Thursday, July 29, 2010

Only two questions necessary -

1. Is the Bible the word of God?

2. How do you interpret it?

Those two simple questions will eliminate and clarify all the "confusion" on any subject that believers may get distracted by.

It has been, and always will be, a question of authority; God's authority or (fill in the blank)...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Bible is absolutely crystal-clear on at least three things...

by Dan Phillips

Practicality, then, is (A) Biblical, and (B) light-years removed from....Pragmatism

1.The Christian's goal must be to please God (Deuteronomy 6:5f.; Matthew 6:1-6, 33; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 1:13-17, etc.).

2.Doing what pleases God may be the direct cause of temporal disaster.

3.Doing what pleases God will be the direct cause of eternal delight.

Be perfectly clear: doing what pleases God, in the right way and from the right heart, may result in —

•Getting murdered by your brother for honoring God in faith

•Being hated by the most powerful in the land for telling God's truth

•Having people run away from your preaching (i.e. a small congregation) because you preach the truth straight

•Being out of sync with your spouse for remaining faithful to God

•Being framed, slandered, and killed for remaining loyal to your family

•Seeing your good name destroyed because of your love for Christ

•Having co-workers start a vicious slander-and-ouster campaign because of your godly excellence

•Being abused, even physically, to doing right in God's eyes

•Enduring a life of persecution, deprivation, and temporal misery

Of course, that's just a sampling. But it is enough to condemn pragmatism once and for all.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why a transformed life is not proof of salvation

A Must Read - Entire article here: Dangerous pragmatism – why a transformed life is not proof of salvation

False assumption 3: A transformed life is proof of salvation
Many religions transform lives. Mormonism has produced zealous clean-living converts who would put most evangelicals to shame in their general moral conduct. And radical Islam certainly transforms the lives of those who decide to become suicide bombers – and those of their victims.

Self-help books transform lives. Here’s one not atypical comment of many concerning Stephen R. Covey’s bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

This book changed my life. After reading this book back in 1997 my whole thinking about myself and others changed. I wish they teach this book in high school in every country in the world. Since 97 I buy this book and give it as gift to anyone I come across, especially to young people. You read it and judge it.

The religion of the Pharisees transformed lives. Yet Jesus said of them:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matthew 23:15, NKJV)

Clearly, Jesus didn’t approve of that particular sort of life transformation.

We should be concerned that Pharisaism, which was really all about making God’s law doable, is alive and well in far too many of today’s churches. Whenever anyone gives you five simple steps to keep God’s law (whether it is to stay out of debt, or have healthy relationships, etc.), understand that Pharisaism is the religion being offered. Likewise, when someone preaches the law and tells you to just go out and do it. But the Bible tells us that God’s law exists primarily to show us our sin – it does not have the power to make us righteous:

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20, ESV)

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. (Galatians 2:21, NKJV)

The gospel is not a formula by which we can obey God’s law and thereby become righteous. No, it is the Good News that, even though we do not obey the law, Christ kept it for us. That His perfect righteousness is put to our account, and that the wrath of God that we deserved for our sin was instead poured out upon Christ on the cross:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26, NKJV)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Portrait

A terrific story heard and re-told by Frank Turk... The Portrait

There was a young man -- a doctor -- who was sent off to war, and he left behind a young wife and a 7-month-old baby girl. He was away at the war for two years, and was faithful to his wife. In writing to her frequently, he sent back a portrait of himself to her and the baby as a promise that he would return home soon.

He returned two years later, and the baby was now a toddler who didn't know him. In fact, in some ways she didn't want him in their house. He was a stranger, and he didn't belong. She only knew the portrait.

One Saturday the young doctor was sitting on the couch reading the paper when the toddler got up from her bed and slowly came down the stairs. He didn't want to antagonize her, so he just sat and read, watching her out of the corner of his eye.

She started in the kitchen, then the dining room, then came into the living room sort of watching him, sizing him up. She came to the other end of the sofa, and then pointed at the portrait.

"That's my daddy. Some day he's coming home," she said, looking at the portrait.

He lowered the paper, and looked at her -- both bursting with pride at her confidence and aching on the inside from her ignorance.

She looked at him again, and pointed at the portrait. "That's my daddy," she said certainly, and looked straight at the young doctor.

Then there was a curious silence as her face changed.

"You're my daddy," she said breathlessly.