Category Archives: Biblical Lesson/Teaching

Change of Plan: To Change Every Day

With January 1st behind us, we’re still thinking about our New Year resolutions. People bought shiny new planners hoping that this will finally be the year they are punctual and organized. Vows were made never to touch “x” product again, whether it be chocolate, coffee, cigarettes, or the like. Daily Bible reading plans have begun.

However, each year sadly follows the same pattern. Those planners become dusty and shoved to the back of the desk drawer. “X” product gets picked up again. The Bible reading plan keeps getting put off.

We wait expectantly for January 1st, holding off change, assuming that when we wake up that morning we’re sprinkled with magic abilities to change. Sadly, many of us have discovered that there is nothing special about January 1st.

But there is something special about you, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus. You have the Holy Spirit living inside you, who gives you the ability to change daily (Romans 8:1-17).

Christians, we don’t need to wait for a new year in order to grow in our obedience to God. Instead of getting stuck in New Year Resolutions this year, let’s seek to change daily.

But first we must recognize why we need to change daily, how to change, and finally how to persevere in daily change.

Why We Need to Change Daily

First, God calls us to change.

Romans chapter three reminds us that every human on earth is a sinner (Romans 3:10, 23). We don’t simply make mistakes. We sin against the Holy God each day. We selfishly seek to steal his glory for ourselves, we harm other people made in his image, and we rebel against his law seeking to go our own way. And we don’t do this on occasion. We do this constantly. We’re not good people who occasionally misstep; we’re evil at heart (Jeremiah 17:9, Genesis 8:21, Psalm 51:5).

Thanks be to God that he didn’t leave us in this sin-stuck state:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

This is the glorious exchange: On the cross, Christ took the wrath we deserved and gave us his righteousness. Those who confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised them from the dead, they are saved from condemnation for sin and are counted righteous in Christ before God (Romans 10:9-10).

Romans 8:29-30 reminds us that God has chosen us for the purpose of changing us into the likeness of Jesus, with the goal of one day glorifying us. This is his eternal plan: saving sin-filled man to fill them with the Holy Spirit, to conform them to Christ, and bring glory to his name.

Second, God commands us to change.

This doesn’t mean that we are now perfect as believers. We still sin, because we are still living in our flesh. But when we were saved God gave his Spirit, who enables us to live a life pleasing to God, and the desire to do so (Romans 8:1-11). We’re no longer slaves to sin but to righteousness.

After all Christ has done for us, we desire to live a life that brings glory to him! Although we continue to sin, our lives should be characterized with repentance and turning to obedience.


Change comes with both obedient action and dependence on the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:12-13).
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Not only that, but as believers, we’re called to take careful watch of how we walk. We are commanded to be obedient to God’s law as his children.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

We need to carefully watch how we live, striving to be obedient daily, rather than putting off our obedience until a special day of the year.

How to Cultivate Daily Change

God’s Spirit Works in You.

Change comes with both obedient action and dependence on the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:12-13). When we read God’s Word, he applies it to our hearts and convicts us of what sins we need to repent of. He promises to change our attitudes and renew our hearts with the Holy Spirit so that we desire to do what is righteous (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Strive to obey in faith.

Ephesians 4:20-24 (ESV) outlines a pattern of change for us to follow:

But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

First, we put off sin, our old self.

For the person who lies, Paul writes that they must put off falsehood (v. 25). In this action, there must be a clear repenting of and putting away sin.

We need to confess how we have sinned against God and then fight against repeating such sin.

Second, we are to be renewed in our minds.

There needs to be a godly motive for putting off sin—a heart change—otherwise you are simply modifying your behaviors like a Pharisee.

For the person who lies, Paul says they need to realize that they are members of the body of Christ (v. 25), and that their lies will harm the entire body.

Thirdly, we are to put on godliness in place of our old self.

For the liar, this is simply telling the truth (v. 25).

What active obedience can you put in place of your sin? Could you replace complaining with thanksgiving? Or anger with kindness? Irritability with patience?

How to Persevere: Remembering Grace for the Daily Battle

We will not always succeed in the daily battle, but instead, will give way to sin. This is the point where the world usually gives up on their New Year resolutions.

But for you, a truly born-again soul, you have God’s grace and his Spirit. When you sin, God not only forgives you, but also gives you the grace to continue striving for change.

His grace doesn’t simply come at salvation, but continues for your entire race of the faith. Don’t lose heart, but let us proclaim with Paul, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).

Let’s strive to be obedient to God every day, giving glory to Christ, all the while resting in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Telling the Truth about Man

Genesis 1:26-28Romans 1:18-20

Code: B180117

Evolution’s doctrine of man is fundamentally wrong on two counts. That was the diagnosis Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones delivered during an interview in 1970: “I criticize the modern view of man on two grounds. One is that it makes too much of man. Secondly, that it doesn’t make enough of man.”

Jones’s point was in reference to the two biblical truths that evolutionists emphatically deny. They recognize man as “just an animal” and refuse to acknowledge him as being created in the image of God. Conversely, the secular wisdom of our day pronounces man as morally neutral and refuses to acknowledge what is so painfully obvious—that all people are sinners by nature.

Made in God’s Image

The Bible makes it clear that humanity is not merely one type of animal competing in the fight for survival. Scripture testifies that God made man to be the apex of His creation:

God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  (Genesis 1:26–28)

There is nothing pointless or random about human existence. We were originally designed to take dominion over the world God made. Man, as God’s image bearer, carries a divine mission that sets him completely apart from the animal kingdom.

But what exactly does it mean that mankind was created in the image of God?

