If Jesus defeated Satan, then why does the Bible call him the God of this world? 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. We would love to hear from you, and here's our phone number. It's 833-The-Core.
That's 1-833-843-2670. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel right now live in the studio and send him your question through YouTube. And you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to David calling in from beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hey, David, how are you? Good. How are you?
Good. Thank you for taking my call. Pastor Adriel, I wanted to ask you a question in regard to Eric Metaxas' book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and actually about just him in general, because I know that you've recommended some of his words, and I know that Eric Metaxas recommends them as do a lot of other evangelicals. But what I was wondering about was because I've also heard some controversial things about him, that he still had, I guess, a liberal leaning, like with Karl Barth, and also that he even rejected apologetics and that he denied biblical inerrancy. So I wanted to know what you know about the truth about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Hey, thanks, David, for that question. I've actually not read Metaxas' book. I've read some Bonhoeffer, not a ton, but I think I've also heard that, at least with regard to his views on Scripture, especially later in life, that there are some really serious issues. So, you know, I think with anybody that we read, we want to be discerning. You know, there are some people I think that we just should avoid altogether if they're teaching things that are really deceptive, heretical. Then there are other people that we can glean from and say, okay, look, I don't agree with them on this issue, but I think he does a good job here. And one of the things that I have recommended of Bonhoeffer and continue to recommend, I read it at first when I was in seminary taking a class called Doctrine of the Church.
It's his book on Christian community called Life Together, which has some great insights, really practical stuff with regard to Christian community and what it looks like centered around the gospel. So something like that, I think, I would say, man, this is good, this is insightful. But just like with anyone that we read, when we're not talking about the Scriptures, when we're talking about theologians or pastors that we're reading, we're always wanting to be Berean and to test the things that they say on the basis of Holy Scripture.
And if they depart from it, then that's where we depart from then. And so, I appreciate you bringing this up. I think it's a good reminder for all of us with whoever it is that we're reading, the theologians that we like just to make sure that we're testing the things that they say on the basis of God's Word. So God bless, David.
Thanks for reaching out. Thanks, David, you know, just a follow up question for you, Adriel, I think this kind of also begs the question, we got to be careful about holding anybody up to be, you know, the end all authority on something. And a lot of times as Christians, we tend to look to, let's say, a Christian celebrity, a Christian author, a particular pastor and say, oh, they're, you know, the best thing since sliced bread. Human beings are fallen and they can make mistakes even when it comes to theology and doctrine.
Yeah. And even the discussion that the apostle Paul had writing to the Corinthians, you know, there were so many divisions that were taking place in Corinth. Some people were saying, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos. Guess who baptized me?
It was this sort of celebrity culture type thing. And Paul totally rejected that. That's not what we're after. And so, all of us are servants of Jesus Christ, ministers of the gospel called to point people to Christ. And insofar as we do that, well, great, you know, follow us as we follow Jesus, like the apostle Paul said. But the reality is, is everyone falls short. And so, Christ is the ultimate example.
He's the one that we're trying to fix your eyes upon. And so, God help us to do that. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Maybe there's a particular Bible passage that has always stumped you. There's a few that stumped me, so we'd love to hear from you. Or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith.
You consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist, and you don't believe these claims about Jesus. Well, we're open to your questions. Here's the phone number to call. It's 1-833-843-2673.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes, 833-The Core. Let's go to Chris in St. Louis, Missouri. Chris, what's your question for Adriel? Oh, yes, my question is this. The Bible says that those that believe in Christ definitely goes to heaven when they die. Now, it also says those who don't believe in Christ are pretty much sent to eternal damnation or hell, as we call it. So can a person that believes in Christ but does not do anything after their belief, like no working in ministry, no Sunday morning services, no advancing in ministry, can they still go to heaven even though they believe in Christ, but they've done no works after their belief, can they still go to heaven like those who believe fully? Chris, this is a great question, and it's actually the very question that James asks in James 2, verse 14, What good is it, my brothers? If someone says he has faith but does not have works, can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and be filled without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Now is James here contradicting the Apostle Paul who says very clearly that we're justified by faith alone?
