Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Continuing Journey of Teaching Kids to Sit Still
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church, St Louis, MO

  • Teaching them to sit still at MEALS.
  • Teaching them to sit still during FAMILY WORSHIP.
  • Teaching them to sit still & with us during bible study & PRAYER MEETING.
  • Teaching them to sit still during CARE GROUPS.

I LOVE MY CHILDREN. And kids will be kids. They move. They make noises. They get restless. They want to run and they certainly have lots of energy — at least mine do! This isn’t bad nor do I want to squash these desires and shame them into guilt trips when they are excited and desirous to run and play. But there’s a right time for play. And there’s a right time to sit still.

And this is where my family seeks to be intentional and proactive in teaching our kids to sit still. We are not a perfect family — far from it. We don’t parent perfectly. We certainly don’t have perfect kids — nor do they have perfect parents! But we want to be intentional and thoughtful about training our kids (5 kids ages 3 through 9) to sit still and to pay attention especially when the Word of God is read, taught, sung, and preached.

1. Teach them to sit still at MEALS.
We want to teach our children to sit still when we gather for meals. As a family we have breakfasts and dinners together. Almost never am I gone for a breakfast or a dinner from my family. Lunches are when I seek to have discipleships and meet with folks in the church family and connect with visitors. But almost never do I miss a dinner. At the meal times, we are working (still in process!) on teaching the children to sit still, sit on their rear, stay in their seat (and not get up), until they’re finished and everyone is excused and then, only after they’ve said “thank you” to their mother, may they be excused and get up. This is not to be mean. But it’s to be intentional to teach them about conversations, sitting and listening to others respectfully, and even teaching them to sit still and quietly when conversations around them are going on.

2. Teach them to sit still during FAMILY WORSHIP.
Each evening for our family, when we are finished with dinner, we gather on the couch for family worship. This is very intentional for a number of reasons. We want to be obedient to God in teaching our children the Word of God and instructing them in theology, in biblical truths, in biblical worldview, and in godly living. We want to show them the glory of Christ and proclaim the gospel to them daily. During this time, we have family worship “rules.” We tell them to sit on their rears. They cannot speak out but must raise their hand if they have something to say. They cannot touch their neighbor (sibling) with any part of their body. They must stay in their seat. Again, this is deliberate teaching on our part so that our kids learn day after day, little by little, the importance of sitting still, focusing, paying attention, and honoring our God as we read His Word, sing together, and pray as a family during our daily family worship times.

3. Teaching them to sit still and with us during the MID-WEEK BIBLE STUDY.
We have not perfected this, and we’re still working at it diligently and proactively. But our church has a mid-week Bible study and prayer meeting. We spend about 30-40 minutes studying the Word and the rest of the time we engage in corporate prayer. It is a bit of a shorter sermon than the Sunday one so this provides an excellent occasion to practice with all our kids the discipline of sitting still when God’s people have gathered. During this time, we bring our children with us and they sit at a table with my wife and they are to pay attention to the Word preached. Family worship that night usually consists of me teaching my kids what I will preach that night during the Bible study and prayer meeting so they can listen for certain key words and concepts. We also will sing a song or two that we’ll sing that night at the service. All this is to help them learn to listen, focus, and take in God’s Word. We are far from perfect in implementing this perfectly. Nor does it work out nicely every week (I wish!). But it’s a process and we seek to be faithful to God in teaching our kids to sit and hear His Word preached.

4. Teaching them to sit still AT CARE GROUPS.
Our church has home groups. We call them CARE groups. Our family attends a CARE group that is close to our home. I don’t lead it. I have no leadership part to play at all in the CARE group that we attend. So this provides a great occasion for me to sit with my wife and with our five children and seek to help shepherd, teach, and model for them the importance of gathering with God’s people and the importance of sitting in a respectful way when God speaks to us through His Word. We also pray ahead of time for the CARE group leader and the man who will teach the Word. We pray for the other families in our CARE group. All of this is to teach our children deliberately the importance of meeting with God’s people.

