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QUESTION: When Are We “Saved”?

This question came to me by direct email from a regular reader. There was more in his letter, but the question is exactly as he asked it.

I’m curious about the phrase “being saved.”  I find Paul uses it in 1 Cor.1:18 and 2 Cor. 2:15.  My class has challenged me with that as a point to say that we aren’t truly saved after baptism…we are just in a process of having the ability to be saved, if we remain “faithful”.

The passages read as follows: Continue reading

QUESTION: Re Being Filled with the Spirit

In two separate comments, following one of the posts in my recent Baptism in the Holy Spirit series one reader asked the following questions:

My question involves being “filled with the Spirit.” I have lots of thoughts circling my head about this, so I’ll try to put them down in a reasonable way.

To my understanding, we are filled with the HS at baptism. So that leads me to two thoughts:

1) I was baptized at 10yrs old, and no noticeable change occurred in my desires. In fact, it has only been recently to where I TRULY feel like the HS guides me in what I do.

2) I know/have several friends that aren’t baptized (as we are). Yet the seem to be (and claim) to be very Spirit-led in what they are doing. Passionate about serving God and loving their fellow man. Continue reading

Are You Driven Or Called?

He called those who were drawn to Him and avoided those who were driven and wanted to use Him. – Gordon McDonald

McDonald goes on in the next several pages to describe the “driven” person. Some of the traits he describes we might find attractive. Yet, taken together, these traits describe a person who does not have Jesus living at the core of his own being. Continue reading

OTHER VOICES: What Is Missing?

Two pieces of bread slapped together do not make a sandwich. Something is missing.

In his book Small Groups and Established Churches: Challenge and Hope for the Future, John Ellas mentions that people are on a “quiet quest” for a missing ingredient. Many Christians across the U.S. are finding themselves starving and hungry for something more, something with substance in their Christian experience. What is this needed substance? What is this missing ingredient? Continue reading

QUESTION: What Do Righteousness, Justified, and Sanctification Mean?

One of the readers of this blog asked the following question in a comment elsewhere. I have moved his question to this post and offer my reply below it.


I have another request to ask of you. I’ve come to an understanding that I have absolutely NO comprehension of the terms righteousness, justified, and sanctified.

These are obviously common “church” words that we hear often (and read in the scripture), and after a cursory study today, I’m all-the-more convinced that I completely lack understanding.

Honestly, the words make my head spin!

I began studying the words earlier as I was reading Romans 1:16-17, where Paul speaks of God’s righteousness. My bible had a footnote that Martin Luther claimed that scripture to be one of the most meaningful in his walk with Christ…but it took him most of his life to grasp the full meaning of the verse.

So I come to you asking for a basic analysis of these three terms. Continue reading

SERMON: How to Stand Firm

Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends – Philippians 4:1.

As long as I can remember, I have heard sermons exhorting the church to be steadfast – or as the New International Version renders it, “Stand Firm.” We see frequent passages urging this on us – like Continue reading

Walk in Wisdom – Ephesians 5:15-21

Where do you find wisdom?

Paul said the Gentiles walk in the futility of their thinking (Ephesians 4:17). By contrast, he says that in our new self, which we must put on (v. 24), we are to walk in wisdom. He describes that wisdom Continue reading

Walk in Light – Ephesians 5:8-14

Back in Ephesians 4:17-19, Paul said we are no longer to live as the Gentiles do: in futility of their thinking, in darkness of understanding, and lust for sensual indulgence. In chapter 5, he addresses each of these areas (taking them in reverse order) and shows how in Christ we have a superior way. Our last post dealt with 5:1-7 where Paul contrasts the lusts of the Gentiles with the love the Christ has for us – and which we are to have for Him and for one another.

Ephesians 5:8-14 contrasts the darkness of the Gentiles with the light that is in the Lord. Continue reading

Grieve Not the Spirit – Ephesians 4:25-32

What gives you grief about your children? Their “snotty,” independent attitude? Their sloppy, slovenly appearance? Their selfish indifference to their brothers and sisters – yes, even to their mother and father? Their shameful belief that the world (meaning you) owes them a living? Continue reading

SOUND DOCTRINE (11) – When It Is Absent….

When Sound Doctrine is present, God’s people are eager to maintain good works (Titus 3:8). Other than the absence of good works, what characterizes the absence of Sound Doctrine?

Arrogant Men Go Their Own Way

The Pastoral Epistles begin and end with a description of unsound doctrine, or unhealthy teaching – with Continue reading

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