To Please Men, or God?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do it, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:22,23 KJV).

Whom shall we please—men, or God?

For two years, a Christian man periodically taught Bible studies at his house. He invited various individuals, including his sister (who he knew was unsaved and trapped in the cult he himself had escaped decades earlier). At his request, she attended most, if not all, his studies. He gave a clear Gospel message and invitation after each meeting. One day, she informed him that she was going away for the weekend. Why? That cult was sponsoring a retreat and she had enrolled!! The dear brother in Christ was disappointed beyond words. Evidently, she had been attending his studies simply to satisfy him.

A new Christian woman recently expressed to me bewilderment about a “spiritually disjointed” married couple she knew. The wife was a “Bible reader,” supposedly “skilled in the Scriptures;” her husband was a cult member. They attended services at a “feel-good” prosperity church and assembled with the cult for “worship services.” The Christian woman asked me how such incongruity could exist. I explained to her that the wife is likely reading verses but not studying them rightly divided. She cannot discern truth from error because she knows no truth. Furthermore, it appears she “fellowships” (?) with her husband’s denomination just to gratify him. The “feel-good” church is evidently her preference, so he goes there to pacify her.

While today’s Scripture features the servant-master (employee-employer) relationship, by extension, it better explains the Christian-God relationship. Whom should we be serving? Are we to attend Bible study or church services to satisfy a spouse, neighbor, sibling, parent, or friend? Is our behavior merely to impress those people watching us (“eyeservice, as menpleasers”)? Whatever we do, friends, we should do it in “singleness [sincerity] of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do it, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Above all, we must conduct our lives motivated by heart faith in God’s message of grace to us. “…As to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Sola Fide

Monday, October 30, 2017

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV).

On October 31, 2017, we Bible believers celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation!

The third Reformation principle, “sola fide” (Latin, “faith alone”), protests the well-known Roman Catholic mishandling of James 2:24. “A man is justified by faith and works” is clearly written to Israel (chapter 1, verse 1). Following God’s instructions to others is surely destructive. Lost people wake up in eternal hellfire quoting Scripture (including James 2:24!).

In this the Dispensation of God’s Grace, salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing. Romans chapter 3: “[26] To declare, I say, at this time [God’s] righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Our Apostle Paul (Romans 11:13) continues in chapter 4: “[3] For what saith the scripture? [Sola Scriptura!] Abraham believed God [Sola Fide!], and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace [Sola Gratia!], but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not [Sola Fide!], but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly [Sola Fide!], his faith [Sola Fide!] is counted for righteousness.” Rather than having religious self-righteousness (Romans 10:1-3), remember that Heaven is gained by faith alone in Christ’s righteousness alone! “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

The Reformers, while lacking the more perfect Bible understanding we enjoy, nevertheless walked in the spiritual light they had. They understood justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Romans chapters 1-5). In the 500 years since, we have recovered the rest of the Book of Romans that religious tradition had stifled (chapters 6-16—victorious Christian identity and living, differences between Israel and the Body of Christ, and grace principles for various life situations). Brethren, let us walk in the light we have, further building on the Reformers’ efforts! 🙂

“Soli Deo Gloria!”
(Glory to God alone!)

Sola Gratia

Sunday, October 29, 2017

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24 KJV).

On October 31, 2017, we Bible believers celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation!

Sola gratia,” another Bible teaching the Reformers recovered (not invented!), is Latin for “grace alone.” How can we be justified—made right—before God? By God’s goodness alone? Or, because of God’s goodness and our goodness?

As per “sola Scriptura”—by Scripture alone—we see that Adam has caused man’s nature to be corrupt from conception. After committing his horrible sin with Bathsheba, King David confessed in Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” When David prayed, verse 1 has him saying: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” Why would God forgive David? Because of David’s “goodness?” Nay, evil David would be forgiven only because of God’s grace!

Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The Lord Jesus affirmed in Mark chapter 7: “[20] And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. [21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: [23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” No wonder Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;….” Try reading Romans chapter 1 without getting nauseated!

Frankly, God does not “owe” us a way to Heaven, as there is nothing in our nature that He accepts. In fact, His justice demands that His righteousness be enforced. Anything short of His holiness—including man’s sin nature—deserves His wrath. That fury is Hell and, ultimately, everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire. No religious activity (water baptism, church membership, confession, prayer, et cetera) can abolish man’s sin nature or rescue him from his deserved eternal doom. As David realized, man, spiritually bankrupt, must look beyond himself and his feeble abilities to God’s grace, what God can do for him!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “If suffering is sure to follow, why serve Jesus Christ?

Sola Scriptura

Saturday, October 28, 2017

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV).

On October 31, 2017, we Bible believers celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation!

When Roman Catholic priest Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, he systematically outlined and protested ecclesiastical excesses and abuses (particularly the practice of selling indulgences—paying the pope to receive forgiveness of sins!). Church tradition had replaced Sacred Scripture, the written Word of God. Luther, whose original intention was to reform the Roman Catholic Church, actually started a revolution. A spiritually-dead church abounding with spiritually-dead people doing spiritually-dead works could not be improved. Apostasy was too widespread; Romanism was too corrupt.

Bible-believing Christians existed throughout church history, but organized religion (Roman Catholicism!) persecuted and suppressed them. Luther, walking in the light that he had, gave them a public voice and brought much attention to God’s truth to which they held! One such truth to be reemphasized—though not established for the first time—was “sola Scriptura” (Latin, “Scripture alone”). The authority was not in the Roman papacy or priesthood, but in the written Word of God alone. (Luther thus later spent a decade translating the Bible into German.)

