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How Can I Reach My Unbelieving Spouse with the Gospel?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2024 4:30 pm

How Can I Reach My Unbelieving Spouse with the Gospel?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 24, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1474 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

  1. Why did Jesus ask to be baptized if he had no sin? 2. Should I be baptized again if my church requires it? 3. Why does Genesis 15 call God the "angel of the Lord"? 4. How can I share the gospel with my unbelieving spouse? 5. Have I forfeited salvation if I misrepresented the gospel?     Today’s Offer: Praying with Jesus   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View      Today’s Offer: Praying with Jesus   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 reach my unbelieving spouse with the gospel? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer 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. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2670. Now, if you get our voicemail system, feel free to leave your question. Let us know where you're calling from. Make sure you include your name, and we do our best to review our voicemails each day. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Jerry. Great question. Well, in the Gospels, it says it was to fulfill all righteousness, and so there's something that Jesus is doing in his baptism. And what's fascinating about that scene in the Gospels, you think about the Gospel of Matthew, for example, is when that happens, the section leading up to that and even what happens afterward, essentially, Jesus walking in the footsteps of Israel, right, called out of Egypt, coming through the waters, led into a time of temptation for 40 days. You think of Israel being tempted in the wilderness for 40 years, and then after the temptation, going up on the mountain. You remember when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, the law of God, and Jesus goes up on the mountain, and he does what? He delivers, in one sense, God's law to the people. He goes up on the mountain, and so you have Jesus recapitulating.

That's the technical, theological word that we sometimes use, recapitulating the life of Israel, the covenant people of God. But one thing that's different in terms of how Jesus walks in those footsteps, the footsteps of Israel, the second Adam, we might say, is that Jesus is perfectly righteous when he does it. You know, he goes into the wilderness and faces the temptation and doesn't give in. He doesn't commit idolatry, and that wasn't the case for Israel in the Old Testament, and so why was Jesus baptized? Well, he did it to fulfill all righteousness. He did it in our place, in one sense, right, as the true Israelite, the one who is coming through the waters and leading his people. That's another thing that you see, leading his people into the greater rest.

He's the greater Joshua, into the true promised land of God's glory. You know, because many people wonder that, well, why would Jesus be baptized if he was sinless? And of course, he was sinless.

He was made in all ways as we are, the eternal son of God who assumed humanity, and yet without sin, so he's the perfect redeemer. Thanks for that question. Thanks so much, Adriel, for that clarification. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive emails here at the CORE.

You can send us your question anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Here's one that came in from overseas. This is from Jeffrey.

Jeffrey in Malawi. He says, Oh, boy. Okay, trying to get me in trouble here with these baptism questions, but I love them, and baptism is so, so important. So now, two baptism questions and one. I just praise God for your faith in Christ, and thank you for reaching out to us from the other side of the world, man. Praise the Lord for the work that God is doing there, and may God bless it and cause it to increase. Now, essentially, what you're asking is if I've already been baptized, do I need to be baptized again now that I'm joining this church?

And I know that what I'm saying here is somewhat, you know, is somewhat controversial. But look, we have to ask ourselves, what is baptism? And first and foremost, it is something that is dependent upon God's word and praise.

And that is my promise. If baptism and the reality of baptism is dependent solely on, you know, an individual, on their faith, and when I say the reality of baptism, I just mean like, was this ordinance or sacrament truly administered? Well, if it's dependent upon something subjective, like my individual faith, well, then the reality is we would never know whether we were performing a true baptism or not. I would never know as a minister of the gospel, am I really, you know, is this a real baptism or not? I don't know if this person is a true believer. But baptism, first and foremost, is dependent upon God's word and promise.

It is God speaking to us. Now, that doesn't mean that the grace associated with baptism is tied to the very moment that it's administered. Sometimes people get baptized and they come to faith many years later. Sometimes people come to faith and then they get baptized.

I mean, there are different ways in which this happens. But I believe if you were truly baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and that that happened, that you shouldn't seek to go and try to do that again. Because God has spoken already clearly in that baptism. Now you're coming to faith and growing in the Christian life is really just the apprehension, the laying hold of that promise that was exhibited in your baptism many years ago. And so I think of baptism more concretely in that regard, and I think that that's the biblical way to think about baptism.

Again, that it's first and foremost something that God is doing, and that it's dependent upon something sure, His word and His promises. And so I recognize different churches are going to have, and I don't know this church that you're in in particular, they might say, well, we don't think you were really baptized before. And so you have to do this if you're going to be a member of a church. So you might be faced with our church, and so you might be faced with the decision there. You did say, I was baptized in the name of Jesus. And that does raise some questions in my mind. I know that there are some groups that baptize in the name of Jesus and have a faulty understanding of the Trinity.

They don't embrace the orthodox doctrine of God. And so I think for a baptism to be legitimate needs to be done in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And so if that didn't happen, then you do need to truly be baptized for the first time. But if you were baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and are now just laying hold of all of those great promises that God exhibited to you in your baptism, I would say not getting baptized again, but being received into the church with joy and thanksgiving and proclaiming the faith that God has given to you as a gift. And so I appreciate this question, and obviously I know that this is one of the stickier ones, and of course we can disagree on things like baptism and still treat each other with love and charity and encourage each other in our relationships with the Lord. And so if you want to follow up, feel free to give us a call or send us another email. God bless.