No, I think that we're talking about two different things. James says in verse 14, Can that faith save him? In other words, there's something defective about this faith that he's talking about. This is somebody who says, Oh, I believe in Jesus, right?
They have this sort of nominal faith, we might say, or what some people have called a historical faith, right? I believe in Jesus, like I believe that Abraham Lincoln existed, but I'm not trusting in him. I'm not resting and receiving the grace that he gives to me. I do think that there are some people who profess faith in Christ, who don't truly believe who have not laid hold of the promises of the gospel because true faith, true faith, truly laying hold of the gospel, is accompanied by those works in the life of a believer.
Now none of us is perfect. We can't ever offer to God perfectly good works because all of our works are still tainted by sin. And that's why they're not the basis for our justification before God, but the God who justifies us is also the God who sanctifies us by faith. But let me just say, look, I mean, you think of the thief on the cross, for example, I mean, he believed, he didn't have a lot of time to do any works, to get involved in ministry, to go to church on a Sunday morning, but he was justified, he was saved.
On what basis? On the basis of faith in Jesus Christ. And so faith alone saves us, but as some people have said, faith is never alone in the sense that the Spirit of God is at work within us, producing those good works throughout the Christian life. And again, it's not that we're going to be perfect or sinless, but it's that the Spirit of God is working in us.
And so I think that's the best way to look at it. We want to rest in though, when we're thinking about salvation, Christ worked primarily, not what we do, but what he's done for us. So appreciate that question and God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and our phone lines are open if you've got a question about the Bible, Christian life, maybe how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in today's culture.
Maybe you've run up against some obstacles in some way. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE, that's 833-843-2673. We do receive a lot of calls and questions here at Core Christianity about spiritual warfare and the devil and demons and how can they affect us. And we actually have a resource we'd like to offer you on that topic today. Yeah, the resource we're offering today is Can the Devil Read My Mind written by Pastor David Cassidy, and it's a 70 page booklet, just think of it as a short book that you can read, that's really going to give you some insight into spiritual warfare, such an important topic. And so you can get ahold of this resource for a donation of any amount over at CoreChristianity.com.
We love David Cassidy. He's a great friend of this ministry, an awesome writer, and we think his book will be very helpful to you. You can find that by going to CoreChristianity.com, again, CoreChristianity.com, look for Can the Devil Read My Mind. Well let's go to an email that came in from one of our listeners, and they said this, I know the Bible seems to say that Satan is bound and that Christ is risen from the dead means that Satan has no ultimate power, but I'm wondering why Satan is still called the Prince of the Power of the Air in Ephesians 2, or the Ruler of this world in John 12, and the God of this world in 2 Corinthians 4. If he has been defeated, how can he still have God-like power? He has been definitively defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of the things that Jesus highlighted in the Gospels. He said he came to bind the strong man so that he might plunder his house. The evil one in his kingdom is currently being plundered by the preaching of the Gospel through Christ's rule from heaven. This is real.
This has happened. I think of what the Apostle Paul says in Colossians chapter 2, verse 13, you who were dead in your trespasses in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by canceling the record of death that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in him. Those rulers and authorities, so there's the spiritual rulers and authorities talking about the evil forces of darkness.
He uses the same language in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12. Again, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Satan has been definitively conquered. The kingdom has already been inaugurated through the preaching of the Gospel, through Christ's miraculous working, through his life, death, and resurrection, but we're still looking forward to its consummation. When death, the last enemy, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, is fully and finally destroyed when the evil one is cast into the lake of fire. And so while Satan has been defeated in a very real sense, disarmed, right, as he's like this disarmed foe, he's still at work deceiving in the world today. And this is what Peter says, that the evil one goes around like a roaring lion seeking to devour.
