How are our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit? 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'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2666. You can feel free to leave a voicemail at that number as well.
You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well first up today, let's go to a caller. This is Jeff calling in from St. Louis.
Jeff, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, hi guys. Appreciate you all.
Thanks for your show. Yeah, Adriel, I was wondering how to respond to people in conversations, specifically my in-laws. We often talk about religion and the faith. We're all Christians, but sometimes I hear certain things that I don't really agree with. I often hear slogans or mantras from them at times, things like, you know, God will never give you anything more than you can handle, and if he closes a door, he'll open a window. These types of things that, to me, seem a bit superficial. And anyway, I don't really have good comebacks to those, and I wondered if you had engaged these things before, how would you give good pushback to these types of sayings and mantras and things?
Jeff, thank you for that question. Honestly, a good one with family time coming up. Just one piece of advice, good comebacks and pushback for the in-laws is probably dangerous ground, right? If you're looking for good comebacks for your in-laws. But I actually, I mean, I hear you because you do hear these kinds of things from friends or family members, and the two that you mentioned, those sort of like Christian clichés, you know, God, if he closes one door, he's going to open another one, or he's going to open a window or the garage door or something like that. And then actually the other one that you mentioned, which I think has actually had a really terrible effect on the faith of many is God will never give you more than you can handle. So I think this is important stuff for us to be able to talk about with friends and people that we love, and obviously with grace and going to the scriptures first and foremost, it sounds to me like your in-laws are believers, and so assuming that they take the Bible, God's word, as authoritative, I think they would appreciate you saying, well, let's look at some verses together.
I think this deserves a little bit of time, Bill. So that first one, you know, when God closes a door, he opens another one. Usually I think that's taken to mean that, you know, if they're smooth sailing, then that must mean God is on your side. He's opened a door. That means that whatever you're doing is his will.
If there are challenges and if it's difficult, maybe God just hasn't opened that door and you shouldn't go through it. What's interesting to me is, and I was just preaching through a text in the book of Revelation where it talks about Jesus being the one who opens and no one shuts and shuts and no one opens, and often in the New Testament, the language of an open door is associated with the advancement of the gospel. So the disciples throughout the book of Acts, 1 Corinthians, they're praying that the Lord would open a door for the gospel and the gospel's advancement.
We should be praying for this as well. But what's so interesting to me is, at least in one of the texts, in 1 Corinthians 16, listen to what the Apostle Paul says related to gospel ministry and this idea of the open door. He says, 1 Corinthians 16, verse 9, a wide door for effective work has opened to me and there are many adversaries.
Isn't that interesting? So God has opened a door for us, but look, there are some challenges here. There are many adversaries and yet Paul didn't take that to mean that God was not behind what was happening. So I think that's where the complexity comes in and we realize, look, actually maybe God is opening a door and there are just a lot of difficulties and it's still God's will for you to be engaged in this, that, or the other. Certainly when it comes to the preaching of the gospel and obeying the Lord and the things that he calls us to do, the door is always open, but there are going to be challenges there. Think about missionaries sometimes in the field, incredible challenges. Absolutely, absolutely.
And so that's what I'd say with regard to that one. Now the other one, God will never give you more than you can handle. I have seen Christians despairing because they're going through something so difficult and they just think to themselves, God, you must be doing this to me because you know I'm strong enough.
You know that I can handle this and they feel destroyed, crushed, but they think that I must have it in me. And so they're trying to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and really to persevere because they know God, they must be able to handle this. That saying is a misunderstanding of what the Apostle Paul says also in 1 Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, where speaking about temptation and temptation to sin specifically, he says very clearly in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 11, he's talking about the wilderness generation that fell into sin in the wilderness and was judged by God. And he says, these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man and God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.
