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Is it Inappropriate for Christians to Be Assertive?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2024 4:30 pm

Is it Inappropriate for Christians to Be Assertive?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 1, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1436 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

    1. When will God give me freedom from the pain of my past relationship?

2. Does Matthew 7 mean that if I don’t bear fruit I’ll be condemned?

3. Are we allowed to be assertive as Christians?

4. Are denominations allowed to remove churches for having a female pastor?

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Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

Are we allowed to be assertive as Christians? 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. Here's our phone number, and you can feel free to leave us a voicemail if you get our voicemail system.

It's 833-THE-CORE. Of course, you can always email us your question. Here's our email address.

It's questions at First up today, let's go to Victoria calling in from Oklahoma. Victoria, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is, well, I just recently, five months ago, got out of a worldly relationship, and just about a month ago was the last time I actually seen him. We didn't have any kind of contact as far as being in a relationship. I had actually just went over there and seen the dogs and visited for a little bit. But I've repented of my sin. I've been reading my Bible every day, twice a day, and praying every day, twice a day. I've recently gone back to church. I've cleared my house of anything that he has given me, and I've prayed prayers to break any soul ties to him. But I still have an emotional attachment to him.

So I was wondering, is God just not answering my prayers on that, or is there something that I'm not doing for him to not help me get rid of the emotional attachment? Dear sister, first, it sounds to me, I mean, it's clear to me that you have turned to the Lord. And of course, when we turn to the Lord in faith, confessing our sins, you need to know that he forgives you and that you are indeed forgiven. And I can say that to you as a minister of the gospel on the basis of the very promise of God in his word, that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

This is who our God is. And so I praise God that he's done a work in your heart by the grace of the Spirit in illuminating your mind to see, okay, this is not pleasing to the Lord, this is not honoring to him, and that you've repented, you've turned to the Lord, you're seeking to follow Christ to get plugged into a church, and you are indeed forgiven. Now, there is the pain of our sin as well that we do continue to experience at times, right, where there's those consequences that come with these kinds of relationships, where you have those emotional ties that are formed, and there's a deep wound.

I mean, that's what sin is. It's like this deep wound, and it takes time to heal. And so I just want to take a moment to pray for you, one, that God would grant you rest and peace in his forgiveness, but two, that the Lord would bring healing in your life as you continue to turn to Jesus day by day and seek to honor him and to walk with him. And so let's pray. Father, we lift our sister up to you who is struggling right now with the weight of this past relationship, with those emotional ties, those emotional bonds that have been formed, and Lord Jesus, I pray for two things. One, I pray that by the grace of your Holy Spirit, you would give her a strong sense of your love and forgiveness, of your care for her, Lord, even working in her heart through whatever circumstances it was, Lord, to bring her to the realization that she needed you to walk with you, to follow you. So grant her, Lord, the knowledge of your love, the knowledge of your forgiveness, but I pray that you would also bring healing. I think of what David, the psalmist, said, let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Let them be healed. Oh God, would you bring healing in our sister's life? And as she day by day prays to you and seeks you and studies your word and gets plugged into the fellowship of your church, Lord Jesus, I ask that you would take her by the hand, granting her your comfort, your presence, strengthening her in her walk with you. And Lord, continuing to sanctify her, we give you thanks, oh Lord, for your forgiveness and grace. In Jesus' name, amen.

And so, Victoria, I would just say that distinction, we're forgiven, but realizing that there are these feelings, these attachments that we sometimes enter into because of our sin, and knowing that that doesn't mean that you're not forgiven or that God has rejected you, but that this is just a part of the reality. Now, it doesn't always have to be that way, and I pray that the Lord continues to bring that healing and comfort and peace in your life as you rest in the forgiveness and love of Jesus for you. May the Lord bless you. Thanks so much for calling, Victoria. We appreciate you, and thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us anytime. 833-THE-CORE is our phone number.

Let's go to Danny in Kansas. Danny, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, can you hear me? I can hear you.

Okay. Yes, I've been a Christian for a while now, and I was reading in Matthew 7, 18 and 19. I'm not sure exactly what it means to produce good fruit because I have been lazy and complacent. And I just wondered if verse 19 means that that would sentence me to hell.

Okay, Danny, the first thing I would want to say to you is it's not your fruit producing that saves you. Here, Jesus is talking about how can you identify false teachers from true teachers, and he's saying false teachers don't bear good fruit. In other words, there's rotten fruit that comes from their teaching and ministry. It leads people astray. It leads people away from Jesus Christ. This is precisely what the apostle Paul said also when he was talking about the false apostles in 2 Corinthians 11. So they disguise themselves as apostles of Christ, and then in verse 14, he says, and no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, their end will correspond to their deeds.

Right there, right? A tree is known by its fruit. Now, how can you bear good fruit? You're not saved by your fruit bearing, Danny, but how can we bear good fruit?

Well, it's a work of the Holy Spirit in us as we are united to Jesus Christ by faith. And this is precisely what Jesus himself said in the Gospel of John, in John chapter 15, a really beautiful passage, verse 1, I am the true vine, and my father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes that it may bear more fruit.

