Fighting the Sin Beast: Part 1

Welcome back to my blog and thank you for visiting. I hope the blogs are helpful to you in your Christian knowledge and walk.

How should a believer deal with sin? This is a big question and plagues each of us some time in our lives. To develop a proper perspective of sin, based in scripture, is important to our mental health and relationship with God.

The last several weeks we dealt with guilt and that the New Testament doesn’t provide a provision for this emotion in the believer. Therefore, don’t do it!

However, sin is a different issue and how do we handle it? Teleios just completed a multiple-choice survey on two Instagram sites frequented by teenagers and millennials, one evangelical (godsholyscriptures) and one Catholic (catholic_teen_posts). We asked participants about handling sin in their lives. Over the next two weeks we will examine their responses as a group, and then we will divide them out between Catholic and Protestant evangelicals.

We had 516 participants of whom 61% were less than 18, and 32% were between 19-30 years. Two-thirds indicated they were evangelical and almost 50% Catholic.

Almost half stated they would go to heaven because Christ had forgiven them for their sins through faith, whereas 21% said they would go to heaven based on good works or sacraments from the church. Another 20% were unsure.

Further, 30% believed they were secure in their salvation because of Christ’s sufficient sacrifice on the cross, whereas almost 50% said they had to make Jesus Lord of their life to maintain salvation. In contrast, 20-25% indicated, for each of the following choices, they could lose their salvation by: not following scripture, or committing the unpardonable sin, a heinous sin, or the same sin too many times.

However, 57% stated there was no sin that Christ’s gracious sacrifice on the cross could not cover.

How did respondents handle sin? Most commonly:

  • 90% asked for forgiveness
  • 45% indicated they would recognize the sin and be obedient
  • 37% would ask for absolution from a priest
  • 47% would feel guilty

However, 54% recognized that sin did not block their prayers to God although almost 2/3 recognized it could negatively affect how they pray.

The participants properly identified the biblical elements of a Christian life including: prayer, praise, fellowship, Bible study and reachout (approximately 70-80% for each answer). However, important minorities thought that:

  • They should follow the rules and sacraments of the church – 67%
  • They should obey the pope – 37%
  • They should feel guilty – 30%
  • They worry about their salvation – 20%

What can we learn from the above information?

The good news is that many young Christians believe that salvation is by grace. They’re secure in their salvation and are attempting to be obedient in their Christian lives. Teleios has shown in past surveys that such a Christian has better wellbeing and serves more in their community and church than those who do not adhere to biblical beliefs.

Nonetheless, the survey also demonstrates some confusion in terms of the knowledge of salvation, eternal security and how to handle sin. Indeed, this data points to the need of capable teachers to instruct the next generation, especially regarding the elements of the gospel, the meaning of Christ’s precious sacrifice, believers’ secure position before God, and dealing with sin following salvation.

We should think in a healthy and true fashion, realizing the benefits of scripture, by knowing accurately what the Bible teaches.

Next week we will look at how to biblically handle sin; seeking more specifics of how to better walk with Christ. Please join us then.

Full results of the survey are here.

Feeling Guilty? Stop it!

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for visiting. I hope you find the information in these blogs useful.

As we discussed last week, Christians feel guilty almost routinely. It is an important affliction that affects our lives and our view of God. Last week we examined the problem. Today let us discover the solution.

What is the biblical response to feelings of guilt?

Guilt is not required – For a true believer who is saved by grace alone the answer is simple ‘Don’t.’ Why is this? Let’s take it to the source, the Bible.

The Bible does not teach guilt for the believer. I find no scripture in the New Testament epistles, the part of the biblical text that provides us guidance in our Christian lives, to feel guilty for acts of sin or any other reason.

As an example, I’ve been fortunate to have studied the Bible in Greek (the original language of the New Testament) for over 25 years and realized several years ago I did not even know the Greek word for ‘guilt’! Since I used this example several times, I ended up memorizing the word (ἔνοχος, enochos). However, my loving wife, noted that, in the few times the word is used in the New Testament, it is not done so in the way that Christians use it, as their response to sin.

