About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

WHAT KIND OF CHURCH WAS THE ACTS CHURCH
Part Four

Review:
First, ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH, WHAT ABOUT THEM? "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

Second, UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS MAY WE EXPECT ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH ON A LARGE SCALE?

Part Four
THEY WERE A DEVOTED CHURCH:


THEY WERE A HOLY SPIRIT CHURCH
THEY WERE A UNITED CHURCH

  • We read of them that they were so united that they had all things in common, and they daily continued with one accord in the church. There were no parties among them, no petty conflict and divisions, they loved the Lord too well for that If you divide the church within itself, you also divide it from the mighty operations of the Spirit of God. Be full of love to one another, and then you may expect that God the Holy Spirit will fill you with blessing.


THEY WERE A GENEROUS CHURCH:

  • The Lord will never bless a church of cheapskates; if they are skinflints they may keep their worship to themselves, for God is a generous God, and He loves to have a generous people. They sold what they had, and gave to those who had needs.

THEY WERE A CONTINUAL CHURCH

  • Again, these people were in such a condition that their homes were holy places.

  • What about this idea that they met in their homes?
  1. I want you to notice this, that they were breaking bread from house to house, and ate their food with gladness and singleness of heart.
  2. They did not think that religion was meant only for Sundays, and for what men now-a-days call the House of God.
  3. Their own houses were houses of God, and their own meals were so mixed and mingled with the Lord's Supper that to this day the most cautious student of the Bible cannot tell when they stopped eating their common meals, and when they began eating the Supper of the Lord.
  4. They elevated their meals into diets for worship: they so consecrated everything with prayer and praise that all around them was holiness to the Lord.
  5. I wish our houses were, in this way, dedicated to the Lord, so that we worshipped God all day long, and made our homes temples for the living God.

  1. A footnote: My earliest days in my parents’ home, my remembrance is filled with people coming to our home on a daily basis. After Charity and I were married, and in our first youth ministry in Wooster, Ohio, our home was our church youths’ home. When we pastored at First Baptist Church in Altoona, Kansas, our home was never our house, but the place where our members were always there.

Does God need a house? He who made the heavens and the earth, does he dwell in temples made with hands? What crude ignorance this is! No house beneath the sky is more holy than the place where a Christian lives, and eats, and drinks, and sleeps, and praises the Lord in all that he does, and there is no worship more heavenly than that which is presented by holy families, devoted to the fear of the Lord. A Christians home is always a Christian home.

I have already mentioned that they were a praying church, and that accounted greatly for the increase.
They were a devout church, a church which did not forget any part of the Lord's will.
They were a baptized church,
They were a church that continually celebrated the Lord’s Supper, in the church; and they had a meal with others in their home daily. so we can see that they were obedient to Christ in both ordinances.


They were also a joyful church. We find that they ate their food with gladness. Their religion was not of the somber type which comes from doubts and fears. They were believers in a risen Redeemer, and though they knew that they would soon be persecuted, they rejoiced so much that everybody could see heaven shining on their faces, and might have known that they believed in the blessed gospel, for they were a blessed people.


They were also a praising church, for it is said they "praised God, and they had favor with all the people." Oh, may the Lord make this church and all the churches around us to be as holy and joyful as that apostolic community.


3A. WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES DO THESE ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH BRING TO THE CURRENT MEMBERSHIP

  • To those who come into the church it needs to be said: Please do not join our fellowship as a member unless you are saved.
  • As for us (the current membership) who will receive the converts, what is our responsibility?
  • First, to welcome them wholeheartedly. Let us open wide the door of our hearts and say, "Come and welcome," for Jesus Christ's sake.
  • After welcoming them we must watch over them, and when so many are added, double care is needed
  • Let the watching be done by all the members: by the officers of the church first, and then by every individual

Guide them and cheer them on. Help their weakness, bear with their ignorance and impulsiveness, and correct their mistakes

THIS IS A LITTLE DESCRIPTION OF THE KIND OF CHURCH IN THE BOOK OF ACTS.

If we want to have an Acts kind of Church, we need to know what kind of Church was in Jerusalem.

Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant, March 25, 2007 Proof Checked or Read by my lovely wife of thirty-seven years. 9 months 11 days, and several hours

TWO PAINFULLY LEARNED AND IMMENSELY IMPORTANT LESSONS
BY MARK DEVER


Personally, over the last fifty years I have seen too many pastors/preachers who have left the ministry for sinful behavior. Some have been men whom I have known personally. I have known good men who have been in ministry for years, and from the outside you would think God hadn't blessed their ministry. I believe men who sin can be forgiven and be blessed by the Lord. I also believe good men can have a ministry that would seem not so successful yet have a wonderful relationship with the Lord.

I read this article by Mark Dever on this subject and I have posted his remarks below.

A recent conversation with a good friend reminded me of two of the most painfully learned lessons of my life. I thought I would briefly share them with you.

There was a minister I dearly loved (and still do) who proved unfaithful in his ministry. Paul says in I Cor. 4:2 that "it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." None of us do it perfectly. This one friend proved spectacularly unfaithful, that is, the unfaithfulness was of a serious and on-going nature, and it was revealed suddenly.

For three to four months it was like I had a second job taking phone calls from around the world counselling with friends--especially young ministers--who were deeply shaken. It was a terrible time, and one in which God's gospel stood as clear and bright as ever, and the hope of heaven became even sweeter.

As I reflected on the time, two lessons especially stood out to me. The first is for all Christians, the second especially for pastors.

The first lesson was provoked when one dear brother reproached himself for not reaching out more to this mutual friend, not asking more questions about how our mutual friend was doing. I told him that I had met with this friend weekly and often asked him many questions. I didn't think he (my self-reproachful friend) was so much in the wrong as our mutual friend was wrong for not being honest.
  • Lesson number one: no accountability relationships will work if there is not a commitment to honesty on the part of the person in question. The problem wasn't a lack of initiative toward him; the problem was his hiding the truth from us. If I am committed to my sin above a humble, self-revealing honesty, then I can't rely on any accountability structure or loving friendships to expose my sin and protect my soul. I must remember that if I am to war against sin, I must labor to be embarassingly transparent.


The second lesson was more particularly for those engaged in public ministry. Many Christians will make pious statements about God refusing to bless a ministry because of sin in the minister's life, or holiness being the essential ingredient in a pastor's ministry. Many other statements like that are in the literature. And certainly holiness is a necessarily present mark of any true ministry--or true Christian life, for that matter. BUT, and here's

  • lesson number two: the public success of your ministry is no indication of the true state of your relationship with God. Yes, preachers should meet the qualifications Paul lays out in I Tim. 3 & Titus 1, but God is not limited to using people who do. In Scripture we see God using beasts (Balaam's donkey), inanimate objects (the burning bush) even Satan himself to do His bidding. We shouldn't be surprised that God can sovereignly have His truth preached through the mouths of hypocrites. My brother minister, are you in a time of public blessing? Don't assume that necessarily has anything to do with how your own relationhip with the Lord is.

