Why does Paul refer to his fellow Christians as “saints” at the beginning of his letters, and how can this be true since all Christians continue to struggle with remaining sin? What does it mean to be chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, as Paul teaches in Ephesians? Does God choose us because of something good that he foresaw in us? And what is the significance of the idea that we have been predestined to be adopted as his very own sons? The host will discuss these questions and more as we begin a new series on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join us for this edition of the White Horse Inn.
“When God speaks, things happen. When God says, ‘Let there be light,’ in the Old Testament in Genesis, there is light. When Jesus says, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ he in fact does. When God, through the mouth of the apostle or here through the pen of the apostle says, ‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father,’ it’s not just imparting information. It is doing that, but it’s doing something more than that actually. It’s bringing the very thing that it speaks of. It is imparting to them the peace that comes from God on account of Christ.” – Steve Parks
Term to Learn:
“The Authority of Christ in Scripture’s Authorship”
Christianity is often called a book-religion. It would be more exact to say that it is a religion which has a book. Its foundations are laid in apostles and prophets, upon which its courses are built up in the sanctified lives of men; but Christ Jesus alone is its chief cornerstone. He is its only basis; he, its only head; and he alone has authority in his Church. But he has chosen to found his Church not directly by his own hands, speaking the word of God, say for instance, in thunder-tones from heaven; but through the instrumentality of a body of apostles, chosen and trained by himself, endowed with gifts and graces from the Holy Ghost, and sent forth into the world as his authoritative agents for proclaiming a gospel which he placed within their lips and which is none the less his authoritative word, that it is through them that he speaks it. It is because the apostles were Christ’s representatives, that what they did and said and wrote as such, comes to us with divine authority. The authority of the Scriptures thus rests on the simple fact that God’s authoritative agents in founding the Church gave them as authoritative to the Church which they founded. All the authority of the apostles stands behind the Scriptures, and all the authority of Christ behind the apostles. The Scriptures are simply the law-code which the law-givers of the Church gave it.
If, then, the apostles were appointed by Christ to act for him and in his name and authority in founding the Church—and this no one can doubt; and if the apostles gave the Scriptures to the Church in prosecution of this commission—and this admits of as little doubt; the whole question of the authority of the Scriptures is determined. It will be observed that their authority does not rest exactly on apostolic authorship. The point is not that the apostles wrote these books (though most of the New Testament books were written by apostles), but that they imposed them on the Church as authoritative expositions of its divinely appointed faith and practice. (B. B. Warfield, “The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures,”The Selected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield Vol. 2, pp. 537–539)
(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)
Welcome back to the Unorthodox Man Podcast! This week, I get to sit down with a new friend, John Ruhlam. John grew up in a small town in North West Washington and is a fifth generation pastor. I’m talking very small – only about 800 people lived in his hometown. John grew up thinking that religion was all about rules – do this / don’t do that. He basically grew up thinking religion was all about rules. He missed the concept of a merciful, graceful God. So, like too many PK’s (pastor’s kids), John rebelled and ran away from God.
But, then, when he was 20-years-old, John gave his life to Jesus and moved from “religious rules” to a “relationship with God”.
However, that’s just the very, very beginning of John’s story.
Here is a sample list of bulletpoints that John shares about his life (although, you really should hear the story from John, himself by pushing the play button above!)…
Don’t want to get a head of God. Quit making plans and just go one day at a time.
No matter where I go I know God will use him for His glory.
John’s favorite verse:
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
Jesus set John free from pain, addiction, jail, and depression.
John’s final words of advice:
Guys, we are surrounded by evidence of God, the next step is a step of faith.
This week, I get to sit down with a new buddy of mine – Alan Johnson. Alan was raised in a Christian family in San Diego. He grew up as an athlete in the “Perfect Family”.
But, then they found out that his dad was having an affair… and the family blew up. This is when Alan and his brothers started drinking to cope with dad.
