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If Demons Believe in God, Does Believing in God Really Save You?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2021 1:00 am

If Demons Believe in God, Does Believing in God Really Save You?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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January 1, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 611 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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  1. 1. What do you say to people who claim that Christian doctrines like the trinity and the miracles in the bible are merely myths and fairytales? I believe and trust in Jesus, but when I start to spell out the things Christians believe it does honestly sound strange sometimes. Curious to hear your thoughts.

2. What's the difference in bible translations? The one I use is a Roman Catholic bible which contains additional books not found in other Bibles, but even so, isn't the word of God going to be mirrored in each and every Bible? Therefore, whether I read my Bible or the Gideon Bible at a hotel room, won't the same message get across? Or is it sometimes different per Bible?

3. People are telling me that "All you have to do is believe," but even the demons believed but did not follow him. In my opinion believing does not give total salvation because of that. I would like to hear your thoughts on that.

4. My son is 5 years old and recently acted out against his siblings and hurt them. While he reconciled with them and my wife and I forgave him, he is still struggling with guilt. At such a young age, how should we encourage our kids, especially when they fail?

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Jesus calls us to believe and have faith in him. But the Bible says even the demons believe in God, does this mean there's more than belief in order for it to be saved. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer with pastor Gabriel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life. You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com will the former Amazon engineer is working to answer a question almost all Owners have what is my cat trying to tell me Javier Sanchez who worked on Amazon's Alexa is developing an app called me out.

Talk it's a creation that promises to translate a cat's meow into something humans can understand Mr. Sanchez and his team have found that cats often have one of nine different intense there trying to relay when they meow it.

You and each message has its own type of meow using his Alexa experience in his research. Sanchez is working to decode meows into the phrases that cats are trying to convey. Like I'm hungry or I'm in pain or when I thought about a drill is I'm the queen of the world and you must bow down to me. Wow, that sounds like a pretty amazing invention would be nice to know you know your cat was think it is a sure story Bill. I remember years ago it back when I was in high school I was praying and had my eyes closed and the cat that we had at the time Kodiak was her name jumped up and scratched me in the face while I was praying every thinking he's not very happy with me right now. I was maybe spiritual warfare light Possess, you know, so I didn't try to perform an exorcism like that but it was it was in a fight if I could know you know what the cat was think been helpful to schedule our first question of the day. This one is a Facebook post that came in from Tonya. She says what do you say to people who claim that Christian doctrines like the Trinity and the miracles in the Bible are merely myths and fairytales I believe and trust in Jesus, but when I start to describe the things Christians believe it does honestly sound strange sometimes. I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Yeah, the resurrection from the dead. I've heard people mock you know Christiansen sale you guys believe in zombies talking about everybody skin to be raised from the dead, and that kind of thing. I think sometimes Tonya people can really be that there really not interested in having a discussion about beliefs and about Christianity or worldviews are just one of these.

What a mock is we have to be discerning.

You know, there are some conversations that I think we do engage in, and we say look but let's let's really have a conversation and I love to listen to you and I'd love for you to listen to me as well that I think there are also instances and I've been in many conversations like this where you have to discern. Is that okay this is no longer fruitful and this person really could care less about what it is that I'm saying they just want to want to mock. They want to make fun of Christianity. They think they know everything there but the reality is so many people today have this sort of presupposition against the supernatural. With the rise of secularism.

You had the rejection of the supernatural. Some people said no as we used to live in what what people might call an enchanted world you know with ghouls and goblins and and belief in fairies and that kind of thing. Now it's been disenchanted.

You know what were the modern man at and we know better and and we can look at how things work scientifically and that kind of thing.

But the reality is that we really don't know everything. We like to think that we know everything but but we don't answer one of the things that I think we can do is to challenge that presupposition against the supernatural against miracles against the fact that there is a creator God. I think there's a lot of reason, actually, to believe that this world was created and that Jesus really did rise from the dead. It really wasn't a fairytale.

I love the way Peter puts it here in second Peter chapter 1 verse 16 for we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses of his Majesty.