And so we need to be on guard. We need to put on the armor of God, as Paul told the Ephesians, but we can be confident that our foe is a defeated foe. We know the end of the story, we know who wins, and we know that we're in him, we're in Jesus Christ and that the evil one has no claim on the children of God. It's what the apostle John said in 1 John chapter 5, and so there's that tension there, the tension of the already and not yet Christ's kingdom is here, but it's coming in a fuller way. We're anticipating the consummation when the evil one is cast into the lake of fire, nowhere to be found, nowhere to influence anymore. Thank you for that question. You know, we actually, that resource we mentioned earlier, can the devil read my mind, answers some of these questions that people have about the devil and his power here on earth and how he can impact us.
We'd encourage you to check that out at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Let's go back to the phones and Sarah is on the line from Las Vegas, Nevada. Sarah, what's your question for Adriel? Hello, recently I've been dealing with some negative thoughts of feeling too dirty for Christ to save me and being haunted by my past sins and often thinking, if only my family and friends knew my sin, they wouldn't love me, no one would love me, and I know Christ loves me, but how do we combat these thoughts of feeling unworthy because of our sin and stepping to our new identity in Christ? Well, Sarah, the first thing I want to do is pray for you.
I know that you're not alone. I know that many of us in our walk with Christ can come to points where we feel that way. And so let me just pray first for you, gracious heavenly Father. We pray for our sister Sarah right now, Lord, who is weighed down by her sins. I pray that you would be with her, Lord, that you would give her a sense, Lord, she said she knows that you love her, that you would give her even a greater sense of your love for her and not just of your love for her, but of the power of the blood of Christ to wash her clean, fully, completely, Lord, that she does not have to walk in shame or in fear of your judgment, but that you have forgiven her as she's confessed her sins to you, Lord, and that she would rest in that reality, that she is your child, your daughter, and that you love her.
So please be with her and bless her, we pray in Jesus' name, amen. Practically speaking, so there is just the theology, right? The fact that God says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is what God has said to you. We may not always feel cleansed. We may not always feel like we're justified, but we're banking on God's promise, what he's revealed to us in his Word. And so I'm always encouraging people, look, don't trust in your feelings. Don't focus inwardly, looking to yourself and saying, well, I just know I'm not that good.
None of us are. It's resting on what God has said in his Word, taking him at his Word. And he has said, Sarah, you confess your sins to me, I forgive you, I cleanse you of all unrighteousness. You need to receive that word for yourself and recognize that our sins, no matter how heinous they are, are not more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who willingly went to the cross to wash us clean so that we might be forgiven.
Now sometimes, you know, we do have that feeling, man, if people really knew me, I don't think that they would love me. I think this is one of the reasons why we're encouraged to confess our sins to one another, as James says in James chapter 5, that one of the ways I think that sin is put to death in our lives, I mean, obviously, it's the work of the Holy Spirit, but practically speaking, I think when we're able to go to a pastor, the elders of the church or, you know, a brother or sister in the Lord who is mature in their faith and who can encourage us and we can say, look, I just want to talk and share and confess, you know, something that I've been struggling with or something that I've done, and they're able to speak the truth of the gospel to us, that word that we are forgiven. It's such a great reassurance, it's such a great reminder to have somebody there in front of us saying, brother, you're forgiven, sister, you're forgiven. And I think that's one of the reasons that the scripture calls us to this. And so I think practically speaking, Sarah, if you feel this way, if you feel like there's something that's burdening you and you've confessed your sins to the Lord, but you've got that sensitive conscience, maybe talking to the pastors of your church or, as I said, an older woman in the faith who is mature and who can speak the truth of the gospel to you, encouraging you and holding you accountable with whatever those things are. But let me just say to you that if you have confessed your sins to the Lord, looking to Christ, He does forgive you. He doesn't cast you out. He doesn't push you away. He doesn't say, oh, you know, that sin is too bad.
No. He says, my blood is sufficient. You come to me in faith, turning away from those things, I receive you and I forgive you. And surely He does that for you, Sarah. May the Lord be with you and bless you. Some great words of reassurance. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Juan, who's calling in from Nebraska.
Juan, what's your question for Adriel? Hello. Hey. Hi. Thank you for taking my call. Can you hear me well? I can hear you well.
How are you? Excellent. First, let me say a great complete to both you guys and thank you for your service and the kingdom. And I'm a believer as well.
However, I have a very delicate question. First, let me be upfront and honest, listening to Christian radio within the last four years has been become like a sour taste in my ear, in a sense, because one of the great things that we have as children of God is to love one another, just like Christ loves the church and we're to be walking epistles. So with that said, the basic belief in what we do as Christians, when I listen to Christian radio today, it's so unlike what it was when I was a young green in the, in the faith. And I was listening to every word that I heard from radio on Christian radio today. All it takes is just an election to happen. And you hear left, right and the abortion issues.
And it seems like people are so angry and wanting to rip each other apart. We're talking Christian and even some of the people that we put on pedestals that are on Christian talk radio shows. Here's my question. You men of God, what is your take on that?
And this is a tough question. A lot of Christians are listening to this platform. So what do you think about this?
And are you experiencing the same thing that I am? One, thank you for that question. And let me just say this weighs on me so heavily as a pastor, because I have seen the divisions that we see out there in the world, often, you know, on the basis of politics, creep into the church and people begin to have an intense suspicion of the other side. You know, you know, what do you think about this?
What do you think about that? We're not so much focused on the unity that we have through the blood of Jesus Christ, through baptism, through faith. But people are viewing everything through the lens of politics and what you think about this issue or that issue.
It's not that those things are insignificant. It's not that our Christian faith and our conscience shaped by the Word of God shouldn't form how we relate to broader society and think about these bigger issues. But it does seem to me like for many people, this has become ultimate.
Politics have become ultimate. People who, you know, aren't interested in having discussions about theology and doctrine and forgiveness and justification by faith will spend all day long talking about and studying and reading about, you know, this political issue or that political issue. I wish people were that passionate about the forgiveness of sins. And again, I'm not saying that these other things are not important, but I think it's really highlighted where the priority is for so many within the church, what their primary identity is found in. We are citizens of the kingdoms of this world and we should seek the good of the kingdoms of this world and we should seek to positively influence them as Christians.
But for us, this world and its kingdoms is not ultimate. It's what the author of the Hebrews said in Hebrews chapter 13. I love this verse, verse 14 of Hebrews chapter 13, for here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come through Jesus then. Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.
That is the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name and do not neglect to do good and to share what you have for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. What pastors and ministry leaders need to be doing is fixing the eyes of people on Christ, teaching sound doctrine, helping them to navigate the difficult issues of today through scripture, through what the Bible teaches, but we're focused on the proclamation of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And oftentimes I think with some of these debates, with some of these discussions, we lose sight, people lose sight of that primary focus and the worldliness that's out there. We're often concerned about the world creeping into the church and oftentimes what that means for us is you think of the issues related to sexuality, a low view of scripture, a low view of God's law, right? Like that stuff creeping into the church, well, we need to be on guard for that, but another way that worldliness can creep into the church is the way in which the world speaks and communicates, that beginning to shape how we talk to each other and how we think about each other, that suspicion, that fear, that vitriol that we see in so much of the broader political, you know, discussion, that creeping into the body of Christ and causing us to separate from one another, from brothers and sisters in Christ, maybe because they think about something like immigration differently than we do or something like that. No, first and foremost, we are citizens of the kingdom of God washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and that needs to be primary for us. And in that, pursue the good of your neighbor and continue to be unified with the people of God. That's I think what we're called to, and I pray, especially, you know, as more elections come, that God unites us as His people around that gospel because we live in difficult days, and so we need to be grounded in the truth of sound doctrine, and I'm with you, Juan. This is a great concern to me, and so I just pray that the Lord encourages you, that He encourages all of us in the midst of these times and that He fixes our eyes on that heavenly city that we're looking forward to where our ultimate home is.
Thanks. You know, just a couple of weeks away from a major election, Adriel, I'm so glad you said that, and I think we need to be very careful what we're posting on social media in the next 14 days. Would you agree? Yeah, well, social media, I mean, just wanting to, in all that we do, represent Christ well and honor Him.
And so definitely, I think at all times, we want to be careful about the things we post on social media. Hey, thanks again for listening today, may the Lord bless you, praise God. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at CoreChristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-Core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
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