Christians are forgiven by Christ’s gracious sacrifice for us by faith; His offering was fully sufficient to cover all our sins. It is given to us as a free gift. Guilt is not part of the package (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23-26).

God wants our obedience – This is the New Testament response to sin, is simply to obey and become the worthy servant that God wants us to be. In this way we can get good things done such as spreading the gospel and serving others, while not being self-focused, tied up in knots over insecurity of salvation, wondering about our relationship with God, and burdened by our guilt (Romans 6:12, 6:16, 12:1).

So if you feel guilty, what steps should you take?

  • Make sure you are a believer – (1 Peter 1:10) Otherwise, assure that you recognize your glorious salvation is based completely on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross by faith alone and not mixed with works. There is nothing that you can do to help God save or keep you. He does it all!
  • Realize you are secure – God provides protections, both legal and morphologic, by declaring us righteous, adopted, sealed by the Spirit until Christ’s coming, and changed irreversibly into a new person. (Ephesians 1:4-5, 1:13; 2:8-9; Romans 3:23-26; 6:2-9; Hebrews 6:1-8).
  • We are forgiven – Certainly, in our precious relationship with God it makes sense to recognize our day-to-day sin with regret. However, we must realize with God that those sins graciously are forgiven already by Christ’s sacrifice.
  • Access – We have bold access to God! Our only limitation is ourselves by sin that would keep us from approaching God or hindering our prayers (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-22)
  • Realize the truth about guilt – The Bible doesn’t tell us to feel guilty but it tells us to have joy and peace.

I hope this information helps. As my wife and I often say about our Christian life, ‘We should live by facts (i.e., the Bible) and not emotions.’ Believe scripture, and not your emotions that you or others place on yourself. God is great and gives us such wonderful biblical wisdom to enrich our lives.

Thanks again for visiting this blog. I look forward to having you back next week.

Why Christians feel guilty?

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you find the information in these blogs useful.

Christians feel guilty, seemingly almost routinely. Guilt is practically accepted as a part of the Christian life. Should we feel guilty and why? If not, how do we stop? Let’s spend several weeks talking about guilt. It is worth it as it is an important affliction that affects our lives and our view of God.

How common is it? Teleios surveys have shown that approximately 70% of evangelical Christians feel some level of guilt. Indeed, in almost all the Bible studies my dear wife, Jeanette, and I have been privileged to teach, the students almost all suffered  from guilt. Our studies have indicated that, fortunately, it appears to be mild  and so usually it can be controlled.

Why do Christians feel guilty? Well we do not know exactly. Teleios has examined this question among evangelicals on three levels (full report http://stage.teleiosresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Guilt-and-wellbeing-data.pdf):

·    A person is not a believer (5%) – This was a very small percent, but recognizes that there are people within the church community that really do not understand salvation by grace and the Spirit is probably convicting them (John 16:8-11). In this case, the guilt is appropriate and perhaps will lead to their salvation.

·    Fear of effect of sin (28%) – In this instance the Christian knew they were saved by grace, but they had some sin, past or present, that would cause God to retract their salvation. We have written in this blog many times about the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice to cover all sins. For a Christian, saved by grace alone, all sins are forgiven (Ephesians 1:4-5,13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23-26; Romans 6:2-9; Hebrews 6:1-8).

·    Fear of God’s displeasure (41%) – The greatest percent were those who knew they were saved and secure yet somehow felt some sin, or lack of good work, would cause God to reject them, producing the guilt. This idea is also unbiblical in that we have direct access to God through the ripped veil based on Christ’s sacrifice (Hebrews 10:19-22).