All of these are ways that our family has tried to intentionally teach our children to sit still in corporate worship. They aren’t perfect. Some weeks are great. Some weeks look like a circus and feel like one too! But we trust that as we seek to carefully guide our children, regularly and consistently set before them opportunities to hear the Word, meet with God’s people, and see the saints worship Christ, our kids will hear the gospel and come to a saving knowledge of Christ through repentance and faith.
The Bible Wasn’t Accepted Until The 4th Century A.D.
Not a few skeptics of biblical Christianity and those even in the academic world often maintain that the Christian Bible was not accepted -- or “codified” -- until the 4th century A.D., specifically at the Council of Nicea (325A.D.). Some may say that a bunch of men at a later church council finally approved these books. Others may suggest that we did not even have codified Scripture until the Catholic Church finally selected and authorized the Bible. Or, some propose that it was fallible men who selected some books -- and eliminated others -- and thus the Bible is a fallible book. What must Christians answer to such statements? How can we respond?

  1. God needs no man -- or court, council, magistrate or majority vote -- to validate and authenticate His authoritative Word. — A proper theology proper will remind us that almighty God who infinitely rules and who has revealed Himself gloriously does not need human creatures to affirm His already perfect and authoritative truth.
  2. Scripture is Scripture at the very moment the author penned the God-breathed revelation. — The Bible is not a progressively authoritatively work. At the instance in which it was written, right then it is God-breathed revelation without error and without subject to failure. 
  3. Books never become authoritative; rather, at the very time they are written they are fully authoritative and binding as divine revelation from God to man. — The Bible claims for itself authentic, divine revelation as Paul writes that all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for men. It is the Scripture that is authoritatively God-breathed when the author pens it. 
  4. God’s people never “chose” or “selected” biblical books to be included in Scripture. Rather, the early believers affirmed those texts which were already divinely powerful & gloriously inspired. — Believers in the early church never came together and selected books of the Bible to be included in Scripture. God’s people have always read and recognized -- aided by the power of the Spirit and led by the illumination of the Spirit -- true revelation and rejected that which was false, erroneous, unclear, or that which contradicted other parts of biblical truth. 
  5. God the Holy Spirit illumines the Word upon the hearts of His people and confirms through the inner testimony -- the inner witness -- in the hearts of His people that the Word of God is genuinely authentic, binding, and divine. — This is called the inner witness of the Spirit. The Spirit of God gloriously and graciously illuminates, validates and confirms what is already true about biblical revelation. The Spirit presses home the truth to the hearts of His people by assuring believers as they read Scripture that it is in fact what it claims to be: wholly divine.
  6. The Bible does not need archaeology, science, or various hypotheses from manifold sources to make the Bible true or authentic. Rather, the Word of God is inherently true, unchanging, perfect, without error, and gloriously sufficient for life and for godliness. As time goes on, the true and accurate study of science, archaeology and other hypotheses, when rightly done, will always validate and affirm what the Scripture has already stated to be true (historically, geographically, scientifically). — Lots of speculation exists and hypotheses surmise today regarding the Bible and its trustworthiness (e.g., science, history). The Bible never needs to be proved or validated. But when science is rightly done, it’ll always support what God has said.
Christians [& Most Who Go to Church] Are Just Hypocrites, So I Just Don’t Go.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church, St Louis, MO

Many people who once went to church, or who grew up in church, now find themselves disenchanted with church and put off by local assemblies for many various reasons. But perhaps one reason that often comes out is this: “Christians are just hypocrites, so I just don’t want anything to do with ‘organized church.’”  I have heard statements like this many times from people who say: “I’ve been there and tried that, but it didn’t work for me.” What can you say?
We must affirm a few fundamental realities: Christians are sinners. Christians are forgiven. Christians are striving to follow Christ. Christians are repenters. Christians need the corporate worship of the saints. No Christian claims to be perfect but still strives to follow our Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. 
In responding to this common claim, a few statements are necessary.

