In a time of heightened false profession of faith in Jesus Christ, Christian apostasy, religious deceit all around and universal spiritual declension, the Christian faithful must stand on the Bible to declare its truths with clarity and power! Among those truths is what a real Christian is in person, character, lifestyle and deeds. To attract members and fill churches, too many pastors and churches have lowered the biblical standard of what a real Christian is so that there is no clear difference in a named Christian and a person that is not except in the so-called Christian’s profession of being one and church attendance if he goes. As this edited 2012 repost asserts, the difference is far deeper.
Originally Posted March 4, 2012
Not only does biblically defined faith fill the hearts of aspiring strong men in the image of Christ, but also zeal for the triune God! As I write in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,1 like the zeal of Jesus when He cleared the Temple courts of the merchants and money changers (John 2:13-17), there is a burning passion for God, the divine will, way and Word that drives authentic Christians beyond lip and nominal service. There is a fire in the soul and gut to live for and please God just as was also very evident in Bible saints such as Enoch, Daniel, Simeon, Anna, the prophetess and the apostle Paul (Genesis 5:21-24; Daniel 1; Luke 2:25-38; Philippians 3:7-14).
The apostle Paul makes it clear in Philippians 3:15-16 that he and other zealous Bible saints are not to be treated as exceptions, but the attitudinal rule or standard among all mature Christians. And that is the key: spiritual maturity. God already has planned for and built into His salvation program that those persons saved through faith in the Gospel of Christ enter in as newborn babies that must be fed and helped to grow into maturity by the instruction of His Word (1 Peter 2:1-3). While many churches today are failing to help new converts mature through proper instruction, God clearly puts the onerous on the individual believer to pursue maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14).
I write this after painful lessons learned as a pastor from newly professed Christians that backed away from being taught. While it is true that not everyone who professes faith in Christ is authentic, I wrestled with how many such souls were possibly created by my unclear proclamation of the Gospel or poor instruction on what salvation is truly all about. Later, I found all did receive the right information, but many had just not counted the cost (Luke 14:25-33). Even so, churches must do a better job of informing new believers that God expects them to grow into maturity and then helping them to do so as a matter of intentional discipleship not just general Bible study.
The fire of God powerfully brought and displayed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) burns in the soul of every genuine newborn Christian. So, zeal as a supernatural work of God in believers is manifested and operative at spiritual birth. Thereafter, through proper instruction the new convert is helped to understand this fire is normal, eternal (since the source, the Holy Spirit is eternal) and meant by God to overflow his life and service as a matter of character.2 The believer is also taught he is to do nothing that would quench the Spirit’s fire such as embrace again unbelief and self-sufficiency in any form or live in willful sin (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Finally, he is to be taught when God seems distant, it is absolutely okay to thirst for Him (Psalm 42:2)!
As seen in the lives of aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ, authentic, maturing Christians are far from living a mere profession of faith. They are eternally aglow with the fiery zeal of and for God in their hearts.3 Holy Spirit-filled living transcends mere human religious profession and effort in empty, dead and powerless religion (1 Corinthians 4:20).4 If your experience of Christianity is not as I have described, take your spiritual pulse and make sure you have been born again having truly believed the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ taught in the Bible (John 3:3-8; Romans 8:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
In a brief, 2012 New Year specific blog not to be reposted in full, I wrote the following unedited. “In a nut shell, the Gospel is God’s good news that out of the overflow of His love and grace, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ from Heaven to earth in order to suffer and die on the cross for the sins of the world. He was buried and rose again bodily on the third day that whoever will believe on Him and His sacrifice may in all repentance have their sins forgiven and be brought to eternal, spiritual life by the entry of the Holy Spirit into his inner being. It is a matter of faith and deep yearning to be right with God through prayer that the Gospel does its work in the human soul (Romans 10:6-13).” Moving beyond mere profession of faith, such souls live on purpose to please God and do His will.5
1 The book is available at all major internet book sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
2 Purposely introducing men to the Christian faith, teaching them biblical manhood which includes divinely willed Christ-like character in traits such as zeal to help them
mature in Christ, is the important work of The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study, available in the Strong Man Store.
3 Celebrating forty years as a Christian, I write about the zeal in me from and for my God and His causes in an April 23, 2017 post, Serving God From The Heart, under
the category, Glory To God!
