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Can a True Christian Suffer from Mental Illness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 12, 2020 1:00 am

Can a True Christian Suffer from Mental Illness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 12, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 465 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. Is it true that, based on John 17:1–11, we are glorious because we are one with God. My understanding of "glorious" is worthy of high praise. I thought that only God was worthy of high praise. Is it correct to say we are glorious? 

2. I have been grappling for a long time with the fall of Adam and Eve who chose to eat the forbidden fruit which lead to sin and death. Did God, in his sovereignty, cause Adam and Eve to disobey him and commit the first sin? 

3. How does sin actually lead to death? 

4. Is mental illness a legitimate problem? Can Christians become mentally ill? Will God have mercy on those with mental illness? 


A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering by Michael Horton

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Does God extend extra mercy to those who suffer from mental illness. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi Bill Meyer, along with pastor Pedro Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question.

At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can email us with your question at questions at core, first step today in light of all the civil unrest in our nation. Recently we have a good news story to share with you what was originally planned as a protest march turned into a cookout with police officers and protesters having a meal together. It happened in Wichita, Kansas, where organizers of the protest met with police chief Gordon Ramsay for several hours in the meeting ended with an agreement for the cookout which took place at a city park, several Wichita police officers took part in the chief said the goal was to open communication and build trust between police and the communities they serve. The crowd at the cookout included people who were white, black and Hispanic in April. How is that for an encouraging story that this such an encouraging story were nothing enough of those stories that I know that they're happening all over the United States to me.

I've seen a few here and there, but it seems like they're not getting the attention they deserve, because it really is a beautiful thing. Sometimes the media doesn't like to report on most things, they'd rather, divide us and have people on either side of the issue, but how cold that both the protesters and the police chief were willing to to set aside their differences for a while and sit down, break bread together so really awesome let's go to our first question of the day and this one comes from Beth who writes I heard someone say that based on John 17 verses one through 11. We are glorious because we are one with God. My understanding of glorious is worthy of high praise and I thought that only God was worthy of high praise. Is it correct to say that we are glorious yeah hi Beth, it will.

There is an inherent dignity that we have as creatures made in the image of God. We might even say a glory that is property humanity were made in God's image and God is the glorious one as God's good creation we reflect something of our Creator, which is also good, but which has been tainted by the fall in salvation and as we look to Jesus Christ. We are being changed transformed by the glory of God, look at second Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18 Paul said we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from 1 of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the spirit does he think about really how amazing it is what the apostle Paul is talking about there. He sang look we fallen in sin under the old covenant. You know, we could not be saved.

Now he's talking about the ministry of the new covenant.

He says under the new covenant we all with unveiled face are looking at the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And that is transforming you and I from 1 of glory to another degree of glory were being made more and more into the image of Jesus to reflect his goodness is beauty, his glory another cyst principle in Scripture which is really important.

You become like what you worship there is this scholar and theologian GK Buell. He has an excellent book on this. Did you know that after the golden calf incident God referred to Israel as stiffnecked that they worshiped the golden calf there at the base of the mountain and cuts. As you know what you're just like that Your your stiffnecked someone hundred and 15 beginning in verse three.

Listen to what the text says about idolatry. It's is our God is in the heavens. He does all that he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold.

The work of human hands.

They have mouths, but do not speak eyes but do not see they have ears but do not hear noses, but do not smell they have hands but do not feel feet but do not walk and they do not make a sound in their throat and then listen to this. Those who make them become like them.

So to all who trust in them. The what if you worship false gods. You two are going to be blind, deaf and dumb you become like what you worship in today worship looks like for many people bowing down before money or sexual immorality or power. You might not have an idle figurine that you worship in your closet but you can still have idols that you put before God when we worship the true God.

We are transformed by his glory and that real transformation in us doesn't bring us praise, but it brings God praise. I once heard someone put it like this, you and I are trophies of God's grace God uses us to display his glory, and ultimately on the last day we will be fully transformed glorified in such a way that we will reflect the beauty and glory of God like never before. So, but I think that one of the one of the fears that people haven't when they talk about man being glorified, or God glorifying humanity through his son Jesus Christ is, what does that mean that working all the praise and all the honor no we don't use like the psalmist is not to us, the Lord, but to your name. Give the glory God working in us so that he might be praised. He might be glorified in his salvation of fallen sinners. I think that's how were supposed to look at it you know I drilling some churches so some denominations. The word glorification of glory is use a little bit differently in that when you manifest the Holy Spirit. Let's say through the gift of tongues. Then somehow you are glorified, and God's glory can be seen in you as a human being. How would you respond to that. Yeah well unite. I think we want to make sure that were not putting the attention on ourselves. That's not honoring to the Lord when we are doing something that takes the focus off of Jesus and puts it on us. Some show some performance that were doing and I think that sometimes you know we we can in Christian circles use the word glory in that where we can do things that bring glory to ourselves, even though were saying this is all about the Lord and we have to be careful with that glorification is a work of God. God is the glorious one and he transforms us from 1 of glory to another through the gospel of his son so that he gets all the praise and all the glory.

