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Are Christians Called to Accept Suffering and Do Nothing to Change it?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2020 1:00 am

Are Christians Called to Accept Suffering and Do Nothing to Change it?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 31, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 370 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. When a lot of Christians speak about suffering, they sound as if we should just accept suffering and not do anything to change it. I have heard people use first Peter 1  this way. In  first Peter 1, does Peter want us to just accept suffering?

2.  I come from a Christian family. It’s apostolic or Pentecostal. I come from a family of preachers. I have backslidden and every time I try to go back to church, they preach on the stuff that they know that I have done in the past and even though I have been forgiven they put me under condemnation. How should I try to overcome this? Even though I have spoken with them about this they continue to do it.

3.  Are we required to continue to forgive people who sin against us in the same way repeatedly without repentance?

4.  What is the Social Gospel and how should Christians respond to it?

5.  What's the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant?

6.  Is the Lord’s Supper literally the physical body and blood of Jesus?

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This is core Christianity, where answering your questions about the Christian life Monday through Friday.

Your hosts are author and seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton and Pastor atrial Sanchez call right now with your question. At 1833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez. Welcome back to another episode of Christianity with Prof. Michael Horton, I'm Pastor atrial Sanchez and we love answering your questions about the Bible that we do here you can give us a call or send us an email going to Christianity today quote the prominent complementarity and theologian Wayne Gruden has changed his mind about divorce last month, Gruden told evangelical scholars at the Evangelical theological Society that a closer reading of the first Corinthians 715 had led him to conclude that the Bible permits divorce when there is abuse.

The article received a lot of attention, but this is such an important topic is in it. Mike it really is were commanded in Scripture to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Yeah, and that means doing everything in our power to protect and secure the well-being of our neighbor was just the opposite of abuse and so if you can't even keep yourself from abusing your spouse seems to me that the assertion will be your I think you're right in there different kinds of abuses. Well, I mean, it's not all abuse is physical abuse like I'm getting beat up, there's kinds of manipulation there's verbal abuse. There is financial abuse me talk to trained counselors in the site know sometimes people who are abusive will go from one form of abuse to another form of abuse just to cover their abuse but it's abuse all the same and I think we have to be careful on one hand not to call every marital difficulty abuse x-ray but on the other hand, sometimes people say well, amazing grace that saved a wretch like me yeah he's done some wretched things but God forgives him yeah. So though abuse continues because what that pastor should've done is call the police. Yeah nice it's real them in those situations are tragic and your right you have to get professionals law enforcement involved at times as well yeah render under Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's answer will this get this right to an Instagram question that we received from Sarah when a lot of Christians speak about suffering. They sound as if we should just accept suffering and not do anything to change it. I've heard people use first Peter one.

In this way in first Peter one does Peter want us to just accept suffering. Thanks yet, Sarah, thank you for that great question.

I think come out first Peter four. Here's what Peter says beginning at verse 1211. Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, so that you may rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ are blessed because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or evildoers, a meddler of words suffering in itself is not a blessing. Suffering in itself is not something you should go looking for Martin Luther had a great line. He said you don't have to go looking for across the cross will find you.

We shouldn't want to suffer. That's just ridiculous. When we do suffer for the name of Christ, we are actually sharing in his humiliation were united to him and so is not surprising that we would undergo some of the same persecution that he did.

That's what he's focusing on here. He's not saying, just accept suffering in a kind of stoic way stiff upper lip. Keep calm and carry on.

That's what you often get from well-meaning brothers and sisters who you're going through a time of suffering or depression or something going on in your family and there's a whelp just, you know, keep calm and carry on. That's not what Peter is talking about. First of all he's talking about suffering persecution for the name of Christ is not talking about cancer, you know, he's not talking about your kids not walking with the Lord. He's talking here about you being persecuted for the sake of Jesus, the one who saying this was martyred. He was himself persecuted and eventually killed so he is not timeout suffering. In general, based on Mount suffering for the gospel and here yeah we do just have to accept this is across the Lord is laid upon us. We cannot barricade ourselves with machine guns and shoot the police if they come for us because were Christians, we have to accept whatever persecution comes to us because of the name of Christ will I just think that's 100% right, Mike, but I think that where people can twist passages like this are when we are thinking about the abuse like you're talking about the very beginning of the of the program and so it takes will have discernment to understanding of their situations where we do as Christians, for the sake of Christ endure suffering, and there are also situations where we call the police because it's the right thing to do and it actually the way in which were loving our brother one praise the Lord.

