How can I get over my porn addiction? 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. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2677. Now, we're also live right now on Instagram and YouTube. You can go to either of those sites and send Adriel your question that way and see what cool shirt he is wearing in the studio right now.
You can also email us your question anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First, you always say that, Bill, and I have the most basic shirts. I mean, like, one color, usually a collar, and that's it. You do have that really cool Hawaiian shirt, though, the one with the pineapples on it? They told me to stop wearing that. They said it's too colorful and it's too loud, they said. Not pastoral enough. Yeah, so I've retired that one.
You're not going to be too impressed if you tune into the YouTube feed. Thank you for that. Let's go to the phones. Brandon is on the line calling all the way from Alberta, Canada.
Brandon, hi, and what's your question for Adriel? Hey, guys, thanks for taking my call. My question has to do with, I've been blessed with ministry at my church. I teach kids in a midweek program, but James 3 verse 1 always brings to the back of my mind that not everyone should become teachers because they will be judged more strictly. Pastor Adriel, I just wanted to hear about your personal experience, like, preparing for your sermons even on Sunday or if you teach Sunday school and that kind of thing. Like, how do you make sure that your sermons are ready to be preached? Yeah, well, one, Brandon, thanks for giving us a call all the way from Canada, and I'm grateful to hear that you're serving your church and what a privilege it is to work with families and to work with children and to teach God's Word. It's a wonderful thing. It's a sobering thing as well, and that's what James is getting at there in James 3 verse 1, where he wrote, Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
And so I appreciate your question because it tells me that you're giving this some thought. Too many people, I think, they just sort of jump into teaching the Bible, and they don't count the cost. I mean, obviously, there is a process of studying, of preparation, and when James is talking about teachers there, I think he's thinking particularly about the ministry of the Word, and so being called to teach the Word, 1 Timothy 3, Titus chapter 1, where you have the qualifications. One of the qualifications for elders being the ability to teach.
They have to be able to teach. There needs to be some competency there, and that competency looks like giftedness with regard to teaching, but it also means being approved with regard to sound doctrine. And so for me personally, that was a process of training, seminary after college, studying the Bible, studying Greek and Hebrew, studying theology, studying church history, because these are very important doctrines. We're not just trying to give a nice talk that entertains people. We're trying to get to the bottom of what God's Word says, and to proclaim, thus saith the Lord. That's what a preacher is doing, and that is a sobering thing. Every time I preach, I'm comfortable doing it, but it also still, to this very day, there's an element of fear and trembling. There's the burden of the weight of wanting to understand God's Word rightly so that I can, with a clear conscience, say before people, here's what God is saying.
And I think this is important for anybody who's teaching the Bible with humility, studying the Scriptures and saying, God, help me to represent you well. It's not about getting followers. It's not about entertaining people or them liking me, per se, and there's that temptation there for anybody who stands in front of others teaching. We want to be liked. We want people to appreciate what we say. First and foremost, it's not about that.
It's not about entertaining people. It's about communicating the Word of God clearly. And so for you, Brandon, I would say, as you approach what you're going to teach, I think it's coming with humility.
It's coming with prayer. It's coming with James 3, verse 1 in mind, and saying, Lord, help me with fear and trembling, but also with joy to communicate your truth to those who you've entrusted to my care. And you work, Lord God, through your Word to build them up, and help me, O Lord, help me to communicate clearly, help me to speak the truth. And that's what we need help with as teachers within the church. And so may God continue to bless you, and I'm grateful to hear that He has indeed blessed you with this opportunity, with this position. And may the Lord use you to build up others in their faith as you serve up the Word of God to them.
Thank you for reaching out. Let me just ask a follow-up question. You mentioned all of your training in seminary in Greek and Hebrew. Brandon is teaching kids. Would you say that for a person, let's say, who's teaching Sunday school, one of the most important things is your curriculum.
