Sharing The Christian Faith
Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone
who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously
and respectfully. - 1 Peter 3:15
What is the basic message of Christianity? Finding the
answer to this question is often obscured by impressions that people have.
Because of people we know, experiences we have, or information we have
already received, many of us bring assumptions to the table when seeking
answers to this question.
Regardless of whether these assumptions are accurate or
not, it's important to come to the source text of Christianity, the Bible,
to find our answers. While it can be helpful to hear what others say about
Christianity, ultimately we have to find out what Christianity says about
First Things First
“He [Jesus] replied,
It has been
written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but
by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Matthew
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the
word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).
Excerpts from, The Spirit of Wisdom in Understanding
Prayer and Faith - The Bible is the record of God's revelation to man. The
authors were inspired by God to write down the things He was revealing to
them. Peter wrote: "But know this first of all, that no prophecy of
Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever
made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from
God" (2 Peter 1:20). Paul wrote: "All Scripture is inspired by God and
profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every
good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The Bible when properly understood is wisdom; the
Words, “are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Studying the Holy Bible
with reverence, understanding, and
revelation is required to bridge the gap between the earthly and the
The growth, development and stabilization of anything
is based on how deep and how healthy its
root system is, and the quality
and quantity of its nutrient or information source.
A healthy root system is essential for optimum growth.
This is why we are instructed, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
First Steps: The Word of God is the
foundation and the
root system. “For the LORD giveth
wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).
The Bible was not merely written for our information, but for our
transformation. The discipline of studying the Holy Bible is vital to the
process of “renewing the mind” and fostering an intimate relationship with
the Lord. The study of Scripture involves not only reading, but also
interpreting, understanding, revelation and active involvement in applying
the wisdom of its contents in our daily life.
King Solomon said in Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of
God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”
God has graciously chosen to reveal Himself to those who seek Him.
an ability to understand, trust, apply, and walk in the truths of Scripture
in a practical, and meaningful way in our everyday life, believers miss the
benefits, the anointing, the
power and the manifestation of the divine life God has ascribed for us. “If
we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and
do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we
have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7)...
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his
commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born
of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the
world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that
believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:3-5)...
Scripture is indeed, “profitable for reproof, for
correction, and for instruction.” However, its profit does not stop on the
level of doctrine. Scripture must move from the head to the heart to
accomplish the purpose for which it is intended…
Relationship with God imparts wisdom. Similarly, one
must grow in this relationship with God to increase their capacity to
understand Scripture, as well as apply and execute the principles. You
cannot have a relationship with anyone if you do not know him or her. This
is why we are instructed, “”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
The Kingdom of God is living by God’s way; His love,
principles, order, wisdom, commandments, and code of ethics.
God’s love and commands can be compared to parents’
rules for their children. Parents guide their children not only, so they can
be good, but also for their own good for the benefit of their well being
because they love them. Just as loving parents, God has instituted certain
rules, commands and principles for the benefit of our well being, our
protection, and our “wholeness.” “The
Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is
longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all
should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
As humbling as it may seem, we cannot run this race in
our own merits. Eventually our human fragility will reveal our dependence
for our Maker. In the Book of Micah 6:8 the prophet said, “What doth the
LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk
humbly with thy God?”
Admitting you can’t do it all yourself is not a
weakness, it is a strength! Tragedy, desperation, loss, brokenness,
depression, hopelessness, and fear, these too, can serve a purpose, because
they have a tendency to direct our attention and draw us closer to God. The
Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been
afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”…
Agape love, defined in Greek as “brotherly love,
affection, good will, love, benevolence and charity” is exemplified in
Christ’s sacrificial love on the Cross of Calvary. Christianity is a
personal and intimate love relationship with God. Christians should be
characterized by love not only in words, but also in deeds. Love is what
As followers of Christ, we should be accountable when
we hear the Word of God, accountable to share the Word of God, and
accountable to obey the Word of God. Our accountability is to God and to
each other. “…Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation,
in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). “Herein is my
Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples”
The absolutes of God’s Word provide spiritual wisdom
for a sure foundation that promotes right thinking and right attitudes,
right direction and right choices, core values and ethical priorities, power
Christ calls for us to, “Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and lowly [humble] in heart” and ye shall find
rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29, emphasis added). “Then said Jesus to
those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my
disciples indeed; And ye shall know
the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32, emphasis
added). The word disciple means “a pupil, a learner,” which is a continual
discipline and process of “renewing the mind” in transforming from the
To learn, obviously, requires knowledge and pristine
knowledge requires disciplined study. Studying the Bible helps us to know
the truth. As students of the Bible, we must search the Scriptures
personally, first hand, to see what God says. Pastoral ministry is
important; however, our due diligence is of equal importance. We see the
practice in Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Many Christians have only a secondhand knowledge of the
Bible and rely almost exclusively on the input of pastoral ministry.
While this may be the norm; however, there should be a responsibility
to, individually, study the Bible with diligence, prayer, commitment, and
spiritual discernment. Truth is paramount; Scripture calls for the believer
to “worship God in spirit and in truth.” When we study God’s Word, we will know His truth and we will
be able to recognize a lie or a half-truth when we hear one, as well as
worship God effectively….
Jesus commanded the Apostles and believers to,
"Go then and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and
behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every
occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so
let it be)" (Matthew 28:19-24 – AMP).
…as you go, preach, saying,
The kingdom of heaven is at hand!
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.
Matthew 10:7 –AMP, emphasis added
"Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the
good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. He who
believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom
it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal
death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and
rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned.
And these attesting signs will accompany those
who believe: in My name they
will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages [tongues];
They will pick up
serpents; and [even] if they
drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them;
lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well"
( Mark 16:15-18, emphasis added). - Divine
(Serpent, Greek translation -
Ophis ) - with the ancients, the serpent was an emblem of cunning
and wisdom. The serpent who deceived Eve was regarded by the Jews as the
“And this gospel
of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the
nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NKJV). -
End of Age Prophecies
The faith of Christianity is taught by Jesus Christ in
reference to the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The Christian faith is
faith and relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, not a religion.
