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Do My Good Works Prove That I Am Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2022 1:30 pm

Do My Good Works Prove That I Am Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 20, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1080 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Is it ok for Christians to participate in theme park "Fright Nights" on Halloween?

2. Did God ever condone polygamy?

3. Do I need to do good works in order to prove that I am saved?

4. Why did Jesus appear in a different form in Mark 16?

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Core Question - What’s the Difference Between Justification and Sanctification?

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Do my good works prove that I'm saved? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

You can always leave a voicemail at that number, and of course you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Adrian, who's calling from St. Louis, Missouri. Adrian, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey, how you doing, Pastor Adriel? I'm doing well. How are you doing, Adrian?

I'm doing good, doing good. On one of your previous shows, you talked about, someone called in about carving pumpkins and, you know, celebrating Halloween. Is that considered idolatry? I have another question similar to that one. To give you a little brief story, my daughter, she wanted to go to Six Flags. I don't know if you know what Six Flags is. It's an amusement park. Oh yeah, I've been there.

Okay, okay. So, you know, around this time of year, there's what's called Fight Fest or whatever, and I, you know, I felt a little bit okay for her to go, but then I was like, well, I don't know because it's a lot of, you know, ghosts and goblins and things like that that I didn't feel comfortable about, really feel comfortable about. But I just kind of want to know, what's your take on that? Is that, will that be okay for her to be a part of?

Adrian, thank you for that question. So my take on that specifically, one, around this time of the year, you have like the gore associated with Halloween. You also have, I mean, a lot of the sort of outfits that people will wear are pretty revealing, you know, the kind of thing that you would, I mean, it's just probably not the best to be wearing out and about in public. This is kind of along with the kind of culture of Halloween.

Here's what I'll say. One of my concerns is I think we can become and have become, this is through media, through social media, so desensitized to the gore and to the violence and to sexual immorality and promiscuity, you know, all of those things that I think that should be concerning to us. And insofar as at times, you know, it's that very thing, those very things, I think that people tend to take and run with around Halloween, that should be a concern for us. And so I think this is where you as a father, you know, you need to use wisdom.

I've not been to Magic Mountain or Six Flags around this time of the year, so I've not seen it. I'm not sure what it looks like, but I think this is just where you as a father have to make a decision. I think, as I said, I do feel that one of the great issues today is the sort of desensitization that we experience as a culture when it comes to sin and violence and sexual immorality. And so we need to be vigilant with that, especially as we think about raising our kids.

But I wouldn't just say, no, it's wrong, because it may not be, right? So I think that, again, and this is, you know, one of the phrases I brought up on the last episode when we were talking about Halloween, I think that this is a matter of Christian liberty. I think that we want to be sensitive to our brothers and sisters around us, and I think we want to be cautious as well about the things that we are filling our minds with.

And so I can say that. Paul says in Philippians 4, verse 8, finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. That's what we should be thinking about. That's what we should be fixing our eyes on and focusing on at all times. And so we want to help each other do that. And so if this doesn't allow us to do that or keeps us from doing that or leads us astray in some way, then I think that we need to be cautious and exercise caution. So God give you wisdom, brother, and praise God just that you're seeking to be vigilant and wanting to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

May God give you wisdom and bless you and your family. You know, Adriel, when I was in college, I remember going to one of those fright nights, you know, a spook house, and it was put on by a Christian organization, right? I can't remember if it was like, or who did it, but so they put on this, you know, horrible zombies and aliens and people getting their heads chopped off, and it was put on by this Christian group. And then as you were walking out, they give you a tract.

Oh, wow. I just, I don't know. Fear evangelism, you know, scaring you into the kingdom of God. You go through that and you just think, I need Jesus.

I desperately need Jesus. So I, you know, I don't, God can use just about anything and he does. And yeah, I mean, again, Christian liberty, but let's really think about, are we desensitized to these, to the violence, to the immorality that exists around us?

