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Disciplining Yourself for the Purpose of Godliness

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2023 4:00 am

Disciplining Yourself for the Purpose of Godliness

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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December 16, 2023 4:00 am

GUEST: ABNER CHOU, head translator, Legacy Standard Bible

Christmas is a season when Christians remember, rejoice, and praise God for sending His Son Jesus Christ into our world to offer Himself as the atonement for sin. The details of Christ’s birth and life were prophesied in the Old Testament and then fulfilled hundreds of years later in the New Testament.

Christmas is also the end of the calendar year, and as we look to the new year, Christians often consider how to know and love God and His Word in a deeper way. Bible reading plans are hatched, sinful tendencies resolved to overcome, and godliness purposed in our hears.

These are good desires. Paul told Timothy, and by extension all Christians, to “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).

Godliness—or becoming like Christ—is the goal of the Christian life. But how do we “discipline” or “train” ourselves to pursue godliness?

Abner Chou, president of The Masters’ University and head translator the the Legacy Standard Bible, which is a new English translation of the Bible that many consider to be the most accurate and one that The Christian Worldview is carrying in our store, will join us to discuss how to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness.

Abner will also explain how Christ was fully God and fully man during His time on earth and why that is so critical.

We are carrying two versions (handy size and large print) of the LSB in various styles from faux leather to cowhide, red, black, brown, indexed and non-indexed


Disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness. That is the topic we'll discuss today, right here on the Christian Real View Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. You can connect with us by visiting our website,, calling toll-free 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Christmas is a season when Christians remember, rejoice, and praise God for sending His Son, Jesus Christ, into our world to offer Himself as the atonement for sin. The details of Christ's birth and life were prophesied in the Old Testament and then fulfilled hundreds of years later in the New Testament. Christmas is also the end of the calendar year, and as we look to the New Year, Christians often consider how to know and love God and His Word in a deeper way. Bible reading plans are hatched, sinful tendencies resolved to overcome, and godliness purposed in our hearts.

These are good desires. Paul told Timothy, and by extension all Christians, to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. That's from 1 Timothy 4, verse 7. Godliness, or becoming like Christ, is the goal of the Christian life.

But how do we discipline or train ourselves to pursue godliness? Abner Chow, the president of the Masters University and head translator of the Legacy Standard Bible, which is a new English translation of the Bible that many consider to be the most accurate and one that the Christian worldview is carrying in our store, will join us to discuss that. Abner will also explain how Christ was fully God and fully man during His time on earth and why that is so critical. This is our final new program of the year. Next week, a couple days before Christmas, is going to be a special Christmas program that we aired last year entitled The Christ of Christmas, so if you haven't heard that, I hope you'll tune in next week as well. But here at the end of the year, I thought it would be good to give a brief update on the Christian Real View Radio Ministry. 2023 was a challenging and sanctifying year for the Christian Real View and for my family personally. We've been adjusting to the new normal, having lost my dad in February of this year and now caring for my mom after she's gone through several trials of her own this year, that in the midst of leading my own family and being engaged in our local church and other things we're involved in.

And here I stand at the end of the year to say that God has been faithful through the trials and He is the strength of our lives. As far as the Christian Real View, we've gone through a major software upgrade and transition this year. Months and months of training and integration has been going on behind the scenes for Brody, my wife, who oversees the administration of the ministry.

We hope it's going to be a much improved user experience on our website and in our store, but just be a little patient as we work through some of the bumps of this transition. All the while, weekly radio production is a fast moving treadmill, finding topics, contacting and scheduling guests, the preparation, the interviews, the editing, the resources, maintaining and expanding our station affiliates. Then there are listener calls and resource orders and shipping and financial decisions and fundraising and in-person events like speaker series in our golf event. There always seems to be so much going on, but it's also a joy to serve the Lord in this way. If the Lord allows us to make it to the spring of 2024, that will be our 20th anniversary of the Christian Real View radio program. It's a good thing to ask after that many years, why do we continue in this radio ministry?

What motivates us to keep going? For me, I sense a call to be faithful to God with the stewardship He's given us here at the Christian Real View, to accurately apply God's word to current issues and to proclaim the gospel. What we do is examine subjects that sound churches typically don't have the time to fully address. On the radio we're able to reach people that a church may not reach, both Christians who aren't in sound local churches and non-Christians who aren't in churches at all. This is a sobering and meaningful endeavor, to be speaking about the most important things of life, who God is, what His Word says, what the gospel, the good news is.

