bless the jews

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3675 Nov 18, 2012
Repentance is not merely believing in Christ. Some have defined repentance as a synonym for believing. One well-known fundamental Baptist preacher defined it as “turning from unbelief to belief.” But if this is true, the Bible’s preachers would not have preached repentance in addition to faith. We have seen that Paul preached repentance toward God AND faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). The reason why verses such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 don’t mention repentance is that proper saving faith includes repentance and proper repentance includes faith.

Repentance and faith are sometimes spoken of in Scripture as both being necessary for salvation (i.e., Acts 20:21; Hebrews 6:1), while at other times only one or the other is said to be necessary. For example, salvation is referred to as coming to repentance with no mention of faith in the following passages: Matthew 9:13; 11:20-21; 21:32; Mark 1:4; 2:17; 6:12; Luke 15:7; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 11:18; 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:25; and 2 Peter 3:9. Then in other passages, such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31, salvation is referred to as believing and repentance is not mentioned. By comparing Scripture with Scripture (rather than isolating Scripture), we conclude that saving faith includes repentance. Saving faith is a repentant faith.

The true meaning of faith must be explained and emphasized. The common way that “faith” or “belief” is defined by people today involves a mere mental consent to something, such as “I believe that George Washington was America’s first president” or “I believe that Jesus was the Son of God and came to die on the cross.” That is not what the Bible means by saving faith. Saving faith is a faith that issues from a heart that is convinced of its own fallen condition and has stopped making excuses and hiding in self-righteousness. Saving faith issues from a heart that is convinced that Christ is the only Lord and Saviour and that reaches out to Christ in personal trust. Saving faith issues from a surrendered heart, which is the very essence of repentance.

That, and that alone, is saving “faith.” And when we are dealing with people’s souls we must be careful to explain the meaning of the terms of the gospel, as opposed to hastily running through some little “Roman’s Road” plan and then trying to get the person to pray a sinner’s prayer before he knows what he is doing.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3676 Nov 18, 2012
In my preaching conferences I have had occasions, sadly, to observe that though a church or Christian school might have pretty good dress standards (written or unwritten) for workers and youth, many of the girls and young women are dressed immodestly.

I am not the only one to notice this. One pastor wrote the following:

I visited the campus of --------- Christian College and attended a chapel service. I was grieved as I watched the students assemble. Many of the girls were wearing tight, form fitting blouses and skirts. There were a lot of skirts above the knee as well as slits that went above the knee. One pastor friend refers to the slit skirt as ‘peek-a-boo’ skirts.

How can the young men possibly keep their minds pure as they train for the ministry when so many of the girls are dressing like strange women all around them?”

One lady wrote the following description of the fundamental Baptist church that she attends:

“The teenagers wear the skirts that come to the knee but when they bend over or sit down...well you know. Their tops are low cut with a v and look like they were painted on.… My husband leads the music and he said he can’t even look at the people because there are so many short skirts, etc.”

One man wrote as follows:

“Our church teaches and preaches separation. Our pastor has even compiled a small booklet on modest dress. Having said all that, we have had and still do have problems. In order to be a choir member or teach Sunday School, etc., we must sign a form saying we agree to the dress standards as well as many other standards of conduct.


A lady can be actually wearing a reasonably nice dress that meets the standard, at least in their mind it does, but the problem is that it is at least a size too small for her! These folks are rarely confronted because they are wearing a dress, you know! I believe we easily forget modesty and become lost in ‘I’m wearing a dress attitude.’ To be honest I have seen more modest pants on many lost ladies than the ‘dresses on our standard-signing church ladies.’ I'm not for pants; I’m just referring to our hypocrisy! It shows either a lack of discernment on their part or a worldly desire to show off the body, maybe both.”

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3677 Nov 18, 2012
One man wrote:“Thank you for this request. This area is the greatest challenge in my life -- in all honesty to a brother-in-the-Blood.”

