How should the Reformation affect our lives today?
Rob Ventura explains in this video that our job is to take the truths and reforms from the Reformation and see them worked out today. Our job is not to discover new reforms. We must ask, "How do we see those truths fleshed out in the Church today?"
Simply because the Reformation occurred centuries ago does not mean that what came out of the Reformation is irrelevant to us today. Rather, there is much we can learn from the Reformation since the reforms and doctrines were grounded in Scripture.
Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV) – “Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.”
What was one of the most impactful reforms of the Reformation?
Sam Waldron explains in this video that one of the most impactful reforms was Martin Luther’s clear articulation of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. We are justified by the righteousness of Christ alone when we rest on and receive Christ by faith alone.
We must distinguish between that initial justifying faith and the obedience that flows from it. Our obedience is the fruit of justification but not part of it or the basis of it. There is nothing that we can do that can merit salvation.
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
How do we understand repentance wrongly?
Jeff Pollard explains in this video that there is a difference between true and wrong repentance. When people are caught in an act of sin and discover themselves in sin, there is a sense of shame and guilt. In fact, everyone feels bad when they get caught in doing something that is wicked. However, some people confuse that sense of shame or guilt with true repentance.
Paul contrasts “worldly sorrow" with “godly sorrow." Worldly sorrow stops at tears and a feeling of guilt. Godly sorrow is something that is worked in the heart by the Holy Spirit that moves the believer into a genuine sense of changing their mind. They understand their guilt and they realize that they’ve sinned against a holy God. The believer has a desire to walk in what is right and leave behind what is sinful.
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV) - " For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death."
Where do we see repentance in the Old Testament?
Jason Dohm explains in this video that one illustrative passage about repentance is when Solomon stated: “f My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV).
In the middle of the Old Testament, we have Solomon acknowledging that if a sinful people turned from their wicked ways, God would receive and forgive them. The same is true for us today. God does not change. Repentance is still commanded and God will punish sin. But, He is also gracious, merciful, and forgiving.
Acts 3:19 (NKJV) - "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."
How was worship a driving force behind the Reformation?
Joel Beeke explains in this video that the worship of God as He has prescribed in His Word was a major driving force behind the Reformation. Making the Word of God central to the pulpit and to the Church was a big part of the Reformation.
For instance, one of the Reformers, Ulrich Zwingli, started preaching from the first chapter of Matthew and continued through the entire New Testament - this had never happened before. Believers began to participate in the singing and the sacraments. Thus, the centrality of Scripture and God-glorifying worship were two driving forces behind the Reformation.
John 4:23-24 (NKJV) - But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
What does repentance look like?
Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that repentance is a change of mind, a complete 180-degree turn. It is a turning from the direction where we have been going, a complete change of mental thinking about sin and God.
The source of repentance is the grace of God at work in our lives. It is a gift from God. Once God changes our hearts, a person's path will be turned and he will forsake sin and pursue after godliness.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (NKJV) - "For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come."
What does "Christ alone" and "grace alone" mean for the believer?
Carlton McLeod explains in this video that Christ alone is sufficient. Only by grace alone can we walk with Him. It has to be a work of God through Christ. The whole idea that it is Christ alone and that it is by His grace puts man where he needs to be – at the foot of the cross, totally dependent on the grace and mercy of God alone.
There is nothing that we can do that can merit salvation. We are all sinners, we all are in need of salvation. It is only by grace alone and Christ alone that we can be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
How is the Gospel on display through repentance?
Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that people assume that if they allow the evidence of sin to be evident in their life, it paints a picture that Christianity is weak or not real. But, for the Christian, it does no good to try to cover our sin – we must come to the cross and repent of our sins.
Once we are saved, the reality of the Gospel is put on display in our lives. Because there is forgiveness at the cross, we can live the Gospel to those around us. We can be honest with others with how it is impossible to earn salvation by works, and repent and ask forgiveness when we sin.
Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What were some of the key doctrines that resulted from the Reformation?