Not me, not you, not any of us great clarification.

Thank you for that. This is core Christianity and would love to hear from you. Our phone number if you'd like to call is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673.

You can also record your question first by going to court, Click the little microphone icon and record your question right there now, guiding light and can't stop thinking and grappling by a long time with a small and beginning guiding any evidence trail which started the dead guy not drinking kind at any of a hand and connect and quiet like that completely naturally. And God knew that thinking that they would end up sitting hey thanks for your call Melody. It was completely their choice. Now God knew it was going to happen and he allowed it, but he didn't force Adam and Eve to sin or anything like that before the fall, Adam and Eve were able to sin or able not to sit that when sin entered the world through their transgression, our nature, human nature became corrupted. This is what Paul can say in Ephesians chapter 2 verse three that we were at one time carrying out the desires of the body and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind in this fallen state in Adam we are able to sin and not able not to sin. Why, because whatever is not from faith is sin. Paul says in Romans chapter 14 verse 23 and so Adam and Eve were able to sin able not to sin. They had this choice. This freedom in Adam falling in Adam we are able to sin and not able not to sin, because were dead in our trespasses and sins. His balls and essay elsewhere in Ephesians. After an individual comes to Jesus. They been made alive by the work of the Holy Spirit. There able to sin. But now, through Christ their able not to sin should qualify that because no we never reach a point of of sinless perfection the side of heaven. But now, through Christ and by the spirit we can offer up to God works that are pleasing to the Lord through Jesus Christ and by faith on the final day when were glorified were gonna be on able to save the new creation given in others there is no sin.

And I know that were all looking forward to that day longing for that day. Now going back to Adam and Eve and and God's role in their fall. I think James one is really helpful here. James says let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. So you might be wondering why did God give them the option in the first place and the fact is we don't know but I think we can say this and I was just answering this question for my daughter yesterday. My wife calls me on the phone and she says Talitha that's that's my girl's name tell the has a question. Why did God create Satan if he knew he would become evil is the kinds of phone calls I get from my family during the day and that and I and access it will. God does not allow anything that he hasn't already determined how he's going to work out the St. Augustine that this great Christian theologian in the Western church. He put it like this Almighty God would in no wise permit evil to exist in his works. Unless you were so Almighty and so good as to produce good, even from evil. This is the point that Paul makes in Romans chapter 8 when he talks about all the suffering that God's people endure persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, and yet he's able to say there. In that context that God is able to cause all things to work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose and and again another great example of this is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and again you think about this horrible sin. These wicked people that crucified spotless Lamb of God and yet God is able to take that that event and turn it into the salvation of humanity, the salvation of sinners and so you know Melody, we don't always have clear answers to what why did God allow this or allow that were not entirely sure in terms of the specifics, but we do know this God who is allowed evil is also destined purpose to plan on conquering evil and he does through his son Jesus Christ and so we can trust that he's good that he knows what's best and that he's in control even in the midst of great evil. You know, a drill that leads us to another question which came in from Chris and by the way, if you'd like to email us with your question. You can write to us at questions at core,, and Chris says how does sin actually lead to death. Yet I think that's a really good question.

I think the text to go to multilayer right now is in Romans chapter 5, beginning in verse 12 is where Paul sets Adam and Jesus side-by-side talks about how their actions. What they did affects the rest of humanity. Listen to what Paul said in Romans chapter 5 verse 12 therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted. Where there is no law.

Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many in the free gift is not like the result of the one man sin for the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation of free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

The key there is at the very beginning in verse 12 it says all sinned that this phrase is been discussed in depth since the days of the early church was palming here all sinned by think the best interpretation is that all sinned in Adam that is to say that death spreads to all humanity through the original sin of Adam in the garden. Note again verse 15 but the free gift is not like the trespass or if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. Let me say something it is not a popular opinion outside of the church, but death is not a natural part of life. It isn't beautiful or normal.

It's the opposite of how God intended the world to be because death comes through sin. If God is the source of all life is life in himself than sin is falling away from God. It's a loss of life if you will positive very clearly little bit later in Romans.

In Romans chapter 6 verse 23 for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In other words, and this is directly to your question. Death is the divine payout for sin.

It's what our sins deserve our problem so often is that in our day. Today we have two low overview of God to low overview of our sins and too high of a view of ourselves. People will tell you that the problem today is that you don't love yourself enough.

Actually, I think we often do a pretty good job loving ourselves. Our problem is that we do not love God and when we love other things more than God. Death is waiting in the shadows. Now the good news and then this will Paul brings out in Romans chapter 5 is that in the same way that Adam's sin affects all of us the free gift of Jesus Christ comes through his righteous life. He is work on our behalf. The question for you is are you and Adam or are you in Jesus and if you are in Jesus, just like the death of Adam flow to you the life of Christ flows to you by faith freely on the basis of the gospel. Just an amazing promise, and that's what we build our lives on as followers of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for that federal and Chris, thank you so much for your question. This is core Christianity and would love to hear from you anytime you can call us 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 bedroom.

