Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ Category

About Spiritual Gifts”

Try to imagine how you, as a parent, might feel if, on your child’s birthday, you gave him/her a very expensive gift that was wrapped up in beautiful paper with a bow on it, and your child thanked you for the gift but refused to open it up to discover what it was and use it for it’s intended purpose. Would you feel badly? Of course you would.

Christmas. Or suppose it’s Christmas time and you’ve spent a lot of money to buy your children some gifts. One by one they open up their gifts until everyone has opened up the gifts. But then one of the children decides that he wants what one of the other children has and starts fighting for it. Would that make you very sad? Of course it would.

Big Box. Now let’s consider another scenario. Whether you realize it or not, at the time of your salvation God sent (graciously gave) you a big box filled with a lot of gifts inside it (Ephesians 1:3). You’ve opened some of them but there is one gift you don’t want to open up because it is so beautifully wrapped. However, if you were to open it up and use it, you’d be so much happier in your life and you would/could be a source of blessing and happiness to others too (John 10:10; Acts 20:35).

Unopened. And yet there are many Christians who have left some of their gifts in the big box without opening them. Do you supposed that God is grieved about this (Ephesians 4:30)? One of those spiritual gifts has to do with a special ability (that is more than a natural talent) to do some things that God planned for you to do while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Doing these things will glorify God and greatly help other people if this ability is used properly with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13).

Problem. Some folks within Christendom teach that only the “clergy” have these special abilities and that the rest of the people are just the “pew (seat) warmers” and the “bill payers.” On the other extreme you can find “churches” that tell their people that unless they have spoken in “tongues” they haven’t received the “second blessing” and need to earnestly pursue this ability. Some “preachers” claim to receive new and special revelations (information) from God that they are supposed to pass on to the other “Christians.” Beware of false teachers (Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Jude 1:1-13).

Money. Oftentimes it involves sending money to these “hucksters” [1] so they can “spread the Gospel” (which, most often, is not the true Gospel but another gospel – 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Sometimes they ask people to send them money so they can help starving children in other countries get clean water and food. (What do you know about the “social gospel”? See [2] below) While a few of these ministries are legitimate, and present the Gospel in its purity, many of them are not or very little of the money goes to help the needy. (See article [3] below about Christian Giving)

Temporary/Extant? We find in the Bible twenty spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and in Ephesians 4:11. We understand the Scriptures to teach that ten of these gifts were temporary until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). But ten other gifts (special abilities) are still being given out to Christians today at the time of their salvation. Sadly, most Christians know little or nothing about them. (See link [4] below to learn more about “spiritual gifts”)

Pastor-teachers. These men are supposed to teach Christians about the “spiritual gifts” and encourage them to use them for the glory of God and the well being of other Christians primarily (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10). By working together in unity and harmony (Ephesians 4:3) with other true Christians – not unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), under Christ’s authority and Headship (1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 1:22, 23), much more can be done to bring the spiritual “Body of Christ” to its completion and to spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18).

Bride. When all whom God the Father has given to God the Son have come to Him and been saved (John 6:37, 44), the Father will instruct the Son (Jesus) to come back toward earth to claim His Bride – the True Church and meet her in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Then He will take her to the place that He has been preparing for her for almost 2,000 years now (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9 ff). Are you looking forward to this event? Those believers who really love His any moment return can earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Questions. Are you positive that you will spend eternity with God (Read Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 1:10)? Why should God let you into His heaven (See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on their third day? (See “Clear Gospel” [5] link below) If you’re truly saved, have you been baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Were you sprinkled as a baby? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Do you have your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16)? Are you being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)? Are you walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 6:16, 25)? Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being manifested in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Note: Don’t confuse the one condition for salvation (Acts 16:31) with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth. (See “Lordship for Salvation” article [6] below.

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2 15). Being teachable without being willing to change is of no value (James 1:22-27; 2:19, 20; 4:17). We can be reached through our website: If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For your consideration:

[1] Hucksters: The Most Evil Man You’ve Never Heard Of

[2] Social Gospel:

[3] Christian Giving:

[4] Spiritual Gifts: Go to “Bible Basics” at

[5] Clear Gospel: ReadThe Bad News & Good News at

[6] Lordship for Salvation –

Touching Video – 2 Minutes:


One Christian author pointed out that he believes many of the problems that children have today stem from the fact that some of them have never been disciplined or spanked for being bad. Thanks Dr. Spock. Not all children need spankings. Others of us needed it. Many active little boys often are put on drugs to calm them down instead of letting them work off their energy that God put into them. One drill sergeant put a 5 year old boy among his men and told them to do the same things the little boy did. Within short order, the men were worn out.