  1. A Christian is a sinner. — Christians are not perfect people. Christians are forgiven and transformed and in process of changing, but none have reached a state of sinlessness. None.
  2. A Christian is aware of His desperate condition and his sin nature. — The more a Christian matures and grows, the more he sees the deep depravity and dark crevices of sin still remaining in his life. He hates his sins that he sees: his pride and selfishness and their fruits.
  3. A Christian is thankful for and humbled by grace.  — Far from being perfect or claiming to have “arrived,” a true believer glories in God’s undeserved favor lavished upon Him. He praises God for his mercy showered upon Him undeservedly and wondrously. He is humbled by God’s work of salvation knowing that he does not deserve it. Yet he thanks God for grace!
  4. A Christian has no hope apart from Christ.  — The simple profession that comes from a believer’s lips is that our hope and our righteousness is only found in Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, we have no hope but we are lost, doomed and headed for judgment. Christ rescues us!
  5. A Christian glories in the substitutionary and propitiatory work of Jesus Christ. — The very heart and soul of the gospel message is that Jesus, God incarnate, came to earth and died as the passover Lamb, the substitute, on the cross in the place of His people. On the cross, God cursed Him and justly punished Him for the sins of His people. So God is just in punishing sin and He is justifier in reckoning the perfect righteousness of Christ to those who trust in Him.
  6. A Christian repented and is still repenting. — A person must repent to be saved. But repentance continues throughout the entirety of one’s life. When we sin, we repent repeatedly.
  7. A Christian believed and is still believing. — As with repentance, so it is also with faith. We believed on Christ for salvation and we still trust Him daily as we walk and grow with Him.
  8. A Christian hates his sin and strives to mortify it. — When true Christians stumble into sin, far from ignoring it, believers hate it, seek to kill it, extract it, & replace it with godly habits. 
  9. A Christian perseveres with Christ and clings to Scripture. — Those who have hearts transformed by Christ demonstrate true faith by clinging to Christ and persevering in grace.
  10. A Christian hungers for the fellowship with God’s people. — Jesus saves His people to love Him, to walk with Him & to grow in grace with His people. True saints love Christ’s church.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I’m Not Good Enough And I Keep Doubting My Salvation.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church, St Louis, MO

A great number of people wonder whether or not they’re really saved. Some have seasons of doubt and discouragement questioning whether or not they really know Christ. Some have even said: yea but I’m not good enough and I keep doubting my salvation. I just don’t know if I can keep myself saved. Some wonder: Have I committed the unforgivable sin? Have I blasphemed the Spirit? I just wonder if I’m bearing enough fruit. I don’t feel saved nor do I have a peace of heart.

 I want to respond to such statements with some words of hope and pointers to the truth.

  1. Eternal security is more about God than it is about you. — The security of a person who is headed for heaven is not about man’s performance but about God’s perseverance! It’s not about your obedience but about God’ faithfulness. Remember it’s about God & His glory.
  2. If salvation ever depended upon you to save yourself or to keep yourself saved, then you would most surely be forever lost.  — To be truthful, if your salvation really were dependent upon you and your good performance and your obedient standing, you’d surely and definitely lose your salvation. If you could lose it, you would. That’s how sinful we humans really are. 
  3. The perseverance of the saints is more about God’s persevering with the saints than it is about the saints persevering with God to be saved. — We talk about persevering to the end and the reality that a person who is once saved will always be saved. And that’s true. But it’s true because God is the powerful One who perseveres with and holds His people firm till glory. So we know, then, that none whom God walks with and guards their souls shall ever be lost. That is utterly impossible to happen. The perseverance doctrine begins with God’s greatness and His glory and His faithful perseverance with all of His elect. This guarantees our glory. 
  4. Gloriously and happily, no person will ever be good enough in his own merits to enter heaven, but through the merits of Jesus Christ, one is able to enter. — The more one looks inward and to his own performance, the more doubtful one will become about his salvation. The merits needed to enter heaven and the assurance given to be comforted with hope is not in our merits or performance but in Christ’s merits and in His righteousness. His work is sufficient and complete and worthy to save His people. 
  5. A Christian who doubts his salvation evidences a lack of trust in the promises of Scripture and in the protection of God. — Though it is possible for true Christians to doubt their salvation, and many do, let it be said that when a person doubts his salvation and genuinely calls it into question, it’s not so much a problem with himself as it is a lack of trust in the gracious and manifold promises of God laid forth in Scripture about His faithful keeping of His own forever. God provides dozens and dozens of Scriptures in both Testaments to provide hope and comfort to His people so that despair would not creep in and doubts would be expelled. When these temptations to doubt come, run to God’s promises and camp on them and anchor your heart to the trustworthiness of His unchanging, perfect, sufficient, and truthful Word. 
  6. In moments of despair and hardship, troubled saints must go to Scripture and rely fully and frequently on the promises of God. — Whether it is yourself or someone you know, you can take a troubled saint to the trustworthy promises and call them to praise and trust fully in God!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