The following was also typical:

“I have been saved for about eight years and the lust issue is huge for me and for all men.... I need God every day to help me stay away from lust. Short Skirts, tight blouses, slit dresses are all over. You can’t look at billboards, grocery store waiting line magazine racks, Internet advertisements, walking in the park, or any store. You get my point; it’s everywhere.... I have to pray everyday for God to keep lust out of my way. I wish I was born into a good Bible believing church and was brought up to stay away from lustful sin. To answer your question it would have to be anything short or tight on a woman. I look forward to the cold winters up north when women cover everything up.”

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3678 Nov 18, 2012
What is Biblical Repentance?

Sowing & ReapingRepentance is to admit that I am a sinner before God (Romans 3:23). The gospel says that Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3-4), so if I do not acknowledge that I am a sinner I cannot be saved. But acknowledging that I am a sinner doesn’t mean that I merely admit that “I am not perfect.” It means that I acknowledge that I am the type of sinner that God says I am, that I am not good (Romans 3:10) and that even my supposed righteousness is as filthy rags before a thrice holy God (Isaiah 64:6).

Repentance means to surrender to God’s rule (Acts 20:21; Isaiah 45:22-23). Repentance is “toward God” because it is God that we have offended. He made man for Himself, and He made man to obey His laws, but we have rejected His sovereignty and lived according to our own wills. Repentance is to acknowledge that God is God, that He is the sovereign of life and that He has the right to rule my life, that He has the right to make the laws by which His creatures live, and that He has the right to punish the infraction of those laws. The Bible says the sinner is at enmity against God because of his rebellion to God’s rule (Rom. 8:7).
“Enmity” means “the quality of being an enemy.” To repent means that I renounce this attitude and surrender to God’s rule over my life. We see this surrender throughout the New Testament in the lives of those who were saved. In fact, there is no example in the New Testament of an individual who was saved and who continued to live at enmity to God’s rule. Those who did this were hypocritical false Christians like Judas.

Repentance is to receive Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-13). To believe is to receive Jesus Christ as my only Saviour and to repent is to receive Him as my only Lord. Those who received Jesus in a saving manner called upon Him as Lord (Luke 23:42).(By receiving Jesus as Lord we are not referring to any type of sinless perfection; we are simply referring to surrendering to Christ’s rule.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3679 Nov 18, 2012
Repentance means to turn around, to change directions (Acts 26:20). It is something that happens in the heart and mind. Repentance is not a change of life; it is a change of mind about God and sin that results in a change of life.

Many who “believe” or “pray the sinner’s prayer” have no intention to change or to allow God to take control of their lives. They are not interested in being a disciple of Christ. They want a ticket to heaven that keeps them out of hell, but they want to continue to live as they please. They want to “believe in Jesus,” but they have no interest in obeying Him. That is not biblical salvation. The sinner must be ready to turn from his false gods, including self-worship, in order to worship and serve the true God (“ye turned to God from idols,” 1 Thessalonians 1:9).

Repentance is an assassin laying down his knife. Evangelist James Stewart wrote:

“The hand that clutches the assassin’s knife must open ‘ere it can grasp the gift its intended victim proffers; and opening that hand, though a single act, has a double aspect and purpose. Accepting the gift implies a turning from the crime the heart was bent on, and it was the gift itself that worked the change. Faith is the open hand, relatively to the gift; repentance is the same hand, relatively, not only to the gift but more especially to the dagger that is flung from it”(Stewart, Evangelism, pp. 48, 49).

Repentance is a thief returning the stolen property. The late Lester Roloff said:

“I believe we ought to make right what we can make right. What if I was staying with a group of preachers and one of them stole my wallet while I was sleeping?

The next day he comes up to me and tells me he is terribly sorry and asks me to forgive him. I would be glad to hear that he is sorry for stealing my wallet, but I would certainly want and expect more than that from a repentant thief. I would want my wallet back! I don’t believe he has really repented unless he brings my billfold back.

