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How to Discuss Doctrinal Differences in the Church

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2024 4:30 pm

How to Discuss Doctrinal Differences in the Church

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 15, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1425 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

  1. If Jesus washed the disciples' feet, should we wash feet also?   2. How do I make God the biggest part of my life?   3. Is heaven actually here on earth?   4. Am I really saved if I keep sinning even though I know better?       Today’s Offer: 7 TRUTHS ABOUT MARITAL SEX   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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How can I discuss doctrinal differences with people in my Bible study? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's 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 1-833-833. You can also email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And we do receive voicemails. You can leave us a voicemail anytime at that number, 833-THE-CORE.

Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Irene. Well, thanks for reaching out to us. That Super Bowl ad has gotten a lot of attention. I just saw another video, sort of a remake, that someone did of the ad where they used the same background music and some of the similar graphics, but highlighting a different perspective that Jesus doesn't just get us, but that he saves us. And I thought that was pretty neat.

But I think you're right. I think that the point of the ad was not so much to say that Jesus is washing all of these people's feet, but that we are called to wash one another's feet. Now, of course, that comes from John chapter 13, where Jesus did wash the feet of his disciples.

And then he looked at them and he says, okay, I've done this for you so that you would do it for one another. And so there's a call there to service. I know sometimes churches will have literal foot washings, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. That's not what we do at the church that I pastor. But I think that the focus there is on serving one another, in particular, as the redeemed people of God. And it's that redemption that is central.

It's that redemption that enables us. To serve one another and to serve our neighbor as we ought to. And so the good news of the gospel is not just serve one another, love one another.

That's the law. The good news of the gospel is that we have been served and loved by a good God who's redeemed us. And as a result of that, we do indeed serve one another. And so, hey, Irene, thank you for reaching out and sharing your opinion with us. God bless.

We have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, Super Bowl commercials, whatever. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. We also get emails here at The Core. And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Chad, Adriel. Chad says, Chad, thanks for that question.

So a couple of things. One, our confidence has to be rooted first and foremost on the immensity of God's love, not the strength of our own love. Our love is fickle. Now, of course, the law calls us to love God with all of our heart, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And immediately we realize, I struggle to love even the people who love me well, not to mention my enemies. And Jesus calls us to love even our enemies, to do good to them as well. And so while the Spirit of God, Chad, is at work in our lives as the followers of Jesus, renewing us, helping us to grow in the image of Christ, granting us that gift of love so that we might love one another, we're always going to recognize that we fall short.

And it's easy to get discouraged if that's all you're focusing on. And that's why I just want to encourage you and say, brother, it's not your love for God that is the main thing. It's his love for you as exhibited so clearly in the gospel.

And you need to keep that front and center. And as you keep that front and center, I think that's how our love for the Lord grows, too. It's like John says in 1 John, we love him because he first loved us. Now it sounds to me like you're saying, okay, I look at the apostle Paul and boy, I'm not like that. I don't have that same devotion to prayer and devotion to ministry and to service. And again, we read these stories and feel like we fall short. Now, of course, Paul was just a man like you, like me. And so we need to recognize that it's not helpful, I think, a lot of times to compare ourselves with others, in particular here with the apostle Paul. And yet at the same time, God does call us to be devoted to him.

And practically what does that look like? And let me just give you a couple of encouragements. Start your day in prayer and in scripture. Let that sort of set the trajectory for your day. I feel like for so many of us, it's just easy to begin the day without calling upon the name of the Lord, not having meditated upon the word of God, even if it's just for a short while.

