If you are still a slave to sin, you are not a servant of Christ.
Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
You cannot free yourself, or even purchase your freedom. You must be made free by Christ, purchased by his blood.
Romans 6:18 “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Romans 6:13 “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if ANY man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Are you a new creature? Is your life dramatically different than it was before you were saved? Have your heart and desires been changed? Can you honestly say that you have been made free? Have you come from darkness to light? Has your old self been crucified with Christ?
Some might say, “Well, I grew up in Church, so my life isn’t much different.” Or, “I was always pretty good, so I didn’t really need to repent.”
The bible tells us that if ANY man be in Christ he will be a new creature, NOT just the really bad ones! We are ALL unrighteous sinners, dead in sins and trespasses. When the Holy Spirit brings us to new life and comes to live within our hearts, there WILL be a change!
If you have always been good and there is no change, then you are NOT saved. Why would you even need a Savior if you were not a sinner? What would you need to be saved from? Jesus came to call SINNERS to repentance, NOT the righteous (self-righteous).
Matthew 9:12 “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Only when you see your sin the way God sees it and are broken and contrite before him, recognizing your well-deserved condemnation can you possibly see your need for a Savior.
There is NO salvation without repentance & No new life without change.
John 16:8 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
The Holy Ghost convicts the world of sin and righteousness & judgment. You can preach the gospel all day long to someone without conviction and it will only be foolishness to them.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;”
-Why? Because just as only they that are sick need a Physician, only they that are convicted of their sin and God’s judgment upon them see their need for a Savior.
-How does the Holy Spirit bring conviction of these things? Through teaching of God’s righteous rule and reign and by the preaching of the law.
Romans 7:7 “ Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Proponents of Easy believism/Prayerism usually preach merely the gospel facts (the death, burial & resurrection of Christ). They generally assume that a clear presentation of this basic message is sufficient effort to warrant leading someone through a prayer.
In the book of Acts however, we read of Paul reasoning and disputing in the synagogue for days at a time. In chapter 17 we see him preaching to the men of Athens. He did not simply give an ABC’s or 123’s gospel message; he preached to them the true identity of God, who he is, his hand in creation & his personal relationship & availability to men. He preached God’s righteous judgment and the coming resurrection as well as the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then when some said, “we will hear you again”, and clung to him, he continued preaching to them. As a matter of fact, NEVER did he lead anyone through a prayer or pronounce them saved, even if they WERE convicted. Instead he simply instructed those who believed to be baptized. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Most Fundamental bible believing Christians would immediately refute the Pope’s, or anyone else’s claims to pronounce salvation (or damnation) upon anyone. They would quickly cite: 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
They would also insist that biblical salvation is not obtained by works done by men. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
They would be absolutely right on both accounts, and yet when it comes to evangelism, they themselves claim that same power, pronouncing salvation upon any who follow after their own prescribed works (praying a prayer). Subverting the Holy Spirit, they instead call upon the power of man’s will for salvation. Assuring the unsaved that a decision is the same as faith, they immediately lead them through the ritual prayer and pronounce salvation based upon such.
Christians, have we now become the mediators of salvation, to be initiated upon our own direction? Salvation is not of the WILL (a decision) but of faith.
John 1:13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Can we ever know who has true faith? How can we make that determination for someone else, and then suggest that a simple prayer is their initiation into Christianity?
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
No true salvation has ever been sealed by a prayer, but ONLY by the Holy Spirit of God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Romans 8:9 “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
When someone begins to teach some new thing, some better way, some new or modern approach to worship, you can be certain pride is at its foundation. They are those who will “throw off” the restraints of conservative worship, labeling it as legalism. “WE WILL NOT WALK THEREIN,” is their attitude, because they believe they have become wiser than their teachers and elders having found a “better way”.
The bible is clear that “there is nothing new under the sun.” These are the same old lies of the Devil, in a different package.
This is often the case with young people, zealous to serve the Lord, but not yet mature enough to see the wisdom of the old ways. That is why the qualifications for a Pastor include this: 1 Timothy 3:6 “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”
The two greatest avenues of change pursued by these are generally: alternate bible versions and contemporary music. These may not seem like issues at all for many people and both are widely accepted in the “Christian” community. But these can easily be the slippery slope that leads to compromise and apostasy.
Contemporary Music and Alternate Bible versions are both widely accepted by the saved and unsaved; the Liberal churches as well as the conservative use them. Often they become the bridge to unbiblical ecumenical alliances. Common musical interests help form bonds of the false fellowship with those we should be evangelizing. This often leads to confusion of who is teaching who. The vague language and doctrinally ambiguous message of the alternate bible versions make it easy to overlook differences in beliefs smudging the lines of biblical separation. With no clear doctrine, because of the multitudes of differing interpretations within the new versions, who can say what truth is? If there is no truth, then we open ourselves up to false teaching.
We have all seen bible believers, once strong in faith and doctrine, seduced by false teachers and led astray. Eventually, they leave the Church and in time either fall away or join themselves to a false Church. Pride and sin is always the cause, but they almost always begin with the same warning signs: Music and versions. Be careful of what you accept as a new and better way.
Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO the DOCTRINE which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM.”
As Christians we are warned to avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to what we have learned from the scriptures. There are many, out there leading many astray. The Christian bookstore, TV and internet are full of these false teachers. They may even call themselves by the same name as we claim, but these are grievous wolves entered in among the flocks.