This radio ministry isn't about entertaining you. It's about addressing each topic each week and looking at it through the lens of God's Word. The Bible is our basis, our foundation. One thing I'm learning and being reminded of more lately is that a love for Christ needs to be the believer's motivation in life. It's not just about knowledge and knowing facts.

It's not just about generating some emotion. But it's about having a love for God and His Son that starts with knowing who He is. He's the Creator and Sustainer of life, what He has done for us in giving us life and breath, and that He has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him through what His Son did for us on the cross.

What God is doing right now and what He will do in the future. And having all of that transform our hearts to love Him for being the great God and Savior and sanctifier that He is. 2 Corinthians 5 says, For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died. And Christ died for all so that they who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. A love for Christ and a love for fellow believers is the mark of a true believer.

You can read about that in 1 John. So what do we have planned for 2024? Well, we want to continue to strive to faithfully produce programs each week that exalt the truth of God's Word and the gospel.

That's the core of what we do. We're also going to be doing some events this year. We're planning another speaker series event in April. And something new in the summer of 2024 that we've been thinking about doing and praying about for many years are Christian worldview training courses for 16 to 18 year olds, so students, and also for young adults. Those, let's say, from age 18 to 24.

These will be two or three day courses held at a farm just outside the Minneapolis metro area. And we're going to cover things like what is a biblical worldview? Why is that important? How does that apply to your life? What is the foundation for truth? What is the gospel? What is your calling in life with regards to sanctification, evangelism, discipleship, the local church, service to others? How to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil and live for God's glory? So how do you handle the Word? How do you have discernment, manage friendships and relationships?

How do you know when it's the right person for marriage? These will be intentionally small courses, maybe 20 per course, and it's not going to be so much preaching from a podium, but more sit-down, purposeful discussions with those who attend. There will be some outdoor activities, but this is not going to be a recreational camp. It's going to be a Christian worldview training course. Details will be more set by the end of January, but please get in touch if you are interested or know someone who might be interested in attending one of these.

We have one more exciting announcement for this coming new year. The Overcomer Foundation Cup is the actual name of the 501c3 nonprofit organization that directs the Christian Real View. This was formerly called the Christian Real View Golf Event, but it's being renamed the Overcomer Foundation Cup because the foundation does more than just the Christian Real View radio program. The venue for our annual golf event is moving to Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota in 2024.

The exact date is Monday, September 16, 2024. The previous course where we held the event for so many years is undergoing renovations next year. A door was opened for us at Hazeltine, which is of course known around the world in the golf community as a course that hosts major golf events such as the Ryder Cup. We look forward to this because we're going to be inviting non-golfers and out-of-town guests for the dinner event following the golf. We may even do a listener event the night before, so stay tuned.

We have plans to be made for that. So we're looking forward to the new year, praying that the Lord gives us much desire and energy to honor Him with this ministry. Now, you should be receiving the Christian Real View annual print letter and resource catalog in the mail this week, which will have lots of the information that I just mentioned.

If you aren't on our mailing list for that, you can get in contact with us to be on the mailing list, or you can go to our website,, where the annual print letter is posted right now. I want to be sure to thank the Christian Real View team, starting with my wife Brody and all the administrative work she does with the ministry, and Kelly, who is an administrative assistant, and Rosie, who you know answers all our phones, and Alicia, who does all the shipping of orders, and Rich, who does audio editing every week, and Ben, who does the final audio production on the program. This is a dedicated team who works very hard on the Christian Real View every week, and I'm very grateful to them, as I am to our board of directors and the volunteers who do an incredible job at our events. I also want to thank all the networks and stations that air the Christian Real View. We are grateful for their partnership in radio ministry and for airing this program. And thank you for listening to this program and supporting us. You support us by praying for us that we would remain faithful week after week and do programs that honor the Lord and proclaim the gospel. You support us when you encourage us, even if it's constructive criticism, when you write emails to us and send us letters through the mail.

We read those and always consider what you have to say. And you support us by sending us financial donations. The Christian Real View airs on radio stations and networks like American Family Radio, Salem Media, and many others. There are online streaming sites like and Sermon Audio and many podcast platforms.