I DON'T BELIEVE YOU HAVE REPENTED UNTIL YOU GET RIGHT AND SAY,‘LORD, I’M GOING TO LIVE DIFFERENT FROM NOW ON,’ and by the grace of God you will live different”(Roloff, Repent or Perish).

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3680 Nov 18, 2012
How Do We Use Repentance in Soul Winning?

1. We Must Not Skip Over It; We Must Tell The People That God Requires It And We Must Explain What It Is.

Many gospel tracts don’t contain a hint of repentance.

This is not scriptural soul winning. If Christ and the apostles preached repentance, then we must preach repentance! We need to explain that the individual must be ready to surrender to God, and not give him the false impression that it is possible to be saved without this.

Of course, we also explain that God will do the changing; repentance is not reformation or turning over a new leaf; but the sinner must be ready to accept God’s working. He must surrender.

If the individual is not ready to surrender, he is not ready to be saved. I have dealt with hundreds of people who came to the place of understanding and believing that Christ died for their sins and that faith in Christ is the only way of salvation, but they simply were not ready to surrender to God. Like the rich young ruler, they refused to repent.
Repentance was the thing that was missing in my life as I grew up in a Baptist church. I don’t recall a time when I did not believe in Christ. I had no doubt that He died on the cross for my sin.(What child growing up in a Bible-believing church does not “believe”?) I made a public profession of faith at about age 11-12, but it was empty because I had no intention of surrendering my life to Christ. I was already entranced by rock & roll and its lifestyle and bowing before Jesus as Lord was the farthest thing from my mind. Not surprisingly, the course of my life did not change one iota after I “believed.”

When my wife and I first began our missionary work in South Asia in 1979, our landlord began coming to our house to have Bible studies. He was a wealthy middle-aged Hindu and had a concubine with whom he spent most of his time, though he was married and had grown children.

After we went through the gospel a few times, he told me he felt that he understood what I was teaching and that he was interested in receiving Christ, but he wanted to know what he would have to do about two specific things in his life--his shady business practices and his illicit relationship with the concubine. He is the one who brought these things to my attention.

I could have said,“Don’t worry about that. Just pray to receive Christ and those things will work themselves out later.” That’s the method I was taught in Bible School, but I don’t believe it would have been scriptural counsel.

I don’t believe he could receive Christ and be saved unless he repented of his immorality and his dishonesty. Salvation requires surrendering.
I explained to him that if he would turn to Christ, God would change his life and he would have different desires, but he didn’t want that. He was unwilling to surrender to God as God. The power to change one’s life is from God, but the sinner must surrender to God’s working. After I told him this, he never returned for a Bible study.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3681 Nov 18, 2012
Consider Christ’s dealings with the woman at the well in John 4. He faced her squarely with the immorality that had dominated her life.

Consider Christ’s dealing with the rich young ruler. He faced the young man with his sin of self-righteousness and covetousness (Luke 18:18-23).

This is the way God deals with people. He reproves men for their sin in order to bring them to repentance (John 16:8). And this is the way we must deal with men, too, if we want to follow the Bible in our gospel work.

To preach repentance means to deal with glaring sins that people are holding onto and to tell them plainly that they must repent of sinning against God; they must yield their lives to Him; they must change directions; they must surrender. God will do a glorious work in their lives but they must be ready for that to happen. They must have a change of mind about God and sin that will result in a change of life.

It appears that many soul-winning programs try to “slip the gospel by the sinner” and get him saved before he really knows what is happening! That is not possible. The Lord Jesus Christ said,“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”(Luke 13:3, 5). There is no salvation without repentance, and it is a Holy Spirit-wrought change of mind that results in a change of life.

To tell sinners that God demands that they repent might cut down on the “decision” statistics, but it is the only honest and scriptural path. God has commanded that all men everywhere repent and Jesus said they can’t be saved without it, so how can we fail to tell them this?

2. We Need To Deal With Each Case Individually.

Preaching repentance depends on the context. We see this from the fact that the Bible sometimes mentions repentance and sometimes doesn’t in the context of evangelism.