It's just sort of like, oh, it doesn't even phase us anymore because it's what we fill our minds with so much. That's a problem. That is a problem. And so we need the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the help of the Holy Spirit and to fix our eyes on that which is good and true and beautiful and to grow in that. Does that mean you can't go to Six Flags around this time of the year?

I don't think so. But I do think we just need to be wise and cautious as we think about the stuff we're filling our minds with. Really good counsel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Let's go to Brian who's calling in from Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I got a question. I have a friend of mine that is Mormon and a lot of people know Mormons believe it's all right to marry, a man can marry more than one woman. And they take that based on what the Old Testament did. And obviously you saw a lot of men in the Old Testament were married to a lot of women. But in the New Testament, it says that a husband should be a man, a man should be a husband of just one wife. So I'm trying to understand, is my friend because he's married to more than one woman, is he committing adultery?

Brian, thank you for that question. I know that there are different sects even within the Mormon church or the LDS community of the more fundamentalist ones who I do think still believe in polygamy or they'll sometimes call it plural marriage or whatnot. And then there are those who say no, there was a new revelation that was given, that's not something that we're doing anymore although that's something that we did and it's sort of this blot on the past for them. So just interesting to me to hear that you have a friend who has multiple wives who's a Mormon.

I would say yes. I do think that Jesus, when he talks about marriage and divorce, I don't think that you can be married to multiple people and seek to be engaged with all of your spouses intimately and relationally and so on and so forth and not be committing adultery. It doesn't make sense to me. Now the question is, under the Old Testament, what seems like these kings and people, the patriarchs had more than one wife, multiple wives at times, and so how do we make sense of that?

Well, what I would say is that's not how it was ever intended to be truly from the very beginning. You look at God in the creation making Adam and Eve, man and woman, the two being joined together and becoming one flesh. Now throughout redemptive history, God has made provisions at times for the sinfulness of his people, for the things that they've done, even divorce according to Jesus in Matthew chapter 19. Right from the very beginning, he says it wasn't supposed to be this way, but Moses allowed for divorce because of our own hardness and sinfulness. In that context, he gives the instance of adultery. So I don't think it's that God is sort of changing his mind.

I think this is a good thing, and then I think this is a bad thing. I think that what we're looking at when we're looking at redemptive history is the story of God's people who would make sometimes good decisions, but a lot of times really poor decisions, and God is working in and through even those poor decisions that they're making. But in an ideal world, and the world as God created it, it's one man, one woman for life, the two becoming one flesh. And I think that that's reiterated throughout the Bible and also specifically in the New Testament. And so what you saw with the Mormon Church for a period of time and then still with some sects of the Mormon Church, I guess, who are still practicing plural marriage, I think is contrary to God's word, contrary to God's intended design for us as human beings. And so I think it is something that you can have a conversation with them about. Obviously you want to, talking about that specifically, but ultimately going into a lot of the other errors that the Mormon Church embraces with regard to the doctrine of God, the identity of Jesus Christ, who the Father is, with regard to the doctrine of salvation, what it means to be saved, and how one is saved. There are a lot of things I think that you can talk about in focusing on the Gospel and who Christ is is going to be and needs to be central, Brian.

So thank you for that question and pray that the Lord gives you wisdom and blesses your conversations with your friend. Donnie and Marie are on line four. They wanted to talk to you about the Mormon Church. You're too young to remember Donnie and Marie, aren't you?

Yeah, probably, because I have no idea what you're talking about, Bill. Mormon young people, they're older now. This is core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. By the way, we have a new book that we're offering today. It's written by a friend of core Christianity, Pastor David Cassidy. Yeah, the book is called Indispensable, the Basics of Christian Belief, as Bill said by Pastor David Cassidy.

I want to encourage you to get a hold of this resource. I think it's going to help build you up in your understanding of the Christian faith, specifically the basics of Christian belief. That might sound too simple to you. I want to go into the meat, the deeper stuff, but the reality is, here's what we're finding through a lot of the research that's been done over the last several years, is that most people in churches don't know the basics. We don't know the basics about who God is, about the Gospel, about the Trinity, about the church, about the ordinances that Jesus left to the church, what we sometimes call the sacraments.

