What Is the Hardest Thing to Deal With In Our Lives?

Proverbs 16:17-25, The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.
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Thank you for reading today. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord! In my daily time with God in His Word today, the Holy Spirit reminded me about the difficulties of pride in our lives. We desire to be an encouragement and help to those who need help. The number one thing that I do as a Biblical Counsellor and marriage speaker is to try to help people to move out of a
feelings-dominated, emotion-controlled life and into a controlled by the Holy Spirit, Biblical principled driven life.

Kim and I have just returned from preaching and teaching in churches in Ireland and holding a Biblical Counselling Seminar for the missionaries there. Several missionaries were in attendance. We also had a missionary family and co-worker from Hungary in attendance. We were encouraged, and we are thankful for God working in our hearts and lives. We are sorry that we were not able to send out articles while we were away. Thank you to all that prayed for the meetings!

In working with people in our Biblical counselling/discipleship program, I find that the area of pride is one of the most difficult things we as Christians deal with. The most difficult sin to conquer in our life is pride. It hides very well in our lives. It is a deceitful and elusive sin. It is also a root sin. By that, I mean, it produces a lot of other sins. Any time you see a person with an anger issue in their life it comes from pride,
Proverbs 21:24, Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath. Many people have seen their home destroyed because they were too proud to admit they need counsel and to seek help. Because pride steals glory that is due to God alone, there are few sins that bring the level of destruction that pride brings.

The Christian life is a spiritual warfare

The devil seeks to put outside pressure on our lives to control our soul and thus control what we do. The devil always works from the outside in. God works from the inside out by speaking to our spirit by the Holy Spirit. The biggest tool for the devil to use in our lives is pride. Pride is a hindrance and a destroyer in every area of the Christian life. When we go back to the beginning of the Bible in Genesis, we see that Satan used pride with Eve. He told her, she would be like God and God did not want that to happen. This is the same method the devil has always used. All around us today there are people being destroyed in our local churches because of the pride issue that the devil uses in our lives. Many of the people who contact us through Hope Biblical Counselling Center are in the difficulties they are in because of pride and its off-shoot sins. The Bible speaks much about pride. It is the key to either being a servant used by God or a person not being used as a servant and being destroyed.

Who is the author of pride?

I Timothy 3:6, Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
So, we see the devil is the author of pride. Isn't it interesting here that Paul is talking about a person being a preacher who has not learned how to deal with his pride? We all have it to deal with. The understanding of this is extremely important.
Are we unwilling or do not understand that the power of God in our life is not by how much we think we know or even what we know, but by our submission to God.

Folks, there is a premise here that is especially important for the life of a church. There are those in the church today, who will pray and read their Bible in self-righteousness but never do anything. Then there are those who are motivated by doing and give little attention to their Bible. A proper relationship with God means I spend time with the Lord in submission to Him, but it also motivates my doing,
Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus said, “that a wise man is a hearer and a doer.”

People who do without hearing are motivated by pride. People who hear and never do are motivated by pride. There must be a balance in the relationship

The devil's desire, of course, is for a lost person to not get saved. He will appeal to your pride and make you think you know more about it, and you can work it out your own way.

Psalm 10:4, The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
The devil uses pride on lost people and saved people.

Many people because of their pride die and go to hell. Folks, quite frankly, the reason I got saved was flat out because I did not want to die and go to hell. There is no future in it! Maybe you have had it bad in your life. Things have not gone well. Let me put it to you this way. Hell is eternal! It is not a place you can go for a weekend visit to see if you like it. There are no exits! You do not get out. Do not make a prideful, ignorant, eternal mistake and die and go to hell. You think life has been bad up till now? Hell will be nothing like anything you have ever known in bad! Do not let the devil use your pride to send you to hell. If you are reading this and are unsaved, right now is the time to tell the Lord you are a sinner and repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your Saviour.

There are three ways the Christian can live his or her life

They can live their life in unrighteousness, self-righteousness, or righteousness. Unrighteousness and self-righteousness are pride issues. The whole deal of self-righteousness is a pride issue.

Luke 18:11-12, The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Pretty self-righteous statements.