...Yea But, My Friend Goes to Catholic Church And Really Does Believe In Jesus.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Of course, Mary was baptized as an infant! She was confirmed. She has served in many various roles in her local parish. In fact, she attends mass daily. She even goes to the local pro-life events and devotes time, resources, and energy to biblical principles. The neighborhood knows her as the churchgoer and as the one who would bend over backwards to serve those in need and help in any way she’s able. She’s always gone to church. Never does she miss a Sunday.

In fact, she believes in Jesus. She believes she’s a Christian because she has faith. She listens to Christian radio. She goes to the Christian bookstore. She goes to the national day of prayer and serves the community well. She affirms the Trinity and the virgin birth. She believes Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. She has a Bible and even reads it periodically. She affirms with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC #452) that the child born of the Virgin Mary is called Jesus, ‘for he will save his people from their sins’ (Matt 1.21: ‘and there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12).  But do they believe in the biblical Jesus and in the sufficient and saving crosswork of Jesus Christ alone for salvation?

  1. According to Catholicism, Christ instituted the Mass when he said “This is my body” (Matt 26:26) and Romanism teaches that Jesus gave the apostles and hence his future priests the power to change bread and wine into his real body and blood. Thus, during the Mass, it’s a holy sacrifice (CCC #1055, 1365).
  2. Catholicism teaches that in the sacrifice of the Eucharist (=Mass), the work of our redemption is accomplished (CCC #1068). In fact, it re-presents the sacrifice of the cross (CCC #1366).
  3. Tragically, the Roman Church teaches that the sacrifice of the Mass is truly propitiatory -- that means that it removes the wrath of God (CCC #1367). To deny this is to be placed under a curse, what is called “anathema” (Council of Trent: Sacrifice of Mass: Canon 3). 
  4. The Bible, however, presents a completely different way of salvation than what the Roman Catholic Church teaches -- salvation not through works, the Mass, the Church, or baptism. 
  5. The Bible teaches that Jesus offered Himself for the sins of His people once for all (Heb 7:26-27) and he was offered once to bear the sins of many (Heb 9:28). He offered one sacrifice for sins for all time (Heb 10:10-12). Every Mass is an abomination as it is a re-sacrificing of Jesus Christ when, in fact, He really, fully, gloriously accomplished salvation once for all. 
  6. Every repetition of sacrifice that an alleged priest performs during the Eucharist ceremony is completely meaningless and of no value whatsoever. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices which can never take away sins (Heb 10:11). 
  7. Our glorious Savior bore the full wrath of God on the cross (Rom 3:25) and was crushed under the Father’s just judgment (Isa 53:10) and became the Curse for sinners (Gal 3:10-13). When He drank the cup of divine wrath and completed the work of redemption, he victoriously chanted: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Roman Catholic theology does not allow for the work of salvation to be accomplished since purgatory exists to purge away sins (CCC #1030). 
  8. Catholicism teaches baptism is necessary for salvation (CCC #1257) & that baptism erases original sin (CCC #405). Christ says: believe & have life (John 3:15-16, 36). Salvation is a free gift (Eph 2:8-9) and cannot be complemented with works (Gal 2:21). Trust Christ alone!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Yea but, I’m Not That Bad [or, “I’m Good!”]
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Nearly everyone says it. How are you: “I’m good” or “I’m fine.” A Christian may inquire to someone: “Have you ever heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ?” One replies: “No, thanks I’m good.” It’s common and all around us. People believe themselves to be autonomous and self-sufficient and thus have no perceived need for the gospel. Christians who declare the biblical gospel will inevitably speak of the foul nature of men’s souls and the filthy rags of one’s deeds. This flies squarely in the face of human pride. The natural and unregenerate response chafes at such statements about the real plight and problem of mankind and will rather assume that men are good, capable of choosing right, able to please God and choose God and they will continue to assert that they’re not that bad and, quite honestly, that they view themselves to be pretty good people. A few responses must be in order.

