“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3)
I’ve been in ministry now for about 4.5 years. That’s not a long time, I know. But every year, God puts before me some new challenges that I hadn’t faced before. Recently, I’ve had to face someone who obviously didn’t believe in the sufficiency and authority of Scripture in life…. Twice!
Before leaving on this trip, we had a man come to two services. After our Annual Business meeting, which he stayed for, he asked me who our Deacons are. I told him that since we didn’t have any other men in the active membership, we don’t have any Deacons at the moment. He asked me if the women in the church couldn’t be Deacons. “Well,” I said, “It would be awfully hard for them to be the husband of one wife.” That’s one of the qualifications of a Deacon in Scripture. (1 Timothy 3:12) He answered me, sarcastically, “And I suppose you think you get that from the Bible.” I said yes and he called me a legalist and stormed off to get his coat. I followed him, open Bible in hand to show him the Scripture. He informed me that I would be wasting my time on him with that! Wasting my time?!? By using the Bible?!? I answered him that if using the Bible was a waste of time, I will waste a lot of time with him. He left and we didn’t see him again.
This last Sunday I was in a church in Milltown, Wisconsin. The Friday before, I attended their Reformers Unanimous meeting to check it out, since I’d like to run one at PBC someday. I met a man who began asking me questions and then said, “I suppose you’re one of those premillennialists too…” I am and unashamedly so. He told me then that he would plan on being in church Sunday morning and would critique my message following the service. Well, Sunday he met me at the back door after the service. He said my message was “ok” he would write me a letter to critique it and send it up to me at home. I asked him if it would be about eschatology and he said that he has a hard time having the mind of Christ on these things. I asked him if he meant he can’t seem to think Christ-like on this and he agreed. I informed him that I don’t want his letter because my interest in doctrinal things is based on Scripture, not on man’s ideas. We ended up having a long discussion on many things.
That’s twice recently that I faced that. Just a week ago I was reading through First and Second Peter, preparing some messages for when I get back to Swift Current. As I spoke to this man, the verse above came back to my mind. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3) God has given us, in His Word, ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness. That means two things.
First, i don’t need anything else to tell me how to live or what to believe. God’s Word is sufficient for these things. All that I need to know for what to teach, all that I need to know to raise my family, all that I need to know to be a good husband, everything I need is in there! I need nothing else!
Second, it means that there is no other source of Truth that is able to teach me anything that will build me up and make me more godly. Nothing else has the quality of life found in the Bible (Hebrews 4:12), nothing else comes from the mind of God (2 Peter 1:16-21), no other book can give life (1 Peter 1:23). Not only do I not need anything else, but nothing else can help. Not only does this apply to me, but it applies to you also! This is the Truth, the Absolute Truth! Truth is not subjective; this is not true to me but untrue to you. It is true for all men, women and children the whole world over whether they recognize it or not.
If I am a legalist in the eyes of some because I believe in the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, so be it. I gladly bear the insult.
Do me and yourselves a favor – the day that some other book or source becomes the authority for life and godliness in my life and/or pulpit… Fire me.
- Pastor Mike
Have you ever been blindsided? That word can mean a couple of things. Often, it is used in the context of a car accident, where one person’s vehicle was struck by another that they didn’t even know was there. Sometimes it is used by people saying that certain events were unexpected; they took them by surprise. In any case, it usually means something like, “I didn’t see that coming!”
A couple of years ago, my son started saying that a lot. Actually, it was quite funny. He would be building this huge, lopsided tower of blocks that would eventually come crashing to the floor with a loud noise and he’d say “Whoa! Didn’t see that coming!” I would laugh, but inside I would think to myself that if he were a little wiser and a bit more observant, he would have known that would happen. Incidentally, he is no longer so surprised by falling towers.
Why not? Because he’s learned and become wiser. Ephesians 4:22 says “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires”. At one time, many of the things we craved, desired or lusted after ruled our thoughts and often our lives. We would chase after these things only to find that they didn’t bring the happiness, the joy, the satisfaction, the pleasure or the self-fulfillment we had expected. These desires were, as the text says, deceitful.
Scripture abounds in verses that teach that sin is deceitful:
Hebrew 3:13 “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Romans 7:11 “For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.”
When God asked Eve what she had done, her answer to Him was “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Ever since the beginning of sin, it has been found to be deceitful.
The husband who loses his temper and yells at his wife momentarily thought it would relieve his stress, but it only brought guilt. The wife who spends time building an online relationship talking to another man who seems more sympathetic than her husband finds out she only brings shame. The teen who snuck out of the house to go to a party thought they would have fun but it only brought trouble. The young couple who thought their “innocent” physical relationship would bring pleasure only ends up finding that it brought sorrow. The thief figures what he stole would be enjoyable until he is caught and ends us with less than he started with. The Christian who follows the world thinks that they will enjoy the popularity and friendship but only ends up with a damaged testimony and conscience before God and others. People are blindsided all the time.
But a Christian should never be blindsided. How so? Because God has given us plenty of warnings and equipped us so that there are no “blind spots” in the Christian life. The next verses after our text read “and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23,24) First, your thinking has to change. You have to start thinking Biblically about everything, and as we have already seen, there is plenty of evidence about the deceitfulness of sin in Scripture. We are even told of Moses and his decision; “choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:25) As a Christian, taught by the Word of God, you know that sin will never bring you joy; you know it will only bring guilt to your conscience before God. Oh, it will be fun at the time, but you will regret it! That’s why it’s so important for you to be in the Word of God – you need to know what is right and what is wrong before God.
Second, you need to live the new life, not the old one. The new life is one of righteousness and holiness – Christlike living according to God’s will with a pure conscience undefiled by sin. And, by the way, when your thinking is right and God’s will is always in your thoughts, this becomes a whole lot easier. Do these things and you’ll never be blindsided.
So now, if my son builds a funky shaped lopsided tower and seems surprised by it falling down, I know better – and so does he. He’s just playing it up or trying to make it look like an innocent mistake. Kids do it all the time…. Do you?
- Pastor Mike
Sunday Service Times
9:45 a.m. Sunday Morning Bible Study
11:00 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship
120-1081 Central Ave N,