We happen to live in a country where you can freely practice your faith without any fear of yeah the state coming in and pointing a gun at you.

There a lot of Christians around the world who don't have those freedoms. Here's what we do with a passage like this it may not directly apply to us in the way that it applies to Peter and the martyrs throughout history, but were part of the body of Christ. And so if one part suffers, the whole body suffers instead of saying, this passage is about all of my suffering or this passage doesn't apply to me because I'm not being persecuted for my faith.

We should say let's join those who right now today around the world are being persecuted for their faith and pray for them. Thank you for that question. Sarah and Mike wanted things I've seen as a Christian now for 1617 years and as a pastor in particulars how important the pulpit is and how so often you know it is there a trickle-down effect. You know, as the pastor preaches and teaches the way he preached, the theology depletes but also even the attitude that he has at last her to trickle down into the congregation for better or for worse, and we got a question here from someone who's asking about preaching and how it affects her. Let's listen in time where our current from a Christian family and I actually back to the well list a man at the beginning of the year. Every time my life but my family come from a family of preachers and every time I go to church.

They preach on it. Things that they know that that I have done from the past and been forgiven, but they constantly put me under condemnation. I would like to know how I should check. To overcome this, even though I've spoken with about eight they continue to do it. So what should I do thank you thank you Tanya yet another church that you know that's what I was innocent first thing I'm saying it might be hard.

Maybe even seemingly impossible because this is your family but don't subject yourself to that kind of teaching if they're putting you under the law over and over again when you come repenting to church, then you need to find a new church.

The loss for sinners, for people who need to realize they can't save themselves. I think you know that Tonya what you need is the gospel. No matter what you've done, no matter how bad you failed when you come to Jesus by faith he doesn't cast you out.

The blood of Jesus is enough to cleanse you of all unrighteousness that the John said if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. My little children, I'm writing these things to you so that you may not sin.

But if anyone does sin listen to this. We have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Tanya, this is so important when we sin, we often feel like God is through with us. Especially if it's the same sin.

We struggled with with for decades, which is often the case if other people are keeping condemnation on us when were coming to Christ repentant will be crushed but know what John says here when we sin, we have a what a condemnor know a God rubs her face in our sin and shames us know when we sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous one you and I are the righteous one.

Jesus is the righteous one. And when you fall. Jesus doesn't throw up his hands and say I'm done with you, Tanya know he puts his holy hands together and he prays for you. He's your advocate and if God is for us who can be against us. And you need to be in a church where they confront unrepentant sinners with the law of God and comfort broken in repentant sinners with the gospel now sounds like the church that urine is doing the opposite. Heaps the law on top of those who are desperate for mercy, will that will lead to spiritual death mediates is knocking to be helpful so I would say says Mike said out of the gate.

You need to find a place where you're going to be showered in the gospel, faith comes by hearing the Gospel Romans 1017. That's right. Psalm 103 12 Tonya as far as the east is from the West. So far, does he remove our transgressions from us any remembers them no more so if you come to church and you say yeah, but what about my ex or what about my why this center that sin. God says what sin, if you're hearing preaching that just underscores what God has forgiven as something that is still standing between you and the Lord they're not preaching the gospel. Again, thank you Tanya for reaching out to us your cynical Christianity and were answering your questions about the faith.

If you have a question about the Bible want to hear from you. Give us a call at 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core or send us an email at want to let you know about a special offer for today think federal yet were excited to share a brand-new resource on court, and it's written by you. Yes it's called seven things you need to know about marriage and sex and it's free. When you sign up for our weekly newsletter.