Babies – Savages

Some years ago the Minnesota Crime Commission released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature (See Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9). “Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncles’ watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact, dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children – not just certain children – are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal – a thief, a killer, or a rapist.”


Cliff Barrows, song leader of the Billy Graham Crusade ministry, tells a story about his children when they were younger. They had done something he had forbidden them to do. They were told if they did the same thing again they would have to be disciplined. When he returned from work and found that they hadn’t minded, his heart went out to them. “I just couldn’t discipline them,” he said.
Any loving father can understand Cliff’s dilemma. Most of us have been in the same position. He said, “Bobby and Bettie Ruth were very small. I called them into my room, took off my belt and then my shirt, with a bare back I knelt down at the bed. I made them both strap me with the belt ten times each. You should have heard the crying. From them, I mean. The crying was from them. They didn’t want to do it. But I told them the penalty had to be paid and so through their sobs and tears they did what I told them.”
“I smile when I remember the incident,” he said. “I must admit I wasn’t much of a hero. It hurt. I haven’t offered to do that again. It was a once-for-all sacrifice, I guess we could say, but I never had to spank those two children again, because they got the point. We kissed each other. And when it was over we prayed together.”
Taken from The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart, Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 543-544.

Jesus Took Our Place

In like manner, God has imposed some rules on us for our good. When they are violated, a penalty must be paid (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). God could have maintained His justice if He sent all of us sinners to hell (See 2 Peter 2:4). But God the Father loved the people of this world (John 3:16). So God the Son volunteered (Hebrews 10:7) to come down to earth and become a real man by being born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life for 33 years (Hebrews 4:15). Then, when His hour had come (John 2:4; 10:15-18; 18:12; 19:11), He allowed sinful men to take Him and crucify Him on a cruel and shameful cross (Philippians 2:8; See Psalm 22). While He was hanging there, God the Father placed your sins and mine on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6) He paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2) so we wouldn’t have to end up in the lake for fire to suffer forever with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Now that’s “Amazing Grace.”

While we might be able to identify with the physical pain that Cliff Burrows experienced as his children spanked him, it’s impossible for us to comprehend the suffering that Jesus experienced as He paid for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). His spiritual death (i. e. the separation from fellowship with His Father), from noon until 3 P.M., was far greater than His physical suffering on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46).

The next time you think about engaging in a sinful act to gratify a temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:2), read and think about the anguish and mourning of a man who got involved in an immoral relationship and learn from his failure (Proverbs 5; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). If you’re a Christian, learn how to “Walk by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) so you don’t give in to immoral temptations and engage in other “works of the flesh” that are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21). Think about the whipping that Jesus took for you so you wouldn’t have to be separated from Him forever? Trust in Him alone to save you, not in your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).


“’My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8 NKJV).

Please note King Solomon’s words carefully. Why? Apart from Jesus Christ, he was the wisest man who ever lived. “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:25). “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18). “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die, You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:14). “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).


Are you, as a parent, making up senseless rules without careful consideration? Would you, as Cliff Barrows did, be willing to allow your children to spank you for violating the rules you had imposed on them? Are you sure your children know that you truly love them and have their best interest in mind? Are you being a parent like God Himself is? If not, what needs to change with His help (Philippians 4:13)? When will you begin to implement these things (James 4:17)?


Are you sure that if you died today you would go immediately to heaven to be with God (1 John 5:13)? Why should He let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? If you believe you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39; John 10:28, 29)? If so, what would it be? Have you placed your faith in the Christ of the Scriptures who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? If not, why not do this right now (2 Corinthians 6:2)? Then let us know about it so we can help you begin to grow spiritually.


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Bullies. Have you ever been bullied verbally, physically, or spiritually by someone? I have been. Are you sick and tired of being abused? I was and still am. Would you like to learn how to defend yourself and come out on top instead of on the bottom? Are you teachable and willing to change? Would you like to be a wise person who knows what to do and when to do it?

Story. One day a proud young man approached Socrates and asked him to show him the path to wisdom. Socrates looked at him and paused for a few moments, allowing him to become uncomfortable with the silence. He locked eyes with him and said, Meet me at the river at dawn.” The next morning the young man arrived at the river before dawn. Socrates soon walked down the path and waded out into the water, motioning for the young man to join him. When they both were about chest deep, Socrates looked at him and asked, What do you want?” The young man responded, To find wisdom!”

