These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling


by Mike Ratliff

1 “These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. John 16:1 (NASB) 

In John 15 our Lord spoke of  “things” in order that believers “not be caused to stumble,” He was referring to John 15:18-25, which is the fact that those who are truly in Christ will be hated by the world just as our Lord was. Our Lord made it an imperative that we understand that this is true, but also that we do not have to contend with this alone. In John 15:26-27, the promise of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, is given again. Those who have the Holy Spirit are genuine believers and they bear witness about Christ because that is what the Holy Spirit does.  Continue reading

What is the work of the Holy Spirit?


by Mike Ratliff

26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27 NASB) 

We live in a time of biblical ignorance. Much of the ignorance is intentional. Not long ago I was involved in some discussions with a group whose main goal appeared to be to separate Jesus from Holy Scripture. Those who are immersed in the Word of God as they walk before the face of God in their sanctification see this movement with a great deal of incredulity. How can anyone learn about Jesus and what is expected of His disciples if all understanding of Him comes extra-biblically?  Continue reading

The Words That Keeps Believers From Stumbling


by Mike Ratliff

Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα μὴ σκανδαλισθῆτε. (John 16:1 NA27)

“These things I have spoken to you that you not be caused to stumble.” (a personal translation of John 16:1 from the NA27 Greek text)

In our last post, The True Vine, we looked at John 15. When our Lord spoke of the “things” He spoke of in order that believers “not be caused to stumble,” He was referring to John 15:18-25, which is the fact that those who are truly in Christ will be hated by the world just as our Lord was. Our Lord made it an imperative that we understand that this is true, but also that we do not have to contend with this alone. In John 15:26-27, the promise of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, is given again. Those who have the Holy Spirit are genuine believers and they bear witness about Christ because that is what the Holy Spirit does.  Continue reading

The Work of the Comforter in the Face of the Hatred of the World


by Mike Ratliff

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:3-7 ESV)

A careful survey of any Scriptural expository of the ministry of the Holy Spirit will reveal that the writers of the New Testament usually tell us about ο παρακλητος, the Comforter, and His ministry in the context of Christians remaining obedient, Christlike Christians in the midst of persecution and in the face of the hatred of the World. This resistance to God’s Truth often takes the form of apostasy and heresy. We see this in our day within what has become a “new and improved” form of Christianity forged in the hands of men such as Brian McLaren and those who follow him. In order for them to attract and keep their followers they must necessarily attack God’s Truth and those who accept it, live by it, and have it manifested in them because they are truly saved.  Continue reading

The Work of the Comforter


by Mike Ratliff

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. “ (John 14:25-26 ESV)

On the night prior to our Lord’s crucifixion and death, He promised that He and the Father would send to His disciples the Helper, the παρακλητος, the Holy Spirit. This Greek word, translated as Helper, means a lawyer or assistant in a legal question. Its Biblical context, however, describes a person who provides encouragement, counsel, and strength. In John 16:7-11, which will be the focus of this post, our Lord promises to send “another” παρακλητος, One like Himself who will carry on after Him the teaching and testimony that He began.  Continue reading

Spiritus Sanctus


by Mike Ratliff

11 b “I baptize you with water c for repentance, but d he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you e with the Holy Spirit and f fire. (Matthew 3:11 ESV)

In yesterday’s post we looked at the necessity of lectio coninua for the continued health of a local church. Through our discussion, however, it was also made clear that it can be misused and not do what God intended if the Pastor does read through the Bible, but does not preach according the moving of the Holy Spirit, but instead, according to man focused topics and outright false doctrines. The only way it is effective and works as God intended is if the Pastor follows the leading of the Holy Spirit, the Spiritus Sanctus. Continue reading

Regeneration and the Holy Spirit


I have been doing a great deal of research lately along with some of my friends at CRN and Old Truth into post-evangelism and the church growth/planting movement. Today I listened to two motivational “talks” by Stephen Furtick and one by Bil Cornelius of this movement. These “talks” were from The Evolve Conference.

There is more research to go. It was as I listened to these men that I realized how important it is to be very careful to whom we listen and whom we read. It was very disturbing. This evening as I prepared to “write” I felt an overwhelming desire for some solid Biblical teaching instead of what I have been hearing all day. Therefore, in this post we will look at a chapter from All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon. The chapter’s title is “Regeneration and the Holy Spirit.” Enjoy and be blessed – Mike Ratliff Continue reading

The Work of the Holy Spirit


by Mike Ratliff

“When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26-27 WEB)

We live in a time of biblical ignorance. Much of the ignorance is intentional. I have been involved in some discussions over the last several days that pertained to a movement that seeks to separate Jesus from Holy Scripture. Those who are immersed in the Word of God as they walk before the face of God in their sanctification see this movement with a great deal of incredulity. How can anyone learn about Jesus and what is expected of His disciples if all understanding of Him comes extra-biblically? Continue reading