While the imago Dei is a massive theological subject in its own right, it contains one inherent truth vital for evangelism: Man is a moral creature who is accountable to God. James Montgomery Boice highlighted that critical implication.

An element in being created in the image of God is morality. Morality includes the two further elements of freedom and responsibility. To be sure, the freedom which men and women possess is not absolute. Even in the beginning the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, were not autonomous. They were creatures and were responsible for acknowledging their status by their obedience. [1]

Realizing that we are created in God’s image brings with it a sense of honor but also the realization of grave accountability. Our inherent morality doesn’t vouch for our morals. Rather, it convicts us of our failure to behave morally. Our knowledge of right and wrong, and the fact that we continually violate that morality, point us back to the historical reality of Adam’s fall.

Fallen

Are we sinners because we sin, or do we sin because we are sinners? Be careful how you answer that question—it’s not a play on words. Only one answer is biblically true.

When Adam fell in the Garden, his sin was passed on in the natures of all his descendants. It isn’t our sins that make us sinners. Our sins reveal our true sinful natures. John MacArthur elaborates:

All humanity was plunged into this guilty condition because of Adam’s sin. “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19). This is the doctrine of original sin, a truth that is expounded by Paul in Romans 5:12–19. . . . We prove our willing complicity in Adam’s rebellion every time we sin. And since no one other than Jesus has ever lived a sinless life, no one is really in a position to doubt the doctrine of original sin, much less deem it unjust. [2]

Original sin is biblical truth that can be empirically proven. When the Bible tells us that everybody is a sinner (Romans 3:23) it reinforces what the sum of our life experience has already proven. Original sin is why we have everything from global wars to locks on doors. It’s why people get sick and die. It’s why we are dying! There is nowhere to flee from the reality and impact of Adam’s first act of defiance in the Garden. And there is no way to get around our own subsequent crimes of complicity.

Guilty and Without Excuse

Man’s failure to honor and obey his Creator has never been due to ignorance on the part of humanity—or the lack of evidence on God’s part. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so [men] are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

When we proclaim the God of Scripture to sinners, we aren’t ministering to their lack of theological education. We are presenting truth that clearly resonates with what they already instinctively know. God’s Word tells us that sinners are not uninformed about the truth of God, but rather, they suppress that truth “in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). Put simply, man’s primary problem has always been the love of sin, not the lack of education.

“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations” (Romans 1:21). God holds sinful men accountable for their failure to worship Him rightly. And He will call us to account on the Day of Judgment for our failure to do so (Hebrews 9:27).

That judgment will extend to all of our actions (Revelation 20:11–12), words (Matthew 12:36–37), and even thoughts (Matthew 5:27–281 Corinthians 4:5). There will be nowhere to hide and nothing left to conceal on the Day of Judgment.

Warning vs. Wooing

Faithful evangelists never comfort unrepentant sinners. Instead, we are to warn them. We must expose the sheer awfulness and offensiveness of sin by confronting them with an objective standard of righteousness. Since sin is biblically defined as lawlessness (1 John 3:4), John MacArthur advocates for the use of God’s law in the exposure of sin.

Jesus and the apostles did not hesitate to use the law in their evangelism. They knew that law reveals our sin (Romans 3:20) and is a tutor to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). It is the means God uses to make sinners see their own helplessness. Clearly, Paul saw a key place for the law in evangelistic contexts. Yet many today believe the law, with its inflexible demand for holiness and obedience, is contrary to and incompatible with the gospel.

Why should we make such distinctions when Scripture does not? If Scripture cautioned against preaching repentance, obedience, righteousness, or judgment to unbelievers, that would be one thing. But Scripture contains no such warnings. The opposite is true. . . . If we want to follow the biblical model, we cannot ignore sin, righteousness, and judgment because they are the very matters about which the Holy Spirit convicts the unsaved (John 16:8). Can we omit them from the message and still call it the gospel? [3]

Some argue that it’s better to preach about God’s love rather than man’s sin. That may sound like a far more pleasant and palatable idea, but Scripture reveals that the love of God finds its very definition in human sinfulness: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). A failure to preach about sin leaves the love of God meaningless and the cross of Christ purposeless.

If we are to faithfully proclaim the gospel, we need to let the glorious light of Christ’s saving work shine against the dark backdrop of man’s guilt. The cross will never be understood as the solution unless the problem is first explained. And the ultimate problem is most graphically displayed in the stark contrast between God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. The more we polarize these two truths, the more profound the portrayal of Christ’s redemptive work. We’ll consider that next time.

 


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Counting on Mercy in Suffering

From the pits of grief and suffering, the human heart and soul can yearn to know the cause of earthly pain. Did a particular sin bring this suffering upon me, or did I need discipline?

Tender answers might pour into the soul from Scripture—Job was a noble man who suffered and grieved (Job 1:8). And the man born blind in John’s gospel was not provided by Jesus with a personal sin corresponding to his pain (John 9:2-3). We cannot always draw straight lines between cause and effect for our individual suffering (Isaiah 55:9). In How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil, D. A. Carson writes,

It is the uncertainty of reading what is going on that sometimes breeds pain. Is the particular blow I am facing God’s way of telling me to change something? Or is it a form of discipline designed to toughen me or soften me to make me more useful? Or is it part of the heritage of all sons and daughters of Adam who live this side of the parousia, unrelated to discipline but part of God’s mysterious providence in a fallen world? But must we always decide? If a little self-examination shows us how to improve, we ought to improve. But there are times when all that the Christian can responsibly do is to trust his heavenly Father in the midst of the darkness and pain. (Carson 66)

“Must we always decide?” We can heed Carson to welcome needed growth in obedience that “a little self-examination” uncovers. Yet, he also warns that our inability to understand the full purposes of God behind our suffering can cause us sorrow on top of sorrow.

