Do Not Be Overcome By Evil: 2015 in Retrospect

As 2015 began I had my hopes up for an enlightening 12 month journey back to a high level of spiritual growth. I had reason to believe so. I’ve recognized a pattern in my 20-plus years as a born-again Christian. In 1995 I came face-to-face with my own sinfulness, beholding the face of God in Jesus Christ. God poured His grace on me in January of that year and my life has never been the same. Then, a decade later in 2005, I had a powerful personal reformation of my foundational theological beliefs and again, my life has never been quite the same.

So, here comes 2015, full of the promise of even greater blessings from above. I couldn’t wait to see what God had in store for me on the 20th anniversary of our reconciled relationship. Little did I know the heavens would open up and rain fire down on my family. We’ve been afflicted with trials and tribulation the likes of which I’ve never witnessed. Many sorrows have pierced us over the past 6 months and I can openly and honestly say to you that as I write this, we are broken and bleeding. The wounds we’ve received are deep, wide and will leave permanent scars on our souls. Continue reading

Without Law There is No Sin?

Q: In Romans 5:12-14 the apostle Paul states, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

What does he mean when he writes, ‘for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law’?  Is the apostle implying that people who have not heard the word of God are not considered sinners because they have never heard the Decalogue or Christ’s commandments? Continue reading

Is Doubt a Sin?

A member of my bible class last night night posed a question that sparked a short discussion.  I don’t feel that I answered adequately. As a result, I’ve decided to use this medium to address questions that arise in class that can’t be given a full treatment because of time constraints. My new category shall be called Bible Study Q&A.

I was asked if having doubts is a sin. The person wondered specifically if having doubts about salvation is a sin.  The context comes from our discussion on the definition of sin.  I had someone read from Romans 14:23 which states, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”  The person who asked the question zeroed in on the first part of the verse that explains that a person who doubts whether or not a certain action is right or wrong (In this case, whether eating certain foods is permissible).  Continue reading

Words of Wisdom – The Gospel Vs. Sin

“Whatever religion or doctrine condones or makes allowances for sin is not of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ everywhere teaches self-denial and mortification of worldliness and sin. The whole stream of the gospel runs against those things. Scripture emphasizes the ‘holy’ and the ‘heavenly’ (not the sinful and the worldly). The true gospel has not even the slightest tendency to extol corrupt nature, or feed it’s pride by magnifying it’s freedom and power. And it rejects everything that undermines or obscures the merit of Christ, or tries to give any credit to man, in any way. And it certainly never makes the death of Christ a cloak to cover sin, but rather it always speaks of it as an instrument that destroys it!” – John Flavel