Posts from the ‘pride’ Category

Dear Readers, Do You Agree With Suzanne ? Should I Continue to Post Anonymously or not ?

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The following comment is from a reader in Bavaria.

“I really saw that your site IS completely Christ-centered. Hats off! Such a thing is rarely to find.

“Every sermon should ultimately be about Jesus.” Tim Keller

This is absolutely true. I appreciate Tim Keller as well and I’d like to say that the Gospel Coalition “triumvirate” 😉 – often represented by Tim Keller, Don Carson, AND John Piper – consists of three Christ-centered preachers and teachers. They are all different, yet they complement each other perfectly.

Indeed, I loved reading this post. The only thing that makes me somehow sad is the fact that I do not know with whom I am talking here [OK OK, from your “About” I know that you are a man 🙂 ]. I abstained from saying, “Hello Christ Centered Teaching” since it sounds a bit strange in my ears. Do you not agree?
Just flipping through Scripture, reading for example the introduction of Romans, a man introduces himself by writing,

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.” Rom 1:1)

You, too, are a faithful (!) servant of Him who has called you by your name, didn’t He? He chose you and you are precious in His eyes. God, your Father in Heaven, knew your name before you were born and He loves like His only son Jesus.
Just imagine all the prophets of the Old Testament had not been given any names or we could only read gospel 1, gospel 2, gospel 3, gospel 4, and anonymous letters.

“You, too, my dear brother, have a prophetic voice which must be heard!”

I assume you may wonder why I insist on it that much. Who am I to do so?
Honestly, the Lord urged me…
Also, it grieved me a lot to read about your painful loss when you were only eleven years old. In fact, it was the same for my hubby Paul who was born in Chicago/Illinois. When he was about 9 years old [“about” because he can’t remember it], he was forced to return to Germany with his mother and his younger brother because their father had died in the 1970’s. Just in case they would have stayed in the USA, their mother as a German – unlike their American sons – would have had difficulties with retaining custody.

Well, that’s it for now, my brother in Christ.

Every blessing to you,
your sister
Susanne from Bavaria 🙂

I appreciate each and every comment I recieve.
But this comment really has me thinking. 

Some of you already know that I occasionally post expanded views of the works of Tim Keller, Viktor Frankl, Ravi Zacharias, and others.

Tim Keller did a sermon series titled,”Public Faith”, in which he states that we live in a culture that encourages us to be open about everything except our religious beliefs.
We are told that it is good to say what we believe about sexual preferences and everything else, but we are told to keep our views about religion, particularly Christian religious views, to ourselves. 

And Viktor Frankl, the Austrian Phyciastrist who survived Auschwitz, who wrote one of the New York Times top ten most influential books of all time, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, would have published it anonymously if not for the urging of a close friend.

Frankl later realized that many more opportunities arose for him to help others because he published his book with his real name.

Then I think of Ravi Zacharias. A man so gifted and anointed by God, so outspoken yet gracious. Ravi has said things that others wouldn’t dare say and to people and in public places where most wouldn’t dare to make such statements with such conviction and humility.

In contrast, I risk very little by being anonymous and my humility is not pumped up so much as to make me tempted to forget my first love, namely Jesus Christ.

I consider these men to be a few of my most admired and most Christ Centered Teachers.

So what do you think?

Would my name help the cause of Christ, or only serve to hurt it ?

Please prayerfully consider these things with me and share your thoughts in this forum with me.

Because He first loved us,
C.C.T.

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“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.” ~George Washington~

1795 - 1823

1795 – 1823 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”

~George Washington~

(May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge)

“The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.”     

   ~George Washington~

 Moral Principal is no longer a mutually forgone conclusion, and no longer frames healthy debate to the degree that our politicians can agree on anything enough to affectively govern.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong there is no basis for healthy reasoning.

Right and wrong look more like shades of gray instead of black and white.

Instead of civil discourse, power struggles, gridlock, and underhanded dealings rife with slander have become the means of politics of our once great nation.

Hollywood no longer has a clear definition of right and wrong and therefore finds it difficult to effectively tell a good story. Every artist knows contrast gives definition, be it photography,paintings,storytelling, and movie making.

And the church, not the Bride of Christ whom God alone can confirm, but the small ,”c”, institutions church in America, have turned many away through not proclaiming Christ above all else. And moralism drives those seeking genuine compassion away, and likely never to return.

If you want to view a true reflection of what Christianity should be, look at the life of Jesus in the Bible.

