True or False Faith? Jesus Makes it Clear!

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The past few weeks in my youth group I have had a few young men in their 20s who gave their first sermon. They had been taking a class our pastor offered on “How to Study the Bible So As To Teach” for the weeks previous and I wanted to give them real world experience. I assigned them texts from 1 John & Matthew 7. They did a great job (especially for it being their first time to teach), and I was once again struck by the truth in these two texts. Both Jesus & the apostle John are harping on the same truth: is your faith a true faith or are you a false “believer”?… Continue reading

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“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

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slide_jer-7_23God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.

Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading

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True Faith vs. Performance Faith (reprise)

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HYPOCRITE!

This is a familiar word, but I am afraid that many people do not understand its meaning.

In asking my youth group what “hypocrite” means, they agreed upon the following definition: “one who says one thing and does the opposite.” This, I believe, is the common understanding of a hypocrite. Many apply this to a church. “Those Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. They say they believe in a loving God, but they are so mean.”

pan-diario-abril-23-2010The problem here is that definition is inaccurate. A true hypocrite is one who behaves contrary to who they really are. The picture is one of a play-actor.… Continue reading

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Continuity: Old Testament Truth in New Testament Clothing

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One of the benefits of getting older consists of gaining perspective, being able to put the past into its proper place in order to better understand the present. Fifty-four years of studying the Bible also has its benefits—primarily in more clearly understanding the continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments. As I was reading through the Bible this past year, Isaiah 62:5 (“as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you”)[1] called to mind the picture in Revelation 21:2 when John beheld the New Jerusalem descending from heaven “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” The association led me to contemplate God’s own joy with that city—especially with its inhabitants.… Continue reading

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True Faith vs. Performance Faith

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HYPOCRITE!

This is a familiar word, but I am afraid that many people do not understand its meaning.

In asking my youth group what “hypocrite” means, they agreed upon the following definition: “one who says one thing and does the opposite.” This, I believe, is the common understanding of a hypocrite. Many apply this to a church. “Those Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. They say they believe in a loving God, but they are so mean.”

pan-diario-abril-23-2010The problem here is that definition is inaccurate. A true hypocrite is one who behaves contrary to who they really are. The picture is one of a play-actor.… Continue reading

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