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Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Comments (25)

First, listen to this 5-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Here's the topic for today's discussion:

Standing on the foundation of Scripture is a body of truth that you must believe. If you reject that body of truth, you are not a Christian.

First, can we agree that a true Christian is someone who embraces those truths by faith?

Second, which of those truths are the subjects of evangelical sermons, books, and media today?

Third, what can we do (as individual Christians) to see that evangelicalism is characterized once again by proclaiming all those truths faithfully? In other words, what can we do to restore the evangel to evangelicalism?


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#1  Posted by Philip Malan  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 4:09 AM

Firstly , I agree that the Bible is the Word of God. Secondly , it is hard to say if evangelists of today even embrace the truth of the Bible , except for a few. The only thing we can do to restore things is to keep up the good work of spreading the Gospel with full truth and integrity.

#7  Posted by Tim Wallander  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 8:49 AM

McArthur say we should believe those doctrines fundamental to salvation those which are clear. I agree. But, what about the other teachings or commandments that are given in scripture that are not necessarily fundamental to salvation, clear commandments that Professing Christians refuse to submit to. Like the role of women in church. How can a Christian reject any portion of scripture when it is perfectly clear? Doesn’t that bring everything else they believe and profess into question? Isn’t obedience a sign of salvation?

#8  Posted by Estella Loera  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:05 AM

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#4  Posted by Briget Beal  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:29 AM

I just love the firm soundness that John preaches in this message. Yes, it's true that there are many things in the Bible that I don't understand. But I DO understand and believe without a shadow of doubt that Jesus is GOD! Did I always believe this, no! But once I heard the Gospel and God's amazing grace took hold of my life, the lights went on for me. Oh, how I praise God for His patience, grace and love in my life. Because someone took the time to share the Gospel with me and tell me the TRUTH about Jesus, I'm saveed today! Without hearing this truth and embraceing this truth I would be lost and dammed forever. God in His rich mercy pulled me from the pit I was in and set my feet on solid ground!

#5  Posted by Jennifer Cordeiro  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:41 AM

thank you Grace to You. :)

#6  Posted by Mike Sexton  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:46 AM

1. Absolutely...One can only be shown to be a true Christian if they embrace the truths discussed, by faith, however I think we must state clearly that just because a person believes these truths to be right...it doesn't make them a Christian. It's the same as the common statement, "I believe in God." With regards to the state of the soul, it means very little. (James 2:19) But the believer must EMBRACE these truths. The Oxford American dictionary defines the verb form of embrace as:

• hold (someone) closely in one's arms, esp. as a sign of affection : Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly | [ intrans. ] the two embraced, holding each other tightly.

• accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically : much of the population quickly embraced Islam.

• include or contain (something) as a constituent part : his career embraces a number of activities—composing, playing, and acting.

To embrace means that we must love this truth, we must accept and support it enthusiastically and we must be found to contain it within us. It must permeate every area of our lives. Scriptural authority and truth is not something to be spoken of in passing. If we hold to it, we must hold to it eagerly and with great affection.

2. The problem with using the term Evangelical is that it has come to encompass so many different things today. I know several evangelical ministers who wholeheartedly teach each of truths that Pastor MacArthur spoke of and are sure to doggedly adhere to scripture in doing so. So many others however have detached these truths from any concrete foundation and have re-imagined them for a wholly secular audience which I believe is a great heresy. I can find no place in scripture (Please correct me on this if I am wrong as this is a very serious idea...) where the whole council of Scripture is for anyone other than the elect...excepting of course for the gospel which is to be preached to all the world. I believe that the watering down of the truths we're discussing for the purpose of relevancy is exactly what the Bible is referring to as "casting our pearls before swine." (Matthew 7:6) That is not to say we are to be hateful or aggressive to those without the truth. We should love all, but we must not compromise the truth in the name of "giving them the gospel."

3. The only way that we can return to this is to both insist our pastors preach the steadfast gospel, and to make sure that those in leadership, strictly meet the requirements of the Word. (1 Timothy 3:1-7 , with particular emphasis on the phrase "able to teach" in verse 2.) More than this, we must devote ourselves to studying the word and trusting the Holy Spirit to guide us in rightly dividing the word of truth rather than simply trusting the preacher to provide our full education. Otherwise, how will we know that they are telling us the truth?

