Archive for the ‘Balanced Christian Living’ Category
BE NOT ENTANGLED AGAIN
From the New Testament Baptist Pulpit (Nov. 1, 2012)
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
1. Be not entangled again with THE CURSE OF THE LAW.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Those who force the “works of the law” in this present Age of Grace is under the “curse of the law”. Be not entangled again with the curse of the law by trying to be justified by the works of the law.
2. Be not entangled again with THE ELEMENTS OF THE WORLD.
Galatians 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
We used to observe pagan feasts and worldly holidays, but now that we (1) have “known God” and (2) are “known of God”, we are not to be entangled again with these “weak and beggarly” elements of the world.
3. Be not entangled again with THE WORKS OF THE FLESH.
Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Ungodliness and worldly lusts are being promoted and supported in the internet, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the rest of the mass media and technology. The only way not to be entangled again with the works of the flesh is to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. Let us start living and walking in the Spirit.
Does God's Love Have Conditions?
Timothy S. Morton
The use of "unconditional" as a description of "love, " according to one source, cannot be found in use before the "hippy" movement of the 1960s. As often as the words are used together today one would think the concept is of ancient origin, but that is not the case. It is a product of the 60s along with LSD, "free love, " and the "new age." "Unconditional" simply means "without condition or reservation." That is one is to "give love" without any physical, emotional, and especially moral judgments. "Love me for who I am" is a common request. Another way of saying this is, "It doesn't matter what I do, say, or believe, as a human being, I deserve unconditional love."
A Candid Study of Legalism, "Pharisees," and Christian Liberty
by Timothy S. Morton
Timothy S. Morton
All Rights Reserved
All Scripture references and quotations are from the
Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
Legalism Verses Liberty
One aspect of salvation that seems little emphasized today is the fact that a born again Christian is free from the bondage of sin and the "yoke" of the law. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…," purchasing our freedom with His blood, but as it was in Galatia in Paul's day, so it is today; there are still those who wish to take a Christian's liberty from him. Liberty must be jealously protected. If not, someone will invariably try to take it from him. From the influence of some "well meaning brethren," the Galatians were considering attempting to keep the Old Testament law along with receiving the work of Christ on the cross. Their "friends" were convincing them God would be more pleased and they would be more "acceptable" if they kept His "holy eternal law." Paul, however, rebukes them for such thinking and tells them only a "fool " would willingly trade liberty for bondage (Gal. 3:1-5). "Stand fast" he adjures them.
THE FAMOUS "BOOZE" SERMON
By Billy Sunday
This sermon is a sensational message and an example of Billy Sunday's opposition to the liquor trade, saloons, and alcohol consumption. Sunday is credited with being one of the most influential advocates of Prohibition during 1920's in the USA.
Billy Sunday (1862-1935), was a professional baseball player from 1883 to 1891 for Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia teams. He was converted through the street preaching of Harry Monroe of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. He left a $5,000 a year salary as a baseball player for a $75 a month for the previously evangelistic YMCA. From 1893 to 1895 was associated with J. Wilbur Chapman. He was an evangelist from 1893 to 1935. It is estimated that over 300,000 people walked the "sawdust trail" to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. (Adapted from "The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church," page 387, Elgin S. Moyer, 1982, ©Moody Press, Chicago, IL)
For more information about Billy Sunday, please visit the Christian Biographical Resources for many links, pictures, and articles about this great evangelist.
Here we have one of the strangest scenes in all the Gospels. Two men, possessed of devils, confront Jesus, and while the devils are crying out for Jesus to leave them, he commands the devils to come out, and the devils obey the command of Jesus. The devils ask permission to enter into a herd of swine feeding on the hillside. This is the only record we have of Jesus ever granting the petition of devils, and he did it for the salvation of men.
By Doug Stauffer
Alabama resoundingly defeated the powerful gambling machine in 1999. However, this by no means ended the desires of those that are bound and determined to bring legalized, gambling to this great state. Efforts are underway now to resurrect this issue again. Since history repeats itself, most politicians know that the public (Christians in particular) grows weary of fighting the same battles once victory has been tasted.
- An estimated 100 million Americans wager over 600 billion dollars annually.
- Americans gamble more money than they spend on groceries.
- Lotteries are the most-played form of legalized gambling in the U.S. In fiscal year 1997, Americans wagered 5.8 billion on lotteries — about $135 for every man, woman, and child in the nation. Lotteries are the only form of gambling in the U.S. that has a virtual government monopoly.
- 34 years ago, only one state, New Hampshire permitted a lottery. As recently as 1963 lotteries were banned in every state in America. Today, 37 states and D.C. have legalized state-run lotteries.
- Gambling produces no wealth and entices people into compulsive behavior.
- The money comes from the pockets of those who have lost it.
- Economists consider the lottery a redistribution of wealth and a tax on the poor.
Much can be said of a person's character by the way they use their tongue. Sanaca once said, "Speech is the index of the mind." Jesus said that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Mat. 12:34) According to Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." In James 3:6, the Bible says that the tongue is "a fire, a world of iniquity", and James 3:8 calls the tongue a "deadly poison."
As a fool would carelessly play and prank with a loaded gun, so many Christians today do likewise with their deadly tongue. If only we could fully realize the untold damage that we are doing to the body of Christ! If only we could see the full effect of the words we use!
Perhaps a closer look into the Bible can help. God made man, and God made man's tongue, so surely God should be qualified to comment on the subject. Surely God should have some good counsel concerning the use and misuse of the human tongue. Let us consider some sins of the tongue as we find them revealed in God's word.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin,that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1). All who have received Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour should be Bible believing Christians who love Jesus Christ. I don’t think any of us believe the genuine Christian life is a “free for all” system where you enjoy a life of sinful behavior. Most all Christians (that I know) will not argue with that. Most of us recognize and are willing to acknowledge we have fallen way short of God’s holy standards and that we have room for much improvement.
I believe that every Christian has an Achilles Heel; or a “weakness”; or at least one “fault” that he or she must become aware of and guard against.
Some Christians deal with “carnal” problems (“sins”) all of their lives – i.e. drunkenness, drugs, porn, adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, idolatry, gluttony, heresies, etc., etc. I call this the “garbage” we pick up (mostly before we got saved – though sometimes after).
*And then there’s the “baggage” (mostly “faults” – which can lead to “sin”) that we have accumulated (both before we got saved and after), and that has a lot to do with our culture; our home “environment (no training, wrong training, bad training); our “schooling” (public i.e. government, private, “Christian”, etc.); and especially those “things” that appeal to our HEART – for where our heart is, there will be our “treasure” also.
The Christian life is not complicated or complex. It is Christ and Christ alone. Not everyone believes that. Not everyone truly understands that. But when you grasp the fact that you are complete in Christ it will change your life.
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:3-6).
Notice our endeavor in the Christian life is not to keep unity. Does that statement surprise you? Look at the scripture. Our specific endeavor is to keep the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. What is the unity of the Spirit?
I’ll admit it. Throughout my Christian life I have often lacked genuine childlike faith in my prayers and petitions to the Heavenly Father. How about you? I would frequently complicate something He meant to be very simple. Am I praying according to His will? Am I asking for something “I” desire but He does not want me to have? Am I self-focused? Is my prayer worded correctly? Am I attempting to fashion a favorable outcome to my specific request by manipulating my circumstances?
Life in Christ equips every true believer with the knowledge, ability, and passion for maintaining genuine unity with other believers. So if this is true, why is there so much division in the local church today? Is there any clear instruction provided in scripture that reveals the secret for preserving harmony and oneness in the local church?