How many times have I heard some prideful statement like this, I grew up in a Christian home, and I will always serve God. Eighty percent of all children who grow up in an Independent Baptist church do not serve God. Many who grow up in Christian homes do not serve God. Why? Pride. It is their desire to go their own way and be independent of God.
The Apostle Peter was an example of someone who made prideful statements. He told the Lord that he would not deny Him. Of course, we know the Lord told him, He would deny him thrice before the cock crew. Peter denied him three times in his self-righteousness.
You see folks, a self-righteous person will be destroyed, because he has never learned that he or she is nothing apart from their submission to God.
One of the things that has been a great encouragement to me is how Peter turned his life around. There was great humility, wisdom and seeking to be an encouragement to the hurting Jewish Christians in I and II Peter by the Apostle Peter. Here he was a changed man!

Proverbs 16:18-19, Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Did you notice the humble spirit? Does that mean you just go around saying you are humble? You know, I am worse than dirt? No, it deals with a larger spiritual principle. You see there are those who have false humility. They hide their pride by talking about humility.

Proverbs 16:25, There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (destruction).
A person who is prideful thinks his way is right, not God's way. Did you notice it will end in destruction? The word haughty here is an interesting word. Pride means I think more of myself than I should. Haughty means I think lower of others than I should.

A prideful person always brings strife and contention

Proverbs 13:10, Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

The prideful person is always angry and fighting with someone. Every hurt or perceived hurt is magnified in their life. They are always upset with someone. They do not turn their hurts to God. They are grudge keepers.
They are a hindrance to those who really want to serve God.
A prideful person grieves the Spirit of God, and they lead others into sin. A prideful person is a hindrance to their children growing up to serve God.

Ephesians 6:4-7, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (5) Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

A prideful person is stubborn and non-teachable. A non-teachable prideful person is miserable in their life, and they are miserable to be around. They think they know more about living for God than anyone else but fail to understand the spiritual point. They always have a critical spirit!

Folks, every Christian must be willing to submit themselves to the teaching of God's word. Do you believe the Bible today?

Then watch carefully what it says,
Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

If we do not submit ourselves to the teaching of God's word, our arrogance and pride will lead us to destruction and shame.

Proverbs 11:2-3, When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

A prideful person is deceived about themselves and about their spiritual condition.

Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Proverbs 29:23, A man’s pride shall bring him low; but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. Proverbs 26:16, The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
Proverbs 26:12, Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.

God takes a dim view of a self-righteous, prideful person. I have the opportunity to counsel with many people. When folks come in with a life in destruction, the first thing we want to find out is what area of pride they are holding onto as an idol of the heart. When we talk with them about this, pride raises its ugly head quickly. The great hindrance to the church today, the cause of the gospel, and living for God, is the pride of the Christian. The answer to our pride is to
submit ourselves to God.

James 4:6-7, But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Psalm 25:9, The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Let me ask you friend are you going around unhappy in your life? Are you always fighting, angry, upset with others? Are you always bucking authority, telling people your opinion, and what you are not going to do? Are you always trying to manipulate circumstances to the way you want it?
God is going to resist you. Your work in self-righteousness will destroy you and others around you. It will destroy your home, your husband, your wife, your children, and you. Ultimately, the pain of your life will be huge. You will make poor decisions and wonder why God is not changing the circumstances of your life. So, you will try to manipulate the circumstances and get frustrated when it does not work out. You will be defeated, discouraged, and depressed. You will be a people responder and not a God responder. God wants us to be a God responder and not a people responder.

II Corinthians 3:5, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

The only answer is to quit seeking to live the Christian life in self-righteousness in your own power and submit to God. Today would be a good day to start the change by submitting yourself to God.

James 4:7-10, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Maybe you need to tell God today, Lord, I have been trying to live the Christian life in my own power, my own way. Please forgive me. I want to submit myself to you. Forgive me for the sin of pride in my life.

Submission to God is the answer to a prideful life. Submission to God is true humility.

The Christian who understands this will have a fruitful, powerful life. True submission however is a daily moment-by-moment thing. As you spend time with God each day, ask God these questions: Lord, is there any sin that stands between you and me today? When He shows you the sin, confess it and turn from it,
I John 1:9. Lord, who and what do you want me to pray for today? Folks, submission is a matter of learning to listen to God not telling God what He is going to do. Lord, who do you want me to witness to today? Lord, who do you want me to encourage today? Lord, what do you want me to praise you for today? Consistently, you need to be turning issues of the day over to God. There will be issues every day in your life.
Do not be deceived, dear Christian friend. The answer of the Bible on this subject is crucial to your life, your family, and your home. Many divorces are happening in Christian homes because one or both parties do not have a real relationship with God because of their pride.

Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. God does not want it to be that way. He desires you have His power today by submitting yourself to Him.
Be all you can be for Him today and have a powerful testimony of living a Spirit-controlled yielded godly life that is serving and living with humility, joy, and peace! We encourage you today to make Jesus Christ real in your life by humbly yielding to Him at the point of impact and living for Him, not the life of prideful, selfish, carnal thinking and speaking. It is an important choice! Tell God you want to yield yourself to Him today and be a trusting, useful, and rewarded servant! Be the person who wants to change! Be the person who can help others change! Do not be the person who always needs to be helped, but the person who can help!

May we all humble ourselves before God and focus on having compassion on others! Let’s seek real Biblical change. May we all have the desire to make real Biblical long-term change to the honour and glory of God!

With a heart to glorify God and serving the God of answers,

Dr. Terry L. Coomer
Director, Hope Biblical Counselling and Training Read the rest of the article…

Baptists are not Protestants?

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In the Western world, apart from Islam and eastern religions, people mainly are put in one of three religious groups. If you are not a Jew or a Roman Catholic, then automatically you are a Protestant. Consequently, Baptists are usually called "Protestants." However, this does not match the facts. Baptists never have been protestants.
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The Protestant Reformation is usually dated from 3lst October, 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. However, this was only one of a series of acts that led to the open rupture with Rome.

An often unnoticed event, but of utmost importance, is the Second Diet (or Council) of Speier, March, 1529. This was a Roman Catholic Council for the purpose of taking action against the Turks and checking the progress of Lutherans and others who were not cooperating with the Pope. On 25th April, 1529, certain Lutheran princes appeared before this Roman Catholic Diet with a formal written protest against those matters in which the Diet went contrary to the Word of God and the Christian faith as they understood it. This protest was signed by Elector John of Saxony, Margrave George of Brandenburg, Dukes Ernest and Francis of Braunschweig-Liineburg, Landgrave Philip of Hesse, Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt, and the representatives of fourteen imperial cities. The protest was designed to protect them from the decisions of this Council' It was a defensive measure. The celebrated church historian, Philip Schaff, makes the noteworthy statement, "From this protest and appeal, the Lutherans were called Protestants.” (History of the Christian Church,Volume VII, p. 692). The same facts are stated in the Catholic Encyclopaedia (Volume XII, p. a95)

These Lutheran leaders, and a few Reformed, who made this appeal and protest at the famous Diet of Speier were speaking for themselves and not for Baptists, of whom they themselves said in their written statement, "All Ana-baptists and re-baptised persons, male or female, of mature age, shall be judged and brought from natural life to death, by fire, or sword, or otherwise, as may befit the persons without preceding trial by spiritual judges." The Baptists then did not share in this protest and consequently cannot bear the name "Protestant." Here are three reasons why Baptists are not Protestants.


Historically,
Baptists Are Not Protestants

Protestants date from the sixteenth century. They are the Lutherans, the Reformed (i.e. Anglicans, Presbyterians, etc.) and others who were once Roman Catholics and left the Roman Catholic faith to start denominations of their own. The Baptists never left the Roman Catholic Church as did Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. They never left because they were never in! They did not begin their existence at the time of the Reformation but hundreds of years prior to the Reformation.

Baptists make no effort to trace a historical succession back to the age of the Apostles. Their only claim is that at every age in church history there have been groups that have held to the same doctrines that Baptists hold today. This is not to say that they were uniform in every teaching. These groups may or may not have been connected and they have been known by various names. Some of them were the Montanists (150A.D.), the Novatians (240A.D.), Donatists (305 A.D.), Paulicians (650 A.D.), Albigenses (1022 A.D.), and Waldensians (1170 A.D.). Historical records reveal that groups eventually were organised that took on the name Anabaptist as an official title. As such, "Anabaptist," came into prominence just before the time of the Protestant Reformation. It was not of, nor did it come out from the Reformation!

Full historical data immediately refutes the view that there was only one religious group - the Roman Catholic Church - until the time of Martin Luther. Anyone who claims this simply has not done his homework.

