The Lies of the Devil

May 31, 2007

The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed that he is the Truth. The opposite of Christ is antichrist; the opposite of the Lord Jesus Christ is the devil himself. “When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

The believer in Christ is able to discern by the power of the Holy Spirit what is of God and what isn’t. “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The problem is that most Christians do not know this is true, or do not believe it to be true. But God has renewed our minds (Romans 12:2). It is true.

Unfortunately, the believer is not untouchable by the devil’s lies. Satan is still the tempter and deceiver, even to those set free by Christ. He tempted Adam and Eve in the garden before they had ever sinned. He tempted Jesus Christ in the desert, and he did not sin. The Christian is not untouched by the devil’s attacks, to the lies that the forbidden fruit is really sweet and God didn’t really mean what he said.

However, the Christian has been set free and has been given the power over the devil and his schemes. Our position in Christ Jesus is a position of victory, Satan being crushed under the feet of our glorious Lord (Ephesians 2:6). Because of who we are in Christ, we already have victory. We just need to walk in it.

We talk a lot about truth here, about the existence of absolute truth and what that truth is exactly. Christians do not deny these things. However, sometimes the Christian may be tricked into believing lies of other sorts, usually pertaining to sin. Do not be deceived. If you believe in the truth of the gospel, always, always measure up your thoughts and your very life to that measure. Pray without ceasing. Be in tune with the Holy Spirit. Seek God’s face at all times. If you do these things you will not be led astray. You will know the lie when it shows itself. And you will overcome.


The Exclusiveness of Christ – Part 3

May 30, 2007

When it comes to the discussion of truth, I have become intrigued by how widespread the belief in truth being relative (or truth not being absolute) is. The point remains, however, that it is irrational to claim truth changes from person to person. Truth, by its very nature, is that which is unchanging. Opinions may vary and change, but truth cannot. 2 plus 2 will always equal 4, regardless of what someone may say or do to convince you otherwise. I encourage you to read the other posts on this blog on the subject of truth, and stay tuned for more on the subject in the future.

On the subject of Christ being the only way to be saved, many claim this to be arrogant. However, if Jesus Christ is who he says he is, God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14), then what he says must be true. It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). And if what God himself said must be true, then who are we to question him. He has made the way for us to be saved through him, and has made it clear to us. How could you ask God to make another way? Or how can you expect him to let you make up your own way? God is God Almighty, the creator of all things.

It is not arrogant for the God of the universe to tell us how to find him and how to be saved.

The Exclusiveness of Christ – Part 2

May 29, 2007

To talk about people needing to experience faith and belief for themselves is indeed to talk about relative truth. You cannot say that talking about relatives and absolutes is meaningless, because you have just entered into that discussion, and I’m sure you doing take your very thoughts as meaningless. Indeed they are not.

Secondly, we still have the dilemma that you are making an absolute statement when you say absolutes are irrelevant. Is that statement irrelevant as well? Or when you claim truth is unknowable, how do you know that your very statement is true?

There has to be a truth to be known, and that truth by its very nature must be absolute. Here I am only arguing logic. We could be talking about any subject, this principle that absolute truth exists remains.

Once the fact of absolutes is established, the next logical step it to discover what that absolute truth is. This is when I bridge the gap and start talking about my faith in Christ. Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). This is an absolute claim.

When the claims of Christ are examined, I have found that they are reasonable and true. I am not talking about having “found religion.” I speak of the experience of having God reach into my life and change it.

Christianity has become a lot of things to a lot of different people. Sadly, a belief system that is supposed to have a hold on the absolute Truth of Jesus Christ, has largely become relativistic itself in its approach. This is to its shame.

God’s will for the church of Christ as found in the Bible is a lot different than what most churches have become. When I talk about the truth of Christ, I am referring not to what has been taught by men in church buildings or what has been done in error throughout the centuries; I am referring to God’s truth as revealed in the Bible. Yes, it does claim exclusivity, and yes I believe with all my heart that it is true.

C.S. Lewis, famously in Mere Christianity, had this to say about the exclusive claims of Christ:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

The Exclusiveness of Christ – Part 1

May 28, 2007

Over the next couple of days I would like to take a look at the claims of Christ being the exclusive way, the only way, to God. I will be addressing some of the things discussed in this response to this post of mine from last week.

One thing that jumped out at me about this response is the thought that religion can be a good thing because it gives people guidance in how to live their lives. In chapter 5 of The Case For Faith (as well as several of his Let My People Think broadcasts), Ravi Zacharias says, “Jesus Christ didn’t come into this world to make bad people good, he came into this world to make dead people live.” It is true that the religions of the world give people guidelines to live by. But Christianity is not about living a good life. Only the Bible points out that we are powerless to live a good life apart from Jesus Christ. Being a Christian is not about following a set of teachings to live a good life, (although good works must be a part of the Christian life); rather, being a Christian is about finding salvation.

It doesn’t take much observation of the world to realize that people do bad things. The Bible says that all people are sinful from birth. But through the person of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, we can be redeemed. This is what is meant when it is said Christ makes dead people live. Christ redeems us from spiritual death and brings us into eternal life.

Jesus did leave us with a set of teachings that help the Christian live the life God desires. However, the main significance of the spiritually dead finding life in Christ is that this world is not all there is. There is eternal significance to the life we live. So following a guru’s teachings may give you some good pointers about how to live your life, but the Lord Jesus Christ alone solves the problem of eternity.

Living a good life will not save you. Jesus Christ alone provides salvation for the soul so that we can be with God forever.

Pride, Humility, Honor, and the fear of the Lord

May 27, 2007

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

“The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 15:33).

“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 18:12).

“Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).

Books and Love

May 24, 2007

“Beware you are not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge” (John Wesley).

Just a quick thought on this quote. I don’t think that Mr. Wesley meant that books are bad, only that one cannot substitute knowledge for love. This happens far too often in Bible colleges and seminaries. The minds of those called to vocational ministry are weighed down with so much knowledge that they forget the purpose of their calling, to love those God loves and serve them as they serve God himself. Knowledge has its place as we serve God with our minds, but knowledge must never displace love.

Bad Company

May 23, 2007

I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It is a fascinating case study of how sin corrupts a person. It is also fascinating to see how the character Lord Henry corrupts Dorian Gray. Lord Henry constantly spouts his philosophies about life and the pursuit of pleasure, and it rubs off on Dorian. Before long, Dorian is believing, talking, and living just like Lord Henry is, living a life of duplicity and hedonism.

There is a verse in the Bible that says “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Another way of putting it is “garbage in, garbage out.”

If you are constantly hanging out with people who are living the worldly life, it is not surprising to find yourself doing the same. If you hang out with people who are foul-mouthed, it doesn’t take long for you to pick up the same language. If you are hanging out with people who speak about the philosophies of men, it won’t be long before you start believing them to be true.

Bad company corrupts good character. This is true whether you are a Christian or not. But if you are a Christian, this is a great warning to you, because you are supposed to be a bearer of Christ to the world. You will not bear the light of Christ for long if you put yourself in a position to be corrupted by deceitful and depraved people. The devil will snuff out that light that dwells within you so quick that you won’t see it coming, and will only find yourself groping in the dark, no knowing the way to go and apt to fall into a pit.

(Editor’s Note: I intend to write down more of my thoughts about The Picture of Dorian Gray as I complete the book, so stay tuned and keep checking back.)

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