Those are the two lessons, shared briefly with you. Behind them are months of painful experience, tears, prayers, and countless conversations. I hope they may be useful to you now. That would be a good use of the sorrows of many brothers and sisters.

Posted on March 20, 2007 on Together For The Gospel
Charles E. Whisnant 03 28 2007

THE ACTS KIND OF CHURCH?
YOU NEED TO HAVE AN ACTS KIND OF CHRISTIAN
Part Three

These people were in such a condition that their homes were holy places.
First, ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH, WHAT ABOUT THEM? "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

Second, UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS MAY WE EXPECT ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH ON ALARGE SCALE?

Can we expect additions to the church on a daily basis?. Or every Sunday in the services?
  • Every Sunday at FBC in Hammond people were added to the church, I would say every day some were added to the church. While at Gideon Baptist Church in Fort Worth, for forty two weeks we saw Christ adding to the Church.


I fear that many churches would not be content with a ministry whose power would lie solely in the Holy Spirit. I hear a lot of churches who say they want to be an Acts kind of Church. They say they want to have that Holy Spirit power of that early church. What then would be the result of that kind of church?


A Holy Spirit ministry, if Peter is the model, is one which is bold, clear, telling, and persuasive.

  • One which tells men that Jesus is the Christ, and that they have crucified Him, and calls on them to repent and turn to the Lord.
  • The truly sent preacher speaks out straight and plain, and home to the conscience, whether men will hear or whether they will refrain.
  • The Holy Spirit minister chooses Jesus for his main theme, as Peter did. He did not speak to them about modern science and the ways of twisting Scripture into agreement with it.
    He cared nothing for the rumblings of the philosophies of the Greeks; but he went right on preaching Christ crucified and Christ risen from the dead.
  • When he had preached Christ, he made a pointed personal appeal to them and said, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you." He was not afraid to give such an exhortation; he was not like some who say, "We must warn sinners and then leave them; we may preach Christ to them, but may not request them to repent;" but he boldly preached the gospel and left it to his Master to send it home by the power of the Holy Spirit. That was the sort of sermon which God blesses.
  • The man was full of God, and God shone through the man, and worked with him, and forgiveness of sins was sought and was found through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by a vast number of souls. May God send to all his churches a Holy Spirit ministry!
  • But if there are to be many additions to the church it must next be a Holy Spirit church.

A Holy Spirit filled church, as most churches desire, will have additions to the church.



What is a Holy Spirit church? Well, it is a church baptized into His power, and this will be known first by its being devoted.

  • Read the 42nd verse: "They devoted themselves." He will not bless a church which is excited and then relapses, is carried away by every novelty, and does not know what it believes, but a church which lives in Jesus and in his truth.


THEY WERE A DEVOTED CHURCH: FOUR POINTS.

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

  1. In the apostle's teaching. They were a doctrinal church, they believed in being devoted to the unmovable truth; they did not belong to the shifty generation of men who plead that their views are progressive, and that they cannot hold themselves bound by a ordinary creed.. If God does not save men by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival; we will keep to the old truth, anyhow, come what may! Our flag is nailed to the pole.
  2. Next they were devoted in fellowship. They loved each other, and they continued doing so. They conversed with one another about the things of God, and they did not give up the conversation. They helped each other when they were in need, and they continued in such kindness. They were true brethren, and their fellowship was not broken.
    Have you noticed the conversation in most church fellowships is not doctrine, or the cross, or Christ; but it’s farming, baseball, and apple pie. First century Acts believers had Christ on their lips daily in the Temple and in their homes.
  3. Next they continued in the breaking of bread, which is a delightful ordinance, and never to be despised or underestimated. As often as they could they celebrated the death of Christ, until he would come again. They delighted the dear memorials of his sacred passion, both in the church. I will mention later what they did in their homes.
  4. They also remained devoted in prayer. Mark that! God cannot bless a church which does not pray, and churches must increase in supplication if they would increase in strength. Sacred insistent requests must surround the throne of God, and then the blessing will be given. Oh, children of the heavenly King, you hamper the Spirit and hinder the blessing if you restrain prayer. Their prayer would say, "Lord add to your church, my mother, dad, and family, and friends." Their prayer was directed to the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of others.
As we look into the first group of believers following Pentecost, they were people from all over the area, they were now new believers in Jesus Christ. The same Jesus that had been put to death on a Cross. Now some of them had been a part of Jesus death. They now were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were 1st Century Christians.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant
THE ACTS KIND OF CHURCH, YOU NEED TO HAVE AN ACTS KIND OF CHRISTIAN
Part Two
The church has no right to exclude any of the saved because their knowledge or experience is not that of advanced believers. If they believe in Jesus and are saved, then the babes belong to the family and ought to be received, the lambs belong to the flock and ought not to be kept outside the fold.

Church membership is not a certificate of advanced Christianity, it is simply the recognition of the profession of saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Again the text says, "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." They were really "added" to the church. I am afraid certain persons' names are added to the church, but they themselves are not. Be careful about adding those whom Christ has not added.

A true church is a living entity, and only living men and women made alive by the Spirit of God are fit to be grafted into it, and the grafting must be done by the Lord himself, otherwise it is no true addition to the church of the Living God.The church is a living organism, alive, full of life, John MacArthur often says.

Some members are only tied on to the church, and they are neither useful nor an enhancement, just as a dead branch fastened to a tree would add no beauty to it, and would certainly bear no fruit. There must be a living union, so that the life which is in the church will join with the life that is in the man or the woman, and the one life of the one living Spirit will flow through the whole of the body.

Every member that has been added by Christ will be a part of the living organism and will desire to have their name along side every other member of the body.

Another point in the text is this, that "the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." There were additions to the church every day. Every day God added to the church in Jerusalem.
  • "Some churches, if they have an addition once in twelve months make as much noise over that one as a hen does when she has laid an egg" Spurgeon.

But, you answer, or counter, we are not preaching daily. That may be, but we ought to be; if not daily in the pulpit, there should be the daily preaching of the life, and if all the members of the church were daily teaching of Jesus Christ from house to house, a daily sowing would bring a daily reaping; if we were daily praying with earnestness, and daily using every effort we could by the power of the Holy Spirit; and if daily the church lived in fellowship with her master, we would soon see added to it daily those who were being saved.

