The cleansing power of God’s Word


by Mike Ratliff

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (John 15:3 NASB)

All people are born dead in their trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13) This condition of spiritual death also means that each person, though desperate for fulfillment that can only be satisfied in God, cannot come to God, know God, or even seek Him. Because of this, they pursue fulfillment from everything around them. The number one method of doing this is via the flesh. The flesh is all about self and self-gratification. The problem with this is that nothing works for very long, including religiosity. Continue reading

How the inspiration of Sacred Scripture benefits the Church


by Mike Ratliff

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB)

If you pay close attention to the enemies of the truth, apostates, heretics, and pagans, they all attack the doctrine of the Inspiration of Sacred Scripture. In this post we will take a closer look at the five things that, since Scripture is Inspired, for which it is profitable or useful or helpful. Of course, the enemies of God’s truth reject all of this because they insist on things being man-centered while the deeper we dig into these truths there is no way we can come away from what we find without the understanding that God is Sovereign and those who belong to Him do so for His glory not theirs.  Continue reading

Interpreting Scripture by Scripture


by Mike Ratliff

[16] All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)

I have a Bible that was given to my grandfather by all his children as a gift after several life changing events took place in his life (the death of my grandmother, him having to retire from the pastorate for heath reasons, et cetera). He was born in 1877 and I was born in 1951 so my memory of him was always of a very old man. He became a Baptist preacher in the late 1800’s after his wife led him to Christ and taught him to read and write. Here is the note they wrote to him that is pasted to the inside cover.

“Dear Dad,

         We have said we love you many times, but we want to say it again in this way. The knowledge that you have put this Holy Word above all things will stay with us always.” 

Then each of his children and their spouses signed the note. This had to have happened in the early 1950’s when I was very young. My grandmother died when I was 3 years old. My grandfather died in 1963 on Christmas Eve. His funeral was held at the First Baptist Church in Purcell, Oklahoma and it was packed. Before my Dad got Alzheimer’s Disease and died and we could still discuss these things I asked him many times about Granddad’s theology and how he handled scripture and what he would have done with all the nonsense going on in the church visible right now. He wouldn’t say much except to say that people’s own interpretations of things meant nothing to him. God’s Word was authoritative and if you could not back up what you were doing or saying from it then watch out. It did not bother him one bit to confront those in error. Also, celebrity preachers were an anachronism to pastors like my Grandfather. Continue reading

The Five Benefits of the Inspiration of Sacred Scripture


by Mike Ratliff

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)

If you pay close attention to the enemies of the truth, apostates, heretics, and pagans, they all attack the doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture. In yesterdays post, The Inspiration of Scripture, we looked closely at this. In this post we will take a closer look at the five things that, since Scripture is Inspired, for which it is profitable or useful or helpful. Of course, the enemies of God’s truth reject all of this because they insist on things being man-centered while the deeper we dig into these truths there is no way we can come away from what we find without the understanding that God is Sovereign and those who belong to Him do so for His glory not theirs.  Continue reading

Is a Paraphrase Equivalent to God’s Word?


by Mike Ratliff

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18 ESV)

With the posting of The Man Centered Gospel vs The God Centered Gospel yesterday, and the ensuing discussion with friends on this topic, it is apparent that God is showing us that the dividing line between genuine Christianity and that which isn’t is that the former is centered on God and His glory while the latter is on man centeredness and sees God in various ways that are incredibly short-sighted, unscriptural, and all rooted in the very lie that Satan used to deceive our parents in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). As we back away and examine things from this perspective it is an amazing thing to see how all of the apostasy and bad doctrine we have been examining for last several years has all been rooted in lies that feed from a man-centered view of God’s Word, doctrine, and Christianity as a whole. Continue reading

The Truth and the Deceived


By Mike Ratliff

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (1 Corinthians 1:17-19 ESV)

The prevalent lie dominating the emergent “Church” is that the Gospel is defined differently than it is clearly set down in God’s Word. Of course, this should be no surprise since Sacred Scripture tells us plainly that the genuine Gospel is folly or foolishness to those who are perishing. I know that some are saying that the emergents are genuine Christians and that they are leading the way into a “new reformation,” but if one simply dialogues with any of the emergents for very long about the Gospel it becomes very clear in a hurry that it is a different religion. Continue reading