What comes to mind when you hear the word “feminist?” Is it a strong woman who after years of being oppressed by men finally got the guts to break free and stand up to them? Or is it someone who is just simply fighting for equality of the sexes? A Facebook taken survey shows some of the first thoughts- liberal lunatics, perverted causes, trying to prove they are acceptable, superior, vulgar, godless, shameless, prideful, in bondage, angry, not celebrating differences, no peace or joy, insecure, screaming liberals..Sounds like the worst of qualities, right? But the purpose of this post is to walk you through what the majority think feminism is and to make my case that a lot of times the most threatening feminist is not the one in your face screaming obscenities. The most threatening feminist comes from within the church. Feminism is like a rotting, decay that is seeping into every single area of this culture.
According to history books, the 1st wave of feminism began around 1848, with a gathering in Seneca Falls, NY to fight for women’s rights. There was another wave that began around the 1960’s which greatly influenced the views of women’s oppression and roles of women in the family. The 3rd wave is said to have started around the 1990’s and is still continuing, though some argue we are currently in the 4th wave. For the 3rd wave, gender identity and sexuality were a big issue. No longer should women have to identify as soft, gentle, or feminine. Instead they were now proud and defiant. And men became viewed as the oppressor of all women, hence the phrase “toxic masculinity.” Masculinity was now viewed as “harmful” to women.
I would argue that according to Scripture, feminism began much earlier than 1848. We are told that in Genesis 3 as a result of sin and the fall that we would be forever cursed with “wanting to rule over” our husbands. Let’s talk about the two types of feminism that are perpetuating the culture and then we will dig more into Genesis 3. There is “secular feminism” which basically says “I am entitled to compete on an equal basis with men.” Then we have, as some call it, “biblical feminism” which states “ I seek the freedom to follow Christ as He calls me, and to use my gifts however I choose for His kingdom.” For instance, those who say “teaching and preaching have been given to me as gifts from God and though I’m a woman, God would want me to use my gifts.”I want to make the case for my view, that there is no such thing as a “biblical feminist.” The two words used together are an oxymoron.
I think any church going evangelical would deny that secular feminism is an issue within their local church. They would agree that men and women are different, have different roles and hold to the “Complementarianism” view. This view states that men and women have different roles that compliment each other when it comes to all areas such as the home, church, or family. Women are precluded from certain roles that require leadership over men. Men have a headship role, women have a support role. While many claim to have this view, they now have muddied the line as to what is an acceptable role for women in the church. The typical evangelical pictures a feminist as a typical man hating, female with an extreme liberal agenda who goes around and fights against men and for the right to abort her own children.
But as I will point out, the second kind of feminism mentioned is a much more imminent threat to Christians. There is a group of women who won’t be out fighting to participate in male sports or events. They aren’t out taking over the work place. But they are attempting to twist the Scripture in order to allow for their “biblical feminism.” These types of “biblical feminists” exist and they are throughout all of our churches. Recently in a discussion on social media, the passage in 1 Timothy 2:12 was brought up. Paul says “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, rather she is to remain quiet.” Paul is forbidding all women from filling the role of pastor or teacher over men or exercising any authority over men in the church assembly. When this passage was brought up in the discussion, the woman commented “Well, that was just a cultural standard for that time” and secondly she stated “We shouldn’t limit God or put Him in a box because He can use whoever He wants to speak for Him.” Technically God can do whatever He wants according to Psalm 115:3-“But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” However, God will not at any time contradict His Written Word.
How do we know that the standard set in 1 Timothy 2:12 wasn’t just cultural or geographical? We have to look at other passages. In 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 the very same commandment is laid out- “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” There is something new added to the beginning of that passage which is the statement “As in all the congregations.” This clearly implies that this is not a cultural standard but is God’s standard that was put in place for ALL of the churches or ALL of the congregations.
I’ve also heard Galatians 3:28 used to advocate that women can fill whatever role they desire in the church. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” To argue that this verse does away with God given roles of headship and submission is ludicrous. This verse is telling believers that there is no “spiritual inequality” with God, we are all one in Christ Jesus if we have been redeemed by His blood. No where does this verse state that the God ordained roles of male leadership within the church and home have been done away with. The fact is, that over and over again, the Word of God lays out a pattern of male spiritual leadership and female submission. So many churches, however, are trying to imitate satan in the garden of Eden when he said to Eve about the forbidden fruit “Did God really say?”..
So many so called “Christians” and church leaders are trying to incorporate feminism and women leadership roles into the church. The rotting decay of feminism has no longer been content with staying in the secular realm, it’s now seeping into the church, yes, even the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist churches. One example is last year, Brentwood Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist megachurch, ordained a woman to the pastorate. https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/02/17/southern-baptist-megachurch-ordains-female-pastor/ It was reported that they changed the ordination announcement from “pastor” to “minister” after some of the members complained. The woman was ordained at the church and given a pastoral position over men as “minister to senior adults.” Do the research and you will quickly find out that there is a rapidly spreading movement amongst churches to ordain women and allow them to teach men. Just check out this video of Southern Baptist darling Beth Moore preaching on a Sunday morning from the pulpit at Transformation church- https://youtu.be/MCIRf1S6cr0
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“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb; a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 All throughout Scripture you can look and see one common theme about children, they are a reward and a blessing from God. This passage in Psalms mentioned above gives us a view into how we as Christians are to view children and child bearing. We would never tell the Lord “please, stop you are blessing me with way too much money!” Or “please Lord, do not give me one more friend, I’ve just got too many!” We never tell the Lord to stop blessing us except for in the area of our womb! So that beckons the question, do you really view children as a reward and blessing? If we do, we would want as many blessings as He would give us. Why would anyone choose to cut off blessings that are straight from the hand of God? The reward of the womb? We have to be willing to look at this from a biblical perspective. There are three main reasons I see that are causing women to say no more babies- 1) It represents a total denial of self. “I just want to travel more.” ” I want more sleep,” “I just want 5 minutes in the bathroom alone.” Children will ultimately consume all our time. We will have to die to our self and the things we want to do in order to raise godly children. It is no longer about us. We sacrifice hours of being up at night, nursing babies, bandaging boo boo’s, cooking meals and preparing snacks, changing their diapers and wiping runny noses. There will be little or no time to indulge ourselves or let our flesh do what it wants to do. But this is the ultimate picture of Christianity. We must take up our crosses and daily die to ourselves and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) We must die to ourselves. Our purpose is now to raise up godly children that love Him and His Word. We are a picture to the outside world of what that looks like through bearing children. Raising children will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but as the Scripture says, they are that most rewarding thing and they are a gift of God. Now most upon hearing the term “die to self” will cringe. It is in our flesh to not want to die. That represents something we do not want. But if we are going to follow Christ we must be willing to do so in every area, including his plan of how many children we have. 2) The second reason is because it represents putting all your trust and faith in Him in every area. This is a difficult thing to do. But what does the Scripture say? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding;in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 How many of us really trust Him in the area of childbearing? How about this statement -“I just can’t afford to have anymore” How much trust in the Lord is in that statement? Are you really saying that you don’t trust the Lord to take care of you if he chooses to sovereignly open your womb? Or what about those who say “I just can’t handle anymore.” Why not? Maybe your flesh feels overwhelmed at times but do you really think the Lord will not give you the strength to raise anymore children? Can not the sovereign God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth, sustain you and give you everything you need to raise the children He decides to bless you with? Or what about those who say “my health is just too bad to go through another pregnancy. I have really tough pregnancies.” Well how do you know that it’s not God’s will for you to suffer in that way? Maybe God wants to bring glory to Himself by showing you and others that He can do the impossible and safely bring you through another pregnancy, despite how miserable they make you feel. You could choose to be a living testimony and say “yes, I have awful pregnancies but I trust the Lord and if he chooses to open my womb then He will take care of it and use it for His glory whatever the outcome. You see, it requires putting full trust in Him and entrusting our very body and womb to Him. We might say “Lord I feel overwhelmed, but I trust you if you decide to open my womb and I trust you to physically give me the strength I need to be a mother.” 3) It represents many hardships and trials. The more children you have, the more worry will be present. As a parent we all worry about our children. Will they grow up to know and love the Lord? Will they choose a godly spouse? Or when they reach the driving years our main concerm will be “are they safe? ” There are many things we could sit and worry about. There will be many discipline issues along the way as they become independent and their flesh will desire to have its own way. There are the teenage years to think about, the dating, the rebellious middle schooler, the tenascious three’s, etc. It is no easy task raising children. There will be blood, sweat and many tears. But the more you sacrifice the more become like Christ. You will learn to lean on Him through every situation. You will literally learn that you cannot parent without Him. You will need that time in the Word or you can’t make it through the day. You need that time in prayer to ask Him to give you patience and to help you to be a godly example. You will rely on Him more fully to give you the strength to be both a wife and a mother. You learn to go to Him for for everything you struggle with in parenting and He becomes your greatest peace and strength throughout your parenting journey. So all of these things that parenting brings to you- denial of self, sacrifice, absolute trust, dependency on Him, those are all godly qualities. The more children you have the more you will possess these qualities. Please seek the Scripture about all these things! Let the Lord have control of every area in your life including your childbearing and you will find riches and rewards that cannot be described!
