Dry Run Baptist Church

Georgetown, KY

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‘Reborn Identity’

Ephesians 1:1-2

May 21, 2017

 

 

Good News of Great Joy

‘Good News of Great Joy’ by Pastor Rob Ginter

Luke 2:1-21

December 21, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

mainslide

‘Dying in your sin’ by Pastor Rob Ginter

John 8:21-30

August 7, 2016

‘We Can Live Without Sinning’

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FClaims

False Claims Nullified: ‘We Can Live Without Sinning’ (part 2)

1 John 1:8-9

By Pastor Rob Ginter

            I am not the person my grandma thinks I am. Wait…what? Yeah, you heard me. I, myself, am not as good of a person as my grandmother thinks I am. In her eyes, I’m still little a little kid with dimples and a bowl cut hairstyle, innocent and practically sinless…but I am not that person. I still fall short of the glory of God on a daily basis. If you were honest with yourself, you would say the same thing. Sadly, I break his law everyday, and so do you. (If you are unsure if you have sinned today, read Jesus’ summary of the Ten Commandments—including loving the Lord your God with all your heart—in Matthew 22). I have not loved the Lord my God consistently all day today. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, lets look at how John deals with people who make false claims of being sinless, and the truth that delivers us from that falsehood.

 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8–9)

 

John is dealing with false teachers in Ephesus, one of which must have claimed they were at a point in their life where they were without sin. This isn’t a forgotten teaching, as several denominations still make these claims today. John speaks to their situation. He declares that if we claim to be without sin, it doesn’t mean we are sinless, it means we are deceiving ourselves. In other words, we’re lying. John says ‘we,’ so he is clumping himself in with the people that he is writing to, in order to say that if you (or I) ever claim to be perfect, we are perfectly deceived. John’s emphasis in verse 8 is on how adamant these people are claiming to be without sin. They are really convinced (deceived) that they have obtained sinless perfection.

Sinfulness is easily detected in the lives of unbelievers, as is the deception that they are good and have no need of a savior. However, you might have to look a little deeper to find those things in the life of a Christian. Though I assure you, we are not immune to sin, and we are not immune to deception. Paul is transparent with us about his own sin in Romans 7:

[18] For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. [19] For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (Romans 7:18-19 ESV)

God saved him and changed his desires, but there were still times when he felt like he didn’t have the ability to carry out his God-given desires for holiness. If you have been a Christian even 10 minutes, you’ve found yourself in the same boat as Paul.

AW Pink points out that it is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it that distinguishes the child of God from empty professors. Notice how John delivers us from this deception in verse 9. John writes that, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So, only the deceived claim to be without sin. The only other person that would believe you to be sinless is likely your grandma. Just because someone may love us and refuse to believe anything bad about us, doesn’t mean that we actually are perfect.

Now that we’ve established everyone’s status of “sinner,” what do we do with our sins? Confess! The remedy to our sinfulness is confession. A definition of ‘confessing’ is that we agree with the truth. God knows that we sin, even as Christians. Nothing is hidden from Him, and even the lost world around us understands, to an extent, that we miss the mark. The answer to our sin problem is confessing our sins to a God who knows they are there and sent His son to die in our place for those sins.

So that brings up a good question: what should our lives look like as we walk with Jesus, if we are definitely not sinless but are still commanded to holiness? A clarification needs to be made: As Christians, Christ makes us holy, but it is not in the sense that we no longer sin. The progress of increasing in holiness in our lives is called progressive sanctification, and we see a clear example of this in Hebrews 10:14:

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14 ESV)

In one sense, this verse shows us that we have been perfected by Christ’s offering. In another sense, there is a continual process of being made holy that is happening to us (note: ‘sanctified’ here is a passive verb in the present continual tense, so it is something that happens to us over a continual process). Here’s what this means for us: proof that we have been saved by Christ is looking more like Him the longer we walk with him.

That’s what we must test inside ourselves, are we looking more like Jesus the longer we are with Jesus?

‘We Can Be Unholy Christians’

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False Claims Nullified: ‘We can be unholy Christians’ (part 1)

By Pastor Rob Ginter

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            If you hang around nursing home residents or ‘less young’ people even briefly, you’ll notice they don’t hide their opinions. When it comes to our more experienced and seasoned saints in the church, I suppose this could be good or bad, depending on whether their opinion is true or Biblical. Regardless, the deterioration of a speaking filter is a well-known side effect of aging. The older someone is, the quicker they get to the point, it seems. John the Apostle, who wrote the letter of 1 John when he was up in years, doesn’t waste time addressing his main point. Straight out of the gate, he discusses a topic that most shy away from in our day: whether or not someone who claims to be a Christian is actually a genuine Christian.