For when he received honor and glory from God the father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic glory. This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased. We ourselves heard this very voice born from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And then Peter continues. He says, and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart to seek the claim of the apostles was, not listen to this fanciful story, you know this this great myth or this sort of fairytale know they said we witnessed with our own eyes, the resurrection of the dead. We saw Jesus crucified, married and then raised again from the dead, and you know what Tonya those same men who made that claim were willing to go to the grave themselves for what they believed, that I think that gives us a level of weight to what it is that they're saying is if they were just saying this in order to get rich and to get popular annual they were selling all sorts of books. Because of this new teaching that they had come up with that would be one thing they didn't stand to gain anything for preaching and teaching the resurrection of the dead except for the guillotine except for being rejected by men. They followed in the footsteps of Jesus and preached these truths that we embrace by faith because they knew that they really happened.

The resurrection of the dead might sound while but annex it makes perfect sense because we all know Tonya that death is a problem, a problem that needs to be salt and you don't have to be a Christian to recognize that I read a book some years ago by a atheist historian you've all know her re: the book is called Homo Davis and and the whole book is talking about how death is this great big problem for humanity were trying to solve it through science and through medicine. And you know it's kind of an optimistic view about our abilities as humans face. As you know, maybe one day through medicine and through technology will be able to keep ourselves from dying. Even though every potential you could still die in an accident or something like that but but he's hoping in the future and in science to solve the problem of death. But what the what if the solution wasn't in the future.

Looking back to the past. In Jesus, and what he's done in the resurrection Christianity gives hope to the whole world because it answers our greatest problem. The problem of sin and death, and it isn't just a fairytale.

It's reality and that's what makes it such good news and so wonderful for everyone.

That's why when we have these conversations with people. I think we encourage them by saying look know it isn't a fairytale.

This is the truth and it means something for you as well and really, you think it's helpful for us were talking to a skeptic who says well the Bible is just a fairytale. It's not really history to even point to some of the extra biblical sources that confirm the things that we know in the Bible I think so there are a lot of different things that we can point to me could point to the historical evidence the archaeological evidence. The prophetic evidence of in Isaiah 46, God said, I am God and there is no other God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, things not yet done. Another words cuts is your site. You can know that I'm God to tell you what's gonna happen before it actually happens and no one else can do that and actually Peter that passage I read in second Peter Reser picks up on the right we have the prophetic testimony the short testimony of God's of these are all reasons, reasons to believe but at the end of the day. You know it. What it requires is the work of the Holy Spirit in a person's heart opening their eyes to the truth of God's word, and so I think I think we do encourage people with all of these reasons with these evidences if you will, but we also recognize that we need the Holy Spirit to work in this individual's life and so pray for them as well and share the gospel with them.

Knowing that the gospel ultimately is where the powers that this is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and here's an email question that came in from Steve. He says what's the difference between Bibles, the one I used as a Roman Catholic Bible which contains additional books not found in other Bibles. Even so, isn't the word of God going to be mirrored in each and every Bible.

Therefore, there are read my Bible or the Gideon Bible in a hotel room won't the same message get across ST thanks for that question and the major difference between the Catholic Bible the Bible the Catholics use Roman Catholics and what a lot of Protestant Christians will use is that in Roman Catholic Bibles you have what are called the Apocrypha blizzard Jewish books written after Malachi.

The prophet leading up to the time of the New Testament and there's some valuable history in there be some insight into you know some of the Jewish beliefs. More specifically, but those books, in particular the apocryphal books weren't considered a genuine part of the biblical canon, even by many of the church fathers and that's why they're not in Protestant Bibles. Many price increases that look that's not a part of inspired Scripture and, ultimately, we want to read God's word and in wall in the apocryphal books you might get some good history. We don't view those books as inspired by the Holy Spirit in the same way that we view the books of the Bible to be inspired by the Holy Spirit that is fairly significant.

Steve because there are certain doctrines that the Roman Catholic Church holds to that they support with these apocryphal books, not the apocryphal books are inspired of the Holy Spirit that we probably really shouldn't be building our doctrines off of those books and that's a major difference now, of course, Bibles also have the other 66 books of the Bible that we do believe are inspired in and I in terms of the translation there are differences of of translation be even even among Protestant Christians, you know, we have all these different translations of the Bible and for the most part there is to be a lot of similarity, so long as it's a translation of the Greek and Hebrew text.

You do kinda have the sort of paraphrases that are coming out now that some people find helpful but I think it is important to have a good translation of the Bible. I use the ESV the English standard version, but you know the new King James version is great.