God has revealed Himself in history through Jesus Christ, His Son. God calls
upon all people to turn to Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
Christians believe in the act of
salvation, where God saves and forgives all who call upon Him and trust in His Son. In
doing so they are adopted into His kingdom as children of God, and receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, AND Jesus as their mediator and
intercessor. A true Christian
worldview holds Jesus as the center of all things. Christians are to live
their lives each day under Christ’s loving Lordship and His grace in the principle of
As Christians we are instructed, “that men
ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Prayer not only
establishes a relationship with God, it is vital to maintain our
relationship with God. A meaningful relationship is dependent on intimacy
and quality two-way communication. Therefore, your relationship with the
Lord will never grow and develop without communication... -
The Power of Prayer and Faith...Learn
How to Pray Effectively
Once we make our petitions,
we should then listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to us. –
Rebirth Spirit Filled and Spirit Led…Spiritual
Resources Understanding the Holy Spirit
In the act of prayer God chooses to work through us,
so that that when we pray God’s will is accomplished through us. God chooses
to use us as His vessels, as representatives of Christ, in accomplishing His
purposes and allows us to participate in the execution of His power through
our prayers. - Christ in You and You in Christ
Statement of Christian Faith
"Copyright © Global Media
Outreach. All rights reserved. Used by permission"
There is one true God, eternally existing in three
persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- each of whom possesses
equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of
Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became
flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His
virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one
Jesus lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned
for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus
satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust
in Him alone.
Jesus rose from the dead in the same body, though
glorified, in which He lived and died.
Jesus ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at
the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between
God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.
Man was originally created in the image of God. He
sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. That
historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.
Man's nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally
unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration and renewal
by the Holy Spirit.
The salvation of man is wholly a work of God's free
grace and is not the work, in whole or in part, of human works or
goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those
who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby
justified them in His sight.
It is the privilege of all who are born again of
the Spirit to be assured of their salvation from the very moment in
which they trust Christ as their Savior. This assurance is not based
upon any kind of human merit, but is produced by the witness of the Holy
Spirit, who confirms in the believer the testimony of God in His written
The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal
and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He
convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them,
continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals
them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power and control are
appropriated in the believer's life by faith.
Every believer is called to live so in the power of
the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but
will bear fruit to the glory of God.
Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body,
which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to
Him through saving faith.
God admonishes His people to assemble together
regularly for worship, for edification through the Scriptures and
for mutual encouragement.
At physical death the believer enters immediately
into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the
resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing.
At physical death the unbeliever enters immediately
into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the
resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.
Jesus Christ will come again to the earth --
personally, visibly and bodily -- to consummate history and the eternal
plan of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ commanded all believers to
proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every
nation. The fulfillment of that Great Commission requires that all
worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to
"Him who loved us and gave Himself for us."
Copyright © Christianity Today International.
Used by permission.
The sixty-six canonical books of the Bible as
originally written were inspired of God, hence free from error. They
constitute the only infallible guide in faith and practice.
There is one God, the Creator and Preserver of all
things, infinite in being and perfection. He exists eternally in three
Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are of one
substance and equal in power and glory.
God created Adam and Eve in his own image. By
disobedience, they fell from their sinless state through the temptation
by Satan. This fall plunged humanity into a state of sin and spiritual
death, and brought upon the entire race the sentence of eternal death.
From this condition we can be saved only by the grace of God, through
faith, on the basis of the work of Christ, and by the agency of the Holy
The eternally pre-existent Son became incarnate
without human father, by being born of the Virgin Mary. Thus, in the
Lord Jesus Christ, divine and human natures were united in one Person,
both natures being whole, perfect, and distinct. To effect salvation, he
lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the sinner's substitute,
shedding his blood for the remission of sins. On the third day he rose
from the dead in the body which had been laid in the tomb. He ascended
to the right hand of the Father, where he performs the ministry of
intercession. He shall come again, personally and visibly, to complete
his saving work and to consummate the eternal plan of God.
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Triune
God. He applies to man the work of Christ. By justification and adoption
we are given a right standing before God; by regeneration,
sanctification, and glorification our nature is renewed.
At the end of the age, the bodies of the dead shall
be raised. The righteous shall enter into full possession of eternal
bliss in the presence of God, and the wicked shall be condemned to
When we have turned to God in penitent faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ, we are accountable to God for living a life separated
from sin and characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. It is our
responsibility to contribute by word and deed to the universal spread of
The Cross of
www.christinyou.net © by James A. Fowler. All
Excerpts - The death of Jesus Christ on a
cross is an important truth of the Christian gospel. In fact, it is crucial
to the gospel, the crux of the message, if we might employ additional
English words derived from the Latin word crux, from which we also derive
the English word "cross."..
There are abundant examples in history where most of
the ancient cultures utilized the cross as an execution instrument. The
Phoenicians, Egyptians, Persians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans all
employed this death device. Although the Jews employed stoning as their
primary method of execution, they were well acquainted with the use of the
cross by other cultures to execute to their own people.
Death by crucifixion was an especially cruel and
agonizing way to die. The Romans employed this form of execution primarily
for slaves, although it was also used for foreigners, traitors and the most
despicable of criminals. It was generally regarded as too degrading to be
utilized for Roman citizens.
Execution on a cross was a public display of capital
punishment. Crosses were quite visible on the hills surrounding major towns
and alongside the Roman roads. The visibility of these executions was
considered to be a deterrent to further crime in the society. The condemned
criminal was often forced to carry the wooden timber, or at least the
cross-beam, the patibulum, to the
site of his own execution, thus exposing himself as an object of public
Object -- The Cross - On one of the many timber stakes affixed in the
ground outside of Jerusalem, Jesus was suspended in order to be executed. It
was no doubt a stake that had been used many times previously to execute
others. The material object itself was no different than thousands of other
such instruments constructed by the Romans. But the One who was to be
affixed to that specific execution instrument was unique among men; He was
the Son of God. Henceforth that specific cross would be referred to as "the"
cross on which Jesus Christ died…
Other biblical references to the material cross on
which Jesus died may include Phil. 2:8 where Paul writes of Jesus being
"obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross," and Col. 2:14 where
it is recorded that God has taken "the certificate of debt...out of the way,
having nailed it to the cross." Hebrews 12:2 also refers to Jesus enduring
"the cross, despising the shame." By their context these references carry
with them additional historical and theological implications, as we will
continue to explore…
Significance of the Cross - The historical event of Christ's death by
crucifixion has eternal theological significance because of the identity of
the One who was crucified. Jesus Christ, God's Son, had become incarnated as
a man, and "came to give His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28; Mark
10:45; I Tim. 2:6).
In His death on the cross Jesus was taking the death
consequence of sin for all mankind. This He could do in that He was the
sinless Savior enacting a consequential spiritual solidarity with the whole
human race. The first man, Adam, had enacted a consequential spiritual
solidarity, when by his sin all men died spiritually (Rom. 5:12), were
constituted "sinners" spiritually (Roman. 5:19), and were condemned (Rom.
5:18) to everlasting death. God had originally told Adam in the garden, "In
the day that you eat thereof" from the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, "dying you shall die" (Genesis 2:17). The consequence of sin was death
in its various spiritual, psychological and physical forms.
Jesus, the Son of God, was incarnated as the God-man,
who as man could experience the death consequences of sin, who as sinless
man could take those death consequences vicariously and substitutionally for
all man, and who as God could restore divine life to man spiritually in
order to restore functional humanity. As a man Jesus incurred all the death
consequences that had occurred in Adam. As a sinless man death had no right
to Him personally and could not hold Him. As God He could thus save us from
the consequences of sin and further expression of sin by becoming life
within us. Jesus "came to give His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28).
Jesus "came that we might have life" (John 10:10). The death of Jesus on a
cross is the remedial action precedent to the restorative action of God's
indwelling life in man. The remedial purpose of death and the restorative
purpose of life are inseparable in the consideration of the theological
significance of the death of Jesus Christ on a cross.
While still suspended from the cross and facing
imminent physical death, Jesus exclaimed, "Tetelestai!"
The word is translated into English as, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) (The
perfect tense is used, indicating completed action in the past, the
consequences of which remain unto the present). To amplify the meaning, it
could be translated "completed," "accomplished," "fulfilled," "brought to
its intended end." Evidence exists that in first century times this word, "tetelestai," was inscribed on certificates of indebtedness when they
were paid-off.4 The meaning would thus be, "Completed,"
"Fulfilled," "It is finished," "Paid in full." This is enlightening when we
consider Paul's comment in Col. 2:14 about the "certificate of debt" having
been taken out of the way, having been "nailed to the cross." Sin presented
an indebtedness of condemnation; the Law presented an impossible
indebtedness of performance, a big "IOU" before God. In the death of Jesus
Christ this has been "Paid in full," "It is finished." There is no more
death sentence. There is no more condemnation. There is no more
indebtedness. There are no more performance requirements. Such is the
"finished work" of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus cried, "It is finished," from the cross as
He was dying, He knew He had set in motion the complete enactment of the
finished work of God's intent for the restoration of mankind and creation.
Redemption, whereby we are "bought with a price" (I Cor. 6:20; 7:23) which
has been "paid in full" by the death of Jesus, is the remedial aspect,
whereas regeneration is the restorative factor wherein the life of God once
again indwells the spirit of a man who is receptive to such in faith.
Thus we see that reference to the "cross" on which
Jesus died necessarily conveys the theological significance of
the "finished work" of God for and in man by His
Son, Jesus Christ, inclusive of the death, burial, resurrection, ascension,
Pentecostal outpouring and complete eschatalogical expectations.
Though the material cross was specifically but the instrument of physical
death, mention of the "cross" throughout the rest of the New Testament will
always encompass that great cry from the cross, "It is finished," and the
consequent restoration of God's life to His creation.
- W. Ian Thomas writes,
- "...it is essential that you should realize that His cross was the
means to an end; for to confuse the means for the end is to rob the Lord
Jesus of that for which He came.
- He came that you might have life! His life -- imparted to you by the
renewing of the Holy Spirit on the grounds of redemption... He came to
restore to you all that makes the mystery of godliness an open secret --
the presence of the Living God within a human soul."5
… "The word of the
cross...to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." (I Cor. 1:18)
The comprehensive theological significance of the death of Jesus comprises
the divine dynamic of the life of Christ in the Christian. Christians
who are "being saved" from the dysfunction of fallen humanity receive that
divine dynamic in order to function as God intended.
Religion and all its "works"
programs have been exposed as frauds by the "finished work" of Christ.
Consequently they are quick to denigrate and persecute those who teach and
live by the grace-work of God in Christ. Paul explains that the religionists
"try to compel you to be circumcised, that they may not be persecuted for
the cross of Christ" (Gal. 6:12). They do not want to be persecuted and
mocked by other religionists for preaching the grace of God in the activity
of Jesus Christ alone. Paul then declares, "may it never be that I should
boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14). Paul never
wants to boast in what he has done by self-effort or performance, only in
what Christ has done and continues to do -- the "finished work."
Christ's "finished work"
reconciles both Jew and Gentile into one new creation, new humanity, new
body, "through the cross" (Eph. 2:16). The remedial action of
Christ's death and the restorative action of Christ's life is for all men
universally, and is the means whereby they are restored to functional
humanity, functional society and community by the functional life of God in
Likewise, "all things" are reconciled to God by His
"having made peace through the blood of the cross" (Col. 1:20). The
alienation of the whole creation was due to sin, the consequence of sin was
death, and death has been taken by Jesus Christ. Reconciliation, peace, the
restoration of all things, the restoration of creation has been effected by
the "finished work" of Jesus.
… Secondly, Paul writes that our "old man" has been
crucified together with Christ. The designation "old man" signifies our
spiritual identity when we were a "man of old" in our old spiritual
condition of unregeneracy. Our pre-Christian identity was that of a "natural
man" (I Cor. 2:14), a "child of wrath" (Eph. 2:3), an "old man." That "old
man" identity was "laid aside" (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9 - both aorist tense
verbs) when we became Christians and received a "new man" identity (Eph.
4:24; Col. 3:10). The old spiritual identity of the unregenerate Jim Fowler
is forever dead, having died with Jesus. I now have a new spiritual identity
as a "new creature" (II Cor. 5:17) in Christ, a "child of God" (John 1:12),
a "spiritual" man (I Cor. 2:15; Gal. 6:1), a Christ-one - "Christian." This
was made effective for me, in me, spiritually when I received Jesus Christ
by faith at conversion and regeneration. The "old man" is not synonymous
with the "flesh" or "indwelling sin" that remains residually in the soul of
the Christian, nor is it to be equated with the unbiblical phrases such as
"old nature," "sin-nature," "Adam-nature," "self," "sin-principle," etc.
Thirdly, Paul explains that when this exchange of
spiritual identity has taken place, our "old man" identity having been
terminated and put to death and our "new man" identity established in
identification with the indwelling life of Jesus Christ, this spiritual
exchange has practical implications for our behavioral expression. We are no
longer "slaves to sin" inevitably expressing the character of our old
spiritual identification. Our physical bodies are no longer to be employed
as the vehicle of sin expression, for such is misrepresentative of our new
identity and the character of Christ who now lives in us as Christians. Our
behavior is intended to be a consistent expression of our new identity -- of
the life of Christ. When writing to the Ephesians and Colossians, Paul also
explains that the "new man" identity is to issue forth in consistent
behavior (Eph. 4:25-32; Col. 3:12-17). We are to behave as who we have
become "in Christ."
The important observation which must now be made is
that all of this action has been completed, accomplished and fulfilled in
the "finished work" of Jesus Christ exclaimed from the cross. There is no
on-going, continuous process of enacting, engaging, applying or
appropriating the crucifixion of Jesus in the life of a Christian. The
effects of the crucifixion of Jesus were a completed objective reality at
the time of Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, ascension and Pentecostal
outpouring and were subjectively realized individually at the Christian's
conversion. "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things
passed away (aorist tense); behold, new things have come (perfect tense)"
(II Cor. 5:17). Every Christian has accepted spiritual solidarity with all
that Christ has done and spiritual identification with the death and life of
The Message of
the Cross -- The Gospel - In exposing the unBiblical mystic applications
of the cross, we must not over-react by failing to proclaim the eternal
efficacy of Christ's death on the cross and all the implications thereof.
The death of Jesus on the cross is indeed a central factor in the whole
redemptive and restorative action of God's grace. By His death Jesus took
our deserved death in order that we might have His life. He did not take our
death that we might have His death, as the inner-crucifixionists indicate.
The message of the cross is the message of the
completed, finished work of God in Christ. The message of the cross is the
message of an empty cross whereupon all crucifixion activity has ceased, for
Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and come to live within the Christian.
The message of the cross is the message of liberating freedom to be all that
God intends us to be by His grace in the out-living of His character.
Such a message is the only "good news" available to
mankind -- the grace of God in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul
refers to "preaching the gospel" in I Cor. 1:17, and then in the next verse
refers to the content of that gospel as "the word of the cross," which he
continues to explain is "to us who are being saved, the power of God" (I
Cor. 1:18). The "good news" of the gospel is not the "power of the cross,"
but the "power of God," as Paul also wrote in Romans 1:16.
Anything other than recognition of God's power of grace
in the "finished work" of Jesus Christ, will inevitably be some kind of
self-effort that makes void the cross of Christ (I Cor. 1:17). Paul
continues in his correspondence with the Corinthians to declare that "we
preach Christ crucified" (I Cor. 1:23), and are "determined to know nothing
among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (I Cor. 2:2). Later, to the
Galatians he explains that he will boast in nothing "except in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14). Eschewing all boasting in personal
performance, Paul would boast and proclaim only that Jesus Christ had
performed everything necessary for our redemption on the cross and continues
to perform everything necessary in the Christian life by His grace. Whenever
we read of the "cross" or "Christ crucified" in the Pauline epistles, we
should always think of the "finished work" of Christ, the completion of
which He exclaimed during that historical event on that material cross.
Therein is the "good news" of the cross, which would otherwise be "bad news"
The proclamation of the "finished work" of God in
Christ, whereby God has done and is doing everything necessary for man's
salvation, including sanctification, will always be regarded as scandalous
by natural man. It is contrary to all the conventional wisdom of the world
which believes that we must be the cause of our own effects and that which
is worth having should be worked for. Proclaiming the "finished work" of God
in Christ deals a "death-blow" to the human pride of personal performance.
That "death-blow" was dealt when Jesus died on the cross and exclaimed just
prior to His imminent death, "It is finished!" (John 19:30).
Read in entirety...www.christinyou.net
The Kingdom of God
Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner
of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. -
This gospel of the
kingdom of God will be preached
in throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then
will come the end. -
The gospel of the
kingdom of God is the person of
Jesus, the Christ. It is the
viewpoint, reality and truth that Jesus, the Son of God is the sovereign Creator, ruler,
Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; and King of kings and Lord
of lords of
both heaven (the invisible domain-physical heaven) and earth, its (visible manifestation).
Jesus is the only way to God: John
14.6 – Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me.”
The kingdom of God is the governing sovereignty of
God’s will, purpose, order, authority, power and intent; and the citizens who reflect His culture and
express His nature.
The word “kingdom” is an old English term
meaning government. In other words, Christ preached “the good news of
the government of God.”
There are four necessary components of any kingdom: (1)
Land, property or territory. In other words, one must have a specific and
definite set of boundaries establishing the size of the kingdom, (2) a
ruler, king, monarch or governor leading the government, (3) people or
subjects living within the territory governed, and (4) a system of laws and
commands and a basic structure of government.
See The Two Kingdoms
There is both a physical kingdom, the one that
we see; and a spiritual kingdom, "And that the kingdom of God does not come with
observation, for the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke
The Greek translation for kingdom is
basileia meaning, “royal power, kingship, dominion, and rule.”
Basileia “is not to be confused
with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over
kingdom-of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah-and of the
royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom.”
- Christ in You and You in Christ
The central truth of the gospel is that God has
provided a way of salvation for men through the gift of His Son to the
world. Jesus, the Son of God, suffered an horrific death as a sacrifice for
mankind's sin, overcame death, resurrected and ascended to heaven, seated on
the right hand of God, and now offers a share in His triumph to all who will
What is the Gospel?
Gospel translated means "good news". The gospel is good news because it is a gift of God,
not something that must be earned by works or good deeds, penance or
by self-improvement. (Romans
2 Corinthians 5:14-19).
A right relationship with God is achieved through faith in the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ and not by our works, or combination of our works and God's
grace. "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis
of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace." (Romans
11:6 - NASB).
is the message of the good news of salvation, the
Word of truth offered to
mankind by grace
through faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross.
It is a message not only of eternal life, but one that encompasses the total
plan of God to redeem people from the ravages of sin, death, Satan,
sickness, poverty and the curse that now covers the earth.
In the New Testament, the various messages of the good
news of what God offers us are:
ARE LOVED - God loves us, and created us to be in a personal
relationship with Himself. This relationship is not about rituals or
regulations, but God wants to walk and talk with us.
"A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true
(genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth
(reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His
worshipers" (John 4:23).
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and
only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal
life" (John 3:16).
God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
WE ARE FORGIVEN -
In Christ, God no longer remembers our sins:
"And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more. Now where there is absolute remission
(forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin"
Mankind is born into sin, with a sinful nature;
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And because of this sin, we are
separated from God and cannot know Him personally, apart from Jesus, the
"If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we
are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the
Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]" (1
The punishment for sin is death: Romans 6:23 – For the
wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus
our Lord. "Now this is eternal
life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You
have sent" (John 17:3).
God wants to be in a relationship with us, but our sin,
which can be anything from active rebellion against God to passive
indifference towards God, makes it impossible for us to have fellowship with
God. Our own efforts to reach God, like trying to live a good life or
pursuing philosophy/religion, will always fail. But, in Christ:
WE ARE RECONCILED -
Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin on the Cross, so that we can be
reconciled to God. Through Him alone, we can enter into a personal
relationship with God.
Romans 5:10 - For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to
God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are
reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion)
through His [resurrection] life.
Corinthians 5:18-21 - But all things
are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us
into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the
ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring
others into harmony with Him].
It was God [personally present] in Christ,
reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting
up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and
committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to
So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal
as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for
His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled
For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who
knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed
as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be,
approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His
WE ARE REDEEMED - Christ purchased
our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its
condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in
the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);
14 To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing
[promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith
might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit. -
In Him [Jesus] we have redemption (deliverance and salvation)
through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings
and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His
gracious favor. - Ephesians 1:7
But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ
Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the
divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our
Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with
God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption
[providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin]. - 1 Corinthians 1:30
WE ARE JUSTIFIED - Justification is
a legal declaration of a sinner being righteous; although, it does not make
us righteous. Justification is a pronouncement to clear the guilty. When one
is justified, he is declared right before the Lord; he is pardoned and
cleared of any violation. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them
that are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “Much more then, having now been
justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans
WE ARE RESURRECTED - from the dead at Christ's second coming
to either eternal condemnation to those who have rejected Jesus as
their personal Savior - or eternal life to those who have accepted
Jesus as their Savior, to reign with God.
“Having [the same] hope in God which these themselves hold
and look for, that there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and
the unrighteous (the just and the unjust)” (Acts 24:15). - AMP
"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is mere delusion
[futile, fruitless], and you are still in your sins [under the control and
penalty of sin]; And further, those who
have died in [spiritual fellowship and union with] Christ have perished (are
If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all,
then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied. But the fact is that Christ (the
Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of
those who have fallen asleep [in death]”
(1 Corinthians 15:17-20).
WE ARE PARTAKERS OF THE GIFTS AND POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The resurrection validates the doorway and access to the person of the Holy
Spirit. In other words, the resurrection which resulted in the glorified
Savior is the means for the Lord’s ascension and exaltation to the right
hand of God, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within the
Jesus declares, "I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is
profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because
if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate,
Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close
fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in
close fellowship with you]…" (John
“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency,
and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My
witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very
bounds) of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
“For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things
that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full,
personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and
By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious
and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by
flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the
world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers
(partakers) of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
WE ARE GIVEN ACCESS OF JESUS' SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY - To those who are in Christ, are also empowered to walk as representatives
of Christ in His resurrected life.
"The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead,
lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will
give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you" (Romans
8:11) - NLT.
Behold! I have given you authority and power to
trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and
ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in
any way harm you. - Luke 10:19
The same power that resurrected Jesus from death to
life is available to you for healing, transformation, and empowerment, to
walk in God’s supernatural power.
is - the
foundation of Christianity.
The gospel (good news) is to, “know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make
you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:32, 36).
The gospel of Jesus
Corinthians 4:4 and Romans
1:16 speaks of the good news of salvation that comes through the
person and work of Jesus Christ. Again, this is good news of deliverance from sin’s
penalty, power and presence through the two advents of Christ. “And the Word
(Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of
flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor,
His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father,
full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth” (John 1:14).
The gospel of the grace
of God in
Ephesians 2:8-9 emphasizes,
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast."
Salvation in all of its aspects is on the
basis of grace rather than on some merit based on a person’s system of works
and their attempts for self-righteousness.
- For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved
favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Meaning of the Gospel - Popular notions about the term ‘gospel’ tend to limit
it to the message of how one may receive eternal life through faith in
Christ, but it is much broader than that. For instance, Paul says in Romans
1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for
salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith,
just as it is written, the righteous shall live by faith.”
In fact, the gospel gathers
together all the truths that are found in the book of Romans. Therefore, we
can conclude that Paul is expressing his confidence that the
truths of justification, sanctification, and even glorification provide
God’s power to deliver us from enslavement and bondage to sin.
“But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor)
has surpassed it and increased the more and super abounded” (Romans
The gospel of peace (Ephesians
6:15) describes how this good news of salvation in Christ is part
of the believer’s armor in spiritual warfare
through the victory accomplished by the Savior.
The eternal or
everlasting gospel (Revelation
14:6-7) - is the final, climactic, reference to the
gospel in the Bible. It is called “everlasting,” so it can be no different
from the gospel preached by Paul. In fact, it will be proclaimed by an angel
from heaven, and Paul had specifically warned against any gospel preached by
an angel if it was different from the gospel he preached (Galatians 1:8
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
This gospel as proclaimed by the angel has several key
elements of gloriously good news that are in three commands:
Command #1: “Fear God.” This refers to a holy reverence
that recognizes the sovereign authority and power of God to deal with man in
His holy wrath and thus, to bring an end to the world of sin as we now know
it. To fear God is to recognize Him as the true God who can destroy the soul
and not just the body as God will do with the beast, anti-Christ and false
prophet and their followers. - See End of Age Prophecies
Command #2: “Give Him glory.” This refers to the praise
and honor that should accrue to God from mankind due to our recognition and
high adoration of God as the sovereign majestic Creator of the universe.
Command #3: “...and worship Him who created
heaven and earth... ” The word
“worship” means to show reverence, honor and respect. This word emphasizes the
external display as seen in our love, obedience, honor, prayer, humility, singing, and formal
worship. The word “fear” emphasizes the reverential mental attitude behind
In the Tribulation people will be forced to fear and formally
acknowledge and worship the beast and his image. In this message the angel is demanding
that mankind reject the beast and formally turn to God to worship Him
about Another Gospel - One of the beautiful and joyful
aspects of the message of salvation in Christ that makes it over the top good news is the element of grace
20:24). Salvation is the free gift of God to be received by faith
alone in Christ alone (Revelation
But the message of grace goes contrary to the heart and thinking of man who
intuitively thinks in terms of merit.
The apostle warned of those who offer a gospel of works
for salvation rather than grace. We should remember, as Paul teaches if it is by grace, it is no longer by works and if by
works, it is no longer by grace (see
So in reality, any time someone teaches a gospel of works, it is not the
gospel—a message of good news.
Experiencing God’s GRACE begins with trust in Christ, and that begins when
we stop trusting in other sources and ourselves. God’s grace is exemplified when we look
to Him as our source, provider, sustainer and healer.
WE RESPOND, SURRENDER
and COMMIT -
respond by believing with our heart, repenting [changing
one’s mind for better and to amend with
abhorrence of one’s past sins] to
conform to Jesus' image. And
confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life: "That if you
confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that
you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess
and are saved" (Romans
We surrender to His
will. We surrender our lives, our families, our businesses,
everything; it is then God
direct and lead us by His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, fellowship. We live for Him and through Him.
"And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer
to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for
their sake" (2 Corinthians 5:15).
We commit to Him by
not worrying or not believing that what He has promised and conveyed
in His Word will come to pass. We commit by obedience to His Word.
