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What Does It Mean to “Take Every Thought Captive to Christ”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 10, 2021 6:30 am

What Does It Mean to “Take Every Thought Captive to Christ”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 10, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 834 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. What do you think of house churches?

2. 2 Corinthians 10:5, the verse that says we must take our thoughts “captive to obedience to Christ,” seems to often be taken out of context. Why is that?

3. I tend to avoid confrontation—is this counter to such a thing as biblical manhood?

4. What is evangelism in its most simple form?

5. What is the difference between soul and spirit mentioned in 1 Thessalonias 5:23?

  1. ​6. How should we explain the doctrine of the Trinity in light of monotheism? How should we respond to a non-Christian who claims that Christians believe in three gods?
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What does it mean to take every thought captive to Christ. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity why 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.

At 833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites and you can email us anytime at questions at core, first up today let's go to Duncan calling all the way from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada hey hi Duncan how are you what your question for Pastor Israel hey Duncan, well, thank you for giving us a call from Canada first and I guess I might my position would depend on how the church was was formed. Is there anything wrong with churches that gather in homes know me, I think, especially when when churches early and in its life stage if you will may be being planted.

Oftentimes that's that the place where were folks will gather together and certainly in the ancient world and in the New Testament times. There were gathering together in homes they ban churches and homes and think of what Paul says to the Corinthians is he's saying farewell to them in verse 20 is chapter 16 he says, verse 19, the churches of Asia send you greetings a quill and press it together with the church in their house send you hearty greetings in the Lord, so it's very clear that churches were gathering together and in homes know the way in which homes are constructed at that time oftentimes is especially if you were wealthy or you might be able to accommodate quite a few people in in your home and in a larger section of the home that might my big question is, is, as I said at the beginning is how was the church formed is this just something that individuals are doing by themselves or calling I am a pastor calling himself to the ministry he hasn't necessarily gone to any training. Maybe he's not really qualified on the basis of what Paul said in first Timothy three and Titus one, but he just he just wants to start a church. I've seen people do this that young people are passionate about Jesus and they have gifts they have charisma and they think all men all the churches in my neighborhood are are bad and so I'm just to start my own church and they called himself to the ministry if you will and and I've seen that and disastrous disastrous way. So I think it's really important to have accountability. I think I think there needs to be some structure oversight. We don't individuals don't call themselves to the ministry just start churches and so if this is something that it is like a church plant. They been sent out by another church by overseeing body in their meeting in a home as they grow in there some accountability. I think that's a really good thing. I think it can be dangerous, though, when it's just sort of off on its own no real oversight, no real accountability and an individual just as I'm a start my own church and and I'm in the lead and so we have to be discerning great advice. Thanks for that April. This is core Christianity. If you want to give us a call. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at this number it's 833. The core we had this call come in from one of our listeners named Gretchen my question for the pastor and 10 five I hear people using that first a lot about taking their own thought captive to make them obedient to Christ. It doesn't seem to me that that's the news and the right context. According to the rest of that chapter is talking about.

I would just appreciate pastor pastors, intent on this. Thank you.

Yes thank you forgiveness that call and I think you're right. I think that this is a verse that is oftentimes taken out of context and so let's let's try to set in its context to begin reading in verse one will go to to verse six.

I pull myself and treat you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. I who am humble when face-to-face with you but bold toward you when I am away, I beg of you that when I am present. I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh, though we walk in the flesh. We are not waging war. According to the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ being ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete now. Oftentimes the way in which people read verse five there take every thought captive is I'm taking all of my thoughts captive as I have this this straight thought this bad. I take it captive in obedience to Christ that that is up. I guess one application that's not the main thing that the apostle Paul is talking about here is talking about spiritual warfare, and in particular that the evil ideologies that exist out there in the world that are contrary to God and Christ to the gospel of Christ, and so he say look I I I speak the truth. I take those thoughts captive if you will, those which are contrary to God those arguments that are raised against the knowledge of the gospel. He says in verse five we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God. So a couple of things here. One is talking about engaging the broader society with the truth of God's word, and not just saying this is of course what what everybody wants it seems like today that you believe whatever you want to believe that's good for you all believe what I believe over here.