Paul Carrington explains in this video that the sufficiency of Scripture and the idea of God’s grace were two, key doctrines that came out of the Reformation. Man cannot do anything to assist to be brought into the right relationship with God. This was something that was unheard of. At that time, Christ was merely one means out of many to somehow "merit" salvation, which could be lost.
But Scripture makes it clear that salvation does not hinge on our efforts to make ourselves right with God. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be made right through faith and repentance. The Reformation helped to correct false ideas and teachings and point individuals back to Scripture.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
How did the Reformation bring about a greater understanding of the glory and greatness of God?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that man wants to see himself as the source of truth, ethics, salvation. He wants to see himself as the hinge point in saving himself from his sins. He wants to be the means by which he is saved. But, we are saved by grace alone.
The Reformation brought God back into the center. People began to see God as all-sovereign over all of life. There are points where man does not want God to be sovereign. Yet, man will never save himself – only God can save us. Thus, we look to God as the sovereign source of our salvation. We are saved by grace alone.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
What should Christians today be learning from the Reformation?
Rob Ventura explains in this video that many Christians today would agree that many of the doctrines came out of the Reformation, they are so far removed from the Reformation. In short, we have grown far away from the Protestant Reformation.
But, there is much to be gleaned from the Reformation. Christians today still need to hear the true Gospel, be exhorted to repent, and hear about the Church. While the Reformation did occur hundreds of years ago, the doctrines based on Scripture that resulted from it are still just as relevant today.
Numbers 23:19 (NKJV) - "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
What is at the heart of the Reformation?
Paul Thompson explains that the heart of the Reformation involved rediscovering the necessity of the sufficiency of Scripture. We have been given the very words of God. They are wholly true and completely trustworthy.
A need for reformation indicates a need for a return to the only source of authority, God’s Word. There are various seasons where reformation is needed. If there is a need to reform the Church, we must look to Scripture to determine what God desires and commands instead of merely looking to see how the previous generation did certain things. We cannot base our actions and beliefs upon the ever-changing standards that man decides to be right.
Acts 4:12 (NKJV) – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
What was the heart of the Reformation?
David Eddy explains in this video that the heart of the Reformation was the desire to be closer to God. Up until that time, the Pope had largely gotten between the typical believer and the Lord. Most people thought that they had no real relationship with God.
But, the Reformation brought about the translation of Scripture, giving believers the ability to read and understand the commandments of God. This, in turn, led to forming solid, biblical doctrine. The hierarchy that the Pope established ultimately crumbled. Accordingly, Christians experienced the joy of knowing God on a much deeper level than before.
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) – “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
How did the translation of Scripture into the common language impact the Reformation?
Mike Davenport explains in this video that one of the greatest benefits that came from the Reformation is that Scripture was translated into the common language. This is a blessing that people before the Reformation did not have. They had to rely on what others like the Pope claimed it said. Services were often conducted in a language that they could not understand.
But through the Reformation, people could now read and understand the Word of God. The doctrines that came out of the Reformation were based on what God has told us in Scripture.
Proverbs 4:5-7 (NKJV) – “Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
What does an unrepentant life look like?
Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that when someone lives an unrepentant life, their life will be marked by immense selfishness. An unrepentant person is a person who takes advantage of and uses others in their life to promote themselves and please themselves.
Conversely, a repentant person strives to live a life of humility and service towards others. Repentant people look to the example that Christ set for us. The second chapter of Phillippians states: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." There is no greater example of humility and love than the example that Jesus Christ gave us.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV) - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."
What is a common theme of early New Testament sermons?
Jason Dohm explains in this video that throughout Scripture, sinners are called to repent, believe the Gospel, and be baptized. Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and Peter each repeated this common theme in their sermons.
The message of repentance begins in the Old Testament and continues throughout all of Scripture. Repentance is the beginning of Gospel preaching. It is a call to turn away from wickedness and to trust only on Christ.
Acts 3:19 (NKJV) – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
What was the driving force behind the Reformation?