The example of the Philippian jailer. He was already under conviction when he cried out,“What must I do to be saved?” Doubtless Paul and Barnabas had been witnessing to him. We know that they had been singing and praising God.

Further, the power of God displayed in the earthquake had shaken the jailer deeply. Now, through the Spirit’s working, he was ready to do whatever God told him to do. In such a case there is no need to go into a lengthy study about repentance. He was already repenting! I, too, have met men in jails and other places that were ready to be saved. They had heard the gospel and God was working in their hearts; they knew that they were sinners and were sorry for their sin against God, were tired of the old life and were ready to surrender to Him. In that context, all that is needed is to explain to the individual how to put his or her faith in Christ in a saving manner (e.g., Romans 10:8-13).

The example of the idolaters at Athens. On the other hand, when Paul preached to the idolaters at Athens who were treating the gospel as merely another philosophical debate, he told them that God “now commandeth all men every where to repent”(Acts 17:30). He didn’t say,“Just believe in Jesus.”

They needed to repent of their false gods, and particularly of their chief god, which was Self! They needed to be confronted with Almighty God and His claim on their lives.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3682 Nov 20, 2012
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Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3683 Nov 20, 2012
Evangelist Randy Clark reports on Brazil’s miracle-filled revival that continues to change the culture of this South American powerhouse

More than 10 years ago I was in search of hot spots for revival. I’d seen Argentina aflame with revival fires years before, but after returning from a trip there, I headed to Brazil in 2001. I was so impressed with the hunger for the presence of God that I told my travel assistant,“The wave of revival is ending in Argentina, but the wave of revival is just getting started in Brazil. I am going to catch this wave and ride it.”

I’ve been riding that wave of revival in Brazil ever since, traveling to Brazil an average of 50 to 60 days a year, ministering in many denominations and new church movements all over the country.

Today about 90 percent of Brazilians have a religion, with 83 percent indicating they consider religion very important. This is a higher percentage than in the United States and one of the highest of any country in the world. Many Brazilian pastors believe the Brazilian church’s role is to become in the 21st century what the United States was in the 19th century—the No. 1 country for sending missionaries. This should not surprise us, for revival history reveals that wherever revival is strongest, there is a commensurate commitment to missions.

My experience has revealed a three-fold emphasis in the Brazilian churches where I’ve ministered: 1) an emphasis on the supernatural with healing and deliverance prominent in the life of the churches and their members; 2) an emphasis on powerful worship (with the songs written by Brazilians instead of North Americans); and 3) an emphasis on cell groups, through which the people are evangelized, assimilated and discipled.
Part of this discipleship through cell groups includes a weekend experience away from a church’s premises—a time for new converts to experience inner healing, deliverance and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It also provides a time for them to hear the vision of the church and learn that every convert is to become a discipler of others. These weekends, called “Encounters,” emphasize the importance of experience in the life of every believer.(We must ask ourselves if our assimilation events would accurately be called “encounters” or if they more accurately would be called “informers”.)

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3684 Nov 20, 2012
Fruit of Brazil’s Revival

Every true revival produces lasting fruit, and in the case of the Holy Spirit’s ongoing move in Brazil, I’ve seen four distinct fruits that have become readily apparent.

First, there is a general openness to and expectation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit among the population, especially among the younger generation.

Second, the percentage of Protestants has dramatically shifted.

Brazil is the world’s most Roman Catholic country. However, in only a few years evangelicals have gone from being a small segment to a major portion of the overall population. SEPAL (Servicio Evangelizador Para America Latina), a respected Christian organization in Brazil, expected there to be 57.4 million active evangelical Christians in Brazil last year, representing an annual growth rate of 7.42 percent.Revival has influenced church growth in Brazil.

SEPAL researchers believe 52 percent of the population of Brazil will be active evangelical Christians by 2020, or about 109.3 million evangelicals within a total population of 209.3 million.