On nearly all these stations and outlets that air the program, we pay for the cost of airtime. And so when you give to us, you can designate that you're giving to reach listeners with the biblical worldview and the gospel on a particular station, or you can give to a general fund to use where funding is most needed. Or perhaps you want to become a Christian Real View partner. These are the backbone supporters of our ministry.

They give $25 or more per month or $300 or more annually. And Christian Real View partners automatically receive all our featured resources that we offer throughout the year, including our latest one that will be coming soon, One Day Nearer, the devotional by Steve Miller. So I'm not going to blather on here. I know you came to hear the program today on disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness, but we would appreciate your prayer and consideration to support the Christian Real View radio ministry going forward. And you can just get in contact with us if you'd like to do that the usual way through our website, by phone, or by writing to us. We'll take a short break and then come back and hear from Abner Chow, president of the Masters University and head translator of the Legacy Standard Bible as we discuss this topic, disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness.

I hope you stay tuned. You are listening to the Christian Real View radio program. I'm David Wheaton. We've largely lost the honor and the nobility and the glory of biblical manhood. And so many young men are not trained to be a leader, a protector, and a provider in a Christ-like way. That then creates the actual end product of young men who don't know how to be a man. So we've largely lost the script for what being a biblical man is. That was Owen Strand, author of the excellent book, The War on Men. This is a book for the entire family to read, understand, and then pursue what biblical manhood is.

The War on Men is hardcover, 256 pages, and retails for $29.99. For a limited time, you can get a copy for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. To order, go to or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Scripture commands that children are to be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Offering biblically sound resources for children is one of our top ministry priorities. At our store at, you will find carefully selected children's Bibles and books along with video and audio resources. Check out the Bible infographics for kids books, Little Pilgrim's Progress, and the popular Adam Raccoon set. Theo is a 15-episode video series addressing key doctrines of the faith that is a must-see for children and adults. Satan and the world are bent on capturing the heart and mind of your child.

Instead, get sound resources that will train them up in the way they should go. Browse and order at or give us a call for recommendations at 1-888-646-2233. That's 1-888-646-2233 or Welcome back to the Christian Real View.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter. Order resources for adults and children and support the ministry. Our guest today is Abner Child, the president of the Masters University in Southern California and also the head translator of the Legacy Standard Bible. Abner, thank you for coming on the Christian Real View radio program today as we talk about disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness. We want to get to that in a minute, but I want to talk about an exciting project that you have been a part of with this new translation of the Bible called the Legacy Standard Bible.

I'm just going to read a quote from the Bible talking about where it came from and so forth. It says, The Legacy Standard Bible is a translation that seeks to be a window into the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. By translating individual words as consistently as possible within their various nuances, it allows the reader to discern the author's intent. In this way, the refinements in the Legacy Standard Bible, or LSB, also preserve the legacy of the New American Standard Bible. So the question is, Abner, what was the motivation to create a new English translation of the Bible? And then how was it related to the New American Standard Bible, which has been out for many decades and has been a very popular translation with teachers like John MacArthur, Albert Mohler, Charles Stanley, and Kay Arthur? The real reason behind the Legacy Standard Bible was to preserve the New American Standard legacy and to refine that legacy. The New American Standard Bible is so well known for being a word-for-word translation, for emphasizing transparency into the original languages. It was designed to be for the expositional preacher. It was designed to be for the serious Bible student who wanted to make sure that what they were studying matched as closely as possible to the original languages. It was based upon the convictions of the inerrancy, the inspiration, the infallibility of the Word of God, that it was the Word of God down to every single word—verbal, plenary, inspiration.

Abner Chow with us today here on The Christian Real View. He is the head translator for both the Old Testament and the New Testament for a Bible. We're discussing a new translation called the Legacy Standard Bible. Now, Abner, just two distinctions that you say, well, what's the difference from this Bible than the NASB?

Well, two of the key ones—and there's more than this, but two of the ones I pulled out that I think were notable and that people will notice when they read it. Again, quoting from the Bible's website, while the Legacy Standard Bible sought to uphold the NASB, the 1995 edition that you just mentioned, it has several key distinctions. The recovery of God's name Yahweh in the Old Testament, and the term for slave for the Greek term doulos in the New Testament. Exodus 3, verses 14 and 15, and God said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.