People just don't know. Part of that is the kind of teaching that we've been hearing in a lot of places. This has been one of the goals of this broadcast since the very beginning, is to help people understand those core doctrines, the basics that we need to recover to have a rich and, I think, meaningful walk with the Lord, where we understand the truth of the Gospel and are rejoicing because of it. Get a hold of this resource. Again, it's called Indispensable by Pastor David Cassidy. You know, this book really does align so closely with our mission here at CORE Christianity, so we'd love to get this into your hands. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Look for David Cassidy's book, Indispensable.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the CORE, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners earlier this week. Hey, I got a question. How does one flee from sin and swing to Jesus? Do you have to have works to prove that you're saved or something like that?

Wow. Okay, so there's two questions there. How does one flee from sin and cling to Jesus? Well, fleeing is the right answer when it comes to temptation, and it's so interesting because throughout scripture, it's like the strategy that's given. When we think about war, retreat is not typically the solution, right? It's engage, it's pursue, it's fight, but the way in which we fight when it comes to temptation is running, is fleeing, and I think this is what you see repeated throughout the scriptures, and I think the reason we're encouraged to flee temptation is because God knows that we're sinful, that we're weak, that we're often tempted to give in to temptation, and so the way we need to deal with it is not make any provision for the flesh, not put ourselves in situations where we know we're going to be tempted.

We just need to retreat from that, and so how do you do that? Well, it depends on what the temptation is. If it's a temptation to something like pornography, which we know many, many people, which is this great issue in the world and in the church today, even non-Christians are beginning to realize how devastating pornography is. Well, I think fleeing from it looks like getting accountability, maybe putting accountability software on your computer, on your phone, those types of things, but not keeping the door open to where you can continue to engage in that sin and do so freely.

You want to flee. If your right hand causes you to sin, Jesus has cut it off and cast it away. Whatever you need to do, whatever steps you need to take to get away from that, and of course it's a heart issue truly, but I think these are part of or how God so often I think also gets to the heart is by just saying turn away from those things. Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 verse 22, flee youthful passions, but then he adds this, and I think this is helpful in terms of getting into a deeper answer to your question, flee youthful passions, so cut it off, get away from it, remove it, whatever that looks like, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. And so it's not just running from something, it's running towards someone, namely Jesus. It's pursuing righteousness with the community of faith.

It's being a part of a church in community, fellowshipping with other believers, being washed with the promises of God and the word of God. That's how we flee temptation, and when we sin, when you give in, when you fall, whatever it is, you confess it and you get up and you continue to pursue Jesus. Now the second part of your question, do we need good works to prove that we're saved? We do sometimes talk about good works as the evidence of our justification, if you will.

We do want to be careful because no one, no believer does perfectly good works. Every single one of our works is still tainted by indwelling sin. Now that doesn't mean that they aren't truly good works before God, insofar as they're done in faith, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Holy Spirit, in obedience to God's law, what He's revealed to us in His word for God's glory. They're truly good works, even though they're still tainted with sin, they're imperfect, but they're truly good and God accepts them. And those good works are the evidences, we might say, of justifying faith, but they don't justify us.

Because you're not more justified because you do more good works. No, our works and growth in grace has to do with our sanctification. The one who is justified is immediately being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, but that's a process of inward renewal. And we're all in different places and the Spirit of God is at work in our lives, putting to death, as Paul says in Romans 8, the sinful deeds of the body. And we give thanks to God for that, but here's what you have to be careful with. You don't want to base your justification on your sanctification because since your sanctification is, sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step backward, you're doing really well and then you're struggling and you realize that even the good works that you do are still tainted with sin.