The NIV a lot of people like the NIV of the NASB, the new American Standard Bible. There are all sorts of different translations to true sermon and each of them have their own strength but the key is what we want to understand God's word. One what God has said to us and and so that's why I think it's it's unhelpful to have those apocryphal books added to the Roman Catholic Bible are included in the Roman Catholic Bibles because I don't believe that those ones were inspired by the Holy Spirit in the same way that that the books of the Bible were as all told Timothy in second Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 all Scripture is God breathed.

That's what I want to read. I want to read that God breathed, inspired Scripture and build my theology off of that and I think support for each of us to do that as well so that's the main difference Stephen in appreciate you reaching out to us via email it or we should also cautioned that there are some colts that have their own version of the Bible were they actually rewrite Scripture to fit their own doctrine yet.

Probably all had a Jehovah's Witness come to your door and knock you and maybe you opened up.

Or maybe you pretend like you weren't home but they typically show up and they have a translation of the Bible called the New World translation and sadly what that translation does it takes a lot of the passages of Scripture that really demonstrate the divinity, the deity of Jesus Christ and it changes those passages as so we do have to be on guard for that. There are there are translations of the Bible that are out there that really are just bad translations of the Greek and Hebrew text and and they have this theological band where they're trying to they're trying to twist essentially what the Scriptures actually teach in order to support their own views.

Your listing the core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and we know it can be difficult to begin reading the Bible for the first time and many Bible reading plans can be somewhat complex and daunting. So we have a resource that will help your Bible study become more meaningful and bill me for the reasons you just mentioned to core Christianity.

We wanted to create a Bible reading plan that would do two things. One, it would help someone new to the Bible cultivated joy for reading the Bible and to it would help someone who may have lost that joy to find it again. The core Christianity Bible reading plan is a free resource when you sign up for our weekly newsletter and it will take you about 10 minutes per day to complete and last for the entire year. Do this Bible reading plan, you will be introduced to the big narrative the grand themes of the Bible. It's a planet won't take you through the entire Bible in a year will help you develop a sustainable habit of reading the Bible for one whole year.

After all, it's better to read a little bit every day and read a lot, only occasionally, this plan is designed to help you develop a habit of reading without requiring a large time commitment, prayer is that this new habit will carry on through the years to come, so that over time, you'll grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. If you'd like to download the core Christianity Bible reading plan just head over to core Christianity.com/reading plan that's core Christianity.com/reading plan on people all you have to do is be leaving work and all claims, even the demons believe Eliza think you one for that question. Now I have no problem saying that what you have to do if you want to be saved is believe. I think of the discussion that the apostle Paul had with the Philippian jailer in acts chapter 16. If you remember the scene. Nepal is in prison with with the number of other people and there's this great earthquake and the Lord releases him from the prison in the jailer there at Philippi, he was about to kill himself because in that day you know, if you let your prisoners go me you were accountable for them is they think I'm better off dead and he's about to kill himself and Paul cries out is no don't don't hurt yourself.

Don't do anything to yourself and he's he's brought before Paul and in the rest of them and Silas, and he says servers.

What must I do to be saved what what an important question for each of us to know the answer to what do I have to do to be saved and Paul's response is verse 31 of acts 16 believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved you and your household is believe he doesn't say go and you know start performing good works. He doesn't say make sure that you jump through these loopholes equities know you trust in Jesus Christ believe in the Lord Jesus. But the question is in and you and you raise it, but what about those passages of Scripture that say even the demons believe, and tremble with what James is getting at in James chapter 2 we said in verse 14. What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works can that faith save him for brother sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food and one of you says to them go in peace, be warmed and be filled without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that so also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Someone will say you have faith that I have works.

Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one good job you do well. James said even the demons believe, and shudder. So is James contradicting Paul no Elisha, not at all see James is talking about this.

This kind of faith. What I would call a false faith that claims to believe and maybe understand some things propositional. He about Jesus but doesn't truly trust in Jesus for salvation because we trust in Jesus for salvation in Christ changes us.

James is talking about a full survey.