For the third most common type of guilt (God’s displeasure), what are the triggers
that cause it? I do not know precisely, but here are some suggestions:

·    Lack of knowledge of God’s word – This is key! If we don’t know God’s word then we are left defenseless in determining if we hear or read something that suggests we are sinning. So not knowing, the nagging doubt if we are wrong, leads to guilt.

·    Not meeting others’ expectations – Family, friends and even pastors may have expectations for us, that even may be dressed up in Christian jargon, that can produce guilt if we do not meet them. This issue relates directly to the first point in that if you do not know the Bible then you cannot determine if their expectations are correct. Several years ago, I was having coffee with a very fine, evangelical pastor and we were discussing guilt. He thought guilt was useful as a motivating factor! He was surprised when I said it was not biblical, but ultimately agreed.

·    Self-expectations – Again, this is related to the first point that we may place burdens on ourselves which we fail to meet, but may not be biblical.

·    Wrong response to sin – Even if we know that we are in sin, we may not respond to that sin in a biblical way. Our response may be based on social Christian tradition or expectations, such as priestly or work-based absolution, re-dedication or re-baptism, or pleading for forgiveness from God. These efforts may resolve immediate guilt but are not biblical and would not solve most likely a long-term guilt problem.

Thanks for joining my blog today. Next week we’ll deal with the guilt issue regarding a Biblical response. Join us then.

WC Stewart
http://teleiosresearch.com/

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Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

We have a great response for our society!

In our last blog we discussed how a Christian, fearful about sharing the gospel, should correct their thinking beginning with the awareness that even though they are correct the opposition, who hate God, will try to silence them.

Today we continue this important discussion by examining what the secularist, statist offers in contrast to Christianity and how we should respond.

Secular society offers a godless, globalist government to replace the living God and Christ. This replacement god has the following characteristics:

·    It promotes people and institutions which destroy Christianity in the culture, e.g., in education, marriage, and the US constitution. 

·    Destroying Christianity clears society of burdensome obstructions for its own rule.

o   Consequently, it becomes against the law to speak about Christianity or against government principles.

·    The government becomes the replacement god.

o   Even as unbelievers scoff at weak Christians for needing to depend on God, they themselves, in great faith, seek a powerful government to be their god in the hopes of having their desires met.

·    A secularist, statist government operates in a dark world of suppression preventing you from meeting your dreams and goals, finding love, expressing your Christianity or your ideas.

o   Each person, instead of being embraced by their family, their community or church is tethered directly to the state for employment, a place to live, family and education.

o   Extreme examples, at the end of the statist totalitarian process, are North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela where the people are reduced to nothing and have nothing.

o   A more realistic, near-term example is modern Europe which is a model for the for globalist and statist state in the US. In much of Europe the government:

§  Actively suppresses individual thought, including: Christianity, freedom of speech, education and expression.

§  Actively suppresses individual achievement through high taxes so individualism, savings, entrepreneurship and advancement is difficult. Job creation comes through the government or large government supported industry.

§  Consequently, people seek to blend in, not to stand out in their job, by their opinions and often avoid marrying and having children. They accept what the government offers, even in the face of grave dangers to society such as rampant Islamatization, crime and the illegal migration.

Don’t fall for the statist religion! Now is the time to stand and express the things we have and how good they are. How can we do this simply?

·    Realize that you are right and should not be shy about your faith.

·    Learn basic facts about the benefit of our faith, from our website (www.teleiosresearch.com) or other locations. Learn to express the gospel! It is written at the bottom of this blog.

·    Discuss with your friends that the scriptures are true and good for people in contrast to what secular society offers. This will have the advantage of encouraging them and allowing you to learn to articulate your beliefs.

·    Discuss with unbelieving friends and colleagues the benefits of your faith.  Listen to their responses. If they cannot respond an open a reasonable way, move on to those who can. This will give you practice and perhaps some will come to faith in though Jesus Christ as Savior.

·    Teach your children and other young people our Christian heritage, history and the benefits of a Christian society.