#7  Posted by Briget Beal  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:23 AM

I also think that the proof is in the pudding. My life must reflect the life of Christ in me. I can say all day long, I'm a Christian, I'm a Christian, but in the end if my life reflects nothing of Christ and His teachings, then I'm deceived. It took me a long time to get to this place where I'm at in my beliefs today and I am very sensative to what my mouth says about my Christian walk. I want unbelievers to see the Lord in me. That is my prayer daily, that God's love and light will show the people I encourter each day, Jesus reflected in my walk, as well as my talk!

#8  Posted by Enrique Herrera  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:26 AM

Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is Good! Psalm 118:1a...

Thank You can you please continue bringing Truth...

#9  Posted by Roger Radjeski  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:38 AM

Wrote a Four Part blog on this topic... that Validates ONE belief in the Word of God!

http://truth459.blogspot.com/2009/11/pseudo-false-christians-101.html

Thanks for a great message, John... as Always!

#10  Posted by Chris Forest  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 10:45 AM

To stand on the truth is not easy. Our own commitment to the truth is tested everyday. Being a follower of Jesus is probably the most difficult thing to do in our society. That is if we follow Him in the authentic truth. Not the so called truth that is being preached in most pulpits. But the truth which divides the phoney from the true follower. We have been listening to John MacArthur for over 15 years now, and it is clear that He is preaching truth. We pray for Him constantly. He is a true follower of Christ. Thanks be to God for His provision. Grace to You ministries are blessing so many.

#11  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 11:37 AM

Tim #7 “But, what about the other teachings or commandments that are given in scripture that are not necessarily fundamental to salvation, clear commandments that Professing Christians refuse to submit to.”

The Puritans understood the difference between a “Professing” Christian and a true Christian. Obedience is not optional. Obedience is the evidence of the new birth as revealed in Jeremiah 31:33, Ezekiel 11:19, 20, Ezekiel 36:26, 27. Obedience “justifies” faith as being a biblical saving faith (see James 2:20, 21).

You ask “Like the role of women in church. How can a Christian reject any portion of scripture when it is perfectly clear? Doesn’t that bring everything else they believe and profess into question? Isn’t obedience a sign of salvation?”

God’s Word is not silent. “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” 1 Corinthians 14:37. (What greater authority could he cite?)

“But if anyone does not recognize” (The alpha in the Greek as in the negative of what follows, and [1097 in the Strong’s] the word for “know” as in “I never knew you”) [this] he is not recognized.” This is a deadly serious warning regarding the satanic infiltration of feminism in the “church”.

Some manuscripts read “is ignorant let them be ignorant” which is also a declaration of judgment upon the Satanic infiltration of feminism in the church. Check out your concordance and notice how often the phrase “I would not have you to be ignorant my brethren” or similar phrases occurs. We see the same type of declaration of judgment in the book of Ezekiel “‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.” (Ezekiel 3:27b) and in the book of Revelation “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy” (Rev. 22:11) Feminism in the church is deadly!

Peter exhorts godly women to adorn their “hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” The Greek word very costly describing the perfume in Matthew 26:7 is Greek word rendered precious in 1 Peter 3:4. Godly men need to get rid of their panty hose and boldly contend for the faith and godly women need to stop being contentious in their use of the word of God.

I ask you women. Are you blind to the fact that when you take up the word of God to “contend” in His name strong Godly men disappear from the scene? Have you not read that the “man” (no Greek word for husband) who is disobedient to the word is won without the word by observing your chaste and reverential behavior? To you women who are not “Professing” Christians but are true Christians indeed, I beg you; Do not underestimate the power of your feminine “witness”. Our God is infinitely wise in all that He does! –His Unworthy Slave

#12  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 12:20 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Post #11 Douglas Grogg

I wholeheartedly agree with about 90% of what you wrote. The other 10% I just don't fully understand. I would appreciate clarification on your last paragraph please. Is this regarding women in a Pastor/Teaching position specifically or are you refering to women in general? I do not believe that Women should be pastors under any circumstance as it violates the word of God. I am just trying to get a handle on if you believe that women should not be verbally contending for the faith and that should only be left up to men. (I understand that we contend in action with our mouth closed as well.) I ask because you asked us and I can't answer unless I know what you mean - you used the word contend not preach so I'm not quite clear.

The sad fact is - if you stand onthe word of God you will definitely be seen as being contentious. There is NO way around that. Look at it even without words: I was at a dinner with my mom and sisters (2 RC's and an Oprahite)....they wanted to drink and go gambling. I did not drink and I went with them and sat next to my mom while she gambled - I did not gamble or say one thing to her about it except "no thanks, I'll just watch you" when she kept trying to get me to gamble. I was cordial and sweet and pronounced no judgement whatsoever to any of them. The next morning I woke up to a female pow wow which had clearly been taking place for some time and they pronounced judgement on me for being 'judgemental' by not partaking! That I was judging them by my...get this... "silence and non participation". I just told them that I didn't have to judge them because it was clear their hearts were convicting them. No matter what they said I stood firm. I know they love me, but they hate my faith. I love them - but not more than my faith in Jesus Christ.

