Tag Archive | Believers

Are You Frustrated with the Blind?

Do you ever get frustrated because an unbeliever just doesn’t ever seem to understand what you tell them? Everything you say and offer them to read just doesn’t seem to have any effect. Almost like you are both speaking different languages. Technically you are. Unbelievers are blinded to the truth.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

We should never become frustrated or irritated with unbelievers because the Lord is very clear that He gives understanding to those who understand. Until the Lord gives unbelievers understanding then Satan is allowed to blind them to the truth. But that doesn’t mean we don’t warn them.

No one understands upon their own but only through the working of the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 2:14 (ESV) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But notice in 1 Corinthians 4:3 that they are perishing. Oh, shouldn’t we have mercy and love for those who are perishing and yet are blinded to that fact?

How much sense would it make for someone to get angry with a blind man because he just refused to see where he was going? It wouldn’t make sense would it. How foolish would it be if we saw a blind man heading to a cliff and yet we refused to warn him about it because he just wouldn’t be able to see it anyway. Why bother? But what if he was to turn from his destruction?

Ezekiel 3:18-19

18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Warn away for some might turn from perishing and the Lord might grant them sight.


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That’s Bunken – Ravenhill

“I don’t believe there is a man on the whole TV that preaches salvation. They preach forgiveness. Forgiveness is not salvation. …  “Oh you know the Lord loves you just as you are.” Well then why get changed? Commit adultery as much as you like. He still loves you. Be a cheat, be a liar, be a thief, and be a failure. He still loves you. But there’s a scripture. Isn’t it the Psalms 7…. where it says “God is angry with the wicked every day.” I heard somebody quote today “God loves you but hates your sin” that’s bunken. God hates you for committing the sin. Is God going to take your sins and judge them at the Judgment and leave you alone?”

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Leonard Ravenhill.


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Forgiveness of Sinners – Jay Adams

To say God forgives sin is true. But in saying it that way, we must never lose sight of the fact that it is sinners from whom the liability of guilt is lifted. God punishes persons and He forgives persons. Some try to distinguish between sin and the sinner: “God hates sin; loves the sinner.” Such separation isn’t possible. God sends sinners to hell; they, not their sin, are punished eternally. Christ, not the sin He bore, suffered and died on the cross.

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Jay Adams, from The Basis for Forgiveness

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God’s Love for Believers

In contemplating the expression “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin”, we’ve seen that God hates not only the sin but sinners, that the expression isn’t from the Bible just quotes from others, and the sin cannot be separated from the sinner.  So where does that leave those who believe on Christ for salvation?

The problem with using such a trite expression is what happens often when people attempt to evangelize.  It leaves out the gospel and Christ.  Just as “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”, leaves out Christ and the gospel.  We cannot leave out the gospel and Christ.  It would be like throwing out a rope to a drowning person and forgetting to hold the other end of the rope.  It may make the drowning person feel better for a while but it won’t help in the long run.

Ever participated in a typical youth group activity where the youth are told to write out on pieces of paper their sins.  Then they are told to nail their sins to a large wooden cross.  Sounds all nice and encouraging, right?  A way for youth to visualize Christ taking their sins because He loves them so much.  But it is flawed, just like the expression above is flawed.  See what was crucified on that Cross of Calvary was not just our sins but also us.  The sins Christ bore were not what was crucified but Christ Himself was crucified.  You cannot separate the sins from the sinner.

Gal 2:20-21 (ESV)  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

We were crucified with Christ, not just our sins.  We died and were raised again as new creations.  It is no longer us who live but Christ in us.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

We are accepted due to Christ (blessed in the ESV).

Ephesians 1:6 (KJV) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Our sins are atoned for.  We are justified by Christ.  We are reconciled with God.  We are at peace with God.  We are loved.

Romans 5:7-11 (ESV) 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 5:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 15:9 (ESV)  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

But what if we sin after we have been justified? Not only are we new creations, Christ is continually interceding for us with the Father.

Romans 8:34 (ESV) Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.


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Because He Is A Disciple

Matthew 10:42 (ESV) And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

The portion of this verse that caught my attention a few years ago was “because he is a disciple.” I thought that was so odd because I’d always heard others teaching as if this verse was talking about giving a cup of cold water to anyone. I’ve also been in churches where they had ministries called “Cup of Cold Water” which gave out water bottles at large sporting events.

Now don’t misunderstand me here there are plenty of other verses that talk of helping the widows and the orphans or the poor.  But this verse specifically says “disciples“.  That is just one odd verse, right?  Nope.  Look at these verses:

Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV)

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

36  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Mark 9:41 (ESV) For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

Hebrews 6:10 (ESV) For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.

2 Corinthians 8:3-5 (ESV)

3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will,

4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints

5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

2 Corinthians 9:12 (ESV) For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

1 John 3:17 (ESV) But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?


We are to specifically be serving and supplying the needs of our brothers (and sisters) in the Lord.

  • Will not lose our reward

  • Shows love to Christ

  • Will not be overlooked by the Lord

  • Shows we have given ourselves to the Lord

  • Shows thanksgiving to God

  • If we do not, God’s love does not abide in us

We aren’t able to do this well unless we are part of a community of believers. Unless you are seriously fellowshipping and living out your life with other believers often their needs will go unnoticed.

Often it is easier to give some money to a ministry that will feed the hungry or help the poor than it is to actually be involved in ministry yourself.  We believers tend to prefer the sanitized methods of helping others more to the real handing out cold water to a fellow believer.  When it comes to helping those we know in the church often there are many excuses.

Judgement about how they arrived in their dire circumstances….

How you would do things differently ….

If only they would have listened….

That doesn’t mean we are to let believers sponge off others, that isn’t the point.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (ESV)
10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.


So how might this understanding change your ministry to others, especially the brothers and sisters in the Lord?



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The Law and the Believer

I must admit this wasn’t something that I was particularly interested in beyond the general interest I have in all of God’s Word.  But the Lord desired me to really study His Word concerning the Law.  I have had several people email me asking questions about it.  I also got a comment on a previous post about the OT dietary laws.  Beyond that I had been noticing more and more over the last few years an increase in the interest of believers following the OT dietary laws, feast and other regulations.  I’m not talking about Jews who have become believers but Gentile believers whom are turning to follow the Law.

It was clear to me in the NT that believers are not bound by the Law and are even warned to not return to the Law.  However, when I ran across this teaching essentially I ignored it as a wrong teaching and something to pity those who fell into it.  But the Lord has convicted me that this isn’t just some wrong teaching but is a false Gospel.  We are not talking about the differences between denominations but the differences between being a Christian and a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness.

There is so much of the NT that deals with this return to the Law.  The whole books of Galatians and Hebrews are full of warning about returning to the Law.  All through the NT you can find references to the Law, Covenants and returning to the OT Law.  Paul warns the Galatians of this False Gospel with dire warnings of having “fallen from Grace” or being “under a curse”.  That is downright serious and thus I’m convicted by the Lord that I should not have let that slide without confronting it.

Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. ESV

Galatians 3:10-12

10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” ESV

Also as Terry and I discussed those who are teaching this return to the Law also tend to focus on what name they use to refer to Jesus and God.  I don’t know if that is consistent or not just something we’ve noticed.  Many of the differences in interpretation are furthermore blamed upon the differences in Bible translations with of course the KJV being the preferred translation.  I don’t know what significance those features all have with each other though.

So let us examine the Scriptures and see what they say about the Law and specific portions of it such as Dietary Laws, Circumcision, Sabbath observance, etc.

Because this subject can get so convoluted with different topics and verses I’m going to try to stick with one idea at a time.



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