Let's just to let bygones be bygones and of course week. We need to be peaceable. We need to be gracious. We need to be loving but that doesn't mean we need to affirm what everyone else just thinks or believes in sale yet that's great for you know there is truth and ultimately that that truth is given to us by God, it's rooted in the gospel of Christ, and so he says when we were confronted with these lies with those things that are contrary to the word of God to the character of God to the gospel of God. We take those lies captive we call them to account week.

We address them with the truth of Scripture and we call them to obedience in Christ in it and and so that there is this evangelism that's taking place. There's this engagement with broader society and the ideas that are that are there in a gracious way it is. He says there you I treat you at the very beginning the text by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, that is, you know where were graciously addressing the lies that are out there with the truth of the gospel.

Taking those thoughts captive and brothers and sisters, let me just say this is something that were all called to. Certainly Paul as an apostle and and ministers of the gospel in particular but all of us are called to live according to the truth and to speak the truth in love to the people around us and that's why it's so important for you to know the truth understand the word of God, so that when one week when we see her in and hear these arguments will be able to discern okay this is contrary to the word of God to the truth of God. We can address them with address them with gentleness and with the truth. Thanks that question later on about you but I found that when a person is more confident in knowing what they believe and why they believe it there a lot less anxious when they get into a conversation with the nonbeliever and a lot less defensive and then they can really respond in the way that Paul and anyone Peter talks about, you know, doing gentleness and respect. When you know what you believe you're a lot more likely to be able to engage in a laughing way than if you feel backed into a corner yeah absolutely yeah and if we don't know then we just won't we won't engage because if you like. I don't know what to say. I don't really have an opinion on this, but went when we know the truth and were grounded and in and you know were getting answers to our questions as we search the Scriptures and think about the things that are happening around us. While it makes it so that we can thoughtfully engage with the people around us who need the gospel who who God calls us to love and to speak to this process will Paul said he did there in second Corinthians 10.

You're listening to core Christianity would love to hear from you.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life Christian doctrine or theology or even how your daily Christian walk intersects with that. What's going on in today's culture.

We love to have a call because right now here's the phone number it's 833-843-2670 3833.

The core Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away. Now we have a brand-new resource that you can download from our website and it's absolutely free five biblical reminders for Thanksgiving. That's what this resource is called, and his bill said he could download it for free over at our website.

Core, sometimes you know that the call to be thankful can feel like a burden canted as we think about our lives and we struggle with with thankfulness with having a heart of gratitude. I it's important for us to reflect on the blessings that the Lord has given to us. Ultimately, the greatest blessing of all the gift of his son Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of our sins.

And so we want to cultivate together with you a heart of Thanksgiving. I believe this resource will help you do that again. It's called five biblical reminders for Thanksgiving and it's a download for free.

You can access it. Core, you can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833 the coordinates called five biblical reminders for Thanksgiving will go back to the phones we have Samuel on the line from Kansas send you what your question for Israel. Israel growing up I was mainly raised by female influences and never really tried to learn manhunt until I was about 18 I now find myself being a nice guy, always trying to make people like me and seemingly incapable of meaningful leadership and unable to firmly confront others. I hate that about myself.

How do I discern if this is a God-given desire for masculinity or quenching the Spirit like first Thessalonians 519 would suggest hey, Samuel. In some ways I think I can relate to. I was raised by a single mom and didn't have a ton of those in a strong male influences in my life growing up and so something I've thought about for myself as well and I think part of this, the big question is what what does godly biblical manhood.

If you will look like what does what does it mean to be a man, as it were. And of course I don't think anybody would would disagree with this if they won't. We look to the Scriptures, and in particular to Christ himself that the head of the church. The leader of the church if you will, we see the clearest picture of what it means to be a man if you will, the true man and an width that you have gentleness me. Gentleness was something that characterized Jesus and his ministry something people point to the scathing rebukes that Jesus gave to the Pharisees in places like Matthew chapter 23.