Joel Beeke explains in this video that the Reformation began through Martin Luther’s opposition to the selling of indulgences to release people’s souls from purgatory. Thus, it was the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy that initially drew the Reformers to confront these long-held practices.
Ultimately, one of the main driving forces behind the Reformation was the issue of authority. Is Scripture sufficient for everything or does the Pope wield equal authority to Scripture? Both of them could not be the ultimate authority, for Scripture clearly contradicted the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV) – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."
What effect does repentance have upon our life?
John Snyder explains in this video that repentance is a complete shift of thinking about a matter so that there is a corresponding turn in our life. Scripture describes it as a gift from the Lord. It truly is a supernatural work that allows us to turn away from sin to God.
Regeneration changes what we think, what we desire, and what we choose. Similarly, when we repent, all three areas of our being are involved: we begin to think differently, we desire differently, and we choose differently. It is a turning away of all things sinful in order to turn towards God.
Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) – “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
What was the heart of the Reformation?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that the heart of the Reformation began with Sola Scriptura, the returning to the Word of God as the absolute authority for all of life. Without access to the Scripture, there could be no Reformation.
With the Reformation came the translation of Scripture into various languages. This led to family worship, family discipleship, and solid preaching of God’s Word. This was a terrific blessing and led to a great revival.
Romans 15:4 (NKJV) – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
What was the heart of the Reformation?
Michael Beasley explains in this video that the heart of the Reformation begins with regeneration and an understanding that Scripture alone is sufficient. During the Reformation, born-again believers were eager and hungry to cling to true authority, the authority of Christ, after enduring centuries of false teachings from the Roman Catholic Church.
Thus, the real heart of the Reformation was a renewed recognition that Scripture alone was the authority for all of life. Each of the other solas really lead to Sola Scriptura, for without Scripture, there are no other Solas.
Titus 3:4-5 (NKJV) – “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
What was the heart of the Reformation?
Curt Daniels explains in this video that he believes that the heart of the Reformation was the sola, Soli Deo Gloria – "to the glory of God alone." The Calvinists also considered this to be the most important out of the Five Solas. In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the answer to the first question states that, “man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.”
God alone saves unbelievers. Accordingly, man was created to glorify God. God alone receives all of the glory. There is nothing we can point to show how we somehow merit salvation. Isaiah 42:8 says: “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV) – “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
How have the traditions of man affected the Church?
Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that one of the primary results of the Protestant Reformation was the forsaking of many traditions that been encrusted onto the Church by the Roman Catholic Church. During the Reformation, many of those traditions were cast off and replaced with sound, biblical thinking.
Although the Reformation took place 500 years ago, we need to continue to be faithful to not let the traditions of man infect our worship, doctrine, and evangelism. Today, there are still so many different areas where the traditions of man have replaced Scripture and continue to do so.
Colossians 2:8 (NKJV) – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
What was at the heart of the Reformation?
Rob Ventura explains in this video that there is no Gospel without repentance. The Gospel that Christ and His disciples preached always began with a call for men and women to repent for their sins and to believe on Christ alone for life and salvation.
Similarly, repentance was also at the heart of the Reformation because at the heart of the Reformation is the glorious Gospel of Christ. The Gospel remains unchanged throughout time. Repentance is always necessary for people to be saved.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
What was the heart of the Reformation?
Carlton McLeod explains in this video that he believes the heart of the Reformation was Sola Scriptura, "by Scripture alone." The Church, through the Middle Ages, had drifted away from the understanding that Scripture governed all of life. Traditions and customs of man superseded clear commands of Scripture.
During the Reformation, the Reformers directly opposed this idea by declaring that there is no way to please God by various man-made rituals. Accordingly, many of the doctrines that sprung from the Protestant Reformation came from the careful study of Scripture. The Reformers steadfastly declared that Scripture alone was sufficient.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV) – “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
What is one of the primary attacks on Scripture today?