You will find nothing wrong with Him.

jesusandalostlamb

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

(Matthew 11:28-30)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)
Jesus is everything Christianity should be.
DON’T FOLLOW CHRISTIANS, FOLLOW CHRIST.
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY.
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE TRUTH,
CHRIST WILL SHOW YOU THE LIFE.

Pascal on Mankind and God

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“Man would desire to be great and sees that he is little; would desire to be happy and sees that he is miserable; would desire to be perfect and sees that he is full of imperfections; would desire to be the object of the love and esteem of men, and sees that his faults merit only aversion and contempt. The embarrassment wherein he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passions imaginable, for he conceives a mortal hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.” ~Blaise Pascal~ (Pensees)

Christianity is the Fastest Growing Religion in China

“Monday marks the 23rd anniversary of China’s 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. And Professor Fenggang Yang of Purdue University has an observation about that day. He says many dissidents who led that movement have become Christians. In fact, he says 1989 was a watershed year for conversions, which led to “a quiet spiritual revolution,” among many Chinese, who equated Christianity with modernity. Here & Now’s Robin Young spoke with Yang, and the interview link below.” http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/06/04/tiananmen-square-christianity   “After [Tiananmen], I felt that I was a homeless person in terms of spirituality. I want[ed] a spiritual home… Christianity made the best sense to me.”

–Professor Fenggang Yang, a Christian
Pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in China.Home to the largest single race population in the world.(Population 1,338,299,512).(Population of U.S.A. 311,591,917).
That’s over 4 times the size of the United States!
While 80% of American churches are stagnate or in decline, and 3,500 churches close their doors every year in America, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in China.(Gallop).
God is doing a great work, and human rights violations,(persecution), is on the rise in this communist nation.
May God Bless the Awakening in China, AND for the whole world!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ( Romans 8:35-39)

Watch “Tim Keller on “The New Atheists”” on YouTube – 3 Minutes

Self Centered Pride vs. Christ Centered Living

Selfish Pride works against us as a natural force like gravity. The potential for pride is constantly present, pulling us from Christ centeredness to self centeredness. Selfishness is the path of least resistance.Selfish pride can consume a person as it falsely promises satisfaction. People sometimes spend all we have and sacrifice all our relationships chasing fulfillment that can’t be had in anything but a real relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior. God made mankind in order that we may know Him. Sin separated us from that relationship to God. The following gives a little Biblical history in this regard.

Lucifer was created before man.

He decide he wanted to be ,”like the Most High”, (like God). Isaiah 14 : 14

Lucifer’s downfall is recounted in the old testament book of Isaiah 14:12-17 in what is known as, “The Five I Will’s”. “You said, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly… I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” He succumbed to selfish will that puts self before God. Lucifer wanted to be like God,the Most High.

Next God had created man for the purpose of fellowship with Himself. Then Satan turned what he learned about pride against Mankind in Genesis 3:1-6.

He tempted Eve by questioning God’s authority and wisdom, “Did God really say to you must not from any tree in the garden?”
Eve responds,”We may eat fruit of the trees of the garden.”

Eve continued,” But God did say you must not eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman,” “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be LIKE GOD, knowing good and evil.”

So she ate it and gave some to Adam who was with her. Satan told Eve she would be ,Like God,” which is just what he told himself and led a rebellion among the angels that resulted in one third of the angels and Satan being banished from Heaven and sentenced to eternity in Hell.But Satan also knew that God ,being perfect in justice,would have to send fallen man to the same fate that awaits the fallen angels,eternity in Hell.

In both cases creation does not want to adore it’s Creator, but its self, as if what was created can somehow take credit for what it already is.

The sentence of eternity in Hell for Satan and his angels is waiting to be carried out at the end of the age.

For mankind , the result is banished from God’s presence because of the change from an innocent nature to our present sin nature. We now know good and evil, but are unable to choose good always. Perfection was lost. God is perfect. Separation from God is the tragic result.

Pride is our downfall. Not just pride but Selfish pride is the main problem and has always been the weakness of creation.

God’s perfect Holiness demands separation in fellowship.

But God’s great love made a way for restoration.
God provided the way,”Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the life.No man comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever would believe in him would not parish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16)

But even Christians remain susceptible to self centeredness. Self Centered Drift, as I will call it,drifting away from Christ Centered Teaching to Self Centered Teaching, is probably the main way it is seen and heard in the church.