The third fruit is the media shift in representing this revival. Mass media that were once critical of evangelicals are now more favorable to representing them fairly, especially on television. Brazil’s main TV network, Rede Globo, recently started a monthly revival worship festival in its prime time called Promises that features only prominent Brazilian Christian artists.

This is an unprecedented move in the history of the country.

Finally, evangelicals’ influence in the political realm continues to grow, which has brought pressure on the political process to stop laws that would be unrighteous and open the door to immorality. Though Brazil legalized same-sex unions in 2011 and continues to debate the issue of abortion, the evangelical voice is louder than ever—and is being heard in the Senate halls. Earlier this year, thousands of evangelicals gathered in Brasília to express their opposition to the legalization of abortion and gay marriage.

In May, a Rio de Janeiro March for Jesus rally of 250,000-plus included a protest against a bill that would essentially make it illegal to speak out against homosexuality. And in July, more than 1 million attended São Paulo’s March for Jesus rally.
Having considered two fruits reflected in the secular realm, let us return to our first two fruits relating more to the churches of Brazil.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3685 Nov 20, 2012
Growing Through Healing
In 2002 I went to Água Viva, a Baptist church of 300 people in the city of Mauá. There was a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit with hundreds of healings, including most of the staff. Today the church has 4,000 members, with more than 14,000 attending its 20 daughter churches.
When other Baptist churches asked pastor Silvio Galli about the rapid growth, he said,“You know those things you don’t like? They are the reason.” The “things” he was referring to were the gifts of the Holy Spirit—and in particular, healing.
In Belo Horizonte, pastor Márcio Valadão pastors 50,000 members at the Baptist church he started, Igreja Batista da Lagoinha (Lagoinha Baptist Church). The sanctuary seats “only” 7,000, so the church holds seven services on Sunday. Their goal is to build a sanctuary that will seat 50,000. I have spoken in this church and at its ministry school several times. They see many healings, and the worship team is so popular that crowds of more than 1 million fill the grand pavilions and streets for worship events led by the Lagoinha team.
In the same city, pastor Paulo Mazoni leads Igreja Batista Central (Central Baptist Church). When my ministry team first went there, the church averaged hundreds in attendance; they now have more than 4,000 members. This is a highly educated church with people from the upper level of society in its membership, yet the church is very open to all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, putting an emphasis on healing ministry, experiencing God in worship and seeing people filled with the Spirit.
The pastor’s sister is a psychologist. She witnessed so many healings through our team on our first visit that she resigned from her practice to establish a ministry team at the local church and oversee the healing ministries of the local church. She told me many more people were healed when they put into practice the teaching of our Ministry Team Training Manual.
About 12 years ago, I went to Igreja Videira (Vineyard Church, though it isn’t part of the Vineyard USA movement) in Goiania. Pastor Aluízio A. Silva had started the church three years earlier with a congregation of 3,000. It now has 20,000 members, not counting the churches associated with his extensive network. A few months ago the church had a citywide gathering at an arena where I was honored to preach to a packed auditorium of about 20,500. We saw many healings and salvations.
People who had been paralyzed by strokes were healed. About 12 people, each of whom had metal implanted in their body, were suddenly able to move freely and had pain disappear. This church places high value on the presence of God, the gifts of God and the heart of God for evangelism. Silva requires the 3,000-plus cell leaders to go through training, including our Ministry Team Training Manual.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3687 Nov 20, 2012
Powerful Healing

One of our first trips to Brazil was deep into the Amazon rainforest to the city of Manaus. There, Pastor Renê Terra Nova had grown his church from 700 to 25,000 in seven years, after he and his church had been kicked out of the traditional Baptist denomination. Today the church has 70,000 members. Our teams have been to this church multiple times and experienced some of the most powerful meetings we’ve ever seen in Brazil. In fact, it’s where we first saw people with AIDS healed, and where we had our first breakthrough with the deaf healed. One night there were eight cases of deafness healed in about 15 minutes.