This is my name forever, and this is my memorial name from generation to generation. So let's address that use of God's name Yahweh first. Why is it better to translate the name of God as Yahweh, which the Legacy Standard Bible does in the Old Testament, instead of the more familiar term in English, Lord with capital letters? Often in our English translations, we have either the term God or the term Lord translating the covenant name of God, which is Yahweh. Then why did we want to recover God's covenant name? Well, it's the same reason, but elevated, but it's the same reason why I call you David and you call me Abner and we call people by their names. It is because there is a personal element to that.

It is because there's meaning in that, and it both elevates the way and the intimacy and the degree of fidelity that God has toward his people. He gave them his personal name. You can call him by his name. God and Lord are titles for God. They are not his actual name, but he gave us his personal name Yahweh, which communicates I am who I am, that God is eternal, that God is independent, that God is transcendent, that God is immutable, that God cannot be defined by anything or anyone except himself.

I am who I am. All of that is tucked into the name Yahweh, and it is the juxtaposition of the absolute holiness, the absolute transcendence, the absolute otherness of God with yet him giving that to us as a personal expression of his love and loyalty to us. And so this is a recovery of making sure that we have the relationship and the connection with God that he always intended us to have. And that's partly why we wanted to recover that translation, because we've lost calling God by his name even though he's encouraged us to do so. And on the other hand, it also sharpens other terms. I think we use the word Lord and God pretty freely. And what I mean by that is we've lost the sharpness of definition of the use of the word Lord. But now when you have phrases like Lord Yahweh, you start to realize, wait, Lord isn't just his name. It isn't just a short phrase for God.

It isn't just a substitute synonym for the term deity. He is the Lord. He is the master. He is the sovereign one, even as he is Yahweh and even as he is God Elohim. What we have done by recovering the translation is elevated the personal nature of God, but also his lordship and his divinity, because we have made clarity by contrast with the correct translation of terms. Abner Chow with us today here on The Christian Real View, the president of the Masters University. And by the way, The Christian Real View is carrying several styles of the Legacy Standard Bible.

If you'd like to order one, we'll tell you more about it during today's program. Let's go to the other term that's clearly different in the Legacy Standard Bible than many other English translations, and this is the word doulos. For example, Romans 1-1 is typically Paul, a bondservant of Christ Jesus, they'll say. Well, in LSB it'll say Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus. Same thing in Philippians 1. Paul and Timothy, not bondservants of Christ Jesus, but Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ. Tell us about that, Abner, how the inconsistent translation of the word doulos has been woven in many English translations and why the LSB wanted to get back to what the word really means, slave.

What we are looking at is not who did it wrong and who did it right, but rather how can we do things better and why do we do things a certain way. We translate the word doulos consistently as slave because we want to make sure people understand the full weight of that. We understand, especially in American culture, which has had in its history an atrocious record of slavery, why people are sensitive to translating the term doulos as slave. They would say, hey, it could mean bondservant. And yes, you could even have people who are slaves, who are considered as part of the family, who make money, who are in professional working relationships.

That's documented in the time of the New Testament. That is absolutely true. Nevertheless, the word doulos out of all of the terms that are used for servitude, it emphasizes that your will is bound to somebody else, that you are not your own, that you are owned by someone else. It does not necessitate that you are of a lesser degree or inferior because of that. It just demonstrates your economic and social status. And that's hard, I think, for us to swallow sometimes, one, because of our history and two, because in our culture, we want to be independent. We want to have our own authority. We want our freedom. We believe we make our own choices in a way, and definitely in our culture, we believe in a sense we don't answer to anybody. But Paul reminds us with the term slave.

No, that's our real attitude, and that's who we are. You're a slave of someone. You're either, as Paul puts it in Romans six, a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness.

You're bound to something and someone one way or another. And translating the term doulos consistently does is it reminds us of what Christ has done for us. There is a slavery that is wicked. You see that from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The slavery in Egypt was wicked. That's why God delivered Israel from it. There's a wickedness of slavery to sin. That's why God delivers us from it in the New Testament, in salvation.

Amen and amen. There is a slavery that is wicked. But just like in the Old Testament, God told Israel, I delivered you out from slavery so that you would serve me.

That word serve there is actually the word slave, that Israel would have be transferred from one slavery to another slavery in the same way we are transferred in salvation from one slavery to another slavery. We are not freed so that we can do whatever we want and please whoever we want and to live for ourselves. No, we exist to serve the Lord Jesus Christ to be his slave, to be subject to him. That needs to be the mentality of our lives.