We are living in the aftermath of a time in American Culture when it was beneficial to claim Christianity. Although this mentality is deteriorating (much like the speaking filter of the aged), the majority of the United States still claims to be loosely affiliated with Christianity. But what does that even mean? Is a loose affiliation with Christ all we need to gain eternal life? This ‘loose’ affiliation is concerning now, but it was also a concern directly after the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, John writes his letter so that his readers can know they have eternal life (5:13). In other words, John doesn’t write his letter so that we can ‘hope’ that our affiliation will grant us eternal life…but that we can have assurance of salvation. Why? Because there is nothing more important than knowing where you will end up when you die. We can hope our stocks do well, our kids get scholarships, or that we finally get a raise at work… but knowing whether or not we will be in God’s presence or punished by Him forever is not something we want to have any margin for error. When we look at our own lives, or even the lives of others, we want to know if the claim of ‘Christian’ is true.

This is the tension we see in 1 John 1:5-2:2 and–in his own blunt (yet loving) style–John tests three claims that people are tempted to make.

False Claim #1   (v.6)

We can say ‘we have fellowship with God’ and not live a holy life.

John tests this claim that is all too common in our world. Most people claim a relationship with God. However John would tell us, ‘if we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth’ (v.6). This verse lets us know that claiming to be a Christian does not, in any way, make one a Christian. John goes further by saying that if you claim to have fellowship with God while you have a pattern of life not consistent with the God who is light (walk in darkness-v.5), you lie. If your mouth says you are Christian and your life says you are not a Christian, this passage tells us to believe your daily living instead of any claim you might make. Claims that have no action to back them up?…According to John, those claims would be FALSE.

So, if one ought to live a holy life in order to verify their claim of knowing God, this passage leads us to ask the question, ‘Where are all the holy Christians?’. Our country (and our social media newsfeeds) would look like a vastly different place if all the people that claimed to know God actually did.

Sadly, they don’t. The blanket that tucks them into bed at night is not knowing what God requires of their life. Ignorance is what covers them, lulling them to sleep. Similarly, people who go to sleep in a house with a carbon monoxide leak, don’t know it’s killing them.  May God give them the grace to know He demands they turn from their sin, believe in Christ, and live a holy life before him. Maybe this is your alarm clock to wake up and turn to Christ, avoiding a slow death in darkness. If so, it’s not safe to hit the snooze button.

It may be a good time to point out that John wrote this letter to encourage genuine Christians to know that they possess eternal life. Verse 6 tells us that claiming to know God is not enough but verse 7 gives us hope…

“But if walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

            John defines what a true Christian is: one who walks in the light as he is in the light. The term “Christian” is defined not just by our claims, but by our daily life. Moral purity or holiness is a trademark of true Christianity. If we are genuine Christians, this verse says two things that have to be true of us…

  1. We have fellowship with one another
  2. The Blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.

The mark of a genuine Christian is their fellowship around the truth of the gospel with other believers, who also walk in the light–as God is light. This reminds us of the importance of assembling together with other Christians in weekly gatherings. If we are walking in the light, we will have natural desires to be in fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

By living Holy lives, we prove we know a Holy God. If that statement rings true for us, we have a desire to gather with God’s people, and we have a savior in Jesus who has washed away any stain of sin in our lives. Experiencing or witnessing this transformation does not bring to mind a ‘loose affiliation.’ Instead, we are left with the image of a 100%, sold-out, deeply driven, passionate dedication to Christ and His Word that even the most unfiltered senior would attest to.

 

Seven tests for teaching

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Did you know Facebook is going to start charging users? Did you know Bill Gates is giving away his money to people who like and share his posts? Did you know they are giving away free tacos at the gullible store? That’s really not funny, because we know people that would at least google one of those statements. We also know those who would believe anything if it came from someone who stepped behind a pulpit. Carrying a Bible, having the title “Pastor so-and-so,” or being on television is not what makes someone a genuine Christian teacher. Others may hear this skepticism and tell you to lighten up or be more encouraging, but the Apostle John would tell you to do otherwise:

1.Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3. and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6.We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)

So how do you test the spirits? Do you meditate while sitting “criss-cross-applesauce?” There is nothing spooky or mystic about testing the spirits. The first command John gives us is to test every spirit, and the reason he tells us to do so is because ‘many false prophets have gone into the world’. In other words, every one who speaks is motivated by something: Either the Spirit of God or the spirit of the anti-Christ (v.3b). Therefore, the way we test spirits is by examining the message of the speaker. Does the content of the message agree with the Apostolic teaching found in scripture (v.3a)? Below are seven ways we can do just that (adapted from A.W Tozer’s book ‘Man, The Dwelling Place of God).

Seven Tests For Teaching (by A.W. Tozer)

1. How does the teaching affect my relationship with God? Is He magnified and glorified, or diminished?

2. How does the teaching affect my attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ? Does it magnify Him and give Him first place? Or, does it subtly shift my focus onto myself or some experience?

