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As a New Christian, How Do I Begin Reading the Bible?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2023 6:11 pm

As a New Christian, How Do I Begin Reading the Bible?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 16, 2023 6:11 pm

Episode 1228 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Can Christians celebrate holidays if the Bible doesn't speak about it?

2. If someone rejects Christ, did God preordain that?

3. Did Cain marry his sister?

4. As a new Christian, how do I begin reading the Bible?

5. Can Satan read our minds?

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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

As a new Christian, how do I begin reading the Bible? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. 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. Our phone lines are open and you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number and jot this down.

That's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your questions on our social media sites, and you can actually watch Adriel right now on our YouTube channel and send him your question through YouTube. And of course, you can always email us your question. Here's our email address.

It's First up today, let's go to Maria calling in from Kansas. Maria, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, hello. Thank you for accepting my call. So my question today is, is it okay for Christians to celebrate holidays?

Thank you for giving us a call, Maria, and I think that it is. I mean, if we're talking about, you know, cultural celebrations, holidays, I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. Of course, you know, just like with anything. I mean, if it's getting out of hand, if the celebration looks like drunkenness and debauchery, well, then the Bible does have something to say about that.

But in terms of, you know, maybe participating in some of these, you know, other cultural, there's nothing wrong with that. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord, glorifying him. The one text of scripture that I think of, Maria, is Romans chapter 14, verse 5. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God.

While the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord. And if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.

For to this end, Christ died and lived again that he might be Lord both over the dead and of the living. And Paul there, in this context, and of course it's even different than, you know, the holidays we think about, but in this context he's encouraging Christians to be charitable to each other, not to judge each other over these sort of secondary issues, you know, how you treat one day above another. And so I think there's liberty here for us as believers and if, you know, you have a clear conscience about this, you're not doing anything that is contrary to God's law, you're able to give thanks to the Lord.

Maybe, you know, the holiday's a great time to, I find, you know, to spend time with family and enjoy one another's company. And so give thanks to God for that. And as you do so, you know, it's pleasing to the Lord. The one thing I'll say is, you know, when we get religious, if you will, about holidays and the New Testament, you know, under the New Covenant, there aren't any binding feasts apart from the Lord's Supper that we're supposed to attend to. And so, you know, when people get religious about these things and start to bind the consciences of others, saying you have to do this and you have to do it like this, I think that's when we get a problem and that's what Paul is addressing in Romans chapter 14.

God bless. So you're saying that I should not celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles in my home? Is that what you're saying? Yeah. You know, I've been meaning to talk to you about that, Bill, you know, and you guys with the Feast of Booths in your backyard, setting up tents and stuff like that. I've been meaning to say something. Thank you.

Appreciate that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, you've talked about this before, just on the holiday issue about how unfortunately, at Christmas time, we've so secularized the holiday, we've so departed from really, you know, celebrating the birth of our Savior that it's really very, very sad in today's world.

Sure. Yeah, I mean, absolutely. And so this is where, again, you know, like there isn't any, you know, outline in scripture about how you should celebrate Christmas. I mean, this gets back at the point that I was just making with regard to religious holidays. And so the fact of the matter, sometimes with these holidays, it really can be an opportunity for people to just sort of dive, you know, headfirst into debauchery, into greed. And so that's where we really need to ask questions and sort of examine ourselves. But as they are, you know, just in themselves, I think there's liberty of conscience here.

Good word. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Jack calling in from Indiana. Jack, what's your question for Adriel? My question is about salvation, where Jesus says anyone that comes unto him will have eternal life if you believe that he died on the cross. But then he says, many will pray, Lord, Lord, and I'll say, I don't know. I kind of don't get that, I guess. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Oh, great. Well, it's one thing, Jack, to say, Lord, Lord. And of course, there in that context in Matthew chapter seven, you say, why do you say, Lord, Lord, but you don't do the things that I say. They rejected Christ and the will of God for them. And they're specifically in Matthew seven, it's probably a condemnation of the religious leaders. Jesus told them in places like John chapter five, you search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life.

But these are the very scriptures that testify of me and you're not willing to come to me that you may have life. And so there are people that can say, Lord, Lord, that can profess faith in Christ, but not have a genuine faith in Jesus, a true relationship with Christ. And I think that's why Jesus there in Matthew seven is able to say, depart from me, I never knew you. So it's not that these false teachers had a vital relationship with Christ. These are people who believed in Jesus, had a relationship with Christ, and then fell away and lost their salvation.

No, there was never any relationship. And so the scary thing there, I think the sobering thing in Matthew seven is, okay, these people were religious, but brothers and sisters, it's not enough to be religious. There are a lot of religious people out there.

The question is, am I trusting in Jesus Christ personally for the forgiveness of my sins, following him? And that's exactly what these people in Matthew seven weren't doing. And so Jesus isn't adding to the gospel.

He's not confused, you know, saying one thing in one place and another thing somewhere else. He's absolutely clear in John chapter five. He says, the one who believes in me has eternal life.