Most of my earlier experience in my dad’s church, there was the expectation that many would be added to the church weekly.
  • When we were in First Baptist Church in Hammond there was the expectation that daily people would be added to the church.
  • When we were at Madison Baptist Church, we expected to see people added to the church membership via Christ’s addition.
  • "Why don’t we see it," says one, "in many churches?"

Why, because many churches do not believe in it. If there were many converts added to them, they would say, ""Yes, we hear of a great many additions, but what are they? We hope they will hold on," or some such unkind remark.

  • John MacArthur has said: "Doing the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way will result in the Lord adding to His Church."


A SURE SIGN OF A GOD-REJECTED CHURCH:

  • God will not cause His children to be born where there is no one to nurse them; He will be sure not to send converts to churches which do not want them
  • He will not have His lambs snarled over and kept out in the cold for months together to see whether they will howl as wolves or bleat as sheep.
  • He loves to see His people watchful for new converts, and watchful over them. The Good Shepherd would have us feed His lambs, gather them in from the cold field of the world, and carry them to some warm sheltered place, and nurture them for Him.
  • When He sees a church ready to do that, then will He send them his lambs, but not till then.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Check by Charity Whisnant

Stand for One-Man, One-Woman Marriage- Support Coach Tony Dungy
Pro-gay activists are bent on denying Super Bowl-winning Coach Tony Dungy, of the Indianapolis Colts, his First Amendment right to free speech. The cause of the Left's ire? Dungy's support for protecting marriage as the union of a man and a woman
Dungy recently accepted a Friend of the Family award from the Indiana Family Institute (IFI). IFI is a state-based family policy council associated with Focus on the Family. During his acceptance speech, Coach Dungy announced his support for Indiana's state marriage-protection amendment, which would define marriage between a man and a woman in the state constitution

"We're not anti-anything else. We're not trying to downgrade anyone else," Dungy explained at the IFI event. "But we're trying to promote the family –– family values the Lord's way."

Since his comments became public, several pro-gay groups have called on Dungy to retract his comments and support for the marriage amendment, and on the Colts organization to censure their coach.
Personally I support the Word of God on this matter.
This is a issue that is no issue with God.
Homosexuality is biblically wrong.
The cure:
A new life in Christ Jesus as Saviour, Lord:
"How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him (Christ) that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth, we should not serve sin."
Romans 6:2, 6
AGAIN, THESE PEOPLE WERE IN SUCH A CONDITION THAT THEIR HOMES WERE HOLY PLACES.
Introduction
Again, these people were in such a condition that their homes were holy places.

Much has been said about this idea of being an "Acts kind of Church." I am not sure I ever
thought, I would want to be in a 1st Century church, any more than I would want to be in a 19th Century church in England . "Our church is trying to become an Acts kind of Church." What does that mean?

There seems to be some misconceptions about this early church in the book of Acts.

But with that said, we would need to try to learn several things: How did people get into the church? What did those who were added to the Church do once they were added? What kind of preaching did they hear? What is the responsibility the church has to the new converts? What kind of home did the believers have?

To be an Acts kind of Church, you need to have an Acts kind of Christians.

The Lord Added To their Number Daily: Acts 2:42
It would appear from our text that the additions to the new church, founded on the day of Pentecost, were not always accomplished in mass. The Spirit of God was still with them, but their increase was more gradual. "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." It would appear that the Lord added to their number daily.

I want you to think about additions to the church as they used to occur among the early Christians. Certain people today are always talking about the "early church," and they seem
to have some very "strange ideas" about this early church.

First, ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH, WHAT ABOUT THEM? "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

It seems to have been the custom in the earliest times for persons who had been converted to Christ to join themselves with the church of Jesus Christ.
  • "Act then according to your duty, and if you are a Christian, join with Christians; if you love the Master, love the servants; if you love the Captain, unite with the army, and join that regiment of it which you think adheres the closest to the Master's word." Spurgeon.
    The persons who were reached at Pentecost were added to the church by the Lord.

Does anybody else ever add to the church? Oh, yes, the devil also often hustles in his servants. Who was it that added Judas, and Ananias and Sapphira, and Simon Magus, and Demas to the church?


Thus, you need to search and see whether you are the model that the Lord would add to a church. How can you tell if you have been added by Christ?

If you are, you have been converted by the Lord,

  • You have been wounded by the Lord, and you have been healed by the Lord, and in the Lord is your righteousness and trust.
  • It has not been man's doing; whoever may have been the instrument, the Holy Spirit has produced all your works in you.
  • You must have been the subject of a divine intervention; something more than you could do for yourself or any man could do for you must have been formed in you by the Lord.
  • He who made you has made you new.

Then, the right kind of additions to the church are described in the text by the words, "those who were being saved." Acts 2

  • The Lord added to the church daily the saved," or "The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Saved persons were added to the church, and only the saved were fit to be added.

Those who are being saved, in whom the work of salvation has truly begun, are the only proper candidates, and these are spoken of in the forty-fourth verse as "believers."


The proper persons to be added to the visible church of Jesus Christ are those

  • who believe to the salvation of their souls,
  • who are daily experiencing the saving power of the name of Jesus by being delivered from sin,
  • by being saved from the pattern of the world,
  • by being saved in the sense of sanctified from the various corruptions and lusts which rule among the sons of men. These are the sort of persons who should be added to the church.

So let the question be asked, "Am I saved? Have I believed in Jesus?" If I have,

  • the process of salvation is going on within me,
  • I am being delivered from the reigning, ruling power of sin each day;
  • I am being kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and
  • I will be kept and presented in the end spotless before the presence of God with great joy.

We set the door wide open to all who are saved, however little their faith may be.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Read by Charity Whisnant

HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT IS TRUE?
Paul Feinberg looks at the question "How do we know what is true". He lists five approaches: subjectivism, rationalism, empiricism, pragmatism and authoritarianism (faith). My pencil may tell me what is 2 times 2, my senses may tell me which is the most lovely flower, but they cannot tell me what is ultimately true. I do not have the resources or wisdom to determine truth. Someone must tell me what is truth. Thankfully God has spoken in His Son and proved it through the resurrection. Additionally Christ said "Thy Word is truth" and that He always speaks what the Father tells Him. If I doubt the Scriptures I call Christ a liar. I may misunderstand what God has spoken but I know that it is absolutely true. I should be humble about my ability to listen, but not in God's ability to speak.

This is something i've noticed about many 'conversations' that happen today regarding theology. a couple of guys get in a room together and all share the same doubts. they kick these doubts around for a while, each lacking conviction, and are surprised to walk out of the room with no answers.

or else they walk out of the room with a completely wrong answer.

The End of Controversies?