Draw Near to the Merciful Savior

While we sit in the mysteries of God’s providence, there is a promise we can be certain of. It’s a theme Carson repeats throughout his book: “From the biblical perspective, it is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” (Carson 44).

As I grow to have a higher and higher view of God being God—creating and owning me, being pure and dwelling in unapproachable light, and deserving of my unwavering devotion and holy fear, I am increasingly unable to view any of my sins as insignificant or any of my fleshly contributions as meaningful. This principle Carson writes of has been crucial for me, especially in the seat of suffering.


We cannot possibly count what we have in Christ.
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Approaching God for mercy in a manner that communicates, “I’ve got nothing,” is the biblical way (Zuber). Kevin Zuber preaches this approach to God based upon the account of the father who grieves the sickness of his son in Matthew 17:14-15,

And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him [Christ] and, kneeling before him, said “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.”

While witnessing the agony of his clearly beloved son—which a mother or father knows becomes the agony of the parent too—this father bends his knees to Christ and asks for the undeserved mercy of God. This is outward evidence of his commendable spiritual posture.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Don’t Forget Your Sin While Suffering

Approaching God for mercy, I am able to draw near to his throne of grace. And this God has, indeed, been merciful. Look with me at the example of Psalm 40.

In this psalm, David speaks of being in a pit—a miry bog of suffering. As the Psalm progresses, two variations of suffering are mentioned—personal sins (Psalm 40:12) and a near-death experience at the hand of others (Psalm 40:13-14). Note that the latter doesn’t appear to correspond to a particular sin David has committed, for David openly declares that the sins of others are to their shame.

For evils have encompassed me

beyond number;

my iniquities have overtaken me,

and I cannot see;

they are more than the hairs of my head;

my heart fails me. (Psalm 40: 12)

 

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!

O LORD, make haste to help me!

Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether

Who seek to snatch away my life. (Psalm 40:12-14a)

In such suffering from others who seek to take his life, David makes a theological step in his thinking that is often unnatural to those in pain. David does not forget about his own sin (Psalm 40:12). He does not forget about the grander biblical perspective for his life—that before God, is not exempt from being in need of mercy.

As those later in history than David, we can think of the new covenant by Christ’s blood and the suffering brought upon Christ on the cross on the basis of sins. To me, there is no clearer correlation in Scripture between suffering and sin—and none more helpful to my posture before him—than in the case of Christ. It’s my sins that held him there.

Find Joy in and Praise His Mercy

Meditating upon what God’s mercy meant for Jesus on the cross, the believing soul yields praise in suffering and grief. David does not withhold his own:

I have told the glad news of deliverance

in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips,

as you know, O LORD.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:9-10)

David doesn’t seem to be praising God here for deliverance from his physical suffering—from those who were pursuing him. For in the last verse of the Psalm, David asks God to “not delay” (Psalm 40:17). His request for physical deliverance still stands. Yet, he doesn’t underestimate God’s spiritual deliverance—from the edge of death, he speaks about this good news. When suffering abounds, his joy in who God is and who God is to him multiplies countlessly more.

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;

none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them,

yet they are more than can be told. (Psalm 40:5)

“None can compare with him!” writes David. Does your perspective yield this praise while suffering? We may count the number of days we have been bereaved, the manifestations of our suffering and pain, and the people who have inflicted evil upon us, all the while sitting in the unknown about God’s full purposes behind our sorrows. But, we cannot possibly count what we have in Christ.

In David’s suffering that was directly caused by his sin and in his event of running from those who sought to snatch his life, he held to a singular stance before God. He leans on mercy.

In my times of illness and grief, I am not troubled by the mysterious providences of God. For my suffering here, no matter how severe, could never graduate me from being utterly, moment-by-moment requiring of God’s mercy. To not be presently consumed by his wrath is evidence I look upon often—and do not fathom. And this is mercy Christ suffered for me to joyously receive.

Indeed, none can compare with him.

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Everything Begins with God—Including Evangelism

Code: B180115

In the beginning God . . . (Genesis 1:1).

God’s own story of redemption begins with Himself. And that’s where we should begin when preaching the gospel.

That’s not to say an exhaustive discourse on the character and nature of God, or a full-orbed investigation of His infinite attributes, is a prerequisite to understanding and believing the gospel. Even our Spirit-illuminated minds cannot fathom God in His fullness; how much can we expect the mind still darkened by sin to comprehend?

However, we cannot accurately present the gospel without first dispelling the false and idolatrous ideas about God that dominate the world. People today blithely fashion a god out of nothing more than their sentimentality and spiritual preferences. But that popular exercise is as futile as trying to rewrite the law of gravity, or wish it away altogether. God is eternal (Isaiah 57:15) and unchanging (Malachi 3:6), and demands our reverence on His terms, not ours.

God presents and defines Himself in Scripture as the true and living God. He says, “I am the Lord and there is no other; besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). Furthermore, God’s Word reveals that the one true God eternally exists as three distinct Persons.

Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity is impossible to fathom, but John MacArthur points out that Scripture is both clear and nonnegotiable on this subject:

Though the fullness of the Trinity is far beyond human comprehension, it is unquestionably how God has revealed Himself in Scripture—as one God eternally existing in three Persons. . . .

