Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday Studies

I am starting a study on the book below. The book is published free online here
I am going to dive into one chapter a week. I thought maybe you would be interested in it as well. So, each Wednesday I will post a new chapter until we are finished!
So far I am really enjoying what I am reading and this is a much needed teaching among Christians. I personally have many friends and family who live, in hopes, that His grace will cover their blatant sin, with no repentance.
I am not blameless by any means, and want to grow in The ways of the Father and turn away from this world. Many think that there is nothing wrong with this world and that we should just do the best we can in it, for those people I quote this:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15).
Thats pretty clear, if you love the world you cannot love the Father!
So copy and paist the chapter below into word, print it off. You will be glad you did!
The True Gospel of Christ vs. The False Gospel of Carnal Christianity
by L. R. Shelton, Jr.
Chapter 1
The False Gospel of Carnal Christianity
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” - Galatians 6:7
A False Gospel
There is rampant in this age a false gospel of carnal Christianity which has deceived many souls. The vast majority of Christendom today have not bowed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. These are on sinking sand and are an easy prey to such a teaching which has permeated our land and our pulpits. So our purpose is to bring out the true gospel and the false, showing clearly the warnings from God’s Word that we should not sow to the flesh, but rather to the Spirit. May you have an open heart and an open Bible, as we pray that God will deal with us all by His Spirit.
We are warned concerning this false gospel of carnal Christianity in Galatians 6:7,8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” This to me is a most solemn warning to all of our hearts, and especially in this day of free-believism and carnal Christianity which is preached on such a large scale. You see, the vast majority of Christendom today is deceived as to the state of their never-dying souls before God. What is happening is justification in Christ is preached alone, at the expense of holy living; and the hearers of this one-sided gospel are left in the dark as to God’s requirement of the necessity of a holy life. God’s grace has been turned into lasciviousness; the attitude of most has been: “A little sin won’t hurt-I’m just a `carnal Christian’ you know, and besides, doesn’t grace cover it all?”
Holiness Required by God
But my prayer is that God would so work by His Spirit as to make blind eyes to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that there would be a mourning over it, for this is our only hope. Oh, how our hearts should cry to the Lord for the truth of His Word that appeals not to our fleshly desires or to our fleshly emotions, but to that which cuts off our flesh and lays us bare before God in confession and repentance! We should cry to Him to so work in our hearts by His Spirit, that holiness of thought, word and action would characterize our hearts and lives.
This false teaching of carnal Christianity has so permeated our churches that no one ever questions his interest in Christ, no matter how he lives. People are told that if they have believed, that is all that is necessary, and therefore all is well with their souls. But the Holy Word of God declares no such teaching, but in fact declares just the opposite! For we read in Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Yes, holiness must characterize our lives, “for God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thess 4:7). “He hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph 1:4). Again, He “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling” (II Tim 1:9). This is the same One Who says to be “obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:14-16).
Our warning text from Galatians 6 declares the same thing. God would have us to understand and not to be deceived about this false teaching, that no matter what false preachers and teachers say about it: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” My friend, if you sow to your flesh, you shall of your flesh reap corruption. I don’t care how many professions you have made or whose church you may belong to; you cannot mock God! He is no respecter of persons. Each and every one who sows to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption.
Repentance Is Given
A man who sows to his flesh continually has never been saved; he’s never been born again. Why? Because under Holy Spirit conviction we are given the grace to repent, and in repentance we learn to hate sin, to abhor it, to loathe ourselves, and to flee by faith to Christ for deliverance from sin. We know that sin has not been eradicated, for it is still the plague of our hearts; but sin is no longer the practice and rule of our lives. It cannot be, for the soul whom God saves has had a new nature and a new heart put within; and he now desires holy things and walks in the way of righteousness. He knows in himself that this is true, because the Holy Spirit has worked in him the things found in God’s Word. He reads in Ezekiel 36:26 about the new heart that God has given him; and in II Peter 1:4 about the new nature he has been given. He finds in I John 3:9 that he has been born of God, and that he who is born of God does not make sin the practice and rule of his life.
