Share Your Faith

By Jack Weaver

My Granddaughter Tara had a wonderful suggestion — “Why not show others how to share their faith in Christ.”

We think that is an excellent suggestion .

The most essential aspect of sharing our faith is being crystal clear on the gospel message

With that in mind, we would like to suggest a resource that may help to equip you in sharing the gospel message.

It is a booklet by Ron Shea, founder of Clear Gospel Campaign.  The booklet, entitled “The Gospel” is an excellent, clear presentation of the plan of salvation.  The booklet gives solid explanations of grace, repentance, assurance, and eternal security.  The booklet is only 27 pages, so it has enough detail to explain God’s plan of salvation, without being too detailed

Following is an excerpt from the last page of “The Gospel”:

ABOUT THE GOSPEL BOOKLET

Today a variety of “gospel” messages flood the air waves and pulpits across the globe. They range from sentimental overtures encouraging the lost sinner to “invite Jesus into his heart,” to threatening admonitions requiring the unbeliever to “repent of his sins.” Not surprisingly, believer and unbeliever alike have been left in a state of confusion. Even when the Gospel is proclaimed clearly and accurately, the hearer will often filter the words of the evangelist through a preexisting grid of false gospels which he has already heard, so failing to understand the saving message of Jesus Christ. With this in mind, The Gospel Booklet was written not only to explain and illustrate those concepts essential to saving faith such as our Lord’s atoning death and the doctrine of grace, but to address and correct much of the false teaching that is so often associated with the Christian Gospel. Clarifying so many complex theological issues in this short, easy-to-read booklet took close to five years of writing and editing. We know of no booklet in print today that presents the Gospel more clearly or accurately.

Please find “The Gospel” booklet linked below:

The Gospel

Thank you, Tara, for your wonderful idea.

 

97 responses to “Share Your Faith

  1. Bob, thanks for your testimony.

    It is God’s will that everyone who comes to believe in Jesus as Savior acts on his belief, but there is no guarantee.

    I am glad that you are enthusiastic about sharing your testimony.

  2. My Personal Testimony – By Bob Coker

    I was born again in 1972. I sometimes tell people that Jesus found me; I did not find him. I was the one who was lost; he wasn’t. It was a very incredible time in my life. I had been raised in a Methodist church in Havana, Illinois. They might have talked about Jesus, but I must have missed it. When I met Jesus, I felt like someone had let me out of a shoebox in the middle of a parking lot. A whole new world had opened up to me. It was unmistakable and very real. At the time I did not know that the very thing I had been looking for was right there all the time. I had found in Jesus the missing key to my heart. He was the one true thing that could put everything in order in my messed up life. Everything started to come together.

    In The Beginning

    But this story begins in 1966 at the age of 16 when my parents decided it would be helpful if they would send me to a military school. The first school we tried to get into was in Alton, Illinois. The admissions director looked just like my grandfather, and I remember him saying that television was nothing but canned brain-food. I must have not followed the conversation very carefully because when I asked my parents was I going or not, they simply said, No. Later in life as we discussed my upbringing, I found out that the school refused to take me. Their reasoning was based on some character flaw I had. I think it was because I had gotten “F’s” in physical education (P.E.). I can still hear my father saying when he looked at my freshman year report card – “How can anyone flunk RECESS!” I don’t think my dad fully appreciated the trouble I could cause in a classroom full of kids.

    In that same year, a man came to our home to discuss my admission into another military school named Kemper Military School and College. The institution was located in Boonville, Missouri, some six hours away from my home town and friends. It was in September of 1966 when I first walked on the campus of that old school. I was pretty good at giving a hard time to all my teachers. I think I was a master at just going up to the line but never crossing over it. I made Sunday school teachers, scout masters, coaches, anyone who tried to teach me freeze with a cold thought realizing that next year I was going to be in their class. Personally I did not see myself as such a “handful” as others had put it. Remember that I was only fifteen.

    From the time we had gotten out of the car that fall morning and began to “Fall-IN”, I knew that this was going to be good. It didn’t take long for me to see that these people meant business. In fact, the time I got there and had fully decided in my heart that there would be no fooling around, took me about 45 seconds.

    I attended Kemper Military School, for three years. It was the place where one of my roommates had asked me if I believed in God. I said, “Of course, doesn’t everybody?” He laughed and said to me that it was just a book of fairy tails and old stories. Well, it sounded good to me. I guess I had never really thought about it. I remember taking the Bible with this fellow and playing football with the Bible. Somewhere in my past it has been told that one day we had run out of Zig-Zag, marijuana papers and that we had decided to use the pages out of the Bible. Bible paper is really thin, you know. We must have smoked up to about Exodus the 13 the chapter until we found more Zig-Zag papers.

    Remarkably, I did quite well at military school. It is amazing how a little discipline and a regimented lifestyle will do for a boy. In fact, I had done so well that I completed high school in three years and graduated in 1969. That was the year I was asked to serve my country. My mother began to cry when the letter came in the mail. You see Viet Nam was in the height of conflict in 1969. Over 150 boys just like me were coming home in boxes all over the country. I really had not thought much about it. You know how 19 year old boys really don’t think about death or dying. War was something we heard our fathers talk about and watched on the news.

    You’re In the Army Now

    My induction began with a bus ride to St. Louis, Missouri. The government was nice enough to pay for a ride all the way there so we could get our physicals. It was very dark on the bus, and I knew no one sitting next to me. As I looked out the window, I remember talking to God. I will never forget that conversation I had and what happened next. I asked God for two things. 1) I asked that I would not have to go in the first place, but if I did, I wanted to be assigned to graves registration or maybe to fly helicopters. 2) And regardless what the outcome, I wanted a Bible. I think God had never really let me forget all the stuff I had heard in Sunday school as a child growing up.

    When we arrived, we were all put in a very long line, and all we did was follow the guy ahead of us. After the examination of every part of my body in front of a hundred people I had never seen, I found myself at a gray table. There was a solider sitting behind signing cards and telling people where to go. When it was my turn, he said in a very stern and matter of fact way, “Do you have a job?” To which I answered, “No”. He then told me follow this line, and I could get a job. I was really puzzled after hearing all this. So, I asked him why would I want to get a job here in St. Louis? He looked up at me and yelled, “You didn’t make it!” I said you mean I don’t have to go? “That’s right, you don’t weigh enough. You have to weigh 119 pounds, and you only weigh 118.” Little did I know, but this thin little body I had inherited, gave me a 4-F deferment. This deferment meant that they would take women and children before me. I could scarcely believe my ears. I did not have to go fight for my country.

    Just then I remembered my prayer on the bus ride to St. Louis. God had answered my prayer. I walked into the cafeteria to wait for us to be called for the ride home when right in the middle of the floor was the five foot high stack of little red pocket Bibles. The Salvation Army was giving them away. You would think that after knowing that God had answered my prayers by keeping me from a very deadly war and giving me a free Bible, that I would have been more grateful or appreciative. I guess I was for a few minutes. It was back to home and off to embalming school for me. Thanks God! Catch you later.

    Mortuary Science

    God only knows why I wanted to become a mortician. I thought it would be as good as any other job, and besides, no one ever complained. There are many more stupid mortician jokes, but that’s another time. I had applied to the California College of Mortuary Science in Los Angeles, California. They accepted me with no questions.

    I think God started to draw me when I lived in Los Angeles, California. I was 20 years old by this time, and I was still into all the vices of the late 60’s. At the time, I thought life could not get any tougher. The girl I had left back home came to visit me, and we bought wedding rings. Two months later she sent hers back with a note. I think it was because the girl I was dating in California had gotten pregnant and had moved to Texas to have the baby. I was flunking out of embalming, school and my parents told me that this was the last effort they were going to put forth for me. The funeral home I had been working at fired me. With no place to go, I slept in the back seat of my 1948 Desoto car you most likely have never heard of.

    I parked my new home at the end of the parking lot just outside the embalming school. I would scale over the fence in the morning to wash up before anyone would arrive. I knew I could not call home and ask for more money, so I ate a lot of hot water and ketchup with free crackers. I remember one day, as the anatomy instructor was collecting addresses and updating their records from everyone in class, he came to me I could only give him my license plate number off the car. I felt so alone.