Toward the end of his life Richard Baxter wrote a book on the end of controversies. It was, to say the least, a somewhat premature assessment of the state of the doctrinal life of the Christian Church.One doesn't have to look around the Christian world for long to know that not only are so called "secondary issues" as vigorously contested as they have ever been, but every major Christian doctrine is disputed, denied and debated. Gresham Machen wrote at the start of his classic Christianity and Liberalism that the things that men will fight over are usually the things worth believing.Controversy has the capacity to bring out the best and the worst in us. Some shy away from it for personal reasons (they simply don't like confrontation), whilst others seem to thrive on exposing errors and are quick to draw strong condemnatory conclusions.Handling controversy is a test of our godliness, a test that all too often, when we come to pray, we realise that we have failed. Defending orthodoxy and attacking error demands more from us than the use of reason and knowledge. It also demands the exercise of patience, prayerfulness, humility, compassion, faithfulness, truthfulness, fairness and so on.Tests like these are unavoidable. But evading controversy to keep the peace when the truth demands that there be conflict is moral and spiritual failure.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant
HOW DO YOU GET PEOPLE TO COME AND HEAR YOU PREACH
Part Two
Charles Spurgeon has been dead now for some 150 years, but his preaching lives today. He had a passion to see Christ bring His elect to Himself. But he knew the means Christ used was by the preaching of the Gospel. Here is part two of what Spurgeon said about getting people to come to hear you preach. And over 5,000 people came three times a week to hear him preach.
"You tell me that if a man preaches the truth his chapel wild be empty.Sir, I defy you to prove that. Christ preached his own truth, and the common people heard him gladly, and the multitude flocked to listen to him.My good ministering brother, have you got an empty church? Do you want to fill it?
I will give you a good recipe, and if you will follow it, you will, in all probability, have your chapel full to the doors.Burn all your manuscripts, that is
  • No. 1. Give up your notes, that is
  • No. 2. Read your Bible and preach it as you find it in the simplicity of its language. And give up all your Latinized English.
  • Begin to tell the people what you have felt in your own heart, and beseech the Holy Spirit to make your heart as hot as a furnace for zeal.
  • Then go out and talk to the people. Speak to them like their brother.
  • Be a man amongst men. Tell them what you have felt and what you know, and tell it heartily with a good, bold face; and, my dear friend, I do not care who you are, you will get a congregation.

But if you say, "Now, to get a congregation, I must buy an organ."That will not serve you a bit."But we must have a good choir."I would not care to have a congregation that comes through a good choir."No," says another, "but really I must a little alter my style of preaching."My dear friend, it is not the style of preaching, it is the style of feeling. People sometimes begin to mimic other preachers, because they are successful. Why, the worst preachers are those who mimic others, whom they look upon as standards preach naturally.

Preach out of your hearts just what you feel to be true, and the old soul-stirring words of the gospel will soon draw a congregation. "Where the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together."But if it ended there, what would be the good of it? If the congregation came and listened to the sound, and then went away unsaved, of what use would it be? But in the next place, Christ acts as a net to draw men unto him.

The gospel ministry is, in God’’s Word, compared to a fishery; God’s ministers are the fishermen, they go to catch souls, as fishermen go to catch fish.How shall souls be caught? They shall be caught by preaching Christ. J

Just preach a sermon that is full of Christ, and throw it unto your congregation, as you throw a net into the sea—you need not look where they are, nor try to fit your sermon to different cases; but, throw it in, and as sure as God’s Word is what it is, it shall not return to him void; it shall accomplish that which he pleases, and prosper in the thing whereto he hath sent it.

The gospel never was unsuccessful yet, when it was preached with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. It is not fine orations upon the death of princes, or the movements of politics which will save souls. If we wish to have sinners saved and to have our churches increased; if we desire the spread of God’s kingdom, the only thing whereby we can hope to accomplish the end, is the lifting up of Christ; for, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."

"HOW ARE WE TO GET THE PEOPLE TO COME TO LISTEN TO THE WORD?"
This question is been asked ?
"Is the desire for personal growth or church growth?The desire to see church growth encompasses(2)getting people to hear the Word preached.
This is what I mean by church growth: (3) The growth of influence, & confidence, in the ability to accomplish the desired purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It's not numbers.
But its okay to grow in new converts, and members

When a church member invites a visitor or friend or family member to come to our church, they will have the confidence that their guest will receive a warm welcome and visualize an attractive atmosphere. From the moment the guest sits in the pew, he will be drawn into what we call worship, and will listen to music and preaching that reflects the song, "There's a sweet, sweet spirit in this place, and I know that it's the Spirit of the Lord."
That, and from the time they get out of their car until they get back into their car they will know something has happened to show them what it means to Worship theLord Jesus Christ.
It's not boring, dull, or lifeless,and you won't be embarrassed that your guest came.
GROWTH:
The act or process, or a manner of growing, development, gradual increase. Something that has grown or developed by or as if by a natural process.
Part One:
A Recipe for Church Growth

  • 'The answer is, Christ is his own attraction, Christ is the only trumpet that you want to trumpet Christ. Preach the gospel, and the congregation will come of themselves. The only infallible way of getting a good congregation, is to do this.
  • "Oh!" said a Socinian(1) once, to a good Christian minister, "I cannot make it out; my chapel is always empty, and yours always crammed full. And yet I am sure mine is the more rational doctrine, and you are not by any means so talented a preacher as I am.
  • "Well," said the other "I will tell you the reason why your chapel is empty, and mine full. The people have a conscience, and that conscience tells them that what I preach is true and that what you preach is false, so they will not hear you."
  • You shall look through the history of this realm ever since the commencement of the days of Protestantism, and I will dare to say it without fear of contradiction, that you will almost in every case find that the men who have attracted the greatest mass of people to hear them, have been men who were the most evangelical——who preached the most about Christ and him crucified.
  • What was there in Whitefield to attract an audience, except the simple gospel preached with a vehement oratory that carried everything before it. Oh, It was not his oratory, but the gospel that drew the people. There is a something about the truth that always makes it popular. Charles H. Spurgeon

(1) follower of Faustus and Laelius Socinus who rejected a number of traditional Christian doctrines, as the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and original sin, and who held that Christ was miraculously begotten and that salvation will be granted to those who adopt Christ's virtues.

(2) to include comprehensively: a work that encompasses the entire range of the world's religious beliefs.

(3) to arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance, or source: Our friendship grew from common interests. To increase in influence or effect: To become gradually more liked or accepted by:

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 03 19 07 Checked by Charity Whisnant

" Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."
Part Seven

You are born again if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, if you are relying upon a crucified Savior, you are assuredly begotten again unto a lively hope.