Historically, anabaptist was a name given by opponents who berated those holding to the Scriptural conviction that baptism should be of believers only. Anabaptists correctly believe those baptised at child birth or in infancy must be baptised again (i.e. Scripturally for the first time) upon a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The prefix “ana" is from the Greek and means “again" as in re-baptise. The Scriptures teach that baptism, by full immersion, is ordered for one after they have experienced salvation. Salvation, as God's unearned, unmerited gift is given by the Holy Spirit to one (regardless of age) who has knowingly trusted Christ as their Saviour. Any such consenting individual, who previously received infant baptism, and requests "believer's baptism" after their conversion, would be an anabaptist regardless of church affiliation! Any group past, present or future that practices the same would be "anabaptist" as the Baptists of today, regardless of their name.

Purposely introducing non-Baptist testimony into our discussion gives witness to the great antiquity of Baptist people. The Polish Cardinal Stanilaus Hosius (1504 - 1579), was a Roman Catholic prelate who had as his life work the investigation and suppression of non-Catholic groups. By Pope Paul IV he was designated one of the three papal presidents of the famous Council of Trent. Hosius carried on vigorously the work of the counter-reformation. If anyone in post-reformation times knew the doctrines and history of non-Catholic groups, it was Hosius. Cardinal Hosius said in 1524, "Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past 1,200 years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers" (Letters Apud Opera, pp. 112,113). Note carefully that this knowledgeable Catholic scholar has spoken of the vicious persecution Baptists have endured, that he clearly distinguishes them from the Reformers, and that he dates them 1,200 years before the Protestant Reformation.

It is also evident that the Baptists were not Protestants because they were fiercely persecuted by the Protestant Reformers and their followers. Uncounted thousands of them lost their goods, their lands and their lives in these persecutions. On 9th March, 1526, the Zurich Council decreed "that whosoever re-baptised should be drowned.” Konrad Grebel, a leader of the Swiss Anabaptists, was spared this fate only because he died in prison for his faith in 1526. Felix Manz was not so fortunate. Trussed up like a turkey, he was tossed into the River Limmat by the Zurich authorities and drawn from a boat until drowned on 5th January, 1527. His wife met the same fate. Noted Baptist leader Balthauser Hubmaier was burned alive at the stake in Vienna 10th March, 1528. Three days later his wife was drowned by being thrown over the Danube bridge with a stone tied to her neck. The facts abundantly attest that historically Baptists are not Protestants.


Doctrinally,
Baptists Are Not Protestants


The viewpoint that Baptists share common doctrinal ground with Protestant groups is not an accurate reporting of the facts. There are six striking differences.

1. Baptists believe with all their hearts that God’s Word alone is sufficient for faith and practice. We read, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine ..." (2 Timothy 3:16). Various Protestant denominations have creeds, catechisms, and assorted doctrinal standards which so define them.

A local Bible-believing church, that calls itself Baptist, is not under any obligation to any denominational creed, catechism, or other standard. Though some local Baptist churches may independently have instructive teaching materials and some form of a confession of faith for its members, no individual church is under any obligation to adhere to some enforced statutes, in order to be called a Baptist Church. Baptist churches, by their nature, are independent, self-governing, local assemblies that hold to the Bible alone for their standard.

2. Baptists believe that Christ, and only Christ, is the LORD and head of the Church even as the Scripture says, "Christ is the Head of the Church" (Ephesians 5:23). He is Administrator, Overseer, Director, Supervisor and Controller of the affairs of the Church on earth (Revelation 1:10-20). Baptist churches are spiritual democracies whose head is Christ. There is no man, council, synod, presbytery nor any ecclesiastical machinery among our churches that has the oversight of Baptist churches.

Baptists have no denomination in the sense of an organisation that controls local congregations. Each local church is autonomous and accountable only to Christ, who is its Head. A Baptist church, while fellowshipping with congregations of like faith and practice, has no headquarters in Rome, Utah, New York City or Canterbury. Its headquarters is in Heaven.

3. Baptists believe from their hearts in a free church in a free state. Christ plainly taught that the state and the church each had its own realm when he said "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's" (Matthew 22:21). Baptists are vigorously opposed to union of state and church and believe that a state controlled church is a wretched excuse for Christianity and a plain departure from Scripture.

The stated purpose of government is political; the business of the Church is spiritual. Neither ought to interfere in the realm of the other. From the beginning, Baptists have been separatists who advocate soul liberty of the individual. That is the ability to worship God according to the conscience without the control or dictates of state or church.