It is absolute arrogance to attribute your salvation to the flesh. But I hear this language all the time. If someone is asked “how do you know you are saved?” You get answers like “I prayed a prayer,” “I believed in Jesus,” “I accepted Jesus into my heart.” Notice the common link between these answers? The use of the pronoun “I.” Your salvation is not dependent upon your flesh. It’s not something you did, but something He did.
When we attribute our salvation to anything other than a work of God and His grace and mercy to us, we are not accurately representing salvation according to Scripture. You can share the gospel with someone until you are blue in the face, use persuasive language, and the most compelling Scripture, but unless the Holy Spirit moves on their heart it is futile. I want to lay out a biblical case that shows it is God’s will that initiates and births salvation, not man’s. We see this over and over again in Scripture.
“children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.” John 1:13
It is not man’s will or desire that produces salvation, but God’s. How is one born again? What about the Pharisees? Wasn’t Jesus persuasive enough? How about Judas? Did Jesus not give an accurate gospel presentation? Did He not use the right language to get him to “make a decision?” Could Jesus not have brought the Pharisees to salvation of He wanted to? Or Judas? What does the Scripture teach regarding them?
“While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12
The defection of Judas was not a failure on Jesus’ part, but was foreseen and foreordained. John 13:18 tells us why Judas was not saved. He was not chosen. “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.” The Arminian view would have to attribute Jesus with some amount of failure as to to be able to win Judas to Himself. But this is not what Scripture teaches. Judas was not born again because he was not chosen of God. He was not a sheep because it was not God’s will. What does the Scripture teach about those who are not sheep? Are they not sheep because they just won’t wise up and choose Christ?
“but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.” John 10:26
Notice the language there. You do not believe..why? Because you are not a sheep. God has chosen His sheep and it is those who will obey and follow Him.
We know according to Scripture that no man can come without the Fathers giving. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37 It is the Fathers giving that enables the coming. They don’t come, and then the Father gives. Salvation is initiated by God. Only those whom the Father draws will be saved. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44 No man comes out of his own desire or will. We know that all are not drawn because all men are not saved. Had they been drawn and given by the Father, they would come and believe and be raised up on that last day.
This is very important that we understand this doctrine. This is what the Scripture teaches about how one is born again. God chooses man for salvation, not the other way around.
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48
If you are saved, it’s because God chose you. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16
“And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is GRANTED him by the Father.” John 6:65
“even as he CHOSE us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:4
“Therefore, as the ELECT of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12
“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God CHOSE you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
Let’s look at the language in Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” The definition of granted is -given, as a favor or right, or awarded.” It has literally been “given to you to believe.” Faith is a gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) He has caused you to be born again. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has CAUSED us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3
He has made you alive. “even when we were dead in our trespasses, MADE us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—“ Ephesians 2:5
Salvation has zero to do with the will of man or his choice from his perceived free will.
“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Romans 9:16
The two metaphors given in Scripture to describe regeneration and salvation are demonstrated using terms such as “birth” and “wind.” Two entities that we have absolutely no control over. Did you get a say in where you were born? Or when you were born? Or the manner in which you were delivered? Absolutely not. In the same way, you have no control over your spiritual birth. It is a Monergistic act performed by God without cooperation from your fallen, unregenerate nature. How about the wind? How much control do you have over nature and when and where the wind blows? Has anyone ever controlled a tornado? You cannot control the wind anymore than you can control your salvation. It blows where it blows. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
The Spirit moves about wherever He chooses. He quickens to life those who are the sheep in God’s timing. Now after someone is born again, you can see the effects of by witnessing their transformed life and their fruit, but you cannot control when or where that is going to happen. This is a great burden knowing that when we share the gospel it is not our responsibility to bring people to salvation! “Salvation belongs to the Lord;” Psalm 3:8
Salvation is also used in the analogy of a seed and the sower. “I planted, lApollos watered, mbut God gave the growth. 7 So nneither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 Just ask any farmer how much control he has over his crops. He can plant and water all day long but it is up to the Lord to grow it.
The farmer cannot ensure the growth of his crops in the same way we cannot ensure the salvation of another individual and cause them to bear fruit just because we presented a compelling case for the gospel. God gives new hearts and open eyes according to His will. If one is not saved it is because God has not willed it.
So that His purposes of election might stand. “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—“ Romans 9:11
We are told to share the gospel and plant the seed, but God gives the increase. God has to remove a heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
This should give us great assurance in our salvation! God started it, it was birthed by Him, not our will or desire, and He will carry it out until the end. God’s will produced your salvation. “
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 If we are saved all glory goes to God.
“he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” Proverbs 11:22
We have all heard of these worldly sayings about beauty and the verses in Scripture warning about women who have beauty but no discretion. The world, to a large extent, is obsessed with physical beauty. The U.S. cosmetics industry was estimated to amount to about 49.2 billion dollars in 2019. Women are obsessed with the latest fads to look younger, thinner, and prettier. Ads and commercials promoting beauty products abound and target women and girls of all ages. So what is a Christian’s perspective to be on beauty? What does the Bible say? Should we value or esteem external beauty? We know according to Scripture that God actually used physical beauty to accomplish eternal purposes.
Biblical Examples of God using physical beauty to accomplish His eternal purposes. Acts 7:20 – Moses “was beautiful in God’s sight.” Joseph was handsome in form and appearance (Genesis 37:6). Esther 2:7 – “The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at. “Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.” Genesis 29:17
Growing up in a conservative Christian home, I was taught modesty from an early age. But the Lord did not save me until close to the age of 21. I did not have any convictions about the way I dressed and how I presented myself until after that. My teen years were filled with short skirts, string bikinis, tube tops and heavy makeup.
All of my motives were impure and sinful. I wanted acceptance and popularity, and I got it. I was on the homecoming court every year, winning homecoming queen, I won the Ms. Rossville title in the beauty review, I was on the cheerleading squad and the center of attention. And yet at the end of the day, I was insecure, hurting, and empty. I had developed an eating disorder starting shortly after high school and into my modeling career I was pursuing at the age of 21. Thankfully after a car accident that landed me at home and stuck with a broken arm, the Lord led me to pick up my Bible and start reading. He saved me and gave me a new heart as it speaks of in Ezekiel 36:26.
Here I am doing hair with my broken arm ☝️
All of my modeling pursuits had landed me with some big offers and call backs offering to fly me all over the place to display my beauty and all while wearing skimpy clothes and bathing suits. I had a choice to make. Pursue the world or pursue Christ. Galatians 1:10 was the verse that convicted me- “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying (A)to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a (B)servant[a]of Christ.” My desires had been changed. I wanted holiness and righteousness. I wanted to pursue Christ with all that I was leaving my worldly desires behind. Over the course of the next few years, the Lord began to sanctify me in all areas.
Many changes happened in my hearts desires but one thing didn’t change- I am an absolute lover of fashion. Working in a clothing store for years and the modeling industry gave me a interest in clothing. That desire of loving fashion has never left. But the Lord began to convict me about the types of clothing I was wearing and modesty became a real desire for me. I no longer wore short skirts or strapless tops, even my makeup began to change. I used to cake on as much eye makeup and eye shadow as I could and dark lipstick. I’ve heard it said that what is the on the inside will eventually work it’s way to the outside. I believe that is true. I didn’t want to hide my features with dark makeup, but merely enhance my God given features. I am feminine to the core and love fashion, makeup, jewelry and looking pretty. And the Lord has allowed me to keep that passion though He has refined it quite a bit.