Ken Ham explains in this video that just as Satan tempted Eve by saying, "Did God really say that?" the Church should expect similar attacks today. The words of God have consistently been under attack since Genesis. Throughout history, when God’s Word comes under attack, God raises people to bring them back to the authority of God. The Reformation is one example of this.
Today, the teaching of evolution is one way that God's Word has been attacked. An acceptance of evolution causes doubt of whether we can trust what God's Word says. Ultimately, this teaches our children that we don't have to start with God's Word and that man's ideas and beliefs can reinterpret Scripture. Of course, this creates doubt as whether God really created male and female from the beginning or whether there was a worldwide flood to punish sin, for instance.
Psalm 119:89 (NKJV) - "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven."
What was the heart of the Reformation?
Don Hart explains that the heart of the Reformation encompassed all of the Solas. But faith in Christ and salvation by the grace of God alone was perhaps the “hinge” of the Reformation as Martin Luther once noted.
The Gospel explains how a sovereign, loving God redeemed a lost, rebelling people by no merit of our own. Yet, God did that which is utter foolishness to a fallen world: the Creator died for the creature. Christ humbled Himself, He lived a perfect, sinless life. He obediently went to the cross. He took the full judgment that we deserved – the wrath of God. And it is only by faith in Christ, by the grace of God, that the Reformation even took place.
John 11:25 (NKJV) - "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.'"
What keeps us from repentance?
Gary Powers explains in this video that our flesh hates Christ and attempts to detract from Christ and His Glory. The world hates Him. The devil hates Him. Accordingly, we as sinful beings must repent of our sin and turn from it. We must humble ourselves and pray and seek after God.
We must put to death the sin that entangles us. John Owen exhorted his readers in the Mortification of Sin in Believers that they ought to “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” We cannot take sin lightly. Are there areas in your life where you have compromised with sin and have not repented of it?
Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NKJV) – “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”
What is one of the primary doctrines of the Reformation?
Sam Waldron explains in this video that to identify the primary doctrine of the Reformation, we must begin by looking at the Five Solas. Out of those five, perhaps the cardinal doctrine of the Reformation is “sola fide” or “faith alone” for justification.
Without faith, we cannot please God. Without faith, we cannot be saved. We cannot earn salvation or good standing with God. We are only justified by faith through Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift - it is something that no one can boast in.
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
What is the message of the Gospel?
Geoff Botkin explains in this video that the church has a message that can change and convert the entire world. The power of the Gospel can benefit the unregenerate because when they are living in a culture and society that has been impacted by the Bible, they will learn God's standard of holiness and righteousness.
The Gospel of the kingdom can mean so much more than the Gospel message. It includes all of the statutes and commands of how God wants us to live. It tells them how they as unbelievers can be released from slavery to sin into freedom in the law of Christ.
John 8:12 (NKJV) – “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Where should we focus our evangelizing efforts?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that each person is called to disciple the nations. The word “nations” also includes families or communities. Accordingly, everyone is called to evangelism in some form. We are to evangelize to individuals within our homes and those outside the home as well.
Some people are called to preach Scripture out on the streets. Others are called to preach within the Church. There are those who are called to preach on the radio, television, and in public forums. Other people are called to disciple believers on an ongoing basis. No matter where we are, we are called to be faithful to preach the Word of God. To our spouses, to our children, within our congregations, and to the world.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV) – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
What is the message of the Great Commission?
Joel Beeke explains in this video that the message of the Great Commission is to bring the Gospel to everyone in the world and to see every unconverted person as a mission field. We are called to be faithful to bring the Word of God to unbelievers that we interact with.
The Gospel is all about how Christ came to do everything for us who are powerless to do anything. We must communicate to the unsaved that our Savior is willing and able to save the greatest of sinners. They are called to repent and believe the Gospel with all their mind, soul, and strength.
