Realities of a True Christian
~ beginning realities of true Christian conversion ~
e-book Now Out
Get the new e-book, Realities of a True Christian, NOW. All proceeds and royalties benefits, Gospel for Asia.
Realities of a True Christian encourages professing Christians of all ages to walk in godliness, humility of heart, holiness and piety in life. Many people will come professing Jesus Christ at the final hour, but many will be cast off forever. With such pressing truths resting upon the professing believer, author Jeremy Strang calls attention to the need for personal examination and continual sanctification. Jeremy’s clarion call brings to light the realities of Christian conversion and the resulting affects of Christ’s work of grace in the true believer. Lined within the pages of this book you will find hundreds of Scriptures and quotes from men such as: E.M.Bounds, John Flavel, Howard Guinness, Keith Green, William Gurnall, Matthew Henry, John Owen, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, C.H.Spurgeon, David Wilkerson, George Whitefield, Richard Wurmbrand and others. Whether your desire is to grow in your walk with Christ or to simply learn more about the realities of Christianity, then this book is for you. No grey areas. No fiction. No superficiality. All proceeds benefit Gospel for Asia.
For more information, visit: www.time2stand.com/reality.html
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Christian Devotion – is it here?
*** This is a portion from my up coming new book entitled, “Realities of a True Christian.” Hope to have this out in the early to mid of 2012. Still in rough edit, but you will get the picture. This comes from a chapter called, “A Style of Life - Wholly Devoted.” This new book will have quotes from men such as, Leonard & David Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, Paul Washer, Keith Daniels, Carter Conlon, John Owen, EM Bounds, and more.
Today we have countless millions who profess to love God, and even profess to love Jesus Christ, but where is the obedience? Truly loving Jesus Christ means that an obedient action, or rather reaction, is a reality that causes a growing, and ongoing, desire to please God. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” God delights in “loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge” of Himself “rather than burnt offerings.” “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” We should therefore “press on to know” Him, walk in Him and boast only in Him. We ought to have a holy fear of Him and Him alone. Fear of God removes the fear of man and drives us towards stability in His love and grace and mercy. “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
“The fear of God is lost when a people no longer believes what God says.”
Today, could it not be said of North America, Europe and many other peoples, “God gave them over; God gave them over; God gave them over.”? What did He give us over to? And why would God give us over?
First let me ask you, why was Sodom really destroyed? Was it just because of outward manifestations of sin alone? No, it was more. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.” Are we not arrogant? Do we not have abundant food? Do we not strive for careless ease? Do we not commit abominations? Oh yes! We certainly are not a humble and godly people; we certainly are gluttons who hoard food while two-thirds of the world’s population starves; we certainly love entertainment, pleasure and rest; we certainly commit all kinds of horrendous sins.
“Entertainment is the Devil’s substitute for joy.”
“Money spent on luxuries, little or big, which, in the face of the crying need of the world and the extreme difficulty experienced by missionary societies in finding funds, is criminal!”
When Paul wrote to the Romans, what did he declare in the first three chapters? Is it not the depravity of all mankind and the guilt of the world before a Holy God? Specifically in Romans chapter one, we get our answers to why we have been turned over. So why have we been turned over?
We (especially Americans) have been turned over “because that which is known about God is evident.” You see God has made “His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature,” clearly known through His creation. We “are left without excuse” thereby God has judged us. The real crime leading to our judgment is because we “knew God” but we have not “honored Him as God” nor have we given true “thanks.” We are “futile” in our thinking and our hearts are “darkened.” We pretend “to be wise” but we are “fools.” We have exchanged “the glory of the incorruptible God for” images of “corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures,” and especially those of us in the Western World, for fame, the love of money, possessions and selfish pleasure. And we wonder why there is no power in the pulpit? There is no reason to wonder. The answer is all too clear. This is not just a picture of our nation(s) but the truth of many of our pastors, priests and congregations as well.
Before looking at what we have been turned over to, I am reminded of what was going on in Ezekiel’s time. Inside the temple abominations were being committed. The direct worship of false Gods, the defilement of God’s holy things, clouds of incense, to name a few, was occurring and this by the hands of the priests no less. I dare say that today worse is being committed. Pastors are living lifestyles of pagan traditions. A general spirit of pride has taken over the great majority of preachers in the West. Even worse, pastors and priests are committing horrendous sexual sins of all kinds. Drugs and domestic abuse are certainly in the mix. And again, I ask, how can we even wonder why the pulpit is powerless and the culture is ignorant of the true Gospel? Truly Ichabod has been written across the doors of most Western churches and seminaries and on the foreheads of many pastors.
So what does the American lifestyle and that of a great many professing Christians look like? Let me quote this direct. (Notice that God gave them over three times and each time He turns them over to greater and greater abominations.)
