Is your faith genuine? We all struggle. We all wrestle. We all doubt. That’s part of what it means to be fallen, but this produces real questions: Is the message regarding faith in Christ legitimate? If so, what is saving faith? How should we define it? And what about that bit about the demons believing? Jon and Justin seek to answer these questions from the Scripture and from the confessions.
On today’s episode, we have a special guest, David VanDrunen. We talk about the doctrine of Two Kingdoms and its implications. In short, we talk about Christianity and culture. What are Christians to be doing? What is the mission of the church? Are we to be ushering in the kingdom of God? We answer these questions and more.
There are so many unrealistic expectations heaped upon pastors and congregants in the popular church. And there hasn’t been much sound thinking on what really matters. Maybe you’ve experienced this? Maybe you’re exhausted? Confused? In this episode, the guys seek to make the main things of church life clear–in order to set us free for life in the body of Christ.
In this second of two episodes on Lordship Salvation, Jon and Justin seek to further clarify concerns about LS theology. These concerns include: (1) confusion about the order of salvation; (2) a redefinition of faith; (3) a collapsing of law and gospel; (4) confusion on the uses of the law; and (5) a confusion of the relationship between justification and sanctification.
Life in this fallen world is often hard. We struggle in our minds and hearts with any number of things. We fight against our own sin and are affected by the sin of others. In other words, the reasons for discouragement are many. Not surprisingly, we continually find ourselves in a battle against discouragement. If that is you, you are not alone. What can we say to these things? What hope is there in the struggle? Jon, Justin, and Jimmy discuss these things on today’s episode.
Listening to many preachers and teachers, it sounds like God, deep down, hates the world. Yes, he sent his Son to save sinners, but he does that only for his own glory–and even then, reluctantly. Jesus, too, really didn’t care for sinners. He came holding his nose and was really on earth to rebuke everyone. This presentation of God has produced a lot of fear, or perhaps even hatred of him. But, the question is, is this presentation biblical? Jon and Justin consider that on this episode.
Here’s a controversial statement: Faith never saved anybody. While that may sound shocking to many Christians, it’s true. Faith doesn’t save sinners; Jesus does. Faith is simply the means through which the merit and work of Christ are applied to us. Jon and Justin talk about the confusion that exists in the church today and how we tend to place our faith in things that don’t save.
Often in Scripture, the faithful falter. For example, Abraham is called “the man of faith” by Paul, and he is upheld as the model of justification by faith in all of the Bible. Yet, he sold his wife into defilement and adultery–twice. Or, consider the disciples. In the aftermath of Jesus’ death and resurrection, they are hiding together in a room, terrified. What do we make of these things?
What is the gospel? Rightly, many people point to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus–through which we are forgiven of sin, absolved of guilt, counted righteous, and promised to be raised from the dead. Praise God for that! But, there are parts of the gospel that tend to be left out or assumed. Jesus intercedes and advocates for us at the right hand of God. He has given us his Spirit. He reigns from the throne of God. And he is coming back for us. All of these things matter for our assurance and peace!
We have gotten a number of questions regarding Lordship Salvation and the historic, reformed position on it. So, today, that is what Jon and Justin talk about. We talk about concerns over the definition of faith, the collapsing of law and gospel, and confusion on the uses of the law. We interact with John MacArthur’s book, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” as well as Michael Horton’s “Christ the Lord.”
In the church, we care for souls. But what is it that we are doing in that work? It is our conviction that we are helping one another die well–with dignity and hope. That may sound like a strange thing to say, but we are convinced it’s biblical. In this life, we are weak and frail. We experience suffering and pain. Yet, Christ is our hope. And he has secured for us a life that is beyond this one.
How would you describe a strong Christian? If you were to make a list of what characterizes a mature Christian, what would you put on that list? At Theocast, we are convinced that many would not answer these questions the way the apostles would have. As we look to the New Testament, what does it say about those who are strong in the church?