·    Teach others and your children the Bible.

·    Write to ask your elected officials to protect our freedoms and Christianity; Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.

God’s victory is at the end of the world and the ultimate war has been won! But until that final victory, we face battles which can be lost. Historically there are places where Christianity all but disappeared in name or practice due to despotic regimes. Don’t let that happen here! Fight and pray in faith for what is right and good, for your future and your children’s.

That’s all for today, Thank you for joining me.

Gospel – Do you know salvation is a gift from God?
How to become a Christian:
· Each person has done misdeeds (sin) that deserve punishment from a perfect and just God.
· However, God being loving, sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins on the cross to take the punishment we deserve.
· Consequently, when we simply accept, through faith alone, the forgiveness that Christ provided by his death and resurrection, we receive a permanent relationship with God and eternal life!
(Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 3:21-26).

WC Stewart

Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christians are correct in their worldview for sure!

Over the past several weeks we’ve discussed a recent Teleios survey regarding attitudes among young Christians in sharing the gospel and found that they often were fearful in the face of society and chose to use other measures to express their faith as opposed to explicitly sharing the plan of salvation.

Christians are often taught not to offend people with their faith and when we do share we’re told that we are judgmental and how can we say that our way is the only true way to God. Consequently, we frequently may feel good about our faith in church, but bad before unbelievers and society.

However, the Good News we offer is right and good for the listener. Stand firm and be proud of what you believe. Why is that?

Here are several points to consider:

·       God’s Word and Christ are true and the Bible says it (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:16John 1:14,17).

·       Teleios surveys show that young Christians overwhelmingly support this fact (>90%) so you are in good company.

·       Teleios Research as well as other medical research has shown that Christians generally have better wellbeing than non-Christians.

·       Eternal security – The Bible provides us a way to salvation, a great hope and eternal security. Teleios Research shows believing in eternal security also helps wellbeing.

·       Adherence to the Christian lifestyle principles (prayer, praise, fellowship, Bible study, outreach) provides even better wellbeing.

·       Following individual Christian principles helps wellbeing such as: forgiveness, hope, thankfulness.

·       Christians serve and give more (than unbelievers) to society which contributes further to good wellbeing.

·       Society – Our society is based on Christian principles which provide a basis for fairness and justice not generally seen in historically non-Christian countries. Just read 1 Peter or 1 Timothy to get an idea of the roughness and violence of the Greco-Roman culture into which Christianity was brought and ultimately tamed.

·       The Bible provides for us a robust formula for a successful life and helping others and society.

In contrast, what does secular society and their institutions believe? Their beliefs have been clarified over the past few years:

·       They hate God and they hate Christians.

·       They want to shut up believers and take Christianity out of the public square using: intimidation, violence, and name calling.

·       They hate the institutions that built our society because they are Christian:

o   They started with education, marriage and sex gender roles in the past generation and more recently have attacked gender itself. Now they minimize our glorious history starting with memorials, the founding fathers and soon it will be their words, with the goal of destroying the constitution itself including voting and property rights, and the freedom of self-expression.

o   Then, without a basis of government, Christians will be at the mercy of a secular, despotic, globalist, one-world state.  This currently comes mostly under the mask of climate issues and racism.

What does the statist, globalist, humanist communist offer society in return? We will discuss this next week as well as a Christian response. Please join us then. We have a great and powerful God who preserves us to salvation and helps us in our time on earth.

Visit the Teleios website for further research showing the benefit of Christianity in our lives http://teleiosresearch.com/.  

WC Stewart


Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

How to share the gospel and not be a social pariah!

As part of our Christian walk we have the privilege to participate in God’s plan for other people’s lives, which, depending on the situation, includes sharing the gospel.