Those who support a “Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition” view ask us for a Bible verse to defend our “sola Scriptura” position. Today’s Scripture clearly states that the Bible contains everything that God wants us to know. The Scriptures equip us to accomplish everything that God wants us to do. What are the inferences? If it is not in the Bible, then it not what God wants us to know! If it is not in Holy Writ, then it is not what God wants us to do! If it is not in the Scriptures, then it is not a good work! (So, if the Bible is sufficient, then what is the purpose of church tradition? Why, to challenge the Bible!)

Over 200 times the New Testament quotes the Old Testament. The New Testament writers appealed to Scripture for validation of truth instead of church leaders or religious tradition! Evidently, they preferred “sola Scriptura” too!

NOTE: The 2017 Slidell Grace Bible Conference will be held Friday-Sunday, December 1-3, just north of New Orleans. The title and theme are, “Eschatology 101: An Introduction to the Things of the End, Dispensationally Delivered.” Speakers are: Richard Jordan, Eric Neumann, and I (Shawn Brasseaux). We would love to have you come and join us! Insightful Bible study and good ol’ Cajun & Creole cooking! Videos to be archived to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/1611kjvambassador. For more info, download the flyer: https://arcministries.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/2017-slidell-gbc.pdf.

Indecisive Israel #12

Monday, September 18, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

Israel forsook the Law of Moses, God’s primary instructions to them. Therefore, awful religious, moral, and social conditions overwhelmed the nation. In keeping with the Law Covenant, beginning in the Book of Judges, God punished Israel with the first course of judgment or chastisement promised in Leviticus chapter 26. Foreigners would oppress them, exactly as verse 17 predicted: “And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.” This repeatedly occurred throughout Judges.

Similarly, the Church the Body of Christ has abandoned God’s apostle to us Gentiles, Paul (Romans 11:13). The last 2,000 years of the Body of Christ mimics Israel’s vacillation throughout the Book of Judges. There have been recurrent apostasies and isolated revivals, but an overall doctrinal deterioration. Ultimately, there is utter spiritual ruin—God’s people compromised and neutralized. Brethren, remember, the same evil world system—especially Satan’s religious system—that existed in Judges remains today over 3,000 years later. It will culminate in the Antichrist beyond our day.

Some “Christians” believe there is “no harm” in mixing with world religions, or intermarrying with non-Christians. Scripture disagrees. (Remember Israel’s pagan neighbors and spouses in Judges!) Some “grace believers” see “nothing wrong” with attending services at denominational churches. The Holy Spirit disagrees. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Brethren, let us not be indecisive like Israel. We should “be separate,” unapologetically and totally removed from the (pagan) religious system! 🙂

Rejecter Rejected

Monday, July 10, 2017

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48 KJV).

What will God do with Bible rejecters?

The Holy Bible is God’s gift to man. Like salvation through Jesus Christ His Son, He was under no obligation whatsoever to provide it. He purposed something awesome in creation, and He wanted to inform us. He gave us that Word so that it would point us to that which He delighted in the most—His beloved Son. From cover to cover, in every Book of that Book of Books, we see a thread of red—the shed blood of that obedient Son. From creation to consummation, the exaltation of that Son is of prime importance.

Alas, man always knows better. Despite his fallen nature and darkened heart, he thinks he can improve the Bible. When he comments on the Scriptures, he does so with great difficulty. His thoughts muddled, his words cumbersome and prolix, his “insight” worth less than the materials on which he wrote and the air which he used to breathe out those statements. With his every struggle in interpreting the Bible using the flesh, he further mars the face of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures become repulsive to the hearers and the readers. He has failed to grasp and convey simple Bible truths because the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry is absent.

Dear friends, we had better thank God every day that we are not the lost people using the Holy Bible to mislead millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of precious souls. Their theological systems will be reduced to nothing one day. Their endless speculations will be silenced. They will no longer be able to deceive God’s people. They had the priceless Word of God but they changed it into the worthless word of men! What an indictment! They will stand before that great God Jesus Christ, to give an account to Him! What will they say to Him? Or, better yet, what will He say to them?

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22,23).

Our latest Bible Q&A: Are there modern-day apostles and prophets?

Answering a Matter

Saturday, May 27, 2017

“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:13 KJV).

Behold, herein is wisdom for every persuasion!

Long ago, a wise and older Christian brother told me, “People cannot take a stand for anything because they do not know anything.” (Those words have never left me. They have become increasingly apparent in the years since I heard them.) The “people” were actually professing Christians. He was lamenting how he, in his 40 years of being a Christian, and nearly two decades of church leadership, had known some really pitifully ignorant church members. Lacking a sound foundation in the Scriptures, they could not distinguish truth from error. They would hear the “matters,” but it was “folly and shame unto [them]” because they would “answer” the matters by siding with the errors! Those outside of Christendom fare no better.

For example, I recently had an online encounter with a Bible scoffer. This individual did not compose one true statement about the Scriptures—it was merely false information. No legitimate arguments were leveled against the Bible. Nothing factual was offered. Rather, the ridiculer, parading as an “authority,” merely employed stereotypes and misconceptions (which, of course, I exposed as fallacious). Sadly, Christians, without any factual data themselves, are often guilty of answering the scoffers. The scoffer further mocks because the Christian knows too little about the skeptic’s position—no marvel because Christians are frequently uninformed concerning their own beliefs!

Friends, whether skeptics or Bible believers, we would do well to listen to others before we evaluate their claims. We Christians know today’s Scripture: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Though you may dislike the Bible, you skeptics would agree with it here and you would do especially well to heed it on this point. The Bible says that those who rashly comment on something they have never heard or studied appear foolish and disgraceful. This is applicable to both scoffers (unversed in the Scriptures) answering Bible believers, and Bible believers (unskilled in the pertinent skepticism) answering scoffers.