- Romans 1:24-25 – “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
- Over to the lusts of their hearts
- To impurity
- So they would be dishonored
- Romans 1:26-27 – “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
- Over to degrading passions
i. Women desired women
ii. Men desired men
- Committed indecent acts
- Receiving penalty of their error
- Romans 1:28-32 – “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
- Over to a depraved mind
- To do things not proper
- Filled with:
- Full of:
- They are:
iii. Haters of God
vii. Inventor of evil
viii. Disobedient to parents
ix. Without understanding
- Knew God’s ordinances
- Did the same things
- Gave approval to those who practice these things
Who can deny that this is the American culture? And you pastors and elders, we Christian book writers, you Christian song writers, all of us professing, and so-called, Christians are at fault. Let me ask you, and in context too, “But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Oh how do you answer to the Holy God? Do you look to justify your sin, twist the Scriptures and feel better? Or do you repent? We are at fault because we have failed to hold strong to the truth of Scripture, live piously and keep Christ upon the throne of our lives. We are even more at fault when we refuse to call sin by its right name and call all people to repentance.
“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and 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.”
If He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world, then why have we not changed our habits, conquered sin, changed the nation and impacted the world? Can not the answer be that most believers really don’t have Christ in them? Could it be that true conversion has never occurred in such persons? “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline?”
Where is true godly power in our nation today? Where is true godly love (agape) today? Where is personal, godly and not legalistic, discipline today? Could it be that Christ has not been formed and the Spirit not been born in most of what we call Christianity today? The answer is all too obvious.
“And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
 John 12:15
 Hosea 6:6
 Luke 6:46
 Jeremiah 9:23-24
 1 John 2:3-6, all of 1 John is a wonderful testimony to the true believer and a test of reality for the unbeliever
 Carter Conlon – Jesus Love People Through Me, 2011 Sermon Index, Fear of God Conference
 Romans 1:24,26,28
 Ezekiel 16:49-50
 A 2009 study showed that less than 3% of all American Church giving ever left the U.S. Only .3% ever made it to the most unreached, poverty stricken and persecuted in the world, the 10/40 window. For more information on the 10/40 window, visit: www.time2stand.com/persecution.html
 Leonard Ravenhill
 Howard Guinness, Sacrifice, 1936, 1975 6th Edition, InterVarsity Press, pg. 17
 I am not here to debate the author of Romans
 Romans 1:18-19
 Romans 1:20
 Romans 1:21
 Romans 1:22
 Ezekiel 8
 Ichabod: the glory of the Lord has departed – see 1 Samuel 4:21-22
 Romans 2:3-4
 Philippians 1:27; 2:3-8
 1 John 4:4
 2 Timothy 1:7
 Romans 2:2, 5
Mortify or be Mortified
Mortify simply means to destroy or kill off something. The question then begs to be asked, What should we be mortifying? and Should we be mortifying anything at all?
Yes, our sin needs to be mortified.
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13 (recomend all of Romans 8:1-17 for context)
Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.
“Be sure to get an interest in Christ – if you intend to mortify any sin without it, it will never be done.
[above quotes are from: Overcoming Sin and Temptation - Three Classic Works by John Owen - pgs. 50 & 83]
I hope that this edifies my readers. This has been a great help to me. The outline below is from John Owen. The book is called, “Overcoming Sin and Temptation – Three Classic Works by John Owen.” I highly recomend this book. It is definately in my top ten favorite Christian books of all times. Very edifying and convicting.
Consider Whether Your Lust Has These Dangerous Symptoms Accompanying It
1. Inverterateness. If it has lain long corrupting in your heart, if you have suffered it to abide in power and prevalency, without attempting vigorously the killing of it and the healing of the wounds you have received by it for some long season, your distemper is dangerous. Have you permitted worldliness, ambition, greediness of study to eat up other duties, the duties wherein you ought to hold constant communion with God, for some long season? Or uncleanness to defile your heart with vain and foolish and wicked imagination for many days? You lust has a dangerous symptom.
2. Secret pleas of the heart for the countenancing of itself, and keeping up its peace, notwithstanding the abiding of a lust, without a vigourous gospel attempt for its mortification, is another dangerous symptom of a deadly distemper in the heart.
– When upon thoughts, perplexing thoughts about sin, instead of applying himself to the destruction of it, a man searches his heart to see what evidences he can find of a good condition, notwithstanding that sin and lust, so that it may go well with him.
- By applying grace and mercy to an unmortified sin, or one not sincerely endeavored to be mortified, is this deceit carried on. This is a sign of a heart greatly entangled with the love of sin.
3. Frequency of success in sin’s seduction, in obtaining the prevailing consent of the will unto it, is another dangerous symptom.
4. When a man rights against his sin only with arguments from the issue or the punishment due unto it, this is a sign that sin has taken great possession of the will, and that in the heart there is a superfluity of naughtiness.
5. When your lust has already withstood particular dealings from God against it. This condition is described, “For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and stuck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart” (Isa. 57:17). This is a sad condition, which nothing but mere sovereign grace (as God expresses it in the next verse) can relieve a man in, and which no man ought to promise himself or bear himself upon.