Teleios recently evaluated attitudes in sharing the gospel in young Christians by surveying visitors on Instagram accounts SpiritualWord (n=100) and GodsHolyScriptures (n=357). The complete results are at http://stage.teleiosresearch.com/index.php/spreading-the-gospel-survey/

The results showed that these young Christians recognized the need to share their faith. However, many feared sharing the gospel generally, mostly because of social awkwardness, not knowing what to say, how to answer questions, and the contents of the Gospel itself.

In fact, verbally expressing the gospel to others was their fifth favorite way to share the plan of salvation (7%) whereas lifestyle, encouragement, praying and loving others were the preferred choices.

How then do we share the gospel without necessarily being a social outcast? This may not be easy to avoid always because Christ says that “they will hate us as they hated Him” (John 15:18-25). However, here are some tips that might help.

Mental preparation

Great message – Remember the Bible is true and good for anyone who hears it (please see our website for scientific proof http://teleiosresearch.com/). What the world has to offer as a replacement god, for example humanism, statism, and atheism is hateful, bigoted, anti-freedom and very dark.

Don’t be legalistic – Do not tell people the plan of salvation through guilt producing legalistic schemes. We have a great message which we can tell others with joy.

Don’t feel guilty – The epistles tell us to be obedient (just do it!) and does not mention guilt. We have the joy to tell others about salvation. It is the hearer’s responsibility to accept God’s message. Further, it is God Himself, not us by our efforts, who brings people to faith (John 6:44; John 16:8-11)

Learn the gospel – It is short and easy (Please see bottom of page).

Preparation to share

Plan – Most of us are too busy to remember this share the gospel. Therefore, think ahead of time about who might be responsive and plan an approach to tell them about salvation. I usually allow about 6-12 months to accomplish this goal.

Prepare the conversation – If you haven’t already, take time to get to know the person with whom you wish to share the gospel. People generally like to speak about themselves. They want to know that you like and respect them. This means first listening to them about their life. Then ask questions about things that are important to them. Listen!

Bring God into the discussion – Over time, hen begin to ask how they were raised religiously, about church background, and what they think about God. Ultimately, you can ask them what they perceive their church teaches about Christ and what they believe about Christ. Our Savior is the key issue!

At this point, you know what they think and their needs. You can then tailor-make your message to meet their needs. It can be as simple as after they tell you their beliefs about Christ, you can say ‘this is what scripture says is His message’, then simply tell them the plan of salvation.

Tell them the gospel – Be direct and do not be confusing. The gospel message is simple so be succinct. It ultimately requires a ‘yes/no’ response or ‘I’m thinking about it.’ Often, I will use the offer of a 4-week Bible study to discuss the claims of Christ and let them see it for themselves.

Follow-up – If the person with whom you are sharing accepts Christ as Savior, then follow up with them in a Bible study (such as in the book of Ephesians) or refer them to your church or somebody who can teach them. Make sure they have fellowship. Remember, it is God who causes a new believer to stand and it is not our work (Romans 14:4). So be responsible but don’t be personally responsible.

If they say no or if they’re thinking about it, then follow up with them over weeks or months and ask them what they’re thinking.

It’s a privilege to share the gospel and be a part of God’s plan in people’s lives, and to see its power to change lives!

Thank you for visiting my blog; today please come back again next week.

WC Stewart


Do you know salvation is a gift from God?’
How to become a Christian:
· Each person has done misdeeds (sin) that deserve punishment from a perfect and just God.
· However, God being loving, sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins on the cross to take the punishment we deserve.
· Consequently, when we simply accept, through faith alone, the forgiveness that Christ provided by his death and resurrection, we receive a permanent relationship with God and eternal life!
(Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 3:21-26).

Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fear sharing the Gospel? You are not alone!

As part of our Christian walk we have the privilege of being a part of God’s plan for other people’s lives, which, depending on the situation, includes sharing the gospel. Teleios  recently evaluated midlife evangelicals in a well-taught Bible-believing church in the Midwest and their attitudes in telling others the plan of salvation.

