once for all in salvation history,” the victory that is “repeated in the lives of the Christians.” By participating in the work of Christ, then, believers experience the future victory over evil in the midst of the pain of this world. Rensberger, 129, takes a somewhat similar view with the suggestion that John is touching on the notion that Satan is “the ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Jesus has conquered the ruler of this world, and all those who believe share the benefits of this victory. Other commentators believe that John is thinking of the moral sphere of human experience. Dodd, 126–27, for example, says that “the world” refers here to “the power of evil inclinations, false standards and bad dispositions.” “Victory” is achieved when believers choose to obey God and resist temptation (cf. Marshall, 228–29; Schnackenburg, 229).

While both of these views are reasonable, the most likely reference point for the believer’s “victory over the world” is John 16:33. First John 5:4 opens with a hoti clause that seems to introduce a traditional slogan or saying, and the phrase that follows is strongly reminiscent of Jesus’ words in the upper room. After assuring the disciples that they will be hated by the world, put out of the synagogues, and persecuted for his name (Jn 15:18–16:4), Jesus predicts that they will soon scatter and abandon him. Despite all this, they should not be discouraged, because “I have conquered the world” (NIV, “overcome the world”; 16:33).

Jesus’ “conquest” seems to consist of his resolution to obey God’s calling and suffer death. By analogy, 1 John 5:4 uses nikaō to describe the true believer’s willingness to serve God in spite of the world’s persecutions. Hence the conquest of the world may be reduced to “our faith”—the fact of holding fast to the orthodox confession in the face of pressure to abandon Christ. The verb nikaō is used with the same connotation in Revelation, where the believer’s “victory” is gained by overcoming the temptation to abandon the faith in the face of severe suffering and possibly death (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). If 1 John and Revelation were produced by the same person or by members of the same community, these references would also support the interpretation adopted here.[3]


4 How, then, can the believer keep God’s commandments? John’s answer is that he has been given the power by God to overcome the forces of temptation which would prevent his obedience. Everyone born of God has overcome the world. The power that enables believers to overcome false prophets (4:4) also enables them to overcome the world with all its temptations. And what is this power? The means of victory is our faith. The fact that we hold the true faith39 from our hearts is the means whereby the power of the new world operates in us and enables us to overcome the world. It is striking that John says that we have overcome the world. Perhaps he is thinking of the completed victory of Jesus (Jn. 16:33) which repeats itself in the life of the Christian. Or perhaps we should take John’s meaning to be: “this is the means of victory, namely what we believe about Jesus who has already overcome the world.” To believe that Jesus has been victorious is to have the power that enables us also to win the battle, for we know that our foe is already defeated and therefore powerless. And it is precisely faith that we need. To the natural man the power of evil appears uncontrollable, and to the weak Christian the force of temptation appears irresistible. It requires a firm belief in Jesus to enable us to dismiss this appearance of irresistible, uncontrollable evil as being merely appearance. Nor is such faith a means of escape from conflict; on the contrary it is right in the middle of evil’s display of power that the believer is able to call its bluff and proclaim the superior might of Jesus. Such faith is far from being wish-fulfilment or sheer illusion. On the contrary, it rests foursquare on the fact that Jesus Christ has defeated death, and anybody who can defeat death can defeat anything.

Though the sons of night blaspheme,

More there are with us than them;

God with us, we cannot fear;

Fear, ye fiends, for Christ is here!

Lo! to faith’s enlightened sight,

All the mountain flames with light;

Hell is nigh, but God is nigher,

Circling us with hosts of fire.[4]


4. For—(See on 1 Jn 5:3). The reason why “His commandments are not grievous.” Though there is a conflict in keeping them, the sue for the whole body of the regenerate is victory over every opposing influence; meanwhile there is a present joy to each believer in keeping them which makes them “not grievous.”

whatsoeverGreek,all that is begotten of God.” The neuter expresses the universal whole, or aggregate of the regenerate, regarded as one collective body Jn 3:6, “where Bengel remarks, that in Jesus’ discourses, what the Father has given Him is called, in the singular number and neuter gender, all whatsoever; those who come to the Son are described in the masculine gender and plural number, they all, or singular, every one. The Father has given, as it were, the whole mass to the Son, that all whom He gave may be one whole: that universal whole the Son singly evolves, in the execution of the divine plan.”