    I think this time of my life was the lowest I had ever been. I even decided to go see a Methodist minister. I drove until I found a large stone Methodist church in Glendale, California. Glendale was one of the many places I lived while in California. When I went up to the door, it was locked. I needed to talk to someone so badly, but the door was locked. Later that night I went up to a favorite spot we used to go to for peace and quiet. It was called the Los Angeles National Forest. It was about 30 miles up into the mountains. From up there the visitors could see snow on top of the mountains, and in front most of all of Southern California. At sundown and at just the right time of day, you could even see the sun setting and reflecting off the ocean 40 miles away.

    Well, that night I was in no mood to see pretty scenery. I was going up there to run my truck off the side of that mountain. I had all the rejection, jobs, schools, and heartbreak I could stand. As I sat there thinking and getting up the courage to roll my truck off the edge of that 3000 foot cliff, I thought to myself, “Maybe I better do one more thing. Maybe I better ask God for help one last time.” I remember looking up at the heavens. Now, I am not going to tell you I saw God or that I heard His voice, but I did see something. High atop those mountains you can get away from the smog and the street lights that dimly light up the night skies. Up there you can see the stars. As I was looking to God for help I said, “God, I need you NOW! I don’t mean some silly little Sunday school verse or rhyme, I need you NOW to do something! Because if you don’t, I AM OUT OF HERE!”

    All of a sudden I saw something I had never seen. I saw the Milky Way shooting across the sky as never before. I saw stars next to stars in between thousands, and millions of stars. I had never seen so many stars in my life. It was all so clear to me. For the first time I discovered that I really had never truthfully considered the existence of God. I had never really looked for Him. In that one moment of time I had realized that I better check out this God thing before I made any final decisions. As I began to think about all of this, slowly but surely, a tiny piece of the puzzle would begin to fit. I felt I had some direction. I had a long way to go, but I knew for the first time in my life that God just might be the answer I had been looking for.

    Mom and Dad had tried so hard and for so long to help me find my way. Things were just not working out for me in California. So I decided to leave that God-awful State and return home.

    The Drive Home

    I was broke, out of work, and knew that I had no one’s blessing on my move home. I had no real friends in Los Angeles I could count on. I decided to borrow $40 from my embalming teacher and left that day for Illinois. I remember leaving at 3:00 that afternoon and heading for home. Not far outside the city I thought to myself, “I’ll just drive straight through to Illinois, some 2,400 miles. I had done it before, and I could do it again.” I remember putting on my seat belt and then taking it off. I would put it on and take it back off. For some strange reason, I just knew I had to keep my seat belt on. Little did I know that it was God protecting me.

    I had driven all that afternoon and through the night. At sunrise I was entering the town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. On a subsequent trip to California, I remember looking at the off ramp I exited leading into the city of Santa Rosa. It as more than a mile into the city from where I should have turned. Around 7:00 am that morning, I had fallen asleep at the wheel of my Datsun pick-up truck and drove right into town. Two residents of the town were undoubtedly going to work in a white 1963 Chevy. As they crossed the intersection, they failed to see this 20-year-old kid, broke, lost, and very stupid driving through town at 70 mph, fast asleep. I think their car stalled in my lane, and as they tried feverishly to get their car started, I hit them in the back door.

    The next thing I remember was opening my eyes, with my head hanging down on my chest, blood dripping from my mouth. Dazed and confused, I had no idea what had happened to me. I tried to open the door, but it would not budge. I then tried to unfasten my seat belt. (Thank God it was on!) I could not move my fingers to push the release open. I saw a man walking outside my driver’s side window as I faded in and out. The man opened the door and let me out. I remember saying, “Why didn’t you help me?” He said, “I thought you were dead!” I was hurt worse than I even imagined.

    The next thing I remember was sitting in a Shell gas station, bleeding all over the floor. We were waiting for the ambulance to take me to the hospital. Upon entering the hospital, the next scene I saw was a doctor leaning over me asking me if I had fallen asleep while driving. He was sewing up my lower lip. From the force of the impact, my mouth was forced around the steering wheel and my teeth had ripped though my lower lip. My right hand had hit the radio knobs hard enough to sheer off the buttons.

    I called home to tell my parents what had happened. Dad answered the phone. I told him I was in an automobile wreck and was in the hospital. He said the strangest thing to me. He said, “Well, OK, I’ll tell your mother.” I thought that was pretty weak under the circumstances. Be that as it may, they sent me money for a bus ride home.

    After a few months had gone by, and I had time to reflect on the whole matter, I thought how it must have been God who saved me. Why had I taken my seat belt off and on so many times? And why did I think I had to keep it on anyway? Where was this thought coming from? I was not any closer to God, I just knew that someone up there had saved me.

    Working With the Dead

    Remember the girl who had sent back our wedding rings? Well, we got married in 1971 and moved to Peoria, Illinois. Not long after we were married, my mother had given me a Living Bible for Christmas, which I never read. In fact, just a few weeks earlier for my birthday, she gave me a subscription to PLAYBOY magazine. I think her heart was in the right place.

    I was working at St. Francis hospital in Peoria, Illinois. My job was to assist the doctors with autopsies. I had been trained in mortuary science and had some experience working with cadavers. Yes, I wanted to be a funeral director. I remember one evening, after cleaning up after an autopsy a janitor, in his sixties, came down the hall pushing a large mop, the kind you see at basketball games. He had on a white T-shirt and gray work pants; a pack of unfiltered cigarettes in his shirt pocket. He stopped by to kill a little time. It was late, and we were both were working second shift.

    At the time I had no idea that God had been calling me ever so gently. I was feeling so empty inside. Most nights after supper, if the weather was nice, I’d go on top of the seven-story hospital roof to just think. In those days, I was not happy with my life. I can’t remember how many cemeteries I used to drive through and look at all the grave stones. With each tombstone I read, I would wonder if the person buried in front of me had really been alive at one time. I remember reading in a funeral directors publication and seeing a few notable epitaphs. There was one in particular that has stayed with me. It said, “I once did stand where you stand now.” I must have been thinking about my mortality. Funny how God draws us. I heard once that if we take care of the after death question, all the before death questions will answer themselves. Later in life, I discovered it was true.

    Meanwhile, the old janitor who had come to visit so often was telling me what it was like when he had first started his new job at the hospital. He didn’t appear to be very intelligent, but he was friendly. I did not fault him for that. He was just like me, only older. As I continued cleaning the morgue, he was telling me about how massive the hospital was with its long seemingly endless hallways. He told me how each time he turned a corner it looked just like the last. For some strange reason I was not hearing his story; I was hearing one of my own as he talked to me. I thought to myself, “Yeah Buddy, you got no idea how big this life is!” He went on to say how easy it was to get lost in this place. Again, I thought to myself, “Yeah, truer words were never spoken, I feel like I have been lost for years.”

    Then he said something I will never forget. To this day there is no way he could have known what his next statement would mean to me. He went on to say whenever he got lost in this massive hospital, somehow he would find himself back down on the first floor in the lobby. He told me, “Whenever I find the lobby I look up, and there is a great big life-like sculpture about three feet tall of Jesus dying on a cross…” He said “When I see that, I know right where I am.”

    I knew exactly where the crucifix he was describing was. I had seen it many times before. I stopped cleaning and started listening to him. I could not wait for him to finish his cigarette. I wanted to go downstairs and see that statue. I ran down to the lobby I looked up and sure enough, there He was. It was so lifelike and real. I could see the thorns penetrating His skin. I had seen hundreds of pictures depicting that day but never had I seen bloody knees, eyes looking upward with such pain. I wondered if I had missed something. Could I have overlooked religion? I hated religion. The Methodist church was the slowest hour of my week. I only went for my mother’s sake. Her friend commented how nice I looked sitting in the front row every Sunday. No, there wasn’t anything to the baby Jesus story. But there sure was something to that sculpture that night hanging there. That old man was telling me my heart and did not even know it. I was starting to get more pieces to the puzzle.

    He Came to Me

    A few days later I was in my apartment in Peoria, Illinois. I remember it was in the springtime. Do you remember that Living Bible my mother had purchased for me? I don’t know why but I opened it. Of all places for it to open, I saw Matthew, chapter 24. I started to read, “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

    Everyone knew that someday Jesus would return; only this time He was going to be mad. I read on, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth-pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

    Upon reading this, I knew something was about to happen. Was I living in the last days? What if Jesus did come back, would I be ready?