You Receive the Gospel?
www.icr.org - © Institute for Creation Research. All Rights
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto
them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith
in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2).
Throughout the earlier chapters of this book, the
author compares Christ and His finished work (which brings salvation by
grace through faith) to Moses and the Old Testament legal code, and details
the catastrophic results of unbelief. The Jewish people of the day had, of
course, rejected this message of faith in Christ and reaped the
But, the gospel had been preached both to the Jew and
the Gentile, as our text teaches, with great results among the Gentiles.
Evidently the hearing of the preached word (logos) had been “mixed with
faith” among the Gentiles, but not among most of the Jews.
The Greek word from which “mixed” is translated is only
used twice in the New Testament, the other used to describe the necessary
amalgamation of various members of the body in making up the whole. “But God
hath tempered [same word] the body together” (I Corinthians 12:24).
Outside of the New Testament the word refers primarily
to the process by which an animal utilizes food for nutritive purposes.
Through the chewing in the mouth, digestion in the stomach, and absorption
in the bowels, the food is not only thoroughly “mixed,” but to the mixture
are added many bodily fluids and functions which extract nutrition from the
food and apply it to bodily health and growth.
What an analogy! The message of the gospel can be
acknowledged and agreed to, but unless the hearer mixes the hearing of truth
with believing faith, integrating heart and head, praying over, meditating
on, and incorporating into practice these vital truths, they will “not
profit them.” Spiritual health and growth will not result. JDM
Salvation [Saving Grace]
God’s love for us
encompasses both mercy and grace. Mercy is the kindness and compassion in
excess that goes beyond what is deserved. And grace is the recompense or
reward of the favor, and the benefits, extended from mercy.
Grace is a constant
theme in the Bible, and it culminates in the New Testament with the coming
of, “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
The word translated
"grace" in the New Testament comes from the Greek word
charis, which means the following:
affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of
merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls,
turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith,
knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian
What is due to
condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
the token or
proof of grace, benefit
a gift of
benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward
Grace can also be
defined as God's sufficiency, or God's EMPOWERMENT in the life of the
believer. God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength
is made perfect in weakness…" (2 Corinthians 12:9). That is, the grace of
God in Paul enabled him and empowered him in his weakness. Another verse
states, "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye,
always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work"
(2 Corinthians 9:8).
Mercy withholds a
punishment we deserve; grace gives a blessing we don't deserve.
“Neither is there
salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus] under heaven given
among men, whereby we must be saved” - Acts 4:12
Jesus declared in John 10:10, “I am come that they
might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” “I am the
bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that
believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). “I am the living bread
which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for
ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the
life of the world” (John 6:51).
The plan of salvation would be incomplete without the
blood of Jesus' sacrifice, His intercession on our behalf, authority in His
name, and fellowship with Him as our divine Mediator. Through His name, by
and through His blood, and by the Holy Spirit, we have authority and power
in the spiritual realm. All of our spiritual blessings are obtained and made
possible through the precious blood of Christ. “For in him dwelleth all the
fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head
of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10). The Holy Spirit
intercedes through us, and Jesus intercedes for us.
The word for salvation in the Greek language is
soteria, meaning “cure, recovery,
Salvation saves us from the wrath of God.
The Greek root word of salvation
meaning, “to save, deliver
or protect; heal, preserve, be (or make) whole.” The word salvation in the Bible is used in many different ways.
The basic meaning is “deliverance from danger.”
Through the death, burial, Resurrection and Ascension
of Jesus Christ, Jesus has brought about our salvation from the wrath of
God, from sin, and from death. There are three kinds of death: physical
death, spiritual death that is separation from God in this life; and eternal
death that is separation from God forever.
Sin was disobedience to God and salvation brings about
our obedience to God. The overall concept of salvation, virtually synonymous
with redemption, includes a past, present, and future sense. As Christians,
we were saved from the penalty of sin when God brought us to faith in
Christ. We are presently being saved from the power of sin as the Holy
Spirit sanctifies us, and we will someday be saved from the presence of sin
when we meet Christ face-to-face in glory. This salvation, however, is not
merely salvation from all these things; it is salvation to something. We are
saved to worship, glorify, serve God
and execute His will; by a
Rebirth - Spirit Led
Salvation is not an end in itself; rather, salvation is
the first step of an exciting, challenging journey. When we accept Christ’s
forgiveness and repent of our sin, we open the door to that relationship
with God that He has created us for. Just because we’ve taken that first
step, however, doesn’t mean the rest of the journey will be easy. The Bible
never promises an easy, happy life for those who follow God. It DOES promise
that God will be with us along the way and that He will provide for every
The LORD Himself goes before you and
will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged. - Deuteronomy 31:8
And God is able to make all
grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you
need, you will abound in every good work. - 2
And my God
will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. -
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and
godliness through our knowledge of Him…- 2
There are certain principles, or foundational truths,
that the Bible gives us to help us along in our walk. We won’t be able to
prevent storms that shake us, but by building a strong foundation for our
faith with these basic truths, we WILL be able to make it through the storms
and grow from those experiences. (See
“The Wise and Foolish Builders”). If we can understand and apply these
principles, our journey with God will be off on a good start!
These truths are more than just theory:
what we believe dramatically impacts how we live.
When we believe lies, we live in defeat and wonder why our walk with God
isn’t working. In fact, most spiritual problems and many psychological
problems in our life are the result of lies we believe.
An incorrect view of God or belief about how He
views us is detrimental to our faith and will negatively impact our walk
with Him. In contrast, those with healthy spiritual and emotional lives are
usually that way because they are living in the light of the truth given us
in God’s Word.
How do you
receive salvation, and make Jesus your Lord and Savior?
Source of All Things
The Heart of Idolatry:
So why did people create idols, and what did they trust them for? Idols were
looked to for guidance, power, and healing. It seems strange to us today
that people would create idols out of man-made objects created by their own
hands. But the reason it seems strange to us today is because the people
trusted in the spirits or spirit world represented by the idols, or in some
cases they may have believed that the idol itself was inhabited by spirit
beings. Our materialistic culture, by contrast, believes primarily only in
the physical world.
The heart of
idolatry is looking to sources outside of God for our basic needs and
desires in life. The idols that are erected flow out of our experiences
in life, and the idol is an attempt to explain life apart from the Creator.