Alan’s story is one full of twists and turns, both figuratively and literally. Here are just a few bullet points we discuss in this week’s podcast:
Alan offers these words of advice to us all:
Develop eternal, significant relationships – take time to allow God to develop you! And, don’t try to look like treasure. Just be honest with God about who you are.
Alan’s favorite Bible Verse is Matthew 15:16, where Jesus asks:
“Don’t you understand yet? Why are you still so dull?”
You see, It’s ok not to get it – God wants us to ask Him about things.
As Alan puts it, “From a loser to other losers – don’t give up God wants to help you celebrate, just keep walking and going after God!”
You are NEVER beyond God’s grasp!
How does a teenage, gang-banging pimp transform into someone who seeks God, takes to the streets, preaches God’s Word, and reaching the lost? A better question might be: How did Mark Miles Jr. become Meezilini Tha Messenger? We discover the answers to both of these questions and much more in this week’s episode, where I get to chat with the man himself: Meezilini!
Here are a few of the things Meezilini tha Messenger and I discuss:
This is just part of Meezilini’s story. You’ve got to listen to what God has done throughout his life to transform him into a soldier for God’s kingdom.
Check out even more from Meezilini by following him all over social media:
Joining us all the way from the Land Down Under – Perth, specifically – is my buddy JJ Hewlett. JJ’s story is a long and winding road full of ups, downs, sideways, benefits and forfeits. As JJ said:
“I’ve given up a lot of authority and I cant get that back, but I want to get back what I can and start doing it right.”
Here are just a few of the topics JJ and I discuss this week:
This is just part of JJ’s story. You’ve got to hear what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the spiritual warrior he is today. As JJ says, “Find your pack and fight!” You can learn so much more by checking out JJ’s podcast: Warrior Rise ministry
Zack Quilici had it all: He played collegiate football at UNLV, had a cheerleader by his side, and even opened his own cross fit gym. But, when your world is all about yourself, sooner or later, things crumble.
As Zack puts it: “It was all Zack. It was the Zack show! I might as well written my own bible.”
Here are just a few of the topics Zack and I discuss this week:
This is just part of Zack’s story. You’ve got to hear what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today. As Zack says, “You are not alone!”
“I like how you call homosexuality an abomination. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctions in Exodus 21:7. What would a good price for her be? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insist on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean – Leviticus 11:7. Can the Washington Redskins still play football? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?” (Martin Sheen as President Bartlet in The West Wing, Season 2, Episode 3)
Oh, my faithful heart! Luckily, it knows better than to get a Bible lesson from a fake president on a scripted TV show (or any president, for that matter). Notice all these arguments come from the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy… Also known as the books of the Law. So, writer Aaron Sorkin, with an agenda, ignores context and the entire Biblical narrative.
The reference to slavery in Exodus 21:7 is not like American Civil War era slavery. It’s protecting a woman from poverty and exploitation and giving her work.
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves doe. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as a daughter. IF he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, clothing, or marital rights. (Exodus 21:7-11)
And Jesus declared all foods clean, repeated by Peter and Paul.
Jesus declared all foods clean (Mark 7:19)
Peter was told this in a vision (Acts 10:13-16)
A sentence of death wasn’t given for planting different crops or wearing two different materials. The Israelites were to reflect holiness in all practice in life, as the chosen people of God.
You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from all the peoples, that you should be mine. (Leviticus 20:26)
All the law points to Jesus Christ, who kept the law perfectly, and lovingly gave His own life as an atoning sacrifice.
Those who break God’s law will still perish on the Day of Judgment.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 6:23)
But, those who believe in Jesus will be forgiven their sins… including the sin of homosexuality, which is still an abomination.
…when we understand the text.
This week, I get to sit down with a friend of mine whom I’ve known most of his life – Hayden Feindel. Hayden grew up with a strong, gifted, resilient single mom who raised five boys and a daughter to be just as strong and resilient! As a boy, Hayden’s biggest dream was to be a professional athlete… to be part of a championship team… and integral part of something that is much greater than himself.