He's already passed from death to life. The problem is there are many people who can sort of go through the motions and have that religious exterior who don't believe in him, who aren't trusting in him. And we sometimes refer to that as a historical faith, you know, believing in Jesus, sort of like you believe in Abraham Lincoln. Well, I know that he existed. Yeah, he was there, but there's no personal trust and turning to Christ.

And so that's where I think we have to ask ourselves that question. Am I trusting in Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins? Or am I just sort of going through the motions of religion? Oh yeah, I guess I would call myself a Christian, but I don't have a relationship with Christ in any way. I don't, you know, I'm not a part of a church.

Those are important questions. And I think the issue in Matthew seven is these people, you know, they had the religious exterior. They're saying, well, didn't we do all of these things in your name even? And Jesus says, look, I never knew you.

I never knew you. And so the gospel isn't complex. I mean, it's simple. It's trust in Jesus. And through that trust, we do have that personal relationship. We know him and he knows us. Thank you for your question.

Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe something going on at your church that you're concerned about.

Hey, we're open to hearing from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to John in St. Louis, Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel?

I'd like to ask you a question. With all these killings and all these terrorist attacks, is that the increase in the satanic or the last day type of incidents? And also, it says that the devil comes with a rage when he was cast out from heaven. I was just wondering, is that the rage that's reflected in people's behavior now? And also in the last judgment day, when God says, or Jesus says, I no longer know you, were those people already ordained or ordained not to be saved in the book of life?

Thank you for those questions. So with regard to the first question, you know, when we're thinking about the last days and the way the last days are spoken of in Scripture, you ask, you know, is this a sign? I think of 2 Timothy 3, where Paul paints a picture for us of the last days. He says, understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty, for people will be lovers of self.

Isn't it interesting that he starts with that? The last days are going to be characterized by selfishness. People are going to be lovers of self. Lovers of money, he says, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power.

Avoid such people. Now, we've been in the last days ever since Jesus ascended into heaven. You know, he sent the Holy Spirit. Peter quotes Joel chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost, and look, this is what Joel was prophesying about. These are the last days. So this present evil age is characterized by these things that Paul is mentioning there in 2 Timothy chapter 3.

Our job is to be committed to Jesus and to his word and to the people of God and to loving our neighbors, proclaiming the gospel, living in a way that is in line with the calling that God has placed upon us as Christians, waiting for the blessed appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, the return of Christ to judge the living and the dead. And so it's easy to look around at the world and say, boy, these are the last days. And the fact of the matter is we can say, yeah, these are the last days.

And we could have said that 500 years ago, 1,000 years ago. We could have said that with Peter on the day of Pentecost. We're called to be vigilant, to be watchful, and to look to Christ and to seek to obey him in all things, honoring him. And may God help you to do that. May God help all of us to do that as we hope in Christ.

Thanks for your question. Thanks, John. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Sally calling in from Missouri. Sally, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, thank you and God bless you and thank you for taking my call. Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. They had their children. Cain slew Abel and Cain left and he married a woman. Where did those people come from if Adam and Eve were the first and only people?

I don't understand that. Thank you for that question, Sally. Genesis 4 verse 17, Cain knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch. Where did Cain's wife come from? It was probably at this stage in history, his sister.

She couldn't have come from any other place. We read in Genesis 3 verse 20, the man called his wife's name Eve because she was the mother of all living. And so they had other children. Adam and Eve had other children. Genesis 5 verse 4 says the days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years and he had other sons and daughters. And so the question of where did Cain's wife come from, there's the answer. It had to have been that this was one of Adam and Eve's other children that are described there in Genesis 5 verse 4. And so thank you for your question.

Always a confusing one. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, we want to let you know about a great new resource that we have. If you are a parent or a grandparent with teenagers in the home, this is something that we know you'll find really helpful. It's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Yeah, we want to encourage you, parents, grandparents, you have kids who are in high school or finishing up high school, to really think about how to be equipped to go into the world and to be grounded in the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. And this is something where we have to be proactive, I think, as parents in encouraging our children, in helping them by preparing them for the kinds of objections they're going to face to the Christian faith. And so How to Keep Your Faith After High School, it's a short booklet, but I think it'll be really encouraging for you and for your family.

And you can get ahold of it by going over to forward slash offers. You can get a physical copy of this new booklet, How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You know, Adriel, I heard a story from a pastor friend of mine, he said his daughter was at a major state university. And in the first week of class, she was in a philosophy class. The professor said, I'd like all the Christian kids to stand up. And those kids were kind of shaking in their boots, and they did stand up. And he said, by the end of the semester, I am I'm going to convince you that your faith is a myth.

And then he spent the next three months doing exactly that. So man, our kids need to be prepared, don't they? Yeah. And you know, what a tragic thing sounds like that guy has an axe to grind in and maybe Yeah, I mean, it's heartbreaking when you hear those things, but but certainly 100% we think about the the worldviews that are out there, and what many people think about the Christian faith and in the hostility oftentimes that we see and Bill, that's just an example of that. And so being prepared to engage the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to know what we believe and why we why we believe it is so important.