We are excited about an offer that we have for Lester's today yeah Bill, you know, one of the things that I've seen in my years now of ministry is the importance of having a good understanding of mental health and mental health issues in the church. You know we've gotten this wrong. A lot of times in Christian circles, and that's why were excited about this offer that we have. It's called the nine things everyone needs to know about depression. If you wrestle with depression or if you know someone who struggles to battles with depression is a great resource to get your hands on and it's free for you when you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Go to court, to download nine things everyone needs to know about depression and you can call us for that offers well 833-843-2673 speak of mental illness and relist of this question that came in from Clinton in Baltimore, an unbeliever, through no fault of their become mentally ill. In other words, an unbeliever, PO Box found mine yet, through no volition over there become mentally ill is mental illness a legitimate problem. Finally, will God have mercy on those who for some reason cannot think rationally on their iron either because of mental illness or because of something like Down syndrome's, while Clinton what an important question. I would just say yes to the questions that your you're asking is mental illness a legitimate problem. Yes, it is a legitimate problem can Christians become mentally ill. Yes. And will God have mercy on those with mental illness. Again, I would say yes. First, our brains are a part of our bodies. The fall has affected every part of us, including our minds in the same way that we can be diagnosed with cancer.

We can be diagnosed with a mental illness. Mental illness is a legitimate problem. Just like cancer is legitimate problem or diabetes is a legitimate problem and there's a degree of shame. I think that people feel who have mental illness that they don't need to have that they don't need to feel and I think the shame comes from others who question the legitimacy of mental illness in the church in particular that causes people to think maybe this is just my faults maybe I there something wrong with with me. I just can't handle these feelings or deal with these feelings of depression. Other people can and and their shame.

I think often associated with this, there should be.

We need to affirm that this is a real issue and that is an issue that Christians and even pastors can struggle with the many believers were shocked. I was shocked to hear the news of the death of Jared Wilson last year. He was a pastor with the beautiful family pastor mega church and a mental health advocate who had his own mental health battles.

He ended up committing suicide. The sad reality is that he was just one of so many others who battled with depression, if that's you, I would encourage you by saying one, don't be ashamed.

Jesus loves you you're not crazy or messed up your experiencing a part of what it is to live in a fallen world, and to reach out and not just to your pastor, although I think that that could be helpful to consider speaking with a professional counselor or a psychiatrist, a Christian counselor I I know that there are Christians were battling with mental mental illness with mental health issues, but they're afraid to get help because they think that if they do their being weak or that they're compromising in some way. I also know that there are a lot of people who don't know if if what they're experiencing is is something like clinical depression or anxiety, and they want to know but again there they're afraid to go and seek out helpful.

It's really important that you do because of professionals in a be able to help you determine whether or not this is more than just being of the sort of natural blues that we sometimes ask experience from time to time in our lives. As a result of circumstances are more things going on or something more clinical something that you that you might need extra help with their couple resources over core, and be such a big question here that I want to point you to some of the other resources we have.

There's an article over at our website you can get to core it's all six things you should know about faith and mental illness him he could read that just just a few minutes but I think it would give you some some helpful information and also that offer that we made for the day. PDF download nine things everyone needs to know about depression, that's another helpful resource that you should get your hands on. There's just so much that can be said, I think about this, but those are good starts for you to look at.

Lastly, will God have mercy on those with mental illness. What brother have to believe that God will. God is not cruel. Clinton easy's gracious and compassionate. He knows that the fall affects even our minds. And you know what that's why Jesus assumed humanity. This is why the incarnation of Jesus Christ is such an important doctrine, Jesus took to himself a true human body.

A human brain to himself the son of God so that he might redeem our fallen humanity that we don't always get that healing right now but you know what, for all those who are in Christ for you battling with mental illness but united to Jesus.

That healing will come one day God is can he give us all glorified bodies glorified brains that are unencumbered by sin and its effects. God has been merciful and he will be merciful to those who are struggling with battling with mental illness such a compassionate response. Role and I appreciate it so much. Given that the psychiatric community has labeled so many things now as mental illness. Is there a danger that some people could use those diagnoses.

This kind of an excuse. For example, I might say well I have ADHD so I couldn't help gambling all my family savings away or I have intermittent explosive disorder. So I got into an angry rage and you screamed my children and my wife could there be a danger that because we are so over psychiatry arise them if I can use that word in our culture that we could somehow use that as a justification for sending and abdicating personal responsibility you well II think that there certainly can be.

And this is one of the reasons why it's so important for us to know God's word to have a thorough doctrine of humanity of the fall of sin of what sin is, is the other thing, as sinners were always looking for ways to justify our sins so it's it. Naturally, you know, were drawn to doctrines teaching stuff that might come from from a psychiatrist tells us there's nothing wrong with that it's okay for you to do that or to think that way or it's not your fault. And so we have to be very careful with that. We need to know God's word and yet at the same time we know through study. There is such a thing as mental illness. The gospel offers us something far better, instead of lying to ourselves, we can say you know what I am fallen I am broken.

I do saying there is a God in heaven who is merciful to people like and he welcomes me because he loves me and he washes away all my sins when I can best.

That's good news. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together

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