I have recently discovered a lot of legalistic/pious ideas regarding makeup/beauty/fashion on social media. There is the idea that holiness is equal to plainest. That we are to hide ourselves from the world or else we are prideful and sinful. We can NEVER display beauty in any form without feeling shame. I’m trying to fight this way of thinking and answer this dilemma biblically. We can and should try to accent our features and look pretty without being immodest or doing it for the wrong reasons. If your mindset as a married woman when you get dressed for the day is “let me see how much male attention I can get” them obviously it is sin at that point. I honestly have great pleasure in dressing up, putting on a makeup, feeling like a woman and I have the Christian liberty to do so without being judged as vain. I was always taught growing up that beauty was a curse. But is it? Why are we taught that? Why is beauty not a gift from God? Did He not design our features? Can we not recognize a painting as beautiful whose artist is a human but not recognize a human as beautiful whose artist is God Himself?! Why are we not allowed to think of beauty as God’s gift?
I’ve been made to feel shame and guilt over accepting any compliments in regards to my physical appearance. It’s to be immediately regarded as vanity and pride if you take any satisfaction in being told you are beautiful. And of course, you are leading men into lust if you look beautiful. While we should absolutely strive for modesty Owen Strachan puts it this way -“modesty cannot necessarily repel all lust. We should never expect that it will, nor hold modest individuals guilty for the unrighteousness of others.” And to an extent, I’ve been made to feel guilty despite the fact I go to great lengths to make sure my apparel is modest and not exposing my body. I have literally been shamed for posting pictures of my face on social media. (Ironic, since it’s called “face” book) All effort that is put in to make sure no inappropriate photos or revealing photos are posted is now not good enough. Your face is a stumbling block and can cause men to sin. This type of mindset leads to the idea that any women with physical beauty should just cover their faces and stay in their homes as to not risk causing someone to sin. Never post a selfie or else you are being prideful and vain and your motives are impure.
Here’s another quote by Owen Strachan- “Scripture does not ask us to mask ourselves in plastic bags or never talk with others.” Physical beauty is actually a gift from God and can be used to bring glory to Him. As Author Wade puts it in his book Strength and Beauty, “women display God’s glory through beauty.” There is a big difference to being a slave to your looks and vanity and displaying the beauty that God has given you with modesty. As Author Wade puts it- “our job as women is to be beautiful and make things beautiful.” Bringing children into the world, nurturing them, making our homes beautiful, these are all wonderful responsibilities the Lord has given us. We display our spiritual beauty through our good works.
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
This passage details how the women of the church were becoming a distraction in worship and pridefully showing off their wealth instead of humbly demonstrating good works. The Bible tells us that physical beauty without good works and fear of the Lord amounts to nothing.
Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
There are attributes that give us great beauty that is not external. We are beautiful when we submit to our husbands and God’s role for us as women. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22 There is great beauty in a woman who joyfully submits to her husband and his leadership. Godly qualities radiate beauty in women. Ultimately, a woman with much physical beauty yet lacking fear of the Lord has inner corruption that makes her ugly. We should seek Christ and study His Word so that we may radiate an attitude of godliness and known by our good works.
So we have established that the fear of the Lord is to be our main priority, but let us put the idea that physical beauty is to be despised aside and choose to see it is a gift from God. But also, let us not elevate it to an extent where it becomes our focus. Teach our children to pursue righteousness and godliness above all else. We should set our minds on things above. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2 A godly woman should take care of herself and desire to be pleasing to her spouse or if single to attract a mate. Physical beauty that is displayed modestly is not sin and should go hand in hand with good works and a humble spirit. Pride must be kept in check. A godly woman radiates beauty inside and out and seeks to glorify Christ with all He has given her. Let us not be envious of other women but be thankful and taking care of our bodies to the best of our abilities.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.Psalm 139:13-14creation
19 “Or (M)do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, (N)and you are not your own? 20 For (O)you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [c]and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Growing up and pursuing a modeling career after high school, I’m no stranger to the goal of pursuing physical fitness. I did many beauty contests and modeling competitions starting in my teens. This in turn led to self image problems and eating disorders. Shortly after the age of 21 while pursuing a modeling career, the Lord saved me and gave me a new heart. From this new heart sprang new desires. I began to have convictions that my life and my body were no longer my own and that modeling was an unworthy pursuit. So I decided to drop it all after receiving multiple offers in the career and pursue a seminary degree in Christian Education. Around this time, I noticed that I began to gain a little weight but attributed it to not modeling anymore and that I had loosened up on my diet a little. But after a year, I had gained 30 pounds despite working out every day and trying to eat healthy. I was also super tired and sluggish. I began to be miserable and depressed. I can remember crying out to the Lord for help and answers. I told Him I just wanted to be healthy, not for my glory, but for His! I began to suffer from other health problems so I finally began seeking out drs to help me. Finally, after months of different drs, I found an endocrinologist that was willing to help. He ended up diagnosing me with PCOS (Polysystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disease)
This is a disease where multiple small cysts line your ovaries and in turn throw off your body leading to weight gain, infertility, hair loss, skin problems, etc. Thankfully, I only had the weight gain and not all of the major symptoms. But if left untreated, it would get worse over time leading to fatty liver disease and obesity. I was immediately put on diabetes medicine since the disease throws off your insulin which contributes to weight gain. And I began trying to eat a healthy paleo diet. After the first 9 months I had lost 25 lbs and was feeling more like myself. 15 years later and I’m currently 52 pounds lighter than I was when I first got diagnosed. Shortly after that I got married and the Lord decided to bless me with 5 beautiful children despite being told that I may not be able to conceive due to the PCOS.
I stayed on the medicine throughout all of my pregnancies and was able to get the weight off after each baby. I picked up running as a hobby and that, along with my healthier eating, has reversed my PCOS completely. Now when I go to get my bloodwork done it comes back within all of the normal levels. The downside of all of this was that my obsession with my body and being fit began. It became an idol for me. The health benefits were very beneficial, but the mental aspect was devastating. I began to have an eating disorder all over again. After years of battling it and praying about it and giving it to the Lord, He finally gave me freedom. It can still be a trap if I’m not careful and those of us who are weak in this area need to be on guard.
So years of struggling with body image and weight and diet led me to the Scripture to find wisdom in this area. Wanting to seek the wisdom of the Lord in all area, I began to pour over passages that dealt with this and in turn led me to write this blog. I want to use some passages that make the case that we are, as Christians, to strive to be fit and healthy, but at the same time, not allow that desire to consume us or become an idol. “
“for while (A)bodily training is of some value, godliness (B)is of value in every way, as (C)it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” – Timothy 4:8
We are told that bodily training is of some value, so it’s not worthless, however, godliness is to be the main priority. Also Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27 that he disciplines his body- “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
We are also told in 1 Corinthians 6:12 that we are not to be mastered by anything, which includes food- “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.”
In the Proverbs we are admonished against gluttony –
Proverbs 23:2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
Proverbs 23:21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
We are no longer our own, but our bodies belong to God- “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” 1 Corinthians 6:19
And in Galatians 5 vs 22 we are told that self control is given as a fruit of the Spirit- “But (A)the fruit of the Spirit is (B)love, joy, peace, patience, (C)kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 (D)gentleness, (E)self-control; (F)against such things there is no law.” So when we put all of these passages together we can form a clear view on what we are to do as Christians in regards to our bodies and taking care of them. Being healthy and physically fit is a responsibility that we shouldn’t take lightly and we should steward our bodies to the best of our abilities to serve Christ with all that we can.
This is an area that few Christians are willing to speak out on because so many have allowed this to become a stronghold in their lives. This is definitely an area that will not be addressed in most pulpits as to avoid stepping on toes or offending the crowds. We must pray the Lord would give us boldness to address this and also for self control and strength to be good stewards of our bodies. Being healthy in turn will allow us to have more energy to share the gospel and minster to those around us. We must be careful to not make it an idol, but at the same time not succumb to apathy and laziness. It’s best to set small goals and start moving more and cutting out foods that you know are destructive to your health. I also think it’s extremely important, if you are married, to take care and maintain your body for your spouse. There are some medical conditions that make this harder, but it’s still a worthy goal to pursue. You should desire to be physically pleasing to your spouse and letting yourself go is another way of saying “I do not care if my mate finds me attractive.”