    Just then, without even knowing what I was doing, I flipped the pages towards the back of the book. This must have been the second or third time I had opened the Bible. The Bible opened and my eyes went to Revelations, chapter 3:20, it read, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

    By this time, with all the little coincidences and old men talking to me about being lost and statues of Jesus, cemeteries and days of wondering about death and life, I decided to do something rather strange. I had just read in the Bible “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” “Could this really be so?” I thought to myself. I wondered if I were to walk over to my apartment door, do you think Jesus would be standing there if I opened the door? So I did it.

    I was sure the God of all creation would be standing there telling me, “Bob you finally figured it out; you found me! He would say something like, “This is the way everyone comes to me.” First they believe and then they act on what they believe. When I opened the door, there was nothing but a long, dusty, and dimly lit hallway. I must say, I was a little disappointed. I really believed Jesus was going to be standing there. He wasn’t.

    I walked back to the couch and I remember thinking to myself, “See, there is nothing to this religious crap!” I know it now but I did not know it then, God in heaven was looking down on a little lost lamb only 21 years old. God knew I was reading and believing and obeying to the best of what I knew. God did something then I will never forget. I had a feeling as if someone was pouring warm oil on my head, and it ran all down my body. God had touched me and no one was there to see it. It felt so wonderful, so unexplainable. It wasn’t so much the feeling, as it was the knowing. I absolutely knew something had happened to me. What, I wasn’t sure, but something wonderful had happened deep on the inside. I knew that God was real for the first time in my life. There was no doubting it. Something had changed in me. I could not prove it to anyone but Jesus had proven himself to me. And that’s all I was looking for.

    The next morning I distinctly remember walking outside for the first time after knowing that Jesus was real. I saw the grass like never before. I could count the leaves in every branch. Everything was so clear and beautiful. The sunlight was brighter that day than I had ever seen. Every color in nature screamed at me with beauty. I remember my very first prayer was, God, if this is real, then, show me someone else who has felt the very same thing.

    Show me another

    A few weeks later, I am not really sure when, we had invited a coworker and her husband from the hospital out for supper. They, like us, had been married for a short time. They had one child. She was a beautiful little three-year-old girl. They had dropped her off at a baby-sitter for the evening, and it was time for the men to go pick her up. Jerry, my co-worker’s husband and I decided to go. I don’t remember the address where we had to pick up the little girl, but what this old lady said to me will go with me to my grave.

    We were standing on the concrete steps, Jerry in front and me off the side. As the elderly lady handed the little girl to her daddy, she remarked that his daughter was just an angel. By this time in my new walk with Christ, any word I heard that even sounded like church or religion made my ears perk up. I remember saying rather out of place; “Do you know?” She looked at me and she said, “Yes I know.” I just about passed out. How did she know what I was talking about? I then said, “How long have you known? She replied, “Four years.” I started getting all excited and immediately said, “I just found out!” The little old lady, whom I had never seen before or since, smiled and said, “You’re going to love it!” She was right.

    God had answered my prayer. I had to know for sure that all this God stuff was really real. I had to know if what had happened to me in my apartment was really God. I was convinced beyond any question that Jesus was real after talking ever so briefly with that mystery lady.

    Luke 11: 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    I knew there was more to born again thing, I just knew it.

    I was never really timid about talking about my newfound Jesus. But after the infilling of the Holy Spirit, I was on fire! There was nothing and no one who came across my path, that I did not tell of His love and forgiveness. I used to say I’d witness to a fence post. Maybe I was a bit too zealous at times. Maybe I did get kicked out of my brother’s home for talking about God too much. Maybe my dad did say, “Can’t you talk about anything else.” Funny, but when I came home drunk he was unhappy, and when I came home filled of God, he was still unhappy. I was a spiritual pest. I suppose there are worse things that one could be.

    Today, years later, I have learned to walk in his grace. I have learned to rest in his peace and power. I have learned so much and know that there is much more to understand. Jesus has been my light and my path. No one had ever stuck a Bible track in my face. No one had ever told me that you could find God in a church, no one but Christ himself. I believe God chose to call me in this way so I would learn not listen to other voices and teachers, but to listen to His voice and to follow where he leads. Life is so good!

    He loves you in so many ways.

    Resting in Him,
    Bob Coker

  3. cal4u, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We are glad to have you. Please feel free to post comments directly here.

  4. Here is part of my testimony, on when and how the Lord came and saved me over nearly 40 years back!

    (Link removed by administrator)

    I’m new to this web-site, and will keep checking it out! I also write a blog and have posted my biblical thoughts on “works salvation” and why it’s not of the Lord.
    Thank you for the work you have done on presenting and standing for the truth.
    The Lord bless you all…….

  5. Vicki Frazier

    Thanks, I know the judgment seat is for rewards.

  6. Curtis, you make some good points about confession of sin.

  7. Vicki, although this has been covered, I’d like to emphasize that as people who have been cleansed from all our sins by Christ, we will never be judged by God for our sins at the Judgement Seat of Christ because Christ was already judged in our place for all our sins at Calvary. Our judgement will be for rewards and crowns for what all we did in the Spirit; and we will probably be surprised what all those rewards will be for. It is depicted as like the bema seat judgement which was where the judge of athletic contests in the ancient world honored those who did well. And although sin in our lives does influence how well we live by the Spirit, our judgement is for awards, not for sins. If it is to be a judgement for our sins, then we would not even be there. Thank God Christ did take away all our sins so we can be awarded, and as His bride be with Him forever.
    Something else: I think John in First John is saying that we are to be continually aware admitting our sins and shortcomings as believers knowing that the blood of Christ has and always will continually cleanses us.

  8. There is no strength in the confession of sin..
    The confession of sin clears the obstruction for filling of Spirit, Walking as Jesus walked for Holy Spirit to produce a life that is overcomming This is Growth .
    1 john 7 proceeds verse 9
    1 john 7 is preventive (catching sin in our thinking before it finds expression)
    How?
    by enjoying The Word of God allowing The Spirit of God Through the Word of God to have His way making straight paths.
    1 john 9 is corrective.

    If we confess our sins He is Faithful and Just…. why is God Faithful and Just?

    How is there fellowship with God in the confession of sin?

  9. Thanks. Maybe I do have the wrong Ron Shea.

  10. Vicki, there is no way we can agree with each other always, I haven’t. The church is made up of people from carnal to those doing a good job of walking in the Spirit, and varying levels of maturity and growth. One thing I think I’ve seen most have in common here is a love for the truth, along with a love for others in the church (as well as the lost), and a desire to see the sheep fed because we love Him. It’s a necessary thing to check out what others say with the Scriptures, and be praying, it’s a good noble thing to do. Some come just to argue, but Scripture comes first here before opinion. I haven’t always agreed, sometimes it’s because I hadn’t yet understood a bigger picture in Scripture considering context, and yet I have to agree with Him that something is truth, and sometimes it’s timing and being in His Word and it’s an aha moment which I love, because it’s the truth of His Word speaking, not some tradition of men or confusing teachers.

    What I ‘think’ you may be referring to is people discussing forgiveness in two different ways, positional and a practical/fellowship issue as we confess. But we are already forgiven for every sin, it happened at the cross (Col 2:13-15), and when we were sanctified, we were perfected forever (Heb 10:10,14). So there is confessing our sins when we’re aware of them, agreeing with Him on them, we see this in 1 John 1:9. We are already clean when we believe, but like the picture of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet (Jn 13), they were already clean (except Judas) but they still needed Him to clean up the feet that get dirty walking in this world. Believers need washed in the water by the Word (Eph 5:26). I know when I’m in the Word with the right attitude it has a way of showing me things maybe I hadn’t seen in myself, and I certainly agree with Him about it. The entrance of His Word brings light (Ps 119). I don’t know about how each and every person feels about every Scriptures, we don’t have it all right, this is why we need each other, to reason together with His Word.

    I ‘think’ Pastor Cucuzza discusses it in this series, not sure, either way it’s an excellent one.

    Understanding the two natures.

    Part 1
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=72141043258
    Part 2
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=75141155464

  11. Vicki, that is a surprise to me.

    There seem to be some differences in background between Ron Shea of Clear Gospel and George Beverly Shea’s son, Ronnie.

    I’m not sure they are two different people, but I think they might be.

    In any case, George Beverly Shea was with the Billy Graham Crusades for years. Billy Graham preaches a false gospel of works.

    By contrast, Ron Shea, of Clear Gospel Ministries, does not teach a false gospel of works.

