Think About IT: When a Christian is NOT a Christian

Being a Christian does not mean one is believed to be a Christian.

The most important thing is that one knows he is a Christian, and the second is that others know that. One may know he is a Christian because of Romans 10:9–10, but the world knows it by whether Christians love one another.

Christ did not give the world the right to determine whether someone is a Christian. He did give them the right to judge that someone who does not love the body of Christ is not a Christian.

There is no reason for the world to believe in the love of Christ for them when the recipients of Christ’s love are unloving toward each other.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:35.

The Quest of Faithful Shepherds

Maturing and equipping involves developing new thinking until we “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), and those thoughts are manifested in our speech, motivations, goals, ethics, etc. We continually work in order to transform spiritual infants into mature followers of Christ, thereby empowering them to have victory over the tyranny of the domineering proclivities of our fallen flesh. Maturing is the process of conforming every area of the believer’s being to the new life given at regeneration, which is righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). Continue reading →

Thoughts Regarding “Extensivism,” and Why I Chose the Term to Represent My Perspective on God’s Great Salvation Plan

I use the term Extensivism to encapsulate my soteriological (salvational) understanding. I gave considerable thought in choosing the term. Although only used by me (hence, the need to continuously define for others), it does seem to be free of negative connotations and appears to me to be a suitable parallel for discussing soteriology within this Calvinist/non-Calvinist theological milieu in which I live. That is, consistent Calvinism is soteriologically exclusive (limited salvific love, limited unconditional election, limited efficacious call, limited atonement, etc.); whereas, we who disagree with that exclusive approach do so because we believe the Scripture teaches an extensive soteriology. The term also permits me to avoid spending time defending the nuances of other non-Calvinist perspectives with whom I agree on many points. Continue reading →

The Importance of Apologetics in Evangelism

Apologetics, which is intellectually stimulating as well as hard work, is critical to engaging our culture. It is a fallacious juxtaposition to ask should we seek to engage people with only the simple gospel, apologetics, or a loving life because it is not either/or but all of the above working in concert. Truly loving people must include telling them the truth about Christianity in a clear and convincing way. Continue reading →

Think About IT: The Unnoticed Servants of Christ

If many will not serve Christ in obscurity, we can never present Him to the world with clarity.

There are many in the annals of Christian history who are studied, celebrated, and extolled as role models to be followed. These exemplaries of Christianity are rightly known for their labors, sacrifices, and surrender to God’s will and ways. There is no shame in extolling the heroes and heroines of the faith.

This as long as Christians remain ever so aware and thankful for the untold, unnamed, and faceless Christians who paved the way for the mighty warriors of the faith to be used of God, at the appropriate time, in extraordinary ways.

“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Human Wisdom is Not a Substitute for Divine Wisdom

We can see the cooperation between human wisdom and divine wisdom in the need to build and maintain the physical church building with primarily human wisdom, and the spiritual church building with exclusively divine wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:1–21). Blurring this distinction results in being in opposition to God. We build the temple according to God’s blueprint alone, which is both lucid and sufficient. When man’s wisdom is in play, elevated, sought, and depended on, teaching the Scripture will be marginalized. Continue reading →

The Quest for God’s Wisdom

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

It is only when we realize that our human wisdom is foolishness in pleasing God, bringing men to Christ, maturing men and women in the faith, living right, and building the church that we come and bow, desperately seeking the wisdom that comes from God alone. Only then will we truly listen to what He says and gladly and obediently obey, regardless the immediate impact or what is the latest fashion in ‘doing church.’

God looks to those who follow His Word. “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2).

We are not to be searching for novelty, new ideas, what the lost deem righteous, or a reinfusion of the divine into the old, but knowledge of our Lord Jesus as revealed in the Scripture. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen(2 Peter 3:18).