How to Determine If One Is a Christian

Paul Before Agrippa

When Paul was on trial before King Agrippa, he used the opportunity to preach the gospel (Acts 26:19-23). One of the apostle’s goals was to persuade the king to become a Christian. Agrippa recognized this because he stated, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28).

We are trying to do the same thing today that Paul was doing on that occasion – trying to persuade people to become a Christian. However, if we are going to persuade them to become a Christian, we need to know what a Christian is. Also, they need to understand what a Christian is before they can be persuaded to become one.

So how can we determine if one is a Christian? How can one determine if he/she is a Christian or not? We can consult the Scriptures to find an answer.Continue Reading

The Way (Part 3): Belonging To The Way

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2).

Persecution against the church began with the death of Stephen (Acts 8:1). Saul continued this persecution with a plan to go to Damascus to arrest disciples and bring them back to Jerusalem. The ones who were targeted for persecution were those who were “belonging to the Way.” We will discuss the idea of persecution in the next lesson.

However, before these individuals were targeted, they first had to belong to “the Way.” In this lesson, we are going to see what the Scriptures teach about “belonging to the Way” – how to become a part of this group and remain in it.Continue Reading

Public Confession of Sin

Two Men Praying

Often when a sermon is being concluded, the preacher will make an invitation that includes a call for Christians to make a public confession of sin. This is typically done for sins that are public in nature. Sometimes this is simply mentioned in passing. Other times a Bible passage will be cited, but often is not read or explained.

Because we hear this so often, this sort of public confession of sin is often assumed by brethren to be necessary without giving it much thought. But is it necessary? Is it authorized? Is it expedient? In this article, I would like for us to consider the practice of Christians publicly confessing sins.Continue Reading

Justified by Works

James 2:24

One of the topics James discussed in his letter was the connection between faith and works. Many people have difficulty understanding this subject. The reason is not really that it is difficult; rather, they have simply been taught differently from what the Bible teaches. James used the example of Abraham to show how we can be justified by works.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:21-24).

This is an important passage for us to understand – both for putting it into practice and also to be able to explain it to others.Continue Reading

Lost Believers

Man at Sunset

Some passages in the Bible are lifted out of context, isolated, oversimplified, and misinterpreted in order to make a point that is not at all what the passage is teaching. At times this may be done by sincere individuals, but that does not change the fact that they are not accurately representing what the Scriptures teach.

The following passage is a common example of one that is used to make a point that does not accurately represent what the Bible teaches:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Continue Reading

All the Way Down Romans Road (Season 7, Episode 8)

All the Way Down Romans Road (Season 7, Episode 8)

 
Play/Pause Episode
00:00 / 20:17
Rewind 30 Seconds
1X

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

All the Way Down Romans Road (Season 7, Episode 8)

“Romans Road” is a way of teaching the scheme of redemption by going through verses in the book of Romans. It is an invention of the denominational world and is used by many today. In this episode, we are going to examine this “Romans Road” – what it is, how it is useful, and how those who teach it do not go far enough.

Article: All the Way Down Romans Road

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.

God’s Provisions in the Plan of Salvation

Wedding Feast

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast”’” (Matthew 22:1-4).

Salvation is impossible without the Lord. Peter said, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus said that He is “the way” and that “no one comes to the Father but through [Him]” (John 14:6). As He explained in the parable above, He has made everything ready for us to be part of His kingdom and enjoy salvation (Matthew 22:4).

What has God done to make salvation ready for us? From before “the foundation of the world,” God “chose” to save us (Ephesians 1:4). This “eternal purpose [has been] carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). By sending Jesus to the earth, we can be “reconciled to God through [His] death” and “be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). We cannot earn salvation (cf. Luke 17:10). The reason is because “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Therefore, it was necessary for God to provide a plan by which we could be saved.

In His word, we can read about the plan the Lord has given for us to follow in order to be saved – hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized, and be faithful. In each of these steps, God has provided what is necessary for us to do what He requires of us. In this article, we are going to discuss these provisions that He has given in relation to the plan of salvation.
Continue Reading