The Scriptures are clear that these three Persons together are one and only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). John 10:30 and 33 explain that the Father and the Son are one. First Corinthians 3:16 shows that the Father and the Spirit are one. Romans 8:9 makes clear that the Son and the Spirit are one. And John 14:1618, and 23 demonstrate that the Father, Son, and Spirit are one. . . . In other words, the Bible makes it clear that God is one God (not three), but that the one God is a Trinity of Persons. [1]

God must be presented as triune if He is to be proclaimed faithfully. Additionally, the Trinity takes on great importance in the realm of evangelism because all three Persons play distinct roles in the salvation of sinners. The Father elects (Ephesians 1:3–6); the Son redeems (Ephesians 1:7–12); and the Holy Spirit convicts (John 16:8), regenerates (Titus 3:5), and indwells believers (Ephesians 1:13–14).

Creator and Judge

The Bible introduces the triune God as the Creator of all things, including mankind (Genesis 1). As such, He rightfully claims ownership of His creation (Psalm 50:10–12) and demands worship from us, His creatures (Exodus 20:2–5Matthew 4:10).

But fallen humanity rebelliously refuses to worship the Creator. The open communion that should exist between God and man is now blocked by a wall of divine hostility (Psalm 5:5). God’s just wrath toward sinners may be an unsavory subject for modern sensibilities, but it’s a necessary truth to awaken the spiritual complacency of our age.

While the character and nature of God is an inexhaustible subject, the evangelist must labor to instill some sense of God’s supremacy and sovereignty in the hearts of sinners. He must explain why they should tremble at the thought of their future day in God’s courtroom (Hebrews 9:27)! John MacArthur laments the modern evangelistic trends that do just the opposite:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). Much of contemporary evangelism aims to arouse anything but fear of God in the mind of sinners. For example, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” is the opening line of the typical evangelistic appeal today. This kind of evangelism is far from the image of a God who must be feared. The remedy for such thinking is the biblical truth of God’s holiness. [2]

Holy

Scripture ascribes its strongest superlative when it refers to God as “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3Revelation 4:8).  Paul Washer points out that God’s holiness “is not merely one attribute among many but is the very context in which all other divine attributes must be defined and understood.” [3] Our evangelistic emphasis on God’s holiness is not meant to dispense with His other attributes such as love, mercy, and grace. Rather, His other attributes find their most profound meaning within the context of God’s holiness.

The word “holy” is translated from the Hebrew qadosh and refers to the otherness of God. As Creator, He transcends His creation and is utterly distinct from all that He has made. Regardless of size or splendor, nothing in creation even remotely approaches the perfections of God.

Why is it so critical to explain that the Creator of the universe is holy? Because we, in our sinful state, are the antithesis of everything He is. There is no greater dichotomy demonstrating our greatest need than the juxtaposition between a holy God and sinful men. John MacArthur points out the dire implications of that infinite gulf:

God is utterly holy, and His law therefore demands perfect holiness: “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:44–45). . . . Even the gospel requires His holiness: “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). “Without [holiness] no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NKJV). Because He is holy, God hates sin. [4]

Putting God in His Place

When believers think about God in terms of the gospel, we usually emphasize His love and mercy. And while those are vital attributes woven throughout the gospel, we must not make the mistake of neglecting His triune nature, His sovereignty over creation, and His holiness. Doing so frequently results in the proclamation of a man-centered gospel—one that portrays God as little more than a hero swooping in at the last minute to save the day.

The truth is that sinners stand in God’s crosshairs. Sinners are God’s creation and it is His law they have violated. God is the Savior only because He is the One from whom sinners need to be saved, for “He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:7).

When we put God at the center of the gospel, we gain a clear perspective on the offense of man’s sin and the depth of his guilt. And that’s where we’ll pick it up next time.

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180115
COPYRIGHT ©2018 Grace to You

You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/about#copyright).

The Work of the Holy Spirit

The work of the Holy Spirit is to take corrupted image-bearers who cannot glorify God, in whom the divine image is so marred that they will perish in hell—to take those marred and scarred people and to restore in them the likeness of Jesus Christ.

John MacArthur
Strange Fire – Session One

Bad Examples of Women Pastors (But Great Examples of Godly Women)

“God made men and women different from day one of creation… sorry, day six. He meant for men to fill certain roles and women to fill certain roles. We are one body in Christ made of individual parts, each functioning in their own way. One person is not to infringe upon another or take it upon themselves to do the task given to someone else.”

In 1 Timothy 2:11-12, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” The context here is church leadership, an instruction that continues into chapter 3. A woman is not permitted to be a pastor in a church (elder, bishop, overseer, etc.). Only a man can be a pastor.

This instruction is not limited to the time-period in which Paul was writing. It applies to all people in every place at every point in the history of the church. How do we know this? Because Paul goes all the way back to Genesis with his explanation: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (verses 13-14).

So the first reason the role of pastor is to be filled by a man is because Adam was formed first, and Eve was formed from Adam as his help-meet. The differences between the sexes and the different roles they are assigned are not a result of the fall. They were established at creation and have applied to all people in all cultures at all times.

The second reason a pastor is to be man is because Adam was not deceived by the serpent, but the woman was deceived and transgressed the law of God. This might seem unfair because Adam certainly sinned as well, and death came to all men because Adam sinned (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21). But Adam wasn’t deceived, and Eve was. So whether we’re talking about a perfect, sinless world, or the fallen, sinful one we currently inhabit, God intends that a man be the one to shepherd the flock of God (pastor means “shepherd;” see also 1 Peter 5:1-5).

Elsewhere, Paul wrote, “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak at church” (1 Corinthians 14:33-35).

This doesn’t mean a woman is supposed to have duct-tape over her mouth from the moment she walks into church to the moment she walks out. The context is teaching the church, or administering the authority of the word of God over the gathered people of God. The role as overseer is set apart for specifically a man to fill.