Luke 19:9-10 (NKJV) – “And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
How should the Church approach and witness to unbelievers?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that the Church be balanced in that there must be love shown to both the believers in the Church and unbelievers outside the Church. The Church must reach out to unbelievers but also to the believers. Elders ought exemplify this to the members of the Church. They ought to be opening up their home to strangers and believers alike.
However, it is a delicate balance. A church may lean too far one way where there is no love for believers because it focuses on bringing in unbelievers so much that believers are neglected. The opposite can also occur where there is no love for unbelievers.
John 17:15-18 (NKJV) – “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
How does a pastor’s embracing of worldliness hurt both believers and unbelievers within the church?
Paul Washer explains in this video that when pastors do not preach the true Gospel and use worldly means to attract people, churches become filled with carnal people. A pastor who embraces such a methodology hurts both the believers and unbelievers within the church. The unbelievers hear a watered-down or a non-existent Gospel and the true believers do not receive the “meat” which they so desperately need.
Frequently, within the church, there are many unconverted people. Though there is a group of true believers who want to hear the truth and to hear the Gospel, the pastor oftentimes tries to appease the unconverted in order to keep them within the church. When he does this, he is also starving the true believers. They long to hear sound, biblical doctrine but the pastor sadly prefers to hold onto the unbelievers within his congregation.
Hebrews 5:12 (NKJV) – “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”
Why is youth ministry, something not found in Scripture, wrong when there are many things within the church today that are also not found in Scripture?
Scott Brown explains in this video that we see that positive commands and examples regarding the youth and worship in Scripture each call for age-integrated discipleship and worship in the church. We also see throughout Scripture how it is the responsibility of parents to disciple their own children.
Age-segregation goes against Scripture in two ways. First, to engage the church in systematic youth ministry adds to Scripture regarding how youth are to be taught. Second, such a practice takes away from God’s commands for parents to teach their own children.
In addition, age-integration is plainly taught in Scripture. The Bible is clear about this matter. When you split youth up according to age, it goes against Scripture. These methods of discipleship are clearly laid out in Scripture. We ought not to employ our own methods instead of what God has commanded.
Deuteronomy 12:32 (NKJV) – “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
How is a church to equip the saints for evangelism?
Don Hart explains in this video that the modern church needs to realize and understand that as pastors preach and exposit the Scripture, they are preparing the members of the church to go out and evangelize throughout the week.
Many modern churches have become misguided in their application of evangelism. They have become seeker-oriented churches. However, worship is not about man, but about God. It is about doing what is pleasing to the Lord. It comports with the regulative principle.
In the meeting of the church, we worship a perfect God. We prepare saints to go out and do the work of God. We don’t tailor the meetings of the church to show greater concern for unbelievers instead of teaching and strengthening believers who are to evangelize to the lost. We are to worship the One who came to seek and save the lost.
Acts 4:11-12 (NKJV) – “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
How does our view of Scripture affect our beliefs regarding age segregation?
Scott Brown explains in this video that the most devastating problem that the Church faces is the distortion of the Gospel. The church must always strive to present the Gospel clearly. Accordingly, perversions of the Gospel should be met with the most aggressive stance and persuasive arguments as modeled by Paul in Galatians.
The issue of age-segregation is a serious matter. While it may not be the only or primary issue in selecting a church, we see that is something that is modeled throughout Scripture. Age integration should not be just an option that may be considered among other ideas for disciplining the next generation. When patterns in Scripture are ignored, it demonstrates a wrong view of Scripture.
Galatians 1:8-9 (NKJV) - "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed."
How can the local church grow with respect to evangelism?
Joel Beeke explains in this video that there are several sins that the contemporary church falls into in regards to evangelism. The first is prayerlessness. We must cry out to God Almighty. We should never evangelize someone without first spending time in personal prayer. Second, there is a sin of the lack of zeal. Life and death is at stake.
Third, there is this sin of accommodating the Gospel to man’s desires. To make unbelievers comfortable or to minimize sin. Fourth, there is a lack of clarity in presenting the Gospel. This is because of a misconception of who God is, the seriousness of sin, and salvation being only through Christ alone. We need a stronger emphasis on the justice of God and the concept of substitution.