overcometh—habitually.

the world—all that is opposed to keeping the commandments of God, or draws us off from God, in this world, including our corrupt flesh, on which the world’s blandishments or threats act, as also including Satan, the prince of this world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).

this is the victory that overcomethGreek aorist, “… that hath (already) overcome the world”: the victory (where faith is) hereby is implied as having been already obtained (1 Jn 2:13; 4:4).[5]


Overcome the World

5:3–4

3. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4. for everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

  • “Love for God.” John is the New Testament writer who provides a number of pithy definitions. For example, in his Gospel he defines eternal life (17:3) and in his first epistle he repeatedly explains spiritual truths (consult 2:5–6; 3:10, 23, 24; 4:2, 10; 5:14). Here he states what love for God means: “to obey his commands.” Love for God does not consist of spoken words, even if they are well-intentioned, but of determined action that demonstrates obedience to God’s commands.
  • “His commands are not burdensome.” John reiterates the words of Jesus, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). The Pharisees and scribes placed unnecessary demands upon the Jewish people of the first century. They added to the Decalogue hundreds of manmade rules that were burdensome to the people (see Matt. 23:4; Luke 11:46).

For the person who refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, the commands are a threat to man’s self-proclaimed freedom. They are a hindrance to his lifestyle and a constant source of irritation.

The child of God, however, knows that God has given him laws for his own protection. As long as he stays within the area delineated by these laws he is safe, for in it he has his own spiritual environment. Therefore, the believer can do anything he pleases within the confines of God’s commands (Deut. 30:11–14).

Augustine aptly remarks, “Love and do what you please.” The Christian desires to obey God’s precepts. With the psalmist he says, “I delight in [God’s] commands because I love them” (Ps. 119:47; also see Rom. 7:22). Although John’s teaching holds for all God’s precepts, the context of verse 3 refers to the commands to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and to love the children of God (v. 1).

  • “Everyone born of God.” The Greek says, “all that is born of God.” John wants to place the emphasis not on the individual person but, in general, on all people who have experienced spiritual birth.
  • “Has overcome the world.” All who have their birth in God have overcome the world and therefore can claim victory already. They know that Jesus said, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Because Jesus has been victorious, we, too, are victorious with him. Jesus has overcome the evil one in this world and has set his people free from the power of Satan. “The battle has thus been decided, even if it is not yet over.”
  • “This is the victory.” Note that John does not say, “This is the victor.” He writes “the victory” to show that the concept itself is significant. Victory and faith are synonymous. John tells his readers that their faith has overcome the world. Their faith, of course, is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When believers place their faith in Jesus, then nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:37–39; 1 Cor. 15:57). No evil forces in this world are able to overpower the person who trusts in Jesus. Instead, the believer is victorious over the world because of his faith in the Son of God.

Faith is the victory?

Faith is the victory?

Oh, glorious victory,

That overcomes the world.

—John H. Yates

Practical Considerations in 5:4

Heroes usually are public idols. The younger generation especially adores and imitates successful men and women.

The Bible portrays its heroes, too. Think of David after he killed Goliath. At that time, the women in Israel sang songs in his honor:

“Saul has slain his thousands,

and David his tens of thousands.”

[1 Sam. 18:7]

As he walks through the gallery which features the portraits of the heroes of faith, the writer of Hebrews points to numerous people (Heb. 11:4–32). When we look at these heroes, we tend to regard them as being superhuman. But these men and women were ordinary people who had to face trials and temptations that all of us encounter. What, then, makes them great? Their faith in God made them conquer, and their enduring faithfulness to the truth of God’s Word made them victorious.