#13  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 12:48 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

This part: "Standing on the foundation of Scripture is a body of truth that you must believe." Is so important, because I'm sure we all run across people who will whip out one verse and say "Well, I believe that verse so I am a Christian". Take John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Many people claim to believe in that verse. But they believe Mary's egg was used to make Jesus Christ, or that Jesus is really just an angel in heaven, or any number of other things. They do not understand the term 'begotten'....or 'believe in Him' - what it is that is, that they must believe about Him. They don't understand the "body" of information behind a word.

#14  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 1:59 PM

# 13, Shauna.

That's interesting what you just said: "They don't understand the "body" of information behind a word." This is exactly what I believe as well. It's not only to profess a name (anyone can profess any name, there's no power in a name), but the entire body of doctrine that's in the Lord Jesus Christ (these 3 words say so much!).

Yes, I believe that in order for one to be a true Christian, one must believe those essential, non-negotiable truths. I for one am happy to have an absolute truth, never changing God. I don't see these essential doctrines taught very often. I don't watch tv at all, and wouldn't waste my time watching "tv evangelists" (I get really really upset when I hear about their heresies), I am just going by what I see in my community. There's no real understanding of Truth anymore (and I am not referring to the world), instead our leaders (as in church leaders, and I am generalizing, I am sorry) have come to a "safe" place, where they can please everyone and be happy. I wonder how many realize that omission is the same thing as teaching false teaching?

The third question: I personally continue to affirm those truths over and over again. I learned from a very blessed man of God that no matter what the conversation, discussion, argument, topic is, we must always find a way to turn that into the proclamation of the Gospel. Do I always do this? no. A lot of times I go home realizing I missed a good opportunity. The only thing that matters is the Gospel. But I also agree that is not only in words that we proclaim it, words are empty if obedience doesn't follow, and sometimes (in my case anyway) I obey by being silent and doing what I am supposed to do. =) Only another woman can understand that, I guess.

grace and peace,

E.

#15  Posted by Jennifer Cordeiro  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 2:07 PM

Brother Grog, thank you for your admonition, and kind reminder. And thank you to my husband who has been faithful to teach me and admonish me about my role. And thanks most of all to the Lord Jesus for paying for my sins and to God the Father for His great mercy, and forbearance to teach us over and over again the same lessons with patience.

I used to be a feminist. No one could tell me what to do, and I would not be silent before any man. I thought that any woman who did this was a fool. I knew only strife and contention in all my relationships and especially with authority. I was a miserable person.

Then God, in His great mercy, saved me.

When God first introduced me to my husband, my husband told me about what God said was the role of women. It seemed wrong to me, and I was scared of this teaching.

Today I know it is true.

Being silent, and putting into practice God’s Word is extremely hard for me to do. At this point, I think that I fall down more than I move forward in this. But I believe God’s Word to be true, and I see the fruits of following this teaching in my marriage and my heart.

Our marriage used to be terrible. Our pastor even used me as a negative sermon example of a woman who is contentious. This was my doing. I had destroyed it. I always talked back, had an answer for everything, and never listened to my husband. Our pastor preached a sermon about this: for women, to keep silent and listen. I started trying.

Today our marriage is so full of peace, love and fellowship. We help each other in the roles God has given us. I had it very easy because my husband, by God’s grace, is a righteous man-and even so, it has been very hard for me to be silent-just a reflection of my own sin and folly, and a tribute to God’s amazing mercy.

One great impression I had was of a woman who stands out in my mind as one of the people who has spoken most loudly to me-without ever saying a word. She came every week to church-quietly, gently and with a glowing countenance. Her only prayer request always was for the salvation of her unbelieving husband.

I would encourage all Christian women to try to walk in obedience to this command. As I have tried this God has shown me so many things, not the least of them a great appreciation for His mercy and the fact that I am given a fresh start every time I fail! :)

By the way our pastor did not use my name or anything in the sermon. We had also moved out of the country when he preached this. But I was still listening to his sermons on my ipod and I recognized myself in the actions he was describing. I later asked him if it was I, and he said yes! We all (my husband our pastor and I) had a good laugh about it. He is a dear brother and faithful Pastor-also by the grace of God. :)

#16  Posted by Roger Radjeski  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 2:30 PM

Women as Pastors is prohibited by the Word of God. Please find an explination here in my Blog...

http://truth459.blogspot.com/2009/08/female-pastors-101-blog.html

Thanks, In Christ, Roger.