Socrates grabbed the young man and began drowning him. He held him under water for twenty seconds and then let him up, asking him again, “What do you want?” The young man responded again, To find wisdom!” At that, Socrates promptly submerged the man under water again. Thirty seconds passed, then forty, and the man’s face began to turn blue. Socrates lifted the man up and asked, What do you want?” The man gasped, Air!”

Socrates released the young man, and saidWhen you want wisdom as much as you have just wanted air, then you will begin to find wisdom.”  – Original source of story unknown

Truth. What about the truth? Jesus referred to Himself as being the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It tells us in words what God wants us to know about God, man, sin, salvation, the future and much more. It also tells us about our spiritual enemies.

Enemies. Before we, as Christians, can live victoriously over the three spiritual bullies that confront us, we must learn the truth about them and how they operate. We must read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word and rely on God the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds (Ephesians 1:17, 18). Then we need to apply the truth to the situations in which we find ourselves (James 1:22). We don’t use the same tactics for each of our three spiritual enemies. Do you know when to flee, when to stand and fight, and which one to use without abusing it?

Sin. It’s not a four letter word but a three letter word. But it has caused so many problems from the time when Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit and even before then when Lucifer, the anointed cherub, rebelled against God and wanted to be like God” by acting independently of Him (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Creation. It is our understanding of the Scriptures that the spirit beings, whom God the Son had created (Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3), saw Him create the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:7). Lucifer, the anointed cherub, once had his residence in a mineral garden on this earth that God had created in a place called Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-19). From here he ruled under God over all other spirit beings – cherubs, seraphs, and angels (Ezekiel 28:14; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). Note – Later God placed Adam and Eve in a fruit and vegetable garden eastward in Eden (Genesis 2:8).

Rebellion. Not being satisfied with the role and responsibility that God had given to him, he set out to lift his throne above God’s and be like God and unaccountable to Him (Isaiah 14:14). Then he convinced one third of the angels to go along with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4).

Man. It is our understanding that after Lucifer’s rebellion and demotion, God made an inferior creature out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives – physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:7). He called him Adam. Then He took a rib from him and formed Eve, his counterpart. They were given the responsibility to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28).

Control. This led Lucifer (the devil) to try to take the control away from them back to himself. We don’t know how long he observed Adam and Eve before he decided to tempt her into disobeying God’s clear command not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). We know that he succeeded and got both her and Adam to disobey God which resulted in immediate spiritual death (i.e. separation from God).  Physical death came much later (Genesis 5:5). It appears that they were stripped of something (Genesis 3:11). Was it a garment of light (See 1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2; 1 Timothy 6:16)?

Unrighteousness. The Scriptures use many words to convey different aspects of unrighteousness. The Biblical definition of sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Sin involves man’s acting as though God has placed no restraints on him. Like the devil, man wants to act independently of God and be the master of his own fate and the captain of his own ship.” He wants to make his own rules and decide what is right in his own eyes (See Judges 21:25). Have you noticed that many people do the same thing today? They want to impose their rules on others but they don’t want anyone else to impose their rules on them. (This sounds a lot like our legislators and politicians, doesn’t it?) Such lawless behavior is rampant today and getting worse (1 Timothy 4:1 ff; 2 Timothy 3:1 ff).

Sin. It is what God declares it to be. Since He made man, He has the right to make the rules for us. He also conveys to us the consequences of lawlessness (See Genesis 2:17; Deuteronomy 28; John 3:16, 18, 36; Romans 1:18-32; 6:23; Revelation 21:8). Upon careful examination of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and using the normal rules of interpretation, one discovers that God has different rules for different people in different periods of time. Example: Dietary rules before the flood of Noah’s day – herbs and fruit (Genesis 1:29; 2:9, 16). After the flood people were allowed to eat every moving thing (Genesis 9:3). The Jews under the Mosaic Law had a limited diet (Leviticus 11:2 ff). Today our diet is unlimited (1 Timothy 4:3-5). To see further distinctions, consider our Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” at

Sources. There are three sources from which temptations to sin come: the devil, our sin nature, and the present world system. Some people believe that Christians lose their sin nature when they get saved. This is not true (See 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). God has provided everything that a Christian needs for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures so he/she can live victoriously over these solicitations to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:1). Some people believe that the temptation itself is a sin. No!

Temptations. In his book, Maturing In Christ, p. 33, Dr. H. L. Schafer writes, “Part of the well-known hymn correctly states, ‘Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin.’ Having the temptation is not sin. Temptations are allowed by God in order for a believer to mature by having victory. The believer is not responsible for having temptation, but he is responsible for his reaction to temptation.”  Note the progression that is involved that leads to sin and death (James 1:12-15).