The believer sees in faith, which is simple as the movements of the needle, that shows the flow of electric current moving along wire. An indication that God is operating on the human mind, and the spiritual man discerns that there is an inner secret intimated thereby, which the carnal eye cannot interpret.

To believe in Jesus is a better indicator of regeneration than anything else, and in no case did it ever mislead.

Faith in the living God and His Son Jesus Christ is always the result of the New Birth.
And can never exist except
in the regeneration.
Whoso has faith is a saved man.

Many believe this statement:
  • "A man’s act of believing is not the same as his being saved; it is only in the direction of being saved"
This statement to a denial that every believer in Christ is at once saved, and the inference is that a man may not conclude that he is saved because he believes in Jesus. But this is not true.

First the Scripture shows that it is certain that the man who believes in Jesus is not condemned. John 3:18.

Secondly, 1 John 5:4 "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." What, then, does faith overcome the world in persons who are not saved? How can this be possible when the apostle says that that which overcomes the world is born of God? Vs. 4 "Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world:" Faith overcomes the world.

Therefore the man who has faith is regenerate; and that means that he is saved, and that his faith is the instrument by which he achieves victories.

Thirdly, faith accepts the witness of God, and more, he that has faith has the witness in himself to the truth of God. 1 John 5:10 "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." It is not said, "He that does this or feels that," but "he that believeth hath the witness in himself."

His heart bears witness to the truth of God.

Has any unsaved man an experimental witness within?

Are you saying that a man’s inner experience bears witness to God’s gospel, and yet the man is in a lost state, or only hopeful of being saved ultimately? I do not think so. I would say that would be impossible.

"He that believeth has that change wrought in him which enables by his own consciousness to confirm the witness of God, and such a man must be in a state of salvation. It is not possible to say
of him that he is an unsaved man."

Fourth, 1 John 5:13 Whenever there is faith there is eternal life. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life."

So are you saying that a sinner who believes in Jesus is to make an advance before he can say he is saved, that a man who trusts Christ is only on his way to salvation, and must wait until he has used the ordinances, and has grown in grace.? No!

"The moment that the sinner’s trust is placed on the finished work of Jesus he is saved."

He at that moment has eternal life, and he will love whoever has been born of him.

So we say, "Whosoever believeth in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is born of God."

We are most certain, Spurgeon said, "that a man must be made a new creature in Christ Jesus, or he is not saved."

Can a man have faith that is saving faith,
can a man have the belief in Jesus as the Christ
can a man love all those who have been born of God
unless that man has been made a
new creation ?

flow of electric charge:
the time rate of flow of electric charge, in the direction that a positive moving charge would take and having magnitude equal to the quantity of charge per unit time: measured in amperes.
]
Electric current:
a current or stream of electricity traversing a closed circuit formed of conducting substances, or passing by means of conductors from one body to another which is in a different electrical state.

Electricity. (noun)
the time rate of flow of electric charge, in the direction that a positive moving charge would take and having magnitude equal to the quantity of charge per unit time: measured in amperes

AC/DC

Phenomena associated with electrical charges and currents, and the study of such phenomena. Between collections of positive and negative charges there exists a potential difference. If a conducting path exists between the two charge groups, charges will flow from one to the other, constituting an electric current. Electric charge which builds up on an insulator and is thus unable to flow is termed static electricity.

(electricity) The flow of electric charge, symbol i or I, units A (amp). A current of one amp means that a charge of one coulomb flows every second. Current flows positive to negative by convention
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof read by Chairty Whisnant
WHEREVER THIS KIND OF FAITH EXISTS IT IS THE PROOF OF REGENERATION
Part Six

Here is the idea: To believe in Jesus is but to glance the eye of faith to Him, to trust Him, with your soul. That is a biblical fact that you can’t ignore, period.

Some want to say, that the sinner has within him just enough to have this kind of saving
faith. They want to say that they can read the Word, hear the preaching of the Gospel, and have enough faith to respond to the message.

Some believe that the Holy Spirit will come to the sinner, but the sinner will reject His plea.

Here is the text again: "Whosoever (everyone) who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God." It is proof positive and never fails. God never fails. God never fails. Period.
So how does this "born of God" happen?

Some see the new birth as an immense mystery. I just don’t understand it.
What appears to be a mystery to us, is not a mystery for God. He is, after all, God.

SIMPLE INDICATOR
Some mysteries reveal themselves in the simplest indications. The mystery of the new birth is revealed in the simple indication of faith. I have come to believe that existence of faith is an infallible indication of the new birth within the believer.

The Mystery of ELECTRICITY:
Electricity is a mystery. The telegraph can be sent across a wire. You can see it, or feel it, and the electric current flows along the wire. But if you have an indicator, you can see the needle moving. The person who has learned to read the needle indicator can know how much electricity is moving along the wire.
To the trained operator,

Morse and Vail's initial telegraph, which first went into operation in 1844, made indentations on a paper tape when an electrical current was transmitted. Morse's original telegraph receiver used a mechanical clockwork to move a paper tape. When an electrical current was received, an electromagnet engaged an armature that pushed a stylus onto the moving paper tape, making an indentation on the tape. When the current was interrupted, the electromagnet retracted the stylus, and that portion of the moving tape remained unmarked

The Morse code was developed so that operators could translate the indentations marked on the paper tape into text messages

In the original Morse telegraphs, the receiver's armature made a clicking noise as it moved into and out of position to mark the tape. Operators soon learned to translate the clicks directly into dots and dashes, making it unnecessary to use the paper tape.

Here is the illustration: The believer sees in the faith, which is simple as the movements of the needle, an indication that God is operating on the human mind, and the spiritual man discerns that there is an inner secret intimated therein, which the carnal eye cannot interpret.

The indicator , the clue of regeneration, that the Spirit of God has flowed into the deadness of man’s spirit and sent positive current into his negative current of thinking, is that the man has the faith, and believes in Jesus Christ as His Savior.

Can I say, that there has never been this kind of faith in the world, except in a regenerate soul, and never will be. How can you say this? It’s in the text.

John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Nor of the will of the flesh; man's free will, which is carnal and corrupt, is enmity to God, and impotent to every thing that is spiritually good: regeneration is ascribed to another will and power, even to the will and power of God, and denied of this:

" Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant

The End of Controversies?
or
WILL THERE BE AN END OF CONTROVERSY?
My father-in-law says that I live for controversies? He said if there is not one I will start one. Preachers who know me, expect me to address the current issues in the church.

