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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST AND CHRISTIANITY

Samuel A CainAn intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15 ESV)

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, (2 Peter 1:5 ESV)

Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli have said: “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” Gallup and Castelli’s research shows the same trend among people who say they are Christians. Bible knowledge is decreasing, even among Christians.

Has the church become ineffectual in communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is the modern church providing its members with the knowledge necessary to do battle with the philosophies of materialism and moral-relativism that have profoundly influenced our culture? Has the knowledge of Christ and Christianity been put on a back-burner?

Perhaps, the church has taken on too many ministries which have resulted in the neglect of serious Bible study. In Romans 15:14, Paul expresses his satisfaction with the Roman Christians because they were, “… filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” Paul even prays for the Philippians (1:9) that their “… love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” Continue reading

WHO SPEAKS FOR CHRISTIANITY?

wolf false compassionDo not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 ESV)

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16 ESV)

Renewing our minds by the Word of God is essential in this fallen world. There is substantial deception taking place in the culture-friendly modern church. Luke writes, “… And from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30 ESV)

Do not allow other people to direct you in a way that is offensive to God. Those who casually abandon sound doctrine for speculations about new teachings must be avoided if they will not be instructed in the error of their ways. Continue reading

SOUND TEACHING

preachingBut as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1 ESV) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV)

A huge problem in the modern church is the “itching ears” disease. Many of our churches have accumulated pastors who believe that preaching is giving a talk on what you think the congregation wants to hear. These pastors know that the people in the pews want to feel good about themselves. This is why we hear of such sermon titles as “How to Command Angels,” “Secret Sources of Power,” “Dream and You Will Win the World,” and “You Can Have Your Best Life Now.” Most of these sermons contain more pop-psychology than the Gospel.

Too many preachers are basing their sermons on modern psychology and philosophy along with a couple of phrases of Scriptures. These sermons focus on the hearer and not the Glory of God. They fail to teach Christian doctrine and promote a self-conceived (unbiblical) notion of Jesus. After all, the congregation is more interested in emotionalism than sound teaching. Continue reading

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