Blame. Do you blame the devil for all your problems and the sins you commit? Did you know that he must get permission from God before he or his demons can hurl their fiery darts against Christians (See Luke 22:31, 32; Ephesians 6:13; Job 1:12; 2:6)? How many of his 14 temptations can you identify and what is the Biblical way to overcome them (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17)? How do you overcome the strong desires (sinful lusts) that come from your own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-13)? How does the present world system appeal to maturing believers and how does a Christian overcome it (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:16-24)?

Salvation. For someone to be saved today from eternal condemnation, he/she must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? Are you “believing in vain” by trying to add your good works to faith (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Matthew 7:21-23)? Please read the “Bad News & Good News” on our website. Once you’re truly saved and have assurance from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16) and from God’s Word (1 John 5:13), we’d like to have a part in your spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), and show you how you can serve God effectively with your spiritual gift (1 Peter 4:10), and reproduce yourself (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) while you’re here on earth. We’d like to show you how you can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Help. Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow” or “Subscribe.” Please let us know how you like our new website:  If you have found this article to be helpful, please let us know and share it with others.

Maturing In Christ, by Dr. H. L. Schafer

Spiritual Warfare: Devil

Our Sin Nature:

Scofield Study Bible



“Man – Helpless, Hopeless, Hell bound?”

Have you ever asked yourself, Where did I come from?  Why am I here?  What will happen to me when I die?  Can anyone be sure?  Is there a reliable source I can trust to give me honest answers?

I’m assuming that if you went in to see your Doctor for your annual checkup that you’d want him to tell you the truth about your overall health. Suppose, after taking several tests, he came back and gave you some very bad news and said, “You’re going to die unless you undergo surgery immediately to remove a fast growing cancer in your body.”  If you trust him, you’ll undergo the knife even though it may involve a lot of pain and recovery time.

When it comes to our spiritual health, we should also expect someone who claims to be a man of God”  to tell us the truth about our spiritual condition, even if it’s painful and hard to take. Only then can the proper measures be taken to cure the problem and save us from eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. Sadly, there are many false teachers who do not believe the Scriptures and who will tell people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1 ff).

Where Did I Come From?

Those who don’t want to be held accountable to God for their actions find it much easier to accept the theory of evolution even though the odds of its happening are beyond our imagination. It’s almost as absurd as believing that a car can evolve over millions of years by accident or that a tornado going over a junk yard can assemble a 747 jet.

The other option is to accept the Biblical account of the origin of life as found in the Scriptures (Genesis 1, 2; Matthew 19:4). This seems much easier to believe than the theory of evolution. It takes too much faith to believe in atheism and evolution.

Why Am I Here On Earth?

Those who believe the theory of evolution seem to think of life as being purposeless and futile. It involves the survival of the fittest and believing that you are the “captain of your ship and the master of your fate.”  They think that whatever their mind can conceive they can achieve and make it happen.

Those who believe in a Creator God and His Word, have been given the reason for their existence on earth – to come to an understanding and belief/trust in the true and living God (John 17:3) and to make Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Where Will I Go When I Die?

Those who believe in atheism and evolution usually believe all consciousness ceases at the time of physical death. Some folks believe in reincarnation.

Those who accept God’s Word to be true believe there are two destinies: everlasting pleasures in the presence of God for believers (Psalm 16:11; 2 Corinthians 5:8) or  torment with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire forever for those who are unbelievers (Matthew 25:41, 46).

How Serious Is Our Condition?

You may not want to hear this, but the Scriptures are true (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We’re all born into this world spiritually dead – separated from God (Ephesians 2:1, 5). We all inherited a sinful nature/disposition from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). We ignore or treat God as our enemy (Romans 5:8,10; Psalm 2:1 ff). We are totally depraved (Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9). We aren’t as bad as we could be, but we are as bad off as we could possibly be. We all deserve eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). Perhaps without our knowing it, we are being energized by Satan (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2) and we don’t seek God (Romans 3:11). Our understanding is darkened (Ephesians 4:18) and we have warped emotions (Ephesians 2:3). We can’t do anything to please God (Romans 8:8; Isaiah 64:6). We don’t choose God (John 15:16) and we’re all guilty of lawless behavior (Romans 3:19, 23; 1 John 3:4). There aren’t any good works that we can do to save ourselves (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8, 9). We are helpless (Romans 5:6), hopeless (Ephesians 2:12), and hell bound (Romans 6:23).