  1. Man’s problem lies not with a lack of self-esteem, but rather with a sinfully inflated and a pridefully autonomous heart.  — The mantra of the day about humans lacking proper confidence in self could not be further from God’s declaration about man. The ultimate problem of men resides in the self-exalted position that he cares about.
  2. The definition of “good” comes not from comparing oneself with others or a cultural standard but rather by how one measures up to the infinitely perfect standard of God. — Often people say they are good because they compare themselves with cultural standards, their own standards, or other people they see and know. The ultimate standard from God does not use this scale, however. God measures all men by His own infinite holiness and perfection.
  3. No man has ever or could ever understand how incredibly bad he really is in the eyes of the thrice-holy God. — When the prophet Isaiah saw the exalted Lord high and lifted up, his response was to fall down and pronounce a “woe” (=curse) upon himself and pronounce himself ‘undone.’ To understand God rightly will inevitably lead to a proper view of self. 
  4. God’s declaration about humanity without exception is that all who have been born of Adam have been born with a sin nature and are thus “not good” and “not pleasing to God.” — Paul declares that all who have been born of natural birth are born ‘in Adam’ and are sinners because we sinned in Him (Rom 5:12). No man in this state can please God (Rom 8:7).
  5. Ultimately God does not inquire about man’s opinion of oneself and judge him by his own self-profession. Rather, God has set forth the standard in His holy Word and will measure all men by His holy and perfect Law. — Sinful man’s wish is that God may judge them by their own standard and make a compromise. But God has set forth His Law, reflecting His character and glory, for men to follow and no man can ever measure up. No man living is righteous in God’s sight. All the thoughts of men are only evil continually. All are stained with sin. 
  6. The glory of the gospel does not turn good people into better people. — It would be truncate the gospel to declare that the gospel makes good people into better people. But the biblical gospel wondrously affirms that dead sinners become saints, all by sovereign mercy and love.
  7. The Spirit’s work of regeneration is magnified as He gives true life to genuinely dead and unspeakably corrupt souls. — A proper understanding of anthropology and hamartiology extols the sovereign grace of God and drives a believer to boast only in Christ. Only God can take a rebellious and stone-cold soul and give it life so that it beats after and longs for Christ!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Yea but, You’re Pushing Someone Away From Jesus With Your Bold & Constant Evangelism.

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

You’ve seen it and heard people respond to the street preacher standing on the corner of a busy intersection with a Bible in his hand loudly heralding the faithful gospel of Jesus Christ and calling sinners to repent of sin and trust in Christ alone! People yell as they walk by. Some remain apathetic. Others mock, sneer, make faces and some even grow angrily hostile. Someone says: “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” You wonder: is this really working? Or, is this really effective? Some well-intended person may think: isn’t the preacher’s boldness and urgency and forthrightness just driving people away from Jesus? Just love and befriend them, right? How should we respond to such statements?