Why? Because His seed (the seed of God) remaineth in him, and he cannot make sin the practice and rule of his life anymore. He hears the Word say, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). Having been taught by the work of the Holy Spirit that he is a lost, hell-deserving sinner, having laid at the feet of God in repentance, having looked by faith to Christ as his Lord and Savior, having seen that his sin put Christ to death, then he wants no part of the world. The love of God has been shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit’s work in him.
He learns well that “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [the desire to indulge] not of the Father,” so he hates it and cries out against it because it put Christ to death. Again, he learns, “all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes [the desire to possess] not of the Father,” so he hates it and cries out against it because it put Christ to death. He learns that “the pride of life [the desire to attract to oneself] not of the Father, but is of the world”-the Satanic world system of sin -so he hates it and cries out against it because it put Christ to death on the cross. He also learns that “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (vv. 16,17), so he desires by grace to do the will of God, which is to walk in “righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:24).
A New Nature
Therefore, since God gives every sinner whom He saves a new heart and a new nature, and puts His Holy Spirit within him to guide him into all truth, that saved sinner now searches the Word of God, not to find things that will justify him in his sins, but to find that Word which warns him against sin and tells him how to flee to Christ from sin. He reads Romans 8:6: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”; so he begins to cry to the indwelling Holy Spirit to deliver him daily from a fleshly, carnal mind, and to give him that spiritual mind of life and peace in Christ. No, he is not seeing how close he can walk to the world and sin, but how he can walk close to God in Christ by His Spirit. He is not searching the Word of God to find out the sins of others recorded there so he might use them as a means of justifying his walking in sin, but he reads these things as warnings to him not to walk where others have walked and failed.
You see, the man or woman, boy or girl, whom God saves, and unto whom He gives eternal life in Christ, hears these words from Colossians 3:2-5: “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify [put to death, reckon as dead] therefore your members which are upon the earth.” How then could any soul justify living a life to the flesh? No, for because of what Christ has done for him and because Christ’s life is now his life, this saved soul now desires to put to death the things of the flesh, that he might sow to the Spirit and walk after the Spirit. Beloved, this is the way God deals with our souls-I know first hand: I know what the difference is between carnal Christianity and the life which is lived by faith in and upon the living God by the Holy Spirit, for I have lived them both. The only difference between me and the carnal Christian is the grace of God, and I praise Him for it!
Therefore, when the saved soul hears God’s Word: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry”; and “put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another”-now he desires to mortify them, and why? Because he has “put off the old man with his deeds” and “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:5,8-10). So his desire is for Christ and His life, to walk in a way pleasing to God and not after sin, because he has been born of the Spirit of God and has a new heart.
Also in Colossians 3:6 the Holy Spirit gives us another reason for walking in the Spirit and not after the flesh. He says we are not to walk in these sins, “for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” Yes, those who walk in such a way of disobedience to God’s revealed will, shall find themselves under His curse and wrath.
A Holy Life Follows Salvation
My friend, I would not have you deceived! A holy life, a sowing to the Spirit, must follow the salvation that God gives in Christ, or it is not God’s salvation; for Christ came to save His people from their sins, and not in their sins (Matt 1:21). A holy life, a sowing to the Spirit, must follow the salvation that God gives us in Christ or God’s purpose in saving us would be defeated, and this cannot be. Did we not read that God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph 1:4). We cannot thwart the purpose of God toward His people. Listen again to this definite and positive statement-”For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thess 4:7). Yes, a holy life must follow the salvation that God gives in Christ, or God’s will would be turned aside, and this cannot be-”For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (4:3). Sanctification is your being set apart from sin by the progressive work of God’s Spirit in your heart and life.
Again, a holy life, a sowing to the Spirit, must follow the salvation that God gives in Christ, or the grace of God would not reign in the believer’s life; and this cannot be, for we read in Titus 2:11,12: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” I want you to pay particular attention to these verses and pray that the Holy Spirit will write them upon your heart. When the grace of God that brings salvation appears to all, it teaches them the same thing. And what does God’s grace teach us?-that we will be self-denying ones. In what way?-saying no to the world and denying ourselves ungodliness and worldly lusts, because we hate sin, self, Satan and the world of ungodliness. “All” learn this lesson, not just some of God’s children. “All” of them are taught by the Holy Spirit to hate sin and deny self. If this self denial and hatred of sin is absent from the life, then God’s salvation is absent (John 16:13,15; Isa 54:13).