Of course Jesus did have strong words at that time. Certainly for them but but generally his ministry was characterized by by gentleness, by grace, by mercy, and this is something that that we see throughout the Scriptures. In fact he he says I am gentle and lowly in heart, Matthew chapter 11 verse 29 he came as the prophet Zechariah said, gentler, humble and riding on a donkey. Zechariah chapter 9 verse nine and this is why Christians are encouraged to exhibit those same kinds of qualities, especially our speech with others so there are number of passages in the New Testament that but I think we can go to that make this absolutely clear and Paul in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 29 says let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear Colossians chapter 4 verses five and six walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious. Season with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person or is I really like this one second Timothy chapter 2 verses 24 to 26 the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome. That is not a fighter but kind to everyone, able to teach patiently enduring evil correcting his opponents with gentleness God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth so you have you have both things there Samuel. I think the point we have both as as leaders as men. If if if you will. We have the correcting the honesty that the truth you also have the gentleness that is not is not more manly because it's it's harsh and it's you know were going to bring a beach over the head with this truth. No, no, we are called just as Christ was to speak the truth in such a way that it that it's fitting. And then there are also instances where where we were.

We where we have strong words and and of course Jesus did for the religious hypocrites and for the Pharisees and so I think as you draw near to the Lord one saying Jesus help me to follow you in in the way that I live both and in my honesty not not living for the praise of others not making decisions out of the fear of man, but out of a commitment to you, and following you and help me, as as I do that to serve and care for the people around me with gentleness and respect. That's I think Manley if you will and and so may the Lord may the Lord bless you and I would say any sort of idea of biblical manhood that says of the gentleness the meekness that humility that's that's not that's not a man thing. What were the tough guys I think that that that completely misunderstands what we see in the Scriptures, and certainly what we see in Jesus as well and so I think that the, the, that the grace the gentleness is is a good thing and something that God calls you to.

It's it's also having that together with the boldness to speak the truth and confront even what means people are, like us, and so may the Lord help all of us in that and I thank you for your call my friend. God bless Samuel thanks so much for listening to core, Christianity and Israel are great! Really got God is calling us to in Christ. So thanks for that. This is core Christianity. We had a question coming through our YouTube channel.

By the way, you can watch a drill live in the studio every day on YouTube at 11:30 AM Pacific time. If you want to check that out and just is watching on YouTube and just as does leading someone to Christ mean asking someone to repent of their sin and accept Christ as their Savior.

Yeah what what what wonderful thing it is brothers and sisters that that God uses people. People like us to bring people lead people to Christ out of course we mean by that is when we realize this is ultimately it's the Holy Spirit at work in an individual's life. You think about what what we read in the book of acts concerning Lydia of the spirit of God opened her heart to to hear the words that were being spoken to her and and and that's how the spirit of God works, it's through the word, and so I think I think clear communication of the gospel is what is key and and you can say hey repent of your sins and accept Jesus and into your heart and not hear the gospel and that right at me that that sounds like a mood for transaction that's that's taking place you you stop doing bad things and then asked Jesus to come and live in you. Now course. I think when a person is is turning to the Lord. There's nothing wrong with with with saying that you think that you need to invite Christ to be in your life and and in reality is, as artist of the spirit of God.

It's working opening the heart, leading people to himself and to enter Jesus, but we have to be really clear in terms of our communication of the gospel.

It's yours who Jesus is. He is the eternal son of God who came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, for every sin we've ever done for the fact that we've broken God's law. In other words, were not saved because of how righteous we are, or how well we repent, even how much we obey God's law were saved because as sinners we turn to Christ and receive his work for us. His blood for the forgiveness of our sins.

And so what were doing is were setting Christ and his work before people, and God uses that to draw people to himself to to unite them to Jesus by faith. And so the power friends is in the word and that's why we have to be faithful to the word into those clear gospel communications and and in line with that read it as we guess we as we talk about Christ is done for us.

We call people to repentance and faith to turn away from themselves from theirs from their sins and to lay hold of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. That's that's the message that we have it that the Lord has given to us, which he commanded his disciples to go into proclaim in Matthew 28 the great commission going all the world and make disciples. Baptizing teaching and know that I'm with you always.

