If you have been united to Christ, Jesus has broken the curse and brought us into fellowship with God. The bondage of sin has been broken. When as Christians we sin, we are acting in unbelief - not believing that our actions are being openly beheld by God and others. It is to forget our identity and the gift of the Holy Spirit and to live as if we were still under sin's dominion. Living genuinely and transparently, then, means by the grace of God, to consciously live every moment with the belief that all of our thoughts and life are truly open before God and man. It means to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), to have nothing hidden, but for your life to be laid bare before all (Heb. 4:11-13) So when we do sin, we don't hide it but confess it (1 John 2:1),we judge ourselves and grieve over it (1 Cor 11:31-32). And then we keep moving toward the goal (Phil 3:14). knowing that we are clean and forgiven in Christ (1 John 1:9).
By Cameron Buettel
I haven’t always sat under the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. In fact, earlier parts of my Christian walk have been tarnished by over-exposure to some really bad Bible teachers, and attendance in some very man-centered churches. A lot of my expertise in error comes from first-hand experience.
It took longer than I care to admit, but eventually, the reckless handling of Scripture became too hard to ignore. One of the most blatant examples was related to Christ’s interaction with the rich young ruler. Luke 18:22-25 explains the sad end to their conversation.
When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Guest Post by Isaac Shrum
As Christians living in this increasingly secular age, we’re called to graciously endure suffering from unbelievers when it comes our way. We never go looking for trouble or wish to partake in foolish quarrels, because we’re instructed “to put no obstacle in anyone’s way” to come to Christ [2 Cor. 6:3].
But when we stand for truth, righteousness, and the Gospel, we can expect the majority response from this [post-modern] world to be detestation. This should not surprise us, since we ourselves once walked in their shoes, even scorning and mocking the message of the Gospel like the Apostle Paul did before his conversion [Acts 9:1; 22:4]. Why the hostile response you might ask?
Simply put, the Bible tells us that apart from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, men naturally hate the Light [John 3:19], are hostile towards God [Rom. 8:7], and are enemies of God through their wicked deeds [Col. 1]. In stark contrast to the humanistic-progressivism of our day [i.e. ‘man is basically good’], the Scriptures teach that men are depraved through and through. Instead of walking in fellowship with God, men shake their fists at Him while running the other way.
As a result of this deep-seated hatred for God flows distaste towards Christians. Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first” [John 15:18]. This sense of hostility should grieve us [Phil. 3:18], but it should not be surprising [1 John 3:13]. If men hate God, should it really shock us when they despise His followers too?
D. A. Carson is the general editor; Desi Alexander, Rick Hess, and Doug Moo are the associate editors; and Andy Naselli served as the assistant editor. Andy Naselli worked on this study Bible full-time for four years and for a fifth year part-time. He managed the project and helped copyedit all of the notes and essays for content and style.