This diagnosis may be a difficult truth for us to accept. But there is a competent and loving Physician (Jesus Christ) who can deliver us from eternal condemnation (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 16:11). He paid the debt for our sins that we owed to God (Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

Our Choice

You and I have a choice to make. We can agree with God and accept the provision that He has made for us through Jesus Christ so we don’t have to be eternally separated from Him, or we can reject His offer of salvation and the truth that is found in the Scriptures and hope that what it says isn’t true.

By one simple act of faith, anyone can be saved (John 3:16, 18, 36). We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We are not saved by faith plus our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

If you’re still an unbeliever, what it keeping you from trusting in Christ alone to save you right now? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?


Yes, we can know that we will go to heaven the moment we die (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). The only unforgivable sin today is the sin of unbelief in Christ (John 16:8-11). True believers are secure in God the Father’s hands and in God the Son’s hands (John 10:28, 29). They are also sealed by God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Nothing can separate a true believer from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). 


We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share it with others who might benefit from it (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For additional help, see –

Clear Gospel:

Evolution or Creation:

The Big Bang:

Dr. C. R. Swindoll, Growing Deep In The Christian Life”

Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ”


“The Spirit Who Is Not A Ghost”

There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people if/when they talk about the “Holy Spirit.” Some of the cults have distorted views of Him. Do you know which cult teaches that “The holy spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God which moves his servants to do his will”? Which cult teaches that “Jesus Christ, a little babe like all the rest of us have been, grew to be a man, was filled with a divine substance or fluid, called the Holy Spirit.” Is the Holy Spirit really an “it,” an energy, an active force, a substance, a fluid, … an invisible power of energy, etc.?

To discover the truth about Him, we need to get our information directly from the Scriptures that are God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Without it, we couldn’t know the truth about Him. Nature tells us that there is a God who is powerful (Romans 1:18-20; Psalm 19:1), but it can’t give us the special revelation (information) that we need to know about God and how to be saved from eternal condemnation with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). First let’s consider what –

God The Holy Spirit Is Not

He is not an “It.” The word “spirit” (wind) is a neuter word. But the pronouns “He” and “Him” are masculine and they tell us that God the Holy Spirit is not an “It.” Notice Jesus’ words, And I will pray [i. e. ask God the Father as an equal to Him], and He will give you another [of the same kind] Helper, that He may abide with you forever  – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16, 17).

He is not passive. He is very active and involved in people’s lives (John 16:8-14). “When He moves among a body of people, He mobilizes and empowers them. They become sensitive, motivated, spiritually alive. They are cleansed. They are purged, enthusiastic, actively excited about the right things…As with air, we cannot see Him; nevertheless, He is hard at work convicting, convincing, guiding, instructing, disclosing, and glorifying [Christ].” – C. R. Swindoll

He is not imaginary. Just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean that He isn’t there or real. We don’t see the radio waves around us but if we have the proper receivers, we can hear and see what is being transmitted through the air. We cannot see air but we know what it can do under pressure. Consider hurricanes and tornadoes. Pneumatic tools are very helpful in doing many things. In like manner, the believer can understand some things that the unbeliever can’t because of their spiritual blindness (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25).

He is not a substitute for God. When a couple of early Christians (Ananias and his wife Sapphira) lied about the amount of their gift to the Church, they are said to have lied to the Holy Spirit who is Himself God (Acts 5:4). Although many people think lying is alright if one can get by with it without any serious consequences, God doesn’t take it lightly (Exodus 20:16; Revelation 21:8).

What God The Holy Spirit Is

He is the third Person in the Godhead. In the economic plan of God today there is subordination among the Persons in the Godhead (Matthew 26:39; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Hebrews 10:7), but once God’s plan (decree – Ephesians 1:11) for time is complete, the vertical relationship that currently exists will be a horizontal one again (Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 15:27, 28).

He has a mind (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Isaiah 11:2), a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), and emotions (Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:29). God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are spirit beings (John 4:24) and do not have flesh, bones, and blood (See Luke 24:33-43). But once the incarnation of God the Son occurred at the moment of His miraculous conception (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), He became unique. He is the God-man (John 1:1-18). He didn’t cease to be God but added a real human nature and a real body to Himself (Philippians 2:5-11; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7).

He is equal to God the Father and God the Son. He shares the Divine attributes and characteristics of God: Omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10, 11), Omnipotence (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13), Truth (1 John 5:6), Holiness (Luke 11:13), Life (Romans 8:2), Wisdom (Isaiah 40:13).

His Activities

In the past. He was a co-agent in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in man’s becoming a living being (Genesis 1:1, 2, 27; Job 26:13). He was the Divine Agent in the supernatural conception of the humanity of God the Son (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35). He took up His residence on the earth in the bodies of believers on the “Day of Pentecost” – fifty days after Passover (John 14:26; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 11:15-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16: 6:19).

