Whatever happened to sin? The belief in sin, and the idea that someone could be referred to as a “sinner,” have all but disappeared from our permissive society. Sinful behavior has been explained away, excused, tolerated, defended, and now accepted by many people. To accommodate this “enlightened” view, the doctrines of sin and Hell have even disappeared from some churches.
The Bible tells us that the proper way for God’s people to deal with their sins and receive forgiveness is to confess these sins, repent, and pray to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9; Acts 8:22). When confronted with the reality of his sin, king David simply said, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). However, when some Christians are confronted with the sin in their life, they become defensive and seek to excuse the behavior that is under question. In this article we will consider some of the more popular methods that men and brethren use to rationalize their sinful behavior, and we will look at what the Bible says about such efforts. Continue reading » Rationalizing Sinful Behavior
Even casual discussions with friends and loved ones who are outside of the churches of Christ can reveal a very strange mythology that has developed around them.
They are sometimes mischaracterized, maligned, and ostracized on the basis of misunderstood or poorly explained practices. Not all the criticisms, of course, are unfair or false, even if the scriptural basis for the differences among us goes unexplored. It is the mythology about churches of Christ that concerns us now, the kind of thing one hears about them from those operating according to ignorance or malice. Continue reading » Legends of the Churches of Christ
While commissioning his disciples to go and preach His gospel, Jesus said, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33). Later in that conversation Jesus added, "He who doe not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it" (vs. 38-39).
The lesson is clear. Jesus demands loyalty. We must be on His side, we must be militant, we must be bold. It is unacceptable for us to hide our allegiance in the hope we will be spared by our enemies. There is no room for covert operations in the battle with Satan, we are required to boldly proclaim, "I am on the Lord’s side, Master here am I."
Continue reading » Video Script: With the Mouth Confession (10)
The apostle John wrote, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:15). A genuine profession of faith, upon which a faithful life is then predicated, creates a special covenant relationship between man and God, in which the two dwell together and in one another.
The New Testament goes so far as to make oral confession of faith a condition of salvation. Paul wrote, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). One needs an obedient mouth as much as a believing heart in order to accept the offer of grace from the father of lights.
There will be those who see the word “condition” in paragraph two and immediately object, stating that confession is not a condition of salvation, but merely a component of faith, which alone does save. Such a Calvinistic suggestion is easily refuted by proving that it is possible to believe without making confession. Continue reading » God Dwells in the Confessor
“Since there is neither command nor example of a confession of sin being made before the church, where is the authority for such a long time practice
First, it is good that scriptural authority is desired and demanded (Matt. 28:20; Col. 3:17; 2 Tim. 1:13)! Indeed, we must have such authority, else our work and worship is void and vain (Matt. 15:3-9; Acts 15:24; 2 Jn. 9). Second, just because an act (in this case, public confession) has been practiced for many years, does not make it right or approved in the sight of God. Infant baptism and sprinkling for baptism are both old traditions, but they exist without divine authority. Continue reading » Queries and Explications: Public Confession of Sin