  1. Dead sinners can never be pushed further away from their already existing state of being enemies of God and under the wrath of God.  —  The fact that someone would think that an evangelist could push a sinner further away from Jesus assumes that the sinner isn’t in the worst possible situation. But the Bible would state otherwise. Anyone outside of Christ lives in darkness, is an enemy of God, and remains under God’s wrath. No one can be pushed further from Jesus Christ -- no one.
  2. No one can push someone away from Christ by being bold with gospel proclamation. — Bold evangelism does not push people away. What keeps people (who are already far away from Christ!) from coming to Christ is not a bold-hearted evangelist but their own inability to believe and their own unwillingness to humble themselves and come to Christ for salvation.
  3. The assumption behind such a claim is that man has control of or the ability to choose God. — Such statements assume that the rebellious sinner who is dead in his sin somehow is able to draw closer to God in his own strength. No one seeks after God (Rom 3:11). 
  4. This claim presupposes that the evangelist can do something by his method or technique or manners or presentation to win and woo people to Jesus Christ for salvation. — The power to save is not in a method or step-by-step process, but the power of God is the message of truth.
  5. To follow the example of Christ, believers must be compassionately urgent in evangelism. — Jesus came to earth & His mission -- his purpose! -- was to preach to the cities and call men to repent and turn to God to be saved! This is why He came (Luke 4:42-44)!
  6. No one is more urgent and passionate in evangelism than God Himself. — All through the Old Testament, God repeatedly calls Israel, Judah and sinners to return to Him for salvation (just start in Isaiah 1 and keep reading from there!).
  7. No evangelist can ever do something to make someone more receptive to the gospel. The fundamental issue remains the same: the heart is dead & only God can give life. — There’s no magic trick that makes people more ‘saveable’. Souls are dead till God sovereignly awakens and gives life -- all by grace through the proclamation of the Word & call of the Spirit!
  8. That which saves a soul is the almighty power of God that brings regeneration as the Word of God goes forth faithfully. — Evangelism is never (ever!) a failure when the truth of the gospel is faithfully presented. Conversion is God’s work. He saves. We must preach & trust Him to do the saving, heart-changing, converting work that only He can do. Speak truth & trust God!
Yea But, He Has His Own Choice To Come to God Or Not.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

This blog is part of a forthcoming eBook that answers "common objections" that people have to the biblical gospel.

Many may suggest that people can make their own choice as to whether or not they will come to God. Many quip that they have a ‘free-will.’ Often this argument comes from an ideology that man is predominantly good and that can has, in and of himself, the capacity, the drive, and the desire to choose what is good for Him spiritually in Christ. This way of thinking also presupposes that God will not -- and cannot -- override man’s will. The conclusion, then, is that God remains on the edge of His seat to see how man will decide and what man will decide and then God will respond -- or act -- accordingly. Man has become sovereign and God has become the passive responder in this ideological way of thinking. Does God really force salvation upon someone? Does God really drag someone who is kicking and screaming into the kingdom of God? Surely our God of love wouldn’t force the gospel upon someone who doesn’t want it right?

Acts 13:48 - “When the gentiles heard this they were glad and glorified the word of God. And as many as were for ordained to eternal life believed.”
John 6:37 - “All that the Father gives to me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.”
John 6:65 - “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by my Father.”

A few points must be noted.

1. One’s choice is regulated by his nature.— A person certainly has the capacity to make choices. We do so innumerable times each day. But one’s choice is regulated by -- or, bound by -- his nature. If he is a child of God, he has the ability to choose what is good and godly. If he is unregenerate, his nature is at odds with God and thus he cannot choose good or please God.

2. Unregenerate sinners are not able to come to God. — No one can come to the Lord Jesus unless the Father draws that sinner. So bad is the unregenerate sin nature and so foul and so exhaustive and corrupt is the sinful nature we all inherit from Adam that we can not come to God in the least. No man loves God or longs for God or can choose God. None fear God.

3. Unregenerate sinners would never choose Christ. — The rebel who lives in the darkness hates the light and cannot come to the light. In fact, when Jesus, the Lord of glory incarnated Himself and came to earth and proclaimed the gospel, called sinners to repent, declared that He Himself was Messiah, and proved all His claims by miracles, what did unregenerate sinners do but crucify Him.

4. This argument leaves man sovereign over his destiny. God is lowered and man is elevated. But the Bible declares that the Lord reigns and chooses some to be His own. It’s God who chooses.