We found that there was widespread hesitancy to share the gospel mostly because of social fear, not knowing what to say, nor answer objections. These church members opted for other perceived avenues to share the gospel such as lifestyle and invitations to church as opposed to explicitly stating the plan of salvation.

Teleios evaluated the same type of questions in young Christians by surveying visitors to the Instagram accounts SpiritualWord (n=100) and GodsHolyScriptures (n=357). There were 457 total participants of whom about 2/3 each < 18 years of age, protestant and evangelical.

The results showed that young Christians recognize the need to share their faith with most doing so about once/year or once/month (62%) although some never tell others (17%). They indicated on average less fear in sharing the gospel (80%) or any aspect of their faith (53%) than their elders in the prior survey. However, they also seemed to have high levels of guilt for not sharing the gospel (96%) and thought they should tell others more (98%).

Like their older counterparts those who feared sharing the gospel generally did so because of social awkwardness, as well as not knowing what to say, how to answer questions and the contents of the Gospel itself. In fact, verbally expressing the gospel to others was their fifth favorite way to share the plan of salvation (7%) whereas lifestyle, encouragement, praying and loving others were the preferred choices.

Importantly, almost all our participants (>90%) indicated the Bible is inerrant and true.

The results of the survey are encouraging because it demonstrates there exists a young population of ardent evangelicals that believe the Bible is true and that the gospel should be shared.

However, like their elders, young Christians have inhibitions in expressing the gospel and do not know its contents. The survey participants may be unfamiliar that scripture says for people to believe they explicitly must hear the gospel message (Romans 10:14-17). Otherwise, people are unable to interpret our love and lifestyle as knowing how to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. It takes a succinct verbal expression of the gospel for people to understand and believe (please see bottom of the page).

To the participants point, however, our lives must be framed in godliness (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12) to be an effective witness for Christ. But that life would be wasted if we cannot teach others how to become Christians.

For example, if your teacher stood before class and said nothing while living a good quiet life and then handed out a test, and you failed because you didn’t know the information, you might be furious because she failed to teach you. Same with the gospel, our lifestyle just doesn’t teach what God intended and we need to say it.

Another vital point from the survey, believers saved by grace through Christ should not feel guilt. Those forgiven have no reason for guilt and there is no injunction in the Bible to suffer with it.

At Teleios we believe the Bible is true instruction to salvation and healthy lives. What we offer to society is correct and true. In contrast, what the world offers through globalism, humanism, communism, identity and statist politics cannot match the glory and the benefits from of our blessed Savior. We should not recoil from the world but realize what we have is good for our family, friends and society.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Next week and we will discuss ways to share the gospel and avoid those awkward fearful emotions. Please join us then!

WC Stewart
Do you know salvation is a gift from God?’
How to become a Christian:
· Each person has done misdeeds (sin) that deserve punishment from a perfect and just God.
· However, God being loving, sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins on the cross to take the punishment we deserve.
· Consequently, when we simply accept, through faith alone, the forgiveness that Christ provided by his death and resurrection, we receive a permanent relationship with God and eternal life!
(Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 3:21-26).

Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Do you tithe?

Welcome back to my blog. I am glad you are here.

The topic of tithing to the church can be a difficult question. To investigate young believers’ beliefs’ over this fascinating issue we recently surveyed visitors to the Instagram account, DailyBibleVerses. In total, 548 persons completed the survey of whom 80% were female, 82% evangelical, and 85% were <40 years of age and 40% <18. How the participants tithed is described in Table 1.

Further, 82% said that missions or parachurch organizations could receive part of their tithe while 60% indicated material possessions or time could be part of their tithe. Table 2 addresses the participant’s biblical basis of their tithing.

Tithing is a concept introduced in the Old Testament law and refers to 10% of gains in crops and herds be given to the use of God (Numbers 18:24-28 and Deuteronomy 12:6-12, 14:22-28). One prior mention of tithing stretches back to Abraham’s tithe to King Melchizedek after his great victory over the Mesopotamians (Genesis 14:20).

Tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament epistles for the church. Importantly, Christ said He is the end of the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4). Therefore, the law has been discontinued and does not govern the church; Christians do not have to follow it (Hebrews 7:12-22).

The New Testament does state (2 Corinthians 9:7); however, everyone should choose to give to God’s work, without sorrow, because God loves those who give joyfully!  The Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:8) provides us an example when he states that he counts all things loss for Christ. Importantly, everything we do as Christians is done by faith, including the extent and manner of giving (Romans 14:23).

Many who adhere to Reformed Theology believe the church was mysteriously present in the Old Testament and so we must obey the law, including tithing. However, no one obeys all the law, so its practical application is selective and inconsistent. If the church was present in the Old Testament it is not mentioned specifically, it existed spiritually and here was certainly not a church structure that required a tithe.

In summary, tithing is based in the Old Testament law which New Testament believers are not required to obey because they follow Christ. In contrast, we have the opportunity to serve Christ with all our mental and physical possessions, in faith, as guided by the New Testament and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

Thanks for visiting and see you again next week.

WC Stewart

Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Our duties towards the Spirit

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for visiting today.

Teleios recently surveyed the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives in 475 young participants in visitors to the Instagram account, InstaPray. All the findings, as well as other exciting Teleios research, are on our website (www.teleiosresearch.com).

The Holy Spirit is a very important yet controversial topic. However, there is often a general lack of knowledge of what scripture teaches about the Spirit. We are covering these pertinent topics.

I generally breakdown the Bible’s handling of the Spirit for the New Testament church into three basic realms:

·       The Spirit’s work in salvation

·       The Spirit’s role in our Christian walk

·       The Christian’s duties to the Spirit

This week let us cover the last point, our duties to the Spirit. What our survey participants thought is in the below table.
What the Bible says:

Our actions towards the Spirit are nicely divided into two subcategories, what to do and what not to do. According to scripture, the Spirit dwells in us permanently from the time we believe unto the day of our redemption (Ephesians1:13-14) and we have full use of the Spirit’s power available to us throughout our lives.

Ø  What not to do!

·       Grieve the Spirit (Ephesians4:30)

·       Suppress the Spirit (1Thessalonians 5:19)

These verses do not explain how not to grieve or suppress the Spirit, but we might assume it’s related to sin that would make the Spirit sad, or suppress His actions in our lives, because we are seeking our own desires.

Ø  What to do! – These amazing verses are mostly related to our seeking God and being obedient. Again, scripture does not tell us the specifics, giving us great freedom to live our lives in faith.

·       Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25) – The word ‘walk’ (peripateoo, περιπατεω) indicates our manner of life, especially in the moral realm.

·       Be mature in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) – The illustration in this great verse is not to be drunk. Alcohol literally can control brain cells by its chemical effect. In contrast, for mature Christians, their old actions are no longer possible as they have been changed by the Spirit.

·       Be zealous towards the Spirit (Romans 12:10)

·       Put to death the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13) – Last week we learned the Spirit helps us defeat sin but this verse also indicates that it is by our initiation towards obedience that we facilitate the Spirit’s gracious help.

Note: Do not commit the unforgivable sin by blaspheming the Spirit (Matthew12:31-32) – Importantly, this verse often is taken out of context. In this passage Christ is directing His wrath towards the Jewish Pharisees. At Christ’s baptism, at the initiation of his ministry, the Pharisees had rejected the witness given by the Holy Spirit when He came down from heaven on our Savior.

Therefore, to blaspheme the physical manifestation of Christ on earth is forgivable but to reject God’s approval (signified by the Spirit) of his spiritual mission to bring salvation to man is unforgivable, otherwise by rejecting the salvation message.

Importantly, Christians are not in view in this passage as we to have the Spirit’s sealing until the day of our redemption, having accepted Christ as Savior (Ephesians1:13,14 and 4:30).

