Monday, 28 February 2011

How to Slay Sin, Part 4 - GTY Blog

Tommy Clayton
Content Developer and Broadcast Editor, GTY.org/blog

Monday, February 28, 2011

We’ve been considering some of the necessary steps toward killing sin. That’s a binding command for every believer. No one is exempt from slaying sin (Col. 3:5), but no one is powerless against it either (Rom. 8:13). God has equipped and empowered all those who abide in Christ (John 15:5) with the necessary wisdom and weapons to succeed. Here are the steps we have considered:

First, understand your true position as a Christian. You are in Christ, united to Him through faith. He already triumphed over sin and His victory becomes your victory.

Second, weaken sinful habits and strengthen righteous behavior. Starve out sin, cut off all provision. Lay it aside like an old, worn out garment and replace it with righteous, godly behavior.

Third, fill your mind with Scripture. Let it saturate your mind, control your affections and determine the course of your life. Unleash the Word of God on your sins.

And now for the fourth and final step: Prepare for battle.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Defining Discernment - John MacArthur

John MacArthur, GTY Blog
November 09, 2009

In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.

First Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil." The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, "Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required.

The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one's ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living-a certain recipe for compromise.

Quote of the Month

The answer to a wrongly informed conscience is not to violate it, but rather to correct and rightly inform one's conscience with biblical truth.
- John MacArthur

How to Slay Sin, Part 3 - GTY Blog

Tommy Clayton
Content Developer and Broadcast Editor, GTY.org/blog
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let’s take a look at step three in slaying sin: Fill your mind with Scripture.

John Bunyan, author of the classic Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote in the cover of his Bible, “Either this book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” Bunyan understood what many in the war against sin don’t—the Word of God is the weapon you simply cannot neglect.

Have you ever considered some of the symbols the Bible uses to describe itself? Scripture is called a light, hammer, fire, rock, mirror, milk, seed and water. Each highlights a unique characteristic of God’s Word, but by far the most memorable metaphor of the Bible is a sword (Eph. 6:17). Any idea why?

God’s Word is sharp and able to penetrate effectively through thick layers of sin and hypocrisy. It can effortlessly slice through soul and spirit, laying bare the thoughts and intentions of your heart (Heb. 4:12). It serves dual purposes in battle—deflecting blows from the enemy and inflicting wounds of its own (Mt. 4:1-11). As you handle God’s Word and experience more of its power, both your skill and confidence will increase (Heb. 5:14). See the parallels?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

God is Known by His Works

Many scriptures have been written even before the bible. Many people sense or at least recognize that there is a creator--a higher being. God is known by His works by all people. Some people would rather worship the creation itself and claim that it created itself--by mere chance--by accident! Even some may worship the creation and look at a cow or a fierce tiger and either pray to it or try to summon it. There is even the extent of believing that some day one may become greater or lower in the next life as an animal and continue this cycle forever. But we see some complications there that I won't get into right now.
By all walks of life people have been worshipping something and some how and acknowledging the evidence that God has given to us--creation.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Mao Mentality... Still Lingering Around

Big City
I'm just getting used to Beijing and how things work. I'm learning first-hand how people are so selfish in the world. They just want to use others for their own benefit and you can really see this in a big city that is all about success and growth. The world truly needs the gospel! I have to guard myself. I can't trust anyone here. It's not nice. I feel bad for the farmers who move here because they are so honest, just like most foreigners, and are taken advantage of. I just read in the paper that the government wants to "clean up corruption". Well that just means "more control over people". I'm learning you can't trust people who are brainwashed by a heartless political system. My heart goes out to them still. It's sad to see what communism does to a people. One person takes advantage of the others and you see it in the society still.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

How to Slay Sin, Part 2 - GTY Blog

Tommy Clayton
Content Developer and Broadcast Editor, GTY.org/blog
Saturday, February 19, 2011

How do you slay sin?

We began answering that question in our last post. Step one was to understand your true position as a Christian. You are in Christ. That means you’re free from sin’s tyranny and dead to sin’s power. It’s critical you understand that truth as you wage war against sin.

Here’s the second step in slaying sin: Weaken sinful habits and strengthen righteous behavior.

Imagine you’re facing an enemy on the battlefield who enjoyed a good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast, and a personal escort to the most strategic position on the battlefield. And here’s the worst part—you provided all those things! Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? What kind of lunatic makes provision for his enemies and gives them that kind of advantage?

Think about that. Isn’t it true that so often, instead of weakening sin by cutting off all provision, we strengthen and empower sin, by giving it occasion to take root and grow strong? But notice how Scripture addresses that attitude, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Rom. 13:14).

Did you catch that important command? Make no provision. Don’t feed and strengthen sin. Starve it out; weaken it; keep it in an anemic state. Subject it to a slow, debilitating death by removing its strength and vitality. You must cut off all support and provision for sin as if you were laying siege to a castle.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Psychological Confidence

You might have heard a person say, "I'm absolutely certain!" They could feel that they are absolutely right about something without real evidence or qualified convictions and they could be dead wrong! This is a psychological error people make. They're psychologically limited as quoted by Greg Koukl. We all are to some extent. But as a confident Christian I know my convictions are true, not because of my emotions towards it or because I was raised that way or socialised to think in this manner, but by careful examination I have good reason to believe them.

"I have a lot of confidence because I can defend my convictions with good evidence......Dogmatism results when we cling to our views without proper justification."
- Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl - Decree vs Cause

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

How to Slay Sin, Part 1 - GTY Blog

Tommy Clayton
Content Developer and Broadcast Editor, GTY.org/blog
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If you’ve been with us the last couple of posts, you know sin is your enemy. You understand it lurks deep within your members, warring against your soul, seeking to ambush you at your most vulnerable moment. You’ve experienced its power and treachery many times.

You would agree with Paul when he says you’re under obligation to put all remaining sin to death—to kill it (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5). You know that too.

But what you may not know is…how. How do you slay sin?

These remaining posts address that question. This is how you slay sin.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Christians and the Law

Ephesians 2:11-22
11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

We are no longer judged by the law, but since His Spirit abides in us we are lead by the Spirit to do what is right. As Christians we love His commandments and strive to keep them. Even though it is impossible to keep them, we still try. We struggle and fight against our own desires. It's darkness versus the light. Our Lord Jesus did the impossible and did the perfect will of God. And since His Spirit abides within us we are capable to battle against our flesh and to defeat the battle against sin. Even when we lose over and over, don't think you are going to be punished. Jesus was already punished for our sins, past and future. We are no longer judged under the law as the Israelites were, but we live under grace from God and because of that grace that was given to us on the cross we want to do what is right and please the Lord in everything we do.

Live with that assurance. You are forgiven!

Kingdom Theology

Edited on Sunday, May 15, 2011
I never got around to finishing this. So I thought I'd post it anyway.

"I think that Christianity has two emphases. One is a social emphasis to impart the values of the kingdom of God in society - to relieve the sufferings of the poor, to stand up for the oppressed, to be a voice for those who have no voice. The other emphasis is to bring people into a personal, transforming relationship with Christ, where they feel the joy and the love of God in their lives."
- Tony Campolo

Dec. 20. 2008
Tony Campolo Quotes on the Drew Marshall Show:
"I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a s***. Third, what's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said s*** than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
"Jesus transcends partisan politics. That's what's wrong with the religious right... they have made Jesus into a Republican, and he's not!"
"There are 2,000 verses of Scripture that tell us we must be committed to protecting the poor and the oppressed... There is no concern of Scripture that is addressed so often and so powerfully as reaching out to the poor."