Where are you getting it from? Is it something that has been approved, let's say, by a denomination or by other leaders, so that you're not just happenstance grabbing something off the internet? It would seem that for a Sunday school teacher, that's really key. Yeah, I mean, solid curriculum is really key. I think there are a number of resources out there.
I don't know if we want to go back to Brandon. Brandon, what age are the kids that you're teaching in your church? I teach grade 3 to 6, so about 8 to 11 year olds, roughly.
Awesome. Yeah, there's some great curriculum there. The other thing I would just say is, you think about Paul's exhortation to Timothy, where he tells Timothy, or encouragement to Timothy, he says, from your childhood, you have known the sacred scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation. And so the content is the Word of God, and the Word of God is for children. It's amazing to me how reading the Gospels, so often it was the little kids who understood who Jesus was before even the religious leaders. And so God, by the grace of his Spirit, can open the hearts and minds of even young children through the Word.
And so that's the content. And so curriculum, whether if you're using one or if you're just teaching Bible stories on your own, focusing on applying the Word of God and teaching the Word of God, that's what we have to do. And that's precisely what Paul was getting at when he told Timothy, from your childhood, since you were a little kid, you've known the sacred writings.
You've known them. And they're able to make you wise for salvation. So may God equip you, Brandon, as you seek to do that for what a blessing that is and what a privilege that is to do that. And may God encourage you in the work.
Amen. 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, something going on at your church, maybe.
We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also leave a voicemail at that number this weekend if you'd like to ask Adriel a question on our voicemail system, or you can email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Let's go to Jeanette calling in from Missouri.
Jeanette, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I have been going through a trial here because this neighbor of mine, who I did not know was mentally ill, has been harassing and tormenting me physically and mentally. And I've gone through shock treatments and confinement at Highland Center for Psychiatric Treatment, and I just know that God is involved in this. But, I mean, if you could tell me how I could get some hope, because after this length of time, it's really getting hard for me to accept each day, because it's day and night that this person and her son harass me this way.
Well, Jeanette, I'm really sorry to hear about this situation. The first thing I want to do is just offer up a prayer for you and pray for God's grace and protection and for wisdom in this. Lord, we lift our sister up to you and ask, oh God, that you would grant her wisdom and relief from this harassment.
Lord, we know that mental health issues are rampant. And so we pray, whatever the root cause of the harassment these issues are, that you would provide support and help and bring healing in this situation. And for our sister, we ask that you would strengthen her faith and draw her closer to you in the midst of this trial, but again, that you would give her wisdom, Lord, about what she needs to do in this situation. So we ask these things, Father, in Jesus' name.
Amen. Jeanette, apart from saying if you're in a situation where it's a proximity thing and there's abuse and harassment, it may be that there just needs to be a change of location to get away from that. I don't know all of the details. You mentioned some mental health issues there, but Bill, I don't know if you want to add anything because I know that that's something that you've, one of your expertise, but what would you say to our sister here? Well, it sounds like a very complicated situation, and in these cases, I think one of the most important things, you mentioned proximity, and even when you're close to somebody, like a neighbor, you have to set up appropriate boundaries. The Bible talks about letting your yes be yes and your no be no, and when it comes to someone who's hurting you in some way, even when that's emotionally, you need to just sometimes, as difficult as it is, just cut yourself off from that person and not communicate with them.
And I'm not saying in an unloving way, I'm just saying to protect yourself from further abuse. Yeah, I think there's wisdom in that, and so, sister, may God bring healing and restoration here, and obviously, as Christians, and I don't know if these individuals are believers or claim to be believers, but we do confront that kind of sin, too. And it's okay to say, hey, there's a problem here, the church can get involved, and there can be some accountability and even discipline, that's another avenue that hopefully in healthy churches is a way of working through conflict, and so I don't want to minimize that situation as well. So thank you for reaching out, may the Lord be with you and guide you in this. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open, we'll be taking your calls for the next 10 minutes or so. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, call us at 833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is Calvin. I was just listening to your show and I have a disagreement with him. He mentioned that he's changed his views on the gifts of the Spirit.
