I can still recall the conversation although it took place more than three decades ago. A shocked friend asked, “Have you heard that Sarah is no longer a Christian?” What was so alarming to my friend was that Sarah had been one of the most influential, and apparently fruitful, members of her Inter-Varsity group. What would those who had been influenced by her witness to Christ say, or do? Would they be shaken to the core and now doubt their own Christian faith? After all, the person who had pointed them to Christ no longer trusted Him.
On occasion, we wonder if an individual really has been converted. And sometimes we have an inexplicable, ill-defined sense that something is missing. But we cannot read the heart. Even so, we hear of friends—whose faith we never doubted—turning away from Christ.
Apostasy is the old, vigorous word to describe this abandonment of Christ.
The Power of the Cross Keith and Kristyn Getty https://t.co/TtCEILhJab via @YouTube
Wow! Senate Chaplain Barry Black has an awesome and moving voice.
2Chr 7:14 KJV—If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and… https://t.co/fWSudRIRO3 via @biblegateway
Obeying authority is hard. We bristle anytime we hear someone say: “You must do this. You ought to do that.” We want to be able to say: “Don’t tell me what to do. I want to do what I want to do.” We want people to empower and entitle us. We hate receiving mandates. That’s our nature. In light of this, I like to talk about a Christian worldview and how it differs from a pagan worldview. One way to differentiate the two would be to consider each worldview’s understanding of responsibility toward authority. If I were not a Christian, I certainly wouldn’t embrace submission to authority. But being a Christian makes me hesitate before I live in active disobedience to those whom God has put in authority over me. To understand why, we must look at the New Testament’s explanation of the origin and function of government under God. This issue is clearly dealt with by the Apostle Paul in the thirteenth chapter of his epistle to the Romans.
“First, the holy Christian people are recognized by their possession of the holy word of God.” Martin Luther always returned to the foundational importance of the Scriptures and the gospel in his approach to any doctrinal question. The church must have and cherish the revelation of God. “And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s word cannot be without God’s people, and conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s word.”
“Second, God’s people or the Christian holy people are recognized by the holy sacrament of baptism, wherever it is taught, believed, and administered correctly according to Christ’s ordinance.” The church possessed and administered the sacrament of baptism as taught in the Bible, a visible expression of the gospel.
The Lord’s Supper
“Third, God’s people, or Christian holy people, are recognized by the holy sacrament of the altar, wherever it is rightly administered, believed, and received, according to Christ’s institution. This too is a public sign and a precious, holy possession left behind by Christ by which his people are sanctified so that they also exercise themselves in faith and openly confess that they are Christian, just as they do with the word and baptism.” Again, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper must be treasured by the church as Christ has taught it in the Bible. Continue reading Martin Luther’s 7 Characteristics of the Church | W. Robert Godfrey
Charles Haddon Spurgeon is remembered as the “Prince of Preachers”. An examination of the life and ministry of this saint of God leads one to quickly understand why. In the remarkable video, C.H. Spurgeon, The People’s Preacher, produced by Christian Television Association in England, distributed by Vision Video in America and provided to me by Fish Flix.com, one gets a wonderful look into the life and ministry of the humble pastor. I may be biased as I review this film because I have long loved Spurgeon for many, many years. Nevertheless, this video is a must see for every believer.
From his birth in Kelverton, England to his conversion at age 15 in a small Methodist church, to his pastorate of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle, to the troubling and taxing Downgrade controversy to his untimely passing, this film gives an accurate and faithful story of his life and ministry. Continue reading C.H. Spurgeon, The People’s Preacher | Film Review