If we just live like practical atheists ignoring Christ, we spit on the very purpose of salvation. Christ saved us and delivered us so that we would belong to him and there is no better master than him. And so we delight to serve him because that's the best kind of slavery there is.

That's with all the benefits of protection and adoption and the like that Christ affords us because of what he purchased for us on the cross and by virtue of his resurrection. And so the term slave puts us back in our proper place because it reminds us our life is not our own. We were bought with a cost and so we must be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ and serve him with all our heart.

Yeah, very well explained, Abner. And even the term for Christ, Lord, has the idea that that's master. So it's a master-slave relationship, but it's not the evil kind that we see practiced by human beings. It's a beautiful relationship where we want to be slaves of this benevolent Lord. And so I think that's a really great change for the Legacy Standard Bible translation.

Abner Chow is our guest today. He is the head translator for both the Old and New Testaments of the Legacy Standard Bible, also the president of the Masters University. Abner, just a quick question on this, but we often get our favored translations of the Bible, and we tend to stick with it. We memorize and maybe a particular translation we don't want to switch, but is it beneficial to read different translations of the Bible? For instance, this year with my son, I've been reading the Bible in the New Living Translation.

It's more of a contemporary English, very understandable for a young boy. Is there benefit to reading the Bible in different translations? When we talk about Bible translation, often we can get into a competition, or we often have this notion of trying to slam one to support the other, and that's not the way I would like to go about it.

The Lord has really blessed us. He's left us truly without excuse to read our Bible and to love our Bible and to understand His Word. Reading the Bible, particularly in a translation, in multiple translations, is very useful. For one, it can cause certain grammatical constructions and such to catch your attention so that a certain nuance is brought out.

Two, if you're thinking about what does this word mean? Well, translators use between translations different words, and through looking at the synonyms, through looking at different nuances and different nuances of the translation, you can get a better feel for what a word means. Translations have different purposes. Like you mentioned, the LSB, it is meant to tell you, hey, this is what the Greek and Hebrew says. This is what was written down in Greek and Hebrew.

If you're looking at a Greek and Hebrew Bible like I do at times, this is what you would see in English if you had the English equivalent of that. That is the design of the LSB from a grammatical and also word study perspective. But there are other translations that want to emphasize, hey, this is the sense. This is kind of the idiomatic idea of what the text says. And there's room for that as long as you know the right purposes and you don't get the purposes mixed up, just like it's very ineffective to use a screwdriver for the sake of a hammer and a hammer for the sake of a task of a screwdriver. In the same way, we don't want to get the purposes of translation and different versions of translation mixed up. They all are tools within the toolbox, and we just need to use the right tool for the right task.

But using them collectively can be very helpful. Abner Child with us today here on the Christian worldview. I was very interested, Abner, to read something in your bio. Here you just were the head translator for the LSB version, this new version of the Bible. And in your bio it says, Before coming to the Masters University as a student, Dr. Abner Child believed the Bible was shallow and boring. Upon studying it deeply, however, he realized that the Word of God is the most profound truth and that the God of the Word is absolutely almighty, sovereign, transcendent, and unsearchable. From then on, he has dedicated his life to ensuring that no one entrusted to his care would ever again view Scripture as dull, but rather behold what it truly is—the most compelling revelation of the true and glorious God. This is really an encouraging paragraph in your bio, Abner, because you can go from thinking the Bible is shallow and boring to just realizing the incredible supernatural message that God has revealed in his Word. So getting a Bible is one thing, and we hope listeners today as we head into the new year will get a copy of the LSB as a new translation to read and pull some things out as you've been describing already. But getting a Bible is one thing, but cherishing it and obeying it and loving it is another, as was described in the transition that went on in your life. So how can someone listening today, Abner, go from, it's a good idea to read the Bible in the coming year, to actually go to, I love God and his Word and I can't get enough of it? The key, maybe there's two, and the first one is to really treasure the Word of God.

You have to read it. You have to jump in. I remember when growing up, I struggled to practice violin and piano.

I played it for a little bit of time. And my mom would say, hey, the hardest thing to do is to get started. Once you get started, once you're in it and you're investigating it, you're practicing, you're going over the music, then you're in it and you'll love it.

But the hardest thing is to get started. And I think the same thing by analogy is true with Bible study. We buy a Bible, we want to love it, but how do you actually have affection toward the Lord and toward his Word? Well, there's no substitute than just actually jumping in, opening the Bible and sitting down and putting your eyes on the page and reading and thinking about it.