3. How does the teaching affect my attitude toward scripture? Did the teaching come from and agree with the Word? Does it increase my love for the Word?

4. How does the teaching affect my self-life? Does it feed self or crucify it? Does it feed pride or humility?

5. How does the teaching affect my relationships to other Christians? Does it cause me to withdraw, find fault, and exalt myself in superiority? Or, does it lead me to genuine love for all that truly know Christ?

6. How does the teaching affect my relationship to the world system? Does it lead me to pursue the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life? Does it lead me to pursue worldly riches, reputation, and pleasures? Or, does it crucify the world to me?

7. How does the teaching affect my attitude toward sin? Does it cause me to tolerate sin in my life or to turn from it and grow in holiness? Any teaching that makes holiness more acceptable and sin more intolerable is genuine.

John tells us this is vital to Christians, not only because teachers are going to be judged on whether they tell the truth, but also because the audience is going to be held accountable on whether or not they listen to the truth. Verse six says those born of God listen to John’s testimony.  In other words, those who are genuinely born of God will desire legitimate teaching, while those who are falsely converted will desire false teaching. Paul tells Timothy, “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV).

These false Christians won’t desire the truth, but will gravitate toward teachers that will tell them what they want to hear. The truth of God’s Word tests us all. If we are a teacher, it tests whether or not what we say is true. If we are not a teacher, it tests whether we desire God’s truth, even if it disagrees with our lifestyle and brings forth the need to repent.

The power to overcome false teaching is found in verse four. John tells his readers that ‘He’ who is in them is greater than he who is in the world. This verse has been dragged–kicking and screaming–out of context and applied to every carnal pursuit we want to put it in. We can now win basketball games and get good grades in school simply because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. Right? Not so. John tells us this: we are from God and have overcome them (the false teachers) because of Him (the Holy Spirit) who is in us. We have the power to overcome false teachers–and their wives with pink hair–on TBN because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us. Praise God! The Holy Spirit is the power to overcome, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV)

You wouldn’t want the water coming out of the faucets in your home not to be treated at the plant. In the same way, you don’t want the teaching coming out of the pulpits in your church unfiltered by scripture. Be sure to filter the teaching you hear and read. Do not believe every spirit, but test it to see whether it’s from God. If you filter what you hear and read–by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit–it won’t make you sick, but will instead refresh your soul.

(This was adapted from our Wednesday night bible study on 1 John 4:1-6 at Dry Run Baptist Church. We have dinner on Wednesday nights at 6 pm and Bible Study at 7 pm. Join us at 2109 Cincinnati Road, Georgetown KY)

Ten signs that you love the world

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“Ten signs that you love the world”

Note: This is a summary of commentary from R. Kent Hughes and was given at our Wednesday night bible study on 1 John 2:15-17. We walk verse by verse through 1 John every Wednesday, at 7 pm, at Dry Run Baptist Church-Georgetown, Kentucky.

1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)

[15] Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

The ‘world’ that John warns us not to love, is not the people on earth (Notice John 3:16 where God loves the world). The ‘world’ is referring to our fallen humanity’s organized system, and it’s principles and practices, such as culture and attitudes. This is not saying that Christians might fall into worldliness for a time and slip into sin. It is saying that, if your whole life is constantly defined by this world’s systems and practices, you cannot possibly have the love of God in you, and are—by very definition—not a child of His. To put it plainly, genuine Christians are those who do not chase whole-heartedly after everything that this world has to offer.

What follows are 10 convicting statements to consider when checking our own hearts to see if we are genuine Christians. Also, these are ten ways that we—as Christians—need to stop loving the world.

1. When the world (or any object in it) engrosses our thoughts to such a degree that it excludes serious reflection on the things of God, we love the world.

2. When the world is our constant associate, the last companion of our thoughts at night, and the first when we awaken in the morning, we love the world.

3. When the things of the world engross most of our conversation, we love the world.

4. If we are unwilling to part with worldly possessions when need be, or give anything up to God’s purposes, we love the world.

5. When we are discontent with our portion of the world’s goods, it proclaims—criminally—that we love the world.

6. If we are secretly grieving, because we are not blessed with every earthly convenience or delight that others possess, we love the world.

7. If we are not entirely willing that God should govern His own world and distribute His own gifts, as He pleases and to whom He pleases, we love the world.

8. If we pursue the world’s systems with greater zeal, and enjoy it with higher relish, than we do serving God and enjoying His favor, we love the world.

9. If we pride ourselves in earthly distinctions, expecting great deference and resenting the least slight from others, we love the world.

10. When we seek to acquire or retain its objects in a wrongful manner or by unwarrantable means, we love the world.