We frequently receive questions from folks struggling in their marriage and this is a really helpful resource biblical foundation about what marriage is and I know it will be helpful to every married couple those preparing to have a Christian marriage. So head on over to core to download seven things you need to know about marriage and sex that you may think the author the Hebrew said that Mary should be held in honor among all Hebrews 13 for me was a look like for us as Christians in the church to hold marriage and honor nothing like what it looks like in the culture. That's right so that some of some of what this resource gets into you get hold it by calling us at 1-833-843-2673 let's go to the next question about required to show people grace even when I look the same thing over and over and they don't seem to have a really you know we all struggle with this on both sides of it.

I think it's easy to get tired of having to forgive the same sins, especially if it's people who are close to us, but then you don't think of how tired court." God could be of hearing us confess the same sins over and over again. The simple answer to your question is yes, we have to forgive people Matthew 18 verses 21 and 22 Telus then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him as many as seven times. Jesus said to them, I do not say to you seven times, but 77 times.

In other words, Jesus was simply saying more times than you can imagine, Christ has established a new economy is not based on debts but on credits Christ has credited or gifted his righteousness to us. Were not only forgiven were righteous. We have all of the credit that we need before God is at work.

So now we can stop holding grudges and we can love those who don't love us because you were not looking for credit were not looking to be made whole, as it were. We are made whole by God in Jesus Christ. So having been forgiven much we can love much because we have our wholeness.

Our credit are affirmation our justification from God himself. We don't need to look for it from each other. Remember God loved us in Christ died for us while we were still enemies. Romans 58 and so we can only love in this way because of the Holy Spirit who indwells us and unites us to Christ, who is our source of forgiveness and justification even when we do commit the same sins over and over and that doesn't mean that were doormats any more than God just sort of says, well, boys will be boys. They like to say and I like to forgive. This is a perfect relationship know God will discipline us, and there may be times when we have to say no to someone who is abusing us, but that doesn't mean that were not forgiving them.

It means that were for their sake and for ours working to take a step back and say that I'm knocking to be a doormat here. I'm going to cortical discipline. I'm going to say you're not going to do this to me again and that's different from holding a grudge and not forgiving somebody is a really helpful resource on our website. Core, medicine that I want to point you to do. We have to forgive someone who doesn't repent, check out that article and believe you'll find helpful is core Christianity with seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton, we are answering your questions about the faith. Give us a call at 1833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 or email us at questions at core, here's the next call is the social gospel use is being revived today so what what should we yeah Nathan, it's not that it's being revived idle tickets ever gone away. You know, we either want our best life now. That's the more politically conservative version for the prosperity gospel or we want our best world. Now the sort of emphasis especially of the left. You know it's basically this idea that Jesus came to be our moral example and pioneer of the ethically just society. That's basically what the social gospel has meant what that was Jesus purpose that he failed miserably, not even in his own day did Jesus have much of an impact on the social structures of the Roman Empire or the Jewish leadership for that matter. Now it's certainly true that Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor to liberate those who are captive to Satan, sin, and the fear of death. He certainly turned the tables, Jesus certainly had some scathing things to say about the rich and I think we again we have to think in terms of the context how people got rich in that society on the backs of the poor. To the extent that that's true today.

Jesus is still opposed to that. And I think it's hard to read those passages, beginning with Mary's Magnificat and not come away with a sense that Jesus has a special place in his heart for the poor. But Jesus came not to make the world a better place, not to to make me a better me or the world a better it but to bear the guilt and sin due to me in the world in order to make a new creation, not a better creation, but a new creation. Bottom line, the gospel is not just about us and what we can do to liberate people from injustice in this world we can and should do everything that we can to help our neighbor, especially those were victims of oppression and injustice.

But the gospel is about Christ and the freedom that he's one for us. So there's a place for social conscience and talking about social justice. When I hear Christians saying that that's a concept that Christian shouldn't be interested in. That's a worldly concept that's ridiculous that comes out of the doctrine of creation, we should be concerned about social justice but not a social gospel, the only social gospel, there is is the good news that is for everyone from every tribe. In kindred, and tongue and people and nation, and that is not a call to be a better you were have a better world. It is an announcement that God himself has become incarnate in order to seek and to save that which is lost not to make that which is okay a little bit better really helpful and I also think just in terms of the latter party or question anything a what are we supposed to do about the advancement of the social gospel. Our job is just to be faithful to the true gospel of Jesus Christ and to proclaim that message and one of the things that were sing statistically and many of the mainline churches that have adopted the sort of ideal of the social gospel is that there declining steadily because if you don't preach the gospel. We don't have the power of the Holy Spirit.