We go immediately to our phones and check social media or turn on the TV or grab the newspaper, whatever it is. But I think there's something just wise and helpful in terms of setting the trajectory for your day, saying, okay, first thing I'm going to do is say, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. I'm going to pray and call upon the name of the Lord. And I'm going to sit and open up the word of God and read scripture and meditate upon it and say, Lord, direct my steps today. And then you find, you know, you do that, but you find, and I've experienced this, that, you know, an hour goes by and you've already forgotten what you read, or you're already sort of in the throes of the busyness of the day and life and struggles and you just continually going back to the Lord and calling upon him. And I think, you know, viewing everything, your day, as in light of his grace and walking, seeking to walk in the spirit. But again, that's going to be a struggle for each and every one of us. And I just don't want you to be discouraged. I want you to focus upon the goodness of Christ towards you. And then maybe taking those small steps, beginning your day in the word and in prayer, and then letting that continue throughout the day, that prayerful meditation until the Lord lays you down at night. And so God bless you, Chad.

And thank you for sending us that email. You know, Hadriel, it seems like so many of our listeners tend to beat themselves up because they don't have the feelings that they think they ought to have or they want to have. And yet you constantly come back to this key truth. It's not about how we feel or how much we do. It's what Christ has done for us. Yeah, which is not to minimize the importance of really pursuing the Lord. But it's just not disconnecting what we sometimes call the relationship between those indicative truths that we see in Scripture and the imperative commands that we see also throughout the New Testament. You know, so often those calls to follow the Lord and to strive after holiness are rooted in the indicative truth of the gospel, what God has done for us. And so we pursue God and seek to be imitators of God as his beloved children because he's loved us. And so if we lose those indicative truths of the gospel, the reality of what God has accomplished for us, then we don't have any win in our sails to pursue the things that God calls us to. And so we do continually go back to those objective truths, those promises of the gospel, what God has done for us, because it's there that we get that wind, that encouragement to pursue, to make every effort to pursue the Lord.

So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. By the way, we have a YouTube channel and you can watch Adriel live in the studio every day, Monday through Friday at eleven thirty a.m. Pacific time. You can also send him your question through our email or our channel. There are YouTube channel. We also have an email address. It's questions at core Christianity dot com. And as I mentioned, you can always leave us a voicemail at eight three three the core.

Lots of different options. Let's go to Cindy, who's calling in from Nebraska. Cindy, what's your question for Adriel?

OK, my question is, oh, you have a wonderful program, by the way. My question is, I was in a Bible study with a pastor one time and he said that Earth is actually heaven. There is no magical place up above, which is heaven. I disagreed with him. I was just wondering what your thoughts are on that.

Yeah, I would I would disagree with that as well. And boy, what a tragedy. If if this if, you know, you know, the experience that we have right now, this present evil age, as the apostles call it, if if this is heaven.

No. Now, we do believe, Cindy, that at the consummation, that is the final judgment at the very end of all things. Earth is going to be heavenized, we might say.

This is the picture that you get at the end of the Book of Revelation, the glorification of all creation, including planet Earth. And so we're going to live on a new heavens and a new earth. This is the the the new creation, the finality of the new creation and the everlasting state that we look forward to.

But that hasn't happened yet. You know, we're still experiencing the the reality of sin and death right now, even though Christ has conquered sin and death definitively at the cross. When we die as believers, we do enter the presence of the Lord in heaven. I mean, there's pictures of this in places like Hebrews chapter 12 and Revelation chapter six.

It's what we refer to as the intermediate state, because it's not, you know, the time of the final judgment or the the last judgment. But we are as believers in the presence of Christ in heaven around God's throne, worshipping him with the angels. Again, that's the vision that we get in Hebrews chapter 12, waiting for the resurrection of the body, which is still to come. And so this world as it is, this present evil age, is not our final home. We're going to, you know, we die, we go to be with the Lord in heaven, and then we're looking forward to the new creation.

What's described at the end of the book of Revelation, where this world is transformed so that it's no longer characterized by sin and death, but by redemption and new creation. Cindy, thanks for that. I recommend don't go to that Bible study anymore. So that's yeah, that sounds like there are some problems there.

Without a doubt, there are some problems. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. I want to tell you about a great resource that we have available to you, and it's on the topic of marital intimacy. Yeah, the resource is called Seven Truths About Marital Sex, and sort of a catchy title. It's a free resource over at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. And we're thinking about the topic of intimacy within the context of marriage from a biblical perspective.

