Wednesday, May 17, 2017


In One News Now,  Steve Jordahl has written about beliefs among practicing Christians:

·       Research shows only 17 percent of practicing Christians have a biblical worldview. So if that's the case, then what do they believe?... According to the research, 54 percent of practicing Christians resonate with post-modern views, almost four in ten have some Muslim sympathies, more than a third accept Marxist ideas, and 29 percent believe ideas based on secularism.

Jeff Meyers, Summit Ministries, claims that without solid Bible-based preaching and teaching, Christians will not grow in the confidence and assurance of the faith:

·       "We're motivated to try to want to make them feel OK about what they believe … and a lot of times we end up then just assuming that certain beliefs are probably OK; they're not really that bad, and so they must be alright. And then Christians end up being very confused about what they themselves believe."

Does it matter that Christians remain confused about what to believe? Definitely! Paul had written that without Scripture, there can be no little spiritual transformation or stability:

·       And he [Christ] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 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. (Ephesians 4:11-14)

Without Scripture, we do not know what to believe or even how to make decisions:

·       But solid food [of Scripture] is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Without Scripture, we live in uncertainty. Consequently, we remain unable to combat our sinful desires and fears that consume us.

Let me give you a few examples. For years, I had confessed my sins without feeling forgiven. However, Scripture informed me that I have an adversary in Satan who will do everything he can to deceive me. However, Scripture informs me that:

·       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)

Eventually, the Holy Spirit illuminated this verse for me. Therefore, I no longer need to have the feeling that I am forgiven. Instead, I have something far me valuable – the assurance that I have been forgiven.

I had always felt that unless I was succeeding, I wasn’t worthy of love. This sense was so deeply embedded in my emotions, that no mere words and assurances from my psychologists to the contrary could dislodge them. However, the Spirit again shined His light on a number of verses. For one thing, I learned that none of us are worthy, but yet God loves us and died for our sins while we were still His enemies (Romans 5:8-10). Besides, Scripture convinced me that God’s love for me transcended anything we could imagine (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Consequently, I no longer need to impress others with my achievements, because I know that Christ loves me, and that is enough. Because He fully accepts me, I can begin to accept myself.

Most of my life I had felt condemned and rejected by others. Even after Christ took hold of me, I still carried this mental baggage. Consequently, I also deeply felt that God condemned and rejected me. Although I wanted to believe that I was worthy of His love, I was convinced that I wasn’t and struggled unsuccessfully to win His love.

For years, feelings of condemnation dogged me. However, the Spirit brought this verse to bear upon my agonized soul:

·       There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

The Spirit used this verse to reprogram my heart. However, so much of what Christians believe alienates them from Scripture and its healing impact on our lives. For example, “universalism” – the idea that everyone will eventually be saved – has served to undermine the Faith. If everyone will be saved, why bother meditating on Scripture, repenting, confessing sins, and living obediently. It all becomes unnecessary.

There are many other popular beliefs that have undermined both Scripture and the Faith. Christian evolutionists claim that we can be both evolutionists and Christians. Well, how do they deal with the very obvious contradictions between Scripture and evolution? Easy – they simply claim that the Bible is not about history or the physical world. Instead, it’s just about the spiritual world. However, if we cannot believe what the Bible teaches about the physical world, how can we believe what it says about the spiritual? We cannot! Consequently, the Bible will lose its authority in our eyes, and, eventually, we will favor the New York Times.

Spiritual transformation? It will not happen through the Times or the textbook – only through Scripture:

·       Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

It is only through Scripture that our minds can be transformed so that we can discern the “will of God.” Without knowing His will, we will be tyrannized by other wills – both ours and those of others.

Paul concluded His final teaching with the Ephesian elders with these words:

·       And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace [Scripture], which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

His Word has built me up, ending my decades of depression and panic attacks. I can only praise Him.

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