4 See the August-September 2016 posts on Christianity as a powerless religion of human invention beginning with the two-part, Christianity The Religion Of Men on
August 21st under the category, Instruction.
5 This is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ!
Last week’s repost, “The Devil’s Bullpen” and this one form the February 2012 posts to which I refer in the opening paragraph of the two-part, “The Faith That Saves,” under The Faith category.1 Sadly, satanically inspired confusion over the exact origin and nature of the faith God requires to save a man continues to this hour. While some have wrongly made the faith that saves so high men need a special gift from God to exercise it, others have made it so low as to be mere words devoid of any heartfelt sincerity which Scripture teaches God requires (Romans 10:6-10). It is from out of the latter group that easy belief from a cheap grace arises and which this edited repost addresses.
The Lord Jesus likens a man’s heart of faith to be saved to that of a trusting little child (Matthew 18:1-5). Such faith is anything but empty words. As every parent knows, trusting little children constantly and consistently look to them wide-eyed to take care of them and meet their every need. So it is with us who are saved by grace through faith in the living God! Unlike human parents though, that weary with their children’s dependent faith, God is pleased with and encourages the growth of it in His.
Originally Posted February 26, 2012
The Lord has led me to follow-up last week’s blog on Whitney Houston’s death to address the issue of faith that endures to salvation as is plainly taught in His Word. This faith is in contrast to that which passes for it in the lives of so many professing to be Christians today. It is the faith that fills the heart of and is a matter of character in every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.2
As many in our nation are physically flabby, so, many professed Christians are spiritually. Consequently, they are weak, effortlessly seduced and perpetually overcome by Satan, sin and self. One major reason for this is the easy belief in Christ and the Gospel that many pastors and churches accept without question or follow with genuine discipleship in their eagerness to fill seats. Essentially, all one has to do to be pronounced a Christian these days is say with the lips, “I believe.” And while there is a real place for not making ourselves judges of the heart, God surely expects us to pay attention to the attitudes, lifestyle and behavior of those who have said, “I believe,” (Matthew 7:15-20).
According to Hebrews 11:6, the faith that saves and endures to completion is two-fold. First, it is confidence and trust in as well as reliance on the truth that God is. That is, that God exists. Though this is good, in my experience it is unfortunately where many people stop in their faith. They often struggle for a lifetime because while they believe there is a God, they are unwilling to accept His judgment of them, repent and take the next step to embrace the Gospel for deliverance (John 3:16-21; Romans 3:9-26). Of course, many of those persons are not truthful at all about believing God exists since if they really did, like the demons, they would be in terror of their Judge (Isaiah 6:1-5; James 2:19)!
The few--relatively speaking--that press on into salvation are those who not only believe God is, but that He is also “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6b, NKJV). This is the second aspect of the faith that saves and endures to completion. Diligence has to do with pursuing something with all perseverance and painstaking effort. Diligence is so important to God, it is purposely built into the lives of His aspiring strong men and great women of God as a character trait.3 In repentance and the two-fold faith that pleases God, then, folk believe the Gospel and cling steadfastly to God’s promises contained therein through many trials and tribulations to the death (Matthew 5:10-12, 10:21-22, 24:9-13; Hebrews 3:14, 10:32-12:2; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Revelation 12:11).
Salvation is of faith from beginning to end (Romans 1:16-17). “Without faith it is impossible to please” God and be saved, much less live for Him (Hebrews 11:6a, NKJV). Sobering, is it not? Therefore, I urge you dear reader, to see if you are really a Christian and repent from any easy belief that has deceived you. I also urge you to get my book to learn what God from the Bible expects your life to look like as one professing to know Him in faith. You will be shown how to live with the “blessed assurance” and victory of biblical faith in Christ that endures to the saving of the soul. No one will question from your lifestyle and deeds at your death whether you really knew Christ or not.
1 The Faith That Saves Pt. 1 was reposted April 6, 2014 followed the next week by Pt. 2.
2 The book is available at all major internet book sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 Purposely teaching men biblical manhood in Christ’s image includes teaching them His holy character God wills to build into their lives. Half of the twenty-six week
Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study is spent doing this. Learn more.
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