In the present. His purpose is to glorify God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14; See Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14), not Himself or men. He is restraining wickedness on the earth until the Rapture of the true Church (2 Thessalonians 2:7; See Genesis 6:3). We understand the Scriptures to teach that He convicts (thoroughly convinces) some among the sinful human race of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11; 6:37, 44) after the Gospel has been presented clearly to them (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25). With reference to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for their salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9), He regenerates them (John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Peter 1:23-25). He indwells every Christian from the moment of salvation (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Romans 8:9; John 14:16-20). He baptizes [places] believers into the spiritual “Body of Christ” and gives them “spiritual gifts” to serve God and other believers (1 Corinthians 12:13; See Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10). He seals believers unto the Day of Redemption” (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; See John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:23). He also fills those believers who are rightly adjusted to Him (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23). These believers have their known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; see James 5:16). They are not grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). As long as they walk by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) they can’t/won’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from their sin nature (1 John 1:8; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:14-25). But they must be aware of their two other spiritual enemies: the devil (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17) and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:16-24; Luke 11:50, 51) that he devised to try to control certain aspects of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). The Holy Spirit is also sanctifying (John 17:17; Romans 15:16), empowering (Acts 1:8; Philippians 4:13), leading (Romans 8:14), assuring (Romans 8:16), teaching (1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20), and interceding for believers (Romans 8:26). If you’re a true Christian, are you giving thanks to God for these things that He is doing for you?

In the future. He will remove His residence from the earth back to heaven at the time of the Rapture (2 Thessalonians 2:7). During the latter part of the Seven Years of the Tribulation (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 6-19) He will be poured out on believing Jews just prior to Christ’s second advent (Joel 2:28, 29; Note the differences in Acts 2:16-21).

Application. Have you been born again from above” (John 3:3-6)? If so, are you rightly related to God the Holy Spirit? Are you grieving or quenching Him? Do you have unconfessed sins in your life? Are you growing spiritually in the sphere of grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)? Are you sharing the Gospel with lost people as you are led by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; 8:26-40; Romans 8:14)? Are you living each day as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1)? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die (1 John 5:13)? Is there anything that you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation or cause God to stop loving you (Romans 8:35-38)? If so, what would it be?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like for you to tell us how it has and then ask you to share it with others who might benefit from this information. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook Live and on Youtube.

Some of the material for this article was adapted from the following sources:

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, “He That Is Spiritual”

Dr. C. R. Swindoll, “Growing Deep In The Christian Life”

Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” 

The Holy Spirit:

The Clear Gospel:

You can/should be thankful if you grew up in a loving home with a father and mother and where Christ was honored and your parents modeled His love and the other parts of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). But sadly, many people never experienced this. You may have been verbally, physically, or sexually abused. You in turn may have mistreated your children or others as you were mistreated. Are you doomed to hell? Do you have to repeat this vicious cycle or can a change take place in your life and the lives of others? What does God’s Word tell us we need to do?

Forgiveness. We’ve all sinned [to a greater or lesser degree] and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As such, we all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:9). But because God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, took our place and died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, we can be judicially forgiven the moment we trust in Christ alone to save us (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior (John 16:8-11). Have you placed your faith in Christ alone to save you? If not, why not trust Him now? Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14).

Sin. What is sin? Among other things, it is lawlessness (1 John 3:4; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). What should all unsaved sinners do? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? What penalties are associated with sin? Physical and spiritual death (Romans 6:23; 13:1-7). What kind of people end up forever in the lake of fire? “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8). “…fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, [and] extortioners.” Do you fit into this group? Many of us did. Is there any way for us to get out of the devil’s family and into God’s family and be judicially forgiven (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:7). Yes! We can be when we get washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Has this happened to you?

Action. What should a Christian who has sinned against God and other people do if he/she wants to receive family forgiveness and be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; John 15:1-10)?