At the time, the building didn’t have walls; only the floor, ceiling and pillars supporting the ceiling were completed. We had just asked for the river of healing to flow into the building when it began to pour down rain. The wind came and blew the rain into the deaf section.

At one event, we saw a 25-year-old paraplegic rise from his wheelchair when a member of our team—someone who had never prayed for the sick—was used for our greatest miracle. The young man, a police officer, had been shot in the stomach two months earlier; the bullet had severed his spine, yet God completely healed him that day.

On another visit to this Manaus church (after the walls had been erected), the wind began to blow so hard that the chairs in the back were blown over. Some men ran outside, only to find that there was no wind blowing that day—there had only been wind inside. So many miraculous things happened in this church that our teams were nicknamed the “miracle-workers.”

The churches mentioned here are only a small number of those experiencing great revival. All of these churches have a strong cell group emphasis and dynamic worship. They practice praying for the sick, and a high percentage of their membership is under 40 years old. All are experiencing the fruits of dynamic revival, including thousands coming to the Lord.

If we want to see the same type of revival Brazil has experienced for the last 12 years—and continues to experience—spread across every continent, we need to open the doors to the gifts of the Spirit and let God lead the way. He desires to blow on every nation!

Randy Clark is the founder of Global Awakening and has been in the center of revival since the Toronto Blessing.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3688 Nov 20, 2012

We must keep holiness in mind if we are to worship God. Do we understand that God is holy, and that no wickedness may come into His sight? Do we understand that we may not worship God unless we have repented of our sins and are covered by the blood of Christ?

David understood this principle when he said,“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”(Psalm 66:18). Not only must we be forgiven and cleansed at the cross once, but we must continually make certain that there is no sin being “regarded” in our hearts that would make our worship unacceptable.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3689 Nov 20, 2012
A Difficult Subject

Worship is not an easy topic to understand. It involves both spirit and body, mind and emotions. It is both attitude and action. And it involves a God who is holy. Worship is to be set apart for God. Because it is for God, and because the consequences have been severe when people didn’t understand this, Christians must take care to worship God as He wants to be worshipped. Sometimes this means a complete change of method, a reorienting of our focus from the golden calf to the holy God, a cleansing, purifying, and purging of all worldly corruptions and influences. And sometimes it is painful. In the Old Testament it was often the death of a sacrificial lamb.

I realize this is in direct contrast to the goals of many evangelical churches, whose desire, whether openly declared or subtly enacted in worship is to please the participants (or rather, the attendees). Rather than having the sole purpose of the worship service be to exalt a holy God and to please Him, we often get caught up in pleasing ourselves, giving ourselves and emotional foot rub, while ignoring the desires of our jealous God.
Please, dear Christian, do not tread carelessly on this area that is so sacred to God’s heart. Take off your sandals to approach the throne of grace.

In this article, I will attempt to give a Biblical definition of worship, and to come closer to understanding what God desires when we worship Him. The Biblical word translated as “worship” is proskuneo, meaning a literal “bowing down.” There are many verses full of these precious principles of “bowing down.” I pray that God will bless my attempt to understand these verses, and give me humility to graciously present His word to you. I also hope that He will continue to transform my understanding of worship so that I may “worship Him aright.”

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3690 Nov 20, 2012
The Definition and Purpose of Worship

A good definition of any term should be able to say what the term is and in the same idea exclude what it is not.

The following definition is simple enough to include everything that worship is, while complex enough to provide specific guidelines and exclude what worship isn’t. Also, a good definition should come from God’s Word, as He is the originator of all existence. What is worship to God? When He uses the term “worship,” or “bow down,” what does He mean? Since worship is for God, He must define “worship.”

Worship: the act and attitude of giving honor to God.

This definition was gleaned partially from the meaning of the New Testament term “worship”(proskuneo) in Greek:

“To kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence… to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence, in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication. Used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank."
Obviously we can see that worship includes an act of reverence (bowing down), and does not include acting irreverently or dishonorably, or lifting oneself above the One being worshipped (whether physically, or in one’s own estimation, or through social estimation).

