Written By Ken
Lori and I are big believers in grace. Ask anyone of our children and you will find that we tried to be like our heavenly Father towards them. When they failed to live up to God’s admonitions, grace abounded towards them but we never give up on the established standards because of sin. We gave them God’s ideals daily, demanding that while they lived in our home they followed the precepts of God’s Word. For this is what God requires of us as parents to not allow our love for our children to blind us training them in what is best for their lives.
If you are not familiar with the word “antinomianism” look it up. It means that some in the church follow a heresy that God’s grace is so pervasive in the life of a Believer that the Christian can go on practicing sin, or living in sin, and no matter what they do God’s love and grace forgives them. Some have made a mockery of God’s abundant grace, and although God’s grace will cover a multitude of sins for the Believer (past, present, and future), those who continue to walk in sin are missing the point that they may not be saved in the first place. Yes, it is not a loving God that one should fear when we continue in sin, but rather our God who has wrath stored up for sinners who do not walk by faith into righteousness. After all, the same great salvation that saves us for eternity also saves us from our sins in the here and now.
Many in the modern-day church seem bent on wiping away God’s demands on our lives. Our churches are failing to teach God’s standards and ideals with any conviction that they are to be pursued in spite of Christ’s words, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” It seems every post Lori produces that explains God’s best and His ideals for life and godliness is met with another Christian blogger waxing and waning on how horrible it is to not focus almost exclusively on God’s love and grace. Hey Christian, did you ever consider that a large part of God’s love and grace comes by heeding His admonitions so you don’t live your life filled with regrets for your sins? Why not try to stop the person diving into the shallow side of the pool before they dive head first instead of administering love and grace after they hit head first on the bottom?
There is plenty written on love and grace in the church, but the time now for young men and women is to decide to do things God’s ways so they can reap His many blessings. The loss of one’s virginity before marriage, debt, and not putting great energy into one’s family because of a career, are all preventable if one is shown the better way of God’s will by His Word. There is an important place for God’s admonitions to follow His ways and a place for love, grace and acceptance when we fail Him. But let’s not be so quick to jump on the grace bandwagon that we neglect to speak the whole truth of God’s Word that warns us to avoid “the sins that so easily entangle us” and can ultimately ruin so much of the good life God has in store for His children who do things as He instructs.
Moreover, should not the love of Christ and His great work on Christ compel us to obedience if we see no reward in this life? Is that not what putting on Christ and His Lordship is all about for the true Believer? “For the love of God controls us, having concluded this… that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who for their sake died and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
Are you a Christian?
Far too often after a post on simple admonitions of serving, submission, and keepers-at home, we hear, “You are not a Christian!” or “You are doing damage to Christianity!” It is amazing how challenging the status quo of a modern society that is bent on doing what it wants, and shoving women out of the home and into the workplace, can conjure up such consternation. Some cannot seem to separate respect for a person from a disdain for the ideas they espouse on their blog. The personal attacks are unwarranted and hurtful coming from Christians whose desire is not to dialogue but to shut Lori down. After all, Lori is just teaching what the church has taught for almost 2,000 years, but now they perceive that very same teaching as detrimental to the church, to society, and particularly to women. Take a look at any of the well-respected older biblical commentaries, which Lori regularly does, and they all agree whole heartily with what she teaches. But those old scholarly and godly men are no longer to be believed in a Christian world filled with prominent female leaders who preach grace and positivity instead of Biblical Womanhood.
So What Does it Mean to Be Christian?
The answer is that the word Christian simply means “to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.” A theologically Christian can be defined as “one who has made a real decision to follow Jesus by repenting of their sins and accepting the saving grace that only God can give based on the blood of Jesus shed on behalf of all sinners. It is a free gift from God to all who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and as their personal Savior of the World.”
Lori and I are willing to accept all who claim the name of Jesus as Savior as our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not expect everyone to believe just as we believe about God’s Word and how God wants Christians to live their lives. The church is made up of many members and many gifts and each of us are at different stages of our Christian walk and influenced by the experiences God and life have brought to us. Whether a wife works and leaves her children at home hours a day, and expects her husband to help more around the home, even fully tattooed, has nothing to do with saving grace that makes one a Christian. For we are not saved by any works we may do, but only by the grace of God.
Becoming a Christian is open to all sorts of sinners, but once saved, God turns us into saints. Yes, within the instant that we accept Jesus as Savior, we are told that God’s power of regeneration makes us into the “righteousness of God”; for we are “in Christ Jesus.” Read Romans 6 where we are told that we “died with Christ,” “are buried with Christ,” “have risen with Christ,” “alive in Christ” and now “dead to sin” and we are to now to “walk in newness of life.”
Unfortunately, most Christians seem to get stuck in Romans 6, or worse yet in the sink hole of sin of Romans 7 where Paul exposes the cycle of sin that traps the person into a vicious struggle of try and fail, try and fail, trying in our own power (the flesh) to conquer sin. Thank God He has a solution for sin and that is to stop focusing on the flesh and instead learn to “walk in the Spirit.” For if you live after the flesh you will die” (Romans 8:13).
Remember those “antinomians” who believe God’s grace covers them if they keep on sinning? Well, this verse makes it clear that if they keep on practicing sin they need to question if they truly are Believers. Are they really saved? “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).
But what if I keep sinning?
No one, including God’s Word, has said that the Christian will never sin again. The privilege of sinlessness that we long for will not arrive until the moment we are transformed out of this body into a life of God’s grand eternity where we will meet Him face to face and put on the white robe of righteousness reserved for us in our eternity with Him. But as for now, we are to walk in newness of life putting off the old man and putting on the new man as our new identity. We are to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh seeking those things which are above, no longer with a mind set on things of this earth.
Too many Christians want to rest in God’s salvation without a godly desire to obey God’s admonitions. The motto “Begin with the end in mind” is where our minds should stay, thinking of those last hours before we go home to be with Jesus, and asking ourselves what regrets and joys will we have when that day comes when eternity is drawing near. You Christian, you Saint and Holy One, your salvation should feel secure, but you also should have a strong desire to please your Lord Jesus by obeying Him at His Word. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has preordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). After you accept Jesus as Lord of your life, it is no longer about your will, your flesh, and your ways, but God’s will, God’s Spirit living mightily in you, and God’s ways. Our modern day society says, “Just do your own thing for you are in control of your life,” and God’s Word says, “You are a child of the living God and his love controls you to be His faithful servant.”
Lori’s ministry was born out of regret with both of us wishing we had been willing to faithfully follow God at His Word earlier in our marriage, not having wasted so many precious moments of our early married years. Lori beckons wives who are filled with disappointment, dissatisfied, and self-focused to take another look at God’s perfect ways that do not fit well with a modern feministic society. A multitude of women have sent Lori notes telling her how much they appreciate not only her encouraging words but the results in their own lives, marriage, and family by deciding to do things according to the plain admonitions God gives us in His Word.
How Do You Know You Are a Christian?
Some believe that you can never know for sure if you are a Christian until you get to heaven. We see this as an awful way to live the Christian life as God’s Word and His Spirit gives us all we need for the full assurance that we are indeed saved. Here are five simple tests of your salvation:
First, we are told that the one who believes in Jesus as Savior will also accept Him as Lord of their lives. This means that we have a hunger for knowing how God wants us to live and we model our lives after the God-Man Christ Jesus. Lordship is not required for salvation, but it is a sure sign of who is indeed saved as Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of all.
This leads us to a natural second test of our faith as we follow in the footsteps of the Suffering Servant. Let me say this very plainly, that if both husband and wife are not set on serving each other, and especially investing their lives in their children so that they will grow up into the nurture and admonition of the Lord, then we have to wonder if such a person is saved. We are shocked by the Christian comments of those offended at the thought of joyfully serving a husband by doing an extra share of housekeeping. As one married to a wife who has been often ill, I have at times been called upon to do much more than my share of family duties. If you are a Christian, you cannot miss the fact that Jesus calls you to become “the servant of all,” and that this must start with your spouse and family then extend to all others.
The third test is a simple understanding of what the fruit of the Spirit brings. We are told that those who believe on Christ are made new creatures as God takes our hearts of stone and replaces them with His very own Spirit. And what are the fruit of the Spirit if not “love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). How does your life display these things, Christian? Are you shining the fruit of the Spirit when you write your angry filled messages on Social Media, or you go after a fellow brother or sister with personal attacks because you disagree with them theologically?
The fourth test of whether one is a true Believer or not may be if they walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. We are told that the flesh and the Spirit are at war with each other and that the Believer chooses to walk in the Spirit by regularly saying “No” to their flesh. Lori focuses quite a bit of her writings on this very matter, challenging Christian woman to think about how they dress, how they eat and take care of themselves, how they put off anger and disdain, and put on love for their husbands and children. Each moment of the day, we have a choice to walk in our dead flesh or walk in the Spirit who lives inside of us. Walking in the Spirit moment by moment each day is a sure sign of salvation and spiritual maturity.
The final test of Salvation comes in the end as the true Believer believes all the way to the end of their life (Hebrews 10:28-29). It is not enough to believe in Jesus and sprout up a life that looks like a Christian only to eventually die out, like the seed of the parable Jesus gave that was thrown onto rocky ground. The true seed is planted on the healthy soil of Christ Jesus Himself and grows deep roots into Christ as it grows up to bear fruit. Tell me, Christian, are your roots growing deeper into the Word and obedience to what God is asking of you, while also growing up and outward into bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God?
Life is but a vapor that is best summed up as a series of choices and decisions. We each get to choose how to live our life and how to best walk with God. We are not asking you to follow us, or to follow Lori’s ideals that are counter-culture, but rather that you be challenged by her words to think and study on your own to come to the best conclusions for our own life before God.
Please do not fault Lori for her faithfulness to what God has called her to do in teaching the younger Christian women. If you cannot join her, why not choose to pass on by and allow some disagreement over what the Word teaches and how our society is best served by cohesive families? After all, we are one in the body of Christ, or at least part of America where ideals should be allowed to be expressed freely without harm and persecution over our disagreements.
And if you, like Lori and me, have failed in some of God’s best for your life, it is then that we run headlong into the arms of Jesus begging for his grace and mercy on our lives. His grace and love do indeed abound even to the greatest of sinners. It is often out of regrets for past sins that ministry is born trying to stop as many others as possible from committing the same stupid mistakes that God has warned us about over and over again.
If you are in need of God’s grace, grasp ahold tightly to His promises that you are indeed a new creature in Christ and all your past sins have been placed on Christ on the cross. But never fail to realize that as new creatures, Christians, we are to walk in newness of life, leaving a life of sin behind. For we are no longer Sinners but Saints. Now may we grow up into this new life of righteousness that God has graciously given to us. And may we teach our children and others in the church that God’s grace begins when we heed His many admonitions and walk in obedience to His calling.