This also doesn’t mean a church that obeys this instruction is oppressing women. Heavens, no! A woman sitting in that church during a gospel sermon is no more oppressed than any man in the congregation. The truth does not oppress those who listen to it — it sets them free (John 8:31). It is a woman’s delight to learn quietly with all submissiveness, and she does this in honor of the Lord.

Women serve an incredibly important role in the church. If a church was all men and no women, that would be a dysfunctional church (see Titus 2:1-8). The church is to be made up of men and women, young and old, complimenting one another in their strengths and weaknesses, working and growing together so that we may be a functioning body of Christ.

But each according to their own purpose. God made men and women different from day one of creation… sorry, day six. He meant for men to fill certain roles and women to fill certain roles. We are one body in Christ made of individual parts, each functioning in their own way. One person is not to infringe upon another or take it upon themselves to do the task given to someone else. We all submit to one another out of reverence to Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

Bad Arguments for Women Pastors
Over the weekend, a friend got into a discussion over this topic with a feminist, and the feminist retorted with a list of names — women of the Bible who were more than just “helps” but, in her view, were qualified to be pastors. That list was as follows: “Deborah, Hannah, Miriam, Ruth, Esther, Jael, Proverbs 31, Wisdom personified as woman in Proverbs 8 (present with God at creation), Phoebe, Lydia, Prisca, Mary, Mary Magdalene, [were] all just there ‘to help’?”

This is a very common tactic when arguing for why women deserve to be pastors: throw out the name of a woman from the Bible. Boom! But that name is always taken out of context. There are no examples of a woman serving as a pastor in the church. None of the apostles were women, for that matter. I can say “period” and leave it at that. The instruction in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is clear.

But for the sake of teaching, I’d like to go through that list of names and explain why they’re actually bad examples. While they are not examples of women pastors, most of them are certainly great examples for being strong women of God.

Deborah
The book of Judges captures a very dark time in Israel’s history. In those days there was no king in Israel, and the people did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25). But God gave them judges to be their leaders, decision-makers, and deliverers.

The pattern of the story of Judges goes like this: the people sinned and worshiped false gods, the Lord sent an enemy to punish and oppress them, the people cried out for mercy, so God sent a judge to conquer their enemies and deliver a semi-repentant Israel. Wash, rinse, repeat. Three of the most famous judges were Samson, Gideon, and a woman named Deborah.

Deborah was a prophetess and a God-fearing woman who judged during a time when there were no God-fearing men. In Judges 4, Deborah confronted Barak, commander of the Lord’s army, who was reluctant to do what God had told him to do: gather his troops and fight the Canaanites. Instead, Barak told Deborah, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” So Deborah mommied him and led him by the hand to get him to obey God.

If you had been reading through Deuteronomy and Joshua, by the time you got to Judges 4, you’d recognize Israel’s digression in faith and obedience. In Deuteronomy 1:15, the tribes of Israel had wise and experienced men as heads over them. In Joshua 24:1, these men met with Joshua to renew their covenant before God. But within a generation, Israel began worshiping the Baals and forgot what the Lord had done for them (Judges 2:10-12).

It got to the point that the men weren’t doing what the leaders of Israel were supposed to do. So God placed a woman over them as though to say, “Sure, I’ll deliver you from your enemies. But to your shame, I’m going to send a woman to do what no man will do.” It was an embarrassment that Deborah was judge, not a high achievement (consider Judges 9:53 where it was to Abimelech’s shame that he was killed by a woman and not a man). In Deborah’s song of victory, she praised the tribes that stepped up to fight and lambasted those who stayed home (Judges 5:14-18).

Isaiah 3:12 says, “My people — infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them.” It is the judgment of God upon a nation when women occupy the roles that should be filled by men. Barak should have been the judge of Israel, following in the footsteps of Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar before him. But because he was kind of a weenie, God gave Deborah to do what Barak wouldn’t.

So using Deborah as an argument for why it’s okay for a woman to be a pastor really isn’t a good move. It would be to admit, “There are no godly men here, so a woman is going to have to do this job.” When a woman is pastor, the church is immature and disobedient, just like Israel was when Deborah was judge. She is a great example of a God-fearing woman. She is not an example of a pastor.

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Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Attitudes of Effective Evangelism”

Luke 10:1-4

Code: B180112

What makes evangelism effective? Is it a particular proven strategy, a clever way to pitch the promise of the gospel, or a personality that makes the message more palatable?

In his sermon “Attitudes of Effective Evangelism,” John MacArthur argues that it’s the motivation of the missionaries—not the cleverness of their message—that drives the work of evangelism and advances the progress of the gospel.

And let me tell you this: If you’re going to do evangelism, if you’re going to be a missionary, if you’re going to proclaim the kingdom of God, if you’re going to tell people about the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s going to start with an attitude. It’s going to start in the heart. You could train people till you’re blue in the face. You can give them all kinds of information, you can load their theological gun, you can give them strategies and methodologies. But effective evangelism is done by highly motivated people. Understand that. It’s not about training, it’s about motivation. It’s not about what you know. It’s about what you feel; it’s about what drives you.

John goes on to highlight five necessary attitudes and motivations that the Lord highlighted when He commissioned the seventy evangelists in Luke 10:1-4. It is those attitudes—compassion, prayer, urgency, vigilance, and trust—that inform and undergird the work of Christ’s kingdom missionaries.

Moreover, John MacArthur has encouragement for believers who don’t think they are called to the work of evangelism; that they don’t possess the necessary abilities and aptitudes to be missionaries for the kingdom of God.