Okay, so that's saying something different. And honestly, praise God for that. Paul is here saying, look, when you're tempted to sin, when there's temptation, God is not going to tempt you beyond your ability and he also provides the way of escape for you to flee from temptation. But this isn't talking about just the trials that we face in life, cancer diagnosis, sickness, the loss of a loved one. And we do experience things in our lives as followers of Jesus that are more than we can handle. And Paul again, and this is the text to go to in 2 Corinthians chapter 1, he makes this very clear. He says, this is 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 8, and so this is, I think, a good text to go to for your friends and family members who maybe say that, you know, God will never give you more than you can handle. We'll say, well, what about this passage in 2 Corinthians 1 verse 8, we do not want you to be unaware brothers of the affliction we experienced in Asia, for we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. We were burdened, you know, because we knew, God knew we could carry the burden, you know, he says we were burdened beyond our strength to the point that we despaired even of life. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, but that was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. So here's the point, sometimes in life God does give us more than we can handle. You don't have to feel like, I got this God, you wouldn't have been, you know, sending me this trial if you didn't think I was the one.
No, sometimes we do have to just fall down and cry out and not rely on ourselves. God doesn't want us to rely on ourselves, he wants us to rely on him. And that's exactly what Paul says, we were utterly burdened beyond our strength so that we despaired of life itself so that we would not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. You may not have the strength, but brothers and sisters, there is a God in heaven who raises the dead who is for you, and so we cast ourselves upon him. And that, I think, makes far better sense of what the scriptures say, and it exposes, I think, one of the big problems with that saying specifically.
Such great counsel, thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always email us.
Here's our email address, it's questions at corechristianity.com. Here's an email from Annie, and she says, in Matthew 23 verses 8 through 10, Jesus said, But you are not to be called Rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers, and call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, that is Christ. Does that mean we shouldn't call anyone pastor or reverend?
How does that differ from what Jesus said here? Yeah, that's a great question, and certainly, you know, in our church, many people refer to me as pastor, Pastor Adriel. Some people just call me Adriel, and I don't get all offended about that. I don't think that there's anything wrong with referring to your pastor as pastor, your elders as, you know, Elder John.
Specifically, I think there is an issue with that sort of arrogant, authoritarian approach that some people can have. Ministers, pastors are ministers of the word, and we do have a kind of authority that God gives to us. We refer to it as a ministerial authority. That is, it's not an authority in us, in and of ourselves, but we have authority as ministers of the gospel to communicate the truth of God's word. And so we call people to follow what the word teaches. We're not calling people to obey us as though we were the Father in heaven. We're calling people to obey God the Father and his word as he's communicated to us in scripture.
And so I think that's the big thing. Now, some people act as if, and pastors act as if they have what we might refer to as a magisterial authority, the authority to bind people's consciences on, you know, whatever they want. You should dress exactly this way.
You know, you can't wear jeans to church, that kind of a thing. I can't? Yeah, you especially, Bill. Come on.
You know, pick up the game. No, but I think that's part of the issue. And of course, in Jesus's day with the religious leaders, there was this love of authority and being called teacher and the best seats, right? I mean, Jesus says you love the best seats, the best places in the synagogue to have other people call you Lord and Master and Rabbi and so on and so forth. He says, no, that's not the kingdom of God. And so I think that's some of what Jesus is getting at, nothing wrong with referring to your pastor as pastor.
Now, if he wants to be called, you know, Lord of the universe or something like that, then there's a serious issue and a narcissism issue probably. But I appreciate, Annie, that question. Pray that the Lord blesses you.
Thanks for emailing us. Thanks, Annie. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. By the way, we do get a lot of calls about what is the Bible's overarching theme?
People calling in with questions about the types and shadows we see in the Old Testament. And we actually have a wonderful book that we'd like to offer you today. It's by one of Adriel's seminary professors who he had a lot of respect for.
I did. I still have respect for the man, just a really godly man, somebody who didn't just, you know, talk the talk but also walk the walk. In fact, he's one of the professors I had who, you know, in the middle of lecturing about Jesus and the gospel would get tears in his eyes because he was so moved by what he was teaching.
