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Quotes of Author: Jim-elliff

1.
If Jesus were not raised from the dead then we could not have assurance that the price of our sins has been paid. Christ was the perfect Lamb offered in our place, the single sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all who would believe on Him. His death provided our only way of being accepted by God. Without it we are doomed. Christ’s resurrection is the assurance that this was completed, and that sin and its resulting death (physical and spiritual) was fully overthrown. What assurance could we have that the work promised had been done through the means of the cross if He did not rise to verify it?

If Jesus were not raised from the dead then we could not have assurance that the price of our sins has been paid. Christ was the perfect Lamb offered in our place, the single sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all who would believe on Him. His death provided our only way of being accepted by God. Without it we are doomed. Christ’s resurrection is the assurance that this was completed, and that sin and its resulting death (physical and spiritual) was fully overthrown. What assurance could we have that the work promised had been done through the means of the cross if He did not rise to verify it?  

Reference:   Bulletin Insert – “Tom, Risen from the Dead,” Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


2.
If Jesus were not raised from the dead, the disciples were at best fools, and at worst, liars. What we know about the Christian life comes from the pen of men moved and guided by God to write the words we call the New Testament. The original apostles died martyrs’ deaths on the basis of their belief that the resurrection took place just as predicted, and that they saw Him alive again. If it were not true, then they were either duped, or else they fabricated the resurrection as a means to shore up the movement. But would they pay the ultimate price for a lie they had manufactured in order to have a job? Not so. Paul speaks of the absurdity of this in the following way: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ “(1 Cor. 15:14-15).

If Jesus were not raised from the dead, the disciples were at best fools, and at worst, liars. What we know about the Christian life comes from the pen of men moved and guided by God to write the words we call the New Testament. The original apostles died martyrs’ deaths on the basis of their belief that the resurrection took place just as predicted, and that they saw Him alive again. If it were not true, then they were either duped, or else they fabricated the resurrection as a means to shore up the movement. But would they pay the ultimate price for a lie they had manufactured in order to have a job? Not so. Paul speaks of the absurdity of this in the following way: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ “(1 Cor. 15:14-15).

Reference:   Bulletin Insert – “Tom, Risen from the Dead,” Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


3.
If Christ were not raised from the dead, then He is morally unable to save. Jesus told of His future death and bodily resurrection on numerous occasions prior to it happening, and those predictions were lies if not fulfilled. Deception negates His larger message. A deceiver could not be God, or a sinless Savior. As sinful, He would not be able to satisfy the just requirements of the Father for a substitute on behalf of sinful people. If He were not raised, you should not only refuse to listen to Him; He could not save you even if you did.

If Christ were not raised from the dead, then He is morally unable to save. Jesus told of His future death and bodily resurrection on numerous occasions prior to it happening, and those predictions were lies if not fulfilled. Deception negates His larger message. A deceiver could not be God, or a sinless Savior. As sinful, He would not be able to satisfy the just requirements of the Father for a substitute on behalf of sinful people. If He were not raised, you should not only refuse to listen to Him; He could not save you even if you did.    

Reference:   Bulletin Insert – “Tom, Risen from the Dead,” Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


4.
There is no sin in cremation, that is for sure. And there is no inability on God’s part to raise a cremated body from the dead. But is cremation, a practice most often seen in Eastern religions, the best for the believer in Christ? 1. It is clarifying to note that burial was God’s preferred method of disposing of the body of Moses. God had the power to cremate Moses’ body on the spot, but rather, this gentle and loving phrase is found: “[God] buried him in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deut. 34:6). This fact alone is enough for me. If God chose this method Himself, then it certainly should be my preference also. 2. Burial underground (or in tombs) was the ordained method for the patriarchs, for God’s chosen people, and for New Testament believers. There are numerous references to this, from Abraham’s burial in the cave of Machpelah to Lazarus’ entombment in a crypt. The bodies of these saints were kept, as much as possible, in their original state, awaiting the resurrection of the body. 3. Consider the death of Christ Himself. He is our example in everything. Christ was in charge of His death. As He said, “No one has taken [my life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative” (John 10:18). Certainly His burial was no accident either. The dramatic events God ordained to take place included the tomb as an essential ingredient. It accentuated His resurrection. 4. Christianity is the most materialistic of the religions in this respect. That is, it gives an importance to the body and to all things tangible that other religions do not… Christianity sees the body as useful, rather than evil. It can do much good, if a believer is controlled by the Spirit. It is so valued by God that the very body we are living in will be raised up one day, made new for eternity. For this reason, we symbolize the importance of the body by burying it with love. 5. The burial of Christians was designed by God as the basis for our understanding of baptism. Though baptism does not save, it does picture our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (cf. Rom. 6:3-4). Such a powerful picture as baptism is dependent for its meaning on the burial of Christ and of believers. 6. We should bury because the grave is such a potent reminder of the future (bodily) resurrection.

There is no sin in cremation, that is for sure. And there is no inability on God’s part to raise a cremated body from the dead. But is cremation, a practice most often seen in Eastern religions, the best for the believer in Christ? 1. It is clarifying to note that burial was God’s preferred method of disposing of the body of Moses. God had the power to cremate Moses’ body on the spot, but rather, this gentle and loving phrase is found: "[God] buried him in the valley in the land of Moab" (Deut. 34:6). This fact alone is enough for me. If God chose this method Himself, then it certainly should be my preference also. 2. Burial underground (or in tombs) was the ordained method for the patriarchs, for God's chosen people, and for New Testament believers. There are numerous references to this, from Abraham's burial in the cave of Machpelah to Lazarus’ entombment in a crypt. The bodies of these saints were kept, as much as possible, in their original state, awaiting the resurrection of the body. 3. Consider the death of Christ Himself. He is our example in everything. Christ was in charge of His death. As He said, “No one has taken [my life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative” (John 10:18). Certainly His burial was no accident either. The dramatic events God ordained to take place included the tomb as an essential ingredient. It accentuated His resurrection. 4. Christianity is the most materialistic of the religions in this respect. That is, it gives an importance to the body and to all things tangible that other religions do not… Christianity sees the body as useful, rather than evil. It can do much good, if a believer is controlled by the Spirit. It is so valued by God that the very body we are living in will be raised up one day, made new for eternity. For this reason, we symbolize the importance of the body by burying it with love. 5. The burial of Christians was designed by God as the basis for our understanding of baptism. Though baptism does not save, it does picture our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (cf. Rom. 6:3-4). Such a powerful picture as baptism is dependent for its meaning on the burial of Christ and of believers. 6. We should bury because the grave is such a potent reminder of the future (bodily) resurrection.

Reference:   Cremation or Burial?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Funerals
5.
Church discipline is one of the primary means God uses to correct and restore His children when they fall into sin. It is also one way in which He maintains the unity, purity, integrity, and reputation of the church. Through private or public instruction, warning, counsel, or rebuke, and in some cases even social avoidance or expulsion from membership, God corrects his disobedient children or removes those who are not truly His. Christ Himself declared the church to be heaven’s instrument in carrying out this difficult but necessary function (Matthew 18:15-20).

Church discipline is one of the primary means God uses to correct and restore His children when they fall into sin. It is also one way in which He maintains the unity, purity, integrity, and reputation of the church. Through private or public instruction, warning, counsel, or rebuke, and in some cases even social avoidance or expulsion from membership, God corrects his disobedient children or removes those who are not truly His. Christ Himself declared the church to be heaven’s instrument in carrying out this difficult but necessary function (Matthew 18:15-20).

Reference:   Restoring Those Who Fall, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
6.
We should not aggressively hunt for offenses or opportunities to enact discipline (Matthew 13:28-30), but we must be vigilant, ready to address sinful behavior when it becomes known.

We should not aggressively hunt for offenses or opportunities to enact discipline (Matthew 13:28-30), but we must be vigilant, ready to address sinful behavior when it becomes known.

Reference:   Restoring Those Who Fall, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
7.
There is admittedly a certain tension between the different principles involved in church discipline. On the one hand there is the gentleness of Galatians 6:1, on the other, the severity of Titus 1:13. While we may never be judgmental in our attitudes (Matthew 7:1), we must nevertheless judge among ourselves (1 Corinthians 5:12). Just as we are called to love in a manner that is willing to overlook certain sins (1 Peter 4:8), we must also “exhort one another daily” so that none will be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). The tension is seen most clearly in that we are to love our brother as Christ loved us (John 13:34-35), yet remain willing to consider him an unbeliever and cast him away if he continues in sin (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11). We might be tempted to use the word “balance” in describing our desire to manage this tension. But as it is all-too-commonly understood, “balance” means compromise – easing away from convictions and obligations in order not to appear unbalanced or overly zealous. The problem with this understanding is that Scripture never tells Christians to be “balanced” people in this way. On the contrary, we are told to be zealous and fervent, both in our love for one another (Colossians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8), and in our pursuit of holiness and purity (Titus 2:14; Hebrews 12:14-17).

There is admittedly a certain tension between the different principles involved in church discipline. On the one hand there is the gentleness of Galatians 6:1, on the other, the severity of Titus 1:13. While we may never be judgmental in our attitudes (Matthew 7:1), we must nevertheless judge among ourselves (1 Corinthians 5:12). Just as we are called to love in a manner that is willing to overlook certain sins (1 Peter 4:8), we must also “exhort one another daily” so that none will be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). The tension is seen most clearly in that we are to love our brother as Christ loved us (John 13:34-35), yet remain willing to consider him an unbeliever and cast him away if he continues in sin (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11). We might be tempted to use the word “balance” in describing our desire to manage this tension. But as it is all-too-commonly understood, “balance” means compromise – easing away from convictions and obligations in order not to appear unbalanced or overly zealous. The problem with this understanding is that Scripture never tells Christians to be “balanced” people in this way. On the contrary, we are told to be zealous and fervent, both in our love for one another (Colossians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8), and in our pursuit of holiness and purity (Titus 2:14; Hebrews 12:14-17).

Reference:   Restoring Those Who Fall, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
8.
It is impossible for a person to be His sheep without believing His Word. When it is all said and done, true believers embrace God’s words (the proximate object of faith) as well as His person (the ultimate object of faith). A person who disbelieves the Bible may never rightly be considered a Christian.

It is impossible for a person to be His sheep without believing His Word. When it is all said and done, true believers embrace God's words (the proximate object of faith) as well as His person (the ultimate object of faith). A person who disbelieves the Bible may never rightly be considered a Christian.

Reference:   Jim Elliff Getting It, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Bible-Priority
9.
Would the Holy Spirit, who authored the Scriptures for the purpose of their being our infallible guide, promote them as a grab-bag of all kinds of meanings?

Would the Holy Spirit, who authored the Scriptures for the purpose of their being our infallible guide, promote them as a grab-bag of all kinds of meanings?

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 31, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


10.
Would the Holy Spirit, who authored the Scriptures for the purpose of their being our infallible guide, promote them as a grab-bag of all kinds of meanings?

Would the Holy Spirit, who authored the Scriptures for the purpose of their being our infallible guide, promote them as a grab-bag of all kinds of meanings?

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 31, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


11.
First, there is no biblical precedent or command regarding a public altar call. Whatever might be said for its use, we cannot resort to the Bible for support. Jesus nor Paul, nor any other early Christian leader used it. Did Jesus ask His listeners to come to the front after He preached the Sermon on the Mount? Did Paul say, “Every head bowed, every eye closed” as Luke quietly sang the invitation hymn on the Areopagus? Did Peter have seekers raise their hands as a sign of their interest in Christ at the end of the Pentecostal sermon?

First, there is no biblical precedent or command regarding a public altar call. Whatever might be said for its use, we cannot resort to the Bible for support. Jesus nor Paul, nor any other early Christian leader used it. Did Jesus ask His listeners to come to the front after He preached the Sermon on the Mount? Did Paul say, “Every head bowed, every eye closed” as Luke quietly sang the invitation hymn on the Areopagus? Did Peter have seekers raise their hands as a sign of their interest in Christ at the end of the Pentecostal sermon?

Reference:   Closing With Christ, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org . Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Altar_Calls
12.
Evangelistic preaching does say, “Repent and trust Christ now.” But there is nothing sacrosanct about getting people to occupy a certain piece of geography at the front of a building. Nor have I kept them from Christ by not having them respond to a public altar call. Rather I am offering them Christ without anything in between. I want nothing between their soul and the reality of Christ’s offer. To put something in between is a practical sacramentalism.

Evangelistic preaching does say, “Repent and trust Christ now.” But there is nothing sacrosanct about getting people to occupy a certain piece of geography at the front of a building. Nor have I kept them from Christ by not having them respond to a public altar call. Rather I am offering them Christ without anything in between. I want nothing between their soul and the reality of Christ’s offer. To put something in between is a practical sacramentalism.

Reference:   Closing With Christ, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org . Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Altar_Calls
13.
It is the Holy Spirit who gives assurance of life in Christ, not the evangelist (Rom. 8:16). We are to relate the basis of assurance but leave the actual assuring to the Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who gives assurance of life in Christ, not the evangelist (Rom. 8:16). We are to relate the basis of assurance but leave the actual assuring to the Spirit.

Reference:   Closing With Christ, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org . Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Altar_Calls
14.
Is it love for the lost that will perpetuate practices producing such damning deception in so many – or is it merely love for success?

Is it love for the lost that will perpetuate practices producing such damning deception in so many – or is it merely love for success?

Reference:   Closing With Christ, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Altar_Calls
15.
Confession by itself is not repentance. Confession moves the lips; repentance moves the heart. Naming an act as evil before God is not the same as leaving it. Though your confession may be honest and emotional, it is not enough unless it expresses a true change of heart. There are those who confess only for the show of it, whose so-called repentance may be theatrical but not actual.

Confession by itself is not repentance. Confession moves the lips; repentance moves the heart. Naming an act as evil before God is not the same as leaving it. Though your confession may be honest and emotional, it is not enough unless it expresses a true change of heart. There are those who confess only for the show of it, whose so-called repentance may be theatrical but not actual.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Confession
16.
It is not exceptionally worthy people that Jesus loves, but His love is exceptional in that He loves those of no value at all. In fact, He loves us in our sin. Only such a view of love correctly appreciates the sacrifice of Christ and respects the infinite chasm between what is deserved and mercy.

It is not exceptionally worthy people that Jesus loves, but His love is exceptional in that He loves those of no value at all. In fact, He loves us in our sin. Only such a view of love correctly appreciates the sacrifice of Christ and respects the infinite chasm between what is deserved and mercy.

Reference:   Worth a Lot of Sparrows, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


17.
The word foreknowledge is actually better understood as “thought of endearingly beforehand,” or “foreloved,” or “foreordained with forethought.”

The word foreknowledge is actually better understood as “thought of endearingly beforehand,” or “foreloved,” or “foreordained with forethought.”

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
18.
God does hear our prayers. Though God has taught us that He chooses all who are His before the foundation of the world, He also taught us that we should pray, and not only pray, but expect the answer to our prayers. It is true that God is sovereign and it is just as true that He answers prayer. In fact, He could not answer prayer if He were not in control of all things.

God does hear our prayers. Though God has taught us that He chooses all who are His before the foundation of the world, He also taught us that we should pray, and not only pray, but expect the answer to our prayers. It is true that God is sovereign and it is just as true that He answers prayer. In fact, He could not answer prayer if He were not in control of all things.

Reference:   Comfort for Christian Parents of Unconverted Children, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
19.
Why is God justified in having wrath toward you if you have not come to Christ on His terms?

1. Because you are a sinner by nature (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 3:10; Ps. 51:5).

2. Because you have amassed a huge volume of sins.

3. Because you have committed the greatest crime possible, against the highest existing authority (Mk. 12:30).

4. Because of your persistence in sinning against God.

5. Because you have spurned the greatest love gift ever [Jesus Christ].

6. Because you have spurned this gift even though you have knowledge of Christ and the way of salvation (Mt. 11:21-24).

7. Because you have been unwilling to admit your desperate need (Jn. 9:39-40).

8. Because you have been proud of your good works, though dependence on them damns you (Gal. 2:21; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 5:4).

9. Because you have not repented even though He has been kind to you (Rom. 2:4-5).

10. Because you have stubbornly refused to yield to God and His way of salvation in Jesus Christ to the last possible moment—now!

Why is God justified in having wrath toward you if you have not come to Christ on His terms? 1. Because you are a sinner by nature (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 3:10; Ps. 51:5). 2. Because you have amassed a huge volume of sins. 3. Because you have committed the greatest crime possible, against the highest existing authority (Mk. 12:30). 4. Because of your persistence in sinning against God. 5. Because you have spurned the greatest love gift ever [Jesus Christ]. 6. Because you have spurned this gift even though you have knowledge of Christ and the way of salvation (Mt. 11:21-24). 7. Because you have been unwilling to admit your desperate need (Jn. 9:39-40). 8. Because you have been proud of your good works, though dependence on them damns you (Gal. 2:21; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 5:4). 9. Because you have not repented even though He has been kind to you (Rom. 2:4-5). 10. Because you have stubbornly refused to yield to God and His way of salvation in Jesus Christ to the last possible moment—now!

Reference:   The Rationale for Wrath, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: God-Wrath
20.
We can be thankful that God does not remove all evil right now. If he did, would he not remove you? Suppose he said, “Ok, I will do just as you request. I will take away all evil right this minute!” Do you think that you would be spared?

We can be thankful that God does not remove all evil right now. If he did, would he not remove you? Suppose he said, “Ok, I will do just as you request. I will take away all evil right this minute!” Do you think that you would be spared?

Reference:   If God is Good, Why do so Many Bad Things Happen?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Evil-Problem
21.
It is true that God is good and that in the world under His control bad things happen – at least bad things happen from the human perspective. When I discipline my child, it might seem like a bad thing from his vantage point, but it is a good thing from mine. When a nation wins a just war, it might seem bad from the enemy’s side, but it is good for the world. So at least part of the problem is perspective. Are we saying something is bad from God’s perspective or man’s?

It is true that God is good and that in the world under His control bad things happen – at least bad things happen from the human perspective. When I discipline my child, it might seem like a bad thing from his vantage point, but it is a good thing from mine. When a nation wins a just war, it might seem bad from the enemy’s side, but it is good for the world. So at least part of the problem is perspective. Are we saying something is bad from God's perspective or man’s?

Reference:   Jim Elliff If God is Good, Why do so Many Bad Things Happen?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Evil-Problem
22.
Here are some good reasons for what man thinks is bad:

1. Pain and death help man comprehend the power and awfulness of sin. The entrance of sin brought destruction and decay into the world. It is a good thing to be wary of the effects of evil… By seeing how bad results come from sin, we might learn to avoid it to whatever degree possible.

2. Pain and death are sometimes used by God to judge sin. The Bible is full of stories of God’s use of physical pain and death to accomplish judgment.

3. Pain and death help us know the importance of Christ’s death… Christ took sin on Himself at the cross in order to deliver people from the consequences of their sin. We should be thankful that God has made a way to escape the consequences of sin through Christ. The more I know about evil, the more I should want to be freed from its power, and the more I should be appreciative of the only way of ultimate escape through Christ’s death.

4. Pain sometimes brings people to Christ. When a person realizes that he is weak and needs Christ, he is most willing and ready to come to Him. Sometimes God is good in removing our self-sufficiency through suffering.

5. Pain and conflict with evil does the authentic Christian good. The Bible actually says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28; see 2 Cor. 12:7-10). After Joseph had endured a lot of evil from his own brothers, he told them, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20).

6. Finally, bad things happen because God wants to teach Christians something about His special favor toward them (see Rom. 9:22-23).

Here are some good reasons for what man thinks is bad: 1. Pain and death help man comprehend the power and awfulness of sin. The entrance of sin brought destruction and decay into the world. It is a good thing to be wary of the effects of evil… By seeing how bad results come from sin, we might learn to avoid it to whatever degree possible. 2. Pain and death are sometimes used by God to judge sin. The Bible is full of stories of God’s use of physical pain and death to accomplish judgment. 3. Pain and death help us know the importance of Christ’s death... Christ took sin on Himself at the cross in order to deliver people from the consequences of their sin. We should be thankful that God has made a way to escape the consequences of sin through Christ. The more I know about evil, the more I should want to be freed from its power, and the more I should be appreciative of the only way of ultimate escape through Christ's death. 4. Pain sometimes brings people to Christ. When a person realizes that he is weak and needs Christ, he is most willing and ready to come to Him. Sometimes God is good in removing our self-sufficiency through suffering. 5. Pain and conflict with evil does the authentic Christian good. The Bible actually says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28; see 2 Cor. 12:7-10). After Joseph had endured a lot of evil from his own brothers, he told them, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). 6. Finally, bad things happen because God wants to teach Christians something about His special favor toward them (see Rom. 9:22-23).

Reference:   If God is Good, Why do so Many Bad Things Happen?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Evil-Problem
23.
We have created on our understanding a big man and a small God: a strong and able man choosing his destiny and weak God who does not determine but simply waits on man. In fact, we have a very frustrated God. He wrings His hands waiting for capricious man to decide for Him. He begs a little – but not too much, for then He would overpower man’s will. He is sovereign, but sovereign over what? Certainly nothing to do with man’s will. The weather maybe. If salvation is determined by man’s believing alone, then God is not sovereign, but man is.

We have created on our understanding a big man and a small God: a strong and able man choosing his destiny and weak God who does not determine but simply waits on man. In fact, we have a very frustrated God. He wrings His hands waiting for capricious man to decide for Him. He begs a little – but not too much, for then He would overpower man’s will. He is sovereign, but sovereign over what? Certainly nothing to do with man’s will. The weather maybe. If salvation is determined by man's believing alone, then God is not sovereign, but man is.

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
24.
The pre-sight view of election makes God seem absurd in His language if not somewhat dishonest. You see, God has gone to great lengths to say that some are elected, chosen, foreordained, predestined as part of His eternal purpose. For God to say that He saw those that would choose Him and then He calls them elect (select from a number) is linguistic trickery. It is like the Queen decreeing that the sun will rise in the morning, as others have said. God’s words about His action toward man would mean nothing but could only be construed as a way of presenting an authoritative front that God is in charge, whereas the decisions of eternal life and death are really within man alone. Apply this to prophecy. Much of prophecy is presented to us as that which God determines to do in the future. Is this the truth of it? Did God prophesy that John the Baptist would be the forerunner of the Messiah (Isa. 40:3-5; Luke 3:3-6) on the basis of pre-sight, and then declare that it would happen? Doesn’t language lose all meaning to say that? Does it not make sense of the language to say that the action predicted was based on God’s determined plan and not just what He saw happening?

The pre-sight view of election makes God seem absurd in His language if not somewhat dishonest. You see, God has gone to great lengths to say that some are elected, chosen, foreordained, predestined as part of His eternal purpose. For God to say that He saw those that would choose Him and then He calls them elect (select from a number) is linguistic trickery. It is like the Queen decreeing that the sun will rise in the morning, as others have said. God’s words about His action toward man would mean nothing but could only be construed as a way of presenting an authoritative front that God is in charge, whereas the decisions of eternal life and death are really within man alone. Apply this to prophecy. Much of prophecy is presented to us as that which God determines to do in the future. Is this the truth of it? Did God prophesy that John the Baptist would be the forerunner of the Messiah (Isa. 40:3-5; Luke 3:3-6) on the basis of pre-sight, and then declare that it would happen? Doesn’t language lose all meaning to say that? Does it not make sense of the language to say that the action predicted was based on God’s determined plan and not just what He saw happening?

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
25.
In the final place we should remember that the doctrine of election is principally for the good of those who hear. It says that sinners may be saved. It says that those without hope have hope in God’s love. Though fears may come when one considers the implications of being non-elect, it is most certainly a positive doctrine.

In the final place we should remember that the doctrine of election is principally for the good of those who hear. It says that sinners may be saved. It says that those without hope have hope in God’s love. Though fears may come when one considers the implications of being non-elect, it is most certainly a positive doctrine.

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
26.
Now do not think that the belief of others in history establishes any doctrine… But it does help to say that we are not alone in our interpretation of Scripture, the Scripture being of “no private interpretation.” This is not a new doctrine – forgotten, yes – but not new. So I will start the list with Christ and Paul, Peter, John, and the others, and continue with these: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Ussher, Lightfoot, virtually all the King James Version translators, Beza, Brainard, Edwards, Whitefield, Carey, Fuller, Livingstone, Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, Luther Rice, and China Inland Mission missionaries. Matthew Henry, Martin Luther, John Brown, Joseph Caryl, Thomas Chalmers, Alexander Maclaren, John Gill, Bishop Hall, Charles Hodge, Bishop Leighton, Thomas Manton, Thomas Goodwin, John Owen, G. Campbell Morgan, Matthew Poole, Bishop Reynolds, William Gurnall, J.C. Ryle, John Trapp, Robert Haldane, C.H. Spurgeon and Thomas Scott. We could add a host many others, including George Mueller, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and several prominent authors and preachers of today, such as R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, J. I. Packer, John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, etc. All of this listing is again just to say that a person who genuinely interprets Scripture as giving God supreme sovereignty over who is and who is not saved does not mean that he or she is in a freakish minority of irrelevant theologs.

Now do not think that the belief of others in history establishes any doctrine… But it does help to say that we are not alone in our interpretation of Scripture, the Scripture being of “no private interpretation.” This is not a new doctrine – forgotten, yes – but not new. So I will start the list with Christ and Paul, Peter, John, and the others, and continue with these: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Ussher, Lightfoot, virtually all the King James Version translators, Beza, Brainard, Edwards, Whitefield, Carey, Fuller, Livingstone, Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, Luther Rice, and China Inland Mission missionaries. Matthew Henry, Martin Luther, John Brown, Joseph Caryl, Thomas Chalmers, Alexander Maclaren, John Gill, Bishop Hall, Charles Hodge, Bishop Leighton, Thomas Manton, Thomas Goodwin, John Owen, G. Campbell Morgan, Matthew Poole, Bishop Reynolds, William Gurnall, J.C. Ryle, John Trapp, Robert Haldane, C.H. Spurgeon and Thomas Scott. We could add a host many others, including George Mueller, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and several prominent authors and preachers of today, such as R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, J. I. Packer, John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, etc. All of this listing is again just to say that a person who genuinely interprets Scripture as giving God supreme sovereignty over who is and who is not saved does not mean that he or she is in a freakish minority of irrelevant theologs.

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
27.
The foreknowledge spoken of (in Romans 8:29) is foreknowledge of persons, not events. The statement reads, “whom He foreknew…” You see this as well in Romans 11:2, speaking of His endearment to Israel: “God did not reject His people whom He foreknew.” Therefore we can deduce that foreknowledge as related to salvation is not just seeing a person’s conversion experience prior to election and therefore electing on the basis of the individual’s choice. It is a foreloving of persons.

The foreknowledge spoken of (in Romans 8:29) is foreknowledge of persons, not events. The statement reads, “whom He foreknew…” You see this as well in Romans 11:2, speaking of His endearment to Israel: “God did not reject His people whom He foreknew.” Therefore we can deduce that foreknowledge as related to salvation is not just seeing a person's conversion experience prior to election and therefore electing on the basis of the individual’s choice. It is a foreloving of persons.

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


28.
God graciously puts [common] love in the hearts of all mothers. Society is better because of it. But add Christ to that, and you have something far richer. Only a Christian mom can love that child “for Christ’s sake,” and “as unto the Lord.” Only a Christian mom can show her child what it means to be a true believer in Christ. Only a Christian mom can pray effectively for her child. Only a Christian mom can teach her children the truth about Jesus. Only a Christian mom can teach her kids what marriage is all about, even when times are difficult. And only a Christian mom can die as a lover of Christ, contentedly anticipating eternity in the house of her heavenly father.

God graciously puts [common] love in the hearts of all mothers. Society is better because of it. But add Christ to that, and you have something far richer. Only a Christian mom can love that child “for Christ's sake,” and “as unto the Lord.” Only a Christian mom can show her child what it means to be a true believer in Christ. Only a Christian mom can pray effectively for her child. Only a Christian mom can teach her children the truth about Jesus. Only a Christian mom can teach her kids what marriage is all about, even when times are difficult. And only a Christian mom can die as a lover of Christ, contentedly anticipating eternity in the house of her heavenly father.

Reference:   She Loved It, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
29.
Wisdom is a process of cognition, not a bombshell out of the sky. In our non-thinking day it is quite popular to short-cut the painful process of reasoning for a blank waiting on some inner voice. It seems highly spiritual to do so and carries with it a magical authority. (“I got this from God at four o’clock in the morning!”) In this way the most spiritually unkempt believer or the novice has equal voice with the wisest Christian veteran.

Wisdom is a process of cognition, not a bombshell out of the sky. In our non-thinking day it is quite popular to short-cut the painful process of reasoning for a blank waiting on some inner voice. It seems highly spiritual to do so and carries with it a magical authority. (“I got this from God at four o’clock in the morning!”) In this way the most spiritually unkempt believer or the novice has equal voice with the wisest Christian veteran.

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 34, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


30.
Thoughtful, biblically-induced attraction toward certain holy desires, with patient waiting before God in prayer, is no less the work of the Spirit than the most dramatic “immediate impulse” others may claim. This is the normal biblical pathway to wisdom. The man who makes the wise decision, yet always remains open to God’s further intervention in whatever way God pleases, is demonstrating normative spiritual guidance.

Thoughtful, biblically-induced attraction toward certain holy desires, with patient waiting before God in prayer, is no less the work of the Spirit than the most dramatic “immediate impulse” others may claim. This is the normal biblical pathway to wisdom. The man who makes the wise decision, yet always remains open to God’s further intervention in whatever way God pleases, is demonstrating normative spiritual guidance.

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 43, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


31.
Experience-driven revival is more like a flash flood than a mighty river. Heightened experience certainly leaves its mark, some of which may be good wherever it meets orthodoxy, but a reformational revival is a life-giving river which has continuing positive effects. When reformation takes place, the conviction is not just over our behavioral sinfulness but over wrong doctrine.

Experience-driven revival is more like a flash flood than a mighty river. Heightened experience certainly leaves its mark, some of which may be good wherever it meets orthodoxy, but a reformational revival is a life-giving river which has continuing positive effects. When reformation takes place, the conviction is not just over our behavioral sinfulness but over wrong doctrine.

Reference:   Reformation or Revival?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Reformation
32.
Reformation is that word we use to speak to the recovery of the correct doctrines and their vigorous application to all of life.

Reformation is that word we use to speak to the recovery of the correct doctrines and their vigorous application to all of life.

Reference:   Reformation or Revival?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Reformation
33.
Forgiveness of others in the believer is so standard, so much a part of what it means to be a Christian, that no true believer is without it. If you are not a forgiver, you are not forgiven. To not be forgiven is to be damned to spend eternity in hell.

Forgiveness of others in the believer is so standard, so much a part of what it means to be a Christian, that no true believer is without it. If you are not a forgiver, you are not forgiven. To not be forgiven is to be damned to spend eternity in hell.

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


34.
The exercise of the mouth cannot change the heart. Your sin is like a prostitute. You are speaking against your lover in public but embracing her in the bedroom. She is not particular about being run down in public if she can have your full attention in private.

The exercise of the mouth cannot change the heart. Your sin is like a prostitute. You are speaking against your lover in public but embracing her in the bedroom. She is not particular about being run down in public if she can have your full attention in private.

Reference:   The Unrepenting Repenter, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Confession
35.
Confession by itself is not repentance. Confession moves the lips; repentance moves the heart. Naming an act as evil before God is not the same as leaving it. Though your confession may be honest and emotional, it is not enough unless it expresses a true change of heart.

Confession by itself is not repentance. Confession moves the lips; repentance moves the heart. Naming an act as evil before God is not the same as leaving it. Though your confession may be honest and emotional, it is not enough unless it expresses a true change of heart.

Reference:   The Unrepenting Repenter, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


36.
What God is after is not our naming our sins, but our turning from our sins in obedience. He requires repentance from specific sins. He already knows what you do… Naming all our sins may be therapeutic, certainly, but it can never be said to be required… We may name our sins on the way to repentance, but we do not do so in order to be forgiven or cleansed. We trust Christ’s work for that, alone.

What God is after is not our naming our sins, but our turning from our sins in obedience. He requires repentance from specific sins. He already knows what you do… Naming all our sins may be therapeutic, certainly, but it can never be said to be required... We may name our sins on the way to repentance, but we do not do so in order to be forgiven or cleansed. We trust Christ's work for that, alone.

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Confession
37.
Confession means to agree with God on His assessment of our actions and thoughts, and to name our sin to God.

Confession means to agree with God on His assessment of our actions and thoughts, and to name our sin to God.

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Confession
38.
Consider the implications of adding the work of confession for ongoing forgiveness… If something more is required for forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness (a state required for heaven), then the believer is in a dilemma. What if he fails to confess some sins? What if he fails to confess one sin? Is he unforgiven and not cleansed from all unrighteousness? This is not what propitiation and the continual immediate cleansing from sin by the blood assert. Must we add to what God has so completely accomplished? Isn’t Christ’s death and the application of His blood enough? Doesn’t this additional requirement diminish the cross by making my naming of a sin, each sin, a prerequisite to forgiveness?

Consider the implications of adding the work of confession for ongoing forgiveness... If something more is required for forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness (a state required for heaven), then the believer is in a dilemma. What if he fails to confess some sins? What if he fails to confess one sin? Is he unforgiven and not cleansed from all unrighteousness? This is not what propitiation and the continual immediate cleansing from sin by the blood assert. Must we add to what God has so completely accomplished? Isn't Christ's death and the application of His blood enough? Doesn't this additional requirement diminish the cross by making my naming of a sin, each sin, a prerequisite to forgiveness?

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Confession
39.
If [1 John 1:9] is a call to immediate confession of every sin we are in trouble:

1. We are in a logistical dilemma. We cannot remember every sin. If our forgiveness depends on this, we are in serious trouble. For this reason, most advocates of this theology say that the confession we are to do is to be for every known sin. But that is an accommodation to the text. It does not say that. Actually, no Christian has confessed every known sin either.

2. We are in a theological dilemma. We have a Catholic theology of sorts. That is, if forgiveness is dependent on our ongoing confession, then what if we die with unconfessed sins? Does this view of confession of every sin being essential for forgiveness and total cleansing mean that our sins are not separated from us like the east is from the west? Does it mean we are not forgiven? Does it mean we are not cleansed from all unrighteousness? In other words, does it mean that the work of Christ on our behalf is ineffective when it comes to forgiveness and cleansing? Does it mean that we are not justified until we get to the end of life, and only then if we have confessed everything?

3. We are in an exegetical dilemma. By this I mean that we cannot reconcile the fact that the same text admits to a continual cleansing from all sins on the basis of the blood with no conditions for the believer, while also requiring the condition of detailed confession in a contiguous verse.

If [1 John 1:9] is a call to immediate confession of every sin we are in trouble: 1. We are in a logistical dilemma. We cannot remember every sin. If our forgiveness depends on this, we are in serious trouble. For this reason, most advocates of this theology say that the confession we are to do is to be for every known sin. But that is an accommodation to the text. It does not say that. Actually, no Christian has confessed every known sin either. 2. We are in a theological dilemma. We have a Catholic theology of sorts. That is, if forgiveness is dependent on our ongoing confession, then what if we die with unconfessed sins? Does this view of confession of every sin being essential for forgiveness and total cleansing mean that our sins are not separated from us like the east is from the west? Does it mean we are not forgiven? Does it mean we are not cleansed from all unrighteousness? In other words, does it mean that the work of Christ on our behalf is ineffective when it comes to forgiveness and cleansing? Does it mean that we are not justified until we get to the end of life, and only then if we have confessed everything? 3. We are in an exegetical dilemma. By this I mean that we cannot reconcile the fact that the same text admits to a continual cleansing from all sins on the basis of the blood with no conditions for the believer, while also requiring the condition of detailed confession in a contiguous verse.

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Confession
40.
The intimidation that we feel in relating Christ to a non-Christian world has to do with our comparing ourselves to the man or woman, rather than comparing God to the man or woman.

The intimidation that we feel in relating Christ to a non-Christian world has to do with our comparing ourselves to the man or woman, rather than comparing God to the man or woman.

Reference:   Jim Elliff Intimidation and Evangelism, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


41.
The problem with being thankful is not so much one of manners as it is of alertness to the facts, that is, simply having open eyes to what is true. And it is true that you and I deserve nothing good. No, more than that, we deserve everything bad – an eternity in hell.

The problem with being thankful is not so much one of manners as it is of alertness to the facts, that is, simply having open eyes to what is true. And it is true that you and I deserve nothing good. No, more than that, we deserve everything bad – an eternity in hell.

Reference:   But I Don’t Feel Thankful, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Gratitude
42.
By studying the apostles’ work in the New Testament, our only lead as to what a missionary actually is, we learn that missionaries are focused on these five responsibilities:

1. Evangelizing.

2. Congregationalizing (starting churches).

3. Establishing elders in the churches.

4. Setting the churches in order (teaching them how to function and what to believe).

5. Remaining in contact with churches to offer guidance.

By studying the apostles’ work in the New Testament, our only lead as to what a missionary actually is, we learn that missionaries are focused on these five responsibilities: 1. Evangelizing. 2. Congregationalizing (starting churches). 3. Establishing elders in the churches. 4. Setting the churches in order (teaching them how to function and what to believe). 5. Remaining in contact with churches to offer guidance.

Reference:   Every Believer Not a Missionary, www.bulletininserts.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
43.
Nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, “evangelize!,” and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor’s brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it.

Nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, “evangelize!,” and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor’s brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it.

Reference:   A More Spontaneous and Genuine Evangelism, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


44.
[Christians] look away from themselves to Christ. They believe that God has loved them from eternity past. They believe that the payment of Christ on the cross for sins was for them. They find Christ irresistible, and following Him the greatest privilege of all. They have faith in Christ and what He has done for them. They trust Christ, looking outside of themselves to Him alone.

[Christians] look away from themselves to Christ. They believe that God has loved them from eternity past. They believe that the payment of Christ on the cross for sins was for them. They find Christ irresistible, and following Him the greatest privilege of all. They have faith in Christ and what He has done for them. They trust Christ, looking outside of themselves to Him alone.

Reference:   A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


45.
If my car was inoperative and I went to the mechanic for help, I would have to hand over the keys. That is my action of trust in the mechanic. It is fides vive – living faith. Without doing that, all my talk about the competency of the mechanic results in nothing. And so, without our giving the keys of life over to Christ, we have never really trusted. This is Bible belief simply stated.

If my car was inoperative and I went to the mechanic for help, I would have to hand over the keys. That is my action of trust in the mechanic. It is fides vive – living faith. Without doing that, all my talk about the competency of the mechanic results in nothing. And so, without our giving the keys of life over to Christ, we have never really trusted. This is Bible belief simply stated.

Reference:   Jim Elliff A Three-legged Stool: All Side of God’s Salvation Process, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Faith-Defined
46.
Reasons Not to Sin:
1.    Because a little sin leads to more sin.
2.    Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
3.    Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
1.    Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
2.    Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
3.    Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
4.    Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
5.    Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
6.    Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
7.    Because my sin saddens the godly.
8.    Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
9.    Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
10. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
11. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
12. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
13. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
14. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
15. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
16. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin.
17. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
18. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
19. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
20. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
21. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
22. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
23. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
24. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
25. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
26. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
27. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
28. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
29. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
30. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to  believe.
31. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because it is worth anything on its own.
32. Because I promised God He would be Lord of my life.

Reasons Not to Sin: 1. Because a little sin leads to more sin. 2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God. 3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted. 1. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me. 2. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders. 3. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart. 4. Because I am doing what I do not have to do. 5. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be. 6. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin. 7. Because my sin saddens the godly. 8. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice. 9. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost. 10. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership. 11. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience. 12. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent. 13. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss. 14. Because my sin may influence others to sin. 15. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ. 16. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin. 17. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time. 18. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin. 19. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony. 20. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins. 21. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin. 22. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body. 23. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless. 24. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both. 25. Because my sin is adultery with the world. 26. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied. 27. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be. 28. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition. 29. Because to sin is not to love Christ. 30. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to believe. 31. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because it is worth anything on its own. 32. Because I promised God He would be Lord of my life.

Reference:   35 Reasons Not to Sin, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Sin-Danger
47.
It [is] impossible…to be converted to Christ while at the same time loving (your) sin. It is true that anybody who comes to Christ will come with sin. In fact, he or she will come precisely because of that sin – that is, to be rid of it and its awful result. But to come to Christ while loving and cherishing sin is totally impossible. It is like an airplane trying to fly in two directions!

It [is] impossible…to be converted to Christ while at the same time loving (your) sin. It is true that anybody who comes to Christ will come with sin. In fact, he or she will come precisely because of that sin – that is, to be rid of it and its awful result. But to come to Christ while loving and cherishing sin is totally impossible. It is like an airplane trying to fly in two directions!

Reference:   Pursuing God – A Seeker’s Guide, Christian Communicators Worldwide, 2003, p. 45, www.CCWonline.org.


48.
When a person is sick, the doctor may prescribe medicine. What heals the man? Is it the medicine, or his reaching out for the medicine? Christ is the only solution for your problem of sin and judgment. He is the medicine. Who else but Christ can rescue you and bring you into the forgiven family of God? He is the exclusive way to God. He is a narrow way, but a sufficient one. But how do you reach out to Christ? By repentance and faith.

When a person is sick, the doctor may prescribe medicine. What heals the man? Is it the medicine, or his reaching out for the medicine? Christ is the only solution for your problem of sin and judgment. He is the medicine. Who else but Christ can rescue you and bring you into the forgiven family of God? He is the exclusive way to God. He is a narrow way, but a sufficient one. But how do you reach out to Christ? By repentance and faith.

Reference:   Pursuing God – A Seeker’s Guide, Christian Communicators Worldwide, 2003, p. 44, www.CCWonline.org.


49.
What may be good and beautiful under the authority of God, becomes a damning god if you love it more than Christ.

What may be good and beautiful under the authority of God, becomes a damning god if you love it more than Christ.

Reference:   The Change of Mind, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Idolatry
50.
God is faithful and just to forgive every sin and cleanse from all unrighteousness because of Christ’s atonement alone. In other words, the believer does not confess in order to get something. What he seeks he already has.

God is faithful and just to forgive every sin and cleanse from all unrighteousness because of Christ's atonement alone. In other words, the believer does not confess in order to get something. What he seeks he already has.

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


51.
A seeker becomes a true Christian because God does something, creating desire for Him and distaste for sin.  If God is at work, you cannot help rejecting your independence and coming to Him.  You will place your trust in Him because there is nothing else left to trust.  You will love Him because He is irresistible to you.

A seeker becomes a true Christian because God does something, creating desire for Him and distaste for sin.  If God is at work, you cannot help rejecting your independence and coming to Him.  You will place your trust in Him because there is nothing else left to trust.  You will love Him because He is irresistible to you.

Reference:   Pursuing God – A Seeker’s Guide, Christian Communicators Worldwide, 2003, p. 55, www.CCWonline.org.


Author: Jim Elliff
52.
So, how do you know you’re a Christian? First be sure that you understand the basics. Do you believe that Jesus is God? Do you believe that He came to the earth to deliver sinful people from the consequences and power of their sin? Do you believe that Christ lived a perfect life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty that you deserved to pay before a holy God? Do you believe that He was raised from the dead and has overcome the power of sin and death? And have you, to the best of your knowledge, placed your entire trust in Christ alone as your only way of salvation? Have you rejected the selfish life you have now come to despise? Then you have the basics and may well be a true believer.

So, how do you know you’re a Christian? First be sure that you understand the basics. Do you believe that Jesus is God? Do you believe that He came to the earth to deliver sinful people from the consequences and power of their sin? Do you believe that Christ lived a perfect life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty that you deserved to pay before a holy God? Do you believe that He was raised from the dead and has overcome the power of sin and death? And have you, to the best of your knowledge, placed your entire trust in Christ alone as your only way of salvation? Have you rejected the selfish life you have now come to despise? Then you have the basics and may well be a true believer.

Reference:   Knowing You’re In, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


53.
When we speak of assurance, we are speaking of that which we know because the evidence is clear. This is the heart of First John and the other passages dealing with this subject. The way to tell if you are a Christian is not to look at the sincerity of a decision, but to look at the change in the life. As far as I can tell, there is no teaching in the Word which says that you can be sure that you are a Christian by looking back at an historical conversion experience. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life…” (1 Jn. 5:13, emphasis mine). What things? Those tests which make up the content of the epistle. In other words, one’s assurance should be based on discernible factors which can be tested.

When we speak of assurance, we are speaking of that which we know because the evidence is clear. This is the heart of First John and the other passages dealing with this subject. The way to tell if you are a Christian is not to look at the sincerity of a decision, but to look at the change in the life. As far as I can tell, there is no teaching in the Word which says that you can be sure that you are a Christian by looking back at an historical conversion experience. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life...” (1 Jn. 5:13, emphasis mine). What things? Those tests which make up the content of the epistle. In other words, one’s assurance should be based on discernible factors which can be tested.

Reference:   Childhood Conversion, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


54.
The fact is that a sound and lively truth-basis has been ejected from the premises of modern evangelicalism. Evangelicalism has been dispossessed of truth to such an extent that it is becoming frightening. In its place experience and mysticism are house-sitting the church or, if not these, then church growth pragmatism or an unhealthy preoccupation with the psychological. But the necessary doctrines of the holiness of God and His just wrath, justification by faith alone, the transforming nature of regeneration, the sovereignty of God over all of creation and in salvation itself, the nature and extent of grace in justification and in sanctification – doctrines upon which the earlier revivals thrived – have been considered unimportant and useful only for wizened old theologs holed up in ivory towers who do not relate to the church’s future.

The fact is that a sound and lively truth-basis has been ejected from the premises of modern evangelicalism. Evangelicalism has been dispossessed of truth to such an extent that it is becoming frightening. In its place experience and mysticism are house-sitting the church or, if not these, then church growth pragmatism or an unhealthy preoccupation with the psychological. But the necessary doctrines of the holiness of God and His just wrath, justification by faith alone, the transforming nature of regeneration, the sovereignty of God over all of creation and in salvation itself, the nature and extent of grace in justification and in sanctification – doctrines upon which the earlier revivals thrived – have been considered unimportant and useful only for wizened old theologs holed up in ivory towers who do not relate to the church’s future.

Reference:   Reformation or Revival?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


55.
If you shoot past truth to get to experience, then you will have at best something very limited and immediate only, something which, in the final case, will produce a greater heteropraxis (wrong living). Heterodoxy always leads to heteropraxis. God has already instructed us as to how transformation of behavior is to take place. It is through the truth, not by mere experience. “Sanctify them by Your truth; Your Word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).

If you shoot past truth to get to experience, then you will have at best something very limited and immediate only, something which, in the final case, will produce a greater heteropraxis (wrong living). Heterodoxy always leads to heteropraxis. God has already instructed us as to how transformation of behavior is to take place. It is through the truth, not by mere experience. “Sanctify them by Your truth; Your Word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).

Reference:   Reformation or Revival?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Truth-Ignored
56.
It was [Paul’s] mission as the “apostle to the Gentiles,” and it is the universal church’s mission as well, to promote that harmony of cultures in Christ that the cross brings them (or, we might say, forces upon them for their good). Imagine what it took for this former Jewish leader to accept that the Jews’ lofty position as God’s chosen people is not ultimately about ethnic Jews, but only Jewish Christians who share the position with “Gentile dogs” who have also become Christians. The promises made to the Jews are for all who are in Christ; the inheritance is both for Jews and Gentiles. We are all members of one body. The immensity of this new knowledge is not only enough to cause every God-fearing Jew to scream curses at Paul, but is the very reason Gentiles like me have any hope whatsoever. Paul carried this message everywhere.

It was [Paul’s] mission as the “apostle to the Gentiles,” and it is the universal church’s mission as well, to promote that harmony of cultures in Christ that the cross brings them (or, we might say, forces upon them for their good). Imagine what it took for this former Jewish leader to accept that the Jews’ lofty position as God’s chosen people is not ultimately about ethnic Jews, but only Jewish Christians who share the position with “Gentile dogs” who have also become Christians. The promises made to the Jews are for all who are in Christ; the inheritance is both for Jews and Gentiles. We are all members of one body. The immensity of this new knowledge is not only enough to cause every God-fearing Jew to scream curses at Paul, but is the very reason Gentiles like me have any hope whatsoever. Paul carried this message everywhere.

Reference:   Multi-Cultural Glory in the Church, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org.Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
57.
An additional impetus to our unity among diversity is that of the projected makeup of the future kingdom. It is glorious in its admixture of those from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:11). We cannot, must not, live contrary to our final convergence in Christ. In the ugly old slavery of early America, the schizophrenia about this was incredible. There were blacks and whites who would not dream of worshipping as equals (though they were sometimes in the same building), yet at the same time would hold the doctrinal verity that all colors would be in heaven together some day. This was entirely incongruous. We are called to experience in this life as much of the spirit that will characterize us in the new earth as is possible. The ideal of heaven is always to be the pursuit of earthbound believers. “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). We cannot pray for the Kingdom to come and not relish what that coming Kingdom means. Our community of believers is to be a living demonstration of the power of the cross and also of the purified Bride who awaits the wedding. We are denying our future calling to fail in this area. We are smearing our reputation and throwing dirt on our bridal gown.

An additional impetus to our unity among diversity is that of the projected makeup of the future kingdom. It is glorious in its admixture of those from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:11). We cannot, must not, live contrary to our final convergence in Christ. In the ugly old slavery of early America, the schizophrenia about this was incredible. There were blacks and whites who would not dream of worshipping as equals (though they were sometimes in the same building), yet at the same time would hold the doctrinal verity that all colors would be in heaven together some day. This was entirely incongruous. We are called to experience in this life as much of the spirit that will characterize us in the new earth as is possible. The ideal of heaven is always to be the pursuit of earthbound believers. “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). We cannot pray for the Kingdom to come and not relish what that coming Kingdom means. Our community of believers is to be a living demonstration of the power of the cross and also of the purified Bride who awaits the wedding. We are denying our future calling to fail in this area. We are smearing our reputation and throwing dirt on our bridal gown.

Reference:   Multi-Cultural Glory in the Church, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
58.
Why is God so angry [at unbelievers]? There are at least three reasons.1. Because of the sheer number of your sins. If you were to sin only 10 times a day for one year, you would disobey God 3,650 times. But if you sinned 10 times a day for 15 years, you would sin 54,750 times! You are a professional sinner! Yet, how many times did Adam sin before he was cursed by God?2. Because you have sinned against such an infinite God and high command. There are different levels of sin and punishment (Luke 10:12; 12:42-48). A crime is weighed according to the seriousness of the command and the stature of the person who is sinned against. It is one thing to disobey your coach at school. It is another thing to disobey a judge. It is one thing to turn in a late term paper. It is another thing to murder the president. The highest command is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” The greatest being is God. Each time you sin, you commit the highest crime against the greatest being! God ought to be angry.3. Because you have sinned against God’s greatest act of love. Christ was sent into the world of men and women out of love (John 3:16). But many of your friends, and perhaps you also, have rejected Christ up to this very moment. This rebellion is a sin against compassion. Is it any wonder that God is angry with those who think little of His love?

Why is God so angry [at unbelievers]? There are at least three reasons. 1. Because of the sheer number of your sins. If you were to sin only 10 times a day for one year, you would disobey God 3,650 times. But if you sinned 10 times a day for 15 years, you would sin 54,750 times! You are a professional sinner! Yet, how many times did Adam sin before he was cursed by God? 2. Because you have sinned against such an infinite God and high command. There are different levels of sin and punishment (Luke 10:12; 12:42-48). A crime is weighed according to the seriousness of the command and the stature of the person who is sinned against. It is one thing to disobey your coach at school. It is another thing to disobey a judge. It is one thing to turn in a late term paper. It is another thing to murder the president. The highest command is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” The greatest being is God. Each time you sin, you commit the highest crime against the greatest being! God ought to be angry. 3. Because you have sinned against God’s greatest act of love. Christ was sent into the world of men and women out of love (John 3:16). But many of your friends, and perhaps you also, have rejected Christ up to this very moment. This rebellion is a sin against compassion. Is it any wonder that God is angry with those who think little of His love?

Reference:   Jim Elliff Is God Angry Anymore?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: God-Wrath
59.
Here are some reasons for writing out our thoughts: 1. We more easily discipline our minds to sustain our thoughts without interruption. 2. If interrupted, because we have written our thoughts, we are able to return to them again for further contemplation and development. 3. We can also return to our reflections in the distant future, when otherwise they might have been totally forgotten. 4. Writing demands that we organize our thinking connectedly or cohesively on a subject. 5. We train our minds to express ourselves meaningfully and accurately. 6. We build a reserve of good thoughts for a time when our thinking is more vacuous, or our spirituality is in decline. 7. We teach ourselves the significance of learning by demonstrating to ourselves that cogent, biblical thinking is worth writing down. 8. We find that our developed thoughts sometimes emerge in our public speaking or private conversations, even though we did not prepare to use them. 9. We have a cache of mature thoughts to peruse as seed for public writing or speaking. 10. We leave our thoughts to future generations when normally the preponderance of them, if not every last one of them, would have vaporized upon our death or mental decline.

Here are some reasons for writing out our thoughts: 1. We more easily discipline our minds to sustain our thoughts without interruption. 2. If interrupted, because we have written our thoughts, we are able to return to them again for further contemplation and development. 3. We can also return to our reflections in the distant future, when otherwise they might have been totally forgotten. 4. Writing demands that we organize our thinking connectedly or cohesively on a subject. 5. We train our minds to express ourselves meaningfully and accurately. 6. We build a reserve of good thoughts for a time when our thinking is more vacuous, or our spirituality is in decline. 7. We teach ourselves the significance of learning by demonstrating to ourselves that cogent, biblical thinking is worth writing down. 8. We find that our developed thoughts sometimes emerge in our public speaking or private conversations, even though we did not prepare to use them. 9. We have a cache of mature thoughts to peruse as seed for public writing or speaking. 10. We leave our thoughts to future generations when normally the preponderance of them, if not every last one of them, would have vaporized upon our death or mental decline.

Reference:   Writing Down Our Thoughts, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Journaling
60.
Don’t delay. The thought you had just this morning will soon blow off the table of your mind!

Don't delay. The thought you had just this morning will soon blow off the table of your mind!

Reference:   Writing Down Our Thoughts, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Journaling
61.
We should not want a revival of experience alone without true reformation. And so the term revival is not adequate for our day unless we add the qualifiers “reformational” or “word-driven.” It is not wrong to desire revival if we mean a revival that is a resurgence of correct believing along with the enlivening of our experience with God which comes out of (not apart from) that sound doctrine.

We should not want a revival of experience alone without true reformation. And so the term revival is not adequate for our day unless we add the qualifiers “reformational” or “word-driven.” It is not wrong to desire revival if we mean a revival that is a resurgence of correct believing along with the enlivening of our experience with God which comes out of (not apart from) that sound doctrine.

Reference:   Reformation or Revival? Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


62.
Future worry is overwhelming. There’s a reason. We don’t have grace today for tomorrow. One of Satan’s simplest tricks and most effective devices is to draw our attention to things we can do nothing about. There’s nothing worse than a crisis that can’t be fixed. If our hours are spent with thoughts of tomorrow’s problems, which are not accessible today and which we know we cannot touch with today’s resources, we are doomed to worry. And worry wears us out… [Yet] our calling is today. It’s not that we don’t think of tomorrow, but it must consistently be filed under “future grace.” The tide of confidence in God’s sufficiency must wash out worry. In fact, it’s a command. “Do not be anxious for tomorrow.” To go there is to disobey a directive from the One who holds every moment in His hand.

Future worry is overwhelming. There’s a reason. We don't have grace today for tomorrow. One of Satan's simplest tricks and most effective devices is to draw our attention to things we can do nothing about. There’s nothing worse than a crisis that can’t be fixed. If our hours are spent with thoughts of tomorrow’s problems, which are not accessible today and which we know we cannot touch with today’s resources, we are doomed to worry. And worry wears us out… [Yet] our calling is today. It’s not that we don’t think of tomorrow, but it must consistently be filed under “future grace.” The tide of confidence in God's sufficiency must wash out worry. In fact, it’s a command. “Do not be anxious for tomorrow.” To go there is to disobey a directive from the One who holds every moment in His hand.

Reference:   The Sufficiency of Daily Grace, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Anxiety
63.
One man may appear to be righteous before another man, but before God there is no one truly righteous. The only righteousness that God accepts is His own. To stand before God in our own righteousness is certain rejection.

One man may appear to be righteous before another man, but before God there is no one truly righteous. The only righteousness that God accepts is His own. To stand before God in our own righteousness is certain rejection.

Reference:   Pursuing God – A Seeker’s Guide, Christian Communicators Worldwide, 2003, p. 14, www.CCWonline.org.


64.
When culture rushes down on your family and the professing church is trying to imitate the world itself, how will your family keep from being swept away in its path? Only through the Word of God! Family worship, on a daily basis, is your hope that they will stand like steel piers against the prevailing tide… In India there was a custom of throwing babies into the Ganges River as a sacrifice to the gods. If we are unwilling to do any more than merely take our children to church, we might as well be throwing them into the river of the culture. This is an explanation why many children of Christian parents are so often no different than the world’s. They have been given to the gods by their parents – thrown in with hands of neglect.

When culture rushes down on your family and the professing church is trying to imitate the world itself, how will your family keep from being swept away in its path? Only through the Word of God! Family worship, on a daily basis, is your hope that they will stand like steel piers against the prevailing tide... In India there was a custom of throwing babies into the Ganges River as a sacrifice to the gods. If we are unwilling to do any more than merely take our children to church, we might as well be throwing them into the river of the culture. This is an explanation why many children of Christian parents are so often no different than the world’s. They have been given to the gods by their parents – thrown in with hands of neglect.

Reference:   The Heart of Family Reformation, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Worship-Family
65.
Here’s what we should learn: If we want our children to hear the gospel from us, they must see the gospel’s impact upon us. How we live before them powerfully preaches the gospel and its implications for our lives.

Here’s what we should learn: If we want our children to hear the gospel from us, they must see the gospel's impact upon us. How we live before them powerfully preaches the gospel and its implications for our lives.

Reference:   The Godliest Parents, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


66.
Our salvation is a miraculous intervention of God. Evangelism is all about miracles. We pray asking God to change the human will, or to override and arrange the natural course of things in certain ways, or to defy all odds.

Our salvation is a miraculous intervention of God. Evangelism is all about miracles. We pray asking God to change the human will, or to override and arrange the natural course of things in certain ways, or to defy all odds.

Reference:   Seeking Miraculous Healings: Musings and Cautions, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
67.
Why should you join a church? Because by committing yourself in that way you will help to fulfill your purpose as a Christian. It seems pretty obvious from [the] biblical metaphors of building stones and body parts that the Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. You, as a Christian, were designed and created by God, not for a life of individuality and self-will, but to fill a niche in the spiritual building called the church.

Why should you join a church? Because by committing yourself in that way you will help to fulfill your purpose as a Christian. It seems pretty obvious from [the] biblical metaphors of building stones and body parts that the Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. You, as a Christian, were designed and created by God, not for a life of individuality and self-will, but to fill a niche in the spiritual building called the church.

Reference:   Why Should I Join a Church? Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
68.
We are not called to live the Christian life apart from the protection of the church. The fellowship of a group of committed believers is vital to our spiritual health and to our endurance in the faith. The church, in the midst of this “crooked and perverse generation,” is just as important for our survival as the ark was to Noah and his family; they simply would not have survived without it.

We are not called to live the Christian life apart from the protection of the church. The fellowship of a group of committed believers is vital to our spiritual health and to our endurance in the faith. The church, in the midst of this “crooked and perverse generation,” is just as important for our survival as the ark was to Noah and his family; they simply would not have survived without it.

