Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death
This book contains easy to use orders of service which are guides for various services. They are valuable, but in no way should they replace the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did talk about tithing as shown in Matthew 23: 23 and Luke 11: 42, but these verses cannot be quoted in our day to encourage Christians to tithe because it was not His intentional message. Although Jesus did not condemn tithing here, we must understand Jesus was still under the Old Covenant as the New Covenant began with His death and resurrection.
This is exactly what has happened to humanity through sin. The human free will is biased toward evil. It really exists, and really can make decisions – just as the loaded scales still work. But instead of giving a balanced judgment, a serious bias exists toward evil. Therefore, human free will really exists in sinners, but that it is compromised by sin.
This lack of personal development is just sheer laziness on the part of many, and as a result, the church is happy just paying someone else to look after their Christianity. We need to address the fundamental issues facing Christendom with Scripture and Scripture alone.
God’s whole counsel includes both the bad news about our natural state and the good news about God’s plan to redeem us.
Liberal theology, with its belief in the inherent goodness of man and his ability to help himself is making a comeback. For the doctrine of salvation by grace has practically become an insult for it’s portrayal that man is innately spiritually dead – unable to ever come to God. The word “grace” is also emptied of all spiritual meaning and vanished from religious discourses. It is retained only in the sense of “graciousness,” something that is quite external.
Christ came into the world as the second Adam. And Paul demonstrates here in Romans 5 that just like Adam, Christ is the covenant representative of all those who believe in Him. So, just as all humanity was condemned on the basis of Adam’s disobedience, so too, all those who belong to the Saviour are justified on the basis of Jesus’ obedience as their covenant representative.
The faculties which men receive at birth have a carnal bias, an earthly trend, a distaste for the heavenly and divine, and are inclined only to selfish aims and groveling pursuits. In the most polished or religious society, equally with the vulgar and profane, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and can never be anything better. Prune and trim a corrupt tree as much as you will, it can never be made to yield good fruit. Every man must be born again before he can be acceptable to a holy God.
This remission of all sins is not limited to past sins only, but to all sins—past, present, and future. If it were not so, then justification would have to be repeated over and over again, and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ would be lowered to the level of the animal sacrifices of the old covenant. Therefore it has to be offered over and over again for the continued presence of sin.
Grace from the Work of Christ is NOT to be understood as grace to be external enlightenment or instruction graciously provided for humanity by God. God does not just demand that human beings should be “perfect”, which is a vague term. Rather, God graciously provides specific guidance as to what form of perfection is required – such as keeping the Ten Commandments, and becoming like Christ. Grace thus informs humanity what its moral duties are (otherwise, it would not know what they were); it does not, however, assist humanity to perform them, because there is no need for such assistance.
Moralism is the default mode for preachers. It’s second nature. But it misinforms the congregation. Why do it then? Maybe it tells them what they really want to hear, which is that they can please God through moral improvement. But moralising cannot save. We must do better than this if we are to escape the rebuke of Christ: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me”
Therefore, those who truly understand the Gospel will not downplay doctrines, to do so is to minimise how much they will know about the Gospel. Could it be that those who are arguing for the “Gospel” at the expense of “doctrines” are simply trying to find a way to justify their opposition to some of our distinctive beliefs or avoiding to disclose their ignorance.
We depart from Biblical teaching when we think that today’s so-called gospel rock, gospel clowns, gospel magicians, and other forms of gospel entertainment can legitimately be employed to communicate spiritual truth. The Scriptures teach that the world is on its own, “without hope and without God” (Ephesians 2:12). Therefore, instead of borrowing worldly methods to reach the world, Christians are sent forth like the apostle Paul, “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God”
With the explosion of different sects that claim to honour and follow Jesus, how does one differentiate between true Biblical Christianity and an aberrant religious movement? Just what are “the marks of a cult?”