Toward the end of his life Richard Baxter wrote a book on the end of controversies. It was, to say the least, a somewhat premature assessment of the state of the doctrinal life of the Christian Church.
One doesn't have to look around the Christian world for long to know that not only are so called "secondary issues" as vigorously contested as they have ever been, but every major Christian doctrine is disputed, denied and debated.
Gresham Machen wrote at the start of his classic Christianity and Liberalism that the things that men will fight over are usually the things worth believing.
Controversy has the capacity to bring out the best and the worst in us.
Some shy away from it for personal reasons (they simply don't like confrontation), while others seem to thrive on exposing errors and are quick to draw strong condemnatory conclusions.
Handling controversy is a test of our godliness, a test that all too often, when we come to pray, we realise that we have failed. Defending orthodoxy and attacking error demands more from us than the use of reason and knowledge. It also demands the exercise of patience, prayerfulness, humility, compassion, faithfulness, truthfulness, fairness and so on.Tests like these are unavoidable. But evading controversy to keep the peace when the truth demands that there be conflict is moral and spiritual failure.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant
WHERE EVER THIS KIND OF FAITH EXISTS IT IS THE PROOF OF REGENERATION
Part five, (several more to come)

So we come back to our thought, of what is saving faith, what is the kind of faith that is required for a person to be born of God.

John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • " But now our evangelist observes, let a man be ever so great, or good, or eminent, for gifts and grace, he cannot communicate grace to another, or to whom he will; none are born again of any such will: but of God; of God, the Father of Christ, who begets to a lively hope; and of the Son, who quickens whom he will; and of the grace of the Spirit, to whom regeneration is generally ascribed." John Gill


Were born--of God; changed, by His Holy Spirit, from supreme love of self and sin to supreme love of God and holiness. No man inherits this holy character by nature, nor can it be given to him by man. It is the gift of God alone. The change in men called being "born again," by which they become children of God, is produced not by men, but by God, and to him will for ever be all the glory.

How clear can it be, that a man can not "be born again" by his own nature. And to be born again, one must have faith in Christ as Savior, prophet, priest and king. That is just not going to happen in a person who has not been born again by the supernatural work of grace in him by the Holy Spirit. Charles Whisnant (There are times I have a thought, you know)

Here is what happens, Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I came as a sinner. I find that whosoever trusts in Him shall be saved. I therefore trust him, and having done so, I learn
from His Word that I am the object of His special love, and that I am born of God.

Once I have been born of God, I learn from reading the Word that He died for me, a sinner. I learn that my very nature was in rebellion God. I learn how I was saved only after I have been born of God, and learn how God alone saved me by reading the Word of God, and by the indwelling Holy Spirit

I might have known that the Jesus Christ in the Bible is said to have died on the cross, and I might have known that it is said that Jesus died for the purpose of redeeming mankind from Hell. And I might know that the preacher would say, "whosoever believes that can go to heaven." And I just might believe that. And yet I learn that is not what happens when I am truly born again of God.

Thousands of people go forward in a Billy Graham crusade because they believe they have the kind of faith to believe, who have not been born again of God. They believe the"whosoever." They believe that Jesus died, but they have not been born again of God. How can you say they have not been born again.?

  • When I first was introduced to Christ when I had just turned seven I had no personal knowledge of any personal and special interest in the blood of Jesus. It was only as I was told that the Bible said it. "God hath set Him forth to be a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." Which I didn’t understand for years anyway. Williamsroad Baptist Church, Roanoke Virginia . Everette T. Whisnant, Pastor 1954.

  • But what I did, I came to trust myself to that which I was told that Jesus did for me. I said, if Jesus did that for me, I will totally trust what Jesus did. I believed with all my soul Jesus saved me. I really believed that I had nothing to do with it. I knew I didn’t know anything in the first place, and if I were saved, Jesus had to do it. I trusted Him, I just said, Jesus you saved me, I will trust you, and read your Word, and will try to live by what you desire me to do. And I have over the last fifty two years.


2 Corinthians 13:5 Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate. Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith, So we need to understand that it’s not just human faith, it has to be a faith that is a gift from God.

To examine the state of their own souls, and see whether they were in the faith; either in the doctrine of faith, having a spiritual and experimental knowledge of it, true love and affection for it, a healthy belief of it, having felt the power of it upon their souls, and abode in it. This is proof positive of saving faith.

Paul is addressing this issue: "ye stand in the faith", firm and stable; or in the grace of faith, either of miracles, or that which is connected with salvation. Which, if they were in it, and had it, is attended with good works. It operates by love to Christ and to his people; by which souls go out of themselves to Christ, live upon him, receive from him, and give him all the glory of salvation. If this is the case, they desire to know how they came by their faith; and suggests, that their light in the doctrine of the Gospel, and their faith in Christ Jesus, as well as the miraculous gifts many of them were possessed of, were through his ministry as the means.

This was a full proof of Christ's speaking in him:


Faith does that: Proof positive saving faith will totally rely on God’s Word as our source of confidence. Faith takes the things of Christ and makes them our own. To believe in Jesus is but to glance the eye of faith to Him, and trust Him with your soul. "If I may touch the hem of His garment I shall be made whole." she said. She took no medicines, made no profession, she performed no ceremonies, she simply just touched the fraying of the Saviour’s robe and she was healed at once. Thus, when our faith gets into contact with Christ by simply trusting Him, though that trust be ever so feeble, in my case, my faith was so little of knowledge, you have the faith of God’s elect. You have the faith which is in every case the proof of the new birth.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Checked by wife of 37 years Charity Whisnant

JESUS SAID, "REPENT, YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL"
Part Four

If you have the faith that accepts Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King, you have a saving faith, a faith that is a gift of God.

For those that "Believe in"or those who have a true faith in, there will be a dependence. It does not simply mean you believe, it means to trust, to confide in, to commit to, entrust with. Let me ask, is your faith that you have in Christ one of reliance, and trust?

I know you can say this statement to a child of God, more so then to a sinner:
  • I do not believe in Jesus Christ because I am persuaded that His blood was shed for me, but rather I discover that His blood was shed especially for me from the fact that I have been led to believe in Him.


I am afraid there are thousands of people who believe Jesus died for them, who are not born of God. Not everyone who believes Jesus died for them, is born of God. There are some who believe that Jesus died for everyone. This is called universal atonement.

Now I believe those who put their faith in Christ, as Christ has intended faith to mean will be saved.. Biblical saving faith is putting your trust in Christ

I find that whosoever trusts Christ shall be saved, I therefore trust Him, and having done so, I learn from His Word that I am the object of His special love, and that I am born of God.

It’s true when I first come to Christ, I can have no knowledge of any personal and special interest in the blood of Jesus, but since it is written:

  • "God hath set Him forth to be a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

I come and trust myself to that propitiation; sink or swim I cast myself on the Savior, Son of God. Those whosoever have such faith as this are born of God. He has true faith which is proof positive of the new birth.