There's no substitute for doing that. And there's a discipline to that. At the same time, of course, we need to read it the right way. And fundamental to that, often our opening question when we read the Bible is what's in it for me?

That's the question that we often ask in our culture all the time. But what we really need to ask is what does this tell me about God? What does this tell me about his glory? What does this tell me about the God that saved me?

Let me see how majestic and amazing he is. And when you're on a search for that in the Word of God, you've asked the right question of God's revelation of himself. And because you've asked the right question, a question that he prolifically answers in his Word, you'll never come away disappointed both from getting an answer to that question and also increasing in your love, affection, and hunger for God and his Word.

That was very helpful, he said. And so glad that you emphasized the need to not read the Bible for what can I get out of it, but how can I know and love the God of the Bible better? That's why we read the Word to know the author.

And when we know him better, we're going to love him more for all who he is and what he has done. Abner Child with us here today on the Christian Royal View. We are carrying this new Legacy Standard Bible in the Christian Royal View online store. We have several options in large print, handy size, children's Bibles, different kinds of covers, leather and faux leather, single column. Go to and check out all the different options and get one for yourself to start reading it in the new year.

We have much more coming up with Abner Child. Next, we'll talk about how to discipline or train yourself for the purpose of godliness. You are listening to the Christian Royal View radio program.

I'm David Wheaton. What is the Christian Royal View radio program really about? Fundamentally, it's about impacting people, families, churches with the life and eternity changing truth of God's Word. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that saves us from God's wrath, by God's grace, for God's glory.

And we know the Bible is the inspired Word of God, providing the only way to think and live to the glory of God. We are a non-profit listener-supported ministry. If you would like to help us impact listeners with the biblical worldview in the gospel, consider becoming a Christian Royal View partner who regularly give a specified amount to the ministry. As a thank you, Christian Royal View partners automatically receive many of the resources featured on the program throughout the year.

To become a Christian Royal View partner, call us toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or visit When Jesus is laying out the Holy Spirit's job description in John 16, and he says it's to your advantage that I go, think about that for just a second. Jesus, the Christ, tells his disciples, it's actually advantageous that I go. And they're thinking, what? We don't want you to go.

Who could be better for us? What does he then explain? That was Pastor Costi Hinn, who was raised in and then saved from the distortions of the Holy Spirit that are so prevalent today. Costi's new book, Knowing the Spirit, Who He Is, What He Does, and How He Can Transform Your Christian Life, graciously clarifies truth from error and is available for a donation of any amount to the Christian Royal View. To order this 261 page soft cover book that retails for $19.99, go to or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Welcome back to the Christian Royal View.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website,, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter. Order resources for adults and children and support the ministry. Our topic today is Disciplining Yourself for the Purpose of Godliness. Our guest is Abner Chow, the president of the Masters University and also the head translator for the Legacy Standard Bible. Abner, this has been a long way of getting to our actual topic for the day, but I think it's been important building one block after another to talk about a word you mentioned in your last answer, the idea of discipline. It takes discipline to read the Bible. And I'm going to read this passage from 1 Timothy chapter 4, which is probably familiar to our audience. It says, or Paul writes to Timothy, he says, Train or discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. For bodily discipline or bodily training is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. Now again, at this time of year, people are thinking about what do I want to do in the new year, maybe some resolutions I want to make, I want to join a gym, I want to get in physical shape, I want to do physical bodily training, and that's important, that's good, we should do that, but how much more important is to train or discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness, spiritual training.

What does this mean, Abner, to train or discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness and how do we do it? David, this is such a great question because it ties in everything we've been talking about, from translation to studying the Bible to this very passage. And you can hear even in the translation, train yourself for godliness because bodily training. Well, notice the consistency of those words, train and training.

Why are they consistent in a translation like the Legacy Standard Bible? Because they're the same Greek word, they're the same Greek root in the original languages, in the text that Paul wrote of 1 Timothy chapter 4, and there's a word play there. What does it mean to train and why is Paul even talking about bodily exercise, prophets little and all that kind of stuff? Well, it's because Paul is reminding us, you want to know what it means to train yourself for godliness? Imagine an athlete training, imagine all that that takes, it's not just a matter of self-control. Paul could have said, use self-control, there's a Greek word for that, but that's not the term.