Before you run out and buy their books, or follow their teachings, find out what they actually believe. Their books may sound good, or part of their message may agree with what you believe; you may not even notice anything wrong initially, but little by little, their evil communications will corrupt. False doctrine is like leaven, it will leaven the whole lump.
Acts 20:29-31 “ For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
t “…that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18
As Christians, often our focus is self-centered- getting our needs met, answers to prayer, direction, help in times of trouble. We buy books, and self-help guides and other resources to guide us. Even within the church, we hear listener focused messages about how to behave and how to treat one another and how that we should serve. We may feel that we have received help and encouragement, and maybe even view this as worship, but if it is not focused on the Lord- who He is, and what He’s done, and knowing Him so that we might have that same mind of Chris, so that we might become more like Him, then these are only superficial band-aid fixes for our problems. True worship isn’t about us and what we can get and what we do, and how we feel or respond. The heart of true worship is this: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Philippians 3:8
Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
When we lean only on our own understanding and see only our circumstances, it can be easy to give in to discouragement. Our prayers may seem to go unanswered and we may have a little lapse in faith. We may be confused as we see different areas of our lives as spinning out of control. This is when we begin to believe the lies of Satan. We forget who is really in control. Sometimes we just get so caught up in all the trials and tribulations of this life, that we lose sight of our true purpose.
2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
It is then that we need to look through our spiritual eyes and see things as they really are. Jesus asked his disciples in Mark 8:18 “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”
The same question could be asked of us. If we’re saved, it isn’t because we cannot see. We know that when we we’re saved our eyes were opened. The Bible tells us so in: Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, “
But, very often, we choose not to see and just allow things to go the way they are going, as if we are still without hope. If we could just step back and see the big picture that is really before us we would see the mighty hand of God working in ways that would just amaze us.
2 Kings 6:15-17 "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
If we would look through those eyes, we would probably fall on our knees in praise. We might even regain that wonder we had when we were first saved; when we knew how awesome God was and mighty to save even us. If we saw with those eyes we would be able to say as Elisha, “Fear not!”; confident that the Lord is in control.
I pray that God would open our eyes to see the battle that is before us daily.
Many Christians today have bought into the idea that doctrinal truth doesn’t matter- that showing Christian love and charity and expressing worship toward God are evidences of walking in the Spirit. But, according to the bible, you can’t have one without the other. You cannot walk in the Spirit without walking in truth.
The Holy Spirit is described as the “Spirit of Truth.” His job is to guide us into all truth, and teach us. According to the bible, even the act of worship is inseparable from truth-
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
We cannot walk in the Spirit or have true spirituality apart from the truth. All of the good things we do, apart from truth are only works of the flesh. If we refuse truth and accept false doctrine, we are NOT walking in the Spirit, no matter how we may like to think that we are. We are actually quenching the Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God within the believer desires to teach us truth. The Spirit simply will not behave contrary to the word of God, or fail to accomplish his purpose.
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT of TRUTH, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
He also will NOT draw attention to himself. His job is always to point to Christ THROUGH the truth of the word.
John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the SPIRIT of TRUTH, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”
How important is the truth to you?
3 John 1:3 “For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.”
Can it be said of you that you walk in truth? If not, it’s time to get serious about the truth of the word.
Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and TRUTH;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Romans 7:7 “… I HAD NOT KNOWN SIN BUT BY THE LAW: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
I did not recognize my sinful lust as covetousness until I knew the law
8 “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For WITHOUT THE LAW SIN WAS DEAD.”
Without the law, it seemed that there was no condemnation of my sin, as though it was not sin at all.
9 “For I was alive without the law once: but WHEN THE COMMANDMENT CAME, SIN REVIVED AND I DIED.”
I thought that I was alive before and well in God’s sight, fully able to stand before him; but when the law came, instead of justifying me and guaranteeing my eternal life, as I thought, it brought to light the sinfulness of my sin, and condemned me instead.
10“And THE COMMANDMENT WHICH WAS ORDAINED TO LIFE, I FOUND TO BE UNTO DEATH.
Instead of being justified and made alive by the law, I was brought to see my true condition before God as spiritually dead.
7:11 “For SIN, taking occasion by the commandment, DECEIVED ME AND BY IT SLEW ME.”
7:12 “ Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and
13a “WAS THEN THAT WHICH IS GOOD MADE DEATH UNTO ME?”
How can this thing which brought condemnation and death be good?
13b “SIN THAT IT MIGHT APPEAR SIN WORKING DEATH IN ME by that which is good; that SIN BY THE COMMANDMENT MIGHT BECOME EXCEEDING SINFUL.”
The law proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a guilty sinner, unable to do good and rightfully condemned by God.
14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under
sin.”15 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”
My own actions, and inability to do good confirm that the law is good while I am not, and brought me to repentance- a change of mind wherewith I, as a
rebellious sinner, now agree with the law and the judgment of God.
16 “If then I do that which I would not, I CONSENT UNTO THE LAW THAT
IT IS GOOD.”
Through the law, I see that God is just and holy and true and I am only a sinner in need of a savior; and that repentance toward God and Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are necessary for salvation.
i invite your sincere questions and comments, and will do my best to answer according to God's word. While i do not claim to be without error; I will try to be as true to His word as I know.
is a Fundamental, Bible Believing Christian with a passion for His word and a desire to earnestly contend for the faith.