  1. Honest confession must be made to God first (1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:1-5; 51:1-19). Keep in mind that doing this may not keep a person from the penalty of the civil government (Romans 13:1-7). The government doesn’t always do what is right but they are accountable to God (See James 3:1; Romans 14:12; Matthew 23:13-36; Isaiah 1:26; 5:20; 10:1; 2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 4:17, 25).
  2. Then, if possible, one needs to go to the offended party and seek forgiveness from that person (James 5:16). The offended party may or may not grant forgiveness to the perpetrator. But a Christian should forgive someone who asks for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:22). If we don’t, we sin by yielding to the temptation from the devil to have an unforgiving and bitter spirit that will damage us (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Hebrews 12:15; Matthew 18:34, 35).
  3. The perpetrator (i. e. the sinning Christian) should realize that even though God promises to forgive him when he makes honest confession, God doesn’t forget what he’s done because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). But God won’t hold the sins he’s confessed against him (See Ezekiel 18:22; 33:16). Sometime in the future He will allow that person to be tempted in the same area to see how he/she will respond to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The question is, Does the Christian love God more than the sinful pleasures of sin (James 1:12; Hebrews 11:25; 1 John 2:15-17)? Yes, there are pleasures to sin. Otherwise we wouldn’t engage in them.
  4. A Christian needs to learn how to overcome the sinful temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), or from his/her own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:8), or from the present world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). There are different tactics that must be used with each enemy. (See

The abused person. A believer who has suffered unjustly because of the sin of another person can/should commit his/her soul (emotions) to God and trust Him to work out a bad situation and bring something good from it (1 Peter 4:19; Romans 8:18, 28). Consider what God did for the patriarch Job after he was viciously mistreated by the devil and his friends (Job 1:1-2:13; 42:10-16). Notice how Joseph responded to his brothers who sold him into slavery (Genesis 50:20). Think about Christ’s suffering at the hands of cruel men that made our salvation possible (Acts 2:23). God holds you and me responsible for His death too (Acts 4:27). Our sins put Him on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:3; Isaiah 53:6). Perhaps you didn’t know this. If you’ve been wronged, you should go to the perpetrator (if he/she is a believer) and inform that person of the injustice that you believe has been committed against you. If reconciliation doesn’t take place this way, you should take two or three other believers with you and try to resolve the issue. If this doesn’t work, the matter should be brought before the local church and appropriate action taken (Matthew 18:15-35; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). By all means you should leave vengeance to God (Romans 12:19). God is just/righteous and will not allow sin to go without consequences that may seem severe to some people (See Hebrews 12:5 ff). We can count on Jesus, who will be the Judge of all men (John 5:22), to do what is right on judgment day (2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 20:11-15). Furthermore, the civil government may also take action against certain crimes. It has authority from God to take another person’s life in some cases (See Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7) Capital punishment is a deterrent to crime.

Unbelievers. These people, who rejected God’s offer of salvation (John 1:11, 12; 3:16, 18, 36), and natural revelation (Psalm 19:1; Romans1:18 ff) will be judged one day according to their works, not to determine their entering into heaven or not, but to determine the degree of suffering they will undergo in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Christ’s death made provision for all men/women to be saved (1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10). It is God’s desire for sinners to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people will reject His offer of deliverance because they love darkness more than light (John 3:19). Have you received by faith the gift of eternal life from God (Romans 6:23; John 3:16, 18, 36)? If not, why not today?

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Clear Gospel:

When we sin (act lawlessly), what should we do?  It depends on whether you are a true Christian or not.  If you’re not a Christian, contrary to what you may have been told, it isn’t necessary for you to confess every single sin you’ve ever committed in your life before you can be saved.  In fact you can’t remember every sin (act of lawlessness) you’ve committed.  Everything you’ve done independently of God and all your self righteous acts are considered by God to be sin (See Proverbs 21:4; Isaiah 14:13, 14; 64:6; Romans 14:23; James 4:17).  You may not have known this fact.

Acknowledge.  Instead, you need to realize that you are a sinner like all the rest of us, and in need of a Savior (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23).  We believe that God the Holy Spirit convicts (thoroughly convinces) those whom the Father has given to the Son concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment after they have heard the unadulterated Gospel (John 16:8-11; 6:37, 44; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Much of what is being called “The Gospel” isn’t the true Gospel but a “different gospel” and/or another way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15 ; See Acts 16:17).  (Please read “The Gospel” by Dr. Ron Shea.)

Unforgivable Sin.  The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, (not the false christs of the cults – Matthew 24:5).  Without Christ’s quality of righteousness we cannot enter heaven.  But since we all have sinned and are unrighteous, we’re all disqualified from entering heaven to spend eternity with God.  This is why we need Christ’s righteousness put to our account.  God causes this to happen when we believe in/on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.  He sees us as having acted right when we believe in/on Christ alone and count His death as our death, and His resurrection as our resurrection (Galatians 2:20; Romans 4:4, 16).  The Holy Spirit also convicts (convinces) these people of being judged and having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons if they don’t believe in/on Christ alone to be saved (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10).  This truth will seem foolish to most unsaved people (1 Corinthians 1:20-31; 2:14).

