Is It God’s Will For Christians To Have Constant Comfort and Worldly Success?


by Mike Ratliff

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:7-11 ESV)

Only a fragment of the visible Church is holy. Only a Remnant is truly saved. There is actually a great gulf fixed between this Remnant and professing Christians who are in apostasy and/or unbelief. This gulf has many aspects, but one of the main things that separate the two groups is that the Remnant is made up of those who are true worshippers of God. They worship the Father in spirit and truth. Those in apostasy may very well have stirring worship services and sing praise song after praise song in their “Sunday Worship Services,” but that is as far as it goes. It is simply music, and in God’s ears it is nothing more than a clanging gong. Genuine worship of God in spirit and truth comes from the heart of the regenerate who worships Him with every part of their lives. They serve God in all they do. He is their all-in-all. They do not seek for God to make them happy in all things. Instead, they seek to walk holy before the Lord.

Continue reading

As For The One Who Is Weak In Faith, Welcome Him, But Not To Quarrel Over Opinions


by Mike Ratliff

15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. (Titus 1:15 ESV)

I am constantly amazed at the diversity I witness in the believers who interact with this ministry. This, of course, displays Christ’s power to bring together in unity dissimilar people from every place on this planet and from all walks of life. Part of our sanctification is dealing with our unredeemed flesh. God uses it to humble us as well as teach us to fight the good fight. We will never be totally sinless as long as we have our flesh within us. Our enemy also works within our flesh to create division in an effort to split what God has unified. Much of the attack from him and his minions will be to foment conflict between mature believers and those who are not so mature. Also, he is always working in a effort to create self-confidence and self-righteousness in believers. He knows that when believers fall into that trap they are working from a base of pride rather than humility. When that happens the fruit from it will be marred by spiritual blindness.  Continue reading

I Myself Serve The Law Of God With My Mind, But With My Flesh I Serve The Law Of Sin


by Mike Ratliff

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:21-25 ESV)

I was reading the profile of a Bible expositor that I greatly admire not long ago and was struck by this description of himself, “I am a notable sinner!” As I read that I reflected on my own spiritual condition and would have to agree with that statement as a description of me as well. There are times that I wonder what God sees in me for I see nothing good. There are times that my flesh seems to rule and reign in my heart instead of the power and peace of my Lord Jesus Christ. It is heartbreaking! I long to be free from this body of sin and death.

Continue reading

Live For The Rest Of The Time In The Flesh No Longer For Human Passions But For The Will Of God


by Mike Ratliff

1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV)

When our Lord went to the cross, he also endured torture and suffering. When we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection on “Easter Sunday” or Resurrection Day, we should do so with much do so with much joy, praise and worship. Why? Without our Lord’s resurrection our faith is empty and worthless. Those of us in Christ have the promise of our own resurrection at some point in the future. But, let’s not forget that before He was resurrected He had to die and before He died He suffered.

Continue reading

Scripture Alone


by Michael Kruger

We live in a world filled with competing truth claims. Every day, we are bombarded with declarations that something is true and that something else is false. We are told what to believe and what not to believe. We are asked to behave one way but not another way. In her monthly column “What I Know for Sure,” Oprah Winfrey tells us how to handle our lives and our relationships. The New York Times editorial page regularly tells us what approach we should take to the big moral, legal, or public-policy issues of our day. Richard Dawkins, the British atheist and evolutionist, tells us how to think of our historical origins and our place in this universe. Continue reading

God Gave Us A Spirit Not Of Fear But Of Power And Love And Self-Control


by Mike Ratliff

7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)

When I was a teenager back in the mid-1960’s we had a preacher who filled in for our’s once for some reason. I was about 15 or so at the time. He was an older gentleman with a big booming voice and a head full of white hair. He was so different from our preacher that I actually listened to what he said. I believe that the person from the Bible he was talking about was Isaac. I remember him commenting on the fact that he was timid or shy or fearful. In my mind I thought of that person as shy or bashful by the way he described him. Then he said something I will never forget. He said, “Folks, timidity is not of God.” He then preached a sermon on how God calls His people to be bold and to fear not. Those who are fearful are those of little faith who make decisions that reflect their fear instead of reflecting a trust of God through their faith. He said that those who walk in fear and timidity are actually not in obedience to God and are therefore operating from pride. Their fear was the product of their pride as it did all it could do to protect self. However, those who walk in boldness are the truly humble believers because they lay aside self-protection while obeying God for His glory. Continue reading

Is It Possible For Christians To Walk in the Light as He is in the Light?


by Mike Ratliff

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5 ESV)

The tragic state of the vast majority of professing Christians in these early years of the 21st Century is that only a small minority of them are actually walking their Christian walk before the Lord in the light that is borne from our Saviour’s own life. As a result, most Christians are in bondage to their flesh. They are enslaved to a taskmaster who has an insatiable appetite for self-gratification. Even though they profess Jesus as Lord and Saviour they live as if it’s all up to them to try to live righteously. Since they can’t do it they have assumed a cavalier attitude about it and live defeated in their fleshly pursuits. This is tragic. I fear that many if not most of these professing Christians are disingenuous. Why? If there is no drive to be holy as God is holy, if there is no hatred of their sin, if there is no brokenness over their failure to repent then the Spirit of God does not reside in them and their hearts have not been regenerated. Let’s look at God’s light which shines in the darkness and has not ever been overcome by that darkness. Continue reading

What Does It Mean To Rightly Handle The Word Of Truth?


by Mike Ratliff

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:14-15 ESV)

In our post What Does It Mean to Walk In The Light, we looked at what true worship is and what is isn’t. Sadly, the prevalence of false worship and “churchianity” has taken over the “visible church” in our time. However, God has not abandoned the True Church and there are those God is calling to take up the slack left by “Christian” leaders who have left their proper calling of genuine ministry and “Rightly Handling the Word of Truth” to pursue a form of “Church” that is more of a business venture than a genuine Church. One of the lynchpins of whatever it is that God calls us to do to take up that slack is that we must be those who do indeed present ourselves to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. What does it mean to “rightly handle the Word of Truth?”

Continue reading

What Does It Mean To Walk In The Light


by Mike Ratliff

1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 ESV)

The Church, the True Church, has always taken the stance that God’s truth is knowable. However, in these “post-modern” times this “stance” has come under considerable attack causing many to question it’s veracity. Also, His truth is as His attributes and character. He is immutable. His truth is never changing. He is Holy. His truth is Holy, separate from the corruption of the world. His truth, the Word of God, is precise. It supernaturally divides man’s “truth” and understanding from God’s genuine truth. It is sharper than a two edged sword.

Continue reading