#17  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 2:49 PM

Shauna #11

I am not referring to only women in a “Pastor/Teaching” position, such a thing is an abomination to the Living God. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 establishes some fundamental doctrines. Though being made in the image of God, woman is the glory of man while man is the glory of God (1 Corinthians 11:7). We see also that man was not created for the sake of the woman but it was woman who was created for the sake of man (1 Corinthians 11:9). While we may not fully understand all of the significance of these truths, it is God’s revelation to us nonetheless. We dare not take these truths lightly. Both the world in which we live, and the apostate “church” is at war with these truths. We would do well to study the lives of the Puritans to see how they “fleshed out” these truths in their day to day living. We will be led astray if we follow the examples of our day.

Paul does not address life within the assembly until 1 Corinthians 11:17 and following. Pursue those glorious truths outlined by Peter in 1 Peter 3: 1-6 and take note of just how powerful your “feminine witness” truly is. Observe also the transformation in the life of your husband also. Be patient and God will reward both your faithfulness and your patience. To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. –His Unworthy Slave

#18  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 4:01 PM

Shauna #12 & # 13 and all the rest -

I have so enjoyed MacArthur’s sermon – a small snippet was played at the beginning of this blog. I have listened and read it many times. In fact I highly recommend all to listen to the entire “Deliverance” messages (8 in all). Thanks to GTY for making this valuable resource available to all.

Shauna – I can really relate to your situation. I have many family members still in the RCC. Let me briefly tell you about a desperate situation. My Dad is dying from ALS and is deteriorating rapidly and he is still entrenched in the RCC system. However, for the last several months my sister (a fellow believer) and I, along with my Mom & Dad have been getting together every Thursday for a few hours to read and discuss Scripture. We are getting towards the end of Luke and we have been stressing to my Dad of his need to trust in Christ completely for his salvation. He says he understands that and agrees with it but when we get into parts of Luke – especially where our Lord has the confrontations with the Jewish leadership and their false works system we inevitably bring up Rome and the false works system they have set up. When I ask my Dad about it he just can’t cut the strings totally from Rome. I ask him “why not?” and his answer is “I just want to be sure – I want to cover all my bases.” This is so sad for me. In fact – some of my RC family members have given him scapulars and prayer cards with a picture of the virgin “Mary”. My Mom (an Opraphite who thinks that being a good, sincere person is the ticket to heaven) has even given my Dad some “holy” water they had received from Lourdes France years ago. My Dad hasn’t refused any of it. It seems as though Dad is convinced of many of the essentials of Christianity but I don’t think it is enough – he is still hanging on to so much of what is false! MY DESPERATE PLEA AND PRAYER IS FOR GOD TO DO A WORK ON MY DYING FATHERS HEART AND BRING FULLY INTO A SAVING RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM! I ASK ALL MY FELLOW GTY BLOGGERS TO PLEASE REMEMBER AND PRAY FOR MY FATHER (PATRICK). My Dad has heard a few messages from John (I had given him the “Battle for the Beginning” series about creation vs. evolution – he enjoyed that). Just today I had downloaded and put on my Dad’s laptop all 8 messages on “Deliverance” from MacArthur. He says he's going to listen.

Thanks to all the GTY bloggers who fellowship in the TRUTH!

Maranatha! Dan

#19  Posted by Asutosh Regulagadda  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 4:14 PM

Replying to "#7 Posted by Briget Beal"Amen to what you said. I am only now learning to live the life God commands me to live. I've been a christian for a long time now, but only now am I learning to walk the talk and then talk the walk.You are so right when you said that no matter how hoarse I may make myself shouting aloud that I am a christian, if Christ is not reflected in me.Your faith is only so genuine as your walk. Rest all is nothing but hypocrisy.

#20  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 4:26 PM

1) Yes, because faith's fundamental ingredient is "the truth". This is shown by the frequency with which Scripture shows faith as knowing, believing, and obeying the truth.

2) Much of what I see today has to do with making Christianity and the Scripture more acceptable and agreeable to an increasingly disinterested generation of young professionals. The emphasis is on successful living, or "impress with success". Human viewpoints about Scripture have become more authoritative than the Scripture itself, and there is all sorts of room for disagreement.