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. So the question you need to ask yourself, Danny, in fact the question I'm going to ask you right now, is are you abiding in the vine? Are you attached to Jesus by faith?

How would you answer that question? Yes, I continue attending church, praying and reading the word, and I just feel like I'm not doing enough. Well, let me just say, first and foremost, one, praise God to the yes there. It's only by the Spirit of God that any of us can even say that Jesus is Lord. And so you're united to Jesus by faith, which means trusting in him for your salvation. And the Spirit of God lives in you. It sounds to me like you want to read the word, you want to be in church, but you struggle with the fact that you don't bear fruit to the degree that you'd like, or you have a hard time seeing the fruit in your life.

And let me just say, Danny, with that you're not alone. I think all of us, as believers, seeking to love and honor Jesus, we would be right there in the boat with you, being able to say, Lord, man, sometimes I feel like I can see some fruit here and there, but I also see all the ways in which I fall short, and all the ways in which I have not been faithful. And so we confess that to the Lord, and we continue to press forward, again, knowing that we're not saved by the amount of fruit that we bear, or by bearing fruit at all.

We're saved by Jesus. And so continue, I would say, to abide in Christ. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Building those habits in your life that are getting you in the word, getting you in church, that's how fruit is produced in our lives.

I mean, when Paul gives that imperative to be filled with the Holy Spirit, what that looks like is letting the word of Christ dwell in our hearts richly. And as that happens, it's not you sort of mustering up fruit in your own strength, it's the Spirit of God through your union with Jesus Christ that begins to produce the fruit of the Spirit that is pleasing to him. But that's a journey, and it's a struggle, truly, as we seek to align our lives with the will of the Lord, and to submit to him. And so may God help you in that, brother, and encourage you as you continue to seek him, as you continue to study the word, resting in Christ, abiding in him. And maybe I could just encourage you, Danny, maybe right now your prayer should be, Lord Jesus, help me to abide in you and to see the fruit that you are producing in my life through the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to bear fruit. I want to honor you and glorify you.

Oh, Lord, accomplish that in my life. And let me just say, Danny, that's a prayer that I believe that the Lord will answer because it's right in line with his will. And so that heart desire that you have to please God, to bear fruit, to follow Jesus, that's honoring to the Lord, that's pleasing to him.

Bring that to the Lord as his servant and know that the Lord hears your prayers and will be at work in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless. Well said. Just a follow up question for you, Adriel, and I think you've talked about this before, the importance of writing God's word on our heart. You mentioned how the Holy Spirit works with that to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Do you feel like there's a kind of a dearth of Bible reading today and Bible memorization and that we should really start applying ourselves more to the truth of God's word on a daily basis?

I mean, I would say absolutely. I remember some years ago when I was first beginning in seminary, one of my professors saying, you know, one of the things we've noticed over the last several years is that new students who are coming in, there's been sort of a general consensus even among the professors that it seems like as time has gone by and especially in recent days, people just don't know the Bible like they used to. We're not reading the scriptures and studying the scriptures, and I think that's something that we see all around us, Bill.

This is one of the great concerns obviously that we have. This is why we do the broadcast is because there are so many Christians, professing Christians, who don't understand the basics of the Christian faith, and I think one of the reasons for that is we're just not in the word. And so we're looking for something else. People are looking for some sort of mystical experience with God. They want God to speak to them in the clouds or in some other place, and God has said, look, here's where I want to meet with you. I want to meet with you through my word. I want to meet with you through the fellowship of the church, through the ordinances that Christ gave, baptism in the Lord's Supper. I'm right here.

I'm right here. Come, receive, eat, drink, hear my word. And if only we would commit to doing that, but of course for many people, we're looking for something more exciting.

Give me that miraculous sort of jolt of Holy Spirit energy, committing to those practices, those disciplines, that commitment to a local church that are really going to help us in the long run as followers of Christ. That's not easy. And so we need to recover that. And even as we do, it's a struggle, and that's what we just saw with the previous caller. It is a struggle, but this is the way that God intends for us to draw near to him, to grow in our relationship with him and with others, and he is at work in it. And so we shouldn't despise it.

We shouldn't push it to the side. We should immerse ourselves in it as much as we can with all humility and with all expectation that God is going to work in our lives through it. Great counsel.

Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Speaking of getting into God's word, we want to offer you a great Bible study on an Old Testament book, which is very mysterious in some ways, but really gives us some great examples on how to follow God.

And that's the book of Daniel. Yeah, here we are talking about studying the scripture and making it a real habit in your life. And we've created a number of resources here at Core Christianity that will help you to do just that. And this study in particular, it's a 10-week Bible study on the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, something that you could go through on your own or something that you could go through with a group of people from your church. And so we are committed to helping to equip you to understand the scriptures and to grow in your knowledge of the Bible. And so get ahold of this resource over at You can get it as a physical book or as a PDF download, and you can find out more by going to forward slash offers.

Again, forward slash offers. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners, and we do receive voicemails 24 hours a day. You can call us and leave your question for Adriel. The number is 833-843-2673.

That's 833, the core. And here's a voicemail from Antel. I'm calling about collecting some money. Somebody's owe you some money because you're a Christian. They try to take advantage of that. Thank you.