Lift high the cross by showing, through attitude and action, God's glory and holiness.

Lift high the cross by showing, through attitude and action, God's glory and holiness.

The Action and Attitude of Worship
Many instances of worship in the Bible can be seen in actual physical acts. Mary anointing Christ was a profound example of giving honor to God through a deed of generosity and personal sacrifice. However, worship sometimes occurs when a person is simply obeying a command God gave him. Abraham worshipped God through obeying when God commanded Him to sacrifice of his son.

As we will see below, Jesus directed the Samaritan woman to the spiritual side of worship, not to a specific place where actions and sacrifices could be performed. He said God was seeking worship from those who would worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). This may mean that the definition of worship must include the non-physical aspect of worship as well. In my definition this is represented as “attitude.”

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3691 Nov 20, 2012
The Spirit and Truth of Worship

A discussion of John 4:20-24 is essential to understanding the operational definition of worship, in which a Samaritan woman questions Jesus about where to worship, and Jesus responds with how to worship:

She said,“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Jesus said to her,“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(John 4:20-24)

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible describes worship in “spirit and in truth” as this:

In spirit… with their souls or spirits, with their whole hearts engaged therein; and by, and under the influence and assistance of the Spirit of God, without whom men cannot perform worship, neither prayer, praise, preaching, or hearing, aright.

In truth; in opposition to hypocrisy, with true hearts, in the singleness, sincerity, and integrity of their souls… and according to the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation; and in Christ, who is the truth, the true tabernacle, in, and through whom access is had to God, prayer is made to him, and every part of religious worship with acceptance.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary explains further:

As all creatures were made by him, so all owe him obedience and reverence; but, to be acceptable to this infinite Spirit, the worship must be of a spiritual nature-must spring from the heart, through the influence of the Holy Ghost: and it must be in TRUTH, not only in sincerity, but performed according to that Divine revelation which he has given men of himself. A man worships God in spirit, when, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, he brings all his affections, appetites, and desires to the throne of God; and he worships him in truth, when every purpose and passion of his heart, and when every act of his religious worship, is guided and regulated by the word of God.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3692 Nov 20, 2012
In summary, worshiping in “spirit and in truth” seems to mean that worship should be done with souls or spirits, hearts and minds, attitude and will, as well as through the truth of the Word of God.

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Proskuneo before Him.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Proskuneo before Him.
The Purpose of Worship

In the book of Leviticus, after Nadab and Abihu offered profane fire before the Lord, Moses reminded Aaron what God had commanded concerning worship:

Then Moses spoke to Aaron,“This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

“By those who come near Me

I must be regarded as holy;

And before all the people

I must be glorified.”(Leviticus 10:3)

We come near God when we worship Him. But He will not consider it worship if we don't regard Him as holy, "for our God is a consuming fire." He will not consider it worship if we do not seek to glorify Him before all people.

Other verses addressing worship also include both God’s glory and holiness:

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.(Psalm 29:2)

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;

Bring an offering, and come before Him.

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!(1Chronicles 16:29)

These are revealing statements about the basic purpose of worship. The people who worship must regard God as holy: He is set apart, pure, undefiled and unable to look upon sin; and before all people He must be glorified.

The Greek word for worship is literally a reverential act of honor: bowing down.

Old and New Testament saints exhibited this honor in different actions and attitudes of adoration, submission, and obedience. Jesus commands that we use the spiritual, emotional, and mental aspect of worship as well as the physical, when He commanded that we worship in spirit and in truth.

God also has laid out the purpose of worship: it is glorifying Him before all people, and knowing that He is holy when we approach Him. Do we do worship God as He has desired from the beginning of time? I will leave that for you to prayerfully and studiously discern.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3693 Nov 20, 2012
Justification and Sanctification: What is the Difference?

by Matt Slick

Understanding the difference between justification and sanctification can be as important as understanding the difference between salvation and damnation. Rightly dividing between the two is of crucial importance. When you understand what they are, you can then draw a line in the sand and say, "This is what saves. This is not what saves."

Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; 3:11). This righteousness is not earned or retained by any effort of the saved. Justification is an instantaneous occurrence with the result being eternal life. It is based completely and solely upon Jesus' sacrifice on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and is received by faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9). No works are necessary whatsoever to obtain justification. Otherwise, it is not a gift (Rom. 6:23). Therefore, we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).

Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God's work and being conformed to the image of Christ. This conforming to Christ involves the work of the person. But it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified (Phil. 2:13). Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone. The justified person is actively involved in submitting to God's will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly (Gal. 5:22-23). Significantly, sanctification has no bearing on justification. That is, even if we don't live a perfect life, we are still justified.

Where justification is a legal declaration that is instantaneous, sanctification is a process. Where justification comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from God within us by the work of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible. In other words, we contribute to sanctification through our efforts. In contrast, we do not contribute to our justification through our efforts.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3694 Nov 20, 2012
Now, there is one more point of clarification. To sanctify also means to set apart for holy use. Therefore we can have verses that talk about us being sanctified already because God has set us apart for holy use.

John 10:36, "do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said,‘I am the Son of God’?"
Rom. 15:16, "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."
1 Cor. 1:2, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours."
1 Cor. 6:11, "And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."
1 Tim. 4:4-5, "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer."
Heb. 2:11, "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren."

All that we need is given to us in Christ. So there is one sense in which we are not yet completely formed into the image of Christ (sanctification of being made like Jesus), yet in another sense we are because we are seen as "in Christ", set apart for holy use where all of where all our spiritual needs and purposes are met through Jesus.

Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

#3695 Nov 20, 2012
Does this mean that those justified by grace can sin as much as they want?

Romans 6:1-2 says, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in it?"

1 Thess. 4:7 says, "God has called us not for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification."

The Scriptures teach us that we are to live holy lives and avoid sin (Col. 1:5-11). Just because we are saved and eternally justified before God (John 10:28), that is no excuse to continue in the sin from which we were saved. Of course, we all sin (Rom. 3:23). But the war between the saved and sin is continuous (Rom. 7:14-20) and it won't be until the return of Jesus that we will be delivered from this body of death (Rom. 7:24). To seek sin continually and use God's grace to excuse it later is to trample the blood of Christ underfoot (Heb. 10:29) and to reveal the person's true sinful, unsaved nature (1 John 2:4; 2:19).(Other verses worth checking out are: Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; and 1 Pet. 2:21-22.)
What the cults do with justification and sanctification

The cults consistently blur the meanings of the two terms and misapply the truths taught in God's word. The result is a theology of works righteousness, of earning their salvation which only leads to damnation. This is because by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (Gal. 2:16). Man cannot contribute to his salvation (Gal. 5:1-8). Man is sinful and even his best deeds are stained and filthy before God (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, making a person right before God can only be God's work (Gal. 2:20).

Typically, in cult theologies, a person is not justified (declared righteous in God's eyes) until the final day of judgment when his works are weighed and a reward is given or he is found worthy of his place with God. Thus, a person with this errant theology can not claim 1 John 5:13 as his own which says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God."

Contextually, "These things" refers to loving God, being obedient to Him, belief in Christ, and eternal life in Jesus. Therefore, 1 John 5:13 can be considered a test. If you are believing and doing the right things, then you will know if you have eternal life. Can a cultist know he has eternal life? No. He cannot. But a Christian can.

People in cults don't understand the difference between justification and sanctification. Therefore, they must depend upon a cooperative effort with God to have their sins forgiven which is, essentially, combining the filthy works of man (Isaiah 64:6) with the holy work of God. They don't mix. They can't. Hence, salvation is by grace through faith, alone. To believe anything else is to miss salvation.

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