False teaching invariably attacks, perverts or (at the very least) distorts the nature of Jesus Christ. Beth Moore, for example, reduces Him to a romantic playmate Who speaks directly to her and is “the bossiest thing.” For proper discernment, therefore, Christians must possess an accurate understanding of Christ’s nature.
Over the past few weeks we studied Paul’s prayer for the Colossian church to be filled with knowledge, wisdom and understanding. We also studied the way God qualifies believers to share in His inheritance. As we closed last week’s study, we shifted our attention from the Father to His Son, and Paul now picks up the discussion with Continue reading
Until I was 42, I was a registered Democrat. Interestingly, I usually crossed party lines when voting for presidents, but for the most part I believed that Democrats cared about the underprivileged. I saw no inconsistency between my Christian convictions and my political convictions other than an increasing support of abortion within my party.
In my defense, back then the Democrats made room for pro-life voters. Currently, I might note, the Republican party still has room for pro-choice voters and politicians such as Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker. So please understand that, back then, I sincerity believed my faith informed my politics.
In 1995, the abortion issue caused me to switch my party affiliation. When John and I began chatting online three years later, he helped me understand why the Republican view of the economy better addresses poverty. Now I believe I’m affiliated with a party that better reflects Biblical values.
Having said all that, I’m troubled Continue reading
Nobody really enjoys uncertainty. At least, I don’t. Like most women, I crave security, and struggle with the sin of anxiety when circumstances become questionable. Regretfully, I all too often respond to trials by metaphorically flailing my arms as I sink into the quicksand of despair and pragmatism.
We sink into all kinds of sands in the face of uncertainty and opposition, don’t we? Sometimes we trust in politicians, believing that certain political agendas will safeguard our country from ruin. Other times we trust in popular Christian teachers, ignoring their subtle deviations from Biblical doctrine. Still other times we, like me, fall into despair and then try to fix our situations through our own efforts.
But the Lord mercifully always brings us back to Himself, reminding us that He alone is our solid rock. And as we return to Him, we find His sufficient grace protecting us from the stormy trials and the rising waters of uncertainty. Best of all, we have assurance that His righteousness enables us, despite all the times we put our foot on foundations of sand, to stand before His throne without fault.
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“Oh DebbieLynne, no!” you’re saying. “Paul’s opening verses in Colossians don’t really talk about discernment. Can’t you just skip them?”
To be truthful, sisters, I seriously considered skipping these introductory remarks Paul made. Like you, I’m eager to get into the meat of the epistle! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even these verses possess nuggets of doctrine that can help us discern sound teaching. Remember — true discernment comes through Continue reading
Originally posted April 4, 2018
I believe evangelicals of the 21st Century have by and large lost the sense that God has saved us for His honor and glory. As we’ve incorporated Charismatic teaching and psychological principles into our weakened version of Christianity, we’ve accepted the mistaken idea that God exists to heal our bodies, expand our bank accounts, make our marriages satisfying and remove all temptation from us. We conveniently forget why He calls us to Him in the first place.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ~~1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
Anyone can distort the Bible into false promises of health, prosperity and your best life now, insisting that God wants us to be happy. But, even though the Lord is a good Father Who gives good gifts to His children, He doesn’t give those gifts to Continue reading
As a young Christian, I would get impatient when Bible Study teachers would spend time talking about the background to whatever book they taught. I just wanted to grab verses here and there that I could shoehorn into my immediate circumstances. Textual context only mildly interested me; I had absolutely no use for historical or cultural background, thank you very much!
So if you’re groaning at the title of this post, anticipating a boring history lesson about First Century Colossae, I understand. It’s not what you expected from a study on discernment.
Don’t close this article yet, ladies! You need to know that I’m writing a little about the background to this epistle precisely because it will enable us to see how Paul taught discernment without once naming the false teachers that he Continue reading
January is three short days away, and it’s understandable that we’re thinking about the New Year. Whether we make resolutions at this time of year or not, something in us feels an urge to start over — to avoid our past sins and to serve God better.
I applaud such aspirations. We should cultivate desires to serve and honor the Lord at all times of the year. He is worthy of such devotion! If New Year’s resolutions help you rekindle your love for Him, I most assuredly support you in making them! And if, like me, you approach repentance and sanctification as a daily process, I equally support you.
Either way, we can rejoice that God Himself takes our meager offerings of ourselves and uses those offerings for His glory. We can trust Him to consecrate us for Himself.
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