If the gifts of the Spirit is given to us by the Holy Spirit, given to us by Jesus Christ from the Father, if they're not for today, what is to say that salvation is for today? Thank you. Have a good day. Calvin, I appreciate a couple of things, but I just appreciate you calling in.
When people call and disagree with something I've said, or give me an opportunity to clarify further, I do appreciate that. I have mentioned in the past that, at least with regard to the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit being ordinarily given to Christians today, so we're thinking about gifts like the gift of tongues or the gift of prophecy, are those normal, ordinary parts of the Christian worship service, for example? Miraculous manifestations like that?
My answer is no, I don't think so. I do think that you do see that miraculous stuff happening, especially throughout redemptive history when God is breaking in and doing something new. And of course, that's what we get with the Exodus, for example, or in the book of Acts, the dawn of this new era, the new covenant, you do see a lot of miraculous activity.
But if we took the whole of biblical history, from Genesis to Revelation, all the in-between, what we're getting here is a record of God's redemptive work, God's revelation. And there were long periods where you didn't just see these kinds of miraculous things happening. In fact, when Jesus shows up and he's healing and doing all these miracles, what do people say? They say, we've never seen anything like this.
Nobody's ever done anything like this. It wasn't like, this is just the normal life for the people of God. These things are unique. And I think that there's a problem when we try to take these unique things, these miraculous things, and we try to make them ordinary in the life of the church and people pursue them as though the everyday Christian life was this mountaintop miraculous experience.
And we know from our own experiences, that's just not the reality. Yes, God is able to do miraculous things. He's free to do miraculous things.
And I believe that he still heals today and works providentially today. But if you're expecting that to be the normal everyday Christian life, you are going to be disappointed. The everyday Christian life looks like faithfully following Jesus, growing in our understanding of the Scriptures, reading the Bible, growing in prayer, growing in your relationship with the local church, studying the Bible together with others, being under the ministry of the word. Are there times where it's really exciting and it does feel like the mountaintop experience? Yes. Are there times where it's like, I'm struggling to get out of bed and go to church and I have a hard time listening to the sermon?
Yeah, that too. But it's that commitment, that persistence that we have daily to seek the Lord. That's the ordinary Christian life.
By the way, let me just plug a book called Ordinary by my friend Dr. Michael Horton, who really does a good job. If this is something you struggle with, you know, kind of the rollercoaster ride, and you're always exhausted as a believer trying to pursue these things, check out that book, Ordinary by Dr. Michael Horton. Because he talks about the sort of long-term, sustainable Christianity that we all want to have. And Calvin, one of the things you said in your question is, well, if all the gifts of the Holy Spirit aren't ordinarily being given today, well then how can we say that salvation is still being given today? And we're just thinking about proper Bible interpretation. What was prescriptive?
What was descriptive? Are we always supposed to expect as Christians that our experience is going to be like Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, or was that a description of something that took place there, which has implications for us today, but we're not looking for that Pentecost experience every day of the Christian life? And so that's what I would point to, is properly understanding what the Scriptures teach. And again, let me just say to you, brother, don't ever want to minimize the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and God's ability to do amazing, miraculous things. Some of you are listening right now and you're thinking of events in your own life, times that the Lord has really worked miraculously in your life.
What I am trying to focus on and emphasize is the need for sound doctrine, the need for growing in those ordinary Christian disciplines of gathering with the saints, of being a part of a local church, of studying the Scriptures. That's what we're grounded in. That's the bread and butter of the Christian life. And if we try to focus on something else, if we try to work up this miraculous Christian life, this experience, we're just going to be spinning our wheels, and over time we're going to get exhausted. And so I've seen that happen.
I don't want that to happen to you. We need to recover a high view of the Word and the ordinary means of grace as we seek to grow as Christians. That is so well said. Thanks for that, Adriel, and I'm so glad you mentioned Dr. Horton's book, Ordinary, just a great book for every believer to read, especially in today's world when there are so many competing voices telling you what Christianity is supposed to be about. What is it really about biblically?