  12. Vicki,

    I think you may have the wrong Ron Shea, the person I saw a short video of a man claiming to be Ron Shea talking about his father, George Shea, looks nothing like Ronald Shea of Clear Gospel Campaign.

    On another note, I will keep you in my prayers as you continue to seek His wisdom.

    Bryan R.

  13. p.s. I didn’t even realize that Ron Shea is the son of George Beverly Shea. Looked up Ron Shea on Google and found out, I never even connected the dots.

  14. Thanks and I do. Unfortunately in this life Christians just aren’t always going to agree. Later on in the day, I’ll try to share honestly where I am in my walk right now. I AM very glad I came across Ron Shea’s gospel booklet. I keep reading it to make sure it’s biblically sound. I’ve ordered 30 copies of it. The only think I might add to it is another consequence of sin that he has listed but it not being there isn’t a deal breaker. I think it’s a clear, simple presentation of the gospel and I’m happy to have come across it. I’d be interested in knowing or hearing testimonies of people who’ve come to Christ through the Gospel booklet.

  15. Vicki, please remember to pray for wisdom in understanding God’s word.

  16. Vicki Frazier

    Appreciate all the input guys. Don’t know that I can agree with every single thing I’ve seen here or every interpretation of Scripture but it’s something to think about. And pray about.

    I think I remember someone saying we don’t need to or shouldn’t ask for forgiveness of our sins because of our eternal security. I ask forgiveness for mine so I guess many think that’s wrong? I think my brain is getting overloaded with all this stuff.

  17. Below is a short list of what we CAN lose or suffer. (There is much more I am sure in His Word).

    Loss of Fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6,9)
    Loss of Fellowship with others (1 John 1:3, 7)
    Loss of Fullness of joy in or walk (1 John 1:4)
    Loss of Rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-16)
    Bring judgment upon ourselves in this lifetime (1 Cor 11:29)
    Loss of our physical life (1 Cor 5:5; Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:30)
    Loss of our health, be weak or sickly (1 Cor 11:30)
    Loss of our testimony or justification before men (James 2, Titus 3:8)
    We can shame the name of Christ for sins named among us (Eph 5:3).
    Face chastening (1 Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-6)
    Face consequences for our actions (Gal 6:7-9)
    Others face things because of us, including loss of knowing Christ. (Gal 6:9)
    We can stray from the truth, and be dishonorable – (2 Tim 2:18-20)
    Being ashamed at His appearing – (1 John 2:28)
    We can lose the joy of our salvation (Ps 51:12)
    We can cause others to stumble (1 John 2:10)
    We may not walk freely in this lifetime (Jn 8:31-32) because of lack of knowledge.
    Loss of growth in Christ (practical sanctification – Jn 17:17; Eph 5:25-26; Ps 119:9)
    Saved from deception (1 Tim 4:16; Eph 4:11-16)
    Loss of edifying others in the body (Eph 4:11-16).
    Loss of assurance or security in His love for us (we become fearful – Heb 10:26-27).
    Fall from grace (Gal 5:4)
    Loss of spiritual growth (Eph 4:13-15).
    Suffer from lack of discernment (Heb 5:12-14).
    Can be deceived by another gospel (2 Cor 11:3-4).
    Shame in not showing our Savior love by our unworthy walk (Eph 4:11; John 14:15).

  18. Jason, good example about being ‘double-minded’. James speaks to believers about that very thing. We get tossed about by so many winds of doctrine.

    Today on FB, a ‘pastor’ from a grace background who for years has been posting things from reformed people reminded me of how important it is for elders to ‘take heed to the doctrine’ (1 Tim 4:16) saving both themselves and their hearers. It saves us from so much if we might just understand to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (I thank God I am not like those other sinners)…

  19. Vicki – I confess that I had to have been a believer (which is a ‘real’ Christian) who probably didn’t ‘produce some kind of change’ for a time in my life, and when I did, it seemed negligible to me, (and maybe others) because I had so much to unlearn. I can’t say I lived a totally ‘sinful lifestyle’ but that was likely just due to my upbringing. What may have been worse (not sure) but I thought I was such a nice, accepting, underdog protecting sort of a person. I was good. I was sort of self righteous about what I saw in others — their cursing, or infidelities, or flirting, or lying, or whatever I saw, but I didn’t look hard enough at the beam in my own eye. I sadly may have been a ‘nice’ Pharisee (I thank God I am not like those sinners).

    I didn’t (or wouldn’t) do certain things, but regardless of what I did do, I sinned and what I missed maybe is that my own ‘goodness’ or ‘conviction’ or ‘change’ just wasn’t done in Him really.

    I think it’s why we have the examples of all the failures in Scripture. Those warnings of ‘such were some of you’ are not just in 1 Cor 6 (please note in the chapter before saved believer committing a heinous act (sex with his father’s wife) and please note the ‘church’ (believers) didn’t even mourn over it (feel sorry or feel it was wrong evidently).

    We tend to inspect behavior more than understanding we need to know whether we have believed the truth. Now we can disobey the truth (see Gal 5) and that is by going back into the flesh and looking there for justification as they were doing at Galatia. A true believer can be an unbeliever. There are many passages, think on all the disciples (who were already clean except Judas) or Thomas who doubted, or the believing Corinthians (1 Cor 15) who doubted His resurrection, or those in 2 Tim 2:18 whose faith was overthrown. Think on the believers in John 8:31-32, look at the response after. Or consider Luke 24:25-26:

    Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

    True believers can be barren and unfruitful (2 Pet 1:5-9). We need His Word to be disciples (mathetes-students). Or we can fall back into bondage (Gal 4) by being bewitched (Gal 3). We need His Word to grow in His grace and not be deceived by those who come in among us (Acts 20:25-32; Gal 2:4-5).

  20. Vicki, I myself had trouble with the fact supported by scripture that a truly saved believer can live in sin, yet the more I hung around here, the more I realized I had been listening to the father of lies. Getting deep into the Reformation was not good for me. I had chased after repentance and had memories of when I had believed a clear gospel. I became double-minded. That repentance is change mind and not turning from sin is good news. The subtle deception about “heart faith” is not good news at all. Believing a clear gospel lifts burdens.

    I recall hearing that Ananias and Saphira went to hell and wondering why. I remembered about Lot and wondered about Saul and the crypto-believers mentioned in John. Were all these people believers and yet not saved? I have been to churches where I was not being built up but confused, been to a councilor who inspected my fruit and humiliated me, read books that caused more confusion and internal discord. Now I know I am not alone. Now I have confidence, and things are making sense.

  21. Vicki Frazier

    Thanks, will check it out.

  22. Vicki, I think 1 John 2:19 has to do with specific people being addressed.

    Christians can stop believing, according to the parable of the sower. Jesus himself says they believe only for a while (Luke 8:13).

    I offer you two more articles for your consideration:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/09/03/lordship-salvation-looking-for-evidence-while-denying-proof/

    https://expreacherman.com/2016/01/03/lordship-salvation-a-tale-of-two-soils/

  23. Vicki Frazier

    Hi Jason. I’m not a Lordship salvationist at all but I’ve been of the mindset that if a person is a real Christian, that will produce some kind off change. I’ve always separated that from salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I believe in that but have the mindset as I stated above. I have trouble with the idea of being a Christian and living totally sinful lifestyles with no difference whatsoever so I’m just kind of thinking on all this stuff. Plus not everyone who claims to be Christian actually is Christian. I don’t know, it’s kind of a process and I don’t know if I can completely agree with everything that’s said here but asking questions is how I find out or discern what is being believed and then I have to think about it and decide whether I agree or not. And there may be some things I’m just not ever going to be sure about. I find it hard to accept that a true believer can become an unbeliever since there is a Scripture that says if they go out from us, they were not all of us. Don’t know, just trying to get a handle on some things.

  24. These used to be the sorts of questions I had, and I still have them internally when I read Lordship pet passages. Sometimes, it seems that the only thing I can do is fall back on interpreting scripture with scripture. John 3:16, John 3:36 and similar passages are clear. Lordship pet passages have been made unclear, and that may be largely due to the fact that hanging out with Lordshippers formed bad interpretation habits. This site has been useful for retraining myself.

    I liked John’s interpretion of “such were some of you”, and it is helpful. It is comforting to know that all forms of fruit inspection are not from God, chastisement included. Perfect love casts out fear. When troubles come, it is useful to keep them in perspective but not to “inspect” them.