The instruction and the interaction that Jesus has with the seventy is very helpful for us because we are virtually called to the same responsibility. We are witnesses to Christ in the world. That’s really the reason we’re here. As I’ve said on many occasions, we’ve been saved, and that’s partly to enjoy fellowship with God and with each other, but the fellowship is imperfect here, it’s not satisfying to us or God. We are saved to be obedient, but the obedience is limited, it’s neither satisfying to us or God. We are saved to worship, but the worship isn’t all it should be. It’s not perfect; neither does it satisfy our hearts or His. Why does He leave us here? Why not perfect fellowship, perfect obedience? Because there’s one thing you’ll never do in heaven and that’s evangelize lost people. The primary task of the church then is that. That’s why we’re here. And so we are, as it were, an extension of the seventy. We can’t be apostles, but we can be at this level.

The work of God’s kingdom is the task every believer has been called to. Just as Christ commissioned the seventy evangelists in Luke 10, He has likewise equipped and called us to the preaching of the gospel and the work of His kingdom.

Click here to listen to “Attitudes of Effective Evangelism.”

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180112
COPYRIGHT ©2018 Grace to You

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The Power of God to Set You Free

There is one battle you will fight your entire life.

I’m referring to your battle against sin. Some of you reading this blog post are discouraged today; some of you feel beat up and ashamed; some of you are sick of fighting the sin in your life; and some of you have just about given up altogether.

The truth is, all of us are not only guilty of sin, we are slaves to sin. So, we not only need forgiveness, we need freedom. Here is what I want you to take confidence in today: No matter how powerful sin feels in your life, God’s power is greater.

In Exodus, we read the epic story of God’s power to free his people from slavery. In chapter 14, we get to the climax of the story: the crossing of the Red Sea. Before the people of Israel cross over the sea, they come face to face with their enemy. Their enemy is strong, and they are weak—but God is stronger.

Here are three observations from Exodus 14 that I pray will encourage you today:

The enemy does not want to let you go (vv. 5-9).

At this point in the story, things have not gone so well for Pharaoh. Ten plagues have rocked his nation, his firstborn son is dead, and he’s just lost all his slaves.

If he had any sanity at all, he would have called it quits. But evil, narcissistic, power-hungry people are often irrational. So Pharaoh is not ready to give up, even after all the evidence that God is stronger than him. He hears that the people of Israel have actually fled from his country. And he says, “Let’s go get them back.”

He takes six hundred chosen chariots (the real legit ones—think stealth bombers), all the other chariots, and he pursues the people of Israel with his whole army. Every military advisor with half a brain would say, “You lost man!” But Pharaoh is not willing to let his slaves go.

This is exactly the insanity and evil of our enemy. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. But he won’t quit his hot pursuit of God’s people. This is why we can’t be complacent Christians. We have to be on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Are you being watchful? Do you know his strategies?

You should be able to identify the unique ways that he tempts you. Is it stress, exhaustion, boredom, loneliness, pride in your accomplishments? Is it at school, at work, at a certain friend’s house, in your room, driving in your car? When, where, and how does the enemy come after you?

You must be watchful, because he does not want to let you go. But take heart…

God fights for you (vv. 10-20).

Israel has got their back against the wall—cut off by the Red Sea.

They are terrified as they look upon their enemy. Then they complain because they are under the false assumption that following God out of slavery is going to be easy. It’s not.

We make this mistake every time we assume that following Jesus will be easy. He never promised that. But in Exodus, God gives us a true promise: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14).

Imagine this: Israel with the sea on one side and Pharaoh on the other. Trapped. But then, in a pillar of cloud and fire, God’s presence moves between them. This is one of the greatest pictures in the entire Bible of what Jesus does for us. We are trapped in sin, totally helpless. But Christ moves with all his power and positions himself between us and our enemy.

This is the gospel! Your battle against sin is real, but you are not fighting alone. Jesus fights for you, he died fighting for you, and in the victory of his resurrection you win as well.

Now, this doesn’t mean you won’t sin. This doesn’t mean you won’t struggle. It means that if you trust Christ by the simple silence of your faith alone, your enemy will not defeat you. So this week when you face temptation, it may seem overwhelming. But remember which side of the pillar you are on. You’re not fighting alone. The Lord fights for you!

God will save you (vv. 21-31).

As Christians, we know that the outcome of our lives is secure in Christ. But sometimes we still wonder, am I going to make it? Will my struggle against sin ever really end?

What we learn at the end of this story is magnificent: that the Lord saved Israel, and His people saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

The day will come when your enemy will be gone forever! Satan will be destroyed. You will live in eternity with no more temptation and no more sin. Revelation 22:3-5 says, “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city], and his servants will worship him… And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever.”

If you’re a Christian that’s the end of the story for you.

But what exactly was it that got Israel across the sea? What gets us into this glorious eternity? Read Hebrews 11:19 with me: “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted the same, were drowned.”

That’s what it comes down to: faith. Exodus 14:31 says that the Israelites believed the Lord. What about you? Do you believe the Lord? Do you have faith in Jesus? I pray today that you will trust in his power to set you free.

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

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7 Reasons Your Church Should Take Eschatology Seriously

It is concerning that some churches today don’t take eschatology seriously. The very fact that God has revealed so many details about events to come in both testaments tells us that it is important. At the center of biblical eschatology is the blessed hope of the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Not only should we be interested in prophetic events to come, we are also looking for our Savior, with whom we will spend eternity.