Revelations 22:18-19 (NKJV) – “If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
What can we learn from the holiness of God?
Jason Dohm explains in this video that out of all the attributes of God, holiness is God’s “master attribute.” God is holy. His holiness speaks to all His other attributes. He is holy in His love and mercy. He is separate and no one can compare themselves to God. No one can love as God can or be just as He can.
Paul says in Ephesians 5:1 that we are to be “imitators of God as dear children.” As Christians, we are to learn to imitate and act like God. As children of God, we should strive to be like our heavenly Father. This is the duty of the Christian - to learn how to imitate or act as God commands. To be set apart from the world, as He is.
1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV) – “Be holy, for I am holy.”
What happens to a church that is devoted to the Word of God?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that embracing the world is failing our churches and families. If the church compromises and mirrors the way the world does things, the church, families, and society will be corrupted. The Word of God must be brought to bear in all areas of life. Faithfulness to God’s Word benefits and strengths the church, families, and society. Yet, the often church decides that God’s Word is not sufficient.
If you walk in God’s ways, He will bless you. Even though there are detractors to living according to Scripture, we are still called to be faithful to the commands of God. If a church is governed by the Word of God, families and future families will be blessed. For instance, sons will have a vision to disciple their children for God just as they saw their father and other men within the church do.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NKJV) – “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
What are the effects of separating justification from sanctification?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that we are not free to sin. Rather, we are free from sin and transgressing the law of God because of the grace of Christ that takes care of the guilt of our sin and the corruption and power of sin over us. Today, many people want only to rid themselves of the guilt of sin but not its power over them. They want to continue to embrace sin instead of desiring that it be put to death.
If Christ’s blood takes care of the guilt, it will do just as much for the corruption of our sins. We cannot separate Christ’s death from his resurrection. To do so is to separate our justification from our rising and walking in the newness of life. We are saved by faith and by the sanctification of the Spirit of God. It cannot be one and not the other.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) – “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What happens when you neglect time with God?
Joel Beeke explains in this video that there are a lot of people who are coming to faith but the corresponding level of personal holiness is often not there. The problem is that they see the truth of the doctrines of grace in the Bible and they get excited about it, but to really live the faith involves reflecting that in a life of holiness. That process takes time alone with God. Often, people neglect that time.
People cram their lives with so many “good” things that there’s not much time for personal devotions, family time, or for time spent cultivating holiness in the heart. Accordingly, a mindless Christianity develops – you go through the motions of Christianity but you’re so busy all the time that worldliness and a lack of holiness are both present.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) – “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Who do you worship?
Kevin Swanson explains in this video that the worship of God is the most important thing we do. And yet, so often, we worship things other than God. Are we more impressed and consumed with ourselves or are we most impressed with God? Are there other things in our life that we worship instead of worshipping God? What matters most to us and what do we prioritize most in our lives?
Worship is something that happens as a result of a face-to-face encounter with the living God. A worship service is not necessarily worship - rather, it provides the context and opportunity for worship. Worship occurs when one is confronted with God, falls on their face, and gives true adoration to God.
Psalm 95:6 (NKJV) – “Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
What are the benefits of reading the Word of God aloud?
Marcus Serven explains in this video that the reading of Scripture is an element of worship and can be very beneficial to a church and family. In the worship service, when Scripture is read aloud, a pastor is bringing all the Word has to say to bear. The congregation is only hearing the Word.
There are different examples of reading God's Word aloud throughout Scripture and the effect that it had on its listeners. When Josiah rediscovered the law and read it aloud in public, the people wept because they hadn’t heard the Bible in a long time and it impacted them greatly. Also, when Ezra read the law after 185 years after Josiah read it, the people again fall down and weep.
The Word of God is powerful. In the New Testament, we see how Timothy was exhorted to publicly read the Word of God to the church. Similarly, fathers are to wash their wife in the Word. Fathers should also do the same with their children. Whether it’s at a public service or in your home, the reading of God's Word is critically important to growing in holiness.