The best way to approach this topic is prayerfully and also asking the Lord to give you guidance according to the Word. Stay grounded in the Scripture so that you do not err in making your body an idol. Also it is important so that you will have the desire to not be lazy or apathetic about your health, but to strive to be pleasing to Christ in all areas. Let’s not sweep this important topic under the rug but hold one another accountable and encourage one another to pursue being healthy.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
-If you would like more info on a paleo diet, I’m super passionate about nutrition and would love to help you! My email is -Lauranlou27@aol.com
In this modern day, politically correct society, we have several boundaries and guidelines set in place. Certain topics are considered socially acceptable when in public and some subjects are just off of the table. You don’t bring up your new mink coat to your local PETA advocate. You don’t bring up your conservative, pro-life views to your liberal, democrat co-worker. You don’t say in the state where I live (TN) that you are not fond of the TN Vols. These are just some common guidelines to avoid being labeled an outcast or a divisive individual. But the number one topic that is most repulsive to ever bring up in your local Baptist church? The topic of election and God’s sovereignty over salvation.
Growing up in an Arminian atmosphere and typical SBC church, I was always taught that I had something to do with my salvation. To say otherwise, was to become a trouble maker and I noticed the reactions I began to receive from those around me were not pleasant. True stories- I have literally been almost kicked out of women’s Bible studies for addressing God’s sovereignty. I have also been told by friends and family that “I’m just too far gone” for even thinking that God would determine a persons salvation. Women have left my Sunday School classes over the years for this very kind of teaching. Church members and deacons have come against my husband and I for the sole reason that we spoke of election and were slapped with the “evil Calvinist” label. This topic all together is completely taboo in the majority of churches in my area. It is referred to, as the great George Mueller once used to call it before God opened his eyes, “a devilish doctrine.” I cannot even begin to elaborate on all of the difficulties that have come with taking a stand on the sovereignty of God. I would have been better accepted in the local churches if I was a proclaimed atheist or agnostic.
I want to share a little of my back story before I get into defending this doctrine with Scripture. As I mentioned earlier, I was brought up a typical Arminian. It was ingrained into me early on that I “needed to give my heart to Jesus” and “make the right decision.” Also the dreaded “Calvinist” word was only used in a negative light. It was literally the doctrine of satan. By around age 22, I had written me a little notebook of verses I titled “my book against Calvinism.” In it were all the typical Arminian verses and arguments to supposedly refute this wicked doctrine. I can remember being so shocked when I enrolled in seminary the next year to find out that some of my professors were part of this dreaded “Calvinism cult.” I met my husband in seminary in 2007 and for the next 6-7 years remained staunchly against Calvinism.
So how did I make such a drastic change? We had a family friend from our first church were we served that was a staunch Calvinist and began to share and reason with us about the sovereignty of God in salvation. And shortly after that we got our hands on a little book entitled “The Sovereignty of God” by A.W. Pink. Within about a year of reading about reformers and reformed theology, watching godly Calvinist men preach expository sermons, studying the Scripture, and reading about the doctrines of Grace that our eyes were finally opened. I began to come to terms with the idea that God was sovereign over my salvation. That He chose me. My salvation was not of my own will or choosing. It was not due to the fact I was smarter than another, raised in a family that took me church, or chose to pray a prayer and make a good decision. It was literally all of God. As Jonathan Edwards says “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”
My passion of speaking on this topic started so many years ago and never really ended. I’ve been called a “cage stage Calvinist” for nearly 7 years now. To this day, I can speak of no greater doctrine and nothing brings me greater joy. It brings me such security to know that my salvation wasn’t dependent upon me. I’ve never wept or thanked God more for saving me than after having my eyes opened to the doctrine of His sovereignty and election. The much resented “Calvinists” had actually been right all along. I was convinced the Scripture clearly taught God’s election and His sovereignty over men’s hearts. I want to lay out a brief Scriptural argument and then discuss why this view is so hated among most professing Christians. As A.W. Pink says “men will hotly and insistently deny this doctrine until they are taught of God.” This is a doctrine that is loathed by the natural mind. That God can and does choose who would be saved. It takes a work of the Spirit to open ones eyes and cause them to love this truth.
It’s such an amazing truth that is literally woven throughout all of Scripture. Starting from the very beginning in Genesis we see God initiating and seeking those whom will be His. “It was God who sought Adam and it has been the order ever since.” – A.W. Pink We see God seek after Adam in Genesis 3:9 and then we see in vs 21 a failed attempt at covering sin with fig leaves. God instead provided His own covering with the future representation of the sacrifice of Christ by killing an animal and involving the shedding of blood for remission of sins. The idea of God being the seeker and the chooser and sovereign over all mankind is prominently displayed throughout the Old and the New Testaments. Passages like Job 42:2 that tell us “I know that you can do ALL things, No purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Isaiah 45:7 displays God’s sovereignty over all of creation. “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” Amos 3:6 declares His power over all things, even disaster or ruin doesn’t come to pass without the Lord’s decree. “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?”
God’s majestic sovereignty is the golden thread that is woven throughout every passage. That He is sovereign over creation, over his creatures, and over good and evil. There is nothing that exists that is not subject to Him. We see another theme displayed throughout His Word- that He is not limited by sinful man. In fact, He actually controls men’s hearts. Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” The we have Proverbs 16:33 that tells us nothing happens by chance, the Lord determines every outcome. “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
Even as early as Genesis 20:6, we see God’s omnipotence over man when God tells king Abimelech that He did not let him sin against God- “Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning (H)against me.” So the idea that God is subject to man and his choices or some type of free will is not found anywhere in the Scripture. This begets the question- Is God the author of sin? We know that nothing happens unless God has purposed it. Take for instance the most evil act that has ever occurred on the earth. Was it not when God’s only begotten Son, who was sinless and lived a perfect life, was beaten and nailed to the cross to die a terrible death? Is there anything more atrocious than that?! And yet what does the Scripture tell us- “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Acts 2:23 This was God’s plan. It was not mere sinful men who chose to execute Christ but God had ordained this and brought it to pass.
So we see God is subject to no man. No man can alter God’s plans. The idea that God wishes to save some men but they will not let Him is a concept not found in the Word. Can a sovereign God not overcome a man’s unbelief? Has he not foreordained all whom will come to salvation in Christ? Is He now made subject to man and salvation contingent upon a man’s choice?! So what are we told in regards to salvation? How then is a man saved?
-2 Thessalonians 2:13- “brothers beloved by the Lord, because God CHOSE you (AA)as the firstfruits[d](AB)to be saved, (AC)through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”
-Ephesians 1:4-5: “even as he (B)CHOSE us in him (C)before the foundation of the world, that we should be (D)holy and blameless before him. In love 5 (E)he predestined us[a] for (F)adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, (G)according to the purpose of his will,”
1 Peter 1:2- “to the elect”..according to (B)the foreknowledge of God the Father, (C)in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and (D)for sprinkling with his blood:”
Acts 13:48- ..”and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”
Romans 8:29- “For those whom he (C)foreknew he also (D)predestined (E)to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be (F)the firstborn among many brothers.”
Romans 9:16- “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
The Scripture is rich with passages that teach us the doctrine of salvation, or soteriology. God elects and chooses those for salvation before the foundation of the world. A man does not seek God of his own will or desires. (Romans 3:11) God Himself is the seeker. (Luke 19:10) He is also the chooser. (John 15:6) We cannot out of our dead, fallen nature make a right decision to follow or choose Christ. (Ephesians 2:1) Our salvation was something that was predestined ahead of time. Look at the language of the words used in Scripture. “Election” means to “pick out.” “Predestined” is the decree of God by which certain souls are “foreordained” to salvation. “Chosen” means having been selected. You cannot get around this language no matter how much theological gymnastics you try to use. We can do absolutely NOTHING to save ourselves.
Now upon hearing this doctrine of unconditional election, the flesh has a natural tendency to reject it. When I speak of election, I am not referring to election that a classical Arminian believes in by saying that God chooses based on foreknowledge of an individual putting faith in Him. When I speak of the doctrine of election, it is unconditional election- that God prior to his creation of the world, predestined some people to receive salvation and those are the elect. The definition of “foreknowledge” as referred to in verses like Romans 8 vs 29 is a “predetermined choice to set His love on us and establish an intimate relationship.” We cannot fathom the idea that God being loving would choose some and not others. Our human minds try to assault God’s perfect character by insisting that this must not be “fair” or “loving.” Fairness would send each and every one of us fallen sinners to an eternal torment in hell. But God, being rich in mercy, has chosen to save some. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that we cannot try to reason or understand God’s ways with our human minds.
