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January 11, 2021 1:00 am
Episode 617 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. I was wondering if you could offer some scriptural advice on whether or not believers should watch shows like The Chosen. On the one hand, I think that it’s a faithful representation of the character of Jesus and the disciples. And while it does take creative liberties, I don’t think any of the creative liberties contradicts what Scripture teaches. I think it does well to help us expand our imagination, about the reality that Jesus Christ was God who took on flesh and was man. On the other hand, I’m hesitant to watch something, maybe it’s my theological roots that make me concerned about something that has an image or picture of Jesus. Although I know that a lot of theological traditions do allow for visual portrayals of Jesus because He was a man, whereas, a portrayal of the Father may be transgressing. I’m curious what advice you might offer in such cases.
2. I have just recently graduated from college with a degree in Youth Ministry. I am at home right now and I get to see many friends and acquaintances from high school. Most of them, however, are not Christian. When I am around these people, I find myself being influenced by them and tempted to do and say things that are disobedient to God. I am a person who hates to miss out on things with friends, but I don’t want to be influenced by them and tempted to dishonor God. What should I do? Should I leave my old friends behind and move on? Should I still hang out with them and trust in God to keep me strong so that they may see the light of Christ living within me?
3. What do you all think of New Year’s Resolutions? I have seen some Christians say we should only desire to grow in holiness and not worry about improving our practical life, body image, finances, etc. I am just wondering if these resolutions are things we should avoid or should be encouraged to engage in?
4. I was recently in a church Bible study where the question came up of whether Jesus was tempted TO sin, that is, if he ever desired to give IN to sin, or was simply tempted BY sin, that is he was tempted in all ways—for example experiencing true, physical hunger in the wilderness—but never even considered giving in to the devil’s temptation to turn stones into bread. I hold the latter view, that scripture seems beyond a shadow of doubt that God abhors all sin—that there is nothing “attractive” about sin to him. Do you believe Jesus was ever tempted to give in to sin?Today’s Offer
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I've heard some Christians say we shouldn't have New Year's resolutions because we should only desire to grow in holiness and not worry about improving things like our physical fitness or finances what you think. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We love to hear from you.
Here's our phone number 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673.
You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts and you can always email us at questions at core, Christianity.com first step today. It's a bird it's a plane now it's some dude with a jet pack. The unidentified flying man in Los Angeles has finally been caught on video soaring 3000 feet above the ocean with a jet pack. This mysterious why guy has been spotted at least twice before, but now there's a video taken by local aviation school. The video appears to show a solitary man, sailing through the sky above the waters off the California coast local police.
The FBI and the FAA had announced an investigation back in September after the suspected jetpack traveler was spotted near Los Angeles International Airport two separate airline crews have reported seeing him in April. One thing you don't want to do when you're flying your jetpack is accidentally crossed into the flight path of the 747 no II don't know very much about jet packs but I'm pretty sure you don't want to go head-to-head with an airplane. I was a superhero.
I mean, my life is pretty amazing to watch the video will tell you it's like it's kind of scary to us like what if he runs out of fuel.
Let's get to our first question of the day.
This is a call that came in from John drill. I was wondering if you could offer some scriptural advice on whether nonbelievers should watch shows like the chosen.
On the one hand I I think that it's a faithful representation of the character of Jesus and the disciples. While it does take creative liberties. I don't think any of the creative liberties contradicts what Scripture teaches. I think it does well to help us expands our nation about the reality that Jesus Christ was God who took on/and so was a man on the other hand, I hesitant to watch something. Maybe it's my theological groups make me concerned about something that is an image or picture of Jesus.
Although I know that a lot of theological traditions do allow for visual materials of Jesus because he was a man curious what advice or what counseling hey John, thanks for that question you and you know there I would say the majority of evangelicals in the United States. They don't even think twice about it. So you can you mention your theological tradition. My own theological tradition as well, which is not in favor of images or portrayals of God or of Jesus for number reasons.
One, you think it is the second commandment called not to make an image portrayal of God. I have a friend who is a pastor and if you remember years ago there was that that movie the Mel Gibson movie the passion of the Christ that came out and it seemed like everybody was getting together with their church to go and see the movie my friend know people would ask, have you seen that the passion of the Christ. He would always respond by saying no.