1 Timothy 4:13 (NKJV) – “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
How has the Gospel been distorted and lost in America?
Jeff Pollard explains in this video that the heart of the problem of "American commercial religion" is that all too often, the Gospel is watered down and distorted. Many churches wrongly preach that "if you only believe" and "pray this prayer," you automatically go to Heaven when you die. However, when we look to Scripture, we see that it portrays an entirely different Gospel.
When the Gospel is preached throughout Scripture, the Gospel message always begins with God. This is because there must be a context in which to preach Christ. There must first be an explanation of God and of man’s condition. Then, man's need for Christ is explained. It is not enough to simply talk about Christ, but unsaved individuals must understand why they need Him. Once we have done that, we then have a responsibility to call them to repentance and faith.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NKJV) – “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
How does expositional preaching lead to the worship of God?
Craig Houston explains in this video that expositional preaching is essential to worship. Without such preaching, we don’t have worship, for it is from expositing Scripture that we learn and understand what true worship entails. While expositional preaching has fallen out of season, God always blesses it.
Accordingly, pastors need to be faithful in expounding the Scripture. It is not enough to give a brief message that is mainly dominated by thrilling stories and the hilarious jokes. To instruct their congregation about worship and about God, they must be faithful expositors of the Scripture.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV) – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
How does the fear of God give us the courage to stand up to evil men?
Craig Houston shares Proverbs 28:1, which says: "The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion." He explains that this passage relates to the fear of God. When you fear God, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, you can stand. You can be as bold as a lion.
There are numerous examples of men and women who feared God more than man and were even willing to die because they would not disobey or dishonor God. For instance, Daniel was willing to be thrown into the den of lions because he would not obey a wicked king. He trusted that God was able to protect him. Instead of fearing what man could do to him, he feared God more and went and prayed in the window three times a day.
We need to be Christians who fear God, are as bold as a lion, and are unwilling to bow down to today's culture in disobedience to God.
Ephesians 6:12-13 (NKJV) – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
How does the fear of God manifest itself in the life of both an unbeliever and believer?
Carlton McLeod explains that the fear of the Lord is manifested in the life of a believer by the love, reverence, awe, and passion that prompt the believer to obey God. It is the state of mental and emotional sanctification where the believer sees God as holy, and a reverent trembling results. It is the necessary characteristic of Christian discipleship where total obedience to the commands of Christ is seen as a loving response to a loving God.
It is a behavior-restraining element even in the hearts of those individuals who do not follow Christ. It is a cultural acknowledgment in the hearts of man regarding the laws of God. It is a necessary component to a godly society and it is an understanding that God will one day judge the earth and all who ever lived.
Romans 14:11 (NKJV) – "For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
How does doing things our way demonstrate we don't fear God?
Craig Houston explains in this video that we as sinful human beings like to handle things our own way or to accomplish tasks in the manner we desire instead of fearing God enough to say, “What would God want me to do” or "How would He want me to respond?"
God's Word teaches us that to obey is better than sacrifice. God desires obedience more than sacrifices. When we understand that, then what He wants for us matters more than what we want for ourselves. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." In other words, if you love Christ, fear Him and obey Him. Following Him should take priority above all else. His way alone is true and good. We are not to let pride get in the way of following the commands of Christ.
1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV) – “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”
Do you find yourself growing in the fear of God? Here, Paul Washer explains that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. This fear of God comes as a result of knowing God and knowing Him correctly. The more we comprehend who God is, the better we understand that He is holy and righteous, which leads us to fear Him more. Thus, the mature believer continually grows in his fear of God. Do you find yourself incrementally growing in the knowledge of God and your fear of God? Proverbs 9:9 (NKJV) – “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
It seems counterintuitive to say that those who fear God are most thankful. How can you feel thankfulness for God and fear God at the same time? Joel Beeke speaks of how thankfulness and the fear of God are friends. The people who are most thankful in this world are those who fear God. 1 John 3:1 declares, "behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us. that we should be called the sons of God."