Yet, as he threw one interception after another, Hayden realized – quite humbly – that “pro athlete” would never be on his business cards.
But, that has never stopped him from becoming part of something bigger than himself. That didn’t stunt his desire to redeem himself and his family from the pain that was inflicted upon them nor his drive to strive for impacting the world!
Here are a few of the things Hayden and I discuss:
This is just part of Hayden’s story. You’ve got to listen to what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today… a man who loves living for God!
As Haden says, “The first step is honesty; we can’t have freedom unless we have honesty”.
This week, I get to talk with a cool buddy of mine, Steve “Skogger” Meketa. Steve’s story is amazing, starting in Cleveland, where he grew up as an odd kid. He was bullied and outcast… but then he was introduced to skating & punk! For better or worse, the Misfits changed Steve’s life!
Here are a few of the things Steve and I discuss:
This is just part of Steve’s story. You’ve got to listen to what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today… a man who loves living for God!
As Steve says, “You can change… your life can change… EVERYTHING can change!”
Daphne lay on that blanketed bed on May 10, 2007. Only months before, she received the news and quickly began planning for her new life as a mom. She loved kids—even worked with them daily—and now she was having her own. But it wasn’t long until her entire life crumbled at her feet, leaving her seemingly alone, fighting for the life that was now inside of her. She eventually caved and agreed to the wishes of her parents and the father for her to get rid of the baby.
After the procedure, Daphne had difficulty finding the will to live. She often fell asleep on the cold floor of her bathroom, crying in regret, with white tissues all around her. She felt robbed—as though she made the right decision at the last moment, and no one even cared. “I was so mad at this God I didn’t even know… that he could do this and let this happen to me.”
Then, two of Daphne’s co-workers began reaching out to her, encouraging her to wake up each day, and sharing about the freedom and forgiveness found in Jesus. Through many honest conversations about her issues with God, they persevered and continued showing her God’s love through their actions and words. On the baby’s presumed due date, Daphne’s coworkers had flowers and a card waiting on her desk as she came into work. On the card was a verse from the Bible:
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11)
“I read that verse and my soul knew that it was true. And I, by God’s grace and the Spirit, believed that things couldn’t get any worse, and that God was going to restore me.” On that day, Daphne started walking with Jesus.
A few months later, Daphne was living with her cousin in Cedar Park, working at a hospital, and attending The Austin Stone Community Church. Although God continued working things out for her good, Daphne battled with what she thought of as a tainted testimony of how God brought her to himself. She struggled with guilt, shame, and even feeling like she deserved the bad things that happened to her. Before long, God brought Daphne the man who would be her husband, a man who understood the depth of grace and the way it covers all sin.
They were married, and God blessed Daphne and her husband with a baby. The pregnancy was a difficult one, high risk with regular appointments every few days, but on the last appointment before the baby’s delivery date, the unexpected happened.
“You have to deliver today. Your fluid is low and your placenta is dying. Baby’s got to come out. Today,” the doctor said. It was May 10, 2013—one month before the original due date, and exactly six years from the date of her abortion.
“I was a little overwhelmed with it at first, but I realized how much God wanted to own the full redemption. I felt like God was telling me, ‘I take what was a horrible day every year and I claim it for my glory, and I give you a reason to celebrate it with life.’ And I couldn’t believe God was so gracious even in the details,” Daphne remembers.
“I think the constant battle is doubt. … [I] doubt God’s goodness, doubt God’s wisdom. But God constantly reminds me that I am fully purchased. Jesus’ blood is fully redemptive. There’s no condemnation, nothing left to pour out on me. Staring at a baby everyday is like a direct reminder, but it gives me joy for what is now and what isn’t anymore. It’s done. I am fully redeemed.”
The Austin Stone Story Team is a community of artists who tell stories of gospel transformation. We are photographers, writers, editors, filmmakers, and musicians on a common mission to use our gifts for His glory.
(By The Austin Stone Story Team. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)