You just wonder, man, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death, as the apostle Paul said, and you can be discouraged. And that's why we have to understand that our justification, the fact that God has accepted us as righteous in His sight only for the righteousness of Christ, given to us, imputed to us, received by faith alone, that gives us that right standing with God. We've been freed by the Spirit of God, by the work of Jesus Christ through our union with Him.

We've been freed. Now we're free to follow the Lord, but that is a daily fight. And so I say all of that to say, yeah, our works are in one sense an evidence of true justifying faith.

That's perfectly fine. I think that's what James is getting at in James chapter 2, but they are not the source of our faith or our justification before God. And so it's very important that we make those distinctions. Otherwise, you're going to live the Christian life and it's going to be this sort of, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, because it's based upon your performance, not the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Thanks for that question. Great explanation of justification and works. Thank you for that so much, Adriel.

Very important for a lot of us to hear. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive emails here and you can email us anytime with your question, any question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, we'd love to hear from you. The address is questionsatcorechristianity.com. Here's one from Jamie, and Jamie says, In Mark 16, 12, the Bible talks about Jesus appearing in different forms, and I'm curious what is meant by this.

My translation is ESV. I would appreciate your insight, and thank you for your program. It has enriched my understanding of scripture.

Hey, thanks for the encouragement, Jamie. So Mark 16, verse 12 says, After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, that is two of the disciples, as they were walking into the country, and they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Now there are some larger questions regarding the ending of Mark's gospel. This is what we sometimes refer to as textual criticism.

I'm not going to go into that right now. Let's just take this verse and answer your question. It says that Jesus appeared to them, this is post-resurrection, in another form. I think the best thing to do is go to an undisputed text that addresses this scene, which is referring to what took place in Luke chapter 24, when Jesus appeared to two of his disciples as they were on the road to Emmaus. Really, a wonderful, beautiful scene in scripture. It says in verse 13 of Luke 24, That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all the things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. I don't think that it's like Jesus was shape-shifting or something like that, appearing in another form in the sense that it just didn't look at all like Jesus. I think that there was this spiritual blindness, these scales that were on their eyes, and that's precisely what verse 16 of Luke 24 says. Their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk? And they stood still, looking sad. I mean, they're so overwhelmed with grief. It's sort of like they're in the garden, Mary clinging to Jesus' feet, overwhelmed with grief she didn't realize, recognize the Lord post-resurrection. So this is one of the themes that you see in the post-resurrection accounts of Jesus, is people so weighed down with grief and sorrow that they're not able to recognize him.

Now, I wonder if there isn't a practical application here for us. Sometimes we can be so consumed with grief, with sorrow, that Christ can be working so closely right nearby, right there, and yet we miss it. We don't see it because of the tears in our eyes. Now, what's beautiful about this scene is that later in Luke 24, they do realize who Jesus is through his preaching or teaching the Word to them. And then in particular, in verses 30 and 31, we read, I'll actually begin in verse 28, So they drew near to the village to which they were going.

So they've gotten to their destination. And he acted as if he was going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, Stay with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. So he went in to stay with them, and when he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. And they said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us? Well, he talked to us on the road while he opened to us the Scriptures. And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven, and those who were with them gathered together, saying, The Lord has risen indeed.

He has appeared to Simon. And they told what had happened on the road and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. And so I think there's a spiritual blindness that was happening.

It's not that Jesus was shape-shifting. There's a spiritual blindness that the disciples have. But it's through the Word, and we might say even the sacrament, the breaking of the bread, that Jesus is made known to them.

Now, here's the beautiful thing. Right now, we don't have the bodily presence of the risen Christ with us. We suffer oftentimes with tears that blind us to the work of God in our lives, to the nearness of Jesus to us. And yet, in the same way that they experienced Jesus' presence, we can experience the presence of Jesus today. In the preaching of the Word of God and in the breaking of the bread, Jesus makes himself known to us. He is present with us here to heal us, to help us, to redeem us. He is God. Copyright © 2020, New Thinking Allowed Foundation
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-20 14:18:34 / 2022-11-20 14:28:14 / 10

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