I read the book. It's much better than I had thought that was kind of a fun way to respond and really at the heart of of your question, it we really have to recognize that we want to be so careful with how we portray God and that's why images in Scripture were forbidden because it's so easy for us to misrepresent God with our speech with the way that we live with the way that we act and especially if we we begin to try to portray him visibly in a picture even in a movie and so I think that there is a great concern that the Scriptures have and that we should have here is what the concern that I have personally, I was was talking to the team. Actually, earlier today about how sobering it is to answer questions about the face every single day you think about what James said in James chapter 3 don't let many of you become teachers knowing were going to receive a stricter judgment. And so I think about even what I'm doing. I think man this is this is the sobering thing is something that we take seriously because we don't want to miss represent the Lord. Where can we safely represent God well while it's always through the Scriptures. Anytime we stray from the Scriptures. It's easy for us to communicate things about the Lord that may not necessarily be true. And so that's why some theological tradition, the tradition that I'm a part of. Have really been clear on this issue, we should not make images of God, including of Jesus. Now you're right there.
Are there other Christian traditions that think it's okay for a number of reasons, we don't have to get into the theology behind it. But what I would what I would just say for you and for everyone else listening right now is we have to be so careful with how we think about God and we know that God has revealed himself to us clearly in the Scriptures that we go that's we focus our attention. I think about you know what one passage that that comes to mind. And again I going to first on because I'm currently preaching to first John, but at the very beginning of a first. John John begins by saying that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes. He's talking about the apostles there which we have looked upon, and have touched with our hands concerning the word of life.
The life was made manifest, and we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was made manifest to us that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you is the focus of the apostles was not on making images of Christ. It was on proclaiming Christ who he was. In that sense that they quote unquote painted a picture for assuming Paul the apostle says the same thing in the book of Galatians we talked about how we lack or did he bill boarded Jesus Christ before the Galatian church how to do it wasn't to actually painting a big billboard. It was through the proclamation of the gospel and so if you want something sure something that you know you can rely upon. In terms of understanding who God is and how he is revealed himself read the book. It's always better at that. I would say so.
John, thank you for your question. It was initially question. I watched a little bit of the chosen, and one of the things that's a bit of a struggle for me is the, the actor who plays Jesus and he does a wonderful job. They included a little bit of extra dialogue which kinda shows him having a sarcastic sense of humor and I don't know if I quite gets cut from the pages of the gospel. Certainly when he was talking to the Pharisees. Jesus had some things that were somewhat cynical, but I thought to myself, who got I don't know if you're taking some liberties here with the personality of Jesus.
Yeah, and typically write in movies that that always is the case of you while back a few years back. There was that movie know when it came out.
I think with Russell Crowe. I never got to see it but I member hearing all about it afterwards because people were thing really wasn't like the biblical account of know you had all these strange creatures and whatnot.
That's often times which are defined in the fat reality is that a lot of people's exposure quote unquote to the teachings of the Bible as they don't actually read the Scripture, but they've seen the movie know that you know Charlton Heston's the 10 Commandments that kind of a thing we want to get people back into the word you mean Charlton Heston wasn't Moses yeah they didn't have videocam respect and sorrow. The first lateral movement. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.
Here's a question that came in from Brandon. He posted this on our Instagram page. I recently graduated from college with a degree in youth ministry. I'm at home right now and I get to see many friends and acquaintances from high school. Most of them are not Christian one around these people. I find myself being influenced by them and tempted to do and say things that are disobedient to God I'm a person who hates to miss out on things with friends, but I don't want to be influenced by them and tempted to dishonor God. What should I do should I leave my old friends behind and move on. Should I still hang out with them and trust in God to keep me strong so they may see the light of Christ living with the me, I'd appreciate any advice you could give a love this question. And congratulations on recently graduating with a degree in youth ministry and of the youth in the church need to understand the truth of the gospel while back there. There was a guy named Christian Smith. He talked about how the majority of of young evangelicals. They believe in and what he called moralistic therapeutic deism, which is just the idea that a lot of the young people in our churches.
They don't understand the gospel that God redeems sinners not on the basis of our own goodness or righteousness, but solely through the merits of Jesus Christ.
We sort of have this view of God.
He's you know he's just nice. He wants us to live moral lives if we do good things.
He's in a be good to us that kind of the almost the sort of deistic view of God. And so it's really important that Brandon you teach the gospel faithfully to the people that that the Lord brings into your life. Now we all know what it's like to be around individuals and even friends who don't believe in Jesus and who have different perspectives on the world and on life and I think that the key question you need to ask yourself is, am I influencing them. Are they influencing me and it sounds to me like you're saying primarily at this point there influencing me.
I think about the Scripture say in places like first Corinthians 15 bad company can corrupt good habits so we have to be really careful with the company that we keep if that company is causing us to turn away from the Lord. Now one of the things I love about Jesus is he had no problem keeping company with sinners, but one of the things you notice about Jesus in the Gospels. In particular, is that when he would spend time with sinners. He always change the atmosphere.