Why do some churches neglect serious study of eschatology? One issue is complexity. There are many eschatological details in the Bible to work through and harmonize. So there is hard work to do in this area. Also, when we see godly men disagreeing on prophetic issues, it can be disheartening. Another reason might be that some don’t want to be linked with those who have abused eschatology. There are those who have become obsessed with the end times by offering a date for Jesus’ return, or treating many current events as fulfillments of Bible prophecy. So some people have swung away from the abuse of eschatology to no interest at all.

But these are not good reasons to avoid the study of eschatology. Below are 7 reasons churches should take eschatology seriously:

1. Eschatology is a major part of the Christian storyline
Eschatology is a major part of the Bible’s story. By “story,” I’m not talking about fiction. I’m talking about the narrative of the Christian worldview. Since Christianity is rooted in history and real historical events, God’s story includes past, present, and future events. All should be taught. We simply should not ignore prophetic events that are future from our standpoint—events such as the rapture, the Day of the Lord, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Eternal State. We must also talk about heaven and hell, and the coming New Earth. To avoid discussion of eschatology is to avoid an important part of the Christian worldview.

2. We are called to preach and heed the whole counsel of God
There are large sections of Scripture devoted to prophecy, many of which still need to be fulfilled from our current standpoint. For example the events of Ezekiel 36–48 still need to occur. In the New Testament passages like Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; much of Luke 21; 1 Thess. 4-5; 2 Thess 1-2; 2 Peter 3; Revelation 6-22 describe events that still need to happen. We cannot ignore these passages. Paul says in Acts 20:27, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” If your church does not teach what the Bible says about the future, the whole counsel of God is not being taught.

3. People are interested in the future
Christians are interested in what the future holds. But if we do not teach eschatology, we are denying important biblical information for those who want to know what the Bible has to say about the future. We are also withholding a major source of the hope that the Scripture wants us to have.

4. Eschatology is a motivation for believers
Eschatology changes our lives because what we do now impacts our future. Paul viewed everything he did in light of his standing before Jesus someday. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8 he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

5. Eschatology has a purifying effect on the believer
Eschatology is meant to transform our lives in the present. Why should we live sensibly, righteously and godly? Because Jesus is coming again. 1 John 3:2-3 states, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

James 5:8-9 also says, “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” The study of biblical eschatology is a motivation for godly living.

6. Eschatology gives perspective to the troubles and trials of this age
We live in a fallen and tragedy-soaked world. We are all physically decaying and dying. Evil seems to triumph. Without Jesus there is no hope, only despair. But for the Christian there is the hope of resurrection and the restoration of all things (1 Cor. 15:20-28; Acts 3:21). Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” The sufferings of this present time are real, but they are not comparable to the glory that is to come. 2 Peter 3:13 says, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

The coming of Jesus and the restoration of all things are future realities that give Christians hope and the joyful realization that the turmoils and trials of this age will not last forever. Righteousness and goodness win in the end. Christians need that message.

7. Eschatology warns the unbeliever of coming judgment
Biblical eschatology does not teach that the story ends well for everyone. It exists as a frightening warning to those who have not believed in Jesus. Eschatology warns all people that there is eternal punishment and banishment from God’s kingdom and the presence of God for those who do not repent. We should do what John the Baptist did—warn people to flee the wrath that is to come (Luke 3:7-8). Just as there are judgment and resurrection of the righteous, there are also resurrection and judgment of the unbeliever.

In sum, biblical eschatology is an important part of Christianity. For these reasons, all true churches should embrace the importance of biblical eschatology and share its truths with Christians and unbelievers alike.


Watch the TMS Distinctives series on eschatology:

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Take Heed, Lest You Fall


Video Transcript:

There is a story behind David’s sin with Bathsheba. Whenever you hear of a moral calamity, such as we have here, there is always a back story. These things don’t just happen out of the blue at random.

The back story in David’s life is clear: “David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David” (2 Samuel 5:13). He already had more than one wife and concubines.

That was what kings commonly did in these days, but it was a direct violation of the clear command of God in Deuteronomy 17:17, where God says that the king among his people is to be different. Through the mouth of Moses God made it very clear that when he appointed a king later on, his king was to be different: “He shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away…”(Deuteronomy 17:17).

That could hardly be clearer, but David had carved out an area of compromise in his life that had never been submitted to the Lord. And that area of compromise lay at the root of his sin.

David clearly had a problem with lust, and the more he gave way to it, the more it controlled him. The sin he accommodated in his life grew until one day its power overwhelmed him.

The Bible makes it very clear that this is how sin works. It builds a position in your life over time as you compromise with it. “Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15).

The more room you give to an evil desire, the more powerful it will become in your life. W. G. Blaikie says, “When an evil desire has scope for its exercise, instead of being satisfied, it becomes more greedy and more lawless.”[1] Here is the way sin works. It tells you, “Just give it a little space.” But sin is greedy. It always wants more.

So guard your heart, because if you allow sin to capture your imagination, it will not be long before it masters your soul. God has preserved this story for us in the Bible as a warning, so let’s apply this to ourselves.

The roots of every kind of sin lie in the flesh of even the most godly believer. Are you realistic about what you are up against? Do you think that you can live this year with integrity if you do not seek the help of God in prayer, and draw strength from his word? Do you think that you can keep some area of your life un-submitted to the lordship of Christ and not have that destroy you? Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).

[1. W. G. Blaikie, The Second Book of Samuel, p. 159, Hodder & Stoughton, 1892]
This sermon clip is taken from Pastor Colin’s sermon “Sin” in the series, The Life of David

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The Dangers of an Oversimplified Gospel

Code: B180110

What needs to be conveyed to unbelievers in order that they might understand and embrace salvation?