3) What Jesus did and taught separates Christianity from everything else. Satan has launched an onslaught of error in the closing days of the Church Age. We must not be distracted from offering our time and resources to make Jesus known.

#21  Posted by Lisa Robinson  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 4:35 PM

to #14 i know exactly what you are talking about. i to have missed many opportunities, but just like on my job lots of times i am very quiet and praying that someone will notice. i know for myself that im very different but i know thats fine. its very hard to witness to a evil world,but like another bloger said about casting pearls before swine i whole heartley agree.

#22  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 6:01 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

#17

I'm still not clear as to what specifically you are referring to. My husband was born again this past summer. I was born again shortly after we were married and he went from having an executive career oriented wife to a stay at home, home schooling wife. While he ultimately had the final decision making in our marriage I can't think of one time where he hasn't sought my input (of course he had previously been accustomed to me making my own decisions as had he). But when it came to matters of faith and raising our children I stood firm, even when he disagreed. I would always get out my Bible and explain my position from scripture. While he didn't like it he would say "ok". I prayed for his salvation for 10 years, patiently yet unyieldingly. When he was asked what finally brought him to seriously consider his need for salvation, he replied that it was observing his "strong willed (in the faith)" wife who acquiesed to him, yet always stood firm in the faith to him and to her family (who makes sport of testing me). He realized that I didn't teh typical 'lip service' faith that he so often witnessed in 'Christians' and had always found hypocritical. He saw in me a faith he had only heard of. I praise God for that as does he.

On a clarifying note - it was brought to my attention that when I use comments like "sir, ma'am and with all due respect" that many people read that as extreme sarcasm. I explained though, that having been brought up in a strict military family (every male member of my family since the 1800's has faithfully served this country) and having a husband who was in the Army (a "civi" would never have fit in my family) that we have always used those terms - or as kids we would have had the proverbial "tanned hide" and that especially when you are about to disagree with someone you always preface it with "With all due respect...." (I'm going to disagree). I suppose unless you've grown up on a base that won't be understood. So it seems that some have read it as sacrasm because that is how they would mean it so they transferred their opinion of it onto my words. Like most people, I pretty much hope we type what we mean and mean what we type....without any additional emotive inference.

#23  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 7:29 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Dan,

I will certianly remeber your father, Patrick, in my prayers and I will put him on our prayer list at church. Keep giving him the truth (and that series on Deliverance, as you well know, is excellent!) of Gods Word. I've seen so many times where people have prayed (even for years) and then a person has been delivered to the truth of Jesus Christ and Salvation in Him alone. That's what keeps me praying for my family and giving them the Gospel. My Dad is also in bad shape and as I will be seeing him soon pray for us as well. He will listen, but he also just continues to cling to his hard heart. He used to always tell us this story when we were kids of how, when he was in Vietnam, mail day was a big deal. And everytime he opened a letter from his mother (a born again Christian who wrote both her sons during war faithfully) it was full of scripture and the plan of salvation. He said it made him mad because he just wanted to know what was going on back home with "Billy Bob" and Suzy Q" (his terms for people in general in town) and not all that "Bible stuff". As an unsaved kid I felt bad for my dad and angry at my grandmother that she kept writing him scripture letters instead of what he wanted without all that. Now I understand that she was giving him something far more important than what he wanted....she was giving him what he needed, as only a saved mother would, especially when her sons were off at war. I remember that whenever I talk to my folks.

#24  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, March 11, 2010at 9:02 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

#14 Elaine, You wrote: That's interesting what you just said: "They don't understand the "body" of information behind a word." This is exactly what I believe as well. It's not only to profess a name (anyone can profess any name, there's no power in a name), but the entire body of doctrine that's in the Lord Jesus Christ (these 3 words say so much!).

I think this problem came about with the easy believism gospel. People were given a verse or two and wanted acknowledgement that someone agreed with it and then people believed they were saved. That was how I was given the gospel in my younger years...I never understood the "body" of things behind the words, so I didn't "get it". While I understand now, that same approach allows is widely used and allows people to believe that they are saved. I know a lady who says "Well, I believe John 3:16 so I am saved, but I also believe that every religion will lead you to God and that we will all go to heaven by our own path". Those are contradictory statements. I do not see how someone can be delivered and say that. They can't.

#25  Posted by Joseph Whiting  |  Tuesday, March 16, 2010at 12:32 PM

Praise God. It just made my day to read that. Also, it gives a refreshed sense of urgency to witness to others.