It was his presence that began to influence them and I think that that's that's Obama wonderful thing. Obviously, this is Jesus, the eternal son of God, and I think for us as Christians if we can be faithful to the Lord, charitable, loving, encouraging standing firm for what we believe.
Even in the midst of having friends that disagree with us. I think that's a really good thing.
So long as were not compromising in our views and so the question is all we, like Jesus, and that when we spend time with his friends who don't embrace the truth of the gospel. We are being an influence or are we being influenced and and and if that's the case, and I think sometimes it is okay to say okay look I need to take some time and focus on my relationship with the Lord and really maybe take a step back which which isn't to say II never want to encourage people you abandon your non-Christian friends you should be with them know. Again, just look at Jesus how compassionate he was, is, I didn't come to seek and save the righteous came to seek and save the lost. I think our heart as followers of Jesus should be that way too, but we have to be careful that were not being influenced in a negative way in a way that causes to turn away from the Lord. And just to encourage you rather member. The apostle Paul in the book of Galatians. He talked about how he had to confront Peter the apostle why because Peter was being negatively influenced by his peers. Maybe this is something that even the apostles themselves. Even men like Peter struggled with and so you're not alone.
I think the question is the same question that Paul brought forward to Peter in the book of Galatians in Galatians chapter 2.
Are you walking in step with the truth of the gospel is the conduct of your life in line with what Jesus calls you to and it can be even when you're around people who disagree with you, and in those situations, you get to be a light but if you're having a hard time with that if if this is a stumbling block for you it at this time.
Then I would say maybe if you're not strong enough to spiritually and in a place where you can do that then it's okay to say, look, I need you to take a step back, which is not to cut yourself off from them, or even to say I'm I'm through with you because you're evil and I'm righteous.
Not not not that kind of an attitude just focusing on the Lord and growing in your faith so that you can be in a position where you get to influence them instead of them influencing you. God bless you Brendan you know I was also thinking a drill that Brandon needs to find some Christian friends who are a positive influence in his life. He doesn't want to be this youth pastor who doesn't have any other mentors or strong believers in his life that all of his friends are non-Christians. I was thinking of that proverb. Proverbs 1320 whoever walks with the wise becomes wise that the companion of fools will suffer harm something all of us need to remember who are we spending the majority of our time with the diet. I think at the heart of it is just being a member of a faithful gospel preaching church and were part of the body of Christ, and were surrounded by people who you know different ages, different backgrounds, but all seeking to grow together in the word of God and under the grace of Christ me start to build these relationships that do help to strengthen your own faith and support you so that when you are engaging with non-Christian friends, you're able to to be a positive influence and encouragement to them. A bold witness of Jesus Christ, which is what God calls us all to think that's great advice Bill. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and you know it can be tough to begin reading the Bible. If you've never really picked it up before and with many Bible reading plans that can be kind of complex and and somewhat daunting.
And that's why work started to tell you about a new core Christianity Bible reading plan have bill any one of the things I appreciate about this Bible reading plan. In particular, is it doesn't necessarily take you through the entire Bible. But it's going to help introduce you to some of the major themes in the Scriptures and and it's really quite simple. It is about a chapter a day, but the goal is we want people to be reading the word want you to be in the Scriptures because we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.
It's one of the ways that our faith is strengthened and so we created this resource to encourage you to help to guide you in your reading of the Bible and I know it's really going to be a blessing. Our prayer is that this new habit will carry on not just in this year 2021, but throughout the year so that over time you will continually grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you'd like to download the core Christianity Bible reading plan. Just go to core Christianity.com/reading plan this core, Christianity.com/reading plan was get to another question. This is an email that came in from Kaylee she says hey pastor, Israel and Bill.
What do you think of New Year's resolutions.
I've seen some Christians say we should only desire to grow in holiness and not worry about improving our practical life or our body image or physical fitness or finances.
I'm just wondering if these resolutions are things we should avoid or if we should be encouraged to engage in them.
I think it's up to each individual. There's nothing inherently wrong with New Year's resolutions.
I know for for many of us you know we make those resolutions and we do really well throughout the month of January and then as time goes by we feel like failures so they end up coming back to bite us need to think about the you know the gyms all around the United States come January. They're packed there full of people. It's hard to get into and and find some time to work out but then you note, February, March rolls around then and you begin to see them thinning out and so I think a lot of times we make these resolutions was a minute do this and then over time we fail that can be a great discouragement for many people.