Many of the modern trends in evangelism have tended to take a minimalist approach to the question. Unfortunately, the legitimate desire to express the heart of the gospel clearly has given way to a less wholesome endeavor. It is a campaign to distill the essentials of the message to the barest possible terms.

The glorious gospel of Christ—that which Paul called “the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16)—includes all the truth about Christ. But American evangelicalism tends to regard the gospel as a “plan of salvation.” We have reduced the message to a list of facts stated in the fewest possible words—and getting fewer all the time: “Six Steps to Peace with God”; “Five Things God Wants You to Know”; “Four Spiritual Laws”; “Three Truths You Can’t Live Without”; “Two Ways to Live”; or “One Way to Heaven.” (This is not a critique of these specific presentations, but is merely an observation that we seem eager to produce and use “plans of salvation” that enumerate and consolidate the gospel message.)

Another trend, equally dangerous, is to reduce evangelism to a memorized script. Often, evangelism training consists of having Christians memorize a series of questions, anticipating that each question will fall into one of a few categories that has a preplanned response.

But the gospel is not a message that can be capsulated, abridged, shrink-wrapped, and then offered as a generic remedy for every kind of sinner. Ignorant sinners need to be instructed about who God is and why He has the right to demand their obedience. Self-righteous sinners need to have their sin exposed by the demands of God’s law. Careless sinners need to be confronted with the reality of God’s impending judgment. Fearful sinners need to hear that God in His mercy has provided a way of deliverance. All sinners must understand how utterly holy God is. They must comprehend the basic truths of Christ’s sacrificial death and the triumph of His resurrection. They need to be confronted with God’s demand that they turn from their sin to embrace Christ as Lord and Savior.

Furthermore, in all the instances where Jesus and the apostles evangelized—whether they were ministering to individuals or crowds—there are no two incidents where they presented the message in precisely the same terminology. They knew that salvation is a sovereign work of God. Their role was to preach truth; the Holy Spirit would apply it individually to the hearts of His elect.

The form of the message will vary in each case. But the content must always drive home the reality of God’s holiness and the sinner’s helpless condition. Then it points sinners to Christ as a sovereign but merciful Lord who has purchased full atonement for all who will turn to Him in faith.

Christians today are often cautioned about the danger of saying too much to the lost. Certain spiritual issues are labeled taboo when speaking to the unconverted: God’s law, Christ’s lordship, repentance, surrender, obedience, judgment, and hell. Such things are not to be mentioned, lest we “add something to the offer of God’s free gift.”

Worse still, there are some who take this reductionist evangelism to its furthest extreme. Wrongly applying the Reformed doctrine of sola fide (faith alone), they make faith the only permissible topic when speaking to non-Christians about their duty before God. Then they render faith utterly meaningless by stripping it of everything but its notional aspects. This, some believe, preserves the purity of the gospel. But what it has actually done is undercut the power of the message of salvation.

It has also populated the church with false converts whose faith is counterfeit and whose hope hangs on a bogus promise. Numbly saying they “accept Christ as Savior,” they brazenly reject His rightful claim as Lord. Paying Him glib lip service, they utterly scorn Him with their hearts (Mark 7:6). Casually affirming Him with their mouths, they deliberately deny Him with their deeds (Titus 1:16). Addressing Him superficially as “Lord, Lord,” they stubbornly decline to do His bidding (Luke 6:46). Such people fit the tragic description of the “many” in Matthew 7:22–23 who will one day be stunned to hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

If there is no simple description for an evangelistic conversation, then what should the evangelist say when proclaiming the gospel? What are the points we need to make clear if we are to articulate the gospel as precisely as possible? In the days ahead we’re going to lay out the basic, yet fundamental, building blocks for faithfully communicating the way of salvation to a sinner: the holiness of God, the depravity of man, the work of Christ, and God’s demands upon the sinner. These are truths we need to embrace as Christ’s people and master as His witnesses.

(Adapted from The John MacArthur Pastor’s Library: Evangelism.)


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180110
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Confession in the Bible: Verses About Confessing Your Sins

When many people hear ‘confessing your sin’, they think it reserved for monks in a monastery or of paying penance to God by entering a church confessional.

But Scripture teaches us it is an important practice for the life of every Christian. The answers to these questions about confession in the Bible may surprise you:

What does the Bible say about confession?

What will happen if you don’t confess your sins?

Psalm 32 offers us several powerful reasons to confess our sins and shows us the consequences of unconfessed sin. David felt weak and was miserable when he did not confess. Verses 3-4 says, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”

Before confessing his sin, David was exhausted. Why? The life was being drained out of him by sin. If you do not weaken sin, it saps your spiritual strength. It weakens you. When I see a sin forming in my life, I must say, “If I’m to serve Christ, I dare not let this grow! It’ll drain the life out of me…”

Why should you confess your sins?

In addition to avoiding the negative effects of unconfessed sin, biblical confession is a way to experience more of God’s grace.  Biblical confession should be a joy, in some ways, due to the rich benefits God gives us through it.

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.”

This does not mean that God will forgive a sin only if it has been specifically confessed. When a Christian repents and believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of their sins, past, present, and future are immediately forgiven!

Confessing is part of the sanctification process and aids Christians in dealing with sin and healing from it.  James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Why confess your sin if God already knows your sin?

Christians confess their sins to God to practice humility before him and to fess up to the bad things they have done. It takes a humble person to admit their mistakes! Humility is a vital part of confession and aids the restoration of Christians who have quenched the Spirit of God. Peter in 1 Peter  5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

A True Confession is Done in Humility with an Attitude of Repentance

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

“…you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God…For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation…” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:1-5)

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  (1 John 1:9).

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