4. Baptists believe strongly in individual accountability to God because the Scriptures clearly teach that "everyone of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12). We recognise one High Priest or Mediator between God and men, and that is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). A priest cannot answer for you; a church cannot answer for you to God. Godparents cannot make reply in your behalf.

Each born-again believer is privileged to approach God, pray to Him, worship Him freely and fully at any time. We need no human intermediary because we have direct access to the Father through Christ (Ephesians 2:18; 3:12; Hebrews 4:15, 16). Because God has no grandchildren, no one ever enters heaven because of what his parents believe. No one is saved, or experiences a right relationship because of his identification with or membership in any religion. He alone will give account for himself to God. Protestants generally do not hold this Scriptural doctrine.

5. Baptist people furthermore have always held to baptism as following belief. None of the Protestant Reformers held this Bible teaching. In the Scriptures, faith and repentance always preceded baptism. On the day of Pentecost, Peter plainly told the people, "Repent and be baptised” (Acts 2:38). This obviously means that there is no infant baptism since infants are incapable of repenting. No unbelievers are to be baptised. The Reformers followed Rome in their teaching on baptism. Baptists have held steadfastly to the doctrine of Christ and His Apostles on this point.

Unlike most Protestants, who pour or sprinkle, believers’ baptism is by full immersion. Sometimes, it is correctly referred to as dipping, because the body is submerged, thereby symbolising the Saviour's death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:4, 5).

6. Baptists, on the basis of Scripture, have always held to a regenerated, saved, converted, born again church membership, that is a membership that is made up only of people who give a credible profession of faith in Christ. In the Apostolic church, only those who became believers, those who received the Word of God and who had repented of their sins, were baptised and received as church members (Acts 2:41). There was no automatic or formalistic membership in apostolic churches nor is there in Baptist churches today. A converted church membership is an important Biblical principle.

From the review of these simple points it is more than clear that doctrinally Baptists are not Protestants.


Practically,
Baptists Are Not Protestants


A few simple observations indicate that the Baptists differ radically from Protestants on a number of points.

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The Protestant groups look to some human being as their founder, often even taking their name from a man. The Lutherans arise with Luther. The Reformed look to John Calvin. The Presbyterians were founded by John Knox. The Methodists openly acknowledge John Wesley as their founder. Who founded the Baptist churches? Here is a historical question worthy of serious investigation. It is impossible to find any one man who gave rise to Baptist churches. Rather, if we would name human founders, we must look back to Peter, Paul, James and John.

We differ from Protestants in our birthplace. Lutherans come from Germany, the Reformed from Switzerland and the Netherlands, the Presbyterians from Scotland, Anglicans from England, but Baptists would have to give Palestine as their place of origin.

Furthermore the creed of Baptists is not the Augsburg Confession, the Canons of Dort, or the Westminster Confession, but the simple Word of God. So it is impossible to identify Baptists as Protestants.

Baptists have never been linked with Protestants and have never been identified with the Roman Catholic Church. Through the years before and after the Reformation, they have maintained their identity and been faithful to the Scriptures. Real Baptists hold to the plain teaching of Christ and the Apostles. For these God-given doctrines they have been willing to die. Hanz Denk, a sixteenth century Baptist, said’ "Faith means obedience to the Word of God, whether it be unto life or unto death." For many it was death’

In Rottenburg, in Reformation times, there were 900 executions of Baptists in less than ten years. These deaths were often vicious and cruel. The sentence for one Baptist believer, Michael Sateler, read, "Michael Sateler shall be delivered to the hangmen, who shall take him to the place of execution and cut out his tongue; he shall then throw him on a cart and twice tare his flesh with hot tongs; then he shall bring him to the city gate and there torture his flesh in the same manner." This was the way Sateler died in Rottenburg on 21st May, 1521 - His wife and other women were drowned, and a number of the men were beheaded.

The Price of Unity


Twentieth century theologians have streamlined Christianity by reducing all the virtues to one - unity. In our generation the most respectable "ism" is ecumenism. Few people discern that there is a false unity as well as a true unity and that each is purchased at a staggering price.

False church unity, which is the most popular kind, is purchased with freedom as the price. Gospel liberty is obliterated and liberty of conscience becomes impractical, if not impossible. The communion of saints is forfeited for a communion of committees. The minority speaks for the mass and the conscience of the individual Christian is by-passed for the consensus of a committee.

