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How Do I Stay On the Straight and Narrow?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2021 6:30 am

How Do I Stay On the Straight and Narrow?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 21, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 820 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Should we practice church covenants and promise things to God before we take communion?

2. How do we as Christians get back on the path toward Jesus if we stray away?

3. What does mean to “take up my cross”?

4. Fellowship or doctrine: what’s more important in a church?

5. After reading Hebrews 6, I feel as though God is done with me. How do I know if I am a Christian anymore?

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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

Panel I continue to follow Jesus and stay on the straight and narrow path that is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity will hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel 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 here is our number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 also post your question.

One of our social media sites you can watch a drill right now in the studio on our YouTube channel and send him a message that white course you can always email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today. Here's a question we received from one of our listeners named Carol everything I was a child I remember the communion service and then there were years that I didn't attend church.

Matter fact I started practice and then come back to Christ.

Several decades now. But there's one thing that I have never been able to have answered and I was hoping you can answer. The church complement at the church that my husband and I attend church covenant is recited prior to partaking of the communion and in that covenant we talk about what were going to do. I promise to do this. I promise to do that.

After a while, I didn't think it was right so I secretly started reciting the apostles Creed. Instead of reciting all of the things that I'm going to do and not this and that and I don't know if you know anything about church covenant to live there, said thank you. Darrell says that you start a movement at your church where you guys just Jesus changed that church covenant out for the apostles Creed and you guys can confess that we will actually and historically. It is now to be like. Maybe that's what you remember when you were a child being at a church were that's what was done because historically and in Christian worship or Christian liturgy. The creeds like the apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed were confessed as an act of worship. Right before taking the Lord's supper.

It was an affirmation of faith.

It was it was a part of Nero saying we as a church we believers are coming now to the table of the Lord, and this is what we believe in and you confesses as if this act of worship is his confession of faith those core truth of the Scriptures that are summarized in places like the apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.

So I think that that's I think that's great. I think if if a church is getting confess something prior to taking the Lord's supper that that's what it should be because that's that's what we as Christians hold fast to you know you're on core Christianity were often talking about the core doctrines of the Christian faith you're knocking to find a better summary of those doctrines that in places like the Nicene Creed or like the apostles Creed but going back to. Specifically, this idea of the church covenant that that's what makes me uncomfortable. It sounds like it makes you uncomfortable to because I guess I would want to know specifically what is it that's being recited the Lord's supper really should be treated as a gift, something first and foremost that we are receiving from God and not so much. Something that were doing it so it sounds like with with this covenant thing that's taking place. And you know will have your church that defines that the focus is. This is your time to pledge yourself to Jesus did to talk about all the things that you're going to do and that gives me the sense of you know is is this like a way of declaring our worthiness to come before the Lord's table, because the reality is, none of us are worthy in and of ourselves we come to the Lord's table as broken sinners in need of God's grace and the Lord's supper is.

This means of grace, through which he extends to us seals to us the promises of the gospel.

His love what he accomplished for us through Jesus and we lay hold of these gifts by faith and so you know every church does things a little bit differently. I might have a conversation with the pastor mean if you're there and you have a good relationship with your pastor may be asking some questions and just saying hey what about doing something like the apostles Creed. The fact of the matter is were finding more and more in evangelical churches today that Christians just don't understand the basics about what the Bible teaches what what were called to believe is followers of Christ and that's what we got recover core Christianity.

We got recover these these truths that are summarized in in the creeds out one passage of Scripture voted to just go to eyes Paul's discussion in first grade. The in chapter 11, where he talks about the Lord's supper. He's writing to the church in Corinth and they were struggling with how they were observing the Lord's supper as well. He says to them in verse 23 of first Corinthians I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said this is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way. Also he took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, and remember to me there's the covenant right there is not a covenant that were inventing is not one that that you know that the pastoral leadership of our church wrote down for me to recite.

