Why Do New (and Used) Believers Need a Survival Guide?
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Why Do New (and Used) Believers Need a Survival Guide?
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I. Failure of Faith in God's Purpose for our lives, and His Promises (resulting in walking by sight like a worldling and loss) Heb 11:6
Incorrect view of God & unbelief. Not knowing Him or His ways well and/or deceived into thinking you do (like the Pharisees). Picking and choosing commands and not taking His whole revelation into account, focusing only on the aspects that appeal/look good externally.
II. Failure to Decide to Fully Follow Jesus, knowing that there is no other Creator God Savior and Lord, and thus no alternative
Lk 9:22 The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 23 If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his soul will lose it, but whoever loses his soul for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 ashamed of Me and My words...ashamed when He comes in His own glory
Jn 16:33 spoken to you, that in Me...peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Rm 12:1-2 present bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God...2 not conformed...transformed...renewing..perfect will of God.
Assuming because we feel our motives are pure-covered under a declaration of “I want to please God” that our “pure” motives will automatically result in God-pleasing actions. Wrong friends/influences & lack of biblical fellowship/Independence from the body
III. Devil Lk 8:12 wayside: hear; then devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved
External forces-Satan wants to eat them 1Pt 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by brotherhood
Eph 6:10 brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood...rulers of darkness 14 truth 17 word of God
2Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted...different gospel
Jn 8:31 who believed Him: If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed 32 and you shall know truth... truth shall make you free.
2Tim 2:26 come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 1Tim 5:15 ff satan.
Believing oldest lie that God isn’t good; leads to the lie that God is withholding; which leads to all manner of grasping/manipulation and taking control of our lives
IV. Others 8:13 rock: hear, receive the word w/ joy; have no root, who believe for a while and in time of trials due to word, fall away
Acts 20:29-30 false teachers 1Tim 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, 1Cor 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."
Incorrectly perceiving the source of our problems - when it’s really our values or faulty/unbiblical thinking but satan convinces us the source is other people or an external circumstances, we act in crazy (i.e., sinful) ways to try to control others or change the situation instead of changing our thinking
1Pt 2:1 lay aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire pure milk of word, that you may grow thereby
Matt 24:0 then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 false prophets deceive many
Heb 12:5 Looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness spring up trouble you, thereby many be defiled;
Bitterness is so dangerous b/c it flies directly in the face of self-denial/ crux of discipleship. yielding rights, submission, hurt/ unsanctified feelings, worth/value. If you don’t get all these areas lined up right you’re just a bitterness seed waiting to be offended and spring up (which of course satan will water). and whats worse is that it gives you a false excuse as to why you are the victim / not responsible automatic “out” if you’re looking for one
Pride hinders humbly starting over Gal 5:19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, Heb 5:12
Pride/Confidence mis-placed/Incorrect view of self=no trust in God's methods/plan, no acknowledgment of who owns your life (not just intellectual assent) and that you're a servant/slave (either of God or satan). Manifests itself in gnosis vs epignosis, "I'm slow to change", independence from God's people and his commands, hard-heartedness
V. Our Values 8:14 thorns: heard...choked w/ cares, deceitfulness of riches, desires for other things and pleasures of life, no fruit to maturity.
Blinded to when faulty filters from unexamined or unrenewed values are skewing, darkening, distorting our perceptions
2Tim 4:10 Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world 1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.
Rm 8:5 live acc to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live acc to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8 those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Incorrect / temporal / carnal perspective/value - preoccupation with job, relationships, world events, culture, family, money etc not fully realizing that you could lose everything in the process of following Christ. No expectation of suffering. Comparison to others, not remembering that you are judged on your faithfulness, not on how you compare to someone else. Stuffed with the world's values, no room for God's. Fulfilling lusts of the flesh and mind. Envying sinners.
VI. Our Lifestyle 8:15 good ground: heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with perseverance
When satan convinces us our motivation is godly/biblical/God-pleasing or right in God’s sight when it’s really just right in our own sight or “feels” right. We proceed in a defensive posture because we’re not willing to consider we’ve misunderstood God or drawn a wrong interpretation/application.
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for what sow...will also reap. 8 sows to flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 not grow weary doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Holiness requires separation from former life (thinking/feeling-values/actions): ambitions, associations, habits/practices
Other reasons: Staying in the dark, don't see clearly things of the light; unholy people, impure of heart, can't see a holy God; still in chains need freedom.
Failure to train and work, to take heed, reflect, evaluate; fail to fellowship/share (dvlp Biblical rlshps with other Christ#1 followers;
Other believers behave badly (hypocrites/stumblingblocks); Doing what used to be natural is dumb and deadly; we need a new heart; we need to learn how to die in order to live; Self-preservation/lack of endurance, no grit for hardship, holding back from God; No concept of rewards; Earthly pleasure/treasure/luxury/trust in riches; Building house on sand - hearer but not a doer, deceiving yourself; Self-sufficiency, lack of prayer/dependence; Great opposition/discouragement. Believers turning ears from truth; Impatience - difficulty waiting on God, rushing to take action Laziness - expecting/hoping that things will change naturally; There is a final exam with eternal consequences, and we don't even know we're enrolled in this required course.
Bible Verses and Thots from the Body to consider re Why People Need a Survival Guide (or ruin their spiritual lives)
1. Pride/Confidence placed incorrectly/Incorrect view of self = no trust in God's methods or plan, no acknowledgment of who owns your life (not just intellectual assent) and that you're a servant/slave (either of God or Satan). Manifests itself in gnosis vs epignosis, "I'm slow to change", independence from God's people and his commands, hard-heartedness Js 4:6-10, Ro 6:16, Js 1:21-22, Rev 3:19; Mt 23:12
2. Incorrect / temporal / carnal perspective/value - preoccupation with job, relationships, world events, culture, family, money etc not fully realizing that you could lose everything in the process of following Christ. No expectation of suffering. Comparison to others, not remembering that you are judged on your faithfulness, not on how you compare to someone else. Stuffed with the world's values, no room for God's. Fulfilling lusts of the flesh and mind. Envying sinners.