And if you have the power of the Holy Spirit, then your church is not to be around him now if you're just basically making Jesus a mascot for the Democrats or the Republicans. There's no reason to go to church.

Here's an email we got from Isabel, what is the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant do they have different ways of salvation. You know the old covenant. I've likened before to a trailer movie trailer. The new covenant is the climax of the movie so God instituted the system will sacrifice his temple, and ceremonies as well as kingship to point forward to Christ in Romans four and Galatians Paul labors the point that all who trust in Christ are Abraham's children. Why because they believe God's promise. Even though they don't deserve the promise and they know they don't deserve it.

Christ is that promise. Abraham trusted in Christ.

I did know everything that we know about Christ, but he trusted in the promise that in him in one seed, one offspring, one son of his down the road. All the families of the earth would be blessed. He believed that and was justified. That is was declared righteous through that faith. So everyone who believes in Christ becomes a true child of Abraham. So there are two ways of salvation. There's only one way, the promise that God made to Abraham concerning an ethnic offspring and land were fulfilled when he brought them into the holy land and drove out the nations.

Joshua 23 tells us that not one promise God made failed to be fulfilled in that conquest. But then Israel had to swear it its allegiance to the Sinai covenant in order to remain in in in Israel course we know broke that covenant, but God still proclaimed his promise that in the one offspring of Abraham Christ. All the nations of the earth would be blessed God gave the old covenant as a way of pointing the ancient people of God to this promise of the Messiah. And now that he has come the old covenant is, as Hebrews 813 says obsolete, but everyone who entered Christ's kingdom in the Old Testament did so the same way we do through Christ as he is clothed in his gospel, so we know that gospel better than they did, but we cling to exactly the same Savior in the same salvation that they did in some ways they got to see in the shadowy figures in the sacrificial system right at the Passover lamb every time they got body through sacrifice.

That's right, because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Yet in some ways they saw it dripping on the walls every time. Blood was spattered to make purification. Yeah, this is a question we recently received is the Lord's supper really the body and blood of Jesus really important question and do we believe the bread and the wine communion transform into the physical body and blood of Jesus. Will the answer is no, this is really important for us to note, communion is more than a mere mental exercise remembering Jesus's death on the cross. Here's what happens through the signs that Jesus gave us bread and wine. By faith we partake of the reality that those signs point to now. Those signs were they point to the point of Jesus's body and blood for us. Ultimately the gospel to the bread in the wind on transform into the body and blood of Jesus, but through them to this sign we receive the body and blood of Jesus that the big question is how obviously it sounds mysterious, mystical, even this is where debates and councils disputations over the past 2000 years of taken place they. Here's the key at the center of it all is the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit. Somehow by the spirits work in us.

We have a special communion with Christ in the Lord's supper. It's mysterious, it's mystical and it's glorious. The text that you need to remember, for this is first Corinthians chapter 10 verse 16. The cup of blessing that we bless is it not a participation in the blood of Christ, the bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ.

I really think my guess is a pastor. The this truth has the ability to revolutionize the way millions of Christians view the Lord's supper. It's not so much about us and me remembering Jesus's death on the cross as much as it is Jesus feeding us communing with us and nourishing us with himself and with this promise is I think the put your finger on it Israel that really is the big difference I think a lot of our brothers and sisters thought that baptism and the Lord's supper are my promises to. But no, that's actually more like the covenant at Mount Sinai where they swore and then Moses splashed the blood on them in accordance with all the words they've sworn, no, no it's God saying I will be your God and you will be my people. I will be faithful to you even though you are faithless. It turns everything upside down doesn't mean you going to church to try to do and be were going to sit at the table of the Lord to be fed by Jesus himself and laugh and a meal well. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.

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