Some encouragements as well as, you know, things to watch out for and ways to cultivate a healthy relationship with your spouse. And so get a hold of that resource over at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. By the way, when you're at our website, browse around, check out some of our other great resources. We have a variety of core questions and core guides that are absolutely free. You can download them and some awesome core Bible studies on books from both the New and the Old Testament. So check those out at corechristianity.com. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Pam.

Hello, Adriel. I really appreciate your ministry. I am one of a few teachers of a large Bible study group of Christian women.

We come from various backgrounds. Mostly they are Southern Baptist. I attend a PCA church and adhere to the Reformed teachings. We've been studying the Minor Prophets, and Zechariah 14, 16 to 19 came up. And one of the ladies was adamant that we would be going and celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles during the Millennium.

I've done some research on this, and from a Reformed view, it says that it's mostly symbolic. I want to explain to the ladies that there's two different interpretations and times, and to gently speak what I think to be true. Can you give me some advice, and how do you interpret that scripture?

Thank you very much. Pam, thank you so much for your encouragement. And I'm encouraged by the fact, one, that you're studying the Bible together with a group of women, but also that you want to dig deeper and communicate in a way that's gracious. You're not just trying to get into an argument with the ladies there in the Bible study, but you want to be able to reason together with people. We can get really caught up in our interpretations and take things personal in these kinds of discussions. God bless you for wanting to approach this in a way that is honoring to the Lord. That is how we have to approach it, saying, OK, let's dig into this.

Let's reason together. First, when it comes to interpreting the prophetic scriptures of the Old Testament, visionary prophecy, whether we're in the minor prophets or the major prophets like Isaiah, or we're looking at the visionary prophecies of the book of Revelation, which draw a lot on the visions that were received earlier in the Old Testament, like in the book of Daniel and elsewhere, including in places like the book of Zechariah. But recognizing how the genre, the specific genre of scripture, helps us to determine how to understand a particular passage.

So, for example, when you're looking at visionary prophecy, often you do have a lot of symbols and types. Think about John's Revelation, for example. John has a vision of Jesus in Revelation chapter 5, where he sees him as a lamb standing as though he were slain. It's not that Jesus in heaven is literally a lamb, a wounded lamb, but it's just a picture of Christ conquering work. Oftentimes, again, this is just how we're to understand the visionary prophecy.

So when we look at Zechariah chapter 14, beginning in verse 16, it says, Okay, so interesting text here, and in particular, the reference throughout this passage is the day of the Lord, the day of judgment. And there are different ways of understanding the time of the Millennial Kingdom. That language comes from Revelation chapter 20. It's my view that that Millennial reign of Christ is presently happening. Again, considering the symbolic nature of visionary prophecy, it's not that we're not taking the Bible literally or taking it seriously, it's that we're understanding it in accordance with the particular genre that we're interpreting. And so with this, does this mean that in the new creation or in the millennium, we need to go back to the festivals of the Old Testament? Well, I think what you can say is, no, we probably don't want to interpret it that way because we allow scripture to interpret scripture. And Paul is very clear in Colossians chapter 2. This is New Testament stuff here, Colossians chapter 2, he says in verse 16, Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival, or a new moon, or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. In other words, the Feast of Tabernacle together with the other feasts, like the Passover, that were binding upon the people of Israel under the Old Covenant, they've been fulfilled in Jesus. So as New Testament believers, we're not going back to those types and shadows, those things that prefigured the worship of the New Testament and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We actually, you know, we're forbidden from doing that in places like the book of Hebrews and the book of Galatians. And so I think understanding that text in Zechariah 14 in the light of what Christ has done, and in particular what Paul is saying there in Colossians chapter 2, helps us to interpret it more faithfully.

And so those are some of the avenues I think that you could go. And by the way, we have a resource, Bill, I don't know if you remember the name, How to Study the Bible? How to Interpret the Bible? That sounds really good.