Okay. So someone owes you money and you want to collect, and they're taking advantage of you as a believer. They're not paying up.

Now, I don't know, obviously, all of the specifics here. Generally speaking, I would just say I'm sorry about this situation. In terms of business, and if it's something where you have a business deal or an agreement with someone else, let's say that they are a believer too. Let's just assume that they're a believer too, and they're not doing what they should be doing. I think you could call them as a Christian to make good on their word. This is a conversation between two Christians. Now, maybe this isn't a Christian. Maybe this is someone who is not a Christian, and they are just trying to take advantage of you because you are a believer. I think that's still a conversation that you can have in terms of saying, hey, what you're doing is not right.

There are all sorts of avenues and ways to approach this, but here's another thing I want to bring in to this question. It's the words of Jesus in Luke chapter 6, beginning in verse 27. I say to you who hear, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who abuse you. The one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. And from the one who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.

Give to everyone who begs from you. And from one who takes away your goods, do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, so do to them also. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

Wow. The words of Jesus there, and specifically verse 30. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods, do not demand them back.

It sounds like this is just getting to, I mean really, the heart of your question. There is, right, for us as believers, there are people who, they know you're a Christian, they're going to try to take advantage of you, and that's not right, that's not okay. But there is a sense in which through the grace of God, as a follower of Jesus, you can, like Jesus says here, love your enemies, that is this individual who is sinning against you, who is hating you, who is persecuting you maybe in some way, and use this as an opportunity to extend the love of God. We, of course, were the enemies of God. We were the enemies of God. We had taken and taken and taken and only given back sin, and yet God came in Christ. The eternal Son of God came and extended his mercy to us as his enemies. And what Jesus is doing here is he's essentially just saying, look, follow me.

Now, I'm not saying, right, that if there's a situation like this that you can't have those conversations about, I mean, I don't know the entirety of the details here. I'm just saying factor in the words of Jesus here. I mean, these aren't easy words for us to hear, especially when we feel like there's an injustice, and indeed, it sounds like there's an injustice here, but even these injustices are sometimes things that we can use, that God uses in our own lives, and that we can leverage as opportunities to proclaim the gospel. Now, maybe that also means don't ever do a business deal with this guy, but if it's a situation where you can say, look, I'll forgive this debt, and again, I don't know how much this person knows you. I'll forgive this debt because I serve a God who is gracious and merciful and who has forgiven me so much. I think that what you're doing is wrong, but I want you to know who this God is and the kind of generous goodness and mercy that this God extends, has extended to me, and so I want to be patient, and I hope that maybe you do pay me. But I'm going to go with the words of Jesus here as well in Luke chapter 6 verse 30, and so, brother, again, not knowing the details of your situation, I'm just saying meditate on those words there, and prayerfully consider them, and ask the Lord for guidance as you move forward, however you move forward in this situation. I'm sorry about the situation, but may God grant you peace and resolution as well.

Thanks. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You can email us anytime with your questions at questions at, or as we said, you can leave us a voicemail at 833-THE-CORE.

Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Carol. Here's my question. Does the Bible forbid women to be teaching pastors of the church? My second question would be, does the SBC have a right to throw people out of the denomination because they have a senior teaching female pastor, or should they just let them be? Anyway, that's my question, and I'm just curious about that. Thank you.

Okay. Well, with regard to the first part of your question, I believe that the answer is no, the Bible does not permit women to be teaching pastors in the local church or elders. I think you see this especially in the pastoral epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy in particular, where it talks about the qualification for elders, 1 Corinthians as well, where it talks about the teaching authority within the church. I'm thinking of 1 Corinthians 14 specifically.

That's my conviction. I know that there are others who interpret those verses differently, but I would say just as a general rule, this has been the position of the church historically. It seems to be, in my mind, the clear teaching of scripture, and so when a church rejects that and adopts the new way of operating, I think that that's wrong. Now we're getting into church politics and the Southern Baptist Convention, that's what the SBC is. I know that there have been churches that have been... Actually, I don't know. I'm guessing there have been churches that have been removed for this, for having a female teaching pastor. Because that's not my world and because I'm not in the SBC and don't understand, I'm assuming that they have particular guidelines in terms of what the churches that are a part of the denomination or the network need to abide by. If a church is saying, well, we're not going to do that, from where I sit, practically speaking, it seems like, okay, well, you've chosen what you're going to do, and so if you get removed by the broader body or organization, that makes sense.

But again, from my limited perspective and not being a part of the SBC, I want to be careful because I just don't have all the details there. But we've gotten the question about women pastors before on the broadcast, and just because we say, no, I don't think that the Bible teaches that a woman should be a teaching elder within the church. That's not to say that the women of our church aren't called to use the gifts that God has given them and that God doesn't have a role, particular roles, for all of us within the body of Christ that are indispensable roles. 1 Corinthians chapter 12, each of us are gifted in unique ways for the body of Christ.

We're just talking about a particular office. That is the teaching office within the church, which is reserved for called and qualified male elders. Thanks. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-01 18:44:48 / 2024-03-01 18:54:27 / 10

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