  25. Vicki Frazier

    Thanks for your explanation and comments. I’d never thought of “such were some of you” in that way before. I’ll have to ponder on that and your other comments. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

  26. Vicki, I am going to answer with a theme: under what interpretation could a person have assurance of eternal life, from the moment of belief, based on God’s promise alone?

    Look again at John 5:24!

    Now, following are my opinions on the questions you asked, based on my interpretations, and consistent with the above theme of assurance, based on God’s promise alone:

    1. “Such were some of you.”

    I think this means that before one believes in Jesus, God sees him in his sin. Once a person believes in Jesus, God sees him in Christ. Therefore, such were some of you means that they were previously dead in their sins (did not have eternal life) and now they are alive in Christ (have eternal life).

    If a Christian was not capable of living a lifestyle of the sins on “the lists,” how could someone ever know he had eternal life? He would have to make sure that these behaviors were gone before he would know that he had been born again. And, even if he had avoided the sins on the lists for ten years, or more, how would he know that he might not slip into any of them later? And, what is the quantification standard for a “lifestyle”?

    By the way, one of “the lists” (the one in Galatians 5) includes strife and miscellaneous unlisted sins (“and the like”).

    The doctrine of assurance requires that a believer be capable of living a sinful lifestyle.

    2. Chastening

    I personally think God chastens (teaches/disciplines/disciples) all believers, not just ones who are misbehaving.

    I also personally think that the more disciplined believers are the ones who have responded the most appropriately to God’s guiding hand.

    And, it can be extremely difficult to differentiate between divine discipline and happenstance. Everything that happens, God either allows to happen or causes to happen. It is difficult to tell which is which.

    The real question, then, is must someone who is living a sinful lifestyle be cognizant of chastening to gain assurance of eternal life. In my opinion, the answer to this must be a resounding “no”!

    Looking for assurance from “chastening” is a form of fruit inspection, of self, or others.

    3. Indwelling Holy Spirit

    The Bible says to walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

    The Spirit may be grieved, but that doesn’t mean the Christian will always (or ever)feel bad when he sins.

    Christians can harden their hearts to sin and even stop believing (Luke 8:13). But, they still have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

    If it were not so, then one would look to his sensitivity to sin, relative to what it was before he became a Christian, for assurance of eternal life.

    In summary, Vicki, sin has consequences in the life of the believer, either here or in the hereafter, or both.

    But, one cannot look to the extent to which he sins, the degree to which he feels chastened, or his level of sensitivity to sin for either primary or corroborative assurance of eternal life.

  27. Ok, so bear with me, what’s the meaning of “such were some of you”, I’m really not clear on what you believe that’s talking about. Also, if a person gets saved and then chooses to continue to live a totally sinful lifestyle (keep committing adultery, fornication, stealing, and so forth) then shouldn’t they fall under God’s chastisement according to the Scripture below? And a Christian has the indwelling Holy Spirit, would He not be grieved and would He not be convicting saved believers persisting in a lifestyle of sin or do you think they can do this without it even bothering them at all? I know when I was caught up in a grievous sin for a while, He did not leave me alone about it.

    Hebrews 12
    5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

  28. Vicki, no. It doesn’t mean that they no longer are capable of doing these things, even as a lifestyle.

    They have a new nature that cannot sin, but are still attached to their flesh. My take on this is that it means that God no longer views them as being guilty of these sins, but instead sees Christ’s imputed righteousness.

  29. Thanks, I think I’d agree with you on the first interpretation. Now since the next passage says “such were some of you” does that not imply that a change has happened since coming to Christ and they are no longer these things and don’t live a lifestyle of doing those things? I’m not trying to drive you nuts with questions, truly, but that’s the only way to find out things and whether you agree with them or not. I guess that link kind of answers that but if you have something to add, I’d like to hear it.

  30. Vicki, there are a couple of views on this passage that are consistent with grace:

    1. This refers to people who are not in Christ, and never become believers, and therefore do not end up in heaven.

    This is supported by 1 Corinthians 6:11.

    The general thrust of this passage is to not shame the church by suing other believers in secular courts, thus being judged by people who have not received eternal life.

    2. This is a warning related to the possibility of missing out on eternal rewards.

    I support the first interpretation.

    This is included in our “Pet Passages” article. Please see link below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/06/01/some-lordship-salvationists-pet-passages-explained/#_edn19

  31. I need some help/clarification. In light of the section of the gospel booklet, shall we continue to sin, etc. please explain this to me:

    1 Cor 6
    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    I’m NOT saying that if a Christian falls into any of these sins, they’ll go to hell but what does this mean? I ask out of confusion because of the teaching that saved people may not show any life change at all and continue to live completely sinful lives. Perhaps eventually my confusion will get better.

  32. Thanks, you’re right. I sometimes just need some clarification.

  33. Vicki, the booklet is geared toward proclaiming the gospel message and to help ground the believer in the gospel.

    It is not intended to cover believer’s baptism.

    It is intended to encourage Bible study and church participation, which should help believers grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus.

    New converts, as well as all believers, need to be in the word of God to know His will for their lives.

  34. One other thing and I may be clueless but there’s no mention in the booklet about baptism at all and I realize that one is saved by faith in Christ only, I just want to ask or say that it’s obedience as the saved to do this so will the Lord lead people to do this after they get saved? I think, correct me if I’m wrong, that the booklet is geared specifically toward salvation itself so will the new convert be able to then know what God wants him or her to do. Sorry, I’m probably not saying this right but maybe you can figure out what I mean. If not, I’ll try again. I can’t always make words come out right.

  35. Vicki, if I’m not mistaken, Ron Shea was also raised as a Roman Catholic, as was Tom Cucuzza.

    It is awesome that you have shared the booklet with your sister an advised her to go to the Bible herself.

    It is also great that she is sharing it with her husband.

    I will pray for both of them and for her children.

  36. This is really neat. I’ve shared this gospel booklet with my sister via email. She believes but asks a lot of questions and I try to answer best I can. Please pray for me for wisdom. She told me the other day that her and her husband got into a conversation about hell and she told him about this booklet and he wanted her to print it out and said he was open to what it had to say. Said he’d never heard the gospel of grace before. Get this, he is Catholic. Now she says he hasn’t been active in it since she’s been married to him (though he used to be and even was a teacher) but that he still considers himself to be Catholic. Evidently he converted to it at some point and wasn’t necessarily raised in it. She commented on how much of the evangelists today aren’t teaching the gospel of grace and wonders why. She’s also concerned about her kids which were raised in the Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints now called Community of Christ. Her first husband was part of this religion. Says they don’t want to listen to what Mom has to say, they think they know it all. All this to say God is using this booklet and to ask for prayer for my sister and her husband. I do not want to tell people I have influence over the wrong thing which is why I tell her to read the Bible herself. But as far as I can see, this booklet is the simplest and best presentation of the biblical gospel that I think I’ve seen so far. With all the different beliefs and teachings today it’s easy to always be second guessing yourself that you have it right when the others point to the Bible, too, and say it supports what THEY say. One can go around in circles forever. `

  37. Vicky if by chance you don’t get a hold of Ron, let me know. He’s in the midst of a legal case right now, so if you don’t hear from him, bring it up again. He has no staff to answer for him.

  38. Vicki Frazier

    Hey, thx, John. I’ll take down that address. When the hard copies arrive, I’ll check it and go back to the online version and note where the problem is and then send an email. I really like his presentation of the gospel, it’s simple and uncomplicated.

  39. Vicki, you could send a note to Ron Shea at rshea@cleargospel.org

  40. Vicki Frazier

    I have this booklet in my Kindle app on my iPad and have ordered some hard copies. I don’t know about the hard copies but there seems to be a place or two in the download where a sentence repeats itself or stops incomplete. Is there an way to contact anyone to review their download version? Or the hard copy version if it turns out to be in thetr too?

  41. Emerald, welcome.

    “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea may be purchased through Clear Gospel Ministries. Please see link below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/store/

  42. emeraldleafministries

    Forgive me if this question has already been answered… but I was wondering if the above mentioned book supplied here in pdf form might be available in a printed physical form for purchase? Thanks, God bless.

  43. Phil, thanks for your testimony.

    These are great passages that teach salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

  44. i would like to share my faith in the One who saved me, the Lord Jesus Christ. for anyone who has never believed the good news of their salvation.

    I had listened to some Baptist friends at work who showed me verses in John, Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians about how to be saved (back in the ’70s) These verses said that God offers eternal salvation to anyone who will accept by faith that Christ suffered and died to pay the penalty for all our sins.
    Well, I decided one night to just start reading through the book of Romans for myself and just see if the word of God the Bible really says what these friends told me. Well, by the time I had read through Romans chapters 1 thru 5 I was convinced; God does indeed, without a doubt, offer eternal salvation as a permanent free gift if we will just accept it in faith. My response that night was, “This means I am saved, that I will have eternal life!” Now I knew what it meant He is the Savior because Christ who is Lord and God had saved me! I knew i was a doomed sinner and only Christ’s suffering and death could take away and forgive all my sins and eternally reconcile me to God.
    If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ who died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead so you could be completely forgiven and have eternal life, then I would ask you to accept what Christ has done to save you. I would like to give you some passages to help you believe this good news of YOUR salvation that God is offering you now. All you have to do is accept His free everlasting gift. Please read: John 3:16, Romans chapters 3 thru 5, Ephesians chapters 1 and 2,
    These are just a few passages, but they were enough to cause me trust Christ alone for my salvation.
    I would invite you to also watch Tom Cucuzza’s and Yankee Arnold’s videos here on Exp on how to be saved. I hope and pray that you will trust in Christ alone for your salvation.

    Phil

  45. Phil, I interpreted her use of “perfect submission” the same way you did.

  46. I used to me Methodist at one time. And i know that Blessed Assurance is in their hymnal, as I am sure it’s in just about any other main line churches hymnal. The words probably gets filtered and redefined with Calvinists, LSer’s, and Arminians and others who don’t believe like we do that salvation by faith is an accomplished fact.
    I mentioned that Fanny Crosby was Methodist at least much of her life. Having been one myself, I know that they are kind of a melting pot of beliefs and are tolerant of everything from liberals to fundamentalists even though officially their statement is Wesleyan Arminian, but they don’t try to push this at their congregations. One distinctive of them all is they are very roll up your sleeves an do something oriented. This comes from John Wesley’s preaching and is kind of related to their name, Methodist.

    One thing in the lyrics that Fanny Crosby wrote that kind of concerned me at first was the verse, “Perfect submission….” But I think she was referring to Christ’s perfect submission at Calvary and not to the necessity of our perfect submission in life in order to be saved.

  47. Phil, that’s such a beautiful hymn.

    It’s amazing that so many LS churches (think SBC) include grace-oriented hymns in their hymnals, yet contradict them with their doctrine. Kind of like Billy Graham with “Just As I Am.”

  48. i would just like to share the lyrics to my favorite hymn: Blessed Assurance.
    Fanny Crosby wrote the lyrics to this in 1873.
    To me this hymn perhaps best sums up how I see my eternal security in Christ. I hope they will also assure anyone of the permanency of their salvation who faces attacks from legalism.

    “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    O what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of his Spirit, washed in His blood.

    This is my story, this is my song,
    Praising my Savior, all the day long;
    This is my story, this is my song,
    Praising my Savior, all the day long.

    Perfect submission, Perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels descending bring from above,
    Echos of mercy, whispers of love.

    Perfect submission, all is at rest
    I and my Savior are happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.”

    I might add that Fanny Crosby was a Methodist, but I have never read anything that would sound like she was a believer in the Arminian view of salvation, that salvation can be lost and regained. She was blind but spent her life helping those in need. From the lyrics above I would hope that she worked to help the poor in thankfulness for Christ making her eternally secure and bound for Heaven and that she did not also believe that her good works were also needed to get to Heaven.

  49. Genevieve Jenks

    I see John, that could be it.Thanks

  50. Genevieve, perhaps Dr.Stanford’s point was that confession of sin, accompanied by rebelliousness, would not result in close fellowship with The Lord.

  51. In Dr Stanford’s book he says God does not guarantee restoration of fellowship on the basis of confession of sin.He says fellowship with the Lord comes when a christian disciplines his life so that he has ‘things in common” with the Lord. I have noticed other people saying that confession restores fellowship with the Lord. Can anyone explain this.

  52. Sorry Jim Floyd, I just see that you had already provided the link and the good advice 🙂

    This I hope some will download because it has helped me with one Jehovah’s witness friend, she came to believe, and to understand the Deity of Jesus by me going over the passages with her, letting her read, and talking to her about what she got from it.

  53. Hope you enjoy it Matthew, it really makes sense and really helps for location on passages when you do it for an entire book like that. Pick the points that stand out to you also. 🙂

  54. Thank you Hollysgarcia for the video link. I will be watching that either today or tomorrow.

  55. Matthew, it’s hard to take the time to prove all things, I know Yankee has been vetted here, and he shows a kind of interesting method for how to memorize the Bible by just giving an example through the book of John. See what you think. I was going to do a bible memorization the other day on a site, but then saw their Charles Spurgeon Devotional and didn’t want to give them any ‘clicks’ to promote his teachings….

  56. well I do apologize if the videos are not good for this site or if anyone doesn’t like the techniques. I do know the techniques for memorizing bible facts works and works fast. but I wasn’t sure if it would be welcomed here or not.

  57. Matthew, thanks for your comment.

    We appreciate your suggestions on memorization techniques, but unfortunately we do not have the time or resources to devote to evaluating the efficacy of these systems.

    Thanks. John

  58. I know that no one has commented on here for a while, but I wanted to add a video here about memorizing scriptures which I think might help.

    (Links removed by Administrator)

    I don’t know what they believe about Salvation, but I thought the methods may help in memorizing scripture. you can even use some of these techniques to memorize bible facts.

    another thing that might help is when memorizing scripture, try to memorize topically. that way when someone asks a question or whatever, you will have many verses in your mind to give to them.

  59. Here is a good message that speaks to this topic.

    Jim F

  60. Michael,

    I wonder if those who are saying: “A truly converted life will obviously show evidence…” understand the difference between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh. The statement might have been true if believers only have the new nature but we know this is not true. You cannot accurately say there will be evidence of a changed life. Fruit comes from walking in the Spirit but people do not always walk in the Spirit. For believers there is always a struggle between flesh and Spirit to some degree or another.

    The other problem comes when we start judging fruit but then doubt our salvation based on perceived bad fruit. Should that cause us to doubt? Or, should we remain confident in our object of salvation the Lord Jesus Christ trusting Him that he will not forsake us even though we have failures and sin.

    Jim F

  61. Michael, welcome and thanks for your comments.

    You said: “However, in reading some of the input from various persons including your own blog one could get the erroneous idea that you might be promoting the concept of once saved anyone can live as they wish. A truly converted life will obviously show evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit bringing about change in one’s life.”

    My comment: Once saved, someone should serve Christ. However, someone can live as he wishes once saved. In fact, anytime we do something outside of the will of God, we are living as we wish. Also, a believer will only show evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the extent that he allows the Holy Spirit to work in his life.

    So, the idea that once saved, anyone can live as they wish, is not erroneous.

    Pastor Tom Cucuzza put it this way in a recent sermon:

    Ephesians 2:10 – you don’t have it on the screen, today but it says:

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works (amen to that), which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    The word “should” is the only word that you could put in there that goes with grace. Because grace is free. So “should”. “Should.” And we should.

    But, it isn’t we must, and it isn’t we will. People say: “oh, you will!” OK, how many? How much? How often? How long?

    “Well, you can’t tell me…” Wait a minute! Wait a minute. Are you telling me that God has not provided salvation as a gift? He says it over and over. He says it – what – three or four times in Romans chapter 5. He says it in Ephesians 2. He says it in Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Over, and over, and over, it’s the gift. The gift, the gift, the gift, the gift. What are gifts? Gifts are free.

    (People) say: “yeah, but you can’t accept the gift and then go out do what you…” Well, wait a minute then. What you’re saying, then, if that’s true – now, you shouldn’t go out and live like the devil – but, if it’s true that you can’t accept the gift and then go do something that’s contrary to the will of God, then you’re saying that you have to behave to keep the gift. Well, then, it’s not a gift, it’s a contract. Salvation is the gift of God, apart from works.

  62. michael bechman

    I, too, firmly believe salvation is through faith alone, Christ alone, by grace alone. It is definitely not anything that mankind can do to earn God’s marvelous gift of salvation. However, in reading some of the input from various persons including your own blog one could get the erroneous idea that you might be promoting the concept of once saved anyone can live as they wish. A truly converted life will obviously show evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit bringing about change in one’s life. Not all those who you say promote Lordship salvation are saying that “works” are at all involved in someone getting saved. They could be meaning that after one is saved that there is a spiritually growing process in which gradually a believer becomes more and more sanctified and separated unto the Lord and from the worldly influences all around us. True Calvinists obviously do not believe this. Keep up the good work and testimony. mike b.

  63. Pingback: Did the Beloved Disciple tell the truth? | Redeemingmoments

  64. “local Christian book stores”

    Can’t speak for anywhere but a few geographical places, but in those few geographical places that I know well about, “Christian book stores” are closing left and right. More and more people are turning to the internet to get Christian materials, and that gives us more of a potential audience to reach with the message of the Lord’s grace. It’s just as easy for a search engine to bring up our free warnings about the next Platt/Chan/Piper/etc, as it is for them to reach their things which are usually not free anyway.

  65. Bryan,

    Right.. I guess if the more enterpri$$$ing book $tore owner$ realized they could order them for free or a small donation.. they might put them on display.

    We will just continue to let folks know about the easy availability of the Handbook of Personal Evangelism.

    Thankfully in Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  66. Thanks for the welcome Jack, too bad this book isn’t on display at local Christian book stores. Instead you always get the usual suspects such as Piper, Platt, Comfort and Osteen.

  67. Welcome Bryan,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    The Handbook of Personal Evangelism was our text in Bible College Personal Evangelism class. It is full of solid doctrine. And I have referred to it frequently and give out free paperback copies at every opportunity. Free paperback copies are available by contacting Dr. Wally Morillo (Dr. Stanford’s son-in-law) — DrWallyM@Aol.com at Grace Community Church in Pharr, Texas

    We do appreciate your taking time to visit ExPreacherMan and comment. You will find many like-minded friends here.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  68. Outside the Bible, this is probably the most important book I have.

  69. Jon,

    The note card thing works great for verses. One thing that also helped me in college was putting the reference and a few of the first words of the verse on one side and the whole verse or two on the other. That way it is easier to cement which reference goes with which verse. Worked for me anyway. The other thing that helps when you are learning them is to break them up into phrases. Go over part of it until you can add the next part and before you know it you will have the whole thing because you keep going over the phrases as you go.

    Hope that helps some. I’m sure there are other tips.

  70. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Jon,

    One more hint: Memorize no more than three verses per week. More than that tends to hinder long-term perfect retention.

  71. Thanks for the tips everyone! I have downloaded the Handbook of Personal Evangelism but didn’t see the memorization tips yet. I will try some of the tips suggested thanks.

  72. Matt,

    Thanks for the memorization tips. We all need every help we can get.

    The phrase “… theological glue.” was originally “…theological mucilage.” As old as I am I remember LePage’s Mucilage when I was in Grammar school, age 8 – about 1937. But I figured mucilage is no longer around as a common word and folks would not understand, hence “glue.” Either way, the saying is still valid.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  73. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Jack,
    “Repetition is theological glue.” Cleverly stated truth!

    Jon,
    Memorization tips:
    -First, write down or type out or download the verse and the reference.
    Example: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)”
    -Second, read the verse and reference out loud 10 times. Then, try to say it verbatim from memory 3 times.
    -Recite the verse one time daily for 7 days.
    -Review monthly.
    Of course, applying the verse in your life helps seal the verse in your memory. “Knowledge that is used sticks.”
    Hope that helps.

  74. Another thought, Jon.

    If you don’t own Alexander Scourby’s reading of the King James Bible, I highly recommend it. I’ve heard other recordings, and they just don’t hold a candle to the cadence with which he was so gifted.

    You know how we’re able to memorize a song after just a few hearings? The same goes for listening to the recorded reading of scripture. One passage (I Tim. 2:1-5) was so easy to memorize, given the emphasis he put on certain words. Of course, frequency is key, and long drives provide that great opportunity.

  75. “That made me nervous because I’ve been banking on there being song sheets.”

    Sue, you’re a hoot! Too funny…

  76. Morning Jon,

    You know what they say: “no such thing as a stupid question”. But I totally understand how you could interpret a long silence, or no response, as disapproval (I do too). And yet, most of us were just sawing logs!

    For memorizing scripture, and depending on the size of the passage, I will break it down into “bite size” pieces and write out each verse until I can do so without making mistakes. Then I move onto the next passage. At a certain point, I’ll go back to the beginning, and rewrite it all out, and if perfect, then I’ll keep going. I did this a few years ago with Chapter 8 of Romans. I also lassoed the ears of family members, reciting to them what I’d memorized, which caused them to memorize hunks as well!

    That one chapter was a hurdle for me, but oh, so rewarding.

    Your question prompts me to tackle another one ~ Thanks!

  77. Expected Imminently

    Hello Jon

    I hoped there would be a reply to your comment because I have the same problem. A while ago someone asked if others were memorizing the New Song in Revelation ready for when the time comes to sing it. That made me nervous because I’ve been banking on there being song-sheets”. 😉

    Sue

  78. Jon,

    I should have added this: The book, Handbook of Personal Evangelism is now available FREE in either PDF or MS Word format from this same article above. Link to it and download it!!

    It has many helps anyone can use in Bible study and witnessing.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  79. Jon,

    Not a problem.

    Our friend John suggested this (which I should have remembered since I studied and applied this in Bible College):
    Jack, if you want to give Jon some practical advice on memorizing scripture, page 117 of the “Handbook of Personal Evangelism” has the following:

    1. AIDS TO MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE VERSES

    Use 3×5 file cards, writing the verse on one side and the address on the other. This way you can go through the addresses to see if you know the verses, and through the verses to see if you know the addresses.

    As you learn your verses, try quoting them as frequently as possible, and you will implant them more firmly in your mind. It is a well-known fact that when you compound reading, hearing, and speaking in the learning process, your retention will be progressively increased. Just listening or reading alone cannot give you skill and effectiveness in USING your knowledge. You must PRACTICE. It is well said that practice makes perfect that which you practice.

    A periodic review of your memory verses is a good idea, even for the ones you feel you know quite well. If you have your 3×5 cards handy, you can make good use of time that perhaps you would otherwise waste . . . waiting for a bus, sitting in the beauty shop, etc.

    Work toward knowing the verses so well that you can quote them immediately upon hearing the address, a portion of the verse, or subject material which the verse could answer or deals with.

    Be able to quote them with almost no effort at all. In this way you can quote the verse to the person and actually be free to be thinking of what you will say next, or to be sensing the person’s reaction to it. The value of being able to do this is great.”

    It worked for me then — but I am an old guy now!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  80. I’m sorry Jack. I interpreted the lack of response as disapproval of my question. I have too much time to think. I suppose memorization is easier when we are younger, to some degree at least. I have certainly become more familiar with many verses just by reading comments on this blog. Thank you for the tract recommendation. I appreciate your commitment to keeping the Gospel simple Jack. God bless.

  81. Jon,

    Sorry I did not catch your question.

    Not a stupid question at all and no mockery. Your question was valid but I suppose no one had a ready answer. Everyone has some problem with memory verses. I find memorization difficult also and have found no trick to do it.

    However, I do find the more I witness to folks, using a tract with Scripture verses which I repeat to them, the easier it is to recall those particular verses later. As an old Bible college professor of mine used to say, “Repetition is theological glue.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. I am wondering if anyone has any tips on memorizing Bible verses? I seem to struggle with this. Memorizing one new verse seems like a monumental task let alone trying to memorize dozens.

  83. Bruce and John,

    Wonderful points about God’s Grace. Thank you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  84. Good works and obedience do not automatically follow from, nor prove, eternal salvation. We are saved by Grace through faith in Christ.

    We are not saved by Grace through faith in Christ to make us be good. Rather, we are saved by Grace through faith in Christ to take away our sin and give us His righteousness. We are forgiven of all of our sin – past, present and future – the moment we believe in Christ alone.

    When one believes in Christ unto eternal life, he does not have to be ready to die for Christ, be willing to sacrifice his children for Christ, be willing to give away his money, be willing to turn over a new leaf, or anything else.

    Does lack of obedience indicate that someone is not saved? NO!!!

    Think about this verse:

    John 8:31 (NKJV) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

    Note that Jesus was talking to believers. They were already saved at this point – eternally secure. But, their discipleship was contingent on abiding in His word.