Thank you for joining me today. Please join me again next week as we continue to explore fascinating results from Teleios’ research.


Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ways the Holy Spirit helps our Christian walk!

Welcome back to my blog. Thank you for visiting today.

Teleios recently surveyed the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives in 475 young participants in visitors to the Instagram account, InstaPray. Wow, we received some amazing answers! All the findings, as well as other research, are on our website (www.teleiosresearch.com).

The Holy Spirit is a very important, yet controversial and often emotional, topic. However, often people generally lack knowledge of what scripture teaches about the Spirit. We are covering some pertinent topics over the Spirit, examining what scripture alone says.

I generally breakdown scriptures handling of the Spirit for the New Testament into three basic realms:

·       The Spirit’s work in salvation

·       The Spirit’s role in our Christian walk

·       The Christian’s duties to the Spirit.

Today let’s examine the most common responses from our InstaPray participants regarding how the Spirit helps in our Christian walk (please see table).

What the Bible says: The scripture states that the Spirit plays a vital and active role in believers’ lives, and can divided into two basic types:

Constant rolesThe Spirit has several constant roles not dependent on us:

·       Points to Christ – The Spirit glorifies Christ, and gives and teaches us the information our Savior has given to him (John 16:13-14; 1 John 2:20,27)

·       Indwells us – Remember, we learned last week that the Spirit indwells us completely until the day of our redemption so we have full access to His power and help.

·       Prays for us (Romans 8:26) – This great truth indicates the Spirit prays on our behalf to God. What better source of prayer could we have?

Believer dependent rolesHowever, importantly there are roles for which the Spirit assists us that are variable and depend upon our obedience. Two passages are critical to understand the Spirit’s help for us, Romans 8:13-16,26 and Ephesians 6:10-17:


·       Stops sin (V.13) – As we are obedient the Spirit helps us put to death the deeds of the flesh.

·       Leads us (V.14) – Christians commonly believe this biblical concept but we should understand how He leads. In short, the Spirit use God’s word (please see below passage in Ephesians 6). Indeed, the Bible often tells us to be people of knowledge and understanding, for example in Paul’s prayers for us (Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9).

·       We are God’s children (V.16) – The Spirit comforts us that we belong to God and not to be anxious over our eternal security

Ephesians 6:10-17 – The magnificent armor of God passage is critical to understanding our Christian walk because it instructs us how to access God’s power by describing a Greek hoplite soldier and his armament. Often Christians wonder how they can know the power of God. These great verses describe it! However, it is also important in showing the role of the Spirit because His mighty actions are linked to each of the pieces of armor in other scripture.

·       Truth (our belt to prepare us V.14) – Living in truth is a fruit of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:9) and prepares our mind to making proper decisions and actions.

·       Righteousness (our breastplate V.14) – A fruit of the Spirit is a holy heart that is set apart to serve God and perceives and rejects sin (Ephesians 5:9)

·       Share the gospel (the shoes to carry us to battle V.15) – By telling others the message of salvation we see the power of God to change others and positively affect our society, which is assisted by the Spirit (Romans 1:16-17; 2 Timothy 1:7; John 16:8-11).

·       Faith (our shield V.16) – A fruit of the Spirit also is faith in which we make all decisions and God desires from us (Galatians 5:22,23; Romans 14:23).

·       Eternal security (our helmet V.17) – The sound knowledge of our security of salvation protects our heads as we face troubles in this world and its function is from the Spirit (Romans 15:13).

·       The Bible (our sword V.17) – The power of God we experience in our Christian walk is through the action of the Spirit in accordance to the Bible.

Wow what great truths! These passages tell us how the Spirit acts in our lives to cause us to please God and to experience His power.

Join us again next week as we describe what are our responsibilities are to the Spirit so He’s free to act in our lives as described above. Join us again then. Thank you for visiting this week.

WC Stewart

Response policy – The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.
Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.