Are we who are common people able to claim victory? Yes, here is the reason: The word overcome is significant in the seven letters Jesus instructed John to write to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Note that at the conclusion of each letter Jesus specifically addresses “him who overcomes” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Jesus directs his words to common people who are members of local churches. When they are faithful to the end, they indeed are heroes of faith.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2007). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 177–179). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 254–255). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 490–491). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Epistles of John (pp. 228–229). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 535–536). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 349–351). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

August 18 – The battle belongs to the Lord — Reformed Perspective

“And the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.’” – Joshua 10:8

Scripture reading: Joshua 10:1-11 and 16-27

With Israel’s defeat of Jericho and Ai, and with the treaty made with Gibeon, a military wedge has been driven east to west through the middle of the land of Palestine, dividing it north from south. The five kings of the south decide it is time to work together to put up a united front.

This will be the first time that Israel’s army will face any kind of organized resistance and this offers the devil a perfect time to plant the seeds of doubt and fear into the minds of God’s people: “Will we be able to take on such a large number of highly trained soldiers? We are just shepherds and herdsmen. They live in fortified cities; we just live in tents. Sure, God helped us in the past, but how do we know He will help us in the future?” How easily Satan messes with our hearts and minds, and how easily we let him.

Knowing our weaknesses, the LORD comes to Joshua and gives the comforting promise of verse 8, “Not a man of them shall stand before you.” God repeats here what He has often promised before, that He is fighting this battle for them. He goes before them laying waste all who stand in opposition to Him. We must simply believe and follow after Him. On this Lord’s Day, place yourself under the preached Word of God; for when doubt comes, it will be God’s Word that sees you through and brings you comfort.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to make you a diligent student of His Word. Ask Him to make His Word powerful and effective as it goes forth today. Thank Him for fighting your battle against sin in Jesus Christ His Son.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ed Marcusse is the pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church of Lansing, Illinois.

via August 18 – The battle belongs to the Lord — Reformed Perspective

08/18/19 Practical Discipleship: Discipling in Groups — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Mark 3:13-16

We know that Jesus called 12 men to be His apostles (Mark 3:13-16). We also know that He spent significant time with Peter, James, and John (e.g., Mark 5:37, 9:2, 14:33). In addition, I think it’s fair to argue that Jesus spent even more time with Peter, the leader of the disciples, and John, the “one whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). Thus, Jesus spent one-on-one time, one-on-three time, and one-to-group time with His disciples.

As a disciplemaker, I enjoy my one-on-one time with the men I’m discipling. On the other hand, the example of Jesus reminds me to broaden my approach to invest in more than one person in different settings. Doing so allows me to accomplish more in the same amount of time; that is, I can invest in 2-3 people during the same hour rather than giving each person one hour per week. At the same time, these men can be iron sharpening iron for each other – as well as for me (Prov 27:17).  They can teach each other more than what I can teach them alone, particularly because they’re currently sharing a stage of life I passed through long ago.

As usual, it’s clear that Jesus’ method is always the right one.

PRAYER: “Lord, give me wisdom in investing in my disciples.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 46-50, Romans 9:6-33

via 08/18/19 Practical Discipleship: Discipling in Groups — ChuckLawless.com

August 18 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

1 Samuel 10; Romans 8; Jeremiah 47; Psalms 23–24

 

though a short chapter, jeremiah 47 is full of interest. It begins with a prophecy regarding the destruction of the Philistine city-states along the coast, and ends with one of the most thought-provoking bits of anguish in the latter part of this book.

First, the prophecy (47:1–5). Its precise timing is a trifle obscure: it came to Jeremiah “before Pharaoh attacked Gaza” (47:1). This may have taken place when Pharaoh Neco of Egypt marched north to attack Haran in 609 b.c. Gaza, one of the Philistine city-states, was on the route. But although this shows the prophecy came to Jeremiah before the days of Egyptian ascendancy were past, it did not concern Egyptian aggression, but Babylonian: the waters that “overflow the land and everything in it” rise “in the north” (47:2)—the direction from which the Babylonian might would come. The word picture of the subsequent destruction is not pretty. Panic will be so acute, Jeremiah insists, that fathers will abandon their children (47:3). Verse 4 may be improperly translated. The Hebrew is literally “to cut off Tyre and Sidon,” and the expression may mean that any help from these Phoenician cities is prevented from reaching the Philistine cities farther down the coast. In any case it is the Lord who destroys the Philistines, whatever the agency (47:4). Gaza and Ashkelon (47:5) were two of their principal cities. “Caphtor” (47:4) is the ancient name for Crete, from which the original Philistines came—so to say that the Lord is about to destroy “the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor” is a poetic way of saying that the Lord is about to destroy the Philistines.

Second, the final thought-provoking anguish (47:6–7). In colorful imagery, Jeremiah pictures the Philistines (according to the NIV) addressing the sword of the Lord: “ ‘Ah, sword of the Lord,’ you cry, ‘how long till you rest? Return to your scabbard; cease and be still’ ” (47:6). This supposes that the Philistines recognize that it is Israel’s God, the Lord himself, who has brought judgment on them at the hands of the Babylonians. Although it is possible to understand the Hebrew that way, strictly speaking the words “you cry” are not found in the text: they have to be inferred. But if they are simply omitted, then it is Jeremiah himself who is addressing the sword of the Lord. The Philistines may be pagans, and they may often have oppressed Israel, but now they are about to get pounded—and by the Babylonians, Judah’s premier enemy. So Jeremiah intercedes for the Philistines. But the final verse shows that he understands perfectly well that he cannot command God’s sword. The Lord himself has commanded it, the God of just judgment, and it will do its work. So also on the last day.[1]


[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Franklin Graham on Christian ‘leaders’ who renounce faith: For shame | WND

Evangelist Franklin Graham is warning Christian leaders who renounce their faith that they will have to answer to God.

“Shame on them,” he said. “You’ll stand before God one day and give an account to him.”

Josh Harris, the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” author, recently announced his is divorcing his wife and leaving his faith.

Former Hillsong songwriter and worship leader Marty Sampson has disclosed he is “losing” faith.

Graham, in a podcast interview with Todd Starnes, said they’re “in a very dangerous place to be out from under God’s protection.”

“For whatever reason they have decided they’re going to turn their back on God and God’s standards,” he told Starnes.

Graham said he especially was concerned that they felt obligated to make their doubts public.

“[God] warns churches that turn their back on him and these young men who have renounced their faith have made it so public. Why did they make it so public? I think they just wanted publicity. Otherwise, why didn’t they just leave their faith and just be quiet about it?”

Graham, for one, won’t be following them, if that was their underlying motive.

“And for me I’m going to keep … doing what I do. I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. I believe every word of the Bible. I do not understand it all but I believe it all,” he sai.

“I’m going to keep on doing what I do and I’m going to keep telling people how they can have a relationship with God, how they can have their sins forgiven, and how it can make and have that hope of heaven one day by putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.”

Starnes commented, “And we should also pray for Mr. Harris and Mr. Sampson – that they, too, may one day become followers of Jesus Christ.”

Relevant Magazine reportedSampson posted a now-deleted Instagram statement: “I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.”

Sampson said he hadn’t “renounced” faith but it was on “shaky ground.”

Harris posted a message on social media stating he no longer was Christian and was divorcing his wife.

The statements from Harris and Sampson prompted John Cooper of the rock band Skillet to write on Facebook, “What in God’s Name Is Happening to Christianity?”

“We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom,” he wrote. “Most shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their ‘new insight/new truth’ that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say ‘I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others.’ Ummm, why?”

Sampson responded, claiming people were jumping to conclusions about him.

“Wow. Where do I begin? What right have you to put words in my mouth? I wouldn’t presume to put words in yours. To think that I am trying to influence others, without even asking me if that is my intention is offensive. Did I write an article on myself in relevant magazine, or Christian Post quoting myself? Do I need this kind of criticism in an honest examination of what I believe from complete strangers? I have never even met you, yet you presume to know me or people like me? I only ever posted about this to explain to people (4K followers on insta I may add) where I was at in an honest and genuine way. Not to influence them and their beliefs. Not to draw attention to myself. Not to have a voice. To wrestle and to learn and to grow, and to present my current state of mind/heart to explain to people why I am not ‘coming back to Hillsong’ or ‘when I’’ going to sing on the next United song.’”

Source: Franklin Graham on Christian ‘leaders’ who renounce faith: For shame