And we're not going to be prepared if we just sort of sit back and don't do anything. And so get a hold of resources like this and then work together as a family to grow in your understanding of God's word. Once again, the booklet is called how to keep your faith after high school. You can find that by going to core forward slash offers. Well, here's our phone number if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

It's 833 the core that's 833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Joma. I have a question on how to begin reading the Bible since I accepted God in my life. I wanted to see how do you start to read the Bible.

Thank you. Joma so I mean, praise God, I'm so happy to hear about your new relationship with Christ and welcome to the family of God may the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you and encourage you especially as you begin to open up the scriptures. And so I just have a few thoughts with regard to how to begin reading the Bible first a lot of times people ask. Well, where do I start should I start in the book of Genesis and then just kind of try to work my way all the way through some people take that approach. My recommendation would be that you you begin with with one of the Gospels. I love the Gospel of John. I think that's a great place to start also reading the Psalms the Psalms were the book of Psalms was the one of the first books that I began reading as a new believer to when I was when I was in the same place that you are right now Joma and one of the things I appreciated about reading the Psalms was they really teach us how to pray and they teach us about that intimate relationship with God that we can have because you can see it there on displays you're reading these Psalms these prayers that these individuals would would would make towards God as they were going through difficulty in life or praising God for his goodness and so I would say read Psalms read one of the Gospels and be consistent maybe taking a little bit of time every day reading a couple of chapters and as you do so I think this is another key component read the Bible prayerfully the Holy Spirit helps us to understand the text of Scripture illuminates the Word of God for us so I would say every time you you open up the Bible take a moment to stop and to pray and to say Lord open my heart help me to understand your word plant it deep in my heart so that it bears fruit and so you're not just reading it kind of as an academic exercise you're reading the Bible prayerfully in communion with God and let me just add this don't read the Bible in isolation you want to read it consistently you want to read it prayerfully and you want to read the Scriptures in community it's so important for you Joma especially at this stage as a newer believer you know you've you've you've come into this relationship with God with Christ you want to be you need to be in a church where the Bible is being faithfully taught where you can actually as you're reading Scripture where you can go to the pastor leadership of the church and ask questions because you're going to have questions it was so appreciated when I was a newer Christian went to a small little church here in Southern California where I lived in and the pastor was so accessible I just would come to him all the time with these questions as I'm reading through the book of Hebrews as I'm reading through the Gospels or in the Psalms you'll have questions and so you want to make sure that you're in community that there are other believers there that you can you can talk with that can encourage you as you continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord but I'm just so encouraged to hear that you're you're in Christ and that you're wanting to grow in your faith and may the Lord bless you in that thanks for reaching out By the way, just to mention, we have a great Bible study on this topic. Joma, this might be helpful to you or to any of our listeners who are trying to discern how to get started in reading the Bible.

It's actually called how to read the Bible and you can find that by going to core forward slash studies. Well, let's go to Steve calling in from St. Louis, Missouri. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is this. We know that every day Satan pretty much works overtime trying to separate us from the love of God.

So on those times that he let's just say that he's actually successful. Could it be possible that Satan can read our minds? That's my question. Can Satan actually read our minds?

Hey Steve, thank you. I do think that the evil one and his father there are there's a real spiritual power and insight that they can have. I don't think that they can read our minds. I don't think that certainly the Bible the Bible teaches that Satan is not omniscient. He's not omniscient. He doesn't know all things.

He's not like God. I think that that spiritual forces evil forces can place things into our minds can tempt us in different ways. It's interesting C.S.

Lewis. He has this wonderful book called the screw tape letters and he says oftentimes we think it's you know, the devil is trying to put things in our minds. He says I think actually what thing is trying to do more is keep things out of our minds keep the right things out of our minds namely the gospel Christ the Word of God and so sometimes it's just through distraction and being consumed with fear and you know, the world around us, you know, the cares of the world as Jesus said in the parable of the sower. But you said something that I just wanted to address really quickly Steve you said, you know in those times, you know, the evil one is seeking to sever us from the love of God and in those times where he's successful is it because he was able to read our minds. Let me just say this if you are a child of the true in the living God United to Jesus Christ by faith nothing not even all the powers of hell can separate you from the love of God. And this is this is exactly what the Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 8. Let me just read these verses Romans chapter 8 verse 37 and following in all these things. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us for I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord brothers and sisters that is good news. The devil wants to lie to you and convince you that you're hopeless that his spiritual forces are stronger than God's power to keep you that your sin has made it so that God no longer loves you. God will no longer forgive you just fall in one too many times in that particular sin don't buy the devil's lie look up to the cross of Jesus Christ where God has exhibited once and for all definitively his love for you and his power to forgive all of your sins. And as I said Steve there's nothing nothing in heaven or on earth that can separate us from that great love and that is really getting at the heart of the gospel isn't it Bill. It is so so well said and by the way we have a great booklet on this Steve it's called can the devil read my mind you can find that at core forward slash booklets great calls today. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer visit us at core 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. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-16 20:32:51 / 2023-05-16 20:43:00 / 10

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