It isn't just, hey, deny some things of your body, there's a word for deny that's included in this, but it's bigger than that. An athlete has to do all of those things plus actively engage, not just restrain things from himself, not just have a certain amount of willpower, but also the ability to execute, the ability to exercise, the ability to implement all of that into achievable physical goals in whatever athletic activity or sport that they are involved in. And in the same way, that's what we are to do with godliness. We are to not only be those who deny ourselves of sin and the pleasures of this world, amen, not only to have self-discipline, not only to have self-control, not only to have willpower and desire, all of those things are true, but to really train means this, you got to follow through every single day like an athlete does. And that's why Paul is even saying bodily training, bodily exercise, prophets a little bit.

Yeah, it's helpful, but the real training you want is to apply all of that to something higher, and that is the spiritual realm and our spiritual disciplines. And so our mind needs to be, hey, it's not just good enough to restrain or have a little bit of self-control. Our mind has to be, if I'm going to make a resolution, it's to go all the way. It is not just to hope to exercise physically and spiritually, it is to actually execute that. And here's what it's going to look like. That's the kind of resolution that Paul's looking for in this passage.

Just a quick follow-up to that then. So as we look forward to the new year, people are thinking, I want to maybe get a copy of the LSB, I want to start in a good Bible reading program. They really want to do it. How do they go from having the desire to going into the training or the disciplining themselves for the purpose of godliness? What are some, do you think, attainable ways to approach the reading and studying of the Bible? Also, we want to hear the Bible preached. God meant it to be preached, so you want to be a part of a sound local church. But just specifically focusing on just the personal reading of it, what's an attainable way for someone who's listening today to jump in and start training themselves for the purpose of godliness?

I think it's a couple of things. One is this. People should set aside time every single day to read the Word of God. That's part of the self-discipline part. And it helps to establish on a practical level the execution.

And you say, well, how much time? Well, here's something interesting that I learned in Bible translation. And these are just things behind the scenes that I never knew before. But man, the translators that went before us, they were so thoughtful. Most translations are designed, and the New American Standard is specifically designed, that a person reading at an average speed, if they read the Bible every day for 15 minutes, they will read through the Bible in a year because of the amount of words on the page and everything. That's how this translation is set up.

They watch the word counts and everything. So that if you on average are reading along with somebody, let's say reading, somebody's reading out loud the Bible on audio. If you set it for 15 minutes and you do it every single day, you will read through the Bible in a year without a problem. So here's step one.

Set aside a time for that to happen. Two, I think it's often helpful if people read along with somebody reading out loud because you're listening, you're looking, you're totally engaged. And then after you do that for about 15 minutes, here's what you want to do for the rest of your day, is you want to just think about one or two things that you gleaned from reading something you never knew about God before, something you thought, oh, that's so neat that he did that.

That's so amazing that he is this way or that he accomplished this reality. And you think about that the whole day. If I came up to you randomly at three o'clock p.m. and you have read this morning, I said, hey, what caught your attention as you were reading this morning? You would say, oh, it's this one thing. And that's what we want to be ready to do. And in doing so, you might have said, well, I only read my Bible for 15 minutes.

That's true. But you meditated on it the whole day, just like the Psalms and the scriptures tell us to do so. And so those three steps, I think, would be really practical for anybody who desires to grow and to exercise themselves in godliness. Abner Chow is our guest today here on The Christian Real View.

We're talking about training or disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness. He is the head translator for the Legacy Standard Bible, a new translation which is considered to be the most accurate translation of the English Bible, very similar to the NASB. And we have it available in the Christian Real View store in many different styles, large print, handy-sized children's Bibles of the LSB, different kinds of covers and so forth. So you can go to and find one that suits you and read it in this new and coming year.

Now, we're coming up to the end of the year, and that means Christmas and a new year. And so we're heading into that time of year where we think about and meditate on the fact that God sent His Son as a baby to grow up and live a perfect life and be the Son of God and Savior of mankind. And one amazing, theological, hard-to-understand but glorious truth about Christ is that He was 100% God and 100% man. Philippians 2 says, "...have this way of thinking in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although existing in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself. By taking the form of a slave, by being made in the likeness of men, being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." And this passage talks about the fact that Christ is His God, and yet He's man.

And you think in our human minds, how can that be? How would you explain this truth that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man, and why that was important, and how was that even possible? People wonder, how could Christ empty Himself? How could He become God and man?