Hence, when the Israelites were miraculously delivered from slavery to the
Egyptians under the leadership of Moses, and when Moses went up on the
mountain to receive the laws that were to govern them and did not return for
40 days, they assumed he was dead and they reinterpreted their experiences
in life to find meaning apart from God. They assumed God had abandoned them
and was no longer involved with their lives. Their experiences taught them
that they had indeed been miraculously delivered from the powerful Egyptian
army which was destroyed, so they had to attribute this reality in their
life to something. Drawing upon their religious experience in Egypt, they
decided to make an idol out of gold and use that image as a symbol of great
power. (Read the story in Exodus
The Function of Idols:
The typical things people have historically looked to idols to provide for
them are: guidance, wealth, fertility, and health. God, the Creator of
heaven and earth, presents himself to his people as the sole source of these
things we need and desire. God does not act like a “magician” by providing
these things for us out of thin air, but most of the time he works through
his natural order of creation which is upheld by his power.
The creation, however, is not a closed system, and God
is not bound to its laws. He operates outside of it also, and in the person
of Jesus, especially, we saw the power of the Creator in human form interact
and overcome the limitations of the physical creation in many instances.
Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, immediately healed people’s
diseases, and even raised people from physical death back to life.
But the decision as to when supernatural events happen
always originates with God, and not the created beings. The prophets and
other leaders at times were used by God to perform miracles, but the
miracles were performed by God through them. “Magicians” on the other hand,
those who truly perform magic (not just illusions), are interacting with the
spiritual world being controlled by their own thoughts and desires, or those
of the spirits who are also created beings.
Idolatry Today in the 21st Century
- Are things any different today in terms of idolatry? It has taken on a
different form, but it is in essence the same thing it has always been –
trust in idols rather than God to supply our needs and desires. Modern-day
culture has changed dramatically since the theory of Darwinian evolution
came on the scene and dominated academics in western culture, so that today
the physical world is exalted above all other realities. The spiritual world
is either denied or ignored. Hence, creation of physical idols is very
uncommon, because current culture ignores the unseen world that could be
represented by such physical manifestations.
Spiritual Beliefs & Healing
A person’s mindset is based on what they believe, what
they have been taught, their culture and their experiences. And based on
these things determines how they see life, and how they see God.
Knowledge, understanding of knowledge and the
application of knowledge is power. A lack of knowledge and misunderstanding
of knowledge produces wrong thinking. Wrong thinking produces wrong
believing, and wrong believing produces wrong actions. Your belief system is
fundamental, and it governs your life. Therefore, it is important to know
why you believe what you believe. So how does that affect our prayers? If
what you believe when you pray or what you believe about prayer is untrue,
or principles you should know, but don’t know about prayer, then your
prayers will be ineffective or not as effective as they could be. -
Learn how to pray effectively...
What has replaced those idols, however, are beliefs in
new ones. The most common idol in western culture today, by far, is medicine
– the new “magic.” Modern day medicine has existed for a relatively short
period of human history, and the creation of a body of licensed “physicians”
can be traced back to the start of the vaccine movement in Europe in the
1800's, when health officials wanted more control over the population and
what they perceived as threatening diseases like small pox.
Today, medicine is seen as the solution to almost all
of life’s problems. A pill or vaccine exists now for just about every
ailment or problem in life, and for those problems that don’t have a medical
solution yet, billions of dollars are spent on research to find one.
The belief system currently in place is that
physical science and medicine can solve all problems in life.
The people who control the medical system are trained
and licensed and given great authority to control our lives. Currently they
have the authority to take children away from their parents, to declare
someone “insane” or mentally disturbed and have them committed to an
institution, force people (especially children) to use their products via
vaccinations, and make sweeping laws and regulations that affect the lives
of everyone. It is believed that life itself is dependent on medicine, and
this belief system is used to justify the authority and power the medical
system has in our culture.
How have we allowed this to happen? How does the
population for the most part willingly believe in the medical system and
give up so many of their freedoms and so much of their wealth to this
system? There’s only one rational explanation: idolatry. We are simply
repeating the same mistakes that have been made throughout history, when God
is removed from our belief system and replaced with a belief in something
else. We learn to trust in our idols instead.
If history lasts long enough, I predict that a day will
come many years in the future that will look back at our current day and
culture and have the same feelings of repulsion and disgust that those of us
feel today when we look at ancient cultures that trusted in graven images
and spirits in their idolatrous practice. “How could they be so foolish to
trust in those things”, we think today, and in the future I suspect the same
thoughts and questions will be pondered about our medical practices today.
The Weakness of
the Medical Paradigm - The winds of change are blowing already; however,
as many are beginning to see just how far we have come in this blind trust
we have in medicine. Some are stepping back to
try and take an objective look at the effectiveness of our drugs, and what
is being seen are some very troubling facts that can no longer be denied.
First, depending on which
set of statistics you look at, deaths from legally prescribed medicines and
the administration of the medical system is seen as either the number one
cause of death in the US today1,
or the number three cause of death just behind cancer and heart disease2.
This would include deaths from prescription drugs and hospital mistakes that
are preventable. All of the statistics used to reach a conclusion
like this are from standard published reports that come out of the medical
system itself. Yet this is not widely reported in mainstream media, because
of the belief that medicine and the medical system is necessary for life,
and that therefore we have no choice but to put up with these mistakes and
accidental deaths that are a direct cause of medicine.
Anything that is put forward
as an alternative to the medical system for health is generally attacked and
declared illegal, and if those from within the medical system decide to
become “whistle-blowers” to speak up and try to reveal the failures of the
medical system, they are usually attacked and they often lose their careers.
This is especially true in the vaccine movement right
now, which seeks to greatly increase the number of vaccines required to
immunize children and now even teenagers and adults. Hundreds of thousands
of parents know first-hand that vaccines have either killed or permanently
damaged their children (and this is even backed up by statistics in the
VAERS - Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System – government database), and
yet the medical establishment continues to deny there are any problems in
the face of overwhelming evidence.
While great wealth and profits are definitely tied into
the vaccine and medical industry as a whole, I believe that the overriding
motivation is a belief system, and not necessarily strictly a profit motive
(although the profit motive is also a huge factor!) For vaccines, the belief
is that if everyone is not vaccinated, dangerous viruses and diseases will
spread through society and threaten life itself – the very existence of the
human race. That belief, however, is not backed
by objective science. It is simply a belief system, based on
historical plagues and what future plagues could potentially do. It is a
belief system that feeds on fear and makes no consideration that there is a
God who has ultimate control over his creation.
Secondly, people are now
starting to look objectively at the effectiveness of medicines, and what
they are finding is very disturbing. This is especially true when it
comes to psychotropic drugs within the field of psychiatry. Psychiatry is
presented as a part of medical practice that supposedly has its basis in
biological science, but it just simply is not true. There are currently no
biological tests that can diagnose mental illness. None. Drugs are
prescribed simply on symptoms. It is a $330 billion industry, and the number
of antidepressant drugs prescribed has doubled in less than one decade.