“For(A) My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For(B)as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
And Romans 9 details God’s election to salvation and goes on to tell us not to question our maker-
“So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For (A)the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, (B)“For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He (C)hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For (D)who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? (E)Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
It is an absolutely true statement, that unless God Himself opens your eyes to His sovereignty in salvation, you will not see it. The flesh refuses to acknowledge that it took no part in salvation. Pride lingers and convinces a man that he must have played some role in his belief or salvation. But the Scripture teaches us that our very faith is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
The only reason that one man believes and another does not is all due to God’s sovereign election. To deny this is to deny the very Word of God. There is absolutely no way around these clear truths found in abundance throughout Holy Writ.
To rail and to fight against God’s sovereignty over salvation is to side with the flesh and is the ultimate human pride. We must pray and ask the Lord for wisdom according to His Word and ask Him to teach us. Those who are unwilling to be taught and are stubborn, absolutely refusing to study Gods truths in this matter, should have no confidence that they are born again. One who has the Spirit of Christ abiding in Him will be brought to an understanding of the truths about God and His Word in regards to their salvation. The doctrine of the election of God and His sovereignty is a glorious truth that we should hold in high esteem. It should be a great comfort to believers giving them eternal security because they have been chosen of God can never lose their salvation. All that the Father gives will come (John 6:37) He will raise us up on that last day (John 6:40) and no man could ever pluck us out of His Hand. (John 10:29)
My prayer for those of you reading is that you would be absolutely convinced of God’s sovereignty over salvation by reading the clear truths in His Word and that you will proclaim it without fear of rejection. It may not be a popular doctrine, but it is absolutely the crucial doctrine as related to our soteriology. All other doctrine flows from this very key foundation. You may get tossed out of Bible studies, scorned in your local church, ridiculed by friends and family, but rest assured, the sovereignty of God should be proclaimed, defended, and exalted wherever we go!
On October 31st, most modern Americans can expect neighborhood kids to knock on their doors and ask for Candy. For reformed Christians, however, October 31st calls to mind a very different and unexpected kind of knock on the door. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his controversial and revolutionary 95 theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This defiant act against the Roman Catholic Church sparked the Protestant Reformation. Thus, some 500 years later, Protestants are still celebrating what has become known as “Reformation Day” on October 31st. Christians around the world owe a debt of gratitude to Martin Luther, an obscure monk who put his life on the line to challenge the prevailing and very false doctrines of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. The Lutheran Church, one of many denominations that grew out of the Reformation, bears his name. In trying to study more about this man and Lutheran doctrine itself, I began to read the historical doctrinal standard of the Lutheran church, the Book of Concord. Contained within that book are the Augsburg Confession, Luther’s larger and smaller catechisms, and three different ecumenical creeds. During my study of Lutheran doctrine, I have found much truth. However, I have also found at least four clear errors that distort the gospel of Jesus Christ: 1) Baptismal Regeneration, Error #2, Error #3, and Error #4. This post is the first in a series of four in which I will refute each one of these errors with scripture (a method with which Luther himself would no doubt be satisfied). In this post, I refute the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration.
The burden I felt as I researched this doctrine was overwhelming. I began to see there was just so much error and contradiction to the gospel. I now feel so compelled to write on this topic as to not allow the gospel of Christ to be distorted in this way. I will begin to lay out my argument using Scripture as my only guide and Authority. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8 Before we begin, let me state that I’m aware that many of the early church fathers held to and taught a form of baptismal regeneration. Even though many of these teachers were spot on, in the end, these were fallible men. They are not above the Scripture. The Word must be our ultimate authority over all matters. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 So church fathers cannot be our authority. Church tradition can not be our authority. Creeds and confessions can not be our authority. There is only one, the Written Word of God.
So with that said, the first error within the Lutheran doctrine is the belief that baptism is a necessary component for salvation. Otherwise known as, baptismal regeneration. To quote Charles Spurgeon- “We ourselves are not dubious on this point, we protest that persons are not saved by being baptized. In such an audience as this, I am almost ashamed to go into the matter, because you surely know better than to be misled. Nevertheless, for the good of others we will drive at it. We hold that persons are not saved by baptism, for we think, first of all that it seems out of character with the spiritual religion which Christ came to teach, that he should make salvation depend upon mere ceremony. The false religions of the heathen might inculcate salvation by a physical process, but Jesus Christ claims for his faith that it is purely spiritual, and how could he connect regeneration with a peculiar application of aqueous fluid? I cannot see how it would be a spiritual gospel, but I can see how it would be mechanical, if I were sent forth to teach that the mere dropping of so many drops upon the brow, or even the plunging a person in water could save the soul. This seems to me to be the most mechanical religion now existing, and to be on a par with the praying windmills of Thibet, or the climbing up and down of Pilate’s staircase to which Luther subjected himself in the days of his darkness. The operation of water-baptism does not appear even to my faith to touch the point involved in the regeneration of the soul. What is the necessary connection between water and the overcoming of sin?”
When speaking to those who hold to this view of baptismal regeneration they have several Scriptures they will refer to that supposedly support this, one of them being John 3:5. 5 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Let’s take a look at this passage. To assume that a water baptism itself is in mind because of a reference is made to water is unwarranted. The entire passage is talking about the spiritual aspect of being born again. So it goes to reason that he was not referring to literal water (in either baptism or physical birth referring amniotic fluid) but the need for spiritual cleansing. Both water and Spirit are used this way in the Old Testament. Remember, Scripture interprets Scripture. So let’s look at other passages. For example, Psalm 51:2 asks God to, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” Even in the New Testament, water is sometimes used in reference to the idea of spiritual cleansing or purifying. Titus 3:5, for example, says, “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Here both washing and the Spirit are paired together just as Jesus does in John 3:5. Staying in that same chapter vs 8 tells us how the Spirit regenerates a person. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Just as wind cannot be controlled or predicted, neither can a person control or predict a persons regeneration. If one could indeed have their sins cleansed upon their being baptized, then they would clearly be able to control and predict the precise moment they were united with Christ and cleansed from unrighteousness. And going further in that same passage vs 16 tells us again how one is saved, no baptism mentioned. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 6:3-5 is another passage that is used to back up this view. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,” The phrase “baptized into” occurs five times in the NT in four different verses. To be baptized “into Christ,” is to be publicly identified with the thing you are being baptized into. The focus is not the baptism itself but on the thing the baptism represents. In the case of Rom. 6:3-5, being baptized into Christ is a public identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection which is clearly laid out in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4-
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” In all of the four places that the phrase “baptized into” occurs, it is an identification to something. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. It wasn’t the baptism that brought repentance; rather, baptism was the result of repentance. To be baptized in such a time where the culture had such different view of gods and many strict and religious laws and doing so meant to publicly identify oneself with the death, burial and resurrection from Christ. One who is baptized is NOT made dead to sin by baptism or even cleansed from sin by the physical water itself. Hebrews 9:22 makes that so clear- “
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” What are men cleansed with? The Scripture is clear. With blood. What gives remission of sin? The blood and received by “grace through faith.” So if one adds any kind of physical or external component, such as water, and makes that necessary for cleansing or remission of sins it alters the entire gospel.
1 Peter 3:21 is another passage used in the argument. But in reality, 1 Peter 3:21 actually makes the case for the symbolic nature of baptism. Let’s look at it- “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” It is clearly stated here that it is an “appeal” to God for a clear conscience. What saves a person is not some external rite of baptism, but a “pledge”or an “agreement” with God to get into the ark, which represents Christ, the ark of safety and salvation. We do so by faith in Christ, in his death, burial and resurrection. The waters of baptism itself do not do the saving! In the example of Noah that is used, the waters did NOT unite the ones outside the ark or the ones inside the ark to Christ. You miss the whole point of the passage to imply that water is the saving factor there. Noah and his family were spared because of their faith in Christ and him and the other seven members of the family stayed dry.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 All of the apostles believed that it was the blood of Christ that redeemed, cleansed, and forgave us our sins. No where are we told to look to a water baptistry for salvation. Now going back specifically to the Lutheran book of Concord I want to post some specific statements found with within the doctrine. Section number 83 on article IX. Of Baptism-
Also stated in the larger catechism “Therefore state it most simply this, that the power, work, profit, fruit, and end of baptism is this, namely to save.” Also listed, of what profit is baptism? There is a huge difference in the teaching of the “importance of baptism” and the “necessity of baptism.”
So here we have direct quotes from within the Lutheran doctrine linking baptism with delivering us from the jaws of the devil, making us God’s own, suppressing and taking away sin, remaining efficacious until the end, it works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and evil, gives eternal salvation to all who believe “this.” And then guess what they use to back up that entire view? Only one verse appears- Mark 16:16. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” That verse clearly does not teach that baptism saves because looking at the back half of that verse, the lost are not condemned for their “lack of baptism” but for their unbelief.
What is a glaring issue with the very idea of baptismal regeneration is the idea that a person had the ability to pass from being a “natural/carnal man” to a “spiritual/righteous man” through baptism; yet, from where does this desire to be baptized even come from? I was told by one in the Lutheran church that “baptism completes salvation.” This is at completely at odds with the teaching of total depravity. If a person is the enemy of God, dead in trespasses and sin, how is it that he is able to do something pleasing to Christ and to even desire to be baptized? “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1 Obviously, this is impossible. You would have to be regenerated or justified before you got in the water in which case baptism is no longer necessary to salvation. Let me state this clearly- To believe that water baptism saves is no minor error, but a spiritually fatal one.
Acts 2:38 is probably the most quoted of passages in the baptismal regeneration camp.”And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So how do we interpret this passage? “The word “eis”in the passage translated for is sometimes translated in the Bible against, among, at, unto, upon, etc. It might properly be translated here “baptized upon the remission of your sins” or “baptized referring to, or pointing toward the remission of your sins,” or “baptized in the remission of your sins.” When one repents, he receives the remission of his sins. “This very same preposition “eis” is used in Mathew 12:41-
If you use the exact same reasoning as Acts 2:38 and applied it to Matthew 12:41 it would make no sense. It would read “the people of Nineveh repented in order to receive the preaching of Jonah.” We know Jonah’s preaching occurred first and THEN the people repented. There are also other passages that if we used that same logic, such as Matthew 3:11, that would have to be a contradiction to interpret them like that. Yet it seems so many have literally formed their doctrine from this one verse without taking into account that holding to the view that a water baptism unites us to Christ would have to contradict the entire rest of the Scripture that tells us otherwise. Staying in that same passage in verse 44 it tells us exactly who was baptized that day- “All the believers were together and had everything in common.” This was a believers baptism. They were believers who upon repentance were baptized. So the teaching in Acts 2:38 cannot be teaching that we are baptized for the cleansing of our sins. We are brought near and united to Christ by one thing- “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13
The last part of the concerning doctrine pertaining to baptism is the belief that the water combined with the Word, somehow mysteriously turns into “divine water” and therefore baptism itself becomes a Work of God. Notice the following statements from the Book of a Concord- “to answer the question what baptism is, namely this, that it is not mere ordinary water, but water comprehended in God’s Word and command and sanctified thereby; so that it is nothing else than a divine water; not that not that the water itself is nobler than other water, but that God’s Word and command are added.” “Baptism is quite another thing than all other water, for God Himself stakes His honor, His power, His might upon it. Therefore it is not only natural water, but a divine, heavenly, holy, and blessed water.” So there in front of you is the Lutheran view of baptism. But what saith the Scripture? There were no Scripture references given to back up this view, that the water when combined with the Word become “divine.” Does the water become divine? Does God stakes His might and power in the water? Heaven forbid we should teach these ideas that distort the gospel of Christ.
There is clearly Scripture to refute this view. Romans 1:16-17
16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
There is power in one place- the righteousness of Christ and His gospel and is revealed by faith. The gospel is in the power of God to salvation and it tells us what is necessary in order to be saved. Paul leaves baptism out of this passage because he clearly did not consider baptism necessary to salvation. Pay attention to that phrase “the righteousness of God.” It is actually better translated “from God.” And appears over thirty times. Other terms from the Greek mean “justified” or “justification.” The gospel reveals that on the basis of faith and faith alone, God will impute His righteousness to ungodly sinners. We are justified without a water baptism according to Scripture. This is the very heart of the gospel at stake here. God’s way from the very beginning was to justify sinners by grace, on the basis of faith alone. Any teaching that implies our sins are not cleansed until we are baptized is a teaching that is NOT according to the Scripture. It is a faulty interpretation of the Scripture to make the claim one must be “baptized into water for the cleansing of sins.”
Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the LORD, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” And what did Jesus himself clearly say in regards to the gospel in John 6:28-29? 28 “Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing (A)the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, (B)that you believe in him whom (C)he has sent.” Did Jesus just forget to mention baptism in there? No. Scripture lays out time and time again why saving faith looks like apart from a water baptism. We cannot make the claim that God stakes any power whatsoever in the water. That is an absolute clear contradiction to Scripture. The statement that “pure salvation and life” is found within baptism is another absolute contradiction to Scripture. Where is life found?! In the water of baptism? 35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am(A) the bread of life.(B)Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes(C) in me will never be thirsty.(D)” John 6:35
To claim that life can be found or attained within the waters of baptism when combined with the Word is to absolutely distort the saving gospel of Christ. “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 Here is their doctrine regarding infant baptism-
To make the claim that one such as an infant, who has no understanding of the gospel can be baptized into Christ and regenerated is absolute contradiction to the Scripture which teaches us that we will be given understanding according to the gospel and experience sorrow over sin and trust in Christ. “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
No passage in Scripture ever refers to “water” or the “water combined with the Word” as being our salvation or the way to life. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 To teach that one can be justified in Christ but still need to be baptized for the “cleansing of sin” is to teach that Christ’s blood is not sufficient to save or to cleanse. We are brought “near” to Christ and receive for forgiveness of sins by one thing- the blood of Christ. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13
Lastly, to address the claim that baptism is “God’s work.” The definition of a work is this- “Any physical, religious, ceremonial or moral activity that would be required for a believer to gain salvation, or to be justified.” So in order for baptism to fall into the category of “God’s work” as our faith and salvation, it would have to be monergistic in nature ( the doctrine that the Holy Ghost acts independently of the human will) and it would have to be a “gift” from God. Nowhere in the Scripture is baptism referred to as a “gift” like our faith is in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Also we know baptism is a work the Bible because the Scripture considers circumcision a work. Many hold to the belief that baptism replaces circumcision. In Galatians 2 the Judaizers were trying to teach a works based gospel linking circumcision to salvation. Paul then confronts this false gospel head on in order to preserve the truth of the saving gospel. In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul asks, “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:2-3). Also in Galatians 2 15-16 he speaks out against circumcision and works of the flesh-“We ourselves are Jews by birth and not (A)Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that (B)a person is not justified[a] by works of the law (C)but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, (D)because by works of the law no one will be justified.”Clearly taught in Scripture is that among those works of the law was circumcision! We are commanded to be baptized in the Scripture, but we are not told baptism is a gift nor are we told it is “God’s work.” Baptism requires participation and cooperation on the part of man. Under the definition of works listed above, Baptism clearly falls into that category and it is clearly not a monergistic act. The following verses demonstrate baptism is a work of the one who is doing the baptizing.
And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:38)
“Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:47)
“I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,” (1 Corinthians 1:14)
Baptism is a work of man. Baptism is not a monergistic act. A monergistic act is our spiritual circumcision of the heart that regenerates us according to Colossians 2:11-12 “In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” We do not cooperate or participate in this “spiritual circumcision” made “without hands” which indicates it’s a divine, heavenly act of God.
Let’s look at one more statement from their doctrine on baptism-
To state as the above statement from the book of Concord that in “baptism is obtained the forgiveness of sin” and that we can look to our baptism for assurance of our salvation is an absolute distortion of the gospel according to Scripture. I am greatly burdened by this doctrine. Let me state this clearly- To believe that water baptism saves is no minor error, but a spiritually fatal one. Baptism does not save nor justify the souls of men and I fear many are being deceived. Please understand how crucial this error is. It is the difference between life and death. The difference between the gospel according to Scripture and a gospel that damns.
“A great winnowing time is coming to God’s saints, and we shall be clearer one of these days than we now are from union with those who are upholding Popery, under the pretence of teaching Protestantism. We shall be clear, I say, of those who teach salvation by baptism, instead of salvation by the blood of our blessed Master, Jesus Christ. O may the Lord gird up your loins. Believe me, it is no trifle. It may be that on this ground Armageddon shall be fought. Here shall come the great battle between Christ and his saints on the one hand, and the world, and forms, and ceremonies, on the other. If we are overcome here, there may be years of blood and persecution, and tossing to and fro between darkness and light; but if we are brave and bold, and flinch not here, but stand to God’s truth, the future of England may be bright and glorious. O for a truly reformed Church in England, and a godly race to maintain it! The world’s future depends on it under God, for in proportion as truth is marred at home, truth is maimed abroad. Out of any system which teaches salvation by baptism must spring infidelity, an infidelity which the false Church already seems willing to nourish and foster beneath her wing. God save this favoured land from the brood of her own established religion. Brethren, stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not afraid of any sudden fear nor calamity when it cometh, for he who trusteth to the Lord, mercy shall compass him about, and he who is faithful to God and Christ shall hear it said at the last, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” May the Lord bless this word for Christ’s sake.” (-Charles Spurgeon)
Paul stated clearly and without reservation in Galatians 1:8-9 that God made only ONE gospel. Logically and theologically, there can be only ONE gospel, not two, three, or more. Either baptism regenerates or baptism does not regenerate. Both cannot be true. One of these beliefs is a false gospel and deserves condemnation, and that condemnation rests on baptismal regeneration. Any gospel that points to a water baptistry for regeneration is a false gospel. Any gospel that believes the grace of God is offered through a water baptism is a false gospel. Any gospel that teaches the baptism completes the salvation process is a false gospel. Any gospel that teaches water is necessary for justification is a false gospel. Scripture has spoken.
Romans 4:5 – But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Galatians 5:6 – For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
So what is it that makes a woman so desirable to a man? And not just any man. A God fearing, Christian man. The answers may surprise you. This is not some Cosmopolitan article about 10 steps to becoming the best you. Whether you are happily married to your soul mate or single and looking for your happily ever after, this article is for you. We should all strive to be godly women who pursue Christ and exemplify the traits laid out in Scripture, regardless of our marital status. When I look back at my life and the goals I pursued in relating to being an attractive woman it’s night and day to what the Scripture has taught me is actually desirable in the sight of God and to a Christlike mate. I was in beauty pageants, modeling competitions, and homecoming court my whole life. Here is me at a beauty contest I won at my high school in 10th grade-
It was nothing but vanity in an attempt to get some kind of worldly validation. Here is another photo at one of my modeling completions in Miami Florida at around age 20-
I vividly remember coming home with many offers on the table. Many of which required me to wear less than modest swimsuits and apparel. It was within that year that the Lord saved me. Galatians 1:10 kept coming to the forefront of my thoughts- “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” It didn’t matter if every modeling agency and man on the face of the earth was pleased with me. If Christ wasn’t pleased, it was futile. I knew I was at a cross roads. I began to make a shift. I ditched the mini skirts and bikinis. I started spending large amounts in the Word of God. I took a two year break from dating. I wanted to be a Christ like woman who was pleasing to the Lord. I wanted to attract a godly man, not the type I usually attracted. My pursuit of Christ began to transform me. I no longer wanted that worldly beauty that I was always pursuing. I met my husband shortly after that and I realized that he never once said anything about my physical appearance. He said he heard me pray in class at our seminary and he knew then and there that I loved Christ and wanted to know more about me.
I want to walk through some Scripture with you to give you an idea of true, godly beauty. But first, I took a Facebook poll and asked the men what traits were desirable in a godly woman. These are a few of the responses- modest, feminine, respectful of others, compassionate, ambitious, assertive but selfless, confident, caring, burdened for the lost, dresses well, speaking words of wisdom, gracious..qualities that were a turn off were listed also- manipulative, loud mouthed, using beauty to their advantage, unapologetically ditsy, prideful. Sounds like quite the list, right?! Nowhere in this list is a fake, physical beauty or external adornment. Now, obviously physical attraction is a part of being married and finding a spouse, but for a Christian it is much deeper than that! When the Lord regenerates a person you realize that it is no longer about you. Marriage is all about dying to self. Our goals are no longer superficial in nature. When we get married, our lives as a woman are all about being a “help meet” for our husbands.
So let’s look at what the Scripture says we should be as women. Because in the end, that’s all that matters. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 We have all heard this verse before I’m sure. But what is the admirable quality that is listed? It isn’t external. It’s godliness. A woman that fears God. Popularity, striving for beauty, longing for others approval, winning some beauty pageant..these are all vain goals that should literally be put to death once the Holy Spirit dwells within us. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26 This type of wisdom can only be attained from the Lord and spending time in His Word. This type of true kindness for those around us can only be from the fruit of the Spirit, flowing out of a godly woman’s heart and lips into all areas of her life.
Here are some other godly attributes I jotted down from various passages and feedback- teaching what is good, loving their husbands, self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, submissive, hard working, faithful,gentle, quiet spirit, dignified, strong, sober minded, reverent, God-fearing, hospitable, good mother, cooks well, energetic, fun, sense of humor, authentic, domestic, selfless in all areas..Wow! These are some incredible attributes that we can pray for!Do you see the difference in what a godly man desires vs. a godless man? Modesty. Not flaunting what you have. Let your godliness be evident to all by your good works and humble spirit. Value is based on outward appearances and external adornment or sexiness in the secular world. What is of value to a Christ-like man is vastly different from one of the world. Sure he wants to be attracted to his spouse! I’m not denying physical attraction. God gave us eyes and we can appreciate beauty when we see it. But what is truly an asset and blessing is as the Scripture says “a prudent wife is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14)
Don’t be a woman who has no clue how to run a house hold or work with her hands. Garden, sew, cook, clean, organize, don’t be idle. Learn to cook. Learn to run your own house hold well. Meet your spouse’s needs above your own. Learn to be that godly, help meet that your husband or future husband so desperately needs. There’s much more to marriage than just a pretty face. Be an example of spiritual humility, yet be wise in the Scripture and in the fear of the Lord. The opposite of a loud mouthed, self promoting, feminist is a woman who acknowledges that God has placed the man as the head of the home and finds joy in that. If you feel you don’t have these qualities beg God to make you into this type of woman. Femininity the way God designed it is a beautiful thing! May we all strive to be women who reflect Christ in our speech, behavior, and temperament!
I’ve talked to multiple women lately who I’ve shared some of struggles with and gotten similar responses. “Really?” “You struggle? Because you seem to have it all together.” I think this is one of the many down sides of Facebook. We put only our best, polished images out there and very little of our true struggles. I’m continually brought to a passage of Scripture in James that deals with how we are to interact with those who are believers around us. It’s not biblical to put on a superficial front and pretend we have it all together! In fact, Scripture tells us the opposite, we are to come and confess our sins and burdens with each other. In my 13 years of being a pastors wife, there is nothing I appreciate more than authenticity!! It means so much to have a sister in Christ come to me with brokenness over sin or struggles and ask for prayer. And vice versa..to share my struggles and my sins with those in the body and know that they are praying for me! Think upon this verse- “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 As John MacArthur says it “Mutual honesty, openness, and sharing of needs will enable believers to uphold each other in the spiritual struggle.”
Friends, we all have struggles we are dealing with!! We all have sin and areas where we grieve Christ and need to constantly ask God to strengthen us. We do each other a disservice by putting on a facade that we are all just “fine” when we answer the question “how are you doing?” Be real. Be authentic. Scripture demands it of us. What a beautiful friendship between two believers when they can come and bear one another’s burdens!! We need prayer from other believers. We need encouragement. We need accountability. Yet these types of open, honest friendships are rarely seen! I pray that we will take this Scripture to heart. Quit pretending! I had a church member break down and cry to me recently and tell me how much of a struggle she had been going through. She had been trying to “act normal” when in reality she was hurting deeply and struggling. It was a blessing to me to hear the authenticity of what she was going through and to offer encouragement and prayer and to tell her I had been going through many deep struggles as well. I long for real, genuine fellowship! I hate surface/small talk. I long to talk about Christ and what He is doing in my life, what Scripture is teaching me and how the Lord is humbling me. I am pastor’s wife, but even more than that I’m a sinner who is need of God’s grace and mercy. I don’t have it all together. I’ve not “arrived.” I’m on my knees most days confessing to Christ my sin and how I’m so unworthy to be where I am! Most days I feel as the tax collector in Luke 18- “the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
I pray this blog post will edify you. I pray it will encourage you. And I pray that you will take that Scripture to heart. Find brothers and sisters in Christ who you can share your burdens with and that will pray for you! Be authentic in your walk and where you are. If you are in a valley, tell someone! The next time some one asks you how you are seriously tell them! “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 God comforts us so that we in turn may comfort others! How can we be of comfort if we don’t know their struggle or keep it hidden?! Confess your sins to one another. Pray for one another. Strive to be this type of friend to those around you. Then we will have true fellowship among one another in Christ.
As many may have seen the article that has been dominating the headlines this week, contemporary Christian singer, Jon Steingard of the band Hawk Nelson, has come out publicly to declare that he “no longer believes in God.” This is just one of the many times when a person in the spotlight claiming to be a born again Christian has later gone on to denounce his faith. Hillsong Worship leader, Marty Sampson also came out to question his faith and belief in God last year. And not too long after him, author of “I kissed dating goodbye” a popular Christian speaker named Joshua Harris declared to the world “I am not a Christian.” He goes on to say “he had a massive shift in regard to faith in Christ.” These are just a few who have recently denounced their faith. So the question we are often left with is what do we do with the ones among us who are walking away from their Christianity? How should we as Christ followers react?
First, we need to acknowledge that they were never actually saved. How do we know this? The Scripture is clear in 1 John 1:9 “They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it might become plain that they are not of us.” The Scripture explains that those who depart never really belonged to Christ and their “going out” or “departure” makes it plain to us. Jon Steingard may have fooled many people for awhile but it has now been made plain that he never belonged to Christ. True Christians will persevere until the end and cannot lose their salvation or belief in God. (Philippians 1:6, John 10:28) There are many among us who are wolves /goats disguised as sheep, many tares disguised as wheat. These are those who claim the name of Christ but there is no evidence of regeneration in their lives. There is no fruit and no sorrow over their sin. Maybe they walked an aisle, got baptized, were part of a Christian family, were even very active in their church. They just went through the motions never actually surrendering to Christ. This was me.
Raised in a Christian household, I walked the aisle at age 7 prayed a prayer and was baptized. I was very active in my youth group years down the road and told everyone around me that “yes, I am a Christian.” And yet there I was, lost. I was rebellious. Caught up in various sins with no repentance. I only read the Bible when it suited me or when I was at church. I had never truly surrendered to Christ. The scariest part about it all is that I did not even know I was lost. So let’s ask the question, how can those who are lost think they are saved? 2 Corinthians 4:4 answers the question for us- “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Satan, the great deceiver, literally blinds their eyes so that they cannot see that they are lost. I’m convinced that’s satan’s most used ploy, making a lost person think they are saved and secure. That is why salvation can only be an act of God. We don’t have the ability to open our own eyes. We are dead men without hope. (Ephesians 2:1) At age 21 the Lord literally opened my eyes, I began to long for the Word, I wanted to read all the time, devouring every thing I read. I began to loathe my sin and to have true repentance. I literally turned my back on all of the former things I used to love. God had given me a new heart( Ezekiel 36:26) and I knew that all of those years that I had been deceived about my salvation. Maybe Jon Steingard falls into this category of the ones who have been deceived.
So how do we react to these now unbelievers? They may have believed in God but never given their life to Him so it was simply a belief and never a life transforming relationship with the Son of God. The answer is twofold. We must not help them to think they are saved after they confess they are having doubts or struggling with their faith. Why would you want to give them false assurance? The Bible says we are to examine ourselves- “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5 No one in all my 14 years after making a profession ever told me “Lauran, I know that you made a profession of faith but your actions are not lining up with someone who is born again. Maybe you should examine yourself.” Why?! Why did no one challenge me to examine myself? Did no one care? I was clearly living in sin and rebellion. If we love others enough we must be willing to share Scripture and tell them how desperately they need Christ. We can’t assume they are saved because they say they are especially when there is no fruit. As it says in 1 John 3:9- “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” Jon Steingard’s band mates should take him aside and lovingly share the Scripture and tell him that he is under God’s wrath and will perish and go to hell if He rejects Christ. Instead the members of his band told him that “God is for him”..we can’t tell a lost person that based on Scripture. True love for those around us will compel us to share the whole truth of the gospel even if our friendship with that person is in jeopardy.
And then, of utmost importance, we must pray for them. We must plead to God on their behalf. We ask for God to open their eyes, which only He can do. We ask God to save them recognizing that God is sovereign over salvation. (John 6:44) We cannot assume a person is saved that bears no fruit, no repentance, no transformed life. Pray for them. Pray for those who have denounced their faith. Share Scripture with them about their dire need for salvation. Be the friend who gives them hope by sharing Christ with them. I pray that if you are someone on here that has been just going through the motions and have been deceived or if you are questioning your faith that you would examine yourself according to Scripture and see if you belong to God. Read through the book of 1 John so that you may know if you are born again. And if you are reading this and you have friends or family members who have made a profession but have no fruit or you wonder if they truly know Christ please be that friend that cares enough about their soul to pull them aside and challenge them with the Word of God.
Are you a weak woman? This is not a post about body building or nutrition. You see, I have come across so many different types of women in my life. So many have a spiritual facade they put on to mislead those around them. There are those who devote themselves to reading every book that Lifeway promotes. Those who do every local women’s bible study available. Those who never miss a church prayer service. Those who serve in every capacity of the church. But there is one group that I rarely run into. It is the group of women who are trained in the Scripture. The group who will not sit under every female teacher that comes out just because everyone else is doing it. The group that won’t partake in the latest women Bible study without doing the research to see if this woman is teaching the Bible. These are the type who are like the Bereans mentioned in Acts 17-“Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.“ These noble minded women will go to the Scripture to check out these well known teachers to see if they line up with the Word. It seems there is a large group of women that literally don’t care. They lack discernment and don’t care to study and devote themselves to the truth. Let’s start off by seeing which category you would fall in. Do you read the Scripture daily? Do you research a popular teacher before agreeing to sit under her teachings? Do you look at the spiritual life of the one who you sit under for spiritual nourishment? How do you respond when someone tells you one of your favorite teachers may not be sound? These can all be a good litmus test for seeing what category you fall into. There are three categories I’m going to list here. Number one is the untrained/ignorant category. These are saved women who do not discipline themselves in the Word and therefore are easily deceived by these false teachers. Secondly there is the false profession, unregenerate group. These are the women who grew up in church or even just walked an aisle but never were actually born again. They are the women it speaks of in 2 Timothy 3:7-“always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” These women want the feel good message that builds up their confidence in their own-self because they don’t truly know the God of the Scriptures. And then the third category, the trained women. Those who study the Scripture and who have discernment. Those who rightly divide the Word as it says in 2 Timothy 2:15. These women have a gift of discernment and a knack for spotting false teachers. They are ALWAYS in the minority. We as women are easily led astray by our emotions and must be extremely careful when it comes to who we sit under. The Scripture describes how easily we are deceived- “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman who was deceived and fell into transgression.“ 1 Timothy 2:14 Those of us who are married should be grateful if we have a husband who is our spiritual leader and is protecting and warning us about these false teachers. Paul in warning about false teachers described them in this way- “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,“ They literally “creep” into households and capture weak women. What does the term “weak” women even mean here? Weak as in physically weak? If you stay in the context of the passage Paul is talking about godlessness in the last days. He is describing spiritual conditions of individuals in the last days. So the term “weak” here is referring to women who are weak in their knowledge of the truth! Don’t be one of these women! How do you make sure you are not one of these? Devote yourself to the Word. Set aside all the fluff that the female teachers have to offer to try to make you feel like you need more self confidence as a wife, mother and woman and go straight for the meat of the Word. The Scripture talks about how we don’t need to live on milk but need the real nourishment of meat when we have matured. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) As A.W. Pink once said “the Bible is no lazy man’s book.” It takes discipline to devote yourself to the Word. It will be convicting and takes work to dig out the meaning according to the context of the passage. But in the end the hard work is what builds strong women. Not strong as the culture means, it describes those who are independent and self sufficient; But in contrast these women who are strong according to Scripture become more dependent on God’s Word and are more willing to be lead by their husbands and by the faithful, godly men around them. It is quite frankly the opposite of feminism and what the world says a strong woman looks like. We need to see to it that more women are devoting themselves to prayer, study of the Word, and exposing these false teachers who come into to lead women astray. I ask each woman reading this to examine yourself and see which category you fall into . How careful are you when you choose to attend a woman’s study? How much are you in the Scripture vs reading some woman’s devotional book? We must choose to be trained in the Word so that we can teach our children, share the gospel with those around us, and not fall prey to the false teachers of our day!