“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”

1 Peter 3:15 NAS

As you walk down the busy street of your town you notice a homeless person with a dirty coffee cup begging for money.  Do you pass him by?  Do you give him some change?  Or do you give him what will change him?

For the Christian everyday is an adventure in which we seek to hear and see God.  Have you considered that seeing and hearing God is a matter many times of seeing the opportunity to act in His name?

Are you ready when the chance comes to share the mercy and love that God has given you to share?  Peter and John were on their way to the temple one day when their thoughts were interrupted by the voice of a man begging for money.  What the two disciples shared with that lame man on that day changed his life.  “But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!’ And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:6-8).

May we seize the opportunities God has provided for us everyday.

We Are Butlers Not Chefs

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

It has become fashionable today for preachers and teachers to construct their sermons based loosely on a passage of Scripture. I say loosely because the main ingredient is not normally sound exegesis of the text under consideration but rather is much more often an amalgam of hobby-horse theology and whatever the preacher wants to say to the congregation.  This trend is to be expected for a couple of reasons.

First of all, many pastors have abandoned any belief in the inspiration of the Scriptures. These individuals have succumbed to the siren song of biblical criticism run amok and have adopted a view of the Scriptures as a collection of not too accurate narrative histories of a deceived people.

Second, when inspiration is jettisoned the inerrancy of the Scriptures must follow. If the Bible is a collection of fanciful stories and not at all God’s message to mankind then it cannot possibly be without error.

Third, if the Scriptures are not inspired and thus not inerrant, then they cannot hold any degree of authority over a person’s life. People are thus justified in cherry-picking what they will accept and will not accept.  The end result is they really don’t accept any authority beyond themselves.

The Apostle Peter reminds us in the passage above that we are not the originators of the truths we preach. The Bible is God’s Word to His creation and as such we have the high honor and responsibility to accurately convey God’s message to all people.  In this sense we are butlers of the Word of God faithfully serving Him and not chefs who are free to concoct our own recipes based on what we think is true from the Bible.

Confession and Repentance? Yes!

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3

There is a spurious teaching today that appears to be gaining adherents.  It is the teaching that Christians don’t need to confess and repent of their sins because all a believer’s sins – past, present, future – are forgiven at the moment of salvation.  To confess sins after that point is an affront to God.  Is this what the Bible teaches?

Unfortunately for those who hold this view the answer is a resounding no. Salvation does not mean you receive a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to post-conversion sin. While it is true that God in Christ has forgiven us our sins in a judicial sense, it is not true that we no longer need to confess and repent of our sins.  Let’s unpack this issue.

It appears that supporters of the no confession, no repentance necessary post-conversion position confuse standing with relationship.  In other words they are guilty of misconstruing our justification and adoption as sons and daughters with our sanctification and fellowship in Christ.  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) stands along side of admonitions to not “grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30).  There is a visible tension in the Scriptures which holds that we are no longer slaves to sin or under sin’s power (Romans 6) while simultaneously acknowledging that Christians will sin and this causes God’s discipline (Hebrews 12).

Perhaps the most cited passage in this context is 1 John.  In this epistle John tells believers that they must confess and repent of their sins.  Note again that John wrote to believers telling them that they must not succumb to the belief that they were “children of the light” when their lives demonstrated sinful behavior.  “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” John’s first epistle is a clear statement against the no confession/no repentance necessary teaching.

Finally let us consider Jesus’ words that He offered as instruction to His disciples of every age: “Pray then (daily) in this way . . . give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors . . .” (Matthew 6:9, 11-12).

Brothers and sisters do not think that your daily thoughts, words, and actions do not matter to the Father.  Remember to take captive every thought, word, and deed to the obedience of Christ.


“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Are you useful or are you being used?  Have you considered these questions in a spiritual context?  Paul’s statement to the Corinthian believers informs us that we are being used for either God’s Kingdom or for our enemy’s purposes against God’s Kingdom. There is no middle ground. Jesus explained this situation by saying that we are either for Him or against Him.

The New Testament in many places encourages readers to evaluate themselves in light of Jesus’ teaching.  Many people fail to do this and therefore become useful pawns of the enemy.  Sadly these misinformed people often think themselves to be knights for God. But again Jesus reminds us that the spiritual fruit produced by our actions is the true test of whether or not we are in Christ. Rotten fruit is proof you are not.

Instead of being used as a pawn, submit yourselves to God, be led by the Holy Spirit, put on the full armor of God and be the soldier for Christ God means you to be.