Think About IT: Christ’s Commands without Christ’s Grace

Righteousness alone is really not true righteousness at all because God’s righteousness never stands alone.

Human righteousness responds to the inadequacy of others—their faults, weaknesses, and failures—with the sword of criticism and condemnation. God’s righteousness responds with holy grace and longsuffering.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).


Think About IT: Follow Me

The call only Christ can make.

Christ called the disciples with the words “follow me.” He called them to follow with no further instructions or illumination about where they were going, how they would make a living, or what they would be doing.

This solemn unexplained call is based upon Jesus’ innate worthiness rather than results of following. If anyone else extended a call to “follow me,” it would have to be accompanied by a fuller explanation because Christ and Christ alone can issue a worthy call unaccompanied by any other details. A call by anyone else is evaluated based upon associated opportunities or benefits, but Christ is justly based upon His own worthiness. He is simply worthy to be followed because of who He is.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).

God Can Know the Free Acts of Man without Making Them Determinatively Necessary

Calvinists often argue that defending man as possessing libertarian free will (giving man a true choice between walking with God or not walking with Him and therefore the outcomes being conditional) not only places man’s salvation in his own hands, but it also creates uncertainties that would mean that God would not know everything since (as the argument goes) one cannot know an uncertainty for certain. On the other hand, the Calvinist idea is that all actions are predetermined by God either through decrees, compatibilism, or both and this makes everything certain and therefore knowable. This understanding makes the theological reality[1] of libertarian free will an impossibility in Calvinism. Fortunately, the impossibility is merely a Calvinistic impossibility rather than an actual one.

Continue reading →

Homosexuality: The Truth About The Sin and Need of Salvation

Homosexual thoughts, inclinations, and acts are sin and must be confessed and forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ just like any other sin or sinner must be. Society is constantly pushing for the normalization of homosexuality, but the Christian must remain true to the Scripture. (for a fuller discussion of the topic, see my other article entitled Loving the homosexual to Healing with Truth.) The following list highlights some of the biblical truths regarding homosexuality. Continue reading →

Not all Sin is Created Equal

The Scripture clearly teaches that while all sin is sin, some sins are more sinful than others. Matthew 12:30-32 speaks of the unpardonable sin, in contrast to every other sin which can be forgiven by faith in Christ; Matthew 23:23 speaks of the “weightier provisions of the law;” John 19:11 says that in comparison to Pontius Pilate, Judas has the “greater sin” (see also 2 Peter 2:20-21); James 1:14-15 distinguishes between temptation, lust, conceiving, and sin. Sin can refer to full mental indulgence or the physical carrying out of that which is conceived. While the mental envisioning of say, adultery, is sin, the carrying out of the physical act worsens such sin. To wit the thought of murdering someone is sin, but the greater sin is to carry such thought to its fullness and commit the physical act of murder, for then, one has sinned in both thought and act. Continue reading →

Think About IT: Representing Our Lord Jesus

The reality is, regardless how long someone is saved, there are some aspects of Christ a person will never learn if he is not taught and does not study. Some aspects will not be learned if a person does not serve. Some aspects will not be learned if a person does not witness. Some aspects will not be learned if a person does not learn to wait on the Father, trust Christ with no obvious evidence beyond the Scripture, have enemies to pray for, stand alone and speak the truth in love, walk humbly, experience the blessing of the Mount of Transfiguration as well as the loneliness of Gethsemane, and live thankfully for all things in all times.

“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” Ephesians 4:15.

Think About IT: The Danger of Self-Confidence

Many dangers lurk in the shadows of self-confidence like succumbing to temptation, seeking self glory, and hurting those for whom Christ died. Perhaps the most serious consequence of self-confidence is that such testimonial presents another Christ to the world and thereby denies the gospel and the grace provisions of sanctification.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Think About IT: Meanness—Not So Difficult

We need no divine empowerment to be harsh.

It seems to me that we do not need the power of Christ in our lives to treat others hurtfully, unkindly, or abruptly dismissively. Christians seem to possess natural abilities sufficient for the task of insensitivity. Of course, even carnal Christians are wise enough to masquerade such strictness as a righteous refusal to compromise, but it is actually a walk in the flesh.

It is the ability to express genuine godly and sacrificial love, longsuffering, graciousness, compassion, and gentle understanding that requires the Holy Spirit. Human righteousness is devoid of biblical love and grace. Biblical grace-righteousness and strength flow from the Holy Spirit.

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:19-23).

Does Faith Precede or Result from the New Birth? John 3:1-15

To be a consistent Calvinist, a person must believe that the Bible teaches God limits His redemptive love toward His creation and that limited love is more reflective of God being the sum of perfect love than God extending His salvational love to all of His creation.

Of course, the perennial problem with the Calvinist’s perspective is the explicit claims of Scripture to the contrary. The encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus provides an example of God’s universal salvational love and sets the context for probably the most well-known and beloved verse in the Scripture, which explicitly declares God’s universal redemptive love for all of His creation (John 3:16).[1]

I intend to set the context by briefly summarizing vss. 1-13. Then I will note some observations drawn from vss. 14-15. The illustration of vss. 14-15 serves a twofold purpose; first, it provides illumination for properly understanding some of the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus in vss. 1-13; second, it serves as Jesus’s chosen introductory and illuminative illustration for vss. 16-21. Continue reading →

Homosexuality: Know the facts

Since the Supreme Court decision to legalize homosexual marriage, no one can escape being affected by this sweeping decision. Citizens must realize what has and is going to continue to happen. As I mentioned in a previous article, the loss of religious liberty may very well prove to be one of the great , if not the greatest, losses to American Citizens.

This article in the Weekly Standard is well worth your time. It is informative, alarming, and I believe foreboding.