This faith that we are asked to believe is not something we just say "I am saved, for I have such a charming feeling, or I have had a fantastic dream. I have felt very magnificent sensations. Whereas all such may be nothing but mere assumption.


JUST AS I AM WITHOUT ONE PLEA

  • You know that song I have sung 1000 times at least:
  • " Just as I am - - without one plea
    But that thy blood was shed for me."
    I can hear Allen Nunnenkamp sing that song at FBC.

It is surely appropriate for a child of God, to sing this song, but I am not sure as to its being the precise way for putting the matter for a sinner.

"I do not believe in Jesus because I am persuaded that his blood was shed for me, but rather I discover that His blood was shed especially for me from the fact that I have been led to believe in Him." Spurgeon

There is no doubt that there are 1000's of people who believe that Jesus died for them, who are not born of God, but rather are hardened in their sin by their groundless hopes of mercy.

There is no definite efficacy (virtue) in a man’s assuming that Christ has died for him; for it is a mere truism, if it’s true as some teach, that Jesus died for everybody. On such a theory, then every believer in a universal atonement would necessarily be born of God, which is very far from being the case. If every one that believed that Jesus died for them, but did not have true faith for salvation, then the blood of Christ was not shed for every one that said they believed that Jesus did die for them.


When the Holy Spirit leads (note that word) us to rely upon Christ, the truth that God gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him might be saved, is opened up to our souls, and we see that for us who are believers, Jesus died with the special purpose that we should be saved..

For the Holy Spirit to assure us that Jesus shed His blood for us in particular is one thing, but merely to conclude that Jesus died for us on the notion He died for everybody is as far as the east is from the west, from being real faith in Jesus Christ.

One can have the faith that Jesus died for them, and they are not born again. They may say, "yes Jesus died for everyone on the cross." Most people do believe that-- many preachers preach that. So a sinner might say, "Yes, Jesus died for everyone; therefore, I am going to heaven." And in fact they have not been born again. To have human faith in Jesus is not saving faith.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Read by Charity


JESUS SAID, "REPENT, YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL"
Part Three
  • Part One: Review

    How does a person come to be a Christian? What does God require of a person for salvation?

    Scripture says clearly: "Ye must be born again."That is a clear gospel statement. Also scripture clearly points out: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." But I fear that some have preached this so boldly and so plainly, yet so badly and so out of all connection with the truth.
  • So much has this doctrine been taught out of connection with the whole truth, that they have lead many people into presumptuous confidences that their understanding of the regeneration is that of themselves and not of Christ alone.

Part Two review:

  • THE QUESTION IS: WHAT KIND OF FAITH IS REQUIRED? WHAT KIND OF BELIEVING IS NECESSARY FOR ONE TO BE TRULY BORN AGAIN?

    In Scripture, is the Bible clear with the message of how a person truly comes to be a BORN AGAIN person in Christ, and clearly shows what will be the result of one who does put their belief and faith in Christ as Saviour?

Now Part Three

JESUS SAID, "REPENT, YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL"


The command of Christ for everyone to believe and be saved is true. God’s command is for every man, no matter how bad man has become. Every man is to repent, they are bound to repent, whether their sinfulness renders it impossible for them to be willing to do so or not.


And it is man’s duty in every case to do what God bids him to do. Whether he can do it or not.

Man has been rendered so depraved that he will not believe the truth about Christ, he will not receive the truth about Christ as it is written in the Scripture.

Man might have a human faith that will give him a sense that be believes, but it will not cause him to really believe the truth about Christ as it is written in Scripture.

This faith that God commands of very man, when it does exists in man, without exception, is the gift of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. Spurgeon

"Never yet did a man believe in Jesus with the faith here intended, except the Holy Spirit led him to do so."

The faith that Jesus commands of man is not a faith that springs up in man on his own, but a faith that is the work of the Holy Spirit that led a man to have this kind of faith. Faith is "a gift of God."

Faith is too glorious a grace to spring up in human nature of man till it is renewed: faith is in every believer "the gift of God." Faith is the duty of man, and at the same time it’s "the gift of God. Both are true.

FAITH IS THE DUTY OF EVERY MAN, BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT A GIFT OF GOD? Right, both our true. That is the tension for mankind to think about.


Men are persuaded by the Holy Spirit of sin - "of sin," says Christ, "because they believe not on me;" here is one of the truths; but the selfsame hearts are taught by the same Spirit that faith is of the operation of God (Col 2:2).

This faith, this belief that Jesus talks about is, rests upon a person - - Jesus . "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God." It’s not a belief about a doctrine, nor an opinion, nor a formula, but belief concerning a person. Translated the words, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ"

"Whosoever believeth that the Saviour is the Anointed is born of God."

This does not mean whosoever professes to believe that he is so. We know there are those whose lives certainly show that they have not been regenerated, but whosoever believes it to be a fact, as truly and in very deed to receive Jesus as God has set him forth and anointed Him, is a regenerate man.


John 5:1 ¶ Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God: and whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. KJV
5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. ESV

To those whosoever believes
What is meant by "Jesus is the Christ" or Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed.?" Let me ask, is Christ our Prophet, Priest, and King?

  • Do I today believe that Jesus is the great Prophet anointed of God to reveal to me the way of Salvation?
  • Do I accept Jesus as my teacher and admit that he has the Word of eternal life? If I so believe His gospel, I possess eternal life.
  • Do I firmly believe that Jesus was ordained to offer His one sacrifice for the sins of mankind, by the offering of which sacrifice once for all He has finished the atonement and made complete redemption?
  • Do I accept His atonement as an atonement for me, and receive His death as a redemption upon which I rest my hope for forgiveness of all my transgressions?
  • Do I in fact believe Jesus to be the one sole, only propitiating Priest, and accept Him to act as priest for me?
  • If I have thus believed by faith these things and have believed that Jesus is the Christ, I am born of God
  • Is Christ King in our life:
  • I s Jesus, who is now exalted in heaven, who once bled on the cross, is he King to me?
    Is His law my law?
  • Do I desire to submit myself entirely to His government? Lordship? ]
  • Do I hate what He hates, and love what He loves?
  • Do I live to praise him?
  • Do I, as a loyal subject, desire to see his kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven?


    End of Part Three March 14, 2007 Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, proof checked by Charity
JESUS SAID, "REPENT, YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL"
Part Two of five or six

Here you have people who have assumed faith to be the same things as a presumptuous confidence of safety in Christ They believe that they have a faith that saved them, yet without any sign that they truly have been born again anew in Christ. When self-examination has been proposed to them they have avoided it as an assault upon their assurance, and when they have been urged to try themselves by gospel test, they have defended their false peace by the notion that to raise a question about their certain salvation would be unbelief.