We love giving you sticky questions about baptism. I mean, it's just one of my favorite things to do. I know.

Yeah. Thanks, Bill. Thanks, Bill. Well, in the hot seat here.

Love it. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Rachel, who's calling in from Long Beach, California. Rachel, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel and Bill, thank you so much for taking my question.

I appreciate your ministry, especially when I'm reading through Scripture, and not only does it make me curious about things, but it helps me to prepare answers for when I get asked the same questions. So I was reading through my Bible reading plan the other day in Genesis 22, specifically verse 15, where it says the angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time. Now, I know there are a lot of names of Jesus and God that are referred to in the Bible, but I never really thought about the specific angel of the Lord title. Why is he referred to as an angel in this Scripture? Is it because he had to appear in a physical form? Why didn't they just refer to him as God or just Lord in general?

Rachel, thanks for one, the encouragement, and two, for this excellent question. You know, the angel of the Lord is this mysterious figure that we're exposed to throughout the pages of the Old Testament early in Genesis, where you have this figure who's described as in one sense being one with God, one with the Lord. Now, angels are created beings, you know, when we think of it just sort of generally speaking, but the word angel simply means messenger. So we don't have to necessarily assume that this angel of the Lord, who is very closely associated with the Lord, again, you look at verse 15, the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, By myself I have sworn declares the Lord. Okay, well, goodness, he seems to be saying quite a bit about himself, this angel of the Lord.

Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven. I mean, who does this for Abraham? It's God himself. And so this angel of the Lord figure, Minnie, and I think that this is the right track, Minnie said this is none other than the second person of the Holy Trinity, the eternal Son of God at work in the lives of his people throughout the pages of the Old Testament.

So in terms of your question, again, it's sort of this mysterious figure, but I think it begins to open our minds to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the revelation of the Son of God. Thank you for reaching out with that question. Great question and great response. 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. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day on our voicemail system. When you do, tell us where you're calling from and your name and then leave your question at 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, in case you haven't heard, there is a brand new book out just in the last week or so written by Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Yes, if you are struggling in your prayer life and looking for some encouragement, I wrote a book called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and I hope that more than anything it is indeed an encouragement for you as you seek to commune with God, to cry out to the Lord saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, and not just to do that, but to understand what it is that you're saying and the implications of each of the petitions in the Lord's Prayer. I hope that this book blesses you as an individual. By the way, if you're a church leader and you're also looking for a resource that could be good for a small group in your church or a Bible study that you lead, there are great discussion questions at the end of every chapter, and I tried to make it something that churches could also use. So get ahold of this book, Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. That's yours for a gift of $25 or more if you go to COREChristianity.com forward slash offers and look for Praying with Jesus. And as Adriel said, if you're a Sunday school teacher, small group leader, what a great opportunity to get a book on prayer and go through it with your group. Again, find that at COREChristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners.

This is Erica in Fresno, California. My question is, I have a adorable, wonderful spouse, and he and I do not speak religion or the topic of the Lord or Christianity, anything. And I'm just wondering, is there another approach I could take to get the word of Christ to him, not just by the way I live, but it's very hard and difficult for us to not have this conversation without fighting and arguing, and it just escalates.

So I'm just wondering if there's any advice you could give me. Thank you for taking my question. Well, God bless you. Why don't we take a moment right now, brothers and sisters, to pray for our sister and her marriage, Erica, just that the Lord would be with you and that those conversations that you have with your husband, who you love, wouldn't turn into an argument or a fight, but that there would be openness and a lot of grace and that the Spirit of God would be at work in your husband's life. So let's pray for our sister, Erica.

Our Father in heaven, God, I thank you for our sister, Erica, and I thank you for this marriage that you've given to her, Lord. I thank you that she loves her husband and that they care about each other, but I know how difficult it must be to not have you in common. So, Lord God, would you please work in her husband's life? I pray for my sister that you would grant her the wisdom and grace of your Holy Spirit, that she would know when and how to have those kinds of conversations, the conversations about you, about your grace, about the truth of your word, and that you would soften his heart, Lord, that you would open his heart, that you would give him a holy curiosity, Lord, to learn more about you and to understand who you are and why his wife loves you and longs to see him love you too. So would you be with our sister? Would you encourage her and would you draw her husband to yourself? Would you use her, Lord, as a faithful witness, I pray, in Jesus' name, amen.

Amen. Well, you know, you asked, you know, beyond just seeking to be an example, I do think that that's so key, is living in a way that exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, you can't twist your husband's arm.

