Tag Archive | Christian Life

Living on the Dregs

It has been so cool here that hot tea has been in order.  Yum! Yum!  Hot strong tea with some sugar and lots of cream.  One of my favorite drinks.  I like my tea strong, no watery beige color for m, but deep and dark.

Dora’s comment on the post Koinonia – Fellowship got me to thinking.

How often do believers try to live life with the dregs of a past fellowship with the Lord?

When was the last time you really desired to study your Bible and pray? Actually before a crisis?

Do you look forward to gathering with fellow church members to study God’s Word?  Or do you dread going to church?

Are you so eager to fellowship with others and the Lord that you are early or just dragging in, bidding your time until you can move on to the next (more important) thing on the agenda?

Are you reusing the tea bag over and over again until you have to convince yourself that it really is tea and not water?

Our Christian lives should be strong and robust, not just a hint of a Christian life.

Are you living on the dregs of a past relationship?


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Koinonia – Fellowship

True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia [Kindle Edition] – by Jerry Bridges – Free for a limited time

This is fellowship: sharing with one another what God is teaching through the Scriptures, and this is an important part of true community.   …

Because we are partners in the gospel, we need to share with one another, realizing that we are not owners but only stewards of the possessions God has entrusted (not given, but entrusted) to us.  …

we cannot have meaningful fellowship with one another unless we are individually experiencing vital fellowship with God.

Those quotes from True Community  highlight the importance of fellowship and how it is much, much more than eating a meal with other believers.  If you are eating a meal together and discussing the latest football game it is not fellowship and should not be called such.  Fellowship is sharing with other believers our life in Christ, sharing what we are learning and working together to glorify God.  If we are not fellowshipping with the Lord in the Word, prayer and worship on our own, we cannot have meaningful fellowship with other believers.

{Be sure to get the book while it is free!}


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Do All Things …

Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Difficult!


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What Does God’s Word Say About Doctrine?

Last month in studying doctrine we left off with Paul’s solution to being taken captive to false doctrine in 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Paul commends Timothy for following his teaching.  Then he encourages Timothy to continue in all he has learned.  Finally Paul wraps up with the two of the most memorized verses about the Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Then in the next chapter Paul commends Timothy again about sound doctrine.  You think Paul thinks sound doctrine is important?

1 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

 

Timothy not only has been learning directly from Paul but he learned from the sacred writings, meaning our Old Testament, from his childhood.  Even the Old Testament is able to make us “wise for salvation through faith” verse 15.

While the word Doctrine is not used much in the Old Testament, there are several other names for doctrine.

Truth

Psalms 25:5 (ESV) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalms 119:160 (ESV) The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Precepts

Psalms 119:93 (ESV) I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Teaching

Proverbs 4:2 (ESV) for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.

Instruction

Proverbs 19:20 (ESV) Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Statutes

Ezra 7:10 (ESV) For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Those are just a sampling of the verses in the Old Testament concerning doctrine.  There are many, many more to be found in the New Testament along with warnings against falling for different doctrines.

 



For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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This Comment Makes Me Sad In So Many Ways

Comment on The Hunger Games:

Shut up!!!!!! No one should listen to this narrow minded lady!!!!!!! She hasn’t even read the book!!!!!! Don’t you EVER call the Hunger Games garbage. You complain about gore in the Hunger Games, but the Bible has more gore. Talk to me when you’ve read the book, okay, honey? Thank you.

P.S. I am Christian and I’m a 13 year old boy.

This makes me quite sad but it has nothing to do with his calling me a narrow minded lady, that I consider a compliment.

Matthew 7:14 (ESV) For the gate is narrow and  the way is hard that leads to life, and  those who find it are few.

Luke 13:24-27 (ESV)
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’
27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’

It makes me sad because:

If I was this boy’s moma I would be quite sad to see some of the fruit I was producing.

I would be sad if this was a child I taught in school.

I would be sad if this was a child I taught in church.

I would be sad if this was a child my children interacted with.

It makes me sad that this child doesn’t have any clue about how to glorify the Lord or even seem to desire to glorify the Lord.