They have in their mind that they believed by faith when they were twelve and on that position they believe they are saved, when upon examination of their life, they have no evidence in their life to support the kind of faith that Scripture teaches, and they desire not to examine their assumed faith upon the clear teaching of Scripture..

Scripture has a faith as the index of our being born again, faith is seen in overcoming the world, faith is seen as an inward witness, faith is seen as giving us eternal life.

THE QUESTION IS: WHAT KIND OF FAITH IS REQUIRED? WHAT KIND OF BELIEVING IS NECESSARY FOR ONE TO BE TRULY BORN AGAIN?

In Scripture, is the Bible clear with the message of how a person truly comes to be a BORN AGAIN person in Christ, and clearly shows what will be the result of one who does put their belief and faith in Christ as Saviour?

The verse is very clear: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God." "Every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him."We will note three things here:
  • 1 The believing which is here intended:
  • 2 How it is a sure proof of regeneration.
  • 3 Christian love is the result of this believing.


1A WHAT IS THE BELIEVING EXPECTED IN THE TEXT?


Mark 1:15, note that Jesus is saying: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, ye, and believe the gospel."

Peter is exhorting men to repent and believe the gospel. To have men to exercise a faith which will save them. Some think this verse is not talking about saving faith. But it’s not.


When Christ told His disciples go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and added, "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,." the faith which was to be preached was evidently none other than a saving faith. And it is impractical to say otherwise.


  • "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD." The belief, the faith, that Christ speaks of here is a belief that will bring about salvation that is of God.


IT’S THE DUTY OF EVERY MAN TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST


Note in this verse: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. It is man’s duty to believe the truth, that Jesus is the Christ is the truth, and it is the duty of every man to believe it. The gospel commands this. "This is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ"


My understanding here of "believing," in this verse, is the duty of man to have confidence in Christ.


The gospel command,

  • "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," is addressed by Christ’s authority to every creature, it is the duty of every man so to do.


John said, "This is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and Christ assured us, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God."


Here is the tension in this doctrine:

Some will point out, it’s impossible for all men to believe. They say that man has not the spiritual ability to believe in Jesus. There is a difference between one’s duty and his spiritual ability to believe. "There are many things which men ought to do which they have now lost the moral and spiritual, though not the physical, power to do.

A man ought to be pure, but if he has been so long immoral that he cannot restrain his passion, he is not thereby free from the obligation. It’s true that every man ought to believe that which is true, but if his mind has become so depraved that he loves a lie and will not receive the truth, is he thereby excused?

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant

JESUS SAID, "REPENT, YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL"
PART ONE

Footnote:
  • This article is more than fourteen pages, and thus I will take all week to post Charity had a time proof reading this over a week. I would suggest that you remember this will be at least five posts.
  • I might add, that the whole article should be read at the end of the week to make sense
    Charity said "you do know this is not simple?" And I said yes. Its simple to me because I have taken a lot of time to study and think about this issue. The level of understanding of this topic comes after the Holy Spirit gives us the inner spirit to understand.


In my post "The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Interpretation of the Scriptures" Here is an example of this process. After a lot of study, and you put it down on paper, or you teach a class on this subject, its when the Holy Spirit opens your mind and gives you the ability to understand its content. The light of your understanding comes

Sometimes our understanding comes slow. But as we study and ask the Holy Spirit for discerning its meaning, in time our minds will be open to the truth that the Lord desires of to know.

How does a person come to be a Christian? What does God require of a person for salvation?
Jesus began His ministry in Galilee and He began preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye, and believe the gospel." Matthew 4:12-17, Mark 1:14-15)

My question is this: "Is Jesus preaching that every person whom He is addressing in Galilee should ‘repent’ and believe the gospel?"

Can we learn by the preaching of Jesus, that He believed that every man could be saved? Did He believe that by His death on the Cross, everyone who believed, and has faith in Him, will be saved?"

How are we to understand what Jesus meant: "Repent ye, and believe the Gospel." Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent, and be baptized."

Did Jesus believe that any person who was living in His time could be saved? Jesus Christ the Son of God spoke to thousands of people in his 3 ½ year ministry on earth. The Son of God Jesus Christ preached the gospel daily! How many were born again during those 3 ½ years?

Footnote:

  • "Believe." 4100. (strongs) Pistis: Being persuaded, faith, belief. Implies such a knowledge of, assent to, and confidence in certain divine truths.


For any of us who spend so much time preaching and teaching and studying, we seem to be at risk requiring so much biblical teaching. The difficulty I believe we have in our preaching is to preach the whole truth in fair proportion, or in balance. There is a tendency to exaggerate one doctrine over another, to push one point of doctrine at the expense of another and giving one thought undue prominence over another one.

Each of us have a viewpoint that we believe is correct, and from that point of view we view all other points of view. I am learning that we need to rightly understand the Word in all matters of its teaching in balance.

In one area that there is such a different point of view is in the work of Christ for us, and the operation of the Holy Spirit in us.

Justification by faith is a matter about which there must be no ambivalence, much less distortion. Yet we must stand firm that regeneration is necessary for every person that shall enter into heaven.

Scripture says clearly: "Ye must be born again."That is a clear gospel statement. Also scripture clearly points out: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." But I fear that some have preached this so boldly and so plainly, yet so badly and so out of all connection with the truth.

So much has this doctrine been taught out of connection with the whole truth, that they have lead many people into presumptuous confidences that their understanding of the regeneration is that of themselves and not of Christ alone.

I have heard the gospel in these terms, "Believe, believe, believe." And they don’t explain what it is to believe, and then they will put the whole stress of salvation upon FAITH without explaining what salvation is, and showing that it means deliverance from the power as well as from the guilt of sin. They so want to see people saved, that they badly explain the necessary means of salvation as Scripture points us to. We all have seen the results of such teaching. So few of those who fall under this kind of teaching about salvation, are seen in such a short time, fallen away from the very deliverance that salvation was to bring to them.

YET THERE IS THE OTHER EXTREME POSITION. We are most certain that a man must be made a new creature in Christ Jesus, or he is not saved. And too often this position of truth is forever dwelling upon the great change of conversion, and its fruits, and its consequences, and they seem to also forget what the Scripture plainly teaches that "whosoever believeth on Christ Jesus hath everlasting life." Here the danger is to set up so high a standard of experience, and to be so exacting as to the marks and signs of a true born again child of Christ.

So here are two points: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Just have faith in Christ and you shall be saved." A very simple gospel message. And some have concluded that those who simply believe by faith that they are saved, when they are not, having believed they believed when as yet they are total strangers to the experience which always attends true faith.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant