An Australian Gentleman’s Journey Toward True Faith

By Jack Weaver
Today, through the world-wide outreach which the Lord provides through the ExPreacherMan web site, we received an email from a kind and concerned gentleman named Bill from Australia. He has been desperately searching for the Truth of God’s Word for several years and we think his story and plea (typical of so many) needs to be told. We will make a few comments at the end of his note and will be appreciative if our ExPreacherMan friends and co-laborers with Christ will kindly comment, encourage and advise Bill further about his search for true free Grace Faith. There is much to cover.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi [ExPreacherMan], This is really a lengthy letter but I will try to be as brief as possible.

Through my addiction to alcohol and being destitute, about 10 years ago I was forced to come to believe in God to get out of my predicament.  I did and started going to church.  Actually several as I couldn’t get comfortable with any.

My whole [life] turned around and I was forced to realise that it was God doing all the turning.  As my work in AA has me getting others to come to believe in God, I thought I’d start reading his Word.  I have been reading the bible for about 7 years and thought I was doing so well because everything in my life was going so great.

A couple of years ago, one of the people I was helping asked me “how did you come to have such a strong faith, where did you get it?” I wasn’t able to truthfully answer them.

I started attending bible studies here in Australia and then on the internet.  I learned a bit but decided I didn’t know enough.  I started a bible study with some Jehovah’s Witnesses a few months ago and although I can’t believe any of their doctrine was impressed with their bible knowledge.

We just don’t have any basic Christian Bible studies here.  I came upon your link from another site and felt like I might hit the motherlode.

Can you offer me any advice on reading the Bible, which Bible to use and maybe a beginners program of Books to read.

Sorry for taking up all you space.  Thanks in advance for any help.