Whitefield surely stated correctly: “Man has no free-will to go to heaven, but only a free-will to go to hell!” But praise be to God who graciously gives sight to blind eyes and dead souls so as to see the glory of Christ, the need for grace, and the gift of eternal life. Bless God that salvation does not rest on your choice; but rather it rests on His sovereign choice. Salvation does not depend on the man who runs (or works, or chooses) but on God who has mercy (Rom 9:16).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Biblical Perspective of Sex.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

The Word of God speaks frequently about the importance of sexual fidelity within marriage. And it does so in an unashamed and in a clear manner. God created marriage and He also created the intimacy that must be enjoyed between a husband and a wife within the covenant of marriage. But the question remains: how should believers view sex? What is a right understanding of sex? What does the Bible have to say about sex? To answer these questions, I want to briefly give a biblical perspective of sex below under seven headings.

Sex should be:
1.    Selfless
The Apostle Paul says: “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor 16:14). Surely in the context of Christian living this includes marital intimacy between a husband and a wife. Elsewhere, Paul commands believers to do ‘nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; indeed, do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others (Phil 2:3-4). This speaks of unity among God’s people and undoubtedly this principle can be applied to sexual relations as well. Jesus Himself said he did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Sexual intimacy, then, must be a selfless act where the person’s foremost passion is to selflessly die to self and serve the other person with gladness, joy, and enthusiasm. Just as in any other realm of Christian living, even sex is to be selfless, never selfish or self-serving.

2.    Holy
The marriage bed is holy. It is to be held in honor among all and the marriage bed is to be undefiled (Heb 13:4). Sex is to be holy in that it is distinct from the common and profane use of the world. Sex the way God designed it is holy because God is holy. Sex is to be unique among God’s people as it comes from the infinitely holy God. Sex is not to be worldly or common or profane or impure. Rather, it is to be gloriously distinct, unique and and wondrously Christian-like as a husband and a wife can worship Christ before and during and after coming together intimately. The entire occasion of sex should be a worshipful, a selfless, a Christ-honoring, a pure, and an enjoyable union that the couple enjoys in marriage. Why? Because it comes from God (Gen 2:24-25) and it is good (Gen 1:31).

3.    Exhilarating
Just read the ultimate Song of all songs. In the Song of Songs (as the Hebrew title has it), Solomon is utterly ravished with his lover and so is the bride toward her man. In the wisdom of Proverbs, we read that it is good for sexual relations and pleasures to be enjoyed, rejoiced in, sought, desired, and yearned for (Song of Solomon 4-7)! In fact, sexual pleasures, orgasms, and enjoyable experiences are biblical! We read that a wife’s breasts are to satisfy her husband at all times and indeed they are to be exhilarated always with each other’s love (Prov 5:19). God isn’t bashful in His words to us. The love that a man experiences in marriage is to be exhilarating, intoxicating, overwhelming, and enjoyable. That’s why the lovers are told in Song of Solomon 5:1 to “Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers!” It is good and right and God-ordained for a husband to be exhilarated with his wife’s love and for a wife to be exhilarated with her husband’s love. Pursue this!

4.    Exclusive
Solomon wisely counsels his son to be exclusive in his sexual conduct toward and his heart-drawn affections toward his wife. No other lovers or intruders are allowed -- none! For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner (Prov 5:20). Indeed, remember this: the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord and He watches all his paths (Prov 5:21). The conjugal union between lovers must be exclusive between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage. Zealously, earnestly protect this -- at all costs! The man and woman are to come together and be “one flesh” (Gen 2:24-25). This is the design of God that is good, noble and Scriptural. If you’ve sinned in the past, repent of it, forsake it, bring it to the Lord in humble confession and be reconciled to God and to your mate. Be exclusive. In a world of great immorality, secrecy, fornication and perverted fantasies and images and encounters, fight with all your might to be exclusive in heart, eyes and body to your mate!