It's the new covenant described in the Old Testament fulfilled by Jesus through his sacrificial death. That's what the Lord's supper is all about. So this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. That's the covenant we need to be focused on when we gather together for the Lord's supper and what is promised and that covenant, the gift of the Holy Spirit the gift of the forgiveness of sins, not so much what were doing, but what God is done for us in Christ God bless you and man so great to point back to that that free gift of measures of what God has done for us rather than what we are doing what were trying to accomplish with her our own behavior. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez here we are just about a week away from Halloween and every year around this time we start getting calls about the satanic stuff demon possession and a lot of people have much confusion want Christians have a lot of confusion about the devil and his activity in our world and we actually have a great free resource on this topic that will clear up some of that confusion yet. If you've ever wondered you know are the little devils and pop-culture movies, novels, you know, the idea that we have of Satan's is it really from Scripture as it is something our culture has sort of invented when you stop to think about who the devil is what he does what he's trying to do. Where'd we get our information from this a lot of confusion out there in in the world today. People think he is all-knowing he is everywhere present the sort of that that the God's ultimate adversary equal to him.

Empowerment as this is weird stuff out there. That's why want to recommend this resource to called, can the devil read my mind. It's a 70 page booklet that gives you a thorough understanding of what the Bible says about Satan and demons and spiritual warfare.

And it's yours for free over core, Christianity.com and Israel is the truth of the book also gives some practical ideas on how we can resist the devil's influence in our lives. Absolute limit that's what that one of the great things about this resource is not just theological information about Satan. It's also practical tips for what it looks like to resist the devil in your own life and we are in a spiritual battle brothers and sisters is important stuff get a hold of this resource again over core, Christianity.com you can find it@corechristianity.com/offers/offers and you can just look for that wonderful free resource can the devil read my mind. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.

Let's go to a question we received from one of our listeners named Jeanette how you or is that everything that everything that we are supposed to do as patient in the Bible weeks if we stray away. Christ is always calling us back to himself. Sisters, so if you feel like you falling off the path like you haven't been walking with Jesus for a while, you been doing things you know are contrary to his word. You not in fellowship with his people here. Here's the good news.

You can go to Jesus right now you can look to him.

You can say Lord forgive me, cleanse me wash me and he doesn't push you away. He welcomes you with open arms into the fellowship, and so that that's that's one of the great hopes we have we turned to Jesus in sincere repentance. He doesn't push us away, and that this is just so important you note Jesus said himself in John chapter 6 when it comes to me I will in no wise cast out.

And in that chapter. In particular, he it's really interesting because he talks a lot about how he's going to keep his children. That is if you belong to Jesus by faith.

He's gonna raise you up on the last day and what we may wonder at times, the one who holds onto a sister is Jesus himself.

And so you can you can be comforted by that reality, no practically speaking for us as believers. What does it look like to stay on the straight and narrow you. How can we be careful to follow the Lord to obey the Lord one passage of Scripture that comes to mind is actually the Psalms, a Psalm that gave me a lot of comfort and still does in my pay my walk with the Lord thinking about this very question. Psalm 119 beginning in verse nine. Listen with the psalmist said how can a young man keep his way pure by guarding it according to your word with my whole heart. ICQ let me not wander from your commandments.

It sounds like that's that's your prayer gut. I want to wander from your commandments. Keep me on the straight and narrow. The psalmist continues. I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Blessed are you will. Lord, teach me your statutes with my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth in the way of your testimonies. I delight as much as in all riches I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes. I will not forget your word that you see the centrality of the word for the Christian life treasuring up the word of God in our heart so that we might not sin against him by the grace of the Holy Spirit and you come before the Lord to meditate upon Scripture you just are washed in the word daily and especially when you get together with other believers is another of the key component to I think staying on the straight and narrow as a Christian. If you want to faithfully follow the Lord you need to be in a good church so easy for us brothers and sisters to drift you think what the other. The Hebrew said in Hebrews chapter 3, where he exhorted that the the Christians there and encourage one another, day by day. While it is called today lest you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

We need that encouragement in the body of Christ. Later in Hebrews chapter 10 he talks about not forsaking the fellowship being of of one another, stirring each other up the good works. We need that and so being being centered on God's word that that's that's a part of it being a part of the Christian community and resting the fact that Jesus is the one who keeps us and when we stumble we raise our eyes to him and we say Lord have mercy, and he does have mercy that bless you couple of great reminders for all of us meditating on God's word memorizing and then having that fellowship with other believers to strengthen our faith watches right stuff. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, theology, Christian doctrine, or even how your daily Christian walk intersects with what's going on in the world around us. Would love to hear from your peers or phone number is 833. The core 833 the core.