Reference:   Why Should I Join a Church? Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
69.
What may we observe about deacons in Acts 6:1-7? 
1. Their work was practical in nature. 
2. Their name also denotes the practical nature of their work. They are servants. But practical work is spiritual work when done for Christ and the kingdom.
3. Their objective was to relieve the elders (originally the apostles) for the ministry of the Word, prayer, and oversight of the church.
4. They were to be accountable to the Elders (“whom we may put in charge”).
5. Their work was assigned and was not related to decision-making for the church as a whole. 
6. Some deacons were also gifted in other areas of ministry and were at liberty to use their gifts. Stephen and Phillip, for instance, were deacons who also had other gifting. As deacons, however, they functioned in a practical way. Deacons are not limited to practical service, but must be engaged in practical service to be deacons.

What may we observe about deacons in Acts 6:1-7? 1. Their work was practical in nature. 2. Their name also denotes the practical nature of their work. They are servants. But practical work is spiritual work when done for Christ and the kingdom. 3. Their objective was to relieve the elders (originally the apostles) for the ministry of the Word, prayer, and oversight of the church. 4. They were to be accountable to the Elders (“whom we may put in charge”). 5. Their work was assigned and was not related to decision-making for the church as a whole. 6. Some deacons were also gifted in other areas of ministry and were at liberty to use their gifts. Stephen and Phillip, for instance, were deacons who also had other gifting. As deacons, however, they functioned in a practical way. Deacons are not limited to practical service, but must be engaged in practical service to be deacons.

Reference:   The Function of Deacons, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Deacons
70.
As difficult as it might be, the early church had far more to work through than what music would be sung. Their struggles and successes are instructive to us who may have less to work through than they did. It will be sad to face Christ in the future and say, “We could not be the glorious church you called us to be because we could not get together on the music.”

As difficult as it might be, the early church had far more to work through than what music would be sung. Their struggles and successes are instructive to us who may have less to work through than they did. It will be sad to face Christ in the future and say, “We could not be the glorious church you called us to be because we could not get together on the music.”

Reference:   Multi-Cultural Glory in the Church, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
71.
Legalism, properly understood, is not about Christians obeying too precisely. It is also not about individuals having convictions that are their own private resolves. It is about seeking to be justified by means of the law. When Jewish infiltrators came to the early believers and said that they must be circumcised and obey the Jewish feasts in order to be true Christians (Acts 15:1), then they demonstrated New Testament legalism. We do have Christians with a spirit akin to the legalist, but their sin is that of being unloving or distorting responsibility or placing private convictions on others, not true legalism. In most cases, they are not seeking to be justified by the law (Gal. 5:4).

Legalism, properly understood, is not about Christians obeying too precisely. It is also not about individuals having convictions that are their own private resolves. It is about seeking to be justified by means of the law. When Jewish infiltrators came to the early believers and said that they must be circumcised and obey the Jewish feasts in order to be true Christians (Acts 15:1), then they demonstrated New Testament legalism. We do have Christians with a spirit akin to the legalist, but their sin is that of being unloving or distorting responsibility or placing private convictions on others, not true legalism. In most cases, they are not seeking to be justified by the law (Gal. 5:4).

Reference:   The Care and Feeding of Flies, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


72.
God decreed from eternity past that you would be like Christ (Rom. 8:29-30); He put His Holy Spirit in you to make sure that it would happen (Phil. 2:12-13); Christ prayed for you to be sanctified, and His prayers are always answered (Jn. 17:17); He even promises you that He will lovingly discipline you in order to return you to holiness whenever you stray (Heb. 12:5-10). How could we ever doubt that God means what He says, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)?

God decreed from eternity past that you would be like Christ (Rom. 8:29-30); He put His Holy Spirit in you to make sure that it would happen (Phil. 2:12-13); Christ prayed for you to be sanctified, and His prayers are always answered (Jn. 17:17); He even promises you that He will lovingly discipline you in order to return you to holiness whenever you stray (Heb. 12:5-10). How could we ever doubt that God means what He says, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)?

Reference:   The Guarantee of Holiness, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


73.
1. The Principle of Non-Attachment – I will purchase or receive nothing that I cannot give away (Lk. 12:15; cf. 12:32-34; 16:13-25; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). 
2. The Principle of Liberty – I will owe no man anything but to love him (Rom. 13:8; cf. Pro 22:7).
3. The Principle of Liberality – I will constantly seek to give away possessions for God’s glory (2 Cor. 8:3-5; cf. 2 Cor. 9:7; Luke 6:38).
4. The Principle of Recall – I will keep accurate records of God’s dealings with me financially in order to show others that God answers prayer and provides for His own (Mt. 5:16; Pro. 27:23-27).
5. The Principle of Security – I will save and invest only if God is leading, with the understanding that I will give it all away at His slightest instruction ( Mt. 6:19-20; cf. Prov. 28:8; 1 Tim. 6:9-11).
6. The Principle of Compassion – I will not pray for someone’s needs financially unless I am willing to be the instrument God uses to meet that need if He should desire (1 Jn. 3:16-18; cf. Jam. 2:15-17; Lk. 6:30, 38;2I Cor. 9:6-15; Prov. 28:27).
7. The Principle of Contentment – I will be content to live on whatever God chooses to provide, whether little or much (Phil. 4:11-13; cf. Prov. 30:7-9; Matt. 6:24-34; 1 Tim. 6:8).

1. The Principle of Non-Attachment – I will purchase or receive nothing that I cannot give away (Lk. 12:15; cf. 12:32-34; 16:13-25; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). 2. The Principle of Liberty – I will owe no man anything but to love him (Rom. 13:8; cf. Pro 22:7). 3. The Principle of Liberality – I will constantly seek to give away possessions for God’s glory (2 Cor. 8:3-5; cf. 2 Cor. 9:7; Luke 6:38). 4. The Principle of Recall – I will keep accurate records of God’s dealings with me financially in order to show others that God answers prayer and provides for His own (Mt. 5:16; Pro. 27:23-27). 5. The Principle of Security – I will save and invest only if God is leading, with the understanding that I will give it all away at His slightest instruction ( Mt. 6:19-20; cf. Prov. 28:8; 1 Tim. 6:9-11). 6. The Principle of Compassion – I will not pray for someone’s needs financially unless I am willing to be the instrument God uses to meet that need if He should desire (1 Jn. 3:16-18; cf. Jam. 2:15-17; Lk. 6:30, 38;2I Cor. 9:6-15; Prov. 28:27). 7. The Principle of Contentment – I will be content to live on whatever God chooses to provide, whether little or much (Phil. 4:11-13; cf. Prov. 30:7-9; Matt. 6:24-34; 1 Tim. 6:8).

Reference:   Seven Principles of Finance for the Believer, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
74.
I have tried to say with as much clarity as possible, and often, that the assurance a (child) has that he or she is actually a Christian does not have to do with praying a prescribed prayer, being affirmed by a Christian leader, walking an aisle, signing a card or raising a hand, but whether that person has life from God… What are these signs of life?

1. There is the sign of repenting and believing itself. The dead boy or girl now trusts Christ as his or her only hope for heaven. There is no mixture of trust in self or works or religion, but only in Christ and what He has done and will do.

2. There is a new valuing of the Scriptures. I cannot say this clearly enough. If I am to know you, I will know you principally by your words as you express yourself and communicate your thoughts. God’s Word is His principal communication of Himself. But it is more than just the words themselves that is important in this change. It is the Spirit working in the words that gives understanding and that “knowing” of Christ. Christ said, “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45). This is granted – and not to all (Matthew 13:11).

3. There is obedience from the heart. All kids may be taught to obey like Pavlov’s dogs. If there is enough discipline and incentive, any child can straighten up. And, it is right for parents to expect this obedience even from unconverted children. Yet, when a child is made alive there is a new sensitivity to sin and a new and higher motivation and inner compulsion to obey. You will see obedience from the heart as if the child were newly constituted. In fact, he is. I am not saying that he will be perfect, any more than you are. But something has taken place on the inside that is unmistakable.

I have tried to say with as much clarity as possible, and often, that the assurance a (child) has that he or she is actually a Christian does not have to do with praying a prescribed prayer, being affirmed by a Christian leader, walking an aisle, signing a card or raising a hand, but whether that person has life from God… What are these signs of life? 1. There is the sign of repenting and believing itself. The dead boy or girl now trusts Christ as his or her only hope for heaven. There is no mixture of trust in self or works or religion, but only in Christ and what He has done and will do. 2. There is a new valuing of the Scriptures. I cannot say this clearly enough. If I am to know you, I will know you principally by your words as you express yourself and communicate your thoughts. God’s Word is His principal communication of Himself. But it is more than just the words themselves that is important in this change. It is the Spirit working in the words that gives understanding and that “knowing” of Christ. Christ said, “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45). This is granted – and not to all (Matthew 13:11). 3. There is obedience from the heart. All kids may be taught to obey like Pavlov’s dogs. If there is enough discipline and incentive, any child can straighten up. And, it is right for parents to expect this obedience even from unconverted children. Yet, when a child is made alive there is a new sensitivity to sin and a new and higher motivation and inner compulsion to obey. You will see obedience from the heart as if the child were newly constituted. In fact, he is. I am not saying that he will be perfect, any more than you are. But something has taken place on the inside that is unmistakable.

Reference:   Reading Our Children: Is There Somebody Alive in There?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


75.
If a more intense and prayerful approach to our young people does not reach them, or if many refuse to participate because there is not enough entertainment to appeal to their love of pleasure, then we should not be confused. Our children are like all the rest of the world in their attitude about God (Eph. 2:1-3). They run from the light, just as Jesus said (Jn. 3:19-21).

If a more intense and prayerful approach to our young people does not reach them, or if many refuse to participate because there is not enough entertainment to appeal to their love of pleasure, then we should not be confused. Our children are like all the rest of the world in their attitude about God (Eph. 2:1-3). They run from the light, just as Jesus said (Jn. 3:19-21).

Reference:   Seriousness in Our Children and Teens, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


76.
The miracle of the new birth is no less possible to God if our child is attentive to Him or running away from Him. Our child is like all other children when it comes to God’s grace. He is dead spiritually whether he is in church or not, whether he listened well to the truths we tried to teach him or did not, whether he has some interest in God now or has none at all. He may be converted in the pig pen or the pew and we do not know in this case what is preferred by God.

The miracle of the new birth is no less possible to God if our child is attentive to Him or running away from Him. Our child is like all other children when it comes to God's grace. He is dead spiritually whether he is in church or not, whether he listened well to the truths we tried to teach him or did not, whether he has some interest in God now or has none at all. He may be converted in the pig pen or the pew and we do not know in this case what is preferred by God.

Reference:   Comfort for Christian Parents of Unconverted Children, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


77.
Your own disobedience in the past will not ultimately keep your child from becoming a believer. It is pointless to berate yourself for any wrong behavior on your part as if it were the reason your child is without Christ. This does not mean that we as parents should not repent and do better, and even admit wrong to our children. But the reason your child is without Christ is related to his or her own sin. Every parent is sinful and inconsistent. This has never been a barrier to God if He desires to save your child. Illustrations abound of children who come from far less godly families who are nonetheless converted to Christ. In fact, this may have been the case in your own experience.

Your own disobedience in the past will not ultimately keep your child from becoming a believer. It is pointless to berate yourself for any wrong behavior on your part as if it were the reason your child is without Christ. This does not mean that we as parents should not repent and do better, and even admit wrong to our children. But the reason your child is without Christ is related to his or her own sin. Every parent is sinful and inconsistent. This has never been a barrier to God if He desires to save your child. Illustrations abound of children who come from far less godly families who are nonetheless converted to Christ. In fact, this may have been the case in your own experience.

Reference:   Comfort for Christian Parents of Unconverted Children, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


78.
You cannot save your child yourself no matter how hard you try. You are in a position of trust alone. This is good because it is the only way to please God (Heb. 11:6). Your rest in God, while simultaneously praying to the God who answers prayer, will be an encouragement to others in the same situation It will also help you respond to your child more positively, and will make your life far more joyful than your anxiety ever could.

You cannot save your child yourself no matter how hard you try. You are in a position of trust alone. This is good because it is the only way to please God (Heb. 11:6). Your rest in God, while simultaneously praying to the God who answers prayer, will be an encouragement to others in the same situation It will also help you respond to your child more positively, and will make your life far more joyful than your anxiety ever could.