And so that's the encouragement that we have is as we get into these kinds of conversations with with people around us with our friends the spirit of God is at work in the Lord promises to be with us as well and so think that question and I hope that the Lord is giving you opportunities and we should all pray for his Lord give me an opportunity to share your gospel with the people around me of something that were discussing right now in my small group at the church. They drill is how can we more effectively become evangelists do it in a natural way and really care about people, not just see them as a agenda, but really, you know, show our love and care for them and then be willing to take the next step and talk to them about Jesus. So, yeah, thanks for that, when it will justify follow up on that bill as it is struck me as you were saying that you know that the doctrine of God's free grace and justification that were forgiven were already accepted as righteous and in the sight of God solely because of what Jesus has done for us. It frees us not to treat people as projects you know I have to serve you. I have to love you have to evangelize you so that maybe God will accept me now. It frees us to to truly love our neighbors to share the gospel not because we feel like I have to do it in order to be saved if I don't do this is his great burden on me, but it is because God has given me the good news. He's forgiven my sins. I'm justified in his sight and I get to share this good news with other people, not so that I i.e. get something from them so that they can experience as well. The great mercy that God has given to me and so understanding the gospel rightly, I think is a great motivator for us in terms of having those cost conversations I meant you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. By the way, you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at this phone number it's 833. The core make sure to tell the folks at your church or in your small group about this program is well again we air every day a lot live 11:30 AM Pacific time. 1230 Mountain 130 Central and 230 Eastern time. Or you can always listen to a podcast on the podcast out there's a question we had come in from one of our listeners named Laverne what it did so. By 23 first Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 23 now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. What Paul is doing here is is he's giving a benediction.

If you will, to the Thessalonians, ending his letter is he saying look. May God keep you your your whole person and were more than just a body, there is that that spiritual component the soul. If you will know there are some people that that would distinguish between the soul and the spirit.

I happen to think that that usually in Scripture that there really referring to just the same thing. So really were delivered.

There's two parts of us, if you will I as human beings. What it means to be a person we have that the body and the soul or the spirit, and often those those two are used interchangeably in the New Testament the whole person sometimes is referred to as body and soul. Matthew chapter 10 verse 28 or body and spirit. First Corinthians chapter 7 verse 23 and final thing I don't think that were missing something, thereby by only speaking of the soul of the spirit and and again what will Paul's focus is here is just that the graciousness of God, who is the one who sanctifies us and what an encouragement that should be for for all of us. My sanctification, your sanctification is in the hands of the Lord. It's a work of God's spirit and he's the one who both of the inmate making the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless with God is the one who's gonna sanctify you and keep you and so we look to him, not just for our justification but also for for our sanctification by the grace of the Holy Spirit as we draw near to him in his word that's important encouragement, Paul gives us there. You're listening to core Christianity got an email from Justin.

We wanted to pass along to Israel. He says how should we explain the doctrine of the Trinity in light of monotheism.

How should we respond to a non-Christian who claims that Christians believe in three gods.

Yes, thank you for that question. And so it's fun to take this real deep theological questions at the end of the program because we don't have a lot of time but it's clear from the Bible that God is one. Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse four hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

As we read the Bible. It's also very clear that the Holy Spirit is God, that Jesus is God, that the father is God, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

This is just something that that's repeated over and over again, and so the way in which Christians have have talked about this is is articulated. This is in the doctrine of the Trinity, God is one in essence, a substance that is he is is very nature and three distinct persons and so you have the father the son and the Holy Spirit, not three essences but one essence in and in essence we say that God is God is one and yet there are three persons in the Godhead. The father the son and the Holy Spirit that they that they're not different in terms of their essence right then Jesus would not be God or he might be less than God that's with the Jehovah's Witnesses, teach. For example there one in essence an undivided three distinct persons and it's a great mystery about what we do have the clear teaching of the Bible and the clear testimony of the church for the last 2000 years, and so we embrace that and receive it and worship God father son Holy Spirit the Trinity. Amen. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

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