This kind of church unity is also attained at the price of truth. Those who major on mergers tend to believe very little, and after merging believe still less. They are more noted for their compromises than their convictions' Their spiritual discernment having been dulled, they move in a doctrinal dusk that calls non-churches churches and regards unbelievers as believers. In the mania to merge, fixed truths become forgotten tenets.

The church unity is also costly! It is to be obtained not by compromise, but by conflict. The faith must not be diluted, but defended (Jude 3) .

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It may cost a man his unscriptural creed and his man-made catechism' This kind of unity flows from a humility which is willing to reject human tradition and subject itself to divine truth, as stated in God's Holy Word. This unity is described by the words, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). The beginning of this unity is one Lord. The basis of this unity is one faith (doctrine). The badge of this unity is one baptism.

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More Important than Church.

This post originated, and has been adapted from a text I recently sent to someone and I thought that the content would benefit others as well.
(For verse links, please click and read online)

Did you know that there are things that are more important than going church?

There is salvation, telling others the gospel, but what I am referring to in this post is walking with God. Personally walking with God is more important than going to church.

In
Genesis 6:9, the Bible tells us that Noah walked with God, but…

Have YOU learned to have a personal walk with God?


There is nothing in this world that can replace focused study in the
word of God yourself, with an open Bible and a notebook, asking God to teach you from His word, then writing down what He teaches you. No amount of church attendance, spiritual books, youtube preachers, Bible college classes, praise and worship, or some kind of experience can replace a personal walk with God. This is a time when God speaks directly to you through His word.

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"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
-2 Timothy 2:15

I love my time with God every day and I learn so much. He teaches me so many things, beyond what I could ever teach or preach in a hundred years of sermons. The word of God has changed my life.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
-2 Timothy 3:16-17

For the last two years, I have taught on
"How to Study the Bible" in our Sunday Bible Class, sharing tools and the importance of properly interpreting the Bible. These studies were posted online to download. In 2019, I single-handedly printed, laminated, cut, and handed out copies of the Professor Horner Bible reading schedule for all of our church people. I did these things because if there is one lesson a Christian must learn, it is to have a personal walk with God. If we miss that, we miss out on the blessings of the Christian life entirely. If someone is truly born again, the Holy Spirit will open the Bible to them, speak to them through God's Word, and give them understanding.

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." -
John 14:26

For those who are not saved, it will be hidden to them. Like gibberish. Do you have trouble understanding the Bible?

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." -
2 Corinthians 4:4

Please don't misunderstand me, I am in no way diminishing the utmost importance of joining a sound, Bible centred church.
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." -Hebrews 10:25

But even joining a doctrinally sound church cannot replace a personal walk with God. We each need to learn how to study the Bible and pray on our own, because no one can walk with God for us. We must learn to feed ourselves on the truth of the scriptures (
Matthew 4:4) and learn the voice of the Shepherd, so we can discern truth. God cannot truly lead and guide us if we do not have a real walk with Him. If we are not studying and following the word of God than we are going to follow our flesh emotions and feelings.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" -Jeremiah 17:9

I will pray that God’s word will become the foundation of your life.

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" -
Ephesians 2:20

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Church Protection (updated 5/1/21)

(For verse links, please click and read online)

Today, everyone is trying to protect themselves from sickness and being the next covid statistic. Most people follow are following the government and HSE guidelines (wearing a mask, social distancing, getting the jab, taking supplements to stay healthy, etc) All of these things protect the physical, but did you know that there is disease that is spiritual. Did you know that we can get spiritually sick as well, and it is through false teachings. These false teachings are spread through false prophets and false teachers. The fact is we live in a world with all sorts of false prophets and false teachers, and there are many Christians who are spiritually sick and may not know it. In the first century the Apostles warned adamantly about this danger. Do you think things have gotten better or worse since the first century?
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The Apostle Paul warned Timothy…
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

God gives us a protection from these spiritual diseases through a local church. Each local
church should have a God given pastor and it is his responsibility to study the Word of God and to teach Biblically sound doctrine. It is the responsibility of the church people to also study the word of God on their own so they recognise sound doctrine. That pastor, whom the Lord has given, has the responsibility of being the overseer of the local flock of God. He will one day give account directly to God for how he led the church that God gave him to oversee. Part of a pastors God given responsibility is to protect the flock from false teachers and false prophets. Below are some of the scriptural ways that a doctrinally sound, local pastor is to protect the flock from these ravening wolves.