Mt 13:18-22; Mk 10:21, 29-31; 2Co 10:12,18; 2Tim 3:12; Col 3:2-3; Ro 8:7-8; Eph 2:3; Prov 23:17-18; 1Jn 2:15-17
3. Idolatry - fear of the wrong God, love of money, people, self, job, etc Col 3:5-6
4. Wrong friends/influences & lack of biblical fellowship/Independence from the body Js 4:4; 1Co 15:33; 2Co 6:11-18; Ps 1; Heb 10:25; Eph 6:10-13
5. Incorrect view of Satan (too much/too little) 1 Peter 5:8-9, Eph 6:10-12; James 4:7
6. Incorrect view of God & unbelief. Not knowing Him or His ways well and/or deceived into thinking you do (like the Pharisees).
7. Picking and choosing commands and not taking His whole revelation into account, focusing only on the aspects that appeal/look good externally Heb 3:10, 12; Col 2:23; Mk 3:4-5; Jn 16:2-3; Jer 4:22; Mt 7:21-23; Mt 23:23-24
8. Self-preservation/lack of endurance, no grit for hardship, holding back from God Mt 16:21-24; 2Tim 2:3-4; 1Co 15:58
9. Earthly treasure/luxury/trust in riches Mk 10:21-23 10. Building house on sand - hearer but not a doer, deceiving yourself Mt 7:26; Js 1:22-24
11. Self-sufficiency, lack of prayer/dependence Ps 20:7-8; Pr 3:5-6 11. No concept of rewards 1Co 15:32, 58;
12. Great opposition/discouragement. Believers turning ears from truth 2Tim 4:1-7
13.Impatience - difficulty waiting on God, rushing to take action 1Sam 13:10-14; Pr 19:2; Ps 27:14 14.Bitterness Heb 12:15
15.Laziness - expecting/hoping that things will change naturally Gal 6:7-9 16 .Lack of submission to the body and to authority Heb 13:17; Ro 13:2-7
1. Not having deep spiritual roots (Mark 4:16). Probably means having your faith based on some emotional experience but not on deep strong convictions. Lack of knowledge of God's Word and His promises. 2. Worrying too much about material/temporal things (Mk 4:19).
3. Loving your family (parents and children and wife and siblings) more than Christ. Putting your flesh family above your spiritual family (Mt 10:38, Lk 14:26)
4. Covetousness (desire for things that belong to others), 10th commandment, used by Paul
5. Self-centeredness, asking God for things to spend on your own pleasure (James 4:3)
6. Pride, thinking you know better than others (James 4:6) 7. Not controlling your tongue (James 3:6)
8. Having the wrong expectation, that if you follow Jesus, you will get all the blessings and no hardship. You will get the blessings, but also persecution (Mark 10:30, 2 Tim 3:12) 9. Bitterness, not forgiving others (Mt 6:15) 10. Be lukewarm about your faith (Rev 3:16)
Observations from Mt 24
1-led astray by false prophets = easily deceived/ don’t know or cling to Truth
2-fear over circumstances (wars, etc) = cares of the world which distract and deceive = comfort seeking
3-don’t want persecution = pain avoidance
4-saving one’s earthly life - wiling to renounce or not endure to spare temporal life = self-preservation
5-increasing iniquity in the world = get swept away by evil vs continue to agape/ or cling to non-biblical view of love to “Fit in” as others’ love grows cold
6-allow self to believe false rumors re Christ’s return vs what the Word has already instructed/warned about=follow the fad not the Word
7-impatience to wait thru all the stuff listed before Christ’s return (wars, abom of desolation, etc) = get wise in own eyes vs how the Word describes it
8-don’t know or aren’t keeping the Biblical account at forefront of mind = ignore biblical instruction
9-false/ limited view of glory = get deceived by lesser versions/ stories of Christ coming back vs Biblical account
10-lost sensitivity to the Spirit which would help to remind of these things = don’t know the Word or lose sight of God’s intent for us to endure to the end, not fail, and that He can help (He gave us warnings in advance)
11-cease being faithful and wise = get distracted to other stuff while waiting and start sinning (acting like the world)
12-Don’t cling to Christ’s words = fear heaven and earth passing away vs Jesus’ words
13-minimize the blessing for remaining a faithful servant (46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes.)
14-waited too long to start to be faithful = no track record to endure with
15-don’t fear consequences of not finishing well = don’t understand fate for hypocrites (Gehenna) and believe that past faithfulness (or something else) “covers over” apostasy - nope.
1. A lack of understanding of the scripture and God, think life will change after accepting Christ, but it doesn't; Leading to disappointment and doubting God’s goodness and reliability of Scripture=> failure to develop trust and faith in Him / Scripture
2. Not ready to give up earthly pleasure, power and possession 100%; try to live with 1 foot on one side and 1 another.
3. Being a disciple (a life to deny self) is not what signed up for.
4.Don’t understand nor learn how to change values Romans 12:1-2
5. Get angry at God when He doesn't answer prayers in our timing (He did not meet expectations).
6. Fear of change as the old way seems to work although it’s not great (but one does not know abundant life means without experiencing it, resulting in complacency in current situation.
7. Inadequate intake spiritual food or not able to digest it. No biblical model in life to follow. Matt 13
Screwtape Letters Summaries andynaselli.com/diabolical-ventriloquism-a-1-sentence-summary-of-each-of-screwtapes-letters