Paul Thompson counsels us to stop reading the Bible for information and moral codes. Instead, read it to know who God is. Ask, "what does this tell me about God?" This liberates us from a wrong fear of God that prohibits us from really knowing Him.
Paul Washer answers the question, what keeps us from the fear of God? There is no secret. We simply need to saturate our lives in the scripture, to pray, and to be involved in a community of faith where the Word of God is proclaimed and a vision of God is central. Paul Washer says that in his personal life, "The ancients," the reformers, and Puritans have been a great help in gaining a more exalted vision of God.
God is infinitely angry with sin, yet He grants mercy to sinners through the shed blood of His Son. This is mercy. Infinite anger is replaced with infinite mercy by the atoning blood of Jesus. In this sense, the fear of God is a response to mercy. And, when someone grants you mercy, you want to draw near to them. You want to be with them. You do not want to run away... Gratitude turns to a fear that draws near. And those who fear God, not only run toward Him, they find that God draws near to them.
"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy" (Psalm 33:18).
Orthodoxy can exist without the fear of God. Doctrinal purity, outward religion, Church attendance, family worship, prayers, and any other thing you can name, can exist without the fear of God. But, when a person begins to see the glory of God, the fear of God grows. And when it does, joy breaks out. The dull drab life in external religion becomes a life of happiness. This is one of the marvelous fruits of the fear of God.
David made it clear that the fear of God is the way of happiness, "Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments" (Psalm 112:1).
Kevin Swanson asks, "Is God the great marshmallow grandpa in the sky, or the great tyrannical ogre in the sky?" Who is God? How should we think of Him? How does fear figure into our understanding of God?
Various attributes of God are listed in Ex 34:6-7:
“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."
In Matt 11:28-30, Jesus explained Himself:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
God shows us mercy by being kind unto us:
Psalm 117:2 "For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!"
In Psalm 141:5 David shows how discipline and rebuke are marks of kindness:
“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.”
The apostle Paul tells the Ephesian church of His tenderheartedness and how they ought to imitate Him:
Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Everything flows from our understanding of God. Clarence Simmons, calls this our "crowning problem," and he contends that we have to start with who God really is, if we ever hope to have a proper fear of God. For there can be no appropriate fear of God without a true knowledge of God. In order to reap the blessings from the fear of God, you must know the true God, not the god of your own invention. Yes, God is a "friend," but that's not all He is. Clarence recommends that we read Chapel Library's offerings by AW Pink on the Attributes of God and the "Sovereignty of God."
Joel Beeke tells a story of when he was in Scotland when he spoke to a shepherd who affirmed to him that sheep hear different voices, but only follow their own shepherd’s voice. Sheep will only follow the voice their shepherd, even though other shepherds are speaking. They will only follow his voice. Therefore, if Jesus has called you, He will be the central leadership force in your life. This desire to come to your shepherd is a mark of authenticity, and the evidence that you fear Him.
Knowledge without the fear of God is worthless. Math, science, history only have meaning when the fear of God is embraced. Everything goes sideways when the fear of God is lost. Science becomes more and more irrational and as a result
Are you tying all of your instruction to the fear of God? Is there an direct line between the fear of God and the math, science, history… you are teaching, or does it happen in a vacuum.
African pastor, Malamuolo Chindongo explains how the fear of God brings order to our hearts, homes and in all of society. His analysis of the African context - If you don’t fear God it means you have no conscience. He describes what happens in nations when men do not fear God – men abuse one another. But, when the gospel comes, peoples lives are changed and the abuse stops. This is true in every sphere… When God if feared, men and women are endeared.
So many of our troubles come from misplaced fear. We fear man, instead of God. Craig Houston speaks of the only appropriate fear… fear of God. He recites Prov 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight.” Only God is worthy of being feared.