Time.  These particular unsaved people (2 Peter 3:9) may not immediately place their faith in Christ but they will believe in/on Him before they die physically (Hebrews 1:14).  This sometimes is called “effectual calling” (John 6:37, 44).  If you’re saved, did you get saved the first time you heard the Good News concerning “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation”?  Most of us probably didn’t.

Christians.  If you are a true Christian who has been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone (not of your good works- Ephesians 2:8, 9), and you sin as a Christian, you don’t have to get saved all over again.  In fact, this is impossible (Hebrews 6:4).  Instead you need to honestly confess your known sins to God the Father (without making excuses or blaming others as Adam and Eve did – Genesis 3:8-13) so you can receive family forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  If you say that you have no sin nature that causes you to sin periodically, you are deceiving yourself, not others (1 John 1:8; See Romans 7:14-25).

Christians Don’t Have To Sin (1 John 2:1).  God has made every provision for His children so we don’t have to keep on sinning (2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13).  If you think and say that you can’t sin once you’re saved (and some people say this), you are about to fall into sin (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13).  You don’t lose your sin nature when you get saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25).  It’s still very much alive and most of the temptations to which we yield originate from our sin nature (disposition).  But if we walk by means of the Holy Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from our sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 26).  Don’t blame the devil for every sin you commit.  His 14 temptations to sin are different from those that come from our sin nature and the present world system.  Do you know how to overcome these three spiritual enemies and live a victorious Christian life?  Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16)? If so, we may be able to help you.

God Knows Everything.  He knows that we, as His children, will sin periodically (1 John 3:9, 10).  This is why we have an Advocate (Jesus Christ) along side the Father (1 John 2:1).  He ensures that we don’t lose our salvation when we sin (See John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30), and also maintains the Father’s integrity when the devil accuses His children of our sinful behavior on earth.  When we, as Christians, confess (name) our sins to God the Father, He grants to us family forgiveness (not judicial forgiveness that took place at the time of our salvation – Ephesians 1:7) and cleanses us from all the unrighteousness that led up to our sinning (1 John 1:9; See James 1:12-15).  Temptations are not sin, but yielding to them constitutes sin.  Believers can earn the “Crown of Life” for overcoming sin (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

Sin’s Effects.  It interrupts the Christians’ close relationship with God and causes us to grieve the heart of God (Ephesians 4:30).  When we sin we don’t abide (feel at ease with God) and He doesn’t feel at ease with us.  We don’t bear the spiritual fruit that we should (John 15:1-14).  Do you know that this fruit involves (See Galatians 5:22, 23; Colossians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:15; Hebrews 13:15; Philippians 4:17)?  Sin also keeps us from doing the desirous will of God for our lives (Romans 12:1, 2).  Without God’s power, we can do nothing to please God (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 8:8).

Confession.  Confessing our sins to God the Father (not to men unless we’ve sinned against them too – James 5:16) doesn’t automatically place us in fellowship with God the Father.  We must make the choice to walk in the light as He is in the light if we are to enjoy close fellowship with Him (1 John 1:7).  Are you abiding in Christ and bearing much spiritual fruit (John 15:8)?  Are you walking in the light?  If not, what needs to change?  Are you tired of suffering the painful consequences of sin that could lead to your premature physical death (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17)?  Unconfessed sins in the life of a Christian can lead to severe disciplinary measures so we won’t be condemned later with the unsaved people of this world (Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

Freedom.  In Christ there is freedom to do as we ought to do rather than being in bondage to sin (Galatians 5:1; Romans 8:2).  We become the slaves of the one to whom we yield (Romans 6:14-23).  Whose servant are you?  Those Christians who make Christ the Master of their lives (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15) could have no better Master.  Have you done this yet?  This is not a condition for salvation as the “Lordship for salvation” people are teaching. (See below.)

Safety.  Being figuratively under “His wings” and under His care is the safest place we could possibly be (Psalm 91:4; 1 Peter 5:7).  Is this where you’d like to be?  Are you sure you’re saved?  Make sure (2 Peter 1:10). If you’re not, why not get saved today and gain assurance of it (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?  If you’re saved, have you wandered away from God and become carnal like the prodigal son (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1 ff; See Luke 15:11-32)?  Would you like to come back to the loving arms of your heavenly Father?  He’s waiting (Matthew 11:28). Why not do it right now?

Help.  If this articles has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this information with others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Join us on Facebook Live and on Youtube for our Bible studies.

Clear Gospel:

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation.

Lordship For Salvation?