It's not something that you can force. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. And so as you are patient and prayerful and seeking to love your husband and to honor him as Christ calls you to, and as he gets to taste the sweetness of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life, that that would begin to bring the walls down. You know, Paul was asked a similar question when he was writing to the Corinthians, he says, here's what I say to you, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever and she consents to live with him, he shouldn't divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. The unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. And his point there is not that just because you're married to a Christian, if you're not a Christian, though that means you're saved, you belong to God. No, he's talking about this holy influence that you can have, this sanctifying influence, we might say, that you can have, and how the Lord oftentimes does this, right? He uses one spouse to encourage another and to draw the other to himself as well.

And so that's what we want to see here. And I think, you know, one, not relying upon your own strength to do that. I mean, the temptation is to want to force something or to just want to shake our spouses. You know, goodness, why don't you get this? But again, that prayerful patience and where you have opportunities to talk about the gospel and the word of God, taking those opportunities because the power is in the word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. And so maybe that looks like, you know, you talking about the work that the Lord is doing in your life and sharing what you're learning in scripture or how you're thinking about things, or maybe it just looks like, man, as I look at the world around me, I am so thankful for the hope I have in Jesus because of his death and resurrection. It can look different ways, but again, recognizing that the power is not in you, it's in God's word and spirit and in the promise of the gospel. And as you cling to that gospel and as you rest in that gospel and are day by day being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to live more in line with the implications of that gospel, may your husband's heart also grow softer and softer, and may he come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Adriel, I don't know if this has been your experience, but it seems like when I am sharing with non-believers, there's usually either an intellectual or an emotional block. It's usually one or the other. And sometimes you can answer the intellectual questions, the philosophical, theological questions, but there's something going on there, maybe the relationship with their earthly father that causes them to not believe in a loving Heavenly Father. But typically it's one or the other, and as you said, it's the Holy Spirit's work in their life that needs to make that change.

We can't do it on our own. Yeah. And I think that's another helpful thing to consider, is what is maybe the source of the animosity, if there is some? Is it an intellectual thing? Or is it something else?

Is it an experience? This person maybe came out of the church and they had a really terrible experience, and they've never really been able to work through that or process it. I think that that's a helpful thing to bring up, because maybe for our sister, as she seeks to know and love her husband, and understanding, okay, well, what's behind this? I mean, of course, we could just say, well, it's sin, it's unbelief.

And that's true. I'm not saying that that's not a part of it, but in terms of really engaging each other thoughtfully, trying to understand those deeper, the root sin issue, we might say, what is it that's keeping you from wanting to see this or from being willing to see this? Obviously, we need the Holy Spirit to remove the blinders, but oftentimes exhibiting that compassion, being able to say, look, I know that you had a hard experience in the past with the church, or I know that you have these intellectual questions.

And maybe in that case, it's getting good answers, because there are good answers and good resources out there for some of those questions. And if our sister wants to reach back out and try to find some of those answers to the tough questions, we're happy to help. That's great. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com.

Here's a question from one of our listeners named Jordan. He says, I'm hoping you can help me by providing an assuring answer for a friend of mine who is worried that he may have forfeited his salvation when he was younger. About 10 years ago, a couple of unsaved people asked him if a person could be welcomed into heaven because of the good works they did on earth. He didn't want to upset them, so he told them that good works can grant salvation. He regretted this soon after, and even more after he came across Galatians 1.8, where Paul says that anyone delivering a gospel contrary to that which he preached should be accursed, or anathema, as the original text says. This word anathema is what really has him worried as he understands it to mean being eternally cut off from God. I can't wrap my head around the idea of there being no hope for him now, but nothing I or anyone else has said seems to convince him. Can you please provide some much-needed clarity on this matter?

Mm-hmm. Well, I would just want to speak directly to this friend who is struggling with assurance, and I would want to say, one, I know exactly what that's like. For a long time, in my own Christian walk, especially as a newer believer, really wrestling with, oh, man, I had this thought, or I don't have the same kinds of affections for Jesus and for his word as I once did. You know, have I done something wrong? Or you do do something where you're like, I can't believe I said that, or I can't believe I did that. Have I blasphemed the Holy Spirit? Am I forever lost?

And your friend is wrestling. You're wrestling with those questions because of this conversation where you said something that wasn't true, right, in terms of, you know, being welcomed into heaven on the basis of the merit of your good works. You think, boy, I wish I could take that back.

I wish I could take back what I said there. Well, let me say to you, there are so many things that I think each of us as Christians wish we could take back, wish we could do over. And our hope is not that we don't have those kinds of experiences, that we never say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. Our hope is that we have a Savior who is bigger than our sins, a cross, a gospel that is able to cover our foolishness, our stupidity at times, even our, you know, conscious sins that we've done. And so I would say to you, looking up to that Savior and recognizing that He's not going to reject you when you call upon Him, confessing your sins. No, He has said in His Word that He doesn't reject any who come to Him. All those who come to Me, I will in no wise cast out, Jesus said in John 6. And John in his first epistle says, if we confess our sins, even things that we've taught that we shouldn't have said, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to cleanse us and to forgive us of all unrighteousness. And that good news is for you too. And so receive it and rest in it and rejoice in Jesus Christ, your Savior. God bless. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-24 17:07:20 / 2024-04-24 17:17:17 / 10

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