You can also leave a voicemail at that number anytime 24 hours a day. Let's go to Linda in Arkansas. Linda what your question for pastor. Israel, all are partly your cross and follow me. I don't know what he means by yet later thank you for that question is the call to follow Jesus. The call to discipleship. You see it in the in the Gospels in places like Matthew chapter 16 beginning in verse 24 then Jesus told his disciples if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul.

What shall a man give in return for his soul. It is really powerful words there from the lips of Jesus is what it looks like to follow me know what what was the cross a symbol of in the ancient world.

It was a symbol of death, symbol of of shame also just horrible shame. It was it was a tool of capital punishment.

One of the most heinous tools ever used certainly by the by the Roman government and so when Jesus was saying if you want to follow me, pick up your cross and be like, think take your new sub or or your electric chair would've been really shocking really jarring in one of the things is indicating is that following him coming after him as his disciple looks like denying self not living for yourself. I'm putting myself on the altar. If you will now there's a difference between the cross that we take up in the cross that Jesus himself took up at eight he took up the cross for us. In order to make atonement for our sins so that all of our sins might be forgiven. That's the gospel that's good news. He bore our punishment now following him looks like following an evening suffering taking up our own cross denying ourselves putting in his will before our own it. It's this idea of counting the cost of what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus to me people today. I think you'll assume that following Jesus is sort of like adding a little bit of religion to your life. Yet yet I do my own thing. I live for myself. I think whatever I want to think. I believe whatever I want to believe and I sprinkle in a little bit of Jesus a little bit of spirituality when it helps when I feel like I need it. That kind of the thing that's not what Christ calls us to.

He is the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, and he says give me your life. Lay down your life and we can do that.

You know why because he laid down his life for us.

He bore our sins, he covered them with his blood so that we might have communion with him so that we might follow him and I think that's that's all entailed and in this call to discipleship in places like Matthew 16 Celinda thank you for that question. God bless you. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez were still taking your calls for the next five minutes or so.

If you have a question 46833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 here's a question from Suzanne my question is doctrine and unity and I found a church with great doctrine.

However, there just isn't any fellowship there that my own church has a lot of fellowship at different doctrine.

What he suggests, aces and God bless you, thank you for that question. Glad that you are wanting to get plugged into a church and a church that has sound doctrine that is key. The primary mark of the church of Jesus Christ is a faithful proclamation of the word of God of the gospel, but what you do we go to church where you feel like man, but the word is really being taught well here but nobody says hi to me and there's there's no real fellowship but I can't really connect with the people. That means that it's a tough situation.

A lot of people who are in the same boat as you who are struggling to figure out what to do. You look at the description of fellowship in the early church in the book of acts. Acts chapter 2, verse 42 says this they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers and all came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles and all who believed were together and had all things in common and they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes.

They receive their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all people in the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Isn't that a beautiful picture of fellowship of trick you got both things that right. You have sound doctrine theology there committed to the apostles teaching. This is not just potluck fellowship with the bunch of people who enjoy hanging out. This is a commitment to the word of God to the teaching of Jesus, as was handed down by the apostles and not just the understanding doctrine theology. The word of God but also to prayer.

They were committed to the prayers. They were gathering together calling upon the name of the Lord. We certainly see this throughout the book of acts, but it was it was even more than that.

There was this vibrant fellowship. It seems like you read that scene and this is a family. This is a family of people who are taking care of one another, who were meeting the needs of those who are struggling in the community. This we should long for in the church and by the grace of the Holy Spirit. This is what what the gospel can produce. And the sad thing is, sometimes you know you go to church as a boy simply got a lot of sound doctrine, but it's as if you know they're not applying all of the implications of the gospel to the community of faith because I think one of the implications of sound doctrine of faithful Bible teaching of of a good grasp of the gospel is that vibrant fellowship is transparency among the members, a willingness to confess sin, a willingness to care for each other because we realize we are a blood bought family. The family of God.

