The Nature of a Truly Transformed Heart


by Mike Ratliff

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:10 ESV)

Some “evangelical leaders” in our time will tell you that transformation is actually part of the gospel and that the evidence of salvation is how busy a person is in “working in church ministry.” No where in God’s Word is transformation given as part of the Gospel. The Gospel is based in who Jesus Christ is and what He has done to be the propitiation for the elect. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, including the elect. No one is able to do any work of any kind to deserve or earn salvation, that is, justification. However in Ephesians 1:3-23; Ephesians 2:1-10, the Apostle Paul gives us God’s solution. Notice that nowhere in these passages is the transformed life mentioned as part of being justified. Yes, Paul mentioned in Ephesians 2 that Faith was a gift and that tells us that it is a product of regeneration, and that God saves us unto good works, but that is not the same thing. Paul tells us more about the transformed life in Romans 12:1-2. Notice that this is talking about spiritual growth after salvation and is not part of our justification at all, but is part of our sanctification process. Notice also who is in control of this process. Is it a local church or a ministry or is it God? Continue reading

Jesting


by Mike Ratliff

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4 ESV)

As we saw in the post Couneterfeit Love, the sixth characteristic of counterfeit love is jesting or “crude joking” as stated in the ESV (above). What is this and is it that big a deal? Here is Ephesians 5:4 from the Greek New Testament, “καὶ αἰσχρότης καὶ μωρολογία ἢ εὐτραπελία, τὰ οὐκ ἀνήκοντα, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εὐχαριστία.” A word-for-word translation of this verse is here, “and shamefulness and foolish words or coarse joking, which not is proper, but more good favor.” The word I translated here as “coarse joking” and the ESV as “crude joking” is εὐτραπελία or eutrapelia. Some Bible translations render εὐτραπελία as “jesting.” This is the only place in the New Testament where this word is used. Let us dig a bit deeper. Continue reading