We can all see it in the ways we misrepresent God and what He is. God is Love. We often misrepresent God as anything but loving by our own behavior. A leader is often judged by his followers. We are not truly followers unless we put God first and ourselves last. John 3 16 stands in stark contrast to what most ,as Christians, call sacrifice.

What’s more, our greatest teachers fail to bring Christ to a real and personal level in their teaching. I speak from my own personal experience. I feel the drift from Christ to self as I write even now. My sin nature wants to put self before Christ. The truth is that even the best Christian will fail you, but Christ will never fail you.

Look to Jesus Christ,”the Author and Finisher of our faith.” Only Jesus can give true fulfillment. Only Jesus can make us free from the gravitational pull of self centeredness. Believe He died on the cross to pay for your sin, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior and He will put His Spirit in you to help you rule your desires, instead of your desires ruling you.

Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory.”

Christ Centered Teaching- Because It’s All About Jesus

Solus Christas Emphainein – Emphasize Christ Alone

Christ Centered Teaching – Initial Post

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:2)

Christian – The word literally means like Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Central Figure of the Christian faith.

Christ is the Founder of the Christian faith.

Christ is the Perfecter of the Christian faith.

True Christianity begins with Jesus and then continues by Jesus Christ IN the believer for all eternity.

Think of Christ as the SUN in the Christian solar system around which everything else revolves.

Christ is the center and core of Christianity. Our life ,growth and power all come from Christ and He starts and then continues the changes in us that make us Christ like.

When we accept His sacrifice on the cross to pay for our sins, God immediately sees us as perfect, and then He puts His Spirit in us to guide and grow us. He changes us.

Some preaching is Christ Centered. Some preaching is not Christ Centered. How we can become more Christ like without becoming more familiar with Jesus?

A term that is useful for all who study Christianity as a way of living is,”Biblical Emphasis.” Biblical Emphasis takes into account that the New Testament has about 8,000 verses. As an example we can ask,How often do the many names given for Jesus,( God’s Son, Messiah, Savior, Lord, Christ), occur in the new Testament?

Answer; about 2,000 times. So if we want to know how Christ Centered a message is in reference to Biblical Emphasis of the Bible, all we need to do is divide 2,000 into 8,000. That means the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers to relate their subject to Jesus Christ about 25% of the time. That is the Biblical standard for being Christ Centered. The writers of the Bible never went more than three steps away from Jesus in reference to anything they talked about. In fact, the actual percentage is closer to 27%.

I’m not willing to accept anything less than Jesus Christ as King in both context and content.

That is what God wants too.This is what is written in God’s word, the Bible –

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5

And God does not require that we love Him without reason.

God also gives us a mind-blowing reason to love Him. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay for all the things we did wrong. Jesus took our punishment, suffered at the hands of evil men, was subjected to Roman crucifixion, died and was buried for three days, and defeated death when He rose from the tomb to prove He can give life to all who put their trust in Him as Savior.

” For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.” John 3:16

Yes I love Jesus. I want to be like Christ. I want to be Christian.

So this is what troubles me. Most often when I visit a church,or listen to a preacher on the radio, or read a Christian article on Christian subjects, tragically, the author hardly makes mention of Christ! How can it be Christian without Christ? How can listeners or readers become Christian when Christ is only mentioned indirectly once or twice in a 20 minute sermon? The average Christ Centered temperature of most speakers seems to be cold.

So what is our problem? Why do people, preachers, churches, religious institutions, organizations,banks, governments, politicians, nations, and societies seem destined to drift into self-centered ruin? Why do messengers of Christ not speak His name?

Let me propose that any time we put God or His Son second we are putting ourselves first.

So the problem can be described in the word PRIDE. The universal problem that leads mankind, nations, governments to drift always in the direction of ruin.

Lucifer, also known as Satan or the Devil, was the first to succumb to this problem . Satan and one-third of the angels where cast out of Heaven and God’s presence as a result of it. (Isaiah 14:12 – 17)

Then Satan tempted mankind with the same thing that lead to his downfall. The result was the fall of mankind as recorded in the book of Genesis. This event brought sin, death, suffering to mankind and separation between us and our perfect, Holy Creator. (Genesis 3:1-6)

The Devil will tempt mankind with pride once more at the very end of the age in man’s final rebellion before Christ judges all of creation, as recorded in the book of Revelation, the final book in the Bible.(Revelation 20:1-10)

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