There's a lot of mystery wrapped up into this. And sometimes people get confused, and yet the way that Philippians 2 is worded is so precise and so compelling. For one, notice that the text in the Legacy Standard Bible has this rite. It explains exactly what it means that Christ emptied Himself.

It says, by taking the form of a slave, by being made in the likeness of men. How did emptying happen? Was it that He lost something? Is it that He surrendered something? Is it that He became less God?

No, no, no, no, no. Paul tells you exactly how that happened, and it is specified by taking the form of a slave, by being made in the likeness of men. So Paul is absolutely clear on what he means by empty himself. Now, look at the phrase, by taking the form. Last time I checked, the word take is not the word give.

When I take food from the table, I'm not going on a diet. The word take means to add on. Christ never lost anything of His deity.

Paul is very clear about that. Rather, he took something on. He took on the form of a slave. He already was existing, as it says in verse 6 of Philippians 2, in the form of God. Now he also has the form of a slave. It's form upon form. Truly man, truly God.

Why did he do this? Well, he did this because what he takes on, he redeems. That's why it says he came in the likeness of men. Notice that it's plural there, not a likeness of a man, just in human physical likeness, although that is true. It is in the likeness of men, plural, because he took on the totality of human experience. All that it truly means to be a human being, a man, to be men, that is what he took on. And that's what we needed for redemption.

We don't just need a redemption in part, we need a redemption in full. And he became not just a servant, but a slave, as the LSB rightly translates, because his submission was the highest submission of all. He obeyed in everything, even unto death. His will was bound. And these things are mind boggling, yet absolutely necessary, because we don't obey, we don't submit to God at all. And so the one who has to take our place has to submit perfectly where we could not submit and did not submit. And he has to submit completely to the very end so that he is our perfect substitutionary atoning sacrifice.

That's what has to happen. And so yes, it is a mystery. It is a mystery. The incarnation is a mystery. And how can one be fully God and fully man, truly God and truly man, as a more refined articulation goes.

How does that all work? We don't know. It's a one-time occurrence, which makes Christmas so special, because it's never happened in all history and will never happen again. It is that unique, but it is absolutely essential, because that is the way salvation happens, so that we are redeemed from all of our sins, and all of us in our entire being can be and will be redeemed and glorified one day. So well answered, Abner. Thank you for that. Abner Chow is our guest today here on The Christian Real View, talking about disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness. And just a last quick question here. In all you've said today, Abner, about the Legacy Standard Bible and reading it and disciplining ourselves for the purpose of godliness and how Christ can be truly man and truly God, so heading here into Christmas, what would be your exhortation to listeners to keep Jesus Christ at the center of Christmas and keep all the distractions that surround Christmas?

And there are many of them to a minimum. I think the key is that we need to take the time to be in the Word, to meditate on the nuances of Christmas, and whenever, whenever the details of the events of Christmas are brought to our attention, we need to leverage how special we understand those things are to magnify how unique and special Christ is. All of the wonder of Christmas from the shepherds to the angels to Gabriel moving around to the reconfiguration of government, even in Luke 2, all of that, all of that is God pulling out the stops to welcome his son.

And we need to view it as that. This is the Father's welcome of his son into the world. In doing so, then, that gives us the right perspective as a lot of different carols are being sung and events are being discussed that we keep thinking about them the right way. Abner, we just so appreciate your coming on the Christian Real View today. Appreciate your hard work in translating this Legacy Standard Bible, you and the team who did this, and for all your work going on at the Masters University. All of God's best and grace to you and your family now and at Christmas as well. Hey, thank you, brother.

Likewise, so grateful for you, so grateful for all the listeners. Lord bless. The Bible says in 1 John 4, 9, That is what Christmas is all about. God loves us, and he sent his own son into the world to live a sinless life so that he could offer himself on the cross as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for your and my sin.

And then God raised Christ from the grave to prove that God's wrath and justice had been satisfied by Christ's atoning sacrifice. Jesus said, We are completely out of time, but just a reminder, you can get the Legacy Standard Bible on our website. Next week's program is the Christmas Special Program, and also thank you for considering the Christian Real View in your year-end giving. We hope that you have a Christ-centered Christmas, because Jesus Christ and his word are the same yesterday and today and forever.

So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Real View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out What Must I Do to Be Saved, go to or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View is a listener-supported, non-profit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Real View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Real View.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-16 06:08:15 / 2023-12-16 06:27:56 / 20

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