So I encourage you to get that book. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have a wonderful resource we'd like to offer you. It's absolutely free, and it's something that parents and grandparents can use to get closer to their kids and help them learn God's Word through music. Yeah, the resource is called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. You're right, Bill, this is something we can do together as families, getting ahold of this resource and singing these great hymns, one of the ways to know the Scriptures and to memorize Scripture, to memorize good theologies through song. So get ahold of this free resource over at corechristianity.com forward slash radio to get ahold of Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. And when you're at our website, feel free to browse around. We've got lots of great free resources there, our core questions, our core guides. And if you're a regular listener to Core Christianity, we would encourage you to maybe consider perfectly consider making a gift to this ministry. We don't play commercials.
We don't receive money from a church or denomination. We count on people just like you to make contributions to keep this ministry going. So check it out at corechristianity.com. While we do receive voicemails here at the Core, you can call us 24 hours a day, leave your voicemail question for Adriel. The number is 833-THE-CORE. Here's a voicemail that came in from Caleb. I know it's a sin.
I'm struggling with porn addiction, so I just want to help with that. Thank you. Caleb, thank you for reaching out to us. Let me first, for you, pray and invite our listeners to pray, and then let me give you my answer. So Father, we lift Caleb up to you. As he acknowledges his sin, Lord, he recognizes that pornography is a heinous sin, and he confesses that to you, and yet he still struggles and even finds himself in an addiction. And so we pray, gracious God in heaven, that you would break these bonds, Lord, that you would bring him out of this addiction and that you would get him the help that he needs. We pray, Lord, thinking of Paul's words in Romans 8, that by the Spirit, we put to death the sinful deeds of the body. We pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Lord, that Calvin would be strengthened to grow and to—excuse me, that Caleb would be strengthened to grow and to be released, Lord, from this. And thank you that through Christ you do indeed release us, Lord, that we're no longer under the dominion of sin and Satan. And so help him to live in light of that great reality. We pray in Jesus' name.
Amen. So Caleb, a couple of things. If I had you on the line right now, a couple questions that I would have. One would be, first, you know, have you brought this into the light? And what I mean by that is, have you confessed that you've confessed this sin to the Lord, or you recognize that this is something that is sin? So you're acknowledging that, but do you have the accountability and the help that you need, or are you struggling with this in isolation? And with whatever our sin struggle is, when we don't confess, when we don't bring it into the light, and we're holding on to it in the shadows, it tends to grow. And Satan wants to convince us, well, we can't be honest about our sins, we can't really confess them, especially not to others, because if we did, you know, what would they think?
And so we don't, because we're afraid, and as a result, things just get worse and worse. And so I think part of the first step is acknowledging that this is sin, and acknowledging that it's a significant problem, and getting the help that you need, and confessing that to a trusted, maybe an elder in your church or to your pastor, sitting down and saying, look, I am battling this sin, and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, this is an addiction, and I need help. So acknowledging that, bringing the sin into the light, and taking whatever steps you need to take to cut off access. This is what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 5, right? If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. He's using hyperbole there, but the focus is, you need to be serious about removing whatever, you know, whatever it is, the doors that lead to this. Is that your computer? Is that, you know, the access that you have on your phone?
Better to lose your internet access, to throw away your computer, even. I mean, I think that's what Jesus is getting at. Then to continue with this stumbling block, and that doesn't mean that, you know, that solves the heart issue, but sometimes it's just cutting off the access is so important, and getting maybe some accountability help there.
There are wonderful resources like Covenant Eyes that will do some monitoring on your computer or on your phone. That's another thing. Part of the way is, I think, with addiction, if it's a real deep issue, considering getting therapy for sexual addiction, that can also be helpful.
That's really important. And one more thing that I'll say, it's what Paul said in 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 22. Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. So it's not just running from temptation, but laying hold of righteousness, faith, love, and peace, which are in Jesus. So pursuing the right things, Kaelin, which are found in Jesus Christ. God bless. as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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