I want to protect ourselves from that but there really is nothing wrong with New Year's resolutions and there's nothing wrong with wanting to get our our finances or health in order. The fact of the matter is, God cares about those kinds of things as well. I think sometimes we can have an overly spiritual view of the Christian life where you know it's only about the spirit and I devotions, and that kind of thing. The things that are really really good. But God doesn't care about my body or how I spend money. That's of this world were heavenly minded that kind of thing. But the fact of the matter is, is, God cares about your body and God cares about how you spend money you think about how Jesus in the gospel, spoke me over and over again. He gives these parables and these teachings related to money and possessions because he knew that there was a correlation between how we think about this world and our resources in an even money how we think about God's kingdom where your treasure is, that's where your heart is going to be also. And so, so I think it's important for us to recognize that actually the body and health. And you know being prudent with with our resources. All of those things are important. God cares about those things and so if if there are areas of our lives that are out of order.
As far as that's concerned should bring them to the Lord and we should seek to grow to be sanctified.
If you will, even in those areas. Now I often think about what Paul told Timothy in first Timothy chapter 4 related to bodily exercise and training in godliness and I think that's another important thing to bring into this discussion. First Timothy chapter 4 beginning in verse six, Paul said, if you put these things before the brothers you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctor and that you have followed have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train your self for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value godliness is of value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. You see how Paul puts it, there bodily training is of some value. There's nothing wrong with it. It's a good thing but we also want to make sure that we are being trained in godliness committed to that and so if if you resolutions this year. One thing I would encourage his focus on training in godliness and how does that happen. It happens is the word of Christ fills our hearts and our minds as we come before the Lord in prayer and so I did want to have all but one of we want to bring our entire lives, our bodies before the Lord and say God used me lead me guide me and help me to bring my entire life. My body how I think how I spend my money in subjection to your will, and realize that were never going to do that perfectly this side of heaven is something we strive for because God has been so gracious to us so merciful to us in the gospel he's given his only son who laid down his body for us so that we might offer our bodies up to him, redeemed, belonging to him. Thanks for your question.
This is core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez.
By the way, don't forget starting on January 18. Your opportunity to interact live with a drill on the Aramark that on your calendars. The programmers at 130 central time. 11:30 AM Pacific time. Your chance to call him coming up on 18 January what here's a question that came in from David on her Facebook page he says. I was recently at a church Bible study where the question came up of whether Jesus was tempted to sin.
If he ever desired to give into sin or was he simply tempted by sin. I know the Bible says he was tempted in all ways.
For example, experiencing true physical hunger in the wilderness, but it seems that he never even considered giving into the double temptation to turn stones into bread. I believe Scripture seems to say beyond a shadow of a doubt that God abhors all sin that there is nothing attractive about sent to him.
Given that, do you believe that Jesus was ever tempted to give in to sin no I don't believe that he was ever tempted to give into sin that we often are. We have these sinful inclinations. These disordered desires, but we were talking about Jesus were talking about the eternal son of God, the divine person who cannot sin that he experienced temptation in his humanity through the incarnation, but that doesn't mean that he himself ever desired sin. Now couple of the passages that I think helpful to go to you brought up the one in Hebrews chapter 2 Hebrews chapter 2 verse 14 starting there is the wonderful passage listen. Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver those who do. Fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people, for because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
So he experienced those temptations like like the one you just refer to you there in the wilderness, but I don't believe that he ever felt the desire to sin.
Now I think about what James says you know this is the other passage I wanted to go to in James chapter 1 it says this, verse 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life which God's promise to those who love him.
Let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one but each person is tempted when he is Lord and enticed by his own desire and desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown brings forth death. James says it very clearly right there. God cannot be tempted with evil.
He doesn't have evil wicked desires and who is Jesus, he is no less than the second person of the holy Trinity, the eternal son of God, who, in the incarnation assumed humanity so that he might experience in his flesh the temptations of life, but that doesn't mean that he had the same kinds of sinful desires that we have no he was perfect.
He was without sin, so that he might be the perfect Redeemer of sinners. Thanks for your question. This is core Christianity, where we answer the questions that you have about the Bible and the Christian faith and we have an amazing team of people behind us producing the show, they write the core articles for the website they produce our core Bible studies. These are the resources that are helping you and other believers more fully understand the gospel. And as you can imagine, this requires a lot of different people to come alongside us. We can't do it without your prayers and your financial support with a monthly donation of $25 or more, you can join what we call the inner core just head over to core Christianity.com/inner core. To learn more, call 833-843-2673. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit email@example.com and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us.
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