Regards, Bill  :)

~~~~~~~~~~~

Bill, thanks so much for your note and questions. We agree that you have hit the “motherlode” here at ExPreacherMan.com. We welcome your thoughts.

You have made many statements and proposed questions which deserve answers. We, our regular friends and commenters here will do our very best to help you in your search for Biblical Truth and answers.

1) First, and very obvious, we noticed that you did not mention the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His salvation. Jesus is the very Center and Reason for the entire Bible from Genesis through the Book of Revelation. The most accurate Bible to use is the Authorized King James Version (KJV) Bible. We would recommend first reading the Book of John which illustrates God’s Free salvation and, perhaps along with that, the Book of Galatians, which is best described as God’s teaching and emphasis upon His free Grace and Faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation — without dependence upon our good works.

2) You are correct about the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Through their own perversion of the Bible they call “The New World Translation,” their teaching is false for many reasons. For one, they do not believe in the Deity and Saving Nature of our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, no “religion” has any power to save. Th JWs also falsely teach that “salvation” can be earned by one’s good works.

3) AA is seemingly an effective organization for convincing those with addictions to overcome them and we are so encouraged that you have done so. AA was a place where you may have begun your search for Truth but is not the place to find correct Bible doctrine and teachings about personal Faith in Jesus Christ as the only Way of Eternal Salvation.

In order for you to understand and explain to others about faith it is essential that you are trusting Jesus Christ yourself, by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone as your own Savior..

Bill, our first concern is that you understand and believe the GOSPEL which is; that Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, died for all your sins, past, present and future; thereby paying the death penalty we deserve to pay; He was dead, buried and then  arose from the grave for you. He is alive today. By believing (Faith) in The Savior Jesus Christ alone, you can be absolutely guaranteed of  Eternal Life with God’s Righteousness, in Heaven with the Lord Jesus. A great place to start this journey from here is to read and believe God’s Word contained in our article on Eternal Life For You. << Click

We are aware there are many very active Calvinist/Presbyterian Churches in Australia, and we would recommend you steer clear of those folks — they breed confusion.

Then we highly recommend you open and download two excellent free booklets from our web site: Two Free Gospel Booklets << Click writtenby our good friend, Dr. Tom Cucuzza.

Sadly, there are not many books we recommend that are clear and free of error about the Gospel message of salvation. One outstanding exception and an example of the very best is Secure Forever by Dr. Tom Cucuzza. His book is available from Amazon in standard book form or in E-Book downloadable format.  Secure Forever! << Click

Our friends here may have a few other good recommendations.

Bill, be assured that we and many others here will be praying for you and your friends. Thanks again for your note.

In John 3:16-18, Jesus said:
For God so loved the world [you], that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him
[Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God [Jesus].

In Jesus Christ Eternally, Jack

16 responses to “An Australian Gentleman’s Journey Toward True Faith

  1. Danny Haszard

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are in *breach of the preach*.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytizing is a false Gospel. (Gal. 1:8)

    Straight up doctrinal facts on Jehovah Witness.
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach preach that Jesus had his return aka second coming October 1914,then they spin all sorts of doctrinal embellishments on that date.
    They teach only 144,000 go to heaven,on and on and on with made up man made dogmas……They have infighting,crime and child abuse as bad as any church out there.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses promotion of their Watchtower sect has the net effect of stumbling and turning people off to the real Gospel.
    Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte; and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matt 23:15)
    -
    Danny Haszard born 3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness FMI {link removed by Administrator ExP}

  2. Danny,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan.. we appreciate your visit and comments.

    It appears your comments about JWs are solid and right-on target. However, you never indicated what you believe now. Also I could not find any indication or statement about your present faith on your web site {which link we removed for that reason}. We don’t recommend web sites unless we know the content agrees with our Free Grace Faith beliefs. We are not specifically an anti-JW site but we do oppose and expose all false teachings including JWs and unfortunately errors in most mainline “religions.” Our main objective is to preach the true salvation by Grace Gospel faithfully.

    Please read the link in the article above, Eternal Life For You” and let us know what you think of or believe about the Gospel of salvation by God’s Free Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  3. Bill, welcome! God has brought you to a very good place to learn the truth of God’s plan of salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    Bill, first, I wanted to let you know that I have prayed for you. Specifically, that if you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, that you will today. If you already have trusted in Christ, I prayed that you will grow in the knowledge of Grace.

    In addition to the wonderful advice that you received from Jack, I would recommend that you read, reread, and reread “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea. It is linked below. If you have more questions, please let us know and we will try to provide you with Biblical answers.

