If there's one thing I've learned in my first five years of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ, it's that everything within the natural, fleshly part of myself violently resists his good rule over my life. The sin that dwells in me, while being stripped of its domineering power, is still very present, active and hostile to God. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, yes. The old has been washed away and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But while the new has indeed come, it has not yet fully arrived. I am totally forgiven and have been irreversibly justified through the guilt-obliterating work of God's Son, but the fullness of what he's purchased for me has not yet been applied. I've been called and justified, but I will not be glorified and free from sin until the death of this mortal body is victoriously swallowed up by immortality (1 Cor. 15:54).
Every Christian reading this column finds themselves in the same "already, but not yet" stage of redemptive history that I find myself in. Jesus has come into the world and offered himself up as a fragrant offering to God on our behalf. When we trusted in him for the forgiveness of our sins, the Spirit of God sealed us and his transformative work in us has caused our affections to shift profoundly away from the sins we once loved and toward the God we once opposed. Yet . . . we still find something in ourselves that desires to oppose the God we now love and enjoy the sins we now hate. It's a very schizophrenic-ish experience, this whole Holy Spirit indwelling our fallen flesh thing. more >>
The big story this week from Pew Research Center's report, "America's Changing Religious Landscape," was the sharp decline in the number of Christians and large growth in those who are unaffiliated with any religion. Digging deeper, the report contains interesting news about Evangelicals.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Evangelicals from the report:
1. The number of Evangelicals likely increased. more >>
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people…" with these words our Declaration of Independence begins.
The signers continued by affirming "Nature's God," "self-evident truths" and our "Creator." Then our brave forefathers, putting their very lives on the line, ended their statement of convictions by declaring, "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
At another historic moment, a courageous leader named Nehemiah led the people of God in a similar pledge that is recorded in the Bible (Neh.10:28-39). They promised to uphold marriage as God intended (v30) and "obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our God" (v29). more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham said in a recent interview that when it comes to the American political system, he has no faith in the Democratic Party, Republican Party or the Tea Party. Instead, he called on Christians to go out and vote and run for office in the upcoming 2016 elections.
"I have no faith in the Democratic Party, I have no faith in the Republican Party, I have no faith in the Tea Party, whoever they are," Graham told WIAT 42 News in an interview posted on Thurday.
He added that he's not endorsing anyone in the 2016 elections, but urges Christians to run for office. more >>
The decline in Americans who identify as Christian shown by a new Pew report is mostly due to those with weak church ties no longer identifying as Christian, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, recently wrote. Was he correct? The Christian Post contacted Pew Research Center to find out.
The report, released Tuesday, found that Americans who identify as Christian fell from 78 percent to 71 percent of the U.S. population between 2007 and 2014. In the same period, the religiously unaffiliated increased six percentage points, from 16 to 22 percent.
(Note: the report found that the evangelical Protestant tradition, to which Moore belongs, did not see the same decline as Christians as a whole. The number of Evangelicals likely grew overall and declined by about 1 percentage point as a share of the population, which is within the 1.3 percentage point margin of error for Evangelicals in the sample.) more >>
Scott Stapp, the born-again Christian frontman of the popular rock band Creed, has opened up about his psychotic breakdown that progressively worsened over last winter and admitted that it was brought on by drug and alcohol abuse while adding that he has also been diagnosed as bipolar.
The Grammy Award-winning 41-year-old made headlines last November when he posted a video claiming that he was broke and "under some kind of vicious attack" from family, friends and even the IRS.
He alleged that they were stealing money from his bank account and doing evil things. In the video, Stapp also explained that he was forced to sleep in his truck for weeks at a time and once didn't have money to eat for two days. more >>