And those are the kinds of people I think we want to learn from, people who it's not just talk, it's, you know, this has changed and shaped my life. And so I've always really appreciated that about this man, Dr. Dennis Johnson, has written a number of resources as a New Testament scholar with a pastor's heart. And this resource in particular is a book right up, you know, in line with what Bill was saying there, helping you to trace the overarching themes in scripture and see how they point us, lead us to Jesus. The book is called Journeys with Jesus, How Every Path in the Bible Leads Us to Christ.
That's beautiful. That's what we want. We want to be led to Christ through the Holy Scriptures. And so get a hold of this resource for a donation of any amount over at corechristianity.com. Love to get this to you.
We think it'll be tremendously helpful. What a great book to read over the holidays as well, especially when you're interacting maybe with people who are non-believers and who are asking questions about the Bible and what you believe. This book could really help you, and you can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Just again, look for Journeys with Jesus, How Every Path in the Bible Leads Us to Christ. Well, if you have a question for us, you can feel free to email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com. Here's one question from Jason. He says, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 619, Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you've received from God?
You are not your own. So what does it mean to say that the Holy Spirit is in you? The imagery of our bodies being a temple for the Holy Spirit communicates so much. One, it communicates to us that the Holy Spirit is God because the temple is God's house in the Old Testament. You had the temple there in Jerusalem, and it was the place where God's throne was, if you will, at least a picture of it here on earth. You had the Ark of the Covenant in the mercy seat and so on and so forth. This was where God is saying, I'm here.
I dwell here. And so to say that the Holy Spirit, that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, is to say that the Holy Spirit is God. And I just want to mention that because oftentimes people wonder, well, where in the New Testament does it say that the Holy Spirit is God?
Well, this is one of the places I think that we could go to. Now, what does that mean specifically for us that our bodies are the home, the temple of the Holy Spirit? Here, what Paul is teasing out are some of the ethical implications of that. He's writing to the Corinthians and he's saying, look, flee from sexual immorality. That's verse 18. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body. But the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. In other words, you're sinning against the temple of the Holy Spirit.
And that's a serious offense. And God takes that seriously. So, and he goes on to say in verse 20, so glorify God in your body. So the point that he's making is, look, the Spirit of God lives in you.
And there are ethical implications to this. You're called to live a certain way, holy, because the Spirit lives in you. You don't want to grieve the Holy Spirit. Now, it's not that the Holy Spirit has a room somewhere in one of the places in your heart, that kind of thing. But I think we use that language.
We're not talking literally here in that sense. But there is a sense, really, truly, in which the Spirit of God dwells in us as his people. We've been sealed by the Holy Spirit. That's what the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1. And so it really is this beautiful picture that God, who cannot be contained, has come to dwell in the hearts of men and women by faith in Christ.
And again, there are implications to that. And so I appreciate your question. And may God help each of us as those who, through Christ and the Gospel, have been filled with the Holy Spirit to live as becomes the followers of Christ.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. If you have a question for us about the Bible or the Christian life, you can leave us a voicemail anytime, 24 hours a day. The number is 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named Josh. Is there any other place in the Bible besides Acts 26 where Paul is addressing King Agrippa, where he talks about him, wishing he would become a Christian except for Paul's chains? But is there any other place in the Bible where it calls us to pray for the salvation of unbelievers?
Yeah. What a great question. And there are two places that come to mind. So the first is Matthew, Chapter 6, where Jesus just gives us the Lord's Prayer. He said, well, where does Jesus tell us there to pray for the salvation of nonbelievers? Well, I would say, insofar as we're saying, your kingdom come, we're praying for the salvation, not just of ourselves, but the people around us.
Why? Because the kingdom of God is the new creation. It's the sphere of the operation of the Holy Spirit. And we're praying for this, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors as well. We want to see the kingdom of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, impact the people around us. And so I think we ought to pray, even with hallowed be thy name as well. We're praying that the name of God would be sanctified in our hearts, but in the hearts of all of his people in the whole world.
And so here's an encouragement for you. When you pray that, think of people, think of your neighbors, think of family members who don't know the Lord, aren't following Christ, and say, God, may your name be hallowed in their lives. May your kingdom come. Jesus, you said in John chapter 3, a person can't even see the kingdom of God unless they're born again. And so do that work. Do that work in them so that they might experience the power of your kingdom so that your kingdom might come there and take hold of this individual.
So I would say that's one place. The other place, I think, where it's really clear is in the book of 1 Timothy, Pastoral Epistles, in 1 Timothy chapter 2. Listen to what Paul said there in verse 1. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. Then he adds this, verse 3, This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Well, there it is right there. Well, who should I be praying for and for their salvation? All people, everybody. Including kings and rulers, and certainly in the days of the apostles, many of them weren't believers. But the kings and rulers and those who were in authority and for a long period of time, they were actually persecutors of the church, and that's why he's saying pray for them, pray for their salvation, so that we might lead quiet, peaceful lives, dignified, godly in every way. Pray that God's kingdom would come in their lives, too, for the good of the church, to restrain the evil in the world, and for an open door for the gospel. You know, I think sometimes we fail to pray for non-believers because, especially in this political environment right now, we get frustrated, we get angry, and we say, I'm not going to pray for them.
I can't stand that guy, that president or that person. What a great point, Bill. Look, the government officials, the leaders in the days of St. Paul and St. Peter, were pretty bad.
They pretty much chop your head off. And yet here they're saying pray for them, pray for them. And so we should all be encouraged. I mean, I know it's hard for us because sometimes we feel like, oh, man, this person thinks so differently than I do, and they're causing so many problems.
At least I think they're causing these problems in the world. Okay, well, even if that's the case, we're still called to pray that the grace of God and the mercy of God. If you think of the story of Jonah, we were talking about the story of Jonah. God calling Jonah to go to the Ninevites, these people who had done terrible things, who were violent, cruel, wicked, and yet God says go to them and preach my message to them. And Jonah doesn't want to go because he doesn't want them to repent. He doesn't want them to receive the mercy of God. And so sometimes I think when somebody frustrates us or people frustrate us, we don't want them to see the mercy of God. And I think we need to do some heart examination there and say, okay, Lord, help me.
Help me to have your mind set. Help me to heed your commands and to pray for all people, for kings and all who are in authority. And that's a good reminder. Coming off the heels of yesterday and the elections and all that, a good reminder for us, we're called to pray.
Good word. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. It's a call from one of our listeners named Diane. My question is, when King David had an affair with Bathsheba and when he ordered Uriah to be killed, did the Holy Spirit leave him? Because somewhere else down the road, it talks about after he repented to not take the Holy Spirit from him and to give him a clean and contrite heart. Does that mean that sometimes the Holy Spirit can leave us and then we can ask for the Holy Spirit back when we do such a sin?
Thank you. Diane, thank you for that question. So the text that you're referring to is David's prayer in Psalm 51 when Nathan the prophet went to him after he had sinned horribly in taking Bathsheba. And he says in Psalm 51, verse 11, cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Now, we have to understand, Diane, one thing, that David is living under the old covenant. That doesn't mean that he didn't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in his life.
He didn't. He's praying about it right here. But we have, I think, as believers under the new covenant, a unique relationship that the believers in the Old Testament didn't experience in the same way. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit and not just the kings and the priests in Israel, but all of God's covenant people are, by faith, sealed with the Holy Spirit.
This is what the prophet Joel said would happen in Joel chapter 2. It's what Peter confirmed in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost. And so we, as Christians, I believe, are sealed with the Holy Spirit. That is, the Holy Spirit won't leave us, won't abandon us. It's always with us. But we can grieve the Holy Spirit, and that's what the apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians. And so when we sin, we do what David did here, and we confess our sins and repent, not because God has taken his spirit from us, but because we want to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with one another in Christ. Thanks. .
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