    As you have likely discovered, alcohol cessation is wonderful, but has nothing to do with salvation.

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

  4. So good that you found this blog, Bill, given how many “voices in the wilderness” there are! I think that alone is miraculous. For good reading material, Jack and John’s recommendations are excellent. Apart from this blog’s archives, I can’t think of much else, except Charlie Bing’s “grace notes”, another mother lode of excellent articles addressing plenty of LS conundrums. I used to be a sermon/book junkie myself, but have since learned how tainted the great majority of teachings are, even the so-called “classics”. Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed growing into a great tree with many birds perched therein is indeed a perfect description of today’s “Christendom”. Yes, the true way is very narrow, but not because it’s “hard to believe” (as per John MacArthur et al). The way is narrow because few there be which choose to travel it, preferring instead the religious road of works, self-righteousness and popularity (and mind you, every denomination travels this road, whether Calvinist or Arminian).

    One disturbing trend I have found in many which have discovered – and escaped – the many hooks of Lordship Salvation (which is really the modern term for the ancient teaching that one must “work to gain/keep/prove salvation” [ie persevere, overcome, obtain a victorious life, blah blah blah]) is that they arrive at the opposite extreme of universalism (God is so loving, no one will end up in hell). But the “funny” part of all this is that they find comforting words by the likes of Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, William Young, Sue Monk Kidd, John Eldredge et al which are all offshoots embracing the world’s religions (that’s a riddle which keeps me up nights…)! So, my point here is that I’d steer clear of finding enlightenment and solace in any books of religious nature, fiction or non-fiction…you know how one thing leads to another…).

    Lastly, as for AA, I know many good folks have been helped by its accountability program and consider this organization their life-saver (most likely because Christians haven’t offered anything which comes close to its format), but I know of a very decent gentleman who came out of a heroin addiction and has given many years of research to and reported on AA’s spiritual foundations, and they aren’t Christian by any means. A year or so ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated to recommend his website, but it hurts me to say that he aligns himself with the teachings of MacArthur and Paul Washer, as most do.

    You are among friends here, Bill. Many of us are alone in our own communities, not having found places of worship and fellowship either. I hope you’ll eventually feel comfortable enough to settle in and ask lots of questions, expound on your observations and share your blessings with the exceptionally fine Christian fellowship you are sure to find here.

  5. John and Pearl,

    Thanks so much for your clear encouragement, warnings and suggestions for Bill in Australia.

    I notified Bill by email that I was publishing his note and gave him the link. I sincerely pray he will follow up by reading your comments and enter into the conversation. We receive several visits from friends in Australia every day.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  6. Greetings Bill,

    You said,

    “A couple of years ago, one of the people I was helping asked me “how did you come to have such a strong faith, where did you get it?” I wasn’t able to truthfully answer them.”

    Our faith in Jesus is powerful because He is God. Our faith can also be strengthened as we get to know more and more about God. If someone asks you about your strong faith, then you can point them to your strong and most powerful God through God’s Word. The Bible says in Romans that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

    As far as Bible translations…

    Keep in mind that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is completely without error in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Many also believe for various reasons that the KJV is the most reliable English translation. Probably best to go with the King James version. You might be able to use the New King James if it is easier for you to understand/read more modern day English words. Try to steer clear of the ESV (popular today with those of a Reformed / Calvinistic mindset) and the NIV.

    I agree with Pearl’s assessment. Books and commentaries can sometimes be problematic especially for newer believers. Only God’s Word is truly always 100% reliable. However, I believe Jack and John have given you some good suggestions. Also, as you study God’s Word for yourself, feel free to ask questions. There are also many good articles and comments on this particular site and there are certainly people here that can help you find sound doctrinal answers. I follow this blog because I truly feel that it is one of the few out there that stand for the clear truth of God’s Word.

  7. Jim F,

    Thanks — That’s sound advice for Bill, I pray he is watching and reading.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  8. Many thanks to everyone. All advice is greatly appreciated and needed. As for me, I have a deep and loving relationship with my Saviour, Jesus Christ. I realised early on that as soon as I read the Bible and in the New Testament it says “the only way to the Father is through me, I would have to have a relationship with Jesus. There is a verse from Romans at the back of my first Bible (Good News edition) that quotes Romans 10:13 as a starting point. I did this and have believed since then that I have been forgiven my sins. It’s just that I didn’t have a direction to go from there. So many good things began to happen that I wanted more. Anyway, I have a KJV 1611edition with the Apocrypha in the middle. If verses become hard to read I have 3 other old Bibles to refer to. I just haven’t found a venue the teaches that I am saved by God’s Grace through Jesus Christ alone. At least that’s what I read in the Bible. Anyway, thanks again to all. I will continue to return here with questions and comments. Although you may regret saying that because I am an inquisitive bugger. In Jesus, Bill :)