So I would say go to a church with good doctor if you have us you know a difficult time connecting with people pray. I talked to the leadership there.

You know what I know it can be difficult. I always encourage people but put yourself out there is much as you're able, you know, make make make it a point to have conversations with people maybe maybe it looks like inviting someone out to lunch after the service that kind of thing, but getting together to get to know the people there. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of a of a leap of faith, but certainly praying and just praying that that the implications all of the implications of a healthy gospel centered church would would manifest themselves in the local body. Note no church is perfect and we read that description there in acts chapter 2 and the realities read the rest of the book of acts and the rest of the New Testament, he realized hey these churches also had a lot of struggles just like every church here on earth today, and yet together as were committed to the apostles teaching as were committed to prayer as were committed to one another. The spirit of God is at work in beautiful things happen so sick to commit to the church with sound doctrine and pursue that fellowship within the church and trusted the Lord by his spirit will bring that about your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.

Let's go to Dion in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The on what your question for pastor. Israel, I'm here.

Dion okay my question is in Hebrews. I was very sick about your nap, go out thought I was going to die. It was so bad in the middle of the night so it lasted for about a week or so and I started the break I asked God what was going on what what am I gonna die and so I went to the word like I was doing and read 60 60 number 460 and it seemed like I was led like before many passages to Hebrews and it said if you sin willfully after you received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin.

And it goes on fearful feeling of judgment and indignation that will do all the adversary owes to trample on the blood of the display to the Holy Spirit. All will be have normal forgiveness and so it goes on to say, vengeance is mine, I will judge my people and so basically it's saying that if you commit this particular sin, which I am not a Christian. So to those 16 arm trampling on the blood which I don't even have a clue what that means but all it seemed like the Holy Spirit was told me. And I've been in hell accident share format anxiety nightmares every night dream and everywhere I go I see 666 so I am assuming that I'm doomed.

So basically I don't know how to answer the question.

I talked to somebody bugle they still know that's for the Jews, but in that passage he says he will judge his people. So basically that includes anybody. Dion trampled up to Jesus and I don't even know what time you explain that II can indeed on.

This is a passage of Scripture term of the Hebrews chapter 10 is the passage of Scripture. This caused a lot of fear for people because I think it would have I done this. Have I sinned in this way, I've sinned willfully another, been times a believer right. I knew I should've done this thing and I did it. Does that mean I've trample Jesus underfoot and I'm eternally condemned the specific sin that is being addressed here in the book of Hebrews is apostasy that is turning away from the gospel and trusting, not in Jesus and in his blood for the forgiveness of sins, but the people here. They were being tempted to go back to the sacrificial system of the old covenant, which is why throughout the book of Hebrews, the author, the Hebrews is saying Christ is better is better than the Levitical priesthood. He's better than the sacrifices of bulls and goats is better than the Angels don't go back to those things to the old testament rituals of worship, the reality Jesus Christ has come in if you go back to those things, then you will be trampling Jesus underfoot and you'll be you'll be hopeless, because if you're trusting anything besides the blood of Jesus to save you to justify you to forgive your sins you're in trouble, you fall into the hands of the living God with your own sacrifice with your own good works, and God. I'm worthy enough, I'm good enough know that's that's not going to cut it and sold the hope actually here in this the hope that you can have Dion is when you look to Jesus and you say, I got nothing. I have nothing Lord I am it it in and of myself week I fail every day have been walking with you since I was 16 I still sin every day. I'm knocking to trust in myself. Jesus, I trust in you alone brother. If you do that if you trust in Jesus, you cast yourself upon him, he saves you, he's the one who redeems you with his grace by faith so you can have hope. The question is are you trusting in Jesus are you trusting in yourself and if you don't trust in yourself and trust in Christ. Ethically, often, is calling these people to do. And if you've done that you can rest in him and his blood work for you reason to keep because he loves thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

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