Six Commitments in Walking by Faith

Six Commitments in Walking by Faith

Because we walk by faith, it must have challenges; otherwise, we would not need the God-given faith. Our only evidence that our faith is in God is how we walk by faith. Everyone does walk by faith; the question is, “faith in what?” The evidence of faith illustrates whether our faith is in God or elsewhere. God intends us to love Him as He loves us. He loves us unconditionally—we are totally undeserving of it. God’s love is a matter of choice. God gives us our faith to walk with Him regardless of the challenges and to love Him as a matter of choice. Joni Eareckson Tada is perhaps the greatest example of this in our time. As a quadriplegic, she has demonstrated this choice of faith in God and impacted countless lives. Her ministry of Joni and Friends distributes wheelchairs and other aids to indigent people all over the world. They share their faith while doing so. She has influenced the lives of many people who had no reason to hope. (Joni has published a book telling her story.) She had every worldly reason to run from God but has stayed the course, even though in tremendous pain. She says she simply turns it over to Jesus. I believe that if you intend to walk with Jesus there are some commitments you must first make: 1. The bible is the infallible Word of God and the inerrant Word of God. The giant question for those who do not agree with this, yet profess Christianity is what then is your source for knowing God? 2. You must continually work...
Are you teachable?

Are you teachable?

“And when He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?’” Matthew 21:23 Jesus performed miracles in the presence of scribes and Pharisees, and they asked Jesus this question. “Doing these things” pertained to the miracles they witnessed. Assuming that Jesus was unable to control the natural order, who gave Him the authority/ability to alter the natural order? If I see what I believe, rather than the opposite, how do I avoid what these religious authorities did? If I saw a man performing miracles, and he preached as truth that which differs from my understanding of the Bible, how would I respond to him? Jesus therefore answered their question with a question, to which they responded: “…but if we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’” Matthew 21:26-27 How do I avoid allowing culture to shape my assumptions of reality? All are teachable. The question remains, “From whom will I learn?” When I say a person is not teachable, I merely suggest that he refuses to learn from me. For more articles by Walt...
Grace and Truth

Grace and Truth

I have been very troubled and concerned by a thinking I am finding in the Christian movement. It is now being displayed and revered in the institutional Churches. In a nutshell, what it is saying is that Grace trumps all aspects of the discipleship life (i.e. our response to Truth-Obedience). They say because of the love from God, we can disregard the warnings and provisions of the bible on commands (especially the Old Testament) and observations. God’s love checkmates His response of anger, our response of the fear of Him, etc. to our sin. We should focus on a true expression of love and have acceptance of all behavior. It is being said that no one or behavior should be criticized and especially from the pulpit. Also, there is a sensitivity that we might be hurting people’s feelings if we note their misbehavior and state they could be going to Hell. As the new generation says to me about the sexual deviancy, they were “just born that way”. This thinking is embedded in this generation, so much so that a leader of a major church said to the congregation that we need to ignore commands or observations from the Old Testament. He was not challenged but applauded. I have seen, over my life, this concept /thinking in the Church. So much so that today’s church has been neutered. Here is a sample of some of the compromises that I have witnessed over the last 70 years in the “family” church. The thinking and direction was compromises so the church could stay relevant with the culture. 1. Any reason is...
Two Sides of the Same Coin

Two Sides of the Same Coin

John 10: 7  So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9  ”I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (Observation) Jesus is the door to the pasture. The “pasture” is abundant life. The sheep know Him. There is no one else that the sheep know. (Interpretation) I suggest to you that the sheep in the pen are those who are waiting for their “shepherd,” the promised Messiah. Further, I suggest to you that the sheep will know Jesus when he calls, because they were predestined by God to be saved “and go out and find pasture,” in other words, eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus explains further in John 10 below that there are “other sheep” who also are destined to hear His voice, that is the gentiles, who will join “the fold” when they hear the good news about Jesus and believe it. (Cross-reference) Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. John...
Sacrificing Truth

Sacrificing Truth

Throughout Scripture we are exhorted to follow, believe, do, understand, speak, know, trust in, and be in, the truth. Our post-modern understanding of truth is a funny thing, though, and we’ve gotten far off the mark these days. R.C. Sproul’s definition of truth is “…that which conforms to reality as it is perceived by God.” This simple definition works for me and in this context, I am the chief of sinners. Certainly, most believers see this problem as it exists in the world today, but I contend that this is even more prevalent within the church than without – which may be a much greater evil. Here are five ways in which I’ve witnessed my own the sacrificing of truth: 1. Call it cultural. If it wasn’t meant for me, I don’t have to do it. 2. See No Evil. If we intentionally ignore evil, we aren’t accountable for it. 3. My Truth, Your Truth. There are many “truths,” and one is as good as the next. At the heart of this deception is the “figurative vs. literal” debate. I do not want to live in a world where I get to determine what is true. 4. The Sliding Scale. Perhaps the most prevalent, easiest to adopt, and hardest to recognize, this deception suggests that some “truths” are more important to God than others. 5. Love Conquers All. “Loving” others while disobeying God is to hate God, clear and simple. J. C. Ryle once quoted “Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of Peace.” I do not know how narrow the gate...
Right and Wrong: Who Decides?

Right and Wrong: Who Decides?

“…but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6 A friend facing a moral dilemma recently said to me “I am struggling with my decision, but I want to do the right thing”. As we talked together in an attempt to work through the issue, I asked the question, “Do the right thing by whose standards?” This seems to be the key question as we face many of the difficult decisions of life and attempt to do what is right. “Do the right thing by whose standards” is the question. It is not that there is a lack of standards. Standards abound all around us. Everyone has their standards because everyone believes in moral absolutes. Meaning that everyone has a point where they declare what they believe to be right and wrong. At some point everyone will say “that is wrong” and in so doing they declare what is for them a moral absolute. The issue isn’t whether or not people believe in moral absolutes, the issue is who gets to decide what the moral absolutes are. That was the issue in the Garden of Eden and it is the issue today. A key distinction of being a Christian is that we affirm the fact that God gets to decide what is right and wrong and, in turn, we get to obey. To do otherwise is to expect to have a relationship with God on our terms as opposed to His. Something He is not anxious to do. As Followers of Jesus Christ we must not succumb to the pressure from the world...