  9. Welcome Bill!

    We are pleased that you joined our discussion group today. Please come back again soon. If you are looking for a site which declares that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone (as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9), you need look no further. This is that place.

    Blessings on you and we hope to hear from you again.

  10. Bill, welcome again! It is wonderful to have you here.

    It is a glorious truth that once we are born again by Grace through faith, we become children of God and have access to Him through prayer. Romans 10:13-15 asks us a series of questions, in reverse order, regarding how one comes to faith (is born into the family of God) and then calls upon the name of the Lord.

    1. How show they preach unless they are sent?
    2. How can one hear without a preacher?
    3. How can one believe without hearing?
    4. How can one call on the name of the Lord without having first believed?

  11. “I just haven’t found a venue the teaches that I am saved by God’s Grace through Jesus Christ alone.

    I suspected just that, Bill, and it’s all too common, I’m afraid.

    You’ve been most gracious in receiving our heaps of advice and warnings. I look forward to your inquisitive nature and reading the responses which are sure to follow.

    Btw, JimF’s keen response regarding another person’s observation of your faith was spot on! It reminded me of a bible teacher’s talk on “strong faith” and how so many of us become starstruck by it, which, according to this teacher, is really an insult to the object of the faith. He gave a few scenarios to show how ridiculous it is to gush over such things:

    1) One person says to another who is riding across the country in a jalopy, “You’re attempting the journey in that?! I admire your faith!”

    2) Noting how this bible teacher spent months at a time away from home, a man congratulated the teacher for the faith he had in his wife while he was gone. He was insulted by being congratulated for his faith in his wife, as if she were unworthy of it. Had the man known the upstanding character of the teacher’s wife, no congratulations on his faith would’ve been offered, but rather the wife herself would’ve been held in high esteem and congratulations would’ve been given to the teacher for the honor of being married to such a wife.

    Kinda puts Jesus in the proper perspective, don’t it?

  12. Matt for Grace and Truth

    I recommend the King James Version. But the modern English language New King James Version would be my second choice. Large Print Bibles are easier to read.

    “Read the Bible and pray
    every single day.”

    1. Read your Bible everyday. The Bible is spiritual nourishment you need to have a strong, healthy life with God. Your spirit and soul need the Bible as much or more than your body needs food. Without food, you become weak. Without a daily time in the Bible, you will become spiritually weakened.

    The Holy Spirit will help you understand what you are reading. Expect God to communicate with you as you read the Bible .

    2. Pray everyday. Spend a period of time each day and communicate with God. Talk to God. Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Thank God. Ask God to meet your specific needs and others needs.

    Prayer will be a time when God ministers to you. As you pray, sometimes you will consciously feel God’s presence. At times, however, you may not consciously feel anything. Remember this: When you are praying, God is ministering to you, even if you don’t feel anything.

    God loves to hear from His children! God wants to have communication with you during the day, too, not just during formal prayer time.

    3. Meditate on the Word. If you find a Bible verse that ministers to you, mark it, write it down, or put a sticky tab by it. Then read that same verse over and over again, day after day. Think about the verse. When you do this, God’s Spirit will, progressively, cause your life to come into harmony with the Bible verse you are meditating on. One Bible verse read 10 times and stored in your heart is better than reading 10 verses just 1 time.

    Bill, I will be praying for you.

  13. like I have said before and I say again if anybody adds anything (works) to faith alone in Jesus Christ alone because of His finished work alone they are insulting the Lord Jesus because of the awful sacrifice he went through because of a bunch of knuckle head sinners like us it is a slap in His face to add anything at all mike t

  14. Friends,

    This note came today from our friend Bill in Australia. Your comments are welcome.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
    ===============

    Hi Guys,

    It’s Bill from Oz. I’m back, as promised. Having followed your suggestion and started rereading the Bible with Gosple of Luke and Ephsians. I came to a question that I’ve had for some time. Am I baptised in the Holy Spirit when I recieve God’s Grace that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour. I ask because Paul says in Eph4:5 “the is one baptism and like God’s Grace, I have no voice in the matter once I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour.

    A friend argued that a full emersion baptism was also necessary. Paul is my (gentile) apostle and I thought the one baptism (Holy Spirit) was it.

    Your thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated.

    Yours in Jesus, Bill :)

  15. Bill, water baptism is not a requirement for salvation. It is an ordinance for believers, who are already saved by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

  16. Bill, yes believers are baptized in the Spirit a the moment of conversion. This is different from water baptism. Water baptism by immersion is a step of obedience to God after conversion. It is used to demonstrate as a public testimony that you are now identified with Christ in the likeness of His death, burial, and resurrection. It should also be noted that water baptism itself has nothing to do with your eternal standing.

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