(1) Pastors and teachers in a local
church are responsible to protect God’s people from false teachings (Acts 20:28-31; Ep. 4:11-16 (These are speaking about the church at Ephesus)).

Acts 20:28-31
28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

One of the pastor’s chief duties is to protect the flock. The Apostle Paul was continually burdened about the danger of false teaching (
Acts 20:31; 2 Co. 11:1- 4; Ga. 4:11-20; Ph. 3:1-3, 17-21; 1 Th. 3:1-5; Col. 2:1-4).

(2) False teachers are crafty and pastors must be alert, wise, knowledgeable, and zealous to deal with them successfully (
Epesians 4:14; Titus 1:9-11).

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

(3) The ability to protect the churches from false teaching is a qualification for pastors (
Titus. 1:9-11). Men who refuse to deal plainly with error have no business in the ministry.

Titus 1:9-11
9
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

(4) To warn and teach about false doctrine is a mark of a good minister of Jesus Christ (
1 Timothy. 4:1-6).

1 Timothy 4:1-6
1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
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A false teacher and prophet are not going to come to you and say, "Hi, I am a false teacher." Nor are they going to tell you in their YouTube channel descriptions or title. A doctrinally sound pastor has the responsibility of warning their
church. With these things in mind, when you hear a Bible teacher tell you that you do not need to attend a local church, does that align with the word of God? The devil is using them to get you to come out from the protection of a sound pastor.

Some questions to consider…
-Is going it alone, without a local
church or pastor, scriptural?
-How many churchless Christians are there in a Bible?
-What does the word
church even mean?
-Do you believe God is able to provide you with a doctrinally sound
church?
-Are you an active member of a doctrinally sound local
church?
-If you are in a doctrinally sound
church, are you following and seeking your pastors leadership?
-If you teach others they do not need a local
church, have you not become a false teacher yourself? We need to be very careful.
James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we (teachers) shall receive the greater condemnation.
-Have you been deceived by false teachers and prophets?

In a day of apostasy, and the accessibility and speed of internet, it is easier than ever to be influenced by false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing. So what do we do if we find we have been influenced? First we need to repent, turn from this error. Second, confess it to God. Last, find a doctrinally sound church to attend and to be involved in. One with a pastor who takes his job as under shepherd seriously and tries to protect and warn the flock of God.
There are many of these churches across Ireland, and across the world. You are welcome to contact me if you need any assistance in this area. Read the rest of the article…

Why, As a Pastor, I Can’t Counsel Christians

I have found over the years that there are many Christians who desperately need counselling.
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They are facing depression, drug abuse (including Alcohol), marriage problems, anger problems and all sorts of issues. These are all serious problems and if left to them selves, they can result in devastating consequences.

Unfortunately, I can’t counsel many of these people and there are four main reasons why this is the case.
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Why I Overreact All the Time and What to Do About It

Thank you for spending time reading this article. It is our prayer that it will be helpful in your Christian life and help you learn how to deal with overreacting. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord today!

Dear Friend-Overreacting is the Mark of Spiritual Immaturity
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Do you think you are an over-reactor? After a situation comes up, do you wish you had responded differently? In the church and home today many serious problems happen because of people overreacting. It is epidemic today! When we Biblically counsel people for marriage issues they are well down the road of the super over-reactor! Let’s face it, we are all prone to overreacting at times. However, that is not the way God wants us to live. Sadly, the church today is filled with people who overreact and the Holy Spirit is grieved by this behaviour.
Overreacting can lead to anger, bittiness, and clamouring (public quarrelling)

Ephesians 4:29-31, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

When “let” is used at the start of a verse it means someone has to make a decision. One of the signs you can tell if a person is overreacting is how much and the way they talk. They will talk about a situation, person, or event incessantly. The more they talk the more they are going to overreact! They blow it up and way out of proportion. When you find yourself talking too much or excessively negatively, remember who is controlling you-Satan, not the Holy Spirit.