But this Scripture does not end only in giving us the negative; the Holy Spirit shows the grace of God that brings salvation will teach us something positive as well-how to live soberly, righteously and godly. Where? in heaven? No, in this present evil world, right at home, on the job, or wherever we walk! For by His grace and blood He has delivered us from “this present evil world” (Gal 1:4).
Remember this: the same Holy Spirit teaches all of God’s children the same lessons. What are they? He trains us to reject and renounce all ungodliness, and worldly, passionate desires; and He also trains us to live sober, temperate, self-controlled lives in an upright, devout manner (Titus 2:12). In other words, He teaches us to live spiritually-whole lives controlled by Him, here in this present evil world.
The False Gospel - no power over sin
What a far cry this is from the present-day gospel that is preached-a gospel that gives no new heart or new nature, a gospel that does not break the power of sin, but allows one to live on in it, a gospel that gives only an insurance policy against hell and knows nothing about holiness of thought and action, a gospel that will let you indulge the flesh, and puts no restraint upon your passion, pride and evil heart! Oh, this is not a gospel, but a false thing! I say false because it says that all one has to do is say “yes” to the four spiritual laws and believe in a historical Jesus; and after he “believes” he is saved and saved for ever, no matter what he does.
Did you know that the average individual tells you that he made a profession when he was 6, 8, 12, or 15 years of age; but he drifted off into sin, and after 10 years or so he came back and rededicated his life and now gives himself to religious service? It is from this group that the majority of our missionaries, teachers and preachers come, and they know nothing of heart-felt repentance or standing before God as a guilty, lost sinner! If you are in this group, I tell you in love, you have mistaken the call to salvation -to come to Christ as a guilty, needy, lost sinner-as the call to service; and therefore you have become two-fold more the child of hell than you were before, unless the Holy Spirit by His Word and grace gives you a heart to see your desperate need of Christ. You see, you have mistaken the call to a broken heart and a contrite spirit, to repentance and faith-the call to break with sin and to walk in holiness of life in conversion-as a call to the ministry! I know this does happen, for I have heard so many testimonies given along this line. It even happened to me! I mistook the call to salvation as the call to the ministry, and only by the grace of God was I awakened to see that I had missed true repentance and faith, and was still in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity.
Therefore, let me proclaim today that I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for that Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Rom 1:16). This salvation is the deliverance from the power of sin, which I have experienced by the grace of God in Christ; and beloved, I praise the Lord that Romans 6:18 is true: “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness,” servants of Him Who has delivered us from the law of sin and death! (Rom 8:2).
C. H. Spurgeon has said it so well:
Each creature brings forth after its own kind: the old nature being radically evil continues to produce and to send forth swarms of sins; it is not reconciled to God, neither indeed can be, and therefore its thoughts and acts are those of rebellion and hatred toward God. On the other hand, the new nature “cannot sin because it is born of God”; it must have its fruit unto holiness, for it is holiness itself. Out of a dove’s nest we expect only doves to fly. The heavenly life breeds birds of paradise, such as holy thoughts, desires, and acts; and it cannot bring forth such unclean birds as lust, and envy, and malice. The life of God infused in regeneration is as pure as the Lord by whom it was begotten, and can never be otherwise. Blessed is the man who has this heavenly principle within, for it must appear in his life and cause him to abound in holiness, to the glory of God. Reader, have you this divine seed within you, or do you remain under the dominion of a corrupt nature? This question deserves a present and thoughtful reply.

1 comment:

rcsnickers said...

Sounds like a good book! You would love our church! He preaches on what you are reading. A believer's life should reflect Christ and we should hate sin. "Be ye conformed to the world but not of the world." It is hard though becuase we can say such and such (cursing, drugs, sex before and outside of marriage, etc) is definately wrong and sinful but what about this? Is it wrong too? Like movies, dress, music, etc. Such a hard line. We are faithful to God and yes, we know when we are doing wrong and sinful but we get used to some "sins". Am I on a different topic, not sure, just what I think when I read your part of the book. Share your thoughts please!


Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Duet 5:29