Reference:   Comfort for Christian Parents of Unconverted Children, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


79.
Seven laws for running the [Christian] race.

1. Run to win: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

2. Observe strict discipline: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

3. Don’t look back: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

4. Get constant encouragement: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us…run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

5. Throw off restraints: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

6. Discount pain: “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:22-24).

7. Don’t let up until you cross the line: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Seven laws for running the [Christian] race. 1. Run to win: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). 2. Observe strict discipline: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training… I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). 3. Don’t look back: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). 4. Get constant encouragement: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us…run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). 5. Throw off restraints: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). 6. Discount pain: “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace” (Acts 20:22-24). 7. Don’t let up until you cross the line: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Reference:   Seven Laws of the Race, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
80.
We are to be biblically rational, though not rationalists. This is not a subtle raising of reason above God. Rather, it is a recognition that normally God works through reason.

We are to be biblically rational, though not rationalists. This is not a subtle raising of reason above God. Rather, it is a recognition that normally God works through reason.

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 37, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Reason
81.
If reason is unaided (by the Word of God), if it is mere reason by itself, it will do little good. Reason standing alone might lead us to some sort of workable resolution, but it carries the liability of doing so without pleasing God. That circumstance is as unsatisfying to us as it is unsatisfactory to God.

If reason is unaided (by the Word of God), if it is mere reason by itself, it will do little good. Reason standing alone might lead us to some sort of workable resolution, but it carries the liability of doing so without pleasing God. That circumstance is as unsatisfying to us as it is unsatisfactory to God.

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 39, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Reason
82.
Ultimately, no sign, miracle, wonder, or gift will persuade a person to believe if God has not opened his heart to receive the word (cf. Acts 16:14; Lk. 16:27-31)… Many who see signs will at first appear to believe, yet will still be unconverted. “Many believed in His name, observing the signs which He was doing,” said John. “But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them” (John 2:23-24). Why not? John says it was because Jesus knew their hearts (v. 25). Seekers may be entranced by the miraculous and look as though they are true believers, yet still be unchanged in their hearts.

Ultimately, no sign, miracle, wonder, or gift will persuade a person to believe if God has not opened his heart to receive the word (cf. Acts 16:14; Lk. 16:27-31)… Many who see signs will at first appear to believe, yet will still be unconverted. “Many believed in His name, observing the signs which He was doing,” said John. “But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them” (John 2:23-24). Why not? John says it was because Jesus knew their hearts (v. 25). Seekers may be entranced by the miraculous and look as though they are true believers, yet still be unchanged in their hearts.

Reference:   Seeking Miraculous Healings: Musings and Cautions, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Miracles-Abused
83.
Along with everybody on the face of the earth, you are constantly sinful. These thousands of sinful thoughts, words, and actions cause the perfectly holy God to judge you as deserving of hell. But Christ’s death in the place of sinful people, as a true substitute, provides the way of escape. God pardons the one who comes to Him because Jesus took the punishment in his place. In simple terms we may say that the just penalty for sins either falls on you or Christ.

Along with everybody on the face of the earth, you are constantly sinful. These thousands of sinful thoughts, words, and actions cause the perfectly holy God to judge you as deserving of hell. But Christ’s death in the place of sinful people, as a true substitute, provides the way of escape. God pardons the one who comes to Him because Jesus took the punishment in his place. In simple terms we may say that the just penalty for sins either falls on you or Christ.

Reference:   Pursuing God – A Seeker’s Guide, Christian Communicators Worldwide, 2003, p. 22, www.CCWtoday.org.


84.
The blood of Jesus unfailingly cleanses the believer from his sin at all times. There could be no sin that the blood does not cover, confessed or not confessed. Though our sins were taken care of in the cross of Christ, and by His blood being spilled for us, it is applied immediately in time to every sin we commit the nano-second we commit it.

The blood of Jesus unfailingly cleanses the believer from his sin at all times. There could be no sin that the blood does not cover, confessed or not confessed. Though our sins were taken care of in the cross of Christ, and by His blood being spilled for us, it is applied immediately in time to every sin we commit the nano-second we commit it.

Reference:   Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


85.
It is one thing to love sin and to force ourselves to quit it; it is another thing to hate sin because love for God is so gripping that the sin no longer appeals. The latter is repentance; the former is reform. It is repentance that God requires. Repentance is “a change of mind.” To love and yet quit it is not the same as hating it and quitting it. Your supposed victory over a sin may be simple displacement. You may love one sin so much (such as your pride) that you will curtail another more embarrassing sin which you also love. This may look spiritual, but there is nothing of God in it. Natural men do it every day.

It is one thing to love sin and to force ourselves to quit it; it is another thing to hate sin because love for God is so gripping that the sin no longer appeals. The latter is repentance; the former is reform. It is repentance that God requires. Repentance is “a change of mind.” To love and yet quit it is not the same as hating it and quitting it. Your supposed victory over a sin may be simple displacement. You may love one sin so much (such as your pride) that you will curtail another more embarrassing sin which you also love. This may look spiritual, but there is nothing of God in it. Natural men do it every day.

Reference:   Disinterestedness, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


86.
Repentance is a change of mind regarding sin and God, an inward turning from sin to God, which is known by its fruit – obedience (Mt. 3:8; Acts 26:20; Lk. 13:5-9). It is hating what you once loved and loving what you once hated, exchanging irresistible sin for an irresistible Christ.

Repentance is a change of mind regarding sin and God, an inward turning from sin to God, which is known by its fruit – obedience (Mt. 3:8; Acts 26:20; Lk. 13:5-9). It is hating what you once loved and loving what you once hated, exchanging irresistible sin for an irresistible Christ.

Reference:   The Unrepenting Repenter, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


87.
Here are some reasons it is okay to celebrate Christmas:

1. The day itself is not really the day Christ was born. Nobody actually has the exact day down, but most believe it was not during this time of year at all. Probably it took place in the spring, not on a “cold winter’s night that was so deep.”

2. Diversity over the years has taken away much of the “Romish” flavor to the holiday. Our Catholic friends do as they wish on the night before and the day of Christmas, that is granted. But we do not have a state church. There are so many other ways Christmas is celebrated that no one really thinks about it the way the Puritans did so many years ago. The problem is not so acute because of so many years of varied expressions. At least this is true in our part of the world.

3. God can be honored in gift-giving and generosity as well as in singing carols and telling the story. They’re both important if done in the right spirit. We don’t have to make something spiritual out of giving gifts. You may make a birthday cake to Jesus if you wish, but you don’t have to. We do need to be Christian, however, about everything we do. Emphasizing the giving part of the day can heal lots of wounds, open calcified hearts, stir up gratefulness, and just be plain fun. God’s not against fun is He?

4. There may be better things to be different about. In other words, we might show our radical difference better in the way we treat other shoppers, the kindness we show to retail clerks, the warmth of our hearts, the largeness of our generosity, the thankfulness we express and really feel.

5. There are admittedly some great opportunities to make Christ known during Christmas. With all that is bad about it, we can still make our point. And we will have some sympathy for our message. For years I’ve led Christmas Eve services, short ones of only 45 minutes, but packed with meaning. The building will be full and all kinds of our friends and family will hear the truth as clearly as we are willing to express it.

Here are some reasons it is okay to celebrate Christmas: 1. The day itself is not really the day Christ was born. Nobody actually has the exact day down, but most believe it was not during this time of year at all. Probably it took place in the spring, not on a “cold winter's night that was so deep.” 2. Diversity over the years has taken away much of the “Romish” flavor to the holiday. Our Catholic friends do as they wish on the night before and the day of Christmas, that is granted. But we do not have a state church. There are so many other ways Christmas is celebrated that no one really thinks about it the way the Puritans did so many years ago. The problem is not so acute because of so many years of varied expressions. At least this is true in our part of the world. 3. God can be honored in gift-giving and generosity as well as in singing carols and telling the story. They’re both important if done in the right spirit. We don't have to make something spiritual out of giving gifts. You may make a birthday cake to Jesus if you wish, but you don't have to. We do need to be Christian, however, about everything we do. Emphasizing the giving part of the day can heal lots of wounds, open calcified hearts, stir up gratefulness, and just be plain fun. God's not against fun is He? 4. There may be better things to be different about. In other words, we might show our radical difference better in the way we treat other shoppers, the kindness we show to retail clerks, the warmth of our hearts, the largeness of our generosity, the thankfulness we express and really feel. 5. There are admittedly some great opportunities to make Christ known during Christmas. With all that is bad about it, we can still make our point. And we will have some sympathy for our message. For years I've led Christmas Eve services, short ones of only 45 minutes, but packed with meaning. The building will be full and all kinds of our friends and family will hear the truth as clearly as we are willing to express it.

Reference:   Christmas: Bah Hambug or Gloria in Excelsis? www.ccwonline.org. Used by Permission.


88.
Throughout the book of Acts, baptism is always the first act that follows conversion… There is no indication is ever given in the New Testament that a person may share in the fellowship of the Lord’s Supper with other Christians, prior to being baptized… Peter’s strong and direct command in Acts 2:28…indicates this same order by not mentioning the Lord’s Supper, but rather baptism as the first priority for these new converts (also see Acts 10:47-48).

Throughout the book of Acts, baptism is always the first act that follows conversion… There is no indication is ever given in the New Testament that a person may share in the fellowship of the Lord's Supper with other Christians, prior to being baptized… Peter's strong and direct command in Acts 2:28…indicates this same order by not mentioning the Lord's Supper, but rather baptism as the first priority for these new converts (also see Acts 10:47-48).

Reference:   The Communion of the Body of Christ, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Communion
89.
It seems almost inconceivable to believe that there was life before television. As good as the medium is for some things, it is an instrument of death to conversation in most families. Add computers, a personal CD player, and speed-eating and we’ve successfully killed off the last remnants of conversation in most families. Frankly, most families have no meaningful conversation at all. Days and weeks pass, if not months and years, without the skimpiest morsel of a good conversation. When I think about this, I almost weep for the magnitude of the loss. A mudslide of media has pushed our families into a cold ravine. We exist together for as long as we can make it, but we don’t know each other. Without face-to-face communication, the home has become an electronic desert.

It seems almost inconceivable to believe that there was life before television. As good as the medium is for some things, it is an instrument of death to conversation in most families. Add computers, a personal CD player, and speed-eating and we've successfully killed off the last remnants of conversation in most families. Frankly, most families have no meaningful conversation at all. Days and weeks pass, if not months and years, without the skimpiest morsel of a good conversation. When I think about this, I almost weep for the magnitude of the loss. A mudslide of media has pushed our families into a cold ravine. We exist together for as long as we can make it, but we don't know each other. Without face-to-face communication, the home has become an electronic desert.

Reference:   What They Did Before TV, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Television
90.
What right do we have to make God out to be Someone other than He really is in order to make people like Him more? Honor God by declaring the truth about Him.

What right do we have to make God out to be Someone other than He really is in order to make people like Him more? Honor God by declaring the truth about Him.

Reference:   Serious Preaching, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


91.
My appeal is for you to rest in God’s sovereign will and to put more emphasis on developing discipline in your life, learning and practicing God’s Word, becoming holier in word and spirit, proclaiming the gospel, and “engaging in good deeds” (cf. Titus 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14), rather than being enamored with the pursuit of visible signs. Be careful about following those who can turn miracles on at 7 p.m. during a certain meeting. Pray and trust at all times, but do not become absorbed in a lust for miraculous signs like the wicked and adulterous generation Christ spoke of (Mt. 12:39). It will be an illusory journey that will often disappoint you.

My appeal is for you to rest in God’s sovereign will and to put more emphasis on developing discipline in your life, learning and practicing God’s Word, becoming holier in word and spirit, proclaiming the gospel, and “engaging in good deeds” (cf. Titus 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14), rather than being enamored with the pursuit of visible signs. Be careful about following those who can turn miracles on at 7 p.m. during a certain meeting. Pray and trust at all times, but do not become absorbed in a lust for miraculous signs like the wicked and adulterous generation Christ spoke of (Mt. 12:39). It will be an illusory journey that will often disappoint you.