Read back in verse 14. This is what good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works can that faith save him. He's talking about a different kind of faith or that faith uses in the Greek language the definite article is talking about a specific kind of faith and it's the kind of faith. This is all yeah, I believe, but there's no real transformation awareness that transformation come from well. Ultimately, it comes from the Holy Spirit and there are three elements to faith Elisha that I think it's important for us to understand faith includes knowledge. We have the know about what it is that were believing in an assent we embrace it, but also on this is that the key part of the principal part of faith, trust with faith were personally trusting in Jesus were looking away from ourselves and were clinging to him for the forgiveness of our sins when we do that were saved and that'll Paul says in in acts chapter 16 to the Philippian jailer believe on the Lord Jesus. Now I think there are a lot of people who have a knowledge about God why Sally I believe I know Jesus, I know about Jesus. I even accepted Jesus into my heart you know there was this assent.

But the question is are you are you personally trusting in him. It's more than just II know cognitively about Jesus. It's and I recognize that I'm a sinner and I'm not trusting in myself to justify myself. Might my good work. Some trusting in Jesus is once for all sacrifice for my sins and the demons can do that that they they don't do that. They don't trust in Jesus and that since they know that God exists.

They know that God is one, and they're terrified of him and there are people out there like that to who have this sense of God who are afraid of God's judgment, but who don't trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins personally and so you don't have any contradiction here between James and Paul, not at all true faith. Genuine faith is accompanied by love is not to be confused with love her with good works, but the true and saving faith works it. It pursues the Lord. It loves God and neighbor imperfectly, and God by the grace of the Holy Spirit after we've been justified by faith counted righteous in God's sight, through Jesus Christ begins to sanctify us day by day. Now that's a process, but were not saved Elisha because of how sanctified we are were saved because of what Jesus has done for us now is the last thing that I want to touch on is he still isn't believing a work well no that's not how we would look at it not not in the sense of a work like a meritorious work like I'm earning salvation by how much I believe the fact of the matter is even a very small and weak faith saves us because it clings to Jesus. Jesus is the one who saves. It's not how strong my faith is it's not how many good works I have. It's Jesus himself.

He's the one that saves and I lay hold of Jesus for salvation by faith think of faith like this. An empty hand and empty hand receives the gift gift from God. Grace ultimately Jesus so it's not something we do.

It's receiving and resting in what Jesus has done for us such a great promise that all of us need to remember every day.

This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.

Here's a question that came in through our website at core, Christianity.com John says my son is five years old and recently acted out against his siblings and hurt them while he reconciled with them and everyone in the family forgave him. He is still struggling with guilt at such a young age, how should we encourage our kids especially when they fail that John we've we've had this experience to with our with our little kids. I have an eight-year-old, a six-year-old, a four-year-old and a one-year-old who's who's almost can it be tuned, we've seen the same thing you know we get these sort of soup sibling conflict and and one hurts the other. Sometimes just I don't even want to say I'm sorry. You know it's it's it's that thing but sometimes there is that sense of guilt and man I failed and I five disappointed mom and dad arrive hurt my brother or sister. And boy I think.

And in those situations, but what you do with with anyone who struggling with guilt and a sense of having failed, you point them to the grace of God, you point them to the gospel meant the gospel really is for our kids. I think of of what Jesus prayed at the end of Matthew chapter 11 recess. I thank you father, Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things, what things mean just the truth of the gospel you've hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and you've revealed them to the babes, the little children when Jesus came into the temple. It was it was the children there in the temple, who were crying out hosanna save now you think about what what Jesus said to Peter when Peter confessed to him as the Christ Jesus said flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you, but my father who is in heaven.

That really is such a wonderful thing. John God by the grace of the Holy Spirit can comfort our children open their eyes to his grace for them in his son Jesus.

And so you know what when were in a situation like that where where kids are struggling with it, whether struggling with guilt boy remind them of the gospel that is for them.

We talk about the one Jesus who even though he didn't deserve to be punished was punished for our sins. For every time we hurt each other every time we sin against our neighbor or our brother or sister, and I think it's just so important for us to go there with them, with our kids to talk to them about what God is done because the reality is that kids understand a lot more than were willing to give them credit for, and and so I think him is really simple.

Brother it, it's talking to them, then that situation is talking to them about forgiveness, talking to them about God's continued love for them and talking to them about how God has made away to cover their sin to remove their shame and their guilt, and that through him through Jesus we have peace with God and with each other and you have to say that over and over again because sibling fights and getting her everything that happens a lot. Lisa does in my household is so continually pointing them back to the grace of God and to the gospel is key. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.

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