5.    Protective
There’s a real sense in which lovemaking between a husband and a wife is a safeguard; that is, a protective measure. One of the ways that God calls His people to be pure and to keep away from immorality is to drink water from your own cistern (Prov 5:15) and to “let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Prov 5:18). Furthermore, those who long for sexual relations should seek to marry as a safeguard against immorality (1 Cor 7:8). Paul elsewhere says that the husband and wife must come together frequently and if they do abstain it is to only be for a shortened season for the purpose of prayer and then they must come together so that Satan does not tempt them (1 Cor 7:5). Husbands must protect their wives by seeking to romance them well, to enjoy them, to serve them, to satisfy them, to love them, to be tender with them and give them the time and affection they desire. Wives must realize that one of the ways they can serve their husbands and be used to protect their husbands is to serve, fulfill, enjoy, and please their husbands sexually and regularly. This is a God-given safeguard.

6.    Communicative
Like anything else in the marriage relationship, sex must be talked about. Both lovers must talk openly, honestly and regularly about what they like or don’t like. Are there ways in which the husband is doing something that the wife doesn’t enjoy or prefer or feel comfortable with? Or same with the wife to the husband? Both lovers must communicate openly and honestly without shame (Gen 2:25) and with full honesty (Eph 4:25-26). The husband should not feel ashamed to verbally admire his wife’s body specifically by even mentioning body parts with great passion and pleasure and enjoyment (see Song of Songs 4:1-10; 7:1-9). Rather than giving into assumptions or false expectations, seek to honestly and frequently speak about these matters humbly, selflessly, honestly, and enjoyably. Communication isn’t something that takes place once in a while; it is to frequently take place in marriage. When there is conflict (in whatever place in marriage, even in sex), there was a breakdown of communication somewhere. Seek to communicate openly regarding intimacy so you can better know your spouse’s desires, wants, longings, needs, and pleasures.

7.        Frequent
Biblically, sex should not be infrequent between a husband and wife. The Bible assumes that lovemaking will be regular, frequent, enjoyable and pleasurable. Proverbs 5:19 says that the wife’s breasts are to satisfy the husband at all times and that he is to be exhilarated always with her love. Paul elsewhere says that the husband must fulfill his duty to his wife and likewise the wife to her husband (1 Cor 7:3). Lovers must not deprive one another except by mutual agreement for a brief time (for the purpose of prayer) and then they’re to quickly and happily come back together in lovemaking so they’re not tempted (1 Cor 7:5). What God created is good and it is to be enjoyed without shame (Gen 2:24-25). Sometimes couples go months without making love or weeks without coming together intimately. Such should not be the case. A husband and wife should frequently come together with a selfless attitude of worshipful joy, thankful to God, pursuing the spouse’s pleasure, and fully engaged exclusively with one another.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The King & His Kingdom Is Yet to Come to Earth!
Exegetical and Theological Support for Premillennialism
Dr. Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St. Louis, Missouri)
[This was originally published at True Declination Ministries website in 2015.]

    As the public ministry of Jesus drew near to the climactic passion week, Jesus told his hearers a parable because Jesus was near Jerusalem (for the Triumphal Entry) and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately (Luke 19:11). Jesus spoke and exhorted His followers to live busy, God-honoring lives till the nobleman returns since they presumed the kingdom of God was to immediately burst in right then and there. On the night before the crucifixion of Christ, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?” to which Jesus responded by affirming: “It is as you say” (Matt 27:11). Jesus affirmed repeatedly that He came as Messiah and as the King to deliver His people. He validated His claims by means of undeniable miracles proving that He had come from God and with God’s power. So the question is not, “Is Jesus a King?” or “Is Jesus sovereign?” To these important questions, the Scriptures loudly and repeatedly affirm with certainty!

The question is, however, does Jesus function as the ruling and reigning King over the Kingdom as the Scriptures in both testaments teach? The purpose of this essay is to present a robust, exegetical and theological answer to that question. Indeed, Christians must study prophecy and should come to a proper understanding of the Scriptures so as to not neglect the Word and such a comforting genre of study as this. Interpreters should heartily affirm the clear teaching of the Word of God concerning the kingdom of God which shall come.

Download and read the rest of the essay HERE.

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