Reference:   Seeking Miraculous Healings: Musings and Cautions, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
92.
Though miracles of all types did speak of Christ’s divine origin and were instrumental in authenticating His and His apostles’ message (see Jn. 3:2; 10:38; Heb. 2:1-4), Christ surprisingly did not appreciate those who sought for a sign. Herod was among them (Luke 23:8). In fact, Jesus said, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign” (Matt. 12:39).

Though miracles of all types did speak of Christ’s divine origin and were instrumental in authenticating His and His apostles’ message (see Jn. 3:2; 10:38; Heb. 2:1-4), Christ surprisingly did not appreciate those who sought for a sign. Herod was among them (Luke 23:8). In fact, Jesus said, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign” (Matt. 12:39).

Reference:   Seeking Miraculous Healings: Musings and Cautions, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
93.
Guidance of the Spirit through the mind toward a life of obedience and toward truth is propounded in Scripture as essential Christianity. Nowhere though does the Bible teach that direct guidance by means of impressions must be the experience of the believer. Those who argue that such experiences are to be regular fare for the Christian virtually always make their case on the basis of the narrative or story sections of the Bible and not on those that are didactic or teaching sections. I have not been told by God in His Word that divine visitations of unusual nature constitute authentic Christianity. I have not been commanded to have them or seek them. Interestingly enough, Christ Himself said that it is an evil and adulterous generation that seeks a sign (Matthew 12:39).

Guidance of the Spirit through the mind toward a life of obedience and toward truth is propounded in Scripture as essential Christianity. Nowhere though does the Bible teach that direct guidance by means of impressions must be the experience of the believer. Those who argue that such experiences are to be regular fare for the Christian virtually always make their case on the basis of the narrative or story sections of the Bible and not on those that are didactic or teaching sections. I have not been told by God in His Word that divine visitations of unusual nature constitute authentic Christianity. I have not been commanded to have them or seek them. Interestingly enough, Christ Himself said that it is an evil and adulterous generation that seeks a sign (Matthew 12:39).

Reference:   Led by the Spirit, Joshua Press, 1999, p. 25-26, http://www.solascriptura.ca/shop/store.php?crn=215.


94.
Personal revival beings when the believer faces his sin honestly. Though painful, only honesty with God and others will enable the Christian to walk in purity and power. The following resolves are not a formula but are required of every believer.

1. Repent of every known sin (Rev. 3:19).

2. Forsake all questionable habits and activities (Rom. 14:23).

3. Make right any wrongs between yourself and others (Mt. 5:23-24).

4. Commune with God in prayer and be personally instructed through His Word (1 Thes. 5:17).

5. Trust God to use you as His specially designed tool for revival in others (Jas. 5:19-20).

Personal revival beings when the believer faces his sin honestly. Though painful, only honesty with God and others will enable the Christian to walk in purity and power. The following resolves are not a formula but are required of every believer. 1. Repent of every known sin (Rev. 3:19). 2. Forsake all questionable habits and activities (Rom. 14:23). 3. Make right any wrongs between yourself and others (Mt. 5:23-24). 4. Commune with God in prayer and be personally instructed through His Word (1 Thes. 5:17). 5. Trust God to use you as His specially designed tool for revival in others (Jas. 5:19-20).

Reference:   Five Resolutions for Personal Revival, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


95.
Though God owes us no explanation, one or all of the following possible objectives may help us understand “why” God decrees such fear-producing events (in nature) – (see Psalm 135:6-7; Lamentations 3:38):

1. God is recognized as powerful and not to be trifled with. God often asserted that cataclysmic events were done to display His power to men (Exodus 9:14-16; 14:31).

2. Society is warned of the greatest calamity, eternal judgment. A physical disaster is nothing compared with eternal damnation. A hurricane is an announcement: “If you don’t repent, worse than this is coming” (Luke 13:1-5).

3. Some people are deservedly punished for their rebellion. The Bible states that “the wrath of God is revealed [lit. is being revealed] from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). That means now. Hurricanes are just one of the ways that might happen (Psalm 7:11-13).

4. Some true believers are tested or disciplined and made stronger in their faith. The same storm that judges a non-believing man may be the crucible of testing and/or chastisement for a true Christian, and will toughen and purify him for the future (James 1:2-3; Hebrews 12:5-11).

5. Believers may be taken to heaven; and some enemies of God may be removed from the earth. This is a reality that is hard to accept, but nonetheless true. The Bible says that our days are ordained by God even before one of them is lived (Psalm 139:16). He also promises that many rebellious people will face a calamitous end (Psalm 73:18-19).

6. The godly are given an opportunity to love sacrificially. Because of the nature of the true believer, you will always find Christians among those on the scene helping to relieve the distress (1 John 3:17; Galatians 6:10). Their love may point many to Christ.

Though God owes us no explanation, one or all of the following possible objectives may help us understand “why” God decrees such fear-producing events (in nature) – (see Psalm 135:6-7; Lamentations 3:38): 1. God is recognized as powerful and not to be trifled with. God often asserted that cataclysmic events were done to display His power to men (Exodus 9:14-16; 14:31). 2. Society is warned of the greatest calamity, eternal judgment. A physical disaster is nothing compared with eternal damnation. A hurricane is an announcement: “If you don’t repent, worse than this is coming” (Luke 13:1-5). 3. Some people are deservedly punished for their rebellion. The Bible states that “the wrath of God is revealed [lit. is being revealed] from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). That means now. Hurricanes are just one of the ways that might happen (Psalm 7:11-13). 4. Some true believers are tested or disciplined and made stronger in their faith. The same storm that judges a non-believing man may be the crucible of testing and/or chastisement for a true Christian, and will toughen and purify him for the future (James 1:2-3; Hebrews 12:5-11). 5. Believers may be taken to heaven; and some enemies of God may be removed from the earth. This is a reality that is hard to accept, but nonetheless true. The Bible says that our days are ordained by God even before one of them is lived (Psalm 139:16). He also promises that many rebellious people will face a calamitous end (Psalm 73:18-19). 6. The godly are given an opportunity to love sacrificially. Because of the nature of the true believer, you will always find Christians among those on the scene helping to relieve the distress (1 John 3:17; Galatians 6:10). Their love may point many to Christ.

Reference:   Do Hurricanes Just Happen?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
Topics: Nature
96.
The word “propitiation” (pro-pish-ee-ay-shun; sometimes translated, atonement) means this: Jesus fully satisfied the just anger of God for people like you by dying in your place, taking on himself all the wrath you deserve. We learn about this in Romans 3:24-25 and Hebrews 2:17. God’s just fury, indignation and anger for sins were poured out on Christ for every sinful person who will come to him by faith.

The word “propitiation” (pro-pish-ee-ay-shun; sometimes translated, atonement) means this: Jesus fully satisfied the just anger of God for people like you by dying in your place, taking on himself all the wrath you deserve. We learn about this in Romans 3:24-25 and Hebrews 2:17. God’s just fury, indignation and anger for sins were poured out on Christ for every sinful person who will come to him by faith.

Reference:   Is God Angry Anymore?, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


97.
We have not made enough of the fact that evangelism has a great deal to do with what you expect God to do. If you raise your antennae as the day begins and ask God to make you an instrument for divine encounters during the day, it will happen – almost every time. Christians living in anticipation of being used by God are like cats on the lookout for mice. They never lose their focus. They seem to sleep with their eyes and ears alert. When you stay ready, you are actually living by the faith you claim to exercise!

We have not made enough of the fact that evangelism has a great deal to do with what you expect God to do. If you raise your antennae as the day begins and ask God to make you an instrument for divine encounters during the day, it will happen – almost every time. Christians living in anticipation of being used by God are like cats on the lookout for mice. They never lose their focus. They seem to sleep with their eyes and ears alert. When you stay ready, you are actually living by the faith you claim to exercise!

Reference:   A More Spontaneous and Genuine Evangelism, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


98.
We have the mistaken notion that evangelism is a choreographed set of ideas well laid out, perfectly transitioned and flawlessly presented. Forget it. It’s not this way. Many of us have tried this with frustration. It is much better to think of evangelism the way the Bible does – “sowing the seed” in any way you can. Any of us can do that. Ever seen a weed grow in an otherwise barren parking lot? Somehow the seed got there and flourished. The simple word in the right place, or the tract well-placed might be the means God uses. Well-oiled presentations frustrate because there is no room for serious questions and discussion on the one hand, and it rules out the less verbal among us, on the other. Rejoice over even the smallest of advances! You are sowing the seed.

We have the mistaken notion that evangelism is a choreographed set of ideas well laid out, perfectly transitioned and flawlessly presented. Forget it. It’s not this way. Many of us have tried this with frustration. It is much better to think of evangelism the way the Bible does – “sowing the seed” in any way you can. Any of us can do that. Ever seen a weed grow in an otherwise barren parking lot? Somehow the seed got there and flourished. The simple word in the right place, or the tract well-placed might be the means God uses. Well-oiled presentations frustrate because there is no room for serious questions and discussion on the one hand, and it rules out the less verbal among us, on the other. Rejoice over even the smallest of advances! You are sowing the seed.

Reference:   A More Spontaneous and Genuine Evangelism, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


Author: Jim Elliff
99.
We have failed to understand that children and young people are not God-lovers until the Spirit changes them. They are dead to God. Our attempts at getting these young people to “pray the prayer” when they were small have not necessarily made them children of God. Their behavior belies the true state of their hearts. God has said that the only hope for them, therefore, is the regenerating work of the Spirit in the context of the preaching of the Word (James 1:18). However, our inadequate view of depravity and the inability of man has led us to resort instead to a greater confidence in entertainment to reach them and a minimizing of the use of the Word. If God has ordained that the Word and the Spirit are the only hope for these kids, then we should not avoid the means God has promised to bless.

We have failed to understand that children and young people are not God-lovers until the Spirit changes them. They are dead to God. Our attempts at getting these young people to “pray the prayer” when they were small have not necessarily made them children of God. Their behavior belies the true state of their hearts. God has said that the only hope for them, therefore, is the regenerating work of the Spirit in the context of the preaching of the Word (James 1:18). However, our inadequate view of depravity and the inability of man has led us to resort instead to a greater confidence in entertainment to reach them and a minimizing of the use of the Word. If God has ordained that the Word and the Spirit are the only hope for these kids, then we should not avoid the means God has promised to bless.

Reference:   Seriousness in Our Children and Teens, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.


100.
What are the signs of disrespect to your parents and other adults?

1. Knowingly disobeying.

2. Making fun of them.

3. Not speaking when they greet you.

4. Making threatening statements, rude or hurtful remarks.

5. Yelling for them to come to you when it not an emergency.

6. Grumbling about decisions they make.

7. Being ungrateful for something they do for you or give you.

8. Complaining about what they have given you to eat.

9. Talking back.

10. Objecting, mocking, correcting, questioning, or giving unasked-for explanations are all signs of disrespect.

11. Speaking in an irreverent way or in anger.

12. Saying to your parents or an adult, “I’ll do it in a minute” or “just wait.”

13. Pushing for something after being told “no.”

14. Treating a discipline lightly.

15. Not listening when you are being spoken to.

16. Entering into a closed room of an adult without knocking or quietly asking.

17. Sighing, shrugging the shoulders, or giving a sour look when told to do something.

What are the signs of disrespect to your parents and other adults? 1. Knowingly disobeying. 2. Making fun of them. 3. Not speaking when they greet you. 4. Making threatening statements, rude or hurtful remarks. 5. Yelling for them to come to you when it not an emergency. 6. Grumbling about decisions they make. 7. Being ungrateful for something they do for you or give you. 8. Complaining about what they have given you to eat. 9. Talking back. 10. Objecting, mocking, correcting, questioning, or giving unasked-for explanations are all signs of disrespect. 11. Speaking in an irreverent way or in anger. 12. Saying to your parents or an adult, “I'll do it in a minute” or “just wait.” 13. Pushing for something after being told “no.” 14. Treating a discipline lightly. 15. Not listening when you are being spoken to. 16. Entering into a closed room of an adult without knocking or quietly asking. 17. Sighing, shrugging the shoulders, or giving a sour look when told to do something.

Reference:   Guidelines for Children, Christian Communicators Worldwide, www.CCWtoday.org. Used by Permission.