Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?

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Did you know that Christians can believe lies about God?

No Christian, I hope, desires to do so. But I am certain that whenever we sin, we have already believed something about God that is not true.

Lies and wrong IDs
We all live out the identities we believe in and find our purpose and satisfaction in.

A woman may claim to be a disciple-maker. She might say her aim is to be an exemplary employee and win souls for Jesus at her workplace. But if all that excites her is the monthly SMS notification about her account having been credited with a huge salary, God knows she has little to do with making disciples; she is living out the identity of a money-lover.

She has believed in the lie that money in her bank account will give her more pleasure or security than Jesus could.

A pastor might say he loves his wife and children to bits and might have provided a house, cars and all the snazzy gadgets they could enjoy in life. But at night when he has shut himself alone and his eyes and mind rove all over the dark side of the internet to get what his sexual desires want, God knows that he is living the identity of a pornography-lover.

He has believed in the lie that indulging in sexually impure fantasies will bring more pleasure to him than the presence of God could.

Scandal
It is possible that both these people are actually children of God. Oh, the scandal.

“How could you possibly say that someone so sinful is saved?”

Well, if you know me, I usually hesitate to say so. But to paraphrase John Owen’s observations – “Some lusts flare up over others… One lust can be greater in one man than another”. Chapter 6, Right Way to Kill Sin, Mortification of Sin in Believers.

We might be quick to say such people are definitely not Christians, who are supposed to be dead to sin and alive to God. I am tempted to say the same. And some might even be not truly Christian.

But I will fool myself if I promptly declare myself better than them. Selective amnesia is sinful amnesia. Surely we remember how we have easily repeated sins for years and how easily have swept them aside?

To continue- the people involved may feel “genuinely” sorry about their repeated patterns of sin and their self-absorption. They might feel the tearing guilt inside, the controlled-demolition of their conscience with the silent pleas of God the Holy Spirit in the background. They might fall on their knees by the bed, hands on the floor, saying through desperate tears –

“GOD, OH GOD I’M SO SORRY .. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. PLEASE FORGIVE ME, OH GOD OF GRACE!”

If the sins of over-spending, man-pleasing and lust had stopped, it would have made sense.
But maddeningly, this cycle repeats.

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Destroyed inside.

 

If you are a Christ-follower and are honest with yourself right now, you know sins can repeat in your life. Continue reading “Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?”

Six Warning Signs of Death in Marg Churches

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This world is broken, yet wrong-doing and pain takes you by surprise and anguish.

Marriages wither and become impassable gulfs.

Party leaders and national figures suddenly pass away.

Music bands split and inspiring movie stars wind up in jail.

There are, of course, reasons why such things happen. Marriages die due to lack of adoration and hard work and often, little adulteries that compound into a deadly avalanche of separation and divorce. Bands split due to misunderstandings and pride.

Party leaders die because death is the final equalizer and movie stars become prisoners because the law is a close second in the art of equalising.

Sin is at the root of all things that can go wrong and will go wrong.

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Church communities die too
I recently read an article at the Gospel Coalition titled “It Only Takes One Generation for a Church to Die”. Justin Taylor mentions Sean Lucas, who while researching Continue reading “Six Warning Signs of Death in Marg Churches”

Damaging Stories We Tell Ourselves

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The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in. —Harold Goddard

MY RECENT DAMAGING STORY
The autowala dropped me off under the halogen lights at the busy intersection. I had been feeling almost as helpless as the baby I was holding.

I was on a visit to get my child the first of his many vaccinations. My wife was still in the hospital recovering from the delivery. Her mother couldn’t accompany me either. Before leaving, the three of us (not the baby) had had a huge disagreement on how to get a day-old baby safely to the paediatrician’s. Continue reading “Damaging Stories We Tell Ourselves”

Looking For Evidence, Finding Unbelief

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A new life full of questions
When I became a convert to the Christian faith, some experienced believers encouraged me to ask questions to understand the reasons why one should follow Jesus Christ. My zeal to know the answers earned me the nickname “Question Mark” on one occasion.

Not that I had earned any better nicknames.

I began looking for evidence to believe in the authority and authenticity of the Bible.

“How can one know if the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection were really true?”
“Were the four Gospels just a conspired act of clever copying by zealous disciples?”

I soon upgraded to the next level of questions.
“Are there sources apart from the Bible that talk about Jesus rising from the dead?”

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Such questions were important to me, given my background. My hostel-mates and parents would probably never believe if I said the words “I believe Jesus is God because the Bible says so”. Continue reading “Looking For Evidence, Finding Unbelief”