Most people don’t realize that the diseases
these psychotropic drugs are supposed to treat are diseases that
psychiatrists vote on to include in their “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
for Mental Disorders” (DSM)3.
There are no objective tests to detect these “diseases,” and the numbers of
defined diseases that go into the DSM are increasing at an alarming rate,
and now include such things that in the past were considered within the
realm of normal behavior. One of the largest and most controversial ones is
“attention deficit disorder” which is increasingly being used to prescribe
strong drugs for children that are “over active” and have “behavior
problems.” Even unhappiness is now considered a disease, and drugs can be
prescribed for that too. Critics point out that the DSM is so large now,
that it can now cover the behavior patterns of the entire human population,
and effectively label everyone now as having a mental illness. What a huge
market for their drugs!
As editor of Health
Impact News, seldom does a week day go
by where I don’t see at least one story, and many now from mainstream media
sources, questioning the validity of this increase in antidepressant drugs
and their dangers4.
These drugs are now being implicated in the increasing school shootings we
are seeing so frequently in the news5,
and to an alarming increase in suicide among our youth6.
They are also being increasingly used with the elderly population who are
often defenseless to defend themselves and stand up for their rights7.
Idolatry is the reason we have allowed this medical
system, which is so wrongly labeled as “healthcare”, to become as powerful
as it is today. Some may think after reading this that I am opposed to all
drugs and anything involved with the medical system. That is not the case.
There are real drugs that are based on real science that obviously have
great benefit, and can save lives. Antibiotics are a case in point. But our
blind trust in antibiotics has led to such an abuse and overuse that they
are losing their effectiveness. This is because over 80% of all antibiotics
are used on animals8 in
our industrial agricultural system, and it is estimated that of the other
20% or so used to treat human illnesses, about 90% of those cases
antibiotics are used unnecessarily. If we continue to follow the current
path we are taking, some feel that antibiotics will completely lose their
effectiveness, making it impossible to perform life-saving procedures like
surgeries or emergency room trauma9.
Many today are recognizing the faults of the medical
system, and they are seeing that what is labeled as “science” to justify
this system of treating diseases is in fact primarily a belief system and
not really science at all10.
“Scientific” studies that are published in
peer-reviewed journals regarding new drugs or vaccines are almost
exclusively funded by the drug companies themselves, with tremendous
conflicts of interest.11
Researchers are now looking into the published studies used to approve
drugs, and they are finding that many of these studies are fraudulent and
need to be retracted.12
The Solution to
There is a solution to this
mess we have created:
This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy
One… "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who
directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my
commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like
the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your
children like its numberless grains; their name would never be cut off nor
destroyed from before me." (Isaiah
The cure for idolatry is
belief and trust in God our Creator and Redeemer. The Redeemer
Messiah had not yet been born during the days of the prophet Isaiah, but we
live in a day and age after He has been born, and His name is Jesus Christ.
Faith in God our Creator and the Redeemer Jesus, is the opposite of
idolatry, and recognizes that life depends on God the Creator, and that
redemption, the forgiveness of sins and
comes from a relationship with Jesus. When we trust in God, we trust in his
word, and this is his word to us: “I
am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you
in the way you should go.”
Don’t put your trust in the medical system! If you
need to use it, make sure you have sought the Lord first, and that he is the
one leading you to the right people and the right solutions. The
prescription for dealing with sickness in biblical times was to seek counsel
from spiritual leaders, not doctors. Life is not dependent on the medical
system, as we are led to believe. Often there are natural solutions that are
more effective without the toxic side effects, and even supernatural ones if
your belief system does not exclude belief in the supernatural. God is the
author of all life, and he is the one who upholds it. Seek him first, and
depend only on him!
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt,
out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me, "You
shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above
or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to
them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing
the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation
of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those
who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:2-6 – the first of the 10
Is any one of you sick? He
should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with
oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the
sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be
forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and
effective. (James 5:14-16)
Where to Find Answers to
Online Resources to Help You Defend
There is a wealth of resources and organizations whose
sole mission is to help the believer become better equipped to answer those
tough questions in defense of their faith. Below is a list of just a few
websites that provide a variety of tools to help with apologetics. They all
have a wealth of information you can access for free as well as many books,
videos, and other resources available to order.
Reasons to Believe
- An organization dedicated to scientific
apologetics with chapters all over the country who seek to effectively
integrate science and faith with an emphasis on
equipping believers to engage
unbelievers more effectively.
Institute's Center for Science and Culture is a Discovery Institute
supports research by scientists and other scholars
challenging various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory;
supports research by scientists and other scholars
developing the scientific theory known as intelligent design;
supports research by
scientists and scholars in the social sciences and humanities exploring
the impact of scientific materialism on culture.
encourages schools to improve science education by
teaching students more fully about the theory of evolution, including
the theory’s scientific weaknesses as well is its strengths.
Answers in Genesis focuses
particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of
Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible. They also desire to
train others to develop a biblical worldview, and seek to expose the
bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a “millions of years
old” earth (and even older universe).
Believing It – Defending it – Proclaiming it!
Institute for Creation
- ICR exists to conduct scientific research within the realms of origins and
earth history, and then to educate the public both formally and informally
through graduate and professional training programs, through conferences and
seminars around the country, and through books, magazines, and media
The Bible Gateway
is a tool for reading and researching scripture online -- all in the language
or translation of your choice! It provides advanced searching capabilities,
which allow readers to find and compare particular passages in scripture based
on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.
Many Scriptures are available in audio form allowing you to hear the richness
and power of the texts.
written by some of the brightest theologians in the church, provide a systematic
series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. They are intended to
provide additional insight into the Bible, not to replace it, and can be
valuable tools to assist both casual reading and serious study.
A tool to retrieve verses from the KJV Bible - Word and Phrase Search - Searches a Hebrew/Greek
concordance plus a lexicon and the BLB Thematic Subject Guide) - Browse through
the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Online Audible Bible
Are you looking for a fresh and exciting way to
experience the Bible? Listen to God’s Word everyday and encounter the drama
and the passion of God interacting with His people. Experience Faith Comes
By Hearing. This daily Audio Bible program is sponsored by
FaithComesByHearing.com, reaching the nations with the
largest collection of Audio Bibles in the world.
Receive a Free Bible
Grow in your faith with
a free study Bible and free Christian books. Order yours today!
- Free downloadable Bible software
for the serious Bible student.
Self Help Resources
That's My King by S.M.
late S.M. Lockridge once presented an incredible message describing our Jesus.
Please view this awesome message played out on DVD until the last quote
God Be The Glory!
Live Healthy Naturally