My producer's laughing at me like, you should know this by now. How to Study the Bible Really Really Good. Yes, we have a resource called How to Study the Bible Very Good. And no, that's not what the resource is called. But I do think it's one that we'll get you the name for, and I'm recommending that you get a hold of it because we do talk about interpreting the different genres, and maybe that can be the next resource that you ladies study together, or you can pick up our study through the book of Revelation. So hopefully that's helpful, and again, Pam, thank you for reaching out to us. By the way, you can find all of our resources at corechristianity.com.

You just use the search engine there, you'll be able to find that one. Just put How to Study the Bible. How to Read the Bible, Bill. How to Read the Bible. Thank you. How to Read the Bible Really Really Good.

That's the name of it. So check that out at corechristianity.com. Well, we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You know, you can call us 24 hours a day and leave us your voicemail. We do our best to go through those voicemails once each day and get lots of really good questions, even overnight. So, you know, if you wake up at two in the morning and you think, oh, I've got to ask Adriel that question, that's when you want to call and leave it on our voicemail system at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Danny calling in from Topeka, Kansas. Danny, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes. I've been a Christian for many years now, and I've read Romans 8 and verse 9 and also 1 John 3 and verse 6. And my question is, even though I know what's right and I know what's wrong, I have a conviction of the Holy Spirit when I do wrong. And lately, I've been doing the same thing over and over, and I just wonder, does that mean that I'm not a part of Christ's body? Danny, may the Lord bless you. I'm going to pray for you.

Let's get into your question first, and then I'm going to pray for you. So you mentioned two verses, Romans 8 and verse 9. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. And then you also mentioned 1 John 3, verse 6, which reads, No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning.

No one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Now, what you're describing, I believe, is the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit that every believer has. The Spirit of God lives in you through faith in Jesus Christ, and yet there's this internal tension. Paul describes it in the previous chapter in the book of Romans, Romans 7, where he said, I do not understand my own actions, for I do not do what I want, but the very thing I hate I do. And I think he's also referring to this same battle in places like Galatians 5, which I want to just read that really quickly to you as well.

These are two passages I think you can go to. I would encourage you to read Romans 7 and Galatians 5, verse 17. He says, For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit. Those are the desires you're talking about right now, those desires of the flesh. The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit, that is, the Spirit of God, are against the flesh.

For these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do. This side of heaven, we wrestle with indwelling sin. God at times grants us victory over a particular struggle, and then there are and can be seasons where it's the same thing that we're wrestling with.

I often use the example of Peter. He denies the Lord when Jesus is being crucified because of the fear of man. He's afraid of persecution. And then later in his life, he's rebuked by the apostle Paul for the same reason, for the fear of man. Paul describes that scene in Galatians chapter 2. In other words, Peter the apostle struggled with the fear of man throughout his life.

It went away after that terrible scene when he denied the Lord. If Peter struggled with the same sin, what makes us think that we're not going to struggle with sometimes the same sins over and over again? That's not an excuse for them. That doesn't justify them.

That doesn't make it okay. We need to wage war against our sins. And so we bring that struggle to the Lord and confess it and know that God forgives us and that by the grace of His Spirit, He grants us aid. And I want to pray for you now, Danny, and just ask the Lord to be with you and to strengthen you in this fight. Father, thank you for our brother Danny for the many years of his relationship with you and walking with you. And Lord, as he feels in his own body and mind that struggle that we have, that battle between the flesh and the Spirit, we pray, Lord God, that by the grace of your Holy Spirit, you would grant him mercy and strength and help him, Lord, to put to death, as your word says in Romans 8, the sinful deeds of the body, that you would encourage him in the Gospel that he knows you and that he's been forgiven and that you would strengthen him, Lord, day by day for your service. Be with our brother, we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen. Hey Danny, God bless you and God bless all of you listening. Thanks. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-15 20:03:43 / 2024-02-15 20:13:06 / 9

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