But most of all I am sad that this child thinks he is a Christian and obviously has no idea what that even means.

Please pray for Joseph R. and those who are influencing him. I pray some true believer will be available to teach Joseph the Bible and that the Lord will open his eyes to the truth.


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So What do We Do?

Paul doesn’t leave us here as weak women, but he tells us what to do. Follow his teaching of Scripture.  Scripture is able to make you wise for Salvation through faith in Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV)

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

 

We are to follow the teaching of Paul and the Scripture to keep ourselves from being weak women taken captive by false teaching.

Next month we will look more specifically at what God’s Word says about doctrine.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Weak Women Taken Captive

2 Timothy 3:6-7 (ESV)

6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

“Weak women” – gunaikária – this word is hard to arrive at exactly what Paul is referring to here because this word is only used in this passage of the Bible.  An Englishman’s search won’t reveal any other usage.  So we since we can’t find other verses to explain this passage we will have to look closer at what this verse itself tells us about the weak women.

Weak women are “burdened with sins”.  Burdened here means heaped up, piled up or loaded up.  If you went through the Pilgrim’s Progress Bible study with us previously you would remember how Christian was carrying a burden through the beginning of the book. But upon obtaining salvation Christian’s burden rolled away into the empty tomb and was seen no more.  Then we discussed how Christian’s burden wasn’t just his sin, because others sinned and didn’t carry around burdens.   Christian’s burden was the guilt of his sins which weighed on him.  As believers we aren’t to be carrying a burden of sin guilt around with us.  We are to repent and seek forgiveness for our sins.  Then we are to live as forgiven and thankful children.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

We lay aside our burdens and trust in Christ who has finished the work of Salvation for us.

Psalms 32:1-5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 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

 

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

 

Psalm 38:4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

 

Not only are “weak women” burdened by sin, they are also led astray by various passions – tossed to and fro by every idle wind of doctrine.

Ephesians 4:14 (ESV)  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

“Weak women” are always learning and never arriving at the truth.  They are always seeking the newest and best way to live.  You know that miraculous home management program so that you can get everything done with minimal effort.  The newest homeschool curriculum which will teach the children everything in 10 easy steps or maybe it is the “oldies but goodies”, going back to the curriculum our founding fathers used for their children.  The church even often offers up quite a selection of fads to choose from.

The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life

Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth am I Here For?

“Weak women” are not content with doing the hard work that being godly, raising children, homeschooling, teaching, working or even Bible study requires.   They will latch onto every new fad that comes along.

Godliness in 10 easy steps.

Wheat grass juice will cure your every ill.

The Magic Step to flat abs.

Always learning but never arriving at truth – MacArthur doesn’t mince words here speaking of “weak women”.

Sin and lack of discernment neutralized their ability to apprehend God’s truth. If they have been reared in the church, they are especially susceptible to ideas that purport to be Christian. But their ignorance of Scripture and their sinful living make them utterly undiscerning and defenseless against unbiblical and ungodly precepts. They are continually learning about everything except the knowledge of the truth. Because legalism deals only in outward performance, it is very attractive. Many such women, and men as well, are glad to find a way that promises to make them right with God simply by adhering to certain outward forms and conforming to certain behavioral standards.

John MacArthur, in 2 Timothy Commentary

What is the truth?  Of course, it is God’s Word.  Always learning about “Christianity” but never actually learning from Scripture.  Some churches are like that now themselves.  Always studying all kinds of books but never really studying the Bible.  Looking for the “magic” Bible verse that will answer all your questions.

What is the “knowledge of the truth”?  Knowing the Bible would be the average person’s first response.  Yet we have an even better explanation in the Bible.  Paul uses this phrase repeatedly in his epistles.

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

 

Titus 1:1 (ESV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

 

Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV)

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Charles Spurgeon on “Knowledge of the Truth”

It is the truth which saves. Jesus Christ is the truth: the whole testimony of God about Christ is the truth. The work of the Holy Ghost in the heart is to work in us the truth.”

Knowledge of the Truth isn’t just knowledge of some truth or knowledge of some doctrine; it is personal life changing knowledge of the salvation of Jesus Christ.

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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