Many couples work each other up because they…
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“Practicing” Church

Without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ all information about the church is lost. But we must not mistakenly reason that one’s relationship with Christ minimises the importance of His Local Church. Yet this is precisely what multitudes of Christians assume and act out. Church attendance is infected with
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a dissatisfaction of conditional loyalty, which has produced an army of church hitchhikers. The hitchhiker’s thumb says, “You buy the car, pay for repairs and upkeep and insurance, fill the car with petrol — and I’ll ride with you. But if you have an accident, you are on your own! And I’ll probably sue you.” So it is with the statement of belief of so many of today’s church attenders: “You go to the meetings and serve on the committees, you clean, you grapple with the issues and do the work of the church, the ministering to others, witnessing, and pay the bills and I’ll come along for the ride. But if things do not suit me, I’ll criticise and complain and probably bail out — my thumb is always out for a better lift.”

This supposed loyalty is fuelled by a “consumer philosophy” — a “Burger King – Have It Your Way” – Or a McDonalds “McChristianity—I’m Lovin’ It” mentality — which picks and chooses here and there to fill one’s religious shopping list. There are hitchhikers who…
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Did Early Christians Worship On Sunday, Or Was That Made Up By The Catholic Church?

I When posting a Sunday welcome message on gab.com/ancarraigbaptistchurch, a lad confronted me about the legitimacy of a Sunday Sabbath.
The lad told me that it was not Biblical and the Catholic church invented it. I told the lad that I did not believe in Sunday Sabbath (that the sabbath restrictions on Sunday bound the Christian). I said to him that Christians in the Bible and the first century worshipped the Lord on Sundays (the first day of the week). The argument ended when the lad ran out of ideas. The final straw was when… Read the rest of the article…

Legalism: a Smokescreen


(The following is from a booklet written by DR. MIKE ALLISON)

Is the term
"LEGALISM" used as an excuse to circumvent the Bible doctrines of separation?

Is the term
"LEGALISM" used to intimidate those who preach and practice a valid scriptural principle?
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Many sincere Christians feel the matter of holy living is strictly between the individual believer and God, and no one should set standards of dress and conduct.

Other equally sincere Christians believe it is right and necessary to maintain definite standards.

One group calls the other "compromising", while the other group answers with the tag of "legalist".

In this booklet, Dr. Mike Allison discusses the problems. He clarifies the issue of Biblical definitions and gives guidelines for proper Christian attitudes.

Legalism: a Smokescreen
We have an interesting but sad thing that has happened among evangelical churches these days. An exodus from standards for living has taken place. Preachers now preach that standards are a matter of "personal conviction." "If you think something is wrong for you, it is wrong. If you think it is all right, then it is all right."

It has become a common occurrence to hear preachers denounce those who preach standards by calling them 'legalists." A preacher from California recently cried out, while preaching on Galatians 5:1-5; "I hate legalism" (referring to those who preach about standards for living). Another chided preachers for making such a big deal over "regional convictions."

If I am against something they are not against, I am branded a legalist. If I am against something they are also against, we are "separatists."

Legalism has become the compromiser's excuse to circumvent the Word of God. This is a phrase often used by those who think right and wrong is simply a matter of personal choice. "I'm not convicted about it yet." Statements like this sound spiritual; they please the ears of those who have been wanting to indulge in things Christians have stood against for years, but demonstrate a lack of Bible knowledge concerning the law and its importance to the child of God.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines legalism as a "strict adherence to the law." However, theological legalism would have a different definition. Theological legalism is a strict adherence to the law as a means to be saved or keep salvation. Simply, any addition of works by man to the finished work of Christ to bring or keep salvation is legalism.

I. THE PROBLEM WITH THE LAW

The book of Galatians was written to combat theological legalism. Following Paul from place to place were groups of men who taught that simple faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ was not enough to be saved. They taught that circumcision and strict adherence to the law were essential to salvation. Many in the Galatian churches had…

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Questions for Bible Believers (updated, clarified & revised)

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
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In this verse, the Bible tells us clearly that Christians are to "be not drunk with wine". I have several questions to ask ourselves.

1. If this means it is OK to drink so long as we don't get intoxicated, how can we follow this command without actually breaking it? Would we not have to first get intoxicated to find out where the line was?

2. Who would be more strict about drink? God or the government?
http://www.askaboutalcohol.ie/alcohol-and-driving/
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3. Since this verse specifically says "wine", Does that mean it is OK to be drunk with hard liquor or beer? Would this apply to marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs or not?

4. According to this verse, can a Christian be "filled with the Holy Spirit" while they are drunk?

Email your comments… [email protected]
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