  85. Hello Justin; thanks for joining us today.

    I won’t make many comments here because I’m not exactly sure what point you are trying to make. If you comment again, please keep your thoughts concise and on a certain point or question. You seem to be vacillating between a grace position and a works-for-proof position of salvation. I’m not sure. Ephesians 2:8-9 declare that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone (not by works, so that nobody can boast).

    Regarding your comments about Abraham and Old Testament salvation, I refer you to Genesis 15:6, “Abraham BELIEVED God and it was counted to him for righteousness.” Salvation in the Old Testament was the same as in the New, by grace alone through faith alone, not by works. What did Abraham believe? He believed that God would give him a great line of descendants through whom would come the Promised Messiah, Abraham’s coming Savior and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    By the way, many people have written about the Book of James on various articles on this site. I hope that you can check them out. In a nutshell, James was addressing BELIEVERS about the quality of their faith, NOT the reality of their faith.

  86. Retired Pastor, you are blessed – your faith is great for you boldly proclaim the good news… for you know and trust the Savior Jesus is. Amen!!!!!!
    I too am saved and loved……….
    The Ministry of Death written on stones was nailed to the cross with my Savior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Iit has been fulfilled, my sins were punished in His body , I received His righteousness I did not deserve.
    He paid my debt I I could not pay, he found his rest in redeeming me…..
    To know how much God loves me….Is to know how much God loves his Son because he gave him up for me.
    Abraham was held unto rightousness yet he knew not the law……It’s all about the motivation when we trust in his salvation it produces obedience… So without trust would Abraham have put his Son in harms way?. Could he have been this obedient in the flesh? I think not………..
    Abraham produced obedience because he had faith… This is why James can say “Faith without works is dead”….” I will show you faith by my works”
    It was easy for Abraham to take his Son up Mt Moriah because he trusted God would not harm his son.. If he didnt trust God he never would have put Isaac in harms way…this was” faith by my works”
    In the New Covenant you don’t do works to receive faith ..
    Rather you have the “Trust” to do what is obedient and right…
    Now you have this trust because you have faith to trust in it, and this faith was counted to you for righteousness and this by grace which was given to you because He first loved you.
    This is the evidence of your faith, not the works, but the Trust which in turn produces obedience………..The fruits are “His peace” – because your works are now not in vain, and therefore it is now not work..and if it is now not work the law is being fulfilled as it was meant to be…..
    Now let’s be honest!! in the Old Covenant we didn’t have enough faith to trust to do what is right because in the flesh it was hard it was effort….
    In the Old the High Priest is always standing, his work is never done
    Watch this now!!!!!……..My Savior is seated, His work is done, the law has been fulfilled …….”.Hold your position put on your armour its all true.”.
    For it was designed this way before I was born that he may glorified.
    For if Christ cannot justify me by his love, by what measure can the law justify me by my effort……..

  87. Marcella,

    I will pray the Lord encourages you — and that you will find a doctrinally sound Christian friend at work. People will mock and jeer but the Lord’s Holy Spirit indwelling each of us believers promises He will strengthen and guide us.
    John 16:13a
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: …
    Romans 12:21
    Be not overcome of evil [the noisome, wicked], but overcome evil with good.
    2 Thessalonians 3:13
    But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

    Thanks again for visiting and giving us your comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  88. Thanks for this resource, Jack. I have shared the gospel with some people, and most have rejected it. That’s disheartening. Some people at work ganged up on me and mocked me after I shared the gospel there, so I got discouraged and uncomfortable after that and haven’t shared the gospel with co-workers for a few years. I’ve been asking God to bless me with a Christian friend at work because it would be so beneficial for me. Work is a stressful place sometimes, and it would be nice to have the friendship and support of another Christian. There are several people at work, who call themselves Christians, but they are deceived and in cults. I pray for them.

    I’m thankful for this forum and the Christian fellowship here. God bless everyone!

  89. I’d like to thank you both so much (Bruce and Jack) for your replies to my initial comment. Bruce, your analogy was a great encouragement to me, I believe we’re on the same page as far as what we believe about grace and how Christians are in needless bondage to sin.

    Jack, I will definitely keep coming back, I think that I could learn a great deal from this blog! Thank you for your comment, my writing is very important to me and your recognition of it means a great deal. Speaking of which, I wanted to include this link to a blog I wrote that expresses what I personally believe about salvation.

    http://altonwoods.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/free/

    You asked about how I initially came to trust Christ as my savior and in response I’d like to say that it happened in a Baptist church one Sunday morning when I was nine.No one else in my family was there or ever knew about it…I was merely sent to church on a bus to get me out of my parents hair for a while.I did mention it briefly here…

    http://altonwoods.wordpress.com/who-am-i/

    I don’t remember much about it to be honest but I believe what happened that day was real. In the many years since then I have re-dedicated my life to Christ several times with complete sincerity each time.

    I believe that God has a plan for me. I’d really like to see a breakthrough in my life to move me from where I’m at now into living in the reality of total freedom and victory and into having the sort of relationship with our Father that Jesus died to enable us to have.

    Thank you for your encouragement, and for asking the questions you did…

    I appreciate that you care enough to do so!

  90. AltonWoods,

    You certainly are welcome here. My advice?? Keep visiting, reading and commenting here. We are here to help you (and all of us) to better understand God’s Grace, the Scripture and the Christian life. Bruce’s great comment and advice above is a good example.

    Sometime you may read our articles and comments but not realize that we also have struggles in our lives. That is why it helps all of us to have this community of believers sharing our faith and thereby growing.

    I visited your Blog and find that you write very well about your Christian life. However I did not see on your Blog how you trusted Christ as your Savior and specifically what you believe about your salvation. I may have missed it — if so please forgive me and direct me to the link.

    For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentile].
    Romans 1:16

    Thanks again for dropping by.. Please come back.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  91. P. S. to last comment:

    The unbiblical teaching of which we speak so often on this site called, “lordship salvation,” is totally characterized by the legalistic guilt and fear-based motivation of which was mentioned above.

  92. Greetings Altonwoods:

    Thanks for joining us today. Just to let you know, I certainly have my share of struggles in the daily Christian life, just as you do. Some wise person once asked the question, “Do you know what is so difficult about the ‘daily Christian life’?” Answer: “It’s because it’s so DAILY!” The breakthrough for me came several years ago as I read some helpful books on living by grace. One of my favorites was “The Grace Awakening” by Charles Swindoll. Another good one is “Simply by Grace,” by Dr. Charles Bing. In “The Grace Awakening,” Swindoll speaks out strongly against legalism in the church; he invites the reader to examine his or her life to see whether he or she is really living a life of joyful expectancy under God’s unlimited love and grace, NOT under the bondage of legalism and guilt/fear-driven motivation. Listen to his words which I quote in an article I wrote for this site and for Free Grace Alliance (see the link below):
    “In his best-selling book, The Grace Awakening, Charles Swindoll relates the baffling true historical narrative of how the slaves were legally declared free by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in late 1865, yet many or most of them chose to remain on the plantations, not exercising their new legal status of free men and women. He makes the comparison that many Christians, although freed by the death and resurrection of Christ, choose to continue to live in a state of bondage to sin, legalism, fear and doubt. To quote Swindoll, using the analogy of Lincoln freeing the slaves, he says, “To use terms everyone can understand, President Grace legally freed us from our lifelong master, Sin, and his wife, Shame. Theoretically, we were freed when we believed in Christ, but practically speaking, our plantation owners do everything in their power to keep us ignorant, afraid, and thinking like a slave. . . . Many Christians still live as though they are enslaved.” A bit later he inquires, “What in the world has happened to grace? Furthermore, where is the abundant life Christ offered? Are freed people supposed to live such a frightened existence? Are we emancipated or not? If so, let’s live like it! That isn’t heresy; it’s the healthiest kind of theology imaginable!”

  93. Jack, I’ve enjoyed reading many of your posts and the very insightful comments on them as well. I feel as though I’m struggling to consistently have the type of faith walk that you and your readers profess,any advice?

  94. Brittany,

    Be sure to read and remember the Bible verses suggested.
    We can tell folks stories but unless we can back it up with contextual Scripture, it is merely a story.
    God’s Word says:
    “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
    Praying for you!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  95. How cool is that, in a matter of seconds I got a whole book on what I want to read about,– and for free! 🙂

    Bless you, thank you for sharing this!

  96. Pingback: How To Share Christ « Notes From A Retired Preacher

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